Guest: Thomas Friedman, Eugenie C. Scott, Terry Fox, George Allen, Chris Van Hollen
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Showdown in the Senate? Will Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist pull the trigger on the nuclear option and ban a Democratic filibuster?
Let‘s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I‘m Chris Matthews.
A filibuster fight looms, as Republicans put two judges up for Senate confirmation. Democrats turned them down once and say they‘ll do it again.
But, first, the president faces possible defeat over a major national security matter.
We begin with David Gregory at the White House.
DAVID GREGORY, NBC WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And, Chris, we‘re talking about John Bolton, who is of course the president‘s choice to be the ambassador to the United Nations.
And you got it right. His nomination is in some peril now. They know that here at the White House. There are questions about his temperament, whether he‘s the most diplomatic of choices to be a diplomatic at the U.N.
But I can tell you, from talking to senior administration officials today, that they are dug in on this, Chris. They‘re standing by Bolton. The president talked about it today, that he called on the Senate to stop playing politics with his nomination. So, he‘s really gearing up for a fight over this.
MATTHEWS: You have got two Republican senators on that committee at least, Chafee of Rhode Island and, of course, Voinovich of Ohio. I‘ve heard words about Hagel having problems. Bang, bang, bang. Isn‘t this guy dead?
GREGORY: Well, they choose to believe that he‘s not yet. They‘re certainly working, trying to work their magic over here by having phone calls, leaning on Voinovich and Hagel and Chafee, trying to answer questions, trying to make it very clear that the president wants this nomination to go through.
And this is a real question. How much will George W. Bush fight on this? They feel strongly. And there are those, like the vice president and others in this administration, who think it‘s time to send the U.N. a message that we‘re going to send a glass breaker up to the United Nations, particularly after the debate over Iraq, that the U.N. needs from the United States somebody who is really going to play tough and avoid the kind of fight that they‘ve had before.
MATTHEWS: Well, they may want to send a glass breaker, but did this president, George W. Bush, sitting in the White House know he was sending a door banger as well?
GREGORY: Well, I think he did.
MATTHEWS: I‘m talking about that alleged incident in Moscow...
MATTHEWS: Where he chased a woman down a hall, allegedly, and then began banging on the door of her hotel door. What was that about?
MATTHEWS: And what‘s the president saying about it?
GREGORY: Well, he‘s not saying anything.
But administration officials are saying, look, this woman who is making this charge didn‘t make a charge at the time. They accuse her of being a Democratic activist and that she is just generally an opponent of the administration. The administration says, look, these are trumped-up charges. The Democrats are throwing a Hail Mary here at the end. This is a guy who is well known in Washington. He‘s been confirmed before.
GREGORY: And this is an attempt to simply block him.
So, I think they‘re certainly setting themselves up to not allow the Democrats to try to win on this one. But, as you point out, they‘ve got some work to do on the Republican side as well with some people who have some serious questions still.
MATTHEWS: OK, thank you, David.
GREGORY: All right.
MATTHEWS: I‘ll see you tomorrow morning on the Imus show, which you‘ll be substituting for. What a major assignment that is.
MATTHEWS: Republican Senator George Allen of Virginia is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and supports the Bolton nomination. Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland—he‘s my congressman -- is on the House Judiciary Committee, which has absolutely no power in this matter.
MATTHEWS: Let me go to Senator Allen.
MATTHEWS: You have power. What‘s causing the wobble in those three fellow senators of yours, the Republicans?
SEN. GEORGE ALLEN ®, VIRGINIA: I think that the Democrats are trying to throw as much mud as they can, hope some of it sticks.
You know, as we went into the hearing, there‘s a lot of drama this week on it. And we thought we had all the Republicans together, with—the Democrats were hyperventilating and coming up with all these charges and so forth. And so we thought everyone was set. And it was almost like a football plan. I know you‘re a football fan.
And then, all of a sudden, when Senator Voinovich said he wanted to study this more, it was like one of our receivers went down and we were covered. And if we tried the play, it‘s going to get intercepted. So we just threw the pass out of bounds to go to second down.
MATTHEWS: Why are two other Republicans now getting their names mentioned in the buzz as also worried?
ALLEN: Well, they were—they were—they were somewhat worried in the beginning and have been.
MATTHEWS: I see.
ALLEN: But I think that, when you look at the facts—and, in fact, these charges...
MATTHEWS: Let‘s be totally fair here.
ALLEN: Go ahead.
MATTHEWS: There was that charge made. And I don‘t know this woman, someone who worked for the Agency For International Agenda.
ALLEN: Let‘s go through them one by one.
MATTHEWS: In Russia, she said—these are so—these sound like carry-on ambassador. Somebody is chasing somebody down a hallway. This woman goes into a hotel room. Somebody pounds on the door. That somebody is Bolton.
ALLEN: Right. And here‘s the reality of this. This comes out on April 18. And then we get a letter from, actually, the president of that company. And, first of all...
MATTHEWS: What‘s the company?
ALLEN: The company is International Business and Technical Consultants. And there was all sorts of questions of billing practices and whether the taxpayers were getting swindled. And, in fact, U.S. taxpayers care about this.
MATTHEWS: What about the woman running down the hall with Bolton in pursuit?
ALLEN: The woman running—allegedly running down the hall.
MATTHEWS: Allegedly, of course.
ALLEN: Headed up the Dallas chapter of Mothers Against Bush.
Here‘s what the president says. Her—“Ms. Townsel‘s recollection of what transpired 10 years later is impossible to square with the facts. As a team leader, she attempted unsuccessfully to charge the U.S. government for disallowable costs. She became enraged and abusive when our business manager, auditor and executive vice president each questioned these activities and costs.”
