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'Scarborough Country' for February 22

Read the transcript to the Wednesday show

Guest:  J.D. Hayworth, Michael Smerconish, Lawrence O'Donnell, Daniel

Fisher, Ian Williams, Evan Kohlmann, Laura Ingraham, Kathryn Eisman, Amy 

Reiter, Chastity Rutjens

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC ANCHOR:  And right now on “Scarborough Country,” trading security for dollars.  Upper rebellion in Washington, as republicans in congress stare down their president, with one GOP member telling Mr. Bush, hell no.  Then, did a gang of radical professors lead a coup against Harvard's president, because he dared to fight against a politically correct agenda?  “The Washington Post” says yes.  And we'll debate whether it's one more example of elite colleges being out of touch with America.  Welcome to “Scarborough Country”, no passport required, only common sense allowed.

Thanks so much for being with us tonight.  We're going to have those stories coming up.  Plus, Laura Ingraham's in “Scarborough Country”.  The radio host and best selling author is just back from Iraq.  She's going to be here to tell you what you're hearing about the war on your TV sets and in your newspapers, well, it's not really the full picture. 

And forget about, “you're fired.”  What about, “you're a liar.” 

Donald Trump whacks Martha Stewart.  What got the Donald so fired up?  Well, we'll tell you about the epic battle that's going on tonight in Gotham.  But first, port security rebellion.  Anger over the sale of six U.S. ports to the United Arab Emirates continues to boil.  Now tomorrow, senators are going to begin public hearings on the issue.  It's unleashed outrage across America. 

Let's go right now to MSNBC's chief Washington correspondent, Norah O'Donnell.  Norah, I'll tell you what, it seems like my old days on Capitol Hill, republicans going after republicans, but right now seriously, it looks like a full-scale rebellion against the president of the United States.  Get us up to date on it. 

NORAH O'DONNELL, MSNBC CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT:  I've been talking to members up on Capitol Hill all day today and in fact there is a revolt going on in the Republican Party.  This is not just democrats who oppose the president on this deal.  We know that it's the republican leadership and the rank and file on this matter. 

In fact, they are very angry with The White House, they're angry that they weren't initially consulted, two they are angry that the president yesterday tried and issued this veto threat.  And people I talked to today, republicans in both the House and Senate said, he wants to veto this, well we've got the votes to override a veto.  And this signals sort of a big split for the president.  There is going to be a legislative showdown likely on this next week, because the deal goes through on March 2.  So congress is looking at trying to put the brakes on this, trying to put forward a 45-day moratorium.  They think they've got the political backing.  They don't want to be outflanked by the democrats on national security.  Republicans are looking at these midterm elections and saying, we're worried that we could be outflanked on this and they're hearing from their constituents, a lot of phone calls, a lot of e-mails.  That led republican congresswoman Sue Myrick of North Carolina to put out this letter and send this letter to the president.  It's sweet and it's short and it says in regards to selling American ports to the U-A-E, not just no but hell no. 

Which is pretty stunning from a republican member of congress to The White House.  So there's a sense they think that The White House has been tone deaf on this issue and that they hung them out to dry, when it comes up on the mid-term.  I think we did see Joe a little bit The White House dialing back today, of course the president very strong yesterday saying that he was going to veto any legislation that would block this deal. 

But today, The White House, the president's press secretary said listen, we should have consulted congress.  They also said the president didn't initially know about this.  And they also let us know too that the senior advisers probably should have given congress a head up, also didn't know about this particular deal.

SCARBOROUGH:  Norah, the republicans I talked to on the hill today and democrats said that it seemed that if this did come to a vote and the president vetoed it, they were very confident they could override the veto.  Does the president have any real allies on the hill when this issue comes up next week?

O'DONNELL:  Well, Senator John Warner, who is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee that is holding these briefings tomorrow, public briefings, indicated today that he would be inclined to support this deal.  The U-A-E, of course, United Arab Emirates, two of the hijackers were from that country.  There are troubles with terrorist financing, but they have also been a friend and an ally to the United States in the war on terror.  So John Warner had indicated some deference to the president.  Interestingly, also, Senator John McCain had said, wait a minute, let's look at this.  Let's review this.  But let's not outright say this is a bad thing.  Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thank you so much, MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell, greatly appreciate it.  We're joined now by Congressman JD Hayworth, he is the only Arizona congressman to ever serve on the Ways & Means Committee.  He's also the author of “Whatever it Takes,” a blow by blow description on what we need to do to win the war on the borders.   Hey JD, thank you so much for being with us tonight.

REP. JD HAYWORTH, ® ARIZONA:  Joe, I'm happy to be back in “Scarborough Country.”

SCARBOROUGH:  Post 9/11 you would not think we would have open borders at the same time that we're thinking about opening our ports to a country that was involved at least in some way with 9/11. What are we doing?

