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Lou Dobbs Tonight

Senate Showdown; Obama's Pandering; Border Drug Wars; Union Power Grab

Aired March 10, 2009 - 19:00   ET


LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Wolf.

Tonight, President Obama gives his first major speech on education. Does he give it to the nation from a classroom, from say a college campus? No, he spoke to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The president pandering to the pro amnesty open borders lobby as he addresses an issue of concern to all Americans, he is the president of all Americans, right?

And tonight, Congress paying attention finally to the escalating wars by drug cartels against the government of Mexico, a war we've been reporting on here for the past two years. We'll have complete coverage, including the news that's news to the news.

Tonight, hostility on college campuses to your Second Amendment rights to bear arms threatening your First Amendment rights to free speech. We'll be examining an issue here that every American should care about and know about, all of that, all the day's news and more straight ahead.

ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT: news, debate, and opinion for Tuesday, March 10th. Live from New York, Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: Good evening, President Obama today announcing plans for a sweeping overhaul of our education system. The president outlined at least broad principles for what he called reform in a speech that was long on rhetoric and short, very short on details. The president delivered his speech to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, an organization with an outright open borders amnesty agenda.

The choice of that venue a clear indication that President Obama will continue pandering to pro amnesty groups and meanwhile, the president facing rising skepticism within his own party about some of his principle policy goals including his budget. The skepticism becoming clear during congressional debate on the huge spending bill for the rest of this year, the omnibus bill that contains thousands of earmarks, a Senate vote on that bill is taking place right now. Dana Bash has our report from capitol hill.


DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a big increase in spending, billions more taxpayer dollars for everything from energy to education to law enforcement to nutrition programs for infants and for women. SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: Agencies of our government have been so under funded and under resourced during the Bush years that these agencies need this money so that they can function properly.

BASH: But Congress is also giving its own budget a 10 percent increase to $4.4 billion. For example, the Capitol architect is getting $530 million, a 28 percent boost mostly for the new Capitol Visitor Center.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: The bill cost far too much for a government that should be watching every dime. If the president's looking for a first Bill to veto, this is it.

BASH: Republicans emphasize that they tried to cut excess spending from the bill, but failed. So Republicans as well as Democrats will bring home tens of millions of dollars in pet projects. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell's earmarks for Kentucky total $75 million, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watch dog group. Democratic Leader Harry Reid, $108 million for Nevada. Meanwhile in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Congress may have to spend even more money to stimulate the economy.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: We have to keep the door open to see how this goes.

BASH: That may be because of what House Democrats heard in a meeting with top economists, who predicted the president's $787 billion stimulus plan will fall short of saving or creating three to four million jobs as he promised.

ALLEN SINAI, ECONOMIST: Over the first two years, about 2.5 million jobs saved or created. It's a little less than the administration and perhaps Speaker Pelosi had said. Initially, the jobs created may be a little disappointing.


BASH: That economist also said that over time the economy may produce the jobs that President Obama promised, but talk to even Democrats, Lou, and they will tell you that to hear from their constituents, frustrated constituents that their patience is running out and more and more they're looking to the White House for other ideas to inspire confidence in the economy -- Lou.

DOBBS: Those ideas would be because of this omnibus spending bill and the votes. Are they -- I mean they're certainly there for the omnibus spending bill.

BASH: That is going on as we speak. You know part of the problem is that if you talk to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in that there is concern that Congress is spending a lot of money right now and there is frustration that they're not really clear that is really doing the trick. As you said, as you said at the beginning of the program, as we speak, Congress is -- in fact the Senate is wrapping up a vote, really the key vote on this $410 billion spending bill. They do expect that they will get, at least Democrats will get probably just enough votes to pass the procedural hurdle, but we're waiting -- as we speak, we're watching to see what the final vote is here, Lou.

DOBBS: And Dana Bash will be back with us to bring up to date on how that vote is proceeding and its final tally. Dan, thank you very much.

We should point out that as we're talking about spending, a considerable rift between the European union and the Obama administration today, 27 nations in Europe deciding that they've had enough of spending and are unwilling to match the United States in going into debt to stimulate job creation and demand for business, so this administration already running into considerable hurdles in the relationship with Europe.

President Obama today leaving little doubt he intends to pursue a pro amnesty agenda. He sent a very strong message as he started talking about an issue that should be of interest to all of us, that is education. President Obama according to pro illegal alien movement with a speech to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on the subject of education. Education, a major concern one would think for all Americans whatever their ethnicity or race. That's the way I remember it. Lisa Sylvester has our story.


LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An enthusiastic audience chanted in Spanish for President Obama as he unveiled his vision for education reform at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce conference, more money for early childhood programs, raising school standards, new funding for "No Child Left Behind", and merit pay for teachers.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've let our grades slip. Our schools crumble, our teacher quality fall short and other nations outpace us.

SYLVESTER: The president told the audience that workers without a four-year college degree have borne the brunt of recent layoffs with Latinos topping the list. His message was well received by the Hispanic business group, but some wanted more.

MARIO LIZAMA, COALITION FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM (through translator): The only thing I would say is that he missed talking about immigration reform. Clearly, it is very interesting that they are creating jobs, but if there really are 12 million undocumented workers that are part of the labor force, we need migratory reform in order to give work permits to people, opportunities of being legal.

SYLVESTER: With the economy sinking and millions of job lost, the president is under pressure to clamp down on illegal immigration and protect the jobs of American workers. Groups pushing for tighter immigration policies are not optimistic that will happen. As a sign, the venue that Mr. Obama chose for his national education speech, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which supports a temporary moratorium on immigration says President Obama should avoid the appearance of pandering to win the Hispanic vote.

DAN STEIN, FED. FOR AMER. IMMIG. REFORM: We don't want the president to make it appear as if he's favoring one particular group in the disposition of public benefits at a time when everyone's going to be cutting back.


SYLVESTER: And in his speech, President Obama said Latino workers without a college degree have been hurt the most by the economic downturn. But in fact when you look at the overall unemployment numbers, in fact the rate for African-Americans without a college degree is 20 percent compared to native foreign Hispanics at 13.5 percent -- Lou.

DOBBS: Lisa, I mean is anybody -- I don't know what's happened to this White House, but the wheels appear to have come completely off here over the last several days. Making a decision to talk about a national initiative on education from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which is effectively an organization that is interested in the export of American capital and production to Mexico, and Mexico's export of drugs and illegal aliens to the United States. This is crazy stuff.

SYLVESTER: Well if you think about it, the administration could have chosen a school -- there are some other logical places where they could have chosen to do this major education speech, but it is kind of telling. And some groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform believe that it's telegraphing something, telegraphing that Obama really -- President Obama really would like to have the Hispanic vote.

DOBBS: Yes, it's remarkable and it's clear that group and identity politics at least at this stage are high on the president's agenda if not on the American agenda. Thank you very much. We appreciate it. Lisa Sylvester.

That vote, the tally is coming in. The vote completed in the Senate on that $410 billion omnibus spending bill. Dana Bash to bring us up to date -- Dana?

BASH: That's right. Well that key test vote was just completed, Lou, and it did pass 62-35 was that vote. And we expect another -- a quick vote in the Senate to officially make this spending bill done in Congress and to send it to President Obama for what he has said or at least his top officials have said will be his signature on this bill. Despite the fact that it does have in it nearly 8,000 so-called earmarks, and the kind of earmarks that he has said he is not happy about, but will sign.

So this is something that Democrats have been pushing. They initially thought they were going to get a lot of Republican support, and certainly didn't think they were going to get the kind of push- back that they did get from Republicans, but that was before perhaps the economy got bad and politics did come into play in this. There is no question about it. But they did actually -- very interesting, Lou, in the end we have at least one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight Republican senators after all of the talk that we heard from Republicans, at least eight Republican senators, maybe more once we get the finally tally end up voting yes for this $410 billion stimulus bill that many Republican leaders...

DOBBS: You don't mean to say hypocrisy and irresponsibility can be detected on both sides of the aisle there in the Senate? My goodness...

BASH: I know -- there is some shock in your voice and I don't mean to shock you, Lou, but there do seem to be some contradictions in what we heard earlier...

DOBBS: On no...

BASH: ... versus the votes that we're seeing now...

DOBBS: Well one of the things we should point out I do believe is that some part of that -- those earmarks were for a senator by the name of Barack Obama. Some of them also put there by his chief of staff, now as president, one Rahm Emanuel. What was once referred to from the White House as last year's business is now business that is clearly this year's business with those same earmarks still in there. Perhaps not under the president's name any longer or those of then Congressman Rahm Emanuel.

BASH: It is actually under his name. It's very interesting because this was done last year. President Obama does not actually have...

DOBBS: They didn't do a complete scrub, did they?

