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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS

Pentagon To OK More Troops for Afghanistan; Obama To Push Health-Care Plan at Minnesota Rally; Americans Mark 9/11 Anniversary With Volunteerism; A Year After Ike, Galveston on the Mend

Aired September 12, 2009 - 06:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Well, hello there, everybody. From the CNN Center on this CNN SATURDAY MORNING for September 12, I am T.J. Holmes.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everybody. Thanks for being with us. I'm Betty Nguyen.

It's 6 a.m. here on the East Coast; 3 a.m. Pacific for those just getting home on the West Coast. Thanks for starting your day with us. So let's get to it, all right?

President Obama, he travels to Minneapolis, Minnesota, for an afternoon rally. And they are going to be talking about health- insurance reform.

HOLMES: What else?

NGUYEN: Yes, exactly. Everything is about health reform.

Well, this is taking place at the Target Center, home of the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves. That is at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time today. Of course, we're going to bring that to you.

HOLMES: All right. And we got the story of the day that's going to have everybody talking.

NGUYEN: Everybody talking. Mm-hmm.

HOLMES: Everybody talking.

NGUYEN: No doubt.

HOLMES: Some people are saying that the murder rate could go up in California...

NGUYEN: If this happens?

HOLMES: ...if this happens.

(LAUGHTER)

HOLMES: It says there is an initiative out there...

NGUYEN: This is horrible.

HOLMES: ...to ban divorce. You heard me right; a guy out there wants to ban divorce. Till death do us part.

NGUYEN: He must be in a happy marriage.

HOLMES: I certainly hope so. But yes, we'll talk about this this morning. It is for real, it appears. Of course, that's going to be our question of the day.

NGUYEN: Yes.

HOLMES: We want you to chime in on -- on Facebook, on Twitter, online with us. You know where to find us; please send us your thoughts and we will certainly continue to share those throughout the morning.

We do want to give you a look at our top stories up first.

One of those big stories is, Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants to send as many as 3,000 more U.S. service members to Afghanistan. Gates wants those service members to deal with the uptick in roadside bombs.

NGUYEN: Well, federal officials have shut down Corus Bank in Illinois. It was a major commercial real-estate lender. And the bank -- well, it closed yesterday along with two smaller institutions in Minnesota and Washington state.

So that brings the total number of failures this year -- listen to this -- a whopping 92.

HOLMES: Well, the Space Shuttle Discovery is home but it still has some more traveling to do to actually to get to its real home. Let me explain here.

It's back after its 13-day mission to the International Space Station. But it had to land in California. It was supposed to land at Florida's Kennedy Space Center Thursday, but bad weather caused delays for a few days.

Now, it landed safely in California; that's great. The problem now, NASA hates to land out there because it costs about $1.5 million to transport the shuttle from California back to Florida.

NGUYEN: Yes, a little additional money spent there.

Well, there is more now on the possible addition of some 3,000 more troops to Afghanistan. The defense secretary says he wants the troops deployed as soon as possible. Since 2007, the number of roadside bombs in Afghanistan has jumped to 350 percent. One military source tells CNN the Taliban is getting better at making roadside bombs and the number of U.S. fatalities -- listen to this -- has gone up 400 percent over the last two years.

But sending in more troops to deal with roadside bombs could be a problem. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she doesn't think there is a great deal of support for adding more troops. And then there's the question about the effectiveness of dealing with those IEDs, or improvised explosive devices. CNN's Michael Ware has covered the war in Iraq, and he's now in Afghanistan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I hope it accomplished a lot, but I suspect it's just a drop in the bucket. I mean, the size of this country, the terrain involved -- I mean, this is the end of Himalayas. Can you imagine the mountain peaks the valleys? Three thousand troops get swallowed up in just one small valley.

Now, if they're IED specialists, I'd imagine they'll be sprinkled across the country. They're going to help find a lot more before they blow up, but there's still plenty more out there. Three thousand, quite frankly, is next to nothing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: Well, Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin says he wants more Afghan forces trained instead of adding more American troops at this time.

All right. So we want to give you a quick look at the U.S. troop commitment in Afghanistan. So here it is, laying it out there for you: Currently, there are 62,000 in country; another 6,000 are slated to be added by the end of the year. And in March, President Obama approved plans to send another 21,000 to Afghanistan.

The 3,000 Secretary Gates wants to send to deal with IEDs, that would be in addition to that 21,000.

So tonight on CNN, an "AC 360" special report: Afghanistan elections, a Taliban resurgence and mounting American casualties. It is a critical moment for the region, and Anderson Cooper takes you inside Afghanistan battle zone tonight and tomorrow night, 10 Eastern, only on CNN. Stay right here for that.

HOLMES: I want to turn back to the health-care debate now. President Obama wanting to build some momentum after his address this week. Some saying he maybe lost some of that momentum, since after he made his address to the joint session of Congress, everybody seemed to be talking about Joe Wilson instead of the president's health-care reform.

But nonetheless, the president trying to get back on track, holding a rally on health insurance in Minneapolis today. Meanwhile, in his weekly address, he was talking about a new report that he said has some disturbing findings about the instability of the health- insurance market.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Based on a brand- new report from the Treasury Department, we can expect that about half of all Americans under 65 will lose their health coverage at some point over the next 10 years. If you're under the age of 21 today, chances are more than half that you'll find yourself uninsured at some point in that time. And more than one-third of Americans will go without coverage for longer than one year.

I refuse to allow that future to happen. In the United States of America, no one should have to worry that they'll go without health insurance. Not for one year, not for one month, not for one day. And once I sign my health-reform plan into law, they won't.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: Now meanwhile, Republicans, they're accusing the president of paying lip service to bipartisanship in the health-care battle. And in the weekly GOP address, Texas Senator John Cornyn says he's most troubled by what he did not in the president's Wednesday speech.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS: The president told us Wednesday night that -- quote -- "There remains some significant details to be ironed out" -- close quote. He wasn't kidding.

The most significant detail is the cost of his plan and its impact on our long-term budget deficit. When you start counting in 2013, the first full year of implementation, the cost of the House bill comes to about $2.4 trillion over 10 years, according to the Senate Budget Committee. So instead of a top-down plan that will bust the budget, President Obama should work with Republicans on a bottom- up solution that the American people can support.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: And again, we will be carrying the president's rally live in Minneapolis at 1:30 Eastern time. That's coming up this afternoon.

And Senator Cornyn, maybe he could find some people who are thinking like he does in Washington's Freedom Plaza this morning. That's where thousands are expected to gather for a march on the Capitol in protest of the president's plan. More on that coming up in a half hour.

NGUYEN: Well, as we are remembering 9/11, want to give you a -- a shot right here of Mount Rushmore there on the left side of your screen. It was, in fact, illuminated last night through this morning to remember September 11.

Now, the lights usually go out after regular evening programs there, but the park rangers have indeed stationed in several places to answer the questions throughout the night, because of a lot of people thinking, 'Hey, what's going on, if it's lit up over night?' Well, it's in remembrance of 9/11.

HOLMES: And a gorgeous shot just to take in.

NGUYEN: Mm-hmm. HOLMES: The 9/11 tribute lights, you see them in Lower Manhattan there. You can see them in most parts of the city, of course, honoring the victims and those who worked, really, to get that city back up and running. Lights on Friday night from sunset to sunrise until about 6:30 this morning. So they'll be on for a little while longer.

