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Why Does World Hate America?; Do Unruly Parents Need Anger Management Classes to Attend Little League Games?; Should You Go to Jail for a Messy Lawn?

Aired August 26, 2002 - 19:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: CROSSFIRE. On the left, James Carville and Paul Begala. On the right, Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson. In the CROSSFIRE tonight -- from Baghdad to the Earth Summit on free trade, and free speech.



ANNOUNCER: Why does the rest of the world seem to hate the U.S.?

Do you need more than a ticket to get into the game? Like a class in anger management?

And if you have a messy lawn, you may be headed to the slammer. Tonight on CROSSFIRE. From the George Washington University, James Carville and Tucker Carlson.

JAMES CARVILLE, CO-HOST: Welcome to CROSSFIRE. Tonight, we are tackling two great American traditions: Getting bent out of shape at the ball game and letting your front yard turn into a dump. But first, the best excuse around for not cutting the grass. Stay inside, try to keep cool. Here comes the CROSSFIRE "Political Alert."

Dick Cheney didn't exactly declare war on Saddam Hussein today, but during a speech in Nashville, the vice president said the U.S. can't and won't wait until Saddam obtains nuclear weapons before taking action against Iraq.


RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If the United States could have preempted 9/11, we would have. No question. Should we be able to prevent another, much more devastating attack? We will. No question.


CARVILLE: White House spokesman Ari Fleischer later backed up the vice president, saying Cheney was not making a case for preemptive attack but what Fleischer calls "the preemptive doctrine." And Fleischer says in doing so, Cheney presented the administration at the same time the White House is deciding to go to war with Iraq without congressional approval.

Wait a minute. Just last week, President Bush said he hadn't made up his mind about Iraq. Now Cheney is all but declaring war. I guess we really know who is running the country, or his mouth.

TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST: James, last week you criticized the administration for moving too slowly and not making up its mind. Now you're criticizing it for going too fast.

CARVILLE: I'm not.

CARLSON: There's nothing about what Cheney said that you can argue with.

CARVILLE: They're just moving in two different directions. The president is not moving. The vice president is moving, and what I'm saying is, why isn't somebody in charge of this administration?

CARLSON: I actually think they probably speak more than you might imagine. (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

Just about everyone agrees that some day, there will be a Palestinian state. But what will it look like? The answer became a little clearer today when the Palestinian Journalist Syndicate issued new rules for reporters covering the conflict with Israel. From now on, Palestinian journalists will not be allowed to take photographs of children with guns or children dressed as suicide bombers. Such images, said the union, quote, "serve the interests of Israel and its propaganda against the Palestinian people, even if those images are real." In other words, Palestinian reporters are being forced to lie for the sake of truth, distort in the name of clarity. Hate is love, war is peace, George Orwell said it all 50 years ago.

CARVILLE: The best way to do is not have children that are suicide bombers and not having children carrying guns around, carry schoolbooks.

CARLSON: But when you subvert the press, that is always the first sign of totalitarianism.

CARVILLE: The first problem is that these children have these guns. The second problem is, if you roll back the press, they won't let the press report on it. But the big problem is, you've got these damn kids with guns. These kids need schoolbooks. They need to be learning and not shooting people.

Normally I wouldn't get too excited about what a Republican candidate in Alabama has to say about President Clinton's Cabinet. But GOP Congressman Bob Riley who is challenging Democratic Governor Don Siegelman has gotten downright personal. Riley is a big admirer of President Bush and thinks he has a better cabinet. But get a load of why.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BOB RILEY, GOP CANDIDATE: But if you look at the cabinet that they put together, it's the difference between hiring a James Carville or a Don Rumsfeld. A Colin Powell or a Paul Begala.


CARVILLE: This man, as been reported, has a lien put on him because he's a tax derelict. If they could put a lien on his mouth, Alabama would be a lot better. What kind of...


CARLSON: I'm sorry he hurt your feelings, James. But if I can just refresh your memory with two words, Janet Reno. The largest embarrassment of the last eight years...


CARVILLE: I'll tell you, much better attorney general than John Trashcroft (sic).


CARVILLE: If they put this guy's brain in a hummingbird, it would fly backwards.

CARLSON: Yesterday, New York Democrat Dennis Neal (ph) confirmed reports that two of his seven children were born out of wedlock. Neal (ph), who is running for lieutenant governor on a ticket with gubernatorial candidate Carl McCall admitted to fathering two children, each by a different woman, and each while he was still married to his first wife. By any measure, it's an embarrassing story, except this being New York, it's not Neal (ph) who is embarrassed. It's Andrew Cuomo, who is running against Neal (ph) and McCall in the Democratic primary.

Cuomo's aides are accused of spreading the story. Cuomo denies it, but analysts say the scandal is likely to hurt his campaign nonetheless, mostly because New York voters are known to prefer candidates with love children, flamboyant mistresses, philandering husbands or some other tangible sign of a screwed-up personal life. In response, Cuomo is said to be considering alcoholism, shoplifting or a high-profile divorce.

CARVILLE: And Arkansas Senator Tim Hutchinson decried this kind of adulterous behavior.


