THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP
HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN
PANEL: PATRICK BUCHANAN, MSNBC; ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK; TONY BLANKLEY, THE WASHINGTON TIMES; LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBC
TAPED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 18, 2006
BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF AUGUST 19-20, 2006
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MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Return to Ruin.
A human tide began flowing back to the south of Lebanon this week after 34 days of fighting ended with a cease-fire between Hezbollah and Israel.
The south of Lebanon has borne the brunt of the fighting. Rubble and litter are everywhere, along with scattered unexploded ordnance and decomposing corpses.
Food and fuel remain in short supply. Electricity is largely out. As for who is to blame for the wreckage of the past 34 days? Commander-in-chief Bush did not mince words. A reporter asked the president which side had won. PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: (From videotape.) Hezbollah attacked Israel, Hezbollah started the crisis, and Hezbollah suffered a defeat in this crisis.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: U.S. military advisers are not as convinced. They think Hezbollah and Iran appear to have won. Hezbollah boosted its image in the Arab world, launched many rockets into Israel, survived intense bombardment with its command and control intact. They see Iran as the second winner -- improved credibility through trained and well-armed Hezbollah fighters.
Question: Will President Bush commit American troops if no other NATO nation steps up to the plate in southern Lebanon? Pat Buchanan.
MR. BUCHANAN: No, he's not going to, John. That would be an act of insanity. Every suicide bomber and terrorist in the Middle East would head for south Lebanon and every American would have a target on his back.
When the president says that Hezbollah suffered defeat -- (laughs) -- his body language said something else. He was ticked off at that press conference. The truth is, the losers in this war are, first and foremost, as you pointed out, Lebanon. Secondly, Israel has suffered the perception of a defeat, of a bad defeat for the greatest military in the Middle East. And third, the United States has suffered a defeat. The winners are Hezbollah first, Iran second, Syria third.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Nasrallah right up there.
MR. BUCHANAN: Nasrallah and Hezbollah.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Nasrallah and Hezbollah.
MS. CLIFT: No American troops in the region, because American troops aren't going to go in there and do what Israel couldn't do, which is disarm Hezbollah. And that's why the French are reluctant to put more than 200 troops in there. The international force will draw from Third World countries, and they will be seen as not very effective and --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Will Bush put troops in?
MS. CLIFT: No, absolutely not. But I think the cease-fire will hold because Hezbollah has emerged as heroes. They are now leading the reconstruction effort and they're going to take over as the de facto government in Lebanon. And Israel is caught up in all kinds of recriminations that may well bring down the government of Ehud Olmert.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Hezbollah has to be contained. Why wouldn't President Bush send troops in, Tony? MR. BLANKLEY: Well, I agree that he won't send in. I agree. And the friends of Israel, as well as others, cannot -- you know, all agree that Israel was on the losing end of this, certainly on the public relations side, on the world opinion side, and perceptions in the Middle East, which are critical. They also did not succeed with what they wanted to do at a military level.
So there's no question that the president was being a diplomat at that point. I don't think it's useful for his credibility to try to make that argument.
As far as America going into southern Lebanon, for all the reasons that Pat said, we can't go in now. The problem is that this is a defeat for the West, for people who are fighting radicalism, because radical Islam is strengthened. Hezbollah is strengthened by this. And we'll pay a price down the line, but we're not going to pay it next month sending troops in, because it's unsustainable at this moment.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay -- invincible no more.
Many Israelis feel unsettled. A political storm over conduct of the war is already brewing. Politicians of left and right have called for a commission of inquiry. Sixty-seven percent of Israelis say yes to such an inquiry. Now Israel, after it fully withdraws from Lebanon, must rely on international peacekeepers and Lebanese troops to keep Hezbollah at bay.
But Prime Minister Ehud Olmert insists that Israel will feel free to strike back at Hezbollah in the future. "We will continue to pursue them everywhere and at all times. We have no intention of asking anyone's permission."
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's approval fell from 78 percent at the height of the conflict to 40 percent now, a 38-point drop.
Question: How big a blow was this to Israel's self-esteem? I ask you, Lawrence.
