updated 11/22/2005 4:39:29 PM ET 2005-11-22T21:39:29

Guests: Mike Allen, Stansfield Turner, Colin Hanna, Wendy Diamond, Max Kellerman

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Thanks to you at home for watching.  We appreciate it. 

Tonight we‘ll debate the controversial new steel fence that‘s been proposed for the U.S.-Mexico border.  Plus, what you can tell about a man from his dog.  You‘ll want to stick around for that answer.  Very telling.

But first, President Bush returns from Asia as his vice president continues to slam anti-war Democrats. 

Early today, Vice President Cheney called Democratic Congressman Jack Murtha‘s proposal to immediately withdraw troops from Iraq, quote, “a dangerous illusion.”  Did Cheney compliment—he did compliment Murtha‘s character, calling him “a good man, a Marine, a patriot.” 

The strongest body blow delivered by Cheney came when he called Senate Democrats who supported the war but now oppose it, quote, “dishonorable and reprehensible.” 

Here now to discuss the Cheney-Bush relationship is someone who followed the president throughout his weeklong Asia odyssey.  In fact, he got off the plane just hours ago to join us.  “TIME” magazine White House correspondent and our friend Mike Allen, joining us tonight, live from Washington.

Mike...

MIKE ALLEN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, “TIME” MAGAZINE:  Good evening, Tucker.

CARLSON:  ... you look good. 

ALLEN:   You, too. 

CARLSON:  So before we get to the Asia trip, tell me what—I know you‘ve been with the president.  I don‘t know how much of the rumblings you‘ve seen about his relationship with the vice president.  Do you think there‘s anything to the idea that there is a fracture in their relationship?

ALLEN:  There is.  It was described to us as a strain, not a rupture.  There‘s no question that many of the problems that are currently plaguing the president originated with the vice president, and this includes the vice president‘s office was a locus for the leak of the CIA agent‘s name.  And obviously, he was a point person on Iraq. 

And those are the two issues that have hurt both the president and vice president on the issues of their credibility.  The vice president has an approval rating of 29 percent.  What portion of that is part of the president‘s rating, that‘s 39 percent?  We don‘t know exactly, but it‘s obviously not helping. 

CARLSON:  Well, because Cheney‘s approval rating is so long and has been for a long time, as far as I can tell—people don‘t love Dick Cheney; he‘s not a warm guy—to what extent is he a fall guy for the White House?  I mean, it‘s pretty easy to sort of blame all the bad things, the leak and the war, on Cheney.  Do you think that‘s what‘s happening?

ALLEN:  I don‘t.  And I know the vice president‘s view is that he‘s there to take the bullets.  He‘s not—people over the years have tried to get him to work on his personal image, as you know, but he‘s always viewed that as not his responsibility.  He‘s there to support the president‘s policies, to make deals with the Hill, and he‘s never worried about improving his image. 

Now, there are people in the White House now that are insisting that he‘s hurting the president and he needs to pay a little attention to his own image.  Now today, it was very interesting.  You gave a great digest of his remarks, that he went tough.  And one word that you left out that he used about Democrats today was “corrupt.”  So this was the good old Cheney. 

But you‘re right that there was a course correction in what they‘re saying about Congressman Murtha.  As you saw, the president, when he was in Beijing the other day, also sort of backed off and said, “We‘re not accusing anyone of being unpatriotic here.”  It‘s clear to me that the White House decided that they went too far with that Michael Moore statement. 

CARLSON:  yes.  It came from the White House spokesman Scott McClellan, right, as I remember? 

ALLEN:  On a piece of paper, yes. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  Now to the president‘s Asia trip.  Peter Baker, your old colleague from “The Washington Post,” had an analysis, co-written by him today, the headline of which, “Bush‘s Asia Trip Meets Low Expectations.”  When it rains it pours.  Ouch.  Is that fair, do you think?

ALLEN:  Well, the White House was counting on some higher expectations from the South America trip that the president took last year, having to do with a trade agreement that didn‘t—last month, I‘m sorry.  That didn‘t occur, and so the trip was written up as a failure. 

So this time they were hilarious about how out front they were about saying, “There‘s going to be no headlines, no deliverables.  Nothing is going to occur here.”

But Tucker, I will tell you something important that happened during this trip.  The president gave a speech in Japan talking about the importance of religious liberty in Asia as part of a freedom agenda that would help keep or make Asia more prosperous. 

And as you saw on Sunday, the president went and worshiped with Protestants in China and came out afterward with the choir and talked about the importance of the Chinese government not fearing Christians.  Now...

CARLSON:  Good for him.  I mean, I‘m totally for that.  I‘m just—

I‘m not convinced that Americans care about human rights in Asia.  If they did they wouldn‘t shop at Wal-Mart.  It seems to me that they‘re concerned about trade concessions.  Did Bush get any of them those?

ALLEN:  As far as what they call deliverables he didn‘t.  And, of course, what his staff says is this is a personal relationship that he‘s working on and that we‘ll maybe see some of those down the road.  But there was no indication of warmth between him and Chinese President Hu Jintao. 

In fact, on the religion issue that I mentioned, it‘s clear to me that he did not make any commitment to the president about doing anything differently. 

CARLSON:  Were through for the famous Mongolia “no exit” incident?

ALLEN:  I was.  One of the president‘s aides, who was with him, said his heart sank when he saw what was about to happen.  It was a case of “No, he didn‘t.”  But yes, indeed, he did.

And what was funny about this, Tucker, was Ken Herman of Cox Newspapers had just asked the president a question, saying that in his appearance with the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, he seemed off his game.  That he rushed through his statement and just didn‘t seem into it. 

And the president said he was jet lagged.  And then, as if on cue, he walked over to this door.  He pulled on it, one half of it.  It didn‘t open.  And instead of turning around and walking away, he turned toward the cameras, made that face you‘ve seen, and pulled on the other door.

