Guest: Hussam Ayldush, Michael Sharp, Katharine Debrecht
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”: Now it‘s time to go to Tucker. Hey, Tucker, what‘s “the situation” tonight?
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Whatever you‘ve got in your coffee, I want some.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘ll give you some, baby.
CARLSON: I wish you would. Thank you, Joe.
And thank all of you at home for staying with us tonight. We appreciate it, as we always do.
A lot of news. We‘ll be joined live in just a moment by the great Pat Buchanan. He‘ll tell us if we should believe President Bush‘s tough talk today about immigration and border security. Are we finally getting serious about this critical issue?
Plus, Saddam Hussein‘s fiery day in court. The Iraqi dictator rants about everything from his lawyers to the elevator service in the courthouse—we are not making that up. Talk to a man close to those proceedings with the inside scoop.
And we finally do something about the liberal bias in children‘s books. It‘s there. Trust me. We‘ll talk to the author of the book, “Help, Mom, There are Liberals Under the Bed.” A little conservative bedtime reading for the kids later in the show.
But first, President Bush is looking for some much-needed support from his conservative base. He hopes the new immigration policy will help him get it. Speaking in Tucson, Arizona, today the president proposed a way to integrate illegal immigrants into the work force, while at the same time, he claimed, getting tough with those who break the law. Here‘s what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I oppose amnesty. Rewarding those who have broken the law would encourage others to break the law and keep pressure on our border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: President Bush said he is going to end the practice of catching illegal aliens and then releasing them in the U.S. Instead of returning them to their native countries.
In an exclusive interview with MSNBC‘s Norah O‘Donnell, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he hopes to catch and return, that new policy, he said it will be in effect a year from now. In that same interview, Chertoff also said not as many terrorists are crossing the border as some people think.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL CHERTOFF, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Assuming that we have a large number of terrorist, I think, is a mistake. We do catch people coming across the border, who are what we call special interest aliens.
NORAH O‘DONNELL, MSNBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: You are telling me that you didn‘t catch any terrorists in 2005?
CHERTOFF: What I‘m saying is that we‘ve caught people that we regard as special interest aliens. I don‘t think I would go so far as to say they‘re terrorists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Here to talk more about whether the president‘s immigration proposal will score any points with his conservative base, MSNBC political analyst, Pat Buchanan, joining us live from Washington.
Pat, thanks a lot for coming on.
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Delighted, Tucker.
CARLSON: Did you hear that from Secretary Chertoff, Pat? You can rest easy tonight. We‘re not sure who‘s coming into the country, but we‘re pretty sure not too many terrorists. Feel better?
BUCHANAN: Tucker, the previous policy before the day, as I understand it, catch and release. Look, they‘re catching people coming in who are not from Mexico, and they‘re releasing them into the United States.
And even under the president‘s own regime, we‘ve had about two and a half million illegals come into the United States through Mexico successfully. We can‘t know if none of them are terrorists or any of them are terrorists, so I think it would be presumptuous to say none of them are.
CARLSON: What can we know politically? I mean, this man, President Bush, has been in office for five years. Nine eleven, the point at which our perspective on immigration was supposed to have changed radically, took place more than four years ago. Why September 28, 2005 (sic)? Why now?
BUCHANAN: Well, that‘s a very good question. The president‘s five years behind the curve. An awful lot of people don‘t believe him, don‘t trust him. They still think his proposal looks like quasi amnesty, which it does.
But there‘s no doubt about it. He‘s taken a much tougher stance on securing the borders, on sending people back who break into the United States, on catch and return, and on building detention centers for those they catch breaking in. So I think—I tend to give the president the benefit of the doubt, but I think what he ought to do is what I mentioned earlier, and that is, focus first on securing the border.
Frankly, you‘re going to need a security fence there, Tucker, 2,000 miles long. And I think we ought to build it, say we‘re serious, define our border, defend our border, start sending them back. And I think he then will be able to build a constituency for dealing with the people, the 11 or 12 million, who have already broken in and broken our laws.
CARLSON: Yes. I still am waiting to hear the argument against the security fence, maybe later in the show, I‘ll finally hear it. But back to something you said a second ago, that a temporary worker program the president proposed today—he‘s talked about it before—is, in effect, a kind of amnesty. What do you mean by that?
BUCHANAN: What he‘s going to do is the people who are here, broke in, in other words, they made it through the border, 11, 12, 14 million here. They‘re going to be allowed. I mean, they go in, register. They can work three years, reregister, work for three more in the United States. Go home on a sabbatical for a year and then apply for permanent residency.
That is not enforcing the laws of the United States. The employers who hire these folks should be punished, and these folks, when apprehended, should be sent back.
Now obviously, you don‘t want to go after 12 million at once. What we ought to do is start returning anybody who‘s arrested for a misdemeanor or a felony and we find out they‘re hear illegally.
CARLSON: That does not happen now?
BUCHANAN: No, it doesn‘t. You know what they‘ve got? Even in Rudy Giuliani‘s New York they‘ve got something called a sanctuary policy, where police are not allowed to cooperate, not allowed to ask a lot of folks they arrest whether or not they‘re here illegally.
There‘s all manner of reforms that need to be made. But let me say this: we‘ve been awfully hard on the president for five years. There‘s no doubt he‘s moving in the right direction. He does—beginning to understand the issue from what he said today.
