THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP
HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN
PANEL: PATRICK BUCHANAN, MSNBC; ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK; TONY BLANKLEY, WASHINGTON TIMES; MORT ZUCKERMAN, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT TAPED:
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2006
BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF SEPTEMBER 23-24, 2006
Copyright (c) 2006 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: "El Diablo."
VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ: (From videotape, through interpreter.) And the devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil came here, right here -- right here. And it smells of sulfur still today. This table that I am now standing in front of, yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world, truly as the owner of the world.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is there a message in Chavez's madness? Pat Buchanan. MR. BUCHANAN: Well, there is, John. On the level of international politics, he made a fool out of himself using this kind of terminology. He's probably lost Venezuela its seat in the Security Council; made himself a laughing stock.
At the same time, he's got a deeply populist message, appealing to Third World resentments and, frankly, indigenous people. And there's a racial component to what he is doing when he uses the indigenous people. It's like Morales and like Humala in Peru, and frankly like you hear in the American barrios. If he went up to the Bronx, I'll tell you this. He'd get a far wilder reception than George Bush could ever get.
So from his standpoint, he may have helped himself in terms of what he is doing, organizing the Third World against us. But on the national-international level, he's made an oaf out of himself.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, he may actually get a seat on the Security Council. That's a secret ballot.
MS. CLIFT: Well, Venezuela is vying with Guatemala. Guatemala is the U.S. choice. The thing is, he didn't need to win over the Third World nations. And so he may have hurt himself with some of the countries he needed with -- really this was like burlesk.
But if he were a dry bureaucrat, he would have not gotten the attention that he's gotten. And basically the message is that the U.S. is hypocritical, and he's trying to get people focused on a new paradigm. And he's using his oil wealth to embarrass this country, providing free oil in Harlem and on Indian reservations.
People say he's the new Che Guevara. Now, Che Guevara was using armed struggle. I mean, he's using theater. This was like street theater. And the rest of the world loves it, even though it didn't play well here.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's worse, to be called "axis of evil" or the language that was used by Chavez?
MR. BLANKLEY: Well --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's worse to be called? Who's got a lock on the Manichaean language?
MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, look, obviously, if it's accurate, that's a justification. The axis of evil, I think, was an accurate justification.
But let me say that those of us in the European western world should pay attention to the response that this kind of rhetoric gets in the world. We should understand that the order is changing. And what would have been written off and destroyed a leader a generation ago is probably a useful device, and it suggests that -- MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is that your opinion?
MR. BLANKLEY: Yes, I think that he has advanced his interests in the non-western world by this. And it shows the vulnerabilities of the West to a growing ferment elsewhere.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Don't you think he's belittling Bush's excessive emphasis, as viewed by some, on his Christianity, and he's belittling that because it lacks social justice? He says he's the devil rather than what he pretends to be in a religious sense.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, and I think he knows how to use the right phrase and the apt phrase to catch the attention not only of his audience but of a worldwide audience. But what I think, unfortunately, it also says is, on one level, not only how unpopular the United States is but how big a component of that unpopularity is President Bush, like it or not.
And therefore, he gets a reaction in the sense that he has the guts to say things that a lot of people are saying privately in that little enclave called the United Nations. And there's a real problem for the United States in terms of the image of this country as presented by the president and of how that is received all over the world. I mean, I think we may be the most unpopular we have been in the world in 30 or 40 years.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In the Catholic Church, we used to have something called theology that was not quite secular, but it was --
MR. BLANKLEY: Liberation?
MR. BUCHANAN: Liberation theology.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Liberation theology. And that portrayed Jesus as an insurrectionist, with a great emphasis on social justice. Do you see any of that in this presentation by --
MR. BUCHANAN: I think you're right on the mark here, John. I think there's no question that, look, across Latin America and Mexico, and even in the barrios of the United States, there is this idea of the Third World indigenous peoples who have been dispossessed by the European colonizers. You see Morales and others talking about 500 years --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right.
MR. BUCHANAN: -- and "We are now rising up." And social justice means that a lot of this comes back to us. It is deeply socialist. It is anti Bush's new world order.
MR. BLANKLEY: But -- MR. BUCHANAN: It's an alternative world view.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is it also a rejection of the Bible revivalism that Bush seems to like?
MR. BLANKLEY: No, I don't --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know, he was in session with them this week.
MR. BLANKLEY: I don't think that's the case. But as I think Pat may have pointed out in his column this week, this is not a selling point throughout Latin America. It was an albatross around the neck of the losing candidate in the Mexican election when he was connected to him. So this isn't necessarily a winner across the board.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean, Obrador took a hit because he was linked to Chavez.
