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MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Arizona Atrocity.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: (From videotape.) And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their death helps usher in more civility in our public discourse, let us remember it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy -- it did not -- but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to the challenges of our nation.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Jared Lee Loughner shot 20 people, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, as she met with constituents last Saturday. Loughner has been charged with five federal counts of murder and attempted murder. Fourteen people were wounded. Six have died, including a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl.

The president on Thursday delivered an address at a memorial service for the victims. He eulogized all six who perished in the attack.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: (From videotape.) Judge John Roll served our legal system for nearly 40 years.

Dorothy Morris -- Dot, to her friends.

Phyllis Schneck retired to Tucson to beat the snow.

Dorwin and Mavy Stoddard grew up in Tucson together. His final act of selflessness was to dive on top of his wife, sacrificing his life for hers.

Everything Gabe Zimmerman did, he did with passion.

And then there is nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Nine-year-old Christina had particular importance in the Obama eulogy. The president held her up as a model for a higher, better brand of politics, a standard we should all live up to, including himself.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: (From videotape.) Here was a young girl who was just becoming aware of our democracy. She had been elected to her student council. She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted. I want to live up to her expectations.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: What was it about President Obama's Tucson eulogy this week that differentiated from other eulogies of this kind? Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Because it was more than a eulogy, John. It was a eulogy for the six dead, a celebration of their life, a celebration of bravery, an Irish wake, in a way, the president responding to his audience like it was a rally speech.

But it was also a stern or fairly tern admonition, especially to the far left in this country, which has been, quite frankly, conducting something of a lynch mob against Glenn Beck, against Sarah Palin, against Rush Limbaugh, imputing moral complicity in this crime somehow because of their rhetoric. He said, "Incivility did not do this, and let us not use this to turn on one another." He said that again and again and again.

It was an outstanding speech. Obama came off as a father speaking to his family in calm terms and said, "Cool it, please. Let's celebrate these folks, not use it to divide each other." MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: It was a beautiful speech, and he found the voice that really elected him a president, a voice that spoke to all Americans in the one-America theme.

And I just say, though Pat managed to tuck in a little shot there against the far left going after Glenn Beck, et cetera, I think that the president rose above all of that. But he went on to say, while incivility did not directly cause this outburst of gun violence, that we do need to examine our public discourse.

And I think we've seen a real pulling back. Roger Ailes at Fox told everybody to cool it. Sarah Palin took down her chart with the cross hairs. And when you see that footage of Gabrielle Giffords many months ago when that target list first went up, saying how it made her feel, I think we -- I think there will be some self-restraint on the part of politicians. And I look forward to that.


MS. CROWLEY: I think it was a good, well-modulated speech. I think the tone was perfectly appropriate. And I do think that this was a presidential moment for him, because really for the first time in two years he spoke on behalf of all of the American people -- not just on behalf of his party, not just on behalf of the left, but really spoke on behalf of all of us. So I think it was an important moment.

I do think he missed two opportunities. The first one was I think he waited too long to deliver the message.

I know the memorial service was scheduled for Wednesday, but he could have come out on Sunday or Monday with a message to his own side, telling them to cut it out when they were drawing this very sort of malicious and vicious lie that somehow conservative talk or our political climate had caused this particular act of violence, which even he admitted later did not. He let his side run wild for days with this malicious lie.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the second thing?

MS. CROWLEY: The second thing is I think, even though he did give an effective beat-down to his own side by saying this did not -- there is no direct correlation between this act of violence by a lone psychopath and our political climate, I think he stopped short of a full rebuke of the complete irresponsibility of folks on his own side that still continue to try to link this act or other things with political talk on the conservative side.

Eleanor mentioned Roger Ailes and Fox and Sarah Palin's website, but I would like to see the left take the lead in moderating their talk, because for every one example you can give us on the right, there were plenty of examples on the left of the most vile, vicious and even violent kind of rhetoric coming out of the left.

MS. CLIFT: That's not true.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Arianna. Let Arianna in.

MS. HUFFINGTON: Well, first of all, I think it's really -- to not even let us have just one moment when we can actually use this tragedy to come together. I'm really surprised by your rant at the moment. But let's put that aside.

I think that the most important part of the speech for me was not that he asked us to tone down the rhetoric, but that he asked us to do more than that. He asked us to expand our moral imagination, to sharpen our empathy, and to expand the circle of our caring -- these were his words -- in order to bequeath the American dream to future generations.