MATTHEWS: So, she‘s not to be believed? She‘s not to be believed?
ALLEN: She‘s not to be believed.
ALLEN: And it‘s absolutely contrary.
Now, what we‘re going to have is this happening day after day. And I suspect that the Democrats will come up with something whenever we vote in a couple or three weeks. And everything that they‘ve...
MATTHEWS: So, you say they have a whole bag of these sugar plums?
ALLEN: Oh. And in every one of them, it‘s either hearsay. It‘s not corroborated. They are just misleading.
MATTHEWS: What would work for you, Senator?
ALLEN: What would work for me?
ALLEN: John Bolton‘s proven record of performance.
ALLEN: You know what they don‘t want to bring up? That he headed up the proliferation security initiative that stopped the weapons of mass destruction from being transported and got Libya to sto—you know what they don‘t want to talk about? How John Bolton got the United Nations to drop that odious resolution that said that Zionism was akin to racism.
MATTHEWS: Was that Bolton?
ALLEN: Yes, it was John Bolton.
MATTHEWS: I thought that was Moynihan.
ALLEN: No, it was John Bolton.
MATTHEWS: Let me go to—your turn. Take as much time as you need to counter this.
REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: Look, it‘s easy to try and dismiss these things and say you‘re throwing mud at people and it‘s a big food fight.
These are some very serious allegations. If you want to get to the bottom of it, what you should do is, have some more hearings. Convene the witnesses and get to the truth of the matter.
MATTHEWS: Why are they coming in so late?
VAN HOLLEN: Well, there are lots of people who testified at the committee who brought up very serious allegations.
I think, from a national security perspective, some of the most serious allegations is, John Bolton is somebody who retaliated, threatened to fire individuals, professional civil service people, whose analysis of the facts...
MATTHEWS: Give me a name. Give me a name.
VAN HOLLEN: ... disagreed—this was testimony in front of the committee. I don‘t serve on the committee. But I have watched and listened to the testimony live when it happened. These are people who said that...
MATTHEWS: Christian Westerman.
VAN HOLLEN: I‘m sorry? If that‘s the name of the person.
VAN HOLLEN: But the fact—the fact of the matter is, this is testimony from people who said that their independent judgment was not just questioned, but that he tried to retaliate against them to try and get them fired.
Now, we‘ve got a very serious situation, it seems, in our country right now with national security questions and the credibility of intelligence. We can‘t have people who are going around firing civil servants...
VAN HOLLEN: ... for exercising their independent judgment. And that‘s exactly—that‘s a core national security issue.
MATTHEWS: Congressman, I worked in the Carter administration. And I saw fights between political appointees and the OMB and civil service and the OMB. And they got quite heated.
VAN HOLLEN: Yes.
MATTHEWS: And there were battles like, who is the boss here? Are you a GS-18? OK. I‘m the appointee. You‘re working for me. So, I‘ve seen these fights before. Aren‘t they legitimate and part of the workplace in a healthy government?
VAN HOLLEN: Look, I represent a lot of civil servants. And, obviously, there are legitimate differences and a tug and push between the different people in government.
VAN HOLLEN: But the fact of the matter is, it‘s out of bounds and I think most people would agree it‘s out of bounds to threaten to fire somebody or retaliate or abuse in any way people simply because their professional analysis differs with your ideological agenda.
That‘s what it‘s all about. We saw a failure of intelligence in Iraq.
VAN HOLLEN: That I think all sides would agree we saw a dramatic failure of intelligence in Iraq.
And this is the kind of thing we need to avoid. And this is not the type of temperament you want with somebody who‘s got one of the leading national security foreign policy positions in the country.
MATTHEWS: Excuse me. Let‘s try to distill out the issue of character, performance, competence—competitive—or competence and ideology.
Senator, I always ask people to be honest on this show. If this were a Democratic nominee for a position, that the president of a Democratic—a president—a Democratic president had put up, and you heard this testimony against this person, wouldn‘t you have questions about voting for them?
ALLEN: I‘d want to look at the truthfulness and veracity of all of these charges.
However, the main point that I look at in a position like this is their record of performance. And I think John Bolton has an outstanding record of performance. The fact that he‘s straight-talking, that he doesn‘t hold punches in dealing with the United Nations and wanting to advocate the United States‘ interest first and bringing accountability to the United Nations...
ALLEN: I that‘s important for Americans, for our taxpayers. And I actually think, ultimately, it‘s important for the United Nations.
All these—these issues about people with sensitivities actually haven‘t been proven to be true whatsoever. I think it‘s wonderful to be fascinated on how speeches are drafted.
ALLEN: But that‘s not the salient, important aspect.
MATTHEWS: What happens if you put the guy at the U.N. and he starts chasing other diplomats down the hallway pounding on their doors?
MATTHEWS: Wouldn‘t you feel a little embarrassed?
ALLEN: Oh, gosh. I think they could take it.
ALLEN: And, by the, way on this Mr. Westerman, their key witness was a Mr. Ford, a really likable character.
ALLEN: The bottom line is, Westerman is still in his job. He said that he had lost confidence in him.
The key point was what to put in a speech to the Heritage Foundation on Cuba‘s biological weapons capabilities.
ALLEN: And his speech was exactly the same as the testimony from Mr.
MATTHEWS: Congressman, if this guy were Mother Teresa, would you still oppose him?
VAN HOLLEN: This is a question of performance. As you said, look, you‘ve got Senator Voinovich.
VAN HOLLEN: You‘ve got a number of other Republican senators.
MATTHEWS: Hagel, maybe. You got Chafee. Look out.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, it‘s going to be hot. It‘s a great—I love these fights because they bring out the best in people.
Thank you, Senator George Allen and Virginia—I‘m sorry, Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen.
