updated 10/2/2005 10:00:25 PM ET 2005-10-03T02:00:25

Guests: Peter King, Robert Pape, Rachel Maddow, Monica Deidrich

THE SITUATION with Tucker Carlson starts right now. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Thank you, Joe.  We‘ve got a lot to cover tonight. 

In just a moment, I‘ll ask the chairman of the homeland security committee how exactly the war in Iraq is making us safer at home. 

We‘ll also tell you critics of Bill Bennett, and there are many today, are intentionally missing the point about what he said on the radio about abortion. 

But first news of Washington, D.C., today “New York times” reporter Judith Miller testified before a grand jury, breaking her silence in the investigation into whether White House officials leaked the name of a CIA officer a year and a half ago. 

Miller‘s source, Scooter Libby, who was also the vice president‘s chief of staff, gave Miller permission to testify a year ago and once again this week. 

Still unanswered is why Miller suddenly decided to go before the grand jury now?  Indictments are expected.  Who exactly is going to be indicted, we still have no idea.  Stay tuned. 

Meanwhile, reverberations continue from yesterday‘s dramatic testimony on Capitol Hill.  General George Casey who commands U.S. forces in Iraq, told lawmakers that the Iraqi Army is in even sorrier shape than we‘ve known.  According to General Casey, only one Iraqi battalion out of 86 is capable of fighting on its own. 

So if 2 ½ years after the invasion, the Iraqi Army is still nowhere near capable of protecting its own country, how and when will U.S. forces be able to leave and come home?  That‘s a question for our next guest.  He is Congressman Peter King of New York.  He‘s the new chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.  He‘s a long-time supporter of this administration‘s Iraq policy.  He joins us now from Washington.

Mr. Chairman, thanks a lot for coming on. 

REP. PETER KING ®, NEW YORK:  Thank you, Tucker.  Good to be here. 

CARLSON:  So we‘ve been told from the very beginning be patient.  Be patient with the war in Iraq.  It‘s difficult.  It‘s going to take a long time.  And I think Americans have been patient.

But this news yesterday from General Casey is genuinely discouraging.  It seems obvious we‘re moving backward.  Why should Americans continue to be patient at this point?

KING:  Well, first of all, the news is somewhat better than the impression you‘re giving.  Out of those 86 battalions, about 1/3 of them are operational, which means they are Iraqi-led and the U.S. is providing primarily logistical support. 

For instance, about 70 percent of the check points in Baghdad are led by Iraqis.  About 40 percent of the patrols are led by Iraqis.  About 30 percent of the raids in Baghdad are being carried out by Iraqi-led forces.  So the armed forces are a lot better than they were.

CARLSON:  Wait a minute.  Hold on, Mr. Chairman.  Sorry to interrupt you, but the full news, and it wasn‘t even included in the script that I read a second ago, is that there were up until recently three full battalions that were considered capable of fighting on their own.

And now General Casey tells us that‘s been readjusted to one.  That is a movement backwards.  I mean, there‘s no spinning that. 

KING:  I‘m not trying to spin anything.  I‘m just saying if you compare where we were, let‘s say a year, a year and a half ago, we‘re further along.  We‘re not as far along as we‘d hoped to be.  We did go from three to one.

And I agree with you.  But I‘m also saying, though, that there were about a third of the battalions are Iraqi-led.  Which means they‘re operational and the U.S. is providing primarily logistical support.  But there is a good ways to go. 

I was also telling you what the Iraqis are doing on their own or primarily on their own in and around Baghdad as far as checkpoints, as far as patrolling and as far as raids. 

Now I agree with you, I think the previous general did the best he could and we do have to dramatically improve the training and results for the Iraqis on the ground. 

Now, we are going to be using less U.S. forces in two weeks for the referendum that we had to use in January because the Iraqis are going to be providing more security now than they were then.  They are doing a better job than they were six, eight, nine months ago.  But they‘re not as far along as we expected them to be.  That‘s the reality. 

CARLSON:  OK.  But at some point I think very soon, I say this with no glee, just as an observation, this is going to become a huge problem for the Republican Party and for the administration. 

The president can‘t continue to give the same speech again and again.  Stay the course.  At some point he‘s got to say this is going to end at this point.  What is he going to tell us? When are we going to know we can bring our troops home?

KING:  Well, we know we can bring the troops home when the mission has been accomplished or when the Iraqis are capable of defending themselves.  It‘s not going to be easy. 

CARLSON:  Of course.  People accept that and I think they know that and I think they understand the administration is saying that on good faith.

But most people, including me, have lost track of what the mission is.  Can you state it in one sentence: what do the mission and when do we know it‘s accomplished?

KING:  The mission is to stabilize Iraq and thereby help stabilize Iraq and thereby help to stabilize the Mideast and defeat al Qaeda. 

CARLSON:  Again...

KING:  And we could not have done that as long as Saddam Hussein was in power. 

CARLSON:  But that‘s so broad and general and amorphous.  When do you think we‘ll achieve that?

KING:  No.  We had to get rid of Saddam Hussein.  We did that.  Secondly, we had to get a constitution.  We are going that and the large number of Iraqi people are behind the movement to democracy. 

You can democratize Iraq with a reasonable amount of support and when they can provide their own protection, that will be a tremendous step forward in the war on terrorism.  I agree with you the crucial test will be how effective the training is.  That‘s what we have to improve.  But again, progress has been made.  We can‘t pull the plug. 

CARLSON:  If you can‘t even drive safely from Baghdad out of the country, and you can‘t, as you know.  If you travel to Iraq, you really can‘t drive.  You have to to fly.  How meaningful is an election at that point if you can‘t even send your kids to school.  You can‘t go the barber.  You can‘t go outside uncovered if you‘re a woman.  You can‘t buy liquor at liquor stores that existed before the invasion, et cetera, et cetera.  Does any of this democracy talk mean anything to ordinary Iraqis, who are afraid of getting killed?

