Guests: George Friedman, Robert Bork, Bill Press, Sandi Duncan
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”: Thanks for being with “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.” We‘ll see you on Monday, but the situation with Tucker Carlson starts right now.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Thanks, Joe.
A special Friday night edition of THE SITUATION, we‘ll speak exclusively with former Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork about the tough road ahead for Harriet Miers.
We‘ll also pry into the wicked winter forecast that lies ahead with the editor of “The Farmer‘s Almanac.”
We begin tonight‘s show with the continued threat of terror in New York City. Today authorities briefly closed part of Penn Station after a suspicious green liquid was found in a soda bottle during morning rush hour.
The NYPD has increased its presence on the streets and began searching commuters‘ bags, briefcases and even baby strollers for bombs. Officials from the Department of Homeland Security are downplaying the threat, meanwhile, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg is defending his city‘s response.
President Bush isn‘t passing any judgment on the mayor‘s decision whatsoever.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK CITY: It is very different being an analyst in Washington looking at data, as opposed to being here in New York, where you have to take responsibility to protect people‘s lives. We believe that there is some credibility to this, and if I‘m going to make a mistake you can rest assured it is going to be on the side of being cautious.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think he took the information that we gave and made the judgments that they thought were necessary. And the American people have got to know that, one, that we‘re collecting information and sharing it with local authorities on a timely basis. And that‘s important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Adding to the jitters, this afternoon authorities evacuated the Washington Monument after a bomb threat was called in to local police. An initial search found nothing unusual.
Joining me to talk about these latest threats is George Friedman. He‘s the CEO of Stratfor, the country‘s largest private intelligence gathering organization. Mr. Friedman is also the author of “America‘s Secret War: Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle between America and Its Enemies.” It‘s a really interesting book. He joins us now from Austin, Texas.
Mr. Friedman, thanks for coming on.
GEORGE FRIEDMAN, CEO, STRATFOR: Thanks for having me.
CARLSON: These reports are confusing, from the federal government and from the city of New York. They seem to contradict each other. The city of New York and Mayor Bloomberg saying this is a real threat. The feds casting some doubt on that. Is this an example of the lack of coordination we heard so much about after 9/11?
FRIEDMAN: No, I think it‘s the nature of intelligence. Intelligence isn‘t imperfect. In hindsight, we always know what‘s going to happen, but beforehand you have to make judgment call.
And in this case, an imperfect judgment, the mayor obviously responsible for millions of people, took a very conservative stance, where homeland defense took a different stance on the same data. Happens all the time.
CARLSON: Well, that seems totally fair to me. The problem is when both of those evaluations become public. Doesn‘t it make it make people cynical about terror threats in general? They get the impression, or I do, anyway, that no one is exactly sure what‘s going on. And is that a good impression to leave people with?
FRIEDMAN: Well, that‘s exactly the truth. No one is completely sure what‘s going on, and to give anyone the full sense of security that, “Yes, we really know what‘s going on. We‘ve got it all wired,” is going to make the people careless.
The fact is that al Qaeda is still out there. We don‘t have it completely painted. We don‘t know everything that it‘s doing. And the information that comes in is always going to be ambiguous.
You know, we want a country where the government is going to be absolutely right 100 percent of the time and when intelligence service does that. We don‘t have that. It doesn‘t exist. So you see what happens when reasonable people see the same intelligence and drew different conclusions.
CARLSON: That‘s a good point. Now, in your book, you argue that, in fact, we‘re winning the war on terror. What are the measures of success in the war on terror?
FRIEDMAN: Well, I mean, it‘s impossible to prove a negative in the sense that the fact that there has been no attacks in the United States since 9/11 doesn‘t prove there won‘t be one tomorrow.
FRIEDMAN: But I think there‘s no question but that the quality of intelligence we‘ve developed has improved dramatically over the recent years, and that as the president pointed out, I think to some extent reasonable, many attacks have been batted down.
And that‘s happened because the Islamic intelligence agencies in places like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, who know most about al Qaeda‘s behavior, began to cooperate intensely with the United States over recent years, in part because of the invasion of Iraq.
So, the answer is that we know more than we knew before, probably less because of the capabilities of the CIA, more because of what I call the coalition of the coerced, countries that felt they had no choice but to cooperate. And as a result, we‘re ahead on points. Doesn‘t mean we‘ve won.
CARLSON: How confident are we of the intelligence that we get from the Saudis and from the ISI in Pakistani and from—from Turkey? Do we think it‘s good intelligence? Do we trust it?
FRIEDMAN: Well, some of it has certainly been good intelligence. For example, during the summer of 2004, there were several attempts to make attacks in the United States that were thwarted by intelligence that came in from the Saudis.
Whenever you get intelligence out in the field, it has the possibility of being tainted. It has a possibility of being false. If it were a science, it would be easy. That‘s why intelligence analysts get gray hairs, trying to figure out which is true and which is false.
CARLSON: But Bush in his press conference the other day said that there were, I think he said, 10 terrorist plots that had been thwarted by the U.S. government over the past couple of years. He didn‘t name any of them. A White House spokesman later, I think, filled in the blanks on two or maybe three of those that he brought up.
But wouldn‘t it be useful to the rest of us, to the American population, which really does need to support the war on terror, to give us concrete examples of terrorist plots thwarted? Wouldn‘t that be good for morale?
FRIEDMAN: Sure. There are two problems. First, how do you define a plot? Two guys drinking coffee in a coffeehouse are talking about how they‘d like to blow up the Empire State Building. Is that a plot? It may be thwarted, but do we take it seriously?
