Guests: Peter Fenn, Winter, Max Kellerman, Mark McKrikorian, Paul Hellyer
TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC HOST: Thanks to you at home for tuning in to our special Friday night “The Situation.” We appreciate it as we always do.
Tonight, the Republican National Committee releases an ad that accuses Democrats of hoisting the white flag in Iraq. Tough tactics 11 months from the election. How will Democrats respond to it? I‘ll ask Flavia Colgan that very question.
Also, are illegal aliens about to receive retirement benefits under a new plan proposed by the Bush administration? If so, how much will it cost? We‘ll bring you disturbing details on that.
And speaking of aliens, is President Bush preparing for intergalactic war with our comrades in outer space? Former Canadian defense minister and deputy prime minister, Paul Hellyer, says, “Oh, yes.” He‘ll join us in just a few minutes to explain.
But we start tonight with the new RNC ad that blasts Democrats for having a, quote, “retreat and defeat plan for Iraq.” It also includes recent comments about the war from some prominent Democrats.
Here‘s the ad in its entirety.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD DEAN, DNC CHAIRMAN: The idea that we are going to win this war is an idea that unfortunately is just plain wrong.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: So there‘s no specific time frame, but I would say the withdrawal ought to start now, right after the elections, December 15th.
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: There is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Joining us now from Washington to discuss this strategic move by Republicans, Democratic strategist, Peter Fenn.
PETER FENN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thanks Tucker, great to be with you.
CARLSON: Thank you. You know, just last month, it looked bad for the White House and for the Republican Party, and it still doesn‘t look that great, but Howard Dean, as he has before, has rescued the president from himself by switching the conversation from why did we go to war in Iraq, which is a loser for the president. He can‘t answer the question. He hasn‘t. He will never be able to. Switching the conversation from that to what do we do now, and I think Howard Dean, in his comments the other day in saying that we cannot win this war, puts the debate back on terrain the president can do pretty well on.
FENN: Well, Tucker, I will tell you, there‘s a couple of problems with the ad, of course. They are cherry-picking quotes and not dealing with the real debate on this issue. And what Howard Dean is saying is, “Look, this isn‘t a military victory in the traditional sense. This is going to have to be a political victory.” And the real victory isn‘t the war on terror, which he says this war is taking us off of.
But the biggest problem...
CARLSON: Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Hold on. That‘s, I think, a little too—I mean, that is a point some have made, and I think it‘s a valid point. That is, I don‘t believe, the point that Howard Dean was making.
I mean, here‘s the text of what he said. “The idea that we are going to win this war,” and he was talking about Iraq at the time, “is an idea that is unfortunately just plain wrong.” And then he explains that like Vietnam, it‘s a quagmire from which we cannot extricate ourselves.
CARLSON: I mean, are you going to defend the proposition that we can‘t win the war? Should he have said that or not?
FENN: No. Tucker, you know, obviously what he should have said was, what he said later on, which is “Listen, you can win this politically, but militarily this is very difficult in the current context.” Now, everybody says that.
But here‘s the thing, look, the Republicans, I think, are making a terrible mistake here. This is not a campaign. They are playing politics with the war. Hello. I mean, what a surprise from this crowd.
I don‘t think white flag, you know, ads accusing people of being appeasers or cut and run or, you know, this is going to work. Right now, the latest poll shows 68 percent of Americans do not believe this president has a plan for victory.
CARLSON: Yes, that‘s true.
FENN: Seventy percent say that he has no plan on how to get the troops out. That is what the president has got to deal with. Not...
CARLSON: Well, yes. I think—I mean, there‘s no denying that is what the latest CBS “New York Times” poll says, and it‘s consistent with everything we know about the public mood about Iraq, which is down. Bad. People are against it.
FENN: But, but, but Tucker.
CARLSON: However, if it‘s true that it‘s bad politically for Bush, and the Republican Party to attack Dean over these comments. If what you say is true, then why aren‘t Democrats defending Dean?
CARLSON: You saw Earl Pomeroy, from North Dakota, told Dean to, quote, “Shut up.” A Congressman told him to shut up.
FENN: Right. Right.
CARLSON: That‘s consistent with all the Democrats I know. They‘re mad at Dean.
FENN: A lot of—sure, look, I mean, you know, on this, would it have been better to say it in a different way? Sure. But the point I‘m trying to make is a quote at a time from Howard Dean isn‘t going to change what‘s going on on the ground. Isn‘t going to change the tactic.
Look, I think the American people believe that this president doesn‘t have a handle on this. Thirty-three pages of fluff that he calls a plan. And in is what a lot of Republicans and Democrats—they didn‘t attack Chuck Hagel in that ad. They didn‘t, you know, attack Pat Buchanan in that ad. The went after...
CARLSON: They‘ve attacked both Hagel and Buchanan in the past.
FENN: They decided they were going to make it political.
CARLSON: Here‘s what I think people are afraid of. There‘s no question that the majority of Americans are unhappy with this war. The majority say we shouldn‘t have gone in the first place. But we did. We‘re there.
I think what people are afraid of, in this country, is losing and the humiliation that would ensue after a lose. People are terrified of that.
FENN: Look, no one wants...
CARLSON: The democrats need to be the party of a solution.
FENN: Well, look, it‘s his war. He got us into it. We all ought to be the party of a solution here. But the problem that this president has right now is that he cannot divert the attention with politics, and with a political ad, and with—you know, every time you think these guys could go lower, they go lower.
White flag, that to me sends a message that there shouldn‘t be a dialogue on this, that there shouldn‘t be a discussion of it, that anytime anybody gets out and says something, they are going to be accused of being an appeaser.
