Share

THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP

HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN

PANEL: PATRICK BUCHANAN, MSNBC; ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK; BILL PRESS, SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO; MORT ZUCKERMAN, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT

TAPED: FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2005 BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF JULY 30-31, 2005

------------------------------------------------------------Copyright (c) 2005 by Federal News Service, Inc., Ste. 500 1000 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA. Federal News Service is a private firm not affiliated with the federal government. No portion of this transcript may be copied, sold or retransmitted without the written authority of Federal News Service, Inc. Copyright is not claimed as to any part of the original work prepared by a United States government officer or employee as a part of that person's official duties. For information on subscribing to the FNS Internet Service, please visit http://www.fednews.com or call(202)347-1400
------------------------------------------------------------


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Labor Pains.

JOHN SWEENEY (AFL-CIO PRESIDENT): (From videotape.) A divided movement hurts the hopes of working families for a better life, and that makes me very angry.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It was supposed to be a milestone celebration in Chicago this week, the 50th anniversary of the union of the AFL-CIO, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, the umbrella for 54 national and international unions.

But no celebration; instead, a major split, a wrenching breach. The Teamsters, headed by James Hoffa, and the Service Employees International Union, headed by Andrew Stern, both split from the AFL- CIO, taking with them one-fourth of the AFL-CIO's 13 million members.

ANDREW STERN (SEIU PRESIDENT): (From videotape.) Our world has changed. Our economy has changed. Employers have changed.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Union membership has shrunk from 35 percent 50 years ago to 12 percent today. Stern and his adherents want more grassroots organizing to recruit new members. They want half of their membership dues to go into union organizing. And they also want less focus on political campaigns, the AFL-CIO route.

Question: Is this rupture a political opportunity for Republicans, and is it the kind of opportunity that comes along once in a generation? Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: No, John, the opportunity Republicans had was to get the Teamsters on the trucks coming in from Mexico, and they blew the opportunity. This will help the Republicans, however, because you've got Hoffa and you've got Stern, two very powerful unions and union leaders, who are departing and breaking up the house of labor, and they're going to be taking their dues out. And I think it leaves the AFL-CIO much weakened, just the way when you have a schism in the church, invariably both parts of it are damaged.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: I don't think it's much of an opportunity for Republicans, because the sentiments of labor are not with the Republican Party today, which is too pro-business, pro-corporate. But I think this is an opportunity for Democrats because, look, the labor movement as it's now constituted has grown even more out of touch and arrogant, if you will, than the Democratic Party itself. And this is a clash of generations and personalities.

But when the dissidents say that the labor leaders today have gotten too pale, male and stale, they're right, because today's workforce is more female, it's more people of color, and it's very different from the steel workers on the line. You have hotel workers and service unions. And Andy Stern is a really smart guy and, you know, he's going to stick it to the Democrats along the way. But in the end, I think this is beneficial for essentially the working people of this country.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know that Stern interned, worked under John Sweeney.

MR. PRESS: Absolutely, and he stabbed his former boss in the back with this. Look, if Karl Rove didn't engineer this breakup of the unions, he wishes he did. I mean, this is great for the Republican Party. It's a disaster for Democrats. I've been a union member for 25 years, a strong union supporter. What do we sing when we get together? "Solidarity Forever," right? Solidarity is gone. And what you've got now, I think, are the union members who are fighting each other rather than banding together and fight the Republicans. I think it's a disaster for labor and a disaster for the average worker.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think there was a cabal between Hoffa and Stern?

MR. PRESS: Oh, of course. They were partners. But I think what it really was was two huge egos. You've got John Sweeney, who I think should have stepped down, recognized the writing on the wall, let some younger leadership take over, and you've got Andy Stern, a huge ego, who says, "My way or the highway. I'll bust up labor if I don't get my way."

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, the problem is that under Sweeney, they've not been able to improve their membership. In fact, they've lost every year.

MR. PRESS: They've lost, which means they've got to do better. They've got to put more money into organizing, I believe, more money into grassroots organizing. But I don't think you do that by busting up the unions and spending all their resources, again, doubling their efforts and fighting each other rather than getting in new members.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: One more question before I turn to the learned Mort -- (laughter) -- and that question is, do you think that this is an internal struggle, or do you see this as an effort to contrive, as they say they're going to do, something called change to win, an entity structured in a federation fashion, as is the AFL-CIO?