So as a worst case scenario, I guarantee that you any future events that we‘re in, if there‘s a door it will be blue draped over it so there‘s no danger of anyone trying to walk into it. 

CARLSON:  Yes, that is just bad advance work.  There was, as you remember, famously, a senator from South Dakota named Larry Pressler who served for a long time who was famous for doing things like that, walking into coat closets, fleeing into men‘s rooms, stuff like that.  You don‘t want that reputation, it seems to me. 

ALLEN:  And you definitely don‘t want to use the coat closet. 

CARLSON:  No, you don‘t.  Mike Allen from Washington, live.  Thank you.

ALLEN:  Happy Thanksgiving, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Thanks, Mike.

Joining me to discuss Cheney‘s comments and so much more, our favorite Air America radio hostess, goddess and friend, Rachel Maddow. 

Rachel, thanks for coming on.

RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO HOST:  Goddess and friend?

CARLSON:  It just gets more over the top every day.

MADDOW:  It really does.  Eventually it‘s going to tip over into something totally opposite. 

CARLSON:  Well, that‘s—there‘s a continuum.

It seems to me, so Cheney says, I think wisely, “Look, I like Jack Murtha.”  And I think they are friends, actually, in real life.  They‘re kind of the same—they sort of have a similar temperament, actually, the two of them.  Both kind of crusty old fashioned guys.

But he says, “Look, I respect him for his service to his country as a Marine, but I have these real policy disagreements.” 

I don‘t actually agree with Cheney‘s position on the war, as I say every single night, however, I think it‘s totally legitimate for Cheney to defend his war and his position.  He‘s not attacking anyone personally, and this idea that you‘re not allowed to criticize people because they served in uniform is ridiculous.  And it tends to squelch debate, a debate we need to have.

MADDOW:  I don‘t think you get to be magically immune from criticism because you‘ve served in the military, but I do think your service is entitled to some respect.  And I think that Cheney should have come out and said Dennis Hastert and Jeanne Schmidt in the Republicans—on the Republican side of the House—were wrong to call this man a coward.  Scott McClellan was wrong to compare him to Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party.  Those kind of attacks should have been answered by Dick Cheney, I think, because I think they were really insulting to people. 

CARLSON:  Wait, wait, wait.  Why is it insulting to be compared to Michael Moore?  I thought Michael Moore was a legitimate figure in this society.  I think he‘s totally a legitimate figure and a buffoon.

MADDOW:  Do you feel like McClellan‘s statement was OK?

CARLSON:  No, I was—I actually didn‘t like it, because I have such low regard for Moore, who sympathizes openly with the insurgents killing Americans in Iraq, that I found it offensive.  But I‘m just surprised someone from the left would think there‘s something wrong with being compared to Michael Moore.

MADDOW:  I think that it was petty, insulting and embarrassing for the White House spokesman, the president‘s spokesman, to come out and say, “Somebody is criticizing the war.  You‘re Michael Moore.” 

You know what?  Actually, if you want to be Tom DeLay about this and you want to be petty in your insults and you‘re throwing stuff around, but that kind of is below the dignity of... 

CARLSON:  Well, I don‘t know.  You can say you can compare conservatives to I don‘t know who, Charlton Heston would not be offensive.  In other words, I‘m still surprised that you think it‘s offensive to be compared to him.  But don‘t you think...

MADDOW:  I wouldn‘t expect it from the White House is all I‘m saying. 

I think it was insulting. 

CARLSON:  From my view the bottom line on the debate Friday night on the House floor, which did get, I thought, a little over the top at times and a little sanctimonious and, you know, sort of outrageous.  It‘s still a good thing. 

It‘s a good thing to be debating the war in Iraq.  It‘s good for the country.  And people who stand back and say, “Oh, it‘s disgusting,” the acrimony.  No, more acrimony.  It was a lack of acrimony that got us here in the first place, a lack of dissent. 

MADDOW:  Well, what—what Jack Murtha has done is he‘s put the issue of withdrawing from Iraq on the table, and it has raised—it has really raised the temperature in Washington, and it has really made the war debate heat up in a way that I think you and I are both happy about. 

Finally, we‘re talking about whether troops should be in—should be in Iraq, when they should be coming home.  This is all good.

What isn‘t good and what was gross about the Friday debate was what Jeanne Schmidt did, was say, you know, cowards, you know, “Marines don‘t run” or calling Jack Murtha a coward.  That was wrong. 

CARLSON:  Wait a second.  What you‘re missing is the context.  And the context—I don‘t know Jeanne Schmidt.  I could care less about Jeanne Schmidt.  She‘s actually the newest member of the House.  She is the lowest person on the totem poll in the House of Representatives.  So she‘s irrelevant politically.

MADDOW:  Well...

CARLSON:  But the point is she got that, she was quoting an active duty Marine currently serving in Iraq, whose opinion ought to have some weight, by the criteria you just laid out, that we ought to pay respect to our men in uniform.  And that‘s what this Marine said.  So how can you say it‘s over the top?

MADDOW:  I think that the reaction from Democrats was totally appropriate.  That the House erupted when she called him a coward. 

CARLSON:  Because they have no respect for Marines in uniform serving in Iraq?

MADDOW:  No, because...

CARLSON:  They don‘t even want to listen to a Marine‘s point of view?

MADDOW:  You can quote anybody saying anything on the floor of the House.  What she chose to do was quote somebody calling Jack Murtha a coward, and she chose to do that on the floor of the House. 

CARLSON:  I think it was—I think it was a little more general than that.  And... 

MADDOW:  No, it wasn‘t.  She said, “I have a message”—and this is actually very important, because the way it was discussed all weekend on all the Sunday shows was she wasn‘t directing that to Congressman Murtha.  She wasn‘t talking about Jack Murtha.  And that‘s what she said, “I want my remarks stricken.  I wasn‘t talking about any member in particular.” 