CARLSON: Be honest here, James. Take a deep breath. I was referring also to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.


CARVILLE: You attack New York all the time. They got fine people that live in the state of New York. CARLSON: I love New York.


CARVILLE: The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on oversight investigation has found the perfect cure for boredom. Committee member and Florida Democrat Peter Deutsch complains the panel's Republicans are overwhelmingly focused on one thing -- or one person, I should say -- Martha Stewart. Deutsch says the committee has found no smoking gun and has revealed more than 1,000 of Martha's e-mails, phone records and other paperwork relating to suspected but so far unproved insider trading allegations.

So the committee have asked Martha for another batch of records. Hey, guys, leave Martha alone. Stop mugging for the camera, and get some real work done. Now, if you want to know what stupidity is, is this Congress with $200 billion deficit going through 1,000 pieces of Martha Stewart's e-mail.

CARLSON: James, you admitted last week that you are defending Martha Stewart because you thought she had a pretty cute figure. And I understand that.

CARVILLE: She had a pretty cute face. I said pretty good face.

CARLSON: Face, OK. But at a certain point, you know, I don't know, justice needs to be done. And if she committed a crime, let them do it.

CARVILLE: I agree. And let the Justice Department do it. You got these idiots in the Congress that are trying to make political...


CARVILLE: ... while the deficit is out of control.

CARLSON: Tim Hegman (ph), the Democratic candidate for Ohio governor, has been having trouble raising some money. Not a problem, thanks to his wife, actress Kate Mulgrew (ph). "Star Trek" fans among you will no doubt recognize her as Captain Katherine Jenway (ph) of "Star Trek Voyager" fame. She convinced other "Star Trek" cast members, including Captain Kirk himself, actor and political dabbler William Shatner, to attend a weekend fund-raiser. $200,000 later, the only thing missing was a comment from another Ohioan and "Star Trek" fan who was otherwise occupied this weekend making license plates. Fortunately, we can supply it via videotape.


JAMES TRAFICANT, FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Experts around the country say to solve the problem, Congress should give them more money. Beam me up!


CARLSON: Now, James, I mean, as a long-time Democratic strategist, what is it about Ohio Democrats and "Star Trek?"

CARVILLE: I don't know.

CARLSON: We have to get to the bottom of that.


CARVILLE: ... "Star Trek" again. Was that guy -- they had some guy that looked like me. What was his name?


CARVILLE: Dr. Spock, yeah. Everybody would get all this e-mail from people saying this is Spock. Was he a good guy or a bad guy?

CARLSON: I think he was deeply evil.

CARVILLE: Deeply evil? I heard he was a good guy.

CARLSON: Some 60,000 delegates from 200 or so nations have gathered in South Africa to blame America first. This misnamed United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development is actually one long whine aimed at the United States. For the next 10 days, we'll be hearing why the U.S. is to blame for virtually all the world's problems. Why do they hate us? Do they hate us, in fact? And why should we care if they do?

In the CROSSFIRE tonight with some answers is Jamie Dettmer, "The Times of London's" former Gulf War correspondent, now senior editor of "Insight" magazine here in Washington. With him is Republican strategist and former RNC communications director Cliff May. He's now with the Foundation for the Defense of the Democracies.

CARVILLE: How are you doing today? Welcome to CROSSFIRE.

Cliff, is it a good thing that all these people hate us? I mean, does that make you happy?

CLIFF MAY, FOUNDATION FOR THE DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES: It doesn't make me happy. You know, I think it's kind of an inevitable thing. When you are in kind of a leadership position, there is going to be a lot of people who don't like you in that position and going to want to tear you down. You surely understand that. You've been in the leadership position many times in your life.

All the Europeans, by the way, don't dislike us. Maggie Thatcher doesn't dislike us. I think most Slovak farmers dislike us. Some people who drink...


MAY: Some people who drink very good French wine and eat very good cheeses, they are kind of resentful of us. I think it's a problem, but it's a problem we can live with. If you are going to be a leader, you have to lead. You can't go around saying, you take a vote, tell us what we should do. CARVILLE: Let us look at "The Economist," which is a very conservative, highly respected, pro-free market, generally pro- American publication said: "Mr. Bush does not seem as clever as Bill Clinton." Wow! "His folksy manner comes over as simple-minded." Of course. "He goes his own way in a direction Europeans seldom like. He has withdrawn from the Kyoto treaty on global warming, scrapped the Anti-Ballistic Treaty so that he can develop missile defenses, shunned new international criminal court and taken protectionist measures to safeguard America's steel producers for the sake of campaign money and votes."

All right. Why would he go -- why can't this president convince people that American policies are good for the world?

MAY: Part of the reason is that Europe is involved in a very interesting exercise right now, giving up national sovereignty to bureaucrats in Brussels, to judges in The Hague, to international organizations. We should wish them well. God bless them. It's not an exercise we're involved with. The Kyoto treaty, in my view, and in view of a lot of people, would hurt America economically without doing anything good for the environment. Missile defense is something we may want, we should have, and we shouldn't allow the Europeans to have veto power over ourselves...


