Guests: Bill Press, Bill Balsamico, Sam Seder, Max Kellerman, Jonathan Stone
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Welcome to “THE SITUATION”. Thanks for tuning in this long holiday weekend. It‘s good to have you with us. Tonight, another space shuttle launch is in doubt. A crack in Discovery‘s foam insulation leaves the $2-billion shuttle stranded on the lunch pad. The technology may be too last century to be space worthy. But the larger question is why do we still have a space program at all? Is it worth the risk and the awesome expense?
Also ahead, a true sign of the times, a businessman puts his politics on display on signs outside his restaurant. In the Internet age this man opted (ph) from the oldest blog of all, billboards. He‘ll be here in just a few minutes.
And from D-Day to the Statue of Liberty, our list of the top five great things about America. That‘s all coming up.
But first, the looming question, the question that hovers in the shadows of every conversation about politics in this country these days, will Hillary Clinton run for president? And if she does, will she succeed? Writing in this morning‘s “Washington Post” James Carville says he doesn‘t know if Hillary is going to run, but—quote—“if she runs, she can win”.
My next guest agrees. My old pal, Bill Press, is here. He‘s the author of “How the Republicans Stole Christmas”. He joins us tonight from his natural habitat in Washington. Bill, welcome.
BILL PRESS, “HOW THE REPUBLICANS STOLE CHRISTMAS”: Hey, Tucker, good to see you. Happy Fourth.
CARLSON: Well happy Fourth to you.
CARLSON: Why are Democrats still not sold on Hillary Clinton? Here you have James Carville, our friend, James Carville writing a piece...
CARLSON: ... essentially for Democrats saying calm down, she can win, you would think she would be the poster chick for the Democratic Party, and yet, many liberals, maybe you included, are uncomfortable, why?
PRESS: No, first of all, I agree with James Carville. I wrote that same column a couple of weeks...
PRESS: ... Tucker, that I really believe if she runs, and I think she will run, I think she can win. And you know it‘s true. Republicans are more convinced she can win than Democrats are. I mean that‘s why, for example, I know we are going to talk about John McCain. That‘s why they‘re flirting so much with John McCain, because in the polls, he is the only one that shows that he can beat her.
I think Democrats, number one, they‘re—some Democrats are uneasy about her position on the war, her position on flag burning, and two, they see the intensity of hatred for Hillary Clinton on the part of some people and they are not sure she can overcome that. I think they‘re wrong. I think she‘s a rock star. Tucker, I spent a lot of time with her in my former life as Democratic Chair of California. She is the best campaign I have ever seen except for her husband, Bill Clinton.
PRESS: I think people underestimate her. I remember...
CARLSON: Yes, but wait a second. I mean I know she is a great person and I am sure she is a good rope line worker. I‘ve talked to her and she is perfectly charming and you know she doesn‘t drool...
CARLSON: On the other hand...
PRESS: More than that...
CARLSON: ... she is an affirmative action case. I mean let‘s be real here. You know, she served for one term in the U.S. Senate, not in any kind of spectacular manner. She was the president‘s wife. That‘s great and everything, but it‘s not like she has had a distinguished career in anything. So why are we talking about her running for president? I mean she has a less impressive resume than George W. Bush did when he was elected...
PRESS: Oh, absolutely not, Tucker. First of all, I‘m surprised you would say that. I remember a friend of mine who said he would eat his shoe if she were elected senator from New York. Tucker, are you ready to eat another shoe?
CARLSON: No, look I‘m saying...
PRESS: People like you...
CARLSON: ... that she can win, but I‘m saying why should she win?
Like who—I mean I know that her husband wronged her and she‘s famous...
CARLSON: ... and she‘s been in the tabloids, but so what, like what did she do to earn the presidency?
PRESS: Yes, but who is going to beat her, Bill Frist? I mean get serious.
CARLSON: Well that‘s a good question.
PRESS: Yes, I mean get serious. Bill Frist, Sam Brownback. Look, I disagree with you. I think she has done an outstanding job as senator from New York. She surprised everybody. She surprised—they can‘t even find an opponent to run against her, Tucker, in New York. She has worked with the opposition.
You got guys like Trent Lott, you got guys like Lindsey Graham saying
Hillary is their buddy, you know. Hillary is the one they go to when they
want to get things done. She—so I think she‘s got a good record in the
Senate, and she has been first lady. She‘s smart. She‘s an attorney. She
I think she‘s got—and she is the best fundraiser in the business...
CARLSON: You know what, the one thing she does have going for her, she‘s much more moderate than the party base, than the party itself. As you point out in your column on this subject...
CARLSON: Quote—“She worried many Democrats with a 2005 speech calling for reducing the number of abortions. So what does this mean? That Democrats aren‘t for reducing the number of abortions? I thought everybody was for reducing the number of abortions. That‘s a controversial statement in the Democratic Party 2006?
PRESS: No, look, on that issue Democrats are just too goosey. Look, I‘m 100 percent pro-choice, but I think Clinton had it right and Hillary has got it right. Their position is abortion should be rare. It should be safe and it should be legal. That‘s all she said, but for some people it‘s like a third RAL (ph), you know, if you say anything about abortion that is not NARAL, NARAL, NARAL, then they get a little nervous.
I think Hillary is absolutely right on this issue. The other thing, Tucker, is you know she is a life-long Methodist. She quotes the scripture almost as well as Bill Clinton, and she‘s the one I think who could win some of those red states on some of these moral issues and pick up a couple of those red states...
