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THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP

HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN

JOINED BY: JAMES WARREN, PAT BUCHANAN, ELEANOR CLIFT, AND RAMESH PONNURU

TAPED: FRIDAY, MAY 23, 2003
BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF MAY 31-JUNE 1, 2003

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THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT.
-------------------------

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue one: Is Bush invincible?

PRESIDENT BUSH: (From videotape.) The terrorists and their
supporters declared war on the United States, and war is what they
got.

But we're not talking about the government's money in Washington,
D.C. We're talking about your money, and the best way to get this
economy started. (Applause.)

Seeing all the good workers here reminds me of one of the big
tasks we have in America, and that is to make sure anybody who's
looking for a job can find one.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He's left the gate and is at full gallop. The
Bush second term -- that's the finish line. And if Karl Rove has his
way, no photo finish. Mr. Bush's tour message is butter and guns, in
that order -- the economy and national security; tax cuts, more jobs,
military might. Karl Rove, Bush's ace political strategist, has a
battle plan to crush the Democrats in '04.

Bush as warrior: The Republican Convention in New York coincides
with the 9/11 third anniversary.

Political ads will surely show Commander in Chief Bush's jet
fighter catching the tailhook on the deck of the USS Lincoln and his
climbing from the cockpit, head to toe in full flightsuit.

Republican base: Totally locked up, due to the short,
successful, preemptive military incursion into Iraq.

Tax cuts: Bush's favorite domestic issue, and he may promise
more for 2005 during the 2004 campaign.

Blue collar vote: Increasingly pro-Bush in deep blue California,
New York, New Jersey and Minnesota.

Hispanic vote: Hopefully to build on his 35 percent Latino
support in 2000, now focused hard on the independent, increasingly
conservative Hispanic middle class.

Fundraising shock and awe: As the Bush campaign seeks to raise
-- get this -- $200 (million) to $300 million, a quarter of a billion
dollars, as opposed to the $100 million cost of the Bush 2000 race.

Pat, what is Bush pinning his reelection strategy on primarily?

MR. BUCHANAN: I would differ the order, John. I believe it is
first and foremost as war leader, victorious in Afghanistan and Iraq,
and secondarily, on the economy.

Right now, he's invincible. But John, I think he's headed for
real problems, too. One, the imperial fruits could go rotten in Iraq.
Secondly, the manufacturing base of this country is declining, the
dollar is slipping, your trade deficit is enormous, the budget
deficit's going to be enormous. So, the economy could go south on
him. If both go bad, he could have problems.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What is he pinning his reelection on primarily,
Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Well, I agree with everything that Pat just said. I
mean, he's going to try to keep the American public in a state of
perpetual anxiety about the war on terrorism and potential other
attacks. And he's going to hope that if there are other attacks, that
the Americans will rally around him, as opposed to blame him.

And his campaign is summed up in those two banners: One,
"Mission Accomplished" on that aircraft carrier, although the mission
is far from over, and "Jobs and Growth," referring to a tax package
that even supporters concede will do very little to generate jobs in
this economy. And he'll hope that the American public will forgive
him if the economy doesn't come back, and say it's war and terrorism,
and he couldn't help it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Ramesh, what do you think?

MR. PONNURU: I think one of the things that the president is
pinning his strategy on is women. The Republican Party hasn't gotten an absolute majority of women
voters in 16 years, but Bush, I think, is trying to do that, partly
because there was no gender gap on this war, and because women are
actually more concerned about terrorist incidents happening in the
United States then men are.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: James?

MR. WARREN: Nobody is invincible, but it doesn't hurt to have
about 200 million bucks for one-way advertising; namely, a campaign
where you do not have a primary opponent, unlike his father who, I
think, back in '91 had some guy who was a pain in the neck who ran
against him -- Pat --

MR. BUCHANAN: Right. (Laughs.)

MR. WARREN: -- who provided some problem.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat took 36 percent of the vote in New
Hampshire.

MR. BUCHANAN: Thirty-seven. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Thirty-seven percent in New Hampshire. Was that
a KO for -- a TKO, at least, for George H.W. Bush?

