updated 3/21/2006 10:48:29 AM ET 2006-03-21T15:48:29

Guests: James Jeffrey, Brian Barnard, Pramila Jayapal, Michelle L’Amour

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”:  And to prove it wasn’t a scam, they squeezed the venom out of him at the end of the show, like they do to me every night. 

That’s all the time we have for tonight.  THE SITUATION with Tucker Carlson starts right now.  Tucker, you snake charmer, what’s the situation tonight?

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  You’re a venomous man, Joe.  Thank you.

SCARBOROUGH:  That I am. 

CARLSON:  Multiple situations in fact on tap tonight; including news polygamists are using the gay rights movement as a stepping stone to win their own bottle for legal acceptance. 

Plus, a live burlesque—burlesquercize.  You can’t pronounce it, but you’ll see it.  Demonstration from Miss Exotic World 2005.

We start, though, with strong words from President Bush about Iraq.  Speaking before a mostly sympathetic crowd on the third anniversary of the U.S. invasion, the president insisted that progress is, in fact, being made in Iraq, despite increasing skepticism here at home.  And it is increasing.

According to the latest Pew survey, two-thirds of Americans say we’re losing ground in that war.  Here’s the president’s response to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  It takes time to understand and adjust to the brutality of the enemy in Iraq.  Yet the strategy is working.  And we know it’s working because the people of Tal Afar are showing their gratitude for the good work that Americans have given on their behalf. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  The strategy in Iraq is working, says the president.  Here to help us exactly know what the president means by that, Ambassador James Jeffrey.  He’s a senior advisor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the coordinator of our Iraq policy.  Ambassador Jeffrey joins me from Washington tonight.

Ambassador Jeffrey, thanks a lot for coming on. 

AMBASSADOR JAMES JEFFREY, SENIOR ADVISOR TO SECRETARY OF STATE RICE: 

Thank you very much, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  It’s hard to know what the president means by that.  Just a macro question first: do you think if he had to do it all over again, the president would reinvade Iraq?

JEFFREY:  Well, I think you would have to ask him that.  I know, as one who spent years out of Turkey and Kuwait, trying to contain Saddam before 2003, that policy was not working. 

CARLSON:  OK.  But I guess from the point of view of the average person reading the newspapers, Iraq seems very chaotic, incredibly dangerous, not at all like the place we were promised three years ago.  It seems very disappointing.

How is it—what is the president talking about when he says this is working, the strategy?

JEFFREY:  Well, the president made a very clear point on Saturday, Tucker, that progress is slow, but it is sure.  And those of us who have been on the ground have seen that.  I certainly wouldn’t want to trade where I am today with where I was when I landed in Baghdad in May of 2004. 

What we’ve seen is two elections and a constitutional referendum.  We are making progress—the Iraqis are making progress on standing up their government. 

We’ve made some progress on economics, but that’s an area where, as the president says, we’ve had setbacks.

And on the security front, the Iraqis truly, after several false starts, are really doing well, particularly the Iraqi army.  That’s the most encouraging thing that I’ve seen.  In the end, the Iraqis are going to have to solve this problem, but they still need our help and we’re giving it. 

CARLSON:  You can’t even drive into the country.  I mean, as far as I know, at least as of last week, it was pretty much impossible to take a car from Kuwait City to Baghdad.  Not that far by land, but you can’t because it’s too dangerous.  I mean, is the security situation improving at all?  It doesn’t seem to be from this vantage point.

JEFFREY:  Well, thousands of people drive into Iraq.  It is a dangerous country.  There are insurgents.  There is a breakdown of law and order in some areas.  But nonetheless, for example, a year and a half ago many of our convoys were getting hit coming into the country.  We don’t see that anymore.

What we do see is, for example, the road to the airport is now secure by Iraqi troops.  We also see that numbers for U.S. casualties and those killed in action have dropped significantly.  It still is tragic, but we do see a significant drop in U.S. casualties over the last few months and we believe that that shows that the insurgency is having second thoughts, as the political progress continues. 

CARLSON:  The president today, in his address in Cleveland, gave the example of the city Tal Afar where he says American forces came in, liberated it, and then left.  The city was completely taken over again by members of al Qaeda.  Terror ensued, American forces came back, reliberated this.  And he gave this up as an example of the good things we’re doing. 

But doesn’t it also suggest that we’re going to have to be there indefinitely?  Because the minute we pull out, chaos will become even worse?

JEFFREY:  No.  I’ll give you a good example.  In Fallujah, where we were, as you know, a major military campaign.  After we liberated Fallujah, we left the Iraqi security forces in the city.  I visited about six months ago, and the city was in much, much better shape. 

CARLSON:  Now, Mr. Allawi, the former—the interim prime minister, said the other day to the BBC that Iraq is reaching “a point of no return,” quote, and that a civil war is already under way. 

Those remarks were kind of brushed aside blithely by the vice president this weekend.  Why don’t we take seriously Mr. Allawi’s point of view?  I mean, he is, after all, Iraqi, was prime minister.  If he says there’s a civil war in progress, how can we deny that?

