Return to Transcripts main page
LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
Bush Visits London; Gay Marriage Victory; Tracking Down Illegal Aliens
Aired November 18, 2003 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT for Tuesday, November 18. Here now, Lou Dobbs.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening.
Tonight: a huge victory for supporters of gay marriage. Massachusetts' highest court today ruled there is no constitutional reason to deny same-sex couples the right of civil marriage. While a public controversy is certain to swirl around the Massachusetts court decision, there is a much larger issue. And that is the state of marriage itself in this country. Tonight, we'll be joined by two leading national experts on marriage, family and the forces threatening traditional family values.
And in our special report tonight, "Broken Borders," it turns out the federal government has only hundreds of agents to track down millions of illegal aliens. Congressman Charles Norwood will join us tell us why local law enforcement should be enforcing our national immigration laws.
And Santa Claus as you have never seen him before. Miramax and Disney are about to release an outrageous, offensive movie called "Bad Santa." This is, without question, one movie that Disney should never have made.
First tonight, President Bush is in London to meet with the leadership of our closest ally and to confront his critics. And while tens of thousands protesters are expected demonstrate against the president and his policies in Iraq, it turns out, the president has fewer British critics than is often suggested.
A new opinion poll conducted by Britain's leading liberal newspaper says nearly two-thirds of British voters say the United States is a force for good in the world.
Senior White House correspondent John King is traveling with the president and tonight reports from London -- John.
JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And, Lou, literally a royal welcome for the president here in Great Britain tonight, Prince Charles on hand at Heathrow Airport when Mr. Bush arrived from the flight across the Atlantic from the United States.
The president tonight had a private reception with the royal family at Buckingham Palace, an elaborate, formal welcome for this official state visit in the morning. As you noted, this trip quite controversial because of the president's image in Europe, because of widespread public opposition to the war in Iraq, because of that controversy, and especially the political situation of his closest ally, Prime Minister Tony Blair, a great deal of public opinion polling about this trip by the visiting U.S. president.
"The Guardian" newspaper, as you noted, put this question to its readers. Is America a force for good or evil in the world? Sixty-two percent responded a force for good, 15 percent a force for evil. A more divided opinion on a second question, was the attack on Iraq justified or unjustified? Forty-seven percent saying the war was justified, 41 percent saying it was not justified.
Now, Mr. Bush will deliver a speech here tomorrow, a major speech, the White House says, at a time when British authorities are telling the White House, perhaps as many as 100,000 demonstrators will take to the streets tomorrow and over the next two days. A senior administration official traveling with the president says Mr. Bush will rebut his critics who say he is a unilateralist cowboy, if you will. Mr. Bush will say that he very much would like to work with key allies, very much would like to work with the United Nations, but that, in his view, leadership requires a president on occasion to make the decision to go it alone and use military force.
And in that context, Lou, the president will very vehemently, we are told, defend his decision to go to war in Iraq. He also, of course, will meet with Prime Minister Blair here to compare notes on a strategy for the political transition in postwar Iraq -- Lou.
DOBBS: Thank you very much, John King, our senior White House correspondent, traveling with President Bush in London.
Of course, Iraq central to the issues that the president and the British prime minister will be discussing. In Iraq, today U.S. forces used aircraft, mortars and artillery to try to break the resistance of insurgents and terrorists in the so-called Sunni Triangle near Baghdad. But U.S. troops are also trying another tactic in one of Iraq's most anti-American towns. They're preparing to hand over responsibility for security to local Iraqi police.
Senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre joins me now.
Jamie, is this the right time for the military to be handing over security duties in towns known for strong anti-American feelings?
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, according to the possible, not all towns in the Sunni or Baathist triangle -- or the Baathist Triangle now, as the Pentagon is calling it -- are equal.
Fallujah, for instance, is a town that is clearly not ready to come under Iraqi control. But according to the U.S. commander in charge, the two-star general, Major Charles Swannack, who is in charge of that area, the commander of the 82nd Airborne, he says, in Ramadi, a town in that triangle, the police there are doing a very credible job and that he has judged that he thinks that, by the 1st of January, the United States will be able to pull its troops back, still stay just over the horizon in radio communication with the police there to move in if something happens, but to be able to begin the process that, after all, is the goal of the U.S., to turn towns back over to Iraqi control -- Lou.
DOBBS: Jamie, the military has also begun destroying the houses and buildings used by Iraqi insurgents and terrorists. What is the thinking behind this strategy?
MCINTYRE: Well, one thing that the Pentagon wants to do is draw the distinction between what they're doing and what the Israelis did on the West Bank and Gaza in destroying the homes of families of suspected suicide bombers. They say, in this case, they're only going after military targets, where attacks against coalition forces are being planned or weapons are being stored.
In fact, we've learned over the last couple of days they, in fact, destroyed the house of Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, the second most wanted man in Iraq, the man suspected of orchestrating some of the attacks, as a place that was a planning location for those attacks. So they say this is part of their stepped-up, no-holds-barred, is how General Swannack put it today, campaign to take the fight to the insurgents.
