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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
Obama in Europe; Missile Menace; Socialist Revolution; Paid to Serve
Aired March 31, 2009 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, HOST: Thank you, Wolf. President Obama has arrived in Europe to sell his plan for a global new deal to Europeans who simply aren't buying. We'll have complete coverage.
Also tonight the Obama administration reinforcing its control of key sectors of our economy, raising new concerns about what many are calling a socialist revolution in prospect, some say even a risk of totalitarianism.
Also tonight as the world focuses on North Korea's imminent missile test we'll be telling you about a dangerous new kill weapon that communist China is building to destroy U.S. aircraft carriers.
President Obama and the first lady, in London tonight for the G- 20 summit meeting, accompanying the president and Michelle Obama is an entourage of some 500 people for what will amount to four and a half hours of meetings among the leaders of the G-20 nations. If the president is hoping his huge entourage will impress or persuade European leaders, he will very likely be disappointed.
With the exception of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, those leaders reject nearly all of the Obama administration's key economic priorities, such as raising government spending or political priorities such as sending more troops to Afghanistan. And the dollar tonight is imperiled by the treasury secretary's statement that the Obama administration is open to a Chinese recommendation that a basket of world currencies replace the U.S. dollar.
Treasury Secretary Geithner has since recanted. The dollar, however, remains under pressure as communist China and Russia demand a massive overhaul of the global currency system. Suzanne Malveaux has our report tonight from London.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As candidate Barack Obama, he was a European sensation. Now, as president, he arrives in the midst of a full-blown economic crisis.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The response the people have had to our administration and the steps that we've taken are ones that are restoring a sense of confidence and the ability of the United States to assert global leadership.
MALVEAUX: First stop, London, England, for the G-20 summit where the leaders of 20 countries, who together represent more than 85 percent of the global economy, will tackle the worldwide economic meltdown. Already in anticipation of the international gathering, protests are raging in many European streets. Some of it squarely directed at the U.S.
STEVEN SCHRAGE, INTL. BUSINESS ANALYST, CSIS: There's a lot of anger at the United States or that national actions or national attention led to this crisis even if in reality it was also international as well.
MALVEAUX: In London, President Obama will meet with Queen Elizabeth II and the leaders of Britain, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, and South Korea. His message, the recovery of the U.S. economy is tied to the economies around the world.
OBAMA: All of us are going to have to take steps in order to lift the economy.
MALVEAUX: But just five months ago at the last G-20 summit held in Washington, D.C., most of those same leaders who pledged to fight protectionism and support free trade have broken their promises. So the question is whether this time will be any different.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The last statement was really a toothless tiger. Everyone ignored it and went ahead and enacted protectionist measures, 17 out of the G-20.
MALVEAUX: Even President Obama is accused of back pedaling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The administration has said major commitments to open markets and free trade but it allowed things like "Buy America" to go forward. Are we walking away from those commitments? It's going to be a critical question for the world that it's making a lot of people nervous.
MALVEAUX (on camera): World leaders are looking for different ways to fix their crumbling economy. The G-20 summit is considered the first step in trying to see if there is any consensus.
Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, London.
DOBBS: Since taking office, President Obama has announced several policies that Europeans have been demanding for years. Among those policies, plans to withdraw from Iraq, to close the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, and to begin negotiations with Iran. But Europe, it seems, is unwilling to give President Obama anything in return.
Most European nations are outright refusing to send any more troops to fight an escalating insurgency in Afghanistan, that despite the fact we are sending another 21,000 of our troops to Afghanistan. And European leaders, led by French President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel of Germany are saying no to any more stimulus measures to lift the world out of recession.
All of this raises concerns that the Obama administration's foreign policy is in disarray. Obama administration officials are playing down that escalating missile trip from North Korea tonight. Pyongyang is preparing to test fire a ballistic missile, perhaps this week. It could reach Alaska or Hawaii.
Meanwhile, communist China may be deploying an advanced new ballistic missile designed to specifically destroy U.S. aircraft carriers in one strike. U.S. Navy officials are reportedly very concerned about the so-called kill weapon. Kitty Pilgrim has our report.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This satellite photo shows a North Korean rocket ready to launch sometime this week or next. Japan has mobilized its missile defense system, and U.S. Navy ships capable of shooting down the North Korean missile, the "USS Hopper", the "USS Chafee" and the "USS McCain" are in the area. Concerns over the possibility of a missile attack is growing in a region that includes China, Taiwan, the Koreas and Japan.