CARLSON: I'm obviously -- the Belgians disapprove of some American policies. I'm as wounded by this as I imagine you are. * I know, James is our Belge (ph) supporter here. But I must say, I wonder why we should care. The United States, unlike Germany and Russia and Japan, has never tried to enslave the world. In fact, every year the U.S. gives more than $30 billion a year, for free, to the rest of the world. Why do they hate us?

JAMIE DETTMER, SENIOR EDITOR, "INSIGHT" MAGAZINE: Well, first of all, your first question is, why should you care? Well, one is because your really enemy enemies can exploit those divisions. American power since 1945 has been based on three factors. One is military strength, the other one is the largest economy in the world, but the third has been the ability to sustain permanent alliances and build up organizations like the United Nations, the IMF, the World Trade Organization, et cetera.

That's been a crucial element in American power, and that is being jeopardized now. In terms of this hating, I mean the word is too strong. But Cliff is diminishing the problem here. You know, I was covering in the 1980s, the anti-cruise, anti-Pershing protests. That was basically your usual anti-American left-wing suspects. This is right across the board. You are seeing this amongst conservatives in England, in Germany. You are seeing phenomenal poll ratings of 85 percent of Germans not trusting America now. You're seeing a poll in the "Daily Telegraph" last week that said 58 percent of Britons do not want an invasion of Iraq. You should be listening to your friends a little bit more, Tucker.

CARLSON: Let me just back up and just say one thing. I cannot let this go uncorrected. You say that American power grew out of these multinational organizations. I'll remind you that we won World War II before the U.N. even existed.


CARVILLE: The British and the Russians will say they had something to do with that, too.

CARLSON: That would be partly true, but they never led the world in the sense that we have.

But I want to point to one of the critics, and that's Thabo Mbeki, who is now the president of South Africa. I want to read you a quote. He had sort of a long-winded speech the other day implying that America is responsible for a lot of problems. "For the first time in human history, human society possesses the capacity, the knowledge, the resources to eradicate poverty and under-development." The obvious pitch, the first world, save us from our own problems.

But the fact is that President Mbeki and a lot of leaders like him are responsible for their own problems, not allowing AIDS drugs, for instance, to be given to rape victims in South Africa, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Should we be blamed for the domestic problems of leaders like Mr. Mbeki?

DETTMER: No, and of course -- and a lot of countries on the AIDS issue, Uganda, has made tremendous progress of their own in Uganda. But you know, the fact is that you should be listening to friends, because your danger is that in the end, if America doesn't restrain itself, you're going to provoke groupings of countries which will restrain America instead. You don't want that to happen.

CARVILLE: I'd kind of like be, like, why do we give a damn (UNINTELLIGIBLE) think of us.


CARVILLE: Let me put up a graphic here, because apparently Americans are kind of hung up about this. Go ahead, let me see this. CNN poll -- U.S. troops in Iraq with no support from Western allies. Favor 20, 75 oppose. It looks like that the 20 percent of the yahoos, that I don't give a damn about no damn Europeans, represent about one- fifth of America, while three-quarters of America seems to think that it would be a good idea. Why doesn't this administration try to reach out to them?

MAY: Well, you know what, and that -- you're right, we should try to make the case to our European allies for what we think we need to do. And I think we can make a persuasive case. And we also have to point out to the Europeans that in the past they haven't always been right. Look, in Bosnia and Kosovo they needed the United States to take care of something, a problem in their backyard, and Clinton went ahead and did that.

But American power was necessary. Rwanda, the Europeans I think disgracefully looked the other way while terrible carnage was taking place. Going back to World War II, where a lot of Europeans thought, we don't need to fight Hitler if we give him Czechoslovakia, I'm sure he'll be satisfied. Happily, Churchill took a different view, and so did Franklin Roosevelt with lend-lease.

We have to make -- we should make our case to everybody in the world. But at the end of the day, we should make our own decisions. That's what leadership is all about.


DETTMER: But leadership is also about alliances and listening to friends as well. You know -- hold on. You have Rumsfeld talking about the mission is important, not the coalitions, and we'll change the coalitions depending on the missions. And what Europeans are hearing is almost a messianic message coming out of this administration, where you have more and more enemies pile up, and in some way interconnected...

CARLSON: But wait a second. You are assuming that all European resentment of the United States is rational, Europeans are looking appalled by these irrational decisions the United States is making. But it's quite obvious that in France, for instance, a lot of U.S. animus is irrational. A book on the bestseller list for months in France, "9/11: The Big Lie," says the United States government caused the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. This is complete crackpot stuff, and yet it's taken this mainstream in France.

DETTMER: But you shouldn't caricature some of the unhappiness in Europe at the moment among leadership circles as well, and caricature it with that book. One could easily equally caricature, you know, some of the elements in America thinking that Oklahoma City was caused by the government as well. You should just kind of dispel this kind of nonsense.


CARLSON: We are going to take a quick break. "The Simpsons" calls the French "cheese-eating surrender monkeys." Is that true? In a minute, more on the country that hates the U.S. all the time. Is Iraq just about to get it? Later, some home owners may be about to get it because their front yards are a mess. Should that include you?

