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CNN NEWSROOM

Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State?; Wildfires Rage In California

Aired November 14, 2008 - 15:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Coming at you right now:

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those days of noosings, hanging, and torturing should be a thing of the past.

SANCHEZ: In Long Island, New York, a history of hate, and now a spike, the ugly reaction to an Obama presidency.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): America should take its army out of the country. They are considered terrorists.

SANCHEZ: What our enemies are saying about us in an extremely rare interview.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): For us, the change of America's president, we don't have any faith in him. If he does anything good, it will be for himself.

SANCHEZ: We are live on the front lines of a desperate attempt to save entire communities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nebraska can't afford to take care of all of them.

SANCHEZ: The Nebraska phenomenon, Americans in droves giving up on their own children.

Will she be Obama's secretary of state?

Here we go, lunchtime in San Francisco, 2:00 in Chicago, on the air and on the Internet. Your international conversation starts right now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: And hello again, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez.

We have got a lot of stuff to get to, but the very first thing we are going to present for you is this situation that is unfolding right now in California.

These fires have been raging for the better part of the last 48 hours or so. We have got pictures we want to show you. And, as I do that, by the way, as I give you the details of what is going on here and take you through the story and how many people are affected, I want to tell you about one person, one person who has been affected.

His name is Dcagle. And he has been captivating people all over the country with his tweets. We have been following him as well. Listen to this: "Dramatic to see all the surrounding hillsides on fire at the same time." This is what he is writing to people all over the world. "I live just down the hill from the Tea House the fire is named for."

He is right. That is exactly what it is named for and that's where it apparently started, in Montecito.

Now, he goes on to say: "I am now watching my neighborhood burn on Channel 2," one of the TV stations out there in L.A. Then he says: "My son and I just filled the cars up with art and our old photos, still a whole lot of art in the house." And then he writes: "I just got out of my house in Santa Barbara. Fire looked like it was two houses away when we evacuated."

So, oftentimes when we bring you these stories, you see the pictures and you see some of the stats and some of the information, but these are people's lives that are being affected by something like this. So far, 2,500 acres in Santa Barbara County have been charred. Thousands of people have evacuated. And some of these are these luxury neighborhoods, places where people like Oprah Winfrey live for example.

In fact, I have got a number here. Here is is -- 5,400 homes have been evacuated. That is the exact number -- 210 residents have been spending the night at an emergency shelter. Firefighters have been coming into the area to do whatever it is that they can.

We apparently have 100 -- how many firefighters have been working this thing? We are getting at least different reports from different agencies that all of them have put at least 100 firefighters into the area. Of course, you would have to combine that.

Oh, and then there's the C-130s. There's 10 of those C-130 air tankers, and they have those water-dropping helicopters to assist the ground crews. In fact, I think we might have some pictures of them from time to time that we're going to be able to show you as well.

This is how this thing is unfolding. There is one of those C- 130s. There it is. There you see him now trying to assist the firefighters on the ground as they try and put out this fire. I mean, this is amazing to watch. And, you know, as usual, you have got the hot shots there on the ground and some of the others who are called in from all parts of the state.

And it seems to be something that happens usually as a wind phenomenon. In other words, if the wind picks up, the fire gets worse. If the wind levels out, then things improve.

Geri Ventura is joining us now with the Montecito Fire Department. He's one of -- or she, I should say, is one of the folks who is working this thing for us.

Chris (ph), my producer, says she is on the line and ready to go.

Geri, you there?

GERI VENTURA, MONTECITO FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT: Yes, I am. Hi, Rick.

SANCHEZ: We are looking at the pictures and we're thinking, my goodness, you guys really have your hands full. But I was just about to talk to Chad. My question to him was going to be, aren't the winds at least getting a little better for you now?

VENTURA: The winds are much improved from what we had last night and yesterday. We had winds up to 60- to 90-mile-per-hour gusts. Today, they were predicted to be at most 15 to 25. And we haven't seen much of that today materializing at this time. So, we definitely have the weather working in our favor today.

SANCHEZ: We are looking right now at a fire that has just taken over a home. This home -- I believe it is a home -- I am almost convinced it is a home -- is gone. How many others like it have been destroyed by this fire?

VENTURA: We have lost between 100 and 200 homes within the Montecito and Santa Barbara city jurisdictions.

We don't have an exact number at this time. They are still out there doing some recon, so we don't have that number. And as you can see, it is still changing, because it is a dynamic fire, but yes, we have unfortunately lost several structures to this fire.

SANCHEZ: I am reading that this fire is creeping like little fingers. That is the way they describe it, or somebody I think either in your office or another firefighters office out there described it to the media. What did you mean by that? And what makes this fire then particularly difficult then to put out?

