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Two Men Arrested at Amsterdam Airport; The Politics of the U.S. Economy

Aired August 30, 2010 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, President Obama admits it that the economy is not recovering as fast as it needs to.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Too many Americans are still looking for work. And too many communities are far from being whole again.


KING: He's calling for a full-scale attack. What's the plan? Should he fire the economic team? Plus, the president says he's a Christian. Why do some refuse to believe it?

And then, dueling rallies in Washington, what if anything do they accomplish? Next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. We begin with breaking news. Two men were arrested today at Amsterdam's International Airport. Are they terror suspects? Let's go right to CNN's Homeland Security correspondent Jeanne Meserve for the latest. Jeanne?

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT Well, Larry, officials don't know yet exactly what these men were up to. They are in the process of investigating this.

Here's what we know. One of these individuals boarded a flight in Birmingham. In his luggage, an x-ray detected some suspicious items. One that's been confirmed to me is a cell phone strapped to a medicinal bottle. This individual was put through secondary inspection. They found nothing prohibited on him or in his carry-on luggage. The items that were in his checked baggage were allowed in checked baggage. He was allowed to travel on to Chicago.

A second individual traveled from Memphis to Chicago. The two of them then got on a flight that went from Chicago to Amsterdam, but the luggage didn't. The luggage got on a flight that went to Dulles and then on to Dubai. And eventually, it was scheduled to go on to Yemen.

What we don't know yet is why this individual from Memphis attracted official concern. The Department of Homeland Security has put out a statement. It says, suspicious items were located in checked luggage associated with two passengers on United flight 908 from O'Hare to Amsterdam last night. The items were not deemed to be dangerous in and of themselves. And as we share information with our international partners, Dutch authorities were notified of the suspicious items. This matter continues to be under investigation.

I'm also told, Larry, that the two individuals were not U.S. citizens, but I am told by multiple sources that they were in the country legally. What officials really want to know apart from the fact of how they got on a different flight from their luggage, because they're supposed to be 100 percent match is whether or not this was some kind of a dry run for some sort of terrorist act. At this point, they do not have the answer to that question. I'm told it's very much the subject of an ongoing investigation. Larry?

KING: Thanks. Jeanne Meserve, our CNN Homeland Security correspondent. Let's go to Nic Robertson, CNN international correspondent in London.

Nic, what do you make on this? Anything you can add to what Jeanne just said?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Larry, we've been talking here with U.S. law enforcement sources. And they have added a few details. One of the two men, Akmed al-Sufi, he was the man traveling from Birmingham to Chicago, then got on that flight for Amsterdam. The other man arrested Hasim al Morici. Both of them there arrested in Holland. Mr. al-Sufi in his luggage had $7,000 in cash. Not only with a cell phone strapped to a small plastic bottle, but also watches strapped to a small plastic bottle.

And one of the big questions that -- that sources are telling us is going to have to be answered is how could the men get on one flight or at least one of the men get on the flight to Amsterdam when he had luggage that was apparently checked through to Dulles and then on to Abu Dhabi and then on to Yemen? The luggage was picked up actually in Dulles. But that's going to raise questions.

So is it a dry run? And let's remember that these small bottles of liquid placed in hand baggage had been a planned hijacking attempt by al Qaeda related terrorists a few years ago. That was foiled. What -- and this is speculation, what is this group trying to show that they're now potentially attack luggage in the hold? Is that what they're trying to show? Is it a dry run of that type of description?

So obviously, a lot more scrutiny here. But it's going to raise a lot of concerns. This now seeing a shift potentially, not only in hand baggage and about the person as we saw, the bomb at Christmas, but now potentially putting it in luggage in the hold, Larry.

KING: Thanks, Nic. And we'll continue to follow it.

Let's check, Nic Robertson in London. Let's check on the phone with Fran Townsend, CNN's national security contributor. She was Homeland Security adviser for President George W. Bush. What do you make of this, Fran?

FRAN TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: You know, Larry, it's interesting, talking to senior counterterrorism officials this evening, as Jeanne says they're not sure what they have. But it's pretty interesting if these guys are related to al Qaeda in Yemen or the Arabian peninsula in any way, you'd think we'd know something about them. And I'm told that we don't have -- there's nothing in U.S. intelligence databases on either of the guys that U.S. officials are aware of yet.