MR. PRESS: I talked to a lot of friends who were in Chicago at this meeting. Some of them say this is good. As Eleanor indicated, this is a chance to grow. "We're going to do better. We're going to organize better. This is a chance to win and a change for winning." I'm just skeptical that you can do it by busting up the unions the way they have.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you agree that this is not a sincere effort on the part of Hoffa and Stern to face up to the fact that the union is demographically doomed and it has to renew itself in an entirely -- in a considerably different direction, and therefore it's honorably motivated?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Oh, I think in part it is, without question. I think they understand that there's been a complete transformation of the nature of the workforce in America. Thirty-five years ago, if you look at the auto workers and the steel workers, for example, 78 percent of them did not have a high school education. Today everybody is educated. It's much less attractive to join a union, both culturally and politically. What you're going to have now, though, is you're going to have these two unions. These guys are going to be fighting the members of the AFL-CIO. So you're going to have a tremendous amount of union conflict after this, and that's going to really weaken the labor movement.

MR. BUCHANAN: John --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, here's a little bit more political background.

In the 2004 election, unions contributed $92 million to the Democratic Party. In the 2004 election, one-quarter of those who voted for president were from union households -- almost 30 million labor voters. Democrat John Kerry got 59 percent of those voters. Republican George Bush got 40 percent.

Question: What's the impact of the AFL-CIO's split on next year's House and Senate elections, Eleanor Clift?

MS. CLIFT: Well, I think there could be some short-term damage. But, look, the labor unions haven't exactly been delivering victories and the Democrats haven't been rewarding them. So I think anything that changes the status quo is a good thing, and I think that Andy Stern is on the right track when he says you have to go out and start organizing the Wal-Marts of the world and the new industries that are out there, as opposed to just giving money to politicians --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: And the --

MS. CLIFT: Excuse me. I want to just finish a sentence.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let her finish.

MS. CLIFT: As opposed to giving money to politicians on Capitol Hill, which is essentially what they've been doing.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How can you fail to read this as a terrible blow to the Democrats? They're losing money, they're losing their hustle and they're losing their muscle.

MR. BUCHANAN: There's no doubt it is a blow to the Democrats. And what Eleanor said is very important earlier. The future of the labor movement is in service workers and it's government workers, John, because the industrial unions are dying. We are exporting all of their jobs overseas, whether it's textile or steel or (atomic?) workers or auto workers. All of that's going overseas. Free trade is killing the labor movement.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that the timing --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I'm sorry. It's not just that it's going overseas. Automation has changed those industries.

MR. BUCHANAN: Automation --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: They don't need anywhere near -- two-thirds of those workers are no longer needed to produce more cars and more steel. It's automation.

MR. BUCHANAN: Globalization is killing them too.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's another part of it. And automation doesn't apply to the service workers.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I want to ask --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's why the future is there. I agree with that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me ask Bill Press. Does this come at a particularly painful time for the Democrats, because they had their opportunity next year to possibly take over the House, and maybe even the Senate?

MR. PRESS: No, it could not come at a worse time for the Democrats. I do like to say that the clout of labor has been exaggerated for some time. If labor really had the clout that it used to have, Dick Gephardt would have been the nominee in 2004.

MR. BUCHANAN: You know, they could have won Ohio. They could have won the country with Kerry, a liberal Democrat, if they turned around 60,000 votes in Ohio. And if they had done the trade issue right, they would have done it.

MR. PRESS: In Iowa, Gephardt had labor and he wasn't able to win.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They have been drinking from the labor trough for 50 years.

MR. PRESS: Totally, totally.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And they almost regard as an entitlement the amount of money that is streamed into them. Now that is practically cut off.

MR. PRESS: In 2006, they were depending on labor money to win back the House, to win back the Senate. And now you hear Andy Stern say, "That's not going to be our priority." MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right.

MR. PRESS: "We're not going to give the money to Democrats. We're going to put it into organizing. We want to get away from campaigns." That's got to hurt the Democrats in '06.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I disagree with that. I don't think the issue for the Democrats is money. That's not what defeated them in 2004, and that's not going to defeat them in 2006 if they lose.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'm very pleased that there's no effort at unionization right here on this set. If that ever happens, Buchanan, just remember, I can outsource. You're liable to find a guy from China sitting in your chair.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, you've got "lockout" written all over you. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: On a historicity scale of zero to 10, zero meaning zero historicity, 10 meaning absolute metaphysical historicity -- Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's 10, all right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay -- rate the historicity of this rupture.

MR. BUCHANAN: You know, when it all came together in the '50s, it was about an eight or nine. This is only a two. The house of labor's day has passed.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, Pat, you're so wrong. (Laughter.) Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: I am uncomfortably close to Pat Buchanan again. I think I'll give it a 3.5.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Really? What do you give it?

