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Has GOP Lost Its Soul?; Lawyers Poised for Election Day Battles

Aired October 26, 2006 - 19:00:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST: Coming up, the soul of the Republican Party seems to be missing. Where did I put that soul? Can it be found in time?
Plus, if you`re sick and tired of Democrats and Republicans, I may have found the political party that`s just right for you. Maybe, next.


ANNOUNCER: Tonight`s episode is brought to you by "The Glenn Beck Grow a Spine for Congress Telethon. Join Glenn and his special guest stars Tony Orlando, funnyman Norm Crosby, and the entire U.S. House of Representatives. Please tune in, and help these congressmen grow the spines they so desperately need.


BECK: So what does it mean to be a conservative in this country today? Now I think I know. I think in fact -- I think most people in this country know.

But maybe I`m wrong, because the Republican Party seems to have lost its footing. And who`s really controlling whom, on issue after issue? It`s spending, the war, immigration. The Republican Party seems to have lost itself.

And adding fuel to the fire is the new gay marriage ruling handed down in New Jersey, where the court is telling the legislature to increase the rights they have already given same sex couples two years ago. The judges on both sides of the aisle have got it wrong. And I`ll tell you why in a minute.

But first, here`s the point tonight. If the Republicans -- if the Republicans lose the House and the Senate in 12 days, they`re not going to have nobody to blame but themselves. They have lost their soul, I believe, to the twin forces of political correctness, and the sheer arrogance of power. Here`s how I got there.

The reason that I mostly vote Republican is because it`s been the party that most reflects my values, or has been in the past. They`re fiscally conservative, strong on defense, tough on illegal immigration. Does that even really sound like the Republicans any more? Does it still stand for these? Where does the party stand now on those core issues today? Well, let`s take them one by one.

First, spending. For most of my adult life, the Republicans have been the party of small government. However, federal spending under the Republicans has increased 33 percent in the past six years.

The federal budget deficit this year is $248 billion. Now, that`s down but not because of spending. It`s because we have reduced taxes and grown the economy. They`re spending us into oblivion.

And it`s not just because of the war. It`s because of all the ridiculous pork-laden bills that are making it through Congress. Both parties are responsible, but one party has had the ability to stop it.

Next, the war. When I voted to put Republicans into office, I expected them to unleash the might and the power of the U.S. military and crush our enemies swiftly. Now, during the first phase of the war, that`s exactly what they did. Then -- maybe it`s just me -- they kind of got mealy-mouthed, and "shock and awe" became more like "shock and eh."

I also expected them to learn the lesson from Vietnam, and not fight a war with political correctness, tying one hand behind our back. If terrorists are seeking refuge in a mosque, you know what? Blow up the mosque. What`s worse, offending our enemies, or letting them kill us?

We don`t scare our enemies any more, not because of our military, but because of the absurd restraints we put on ourselves in the quest to be liked by everybody. Well, get over it. We are not going to be liked by everybody, and some people, like France comes to mind, I don`t care if they like us.

Here`s the thing. We`re at war. We can`t be best buddies with everyone.

Now, finally, illegal immigration. President Bush today signed a bill into -- into law to build a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexican border. Conservatives can look at this moment and claim victory, or you can look at this moment and understand again why the Republicans have just a good shot at losing the election.

The bill-signing ceremony today was pure, election show. If Republicans truly stood for conservative values, the fence would`ve been built a long time ago. Instead, we got caught up in some stupid debate over amnesty. That doesn`t reflect our values at a time of war and danger. Stop the illegals first; then let`s talk about amnesty.

The Republicans are falling into the exact same trap that was built for them during the Reagan administration. It didn`t work then, and it won`t now.

So conservatives across the country are forced to ask themselves a question: why put Republicans in office if they can`t get the job done and they don`t reflect our values?

If the Republicans want to win this or any election, they need to get back to the conservative roots of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. They need to say what they mean and mean what they say. They need to do the right thing. And when I say right, I don`t mean like, oops, right, it`s the opposite of left. No, I mean right as in the opposite of wrong.