Second, the same sources and methods that are being used that were used to thwart these plots are still in play. If you lay out the 10 we‘ve thwarted, very quickly intelligence analysts on the other side can start to identify the leaks and the weaknesses in their own system. You don‘t give it away.
I mean, one of the problems the administration has is, apart from the fact it has a very clumsy public communications scheme, is that some of the stuff that is most effective and succeeded the most simply can‘t be revealed because it will blow that capability in the future.
CARLSON: So it‘s just the nature of the business. Is it possible that terrorists or people who hate us, in any case, could just cause a lot of damage without attacking us, just by inspiring fear, which then causes chaos and disruption to people‘s lives and to business and to the economy, et cetera? Do they really need to blow things up to hurt us?
FRIEDMAN: Well, they do, because they have to maintain credibility. After the 17th feint, where they simply kind of ping the system, giving the implication that they‘re about to attack, it starts to wear thin. In order to maintain credibility, they have to do something.
It‘s interesting to note that they‘ve done things outside the United States, both in the Islamic world and in Spain and in London, and the attempt in Paris, but have not yet mounted an effective attack in the United States.
You know, if we remember back to September 12, and the way we felt that day in 2001, I don‘t think very many of us would have been confidently predicting—and I certainly wasn‘t—that in 2005 we wouldn‘t have experienced another attack.
CARLSON: Yes, that‘s right.
FRIEDMAN: The idea that this simply, well, they decided not to, that‘s not true. They‘ve had political reasons for wanting to attack. They tried to attack. They failed. And the paucity of attacks matters.
CARLSON: Yes. Something to be grateful for. Thanks. George Friedman of Stratfor, author of “America‘s Secret War.” Thanks for coming on.
FRIEDMAN: Take care.
CARLSON: Still to come, former Supreme Court nominee Judge Robert Bork weighs in on the Miers nomination.
Plus, is there a political message in the prize? Of course there is. The Nobel committee awards the prize to yet another America hater. See a pattern here? Details when THE SITUATION returns.
CARLSON: Coming up, paying priests to quit their vices. Plus, government agents bust a teenager making moonshine near his Maryland home. Don‘t the authorities have anything better to do? We‘ll ask that. It‘s a brewing situation. Stay tuned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: She is going to be on the bench. She‘ll be confirmed. And when she‘s on the bench people will see a fantastic woman who is honest, open, humble and capable of being a great Supreme Court judge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: A confident President Bush speaking about Harriet Miers, the woman he‘s nominated to replace Justice Sandra Day O‘Connor, but many conservatives, including several key Republican senators, say Miers is no shoe-in, mostly because so little is known about where she stands on the issues.
My next guest knows quite a bit about the process of reaching the high court. He was a Supreme Court nominee himself in 1987. Robert Bork joins us now from Washington.
Judge Bork, thanks for joining us.
ROBERT BORK, FORMER SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: Glad to be here.
CARLSON: Are you impressed by the president‘s choice, Harriet Miers?
BORK: Not a bit. I think it‘s a disaster on every level.
CARLSON: Why? Explain the levels on which it‘s a disaster.
BORK: Well, the first one is that this is a woman who is undoubtedly as wonderful a person as they say she is, but so far as I can tell, as anyone can tell, she has no experience with constitutional law whatever.
Now, it‘s a little late to develop a constitutional philosophy or begin to work it out when you‘re on the court already. So that I‘m afraid she‘s likely to be influenced by factors such as personal sympathy and so forth that she shouldn‘t be influenced by. I don‘t expect that she can be, as the president says, a great justice.
But the other level is more worrisome in a way. It‘s kind of a slap in the face to the conservatives who have been building up a conservative legal movement for the last 20 years. Because all kinds of people now on the federal bench and in some of the law schools who have worked out consistent philosophies of sticking with the original principles of the Constitution, and all of those people have been overlooked.
I think one of the messages here is don‘t write, don‘t say anything controversial before you‘re nominated. It‘s odd that Justice Roberts—
Judge Roberts, who is now the chief justice and who probably will be an excellent choice in many ways, also had no track record that was easy to follow.
BORK: And now this woman, who has even less of a track record.
CARLSON: None at all, it seems like. But her defenders, flacks from the White House, some of whom we‘ve had on the show...
BORK: Flacks, eh?
CARLSON: Flacks, right, yes. You know, professional spinners.
BORK: I know the word. It just was interesting that—go ahead.
CARLSON: Yes. That‘s essentially what they are, some decent people but repeating a line that‘s been devised by the P.R. office at the White House claim that she is a great pick because she brings diversity of experience. Not only is she a woman and that, supposedly, for reasons I don‘t quite understand is very important.
But beyond that, she has followed a different path than most Supreme Court nominees. She hasn‘t been a judge, et cetera. Is there any truth that that‘s an important qualification?
BORK: No, I think not having been a judge is all right. That‘s—a lot of justices haven‘t been judges before. But I think this idea that it‘s important to have a woman‘s perspective or something of that sort begins to treat the Supreme Court like a legislature in which everybody has to be—all groups have to be represented in some way, and that‘s exactly the wrong message to send.
The court is not supposed to be a legislature. It‘s been a legislature for too much of the—of our history.
CARLSON: Right. I was fascinated to see the president in his news conference the other day tell a reporter that, in his many conversations with Harriet Miers, going back more than a decade, he never discussed the question of abortion.