MR. WARREN: A TKO for Pat Buchanan at the time, if you remember.

But that combined -- no primary opponent now, combined with the
fact that I'm not sure what the Democrats' campaign platform is now,
other than, "Me, too, I was for the war. Me, too, I was sort of
against taxes."

As far as discombobulation, Pat, in Iraq, I think, sadly, even if
things go down the tubes there, most Americans don't care, so he's on
steady ground there.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think I have to tell you what's he pinning his
reelection on. He's pinning his reelection on the soft dollar. He's
got to activate his manufacturing base, he's got to start selling
exports abroad. He's got to relieve the joblessness numbers in the
United States. And the way he plans on doing that is the soft dollar.

Now, John Snow is going to be --

MR. BUCHANAN: He's pushing --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- he's going to be the real, the real principal
strategist in this.

MR. BUCHANAN: Let me tell you the problem with that, John.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: John Snow, the secretary of the Treasury --

MR. BUCHANAN: But the real problem is, John --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- behind the curtain. It's not the sinister
genius Karl Rove.

MR. BUCHANAN: Talking down the dollar! (Chuckles.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It's going to be the economy and the soft
dollar.

Do you agree with me?

MR. BUCHANAN: I agree with what you're betting on. The problem
is this; Japan is in a disaster case -- basket case, Europe has
terrible deflation, China has the SARS problem; there's nobody there
to buy those American exports, John, even with the dollar going down.
And frankly, without the Americans drawing in all those foreign goods
-- that's what's been keeping the world economy afloat.

MS. CLIFT: Right. If too much money flows and the euro gets to
be the mighty wave of currency, there's a price that is paid along
with that And I must say, John Snow has not proven himself as either
an explainer to the American public or somebody who comes across as a
reassuring figure. The administration is without a credible economic
team, and they're without a credible economic policy, except tax cuts
and hoping the economy comes back on its own.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What is the limitation of Bush campaigning as
warrior in chief? What's the limitation of that? Shall I tell you?

MR. WARREN: Well, the limitations are that we find out about the
bogus nature of some of the claims for going into Afghanistan or Iraq.
We were going to go in to get bin Laden, we didn't. We were going to
go in to get weapons of mass destruction; we find out that perhaps
they were cynical to the point of not being honest with the American
public. I think that could hurt. And maybe some horrendous tragedy,
but I think it has to happen domestically -- and, of course, I hope it
doesn't happen -- raises questions about security.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The war strategy or the military strategy is
only as good as the state of safety that people feel -- do they feel
safer? That means have we got Osama, have we got Saddam --

MR. BUCHANAN: But let me -- let me contradict that. If people
feel insecure and there's some terrible event, let's say, in October
of 2004, who will you turn to? Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, Powell -- the
tough guys. They turn to Sharon in Israel when there are real
problems, John; terrorism is up; they turn more and more to the right,
to Sharon. They will turn to Bush if there is real problems in terms
of security in this country in 2004.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you agree with that Ramesh?

MR. PONNURU: Yes, I do agree with that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That he will benefit if there is an atrocity, a
terrorist atrocity in the United States between now and the election.
Do we all agree with that?

Do you, Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: I'm not entirely sure that the American people will
continue to rally around him if it looks like we are less safe. But
right now, he enjoys a 30 to 50 point advantage over Democrats on
issues of national security, and that's a huge gap to close. So, I
mean, he has an enormous advantage here.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that his reelection rests on four
people: the Homeland Security chief, Ridge; the head of the FBI,
Mueller -- who else? John Snow at Treasury.

MS. CLIFT: CIA. (Laughs.)

MR. BUCHANAN: No, it rests on one guy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And the CIA.

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah, Tenet.

It rests on one guy -- the Democratic nominee.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Here is what --

MR. BUCHANAN: The Democratic nominee, John -- when you put one
of them in there, some of them cannot beat Bush, I think, almost under
any circumstances. And I think the Democratic nominee is crucial to
whether the Democrats have any chance at all.

