The McLaughlin Group

Host: John McLaughlin
Panel: Pat Buchanan, Author and Columnist; Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast; Guy Taylor, Washington Times; Mort Zuckerman, U.S. News & World Report
Taped: Friday, February 28, 2014
Broadcast: Weekend of March 1-2, 2014

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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Putin's Zero-Sum Game.

Sochi -- Russia's epiphany, where Russian athletes won 13 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze Olympic medals; first place, more medals than the other 87 countries. That's the world of athletics.

In the world of fashion, Russia also rules. Here's Natalia Vodianova, the dazzling Russian supermodel featured on this Wall Street Journal cover.

Today Russia is undergoing a social and cultural revival. And there is the economy. Fifteen years ago, in 1999, Russian GDP plummeted to an all-time low of $196 billion, a 60 percent collapse from its Soviet heyday. In 2012, 13 years later, Russian GDP soared to an all-time high that topped $2 trillion, a 1,000 percent increase.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is now in his third term. He's showcasing Russia's status and influence on the world stage. And he has the big "mo." From the nuclear negotiations with Iran to the Syrian peace talks instigated by Putin's watershed New York Times op- ed last September, Russian diplomacy drives the agenda, with the U.S. and the EU along for the ride.

Now the ongoing Ukraine drama reveals Russia's reach, including its potential for promoting detente or entente. There's the Russian military. Putin has modernized Russia's nuclear weapons, missiles and navy, notably its exceptional submarine fleet.

This week Russia mobilized 150,000 troops on Ukraine's border, with tanks, artillery, air power, and even the space command for reconnaissance; all of this in unscheduled military maneuvers, demonstrating Russia's clout.

These exercises were announced by Russia's high command in midweek through proper diplomatic channels, but with little advance notice. They are scheduled to last through Monday, March 3.

What are Vladimir Putin's overarching ambitions for Russia? Pat Buchanan.

PAT BUCHANAN: In the eyes of Vladimir Putin, John, the United States and the West took terrible advantage of Russia when the Soviet Union collapsed. We moved the whole NATO alliance right up onto his doorstep. We cut him out of the Caspian Sea oil. We ignored him.
What he's doing -- and also with Yeltsin; basically brought the country down to where it was a joke -- he wants to restore national and global respect for Russia. He's going a long way toward doing that. He wants to restore them as a great power -- not a global power, but a dominant regional power. He also wants to create a common -- a customs union that is opposite the common market and to deal with them on a straight, even basis.

I think he's trying to create a great nation again that's respected and whose voice is heard. And I believe -- I'm one of those who believe the United States can work with him. I see him as a Russian nationalist. He's got almost the utopian idea that he can bring back Orthodox Christianity to replace communism as the philosophy and what governs the laws and the rest of it in Russia. So he's got a tremendously ambitious agenda. But I think he's behaved in this Ukrainian crisis, despite what's said, in a very responsible way.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Inaudible) -- an immediate point here, and that's St. Petersburg. In St. Petersburg, they had a meeting of an international group. What was the name of the group?

MR. BUCHANAN: You mean the G-8?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The G-8. And at the G-8, it was hoped that the president and Putin would shake hands and converse. They didn't do so.

MR. BUCHANAN: I think we've behaved -- my view is we've behaved too petty as the greatest world power toward Putin. And I think he's a man we can do business with, as Margaret Thatcher said of Gorbachev.

ELEANOR CLIFT: Well, we heard from the pro-Putin corner here. I think there's been some tension --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Don't knock that corner necessarily.

MS. CLIFT: There's been tension between President Putin and President Obama. And the Olympics were a moment for Putin to put his country on the world stage and to try to restore some of the lost grandeur. And if he behaves in an overly heavily -- heavy-handed way towards Ukraine, he will undo all of the good will he did internationally with the $8 billion that he spent on the Olympics. If he wants to show --

MR. BUCHANAN: Fifty-one billion, Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: How much?

MR. BUCHANAN: Fifty-one billion.