MR. BLANKLEY: Yes. Yes.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: That was the essence of the campaign against him by Calderon.
MR. BLANKLEY: And Chavez --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: He humiliated the two, and Obrador --
MR. BLANKLEY: And Chavez is reaching not to the broader Third World but to the lowest level of the Third World.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. What's the real issue here, Ambassador Bolton, at the U.N.?
JOHN BOLTON (U.S. ambassador to the United Nations): (From videotape.) Well, the real issue here is he knows he can exercise freedom of speech on that podium, and as I say, he could exercise it in Central Park too. (But he's not given ?) the same freedom to the people of Venezuela.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, Ambassador Bolton, maybe they already have freedom of speech. Chavez is running for re-election in 10 weeks. His opponent is Manuel Rosales. When Rosales was asked what he thought of Chavez's U.N. performance, Rosales said, quote, "Chavez is constantly generating violent discourse of aggression and constant bellicosity," unquote.
Question: Bolton was absent when Chavez spoke. Did the National Security Agency, the NSA, wiretap, do you think --
MR. BUCHANAN: No, I don't think --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- pick up Hugo's U.N. strategy, then pass it on to Bolton so Bolton could avoid being publicly criticized?
MR. BUCHANAN: Look, it was a deliberate United States snub of Chavez because he knew what he's said and what he's going to say. You don't need any intelligence to pick it up.
MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but Bolton is irrelevant in this fight. And the fact that he would just automatically say they don't have free speech in Venezuela without knowing what he's talking about shows the effort of the administration to try to lump all our enemies in the same basket. "Either you're with us or against us. You're al Qaeda. You're free or you're not free." MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let Mort in. Let Mort in.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: It is not true that they don't know what they're talking about, because the fact is that Chavez put in a law in Venezuela which basically precludes any attack or even personal attacks or personal commentaries on the political leadership. And you can go to jail even if they think that's what you're doing. And now the major television networks, everything they put on the air is cleared by the government before it goes on the air. You do not have freedom of speech in Venezuela under Chavez.
MR. BUCHANAN: Sounds like --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Chavez is a left-wing dictator.
MR. BUCHANAN: Sounds like the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams, doesn't it?
MS. CLIFT: As I recall --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You don't think --
MS. CLIFT: As I recall, President Bush tried to overthrow Mr. Chavez. And I recall President Bush's reaction when they tried to kill his daddy in Iraq. And so maybe there are some personal grudges at play here as well.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely not.
MR. BLANKLEY: That's not true.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: When Chavez left Venezuela, which was just for a few days, the United States was opposed to it because we were supporting democracy at that point. And that was one of the biggest mistakes, I might add. If we had supported the people who got him out of the country, he would not be back at this point.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: On an anti-Americanism scale, zero to 10, zero meaning zero increase in anti-Yankee temperature, 10 meaning anti-Americanism boiling hot across the globe, as shown by Chavez's scornful U.N. derision of our president, rate the heat of anti-Americanism worldwide, zero to 10. Pat.
MR. BUCHANAN: John, the United States has never been more unpopular around this world than it is today. I would say this is a nine to a 10.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Really?
MR. BUCHANAN: Sure. I've never known -- have you know when we've ever been more unpopular than we are now? MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I keep hearing and hearing from various parts of the world how it is. A nine or a 10.
MS. CLIFT: Well, I think it's going to get worse, so I'm going to give it an eight, because I think there's still room here, with more than two years left with this administration, for the anti- American feeling to get even worse.
MR. BLANKLEY: I think that if the Vietnam era was, say, a six or a seven, this is a nine or a 10. But I disagree with Eleanor. It may get a little bit worse in the short term. But when the reality of the radical Islamist terrorist threat finally dawns on the world, America will be seen as being the first and leading champion of the defense of the West and the rest of the world, and the Hindus. And then our numbers will start coming back up.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I don't think it's anywhere near as high even as an eight, because if you want to measure it by the way people vote with their feet, everybody still wants to come to the United States. So in a sense, you have to distinguish between our political position and what our values and our lifestyle is. And people still, I think, like what America is all about, even though they don't like what American policy is all about.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think it's a rejection of Bush and company?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I think, in amazing measure, there is a personal element to that, a hostility to Bush. I don't think we've ever seen anything like that in our lifetime.
MR. BLANKLEY: I agree with Mort. But remember back to the '80s how, I mean, Reagan was truly hated in Europe, in England. He was caricatured. There were effigies about him. But I agree --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Reagan could go to Berlin and give that speech and have a million people show up.