JEFFREY:  Like—Ayad Allawi, he’s one of our—one of the many people who has served his country well and we’ve worked closely with.  But we’ve also worked with others.  For example, Prime Minister Jaafari in today’s “Washington Post” made it very clear, and we agreed with him, he does not see a civil war imminent.  We have a problem with sectarian violence.  It spiked up after the attack on the Askariyah Mosque in Samarra, but it appears to be under control now. 

CARLSON:  The vice president also went on to say that creating a democracy in Iraq would, quote, “put pressure” on surrounding autocratic regimes to liberalize.  And it made me wonder, do we really want democratic countries?  Do we want a fully democratic Egypt, for example, or Jordan?  I mean, wouldn’t Islamic parties immediately come to power in those countries, parties that hate us.  Wouldn’t that be bad for us, if they’re democracies?

JEFFREY:  That’s a very good point, Tucker, but here I’m with the vice president.  I think he laid out very well how we changed our attitude after September 11. 

This wasn’t a business as usual problem.  It wasn’t something to deal with short range police efforts.  It required military and political effort to try to get to the root causes, meaning in Lebanon, in the Palestinian areas, in Lebanon, in Syria, Iran or Iraq.  I think we’re making progress.  But again, this is going to be a challenge for a generation. 

CARLSON:  But progress toward what?  I mean, you look, there’s a man now on trial in Afghanistan, facing the death penalty.  His crime: converting to Christianity from Islam.  I think another way of saying Afghanistan returning to a state of, you know, Islamic lunacy, is my point of view on it anyway.               

How can we be certain that Iraq, when it does become a full fledged democracy, won’t become an even more aggressive Islamic state?

JEFFREY:  Well, I think we can be sure that one thing it will not become is a country just like America, and that’s not the standard that we’re willing to use.  What we’re trying to say is it certainly will not be the crazed dictatorial state under Saddam Hussein that invaded two of its neighbors, spread poison gas over tens of thousands of its own citizens and fired rockets at Israel. 

CARLSON:  Sure.  But why don’t we create a state that is good for us?  In other words, all these -- 2,300 Americans have died so far to secure democracy for Iraq.  Are we willing to let it become what it will?  I mean, if it does become an Islamic state, are we going to be satisfied with that?  Will those lives have been worth being lost?

JEFFREY:  The problem I have with that, Tucker, is in your first words, why don’t we create?

CARLSON:  Yes, that’s right. 

JEFFREY:  We do not create anything permanent in the Middle East.  What we have to do is assist Iraqis and other people in the Middle East to create systems just like we saw in East Asia, just like we saw in World War II after the second world—in Europe after the Second World War, that can, themselves, take responsibility and become productive members of the international community.

It worked in other areas.  As the president said today, he doesn’t believe that we can rule out a whole area of the world that cannot participate in democracy and peaceful international relations. 

CARLSON:  We also said to Japan you can’t have an army, but we’re going to leave Iraq with their army in place.  I mean, it seems to me there are differences, obviously?

JEFFREY:  No, I believe that, nevertheless, a long view is the view we have to take with the situation in the Middle East. 

CARLSON:  All right.  Ambassador James Jeffrey, a man in charge of that view, thanks a lot for joining us. 

Now for a new segment we’re rolling out tonight, called “Under the Radar.”  Every day, we plan to bring you stories you may not have seen on television yet or read about online. 

For instance, did you know that polygamy is being hailed as, quote, “the next civil rights movement”?  The HBO series “Big Love” has brought new attention to the ancient practice.  And now a Utah man named Gene Lee Cook is suing for his right to have multiple wives. 

Using the victories of the gay rights movement as a backdrop, Cook claims his constitutional rights to privacy and to intimate expression have been violated by the government. 

Brian Barnard is the attorney representing Mr. Cook.  He joins us live tonight from Salt Lake City to discuss the case.  Mr. Barnard, thanks for coming on.

BRIAN BARNARD, ATTORNEY:  Sure thing.

CARLSON:  You’re a lawyer.  Most of our viewers, I hope, are not.  So give us a nonlegalese-ridden description of why victories in the gay rights movement are, in your view, going to make polygamy legal?

BARNARD:  Under the Utah statute that prohibits polygamy, it becomes a crime for a married person to simply live with another person to whom he is not married in a sexual relationship.

CARLSON:  Right.

BARNARD:  That is the crime of polygamy.  You don’t need—in Utah, you don’t need to have a second marriage ceremony.  You don’t need fraud.  Under the decision of Lawrence v. Texas from two and a half years ago, the United States Supreme Court said you cannot criminalize intimate sexual conduct between adults. 

CARLSON:  OK.

BARNARD:  In that case it was a situation involving hetero—homosexual males who engaged in sodomy.  The Supreme Court said you can’t make that personal conduct into a crime. 

In Utah, if my client lives with a woman to whom he is not married, he commits the crime of polygamy or bigamy.  So what the Utah state legislature has done is made that intimate sexual relationship into a crime. 

CARLSON:  OK.  So that’s a little bit different than legalizing polygamy, I’m certain in the vast majority of the other 49 states it’s perfectly legal to live with someone in a sexual relationship to whom you’re not married.  But that’s not polygamy.  Polygamy is marrying more than one person.  Right?