HAYWORTH:  Well, we're re doing something that is of great concern to my constituents and I believe to all the American people.  Basically, what I'm hearing, Joe, is this simple, it may sound a little hack kneed in the form of a rhyme, but it conveys the situation.  This simple notion, when in doubt, cut it out.  And the American people and my constituents here in Arizona have serious questions and concern a firm from the United Arab Emirates owning and controlling the logistics and these major American ports.

SCARBOROUGH:  JD, what I don't understand and maybe you can help me out here, is why the president of the United States would come out yesterday, so aggressively in support of this deal, a deal that we learned today, he didn't even know about until it was already approved. 

HAYWORTH:  Well listen, serious questions remain.  And I have a great deal of affection for the president and when he's right, he has no more outspoken ally than the congressman from the fifth district of Arizona.  But when he's wrong, or I believe him to be wrong, I don't hesitate in saying so.  And this is one such occasion.  And quite frankly the stakes were raised when we had that reflexive response from the president, that if congress took any action contrary to this deal, he would step in and veto it. 

And I have to tell you, that's of great concern.  Let me stress, this is not Islam phobia.  We're hearing that as if it's some sort of irrational concern.  No, my constituents and the American people have a legitimate concern, simply expressed in the words of one intelligence operative in Washington, who says you don't want the fox guarding the hen house. 

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt about it.  Congressman JD Hayworth, author of “Whatever it Takes.”  Thanks so much for being with us tonight, we greatly appreciate it. 

HAYWORTH:  Thank you Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  Let's bring in now radio talk show host, Michael Smerconish and he's the author of “Flying Blind”, how political correctness continues to compromise airline safety post 9/11.  Also NBC terror analyst Evan Coleman, republican strategist Karen Hanretty, and Ian Williams from “The Nation.”  You know Mike it seems to me that we're setting up a scenario a bit like that movie, “The Sum of all Fears.” 

In fact, that was based in Baltimore where—and you are seeing it here, where terrorists were able to bring a nuclear device into a port in Baltimore and detonate it.  You and I both know that port security is one of the, really, one of the weaker parts of our security apparatus right now.  Why does this deal with U-A-E make sense? 

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well that's the wrong question to ask me.  I'm better versed at telling you why it doesn't make sense.  Hey, Joe Scarborough, you remember this book? This is the 9/11 Commission report.  And if you turn to page 138 of the 9/11 commission report, the story that it tells is how in November of 1999, a year after Bin Laden has declared his FATWA saying, “kill any American anywhere.”  The CIA had him in their sights in a desert town outside of a city in Afghanistan.  He was hunting with members of the royal family of the United Arab Emirates.  And for that reason, we didn't take him out. 

Richard Clarke gets on the phone—this is all in the 9/11 commission report—calls the United Arab Emirates and says, hey, why are you so tight with this guy.  We've got a real problem with him.  They drop the dime, they tip off Bin Laden and he leaves the desert hunting camp where we could have taken him out.  That's who we're dealing with.

SCARBOROUGH:  You have to explain to us, how does that connect with the U-A-E and this deal? 

SMERCONISH:  Well, the way it connects with the U-A-E is that the U-A-E was closer, felt a stronger alliance to Osama Bin Laden as recently as November of 1999, than they did with the United States.  So all these sound bites are floating around about are they our friends, are they not our friends, there is concrete evidence from the 9/11  commission report that says, but for the U-A-E-, we would have  killed Osama Bin Laden.  

SCARBOROUGH:  And Evan Kohlmann, the United States Treasury Department officials complained about a lack of cooperation between the U-A-E- and America after the 9/11 attacks, when it came to trying to track down funding for some of these charities that were funneling money to Osama Bin Laden. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Why should we strike this deal with the U-A-E?

KOHLMANN:  Well because one has absolutely nothing to do with the other.   The U-A-E has been a major center for money laundering, for terrorist financing, for illegal drug activity, for lots of illegal activities for years with the United States Government knowledge.  That really has absolutely nothing to do with the multi-national corporation. 

It happens to be partially state owned from Dubai taking over management operations of U.S. ports, not taking over security, not taking over inspection.  Those are all in the hands of U.S. government employees.  And for that matter, there is a problem with port security in this country.  The problem is, is that we're not scanning all of these containers thoroughly enough, we don't have enough inspectors on hand. 

It doesn't matter what company owns these ports or manages these ports.  For that matter, all four of the July 7 bombers were born and bread in the United Kingdom, does that mean we   shouldn't have British companies run these ports?  The logic is just ridiculous.  It's a mob mentality, it's a torch and pitch fork strategy that politicians are using and it's a red herring, it doesn't make any sense.  

SCARBOROUGH:  Michael Smerconish thought of that.

SMERCONISH:  I have a lot of respect for Evan, but Evan I think you're so far off the mark.  If we were talking about making widgets, something that couldn't compromise United States security, then fine, let them have it, it's a free marketplace.  But we're talking about a government that denied us an opportunity to kill Osama Bin Laden.  How in the world can you justify allowing them anywhere near our port, near our borders, near our airport? It makes no sense whatsoever.  And here's the test, one more thing.  