What`s sad is that I, and a lot of other conservatives, still feel like we have no other choice. With all of that being said, when we`re standing there in the voting booth, most likely I`m going to pull for a Republican. There are a lot of good Republicans. I just wish there were more conservative Republicans.

Here`s what I know tonight. In my perfect world, my "Beck-topia," if you will, we`d all be libertarian. That way, we`d all have rights, but they`d be balanced by self-restraint.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where Republicans and Democrats and just regular shmoes off the street -- self-restraint, self- reliance. What`s that?

To prove it, I also know that in New Jersey and across the country, you decide on gay marriage. It doesn`t matter what the New Jersey courts decided yesterday. This is an issue that belongs, not in the courts, but in your living room, in your voting booth. It doesn`t belong in the legislature; it belongs with we, the people. We the people vote.

Now here`s what I don`t know. I don`t know what it`ll take for the Republicans to wake up and cure themselves of the exact same disease that`s plaguing the Democrats.

For Republicans, it`s not enough just to play conservative; you have to believe it, man. You`ve got to feel it in your chest.

The Democrats are saying the same thing about their party. And while the two parties are fighting for power, we the people are left out standing in the cold.

Andrew Sullivan is the author of "The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It and How to Get it Back".

Andrew, where am I wrong?

ANDREW SULLIVAN, AUTHOR, "THE CONSERVATIVE SOUL": Well, let me tell you where I think you`re absolutely right.

BECK: OK. A positive guy.

SULLIVAN: Let`s say on spending, and you mentioned the spending. But you minimize what they have done, because a lot of the spending, especially on the Medicare stuff, is back-ended. We haven`t felt it yet.

The debt, the next generation. The next generation, the kids were going to pay in 2000 was $20 trillion. By 2005, that debt was $43 trillion. They doubled what the next generation is going to have to pay. If that`s not responsibility...

BECK: Right.

SULLIVAN: ... that`s not conservativism, you are so right about that.

BECK: OK. Now, I have to be fair...

SULLIVAN: Secondly...

BECK: I have to be fair. Wait, wait, wait. For anybody who is watching this show and saying, all right, Andrew, another conservative. I have to tell you that you are what -- I believe you created the phrase a "South Park" conservative. What does that mean, exactly?

SULLIVAN: I believe like Barry Goldwater believed, that you live and let live. You don`t try and control other people`s lives. The old Republican coalition was the "leave us alone" coalition.

BECK: Right.

SULLIVAN: The evangelicals, the libertarians, the hippies, the businessmen. They could all exist because we all wanted government out of our wallets and out of our bedrooms.

And unfortunately, this administration has put government back into our bedrooms. And, also, even though they cut our taxes, into our wallets. Why? Because they haven`t cut spending, which means that eventually those taxes are going to go up. Because there`s a fiscal reality here.

BECK: OK. Now you say that and in my heart, I`m a libertarian, as well. However, I keep going back to George Washington, where he talked about if you`re not a religious and moral people, this whole experiment ain`t going to work.

And that`s because we didn`t -- we don`t have now the self-restraint that we had back then. How do you -- how do you become a Barry Goldwater conservative today if the people themselves won`t restrain themselves?

SULLIVAN: Well, they can and they will. As Ronald Reagan said in his inaugural address in 1981, if we can`t govern ourselves, than who else can do it for us?

That`s something conservatives have always said: it belongs in the family, the churches, and your personal responsibility.

BECK: Right.

SULLIVAN: When you have a president who won`t take responsibility for the war, when he won`t take responsibility for spending, when he won`t take responsibility for mistakes, when he rewards people who fail, he`s sending a message.

This conservative president sending a message that you don`t need to exercise personal responsibility. So it starts at the top, Glenn.


SULLIVAN: And he is not showing his own responsibility for the rest of us to follow.

BECK: Andrew, I feel like -- my grandparents, except they never actually would admit it, my grandparents were always Democrats. And the Democratic Party flipped, and it was not the Democrats that, you know, FDR set up. I mean, FDR was more conservative than the Republicans are today.

