Guest: Edward Looney, Wayne Allyn Root, Max Kellerman, Doug Lansky
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Thanks, Joe. And thanks to you at home for tuning in. We always appreciate it.
Tonight, Donald Rumsfeld announces the drawdown of thousands of troops in Iraq. But is that a good thing? We'll talk to Pat Buchanan about that. He'll also tell us why 2006 will be George Bush's year, believe it or not.
Plus, documents show Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito wants to overturn Roe vs. Wade. That's good news, regardless of your position on abortion. We'll tell you why.
It turns out we should all be living in Las Vegas and not just for the black Jack and all you can eat seafood buffets. The millionaire Republican will be here to tell us how moving to could actually make you rich.
We begin tonight with the future of President Bush. He has endured the Katrina disaster, the CIA leak scandal, and relentless criticism about the war in Iraq. My next guest says the president is stronger than ever, though. I'm joined now from Washington by a man who has seen politics from every conceivable angle, MSNBC political analyst, Pat Buchanan.
Pat, thanks for coming on.
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: So you have this really interesting and well argued but kind of remarkable column about President Bush in which you say this week that his defense of the war has actually been really good for him. I was amazed to see this column coming from you, someone who has been a very articulate critic of the war. Tell us what it means.
BUCHANAN: Well, basically, I think the president has made a 10-point turn-around, a tremendous comeback in the last six weeks for one reason, Tucker. He has moral certitude. He believes in the justice and wisdom of this cause. He believes we can prevail.
And while he was thrown on the defensive for two months after Camp Casey and Katrina and—and nominee Harriet Miers, I think he made a decision, “Look, I'm going to stand or fall on this war. I believe in it.”
And he came out straightforward and said exactly what he believed again and again and again. He made a compelling case, in my judgment, and his opponents really don't believe in anything.
And I think the fact that he did that, and he stayed with it is the reason that he has turned this around and bought himself six months. He's got moral certitude on a matter of national security, and the president is never stronger.
CARLSON: I actually agree with you as a political matter, even though I doubt the wisdom of the war, as I know you do, initially. Who does he win, though with that certitude? Does he win back people who supported him originally? Doe he win back independents and Democrats? Who likes it when he talks that way?
BUCHANAN: Well, let me—let me just read you one thing he said, Tucker. He said, “I also want to speak to those of you who did not support my decision to send troops to Iraq. I have heard your disagreement, and I know how deeply it is felt. Yet, now there are only two options left before our country: victory or defeat.”
He is speaking right to me. He says—saying, in effect, “All right, I know you didn't support the war, but you know as well as I do now we're on a precipice. Either we're going to win or lose.” That is dead right. And he's saying, “Listen, give me six months, give me a year. Our troops don't think they've lost. Our commanders don't. I don't. The enemy doesn't. Why pull our team off the field?”
I found those Sunday night arguments extremely compelling. I mean, the man admitted, “You disagree with me, but we know where we are all now, and we're all in the same boat.” And I found it a compelling case, and so I sort of say, give him the time to see if it works.
CARLSON: I wonder, though, to what extent this bump in the polls is built on sand. This is really the only good news we've heard out of Iraq in some time, this election. I remember the last election in Iraq also gave the president a bump in the polls.
Is he completely dependent on the news from that country for his political stability?
BUCHANAN: I think, look, we're going to win or lose this war, and we're going to know in 2006 whether this election worked. I've seen what you've seen, that it was a sectarian election, an ethnic election, that the people who believed in a unified Iraq got routed. And it may all collapse, Tucker, and this thing may go under.
But I think the president has bought himself some time. If it does go under, I don't know the fallout from something like that. Certainly Rumsfeld, Cheney, and the president will bear full moral responsibility for taking us in. But how the country reacts, if this is a dramatic reversal, I don't think you can predict.
You know, we lost that war in Vietnam. And it was lost in '75, under Ford. But it was the Democrats who ultimately were held accountable for undercutting the president and undercutting the war.
So I think the president, he's like Lincoln. He says, “Look, you know, if this thing comes out right, what my enemies say doesn't matter. If it comes out wrong, what -- 10 angels swearing I was right ain't going to help me.”
CARLSON: You give great advice to Democrats, believe it or not. I've always noticed that, though you're not a very active Democrat yourself. I always think that your political advice to them is pretty sound. If you were the Democratic leadership right now, what position would you take? How would you respond to the series of speeches that Bush gave over the last two weeks?
BUCHANAN: I would respond the way Nixon did in '68 to Lyndon Johnson, and the way Hillary Clinton's responding right now. Which is basically this. We went in to Iraq. I believed it was right going in, and Hillary Clinton believed that, and Nixon did. And the administration has run the war. They've handled it badly. But they are playing this hand, and they are entitled to play it out for the next three years.
And if they fail, then we will need new leadership. I believe we need new leadership anyhow, but I'm not going to undercut the president of the United States, who is our commander-in-chief, in time of war. That's the stance the Democratic Party ought to take.
The Howard Dean thing, you know, we're not winning this war, and even Murtha, saying we're all worn out, we're tired, people perceive that as defeatism. And nobody likes a defeatist, whether you are for this war or against it. Almost every American wants to see it come out well.
CARLSON: Interesting. Now, for those very few Republicans or Democrats, but in this case Republicans who are still in swing districts. Thanks to gerrymandering, there aren't many swing districts. But for those who are fighting in this mid term election to keep their seats, should they stay with the president? I mean, should they make Iraq a centerpiece of their campaign? Should they try to ignore it and talk about the economy? What's their—what's their position on that?