When you were nominated for the Supreme Court, did you discuss with President Reagan or anybody in his administration your specific views on Roe v. Wade or other issues that might come before the court?
BORK: No, I didn‘t have to because I‘ve had—I had them all in writing, which was my mistake. You know, that‘s—the book of Job says, “Oh, that my adversary had written a book.”
Well, if you write—if you write a book or articles, as I had, you give the hostages (ph) the fortune. So they didn‘t have to ask me; they knew where I was.
CARLSON: But do you think they should have? I mean, from my—as a non-lawyer it seems to me obvious that the president would want to sit her down and say, you know, “Here are the important questions that might be raised on the Supreme Court. What do you think of them?”
Why—but everyone pretends or says that that‘s somehow verboten.
You‘re not supposed to do that. What do you think of it?
BORK: Well, I think that‘s ridiculous, because the president is not supposed to ask the nominee, but the senators all drill a nominee endlessly about—about his or her positions on various issues.
Why the senators should be allowed to do that and the president shouldn‘t be, I don‘t know. But I wish the president wouldn‘t ask her how you vote on this case but what try to ask her what materials do you consider relevant to deciding this case?
CARLSON: A fascinating point brought up this morning by Charles kraut
he said four years Miers has been immersed in the war and peace decisions
while working at the White House. Questions of prisoner detention,
prisoner treatment, war powers,
And he makes the point if she does reach the Supreme Court she‘ll have
to recuse herself from judging the constitutionality of these decisions
because she will have been party to the making those decision. She won‘t
be able to weigh this on the vital questions. Is that true this
I‘m not sure that that is true. Justice Robert Jackson advised President Truman and President Roosevelt on issues like that and then changed his mind when he got on the Supreme Court in the steel seizure case, which held illegal President Truman‘s seizure of the steel mills during the Korean War. So I‘m not sure that having participated in the decision at the executive branch level disqualifies you from deciding the issue as a judge.
CARLSON: Right. I don‘t think it should either. Now what do you think her chances of being confirmed are?
BORK: I think they‘re probably pretty high because, and this should give the president some pause, they‘re pretty high because the Democrats seem to like her. And I think that ought to give him reason to think that maybe he made a mistake.
CARLSON: What about conservatives in Washington? I no longer live there, so I don‘t have quite my finger on the pulse of it. But what‘s—
I know you do—what‘s your sense of how Bush‘s supporters feel about Harriet Miers?
BORK: Well, those who are involved in the process have some reason to stick with the White House—not because they believe what the White House has done is wise but they can‘t jump overboard—are with this decision. But everybody else I‘ve talked to is—ranges between disapproval and outrage.
CARLSON: Interesting. Well, I hope those voicing disapproval and outrage carry the day. I agree with you completely. Judge Robert Bork, thanks a lot for joining us.
CARLSON: When we come back the archdiocese of New York siphons money from the poor, sick and underprivileged to help priests kick their bad habits. A pious act or something sinful? We‘ll debate that, next.
CARLSON: In the annals of argument, one man stands head and shoulders above the rest. Please welcome, one of the great debaters of our age, professional devil‘s advocate and outsider, from ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing, from Las Vegas, Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO: By our age you mean 30-something?
CARLSON: No, I meant in this millennium. It‘s great to have Max.
KELLERMAN: What an introduction.
CARLSON: Thank you.
First up the Nobel Peace Prize was announced earlier today. The winners, Mohamed ElBaradei and the International Atomic Energy Agency. You‘ll recall that ElBaradei has been at very public odds with U.S. foreign policy over the past several years. That alone apparently enough for the Nobel committee to award him the coveted prize.
Actually, Max, he got the prize for, quote, “his work stopping the spread of nuclear weapons.” Right. No mention of Iran or North Korea.
But you know as well as I do that the real reason he got the award was he‘s anti-American. That‘s the single criterion for winning this award these days.
Three years ago when Jimmy Carter got the award, the head of the selection committee said, “Giving Carter this award was our way to kick the administration in the leg,” quote. Right?
You can go through the whole list of people who have won—Rigoberta
Menchu, back to Yasser Arafat, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, often forgotten
and see that the thread that connects all of them is their dislike of the United States. That‘s why he won and that‘s why we ought it ignore what that little Norwegian committee does every year with its $1.3 million. Who cares what they think?
KELLERMAN: Well, I mean, yes, you‘re right. If you‘re anti-American it certainly seems to put you in the running, and this is the indefensible, but let me try my best.
CARLSON: Good luck.
KELLERMAN: It‘s a shame, too, because if you win the Nobel Prize in medicine, you know, in science that‘s a really, really big deal.
KELLERMAN: And the peace prize has been devalued. This is the chef nuclear weapons inspector, and Alfred Nobel in will wrote, you know, it‘s to be given out—one of the criteria was for the reduction of standing armies. And clearly, this was before, you know, nuclear weapons. And so nuclear weapons pose more of a threat than standing armies, it can be argued, and for someone who has worked to reduce nuclear weapons, they‘re eligible for the prize.
CARLSON: Yes, but there are many who‘ve worked to make this world a more peaceful place, and yet it‘s only the ones who do that while tweaking the United States who win.
And I guess my only point is this is a little fringe group of Norwegians who makes this decision, and the rest of us slavishly cover this thing like it‘s a big deal, like it matters, like it means something and it doesn‘t. And I guess my hope is we would—next time they announce some America hater as the winner of this award, the rest of us just yawn and flip the channel.
