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THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP

HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN

JOINED BY: TONY BLANKLEY, PATRICK BUCHANAN, ELEANOR CLIFT AND JAMES WARREN

BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF FEBRUARY 18-19, 2006

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MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue one: Stay within bounds. The U.S. Border Patrol chief says that the number of illegal immigrants caught from January 1 to July 31 is 919,000. Not all were Mexican; 119,000 -- more than 10 percent -- came from nations other than Mexico, including countries with ties to terrorism. This is a new scourge.

But besides U.S. border porousness, there's yet another problem. Not enough detention centers exist to hold the illegals until deportation hearings. So the Department of Homeland Security releases them after a promise to appear in court. Four hundred and sixty-five thousand aliens from countries other than Mexico have settled here under this "catch and release" policy. Eighty-five percent never appear for deportation hearings.

The chaos along the Mexican border is fueling demands for tougher law enforcement. Congress is divided. One faction, favored by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, wants compromise legislation, with these provisions: one, border security stepped up; two, amnesty for the 12 million illegal aliens in the country; three, guest worker status for the new arrivals. A second faction wants enforcement of existing immigration laws before Congress considers any amnesty or any guest worker program.

Question: Where does the public stand on legal residency for illegal aliens?

Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: The public believes they ought to be sent back, John.

The United States of America has become a flop house for the world because the president will not enforce the existing immigration laws. You pointed out yourself, 2 million apprehended this year on the border for the whole year; half a million come and stay every single year. We've got something like -- nobody knows how many illegal aliens. Estimates run as high as 15 million.

Look, border security is homeland security, and this country does a horrible job at it, and the Republican Party is going to pay a price for it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat's statistics are correct, Eleanor. Sixty- three percent of the people polled in this country say they do not want illegal aliens to have temporary work status -- temporary guest work status. They don't -- if that's the case with temporary work status, you can imagine the way they feel towards permanent status.

So what do you think of these statistics, and why is Congress so out of tune with it -- and the president?

MS. CLIFT: Well, you know, Pat's statistics may be correct, but his rhetoric is way over the top -- "flop house for the world."

These are people who come to this country and work hard; they pay taxes. They do a lot of jobs that Americans don't care to do. They take care of our children. They pick the fruit in our fields. A lot of them come in and are able to make it in this country, just the way my parents did, and I assume your forefathers.

And Congress is correct, and the president is correct in trying to bring some sanity to this. We have a right, as a country, to control our borders, and we're not doing that. And I do fault the president for not enforcing existing laws. But you do have to figure out a way to get beyond the hypocrisy of saying we want them all to leave, but we want them all to do our dirty work, in many respects.

MR. BLANKLEY: The polling data is stunning -- and not just recently. I went over -- about six months ago, I went through polling going back 10 years, you know, Gallup, Harris -- the public polling. The public is where Pat is or to the right of Pat. Nine out of 10 Americans want all the illegals rounded up and kicked out. Both political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, for different institutional reasons, are not responding to the democratic will of the people. The Democratic party, because of a tradition of being the party of immigrants and their interest groups oppose it. The Republican partially because business, agribusiness and other business requires a lot of cheap labor, and they're not willing to buck the trend, and also because Republicans are afraid of irritating legal Hispanic residents.

Now, one point I'd differ with Eleanor, among many, is she doesn't distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants. Your ancestors, I assume, were legal immigrants. I came to America as a legal immigrant. Pat's ancestors came as legal immigrants. And the American public is completely open to legal immigration. They're completely opposed to illegal immigration. And until we secure the border, we can't have a legal immigration policy because it's swamped by the illegals who come in.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony, on the subject of legal immigration, 51 percent of the American public wants it cut back -- legal immigration.

MR. BLANKLEY: I said the public is where Pat is, or to the right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Welcome -- welcome, Jimmy.

MR. WARREN: Legal immigrant mom and dad from Germany and Austria -- legal.