BUCHANAN: Since this is the position of such gravity and importance, the best thing you can do, Tucker, is take the stand you believe in your heart is right and go with it. And tell the people the truth as you see it.
This, again, is why I think the president is doing well. You look at the president. You might disagree with him, but you have to say, this man believes in what he is saying. He believes in this cause. And people respond to that, even if they disagree with it.
What they don't respond to is people up there, and we seem them all on television all the time, just sort of scoring points off the president, offering nothing. So I would tell, because listen, if you're going to take down—you could take down an awful lot of guys this coming fall on this war. I mean, if you're going to go down, you might as well go down saying what you believe.
CARLSON: That's a good point. Pat Buchanan, as always, from Washington, thank you very much.
BUCHANAN: Happy holidays and merry Christmas, Tucker.
CARLSON: Merry Christmas to you, Pat.
Here to give us her take on whether the president can make a comeback in 2006, our old pal, Air America host, Rachel Maddow—Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO HOST: Hi, Tucker. Merry Christmas.
CARLSON: Merry Christmas to you.
I always listen to Pat Buchanan's political prognostications, because whatever you think of Pat's views, he is a man of principle. He ran against his own party twice.
CARLSON: I think three times, actually, for president. And I think he makes a really good point, that as a political matter, voters admire certitude. And if you get up there and say what you think, and if you appear to be really saying what you really think, even if they disagree, they give you points for it.
MADDOW: You get point on it, and you know what kind of points you get: you get style points.
I mean, I was really surprised by Pat's column, because I don't think of him as a guy who can be spun, but what he's saying is Bush looks really presidential. This whole moral certitude line. Yes, he does look really certain, and he's certainly wrong.
I mean, his response to the whole NSA thing, he's taking this very firm stand. It's true. He's taking a very firm stand against the Fourth Amendment.
I mean, for me to hear a conservative, a principled conservative like Pat Buchanan say he's impressed with the president not giving any ground and looking certain, who cares what he looks like? What about the principles about which he's talking about?
CARLSON: I also thought...
MADDOW: What if he's right? What if he's wrong? That matters.
CARLSON: To be fair to Pat, I thought that his column and his remarks just a second ago were essentially political analysis: will this help or hurt the president politically. And I think it's hard to argue with his political analysis. Whether the president is right, as you point out, is a whole separate—is a whole separate question.
But I think the flip side of all this, as I've said before to you, are the fears that people have. It's not just that, you know, the president is arguing that we're doing great in Iraq. The flip side of that is we could fail in Iraq and really hurt this country and drive our economy into the ground and lose our place of preeminence in the world, which would be bad not just for us but for the world.
CARLSON: And so if it's a choice between, you know, giving into your fears and saying, yes, America is on the decline, or siding up with Bush and saying—what he says doesn't make exactly—doesn't exactly make sense, but I want that to happen. I think voters are going to go with what they want to happen.
MADDOW: What we get back to, though, is again style versus substance. What Pat is responding to in those four Iraq speeches that Bush gave, was that Bush kind of reverted to his cheerleader days. He got up there, and he said, “Victory, victory, victory. Victory or defeat, what do you want? Of course we want victory.”
It was almost like he was leading a cheer.
CARLSON: Yes, but what's the alternative?
MADDOW: No, no. But listen, what he's actually saying: what is victory in an occupation that is indefinite? What does victory count as? You can say “victory.” You can make everybody think you're really presidential. You can look great standing up there, but what are you talking about?
CARLSON: Getting the hell out of Iraq in a way that's not humiliating.
MADDOW: And so—and so getting the hell out of Iraq in a way that's not humiliating is what the Democrats have been talking about, too. Everybody is talking about that now.
And what Bush is saying, is he's getting up there behind the podium, and going victory, victory, rah, rah, rah? You guys are defeatist.” And it's all this name calling against the Democrats. That's appealing to the red meat partisan in pack, which is a small part of that. I think he's a principled guy. But it doesn't actually help us get home from Iraq.
CARLSON: It's funny, I am honestly nonpartisan. I mean, I really am not. I am disgusted with a lot of things this administration is doing. My critique is always from the right, by the way. But I actually think that there's something to that. I do hear defeatism from the Democrats. I don't hear them saying...
MADDOW: It's name calling that they're being called defeatists.
CARLSON: There's no question you are hearing name calling. You're absolutely right about that. But I don't hear Democrats as worried about the profound effects of humiliation on the United States military in Iraq. What would happen to us if we were humiliated there? It would be terrible for our country. And they don't seem as freaked out about that.
MADDOW: If you put Jack Murtha's argument against Bush's argument point by point, Murtha makes a lot more sense and is talking about stuff that is better for America.
Murtha saying, listen, we did win in Iraq. We toppled the Saddam Hussein government. We're engaged in an indefinite occupation. That makes us less safe. That's hurting the military, and that cannot end with honor. Let's bring our troops home with honor, call it a victory and do what we can to stabilize Iraq in a peace keeping wary, rather than on a war footing. That is a progressive victorious vision, as long as you don't call it defeatism.
CARLSON: The one unsellable point is whether you could withdraw the troops now and call it a victory. I mean, if I really—if I thought you could do that, I'd like to see the troops home yesterday. If you could actually do that and call it a victory and convince the rest of the world that somehow we'd won, I would be behind it.
MADDOW: You can start to withdraw the troops down. That's what Rumsfeld talked about today.
CARLSON: Speaking of victory or defeat, the question of Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court, about to take center stage. We'll come back from Christmas, and this will be all we're talking about, most likely.