PRESS: ... just like that.
CARLSON: You know it‘s going to be a cold day before I take a moral lecture from a Methodist. No offense...
CARLSON: But I mean come on, she‘s going to lecture us about morality. Please, now wait, what about...
PRESS: All I‘m saying is she is genuine on that issue.
PRESS: She‘s doesn‘t have to pretend. Just like...
CARLSON: No, she‘s...
PRESS: She‘s good on that issue.
CARLSON: ... a guilty white liberal like the rest of, you know, mainstream protestant...
PRESS: Eat your...
CARLSON: ... people. I know them. They ignore the hell out of me.
PRESS: ... shoe. Eat your shoe, Tucker.
CARLSON: John McCain and President Bush, you obviously covered the race in 2000, you know them both. Shy are they friends all of a sudden?
PRESS: You know, Tucker, this makes me sad. I mean you and I are both McCainites, McCainiacs, I guess we used to call ourselves. I think it‘s sad to see George McCain kiss up to George Bush. You and I both know he doesn‘t like him.
He does not agree with him on tax cuts. He doesn‘t agree with him on campaign reform. He doesn‘t agree with him on torture. He wants so badly to be president in 2008; I think he is selling out to Bush. He‘s selling out to Jerry Falwell, and I think he is making a mistake. Because I think the appeal of John McCain is to be who he is, to be a maverick, to be unpredictable, not to be a kiss-ass...
CARLSON: But wait a second. Maybe who he is, though, and you know this because you know him. He is very hawkish and maybe the one subject in which he agrees with Bush and agrees with Hillary Clinton incidentally is the defining issue of the day and that‘s Iraq. He is for the war in Iraq. So is Hillary, so is Bush, so isn‘t it totally common sense that they would be allies now.
PRESS: Well, there is no doubt that Iraq—I mean sorry—that John McCain is a super hawk, I mean on Iraq, on Iran, on Afghanistan, and that‘s one area where I happen to disagree with him. But on the other issues, personally, he and Bush are not the same kind of guy on those issues that are the most important to John McCain. Bush has done nothing but humiliate John McCain.
Look, Tucker, this is what we see in Washington is pure transparent, self seeking politics. I‘m just sorry to see John McCain do it. I think he loses credibility by doing so.
CARLSON: Yes, but look what happened the last time he didn‘t do it.
PRESS: Yes, but you know...
PRESS: ... but he stood tall and we still loved him.
CARLSON: Maybe. Bill Press from Washington. Thank you, Bill...
PRESS: Hey, Tucker, great to see you man. Thanks.
CARLSON: Nice to see you.
CARLSON: Tonight‘s “Under the Radar” segment comes to us from North Versailles, Pennsylvania at the home of the latest celebrity on the Internet and talk radio. His name is Bill Balsamico. He‘s a restaurant owner, but his claim to fame is not the cuisine. It‘s the sign outside his restaurant.
He uses it to post his opinions on everything from immigration to gas prices. He says—quote—“I am just a guy who says what he feels.” Looks like a lot of people agree with him. Bill Balsamico, the owner of Casa D‘Ice, joins us now from North Versailles, Pennsylvania. Bill, thanks for joining us.
BILL BALSAMICO, OWNER OF CASA D‘ICE: Thank you, Tucker. I appreciate the call.
CARLSON: The sign outside your restaurant. This is America. Why must we press one to proceed in English? I saw this...
CARLSON: ... saw this sign and I thought you know what, Bill Balsamico, my kind of guy. What kind of response did you have when you put up that sign?
BALSAMICO: Very positive. A lot of people going up and down the highway that blow the horn. They give you the thumbs up. You get phone calls, appreciation for saying what everybody else is feeling.
CARLSON: So you are a restaurant owner. How did you decide to become an editorialist on your sign?
BALSAMICO: Well it‘s not that I‘ve decided. It‘s all my life. All I do is just say what I feel and that‘s just the way I am and I always will be.
CARLSON: Well, let‘s take a look at some of the other things you‘ve said. Bomb the hell out of Iraq, turn it into a giant litter box, take the oil and bring the soldiers home. By the way, can I just say, call me Neanderthal, but I‘m with you completely. What kind of response did you get to that?
BALSAMICO: The same response. I get phone calls from troop bases all over the world, thanking me for what I have been putting up on the signs. They bring home souvenirs, drop them off at the restaurant, get phone calls from everybody, their families. Everybody across the country is in agreement with what I have on the signs.
CARLSON: Now, what about this one? I‘m not exactly sure what this means, but I know you‘ve been attacked for it, you must be, at the rate illegals are entering this country, August 2013 will be white history month. What does that mean?
BALSAMICO: That means by the time all the illegal and legal immigration comes into this country, the white race will be a minority and we will be able to declare it a history month for ourselves as another ethnic group did and it‘s not a slur on another ethnic group. It‘s just a fact.
CARLSON: Are you excited for that day?
BALSAMICO: No, not really. I hate to see that come.
CARLSON: And have you had complaints about that sign?
BALSAMICO: No, no complaints, just people are in agreement with it. They just look around and see what is going on, and the government is not doing anything about it.
BALSAMICO: They just keep letting these illegals come in and they want to give them amnesty and that‘s not right.
