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Lou Dobbs Tonight
What's the Plan?; Nuclear Menace; A Longer School Year?; Second Amendment Rights; Green Jobs
Aired September 30, 2009 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, HOST: President Obama and his war council meeting to figure out the next move in Afghanistan -- whatever the plan the consequences will be great.
Longer school days, shorter summers. The president proposing that American kids spend more time at their desk just like they do all around the world -- we examine tonight whether this is a good idea.
And Michael Moore among my guests here tonight -- I'll be talking to him about his new film. Why he has no apparent love for capitalism and whether he supports a new -- a new currency worldwide.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT; news, debate and analysis for Wednesday, September 30th. Live from New York, Mr. Independent Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening, everybody.
A war of necessity -- that's what then-candidate Obama called the war in Afghanistan. Now, it is up to President Obama to decide the course of the war. President Obama today led an urgent meeting with his national security team trying to deal with the situation that is rapidly deteriorating. The big question before the president -- will the war be escalated.
General McChrystal's request for an additional 40,000 troops has yet to be answered. Despite calls from the right to move quickly and from the left to scale back, the White House says it doesn't want to make what it called a political decision. But whatever war plan the president decides upon, he will own it. Dan Lothian reports tonight from the White House. Dan, is the president any closer to coming up with a decision tonight?
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well that's a very good question, Lou, and we simply don't know the answer to that. What I can tell you is that the president is still in what you could essentially say is a fact-finding phase of putting together his strategies, sitting down with the top generals and his cabinet to try to figure out the next step, the next way forward in Afghanistan. What I can tell you in timeline related, according to the White House, is that the president will make a decision as to whether or not he'll send in additional troops to Afghanistan in a number of weeks, but beyond that, we don't know if the president has made up his mind yet.
DOBBS: Well how many -- what is -- what is the feeling at the White House as to the reason they have so much time to make this decision. That request coming from General McChrystal calling for those troops next year, but the situation as described again by General McChrystal is deteriorating right now.
LOTHIAN: It is deteriorating, but as the White House points out, they want to get this situation right. It's not necessarily about doing it quickly. They want to get it right and clearly from everything we've been told is that there are different ways of thinking about how to go forward in Afghanistan within the administration.
As we pointed out time and time again, there are those who believe, including Vice President Biden, that perhaps it isn't necessary to send in all the troops, some 40,000 additional troops, rather scale things back and focus more on using special ops or using these predator drones to do attacks from the air. They believe that that can be more effective in going after al-Qaeda and the terrorist network.
Obviously, there are others like in the McChrystal report pointing out that there needs to be additional troops on the ground. There is a concern that if you don't get these additional troops on the ground and the situation there will really destabilize and it could impact national security going forward.
DOBBS: Yeah, to be clear, I was not in any way suggesting that there would be a timeline for the sake of a quick decision, but rather that there would be a decision that would minimize the loss of American lives, which are rising, as you know, from month to month. This is already the deadliest year for American troops in Afghanistan since the beginning of this war.
The other aspect of this is, is there any sign of displeasure from this president about the general's staff, which has been very slow to articulate a strategy, which has been very slow to respond with a plan for an effective and successful mission and victory?
LOTHIAN: If there is a displeasure, that's not something that has been made known to us. At least publicly they're not discussing it. I mean the way they're laying this out is that this is all part of the process. As you know though, the president did roll out his plan for Afghanistan in March, and so there are those critics who say, you know is the president sort of second guessing his own strategy now, doubting what he thought was a good idea back then. The White House simply points out that things have changed on the ground in Afghanistan and the president really wants to determine whether or not sending in more troops is the right thing to do.
DOBBS: All right, Dan, thank you very much -- Dan Lothian from the White House.