SULLIVAN: Well, John F. Kennedy cut taxes.

BECK: Yes.

SULLIVAN: And was very strong on defense. And I agree with you.

BECK: So you have this situation. I feel like the parties, both of them, are in an area of flux and are greatly changing.

SULLIVAN: They`re both -- they`re both corrupt. The Democrats are spineless, and the Republicans are corrupt. You know what I think we have to do?

BECK: What?

SULLIVAN: We have to divide the government. The one thing that founders told us to do, the real conservative thing, to prevent government from doing too much harm, is you split the government between Democrats and Republicans.

The great -- the great Gingrich was the best thing to happen to Clinton ever. You remember the `90s we actually had circumstance (ph) and peace and prosperity. Why? Because one party could control it all. And when one party controlled it all, they get corrupt.

And you know, I`ll give you another number.


SULLIVAN: In 1985 Ronald Reagan vetoed a transportation bill with 885 earmarked pork barrel projects. Last year George Bush signed one with 6,000 pork barrel projects.

BECK: No. I know, I know.

SULLIVAN: By Republicans, Glenn.

BECK: Andrew, I`ve got to run. Thank you very much.

Coming up the battle for the conservative soul, and ultimately Congress. I`ll tell you why both parties may be gearing up for a bigger battle after the election. Oh, it will make blood shoot out of your eyes.

Also, troops in Iraq signing a petition to get out and come home. But it`s not what it seems. "The Real Story" coming up.

Plus, getting elected to higher office. That`s so funny. No, it`s beyond funny; it`s punny. Back after this.



BECK: I have heard from many listeners, because we have a lot of listeners in Pennsylvania.


BECK: Many listeners have -- have seen you give speeches recently. And I can`t tell you the amount of mail saying, "Glenn, you`re either stealing from him or he`s stealing from you, because I didn`t know if it was you or him that was talking, because you`re saying exactly the same thing."

SANTORUM: I talk about Dennis Whalen (ph), which is in our own hemisphere. I mean, did you know that Dennis Whalen (ph) is the leading buyer of arms and military equipment in the world today? And they`re building an army for more than a million people.

BECK: Yes.

SANTORUM: They`re building 20 military bases in Bolivia.

BECK: Yes.

SANTORUM: And spending $20 billion to build 20 military bases in Bolivia, and then they`re going to be on the borders of all of the other South American countries and they`re going to be manned with Venezuela and Cuban troops. This is not Rick Santorum in a paranoid state. This is what`s going on. And no one`s talking about it.


BECK: We are here. Now, just because we wanted to make the election process even more fun, what we found in the year 2000 is if we inject some lawyers into the system, why then blood shoots out of your eyes and your ears.

Most of the Democrats and the Republicans are not going to need just one lawyer but thousands of lawyers. While initially that wants you want to put a gun in your mouth, consider this.

The last presidential race was so close, it needed the Supreme Court to settle it. Control of the Congress could come down to as little as one seat. With the stakes that high, why, you don`t need a lawyer. You need - - and this is really what they call it: election SWAT teams.

The SWAT teams are going to be in key battleground states. These are core -- a core of volunteer lawyers. They`re going to watch the polls. They`re going to stand by with their briefcase, ready to fight the results on election day.

What could constitute a reason to challenge the election results? Why, my side didn`t win. Well, there could -- you know, very well, there could be problems with the new voting machines, a garden variety of human error. You can bet it will take no more than a loss for the team before both parties start objecting. Oh, democracy, American style.

Joining me now with some expert perspective is E. Mark Braden, former general counsel for the Republican National Committee.

Mark, don`t these tactics actually breed the cynicism that turn people off to the political process?

E. MARK BRADEN, FORMER GENERAL COUNSEL, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Well, of course. I mean, what we need are more voters. We don`t need more lawyers. It`s sad.

