updated 11/11/2005 10:37:25 AM ET 2005-11-11T15:37:25

Guest: Mike Allen, Jim Walsh, Leslie Miller, Bob Dougherty, Mark Cohen,

Josh Bailey, Max Kellerman

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”:  THE SITUATION WITH

TUCKER CARLSON starts right now.  Hey, Tucker.  What's THE SITUATION tonight?

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Hey, Joe, thanks. 

And thanks to you at home for joining us.  We appreciate it, as we always do.  A fair amount of controversy going on tonight, including an airline that's about to offer in-flight gambling, a home drug kit that will allow parents to test their children for dope. 

Plus, I'll speak live with a Colorado man who's suing Home Depot for $3 million, claiming he was wrongfully glued to a toilet seat, as if he could be rightfully glued to a toilet seat. 

But first, a new political storm over the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.  For the very latest on that story, among many other things, we welcome “TIME” magazine White House correspondent Mike Allen, live from Washington. 

Mike, thanks a lot.

MIKE ALLEN, CORRESPONDENT, “TIME” MAGAZINE:  Hey, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Can you just explain to our viewers, this Alito story hasn't really penetrated, I don't think, the rest of the country.  Would you sum it up for us quickly?  What's the controversy?

ALLEN:  Yes, little fisticuffs on Alito, even though his hearing is not coming until January 9. 

Back in 1990, when he was confirmed to the appeals court, he made a promise that it turns out he didn't have to make.  And that is, he said he would recuse himself from cases that involved the companies that had his mutual funds, Vanguard and Smith Barney. 

There's nothing anywhere that says that you have to do that.  But he did, it turns out, hear some cases involved in that.  Democrats have jumped on that and said that he did not keep his promise.  And so Republicans are trying to snuff this out before it gets to the hearings. 

The judiciary committee's chairman, Senator Specter of Pennsylvania, pointed out these small things in these nomination battles, even nonexistent things, can turn into huge things.  And that's what they are trying to avoid here. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  He's absolutely right, they certainly can.  Is there any suggestion that his ruling in that case was improper?

ALLEN:  There's not.  And what he says is he was unduly restrictive, is the way he put it, in his promise.  That what he meant to say was that he just wouldn't hear a case if any conflict actually existed. 

Now, Tucker, I'm glad you're sitting down, because Senator Kennedy of Massachusetts says this raises questions about his judgment and his ability to keep his promise. 

Now, Republicans are pushing back hard, so hard that they said to me tonight, “Does Senator Kennedy really want to get into a fight with us about ethics?”

The points Republicans are making is nothing improper was done.  Judge Alito could be making $5 million a year in the private sector if he wants to.  He's been in public service.  He did everything that he had to.

So the question will be, will he be held to something that he overpromised 12 years ago, a little more than that, and will they accept the idea that these cases slip through, and he didn't really realize it?

CARLSON:  You've got to love a fight.  Any fight that Teddy Kennedy is involved in, I just—I want a ringside seat.  It's always so entertaining. 

You—you came tonight from watching Karl Rove, the president's chief advisor, give, I think, his first public remarks since this whole Valerie Plame investigation resulted in indictments a couple of weeks ago.  What was it like?  What did Rove say?

ALLEN:  Yes, this was his coming out.  And r. Rove wore a green tie.  Maybe he's getting a little head start on Earth Day there.  He picked a very friendly audience, the Federalists Society, which is conservative lawyers.  He warmed them up with a little joke, saying that they were a conspiracy of egg-headed lawyers, a conspiracy in plain sight. 

There were a lot of reporters there, a lot of cameras there.  Japanese TV was there.  Reporters were running around the hotel, trying to catch him. 

The remarks were suitably boring.  He started off by a little red meat about the Pledge of Allegiance and gay marriage, and he got—wound up getting a standing ovation, saluted the White House counsel, Harriet Miers, was there. 

CARLSON:  You told me that.  Earlier tonight we were talking.  Why would he do that?  I mean, he's talking to a group of people, presumably, who—the majority of whom anyway—thought Harriet Miers was a bad pick.  Why would he go out of his way to defend Harriet Miers?

ALLEN:  Well, maybe they were happy that she wasn't—that she's not going on the court anymore. 

I don't think there's anybody who—we've talked about this.  Nobody dislikes her.  I think everybody—I think even people who didn't care for the nomination, you know, like her as a person.  So I think it was a matter of being polite, if nothing else. 

He also mentioned Sam Alito, got some applause there.  He gave, in an effort to sort of rehabilitate Harriet Miers, he said if you like the president's 200 judge picks over the years, she's one of the people that you have to thank. 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

ALLEN:  So it was a friendly—it was a way for him to come out and say, “Look, I'm still here.”  He looked fine.  He talked fine.  He was funny.  He got big applause, standing ovation, the beginning, the end.  He said—he said, “Stop, stop, stop.  Sit down.  If you—if I can start, you can eat sooner.” 

CARLSON:  Interesting.  Doesn't sound like a man who feels worried about the investigations swirling around him. 

And quickly tell me about the drama on the Hill today.  It looked like liberal Republicans outmaneuvered conservative Republicans in stopping these budget cuts they wanted.  And it looked to me like an example of White House weakness in action.  The White House is—is really struggling with these low poll numbers, and they have no control on the Hill.  Is that your read?

ALLEN:  Tucker, that's a very good way to put it.  And what we saw tonight was Republicans unable or unwilling to make a relatively small amount of budget cuts.  These were things that Republicans generally don't like.  We have Medicaid.  We had student loans. 

And Tucker, if they're not going to cut these—things like this, if they're not going to make this size of cuts, there's—the budget will never be in balance. 