KELLERMAN: Well, yes. In an age, though, of nuclear proliferation, I mean, that‘s really the scariest thing in the world right now. You‘re talking about terrorism. Terrorism is just a tactic.
KELLERMAN: We‘re fighting fundamentalists. But nuclear proliferation, we‘ve known for years now, poses a real threat to people who hate America. And so anything to stop that is good, even for America.
And one last thing. The presence of nuclear weapons themselves actually might be considered good things if they belonged to stable nation states...
CARLSON: Of course.
KELLERMAN: ... because they reduce conventional warfare and death.
If you look at the number of dead...
CARLSON: It‘s totally right. If we hadn‘t had nuclear weapons during the Cold War, we‘d be speaking Russian right now. There‘s no question about it.
KELLERMAN: Or no one would be speaking anything.
CARLSON: That‘s right.
KELLERMAN: There‘d be “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.”
CARLSON: Exactly. Exactly.
Well, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, at least as far as the government is concerned.
Agents from the Office of Maryland State Controller, in cooperation with the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission—they have guns, believe it or not—made a big bust earlier this week. They arrested a lone teenager and seized the illicit moonshine distillery he allegedly built from a bucket, a trash can and some copper pipe.
The boy told investigators he learned the essentials of bootlegging in a high school science class and on the Internet.
Yet another example of law enforcement and a bureaucracy running completely amuck. Here this kid is attempting to broaden his science education, basically taking his homework to the next level, right, and building what he learned about in an abstract way in science class, and he gets busted for it.
They are trying to crush this kid‘s enthusiasm, his initiative, his effort. It‘s soul killing, and it‘s wrong. Go catch some terrorists is my view.
KELLERMAN: It is interesting that he learns it on the Internet as opposed to the way moonshine used to be learned, which is from your father/older brother.
CARLSON: Exactly. Exactly.
KELLERMAN: And that person could be the same person. You know, NASCAR, I‘ve been informed, actually started because people were bootlegging moonshine, which, of course, as we‘ve mentioned, bootlegging moonshine, don‘t know what that means, really, but they were bootlegging moonshine and they were taking off from the cops.
KELLERMAN: They were souping up their cars. That was NASCAR. So it‘s led to some interesting American institutions, moonshine.
However, using the Internet to do things that are illegal is still illegal. Now, in this case it‘s moonshine but in another case, it could be building a bomb and...
CARLSON: Of course it could be building a bomb. It could be releasing, you know, LSD in the water supply or blowing anthrax into the subway, but it wasn‘t. It was building a still, and it may be illegal. A lot of things are illegal, but not all things that are illegal are wrong.
And law enforcement ought to focus on enforcing the laws that matter, and this one doesn‘t matter. Yet another waste of resources. People who really are thinking with their guns or blinded by the bureaucracy to what is good and right for the society. Busting some kid who‘s trying to, like, learn more about science. It‘s bad.
KELLERMAN: Agreed. One last thing: they bust people who grow marijuana in their backyard all the time, and I don‘t see where this is any different.
CARLSON: I actually agree with you.
Well, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York has a couple of new commandments for its priests: thou shalt not smoke and thou shalt not get fat. Priests who lose weight or quite smoking will now be eligible for a $500 bonus, but it‘s not easy money. The archdiocese says overweight priests must trim 10 points from their body mass index; smokers have to quit for a year to get their money. Very few may collect.
But I think the whole idea is a misguided one, Max, and not just because this money might be going to the poor. That‘s not the point I‘m making. The point I‘m making is if you‘re running the Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New York, and your priests are smoking cigarettes or eating too much, you ought to be psyched. OK? That is the least of your problems.
You‘ve got all sorts of potential problems that could arise, behavior that we‘ve seen over the past couple of years. Moreover, you ought to be worried about ministering to parishioners.
Who cares if they smoke? Who cares if they‘re fat? Those are temporal concerns. This is a church. They ought to be worried about spiritual concerns. Are people being fed spiritually? Are they going to make it to the hereafter, right? Are they going to make it into the kingdom of God? And they‘re worried about whether the person has a secret Marlboro habit? Come on, wake up.
KELLERMAN: Well, the Catholic Church, you can look at it as a very, very successful business. They‘re extremely wealthy and one—you know, if you run a success business...
CARLSON: It‘s a business, not a health club, though.
KELLERMAN: Well, you see, health care costs are skyrocketing and you notice that maybe as a result of the policy of celibacy or the—the law of celibacy among priests that they smoke a lot and they eat a lot.
KELLERMAN: And you notice that it costs you a lot of money to take care of that later on, and it‘s a preventive measure. I don‘t see what the big deal is.
CARLSON: Well, I mean, you are lucky if that‘s all they‘re doing. And I just think they ought to spend their time and their money focusing on things that matter.
KELLERMAN: Maybe if celibacy wasn‘t one of the laws of becoming a priest, the smoking and the eating would take care of itself.
CARLSON: Well, I completely agree with that, too. We‘re agreeing again. Max Kellerman.
KELLERMAN: However, neither one of us are Catholic so we‘re not really allowed to say that.
CARLSON: Yes. Well, we‘ll just say it any way. Max Kellerman, from Las Vegas, have a great weekend.
CARLSON: Coming up, Karl Rove faces possible indictment in the investigation into the leak of a CIA officer‘s name. Can the Bush White House survive without his brain? We‘ll put that question to Bill Press when we come back.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
Rising gas prices, the war in Iraq, the Valerie Plame investigation, a Hurricane Katrina debacle, the furor over Harriet Miers, all of them add up to a headache for the White House as well as an equal and opposite reaction from the other side of the aisle. Yes, Christmas has come early to Liberalville this year.