VENTURA: I did hear that description of fingers used by someone. I don't know where that came from.

But I think that what they were talking about was the wind event that we had last night was very sporadic and very erratic. It was not like a wall of fire, like we have seen in some instances when we have had wind-driven fires, where it just takes everything out in its path, for example, the Paint Fire that we had in 1990. That just came down and basically just sucked every residence in its path down to ashes.

This particular fire, because the wind was erratic, it spotted. So, we might have had one or two homes on one block, and then five homes on another, and then a complete neighborhood that got skipped. And, so, I think that is kind of what they might have been describing when they talked about fingers and this fire.

SANCHEZ: I will tell you, it is amazing the work that you guys do to put up with these things.

Now we're looking once again at live pictures. This is a helicopter in this case that's actually -- they go into these lakes that are in these canyons. They collect the water. And then they scurry over to the area where it is needed and they drop it down by opening. It is amazing to watch.

Geri, thanks so much for being with us.

Let's do this. Let's go over to Chad now. He can let us know what is going on with some of the conditions in this area.

Chad, fill us in on what is going to happen, because it is almost one of those situations where the wind goes up, the wind goes down, the fire recedes, right?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right.

And when the big high pressure over the West, like we have today, the mountains breathe. They literally inhale and then they exhale. Let me tell you how this happens. The sun comes down and heats up the earth. Well, what happens? That heats the air. The air rises.

That is the breathe in. And so the air comes on shore from the water. That's good. It's more humid. It's cooler. It's better for the firefighters, although because it's usually not -- it is not 40 miles per hour.

But, at night, the air cools off and it goes back down again and that is the exhale. So, as it goes out, the air exhales off the coast. It runs down the canyon 40 to 60 miles per hour and that is what happened yesterday evening. That is how the fire really all got going.

Now, right now, most of the high-wind warnings and the red flag warnings are south of where the fire is, from Santa Barbara, seven miles per hour, still kind of coming on shore, so it's still breathing in, rather than breathing out.

But back our here, a little bit farther to the north, let's say north of Hollywood Hills, the winds are 16. And I did see a couple of wind gusts in Malibu Hills to almost 40 miles per hour. And that is going to be the key. Does this big wind event that is just south and east of this area kind of sneak its way back into Montecito?

If it doesn't, the firefighters are going to get a handle on this fire tonight, and it will be over. If the winds sneak a little bit farther to the west, it's still going to be an event later on tonight.

SANCHEZ: It is amazing. Look at that thing next to you over there. Look at that. That is a huge home. And out there it doesn't take a lot to be a million dollar home, but that is a million-plus, and the people who used to live there are saying -- if they happen to be watching us right now, they are saying, that is the home where I used to live and probably won't be living for quite some time.

We just heard from officials there that they are not the only ones. It could end up being hundreds of homes like this by the time we're all done. Chad Myers, keep --

MYERS: I was listening to the helicopter pilots there today. I had to opportunity. And you can go to CNN.com/live and actually keep watching that live all the time.

But I was listening to the pilot. And he said, 100 homes? It's not even close to that number. It is way higher than that.

They just can't get in there to count them.

SANCHEZ: Yes.

MYERS: So, 100 is a pretty conservative number right now.

SANCHEZ: Yes, you and I both know. We have covered these things. And you're right. When it first happens, there is no way to really knowing what the damage is, like hurricanes and tornadoes, for example.

Chad Myers, as usual, on top of this for us, we thank you.

By the way, as we follow this story, there's a couple of others that we are going to be bring you up to date on. What is going on, on Long Island, New York? Hate, KKK, white supremacists? We're going to break that down for you. We will be joined by somebody who is going to be able to tell us about this.

Then unbelievable rare reaction from one of the enemies of the United States of America. This guy is a Taliban militant. He is hiding in the mountains of Pakistan. And we got a camera to him to listen to what he has to say about us, about Barack Obama. You will see that right here in a couple of minutes. Stay with us. We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Go ahead. Hey, Rog, do me a favor. Go ahead, put up some of the pictures of the fire. Let's check back in with what is going on out there.

I mean, it is pretty difficult. While you do that, I am going to go -- all right, these are live pictures now. Is that what you just told me? All right. These are lives pictures that we have got coming in now from part of Montecito.

Let me tell you what the area is, too, and let me try and multitask here, too, because while I am talking to you, I am also going to go on my Twitter board, because I think there might be some people who have been trying to reach us now from that area as well who are talking about these things.

There you go, Johnny. You keep an eye on that. Let me tell you about the fire, itself. It is the Montecito area, but the fire has moved a little bit west of that right now, and as a result, it is also affecting the area known as Riviera -- Riviera -- pardon me. It is a hilltop community in that area.