PAUL GIARRA, GLOBAL STRATEGIES & TRANSFORMATION: Keep in mind that if the Chinese can hold out forces out anything close to 1,500 miles, even 1,000 miles, that puts all of our relatively short ranged surface Navy strike capability, Marines and so on, pretty much out of business.
PILGRIM: Even much more dangerous than the North Korean launch, according to the U.S. Naval Institute, an Annapolis based think tank is a new anti-ship ballistic missile developed by China that could strike U.S. aircraft carriers from a range of more than 1,200 miles. Experts say it's a blend of ballistic missile with honing capabilities like a cruise missile and a speed of Mach 10.
MAJ. GEN. TOM WILKERSON (RET.), U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE CEO: No one else has this weapon right now. This is new. This is -- it takes an integration of sensors to look down and see you, and then it takes the weapon to get into the area which is the ballistic. And then it takes a reception system that allows it to make a target. So it's all of this coming together and folks have not seen that before and that's what makes it new and potentially very worrisome for U.S. Navy planners.
PILGRIM: Major General Wilkerson, the head of the U.S. Naval Institute, confirms the U.S. Navy last year requested a destroyer modernization program that could handle ballistic missile defense.
Kitty Pilgrim, CNN.
DOBBS: A new terrorist threat tonight against the United States, and specifically our nation's capital. The top Taliban commander in Pakistan says he will attack Washington, D.C. soon. He says possible targets include the White House and the attack, in his words, will amaze the world. This Taliban threat comes after evangelical Pastor David Wilkerson (ph) warned of what he called an earth-shattering calamity that will strike another of our major cities, New York.
Israel's Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu tonight warning about the terrorist threat to Israel -- today, Netanyahu said the biggest security challenge that faces Israel is the rise and spread of radical Islam. Netanyahu acknowledging a threat that we've been reporting here since June of 2002, when we first began using the phrase, the war against radical Islamist terrorists.
I believe the term accurately defines our enemies, terrorists who want to destroy this country and much of civilization. The term, however, did not win the approval of President George Bush's administration, which preferred the phrase the global war on terror, even though terror itself, of course, is not the enemy.
The new Obama administration immediately banishing the war on terror phrase, as it allowed political correctness to take hold with greater strength in Washington. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in fact, declaring the Obama administration simply will not use the phrase. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano goes even further. She invented an entirely new word for terrorist attacks.
Secretary Napolitano calls terrorism man-caused disasters. You heard that correctly. Terrorist attacks are now in her lexicon as man-caused disasters, according to our homeland security secretary. Well, apparently not to be outdone, bureaucrats at the Pentagon have come up with yet another term for the war against radical Islamists.
Those bureaucrats call the war overseas contingency operations. A clear illustration that the language police have taken new control of Washington, which was already in the sway of political correctness before this administration took office.
Up next here, treasury secretary Timothy Geithner has a new role in the Obama administration, biz-czar. We'll explain. And what many call the president's socialist revolution, one that is raising some concerns, as well, about totalitarianism -- more to come. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: The president's visit to Europe coincides with a massive expansion of federal government control of our economy all under the supervision of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Geithner has so much control, in fact, of our economy that perhaps he deserves a new title. Biz-czar is worth considering.
The federal government has now committed almost $13 trillion in loans, loan guarantees, and cash handouts to support elements of our economy. That is the equivalent of our entire economy, by the way. The government has also intervened in the private sector in an unprecedented way, leading to charges that the Obama administration appears to be introducing European style socialism in this country.
The push to socialism is raising concerns in some quarters that political extremism could become a powerful force in this country. Some historians draw parallels between this period in our history and the years that followed the great depression. Ines Ferre has our report.
INES FERRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Conservative critics say the Obama administration is turning America socialist. The government owns nearly 80 percent of insurance giant AIG, has poured tens of billions into the banking system, and owns 40 percent of Citi. A bill in the House would give the Treasury power to determine the salaries for all employees of banks receiving TARP funds.
President Obama insists he does not want to be in the business of making cars. But he is. His auto task force is demanding a more aggressive restructuring plan and the firing of GM CEO Rick Wagoner.
OBAMA: If you buy a car from Chrysler or General Motors, you will be able to get your car serviced and repaired just like always. Your warranty will be safe.
FERRE: GM's warranties are only possible with government backing. Chrysler is being pushed toward a shotgun marriage with Fiat. One critic says the current path risks repeating the great depression.