She said, “We have a message for Jack Murtha, and that is that cowards cut and run.  Mariners never do.” 

CARLSON:  Right.  That‘s right.  And then her explanation was she didn‘t even know that Jack Murtha had served in the United States Marine Corps. 

MADDOW:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t know.  But still a Marine said that. 

Now, what do you think, this idea that Richard Armitage, deputy to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, could be and it looks like he actually might be the ur leaker, you know, the original leaker in all of this. 

It is amazing, because it demolishes all those ludicrous conspiracy theories that I‘ve been pounding on, day in and day out, on this show, that this was part of the neocon cabal.  There is a neocon cabal.  I‘ll say it out loud.  That‘s true.  But I don‘t think they‘re responsible for this leak.  I think—it turns out that Armitage did that, someone who hates Dick Cheney‘s office or people in Dick Cheney‘s office, who is not part of the neocon cabal.  It does kind of wreck all your theories, doesn‘t it?

MADDOW:  Not really, because it doesn‘t matter who was first.  It doesn‘t matter who was first leaking Valerie Plame‘s name.  It matters what was done with the information.  And if they disseminated it to Bob Novak and all these other people in order to get a hit piece out there against Valerie Plame, in order to smear Joe Wilson, then it doesn‘t matter that Armitage was first. 

CARLSON:  But wait a second.  From the beginning you have argued and many others have argued on the left that motive is all here. 

MADDOW:  Yes.

CARLSON:  This is a terrible deed because it was not accidental.  This was part of a smear campaign by people who pushed this war to silence critics of that same war.

MADDOW:  Yes.

CARLSON:  But if Armitage did it, it can‘t be part of a smear campaign against critics of the war, because Armitage himself and his whole office, they were critics of the war. 

MADDOW:  What was wrong here was the tactic.  What was wrong here is that a CIA operative was outed and it was done for wrong reasons. 

Now, if Armitage didn‘t do it for the wrong reasons but everybody else did, then everybody else is still wrong because of that motivation.  It doesn‘t matter who was first.  And that‘s why, if it‘s Armitage or if it‘s anybody else, it doesn‘t affect Scooter Libby‘s case at all.

Scooter Libby is still on trial for lying. 

CARLSON:  No, right.  Because it has—he has been indicted for things that have nothing to do the original point of the—or justification of the investigation.  And I should say, just to make it absolutely clear, we don‘t know who the leaker was, and we‘re not saying we know it was Mr. Armitage, because we don‘t. 

MADDOW:  And it doesn‘t who was first.  What does matter is that if somebody gets nailed for the original crime of outing Valerie Plame as a CIA agent, I get your car. 

CARLSON:  You get my car.

MADDOW:  Yes.

CARLSON:  And that will never happen.  They‘ll never indict on it, because it‘s not a crime. 

Rachel Maddow, thank you. 

MADDOW:  Thanks, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Still ahead, is Dick Cheney really a vice president for torture?  Former CIA director Stansfield Turner says so.  He joins me live after this break to discuss his new best-selling book.

Plus, we‘ll look at a proposed 2,000-mile steel and wire fence, costing $8 billion, really to keep terrorists from entering the U.S. from Mexico.  I‘ll ask the president of the fence supporting group, let Freedom Ring, when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.

Vice President Dick Cheney was often called the Bush administration‘s attack dog.  But these days he is the one often being attacked.

Former CIA director, Stansfield Turner, says Cheney is, quote, “a vice president for torture,” because the vice president wanted to give the CIA an exemption when it came to interrogating prosecutors about an imminent terrorist attack.

Admiral Turner was CIA director under Carter, and he‘s written a book about the delicate relationship between the CIA and the White House.  The book is called “Burn Before Reading.”  Great title.  Presidents, CIA directors and secret intelligence. 

Admiral Turner joins us live from Washington, D.C.  Admiral, thanks a lot for coming on. 

ADMIRAL STANSFIELD TURNER:  Glad to be with you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Now you said recently—I believe you were in England at the time or speaking to the British press.  You said that you were embarrassed that the United States has a vice president for torture.  What if torture works, and what if the vice president is right that applying pressure, not torture necessarily, but being more aggressive in the interrogation techniques.  Could prevent a terror attack?

TURNER:  First of all there‘s a level below which we should not go even in defending ourselves against terrorism.  We have to maintain our ethical standards and there‘s also not any real solid evidence that you can get good information about torturing.  You often get a lot of very false information. 

But the main thing is that a man who really knows this subject, Senator McCain, who has been there and been tortured, is the one sponsoring this bill to outlaw torture and which the vice president opposes. 

CARLSON:  I think the obvious problem here is the definition.  What is torture?  Sleep deprivation?  Torture is tricking a suspect, an interrogation suspect?  Is that torture?  Making someone, you know, feel anxious?

Does that rise to the level of torture?  How do you define torture? 

What‘s a good working definition?

TURNER:  Well, torture to me is when you put a person under such stress that it may cause permanent damage.  And that, I think, is one very clear criterion.  And there are other levels and there are specifics as to what the manuals that the Army has, like water boarding, so called.

CARLSON:  Yes.

TURNER:  And there are specific things like water boarding, making a person think they‘re drowning.  That‘s torture. 

CARLSON:  But when you were the director of central intelligence were you aware of any torture taking place?

TURNER:  No.  No, I was not.  I was aware that the CIA had a torture case in its past that I had to deal with somewhat.  They‘d had up a Soviet defector for three careers and tortured him psychologically.  Not so much physically. 

CARLSON:  OK.  And do you believe that information that was useful to the United States resulted from that interrogation?

TURNER:  Absolutely none, and the CIA acknowledges that.  The man was a defector from the Soviet Union.  And they did not believe he was a defector and locked him up for 3 ½ years to make him confess, and he just never did. 