Joining us now to discuss whether bad news on the right means good news on the left one of the great liberals of our time, syndicated radio show host and author of the forthcoming, soon to be best-seller, “How the Republicans Stole Christmas,” Bill Press.
BILL PRESS, RADIO SHOW HOST: Hey, Tucker Carlson, I miss the spin room.
TUCKER: Well, you know, I do too Bill.
PRESS: Well, let‘s have one.
TUCKER: We can recreate it for a moment here.
PRESS: All right.
TUCKER: Your column this week smart but very twisted. Here‘s the perspective I think you‘re putting forth in your column.
PRESS: Go for it.
TUCKER: That this whole Harriet Miers nomination, which has infuriated conservatives across the country, is in fact a diabolical plot by the White House to sneak in this stealth right winger. The conservatives are pretending to be outraged just so liberals won‘t notice when they sneak in the Scalia clone. Do you really believe that?
PRESS: First, I really do believe it. You‘ve almost got it right. What I think, I think the conservatives are either on the Bush payroll, which I don‘t think they are or they‘re just dumber than I thought.
I mean the ones who are screaming so loudly about this, look Tucker, Karl Rove would not have let George Bush name Harriet Miers to the court unless they knew that she was right down the line with them on all the issues.
It was diabolical but also brilliant because they knew if they took one of those people from the conservative short wish list that they were pushing, (INAUDIBLE) and Janice Rogers Brown and those people, there would have been a huge battle on Capitol Hill.
So, what they did was they put a woman just as conservative as any of those other guys but nobody knows she is so, you know, there‘s nothing to grab onto and I think the conservatives are falling for it by screaming so loud and I think the Democrats are falling for it by staying silent. So, I got to tell you it‘s diabolical (INAUDIBLE).
CARLSON: Really? I just couldn‘t disagree more. I think that this is probably the best thing to happen to Democrats in a long time. You have this president who is not terribly conservative himself but was elected by conservatives by and large and so you got to expect he‘s going to appoint someone pretty conservative.
Here you have a woman who‘s really never said anything about political issues in public. As Melinda Hennenberger (ph) said the other day in “Newsweek,” she said “Have you ever met someone who is opposed to abortion who kept that opposition quiet, no.”
All pro-lifers are loud about it. She‘s never said anything about it, so odds are she‘s likely to be liberal as she is conservative. This is the best you‘re going to get.
PRESS: Hey, I don‘t trust her and I don‘t trust him, Tucker. Look, let me tell you she‘s never said anything publicly but all those hours that she spent with George Bush when she was representing him, when they were traveling together, she was cutting—I‘ve got a picture of her in my office of her cutting brush with Bush on the ranch. When they‘re sitting out on the back porch having a beer what do you think they talk about? They talk about the same stuff you and I do. Bush knows where she is. I‘d be willing to bet she is a Scalia in sheep‘s clothing.
TUCKER: Wow. Well, if I can‘t get you excited about that...
PRESS: I am excited.
TUCKER: ...to see that that‘s a good thing for the left then maybe I want to know what you think of the problems that Karl Rove is facing now. He‘s going in for his fourth appearance before the grand jury in this Fitzgerald investigation of the Valerie Plame leak.
The late-breaking news today is Judith Miller apparently has turned over notes that she just found, reportedly, from a conversation she had with Scooter Libby, that‘s of course Vice President Dick Cheney‘s chief of staff and she‘s turning those over to the prosecutor.
Don‘t you wish as much as this might be the end of Karl Rove that this was a debate about policy or ideas? Don‘t you sort of feel a little bad that your side is winning on essentially what is a technicality?
PRESS: Oh, Tucker, let me tell you something. You know, I never—
I‘m a liberal right? I don‘t wish ill of anybody but I can‘t wait to see Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House alongside of Scooter Libby.
I think what these guys tried to do is they tried to swift boat Joe Wilson by going after his wife and they got caught and, you know, Patrick Fitzgerald has stayed on the case. I think it‘s going to be hugely embarrassing for the Bush administration.
But, Tucker, you got to add to Karl Rove and Scooter Libby you got to add Bill Frist and Tom DeLay and David Safavian and Jack Abramoff. They‘re going to have to build a whole new wing in the Lewiston Federal Prison.
CARLSON: Apart from Safavian and Jack Abramoff, both of whom are accused of pretty heavy-duty crimes and neither of whom I would even think of defending ever in public or private. The other things are pretty small potatoes in my view.
But still the question remains isn‘t it better for America to have open out in public debates about issues like, I don‘t know, healthcare or abortion or the death penalty or the war in Iraq or whatever divides the two parties rather than this kind of war of attrition by prosecutors that‘s been going on for about ten years?
PRESS: Well, first of all I think I disagree on Tom DeLay. Tom DeLay on this latest charge could go to life in prison for what he‘s accused of for that money laundering. That‘s not penny ante stuff. That‘s pretty serious stuff.
But look, Tucker, back to the Karl Rove thing it is a major policy thing and I‘d love to have that policy debate. Why didn‘t we before the way, and I know you came out and said you thought you were snookered on the war, why didn‘t we have the policy debate about what exactly was Saddam Hussein up to?
But instead when Bush claimed in the State of the Union he was up buying that yellow cake from Niger and Joe Wilson said that was a phony claim, instead of proving their case they went out to destroy Joe Wilson by outing his wife. That‘s a major policy decision.