From Afghanistan now to the rising threat from Iran, six world powers including the United States begin talks tomorrow with Iran over its nuclear program. Iran will be pressured to reveal its intentions and to permit inspections. The issue then will be what will happen if Iran were to refuse -- Jill Dougherty with our report. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): How does President Barack Obama convince Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to give up what the U.S. says are its nuclear weapons ambitions? As Iran's negotiators depart Tehran for high stakes talks in Geneva, a skeptical U.S. and its allies demand Iran answer questions on its nuclear program. If it doesn't, Washington is threatening drastic international sanctions.
HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: We obviously are doing everything we can with others in the international community to make the choices to Iran very clear.
DOUGHERTY: But Iran has been under economic sanctions for 30 years. Measures targeting things like banking, trade and investment in Iran. So why hasn't it worked?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're Swiss cheese sanctions.
DOUGHERTY: The former lead negotiator for the U.S. on Iran tells CNN countries like Russia have been dragging their feet.
NICHOLAS BURNS, FMR. UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE: They continue to sell arms. They didn't apply the same kind of tough-minded attitude that Britain and France and the United States did. And so I think there's an open question and I'm rather skeptical that Russia is going to be like-minded ultimately with the United States and Britain and France on this issue.
DOUGHERTY: Now, administration officials say they're preparing an arsenal of beefed up sanctions including stopping foreign investment in Iran's aging oil and gas pipelines and its oil tankers, freezing assets of individual Iranians active in weapons proliferation or terrorist activity, stopping illegal movements of sensitive, dual use technology to Iran, things like aircraft and computers, cracking down on exports of gasoline to Iran, but some experts caution economic self-interest could torpedo even these tougher sanctions.
STEVEN WEISMAN, PETERSON INSTITUTE FOR INTL. ECONOMICS: China has the fastest growing economy in the world. They desperately need these natural resources to sustain their growth, to sustain their employment and keep China a stable place. That is the absolute priority of the Chinese leadership.
DOUGHERTY: And there have been two small, but significant gestures. Iran letting Swiss representatives visit those American hikers that the Iranians are holding and the U.S. allowing Iran's foreign minister to make a rare visit to Washington, extensively to discuss Iranian citizens living in the United States. The State Department cautions don't read too much into that. What really could be and would be important they say is for Iran to make some serious gestures at Thursday's meeting. Lou?
DOBBS: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
More evidence that Americans are increasingly skeptical of government-run health care -- according to a new Gallup poll, 89 percent of Republicans say health insurance should be the individual's responsibility. Sixty-four percent of independents agree that obtaining health care insurance coverage should be up to the individual. Overall, 61 percent of all Americans believe that health care insurance is the responsibility of the individual, not the government. However, Democrats disagree, 63 percent of whom say it's the government's responsibility to provide health care insurance.
Democrats were calling for Congressman Joe Wilson's head not so long ago when he yelled, "you lie", at President Obama during a joint session of Congress. The outburst was considered to be an example of how the antigovernment health care forces had crossed the line. But the left has been largely silent about Congressman Alan Grayson, the Democrat from Florida took the House floor last night and claimed the Republican health care plan is for people to die quickly. Listen to this.
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REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this. Die quickly. That's right. The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: Congressman Grayson did issue an apology for his comments today after several Republicans asked him to.
Well up next the hidden dangers of professional football -- we'll have the results of a new study that is alarming indeed.
Also ahead, why extending the school year in this country might help students compete globally. We'll have a special report assessing whether that is truly a good idea.
And the bastion of liberal media -- "The New York Times" takes a stand on the Roman Polanski case. What they have to say may surprise you. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: We have some good news about the economy tonight. Texas Instruments announcing it will open its first U.S. semiconductor plant in the United States in 13 years. The new T.I. factory will open in Richardson, Texas in October with the first product to be shipped by the end of next year.
Tonight, boosting America's competitive edge and improving education of our youth. President Obama is now pushing for a longer school year. With Asian countries consistently outscoring the United States on math and science tests, more time in school the theory goes could help our students compete better in the global economy and yet some educators are resisting that proposal. Lisa Sylvester has our report.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the Mastery Charter School in Philadelphia, their motto is excellence, no excuses. Since taking over from the Philly school district in 2006, the charter school's administrators say they have doubled and tripled math and reading test scores. One reason, they say, longer school days than traditional schools, summer programs and weekend classes for students who are lagging. Education Secretary Arne Duncan embraces the idea of keeping kids in school for longer periods. The traditional six-hour school day, he says, outdated.