Of course, those lights help us remember what happened that day. And still, to this day, people are trying to find ways still to help out, the way to contribute, the way to give back, the way to serve after what we saw on 9/11.

NGUYEN: And to recover still, you know. And such a tragedy on U.S. soil.

And as CNN national correspondent Susan Candiotti tells us, millions of Americans, including the president, are finding ways to help the healing and rebuilding process.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jason Garcia's regular job is a personal assistant at a college. Today, he's somebody's reading pal.

JASON GARCIA, VOLUNTEER: The daisies, the peppers, the rows of lettuce.

DESTINY VELEZ, STUDENT: "I showed him," the strawberry said. "I (INAUDIBLE)."

CANDIOTTI: Garcia is one of about five million volunteers who were part of the first official National Day of Service and Remembrance to take place every 9/11. These volunteers are helping children read at a New York City school, showing kids they care.

GARCIA: Just -- just to give back in some -- in some small ways, just feels really good.

CANDIOTTI: The kids loved it, especially fourth-grader Destiny Velez.

VELEZ: We got to read together and we showed each other the pictures from the -- from the book that we read. And it was fun.

CANDIOTTI: The National Day of Service is the brainchild of MyGoodDeed co-founders David Payne (ph) and Jay Winuck. Winuck's brother, Glen (ph), was a New York lawyer who moonlighted as a volunteer firefighter and EMT. On 9/11, he ran into the World Trade Center to help. He died when the South Tower collapsed.

He helped inspire the National Day of Service.

JAY WINUCK, MYGOODDEED.ORG: The simplest little gesture, the simplest good deed, can make such a difference in somebody's life, that if everybody does that, if millions of people do that, imagine how productive that would be. CANDIOTTI: These colorful paintings brought to life by volunteers will decorate the halls of a grade school.

(on camera): Harlem's Philip Randolph Grade School hosted about 150 volunteers. Across the country, millions more. Everyone pitching in to do big projects and even simple good deeds.

(voice-over): In Los Angeles Friday, Charlie Coons was doing her part. This 12-year-old veteran volunteer already has made hundreds of blankets for orphans all over the world. She's committed to volunteering, especially on 9/11.

CHARLIE COONS, VOLUNTEER: When you make the blankets, you know that it's going to help someone else. Today was a perfect day to make blankets because today's National Service Day.

CANDIOTTI: President Obama and the first lady set an example by painting a Washington Habitat for Humanity home.

National Day of Service organizers hope to sign up 10 million volunteers for 9/11's 10th anniversary.

Destiny also will be 10 that day, and ready to pitch in.

VELEZ: It might be fun. You never know unless you try.

CANDIOTTI: She likely will.

Susan Candiotti, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: Kind of hard to believe that it was actually one year ago this weekend that the third-most-destructive hurricane in the U.S. hit Galveston, Texas. That storm put the city under seven feet of water. In fact, I was there, and just recently went back to see how the city is rebuilding.

HOLMES: Also, our Reynolds Wolf has been out and about lately as well. He has been actually on the gridiron trying to see...

NGUYEN: Uh oh.

HOLMES: ...if he can take the heat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Coming up on CNN SATURDAY MORNING, find out how the Longhorns are battling the heat. That hurt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC, SANTANA FEATURING ROB THOMAS, "SMOOTH")

NGUYEN: A little Santana for you this morning.

WOLF: Me likey.

HOLMES: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

WOLF: I do. You know, how can you wrong with Santana?

NGUYEN: Who doesn't like Santana?

WOLF: Exactly. Exactly.

NGUYEN: Come on.

(CROSSTALK)

HOLMES: How you doing this morning, Reynolds? Good to see you, buddy.

WOLF: Well, good to see you guys, too. And as a typical Saturday morning, always seems we're busy. Today, no exception.

NGUYEN: At all (ph).

WOLF: (INAUDIBLE) talk about. You know your home state of Texas?

NGUYEN: Yes.

WOLF: Arkansas, too, your home state...

HOLMES: Mm-hmm.

WOLF: Getting plenty of rainfall this morning.

(WEATHER REPORT)

NGUYEN: You know, speaking of Galveston, Reynolds, it was just one year ago that the Gulf Coast was bracing for what turned out to be the third-most-destructive hurricane in U.S. history.

Now, I was in Texas when Ike hit, and it left 75 percent of Galveston under seven feet of water. Just think about that.

But the island city no stranger to direct hits from hurricanes. There's been Alicia, Carla and the deadly hurricane of 1900, which killed 8,000 people. And every time, Galveston has rebuilt. But what about now?

Well, I went back to find out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN (voice-over): At 2:10 in the morning on September 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike roared into Galveston, leaving the island underwater and in splinters. (on camera): We're taking a look at the debris because the sun is starting to come up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The water line was up to here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE), Peter Davis (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, Peter. How are you?

NGUYEN (voice-over): Since Ike, Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas has lost residents, funding and the city's only emergency room. But she has not lost her determination.

(on camera): So Mayor, it's been a year since Hurricane Ike. What's been the biggest challenge for you?

LYDA ANN THOMAS (D), MAYOR OF GALVESTON, TEXAS: The biggest challenge, really, has been getting our citizens back on the island and getting our businesses opened. But I'm very proud to say that after a year, approximately 65 percent of our businesses are now open. Certainly on the seawall where we are; the Strand, our downtown historic district is a little slower coming back. They -- they really (INAUDIBLE) the historic buildings...

NGUYEN: Why is that?

THOMAS: Well, first of all, the -- the -- all the buildings are historic buildings. And that's an -- that's a historic district, so they have to be restored according not only to our code, but also to the National Historic codes.

Plus, most of them did not have flood insurance.

NGUYEN (voice-over): Money, or the lack of it, seems to be what's now standing in the way of Galveston's recovery. Thomas says it will take an estimated $3.2 billion to rebuild the island city. To date, FEMA has paid $68 million; HUD $269 million. And Thomas is counting on $28.5 million in stimulus dollars.

But the island is coming back.

THOMAS: Our trauma center, which was a Level 1 in the -- a Level 1 Center -- opened about two weeks ago.

NGUYEN (on camera): OK.

THOMAS: So we're very happy to have our emergency room back. It's -- it's -- it's important to know that our medical center and the Houston medical centers serve an entire region, and also that our medical center here is the largest employer in the county. And when it shut down, we were really in trouble.

NGUYEN: Because at some point, you were having to send people who needed that emergency help to other hospitals.

THOMAS: Absolutely. We sent a lot of them to Houston or somewhere between here and Houston. And there was a layoff of about 2,500 people. They're rehiring now. We've got 300 beds open and we're looking forward to opening another 300 beds in the next three years.

NGUYEN (voice-over): Planning for the future, while familiar with the city's past, Thomas is from one of Galveston's oldest families. Her grandfather also served as mayor. Ironic, because she's living proof history has a way of repeating itself.

(on camera): What's your hope for this city?