MR. PRESS: For Democrats' historicity, this is a seven.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about the Republicans?

MR. PRESS: Oh, for the Republicans? Hey, they've got big smiles. Big 10, baby.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think it's up there?

MR. PRESS: Absolutely.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Oh, no, no. It'll have some influence on the margin. It's a two or a three. Actually, it's a 2.85. (Laughter.) MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think it's got a lot of historicity. I'll give it an eight. And I think it affects the economy. I think it affects politics and a variety of other --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: All your unions.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Also, of course, unions.

Issue Two: Iraq Chronicle.

GEN. GEORGE CASEY (COMMANDER, MULTINATIONAL FORCE, IRAQ): (From videotape.) I do believe we'll still be able to take some fairly substantial reductions after these elections in the spring and summer next year.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: U.S. troops could begin pulling out of Iraq as soon as next year. So says General George Casey, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq. Iraq's interim prime minister, Ibrahim al-Ja'afari, agrees. This week, al-Ja'afari also signaled the withdrawal of U.S. troops following Iraq's elections in December. That was the big Iraq story of the week.

Also these noteworthy developments: One, Iraq must stop insurgents at its borders. That was Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's message while he was in Baghdad this week.

DEFENSE SECRETARY DONALD RUMSFELD: (From videotape.) They need to be aggressively communicating with their neighbors to see that foreign terrorists stop coming across those borders and that their neighbors do not harbor insurgents.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Item: Iraq war breeds terrorists. Insurgents who go to Iraq have never taken part in any terrorist activity before going to Iraq.

Item: Americans see drift in Bush Iraq plan. Sixty-four percent of Americans say Commander-in-Chief Bush does not have a clear plan to bring the situation in Iraq to an end point, according to a Pew poll.

Item: Will the U.S. create a democratic Iraq? No, say 58 percent of Americans. The U.S. will not be able to establish a stable, democratic Iraq. So says a USA Today poll.

Question: What explains this breathtaking flip-flop on releasing a timetable for Iraq troop withdrawal? Bill Press. MR. PRESS: I don't think it's a flip-flop at all. I think it is pure White House spin. I don't buy it. The general gave no dates, no numbers, no benchmarks for when we could expect something to happen. I think it was really just -- nothing changed at all. It's pure White House spin. And the American media are swallowing it hook, line and sinker. And they think something has changed, and nothing has.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: A lot of (weasel words?).

MR. PRESS: Absolutely.

MR. BUCHANAN: I take it deadly seriously.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why do you think they even went with it, with Rumsfeld standing there, by the way, also?

MR. PRESS: Well, because they know they're in trouble. They know the American people don't think the war is going well. They think it's going lousy, and they feel they have to show some sign of progress.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think this is an effort to send a message to the Sunnis that they are going to get out, and therefore don't disturb the constitutional fulfillment date of the 15th, which is two weeks from Monday?

MR. BUCHANAN: Here's what it is. Rumsfeld is telling the Sunnis, "Get on with this constitution. Enough fooling around." This is serious. When you get that general and you get Ja'afari saying this -- I'll tell you why they're saying it. You've got a developing Baghdad-Teheran axis. Ja'afari went to the Ayatollah Khomeini's tomb. You've got a developing civil war where the Shi'as now have death squads counterattacking against the Sunnis. You've got the poll numbers, John. You've got everything that looks like a coming mess. I think the Americans want out.

MS. CLIFT: They don't --

MR. PRESS: They want out, but Bush doesn't want out.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: What he also said -- there were two conditions to what he said, right. He said assuming that the Iraqi military is in a position to enforce security and assuming that there has been a constitutional system that has been set in place. So there are enough qualifiers there to give him plenty of room. But there is no doubt that what Pat is saying is right. There is an intensification of what is becoming literally an interreligious war between the Shi'as and the Sunnis. And that is becoming something that may be intolerable.

If you get a federal system in which they sort of divide the country as a de facto matter and give a lot more power to the region, then you may not have this conflict. So it's too early to tell how it's all going to work out. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Don't leave out the Kurds. The Kurds have insisted on their independence in the year 2008.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They also do not want to divide the spoils by reason of division of the regions. They want to divide it on the basis of "The Shi'ites get theirs and we get ours and the Sunnis get the desert."

