Guest: Max Kellerman, Jay Severin, Rachel Maddow, Charlie Rangel
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST (voice-over): A war of words about Iraq. Should we stay the course or surrender the fight?
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The suffering is real.
CARLSON: Could a recent Supreme Court ruling hit one justice too close to home?
And the Einstein factor, why math genius has little relativity to money smarts.
A natural-born heavyweight. Meet the big enchilada.
Plus, E.T. is back, and, this time, he‘s packing heat.
Yes, I‘ve got a problem with authority. I‘ll admit that, in a cheery way. Not everyone likes the bow tie, I‘ll be honest. But I like the bow tie. I respect people who believe something, even if I don‘t agree with them. It‘s my opinion, wrong as it may be.
CARLSON: Welcome back to THE SITUATION. I‘m Tucker Carlson. We‘re back after a night off.
Plenty of compelling stories tonight, including the sale of corporate naming rights in the Detroit school district, plus a new Mexican postage stamp that has black people justifiably enraged.
Joining me now, national political adviser to more than 100 campaigns and New England talk show radio host Jay Severin, and from Air America Radio Network and a personal adviser to me, Rachel Maddow.
CARLSON: Our first situation, President Bush‘s address to the country last night about the war in Iraq. The speech marked a national conversation that continues today. Are we winning? When are we getting out and what does Iraq have to do with 9/11?
Here‘s a sample of what the president said last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: Setting an artificial timetable would send the wrong message to the Iraqis, who need to know that America will not leave before the job is done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: What is he supposed to say, Jay? I mean, I—I believe, as you do, that the war was a mistake and that it‘s not going well.
But, given that, he—you know, it—you have to say more than that if you‘re president. I thought he made a pretty good case for not setting a timetable for bringing the troops home. And, more interesting, he made a pretty good case for not adding more troops, that it would send a signal to the Iraqis that we‘re there forever.
JAY SEVERIN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The question is, did he make his case? The answer to me is, absolutely not.
There‘s a logic chain here. You don‘t grade the speech until after you‘ve heard it, but you have the calculus beforehand. We knew why the president was giving a speech, because people either don‘t understand or don‘t support the rationale for the war. Thus, the president had to say something new and persuasive in order to either give understanding or to persuade somebody.
He did neither. And, therefore, the speech, like the war that spawned it, was a total failure.
RACHEL MADDOW, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: See, the most important thing for me heading into the speech was that “Washington Post” poll that came out this week that says that, for the first time, a majority of Americans think that the president deliberately misled the country going into the war.
That is a mind-blowing statistic. I mean, people feel that there was a deliberate lie there. And so, did he in his speech answer those concerns? Did he say, listen, this is why we went there; this is why we were wrong; this is why we‘re there now?
MADDOW: He didn‘t answer any of those questions.
CARLSON: What that poll doesn‘t ask, which is a much more interesting and important question, is, why would the president mislead us going into war? I‘m against the war. I think it was a mistake. I don‘t buy the idea we went in for sinister reasons.
And if there‘s one thing the speech reassured me of last night is that our reasons, misguided as the war itself may be, are honorable. We‘re not there for oil. We‘re not there to colonize the Middle East. We‘re there to bring democracy to the region. I have misgivings about whether it can be done, but I don‘t think we‘re there for any impure reason.
MADDOW: But he has—he needs to address the fact that he said we were going there to disarm Iraq. We‘re not there to disarm Iraq. The weapons weren‘t there.
We‘re now there for all of these other reasons that we never signed on for. And the American people don‘t support those reasons enough to justify the war.
CARLSON: Well, duh, duh. But what is he supposed to say? I mean, we made a colossal mistake. I mean, you know, there‘s not too much more to say about it.
MADDOW: He needs to come up with a reason that holds water.
SEVERIN: There was a terrible mistake.
CARLSON: All right, next up, critical situation in journalism today.
This afternoon, a judge delayed for a week the sentencing of “TIME” magazine‘s Matt Cooper and “The New York Times” reporter Judith Miller. Both face up to 18 months in prison for withholding their sources in the case that exposed Valerie Plame as a CIA officer.
Yesterday, a court ordered three print journalists and a television reporter to divulge their sources in the case of Wen Ho Lee, who was accused of stealing nuclear secrets for China in 1999.
These are both cases where the courts intersect with journalism, but I think the first one is far more significant. These two people, Matt Cooper and Judy Miller of “The Times,” had really nothing to do with the case itself.
CARLSON: And both of them are facing a year-and-a-half in jail. It‘s a complete outrage. It‘s a total miscarriage of justice. I don‘t even see the other side of this. I don‘t even think there is a valid argument on the other side. And yet, nobody is saying anything because people hate the press.
MADDOW: Well, I do think—I think the press has been beaten up on for so long that we do hate the press. They‘re an easy scapegoat.
The thing that‘s amazing to me about this case is, kind of it‘s become this perverse way that we understand it. It‘s become about Cooper and Miller. And why aren‘t we talking about the fact that somebody in the administration outed a covert CIA operative?
CARLSON: Well, she wasn‘t covert. She worked at headquarters in Washington. I mean...
MADDOW: She was a CIA operative who was outed by a member of the administration in retaliation by—for Joe Wilson saying something against the president.
I mean, that is an incredible story and we‘re not talking about that part of it anymore.
CARLSON: Except that part is not true. But...
SEVERIN: I bring news. There is an argument on the other side.
CARLSON: Well, tell me, because I...
SEVERIN: Full disclosure. Judith Miller is an acquaintance of mine and someone whose work I very much admire.
On the other hand, here‘s the other side. The government has a right and obligation to protect us, which equals a Central Intelligence Agency, which equals covert agents, which equals it‘s a federal crime to out a covert agent of the CIA who‘s trying to protect this country.
MADDOW: That‘s right.
SEVERIN: And a grand jury does have the right to try and find out about a federal crime that may have been committed.
You know, you really have to be an absolutist on the First Amendment to take the one case in a million and say that this is going to compromise...
