THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN PANEL: PATRICK BUCHANAN, MSNBC; ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK; MONICA CROWLEY, WASHINGTON TIMES; MORTIMER ZUCKERMAN, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT TAPED: FRIDAY, JUNE 4, 2010 BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF JUNE 5-6, 2010
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MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: The U.N., 65 Years Young.
PRESIDENT HARRY S. TRUMAN: (From videotape.) The charter of the United Nations, which you are now signing, is a solid structure upon which we can build for a better world. History will honor you for it.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Harry S. Truman, the 33rd U.S. president, delivered these remarks on June 26, 1945, 65 years ago this month, when the United Nations Charter was signed by 50 nations. That was the birth of the U.N.
In fewer than 50 years, the world has seen two horrible conflicts, World War I and World War II. The goal of the United Nations is to stop wars such as these. Quote: "We, the peoples of the United Nations, are determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights," unquote.
The U.N. Charter was signed in San Francisco June 26, 1945. It also states, quote, "The organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its members," unquote. So this means that all nations are equal in the eyes of the U.N., echoing the Treaty of Westphalia, regardless of differences in wealth, territory, power or status.
Truman embraced the U.N. cause after the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who coined the title "United Nations." Truman signed two months after the defeat of the Nazis in Europe, two months before Japan's surrender, and two months after the death of Roosevelt.
PRESIDENT TRUMAN: (From videotape.) Between the victory in Europe and the final victory in Japan in this most destructive of all wars, you have won a victory against war itself.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: The U.N. was founded to be a democratic forum. Smaller nations are supposed to have an equal say with larger nations. Has it worked out that way? Pat Buchanan.
MR. BUCHANAN: No. And it wasn't even begun that way. There's a General Assembly and there's a Security Council of 15 nations, five permanent members. Truman, Churchill, Stalin did not give away their freedom of action in the Security Council, John. Each had a veto, as all five permanent members do. And right after the U.N. was started, of course, we were into the Cold War. Stalin used his veto. Eventually the communist Chinese did.
And so, as a result, war was prevented by an American atomic nuclear arsenal, NATO alliance, Americans fighting in Korea, a war five years after that war ended. And so the Cold War lasted.
As for the General Assembly, John, that has really turned into an anti-American body of people who have got one thing in common. They all get foreign aid and they all have grievances against us. Frankly, it ought to be shut down as a public nuisance.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So you're saying that an Anglo-American alliance would dominate this so-called world equal-order arrangement.
MR. BUCHANAN: Early in the Cold War, the Anglo-American alliance and the French did indeed dominate it, and Stalin was hostile. But in the General Assembly, the communist bloc, quite frankly, got growing strength there until the anti-Americans dominate the General Assembly today, as they did through the later days of the Cold War.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And they knew that at the start, and that's the way they wanted it. MR. BUCHANAN: No, they didn't know that at the start. What they did know is, the big powers, "We are not giving up our main core of power to any general assembly. All of us have a veto."
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm-hmm. And we know the smaller nations can go in there, and they have a forum for authoritarian government that's impregnable. Correct? I mean, Cuba can go in --
MS. CLIFT: I shudder to --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- and say, "We want to be treated as an equal."
MS. CLIFT: I shudder to think we just got a preview of Pat Buchanan's next book on --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exposing the U.N.?
MS. CLIFT: -- exposing the U.N. (Laughs.)
It is a body where everybody comes together, and it is perfectly fine for us to listen to the grievances of other countries. The globe is getting smaller. We have a lot of shared issues -- climate change, water scarcity, health issues. And if the U.N. did not exist, as imperfect as it is, we would be clamoring to create it.
It's also a place where serious issues of war and peace still do get discussed, if not resolved. I mean, the most recent altercation between North Korea and South Korea, Japan, China, the U.N. -- you don't want a war between South Korea and North Korea, but you do want a place where countries can come together and discuss.
And the U.N. serves that function, especially as NATO and other regional alliances, even the EU, are beginning to struggle with what their place is in the changing world. The U.N. is more necessary now than ever before, not only for all those other nations but for us as well.
MS. CROWLEY: The United Nations is a corrupt, putrid organization that has the most perverse priorities and engages in the worst kind of moral relativism in the face of genocide, tyranny and terrorism, and in some cases even supports those things.
Let's look at a quick record of the U.N. just in their most recent times. They are unable stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. They have been unable to stop North Korea from getting a nuclear weapon. They were unable to stop Russia from invading a neighboring Georgia and allowing Russia to annex two provinces of a sovereign state. They were unable to stop the genocide in Rwanda. They were unable to stop the genocide in Darfur.
