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Will Israeli Troops Cross Border Into Gaza?; Petraeus Testifies About Benghazi; Hawaii Elected Nation's First Practicing Hindu to House of Representatives

Aired November 17, 2012 - 22:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. We are one hour from sunrise over Israel and Gaza. On a day that could see Israeli troops cross the border for the first time in four years.


LEMON: Gaza has already seen its share of destruction. This was posted on You Tube. At least 11 people were killed today. Israel wants to prevent any more scenes like this one, a militant rocket aimed toward the city of Ashdod. But Israel has the edge in technology here. Its sophisticated iron dome system takes out most rockets before they find a target. Israel's military is also armed with precision-guided missiles. In this case, striking what is said to be the home of a Hamas leader.

As Israel mobilizes 30,000 troops on the Ganza (ph) border, Egypt is trying to prevent this war from getting out of hand. Spearheading talks aimed at ending the violence. Israel's prime minister says Hamas can end all this just by ending it barrage of rockets.

CNN's Ben Wedeman is on the Israeli border with Gaza watching the conflict play out -- Ben.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Don, what we have this evening is continued apparently apparent urgent action by the Israeli army in this area to get as much material, tanks, armored personnel carriers and troops in the area around Gaza in obvious preparation for a potential ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.

But a decision to actually go in has to come from the leadership, from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his security cabinet. And that has obviously not come yet. On Sunday, it's expected that Nabil al-Arabi, the secretary general of Arab league, is going to come to Gaza with four Arab foreign ministers. So, it may be difficult to launch a ground invasion while just a high-level group is there.

Now, we understand that intense contacts are under way between Israel, Egypt, and the United States to talk about a potential, possible cease-fire. But it is still very early on. I spoke with a senior Israeli spokesman who flatly denied reports in the Israeli and the Arab media that some sort of negotiated cease-fire was on the way.

At this point, Don, it definitely seems that that things are moving in the direction of a ground invasion. Many people, however, on both sides have their fingers crossed that somehow diplomacy will win out - Don.

LEMON: All right. Ben Wedeman, thank you very much.

People of Gaza know how the last four ended four years ago with 1,400 Palestinians dead. That's why so many are fearful of the activity on their border.

CNN's Sara Sidner covering the conflict now from inside Gaza.


SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Today, just like the last few days, we have been hearing a chorus of drones overhead and a symphony of air strikes. We have also seeing plenty of rocket fire coming out of Gaza towards Israel. We witnessed several times -- several rockets at a time heading over towards Israel.

Now, right now, we are hearing the sounds of planes. That usually only means one thing, that there will be air strikes that follow. And it's this time of night and into the wee hours of the morning that usually things get very, very intense with lots of blasts of air strikes. But also we know that there have been some blasts coming from the Israeli ships in the sea. We ourselves experienced some of the loud booms and bangs that were coming from the sea. We were right on the water there. So a lot of concerns, the civilians are not in the streets. Most people have hunkered down in their homes. Most of the businesses have been closed. We know that more people have been killed here, including militants and civilians. And many people have been injured today.

Sara Sidner, CNN. Gaza City.


LEMON: Absolutely. Thank you, Sara.

Every U.S. president hopes to be the one that ends the Israeli/Palestinian crisis. But peace has rarely seemed less likely. Earlier I spoke with Fouad Ajami, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He singled out the Obama administration for what he calls its indifference.


FOUAD AJAMI, SENIOR FELLOW, STANFORD UNIVERSITY'S HOOVER INSTITUTION: We have to go back and re-examine the diplomatic setting, if you will. People will be pushed to say look, we can't afford to ignore this region. We can't afford to ignore this conflict because we look back on the last four years and the indifference, if you will, of the Obama administration to what's happening on the West Bank in Gaza. And I think there will be pressure. There will be pressure from Egypt, from Turkey. There will be pressure from Qatar. These are the places that are most sympathetic to Hamas. There will be pressure to produce some kind of supplement. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Fouad Ajami, discussing the U.S. response to the Israeli/Palestinian crisis.

We've got a lot more planned for you this Saturday night. Here's what else we're working on.


LEMON: The new reality and a rude awakening for the GOP. Get with it or keep losing.

The new faces of Congress -- gay, bisexual, Hindu. Meet those making Capitol Hill more diverse than ever.