I mean, the challenge here is we need some semblance of legal coherence in dealing with this. We've got to do something. At the same time, do you want to essentially screw up an economy that depends on so many of these people?

The word "amnesty," I agree, you know, makes folks morally queasy.

But, Pat, I'm not sure what the suggestion is. Do you sort of walk into, you know, restaurants and other places and just throw these folks out?

I think there's -- let me just say, I think there's a fairly coherent, thoughtful proposal. The notion is you've got these folks, to get legal status they've got to register with the government, they've got to pay back taxes, they've got to show that they can handle the language.

MR. BUCHANAN: But, Jim -- Jim, we've got millions and millions of legal immigrants here, people with green cards, who belong here. There's a couple of things you do. One is border security. You have fences on the border. Secondly, you take some of these big corporations that repeatedly hire illegal workers and give them low wages and fine the daylights out of them, and do it to a number of corporations. Those jobs will dry up. Anybody arrested who's an illegal alien, anybody arrested should be sent back on the next plane.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you want --

MR. WARREN: Pat, if you look at when you first ran for president, you look at the budgets for the Border Patrol and for the INS, it's up 10 times, 15 times; and what's happened?

MR. BUCHANAN: Jim, look, they've stopped it in California. They moved over to Arizona because you've got no border fences there.

MS. CLIFT: It's highly --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you want any of the three things that Hastert has proposed? Do you want temporary work status?

MR. BUCHANAN: Let me tell you this. The president of the United States --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you want -- you certainly want to step up the security on the border.

MR. BUCHANAN: First --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But you know that the border is unsealable, don't you?

MR. BUCHANAN: It is sealable!

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It is unsealable, Pat!

MR. BUCHANAN: That is preposterous!

MR. BLANKLEY: John, John, let me make a point here.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What?

MR. BLANKLEY: Because the Homeland Security Department a couple of months, ago developed a policy, not yet approved at the Cabinet or the White House level, assessing what it would take to secure the border, and they're looking at 20,000 to 50,000 additional Border Patrol, plus technological assets. It's a big project, but it is a doable project. MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We don't have --

MR. BLANKLEY: We have never tried to do it yet.

MS. CLIFT: Right. In fact, the president cut back in the budget on the number of agents. Why --

MR. BLANKLEY: I know he did, and we editorialized against him on that.

MS. CLIFT: -- which is why you had vigilantes controlling --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you talking about the border we have with Mexico and the border with Canada?

MS. CLIFT: Yes.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, let me --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think they're sealable and the border we have with two oceans? I think the only demographer who believes that is you and him!

MR. BLANKLEY: John, I'm telling you --

MR. BUCHANAN: John, let me tell you how you do it. Here's how you do it.

MR. BLANKLEY: I'm telling you, the Homeland Security Department --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We don't have the military, we don't have the National Guard, and we don't have the president so inclined right now --

MR. BUCHANAN: John, you don't need it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- because he's talking about amnesty, and he's talking about a temporary guest work status.

MR. BUCHANAN: John --

MR. BLANKLEY: We don't have a president so inclined. But the Homeland Security Department did a study, and they think that 20,000 to 50,000 more security guards --

MS. CLIFT: Look, it's a highly emotional -- it's a highly --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You tell the Homeland Security to dream on. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, let me tell you how to do it. Here's how you do it. You don't need to have fences along the entire border. The main crossing points are about a hundred miles. You take those kind of walls you've got out there on the -- going out to Dulles Airport -- that would stop the huge thousands easily.

Border Patrol can handle folks coming through the mountains in fives or tens or ones.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: President Bush wants a guest worker program and legal status for the 12 million to 14 million illegal aliens already in the country. Will he get either, neither or both?

Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: Neither this year.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, if I can't get it this year, he won't get it next year. (Laughter.) Karl Rove is not going to let him try to put through an amnesty bill next year and kill his Republican Congress.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, Rove's got other concerns right now, but not next year either.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: The president is on the right track with this legislation, but he's not going to put any presidential or White House muscle behind it, and so he will get zero.

MR. BLANKLEY: He is going to put White House muscle and effort behind it, and he's going to get zero.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I still haven't heard why the Congress and the president -- to the extent that the Congress wants this, why they are both so out of tune with the public. Is it because they don't give a rap about the public?

MR. BUCHANAN: They're reaching for the Hispanic vote. They think if they touch illegal immigration or legal immigration, they'll lose the Hispanic vote, and they'll lose the future.

MS. CLIFT: You know, sometimes --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean -- oh, you mean this is politics?

MS. CLIFT: You know --

MR. BUCHANAN: Maybe! MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Huh? (Laughter.)

MR. BUCHANAN: Maybe!

MS. CLIFT: You know, sometimes it's called "leadership." You don't pander to the xenophobia that Pat is demonstrating.

You show some leadership --

MR. BUCHANAN: He's pandering to MALDEF and LULAC.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: James?

MR. WARREN: As far as -- Tony, nothing's going to happen on the Hill. And when it comes to amnesty, because that word so freaks everybody out, there's a greater chance that NASA sends you to Mars in the next two to three years.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What is happening that makes the public freak out even more over amnesty for illegals? Shall I tell you? Terrorism.

MR. BUCHANAN: Exactly.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's the climate. The answer is, the House --

MR. WARREN: But you're talking two different -- you're talking two very different groups here. I mean, the folks who are, you know, cleaning our dishes in the back of the Arby's, and the folks who are, you know, flying planes into the World Trade Center --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, I'm talking about the zeitgeist and the influence of that on individuals of all sectors. I don't think he's going to get either one.

When we come back: To fight terrorism, why use racial profiling? Isn't there even a better methodology, a better profiling?

(Announcements.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue two: Where you from?

MAN (NO NAME): (From videotape.) We live in a crazy world. We see what's going on in the world, so why not be protected?

WOMAN (NO NAME): (From videotape.) Do I have a choice? Yeah I feel a little violated. MAN (NO NAME): (From videotape.) You have to have faith in the people who are responsible for the safety and security. There's nothing much else you can do.

MAN (NO NAME): (From videotape.) I'm not going to allow them. I'll get up and I'll walk -- I'll walk, I'll walk home. Yeah, I'm not going to allow them to search my bag. That's harassment.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: With the brutal reality of terrorism, what has taken center stage is racial profiling. The delicate balance between liberty and security is at stake. Racial profiling is generally treated as a violation of civil rights, but profiling defenders say that ignoring race makes law enforcement fight terror with one hand tied behind its back and that current security screening methods waste manpower by directing it to unlikely suspects.

PAUL SPERRY (investigative journalist): (From videotape.) Why are we going after, searching, hassling grannies and Girl Scouts, and for that matter old Muslim men and old Muslim women, when in fact they do not fit the terrorist profile?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Critics of profiling say the practice is intrinsically wrong, and it should not be used to determine who is a suspect.

COLBERT KING (The Washington Post): (From videotape.) Identifying possible suspects on the basis of national origin, ethnicity and religion, and I think that is profiling. And I think that's wrong.

MR. KING: (From videotape.) I'm supposed to be judged and you're supposed to be judged on the basis of who you are and what you've done and what you have failed to do.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Defenders of racial profiling broaden its scope to say that race is only one of several indicators.

MR. SPERRY: (From videotape.) No one seriously is advocating profiling or targeting a race. This is a very narrowly defined high- risk group of young -- you have age element here and a gender -- Muslim males who are of South Asian and Arabic decent, who also are behaving suspiciously.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Critics of profiling argue: One, races cannot always be distinguished one from another; two, racial profiling creates a double standard: whites get a pass, non-whites are trapped.