Being conservative is hard, and so far, it's been all dessert.  And if they're not going to make cuts like this, they're going to have to raise taxes.  Nobody wants to do this. 

But you're right; Republicans would not stay in line.  Every once in awhile, you hear about Republican moderates.  They're still out there.  And they showed—they showed some strength today. 

I talked to some—an aide in the House leadership.  The leadership was trying to make adjustments to this package to make it more palatable, but they said, “Our guys just don't want to vote for this.”  Republicans are very worried about re-election. 

A Republican told us today, “We're saying there's 20 seats in play. 

There's really 30.”

CARLSON:  Yes.

ALLEN:  “There could be 80.”  After Tuesday, people are really worried. 

CARLSON:  And they have ever—they have every reason to be.  Eighty

·         I think you could see the Congress change hands pretty easily, but we'll be covering that, hopefully with your help. 

Mike Allen in Washington, thank you.

ALLEN:  Have a great night, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  You, too.

Earlier today, al Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility for yesterday's hotel suicide bombings in Jordan's capital.  Those bombings killed at least 56 people and injured hundreds more. 

Furious protests against the terrorist group were held in Amman today.  Demonstrators chanted, “Burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,” referring to al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, who was actually born in Jordan. 

Has Al-Zarqawi replaced Osama bin Laden as a central target in the war on terror, maybe the central target.  Here to help us answer that question, Jim Walsh.  He's an expert in international terrorism and security at Harvard.  He joins us live tonight from Boston. 

Mr. Walsh, thanks a lot. 

JIM WALSH, INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM EXPERT:  Glad to be here, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  For coming on.

I'm just struck by Zarqawi's targets.  It seems for a guy—in the justification today—I don't know if it's real or not, but the one that reached the A.P. wire, anyway, said al Qaeda in Iraq did this because Jordan has become a haven for Christians and Jews, and they want that to stop. 

But here the guy goes and bombs a Muslim wedding, kills all these Muslims in Iraq.  Doesn't he risk a popular backlash doing stuff like that?

WALSH:  I do think he risks a popular backlash.  And you'll remember earlier this month, there was an allegedly—we don't know if it's authentic or not—allegedly a letter from the No. 2 person in al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, saying, “Hey, stop the beheadings, and please don't go after Muslims so much because you're hurting our P.R. situation here.” 

I think there is a risk that they will alienate people.  But keep in mind, this is not new for Zarqawi.  After all, he's a Sunni Muslim, and in Iraq, he has attacked Shiite Muslims, Shiite mosques.  And this has actually been sort of a difference of opinion between bin Laden and Zarqawi.  They have in the past been rivals, or at least rather distant.  Now they are pledged to one another, but they still differ in their tactics. 

CARLSON:  So that's the version, al Qaeda's version of moderation:

hey, slow down the beheadings?

WALSH:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  Now, the other—the other weird thing, it seems to me, about the bombings yesterday in Amman, is that Amman is this, I don't know, haven, but certainly gathering place for people sympathetic to the former Saddam regime, hard-liners from Iraq, who you'd think would be natural allies of Zarqawi.  Why would he hit Jordan?

WALSH:  Well, I think a couple of reasons.  First of all, King Abdullah II has been a long-time ally of the United States.  Jordan was helpful to the U.S. during the Iraq invasion.

And also, there are, I think, are reasons of convenience.  You know, simply look at a map.  What country borders Jordan? Well, it's Iraq, and of course, Zarqawi is in Iraq, easier for him to mount an operation.

And third and finally, remember, Zarqawi himself is a Jordanian, who has been tried in absentia, convicted of plotting attacks against Jordan in the past.  So he has an ax to grind in Jordan anyway, even if it wasn't more convenient for him to attack there, and all the other reasons listed. 

CARLSON:  Well, he has also, according to Jordanian intelligence, jailed for sexual assault in Jordan.  So tell me, just bottom line, of course, what does he want, exactly?  Does he have an agenda we can understand?

WALSH:  It's a good question.  This is one of the most shadowed figures in terrorism.  We know more about bin Laden than we do Zarqawi.  There are even a view out there that he's dead and isn't actually alive. 

It's hard to know what his motivations are.  It's clear what his tactics are.  I think as it relates to Iraq, it's to spread dissension, to cause a civil war between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, to topple the secular regimes, monarchies, and have them replaced with religious extremists. 

CARLSON:  Is he allied, and to what degree, allied with bin Laden, Zarqawi?

WALSH:  Well, you know, he has publicly allied himself.  That is to say, he has a statement which he says, you know, bin Laden is the prince, and I am your subject.  But the actual nature of that relationship is rather strained, or has been strained in the past. 

They were both in Afghanistan during the Afghan-Soviet war.  They took different paths.  They were somewhat rivals.  There was continued tension even into the 1990's.  This allegiance with bin Laden is rather late.

And even now, as I said, there are differences in terms of tactics.  And I know it sounds ironic, you know, bin Laden kills 3,000 innocent people, including Muslims, in the 9/11 attack.  But nevertheless, I think al-Zawahiri and bin Laden feel uncomfortable with Zarqawi going and attacking, in a very public and direct, deliberate way, Shiite Muslims, which causes them all sorts of P.R. problems. 

CARLSON:  Yes, it certainly does.  And finally, what do you know about bin Laden's condition or location now?  Do you think he is still alive?

WALSH:  I am going to give the same answer I've given for four years now, he's in Pakistan; he's in a frontier region.  The bottom line is we really don't know.  That's everyone's best guess.  Some folks are saying, “Hey, we haven't heard from him.  Maybe he's dead.” 

But other people, particularly people in the community, are reluctant to go down that path, because after 9/11, there were a lot of messages.  Then he went radio silent.  Lots of people speculated that he was dead, and then it turned out that he wasn't.