KING:  If 90 percent of the people come out and vote, obviously, it

means something to them because they are told if they go out and vote

they‘re going to be killed

So if 90 percent run the risk of being murdered by terrorists, it shows they are wanting to make it work.  So many people are willing to put their lives on the line to show their faith in democracy.  That‘s a tremendous expression of support. 

Having said that.  I agree with you that this cannot go on forever and that the key point is going to be when more and more can be turned over to the Iraqis.  We cannot—that is the time table that, again, we have to look for.  But we cannot be setting definite dates of what‘s going to happen at a certain time because then you just give the enemy a target to aim for. 

CARLSON:  If I were a Republican in a questionable seat with this mid-term election looming, I‘d be really concerned.  And I‘d be complaining to the White House, I‘d be saying to the White House, “Gee, give a better storyline here.” 

Are Republicans doing that?  Do you know?

KING:  Well, first of all, I don‘t think you should be looking for story lines when we‘re talking about national security.  What we do is I agree with you.  We have to articulate the case better.  We have to make it stronger.  But the reality is we shouldn‘t be basing campaigns just on—or put it this way.  We should be basing military policy to help our campaign. 

CARLSON:  I‘m not suggesting that per se.  I‘m just saying when almost 2,000 Americans have died, you need to have a way to convince Americans that their deaths were worth something. 

I asked this exact question of one of your colleagues, Congressman Wolf, Republican of Virginia, the other night.  And he said point blank on the show what you‘re saying is hurting the troops.

So raising the question, according to Congressman Wolf, was an attack on the armed forces.  That‘s an outrageous thing to say.  But that‘s kind of the stock line, right?  You question the war and you‘re somehow hurting the war effort.  There‘s got to be a better explanation of why this is worth it coming from the White House, and I don‘t hear it.  Do you?

KING:  Well, Tucker, I‘m not asking you to stop the questions.  I think we can ask legitimate questions. 

But I‘m just saying that I believe this is going in the right direction and I saw that as a Republican congressman who is running next year, I‘m not going to ask the White House to change their strategy or their policies to make my election easier. 

I agree that if they can make the case stronger—we can make the case stronger, fine.  But our national security is at risk.  I believe the war in Iraq is essential to our national security.  It‘s essential to the war against terrorism.  And I‘m not going to ask anyone to address their policies to make my re-election bid easier. 

I do believe—and I‘ve said this—that we have to do a better job of training the Iraqi forces.  That‘s something we have to do.  We can‘t be altering or changing our policy just with the election cycle.

That‘s been tried in the past.  I think one of the reasons, the problems we had going back over a period of years with terrorism is it‘s we‘ve looked toward the next election.  I‘m saying let‘s look toward winning this.  If we want this, that will be its own reward.  And I am more than willing to carry this fight to my constituency so my voters know where I stand and let them decide next November. 

CARLSON:  All right.  Pete King, new chairman of the homeland security committee, thanks a lot.

BENNETT:  Tucker, thank you. 

Still to come, former education secretary Bill Bennett takes heat for ear piercing comments about abortion on black babies.  What was Bennett really trying to say and is it really an outrage?  We‘ll walk you through it. 

Plus, if President Bush was hoping envoy Karen Hughes would be his secret weapon against terrorism, he‘d better reload.  Her first trip to the Mideast has some convinced she‘s Osama bin Laden‘s little helper.  Is that fair?  We‘ll explain it when we come back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Coming up, is the Endangered Species Act on its way to extinction?

Plus fowl play from the former governor of Massachusetts.  He says he‘s a Yankees fan now that he‘s running for governor of New York.  “The Outsider” defends him, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back to the situation, I‘m Tucker Carlson. 

In her first trip as America‘s P.R. agent to the Muslim world, Karen Hughes quickly learned that Arabs have a message of their own: “Butt out.  We like our medieval traditions.”

Our next guest says Hughes‘ weeklong trip to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey did more damage than good and even may have even helped Osama bin Laden. 

Robert Pape is professor of political science at the University of Chicago and author of “Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism.”

Great thanks for coming back on the show. 

ROBERT PAPE, AUTHOR, “DYING TO WIN”:  Thanks for having me, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  So I understand the critique that Karen Hughes‘ trip to the Mideast, not very effective, that she‘s way over her head, which I think was probably true.  But how did she help Osama bin Laden?

PAPE:  First, let me say that I have great respect for Karen Hughes and I very much want her mission to succeed. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

PAPE:  It‘s terribly important that we use public diplomacy better to combat terrorism.  But to do that, it‘s important to directly rebut Osama bin Laden‘s mobilization rhetoric and not merely to defend the Bush administration. 

In her recent trip Karen Hughes did not rebut Osama bin Laden‘s rhetoric and instead, actually reinforced many of his key points.  Osama bin Laden‘s core mobilization appeal is—relies on the crusader image.  This is what recruits suicide terrorists to kill us better than anything else. 

In speech after speech Osama bin Laden paints the United States as on a religious crusade to use military force to transform Muslim society according to a Christian agenda, either to convert Christians...

CARLSON:  Right.

PAPE:  ... to weaken Islam or actually to expand Israel so that Christians and Jews jointly can ensure control over Islam.

CARLSON:  I read where he said that, and I believe that that‘s he core message.  But I didn‘t hear Karen Hughes say anything about coming to Jesus or anything like that.