That is where a lot of those really wealthy homes are. That picture is going to go in and out by the way from time to time as we are checking on things there with the fire.

We have also got some of the pictures of what was happening throughout the day, like this picture right here. We have been monitoring this, and it is almost like one home will go after another, and then suddenly, you will see the camera move, and you will see another home in another area that starts to get affected by it.

I mean, these fires, what they do is they make their own fuel. They essentially -- and Chad can tell us more about this, but, you know, even if you don't have a wind cause which is really pushing the fire from place to place, if the fire gets big enough, it almost makes its own wind and then will spread it from one location to another.

And when we have been out there covering these fires and watching situations like this, I have always been amazed at the number of trees that are still around these big homes. Some of them are smart enough to know that the first thing you want to do is you cut away the brush, you cut away the trees, but in some cases they don't do that, which becomes a problem.

So, this is what we are going to be keeping our eye on throughout the show, but obviously some big stories that we're going to be following as well, like the one we told you out of Long Island, and of course the story of the Taliban, who is our enemy, who is talking about us today. Listening to our enemy, talking to our enemy, didn't Petraeus say something about that just a week ago? We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: We have got this tweet coming in. It is from somebody. It's Jason, who lives in like Canada, and he is watching us.

He says: "Rick, I live in Canada in the area that burned most of British Columbia interior in '03. My heart goes out to the evacuees in California."

So, obviously a lot of folks are watching this. And as it unfolds, we are going to be sharing with you some of the information from this story.

You know, this is your newscast, and we like to call it a national conversation, as you can see, sometimes an international conversation, right? But you know that we are finding more and more that it really is an international conversation, not just Jason from Canada talking to us, but I was also doing what my friends on the staff call my laka laka laka (ph) segment the other day on CNN Espanol.

That is where I go downstairs and I do a segment every day at 11:15 speaking Spanish. I do it using Twitter, which freaks them out just slightly. But what really freaked me out was when I received a tweet from somebody the other day while I was in CNN Espanol, who said, "I'm in Cuba." And this is my reaction. In Cuba, they were Twittering.

And think about this blog written by Robert Scoble on his site scobleizer.com. I read blogs written about our show every single day, but this one really caught my eye.

It is written by him. He is one of the most famous tech bloggers in the entire world, and he may be on to the stuff that the rest of us ignore at our own peril.

He writes: "The days of seeing the Chinese only as cloners of our stuff are over. Americans are being fed only the negative stories about China. And that is lulling them into complacency," he says. "The largest bookstore in the world is in China." The largest city hall he has ever seen is here. The largest library that he has ever seen is here, he says, an increasingly educated work force in China. It is interesting.

Scoble goes on to write from China: "CNN's Rick Sanchez Twittered me, which demonstrates that Twitter has a powerful reach. China gets that and they are using it in their business models already."

Wow. We call what we do here everyday a national conversation. Maybe we are more. We will let you know.

By the way, speaking of international conversations, Evo Morales, the controversial president of Bolivia, will join me Monday here. I am going to interview him. I know he does not speak English. It's OK. I will do a simultaneous translation in English and Spanish -- it may be the first of its kind -- on the air live on CNN. As we know, he is not exactly a fan of the United States, maybe a leftist, certainly controversial. You will hear what he has to say.

Up next, an intriguing, if not scary question: Why is the KKK and other white supremacist groups welcoming an Obama presidency?

And, also, we have got that story about ready on the Taliban. You will hear from one of their leaders right here as well, rare, indeed.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: We welcome you back.

Many of you are commenting on the newscast as you are watching it. And we're going to be monitoring those pictures out of California, as I told you just moments ago.

But there is something else I want to show you. Take a look at these guys right here. Look at this video of these fellows. They are charged in the death of an Ecuadoran man. They didn't even know this guy. They just decided they were going to attack him, because they thought he was a -- quote -- "beaner." And they wanted to go beaner- jumping.

This is taking place in Long Island, New York. It is not the only case like that in Long Island, New York.

As a matter of fact, let's look at a chunk of Joe John's report that he filed on these guys and the victim, Marcello Lucero.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Police say Jeffrey Conroy, a three-sport athlete, repeatedly stabbed Lucero in the chest, as the gang beat him. Conroy faces charges of first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't really tell you how I feel, you know. It's like I just wanted to do it justice right now.

JOHNS: His brother said Lucero had come to the U.S. on a visa 16 years ago. He's remembered as the friendly face of the local dry- cleaner who played a mean game of volleyball and called his mother several times a week.

REV. ALAN RAMIREZ, BROOKVILLE REFORMED CHURCH: Once again, there is the blood of immigrants, flowing through the streets of Suffolk County.