CARLSON: Now, but explain for people who don‘t know as much about politics as you, haven‘t run for president, explain the political dynamic behind this. Because the amnesty policy and the safe haven policy you just explained are repugnant to most people.
If you did a poll on what you just said, 85 percent of Americans would say, “That makes me want to throw up.” They hate that. And yet, it‘s the policy of the U.S. government. What are the forces that have made it the policy of the U.S. government?
BUCHANAN: The main forces in the Republican Party in corporations, business, chamber of commerce, business round table. They want an endless supply of cheap labor in the United States, holding wages down.
And there‘s all manner, even of small businesses, who have an awful lot of these folks—restaurants, car wash, a lot of various agriculture business, agribusinesses, very big—driving this, and that‘s of course, not a burning constituency. It‘s a small powerful constituency with tremendous money.
On the other side, the huge populous constituency, which is growing enormously, and which is on fire, they‘re saying secure the border.
And I think what the president ought to do, he ought to tell his corporate friends, “Look, I can‘t get the two together and get it done. We‘re going to have to put off this, quasi amnesty, until 2007. In 2006, I‘m going for border security, tougher than anyone, make it an issue dividing Republicans and Democrats, and it‘s the one chance Republicans got to have a real firestorm issue in the election next year.
CARLSON: I agree with that, absolutely completely. And in fact, I don‘t see, barring that, what issue is going to do that, apart from immigration. But
Explain quickly the other side. You explained why some on the corporate right are opposed to tightening up border controls. Why is the left opposed?
BUCHANAN: Here‘s the—here‘s what the left wants. The unions are going to organize these service workers, their kitchens and everywhere else. They‘ll get—a lot of them, they lost through jobs going overseas. They want them there. The churches want the pews filled up, and they‘re also—mainstream churches are very liberal. They‘re very open. Even the Catholic Church is very open to illegal immigration.
As I say, business, unions, transnational corporations, and a lot of folks, frankly, some there‘s leftists who have real sense of guilt about how we treated third worlders, and they want to bring folks in to alter the culture, alter the character of this country, because they don‘t like the country I grew up in.
CARLSON: I agree with that. I don‘t think, though, that labor unions are helping themselves by supporting illegal immigration at all.
BUCHANAN: Well, but what they‘re going to do is they figure that used to be against it, because it threatened jobs.
CARLSON: Yes, it does.
BUCHANAN: But now what you got, Tucker, you‘ve got 14 -- I mean, 10, 12, 14 million people here. They see—if you give them amnesty, make them all citizens or put them on the road to citizens, they organize them, and they got these giant unions to give them back their political clout. And also dues.
CARLSON: Pat Buchanan in Washington, thanks a lot, Pat.
BUCHANAN: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Now for another perspective on the immigration debate, we are proud to be joined by Air America radio host and our friend, Rachel Maddow.
RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO HOST: Hi, Tucker.
CARLSON: This is the most interesting thing I‘ve read in a long time. I actually read the press release that accompanied the president‘s remarks, and always a good idea to do that because there‘s tons of interesting stuff. Here‘s one interesting thing.
This is, keep in mind, the White House saying this. “Because detention facilities lack bed space at the border, most non-Mexican illegal immigrants, including some from the Middle East, apprehended are released and directed to return to a court appearance. However, 75 percent of those fail to show. Last year, only 30,000 of the 160,000 non-Mexicans coming across our southwest border were sent home.”
In other words, 130,000 people caught at the border, not Mexicans, most from central and South America, but some from the Middle East, Pakistan as well, were lost track of. Why is the Bush administration admitting this?
MADDOW: This—actually, I read the press release too, and that was actually the paragraph that I zoomed in on, too.
CARLSON: Holy smokes.
MADDOW: But the reason I zeroed in on it, is because it‘s this—this kind of underreported part of what he‘s proposing, which is, “I want more beds and immigrant detention facilities.” He wants to increase the size of our immigrant prisons by 10 percent.
The immigrant detention facility system in this country is a disaster. To expand the size of it is an absolute disaster. Totally unaccountable, mostly run by private companies, absolutely no oversight. It‘s a complete mess.
CARLSON: Then why not send them back to Guatemala and Belize and Pakistan, for that matter? That‘s the answer, obviously. Why not pressure the government of Mexico to take them back and pay their transportation, in the case where they‘re Mexican citizens?
MADDOW: As someone who is very interested in pounding nails in George W. Bush‘s political coffin, I could not be more happy to find out that this is the debate that you and Pat Buchanan are debating with what the president is proposing on immigration and all of these things.
It is a lose, lose, lose political proposition for Bush to be putting this forth. And Pat is absolutely right in saying that the Republican Party, the interest that is the kind of unspoken power here is business and corporate interest from the Republican Party, which want cheap labor at any cost.
And then there‘s the social conservatives and the religious conservatives who take Archie Bunker perspective on this: get them out. We need to lock down our borders, as Pat says. “You don‘t want to alter my country and alter my culture.” It is a real concern.
CARLSON: It is a real concern.
MADDOW: It divides the Republican Party in a fundamental way.