The new normal. When it comes to sex, batteries and technology are involved.

All that, plus a real-life soap opera unfolding in Washington. You can't write this stuff.



LEMON: The threat of an all out ground war looming, as rockets fly in neighborhoods across Israel and Gaza. People on both sides are now living in fear wondering just how close the attacks will come.

Dean Obeidallah is here with me now. He is tonight's topic. It is something - it is very personal to him. You are of Palestinian descent.


LEMON: Your girlfriend is of Palestinian descent. But, she is an Israeli citizen.

OBEIDALLAH: She was born and raised there. She actually appeared on TV in Israel, their Sesame Street" playing an Arab character.

LEMON: And you have family there as well?

OBEIDALLAH: I have a lot of family in the West Bank.

LEMON: Why do you say you're caught between two worlds?

OBEIDALLAH: We are caught because we hear it from her. And she'll talk about when Hamas filed missiles at Tel Aviv a couple of days ago yesterday. Her father and brother work in Tel Aviv. So, you hear that and you hear the concern about missiles coming from Hamas. Then I'll hear from my Palestinian friends concern, obviously, about civilians in Gaza. I don't hear too many Palestinian Americans, in fact there is almost none, defending Hamas. They're defending the Palestinians, the idea that we're about to see maybe a ground invasion, a horrific loss of life on the Palestinian side, obviously some Israelis probably will be wounded or killed as well.

LEMON: The last time, it was 1,400 Palestinians. And what was it seven or 14 or so Israelis?


LEMON: And even the ambassador came on and he said, you know, there are millions of Israelis who are living in harm's way. And I said, I know you're the Israeli ambassador, but there are millions of Palestinians as well living in harm's way.

OBEIDALLAH: I kind of wish we could get beyond the idea of, I just stand with Israel or I just stand with the Palestinians and really look at, what does it mean to stand with somebody? What is a good friend? Is a good friend being, I'm on going to defend you whatever you do or is it helping them when they're doing something wrong or trying to push them in the right direction on both sides.

LEMON: Listen. It's the same argument. I understand there's a difference that people are divided in politics with ideology. Some people just can't get the either far left or far right out of their head. This thing is similar in thinking. Obviously this is more serious because there are lives involved. Even a story that I did earlier about the 11-month-old boy who, you know, reportedly died and I said that Israel had defied a cease-fire, not in the original starting of this, but when the prime minister came and was there and -- So people get so upset just from wording. What is that?

OBEIDALLAH: People have a great emotional connection. Some have family connections. Some have by faith. I do a Jewish show with the Jewish chronicles, stand up for peace. We perform at colleges. A lot of our work is to bring Arabs and Jews together and Muslims and Jews together, to talk about these issues in normal ways without screaming at each other.


OBEIDALLAH: That's - it is - instantly turn around. The people like, oh, my God. You guys are so pro-Palestine, you guys so pro- Israel. Do you think the media - do you think the media for the most part, people say media is very pro-Israel. Do you agree with that?

OBEIDALLAH: I see, really, it depends on the sources what are you looking at? I think frankly, if you watch FOX News, I think they're more pro-Israel. I think most media though, you see a balanced story, you can't keep the story secret in alone. We have the internet, we have You Tube. We have twitter. People are seeing exactly what's going on in real time now.

So, I don't think that really shapes it. I think the problem is we have to be there in times of peace where there's not fighting and bring the parties together. When I say we, it is not just the United States, perhaps Europe and Russia. I mean, it is really general most of that said, you know, you may peace talking to your friends, you talk to your enemies. It's time that the Israeli government and Hamas and it was like all directly or indirectly have conversations.

LEMON: I want you to listen to this piece from Jim Clancy who works for CNN and then we will talk about it. Can you guys play that sound bite, please?


JIM CLANCY, CNN ANCHOR: This is a strategy -- the missiles are proving it's not going to work. They can go in again but it's not going to accomplish anything. It just puts us back there. This is fast-led light, if you will right now.

LEMON: Putting the situation back to just where it was?

CLANCY: Same place where it was four years ago.


LEMON: So, he's talking about the Israeli strategy. What do you think?