This is much more than simply toning it down. It was a much more deliberate request, really, for the country to become more empathetic, to look at what's happening in the country. And I hope that he will take the opportunity in the State of the Union to go to the next step.

You know, people are suffering out there, including in Arizona, where mental-health services, for example, had to be cut by 50 percent because of the incredible strain on the state budget. So because of all the suffering, because of all the unemployment, because of the foreclosures, there is so much misery out there that it's much easier to scapegoat, to demonize, and to really turn us on each other.

MS. CLIFT: Right. I think his words --


MS. CLIFT: I think his words really did speak to everybody, because after this incident, everybody did kind of go to their corners and preach their side of the debate. And the gift that he brought to the discussion is that he was able to bring the country together despite all of that negativity.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Does Mr. Obama bear any personal responsibility for the intensely partisan atmosphere in the country, Arianna?

MS. HUFFINGTON: No, I don't really think that that's what this is about. I think that historically, if you look to any period of economic misery, going back to the 1880s -- you had the Chinese Exclusion Act. Go to the 1930s; we were deporting American citizens of Mexican descent. That happens every time there is such economic instability.

So we need to recognize that. That's not to justify it. We need to actually make it clear that people have other outlets for their anger, their frustration, their anxiety and their fear.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, let me get to your question here. Look, there's no doubt that Barack Obama participated in the rough rhetoric of the last campaign, but he is not responsible for creating an atmosphere out of which this murderer acted. Neither is Sarah Palin.

What he has done subsequently, though, is this. Politically, he is rising above this acrimonious politics. He did it very successfully at Arizona. And he is rising above it politically. I think he has moved away from the left and he is trying to be a negotiator with the conservatives.

You know, every conservative pundit and columnist I have seen -- I saw about a dozen of them last night on television saying they congratulated him on the speech; they congratulated him on condemning the outrageous rhetoric. And I do think there's been a cooling, and I think he's helped contribute to the cooling.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah. I think there's been a cooling, but -- MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about -- let's move on a little bit. What about gun control emerging as an issue?

MS. CROWLEY: Yeah. I don't think it's going anywhere. I think the left, predictably, tried to use this strategy to move on tightening --

MS. HUFFINGTON: What does this have to do with the left?

MS. CROWLEY: Because --

MS. HUFFINGTON: The gun-control issue --

MS. CROWLEY: -- the right isn't trying to --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on. Let her finish.

MS. CROWLEY: Let me just finish my point. To get to your original question, John, look, from the beginning of this republic we have always had very heated, fiery, passionate debates. The Founding Fathers actually created an adversarial system based on conflict -- three branches of government, checks and balances, two major political parties. It's built for the train wreck of ideas.

And I think where we have gone very far afield over the last week is discussing the tone. This is not about tone. Tone is about appearances. It's about the policies. And that's why the American people are engaged in this very tough debate.

MS. CLIFT: The train wreck of ideas --

MS. CROWLEY: And it should be a tough debate.

MS. CLIFT: The train wreck of ideas is fine. But invitations to take matters into your hands and all the gun allegories are unnecessary. But Obama's role in this -- he does bear some blame, because he ran on a message of bringing us together, but when he came to Washington, he really didn't have a governing strategy how he was going to make that happen. And he did fall into kind of the old traps of rallying your side. And because the Republicans didn't want to play, he had to make deals to get the Democrats (a win ?). People got disgusted with the way things were going in Washington. So to that extent, he bears some blame. He's learned lessons.

MR. BUCHANAN: Both sides have been involved --

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on. Let Pat in, and then Arianna.

MR. BUCHANAN: Look, it is -- both sides have been --

MS. HUFFINGTON: I'd like to -- MR. BUCHANAN: Hold it, Arianna. Both sides have been engaged in us versus them. It has been robust. It's been tough. Sometimes it's been over the line. I do think Obama has decided, "I've got to rise above that and be president of all the people if I'm going to get re- elected.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is there any public-policy change that Congress could contemplate as a result of this?

MR. BUCHANAN: They can contemplate --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'm asking you.

MS. HUFFINGTON: That's really what I'd like to discuss. I mean, I think what you said about the gun issue is critical here. We let the ban on assault weapons expire in 2004. And there was no way, from Obama, from the Democrats, to seriously -- to reinstate it. And right now this is the time to do that. I mean, the Republicans --

MR. BUCHANAN: Arianna, they're not going to do it.

MS. HUFFINGTON: You have Peter King, a Republican congressman, who introduced a very common-sense piece of legislation to prevent guns from within a thousand feet of a public official at a public event.

