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Real Budget Savings?; Gadhafi in the Streets

Aired April 14, 2011 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.

Sometime between now and tomorrow, President Obama is expected to sign the bill Congress passed today which will keep the government funded through this year. By signing it, he will avert a government shutdown.

When the deal was struck last Friday, it was announced that there would be some $38 billion in spending cuts this year, $38 billion. "Keeping Them Honest," however, it turns out the numbers don't add up. That realization has angered many in the Tea Party and Republicans on Capitol Hill. We saw that today but in the end lawmakers simply had enough and passed the bill.


REP. HAL ROGERS (R), KENTUCKY: I just want this bill over with.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm with you. Let's get it over.


COOPER: And they did, but with one in three freshman Republicans voting no, the measure passing more easily in the Senate.

According to a Congressional Budget Office report, the bill, which claims to cut $38.5 billion from the 2011 budget, would only cut $350 million in actual spending this year, which is largely due to the way the budget process works. Money that lawmakers authorize spending and money they ultimately spend are two different things. And they often happen months apart.

But even allowing for that, this was a package both sides praised because they promised it contained real cuts. And House Speaker John Boehner set the bar real high.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We're talking about real spending cuts here, no smoke and mirrors.


COOPER: Well, it might not be smoke and mirrors, but some of the math is kind of fuzzy.

We have done some digging on certain items in the deal, and here's some of what we uncovered -- $350 million is supposedly being saved on dairy farmers. But they get the savings by not renewing a program that was to expire anyhow. So deciding not to spend more money suddenly becomes saving money.

They also claim $650 million in so-called savings on highway programs but again they use the same trick by not renewing a one-time- only expenditure -- $3.5 billion from Children's Health Insurance Program. But we have learned that the money likely wouldn't have been spent in any case. And even if you calculate how much will be saved over time, not just cut this year, it still doesn't add up to $38.5 billion, more like $18 to $20 billion.

And we haven't even looked at every item in the package yet.

Joining me now on Capitol Hill, Dana Bash, also senior political analyst David Gergen Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS." He has got an op-ed in today's "Washington Post" titled "Obama's Deficit Speech Reveals His Core Beliefs."

Dana, first of all, let's talking on the reporting front. This CBO report today it kind of spooked a lot of Republican members of the House, didn't it?


Starting last night when reports of this began to leak out and then this morning, when it really was out there, House Republican leaders really tried to go into damage control mode big time because they were hearing from their rank and file about confusion and concern.

And, look, this is already after the fact that they were hearing about some of this fuzzy math that you reported on, some that we have been reporting for the past couple of days, once we actually got the details.

And on top of the fact as well that many of these Republicans already didn't like the fact that that the overall spending cuts were not higher than they were. So they held briefings. They had fact sheets going out. The House speaker went to the floor of the House, which you rarely see, with charts and figures trying to explain that from his perspective, these are real cuts. And in the end, Anderson, talking to several members of the rank and file on the Republican side, they said that this did spook them and perhaps push them over to edge to that no vote today.

COOPER: And, David Gergen, what does this mean moving forward for Speaker Boehner? I mean, he lost a quarter of Republicans on this.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think they lost the American people over this whole deal anyway. There was a Pew survey last week two-thirds of the American people thought the whole process is ridiculous. That number is just going to go up as a result of this fuzzy math.

But I do think it illustrates, as Speaker Boehner has a hard time holding his caucus together, it really underscores that. It shows he lost approximately about a quarter of his caucus, a third of the freshmen as you said on this vote, which means he does not have that kind of power behind him.

But there is a double-edged sword here, Anderson, in this sense, as a negotiator, he can now play good cop/bad cop. He can play the good cop in the negotiations and always say, if you don't work with me on this, I got those bad cops back there in the closet and they're going to come out here with clubs and they're going to destroy this deal. So we have got to pay attention to them.

It gives them a little more leverage and it gives him something extra. It's always good in a negotiation to have sort of a -- if there's a crazy element in your party, it can help in the negotiations.

COOPER: Interesting.

Fareed, tomorrow is the vote on the Paul Ryan budget. You say that it's a test for President Obama, his budget.

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN WORLD AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yes. And I think President Obama has passed the test, which was the danger was that what the Democrats would do is take a serious Republican proposal and demagogue it entirely and just talk about how this is going to be terrible for the country, it was going to dismantle everything.

And Obama, in his speech, was pretty tough on the Ryan budget, but he began by saying look, this is a serious plan. It addresses issues that we have to address. I agree with the goals. But here's how I would achieve them. And, by the way, I'm open to negotiation.

That kind of framing it in those terms meant that what Obama was able to do, he was able to make a pretty powerful, passionate defense of his view of American government, his view of America, his view of the budget but say look, it's a democracy and he said this in the speech, I'm not going to get my way, you're not going to get your way, let's sit down and negotiate.

COOPER: David, we have been talking about President Obama and his leadership style in all of this. Paul Ryan comes out with his budget, sort of putting a flagpole on the right of where they stand. You had President Obama's bipartisan commission, which put out their plan earlier, which was sort of a middle ground. And I guess yesterday President Obama kind of planting a stake somewhat left of center. Are now all sides here, are all the positions known and now the deal making goes forward?