PAPE:  No.  But the last thing she should do, the last thing we need to do under these circumstances was portray and emphasize the religious commitment of the Bush administration and, in fact, or to give the appearance that we would reject dissent of ordinary Muslims to accept our way of life.  And in this trip, I‘m afraid Karen Hughes did both of those things. 

CARLSON:  But wait a second.  She—as far as I know her point was, look, we in the west have a lot to offer.  And the main ting we have to offer, aside from Coke and Wendy‘s and Appleby‘s, is freedom and democracy.  And her point that would you like to drive a car or go outside without a sheet on your head and all that stuff?  This is what we have to offer you.

PAPE:  let me just make two points, Tucker. 

First in numerous occasions she painted and portrayed the United States and the Bush administration as, quote, “people of faith.”  This directly reinforces bin Laden‘s portrayal of us as a crusader nation. 

Secondly, in two long sessions with Muslim women, she gave the appearance of rejecting Muslim women, ordinary Muslims, women willingness to go by traditional values, and in fact, she gave the appearance that she would rather they follow our western way of life over their own freedom to choose a different way. 

CARLSON:  Wait.  That‘s the distinction I think that you‘re missing.  There is no freedom to choose these traditions in Saudi Arabia.  If you‘re a woman you‘re not allowed to drive a car.  This is not a matter of choice.  This is a matter of compulsion.  What‘s wrong with her saying there is a better way?

PAPE:  There‘s nothing wrong with saying there‘s an alternative way, the problem is if she says this is the only way.  And in both sessions, if you read the transcripts closely, which are on the web site, the State Department web site, you will see that what she did is she made the case for the one true way, which is our way, which gave the appearance that it was the only way. 

And this directly reinforces Osama bin Laden‘s argument that we‘re imposing our values on others, whether they like it or not. 

CARLSON:  Well, we definitely are very much doing that.  I personally have no problem with it. 

But OK, give me your 30-second pitch.  You‘re Karen Hughes.  You‘re walking into a room full of upper middle class educated Saudi women.  Give me your 30 seconds on why they should be pro American?

PAPE:  The new approach should definitely challenge Osama bin Laden‘s idea that we‘re a crusader nation.  And we actually have two golden opportunities to do that. 

The first is with tsunami relief.  Tsunami relief, our relief to the tsunami victims, directly contradicts Osama bin Laden‘s views that the United States is out to harm Islam and harm Muslims, because much of that relief went to Muslims.  And in fact, opinion polls have shown that our American relief for the tsunami victims has been our best way to improve our image in the Muslim world. 

Karen Hughes never mentioned the word tsunami in five days of travel, and this one of an excellent way to show that.  In fact she should have brought Bill Clinton and George Bush in on that trip to engage in long discussions on this. 

The second opportunity that was missed had to do with the Gaza withdrawal.  The American support for the withdrawal of Israel from Gaza...

CARLSON:  Right.

PAPE:  ... directly contradicts Osama bin Laden‘s words that we are out to help Israel expand.  And in fact...

CARLSON:  Well, that actually—that‘s right.  Actually, that‘s a—those are both smart points.  Robert Pape. 

PAPE:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Thanks for joining us.  We‘ll hope Karen Hughes was listening tonight. 

PAPE:  Thank you.  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Up next, former education secretary Bill Bennett learns a lesson the hard way, mixing comments on race, crime and abortion.  But slow down for a second.  What was he really saying?  We‘ll tell you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Time to welcome back “The Outsider,” a professional devil‘s advocate who, night after night, armed only with his own wits, defends the indefensible and does it with style.  From ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing, Max Kellerman joins us—Max.

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO:  My own wits and Google, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Exactly.  Well, they‘re intertwined. 

All right.  First the news of the day, Max.  Former Reagan education secretary Bill Bennett, no stranger to political firestorms, finds himself at the center of another one. 

On the Wednesday edition of his radio show, Bennett took issue with the best-selling book “Freakanomics” that theorizes one reason crime is down is because abortion is up.  Here‘s what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL BENNETT, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  I do know that it‘s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could—if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.  That would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Well, congressional Democrats blasted him, but Bennett says they‘re missing his point that abortion to reduce crime is morally reprehensible. 

And they are missing his point.  Look, if I thought he was attacking black people or endorsing abortion, I‘d be picketing his house.  All right.  But that was kind of the opposite of what he was doing. 

I cringed when I heard his words.  I‘ll be honest.  My toes curled. 

However, he‘s making an argument against abortion. 

KELLERMAN:  I don‘t think there‘s actually anything wrong with what he said.  He‘s saying it‘s bad to abort black babies, even though blacks people are disenfranchised and therefore there‘s a higher crime rates.  He‘s saying there‘s not—but he‘s missing the point.  He‘s missing the point worse than people who are reacting to his comments are missing the point.  Have you read Steven Levitt‘s book, “Freakanomics”?

CARLSON:  I have not. 

KELLERMAN:  OK.  I have.  His central argument is morality is the way we would like the world to work; economics is the way the world actually works. 

And all Levitt was arguing—he wasn‘t advocating for abortion as a means to control crime. 

CARLSON:  Right.

KELLERMAN:  He was simply arguing, compellingly, that Roe v. Wade resulted in a decrease in crime rates above and beyond all things like Giuliani‘s shattered glass theory and things like that.  It was actually Roe v. Wade. 

CARLSON:  But those kind of arguments actually drive public policy.  One of the reasons we have abortion in the first place is because of the eugenics movement, of course, of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which argue this explicitly, that we ought to weed out the weaker elements, the more crime prone elements in society, like minority groups, so our society would be healthier and safer.  That was an explicit argument...

KELLERMAN:  I don‘t think.

CARLSON:  ... from which groups like Planned Parenthood came.  Now I‘m just saying Bennett is making a very good argument deep down which is the ends do not justify the means. 