OBEIDALLAH: He's a man who studied this very well. My lay opinion agrees with him that you're not going to eradicate Hamas. Hamas is part of the people there. And they're starving, a lot of them through embargoes and blockades. They have no hope. And you know, there was grateful of John Kennedy's. He has provoked revolution and possibly making violent revolution. If you give people a no hope in diplomatic solution, they are going to gravitate to the extremism, they are going to gravitate to military options only on both sides, right? You're losing the senate. You are losing the left on both sides.

LEMON: Fouad Ajami - and I got to run here -- I'm loving this conversation. Fouad Ajami said that the Obama administration was said to have been different and that in some way escalated the situation or keeps propelling it.

OBEIDALLAH: It could because it seems like it's a green light --

LEMON: Do you agree it is indifference with the Obama administration?

OBEIDALLAH: I think publicly are, we don't know what's going on. And I'm really hoping, I'm moving behind the scenes for a cease-fire.

LEMON: Dean is going to be back. Thank you, Dean.

OBEIDALLAH: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: All right. Some other headlines that we are watching for you this weekend, President Barack Obama should be arriving in Thailand in less than three hours. He's on a three-day journey to Asia where he'll attend the East Asia Summit. President will also stop Cambodia and Myanmar. His visitor to Myanmar, the former Burma, will be the first-ever for an American president. You thought the election was over. Arizona Democratic Congressman Ron Barber has officially won a full term for the seat once held by his former boss, Gabrielle Giffords. Barber was wounded in the leg and face in the shooting that seriously injured Giffords. The Democrats have posted a net gain of six seats are three races still undecided.

NFL legend Mike Ditka who has playing cards Friday night when he began having trouble with his hands and his speech. The former super bowl winning-coach had suffered a mild stroke. But he told the Chicago Tribune, it's no big deal. Ditka is an ESPN analyst. He won't be on the air this weekend but he will be back soon. That's expected. Get well, coach.

General David Petraeus, Anthony Weiner, Gary Hart, public servants whose careers were torpedoed over sex scandals. But if they're successful at their jobs, should they be forced to step down? Our conversation is next.


LEMON: It's a story as old as history but as fresh as the day's headlines. A powerful man, married man, at the top of his career, brought down by an affair with an attractive younger woman. How often have we heard that?

Just days ago, retired general David Petraeus was known as a decorated lifetime soldier, the architect of a successful military strategy in Iraq, now wrapping up a distinguished career as civilian chief of the CIA. Then we learned his biographer was also his lover and a career ended. We've seen the story before. But why does it always have to end this way? Why?

Let's talk about it now with Susan Milligan, contributing editor at "U.S. News and World Report." And then Andrew Tilghman, bureau chief and senior writer for the "Military Times" newspaper.

Thank you both. Susan, I'm going to start with you. Should General David Petraeus have resigned from the CIA, and if not, why?

SUSAN MILLIGAN, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT: Well, that's his decision. I mean, that's, you know, he clearly felt that he couldn't continue effectively in that role. I just think that the environment that we're in makes it, you know, helped create that situation where he felt he couldn't continue effectively.

I really don't get the big deal is. I understand in the military, adultery is a crime, although apparently he wasn't serving as, you know, in the military when he actually committed the crime -- what they would call a crime.

LEMON: But you're saying certainly he shouldn't be forced to resign? If he wants to, that's his business?

MILLIGAN: I mean, look, people have affairs. This happens all the time. And if we're concerned about the spouses being hurt, imagine how hurt they are, when the whole episode is international news. I mean, that can't be a pleasant experience.


MILLIGAN: It's just that these things happen. And you know, if we want -- when I pick up the paper and I keep reading, oh, sex scandal, the whole, by the way, the whole term sex scandal to me is just so bizarre like we're in a puritan era where is this the idea of sex a is scandal. You know, I mean, again, I lived in Europe for five years and I'm sure they're all laughing at us.

But, you know, you want a scandal? How about the fiscal cliff? There is the scandal. How about, you know, Sandy happens and we're not doing anything about climate change? There's a scandal. Why are we so upset with somebody's sex life?

LEMON: Or about going -- having access to people's e-mails and wiretapping and all that, that's probably a bigger scandal than this and something that warrants discussion.