THOMAS: Well, first of all, that we don't have a storm right now. But we will. I always say, it's not if, it's when. My hope is that we continue to grow and recover and that we continue to be not only a destination for our tourists who love our beaches, but certainly a destination for our medical complex and our research Port at Galveston (ph) continues to grow. And it growing and doing well.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: And to, you know, really prevent some of the same damage from happening again -- because Galveston is a port city, and you're going to have hurricanes, it's just the nature of things -- well, they have decided to create these massive floodgates that would close before a hurricane would come.

It would extend the existing seawall some 50 miles. Each retractable gate though would be the size of the Eiffel Tower. So this is huge. In fact, it would be one of the largest -- here you go...

HOLMES: Oh wow.

NGUYEN: ...movable, manmade structures ever built. Designed to protect the Houston shipping channel as well, which is home to about 50 percent of the country's petrochemicals.

But there's a look at how that would work. Of course, that's going to cost a heck of a lot of money.

HOLMES: I bet. Yes.

NGUYEN: But something that is under war.

HOLMES: But it is happening. They are going to do it, do what they need to do to protect that city, huh?

NGUYEN: Yes, that -- well, that's what's in the works.

HOLMES: Yes.

NGUYEN: That's what they're planning on doing, so...

HOLMES: All right. Hard to believe it's been a year.

NGUYEN: I know.

HOLMES: (INAUDIBLE) remember that, talking to you and... (CROSSTALK)

NGUYEN: Right there, and winds 115, 130 miles, I was blowing all over the place.

HOLMES: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

NGUYEN: Hey, it's what we do, right?

(LAUGHTER)

HOLMES: All right. Well, coming up here, don't go far from us. We got a tea party to tell you about where they're not really sipping tea.

NGUYEN: No.

HOLMES: This is going to be from Freedom Plaza. It's made his way -- or its way, across the country, the Tea Party Express. We'll take you there live coming up.

NGUYEN: Plus, a multimillion-dollar art collection now MIA. Yes, missing in action. How the thieves made off with the Andy Warhol paintings.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Well, Los Angeles police detectives, they are searching for this, this art right here that thieves actually made off with. How much did it cost? Um, several million dollars. It's an Andy Warhol collection.

The collection apparently featured athletes like Chris Evert and Kareem Abdul-Jabar. Police say the paintings were taken from a home of a wealthy businessman just a little over a week ago. But if you happen to know where they are, a $1 million is being offered for information leading to the recovery of that artwork.

So...

HOLMES: So if you happen to know where they are...

NGUYEN: If you happen to know where they are, the thieves or the art, that is.

HOLMES: If you have thieves as friends -- yes. And they happen to have some new art on the walls.

(LAUGHTER)

NGUYEN: If you get a tip or something, send it in.

HOLMES: Well, Reynolds Wolf... WOLF: Guys, got a lot to share with you. A lot of wacky weekend events around the country to share with you. Yes. Yes, some -- some good stuff.

We're going to get things started up in Washington -- Washington state. Puyallup. We've got a Puyallup Fair. That is an incredible event.

HOLMES: Got a what?

WOLF: It's -- it's...

NGUYEN: How do you say that?

WOLF: Puyallup. I hope I'm getting this wrong for all you Puyallupers out there...

(LAUGHTER)

WOLF: ...(INAUDIBLE) getting right.

No, but it's a wonderful fair; it's something they've been doing for years and years. And I mean, everything from elephant ears to cotton candy to rides to games to -- everything.

HOLMES: Elephant ears?

WOLF: It -- it is a great event.

Another great one is over in Marion, Ohio, which is the Popcorn Festival. Kind of self-explanatory. We have your festival for popcorn. I mean, you've got, from all different flavors, all different sizes. Just a great thing.

At Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, you have your Mushroom Festival. Yes, your Mushroom Festival. Let's just leave that as-is.

NGUYEN: What kind of mushrooms exactly are we talking about here?

HOLMES: Kind of like the Hip Festival, right?

WOLF: I -- I -- just -- just leave it to the imagination.

NGUYEN: All right. All right.

WOLF: Closer to home, you've got -- in Stone Mountain, you have the Yellow Daisy Festival, which is a really great thing. Today, we're going to have a little bit of a mix of sun and clouds. So if you go out there, you might want to bring the umbrella because you may have a stray shower mixed in, too.

And in Raleigh, North Carolina....

NGUYEN: Who could forget?

WOLF: The Bugfest.

NGUYEN: Exactly.

WOLF: And why not? But yes, they -- they have got all kinds of bugs that they -- that people bring and show. Why -- hey, look at what I found, you know, in -- in my bathroom. Take a look at this. You know, that kind of thing.

(CROSSTALK)

NGUYEN: ...science-fair project.

WOLF: I mean -- well, yes. I mean, you've always wondered what to do with that stray spider that goes into your room. Bugfest. That's what you do. You pack them up, you take the kids, you take the -- the -- the minivan and you -- you show off your bug at the Bugfest.

NGUYEN: That is (INAUDIBLE)

(LAUGHTER)

WOLF: Yes. So there you go.

NGUYEN: All right, folks. Lots to do this weekend, apparently.

WOLF: Absolutely. Get out there and make the most of it.

NGUYEN: All right. Well, from that to his: the U.S. Open still under way. Actually, we got a chance to catch a few games. Well, a couple matches.

HOLMES: And what a -- if -- if you haven't been there, this is just one of the greatest sporting events you will ever get a chance to go to.

NGUYEN: Fantastic.

HOLMES: Actually got some rain yesterday, and they've been having to change the schedule up now.

NGUYEN: Right.

HOLMES: So it's going to be -- going to go at least until Monday. But the finals and whatnot coming up this weekend. They play all the big matches where we were in Arthur Ashe Stadium, named for the late, great tennis player.

Well, I spoke to his wife, his -- his widow, Jeanne -- there she is -- Moutoussamy-Ashe is her name. There she is. And she is still carrying on his legacy and his work. And she had a lot of things to say about diversity in tennis. Also about today's athletes, including Tiger Woods and what more they could be doing.

Don't miss our conversation, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) NGUYEN: Hello, everybody and welcome back to CNN SATURDAY MORNING. I'm Betty Nguyen.

HOLMES: Hello to you all. I'm T.J. Holmes. Glad you can be here. Let's get you some top stories.

NGUYEN: Time for a check of those.

The Obama administration now says they are open to direct talks with North Korea over their nuclear ambitions. That is a major shift in policy. Before the U.S. would only talk with North Korea as part of the six-party talks and North Korea rejected the talks in protest over United Nations sanctions.

HOLMES: China condemning a decision by President Obama to put a tariff on Chinese manufactured tires. It would essentially tax passenger car and light truck tires imported from China, for three years, starting at 35 percent the first year. Beijing says the tariff violates commitments made during the G20 Summit and will affect trade relations between the two countries. And the White House says it's needed to help struggling U.S. manufacturers.

NGUYEN: No charges will be filed against San Diego linebacker Shawne Merriman. A district attorney has dismissed accusations made by the reality star Tila Tequila, that Merriman choked and pushed her. Merriman says he was trying to keep Tequila from leaving her house because she was drunk.

HOLMES: Her last name is at Tequila.

NGUYEN: I was going to let you finish that up.

HOLMES: State the obvious, huh?

We are going to turn to Washington now. They are not drinking tequila, they are drinking tea there. The Tea Party Express has been on tour, a cross-country tour has made it's way to D.C. Going to have a big march and rally there today.