MR. O'DONNELL: Israel's self-esteem is intact. But their ability to intellectually assess what went wrong here is much stronger than ours. Here they are; the guns are still warm, and the government has appointed a commission of former generals to study the conduct of this war, something that we find inconceivable in this country with the Republican Congress that will not investigate the conduct of the failed war in Iraq under a Republican president.
They're already going at it, because they have to ask the question, "Is this the size response we want when we have one or two of our soldiers kidnapped? Do we go in and, in effect, destroy Lebanon," and incur what even Tony Blankley thinks is a defeat, in perception at least? Is that all worth it under these circumstances? I think most of the country thinks it was not worth it. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony.
MR. BLANKLEY: Let me make a point. I'm glad they're doing the investigation. I think it's always good to have the right people --
MR. O'DONNELL: No, you don't. We're not doing one on Iraq here. You don't want this.
MR. BLANKLEY: Let me just finish my thought. Yes, in fact, I'm in favor of a closed investigation, both inside -- particularly inside the administration on what's going wrong in Iraq. I completely agree with that.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that the IDF should be reformed?
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, there's a lot of debate on that. But they're not just looking at whether the response was disproportionate, based on two people.
I think that they're going to be looking at the whole question of the use of air power and its efficacy in the face of determined ground troops, which is what Hezbollah --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about the intelligence?
MR. BLANKLEY: The intelligence is going to be criticized too. It's the same critique that we need to have in our government regarding the efficacy of air power. Air power -- whether it's Hitler's bombing on London or us bombing in Iraq or Israel bombing in Lebanon, air power is not decisive; I'm sorry.
MS. CLIFT: The invasion of Lebanon was almost as ill-conceived as the invasion of Iraq. And at least the Israelis had the good sense to get out after four weeks and to reverse course. We are still -- we made the same mistakes; over-reliance on air power, not sending enough ground troops. This was a microcosm of what went wrong in Iraq. And I commend Israel for having the guts to have the accountability to have the inquiry.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is Nasrallah a superhero?
MR. BUCHANAN: Nasrallah?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Has he emerged as such?
MR. BUCHANAN: He's a hero --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In the Arab world?
MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah. Let me tell you this, though. Nasrallah is a hero. He is up here now. But he's only going to start down, and I'll tell you why.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why?
MR. BUCHANAN: First, because the Lebanese are going to say, "The Israelis did it to us," but it wouldn't have happened except for him. Secondly, the rebuilding is going to be a horrible process. Third, the guy has got a target right on his back. The Israelis are gunning for him. Fourth, he is despised sub rosa by the Sunnis all over that world because he's a very frightening figure of the Shi'a revolution -- Iran, Lebanon and -- MR. O'DONNELL: He is very wisely managing the cease-fire.
MR. BUCHANAN: But let me make one more point.
MR. O'DONNELL: He's out there handing out money to rebuild. He's going block to block.
MR. BUCHANAN: I know what he's doing. But let me make one more point. Israel could have won this war. They could have come straight across from Metullah to the sea and then fought backwards --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: From where?
MR. BUCHANAN: From right across at the Litani River, the upper part of Israel, and done a MacArthur campaign instead of smashing Lebanon, and they could have stopped those rockets and they would have bled more --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean, just gone after southern Lebanon and --
MR. BUCHANAN: Cut right across from the top of Israel and come south.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, they do have a buffer zone now. Isn't that a plus for them?
MR. BUCHANAN: They don't got a buffer zone. They've got two mice going down there to defang that alley cat, and they can't do it.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is it clear what the rules of engagement are for the NATO forces -- excuse me, the U.N. forces?
MR. BUCHANAN: No, it's not.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can they fight back?
MR. BUCHANAN: Well, they're trying to -- (laughs) --
MR. BLANKLEY: We know --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: There are going to be 15,000 international troops and there are going to be 15,000 Lebanese troops there. Does anyone really think that they're going to have the wherewithal --
MR. BLANKLEY: The Lebanese --
MR. O'DONNELL: The troops are already there. They're being really warmly welcomed, which is the most positive sign we've seen in the entire thing. But because we don't have rules of engagement, we don't have the French yet, who, the last time they went into one of these, lost 58 French soldiers. So, you know, their being careful about this makes sense. We're not going to get -- MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What does Israel do now? When it disengaged from Gaza, that caused an upheaval. When they disengaged from Lebanon, that caused an upheaval. Are they going to disengage? And if they don't disengage, what do they do? Do we get serious about a peace process for the Palestinians?
