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The McLaughlin Group

Issues: Oregon Shootings / UN General Assembly Addresses / Trump Tax Plan / Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

Participants:
John McLaughlin, Host
Pat Buchanan, Author & Columnist
Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune
Tom Rogan, National Review/Daily Telegraph

Taped: Friday, October 2, 2015
Broadcast: Weekend of October 2-4, 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: Massacre in Oregon.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Somebody somewhere will comment and say Obama politicized this issue. Well, this is something we should politicize. It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Western Oregon’s Umpqua Community College serves over 3,000 full time students. The college aims to enable Oregonians to pursue more fulfilling lives. But on Thursday morning, the college’s faculty and students suffered a vicious attack from a 26-year-old gunman, Chris Harper Mercer. Mr. Mercer entered the college and murdered at least nine people, wounding nine more. Mercer was then killed. According to some reporters, Mercer was motivated by a desire for infamy.

Regardless, the shooting has reopened the contentious gun control and mental health debate. While gun rights activists argue that public safety would be well-served by allowing trained students or faculty to carry firearms on campus, gun control activists say tougher laws are needed to prevent deranged individuals from accessing guns.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: The gunman had six weapons on him, and seven others at home. He’s quoted as having said, "I’ve been waiting to do this for years," unquote. Chris Harper Mercer.

Do we need new gun laws, Pat?

PAT BUCHANAN, AUTHOR & COLUMNIST: No. One of the things that motivates people like that, John, is just what you’re doing. You’ve put his name out on the air several times. You got his picture of him. This is a loser. This is a nobody.

This is a guy that lives his life and he suddenly decides I want to go out in a blaze of glory, a blaze of infamy. I want to go out like the guys at Columbine and like the guy at Newtown, like the character in South Carolina that shot up that black church. And how does he do it? He says, "If I get some guns and go in and kill a lot of kids, my name will be as well known as that of John Dillinger."

And he’s gotten coverage all day, wall to wall. I understand why you get it. But we make a mistake if we don’t think this is a magnet of the next guy sitting out there who’s a nobody and says, I’d like to go out like that.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

ELEANOR CLIFT, THE DAILY BEAST: America doesn’t have a monopoly on nobodies. There are nobodies in every country in the world and in industrialized countries. And America is the only country that has mass killings on a regular basis. We can learn from other countries. In Australia in the ‘90s, after they had a mass killing, they tightened down on their gun laws and they haven’t suffered anything like that in 20 years since.

Gun laws need to be tighter in this country. It is too easy for people to buy numbers of guns, straw purchasers passing them along, where they’re use for crimes. And to say that we can’t do anything, that the NRA is too strong, Congress can’t act, is to give Congress a pass on an issue that is critical to this country.

And we’re living in a midst of a political revolution, on the right and the left, of disgust with our lawmakers and this is one more issue to add to the list. There’s going to be a tipping point on this issue, at some point, the American people will have had enough.

MCLAUGHLIN: The NRA is the National Rifle Association, and my question is, is the NRA a public ally or a public enemy?

TOM ROGAN, NATIONAL REVIEW/DAILY TELEGRAPH: Well, like any political lobbying group in the United States, they are a public ally to some and a public enemy to others. I would say one of the things that we have to address with gun crime in America is that the mass shootings really are not the core issue. The core issue is people being shot every day on the street.

If you look at Chicago, there’s a great microcosm of that and I’m sure Clarence will come in on this.

CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Very well familiar with it. Yes.

ROGAN: Chicago-McDonald case, where a gentleman, Otis McDonald, who’s 81 now, petitioned to be able to have a handgun in his house.

MCLAUGHLIN: Are these Clarence’s lines?

ROGAN: No, no. Clarence will coming on it.

PAGE: Clarence has plenty of lines, John. Thank you.

ROGAN: But, Mr. McDonald, I went and look on the Chicago government Web site today, a city Web site, and in Mr. McDonald’s neighborhood in the last month, there had been three homicide, small neighborhood, three homicides, 15 burglaries, 10 robberies.