And our quote of the day from one of the most impressive women in politics. Here's one hint -- it's probably not Hillary Clinton. We'll be right back.


CARVILLE: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. We are asking why the whole world seems to hate America, and should we care. In the CROSSFIRE, Republican strategist Cliff May and "Insight" magazine senior editor Jamie Dettmer.

CARLSON: Now, Jamie, our so-called allies, meaning I suppose pretty much the rest of the world with the exception of North Korea and Iraq, are apparently opposed to our invading Iraq. And they pose as if this is some sort of a moral position they are taking, that it's just too radical and unilateralism is always wrong. But it turns out that a lot of our so-called allies do a lot of business with Iraq, and stand to lose a lot of money if Saddam Hussein is tossed out of office. Turkey, 1.2 billion a year. Saudi Arabia, one billion a year. Russia, 30 billion since 1997. South Africa just bought 90 million in oil from Iraq. I could go on and on and on, but that's the core of this. They are opposed because they're going to lose money.

DETTMER: Will America gain money if it goes into Iraq and controls the oil fields in Iraq as well? It strikes me as a non- argument.

CARLSON: No, but wait a second.

DETTMER: It strikes me as a non-argument.

CARLSON: Nobody has suggested the United States is going into Iraq to control the oil.

CARVILLE: Business with Iraq and Halliburton.

DETTMER: I mean, all of this, nothing in the Middle East doesn't concern oil. Let's be frank here. The Saudis supported the Taliban, not just for religious reasons, but they didn't particularly want an oil pipeline coming from Central Asia down.


DETTMER: We had the vice president in the first year in office talking behind the scenes about a rapprochement with Iran because of oil. So, I mean, you know, let's not be unsophisticated about this. There's an oil element involved in this as well. The point is not all Europeans are against the idea of somehow confronting Saddam. They're rather like Norman Schwarzkopf, who I seem to recall was campaigning for this...

CARLSON: The Europeans are not at all like Norman Schwarzkopf.


DETTMER: In terms of saying there has got to be some kind of coalition.

Look, if you don't have a coalition when you go in, a risky enterprise is going to be riskier because you'll have no logistical base to do very much about it.


CARVILLE: I'm sorry, go ahead.

DETTMER: And afterwards you've got a problem, because if you haven't got neighboring countries with you as well, they're going to harbor resistance groups to an American occupation.

You've got to be sensible about this. It is about, as Kissinger said, timing and the method and the legality that's used.

CARVILLE: Let's take the hawks on this: Paul D. Wolfowitz and Richard Perle and Adelman and Dick Cheney, and let's take the people that say that -- the cautious people, Brent Scowcroft, Norman Schwarzkopf, Colin Powell, Richard Armitage.

Do you know what all of these -- the hawks all have in common?

MAY: Like the others you mentioned, they're all Republican.


CARVILLE: There's something else here: Ain't none of them ever stood at attention. And you know what all of the people that say go slow: They all have distinguished military careers.

So why is it that all of the people that say, we ought to be first to use the military to go in -- and if you like Chuck Hagel, who has a distinguished career, he's being attacked for not even being a good American...


MAY: I guess I'll explain it this way: I take the radical point of view that we should have civilian control of the military, and it's just fine for civilians...

CARVILLE: So Colin Powell is not a civilian? Brent Scowcroft is not a civilian?

MAY: Well, they are. But you don't have to have worn a uniform in order to be good and have good opinions on this.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt never wore a uniform; he was a great wartime commander. Abraham Lincoln...


CARVILLE: ... wondering is, consistently, why is it that all of the hawks have never stood at attention, and all the people that are saying, we ought to be cautious about this have distinguished military careers?

It's not one person against one, it's 10 against 10.

MAY: You know, look, guys in the military, for good reasons, they worry about what we can -- what we need in order to complete the mission, and do they have a mission they can complete, and their concerns ought to be taken seriously.

But you don't want people who have epaulets to overrule the civilians. You don't want that and I don't want that.


CARVILLE: ... Supreme Court, though... (CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Cliff made, I thought, a really interesting point, and I just want to hear your answer to it a minute ago when he said, look, the Europeans don't have a lot of moral standing. The French being, of course, Nazi collaborators, et cetera, and on through the last 50 years.


CARLSON: What is the moral standard?


CARLSON: It was like four people, I think...


DETTMER: What's the question apart from...

CARLSON: Unfortunately, we're out of time.


CARLSON: Cliff May, Jamie Dettmer, thank you so much for joining us.

DETTMER: Pleasure.

CARLSON: Still to come: yardwork or else. One city is getting tough about keeping America beautiful. Would You go to jail for your yard? You may.

Also, etiquette lessons for bleacher bums.

And our "Quote of the Day" comes from a lady who kept her cool in the midst of an all-out Democratic attack and media frenzy.

We'll be right back.


CARVILLE: Former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris has just finished rewriting history, just like she rewrote the election returns. Her book, "Center of the Storm" is conveniently due out in October, the month before Harris tries getting elected to Congress.

