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Jailed Teen May Be Freed; Finger-Pointing Over Immigration Bill; New Comedy Parodies Washington Politics; Crime Rocks Wisconsin Town

Aired June 10, 2007 - 19:00   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Teen sex sends him to prison for 10 years. It was consensual sex. Now two years later, freedom could be a gavel slam away. A judge is considering setting the young prisoner free.
Also, the immigration bill getting shut down. Who is really to blame? Finger-pointing galore on Capitol Hill.



UNIDNETIFIED MALE: Hi, gang. I'm a sinner, just like you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really? We should text each other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks, Lil Mark Foley.


SANCHEZ: Li'l Bush, Li'l Laura, Li'l Condie and even Li'l Bill and Li'l Hillary. That's right, watch out Washington. This new cartoon is packing a punch in political circles. I am going to talk one-on-one right here with the executive producer.

And hello again, everyone. I'm Rick Sanchez. We're here in B control where we're following a bevy of stories, but none that seems to be as important, as grisly as this scene in southern Wisconsin.

Now the story only getting worse we hear. The Associated Press" is reporting the twin infants are among the six people killed in a shooting attack.

Authorities were called to a home overnight where they found the six bodies. Also, a toddler who had survived with a gunshot wound to the chest. Police are not going to say if the killer is among the dead, but they do say the town of Delavan isn't in danger.


CHIEF TIM O'NEILL, DELAVAN WISCONSIN POLICE: The department of criminal investigation is still conducting, you know, their ongoing investigation. But I can tell you at this time that there's no reason to suspect that any of the members of the community are at risk. As a matter of fact, we're lifting all restrictions involving access to that area.


SANCHEZ: We understand this town is just on the north of the border with Illinois. And that is where CNN's Keith Oppenheim is following things now. Police are not saying an awful lot. Can you just give us a sense of what may have happened here, Keith?

KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I'll give you the best that we know at this point, Rick. And first of all, Delavan, Wisconsin has just 8,000 or people or so, so this would be shocking anywhere, but devastating in a small community like this.

What we know is that 10:30 last night, the police came to that white house behind me and they found a 2-year-old girl in a vehicle outside. She was shot. They also found six people shot inside, four adults and two 2-month-old twin boys. The little girl survived. All other six people were found dead.

Now, today, family members of the victims came to this scene in tears. And Rick, we're really getting more of our information from folks on the street, and what they are telling us, they believe that this is a murder-suicide, that at its base, it was a domestic dispute. Police aren't confirming any of that, just saying that the community at this point is not in danger.


O'NEILL: I want to make sure that this is done properly, so the district attorney have asked the Delavan police department and the sheriff's department to be responsible for the canvassing of witnesses. That's what's taking place right now and that's a methodical, meticulous process.


OPPENHEIM: So what we can take out of that, Rick, is whether or not there is a search for a suspect at this point. We don't really know yet.

We can tell you that the 2-year-old girl has been upgraded to serious condition. That's good news. And also, I asked a police officer whether there had been any murders in Delavan, Wisconsin. He said in his three years on the force, not a one. Back to you.

SANCHEZ: You know, there's two possible scenarios here. There may be others, but let's try to confine it to two for now. A, whoever did this is among those who were there as victims, or deceased. B, there's somebody missing. Have police tried to narrow that down? Is there another member of this family, or another friend of the family who's missing at this point?

OPPENHEIM: All I can tell you is the stuff I'm hearing on the street right now. We're not hearing that anyone is missing. We've heard there's a suspect in custody, but that's not confirmed. We've also heard very strongly from people who know some of the folks who lived in this home, that this was a domestic dispute and the gunman is among the dead.

But all I can tell you is those are the threads we have right now and they don't completely add up to a solid picture yet.

SANCHEZ: Who's handling this investigation? Usually when you get such a small town like that, you don't get a very experienced police department, especially not when it comes to homicides.

OPPENHEIM: They're not experienced at that but they're trying to be very careful, because this is huge for a community like this. And they are getting help from the crime scene unit from the state of Wisconsin.

SANCHEZ: You would expect. All right, Keith, we thank you so much for bringing us up to date on that. We'll be checking back with you as this story develops.