CARLSON: I don‘t know.
FENN: I mean, you know, that‘s...
CARLSON: I don‘t know. I think it‘s kind of an accurate ad. I am not for the war, but I think the ad kind of is quoting people saying what they said. And it sounds like that‘s what they said. I—you know.
FENN: Look, look, I mean, as I said, did they attack any Republicans? Of course they didn‘t. Look, this is not—playing politics with this, at this time, is not going to help this presidency.
CARLSON: All right.
FENN: I am not in the business of giving this guy advice, but I‘ll tell you, I would not do this. I think this is a big mistake for Republicans.
CARLSON: We will see. As a pure political matter, I disagree with you. But, you know what? We‘ll find out in the next couple of months as polls came in.
Peter Fenn from Washington. Thanks a lot.
FENN: Thanks a lot, Tucker.
CARLSON: We continue the debate with MSNBC contributor, Flavia Colgan.
FLAVIA COLGAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
CARLSON: I don‘t think you can overstate how bad it would be, not simply militarily, not simply strategically around the world, but for America, for the American national psyche, for the economy, for all the things that add up to what it is to be America and American, for us to suffer a humiliating defeat in Iraq.
And for the ninth time, I say that as someone who opposed the war. Somebody that doesn‘t think we ought to be there in the first place. But we are there, and losing is bad. And if the Democratic Party is seen as the party of retreat and loss, an ignominies defeat, it‘s—it‘s over for them (ph).
COLGAN: OK, but instead of talking, let‘s first address the ad. The ad is duplicitous...
COLGAN: It‘s a complete disgrace, and it‘s crass. How? Because...
CARLSON: Those are adjectives. Give me facts.
COLGAN: No. The facts are that no one that is pictured in that ad is someone who believes in a cut and run strategy.
COLGAN: It‘s—it‘s deceptive. Not one.
CARLSON: Well, Howard Dean is...
COLGAN: Jack Murtha—hold on a second.
COLGAN: Let‘s slow down. Jack Murtha, who is the person who wants the quickest withdrawal, even he believes in strategic redeployment and keeping people in the region, and doing it in a way that is consistent with the troops‘ safety.
Howard Dean has foot-in-mouth disease. What they need to do is get the guy off national television. He cannot be on national television without putting his foot in...
CARLSON: He‘s the head of the Democratic Party. It‘s kind of hard to keep him off television, isn‘t it?
COLGAN: Hey, I didn‘t want him—Well, I think he should be out in the grassroots. I think he suffers from a serious case of Foot and Mouth disease. He—I...
CARLSON: So he should be saying the same things, but just not in front of television cameras?
CARLSON: What do you mean?
COLGAN: Not at all. I think that the Democratic Party, one of the reasons that any of this even sticks—and I agree with Peter, this is going to completely backlash. One of the reasons this is on the Web, and not on a TV, not only because it‘s so far out and people don‘t want to hear politics this early on. But also, because this is red meat for their base.
You know, the Democratic Party needs to coalesce around a plan.
You‘re right. They need to be the party of vision and a party of ideas. They need to stop just criticizing Bush and say what is their plan. What are the metrics they want to see? What is their timetable? And Bush and his camp, criticizing the Democrats and not coming up with a solution, the American public is sick of it.
CARLSON: But here‘s—but here‘s...
COLGAN: They‘re sick of finger pointing. They‘re sick of this politics.
CARLSON: Yes, maybe. I don‘t know, I think...
COLGAN: They‘re sick of the sandbox. They want—like Michael Douglas...
CARLSON: I think they like finger pointing, frankly. I‘ve covered a lot of campaigns.
COLGAN: One like...
CARLSON: You know what I‘ve learned?
CARLSON: Negative attacks work because people enjoy them. And I definitely enjoy them and from both sides.
But let me just...
COLGAN: I think they are tired. I think they‘re tired of it now. And I watched the American president the other day, and I know it‘s not analogous, Michael Douglas is a lot better looking than George Bush.
CARLSON: All right.
COLGAN: But at the climax moment he says, we‘re dealing with serious problems and we need serious people to solve them. I think that that‘s the way the Americans public feels right now.
CARLSON: OK. There‘s a—Let me—let me ask you a serious question. Do you not think that the core problem for the democrats politically, and maybe even morally right now, is the attitude, we just heard Peter, a dear friend of mine, express. And it‘s this? It‘s your war, George W. Bush. You got us into it. You get us out.
I just think, you know, strictly speaking, he‘s right. Bush did get us into the war and it was a mistake. However, it is a war in which the entire country is engaged.
CARLSON: It will hurt the entire country if we fail there. Don‘t you think the entire country ought to collectively help think of a way to get out with honor?
COLGAN: Absolutely. Not only, but it‘s giving your power away. I mean, I said on this program—this was weeks ago, that John Edwards, and he‘s not in office anymore, so he can do that—but I would have liked every Democrat to get up and say what John Edwards said, which is, given what I know now, I made a mistake.
You know, these Democrats, most of them, are standing by their vote. So how can they say this is just Bush‘s War? Yes, he went to war in a way that I believe was unfair, given what the vote was, and with information, and not giving us the whole story.
And certainly a lot of soldiers and a lot of Americans feel that we went in there for something that wasn‘t true, for WMD.
CARLSON: Yes. Yes.
COLGAN: However, these democrats are leadership positioned. We don‘t have time to worry about who did what. We are on the ground now. We need to figure out a way to bring out troops home...
CARLSON: I agree.