MR. BUCHANAN: John, there is a Third World insurgency that is building all over the world -- Islam, Latin America, Africa -- against the white western world; in particular the USA.
MS. CLIFT: You guys are trying to turn this into a huge civilizational struggle of the white Europeans versus everybody else.
MR. BUCHANAN: It's anti-western, anti-American.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat -- MS. CLIFT: And that is sick.
MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Chavez was tapping into that.
MR. BUCHANAN: I know he is.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It's a rich vein.
MR. BUCHANAN: He's trying to put himself in the front of it as the leader.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: Love Conquers All.
Iranian President Ahmadinejad addressed the U.N. this week -- well covered. Less covered was his press conference afterwards where he spoke about world Jewry. "I am not anti-Jew. Jews are respected by everyone, like all human beings, and I respect them very much. We love everyone around the world -- Jews, Christians, Muslims, non- Muslims, non-Jews, non-Christians. We have no problem with people. What we object to are acts that are inappropriate against us or acts of occupation or aggression, of violence, of displacement of nations. Everyone should enjoy legitimate rights."
That was at a full-blown press conference.
What do you think of those words? Are they corrective in any sense and reassuring to you, Mort?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: If I depend on this man's words, I'm in deep trouble is all I can say. If you read the speeches that he has given, which are translated -- when he gives them in his own country, they are so violently anti-Semitic and anti-Israel and anti-Zionist that you cannot square them with what you had on the screen right here. That is his problem.
MR. BLANKLEY: He calls --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let him finish.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: And, you know, a man who completely denies the Holocaust, basically, is not somebody who I think is going to be able to get out of that particular attitude by what he says here.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that he has any recourse in saying or knowing -- can we justify -- not justify -- can we understand that he talks to different audiences, and does that do anything for him?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, absolutely, a man who wants to lie to different audiences is going to do very well if people don't make the connection.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, it's quite common in politics.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely. And nobody gets his speeches when he gives them in his native tongue, and they get translated.
MS. CLIFT: A lot of what he says is reprehensible. But there is a demagogic quality, and it has served his political purposes.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Sure.
MS. CLIFT: And I think we still have to confront the fact that the Palestinian issue is a festering sore in the Middle East, and until the administration, the American administration, whichever one it is, has responsibility to midwife that, because we're the only really country that can do that. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, one more quote from Ahmadinejad from that press conference: "These Zionists, I want to tell you, are not Jews. That's the biggest deception we've ever faced. Zionists are Zionists, period. They are not Jews, they are not Christians and they are not Muslims. They are a power group, a power party."
What do you think of that, Mort?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, I think it's nonsense, to be perfectly blunt about it. The fact is that, you know, the Jews have lived in that part of the world for several thousand years. The recognition of that as a Jewish state was recognized by the League of Nations, not just the Zionists. And I think this is just a way --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why do you think he's saying that?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Because it's his way of trying to undermine the legitimacy of Israel. That's all it is.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And it's also --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: This is a man who wanted --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What percentage of Israelis are Zionists?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, it all depends how you define it. But I can tell you that 80 percent of them are Jews and 20 percent of them are Arabs. The Arabs live in that country.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is Zionism an active, an energetic entity?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Zionist has meant for most people a homeland for the Jews on the theory that it's only that way that the Jews can ultimately defend themselves.
MR. BLANKLEY: Let me add something. We said, why is he saying that about the Jews? It's not just to undercut Israel. It's to gain prestige in the Muslim and Arab world, where that kind of statement, in the competition between all these --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean the Zionism statement.
MR. BLANKLEY: The Zionism statement, the Jewish statement, is all part of an effort to gain approval in a part of the world that hates Jews and Zionists.
MR. BUCHANAN: He's hitting 90 -- for him, the statements, even on the Holocaust, he said, "If it happened, we didn't do it. It happened in Europe. Why does Palestinians" --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's your point? MR. BUCHANAN: My point is, on Palestine, on Lebanon, on Iraq, he is hitting 95 percent of the Arab and Muslim world, and they are all with him. And he bangs that theme again and again and again, not caring what we say over here.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. Welcome to the club, Gamal.
Gamal Mubarak is the son of the president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, and he is the assistant secretary general of Egypt's ruling party and the chief of its prominent policy committee. Here's what Gamal Mubarak said this week: "The whole world is looking at alternative energy. So should Egypt -- including nuclear."