A number of years ago Jocelyn Elders, who was, of course, surgeon general under Clinton, argued out loud that abortion had a good effect by, quote, “reducing the incidence of Down‘s Syndrome,” OK?  To which people said absolutely nothing.  Bennett is saying arguments like that are just morally disgusting and good for him.

KELLERMAN:  Fine.  He‘s trying to curb kind of laissez faire economics and impose some kind of morality on it.  That‘s OK, even though this is the guy who wrote “The Book of Virtues” and was caught, you know, gambling offshore however many dollars.  I mean, pretty hypocritical of him.  Now, of all things, to combine morality and economics, the author of “The Book of Virtues,” who‘s also a gambling addict. 

CARLSON:  OK.  He may be—he may be a hypocrite.  Who isn‘t?  But I think, you know, if he had just kept the race stuff out of it, which is just cringe worthy, because the essential argument, the ends don‘t justice the means, is absolutely right.

KELLERMAN:  It is right.  It shouldn‘t be Machiavellian.  However, I think proponents of abortion, and I‘m one of them—it‘s not that at a certain point, it‘s a sea horse not a kid even though it has the genetic DNA. 

CARLSON:  Come on.

KELLERMAN:  And that‘s the real argument, not to weed out Down‘s Syndrome.

CARLSON:  At some point I‘ll crush you in that debate.  But next, to what seems like simple logic, you take someone‘s property, you compensate that person.  That‘s one of the provisions of an overhaul to the Endangered Species Act passed by the House of Representatives yesterday.

It‘s got environmentalists steamed.  They say compensating landowners whose property value was reduced by the law amounts to a give away for developers. 

A former Clinton official called the measure, quote, “a deadly blow to the protections of the Endangered Species Act.  And it‘s not.  I mean, look, it‘s pretty simple.  Nobody is saying that the act can‘t be enforced, Max.  They‘re merely saying when it costs private landowners money to comply with the act, they ought to be compensated for it.  I mean how can that be a bad idea?

KELLERMAN:  Pass.  Pass.  No, look.  My wife—my wife‘s an attorney, and she is always telling me that justice is actually compensation under the law.

And in fact, if you look in the Constitution, what is the right to happiness other than the right to private interests, in other words the right to private property, really?  That‘s something the communists never understood. 

Here‘s my best argument for this, OK?  It‘s really an entitlement program which is kind of big government, and it‘s overwhelmingly supported by Republicans, which is kind of what they‘re really against.  And if you look at it more specifically, more closely, you‘ll see that a landowner where only part of his land is affected is entitled to compensation for the entire piece of land, which is just not right. 

CARLSON:  Right.  Well, that might be right.  I mean, everything the government touches turns into a boondoggle.  That‘s why if you want to save the environment, buy the land.  Make like the Nature Conservancy and buy the land you want to save.  That‘s the way to save this world in my view. 

KELLERMAN:  Pass. 

CARLSON:  All right.  Next up, quickly.  Bill Weld, he was the governor of Massachusetts, at which point, needless to say, he was a strong vigorous Red Sox fan.  Now he wants to be governor of New York, so guess what team he supports now?  That‘s right, Max.  The New York Yankees.  And that‘s just wrong.  That‘s just wrong.

Not just because the Yankees are not the team to support.  Obviously the Red Sox are.  But beyond that, he shouldn‘t be allowed to switch team allegiances just because you‘re trying to be elected to a different office.  It was wrong when Hillary did it.  And it‘s wrong when this Republican, Bill Weld, is doing it. 

KELLERMAN:  He‘s seen the light, Tucker.  The Boston Red Sox, so hypocritical.  Ben Affleck whining, “Oh, the Yankees.”  The Boston Red Sox had the second highest payroll in baseball.

By the way, they‘ve lost their charm.  They‘re no longer this team always chasing the Yankees.  They‘re no longer the coyote chasing the roadrunner.  They caught the roadrunner.  So now congratulations, Red Sox, you‘re the Detroit Tigers.  You‘re the kind of team that sometimes wins. 

CARLSON:  OK.  But hold on.  Slow down.

KELLERMAN:  He‘s seen the light.

CARLSON:  But as a Yankees fan, why would you want Red Sox refugees kind of crowding into your tent?  Traitors like this.  Why would you take people like that as fans?

KELLERMAN:  That‘s fine.  The reason the Yankees are the richest team in baseball and therefore have the most resources is because they have the most fans.  We‘ll take all the fans we can get.  What, are you kidding? I t just makes us stronger, Tucker.  By us I mean the Yankees.  I‘m a Yankees fan.

CARLSON:  Basically what you‘re saying, Max, is low standards.  That‘s the key to success.

KELLERMAN:  No, strength in numbers. 

CARLSON:  Max Kellerman.  Same time next week.  Thanks, Max. 

Still ahead on THE SITUATION, a black government official says the future of New Orleans is going to be much, quote, “whiter.”  Did he put his foot in his mouth?  What was he saying when he said that?  We‘ll discuss it next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.

To tackle all the day‘s news, I‘m joined once again by the star of Air America Radio.  It is the great Rachel Maddow.

RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO:  Hi, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Welcome, Rachel.

MADDOW:  Happy Friday.

CARLSON:  Well, thank you happy Friday to you.

This is not a happy Friday for Alfonzo Jackson, who is the secretary of Housing and Urban Development.  He said in Houston yesterday that once—well let me read you exactly the quote.

He said New Orleans would not reach its pre-Katrina population of half a million for a long time.  “It‘s not going to be as black as it was for a long time if ever again.”

MADDOW:  When I first heard this I thought, oh, he means that New Orleans city finances are going to be better, like we‘re going to be in the black.  He couldn‘t possibly be talking about race.  He was talking about race.