Another family tragedy, this one in eastern Kentucky. Two brothers reported missing from their home last night have now been found dead. And you know where they were? They were in the trunk of the car in the family's front yard.

Police believe the 8 and 11-year-old boys somehow locked themselves in the trunk of the car and just weren't able to get out. Nobody was able to hear them. Nobody knew they were there. We're expecting preliminary autopsy results from the Laurel County, Kentucky coroner later tonight. What a tragedy.

A missing girl recovered last week in a home in Connecticut is going to go back to school tomorrow. This according to her parents. The teenager had been missing a year when police found her locked in a tiny storage room in West Hartford. Three adults who lived in the home face charges, including a 41-year-old man. Police are investigating whether the missing girl might have been sexually assaulted. Tomorrow night, the girl's parents are going to speak with Larry King. That's "LARRY KING LIVE" right here 9:00 p.m. on CNN. That's Eastern, of course.

We've been bringing you the story of Genarlow Wilson for quite some time now. He's the Georgia 17-year-old who is spending ten years in prison for engaging in a consensual sex act with a girl two years younger.

Wilson's now 20 and in the second year of his sentence. He's exhausted his appeals and the Georgia legislature voted against a bill that would free him.

Well now his fate lies in the hands of a judge. Let's bring you up to date.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): The Genarlow Wilson story is now a state issue, with some legislators adamant about keeping him behind bars. One legislator even wrongly calling him a rapist.

Do you feel bad about the fact that you characterize this as a rape when you were talking yesterday in the Senate?


SANCHEZ: You don't have any problem with that? Because it wasn't rape.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was rape in my mind.

SANCHEZ: It was Johnson's explosive testimony on the Senate floor that may have swayed his colleagues to vote against a move to free Genarlow Wilson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you aware these boys videotaped that rape?

SANCHEZ: Here's why "The New York Times," former president Jimmy Carter, even Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban are all saying Genarlow Wilson should be released. Because based on the state's present law, what Genarlow Wilson did is punishable, now only as a misdemeanor. Why, then, is he spending 10 years in a maximum security prison?

B.J. Bernstein is Genarlow Wilson's lawyer.

B.J. BERNSTEIN, WILSON'S ATTORNEY: Genarlow Wilson made mistakes that night, but he didn't do anything that deserves 10 years in prison and sex offender registry when what he was convicted of was consensual oral sex with a classmate, he being 17, the girl was only 15.

SANCHEZ: Now, a judge will decide in what may be Wilson's last stand whether he should finally be released.


SANCHEZ: Well, Genarlow Wilson and his family are on pins and needles, as you can imagine, wondering if tomorrow will finally be the day he is finally set free. His attorney, B.J. Bernstein, who you just saw his attorney right there, is going to be joining me tonight to discuss what could happen tomorrow morning. We're advancing the story for you. That's tonight at 11:00 p.m. Eastern right here in the NEWSROOM.

Insurgents fighting side by side with American troops against al Qaeda. This is happening in Iraq and we're going to talk to General David Grange about the backlash against al Qaeda that is creating strange bedfellows.

His popularity ratings are in the tank back home, but take a look at how Albanians feel about President Bush -- like a rock star. They can't get enough of him. That's next, right here.

And later.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We did it, gang, we got to Iraq. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where shall we start looking for a gift for your dad?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right here, Baghdad. It's got dad right in it.


SANCHEZ: That was Albania before. This is U.S., as in U.S. media, as in a new political cartoon. It looks to cut the administration seemingly down to size. It's called "Lil' Bush" a little more than 10 minutes from now, we'll bring you "Lil' Bush" by bringing you the executive producer. You're watching CNN.


SANCHEZ: Yesterday he was getting jeered, today he's being cheered. Look at this, President Bush pressing the flesh and working the crowd. And getting really rock star-like welcome in the Albanian capital of Tirana today. A far cry from the president's previous European stops. But with the exception of maybe Texas, Albania is Bush country. CNN's White House correspondent, Ed Henry reports.


ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The kind of welcome President Bush doesn't get these days at home or anywhere in the world, like Italy and Germany, where he was greeted by thousands of angry protesters. For a limping president wondering, where's the love, the answer is Albania, which issued three postage stamps in Mr. Bush's honor, named a street after him, and welcomed him with a massive 21-gun salute.

SALI BERISHA, ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER: The greatest and most distinguished guest we have ever had in all times, the president of the United States of America, the leading country of the free world, George W. Bush.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm proud to be the first American sitting president to visit Albania.

HENRY: A carefully choreographed White House attempt to close the president's European tour on a high note, with a quick stop in a country that's adored America for 85 years, thanks to Woodrow Wilson's refusal to partion Albania and the first President Bush's help in ending communism.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One George Bush, one America. Albania -- George Bush, American, OK?

HENRY: Mr. Bush was here to give thanks of his own for Albania contributing small numbers of troops to Iraq and Afghanistan.

BUSH: Albanians know the horror of tyranny, and so they're working to bring hope of freedom to people who haven't known it. And that's a noble effort and a sacrifice. HENRY: He also pushed independence for Kosovo, a province of Serbia dominated by Albanians.

BUSH: Two things -- one that -- we need to get moving. And two, that the end result is independence.

HENRY: That's why people here don't understand why Mr. Bush is heckled elsewhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they are crazy people, because the democracy begins in America. And America wants to be the democracy all around the world.

HENRY (on camera): The love for America is nonpartisan. After then- President Clinton rescued ethnic Albanians in the Kosovo war, a lot of babies here were named Bill and Hillary. Locals now expect a baby boom of Georges and Lauras.

Ed Henry, CNN, with the president in Tirana, Albania.


SANCHEZ: Speaking television now, the beginning of one, the end of another. Comedy Central is set to launch an animated series that skews America's political elite. It's all centered around a guy named "Lil' Bush." Get it? That one's coming up next.

And then later, HBO closing the door on "The Sopranos" with a red carpet soiree. It's over. Fughedaboudit.


SANCHEZ: Just in case you want to go to and find out what the most popular stories are, you do that little click button, well here they are. Paris Hilton's change of heart behind bars. The heiress says that she will not appeal the judge's ruling that sent her back to jail. And will serve out her time. Today she got a visitor, her sister Nikki.

The death of a 17-year-old track star in New York blamed on an excessive amount of over-the-counter muscle creams. The medical examiner says Arielle Newman was poisoned by a high level of anti- inflammatory chemical that's found in the cream that you can buy apparently over the counter.

And many of you are interested in this minor safety concern for the Atlantis shuttle. A small tear in the shuttle's thermal blanket. See it right there, it's about four inches in size, the dimension according to officials. More pictures of the tear were sent to mission control for analysis. One high point today, the shuttle successfully docked at the International Space Station.

Now to this story that we've been telling you about, this pint- sized commander in chief. He could soon make a big splash for one cable network. The series premiere of "Lil' Bush" might also catch the attention of the White House, because it certainly parodies - it's a parody. Our Sibila Vargas has details.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hate doing what I'm told. I want to be a decider.

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Bush administration is no stranger to comic parody. But Comedy Central's new animated series "Lil' Bush" takes political humor to a whole new level, back to grade school.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now Lil' Cheney is right. I should follow my gut and act on weird impulses.

DONICK CARY, CREATOR: Some of this came out of frustration of where the country's heading in four years -- the first four years of the Bush administration. And there was a point where it was like, well, I guess all you can do is laugh about this thing.

VARGAS: Donick Cary is the creator and executive producer of the series. Cary's no stranger to satire either, first working as a writer for David Letterman and later "The Simpsons." The show debuted as a series of shorts aimed at mobile phone users, and quickly found an audience on the Internet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This gift shopping is turning into a quagmire.

VARGAS: Comedy Central came calling shortly after with a cartoon that will join the political humor of "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report."

CARY: It seemed like the politics in Washington have gotten so juvenile, that it really lends itself to a playground, you know. That seemed like, let's just make him on the playground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Check it out. Lil' Bill Clinton is trying to eat the Lewinsky twins.