Two documents released today. Both from some time ago. Both indicate Mr. Alito, not for Roe vs. Wade.
First, is a—is a memo he filed, when he worked for the solicitor general's office. “We should make it clear,” he said, the Reagan administration, make it clear “we disagree with Roe vs. Wade.” First.
Second, much more significant, I think. “I'm particularly proud,” he said, in a job application to the attorney general's office, in 1985, “that I have contributed to the position that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.” That seems to be his position.
MADDOW: Yes. That's hard core.
MADDOW: You agree with it.
CARLSON: The Constitution does not protect the right for abortion. You can be for abortion. You can think it ought to be legal. Whether the Constitution protects as a right is a completely separate question.
MADDOW: And you agree with him. I disagree with him.
CARLSON: But I think it's...
MADDOW: He's very clear about it, and that's the important part.
CARLSON: I love it. My only point. I'm not actually even here to argue against abortion, though I'd be delighted to in another context. My point is, I want to know what my nominees to the Supreme Court think.
CARLSON: About this and everything else. I am glad to have this information. I hope we can have a real debate about whether Roe vs. Wade ought to be the law of the land.
MADDOW: I absolutely totally agree with you on this, actually. I'm glad to know—I mean, the thing that's ridiculous to me about Alito's views on abortion, is that you're still getting from the Bush administration, there's no clear information about what he thinks about abortion. No, he's never said what he thinks.”
They're trying to make the case that we don't know. Listen, we know. We know from a million different sources over a long period of time, consistently over his career, that he wants Roe vs. Wade overturned. I'm glad to know that. It makes me oppose his nomination even more and it actually means that I think people will be less likely to support his nomination across the country because most Americans don't want it overturned.
CARLSON: It would be nice to have a debate on the subject, though. Always bad when debate is short circuited by courts, in my view, and I will just say, wrap it up with a point that no one ever remembers, and that is, this administration itself is not for overturning Roe vs. Wade. The president has been asked directly, “Are you for it?” And he said no.
MADDOW: Well, if Sam Alito gets up there and says, “I want women to be forced by the state once they get pregnant to have to give birth,” I think we'll have a great debate at that point.
CARLSON: The point is, states ought to be able to decide.
But the larger point is, merry Christmas, Rachel.
MADDOW: Merry Christmas, Tucker.
CARLSON: See you after Christmas.
CARLSON: Thank you.
Still to come, if you think sex and drinking games are all you have to worry about when your kids go to college, wait until you see the new craze sweeping campuses across the country. Something else to worry about.
Plus, what's the secret to becoming a millionaire? Our next guest says, be a Republican and move to the red states. He'll explain when THE SITUATION returns.
CARLSON: Coming up, be careful what you buy on eBay. You could wind up with used medical equipment.
Plus, are men who dance, a turn on or a turn off? We'll debate those questions with “The Outsider,” next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. How many times have you heard parents tell their kids if you don't go to college, you are gambling with your future? Well, a new study suggests if you send your kids to college, gambling is still their future.
My next guest says the poker craze on college campuses is at epidemic levels. Edward Looney is the executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey. Joins us live tonight in our studio.
Mr. Looney, thanks for coming on.
EDWARD LOONEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COUNCIL ON COMPULSIVE GAMBLING:
Good to be with you.
CARLSON: So what kind of gambling is at epidemic levels on college campuses?
LOONEY: Card playing, No. 1. No. 1 is Internet gambling, which is, you know, part of it cards. It could be other thing. But sports betting. Sports betting is a big one also.
But right now, it's a tremendous rage, with Texas Hold 'Em. They got it off the TVs. And a lot of kids are playing that. They know how to play the game. They learn how to play cards when they're 9 and 10 years old.
They move into sports betting when they get to high school, and when they get into college campus, it's Internet gambling. And it's just epidemic.
CARLSON: So at what point do you know that it's bad? I mean, everyone gambles, most of them gamble to some small extent. You buy a lotto ticket. You play black jack in Vegas for a week or whatever. But how do you know when it's a problem?
LOONEY: When you affect four areas of your life. One is the relationships. In other words, somebody close to you is saying, “Hey, listen, you got a problem with gambling.” It might be a girlfriend, might be a mother, father. That's one of the red flags.
Number two is your academics. Are you doing—you're starting to—failing marks. You're not doing your homework. You're spending more time. You're more preoccupied with gambling. No. 2.
No. 3 is the financial area, obviously, which is are you spending more money on gambling that, you know, is earmarked for other parts and things?
And the fourth area, in the desperation stage of gambling, illegal activity starts to happen. They steal. They sell drugs. Kids in school are doing a lot of illegal activity when they get to that different level. They don't do it when they're winning. They don't do it when they're even losing. It when they get into the desperation stages those things happen.
CARLSON: I read recently that compulsive gamblers have a higher suicide rate than drug addicts and alcoholics.
CARLSON: It's amazing.
LOONEY: Yes, it is. All over, if fact we just ran a conference on it about three years ago. We brought all the experts that do treat compulsive gamblers, and that's true. It's the highest addiction.
Many reasons for it. Obviously, when they go through the winning phase, losing, and desperation phase, they give up. They lose their families. They lose their friends. They start to borrow and then they can't even pay their debts any more. Now they can't even gamble. All of a sudden, that isolation kicks in.
And when they can't—when an addict can't do their fix, all of a sudden, you know, the hopelessness comes about their life. And that's where an alternative could happen. We get five to 10 suicides every year from high school and college students that are involved with gambling.