ARNE DUNCAN, EDUCATION SECRETARY: I just think our education structure is based upon a 19th century agrarian economy. We don't have too many kids in Philly working the fields (INAUDIBLE) you know any more.
SYLVESTER: Compared to students in other countries, American students spend less time in the classroom. One hundred eighty days a year compared to 200 for Asian countries and 195 for many European countries. U.S. students are lagging behind their international peers in some subjects. According to the Department of Education, for 15- year-olds in Math the U.S. ranks 31st, but adding a longer day means more taxpayer money.
PETE SEPP, NATL. TAXPAYERS UNION: Taxpayers will be shelling out for this program and they may not like the price tag.
SYLVESTER: It's not only the length of day that is important, but what happens during those after-school programs says education analyst Russ Whitehurst.
RUSS WHITEHURST, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: When those programs were basically glorified baby sitting -- that is they weren't integrated with the school day. They weren't focused on the material that students were being asked to learn during a school day. There were no effects at all, so it was money wasted. On the other hand, when you take those same after-school hours and put in a focus mathematics curriculum, for example, you start to see changes in student performance.
SYLVESTER: President Obama has said that even if his own daughters don't like it, he thinks students need to be in school longer.
SYLVESTER: One reason why a longer school day has not happened is that education is a matter that's decided largely on the state and local level. In cash-strapped states, well they've been moving in the opposite direction, cutting after-school programs, not adding to the school day. Lou?
DOBBS: And it is also a matter of a tax base that is unrelated generally to the general budgets of states and municipalities built largely in this country on property taxes, which has been obviously depressed over the course of the past 24 months. But the president here -- is he not receiving some atta boy that to say you know this is the right idea at the right time? Because I understand that there might be some questions and some opposition, but surely somebody is cheering the president on here.
SYLVESTER: Oh, there definitely is a lot of support for this. You've got teacher's associations who you know sometimes are a little reluctant to move forward on new ideas, but they are embracing this idea, also of a longer school day or a longer school year and it's something -- but you know again, it's the money and the...
DOBBS: (INAUDIBLE) because you would think teachers would be very concerned about working longer hours each day and working more days in a year.
SYLVESTER: I'm going to give the teachers the credit on this one. I think that they see -- you know you can take a look at the test scores, and if in those test scores longer school days translating to higher test scores, I think that's one reason why people are taking a long, hard look at this program.
DOBBS: Well if the teacher's unions are being selfless here, then they need a few atta boys and cheers as well. Thanks very much. We appreciate it, Lisa. Lisa Sylvester.
Alarming news tonight concerning a link between football and dementia and Alzheimer's -- the NFL and the University of Michigan have conducted a survey of one thousand retired players and have found retired players between the ages of 30 and 49 are 19 times more likely to have Alzheimer's disease or memory-related diseases than men who never played professional football.
And former players age 50 and older are five times more likely than the national average to have a dementia related diagnosis. The NFL says the survey did not diagnose dementia, but relied on self- reporting or family proxy reporting on a retired player's memory.
Adding quote, "The survey makes no link between concussions and memory disorders." The NFL has commissioned its own study on concussions and dementia. Those results are expected in a few years. The NFL also points out several areas where retired players are healthier than the general population, including heart disease.
Well to hear my thoughts about this story and all of the day's issues, join me on the radio Monday through Friday for "The Lou Dobbs Show" 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. each afternoon on WOR 710 Radio in New York. And go to loudobbs.com to get the local listings in your area for the show and to subscribe to our daily podcast on loudobbs.com and you can follow me on loudobbsnews on Twitter.com as well.