MS. CLIFT: Fifty-one billion. OK. (Laughs.)

GUY TAYLOR: Which is a lot more money than --

MS. CLIFT: A lot more.

MR. TAYLOR: -- (inaudible).

MS. CLIFT: Well, the point is, he wants to show that Russia is a modern, forward-thinking nation, that it's not your grandfather's Russia. And how he behaves towards Ukraine will either advance that notion --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm. (Acknowledging.)

MS. CLIFT: -- or set it back. I agree that he's a smart man. He knows when he's lost. The deposed Ukrainian president is a loser. He's not going to back him. He wants Ukraine to stay together. It's going to require a lot of deft diplomacy on his part --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm. (Acknowledging.)

MS. CLIFT: -- and on the administration's part, but more importantly, the European Union's. They're the real players in this.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, before we go to the gentleman on my left, Kerry's consternation over Ukraine.

SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: (From videotape.) President Putin, in a telephone conversation with President Obama just the other day, committed to respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine. And I think that's incredibly important. So we're hoping that Russia will not see this as sort of a continuation of the Cold War. We don't see it that way. We do not believe this should be an East-West, Russia- United States. This is not "Rocky IV," believe me.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: If Russia intervenes in Ukraine, will President Obama reevaluate the way he sees the world and conclude that this is, in fact, an East-West, Russia-U.S. confrontation? Guy Taylor.

MR. TAYLOR: Probably, but that would assume that Putin and Russia are going to aggressively intervene in Ukraine. I think Eleanor made the good point that this is a real test for Putin. Putin was trying over the last three or four years to create something. Pat referenced it. It's called the Eurasian union. This would be -- Ukraine would be like the jewel in the crown of this new union that would be a political and economic interweaving of the former Soviet states.

Now that Yanukovych is out in Kiev, Ukraine is out of the picture. So Putin's big project as the regional leader has kind of fallen apart. The question now becomes whoever comes to power in the next coming election in Kiev, will Putin be able to work with them and still do this Eurasian union?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who's talking about the Eurasian union?

MR. TAYLOR: Putin. This is Putin's whole attempt to --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you realize how big Russia is?

MR. TAYLOR: It's very big. But he's got states --

MS. CLIFT: Nine time zones, I think, or 11 time zones.

MR. BUCHANAN: That's what the big fight was about --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The biggest nation on earth. And that's going to be part of a Eurasian union? Why would he want that?

MR. BUCHANAN: John, that's --

MR. TAYLOR: Because he wants to have influence over the countries that separate Russia from Western --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Like Belarus?

MR. TAYLOR: Like Belarus, which would be another jewel in the crown of --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Belarus doesn't want to be associated with that kind of a union.

MR. BUCHANAN: It's already -- John, this is what the whole battle in Kiev --

MR. TAYLOR: Belarus is already committed to --

MR. BUCHANAN: -- was about, where Putin got Kiev to agree -- Yanukovych to agree to join Russia rather than the EU. That's what caused the explosion.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort, will you straighten this out?

MORT ZUCKERMAN: Well, I think my own view of what Putin is about is to try and basically bring Russia into the modern world, to establish it as a modern country, a progressive country by his standards, a growing economy that isn't totally dependent on oil and gas, for example, as their principal sort of economic export. And I think this is what he is about.

Now, this involves, as you say, trying to establish relationships with some of the countries that were formerly Eastern Europe. And that's what he is, in a sense, working towards. I don't think he is going to be aggressive vis-a-vis the United States. I think that is not his ambition, because it would unravel everything he's been trying to do.

MR. TAYLOR: The real --

MS. CLIFT: But there's some saber rattling.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on. Hold on.

Go ahead.

MR. TAYLOR: The real desire, though, I think, for having this union is to extend Moscow's influence over the countries that separate Russia from Western Europe, which is the biggest buyer of Russian oil and gas. And all the pipelines from greater Russia go through these former Soviet --

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, Eleanor.

MR. TAYLOR: (Inaudible) -- Russian control of the governments in those states.