GERGEN: No, I don't think so at all.

I do agree that he planted a flag firmly on the left of center position. I think he stated his values very well. I think as a political matter, he played it masterfully in terms of setting up the 2012 campaign. But as a negotiating document, as a basis for reaching a compromise, I respectfully disagree with Fareed.

We have had a variety of reports, Dana can speak to this, about how angry the Republicans were about finding it as partisan as they did. Paul Ryan was invited to sit there on the front row and he felt insulted to a degree by what was put out there.

So I think it's going to get very tough now, Anderson, and the fact that Congress is going home for two weeks in the face of this looming deadline on the budget, on the deficit ceiling, debt ceiling, is just bizarre to me. They ought to be working night and day to make sure we don't go over the debt limit.

ZAKARIA: Look, while Republicans are upset over this, partly one has to say it might be because they think it was a very effective political response, that they're saddled with a president who framed the issue in a way that makes it difficult for them to deal with.

Polls show consistently that Americans love Medicare and they think the single most effective way to reduce the deficit is to raise taxes on the rich. Whatever you may think of those issues from a public policy point of view clearly Obama framing the issues in those ways helps him.

But I only disagree with David in this sense. Obama did keep saying look, this is how I feel. I respect you guys, you have a different view. Let's sit down and negotiate. He invoked the Simpson-Bowles commission. He also invoked many of the Paul Ryan ideas. For example, getting rid of tax deductions and loopholes, making the tax rates more competitive. So if people are serious, there's room to work here. If we want to turn this into a theological debate, you can. But really it's all about money. You can split the difference anywhere on money.

COOPER: Dana, how nasty is this debate now going to get? We thought it was bad last week. What happens now?

BASH: What happens now is actually a vote tomorrow on the Paul Ryan budget in the House. And the split that we saw today in the Republican Party in the House, we're not going to see that I don't think as much tomorrow. And we're not going to see the bipartisan vote that we saw today tomorrow. Just keep in mind, today, 81 Democrats voted for this compromise on last year's spending.

We're not going to see anything near that tomorrow. But the bottom line is that as much as this is going to be a Republican vote tomorrow, I can already tell you that Democrats who are running against Republicans, they already have the scripts written for any of these Republicans who are in tough districts, and many of them are in tough districts because they beat Democrats all across the country who had been there for a long time. Scripts against them saying that you voted against them to dismantle Medicare.

And the Democrats who are running campaign are champing at the bit for this vote tomorrow and that just leads to this discussion. I know there are a lot of important discussions going on about how you get to a middle ground, but you cannot take politics out of the equation, because politics is what this is all about, unfortunately.

COOPER: David, does having that political argument really help actually solve the nation's deficit problem, the budget problem? Does demagoguing them on Medicare, does that really -- it works politically, perhaps, but does it actually work for getting stuff done?

GERGEN: It doesn't I think because the politics of the 2012 are so ever-present in all this. I think the chances have gone pretty high now that we will not get entitlement reform and we won't get a serious reform of taxes until after the 2012 election.

To me the question is, are we going to find ways to extend the debt ceiling and get a budget for 2012? Are there more modest compromises that could be made of the kind Fareed is talking about? Can you find some middle ground?

I think -- but there's such a wide Gulf on taxes and on Medicare, Anderson, I don't see that being resolved before the 2012 election.

COOPER: Do you agree with that?

ZAKARIA: Well, I wonder. Because I agree with what David is saying in principle, except for this.

On taxes, if the Republican Party continues to take an absolutely theological position that you simply cannot have any tax increases, and if by that we mean no elimination of loopholes, no elimination of deductions, then we're in -- the math doesn't work. We're taking in 18 percent of GDP of taxation, we're spending 23 percent. You have got to close that gap. Doing it all through budget cuts is impossible. You will be talking about shredding many of these departments.


BASH: And there is a small group, Fareed, small, of Republicans who aren't saying drawing that line in the sand saying absolutely no tax increases. They are saying maybe getting rid of some of those deductions and loopholes are possible. And those are the Republicans who are working quietly, and have been for months, with other Democratic senators trying to come up with a middle ground. Unclear if they will be able to make progress actually come up with a bipartisan plan, but that so-called gang of six is one we're watching very closely.

COOPER: Dana, David, Fareed, thanks very much.

Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook, follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I will try to be tweeting some tonight as well. Up next, new allegations today that the head of Wall Street's richest investment bank ran his firm like a crooked casino. It's a stunning new Senate report. We will lay it out for you. Journalist Matt Taibbi and Eliot Spitzer, who used to prosecute obviously Wall Street bigwigs.

Over the break, try and just guess how many top Wall Street executives have actually gone to jail since the collapse.

Also tonight, Moammar Gadhafi making a new appearance in Tripoli, kind of a bizarre one, fist pumping, strange appearance, causing a big stir. We will show you more of the bizarre video and what President Obama, the French president and also the British prime minister are saying now about Libya.