MR. WARREN: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question -- multiple-choice exit quiz. Is
Bush's political strength: A, significantly overrated; B, somewhat
overrated; C, accurately overrated; D, somewhat underrated; E,
significantly underrated?

MR. BUCHANAN: Right now it is exactly accurate. He is as strong
as he can be. But 18 months from now, I think it's significantly
overrated, if you think he's going to be as strong then as he is now.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: I'd go with somewhat overrated. This White House
likes to project an aura of inevitability. I mean, they did that
during the campaign saying that President -- that candidate Bush was
going to beat Gore by a wide margin, and it turned out they were
faking those polls. So I think they're overstating his popularity.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think, Ramesh?

MR. PONNURU: Bush is underrated in this sense; he's not just
going for reelection, he's going for a national Republican majority,
and I think he has a good chance of achieving it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: James?

MR. WARREN: Empirically speaking now, and with my finger on the
pulse of the heartland far beyond this sink of cynicism --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Chuckles.)

MR. WARREN: -- somewhat overrated.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It is significantly overrated, for the following
reasons. Both of his principal underpinnings for his political
strength are beyond his immediate control, or anyone's. One is
security and the other is the economy, and both right now are shaky.
Significantly overrated.

Put that in your next column. (Laughter.)

When we come back: Is the U.S. losing its grip on Afghanistan?

(Announcements.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue two: Sir, is Afghanistan deteriorating?

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE DONALD RUMSFELD: (From videotape.)
Deteriorating? I don't think I'd say that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Not deteriorating? Here's the current picture
in Afghanistan.

Item: Taliban is back. New leaders have sprung up, and they are
calling for a jihad against American occupiers, military and civilian.
Reportedly, the Taliban is as well-funded as ever.

Item: Al Qaeda creeps in with the Taliban, who provide safe
haven for the terrorist group.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA): (From videotape.) We broke the beehive,
but we didn't kill the bees, and we certainly haven't killed the queen
bee.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The "queen" being Osama bin Laden, thought to be
hiding along the Afghan-Pakistan border, where the Taliban is strong.

Item: Who's in charge? The new Afghan president, Hamid Karzai,
in Kabul, the capital, is seen as America's puppet. But Karzai is not
the real power in either the capital or the country. The power rests
with Marshal Fahim, who is the Defense minister. Fahim's home base is
the Panjshir Valley, northeast Afghanistan. Now get this: Fahim, a
one-time Northern Alliance warlord, has his own army of 85,000 troops
in the northeast region, and another 15,000 in Kabul. The U.S. is
training a National Afghan Army, currently with 3,000 troops, as
compared to Fahim's 100,000. Picture Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, who
grew up in Chicago, with an army of his own stationed in the Midwest,
and a much smaller army in Washington.

Item: Peacekeepers protect Kabul, and only Kabul. Five thousand
five hundred international peacekeepers from 22 nations, including
Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey -- no Americans -- police the
capital.

Item: Allied force on patrol outside Kabul. Eleven thousand
troops, 8,000 American and the rest mostly French and British,
continue to hunt for militants, fight skirmishes and oversee aid. But
they are under strict orders not to interfere with Afghan's warlords,
who, outside Kabul, reign supreme, battling each and terrorizing the
populace. As for police:

PAUL O'BRIEN (advocacy coordinator for Afghanistan, CARE
International): (From videotape.) There is no police. There is no
Afghan National Army that can actually provide security to ordinary
Afghans trying to go about the work of rebuilding their lives. So,
there's just a security vacuum.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is any of this really cause for
alarm, or is it the normal state of affairs for Afghanistan?

I ask you, Ramesh.

MR. PONNURU: I think that Afghanistan is a mess, but we
shouldn't be surprised about that. I mean, it's more of a contrivance
than a country in some respects. And -- but the bar is lower than it
is for Iraq. In Iraq, we want to have a nontotalitarian, new regime;
we want to have, ideally, democracy and liberalism. In Afghanistan,
we just need to prevent it from becoming a safe haven for our enemies.