DOBBS: Jamie McIntyre, our senior Pentagon correspondent -- thank you, Jamie.
It would be a huge strategic mistake for the United States to withdraw its troops from Iraq prematurely before there is an open and free democracy. That is the view of my guest, Peter Brookes, senior fellow for national security affairs at the Heritage Foundation. He also has a distinctive military background, including active duty in support of operations in Iraq 12 years ago, Haiti, and Bosnia.
Good to have you with us, Pete.
PETER BROOKES, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Good to be with you, Lou.
DOBBS: The idea of attacking the homes, these buildings, this has been tried by the IDF in its war against Palestinian terrorists. Do you think it will have any greater success in Iraq?
BROOKES: Well, I certainly hope so.
I think we do have to take the fight to the terrorists and the insurgents there, if we're going to come close to meeting this target date of next June of turning over governance to the Iraqis.
DOBBS: Operation Iron Hammer, the military, the Pentagon not giving a body count in the success of their operations against the insurgents and the terrorists in Iraq. Why not?
BROOKES: Well, body counts don't tell us a lot. Remember that from Vietnam. We were winning militarily. We had body counts, but we weren't winning politically. The important thing here is to see what effect it has on the insurgents and the insurgency. And, hopefully, by taking these people down, we will have a positive effect and decrease the number of attacks on American forces.
DOBBS: Not being able to judge. The military says there are -- 5,000 -- this is CENTCOM's best estimate -- 5,000 terrorist insurgents working against U.S. forces and Iraqi forces. Knowing there are 5,000, wouldn't it be helpful for us to know how many of them have been captured or killed?
BROOKES: Well, the number is a number just out there probably for press and media uses. This is a rough order of magnitude. And it is difficult, in metrics, to determine how we are doing. But I think, if we see a decrease in the number of attacks on forces, that will be a very positive indication.
DOBBS: Do we, in your judgment, need more forces, although the Pentagon says no?
BROOKES: I don't think we need more forces right now.
I think that -- a number of the attacks are at a certain level. We haven't seen a significant increase recently. And I think, if you do have more forces in there, there are more American targets.
DOBBS: This timetable set that you referenced that has been set now, this looks to some as if we are accelerating a timetable to turn it over and to move our forces out, this accelerated timetable looking a bit like cut-and-run to some critics.
BROOKES: Well, we have to be very concerned about that.
The insurgents may be high-fiving one another, thinking that we are leaving, because that's what they want us to do. We have to make sure that the security situation is such that we are turning it over to an Iraqi force, an Iraqi government, that can handle the security situation at that point. I think June is a target date and nothing more than that.
DOBBS: Do you think it's realistic?
BROOKES: It's certainly possible. We cannot predict the future, but I think it is realistic. We also have to give hope to the Iraqis that we're not going to be there forever, that this is going to be a free Iraq.
DOBBS: And anything less than total success in Iraq, whether one is for or against this war from the outset, anything less than success in Iraq, the effect on the Middle East and the future U.S. policy in the region?
BROOKES: It's absolutely unacceptable. We'd have a power vacuum in there. We would have the Iranians rushing in. We would have the Syrians rushing in, the Saudis rushing in. We could have civil war in Iraq.
The best chance for the war on terror is bringing democracy to that part of the world.
DOBBS: Peter Brookes, thank you very much for being with us.
BROOKES: Thank you, Lou.
DOBBS: Coming up next: a historic decision that could affect the national debate over gay rights. That story will be coming up. And the state of unions in this country, the institution of marriage itself. We'll be focusing on that institution with two of the nation's leading sociologists.
And "Broken Borders," our special report tonight -- a bold new proposal that could make the difference in the battle to secure our nation's borders. Congressman Charlie Norwood introduced legislation. He is our guest next.
Please stay with us.
DOBBS: A landmark court decision today in Massachusetts on a national issue. Massachusetts' highest court threw out that state's ban against same-sex marriage, ruling it is unconstitutional and gave lawmakers to six months to pass a law that would allow gays and lesbians to marry. Attorneys for the couples who sued the state celebrated the decision, while the governor of Massachusetts vowed to fight it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARY BONAUTO, PLAINTIFF'S ATTORNEY: Today's court decision essentially said, as to both liberty and equality, there is in fact no rational reason whatsoever for this discrimination against gay and lesbian families in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Some court has finally had the courage to say, this really is an issue about human equality and human dignity and it's time that the government treat these people fairly.
GOV. MITT ROMNEY (R), MASSACHUSETTS: We obviously have to follow the law as provided by the Supreme Judicial Court. Even if we don't agree with it, we're going to follow it in terms of preparing legislation. And we'll have legislation which conforms with the law. But we will, at the same time, initiate a constitutional amendment process. And that constitutional amendment process will be consistent with what I think the feelings are of the people of the commonwealth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: The president, in London, also criticized the decision, saying -- quote -- "Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman. I will work with congressional leaders and others to do what is legally necessary to defend the sanctity of marriage."