CARLSON: I don‘t even care. I don‘t even care. I don‘t care. Dennis Kucinich gets elected on this issue. I think unfettered immigration is really bad for our country in a whole bunch of ways.
Culturally, I agree with Pat Buchanan. I also think there are real security concerns, undeniable security concerns, and I think we ought to have the right to enforce our own laws. So if the Republicans lose on this, tough; I could care less. I think they‘re right, people who think we ought to tighten border controls. Why is a fence a bad idea? Why is it good for Israel and bad for us?
MADDOW: Well, the idea that fences and walls are historically great ideas as the mark of a supremely confident nation, I think it‘s strange. I think that the idea that a wall is going to help us out sounds very 19th century at this point. And I don‘t actually think...
CARLSON: Well, why wouldn‘t it? Why wouldn‘t—I mean, if a wall has reduced terror attacks in Israel from the West Bank, like, 95 percent, why wouldn‘t a wall that spans the 2,000 miles of our southwest border slow immigration to a trickle? It would.
MADDOW: The wall does a lot of things. Most people in the world who talk about that wall call it the apartheid wall. I mean, that wall has...
CARLSON: You can call it names if you want, but why wouldn‘t it work?
MADDOW: Well, it may work on one thing that you want to do. It may cause a huge number of other problems. I mean, the wall in Israel divides a whole lot of Palestinian lands that never should have been divided.
CARLSON: Yes, but we didn‘t take our lands from Mexico. I mean...
MADDOW: Go back.
CARLSON: ... we‘re not talking about a war that took place 40 years ago over disputed lands, overseen by the United Nations. This is our country. That is their country. They have an interest in sending their unemployed here. We have an interest in keeping them out. A wall would solve that problem.
And I just don‘t—what‘s the logical argument against it?
TUCKER: The logical argument against it is that the cultural perspective against immigration, the idea that you‘re changing our culture, you‘re changing our country too much, we want to keep our country the way it is and stop immigration, America is nothing without immigrants. I mean, for Patrick Buchanan to say there should not be immigrants in this country because I want my country to stay the way it is.
CARLSON: Did his parents—did they sneak over illegally? I don‘t think so. I don‘t think so, and that‘s the difference.
MADDOW: Well, immigration is a constant moral panic in this country.
MADDOW: We are constantly freaked out about immigration, and business interests will make it so that...
CARLSON: I‘ll make it really clear. There‘s legal immigration and illegal immigration. There‘s a difference. You can despise one, while welcoming the other. And I think that‘s where he‘s at. I know that‘s where I am at.
Speaking of movements of people, withdrawal from Iraq. All of a sudden in the space of 10 days, as we predicted on this show, it‘s become a kind of consensus, we‘re going to do it. The Bush administration has essentially said in the last couple of days, “We‘re not going to withdraw immediately, but we are withdrawing. There is a time table of a sort. Even though we‘re not exactly calling it that.” You must welcome this.
MADDOW: Well, it‘s interesting. It‘s a very—this is one of these issues where it‘s politics and principle kind of at odds here. Because it‘s absolutely politically ridiculous that the Bush administration is now saying, “Withdrawing from Iraq, that was our idea all along.” That whole cut and run...
CARLSON: Had to withdraw at some point, right?
MADDOW: But here is what they‘re saying: we‘re going to withdraw, basically, next year. That whole cut and run, surrender to the terrorists thing that we were attacking two weeks ago, now that we‘re saying that was our idea all along. And politically it is ridiculous.
But I am less interested in scoring on this issue partisan points against Bush, than I am in getting the troops home. And so a principled status, if you have to let Bush say this was his idea all along, which is politically ridiculous, I am willing to give him that and turn the other way and not mock him for that if it means troops come home.
CARLSON: I think it‘s not only politically not ridiculous. It may or may not be true. That‘s a whole separate question. It think it‘s politically essential. I think this is why democracies are pretty good systems in the end. The president‘s responding to the public will.
MADDOW: But lying about his prior position.
CARLSON: So what? It‘s politics. Everybody always says, “You know what? I thought of that a long time ago.”
MADDOW: And it‘s—I‘m willing to not score the partisan points on him in order to let him do that, but for him to say it was his idea to withdraw from Iraq...
CARLSON: You‘re willing not to score? See, I have said from the very beginning, Rachel, this show has made you into bigger, more magnanimous person.
MADDOW: I just want the troops...
CARLSON: I want to take the credit for that.
MADDOW: I want the troops home more than I hate George Bush. Staying alive.
CARLSON: Rachel Maddow, joining us. Thank you.
MADDOW: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: (AUDIO GAP) why is so much blood spilled in the name of Islam, and why aren‘t Muslims protesting terrorism by the millions in the streets? We‘ll get answers to some of those questions. Questions on the minds of non-Muslims next.
Plus, looking for a conservative alternative to children‘s books? How about the story of two boys who struggle to start a lemonade stand in a liberal land? We‘ll talk to the author of, “Help, Mom, There Are Liberals Under my Bed” when THE SITUATION returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENNIS PRAGER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: These are honest questions. I don‘t know the answer to the question that I have posed. Why are there—I need to know, why don‘t you have the sense that your religion isn‘t looking good because of all the evil done in its name?
Don‘t you want to—don‘t you want to go into the street and say, “No, this is not right, this is—Allah is not blessing these people?”