MS. CLIFT: Well, I don't think we're doing a very good job of
that. The same conditions that existed in the early '90s, when we
walked away from Afghanistan, exist now. The Taliban is (sic) come
back, the country is now the number one exporter of opium, which fuels
the terrorist trade, and the likelihood that Osama bin Laden and his
top lieutenant, Mr. Swahiri (sic) are hiding out in the border between
Afghanistan and Pakistan -- so, the prime, number one enemy, who we
wanted dead or alive, is in that country.

MR. BUCHANAN: John --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat, you know that the NGO dreamers and the U.N.
types believe that can be a single state, modern state, in
Afghanistan. They continue to believe that. And that's a pipe dream,
because warlordism and clans are all over that country. And what beat
the Russians was their effort to try to impose a single government on
those warlords.

MR. BUCHANAN: Exactly.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Am I right or wrong?

MR. BUCHANAN: You're right to this extent, John. To do it in Afghanistan -- you could do it -- you could probably have
to put in 400,000 American troops and do it.

But Ramesh is right, in this sense; we have a defensive strategy
in Afghanistan. Two goals: prevent the Taliban from reestablishing
themselves; prevent al Qaeda from reconstituting itself. The 8,000
Americans we got in there and the other 3,000 troops are sufficient to
do that. The big prize is Iraq. That's going to go on into nation-
building.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Should we forget nation-building in Afghanistan
and leave the warlords alone?

MR. BUCHANAN: We have forgotten it. Exactly. And we should --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We should --

MR. BUCHANAN: The big problem there, John, is next door in
Pakistan. One bullet, and you've got an Islamic republic with nuke
weapons.

MR. WARREN: John?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes?

MR. WARREN: I don't want to send your ego to new and staggering
heights, but I think --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Feel free.

MR. WARREN: -- that was a very good primer. We failed to
address the basic security vacuum there. You talk to people who have
dealt in postwar situations, and they'll tell you that what we should
have done very quickly, constitute a new police force. We had to
figure out ways to deal with the old military, ways to deal with the
warlords, and then look at the actual day-to-day needs of the people
on the ground. It has to do with the administration of justice,
setting up a judicial system, setting up a prison system, and making
folks feel that they are safe, and not just in the capital-centric way
we always do. Now it's in Baghdad. Back then with Karzai, someone
who sort of looked like us, talked like us, it was in Kabul. We don't
see the whole, and we don't have, I think, the long-term stamina to
stick with a situation like this.

MS. CLIFT: The administration has used Afghanistan in a very
cynical way. I remember President Bush promising a Marshall Plan for
Afghanistan. I remember Hamid Karzai at the State of the Union being
celebrated, the joy that women were taking off their burkas. Women
are back in their burkas, and they're wearing them primarily because
they're scared to death they'll be raped if they're without them.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The reason why the Soviets lost is they took on
the warlords. The warlords should be kept in check, but not taken on
in an effort to subdue them. Let them figure out their own political
destiny. Concentrate on Kabul, concentrate on education, consecrate
(sic) on medical services, concentrate on schools --

MS. CLIFT: We haven't done that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- build it up there, build up the metropolis,
and treat these others as mini-states.

MR. BUCHANAN: John? John?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And let them war with each other.

MS. CLIFT: Fine.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But keep them under control. If they --

MS. CLIFT: We haven't delivered on any of those basics, none of
those basics, education, health care --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We got to get out. Is the U.S. in danger of
losing its grip on Afghanistan? Yes or no?

MR. BUCHANAN: No, because we have minimal objectives there. And
the Russians were driven out because they became an imperial power,
John, trying to rearrange affairs there.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exactly.

Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: We're losing our grip, but we never really wanted
one.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think? Are we losing our grip?

MR. PONNURU: You all are being much too pessimistic. Abdul
Rashid Dostum's fall is a good sign for the Karzai government and a
good sign for U.S. policy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?