If you don't know about this group, they oppose excessive government spending, also oppose some of the president's health care reforms. Our Paul Steinhauser is there. We will be talking to him in just a second. But he's made his way down to Freedom Plaza where the festivities are going to get going.

So, we will touch base with him shortly. Meanwhile, to another story we were talking about that will have everybody talking.

NGUYEN: Oh, they already are. We're getting lots of responses on Facebook and Twitter. So, weigh in on this. This is what we're talking about. Should marriage be banned? Yeah, that's what a Sacramento man --

HOLMES: Not marriage -- divorce.

NGUYEN: I'm sorry. Should divorce be banned? HOLMES: But that's some suggestions that some of our Facebook ...

NGUYEN: It's true. Why just not ban marriage altogether, if you are going to ban divorce?

But banning divorce, started by a guy out in San Diego, it's a grass roots campaign to outlaw it in the state of California. Trying to get a 2010 California Marriage Protection Act up for statewide vote next year. Wow, banning -- so once you -- hey, to death do us part, right?

HOLMES: Yes. But I don't know if there are certain provisions, we don't have all the details for certain things. Because there is some relationships you should get out of, no doubt about it. For the most part wants to ban it. His web site, we'll be getting to this a little more later, but some of the phrases he's using are just hilarious. Saying, Jesus won't hate you if you get divorced, but he'll certainly like you less, something along those lines.

NGUYEN: Can you imagine the ad campaign for this one?

Also, I'm going to take you to fashion week in New York where I got a chance to catch up with Jason Wu. You'll know this guy once you see his outfits. That's interesting, right there.

But that is not a part of his collection, but his outfits, because he, in fact, designed Michelle Obama's dress, the one she wore at the inaugural ball. There it is. One of the hottest designers out there. Stay tuned for that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: Reynolds Wolf back with us here. Talking about football season here. Excited it's back in full swing, but there are some dangers of heat-related injuries that come with that.

NGUYEN: Yes, according to one study six football players died from heat stroke last year; four in high school, two in college. This year players take the field with new guidelines dealing with the heat. I suppose they would have to considering the deaths we've seen.

WOLF: It's a tremendous concern. We're not talking about peewee, the college, the pro ranks, we're talking everybody. So this year, what I did I went to the summer's hottest state, happened to be Texas, to get a work out with the Texas Longhorns head athletic trainer to get an idea what the trainers and the players deal with.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WOLF (voice over): Each season the Texas Longhorns face bitter rivals, like the Sooners or Aggies, but a tougher foe is the intense Texas heat.

SHERROD HARRIS, QUARTERBACK, TEXAS LONGHORNS: Don't think I've ever gotten used to the heat. The best way I've been able to adjust was drink more Gatorade or water.

WOLF: Hydration, it is one method U.T. trainer Kenny Boyd stresses. But he also high-tech employs methods like the core temp pill. The pill is ingested about six hours before training begins. So that's what I did before my Longhorn workout.

(On camera): All right. Let's play ball.

(voice over): The heat index, 105 degrees. A quick warm-up run then a body temperature reading before practice starts.

(On camera): Got to be cool 98.6.

KENNY BOYD, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS: 98.6? Try 100.23.

WOLF: Kenny will pull a player from the field when their body temperature reaches 103.

BOYD: That is when you can start to exhibit some of the more significant signs and symptoms of someone in heat stress. When they get to 104 that is when we pull them from practice or the workout, and at that point cease their workout or practice, and try to get them hydrated and rapidly cooled.

WOLF: To replicate real practice conditions Kenny puts me through increasingly difficult drills.

BOYD: One, two, three, four five. Let's go. Go through again. Coming back. Finish through the line. Finish, finish, finish.

100.81. That's not bad.

Take the next one, go. Strike, extend. Go! Strike extend!

101.7.

WOLF: This is me after 20 minutes of light workout in the 105 degree heat. Longhorns, like most players in training, will undergo intense workouts in 45-minute intervals. While doing so, Kenny looks for danger signs.

BOYD: Disorientation or any kind of decreased mental acuity, someone beginning to labor a lot more in their drill.

How about we cool off?

WOLF (on camera): That sounds great. Wow.

(voice over): One method is this shirt, fitted with a stem that allows a blast of cool air to fill its chambers. Not quite as high tech, but more effective is this, the rapid cooling tub.

(On camera): Good, god almighty! Good, good gosh, almighty! Whoa!

(Voice over): May be crude, but it works. And that's the mission of trainers like Boyd, to keep their players safe.

BOYD: A lot of us in athletic training have been witness or been a part or know people that have had to deal with someone that's suffered from heat stroke, or from a heat crisis, and that has really shaped some of the passion and some of the concerns we have as a staff today at the University of Texas.

WOLF: All part of an effort to keep the players on the field and in the hunt for the championship.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOLF: Right now the University of Texas is ranked number two in college division one. Every year they are in the hunt for the national championship. The number one objective, more than anything else, is to keep the players safe on the field.

The biggest concern that Kenny Boyd, the head athletic trainer at Texas, has is he thinks not only about the own team but many of the other schools, that don't have -- they don't have the same budget. And the kids are just as susceptible to heat. We're talking about kids in the high school ranks, kids in the peewee football. They still have to deal with the extreme heat but they don't have the same technology. All about watching kids, and watching behavior, and looking for tell tale signs of heat exhaustion.

NGUYEN: Did you feel like those heat pills worked? I mean, could you tell?

WOLF: Oh, they definitely did. There is no question it. But what was even more daunting is the affect the heat would have on you. I mean, I have to tell you ...

NGUYEN: I grew up in Texas, I know what that heat is -- but I'm not wearing gear outside.

WOLF: One ridiculous test, one of the trainer was saying, give me the hook them horn sign. Which is -if you are a Texas fan, it goes like this. I was doing this number and that number, seriously, it will mess with your head.

So, being a quarterback, being at the center, and trying to remember the play and the receiver routes, I don't know how they do it in the extreme heat. Even though the temperatures will get a little bit cooler on the field, we're still talking temperatures about 30 degrees warmer than they will be in the stands or outside the stadium. So it is an intense thing.

NGUYEN: Doesn't your body get acclimated to that?

WOLF: It will a little bit. But still it is that initial shock of just dealing with it. I have to tell you, I'm a guy, I work out four to five times a week. I consider myself in pretty good shape. It killed me. It absolutely killed me being out there. I'm a complete loser.

NGUYEN: No. But a whole new respect for players out there.

WOLF: Absolutely.

(WEATHER REPORT)

NGUYEN: Unemployment, though, let's talk about that. Foreclosures, debt, all of it. We've heard all about the figures rising during this economic down turn.

HOLMES: Another figure that's rising as well, many financial counselors are finding themselves advising people about more than just their money. Stay here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: There's a ray of light in New York with all of that rain they've been experiencing lately. If you're waiting for the thrilling conclusion to this year's U.S. Open, might want to keep waiting for a little while.

HOLMES: Rain forced officials to cancel matches yesterday. Now the women's final won't happen until tomorrow at the earliest and men's final not until Monday. And essentially pushing everything back a day. And again, that's if the rain holds off.