MR. BUCHANAN: It's like a Russian NAFTA, John.

MR. TAYLOR: -- creates --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I feel we haven't really got a grasp on exactly what's going on.

MS. CLIFT: What the --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Putin does want something on the Black Sea. What does he want? He wants a port on the Black Sea.

MR. BUCHANAN: He's got the naval base --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why does he want a port on the Black Sea?

MR. BUCHANAN: John, he's got his naval base, Sevastopol, he's had for 200 -- Russia's had for 200 years. It is the home base of the Black Sea fleet of Russia. But it's now in the Crimean peninsula, which Khrushchev in 1954, a Ukrainian, gave to the Ukraine.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You're right on the mark. And I was in that port, and I was on a Russian vessel, and the Russian admiral took me out for a tour. I then walked through this underground tunnel that went all the way through the mountain and wound up on the seashore.

MR. BUCHANAN: You can get six submarines side by side in that tunnel.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's correct.

MR. BUCHANAN: I was there with Richard Nixon in Yalta in 1974.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, then you know what we're talking about.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So you think --

MS. CLIFT: Well, I have --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I want to know what this intriguing man Putin's --

MR. BUCHANAN: The danger is --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- vision is.

MR. BUCHANAN: The danger is --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He's come closest to it.

MR. TAYLOR: Well, but also there's something I want to raise from human-rights concerns, OK, and political rights and political freedoms and other freedoms in Russia.

One of the things that's happened with all this greatness that's happened under Putin that everybody's talking about here is a crackdown on social freedoms. There's a very big, for instance, anti- homosexuality campaign in Russia. And I'm not talking about a little government policy. I'm talking about government thugs going out and beating people up.

MS. CLIFT: Right. That got a lot of attention in this country, which is --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, what's your point on it? What's your point?

MR. TAYLOR: My point is that would explain one of the reasons why the western -- the American media doesn't so much trust Russia and --

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But you think that Yeltsin originated the anti- homosexual --

MR. BUCHANAN: No, no. Putin did.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- effort?

MR. BUCHANAN: Putin did.

MR. TAYLOR: (Inaudible.)

MR. BUCHANAN: Putin did. But in this country --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Putin did it?

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah. There's also --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about the Russian clergy over there?

MR. BUCHANAN: There is Russo-phobia right here in the United States too. But there's no doubt about it. Putin and his country are cracking down hard in sort of a fundamentalist --

MS. CLIFT: What Putin -- excuse me.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort, talk to me about some of the financial aspects of a big Russian union that would stretch from, you know, God knows where.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, he's trying to build a modern economy. He doesn't have a modern economy. And so he needs that kind of slightly more advanced economy to help him develop that economy. That's what he is about more than anything else, in my judgment, because he knows that that is the fundamental issue that he must deal with in order to build Russia back again into a superpower, or at least into a major power --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What are the probabilities of his succeeding in that?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: It's going to take him a while. I mean, what's happened -- the real problem is that oil and gas prices have plummeted, and that was the principal source of a lot of his hard currency. So he's going to have a real problem, because they don't have real exports in the way of manufactured goods. They do not have a manufacturing economy.

MR. BUCHANAN: It's not --

MS. CLIFT: Excuse me.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: They have a fundamental economy --

MS. CLIFT: What --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I'm just finishing, if you don't mind.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Will Ukraine remain sovereign?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes, it will.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Under Putin.


MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, that's not sovereign if it's under Putin.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I mean, with Putin in the act.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely, it will remain --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Working with the Ukraine.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's right. He does not want to take over Ukraine.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you hear that? He does not want to take over Ukraine.

MS. CLIFT: No. What he wants is a continuation of the defense alliance with Ukraine. And he's scared to death that the kind of protests that we've seen in Ukraine could spread to Russia. That's what he's afraid of.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: High Tech Military.