MR. WARREN: I think we're losing everything there. And also in
part it's because we have never learned the lesson that the people who
help you end the war aren't necessarily the people who help you make a
peace. And we constantly focus on the short term and pick guys who
aren't the guys we need for the long term.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is, we're in no danger of losing our
control as long as we don't overreach. We overreach, we lose the
control.

Issue three: Internet gambling. Gambling on the Internet is big
and getting bigger. The General Accounting Office, the GAO, estimates
that this year alone, Internet bets will total more than $4 billion.
That's eight times greater than bets placed just six years ago. And
wagers on the Internet will soon reach $10 billion a year. Almost
2,000 virtual casinos are now available to gamblers worldwide.

A player logs on to an Internet casino and downloads the gaming
program with its access to virtual tables of roulette, craps,
baccarat, poker, blackjack, et cetera. The 'Net player uses a credit
card or an electronic funds transfer service to set up an account with
the casino to buy chips or credits. No need to travel to Vegas or
Atlantic City or an Indian reservation.

The down side? There are 11 million problem gamblers in the
United States. For them, virtual casinos are the crack cocaine of
gambling: 24/7 accessible, private, anonymous. Also, the privacy of
e-gaming permits underage players to gamble away small fortunes. For
rehabilitation, those youngsters often need therapy, including group
therapy.

Congress has launched a two-pronged attack against online
casinos. First, the abolitionists, like Representative Jim Leach,
Republican from Iowa, and Senator Jon Kyl, Republican from Arizona;
both moving similar pieces of legislation to make it illegal to use
credit cards or any other kind of electronic funds transfer for
virtual gambling, thereby choking off the problem on the demand side.

Secondly, the regulators, like House Democrat John Conyers of
Michigan, who is working on a bill to explore the, quote-unquote,
"regulation" of Internet gambling, which some see as taxation in the
making.

Question: Is Internet gaming the threat its adversaries claim?
Eleanor Clift?

MS. CLIFT: Well, I don't think you can regulate personal
behavior, and I don't think Congress can do it. I think there are
problem gamblers. I think you can drive it even more underground.
All these sites are illegal already. They're offshore. And, you
know, I don't see how Congress controls it.

MR. WARREN: As you say, it's very efficient, it's totally
anonymous, as someone, probably, like William Bennett might agree, and
it's very difficult to regulate.

And as far as the credit card stuff, you can always wire money or
send them a cashier's check, so that won't help.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You don't think that Internet gambling is too
loosely regulated? It's not regulated hardly at all, whereas you have
gaming boards in Nevada. You have a national gaming board. You can
exclude from ownership investors with criminal records. There are all
kinds of controls on physical gambling versus virtual gambling. Isn't
there room for some control of virtual gambling?

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, you know, I'd like to see it, but I agree
you're not going to get it, John.

And I do think this is a potential disaster. You get those poor
folks in there bringing their money home and gambling on that thing
with the video pokers. You've seen it down at bars, and you take it
right into their home. You will wipe these people out. But I don't
know how you do it. It's like pornography; it is all over the
Internet. And it's uncontrollable.

MS. CLIFT: The only way Congress may be able to step in is if
they find a link between Internet gambling and al Qaeda, maybe; then
they can do something. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think the real threat from Internet
gambling is against the vested casino owners in Las Vegas, and
Mississippi, and Atlantic City, and Indian reservations, and even the
Lottery? Is that what the real threat is against? And are those
forces combining to get this kind of legislation passed?

MR. PONNURU: This is the classic Baptist and bootlegger
coalition to try to stamp out competition; absolutely.

MS. CLIFT: But one of the big casinos in Las Vegas already has
an Internet site. They're going to go into the business themselves.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We'll be right back with predictions.

(Announcements.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: If today were the nomination day of the
Democratic Party for their candidate for president, whom would they
nominate?

MR. BUCHANAN: Gephardt's moved ahead of Kerry.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Kerry makes the most sense because he's got the
national security credentials. But Howard Dean is the only one who
evokes any kind of visceral response --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Today. Today.

MS. CLIFT: -- visceral response from voters belongs to Howard
Dean.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who would it be?

MR. PONNURU: Gephardt's the strongest candidate, so they'll pick
Kerry.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?