BARNARD:  Well, in Utah, though, you don’t have to marry in the sense of getting a marriage license and going through a marriage ceremony to commit the crime.  It is that relationship: living with someone to whom you’re not married, when you are married, is the crime of polygamy.  And so that’s similar to the situation with the sodomy in Texas. 

CARLSON:  Yes, it sounds very similar.  Now are you for gay marriage, incidentally?

BARNARD:  I think that people should have the right to have a relationship with whomever they choose to have that relationship. 

CARLSON:  When you think of polygamists, you think either of breakaway sects of Mormons in Utah or Arizona or Colorado, the mountain west, or you think of Muslim groups in the Midwest or you think of, you know, Laotian people who are polygamists.  You think of religious or traditional people practicing polygamy.  You don’t think of people who are sympathetic to gay rights. 

Do you see a certain irony in polygamists using victories won by the gay rights movement to justify their relationships?

BARNARD:  Well, I don’t know that polygamists are using those decisions with regard to gay rights.  Polygamists have been advocating their position for religious purposes for 100 plus years.  They have been saying, “We have the right to practice our religion, and our religion includes the practice of polygamy.” 

CARLSON:  Right. 

BARNARD:  My clients believe that, in order to obtain eternal salvation, they must practice polygamy.  So they’ve been arguing that position, the religious aspects, for 100-plus years in the United States. 

CARLSON:  And they’ve gotten nowhere.  In fact, they’ve really raised the ire of the government at various points to the point of violence, as you know.  I wonder, though, why you think far more people support gay marriage than support polygamy. 

BARNARD:  Well, that’s interesting, too, because if you look at marriage on a spectrum, if you look at traditional marriage at one end, you have a relationship between people of the opposite gender, with the possibility of procreation. 

Polygamy is between people of the opposite gender, again, with the possibility of procreation between the two of them—between the parties. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

BARNARD:  And at the far end of the spectrum is gay marriage, where people of the same gender, without the possibility of procreation.  So on a spectrum you’re really need to say that polygamist marriages should be more acceptable, if you will. 

CARLSON:  And not just procreation, big-time procreation.  Brigham Young had over 50 children.  So you think that people would be more accepting.  Why do you think they’re not?

BARNARD:  Polygamy is odd; it’s strange; it’s unusual.  Why the—why the national interest in a television program about polygamy?  Because it’s odd; it’s strange; it’s different.  People want to know what’s going on in Utah and want to see what polygamy is all about. 

CARLSON:  Well, it’s also titillating.  Let’s be totally honest.  That’s the interest.  The interest is the sexual prurient interest.  People want to know what the sleeping arrangements are.  And that’s the bottom line.  What are the sleeping arrangements, by the way?

BARNARD:  I have no idea. 

CARLSON:  All right.  Well, when you find out I hope you come back and tell us.  Brian Barnard.

BARNARD:  Sure. 

CARLSON:  Thanks a lot. 

Still to come, activists have set up what they’re calling a hate free zone in Seattle.  Does that mean if you’re against what they’re for, illegal immigration, you’re for hatred?  Find out ahead.

Plus President Bush used the third anniversary of the war in Iraq to lay out his case for progress there.  But did it sound a little familiar to you?  We’ll shuttle back in time to show you the last five times we’ve heard almost exactly the same thing, when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I’m seeing someone. 

BILL PAXTON, ACTOR:  No.  Is it serious?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I haven’t told Verna and Jo-Jo.  I wanted to make sure before I get everyone’s hopes up.  We talked about it a month ago, and all agreed it was time to add another wife to the family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Well, it’s not your typical way of growing a family, but HBO’s “Big Love” is giving people a glimpse of what life is like for some polygamists.  And some day, polygamy and gay marriage may both be commonplace, especially if activists succeed in redefining marriage.

Here to give us her take on all of this is MSNBC contributor Flavia Colgan, joining us live tonight from Burbank.

Flavia, this is happening.  I don’t know what I think of the legal reasoning.  I’m not an attorney, thank God.  But the rhetorical case is air-tight for polygamy here.  As long as you’re redefining marriage away from one man and woman, it’s arbitrary and indefensible to stop with two men or two women.  What’s the rationale for excluding polygamists?  There just isn’t one.

FLAVIA COLGAN, MSNBC NEWS ANALYST:  Well, I mean, the argument right now that a lot of Republicans, or the conservatives are making, which I have to say I think is a complete red herring, and because of Iraq and a lot of other things, they have to roll back these sort of visceral social issues to get people scared and freaked out.  The fact of the matter is...

CARLSON:  Wait, wait, wait.  Just for the record, for one thing, I opposed the invasion of Iraq. 

COLGAN:  Yes.

CARLSON:  I’m not spreading anyone’s agenda here.  I just think—I think if it’s a talking point, it’s a totally true talking point.  Why is that not true?

COLGAN:  Well, because I don’t think that there is a connection between—I think it’s a specious argument.  If you look at the actual case law that we’re discussing, and they’re trying to make a connection between Lawrence. 

Lawrence discussed private sexual behavior within the home, which is something I think people can have a sort of reasonable expectation of privacy. 

CARLSON:  Right.