He‘s my congressman. You‘re watching HARDBALL on MSNBC.
MATTHEWS: Coming up, “Newsweek”‘s Michael Isikoff and “The Wall Street Journal”‘s John Fund on the battle over the Bolton nomination—when HARDBALL returns.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
President Bush says John Bolton is the right man at the right time to be U.S. ambassador to the U.N. But will allegations against Bolton sink the nomination?
“Newsweek”‘s Michael Isikoff has a new article on Bolton on Newsweek.com. And John Fund writes for “The Wall Street Journal”‘s Opinion.com.
These are stories—this story is breaking during the week. That‘s why you guys are knowing and covering everything here.
Michael Isikoff, what‘s the worst charge against John Bolton right now?
MICHAEL ISIKOFF, “NEWSWEEK”: That he pressured analysts and actually retaliated against them when they came up with analysis that was contrary to his very hard-core conservative views.
MATTHEWS: What‘s the impact on the country of those behavior—of that behavior? How does it matter? What‘s the “So what?” answer here?
ISIKOFF: Well, the “So what?,” first of all, it comes in context.
Look, we have just had a debacle over U.S. intelligence on the war in Iraq and whether—was there pressure on analysts? Was there, you know, the intelligence distorted? Here, you have Bolton, who seems to have engaged in precisely the kind of behavior that investigators have been worried about and accused the Bush administration of doing, which is distorting analysis, distorting information to fit preconceived ideological views.
And that‘s what the Senate, the Foreign Relations Committee, has been pursuing. You have the issue joined with, you know, questions being raised about Bolton‘s temperament, about whether his willingness to work in a diplomatic way with other countries that have raised questions about whether he‘s the right man for this particular job.
MATTHEWS: John Fund, let‘s talk about the serious business here, not the fact that he may have a bad temper. He‘s not the nicest guy in the world. But did he distort—did he help to distort intel that we could have used as it came in, rather than as it came out of him?
JOHN FUND, COLUMNIST, “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL”: Well, first of all, about whether or not he‘s diplomatic, this is the man who...
MATTHEWS: No, no, I want to focus on the key questions.
FUND: I realize that. This is the man who...
MATTHEWS: No. Let‘s talk about the issue.
FUND: This is the man who resolved the Moscow proliferation treaty.
Now, regarding your question, the answer is, there are a lot of people in the intelligence community who deserve to be fired over Iraq and for other intelligence failures stretching back 15, 20 years. John Bolton is not one of them. John Bolton is someone who prods the bureaucracy. No one, no one that he had disagreements with about the quality of the intelligence was fired or reassigned.
MATTHEWS: Were they repressed in what they would have done normally?
FUND: I‘m sure there was a frank and candid exchange of views. But no one was fired. And no one was reassigned.
MATTHEWS: Was he pushing a right-wing analysis on people, forcing them to come up with answers that he wanted when they were looking at foreign intel on what other countries like Iraq are up to or North Korea or Cuba or whatever? Was he forcing analysts to come up with answers he wanted, so he could justify an aggressive foreign policy?
FUND: There‘ have always been disagreements between the administration and the pure bureaucracy. And there even were disagreements about that like in the Clinton administration.
If you want to characterize it as an ideological jihad, you can do that. But that‘s not in accord with the reality. There‘s a lot of argument in the administration. Some of that argument is healthy, because it brings out differences. In the case of Iraq, it fooled everybody. And it fooled even the foreign intelligence services.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you, Mike, about this question. What‘s moving Republican senators like Chafee, Linc Chafee of Rhode Island and George Voinovich of Ohio, to more or less put on sort of a temporary abstention, saying, I don‘t want to vote yet?
MATTHEWS: What‘s bugging them?
ISIKOFF: And Chuck Hagel, and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. Look...
MATTHEWS: Is he on the Foreign Relations as well? That‘s three votes.
ISIKOFF: Exactly. That‘s three votes. And that came out of the blue. And I think that‘s what gave this story life. I think, if we were having this conversation a week ago, I think most people would have expected Bolton was going to get through the committee on a party-line vote and now...
FUND: This is, throw a monkey wrench in at the last possible moment.
ISIKOFF: But wait a second. What—what—what gave this story legs now is three Republicans balked. Three who were expected to vote for him were concerned enough by the allegations that they‘ve seen...
ISIKOFF: ... to balk.
FUND: I‘m simply saying, the same thing happened with Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas.
Now, Senator Voinovich, who is the one who said we want to postpone the hearings, he had missed all of the hearings. He had missed all of the evidence. You know, what normally happens in a situation like this in committee is, if you don‘t show up for the hearings and you‘re not sure you want to vote for the nominee, you abstain.
MATTHEWS: So, you‘re saying he‘s incompetent, Voinovich?
FUND: Well, I think he should have been on the...
MATTHEWS: No, you‘re saying that.
FUND: He should have been on the job.
MATTHEWS: How do you know he wasn‘t briefed by staff?
FUND: He did not show up for the hearings.
MATTHEWS: No. How do you know he wasn‘t briefed by staff?
FUND: He was insufficiently briefed by the staff.
MATTHEWS: How do you know?
FUND: Read the newspapers.
MATTHEWS: I do read them. What are you making—what‘s your point?
FUND: Read the Ohio...
MATTHEWS: He‘s incompetent to make a judgment that he wants to hold off his vote?
FUND: No, no. He can do that.
But, normally, what you do when you don‘t show up for the hearings, you do not, minutes before the confirmation vote, simply put every senator on the spot and your chairman on the spot, Richard Lugar.
MATTHEWS: Why would he say—I‘m just asking. Why is he saying his conscience was bothering him about this?