So we're waiting for—I think all of us are waiting for direct evidence of his death, you know.  Maybe he was killed in that earthquake in Pakistan.  It's hard to say.

But the other thing, Tucker, to keep in mind is, whether he's dead or alive, as all our intelligence agencies have indicated, this has morphed.  It's no longer about al Qaeda the organization.  It's a movement, and it's a broader, deeper thing that we're dealing with. 

CARLSON:  Yes, but symbolically, it's going to be a great day when he's gone. 

WALSH:  Absolutely. 

CARLSON:  Jim Walsh from Harvard, joining us live tonight.  Thanks. 

WALSH:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Up next, should elementary school students be forced to learn Spanish, even if it means missing out on art and music classes?  You'll meet a Florida state senator who says, “Si, absoluto.”

Plus, if you think you're rolling the dice every

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Coming up, we'll tell you why frequent flyers could develop a gambling habit.  Plus, parents armed with drug tests.  A good idea or child rearing gone completely bananas?  We'll debate it when THE SITUATION comes back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

America is the world's biggest melting pot, of course, but a brand-new proposal that would force kids to learn Spanish has some people boiling mad.  Florida state Senator Leslie Miller introduced a Bill that would require some 600,000 kids in K through second grade to learn Spanish beginning in 2007.

State Senator Leslie Miller joins us now live from Tampa to explain it. 

Senator Miller, thanks a lot for coming on. 

SEN. LESLIE MILLER, STATE REPRESENTATIVE:  Thank you, sir, glad to be here. 

CARLSON:  This seems exactly backwards.  Spanish speakers should be encouraged to learn English. 

MILLER:  They are. 

CARLSON:  Right, but encouraging kids to learn Spanish strikes me in the end as a disincentive to the Spanish speakers, who really do need to learn English, in order to participate not just in the life of the country, but the world.  It is the world's language now. 

MILLER:  Well, sir, Florida does teach Spanish kids to speak English.  What we're doing is saying, grades K through second, open up their minds, allow them the opportunity to learn another language. 

We're not saying be fluent in it.  We are just saying, learn some Spanish.  And right now, they're saying it's mandatory.  We'll willing to change the Bill, work on the Bill, to make sure kids K through 12 -- through second grade can learn to speak Spanish.  There's nothing wrong with that.  Those kids that come from foreign countries that can't speak English.  They're teaching them to speak Spanish as we speak in these classes right now. 

CARLSON:  But—I mean, they're not.  I mean, based on my extensive experience in your state and around the country, there are a lot of people who can't speak English.  There are a lot of native-born Americans who can barely speak English.  I'm friends with some of them. 

But I still think it's a shame.  I'm not judging them, and I love foreign languages.  But it's very important to speak grammatically correct English, because if you can't, it's really hard to succeed.  Shouldn't we do that first?

MILLER:  We are.  Sir, we have English courses in all of our schools, elementary, middle school, and high school.  They're teaching English courses.

We are trying to teach them to speak English, the correct English.  We're just saying, why not allow grades K through second a foreign language, Spanish, the second most spoken language in the state of Florida?

We're not saying you have to be fluent when you come out.  When you teach math, why can't you teach them to count in Spanish?  When you read, why can't you teach them to read maybe a book in some words in Spanish?  When you teach music, why can't you teach them a song in Spanish? 

And maybe when they go on, if they don't want to take it more, they don't have to.  If they want to learn—when they get to middle school and high school, why not allow them to learn that?

CARLSON:  Well, I'll tell you why.  Look, it sounds like you're open to voluntary solution, which is certainly better than the compulsory one.  But there are a lot of things you'd like your kids to know.  You know, you'd love to learn them—how to learn to play the xylophone, or the accordion, or speak Esperanto or, you know, learn a lot about Finland. 

I mean, there are a lot of different things, but there isn't enough time.  And this proposal would require schools to jettison things like music and art and possibly some harder academic courses.  I mean, there are choices that have to be made.  Why Spanish?

MILLER:  The Bill does not say that, sir. 

CARLSON:  But look, in real life, we're not going to extend the school day.  You can't afford it, for one thing, and parents won't have it.  And so you've going to have to push other things out of the way in order to make room for this thing. 

And it seems to me an effort to push us toward a bilingual society.  I think that's what this really is.  And that's bad for the country, don't you think?

MILLER:  You think it's bad to have a bilingual society?

CARLSON:  Name me a bilingual society in the world that isn't filled with strife, people who speak different languages. 

MILLER:  One of the worst jokes in the world is name someone who can only speak one language, and that's an American. 

CARLSON:  Do you speak Spanish?

MILLER:  No, I speak very few words.

CARLSON:  Wait, wait, wait a second, Mr. Miller.  Don't you think you ought to learn Spanish before you push it on little kids?

MILLER:  Sir, what we're just doing is trying to open up someone's mind.  It's not about me speaking Spanish; about trying to teach young kids at different languages.  We're not saying it has to be mandatory when they leave.  We're willing to change the Bill.  So why do I have to learn to speak Spanish?

CARLSON:  I don't know.  If it's such a good thing, if it's good enough to push it on kindergartners, I would think it would be good enough for you. 

MILLER:  I'm 54.  I'm not going to go back to school to learn Spanish. 

CARLSON:  I don't speak it very well either.  So I'm not, you know, pushing a Bill to make other people speak it.

MILLER:  I'm pushing a Bill to say open up the minds of the children in the state of Florida, to say, learn to speak Spanish.  You don't have to be fluent when you leave out of the second grade.  And that's all we are saying. 

And we're working with the education system in the state of Florida to take the mandatory aspects out of the Bill.  And that's something that we work on.  You learn this process to be able to negotiate.  That's what we are going to do; we're going to negotiate. 