COLGAN:  What we’re talking about in terms of polygamy, at least in 49 of the states—I mean, Utah, this guy introduced something very different.  Marriage is a public act, with consequences for society. Lawrence does not deal with gay marriage.  So No. 1...

CARLSON:  Right.  Lawrence v. Texas, the legal case. 

COLGAN:  In that case.  And No. 2, right.  And sodomy—sodomy is something, although it’s not particularly appealing to me, is something that heterosexuals can engage in.  So it’s a violation of equal protection for someone to say just because you’re gay you can’t engage in...

CARLSON:  I’m not even arguing—I’m not arguing at all with the points you’re making.  You may be entirely right.  And the legal case we just heard from our previous guest may be faulty.

But I’m talking about the legal case.  I’m talking about the rhetorical and the moral case.  What is the justification, if we’re redefining marriage, for exclude polygamy?  If it’s no longer one man, one woman, why can’t it be one man and three women?  Or one woman and three men?  What’s the argument against it?

COLGAN:  Yes, one woman and three—yes, Tucker.  How come it’s never one woman and three men, by the way?  I might be a little bit more into polygamy, if that were the case. 

CARLSON:  Well, good luck with that.  Because the men would kill each other, obviously, as you know.  But legally—what’s the argument? 

COLGAN:  But in all—but in all seriousness, 92 percent of Americans are against polygamy. 

CARLSON:  So?

COLGAN:  And as your previous guest says.  I think one of the reasons for that is there has been a very documented, very storied history in terms of polygamists being involved in coercion.  These people are not getting married on their own free will: child abuse, child marriages, and huge amounts of welfare fraud.  I mean, there’s a lot of negative...

CARLSON:  Wait a second.  Wait a second.  Hold on.  I’m not going to sit back—I’m not going to sit back, Flavia, and allow you to cast aspersions to slur an entire group. 

Fifty thousand polygamists, at least, in this country, by all estimates, and not all of them are committing welfare fraud or marrying children.  I mean, it’s unfair to write off the idea just because its practitioners can be, in some cases, kind of kooky.

I want to know—and you’re proving my point.  You don’t have a real objection, a logical objection, or case against polygamy.  So—and neither do I, even though I’m uncomfortable with it, too. 

COLGAN:  I believe that these—look, I believe that these cases—and we’ve had this discussion before—should be a states rights issue.  If people want to redefine the definition of marriage, this should be something that’s taken to the legislature.

The same way that I don’t believe in a constitutional amendment so we can write in discrimination into our Constitution, I think that these things should be taken to the legislature. 

And I personally believe that our society has come to a time and place where people feel that gays should be given a consensual—you know, in a monogamous relationship, should be given the same rights as a male and female. 

CARLSON:  Right.

COLGAN:  I do not think we are in the same position in this society based on polygamy.  And I think that if that’s taken to the legislature, that would be borne out. 

CARLSON:  You’re absolutely right.

COLGAN:  This show called “Big Love”, you know, could be interesting. 

I think a lot of—ironically...

CARLSON:  Flavia, when it’s taken to the courts I think we’re going to get a different outcome.  And 15 years from now, you and your many sister wives can come on this show and explain how you were wrong and in fact it’s not so bad.  And I look forward to that.  You have an open invitation once you—once you join up...

COLGAN:  I think one guy—I think one guy would have trouble handling me on his own.  I don’t know that it would fare too well with a couple wives. 

CARLSON:  We will see.  Flavia Colgan from L.A. tonight.  Thanks, Flavia. 

COLGAN:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Up next, looking for a luxurious condominium to rent but short on cash?  A Florida man will consider payment of another kind.  But only from nubile young ladies.  We’ll explain when THE SITUATION returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Plagued by growing skepticism about the war in Iraq, President Bush is trying to boost morale here at home this week.  But after three years of waging a pretty aggressive P.R. campaign, the White House is finding it harder to gets its message across.

Here now, a timeline of the top five times President Bush has told us not to worry about Iraq, because everything is going great. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BUSH:  In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. 

CARLSON (voice-over):  May 1, 2003, President Bush shocks and awes the nation by declaring victory aboard the USS Lincoln, but this mission was far from accomplished. 

BUSH:  Now, because we have made the hard journey, we can see the valley below. 

CARLSON:  September 2, 2004, fighting for Iraqi democracy and reelection, the incumbent insists he’s got the terrorists on the run. 

BUSH:  And they should be afraid, because freedom is on the march. 

CARLSON:  February 2, 2005, George Bush delivers yet another optimistic state of the war address. 

BUSH:  The advance of freedom will lead to peace.  That advance has great momentum in our time. 

CARLSON:  March 19, 2006, Dick Cheney sticks to his pro war guns. 

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I think we are going to succeed in Iraq.  I think the evidence is overwhelming. 

CARLSON:  March 20, 2006, President Bush marks the third anniversary of the war by trying to boost sagging morale here at home. 

BUSH:  The decision to remove Saddam Hussein was a difficult decision. 

The decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Stop the war!

CARLSON:  But the president’s growing dissenters may beg to differ. 

SEN. JOE BIDEN (D), DELAWARE:  And all the king’s horses and all the king’s men will not be able to hold Iraq together. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON:  Depressing. 