ISIKOFF: I mean, look, you had an accumulation of allegations that were building up against Bolton.
And they were—you know, they‘re disparate. They‘ve over—they fit into different categories.
MATTHEWS: Is it your assessment they have weight or are they just a lot of skin and bones here?
ISIKOFF: This is one of those Washington moments where, you know, battles get joined. It‘s become a partisan fight.
But, you know, as these allegations accumulate, you know, some senators start to have some pause. Now, I think one of the more serious ones—there‘s a couple of serious ones that are sort of below the surface here. First of all, it‘s a question of whether he accurately testified before the committee. And that—this was raised in the article.
MATTHEWS: Joe Biden was furious about this the other day, right or wrong.
ISIKOFF: Yes, well, he says—he was asked about—he gave a very provocative speech July 31 in South Korea in which he called life in North Korea a hellish nightmare.
FUND: It‘s true.
ISIKOFF: It may be true. But I‘m just saying...
FUND: It may be true? It is true.
FUND: Come on!
ISIKOFF: Right. I‘m not disputing that.
ISIKOFF: But it had—it had some diplomatic consequences. The North Korea—we were involved in delicate negotiations at the time, trying to get some movement on the nuclear issue. And this caused it to blow up.
MATTHEWS: ... living in a cuckoo land over there. You don‘t want to...
MATTHEWS: ... the guy.
ISIKOFF: Exactly. My only point is...
MATTHEWS: Never argue with a guy who is crazy and has nuclear weapons.
FUND: Oh, yes. Were you supposed to be nice to Hitler during World War II?
FUND: ... said a lot of things about him, too, you know.
MATTHEWS: No, no, he wasn‘t standing there with a gun that could have shot us.
ISIKOFF: The issue is, Bolton said that the speech was fully vetted by the bureaucracy and that the ambassador to South Korea thanked him for it afterwards.
Well, I talked to the Bush ambassador to South Korea, who is now out of—now retired. And he says he told Bolton to make changes in the speech, which he refused to make. So, it wasn‘t fully vetted. And his—the remarks he did make to Bolton after, which was to thank him for some changes he did make, were in no way intended to thank him for the whole speech.
MATTHEWS: More with Michael Isikoff and John Fund. When we come back, we‘ll talk about the accusations against Tom DeLay.
And still ahead, should public schools teach creationism alongside the theory of evolution? We‘ll debate that one.
You‘re watching HARDBALL on MSNBC.
MATTHEWS: I‘m back with “Newsweek”‘s Michael Isikoff and John Fund, who writes for “The Wall Street Journal”‘s OpinionJournal.com.
Mike, what‘s going on, on DeLay? Any developments there that could break this guy?
ISIKOFF: Well, you know, first of all, you have the sort of ongoing political fight between Republicans and Democrats and the ethics process. And the Democrats are balking at these Republican rules on the Ethics—you know, that were imposed on the Ethics Committee.
You know, now DeLay is saying, I‘m willing to go to the Ethics Committee. I think this one is like a jump ball right now. It could go either way. If anything, I‘d give the sort of...
MATTHEWS: ... where they‘re going to have the investigation or not?
ISIKOFF: Well, they‘re going to have an investigation. And I think DeLay may be riding it out at the moment. I mean, it‘s all sort of predicated on—the sort of theory is that there will be more and more attacks on him that would stick.
FUND: Chris, this is about 75 percent politics, about 15 percent substance, and about 10 percent policy disagreements with Tom DeLay. Tom DeLay is being investigated down in Texas by Ronnie Earle. He has not been indicted. I don‘t think that is going to happen.
That meant that the Democrats, who want to get Tom DeLay for all kinds of grievances, moved to the Ethics Committee in Washington. They‘ve been offered an investigation. But because they don‘t like the way the committee is structured, they‘re not taking the offer. I think that indicates they want this to be a political issue next year, because, since they don‘t have a Social Security, since they don‘t have a plan on the budget, they‘re going to repeat the Republican tactic and run against a corrupt Republican Congress. That‘s what this is all about.
MATTHEWS: So they want this barbecue to go on all next year?
FUND: They don‘t want Tom—they don‘t want Tom DeLay gone.
MATTHEWS: They want to keep basting him as he rotates on the rotisserie.
FUND: I mean, it‘s astonishing. They‘re being offered an investigation and saying, we don‘t quite like the way it‘s packeted.
MATTHEWS: Yes, I thought that was—Mike, it blew my mind the other day when the Republicans agreed to an ethics investigation and the Democrats began to pick points. Oh, well, we really don‘t want that investigation. I think they really wanted to investigate the guy.
ISIKOFF: Yes, but—but—but under what rules and what terms? Is it going to be a real investigation?
Remember, it was the Republican chairman of the House Ethics Committee in the past Congress who is supporting the Democrats on this. And the rules are not...
MATTHEWS: If Bolton goes down as the nominee, is that a big loss for Bush or small loss?
FUND: It‘s a medium-sized loss with potentially bigger consequences.
ISIKOFF: If it happens, it would be—yes, it would be a medium loss.
MATTHEWS: Front page of “Newsweek”?
ISIKOFF: It would be front page of “The Washington Post.” I don‘t know if it would make the cover of “Newsweek.”
FUND: It would mean—it would be the mugging of a qualified nominee.
MATTHEWS: Do you think—are you guys going to do Ann Coulter this week to catch up to “rMD-BO_TIME”?
ISIKOFF: I don‘t think so.
MATTHEWS: Just kidding you.
Thank you, Mike Isikoff and John Fund.
For a sampling of what Tom DeLay has said on all of these matters, you can read it on HARDBALL.MSNBC.com.
And we should congratulate our colleagues at MSNBC.com. They were just named the number one online news organization.