CARLSON:  That‘s interesting.  Now in your book, which is interesting,

I mean it‘s sort of dispiriting for those who want to have confidence in the CIA.  You point out that the only president before President Carter who had, really, confidence in the agency, was President Kennedy.  And he was burned or he felt that he was burned by the CIA during the Bay of Pigs.  Why did presidents—historically, have they not trusted the CIA?

TURNER:  Well, Harry Truman, when he came into office, for instance, was very suspicious of almost everybody around Roosevelt had not clued him n.  Roosevelt was a man who always wanted to have all of the information himself and be sure that nobody else had all of it so that he was in charge of everything. 

So, it very much deals with the personality of the individual. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

TURNER:  As I point out in the book, Eisenhower was the kind of man who would have really given his chief of intelligence authority because that would be in line with Eisenhower‘s background with intelligence and background as a military officer.  But the man he selected to be his chief of intelligence really didn‘t want that authority.  He wanted to be a spy. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  We—you point out.  You often hear the Bush administration say why should we trust the CIA?  They‘ve gotten all these things wrong.  They didn‘t foretell the end of the Cold War.

You actually add to that argument in your book by pointing that out that the agency, when the Iranian revolution took place in 1979, knew virtually nothing about the revolutionaries.  Didn‘t even know the shah had terminal cancer. 

What—should the Bush administration trust the CIA?  Are had they right to be wary of it?

TURNER:  Well, I think they‘re right to be wary of it.  I think it has improved.  What I‘m really worried about is it would appear that, from the weapons of mass destruction problem in Iraq, that the administration was picking and choosing the intelligence they were getting from the CIA, as to what parts they would emphasize.  And that‘s very, very dangerous. 

CARLSON:  All right.  Admiral Stansfield Turner, former director of central intelligence, joining us tonight, live from Washington.  Thanks a lot, Admiral.

TURNER:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Still to come, Americans may feel like the most overworked people in the world, but the mayor of Chicago thinks our kids are not working hard enough.  Are you ready for school on Saturday?

THE SITUATION takes that subject up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  If we don‘t fix the illegal immigration problem at the border, the problem will grow in far more dangerous ways.  Because illegal immigration from Mexico provides easy cover for terrorists.  They try to exploit our weak immigration laws and blend in with thousands who cross the border day and night, leaving this county vulnerable to another attack.  We need to secure the border.  Go to WeNeedAFence.com to learn more.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  That‘s one of two new ads sponsored by the group Let Freedom Ring, part of a project called WeNeedAFence.com.  The group says it‘s time for the U.S. to seal off its 2,000-mile border with Mexico using a state of the art fence.  The idea is gaining momentum.

Here to talk about it, Colin Hanna.  He‘s the president of Let Freedom Ring and joins us live tonight from Philadelphia. 

Mr. Hanna, thanks for coming on.

COLIN HANNA, PRESIDENT, LET FREEDOM RING:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  What I find impressive about this is you are not sponsored -

this is not a lobby group, essentially.  I mean, you don‘t have big business behind you. 

HANNA:  We don‘t have any business behind us. 

CARLSON:  That‘s right, exactly.

HANNA:  Entirely personal contributions. 

CARLSON:  You don‘t have labor behind you.  You don‘t have the Bush administration behind you.  They are, of course, pooh-poohing this and saying it‘s far too expensive, $8 billion, and that‘s just for the first time if memory they‘re complaining about the expense of something. 

But is $8 billion—give me some perspective.  Is that what it costs?

HANNA:  We estimate $8 billion based on an estimate of $2 million to $4 million a mile, which I think is realistic—might even be a little bit on the high side—times 2,000 miles.  That gets you to $4 to $8 billion.

And to put that into perspective, if you look at it in national defense terms, it‘s roughly the cost of four B-2 bombers.  So, I think it‘s a lot of money to be sure, but I think it‘s in scale with the importance of the issue. 

CARLSON:  Would it work?

HANNA:  Well, I think that it would work.  The fence that we are proposing is a little bit different than any fence that‘s proposed right now.  You know, Congressman Duncan Hunter from the San Diego area of California has recently proposed a two-element fence with a patrol road between them. 

We have proposed a six-element fence that is modeled after the Israeli fences on the West Bank and in Gaza that consist of a barbed wire element, a ditch, a tall and sturdy steel fence that is heavier duty than a chain link fence but not a solid fence, followed by a patrol road.  And then the same elements in the other direction, fence, ditch and barbed wire, comprising about 50 yards in total width. 

That means that it can‘t be easily compromised.  You can‘t take a ladder down to the border and simply climb other it.  You can‘t go to your local hardware store and bolt cutters or wire cutters and cut through it, and you can‘t easily tunnel under it. 

And we also recommend that it be accompanied by detection devices that will detect motion, as well as any attempted intrusion through tunneling underneath and so on. 

CARLSON:  And you can do that for the price of four bombers?

HANNA:  That‘s—that‘s our estimate.  It‘s an order of magnitude estimate.  We‘re actually having an engineering company right now do a tighter estimate that has been requested by one of the House of Representatives committees that I might have a chance to testify before.  We think it‘s a pretty good estimate, but we‘re going to get tighter numbers soon. 

CARLSON:  So give me the—this is always an interesting exercise.  Give me the argument against it in three sentences approximately.  Why could someone be against this?  How could somebody say, “I‘m against illegal immigration, but I‘m also against the fence”?  What‘s the argument?

HANNA:  Well, some think that it‘s symbolically unfriendly, but our proposal includes 200 border crossing points.  And we stress that we are absolutely in favor of immigration.  We‘re trying to stop illegal immigration, not legal immigration.