BASH: No, he doesn't have any under his name because he was running for president and he was getting hammered at the time by John McCain.

DOBBS: Right.

BASH: And he did not put any earmarks in this. He had earmarks in the first couple of years that he was in the Senate...

DOBBS: Well...

BASH: ... but there definitely are earmarks in here, you're right, from other members of the administration, the vice president, his chief of staff and other members of his cabinet because they were members of Congress, so they do have a lot of money in this bill going to their former districts and states.

DOBBS: If the American people think this is change, I would like to see the testimony and the explanation. Do you feel a big wind of change blowing through Capitol Hill there, Dana, just tonight? I mean do you feel it?

BASH: I'm inside, Lou, so...

DOBBS: Well you should feel a breeze there, certainly...


DOBBS: ... especially after a vote like this. Thank you very much, Dana -- Dana Bash.

BASH: Thank you.

DOBBS: The spending bill now goes to the president for his signature as Dana just reported. You can be assured it will be signed. President Obama today striking back at his critics who say he is diverting attention from the worsening economy by focusing on issues like health care and education and energy. The president however, well, he descents, declaring quote, "we don't have the luxury of choosing between giving our economy moving now and rebuilding it over the long term." Ed Henry joins me live from the White House. Ed, what in the world is going on there?

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, the president was clearly trying to push back at those voices, including his friend and informal adviser, Warren Buffett, who said this week maybe the president is spread a little too thin, trying to tackle too many issues at once. He went out of his way, the president did, during that education speech you were just talking about, near the top of the speech, to push back and basically say he hears the criticism about maybe trying to tackle too many challenges at once, but he does not believe it. He tried to make the case that from Abraham Lincoln to a whole series of more recent presidents, they were able to juggle many challenges. Take a listen.


OBAMA: President Roosevelt didn't have the luxury of choosing between ending a depression and fighting a war. He had to do both. President Kennedy didn't have the luxury of choosing between civil rights and sending us to the moon. And we don't have the luxury of choosing between getting our economy moving now and rebuilding it over the long-term.


HENRY: The president is now facing yet another challenge, which is a little bit of unrest within his own party. We've seen over the last couple of days some senior Democrats coming out and saying they have different views than the president in terms of his spending and tax priorities laid out in his first federal budget that's just starting to be debated on Capitol Hill.

That may be one reason why CNN learned today that the president's now instituting a semi regular meeting on Wednesday mornings, including tomorrow morning here at the White House with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a chance aides here say to sort of have an open line of communication as they face many of these challenges ahead, Lou. DOBBS: Yes, this is peculiar. They're going -- the so-called H45 (ph) call going daily amongst labor groups and you know Democratic strategists, activists. You've got all of these other meetings. You've got a campaign style e-mail approach of being followed. I mean the house -- the White House is absolutely in campaign mode, is it not?

HENRY: Well, in trying to pass the stimulus bill, we certainly saw a campaign style mode and the president going out on the road...

DOBBS: But I mean day-to-day, Ed.


DOBBS: It seems as if they are remaining in effectively, a campaign mode.

HENRY: I don't think you can say that about every single day. I think there have been flashes of it. As I said in the stimulus debate, I don't think every single day they are fighting necessarily here from the White House as a campaign, but clearly there are allies on Capitol Hill, the outside groups you mentioned are certainly pushing the president's agenda in a campaign-style way.

There's no doubt about that. We saw that with the previous Republican administration as well. But as you've just been talking about, with this president talking a lot in recent months about changing Washington, people are going to be wondering about exactly how he operates his White House in the days ahead. There's no doubt...

DOBBS: So he's doing it just like the Bush folks did it, so that's change we can believe in too. That wind -- you're outside, right?

HENRY: I am outside. That's right...

DOBBS: Do you feel that wind of change?


DOBBS: Do you feel -- Dana didn't pick it up inside.

HENRY: Well I'm looking, I see some flags over there by the old executive office building and they are flapping, Lou, so I don't know.

DOBBS: We've got a flap at least, all right, which is always good in Washington. Thanks very much -- Ed Henry from the White House.

New charges tonight that the Speaker of the House is using our Air Force as her personal airline for herself, her family, other Democrats, the watch dog group Judicial Watch, a conservative group has obtained e-mails and documents, their freedom of information requests that it says proves the Speaker of the House is abusing her authority. As we reported, Speaker Pelosi last month using a U.S. Air Force plane to fly to Italy with a congressional delegation to meet with Italian leaders, visit museums and just to speak of course with the Pope there at the Vatican. The visit benefiting some of the same Democrats who routinely blast CEOs for using corporate jets while their businesses are receiving government federal bailout money -- that is your money and mine.