CARLSON: Not to reveal myself as, you know, completely out of it, but Internet gambling, I knew it existed. I didn't know it was that widespread. How easy is it to gamble on the Internet?
LOONEY: Credit card, click away, go online, and you're all set. Two thousand sites await you, off-shore. We have Antigua, Costa Rica. We have little sites that two or three people take action. And there's a site that has—Sports.com -- 2,500 people taking action 24 hours a day.
CARLSON: And it's all totally legal.
LOONEY: It's totally. It's totally legal where they take it. It's totally illegal anywhere in the United States to do Internet gambling. Totally illegal.
Yet nobody is being, you know, arrested for it at this point. Maybe eventually attorney generals are looking into it because it's so widespread. It's the biggest growing venue, and it's totally illegal.
CARLSON: So the winnings are added to your credit card, the losses are deducted from it?
LOONEY: Absolutely. That's the way they usually do it. Some banks are saying, wait a minute, this is an illegal activity. We're not going to allow our credit card to be involved in that. Chase Manhattan Bank is one of the outfits and banks that are saying, can't use my credit card to do that. That's illegal.
In fact they had—were cited in court on that, where a lady got her money back. She had $85,000 worth of debt, went to an attorney, and she said, “I found out that this was illegal. I'd like to get my money back.” And sure enough, they did get their money back.
CARLSON: I'm kind of surprised. Because I don't think government cares if people kill themselves because they're compulsive gamblers. I do think they care about tax revenue from gambling. That's why they support gambling in the first place. Why hasn't the government out of greed done anything to stop this?
LOONEY: Well, there's a movement on the national level to do that, at the federal government to try to do that in the courts, but it's not going to probably happen for awhile.
A lot of people are doing—excuse me—the down side of gambling. They're seeing the impact that that would have. Not only on young people, but older people, people that use a computer, can very easily get involved in this type of thing, so I think they're trying to do that.
Let's either get rid of it, make sure it's—make it legal, tax it, or, you know, make it illegal and start to arrest people for doing what they're—breaking the law.
It's illegal in the United States; it's illegal in Costa Rica. See, that's the way it is. So you can, for $200,000, you can open up an account. In other words, you can get a license over there. You can get some software. Two or three people can sit in a little office and start taking action all over the world.
Biggest betting sport in the world is—we call it football. It's really soccer. But in this country, it's football. So we see football, baseball, basketball is the things that the kids are gambling on. Final Four is going to be coming up right after the holidays. And after football season is over, many kids that are involved with Internet gambling will move right along, whatever the sport is that they're involved in.
CARLSON: Amazing. That's amazing.
You can't tell me that some of the people don't try and fix those games with all that money going on. But anyway.
Edward Looney, executive director for the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey. Thanks very much.
LOONEY: Good to be with you, Tucker. Thank you.
CARLSON: Up next, a self-made millionaire and Las Vegas gambling legend says the secret to getting rich, not gambling, but instead, joining the right political party. We'll tell you which one when THE SITUATION comes back.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
What life lessons can you learn from a Vegas sports handicapper.
Plenty, it turns out, especially if you want to get rich.
Wayne Allyn Root is the author of the book, “Millionaire Republican:
The Republican Secrets to Megawealth and Unlimited Success,” an Amazon best seller. He joins me now from Las Vegas to share some of those secrets.
Wayne, thanks a lot for coming on.
WAYNE ALLYN ROOT, AUTHOR, “MILLIONAIRE REPUBLICAN”: Hey, Tucker, it's an honor to be on your show.
CARLSON: Thanks. An honor to have you.
First, the title of your book, it seems to play into the stereotype of Republicans. Every campaign I've ever covered begins with the following attack: “He's a millionaire Republican, backed by the special interests.” And you come out and just call yourself a millionaire Republican.
ROOT: Exactly. I'm being an honest Republican, saying that, you know what? People for years, Democrats, liberals, for years have said we are the party of the rich. And I stare back blankly and say, “Yes, OK, and the problem is?”
You know, I went to Columbia University, Tucker, and I learned in the most rudimentary, elementary economics class that if you want to be successful, you have to study other people that are already successful at what you want to do.
ROOT: And so, hey, if the charge is that we're the party of the rich, most millionaires I know are Republicans. Most CEOs I know are Republicans. Most small business owners are Republicans. If you want to be successful, it's time to admit we are, in fact, the party of successful people. Nothing wrong with that. You need to model us if you ever want to get out of the current situation that you are in.
CARLSON: But don't non-millionaires resent that, and isn't that the White House, this White House, for instance, and a lot of Republican members of Congress spend so much time wearing blue jeans and talking about the pork rinds they eat and all that, because they want to identify and be identified by people who don't make a lot of money?
ROOT: Well, I think the problem is Republicans are defensive and they have no reason to be. I'm an SOB, son of a butcher. And my dad wasn't just any butcher. He was a very unique one. He was a Jewish, Republican butcher from Brownsville, Brooklyn.
CARLSON: Not many of those.
ROOT: No. And he taught me, almost from the day I was born. Literally at the age of 3, he had me handing out literature for Barry Goldwater. He taught me from the day I was born the Republican is not the party of the rich; it's the party of anyone who ever wants to be rich.
CARLSON: You're a Vegas—Las Vegas resident. You live out there. And one of the points in the book, again and again, is that it makes economic sense, maybe cultural sense, to move to the red states, those red states that voted for George W. Bush.