CARLSON: What kind of effect has this had on your business?
BALSAMICO: I‘ve had more people in there now than I‘ve had in the past. There are two gentlemen upstairs right now, one of them is from North Carolina, he was coming through, and he decided to stop to say hello.
BALSAMICO: I‘ve had people from everywhere here. Friday there were two people here from Italy that were visiting people in the area, but saw the signs on the Internet and make their way over here, stop in and have a drink or dinner, and say hello, give the me support and thank me for what I am doing.
CARLSON: Well you‘ve got a sign up for them. America is the greatest country on earth if you‘re an illegal or a foreigner, Happy Fourth of July. Did the Italians see that one?
BALSAMICO: No, that one, well yes, he probably saw it if he looked on the Internet because that‘s one of the signs that are up there.
CARLSON: Outstanding. How about this one? The freak is found not guilty. That of course would be Michael Jackson. Neverland ranch is open for business. Young boys wanted. Free drinks and...
BALSAMICO: Free drinks and sleepovers. Correct.
CARLSON: Who wrote that?
BALSAMICO: So he—I did. I write them all. He got a free pass and he is getting ready to go back in business again.
CARLSON: Good for you. Now, here is one, this is one I knew that you were basically speaking for me on a lot of issues. The seat belt law is a giant money machine for townships; ask lawmakers why 40 million kids can ride a school bus twice a day without seat belts. You know you ought to run for something on that platform by the way. Has the township responded?
BALSAMICO: No, they kind of stay back from me because they know I‘ll end up putting something up on a sign about them.
CARLSON: So basically you are like...
CARLSON: You‘re like the local editorial page it sounds like.
BALSAMICO: Yes, and I get a lot of support from people up and down the highway and around the area. They can‘t wait to see the next sign. They are always in agreement, and when they see the ladder come out, they can‘t wait to make the circle to come back again and see what is up there the next time.
CARLSON: Yes. I mean some people have criticized you. What kinds of things have they said about you?
BALSAMICO: Well occasionally, I get a criticism from a woman who is riding down the highway with her daughter in the car, and I have a little profanity up on the board, and she‘ll call and I‘ll apologize to her, and it will come down in a couple of days when I make my next sign. But if her daughter can read it and understand it, she didn‘t learn it from me. She‘s already known about whatever it is.
CARLSON: Presumably. So is it legal I guess? Is it legal on North Versailles, Pennsylvania to put profanity on a sign?
BALSAMICO: It‘s legal anywhere, as long as what you are saying is the truth. That‘s your First Amendment right.
CARLSON: Well good—I like that argument. I don‘t know if it will hold up to the Supreme Court, but I hope it does. Thanks a lot for joining us.
BALSAMICO: Well, I thank you for spending the time and giving me this little bit and have your customers check out our Web site for any editorials and newspaper clippings that have been written about us. They‘re very good.
CARLSON: Outstanding. Bill Balsamico, I appreciate it. Thanks.
BALSAMICO: Thank you very much.
CARLSON: Still to come, another space shuttle fails to launch. Each one of these cost $2 billion, but what exactly are we getting in return, and why do we still have a space program any way?
Plus, who is more dangerous to your way of life, radical Muslims or evangelical Christians? Next you‘ll meet an Air America host who almost certainly disagrees with you.
CARLSON: Still to come, when is a fat kid not a fat kid? Apparently when so-called experts decide hurt feelings are more important than an accurate diagnosis. What‘s best for kids?
Plus, why Atlantic City‘s casinos may be shutting down, so stay tuned.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Do you believe the right wing has a blueprint for total domination of the world that religious conservatives aim to control your money, your mind, your sex life, even the after life? Well that‘s what my next guest claims. He has written a book about it. The book is called “F.U.B.A.R.: America‘s Right Wing Nightmare”. Sam Seder is the co-author. He‘s also the host of “Majority Report” on Air America Radio and he joins us tonight from New York. Sam, welcome.
SAM SEDER, “MAJORITY REPORT” ON AIR AMERICA: Thank you. Thank you, Tucker, for having me.
CARLSON: So you spend—this is an attack on Republicans and conservatives, but it‘s really an attack it seems to me on religious conservatives...
CARLSON: ... on rapture Republicans. And you spent a lot of time trying to make the case that they are scary, but you say very little about the one religious group in the world (INAUDIBLE) scary and that‘s radical Muslims. Why?
SEDER: Well, I don‘t think that radical Muslims or fundamentalist Muslims own the Republican Party now. I mean I do think that these fundamentalists, really Christianists own the Republican Party. I mean you can just look back to a couple of weeks ago on FOX News when Bill Frist was asked what are the priorities for the nation, and he says you know to change the Constitution, to discriminate against gays. I don‘t think that‘s one of the priorities of the nation. I don‘t think any Americans really think that‘s the priority of the nation...
SEDER: ... you got Iraq, Iran...
CARLSON: That doesn‘t prove—I mean look, two points. And let‘s just start with the one I started with.
CARLSON: As—if you were to categorize the threats to the American way of life to your children, my children, our ability to live, you would put the threat for evangelicals I don‘t know where, but pretty far down. You put the threat from radical Muslims well right about number one, two, three, four and five, wouldn‘t you? Of course you would.
SEDER: Well not necessarily, no, because when you say the American way of life, I am really talking about there is a frontal attack on the American way of life, on American values, on our American system of government, and I believe there is a lot of these fundamentalists out there who are interested in basically a theocracy in this country...