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: That was nationally syndicated radio talk show host Dennis Prager. He wrote an article in “The L.A. Times” earlier this month, entitled five questions non-Muslims would like answered. Here to answer those questions, Hussam Ayldush. He‘s executive director from the Southern California Office of Council on American-Islamic Relations. He joins us now live from Anaheim, California.
Mr. Ayldush, thanks a lot for coming on.
HUSSAM AYLDUSH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA OFFICE, COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS: My pleasure. Good evening.
CARLSON: Good evening. You, I think, are familiar with the questions. Want to put them up on the screen for our viewers, who maybe didn‘t see our earlier segment.
I just want to start with the first question, which I found really compelling. And it‘s why are Muslims so quiet, that is, so quiet in the face of really this unending series of terror attacks perpetrated by Muslims in the name of Islam since 9/11?
I can only think of two mass demonstrations, spontaneous demonstrations, where thousands of people got into the streets and said, “Not in my name.” And they are recently in Jordan, when Zarqawi from Iraq bombed what turned out to be a Muslim wedding, Jordanian wedding, and then demonstrations that took place in Beirut after President Ariri was killed by Muslims. But I can‘t think of massive spontaneous demonstrations to protest acts of terror against non-Muslims the past 40 years, and I don‘t understand why.
AYLDUSH: Actually there were a lot of protests, even immediately after September 11, but protests and vigils are not the only way to demonstrate our faith against those terrorist attacks. There were many, many statements from every single scholar of Islam that I know of, in and outside of America.
CARLSON: Yes, and they‘re not working. They‘re not—I understand, you make a fair point. That‘s not the only way to get things done, you are right. But those statements from isolated imams, and because Islam is not hierarchical, you know, there‘s no central church to issue any statement. They haven‘t worked very well, obviously. Right?
And so why haven‘t—you did see demonstrations when Muslims were killed by Muslims. Why haven‘t you seen those when Muslims kill non-Muslims?
AYLDUSH: Two premises we need to be aware of. First, these were not isolated. Every Islamic institution in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and Egypt, all the mainstream ones, have condemned the act of terrorism, in a very clear-cut way.
In the U.S., it was condemned very clear-cut by the American Muslim organizations. That‘s the first premise. The second premise is 1.3 or 1.4 billion Muslims do not feel they need to condemn every act of crime, of terrorism committed by anyone who claims to be Muslim.
CARLSON: OK. How about one? How about a single one? I don‘t remember—look, here‘s what Mr. Prager said. He said, and I think it‘s a very good point, 1982, in Lebanon, then occupied by the Israelis, the Israeli army, led by Ariel Sharon, allowed these phalanges (ph) lunatics to shoot up two refugee camps at Saburn Shatilla (ph) and killed a lot of people, and it was horrible.
And Israeli citizens reacted to those massacres by going out in the streets and saying, “You‘re doing this in our name. Or it appears that you‘re doing it in our name, and we don‘t like it.”
And why haven‘t you seen anything like that take place in any Islamic capitol? Doesn‘t that trouble you a little bit?
AYLDUSH: No. There were a lot of writings, a lot of vigils, in Tehran, in Iran itself, immediately, a week after the September 11 attacks. Thousands of young Iranians went out in the street in support of America and the Americans.
Well, the question could be asked also to Mr. Prager himself. When the Israeli massacre against Palestinians happened, it happened in the name of the Jewish state, obviously not presenting the good teaching of Judaism, but did Mr. Dennis Prager himself went out on the streets, condemning those acts?
CARLSON: No, he probably—I doubt he did, because I don‘t think those are his politics. But a lot of Israelis did. There was, as you know, the peace now movement in Israel, without getting caught up in the Israel thing. But there‘s a very vibrant left wing in Israel that is constantly protesting, tens of thousands of them, as you know, against any sort of overreach by the Israeli army.
But I want to get to a second question that bothered me personally that he asked. And that is, why are Islamic countries typically so intolerant of other religions? I‘m thinking now of Saudi Arabia, which if any place, it really is the seat of Islam. Mecca and Medina, the holy cities, are there.
And it is illegal to proselytize Christianity there. There are no mosques and no churches in Saudi Arabia, as it is illegal to proselytize, I believe, throughout the Islamic Middle East. Why is that? And are you bothered by it?
AYLDUSH: Actually, the example you picked of Saudi Arabia is a very unique example. There are over 57 countries that claim to have a Muslim majority in them, and in all of these countries, I have visited dozens of them, churches and mosques are side by side. Muslims, Christians share holidays.
CARLSON: How about Saudi Arabia? Should Christians be able to practice their religion openly in Saudi Arabia? What is your opinion?
AYLDUSH: Well, the thing is, Saudi Arabia is a very unique example, for many reasons. One is...
CARLSON: What do you think?
AYLDUSH: Personally, I think Christians who live in Saudi Arabia should be entitled to the right to practice their religion. And by the way, many of them, because I visited Saudi Arabia, and I have Christian friends from Lebanon, and many of them practice religion in the privacy of their homes.
I would wish for them—if Saudi Arabia is in need of people, of workers, who not Muslims, to work there, the least Saudi Arabia should do is to allow them to practice.
CARLSON: Well, good for you.
AYLDUSH: You cannot have it both ways. I don‘t think we can have it both ways.