My question reading that, as someone who grew up in California and has spent most of his adult life on the East Coast, in very, very blue states, is this—the red states aren't as pretty, honestly, as the blue states. They're not. And there aren't as many good restaurants. And there's a lot going on in the blue states, as annoying as politics are, and they're infuriating. There's a lot going on that isn't going on in Orlando, necessarily, or even Vegas.
ROOT: Not all red states, you know, out there are terrible places to live. Nevada is a wonderful place. Arizona is a wonderful place. Texas, Florida, Georgia, Utah, those are the fastest growing states in America, Tucker.
And the point of my book is, if you look at the U.S. Census Bureau, they name the fastest growing states, not today, but for the next 25 years, the next quarter century. And they are all, to a man, every single one of them, red Republican states.
ROOT: If you matched it up with the states that have the most economic freedom, the lowest taxes, the most limited government, they are all, to a man, red Republican states. The future of America, not that you can't do well anywhere. You can do well if you think like a Republican, whether you're in New York or California or Illinois. You can, but you will do better where the taxes are lower.
Why? Pretty simple reason. It's not what you make that counts; it's what you keep. And when taxes are lower, you have economic freedom and the ability to start your own business and build a fabulous life. And those taxes, I believe are just a complete rip off. Why do I say that?
CARLSON: It's kind of hard to argue with people's behavior. I mean, people move to the red states for a reason. So...
ROOT: And it's one of the biggest migrations in American history.
ROOT: You know, people don't notice it, because there are lots of people moving to California and to New York. But you know what? Many of them are illegal aliens. Many of them are people on welfare.
The people moving, migrating to red states are people that—like-minded people to me. They are Republican thinkers. They're entrepreneurs, retirees with big assets. They understand that it's what you keep that matters.
And as that happens, and continues, blue states are in a lot of trouble, Tucker, because smaller and smaller populations with less and less resources and less and less—smaller and smaller assets are going to have to support all these people that are not high income producers and have no way to pay taxes.
CARLSON: It would be nice to have a little less population density around here, so it's not entirely a bad thing.
Wayne Allyn Root, self-described “Millionaire Republican,” also the name of the book, joining us tonight from Las Vegas. Thanks a lot, Wayne. I appreciate it.
ROOT: Thank you, Tucker. And by the way, great Christmas gift for the kids in your life. That's what this book is about. That's what it's about: your kids. Not reading, writing, arithmetic. Salesmanship, entrepreneurship, and ownership.
CARLSON: OK. Thanks, Wayne. See you.
That's right, for your kids. Still ahead on THE SITUATION, real men don't dance. Do they? They might start when they hear how women feel about guys who can get down. I'll challenge Max Kellerman's manhood when THE SITUATION comes right back.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Seneca, the ancient Roman playwright, philosopher and politician, once said, “To strive with an equal is dangerous, with a superior mad, with an inferior degrading.” I'll take my chances.
Joining me now, “The Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, HBO BOXING: Once again, blown away by the quotes on this show, Tucker.
CARLSON: None of which I find. But you know, I like them too.
KELLERMAN: That's OK. You got—you got your staff.
CARLSON: Thank you. Yes, and it's a little history lesson at the beginning of every segment.
All right. Now for current events. You can buy or sell just about anything on the web site eBay, but that may not be a good thing after all. Used medical devices are be being offered for sale. We're talking about things like a used tube designed to be inserted into a patient's jugular vein. And in some cases, no one knows exactly where the devices came from or who is buying them.
EBay says, quote, “We don't take responsibilities for items sold on the site. We are a marketplace,” unquote.
And they shouldn't take responsibility for it, and I think this is a lot of hype about nothing, probably spread by the device manufacturers themselves, who hate to see an after market in their products develop. Right? These are incredibly expensive devices in a lot of cases. They're pretty rugged. And in some cases—not talking about hypodermic needles or sutures—in some cases, you can reuse them and it's no problem.
KELLERMAN: OK. That's a really good argument. I would say in this day and age, especially post-9/11, the poast-9/11 world in this country, if someone were to buy—want to buy, say, enriched uranium...
KELLERMAN: ... there would some be some questions you'd want to ask, right?
CARLSON: We'd have some concerns, yes.
KELLERMAN: These are common sense questions you want to ask: who's buying it and what do they want it for?
KELLERMAN: With an old medical device, there's some common sense questions to ask here. Do you want it for a prop in a movie? Do you want to use it for something else? Maybe there's an unintentional way to use the device, to you know, fix your lawn mower as it turns out or something like that? But you should probably ask some questions.
CARLSON: But let's say you run an unlicensed cosmetic surgery clinic in Tijuana.
CARLSON: Just kidding. No, the point is, that I'm sure a lot of these devices are the kind of devices, like an MRI machine, that are incredibly expensive, that devalue quickly, and that can be used—reused safely once again.
First, it reduces waste. Second, it lowers the price of medical care, which we all agree is a good thing. And third, if it were dangerous, these hospitals or physicians would be taking their lives into their own hands because there's so many predatory malpractice lawyers out there.
KELLERMAN: We're talking about things like, and I quote, “a tube designed to be inserted into a patient's jugular. In some cases no one knows exactly where the device—where the devices came from or what they're going to be used for.”
KELLERMAN: I mean, tubes to be inserted. Are they—are they sanitary even? Do we even—shouldn't there be some sort of regulation? I know that's an ugly word, but don't you want to know what it's being used for, by whom, for what?
CARLSON: Of course. Of course. And hospitals are very regulated, and you can't have unsanitary devices making contact with human beings. And that's the law. And we should abide by that law.