CARLSON: Wait. You had me up until the last part. Obviously, we have the right to protect ourselves and to keep secrets secret.
However, Judy Miller wrote not word one about this case in “The New York Times” or anywhere else.
SEVERIN: No, but she—but she failed to respond to a legitimate inquiry—so goes the argument—by a federal grand jury to find out whether and how a federal crime may have been committed. So, you can‘t use the shield of being a journalist for everything.
CARLSON: Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor doing this, ought to be ashamed of himself. And I hope history records this as the travesty it is.
MADDOW: It ought to be about the crime, not about the press freedom.
CARLSON: Next situation, last week, Supreme Court Justice David Souter sided with the majority on the court in a ruling—in a ruling that allows real estate developers to confiscate private property under the principle of eminent domain.
It‘s a big deal, didn‘t get enough attention. The decision did give Californian Logan Darrow Clements a pretty good idea. Clements has asked the town of Weare, New Hampshire, for permission to build a hotel at 34 Cilley Hill Road, which, not at all coincidentally, is currently the home address of one David Souter Esquire.
Clements argues that a hotel would throw off more tax revenue than the Souter home. And the truth is, it would. He wants to build a hotel called the Lost Liberty Hotel, opening Just Desserts Cafe Restaurant on the premises.
SEVERIN: You have to love this.
CARLSON: And he ought to. And I would like to hear very much Justice Souter explain why he shouldn‘t or why he shouldn‘t be allowed to.
SEVERIN: Exactly right. Three things occur to me, Dickensian, poetic justice, and the richest of all, the four words chiseled over the Supreme Court building in Washington, equal justice under the law.
MADDOW: The thing about this publicity stunt, it is a good publicity stunt. It‘s very clever. It‘s got a lot of clever elements to it.
SEVERIN: He says he‘s deadly serious about it, by the way.
MADDOW: Right. But it‘s a publicity stunt. I mean, he wants to not put the Gideon Bible in the rooms. He wants to put Ayn Rand in the rooms, right?
SEVERIN: Yes. Yes.
MADDOW: It‘s a publicity stunt.
But there is a creepy element to this publicity stunt, which is that now we all know that David Souter lives at 34 Cilley Hill in Weare, New Hampshire. And I don‘t—with all the attacks on judges, I don‘t want to know the direct street address of members of the Supreme Court.
CARLSON: Well, I...
MADDOW: And I don‘t think any of us should know. And maps to their houses are now all online.
CARLSON: Well, I suspect you could look it up on Switchboard.com, because, in fact...
CARLSON: ... David Souter spends most of his time in Washington siding with the majority in stupid decisions like this.
CARLSON: But it would provide an opportunity for him to explain in a public forum why he shouldn‘t have to live by the law he just created. Why shouldn‘t his house become a hotel? I would like to hear him explain that.
MADDOW: They—well, he tried to do did in his opinion. I think the stunt is a little creepy, though, because of the address thing.
CARLSON: Well, at some point, we‘re going to run out of empty space in which to advertise. And that time appears to be drawing nearer in suburban Detroit.
The Plymouth-Canton School District will pursue a plan to sell naming rights to its building and athletic facilities. While a board member assures the world that we won‘t be seeing Pepsi Elementary, residents soon could be packing lunches and sending the kids off to Dodson Elementary presented by SBC.
You know, this reminds me—in Washington, whenever the federal government has a budget problem, the first thing they threaten to do is close Yellowstone National Park, because everyone loves Yellowstone.
MADDOW: Right. Right.
CARLSON: This is a kind of publicity stunt.
OK, the fact is that public schools in this country have enough money. Parochial schools, which everyone agrees do a better job educating kids, use less money per student. The problem is not a lack of money. It‘s bloat, bloat, corruption. It‘s the fact that schools aren‘t run well. The bureaucracies are too big. It‘s not a money problem.
SEVERIN: It‘s a teachers union problem. And, according to the teachers union, by the way..
MADDOW: You guys—the way you go after schools is so incredible to me. It‘s so consistent.
MADDOW: Just public schools.
SEVERIN: No, no, no, the teachers—I said the teachers union.
MADDOW: Right. Exactly. The scapegoat.
SEVERIN: And, by the way, we spend more per student than anywhere else in the world. So, we ought to be seeing some results.
The teachers union, by the way, the political dimension of this, much better, in the view of the teachers union, that it be Pepsi High than dead white European male high, something named after Jefferson or someone like that.
CARLSON: Wait. No, but—and—Rachel...
CARLSON: You will concede there is no direct correlation between the amount of money spent per kid and the achievement of those kids. There just isn‘t. School districts that have very little money in, say, Vermont, Northern Massachusetts, have really good schools. Schools in Cleveland, a lot of money, bad schools.
MADDOW: Money is one aspect of something that makes education good.
You guys always blame the teachers union for everything that is wrong with schools.
CARLSON: No, just most things.
MADDOW: Just most things.
I mean, I just think that education is something that does need to be fully funded, that we need to keep advertising away from kids. We don‘t need to be renaming schools. And beating up on schools for having poor results is not the way to get better results out of them.
CARLSON: What—what is the way?
MADDOW: The better way to get it out of them is to actually focus on what‘s needed in schools, stop beating up on teachers, and fund them adequately. To say they have enough money and they need...
SEVERIN: They‘re not doing their jobs.
CARLSON: Wait. Wait. Wait a second.
SEVERIN: Merit pay. It‘s not beating up on them...
CARLSON: That‘s right.
SEVERIN: ... to demand that they do their job.
CARLSON: If there‘s one...
MADDOW: Merit pay is not the problem with education in this country.
CARLSON: If there‘s one lesson that school teaches, punishment works, right? It would work for schools.
MADDOW: So, let‘s cut all the funding and then let them swim.
CARLSON: No, just...
CARLSON: Coming up, would requiring an African-American history class diminish Martin Luther King‘s place in American history, speaking of schools? A columnist in Philadelphia thinks so. We‘ll bat that around.