Well some unexpected outrage tonight over the Roman Polanski saga -- the director's arrest on a 30-year-old rape charge has been criticized by many in Hollywood on the left and found great support in that community the director has, but "The New York Times" normally a safe bet for liberal opinion has taken a hard stance against Polanski. The "Times" editorial board today writing quote, "To hear the protests from the French, Poles and other Europeans -- excuse me -- you might have thought the filmmaker was seized by some totalitarian regime for speaking truth to power."
The editorial goes on to say quote, "Where is the injustice in bringing to justice someone who pleads guilty to statutory rape and then goes on the lam, no matter how talented he may be." Compare that statement to Whoopi Goldberg saying on "The View" that Roman Polanski did not commit quote, "rape-rape".
Director Michael Moore will be here next. We'll be talking about his new movie and why does he have such a big problem with capitalism? He seems to be doing pretty well under the system. Stay with us. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: Tonight, the Supreme Court takes a new Second Amendment case, setting the stage for what could be a historic decision. The court today announced it will hear an appeal from Chicago gun owners who charge state gun control laws violate their Second Amendment rights. Bill Tucker has our report.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Second Amendment states simply a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. Yet despite that seemingly clear language, it is not a right guaranteed to all Americans.
The famous Heller case two years gave residents of Washington, D.C. the right to own guns, but it didn't apply to the states because Washington, D.C. isn't a state, it's a federal district. Now, the Supreme Court is ready to say if the right applies to the states. The court has agreed to hear a case on appeal from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals concerning very restrictive gun laws in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois.
The lower court upheld the laws, arguing that the rights of states and localities trump the federal government on the question of Second Amendment and gun ownership. The Supreme Court's decision will be historic.
PROF. JONATHAN TURLEY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIV.: There is a lot at stake. If they lose this case, gun owners will be protected against the federal government, but not against 50 state governments that indeed have the greatest impact on their lives.
TUCKER: The lower courts use of the state's rights argument irritates the country's largest gun owner group.
WAYNE LAPIERRE, PRES., NATL. RIFLE ASSN.: Well -- well look I mean we're all for federalism, but not when it comes to core, fundamental rights like speech, religion, the right to own a firearm. That's a bogus argument.
TUCKER: There are currently six states with no state constitutional guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms. The nation's largest gun control advocacy group downplays the potential ruling.
PAUL HELMKE, PRES., BRADY CAMPAIGN: It's a practical matter, in terms of what's really happening in the states and what's happening in local communities in terms of trying to making it harder for dangerous people to get guns. I don't think it's going to have that much of an impact.
TUCKER: The case has significance and some irony for Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
TUCKER: That's because Sotomayor will get to answer the very question she raised when issuing a similar ruling from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. She said at the time, that the Second Amendment doesn't apply to the states because the Supreme Court has never said it does. No date and time has been set when this case will be heard, Lou. That happens in December.
DOBBS: But it's pretty clear that this court is making it evident that it wants to correct that -- that omission, if you will.
TUCKER: That is the feeling.
DOBBS: All right, Bill Tucker thank you.
Up next, politics in the classroom appears to be occurring more and more often. Is it education or indoctrination?
And Michael Moore -- he joins me next to make his case against capitalism -- woo.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to get the money back for the American people...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand...
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ANNOUNCER: Here again Mr. Independent Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: And our series of special reports of "JOBS NOW!" The Obama administration is pushing the idea of so-called green jobs as the cornerstone of the rebuilding of this nation's manufacturing base, but is the promise of green jobs something the administration can actually deliver upon? Casey Wian has our report.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger welcomed U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu this month to announce a federal loan guarantee of more than half a billion dollars to build a plant for a California solar panel manufacturer.
STEVEN CHU, ENERGY SECRETARY: The first jobs created will be those construction jobs, up to 3,000 of them. And Fax Lunder (ph) says it's poised to hire up to 100 people within an hour of getting the check. Is that really true?
WIAN: President Obama has promised to spend $150 billion to create up to five million green energy jobs.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're fighting for an America where clean energy generates green jobs that can't be outsourced, that help us free ourselves from our grip of foreign oil. Jobs that make sure the cars of the future and the technologies like the new batteries that power them are made right here in the United States of America.