CARLSON: Well, good for you. Hussam Ayldush, joining us tonight from Anaheim, thanks a lot. I appreciate it.
AYLDUSH: My pleasure. Thank you very much.
CARLSON: Up next, Saddam Hussein goes on a rant in front of the Iraqi special tribunal, and a prominent American attorney, a former attorney general, comes to his defense. We‘ve got all the gory details on today‘s court appearance when THE SITUATION returns.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was back in court today complaining about having to walk up four flights of stairs in shackles, boo-hoo. His rhetoric anything wasn‘t new, but there was a new face on his defense team. That‘s right, former U.S. attorney general, Ramsey Clark. You knew him during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration.
Here to talk about today‘s developments in the courtroom, Professor Michael Sharp from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He‘s one of five international law experts selected to train the judges now trying Saddam Hussein. Professor Sharp joins us tonight live from Cleveland.
Professor, thanks a lot for coming on.
MICHAEL SHARP, CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW: Hi, Tucker. Good to be on.
CARLSON: Ramsey Clark, what is he doing, how did he get there, and how embarrassing is this to anyone who would even think of defending the LBJ years? This is unbelievable?
SHARP: Anybody who knows Ramsey shouldn‘t be surprised. This is the same Ramsey Clark who represented Slobodan Milosevic at the Hague, who designed Milosevic‘s defense, which has turned the Milosevic trial into a trial of the United States and the NATO intervention.
And Ramsey Clark, who was very much against the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, has chosen to become involved in this case and has somehow convinced Saddam Hussein that it‘s in his interest to have him involved, so that he can turn this trial from a trial of Saddam Hussein to a trial of the United States.
CARLSON: Well, you were telling me a minute ago, and I don‘t think this has been reported yet anywhere, and it‘s almost hard to believe, that the U.S. government flew him to Iraq. Is that true, and how can that be?
SHARP: I heard that this morning in a discussion I had with an “L.A. Times” reporter in Baghdad. And I feel a little bit responsible for this situation. I have to tell you a quick story about this.
Two weeks ago, I was at a conference in Georgetown Law School, and Curtis Dobler (ph), who is assisting Ramsey Clark and is one of the lawyers from the United States who is representing Saddam Hussein, approached me, and he said, “Look, Sharp, we need your help, because the defense counsel is in a boycott. We can‘t talk to the U.S. authorities or the Iraqi authorities, but we want to get a back channel communication to them. There are three things we want, and if we can get them, we‘ll have the trial come back into play.”
One of those three things was they wanted a visa for Ramsey Clark, to be able to come to Baghdad so that he could sit next to Delami (ph) during the trial and be an active participant. Not only did the United States acquiesce to that, but apparently, they flew him in late last night in a U.S. military transport.
CARLSON: That‘s just—that‘s just unbelievable. So sum it up for us. There was the headline the other day saying Bush administration preparing for the possibility, however remote, Saddam found innocent. Is there, in fact, a possibility that could happen?
SHARP: I don‘t see that happening. There are a number of trials. And this very first trial about the Dejal (ph) case is really an open and shut case.
One of the things that the media has missed today, which is the real news, is that they began the trial with their first witness. Now, of course, he turned out to be a dead witness, who had testified on his death bed from the hospital while he was dying from cancer, but the things that he said already have started to nail the hammer into the coffin of Saddam Hussein‘s guilt.
What he did was he was able to testify that Saddam Hussein ordered 400 people to be rounded up, even though they all knew that only about 12 people were involved in the attack, and they basically said, “Get the regular suspects, the usual suspects.” They brought them to Abu Ghraib prison, the same infamous prison that‘s been in the news so much this last year.
SHARP: They let them rot for a couple of years. And then the same witness also said that one of the defendants, the vice president of Iraq, ordered all the date palm trees destroyed, not because they were hiding terrorists, like in Vietnam, when we were using Agent Orange to try to clear the way so we could find the Viet Cong, but rather to punish this particular town for its attempt against Saddam Hussein.
CARLSON: That sounds pretty conclusive. But I mean, I thought O.J. was going to get it, too, so what do I know? But I hope you are right. Michael Sharp, professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Hope you‘ll come back as this trial continues.
SHARP: Always a pleasure.
CARLSON: Thank you.
Coming up on THE SITUATION, maybe all the embattled pharmaceutical industry needs is a little cheering up. We‘ll tell you how cheerleaders are coming to the rescue of big drug companies when THE SITUATION rolls on.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Goethe, the German writer philosopher once said, when ideas fail, words come in very handy. Joining me, a man who is never at loss for words or ideas, he is “The Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO boxing host, Max Kellerman. No middle name, just Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO: And speaking of Goethe, where is the R? I don‘t understand spellings of certain names.
CARLSON: I think there is a lot about the Germans I don‘t understand, beginning with the pronunciation.
KELLERMAN: Two dots on the tops, Os and Es, every which way - like Sade—suddenly an R shows up in the name. How does that happen?
CARLSON: Sade, Goethe, it‘s all kind of a piece. First up a quiz, do a high school teacher‘s political views belong in vocabulary test? That‘s what happened at bun Bennington, Vermont, high school English class. Teacher Bret Chenkin asked students to pick the correct word to complete sentences such as, “I wish Bush would be blank for once during his speech, but there are theories that his everyday diction charms the below average mind, hence ensuring him Republican votes.” Correct word was “coherent.” Chenkin said it was all tongue and cheek. But will change his methods from now on. I hope he does.