KOHLMANN:  The employees are going to be Americans.  The employees are going to be the same people that work there now.  The only difference is the management company that owns them.  

SMERCONISH:  Here's the test, my friend.  If the United Arab Emirates are the friend of this president and the administration that you and others make them out to be, they will voluntarily rescind from this transaction.  Let's sit back and see if that happens.

KOHLMANN:  I think this is really damaging.  I think this creates a view of the United States abroad which is not mature, which is not responsible and which is Xenophobic.  And unfortunately, I think these kinds of sentiments—we are trying to counter them right now in places like Iraq, in Afghanistan and elsewhere after this cartoon controversy.  

SMERCONISH:  You're using a rational mind to examine irrational people, people who will work themselves into a lather and kill one another over a cartoon.   Let's stop trying to have our actions dictated by their reaction because they are completely irrational. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Karen Hanretty let me bring you in here, and Karen let me ask you, did you.  I mean Evan's saying that those of us who were opposing this are part of a mob mentality, are xenophobic.  And again, if I didn't agree with Evan most of the time, I'd  just dismiss his comments out of hand.  But, do you think there's a possibility that we're being close minded here?

KAREN HANRETTY: Yes, I think I'd thrown in unsophisticated and too dumb to get out of bed in the morning too.  You know, here's the thing, it's really insulting that when the public wants to have an open policy debate, about how we are protecting our port and whether or not it is a good idea for the U-A-E to be managing some of our ports. That we're accused of a mob mentality, and that even the Bush administration is insinuating that we're xenophobic. 

You know, the only good thing to come out of all of this is that we finally have democrats like Barbara Boxer out there admitting that terrorism really is a threat to America.  And they can no longer deny that there really is a war on terror if they are going to go out there and oppose this deal. 

I think that's actually the good thing to come from all of this.  But I think it is a very elitist attitude and it's this ivory tower attitude.  But the public doesn't have a right to understand what is happening with our national security.  And I think the administration for a long time has underestimated where the American public is at, how to deal with illegal immigration. 

You know, during the state of the union address, President Bush coo-cooed those of us who are concerned about illegal immigration, by saying that, you know there are those who oppose immigrants who want to work here and just make money and help our economy.

SCARBOROUGH:  Karen I agree with you completely.  I agree with you, I think the president has had actually, in this one area, an elitist view.  Everybody stay with us.   We'll be right back with more on the other side of the break in “Scarborough Country.”

We're back with our all star panel talking about the battle over controlling America's ports.  Let's go right now to Ian Williams.  Ian I think all of us can agree on one thing, U.S. port security is not where it should be.  If that's the case, why turn it over to the United Arab Emirates with their background?

IAN WILLIAMS, THE NATON:  This breaks my heart to say it, and it's probably an accident, but George Bush is right, for once. 


WILLIAMS:  You can't preach globalization to the rest of the world and then say accept.  These ports have been under foreign control, British control for years.  Ralph Reed, the bomber, the convicted bomber came from Britain.

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  Hold on a second.  Ian help me out here though.  If a British corporation owns a company, it's a private corporation.  If a U-A-E corporation owns these ports, the government's connected to it, the same government that didn't let us take a shot at Osama Bin Laden. 

WILLIAMS:  This is the Dubai government.  The Dubai government also owns Emirates Airlines.  Emirates Airlines is one of the biggest airlines in the world.  It flies into New York, it flies into cities all over the U.S. I presume.  But I certainly know it has flights into New York.  Airlines flying in, no one's raised a peep.  It's easy for politicians to get a rise out of attacking Arabs.  The Democrats did it, Barbara Shumer and Hillary Clinton did it and the republicans feel out flanked.  So now everyone's shouting, Arabs, Arabs, Arabs. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second Ian, that's stupid.  I don't want the Chinese controlling our ports either.  Does that mean I hate Asians?

WILLIAMS:  The Chinese control most of our industry, the Chinese own half the national debt.  No one's worried about that, we haven't gotten manufacturing left. It has been outsourced.

SCARBOROUGH:  I'm worried about that. That doesn't mean I want to turn over our ports and our airports to the Chinese.  Evan thinks—

WILLIAMS:  As Evan pointed out, the ports are under the control of the U.S. Customs, they're under the control of Homeland Security, they're under control of the police.  This is a commercial operation, are you aware of how many extra dollars are recycled into New York?  Just go check if you're worried.

KOHLMANN:  If you're worried about the Chinese coming into the United Sates I think it's a little too late for that.  China has made massive investments both corporate and otherwise into the United States, into our port system.  So, I think all this concern about foreign ownership of ports is a little too, is a little late.  Frankly speaking, the only reason people are interested about this is because it's an Arab company. 