If the excerpt that appeared in yesterday's "Tallahassee Democrat" are any indication, Harris has quite a future as a fantasy novelist. She actually had the gall to blame Al Gore's aggressive legal tactics for spoiling his chances for a statewide recount.

Well, we'll let her off, and let her have the "Quote of the Day" for writing, quote: "When the Gore campaign began to unleash the dogs of war upon me during the difficult recount controversy, I was not inordinately surprised." CARLSON: Really, I wasn't surprised at all. I knew she was going to be savaged; and not because of anything she did wrong -- you couldn't explain in two sentences specifically what she did wrong.

CARVILLE: Absolutely: She hired people to go down there to stop people from voting.

CARLSON: That's a total lie.


CARLSON: You can yell all you want.


CARVILLE: She was complicit in stealing a presidential election, and history will always know that, and she will always know that, and you will always know that.


CARLSON: You know, you can throw out the charges, but you don't have -- that's a total lie, and you know it. You're closing your ears to reason.


CARVILLE: I know what happened.


Coming up -- it's really unbelievable. You are not moved by facts at all, are you?

CARVILLE: No, I'm moved by votes, and Gore got the votes.

CARLSON: Coming up: An Oregon family's long, agonizing wait may soon be over. Connie Chung has details next in the CNN news alert.

Later, the government tries butting into some people's front yard.

And you can't avoid the sultans of political correctness by running off to the ballgame. There are rules for everything, as CROSSFIRE continues.


CONNIE CHUNG, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Connie Chung at the CNN broadcast center in New York. CROSSFIRE is back in 90 seconds, but first, these stories top our "News Alert."

Checking the latest in the missing Oregon girls case. The state crime laboratory is working to identify a second set of human remains recovered in Oregon City over the weekend. Authorities are trying to determine if they belong to Ashley Pond, one of the two teenage girls who disappeared last winter. The first body was identified as Miranda Gaddis, the other girl. They're also declaring this man, Ward Weaver, as their top suspect. Both sets of remains were found on his property.

The Pentagon is telling Congress that 14,000 Air Force reservists and National Guard troops will be kept on active duty for up to two years. That's a year long are than those men and women had expected. Many are involved in providing security, communications and combat air patrols over the country.

The FBI says it will return to Boca Raton, Florida to conduct a new round of anthrax testing at a quarantined building there. Investigators say they are using new techniques to collect and test anthrax spores inside the structure owned by the tabloid publishing company that produces "The National Enquirer." Last year, a staff photo editor died after becoming infected with anthrax.

For the first time in the history of the U.S. Customs Service, inspectors are being assigned outside North America. U.S. Customs officers have been dispatched to the Dutch port of Rotterdam to inspect cargo being shipped to the United States. The Netherlands is the first European country to allow this.

And those are our top stories at this hour. I'll be back in 30 minutes. And now back to James and Tucker in Washington.

CARVILLE: Well, Connie, I'm trying to get over the fact that I got you (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Tucker's bow tie on Friday night. But that may be -- the bow tie or his hair is the reason that you have this crush on him and not me.

CHUNG: Well, not really. It's other stuff. I love your accent. How's that?

CARVILLE: All right. Well, I got something going for me, thank God.

Connie, I understand you got something serious on your show tonight. You want to tell us about that, please?

CHUNG: We do, James, we do. We have more on that tragic case of those two girls who disappeared in Oregon. Authorities appear to be getting closer to resolving the mystery. And I'll be speaking with the ex-wife of the man who has been named as a suspect in the case. And I'm trying to figure out how I can best describe how much I love you, James. I don't want you to think that my heart is with Tucker.

CARVILLE: I feel much better now, Connie.

CARLSON: Connie, I'm not even going to get in the middle of it, but I want to thank you for your early expressions of support. We'll be watching your show. Thanks so much, Connie Chung, from New York.

CHUNG: OK. Take care.

CARLSON: A check on what the watchdogs of political correctness are looking for at ball games and, believe it or not, in some people's front yards. We'll be right back.


CARVILLE: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. We are coming to you live from the George Washington University in beautiful Foggy Bottom. Over the weekend, New Jersey governor signed a law permitting school boards and youth organizations to write codes of conduct for students, coaches, officials and parents to attend athletic events. Those who break the rules will have to get anger management counseling before they can get back in the ball game. Does this mean we can't shout "kill the umpire" anymore?

Joining us from West Palm Beach, Florida is Fred Engh. He is president of the National Alliance for Youth Sports and author of a book called "Why Johnny Hates Sports." And at the CNN Center in Atlanta is sports radio talk show host Steak Shapiro. Welcome.

CARLSON: Mr. Engh, thanks for joining us. Now, Jimmy Greavey has been governor of New Jersey for a little less than a year, and already he has apparently solved all the problems in the state, leaving him only this problem, the apparent epidemic of parents running onto the field and beating up umpires. I mean, from my vantage, it strikes me as a tiny, tiny problem that does not require laws to correct. Is that true?

FRED ENGH, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR YOUTH SPORTS: No, it's not true, because we've seen enough across the country. You know, this is a great day for kids. It's a great day for the kids that have parents out there that humiliate and embarrass them simply because it's a ball game. And the sad part about it is that we had to create a law to end this. But the law is there. And I can assure you that now people are going to be watching this, people are going to be thinking about what they do, and it's going to put an end to it. I guarantee it will.

