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The McLaughlin Group

Issues: Oil Production in Alaska; US-India Relations; Middle East Issues; Alexis Tsipras

Participants:
John McLaughlin, Host
Pat Buchanan, Author and Columnist
Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast
Tom Rogan, National Review/Daily Telegraph
Mort Zuckerman, U.S. News & World Report

Taped: Friday, January 30, 2015
Broadcast: Weekend of January 30-31, February 1, 2015


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ANNOUNCER: From Washington, THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP, the American original. For over three decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, HOST: Issue One: Obama Goes Wild.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm proud my Department of Interior has put forward a comprehensive plan to make sure that we're protecting the refuge, and that we're designating new areas including coastal plains for preservation. And I’m going to be calling on Congress to make sure they take it one step further by designating it a wilderness so that we can make sure that this amazing wonder is preserved for future generations.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): President Obama is pushing Congress to restrict vast areas of the National Wildlife Refuge, also known as ANWR, including offshore areas from future energy development by declaring these lands wilderness, permanent development of any kind, including roads, would be prohibited.

Environmental activists have reacted with elation. From their perspective, Alaska’s wildlife refuge is a national treasure that must be preserved at all costs.

But Alaska lawmakers are furious. They believe the federal government is impending American energy independence.

Here’s 14 years senior senator from Alaska, Republican Lisa Murkowski, echoing the position of Ronald Reagan in 1987, recommending oil development in the refuge and denouncing the Barack Obama designation of Alaska as a wilderness.

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R), ALASKA: We feel that this is a frontal attack on the state of Alaska and our ability to develop resources for the good of Alaskans and for the good of the country. This is not just about Alaska. Our oil comes to you guys, down here.

MCLAUGHLIN: If you think Senator Murkowski sounded angry, listen to how 40-plus years in Congress Alaska Representative Don Young described the president.

REP. DON YOUNG (R), ALASKA: He lectures the legislative body -- you’re not important. I’m the king. Disgusting for the nation, disgusting for the people. This man, this person, has gone completely whacko. This is an attack upon a state, attack upon previous laws, attack upon the nation.

MCLAUGHLIN: Newly-elected Senator Dan Sullivan thinks the environmental lobby is living in another era.

SEN. DAN SULLIVAN (R), ALASKA: We have ways in which, whether it’s ice roads, ice pods for drilling, only in the winter, where we do these things, shoot 3d seismic, that literally has zero impact on the tundra literally. And, you know, we need to make sure that that element of the debate, people are more aware of.

MCLAUGHLIN: In 1980, Congress specifically set aside portions of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for future oil and gas exploration, including acreage that President Obama has now unilaterally designated as a wilderness area.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Why has President Obama broke a 1980 ANWR compromise?

Pat Buchanan?

PAT BUCHANAN, AUTHOR & COLUMNIST: John, Barack Obama is liberated. He sees himself liberated by the defeat in last November. He’s going to go basically with his ideology. He’s going to go with his political base, the Luddite liberals and the environmentalists and all the rest of it.

And I do think this is a real -- this is a very negative decision. None of us wants to see anything spoiled. But you can drill in the ANWR and also preserve the ANWR, John. And in my judgment, I think this is going to last for about two years. But that area is going to be opened up.

But, look what he’s done. Prudhoe Bay is drying up. You’ve got that enormous pipeline there coming down from the ANWR to Valdez, with all that oil we could use. I really think it is very small-minded, narrow-minded decision on the president’s part.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

ELEANOR CLIFT, THE DAILY BEAST: Oil is $44 a barrel. We don’t need anymore oil. President Carter set aside that land, that water in Alaska in 1980, and a Democratic Congress validated it. President Obama is just trying to add another layer of security. There aren’t that many places left on the planet anymore, that are as originally were intended to be.

And the president also this last week opened up the Atlantic coastal areas off of Virginia and Florida for drilling in the future, which would be 50 miles off the coast and you have all the senators saying that that’s a good idea. Nobody’s going to be doing any drilling there either, because again, we don’t more oil. We have found other alternative, cleaner ways of energy. And it is not just environmental movement. I think most Americans would like to see parts of our country preserved for future generations.

MCLAUGHLIN: Tom Rogan, how did Alaska get in to the Union?