PETER SCHIFF, AUTHOR, "CRASH PROOF": What we did wrong is that we interfered too much with the free market. The government tried to stimulate the economy, both under Hoover and then Roosevelt and the new deal impeded the progress that markets would have made. And the governments created the great depression.
FERRE: And some say the current strategy only gives other governments a free pass.
SEAN WEST, EURASIA GROUP: It's providing cover to other governments that are much more interventionist, and may also consolidate power with less altruistic motives.
FERRE (on camera): The Obama administration maintains it has no choice but to support the financial services industry, and the two car companies.
Ines Ferre, CNN, New York.
DOBBS: New protests in France. A new demonstration of what European style socialism can look like. Angry French workers today besieged a leading businessman in his taxi in Paris. He was rescued by police. Four managers of the Caterpillar Company are still being held hostage by workers in southeastern France. Those Caterpillar workers are holding the executives hostage, protesting against the severance packages being offered to the workforce.
A new report finds American students are lagging behind most of the G-8 countries when it comes to education. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, Japanese students are first in math and science. The United States comes in fourth, behind England and Russia.
But the United States ranks highest among all the G-8 nations when it comes to how much money is spent on education. The United States spends nearly $10,000 per student for elementary and high school students, nearly $25,000 on college students. That's about seven percent of our GDP being spent on education. Japan, on the other hand, spends just about half of that of its economy on education.
Tonight, Congress has passed a multibillion dollar piece of legislation known as the Give Act. Touted as a way to provide more volunteer opportunities for Americans, the act increases spending for national volunteer and community services such as AmeriCorps, but a closer look at the expensive legislation shows that the Give Act could end up taking tax dollars from Americans. Lisa Sylvester has our report.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): AmeriCorps sends out an army of volunteers to clean up parks, tutor and build affordable housing. Legislation passed by Congress would triple the size of national service programs from 75,000 participants to 250,000. The bill would also create four new service groups focused on education, health care, energy, and veterans. Opportunities geared toward young people and retirees.
REP. GEORGE MILLER (D), CALIFORNIA: National service and volunteering in our communities is an innate American value. This is -- it's as old as our country with barn raisings and communities helping one another.
SYLVESTER: The service bill passed the house 275-149. Democrats say with the economic crisis, more people are turning to volunteer and community groups for help. Only 26 Republicans voted for the legislation, similar GOP opposition on the Senate side. One reason the cost $5.7 billion in the first five years while the country is sinking deeper into debt.
(on camera): GOP critics also worry that money could be channeled to liberal groups like ACORN, now under investigation for voter registration fraud, something the group denies. And some critics worry that expanding the service corps will essentially replace charitable volunteers with paid government workers.
SEN. JIM DEMINT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We're taking over auto companies, we're taking over banks. It makes absolutely no sense for the government to put its tentacles into civil society and try to pay volunteers. It's just symptomatic of what's wrong here in Washington.
SYLVESTER: The legislation has now passed Congress and President Obama, who once worked as a community organizer, is expected to sign the bill.
Lisa Sylvester, CNN, Washington.
DOBBS: And interestingly, an amendment put forward by Senator DeMint to that legislation would have eliminated ACORN and other activist groups as recipients of that money under the Give Act, or as it's known, the Edward M. Kennedy Act (ph) law, soon to be. That amendment was defeated handily.
Governor Corzine of New Jersey is creating some controversy over two radical ideas suggested by the panel he appointed to come up with immigrant policy, as they put it. One recommendation to allow New Jersey's illegal aliens to pay in-state tuition at state colleges, Governor Jon Corzine agrees with that saying children of the state's estimated 400,000 illegal aliens shouldn't be discriminated against.
However he didn't make any recommendation for the children of parents in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, as to whether or not they should have to pay out-of-state tuition in New Jersey. Another recommendation by the so-called immigration panel is that illegal aliens be allowed to obtain driver's licenses. The governor, however, doesn't say he agrees with that. He says, instead, the federal government should decide that issue.
Tonight, the FBI has uncovered a massive identity theft ring that was servicing, of course, illegal aliens. The ring is accused of breaking into schools all across Puerto Rico and stealing thousands of birth certificates and Social Security numbers -- the victims all children who would never have discovered that their identities had been stolen until they became adults. Seven people in that ring have been arrested so far. Each of them now faces up to 15 years in prison.