VARGAS: Though the show focuses heavily on the follies of the current administration, plenty of Democratic characters make guest appearances as well. Cary says Lil Bush's only agenda is to be funny.

CARY: Some people hate it, some people love it. Even those who hate it say are often like, I hate these liberals, but this is pretty funny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dang it. I'm trying to kill him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, be nice to your brother. You might need him to help you rig an election some day.

VARGAS: Sibila Vargas, CNN, Hollywood.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SANCHEZ: Is it fair, though? Should it be a cartoon? These are the questions that we're going to be taking up in just a little bit with the creator, Donick Cary, when we come back. Stay with us.


SANCHEZ: "Lil' Bush" series creator Donick Cary is joining us now from Los Angeles. Mr. Cary, thank you very much for being with us, sir.

CARY: Thanks for having me.

SANCHEZ: Saw it. It's funny. I don't know where to start. Let's start with the politics of it. You're probably no fan of the Bush administration, right?

CARY: They're a little crazy.

SANCHEZ: A little crazy. So you're no fan, on the record, OK. So you do this cartoon, which essentially, what, just makes fun of him? Or does it go beyond that?

CARY: Well, I hope that, first and foremost, it's funny, and people have something to laugh about.

I think second of all, it would be great if we're taking on a lot of -- each week there's Iraq or immigration or global warming, things that people are talking about in the current election cycle.

I think, I would hope that these are at least issues that get people talking, you know.

SANCHEZ: Do you think it's appropriate to do it in the form of a cartoon? Basically because I think it's going to attract a lot of kids. I know in my household, my kids end up watching this. I came home from vacation, I had the tape that you all had sent us to look at and my son was talking about it ad infinitum. And he's 14-years-old.

CARY: Yeah, I have a 4-year-old daughter who already loves Lil' Cheney. She runs around the house. So maybe it brings some new fans to the administration, I don't know. I don't think we're doing anything beyond what you would see on "The Simpsons" or "Family Guy" or "South Park."

SANCHEZ: But my question is, is it a good thing, or do you think it's a little dangerous to be mixing something which is really adult humor? Sometimes even getting close to X-rated, especially that scene with Cheney and Barbara Bush? That's going to attract kids.

CARY: Well, I think it's an adult cartoon, so it's a primetime animation, the same as "South Park." It's up to people, you know, whether they want -- it's on at 10:30 at night. It's certainly made for adults and the content is adult. We hope that, you know, teens, issues that teens should be talking about.

SANCHEZ: Do you think parents should warn -- should be warned that some of this material is a little strong?

CARY: It's not made for Saturday morning. It's not made for, you know, probably kids under 13. I think it's the same as, I would say, it's the same as "South Park." It's up to people to decide, you know, if it's good content for their kids or their family.

SANCHEZ: Let's do this. Let's let the viewers watch the clip and we'll talk more on the back side. Here it is. Go ahead, Roger.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, check it out. Lil' Bill Clinton is trying to eat the Lewinsky twins.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's called kissing, George. Kissing is when two people who really love each other put their lips together.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see something I really love right here. I love tater tots. It's decisive. Oh, boy, you're right, here comes Lil' Hillary.



SANCHEZ: You decided to kind of be a little bipartisan with this one, right?

CARY: We're trying to make the show, it's about -- they all go to Beltway Elementary School, so everybody's there. Lil' Barack, Lil' John McCain, they're all there.

SANCHEZ: Do you know, is there -- in your opinion, a lack of reverence as a result of something like this. We're really making fun of the presidency of the United States of America, and a former president, and all the people around him. Is that proper?

CARY: Well, it's America. We can do whatever we want. So, sure, it's proper. I think, you know, I think we all agree this guy's hilarious. He makes us laugh every day with his crazy speeches.

SANCEHZ: Let me go back and ask you the question more directly. Because your answer was, this is America, we can do whatever we want.

Obviously you can do a lot of things, but that doesn't make them proper. The question that I'm trying to ask you is, have you thought it through in your head and said, you know what, this is the presidency of the United States of America, I'm making fun of the leader of the western world, am I going over the line? Do you ask yourself that question?