CARLSON:  All right. 

MILLER:  Not going to take anything away from anyone else learning to speak this language. 

CARLSON:  All right.  Senator Miller, thanks a lot for joining us.  I appreciate it. 

MILLER:  You're welcome. 

CARLSON:  Still to come, parents policing their kids.  School officials in Texas hand out drug testing kits, but do good parents need them in the first place?  We'll debate that when THE SITUATION returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

Today is the 230th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.  Here's what first lady Eleanor Roosevelt reportedly said about the Marines 60 years ago. 

“The Marines I have seen around the world, have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen.”  Thank God for the United States Marines.  Amen.  Happy birthday. 

Well, joining us to talk about all the contretemps in Washington, the great Rachel Maddow of Air America Radio. 

RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO HOST:  Do you also want me to talk about my senior prom date, who was a Marine?  I see some parallels with Eleanor there. 

CARLSON:  I'm not going to go there. 

MADDOW:  We'll talk about it later. 

CARLSON:  Alito, this Alito story, nobody has alleged, and I'm not flaking for Alito.  I think Alito, honestly, is maybe a tiny bit slick.  It always makes me nervous, when any nominee goes in and wins the hearts of senators on both sides, because it makes it seem like he's not being entirely honest.  Maybe he is.  I don't know. 

But this doesn't seem like such a big deal to me.  No one has alleged that he—that he tried to, you know, put his finger on the scale in the case regarding Vanguard.  I think it's unpublished; we don't even know what he said.  And it doesn't seem like he did anything unethical. 

MADDOW:  Well, the whole point of conflict of interest rules is that you don't want to give appearance of impropriety.  You don't want judges ruling on cases where they have a financial interest or where their family members are involved. 

CARLSON:  Right.

MADDOW:  It makes people suspicious of the justice system. 

CARLSON:  Right.

MADDOW:  It's for the good of the court. 

So in 1990, he promised the judiciary committee, he said, “I won't rule on cases that involve Vanguard, or Smith Barney, or my sister's law firm.”  And then he did all three things. 

And his excuses were the things that were most surprising to me.  His excuses were, “Oh, well, I shouldn't have promised that in the first place.  And when I promised it, I only meant that promise for a couple of years.  I didn't mean it for my whole career.  And a computer program should have alerted me to the conflict of interest.”  It was just really lame and slick. 

CARLSON:  But here's what—here's what strikes me.  It would be—it's very hard for a judge to influence a performance of a mutual fund, because, of course, the market determines the performance of a mutual fund.  So almost nothing Alito did or didn't do in this decision, which, again, I think is not even open to the public yet, though I think it will be, would affect his money in Vanguard.  Because it's in equities and bonds. 

MADDOW:  But how he ruled on the case doesn't really matter.  You're supposed to recuse yourself from a case where you have a financial interest. 

CARLSON:  Well, but, apparently you're not, necessarily.

MADDOW:  But you know it's true (ph).

CARLSON:  I mean, Steven Breyer, 1994, of course, you have the rich, very rich guy on the Supreme Court.  This was a question, in 1994.  This guy has interests in everything.  Is it a big deal?

And Clinton, I think, correctly decided, in the end, “I'm going to nominate this guy because he's a great judge,” in Clinton's view.  And he got through nearly unanimously.  Do you really think these guys are in it for the money?  No. 

MADDOW:  No, but Alito, in this case, told the Senate Judiciary Committee, “I will recuse myself from these cases because the appearance of conflict of interest.”

CARLSON:  Right, right.

MADDOW:  And then he didn't, and then he gave really lame excuses.  I actually thought that Alito would not be picked for the Supreme Court specifically because of the Vanguard thing, because that is the kind of thing that keeps people off the court.  It is a problem. 

CARLSON:  Well, you've already heard Democrats predict there won't be filibuster.  So it's pretty hard at this point, unless something dramatic comes out, I think, for them to filibuster this. 

MADDOW:  I would vote against him. 

CARLSON:  OK.  I know you would. 

MADDOW:  Surprise. 

CARLSON:  Now, Majority Leader Bill Frist won a little piece of my heart.  And won the—just forever, the contempt of a lot of other people recently by saying that he wasn't so concerned about these black sites, the CIA, secret prisons around the world.  He was more concerned about the leak to Dana Priest at the “Washington Post,” revealing their existence. 

Now, I'm for leaks.  I think everything ought to be leaked pretty much, because I think it helps us. 

But this just puts Democrats in a very tough position, I think, logically.  They can't pound on this Valerie Plame leak, as you know, damaging to American national security, and ignore this leak to the “Washington Post,” which is such a bigger leak.  It just is. 

MADDOW:  I totally see the parallel from a completely different perspective.  In my case, this is the parallel between the Valerie Plame case and the prison case, is that this is another case of shoot the messenger. 

Because in the Plame case, you know, we don't care about clearly false information getting into the State of the Union.  We'll look into that eventually.  The FBI will close the case with no finding. 

We don't know how forged those documents and the statement about Niger got into the State of the Union, but we really do want to go after the guy who said those documents were false. 

And in the case of the illegal prisons, we don't really care about secret illegal prisons around the world, but we do care about the person who told us they exist. 

CARLSON:  First of all, they're not necessarily illegal, at all.  They were secret.  Many things the government does are secret. 

MADDOW:  They could be illegal in the countries in which they are located. 

CARLSON:  Well, I mean, that's their law, not ours.  But seriously, that is their loss, not ours.  I mean, you know, Thai law is not my concern at all.  But I'm for less secrecy.  I want to know more about what my government does.  And I think I have absolutely a right to. 