KELLERMAN: But, eBay is not responsible. I love these places, we are
not—Seinfeld does whole routines on this. We're not responsible for any
· or maybe it's Larry David—for any items left here. In other words, you just put a sign up saying we're not responsible. And that somehow, you know, abdicates you from any kind of no legal responsibility.
CARLSON: EBay is not inserting anything in anyone else's jugular vein. So I'm happy with what eBay's doing.
KELLERMAN: On this show, THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON, you can put up a sign saying, “Not responsible for anything I say.”
CARLSON: I am happy—I am happy to take responsibility.
KELLERMAN: And therefore, it absolves you.
CARLSON: I'm happy to take responsibility.
KELLERMAN: Right. Yes.
KELLERMAN: You should be.
CARLSON: New research suggests that men who are good partners on the dance floor may be the best partners in the bedroom. Researchers found that men who were judged to be better dances also tended to have a higher degree of body symmetry.
KELLERMAN: Now, that's not a man.
CARLSON: And they say that's something—that's something people look for in a mate, women specifically. Not surprising: women were pickier and particularly valued symmetry in their men.
KELLERMAN: Tucker, I know a man when I see one. I thought I saw women. I don't know what we're trying to do on this show.
CARLSON: More—yet more propaganda, probably from Arthur Murray Dance Studios, that somehow dancers are more appealing. Let me just put it to you this way.
CARLSON: All right? Teddy Roosevelt, John Wayne...
CARLSON: ... James Dean, did they dance? No.
KELLERMAN: Teddy Roosevelt may have.
CARLSON: I don't think so.
KELLERMAN: I wouldn't have put it past Teddy Roosevelt.
CARLSON: He danced and he played squash. On the other side, John Travolta, dancer.
CARLSON: OK. That's my case right there.
KELLERMAN: Muhammad Ali danced. Ali used to dance as he fought.
There's a whole area.
My father used to win dance contests all the time in this city, one of the best Latin dancers in the city. He used to go to El Seclusion Room (ph) in the city in the '50s and dance, you know, and do Latin dances. Latin is the best way to pick up girls, Tucker. It's the best way to meet women.
CARLSON: I don't think so.
CARLSON: No, I don't, because the one thing that you don't want to do when you're first meeting a woman...
CARLSON: ... is humiliate yourself. If you prove yourself to be a dork, you don't want to do that on the first encounter.
KELLERMAN: The assumption is you have some rhythm. I mean, that's a good thing. Women like that. You need some rhythm. And if you got it, you might as well show it. Right?
CARLSON: I think the whole point of being a man is you don't have to reveal your inner self to people you don't know very well. That's like the benefit of being a man, and dancing violates that rule.
KELLERMAN: Well—well, I agree, and yet if someone told you, “Hey, you know a good place,” a lot of single guys out there, “you know a good place to meet women? The supermarket.”
“I don't like going to the”—suddenly a supermarket doesn't seem so bad. Right?
KELLERMAN: I mean, if you want high ratios, men to women.
CARLSON: I'd rather troll Whole Foods than dance.
KELLERMAN: Have you seen, by the way, what dances nowadays look like, when people dance what it looks like?
CARLSON: Yes, I have.
KELLERMAN: It looks like the sexual act itself.
CARLSON: Yes, it does.
KELLERMAN: This is not...
CARLSON: Now you're changing my mind. Sadly we're out of time before you can beat me in this debate. Max Kellerman, have a happy weekend.
KELLERMAN: Thank you, Tucker. You too. Happy holidays.
CARLSON: There is still plenty ahead on THE SITUATION.
KELLERMAN: Merry Christmas!
CARLSON: Merry Christmas.
KELLERMAN: There you go. You see. You thought I'd do the generic holiday thing.
CARLSON: Still ahead on THE SITUATION, “Happy Easter! We rent handguns.” It's a beautiful holiday message, and just one of the hundreds of hilarious signs collected by a man you'll meet next. We go sign spotting when THE SITUATION continues.
MICHAEL YOUNG, STAGE MANAGER, THE SITUATION: Now, wouldn't you know it, Tucker drew Canada in our office secret Santa. Wait until you see what he got our neighbors to the north.
CARLSON: Canada, you're going to love it. We're back in 60 seconds.
CARLSON: Welcome back. As someone once put it, signs, signs, everywhere are signs. No one knows that better than our next guest, Doug Lansky. He has traveled the globe, literally, collecting the world's weirdest signs. They are compiled in a single book, “Signspotting.” My personal favorite, Racine, Wisconsin: “Happy Easter! We rent handguns.” Many more where that came from. Doug Lansky joins us tonight.
Doug, thanks for coming on.
DOUG LANSKY, AUTHOR, “SIGNSPOTTING”: Pleasure.
CARLSON: So how did you get into the weird sign collection business?
LANSKY: It was nothing intentional. I just went traveling, took loads of pictures. I took some of some funny signs. I came back. I was trying to show family and friends, you know, my full travel photo collection, and surprisingly, they didn't like the travel photos. They liked the signs. So I thought there might be something there.
CARLSON: Going through the book, you really get a sense of how unself-aware people are. So many of these signs are ironic, and you'd think the people who, you know, put them up would catch that, but they don't. You've got a sign in here, “Bottomless Pit, 65 feet deep.”
LANSKY: That's one of the classics. That's one in Hawaii. It's one of the deepest bottomless pits probably, that's at least over 50 feet deep. I don't know. It's so strange, isn't it? It's just so bizarre. How did they not catch this at some stage of the process, from the printer of the sign to the guy putting it up? I mean, it just seems strange.