Gamal's father, President Hosni Mubarak, himself at week's end called for Egypt to pursue nuclear energy. And get this: The U.S. ambassador said that Washington has no problem with an Egyptian nuclear program and is willing and able to supply technology.
Question: Is the Middle East at risk of a nuclear arms race? I ask you, Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: Well, first of all, I think young Mr. Mubarak is trying to stake his claim to be his daddy's successor, so there's some self-promotion here involved.
Secondly, I think this president has opened the door to nuclear programs --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean Bush.
MS. CLIFT: Bush, yes. And, you know, while nuclear fuel may be a wave of the future, it is extremely dangerous. And to slip from a peaceful program to having reactors to produce weapons is what happened --
MR. BLANKLEY: (Off mike.)
MS. CLIFT: Excuse me -- is what happened in India and Pakistan. So I think it's much better that they not develop nuclear.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I want to give this to you, but this is a little more Mubarak. He also said, in a clear jab at the White House, "We do not accept visions from abroad that try to dissolve the Arab identity and the joint Arab efforts within the framework of the American so- called Greater Middle East Initiative," unquote.
Is this another example of anti-Americanism?
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, yeah, but look, the larger context of this is Iran, a Shi'a country, is moving towards nuclear power. Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Sunni countries, are very afraid of the Shi'a bomb and they're beginning to coordinate and go in that direction. That's why Henry Kissinger, last week in the Washington Post, wrote that we run the risk of moving into a war of civilizations in the context of a nuclear Middle East.
MS. CLIFT: Well --
MR. BLANKLEY: This is Kissinger, not Pat Buchanan or --
MS. CLIFT: But the larger --
MR. BUCHANAN: Let me get in on this, John.
MS. CLIFT: The larger --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on.
MS. CLIFT: The larger issue is that --
MR. BLANKLEY: Larger than that?
MS. CLIFT: -- this administration invaded a country that did not have nuclear weapons. And everybody now thinks they have to have them in order not to be invaded, a la North Korea.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, this is Group gone wild here, you know.
MS. CLIFT: Right.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The question I have is, do you have the feeling that as the world moves on, the United States is standing still? Do you have that feeling?
MR. BLANKLEY: No.
MR. BUCHANAN: Here's what's happening, John. Let me get into this. Look, what's happening is Egypt realizes how unpopular the Americans are, and he hits a nationalist theme; Gamal does. He hits it in terms of "The Americans aren't going to tell us what to do." Second, peaceful nuclear power --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right.
MR. BUCHANAN: -- is coming for everyone. Anyone that signs the Nonproliferation Treaty has a right to peaceful nuclear power and the means to develop it.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Three: Infallible Still?
Pope Benedict XVI spoke at Regensburg University in Germany last week. It was an academic lecture. The pontiff quoted from a 14th century Byzantine emperor. Quote: "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached," unquote.
These incendiary words flamed across the Muslim firmament. Angry Muslims torched churches, burned the papal figure in effigy. The pope expressed regret for his remarks, insisting that his quoted words from Manuel Paleologos II were not the pope's words, nor his opinions.
Quote: "I am deeply sorry for the reaction in some countries to a few passages of my address which were considered offensive to the sensibility of Muslims. These, in fact, were a quotation from a medieval text which do not in any way express my personal thoughts."
On Monday the pontiff will meet with ambassadors and leaders of Muslim countries. Question: Should the pope abdicate?
MR. BLANKLEY: No. That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard. And, in point of fact, if you read the entire speech carefully, it was not inadvertent. He started with a quote of Manuel II. And then, at the end of the speech, he closes with it. And I think it was not inadvertent. He was trying to alert the world to the question of the nature of Islam in this world, and that's why we're having a debate around the world on this point. And it was a clarion call.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This is all lovely cerebral discourse here, but do you think that's going to quiet the emotions that have been set loose?
MR. BLANKLEY: No --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Will the wound ever heal?
MR. BUCHANAN: The emotions set loose, John --
MR. BLANKLEY: This is about rallying the resistance to the anger. The anger exists already.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Will he be able to pull this back together?
MR. BUCHANAN: The emotions set loose prove the point the pope is making. The fundamental issue he's raising is, is violence endemic in the Islamic religion? Is force endemic in the Islamic religion?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In association with the jihad.
MR. BUCHANAN: Because force -- yeah, because force and reason are in conflict, and God is consistent with --
MS. CLIFT: Can we get the other side here?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He was framing this around the jihad, which is violent.
MR. BUCHANAN: The militant jihad.