Plus, Albert Einstein made his contribution to society. But, by at least one objective measure, he was no Will Ferrell. That‘s the assertion of a columnist in America‘s biggest newspaper. It‘s part of “Op Ed Op Ed,” which will come right after this break.
CARLSON: “War of the Worlds” starring Tom Cruise is now playing at a theater near you. Is the special-effects-filled film lacking the imagination of the 1938 radio version? One columnist thinks so. We‘ll break it down when THE SITUATION continues.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time now nor “Op Ed Op Ed.” We have read virtually every single editorial page in this country. We‘ve chosen three of our personal favorites, to which Rachel, Jay and I will offer our responses in 20-second portions.
CARLSON: Well, in “The Philadelphia Inquirer,” Jill Porter weighs in on the local school district‘s decision to make black history a mandatory course beginning this fall.
She writes—quote—“African-American history should not be excised from the study of American history, as if it were a tangential issue of concern primarily to African-Americans. It should be required material in all American history courses.”
I agree with this. In fact, it already is, of course, required material. It sounds like Jill Porter doesn‘t have school-age children. So, she obviously doesn‘t know that. But it definitely is. I do. I can tell you. You can‘t separate black history from American history. But I guess my question is, does the study of any history help kids prepare them for life after school, I mean, any specific kind of history?
I mean, that‘s kind of a measure of a school‘s success. Does it make you a more effective person? I hope that‘s the measure they‘re using.
SEVERIN: Well, they‘re upping the requirements for black history in this. And I think, by the way, that is a superb and excellent training for all who intend to be black history teachers.
For the other 99.9 percent of the kids who have to make a living, I would recommend that they study, you know, obscure languages or disciplines like English, math, and science.
MADDOW: I think that what kids can best learn in school right now that‘s going to help them in the great wide world is to learn how to make great arguments. And if you don‘t know history, you can‘t make great arguments about politics or anything else.
So, I do think it does have some relevance. And I don‘t care if it‘s a separate course, if it‘s integrated into American history, if it‘s integrated into homeroom. If this school district wants there to be more African-American history, more power to them. That‘s why we let schools decide at the local level what they teach. Local school boards get to decide. That‘s how it works.
CARLSON: Federalism, baby. All right. It‘s good to hear you say that.
CARLSON: Well, “The Boston Globe” waxes nostalgic over the panic that ensued following the original broadcast of “The War of the Worlds” over the radio in 1938 -- quote—“Is it sophistication or saturation that brings the nation this 2005 tour de force of special effects? While the radio audience of 67 years ago may have been more gullible, it was also more imaginative than today‘s moviegoers.”
In other words, things were better then.
CARLSON: They‘re always better then. Maybe the movie is no good. Maybe Orson Welles is more talented than Tom Cruise. I mean, I hate—every generation thinks its formative years were superior than to, you know, today‘s generation.
It‘s boring. I actually think the reason this movie is not so compelling is that science fiction of 1938 is now reality. So, of course it‘s not as compelling.
SEVERIN: I hate to take the position that, you know, arguing the Beatles vs. Godsmack, but I‘m going to do it anyway.
SEVERIN: Because I—and I hate to admit to be old enough to remember anything else. But I‘m old enough to remember films where the script was the star and where your imagination was required, rather than exploding cars and serial murders. And I think those are better movies.
MADDOW: I think it‘s not necessarily a time frame thing.
I mean, I do think that Orson Welles‘ version was better than the current version. But I think it was more about what you‘re talking about, in terms of leaving it up to your imagination to come up with the good parts, or the really bad parts, if you‘re talking about a horror movie. I mean, it‘s the same reason that I used to like the way they used to do sex scenes in movies better than the way they do them now.
Now it‘s like the full-frontal hokeypokey. And, frankly, I think it was more interesting when it was more left to your imagination.
SEVERIN: With exception to what Rachel just said...
CARLSON: You like the full-frontal?
MADDOW: You‘re the full-frontal hokeypokey.
SEVERIN: I like the modern...
MADDOW: We are going to put a 1-800 number under you at some point, Jay.
CARLSON: Joseph Prindle offers some advice to aspiring scientists in “USA Today,” a must-read for aspiring scientists.
So, go get an MBA or a law degree—quote—“Being a scientist is a lousy job because we have no financial incentives. Every time the movie ‘Elf‘ gets played, a check is sent to actor Will Ferrell‘s house. What does Einstein get every time the theory of relativity is used? Bupkis.”
We should point out, of course, that Einstein no longer with us. And, in fact, about half the faculty of Stanford University, the science faculty, millionaires from the devices they invented now being used in American software.
CARLSON: However, this is kind of the tragedy of democracy. The public gets to decide what jobs are well remunerated and which aren‘t.
And, in fact, people who create really important inventions don‘t get the pay that Will Ferrell does. And that‘s just sort of the price you pay for having a fluid society.
SEVERIN: It seems to me scientists can only go sort of to work for the government or a giant corporation.
The startup costs of an atom smasher for the single practitioner...
SEVERIN: ... tend to be prohibitive. So, your choices are a little bit limited.
SEVERIN: Yes, that‘s true.
CARLSON: Not that you‘d want to have solo practitioner atom smashers...
SEVERIN: I don‘t know about that. You know, it‘s entrepreneurial. I dig that.
CARLSON: It makes me uncomfortable.
MADDOW: At some point, somebody probably will have that. That‘s a little scary.
I mean, I think that you can tell a lot about the future of a nation, future of a country, future of a culture by who gets paid a lot of money in that culture. And so, we value entertainment and we value people who move other people‘s money around. Those are the people who make the really big bucks.
And, you know, to the extent that science can be more entrepreneurial and people can do it for greed, we‘ll have more scientists. But there will always be scientists that do it...
MADDOW: ... for the love of science.
Archaeologists a thousand years from now will be wondering what a hedge fund is.
CARLSON: Well, coming up, President Bush made his case on television last night. And New York Congressman Charlie Rangel takes exception with almost every bit of it on this show.