Plus, you just saw her, Catherine Zeta-Jones, her admission she's being treated for bipolar disorder, also raising awareness. We will talk to Dr. Sanjay Gupta about what bipolar disorder really means.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it's still so stigmatized that despite the fact it's so disruptive, people do not seek treatment, which is incredibly sad.



COOPER: So, two-and-a-half years since Wall Street brought the economy to death's door and guess how many senior Wall Street executives have gone to jail. Any guesses? Well, the answer is none. None has even been charged with a crime.

And yet some of what these Wall Street firms and banks did helped wreck the global economy and cost millions of people their homes and millions more their jobs. But now a leading U.S. senator has taken aim at this guy, Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, the richest investment bank on Wall Street, a guy who said at the peak of foreclosures and layoffs that he was -- quote -- "doing God's work."

Well, Michigan Democrat Carl Levin says Blankfein and other Goldman executives who testified before his Senate subcommittee lied and should be referred to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution. Now, the allegations are contained in the 639-page report on the larger crisis and Goldman's role in it. According to the report, investigators found evidence that Goldman's sales people were peddling securities to clients based on shaky mortgages, mortgages they knew were shaky. At the same time, Goldman traders were betting the firm's own money that those securities would blow up, basically a scam.

Last April, Senator Levin asked Goldman's mortgage head about one called Timberwolf that Goldman insiders were e-mailing about. Take a look.


SEN. CARL LEVIN (D-MI), ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: June 22 is the date of this e-mail. "Boy, that Timberwolf was one (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal."

How much of that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal did you sell to your clients after June 22, 2007?

LLOYD BLANKFEIN, CEO, GOLDMAN SACHS: Mr. Chairman, I don't know the answer to that, but the price would have reflected levels that they wanted to invest.


LEVIN: Oh, of course. But they don't know -- you didn't tell them you thought it was a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal.

BLANKFEIN: Well, I didn't say that.

LEVIN: No. Who did? Your people internally. You knew it was a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal and that's what your e-mail shows.

BLANKFEIN: I think the context, the message I took from the e- mail from Mr. Montag was that my performance on that deal wasn't good, and I think the fact that we had lost money related to that wasn't good.

LEVIN: How about the fact that you sold hundreds of millions of that deal after your people knew it was a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal; does that bother you at all?


COOPER: Now Goldman maintains it gave truthful testimony to the subcommittee and that in Wall Street speak it was not really betting against clients in any systemic way -- quote -- "We did not have a massive net short position because our short positions were largely offset by our long positions and our financial results clearly demonstrate this point."

Senate investigators don't dispute that Goldman took certain losses during the meltdown, but say that the people selling the crappy investments, shall we say, were indeed in contact with the traders betting on their crappiness, betting and winning while most Americans were winning. Goldman's 2008 profits were $2.3 billion, $13 billion a year later.

And in that years since 2007, Lloyd Blankfein has pulled in close to $100 million in salary and bonuses. Again, Goldman says they have done nothing wrong. Supporters say they're being punished for being right, for being smart.

Joining me now, CNN colleague Eliot Spitzer, who prosecuted Wall Street tycoons when he was New York's state attorney general, and MARTIN: , who has written extensively about the financial scandal for "Rolling Stone." Eliot, do you believe Goldman broke the law and lied?

Do you believe they broke the law and lied?

ELIOT SPITZER (D), FORMER NEW YORK GOVERNOR: Yes, I do. And I know people are going to say how can you say that as a lawyer? I have read this report.

It confirms our worst fears about double dealing, lying. Goldman Sachs has zero, none, nada credibility in my book. They have scammed the American public, lied to Senator Levin's committee. That's what he said. They made a high-level decision in 2006, December '06, that this entire market was going to collapse. They bet against it.

COOPER: They saw that the market was going to collapse?


Spitzer That's right, two things, two critical things. One, they then bet against it, meanwhile, telling their clients keep buying it. And even worse, after years of having the financial services sector say trust us, we will regulate ourself, they did not pick up the phone, did not go to a regulator, did not go to their colleagues and say this merry-go-round is out of control, we better stop. They said we can make money and they pounded forward.

It is an outrage and I think the American public should say enough. They have learned nothing.

COOPER: But is there a smoking gun in this? Is there really clear evidence of a crime?


I think the only reason that this is even controversial, that we're even asking the question should they be in jail is because this is the financial services industry and this stuff is complicated. If this was any other industry, if this was a car dealership, for instance, basically what happened was imagine you're a Ford dealership and you get a whole inventory full of Broncos that have defective brakes in them and you decide not only to sell them, but to give bonuses to your salespeople to sell these defective products, and then you go out and take out life insurance policies on the drivers of the cars that you sold.

That's exactly what happened here in a nutshell. They had defective merchandise. They had these terrible mortgaged backed deals that they knew were going to blow up and they unloaded it as fast as they could on their clients while they bet against them.

SPITZER: Anderson, there are documents out there that came from Clayton the company that did due diligence on the underlying mortgages, I don't want to get too technical, that the banks had, many of the banks had this that said these mortgages are no good. They will not satisfy even your own standards for issuing mortgages. These are the mortgages they then wrapped up into these securities, sold them off saying buy this stuff, and bet against it.