WIAN: But that's in dispute according to a university study sponsored by a conventional energy industry think tank. It concludes green energy's potential is being overstated.
PROF. ANDREW MORRIS, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS: We're certainly going to create jobs in wind and solar, but we're going to lose jobs in refineries and coal-powered plants and coal mines and natural gas facilities. And those tend to be high-skill, high-paying jobs.
WIAN: Then, there's the issue of keeping green jobs in the United States. An executive of China's largest solar power company admitted to "The New York Times" last month that China is selling solar panels below cost to gain U.S. market share.
ALAN TONELSON, U.S. BUSINESS & INDUSTRY COUNCIL: Our trade partners are now making quite clear that they're determined to use the same kinds of predatory trade policies to help hollow out American green manufacturing that they used to hollow out American conventional manufacturing.
WIAN: The American Wind Energy Association today warned senators in a letter that "newly created jobs are at risk of being lost or sent overseas. Put simply, the U.S. is being left behind" -- behind China and the European Union in wind industry jobs.
WIAN: We called the white house and energy department for their response to these issues raised in this report and they did not respond by air time. We'll continue to update the story and bring you their responses soon as they comment on these issues. Lou?
DOBBS: All right. Casey, thank you very much. Another example of the government's green jobs initiative as they try to boost the economy through that sector of the economy, the government giving a small car company backed by former Vice President Al Gore. More than $500 million loan to help build hybrid cars. But those cars are so expensive few Americans can afford them and Fisfer Automotive is building a $90,000 luxury sports car. It's called the karma. Former Vice President Gore was among the first to sign up for one. The company also developing a line of smaller hybrids selling for about $40,000. These initial cars to be built for the market in Finland.
Academy award winning filmmaker Michael Moore is known for his controversial and provocative movies. His latest movie is "Capitalism: A Love Story," a scathing critique of Wall Street, corporate America, congress and even the Obama administration.
REP. MARCY KAPTUR, DEMOCRAT OHIO'S 9TH DISTRICT: Everything was being handled by the treasury secretary from Goldman Sachs. They had congress right where they wanted them. This was almost like an intelligence operation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is straight up capitalism.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where's our money?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know.
DOBBS: Michael Moore is also an advocate for health care reform in this country, joins us tonight from Boston.
Michael, good to have you with us. The movie opening in limited release is doing very well, about twice Bowling for Columbine did and the reviews you've got to be gratified they are very strong. A couple of exceptions, but overall, very strong reviews. Are you going to -- do you believe -- as the movie goes into wider release Friday, do you think you'll see considerable success with this movie?
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: Well, I hope so. I made this film for millions of Americans to be able to go to the theatre on the Friday night and have a good laugh at the expense of all the people on wall street who have made their lives that much more difficult in the last year or so.
DOBBS: You also take aim at amongst others Treasury Secretary Geithner. Some would consider him to be as treasury secretary a key Obama appointee. Let's just listen in here.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Geithner has been a failure at pretty much everything he's done in life. Most of the institutions that destroyed the economy were under his direction regulatory authority.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did he get the job as treasury secretary?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By completely screwing up his job as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: A lot of people, Michael, are going to be shocked to see you criticizing Democratic appointees of a Democratic president.
MOORE: Well, of course that wasn't me criticizing him. That was William Black, who was one of the bank regulators bank in the '80s, who broke the savings and loan scandal wide open. I go to him for his assessment of this particular scandal, this crash of the last year. I think that at least I have the idea of President Obama, who I support very much, has brought Geithner and Summers in in the same way the big banks bring in bank robbers to advise them, former bank robbers, on how best to prevent bank robberies. Who better to know how to do that? I figure President Obama, who better to help clean up this mess than a couple of guys who helped create it.
DOBBS: What is your outlook for capitalism? You love it so much.