MR. KING: (From videotape.) How do you tell someone who is Arab from someone who is from Uruguay? How do you do that on the basis of looking at them, on the basis of pigmentation? That would immediately give a pass, I think, to all people who are white. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right. Shall we get one thing straight first: that Uruguayans are 90 percent European, mostly of Spanish or Italian origin. But the main point that what -- he makes is true. And -- but why should the whites get a pass? You've got Albanians, you've got Chechens, you've got all kinds of races and ethnicities who are involved in terrorism. It's not necessarily Arab. It's -- but what we could do is think about a religious profiling, because the Jews are not terrorists. The Christians are not generally terrorists. Maybe Padilla fits into that category.

MR. BUCHANAN: The IRA.

MS. CLIFT: Well --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Hindus are not terrorists. The Buddhists are not terrorists. But if you isolate it to the Muslims then you have a category.

So you've got Muslims, generally speaking, not necessarily Arab by any means. A lot of Muslims are not Arabs. You've got under 40 years of age, as he pointed out, and one or two other indicators.

MR. WARREN: And the question is? (Laughter.)

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, try -- yeah. And try to get that one through Congress, to target a particular religion. (Laughter.) Please, John! That is --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No one's targeting a religion. Who says we're --

MS. CLIFT: I reflexively recoil! (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Muslims were killed in the London bombing.

MR. BLANKLEY: John? Let me make a point, John. Look, profiling has been a police procedure for a very long time. The --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But I'm talking about racial profiling.

MR. BLANKLEY: I know. Let me just finish my thought.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why don't we do a spot poll of profiling?

MR. BLANKLEY: Let me just finish my thought. The question is whether we should preclude certain categories from profiles when the experts think they should be included, such as race, such as national origin, such as religion. And the argument, I think, is no, they should not be precluded when their usefulness in a profile would provide some effectiveness in identifying suspects.

And we're going to go that way. Tony Blair a few weeks ago has come out for it. And it's not going to be a perfect fit. You're going to catch some people that don't make it, and you're going to miss some people who do. But overall, getting young Arab men, if they're profiling, is going to catch a lot more people than getting 95-year old Norwegian women.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I just finished telling you that there are a lot of ethnicities, and there are a lot of races involved in terrorism who are not Arab.

MR. BLANKLEY: And I finished telling you --

MR. BUCHANAN: John, John, you've got to use --

MR. BLANKLEY: No system is perfect, but as far as Islamist terrorists are concerned, we can get a profile that's going to be fairly useful quite often. And that's better than what we got right now.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, John --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Also, Arabs are so distinguished whether they're Egyptian or Lebanese --

MR. BLANKLEY: I understand.

MR. BUCHANAN: And more than likely, John --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- and they are distinguished from each other. It does not make sense.

MR. BLANKLEY: It's not going to be a perfect system, but there are certain people, like little babies and old ladies, who you don't need to search. So --

MR. BUCHANAN: John? John?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why don't you come around to my way of thinking -- (laughter) -- and simply allow that we need smart profiling, not racial profiling.

MR. BLANKLEY: That's what I --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Race does not deliver in terrorism.

MR. BLANKLEY: No, my point -- MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Religion does happen to right now.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, look, it's not -- look, let me --

MR. BLANKLEY: Unfortunately, people's religious faith isn't necessarily reflected in their physical appearance, either.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, you've got to drop --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This is true too, but for the most part it is, among Muslims.

MR. BUCHANAN: John --

MR. BLANKLEY: To some extent it is, and that would be good.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But not, for example, the Persians. The Persians are neither Arab -- but they are Muslims, in the majority.

MR. BLANKLEY: And some of them are terrorists.

MR. BUCHANAN: John -- (inaudible) -- you know, James Dean said --

MS. CLIFT: Most of the Muslims in this country are African- American, a point I just want to just --

MR. BUCHANAN: Look, you know --

MS. CLIFT: Most of the Muslims in America are African-American. So if you follow your idea --

MR. BLANKLEY: And those aren't the Muslims who are being attracted to the Islamic cause.