I have to admit, when I first became involved in the political process, the number of lawyers that were involved in it, who were experts in election law or at least claimed to be experts on election law, you could count on your hands without even resorting to your toes.

Now we`re talking about the Democrats are, I think, talking about 11,000 lawyers on election day. What a frightening prescription for screwing up the process.

BECK: So you have been a part of this process for a while. Please tell me that you`ve seen somebody like I`ve seen in movies and TV shows, where they`re like, "No, I`m not going to sue. Shut it down. We lost. Let`s move on."

BRADEN: Well, actually, frankly, prior to the year 2000, that was...

BECK: No, I mean...

BRADEN: ... the American tradition.

BECK: No, I mean something after 2000. I need some hope now. I`m holding on by a thread, Mark. Help me.

BRADEN: You know, the answer is in most circumstances contesting the election and hanging on after the fact has traditionally been bad American politics. Americans don`t like sore losers.

Gore may or may not be the exception to that. I guess we have to wait and see if he runs again.

BECK: Right.

BRADEN: But the reality is recounts in contests generally are very unpopular locally, and except in extraordinary circumstances, they`re very debilitating to the losing side.

And our election system actually works pretty well, contrary to the impression one might get from some of the coverage of 2000. It works quite well nationwide.

BECK: Now, here`s the thing that is driving me out of my mind, because both sides are at fault. The Democrats and the Republicans at fault in this. It`s my understanding the Republicans just don`t want to provide some sort of paper trail on these new voting machines. And the Democrats don`t want to have people have a voter I.D.

I believe -- I`m a normal person, and I say we should have paper trails and voter I.D.`s. What is the problem with these two parties?

BRADEN: Well, I`m at a loss to understand why the Democrats are opposed to voter I.D.

BECK: No, you`re not! Let`s cut the bull crap. You`re not. They want to be able to have sham people come in and vote. That`s why.

BRADEN: Well, that`s part of it. Most certainly, that`s part of it. But there are genuine people who, crazily enough, think there are a lot of people out there who don`t have I.D.s who want to vote. But of course, there`s no statistic to support that.

BECK: Right.

BRADEN: On the Republican side, there are lots of Republicans who are in favor of the paper trail. The only problem right now with the paper trail is that the technology we have in place today as we speak is immature. And most of the systems that have paper trail in the electronic machines are not working very well. In some states they should.

BECK: Come on! Come on! What are we living in, India? We live in America. We can`t make a little printer that shoots out your record?

BRADEN: Well, the reality, of course, is we could do that, but you don`t want a piece of paper that shoot out the record. Because if you give a piece of paper to the voter as to how he voted or she voted, then we`ve returned to the old days of prior to the Australian ballot. And then we have a piece of paper somebody can exchange for money or a gratuity for their vote.

That`s why we have a seek vet ballot so people cannot say this is how I voted and prove how they voted. So we don`t want to give a piece of paper to the voter. But we want a piece of paper -- we want a piece of paper in the machine...

BECK: Right.

BRADEN: ... to make sure the electronic thing isn`t rigged.

BECK: All right. You make me feel better. Mark, thanks for stopping by.

BRADEN: My pleasure.

BECK: We`ll be back in a minute.


BECK: Every day you can hear my radio program on stations all across the country, including 1210 WPHT in Philadelphia. And if you can`t find an affiliate in your area, you can always sign up and listen online at my web site,

Now, in Chicago, WLS-890 AM, Roe Conn.

Roe, there were t he plotters for the Sears Tower destruction. One of them was sentenced today for -- get this -- 14 full months.

ROE CONN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Right. This is a very interesting case, because this is a guy named Sultan Khanbey. He`s 51 years old. He`s part of a religious sect called the Morris Science Temple, and they were conspiring, as you said, to blow up the Sears Tower. They were down in Miami, though.

And they were in a warehouse -- this is the interesting part of the story. They were in a warehouse arguing about whether or not they had been infiltrated by the FBI. And one of the guys that they were arguing with was a member with the FBI.

BECK: So the answer was yes.

CONN: Yes.