CARLSON: Another one of my favorites, I hope we can put this up on the screen, it's a photograph of a fitness center in California with two large escalators right in front of it. Amazing.
LANSKY: I think that's standard California protocol. They don't want you to break a sweat until you get to the gym.
CARLSON: Now, the—China seems to be kind of epicenter for bizarro signage of the world. Has that been your experience?
LANSKY: Yes, absolutely. China—China is enormous for big signs. I mean, they have this thing with the big nose. Have you seen this thing with the big nose?
LANSKY: They call us, the westerners, we're the big nose friends, so three are signs up for big nose people welcome everywhere.
CARLSON: It's one of those thins, you're not really supposed to say it out loud, but they put it on signs. They are heavy on the sign painters in China, very light on the translators. Is that your impression?
LANSKY: Yes. I would say that's accurate.
CARLSON: What's—what's the most amusing Chinese sign you've seen?
LANSKY: I like the—well, it's from actually—it's not part of China. It's Taipei. But I like the “Yelling Dental Clinic.” Do you have a picture of that one?
CARLSON: “Yelling Dental Clinic.”
LANSKY: It just seems like—it just seems like they went a little bit easy on the pain killer.
CARLSON: It's truth in advertising, though. You got to admire the forthrightness of the “Yelling Dental Clinic.”
You got a whole section in here, men's room signs, restroom signs. They kind of point up something you know well, as someone, I guess, who's traveled around the world. It's not all the same when it comes to bathrooms on this planet.
You've got an amazing sign from Angkor Watt in Cambodia I hope we can put up here that shows what not to do when using the toilet.
LANSKY: Well, it's what not to do when using a western toilet. They're not used to using our toilets. Although—and we're not used to using theirs either. I mean, it's not easy to use a squatter if you've never used one before. Although you never see any signs telling westerners not to sit directly on the hole in the floor.
CARLSON: Do you think those would be useful?
LANSKY: I don't think so.
CARLSON: yes. Not to brag, but I think westerners sort of know that.
It's almost implicit. It's like one of those things you know from birth.
What about—what's the least appetizing food sign you have seen?
LANSKY: There's the—I think there's one that's like “Sweat and Pork.” There's the “Tie Dye Beef Jerky.” There's a—in Wisconsin, they've got one place, one store that does both taxidermy and sells cheese.
CARLSON: Oh, that's...
LANSKY: I don't know.
CARLSON: I'd go there.
LANSKY: That seems like a bad combo.
CARLSON: Wisconsin has no excuse. A lot of these foreign signs, you've got one here for a restaurant called Barf. Did you eat there?
LANSKY: Yes, no. But I think that one is actually here in England.
That's a hotel. It's a BB&B, the Barf Bed and Breakfast.
I think the thing to remember, though, with the signs, especially the
foreign ones, is that it's—you know, they're trying their best. They're
doing their best to try to make it easier for us English speakers who have
not bothered to learn their language, how to get around. And as long as we
understand that if we tried to do the same for them, if we tried to put up
· change all our signs into foreign languages, they would be rolling in our streets with laughter, because we'd bumble it.
CARLSON: Absolutely. As President Kennedy famously said, “I am a jelly doughnut.” That's absolutely right. There's a kind of sweetness to their attempts to speak our language. And there's a sweetness to your book, “Signspotting: Absurd and Amusing Signs from Around the World.” A book that lives up to its title. It is absolutely fantastic. Ought to be in every stocking in Christmas. Doug Lansky, thanks a lot for joining us.
LANSKY: Thank you.
CARLSON: Coming up on THE SITUATION, despite Canada's relentless attacks on me, I opened my heart and got that country something for Christmas. Just hope I got the right size. We'll unwrap the gift together when THE SITUATION rolls on.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time for our voicemail segment and your phone calls, some of which, frankly, do seem fueled by eggnog. Not that that bothers us here at THE SITUATION.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is Marcy from Miami, Florida. There's no way that Bush's reason that he won. How could you say that he is the reason why we haven't been attacked since? I think it's pure dumb luck. It's like saying that the reason that in between the first World Trade Center bombing and the second bombing was because Clinton did something. Oh, please. The proof is in the pudding. I just don't buy it.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Well, I didn't say he was the reason. That's unknowable. We'll never know. On the other hand, a president's first job is to protect our country from terror attacks. We haven't had one. A pretty good record so far. I think all of us ought to be willing to at least give him some credit for it. Why not?
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Marvin in New York. After listening to the Mexican ambassador, I think I know the solution to both our country's problems. They should control their border with Guatemala. This way Guatemalans won't be taking jobs from Mexicans, and Mexicans won't have to come to the United States and take jobs from Americans.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Two points. One, Mexico is controlling its southern border with Guatemala ruthlessly. It's a crime punishable by crime to sneak into Mexico. And they jail a lot of people, almost 200,000 every year in Mexico in subhuman conditions.
Second, people leave Mexico not because Guatemalans are taking their jobs but because Mexican is misgoverned by a kleptocratic government and has always been. Members don't deserve the government they have. They're better than that, and that's why they come here. And it's a tragedy for all of us, but the root of it is the incompetence and the corruption of the Mexican government. We ought to be honest about that.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brian from Riverside. I just saw your appearance on Conan O'Brien, and I've got to say that was one of the best appearances I've seen from a broadcaster ever, especially with the line you said about Bush, if he can't speak, he must mean it. Classic. Kudos. Keep up the good work.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Well, thanks, Brian. I'm not going to argue with you.