COLGAN: ... safely, and to figure out a way to have a real dialogue in this nation...
CARLSON: And honorably on—right.
COLGAN: ... without, I mean, less politicians, more statesmen, worrying about the next generation.
Look, you‘re a political hack, we know. A good one. A good one.
CARLSON: I am—I am the least political hack person, I know.
I‘m completely non-partisan.
COLGAN: I know. Very independent.
CARLSON: I‘m an ideologue. And I‘ll tell you what.
COLGAN: Very independent.
CARLSON: Yes, I want to get a—Look, since you brought up the question of why is the Democratic party so screwed up, let me continue in this vain.
CARLSON: After the 2004 election...
COLGAN: I didn‘t know I had...
CARLSON: Well, well, OK, maybe I did and I‘ll blame you for it.
COLGAN: Massage it (ph).
CARLSON: You heard a lot—you heard a lot of Democrats say, smart Democrats, some friends of mine, said, “Look, one of our problems as a party is we alienate the middle of the country. The kind of Non-Berkeley, non-Santa Cruz parts of the country, by being against religion. Again, we perceived as anti-religion, particularly anti-Christian. We‘ve got to get over that. We‘ve got to appeal to those red states by seeming like we don‘t hate religion.”
This season, the last three weeks, it‘s been an unending series of stories about how Democrats are opposed to Christmas, and Christmas carols are threatening, Merry Christmas is somehow offensive. This is not helping at all.
COLGAN: No. Absolutely not. I haven‘t been following all of that. As you know, I was upset enough at the clerk, the other day, who told me that she couldn‘t sell Christmas things because it was offensive? And that put me into an outrage.
This has been something I‘ve written about and thought about a lot, because I‘m a progressive and I‘m also you know, a deeply religious person. And I struggle between the two worlds, and that gap has widened. The God-gap, whatever you want to call it, which I think, is ridiculous. Because the Democrats really need to understand the if the sooner they respect people of faith, the sooner they realize they have more in common, the sooner they can crawl out of the minority. OK?
They need to talk about the environment. Evangelical Christians were in the Sudan, long before the black congressional caucus was talking about it. They were doing, you know, environment ads.
CARLSON: Well where‘s—where does it come from?
COLGAN: The pope was over here asking us to go—let‘s do one more Howard...
CARLSON: ...as a Democrat.
COLGAN: Let‘s do one more Howard Dean Foot and Mouth disease. Howard Dean pretending now, because now everybody has to be religious, so he do it.
CARLSON: No, I remember.
COLGAN: What is your favorite book of the in the New Testament, because he reads the New Testament every...
CARLSON: Job, right.
COLGAN: The Book of job. I mean, come on, don‘t insult me.
CARLSON: He‘s a moron. Now here‘s the -- No. No. Let‘s get beyond this.
COLGAN: I don‘t know if he‘s a moron.
CARLSON: Well, look, I have spent a lot of time around Howard Dean.
CARLSON: They call Bush dumb. I think Bush has probably got 10 IQ points on him. But here‘s my question to you. What is the root of the animus, the instinctive animus? People express religious sentiment in public, unless it‘s in a black church where it‘s acceptable, that‘s one place it‘s acceptable, it‘s considered creepy, wrong, threatening, what is that about? I don‘t understand that. Why the gut response?
COLGAN: Well, I don‘t think that that‘s across the board. I mean, you look at someone like Kane, and I think that‘s one of the reasons he won in Virginia. And certainly Democrats across the country...
CARLSON: Yes, that‘s right. You‘re right.
COLGAN: Democrats across the country—I‘m from the state of Pennsylvania. All my, you know...
CARLSON: That‘s a very fair point. But I‘m saying, you‘re exactly right.
CARLSON: But Democrats on the coasts?
COLGAN: On the coasts.
COLGAN: But I think people on the coasts in general, and I don‘t know whether it‘s elitism, I don‘t know whether they think that somehow people that are of a faith, you know, are not as rational. I mean, of course, this whole science and religion not going together, this is a recent development. I mean, Einstein, every major scientist was a person of faith and, you know, didn‘t see them as incompatible.
You know, I don‘t really know, but what I do know is that 96 or 97 percent of the American public believes in God. So to pick a fight with people and tell people that people who believe in god are out to lunch, is just not smart politically.
CARLSON: Not—not winning strategy. I totally agree.
COLGAN: I mean, it‘s not only, who are you going after? You‘re going after the Berkeley vote, you know, wearing Birkenstocks. There‘s only so many of those people and, heaven forbid, they are eating granola bars on election day. Then you‘re completely up a creek.
CARLSON: Flavia Colgan. One of my favorite New Testament prophets, thank you.
COLGAN: Oh, boy.
CARLSON: Still to come, will a new plan from the Bush administration allow illegal aliens to collect retirement benefits? How could this possibly happen and how much will it cost. We‘ll get to the bottom of it.
Plus, we teased you last night, but now we deliver the goods. Why on earth would a police officer in Ohio taser a 68-year-old grandmother five times? The unbelievable answer when we come back.
CARLSON: Should illegal aliens get social security benefits? And if they do, will it bankrupt our system? Plus, aliens of another kind. Is President Bush waging war with space invaders? A Canadian official says so. You‘ll meet him. Stay tuned.
CARLSON: Welcome back. You often hear people complain that illegal immigration isn‘t punished in this country. But have you ever considered that the government might actually be rewarding it? My next guest says President Bush‘s immigration plan could cost taxpayers billions and clear the way for illegal aliens to receive social security benefits.