Coming up, the Kansas State Board of Education is considering whether to incorporate creationism into their science curriculum. That debate is coming up here.
This is HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
A debate is raging across several states in America about how to teach the beginnings of Earth and mankind. Proponents of intelligent design believe that evolution, Darwinism, is incomplete and that a higher power is at work and should be taught in public schools. Opponents believe there‘s no credible scientific evidence to back up intelligent design and that it‘s a religious point of view which has no place in public schools.
Reverend Terry Fox of Wichita‘s Immanuel Baptist Church is involved in a fight in Kansas to change that state‘s curriculum to include intelligent design. Eugenie C. Scott is the executive director of the National Center For Science Education, which defends the exclusive teaching of evolution in public schools.
Reverend Fox, why are we debating the why—or why aren‘t we debating the why of creation, rather than the how? What‘s so important about the how?
REV. TERRY FOX, IMMANUEL BAPTIST CHURCH: Well, the how is important, Chris, because a lot of people out there are very interested in this subject.
For a long, long time, one side has been taught in public schools. And, you know, Chris, if you poll the American people, you find that all people out there believe that we came from somewhere. Now, the question, where do we come from? The interesting thing is, the majority of people in America happen to believe that God created men and therefore God has a purpose for mankind.
What we‘re saying is, we believe that the side that the majority people hold, the view that the majority hold is that God created man. And all we‘re asking for is that people be given the right to discuss both sides of the issue and that students be able to look at both sides, instead of just evolution that has been taught exclusively all these years in public school.
MATTHEWS: But I went to a religious school where the teacher said to us at the beginning of biology class the first day—and this is a religious, Christian school—that you‘re entitled to believe in creationism if you want. We‘re going to be teaching evolution here. And that‘s in the context of Christianity.
So, why isn‘t it done that—why isn‘t that the right way to do it? Why do you have to have religious context presented throughout the discussions of science?
FOX: Well, because I think that the Bible speaks very plainly and clearly about the origin of man.
MATTHEWS: But why do you have to keep reminding students of that in a science class? You can simply say that up front. We all believe this, that this is how God did it and then proceed from there in a scientific fashion.
FOX: Because I think there‘s a lot of science taught in creation and intelligent design.
You know, Chris, just because we believe that God made man and God created us, it doesn‘t mean that we‘re intelligent or there‘s not a lot of science involved. When you think about evolution, you see all the false teachings of evolution. Most of it has never been proven and it will not stand on solid ground. And true intellectualism, Chris, why not offer both? Why not say, OK, if creationism is a legitimate view held by I believe the majority of people—certainly the majority of people in America do believe that God created us—what‘s wrong with presenting both views and letting the students decide which one they want to believe?
MATTHEWS: I guess because I don‘t see the dispute between creationism and evolution. I don‘t understand why there are different points of view. One is that God created the Earth. He did it through evolution.
FOX: Well, then, let me ask you this, Chris. Then, why is there such an outcry of even saying in the textbooks that evolution is a theory, not a fact? Even if you try to put a sticker in a textbook and you say, much of this is not even proven, the liberals and the left go completely crazy.
And I believe the reason is, they‘re afraid to give the students both ideas and let the students choose which side they want to believe.
MATTHEWS: Let‘s go to the other side of this argument.
Eugenie C. Scott, what is your view about including this religious information in a science class?
EUGENIE C. SCOTT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCIENCE
EDUCATION: Well, I think you put your finger right on the problem, Chris.
You expressed one Christian position, which is called theistic evolution. That‘s the view that God created through the process of evolution. There are many forms of theistic evolution. Reverend Fox expressed another Christian position, which is called special creation, which is, God created everything all at one time in its present form.
Now, Reverend Fox was talking about teaching both. There‘s more than two. And we haven‘t even exhausted Christianity, much less all the other possible religions of the world. And I think the question that we really ought to be asking is, what are we supposed to be teaching in high school science class? Because that‘s what this issue is really all about. And what we should be teaching in high school science class is the consensus view of science, which is that living things have common ancestors.
And we know some mechanisms that bring this about. And we have some ideas about the pattern, that this change through time took place. This is what we should be teaching.
MATTHEWS: Reverend Fox, is that—I don‘t want...
SCOTT: Not religious views masquerading as science.
MATTHEWS: I don‘t want Eugenie to put words in your mouth.
Reverend Fox, do you believe that everything we see on Earth today, in terms of the species, the kingdoms, the families of animals, that all of them are as they were millions of years ago? Do you believe that?
FOX: I really don‘t. And I think there‘s—I really don‘t believe that. And I think a lot of people don‘t believe it.
There‘s a lot of discussion about how old the Earth is and different theories of that. You know, it‘s bigger than that. She talks about, well, there‘s different views of creationism. What we‘d like to say is, let‘s present some of these views to the students. I mean, when you look at evolution, you find 1,000 different views of evolution. So, there‘s not just one view of evolution. And so, I think her argument is unfounded.
SCOTT: Well, that‘s actually not...
MATTHEWS: Do you believe in the begets, the begets in the Old Testament in Genesis adding up to the present time? Do you believe that that string of marriages in children reflects the true history of man going back to Adam?
FOX: Chris, I believe every single word in the Bible. I don‘t understand all of it, but I believe all of it. And I believe most Americans believe most of the Bible.
MATTHEWS: No, the specificity of those—of that generation of mankind, going back from Adam to the times of the Old Testament, do you believe that that accounts for the history of man?
FOX: I believe that you can trace the history of the man through the Bible, absolutely.
MATTHEWS: Literally through those generational developments?
FOX: I believe that. I believe that the Bible is...
MATTHEWS: All right, that‘s fine. I‘m just trying to find out.