Well, something else that caught my eye tonight, a man named Abdul Rahman is on trial for his life in Afghanistan this week.  His crime?  Converting to Christianity.  He’s not accused of burning mosques or of denouncing Mohammed or even trying to convert anyone else.  He was merely a Christian. 

According to authorities, he was, quote, “found to be carrying a Bible.”  The judge in this case has promised to allow Abdul Rahman one more chance to renounce Christianity, because as the judge put it, the religion of Islam is one of tolerance. 

But if he’s convicted, if he does not renounce his new religion, he will be executed. 

You may be surprised to learn that being a Christian is a capital offense in Afghanistan.  We have, after all, liberated that country from the Taliban, losing 278 American soldiers in the process. 

While the Taliban are gone, many of that country’s medieval laws are not.  They’re still there.  In fact, they’re enshrined in the country’s constitution, the constitution we helped write and made possible. 

See, here’s how it works.  On September 11, a little over four years ago, Islamic extremists based in Afghanistan attacked us, killing thousands.  We, in turn, lost hundreds of men liberating that country from the Taliban and the Islamic extremists who ran it, only to see the country becoming run again by Islamic extremists.

We should do something about this, and we can.  The United States government should do something about this, because while it is an independent country, with its own government, we have the right to influence it.  We’ve paid for that right, and I hope we exercise it. 

Coming up, shed your inhibitions and a few pounds, a live demonstration of bumping and grinding for fitness’ sake, when THE SITUATION comes back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still to come, should churches that help illegal aliens be punished for doing so?  And do whiney kids grow up to be conservatives or liberals or independents?  Maybe Nader voters?  We’ll get to that in just a minute.  But first, a glimpse of what else is going on in the world tonight.

(NEWSBREAK) 

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Illegal immigrants break the law by definition, but are groups that help the illegals accessories to that crime?  That’s a question being debated around the country but especially tonight in Washington state, where activists have organized to fight new federal legislation—proposed legislation that would punish those who abet illegal immigrants. 

Joining me now from Seattle is Pramila Jayapal.  She’s executive director of the Hate Free Zone Washington, a group that advocates for illegal immigrants. 

Pramila Jayapal, thanks for joining us.

PRAMILA JAYAPAL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HATE FREE ZONE WASHINGTON:  Thank you very much for having me. 

CARLSON:  It does seem a little odd to be advocating for people who break the law by definition, doesn’t it?  I mean, aren’t you a little embarrassed to be on the side of people who are flouting the law like this?

JAYAPAL:  Not at all.  Because I think what we know, and this is really across party lines, Tucker, is that the immigration system is broken and it needs to be fixed. 

And it needs to be fixed comprehensively, because this country depends on immigrant workers, but we don’t have a system that reflects that.  Our system is absolutely antiquated.

CARLSON:  Right.

JAYAPAL:  And so what we’re saying right now is we really need a system that comprehensively looks at the fact that we need these workers in the United States, we need to be able to provide a pathway to citizenship.  We need to be able to allow them to be here legally and to do the work that they are doing and that we need. 

CARLSON:  Well, actually, don’t we really need to listen to what the American people want?  I mean, this is a democracy, after all.

JAYAPAL:  Yes.

CARLSON:  It’s a representative government, and so if the voters say, “Actually, we don’t want any more illegal immigrants”, that’s kind of the way it works, isn’t it?  Congress passes laws and we obey them.

JAYAPAL:  Yes, it’s a great point, because right now about ¾ of the American people in the latest polls that I’ve seen say that if people are working hard, if they’re doing good work, if they’re paying their taxes and they’re integrating into society, then they should absolutely be able to have earned citizenship. 

CARLSON:  That makes—that makes sense.  Then there is a ballot initiative, I believe, in your state.  There have been similar initiatives in other states that say, look, if you’re an illegal immigrant in the state of Washington, you are not entitled to government money in the form of social programs.  You can’t get government aid if you’re here illegally.  So you must be for that.  If that passes, you’ll abide by that, right?

JAYAPAL:  The flaw—the flaw in that argument, Tucker, is that that assumes that we have a system that works.  Right now half a million workers are required in this economy, and we don’t have them to provide in the United States.  So first you have to start with the system. 

CARLSON:  Well, that’s a completely—excuse me, with all due respect that’s an utterly subjective and I think debatable, probably false assertion.  I mean...

JAYAPAL:  Not at all.  Not at all.  I mean, right now we have about 10 percent of a number of industries in this country...

CARLSON:  Right.

JAYAPAL:   Many of them even, you know, a larger percentage, but at least 10 percent of a number of significant industries that use the workforce of undocumented laborers. 

CARLSON:  Of course, because they want cheap labor.  They could pay higher wages and hire actual Americans if they wanted to, but they don’t want to.  So you know, they like illegal immigrants.

JAYAPAL:  I think right now, what you see is this incredibly broad coalition of business, of labor, of faith, of immigrant rights groups, human rights groups, coming out to say, “Look, we recognize the system is broken.  We’ve got to fix it.”

CARLSON:  OK.

JAYAPAL:  And we can’t—we absolutely should make sure that people who are here, that are undocumented, do pay a fine, that there are certain things that they have to meet in order to have their earned citizenship.  But without fixing that, we are never going to solve this problem. 