BECK: That would be the answer.

CONN: Yes, they had been infiltrated. So they`re all yelling. And this guy, this Sultan Khanbey, pulls out a guy and fires it in the air. And he`s pleaded guilty to a weapons violation for firing this gun.

Now, there may be more charges. There are five or six other guys right now who are being held without any kind of bond. So we don`t know exactly what`s going to happen.

BECK: Do we know anything about this group? Are they Muslim?

CONN: Well, this is interesting. Because this kind of goes to your perfect storm theory a little bit. They are -- apparently, this Khanbey guy has got a very long criminal record.


CONN: Yes, it`s shocking, isn`t it? There are...

BECK: Look, can we show the picture? He looked like he was straight as an arrow. He did.

CONN: Actually, when that came up in the studio, everybody went uh- oh.

BECK: Yes.

CONN: He has -- he`s had a long criminal record. Some of the other guys involved in this group have long criminal records. Apparently, these are guys who are joining a religious sect to pledge allegiance to al Qaeda, but they may just be career criminals.

But this tells you that we do have to be on the lookout for home grown terrorism.

And this also tells you something else important, Glenn, that I think -- especially now that the election is -- you know, is very, very close. That when people ask the question, what`s the government doing? This is what they`re doing.

They actually did get into this group. They infiltrated them. It`s not clear whether or not they were ever capable of blowing up the Sears Tower, but we caught these guys.

BECK: You know, it`s really amazing, isn`t it, Roe? It`s a catch-22. If -- if we catch these guys in advance, it doesn`t make huge news, and everybody can still walk around. All the slugs of the earth can walk around and say, "We`re not doing anything," or "they`re not planning anything." No, we`re stopping them.

CONN: Right.

BECK: If we don`t stop them, it`s of course, because the administration or whoever is in charge, is just doing a poor job. It`s a no-win situation here.

You know what kills me, Roe, and maybe you feel the same way, 14 months. The guy was sentenced to 14 months. He was thinking about blowing up the Sears Tower.

CONN: Well, let`s not read too much into that yet.


CONN: Because they`ve only charged him -- he`s only pleaded guilty to the weapons violation. I think there is more to come here.

And this guy may not have been a significant part of the plot. Those other guys are still awaiting trial in Florida.

BECK: I got news for you. The good news is that you say there are more charges coming. The bad news is, I don`t care if he was instrumental in the plot. You are part of a plot. Bye-bye.

CONN: Yes.

BECK: Thanks a lot, Roe.

CONN: Thank you.

BECK: You bet.



BECK: All right, welcome to "The Real Story." With just 12 days to go until the elections, the hot topic all of a sudden isn`t Iraq, it`s not the economy. No, no, no. Apparently, the number-one most important issue facing the entire country right now: stem cells.

Did I -- did I miss something here? We got nuclear tests in North Korea, a nut job in Iran who thinks it`s his mission to bring on Armageddon. I ain`t kidding you. A guy in Venezuela who Rick Santorum told me today on the radio show is actively training and funding armies against us. Millions of radical Muslims who`ve made it their life mission to end the Western civilization as we know it. All with 12 days before the most important election in years, and we`re talking about stem cells?

No, no, no, no, I get it. I get it. As I figure, the Democrats are sick of Republicans saying, "A vote for the Democrats is a vote for vaporization." So they`re fighting back now with, "A vote for Republicans is a vote for terminal disease," and trying to imply that Republicans somehow or another don`t support stem cell research. But that couldn`t be further from the truth.

Oh, if you just had someone who knew the truth: Me! Do you ever wonder why you -- why we barely ever hear a word about stem cells until election time? Well, it`s because the real story is that stem cell research in this country is flourishing. In fact, the decision to ban federal funding for embryonic stem cells has increased the amount of total funding that`s available.

And that really shouldn`t come to much of a surprise to at least conservatives. History has shown us over and over again that the more government stays out of things, the better chance capitalism has to take over. Stem cell research means breakthrough drug discoveries, which means "cha-ching," huge profit potential. That`s the essence of capitalism. And, what a surprise, it`s working.

