The McLaughlin Group

Host: John McLaughlin

Pat Buchanan, Author and Columnist;
Michelle Bernard, Bernard Center;
Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner;
Mort Zuckerman, U.S. News & World Report

Broadcast: Weekend of November 24-25, 2012

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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: U.S. Zeitgeist.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: (From videotape.) We know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, Mr. President, tell that to the eggheads. A cavalcade of books are trumpeting America's decline. Journalist Frank Rich, writing in New York Magazine, chronicles them. Quote: "The outpouring traverses the political spectrum, from the apocalyptic hard right to the conservative establishment to the centrist Washington establishment to centrist liberalism to the classically progressive," unquote. Mr. Rich then rebuts the pessimism.
Political scientist Samuel Huntington notes that fears of American decline are nothing new. Previous periods of pessimism include the 1957 Sputnik crisis -- the Russians beat us into orbit -- the 1973 OPEC oil shock, the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal, and Japan's economic rise in the `80s.

Today's forecasts of American decline point to as proof the deepest economic recession in U.S. history since the Great Depression of the 1930s, with its persistent joblessness, declining middle-class incomes, an overseas rise of China.
But not all intellectuals think America is doomed. Harvard Professor Joseph Nye is one of the optimists. Quote: "The U.S. faces serious problems in areas like debt, secondary education, political gridlock. But solutions exist," unquote. Nye concludes that, quote, "America is likely to remain more powerful than any single state in the coming decades," unquote.

A hundred and fifty years ago, in the middle of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday. Question: If America could be officially thankful during the Civil War, what should be the zeitgeist today, Pat?

PAT BUCHANAN: Well, we ought to be thankful for this country. It is the greatest one on earth, John. And Joseph Nye is right. I don't see any country overtaking the United States in the near future, including China.

But if you take a look at your western civilization, John, socially it is in a state of decomposition with the fall of the family. You've seen the fundamental faith that created western civilization, Christianity, is dead or moribund in Europe and dying here. All the western empires are dead. All of the western countries are undergoing various invasions of aliens, legal and illegal, pouring into these countries. And not a single western nation has a birthrate that will enable it to stay alive in its present form through this century.

So I think you have to say that the great period of western civilization, the apogee, has passed, and our whole civilization is in decline. America is the strongest and last, best representation of that civilization.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, Michelle, I guess we can move on to the next subject. (Laughter.)

MICHELLE BERNARD: (Laughs.) Now that the end of the war --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How did you like that little --

MS. BERNARD: -- is upon us. We have -- look, we have so much to be thankful for. That's the one thing that Pat and I absolutely agree with. And one of the things that I think we should be thankful for is if we remember when Barack Obama was first elected in 2008. And one of the most famous statements he made was that only in the United States of America was his election possible.

The country has changed. The country is going through very difficult times. But we are still the greatest nation on earth. We have an African-American president. We have the largest number of women in the United States House of Representatives and in the Senate that we have ever seen. Americans, young students, are excited about politics. They are maybe not so happy about the way things are going in the country, but they are engaged.

People love the country. We are moving forward. The world is not in decline, particularly the United States. At least we are not Greece. China is not a threat to the United States. We are moving forward. And I think we have so much to be thankful for as we move forward into 2013, fiscal cliff or not.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know, when Lincoln made that declaration of Thanksgiving being a national holiday, that was good for the North, but the Confederacy ignored him. And he didn't give it out in the name of the Confederacy. He gave it out in the name of the North.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So that may have some bearing on what we're talking about now. If there is, I wish you'd trace it for me, because I don't know exactly what it is.

SUSAN FERRECHIO: Well, say Pat's right. Say, you know, if we look at history, we look at what's happening lately, there's this pattern where maybe we are heading into some kind of decline.

Well, let's take a different approach, back to what you were saying, that we probably can do things to stop some of the decline. We can do something to fix our economy in this country. We can do something to improve our education system, to enlighten people more, to give our kids a deeper way of learning so that they're more critical thinkers instead of just kids who are, you know, going at it on their BlackBerries and i-touches all the time.

I think there are lessons from the past, and I think America is just the kind of country that's willing to try to make the changes to stop the kind of decline that Pat's talking about, like anything from reforming the budget to comprehensive immigration reform, all kinds of things that we can do to make the country on more of an incline rather than a decline.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think? Do you think we're less pessimistic than we were?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, this reminds me of the difference between an optimist and a pessimist. An optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds, and a pessimist fears he may be right.

I think we are in a very delicate situation now. I'm an immigrant to this country.