Here to explain how this could possibly happen, Mark McKrikorian, who is the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies? He joins us from Washington, D.C.
Mark, thanks for coming on.
MARK MCKRIKORIAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES:
Well, thanks for having me, Tucker.
CARLSON: This can‘t be—this is one of those, this can‘t be true stories. Illegal aliens, breaking the law by definition, are going to get social security. How‘s that work?
MCKRIKORIAN: Well, it‘s not guaranteed yet. I just want to make sure everybody understands, it‘s not a question of giving social security to the people who are now illegal aliens, now. Even the Bush administration isn‘t that crazy.
What it amounts to is letting the illegals, if they get amnesty, according to President Bush‘s proposal, to count their illegal work toward social security in the future. And the potential for the system is just enormous.
The Social Security Administration came up with a tiny estimate. They figured it would cost a couple hundred billion dollars or a million, a couple hundred million dollars, and they base that on our experience with Canada, which isn‘t in any way comparable to Mexico.
CARLSON: But two obvious questions before you progress. One, if a person is here illegally, how can he be paying—he doesn‘t have a social security number so how...
KRIKORIAN: He has a fake or stolen social security number.
CARLSON: Oh, so he‘s committed identity theft.
KRIKORIAN: Yes, exactly he has, or something like that. I mean, if it‘s stolen, it‘s identity theft, or it‘s just a fake number. And about half of illegal aliens work on the books and have social security withheld and all of that, except—in fact, they file tax returns. The IRS encourages illegal aliens to file tax returns so they can get a refund. So what would happen is the illegal...
CARLSON: But not using—not using—let me just make sure I have it right, not using real social security numbers, though?
KRIKORIAN: Believe it or not, the IRS actually gives them something that looks like a social security number. It‘s called an individual tax ID number, and that‘s a real number. And they put that on the tax return, and the W2 form has the stolen or fake number. So the IRS actually knows who the illegals are. They just don‘t tell the immigration service.
CARLSON: That‘s unbelievable. So the argument, to make sure I understand it for this, is it‘s their money. They have paid it into our system. Shouldn‘t they get it back? Is that a valid argument?
KRIKORIAN: Well, not really because it‘s the proceeds of an illegal act. I mean, the only reason they would get this money is because they worked illegally and were here illegally.
And the fact is what it would do to the social security system is really quite astonishing, because it‘s a much—social security is a pretty good deal for low-wage workers, and that‘s who we are talking about. They actually get back everything they pay into it pretty quickly, and then everything else is gravy.
And the long-term threat is that, if the president gets this big guest worker program for new foreign workers as well, that all of them will qualify for social security.
CARLSON: Wait, so wait a second. So basically, low-wage workers get more back than they have put in, typically, correct?
KRIKORIAN: Yes, it depends how long they live and everything, but, yes. It‘s a good deal.
CARLSON: But if one of those low-wage workers was an illegal alien at one point, and has now been legalized by the president, in his new plan, why shouldn‘t his employer, who employed him as an illegal alien, make up the difference? It seems to me essentially the companies were benefiting from these low-wage illegal aliens, workers, are basically stiffing the rest of us for their retirement?
KRIKORIAN: Right, exactly. I mean, its part of a pattern, where illegal immigration benefits a small number of people, the employers, and everybody else pays the bill. And, I think, any kind of amnesty is a mistake. But if you are going to do it, it would seem to me something like you are suggesting is right. Make the employers pony up the benefit that they got and the rest of us—so the rest of us don‘t have to pay.
CARLSON: But is it going to happen—In 2004, only three employers in this nation were cited, apparently, for knowingly hiring illegal aliens. Somehow I suspect they are not going to be ponying up to pay the different in social security. Mark Krikorian. That‘s a really disturbing story. I appreciate your telling it to us. Thanks.
KRIKORIAN: Thanks for having me.
CARLSON: Still to come, aliens of a different sort. Are extraterrestrials among us now? And is the White House trying to start a war with them? Why a former government official says, “Oh, yes. It‘s all true.” When the situation returns.
CARLSON: Welcome back. According to my next guest, the truth is out there. Actually up there, with our neighbor to the north, Canada.
A former Canadian government official is warning we may be on the verge of intergalactic war, saying, quote, “The Bush administration has finally agreed to let the military build a forward base on the moon, which will put them in a better position to keep track of the comings and goings of visitors from space and to shoot at them if they so decide,” end quote.
Paul Hellyer is a former minister of defense and deputy prime minister of the country of Canada. He joins us now from Toronto. Mr. Hellyer, thanks a lot for coming on.
PAUL HELLYER, FORMER DEFENSE MINISTER AND DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER,
CANADA: Not at all, it‘s a pleasure.
CARLSON: Now, you were the minister of defense of Canada. When you autopsied that position, I believe, under Prime Minister Lester Pearson, did you come across any classified information that suggested UFO‘s were real?
HELLYER: No, not really. We got regular reports that showed that some of them were, in fact, unidentified. Some of the sightings could not be explained as natural phenomenon, but nothing more than that.
CARLSON: Well, as you know, there‘s been this debate for years over whether or not they are real. Most people don‘t think they are real, or most people at least are hesitant to say they believe they are real in public. What convinced you they do, in fact, exist?
HELLYER: Well, for the last two or three years, I have been looking at the evidence, and assessing it, much as I guess a judge would. And trying to determine who was telling the truth and who wasn‘t. And I finally concluded, especially after reading a book called “The Day After Roswell,” written by Colonel Philip Corso, that unidentified flying objects are, in fact real. As real as the airplanes flying over your head, and that there has been a monumental cover-up for more than half a century.