The other interesting thing, Larry, is that I'm told one of the suitcases field tested positive for explosives. We hadn't heard that before this evening. Now we should tell our viewers, field tests are notoriously unreliable. And so I think you'll see that they're going through now, far greater more detailed testing that they'll, to find out if that's accurate or not.

One of these individuals was a legal permanent resident, which means he had the ability to cross our borders pretty carefully. That's a real value if this was related to a terrorist event. And that's not somebody you'd put at risk for a dry run.

The other individual that we've mentioned, Nic Robertson mentioned this evening, he was a visa overstay. That meant he came to the country. He was here legally, but he overstayed his allowed time in this country. An so even if he had done a dry run, he wouldn't have been able to come back and benefit from his experience, although it might have helped the organization. A lot of questions tonight.

KING: Yes. Obviously, a lot of answers still to come. Thanks, Fran.

One more check with Peter Bergen, CNN's national security analyst also joining us by phone.

Peter, you know a lot about such things. What do you read into all this?

PETER BERGEN: Well, it's all very murky, Larry. But this is like the Christmas day incident sort of in reverse, where you've got a flight going to Amsterdam as opposed to leaving Amsterdam. You've got the Yemen connection. All those things, raising the issue, you know, making it an issue of concern.

I mean -- and one thing that I think, Larry, it's important to underline, although it may not be directly relevant to this, but I think it's quite relevant to al Qaeda in the future, is the -- who ever built the bomb that was put on the plane on Christmas Day, 2009, a Yemeni based bomb maker is still out there. And a guy with a lot of skills. Somebody who can build a bomb that isn't detectable by metal detectors. And if indeed this was a dry run for that kind of thing, you can see why law enforcement is so concerned, Larry.

KING: Thank you, Peter. Peter Bergen will checking back frequently, with Jeanne, and Nic, Fran, and Peter as well.

Dueling rallies were held in Washington over the weekend. Al Sharpton and Dana Loesch are here to spar with each other about them. It's next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Two rallies were held in Washington, D.C. this past Saturday, the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's historic "I have a dream speech." One, a revival style gathering at the Lincoln Memorial was orchestrated by the conservative commentator Glenn Beck. The other called "Reclaim the Dream" was organized by the Reverend Al Sharpton. Al Sharpton is here, civil rights activist, founder of the National Action Network. Dana Loesch, conservative talk radio host, host of her own program with KFTK, 97.1, and Tea Party-TV, with

Al, do you think they did this deliberately, the other side?

AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Well, I don't know whether they did it deliberately or not, but I do know that none of us objected to Mr. Beck. No one said anything contrary that I know of. He first is going to have it in September when it came to the date of August 28th. Even though by then, a couple of months ago, we had decided we would go to Washington to a school this year. No one said anything. Until he started saying he was going to reclaim the civil rights movement and reclaim the moment. That's when we said, well, wait a minute, this is a civil rights day. We already commemorated. The speech of Dr. King was about having government protect civil rights. And that's what we took issue with.

The fact that he decided at the last moment, it appears that he was going to turn this into a religious rally or revival, I think was the term you used, he has a right to do that. But we have the right when he said he was going to reclaim the civil rights movement, to object to his trying to position, which clearly does not seem like one who's been involved in civil rights to try and have that as his day or as his justification for his day.

KING: Dana, why do it on the same day?

DANA LOESCH,TALK RADIO HOST: I can't answer that, Larry. I didn't plan it. I attended. I thought it was a very positive. I thought it was a very uplifting event. And I'm not going to speak for Glenn Beck. But I will say that I think that, that the original purpose of it was not just to restore faith to the idea, the origins of this country to honor our military, the Special Operations Warriors Foundation, fantastic group, but I don't think that Glenn Beck was saying that he's going to reclaim the civil rights movement. I think that the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of 47 years ago on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial was an American dream.

And I think -- and this is something that Dr. Alveda King said on those steps as well just on Saturday. She said that we are one race. We are an American race. This was an event about unity. I don't think that there was any malicious purpose, anything other than that. That was the whole reason for having this event.