As reticent as I am, to fall into the same league as Jimmy Carter and George Bush at the same time, I think these folks have it right here.  This is no a political issue at all.  The only thing political about it is the fact that people are trying to drive this, they're trying to drive as a wedge, to try to drive President Bush away from Homeland Security.  Whether he's made a good job or not, and I think there's plenty room to question whether or not he's done a thorough a job.  In terms of port security, this is not the issue, it is a red herring.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, thank you so much, I'm sorry to interrupt you, unfortunately we've got to run on, because we've got too much tonight going on.  I wish we could talk about this all night.  Michael Smerconish, Evan Kohlmann, Karen Hanretty and Ian Williams, thank you so much for being with us tonight.  A great debate.

A battle Harvard University president Lawrence Summers has been fighting a long public battle with some of the school's faculty and now he's stepping down.  The announcement by Summers has some people saying that Harvard's PC police forced him out.  With me now to talk to you about it are two men who know Lawrence Summers well.  We've got MSNBC analyst and Harvard alum Lawrence O'Donnell.  And also Harvard professor Daniel Fisher who worked for years to have summers replaced.  Gentlemen, thank you so much for being with us. 

I want to start with you Professor Fisher.  This is what Allan

Dershowitz said about what happened today.  He said, a (inaudible) of one faculty's brought down, brought about an academic coup de taut against not only Harvard University President Lawrence Summers, but also against the majority of students, faculty and alumni.  Summers committed the cardinal sin against the academic hard left.  He expressed politically incorrect views regarding gender, race, religion, sexual preference and the military.  Is Dershowitz right, is this about the PC police knocking him out?

DANIEL FISHER, PROFESSOR, HARVARD UNIVERSITY:  My colleague Allan Dershowitz likes to talk a lot and get a lot of publicity.  Someone (inaudible) wish he knew what he was talking about.  He certainly doesn't in this case.  This has almost nothing to do with political correctness, nothing to do with outspokenness of Summers.   As for myself, I'm against political correctness.  I think people should be much more outspoken than they are. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Lawrence, “The Washington Post” this morning, I'm sure   you saw this editorial,  “Washington Post” this morning basically said the same thing,   said, in university politics as elsewhere, loud and unreasonable minorities can  trump good sense and they went on to talk about the PC police.  The issue of Cornell West and the issue of ROTC, and all these other battles that Lawrence Summers took on.  Do you think this is a sad day for Harvard University? 

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBC ANALYST:  I think it's a transitional day, Joe.  I think there's an interesting situation here.  One is that the student body supported President Summers 3 to 1 in a recent poll.  So this was in a sense a revolt or a reaction by the faculty in a rebellious sort of way against the administration.  It's really a big reversal from 1968 when you had students taking over the president of Harvard's office, President Nathan Kingsley(ph) back in the riots that occurred at Harvard and during the Vietnam War. 

But there's an understandable frustration that's been expressed over the years, the last couple of years by the faculty.  I think when Larry Summers chose to leave, he simply said that, in effect, that it wasn't a good fit.  And even for his own satisfaction, it was time for him to move on.  That he had struggled a little bit.

SCARBOROUGH:  Lawrence, do you think it was unjust?  How do you feel about this guy being pushed out of Harvard?

O'DONNELL:  Well, no, in the sense, look, I've known Larry Summers for 13 years. I think he was a very good choice for president of Harvard.  I never ever expected him to do the normal 20-year run as a Harvard president.  He is a restless intellectual.  He's a brilliant world class economics professor and so I didn't expect him to do a full 20 year run, which is the typical term.  

SCARBOROUGH:  Why?  Was he too honest?

O'DONNELL:  Because I just didn't think --  

FISHER:  I think there was a very simple reason why.  There's a very simple reason why.  

SCARBOROUGH:  Go ahead professor, talk over Larry, you're up.

FISHER:  There's a very simple reason why he wasn't going to do a long 20 year run, that's because what he wanted to do, and it's been clear from the beginning or after the first two years when I really got to know him and worked rather well with him.  It's been clear that what he really cares about is the things of the glory of Larry Summers not for the good of Harvard. 

Things that look wonderful will appear in newspapers, theme park science and a new campus, a new campus it really doesn't need it.  And then he will leave before the damage is done and blame others for not carrying on what he'd done before.  He's very good at blaming other people, that's one of his expertise's.

O'DONNELL:  Well that's not my experience.  I ran his first confirmation hearing for the United States Treasury.  This was a guy who was very, very good at sharing credit, at giving credit, when working in government, to other people who were --  

SCARBROUGH:  It may work in government but doesn't work in university.   Hold on a second, the bottom line is, Larry Summers got in trouble.  First of all, what he told Cornel West to stop making CDs and appearing in the Matrix and actually start doing some academic work and that outraged professors at Harvard who called him racist for doing that.  Also they were enraged after 9/11 that Larry Summers attacked a lot of the Harvard student body and faculty for being hostile to U.S. armed forces.  I mean, let's face it, you're saying it's just because he was a—

O'DONNELL:  Let's go back to the Cornel West situation.