This is after, you know, looking at a lot of evidence and trying to discern who was telling the truth and who wasn‘t. And I have concluded unequivocally that the people, who claim that they have either seen UFO‘s or have seen classified documents about UFO‘s or have seen wreckage from the crash at Roswell, on or about July 4, 1947, are the ones telling the truth. And consequently, I am basing my policy considerations on that.
CARLSON: Where did you come across this information that the Bush administration is building a forward base on the moon, and why would they do that? And why would they keep it from the public?
HELLYER: Well, to answer your second question first, I don‘t know.
That is the reason I am raising the question, is to see why they are.
CARLSON: Well how do you—how do you—that‘s an awfully specific claim. I haven‘t read it in the “New York Times.” Doesn‘t mean it‘s not true, doesn‘t mean you‘re wrong, but I am interested to know why you think that.
HELLYER: Well, because this was forecasted in Colonel Corso‘s book. They were wanting to build a base on the moon, as far back as 1964. And General Arthur Trudeau (ph) -- same name as one of my bosses—was very determined to build a forward base on the moon. And prepared all of the specifications necessary for it, and the blueprints, and so on.
CARLSON: Well, is it—pardon me. I don‘t mean to interrupt you, but doesn‘t this make sense? I mean, if, in fact, there are extraterrestrials and they are buzzing our planet, why wouldn‘t we want to take steps to defend ourselves from them should they turn hostile?
HELLYER: Well, I think the critical question is whether or not they are hostile. You see, when they were first—when the crash first occurred, General Nathan Twining (ph) later became the...
CARLSON: In Roswell?
HELLYER: Yes, after that crash occurred, he declared that they were enemy aliens. Now, there‘s no evidence, that I have seen, that would really convince me that they are, in fact, you know enemy.
And what I would like to know is whether that classification of enemy aliens still exists or whether it doesn‘t, and if it exists, what the evidence is on which the United States government bases its conclusions. I think that‘s tremendously important.
CARLSON: I think that‘s an entirely fair question. Now, finally, you laid out these views in September of this year at a speech at the University of Toronto, and according to the news report I have of the speech, your address, quote, “ended with a standing ovation.”
And that implies, I think, that your views are commonplace in Canada. They are a minority view here, distinct minority view. Do you think most Canadians believe that there is a forward base under construction on the Moon and that aliens are buzzing the earth?
HELLYER: No, absolutely not. Most of them are skeptics. Most of them haven‘t spent much time researching the subject, and so they‘re, I think, the average here would be very similar to the average American. And I am hoping that, maybe, we can persuade the Canadian Senate to hold hearings and listen to some of the 400 witnesses that your Dr. Steven—what‘s his name? Oh, Greer, Dr. Steven Greer, has compiled, and hear them, and, you know, make up their minds as to whether or not there is a real threat.
CARLSON: All right.
HELLYER: And, maybe, this would be just enough to push the American government, the U.S. Congress or Senate, into holding its own hearings, and then getting the United States government finally to come clean and tell us what they are worried about.
CARLSON: OK. Canada‘s former minister of defense, Paul Hellyer. If you are right, history will record you as a visionary. If you are wrong, well, I‘m glad you came on anyway. Thank you.
HELLYER: It‘s a pleasure.
CARLSON: Still ahead on “The Situation,” if you think you drink a lot of coffee, prepare to be humbled. The man on a mission to visit every single Starbucks on earth is visiting us here in the studio. He‘s a little caffeinated. He‘s ready to tell us how it‘s going. Stay tuned.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Plato once said, “wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”
Joining me now from Las Vegas, a man who always has something to say, the Outsider, from ESPN radio and HBO boxing—you can catch him in “Rocky VI,” opening soon, Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO: I don‘t know about the Plato quote so much. He was also pro-pedophile, so you know, Plato...
CARLSON: It was a different time, Max. Not to be a moral relativist, but, you know.
KELLERMAN: Let‘s keep the Aristotle quotes coming. Yeah.
CARLSON: We are going to do that. Couple Socrates ones too.
All right, first up, ethnic pride gets a Missouri high school student in deep trouble. When Jackson High School senior Nathan Warmack (ph) showed up at school at a dance wearing a kilt, specifically his ancestral red clan McRae (ph) tartan, the principal insisted he change into pants.
What‘s next, Max, banning bagpipes? Now, members of a Scottish group have posted an online petition demanding the principal apologize. OK.
For the first time in history of the show, Max, I am going to betray my own principles. My principles tell me, you know, the principal has a right to determine the dress code at the school, and this kid is crying ethnic insensitivity, and it‘s outrageous. Shut up and put on some pants.
But on the other hand, I am Scottish. And so for the very first time, I am going to play the role of an aggrieved minority group, the oppressed Scots in this country. And I think—I think it‘s ethnically insensitive and outrageous that they‘re making this kid take off his ancestral garb. If he had showed up—if he were, you know, a Cherokee, and he showed up in eagle feathers and they told him to take it off, the ACLU would be on his side.
KELLERMAN: Well, you know what, I am glad finally you are sticking up for a minority group, because you—because you belong to it. Yes, sure, you know, ancestral feathers in Native American garb, you are right, they would probably let it go. But what if it was a Kung Bushman, you know, who showed up without a top, a female, no top and a plate through her lip? You know, that would be inappropriate. And while, of course, the principal owes this kid an apology, and I don‘t actually believe it, the best argument I can make is some attire is inappropriate, even if it‘s culturally relevant to that person.
CARLSON: Yeah, but come on, kilts are stylish, they are manly, they are kind of mysterious. You know, is he wearing underwear, is he not, that‘s always the question.