CARLSON: First of all...
CARLSON: ... that is not true—if it‘s true, that‘s so “80‘s. I mean this is why nobody votes for Democrats.
SEDER: But you know, no, no, no, no, no...
CARLSON: People would vote for Democrats if they thought they took the Muslim men as seriously, but they don‘t. They are busy...
SEDER: No, listen...
CARLSON: ... beating up on Jerry Falwell.
SEDER: I can only write one book at a time...
CARLSON: Well that‘s a fair point.
SEDER: ... and the fact of the matter is, is that we‘re talking about American politics...
SEDER: ... and when you talk about American politics, the Republican Party is no longer the party of fiscal discipline or security. It really is about infringing upon American civil liberties, infringing upon Americans‘ way of life and the notion of a democracy. I mean you‘ve got Republican senators; you‘ve got Republican congressman attacking the notion of an independent judiciary. I mean this is...
CARLSON: Wait a...
SEDER: ... set up in our Constitution.
CARLSON: I mean come on. Look, look, you‘ve got part of that right.
It‘s definitely no longer a party in favor in fiscal discipline...
CARLSON: No question about that and I‘m not here to defend the Republican Party. They drive me crazy. I just think that you haven‘t spent enough time around actual Republicans to know that in fact the people who run the Republican Party hate evangelicals. You think...
CARLSON: ... people actually in charge like the religious...
SEDER: It doesn‘t make a difference...
SEDER: It doesn‘t make a difference if they love them or they hate them. The fact of the matter is the electoral base of the Republican Party is made up of these fundamentalists. Why did George Bush and the Congress and the Senate get involved in the Terri Schiavo case? I mean why are they spending their time with pledge of allegiance under God and one of their family values agenda...
CARLSON: What do you mean? You don‘t need to be a fundamentalist to think that it‘s bad that the state prevented Terri Schiavo‘s...
SEDER: But I mean, Tucker...
CARLSON: ... parents from feeding her? I‘m not...
SEDER: Oh wait a second...
CARLSON: ... fundamentalist (INAUDIBLE) whacko and I think that and
SEDER: Tucker, you think the state should be involved in that?
CARLSON: I think—look, I think the state was—that‘s what bothered me about it, the state was preventing Terri Schiavo‘s parents from feeding her.
SEDER: They weren‘t her legal guardian.
SEDER: Her husband was her legal guardian...
CARLSON: No, the state...
SEDER: ... and you allowed the federal government...
CARLSON: Well first of all...
SEDER: ... to come in and get involved...
CARLSON: ... I was on vacation when it happened, but I‘m just saying...
SEDER: Well, I mean...
SEDER: ... the Republicans allowed the federal government to get involved in that case.
SEDER: I know you had a problem with that, Tucker.
CARLSON: The federal government, Sam, was involved in either direction, and in the end the state allowed her to be starved to death, and in fact prevented people from feeding her...
CARLSON: ... so the state was involved any way you sliced it.
SEDER: No, the state allowed...
SEDER: The state allowed her legal guardian to make the decision for her.
CARLSON: OK, without rearguing this, let me just say, I think it‘s unfair and destructive to discourse to dismiss anybody who disagrees with you is a fundamentalist and also frankly...
CARLSON: ... it‘s kind of borderline bigoted, so it‘s...
SEDER: Not at all.
CARLSON: ... you don‘t agree with their religion, but you call them...
CARLSON: ... fundamentalists...
SEDER: ... I have no problem with their religion.
CARLSON: ... and the Taliban and all of that. I mean come on...
SEDER: I don‘t have a problem with their religion.
CARLSON: What do you mean? I read your book.
CARLSON: You hate their religion. Are you kidding?
SEDER: No, no, that‘s not true at all.
CARLSON: Of course it‘s true.
SEDER: I have a problem with them injecting their religion and using that as the principles in which our government should work. I mean we should be run by the Constitution, not by some version of the 10 Commandments. I mean that‘s just the bottom line. Those are American values.
CARLSON: OK. I think they have much less power, much less power, much less power than you imagine, but very quickly...
SEDER: Well, what about your buddy John McCain?
CARLSON: Let me get to...
SEDER: Why is he going to Liberty University if they‘ve got no power?
CARLSON: Well, look, I don‘t know. Why do Democrats suck up to abortion doctors? Because everybody has gotten constituencies that are unattractive...
SEDER: Well, I know...
SEDER: No, Democrats—I think Democrats are for choice...
SEDER: ... when it comes to abortion...
CARLSON: And the Republicans are for God. Whatever. Let me get to the core of your book, the very core of your book...
CARLSON: ... and that‘s Tom Friedman‘s mustache, which you describe...
CARLSON: ... as a sign of—quote—“the beast”. What do you mean by that quickly?
SEDER: Well, actually it‘s sort of a joke, but I think Tom Friedman has provided a lot of cover for the Bush administration in terms of their war in Iraq by simply saying well it doesn‘t really matter who is waging it or what their intentions are, but I‘m going to wave my magic wand and sprinkle a little bit, a couple of iPods on everything, and it‘ll all turn out all right.
CARLSON: See. OK. I knew in five minutes we could find something we agreed on...
CARLSON: ... and your characterization of Tom Friedman, I agree with completely.
SEDER: Well, I appreciate that.