TOM ROGAN, NATIONAL REVIEW/DAILY TELEGRAPH: Alaska joined the Union in 19 --

BUCHANAN: ’58.

ROGAN: ’58?

BUCHANAN: Yes, 1867 --

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Just answer the question. You go, Tom.

ROGAN: The originally purchase for what, $7 million from Russia?

BUCHANAN: It was $15 million.

ROGAN: How much was it?

MCLAUGHLIN: I don’t know.

ROGAN: OK.

(LAUGHTER)

ROGAN: Well, I’ve somewhat redeemed myself. The original history, the point, though, as it goes to this was the fact of the Alaska purchase and entry into the Union has been an economic boom for the nation. It’s also a vast area for people to, you know, opportunities in terms of tourism.

But I think the issue that we have here is that the reason Alaskans, including native -- I don’t know the exact politically correct term -- but people in Alaska who are native to Alaska support this kind of activity, is that it provides a lot of job opportunities and wealth.

And, look, oil prices eventually, are probably going to go up. So, it will become economically profitable, because of technology changes. The actual costs, the capital costs, the cost of maintenance are lower than they once were. And so, there are opportunities through that. And I think that should be up to, you know, as much as we can, if we can balance the environmental side, which we increasingly can, and we can get an economic benefit, if it is in the longer term, and that’s something we should do.


MCLAUGHLIN: Have you been to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline?

ROGAN: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: I’ve visited it.

ROGAN: Uh-huh.

BUCHANAN: Uh-huh.

MCLAUGHLIN: I was out in the snow, in fact. I had the pilot land the plane. I walked along it. And as far as I could see, either from above, or on the ground, going right up in fact to where that station is right on the water up there, whether taking the oil out, you don’t even see any oil anywhere. It may mean that is an immaculate environment.

CLIFT: Remember the Exxon Valdez?

MCLAUGHLIN: For the environmental point of view, it’s immaculate.

BUCHANAN: There was a huge spill in Valdez.

CLIFT: Exactly.

BUCHANAN: What are you talking about? One of the worse we ever had.

MCLAUGHLIN: I know, aside from Valdez.

CLIFT: Exxon Valdez -- aside.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: And Valdez is not in that area, Valdez is way down.

ROGAN: But, see, here’s the thing, the technology now enables you to be more effective and more environment -- and there are risks of it, of course. But it’s a calculation of risk and one of the big gripes I have with the president’s point of view, is that although I respect his, you know, opinion on the environmental side, he’s not honest in the sense that the regulatory framework behind the scenes in terms of permitting, in terms of EPA surprise regulations at the last moment, mean that it’s very difficult for companies that have to have a long term plan, because it takes a number of years to make a decision to invest a lot of money.

So, they either -- they’re sort of waste there. There should be more clarity. If he’s going to say it, he’s like, these are regulations. They’re not changing.

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: We’re practically oil-independent in this country right now. The president must have been doing something OK for the last six year.

ROGAN: From the Bush administration before, the permitting takes a long time.

BUCHANAN: What do you think, Mort?

MORT ZUCKERMAN, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT: I happened to -- I’m really a little bit astounded by this decision, because this is something that is really critical to the national security of the United States to this economy. Yes, right now, oil, there’s a lot of surplus of oil, but for the large parts of our past and for large parts of our future, we are going to need this kind of energy.

And so, I absolutely do not understand and cannot understand his decision on this thing.

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: Well, oil is -- eventually runs out. If we want this planet to continue beyond our lifetimes, we have to find alternative fuels. We are doing very well on that front.

ROGAN: But they were much more expensive.

CLIFT: It is fine to keep that oil in the ground for the future. We don’t need it now.

ROGAN: Let’s see what California energy bill --

CLIFT: It’s a political fight about money that Alaskan politicians want to return to their constituents.

BUCHANAN: What we ought to do is punch all the holes into the ground, take a very tiny area. Find out how much oil is there.

ZUCKERMAN: Right.

BUCHANAN: And if you don’t immediately need it, don’t start pumping it. But let’s find out exactly how much is there. And then at the time, atomic is a good point. We have all these regulations, it’s on land. We have very few problems doing it on land.

ROGAN: And renewable energies are much more expensive.