MS. CLIFT: Let's get the other side here. First of all, the thrust of his speech is that Christianity is in danger of being wiped out in Europe by secularism and by the rising tide of Islam. And if he's going to go back and quote somebody from 500 years ago, let's get the rest of the context. He's talking about violent religions. Christendom has some violence in its past as well.
MR. BLANKLEY: That wasn't his point.
MS. CLIFT: This was needlessly --
MR. BLANKLEY: He was talking about today. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let Mort in.
MS. CLIFT: It was needlessly provocative when the former pope did so much for peace and justice in the world.
MR. BLANKLEY: It was necessarily --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let her finish.
MS. CLIFT: This is totally --
MR. BLANKLEY: It was necessarily provocative.
MS. CLIFT: No, unnecessarily.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort, let's go.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I do not agree that it was necessarily provocative. After all, he is still a world figure and he has to be very careful in the words that he uses, especially in these times. And I think he could have made his point without, in fact, using those particular quotes. And that -- but his point is a valid point as to the one that Pat makes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Would you address my point? Should he resign?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely not.
MR. BUCHANAN: Oh, don't be absurd.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: It is absurd.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: There are a billion Muslims out there.
MR. BUCHANAN: So what?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Have you found a Muslim who's forgiving toward the pope in this regard?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: The Muslims have not been exactly forgiving for their own sins, if I may say, which they have committed.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, okay, that's a separate issue. You mean Beslan. You mean Madrid.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: There's a double standard, okay? They are totally insensitive to what they do.
MR. BUCHANAN: Let them run their own show, the Muslims. John, they've got no right to speak inside our faith.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think the pope was expressing an inconvenient truth? Is that it? MR. BUCHANAN: That is exactly -- that's just about it, John. You are very, very close.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that too? No, you don't think that at all.
MS. CLIFT: No, I think --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You think it was a big tease.
MS. CLIFT: I think the pope has certain attitudes that he was associated with as an outspoken right-winger before he achieved the mantle, and now he is playing into the right-wing ideology here.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And you think the pope was a genius for what he said.
MR. BLANKLEY: I think, one, it was intentional. I think it was appropriate. And I think it was necessary.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I do not think the language was necessary, even though I think the point was valid.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: A huge mistake.
Issue Four: Attention, Please.
Attention deficit disorder, the breakout: Carpenters, electricians, plumbers, 23 percent afflicted; entertainers, 21 percent; elected officials, 21; health care workers, 19; construction workers, 18; business executives and managers, 16; clergy and religious workers, 15; athletes, 15; scientists, 13; teachers, 11; lawyers, 10; law enforcement, 10; media professionals, 10; bank and retail store clerks, 9.
Question: Should it concern us that 11 percent of teachers believe that they have ADD symptoms? I ask you, Tony.
MR. BLANKLEY: Apparently, according to your list, that's a fairly low percentage. I mean, everybody is overdiagnosed in this, whether it's for kids or adults. It doesn't worry me in the least.
What were we talking about? Wait a second. (Laughter.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you find it shocking that electricians are the top of the list, something like 23 percent?
MR. BLANKLEY: Shocking, yes. (Laughs.)
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I find it shocking that journalists are doing as well as they're doing. That's what I find shocking.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Ten percent.
MS. CLIFT: I actually think attention --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The lowest are bankers. Why? That concentration on making that money.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: On the bottom line. They concentrate on the bottom line, John.
MR. BUCHANAN: You make a mistake there and it is all over, John. (Laughs.)
MS. CLIFT: I think attention deficit disorder is another term for multitasking. Besides, there's a lot going on today that's not worth paying a lot of attention to. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In defense of ADD, you're constantly doing something new. It must be exciting.
MS. CLIFT: It's a serious issue for some people.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions. Pat.
MR. BUCHANAN: Major scandal in Alaska has drawn in the son of Senator Stevens and may draw in the senator himself.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Dynamite.
MS. CLIFT: More violence in Iraq because of Ramadan.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony.
MR. BLANKLEY: Against all odds, the Republican Congress, House and Senate, are probably going to pass a secure-borders-only bill next week, the 700-mile fence, and they're going to be able to go out and campaign on having delivered what the people need.
MR. BUCHANAN: Hallelujah.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort. Mort.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Against the previous --
MS. CLIFT: They didn't (get ?) the funding for it.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Against the previous trends -- well, Lieberman is going to win in Connecticut, but so are the three Republican congressmen, who were thought at one point to be in danger -- Nancy Johnson, Chris Shays, and what's his name; Ron -- whatever his name is.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson will emerge as the most influential voice in the Bush Cabinet, and with reason.