Also, football players work their whole lives for the chance to win a Super Bowl ring. Russian President Vladimir Putin got his the easy way. He took it. Why are Patriots everywhere enraged? Find out when THE SITUATION rolls on.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
Time to bring become the outsider, a man from outside the world of news who, dripping with bravado, volunteers to play devil‘s advocate to common sense on a series of stories.
Joining us now, ESPN Radio and HBO boxing host, the incandescent Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Incandescent?
CARLSON: Yes. You‘re almost a flame, Max. Thanks for joining us.
KELLERMAN: Wait a minute. Hold on
CARLSON: President Bush closed his speech last night by urging young Americans to serve in the military.
But Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and six other Democratic senators are up in arms. In a letter to Donald Rumsfeld, they charge that the Pentagon has gone too far in hiring a private marketing firm to gather personal information for a database from high school students for the purpose of identifying military recruits.
I don‘t know why she‘s mad, Max. There‘s nothing coercive about this.
No one if forcing—there‘s no draft. No one is forcing the kids to join. They‘re old enough to vote by the time they‘re old enough to serve. And I think they‘re old enough to make the decision. They‘re old enough to serve. And it‘s an honorable choice.
This is—this law is a law Rumsfeld wants to change. The Pentagon wants to change the existing law. So, the burden of proof is not on Hillary and these Democratic senators to say why—this is why it shouldn‘t be changed. The burden of proof is really—you don‘t just arbitrarily change laws. There needs—you have to prove why it should be changed.
CARLSON: Actually, you do just arbitrarily change laws, if you live in Washington.
KELLERMAN: But the burden of proof here is on you to explain why the law should be changed, not on me to...
KELLERMAN: Because it‘s more—well, two reasons. I mean, it‘s more effective. It‘s mimicking what the private sector already does. CVS knows a hot about you. So does Safeway. You use one those frequent buyer cards, they know everything about you. Why shouldn‘t the Pentagon harness that technology to help recruiting, which is in deep trouble?
KELLERMAN: Well, yesterday, you made the argument that you don‘t want cameras in public places because it‘s creepy and Orwellian.
You got a much better picture of someone through their credit history and all this stuff...
CARLSON: That‘s right.
KELLERMAN: Than you do from a snapshot.
So, if it‘s creepy and Orwellian to have cameras in public places, you want the military of all—I mean, of all organizations, the military you want to have that kind of picture of high school kids and you want them to get it through a private corporation? That is “1984” meets “The Manchurian Candidate.”
CARLSON: Well, well, hold on. First, first, of all, Without private corporations, we couldn‘t fight wars. Military contractors make the military possible in 2005.
CARLSON: So, that‘s old news.
Mrs. Clinton is upset because some of these high school students will be called at home by military recruiters. She wants them to have the option of opting out of that. She‘s not upset about MasterCard calling and bothering people at home or some...
KELLERMAN: Well, maybe she is.
CARLSON: Well, she‘s not doing anything about it. She‘s not writing a letter to MasterCard. She‘s upset because it‘s the military. There‘s a certain sort of liberal who just doesn‘t like the military, thinks it‘s sinister. And I think that‘s wrong.
KELLERMAN: I think that‘s wrong, too. And I don‘t think that is the case here.
And, again, you‘re using the old Tucker Carlson technique of not saying that it‘s bad. You know, it‘s a good thing if you want to opt off that list. It‘s not that I don‘t think that‘s a good thing, but why don‘t they also do this over here? And since they‘re not also doing this over here, then—then don‘t do it over here either.
CARLSON: It‘s a matter of perspective. And that is the theme that ties them all together.
Well, starting Friday in Atlanta, the city‘s public housing authority will begin evicting tenants who aren‘t working, attending school or in a work force training program. Under the new program known as CATALYST, the authority wants to end concentrated poverty by encouraging public housing tenants to become more self-sufficient. Critics fear the plan will create a new generation of homeless people as a result of thousands of evictions.
It‘s not going to create homeless people. Homeless people are created when mental patients don‘t get their meds, for the most part.
CARLSON: Or alcoholics are out on the streets.
The problem with this—and I bet you think I‘m going to defend this, but I‘m not—the problem with this is, most people...
KELLERMAN: You‘re full of surprises, Tucker Carlson.
CARLSON: Thank you. Thank you, Max Kellerman.
Most people who live in housing projects are single women, a lot of them with small children, right? It‘s not good for single women with small children to be out working if they‘re the only parent. Kids need a parent around. The worst thing society can do is allow kids to be unsupervised or warehoused in some crummy day care facility. That‘s bad. That‘s ensuring a new generation of public housing residents.
KELLERMAN: What a—what a bleeding hart you are, Tucker, masquerading...
CARLSON: No, I‘m serious.
How‘s this? What you‘re really say in that case is, you want to incentivize single parenthood in the ghetto, right?
KELLERMAN: Because if you don‘t have any kids, you don‘t get the public housing. But if you‘re a mother and if you‘re a woman, hey, you know what? I got to have a few kids. Now I get a free apartment. Isn‘t that the—I mean, how do you argue against that?
CARLSON: Yes, that is...
KELLERMAN: I have won.
CARLSON: That is actually a very smart point.
CARLSON: And one I thought of. And I—I agree. You‘re half right.
I don‘t think men should have this option. If you‘re a man and you‘re able-bodied and you‘re not working, tough luck for you. I don‘t want to support you. I have a job. You should have one, too, or you can starve to death. I don‘t care if you‘re a man.
CARLSON: No, I‘m serious. I mean, if you‘re choosing not to work, tough luck.
CARLSON: But if you‘re a woman with a small child, it‘s not about you. It‘s about the child. Yes, it would incentivize single motherhood. And that‘s bad. But, still, you have the problem, it‘s bad for kids to be stuck in day care centers, especially federally run ones.
KELLERMAN: This—that is. It‘s true.
There‘s a bell—if you take a population, any population, you‘re going to have a bell curve. Some people are going to be on the very end, the low end of the bell curve, whether they want to work hard or not. So, if those—you think those people should just fall through the social safety net because they‘re men and not women, I‘m not quite sure about that argument.