This is almost not even worth me attacking because it‘s so obviously wrong. But let me just read one other line from his vocabulary test. “It is frightening the way the extreme right has blanked aspects of the constitution and warped them for their own agenda.” Well, I mean, use the phrase, extreme right, unless you are talking about the national socialists themselves. Extreme right is like outrageously pointed stupid propagandistic way to talk about people. This guy ought to be canned.
KELLERMAN: When he talks about the extreme right, and trying to get around the constitution and everything else, that‘s out of bounds, but in terms of attacking George Bush, directly, that‘s not really political commentary so much as it is satire. George W. Bush is cartoonish, his malapropisms are infamous. In other words, if Bill Clinton were president and a teacher were to have said, Bill Clinton blank, and it‘s “libidinous” no big deal. Bill Clinton was libidinous. Is George Bush always coherent?
CARLSON: If an English teacher said, you know how many grammatical errors there are in Martin Luther King Jr.‘s letter from a Birmingham jail, a lot. Let‘s mock him.
KELLERMAN: Martin Luther King, Jr. and George W. Bush ...
CARLSON: There are sacred cows, is my point. There are people you are allowed to attack and people you are not allowed to take. The purpose of education, to slay sacred cows, open your mind see the world as it really is, not according to the pre-conception o some stupid, washed up baby boomer creep who is teaching high school English.
KELLERMAN: If you are arguing it‘s OK to attack sacred cows, the president should not be sacred cow and you should be able to make these kinds of ...
CARLSON: My point, attacks like this are limited to a small group of people whose politics are antithetical to those high school English teachers, their politics overwhelmingly left wing. I‘m saying if you‘re going to attack people, let‘s open it up, baby, attack everybody.
KELLERMAN: When it came out, the “New York Times,” left wing “New York Times,” that Martin Luther King had plagiarized part of his thesis, that was in the “New York Times”.
CARLSON: You are right. I am not attacking Martin Luther King. I like Martin Luther King.
KELLERMAN: Left wing.
CARLSON: I understand.
KELLERMAN: You Republicans are very touchy about what teachers are doing in classrooms.
CARLSON: First of all, I am not a Republican, I‘m so much farther out.
KELLERMAN: I apologize.
CARLSON: The reason I am farther out than that is because I grew up with left wing teachers constantly trying to ram their stupid ideas down my throat and punishing me for not accepting them.
KELLERMAN: Came into my space a little bit there.
CARLSON: Sorry. I couldn‘t help it. I get exercised on that.
Now to a story that wound up on the front page of today‘s speaking of, “New York Times,” that shocking news, in fact, sex sells. In this case, good-looking college cheerleaders are being recruited by drug companies as sales representatives. And it‘s no surprise, they are successful with the nation‘s male doctors. Drug companies deny that sex appeal has anything to do with hiring decisions.
Cheerleaders, give me a V, gimme a I, gimme a A, gimme a G, gimme a R, gimme a A, what does it spell? Viagra.
Obviously sex appeal sells. Here‘s the argument, people look at cheerleaders, they are not going to get anywhere, these are people who spend their college years, jumping up and down, losers, brightest times of their lives are passing them by. They have no future. Here, drug companies are out of pure compassion, affirmative action program, hiring otherwise unemployable cheerleaders.
KELLERMAN: You could argue they are uniquely qualified to be pitch men, cheerleaders, right, because they have to believe in the product and sell. That‘s what they are there to do. Sure, I could buy that. However, when you are talking about medicine, I think there should be as few things that skew the reality of how good the medicine is. In other words, you don‘t want forces influencing what kind of medicine is pushed. Anything to do with your health is pushed, based on anything other than the merits of the product. Right? You don‘t want ...
CARLSON: Not only ...
KELLERMAN: Sex appeal ...
CARLSON: Not only are you right, you are so completely right, I can‘t continue this debate because you‘re unassailably right. Everything you said is totally true. I just like cheerleaders, and I know we are going to get a ton of mail, about how George W. Bush and Trent Lott were both cheerleaders. Yes, I knew that. No need to write. I just kind of like cheerleaders and like the idea - but you‘re right. I want ugly people selling drugs to my physician, not that I have one. Max Kellerman, thank you.
Stay tuned, still plenty more ahead on THE SITUATION.
Sweet dreams, and don‘t let the liberals bite. Heartwarming bedtime stories for the little capitalist in your life.
A shocking tailgate party gives a new twist to the term tail.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They thought they would come onto someone‘s property and perform this.
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CARLSON: Plus, how a suspected hamburglar tarnished the name of a good clown. And meet Colombo, Tokyo‘s famous pet detective, and true master of disguise. All ahead on the situation.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It‘s great.
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CARLSON: Welcome back. Have you ever been reading your child a bedtime story and thought to yourself, this is total propaganda, usually liberal propaganda? My next guest has had that experience, and she is now pushing back with a children‘s book that playfully teaches kids about the tenants of conservatism. Katharine Debrecht is the author of the new book, “Help, Mom, There are Liberals Under My Bed.” She joins us live tonight from Greenville, South Carolina. Katharine Debrecht, thanks a lot for coming on.