CARLSON: I‘ll tell you why we didn‘t have a—I‘ll tell you why we didn‘t have a debate cowardly liberals. There were a lot of liberals who were opposed to this war who because they were afraid to say so in public didn‘t bring it up and so we got this war with virtually no debate. The opposition was silent because they didn‘t have the courage to come forward.
PRESS: Well, I don‘t disagree with that. I think there were a lot of cowardly Democrats or Republicans who went along with the Bush administration. They refused—they were just in lock step right. Democrats, you‘re right, they were afraid of being accused of being soft on terrorism or soft on—un-American.
And then I‘ll tell you what else, Tucker, the media, the media just swallowed all the lies of the Bush administration and regurgitated them and there we go. We got the war in Iraq.
CARLSON: Now, finally I want to tell our viewers something they may not know about you. You were for a time a Catholic seminarian. You know a lot about the Catholic Church.
PRESS: Ten years Tucker.
CARLSON: Ten years, ten years in Switzerland as I remember.
PRESS: Well not all of it in Switzerland but Switzerland (INADUIBLE) in the seminary, studied for the priesthood for ten years.
CARLSON: That‘s amazing. Well, what do you think then of this announcement today that the Vatican will allow self described gays to become priests as long as they have been celibate for the preceding three years? What does this mean?
How do you prove someone has been celibate? Is this a good idea? Will this reduce the number of molestations that seem to be going on in the church?
PRESS: All right, well I guess I say this. First of all, I think a gay person can take a vow of celibacy and keep it as much as a straight person can but I think they‘re avoiding the issue, Tucker. The issue to me is why is this vow of celibacy still around?
For the first 1,000 years priests were allowed to get married. The second 1,000 years of the church they weren‘t allowed to get married. I say let‘s go back to the roots. I mean Saint Peter was a married man. Most of the apostles were married men.
If you believe the DaVinci Code, Jesus was a married man and why not? So, I think the answers, I think they‘re avoiding the real issue. The issue is they ought to allow priests to get married and have families and I think they‘d do a better job and there would be more of them.
CARLSON: I absolutely couldn‘t agree more. I think the DaVinci Code is a piece of garbage but everything else you said I think is totally right. Bill Press.
PRESS: Hey, Tucker, good to see you man.
CARLSON: Former seminarian and now author of “The Republicans who Stole Christmas,” forthcoming soon. Look for it. Thanks Bill.
PRESS: All right, Tucker, see you.
CARLSON: Still ahead on THE SITUATION, so you say winter is your favorite season. Why don‘t you get back to me around February? The editor of the Farmer‘s Almanac joins us with a cold, bleak forecast next.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
The editors of the Farmer‘s Almanac have been predicting the weather since 1818. The book uses its famous, if mysterious, formula to give a full year‘s forecast of conditions across the U.S. The outlook for this winter is unusually bleak.
Sandi Duncan is the managing editor of the Farmer‘s Almanac. She is here now to deliver the bad news about this year‘s weather. Sandi Duncan, thanks for coming on.
SANDI DUNCAN, FARMER‘S ALMANAC: Thanks for having me.
CARLSON: Before you tell us what the weather is going to be how do you forecast the weather so far a year in advance? How do you know what the weather is going to be?
DUNCAN: Well, luckily it‘s not my job but we do have a weather prognosticator. He goes by the name of Caleb Weatherbee and he‘s been doing it probably about 20 years now and he uses a mathematical and astronomical formula that dates back to 1818 when the Farmer‘s Almanac first started and it takes things like sun spot activity, tidal action of the moon and position of the planet into factor.
CARLSON: I was going to ask you the main question does he wear a wizard‘s hat but that would be cruel. What‘s the formula and is this I mean for real? That‘s really—he takes a formula from 1818, plugs in this year‘s variables and comes up with the weather. That‘s really what happens.
DUNCAN: Exactly. Exactly. It is for real. The person and the formula is actually top secret. It is a real person. He lives somewhere on the East Coast. But we keep him and the true secret formula top secret. He‘s the only one that knows it but it is a very astronomical and mathematical formula. And we look at these things and we have for years and we‘re pretty darn accurate every year when the Farmer‘s Almanac makes its long range predictions.
CARLSON: So, all this stuff about Doppler radar and up to the second weather forecasts, I get them on my cell phone, all a crock, you just need the formula.
DUNCAN: Well, you know, the formula helps. I think, you know, you can look at your cell phone or you can turn on TV and find out what the weather is going to be but you can‘t find out what it‘s going to be on December 31st or June 15th of next year.
CARLSON: That‘s true.
DUNCAN: So, we go out on a limb and we can‘t take the place of your local meteorologist. I mean sometimes local conditions come into play but we do a good job, you know, taking cues from nature. It‘s about time maybe we go back to nature and forget about some of those satellite computer systems and maybe we should take our cues back from nature.
CARLSON: Do you go back and check the accuracy of last year‘s forecast against what happened?
DUNCAN: We always include like in the 2006 Farmer‘s Almanac we include what we had predicted and what kind of happened overall in the whole country.
CARLSON: Good for you.
DUNCAN: And people that follow our forecast they were 80 to 85 percent accurate.
CARLSON: How are you on hurricanes?
DUNCAN: Well, you know, we did predict two hurricanes in the gulf coast this year. We predicted one in August and one in September. We were off probably about ten days each way or the first, the one in September, we were off about five days. So, I‘d say we‘re pretty good.