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but what --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: What the Kurds want -- they want Kirkuk. They want the oil that's in that part of the region.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Correct. Correct.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: When they voted in favor of the constitution, they also had a separate vote in the Kurdish area. Ninety-eight of them voted for Kurdish independence.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, now, Eleanor, Allawi said, "We are almost in a state of civil war now." You remember that a couple of weeks ago?

MS. CLIFT: Oh, I certainly do.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So are they on the threshold of a civil war? And what are we going to do?

MS. CLIFT: They're in the midst of a civil war, and we're fighting it. And the message that you're hearing now in Washington is, "Look, we did our job. We got rid of the big, bad dictator. Now if you guys want a pluralistic government, you are going to have to fight for it." And if we go along with that, which I think we will because those '06 elections are looming and the Republicans will take a bath if they don't reduce our troop strength --

MR. BUCHANAN: Why should we -- the United States Army is the army of the Shi'as, who are now increasingly allied with Iran. Do you think many Americans really want to fight for a Shi'a government allied with Iran?

MS. CLIFT: If we bail out, we have to accept the consequences, and that is that the country may very well descend into a full civil war. It will be a fractured country under heavy domination by Iran.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question for --

MS. CLIFT: That is where we're heading, and that is not a victory. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question for Press, and that is, the insurgency is now on average executing 65 incidents a day. That's no sign of a receding of that number or of their activity. Correct?

MR. PRESS: Correct. And they keep pouring over the border. These are people -- you just put a statistic a minute ago -- who never committed acts of terror before. We have made Iraq the battleground for terrorism.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is it a breeding ground also?

MR. PRESS: Yes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They learn how to do it there. They go in relatively green.

MR. PRESS: I think they may be trained somewhere else. But they come in because they know this is the place where -- this is where the targets are. This is where the troops are.

MR. BUCHANAN: This has radicalized the whole Arab world.

MR. PRESS: It has. I want to come back to --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The whole Arab world?

MR. BUCHANAN: This is -- they're coming from outside. There are 75 attacks a day. But there were 65 suicide bombers in June.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, quickly this: Bowen finds boondoggles. In a series of reports, the inspector general for Iraq reconstruction and former Bush confidant Stuart Bowen has uncovered billions of dollars in missing and wasted taxpayer money meant for Iraq; for example, $9 billion unaccounted for, most of which has been embezzled. There is much more in the reports that we won't get into now, but we will get into it. And there's much more that Bowen is going to bring forward.

Question: How much damage will this Bowen report do to this administration, do you think, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: Not a great deal. But it is piled on top of what is a growing mountain of problems.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question -- before that, however, U.S. military dead in Iraq, 1,792; U.S. military amputeed, wounded, injured, mentally ill, all now out of Iraq, 43,200; Iraqi civilians dead, 113,500. Exit question: Will the U.S. be able to make dramatic troop reductions in Iraq next spring? Yes or no, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Whether we'll be able to or not, I think we're going to do it. That secret British memo that talked about a drawdown of allied forces from 170,000 to 66,000, I think they were on to something.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, quickly.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, if they proceed with the political process, yes. And, you know, I think it's adios.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?

MR. PRESS: The Brits will. The United States will not.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I do not think we'll be able to do it and I don't think we will do it. I think the consequences are too serious. And Bush will not walk away under those circumstances.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think the answer is yes. We will be able to do it and we'll do it.

Issue Three: The World According to Roberts.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY): (From videotape.) Is he an agenda- driven ideologue who will impose his views on the American people? Or is he a mainstream, albeit conservative mainstream, jurist?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Charles Schumer and other senators think they've got a better idea of President Bush's Supreme Court nominee's personality, now that thousands of Judge John Roberts' papers were released this week. The documents are from Roberts' year and a half as a special assistant to the U.S. attorney general and four years as associate counsel under Fred Fielding during the Reagan administration.

Roberts' margin notes and memo annotations reveal him to be conservative, witty and sharp-minded. In a memo commenting on a Democratic congressman who wanted a conference on power-sharing with the White House, quote, "There already has, of course, been a conference on power-sharing. It took place in Philadelphia's Constitution Hall."

In a case involving a religious school and alleged racial discrimination, "There should be little press interest since we are on the side of the black parents."

On a letter from a university professor accusing the Reagan administration of blacklisting him because he criticized the administration, quote, "Once you let the word out there's a blacklist, everybody wants to get on."

What can we deduce about Roberts from these (bomos?), Pat? Exit question. And where do you think this is heading?

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, first off, you can deduce that this was a gutsy, tough, sharp, witty Reaganite who was tremendously principled who challenged the attorney general, the deputy attorney general, the assistant attorney general, anyone for his beliefs.