CARY: There are certainly things, topics and issues we've come up against in the show. We wrote a show about Walter Reed Hospital and it involves the troops and stuff. We got to a line where we were like, I want to make sure we're not making fun of the troops. I think this president has set himself up for ridicule. I don't think we're doing anything you wouldn't see on "Saturday Night Live" or "The Daily Show" or "Colbert Report." As far as what is appropriately, as far as humor goes when you talk about the president, or David Letterman, you know.

SANCHEZ: So you think the president - I think what I just heard you say, you think the president to a certain extent because of his behaviors and his policies has brought it on himself?

CARY: I think he's a very public figure. I think there's certainly been -- these have certainly been an administration with a lot of swagger and a lot of disregard for what other people think. I think there's opportunity for us to, you know, say something back with little cartoons. That's great.

SANCHEZ: So you're saying that if the next president of the United States is more to your liking, or less apt to do things - quote, "deserving this type of ridicule," it wouldn't be as appropriate? Maybe Lil' Bush wouldn't work with Lil' Hillary or Lil' Edwards.

CARY: I think the Clintons make a great sitcom. You know, we all had eight years of that and thought that was really fun. I think people had a lot of laughs during that time. I mean, I think you could absolutely do a -- continue to follow Washington politics with a cartoon, no matter who was in there. There's always sniping and playground politics. It seems like kids are the perfect way to cover some of the juvenile behavior that goes on.

SANCHEZ: It's an interesting approach, it certainly is. I'll tell you this, after watching it, it is funny. It is funny.

CARY: Well, thank you. We hope to make people laugh, that is our main goal.

SANCHEZ: Donick Cary, you're a good guy. Thanks for the interview. We really appreciate it.

CARY: Absolutely. Thank you, Rick.

SANCHEZ: On patrol with a stryker convoy in Iraq.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whichever way you twist and turn, all routes lead to al Qaeda country.


SANCHEZ: We take you into the badlands and find a surprising ally in the fight against al Qaeda in Iraq.

Also, an immigration bill that looked to be dead in the end, by last week now there are efforts to revive it. And the end of a crime family. This one is pure fiction. "The Sopranos" preparing to say good-bye. You're watching CNN.


JENNIFER WESTHOVEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We've had some good news on the economic front lately, signs the unemployment rate is still relatively low, and manufacturing has been picking up.

So how is the average American doing? Facing sky-high gas prices and slumping real estate market? Well, this week we'll see a sign of how much people are shopping at the country's retailers in the May retail sales report.

In April, the numbers took their biggest drop since September. With Americans spending more at the pump, we're likely cutting back on discretionary spending like new clothes and eating out.

And a few readings on inflation, starting Thursday with the producer price index. It's a measure of wholesale prices. On Friday, we get the consumer price index. It measures the prices of many goods and services that we might buy, say at the grocery store. The feds look closely at these numbers when it sets the interest rate policy.

And speaking of the fed, the central bank will release its beige book report on Wednesday. It looks at the economies of all the regions across America, and comes out two weeks before the fed's next interest rate meeting. It's set for June 27th and 28th.

For all the latest business news, be sure to catch "Minding Your Business" every weekday on "AMERICAN MORNING." That's it from New York, I'm Jennifer Westhoven.


SANCHEZ: In Iraq, U.S. military strategists are trying to capitalize on the apparent rift among insurgency groups and a backlash against al Qaeda. CNN's Karl Penhaul is going to take a ride with the stryker combat troop in dangerous Diyala province to see if it's working.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire attacks, simple fire, one IED so far this morning.

KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Whichever way you twist and turn, all routes lead to al Qaeda country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back about a click south of this right now is one of those support zones, the barrier they use for targeting and planning.

PENHAUL: Sprawling palm growths flash past the gaps in the camouflage netting. Striker combat vehicles cruise through dusty villages. Ground zero for extremist gunmen. Destination Firebase Bronco, a ram shack and outpost straight out of the video action game. SPEC. STEPHEN HAWK, U.S. ARMY: It was pretty wild at first. There were times we couldn't get down the street a little ways before we took on -- it's all changed now.