Andrew, I did have to say, I was on an airplane when this news broke and the people I was sitting next to were started to look, we all looked at each other as we saw them watching CNN, were all like, really? This guy's going to resign over an affair? Did he give away military codes or secrets? Nobody could understand why this was such a big deal. I don't get it.

ANDRE TILGHMAN, PENTAGON BUREAU CHIEF, MILITARY TIMES NEWSPAPER: Yes, no. I think I had the same reaction in some ways. But, I think, one thing that makes this fundamentally different than a lot of the Washington sex scandals that we've seen is that, you know, David Petraeus still gets about $12,000 a month in military pension. And under federal law as a retired officer receiving a pension, he's still subject to the uniform code of military justice. And adultery is a crime under the UCMJ. I mean, I know that might be really unbelievable for a lot of civilians, but it's a crime. People do time in the brig for it. And I think based on some of the things we've heard this week, there would also be a case to be made if it ever came up that he might also be subject to things like conduct unbecoming of an officer or conduct that brings discredit upon the service.

So, you know, I mean I think it's important to consider, you know, David Petraeus who spent 37 years in the military, this is the mindset he comes from and --

LEMON: Andrew, I get all that. And I understand he is held to a different standard. Do you think he's the first general, though, to have an affair? Come on.

TILGHMAN: No, absolutely not. But I think it's certainly been very public. We all know about it. And it raises questions inside the military of a double standard. I talked to a lot of guys this week, you know, lower ranking enlisted guys that really still feel like rank has its privileges and, you know, the upper level guys don't get held to the same standard that everyone else does.

LEMON: OK. Let's just move on. I think we have pretty much exhausted this subject that, you know, he has held to a higher standard but it's not right. A person who I feel worse for is his wife. It should be worked out between them. He resigned. I'm sorry he has to do it. I wish we could just move on after that because it does seems like lunchroom high school stuff.

Susan, let's talk about Benghazi, OK? The timing of this resignation -- it has a conspiracy theorist really going. Do you think that played a role in his decision?

MILLIGAN: I would be surprised if it played a role. In fact, I think if anything, he wanted to -- he said he wanted to go in front of the hill and talk to them about what happened, why there was sort of differing intelligence, you know, in September about what caused the, you know, about what cause the attack.

I mean, in a situation like that, I mean, I've not been in the military. But I've reported a number of war zones. And a situation like that, there's a lot of competing intelligence. There's a lot of confusion. You don't really know what's going on. It's just -- you're going to get a lot of different information. And he did tell the hill the other day that they did suspect that it was Al Qaeda. It's not really clear why that was taken out of the talking points given to Susan Rice. It might have been for, you know, because they didn't want to tip them off that they knew it was going on, you know.

LEMON: I get it. And the information is evolving. Certainly the White House should have to be held accountable and answer questions if there is some difference in their messaging. That's certainly true.

But, Andrew, what administration wants people to die on their watch? No administration wants that. And it certainly appears that many people -- this is an ideological thing to many people. People are contorting themselves to try to make sense of some conspiracy theory and then when you look at it logically, you're like, really? Are you kidding me?

TILGHMAN: Yes, no. I think that regarding Benghazi, you know, I mean, this happened several weeks before the election. And I think it's just been -- it's really been churned within the media and the political machine. And you know, we have lost a little bit of sense of proportion about it, I think, to some degree.

LEMON: Yes. And it's people who, quite honestly, don't like the president and don't like the White House and they're trying, as I say, contouring themselves into some sort of conspiracy theory. It is terrible what happened over there. But I think everyone needs to take a breath and step back, let the investigation play out, make sure that those who did it should be held accountable as well as the White House as well.

So, thank you, guys. Great conversation. Wish we could continue.

All right, they are quite. I guess I didn't like it. They cut their mikes off, they are talking. Thank you, guys. Appreciate it. See you soon.

For more than a week now, it's a scandal that has gripped America. That much-decorated military hero and young ambitious biographer linked by an affair that's rocked the government at its highest level. The general David Petraeus keeps moving and keeps adding new twists and turns with new characters and new drama just like a soap opera, right?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bottom line, it's a soap opera and it is done. We should all move on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, this is far from over, Stephen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yes. And there's more. General Petraeus has developed amnesia and can't remember that he's pregnant, by his own evil twin. Who's in a coma and is my lover?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That doesn't make any sense.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did you do that from over there?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't you remember? I was in a boating accident and now I have telekinesis just like general Petraeus.