Homosexuals are seeking the same rights as heterosexuals, including tax benefits, insurance and health care. And while the issue of gay marriage may excite both proponents and opponents, there is a far more important issue in the minds of many that should be at the center of our national dialogue. Marriage as a fundamental social entity is facing tremendous challenges from economic and societal forces that threaten now the institution itself.
Kitty Pilgrim reports.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Family life and marriage, "Leave It To Beaver," it's not. Half of all marriages will ultimately end in divorce, and a fifth of all marriages will end in five years, giving rise to the current popular term, starter marriage.
LINDA WAITE, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO: I think it's a mistake to think that it's a good thing for people to try out a marriage that they think is only going to last a few years, because I think they're very large social, financial, emotional costs to a failed marriage.
PILGRIM: Divorce rates are having a profound effect on society. Family breakdown has an impact on the financial well-being of the child, with the single mom the biggest cause of women going into poverty.
PATRICK FAGAN, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: There's around a 40 percent reduction in annual income. That's greater than the Great Depression had on the American economy. So a divorce is like a Great Depression for a family. Everybody is affected.
PILGRIM: According to the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, that's a radical shift. They found, three decades ago, the most common social arrangement was married couples with children; 73 percent of all children lived with their original two parents, who were married. Today, 60 percent of all children by the age of 18 will have experienced the divorce of their parents. And one in three children these days is born out of wedlock.
PILGRIM: The divorce rate is not slowing the wedding industry. There are 2.3 weddings as year. According to "Brides" magazine, Americans spend $50 billion a year on the big event -- Lou.
DOBBS: Kitty, thank you very much.
And tonight's quote is on marriage and comes from today's ruling against the ban against same-sex marriages in Massachusetts. And we quote -- "Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support. It brings stability to our society" -- that from Chief Justice Margaret Marshall of the Massachusetts Supreme Court.
That brings us to the topic of tonight's poll. The question: Do you believe same-sex marriages should be legal? I do. I don't. Cast your vote at LouDobbs@CNN.com. We'll have the results for you later in the broadcast.
Coming up next, we'll be joined by two leading national experts, joining us to share their views on the state of marriage in this country and how the decline of the institution may well shape the future of American society.
And an outrageous and offensive new movie from Disney of all people, a film that is not for your family this holiday season. I'll share my views on this controversial new movie.
Please stay with us.
DOBBS: The state of marriage in this country and the challenges to the institution deserve the concern of all of us. My guests have studied marriage and families and the forces that threaten those institutions over the past several decades.
David Popenoe is co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University. He joins us tonight from Princeton, New Jersey. Pamela Smock is a sociologist at the Institute For Social Research at the University of Michigan, joining us tonight from Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Thank you both for being here.
Marriage, one in two ends in divorce. Why is -- if I may begin with you, Pamela, why is marriage under such attack by society right now?
PAMELA SMOCK, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN: Why is marriage so unstable is what you're really asking. And most of us think that there are a lot of complex forces that feed into this, a growing cultural value of individualism, sometimes at the expense of the community or family.
We think economic issues are also part of this, so that now that women can survive economically outside of a marriage and apart from males, there may be some causal role to that. But it's a deeply rooted historical shift and not merely something that we've -- that's happened in the last few decades.
SMOCK: Divorce has been rising since last century.
DAVID POPENOE, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY: I couldn't agree more.
It's a deep cultural trend. And the only thing that's happened in the past 40 years is that the whole thing has speeded up dramatically. And so it's interesting. I think you could say, if it gets to this, the gays are buying into, maybe not a dying, but certainly a weakening institution.
DOBBS: They don't know what they're getting into.
POPENOE: They don't know what they're getting.
DOBBS: Well, let me ask you. As we laugh about this issue tonight, there are also serious implications. Those divorces, as Kitty Pilgrim reported, have a devastating impact on single parents raising children. Those children are denied the best of a family life that can be provided by two parents. The economic toll is staggering.
Is there, in your judgment, any quick fix here? Is there any way in which we should be considering options to solve the problem, Pamela?
SMOCK: I don't think that there's any quick fix, because the causes, I think, are so deeply rooted in society, I don't think that there will be easy solutions to this.
But I also don't think that we should look forward to a future of even more changes in the family. Things could switch around in response to things that you and I can't anticipate at this point. I'm talking to young adults now about what cohabitation, marriage, mean to them. And like -- David's doing a project like this as well. And they're telling us, they very much want to marry, but they're just afraid of marrying the wrong person because of the divorce they experienced when they were kids.
DOBBS: Well, they're obviously paying attention to the facts. When one out of two marriages ends in divorce, that is sobering for anyone.
David, do you agree that there is little that can be done, either through national policies, societally, that can alter this trend that you both refer to has been longstanding?