JOHNS: A neighborhood minister said the attack was fueled by xenophobia. In fact, he says the growing Latino population on Long Island is under attack. Houses have been burned down as people slept inside -- several day workers brutally beaten.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

Across the country, a recent Justice Department report shows Latinos are the chief victims of ethnically motivated hate crimes.

RUBEN NAVARRETTE, LATINO COLUMNIST: When people go out on the airwaves or in print or at the stump as a politician, and they beat that drum, they shouldn't be surprised, at the end of the day, many people out there, and particularly young people, who are very impressionable, think: "Hey, you know what? This is one group we can do this to."

JOHNS: As for the victim Marcello Lucero, his family blames the boy's parents for the brutal attack and plans to sue them in civil court. But the lawyers for the attackers say bias was not the boy's motive, adding that one of the boys is part Latino. All have entered not guilty pleas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And Jeff was like he's the nicest guy you will ever meet.

JOHNS: But to Latinos in this community, the history of these attacks tells another story.

FERNANDO MATEO, HISPANICS ACROSS AMERICA: We can't harbor terrorists in our homes. These seven kids are terrorists and they must pay as such.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: Joe Johns did a nice job on that story. It is not the only one we can show you. There are others like it.

In fact, take a look at this pamphlet. There is a pamphlet that is being distributed around Long Island. Many people have gotten it. It's from the KKK. "Join the Klan," it says. "Wake up, white America."

And others have received information about warnings about the Chinese and about the Hispanics. It does make you wonder what is going on. I mean, is there a spike going on with this right now? Is it post-Obama election?

Mark Potok is as good as anybody to talk about this. He's with the Southern Poverty Law Center. And he's joining us now live.

What are you seeing in the United States right now? Why are we hearing more of cases like this?

MARK POTOK, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER: Well, specifically with regard to attacks on immigrants or people who are perceived to be immigrants, that has been going up at least four years now. We have seen a 40 percent jump in anti-Latino hate crimes.

SANCHEZ: What about the Obama thing? We are hearing that there are people in the KKK who actually wanted Obama to win this election.

POTOK: Well, yes, I am not sure I would put it precisely like that.

But, yes, there are Klan leaders, including David Duke, a former Klan leader, who saw, in the election of Obama, a kind of silver lining. In other words, they thought, as David Duke said, that if Obama were elected, as he has been, that it would serve as a "visual aid" -- quote, unquote -- to white America. In other words, it would wake white Americans up presumably who would realize their country was stolen from them, and rush to join the Klan and other similar groups.

SANCHEZ: A lot of people when they think of these kinds of crimes, when they think of white supremacists, they do often think of the Deep South of the United States, places like Alabama, for example, which you are very familiar with, because that's where your offices are, places like Georgia, maybe Tennessee, and Kentucky, only because the stereotype says so.

But is that just a stereotype when we see cases like these in Long Island?

POTOK: It really is a stereotype. These kinds of crimes are pretty well evenly spread around the country, although it is worth saying that Suffolk County in particular in Long Island has a really wretched history over the last six or seven years. They have seen a number of incidents.

(CROSSTALK) SANCHEZ: It is funny you say that. One of the members of our staff checked. And I said, I never knew this. And people have been sending me -- as a matter of fact, look.

Here's Kyriana, 79. She is watching our chow now -- our show now -- our chow now.

(LAUGHTER)

SANCHEZ: "I never felt Long Island had a history of hate, but rather a culture of unruly privileged teens."

Well, actually, Kyriana one of our staff guys checked and they say that, in 1920, one of seven people who lived in Long Island belonged to the Klan.

Does that sound right?

POTOK: Yes, that probably is right.

The Klan of course back in the '20s was absolutely gigantic. There were almost four million members of the Klan back then, as opposed to perhaps 5,000 or 6,000 nationally today.

But really what we are seeing in Suffolk County has been going on for the last six or seven years and was largely kicked off by a kind of vile little group called Sachem Quality of Life. Since then, we have seen quite a number of incidents, including the firebombing of a home which burned down around a Mexican family who just escaped with their lives with small children.

SANCHEZ: It is amazing. We're going to keep tabs on this and we're going to be continually talking to Mark on this newscast weekly to keep you up to date on what is going on in this country, monitor it, report on it, and whenever we can, do what we can to stop it.

Thanks so much, Mark Potok, Southern Poverty Law Center. We appreciate it.

POTOK: Thanks for having me.

SANCHEZ: The Taliban normally doesn't talk to Western reporters. They don't like us. They don't trust us. They don't want to talk to us, period, except for on this occasion.

You are about to see when we come back a report about someone in the Taliban who's a militant and a -- almost a spokesperson for them, who tells his story, what they feel, what they think, and talks about Barack Obama in particular. You may be surprised. This is something you must see if you are an American.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Here we go. Here is this report I have been telling you about, because the -- you know the question. And it -- and we have asked it on this newscast several times. Should we listen to our enemies?