MS. CLIFT: That's kind of a -- (inaudible) -- proposal, though.

MS. HUFFINGTON: And he can't even get it --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We should --

(Cross talk.)

MS. CLIFT: Excuse me. Excuse me.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Just a moment. I would also suggest that what we can take a look at is the research done out of Stanford University which says that portrayed aggression does affect behavior. And the documentation is that young people are affected by portrayed aggression.

MR. BUCHANAN: But John --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Television aggression -- MR. BUCHANAN: Movies.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- has portrayed that; also in motion pictures.

MR. BUCHANAN: What you're talking about is something far more powerful and vivid and right in front of you, people getting shot --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But, I mean, haven't they really exceeded --

MR. BUCHANAN: You're right. Nobody is focused on that. That's --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What are the outer limits of --

MR. BUCHANAN: It's far more important than some silly little map of a targeted congressional district.

MS. CLIFT: Oh, silly little map. Going back to westerns, we've watched people shoot each other in movies, and then they get up.

MR. BUCHANAN: No, but --

MS. CLIFT: We can have this debate until kingdom come. But what we can do is put a ban on magazine clips that have more than 10 shots. And that wouldn't have stopped this guy, but it would have had him tackled after 10 shots.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Isn't that -- is that a modest case we can undertake?

MS. CLIFT: That's a reasonable thing to do.

MS. CROWLEY: This is not about gun control.

MS. CLIFT: Yes, it is about gun control.

MS. CROWLEY: This is about a lone psychopath.


MS. CROWLEY: And you know what? You can talk about Arizona's gun laws being lenient. But the state that has the most lax gun laws is Vermont. And I don't see anybody screaming about Bernie Sanders and Howard Dean, very far out there on the left, presiding over a state that has the most lax gun laws.

MR. BUCHANAN: Hey, John --

MS. CROWLEY: This is not about -- in fact, the cities with the most stringent gun laws, like Washington, D.C., last week had seven homicides.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know -- MS. CROWLEY: Okay, there is no correlation.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know which state may have --

MS. CROWLEY: When a nut wants to get control of a gun, he will find a way to get a gun.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know which state may have the most lax gun laws?

MS. CLIFT: So don't let him shoot 30 rounds.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The state with the most lax gun laws is Arizona.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, but people argue --

(Cross talk.)

MR. BUCHANAN: Wait a minute. I was in -- people came -- after this happened and I was talking to some young guys, they said, "It's too bad there wasn't some guy that had a concealed weapon to take that SOB out."

MS. CLIFT: There was one --

MR. BUCHANAN: That is --

MS. CLIFT: -- gentleman quoted who was there --

MR. BUCHANAN: I know, but --

MS. CLIFT: -- with a concealed weapon --

MR. BUCHANAN: -- there's two sides to this argument.

MS. CLIFT: -- and he said he didn't know who to shoot, and he almost shot the guy who was rescuing people.

MR. BUCHANAN: The president told you to cool the rhetoric, now, Eleanor. (Laughter.)

MS. CLIFT: He told you too, though.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Monica's point is well taken, because he's been characterized, at least on television, by a respected shrink as being a psychopathic person -- the killer. So her point is really well taken. Why not just lay it up to a factor of paranoid sociopathic behavior? MS. CLIFT: Why not tighten the gun laws so somebody who gets kicked out of his algebra class because he's too dangerous and can't get in the military can't carry a concealed gun without a permit?


MS. CLIFT: And why not have magazines that don't have 30 shots?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question.

Assign a letter grade to Obama's Tucson speech, A to F. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: I think -- given the circumstances, I think it was an A+.


MS. CLIFT: I go A double plus.

MS. CROWLEY: I would give him a B+, but I think we're extrapolating way too much from a single horrific freak tragedy.

MS. HUFFINGTON: I think it was an A, and it will be an A+ if he follows it with a State of the Union speech that is about specific policies that can actually help us bequeath the American dream to future generations, as he talked about.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean you're going to add a plus on the basis of a future event? (Laughter.)

MR. BUCHANAN: This is a conditional A. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is that what they do at the Huffington Post?

MS. HUFFINGTON: I want a companion piece.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Obama gets an A+. It could hardly have been better.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: Hu's In Charge?

Next week, Chinese Premier Hu Jintao will meet with President Obama in Washington for a high-stakes summit. The U.S. intends to press China to level the playing field on trade. As a prelude, Commander in Chief Obama dispatched Defense Secretary Robert Gates to China this week. Gates's mission is to re-establish regular exchanges with China's military, now strained by tensions over North Korea and U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.