So, as much as we can do things like challenging straw purchasers, perhaps making that a federal issue, bringing up RICO statutes to hit gangs when they do these transactions, send someone off. At the same time, I would say we need to have that position, where law abiding homeowners are able to retain weapons in the home, with relative ease, because there’s not only a physical element of safety, there’s a psychological element of safety they find from that.

PAGE: Well, I agree we need to find a way to live with guns, because there’s just too many of them to get rid of all of them, and we shouldn’t get hung up on the idea of banning.

But why do we talk about Chicago and not New York? Because New York is not surrounded by states where there are no gun controls, like Chicago is, and we’re right next to Indiana, and we’ve got Wisconsin, all these other surrounding states, and even the counties there in Illinois. You just go outside of Chicago and buy a gun. So, banning gun sales in Chicago doesn’t do any good in that regard, whereas in New York, it’s very difficult to buy a guy. You can buy them, but you got to be registered, interviewed, et cetera, et cetera.

So, they’ve got a procedure to try to eliminate people who would be eliminated by the kind of background checks that we ought to have nationally and that NRA supported back in the ‘90s, background checks universally, Wayne LaPierre and others. But now, they see politically, they can get away without supporting background checks.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: The point about guns --

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor -- let Eleanor --

CLIFT: There’s a lot we can agree on and the approach that the gun safety lobby is taking now is keep guns out of hands of the wrong people. Let’s the dangerously mentally ill, felons --

BUCHANAN: Everybody agrees with that.

CLIFT: Exactly. Felons --

BUCHANAN: And mentally ill, if people have been verifiably mentally ill, cannot buy guns.

John, something --

(CROSSTALK)

PAGE: But they can, they can.

CLIFT: But they can buy guns. They buy them over the Internet. It’s a huge marketplace. There are no background checks there and the gun shows there aren’t.

BUCHANAN: Indiana, they’re not shooting each other up, even if they buy them there --

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: It’s the culture.

CLIFT: They’re sending guns here.

PAGE: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: It’s a culture of disrespect and disregard for life that is far deeper in Chicago than it is in Indiana.

PAGE: I agree. But that doesn’t excuse guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. And we ought to get together about that, and not argue about the --

BUCHANAN: The mentally ill and felons should not have guns.

PAGE: That’s right. But you can’t get background checks through Congress.

BUCHANAN: I get background checks in Virginia.

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: Yes, you can’t get them through Congress.

MCLAUGHLIN: All right, all right, all right.

CLIFT: Five percent of gun dealers supply 95 percent of the guns that are used in crimes. The ATF, which is a toothless agency, needs to take the licenses away from these people.

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: Well, they should.

ROGAN: The top ten cities with the highest murder rates in America are Democratic controlled.

PAGE: It doesn’t matter --

ROGAN: No, but there are borders --

PAGE: It doesn’t matter --

ROGAN: But there’s compromising on both sides. I don’t mean to make that a partisan thing.

PAGE: It’s not a partisan thing. The fact is, look at cities like New York, once again, they’re not surrounded by --

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: All right, all right, right. Will you stop --

BUCHANAN: New York does not have a high murder rate per capita. D.C. is far higher.

PAGE: Because the gun ownership per capita is much lower in New York.

CLIFT: Guns come in to D.C. from Virginia.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, Eleanor, please, please, relinquish, relinquish.

BUCHANAN: Why is Virginia responsible for D.C. killings?

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: Virginia has lax laws and you’re right over the bridge.

BUCHANAN: I’m responsible for D.C.?

MCLAUGHLIN: If this continues, I’m going out and get my own revolver.

(LAUGHTER)

PAGE: Look out.

MCLAUGHLIN: Listen, the president is such a good guy, and this is going right to the heart of him because he cannot get control of guns.

And this week, he was on the air repeatedly and his message was: As I said a few months ago and I said a few months before that, and I said, each time we see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It’s not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel. And it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America --

BUCHANAN: John --

MCLAUGHLIN: -- next week, or a couple of months from now.

When Americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines safer. When Americans are killed in floods and hurricanes, we make communities safer.

BUCHANAN: John, that is the point. This guy, this 26-year-old guy you’re talking about, got the president of the United States to come out to the podium of the White House and to speak and grimace and argue. He’s got you talking about it. The whole country is talking about it.

CLIFT: Yes.