KELLERMAN: Is that—actually, they kind of reveal that. I think that‘s what the principal is worried about.
CARLSON: I don‘t know. I don‘t think so. I think the principal just said, hey, this kid has got a skirt on. He is dressing like a girl. Get out of here, get some trousers on, buddy!
KELLERMAN: Well, if you‘re a school principal...
CARLSON: It just shows how ignorant the school principal is.
KELLERMAN: If you‘re a school principal, and you see a kid come to school in a kilt, and you are not aware he is Scottish, and to you it looks like a dress, and he tells you, oh it‘s my heritage, don‘t you think he is pulling your leg? Don‘t you think he‘s just messing with you? I mean, the principal may have—it may have been—the principal might be credible if he didn‘t believe the kid.
CARLSON: I think it‘s just part of the pervasive anti-Scotch bias that affects our school systems, really. I mean...
CARLSON: The Scots don‘t get a break.
KELLERMAN: When they come knocking on your door, boy, you ain‘t going without a fight, are you, Tucker?
CARLSON: I am not. I am going to wear my kilt to the end.
Well, this may be the most outrageous story of the day slash week slash year. A 68-year-old grandmother was tasered five times by cops in Dayton, Ohio last year, all in the station house waiting room. Beverly Cadell (ph) said she came to the station to be arrested for hitting her granddaughter. After a long wait, she got up to leave. That‘s when cops whipped out the taser gun, saying Ms. Kidwell (ph) was resisting arrest. After five jolts, she had to be taken to an area hospital. Not surprisingly, she‘s suing.
I am not for the lawsuit, necessarily; I‘m never in favor of lawsuits. However, there‘s no excuse for tasering a grandmother. This is just yet another case, we bring these up about once a month on the show, of the cops using unnecessary force against someone they ought to be able to subdue without weapons. If the cops can‘t take down a grandmother, it‘s time to get another job, and just take the Dunkin‘ Donuts job.
KELLERMAN: Oh, sure, sure, it‘s not OK to take down a 68-year-old grandmother, but the 25-year-old male kickboxer, then it‘s OK. Really, Tucker...
CARLSON: Yes, actually, you have got it exactly right. You‘ve got it exactly right.
KELLERMAN: Well, I am being facetious. Of course, it‘s ridiculous. However, we don‘t know the following. How abusive was she to the granddaughter? If she was really abusive, and to the point that the police arrested her, not just hitting the granddaughter, maybe even hitting her with a belt, but really hurting the granddaughter, well, then suddenly she is not such a nice little old lady, is she?
CARLSON: Wait, it‘s not the cops‘ job to punish her for a crime she allegedly committed.
KELLERMAN: But it is their job to physically contain her, and if she wasn‘t following instructions, then they did what they had to do.
CARLSON: No, but wait a second. They would never—look, I don‘t know if you have been around police officers lately. They are big. They are muscleheads. These guys lift a lot of weights. They are used to using physical force. They are tough guys. They don‘t need to use a taser against a 68-year-old woman. I am merely saying there‘s something embarrassingly unmanly about that. I just think it‘s wrong, and they ought to be ashamed of themselves.
KELLERMAN: Well, we don‘t know how big the woman was either. Just because if she‘s 68 -- Tucker, of course they shouldn‘t have used a taser gun on a 68-year-old woman! What are you doing to me here? What...
CARLSON: I love to hear you defend it, Max. We were sitting in a meeting today thinking, I want to hear Max defend that. You did a pretty good job. I‘m impressed.
KELLERMAN: Better on the first one.
CARLSON: Good luck tonight at the blackjack table, Max.
KELLERMAN: Oh, I need it, Tucker.
CARLSON: There‘s plenty more ahead on THE SITUATION.
CARLSON: The art of Starbucking. A bizarre tale of how this guy became the world‘s most caffeinated film star.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that would be great.
CARLSON: We will show you why her majesty‘s new Bond, James Bond, might have some die-hard 007 fans shaking and stirred.
PIERCE BROSNAN, ACTOR: I know the feeling.
CARLSON: Plus, fists of fury. A ringside view of South Korean democracy in action.
And, can you guess which of these newsmakers are this week‘s lucky recipients of the human and nonhuman SITUATION achievement awards?
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I‘m counting on you.
CARLSON: It‘s all ahead on THE SITUATION.
BUSH: Now, you two run on. I have got a lot of work to do.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Some people think Starbucks is an vente-sized evil empire, a virus spreading out of control to every street corner in the world. My next guest is on a worldwide chase to keep up with the growth of that empire. He calls himself Winter, and he plans to visit every Starbucks in the world. Joining me now in the studio tonight, Winter.
WINTER, PLANS TO VISIT EVERY STARBUCKS IN THE WORLD: Hello, Tucker.
Thanks for having me on.
CARLSON: Thanks for being here. Thanks for taking time out from your journey to join us. How many Starbucks have you been to so far?
WINTER: I have visited so many in the past three weeks that I have lost track but it‘s over 5,300.
WINTER: Over 5,300 total.
CARLSON: And not just in this country, but in other countries.
WINTER: I just spent seven days in London, England, visited 87 stores there.
CARLSON: Did you see Big Ben or the Tower of London?
WINTER: I did see the Tower of London. I did see Big Ben. I didn‘t go in and I didn‘t stop.
CARLSON: You just went right on to the Starbucks.
WINTER: Well, I have been to London four times, so it‘s sort of become routine for me, and I will have to go back within a year, so it‘s starting to become like just another city.