Up next, first peanut products and the salmonella outbreak, now pistachios. We'll have the very latest on the new salmonella scare discovered not by the FDA, but by Kraft Foods and a new threat to the levees of North Dakota and another blizzard. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: We have an update now on the flooding in North Dakota and a weather update. Snow and strong winds are putting a strain on the sandbag levees that are trying to hold back the Red River. Six inches of snow have already fallen in Fargo and other parts of the northern plains. An additional seven to 14 inches of snow could fall before it is all over.
This is a full-blown blizzard. City officials say the cold temperatures have kept the snow from melting, and adding to the flooding in the swollen Red River. The Red River, by the way, it is now just over 38 feet, 20 feet above flood stage, but three feet below its crest.
And a new salmonella scare tonight. A California company is recalling nearly a million pounds of pistachio products that may have been contaminated with salmonella. The pistachios come from Setton Farms in Terra Bella (ph), California. The pistachios are sold to wholesalers who use them in products, including ice cream and trail mix. A Setton Farms customer Kraft Foods discovered the salmonella last week. Kraft is the one that notified the FDA on March 24th.
The FDA announced that contamination just last night. Kraft is now recalling its Planters and Back to Nature Products containing pistachios. Two people reportedly became ill after eating pistachio products, but a link to Setton Farms has not been confirmed, although Setton Farms says contaminated raw nuts may be the source of the salmonella.
Let's take a look at a few of your thoughts before we continue with the news. Kenney in Oklahoma said "When did President Obama start selling cars? I think he's been taking America for a ride since he became president."
And Clay in Texas, "What a great day. President Obama has taken control of the auto industry, so now it can be run as efficiently as our federal government."
Cynthia in Florida said, "So if accepting billions from the U.S. government means you give up the right to control your own destiny, what does accepting trillions from the Chinese government mean?"
We love hearing from you. Send us your thoughts to loudobbs.com. and a reminder to join me on the radio Monday through Fridays for "The Lou Dobbs Show", 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on WOR 710 radio in New York and go to loudobbsradio.com to get the local listings in your area.
Well home prices plunged by the sharpest rate in January. The S&P Case Shiller Home Price Index showing that prices fell 19 percent in January from a year earlier. Phoenix, the hardest-hit metropolitan area, home prices there are declining 35 percent over the year. Home prices in Las Vegas and San Francisco also dropping more than 30 percent.
And more bad news on the housing market. "The New York Times" reporting more banks are refusing to take possession of foreclosed homes, and in fact leaving owners in limbo. The problem is reaching epidemic proportions in cities such as Buffalo, New York, where those abandoned homes are often the target of vandalism and a burden for the already beleaguered owners.
Up next here a leading senator says we should not use drug cartel violence as an excuse to try to take away Americans' Second Amendment rights. Senator John Barrasso joins me.
And President Obama fires General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner as the federal government reinforces its control of our economy. I'll be talking with three top radio talk show hosts here next. Stay with us.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT: news, debate, and opinion. Here again, America's most powerful independent voice, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Joining me now are three of my favorite radio talk show hosts. In Austin Texas, KSEV in Houston, KVC (ph) in Dallas, Dan Patrick -- Dan, good to have you here. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, good to be here.
DOBBS: KOGO in San Diego, Chip Franklin -- Chip, welcome.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, great, (INAUDIBLE).
DOBBS: And here in New York, WOR Radio, Dr. Joy Browne -- great to have you here, Joy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Love you, Lou, love you.
DOBBS: Same back at you. Let's start with the discussion of -- that is captivating America right now. Will President Obama, Dan Patrick, will he be able to captivate, charm, enthrall and persuade Europe?
DAN PATRICK, KSEV IN HOUSTON: I think Lou maybe on the surface, but not behind the scenes. In fact, I think some of these savvy veteran world leaders are going to chew this guy up. He is going to be welcome again. There will be the smiles for the photographers.
But they're looking to take this guy down. I believe they see him as weak, someone who they will pretend to like, lure him into their trap. America loses, the world gains, and that's not a good thing for any of us.
DOBBS: Chip, what do you think?
CHIP FRANKLIN, KOGO IN SAN DIEGO: He's right on. I think that this is a great example of what Americans knew before Obama's election, at least those who voted against him. And you know this G- 20 summit, in my opinion, you really want to help the world economy, lock these guys up in a room, keep it locked for about two years, the economy will prosper.
DOBBS: Do you agree, Joy?