CARLSON: Yes, I do. I‘m sorry.
You can get a job in this country if you want one. If you don‘t want one, I don‘t—I shouldn‘t have to support you.
KELLERMAN: OK, fine, only apartments for women who want to have kids out of wedlock.
KELLERMAN: Says Tucker Carlson.
CARLSON: Well, with all the..
CARLSON: With all the subpar films this year, it‘s no wonder there‘s a huge box office slump in progress at the movies. It‘s the worst in decades.
Now one theater chain, so exasperated by the underperformance of Russell Crowe‘s latest film, “Cinderella Man,” is offering a highly unusual money-back guarantee. AMC Entertainment—that‘s the second largest chain of theaters in the country—will give a full on-the-spot refund to anyone who doesn‘t like the film.
I‘m totally—it‘s like movie insurance. And I‘m totally, totally against this. This just encourages people to see bad movies. You buy your ticket, you take your chances. You know the risks. If you‘re at the sideshow and you see a sign, see two-headed baby, five bucks, you pay your five bucks and there‘s no two-headed baby, you don‘t get your money back. Tough luck for you.
KELLERMAN: Let me just say, I was—I was watching “Batman Begins” the other day.
KELLERMAN: With a very talented young screenwriter, Adam Malecki I just shouted him out—who said, you know, this is unintentionally funny.
And most Hollywood films are, in fact, unintentionally funny, because they‘re so bad. Have you seen “Team America: World Police”?
CARLSON: I haven‘t.
Well, the best song in “Team America: World Police” line is “Pearl Harbor Sucked and I Miss You,” because these—it‘s fine. A money-back guarantee is great, because these—these blockbusters come out. They‘re just awful. You—they‘re awful -- 90 percent of the stuff is such trash.
Why not incentivize people to go see the movie, say, look, we‘re so confident about the movie that, if it stinks, here‘s your money back?
CARLSON: Because moviegoers have a responsibility not to go see bad films.
For instance, if you‘re dumb enough to go see the new “Star Wars”—and, sadly, I was—you deserve every dime you wasted on Raisinets and popcorn, every single dime, because you‘re part of the problem. You‘re encouraging Hollywood to make dreck like the new “Star Wars,” right?
KELLERMAN: Hayden Christensen ruined that movie for me. And I can‘t talk about this topic anymore.
CARLSON: I agree with that.
You‘re an emotional man, Max Kellerman, but a great one. Thank you.
Coming up, if you bought onesies for this bouncing baby, trade them for something bigger. A newborn the size of a toddler spends part of her earning life on the cutting-room floor. That‘s later in the show.
So, stick around.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Why don‘t you send more troops? If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them. But our commanders tell me they have the number of troops they need to do their job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Welcome back. Last night, President Bush told Americans the U.S. would stay the course in Iraq. There‘s not a welcome message to some Democrats who are calling for the troops to come home now.
Joining me to talk about the situation in Iraq is New York Congressman Charles Rangel. Mr. Rangel, thanks a lot for joining us.
REP. CHARLIE RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: Good to be with you, Carlton.
Congratulations on your new show.
CARLSON: Well, I should point out, it‘s the 21st century. We‘re pretending it‘s the 19th. You‘re on your cell phone joining us from the House gallery.
CARLSON: Thanks for playing along with that. Now, you heard the president last night pledge no escalation in troops going to Iraq. I would think this would warm the heart of an anti-war Democrat like yourself. Weren‘t you pleased to hear that?
RANGEL: Well, to be honest with you, I was a little disappointed that the president went to 9/11 six times, which all of the evidence proves that there was no reasons given why we should do that.
Having said that, I am concerned about the troops that are there, what plans we have for them, and that this not become a partisan issue between Democrats and Republicans. If the president can say that, because of the intelligence or whatever, that we‘ve made a mistake and that we ought to call out to our allies to make certain we train these Iraqis so that they can take over their country, which we shouldn‘t be in, in the first place, I would have been a big supporter for the president.
CARLSON: But, I mean, I understand your position. I‘m not a great supporter of the war, either, but it‘s kind of hard to argue with the reasoning that President Bush laid out last night, that we shouldn‘t send more troops right now because it would alert the Iraqis that we don‘t plan to leave, and that we shouldn‘t set a date for withdrawal because it would alert the insurgents that we‘ve lost our will. I mean, that makes sense, doesn‘t it?
RANGEL: I didn‘t hear him say that. I heard him say that he will send as many troops there as his field commanders would ask him to do. That is so unrealistic. Recruitment and retention is down. We‘re exhausting our National Guard and our reservists. We don‘t have the troops to be sending over there.
CARLSON: Well, you‘ve called—as I guess the solution to that, maybe, you‘ve called for a draft. But philosophically, does that make sense? Why isn‘t a voluntary Army the way? People who support the policy can go fight the war. Why does that—you know, it‘s non-coercive. Why isn‘t that a good thing?
RANGEL: Because you‘re supposed to go to war—not preemptively, but when there is a threat. Having said that, we‘re at war, and we‘re in there, and we have to get our way out of there.
It seems to me, if the president is going to support the war from a patriotic defense point of view, that everyone should make a sacrifice, not just the poor who need the $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 and now $40,000 to enlist. And they‘re jacking that up for retention in order to get people to reenlist.
CARLSON: Well, but how can you—I mean, look, you said the other day something that I was puzzled by, and actually offended by, honestly. You said that you didn‘t think the people who planned this war, Paul Wolfowitz, you mentioned Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, had sympathy for the troops because the troops were, you said, poor whites and poor blacks, and that the administration didn‘t really care what happened to them.
How do you know the motives of the people who planned the war and the way they feel about the troops?
RANGEL: Well, first of all, I‘m staying that there‘s strong evidence, with this group of people, Cheney, Wolfowitz, the whole bunch of them that you mentioned and many others, that they wanted to knock off Saddam Hussein.
And what I really said, and not as artfully that I wish I‘d had, that if these people thought that their kids, and their grandkids, and members of Congress thought would be in jeopardy, we would not be at war. If we had a draft, I can assure you that we would not talking about staying there in Iraq and going to Iran, and Syria, and North Korea.