COOPER: But wait. But weren't all these mortgages also being looked at by the people who were supposedly regulating these industries and the folks who were supposedly giving bond ratings and they got good ratings?

SPITZER: To say that there was negligence and there were abuses throughout the system is in no way to exculpate what Goldman Sachs did.


COOPER: But can't they point to that and say...


SPITZER: No, no, because they gave the information to Moody's and to S&P's, and they all were culpable, which is why Moody's and S&P's, in my view, should also be stripped of their capacity they rate these things. They all blew it in the most fundamental way.

When I was A.G. back in 2002 and 2003, and went after these companies for the same thing, lying to the public about the quality of the stocks, they said, we get it, we have learned. Bunk. They did the same thing year after year because they saw a penny they could pick up. Outrage.

COOPER: Matt, two-and-a-half years after this, no one has gone to jail, no one has even been prosecuted on charges.

TAIBBI: Well, but they have sure gone after Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

COOPER: Those are easy pickings and...

TAIBBI: The entire history of this whole era clearly demonstrates that the Justice Department has no appetite whatsoever for taking any cases against any of these Wall Street executives, even when they have very good evidence and very strong cases.

COOPER: The failure of regulators is just extraordinary. You have documented this incredibly well in "Rolling Stone."

TAIBBI: Sure. Absolutely. The regulators were completely asleep at the wheel and in some cases they were tremendously understaffed and didn't have the resources or the wherewithal to take on these jobs. A great example being AIG, whose regulator was the Office of Thrift Supervision. A savings and loan regulator was regulating the world's largest company and they had one insurance expert on their entire staff.

SPITZER: Although I will tell you an interesting story. We went after AIG, got them to get -- the biggest settlement in history. Their accounting was a fraudulent scam, top to bottom.

I was called and told back off by the U.S. attorney in the Southern District, we will take care of it. They never did, never did it.

Tim Geithner, treasury secretary, apparently reported in today's "New York Times" was calling people saying don't bring cases, it will unsettle the markets, so they let these guys go free. Meanwhile, he signed off on $12.9 billion to Goldman to cover a bad bet they made.

COOPER: Civil fines are one thing, though. To actually bring a criminal case, don't you have to prove intent?


SPITZER: Absolutely.

COOPER: And can you prove intent on Goldman Sachs, intent to defraud?

SPITZER: It gets harder to prove this, and this is where the complexity and structure of an organization creates insulation as you move up the hierarchy, because proving the intent to deceive as the paper trail gets a little thinner is a problem.

But the civil charges that should be brought are there screaming out to be brought on the Levin report, based upon the documents that are out there. And the fact that it hasn't been done yet is really staggering.

COOPER: Do you think politicians are scared of going against Goldman Sachs?

TAIBBI: Absolutely. Goldman Sachs was the number one private campaign contributor to Barack Obama's presidential election campaign. It's one of the single biggest campaign contributors to both parties in Congress. So it's a rare event when, you know, an establishment politician like Carl Levin decides to basically open up a shooting war against a company like this. It just doesn't happen very much because the consequences for these politicians are so severe, and that's one of the reasons why they have lasted this long.

SPITZER: Anderson, before I sued, went after Merrill Lynch, which was the first case we filed many years back, I was told by their lawyer, this is a direct quote, be careful, we have powerful friends.

COOPER: Do you think the Justice Department will prosecute?

SPITZER: If they don't, shame on them. If they don't, the attorney general should resign if he can't bring this case.

COOPER: Really?



COOPER: You think it's an easy case?

SPITZER: Anderson, it is so outrageous to me, the deeper we dig and the more fundamental the violations we see that these investment banks hiding behind the patina that they would take care of the public interest in regulating the stock market, time and time scammed and deceived and our tax dollars are paying those grotesque bonuses that we still read about.

COOPER: I remember there was a quote in one of the articles you wrote, Matt, and I don't want to quote it word for word, because it was quite, well, descriptive, but it was somebody saying that basically if one of these guys was sent to prison, that would stop these shenanigans from happening again, that that's really all it would take, if somebody was held accountable, it would have a cooling effect.

TAIBBI: Yes. Absolutely. I talked to one guy who was a former SEC investigator and he said basically if you start sending Lloyd Blankfein or one of those guys, put one of those guys in a real maximum security prison for six months, this whole thing would be over very quickly. The whole situation would be cleared up. But the problem is, there's no incentive for these guys to change their behaviors, because they never, ever get punished. Not only do they got get punished. They get a bailout.


COOPER: And has there been any change in regulation? Is the regulation better now? Is the oversight better?

SPITZER: Look, Dodd-Frank made some improvements, and it was better to have it than not have it, but it doesn't change the simple fact that all you need is common law fraud on the books or there as a theory. A prosecutor who wants to go after Wall Street banks for lying will do it. That hasn't happened yet. It should happen.

COOPER: Matt Taibbi, appreciate it, as always. Thanks. And Eliot Spitzer, thanks.