CARLSON:  No, no, and he went on to say, and we should note that he is himself black.

MADDOW:  Yes.

CARLSON:  But he went on to say, look, I was a developer.  I know a lot about housing stock and I‘m telling you this is just true.  It may or may not be true.  You know, I don‘t even think that‘s a political or moral question.  I don‘t even know what I think of it.  But here‘s what I think.

Immediately after he said that, Congressman Danny Davis, a Democrat from Illinois, said this.  “Anybody who can make that kind of projection with some degree of certainty or accuracy must have a crystal ball that I can‘t see or maybe they are more prophetic than any of us can imagine.”

In other words, he is alleging, and this is a very common belief I think in

some quarters that the government is behind this transfer of population out

of New Orleans that this is all part of a grand conspiracy to make New

Orleans less black and therefore less Democratic and I just think that‘s a

I think it‘s untrue.  It is certainly unproved. 

But I think it‘s a kind of poisonous conspiracy theory that makes Americans hate each other and I think it‘ dangerous and I think it‘s the result of Democrats pushing those kind of conspiracy theories in the very beginning.

MADDOW:  I don‘t think so.  I think that it may be a conspiracy theory but, again, conspiracy theories sometimes have roots in stuff that is worth debating and market forces will push New Orleans to become a less black city. 

And so, if you have a critic come out and say that and say, you know what, I‘m worried about government policies and I‘m worried about our plans for reconstructing New Orleans.  I‘m worried that the black residents of New Orleans aren‘t going to be able to come home that‘s one thing.

But this is the guy who is the Housing and Urban Development secretary.  He‘s talking about his own plans.  He‘s the guy who gets to decide a lot about the reconstruction of New Orleans.

CARLSON:  But he doesn‘t.  I mean to some extent, to some extent this is all beyond the control of the federal government.  I mean a hurricane hits.  That‘s not anybody‘s fault.  That‘s an act of God literally, right?

MADDOW:  Right.

CARLSON:  A large portion of the city may not be habitable for a long period of time.  That‘s nobody‘s fault.  That portion of the city was largely black.  That is nobody‘s fault at least in this government.  I mean that‘s the result of centuries of one thing or another, right?  So, I mean whose fault is it?  These things at some point just kind of happen.

MADDOW:  There will be market forces that push it in that direction and everybody knows that and everybody concedes that.  What we‘re worried about is that HUD is the agency that‘s going to be giving the grants for damaged and destroyed property.

CARLSON:  Right, right.

MADDOW:  He ought to be working on ways to ensure that the majority black population of New Orleans can go home.  He shouldn‘t be conceding now 30 days out from Katrina that it‘s never going to happen.  The way this feeds into conspiracy theories is it seems like he‘s not even working against that.

CARLSON:  But the conspiracy theories are already there and here‘s in my view the bottom line is there are people, particularly poor people who already think everyone hates them and is out to get them and that‘s not entirely true.

MADDOW:  Or that they won‘t be rescued or they won‘t be treated fairly.

CARLSON:  To feed those feelings, that anxiety is wrong even when it serves your political purpose.

MADDOW:  That anxiety is there for a reason.  That anxiety is there because of some truths in our society and so to make the talk go away doesn‘t make the problem go away.

CARLSON:  No, no.  We had people on this show alleging, Chuck D alleging that the government possibly blew up the levees.  Now that‘s just not true by any stretch.

MADDOW:  I was here.  Louis Farrakhan made that allegation.  You made Chuck defend it and he said ask Louis Farrakhan which he was right to say.

CARLSON:  No, no.  He said—he said who am I to say actually right?

MADDOW:  He said, I didn‘t investigate it and neither did you, which is true.

CARLSON:  Ah, come on.

MADDOW:  Chuck is a friend of mine and he was (INAUDIBLE).

CARLSON:  I like Chuck but that was absolutely ridiculous. 

OK, speaking of ridiculous, Ronnie Earle, the prosecutor in Austin who has now indicted the Republican, former Republican majority leader has been accused of being a partisan Democrat and reckless.  Well, it turns out he is.  It turns out he gave access to two documentary filmmakers a couple of years ago to follow this Tom DeLay case, right?

MADDOW:  Yes.

CARLSON:  And I want to read you the description of the film they produced.  “A Texas noir political detective story that chronicles what some are calling a bloodless coup with corporate cash,” et cetera, it goes on and on and on.

MADDOW:  OK.

CARLSON:  He is basically using this case for his own personal aggrandizement and self promotion and I just think that‘s—it tends...

MADDOW:  How does that make—how does that make him partisan?  That may make him an exhibitionist or a show boater.

CARLSON:  That‘s part of it.  Well, he‘s partisan.

MADDOW:  How does that make him partisan?

CARLSON:  He‘s partisan because he went earlier this year to a Democratic party fundraiser and attacked the very guy he was investigating and now is indicted, Tom DeLay as “a bully,” right?  I mean you have some sense...

MADDOW:  Going to a Democratic Party fundraiser, come on.

CARLSON:  Have some sense of propriety here.  If Ken Starr had done that, everybody including me would have called for him to step down.

MADDOW:  No.  That‘s absolutely not true and Kenneth Starr was a former administration official working for the Republican Party.

CARLSON:  He didn‘t go to party fundraisers and make or allow a documentary to be made.

MADDOW:  Which is more important that he went to a party fundraiser or that he‘s indicted three times as many Democrats in his career as Republicans?  He‘s indicted 12 Democrats and four Republicans over his career.  How is he a partisan Democrat?

CARLSON:  I‘m not talking about his career.  I‘m talking about—well because he was the headliner at a Democratic Party fundraiser.  I think by definition that makes him a partisan Democrat but I‘m not talking about...