SCARBOROUGH:  He was good in mentoring, wasn't he?

FISHER:  I and many of my colleagues in the Cornel West situation, I felt rather sorry for Larry.  It was hard to believe how someone in a one hour meeting with Larry I believe it was that first substantial meeting, could have come out so angry with what Larry had said to have come out with what Cornell said in the press.  At the time I felt sorry for Larry, I didn't understand it. 

I've been in meetings with Larry since, one on meetings and with other people.  I can now see how after a one hour meeting with Larry someone could come out and react that way, and my sympathies later were with Cornel West, independent of the merits of the arguments that Larry had with him. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Lawrence, I'll give you the final word.

O'DONNELL:  I think what that demonstrates in the “New York Times” coverage today, this would seem to be fundamentally a personality issue. 

FISHER:  No, no, no, this was an issue of incompetence.  

O'DONNELL:  (inaudible) personalities that didn't quite fit the faculty.  And that's what one of the Harvard overseas said today that there was a personality mix here that wasn't working.  And I think Larry Summers has to get a lot of credit for deciding on his own to move out of this situation and let Harvard go forward with someone else.   .  

SCARBOROUGH:  We're going to have to leave it there.  Thank you for being with us Lawrence.  Thank you Professor Daniel Fisher, greatly appreciate both of you   being here.   I think personally you all were both too kind, the faculty that pushed this guy out.  But unfortunately I think as the “Washington Post” said, this is one more example of how our elite universities are detached from the values of mainstream America.  Anyway, to be continued.  Coming up next, Laura Ingraham comes to   “Scarborough Country” she just got back from Iraq and she's here to tell us what's really going on, on the front lines.  And, a very public fight between the Donald and the Martha.  What's behind the battle of these two media heavy weights? We'll tell you.


SCARBOROUGH:  Nice big check for $365 million, the meat packers from Omaha, Nebraska.  Now, that's a good day at the office.  We'll be telling you the story behind the story on that lottery story.  And much more when “Scarborough Country” returns.

But first, here's the latest news you and your family need to know.

DONNA GREGORY, MSNBC NEWS ANCHOR:  I'm Donna Gregory.  Here's what happening.

A huge haul by bandits in Britain, officials say a gang of robbers at a cash center in Southern England made off with 25 million pounds in Bank of England funds.  That's equivalent to $43.5 million.

Fears of civil war in Iraq after bombers badly damaged one of the country's holiest Shiite shrines.  That prompted dozens of reprisal attacks on Sunni mosques, which have left at least 19 people dead.  Iraqi leaders are appealing for calm.

The Supreme Court ruled, seven to one, that the Postal Service can be sued.  The decision revived the suburban Philadelphia woman's claim that she's entitled to damages.  She said she suffered wrist and back injuries when she tripped over mail left on her porch.

And a government advisory panel says children ages two to five should be among those getting flu shots.  They're already recommended to toddlers, pregnant women, people 65 and older, and all those with chronic health conditions.

Now, back to “Scarborough Country.”

SCARBOROUGH:  A nasty battle of the network stars, Donald Trump unleashes on Martha Stewart.  Why all the bad blood?  And why this war of words may just be getting started?

Then, what's it like to go from the third shift of the meat packing plant to being a multi-millionaire?  You're going to hear in their, unforgettable, own words.

Welcome back to “Scarborough Country.”  We're going to be talking about those stories in just minutes.

But first, radio talk show host, Laura Ingraham is back from Iraq, where she met with troops and actually broadcasted her show from Baghdad.

While much of the mainstream media is only reporting one side of the story, Laura went to see for herself what's happening on the ground.

I asked her to tell us what she saw.

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST, RADIO TALK SHOW:  I don't pretend to have gotten the broadest perspective of Iraq, but I know what I saw when I was there.

And I was in kind of in a 30, 40 square mile radius around Baghdad, which obviously is very dangerous, a very difficult security situation, as we saw with the attacks on, yet, another historic mosque in Iraq today.

So the security situation is very difficult.

But what I did also see where things that weren't reported in the media, the great respect and admiration between American military trainers and their Iraqi counterparts.

Now, they write to each other's wives.  They get to know each other's families.  They go to each other's memorial services.

And the dedication on the part of both, the Iraqi forces newly trained and their American counterparts, really was something I wasn't expecting.  And it was really heartening.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Laura, people listening to you that have only gotten their news from, well, the news, might think that you are trying to whitewash the situation there.

But what you're telling me is it's in line with all the e-mails I get from troops that are on the ground over there that say there's a huge disconnect from what Americans are hearing in the media and what they're seeing on the ground over there.

Why is there this massive disconnect that, quite frankly, is misleading the American people on how things are really going in Iraq?

INGRAHAM:  Well, I think, you know, it's a lot easier to cover the latest IED or the latest car bomb attack or the fact that people like Moqtada Sadr is becoming more political popular in some quarters, that's not so hard to cover. 