And let's talk for a second about the oil-for-food program, which was a U.N. program meant to help the Iraqi people under the jack boot of Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein was able to play that like a piano, like a Stradivarius, got hundreds of billions of dollars out of the oil-for-food program.
This is an incredibly anti-American and anti-Israeli organization --
MS. CLIFT: I'm --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on, Eleanor.
MS. CROWLEY: -- that has its priorities completely screwed up.
MS. CLIFT: Let me say one thing.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let --
MS. CLIFT: One sentence.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, no.
MS. CLIFT: Just one sentence.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: You always get one sentence. I'd like a sentence too.
MS. CLIFT: One sentence. You will get your turn.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Eleanor, please. No, it is my turn.
MS. CLIFT: No, I want to say one thing, and that is, I want to thank Monica for being so generous and blaming the U.N. for all these things, because normally she would blame President Obama. So thank you.
MS. CROWLEY: They are all under the auspices of the United Nations, and it failed.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: One of the factors in Monica's display of erudition here is that the U.N. has to respect the sovereignty of nations. And these are all nations that are involved.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's right.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But it has to respect the sovereignty of nations. So there really are limitations as to what it can do. Should she assign as much blame as she has? MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, there is a problem that I think was properly highlighted, which is that in many ways they rationalize a lot of things that are going on in the world that aren't very popular or very attractive.
Nevertheless, I still think they have -- the U.N. has a real value, and that is, it is a forum and it is a place where people do get together and talk without having to organize and make all the political compromises in order to have those conversations. Sometimes those conversations lead nowhere, and most of the time they don't, as Monica points out. And sometimes they're more productive. So I think it has a valuable role, but it is not an essential role.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Here's the point that's being made in the June 2010 issue of Harper's Magazine by John Gray, a professor at the London School of Economics. He makes the case that the U.N. today is, quote, "a forum for nationalism," meaning that authoritarian states use the U.N. to assert their right to self-governance, free of external constraints or demands, particularly regarding human rights, under the guise of Wilsonian self-determination --
MR. BUCHANAN: Exactly.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- which goes, I think, to your point.
MR. BUCHANAN: John --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Go ahead.
MR. BUCHANAN: -- you've got a very good point here. First, I agree with Eleanor on this. It is a good forum. You have a Cuban missile crisis. You can dump something in there. But here's the point. The U.N. can now intervene, John, and override sovereignty in cases where allegedly genocide or enormous human-rights violations are taking place, like Rwanda and places like that. It has asserted to itself that right. But overall --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question.
MR. BUCHANAN: -- the sovereignty issue --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question.
MS. CROWLEY: But they don't do anything about it.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We've got to get out. Will the U.N. evolve into world government? Yes or no.
MR. BUCHANAN: Not as long as we have a National Rifle Association, John. (Laughs.) MS. CLIFT: No. And John, I don't even think that's a debate they're having in law schools around the country. But I don't think -- the fact that it's not going to be a world government does not take away from its essential value in the world today.
MS. CROWLEY: No, it's not going to lead to a world government. And all you have to do is look at what's happening to the European Union right now, where the wheels are coming off and states like Germany are asserting their sovereignty because they don't want to be held hostage by other states like Greece.
There's no way -- and this was the fatal flaw of the U.N. to begin with -- there's no way that sovereign states will ever give up their national interests in favor of some sort of global agenda. And that's also why the United Nations, the Security Council, is so often locked and why they are unable or unwilling to take on humanitarian disasters.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, yeah. We got the point. Does that mean you're ruling out a world court?
MS. CROWLEY: There already is a world court.
MR. BUCHANAN: There's a couple of them.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean The Hague?
MS. CROWLEY: Yes.
MR. BUCHANAN: There's an international --
MS. CROWLEY: There are a couple of them.
MR. BUCHANAN: -- (inaudible) -- court.
MS. CROWLEY: They already exist. And the United States and other countries resist it because they don't want to cede their sovereignty to organizations like this that are fundamentally anti- American.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you regard The Hague as a true world court?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I don't know what you mean by a true world court. There are certain issues that can be brought before The Hague. Not every issue can be brought. And I'll tell you, it has moral authority and it has some legal consequences. And I would say that's true of the United Nations. It may not have political authority. It has a certain moral authority that people are concerned about, even in the worst of countries.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It also has a wonderful humanitarian history with these various councils that it has -- food for peace, that kind of thing. MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes.
MR. BUCHANAN: UNESCO --
MS. CROWLEY: But John --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This is true, is it not? Rwanda didn't work.