Up next, breaking news, three world leaders, including President Obama, pointing their pens at Moammar Gadhafi. It's a pretty interesting development and it's actually kind of a new development in Libya. We will tell you about it ahead.

Meanwhile, Gadhafi was driving through a crowd of supporters in Tripoli, kind of trying to appear invincible, doing kind of a double fist pump. One opponent told our Reza Sayah he believes time is on their side.


REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Does it frustrate you that you still see a triumphant...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it doesn't frustrate me because I know what is coming. I'm sure we trust in God and we trust in our belief. I know what is coming. SAYAH: Do you think he knows what is coming?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very sure. I'm very sure.



COOPER: Breaking news tonight on Libya.

In an extraordinary gesture, President Obama has joined with British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in writing a joint op-ed piece that will appear tomorrow in major international newspapers under the headline "Libya's Pathway to Peace."

The leaders write they're looking to a future without Moammar Gadhafi, that it's unthinkable that someone who has tried to massacre his own people can play a part in their future government. They also write -- and I quote -- "However, so long as Gadhafi is in power, NATO must maintain its operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds. Then a genuine transition from dictatorship to an inclusive constitutional process can really begin, led by new generation of leaders, in order to that position to succeed, Gadhafi must go and go for good."

Meanwhile, Libyan state TV aired this video of Gadhafi, standing in the sunroof of an SUV, fists pumping, both arms raised in triumph, greeting a crowd of supporters in Tripoli.

Forces loyal to Gadhafi launched another deadly assault today on the besieged city of Misurata. According to a local doctor, at least 23 people were killed, more than 100 injured. We can't independently confirm that, however.

Tonight, Libyan state TV also aired video of Gadhafi's daughter, Ayesha, speaking to a rally of supporters, praising her father's importance to Libya.


AYESHA GADHAFI, DAUGHTER OF MUAMMAR GADHAFI (through translator): Gadhafi isn't in Libya. He is in the hearts of the Libyans. My father once said that "If the Libyan nation doesn't want me, then I don't deserve to live." The Libyans answered him in a united voice: "Those who don't want you, don't deserve to live."


COOPER: Our Ben Wedeman joins us now from Benghazi tonight. We're also joined by Bill Richardson, former governor of New Mexico and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. And back with us is Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS."

Governor Richardson, if the crux of this op-ed by the allied leaders, it seems that the crux of it is that Gadhafi must go, then why not just kind of recalibrate the mission? Or are they trying to recalibrate the mission? Because the mission is supposed to be-- to protect civilians. In this new op-ed, they're saying you can't protect civilians if Gadhafi remains in power.

BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: I do believe it's a little bit of a policy shift in the right direction. It's basically saying, No. 1, Gadhafi must go.

No. 2, is a signal that NATO is going to intensify its military strikes or its military participation. And I think it's also -- it's kind of a rejection of the African presidents, who had just been in there, calling for a cease-fire, but had left fuzzy whether Gadhafi would stay or go.

So I think it's a stepping up. It's basically saying it's not regime change, but there can't be a future, there can't be a Libyan government with Gadhafi still around. So it's I think intensifying the military commitment of NATO. These three leaders have put a lot of prestige on the line by doing this op-ed.

COOPER: It also opens it up to a much longer involvement, because previously, there were those who argued, well, look, if Gadhafi withdraws his forces from some of these cities that he is besieging like Misurata, he can stay in power. This is saying he can't be in power; civilians cannot be protected if he's in power, Fareed.

FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": That's exactly right, Anderson. You pointed out, you highlighted the crucial sentence. However, so long as Gadhafi is in power, NATO must maintain its operations.

Now I read it slightly differently than Bill does, which is I don't know that it's a signal they're going to intensify the military operations. I think what they're trying to do here is to say, look, we have a U.N. mandate for a limited military operation. We're not going to do more than that. They say that. You know, the military operation purpose is not to remove Gadhafi by force.

But we have as much political pressure as we can bring to bear. We're going to bring to bear to try to force him out of office. We're talking a contact group (ph). We've got sanctions in place. We're not going to let him sell his oil. So it's an effort to see if there's a way to escalate the political pressure.

Because I see -- I think they do understand if they were to go beyond -- if they escalated militarily, they would lose a lot of countries that feel, wait a minute. The U.N. mandate only allows you to protect civilians. So they're playing this game and saying, well, how much non-military presence can we bring to bear? And this op-ed is, in a sense, non-military pressure.

COOPER: Ben Wedeman, I've been reading your tweets, and you've been noticing some new equipment, some new weaponry that the opposition has. BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we've seen Milan anti-tank weapons, which are made in France but by all -- it appears that they're supplied by Qatar. We've seen radio equipment. We've seen new military boots worn by some of the rebels outside of Ajdabiya.

But what we haven't seen, really, is the ability to actually push forward. We saw them trying to launch an offensive to retake Brega today. But they got about 15 yards before the whole thing fell apart into sort of wild gunfire and rocket fire in almost every direction.

So new equipment, yes. New leadership, no.

COOPER: Wait a minute. You said they tried to launch an offensive, and they got 15 yards?