DEFENSE SECRETARY CHUCK HAGEL: (From videotape.) The reality of reduced resources in a challenging and changing strategic environment requires us to prioritize and make difficult choices.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced this week a new five-year budget for the Pentagon that could significantly reshape the armed forces.

Some details of the proposed budget: One, Army cuts. The U.S. Army is already scheduled to drop from today's current active-duty force of 522,000 troops to 490,000 next year, 2015. Secretary Hagel is proposing an additional reduction to bring the total to 440,000 troops by the year 2019, six years from now. This will be the smallest-size U.S. Army in 75 years, which brings us back to before World War II.
Here's Secretary Hagel on why.

SEC. HAGEL: (From videotape.) We are no longer sizing the force for prolonged stability operations.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's called Army-speak. You figure it out.

Two, Marine Corps cuts from 190,000 to 182,000.

Three, Army National Guard cuts from 355,000 to 335,000.

Four, U.S. Special Operations forces up from 66,000 to 69,700 soon, because, according to Hagel-speak, these forces are, quote- unquote, "uniquely suited to the most likely missions of the future."

Five, the losers: The A-10 Warthog tank-killer plan, canceled; Cold War-era U-2 spy planes, retired. Drones, unmanned surveillance aircraft -- they're hot; more.

Six, military benefits reduced, including cutbacks to servicepersons' tax-free housing allowance and hikes in medical- insurance co-pays for certain service members.

Seven, base closures. Secretary Hagel wants a new round of domestic base closing in 2017, the big, delicate surgery that produces the most wailing and gnashing of teeth -- base closings.

President Obama will present the Hagel budget to Congress, whereupon members will haggle long and hard against any military cutbacks in their home districts.

By the way, despite the Hagel reshuffle, the Pentagon budget goes up each of the next five years, from $496 billion in 2015 to $559 billion in 2019.

Question: What are the prospects for this budget passing the Congress? Mort Zuckerman.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Oh, I think they're reasonably good from the point of view of the administration. Everybody understands that there is just going to be huge fiscal pressure on the United States, and this is going to be one area that simply cannot stay immune to it.

So there is some sense, I would say, in this country that there is some kind of duplication in the military that might actually be cut without diminishing our abilities to defend the country. And we have to save money in that part of the budget as well as many other parts of the budget.

MS. CLIFT: And the Republican Party, which used to reflexively fight for more defense spending, now cares more about cutting spending. So I think you're not going to get the resistance there. And the reduction in the size of the Army, while that may upset some people, it's based on an assumption that we're not going to be fighting two major land wars in the future. And it's an assumption there, and --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Simultaneously.

MS. CLIFT: Simultaneously -- and that you're going to save on the personnel costs of all those people. And that is not something that Congress is necessarily going to fight. So I agree. I think this has a chance.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Does this budget lead to a sound defense posture? Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: My view is the -- we're going about it the wrong way. I think we continue to diminish our forces. I think it's quite enough, what we have right there, to defend the United States, the homeland, and vital allies. But we have commitments.

For example, 28 NATO countries who depend -- Japan, South Korea, Philippines are all in trouble with the Chinese. You defend the ANZUS nations. We've got all of these commitments. We have not gone rigorously and gone through these commitments that date back to the early years of the Cold War, before Guy was born -- long before that -- and looked at those and say, look, we can no longer defend this. We're going to drop this. They're going to have to defend themselves. We can defend this.

That's what you do. And then you build --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's wrong with that?

MR. BUCHANAN: That's exactly what you ought to do. We haven't done it. We keep increasing our commitments and reducing the size of our force.

MR. TAYLOR: Part of what Pat is talking about is this idea that Hagel has pushed around, the Obama administration has embraced. It's called smart defense. The idea is collaborating with our closest allies, particularly within NATO, to try and have some crossover on what different close allies are most beefed up to do.

Second thing here, though, is I think there's a little bit of overreact this week. What Hagel put forward is a proposal. As you said, it's got to go chewed up through Congress now. And Hagel really looked an awful lot like Dick Cheney did back in 1992 when he was first President Bush's defense secretary after the first Gulf War, when he announced cuts and reorgs that were actually more significant than what Hagel announced this week.