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: Why don’t we punch those little holes off of the Virginia and Florida coasts for all the politicians --

BUCHANAN: I don’t think we should.

CLIFT: -- who are supporting it, 50 miles out?

BUCHANAN: I don’t think we should, because those --

CLIFT: Oh, that you’re opposed to.

BUCHANAN: Look, you got millions of people living there. Have you ever been to the North Slope and you got a couple of caribou hanging out there --

MCLAUGHLIN: How many U.S. troops are --

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: So, the few Alaskans are expendable --

MCLAUGHLIN: You hear that question, Eleanor?

CLIFT: -- and the others aren’t?

MCLAUGHLIN: How many U.S. troops are up there?

BUCHANAN: I don’t know exactly. Elmendorf is a big airbase.

ROGAN: Fifteen thousand.

MCLAUGHLIN: Twenty thousand. Good guess.

ROGAN: I redeemed myself somewhat.

MCLAUGHLIN: When do we get Alaska?

BUCHANAN: We got Alaska in 1867 by Seward, and in 1958 --

MCLAUGHLIN: What do you mean Seward? Who’s Seward?

BUCHANAN: William Seward, the greatest secretary of state that ever lived.

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes.

BUCHANAN: He got his throat damaged when they assassinated Lincoln.

MCLAUGLIN: Well, where do you stand?

ZUCKERMAN: Listen, I’ve -- listen, this is an enormously important decision and not just for Alaska but frankly for the United States. There’s a huge chunk, we don’t know this for sure, therefore, I agree with what Pat is saying, let’s test. But there’s an all likelihood a huge amount of energy there --

BUCHANAN: Sure.

ZUCKERMAN: -- that we could use that would make us a lot less dependent upon the Middle East and God knows what else.

MCLAUGHLIN: How much did we pay for --

CLIFT: We’re virtually independent now.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: I think the $7 million might be right, $15 million was for Louisiana purchase by Jefferson.

(CROSSTALK)

ROGAN: Two very good purchases then.

CLIFT: The environmentalists won this one and let’s hope there are a lot more on a planet that is facing a lot of --

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: In Alaska, there’s Marines.

MCLAUGHLIN: Twenty thousands.

BUCHANAN: Yes.

ROGAN: I think ocean protection is a much more big environmental concern, with toxicoligization (ph) in the food chain.

One final thing I would say is that --

CLIFT: I’m for that, too. It’s not either/or.

ROGAN: Well, but it can be. But the pricing for renewable energy, let us see what California people are paying in energy costs because of the renewable regulations and it will be a lot more.

MCLAUGHLIN: Alaska’s got more yield out of this program than anyone ever anticipated, right?

CLIFT: Right, exactly.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: Barack’s New Buddy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): President Obama has a big fan, Narendra Modi, the leader of the world’s most populous democracy, 1, 250,000,000 people, and potentially the world’s next superpower, India.

Visiting the vast nation earlier this week, President Obama was met by Indian Prime Minister Modi with an airport hug, a sure sign of presidential rapport. President Obama was also on invitation to participate in India’s Republic Day parade, the first U.S. president to do so.

After viewing India’s military hardware, the two leaders agreed to a landmark deal, that will expand defense trade and allow U.S. companies to help India develop its civilian nuclear power. Within 10 years, Mr. Obama also hopes to increase U.S.-India trade to $500 billion annually.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN: Question: How long have these agreements been under negotiation, Eleanor Clift?

CLIFT: Well, it was during the George W. Bush administration that this country basically gave our endorsement to the development of nuclear weapons in India. And so, the terms of that and our terms of how American nuclear industry would deal with that had been in really various terms of negotiations for years.

The truth is the U.S. nuclear industry died in 1979 with Three Mile Island, and it really just kind of come to life, spurred on by President Obama in the last three years as an alternative to greenhouse gases and an attempt to help the climate.

And so, this is a big breakthrough and I think U.S. industry, not only the nuclear industry, sees India as a huge commercial opportunity for American business. And personal rapport that Modi and Obama clearly have will come in handy because India is a nuclear power in a very volatile area. So, this is a good relationship that’s --

BUCHANAN: A budding relationship with India is not the big story of the week, though, John. What is, is the deteriorating relationship of the United States and its partner Israel, over a number of issues, including this Boehner invitation to Bibi Netanyahu to come to the Congress of the United States where Obama spoke and trash America’s policy on Iran. It has split this city and it has created a real firestorm.