PENHAUL: In just two months the striker battalion to which this unit is attached has had at least 11 soldiers killed and 60 seriously wounded, that makes this region of Diyala Province one of the deadliest spots in Iraq.

In the last few weeks it's been a little calmer. An alliance between formal nationalist insurgents and U.S. troops is taking hold. Two old enemies uniting against a common foe in al Qaeda. So between combat patrols, there's time to stroll down Market Street, and make new friends. A sign soldiers believe of progress. Back at the outpost, young soldiers battle to stay in touch with loved ones half a world away.

SPEC. LANGKILDE PALEAA, U.S. ARMY: The toughest thing out here is being on this little outpost and away from you know, any means of communication you know, like phones, Internet.

PENHAUL: Scratched into the smoke-charred walls, two words to spur the soldiers on: "Never Quit."

They've been here 12 months to date. Some think about finally going home. But few dare let their minds stray for long.

CPL. DENNIS WESTBROOK, U.S. ARMY: It's way too soon to still be thinking about home. You've still got to keep your head in the game and focus on the mission and make sure you and your buddy go home alive.

PENHAUL: Karl Penhaul, CNN, Iraq.


SANCHEZ: Let's get some reaction to this. Joining me by phone is CNN military analyst retired brigadier army general David Grange. General Grange, thanks so much for being with us, sir.

DAVID GRANGE, CNN MILITARY ANALYST (on phone): My pleasure, thank you.

SANCHEZ: It sounds like a good divide and conquer plan, doesn't it?

GRANGE: I think it's the only way to go. We can't kill everybody in Iraq. The common enemy, or actually the number one enemy is al Qaeda. You collaborate, you partner with other factions in order to -- even if it's temporary, in order to gain some kind of control and positional advantage in each area.

SANCHEZ: Do you do this less, you know, in terms as we would think of traditional military terms and more in terms of like intel?

GRANGE: Well, maybe so. I mean, history you have other collaborations. In military operations, there's always been some type of allies for convenience. Everybody does it.


GRANGE: And when you do this, it may not be everlasting, and you always look over your shoulder when you make these kind of deals.

SANCHEZ: In the end, though, we, westerners, and especially since we seem to be in the eyes of everyone over there in the Middle East the helpers of Israel, will always have common enemies. Is there anything that we can do to rid ourselves of that brand?

GRANGE: Well, right now, with this -- these collaborations with different groups -- by the way, we don't just advertise and hope that whoever signs up is an ally for that period of time against al Qaeda, or whoever.

I mean, we pick and choose depending on the assessment of that particular group. But eventually, this is their fight. The United States gave an opportunity for Iraq to become something different, whatever that may be. So it is their fight. The longer we stay, and you get that feel about how we're tied to Israel and those kind of things that you just mentioned. We have to turn it over.

SANCHEZ: It almost strikes me as who is the worst of your enemy. It's almost like convincing your enemy, you might dislike us, but there's good reason to dislike them even more. They've killed your family, they've done all kinds of things to you, right? It's almost like setting the course for them.

GRANGE: That's correct. It's very much like, we're the common enemy, if you turn it around, we're the common enemy to many of the groups over there. In this case, because of the extreme actions of al Qaeda, they are also considered an enemy, and in this case, more so than us.

SANCHEZ: Why does it take --

GRANGE: So they're making a deal.

SANCHEZ: Why do you believe, and I know you look at things more from a military standpoint than from a geopolitical standpoint or from a diplomacy standpoint, but why has it taken us so long to get that message out?

GRANGE: Well, because al Qaeda, I don't think -- it took a while for the sheikhs to understand that al Qaeda first came in, they thought they were a partner against the United States. And then they realized that these guys are actually taking over, pushing the tribal system to the side, which is what they stand for and believe in, and they're not going to put up with that. So they have now, most of them, picked us, in certain areas, against the al Qaeda.

SANCHEZ: The "Washington Post" and "New York Times," let me get to the last issue before we let you go, general. The "Washington Times" and the "New York Times" have both been writing articles that seem to intimate that there are now talks about plans to get out of Iraq in one way or fashion. Maybe at the beginning of next year. Does that surprise you, and are you hearing of anything like that yourself through your own sources?