CARLSON: You‘ve been doing—with Starbucks. You have been doing this for eight and a half years, I think. Why?
WINTER: Well, I am having fun.
WINTER: That‘s why I have kept doing it for eight and a half years. Really, it was just an idea that popped into my mind at random, and I decided to pursue it. And after I took that first road trip out to the West Coast, I fell in love. I had never been out on the road by myself for that length of time before, and I thought, this is the life. This is freedom.
CARLSON: Visiting Starbucks.
WINTER: Just driving, just looking at the map and going somewhere, and the fact that Starbucks happens to be pretty much everywhere means that I have almost unlimited traveling possibilities.
CARLSON: Yes. It kind of—it does kind of set a narrative to travel. Tell me, what are the rules? You were telling me you‘ve got rules for visiting. What are they?
WINTER: They are relatively simple. I have to have a caffeinated coffee beverage from each location, at least a sample size of drip coffee, called filter coffee in London. It can be more, a cappuccino, a frappuccino, but on days...
CARLSON: And you‘re to drink it.
WINTER: Yes, I have to drink it. And on days where I visit five stores, 10 stores, 20 stores, 29 -- which is my high—I just keep it to the minimum, because since it has to be caffeinated, it can have some rather ill effects.
CARLSON: You had 29 cups of coffee in one day.
WINTER: Yes, I was out in Southern California.
CARLSON: Since you are still here, tell us what it was like? What was it like?
WINTER: It was very unpleasant. I don‘t recommend that anybody drink that much coffee, unless your body is already accustomed to it, and mine is not. Because in my regular life, I only drink one or two short eight ounce coffees.
CARLSON: It‘s legal, though, to drink that much coffee?
WINTER: I think so, but I don‘t really concern myself with what is or isn‘t legal.
CARLSON: OK. Good for you. Is there a political message in this? Are you trying to send Starbucks a message? And what does the company think of this, your quest?
WINTER: Well, I put a Web site up in 1999, and of course, Starbucks found it relatively quickly, and did contact me to find out what my agenda was. And I told them that I had no agenda, other than to simply try and visit every Starbucks in the world and do something that nobody else had done. And from its inception, I have had no political message.
CARLSON: What do you think of Starbucks, after visiting thousands of their outlets? Are they evil, are they benign?
WINTER: I maintain a completely apolitical, nonjudgmental stance about Starbucks. I will say that I do enjoy drinking the coffee, and that it is amazingly consistent.
CARLSON: Have you ever had a bad cup?
WINTER: You know, things happen.
CARLSON: Every Starbucks looks the same to me. Have you found a Starbucks that sticks out, like this is like no other Starbucks in the world?
WINTER: I just saw one in the Camden neighborhood of London, England, that has a three-wall display of the history of Camden. It shows all the people that come from Camden and famous people, what they went on to become. It has electronic displays that you can click on to find out more about the history, a big map of Camden that you can zoom in and pan out on. This one happens to be in an old lock keepers cottage, that was actually used by the lock keeper, because it‘s right along one of the canals, in London‘s famous canal system, and it has a map on the wall showing the map of the waterways and the canal system. I have never seen a Starbucks anywhere in the world like it, and frankly, that‘s one of the highlights.
CARLSON: What does this cost you? You‘re self-financed, I assume.
WINTER: Yes. Yes.
CARLSON: You don‘t have corporate sponsors?
WINTER: No. I bring in some revenue through Web sites, on my ads, but the bulk of it is from my computer programming work, and a recent estimate was at least $30,000, and that may be low.
CARLSON: Boy, you care about what you are doing, Winter. I appreciate it. The movie is coming out hopefully next year.
WINTER: I am hoping so. The filmmaker, Bill Tangeman (ph), a county prosecutor out of Nebraska, wants to get into filmmaking, contacted me, has about 50 hours of footage that he has edited down into an hour-long movie, submitted it to some film festivals, and hopefully we‘ll get a deal in—sometime in 2006.
CARLSON: I‘ll be in the front row, with a cup of Starbucks and some Raisinettes, watching. Winter, thanks.
WINTER: I‘ll send you a ticket, Tucker.
CARLSON: I appreciate it. Thank you.
WINTER: Thank you.
CARLSON: Coming up, last night we told you about a guy whose idea of holiday spirit was to hang Santa in effigy in his front yard. Viewers left some cheery words of advice for him on THE SITUATION voicemail. We‘ll listen next.
CARLSON: Welcome back to THE SITUATION. The lines have been jammed all day as thousands of you have flooded our call center desperately tying to leave your opinion on our answering machine. Let‘s listen to those who got through. First up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VANESSA: Tucker, this is Vanessa from Miles (ph), New Jersey calling you. And I just watched this pastor Tom guy with the heterosexual contest. And I thought I would tell you how disappointed in you I am by letting this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) come on and talk about something like this, and have you just sit by and ask him questions, and let him answer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Letting him talk, that‘s my sin? Please. We have people whose opinions I don‘t share on every day. That‘s what makes this show interesting. Yes, I always let people talk. I thought he was kind of funny, though I do think anybody who would appear in a Mr. Heterosexual contest probably isn‘t, just my opinion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALANA: Hi, my name is Alana. I‘m calling from Oakland, Tennessee. And I‘m just sad. What a horrible, lonely person that must be in Florida that hung the Christmas—the Santa from the noose. And where is the ACLU? I‘m surprised they haven‘t jumped on that bandwagon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: I‘m sure the ACLU is for it. Where are his neighbors, by the way? They ought to be cutting down Santa, staging a rescue mission in the middle of the night. I think they‘re wusses for calling the cops.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK: My name is Chuck from Santa Barbara, California. I‘m calling about the Coulter debacle. She‘s got a podium and she‘s able to let everybody know her views. When she goes someplace, and there are a lot of people who don‘t have that opportunity, the only way they can vent their views is by heckling her. And I‘m all for the hecklers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: So you don‘t like Ann Coulter. OK. But she should still be able to speak. Let her opinion out. Preventing someone from speaking is not the same as expressing your views. If you dislike Ann Coulter, say so. Write an op-ed, write a letter to the editor, call your congressman. But let the woman speak. I mean, that‘s what open discourse and free speech are all about. Of course.