MR. TAYLOR: So this is a long time coming, and I think it will make its way through Congress.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: OK, a note of caution. Former Secretary of Defense William Cohen is a predecessor to Secretary Hagel. Mr. Cohen is a Republican who served under Democratic President Bill Clinton. And he, Cohen, has sounded the alarm, the elephant in the room, on Hagel's proposed troop reductions.

FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN: (From videotape.) If you have fewer forces, no matter what the circumstances, you're going to have higher risk.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is Former Secretary of Defense William Cohen correct, Guy Taylor, since you seem to know so much about this?

MR. TAYLOR: I don't think he's correct. I actually think, in order for the U.S. military to build up to these nation-building-size troop forces, is much easier to do than to embrace the kind of reforms that Donald Rumsfeld called for originally, which is to break the force down into a more nimble, Special Forces-capable --

MS. CLIFT: Secretary Cohen --

MR. TAYLOR: -- force.

MS. CLIFT: Secretary Cohen is -- he's technically correct. I mean, if, in fact, they're wrong and we do have to fight two major wars at the same time, then the smaller number of soldiers are going to be put at greater risk. But I think that's an assumption --

MR. TAYLOR: There's no way there will be a draft.

MS. CLIFT: -- that most experts -- most experts are willing to make.


MS. CLIFT: And secondly, the Marine Corps doesn't take much of a hit at all. And that's where the small covert operations -- that's the military of the future.


MR. ZUCKERMAN: Look, technically, as Eleanor says, he's right. It is going to reduce the risk. The problem that --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It's going to reduce the risk? It's going to increase the risk.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, no. I don't -- the whole risk factor for the United States, in military terms, in my judgment, has been reduced around the globe. You don't need to worry about the same kind of risks that you once had before.

MR. BUCHANAN: But Mort, take a look at -- what is the most serious threat of a major war involving the United States? I think it's the Senkaku Islands, which the Chinese and the Japanese are really at swords' point there. Are we going to get in --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And the Spratlys. Don't forget the Spratlys.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, we're not fighting in the Spratlys, John; but also in the Korean peninsula, if something happens. But I think the Senkakus -- are we prepared for that kind of conflict? I think that's what's -- that's the type of --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who's going to sound the alarm for the Senkakus? Are you going to take care of that?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: There's a whole different level of technology in our military.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, the point is, should the United States go to war to defend them?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's that again?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: We have a whole different level of technology in our military that makes it increasingly more effective from greater and greater distances. We don't need the kind of military forces any more than we need them in many other aspects of American life.

MS. CLIFT: And we have a greater military than our next dozen competitors combined.

MR. TAYLOR: You can't move past this issue, John, without bringing up the threats to American cybersecurity and the Defense Department's role in it and the need to shift budget resources towards that. The cybersecurity threat today is about what the terrorism threat was in the late 1990s. It is --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, keep informing us on that cybersecurity threat, will you?

Exit question: On a political probability scale from zero to 100, what are the chances that anything resembling Hagel's budget will exit the other end of the congressional process intact, zero to 100? Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: It's going to be massaged, but I think it's better than 50 percent.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Better than 50.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, "anything resembling" is a pretty broad parameter. So I'd give 80 percent. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?

MR. TAYLOR: Seventy-three.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Seventy-three?


MR. ZUCKERMAN: Seventy-four-point-eight.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I will give --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I mean, it's bound to happen to a greater or lesser degree. This is inevitable, given where we are today.

MR. BUCHANAN: The A-10 Warthog is gone. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort, hold on to your drawers. I give it a zero.

Issue Three: Arizona Executive Action.

ARIZONA GOVERNOR JAN BREWER (R): (From videotape.) My agenda is to sign into law legislation that advances Arizona. I call them like I see them, despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: One bill Arizona Governor Jan Brewer declined to sign into law this week was SB 1062, a bill that its sponsors say would advance religious freedom in the state by protecting business owners from lawsuits if those businesses refuse to sell goods and services to same-sex couples.