MS. CROWLEY: John, I've got to correct you on this. Over the last couple of weeks, the United Nations has appointed Iran to sit on the Women's Rights Council and Libya to sit on its Human Rights Council.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: The Human Rights Council.
MS. CROWLEY: Come on.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It may be that we will have to have a better world court than The Hague. That aside, I don't think that the U.N. will become a world court or any kind of a world governing body.
Issue Two: Ditch of Debt.
SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: (From videotape.) I happen to believe it's one of the critical challenges before us. Our nation has to be strong fiscally at home in order for us to be strong abroad. You've got countries who are explicitly saying to me in private, "Well, look, you know, we always looked to you because you had this great economy, and now, look, you're in the ditch."
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The ditch Secretary of State Clinton refers to is debt, the ditch of debt. It's now an all-time record. The current national debt is $12 trillion; by the end of 2011, $14 trillion. Why? Government spending. Sixty years ago, federal, state and local spending -- that's all public spending -- was one-fourth of the economy, 25 percent. Today it's 44 percent, nearly half of the economy.
Where's the money coming from that the government is going to spend? Not from the standard sources.
Item: Income-tax revenues down. Not even half of all American households pay any income taxes -- 47 percent.
Item: Getting more than giving. Every three out of five Americans get more in government benefits than they pay in all government taxes -- 60 percent.
Item: Debt-to-GDP ratio. The size of all U.S. debt will shortly equal the size of the entire U.S. economy, a ratio of 100 percent.
Republican Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, believes that the fourth financial bubble to burst, after the Internet, after the housing market, after Wall Street, will be the U.S. government itself.
FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER NEWT GINGRICH (R-GA): (From videotape.) We can't sustain having government as the fourth bubble where we are spending more than we can possibly maintain.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is the U.S. ripe for reform of federal tax laws? Mort.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, sure, we are. We absolutely need reform of federal tax laws in order to raise more revenue, and we have to have a reform of federal programs in order to cut our costs, because we're heading down a very, very dangerous road in terms of the accumulation of the federal debt.
It is bound to have enormous consequences for us on every level -- not just in terms of international strength, as Hillary Clinton was pointing out, but just in terms of the growth of our economy and the welfare of our people. And what is more, we have a government that doesn't work, because one set of politicians don't want to raise taxes and the other set doesn't want to cut expenditures. That's a formula for disaster.
And it's going to happen sooner -- we saw what happened in Europe with Greece and all of the countries in the southern arc of Europe, where they have a huge problem, where they have fiscal deficits and they have no ability to raise the money to cover it. We, for the moment, have that ability, but that ability isn't going to stay with us forever.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you want the Obama administration to do that it's not doing?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, I want the Obama administration to do two things. One is to increase taxes and two is to cut expenditures, either one of the two things. They haven't done either, really, as a practical matter.
MR. BUCHANAN: If they let the Bush tax cuts lapse, which they could well do, taxes will go up, John. But clearly what we need to do is we need to change our tax code to tax consumption more and savings and production and investment less. Frankly, you get a tariff or even a national sales tax. If you could do away with income taxes on small business, it's the best thing that could happen in the United States.
MS. CLIFT: The thing is that the --
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Eliminating loopholes. That would be helpful.
MS. CLIFT: The short-term spending that we're seeing now is designed to get us out of the recession, and it is necessary. And I think politically people have found it convenient to conflate the stimulus spending with the long-term structural. This president is serious, I think, about reducing the debt because he sees just what that set-up explained, that we're headed for disaster. But you can't -- now is not the time to pull back on spending. It will just sink us back into the ditch again.
MS. CROWLEY: I think the administration needs to do a couple of things, but I'm not confident that they will do any of them. First, when you mentioned that nearly half of the American people pay no taxes at all, I think that is an abomination. I think that every American --
MS. CLIFT: No income taxes.
MS. CROWLEY: No income taxes. I think that every American should pay something, because they are getting a collective good out of all the goods and services provided by the government at all levels. That's number one.
Number two, tax cuts. Here I disagree with Mort. I think if you want to really encourage economic growth and if you want to really encourage job creation in this country, there have to be tax cuts across the board at the corporate level --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is the Obama --
MS. CROWLEY: -- and especially for small businesses.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is the --
MS. CLIFT: And the way --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Excuse me. Is the Obama administration floating the idea of a value-added tax?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, we've heard of that idea. I don't know that they are floating any idea that involves higher taxes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think a value-added tax would do much?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I think it would do a lot, actually.
MR. BUCHANAN: It would raise a lot of money.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: It would raise a lot of money, and --
MR. BUCHANAN: Every one point raises $100 billion, John.
MS. CROWLEY: It would --
MR. BUCHANAN: But that, again, is a tax on production.