MATTHEWS: Because I think, if you do the math, it doesn‘t add up to all the millions of years of man‘s existence.
But, Eugenie, what do you think is the harm of teaching some religious theory, along with the scientific theory?
SCOTT: I think there‘s nothing wrong with teaching comparative religion. I think we should know more about religion, just as we should know more about science.
But what we‘re talking about is, what do you teach in a science class? People on my side of this issue are perfectly happy to have religion described. But that‘s not what is going on. They want to advocate a specific religious view and pretend that it‘s science. That just simply is not good education.
MATTHEWS: Do you believe that everything we live—do you think our lives, who we are, the world around us, was an accident of some explosion millions of years ago and it led to everything we see? Do you believe it was all just natural selection or just an accident of scientific development?
SCOTT: Well, I‘m talking about what we teach in the high school science class.
MATTHEWS: What do you believe? What do you believe?
SCOTT: Who cares? Who cares what Genie Scott believes? That‘s, you know...
MATTHEWS: I‘m asking you. That‘s what...
SCOTT: My own personal philosophy?
MATTHEWS: I‘m curious. I‘m curious.
FOX: Chris, there‘s the point.
MATTHEWS: Do you believe it was all just one big accident?
SCOTT: It is...
MATTHEWS: I don‘t think most people believe it was one big accident. It‘s hard to imagination the sophistication and dynamics and wonder of this world was just an accident. Some grenade went off two or three million years ago and everything happened. It just boggles the mind that it‘s the case.
SCOTT: And many Christians believe that God had a hand.
FOX: Chris, that‘s exactly—exactly what you are saying.
MATTHEWS: I‘m sorry. We have to continue. This is worth a lot more than 10 minutes.
FOX: But the question is, what do we teach in science class?
MATTHEWS: I would love to get back to this. We‘ll get back to this.
Thank you both. I‘m sorry for keeping it short. But I have to.
FOX: Thanks, Chris. It was good to be here.
MATTHEWS: Eugenie Scott, thank you very much for coming in.
Reverend Terry Fox, thank you.
When we come back, Thomas Friedman will be here to explain why he believes the world is flat, speaking of evolution.
MATTHEWS: Coming up, Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author Thomas Friedman will be here to explain why he thinks globalization has made the world flat—when HARDBALL returns.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and best-selling author Thomas Friedman has written a new book about globalization entitled “The World Is Flat.” In it, he warns that the United States is in a state of quiet crisis for having fallen behind in education, science and engineering.
I want to thank you.
Are we losing this war? Are we losing ground in the world economically?
THOMAS FRIEDMAN, “THE NEW YORK TIMES”: There‘s no question we‘re losing ground, Chris.
The term quiet crisis is a term coined by Shirley Ann Jackson, who is the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic, one of the top polytechnics in our country. And her point really is that the generation of engineers and scientists who were inspired to go into engineering and science by President Kennedy and the moon shot, they are retiring or they are dying off. And we never really replaced them. We replaced them by importing Indians and Chinese, basically, among others.
FRIEDMAN: Well, two things have happened since the world went flat. One was 9/11. And we said to all the world‘s first-round intellectual draft choices, you know, you might want to stay at home, because you might have transited Saudi Arabia‘s airport once, number one.
And the second thing is, when the world is flat, you can innovate without having to emigrate. So, you can stay home in Bangalore, wear a sari, eat curry, live in an extended family, watch Bollywood movies, and you don‘t have to come here. And, as a result, we‘re not filling in with the young engineers and scientists we need.
Chris, we had a remarkable story here about a month ago in this country. Bill Gates, the country‘s really leading industrialist, went before the Governor‘s Conference and told the 50 governors of these United States, your high school education is obsolete, OK? You‘re not producing young people who can work at my company. That‘s what we should have been talking about, not Michael Jackson and Terri Schiavo.
FRIEDMAN: That‘s a big deal. And, when the world is flat, eventually, that will catch up with us.
MATTHEWS: I remember being in a graduation, Tom, at Drexel University in Philadelphia. It‘s an engineering school. And there was all the Ph.D candidates who all were getting their degrees. And after about 50 East Asian names and South Asian names, finally, a guy name Fisher‘s name was announced for Ph.D. And everyone applauded.
MATTHEWS: And my mother said, is he a popular kid?
MATTHEWS: And my brother said, no, if this was Penn, he‘d be a popular kid. This was just he had an American—quote—“Western”-sounding name.
MATTHEWS: And so, didn‘t this phenomenon of Asian kids championing the sciences start a long time ago?
FRIEDMAN: It did. And that‘s because we didn‘t fill in the gap.
Chris, when was the last time you met a 12-year-old who said they wanted to be an engineer, boy or girl, you know? Bill Brody, the president of Johns...
MATTHEWS: My daughter wants to be a doctor or a Marine biologist.
FRIEDMAN: Well, that‘s—that‘s halfway home.
FRIEDMAN: But Bill Brody, the president of John Hopkins, tells a story in the book where he discovered one day that the entire math graduate program at Johns Hopkins was from the People‘s Republic of China. How did he discover it? A parent called and complained that his son, an undergraduate, couldn‘t understand his calculus teacher, who was one of these Chinese graduate students and was complaining because his accent was too thick.
And Bill looked into it and discovered the whole math program was from China. So, this has been going on for a while. But, when the world is flat, a lot of these people may go home. A lot may not come. And where innovation happens really matters. It matters that Google is in Silicon Valley.
MATTHEWS: Let‘s talk the politics a bit. I‘m getting ahead here in your book.