MR. BUCHANAN: John --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This is not a question of exclusivity. I want to rid it of racial profiling, and if you're looking for one diagnostic, your biggest diagnostic appears to be Muslim.

What do you think?

MR. BUCHANAN: I think liberalism is the ideology of Western suicide. Use common sense! The killers are Muslims. They're from the Arab world and South Asia. They are young. They are male. They carry backpacks. They wear overcoats in the summer. Profile them and nail them and get rid of all this nonsense we're talking about!

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, why call it racial profiling?

MR. BUCHANAN: I don't care what you call it. That's what you do. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, why don't you give me the diagnostics of it? He hit the diagnostics pretty well.

MS. CLIFT: Okay, the backpacks --

MR. BUCHANAN: I told you exactly what you ought to be looking for!

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He mentioned Muslim. He mentioned under 40 years of age or thereabouts.

MR. BUCHANAN: Arab and South Asian.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And also the way they're dressed and whether they're trying to conceal weaponry.

MR. BUCHANAN: And also Eritrean.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: Is the public angst over profiling legitimate, or is it misplaced?

Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: I think it's ideologically -- it's ideological, and it is folly, and when you get a couple of more terrorist acts, it'll go out the window.

MS. CLIFT: I'm for a little common sense. I wouldn't go for the elderly women and the babies. But I do think that racial profiling is reprehensible and that it would be very easy --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can we say profiling?

MS. CLIFT: -- whatever; profiling in general -- and that the enemy, if you wish, could easily get around it by recruiting people who look not like you have targeted.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, the trend is inevitable. It started with Tony Blair a few weeks ago in England. They're now using profiling based on these categories. It's going to come to America. There are going to be some people who are going to oppose it --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Should there be angst over it?

MR. BUCHANAN: No.

MR. BLANKLEY: No. I mean, no, this is political common sense.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right.

Should there be angst over it? MR. WARREN: The angst is understandable. I think some of the fears are misplaced. I'm not sure where you're driving. Would you like -- if I get a venture capitalist, should I be creating a "Muslometer" that I could stick at each one of the entrances and exits of the New York subway system? There are more entrances and exits in the New York subway system than there are security checkpoints in the entire American aviation system.

So what would you like to do?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think the Muslims have to realize -- I think they have to realize that they have poison in their system. It's a tiny amount -- a tiny amount.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But I want to hear from more leaders, both secular and religious, in the Muslim faith to come forward and condemn those that are --

MS. CLIFT: Fair enough.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- not only violating the world's human rights but also violating their own religion. Their religion is a great religion. I'm not saying that.

MR. WARREN: And stipulate --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But they happen to have come from there, and they flowered there.

Issue three: Frist v. Bush.

SEN. BILL FRIST (R-TN, Senate majority leader): (From videotape.) Embryonic stem cell research must be supported. It's time for a modified policy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist wants more federal money and more embryos. Frist says stem cells grown from embryos have a unique ability to propagate into other types of cells. Such cells could be used for cures to degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. But to find such stem cells, human embryos are needed, and to produce such cells, the embryos are destroyed.

Opponents say embryos are human life and potential human persons. To address the matter, President Bush four years ago -- August 2001 -- made federal funds available, but only for embryos that had already been destroyed. Doctor -- and Senator -- Frist, a heart transplant surgeon from Tennessee, earlier concurred with the president's budget, but now says it's not enough. SEN. FRIST: (From videotape.) When the president announced his policy four years ago, it was widely believed, and stated again and again, that there would be 78 -- 78 -- embryonic stem cell lines available for federal funding. This has proven not to be the case. Today only 22 lines are eligible.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Four days after Frist broke from the president, Mr. Bush reaffirmed his same guidelines. And he promised to veto any bill that would relax any of his federal limits. As for the House of Representatives, it has already defied their Republican president, passing a stem cell bill that expands federal research funds beyond Mr. Bush's limit.