Up next here, the battle over your constitutional rights to bear arms may be threatening your constitutional right to free speech as well.

And new demands for more fencing along our border with Mexico as the Mexican drug cartel wars escalate. We'll tell you about the latest gruesome discovery in this very violent war. We'll be right back.


DOBBS: Members of Congress today confronting border security officials on the unprecedented violence by Mexican drug cartels and the dangers that violence pose to this country.


REP. HAROLD ROGERS (R), KENTUCKY: This savage criminality is left unchecked, the cartels will only continue to expand their influence across the border, exploit our trade lanes and bring their brand of terror into communities across our country. That's something we simply cannot allow to happen.


DOBBS: The Homeland Security officials say they're prepared to deal with cartel violence or a mass exodus from Mexico, but they offered no specifics.


JAYSON AHERN, CUSTOMS & BORDER PROTECTION: Every single one of our ports of entry, every one of our southwest border stations and sectors actually have contingency plans, if we start to see triggers occurring south of the border, it could indicate there might be a mass exodus from Mexico or a running gun battle, if you will, coming across that border.


DOBBS: Not a single person in Congress asked those officials that if they have this plan for a mass exodus, refugees, violence along the border, why if they could do that, they weren't stopping the flow of illegal immigration and illegal drugs across that border now. I wonder why they didn't ask that question.

The reality at the border is that illegal drugs continue to flow freely into this country. Mexico is the principle source of marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin into the United States. Only a portion of our border with Mexico is secured by a fence. That could be because fences work.

Drugs smugglers working for the cartels continuously find new ways to bring their contraband into this country. Casey Wian reports from one of the most notoriously smuggling points all along the U.S./Mexico border, this one near (INAUDIBLE).


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The construction of 670 miles of new fencing along the nearly 2,000 mile U.S./Mexico border is nearly complete. Physical barriers, roads, cameras and sensors have all forced Mexican drug cartels to change their tactics, but the flow of drugs across the border persists. Three dozen Republican lawmakers today wrote President Obama demanding that more fence be built, especially the double layered variety that has sharply reduced drug smuggling in places like San Diego.

REP. DUNCAN HUNTER (R-CA), HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: There's only about 60 miles of double border fence built like we have in San Diego, the rest is vehicle barriers, single-layer fence, which is not as proven as a double border fence to stop illegal aliens, drug trafficking, terrorists from coming across the southern border.

WIAN: These pictures taken last week by a hidden game hunter's camera in the mountains south of Tucson, Arizona, show suspected drug smugglers carrying the large backpacks typical of the trade. Farther west near Yuma, Arizona Sunday, border patrol agents seized 800 pounds of marijuana in a camouflage utility trailer being towed by an all terrain vehicle through a wildlife refuge.

And in San Diego Customs and Border Protection says this year, it has experienced an 800-percent increase in the number of pedestrians crossing at the (INAUDIBLE) point of entry with drugs taped to their bodies. Most are young men wearing baggy multilayered clothing. About one in four are under 18 years old, the border patrol says its three-year efforts to deploy more manpower infrastructure and technology is working.

CHIEF DAVID AGUILAR, U.S. BORDER PATROL: That results in some of the in-fighting, some of the border violence that we're seeing. They are fighting for territory that they no longer operate within punity (ph).

WIAN: In Tijuana Monday more alleged cartel members were arrested, drug trafficking organizations are linked to 7,000 deaths in Mexico in the past two years.


WIAN: And with violence spreading across the border more often Republican lawmakers are saying now is no time to stop border fence construction. And Lou, more evidence tonight of just how bad that violence is becoming, police in Mexico near the city of Gualahara (ph) discovered these five ice chests off the side of a road. Each ice chest contained a severed human head. Police say that those heads were severed only about four hours before they were discovered. Beheadings of course becoming increasingly common intimidation tactic used by Mexican drug cartels -- Lou.

DOBBS: The violence has been ongoing now for two years, 8,000 Mexican citizens killed. Kidnapping -- Mexico is the kidnapping capital of the world as well. Extraordinary when you think about all of the places in which terrorism does exist. Phoenix is now the kidnapping capital of the United States and yet at the same time, David Aguilar (ph), the head of border patrol sits there and says the reason there's so much violence is because that fence has been put up and they've been so successful. So the question becomes why don't they in point of fact fence the entire 2,000 miles of that border with Mexico as a humanitarian gesture for Mexico which would then stop the violence.