GRANGE: It doesn't surprise me at all. There's always been plans to get out. I don't think what people realize is that the military itself, the Department of Defense probably wants to get out of Iraq more than anybody. With the strain it's putting on the armed services.

SANCHEZ: So you do -- do I hear you almost saying sooner than later?

GRANGE: Well, I think that sooner or later if conditions are met. I mean, they're not just going to pull the plug. Whether we're in Iraq or not, this enemy, especially al Qaeda is there to stay. These guys are not leaving. The world is against us. But yes, I think the sooner the better, if conditions are there.

SANCHEZ: Retired brigadier army general David Grange, CNN analyst, we thank you, sir, for your time.

GRANGE: My pleasure.

SANCHEZ: Some say good riddance, but others refuse to let it die. The immigration reform bill gets Sunday talk show treatment but what are its prospects for life? We take a look. You are watching CNN.


SANCHEZ: We welcome you back to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rick Sanchez.

President Bush trying to revive that controversial immigration reform bill. It was proposed and then promptly opposed by both Republicans and Democrats. Senate democratic leaders have set the bill aside with no promise to revisit it. CNN's congressional correspondent Dana Bash reports on what killed the bill.


DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Last month, bipartisan bargainers announced their immigration bill with fanfare and optimism.

SEN. JON KYL (R), ARIZONA: It represents the best opportunity that we have in a bipartisan way to do something about this problem.

BASH: Now standing at the same podium just a few weeks later.

KYL: Yes, I am disappointed.

BASH: So how did the grand bargain turn into the great collapse? The classic Washington blame game has begun. Exasperated supporters say it was fear mongering. SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: I've listened to talk show hosts drumming up the opposition by using this word amnesty over and over and over again. And essentially raising the royal of Americans to the extent in my 15 years I've never received more hate or more racist phone calls and threats.

BASH: But those against citizenship for illegal immigrants say their opposition was hardened by insulting statements from the president.

BUSH: Do you want to kill the bill? If you don't want to do what's right for America, you can pick one little aspect out of it. You can use it to frighten people.

BASH: Some, Republicans and even Democrats, blame Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for trying to limit senators' ability to change the controversial bill.

SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I personally believe if we had taken more time, we would have had an opportunity of reaching a conclusion.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS: The Democrat majority leader squandered an opportunity. We were very close, I think within a matter of days of being able to complete this bill.

BASH: Most Democrats accuse Republicans of stall tactics.

SEN. KEN SALAZAR (D), COLORADO: They kept asking for six more hours or 12 more hours. It's been going on for two weeks. The fact is, there were some members on the Republican side who didn't want the bill.

BASH: Then there's this, blame everyone.

SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (R), PENNSYLVANIA: I think that the Democrats were wrong. But the Republicans were wronger, to use a word which doesn't exist.

BASH: Authors of the immigration compromise are vowing to press on, insisting the bill is not dead yet. In fact, President Bush will be here on Capitol Hill early next week to rally support. But the reality is the Senate schedule is jam packed and Democratic leadership aides say they just don't see how immigration is brought back to life. Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.


SANCHEZ: President Bush admits the immigration bill is not perfect, but in his weekly radio address, he's urging Congress to try it again.


BUSH: Securing the border and upholding family values are not partisan concerns. They're important to all Americans and must be addressed and this bill is the best way to do it. I urge Senator Reid to act quickly to bring this bill back to the Senate floor for a vote and I urge senators from both parties to support it. The immigration debate has divided too many Americans. By coming together we can build an immigration system worthy of this great nation.


SANCHEZ: And be sure to join us a little later tonight as I go one-on-one with Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez. He is one of those who brought both sides together, or is trying to. He authored part of the immigration bill. That's tonight at 11:00 p.m. Eastern, it's an hour later than our usual time. We'll have it for you right here from the NEWSROOM.

Been quite a weather weekend. But now tornados threatening once again. Jacqui Jeras standing by to let us know what's going on with this.


SANCHEZ: The show is coming to an end, but it will go on for at least the places where it was set. Talking about "The Sopranos," of course, "The Sopranos" legacy now. Ten minutes from now, we'll bring it to you. You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.