JOY BROWNE, WOR IN NEW YORK: No, not completely. I think, first of all, four of the five main leaders, four of them have only been in office for less than two years. Now Obama's the new kid on the block. But you've got four guys who are relatively new.
DOBBS: Well they're not exactly (INAUDIBLE) veterans (INAUDIBLE).
BROWNE: Yeah, I mean that you've got Russian -- the German guy's been there for five years. The French and the English...
DOBBS: Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany.
BROWNE: Yeah, have been there for two years.
BROWNE: The Brit for a year, so Obama's not that much the new kid on the block and I think he can determine, you know I think when it come to economics, if anybody really had a great idea, I think this would be fabulous they'd come up with it. I think it's going to be a lot of chewing back and forth. And he's a popular guy.
FRANKLIN: How about leave the markets alone? How about that? Get the government out. Lower our taxes. Lower regulation. The market will do fine.
DOBBS: Now just to set the record straight, are you talking about Europe now or are you talking about the United States? Because it seems like we've already sort of abandoned that in the United States.
FRANKLIN: Supply and demand works everywhere. It doesn't matter what kind of system you put in place. If you leave the markets alone, they will prosper. It's human history. We have all of human history to point to.
BROWNE: It seems to me, though, Chip, that what Obama's doing is saying more stimulus. And the Europeans in general are saying more regulation. Am I not correct about that?
DOBBS: Well, you are correct.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So --
PATRICK: Yes, they are tired of spending -- they are tired of spending money. They're tired of stimulus. And when I say the grizzled veterans it's not just the front people for some of these countries it's the systems behind these people. He's representing a whole new thinking that is to the left and very liberal that does not have broad support in this country. I think they know it. I think they already see him as weak. And he's going to their backyard, Joy, and Chip, so, I see him going into an arena where he's not ready for prime time.
DOBBS: Let me turn to the issue of outsourcing, which seems to me that we are watching from the right, the U.S. chamber of commerce, the business roundtable, multinationals moving in one direction, and from the left, advocacy organizations of all sorts, special interests. Moving from the left, right now, working against the American worker. This administration said it was going to work against outsourcing, middle class jobs. We're watching immigration, legal and illegal, continue at outrageous levels while we've got 21 million Americans unemployed, chip, in this country, and underemployed. What is going on in this economy right now?
FRANKLIN: Well organized labor should address those issues. They've had three generations in Detroit to figure it out. You can take all the vacant space in Detroit and fill the city of San Francisco. It's a legacy of failure why unions were unchecked. Wagoner should have been fired, not by Obama but by the board of directors because he allowed labor to take over that company and destroy it.
DOBBS: The idea that Rick Wagoner is responsible, it's pretty, I think, pretty clear that Rick Wagoner, whatever else he was, was absolutely sacrificed for public relations. There is no reason to fire Rick Wagoner if you're not going to fire the head of the United Autoworkers Union. There's no reason to fire the head of General Motors if you're not going to fire the heads of all of these commercial banks who exist today only because they're supported by taxpayer money. What do you think, Dan?
PATRICK: A degree and in terms of the workers, when they announced this stimulus plan and we would start all this construction, one of the questions I had, who does construction? Illegal immigrants do construction. So any stimulus money to create jobs in America was going to create jobs for illegal immigrants, because construction is done by them not American citizens. Obama has done nothing but talk, but has no substance behind his style. The fact is that India is the largest English speaking country in the world, and any job that can be done by simply following a manual to come to the solution is going to go to a country that speaks our language, and has workers who work far below union wages. This is a major issue and a major problem that takes more than just talking points from a president who really doesn't know what his plan is, he just likes to go in front of the cameras and tell everyone he's going to solve everyone's problem. The workers, the union, the management, the taxpayers.
DOBBS: We're going to solve the rest of the problems that he has right here on this panel. We're going to be right back. We'll also be joined by Senator John Barrasso who has just returned from our border with Mexico. We'll be talking about a new effort led, this time, by Senator John Kerry to undermine our second amendment right. Stay with us.
DOBBS: The new CEO of General Motors holding his first news conference since replacing Rick Wagoner yesterday. Henderson says bankruptcy; more plant closings may be likely as GM tries to meet tougher requirements for government aid. But Henderson says he's optimistic about GM's future.
FRITZ HENDERSON, GENERAL MOTORS CEO: We will get the job done. We will either do it out of court or we will do it in court but we will get the job done in terms of recreating and reinventing General Motors as a competitive enterprise.