We have tripled the amount we have spent on border security, Tucker, in the last 10 years.

CARLSON:  Right.

JAYAPAL:   And, in spite of that, we have had since 1990 about nine million people come over the borders. 

CARLSON:  That’s because—that’s because interest groups like yours and politicians like the president of this country welcome—welcome illegal immigrants.  Business—big business profits from them, the Democratic Party gets more voters with them, right?  But the average person is mad about it.  If we built a wall along the Mexican border, guess what?  No more illegal immigrants.  Period.

JAYAPAL:  I don’t agree.  No, that’s not true. 

CARLSON:  Of course it’s true. 

JAYAPAL:  First of all, it would take $9 billion to build a wall all the way across the border. 

CARLSON:  OK.

JAYAPAL:  That’s not going to stop people from coming in.  They’ll just figure out another way to come in.  Because the fact is that you’ve got—you’ve got higher wages here.  You’ve got people that are coming over because they need the work, and they’ve got families to support. 

CARLSON:  Because they want the work.  Wait, hold on—because they want—let’s be honest.  I actually like immigrants, and I don’t mean to sound like someone who doesn’t.  But they’re here illegally.  You can get here legally. 

People can’t sneak in from Africa, so they don’t.  We don’t have a lot of illegal immigrants from Africa.  We have legal immigrants from Africa who are a great addition to our society.  All we’re asking is people to come here legally.  That’s the only point.

JAYAPAL:  Well, actually, even legally, if you look at the system right now, part of the bill that we support in Congress right now is the McCain-Kennedy bill. 

Part of comprehensive immigration reform is not just the path to citizenship for undocumented workers, but also the ability for families to be together.  Because right now we have such antiquated laws around how many people we allow into this country that we cannot accommodate all the people that are applying to be here legally.  Do you know that right now the average wait to bring a child into this country is about 12 years? 

CARLSON:  Well, maybe...

JAYAPAL:  So we are talking about people who are trying to get here legally. 

CARLSON:  And maybe if you stopped illegal immigration, or slowed it down considerably, people would be more tolerant of legal immigration.  That would be a good thing, I think a point at which you and I can agree.

Thanks for joining us. 

JAYAPAL:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  We turn now to a man who exists in a perpetual hate-free zone.  He is, as always, here to defend the indefensible.  He is “The Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host Max Kellerman—Max. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO:  And yet I find the topics today immensely defendable. 

CARLSON:  You do?

KELLERMAN:  Yes, I do. 

CARLSON:  Well, let’s see if you can do it. 

First up, if you’re looking for a cheap place to live and you don’t mind hooking up with your roommate a couple of times a week, we’ve got a perfect place for you. 

A Florida man has placed a classified ad that reads, quote, “Upscale executive seeks beautiful female, 18 to 24, to live in his luxury condo in Coral Gables for $1 a month in exchange for some light duties.”  Those light duties include helping to take care of the dog, cooking, and having sex with him twice a week. 

Some say the exchange of sex for housing is not only wrong but possibly illegal for of prostitution. 

As you can see in this snazzy graphic, I’ll be defending the public’s right to trade sex for shelter.  That’s me on the left.  And Max will bravely take the other side of the debate. 

Max, look, I mean, this is—above all, this is a private contract between two individuals, that I just don’t think needs state interference on any level at all, you know.  If this guy want to work out some non-coercive arrangement with a woman who is foolish enough to enter into it, that’s kind of their business. 

KELLERMAN:  Who says she’s foolish to enter into it?  Look, this is America.  In America, as was the topic earlier about polygamy, consenting adults are supposed to do—be able to do whatever they want to each other...

CARLSON:  Yes.

KELLERMAN:  ... whether it’s marrying multiple partners, marrying someone of the same sex, prostitution, marijuana.  As long as you’re not hurting anyone else, it’s really none of the government’s business. 

However, the government has made it their business, and here is a clear exchange of money for services, one of them being sexual.  And it’s illegal.  I mean, it shouldn’t be, but it is.  It’s illegal. 

CARLSON:  Except it’s different from prostitution in this regard.  This guy is promising to live with the woman.  He is making a long-term commitment to her. 

KELLERMAN:  Ah!

CARLSON:  Yes.  Yes.

KELLERMAN:  So in other words, because there are—what’s a marriage contract, after all?  It involves a sexual component and a financial component. 

CARLSON:  That’s exactly right. 

KELLERMAN:  What’s a domestic partnership?  Domestic partnership is not even a marriage, and there’s a contract that involves, potentially, sexual and financial commitments to each other.  In this case, however, the guy is also charging one dollar, and that is his undoing. 

CARLSON:  Come on!

KELLERMAN:  He is.  He’s charging $1.

CARLSON:  This guy—this guy...

KELLERMAN:  That is prostitution. 

CARLSON:  He’s not looking for a hooker or an escort service.  He’s looking for a girlfriend, and if this is the only way he can get it, I feel sorry for him, but you know, judge not.  Maybe better than Match.com.

Well, there’s an absurd study out today that suggests whiny, wimpy little kids are more likely to grow up to be conservative.  The “Journal of Research into Personality”, whatever that is, published the research of a U.C. Berkeley professor who tracked 95 people for 20 years. 