MOORE: I don't -- well, what we call capitalism these days, it's essentially implode on itself and now, it's just, it's become this sort of -- a system that protects the wealthy, legalizes greed. It's not at all the way it was when I was growing up or you were growing up where you work hard, do well, you can earn money. You want to open a store, sell shoes, you know, it's all there for you. It's America. It's not the case anymore. It's a pyramid scheme now, where the richest 1% who live on top of that pyramid do very, very well and own most of what is below the pyramid, but get everybody working in the bottom thinking, if they work hard enough, they can get to the top, too.
DOBBS: So what about -- you're in that 1% aren't you? I would confess I'm near it, but not in it. Guys like you and me, we've done pretty well.
MOORE: Yeah. Absolutely. Listen, I'm a documentary film maker. Taking that into context, yes, I do probably better than any documentary film maker. I'm blessed and I feel privilege. It puts a greater burden on me to do well for others and stand up for those who don't have what I have.
DOBBS: Absolutely. And capitalism itself, the issue of the day, from the rights and charges of socialism. From the left, demands of a greater government intrusion. Which balance do you think we'll find? One near the left or one near the right?
MOORE: The balance I hope that we find, Lou, is one that's based in two very strong traditional American principles. The first one being democracy. We need an economic order that you and I and everyone else have a say in. We need a Democratic economic system. But the second principle is you know, we call this a Judeo Christian country. We claim to have these ethics rooted in Christianity, also it's in Islam, most great religions say the same thing about how we're supposed to treat the poor. We rarely ask the question when it comes to business, is this good for the people. Is this for the common good, or just for some body's bottom line. I would love to start asking these basic, moral questions.
DOBBS: I think that's a noble aspiration and desire and millions upon millions of Americans agree with you. The difficulty here now is your document in a love story, if you will, on capitalism, is that excesses, we reach extremes historically, every certainly 25 years in this country, we've reached one extreme now and the challenge will be to see whether or not we can avoid overshooting on the other side. But Michael Moore believes in free enterprise democracy -- is that right?
MOORE: Of course I believe in people's freedom to choose. This is so odd I'm saying this when the people that have been claiming they believe in free enterprise, they don't believe in anything of the sort. They believe in buying out the competition, killing it. Their nirvana, they would be the only shoe store or car company. They'd like the old soviet model where you don't have any choice. Where there's just a few people that own and control everything. Yet they run around calling it free enterprise when it's not that at all.
DOBBS: Well, the movie is doing well, we wish you well with it. It is a timely movie. We all need to be thinking about the choices.
MOORE: And it's a comedy.
DOBBS: And we'll laugh all the way and I know you're going to laugh all the way to the bank in a form of capitalism.
MOORE: Let's hope so, Lou.
DOBBS: Thanks for being with us.
Up next, China's show of force.
And classroom lessons with the political ring. Indoctrination or luck? You don't want to miss this one. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: Indoctrination in the classroom from President Obama's controversial back to school speech to grade schoolers singing in praise of the president and pledging to serve the president, politics are moving into the classroom and perhaps more. Listen closely as these New Jersey students sing.
Is all of this as we are discovering more and more incidents like this across the country, is it left wing propaganda? Indoctrination? Just what is it? Joining us tonight John Leo, he's senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, great to have you with us and David Foulk, he's dean of education at Hofstra University, great to have you with us. That video just there, is there any difference, do you think, in the acceptance generally in the national media in education, if the name is let's substitute Barack Obama and insert say George Bush.
DAVID FOULK, DEAN OF ED., HOFSTRA UNIV.: I think that if it were more systemic, if it were more widespread, if it were not sporadic and specific to municipalities, perhaps it would be a problem. I think I'm looking at this more as perhaps local issues that have received national attention. I don't see this as being a widespread, coordinated effort.
DOBBS: Of course, there are -- the Oprah Winfrey video pledging to serve Barack Obama with Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, that was of course systemic and broadly propagated. It is also the case with another -- what is it, the story of stuff which we know had 7 million viewings. So it is a little broader than we were initially led to think and it seems John we're seeing more and more of this surface here.