General Petraeus is the commander of CENTCOM and in charge of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He says we should talk to our enemies. Knowing that, what I'm about to show you is extremely rare. You're about to see an interview with a top Taliban militant -- a kind of a mouthpiece for the Taliban, by the way. These are pictures that you -- well, these are people who don't talk to Western reporters. They don't like nor trust Western reporters.

His name is Muslim Khan.

CNN managed to get one of our representatives to go into this remote region of Pakistan, to find him and see if he would sit down and talk about us and about Barack Obama.

And he did. He talked to Reza -- pardon me. Reza Sayah files this report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His name is Muslim Khan. And in a rare television interview with CNN, the Pakistani Taliban leader called the election of Barack Obama a victory for African-Americans.

MUSLIM KHAN, TALIBAN SPOKESMAN (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): For America's black people, it could be that there will be a change. That era is coming.

SAYAH: But Muslim Khan says the Taliban expect nothing to change with U.S. policy in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

KHAN (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): For us, the change of America's president -- we don't have any faith in him. If he does anything good, it will be for himself.

SAYAH: And he had a message for President-Elect Obama and U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

KHAN (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): America should take its army out of the country. They are considered terrorists.

SAYAH: The gristled and graying mouthpiece of the Taliban is among Pakistan's most wanted men. He agreed to meet with a CNN representative in the remote Swat Valley, a mountainous region in Pakistan northwest frontier province, where the Pakistan Army and the Taliban have been engaged in fierce fighting.

With an assault rifle across his lap, Muslim Khan answered a list of 10 written questions. There was no opportunity to ask follow-up questions. In answers that sometimes rambled, he talked about subjects ranging from slavery to Barack Obama's middle name, Hussein.

KHAN (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): If he behaves in the way of a real Hussein, then he has become our brother. If Barack Obama pursues the same policies of Bush and behaves like Bush and if he keeps making policies like Bush, then he cannot be Hussein, he can only be Obama. It could be that Barack Obama could bring a change to the lives of black people in America. The black people know how much they were discriminated against in America and Europe and other countries.

SAYAH: Khan says today it's innocent Muslims being discriminated against and killed by U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan and missile strikes in Pakistan's tribal region. President-Elect Obama must change Washington's policy, khan warns, or the Taliban will continue to wage their holy war.

KHAN (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): And where jihad is needed, we will go there.

SAYAH (on camera): Despite those aggressive words by the Taliban spokesman, military and intelligence experts say a Barack Obama presidency could create ideological complications for Islamic extremists. After all, he's an African-American who shares a middle name with a Muslim prophet. For Al Qaeda and the Taliban, that makes him a much tougher U.S. president to hate.

Reza Sayah, CNN, Islamabad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: That's interesting. MattyFields is watching us now. He says -- I think it's a he. Is it a he? Yes, Matty. He says "Yes, Rick, we should talk to our enemies. How long are we willing to stay in this stagnation?" It's an interesting conversation that many in this country are having with themselves.

Here's the question that you probably have been asking yourself. And I've heard many of your responses. It's about whether our government, using your money, should go in and rescue, give a loan to, bailout the big three auto companies. Should they? What happens if these companies really do go bankrupt?

Let me show you who we're talking to next. I think, Roger, we could show a shot of him.

This is Douglas Baird. He's a law professor at the University of Chicago. He knows a little bit about bankruptcies -- probably more than most -- probably a lot more than most. He's going to take us through this and give us the definitive answers, when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: All right.

I'm trying to find one of those responses that I had saved a little while ago, but I can't see it. All right, I'll see if I can find it anyway, because I've been getting all these responses -- almost a consensus of people saying, look, don't use my money to bail these guys out, these big three auto companies. And then we got a couple of them who were saying, you know, I think we have to do it.

"Hearing what the media is telling me, it sounds like this could be real bad if these guys go bankrupt."

So the question is, what would happen if the big three were to go bankrupt? What do we need to know, as Americans, about this? It's the question that I've been working on throughout the day to try and get you answers for. So let's be joined now by Douglas Baird. He's a professor at the University of Chicago. I guess -- let's start with this.

A company like G.M. (ph), for example, what are the real problems that they face?

PROF. DOUGLAS BAIRD, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO: Well, they've got -- they've got two problems. And again, they're big, but I think you can reduce them to some pretty simple ideas.

The first problem is they have more obligations than assets. Imagine your running a business and you have assets worth 50 and your obligations are worth 100. That's a problem no matter how sound your underlying business plan is. That's problem number one.