Opponents branded the proposed law as legalized discrimination against gays. They collected some 63,000 signatures demanding that Governor Brewer veto it. Prominent business leaders weighed in. An executive from Apple, Inc. telephoned Governor Brewer to tell her that Apple's planned manufacturing plant might be yanked from her state if she signed the bill.

Here's another factoid. Republican presidential contenders Mitt Romney and Senator John McCain both urged Brewer to veto. Plus three GOP Arizona lawmakers who voted yes on SB 1062, their own bill, changed their minds and wrote to Brewer to urge that she veto their bill.

Further background: SB 1062 was precipitated by a recent wave of legal troubles nationwide for vendors who decline to provide goods or services for same-sex wedding ceremonies.

Question: Where is the dividing line between the freedom to adhere to one's religious beliefs and the license to practice open discrimination? Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, let me give you the case that brought this law about. In New Mexico, a couple who are photographers and devoutly Christian were asked to photograph a wedding ceremony between two homosexuals, and they said that violates our religion and, I'm sorry, we're not going to do it. And they were fined thousands of dollars for not doing it.

Now, to me, this is an example of the homosexual community and its backers imposing their values on individual Christians who are exercising their freedom to live by their religious beliefs. This is not what we had in the 1950s with discrimination against African- Americans.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You don't --

MR. BUCHANAN: It's individual. And one baker didn't want to make a wedding cake. He says I don't want to do it because I don't believe homosexual marriages are moral, so I'm not going to bake the cake.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, who --

MR. BUCHANAN: They prosecuted him.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who's the bigot?

MR. BUCHANAN: That's exactly right. I think the bigotry is against the Christians.

MS. CLIFT: Well, let --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, you can argue that the Christians are the bigots.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, you can -- do they have the freedom to live by their religious beliefs, no matter what you call them?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, so what? Are their religious beliefs being violated because he bakes a wedding cake for homosexuality --

MR. BUCHANAN: If he doesn't --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- which he doesn't believe in?

MR. BUCHANAN: If he doesn't bake one, you can call him a bigot. But can you destroy his business?


MS. CLIFT: I'll leave this to the Supreme Court to decide these individual cases. But if you are a commercial establishment and you're making cupcakes or you're making port sandwiches or you're making matzo ball soup, you need to sell to whoever wants to come and buy that.


MS. CLIFT: You can't assume that somebody is gay. And how do you tell?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly. Quickly.

MS. CLIFT: And in Arizona, the business community rose up --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, let me get --

MS. CLIFT: -- and the pocketbook trumped ideology.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I want to know which way the court is going to go. Do you care to say? Quickly.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Which way is the court going to go?

MR. TAYLOR: Hopefully the court goes in favor of gay marriage. Look, here's --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, because it's all endocrinology.

MR. TAYLOR: No, I think --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I keep saying that. It's endocrinology.
What about you?

MR. TAYLOR: The people who are discriminating are --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I agree with you completely. The court's going to support it. They're not going to support this kind of what I think is going to be perceived all around the country, by and large, as bigotry.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: The Arizona law that was vetoed, John, will be replicated, however, in other states.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Interesting.

MS. CLIFT: And it will fail.

Debbie Dingell, the wife of Congressman John Dingell of Michigan, will easily win his congressional seat and continue the Dingell name in Congress that's been there since the days of Franklin Roosevelt.


MR. TAYLOR: The number of political prisoners held in Russia increases dramatically during the two months immediately following the Sochi Olympics.


MR. ZUCKERMAN: The Congressional Budget Office is correct in assuming and assessing the future of our economy at the lowest rate of growth for the next number of years, with the lowest level of employment per month, down to 70,000 a month by the end of this decade.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pay close attention to this. I predict that Dutch politician Geert Wilders' drive to create a cross-border coalition of anti-European Union political parties will succeed. This international coalition of political parties will want out of the European Union, will boost the momentum to break up the EU.


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