LEMON: Stephen Colbert, writers of the Colbert Report. Susan Lucci, brilliant! I have a feeling Susan loci is in line to win her second Emmy after that performance. It was outstanding. Very funny.

Coming up, the new normal. When it comes to sex, batteries and technology are involved.


LEMON: A disgraced CIA chief, a biographer at the center of a scandal, a top U.S. commander under investigation and a Florida socialite allegedly behaving badly via e-mail. At the center of it all, technology.

I talked with human behavior expert Wendy Walsh about why sex and technology have become intertwined.


DOCTOR WENDY WALSH, HUMAN BEHAVIOR SPECIALIST: Because it's become a paired stimulus. This of it, this way, here are some stats that might freak you out or maybe not. About one-point, no. Let me get this right. Single guys can send pornography either on their computers or iphones for about three times four times a week. Married guys, an average 1.7 times a week for 20 minutes.

So, can you imagine now, they got this stimulus. That it is their place erratic excitement, and now, they are getting platonic texts and e-mails from average people but it can be a little confusing in the mind. If you don't believe pornography has become addictive, think of this. A full one-third of all content on the internet is pornography.

LEMON: OH, my goodness.

WALSH: So it's a big market.

LEMON: You say pornography is affecting our text messages. Are you talking about sexting?

WALSH: Because -- well, because it's a paired stimulus. So, what happens is men are using their iphones and their computers as sources of arousal. And they also use in it courtship and dating. Their brains also become addicted to a constant new stream of brand- new images, of new and exciting lovers.

So, what happens is they meet someone they want to date or their wife and what do they say? Can you send me a naked picture or they want a frisky sex. Because this is the very thing that they're used to -- it's an extension of their sexuality now. Of course, the problem is with all the sex scandals that we're seeing nowadays, is that people who should only be having platonic text relationship, the boundaries get a little blurred.

LEMON: What are the boundaries for men and women? Has technology interfered with sexual marriage protocol?

WALSH: Absolutely, Don. Think of it this way. Not too long ago, like 20 years ago if wanted -- if I wanted to have contact with a married couple, I would call the home phone where if the guy answered, he might say, let me put the wife on. She holds the social calendar.

Now, every spouse, male or female, has their own facebook page, their own iphone where private texts are going in. So now, they have these individual relationships with all kinds of people. And it starts to blur the boundaries about are we a unified front? I have to tell you, when I do see a facebook page where it's one page for one married couple and they have their wedding picture on there and they are both answering questions, I love it because that's how it used to be.

One family phone, you talk to the family or you talk to the couple. But now, everybody's an individual and can have all kinds of blurred boundaries relationships.


LEMON: Thanks, Dr. Wendy.

Coming up -- the new reality. And a rude awakening for the GOP. Get with it or keep losing. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Thirty thousand Israeli troops are massing on the Gaza border preparing for what could be the second ground war in Gaza in four years. And the area is still being pummeled by air strikes.


LEMON: That was just minutes ago in Gaza city. At least 11 people were killed today in Gaza.

Moving on now. By several measures, our current Congress is the worst ever. That's according to Gallup, the 112th Congress broke a record earlier this year when just percent of people surveyed gave it a thumbs-up, just nine percent. That's less popular than Nixon during Watergate, than BP during the oil spill, less popular than Paris Hilton.

This Congress also has passed fewer laws than any Congress since World War II. I spoke earlier tonight with Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution. He argues that one party is mostly to blame for the gridlock. Listen


THOMAS MANN, SENOR FELLOW, BROOKING INSTITUTION: But now the overriding reality is that the Republicans have really gone off track and it happened before the tea party, although the tea party has reinforced it. And that extremism has become the major source of America's dysfunctional politics.


LEMON: OK. So joining us again, Republican strategist Ana Navarro. And here in the studio is the Paul Babeu. He is Republican representative for Penal County, Arizona.

Welcome. You hear what congress was citing. You have been a show before.


LEMON: We had have you in. So, thank you. And we are going to talk about the new GOP, the new face of the GOP with look like and should look like.

Ana, let's starts with Thomas Mann. Is he right? Are Republicans to blame for a do-nothing congress?

ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: No, it takes two to tango and look. You've got a majority of Democrats in the Senate, you've got a majority of Republicans in the house. It's been a very hard session for congress, very little has gotten done. I think that's true.

Now, I'm feeling rather optimistic. We saw something at the end of this week, Don, that we haven't seen in a very long time. We saw the majority and minority leader of both houses going to the White House and actually come out sounding optimistic and talking about cooperation and getting things done. I think if they are actually able to avoid the fiscal cliff and reach some sort of an argument.

So, I say to America, let's keep our fingers crossed. Thankfully there's a new congressional session beginning in January. Let's keep on hoping.

LEMON: You have to deal with politics as sheriff.


LEMON: Do you think the gridlock that the Republicans are mostly responsible for the gridlock?

BABEU: No, you have -- it takes two to fight. And who knows that better than a cop?


BABEU: -- showing up. It is the Democrats have an equal standing in that fight and in that gridlock and the fact that the American people want all of our leaders, post-election, to come together and resolve the issues at hand, namely the economy.

LEMON: OK. As a sheriff outside of Phoenix, you have been outspoken of the federal government on illegal immigration.

BABEU: Sure.

LEMON: What progress if any do you think this next Congress which takes office in January will make on this issue because it is a tough issue?

BABEU: It is a tough fish. There was a lot of hype and the Republicans, I believe, in even my state of Arizona had taken it very hard and we were portrayed in a way as being against Latinos or Hispanics. And that wasn't the case. And it's the same -- Arizona, we have a majority of the impact with illegal immigration and by drug cartels and yet we were portrayed as we were against them because of their race or their color.

I don't write the laws. I enforce the laws. If we're going to change the law, let's have a discussion about that, what we wanted to see done in Arizona and I think across America back with president Reagan what was promised, secure the border first. Then we can reasonable a conversation about what we do with the 10 million, 15 million illegal that is we do have here.

LEMON: All right, you just passion, and speaking of passion, Ana, I know you're passionate about this issue. I heard you last night on Bill Maher. You said that you thought his parting shot was -- when he talked about people wanting things, you thought that was insulting to Hispanics. Am I correct? NAVARRO: I found it terribly offensive. You know, for him -- first of all, I found it in bad form. Nobody likes a sore loser. I don't care if you're a Republican or a democrat. It is so important to exit the stage with dignity and with Grace and elegance. And so I think finding other people to blame is just not the right way to go out of the political stage. Particularly when who you're blaming are blacks, Hispanics, women, young people -- who's left then? Just the white guys? I mean, I will, as a Republican who is a woman, a Hispanic and I'd like to still claim being young, I tell you, I find it extremely offensive.

BABEU: You look young.

NAVARRO: Thank you.

LEMON: The white guy is going hey, listen, don't beat up on me. So Ana, I want to talk to you about the appearance on Bill Maher. By the way, I thought you were brilliant last night and your discussion on the resignation of general David Petraeus. And well, you kind made the panel of men blush, not a little bit but a whole lot. Listen.

Apparently there's some problem with that sound. But basically, Anan, what did you say?

NAVARRO: Well, first of all, you know it's not easy to make Bill Maher blush. But, look, Don, this is -- really this isn't rocket science.

LEMON: Tell them what you said, Ana. Tell them what you said.

NAVARRO: Those horny men are easy to get around and that a very smart woman can get around a horny man any day. Yes, I would say that on anything. But let me tell you, this isn't rocket science. If you want a private life, then stay in the private sector. If you want a public sector job, then you're not going to have a private life. You're giving it up. Once you put your hand on a bible and you swear to a public sector job, you've given it up. You get a lot of perks. But one of them is not the right to a private life. That's just how the cookie crumbles.

LEMON: And Paul and I will say to that, yes, dear. Thank you, Ana.

NAVARRO: Paul knows it from experience. Ouch.



LEMON: Thank you. Appreciate it.

Coming up -


LEMON: The new faces of congress -- Gay, bisexual, Hindu. Meet those making Capitol Hill more diverse than ever.


LEMON: Well, November 7th, America woke up, looked in the mirror and saw how it's been changing for years. For the first time, 20 women will be serving in the U.S. Senate along with record numbers of Asian Americans and Latinos. Hawaii elected the nation's first practicing Hindu to the House of Representatives. Democrat Tulsi Gabbard - Gabbard, that's right. She will also become one of the first female combat Veterans in Congress having served in Iraq with the wise National Guard. And I spoke with her about being part of something that would have been unthinkable just a generation ago.