MS. CLIFT: Olmert was elected --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Wait a minute. Do you say it's a dead end?
MR. BUCHANAN: The Israelis are at dead end right now.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Have they got to re-engage, and the way to re- engage is through a peace process?
MR. BUCHANAN: John, look, Olmert's plan to withdraw unilaterally from the West Bank is as dead as it can be. Even he said so.
MS. CLIFT: Olmert was elected on disengagement from the West Bank. It's a new party. Kadima Party has no reason for being anymore.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: When it --
MS. CLIFT: Olmert is really going to be challenged.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me get this to you. When the commissions are over and the inquiries are held, will they then -- will the Israelis recover enough to realize that what they have to do is take the diplomatic course and go for a return to some kind of a re- engagement in a peace process?
MR. BLANKLEY: Israel is surrounded by 100 million people who want to kill them. They're never going to let them have Israel without a fight. It's been going on for 57 years. It's never going to stop. What Israel has to recalculate is they're giving away -- let me just say this. Their giving away land under the Sharon plan, which I thought was a hopeful plan, has not worked. And they have to come up with another strategy.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That is so defeatist. Exit question --
MS. CLIFT: It's further evidence that the hard fist doesn't work. And if the Bush administration saw this as a training run for bombing Iran's nuclear facilities, it proves that you cannot do it with air power.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Don't you think -- MS. CLIFT: If you can't do it with a country of 4 million, you can't do it with a country of 75 million. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Don't you think that the president is stunned beyond belief because he thought so much and so highly and he modeled our antiterrorism on almost the IDF manual of instruction?
MR. BLANKLEY: This was --
MR. BUCHANAN: Eleanor's right.
MS. CLIFT: This was a total failure.
MR. BUCHANAN: Eleanor's right. If this was a trial run for Iran, it is off.
MS. CLIFT: Thank you, Pat.
MR. BUCHANAN: But I'll tell you this. Look at the president. The president is angry, though. The president is angry. He is frustrated.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who's he angry with?
MR. BUCHANAN: He's angry with -- in fact, he suffered a defeat. And let me tell you, knowing his personality, he has taken a hard look at going after Iran in this second term; I don't care what the lessons are of Lebanon. It's his personality.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is he mad at his staff for telling him to go forward and pronounce a defeat for Hezbollah?
MR. BUCHANAN: I think he's -- look, I think that showed how angry he was, that he would get up there and say Hezbollah suffered a defeat.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question --
MS. CLIFT: It shows he can get us in even more trouble before he leaves office.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: Has the war enhanced or undermined Israel's military credibility in the region?
MR. BUCHANAN: That's a foolish question. The question is only how far it's been diminished. And it has been gravely diminished in the eyes of Arabs, and all over the world it has.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Has it been diminished in your eyes, the IDF?
MR. BUCHANAN: I think the IDF could have won the war. They fought the wrong war.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You think they could have won, or do you think they need --
MR. BUCHANAN: I think they could have won in 30 days.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think they need rooted reform?
MR. BUCHANAN: They need a ground soldier in command, a Patton, and not some air force general.
MR. O'DONNELL: They cannot defeat Hezbollah.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think the IDF has gone soft?
MS. CLIFT: The insurgents just melt back in. You have to win them by winning the hearts and minds. They have to go the diplomatic route. But the mythic superiority of the Israeli warrior has been undermined, and so has the superiority of the U.S.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think? Do you think the IDF is a disappointment?
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, of course they've lost credibility. Military force as a deterrent force is diminished when they use the force and it doesn't deter.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I know that.
MR. BLANKLEY: So obviously they've been damaged substantially, even though they never in fact used the full military capacity. The idea of winning the hearts and minds of 7th century Shi'a illiterates is a hopeless thought.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The IDF --
MS. CLIFT: Lebanon -- that is not Lebanon.