MADDOW:  At some point he‘s a hero to Democrats, I concede that.

CARLSON:  I‘m not talking about his career.  I‘m talking about this one specific case.  You think it was an example of good judgment for him to allow documentary filmmakers to follow him around and to do an anti-Tom DeLay film as he‘s working up supposedly an impartial investigation on the guy, come on.

MADDOW:  Who cares?  Ronnie Earle could be a burlesque showgirl exhibitionist.  He could be Mighty Mouse and doing this.  It doesn‘t matter.  He is a prosecutor.  He‘s an elected D.A.  He could be a total show boater.  I don‘t really care.  If Tom DeLay broke the law and if Ronnie Earle presented enough evidence about that to convince a grand jury to indict Tom DeLay, let it be Mighty Mouse.  Let him be (INAUDIBLE).  Let him be anybody.

CARLSON:  You‘ve got to be kidding.

MADDOW:  It doesn‘t matter who he is and he‘s not a partisan Democrat.

CARLSON:  Well, of course, he‘s—he‘s the headliner.  Look, anybody who is the headliner at a Democratic fundraiser is literally by definition a partisan Democrat but leaving that aside...

MADDOW:  No, that‘s ridiculous.

CARLSON:  Do you think this was an example of good judgment?

MADDOW:  It doesn‘t matter.  It doesn‘t matter.

CARLSON:  Of course it matters.  There are an infinite number of potential crimes out there.  Prosecutors choose a very small number to prosecute.

MADDOW:  Right.

CARLSON:  Judgment plays a huge role in that choice, so if this man has bad judgment and he‘s a partisan Democrat it‘s going to form his choice of who to indict.

MADDOW:  Having—being a show boater, having a documentary made about yourself may mean that he‘s an exhibitionist and an annoying person.  It doesn‘t mean that he‘s a bad prosecutor and it doesn‘t mean that the House majority leader didn‘t pervert elections in his home state.  That ought to be investigated.

CARLSON:  Only a small portion of what you just said is true but we‘re out of time.  Rachel Maddow, thank you.

MADDOW:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Coming up next on THE SITUATION, have you and your dog not been on speaking terms lately?  Perhaps our next guest can help.  We‘re joined by a woman who says she can communicate telepathically with your pets and the amazing thing is she may be right.  Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MCDONALD:  Coming up, if you think talking to your pets is weird, don‘t tell our next guest.  She does it for a living.

Plus, we‘ll hand out the coveted human of the week award on the Cutting Room Floor.

CARLSON:  Well, obviously you‘re not going to want to miss that.  Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Some people might consider it strange to talk to animals.  Our next guest considers it her job because it is.  Dr. Monica Diedrich is a professional pet communicator and author of the book, “What Your Animals Tell me,” true stories of an animal communicator.  She speaks to animals through feelings she says, images and telepathy.  Dr. Monica, thanks for joining us.

DR. MONICA DIEDRICH, PET COMMUNICATOR:  Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Now what do dogs want to tell us?

DIEDRICH:  Oh, they want to tell you everything from the moment you open the door they want to tell you, of course, how happy they are to see you but you don‘t need the translation for that.  But how about when an animal does something that you don‘t know what it means?  That‘s when you need an animal communicator.

CARLSON:  Give me an example.

DIEDRICH:  Well, what if a cat suddenly and for no reason that you know of decides to start peeing outside their litter box, you know.

CARLSON:  Yes.

DIEDRICH:  Now you very well know that there‘s something wrong with your animal and he or she wants to tell you something.

CARLSON:  So that‘s not a sign of disobedience.  It‘s a sign of an attempted communication.

DIEDRICH:  Definitely a sign of saying look at me.  You know they want to tell you.  You have to pay attention to them because there is something that they need to communicate.

CARLSON:  So you‘re saying that cats do pay attention to us?  Cats are, I mean you get the feeling with cats sometimes they don‘t really know that people exist or care.

DIEDRICH:  Some cats might be a little bit more independent than others but all animals pay attention to their owners.  They want to be fed.  They want to be loved.  They want to share time with you.  So, yes, they do pay attention to you.  But dogs are usually more able to tell you what their feelings are.  That‘s why the cat will try to get your attention by other means.

CARLSON:  Tell me about how you communicate with animals.  When you talk to a dog and put your face up against a dog‘s muzzle how does the dog‘s communication come to you?

DIEDRICH:  Actually, I don‘t put my face against them at all.  I make it to where we‘re both together in a room, if I happen to do this in person, and they usually will lie by me.  Even when the owner is around they tend to levitate towards me because they know that I‘m attempting a communication.

And the communication that I do is really very simple.  I call it picture telepathy because when I close my eyes, I start receiving pictures, images, and this is a sensory picture.  It‘s not like a photograph but rather I can see what they see.  I can hear what they hear.  I can smell what they smell.  In actuality, I almost become them and I can see it from their point of view.

CARLSON:  Do they ever—do you ever pick up thoughts or communications from dogs that offend you?

DIEDRICH:  Never.  Animals are very honest and so if I take it that they‘re telling me something in all honesty there is no offensive words there.  It‘s just honest and so I never take it as an offensive thing.

CARLSON:  Do you ever come across a dog who doesn‘t like his owner?

DIEDRICH:  Yes.

CARLSON:   Really?

DIEDRICH:  I do.  I do.  Unfortunately, I‘ve had the opportunity talking to several dogs who have been mistreated in a sense that maybe the owner did not understand them and maybe they were being a little bit too abrupt in their teaching techniques and, yes, they were able to let me know that, absolutely.

CARLSON:  I have a dog.  I have a couple dogs but I have an elderly, very overweight dog who‘s terrified of thunderstorms.  How can I reassure the dog?