But, in the last campaign, there was a lot of talk about this. John Kerry thought he could exploit the issue in states like Ohio, where there‘s so many men and women out of work who had real jobs and now they have jobs they don‘t think are real. They used to make $25, $30 something an hour, make $30,000 or $40,000 a year. Now they‘re not making that anymore, even though they‘re trying hard to provide for their families.
Why do we have to call Bangalore to get our computer fixed?
FRIEDMAN: Well, partly because it‘s just cheaper to do, not just talk about Bangalore. It could be North Dakota. It could be South Texas. It could be India.
MATTHEWS: Are phone rates cheaper now?
FRIEDMAN: When the world is flat, one of the things that happened that we accidentally did at the end of the 1990s, thanks to the dot-com boom and the dot-com bubble, is that we accidentally wired the world with fiberoptic cable, $1 trillion in five years. No one paid attention.
And all those wild companies that you and I talked about, Global Crossing, Nortel, Lucent...
FRIEDMAN: Well, what they were doing with all that money, basically, was wiring the world. And the accidental byproduct of that was to make Bangalore and Bethesda next-door neighbors.
MATTHEWS: And good communication on the phone. It sounds like next door.
MATTHEWS: And it‘s inexpensive, relatively.
FRIEDMAN: And it‘s inexpensive. And so it can be next door. Now, there‘s an exciting part of this, too.
MATTHEWS: That‘s your point.
MATTHEWS: You don‘t have to come here to make the buck from America.
FRIEDMAN: Exactly. You can innovate without having to emigrate. But here‘s the exciting part about...
MATTHEWS: What does a guy make who—or woman—who answers the phone over there, in American dollars?
FRIEDMAN: They make about $250 a month starting. And then they can go up, $400, $600. It depends. Some work on commission and whatnot.
Now, the good thing that‘s happened is that they‘re running out of people there, too, because the supply actually isn‘t as infinite as it looks. So, we‘re seeing wages rise in China. And, in Bangalore, it‘s hard now to get engineers. So, what is happening? I talk to Tata Consulting Services in my book. They‘re looking for engineers where? In Montevideo, Uruguay. Tata Consulting Services of Mumbai, India, has a big office in Uruguay, through which they manage GE‘s supply chain in South America.
MATTHEWS: If you had to talk to a bunch of working guys and working women in the Midwest right now, who are losing our industrial base—they‘re not losing it. It‘s being lost around them.
MATTHEWS: And there was a labor guy, a real firebrand there, saying, we got to close the door to trade; we got to stop this outsourcing; we got to fight for our people here, what would you say to him?
MATTHEWS: Is it brain power?
MATTHEWS: Or is it cheaper services overseas?
FRIEDMAN: I would say it‘s partly both. And that‘s the really scary thing.
China and India, Chris, are not just racing us to the bottom. In fact, they‘re not racing up—they‘re racing us to the top. and One of the dirty little secrets about outsourcing is, a lot of it is really jobs that the high-skill companies here are not finding enough of the engineering talent here. That‘s the really scary part about it.
Now, what I say to that worker is, first of all, I totally understand. I wouldn‘t want to be in that situation. When you‘re unemployed, the unemployment rate isn‘t 5.2 percent. It‘s 100 percent. And we got to think about how to cushion those people and how to transition as many as possible to be skilled for the flat world. There‘s just no other choice.
But let‘s remember something else, Chris. We‘re the biggest recipients of outsourcing, OK? But what are countries outsourcing to us? Legal work. OK. Design work. Consulting. Advertising. Marketing. That‘s why the two coasts, which are these huge service centers, are really exploding. That‘s why real estate prices are so high.
MATTHEWS: The kid coming out of Anacostia, in a public school here in this town, a kid coming out of Bethesda in part of this world, a kid coming out of Philadelphia or the suburbs or New York or L.A. or San Francisco, that kid, boy or girl, has to grow up with the realization there are not legacies anymore.
MATTHEWS: There are no more legacies. There‘s no more advantage from coming your dad or coming from a rich country, because you now have to compete individually against a kid growing up in Bangalore.
FRIEDMAN: That is what my book is about, yes.
MATTHEWS: Because of?
MATTHEWS: How is the world flat now?
FRIEDMAN: Well, here‘s exactly how it‘s flat, OK; 35 years ago, Chris, if you had a choice of being a genius born in Beijing or a B student in Bethesda, you would have chosen B student in Bethesda.
FRIEDMAN: Your life choices were so much better back then, your life opportunities. Today, when the world is flat, you don‘t want to be that B student in Bethesda. You want to be the genius in Beijing, because, when the world is flat, you can now plug and play, compete and collaborate even.
MATTHEWS: Well, as a matter of taste, I‘d still rather be the B student.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, up next, I‘ll ask Tom Friedman if globalization has helped the Arab world. That‘s an interesting question, cutting edge, and why he thinks we haven‘t been attacked by terrorists. That‘s another question. This guy knows his Middle East since 9/11.
And don‘t forget to check out Hardblogger, our political blog Web site. Just go to HARDBALL.MSNBC.com.
MATTHEWS: We‘re back with Tom Friedman, author of the new book “The World Is Flat.” You point is, the world is flat in terms of competition. And the kid growing up in this country right now has to compete with the kid in Japan, China, wherever.
What about the part of the world that isn‘t competing, sub-Sahara Africa in many cases, some of our own inner cities, where kids aren‘t computerized; they‘re not thinking on this level?
MATTHEWS: They‘re screwed, right?
FRIEDMAN: I have a chapter in the book, Chris, called—yes, called “The Unflat World.”
MATTHEWS: What do they have to sell 10, 20 years from now?
FRIEDMAN: They don‘t. And the job we have as a world community—because when you don‘t visit a bad neighborhood, what we just learned on 9/11, it just might visit you.
MATTHEWS: You mean that globally?