BUCHANAN: And some nut is sitting out there, watching all this stuff and says, I want to end it all and that’s the way to go.

CLIFT: So, your answer is, there should be a media blackout?

BUCHANAN: Well, that’s who the guy -- the police chief in Oregon media blackout the guy’s name.

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: I don’t want to make celebrities out of these people, but you can’t ignore the fact that this is going on.

BUCHANAN: You ought to treat the guy as what he is.

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: Yes, we shouldn’t act surprised.

PAGE: The sad thing is we’ve had about a dozen massacres since Obama’s election alone. I mean, it’s just terrible.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: Starting with Phoenix.

PAGE: Yes, it’s a terrible situation. And there’s no legislative reaction at all.

BUCHANAN: Tucson, I’m sorry, Tucson.

MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: Assembly of Nations.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

OBAMA: The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict. But we must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the pre-war status quo.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We think it is an enormous mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian government and its armed forces, who are valiantly fighting terrorism, face to face.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Attending the annual United Nation General Assembly in New York, President Obama and President Putin of Russia call for greater cooperation against terrorists, and for a peace deal to end Syria’s four-year civil war.

But the two men continue to strongly disagree on one issue, Syria’s leader, Bashar al-Assad. President Obama wants Assad gone. President Putin wants Assad to stay. And on Wednesday, Russia began its own airstrikes against rebel groups fighting Assad’s regime.

Russia requested that the U.S.-led coalition that is bombing the Islamic State terrorist group suspend its air operations, but the U.S. refused.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: When it comes to Assad, who is right, Obama or Putin?

ROGAN: Well, President Obama as I see it, doesn’t have a strategy. Once again, the Russians have outmaneuvered. What the Russians are now doing is projecting power up north in the center to retain Assad’s control.

I had a piece out yesterday arguing that I think what the Russians would do is essentially trying to seize that area, smash the U.S.-supported moderate rebels and cede the east of the country to ISIS, al Nusra, a bit up in the north, and the Kurds up the north. And that will metastasize the problem. Iran and ISIS continue, it will continue to conflagrate and this is a really significant disaster.

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: Yes, Obama made a significant concession in saying that Assad could be a transitional figure in any kind of interim regime. And I think the Russians are right in seeing ISIS is the greater threat, but they don’t distinguish between ISIS and all other people who are protesting.

And I think Obama’s strategy is, stay out of a quagmire and Russia may just have jumped into one.

BUCHANAN: What Russia is doing is, they stand by their friends, unlike us, we pull the rug out from under Hosni Mubarak. They’re standing -- Tom is right. They’re standing by Assad. The Iranians are standing by him. They’re going to find in there.

What they want to do is come to the table and preserve a segment of Syria. And frankly everybody knows Assad is going to be going. But they’re coming to the table with tickets. And Obama, he’s aiding -- he’s fighting ISIS here, which aids Assad and here, he’s aiding the rebels to overthrow Assad.

The Americans don’t know what they’re doing. The Russians do.

PAGE: Yes, I think that actually the Russians are doing us a service by fighting ISIS for us. We ought to just stand back and let them do it. I mean, we don’t know what to do with Syria, and Putin’s purpose is very clear. He’s willing to make the sacrifices.

One thing I’ll disagree, though, is I don’t think he wants like a safe zone for ISIS. I think Putin is just as anti-ISIS and these other terrorist groups because they have attacked Moscow and Chechnya, et cetera, too. So, I think --

ROGAN: I think he doesn’t care about them, but he wants -- he does want to risk. And the problem with him attacking the moderate rebels, right, is that it forces Sunnis unto the other side, it says the only liberation force is ISIS, which isn’t true.

I would say, though, with Pat, the compromise. And this is why I worry that Putin is more interested in the bigger project, but the compromise, you’re right. It’s to say to Putin, you can keep Tartus. You can keep Latakia, your bases.

CLIFT: Look, Russians --

MCLAUGHLIN: Excuse me, Eleanor, just keep quiet for --

CLIFT: I just want to say one thing.

MCLAUGHLIN: All right. Hurry up.