POPENOE: Well, yes.
There are certainly no quick fixes. That's for sure. But there are some encouraging signs. The divorce rate has been dropping. The out-of-wedlock birth ratio has peaked. And things aren't moving as quickly as they did a few decades ago. And the one thing going on now that has some hope is the Bush marriage initiative, which is mainly the promotion of marriage education across America. And, if nothing else, I think that will get the idea out that marriage is important and something that, as a society, we need to take more seriously and for each of us to work harder on.
DOBBS: Pamela, childbirth outside of marriage a national problem.
DOBBS: It is particularly a problem for minorities. It is not providing a foundation for education, for learning, critically important to success in society. Any change in that -- in the direction of that trend?
SMOCK: I think that there could be change. And I think that there might be easier policies to institute that change. Some of the work that I've done and research I'm familiar with really suggests that marriage and remaining married is very much associated with economic stability, with having a decent job that pays a living wage, with having a life where you can think about extras, even. And, as long as marriage-strengthening initiatives like the Bush administration's don't take those things into account, I don't think those marriages would be lasting.
I think we need to talk about what has always undergirded marriage, which is a good economy and well-paying jobs.
DOBBS: But, of course, we just came out of 10 years through the '90s, the boom years of the Clinton administration, and did not see any appreciable improvement in the situation whatsoever.
David, your response?
POPENOE: Well, I think that -- I certainly am not against economic initiatives.
But if you look at Scandinavia, where they have more economic security than anyplace in the world, they also have the world's lowest marriage rate. And I would say probably the biggest factor is religion. The people who are more religious have stronger marriages. And, of course, we're becoming an ever more secular nation. And that's a problem.
DOBBS: A more secular nation. As you both have studied this and talk about the deep-rooted cultural trend, what are the parallel trends and developments that have accompanied this assault against the institution of marriage in this society? You mentioned one, becoming a more secular society.
Pamela, are there others that are recognizable?
SMOCK: Well, yes.
To me, one of the responses is, we have increasing proportions of young adults who are living with partners, rather than marrying. They're trying cohabitation, because they truly believe that this will help them choose the right marriage partner, because they don't want a divorce. So this has been a sea change in how young adults live out their early life course.
DOBBS: And the findings of your research?
SMOCK: The findings are, in part, they think cohabitation can help them avoid a divorce later on, when David and I both know that the research probably suggests it's not going to help them.
DOBBS: Not going to help them.
David, perhaps even diminish the chances of success in marriage?
POPENOE: Well, yes. Another factor, of course, is the sexual revolution, which is getting to sort of bombardment level at this point. And it's getting harder and harder to be a monogamous country with everything that's going on.
DOBBS: Would you like to leave us with a hopeful word or two for the institution of marriage?
POPENOE: Well, I think...
SMOCK: Yes, I would.
DOBBS: OK. Do it very quickly, Pamela.
I was looking at a quote from 1909. There has always been concern about the family. In 1909, a sociologist said, the family has, to a great extent, lost its position as a conservative institution and become a field for social change. So I think the family may always be changing.
POPENOE: People still want to marry. They want to marry desperately. And we have to find a way to help them do so and have long-term marriages.
DOBBS: Well, both of you get to work on that. You're the sociologists. You're supposed to have the answers.
DOBBS: David, Pamela, thank you both for being with us. Thank you.
SMOCK: Thank you, Lou.
DOBBS: And we're going to share with you and you at home a quote on the institution of marriage as well. We found one that we thought pertained: "There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage" -- that from German theologian and reformer Martin Luther.
A reminder now to vote in our poll. The question: Do you believe same-sex marriages should be legal? I do or I don't. Cast your vote at LouDobbs@CNN.com. We'll have the results for you later in the broadcast.
Coming up next, our special report, "Broken Borders." Tonight, a proposal that would add more than 500,000 law enforcement officers to the fight against illegal immigration. Peter Viles reports.
And Congressman Charles Norwood of Georgia, he will be -- who introduced the bill -- will be our guest here tonight.
Please stay with us.
DOBBS: Tonight, our special report, "Broken Borders," on the crisis of illegal immigration in this country.,
There are an estimated 10 million illegal aliens in the United States. And federal agencies are doing little to investigate and apprehend them. And state and local law enforcement authorities aren't permitted by federal law to enforce our national immigration laws. However, Congress is now considering legislation that would change all that.
Peter Viles reports.
PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With just 2,500 immigration agents, there's no question the federal government is so outmanned in the fight against illegal immigration that it's really no fight at all. But a bill in Congress would bring in massive reinforcements, authorizing 600,000 local law enforcement officers to enforce immigration laws inside the country.
BILL THOMPSON, SO. STATES POLICE BENEVOLENT ASSN.: Well, I don't think any sheriff or any police department is going to go make a sweep at apple harvest time and try to pick up illegal aliens. However, if we stop someone in the course of our normal law enforcement duties and identify then as an illegal alien, we need to take them off the streets.