But Gates's visit with Premier Hu didn't go smoothly. First, Chinese military leaders rebuffed Gates' request for broad-ranging bilateral talks on security issues and on nuclear weapons. Then Chinese officials upstaged the Defense secretary with a test flight of China's version of a stealth fighter, the J-20, which U.S. officials say is specifically designed for combat against the U.S. F-22.

Gates canceled production of the F-22 in 2009 after concluding -- wrongly, it seems -- that China would not produce a stealth aircraft until at least 2020. Moreover, Chinese Premier Hu Jintao was unaware of China's provocative timing of China's J-20 stealth test flight, according to U.S. officials present when Gates met Hu. This raises a question whether Hu, who is on his way out as paramount leader, is really in charge, or has already become a lame duck.

Question: Who's in charge -- (laughter) -- Hu Jintao and the communist party, or the military general staff and China's nationalistic hardliners? I ask you, Monica.

MS. CROWLEY: Who's on first? (Laughs.)

Look, you're still dealing with a communist government in Beijing, so there's a very tight relationship between the political leadership and the military leadership. Obviously Hu Jintao is the head of state. He's coming for a state visit this week to see President Obama.

And I think the number one concern of the Chinese is that they're very worried about the value of their holdings of U.S. assets. They're very worried about potential losses from what could be a rapid sell-off of U.S. treasuries. So what they're looking for, first and foremost, from President Obama and Secretary Geithner is that U.S. debt is still relatively --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How much of that debt are the Chinese --

MS. CROWLEY: -- a safe place for them --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How much of that debt are the Chinese holding?

MR. BUCHANAN: A trillion dollars.

MS. CROWLEY: Almost a trillion dollars.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How much is that of the total debt?

MR. BUCHANAN: It's -- of our total debt?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, of the current account --

MR. BUCHANAN: Forty percent -- 40 percent of their reserve. But you're talking about the military, John. The military a couple of months ago was really on a tear. We own the South China Sea. We own all the islands in the East China Sea, sail the Yellow Sea. And they threatened an awful lot of folks. And it was a mistake by the military, because India, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, all nervous, are moving back closer to the -- MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the point? What's the point?

MR. BUCHANAN: They're moving back the United States. The politicians have tried to regain control of the policy in China.

MS. CLIFT: Well, they have a transition next year as well, a turnover in leadership. And it looks as though they're leaving the long period of sort of inward growth and concentrating on economic growth, which came under Deng Xiaoping, who was really the father of modern China, and that they are getting more aggressive.

And I think what Hu is looking for when he comes here next week is mostly respect. They want to be seen as a rival superpower on the world stage. And I think their military is feeling its muscle as well.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me get to Arianna.

What does Obama want from Hu?

MS. HUFFINGTON: Well, I think Obama would want two things, primarily. He would want them to liberalize some of their trade policies so that we would be able to actually export.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And then what? The Renminbi.

MS. HUFFINGTON: And then the second thing that he would want is, you know, the continuous theft of intellectual property is becoming a huge problem. And, you know, there is another thing that already Hillary Clinton telegraphed, which is that they're actually going to mention human-rights abuses, that it's not going to be like Hillary Clinton's speech in 2009, giving them a complete pass on human-rights abuses.

MS. CLIFT: Right.

MS. HUFFINGTON: It's going to be different.

MS. CLIFT: They want cooperation on North Korea. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, welcome to Hu.

Issue Three: Red Light Rage.

PHILADELPHIA POLICE SGT. BEE: (From videotape.) They're here for vehicular traffic, for safety, to reduce accidents, to re-educate drivers into the fact that they have to be careful on the road.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Philadelphia is one of 400 cities in 27 states that have red-light cameras. When a traffic light turns red, a camera mounted above the traffic light takes a snapshot of the moving vehicle that is said to be proof that the vehicle is crossing the intersection illegally. This snapshot identifies the license plate. That information is used to send a fine to the home of the driver -- a fine; no getting off with a warning, just an envelope sent to your home with the fine. In some cities, that fine can top $300.

The battle over red-light cameras is currently being fought in the nation's courts. Litigants argue that red-light cameras violate -- get this -- the equal-protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

When a police officer intercepts a red-light violator, the police officer issues a ticket to the driver, usually face to face, that permits the driver to challenge the ticket because the police officer can be questioned whether the ticket is justified or not.