DOBBS: Henderson also says a new round of buyouts will likely be offered to workers in an effort to boost sales GM announcing a program to make payments for car buyers who have lost their jobs. We're back now with Dan Patrick, Chip Franklin, Joy Browne. Let's start with the idea of selling cars, Dan Patrick. This is a big job right now.
PATRICK: Sure. Six months ago I was on your show here after the first stimulus, Lou and I suggested that the government send a $5,000 check to every head of a household who had an auto registration and it could online used to buy a car. If we want to use stimulus money effectively send a check for five grand to everyone in America, head of a household that they can only use to buy a car. That will move cars. No amount of money is going to get anyone to buy a Buick. General Motors has got to figure it out. Mercury and ford have to figure it out. These dinosaur cars that no one is buying, get rid of them. Let's get efficient, get down to the cars and trucks that people want to buy.
DOBBS: Chip Franklin?
FRANKLIN: Don't give anybody a set, make a car that people want. People buy cars because the neighbor says this car works great, I don't have to get it repaired, it costs this much. That's why people buy cars. Don't send people a dime. Make a car people want. Reach the demand. That's what will turn the country around.
DOBBS: Okay. Now, Chip you may have a point there, but, what would we have done with that almost 13 trillion dollars that's been loaned, spent and guaranteed by the federal reserve and the federal government to deal with this overarching crisis? I mean, think about that. 13 trillion dollars now, Joy.
FRANKLIN: This overarching crisis goes back to Barney Frank, Chris Dowd and the senate house finance committee when they were called to investigate Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac and they said no. They called you a racist if you questioned loans to minorities.
BROWNE: Rather than lay blame I hate to agree with Dan on this, although I'm going to.
PATRICK: Why not? I'm a nice guy, Joy.
BROWNE: But $5,000 won't buy a car for most people number one. But number two, I'm a great fan of giving people money at grassroots rather than for companies. I think that if you can make people understand that there's something in it for them, and let them -- and then I'm with Chip who says find a good car.
FRANKLIN: Don't take our money in the first place.
PATRICK: That was our point.
FRANKLIN: If you don't take our money in the first place you don't have to give it back.
DOBBS: Wait, wait, wait. Where we are, I personally, you know, think the bailouts were a horrible idea.
BROWNE: I agree.
DOBBS: But we're here. So what do we do now? And what is this president and this treasury secretary doing? We're talking about a pay for performance act, we're talking on the face of it sounds great in congress right now. Moving through the house financial services committee. What it is, is further extension of government control into the institutions.
DOBBS: We are moving toward a combination of corporate power and political power that is so disturbingly similar to what we witnessed in Italy, in the 1930s, that it's not funny.
BROWNE: But, Lou, any institution always has the right to say, I won't take your money. I don't like your stipulations, I won't take your money. I went to a university that got no federal funds because they were for white males. I'm a rice girl. Until all of a sudden there was a Johnson Space Center and there was a lot of money, so all of a sudden, rice found a social conscience because they were willing to turn down the money until it made sense to them. So I think there's not just this economy. It's not just GM. The government has always had stipulations.
DOBBS: I wish it were just GM. But I tell you, it's Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, it's the commercial banking industry, it's an investment banking industry that is now under commission bank holding law. This has been an absolute seismic shift in the economy, and people are not paying a lot of attention to the fact that the federal government today, whether you're liberal, conservative, republican, democrat, I don't care what your label is of choice, or du jour, the fact is this country's economy is changing, and our society may follow suit. That has to concern people.
BROWNE: But would you have the government not have any restrictions on the bailout money?
FRANKLIN: We have to --
DOBBS: I'm sorry.
Let me answer Joy's question then I'm going to turn to you, Dan. The answer is I would prefer it, absolutely, that if the government is going to put forward $13 trillion, that there be absolute conditions for it. But as a condition precedent to receiving the money, not this nonsense that we're dealing with.
FRANKLIN: Can we quit talking bailout? The bailout is by people in the boat that put themselves in that situation. This is not a bailout. This to quote Napolitano this is a man-caused disaster. As you mentioned earlier the political correctness on this, failure happened. We've been in worse situations. The '70s was bad. The '70s was horrible. And we recovered. We've been through recessions.
DOBBS: '81 wasn't great.