I'm merely saying there's a big irony factor here in this—the identity of Valerie Plame, which was not so secret in the first place.  She worked at headquarters, being revealed, and oh, my gosh, people are dying as a result.  Then this huge leak of an entire CIA operation comes out, and nobody says “boo,” because it's politically inconvenient to say something about it. 

MADDOW:  The leak of Plame's name was for the purpose of sliming her husband, who was a critic of the war. 

BUSH:  Yes, that's correct.

MADDOW:  The leak of the information about the CIA prisons is that to expose that we're running a secret—I would argue illegal (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

CARLSON:  So one attacks the United States, so it's OK, and the other attacks a critic of the Bush administration, so it's wrong. 

MADDOW:  No, one is to expose a crime, and one is to further a political end. 

CARLSON:  OK.  No.  What's really going on here is the Democratic critics, I think many Democrats in the Senate are just very fixated on America's shortcomings.  And when it turns out that America is running these secret, illegal prisons, it's another example of how bad America is.  And they're all over it, when, in fact actually there's a totally defensible case, I think, for these persons. 

MADDOW:  Patriotic Americans are concerned when their—when their country does the wrong thing. 

CARLSON:  Because I am. 

MADDOW:  Even when it's going to hurt us.

CARLSON:  I am, too.

MADDOW:  I think running secret international gulag is going to be bad for the country in the long... 

CARLSON:  Internationally, we have all these creepy people who have dedicated lives to killing us.  What do you do with them?

MADDOW:  Why don't we—why don't we bring them back to the United States, put them on trial and then imprison them or execute them?

CARLSON:  I don't think that's actually a bad point.  And I sort of agree with you, but I don't think it makes us a country that runs gulags, when we keep them in detention centers abroad and ask them hard questions. 

MADDOW:  That was harder to argue before we found out we were actually using Eastern European secret prisons, which were part of a gulag. 

CARLSON:  Well, I do think the symbolism—I agree.  The symbolism of that is bad.  It's like moving into Saddam's former palaces. 

MADDOW:  But we do know for sure.

CARLSON:  The metaphor alert should be on. 

MADDOW:  But we do know for sure that Bill Frist will not be president now, and I feel relieved to have that said. 

CARLSON:   I agree, though.  Rachel Maddow, thank you. 

MADDOW:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Still ahead, we'll get to the bottom of a very sticky situation for one Colorado man.  Did Home Depot refuse to help Bob Dougherty when his butt was glued to a toilet seat?  Yes, every word is true.  A live and exclusive sit-down interview is next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  English writer Samuel Butler once said, “Arguments are like firearms—something a man may keep at home, but should not carry about with him.” 

Joining me now, a man who never leaves his home without a rhetorical carry permit, the Outsider, ESPN radio and HBO boxing host, Max Kellerman. 

KELLERMAN:  Samuel Butler, huh?

CARLSON:  Armed and dangerous. 

KELLERMAN:  Not bad.  

CARLSON:  First up, some parents in Texas have decided just say no is not enough.  They are clamoring for free in-home drug tests to use on middle school kids.  The kits, which are donated by an organization called Not My Kid, detect marijuana, cocaine, opiates and methamphetamine.  At least one official cautioned, quote, “if it's a drug—if there's a point where drug tests are necessary, then the family probably needs counseling.” 

Yeah, I would say. 

KELLERMAN:  I love the music underneath. 

CARLSON:  I know.

KELLERMAN:  That's really...

CARLSON:  It's very good.  Here's the problem with this, Max.  Everybody wants to know if his kids are doing drugs, and I understand the impulse completely.  It's scary to think your kids might be using drugs, but if you drug-test a kid and let him know you're drug-testing him, he will hate you.  He will hate you.  So it's not just a question of being hated, but when a child hates you and is alienated from you, he is much more likely to use drugs, it seems to me.  So if you want to know your kid is—whether he's doing drugs or not, do it secretly so he doesn't find out.  But finding out with a drug test is going to wreck your relationship. 

KELLERMAN:  It's a Machiavellian and interesting argument. 

CARLSON:  Yes, it is. 

KELLERMAN:  I could argue how children don't really have a lot of rights in this country to begin with, and drugs are illegal after all. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

KELLERMAN:  But really, the best argument here is, parents are responsible for their children's behavior. 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

KELLERMAN:  Legally responsible.  Drugs are illegal.  I think it's OK for—I am at least arguing here—it's OK for a parent to do everything in their power to ensure that their children aren't breaking the law. 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

KELLERMAN:  Since they are responsible. 

CARLSON:  I think you make a totally fair point.  My argument is almost a utilitarian one.  It doesn't work very well to do this.  If your parents came in and said, Max, are you smoking pot?  And you said no.  And they said, we don't believe you, we're going to undergo...

KELLERMAN:  Why, did they say something? 

CARLSON:  They did, actually.  I talked to them earlier tonight.  And they are going to force you (INAUDIBLE) urine analysis, you would despise them, and you would, as soon as you could, leave home and smoke as much pot as possible. 

KELLERMAN:  Really, I think the most effective—if you don't want your kids smoking marijuana, my parents didn't, in high school I never did, because my father always said, these are the things you can do, these are the things you can't do, and I respected that.  And I think parents who are on top of the situation generally don't have to drug-test their children.  It suggests that there's a bit of distance between the parent and the child to begin with. 

CARLSON:  It does suggest it, yes, it does. 

Well, there's really good news for really high rollers.  Irish airline Ryan Air plans to offer in-flight gambling use Blackberries or cell phones.  The airline's CEO says if his casino-in-the-sky plan takes off, passengers may fly free.  When asked whether gambling was inappropriate, he said, “the image of airlines today is high-cost ripoff for food.  I don't see how online, onboard gambling could make that worse.” 