WIAN: That's what a lot of Republican lawmakers are saying they should do. The argument against that -- they've had several arguments against that, as you well know, Lou. One is them is that fences aren't effective in some places...

DOBBS: Yes, but we've just heard...


DOBBS: We've just heard -- you know that argument though Casey is over. That's bull. We know that. It's demonstrated. The fact is both sides have to admit the fence works. Whether they're -- you know no matter what their position on illegal aliens or amnesty or open borders, the fact is they don't want this fence completed because they're afraid that it's going to be entirely effective, which speaks to the corruption on the side of the Mexican border and to greed and perhaps corruption as well and ethnocentric interests on this side of the border. What do you think?

WIAN: Well, I think that's a good argument, Lou, and a fair argument, but they do say that there are places where the fence is not necessary. There's places where it is more desperately needed and that's where they're putting it first.

DOBBS: All right, thank you very much. Casey Wian.

Up next, our poll and the question tonight is do you believe that President Obama, the congressional Democratic leadership and of course the good old U.S. Chamber of Commerce and ethnocentric special interest groups oppose the border fence because they fear it would actually work? Yes or no. Cast your vote at We'll have those results here later.

Up next Second Amendment rights under assault on campus in this country. Now some states are beginning to stand up unbelievably for your Second Amendment rights.

And a new labor bill could be just a great big old thank you from congressional Democrats to great big old unions. We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: There's a battle now going in Congress over the so-called Employee Free Choice Act. Opponents say this bill, better known as Card Check (ph), is really pay back for labor unions that supported the Obama presidential campaign -- Ines Ferre with our report.



INES FERRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You've probably seen the TV ads for it, the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as the Card Check (ph). The bill would make it easier for employees to unionize by simply allowing a majority of workers to sign a card declaring their desire to form a union. Right now an employer can require that workers hold an election, which gives the company time to campaign against unionizing.

MARY BETH MAXWELL, AMERICAN RIGHTS AT WORK: The Employee Free Choice Act is going to level the playing field and restore some fairness, and make it possible for workers to form unions again so they can bargain for wages and benefits.

FERRE: The bill also sets for the first time a 120-day limit on contract negotiations between companies and the new union. Currently, about 7.5 percent of private workers are unionized versus almost 37 percent of public or government workers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Workers now have the right to decide by secret ballot...

FERRE: Critics who put out their own TV ads against the bill, say Card Check (ph) would eliminate the secret ballot. Ultimately, workers would be intimidated by union leaders.

MARK MIX, NATIONAL RIGHT TO WORK: That's monopoly bargaining and that's wrong. In order to buttress themselves and survive what is this downward trend in the private sector unionization of workers, union officials are back here in Washington asking for additional privileges to force more workers into union.

FERRE: Mix says you need only look at places like Detroit or the high rate of unionization in states like California that are struggling to keep workers on their payroll. On average union workers earn more than non union employees with public sector unionized workers averaging the most per hour.


FERRE: And another bill which was recently introduced in the House is the Public Safety Employer Employee Cooperation Act, which would make it easier for police, firefighters and EMS workers to unionize. And with the government sector as one of the few sectors of growth unions are looking as it as an area for expansion -- Lou.

DOBBS: That's quite remarkable that unionized public sector employees make more than unionized private sector employees.

FERRE: And some of the states with most of the unionized public sector are really -- they're facing such struggles trying to pay these people right now.

DOBBS: So in other words, unionized workers are supporting others with their tax money who make more than they do and have higher benefits than they do on average. This country is going upside down in a hurry. This is absolutely ridiculous. What is this other piece of legislation that is in the offing now?

FERRE: Right, it's called the public safety employer employee cooperation act and The critics are saying that this would basically put, this would make states and local governments negotiate with unions for firefighters and police.

DOBBS: They do now. Obviously, very effectively, since 430,000 memberships, three-fourths were in the public sector last year. Would seem they need more help in the private sector. Thank you very much.

You know, it's one of the things that's interesting here. We've talked about this program. We've heard from so many, folks who are so upset that I'm a little annoyed by the fact that the program would deny secret ballot to two employees who would be voting in unionization. Folks, I'm sorry. That's the way I see it. I think anytime anybody wants to take away secret ballot, there's a problem. I'm about as pro-worker as anybody can be, but that's the nonsense that created the mess, the decline of organized labor in this country. I want the workers in this country to get a lot better deal.