VILES: A top property of the bill is to find, arrest and deport the estimated 400,000 illegal aliens who are already under orders to leave the country.
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: We've basically had a facade of law, but we have no enforcement. We need to create an image throughout the world that we welcome immigrants. We have a good, generous system to allow them to come, but, if you do not follow the law, you will be apprehended and you will be deported.
VILES: The bill has run into opposition from some immigrant advocacy groups and also from some police officials, who say it will break down the trust that police need in communities that have high immigrant populations.
DANIEL ORTEGA, SALINAS POLICE CHIEF: Could you imagine a victim of domestic violence, for instance, who has been beaten and does not call the police because she's fearful that we're going to ask her about her immigration status and deport her, when, in fact, she's the victim of a violent crime? That just doesn't sit well with us. VILES: The Bush administration has not taken a stand on the bill, but has said it welcomes greater cooperation with local law enforcement in the war on terror.
VILES: Well, there is already a limited federal law on the books that allows states to enforce immigration law at very specific instances. They have to train under and work directly with federal government. And that is happening right now, Lou, in only two states, Alabama and Florida, on a very limited basis.
DOBBS: Pete, thank you very much -- Peter Viles.
My guest introduced the Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal Act.
Congressman Charlie Norwood of Georgia joins us tonight from Capitol Hill.
Congressman, good to have you here.
REP. CHARLES NORWOOD (R), GEORGIA: Hey, Lou. Glad to be here.
DOBBS: This issue is critically important to the nation. You're focusing not on illegal aliens, nor on national immigration policy, but solely on criminal illegal aliens in this country. How many do you estimate there to be?
NORWOOD: Well, we know for a fact that, out of the 400,000 illegal aliens that are deportable, 80,000 of those are violent criminals. I'm not talking about running a red light here. I'm talking about murderers, rapists, robbers, drug kingpins, the whole nine yards.
And what's even scarier, we're at a time here that we're concerned about our homeland security. Out of that 400,000, we know that 3,700 come from countries that are friendly to al Qaeda. And we need to get these people off the streets. Now, there's a bigger immigration problem. We recognize that. Any time a nation has been invaded by eight million to 12 million people, we have serious problems. But we're narrowly focusing this on mostly criminal aliens.
DOBBS: And how is it that 80,000 criminal aliens have not been apprehended in the natural course of investigation and apprehension by Homeland Security, Immigration, Customs, and the other agencies responsible at the national level for doing so?
NORWOOD: Well, Lou, I blame this on Congress, not on BICE.
We simply are not insisting that the federal government enforces law. We only have 2,000 federal agents looking for these 4,000 people, which clearly means we don't want to find them very badly. We say that one day, and the next day, we're concerned and spend billions of dollars on homeland security. Yet we know we can't find them with 2,000 people. They're working their heart out. They just can't do that.
DOBBS: Now, the Clear Act has been criticized because some suggest it is an open invitation to -- quote, unquote -- "racial profiling." How do you respond?
NORWOOD: Well, I don't believe it's an open invitation to anything. Racial profiling is illegal.
Local law enforcement is trained how to avoid that. And they simply cannot ignore the laws on the books, for fear of asking somebody if they're a citizen of this country. We never will get this in hand if we just refuse to ignore that the problem is there and you stop somebody. And this bill, by the way, really only says, in the course of your normal duty -- we're not interested in the sheriff's department raiding an apple orchard -- in the course of your normal duty, if you come across illegal aliens, you have to find out something about it to turn up these 400,000 criminal illegal aliens.
DOBBS: How do you respond to the police chief from Salinas, California, that Peter Viles just reported on, saying that, in the course of a domestic violence, a domestic dispute, a woman being subjected to abuse violently being reluctant to call because she would be afraid that she would be deported? How do you respond to that concern?
NORWOOD: Well, in south Georgia language, that's pluperfect nonsense.
I will bet you anything that chief of police knows about the U- visa that is out there that allows a woman who is having a problem with domestic violence to turn herself in and not be deported. We've already put that on the books to solve that particular problem. And if that chief doesn't know about it, he should.
DOBBS: And law enforcement, a couple of agencies that have said they're not going to support it -- most of them have said they will support this legislation, Congressman -- do you expect to change their minds?
NORWOOD: Well, we don't have a mandate here. We're asking local law enforcement to help the federal government round up these criminal illegal aliens and potential terrorists. They don't have to do that. We're not forcing them into it. There are some
DOBBS: I'm sorry.
NORWOOD: There are some cities today, Lou, that absolutely refuse to help the federal government with illegal aliens.
And my view of that is that, if you want to turn your city into a safe harbor, where all of the illegal aliens know they can come and not ever be asked a question or not ever be detained or arrested, you can do that. I think that's foolishness to do that and that is not the right approach. But we have some major cities in America who today don't allow their local law enforcement people to work with INS, now BICE, in any way, though that's against the federal law, too.