And we want to continue to stand as the beacon of opportunity for the world, the economy that most people want to come to.  So, we try to put forth a very friendly and open and welcoming viewpoint.  We sometimes say that we‘re trying to close the back door to illegal immigration while keeping the front door open to legal immigration. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

HANNA:  But the people who oppose it never listen all the way through, and their initial, instinctive and occasionally emotional reaction is that it seems unfriendly.  But it doesn‘t need to. 

CARLSON:  I frankly don‘t understand the motivation behind opposition to this fence.  I don‘t understand the argument, and I hope we can get someone on to explain it, because I‘m baffled by it. 

Finally, do you think—is this going to happen?  That you can get it through Congress?

HANNA:  I think it has a very good chance of happening, Tucker.  We‘ve made enormous progress since we began the WeNeedAFence.com initiative back in August.  There are now three fence bills in Congress.  Various portions of them will be probably be cobbled together into a comprehensive immigration reform bill that might even be one that comes out of the House Judiciary committee or the House Homeland Security Committee, possibly in the first week in December. 

So I think that there‘s a good chance the Senate is going to take it up next year.  And I think we‘ve got a great deal of public support.  There‘s probably no issue on which the public and political leadership are further apart than on this issue.  On this one, the public is leading. 

CARLSON:  Amen.  I absolutely agree with that.  Colin Hanna, I wish you every success.  I really hope this works.  Thanks so much.

HANNA:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Be sure to tune in Sunday night at 9 p.m. Eastern for a special in-depth look at illegal immigration in “CROSSING THE LINE: THE BATTLE AT AMERICA‘S BORDER.”  It will be hosted by Lester Holt here on MSNBC.  We‘ll look at why the system doesn‘t seem to be working.   We‘ll also bring you the actual response from people on both sides of the issue.  This Sunday at 9 p.m., right here on MSNBC.

Still to come, understanding women may be complicated.  We‘ll show you a simple way to figure out men.  They‘re not half as complicated, as you know.  Just look at their four-legged friends.  That‘s the key.  We‘ll explain when THE SITUATION returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  The Buddha once said—that‘s the Buddha.  That‘s how deep this show is.  The Buddha once said there are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth.  One, not going all way, and two, not starting.  With me now, a man who‘s already well on his way to enlightenment, “The Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host Max Kellerman. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO:  You are wise beyond your years, Tucker Carlson. 

CARLSON:  All the time I spent contemplating life on mountaintops, you know. 

Well, you probably all agree that backseat drivers are a nuisance. 

KELLERMAN:  We‘re not supposed to say it that way.  Oh, sorry.

CARLSON:  No, we can all agree.

KELLERMAN:  Don‘t you get it.  I‘m being a backseat driver, Tucker. 

All right, you know. 

CARLSON:  That was so clever that was wrapped within itself.  I completely missed it.

KELLERMAN:  I‘m sorry.

CARLSON:  One more time.  We can all agree backseat drivers are a nuisance, but what about backseat seatbelts?  Are they really as good as advertised?

Connecticut state senator Billy Ciotto thinks so.  He says he‘ll reintroduce legislation requiring all adult backseat passengers to wear seatbelts.  Right now, only those 16 and under must do so. 

Which I guess I would respond with the obvious point: why not a helmet?  Why not roll bars?  Why allow people to drive at all, actually?  Driving is dangerous.  You‘ll never make it safe.  As long as you allow people to drive over 10 miles an hour, there are going to be fatalities on the road.  Is it worth it?  Is it worth one person dying? 

I‘m not minimizing the tragedy of automobile accidents or the deaths that result. 

KELLERMAN:  Sure.

CARLSON:  I‘m just saying there‘s a risk inherent in them.  Let‘s recognize that and let people make their own choices. 

KELLERMAN:  But let‘s do things that are—it‘s something that‘s easily done that can minimize risk. 

For instance, if you‘re under 16 you have to wear a seatbelt in the back, and if you‘re in the front you have to wear a seatbelt.  So what are we saying?  If you‘re over 16 and you sit in the back we don‘t care about you?  I mean, how hard is this?  How hard is this?

CARLSON:  We‘re not saying—it‘s not like we don‘t care about you.  We‘re saying you‘re an adult and you get to make decisions about your own health.  Sorry.  You get to protect yourself, and you don‘t have to if you don‘t want.  If you want to eat fatty, starchy foods, if you want to smoke cigarettes, even if you want to have a cocktail once in awhile, you‘re allowed to because you‘re an adult and it‘s your life. 

KELLERMAN:  I don‘t see this as the civil liberties kind of issue.  It‘s more—look, there was a campaign—there was campaign in New York City not long ago in the cabs, in taxi cabs.  And I never used to wear a seatbelt in the backseat, never.  But it worked.  They‘d get famous New Yorkers, Paul O‘Neill from the Yankees, Rudy Giuliani, whoever it was, “Hey, this is Paul O‘Neill of the New York Yankees.  Buckle up for safety.”

I used to think to myself, “Don‘t tell me what”—and then I‘d stop and think it was an effective campaign. 

CARLSON:  It was so...

KELLERMAN:  No, for me it worked because I thought, “What am I fighting this suggestion for, because I don‘t want to be dictated to?  If I just do this motion and there‘s an accident I won‘t get hurt.” 

CARLSON:  You‘re giving in.  Every time I got in the back of the cab -

they took those announcements out of the cabs, because they so annoyed people, including me.  I would always bark back and say, “Mind your own business, Mr. Tape Recorded Voice Guy.” 

KELLERMAN:  You‘re admitting this on national television. 

CARLSON:  Yes, I am.  I don‘t mind.  I hated that. 

KELLERMAN:  I did, too.  But it worked. 

CARLSON:  Well, there‘s no secret there are problems in America‘s schools.  Public schools, particularly.  Well, Chicago‘s mayor thinks he has the solution.  He wants kids here in the U.S. to go to school six days a week. 