Two researchers who are generally in favor of lifting the ban of federal embryonic stem cell funding recently studied the issue and concluded -- get this -- the restrictions have had no negative effect on the total funding available because the private sector and even the state governments have simply stepped in.

California alone has earmarked $3 billion to fund research over the next 10 years, and New Jersey announced a nearly $400 million investment. That`s on top of the millions already being spent by biotech firms and universities. Do you really think that all of that money would be there if the federal government was just handing out wads of cash to everybody with their hands out?

And here`s something else the Democrats don`t want to tell you in their cute, little ad: The whole reason the federal funding for embryonic stem cells is restricted in the first place is because of a bill that was passed in Congress in 1995 and signed into law by -- oh, what was his name? He was the president -- oh, Bill Clinton. Yes, that`s right: Bill Clinton.

In fact, President Bush was the first president to ever actually give federal funding to stem cell research. But that little fact doesn`t really fit nicely into an ad campaign premise that Republicans, you know, are pro- disease.

The debate about stem cells is real. We as a nation should be talking about it. But the discussion should be about the science; it should be about the ethics, not the politics. Hopefully, in 12 days, we can do that. But I fear we`re not going to hear about it again until the next election cycle. Why? Because the funding is actually there, even though you don`t think it is.

Next, I saw a story last night with the headline -- you ready for this? -- "U.S. troops on active duty call for Iraq withdrawal." I thought, "Wow, our own troops are demanding to be sent home? That`s pretty powerful stuff." But, unfortunately, like so many other headlines that only tell you the most sensational part of the story, the real story, quite different.

This headline was actually based on an online petition that was created for active-duty U.S. troops to express their opinions to members of Congress. Conveniently, no way to actually verify how many people signed it. But let`s just take it at face value and say they`re all real. The organizers have said there are already -- I hope you`re seated, please, sit down -- there are already a whopping 219 signatures.

That means -- let me put this into perspective -- that .02 percent of all active-duty military personnel have endorsed it. Yes, .02 percent. Wow! You know, there`s a news story for you. Ten times that percentage of people believe they`ve been abducted by aliens. Where are the stories on them? You know, there aren`t, because if you published every new article every time .02 percent of the population believes in something, well, you`d have -- yes, "The National Enquirer."

Now, finally, continuing with Iraq, the media just cannot stop talking about the president`s news conference yesterday in which he said that he wasn`t satisfied with the way the war is going. Good, George, neither am I. Good, we`re on the same team.

At one point, the president even acknowledged that, if you want to see how bad things are, then, quote, "All you got to do is turn on your TV." But isn`t that part of the problem? You know, all we ever see on television is how bad things are. Where are the images, like the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima, or the firefighters stringing up a flag in the desolate pit of the World Trade Center, the ones that give us hope and perspective?

The images that show the other side of the story, the side that we can all be proud of, nonexistent, until tonight! We`re going to do a very small part to change that. Instead of me just sitting here and telling you the real story or progress in Iraq, I want to show it to you. I want you to see it. And as you watch this, I want you to ask yourself, "Why is it I have never seen these photos or have never heard these statistics before?"


BECK (voice-over): Hardly a day goes by that you don`t read another headline or see another news report about how bad things are in Iraq. "The people don`t want us there!" they say. "Too many solders are dying!"

Well, maybe some of that`s true: Things are tough in Iraq. After all, it`s not easy to put a country of 25 million people back together after decades of war and neglect. But maybe there`s another side to the story, a side the media doesn`t talk much about because the headlines just aren`t as sensational as death and destruction, a side our troops on the ground see every day with their eyes and every night in their dreams, but that you probably don`t even know exists.