CLIFT: Russians are fighting in Syria, and they’re going back to Russia and Putin’s got a problem. He doesn’t want Syria exported to Russia. So --

MCLAUGHLIN: All right. I want to remind you to let me in if you want to get in. You get it?

PAGE: You got it, John.

MCLAUGHLIN: You like the program, don’t you?

PAGE: It’s your show.

MCLAUGHLIN: OK, OK. You like being here, don’t you?

PAGE: I like it very much.

MCLAUGHLIN: All right. Let’s go.

How dangerous is the situation?

The answer is: there is a great risk of an accidental U.S./Russian military encounter. Both sides have aerial operations that could lead to encounters, as well as on the ground anti-ISIS military operations. The U.S. Army units, Special Forces and U.S. Marine regiments on the ground, in the fight against ISIS. If the Russians hit U.S. troops or vice versa, it will be a crisis.

BUCHANAN: We don’t have troops on the ground in Syria, I hope. You’re talking about Iraq. But there’s no doubt there’s a need for what they call deconfliction, the Americans and the Russians are both talking, the Israelis are talking, to make sure their aircraft do not involve with one another.

PAGE: I love that word.

CLIFT: Yes, that’s one good thing, because they are -- the two militaries are talking to each other.

MCLAUGHLIN: OK. The ideology of battle.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): This was said at the U.N. on Monday, quote, "An aggressive foreign interference has resulted in a brazen distruction of national institutions and the lifestyle itself. Instead of the triumph of democracy and progress, we got violence, poverty and social disaster. Nobody cares a bit about human rights, including the right to life. I cannot help asking those who have caused the situation, Do you realize now what you’ve done?", end quote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN: Whose words are these?

BUCHANAN: Those are Vladimir Putin, John, and what he is saying is that the American post-Cold War ideology of liberal interventionism for liberal democracy has created disasters in Afghanistan and Libya and Iraq, and the man has a point.

CLIFT: It’s Putin blaming the West for all the problems in the world, and I don’t think it’s liberal democracy and I don’t think we actually even tried to export that. We would have liked to, but I think we found out that that doesn’t work.

PAGE: Yes, Putin loves to prance around and present himself as holier-than-thou on the world stage, despite all the massacres he’s been responsible for. But this is a case of him reaching out to this own people who -- among whom his approvals are remarkably high, because he plays to this image of being the little czar.

MCLAUGHLIN: So, that’s Putin’s point, correct?

ROGAN: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: Is that Putin’s point?

BUCHANAN: Putin’s point is that we are responsible for the disaster in the Middle East by our interventions, and again, many Americans think the same thing.

CLIFT: Well, I think Iraq was a grave error, yes.

BUCHANAN: Is Libya a good idea?

CLIFT: But -- well, we should have paid more attention after Libya went down.

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: I’m not defending all the czars that were in place either, and a lot of those czars are toppled because of their -- revolt from their own people. That’s what happened in Libya.

MCLAUGHLIN: OK, more on the ideological battle.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): And who said this, quote, "The strongmen of today become the spark of revolution tomorrow. You can jail your opponents, but you cannot imprison ideas. You can control access to information, but you cannot turn a lie into truth", end quote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN: And whose words --

CLIFT: That was President Obama.

ROGAN: That was President Obama, and you see there the tension between the world views. But the problem is, as I would see it, President Putin has put his into action in terms of physical manifestations of force. I get -- look, President Obama, most Americans don’t want to be there, but I think our current policy track makes longer term conflict more likely.

CLIFT: Well, the president believes that in the end, that ideas will win and that ISIS cannot -- does not have a sustainable ideology.

MCLAUGHLIN: You agree with that?

PAGE: I think Putin is trying to recover from the humiliation of the end of the Cold War, the fall of the Soviet Union. And that’s what appeals to his people about the way he’s behaving right now. But I don’t think he wants to start another world war.

BUCHANAN: But to beat ISIS, you need troops to the ground and nobody is willing to provide them.

PAGE: That’s right.

CLIFT: And Putin isn’t either.

BUCHANAN: No, and why should he be?

CLIFT: That’s right.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: Let’s try Trump’s tax scheme.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I did the plan with some of the leading scholars and economists and tax experts that there are in this country. They love it. They say, why hasn’t this been done before? And this is my wheelhouse. That’s what I do well. The economy is what I do well.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Donald Trump has announced his tax plan for the U.S. Here’s what it entails. The present seven IRS federal tax rates will be replaced with four new rates.