MR. WARREN: Kerry. But Edwards would pull a Buchanan-like New
Hampshire upset.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: As of today, it would be Dick Gephardt.

Bye-bye.

PBS SEGMENT

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The visuals in this upcoming segment may be
disturbing to some viewers.

Issue four: Speaking in tongues. It's called tongue splitting,
the latest fad in what is known as body modification. Tongue-
splitters willingly have their tongues cut to resemble the tongues of
reptiles. Tattoos, pierced navels and eyebrow rings are not enough.
Tongue splitting is gaining momentum. There is the shock value.
Others say it's a spiritual undertaking. Then there are those who
simply like a forked tongue.

But there are risks. Bacteria from the division can cause
serious mouth infections. Also, speech is commonly slurred, requiring
speech therapy and retraining.

But a backlash may be underway. The U.S. Armed Forces have
banned tongue splitting among some of its branches. Michigan
attempted to pass a statewide ban on the procedure, and so far has
failed. The Illinois legislature did pass a ban on tongue splitting
recently that Governor Rod Blagojevich is reviewing.

Question: What is the line between bodily self-expression and
self-mutilation?

I ask you, James.

MR. WARREN: It's Governor Rod Blagojevich (correctly pronouncing
the governor's name).

But thank you for letting me address this significant
geopolitical issue. This is actually sponsored in the Illinois
legislature -- no surprise -- by the only dentist. It is grotesque
and absolutely reptilian. There may be like 2,000 people in the world
who do it, and some of whom who have learned to be able to move either
side of their tongue independently, so they can --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you want to state the provisions of that
legislative imitative?

MR. WARREN: -- so they can speak with forked tongue.

But I think just like tattoos and piercing your tongue, it's a
stunt that people will come to regret. But it's a free world, let
them do it.

MR. PONNURU: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The initiative you're talking about says that if
you're going to have this done, you got to have it done by a surgeon.
Correct?

MR. WARREN: Right. Correct.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now, it doesn't ban it. The question --

MR. WARREN: No, it doesn't ban it, that's right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The question is, should it be banned?

MR. BUCHANAN: I don't see how you can ban that, John, if you
can't ban abortions, quite frankly. And it's like, you know,
liposuction and these other things.

My guess is you might be able to ban people from doing it to
people -- kids under 18 years of age. But the idea that you can
prevent adults from doing things like this -- it's a minor act of
self-mutilation -- I just don't think you could do it.

MS. CLIFT: Well, I would not liken this to abortion rights,
first of all. But second of all, it seems to me it's primarily
teenagers, underage people who are doing this. And this is self-
mutilation, and I think you could have a law against it. But if
somebody did it, you wouldn't want to imprison them, so it would be a
law without any force.

I think we can be confident that this trend is not going to catch
on, John. And people can come to Washington and learn how to speak
with a forked tongue for a lot less grief -- (inaudible).

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, in some of the -- some of the accounts are
using the word "trend." So the subject is not otiose -- the issue,
that is.

Now, certain forms of bodily expression that seem to suggest some
self-mutilation are fully okay, for example, tattooing or piercing,
even piercing of the tongue with the little silver ball on it. What
else? Liposuction is okay. Breast enhancement is okay. Cosmetic
surgery, Pat, is okay, and you might look into that.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, I'm as far advanced as you are, maybe I
will, John! (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But there is a time when the state has to step
in and say this is too much self-mutilation.

MR. BUCHANAN: I don't see how you can say it to that.

MR. WARREN: It cannot.

MR. BUCHANAN: Oh, you could call for a psychological test to
determine whether the adult is sufficiently psychologically okay.

MR. BUCHANAN: I think you could prevent somebody else from doing
it to a third party --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You can ban it on juveniles.

MR. BUCHANAN: You can ban people from doing --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Would you recommend banning it on juveniles?

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah, I would recommend banning it for doctors, or
any so-called doctors, to do it to anyone under 18 years of age, yeah.

MR. PONNURU: We let people have sex changes --

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END

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