NGUYEN: There you go.

HOLMES: Speaking of rain. Let's cue the drops. This is a live picture of New York. You just have to take our word for it. You can't make out New York, there in the background but a live tower cam, I believe.

NGUYEN: Kind of a cool shot though.

HOLMES: It's a very cool shot, but that is what they are dealing with right now. It's too bad the Open is a wonderful, wonderful time up there. It's too bad they don't have perfect weather to cooperate. There's a better view without the rain drops.

Speaking of the U.S. Open, part of it -it's been going on this week, is to celebrate what's called the National Junior Tennis & Learning Network. That was started by Arthur Ashe some 40 years ago. And essentially brings tennis to the inner cities, brings it to minorities, people who normally wouldn't have access to tennis.

It's not just about the tennis. It's about education and really helping these kids use the game to further their careers, and whatever it may be. I caught up with Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, she is the widow of Arthur Ashe, who is continuing his legacy of service, to this day, as they celebrated the 40th anniversary of the NJTL.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES (On camera): Why haven't -since your husband, --seen another black man win Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the Australian Open, why not? JEANNE MOUTOUSSAMY-ASHE, WIDOW OF ARTHUR ASHE: Well, you know, I think it's going to happen. I don't know when. I thing that maybe because we are such a me oriented society today, it's always all about yourself, or you, that you have less deep-down-inside purpose to be able to accomplish these gigantic goals.

But I still think it's coming. It's coming. Arthur used to say that. It's coming. He said they are not going to look like me, they're not going to walk like me, and they're not going to talk like me, but it's coming. And he was right.

HOLMES: When people think tennis isn't diverse it is because the only two black players they can name are Venus and Serena. But behind the scenes there's a lot more going on.

MOUTOUSSAMY-ASHE: There's a lot more going on. I thank you for saying that and for doing this piece. Because that is what NJTL is about. It is more about focusing on the game of tennis and the skills that you learn in playing the game. It's really important that kids understand from a grassroots level that they are not going to be in the top -- not all of them will be in the top 10.

Getting in the top 10, you know, that's pretty significant. But what they must understand is that playing a game, having that commitment, learning the lessons, let it be a hook to changing your approach to how you conduct yourself in the public, how well you perform in school. How you treat your siblings, friends and parents. These are all things you learn in the program.

HOLMES: There's a culture now in professional sports, oftentimes, with these guys, not all of them, it's all about me, self -selfish, narcissistic, whatever you want to call it, does it drive you nuts, given what we saw with your husband, given what you know and still to this day his legacy of giving back, does it drive you crazy to see some of these young knuckleheads just squander what a wonderful opportunity?

MOUTOUSSAMY-ASHE: I can't say it that strongly. What I can say is that we have a void. And not having Arthur's voice is a tremendous void. Not just in sports but just as, you know, a hero to kids.

HOLMES: There has been for years, really, a lot of controversy surrounding Tiger Woods and there was another major athlete came up not too long ago, and actually says yes, Tiger Woods has a foundation that gives a lot of money. That's not enough. Should Tiger, given where he is, and maybe don't know him personally or the situation, but being in the position, a unique position that he is in, would you like to see him take more of --I guess, more of a lead in some of these social issues?

MOUTOUSSAMY-ASHE: I don't think he's just playing golf and making money and minding his business. I think that Tiger has a conscience. I think he has a little ways to go with his experiences in life to make a decision, a mature decision to really step out and take a stand on issues. And I know athletes don't like to hear that. People don't like to have to play the role of a role model. But you know, it comes with the territory.

He means so much to so many and when he begins to really realize how that has an impact, I have faith. I say this to Tiger and say this to other athletes that it's not what you're doing now. It's how people are going to remember you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: She is amazing. She's taking on all the work when he died, all the load came on her. And she has taken it and run with it. It has been 17 years now since he passed. But Jeanne Matousami (ph) Ashe is her name. She continues the work. And the league we were talking about, the National Junior Tennis & Learning Network.

NGUYEN: Right.

HOLMES: It is a network of about 500 organizations around the country who help bring tennis and education to the young people. And we talked about diversity. I asked you, when I was doing the story, how many black tennis players can you name? Most people will say Serena Venus.

NGUYEN: Venus and Serena, exactly.

HOLMES: If you follow it maybe you can name James Blake, another. She said that not where you see diversity. It is a lot of young kids coming up through the program. Even if they don't make it to the top 10, whatever it may be, they still -- maybe tennis will get them a college scholarship and get them into college.

NGUYEN: Right.

HOLMES: That's enough. That's success and diversity and that's going on behind the scenes.

NGUYEN: But a lot of times, I mean, I played tennis high school, when you're playing in high school, it's just a fun thing and you don't really think it will take you all the way. But it is instilling that passion, that this can be a career choice. This can be something that puts you on center court.

HOLMES: It doesn't have to take you all the way, but it can take you and get you here and there, and get you in with people, if it gets you a college scholarship.

NGUYEN: Right, an education.

HOLMES: An education.

NGUYEN: And do with it what you may. Very good stuff.

HOLMES: I need to thank you with the stories coming up.

NGUYEN: You want to thank me?

HOLMES: Yes, I want to thank you. Betty took me to my first New York Fashion Week fashion show.

NGUYEN: It was fun, wasn't it?

HOLMES: It was interesting.

NGUYEN: You took me to my first U.S. Open. So, it was a little tit for tat. It was a great way of seeing these firsts. Speaking of, got to interview Jason Wu. Does that name ring a bell for you? It might because he dressed Michelle Obama for those inaugural balls. You're going to remember that dress. We have pictures of it.

But I spoke with the young fashion designer about what's hot this year and how do you really create designs in a recession? And is that challenging? Stay with us. We'll have the latest.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: We want to highlight fashion designer Jason Wu because he is only 26 years old but he's already a star on the world stage. And one of his most famous clients, that would be First Lady Michelle Obama. Does it get any better than that for the first lady? She wore one of his creations to her husband's inauguration.

I got a chance to catch up with Jason during New York's Fashion Week.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN (On camera): Jason, after dressing Michelle Obama for the inaugural balls, this has been a big year for you. Did you feel added pressure for this particular fashion show?

JASON WU, FASHION DESIGNER: You know, every -- it's nerves and a lot of anticipation, a lot of nonstop work. But it is all worth it. You see the girls coming down the runway having worked my talents, and looking exactly the way I dreamed. So you know, this is it for me. I'm really excited.

NGUYEN: Absolutely. How chaotic were the last few hours, few days before today's show?

WU: I was sewing up until the last girl went on the runway.

NGUYEN: Are you serious?

WU: So, it's pretty chaotic. I sculpted each dress and I wanted to -- I was inspired by artist Farrah Donovan (ph) and wanted to -in the spirit of sculpting, I wanted to create the dresses that looked like sculptures. And each look had to be individual to the girls who was wearing them.

NGUYEN: So what is hot for spring? For folks out there watching, who want to know, what is that one thing I should buy? What's hot?

WU: Mixing up the colors, for sure, and mixing and blurring the line between day and evening. You can never be too dressed up.

NGUYEN: Absolutely. But during a recession, which we are all in, right now, are you catering at all to those who may not have as much change to spend on wonderful designs?