DOBBS: Congressman, what do you judge to be the timing of this legislation and its chances of becoming law?
NORWOOD: Well, I think the chances are pretty good. People are fed up with what's going on in this nation.
You had a report a couple of weeks ago talking about the expense of putting illegal aliens in prisons. That's just the tip of the iceberg, the expense that this country's incurring for health care, for education, for all the welfare benefits that illegals are gaining right now. And people, I think, have just simply had enough.
We have 111 co-sponsors in the House. We are in an educational process right now. We're not trying to hurry. We think this is something perhaps that should come up next year for a serious discussion. And people who believe that we need to follow the laws of this nation or change them will have an opportunity to debate this.
DOBBS: Congressman Norwood, we thank you for being here. We appreciate it.
NORWOOD: Well, thank you, Lou. I appreciate you having this subject come up.
DOBBS: Thank you, now.
NORWOOD: Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado, who has been a guest on this broadcast, of course, and an outspoken critic of so- called guest worker programs, today introduced comprehensive legislation to crack down on corporations and companies who abuse what he calls dysfunctional foreign worker programs.
The legislation also aims to increase security at the nation's borders with an unprecedented number of Border Patrol agents. The Be Real Act (ph), as it's called, differs from competing bills in at least one key area. It does not provide amnesty for illegal aliens who make it across our borders.
Coming up next: long-awaited energy reform, long-awaited Medicare reform, a new governor in California. It has been a big week in politics. Is it politics as usual or real change ahead? Karen Tumulty of "TIME" magazine, Ron Brownstein of ""The Los Angeles Times," will be with us.
Please stay with us.
DOBBS: Calling Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today convened a special session of the California legislature in his first full day as governor. One of the governor's first moves, a bid to repeal a controversial and divisive new law that allows illegal aliens in California the right to obtain California driver's licenses.
Governor Schwarzenegger also kept a campaign promise to repeal the state's unpopular, at best, hike in the state's car tax. In an effort to tackle the state's massive budget crisis, the governor proposes a $15 billion bond issue, strict spending caps for the legislature. And, in a largely symbolic gesture, Governor Schwarzenegger will forgo his own salary of $175,000 a year.
From California now to Capitol Hill, Congress weighing in on several key issues facing us all, from the energy bill to Medicare.
Joining me now, Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent at "TIME" magazine, Ron Brownstein, national political correspondent with "The Los Angeles Times."
Good to have you both here.
Let me begin, first, Karen, with you. The governor, Governor Schwarzenegger, making good on his promises. But $15 billion in bond issues, my goodness.
KAREN TUMULTY, "TIME": Yes.
And, in fact, his repeal of the car tax only makes his budget problem even worse. And he's basically got a month here to put together a budget and get it through the legislature. So he is under a lot of pressure. And of course, this bond issue, he's going to be criticized here for avoiding new taxes, but doing it by really forcing that debt upon the children and grandchildren of Californians.
DOBBS: Ron, you won't be one of those criticizing the new governor, surely?
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, maybe.
Look, they asked the question during the campaign, how do you make it add up? You protect education. You want to increase spending on children's health care. You want to cut taxes. The answer is, you, as Karen says, push a big chunk of the bill on to future taxpayers through this bond issue.
I mean, it's a kind of thing that, when Gray Davis wanted to do, Republicans and fiscal conservatives were outraged. Schwarzenegger will argue the differences that he's going to try to impose a constitutional restraint on spending. But it still is something that I think people who are serious about budgets understand it's really not a precedent you want to be establishing.
DOBBS: Turning to national politics, the prescription drug bill, the energy bill, these appear to be extraordinary victories for the Bush administration, Karen. Where does it leave the Democrats?
TUMULTY: I cannot see how this is anything but a win-win for the Republicans on both bills, and particularly on this prescription drug bill, because, if the Democrats do in fact filibuster it, as there is some talk they might do in the Senate -- certainly, Teddy Kennedy is opposing it -- they are going to give the Republicans the choice of either delivering something that people very badly want -- even if it's a half-measure, I think, most people, the polls pretty well indicate, would rather have something than nothing -- or spending the next year talking about how the Democrats stopped people from getting something they very badly want.
BROWNSTEIN: Can I ask a question here?
It is amazing how easy politics when you don't have to pay for anything. We talked about Schwarzenegger a moment ago. But the fact is, is that Democrats and Republicans here are passing a bill essentially to provide this massive new subsidy and entitlement for the baby boom, primarily, as they age, and obviously today's seniors. But the costs will be significantly larger in the second decade than it will be in the first because of the baby boom.
And they are charging it all on the credit cards of future generations. They are simply unwilling to come up with any money to pay for this benefit, which is going to be $400 billion at least in the first decade and quite a bit more after that, not to mention an energy bill that's going to cost at least $25 billion. If you don't have to pay for it, if you don't have to make anything add up, think really is playing tennis without a net.