MR. O'DONNELL: We've always known --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We're talking about the military credibility.
MR. O'DONNELL: Right. We've always known they couldn't win hearts and minds. And now we know they cannot win military engagements.
MR. BLANKLEY: That's not true. They didn't win this one.
MR. O'DONNELL: Those two soldiers are still kidnapped.
MR. BLANKLEY: They didn't win this one.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I don't think I can improve on that. They really need radical reform.
When we come back, carry-on chaos. Bring on the biometrics.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: Toothpaste, Shampoo and Attitude -- TSA.
Hand over your shampoo and toothpaste. The federal government imposed new airline restrictions this week on carry-on items, and that has reignited debate over biometric screening, a measure the 9/11 commission called, quote-unquote, "essential."
Here's how it works. Registered travelers -- so-called registered travelers, that is -- pay a fee, are fingerprinted or iris- scanned and background-checked. Then registered travelers get smart cards to bypass standard security lines. These registered travelers pay $80 a year.
In the time since the 9/11 commission released this directive, two years have gone by. But the single and only U.S. airport offering biometric screening today is Orlando International, with its 26,000 registered travelers.
Question: What is TSA's rationale for dragging its feet on the registered traveler program? Lawrence O'Donnell.
MR. O'DONNELL: Utter bureaucratic incompetence. This is the worst exercise of American law enforcement in its history. We know who the people are who want to blow up planes. Why we're stopping and searching members of Congress, for example, who have IDs saying that they are members of Congress, and treating them exactly the same as you would treat a suspected al Qaeda member is demented. And we're doing it across the board. And there's no hope of this changing.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why don't we have biometrics?
MR. BLANKLEY: We ought to. I called for it in my book. I think we need biometrics at airports and more generally. So I completely agree with you. But let me --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It involves racial profiling in a way.
MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, we need terrorist profiling.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you prepared for racial profiling?
MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, I came out for that in my book also.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who --
MR. BLANKLEY: Let me make --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who in -- the London bombings, the Madrid bombings and the 9/11 bombings all had a common denominator. What were they?
MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, they were Muslim.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Muslims.
MR. BLANKLEY: But let me make --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think Muslims should get special screening?
MR. BLANKLEY: Let me make a point. We should have a terrorist profile that may include ethnic or religious components where law enforcement professionals judge that that's an element of the criteria. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why ethnic? Why ethnic?
MR. BLANKLEY: Whatever the --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They may not necessarily be Arabic but they could still be Muslim.
MR. BLANKLEY: I understand.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Look at -- they were all citizens in -- the London bombing was all citizens.
MR. BLANKLEY: Citizenship has nothing to do with it. That's why I said that there should be a terrorist profile and let the law enforcement professionals decide what it is and not preclude from that profile, for political purposes, any category. But let me make --
MS. CLIFT: We could learn --
MR. BLANKLEY: Let me make one quick point.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly.
MR. BLANKLEY: No matter what we do with screening passengers, we're not having safe flights until we screen the cargo.
The cargo isn't being screened at all. And until we're prepared to do that --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Don't let the cat out of the bag here, Tony.
MS. CLIFT: Right. And the administration --
MR. BLANKLEY: I'm not saying anything they don't know.
MS. CLIFT: And the administration has had years to consider the fact that the machines don't register the liquids that we're now concerned about. Look, we can learn from the Israelis on this. They have kept bombs off planes for 35 years using profiling. Maybe ethnic and racial profiling is part of it. But it's a much broader way of looking at people, and they're very good at it. And we ought to learn how to do that here as well.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This is profiling by religion.
MR. BUCHANAN: John --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's what's the common denominator here. Religious profiling is odious, is it not, Pat? Is it not?
MR. BUCHANAN: No, it is not.
MS. CLIFT: How do you declare your religion when you go to an airport?
MR. BUCHANAN: No, it is not. Look --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is the --
MR. BUCHANAN: Look, it's more likely that a devout Islamic member or person is going to blow up a plane than a devout traditional Catholic. And John, let me say something. Citizenship is not the question here. It is nationality. Nineteen of those bombers or would-be bombers over the Atlantic are British citizens. But they are not British in a sense. They have retained their nationality. They are children of Pakistanis, and they tend more toward their blood than toward their passports and citizenship. MR. O'DONNELL: Well, there were at least three Anglo-Saxon, native-born Anglo-Saxon British converts to Islam, which does make this more difficult than pure racial profiling.