WU: Can you pick one thing, one thing you can desire and want to hold on and have it for a long time. It's worth it as a long-term investment and quality. It's about quality not quantity, I think.

NGUYEN: Gotcha. You're so young still, but you've done so much. What's next for you?

WU: A lot. I did my sunglass collection for the first time in my collaboration on the shoes. Lots of exciting things in store, working with Atalia Lofty (ph), in jewelry. And working with on the clothes, it is really grateful for all these new exciting collaborative opportunities. And working with an amazing team.

NGUYEN: One last thing, after designing for the first lady, where do you go from there? Who else do you want to fit?

WU: I keep challenging myself as a designer. I think it's important. It's really never enough for me. I always want to do more. There's great things. I'm on the road, I'm going to China, I'm going to London, I'm going to Paris next month. It's Jason Wu International now.

NGUYEN: Taking over the whole world?

WU: Yeah, it's world domination.

NGUYEN: I love it. So nice meeting you, Jason.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: That's his goal right now, but he's got his fashion line, his has his sunglasses, his shoes. And this is a guy who started designing at nine years old, 26 now. Still seems young but when you've been at it for so long, you're a pro.

HOLMES: That dress? What did that do for him? I don't keep up with fashion. Where was he in his career before Michelle Obama wore that dress?

NGUYEN: Let me just say that put him on the map. He didn't even know it was for the first lady. They just got the call and said, hey, give me something wonderful. He designed it and there you go. He didn't even know she was going to wear it until he saw it on television that night.

HOLMES: Give me something wonderful. That's a little vague.

NGUYEN: Something that sparkles and that he did.

HOLMES: Well, Fashion Week. I have a whole new understanding and respect for it now. NGUYEN: And those shows, just so you know, at home, they only last 15 minutes, you think it's a long drawn out thing. No, boom. They go buy very quickly.

HOLMES: Yes, models have waddled through ...

NGUYEN: Some of them waddled through.

HOLMES: Hello to you all this morning on CNN SATURDAY MORNING for September 12th. Glad you could be here with us. I'm T.J. Holmes.

NGUYEN: Yes, good morning everyone. I'm Betty Nguyen. It's 7:00 a.m. on the East Coast, 4:00 a.m. out West, for you early risers out there. Thanks for starting your day with us.

Let's get just started with this, President Obama. He is traveling to Minneapolis today for a rally on health insurance reform. We're talking about health reform. This sounds dealing with insurance reform. It's going to be taking place at the Target Center which is home of the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves. That takes place at 1:30 p.m. Eastern, and of course, we'll bring that to you.

HOLMES: That's a big place. It's going to be a big rally to have it there.

Also in California, I don't know what to say about this story, but a lot of you have something to say. Should divorce be banned? Till death do us part literally, you can't get divorced. Well, someone is starting a grassroots campaign to possibly put that ballot initiative before the voters next year. We are going to be talking about that this morning. Send us your comments and we're getting a lot so far.

NGUYEN: Send it to our Facebook page or Twitter site as well. You can also reach us on our blog. Should divorce be banned? We want to hear from you today, and we'll be reading this on the air.

All right, right now we want to give you a look at our top stories. Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants to send as many as 3,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Gates wants the troops to deal with an uptake in roadside bombs.

HOLMES: Another bank closure to tell you about. The officials shut down Corus Bank in Illinois. It was a major commercial real estate lender. The bank closed yesterday, also closing, two smaller institutions in Minnesota as well as one in Washington State. That now brings the total number of failures this year to 92.

NGUYEN: Wow. Well, space shuttle "Discovery" has landed safely in California after a 13-day mission to the international space station. Now, stay at that way because "Discovery" was recently supposed to land at Florida Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, but bad weather caused delays, and so now because it landed in California, it's going to cost about a $1.5 to transport the shuttle back to Florida. HOLMES: I don't want to spend that extra cash, and it's a delay. I t will take another week or so to get it back. So it's a cool picture though, always cool to see it piggy back on the back of a big jet trying to have to fly it over because essentially that's not just some plane there to settle.

NGUYEN: No, not at all, but boy, it's a costly sight too.

HOLMES: It is. We are going to take you to D.C. Well, they are talking tea today. A march in a rally plan there. The Tea Party Express, this group has been making its way across the country on a tour opposing excessive government spending, also opposing some of the president's health care reform plans.

Paul Steinhauser is one of the first to be there. He's in Freedom Plaza where the marchers are gathering. Are they gathered just yet? Are they starting to show up? When we will see them there? Paul ...

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: T.J., we've already got some. You can see them right behind me right here. They got up nice and early like we did. As you know, this is Freedom Plaza T.J. We are just like couple blocks from the White House. And the plan for today is they are going to start -- gathering. Right behind me, you can see some already are.

And later this morning they are going to march down to the U.S. capitol, which is directly down to Pennsylvania Avenue. You can see the dome right behind me there. And this afternoon, they are going to have the big rally on the West front of the capitol. T.J., this is organized by a group called Freedom Works. They are conservative advocacy group.

And what they say is that they expect -- they are not giving, you know, total numbers, but they expect at least maybe tens of thousands and they take from there, we'll see. This is part of the three-day event. It started back on Thursday and there were some workshops. What Freedom Works is doing is teaching people how to maybe lobby or visit their congressman. A lot of these activists visited their congressman.

You mentioned the tea party though, T.J. and you're absolutely right, the tea party organization. The tea party patriots, they are going to be part of what's happening here today. Remember, that has been a cross-country caravan that started in Sacramento on August 28. It ends right here today. There are already some of them right here next to us getting ready for the march later today.

What do they want? What do all these people want? They are upset about too much federal government in their lives. They say they're being tax too much. That's what these get for taxing up already. They say that the budget deficit is getting too big and also very upset about what President and the democrats are proposing on healthcare reform. Take a listen, we spoke to some of the activists yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ART GERUNDA, TEA PARTY PARTICIPANT: This isn't a fraternity party. I don't think anybody down here is -- I mean, look at these guys, they're just people. There is no-Everybody's got the same concerns as me. To tell you the truth, I did have two little 4-year- old grandchildren. I don't know if I'd be here. I mean, I'm always concerned for them, you know, as I am for my own personal problems. I think everybody you see here, they are just folks. And they are concerned.

UNKNOWN MALE: This might tax dollars that these guys are spending wherever they want, however they want, and they're not accountable for it. Enough is enough. You know, I'm done. I don't know what else to do. I fear for my granddaughter. That's why I'm here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEINHAUSER: Well T.J., it's just getting started here and this is going to be a long day and these people feel very strongly about their costs -- T.J.

HOLMES: All right. Our deputy political director Paul Steinhauser. And the friend of ours shown here on CNN SATURDAY and SUNDAY MORNING. Paul Steinhauser will be checking in with you again shortly.

And the Tea Party Express was organized by Freedom Works Foundation. The Freedom Works believe government spends way too much money as demanding the government stop the wasteful spending. The foundations contend taxpayers are burdened with too much debt.

Freedom Works was founded in 1984 as hundreds of thousands of grassroot volunteers across the country. Freedom Works has head quartered in Washington. And the chairman is former Republican Majority Leader Army Dick Army. The president is McHeath (ph). The foundation recruits, educates, trains, and immobilizes volunteer activists. Foundation activists are for less government, lower taxes, more freedom from government intervention.