What is hard to cover is this slow and, sometimes difficult, but important cooperation between average Iraqis, who are giving more tips to American and Iraqi forces that ever before.

And more difficult, maybe, to cover the woman that I interviewed who's 19-years-old and employs 40 people in her building maintenance company.  And puts her life on the line, by the way, Joe, to start a new business in Baghdad.

I mean, those stories are out there.  And there are some media that are doing a much better job than they were, let's say, even six months ago in Iraq, including a couple of “New York Times” reporters doing great pieces about the new Iraqi special forces.

But it's a little bit too little too late because, I think, a lot of people still have a very negative view of what's possible in Iraq.  And it's difficult but, I think, if we're patient we're going to see a lot of success.

SCARBOROUGH:  I want to ask you about the politics; politics in the United States and how much of an impact it has.  How much the Iraqi people hear?

Like, for instance, when Ted Kennedy compares American troops, as he did after Abu Ghraib, to Saddam's torturers.  Or when you have the democratic whip in the Senate, Dick Durbin, comparing our troops to Nazi's and the Khmer Rouge.

Do they hear that negativity?  Does that have an impact on them over there?  Or is that just something that basically stays in the United States and is part of our white-hot debate over this issue? (ph)

INGRAHAM:  What I think ends up happening, Joe—and you can see it in the Islamic web sites and al Jazeera and so forth—is that some of those comments are obviously used to inflame and incite the worst among the Muslims in Iraq, among people who are disenfranchised, angry and, maybe, not making any money.  And it's put out there, and put out there and put out there.  And, I think, that doesn't do anything to help us.

And I can tell you, a consistent comment from our military, and I spent a lot of time talking to the 4th Mountain Division, 710 Calvary, and in the 4th I.D.  These men and women consistently said to me, “Laura, if you don't support the mission, we don't feel supported as troops.”  Because a lot of people will say, “Oh, we support the troops but not what they're doing.”  Well, that's what they're doing.

So they don't really get that attempt by some people to say, “Well, we don't believe in what we're doing in Iraq, but we love you, the troops.”  That doesn't really work for them.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, that's why I actually one of, I think, one of the few conservatives that loved Joel Stein's column in the “L.A. Times” when he said, “Hey, I don't support the mission.  I don't support the troops.”

INGRAHAM:  Yes.  It was honest.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, I thought it was intellectually honest.  Unlike, let's say for instance, Howard Dean, who said this.  “The idea that we're going to win this war is just plain wrong.”

INGRAHAM:  Yes, thanks.

SCARBOROUGH:  What kind of impact does that have on our soldiers' morale, our Marines' morale over there?

INGRAHAM:  Well, they're tough.  I mean, I was with the Army and the Air Force for most of the time.  And I think that they are so dedicated to their missions.  They're dedicated to their units.  They want to make a difference.  And it's very difficult to be away from their families for so long.

And they really want positive encouragement and support.  So I wanted to go there and do the first sort of national live radio show from Iraq so they could talk to people calling in.  And they loved it.  They loved hearing the shout outs from back home and saying hello.  And they asked for letters.  They want letters from Americans, just regular letters from Americans.

That really means a lot to them to get that support.  And when they heard it, you could see their eyes light up.  And they really love that, Joe.

So I think their morale is something they'll say is strong and stalwart.  But I got the sense that it does hurt when the negativity is all you hear in the mainstream media.

SCARBOROUGH:  If you had a son or daughter, would you feel comfortable with them going over to Iraq?  What would you tell them if they asked you, “Mom, is this a noble cause?  Is this something worth fighting for?  Is this something worth dying for?”

INGRAHAM:  Well, I think that, if an adult man or woman chooses to go into the military and be a part of our great military tradition, they should be supported in what they do.  And I certainly would support my son or daughter going to Iraq.

I'm not one of those people who would say someone else's kid.  And I think the more people we have of different backgrounds, having family members in the military, the better off we'll be.

I think too many of us have a disconnect from our military today, Joe.

And I've got to tell you, I've never felt more positive about the future of our country than in that week I spent in Iraq.

SCARBOROUGH:  I wanted to ask you, what's the biggest challenge that they're facing?  If you had to pick one or two things on the horizon, clouds on the horizon, what would you say the greatest risk facing the United States and its mission in Iraq, what would those be?

INGRAHAM:  Well, I think number one is the security situation.  If you don't have security, it's pretty much hard to conduct commerce and start up businesses and have a normal economic life for any country.  So that's number one.

But number two, you know, the basics:  water, sewage, electricity.  The Army Corps of Engineers is doing a pretty good job, as far as I could tell, in getting these contracts going, getting them to completion.

And people, right now, Joe, in Iraq are having very difficult circumstances with water.  I mean, they don't have clean drinking water.  And they're tapping into pipe and pipes are getting—already the infrastructure was a disaster under Saddam.  So there's an enormous amount of work to be done there.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Hey, Laura, thanks so much for being with us.  And really, we all appreciate your going over to Iraq and doing what you did for the troops over there, and coming back and reporting to us how it's going.