CARLSON: That‘s not bad. I‘m impressed.
DUNCAN: And next year, next year hurricanes, we are predicting (INAUDIBLE).
CARLSON: Well, so tell us what‘s this winter going to be like?
DUNCAN: Well, if you like roller coasters you‘re all set. The Farmer‘s Almanac, 2006 Farmer‘s Almanac is calling for a polar coaster winter meaning that we see such up and downs on the thermometer that you might be reminded of riding a roller or a polar coaster.
But overall we are seeing unfortunately a very cold winter in the northeast, very snowy in more of the northern sections as far as New England and northern New York and then, as you go west, in the Great Lakes and Midwest, we‘re seeing a lot of snow but the temperatures are a little more mild. And then we‘re seeing unusual warmth in actually California and Nevada and the Pacific Northwest.
CARLSON: But for those people who live in Virginia and above it‘s bad?
DUNCAN: Yes and actually even down to Florida. We are calling for quite cold conditions all the way down to Florida. In fact, we‘re calling some frost conditions in Florida for Christmastime.
CARLSON: Do farmers still read the Farmer‘s Almanac?
DUNCAN: I think it‘s changed over the years. I think some farming just like everything has become more sophisticated and farming has become more sophisticated. When the Farmer‘s Almanac started it was named after the people who had stayed, you know, farmers, good, honest, hardworking people and I think for now more of a publication for everybody, whether you have a patio garden or if you have a lot of acreage and you do farm still.
CARLSON: So, if you‘re worried about hurricanes this coming year where should you be worried about them hitting and when?
DUNCAN: Well, you know, according to the 2006 Farmer‘s Almanac we see three hurricane threats, one in the gulf coast, one in Florida in August and then the interesting thing is we are predicting a possible hurricane threat to the whole east coast next September, the first week of September.
CARLSON: Like upper east coast?
DUNCAN: Right, up here, up into the New York, New Jersey area and up into the New England states as well.
CARLSON: A big one?
DUNCAN: You know all we say is hurricane threat, so we try to be accurate but like I said we do it so far in advance we don‘t want to make people too worried about it.
CARLSON: Well, I hope in this case you‘re completely wrong.
DUNCAN: I do too.
CARLSON: But you may not be. Sandi Duncan of the Farmer‘s Almanac, thanks.
DUNCAN: Thank you.
CARLSON: Appreciate it.
Coming up we‘ll unveil who Esquire magazine named the sexiest woman alive.
Plus, what do you get when you combine a Tom Cruise and a Katy Holmes? The world is about to find out and one caller has a pretty good idea what that baby might look like. We‘ll check THE SITUATION‘s voice mail next.
CARLSON: Welcome back, time for our voice mail segment.
Every night we give out our secret unlisted phone number and every day you call and leave us messages. Let‘s listen to some, first up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE, PENNSYLVANIA: Tucker, it‘s George Smith from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and don‘t you think it‘s awful funny that every time the president gives a major speech on terrorism all of a sudden there it is. We get another terrorist threat. You know it‘s awful funny.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Any theory that begins don‘t you think it‘s funny is usually demented, including yours. No, I don‘t think there was any connection at all but I think it would be a great essay for Moveon.org—next up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE, TORRANCE, CALIFORNIA: Hi, Tucker, this is Mike from Torrance, California. My comment is regarding crime and its causes. Drug prohibition is a foolish replay of alcohol prohibition. We had a radical decline in crime following the repeal of drug prohibition, 65 percent reduction in murder rates. Anyway, please look for another place for the cause of crime. Thanks, Tucker, love your show. Bye.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Well, I mean obviously I agree. I‘m against criminalizing drugs generally. I mean I think that they ought to be illegal in most cases. Drugs actually aren‘t that good for you. Officially illegal but mostly un-enforced. Let people do what they want until they‘re bothering other people kind of my theory on life—next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA, SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA: Barbara Hemmerling (ph), San Bernardino, California. My message is I don‘t know why they don‘t put the 55 mile-an-hour speed limit back on due to the gas problem. It also saves lives. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Well they don‘t because people don‘t want to drive 55 miles an hour and until you‘re paying for my gas, you‘re not allowed to tell me how fast I can drive unless again I‘m hurting other people. People have a place to go, no offense Barbara maybe you don‘t, but a lot of us do.
You want to get home after work and see your kids, see your family, right, do something else and you want to get there quick. You don‘t want to wait around going 55 miles an hour. People hate the 55 mile-an-hour speed limit and if they‘re paying for the gas, and most people are paying for their own gas, they ought to be able to burn as much as they want. That‘s what the market is all about—next up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LISA, MICHIGAN: Hi, this is Lisa from Michigan. The whole Tom and Katy thing and the Scientology thing I cannot get Rosemary‘s baby out of my head and I truly hope that Katy Holmes does not suffer from post-partum depression because she‘s going to be in a lot of trouble.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Well, she won‘t be able to talk about it apparently. Under the rules of Scientology you have to be perfectly quiet for the first week after giving birth and even while giving birth. That‘s a lot to ask I think of any birthing mother. But I believe in hope, Lisa.
I believe that this child, though apparently, supposedly, allegedly the product of Tom and Katy, can grow up to be sane and normal, not affiliated with any cryto-religion at all. I believe that this child can do better. So, you know, I‘m in favor of their having a child. It could be a huge improvement.