MR. BUCHANAN: So we've got to --
MR. O'DONNELL: But they are 100 percent Muslim. At some point law enforcement has to know --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why focus on the Muslims? Why not focus on the non-Muslims?
MR. O'DONNELL: Because it is a known --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why not give them --
MR. O'DONNELL: -- fact about terrorists.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why not give the Anglo-Saxons and the women in wheelchairs, why not give them a bit of a waiver and enforce the standard method on Muslims?
MR. O'DONNELL: Well, that's the point.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is that singling out?
MS. CLIFT: Maybe I'm being ignorant --
MR. BUCHANAN: Let these guys go and stop these guys. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's correct. But why point to the ones that are --
MR. BUCHANAN: Give McLaughlin a pass and --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: Should Muslims get a higher level of scrutiny than the rest of the traveling public? Yes or no.
MR. BUCHANAN: They certainly should.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, yes or no?
MS. CLIFT: I have never declared my religion going to an airport or on my passport. How are you discovering everybody's religion here?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, that's an interesting question.
MS. CLIFT: Yeah.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think it is passport-identifiable. Don't forget, there is a code on the passport.
MS. CLIFT: I don't think it says religion on the passport. MR. BLANKLEY: I mean, the short answer is yes. But as I said, as part of a terrorist profile, religion, ethnicity, nationality should all be considered, if useful.
MR. O'DONNELL: What El Al does on flights to Israel is they have a little conversation with you. Now, they don't specifically ask you if you're Roman Catholic, but those are smart guys. They get a feel for you. And in that questioning, you can get a feel for who these people are, including -- and we're doing some of this at TSA -- their physical reactions to certain kinds of questions and the sense of nervousness.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you saying high level for Muslims?
MR. O'DONNELL: Absolutely. As long as the terrorists are 100 percent Muslim, how do we ignore that?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, I think we've got to go the higher-level route. I think that means something for the leadership of the Muslim community to get out there --
MR. O'DONNELL: Absolutely.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- and get in the act.
Issue Three: Immigrant Tsunami.
Immigration is soaring. According to new Census Bureau data, for the last five years the number of immigrants in the U.S. rose almost 16 percent, from 31 million in 2000 to 36 million in 2005, 5 million people over five years. And that's all immigrants, legal and illegal.
It's an immigration tidal wave. More immigrants come from Mexico than any other country. Currently a total of 11 million foreign-born Mexicans are here, compared with 1.8 million Chinese and 1.4 million Indians. Immigrants are bypassing the traditional gateway states and settling in unlikely parts of the country.
WILLIAM FREY (Brookings Institution): (From videotape.) It used to be they would go to Los Angeles or New York or Texas or Florida. But now, in addition to going to those places, they're finding out there are opportunities in Georgia and in Iowa and in Nebraska.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Thirty-three states saw a 15 percent increase. Eighteen states, many in the heartland, saw an increase of 25 percent or more. And in eight states, most in the Deep South, immigration has skyrocketed, up at least 33 percent. Overall, immigrants now make up 12.4 percent of the nation's population, totaling more than 35 million.
Question: What accounts for the immigration tidal wave? I ask you, Eleanor. MS. CLIFT: Economic attraction. I mean, people come because they want to earn money --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Jobs.
MS. CLIFT: -- for their families; jobs. Even though they may get minimum wage in this country, or at less than minimum wage in many cases, it's still more than they would get back home. And there's a corporate community here that welcomes them.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Has George Bush encouraged this tsunami? I ask you, Pat.
MR. BUCHANAN: He certainly has. He has done nothing to defend the borders of the United States. He himself says 6 million have tried to break in.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about the path to citizenship? Does that pull them in too, promising them citizenship in so many words? That's been around for five years.
MR. BUCHANAN: Look, there will be a huge --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: De facto amnesty.
Is that what you call it?