WEDEMAN: That's about right. It's not altogether clear why, but they just left the area of Brega and literally, about 15 yards, somebody opened fire with a machine gun, a heavy machine gun. Then we saw rockets being fired in almost every direction.

And soon I was told by one of their commanders that they had to postpone the mission, also because there was an Eastern Libyan army contingent that arrived too late. So they just called the whole thing off. We'll be back tomorrow to see if they actually resume it.

COOPER: Governor Richardson, do you believe diplomacy can actually work? I mean, there was kind of a flurry of activity when -- when the foreign minister defected, showed up in London. It doesn't seem like, though, the inner circle, that there's any more major cracks in it.

RICHARDSON: Well, my view is that the more this military operation happens, that the stronger the rebels will get. I do believe there are those reports of more equipment. I believe they're training more. They're getting more training. I've heard some reports of the Egyptian special forces in there. There is more ammunition coming in. They're getting more unified. Their numbers are increasing.

And at the same time, I think Gadhafi's military, you are seeing more defectors, more, I believe, loss of morale. I think the...

COOPER: Where do you see that? Because -- well, where do you see that, because what we hear is that the Gadhafi army is actually learning. They're no longer going around in tanks. They're now going in the same kind of vehicles that the opposition forces are. To the extent they have tanks and heavy artillery, they're hiding them in civilian populations.

Whereas night after night, you know, we hear these reports -- Ben just talked about an offensive by the rebels, the opposition, that lasted for 15 yards. These guys are still firing in the air, wasting ammunition, and it's been, you know, seven plus weeks.

RICHARDSON: Well, look, I think we -- we really are trying to get some instant gratification. This is going to take a little time. But I do think in the long run, the more this military operation takes place, the more air strikes happen.

And I do believe this letter, this op-ed means more NATO involvement. The UAE is involved. Qatar is involved.

I think you're going to see the rebels pick up some military offensives in the future. I think you're going to see momentum shift. And Gadhafi is out cheering himself. His daughter is making those speeches. I'm of the view that the end is -- the end is near. Hopefully, that will happen. I may be wrong, but that's what I see.

COOPER: Do you see the end as being near?

ZAKARIA: You know, I think it's a hope. I don't honestly see the end. I think that given this gap that I've always felt existed between the goal that was set up, which was getting rid of Gadhafi, and the means that are being used, which is limited military means for a limited humanitarian goal. I don't quite understand -- you know, there is a gap here.

COOPER: And that's what this essay to me is. They're trying to close that gap.

ZAKARIA: They're trying to close it, but it's more a rhetorical closure, because they make very clear that they're not going to use military force.

COOPER: And that's because of the political sensitivity of this coalition that's been hammered together. To the ambassador's point, yes, the UAE is involved. Qatar is involved. But they don't want to be involved in actual attacks on Gadhafi forces.

ZAKARIA: And they've made it clear they would drop out if that were to happen. So, you know, the military imbalance is real.

Remember, I mean, Ben described it vividly. Because you've got to know who this -- who this rebel force is. It's a bunch of professionals, some groups of unemployed people, a few defectors from the army. These aren't people who are trained in military means, so of course they're not going to be able to go much more than 15 yards without training. Which is why I've always said more important than military strikes was to get some kind of training program in there to help these rebels.

COOPER: Ben, just briefly, is there any kind of training that you see? I mean, is there some camp where, you know, there's an elite squad being trained?

WEDEMAN: Well, there is a camp just outside of Benghazi where there is sort of minimal training being provided. But I have to underscore it is minimal.

And I think part of the problem is, simply the realities of the battleground here. In this part of the country, they're out in the desert, far from their homes, not defending their homes. But if you look at Misurata, I was reading some of the reports by C.J. Chivers (ph), "The New York Times" reporter who just arrived there. And he describes how they have learned in Misurata very quickly how to build defenses, how to build anti-tank defenses. Something we just haven't seen in this part of the country.

This evening I spoke to a source here in Benghazi who tells me that they are sending lots of sort of advanced weaponry for this theater to Misurata, and they're actually making progress.

So whereas this side of the country we do see vividly the effects of lack of training, lack of leadership, in somewhere like Misurata where they're really up against a wall, we see them fighting effectively with very limited means. So it may be simply the nature of the battle in the east compared to a place like Misurata.

COOPER: And Ben makes an excellent point. What they've done in Misurata is extraordinary, that they've been able to hold on to that parts of the city that they have.

Ben Wedeman, continue to stay safe.

Governor Richardson, appreciate your time.

Fareed Zakaria, as well.

Coming up, "Crime & Punishment." The search for new clues in the suspected serial killings in Long Island, New York. Police and the FBI scouring 18 different spots. Did they find anything new? At least eight bodies found so far, remains of.

Plus, Catherine Zeta-Jones, checking into a mental health facility for bipolar, being very public about it, trying to break some of the stigma behind mental illness in this country. I'll talk to 360 M.S. Sanjay Gupta about what bipolar disorder is, how it's treated, and how it manifests in people's lives.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: True bipolar disease, you know, classic bipolar does -- is incredibly disruptive to the individual and incredibly disruptive to the people around them.