KING: Al, there are some supporters of the Restoring Honor rally criticizing you, saying you didn't plan to do anything commemorating Dr. King's speech until Beck announced his rally. SHARPTON: Well, that's not true. We announced it in April at our convention. We started planning two months ago. We've done it for the last several years. In 2000, Mrs. Coretta Scott King spoke at our National Action Network rally. Every year we do something. 2008, we did it at the Democratic Convention. And we never knew Beck even knew what civil rights was at the time.

But again, I think the issue is not to psychoanalyze whether he was malicious or not. I think Dana's right, when she says Dr. King's dream is for all America. And it's about how all Americans were not treated equally.

Dana and I, or Glenn Beck and I, or anyone can have a different opinion. We can't have different facts. The speech itself speaks for itself. The entire speech was about the inequality, about how America had given blacks a bad check, that had bounced in the, in the bank of justice, about how we have to end police brutality, how we have to step into position and nullification of certain governors. You can't redo what Dr. King said his dream was.

And I wish that Mr. Beck had read the speech and said he agreed with it. He didn't. He said he admired the man. They never got to the message.

And August 28th was about his message, not the man. He made a very specific detailed speech that day. If I was going to speak on a day that Ronald Reagan had made a speech and said that I was reclaiming Reagan conservatism, conservatives have the right to critique that, since I am not a conservative and I'm speaking to something that they're committed to. And that's all we raised.

LOESCH: Well, I have to quickly point out something.

KING: Dana, hold. We'll take a break and I'll have Dana respond to that and whether Dana agreed completely with every word that Martin Luther King said so many years ago. We'll be right back.


KING: We're back. You know, Dana, many years ago during the time of that speech, conservatives are not very fond of Dr. Martin Luther King. And many criticized him. Did you agree with that speech? Dana? Can Dana hear me?

All right, let's bring in, let's bring in Alveda King. Alveda King is the niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She's the founder of King for America and pastoral associate, Priest for Life. She attended the Glenn Beck Restoring Honor rally in D.C. this past weekend.

Alveda, do you think your uncle would have been an admirer of Glenn Beck?

ALVEDA KING: Well, you know, Larry, that's a good question, but it's not really about Glenn Beck. He would have admired Glenn's message of faith, hope, charity, love, of honor. My uncle would have admired the message. So it's not so much about the man as the message. My uncle often said that. And, you know, as a pro-life advocate with Priests for Life, founder of King for America, I understand that. It's not about me. It's not about Glenn. It's about the message. And my uncle would have admired the message that Glenn brought that day.

KING: Could you also have attended Al Sharpton's rally commemorating your uncle's speech?

A. KING: Actually, I could have. And it was interesting. I wasn't invited initially. Reverend Sharpton and I were on a joint television program that Friday night, I think. And he says, yeah, come on by. And if I had not already had other plans, because right after Glenn's rally, I had to go home. So of course I could have. B. But you know, my uncle said we have to live together as brothers. And I add sisters or perish as fools. So as one human race, it's not about arguing. It's not about personalities. But I was just so honored to deal with faith, hope, love and charity. That really blessed me to do that with Glenn Beck.

KING: As a reverend, Al Sharpton, you would have to agree with what she just said, wouldn't you?

SHARPTON: Absolutely, I would agree with it. But I would say on that day, we were dealing with the dream and the speech specifically around civil rights. You know, there were ministers in the deep South that no one knows this better than Dr. Alveda King, whose family gave their lives including her father for civil rights that preached faith, hope, and charity, that oppose civil rights. Dr. King wrote a group of those ministers the famous letter from a Birmingham jail.

So you can preach what is right, and what I agree with and admire, and still not go all the way in civil rights. I'm not saying that those that did that rally the other day would or wouldn't. I know that was not their message that day. It was our message, which is why we had to have the rally.

A. KING: But, Larry, you know, and Reverend Sharpton, seriously, I listen to you as you talk about the intent and purpose of my uncle's speech. My daddy Reverend A.D. King was there, Daddy King was, you know, standing behind his two sons. But my uncle was not teaching that we needed the government to take care of us. He was teaching that we needed a government who revered and respected what was right and the principles of God. And then those people in the fear of the Lord would do what's right. And then the government therefore would be a support to our people. So I never heard my uncle really say that he was marching or fighting so that the government would take care of people.

SHARPTON: No, he didn't. And I don't agree with that, that they should. I think that Martin Luther--

KING: Al, hold it.