MR. BUCHANAN: A path to citizenship is amnesty. And if Bush offers that, there'll be such a surge to the border to make this latest wave look like a ripple.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you have comments on this?
MR. O'DONNELL: We have tripled the Border Patrol since Pat Buchanan was working in the White House, and this wave has just gotten bigger and bigger. It's an economic wave. If I lived in Mexico and could not make a living, I'd be running across that border, just the way my ancestors who could not survive in Ireland came to Boston, because they could not survive. It's always been exactly the same reason.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that this wave of immigration and its effect on the social aspects of the community and on crime and on local governments and their role, do you think that this is what's created an anti-immigration attitude groundswell?
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, historically we've had waves of immigration, and it's always had reaction. The progressive movement, after all, was in large part a reaction to the wave of immigration. And what we've had in the past and we don't have yet is a period of moratorium. After 1924 we absorbed and integrated this great wave of immigrants to make us strong again.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's an excellent --
MR. BLANKLEY: And now we've had another great wave. We need to have another moratorium and absorb them into the population.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, let's get into that. Let's use that as an exit question. Should there be a moratorium on legal immigration until we have a chance to absorb what we have here? Pat.
MR. BUCHANAN: We should legislate a 10-year moratorium on all immigration.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Ten years? MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah.
MS. CLIFT: Absolutely not, plus the fact our businesses need a lot of the educated people. They wouldn't want a moratorium on those.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Immigration will increase by 20 million over 10 years if we don't have a moratorium. Do you favor a moratorium?
MR. BLANKLEY: I favor largely a moratorium, with exceptions for highly-skilled people.
MR. O'DONNELL: Nothing could be more vicious and nothing could be worse for the economy to ever, ever have a moratorium on immigration in this country, which was built on immigration.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think we can do more for these incoming immigrants if we declare a moratorium and absorb and get the public attuned once again to our immigration welcoming mentality.
We'll be right back with predictions.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions. Pat.
MR. BUCHANAN: I think the first casualty in Israel will be the chief of staff, General Halutz, who sold $27,000 in stocks just before he sent the troops in. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: Senator George Allen's unfortunate use of the word "macaca" to characterize a young campaign worker for the opposing camp will torpedo his chances to become a credible presidential candidate in '08.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony.
MR. BLANKLEY: "Macaca" is apparently Italian for "clown." There's something weird about that.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly.
MR. BLANKLEY: There will be a second Hezbollah-Israeli war at some point.
MR. O'DONNELL: Connecticut's liberal Republican former senator, Lowell Weicker, who was defeated by Joe Lieberman, will bring enough liberal and moderate Republicans to Lamont so that it will be Lamont's win.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Security moms, who had been polling Republican, will shift. In the upcoming November elections, 10 short weeks away, they will swing Democratic. Bye-bye.
Issue Four: Tilting at Windmills.
CARL BOLDINO (sp): (From videotape.) It's economics, plain and simple.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: With a state subsidy, Carl Boldino (sp) erected a 40-foot windmill in his New Jersey backyard. His energy bill dropped by 30 percent. In New York, Bill Burke (sp) collects $50,000 per year by allowing eight wind turbines on his farm. But elsewhere in New York, Gordon Yancey (sp) mourns his vista ruined by these giant apparatus.
GORDON YANCEY (sp): It's gone now. I don't have that view anymore.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Should the micro generation of electricity be taken seriously? I ask you, Lawrence O'Donnell.
MR. O'DONNELL: I'm taking it seriously. I'm thinking of putting solar power on my south-facing roof in California, where there's a tremendous amount of tax subsidies to do so. That cuts your electricity costs. But the investment is still very high.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Any neighbors complaining about that?
MR. O'DONNELL: No, I don't see that, really.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They don't see any reflection up there?
MR. O'DONNELL: I'm not going to do a windmill.
MR. BLANKLEY: Look, unsubsidized, it's not economic. In fact, the micro generation is to the electrical generation of the country as micro beer brewing is to the general brewing --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about the security aspect? There's no power plant to bomb. You've got all these windmills.
MR. BUCHANAN: You kill all those birds with those windmills, John. I'd go with that farmer that liked his view.