MS. CROWLEY: A value-added tax is just that. It is a tax, and it would stifle growth and put us into this long-term stagnation like we're seeing in Europe, where they have upwards of 20, 30 percent value-added tax.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It would spur --
MS. CROWLEY: You've got to cut taxes if you want growth and job creation, John.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Everybody pays a value-added tax, so that wouldn't help the poorer classes, would it?
MS. CROWLEY: If you are making the argument that you will replace the federal income tax and state income taxes with a value- added tax, that's an argument that you can make. But that's not the argument that the Democrats are making.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Three: From God's Lips to Our Ears.
TED TURNER (CNN founder): (From videotape.) I'm just wondering if God's telling us he doesn't want us to drill offshore. And maybe, you know, the Lord's tired of having the mountains of West Virginia, the tops knocked off of them so they can get more coal.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Media mogul, billionaire Ted Turner says that God may be sending a message to the U.S.: We must end America's addiction to coal and oil.
Well, easier said than done, Ted. Coal and oil are the U.S.'s two foremost sources of energy. Coal is the number one producer of U.S. electricity, yielding over 50 percent of it. As for U.S. vehicles, over 225 million of them use oil. Yet Turner suggests it's time for America to set aside coal and oil. He says this because of two major disasters. Big Branch Mine, a coal mine in West Virginia, exploded, killing 29 miners, the worst coal disaster in 40 years; Gulf of Mexico, the massive oil leak in the Gulf.
So, Mr. Turner, what should the U.S. government do? If you could write a legislative bill that would deal with America's energy usage, what should it be based on? MR. TURNER: (From videotape.) I think that the kind of bill that I want was take Boone Pickens' (solve ?). I'm a subscriber to the Pickens plan.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Pickens plan is named after oil tycoon and billionaire T. Boone Pickens. It calls for a major shift away from coal and oil. The centerpiece of Pickens' plan is natural gas. Pickens urges natural gas to replace coal, including replacing oil and gasoline in cars and trucks. Pickens says natural gas is cleaner, cheaper and in abundance in the U.S.
T. BOONE PICKENS (oil-and-gas industrialist): (From videotape.) We have natural gas, which is 130 octane fuel. It's cleaner by 30 percent than diesel. Get on it. Use it. It's great for heavy-duty trucks. That's what we should use it for. If we put all 8 million heavy-duty trucks in the United States on natural gas, we'd cut OPEC in half.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Should natural gas be substituted for oil and coal? Monica.
MS. CROWLEY: I think he makes a very strong argument here, because natural gas -- we've got enormous domestic resources, so it's right here at home. It's cleaner than the fossil fuels that we're all using, and it's a lot safer, too, than a lot of the stuff in terms of environmental consequences. So I think he does make a very interesting argument.
The challenge here -- and I know he's taken it on -- is changing the whole infrastructure and getting all of these vehicles --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean that --
MS. CROWLEY: -- starting with the heavy trucks, but then going to light trucks and then cars, because do you know that two-thirds of all of the imported fuel coming from the Persian Gulf into the United States is used for transportation?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You can't buy --
MS. CROWLEY: That's his point.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The natural-gas distributors -- there are none, I don't think, in Washington, D.C.; maybe two at most. And you've got to really hunt them out. When are we going to get --
MS. CLIFT: The Pickens plan --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- a distribution system for natural gas?
MS. CLIFT: The Pickens plan -- MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, we won't get a distribution plan until we have the resources and the application for it. And Boone Pickens is absolutely right. And one of the things, we've got to reduce our dependence on foreign oil sources.
MR. BUCHANAN: But you won't --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But we apparently have abundant natural gas, huge amounts.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes, exactly.
MR. BUCHANAN: Why don't you have these things now? The reason is it's because gasoline made from oil is the most economical. It works best. It's the most efficient. That's why we have this. Look, if you could run cars on natural gas cheaper, they would be running there right now.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think big oil wants natural gas?
MR. BUCHANAN: Sure. A lot of them are into gas.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Big oil?
MR. BUCHANAN: Sure, oil and gas.
MS. CLIFT: Well, the Pickens plan actually was kind of popular during the campaign. He met with both the presidential candidates. And now he's now on Capitol Hill lobbying behind the scenes for the climate-change bill that's up there.
MR. BUCHANAN: That was windmills, wasn't it? That was windmills.
MS. CLIFT: It's all part of his whole plan. He wants a whole transferrence. And you need infrastructure to support windmills, just as you do to support natural gas.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you behind natural gas?