When I came to this country from Canada, 50 percent of the top graduating quartile of American -- Canadian universities moved to the United States. This was the country to go to.

It's a very different place now, and I think we have huge problems and we do not seem to be able to garner and consolidate the leadership at all levels of government to do anything about it.

I think the one that worries me the most is that we have a huge national debt that is growing at the rate of a trillion, 300 billion dollars a year, $25 billion a week. Just think of that. That's the rate at which our debt is growing.

Sooner or later, when interest rates begin to go up again, because we're printing money like crazy, you're going to have a major, major crash. I'm not saying it's going to happen here. All I'm saying is we now have that as a major risk. It inhibits a lot of the things we ought to do at the national level --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mm-hmm. (Acknowledging.)

MR. ZUCKERMAN: -- particularly education, which to my mind is the key to everything.

MR. BUCHANAN: Let me mention education, though. Test scores in the United States reached a maximum around 1964, `65, scholastic aptitude test. They have been declining and falling almost every single year since then. They've recalibrated the tests to make them look better.
And let's take a look -- in our minorities, you've got Hispanic folks and African-Americans. Something like almost half of them in your cities are dropping out. And those that are graduating from high school are reading and doing arithmetic seventh, eighth and ninth grade levels.
We've been unable to solve this problem for 50 years, despite the greatest per capita contribution to education in history.

MS. BERNARD: Well, can I just --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Isn't it true that we are going to gain ascendancy in oil and natural gas to the point where dependence on foreign oil will practically be eliminated?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I think that's one of the most positive things that has emerged in the last few years. We've had a huge explosion in terms of the production domestically of both oil and especially natural gas. We have dramatically reduced our energy imports from 60- odd percent to somewhere around 40 percent. And it's going to go way down. That is one of the great pluses that we have to work with.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And it's going to increase consumer spending.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes, it'll increase the whole national wealth of the country.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And the strength of the dollar.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: The question is, though, are we going to be able as a country to somehow or other consolidate our leadership and agree on some programs that everybody knows we must do but politically we don't seem to be able to bring into --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: Girl Power.

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of Betty Friedan's groundbreaking book "The Feminine Mystique." In the decades since her 1963 book launched the women's liberation movement, women's empowerment has become a reality.

Item: Women in political government. In the United States, women made up 53 percent of the electorate this year, and voters sent five more women to the Senate -- one Republican and four Democrats: Deb Fischer, Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, Mazie Hirono, Heidi Heitkamp.

These five women bring the total of U.S. female senators today to 20 of the 200 Senate body. In the House of Representatives, at least three more women were elected, bringing the total number of congresswomen to 77, with many races yet to be called. This means about 100 women will be serving in the U.S. Congress as senators or representatives starting in January.

Wait, there's more. Item: Women in business. Women are now CEOs of 35 Fortune 1000 companies, with rising female executives poised to double that number over the next five years, by 2017.

Wait, there's more. Item: Women in educational institutions. Women comprise a majority, over 50 percent of enrollments in colleges and universities at the undergraduate and graduate levels, according to the National Center of Education Statistics.

Wait, there's more. Item: Women athletes. The London Olympics this summer showcased the prowess of women athletes from all around the globe, including the much-admired U.S. women's soccer and volleyball teams.
So from the international space station, with its 31 women visitors since its first orbit to the Supreme Court of the United States -- three women out of nine members -- it's safe to say the only major barrier an American woman has yet to break is to be elected president or vice president of the United States.

Why don't we learn from elsewhere? German Chancellor Angela Merkel is arguably Europe's most important leader. Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, is a close second. Women are also heads of government: Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner; Brazil, Dilma Rousseff; and Australia, Julia Gillard, to name a few.
Question: Is it evident from the trends that 2016 is Hillary Clinton's time to run for U.S. president? Michelle.
MS. BERNARD: If Hillary Clinton wants to run for president, 2016 is the year to do it. People are behind her. She has been an exceptional secretary of state during the Obama administration. I think she's quite capable. And there is consensus and momentum behind her. The big question is, does she really want it?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the other reason why she should seize the moment now?

MR. BUCHANAN: She'll be in her seventies if she doesn't seize it all.


MR. BUCHANAN: Nobody has ever run --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- look at your leader, Ronald Reagan.

MR. BUCHANAN: He ran -- won at 69 years old. She'd be the oldest person ever to run for president. She's got to do it in 2016, John.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the other reason why she has to do it?

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, I mean --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Because other women are in line.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, if she waits for eight years --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You've got a governor --

MR. BUCHANAN: -- she's going to -- there will be other --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You've got governors out there, et cetera.