Problem number two is their business plan isn't working. It's like they have a restaurant and people aren't coming to eat there. That's a problem. And those problems exist even if you are current with all your creditors. So --

SANCHEZ: Well, let me ask you the question then --

BAIRD: -- they've got two problems.

SANCHEZ: OK. You just phrased that very well. Those are the two problems they have -- people aren't coming to eat at the restaurant, i.e. people aren't buying their cars, and their business plan doesn't seem to be working, as well.Would bankruptcy fix that, help that? Or would the plan to salvage -- save them or rescue them fix that?

BAIRD: Well, remember, bankruptcy isn't going to be the end of the world, but it's not going to be a silver bullet, either.

Remember when United Airlines filed for bankruptcy, they kept flying their airplanes. When Bloomingdales filed for bankruptcy, the stores were kept open. It's not as if when General Motors files for bankruptcy, all of a sudden, the workers can't work and people can't buy the cars anymore.

What bankruptcy can do is do something to solve the first problem -- that is, it can tell the creditors, look, you're not going to be paid in full, tell the shareholders, guess what, you know, your claims are going to be wiped out. We create a new capital structure, we restructure the debt, we make the debt sensible. But that's just solving problem number one. Problem number two, you know, bankruptcy can't do a lot to fix because, you know, you have to come up with a good business plan. And bankruptcy judges aren't going to do that. SANCHEZ: So the government going in and giving them $25 billion not once, but maybe twice, would it make those problems go away that you described earlier?

BAIRD: Oh, no, no, no, no. That's just a Band-Aid that's just going to put off the day of reckoning. Now, it may be, in the current environment, where it's very hard to borrow money -- and one of the things, ironically, that firms do when they start a bankruptcy proceeding is they need to borrow money. You could argue that maybe there is a role for the government to pay to provide something that's equivalent to debtor and possession and financing. But that can't be seen as a Band-Aid. It has to be something that's done with a view to solving these two problems.

Simply giving money to a restaurant that can't pay its creditors, where no one wants to eat, doesn't fix the fundamental problem.

And so what I worry about and what I think people should worry about is when they hear about a bailout or something, they should say, OK, wait a second. Think of the small restaurant and ask themselves the question, hey, how is that money going to cure the problems of the restaurant or cure the problems of the large automobile companies? You've got to figure out if, you do something like this, what your exit strategy is.

SANCHEZ: That's interesting. And you say if they were to go into bankruptcy, we'd still be able to buy cars and much of the business would still be fine, just like if tomorrow one of the coffee companies went out of business or went bankrupt, we'd still be able to get our coffee in the morning. It's all part of Chapter 11, which is what we need to wrap our heads around.

Interesting stuff, Professor. Thanks so much, sir, for taking the time to talk to us. We appreciate it. By the way, we've got a comment coming in on that.

Rick Young from Jacksonville is watching our newscast. He says

"The bailout, I believe, a failed business that fails on its own is a victim of the free market. They should be allowed to fail so others with newer ideas can step up."

Someplace else where things are failing is Colombia. What a mess with their economy, as well. And now there's pictures that seem to prove it. We've got some of those pictures.

We've also got Glenda Umana from CNN En Espanol doing the laka, laka, laka, laka (ph) thing for us and speaking Espanol.

GLENDA UMANA, CNN EN ESPANOL: Como estas?

SANCHEZ: Que (INAUDIBLE)?

What's going on?

GLENDA UMANA, CNN EN ESPANOL: Oh, let me tell you, Rick, thousands of investors throughout Colombia are victims of fraud. They are angry and they are demanding their money back from a company called Dinero Rapido Facil Efectivo or, in English, Fast Money, Easy Cash.

SANCHEZ: We've got some pictures, don't we?

UMANA: Yes. Oh, I hope you show them now, because this is what happened. The company, which has offices all over Colombia, offered 70 percent returns. You heard that, Rick? That's right, 70 percent back. And thousands of people invested a great deal of their savings -- and, in some cases, all of it.

SANCHEZ: Wow!

UMANA: The victims of what is being called the pyramid scheme have been rioting.

SANCHEZ: That's incredible. Yes, look at --

UMANA: Look at the video.

SANCHEZ: Look at this.

UMANA: Look at the video.

SANCHEZ: This is --

UMANA: The authorities calculate that this company, Dinero Rapido Facile Efectivo, took in about $180 million in eight months.

The president of Colombia, Rick, Alvaro Uribe, is warning the Colombianos don't ever invest in these kind of companies again.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Well, that's the kind of thing that happens when things start going sour. And you've got people coming in who say they're going to help you and they don't.

UMANA: (INAUDIBLE).

SANCHEZ: What a mess.

Thanks so much.

UMANA: Chiao.