DIEDRICH:  Is that Agnes, by the way?

CARLSON:  It is Agnes.  I don‘t know how you knew that but that‘s true. 

Yes, it is.

DIEDRICH:  Yes, because I knew I was going to talk to you and Agnes kept trying to come in and tell me “We need to talk.  We need to sit down and talk.  There is a lot of things that I need to talk to you about.”

CARLSON:  Wait, totally I know we‘re on television but honestly did one of my producers tell you the dog‘s name?

DIEDRICH:  I knew both your dog‘s names but she was as surprised as you when I said Agnes needs to talk to Tucker.  We need to have a session with Agnes.

CARLSON:  What did Agnes say?

DIEDRICH:  That we need to talk.  I didn‘t know all the specifics nor did I ask because it‘s not my point in asking if you don‘t want to know.  It has to come from the owner.  The owner has to tell me “I need to find out this.  This is important to me” and then I start the communication.

CARLSON:  OK, Dr. Monica Diedrich, either you‘re one of the great BS artists in the world or you‘re amazing but either way you‘re freaking me right out.  Thanks for coming on our show.

DEIDRICH:  Thank you, Tucker, thank you.

CARLSON:  We‘ll be talking again I suspect.

DEIDRICH:  Yes.  Say hi to Agnes.

CARLSON:  I will.

Coming up, who in the world would defend kids snitching on their friends?  One worked up caller that‘s who.  I‘ll check THE SITUATION voice mail when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back, time for our voice mail segment. 

Every night we promiscuously throw out our phone number and you call. 

Let‘s hear what you had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TED, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS:  Hi, Tucker.  My name is Ted from Boston, Massachusetts.  I was just wondering, I was surprised that you didn‘t point out to Rachel that the Supreme Court doesn‘t make laws.  She made three or four references to the laws that the Supreme Court making would affect a diverse amount of people, diverse types of people.  Maybe you could give her a quick education on that.  Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Well, unfortunately, Ted, the Supreme Court does make laws, not supposed to.  That‘s the legislative branch‘s job but the Supreme Court in case after case after case makes laws that affect everybody.  I wish it weren‘t the case but it is sadly—next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS:  This is Tim from San Antonio again.  I can‘t believe that you talk when you have no idea what you‘re talking about.  Tom DeLay was indicted for violating a Texas law that has been on the books for 100 years.  This is a state law.  It has nothing to do with federal election laws.  Get your head out of (INAUDIBLE) and do some research.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  You‘ve been drinking again, Tim.  Of course he violated Texas law.  That‘s what I said.  I merely said the practice of sending that money back to  Washington in the open, or he‘s accused of violating Texas state law, in the open back to the Republican National Committee went on openly until the new federal campaign finance law sadly passed and was sadly, tragically signed by the president.  Yes, no of course it‘s a state prosecutor, elected, who is having him indicted, so yes.  I knew that—next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRUCE, BUFFALO, WYOMING:  Hi, this is Bruce from Buffalo, Wyoming.  I think we‘ve overreacted way too much about the use of steroids by our so-called professional athletes.  We don‘t have professional athletes anymore.  What we really got are overpaid entertainers.  Would we ban an actor or actress if they had some enhancements done, no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  I agree with that.  First they came for the steroids.  Next it‘s the boob jobs.  I see this is a threat to professional entertainers everywhere.  No, you actually make an excellent point.  Professional athletes have all sorts of advantages not available to the average athlete. 

They‘re on incredibly precise training regimens and diets that the average person couldn‘t figure out.  They have trainers all around them and steroids it seems to me are just one more advantage that they have.  I‘m not particularly offended by them but I guess I‘m not a U.S. Senator—all right.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANITA, PORT. RITCHIE, FLORIDA:  Hi, this is Anita from Port Ritchie, Florida.  I‘m calling regarding your comments on snitching.  Apparently you never had a child that was bullied in school.  My son was.  If children and adults do not take action against the bully and wrongdoers of the world then they just run rampant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Well, you‘re half right.  If children and adults don‘t take action, in the case of a bully, the child needs to take action.  You tell your son to go to school and hit that guy square in the face as hard as he can.  That‘s the only way your son is going to deal with that problem effectively and retain his self respect. 

If he goes crying to you and the police or his teachers, I mean come on, he‘ll be the laughing stock of his school and for good reason.  Snitching, except under extraordinary circumstances, you know, Bobby‘s got an AK-47 and he‘s headed to the lunch room, short of that it‘s bad.  It cuts people off from each other, from their peers in school.  It‘s a terrible thing and parents should not in any way encourage or tolerate it.  I don‘t—next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLEN, NYACK, NEW YORK:  Hey, Tucker, this is Glen from Nyack, New York.  You are really a boob and thanks for taking on the Danish military as being useless.  FYI, they‘re one of the few allies we have helping in Afghanistan.  Why don‘t you figure something out before you open your mouth?  Bye.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Glen, emotionally taking the side of the Danish military.  Actually, I wasn‘t attacking the Danish military.  I think they did a good thing for the Santa impersonator when they gave five grand.  And, you‘re right, we‘ve got a couple, there are a couple hundred Danish military personnel in Afghanistan and good for them.

But the point is, look, you know, if you‘re a Danish military officer, you‘re not saving the world from, you know, international terror or communism.  Just as well you‘re helping Santa.  I think they did a good thing.  I was supporting the Danish military.  Sorry to make you mad Glen.

All right, let me know what you‘re thinking.  Call anytime, the number 1-877TCARLSON.  That‘s 877-822-7576.