Here's the problem with this, Max.  First of all, you'd have to allow smoking.  You'd have to give out free drinks.  You'd have to have women in skimpy cocktail waitress outfits.  You know, if you're going to have a casino, you got to have a casino.

Here's the problem with it.  People in flight already kind of suspect they are going to die.  They are going to be far more reckless than they would be on the ground.  Second, altitude increases the power of alcohol.  One drink equals two.  You can get loaded really fast... 

KELLERMAN:  Oh? 

CARLSON:  Yes, it's true. 

KELLERMAN:  That's very interesting. 

CARLSON:  So you are drunker and you are feeling like, you know what, it's all going to end anyway.  I think they are taking advantage. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, let me, at the first place, assure everyone who flies and who doesn't, you are going to die.  That is a fact.  You will die.  You don't have to take this airline if you don't like it. 

CARLSON:  Right. 

KELLERMAN:  By the way, 2-1 I'll give you that it works. 

(CROSSTALK)

KELLERMAN:  People like to gamble.  Americans especially likes to gamble.  But you don't have to take this airline if you don't want to. 

CARLSON:  That's true.

KELLERMAN:  And they serve alcohol on airlines.  You don't have to drink if you don't want to. 

CARLSON:  That's right. 

KELLERMAN:  You can drink and not get drunk if you don't want to. 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

KELLERMAN:  Why can't you gamble? 

CARLSON:  Children don't have to eat candy on Halloween, but you dangle a Snickers bar in front of an 8-year-old, and he is going to eat it.  You get on an airplane and there's gambling, you are going to gamble.  If there is an airline that offers gambling, you will take it.  I probably would. 

My point is, it's mean.  You are taking advantage of helpless people in this... 

KELLERMAN:  You're exploiting... 

CARLSON:  ... aluminum tube flying through the air (INAUDIBLE). 

KELLERMAN:  Is it any different than charging eight bucks for a bag of popcorn at a movie theater?  You have a captive audience, you might as well exploit it.  You know, a captive market, at least. 

Yes, of course, of course, everyone is going to—look, it's bad enough now, your flight is five hours long and there's a two-hour delay and you got a middle seat and everything.  You lose a grand on the way also, it's going to really stink.  But what if you win that grand?  What about all those times you are going to win, Tucker?  It's going to be great! 

CARLSON:  Actually, Max, I will admit it, I'll concede here on live TV, you have won.  You beat me, you convinced me.  I'm for in-flight gambling. 

KELLERMAN:  Tremendous.  Everyone saw it, 2-1, I laid those odds. 

CARLSON:  That's pretty good.  Max Kellerman, thank you. 

KELLERMAN:  Tucker Carlson. 

CARLSON:  Stay tuned.  There's still plenty more ahead on THE

SITUATION.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON (voice-over):  Caught with his pants down.  Now, this unusual suspect joins us live to explain why he is in a sticky legal situation. 

BOB DOUGHERTY:  (INAUDIBLE) like to reach out and just choke somebody. 

CARLSON:  Plus, the restroom tryst that set tongues wagging, and how one bar owner plans to cash in on the word of mouth. 

Out of hot water, the touching story of how Fat Joe the Lobster won a new lease on life. 

And meet a 10-year-old kid who puts a whole new spin on the art of pizza making.  It's all ahead on THE SITUATION. 

DOUGHERTY:  Yes, indeed. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  For the last several days, Americans have been glued to their televisions following the twists and turns in the story of a man who says he was glued to the toilet seat at a Home Depot men's room.  Bob Dougherty is suing Home Depot for $3 million, because he says he was the victim of a sick prank.

Mr. Dougherty and his attorney, Mark Cohen, join me live now from Nederland, Colorado.  Thanks a lot, both of you, for coming on.

MARK COHEN, ATTORNEY FOR BOB DOUGHERTY:  Thanks for having us.

DOUGHERTY:  You're quite welcome.

CARLSON:  Mr. Dougherty, can you just explain what exactly happened?  You were glued to the toilet seat at a Home Depot.  How did that happen, what did it feel like?  Tell us what it was. 

DOUGHERTY:  Well, I had gone into the store to do some shopping, and then having a sour stomach, I had gone to the restroom, and looking for the toilet seat covers—I wasn't able to find any.  And being in as much of a distress to take care of business, I sat down immediately, without even taking note of much of anything. 

And so after a fashion, I find myself to be stuck, and I tried to move side to side, and I end up finding—you know, ripping some of my own skin, and plus, the glue just burning at my skin.  And going through some stress, and I didn't know if someone was ever going to come in.  So I was grabbing my nitro pills, and tried to grab—my hands were shaking so much they fell on the floor. 

Finally somebody came in, and I was not sure exactly if it was an employee or not.  That wasn't a matter.  But it was an employee when I come to find out in the police report.  So I told him of my situation, and asked for a manager...

CARLSON:  What did you say?  What do you say in a situation like that? 

How did—did you know why you couldn't get off the toilet seat? 

DOUGHERTY:  Well, I told them that I seem to be glued to this toilet seat, and I can't get up.  Can you go get the store manager?  So this guy had done so.  And gone to the manager and mentioned to him that—or her that there's a customer stuck on the crapper.  Now, she's thinking this is some kind of a joke, utilizing improper language, however, who knows what's going through her mind. 

CARLSON:  But you can—I mean, you can have some sympathy for her. 

That's not every day you hear of a man stuck to a toilet seat. 

DOUGHERTY:  Right.  According to the police report, just because he used inappropriate language, she dismissed him, and sent him off back to work, leaving me further back there to suffer some more of this trauma. 

CARLSON:  How long were you stuck on the john? 