SANCHEZ: Always a pleasure. No vemos e Lunes. We'll see you Monday with Evo Morales -- not evil, although some might say that.

You're about to hear from one of our correspondents following some of the other stories that we've been following today, having to do with all of this going on in California.

What's the residual effect? We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SANCHEZ: All right. We told you we were going to be monitoring this situation for you and there it is now. Here's another one of those airplanes. They seem to be using a lot of them.

This is obviously not a C-130, right?Or is it?No, that's not a C- 130.

One of the planes -- 10 of them have been called in to try and drop all these chemicals or water on this fire out in California. It's in the Montecito area, but it's moved west. And now we're told it's also going into an area called Riviera -- big, expensive homes there, by the way.

Let's also talk about this. Imagine being so fed up with your child, who's a teenager, that you no longer want him or her, and you decide that you're just going to get rid of them.

And these days, to get rid of a child, what do you do? You drive them to Nebraska. And Nebraska legislators are meeting now. They're going to have a special session to stop that. They're going to change the age at which you can drop your children off in their state back to three days old instead of 18 years old.ecome -- a Nebraska phenomenon. Here now, Ed Lavandera.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rick, since Nebraska's safe haven law went into effect about four months ago, it's created a disturbing trend -- parents dropping off not newborn babies, but, in most cases, troubled teenagers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA (voice-over): It happened again Thursday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had a boy aged 14 and a girl aged 17.

LAVANDERA: A mother left her two teenaged children in this Omaha hospital -- parents taking advantage of the no age limit loophole in Nebraska's safe haven law.

A Georgia mother who drove her teenaged son here says she was desperate to help him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You may have a great life and you may have great kids and be grateful for that, you know, and -- just don't knock the parents that -- that end up dropping their child off there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAVANDERA: The safe haven law was designed to protect infants, but almost all of the children left so far are over the age of 10. Nebraska's governor says an age limit must be established immediately.

GOV. DAVE HEINEMANN (R), NEBRASKA: Please don't bring your teenager to Nebraska. It's not appropriate. And think what you're saying. You know, we've all raised teenagers and they can be a challenge, but you don't abandon them.

LAVANDERA: So Nebraska lawmakers are gathering for a special session to change the law. Most appear ready to establish a three-day age limit, but some are pushing for a limit closer to 30 days.

TODD LANDRY, NEBRASKA HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: The real purpose of this special session, I believe, is to make sure we get back to that intent of protecting newborns and infants. I think three days is the right amount of time.

LAVANDERA: There's a sense here that something must be done quickly to stop the flow of troubled teens left on the state's doorstep. Five children were brought from other states. In one of those cases, a father flew his son into Nebraska from Miami and then left.

TOM WHITE, NEBRASKA STATE SENATE: And what you've seen is an extraordinary cry for help from people across the country. That shocked me. But we can't -- Nebraska can't afford to take care of all of them.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA: Nebraska lawmakers will start a special session today to add the age limit to the safe haven law, but that process is expected to take at least a week and many state officials are worried that parents from across the country will race here to leave their children -- Rick, back to you.

SANCHEZ: Thanks so much, Eddie.

Hillary Clinton as secretary of state for President Barack Obama? Will that come to pass? Well, guess what, Patricia Murphy, who we often talk to via satellite, is here.

PATRICIA MURPHY, CITIZENJANEPOLITICS.COM: I'm here.

SANCHEZ: She's in the flesh. She's going to join us and we're going to be picking up this topic in just a little bit -- what America wants to know with Patricia Murphy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Here we go.

Hillary Clinton the future secretary of state? Look what one person says. This is from Michael. Is this MySpace? Because I always get these wrong. MySpace -- somebody just wrote us, watching this newscast. And she says: "I hope Hillary is the secretary of State. I was for her." There you go. So is it possible this might happen?

Well, here's why this is news, folks. Yesterday, Barack Obama asked Hillary Clinton to meet him in Chicago to discuss something. Speculation is that it's about a job for secretary of State.

Here's what Hillary Clinton had to say when she was asked about this meeting today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not going to speculate or address anything about the president-elect's incoming administration. And I'm going to respect his process. And any inquiries should be directed to his transition team.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: And not a real big answer there.

Patricia Murphy, it's great to see you here.

MURPHY: Thank you.

It's great to be here.

SANCHEZ: A huge fan.

MURPHY: I'm a huge fan.

SANCHEZ: Well, thank you. The mutual admiration society. But before I get too nervous and blush, the fact that he asked her to come there, that's kind of telling, isn't it?

MURPHY: It's very important. You do not ask somebody to Chicago just to shoot the breeze. You certainly don't pull Hillary Clinton out of New York to Chicago just to see how the weather is going. You're talking about something important.