MS. CLIFT: I'm behind alternative fuels and I'm behind the climate-change bill that's emerging on the Hill. And when you say one of the reasons why we don't have this, it's because we can't pass that bill --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean photo -- wait a minute. You mean photovoltaic cells, which we've been fooling around with for 30 years and have still not moved very much from their original form?
Issue Four: Mission to Nowhere.
GENE CERNAN (former astronaut): (From videotape.) And this budget proposal presents no challenges, has no focus, and is, in fact, a blueprint for a mission to nowhere. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This acid testimony to Congress by astronaut Eugene Cernan echoed the feelings of fellow astronauts Neil Armstrong and Jim Lovell. They all deplore the ending of manned space flight.
They warn that if NASA loses ground on the world stage, other countries will rush in to fill the void.
But President Obama rejects the idea of another moon landing. In fact, he sees 25 years elapsing before man is returned to outer space in U.S. capsules, except for three trips to the space station, one of which has just taken place. But after 25 years, Obama says, there is BL -- beyond lunar -- and man in space.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: (From videotape.) By the mid 2030s, I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to earth. And a landing on Mars will follow. And I expect to be around to see it.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why did Mr. Obama gut NASA's budget for space travel, Pat?
MR. BUCHANAN: I don't think he's got the real vision and the imagination that we had back in the 1960s with Kennedy, John. And the idea that we're going to use Russian rockets to send our guys up to a space station we built, and the Chinese are going to be walking on the moon in the future -- I mean, what's happened to this country, quite frankly, we've adopted some of the welfare-state idea of Europe and we've given up all these things that we had when we were a young nation that could really do things.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: Come on. I don't see anything wrong with having the Chinese walk on the moon if they want to get there. It's not our particular province. We've been to the moon already. We have budget deficits. And on other issues, you and a lot of conservatives are screaming about the deficits, yet you want to spend money on a program, the Constellation program, that's full of cost overruns, wasn't going to be able to make it anyway, to repeat a mission that we've already done. This is reorienting the NASA budget to fit the times and looking ahead towards Mars. It's not slashing the American dream.
MS. CROWLEY: Obama --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No manned space for 25 years. MS. CROWLEY: Right.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think it is the DNA of man to constantly seek fresh horizons?
MS. CROWLEY: And new pastures and new frontiers, absolutely. And Obama said throughout the campaign that John F. Kennedy was one of his big political heroes. JFK is spinning in his grave at this announcement. And by the way, JFK announced we'd put a man on the moon. We did that in a handful of years.
Obama's projections of 20, 30 years down the road, I think, are outrageous, on top of the fact that we just had the last space shuttle launch. And I agree with Pat. We are ceding space to the Russians and the Chinese at a time when our economy and national security is so dependent on satellites.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that there is a possibility of an asteroid striking the earth and do what happened when the dinosaurs disappeared?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: You know, I think --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It happened before, correct?
MR. ZUCKERMAN: -- that is possible, actually. I mean, I would have to say, unlike what the president said, not in my lifetime. That's all I'm asking. I think there's a very, very low probability of that. And nothing that we're doing in space is going to prevent that. And frankly, we --
MR. BUCHANAN: We could shoot it down.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: There isn't a single program that anybody tries to cut that doesn't have a constituency.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, a multiplanet species.
Some scientists, reputable ones, believe that over the very long term, humans can only survive if they become a multiplanet species. That's right -- multiplanet, moving to another planet. The existing problems include earth's population growth, environmental degradation and finite physical resources.
But there is another problem -- collision -- collision with a comet or large asteroid, or maybe another ice age that would bury earth beneath two miles of ice.
Two historians have written that human civilization may have at most a few centuries to become a truly space-bearing species. Quote: "Beyond that period, it's plausible that humanity will not have the collective wealth to support sustained space exploration and colonization," unquote, as reported by Peter Spotts of the Christian Science Monitor.
What's the probability of mankind having to save itself from extinction by traveling to another planet?
MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the probability scale of his being obligated to do that? Quickly.
MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: One out of 10? (Laughter.)
MS. CLIFT: Is that before or after we get the VAT tax? (Laughter.) I'm not going to worry about it now. (Laughs.)
MS. CROWLEY: This is much after we get the VAT tax. Zero.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: I worry about a lot of things. You'd be surprised how little I worry about that one. (Laughter.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: When Elena Kagan is voted by the Supreme -- for the Supreme Court by the United States Senate, which has 100 votes, how many negative votes will she receive?
MR. BUCHANAN: Over 30.
MS. CLIFT: She'll receive 68 positive votes.
MS. CROWLEY: Thirty-five against.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Thirty-five against?
MS. CROWLEY: Thirty-five against.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: Only about 25 against.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Twenty-four against.
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