DOUGHERTY:  Well, from the time that I discovered that I was there, and then there's some time that came across before somebody entered the bathroom to begin with.  Now, he had went to the manager.  The manager told him, go back to work, and then some more time goes by, and somebody else comes into the bathroom, and gets on their cell phones, dials 911.  Then there's some time that goes by there.  The entirety of it, I would say would be 30 to 40 minutes, but the time—from the time it was actually reported to the initial person, probably about 25 minutes, 20, 25 minutes, somewhere in there. 

CARLSON:  So that's—so I mean, sum up for us, how did you get the toilet seat removed from your butt? 

DOUGHERTY:  Well, the paramedics had showed up, the ambulance crew, the fire department, the police department.  And the only situation—I mean, the only way that they could see to remedy the situation was to unbolt the toilet seat itself, lift it up, carry it straight out, and to lay me out on the stretcher.  About this time, the pain was so much that I ended up passing out.  Paramedics jumped on top of me at this point, found a difficult time finding a pulse or any breathing. 

CARLSON:  OK. 

DOUGHERTY:  So in transit—in transit, it had ripped off. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Now, Mr. Dougherty, there were reports, which we reported on this show last night—and we're happy to correct if they are untrue—that you had been involved in a previous stuck-to-the-toilet incident.  Have you ever been stuck to a toilet before for any reason? 

DOUGHERTY:  That's a negative.  The thing is, is previous—now, my situation happened in '03.  Incident report was made.  I have been seeing doctors and going through a lot of therapy, and trying to get this taken care of. 

CARLSON:  You're going through therapy for the emotional effect on you? 

DOUGHERTY:  Right, right, the post-traumatic stress.  I'm having nightmares every night of being locked in a room, with no doors, no windows, no fresh air.

CARLSON:  But Mr. Dougherty, my heart goes out to you, I can't even imagine what it must be like to be glued to a toilet at Home Depot, but $3 million—that's $1 million for every 10 minutes you were stuck on the toilet.  That seems a lot. 

DOUGHERTY:  I'm sorry now? 

CARLSON:  That seems a lot.  By my calculation, you are asking for $1 million per every 10 minutes you were on the toilet.  That's $100,000 a minute.  That's just a lot of money to ask for, don't you think?  As unpleasant as it was? 

DOUGHERTY:  I don't know exactly if your finger is worth more than my finger, or what criteria, but my health has been severely hampered.  How much is the life of your father worth?  How much is the life of your son or even your own, when you find that your current life is severely hampered, knowing also that diabetes attacks the heart, gives heart disease—I already have the heart disease... 

CARLSON:  Right.  Let me just ask, are you...

DOUGHERTY:  Next thing is death. 

CARLSON:  Do you find yourself afraid to use the toilet now? 

DOUGHERTY:  I don't go into public territories to use the restroom. 

That is a fact. 

CARLSON:  I don't either.  So we have that in common. 

DOUGHERTY:  And also, with this prior report, how could it be prior than '03 and reported in '04? 

CARLSON:  I don't know. 

DOUGHERTY:  You know, there is a lot of inconsistencies there. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Mr. Dougherty, we are going to have to leave it there.  May I just ask your lawyer one quick question.  Mr. Cohen, when are we going to find the outcome, do you think, of this case? 

COHEN:  Well, you know, Bob took a polygraph yesterday at a Denver TV station, paid for, and he passed it with flying colors. 

CARLSON:  Right.  Indicating that he had never been glued to a toilet before. 

COHEN:  That's right.  Home Depot hasn't really offered much of a settlement.  At this point, we gave them a chance to try to resolve the case without all this media attention. 

CARLSON:  Right. 

COHEN:  And we just have to prepare for a trial, and typically a trial in this part of Colorado could be 12 to 18 months away. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Well, that's good news for us, as a cable television program.  Maybe bad news for you.  But thanks a lot for coming on.  I appreciate it. 

COHEN:  Thank you.  You're quite welcome.  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Coming up on THE SITUATION, while most 10-year-olds waste their time with frivolous pursuits like video games and Pokemon and baseball cards, this prodigy works miracles with pizza dough.  The national pizza tossing champion joins us next.  So don't go away. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Slinging dough.  No, we're not talking about Donald Trump at an Atlantic City craps table.  I'm talking about 10-year-old champion pizza tosser Josh Bailey.  This past summer, after Josh won the dough tossing title in his age group, he went on to perform at New York's annual pizza show.  He also performs at schools and hospitals. 

Joining us now from Bailey's Pizza Company in Toledo, Ohio, to show us his magic with the pizza dough, Josh Bailey.  Josh.  That's amazing!

JOSH BAILEY, PIZZA TOSSING CHAMPION:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  That's amazing what you're doing with that. 

BAILEY:  Thanks. 

CARLSON:  How'd you learn that? 

BAILEY:  Thanks.  My dad.  He just opened the pizza company.  So we just went on with dough tossing. 

CARLSON:  How old were you when you figured out how to do that? 

BAILEY:  Most of the stuff, I was about 8 or right when I turned 10. 

But normally, I started when I was 7. 

CARLSON:  Do any of your friends do it in the fourth grade? 

BAILEY:  No. 

CARLSON:  That's incredible.  Under the leg.  Whew, on the floor.  You don't cook it after you drop it, do you? 

BAILEY:  No, it's rubber dough. 

CARLSON:  That's rubber dough? 

BAILEY:  Yes.  It's for practice. 

CARLSON:  Where do you get practice dough? 

BAILEY:  Actually, I forget where my dad got it, but I think he buys it from Pan Q (ph), it's a pizza thing...

CARLSON:  Pizza supply house, huh?  That's incredible.  Do you ever make the pies at Bailey's? 

BAILEY:  Yes, pretty much. 