Still ahead on THE SITUATION, beauty pageants tend not to award points for criminal behavior.  We found one where being a convict is an absolute prerequisite.  Beauty is behind bars on the Cutting Room Floor.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back, time once again for the Cutting Room Floor.

Our crack producer Willie Geist has combed the highways and the byways of news for all those stories you haven‘t read before.

GEIST:  Are you OK?  You were a little shaken by...

CARLSON:  A little shaken.

GEIST:  Dr. Monica had you there.

CARLSON:  Can I tell you something?  I actually believe in the dog psychic. 

I do.  I‘m sorry.  I‘ll admit it.  I‘ll admit it on television.

GEIST:  That‘s your problem.  I can tell you something though.  I did not tell her that your dog‘s name was Misty—what is it again?

CARLSON:  Agnes.

GEIST:  Agnes, sorry, something.  Anyway, good stuff to round out the week there.

CARLSON:  I‘m a sucker for dogs.  I‘ll believe almost anything about dogs.

All right, Peru‘s Miss Primavera contest is a lot like the Miss America Pageant with the notable exception that Miss America generally has not been arrested for cocaine trafficking.

This pageant is held at the Santa Monica Women‘s Prison in Lima, Peru.  All of this year‘s contestants were arrested in the Lima Airport trying to smuggle cocaine out of the country.  The women were judged on beauty, personality and talent.

GEIST:  Ah, Tucker but they didn‘t have—they didn‘t have the one talent they needed, cocaine trafficking.  They wouldn‘t be in this mess without it, if they could have just honed that one skill.

CARLSON:  That‘s right.  There‘s got to be like a contest who can go through the Magnetometer with the straightest face.

GEIST:  (INAUDIBLE) yes, exactly, but we don‘t promote that kind of stuff.

CARLSON:  No, we don‘t.

Well, if you enjoy overpaying for drinks, and who doesn‘t, and like sitting in the freezing cold, you‘re going to love the new Ice Bar in London.  The temperature at the bar is kept at a chilly 23 degrees Fahrenheit.  Customers are handed winter jackets to wear while they‘re sipping their drinks.  The bar, the furniture, even the glass is all made of ice.

GEIST:  Now, Tucker, this bar may be closed since the time we got this tape.  This is the worst idea I‘ve ever heard in my life.

CARLSON:  It‘s unbelievable.

GEIST:  You go sit in the freezing cold and drink.

CARLSON:  That‘s so tragically hip that it‘s just...

GEIST:  But it‘s not even hip.

CARLSON:  It‘s not even hip?

GEIST:  It‘s just chattering teeth.  It‘s—I think it‘s shut down.  It‘s got to be shut down already.

CARLSON:  Yes, I hope so.  I really do.

GEIST:  It should be.

CARLSON:  You kind of want to go there with a blow torch.

GEIST:  Somebody‘s got to step in.

CARLSON:  Exactly.

Well, it‘s raining men, a phrase I never thought I‘d use, specifically the kind of men who like to dress up like Elvis and jump out airplanes.  The Flying Elvis‘, a group of skydivers who honor the king with every jump kicked off the California International Air Show today.  The team wears rhinestone-studded flight suits, white leather belts and giant diamond rings.

GEIST:  Wow, Tucker that is a scary, scary sight.  You thought the Germans were surprised when our paratroopers dropped in on D-Day?  Can you imagine looking up and seeing middle-aged men dressed as Elvis descending upon you?  Run for the hills.

CARLSON:  We got to send—we got to send those guys to Iraq.  You‘d see the insurgents high-tailing it back to Syria and Yemen.

GEIST:  Exactly (INAUDIBLE).  There‘s your solution Congressmen.

CARLSON:  You wouldn‘t believe how decadent the west really is.

Well it‘s time to meet our Non-Human of the Week.  There wasn‘t much debate about this one.  The honor goes to Elsie, the six-month-old St. Bernard who swallowed a 13-0inch serrated knife whole. 

The knife sat in Elsie‘s stomach for four days before her owner sensed something was wrong.  Veterinarians were shocked when an x-ray revealed the giant kitchen utensil inside the dog, Elsie, the knife-swallowing dog, our Non-Human of the Week, really of the year.

GEIST:  Now there was an easy solution to this.  Somebody just get themselves to petcommunicator.com, talk to Dr. Monica.  They would have heard Elsie (INAUDIBLE).

CARLSON:  But who would believe Dr. Monica if she said your dog is telling me he has a kitchen knife in his stomach?

GEIST:  Well, she did know that your dog‘s name was Agnes. 

CARLSON:  That‘s true.  That‘s pretty close.

GEIST:  So now she has a lot more credibility.

CARLSON:  She does actually.

GEIST:  Listen to Dr. Monica.

CARLSON:  I‘m going to call her back.

And finally, we crown our Human of the Week.  He is the mayor of Lajas, Puerto Rico.  He‘s pushing to have a UFO landing strip built in his cash strapped village.

Mayor Marcos Irizarry supports the idea that was hatched by a local man who says he‘s been communicating with extraterrestrials since he was a kid and he‘s certain aliens would visit Lajas if they simply had someplace to land.  The project would cost the town an estimated $100,000 and, of course, worth every penny if it works.

GEIST:  Simply not a sound fiscal decision.  But you know in this guy‘s defense, the mayor he wants to do this as a tourist attraction like they have in Nevada.

CARLSON:  Yes.

GEIST:  So the people will flock to his village and see UFOs not land there, just have the strip.  It‘s going to be amazing.

CARLSON:  I‘d run away.  I wouldn‘t want to be any place aliens are coming. 

Willie Geist, thank you.

That‘s THE SITUATION for tonight and for this week.  Thanks for watching.

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

Copy: Content and programming copyright 2005 NBC.  ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2005 Voxant, Inc.  ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon NBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation

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