The real story about Iraq can be found in the eyes of the children, 98 percent of whom have been vaccinated for diseases like polio or who are attending one of the 4,500 schools that have been rebuilt and restocked with over 8 million textbooks by coalition forces. You can also see it in the bravery and patriotism of the 19,000 newly trained members of the elite Iraqi special police force, and the 18,000 border agents who are now protecting Iraq`s border with Syria, or the amazing progress of Iraq`s economy, where over 33,000 new businesses have started up since the end of the war.

The real story can even be seen in places you`d never even think to look, like the fact, under Saddam, virtually no one had even heard of a cell phone. Today, there are over 5 million users.

You can find the real story in the fact that 25 percent of the Iraqi parliament is made up of women, the highest proportion in the Arab world, or you could find it in the fact that freedom of speech isn`t a dream anymore. Over 150 newspaper and TV shows discuss political events freely, and campaign posters are displayed in almost every major city.

But perhaps the most telling example of all can be found in the story of the governor of the Anbar Province. In just one year`s time, he`s survived 30 assassination attempts. His home endured attacks from grenades, mortar shells, and machine gun fire almost daily. His 13-year- old son was kidnapped right from school.

But every morning, without a second thought, the governor gets up, puts on a suit, and goes to work. When asked why he would risk his life every day for the sake of a job, his answer was plain and profound: "There`s nothing greater than serving my country."

And that is the real story.


BECK: Please, help us share this video and these amazing stories that you`re just not seeing anywhere else with as many people as possible. We have made this essay available for free on my Web site at Please, go there; download it; send it to as many people as you possibly can. We`re trying to do our best to show the other side of the story, but we need your help to spread the world -- the word.

Now, let`s go to Erica Hill, "Straight to Hill." Erica is the anchor of "PRIME NEWS" on Headline News.

Hi, Erica.


BECK: How are things?

HILL: Things are not bad. That`s a snappy tie you`ve got on today.

BECK: Oh, you like that? I thought I -- I was a little nervous when I put it on. I thought...

HILL: It`s very festive.

BECK: Yes, it is. Well, it`s some holiday somewhere, I`m sure.

HILL: I`m sure it is, absolutely.

BECK: What`s the latest?

HILL: Gee, this is a big story, a follow-up here, a story that got a lot of attention initially. Today, a Danish court dismissing a defamation lawsuit which was filed against the newspaper that first printed those controversial cartoons depicting the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.

Now, you may recall at the time seven Danish Muslims claimed those drawings were meant to insult the prophet and to mock Islam. And the reason it`s been such a big deal is because Islamic law forbids any depiction, whether it`s positive or negative, of the Prophet Muhammad. And one of those drawings showed Muhammad wearing a turban with a bomb wrapped in it. Protests around the world, a lot of them violent, as you see in the pictures there. The court, though, found no basis here to show that the purpose of that drawing was ever meant to insult Muslims.

BECK: That`s really weird, because we`re not under Islamic law, at least yet. What a surprise, the judge -- and may I just say, your honor, peace be upon you. Erica, thank you.

HILL: Have a good night.



BECK: Can we just give conservatives the benefit of the doubt that we wouldn`t like poor children to starve? Can we just give the benefit of the doubt to conservatives that, just because I`m a conservative, it doesn`t mean in my spare time on the weekends I go up with a chain saw, cut down trees, and just start all of the engines on the block just to put smog up into the air?

Can we just give the conservatives the benefit of the doubt of being actual compassionate human beings that just happen to have a different philosophy when it comes to policies not principles? I don`t think all Democrats want our soldiers to die. I don`t think all Democrats want us to have a hammer and a sickle on our flag. We`ll actually be able to have a real conversation...


BECK: ... if we could just all admit that.

Election Day less than two weeks away. All eyes are focused on Congress, where -- I know it sounds scary, but it looks like the Democrats stand a decent chance of taking control. Oops, was that divisive?

This is the story that everybody`s talking about, so it makes perfect sense that I would send Brian Sack out to report on the election, and he would decide to completely ignore that story and file this report.


BRIAN SACK, PUBLIC VIEWER (voice-over): Throughout our political history, third parties have often played a vital role. Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, Earl Dodge -- what, you never heard of earl dodge? All right, well, OK, maybe third parties aren`t that important.