FRANKLIN: We have cable networks. We have the internet. Everybody can exacerbate the situation so it seems like the end of the world. We can get through this. Americans have done it before. Instead we've let the government --
PATRICK: Skip the way we get through it is let some companies fail. Obama said yesterday GM can't fail. Someone would buy Cadillac. Someone would buy Chevrolet. Someone would buy the Ford F- 150, the strong brand should survive. And I don't agree with the stimulus either. But instead of sending Detroit the money, send it to people, don't go buy a car, we'll put money in their pocket, that will be good for America.
DOBBS: Dan Patrick, Chip Franklin, Joy Browne, thank you very much. And up at the top of the hour, NO BIAS, NO BULL, Roland Martin in for Campbell Brown.
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Dan Patrick is fired up. I used to do TV with him in Houston.
DOBBS: How'd that work out?
MARTIN: He's a great guy. Lou, tonight, President Obama --
DOBBS: Your time's up. Thanks, be sure to join Roland at the top of the hour. Straight ahead we'll have the latest on reporter drug wars. Stay with us. And we'll be telling you all about John Kerry and what he's saying, Senator John Barrasso joins me to talk about the latest threat to our second amendment and the threat on our borders. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Border patrol agents have arrested 80 illegal aliens along the Arizona Mexico border. The agents tracked that group of illegal aliens for several hours. They finally arrested them outside a range 30 miles east of Douglas, Arizona. 79 men and one woman in custody tonight. 21 of the illegal aliens have criminal records. One man had been convicted of vehicular manslaughter. This is the U.S. border patrol's single largest arrest so far this year. Border patrol agents in Laredo, Texas, making a big methamphetamine bust. Agents were alerted during a routine inspection over the weekend discovering 28 bundles of methamphetamines hidden inside a pickup truck. Smuggles tried to conceal the drugs in the dashboard as well as under the vehicle. The border patrol estimates the value at more than $1 million. Senator John Kerry says a failure of the U.S. to ban the importation of certain semiautomatic weapons is helping escalate the warring drug cartel violence in Mexico.
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We in the U.S. need to work harder to enforce existing gun laws against exporting weapons across international borders. We should revive the ban on importing assault rifles into the United States.
It was allowed to expire in 2004 resulting in a flood of cheap assault rifles and many of them find their way to Mexico
DOBBS: Well the import ban the senator referred to includes 50 semiautomatic weapons, such as AK-47s and Uzis. A spokesman for gun owners of America and the national rifle association say they would oppose any reinstatement of the Clinton era import ban. Senator Kerry also said Mexico needs to do more on its own to stop guns. From going into that country. The senate foreign relations committee hearing held in El Paso, Kerry criticized Mexico for not conducting inspections on cars and trucks entering Mexico. Senator John Barrasso agrees with Senator Kerry that Mexico must do more at its border, but says the United States should not be using drug cartel violence as an excuse to undermine the second amendment. Senator Barrasso is the ranking member on the Senate Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps and Global Narcotics Affairs. He was at the hearing in El Paso yesterday.
Good to have you with us, Senator.
SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R), WYOMING: Great to be back with you, Lou.
DOBBS: I was struck by Senator Kerry's -- he talked about defending the second amendment. Talked about being a hunter, a sportsman, and then declared that he wanted to see the second amendment rolled back on the import of semiautomatic weapons that some would term assault weapons. What's your reaction?
BARRASSO: Well, that's exactly what he said. I was at the hearing in El Paso. I spent the day before that on the border with sheriffs, with patrol officers, as well as flying in overnight surveillance with our national guard. And I will tell you that I disagree completely with Senator Kerry. I do not think we want to institute an assault weapon began. I am a strong believer in second amendment rights. We do not want to give up any rights as citizens of the United States because of what is happening at the border. Now we do a terrible job of things leaving the country.
When you take a look, I did this from the helicopter. Cars are backed up coming into the United States. Everyone is being inspected and the story you just did about the drug sniffing dogs finding things. That's the way to do it. You look at the cars heading from the united states, which, and trucks, which can carry cash, guns, just waved right through. Flying across the border into Mexico. There are really no searches, no looking around, nothing happens, hardly even slow down, heading out of the United States to Mexico. So, more work has to be done, on the border. But our border, Lou, everything I saw with our sheriffs, it is not a secure southern border.
DOBBS: It is not a secure southern border. And as you yourself have said, this is not exactly news to the United States government. Yet we continue to refuse to secure the border. Apparently for commercial reasons, we continue to permit illegal immigration at an astounding rate. The hearing that you held, you went to the border, you, you went -- worked with sheriffs, local law enforcement. I am told, I just want to check with you since you were there -- Senator Kerry didn't even actually go to the border?