There are good news coming out of India and the U.S. But I think the U.S.-Israeli relationship is at its harder point as it’s been since 1956 when Ike ordered the Israeli Army out of Sinai.

MCLAUGHLIN: Are you faulting those who extended the invitation?

BUCHANAN: I am. I would fault both the Israelis and I would fault Mr. Boehner as well. You do not -- a foreign leader, you do not bring him in to the chamber of the Congress and Senate to thrash the foreign policy of the United States of America.

MCLAUGHLIN: Who joined Boehner?

BUCHANAN: Oh, Boehner has been joined by the Republicans. It’s bad for Israel in the second sense, in that Boehner and the Republicans are all for it, but many of the Democrats who are very strongly pro-Israel are saying, why are you bringing him here to attack the president’s policy?

MCLAUGHLIN: Who was the Democrat who joined Boehner?

ROGAN: Menendez.

BUCHANAN: Menendez is at the Senate. But Menendez himself is not going to vote for the sanctions bill on Iran.

CLIFT: But it’s a rear-guard effort to torpedo any deal with Iran.

BUCHANAN: Sure.

CLIFT: And Netanyahu is being pretty blatant about it and the visit comes two weeks before he faces reelection in his own country. So, he’s getting a lot of blowback from the Israeli media for trying to bring America into the decision-making in Israel.

ZUCKERMAN: There’s a lot of apprehension now about the deal which this government, the Obama administration is doing with Iran, in terms of getting some kind of handle on their nuclear weapons capabilities and development. And there are a lot of people who are very worried that Iran is going to be put in a much stronger position because this administration is not really willing to face up to Iran.

This is just another dimension of it, because Netanyahu and the Israelis are obviously terrified because of what Iran might do, and this is going to be, this was his rationale for coming here, to find some way to explain it to the American people.

ROGAN: I have to say. I think it was an era that Boehner invited the prime minister, so close to the Israeli election. I think at any time, that’s fine.

But if you imagine the British prime minister coming, I think there’s a problem there in terms of diplomatic protocol, which is important.

But I would say actually, it is quite interesting looking at how Mossad and the intelligence services are talking about this nuclear deal. I think they have a very good -- I don’t have information, just my inclination -- they have very good human or signal intelligence.

MCLAUGHLIN: One other question: Did the AJC approve this?

ZUCKERMAN: I don’t know what the AJC did.

MCLAUGHLIN: OK, next stop, Arabia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Following his India visit, Mr. Obama jetted off to Saudi Arabia to pay his respects to the recently deceased former Saudi Arabian King Abdullah. But meeting with Saudi Arabia’s king, Salman, Mr. Obama was less relaxed than in India. His one reason why:

OBAMA: This strategy of taking out terrorists who threatened us while supporting partners on the frontlines is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.

MCLAUGHLIN: That was President Obama five months ago, announcing a military campaign against ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. In that speech, Mr. Obama used Yemen as an example of successful U.S. policy. Yemen borders western Oman, and southwest Saudi Arabia. It has a population of 26 million and a per capita GDP of approximately $2,500.

But in the last two weeks, the Yemeni government, an ally of the U.S., headed by President Mansur Hadi, was overthrown by Houthi Shia rebels supported by Iran, who now control the levers of power. American counterterrorism officials fear the highly capable AQAP, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, will gain an advantage from the chaos, and to U.S. allies in the Middle East, notably Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s crisis signifies weak leadership and disarray on the part of the Obama administration.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is the chaos in Yemen an indictment of President Obama’s foreign policy?

Tom Rogan?

ROGAN: I think it is. And I think it is for a couple of reasons. Number one, the president referred to it as we mentioned last week as a testament of his counterterrorism success. I think sometimes, he tries -- a lot of the times, he tries to pretend that’s either invasion or his policy, the only options, and that’s not true.