He claims that insecure kids sought the reassurance provided by the tradition and authority of conservative politics.  The study found that confident and self-reliant kids mostly grew up to be liberals. 

I’ll be taking, of course, the only rational position, which is the study is a joke, hardly worthy of our time.  But we can’t resist talking about it anyway.  Max gets the other side.  Good luck with that.

Look, this is—this study is disproved by experiential evidence.  In other words, your life experience tells you this is wrong.  Who is whinier, Barbra Streisand, right, or I don’t know pick any conservative celebrity. 

KELLERMAN:  Clint Eastwood? 

CARLSON:  Clint Eastwood, exactly.  Right. 

KELLERMAN:  There’s the typical—there’s the perfect...

CARLSON:  That’s exactly right.  I was thinking Charlton Heston, but you know, the point is made. 

KELLERMAN:  Here it is, Tucker.  Here’s the argument.  Let me first start by saying, liberal, the term “liberal” has been co-opted by the right to the point where Democrats should really just drop it. 

CARLSON:  They’re trying. 

KELLERMAN:  It’s done. 

CARLSON:  They’re not going to get away with it, though.

KELLERMAN:  But—so but when you say conservative-liberal and divide it along those lines, one means generous, liberal, and the other, conservative, means holding back. 

But what if you divide it along these lines, which traditionally it has been divided along: conservative, maintaining the status quo; progressive, looking to change and deal with change. 

And if you look at it along those lines, and I would suggest the Democratic Party does, now start calling themselves progressive...

CARLSON:  Well, they’re trying.

KELLERMAN:  ... how do kids react to a changing world?  I mean, when you’re a kid, and you’re going through the development changes, not only are you changing but the world is changing.

CARLSON:  OK.

KELLERMAN:  The way you’re interacting with the world is changing. 

Conservatives stop it.  It’s like a regression into early childhood.

CARLSON:  No!

KELLERMAN:  It is.  Stop the change.  Maintain the status quo. 

CARLSON:  It’s the essence of adulthood.  I take care of myself; you take care of yourself.  I’ll leave you alone; you leave me alone.  That’s the essence of conservatism.

And look, it is—the whiniest people I know are liberals.  And that’s just the broadest definition.  They voted for John Kerry and Al Gore in the last two elections.  They’re the ones who always say, “You can’t do that.  Put that cigarette out.  You know, stand up straight.  Do this, do that.  That’s got, you know, some—that’s not whole wheat, that’s white.  What kind of car do you drive?”  Judging you in every possible way.

KELLERMAN:  No, no.  Let’s just keep insisting that what we wish—let’s keep insisting that what we wish is true is actually reality.  We’re making progress in Iraq.  No really, we are.  No, it was.  It was because of weapons of mass destruction.  The world is the way I want it to be, not necessarily—we don’t need to get information from unbiased sources.  We don’t need to let actual people who look at data make decisions.  We can let—we can let the political arm of the...

CARLSON:  No.  As I have said—as I have said from day one on this show, President Bush, whatever his strengths, whatever his faults, is not a conservative.  Hasn’t been, is not now, never will be. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, let’s just say generally, conservatives voted for Bush, just as you said, generally the progressives voted for Kerry. 

CARLSON:  You kind of have me there, but I’m still going to slither out of it by saying voting for someone and being that person are two different things.  But I kind see what you mean, but you’re still wrong.

KELLERMAN:  You did not say that in a whiny way, Tucker, I have to admit. 

CARLSON:  Thank you, Max.  And neither did you.  Great job (ph).

Max Kellerman, thanks. 

Still to come, say good-bye to the South Beach Diet.  Toss your Thigh Master to the curb.  The newest fitness craze will have you taking your clothes off.  The perfect way to the perfect body.  It’s burlesquercise, and it’s live on THE SITUATION, next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SUNITA SOHONI, PRODUCER:  Coming up, who knew strip dancing could be so good for you?  A revealing live demonstration of the newest fitness craze, just ahead.  Plus, the Donald closes a huge deal.

CARLSON:  In 60 seconds, we’ll be right back.  Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

For too long the diet and fitness industries have preyed on the insecurity of an American public obsessed with the way it looks.  Well, tonight we say good-bye to gimmick diets and magic pills.  We’ve got the last word in getting the body you’ve always dreamed of.  That word: burlesquercize.

Yes, it’s old-fashioned Moulin Rouge style strip dancing, and here to demonstrate it, professional burlesque dancer, burlesquercize instructor and, we should mention, Miss Exotic World 2005, Michelle L’Amour.  Miss L’Amour joins us live tonight from Chicago.

Michelle, it’s great to see you.  Does this really work?  You look fit.  Can you actually take off pounds by taking your clothes off in the way you do?

MICHELLE L’AMOUR, BURLESQUERCIZE INSTRUCTOR:  Absolutely.   

I have many testimonials. 

CARLSON:  Now, the people who come to you for instruction on burlesquercize, are they looking to get fit or better in the sack or what’s their motivation most of the time?

L’AMOUR:  Most of the time it’s to enhance their personal life and learn some fun moves.  But then they find in the process that they’re getting in shape and gaining more confidence about their body.  So it’s really great to expose them to this art of burlesque and striptease. 