NGUYEN: Well, South Carolina Republican Congressman Joe Wilson has apologized to the president and the White House, but House democrats say that is simply not good enough to satisfy them. He's going to have to formally apologize on the House floor. They say he violated the House's rules of conduct, Wednesday, with his infamous outburst during the President's make or break speech for health care reform.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally ...

REP. JOE WILSON, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: You lie.

OBAMA: It's not true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: Well, democratic leaders say Wilson had an opportunity to apologize to the House after his outburst, but he declined. So, they plan to bring a resolution to the House floor next week to reprimand him. All right, so the congressman is also finding out in other ways that it just doesn't pay to heckle the President.

His campaign managed to raise $200,000 from supporters after the outburst. But that's nothing compared to more than a million dollars raised so far by his 2010 democratic opponent Rob Miller.

And a grateful Rob Miller released this statement. Here's part of it saying ...

"Dear friend, thanks so much for your unbelievably generous support of my campaign. Together we raised over a million in small contributions in less than 48 hours. A new public policy poll out today shows this race is a dead heat. I honestly cannot believe what you have done and I can't possibly let you know how grateful I am."

NGUYEN: All right, so just to put this into perspective, Miller had only raised about $67,000 in campaign contributions before the outburst. So that was a costly outburst during the President's speech. Boy, just watching it too is -- just seeing ...

HOLMES: Chilling to hear that. And usually we see, I mean, we see other times that you hear some grunting, the moaning and groaning.

NGUYEN: There's nothing wrong with criticism at all. But there's a time and place for it.

HOLMES: And they do it in those halls. It's just that we're not used to hearing it. I mean, it was plain as day clear. He was with the only voice you can hear and the word lie, to think of calling the President a liar there, it really got folks, but the campaign is another be a good one next year.

NGUYEN: Wow. We'll be watching that one closely.

HOLMES: All right. We are going to talk tomorrow about the possible addition of 3,000 more U.S. servicemen to Afghanistan. The Defense Secretary says he wants the troops deployed as soon as possible. Since 2007, the number of roadside bombs in Afghanistan has jumped some 350 percent.

And one military source tells CNN the Taliban is getting better at making these roadside bombs. The number of U.S. brutalities has gone up 400 percent over the last 2 years, but sending in more troops to deal with roadside bombs could be a problem as well.

The House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi says she doesn't think there's a great deal of support for adding more troops. And we just saw the Chairman Of The Arms Services Committee in the senate for 11 come out just yesterday and says he does not believe a single U.S. service member another one should be sent until they increase the number of afghan security forces. So a disagreement among democrats right now. Meanwhile, on CNN tonight, an "AC360" Special Report, Afghanistan elections, a Taliban resurgence and mounting American casualty. It's critical moment for the region. Anderson Cooper takes you inside, Afghanistan Battle Zone. That's tonight and tomorrow night at 10:00 Eastern only on CNN.

Well this morning, I want to get you up to speed with the weather outside. It could be nasty in some parts of the U.S. And the man looking out for all of that, that would be Reynolds Wolf.

WOLF: All right guys, we got really bad weather we may be seeing today in parts of Texas and even in Oklahoma. Let me show you why very quickly. We're going to enlarge this spot right here and show you the heavy rainfall just forming in parts of Texas and back in Oklahoma. We actually have an area of low pressure that is setting up right other parts of the Texas Hill Country and is pulling a lot of moisture out of the gulf of Mexico.

So what we could be seeing is the potential anywhere from two to four inches of rainfall. In many spots, they can form really quickly especially in the afternoon. And with the rain coming down at a rapid rate, there's a chance we could see some flash flooding. The biggest weather maker that we have, well I guess the world will be truffle with storm Fred. But the storm is expected to weaken over the next couple of days. No threats on land which is certainly a good thing.

But we are going to be seeing though is well -- although the oceans are going to be heating up, things are certainly would be heating up in parts of the desert Southwest, 103 in Las Vegas, 104 in Phoenix, check out New York with 70 degrees, 83 in Tampa, Washington D.C. for anyone going out today for the protest if you're hanging out there. 76 degrees, chance of a few stray showers., bring the umbrellas with you. Any other actual plans you have, again, Texas and Oklahoma are the worst weather in the nation.

Let's send it back to you guys.

NGUYEN: All right. We'll be watching too. Thank you Reynolds. Now here's a story that really has us talking this morning. A proposed ban on divorce. So, once you get married, till death do you part. No divorce.

HOLMES: You're stuck with each other.

NGUYEN: Don't put it that way.

HOLMES: Grassroot effort by California man. Some say he's not serious. He says he is and trying to protect traditional marriage. Please continue to weigh in. So far, we've been reading some of your comments, and they are hilarious, keep them coming.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: This is a heartbreak to tell for the story. Well, it could be because here's the topic. Should divorce be banned? Well, one man, not only one Californians to wrestle with that question. We want them to decide the answer.

HOLMES: Seriously, he is calling for a statewide vote, and that's why his campaign is going a whole lot of attention. Now closer look now from reporter George Warren of CNN Sacramento, KXTV

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNKNOWN MALE: Proposition 8 has passed.

GEORGE WARREN, KXTV REPORTER (voice-over): It was nearly a year ago that California voters approved the ban on same sex marriages. A Sacramento man now says he wants to take proposition 8 one-step further.

JOHN MARCOTTE, CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR: It's the 2010 California marriage protection act. Actually, what I think is kind of a logical extension of prop 8, which was the California marriage protection act. It would protect traditional marriages by banning divorce in the state of California.

WARREN: John Marcotte has submitted his initiative to the attorney general for review. The lawyer who drafted the 2010 marriage protection act says a grassroots signature drive will follow.

ALAN BARNES, CAMPAIGN ATTORNEY: It's not going to be one of the paid petition drives like you see so often. It's likely be all volunteer-based. But we're hoping to get it on the ballot.

WARREN: Like prop 8, Marcotte says his campaign is largely based on the bible. He points to several passages calling divorce a sin.

MARCOTTE: God hates divorce.

WARREN: To say the campaign is getting attention would be an understatement. The website crashed several times before we were able to grab this screen shot with the caption, "you said till death do us part, you're not dead yet."

At this point, you're probably wondering if this guy is really serious. What we can tell you is that John Marcotte has engineered a number of harmless social pranks, and he's serious about that.

(voice-over): Like the time three years ago when he and some friends put a giant pair of Groucho glasses on a statue at the Sacramento Retail Center.

MARCOTTE: I get attacked from people who think I'm kidding and think I'm making fun of the prop 8 people, and then on the other side, I'm getting attacked from the left who think that I'm serious.

WARREN: If you think the battle over prop 8 was fierce, imagine what will happen if this one gets on the ballot.

In Sacramento, George Warren News 10.

(END VIDEOTAPE) NGUYEN: So that's the background and we're getting a lot of comments from you this morning., our Facebook and Twitter site. Some of them pretty do on funny.

HOLMES: Some of them are funny. Some of them are making some good points as well. We will start. We are going to start with Twitter over here. Someone saying "if you ban divorce, this is an economic hook they are taking here, then lawyers are going to drive up the unemployment rate than it already is because they won't have any clients as divorce attorneys."