CARLSON: The book, “F.U.B.A.R.: America‘s Right Wing Nightmare” by Sam Seder and Stephen Sherrill. Sam thanks for joining us.
SEDER: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Still to come, is fat a four-letter word? Some physicians are afraid to call fat kids fat kids for fear of upsetting them and no we‘re not making that up.
Plus, a holiday look at America‘s greatest moments from the moon landings to the “Miracle on Ice”, all that when we come back.
CARLSON: We can‘t let this special edition of “THE SITUATION” slip by without a nod to the reason most Americans are enjoying this four-day weekend. Our nation will celebrate its 230th birthday tomorrow. What a remarkable lifetime it has been so far. This next top five we harken back to the past century for a star spangled Fourth of July celebration featuring just a few of the greatest moments in recent American history.
CARLSON (voice-over): From Plymouth Rock to the sea of tranquility, our nation‘s history is rich with achievements. Tonight we salute all of those diehard Yankee Doodle Dandees who have kept the American dream alive for more than 200 years.
CARLSON: He was just another kid from the heartland until May 21, 1927. That‘s when America‘s lone eagle, Charles Lindbergh, soared into the history books as the first man to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean.
CARLSON: That feat pegged “Lucky Lindy” an international hero, our nation‘s first pop celebrity.
February 22, 1980, Lake Placid, New York...
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: USA. USA...
CARLSON: America‘s Olympic hockey team shoots and scores gold in a history victory against the Soviet Union‘s long dominant team. This unforgettable stars and stripes moment glides into sports annals as our “Miracle on Ice”.
CARLSON: And they said it could not be done.
June 6, 1944, D-Day, U.S. forces marshal one of the most powerful military assaults in world history against German troops in Normandy, France. The massive invasion leads to the downfall of the Nazi regime. And just one year later democracy triumphs over the axis of evil.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir, Time Square is quite a place.
CARLSON: Having tamed an entire continent, Americans set out to conquer a new frontier in the early 1960‘s, and less than a decade later on July 20, 1069, astronaut Neil Armstrong boldly took us where no man had gone before.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That‘s one small step for man, and one giant leap for mankind.
CARLSON: Chalk up yet another one for American ingenuity and determination.
She stood as a beacon of hope and freedom for more than 100 years, but Lady Liberty has never shined as brightly as she did on July 4, 1986 when our nation commemorated her centennial.
CARLSON: It was a sizzling star spangled birthday party, the likes of which we may not see for at least another 80 years.
CARLSON: It‘s a great country. How could you not love it? I don‘t know, but some people don‘t. There are America haters out there. I am not talking about America dislikers or people who are dissatisfied with the government, that‘s me. I spend my life complaining about how the American government falls short of its promises, and I think that‘s a patriotic thing to do.
I‘m talking though about people who dislike the idea of America, always telling you America is always wrong in every circumstance, the people who will tell you with a straight face America was founded on lies. Well America was not founded on lies. America is not always wrong. These people just don‘t like the country. And you know what? They can get the hell out of here.
I know I‘m going to get a lot of e-mail from people saying oh you‘re a right-wing Neanderthal. America, love it or leave it, but you know what, I kind of feel that way. America, love it or leave it. That‘s not such a dumb slogan. Belgium is waiting for you. Canada would be glad to take you. Liechtenstein, they‘ve got negative population growth. They need you, so hop on your discount airline and get out of here, and leave the country to people who actually like it.
And yes, even illegal immigrants. I‘d rather have illegal aliens come over here than have women studies professors complaining about how America is a terrible place. At least the illegals want to be here.
(INAUDIBLE) That‘s what I‘ve got to say today. Still to come, as the problems with the Shuttle Discovery mount, it‘s time to start asking why we are asking billions of dollars to send people into outer space. Yes, it is and I‘ll do the asking when we come right back.
CARLSON: Still to come, should doctors feel bad about calling fat kids exactly what they are? Of course they should not, but the P.C. police are on patrol again, stop them before they destroy our language.
Plus, if you have no rhythm, and you don‘t by the way, there may still be hope for you to dance. We‘ll explain in just a minute, but first here‘s what else is going on in the world tonight.
CARLSON: We turn now to a man who thinks about the sacrifices of our founding fathers every time he slides into his over-heated pool in the Hamptons this Fourth of July. He is the outsider, ESPN Radio and “HBO Boxing” host Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO & HBO BOXING HOST: Tucker, I can‘t believe you are coming out for the illegal aliens now. Excellent.
CARLSON: Well look, if—at least the illegals want to be here. No, I‘m not for them, but I admire their desire to be here. I don‘t think...
CARLSON: ... the average women studies poetry professor wants to be here and she can buzz off and go to Ottawa as far as I‘m concerned.
KELLERMAN: Why don‘t we want people who want to be here so badly?
CARLSON: I think we do. We do. We want immigrants, just not illegal ones. But that‘s another show, Max. First up, the news today is NASA. Another NASA mission, another problem that could threaten the safety of our astronauts, and another fat hunk of taxpayer money launched into outer space.
In light of the 2003 Columbia disaster that took the lives of seven astronauts and the new problems with Discovery today the question is, is space exploration still a worthwhile endeavor? NASA‘s budget this year is more than 16 billion and the White House is pushing Congress for more money in 2007.