CARLSON:  And a legitimate form of exercise, better than the Thigh Master, right?  Without further adieu, I would love to see you take your clothes off, or exercise, or both.

L’AMOUR:  Well, thanks. 

CARLSON:  Here we go, Michelle L’Amour from Chicago, demonstrating burlesquercize. 

(MUSIC)

CARLSON:  All right!  Michelle L’Amour.  There is no one like you at my gym, and I mean that. 

L’AMOUR:  That’s a shame. 

CARLSON:  You are amazing.  I am so impressed.  You make exercise fun.  I think every single one of our viewers would choose you over the Stairmaster any day of the week, and I hope this fitness craze sweeps the nation.  America’s men thank you, and so do I.

L’AMOUR:  Thank you very much.

CARLSON:  Michelle L’Amour, a burlesquercize instructor, perhaps the only one in the world, joining us live tonight from Chicago.  You’re terrific.  Thank you, Michelle. 

L’AMOUR:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Still ahead on THE SITUATION, no, you’re not seeing things. 

That is, in fact, a moose sitting in the passenger seat of someone’s car. 

We’ll tell you how he got there when we come back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for “The Cutting Room Floor.”  Joining us now, the man who’s now putting his clothes on, Willie Geist. 

WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER:  Tucker, I just want to say first of all, we’re finished.  I am appalled; I am shocked by that last segment, and I’d like to go back to it just for a second.  There she is.  Hi, Michelle, how are you?

L’AMOUR:  Hi, boys. 

GEIST:  Looking wonderful this evening.  Do you give classes in the New York area or just Chicago?

L’AMOUR:  I do have classes in Chicago, L.A., San Francisco and Toronto.

GEIST:  Toronto.  We can get to Toronto.

L’AMOUR:  But—you know, if you’re looking for me New York, I’d for sure come out. 

CARLSON:  If you come to New York, Michelle, you’re welcome on our set any time.  You make fitness fun.  You know, I can’t think of another form of exercising that isn’t depressing.  You’ve changed my view.

GEIST:  So much less—so much less painful than Pilates. 

CARLSON:  Exactly.

GEIST:  Thank you, Michelle.

CARLSON:  Thank you.

GEIST:  Well done.  Now, try to go from there.

CARLSON:  I’m a fan.  All right, I can.

We’ve got a good story tonight.  If Donald Trump’s name is attached to a project, it’s going to be done one way, with class.  You can bet the baby boy his wife Melania delivered this morning will be among the classiest ever born.  The Trumps reportedly named their son Barron William.  Donald has four other kids by two of his other wives. 

And why are you looking at me, Willie?

GEIST:  Melania.  Everybody knows Melania. 

CARLSON:  I don’t read “Us” magazine.

GEIST:  She’s Mrs. Trump now.  Everybody knows her. 

We don’t have many details on this story, but you can rest assured the delivery was performed by the top doctor, in the top hospital in New York, which is, by the way, the top city in the world, as a matter of fact. 

What kind of a dad do you think he is?  Does he help you with your algebra homework and play catch in the yard?

CARLSON:  “New York” magazine had a piece saying his kids are actually pretty normal. 

GEIST:  No, they are actually pretty normal. 

CARLSON:  Is that true?

GEIST:  Yes.

CARLSON:  That’s amazing. 

GEIST:  Growing up in gilded apartments.  That’s weird. 

CARLSON:  Now to something you don’t see every day: a moose riding shotgun in somebody’s car.  A Massachusetts woman collided with a 500-pound moose while she was driving the other night.  Somehow the animal wound up sitting upright in the passenger’s seat with his head sticking out the windshield.  The woman helped firemen get the moose out of the car and suffered only minor injuries, herself. 

GEIST:  The amazing thing about this story, the moose called shotgun right before he barreled through the windshield.  Unbelievable.

Actually, that looks like a set up to me.  Doesn’t it?  It’s too—the way he’s seated and everything.  It’s too convenient. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

GEIST:  I don’t believe it. 

CARLSON:  Well, the pursuit of world records has made people do some pretty stupid things over the years, but this one takes the cake.  This Malaysian man is kissing—that’s right, kissing—a venomous king cobra, that wants nothing more than to kill him.  The crazed person kissed the deadly 15-foot snake 51 times in just over three minutes, to set the new world record for cobra kissing. 

GEIST:  As you know, Tucker, I’m very, very hard on “The Guinness Book of World Records.”

CARLSON:  Yes, you are, Willie.

GEIST:  But this guy belongs.  This is a good record.  That is amazing.  The previous record was 15, and he did it 51 types.  Next, he’s going for most times tickling a grizzly bear, I think.  What are you doing?

CARLSON:  I’m more for most bubble blowing or most hand shaking.  I’m sorry. 

GEIST:  It’s a little too extreme.

CARLSON:  Even for me, a libertarian, I disapprove.

Willie Geist, thank you. 

GEIST:  All right, Tucker.  See you tomorrow. 

CARLSON:  That’s it for us tonight.  Thank you for watching.  Up next, “COUNTDOWN” with Keith.  Have a great night.  See you tomorrow. 

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