Litigants also question the constitutionality of red-light cameras because business contracts between red-light camera companies and the state government or the city government are not disclosed to the public. So claims Ted Hollander, a lawyer and part-owner of the Ticket Clinic in Miami, a business that defends fine recipients. Hollander says, quote, "In my opinion, the law violates many parts of our Constitution," unquote.

Some believe that the legality of the red-light camera will rest with the U.S. Supreme Court deciding.

Question: Do all cities practice the draconian tactics used by Philadelphia -- no warning, just a fine sent by mail? Do you happen to know?

MS. CLIFT: Well, they certainly practice it in the District of Columbia, because I got one of those magic envelopes with a picture of my car, claiming I had gone through a red light. I was turning right on red, and I went and I took a photograph of the intersection saying it was legitimate to turn right on red. And I have written my defense. The fee is $150. And if you don't pay within a certain amount of time, it's $300. And I hope they're listening. (Laughs.) But I don't know what the adjudication is yet.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You did not get any warning from them.

MS. CLIFT: No, no. Now, I imagine --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It was a fine in the mail.


MS. CLIFT: Yes. I imagine if you're really aware, you probably know there's a camera up there. But I was unaware of it.

MR. BUCHANAN: John -- MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think there should be slung underneath the camera photo control?

MS. CLIFT: Photo enforcement.

MR. BUCHANAN: No, some of those --

MS. CLIFT: There is on many --

MR. BUCHANAN: Some of those go off. They flash, John. But, no, I think it's perfectly legitimate, quite frankly, and I don't think there's any constitutional question whatsoever. I think it's going to stand up. They're all over D.C.

MS. CLIFT: I think it's legitimate, but I think if you're going to argue constitutionality, it's kind of a form of tax. And I think that's why the libertarians don't like it.


MS. HUFFINGTON: I think, first of all, you know, the results are amazing -- 63 percent reduction in car accidents. I mean, that's a major reduction. And the idea that it's against the Constitution -- why, because the Founding Fathers didn't know about cars and red lights?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, you see, it is in the interest of the manufacturer of these devices to have the highest price that they can. Now, that depends on how much -- for example, Los Angeles, I think, has collected something like $9 million on the red-light violations with the cameras. And that means that they collect more money and they have more money at their disposal to give to the manufacturers. And we don't know what the manufacturers are doing.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You don't know --

MS. HUFFINGTON: That's a separate issue. We should demand complete transparency.

MR. BUCHANAN: You've got speeding cameras, John.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, we don't know in all instances, I don't think, that indeed you are traveling at a time when it's illegal, because not all of the light can be seen in the photograph. Do you follow me?

MS. CLIFT: Well, I think they're perfectly --

MS. HUFFINGTON: (Inaudible) -- crossing a red light. MS. CLIFT: -- legitimate. But there is an argument that opponents make that they cause rear-end collisions because people are jamming on their brakes and that they don't really eliminate the side- on collisions.


MS. CLIFT: I don't really know the facts.

MS. CROWLEY: I do drive.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the story on this?

MS. CROWLEY: Look, this is a huge revenue source for very cash- strapped cities and states.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you opposed to it?

MS. CROWLEY: But I'm not opposed to it, because I agree with Arianna. This is a big deterrent to people who might take that --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You don't think it's brave new world?

MS. CROWLEY: Well, it is. But you know what? We're already in that brave new world, whether it's on the Internet, Facebook, Huffington Post. We're already there.

MS. HUFFINGTON: (Inaudible.)

MS. CROWLEY: There already is a lack of privacy.

MS. HUFFINGTON: They're looking at you when you're crossing a red light.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Trade-policy negotiations will go nowhere. The Chinese aren't going to give up a trade policy that works for them for one that fails for us.


MS. CLIFT: Some Democrats, and some Republicans too, I think, will sit with the other party on the night of the State of the Union to lessen the impact of one party hooting and cheering, the other side booing.


MS. CROWLEY: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be forced to answer for the absurd comments she made in the Middle East this week equating the Tucson shooter with Islamic terrorists. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Arianna.

MS. HUFFINGTON: All eyes will be on Ambassador Huntsman, our ambassador in Beijing, who intimated in Newsweek that he's not ruling out a presidential run in 2012.


A federal court in Florida will rule that the "Obamacare" individual mandate is unconstitutional. This echoes, of course, the Virginia federal court.

We salute Martin Luther King, whose national holiday is Monday.