MR. BUCHANAN: Look, that is her year, John. And I don't -- I'm not sure. I think she will start off very strong. But I remember Bob Dole started off over 50 percent running for the Republican nomination. I think she is --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you do something to Dole, by the way?

MR. BUCHANAN: Yes, we did. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You ran for president.

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah, we --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: New Hampshire.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, we beat him in New Hampshire and we cut him up a little bit. But, John, let me get --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think you unnerved him.

MR. BUCHANAN: Let me tell you, if I were a young Democrat and Hillary Clinton was at 57 percent, that is exactly the time you want to get in and run against her, because overwhelming favorite and people will take a look at the challenger. It's the perfect time, because everybody else will clear the field.

MS. BERNARD: But that's what's so --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Dole recovered. What happened to you? Down the chute.

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah, that's -- I'm on your show. (Inaudible.)

MS. BERNARD: I thought we were talking about women. (Laughs.) Going back to women in 2016, one of the things that's so wonderful about where we are in the country now is we actually have women running against women also. It's not just whether a woman is going to come in and oust some man who's in, you know, a Senate seat, a House Republican -- a House of Representatives seat. We could also see it happening in 2016 on the Republican ticket or on a Democratic ticket for president.

MS. FERRECHIO: And I just think --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You think --

MS. FERRECHIO: I just think overall gender is less of an issue, period.

MS. BERNARD: Absolutely.

MS. FERRECHIO: Everyone knows that if Barack Obama hadn't come along, it's very likely that Hillary Clinton would be in the White House right now. So I just -- I don't think gender itself -- remember Geraldine Ferraro, when she became the vice presidential nominee.

MR. BUCHANAN: Look at Sarah Palin.

MS. FERRECHIO: But let's think back to Geraldine Ferraro. What a huge deal that was. It's not going to be that big of a deal when we have a woman in the White House or -- as a vice president or president.


MS. BERNARD: And thankfully the way we talk about women candidates has changed. I'm sorry, but I think it's important to note, in 2008 the question was how is Sarah Palin going to be vice president when she has so many children; talks about Hillary Clinton's hair and her cleavage. That way of talking about female candidates has completely changed since 2012. Despite the fact that Pat Buchanan has a smirk on his face, those days are behind us.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Inaudible.)

MS. BERNARD: (Laughs.)

MR. ZUCKERMAN: 2016 is the perfect year. In the first place, Bill Clinton and Hillary did a hell of a job in this election to try and nominate and elect Obama. There's nobody there in her way. If somebody else gets that nomination in 216 -- 2016, rather -- be it a Democrat or Republican, and becomes president, she won't be able to run for eight years. So that's her last chance, it seems to me.


MR. ZUCKERMAN: She's got the political base. It's the right time for her age-wise. And she is -- she's really a revered figure.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And she's going to have Obama pushing for her.

MS. BERNARD: And the demographics --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He owes it to her.

MS. FERRECHIO: He owes it, yeah.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What the Clintons did.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely.

MR. BUCHANAN: You know, John --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did Bill Clinton save the election of Barack Obama --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: He certainly --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- by going out and saying it was the Republicans who brought this on?


MS. FERRECHIO: No, Bill Clinton saved him by saying --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: He was critical --

MS. FERRECHIO: -- I couldn't have fixed it either.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Right. Right.

MS. FERRECHIO: That was a pivotal moment.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: His speech at the convention --

MR. BUCHANAN: I think you're --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: His speech at the convention --

MR. BUCHANAN: I think you're exaggerating Hillary Clinton's appeal four years from now. The country has seen an awful lot of the Clintons, and I'll tell you -- and I think when you get up to -- four more years, people are going to be excited about the idea of Hillary Rodham Clinton? I don't think so. She's very accomplished, ran a great campaign in 2008, but I don't think so.

MS. BERNARD: I disagree.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that the Benghazi matter, the killing of our --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Ambassador.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- of our ambassador and three others could be an embarrassment to Hillary Clinton?

MS. FERRECHIO: She's managed to dodge it so far pretty well.


MS. FERRECHIO: And I expect that she will --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I don't know the answer to that. I think it's more of a --

MS. FERRECHIO: -- be able to do that. I think they'll protect her.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah, that lays more on -- she stood up there and said I take responsibility for it.

MR. BUCHANAN: But, you know, if they get into the security aspects, this guy pleading and begging for help, blowing a hole in the embassy and not sending more security over there, and the State Department's responsible, she could be hurt very badly.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, Petraeus, you know, went over there --

MR. BUCHANAN: I know he did.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: -- and interviewed everybody. It'll be very interesting to see if he has anything to say about this.