Awfully nice. Just for the record, Brian is not related to me in any way.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey Tucker, it's Colleen in Michigan. I was thinking about maybe you and Max Kellerman going down to that Christian nudist camp to host the show for a couple of episodes. I think that would be pretty cool. Thanks.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: You know, Colleen, there's been this long running debate, does the FCC, in fact, govern cable? And I think if Max and I did that we would find out very quickly.
Let me know what you're thinking. Call 1-877-TCARLSON. That's 877-822-7576. You can also e-mail. Tucker@MSNBC.com is the address. Moreover, you can read the blog, Tucker.MSNBC.com. We hope you do.
Still ahead on THE SITUATION, if you need some help getting in the Christmas spirit this year, perhaps orangutans in Santa suits will do the trick. St. Nick like you've never seen him before on the “Cutting Room Floor” next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time for the “Cutting Room Floor.” Our own version of Santa, slimmer with better taste in clothing, joins us. Willie Geist.
WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER: Thank you, Tucker. You're a good man.
We are about 24 hours away from Christmas. I'm sure this is an oversight. I have not received a gift from you yet. Is that your staff's negligence? Your staff?
CARLSON: Well, it will come, Willie, though, I'm sure.
GEIST: I have complete faith.
CARLSON: Christmas morning, it will be there.
Christmas means many things to many people. To South Koreans, it means dressing up orangutans in Santa suits. Different primates handed out presents to excited and confused children in Seoul today. When the three orangutans were finished dishing out gifts, they cruised around in their specially designed sleigh spreading cheer to the assembled masses.
GEIST: That is very strange, I will admit. But before we get on our high horse, is it really any more strange than have liquored up ex-cons at the mall.
GEIST: Which is sort of our way of dealing with the children who come to see Santa.
CARLSON: That's true. Not one of those orangutans has a criminal record.
CARLSON: I think we should revise one thing we've often said on the show, which is Japan is the weirdest country in the world. South Korea's up there.
GEIST: Close second.
CARLSON: Yes, totally.
To those who would suggest sex shops are bad influences on communities I give you PHE, Inc., the Orange County, North Carolina, business of the year. PHE sells sex toys and mail order videos. The business is commonly picketed by local ministers, but it was praised by the chamber of commerce for being a top citizen and a major taxpayer in addition to selling flavored lubricants. PHE works with a local animal shelter, as well.
GEIST: That is nice that they're able to bring flavored lubricants to battered animals and to animals who otherwise wouldn't have access to ball gags and gimp (ph) suits. I think that's an important contribution to the community. A shining example of what a good neighbor should be.
CARLSON: I'm going to move speedily along to our next story.
GEIST: It is Christmas.
CARLSON: Yes, it is.
It's not every day a criminal investigation culminates in a spectacular fireworks display. Lucky for us, this one did. Police in Beijing confiscated millions of illegal fireworks this week and disposed of them in an explosion fit for the Fourth of July, a holiday not celebrated in China. The cops say these were particularly powerful fireworks, the kind that should not be in the hands of average citizens.
GEIST: All right, Tucker. Wow. That's amazing, by the way.
But to me this is not a deterrent to the crime. What they're telling the public is, if you should produce illegal fireworks, we will put on a magnificent fireworks display to punish you. This makes me want to produce illegal fireworks just so I can see that.
CARLSON: In all fairness to the Chinese government, if you run a totalitarian society you don't want citizens with access to things like that.
GEIST: No, no, no.
CARLSON: There you go.
It's time to meet our human and our nonhuman of the week. First the human. The award goes to the man who got into the Christmas spirit by spotting Jesus in a plate of nachos. A cook at the Stadium Sports Bar in Jacksonville, Florida, was washing out a serving pan used to warm nachos when he saw the face of Christ. The restaurant plans to preserve the image in the pan.
As I said last night, Willie, I'm not going to mock this, because it does look like the Shroud of Turin.
GEIST: That is. We saw one in the side of a tree, I think, that was good. The grilled cheese is good. But this is definitely the best.
Wouldn't it be funny, if we just dismissed this guy as a jackpot if that was Jesus and he was screaming out to us from a nacho plate in Jacksonville and we were just totally ignoring him because the guy was a crack pot? Wouldn't we kick ourselves?
CARLSON: Honestly, I'm open to the possibility. I know you think I'm kidding, but I'm not.
GEIST: We should go down and investigate.
CARLSON: The truth is out there, Willie.
And now for our nonhuman of the week. It is the nation of Canada.
GEIST: Oh, boy.
CARLSON: Our historically peaceful border became a bit less so this week. I merely made the obvious point that Canada is obsessed with the United States. Canadians responded with hundreds and hundreds of means hateful calls and e-mails.
Canada, I just want you to know. I still love you, little buddy. My Christmas gift to you, you are THE SITUATION nonhuman of the week.
GEIST: That is sweet and that's the greatest gift of all, I think.
Nonhuman of the week. I think you're making real progress.
CARLSON: Thank you.
GEIST: I think it's time to patch it up. I think you should get together over the holidays, have a LaBatt's with Canada.
CARLSON: It's easy, though. This is like when the Skipper and Gilligan got into a spat. The Skipper would take his little buddy in a headlock. He'd rub his hand, you know, give him noogies, hang him on the wedgie nail.
GEIST: I'm trying to bring people together to sit at the table of North American brotherhood and you're blowing it. Come on.
CARLSON: Blowing it. I'm reaching out a hand.
Willie Geist, thanks for a great year.
GEIST: Merry Christmas, Tucker.
CARLSON: Merry Christmas to you. That's THE SITUATION for tonight.
Thanks for watching. See you next year.
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