Mayor Richard Daly recently visited China and came back impressed by that country‘s schools.  He‘s convinced Chicago students need either a longer school day, a six-day school week or a shorter summer break.

Daly said, “In China it‘s overwhelming the number of students who are studying, studying six days a week in school, who are fluent in English at all grade levels.  You get the feeling that we‘re behind.”

OK.  So Mayor Daly finally left the country.  This is like the guy who‘s never been anywhere, and he‘s amazed.  They do different things in different countries. 

He‘s going to mandate chopsticks.  I mean, it‘s pathetic. 

KELLERMAN:  OK.

CARLSON:  The fact is you can‘t educate a child between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. five days a week, it‘s your fault.  You‘re blowing it.

The second fact is, kids are better off with their families than they are at schools.  I know it‘s, you know, heresy to say that out loud.  It‘s good to be with your family.  It‘s good to be with your friends.  It‘s good to play once in awhile. 

KELLERMAN:  Yes.

CARLSON:  Particularly in the summertime and in the afternoons. 

Anything that gets in the way of that is bad.  Nothing is worth that.

KELLERMAN:  First of all, you keep talking like this in Chicago, Daly‘s going to wind up with Jimmy Hoffa, wherever, you know.  Careful, these kids in Chicago mean business.  If I was in high school and the mayor said six days a week, there would be—you know, it‘s mutiny time.  It‘s time for open revolt.  So I hate arguing this point but I‘m going to do it. 

CARLSON:  First of all, Daly has more control over Chicago...

KELLERMAN:  Thank Capone did.

CARLSON: ... than the premiere of China does over in his country.

KELLERMAN:  Right.  Yes, I understand.  But I‘ll argue this is why it‘s a good idea.  Kids, I‘m sorry.  Again, I‘m apologizing a lot to school children recently, but here‘s the argument.  Who is going to challenge the United States, American hegemony, in the 21st century?

CARLSON:  China and India. 

KELLERMAN:  China and India.  Primarily China.  That‘s the No. 1 challenge to American hegemony in the next 50 years. 

CARLSON:  And Paraguay.

KELLERMAN:  And they, their school kids know English.  Right?  Do our kids no Chinese?

CARLSON:  No.

KELLERMAN:  No.

CARLSON:  They‘re not wasting their time because they know the Chinese kids are learning English, so why bother?

KELLERMAN:  Well, that‘s a very good point.

CARLSON:  Yes, it is.

KELLERMAN:  No, but really the point is that they‘ll have a competitive advantage if their kids are going to school six days a week.  We are—why do we want to put ourselves at a disadvantage?  It doesn‘t make sense.

Also if you want to spend time with your family, a lot of these kids -

I mean, most kids‘ parents are not home at 3 p.m., you know?  He‘s saying extend the school day or go to six days. 

CARLSON:  Right.  Then they‘re essentially saying, “This is day care not school.”  My only point is kids, not just their families but their friends, you know, dicking around in the back yard.  You know, building jumps for their bikes, setting things on fire, doing the things little kids do.  It‘s all...

KELLERMAN:  What about this?  I‘ve come up with—here‘s the solution.  You extend the school day to 5 or 6 but no homework.  In other words, after school becomes the time when you do your homework, because I would like that better than how it is now.  If I was a kid and I got home and it was, like, “I‘m free.  I don‘t have to think about school any more,” I‘d prefer that to how it was, or how it is. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  That may be a good point but if you bring kids in on Saturday I just think it‘s just horrifying. 

KELLERMAN:  No, unless, like, they get a little “Breakfast Club” situation. 

CARLSON:  And the idea that an American politician would be pointing to Chinese social policy in a complimentary way.  Maybe just mandate one child per family.  That works pretty well in China, too.

KELLERMAN:  How can you make me argue this?  How can you put me in this position?

CARLSON:  No, I enjoy it.  Max Kellerman, hank you. 

KELLERMAN:  Tucker.

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

SITUATION. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON (voice-over):  The dummy and the mannequin.  A bizarre tale of one teen‘s unrequited love for frigid women.

Then, why it‘s probably not a good idea to step out for a smoke while traveling 35,000 feet above sea level.

Plus, one Good Samaritan‘s heart warming mission to provide comfort and aid to naked girls.

And which of these professional overeaters will become this year‘s Burger King?  Kids, don‘t try this at home.  It‘s all ahead on THE SITUATION.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANESSA MCDONALD, “SITUATION” PRODUCER:   Coming up, what does a dog say about the man?  Here‘s a hint, ladies.  If he‘s got a Shih Tzu, get out while you still can.

CARLSON:  I‘m proud to say I‘ve got a Golden Retriever.  What does that mean?  We‘ll find out in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Gentlemen, have you ever considered what your dog says about the kind of man you are?  My next guest certainly has.  She says if you‘ve got a Jack Russell father, you‘ll make a great father.  If you have a Shih Tzu you may be too full of yourself. 

Wendy Diamond is the author of the book, “What a Lucky Dog:

Understanding Men through Their Dogs.” 

She joins to us live today from San Diego to explain how she knows all of this. 

Wendy Diamond, thanks a lot for coming on. 

WENDY DIAMOND, AUTHOR, “WHAT A LUCKY DOG”:  Absolutely.

CARLSON:  So how do you know ail of this. 

DIAMOND:  Well, what happened about two and a half years ago, I broke up with my boyfriend, and since I run “Animal Fair” magazine, everyone started fixing up with men with dogs.  So one night I was out with a Shih Tzu guy, the next a German Shepherd guy.  And then the next month, another German Shepherd guy.  So I realized their personality traits were so similar that I decided to do the research, and I went out with four men per breed, 32 breeds, over 128 men. 

CARLSON:  That‘s amazing.  Are there any breeds that are just deal killers?  Someone that‘s got this kind of dog, and you just run?