Call 1-877-TCARLSON, speaking of open discourse. That‘s 877-822-7576. We never shout you down on this show, or heckle you. Leave a message. Or you can also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Moreover, you can look at our blog anytime you want, seven days a week. Tucker.msnbc.com is the address.
Still ahead on THE SITUATION, the political process is not always pretty. Sometimes it takes a few uppercuts and body shots for a bill to become law. Fists fly on “The Cutting Room Floor,” next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time for “The Cutting Room Floor.” Here‘s Willie Geist, just back from Starbucks. Willie.
WILLIE GEIST, THE SITUATION: Hello, Tucker. We want to thank Winter for coming on the show, but that‘s an exercise in futility, if you ask me. Because it‘s kind of like saying I‘m going to introduce myself to every Chinese child. They just multiply faster than you can keep up with them. You know what I mean?
CARLSON: Not that there‘s anything wrong with that.
CARLSON: Yes, I do. I know exactly. Even the one-child policy—there should be a one-Starbucks policy.
I‘m not sure if there is anything more entertaining than a good knockdown, dragout parliamentary brawl. Happy for us, things got a little heated in the South Korean parliament today. The conservative opposition party was trying to block, quite literally, an education reform bill. It was about the children. Despite an impressive display of punching power, the opposition lost to a unanimous decision. The bill was passed.
GEIST: Now, Tucker, we don‘t do a real good job in this country teaching our kids about government. So here it is, kids: This is how a bill becomes a law. The two sides beat the crap out of each other, and the physically bigger, tougher party prevails. And that‘s how a bill becomes a law.
CARLSON: That‘s the Korean version of “School House Rock.”
GEIST: I‘ll tell you, we like to teach here on THE SITUATION.
CARLSON: Koreans really are probably the toughest people in the whole world.
GEIST: Is that right? You think they are?
CARLSON: Oh, it‘s unbelievable. You don‘t ever want to argue with one in a bar. True fact.
James Bond kills bad guys, he beds women, and he drinks martinis. He also smoke cigarettes. That‘s the way it was, but the new Bond, Daniel Craig, won‘t be lighting up in the upcoming “Casino Royale.” The producers have decided Bond won‘t smoke, because of, quote, “the need for Hollywood to set an example to young people.” This is the same Bond who said he has a problem with guns.
GEIST: So basically at this point it is going to be a romantic comedy. Bond is going to fall in love with someone on the Internet, they are going to meet on top of the Empire State Building, and everything is going to be great.
CARLSON: What I love about this is it‘s OK to kill a ton of people in your movie, that‘s setting a good example for the children, but if you light up a cigarette, that‘s bad.
GEIST: That‘s right. Well, he doesn‘t like guns either. So there might not even be guns in this movie.
CARLSON: I‘m not watching.
GEIST: I don‘t think I will either.
CARLSON: At all.
Well, we‘re going to add a special category to our awards this week. We‘ll get to the human and nonhuman awards in a moment, but first, the free-standing structure of the week. Congratulations to the Zip Feed Mills tower in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Despite the best efforts of the demolition team, the tower refused to be brought down. Twenty-five thousand people gathered to watch the state‘s tallest building crumble, but the explosives only took out the bottom floor. The botched implosion left the building listing.
GEIST: That is so sad. That demo firm is not going to get a lot of gigs down the road, I don‘t think. Can I point out one other detail? That‘s the tallest building in South Dakota, slightly larger than my garage.
That‘s so sad. If you can‘t blow up a building, it‘s poignant (ph).
CARLSON: Our nonhuman of the week are the first dogs of the United States, Barney and Miss Beasley. They get the honor for enduring the humiliation of appearing in the straight-to-video quality White House Christmas movie released this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: Both of you are an important part of our family, and you have to remember the true meaning of the holiday season. Now, you two run on, I‘ve got a lot of work to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GEIST: With all due respect to the president, that‘s porn acting right there. I‘m speaking deliberately because I‘m not classically trained in acting. You know? Respectfully.
CARLSON: That is the best thing I have seen Bush do in the last five years, though. I love dogs.
All right. Our human of the week got herself caught in a case of mistaken identity:A block of cheese mistaken for a brick of cocaine. Happens all the time. It happened in Memphis. The woman was visiting the home of four men when she thought she spotted a huge brick of cocaine. Like any right-thinking person, she decided to hire a hitman to kill the men so she could steal their drugs. Two problems: The hitmen turned out to be undercover cops, and the brick of cocaine was actually a block of delicious cheese, queso fresco cheese.
GEIST: Oh, she must be kicking herself. That wasn‘t cocaine at all.
That was delicious queso fresco cheese, using Mexican cuisine.
CARLSON: Like that‘s never happened to you, Willie.
Willie Geist. Thank you.
GEIST: Have a good weekend.
CARLSON: That‘s it for THE SITUATION for the night. Thank you for watching. Have a great weekend.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.