Up next, charges that the massive government bailout on Wall Street has helped banks invest billions of dollars, guess what, overseas. The battle over gun rights. It's escalating, possible threatening your rights of freedom of speak. We'll be right back.


DOBBS: New efforts tonight to restore second amendment rights on college campuses. Imagine that, somebody supporting the second amendment out there. Many states and colleges have simply disregarded the constitution. They have barred and by all prospects unconstitutionally their students from possessing firearms on campus. Now, some state legislatures are acting to revoke those bans. Bill Tucker has our story -- Bill?

BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Lou, there's only one state where a person can carry a concealed weapon on the campus without fear of being arrested for violating the law and that state is Utah. The law not only says concealed carry is legal, but that colleges can opt out. Outside of Utah, there are only two campuses, Colorado State University and Blue Ridge Community College in Virginia, where you can carry concealed weapons, but that may be about to change. In ten states, there are bills which would allow for concealed carry of weapons on college campuses. There are three states looking at going in the other direction. They have bills pending specifically to prohibit the carry of concealed weapons. The group, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, thinks those states are sadly mistaken and are pushing for concealed carry on every campus in every state.


MICHAEL GUZMAN, CONCEALED CARRY ON CAMPUS: We give the criminal a government guarantee that their intended victims on a college campus, school or church, that they are unarmed and unable to defend themselves. It stacks the odds in favor of the criminal which is not what we should be doing.


TUCKER: Concealed carry off the campus is pretty much the general rule across the country. Currently, there are only two states which don't permit concealed carry, Wisconsin and Illinois. Curiously enough Lou, in those states, politicians are exempt from the concealed carry law.

DOBBS: The folks in Wisconsin, what's the other state?

TUCKER: Illinois.

DOBBS: Illinois. Imagine that.

TUCKER: Imagine that.

DOBBS: Those two states, folks ought to just get a, hope they have the right of public initiative referendum and could overturn that, but every time politicians give themselves the public doesn't enjoy, there's a good sign you've got a bunch of rats. That would be an editorial statement. Yes, that's what I mean. All right. Bill Tucker, thank you. It's nice to see you people advancing second amendment rights instead of contesting them. Thank you very much Bill Tucker.

The debate over second amendment rights on campus has led a number of schools to restrict first amendment rights believe it or not. Last October, a student gave a presentation that questioned whether or not the Virginia Tech massacre could have been prevented if students and teachers had been armed. That was presented upon the complaint of his professor. The school newspaper reported that his professor had complained because she was concerned that he and his classmate took that position in their presentation. The police questioned the student about the firearms he owns and decided that wasn't really a problem and that perhaps, one imagines, the professor was the problem. That's just my guess as to what the police thought.

Joining me now with more on this is Robert Shibley. He's the vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights and Education. Robert, great to have you with us here.

ROBERT SHIBLEY, FOUNDATION FOR IND. RIGHTS IN ED: Thanks very much for having me on.

DOBBS: This case is one of the doggedness things. First it was beyond belief. That was a class project in which she was responsible. I mean, doesn't make a lick of sense. SHIBLEY: I think there is a lot of concern on campus in the wake of Virginia Tech and shooting in northern Illinois, that campuses aren't as safe as they used to be. There are several ways of dealing with that and one of the ways that people have advanced is letting students carry concealed weapons on campus.

DOBBS: What's wrong with that?

SHIBLEY: Whether or not it's wrong, the problem here is that just because he advanced that proposition, he was reported to the police and then the police called him down to the police station, grilled him a little bit. The real problem is that you would have to be crazy now on that campus unless they make some changes to go and advance that proposition in class. That issue is basically off the table.

DOBBS: It may be off the table, but we're seeing more idiots in more campuses act like the professor in this case. She's got to be a complete eccentric to react that way particularly since it's a class activity she had been presiding over. When we get to this point that free speech is this encumbered on a university and college campus, we're reaching a level of toady political correctness that actually would reach to two of our most important rights, the second amendment and the first.

SHIBLEY: I think you've really grasped on to an important point here. I think there's a real trend developing, people with pro-gun speeches on campus, in Colorado, two students who merely mentioned a gun were convicted of violence, just for putting the specify cases of a gun in a flier. One community college in Texas bans the empty holster protest saying that it was not appropriate speech for a college campus.