DIAMOND:  Well, no.  I mean, I believe there‘s no bad man like there‘s no bad dog.  It‘s what kind of personality you want in somebody or some dog. 

CARLSON:  Right.  OK.  So let‘s say you‘ve got a Dachshund.  What does that say about you?

DIAMOND:  Well, Dachshund men truly are...

CARLSON:  A wiener dog.

DIAMOND:   A wiener dog.  They love, love, lover gardening.  They love the outdoors.  They love to hunt.  They‘re the ones that, really, you kind of have to be kind of more demure.  But they tend to be gardeners, architects. 

CARLSON:  You said little dog guys tend to be players.  Are they compensating?  Or what does that mean?  Why?

DIAMOND:  No, not compensating.  What it means is they‘re more realistic about their lifestyle.  They tend to live, you know, probably a little faster life, and they like to bring the dog around.  So they know dogs are cute, right?  But it doesn‘t mean, like a lot of people say that, like, little dogs are, you know, mean that they‘re gay.  That is absolutely not true.  They‘re more realistic about their lifestyle, that they may not have a big enough apartment, may not have a lot of time where they have to go out to the park a lot.  Bigger dogs need that.

CARLSON:  Speaking of gay you said—I‘m quoting you now—“Gay men usually have more obscure cure dogs like Portuguese Water Dogs.  What does that mean?

DIAMOND:  No, because gay men—where did I say that?  I don‘t even know when I said that. 

But no, what that means is that more gay men tend to have poodles, you know, because they really care about art, wine, culture, the way they look, their grooming, that type of thing. 

CARLSON:  Well, coiffed.  What kind of dog are you holding this

DIAMOND:  This is a Maltese, which I rescued.   So I go into the “mutt” category.

CARLSON:  Interesting.  What about golden retrievers?  What does that say about you?

DIAMOND:  Soulful.  Kind of like the guy‘s guy.  Love the water, you know, anything to do with the water.  Tends to have a lot of kids.  Good husband material. 

CARLSON:  Excellent.  That describes me.  What about spaniels?

DIAMOND:  Spaniels.  Those actually really love the water.  They‘re very active.  They tend to have less kids than, like, the golden retriever man and take a little bit more time to, you know, get to know them. 

CARLSON:  What about men without dogs?  Should you ever date a man who has no dog?

DIAMOND:  Well, again, it‘s like the personality traits.  I believe there... three issues that people that don‘t have dogs.  They either never had one so don‘t what it‘s like.

Or they were got bit by a dog when they were younger, which is an issue that they never got over.  Right?

CARLSON:  Yes.

DIAMOND:  Or they don‘t have the time, which is, you know, to have a dog is a commitment.  I mean, you have to feed the dog.  You have to take care of the dog.  You have to play with the dog.  You have to love the dog. 

And that‘s a commitment.  And most men, you know, when they‘re younger or whatever, are not ready for a commitment, and that might mean they‘re not ready for a relationship. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  And what about a man who has a pit bull with a barbed wire collar?

DIAMOND:  Well, you know, again pit bull men.  I man, pit bulls are not that bad, really.

CARLSON:  Right.

DIAMOND:  I mean so what I would say with that, I didn‘t do the pit bull man.  I did the Rottweiler, which is kind of, you know.

CARLSON:  It‘s pretty close. 

DIAMOND:  OK.  Well, those—you know, Rottweiler man is really into protection and security, which does not mean they‘re dangerous guys.  What it means is they usually love to protect the ones they‘re with.  So if you‘re somebody who‘s really independent you might not want to be with a Rottweiler man, right?  But they all tend to have the family all over the place. 

Meaning they have the grandmother over.  They have the cousins, the second cousins over.  So there really is a family.  They‘re really into security.  And so if you‘re independent they‘re not the best type of breed for you.

CARLSON:  If you could pick one breed what would it be?

DIAMOND:  What, for me or for you?

CARLSON:  For you. 

DIAMOND:  For me, I‘d want a mutt man.  Someone who rescued a dog, who‘s really not into pedigrees, really about life and loving wherever he is and not really concerned about what‘s around him. 

CARLSON:  Good for you.  Wendy Diamond, you are a dog apologist.  And I mean that in the best way. 

DIAMOND:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Thank you.

Coming up, if you hear praise for Michael Moore on this show you can be certain it‘s coming, not from a caller.  One viewer wants all of us to apologize to Michael Moore about Iraq.  Good luck with that.

I‘ll dial up THE SITUATION‘s voice mail next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Not a shy group, our viewers.  How do we know that? Because they call.  Time for our voice mail segment.  First up. 

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

CALLER:  Hi.  My name is Julianne Miller (ph), and I like in Garden Grove, California.  I would like to say about all the problems that we‘re having in Iraq, is that it is exactly what President Bush was warned would happen before he threw those people in there without having a plan for the war, a plan for getting out, a plan for anything except success in the moment.  With all of these things that are happening, I think that Michael Moore was right. 

(END AUDIO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Michael Moore was not right.  I mean, look, there were a lot of credible anti-war critics before the war.  Pat Buchanan, I have to say, was one of them.  Go back and read what Pat Buchanan wrote.  But critics who don‘t sympathize with the insurgency killing Americans. 

The problem with Michael Moore is not just that he is against the war, which is a valid position, but that he is against the United States‘ interests, openly.  So it will be a long time before I ever apologize to Michael Moore for anything.

Next up. 

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

CALLER:  Hi, Tucker.  Kim from Lafayette, Indiana.  Good for you on the kitten story.  That woman should have to serve double punishment, for every one that died, she should have to spend a night in jail with no bread and no water, and with pictures of kittens all over the jail cells.  She has to think about what she did. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Lynn is referring to a story we did a couple of nights ago about a woman who was punished for abandoning dozens of kittens outside, and it‘s really an example of the kind of moral courage I‘m willing to show on this program, defending kittens.  When nobody else would, we take a stand for kittens.  That‘s how bold and brave we are. 