INGRAHAM:  My pleasure.

SCARBOROUGH:  Thanks, again.

INGRAHAM:  Thanks a lot.  Take care.

SCARBOROUGH:  And I'm joined now by Tucker Carlson.  He's host of  “The Situation with Tucker Carlson.”

Hey, Tucker, what's your situation tonight?

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON”:  Hey, Joe, you've heard the debate about whether convicted felons ought to have the right to vote?  Well, I met a convicted murder last night, a really interesting guy up in Rhode Island.  We're having him on tonight to explain why he thinks convicted felons ought to have the right to vote.

And then, Bubba the Love Sponge, you've heard him on Sirius radio in the afternoons.  He is in the studio actually as we speak.  Great guy.  Ought to be a fantastic segment.

SCARBOROUGH:  It sounds dangerous.

CARLSON:  It's going to be.

SCARBOROUGH:  It sounds dangerous.  Get the Lysol out.

Thanks a lot, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Thanks, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  We greatly appreciate it.  And make sure you tune into “The Situation” coming up next at 11 o'clock.  It's must-see TV in our house.  It should be in yours too.

Now, when we come back, the fur is flying between the Donald and the Domestic Diva.  New details into this very public war of words.

And later:

UNIDENTIFIED POWERBALL WINNER:  I've been retired for about four days now.


SCARBOROUGH:  The millionaire meat packers meet the media.  Wait until you hear what they're saying about their big Powerball win.  That's coming up.


SCARBOROUGH:  If you think Donald Trump is rough on his “Apprentice” contestants, get this.  When Martha Stewart claimed her version of “The Apprentice” was supposed to be the only one on the air, and she was supposed to kick off her show by firing Trump, the Donald exploded.

According to today's “New York Daily News,” in a letter to the Domestic Diva, Trump replied by saying, quote, “Essentially, you made up this firing just as you made up your sell order of ImClone.  Your performance was terrible.  I knew it would fail the first time I saw it.”

It's shaping up as a celebrity smack down for the ages.  And here to talk about it are Amy Reiter of; and Kathryn Eisman, contributing editor from “Men's Health” magazine.

Katherine, what's going on here?  Who's to blame?

KATHRYN EISMAN, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, “MEN'S HEALTH”:  Well, it's the battle of the ego in the true sense of the word.  I mean, what we have is two people who have made their names by being unbelievably, across all media, and really strong personalities.

And when one person, like Martha Stewart, foolishly attacks his ego, well, you're going to see a really big attack on the way back.  And that's what we've seen with Donald Trump.

I think it's a case of really him defending his baby.  I think he's got a lot to thank for “The Apprentice” in coming back into the main media.

And when Martha Stewart said that he was going to be fired --- the Donald being fired—well, we can just image how he felt about that.

And he came back with something that I would not call a love letter.  It's really cruel.  It's really cutting.  But you now what, it's kind of true.

I mean, we want to watch this kind of dominatrix of the kitchen, this diva, and we saw this very meek and mild Martha.  It wasn't very interesting.  So I think that Donald really hit on a sore point.  And that's probably why we're all kind of reacting with such kind of wooing as Martha is at the moment.

SCARBOROUGH:  It was a boring, boring show, because Martha Stewart tried to be nice instead of being the tough business women that she's always been known as being.

EISMAN:  Not only...

SCARBOROUGH:  Amy, were you surprised by the viciousness of Trump's letter?

AMY, REITER, SALON.COM:  I was.  I was actually very surprised by the viciousness of his letter.

First of all, Donald Trump was an executive producer on Martha's “Apprentice.”  And so, you know, theoretically he says that the first time he saw it, he knew it was going to be a failure.  Theoretically, he could have done something about it before it actually went on the air.

In fact, it's something that he's actually fired apprentices for on his own show, for sitting back and letting somebody else fail and not, you know, when it's in your power to stop it, not stopping that failure. 

So I really think that, you know, it's kind of startling that he was quite this vitriolic.

EISMAN:  Yes, well, isn't it kind of like pushing the blame?  I mean, yes, he was, you know, watching the production of it.  But really it's Martha Stewart's “Apprentice.”  It's not Donald Trump's “Apprentice.”

I mean, he does a fine job with his.  And, yes, it was a kind of harsh attack but, you know, she's kind of saying, well, there should only be one.  Well, we're happy that it's not hers.  Let's put it that way.

REITER:  Well, it was a truly harsh attack.  He dragged her daughter into it, which is just completely unnecessary.


REITER:  Granted, she's on the show and she's a public persona, but still, I mean, his feud is not with her.


REITER:  He dragged her ImClone stocks and he called her a liar and Mark Burnett backed her version of the story.

EISMAN:  Well, actually Mark Burnett said that it was...

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, you know, it got very ugly.