DOBBS: Does it ever boggle your very experienced and talented minds to find that you're talking about a Republican-led Senate and Congress, when you look at the spending that is going on and the deferred bill, if you will, for all of the programs that are moving through Congress?
BROWNSTEIN: A little bit.
Look, we saw under Reagan -- I think it's been true, Lou, for 20 years that Republicans think that cutting taxes is more important than balancing the budget. And they feel that the only way to really restrain the long-term growth of government is, in effect, to starve the beast, as the phrase goes, by denying it tax revenue.
The wrinkle that Bush is adding is adding this massive new entitlement on the domestic side for prescription drugs, while he's pursuing these tax cuts and dealing with these big deficits.
DOBBS: What's left for the Democrats?
DOBBS: What's been left for them?
TUMULTY: What's been left for the Democrats?
DOBBS: Right. It looks like this administration is moving through every program. Tax cuts, the energy bill, you name it, they have moved it through.
TUMULTY: And they've done it, by the way, essentially shutting the Democrats out of the room, which gives them absolutely no claim to any part of the credit for it. So they are really depriving the Democrats of a lot of things that they wanted to run on next year.
BROWNSTEIN: Well, I think this is a big advantage, Lou.
But the argument that will be left for the Democrats will be whether the entire package works. What people really care about in the end, more important than any of these individual programs, is the effect on the macroeconomy. Right now, it's looking better for Bush, as you know. But whether he can sustain enough growth to avoid having a net loss of jobs over his term, plus the fact that you do have this massive deficit, if times are good, that's probably not going to be an issue.
If times are bad again or not great, it could become a symbol and a problem. So I don't think it's a clearing-the-tables kind of thing. But, really, what the public, in the end, cares the most about is the effect on the broad economy.
TUMULTY: And, in particular, as long as interest rates remain low, it is going to be very hard for the Democrats, I think, to make this deficit argument and get any traction at all with the public.
DOBBS: And we'll see if things change in their entirety by the time next we talk.
We thank you both for being here. Karen, Ron, thank you.
Now taking a look at some of your thoughts on our special report, "Exporting America."
From Kenosha, Wisconsin: "Lou, where do we go from here? I'm a mechanical engineer and have seen a mass exodus of manufacturing leave this country in the last few years. This is not a Republican or a Democratic problem. It is a problem that, in my estimation, leads to the crumbling of the foundation this country was built on" -- from Jerry Brooks.
And from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi: "Finally, someone has the guts to speak out about what really has been happening here in the United States. We really are country Friday of the free. We have given it all away" -- Karen Evans.
From Laughlin, Nevada: "Mr. Dobbs, thank you for the great series on 'Exporting America,' as well for being a touch of sanity in the insane world of cable news. Your style, no shouting, no rancor, no B.S., makes watching the news a pleasure."
Thank you, Bob Moore.
On the war in Iraq from Cazadero, California: "I appreciate your probing questions regarding the number of dead and wounded in Iraq. Scant media attention is given to the real number of our people wounded and disabled in Iraq. We get a daily death report, no injury data. We really do care how our military is operating in Iraq" -- that from Marilyn Gjerdrum.
And, of course, Marilyn, so do we all.
From White Lake, Michigan: "Lou, I would like to join the chorus of liberals who have written recently to congratulate you on tackling important issues. Please keep the spotlight on the SEC. If the Putnam settlement is any indication, they aren't nearly serious enough about cleaning up the mess we're in" -- that from Noel Roberts.
Well, Noel, it may not be quite a chorus yet, but like you, all of us here believe these issues, these serious issues, must be well above partisan politics and ideology if this nation is so solve these pressing problems.
From Sacramento, California: "Lou, I'm disappointed in your show. How dare you and your guests compare illegal immigrants from Mexico to terrorists. Instead of attacking Mexican immigrants, you and your so- called patriotic Americans need to thank them for doing the jobs that you and other patriotic Americans will not perform" -- that from Esteban Fernandez-Gomez.
Esteban, no one on this broadcast or any of our guests has ever compared illegal aliens to terrorists. And no one on this program has ever attacked Mexican immigrants. And if 700,000 illegal aliens can cross our borders, as they are estimated to do each year, how secure does that make you feel that a terrorist might cross our borders as well?
We love hearing from you. E-mail us at LOUDOBBS@CNN.com. Please include your name and your hometown.
Coming up next here, "Exporting America" tonight -- long-awaited good news for American manufacturers and, of course, their workers, in the fight against cheap Chinese imports. We'll have that story and a great deal more still ahead.
Please stay with us.
DOBBS: A federal judge today denied Martha Stewart's request to drop two of the five criminal charges against her. The judge ruled against the motion to dismiss the obstruction of justice and securities fraud charges. Other charges against her include conspiracy, two counts of lying to investigators in connection with her sale of ImClone stock. Stewart is set to face trial in January.
We have just received word that a number of traders on Wall Street have just been arrested and taken out in handcuffs.