MR. BUCHANAN: The CIA also had a role there.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: She's an experienced senator herself and she survived "Troopergate," "Travelgate," Whitewater, and the Senate impeachment trial.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This woman knows how to --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah, she wasn't directly involved in any of these.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- how to survive.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: She's certainly an experienced politician in terms of dealing with political crises. That's one of the great joys of being married to Bill.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Three: Brave New World.

MALE STUDENT: (From videotape.) It's dumb. Why are they going to track me during school?

FEMALE STUDENT: (From videotape.) They're tracking us like we're convicts or something.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: A number of large schools in Texas are experimenting with a new technology. It's called radio frequency identification, RFID -- electronic microchips embedded in student ID cards, operating like highway toll tags.

The ID cards must be worn, strung around the neck -- (inaudible) -- and must always be visible in school and on school grounds. Students are tracked inside the campus to record accurate attendance, which includes those who miss roll call for whatever reason.

Why the big deal over student attendance? Guess. That's right -- money. The Texas schools' funding is determined by the number of students in class each day. The school system receives $30 per day per student, but not if the student in attendance is marked absent.

Officials say one school district in San Antonio had been losing $1.7 million a year due to erroneous counting.
Not everybody likes this mandatory RFID locator technology. Privacy advocates are troubled. They say the locator technology is, quote-unquote, "dehumanizing."

JAY STANLEY (ACLU policy analyst): (From videotape.) Today in the schools, tomorrow in workplaces and who knows where else.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is tagging kids an Orwellian harbinger of Big Brother?

MS. FERRECHIO: Let me jump in here and just say right off the bat, one part that wasn't in the walk-up to the stories -- somebody in Texas put in a Freedom of Information request to the San Antonio school district, was able to get the names and addresses of every single child and then figured out a way that you could use the RFID to track every one of those kids. So absolutely.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Was it a commercial outfit?

MS. FERRECHIO: And it was a Texas watchdog group that took it on to see how private this would be for these kids. In other words, you could track -- find where these kids live. This radio tracking device -- while the school says they can track the kids while they're there, anyone can track those children with the same kind of tracking system once they leave the campus.

So how are you ensuring anyone's privacy? You're not. In fact, already they've shown that nobody in the school district is actually monitoring those kids right now. They're just walking around with those things on, and no one's doing anything to keep track of it. The whole thing just to me seems very, very dangerous at the very least for these kids, not to mention a complete invasion of privacy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: There's an economic dimension to it --


MS. FERRECHIO: One-point-seven-five million they're going to get out of it.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- they're paid in terms of what the student enrollment is.

MS. FERRECHIO: Attendance.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And that depends on attendance. And I think it's 30 bucks a day if they're in school.

MS. FERRECHIO: Much more for special-needs kids because they get Medicaid reimbursement.

MR. BUCHANAN: That goes back to --

MS. FERRECHIO: It's kind of a big racket.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How does it (settle down ?)?

MS. FERRECHIO: The idea is -- look, for safety reasons, if you're missing a kid, something like that would be fantastic. You could find them right away. But how often would it be used that way?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Does anyone on this program, on this particular segment, defend the tracking system?

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, let me --

MS. BERNARD: I think the RFID should be used to track sex offenders.

I honestly cannot understand why we are putting a focus on figuring out if a child is in school or not when simple attendance would do it. If you want to talk about protecting children and doing what's in the best interest of children, put the trackers on sex offenders and focus on --

MR. BUCHANAN: John, the very fact --

MS. BERNARD: -- the education system.

MR. BUCHANAN: The very fact that we're talking about this type of invasion tells you that what we were talking about earlier -- you didn't have this kind of stuff or need this kind of stuff in the 1950s --


MR. BUCHANAN: -- or in previous decades. Now people are thinking about doing this stuff. And it's a manifestation, I think, of the decline we were talking about.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know that Apple and iPhones and Google's Android are secretly mapping customers' whereabouts now to individuals' GPS coordinates. They can tell you what you shop for in Safeway or a market --


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- where you bought your last booze --

MR. BUCHANAN: Sure. They send you ads based on your previous purchases.

MS. FERRECHIO: But you buy -- you make a choice.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- whether or not you've been to Vegas and how much money you lost.

MS. FERRECHIO: You make a choice when you buy that.

MR. BUCHANAN: People send me ads for books, John, based on what you bought earlier, you know. And they know exactly what your interests are.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, there's a broader question here of privacy we ought to get into in a future show. It isn't just confined to these student kids.

Issue Four: Portrayed Aggression.