SHARPTON: Okay. KING: We didn't make contact with Dana before. Dana, did you agree with Martin Luther King's speech years ago?

LOESCH: Yes, I did. I understand what he was speaking about. And I agree with this niece, who I thought delivered one of the most eloquent and beautiful speeches that I have ever had the privilege of hearing first hand.

It was about -- it wasn't about just marching for government entitlement or having the government take care of you. It was about marching and realizing that we are one American people and that we have, we have a higher power, our rights come from a higher power. That's what it was about. That's what 8/28 was about.

And the Reverend Sharpton earlier was making mention that nothing was said at all about the previous, about the inequalities that were taking place during the '60s. Glenn Beck did very specifically mention the fact that in America, we have done some truly remarkable things in this country. And we have also done some truly heinous things in this country. And he didn't, he didn't just mention the black community. He also mentioned indigenous Americans, where is my family comes from.

And so I felt that it was truly a unifying event. And it was uplifting, powerful. And it, all and all, I don't understand where the criticism is coming from or the need for it.

A. KING: And Larry can I--

KING: Wait a minute. All right, Al, quickly. Go ahead.

SHARPTON: One, I think there's inequality that still exists. That's what we were talking about. When you have double unemployment, black to white, when you have the gap in education. We're still trying to become one. And I think that the, the desire for us to have unity and be one human race is all of our desires.

The debate is how we get there. And I think if you read the speech, Dana, as you said, Dr. King did not talk about government taking care of people, but he did talk about protecting people. His appeal to government was to make the check good. His appeal to government--

KING: All right, well--

SHARPTON: --was to stop governors (INAUDIBLE) in position and nullification.

A. KING: I talk about that check. And I hope I get to talk to President Obama too about the economy and doing something--

KING: Okay, hold on. Alveda, we will have you back. There's lots more to discuss. We're going to get to a couple of other areas with Al and Dana right after this., because some still believe that President Obama is not American born, that he's a Muslim. Hear what the president says about that. And then we'll get Dana and Al to comment next.


TIME STAMP: 2127:13

KING: Dana Loesch and Al Sharpton remain with us. A recent CNN poll showed more than a quarter of those surveyed have doubts about Obama's citizenship. And a Pew poll released this month indicated nearly one in five Americans believe Obama is a Muslim. The president addressed these issues yesterday in an interview with NBC's Brian Williams. Watch.


OBAMA: We went through some of this during the campaign. You know, there is -- a mechanism, a network of misinformation that in a new media era can get churned out there constantly. We dealt with this when I was first running for the U.S. Senate. We dealt with it when we were first running for the presidency. There were those who said I couldn't win as U.S. senator because I had a funny name. And yet we ended up winning that Senate seat in Illinois, because I trusted in the American people's capacity to get beyond all this nonsense.

And so I will always put my money on the American people. And I'm not going to be worrying too much about whatever rumors are floating on out there. If I spend all my time chasing after that, then I wouldn't get much done.


KING: Dana Loesch, what do you make of all of that?

LOESCH: Oh, goodness. It's -- my bigger concern is how well he does his job as president. I think that there--

KING: What do you make about those two issues. You got 25 percent of America, the man says he's Christian--


KING: --and 25 percent of America thinks he's Muslim. What do you make of that?

LOESCH: I don't know. I think that perhaps he's done maybe a couple things to give room for questioning. But the bottom line is that what's awesome about this country is that there is no mandated faith. So to me, as long as he does his job well, then I think it's irrelevant honestly.

KING: Al, how do you react to all of this?

SHARPTON: I think that--

KING: Questioning whether he was born here?

SHARPTON: I think that it is part of the hysteria. And those that are really on the conservative side seek unity. I think they should step up and say there's no basis at all for someone to say that the president is any other faith than he has the said and that he was born here.

I mean, you can't preach unity on Saturday and then say he's left room for things. There's no room. There's no room to question his birth date. There's no room to question his religion. And he's tried to reach out. President Obama had me tour with Secretary of Education Duncan with Newt Gingrich. And we don't agree on anything. We've tried to reach out. No matter how much you reach out, this president is questioned about basic things like his birth, and his religion. And people wonder why there is this distrust when people say unity. I mean, if you want unity, let's at least start from a basis of respect.

LOESCH: Reverend, the birtherism thing started with Hillary Clinton. That did start on the Democrat side.