By the way, Kim, I agree with you completely.  That woman should be flogged, at least. 

Let me know what you‘re thinking.  Call 1-877-TCARLSON.  That‘s 877-822-7576.  You can email us at Tucker@MSNBC.com.  And if you want to read yet more of my opinions, you can tune into our blog every day.  It‘s at Tucker.MSNBC.com.

Still ahead on THE SITUATION, many have challenged speed-eating supremacy of the great Kobayashi.  All have failed.  The legend of Kobiashi grows, one hamburger at a time, on the “Cutting Room Floor.”  Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for the “Cutting Room floor.”  Willie Geist has returned. 

Will, you know, they say prison changes a man.  I don‘t mean to in any way minimize your ordeal. 

WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER:  Talking like a little different?

CARLSON:  You seem like the same old Willie, yes. 

GEIST:  I am, and I heard all the wisecracks about where I was.  I‘ll have you know, I was down in the islands, researching a piece on beach erosion at five-star Caribbean resorts. 

CARLSON:  Is that true?

GEIST:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  Paid for by NBC, I hope.

GEIST:  Yes, I want to get out on front on it.  Not a lot of people talking about now.  We will be the first.  But I will say Vanessa did a great job in my absence.

CARLSON:  She sure did.

GEIST:  And there was probably, I would say, at least half of our demographic wishes I wasn‘t on here tonight.  You think?

CARLSON:  They‘ve all tuned out. 

GEIST:  One other thing we have to mention, if you can wait three minutes until you go buy your Xbox 360 -- it comes out at midnight tonight.  It‘s the big videogame that everyone‘s been waiting for.

CARLSON:   Yes.

GEIST:  We ask you to wait three minutes, watch us, then go buy it. 

CARLSON:  Exactly.  Thank you for that self-restraint.  Thank you, Willie. 

Unless you‘ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you‘re aware of the speed eating force of nature that is Takeru Kobayashi.  He‘s best known for his world record shattering performances at the world hot dog eating competition. 

He added to his legacy over this weekend by eating 67 miniature hamburgers in only eight minutes at competition in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Kobayashi won $10,000 for his effort and deserves every one of them. 

GEIST:  He‘s a legend.  There‘s no denying it.  But those are those little crystal hamburgers. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

GEIST:  I had friends in college who ate more than 67 of those in a sitting.

CARLSON:  That‘s true.

GEIST:  I‘m not kidding.

CARLSON:  After a night of beer pong?

GEIST:  And he knows who he is.  I won‘t bring up his name, but Kobayashi is great.  He‘s a legend. 

CARLSON:  Your friend went into investment banking.  He blew it. 

GEIST:  Exactly. 

CARLSON:  Long international flights can be pretty tough on cigarette smokers these days.  One passenger just couldn‘t take it any more during a flight from Hong Kong to Brisbane, Australia, on Saturday, so she decided to step outside for a smoke.  The problem, she was flying at 39,000 feet.  The cigarette and lighter in hand, Sandrine Salize (ph) tried to open the emergency exit so she could smoke outside.  The lawyer says she mixed sleeping pills and booze and has no memory of the incident at all. 

GEIST:  You know what?  That was going to be a tough cigarette to light, at 600 miles an hour.  You‘ve got to do that huddle move. 

CARLSON:  Exactly right.  Yes.

GEIST:  You know what that tells me, though?  Nobody listens to that safety speech at the beginning.

CARLSON:  I know.

GEIST:  Everyone is regarding “Us Weekly,” but if you listen, you know you‘re not permitted to exit the aircraft at cruising.  It‘s right there in the little brochure. 

CARLSON:  Tell you, the sleeping pills and booze is scary.  I‘ve known people who have done weird things.

GEIST:  Dangerous. 

CARLSON:  It is.  Don‘t do it. 

Hurricane Katrina devastated the lives of thousands along the Gulf Coast.  Like it or not, the strippers of New Orleans were among those thousands.  That‘s where Daniel Darger (ph) comes in.  Darger (ph) is the owner of the Crazy Goat Saloon and Strip Joint in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He‘s answered his governor‘s call to aid the victims of Katrina by offering jobs to New Orleans strippers displaced by that storm.  Darger (ph) says exotic dancers need work, too. 

GEIST:  And Danny‘s a saint.  There‘s no getting around that.  Topless dancers, completely overlooked by FEMA and the Red Cross.

CARLSON:  Exactly.

GEIST:  Lost in the shuffle.  It‘s good to see somebody doing the right thing. 

CARLSON:  Someone‘s standing up for them.  It‘s unpopular, but...

GEIST:  I didn‘t know there were strip joints in Salt Lake City. 

CARLSON:  I didn‘t either.  I think there‘s one. 

We don‘t judge anyone here on THE SITUATION, but if your sex life includes mannequins, you should probably keep it in the privacy of your own home. 

GEIST:  Yes.

CARLSON:  South Dakota man has been charged with indecent exposure.  Actually, he was found lying next to a female mannequin, with his pants down, in the middle of a Sioux Falls department store.  Believe it or not, the man may now be charged and become a registered sex offender. 

GEIST:  That‘s not right.  Mannequins make terrible lovers.  There‘s the obvious point about the no orifice problem. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  That is a problem. 

GEIST:  That‘s got to be frustrating.

CARLSON:  But he‘s a registered sex offender.  So from no on, no matter where he goes, all the mannequins within 100 miles have to be alerted. 

GEIST:  Exactly.  Exactly.  Can‘t be near a mannequin school.  Right.

CARLSON:  A mannequin school.  That‘s good.  I am glad you are back. 

GEIST:  Glad to be back. 

CARLSON:  That‘s THE SITUATION for tonight.  Thanks for watching.  Up next, “COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN.”  Don‘t miss that.  Have a great night.

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

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