Bush is on the losing side; there's no question about it. Can he back off the stem cell veto threat without alienating the religious right, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: He cannot back off it, and he will not back off it. I'm convinced he will veto it, and I think Frist has damaged himself badly for the nomination.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Whoever is elected president next time around will support expanded stem cell research. Frist is right, and I hope the president understands that he's right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can he back off painlessly?

MS. CLIFT: No.

MR. BLANKLEY: No, he can't. I agree. I happen to agree with Frist on this. But Bush is going to stick with a veto. It will be sustained in the House, because they didn't pass it with enough votes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can he back off?

MR. WARREN: No, I don't think he's going to back off. But Dr. Frist chose a very nice, commonsense approach. Remember there are a lot of right-wing even ideologues who have got family members with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is yes, he can back off; B, should back off; C, can say, my personal beliefs are one thing; Congress, speaking as the representative of the people, are another; I will sign the bill.

(Announcements.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue four: Potion or placebo? RONALD B. TURNER, MD (principal investigator): (From videotape.) By the usual ways that we assess the effectiveness of medications, we don't find effectiveness for echinacea in the common cold.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's what the clinicians have to say after they found echinacea is an ineffectual cold remedy.

MARK BLUMENTHAL (American Botanical Council): (From videotape.) This study does not reflect on the whole body of research on echinacea.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Study or no study, millions of Americans turn to echinacea at the first sign of a sniffle. Echinacea is sold over the counter. U.S. annual sales are soaring -- over $150 million -- and it ranks as one of the most popular alternative medications on the market. Despite the high volume of usage, echinacea is unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. All alternative medicines, in fact -- including vitamins, minerals, and herbs -- are free from FDA guidelines. The only caveat is alternative medicine must be marketed with no medicinal claims on the label.

What about echinacea? Is it a placebo?

MR. WARREN: I had at least two girlfriends pumping this stuff into me 10, 15 years ago. This was going to be the cure for everything.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pumping the echinacea?

MR. WARREN: Cold, this, that, you name it, bunions; echinacea was going to do absolutely everything.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They were using it?

MR. WARREN: Well, no, they were telling me to use it for every darn ailment -- depression, you name it.

I mean, the craziness of all of this is if you don't claim that you're a specific remedy or cure for disease, you don't got to be regulated. But at the same time, millions of Americans are using this stuff precisely for that reason, because they think it can cure them. Then they start whining about Celebrex and Viagra and Vioxx, which you need a prescription for, whining that there should be tougher FDA regulation. But all of this stuff which so many of us take and won't admit to our doctors that we're taking when they ask us, "What drugs are you taking, Mr. Buchanan?"

MR. BUCHANAN: But look, if it doesn't hurt you, look, FDA -- if it doesn't hurt you and is not harmful, the FDA ought to stay out of it. Maybe the Federal Trade Commission ought to get into it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right. MR. BUCHANAN: But this is like -- it's like herbs and like -- it's like Vitamin A and Vitamin C and these fads. If it doesn't hurt you, then keep the government out.

MS. CLIFT: Right. And the placebo effect actually can be quite powerful. If you believe this is helping you, it can help you. And frankly, you take this, and maybe the cold stops a day earlier or whatever you think. And so I think it's essentially harmless. But there are some herbal remedies out there that, taken in excess, can be damaging, and the FDA should get involved there.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I agree with you. I think we should push placebos. (Laughter.) As far as --

MS. CLIFT: Well, not for serious illness! (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Scientists say that it's an illustration --

MR. BUCHANAN: If you were a druggist, I'm sure you would! (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- it is an indication of mind over matter, so it makes no difference whether it's pharmaceutical in content, as long as it works.

MR. BUCHANAN: Right. Caveat emptor. (Laughter.)

END.