And it's also a great sign of respect to her, now that this process has wound down. It's a sign of respect to her to get her opinion and maybe solicit her for a job in that administration.

SANCHEZ: Well, let me ask you, Patricia Murphy, with CitizenJanePolitics.com, Clinton has really been, historically j well, maybe not historically. During her tenure as senator from New York, she's been more hawkish than Barack Obama.

MURPHY: Yes.

SANCHEZ: Would that be a good fit?

MURPHY: Well, that's one of the outstanding questions. In any areas where she's had differences of policy with Obama, it's been on foreign policy. Their biggest scrap during the debates was do you meet with leaders of our enemies?

Do you talk to them without preconditions?

That was their biggest flare-up.

She also voted for the Iraq War. So they have differences.

SANCHEZ: Is there a little Machiavellianism going on with this --

MURPHY: Well --

SANCHEZ: -- because, look, think about it --

MURPHY: You would accuse somebody of that.

SANCHEZ: Well, you know the expression, keep your friends close, but want to keep your enemies closer?

MURPHY: Yes.

SANCHEZ: Is there something to do with wanting to have Hillary Clinton as your secretary of State if you're Barack Obama?

MURPHY: Well, there could be. Certainly, the question is, do you want the Clintons inside your tent or outside your tent?

Do you want your rival outside making trouble for you or do you want to bring them in?

You must have 100 percent trust with your secretary of State. You cannot have somebody out there advocating for themselves and not for you.

SANCHEZ: And then there's the Bill Clinton effect, which we don't get a chance to talk about --

MURPHY: The effect, yes.

SANCHEZ: Boy, that would have been good.

It's great having you on.

MURPHY: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: You're fabulous. It's fabulous. Thank you so much.

All right, we'll be right back, Chris. I hear you. We've got to get to what we're going to have on the other side, which is all the other stuff that we didn't get a chance to talk about, including me getting tased. Do you want to see it? OK.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: We do this segment every Friday. It's what we missed. And this week, it allows my staff to make fun of me once again and having this as another excuse to show me getting tased. Here's what we missed.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Our election hangover, the market the bailout, these people and Ted Turner -- a packed week of newscasts and no time in this hour to show you plenty of important news that happened while we were looking elsewhere. Like this. The State of Connecticut -- the newest place to allow same-sex marriages -- issued licenses by the double handful this week.

Don't forget another state, California, shot down the same privilege for gay and lesbian couples just a few days ago.

Fidel Castro out of sight for five months, whipping up the "is he alive or dead rumors." Well, this latest picture came out this week, reportedly taken in late October. He still hasn't appeared in public for more than two years, though.

Haiti -- awful news. Another school building collapses, filled with kids. Nine children hurt. But remember, a school crumbled in Haiti last week and killed almost 100 people.

This looks familiar -- painfully familiar for me. That's a Michigan state lawmaker letting himself be zapped. He wanted to demonstrate that tasers will light you up, but they're safe. Hey, didn't some nut ball reporter try to make the same point?

Oh, no.

(VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Here we go again.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: And he used a stun gun. Mine was a taser, by the way. Nut ball reporter.

OK, what's the market doing? Up yesterday, down today -- Stephanie Elam, check it out for us. What have you got?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I've got some more down for you today, Rick.

It's --

SANCHEZ: Hold on. Hold on, Stephanie. You know what I'm doing?

ELAM: What?

SANCHEZ: I'm ahead of myself.

ELAM: Just let me go ahead partial --

SANCHEZ: We're going to go through this after the break. Stay right there, OK? It's the tasering. It's had a long-lasting effect. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Facebook, MySpace -- which is it, Mike?

Facebook. All right. Yasin Ugas Mohamud -- he's from Edina Senior High School.

See it right there?

He says: "Hill Rod for secretary of State -- Obama is a genius."

Thank you, young man from Edina High -- this kid is in high school and he's watching the news. Good for you. Good for you.

By the way, Edina High School, did you know, Stephanie Elam, do you know where that is?

ELAM: I do not.

SANCHEZ: Minneapolis, Minnesota.

ELAM: I have never been to Minneapolis.

SANCHEZ: It's a beautiful area. Real smart people --

ELAM: That's what I hear. That's what I hear.

SANCHEZ: I went to school there.

ELAM: Oh, no wonder you're just extolling its virtues right now then.

SANCHEZ: I thought you'd say no wonder they're smart.

ELAM: See through, Rick.

SANCHEZ: All right. What -- yes. Don't go there.

All right, what have you got on the market?

Let's try this --

(STOCK MARKET REPORT)

SANCHEZ: A good day yesterday, a bad day today.

Wolf Blitzer is standing by.

Here now is "THE SITUATION ROOM."

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much, Rick.

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