We can also deduce that the Democrats will now seize upon this and we'll have more of a battle than we had anticipated.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, is there anything in there that's going to injure his confirmation?

MS. CLIFT: No. Surprise, surprise, he's a conservative. (Laughter.) But if you care about Title IX, if you care about voting rights, women's issues, you've now got evidence, if you will, that he's not on your side. But it's not enough to stop him.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is he still mainstream conservative rather than being radical conservative?

MR. PRESS: We don't know yet because the documents that really count are the documents he wrote when he was deputy solicitor general. These documents are meaningless. He's still the stealth candidate, I think, for the right and for the left.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But he's not a humorless ideologue, is he?

MR. PRESS: No, he's not. No, he has a good sense of humor. But so what?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What does it tell you about whether or not he's going to be confirmed?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I don't think there's any question but that he's going to be confirmed, and overwhelmingly confirmed. There's nothing in here that is going to be so damaging to his confirmation that he won't be overwhelmingly confirmed.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you see --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: He'll get over 80 votes in the Senate.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you see the way your senior senator from New York, Senator Schumer, is staging a major display over this whole matter? Do you think he sees an opening on the left, and since Hillary has moved to the center, he wants to become Mr. Left within the party? Do you understand that? (Laughter.) MR. ZUCKERMAN: I understand that. What worries me is that he does think that. That's what worries me. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Four: Pickup on Aisle Four -- Not Anymore.

Wal-Mart, the one-stop shopping mecca, is shelving a one-month matchmaking program.

Here's how it worked: Shoppers who say they are single attach a red bow to the front of their shopping cart. Looking for more than just discounts, they seek out other singles with red bows.

The U.S. program debuted Friday nights at the Roanoke, Virginia store. An employee there overheard a Wal-Mart shopper complaining she had a hard time meeting other singles. Matchmaking is not a first for the retail giant. Wal-Marts in Germany still offer singles shopping in almost 100 stores, known to draw as many as 500 extra customers on Friday nights. Wal-Mart won't say why it decided to pull the U.S. program.

Okay, why did Wal-Mart pull the plug on romance? I ask you, Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, because there was not enough impulse shopping going on. And I think that's what they were worried about.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You don't think it was because of greedy lawyers, ambulance chasers?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I don't think it was because of lawyers. I think they were worried about the public relations of it. This could go both ways. And they're at the point where they want to be very cautious about having --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about predatory activity that could take place at one of those shopping aisles, and that would lead to liability suits and on and on and on?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: It could still take place, even without the acknowledgement of Wal-Mart.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I mean, they're inviting it if they have the red bows. Do you agree with that, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: You know, I don't really have --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pump this up, will you, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.) I'll try. I don't really have a problem with the red bows. Look, it's better than a singles bar. If there are women who are single and they go in there and say, "I'd like to talk to somebody, and I will not be offended if somebody says hi and wants to meet me and uses a red bow," what is wrong with that? I don't see it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How do the German Wal-Marts get away with it?

MR. PRESS: Well, they're a little looser over there than we are. I'm disappointed. You know, Carol's out of town this week. I was thinking of heading down to Roanoke and getting my shopping cart.

MS. CLIFT: Well, that's what I was thinking. Maybe some people are faking being single.

MR. PRESS: That could be. But here's the question I have --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, you don't have to sign any papers to the effect that you're single before you get your red bow to put on the cart.

MS. CLIFT: It's nice to get to see what somebody has in their cart. It's better than a resume.

MR. PRESS: Here's what I think says a lot. I think what part of the store you go to shows sort of what you're into, you know. Think about that. Let your imagination go wild. I would stay away from the frozen-food section. (Laughter.)

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Hot soup, on the other hand --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The reason why the Germans still do it over there is because litigation is different over there than here. It's much harder, as in England, to prove a kind of liability case. Is that not true?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Without question.

MS. CLIFT: Also their birth rate is very low.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: The libel cases in England are much easier to prove than here, as Roman Polanski just proved with Vanity Fair.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Collision between the United States and Turkey when the Turks go after the Kurd terrorists who are operating out of Kurdistan.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: Senator Frist has paved the way for President Bush to change his mind and allow stem-cell research to go forward. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Bill.

MR. PRESS: Karl Rove will soon no longer be working in the White House, but he will resign before he's indicted.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Wow. Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: John Bolton will get a recess appointment as our ambassador to the United Nations.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Judge Roberts will become the head of the Supreme Court -- chief justice.

Next week: Terrorism is leading to a national identification card for all U.S. residents. Bye bye.

END.