KATHARINE DEBRECHT, CHILDREN‘S AUTHOR: Hi, Tucker. Thank you.
CARLSON: I just characterized why you wrote the book, I don‘t know that, that was my assumption. Why did you write this?
DEBRECHT: Basically that‘s the reason. I have three children, and I was just—had seen so much of the liberal agenda thrown at them in books, television, movies, the schools, and I really wanted something to balance that with traditional conservative values, like self-reliance, hard work, charity, and faith, and there really wasn‘t a whole lot out there on that side, and so I decided to write a book.
CARLSON: I mean, I completely sympathize with you. I have run into that all the time and it just drives me absolutely bananas, subtle and sometimes not so subtle propaganda in children‘s books. Is there isn‘t there a value keeping politics, no matter what politics, away from kids?
DEBRECHT: Actually, my book doesn‘t talk about Republican or Democrat. It really just talks about traditional family values, like I said, self-reliance, hard work, charity and faith. It‘s a sweet story about two boys who open up a lemonade stand, and it does talk about some of the liberal policies, overregulation, overtaxation, and being offended by anything Christian, that thwarts traditional family values in this country.
CARLSON: So what kind of response have you had?
DEBRECHT: It‘s been great. It‘s been picked up all over from Great Britain to Australia, New Zealand, all the way to India. I have had great response on the conservative side. On the liberal left, it‘s basically what I expected, quite a bit of whining.
CARLSON: They are not impressed? What kind of reviews has it gotten?
DEBRECHT: Like I said, it‘s gotten great reviews on the conservative side. On the left, of course, what people really basically say is that it teaches hate or it‘s propaganda, but this is from people who have not read the book.
CARLSON: Yeah. I have never met a librarian who isn‘t for one world government, for giving the UN control over my house. They must hate it.
CARLSON: Has it made it into any libraries that you are aware of?
DEBRECHT: I am not sure at this moment. I know there are a lot of supporters of the book who would like to see it in school libraries, and with books like “Heather Has Two Mommies,” “King and King,” “It‘s Just a Plant” which talks about marijuana, “Rainbow Fish,” which is about a socialist fish, with those in the school libraries, I don‘t see why my book could not be there as balance to all of the left wing books in there.
CARLSON: No offense, but your book has absolutely no chance making it alongside them. I am sorry to say. I am looking at illustrations here. Who are these figures? One looks like a pretty mannish Hillary Clinton, I would have to say, and who else is represented in the book?
DEBRECHT: You do have Representative Clunkton as she‘s called in the book, the pant suit-clad senator from New York, you also have Mayor Leech who resembles a portly senator from Taxachusetts, the others characters are basically generic who are going to be throughout the series.
CARLSON: Interesting. My one complaint, it‘s a pretty long book. Do you expect—do you think parents, you know—you can‘t read for 45 minutes and fall asleep. I am not sure if you have tried it, I am sure you have. How long does it take to finish this thing?
DEBRECHT: I would say seven, eight minutes, tops, 53 pages, one side illustrations, one side, a really sweet story. But you know, Tucker, it also has a lot of fun adult humor in it as well, so parent are really going to enjoy reading it with their children.
CARLSON: Adult in the more traditional sense of adult humor.
CARLSON: If you could boil it down to one message, what would it be?
DEBRECHT: The message in my book is really about self-reliance. You don‘t expect the government to give everything to you. And it‘s really about pursuing and really despite all the obstacles, to really try and strive and pursue the American dream.
CARLSON: Katharine Debrecht, I can‘t stand politics in children‘s books. I thought I wasn‘t going to like it, but actually it‘s a clever book, I have to say.
Thanks a lot for coming on. I hope it sells.
DEBRECHT: Thank you.
CARLSON: Thanks. Coming up, I hate for anything to happen to Yellowstone National Park, truly but does Montana really need as much homeland security money as New York City? One resident of the Big Sky country sure thinks it does. I will check THE SITUATION voice mail next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. A lot of you apparently went right from the pumpkin pie to the telephone. Our voice mail brimming when we returned to work this morning, not all of the messages angry, either, we‘re proud to say. On to THE SITUATION voice-mail. First up.
CALLER: Hey, Tucker. My name is Charlie Rich (ph) I‘m calling from Missoula, Montana. And please, don‘t knock Montana and its senators. Montana is the fourth largest state in the country. We have got hundreds of miles of borders across Canada. We have got nuclear missile silos, so just because we have a low population doesn‘t mean we don‘t have things that need to be taken care of.
CARLSON: Actually, it does mean Montana, which I love, Montana is a wonderful state, I am not saying anything against it, or even your senators but Montana doesn‘t need a great deal of homeland security funds. Sorry. For one thing, I don‘t think members of al Qaeda are going to blend into Montana population seamlessly, as they did in say, San Diego, so yeah, I think Montana may be getting a little too much federal money.
CALLER: Hi, Tucker. This is Christy (ph) from Akron, Ohio. I was a little surprised the other night. Usually you are pro-dog on the show, almost insanely pro dog, in fact, but you had story on excesses and waste of homeland security, and one of the things you reported was excess, was buying Kevlar vests for police dogs. That seems somewhat reasonable to me, and I am surprised you considered that excess.