There‘s been discussion of a future moon program that would cost more than $100 billion. Seems to me, Max, that unless you can justify why we should send $100 billion to do something we‘ve already done, that‘s too much money.
KELLERMAN: Well going into outer space is expensive, and there are all kinds of private corporations now giving prizes to people who can make it to outer space, try to incentivize private people, individuals and corporations to do it instead of using so much government money, and that‘s all a good thing, but I think it‘s difficult...
CARLSON: You are making my argument for me, by the way. That‘s exactly right.
KELLERMAN: I think it‘s difficult to justify in a kind of one to one ratio, in a tit for tat kind of way why we should spend this taxpayer money on NASA on a space program. So many ancillary benefits have come from the space program that there is no way to anticipate that technology in trying to make it easier for us to go into space is used in so many different ways you really can‘t, but that‘s part of the upside, right. There are so many ways we benefit from it, it‘s impossible to predict...
CARLSON: OK, so we‘ve got Tang and those pens that write upside down. I know that there are other things. I don‘t mean to be glib. I think the space program is pretty cool, actually, but we balance the known costs, which are literally enormous, against the unknown benefits, which might be impressive. They might not be impressive. I don‘t think it‘s—I mean it‘s not a fair trade off. It‘s the kind of thing that the private sector was designed or evolved to create. It‘s a wager and I don‘t think the federal government ought to be in the business of wagering like that.
KELLERMAN: You know there are other ancillary benefits. By the way, Keith did a whole thing on “COUNTDOWN” about a year ago listing how many great things have—and life improving things have come from the space program, but you know what about like killer asteroids and meteorites and things like that. You know, the kind that wiped out the dinosaurs that there, you know, there is an asteroid belt not far from here actually, not from far earth, and there are billions of collisions all the time, and any little tiny fragment of rock, a half mile wide comes our way, that‘s the end of life on earth as we know it...
CARLSON: That‘s why we need strategic defense initiative. That‘s why “Star Wars” is a great idea.
CARLSON: Shoot those puppies down.
KELLERMAN: No, that doesn‘t work, Tucker.
KELLERMAN: Haven‘t you been watching the science channel? That just breaks them into a million little pieces...
CARLSON: I think the Sci-Fi channel is part of this network, so I endorse it officially.
KELLERMAN: No, not SCI-FI...
CARLSON: I know. I know.
KELLERMAN: Just Sci.
CARLSON: Just Sci. I don‘t know what that is. Here‘s a question. Max, is it better to protect children‘s feelings than to protect them from potentially deadly illnesses such as obesity? Some people seem to think so. The federal Centers for Disease Control prevention discourage doctors from using the word obese to describe children and teenagers, because of the stigma attached to that word.
The CDS also calls overweight kids—quote—“at risk of overweight”, whatever the hell that means. Critics say euphemisms like that encourage denial to serious problem with childhood obesity. Are we so concerned with not hurting people‘s feelings that we‘re allowing them to make themselves sick? I hate to say it, Max, but we got to call a fat kid a fat kid for his own good, just like you would call a diabetic a diabetic or someone with cancer someone with cancer.
I mean the truth is what‘s required.
KELLERMAN: No, calling someone fat is an insult in this country and let‘s just pause for a second. You are talking about the women studies professors who you don‘t want here versus the illegal immigrants even that you prefer, this country is so great, so wealthy, certainly, that fat is an insult.
KELLERMAN: 99.9999 (INAUDIBLE) but 999 percent of the people who ever lived on planet earth, you call them fat. Really? You think I‘m fat? Wow, it‘s great. Here it‘s an insult, but it is an insult here. That‘s how wealthy we are...
CARLSON: Right. That‘s right.
KELLERMAN: ... and that‘s, you know, the kind of terminology used, shouldn‘t that be left to the parents?
CARLSON: Well I don‘t know. I mean there is a clinical definition apparently for a physical condition that causes illness and/or death, and it‘s called obesity, and I am not a doctor, but apparently being really fat is bad for you. Why don‘t you say so? I‘m sorry. I mean it‘s embarrassing...
KELLERMAN: Because you can say it in a way that doesn‘t embarrass the kid on the spot, and then leave it to the parents later on to make that choice for themselves. I agree with you personally, fat is a description, and if the kid is fat, call him fat. Maybe—it probably helps them in the long run, right, but that‘s really a decision for their parents I think.
CARLSON: Yes. Mr. And Mrs. Jones, your son is let‘s just say plumper than he ought to be and he could die...
KELLERMAN: Portly (ph).
CARLSON: Max Kellerman, happy Fourth of July, Max.
KELLERMAN: You too, Tucker.
CARLSON: If you like to dance but you‘re a little short on rhythm, there is good news for you tonight. A new fad called face dancing requires only that you move your face. It‘s not exactly sweeping the dance clubs yet, but it looks like a pretty fun way to get your groove on to everything from two-pack to Pavarotti. For more on this dance craze, we welcome the Godfather of face dancing, Jonathan Stone. He joins us tonight from London. Jonathan Stone, welcome.
JONATHAN STONE, GODFATHER OF FACE DANCING: Hello there...
CARLSON: Did you think this up, face dancing? I mean how did someone come up with face dancing?
STONE: Yes. Well it started with a purchase of a little digital camera and pointing it at my face in order to see how the camera works, and moving my face around to it and it worked very, very well, and I started pointing the camera at other people and started collecting all these different face dances. So they become sort of portraits of the person listening to their favorite music and it also builds up a collection of different kinds of music that people listen to.