SHARPTON: She was wrong if it started there. I don't know that.

KING: Dana, the day after the rally, Glenn Beck described Obama as a man who understands the world through liberation theology. He said that approach is a perversion of the gospel of Jesus Christ as most Christians know it. What is your reaction since this nation is -- doesn't mention god in its Constitution? What is all of this have to do with anything?

LOESCH: We did mention it in the Declaration and it is mentioned in the constitution.


KING: Are we a Christian nation, Dana?

LOESCH: I think we were founded upon principles understanding that our rights come from a higher power. Because what man gives, man can take away. What God gives away, man cannot take away.

I think we were founded upon principles that are rooted in Christianity. Do we have a mandated faith? We do not have a mandated faith.

KING: All right, what is all this fuss about?

LOESCH: Well, I think when you mention the poll earlier, I think that that sort of presupposes that even questioning whether or not he may be Christian or Muslim is a bad thing. I don't think speculating about what someone's faith is is bad, unless they're trying to -- unless the purpose is to condemn that person for being either a Christian or Muslim.

I don't think that was the point. I think it was just people were wondering. They were just perhaps speculating. But the whole idea of some of the things that Glenn Beck has said about him -- the one thing that does stick out to me, and quite honestly you would have to be intellectually dishonest to not cite this as perhaps a concern -- I understand that he -- and I hate even bringing this back up, because I feel like we have talked about this endlessly.

When you sit in a church for 20 years, like with Jeremiah Wright -- and I know he since has broken from that. But when you sit there for 20 years and hear some of the things that Reverend Wright said that really hurt the soul when you listened to it, you do have to wonder how could someone have listened to something like that for that long and just by consent just sort of sit there and maybe anything was said, not quite sure. I mean, that did leave a question in a lot of people's mind. I don't think that they can be faulted for that.

KING: All right, Al?

SHARPTON: I think first of all that all had been dealt with during the campaign. I think that clearly it is interesting to me that Mr. Obama, who is President Obama now, by your own admission, was a member the United Church of Christ, a white Christian denomination, by the way, and now you say there is room for doubt whether he was a Muslim, when you concede that it was documented he was a member of a white Christian denomination.

LOESCH: They did welcome a lot of faiths?

SHARPTON: Please let me finish. There is a lot in any religion. Clearly he was not in a Muslim church; he was in a white Christian denomination by your own statement. I think that's what I am saying. Why are we questioning his Christianity. Then to say that to be part of liberation theology or liberation Christianity is looked down upon. The president probably personifies social justice Christianity.

LOESCH: You are putting words in my mouth.

SHARPTON: -- and liberation Christianity when Martin Luther King Jr. -- that's the irony of Beck saying it the day after.

LOESCH: First of all, reverend, you are putting words in my mouth about that church. I was saying that church accepted a lot of people of different faiths.

SHARPTON: I said the denomination was a Christian denomination, mostly white.

KING: Obviously. All right, guys. Obviously going to do a lot more on this. There is another topic at hand we have got to get to. Thank you, Al Sharpton, and Dana Loesch.

SHARPTON: Thank you.

KING: Is the economy on life support. We're going to debate the rocky state of America's finances next.


KING: Dennis Prager is in Minneapolis tonight. He's the conservative talk radio host of his own program, and a best-selling author. Stephanie Miller is here in Los Angeles, progressive talk radio host, host of her own show. Polls show that the economy is issue number one for voters. President Obama tried to control the state of the political storyline earlier today at the White House. Watch.


OBAMA: The fact is that too many businesses are still struggling; too many Americans are still looking for work; and too many communities are far from being whole again. That's why my administration remains focused every single day on pushing this economy forward, repairing the damage that has been done to the middle-class over the past decade, and promoting the growth we need to get our people back to work.


KING: Let's start with Dennis Prager. Ben Stein said the other night on this program, Dennis, that nobody has the answer to this problem. Nobody. Do you agree?

DENNIS PRAGER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, there is a great part of the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take. The first part of their oath when they become a doctor is first, do no harm. So maybe there is no panacea, but I do believe that there can be a lot of harm. There are a lot of bad choices that can be made. I think that the president, out of totally noble reasons -- he wants to help. I believe that. He has a Keynesian view of how you fix economies, and that's by the government expanding and spending.