Hold it one second, because I want everybody to hear what Martha Stewart had to say.  She shot back this morning on Imus's talk show.

Take a listen:

MARTHA STEWART:  All I'm pointing out is that it was a programming mistake.

DON IMUS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Did you actually receive this letter?

STEWART:  Oh, I certainly did.  But you know when I received it?  I received it after he had already sent it to the press.

SCARBOROUGH:  Kathryn, are you surprised that these two are fighting each other in such a public way?

EISMAN:  I'm kind of surprised, but I'm not really surprised.  I mean, you look at the scale of Trump's name on his buildings.  He does things in a big way.

And Martha Stewart doesn't do things on a small measure anyway.  So I think it's pretty clear that they'll both into war in a big way.

I think what's interesting is that, you know, she said that he did it in such a public way.  But Martha Stewart was quoted in a magazine saying that she was meant to fire him and that it was unfair to have two shows.  And that the Donald wanted to stay on.

I mean, it really is his baby.  I think she made it a public thing.  And he responded back in a public way.  I don't think you can blame him for that.

SCARBOROUGH:  Amy, do you think this could possibly just be a PR stunt to draw more viewers to Trump's show next week?  Or is it just too nasty?

REITER:  No, I do think it's—look, Donald Trump is nothing, if not a master showman.  And this is absolutely generating interest in “The Apprentice.”  I mean, he's got—the show's coming back.  The ratings have been slumping.  He wants to certainly distance himself from the whiff of failure that Martha's version brought.

But he also just wants to get his name, his show out in front of the press and have people talking so...

EISMAN:  Can I say one thing?  I think that that is the point.  Even though his letter really can shock a lot of people, the fact is that even the letter is interesting.  And that's a lot more than Martha's show was.

So, yes, it's harsh.  Yes, it's this and that.  But it's a TV show, people.  It's reality television.  It's not reality.  And if this letter is interesting and it generates interest in the show, maybe the show will be interesting.

And I would have liked a little bit more of that in Martha's show. 

Maybe Martha should write a letter like this.

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt about it.

All right.  Thank you so much, Kathryn.

Thank you, Amy. 

Appreciate both of you being with us tonight.

And when we come back, a group of meat packers really bringing home the bacon.  Meet the winners of the biggest Lotto prize ever.

And later tonight, “Joe's Schmoe.”


SCARBOROUGH:  The mystery winners of Saturday's $365 million Powerball jackpot revealed themselves today.

The overnight millionaires are eight co-workers from a meat processing plant in Lincoln, Nebraska.  The winners included three refugees from Vietnam and Africa, and five blue-collar workers from America's heartland.

And the group decided to go for the lump sum of cash, right now, rather than the yearly pay outs.  Now, after taxes, each will be taking home about $15 million dollars.

CHASTITY RUTJENS, POWERBALL WINNER:  It's too early for me to retire but I did four days ago.  I'll be working for myself now, though.

UNIDENTIFIED POWERBALL WINNER:  I actually have not had much problem sleeping.  I've been able to sleep.  I can't eat.


Yes, I have some brother's and sisters in Lincoln.  They actually seemed to be more excited than I was.  Of course, they're eating.

UNIDENTIFIED POWERBALL WINNER:  I've been retired for about four days now.

UNIDENTIFIED POWERBALL WINNER:  Dreams, yes, everybody has dreams.  I mean, you ever buy—bought a lottery ticket?  You know, “Hey, I hope this wins.”

Did I really believe it?  No, not really.  It was just something we did.  You know, it was kind of fun.  Gave us something to talk about when a big jackpot would be up.  “What are you going to do?”  “Oh, I'm going to buy an island.”  You know, or, “I'm going to buy an airplane.”

Reality?  Gee, I'm not a fan of flying, don't really like water.


I have no idea what I'm going to do.

SCARBOROUGH:  Don't really like water.  Well, there's a lot of people that would know what to do with money.

We'll be right back.  Plus, “The Situation with Tucker Carlson” is just minutes away.  So stick around.


SCARBOROUGH:  It's time for tonight's, “Joe's Schmoe.”  And it comes to us directly from the strip in Los Vegas.  That's where retired doctor, Max Wells, lost $14 million gambling in seven Vegas casinos.

But that's now why he's tonight's “Joe's Schmoe.”  No, he gets that honor because he is now suing the casinos, saying they should have known his medication for Parkinson's would turn him into a compulsive gambler.  That's right.

Wells also told the casino he had Parkinson's and was on the medication.

But you know what, I've got just one question for Mr. Wells.  Would he be suing casinos if he had won the $14 million?  Good question.

That's all the time we have for tonight.  Right now, let's go to “The Situation with Tucker Carlson.”

Tucker, what's the situation tonight?

CARLSON:  The situation unfortunately, Joe is you never win when you play in a casino.  We're having that man's lawyer on tomorrow night, by the way.  We're going to hear all the answers.  I literally can't wait.

Thanks, Joe.




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