The situation you face in Yemen now is one in which Iran-supported rebels, the Houthi rebels, controlled the levers of power, for exerting pressure on the United States. And Saudi Arabia, this is the key point, feel surrounded by Iran, from Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and what that does is it introduces a calculation of paranoia in Saudi (INAUDIBLE) and the problem is that risk them funding Salafi extremists like ISIS and al Qaeda --

CLIFT: Yemen has --

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

CLIFT: Yemen has never been an island of stability. There was an ineffective, corruptive government, which happened to be allied with the U.S., because they don’t like al Qaeda. And so, we were partnering with them, and waging these drone strikes. The Houthis who have now overthrown that government hate al Qaeda worse than that government did because it’s the whole Sunni-Shia divide.

So, we’ll continue probably to deal with them and they’ll deal with Iran. And there are confluence of interests where occasionally, Iran and the U.S. are fighting the same -- it’s happening in Syria, too.

BUCHANAN: John, this is not Obama’s fault.

MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on, Pat.

BUCHANAN: It’s not Obama’s fault, OK?

CLIFT: Exactly.

BUCHANAN: He didn’t do this. The Houthi rebels have been battling in their own county in the north and they’re battling al Qaeda, our enemy. They don’t like Israel, they don’t like the Americans. But we are already dealing with the Houthi rebels who have captured the capital there.

Look, whether it’s Syria or Iraq, there are people who are allies of ours, de facto, whom we don’t like because we dislike the other side, ISIS and al Qaeda, even more.

CLIFT: That’s right.

ROGAN: What are the Saudis going to do?

BUCHANAN: Saudis are in trouble.

MCLAUGHLIN: What are the Saudis -- the president visited Saudi Arabia, by the way.

BUCHANAN: Yes, but the Saudis are, as Tom mentioned, in deep trouble. You got through the north, you got the ISIS in Iraq, you got the Houthi rebels who don’t like them in the south. Northeast to Saudi Arabia, it’s all Shia, you’ve got -- the Shias are dominant in Bahrain. They got --

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: And they got a declining commodity because their oil isn’t as valued as it --

MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly, make your point.

ROGAN: Let’s get Mort get in.

MCLAUGLIN: Mort?

ZUCKERMAN: Listen, I think we are looking at a disintegration of that part of the world, including a lot of our key allies. Saudi Arabia, like it or not, is a key ally for the United States, and we really must find some way. Look what happened when we have this crisis in oil.

BUCHANAN: Can that kingdom survive?

ZUCKERMAN: Oh, yes, it can.

BUCHANAN: Meaning, this whole turmoil and chaos and revolution?

(CROSSTALK)

ROGAN: They’re going to be throwing money at al Qaeda now.

CLIFT: They’re worried about it and the way they survive is they export all the radicalism and they need to be called on that, because they’re actually behind a lot of the Islamic extremism that we see in many places.

MCLAUGHLIN: The administration secretly met with the Iranian as a prelude to launching negotiations now underway in Iran’s nuclear program without informing the Saudis. You know about that?

ZUCKERMAN: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: The Saudis are also bristled over the administration’s treatment of Egyptian president and long-time U.S. ally, Hosni Mubarak, during the Arab spring. You know about that?

ZUCKERMAN: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think of Saudis behaving?

ZUCKERMAN: Well, I mean, what -- the Saudis obviously are losing confidence in this administration. As you say, the way they handled Mubarak, the other issues that you refer to. So, they are trying to figure out how can we protect ourselves?

CLIFT: Well --

ZUCKERMAN: So, they’re going to get involved on certain levels.

CLIFT: I’ll tell you --

BUCHANAN: Moving toward some sort of detente or engagement with Iran, which terrifies the Israelis and the Saudis.

ROGAN: And the Lebanese.

BUCHANAN: And the Sunnis.

MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Three: Alexis the Greek.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): The people of Greece decided they no longer want an agenda of austerity and destruction. That is Greece’s new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras.

Last Sunday, the 40-year-old Mr. Tsipras won a stunning victory in Greece’s parliamentary election. His far-left Syriza Party took 149 seats, and along with its junior coalition partner, now holds a governing majority.

Syriza supporters are elated and have responded with revolutionary seal.

(SPEAKING GREEK)

TRANSLATOR: These were the most crucial elections in the history of modern Greece, as young people, we opened up the road, Greece will change, Europe will change, a prosperous starts tomorrow.