CARLSON: I am insanely pro-dog, I am head of the pro-dog caucus here at MSNBC and if welfare of dogs is in question, I will always come out on the dog‘s side. However, they don‘t need Kevlar vests, especially bomb sniffing dogs. Bomb sniffing dogs work primarily in airports. Are there a lot of gun battles at airports? I haven‘t seen any. I think the dogs get along just fine with out them and in fact my dogs wouldn‘t want to wear Kevlar vests. Have you ever worn one? They are incredibly heavy and uncomfortable. So for the dog‘s sake, and for our sake as taxpayers, nix on the Kevlar vests for dogs.
CALLER: Hi, Tucker. This is Greg in Waunakee, Wisconsin, just outside of Madison. My wife and I are wondering what exactly is it you do to keep your skin looking so young?
CARLSON: One word, Nicorette, it works. Let me know what you are thinking. You can call 877-TCARLSON. That‘s 877-822-7576. You can also e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to hear more opinions, still more, go to our blog. I write a new one every day. They are not bad, actually. That‘s tucker.msnbc.com.
Still ahead on THE SITUATION, they won‘t let you keep pandas at pets, why not do the next best thing? Spray paint your dog to look like one. The bizarre story of dog in disguise when we visit “The Cutting Room Floor.” Next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time for the “Cutting Room Floor.” Here, newly clean and sober, Willie Geist.
WILLIE GEIST, MSNBC PRODUCER: Thank you for pointing that out. Appreciate it. By the way, Nicorette, my foot. Chemical peel and mud mask, every afternoon in the make-up room.
CARLSON: Take every advantage you can, that‘s my advice. For a 55-year-old man, I look pretty good.
GEIST: You do look good.
CARLSON: President Bush has been called many things science I took over the White House five years ago, but I‘m pretty sure gangsta, with an a, not one of them. Rap star $0.50 tells “GQ Magazine,” he thinks Bush is a gangsta, that‘s a good thing, by the way. $0.50, who famously was shot nine times before taking up hip hop full time says he wants to meet him and shake his hand, and tell him how much of me I see in him.
GEIST: I see it too. You know what else, this is true $0.50 says he likes Bush so much, federal laws permitting felons to vote, he would have voted for Bush, by golly.
CARLSON: So often, you wonder how many layers of irony surrounds.
GEIST: You know what it shows? Bush‘s margin of victory, considerably larger if they let felons vote.
CARLSON: I don‘t think so.
If pandas are so rare and endangered, how come they are casually strolling through the streets of Tokyo? Actually this is a dog. For reasons that remain a mystery to us, the dog‘s owner has dyed him to look like a panda bear. Colombo, yes the dog is named after the TV detective, is naturally white, but through the magic of paint he has black around his eyes, ears and legs.
GEIST: I am not sure where to begin here.
CARLSON: As I have said many times, really, Japan the weirdest country in the world.
GEIST: I was going to say. Japan, good friends, dependable ally but at what point do we say out loud, these people are a little weird.
CARLSON: Now is the time, Willie.
GEIST: The Colombo thing just totally puts it over the top.
CARLSON: But it‘s so typically Japanese. Any country that came up with Hello, Kitty is capable of this.
GEIST: Hello Kitty is hot by the way. Making a comeback.
CARLSON: So tragic.
This next story can‘t be true but we are told it is. And employee of a Manchester, New Hampshire Wendy‘s was arrested last night for allegedly trying to steal money from the restaurant. What‘s the big deal with guy robbing Wendy‘s you ask? The guy‘s name is Ronald MacDonald, no joke. The Wendy‘s manager says he saw the 22-year-old MacDonald trying to snatch the money from the store safe.
GEIST: Wow. I was going to say the only way this story could be more unbelievable, if his name was Gary Hamburglar. That‘s the only way. This is an outrageous story. You know, I will give this guy credit. He resisted the urge to work at McDonald‘s. He chose Wendy‘s.
CARLSON: The look on the face in the mug shot, a grimace.
CARLSON: I‘m sorry.
CARLSON: I just thought of that too. Wise man once said, the only thing better than a strip joint is a strip joint on wheels.
GEIST: Who said that?
CARLSON: It was Confucius, I think so. The owners of a Tampa, Florida topless bar took their show on the road yesterday for some tailgating at the Tampa Bay Buccaneer football game, they were serving alcohol and selling lap dances in an unmarked black bus in the stadium parking lot. Unfortunately for mankind, the whole operation was illegal. Eleven people were arrested.
GEIST: They have got some nerve, shutting down that operation.
CARLSON: I know they do.
GEIST: Stop taking away the mobile public service, you going to take away meals on wheels?
GEIST: Mobile blood banks?
CARLSON: The book van.
GEIST: This is outrageous.
CARLSON: First they came for the strippers in the stadium parking lot. Civil liberties, don‘t erode all at once, Willie, it‘s inch by inch by 36 triple D. They take them away.
GEIST: You‘re preaching to the choir, my friend.
CARLSON: Because if there‘s one show to defend strippers, it‘s our show - Willie Geist - That‘s THE SITUATION for tonight. Coming up next, COUNTDOWN with Keith Olbermann. Have a great night.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.