Recent acts of violence include 12 killed in July in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado that was screening "The Dark Knight," the latest "Batman" movie. The horror left many Americans reexamining the causes of violent mass murder in the U.S.

Aurora perpetrator James Holmes called himself "The Joker" after a sadistic movie villain in the "Batman" franchise portrayed on the big screen. So is there a psychological link between the portrayed aggression on screen and the real aggression in our streets? Does depicted violence cause real violence?

Research says yes. A study was conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the branch of medicine that deals with younger persons in physical and rational development. In a three-year national television study, it was found that by the age of 18, the average child will have watched on television 16,000 depicted murders, and acts of violence short of murder; 200,000 of those.

Long before this research, Albert Bandura, a psychologist and professor at Stanford University, published a landmark study, "Imitation of Film-Mediated Aggressive Models." After extensive research with 100 children, Bandura concluded that those who have seen aggressive behavior on screen exhibited more aggressive behavior in life than those who had not; in fact, twice as much aggressive behavior.

Question: Switzerland, among other countries, do not buy -- that is, purchase -- American television programs when there is portrayed aggression of violence. They feel in those countries it creates real aggression and causes crime, so they don't buy it. They don't let their people see it.

Is this a question for the Federal Communications Commission, the FCC, in the United States? And, if so, is the FCC asleep at the switch? Or is it beyond their jurisdiction? Then whose jurisdiction is it? Is it the president? Is it anybody in the Cabinet? Where would you lodge a complaint or a recommendation in this regard? Can you speak to that?

MS. BERNARD: I mean, I would -- the complaint I -- first of all, absolutely, at least my personal belief is based on every study that I've seen that there is an absolute correlation between what you watch and violent behavior. But the way you deal with it as a parent is to turn off the television. You know, you have absolute control to vote with your remote control.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, there's so much --

MS. BERNARD: You don't have to let your children watch it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- so many other -- there are so many other means of getting the TV in today's --

MS. BERNARD: There is. But you know what? As a parent, I would have to say that I don't believe in democracy within my household. Turn your television off. You don't have to let your children watch it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Financial Times had an extremely interesting piece about how television viewing has dropped off dramatically.


MS. FERRECHIO: But it's been replaced by violent video games the kids are all playing.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, it's also replaced by looking for television on a hand-held instrument.

MS. FERRECHIO: Sure, sure. Everyone -- people aren't looking at a TV. The larger issue is the saturation of violent images, violent games, violent this, violent -- look, there are always going to be crazy people like the shooter in Colorado. The larger issue, though, is this stuff good for kids? No, no, no. But again, the parent has to be the gatekeeper. And the problem in society is many families, the parent is not playing gatekeeper. So these kids are seeing this stuff --

MR. BUCHANAN: Right, but it's very tough --

MS. FERRECHIO: -- and the result is a more violent society. So there you go.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They have the instrumentation to receive webcasting.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now, there's a word called broadcasting. That's what we do here. Then there's webcasting.

MR. BUCHANAN: But John --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Webcasting is sweeping the horizon.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, your problem --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes or no?


MR. BUCHANAN: The problem is the enormous power --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And this program is available --

MR. BUCHANAN: -- the enormous power --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- by webcast.

MR. BUCHANAN: Cut it out.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You simply put on the McLaughlin Group.

MR. BUCHANAN: But you can't get a parent -- you can't expect, you know, single parents running around. Look, the enormous power of Hollywood and all the people that make pornographic films, violent films, they've got the protection of the First Amendment. They've got billions of dollars. They can jam it through all kinds of different systems into the kids' heads. And it's almost impossible to stop. And you talked about who in government. The First Amendment protects all this garbage.

MS. BERNARD: And that's exactly what it is. It is garbage. And there will always be parents who want to go to the president. They want to go to the government. They want to go to the FCC. But the bottom line is, even with the webcasts, even with these games, you know, it's not some 10-year-old kid that has the income to buy the games.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I refuse to believe --

MS. BERNARD: The parents have to say no.

MS. FERRECHIO: That's right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- that we're at the mercy of the amendment.

MR. BUCHANAN: It's historic decline.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know, I don't believe that.

Predictions. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Obama will have more problems with the Democrats in getting a deal than he will the Republicans.


MS. BERNARD: I predict in 2016 Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for the president of the United States.


MS. FERRECHIO: There will be a tax deal in Congress that will involve tax reform and closing loopholes.


MR. ZUCKERMAN: The Federal Reserve is going to continue its very, very stimulative monetary policy for at least the next two to three years.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Michelle, I'll piggyback off you: And then Hillary will win.


(C) 2012 Federal News Service