The fact that we have young kids coming from inner-cities if rural areas is the only reason that we have a military. Look at the number that are killed. Look at the people that are wounded. See where they come from. Look on the TV.
CARLSON: Well, first of all, I mean, study after study has shown that the officer corps in the Army right now is not from the inner-city and not from particularly poor backgrounds. They tend to be white Republicans. But the fact that we‘re having trouble recruiting...
RANGEL: But if you take a look and see who is being killed, they‘re not white Republicans. And you know that.
CARLSON: Wait, wait, hold on, Congressman. The fact that we‘re having trouble recruiting people into the Army, men into the Army, is limiting our ability to go into Syria or into Iran. It‘s exactly the opposite of what you described. We can‘t act out these, you know, neo-con plans because we don‘t have the men. I think you would be pleased by that.
RANGEL: I am saying that we have a foreign policy—I didn‘t exactly know what you meant, Tucker—but we have got a foreign policy now where the president says, “Wherever there are people who are seeking justice and liberty, that we‘re prepared to fulfill our moral mandate to allow these people to be free and to get rid of dictators.”
We also hear that we don‘t have enough troops over there. This foreign policy we got that was set before Bush became in office, set before 9/11, is insane, and we have to change it. I really believe, if we talk about the draft, that people will change the policy. I don‘t think anybody thinks it was worth losing 1,700 people..
CARLSON: Congressman, Congressman, I‘m sorry to interrupt you. We‘re almost out of time.
I‘ve got to get you to explain comments you made to a radio station in New York earlier this month. You said the Iraq war is the biggest fraud ever committed on the people of this country. It‘s just as bad as 6 million Jews being killed in the Holocaust.
RANGEL: I did not say that. The record shows I didn‘t say it. What I did say was this, that in history would dictate when terrible things are happening, good people who know that they‘re happening remain silent, and then it becomes a reality. I said in slavery, in the lynchings, in the genocides, in the Holocaust, and at wartime, when people are quiet, bad things happen.
I did not say the Holocaust...
CARLSON: But you don‘t think that the Iraq—you don‘t think that the Iraq war compares in any way to slavery, in moral terms, or the Holocaust? I mean, isn‘t that—it‘s an over-the-top comparison.
RANGEL: I am not comparing the actual atrocities that take place and the loss of life. What I am saying is that, whether you‘re in a room and people are making racial slurs, or religious slurs, whether they‘re attacking good people and you don‘t say anything, then that is a bad time.
I really believe that now more and more Americans, and church leaders, and community leaders see just how immoral this war is and, at long last, they‘re speaking up.
CARLSON: All right. Congressman Charlie Rangel of New York City.
Thanks a lot for joining us.
RANGEL: Thank you so much.
CARLSON: Coming up, what gives south of the border? Another racial bomb drops from the government of Vicente Fox of Mexico. Should we be appalled? Should we even be surprised? Probably not. Stay tuned, in any case.
CARLSON: Welcome back to THE SITUATION. Sitting in for Howie Mandel, I‘m Tucker Carlson. Time to refresh our stack of stories, which includes offensive Mexican stamps, a possible influx of government-made homeless people in Atlanta, and money-back guarantees at your local multiplex.
Joining me once again to discuss these, Jay Severin and Rachel Maddow. You heard what Charlie Rangel said about the draft. The more I think about the all-volunteer army, the more I think it makes complete sense. I‘m just being a libertarian wacko. It‘s a break on the ambitions of government, of this administration or any other. If people support something, they‘ll join up. If they don‘t, they won‘t. It‘s like a poll. It‘s good.
MADDOW: That‘s almost the point that Rangel was making. He saying, “Listen, if we had a universal draft, then we could maybe cash some of these moral imperative checks that the administration is writing.” He‘s saying, “Listen, we‘re making promises all these promises about liberating people from dictators all over the globe, well, with what Army?”
SEVERIN: If we‘re in Iraq in four years, we will have the draft reinstated. We will have to. And that doesn‘t even count another some engagement that comes up that we‘re not counting on.
But there is a moral question he raised which is very important. If maybe 10 percent or 20 percent of the men and women who run the government had children in uniform in Iraq, would the debate and decisions have had a different cast to them? You betcha.
CARLSON: But who cares? Nobody has to join the military. The people who join think, you know, they‘re doing a good thing. They are doing a good thing. And they do it by choice. I don‘t see how that‘s relevant, whose sons or daughters serve.
MADDOW: I think it makes a difference to the decision-makers. I do.
CARLSON: Well, first situation, some of our neighbors to the south may be going postal. Here‘s the newest Mexican postage stamp. This is not a joke. It features a black Mexican cartoon character known as Memin Pinguin, with exaggerated features, thick lips and wide eyes.
By American standards, by any standards, it‘s offensive. It‘s also poorly timed. The stamp is going on sale just weeks after President Vicente Fox started an uproar when he said Mexican migrants take jobs in the U.S. that, quote, “not even blacks want.”
This just makes me feel better about America. You get the feeling...
SEVERIN: That‘s true.
CARLSON: I‘m serious, though. I mean, the American government would, for all the, you know, things it does I don‘t agree with, would never issue a postage stamp like this. And the point is, America does not have a monopoly on racism or racial insensitivity.
We never hear about racism in, you know, Zimbabwe, or Cuba, or any part of Latin America where it‘s far more prevalent than it is here. It‘s nice to have a little perspective on it.
MADDOW: Well, racial insensitivity, you know, ebbs and flows over time, and ebbs and flows in different cultures. I mean, I remember Sambo‘s Restaurant. That was within our lifetime. You know, that wasn‘t that long ago.
CARLSON: They had good pancakes.
MADDOW: Good pancakes and a very offensive caricature. I mean, there are racial caricatures in all sorts of cultures, and the question, when you hear about them, when the minority that is hurt by those caricatures, raises enough of a stink that it becomes a political issue.