Individuals earning less than $25,000 per year would pay no federal income taxes. Mr. Trump says these individuals will send a new form to the IRS that reads, quote-unquote, "I win". W-I-N.

Individuals earning between $25,001 and $50,000 will pay a 10 percent federal rate, but zero federal capital gains taxes.

Individuals earning between $50,001 and $150,000 will pay a 20 percent federal rate, and a 15 percent federal capital gains rate.

Individuals earning over $150,001 will pay a 25 percent federal rate and a 20 percent federal capital gains rate.

Second, corporations will be given a one-time 10 percent tax rate on earnings they repatriate to the United States.

Third, corporate deductions and loopholes will be closed. But corporate taxes will be limited to a flat 15 percent.

Fourth, Mr. Trump would eliminate the alternative minimum tax and close deductions for high earners.

Fifth, deductions for mortgage interest and charitable giving will remain for all taxpayers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN: Is this a sound tax reform plan or can you trump it?

ROGAN: I think I could trump it, because I think the problem with this plan is that some of the budget estimates have come out in the last couple of days suggest it would take $10 trillion away from the federal budget. And as much as I want to see Medicare and Social Security reform, there is no way that you would be able to get that and to afford to have a strong military.

I would say, some of the positives on this is that you get rid of the deductions, you get rid of the loopholes. The tax code is absurd.

CLIFT: He doesn’t get rid of the loopholes. That’s one good one that he gets rid of the carried interest doesn’t merely make up for the giveaway that he’s giving to the top bracket, which would drop 14 points in the rate.

And he makes a big deal about abolishing the income tax for the lower income people, they’re the 47 percent, remember? They don’t pay income taxes. So, that’s a total shell game.

This is fraud and so is Jeb Bush’s, by the way, not quite a big a fraud but close.

BUCHANAN: This is supply side economics on amphetamine.

(LAUGHTER)

BUCHANAN: And there’s going to be a lot of people. And I think Larry Kudlow loves it. And I think there’s some good ideas, but I agree with Tom, it’s too much of a hole in the Treasury right now.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Is this the downside of the --

PAGE: Yes, a downside indeed. Where are all the Tea Party people who are so worried about the deficit, when his plan would raise the deficit of another $10 million -- excuse me, trillion dollars, trillion dollars, with a T, let us be clear about that. But he does count, he does call for one more repeal, and that’s the estate tax, which he calls the death tax. It would benefit his heirs, but would not benefit very many others.

BUCHANAN: His best idea is not included, and that is tariffs on manufactured coming into the country, and use that revenue to cut taxes on small businesses across America.

ROGAN: That’s a debate for another week.

PAGE: Yes, indeed.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: Do you remember the Kemp-Roth tax cut?

BUCHANAN: Sure. 1978, I believe, it -- that was the other fellow from Wisconsin. Kemp-Roth was 1980, it was Reagan. It was a Reagan tax cut.

MCLAUGHLIN: Good plan?

BUCHANAN: They credit it with the boom in the 1980s.

MCLAUGHLIN: If you were rating this plan against that plan, which plan would you rate to higher?

BUCHANAN: That succeeded, we’re going to have to see about this one.

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

CLIFT: This one won’t get to the starting gate.

MCLAUGHLIN: We’ll live with the unknown for a few months.

Issue Four: Que Sera Sera.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MAHMOUD ABBAS, PRESIDENT, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: We therefore declare that we cannot continue to be bound by these signed agreements with Israel, and Israel must assume fully all its responsibilities as an occupying power.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sharply rebuked Israel this week.

Speaking at the United Nations, President Obama warned that the Palestinians will no longer abide by major peace agreements such as the Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995.

Foreign policy experts are concerned. The Oslo Accords and other diplomatic arrangements are the foundations of the Israel-Palestinian peace process. If the Palestinians cease cooperation with Israel, on issues of governance, trade and security, the potential for new hostilities will increase markedly.