Let me know what you‘re thinking. Call anytime, the number 1-877-TCARLSON. That‘s 877-822-7576.
Still ahead, look out the runaway bride is on the move again. What‘s she running from this time? We‘ll tell you when we visit the Cutting Room Floor. Be right back.
CARLSON: The final segment on the final show of the week, the Friday edition of the Cutting Room Floor. Willie Geist is here, here he is.
GEIST: Hello, Tucker. I‘ve got some not very breaking news off the top here. Esquire magazine has named its sexiest woman alive, Jessica Beal.
CARLSON: Never heard of her.
GEIST: “Seventh Heaven,” one of your favorite shows on the WB. She was a star then.
CARLSON: Never heard of it.
GEIST: Interestingly second place Harriet Miers, which I thought was surprising.
CARLSON: Well, she got that going for her doesn‘t she?
CARLSON: Well, Jennifer Wilbanks is on the run again but this time federal authorities are not trying to track her down. The runaway bride is reportedly set to run the Chicago Marathon on Sunday.
You might remember that Wilbanks skipped out on her wedding in April and concocted a story that she had been kidnapped. A source with the race says Wilbanks is “a very respectable marathoner and known in running circles throughout the south.”
GEIST: In fact, known in running circles throughout the country actually.
CARLSON: Yes but not for running.
GEIST: She‘s not very—the marathon is a cinch for her. She just ran to Albuquerque for God‘s sake.
CARLSON: That‘s right.
GEIST: This is like the 100-meter dash. This is nothing.
CARLSON: She can‘t take the Greyhound bus with her this time.
GEIST: No, she can‘t.
CARLSON: Major disadvantage.
Well, fake dog testicles might sound funny to you but Greg Miller has made a handsome living off of them, thank you very much. Miller makes the fake testicles for dogs who have been neutered. He says his invention helps dogs regain a natural look and gives them self esteem.
Last night Miller won Harvard University‘s ignoble prize for medicine. The ingobles are given out for the most creative scientific inventions of the year. Fake dog testicles certainly qualify. I‘m totally for this, Willie. You can mock it all you want but I love dogs and I think it‘s the right thing to do.
GEIST: I agree. Is this America or what? Greg had a dream to be the first man to make fake dog testicles. He saw it through. It‘s Neil Armstrong, it‘s Apple pie. If you‘ve got a dream you‘ve come to the right place.
CARLSON: (INAUDIBLE) but it doesn‘t—it doesn‘t address the question of whether you ought to cut them off in the first place and I say no. I think it‘s wrong. I‘m just against castration in all forms, period.
GEIST: I‘m against castration in my form.
CARLSON: That‘s a non-negotiable for me. I don‘t care. The whole animal kingdom I‘m opposed.
Well, a Brazilian psychic says it was his clairvoyance that tipped off the U.S. government to Saddam Hussein‘s hiding place. Now he wants his money. (INAUDIBLE) has filed a claim in Brazilian court demanding the $25 million reward promised by the U.S. government for information leading to Saddam‘s capture. (INAUDIBLE) says his letters to the State Department describing the tiny bunker where Saddam was eventually caught were totally ignored.
GEIST: I cannot believe that the State Department completely disregarded specific intelligence from a Brazilian palm reader. It‘s outrageous and there ought to be hearings.
CARLSON: It‘s just classic. It‘s just a classic bureaucratic snafu.
The answer right under their nose in the mail room totally ignored.
GEIST: How many times does this have to happen before we say enough?
CARLSON: Wake up America.
Well it‘s time to crown our non-human of the week. Who else could it be by Ai Ai the now former smoking chimp? Ai Ai began smoking 16 years ago by picking up the unfinished butts of visitors to her Chinese zoo. But this week, the 27-year-old chimp kicked the habit. Instead of smoking, Ai Ai now takes morning walks and eats a sensible diet of dumplings and bananas.
GEIST: That sounds good. We have to confess, Tucker, this is just an excuse to watch video of a chimp smoking. We‘ve done that story like three times this week.
CARLSON: But is she happier and will she gain weight, yes.
GEIST: She‘ll probably put on a little weight but I think if she inspires one other chimp to quit smoking it‘s good for everybody, you know what I mean?
CARLSON: Our human of the week is a man whose audacity just has to be rewarded. Corbin Hanson (ph) is asking the government of Denmark to cover the cost of his prostitutes because he has a disability. Hanson says his disability prevents him from leaving his home to visit brothels so he has to pay more to have hookers visit his house. In Denmark the government compensates disabled people for incurring costs as a result of their disabilities.
GEIST: Once again an excuse to roll out the hooker file video which you‘re watching right now.
CARLSON: Yes and we‘ve got a lot of it.
GEIST: Some street walkers from 1973 apparently.
CARLSON: Yes. I wonder if we have their permission?
GEIST: I‘ve had a few days to let this story settle in and I feel stronger than ever that he should get the hookers paid for.
GEIST: I‘m totally for that.
CARLSON: If you‘re going to have a dysfunctional welfare state where everyone kind of stays home and plays video games and feels bad about themselves, commit suicide at an early age, you might as well subsidize hookers while you‘re at it.
GEIST: At least get him some hookers.
CARLSON: That‘s exactly right.
GEIST: Give him something to smile about.
CARLSON: This is the one good thing I‘ve heard about Danish society.
GEIST: All right, Tucker.
CARLSON: Happy Friday.
GEIST: See you Monday.
CARLSON: That‘s THE SITUATION for tonight. Thanks for watching.
Have a great weekend.
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