(CROSSTALK)

HOLMES: Also other than that, someone says, "save time and money, just ban marriage and that makes more sense also going to make folks think a 100 times more before they get married, says I'm down with that.

NGUYEN: Well Maria -- my Facebook site says marriage was created by man so they be taken care of after their mothers kick them out of the house. Wow. So she said, "I'm sure this grassroots effort is also headed by men." Interesting concept there. And then Niko 42 says, "married for 37 years, divorce should always be an option. What if you want out?"

So keep us posted on what you think about this.

HOLMES: Niko, I hope your wife is not watching.

NGUYEN: He's joking. He said laugh out loud. Yes, I hope your wife is not watching.

HOLMES: Divorce should always be an option.

NGUYEN: Married for 37 years, hopefully happily married. I would stay for that long.

HOLMES: Sounds like he's keeping his options open, actually.

NGUYEN: Keep them coming.

HOLMES: We appreciate those comments. Please continue to keep those coming in. We'll address that story again this morning. Let's turn to another economic story now about the economic down turn's effect on unemployment, foreclosures and debt, but there's also an emotional side to this downturn.

NGUYEN: No doubt. And a home school adviser, Clyde Anderson, and health financial counselors are now faced with offering life or death advice

HOLMES: I want to take you to some Top Stories now toward the major shift of the Obama administration on North Korea. Now saying the U.S. is ready for direct talks with the reclusive nation. It's seen as the way to get North Korea to participate into 6 part talks on ending their nuclear program. North Korea walked away from those talks and protest over U.N. sanctions.

NGUYEN: Well, the Tea Party Express, it is in Washington D.C. today. This is a group that opposes healthcare reform and big government spending. In fact, pretty someone 30,000 people to attend this in this gathering. In fact, this morning for the march on Washington rally and ado (ph) is about to take place. Of course, we'll be covering that for you, but Tea Party Express out and about today and we're following that for you.

HOLMES: It was only a matter of time for going conclusion here that Michael Jordan was going to end up in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and it happened last night, and boy, he cried like a baby. And wisely speeak last night, but he is more alive now and forever in the Hall of Fame. The ceremony was last night.

We see him there inducted with the stellar class, Utah Jazz greats, the coach, Jerry Sloan, and also the point guard, John Stockton, also Vivian Stringer, the head coach of the Rutgers basketball team and David Robinson, the admiral among that class. They gave him a good standing ovation and he cried and cried and cried.

NGUYEN: That's quite an honor though after such a career like that. All right. Well, their desire for cute clothes turn into a nationwide franchise and in this week How We Got Started, Melissa Long introduces us to the owners of Just Between Friends.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MELISSA LONG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A routine trip to church changed Shannon Wilburn's life.

SHANNON WILBURN, JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS: I would see friends that would be dressing their children very cute and I thought "Oh! I want to be able to shop in their closet."

LONG: So she did just that. Partnering with friend, Daven Tacket. Shannon held a consignment sale close to her home 12 years ago.

DAVEN TACKET, JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS: So we talked friends from church into bringing their children's and maternity clothes to my house.

LONG: When people asked when the next sale was, Shannon and Daven knew they were on to something and Just Between Friends was born.

TACKET: We surrounded ourselves with people who had businesses of TEIR own and said "how do you do this." And so we started getting ideas that way and set up a website.

LONG: They held sales twice a year, and as the event got bigger, Shannon and Daven allowed mom to have their cities to use their business model and name. WILBURN: We found out that "Oh! Oops! We weren't supposed to let those people use our name, but actually it was a good thing, because you know what Just Between Friends is a concept that will work.

LONG: So they franchised and six years later there are 95 in 20 states.

TACKET: The whole business idea is around families saving money and making money, and so we may want that nice new copier, but we have to wait until the money is there to spend it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: They battle near the frontlines, but their enemy is time.

NGUYEN: Yes, we are going to look at battlefield doctors and just the grueling challenges that they face. Dr. Sanjay Gupta makes a "HOUSE CALL" to Afghanistan.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: All right, so unemployment up, foreclosures up, suicide, yes, unfortunately that is up too, and finance counselors are now in a role that really involves much more than saving someone's home. It's not really a topic that CNN SATURDAY MORNING housing expert Clyde Anderson usually tackles but definitely one that is important. And we're not just talking about saving a person's home or talking about saving their lives as well.

What in the world is going on? What do you think?

CLYDE ANDERSON, EDUCATOR, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER AND AUTHOR: It's hard out there right now for a lot of people and what happens is when they get in this position where they are almost losing their houses they get depressed, and the stress it kind of beats down on them and so now counselors are having to deal with that.

NGUYEN: Well, are they equipped though or housing counselors equip to deal with issues like this, it's suicide?

ANDERSON: Wow, it's a new role that they are taking on and so a lot of them have learned quickly. You know, they've been thrown into the fire, where they are dealing people in the past, but they just had to help them get a house or keep their house.

Now, they are helping them keep their life, like you said. And a lot of them aren't so you really have to look at other sources for that as well and not just depend so much on counselors, but they have to play the role and some are making cases to talk people out of suicide.

NGUYEN: Are you serious? My goodness. It has gotten to that point. So, where can people go for help? I mean, you say the counselors, some are equipped and some are not, but where should people go to get that kind of help?

ANDERSON: Well first, you got to really be conscious. You know, you're talking to a customer service person or a counselor for housing, originally, so you got to keep that in mind, so really when you need help like that you got to look at external sources. You really got to look at a psychiatrist.

NGUYEN: That costs money and there lies, you know, the domino effect.

ANDERSON: And there are lots of agencies out there too that have some free counseling especially right now because so many people are feeling ...

(CROSSTALK)

NGUYEN: We have some them on the screen right now.

ANDERSON: Definitely. So we got to look at, you know, the referral hotlines out there for psychologist. We got suicide prevention hotlines, which are no cost. We also have domestic violence hotlines because we are seeing a lot of violence in couple. We are seeing couples that's have suicide pacts. We are seeing people that are really ...

NGUYEN: How prevalent is that?

ANDERSON: Well, I mean, you're hearing more and more stories about it. I taught the several counselors who told that they have to talk people out of suicide and had to talk people out of going to, you know, do some body harm to their spouse because it is just so frustrated, you know, of what's going on. You lose your job and feels like your life is coming crumbling down.

NGUYEN: When you lose your job, you're about to lose your home and just seemed like their life is coming, you know, trembling down.

ANDERSON: Exactly. And someone that put so much work into something. So you know a lot of times we look at it as a home, but for some people this is their life. This is what they put all their hard work into. So you really got to think about that human side of it as well.

NGUYEN: Is it worth your life? The answer is no, absolutely not. All right. Clyde, thank you so much for tackling this difficult subject for us. We really, really appreciate it.

ANDERSON: My pleasure.

NGUYEN: T.J.

HOLMES: All right. Betty and I are going to be get back at the top of the hour with live news on CNN Saturday Morning. First, I am going to head it over to Dr. Sanjay Gupta and "HOUSE CALL" special from the battlefield at the Afghanistan. We do want to warn you though some of the images and sounds in his special report you will see may be disturbing. We'll see you back here shortly.

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