Also, There’s Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. He is reluctant to engage in new peace talks. He feels that doing so may not only reward terrorist groups, but also alienate conservative members of his coalition government.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN: Is this a bluff by the Palestinians, or is Mahmoud Abbas serious?

I ask you.

ROGAN: I think it reflects real political difficulty, in terms of the Palestinian Authority and there’s fragmentation even away from Hamas to Islamic State-linked groups. There is a belief that the Israelis have not relaxed sanctions enough, in terms of quarantining Gaza, for example, and there is a frustration.

And I think it also a play on the fact that Israel’s diplomatic stance at the United Nations and around the world is weak at the moment. At the same time, if the Palestinians pursue this track, they will only hurt themselves, and the Israelis will only increase the pressure.

CLIFT: It’s an acknowledgment of reality, the peace process is moribund. And I tend to place a bit more blame on Netanyahu, who’s walked away from the two-state solution, basically, and the deputy foreign minister in Israel has basically said, they’re never going to give up the West Bank. They keep building the settlements. They’re changing the facts on the ground.

So, he’s walking away from the peace process, but, you know, I don’t know what he’s going to do next. It doesn’t really get him anything.

BUCHANAN: The peace process is dead, I think, John, and the question is, what comes next. I mean, the Palestinian -- Abbas didn’t go as far as he could have done, which was basically dissolve his Palestinian Authority and say, look, we lack power, you’re responsible for everything to the Israelis. I don’t think he wants to do that.

But Bibi Netanyahu is never going to take hundreds of thousands of Israelis off the West Bank, where they’re building new settlements even now.

PAGE: I think that’s right. And Abbas sees this as an opportunity to have some leverage, because if he gets Israel declared an occupying power, then they’re forced to operate under international possibilities of sanctions, et cetera.

But, yes, Bibi is only going to bend so far, so I think this is meant to get Abbas some leverage.

BUCHANAN: I think the two-state solution may very well be dead, and then if you get a one-state solution, it would cease to be a Jewish state, because you’d have to give those folks rights. Or else it would devolve into an apartheid state. They’re at a dead end.

MCLAUGHLIN: Is it brinksmanship?

BUCHANAN: Yes, I think it’s brinksmanship on Abbas’ part, and I think it did get Netanyahu’s attention, because look, if the Palestinians say, if Abbas says I’m retiring, I’m through, we abolish the Palestinian Authority, it’s yours -- Israel’s got a real problem.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: It’s a negotiating ploy?

ROGAN: But they’ll hurt themselves.

CLIFT: No, again, I think it’s an acknowledgement of reality. And I don’t think it changes anything on the ground. Maybe the politics on both sides will change in five or 10 years, and this can be revived.

ROGAN: I think it will change sooner than that.

CLIFT: But President Obama is probably not going to be having a signing ceremony on the South Lawn.

BUCHANAN: I think Kerry has given up on it. He put an awful lot of time in it and got nowhere.

ROGAN: Right.

BUCHANAN: I think President Obama has basically given up on it, he’s got 18 months left.

CLIFT: John Kerry is still trying.

ROGAN: Netanyahu’s coalition won’t allow it.

MCLAUGHLIN: Has President Obama’s nuclear accord with Iran undermined Israel-Palestinian relations? You get the question?

CLIFT: I don’t see that having an impact.

PAGE: Yes, I don’t see a direct relation, frankly. The peace process is dead or dying, as we’ve said before.

ROGAN: Done in by Israeli- American relations.

PAGE: Yes.

BUCHANAN: I think Clarence is right. I don’t think there’s any connection there. But Netanyahu really has got that very much on his mind that Iranian deal. That was the whole emphasis of his U.N. speech.

CLIFT: It’s going to be interesting to see how much that is a part of the 2016 political race. I don’t think it’s going to be a dominant issue.

BUCHANAN: I think the Republicans are going to ease back off.

CLIFT: That’s what I --

BUCHANAN: They’re going to throw it out the window.

MCLAUGHLIN: Out of time.

Joe Biden will enter the Democratic presidential contest next week, yes or no?

BUCHANAN: No, after the debate, he will.

CLIFT: I don’t know, but I think no.

ROGAN: No.

PAGE: I changed my mind, no.

MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is yes.

Bye-bye!

END