LEMON: The decisions you make as a congressman --

TULSI GABBARD (D), HAWAII REP.-ELECT: It's part of who I am. And really my Hindu practice is what motivated me to be here, the practice of karma yoga, which is dedicating your life in the service of others saying that the separation of church and state is so important in our country and is really the basis of the freedoms that we enjoy so that we can have Buddhists and Hindus and Christians and Muslims and people of many, many different backgrounds serving alongside one another.

So making sure that we continue to respect that diversity and we uphold the ability for us to live in this free country and to have these freedoms that we enjoy.

LEMON: I want to ask you because usually when you take the oath -- right hand on the bible and you do the, I pledge or whatever, and you put it on the bible -- you're not going to be using the bible, I would imagine (INAUDIBLE)?

GABBARD: I look forward to being able to talk about that in a little more depth once we get closer to January when we are sworn in, but -- .

LEMON: Talk to us about it now. What do you mean? What are you saving?

GABBARD: I am. I'm honored and excited to be -- to taking the oath of office on the Bagi Vagita (ph). It's a scripture that provided me and many others of many different backgrounds with strength and wisdom and inspiration n.

LEMON: When you look at this last election and many people were surprised by the outcome -- other people, like the first gay senator from Wisconsin, and you, and also the first Buddhist elected, do you think that this country is moving in a direction that is away from the past, away from the way we used to elect politicians and that there's a new thinking in this country, a more progressive thinking? Those on the right my say, this is way too liberal -- I've heard people say, this isn't traditional America anymore. GABBARD: Well you know, I think it's an important statement and it's one that I saw and experienced firsthand during my deployments, both of my deployments to the Middle East where I saw there the extreme negative effects of what can happen when a government attempts to act as a so-called moral arbiter for its people. So I think what we're seeing here and what we need to continue to strive towards is making sure that no politician, bureaucrat or government official attempts to put themselves in that position of orbiting so-called morality and that the freedom that our country was founded upon is continued to be upheld.

LEMON: I think you guys -- Congress ranks even lower than lawyers. Ten percent of Americans approve of the job that Congress is doing, so.

GABBARD: People tell me I'm crazy all the time.

LEMON: They are going to change that.

GABBARD: Well, I'm excited, actually, because I see great opportunity. When you see these kinds of challenges that we're facing, there is great opportunity to bring in a new and fresh way of thinking.

LEMON: There were many people who were really surprised at the outcome of this election, the past election. Do you think that people in many ways, especially those who have been in power for a long time or who have run campaigns and so on, do you think that they are that out of touch with the way Americans -- most Americans think now?

GABBARD: I think people may have underestimated the power of people and the power of democracy. We've heard and seen and experienced how big money tried to influence elections from the top of the ticket all the way through the --

LEMON: It appeared not to make a difference at all. It's pretty much the same as before the election.

GABBARD: I'll tell you in my own race, I was the candidate who was not supposed to win. I had a very tough primary battle. I was 45 percent behind in the polls in February of this year. And through the power of people, through the power of democracy, we turned that around to a win in our August primary by a 21 percent margin of victory in a six-way primary. And it was not through super PACs and it wasn't through so-called establishment who said I was not supposed to win. It was because people believed they could make a difference and they went out and worked hard and cast their votes, making a very, very strong statement about what kind of representation they wanted going forward.


LEMON: Congratulations again, congresswoman. Thank you.

LEMON: Say it isn't so.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought it was a prank or something. Twinkies are going out of business.


LEMON: It is no prank. Hostess, the maker of Twinkies and Ding Dongs, closing its doors for good. And even New Jersey governor Chris Christie has something to say.


LEMON: Talking about getting burned to a crisp with words. Lots of restaurants get bad reviews. But this may be the harshest restaurant review ever.

"The New York Times" skewered a restaurant opened by celebrity chef Guy Fieri. The reviewer said the margaritas glowed like nuclear waste and tasted like radiator fluid and (INAUDIBLE). And here's more. Why did the toasted marshmallow taste like fish? When we hear the words Donkey Sauce, which past of the donkey are we supposed to think about? When you hung that sign by the entrance that says, welcome to flavor town, were you just messing with our heads? Oh, my God. Well, Fieri insists the reviewer had an agenda.