FRIEDMAN: Yes, exactly.
And so, to me, there are sort of three big sections of the unflat world. One is the too sick, those communities caught in the grip of HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis.
MATTHEWS: Sub-Sahara Africa.
FRIEDMAN: Sub-Sahara Africa.
MATTHEWS: It‘s terrible.
FRIEDMAN: Second are the too unable. That can be inner city America.
It can be rural China. It can be rural India. They‘ve been to Bangalore. They‘ve been to the city. They‘re kind of half flat. They‘ve seen the riches. They‘d like to be a part of it, but they don‘t have the tools, not the knowledge tools and often not even the infrastructure.
A third group I called the too frustrated. And that really is the Arab Muslim world, because they‘ve also seen the flat world.
MATTHEWS: They were ahead of us.
FRIEDMAN: They were ahead of us back at one time.
MATTHEWS: Go back pretty far.
FRIEDMAN: And now they‘re feeling frustrated because they know they‘re behind.
And one of the things that happens when the world goes flat, Chris, is, you get your humiliation fiberoptically. You get it 56 K now right in the face, because you can see just where that caravan is and just how far behind you are.
MATTHEWS: Excuse me. If you get up in the morning bright and early, have your cup of tea or cup of coffee, punch into your computer, what do you see that dazzles you right now if you‘re a poor kid in the third part of the world, Third World?
FRIEDMAN: Well, first of all, you‘re going to get a stream of advertisements for everything from cell phones to iPods to new cars, Toyotas, toasters and microwaves.
MATTHEWS: Things you can‘t buy.
FRIEDMAN: Things you can‘t buy, but you can see them better than ever.
Second thing you might is get the news that India has a labor shortage of engineers. And you look around in your own country and you realize your young people aren‘t getting the education opportunities to even be in that pool. I talk in the book about going to Infosys, kind of the Microsoft of India, and seeing their campus.
They got one million applications last year for 9,000 engineering jobs or technical jobs.
MATTHEWS: Let me run through your thoughts. There was a time when we knew you could trade products. That‘s called trading. That‘s what Columbus was into. The Spanish even were into it, mainly the British.
Then there was a time we realized you could move somewhere to get a job, like we all came here, a lot of us. The American Indians didn‘t, but we all came here, not all of us freely. African-Americans didn‘t come here on their own will.
MATTHEWS: And now we have an age when you can send your brain around the world. And that‘s the one we‘re at right now, right? Your brain can travel. With a computer, you can write a great column that appears in newspapers in Hong Kong, right? You do it twice, three times a week.
FRIEDMAN: Well, yes.
MATTHEWS: Right? But you can also send ideas and you can send product. What‘s the product that you can transmit now over line or over the air that makes you money? Suppose you‘re a guy in the Third World. How do you make money?
FRIEDMAN: Well, let me give you an example of someone I profile in the world, Roger Shrow (ph). He‘s an Indian gamemaker. OK, here‘s a guy who started a game company in Bangalore that today, Chris, owns the global rights to Charlie Chaplin image for cell phone games. OK? This is a 30-something...
MATTHEWS: They found the Chaplin family legacy.
FRIEDMAN: They went off to Geneva and bought it. And now you want to see Charlie Chaplin on a cell phone, it‘s owned by Roger Shrow (ph), a young Indian entrepreneur. He did this from Bangalore.
MATTHEWS: Remember the two guys—I don‘t want to get in trouble here—the two guys who used to live in a house boat? They were gay and they would write the most fantastic fund-raising letters in the country. They never had to come to civilization.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you this. An answer of one to 10, how good does it look to have a constitution in Iraq?
FRIEDMAN: Well, that‘s a big deal. You know...
MATTHEWS: One to 10. Give me the bet. Give me the odds.
FRIEDMAN: Oh, how—we get it?
MATTHEWS: Five? Seven?
FRIEDMAN: Seven. I think we‘ll get one, yes.
MATTHEWS: We‘ll get one?
MATTHEWS: And a constitution that doesn‘t include some Sharia stuff about stoning women or something who had adultery?
FRIEDMAN: Yes, I think we will.
MATTHEWS: And it will work.
FRIEDMAN: But it‘s going to take time. It‘s going to take time.
MATTHEWS: You‘re still relatively hawkish on the Iraq war, right?
FRIEDMAN: Yes. I think we‘re doing—what we‘re doing right now is somewhat quite remarkable, Chris. We‘re sponsoring the first horizontal dialogue in the history of the Arab world.
Not a vertical, top-down monologue, but a horizontal dialogue.
FRIEDMAN: Among Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds. It‘s really hard. This is going to take a long time. And the reason it‘s getting so violent is because the bad guys know that they‘re losing and they‘re not going to go quietly.
MATTHEWS: The day we leave Iraq, will we be under fire?
FRIEDMAN: I don‘t know. I really don‘t know.
MATTHEWS: That‘s a good question.
FRIEDMAN: Because I don‘t think we‘re going to leave Iraq in total for a long time.
MATTHEWS: Do we run the risk of leaving behind an insurgency that we couldn‘t handle, we couldn‘t get rid of, that will be strong enough to overthrow a government there?
FRIEDMAN: I don‘t know. There‘s a danger of that, but I think over time, Iraqis want what we‘re selling. But it‘s going to take time and the bad guys are not going to go down...
MATTHEWS: You have a global brain, my friend. You‘re amazing. You amaze me every time you write a book.
Tom Friedman, another brilliant book, “The World Is Flat.” To read an excerpt, go to HARDBALL.MSNBC.com.
Tomorrow, Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, talks about his organization‘s controversial telecast protesting the Democratic filibuster of judicial nominations.
Right now, it‘s time for the “COUNTDOWN” with Keith.
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