Christine Romans is here with that story and a great deal more.
Christine, bring us up to date.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a mystery unfolding, really.
At least 10 traders being taken out of 2 World Financial Center in handcuffs by the FBI. We're told that, in the end, it could be as many as 47 individuals who will be arrested in this raid. You're seeing the pictures unfolding right now. This happened not too long ago. This is 2 World Financial Center, 47 folks involved. And we're told it has to do with foreign exchange, an investigation into foreign exchange currencies, that is.
So we will continue to keep an eye on this. We're told, tomorrow, the U.S. attorney is going to have a press conference about this event. And we're also told that the company involved is called Free Star Capital. And that, Lou, is about all we know on that one.
DOBBS: And where are we now with the mutual fund investigation?
ROMANS: The investigation, of course, continues. And it continued today with a lot of talking on Capitol Hill.
SEC Chief Bill Donaldson says that wrongdoing mutual fund will not be tolerated. The SEC is going to open a new office of risk management to get better early warnings of these sorts of scandals. And the mutual funds lobbying group told Congress it is shocked at this scandal. And it urged that wrongdoers be sent to prison. Those are tough words, but Congress asked, where were the regulators and lobbyists before the scandal blew up?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R), ALABAMA: That's an excellent question. Yes, where were the people? Where was the SEC? I asked the question at the hearing, how much money, how many resources, how many people were expended on the oversight of the mutual fund industry in the past five years?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Shelby says that cheating was widespread, the betrayal was flagrant, and the industry's ability to regulate its own behavior was poor, Lou. Tough words.
DOBBS: And Chairman Shelby is a bad fellow to mess with.
DOBBS: All right, Christine Romans, thank you very much. And I apologize reaching in for a piece of paper into your shot.
ROMANS: That's all right.
DOBBS: Forgive me.
ROMANS: You're forgiven.
DOBBS: Thank you.
Following up on our special report, "Exporting America," the story that we reported to you last night on the struggling textile industry in this country, raising trade tensions with China, the Bush administration today said it will impose quotas on three types of that country's textile products. This move is aimed at giving the U.S. industry some relief from a surge of Chinese imports, although details are still not known.
U.S. textile makers are hailing the decision, of course. The International Monetary Fund, however, is now warning the United States against taking further trade steps against China, despite the fact that we expect a $130 billion trade deficit with China.
Meanwhile, a Bush administration official today said China is not abiding by fair trade rules. Assistant Commerce Secretary William Lash said he would give China a gentleman's C, to a D-plus grade on keeping with World Trade Organization commitments. That's tough talk, isn't it, gentleman's C or D? But on enforcing intellectual proper rights rules that protect foreign products, Lash said, China gets a failing grade, perhaps an F-minus.
Well, the White House is hoping a move by the U.S. steel industry will help avoid a threatened war with the European Union. Steel makers have reluctantly agreed to cut shore tariffs on steel imports. The steel would also speed up the scheduled cutbacks of the tariff level. So far, the European Union has not shown any interest in compromising on these tariffs, which the World Trade Organization says are illegal.
Coming up next here, a new film from Disney that will likely disgust you. I'll share my views about this new outrageous and offensive film for the holiday season, of all things.
Please stay with us.
DOBBS: Now the results of our poll tonight.
The question: Do you believe same-sex marriages should be legal? Sixty-two percent of you said, I do; 38 percent said, I don't.
And 75 years ago today, Mickey Mouse first appeared on the silver screen. Now, normally, the last thing I would want to do is a movie review. But this is more of a corporation and brand name review. The same company that has given us all Mickey Mouse and Snow White is just about, in my opinion, to destroy its reputation with one movie. The movie is "Bad Santa." It's to be released by the Disney subsidiary Miramax next week.
It features a booze-crazed, thieving, skirt-chasing version of good old Saint Nick. Instead of climbing down chimneys and delighting youngsters all around the world, this Kris Kringle is more interested in picking up chicks and shouting profanities at kids. It's an unthinkable, in my opinion, assault on the senses and certainly an assault on the sensibilities of all that's wonderful about a cherished childhood icon.
Billy Bob Thornton R-rated Santa is so vile, so vulgar, we can't even hint about some of the things that he does on a family broadcast like this. And I can't imagine Disney doing more to dishonor its heritage, its brand and its audience. Michael Eisner, simply put, you should be ashamed. That's our show for tonight. We thank you for being with us.
Tomorrow, in our special report, "Broken Borders," how illegal aliens are using this country's national parks to enter the United States and why American citizens are afraid to enter those national parks. We'll also be joined by Max Boot, senior fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations. We'll be talking about Iraq. And Mark Krikorian from the Center For Immigration Studies and Frank Sharry from the National Immigration Forum face off on immigration policies, or the lack of them, in this country -- all of that tomorrow. Please join us.
Thanks for being with us tonight. For all of us here, good night from New York.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com