CARLSON: Well, wait a second, Mr. Engh. I mean, even you, I think, will admit that humiliation is part of sports. And I take that out and what are you left with? But my real question is -- anger management classes? I mean, this is like a parody, isn't it? If they're so bad, why not arrest them?

ENGH: You know, when you look at all the incidents, your humiliation and embarrassment is one thing. But when you see just a month or so ago in Alabama, a father and another father getting in a fight and one ends up with 100 stitches, that's pretty brutal, that needs attention, and that's what this law will do. But there are many, many incidents of -- we have violence among parents who are either coaches, they're spectators, and we needed to put an end to it. And this law will do that.

CARVILLE: Hey, Steak, if I get three speeding tickets, the state of Virginia makes me go to a class on how to be a better driver. What the hell is wrong with a guy that beats the living crap out of an umpire having to go to an anger management class before he can go back to the damn ball game? STEAK SHAPIRO, SPORTS RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: No, see, what happens there, James, is that person probably goes to jail. This is the most ridiculous waste of time. And I'm glad that Fred is so concerned about an incident a month ago in Alabama. There probably have been 1,000 Little League games since then. I've been to about probably 1,000 Little League games in my life. I've never seen a fan go over -- a dad come over the fence and beat up an umpire. I've never seen a brawl in the stand, and I've never seen kids mixing it up on the field.

I mean, this is so few and far between. Do we need a code of conduct? Do we need a code of conduct when you go to a restaurant? Don't eat with your feet, and don't stand on the table. People know how to behave, and when they don't, parents put them in line. This is a waste of time.

CARVILLE: I think Fred is going to tell you -- Fred, tell Steak that this is not an isolated problem.

ENGH: It isn't an isolated. Let's all look at what kids had to say. In "Sports Illustrated for Kids," they did a survey with 3,000 kids. Guess how many kids said that they had seen parents out of control -- 74 percent! That's kids telling us. It's not what state says or whoever says anything. It's kids telling...


CARVILLE: ... a bunch of little snot-nosed whips.


SHAPIRO: Fred, part of coaching is part of being out of control, and when parents push the line and break the rules, either other parents discipline them, or the leagues themselves ban parents from going. For a New Jersey politician to waste time on common sense, this is -- I don't know how many games you guys have been to, but I'm not watching drunken parents mix it up in the stands too much. And if it happens once, like he just said, in Alabama a month ago, when there are Little League games that take place hundreds and thousands -- Freddie is a little too sensitive. Johnny doesn't hate sports, Johnny loves sports, but Freddie is a little too sensitive about...


CARLSON: Mr. Engh, first of all, this threatens to end sports entirely in the state of Massachusetts. But also, even in New Jersey, I think there are going to be problems. I want to read you a quote from Joe Graziano, who is the state director of Little League in New Jersey. And this is -- he says: "If the state comes out with a code, who is going to enforce it? Little League doesn't want the state to tell them it has to enforce it. We barely have enough volunteers to run the program." Aren't we possibly going to screw up Little League in an effort to save it?

ENGH: Of course not. What we have to remember here is this is not an indictment on every parent out there that has got kids in sports. It's a limited number, but the limited number are causing tremendous problems out there. We have seen deaths. We've seen people going to hospitals.

And it's not isolated situations. Listen, for 25 years I've been working on this. I founded this organization. Today it has 3,000 chapters. If those people that are Parks and Recreation Department people across this country who see it on a daily basis didn't see the problem, I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you.

CARLSON: But honestly, is someone who is going to kill another parent at a hockey game, I mean, you're not going to be -- that sort of animal is not going to be deterred by a law or anger management classes, is it?

SHAPIRO: People get killed walking into a mall. Are we going to have a code of conduct for how to shop on Saturday? You can take any situation where people are brought together, and there is going to be an incident. But let's not confuse -- the fact is, if parents are out of control, they're ostracized in the community, they're banned from going to their kids games. For someone who has to spend time sending parents to anger management to figure out how to behave at a game, I don't think it's that complicated, Fred. And I understand there is a problem, but this is taking it too far.

CARVILLE: Honestly, I don't see where there's a problem. If you go to a Little League game and you misbehave, you ought to at least go to anger management. I think the state of New Jersey is doing something halfway rational and intelligent here. And just because I go to 15 places and I don't see anybody get raped, that's not an excuse not to have rape laws. And I don't understand where you guys are coming from on this.

SHAPIRO: James, you want your politicians spending time coming up with laws taking time out from everything else going on in the world? You've got to come up with, let's be nice to Johnny when he plays Little League? I mean, I think it's common sense. There's enough Little League games going on where nothing happens. I don't think you got to worry about it.

CARVILLE: I think kids see enough damn violence. And I want my politicians spending time to do what they can to alleviate violence at Little League sports.

SHAPIRO: James, I thought you were tougher than that, James.

CARLSON: Mr. Engh, just very quickly, do you think that this sort of chowder head parent who gets into a fight at a Little League game is really going to have his behavior changed by anger management or kumbaya or whatever they're going to do?