JOHN LEO, SR. FELLOW, MANHATTAN INSTITUTE: Well, the focus on the New Jersey event. It's clearly inappropriate. You don't want to have school kids taught to chance the glories of the sitting politics, but having said that, I think there's a maelstrom of our left and right debate now. It was a minor incident. I'm not sure if I see systemic stuff across the country and this was after all dreamed up during black power month, after an astounding event in our national life, the election of the first black president. I'd cut them a little slack on this. I think it was wrong but not a major event, the overall attempt to invoke Hitler and ...
DOBBS: Who did that?
LEO: I don't want to name names. They're all my friends.
DOBBS: Well, they may well be mine, but I don't care. We're more interested in --
LEO: Can I make a group indictment?
LEO: That went on under Bush. Bush was compared to Hitler. And now, it's being turned on Obama. It's the rhetoric of the day.
DOBBS: But I wonder if we are not comparing two wildly different elements. One is idiots who would make a comparison to Hitler versus those who would seek to indoctrinate young people because as you say, when we start chanting, our children start chanting the names of political leaders with this -- and the idea of, I will serve any man in this country, that's about as un-American as it gets, isn't it, Dave?
FOULK: Except I think you take that oath when you go in the military, don't you?
DOBBS: No, you swear to uphold the constitution of the United States. You might chant drill instructor's name.
FOULK: Again, I don't see this as being directed to the schools. I think that the widespread popularity of this debate is outside of the districts. If we looked and saw this as going through schools in this wildfire in being promulgated, then it's a different issue.
DOBBS: It is, but we're also left with it, seems to me, and I would like you both to deal with this issue, where you have groups and whatever their motivation and however noble they might be, when you are putting these kinds of ideas in the minds of children, this is not part of the public educational system in this country. It is not part of our society and has never been, where we have children chanting that I means of a political leader. Whether it be president of whatever the position.
LEO: Particularly inappropriate because they were chanting a song about Jesus and they took Jesus' name out and Obama in. This is not what the president needs right now but I think one of the problems here is there are three incidents unrelated within seven weeks. One, was that NAA letter or the conference call where the --
DOBBS: National endowment for the arts.
LEO: Urged to cooperate with the white house by implication its agenda. Then this event. You just can't have these things happening one after the other. At the same time, I don't think Obama can be tied to a school event.
DOBBS: I don't think Obama should be tied to any of it.
LEO: He should be tied to the conference call. You don't make a call to artists appealing for grants and say, why don't we work together because the implication is either you work for us or you get no money.
DOBBS: To the credit of the president, he fired the communications director responsible for that. It does leave open the issue as to why there has not been some accountability for the Obama official who was on the conference call. This leaves open the Oprah Winfrey video distributed to thousands of schools. It leaves open the story of stuff, which is still being sent to thousands of schools and has been viewed by millions. What are we to do and parents to do who would be concerned about this, or do you believe this is something unworthy of both public attention and parental involvement?
FOULK: I think it's worthy of both and that's the point. I think that parents, if they're doing their job as parents, are active with their school boards and they're addressing these issues and raising complaints an electing officials who are like-minds to run the schools. I think it is very appropriate that parents be involved and express their concern or support for whatever happens.
DOBBS: Last word.
LEO: Now that we have a lot of publicity about this, we'll watch it again. If it keeps going on, then we'll know there's a concerted effort.
DOBBS: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Up next, China's military might is on parade. What the United States may learn from China's 60th anniversary celebration as a communist nation.
Communist China putting on a massive display of military strength for its 60th anniversary of communist rule and the founding of the People's Republic of China. U.S. military analysts are watching closely as China unveils its newest technology and military weaponry. They're issuing, as well, warnings about China's military push. Kitty Pilgrim with our report.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In Beijing, the parade area has been cordoned off for days. With well over two million members, China has the world's largest standing army. Chinese officials announce they will showcase 52 types of new weapon systems. And most will be made in China. Military experts like Aaron Friedberg of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School says the United States will be on the lookout for new technology that could challenge American forces, particularly aircraft carriers in the region.