MCLAUGHLIN: Greece’s new government has big plans. It is deeply opposed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s, quote-unquote, "austerity" package of spending cuts and Social Security reform, and it intends to renegotiate Greece’s massive debt obligation. The new Greek government will also increase government spending, believing that more government is the answer to the Greece’s sputtering economic malaise.

And they’re not alone. Across Europe, from Britain to Spain, other far left groups are also taking notice. They believe this is a moment of systemic change, away from capitalism.

Of course, others disagree, notably Chancellor Merkel has hinted she’s willing to accept a Greek exit from the E.U.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHIN: Question: Is the European Union’s unity about to put to the test by Greece?

Mort Zuckerman?

ZUCKERMAN: Yes, it certainly is. I mean, if they’re going to try and oppose Angela Merkel, who is a dominant figure in the European Union, it’s just not going to go anywhere. If they want to withdraw, they can withdraw. They may not be the only country that withdraws. But Angela Merkel is not going to risk German prosperity and German solvency and the German willingness to do whatever it takes to prevent inflation.

CLIFT: That will all be at risk if they pull out of the euro, because the other PIGS countries, Italy, Spain, Portugal, might do the same. And that’s the end of the eurozone.

So, I think Angela Merkel’s austerity policies do not work. Europe is not recovering.

ROGAN: The U.K. is growing --

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: And, basically, the Greek people have been punished, and the banks have been rewarded, because that’s the bailout, it’s basically interest on the debt. The debt has to be negotiated down and I think it will be down because Merkel does not want to lose the eurozone.

MCLAUGHLIN: Rogan?

ROGAN: Yes. No, this is -- I mean, I don’t know what planet honestly the Greek politicians (ph) are on. Their issues here, did the economic recession, because of problems in the banking system, the capitalist system, unveil issues? Yes, but it unveiled them.

The problem across the countries in Europe, whether it’d be Spain, or Portugal or Greece, Italy, is that they have these welfare states the fundamentally do not work. They spend all these money, they don’t have tax regimes, it is their responsibility, and now, they’re trying to blame the economic powerhouse, German taxpayers, to say essentially, we massive overspent and haven’t taken responsibility. You deal with it.

BUCHANAN: All that may be true, but all of it is irrelevant, my judgment. Look, I think what Eleanor said is correct. What the Greeks have said, we have it. And we are not going with austerity and we’re going to start to spend and if Angela Merkel is going to come down on us with both feet, we’re departing.

And she -- and the Greeks I think have backing in. I think they got it in Spain. I think they got it in England. Not in England, but they got it in France, and Italy -- and France and Italy, John. And I’ll tell you, if the Germans don’t accommodate the Greeks to some degree, this guy has to walk out of the eurozone and I think Angela Merkel ought to worry about whether that pulls the string on the whole thing.

CLIFT: Yes. I don’t think he wants to walk. The drachma is a kind of a worthless currency. But the flow (ph) in the eurozone is that if a country can’t control its currency, you’re really the mercy of the central bankers. And so, there --

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: There’s now a showdown that’s happening and the Greek people are in the streets and they have really suffered. It’s not like they’re buying second homes --

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: The Greeks don’t belong in the currency zone with Germans and Finns. The Greeks don’t belong there. The Italians don’t belong there. The Spanish don’t belong there. And that is not an ethnic slur.

MCLAUGHLIN: Mort?

ZUCKERMAN: Yes?

MCLAUGHLIN: What are you going to say?

ZUCKERMAN: Listen. I mean, what you have is a number of countries in Europe, part of the common market, OK, who are simply not -- they’re not broke, but they’re running huge deficits, and the only country that saves them is Germany. And Germany saying, hey, we’re not going to pay everybody’s debt, OK?

MCLAUGHLIN: Right.

ZUCKERMAN: And at some point -- technically, if you want to leave, leave. But we’re not going to pay the debt. That’s a natural, an instinctive response to the German. Angela Merkel is the most solid financial player in Europe and has been for decades.

CLIFT: Yes, but her austerity politics do not work.

ROGAN: But the U.K. is leading.

CLIFT: And the banks could use a haircut, instead of making the people suffered all the time.

MCLAUGHLIN: Postposition: Greece will be out of the eurozone by year end, yes or no?

BUCHANAN: You got it.

CLIFT: No.

ROGAN: No.

ZUCKERMAN: No.

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes.

Bye-bye!

END