SEVERIN: My interest in Mexican stamps is generally on a plain with my interest in Mexican music or Mexican water. But in this case, it does point out, as you said earlier, the hypocrisy. Had this happened in the States, the United Nations General Assembly would be meeting, you know, to condemn and go after whoever did it.
MADDOW: No, the U.N. wouldn‘t care, but Americans would care. And people in Mexico, if there‘s a political issue around this, will care about it, too.
CARLSON: But you really get the feeling, listening to certain people, particularly, you know, self-described, self-taught historians, that the United States is, sort of, the wellspring of all, you know, fear and loathing in the world and all racism. And it‘s just not.
MADDOW: Every culture‘s got it, and every culture needs to own up to it.
CARLSON: Well, and we should admit that.
Next situation is back in the U.S. where justice said to be blind, but she may not be colorblind. Of course, she‘s not colorblind. Former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy was acquitted yesterday of masterminding a scheme to inflate the company‘s earnings by $2.7 billion.
It was a verdict that stunned lawyers that thought the government had an airtight case. But others said Scrushy played the race card, using his good reputation in the black community to appeal to the majority black jury. Should have rewritten that script to say, “Everybody thought that,” because it‘s true. This guy came under investigation, switched to a black church, then started preaching in black churches.
MADDOW: And on TV, started preaching on TV, as well.
CARLSON: And then brings a bunch of black ministers to the court everyday, right? And then his lead attorney says, “Well, you know, he actually grew up in Selma, right across the Edmund Pettus bridge,” as if he was part of the march across the bridge in ‘65.
MADDOW: Right, exactly.
CARLSON: This makes me think juries ought to sit behind a screen. Race ought to play no part in the appeal of either the prosecution or the defense. You shouldn‘t know the race of members of the jury. It‘s offensive. It hurts America, actually, these racial appeals, I think.
MADDOW: Well, I think that race isn‘t always irrelevant to every crime. So I think the jury shouldn‘t be kept from it. But this case is just painful.
I mean, it seemed like the government had a pretty strong case. $2.7 billion, he‘s the CEO, five finance chairs from HealthSouth testified that he was in on the scheme, but he walks.
CARLSON: But he grew up in Selma.
CARLSON: Isn‘t that—I mean, he‘s like part of the civil rights movement, just by virtue of that.
SEVERIN: Not since Bill Clinton and Vanilla Ice has a white man so successfully made an interracial appeal like this. You know, some people say there‘s no progress. This proves—we‘ve got cross-racial jury nullification. And that‘s certainly progress. We all don‘t have to be O.J. to get off.
MADDOW: We have to—there has to be a little accountability here for the government‘s case here. I mean, if the government can‘t convict this guy...
CARLSON: Oh, I agree.
MADDOW: ... I don‘t care what‘s happening in terms of defense and how creative Scrushy is.
CARLSON: That‘s right.
MADDOW: You‘ve got to win this case.
CARLSON: Well, they‘re also going so far over the top in prosecuting these corporate criminals. I mean, you read today that Bernie Ebbers of WorldCom is facing a life sentence. How many rapists get a life sentence? Very few.
MADDOW: But it‘s not over the top for Scrushy to be on trial for a $2.7 billion trial.
CARLSON: I‘m not suggesting that it is. I‘m just saying that there is a prosecutorial overreach in a lot of these cases.
CARLSON: A life sentence? Can you imagine?
Next situation, New York may be one step closer to a new Freedom Tower. The plan unveiled today is for a glass-walled skyscraper with a fortified base rising on the site of the Twin Towers destroyed by terrorists on 9/11. Freedom Tower would be the world‘s second tallest building. The previous design was scrapped when New York City‘s police department said it was vulnerable to attack by a truck bomb.
I love this story for a couple of reasons. One, this is like flipping the bird to the people who hurt us, you know, this just giant symbol of America‘s resilience. And I love the fact that the ground at the site of 9/11, Ground Zero, is still so valuable four years later. Despite what they did to us, this ground is so valuable that people can build an office tower there and it can still be profitable, because people still want to come to New York. It didn‘t hurt us in the end. I love this.
SEVERIN: The one thing that Trump said, I think, in my lifetime and his, with which I agreed, which is flipping the bird by saying, “Let‘s build the same thing one story taller.”
SEVERIN: I mean, I get the haunting feeling, today, by the way, that I may have missed by career calling in architecture, because it occurred to me, as we came on to the set that all tall buildings, wherever they‘re designed, are going to be vulnerable to terrorists.
MADDOW: Exactly. And this is—I agree with you guys in the sense..
SEVERIN: Maybe you have some aptitude I didn‘t know before.
MADDOW: I mean, you do want a big one-finger salute to the people who attacked us. Absolutely.
MADDOW: At the same time, for the people who are going to be working this tower, and the people who live in lower Manhattan, it is a bull‘s eye. But every tall building is a bull‘s eye at this point, and we have a responsibility to harden our targets and to go after the people that attacked us.
CARLSON: It‘s just so American. You know, everything in America is always in the process of being destroyed and rebuilt, and it‘s this dynamic society.
MADDOW: But it‘s got to be big and brassy and New York.
SEVERIN: Like south of the border, only...
CARLSON: South of the border.
SEVERIN: Like Pedro, yes.
CARLSON: Next situation, a ringing endorsement for Vladimir Putin. You don‘t get those everyday. The Russian president pocketed a diamond-encrusted Super Bowl ring when New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft showed it to him after a meeting of American business executives in St. Petersburg on Saturday.
But was it a gift or a misunderstanding? Kraft said today, quote, “I decided to give him the ring as a symbol of the respect and admiration that I have for the Russian people and the leadership of President Putin.”
I‘m not sure if that was sarcastic or what. It looks to me like, you know, Kraft took off the ring, and Putin just kind of grabbed it, because that‘s what do you when you‘re a Russian dictator. You just sort of grab people‘s things.
I don‘t know. I will say both of you have ties to New England. I spoke to a friend of mine in New England tonight who said, “Isn‘t it amazing that the owner of our team...