COOPER: Also tonight, why one country is trying to take time travel off the TV. China's new TV guidelines wind up on the "RidicuList" tonight. We'll explain ahead.


COOPER: A lot of concern and questions tonight about the news that Catherine Zeta-Jones checked into a mental health facility. Her rep tells CNN that Zeta-Jones is seeking treatment for bipolar two disorder, which the Mayo Clinic says is a less severe form of bipolar disorder.

The rep also says she's decided to check into a facility after dealing with the stress of the past year, obviously, when her husband, Michael Douglas, was fighting throat cancer.

So we wanted to get some more information about what exactly bipolar two disorder is and how it can be triggered by traumatic events. For that we went to 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta.


COOPER: Sanjay, there's still such stigma over mental health issues in this country. I think for someone as well known as Catherine Zeta-Jones to be very frank about an issue she's facing is really remarkable.

What exactly is bipolar disorder?

GUPTA: Well, it is a -- people refer to it as manic depression. It is a disorder sort of characterized by what is known as mania, manic episodes, and also depressive episodes.

Now manic episodes, people are, you know, really at the highest of highs, and depressed episodes, the lowest of lows. But so much so, Anderson, that it really interferes with your ability to conduct your normal life. These episodes can last a period of time, usually over a week at least. And, you know, it can be so disruptive not only to the individual but to all the people around them.

That's typically what bipolar is sort of characterized by.

You know, what is interesting, if I can show you really quickly, Anderson, is that we have more insight specifically into what's happening in the brain now, as well.

For example, let me show you what is known as a functional MRI of a normal brain. Now up near the top, that's the area of the frontal lobes. That's the area of the brain that's responsible for judgment, for your ability to sort of filter things, to add to -- to filter something, to think before you do, to think before you act. That's a normal brain.

Now, take a look at what a bipolar diagnosed brain, something who's during a manic episode. You see hardly any activity in those frontal lobes.


GUPTA: Now, think about that, no activity in the frontal lobes, Anderson, means hardly any filter. You think of something, you immediately say it. You think of something, you immediately do it. You have nothing sort of putting on the brakes. I just find that extremely fascinating, because it's objective evidence of what specifically is happening in the brain during one of these episodes.

COOPER: And she has bipolar disorder two, which I hadn't heard of. How is that different from what you just explained?

GUPTA: Yes. There's a few different types of bipolar, and these are all characterized now, Anderson, by, you know, what's known as a clinical diagnosis. So you're sitting down with a doctor, being asked questions and coming up with the diagnosis.

Basically, the big difference is that, instead of having true manic episodes. They have more of what are known as hypomanic episodes. They still develop mania, which can be, you know, lots of -- it can be lots of activity, fast talking, little sleep. But not quite to the degree of someone who's in a full manic episode. But they still can have the severe depression. Sometimes the depression is even worse than in someone who has classic bipolar or bipolar one.

COOPER: And obviously, she has endured a lot of stress over the past year with Michael Douglas, her husband battling cancer. Does stress trigger bipolar disorder?

GUPTA: I think it can, absolutely. And I think trigger is the right word, as opposed to cause. Because I think, you know, there's mounting evidence that people probably have a predisposition, some sort of genetic predisposition toward it, you know.

We know that children, for example, if they have a parent with bipolar, four to six times more likely to develop it. So there's some genetic component. They haven't identified the genes.

But the trigger, that's always been, you know, something people have been looking for, and stress is certainly a big one.

COOPER: And in terms of -- I think she has checked herself into a facility. For a lot of people, this is something that they live with on a day-to-day basis. It doesn't consume their lives to the point where they can't do anything. Or it can.

GUPTA: Well, I think, you know, true bipolar disease, you know, this classic bipolar, is incredibly disruptive to the individual and incredibly disruptive to the people around them.

I think you know what it is, Anderson? I think it's still so stigmatized that, despite the fact that it's so disruptive, people do not seek treatment, which is incredibly sad. Because while there is no cure, there can be some pretty effective treatments.

And people are often diagnosed very late if they're diagnosed at all with this disease, because they tend to try and mask it, get around it, or they become very socially inward. They don't go out because they're afraid of exhibiting these symptoms.

And again, like I said, we're working on this documentary. But that part of it is, I just think incredibly sad. So there's treatments available out there.

COOPER: Well, again, I just think for her to be so up front, it's going to help a lot of other people out there, who don't -- who haven't talked about it as much or maybe don't even know they have it. Sanjay, thanks.

GUPTA: Thanks, Anderson.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Up next, the incredible new details about just an unthinkable crime. A 10-year-old boy who escaped from his family's minivan after his mom drove it into the Hudson River shares her last words, talks about his little brothers and sisters who didn't make it and what he told the woman who found him.

Also ahead, emotions running high, BP's annual shareholder meeting, if you can imagine.

And the Chinese government gets tough on TV, but it's not sleazy reality shows they want to ban but shows about time travel. We thought it kind of sounded ridiculous, too. So, it's on the list.