BARRASSO: We went to one of the crossing stations. One of the official border patrol areas. But I actually went out on patrol, and also, flew an overnight mission with the National Guard, looking at the border, being out there, right -- Lou, there is an area just near El Paso, rural area.
There are seven footbridges across the river. The river, Rio Grande is not very wide or deep. It is -- and these bridges have all been there longer than the sheriff who took me there has been alive, remembers them his whole life. We are standing there. There are a number of folks, Mexicans on the other side of the river. You don't know which are decoys, on the lookout, who is having a picnic. It is so easy to get into the United States over the footbridges. I don't know why the seven footbridges are there. They should be taken down.
You look at this and say anybody could get across here. It doesn't take a lot of effort to be able to leave Mexico and come into the United States. And you get across one of the bridges carrying a 50-pound backpack full of drugs in less than 10 seconds.
DOBBS: Or 50 pounds of something else, which should be troubling to every American. But again, the president of the United States, previous to the president of the United States who is now in London at the G-20 meeting, the president before George Bush have all permitted rampant flaunting of the law, illegal immigration into this country. I have said, senator, here for years, that there should be no meaningful reform of immigration law if we can't control immigration. And we can't control immigration if we don't control our borders and our ports. Why is that so -- so almost impossible to accept on the part of the power structure of both political parties and -- and this president?
BARRASSO: As American citizens I believe we have an obligation to demand that our borders are made secure. And there is a permanent commitment on the part of the United States. You absolutely need more boots on the ground. More manpower. More force. Right there on the border because right now, really, it's -- it's kind of a cat-and-mouse game. Wait until the border patrol is up the road. People can come across, surveillance techniques. Bad guys have better --
DOBBS: Is there military beyond the border?
BARRASSO: The National Guard is there from Texas. We need more boots on the ground. You need a plan. A matter of how you, how you, manpower it up. How you get enough people on the border, with the military, one opportunity. One that was, came up at the hearings yesterday. In the discussion was made. I believe we need more boots on the ground. More, more folks on the border to secure the border. Because it is not being done now. There are still gaps in the fence. I saw those yesterday. Footbridges making it easy to get across. And to me the border patrol is spread too thin.
DOBBS: All right, thank you, Senator John Barrasso. Thank you for being here.
BARRASSO: Thank you.
DOBBS: Remarkable real estate deal in San Francisco. If you don't mind a maximum security prison coming along with it. And your thoughts. We continue in a minute.
DOBBS: A California lawmaker tonight wants to put an historic piece of waterfront property on the market, some 430 acres with a priceless view of the San Francisco Bay. The catch is, it is the notorious San Quentin Prison. The land we're told, can sell for as much as $2 billion. It could, we're told be turned into a park, a museum, a transit center. Some transit center. What in the world is that, a transit center? But there is no certainty any sale would go ahead in part because California is facing serious problem with prison overcrowding.
Well, a very different kind of real estate deal in Boston. The city's tallest building. The Hancock Tower being sold in foreclosure auction. Selling for $660 million. Just about half the price it was sold for only three years ago. There was only one bidder, a real estate partnership that owns a portion of the building's debt. The entire auction lasted less than 10 minutes.
Let's take a look at some of your thoughts.
Rick in Washington said, "Has anyone reminded the idiots in Washington if they had closed and secured the southern border like we have been asking them to do, we would not have to worry about the drug wars spilling over into our soil."
Alex in Texas said, "Lou Americans will only regain control over their borders when they assert control over their representatives in congress."
Justine in Idaho said, "President Obama doesn't have a clue as to what he is doing. Maybe we should put it on a teleprompter for him."
Howard in Nevada, "The rapper T.I. is on bail after pleading guilty to trying to buy illegally machine guns with silencers. Our country is upside down and falling apart at its seams."
Janet in Delaware said, "Lou, I am a wife of a hard working autoworker that has been at GM for 37 years. It kills me to hear everyone say they make too much money and the auto industry should go under. I don't see congress or Wall Street giving up wages and they're the ones who got us into this mess."
We love hearing from you. Send us your thoughts to loudobbs.com. You will receive a copy of my book "Independence Day" if your e-mail was read.
Thank you for being with us. Join us tomorrow. For all of us, thank you for watching. Good night from New York. "NO BIAS, NO BULL" starts now.