CARLSON: Do people face dance together?
STONE: I have—I filmed some Italian waiters in Italian restaurants in Battersea (ph) and they wouldn‘t—they didn‘t want to be filmed on their own, so I actually got (INAUDIBLE) five of them together.
CARLSON: Five face dancers...
CARLSON: I don‘t know how popular Botox is in Europe, Botox, (INAUDIBLE) with Botox?
STONE: Well, it freezes people‘ nerves, doesn‘t it?
CARLSON: ... it does.
STONE: I have not had Botox.
CARLSON: It‘s a direct threat to face dancing. Do you have a position on it?
STONE: I think it‘s wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.
CARLSON: How many hours have you spent in front of the mirror practicing your face dance?
STONE: Well, I have mainly been pointing the camera at other people. I‘ve sort of collected about 200 of these so far. That‘s—yes, so I have been on the receiving end of it. It‘s quite strange to be on the other end of the camera at the moment.
STONE: But, I am very happy to demonstrate some face dances...
CARLSON: Now that you‘re here, Jonathan Stone...
CARLSON: ... let us dance. First up, just to see a range, we‘ll start with “Rainy Day” by Jimi Hendrix. Face dance this for us, would you?
STONE: All right, this is the...
CARLSON: It‘s good, a little twitchy, but good. All right. Let‘s try the Neville Brothers. This tune is called “Yellow Moon”. Let‘s see you face dance to it.
CARLSON: That looks a little like leering, but I like it.
STONE: A little like what?
CARLSON: I think you could be arrested for making faces like that on the bus...
CARLSON: ... say or the subway.
STONE: (INAUDIBLE) Yes, it really varies the way people do face dance. Some people are very, very still and some people are very animated and very over the top.
CARLSON: Well how about...
CARLSON: ... how about a fellow Brit, the late great Dusty Springfield. This is “Son of a Preacher Man”. I want to see how you dance to this.
STONE: All right.
CARLSON: I like the neck movements. Is that officially part of the face dance? I mean you can go below the chin with the dance?
STONE: Yes. Yes, well I (INAUDIBLE) direction to people, so some people sort of stayed very still and some people got very animated and I had to sort of take the camera right back.
CARLSON: So there is a free style category in face dancing then?
STONE: There is definitely a free style category. Yes. Yes.
CARLSON: Jonathan Stone...
STONE: And there‘s a very sort of—yes.
CARLSON: ... the Godfather of face dancing joining us tonight from London. Jonathan Stone, may you face dance the night away. Thanks for coming on.
STONE: OK. Thank you.
CARLSON: Coming up on “THE SITUATION”, the Fourth of July is a time to celebrate the greatness of our country, right? We hear from someone who says there isn‘t much greatness to celebrate these days. He‘s wrong, of course. We‘ll discuss it anyway when we come right back.
VANESSA MCDONALD, “SITUATION” PRODUCER: Coming up, who defends flag burning around the Fourth of July? We found a brave soul. Class rapper Lil‘ Kim parades out of prison in style.
CARLSON: I‘m just glad the queen bee, as I call her, is finally out.
We‘re back in 60 seconds.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time for a voicemail segment—actually Thursday is the time for a voicemail segment, but we jumped the gun, went a little crazy, it‘s a holiday weekend, so we are doing it again on Monday.
CALLER: Frank from California. You know Tucker, every time I watch your show, you simply are a big turn-off at times because every night you make fun at the baby boom, which I am, you make fun of me being a Democrat, I am. You talk about how the Democrats are the scum of the earth, I am. It‘s every night.
CARLSON: I am. It was nice of you to concede that, Frank. No, I mean look, I beat up on the Republicans, too. They make me pretty sick these days, but baby boomers, I will never stop beating up on baby boomers, Frank. Why? Because they taught me, I never had a teacher who didn‘t attend Woodstock. I just—you know I‘ve heard more about the baby boom generation than I care to hear, so as long as they are quiet, I will stop beating up on them. But as long at they talk, I‘m here. I‘m the anecdote of the baby boom generation.
CALLER: Jason from Starkville, Mississippi. How can you say that we should protect what few freedoms we have left by not allowing the government to tell us what to eat, yet you‘re for a ban against flag burning. If you are against it, then you don‘t have to do it. Just be sure that you leave me a choice.
CARLSON: You make a fair point, and I will concede right up front that my feelings about the flag burning (INAUDIBLE) are inconsistent with most of my other political beliefs. It just seems to be you‘ve got to have some kind of civic religion, something we all believe in. And maybe, I‘m just throwing it out there. Maybe the flag is that religion, is that symbol, maybe that‘s the one thing we shouldn‘t be allowed to do, desecrate the American flag. I don‘t know. The more I think about it the more I kind of like it.
CALLER: Scott, from Denver, Colorado. Tucker, you were talking about the portrait of Jesus in the schools. I bet if that was the picture of Muhammad and all the right wing Christians were going crazy, you would be on their side to have it removed.
CARLSON: Yes. Yes, you would be. You‘re absolutely right, Scott, but look, let‘s be clear. Radical Islam and evangelical Christianity are not equivalent. One proselytizes by force, one enforces a death penalty for non-believers, and the other doesn‘t. It‘s that simple. One threatens Western civilization. The other is the foundation of it, period. OK. So they are not equivalent scary religions. One is scary. One isn‘t. That‘s just true.