It's a philosophical, almost religious difference that people have. Good people on both sides. But I believe that decades have shown that that approach is wrong, that the best way to make a thriving economy is through individuals keeping their money, spending their money, and investing their own money, and not having people who think they know better what to do with my money spend it.

KING: Richard Nixon once said he was a Keynesian. Your reaction to that?

PRAGER: He probably was.

STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I love Dennis Prager. Yet, you can't argue about math, Larry. Yes, good people on both sides can disagree. But we cannot disagree that we were losing nearly 800,000 jobs a month when George Bush left office. And we are going in the right direction now. If you look at any graph, Larry, what the president has done is the right direction.

He is absolutely right. You don't give the keys back to someone that drove the car in the ditch in the first place. Yes, good people can disagree. This is not disagreement. This is math. This is -- you know, and I -- I would agree with people who think the stimulus probably wasn't big enough. It clearly has created millions of jobs. It clear he has us going in the right direction. The last thing you want to go do is go back to the policies that got us here.

KING: Dennis?


PRAGER: The issue is not going back to George Bush's policies. George Bush, in fact, over the course of the vast majority of his eight years in office, and when he had a Republican legislature to work with -- it, in fact, was a booming -- one of the most booming economies we ever had. Having said that, here is the greater truth.


PRAGER: The greater truth is that our collapse -- hold on. When? Through most of his administration jobs --

MILLER: We had a booming economy during George Bush?

PRAGER: Yes, we did, of course. The bust came near the end of his administration.


PRAGER: But that -- I think almost every viewer knows that to be true. But here is the bigger issue: why was there a bust? And the reason was Democratic policies, again goodwill, let's get everybody we can, no matter what their capabilities economically, especially minorities, to become house owners. And we dropped the criteria many years ago. This is before Bush. This is during President Clinton's era.

MILLER: Bush said we should have an ownership society. He is the one that pushed for ownership for everybody.

PRAGER: Correct. But the policies preceded Bush. I am not blaming Mr. Clinton. We need first to tell the truth then give our opinions. I am convinced that that is the root of the problem, changing the criteria to enable people who couldn't afford homes to have them so that we reach out to minorities and poor people.

KING: What is the solution, Stephanie? Do you think the solution is happening?

MILLER: As I say, Larry, I get that it is hard to sell a negative. That most economists -- most credible economists say we have averted the next Great Depression. It's hard to prove a negative, isn't it? We didn't do that. We don't have that. So it's hard to say you have to take credit for that. But I think it is true. I think we were headed for the next great depression. I think we are moving in the right direction, not certainly fast enough for a lot of people, as the president has said.

But I think we are moving in the right direction. The last thing -- if you read Paul Krugman's column today, the last thing you want to do is put in more obstructionist Republicans that are not going to do anything to help this president get any dung, and probably just have a bunch of mindless investigations like they did with Clinton.

KING: When we come back, I will ask Dennis, forget looking back, what would he do tomorrow? Don't go away.




KING: We're back with Dennis Prager and Stephanie Miller. Still to come, Jewel. All right, Dennis. We know what you think was wrong. What do you do tomorrow?

PRAGER: Tomorrow -- and I hope it does become possible in November, I will actually accept Paul Krugman's challenge and welcome obstructionism. John Rosemont (ph) is a terrific child psychologist. He says the best thing that parents can give -- the best vitamin they can give their children is Vitamin N. That's his term for no. No does a lot of good in life. And no to more spending and no to bigger government -- my motto that I coined a number of years ago, "the bigger the government, the smaller the citizen."

As the government and the state grow, the human being becomes lessened. And so we have to turn back a 2,500-page law, series of laws, more and more laws controlling our health. We have to turn back a 2,000-page system of new laws.

MILLER: Dennis, why didn't I hear you say any of that when George Bush was running up this incredible deficit with tax cuts for the rich and an unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq? Wasn't any of that operative back then? Spending is not just spending. Barack Obama is spending to get us out of the hole that George Bush put us in. Most economists would agree on that. The bailout of GM worked. GM is in profits and we're going to make -- the American taxpayer is going to make a profit with interest now. That's not a good thing? The stimulus is working. It has created jobs.

KING: George Bush favored it, did he not? George Bush started the stimulus, didn't he?

MILLER: George Bush started the stimulus and Tarp.