CARLSON:  Wow.  So have you ever dropped real pizza dough? 

BAILEY:  Actually, yes, I have.  When I was tossing it to stretch it out and just play around with it. 

CARLSON:  And what'd you do with the dough after you dropped it?  Be honest. 

BAILEY:  I picked it back up and just kept on tossing it.  Then once I ripped a hole in it, I threw it away.  That's all you have to do. 

CARLSON:  That's incredible.  So you won the pizza tossing contest in your age group.  How many other 10-year-old pizza tossers were there? 

BAILEY:  There were—actually there was—the second place—the kid that came in second place, he was 8 years old, and the one that came in third place was 11. 

CARLSON:  Oh, there's a whole underground pizza tossing culture I wasn't even aware of.  So where do you plan to go with this, now that you have this skill?  What's the next stage in pizza tossing? 

BAILEY:  Pretty much just going pro. 

CARLSON:  Going pro? 

BAILEY:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  Could you get sponsored? 

BAILEY:  I'm not sure.  But some people do it, yes.  I won't get sponsored right now, but maybe later. 

CARLSON:  Would it be by a sauce company or a pepperoni wholesaler? 

Who would sponsor you, do you know? 

BAILEY:  Actually, other people will sponsor the pizza shows.  You can see all the sponsors in the background.  So I don't know. 

CARLSON:  You must have pretty strong arms.  Do your arms hurt after you toss a pizza? 

BAILEY:  No, but actually I get a good workout. 

CARLSON:  So show me the most difficult pizza toss move. 

Well, that's amazing right there there. 

That's incredible.  Josh, I'm not even going to talk over your performance. 

I think even the French judge is going to have to give you full points for that.  That's absolutely incredible.  Is that the move that won you first place? 

BAILEY:  What?  CARLSON:  Is that the move that won you first place? 

BAILEY:  Actually, no, I just got a lot of points for doing different moves. 

CARLSON:  Wow, what's your favorite move? 

BAILEY:  Probably—here, let me show you. 

CARLSON:  That's like a combination skateboard hacky sack pizza dough move.  That's really fusion pizza tossing.  That's incredible. 

All right.  Josh Bailey, 10 years old, Toledo, Ohio.  Remember the name.  It won't be the last time you hear it.

Josh, good luck.  Thanks for coming on. 

BAILEY:  Yeah, all right. 

CARLSON:  Amazing. 

Still ahead on THE SITUATION, it's good to be a cheerleader at Banana Joe's bar in Tampa.  And not only if you're having a lesbian encounter with a teammate in the bathroom.  Break out the pom-poms and explain when we visit “The Cutting Room Floor,” next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  We're joined by the recently furloughed Willie Geist for “The Cutting Room Floor”—Willie.

WILLIE GEIST, THE SITUATION:  Tucker, you've flapped your gams so long about the guy on the crapper that we...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  I'm sorry.  I couldn't help it.  It was the interview of a lifetime, really.

GEIST:  (INAUDIBLE) crapper killed us.  Go ahead.

CARLSON:  That was a career maker.

Banana Joe's bar in Tampa, Florida was the site of the now infamous and alleged, we should add, bathroom stall makeout session between two NFL cheerleaders last weekend.  Being the enterprising bunch they are over at Banana Joe's, bar is now offering free cover to anyone who shows up dressed as a cheerleader.  Even better if you actually are a cheerleader professionally.  You drink for free.  

GEIST:  May I take it a step further?  Dress up as a cheerleader, hook up with your friend in the bathroom, all you can eat wings, all night.  Hot, medium or mild—you name it. 

CARLSON:  So good.  I'd go to your bar anytime. 

GEIST:  Also, if you're dressing up as a cheerleader to save five bucks on cover, you have no (INAUDIBLE).

CARLSON:  Also a good sign for (INAUDIBLE), yes.

Well, as delicious as he might look, Fat Joe Lobster is not on the menu.  Joe weighs an amazing, incredible 12.5 pounds.  He was caught off the coast of Massachusetts and delivered to a restaurant in Milford, Connecticut a couple of weeks ago.  The manager, though, couldn't bear to drop the historically huge Joe into the steam pot, so he's sending him off to a local aquarium. 

GEIST:  Tucker, my first reaction, what a remarkable creature, but then my mind instantly goes to bibs and drawn butter. 

CARLSON:  Me too.  I was just thinking that.  I was just thinking that.

GEIST:  And that little piece of corn they give you on the side. 

CARLSON:  Imagine cracking the claws! 

GEIST:  Delicious. 

CARLSON:  Made me hungry.

Randy Logan Hale probably isn't the model candidate to serve on the Romoland (ph) California school board, but he's the winning candidate.  Hale is serving time in the California Institution for Men—that's a prison, by the way—for violating his parole on drug possession and spousal abuse convictions.  Now, he'll be serving time at a local school board, too.  Hale was elected on Tuesday to one of the three open seats.  Officials think he won because his name was the first one on the ballot. 

GEIST:  This is a testament to the lethargy of the American voter.  If you just vote for the first guy, we're going to have a nation of inmates governing us. 

CARLSON:  You do sort of—you do sort of lose confidence in democracy when you hear that story.

GEIST:  We get the public servants we deserve.  If you do that, you deserve to have a prisoner governing you.

CARLSON:  That's true.  Yeah, I think you're right.

Willie Geist.

GEIST:  All right, Tucker.k

CARLSON:  See you tomorrow.

See you tomorrow.  That's THE SITUATION for tonight.  Thank you for watching.  Up next, “COUNTDOWN” with Keith Olbermann.

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

END   

Content and programming copyright 2005 NBC.  ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2005 Voxant, Inc.  ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon NBC and Voxant, Inc.'s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

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