CALLER: Royce from Spokane, Washington. On the Fourth of July, I love America but I am not very proud of being an American between the decisions that our president has made and this war on terror, I‘m just not really happy with our place in the world. But all that being said, Happy Fourth all the same. I love the show. Take care.
CARLSON: I don‘t know. You can be unhappy with the U.S. government. I am almost all of the time, but still proud to be an American. You ought to be proud to be an American. It‘s a great country and it has a great legacy and it has a great future. So you know, chin up buddy, be proud.
Keep the calls coming, the number 1-877-TCARLSON. That‘s 877-822-7576. We‘ll play the best of your voicemails again on Thursday night.
Still to come tonight, a crook is caught on tape dipping into motel funds. Wait until you hear who saw him on television and turned him into the cops. The moral of the story, you can‘t trust anyone any more. We‘re coming right back.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Joining us now, the man who not only writes, directs, produces, and appears on our show, the man we couldn‘t live without, Willie Geist.
WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER: I can‘t take credit for directing...
CARLSON: I was about to say that‘s true. You don‘t direct.
GEIST: Dave Wexler (ph) does that.
CARLSON: Yes, I know...
GEIST: Real quick, while you were gone, we changed the time of the show. I‘ll tell you about it later, 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. starting next Monday. That‘s next Monday, July 10, 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Eastern, Tucker is moving and you can see him twice a day. God that‘s so good.
CARLSON: Boy, I‘m going to become such a megalomaniac...
GEIST: And a quick PSA...
GEIST: The Fourth of July is tomorrow.
GEIST: When you‘re using fireworks, don‘t do any of these things right here. Don‘t blow your head off. Don‘t blow fireworks in your jeans. And then if you have—keep a stoic face when your hand blows off.
CARLSON: Look at that. As I‘ve said before, I want...
GEIST: And don‘t light your twin on fire. That‘s all we ask.
CARLSON: They found real M-80‘s, something the rest of us have no access to.
GEIST: Happy Fourth.
CARLSON: Well Independence Day came early this year for Lil‘ Kim. The four-foot-eleven-inch rap star was released from prison this morning after nearly 10 months in the clink. The queen bee, as I like to call her, was resplendent in white as she strolled out of a federal detention center where she was being held for lying about a 2001 shooting outside a New York City radio station.
GEIST: And Tucker, like all people released from prison, she had white roses, white balloons and left in a silver Rolls Royce. You know what, she actually got out for good behavior. She got out two months early. She was in because she wouldn‘t rat on one of her friends.
You don‘t want to obstruct justice, but if there is a reason to go to prison, I don‘t know. I don‘t want to pat Lil‘ Kim on the back but not ratting out your friend...
CARLSON: Ratting about your friend who was involved in a shooting, though. It‘s not exactly like selling your ImClone stock a day early or something...
GEIST: Remind me not to tell you about the time I shot a guy.
CARLSON: In Reno, this (INAUDIBLE)?
CARLSON: Yes. I know what you mean.
Well they‘ve gone and lost a monkey at the zoo in Roanoke, Virginia. A 20-pound female macaque named Oops escaped the Mill Mountain Zoo yesterday morning while she was being moved from a holding cell to the snow monkey exhibit. Members of the zoo staff said they have heard Oops in the forest that surrounds the zoo. They‘re confident Oops will get hungry and come back.
GEIST: Is that how it‘s pronounced?
CARLSON: I think so.
GEIST: All right. They think they have a monkey problem? I want to take you back to this very show November of last year. Mikey the chimp got loose on the set.
CARLSON: Yes, he did.
GEIST: That is a monkey problem my friend.
CARLSON: That is a monkey problem. And you know what, as his trainer told us off camera that night, these monkeys would just as soon rip your face off. I mean they are...
GEIST: Absolutely. There, he got off his leash and look at the trainer running after him. That was a scary day...
CARLSON: You know you can‘t really feel the drama looking at this tape, but that was a scary moment.
GEIST: You know the monkey is interesting. All I see there is a professional going about his job despite the fact the monkey is chasing him around. I‘m talking about myself...
CARLSON: When we move to 4:00 and 6:00, we‘re not going to be able to have monkeys on the show.
GEIST: No monkeys at 4:00 and 6:00. Yes.
CARLSON: Well how bad is the state of marriage in this country? You can‘t even trust your wife to keep your little motel robbery habit a secret anymore. Sad, isn‘t it? In Millersville, Tennessee, a man was arrested and charged with several counts of robbery after his wife spotted him on surveillance tape that ran on a local television show. She called the cops and told them the man robbing motels was her husband.
GEIST: Wives are such nags. Put the toilet seat up, put your socks away, stop robbing motels. It‘s like off my back already, you know. No, that is a sellout. Well that‘s the anti Lil‘ Kim...
CARLSON: No, no, I‘m totally on her side. Don‘t alienate your wife if you‘ve got a motel robbery...
GEIST: That‘s a good point. That‘s a good point.
CARLSON: You know you‘re not so mad if she turns him in.
GEIST: That carries the day. That‘s true.
CARLSON: Willie Geist...
GEIST: All right, Tucker.
CARLSON: Thank you.
GEIST: Happy Fourth.
CARLSON: And thank you for watching. Have a great Independence Day.
We‘ll see you Wednesday.
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