DOBBS: What college was that? Do you remember?

SHIBLEY: That was, I believe that was Tarrant County College.

DOBBS: Because we should relay give them all the publicity we could because they're a bunch of ignorant fools. That's just ridiculous and I can't believe a Texan would put up with that. Suspending a student for advocating concealed carry. The student had to undergo mandatory psychological testing for taking a political position. I mean you would wipe out all of Washington, D.C. Capitol Hill would be a ghost town if we were to do that.

SHIBLEY: I think that was a particularly disturbing one because the suggestion was that he had a mental health problem because he suggested that students should be able to carry concealed weapons on campus. People are afraid, but we need to use logic and reason in order to determine a real threat on campus.

DOBBS: I wish it were just on college campuses, but that kind of ignorance is aboard in the land as it were. Thank you very much Robert Shibley for being with us. We appreciate it.

SHIBLEY: Thank you. DOBBS: Up next, why New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to import more cheap foreign labor. He's not getting the potholes fixed in New York City, but man, has he got important news on national issues like illegal immigration, sanctuary cities. I'll be joined by three of the country's top radio talk show hosts next. Stay with us.


DOBBS: Joining me now, three of my favorite radio talk show hosts. In Austin, Texas from KSEV in Houston, Lynn Woolley. Lynn, good to have you with us. Here in New York, WABC Radio, Mark Simone, and from WOR in New York, my colleague, John Gambling. Good to see you. Thank you all for being here.

Let's start John Gambling it's sort of interesting that all of this with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce comes a speech on national education initiative. You're reaction to it?

JOHN GAMBLING, WOR IN NEW YORK: You talk about Mayor Bloomberg --

DOBBS: I was talking about Barack Obama and his speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

GAMBLING: I didn't see that, but it is interesting that immigration was even on his table at all.

DOBBS: It's a statement. What's your thought, Mark?

MARK SIMON, WABC RADIO: It's getting something done we never get. That's the problem.

DOBBS: And the idea that we could have a president talking to the nation on a national issue like education and frankly, come from the Hispanic U.S. Chamber of Commerce. What's your thought?

LYNN WOOLLEY, SYNDICATED RADIO HOST: I think it tells us something, Lou, about the priorities that the new president has and I think the sub text of the Obama presidency, which is to create a permanent democrat majority. I think he wants to legalize a lot of illegal aliens and make democrats out of them.

DOBBS: Judging by the votes here as of late, it's going to be tough to get some to be republicans, but the fact is, there was little behind his education initiative today.

GAMBLING: There was absolutely nothing behind it because it is all voluntary. There is no federal directives whatsoever. It was like a campaign stump speech. I thought.

DOBBS: As we look at what is happening with Senator Kent Conrad today, and the Senate Budget Committee saying the president doesn't have a vote for the budget blueprint he laid out and the white house signaled it doesn't want compromises. Mark?

SIMONE: Hopefully all of this will stop. I don't know what the rush is to spend money, it's an insult to drunken sailors to say like drunken sailors. We're talking about trillions of dollars here that he's thrown away. Our deficit this year might be 1,000 percent more than the 2007 deficit.

DOBBS: They're talking about a $1.2 trillion deficit this year has not been paying to recent developments, it's incredible. Then for the president to hold a fiscal responsibility summit on the Monday of the week after he put the sign the biggest spending bill in American history.

WOOLLEY: It's amazing, Lou, we call them Obama zombies and I think that we're seeing fewer of those. People are beginning to understand that this kind of spending is not sustainable. People say that we're going to have our children and our grandchildren paying for this, but it's absolutely the truth. We have got to do some belt tightening in this country on a federal basis, a governmental basis just as those of us with our families are doing.

GAMBLING: We've talked about this before and Pelosi and Reid are out of control. The president has no control over these people and he's paying the price for it. Actually let me change that. We're paying the price.

DOBBS: I was going to say, I'm not sure that Obama is victim of works here but certainly the taxpayer is victim here does work. Judicial watch, a reporting today that I think their words were, be paraphrasing, that Nancy Pelosi has been using the U.S. air force as her personal airline.

SIMONE: I think what has to happen is the executives of all the car companies have to call in Pelosi and Reid and tell them they've got to stop wasting money like this.

DOBBS: I wonder, Lynn, have you thought about how -- feels at Ford Motor Company? He's now running the only American car company that's not in competition with either foreign manufacturers or the United States government. How do you think he feels in the morning, stronger or weaker?