GUY FIERI, CELEBRITY CHEF: I just thought it was ridiculous. I mean, I have read reviews. You know, there's good and there is bad in the restaurant business. But that, to me, dude went so overboard, it really seemed like there was another agenda.


LEMON: Comedian Dean Obeidallah is back now. And we can talk funny stuffs.


LEMON: OK. He said - he insisted that the reviewer had an agenda. Did he hit the mark or did it leave a bad taste in your mouth?

OBEIDALLAH: I think he hit an agenda. I want to go eat at that restaurant. How could it be that bad? And this is the worst food ever. I really want to see how bad it really is. I'm not kidding.

LEMON: Yes. Well, the thing is that when you have celebrity chefs sometimes, like sometimes I will taste -- not saying this about him. But everyone goes, oh, my God, it's great. And you're like really because my mom Gamba's (ph) a lot better than this and she doesn't have a restaurant? And sometimes it's not good and people, you know, suck up to celebrity chefs.

OBEIDALLAH: They do. And this guy, I think Simon Cowell a reviews in the "American Idol" critique or an "X Factor" on that. It was cutting. I thought he did something personal to the guy. It was funny, though. It was funny, though, I'm not kidding. I want to go eat there.

LEMON: Maybe he helped him out in some weird way.

OBEIDALLAH: All press.

LEMON: It's like Simon Cowell, your food is terrible. You are not going to Hollywood.


LEMON: Can we talk about Twinkies?

OBEIDALLAH: Yes, we have to.

LEMON: Poor Twinkies. I mean, 82 years, hostess shut down Twinkie production. New Jersey governor Chris Christie scores our moment of the week with the Twinkie dodge. Look.


CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), GOVERNOR, NEW JERSEY: You think you could get me high on this microphone? Talking about Twinkies. This is a set-up, man. I know it. You people are the worst. This is a set-up.

LEMON: It's a set-up.

OBEIDALLAH: Hilarious.

LEMON: He has a sense of humor. I saw this and I said, thank goodness for a sense of humor.

OBEIDALLAH: He did and people are freaking out. Like Twinkies are going like people are going to erase their childhood. People are taking this so personally. People on e-bay selling them their company man, but look. There's a million other crappy things you can eat now in place of Twinkies. It's not --

LEMON: Dean, were you "The New York Times" reviewer -- (CROSSTALK)

OBEIDALLAH: That's my pen name.

LEMON: But you know, people -- someone got in touch with me on social media and said, Don, you should tell the real story about Twinkies. Twinkies is not doing well in their estimation because people want healthier choices. It's not necessarily just the union thing.

OBEIDALLAH: They were in bankruptcy twice. It's their second time. I mean, obviously, People are getting healthier and not buying this stuff. It has so many preservatives. You can buy it on e-bay and the quick of your children. They could even it in like 30 years.

LEMON: OK. I want to thank you for this. But for earlier when we were talking about the Israeli/Palestinian thing.

OBEIDALLAH: It's a tough issue.

LEMON: You guys are talking like normal people and not like diplomats and people with talking points and they come on and give their side's point --

OBEIDALLAH: It's a human issue. I would be happy to talk about it from the human point of view. There's suffering on both sides. We can't discount the suffering on either side. We're not going to get back to what the real goal is, a long-term solution for both people.

LEMON: Yes. Thank you, Dean.

OBEIDALLAH: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Bad reviewer. Twinkie, that was him, not me.

Coming up, return of the Jedi. A Navy reservist surprises his little boy "star wars" style. It might bring a tear to your eye. (INAUDIBLE).


LEMON: Watch this. Aiden Whyte, fifth birthday party and the theme was "Star Wars." Of course, young Aiden take a role of the greatest Jedi warrior who conquers the dizzily villain, Dark Vader in a fierce store. Then comes the surprise!


LEMON: Aiden's dad, Navy Reserved Justin Whyte, made it back from training just in time for the party. That's beautiful. And it is our moment of the week. Happy birthday, by the way.

I'm Don Lemon at CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. See you back here tomorrow night.

Thanks for watching. Good night.