ENGH: Absolutely. Absolutely. Because you know what? What we have allowed them to do is simply get away with murder before. We have parents out there that there are many jerks that are out there with kids in sports. And they need to be eliminated. We don't need to have them around children. What we need to look at, more importantly than all of this, is why do we have sports for children? It's there for a wonderful opportunity to teach them wonderful rules of life such as teamwork, how to win and lose with grace, all of the things that we need to be good citizens in this society. That's the important thing, that we need to be educating parents before we have to ban them.

CARVILLE: Remember when we used to say "kill the umpire," you guys are saying, "don't say kill the umpire, kill the umpire."

SHAPIRO: Unfortunately, Fred is one of the only guys who was happy with a tie in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Nobody had to win, nobody had to lose. It was all nice. I mean, come on!

CARLSON: We're going to have to leave it there, sadly. Fred Engh, thank you...


CARLSON: And the one, the only Steak Shapiro. Thank you very much for joining us.

Coming up in our "Fireback" segment, a viewer fires back at the blame-America-first crowd.

And next, we're not guilty, and we'll tell you where you may get jail sentence for having a messy yard. We'll be right back.


CARVILLE: Unlucky residents of Palmdale, California have just gotten a nasty notice from the government. They are in a violation of a new city law requiring home owners to clean up and spruce up their yards, or face $1,000 fine and six months in jail. If this catches on, pretty soon all of us may face the choice of being behind lawn mowers or behind bars.

Joining us from beautiful downtown Palmdale is Mayor Jim Ledford. Welcome, mayor.

CARLSON: Mayor, thanks for joining us. Now, I think I understand the idea behind this ordnance, but it strikes me as a little limited. So the idea to make certain that your front yard looks good. And I'm wondering why couldn't you expand, say, to include table manners, or color schemes that clash in a pretty aggressive, unattractive, untasteful way. Why not imprison people who have bad taste? That's essentially what you're doing. Why not just be overt about it?

MAYOR JIM LEDFORD, PALMDALE, CALIFORNIA: Well, I think in this case, this is property values, and it's the number one issue I deal with when I go to neighborhoods and talk about issues in my community. It's -- the issue is, how do we deal with the deadbeat that's affecting my property values in a negative way. And we're really looking for a minimal treatment of maintenance of a yard that really does make a difference in public safety and property values.

CARLSON: I agree with you. I mean, I have neighbors who have a mailbox that's so garish that you actually wouldn't even believe it. I mean, I don't know where they bought it. It's in terrible taste. I think it affects my property values. Why not throw them into prison?

LEDFORD: Well, the thing is, in our city, we work for compliance. Rarely have we ever had to go to court. In the last 10 years, we've been to court three times on property, health and safety matters. We work with compliance. We feel very confident that we're going to be able to work with our residents and make a real difference in our community.

CARVILLE: According to the California Department of Finance, 14.5 percent of the people in your city make under $25,000 a year. Now, how the hell are they going to get quality lawn care service?

LEDFORD: Well, what they'll do like a lot of people do, is they get out and do it themselves. And I grew up doing yard work. My son grew up doing yard work. We have programs for elderly, low-income, handicapped. Programs to help them put in low maintenance, low water use landscaping to make a difference. Again, I think we have a way to go for the entire city.

CARVILLE: Mayor, where does your city get its water from?

LEDFORD: We get our water from -- part of it from the aquifer and part of it from the aqueducts, state water project.

CARVILLE: So if there is a water shortage, can these people go to jail if they don't water their lawns? If they don't look real neat or something like that? I mean, what could happen there? I mean, you're out in the, as I understand it, you're out in the desert.

LEDFORD: We have the ability to be flexible. If we had a water shortage, we certainly could respond here at the local government level. But every home that is approved, the calculated water use is the landscaping is part of that calculation. So our growth is based on our water supply and our ability to make good as far as our growth projections, and we think water use is not the issue today. If it became an issue, we as a local community could adapt and develop something that would be more particular for that particular challenge.

CARLSON: OK. I notice here that you have -- your city has $450,000 available in a home improvement subsidy fund, which strikes me as sort of the next frontier after prescription drugs, you know, the sort of manicured lawn entitlement. And I'm wondering, again, if you couldn't extend this to some kind of clothing subsidy for people with bad tastes, say, people who are still wearing, I don't know, two- button suits or velure or something, and help the poor who don't have the taste...

CARVILLE: Or bow ties.

CARLSON: That's exactly right. Of the privileged classes. Help them out a little bit. What's wrong with that?

LEDFORD: Well, the beauty of poor taste, if you wear it, you can go in your home and we don't have to see it. But the yards, we are really talking about people that do absolutely nothing, that have bare dirt and weeds a couple feet tall in their front yard. You wonder if they ever do see their front yard. And I got to remind you, this is the number one issue I deal with when I go to neighborhood meetings, and people are concerned -- about their largest investment is their home. They want to know why they can't compel somebody to at least cut the weeds down in their yard.


CARVILLE: Where I come from the biggest problem we had was sagging porches and outdoor appliances here, you know?