PROF. AARON FRIEDBERG, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: One of the things that military experts will be watching at this parade is whether the Chinese include in their display a new missile called the DF-21 which has been developed in part to be able to be fired from land and then strike U.S. aircraft carriers hundreds of miles off China's coast.
PILGRIM: China military analyst Rick Fisher of the International Assessment and Strategy Center, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank agrees.
RICK FISHER, INTL. ASSESSMENT & STRATEGY CTR.: China is specifically targeting American military weaknesses in Asia. Aircraft carriers cannot defend themselves against ballistic missiles. And China is manufacturing a version of the DF-21 designed to intercept large ships like aircraft carriers.
PILGRIM: China has been pouring money into defense, an estimated $140 billion a year, up 15% over last year. U.S. Defense Secretary Gates brought up the dangers of China's new defense spending in a recent speech to the Air Force Association.
ROBERT GATES, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Their investments in cyber and anti-satellite warfare, anti-air, and anti-ship weaponry, and ballistic missiles could threaten America's primary way to project power and help allies in the pacific.
PILGRIM: A frank comment that many in the security community applaud.
PILGRIM: Analysts we spoke to today said it's rare for the defense officials to speak frankly about the possibility of having China as an adversary in the pacific and they say defense officials tend not to want to be openly critical of China. So comments by defense secretary gates earlier this month are a more frank assessment of China's capabilities, Lou. DOBBS: And we have been reporting on this broadcast, literally for years on red star rising. And this is the first acknowledgment by secretary gates of any administration official in the past decade of the significance of the potential military threat by China.
PILGRIM: This was a big headline when he said it. It was a very strong departure from all previous statements.
DOBBS: And we will be bringing you all of the revelations from the military parade from the 60th anniversary celebration of communist rule and the People's Republic of China. Thank you very much, Kitty Pilgrim.
As we reported last night, the Empire State Building is also celebrating the 60th anniversary of communist rule in China. And the famed skyscraper as you see is now lit up and red and yellow commemorating the occasion. Not all of the buildings' tenants are pleased nor are they celebrating. The group, human rights watch is located in that building. We had to tell them that they would be part of a celebration of communist rule for a 60-year period. They've written a letter to the management expressing their disappointment with the celebration.
Up at the top of the hour, sitting in for Campbell Brown, none other than John Roberts.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Lou, thanks very much.
Breaking news tonight, we're covering the aftermath of two devastating earthquakes. One in Indonesia killed 75 people but thousands of others believed to be trapped now. Another quake set off a deadly tsunami that hit American Samoa as well as the island nation of Samoa. Incredible pictures from both disaster and an eye-witness account of that killer wave just ahead.
Plus, is distracted driving like texting or talking on the telephone worse than driving when you're drunk? We'll take a look at whether distracted drivers deserve jail time.
And is there a link between football and Alzheimer's disease? We go in-depth on the NFL's new study. Surprising new study just ahead.
Lou, we'll see you at the top of the hour.
DOBBS: Thank you John.
General Motors once boasted that Saturn is a model for the future. Tonight, it is a model for history. The decision comes after the company failed to reach a deal with Penske Automotive to buy the Saturn brand. That deal could've saved as many as 13,000 jobs. This is a blow to GM's restructuring efforts. GM already planning to shut down as Pontiac brand this year. It has also sold Saab to a Swedish company and has a deal to sell its Hummer brand to a Chinese company. We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
DOBBS: A reminder to please join me on the radio Monday through Friday for the "Lou Dobbs Show" 2 to 4 p.m. each afternoon on WOR 710 radio in New York. And go to loudobbs.com to get the local listings on the radio in your area and to subscribe to our free daily pod cast. That's on loudobbs.com, and please follow me on Lou Dobbs news on twitter.com, as well.
We thank you for being with us tonight. Please join us here tomorrow. For all of us, thank you for watching. Good night from New York.
Up next, John Roberts.