PRAGER: Exactly right.

KING: Dennis, would you have opposed the Iraq war spending?

PRAGER: No. Look, if you are asking me to go all the way back to there, I was ambivalent about going into Iraq.

KING: Let's take the future, war spending.

PRAGER: Once we were in Iraq, we had to win.

KING: That means --

MILLER: What does win mean?

PRAGER: Win means that very, very bad human beings called Islamists or Islamic terrorists cannot take over that country once we have tried to get rid of that type of human being. Winning is not a difficult concept.

MILLER: Is that our job to get rid of Islamists everywhere? Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, had no weapons of mass destruction. Is it our job to get rid of Islamists everywhere now? Are we going to war against the one billion Muslims in the world?

PRAGER: If the one billion Muslims were all Islamists, we would be in terrible condition.

MILLER: I thought George Bush -- George Bush said Islam is a religion of peace. Do you disagree?

PRAGER: I an not denying that. An islamist is not a Muslim. Islamist is the term for an extremist Muslim who wishes to violently impose his understanding of sharia on other people. For us to fight these people is the greatest good we can do on Earth right now.

MILLER: No, George Bush said Islam is a religion of peace. Islamist terrorist is a different thing. Just like a Christian terrorist like Tim McVeigh is a different thing. Anyone that twists their religion for --

PRAGER: Timothy McVeigh was not a Christian terrorist. It's a dishonest thing to say.

MILLER: Really?

PRAGER: It's just dishonest. Yes. He was a terrorist --

MILLER: He didn't twist Christianity just like the 9/11 hijackers twisted Islam?

PRAGER: No. He did not blow up the building in the name of Christ.

KING: We're going to you have back very soon, both in the same studio. I'll wear a black and white striped shirt and step out. The great Jewel is here, with some of her new Funny or Die video. Jewel's next.


KING: Jewel is a Grammy nominated singer/songwriter, actress, and poet, and motorcyclist. And she was terrific last night on the Emmys. Her latest album is "Sweet and Wild." I hold her here in my hand. Funny or Die revealed to the world that early in her career -- get this -- Jewel paired up with a fellow Alaskan, Sarah Palin. Here's is part of that satirical show business story, watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEWEL, SINGER/SONG WRITER: My first night in town, I play this open mike at this place called the Crab N' Coffee. Afterwards, this woman comes up to me and she was like, hey, my name is Sarah. I play flute. Do you want to jam sometime? I was like, yeah. I really wanted to call us the Gold Rush Girls, with a Z. But she was really into these sort of these jam bandy kind of names. I think her first suggestion was the Andromeda Theorem.

She was like, I'm going to be on "Saturday Night Live" before you are. I was like, I'm going to be on the cover of "Time Magazine" before you. All of a sudden, she screams "the hell you are!"

I was like, whoa. She was like, I'm quitting. I want to spend more time with the kids. Todd needs help with his fishing business. And I want to run for the governor of Alaska.


KING: To your knowledge, dear Jewel, did anybody buy that?

JEWEL: You know it just hit the web today. So I have no idea. I haven't checked in.

KING: Do you think some people will?

JEWEL: I definitely think so, yeah.

KING: Do you like doing things like that?

JEWEL: I love doing skits like that. I got to do one where I made fun of my snaggle tooth, where I use it sort of as a tool to save lives.

KING: Your snaggle tooth?

JEWEL: Yes, the tooth that sticks out here. I like it. I like to be able to poke fun of myself.

KING: You also did a video for Funny or Die, undercover karaoke, where you go like a regular person to a karaoke joint, get up and sing your own song, right?

JEWEL: Yeah, I dressed in prosthetics as somebody else and got up and sang my own music. It was really touching. The audience made that a really special moment. It was a neat experience for me to see people's mouths drop open when they heard my voice, dressed as somebody else. They were so happy for my character, Karen. They thought she was going to make it.

KING: What do you think of Sarah Palin? You're both Alaskans?

JEWEL: I can't say was agree on everything politically-wise, but Alaskan women are really can-do women. I love the state I'm from. The people up there are really grounded, really down to earth, very unaffected. The women feel like they can do anything. I love that. I like that about Sarah. KING: Why is that? What makes Alaska different?