SEVERIN: The Patriots.
CARLSON: ... had an audience—exactly—with the Russian president?” That shows how important New England is. I think they‘re very proud of him in Boston.
SEVERIN: I think that plays that way. Well, first of all, it‘s obviously the Russian kleptocracy, number one.
SEVERIN: And number two, you know, what better way—this was actually a great move by Kraft—what better way to compromise, and sully, and corrupt the Russian system than American bling-bling?
MADDOW: I feel, though, like, if I had an audience with Vladimir Putin, I find him so terrifying, if he asked for my right arm, if he was admiring it, I‘d ask for a knife, cut it off and hand it to him. I find him terrifying. A hundred and twenty four diamonds on this thing. They‘re no safer than in Vladimir Putin‘s pocket.
CARLSON: Well, he basically mugged this guy. So he lost a Super Bowl ring—which, I mean, let‘s be honest, kind of ugly anyway—but what a great party story, to be robbed by Vladimir Putin.
SEVERIN: And by the way, if you‘re Putin, you just look into his soul the way Bush did. No problem.
MADDOW: Oh, yes. I know it‘s all right. I can see it in his eyes.
CARLSON: That‘s too depressing.
Rachel, Jay, thank you.
MADDOW: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Still ahead, Stella got her groove back in the go-go ‘90s, but she apparently had it taken away again. You won‘t believe how and why. It‘s shocking enough to wind up on the “Cutting Room Floor.” We‘ll be right back.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time now to sweep up the “Cutting Room Floor,” all the stories we couldn‘t get to during the show. Our producer, Willie Geist, has brought them—Willie?
WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER: Tucker, how are you, man?
GEIST: Charlie Rangel, we owe him a big thank you. And thank god he had free nights and weekends on that cell phone plan, or we‘d be owing him a few bucks right now.
One quick shout out: 115-year-old Dutch woman, the oldest woman in the world, turned 115 today, born in 1890. Her secret? She eats herring every day. Probably not worth being...
CARLSON: You‘re like a younger Willard Scott. I bet you 20 bucks she smokes, too. They all do. Really old people always smoke unfiltered cigarettes.
GEIST: Right, and a heroin addict, also.
I have a peeping tom, and Stella losing her groove.
CARLSON: Thank you, Willie.
Well, we come right out of the gate tonight, with some of our trademark gratuitous surveillance video. There isn‘t much emergency room doctors haven‘t seen, but I‘ll bet this was a first. A moose strolled into the E.R. at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage yesterday, poked around for a while before heading back out the door. You can see doctors sticking their heads out of their offices to catch a glimpse and snap some pictures of the wayward moose.
GEIST: You see how quickly he left? He was in there for about a minute. Even a moose can see the line in the E.R. is so long, “You know what? I will take care of it myself. I‘d rather suffer than wait in E.R.”
CARLSON: They‘re not stupid.
At first glance, this looks like an ugly truck accident on a Massachusetts highway. And it is, in a way, but it gets a whole lot prettier when we tell you no one was injured, and the truck was carrying a full load of beer, wine and liquor. As workers try to bring the truck upright, the roof peels off, and it‘s free drinks for everyone.
GEIST: You know, looking at that video, Tucker, there seemed to be a lot more good Samaritans rushing to the scene of this particular accident. It‘s like a pinata for drunks or something. All of a sudden, everybody wants to lend a hand.
CARLSON: Plus, in Massachusetts, I mean, this is like a sign from God, right.
Well, peeping toms are all pretty slimy, very slimy, in fact, but one voyeur has set a new standard for filth. Police say 45-year-old Gary Moody climbed inside the waste tank underneath a toilet at a New Hampshire rest stop to steal a peek at unsuspecting women. Moody was caught by a girl who looked down into the toilet and saw him peering up at her. Yikes. Police dragged him out of the tanks and washed him with a fire hose before arresting him.
GEIST: I don‘t care how perverted you are—and this guy is in the hall of fame...
CARLSON: Yes, definitely.
GEIST: But it can‘t be worth it to be on the business end of that transaction. Getting in the tank, it‘s just not worth it.
CARLSON: No, that is so sick, that man needs to be kept from society.
GEIST: Absolutely. Put him away. Actually, he‘s out on bail. He was. Criminal trespassing, that‘s all he got.
CARLSON: Ew. Ew. There ought to be a law.
Well, it‘s not polite to discuss a lady‘s weight. But in this case, we can‘t help ourselves. Delaney Jessica Buzzell was born in suburban Milwaukee last week weighing in at 13 pounds, 12 ounces. I say again, 13 pounds, 12 ounces.
Her parents have nicknamed her “The Big Enchilada.” Delaney comes from a long line of big babies. Her two older sisters were about 11 pounds when they were born.
GEIST: I feel bad for that baby. I mean, some babies are called peanut or cutie pie, but “Big Enchilada”? She‘s named after a heaping plate of Mexican food. I don‘t think—that‘s going to come back to haunt her later in life.
CARLSON: Beef and bean, no, it‘s not the cutest handle.
Well, I am sad to report tonight that Stella has, indeed, lost her groove.
CARLSON: Author Terry McMillan, whose red-hot romance with a man half her age inspired her hit novel and film, “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” has filed for divorce that man because he is gay.
CARLSON: The now 53-year-old McMillan met Jonathan Plummer on Jamaican resort when Plummer was just 20-years-old. McMillan now says Plummer married her only to get U.S. citizenship. Plummer, who is now a dog groomer, responds by saying she is, quote, “homophobic.” I bet she is now.
GEIST: Now, Terry, I don‘t want to say I could have told you so, but he owns a dog-grooming business. Maybe Stella should get the gay-dar back.
CARLSON: Yes, I actually think—you know, I don‘t know if she‘s homophobic or not, but I think it‘s a pretty good excuse.
CARLSON: We will give her an allowance.
Willie Geist, thank you.
Well, that‘s THE SITUATION for tonight. I‘m Tucker Carlson. Thanks for watching. “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY” starts right now.
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