SANCHEZ: Jacqui Jeras is standing by to bring us up to date on what's going on weather-wise. A lot of heat and a couple of twisters, huh?


SANCHEZ: It whacked the competition year after year. Now "The Sopranos" gets ready to sign off and head for the great TV network in the sky. Yeah, right, that's what they always say. Thank goodness for reruns, though, right? We'll look at the show's impact beyond its fan base. That is next right here in the NEWSROOM.


SANCHEZ: "The Sopranos" swan song is tonight. The highly acclaimed HBO series goes out with a bang with its final episode tonight. The cast is attending a farewell party at a hotel and casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Did the stars give away any hints about how this all ends? Fughedaboudit. The burning question, of course, is will Tony get whacked. That's what everyone seems to want to know. You're going to have to wait just a little longer to find out. But many fans aren't waiting to find out about other aspects of the show. Here's CNN's Jim Acosta reporting.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT(voice-over): Take heart, "Sopranos" fans, there is life after HBO. Fans of the show can still walk in Tony Soprano's shoes by taking a stroll through the crime family's famous stomping grounds.

But you better hurry if you're dying to see the notorious, but fictional Satriale's pork store.

MANNY COSTERA, REX PROPERTIES: Well, the front of the building is a very popular site on the show.

ACOSTA: Real estate developer Manny Costera plans to whack the building in favor of a new condominium project he calls "Sopranos Fort." The signs out front and the store's interior, all added by the show's makers during production, are gone.

COSTERA: This is where Tony had his little confrontation with the FBI guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't get so bent out of shape. You're a big boy, Tony.

COSTERA: So this is a pretty significant little corner here.

COSTA: Want more? Twice a week on-location tours will show you 47 of the show's best known locales.

LINDA DOLL, SOPRANOS FAN: It makes me want to go back and watch all of the episodes again so we can see these sites.

ACOSTA: The popularity of "The Sopranos" has turned ordinary businesses in New Jersey into cultural landmarks, even a one-second appearance on the show can mean a fortune.

Take Pizzaland pizza, which stars in the program's opening credits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now with "The Sopranos," you go, oh, that's Pizzaland! We've got to go in there.

ACOSTA: If you want a taste, owner Al Palowitz (ph) and his son will deliver his pies, shipped on ice, of course, across the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From Texas, Nebraska, where else do we get out? Wisconsin, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wisconsin, California, everywhere. And they weren't just one-pie orders. They were three, four, five-pie orders.

ACOSTA: Because of the show?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because of the show.

ACOSTA: One attraction you won't find on any "Soprano" tour is Tony Soprano's house. That's because the actual owner of the home and his neighbors have fought to keep the tour buses out of their community.

And what "Sopranos" tour would be complete without the badabing, or the club's actual name, Satin Dolls? Shy about visitors here? Forget about it.

SUSIE QUIGLEY, SATIN DOLLS: People from all over the world, London, Japan, Ireland.

ACOSTA: And what tourist can resist picking up a few souvenirs?

QUIGLEY: Yeah, grandmothers coming in and stealing shot glasses off the bar, salt and pepper shakers off the bar because it came from the Badabing was very strange, but we've gotten used to it.

ACOSTA: But it may take time getting used to life without "The Sopranos." For some of the show's 12 million fans, it will feel like a loss in the family. Jim Acosta, CNN, North Arlington, New Jersey.


SANCHEZ: And she did say grandmothers, right? What's a grandmother doing in Badabing? Anybody here get it?

OK, just to be square with you, "The Sopranos" airs on HBO, and that's a sister company of CNN. A little disclosure. I'm Rick Sanchez. I'm going to be back when NEWSROOM continues at 11 p.m. tonight. I'm going to be talking with Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez about the stalled immigration bill. Is it on life support? I'll ask him, and the message beyond recovery. But coming up next, you're going to see what everybody is talking about. It's a special encore presentation of "Faith and Politics." Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, discussing whether faith, values and politics can co-exist. CNN's Soledad O'Brien hosts the special forum. It starts right now.