LEDFORD: Well, that's true.

CARLSON: But is crabgrass an issue? I mean, is it something the city council is getting involved in? What about dandelions?

LEDFORD: No, no, no. Actually we're...

CARLSON: Poison ivy?

LEDFORD: If you had your weeds and you cut them, you would probably be OK.

The fact is, we want to see some minimal maintenance of your front yard because we believe it really has a ripple effect. It not only shows pride, it affects public safety and it supports good property values.

And again, everybody that buys a home, that's their life savings, they want to protect that property value. So I believe that if you were to do a poll across America, you would find that lawn maintenance is an important issue.

CARVILLE: Well, one thing we can tell you, mayor, how stupid are we in Washington? We thought the big issue was health care in America, but it's not. It's lawn care.

LEDFORD: At the local government, you're right.

CARVILLE: We can have a lawn care benefit.


CARVILLE: Amen. Thank you...

CARLSON: Jim Ledford, you are an honest mayor.

CARVILLE: You're a good mayor; you're articulate, sir. Thank you for being on CROSSFIRE.

CARLSON: Thanks for joining us.

Next it's your turn to "Fireback" at us. One viewer has James Carville to thank for a conversion of sorts. We'll explain.

We'll be right back.


CARLSON: Welcome back.

It's time for our deeply interactive "Fireback" segment. Let's go to the e-mail. Here it is.

First up, Sam Stockton of Atlanta, Georgia writes: "We should do whatever we feel is necessary to protect ourselves and our interests without regard to what anyone thinks. We should not care what the Europeans think, least of all the French."

Amen. You know, I think the French ought to care what we think after rescuing them twice in world wars; but they don't, and they should.

CARVILLE: Well, that is the land of my ancestors. I go there. It's a very fine country and I think that we ought to try to understand the French instead of condemning the French.

CARLSON: The French don't understand the French, James, come on.

CARVILLE: It's a beautiful country.

"Should we expect proponents of creationism also to reconstruct the stork theory to account for procreation?" Dale Hileman, Apple Valley, California.

Hell, who knows, they might do it. Anybody that believes the earth -- is stupid enough to believe the earth is 5,000 years old is stupid enough to believe in the stork theory, I think.

CARLSON: OK, and this is a debate we had last Friday night about evolution versus creationism.

Calvin Kurdo of San Francisco, California writes in: "Tucker, thank a million for that comparison of James Carville to the chimpanzee. I'm now a total believer in the theory of evolution."

And you know, it was -- can we get that up here? That was compelling evidence. There it is. I'm a believer now.

CARVILLE: It just goes to show you: One thing about TV, you don't have to be good looking to get on there. I ain't very good looking, but I sure ain't stupid. There you go.

"Jimmy Carter was known as the president who cared and Ronald Regan was called the teflon president. Due to all of his wonderful fitness advice, it seems to me that George W. Bush will be referred to as the Richard Simmons president." Peter Juul.

Actually, I like (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I think he'll be more remembered as the Curly, Larry and Mo president by the time he gets through all of this...

CARLSON: I think Richard Simmons is a Democrat, my guess.

CARVILLE: He's from New Orleans, actually.

CARLSON: I know he is.

CARVILLE: Yes sir. And I know his brother. He used to be a lobbyist for the city of New Orleans; a great culinary expert.

CARLSON: Spare us the details.

We have a question. Yes, ma'am.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Melissa Teague (ph) and I'm from San Jose, California.

And our city just recently adopted the same blight ordnance. And I just wanted to say I'm glad they did because my home is the biggest investment I have, and I don't feel like I should be, like, at the mercy of a lazy jerk that lives next to me in lowering the value of my home.

CARLSON: I have total sympathy for you. Nobody wants to live next to people who have, you know, the back seat of the car on the front porch.

On the other hand, it does seem to me you ought to be able to maintain your yard the way you want to if it's your yard, right?

CARVILLE: They say that this is a freedom issue, this. But sometimes people get behind and they can't do this. And I guess what we would wonder is, should there be ordinances...


CARLSON: ... next entitlement you'll hear the Democrats pitching it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm Derek (ph) from Kansas.

And James, of course you're always arguing for more laws, like within New Jersey because then you get the chance to criticize the administration every time they're enforced.

CARVILLE: There you go. I thought Dorothy was from Kansas. They have Dereks there, too?

OK. I criticize the administration because they have blown the surplus, they've blown economic opportunity, they're not funding education and they're cutting Medicare.


CARLSON: Yes, ma'am? Quickly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm Jennifer Mog (ph) from Spring, Texas.

My question is: When push comes to shove, will tight American allies actually turn their backs on America, or is it all talk?

CARLSON: I think it's pretty obvious the United States has made undisclosed agreements with a lot of the countries that surround Iraq to use them as staging areas.

CARVILLE: From the left, I'm James Carville. And good night from CROSSFIRE.

CARLSON: From the right, I am still -- I remain Tucker Carlson.

Join us again tomorrow night for another edition of CROSSFIRE.


Management Classes to Attend Little League Games?; Should You Go to Jail for a Messy Lawn?>



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