COOPER: Following a number of other stories. Let's get an update. Randi Kaye has a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we're learning more about the young New York mother who appears to have intentionally driven her car into the Hudson River Tuesday night, killing herself and three of her children.

Listen to what her 10-year-old son, who survived that incident, told the woman who found him frantic by the side of a road.


MAEVE RYAN, HELPED FRANTIC 10-YEAR-OLD: At the last minute when he was leaving to go out the window, he heard his mother saying, "I made a terrible mistake. I made a mistake." So she came from the middle of the row to the driver's side and tried to reverse the car back out, but at this time she was too much in the water at that point -- too much in the water at that point to even leave.

So he said -- he said, "The best thing I could do," he said was to go for help. And he said, "NO one was stopping. No one was stopping for me." He said, "Thank you so much for stopping for me." He said it about 50 times, "Thank you for stopping for me. Thank you for stopping."


KAYE: In Long Island, New York, a high-tech helicopter was used today in the expanding investigation of a possible serial killing case, but no new evidence was uncovered. Eight bodies have been found along a desolate coastal stretch since December, and more skeletal remains were discovered earlier this week.

Demonstrators gathered outside BP's annual shareholders' meeting in London today, protesting the oil giant's role in last spring's deadly and catastrophic explosion and spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Inside the meeting, shareholders demanded to know what steps BP has taken to prevent another disaster.

And big changes ahead in daytime TV. ABC is canceling its long- running soap operas, "All My Children" this coming September "and One Life to Live" next January. They'll be replaced by one show about food and a second show about health and lifestyles.

Say it isn't so, Anderson.

COOPER: I know. Wow, that's amazing.

All right, Randi. Time for the "RidicuList," another kind of TV change. Tonight, we're adding China because of their new television guidelines.

We learned today the Chinese government doesn't want any shows about time travel. This is coming from China's state administration of radio, film and television. Now here are the guidelines that have been released. I'll give you a moment to -- to look them over.

Apparently, the government says TV dramas that have characters traveling through time and rewriting history go against Chinese heritage. Also frowned upon in the new guidelines, bizarre plots, absurd techniques, fantasy and mythical stories.

As a former "Dungeons and Dragons" nerd, I can tell you this is disturbing to me on a very deep personal level. No fantasy? No mythical stories? What could I do with my multi-sided die and level six orc powers? And if you don't get the references, it just means you probably played outdoors as a child and actually had friends.

I think a lot of people would be shocked by the idea of no time travel. What about the trailblazing team of Bill and Ted who once dared to pose the question, "Shall we embark on an adventure?" And "shall it be excellent?" And the answer, thankfully, a resounding yes, yes, we shall, and oh, how excellent it was.




GEORGE CARLIN, COMEDIAN: Greetings, my excellent friends.

REEVES: Do you know when the Mongols ruled China?

CARLIN: Well, perhaps we could ask them.


COOPER: Strange things afoot at the Circle K indeed. But if Bill and Ted don't do it for you, what about "2001: A Space Odyssey?", probably the greatest science fiction film ever made? Those movies that bend the space-time continuum, they capture the imagination. They make us dream, and they inspire us to ask questions about ourselves, about the universe, about what it all means.

Just ask Britney Spears and Kevin Federline from back when they had their reality show, "Chaotic." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRITNEY SPEARS, SINGER: Have you ever seen "Back to the Future?" Is it possible to travel time and space?


SPEARS: Yes, it is.

FEDERLINE: Not that we know of.

SPEARS: Maybe. I think people can do that. I think people are ahead of us.


COOPER: You know what's really sad? I actually watched that entire show. Not just that one episode. I watched the entire series. To be fair, so -- it's true. I've been talking -- I'm such a loser.

I've been talking about movies here, and these new Chinese guidelines are really more focused on TV shows, which as we all know, have never really done anything involving time travel, unless of course, you're talking about "The Twilight Zone," "Lost," "Babylon 5," "The Outer Limits," "My Favorite Martian," "The X Files," "Star Trek," "Tron", "I Dream of Jeannie," "The Simpsons," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "The Smurfs," "Xena, Warrior Princess," "Mork and Mindy," "Smallville," "Futurama," "Bewitched," "Quantum Leap."

Seriously, China, no "Quantum Leap?"

When you think about it, what is television, really, but a way to travel through time, to transport yourself to different places, different eras, different hairstyles?


COOPER: Yes, I didn't hear that, but I'm just going to smile and nod like a local TV reporter would.

Everywhere you go in Sarajevo, you're surrounded by snipers. There are hills all around, and you hear shots all the time, like that one. That was kind of close.

My name is Anderson Cooper, and I go the Dalton School, and I'm in the fifth grade.


COOPER: And yes, my hair was purple back then.

So please, China, on behalf of Bill and Ted and Marty McFly, on behalf of Dr. Who, Captain Kirk, and me in the fifth grade, try to warm up to the idea that time travel can be a good thing on TV. Do that, and we'll fire up the DeLorean and take your new guidelines off "The RidicuList." Serious stuff at the top of the hour, starting with a budget- cutting bill and questions about whether it's the real deal. Stay tuned.