JEWEL: It's really the last frontier. It's the pioneer state. I was the father of -- the daughter of a pioneer family. They settled it in the '50s, were given a homestead. The women up there had to do it for themselves. They had to shoe their own horses and plow their own fields. I think it's just something that's been handed down generationally.

KING: Did you start there singing?

JEWEL: I did. I started there. My parents were musicians. So I started singing with them when I was six. My dad and I became a duet when I was eight. We started singing bars all across the state.

KING: What do you think of Bristol, Sarah's daughter? She's going to be on "Dancing With the Stars"?

JEWEL: Is it confirmed?

KING: Yeah, I think so.

JEWEL: Wow, that's amazing.

KING: You were supposed to be there. What happened?

JEWEL: I fractured both my legs, if you can believe that. I was rehearsing too hard. I didn't know you could fracture your legs rehearsing too hard.

KING: Running around the stage?

JEWEL: Yeah, I just went from zero hours of dancing to suddenly eight hours a day. I guess it was too much. I got stress fractures, basically. It's not from falling. It was just from an over-use.

KING: Would you like to go on that show some day?

JEWEL: The only reason I really wanted to be on the show was to get abs, which probably isn't a great reason to do a reality show. Really a vain reason, but --

KING: Last night at the Emmys, you sang a song you wrote in commemoration of those who passed away. Is that a difficult slot to do?

JEWEL: I was really honored that they let me sing that song. It's an unknown song. Nobody ever heard it. It's not famous. Sort of unusual on a show like that. They usually want a very famous song. It was really a personal song. I wrote it for a friend of mine that passed away from cancer. It's a difficult song to sing. It was hard to get through there. But I was really glad to sing it for my --

KING: What was the title?

JEWEL: "The Shape of You." It's up on iTunes now, just me on solo acoustic guitar.

KING: Did you have to time anything with what they were doing on screen?

JEWEL: I did. When I play solo acoustic, I never do that. I just sort of -- the time changes. But I had to do it to a click. It was married to a video. So yes, I had to be a bit strict.

KING: You told me also -- and "Jewel, Sweet and Wild" has been out since June, right?

JEWEL: Yes, it did.

KING: But you haven't promoted it because you and your husband have been on a motorcycle trip across America?

JEWEL: Yeah. We decided while we're young and still healthy, we wanted to see the country and get to do this amazing ride across the states. So I put an album out in June, and luckily my label was OK with me leaving. I did a short tour and a few TV shows. That was it. I haven't promoted it ever since.

KING: Where have you motorcycled?

JEWEL: We've done about 4,000 miles so far. We're really taking our time, doing the byways and the scenic highways and the mountains. We sought cooler weather, leaving Texas. So we did New Mexico, Colorado, Yellowstone. We're up in Montana right now. We left our bikes there. I have a 650 GS and he has a 1200. We left them there. We'll go back there tomorrow.

KING: What does he do?

JEWEL: My husband is a bull rider.

KING: A bull rider?

JEWEL: Uh-huh.

KING: You know you're weird. No, Jewel, you're very talented. You're a little weird.

JEWEL: He's a rough stock rider. He founded -- was one of the co-founders of a company called the PBR, professional bull riders. They sell out in 20,000 stadiums every weekend.

KING: They ride bulls?

JEWEL: Yes, they do. He's retired now, though.

KING: And the both of you ride motorcycles.

JEWEL: Yes, we do.

KING: How much more of a trip are you going to take?

JEWEL: We have about -- I don't know. We have another couple weeks at least in us, I think.

KING: Anything scary every happen? Seems motorcyclists -- I don't know, they seem scary.

JEWEL: They are a little scary. I was on a muddy road, a really slick road, going really slow -- I was just in first gear, but I fell over and tore all the ligaments in my ankle. That was probably the worst thing that's happened.

KING: Do you ever think that things happen to you, Jewel?

JEWEL: I know. For a little folk singer, I get into a lot of trouble.

KING: Like somebody is looking down and doesn't like you or something.

JEWEL: I know it.

KING: You're a great talent. You were great last night. I salute you. A very funny skit.

JEWEL: Thank you.

KING: Jewel. The album is "Jewel, Sweet and Wild." Tomorrow, we'll covering the president's address on Iraq. We'll follow that address with a major panel discussion.

It's time now for Anderson Cooper, back in New York, and "AC 360." Anderson?