WOOLLEY: I don't know. I think he may feel pretty good. This whole car thing goes back to the early days of the United Auto Workers and Walter Ruther where the companies wanted lower wages now and would push the benefits into the future. The problem is, the future has now arrived. All those benefits are coming due now and I don't know how Ford is managing to stay above water. They're re-negotiating some of their contracts but good for them. I hope they're able to do it.

GAMBLING: I hope they are, too. Would you explain why the auto task force went to would you explain why the auto task force went to Detroit yesterday and seemingly the only thing they did was drive around in Volt cars. What did that accomplish?

DOBBS: Well, that is part of oversight here. You have got to have oversight. When you are spending trillions.

GAMBLING: To see if the car has good performance? DOBBS: You tell me why in the world we are putting up with any of this nonsense in this country. We have watched two presidents in short order, this one over a seven week period, the previous over four month period, behave, just really abysmally. Talking down markets. Talking down the economy. Today we saw the stock market rise almost 380 points on the Dow, the first sign of life this year in the markets. And it was the first day that President Obama hadn't been talking in tones about very serious issues, you know, economic issues, turn to education, which he barely glanced at. And we heard from Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the fed who actually said something positive. Do you think they're learning a lesson here?

SIMONE: Absolutely. I was listening to you on the radio you played a montage of the awful things this administration has been saying about the stock market. You can see on the chart where it plunges since Inauguration Day.

DOBBS: Obama, President Obama has now his own personal bear market, 20 percent down since he took office. That's corrected now today.

GAMBLING: He said it was George Bush's fault and we just inherited it.

DOBBS: He has a very strong case there.

GAMBLING: He does. He is relying that this budget, the $410 b. He says not really our budget. Next year will be our first.

DOBBS: Does it scare you, Lynn Woolley, to think perhaps this is an administration that is putting out social blue prints in the guise of budget plans and stimulus packages because some crazy congressman from Illinois, Rahm Emanuel is now chief of staff saying, a crisis is a great opportunity?

WOOLLEY: Well it is. And Emanuel is also trying to cause the diversion with Rush Limbaugh being the so-called head of the Republican Party. But you are absolutely right. Ronald Reagan, we could use a little bit of Ronald Reagan right now. A little talk of a shining city on the hill. At least somebody coming in being our national leader. Obama sets the tone for this country. If he says we're going to hell in a hand basket then the rest of the country is going to follow suit.

DOBBS: Partisanship, ideology aside, what we need is a federal government that works, functions efficiently and effectively. I hope everybody will figure that out in Washington. Thank you. Great to have you here. Mark thank you. Lynn thank you.

WOOLLEY: Great to be here.

DOBBS: Up next, our poll results, your e-mails. A lot more, not a lot more. But some more. We'll be right back.



Tonight on "NO BIAS, NO BULL," a stunning development in a case involving the man who for many symbolizes Wall Street greed. Bernard Madoff accused of engineering one of the largest investment frauds in history will plead guilty. We're going to have the latest details.

Plus, President Obama lays out an ambitious agenda to overhaul the nation's schools, how likely is it? That will become a reality. That ahead.

Also, wait till you see what your stimulus money is buying. You are paying for a country road in West Virginia that appears to go nowhere. It is part of a project that has been going on since 1965. We're following the money at the top of the hour.

LOU DOBBS TONIGHT will be right back.


DOBBS: Tonight's poll results; 92 percent of you say President Obama, the congressional democratic leadership, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and ethnocentric groups oppose the border fence because they fear it would actually work.

Let's take a look at some of your thoughts now.

John in Connecticut: "What is this talk of the U.S. navy ship being harassed by Chinese vessels in the South China Sea? Doesn't anyone realize the Chinese just want a closer look at what their money is buying?"

Jimmy in Virginia: "We are importing foreign workers for about every job in our country with the excuse they are qualified. Maybe we should import some to run our government." I think you have a point.

Charles in Illinois: "I tried to call my senators and congressmen about continuing e-verify, guess what their voicemails were full. I will keep trying." Good for you. So will we.

We love hearing from you. Send us your thoughts to

We thank you for being with us here tonight. Please join us tomorrow for all of us we thank you for watching. Good night from New York.

Campbell Brown "NO BIAS, NO BULL" starts now -- Campbell?

BROWN: Thank you, Lou.

Hi everybody, we have breaking news in one of the biggest financial crimes in modern history.