But as the Prohibition Party candidate for president in 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000, and 2004, Earl Dodge could teach our current politicians an awful lot about losing. This November, literally thousands of third-party candidates won`t be influencing our nation`s races, races like the turbulent battles for the New Jersey Senate seat vacated by gazillionaire Jon Corzine. While Robert Menendez and Tom Kean, Jr., are the current front-runners, one third-party candidate can`t be ignored, and that would be truck driver Ed Forchion of the Legalize Marijuana Party.

Unlike so many of those third parties that tend to focus on just a single issue, the Legalize Marijuana Party is more than just a political party advocating the reform of marijuana laws. It`s also a political party advocating the reform of hashish laws and psychedelic mushroom laws. You get the picture.

Ironically, it`s these very laws that are keeping Forchion from getting his message out. And just what is Ed Forchion`s message? It`s a message of inspiration.


SACK: A message of unity.

FORCHION: I would love to have George Bush and Osama bin Laden sit down and smoke, mellow out, and we`d have peace on Earth.

SACK: A message that is truly the American dream.

FORCHION: Here in America, you can get marijuana almost anywhere. I mean, I`ve bought marijuana in the whitest city of America, Salt Lake City. Me, a black man, in Salt Lake City buying marijuana? You can buy marijuana anywhere.

SACK: During my nearly one-hour exclusive sit-down interview with Forchion, we spoke of many topics, ranging from marijuana...

FORCHION: Ganja, cheva, sess...

SACK: ... to marijuana...

FORCHION: ... hays, herb, Mary Jane...

SACK: Even when discussing the war in Iraq, the conversation came back to marijuana.

(on camera): If Saddam Hussein did have a stash of WMDs, where would you recommend he hide his stash?

FORCHION: In the freezer, in the garlic, in the cornfield, under the couch, next to the TV, under the TV.

SACK (voice-over): Now, some would say a vote for a third party is a vote wasted, but others might say, if you`re voting for Ed Forchion, you probably are wasted.

FORCHION: One of my slogans is, "Take a toke and throw the weed man a vote."

SACK (on camera): Let`s imagine Hell freezes over, pigs fly, and you get elected to the U.S. Senate. What are you going to do on your first day?

FORCHION: On my first day, I`m going to twist up a fatty, for one thing. And I would twist up a fatty and basically celebrate a real person being elected.

SACK (voice-over): Ed Forchion, you`ve got my vote. Oh, wait, I don`t even live in New Jersey. Oh, I must be stoned.


BECK: This is amazing. Brian Sack, welcome to the program.

SACK: Yes, sir.

BECK: This guy really is for real, too, isn`t he?

SACK: He is for real. I don`t know if he remembers, but he did run for governor of New Jersey, the Garden State, last year, and in fact he walked away with 10,000 votes.

BECK: You`ve got to be kidding me.

SACK: I`m absolutely serious.

BECK: Ten thousand people voted for this guy?

SACK: Ten thousand people voted for him.

BECK: And does he have problems raising money?

SACK: You know, he`s raised some money. He`s tough competition there. Those are both millionaires, but he has managed to raise, my sources say, $372, which he has stashed around the house. He does have a unique fundraising method, which is a raffle. He is giving away two ounces of pot to the winner of the raffle, which is questionable when it comes to ethics, but it`s highly illegal.

BECK: I was going to say, I don`t think it`s questionable at all. I think it`s highly illegal and highly wrong, as well. Do you think that smoking -- because I`ve got to tell you, I`m a former drug user, and I am not -- I just did so much damage to my body and my brain. Do you think this guy would have a hard time legislating or would it...

SACK: You know, it hasn`t affected his ability to be a long-haul truck driver. I think some of the problems with the campaign right now are the frequent campaign stops for munchies.

BECK: Wait, wait, wait. He`s actually a driver? He`s on the road now?

SACK: Well, he does not smoke when he drives. He made that very clear.

BECK: Sure.

SACK: But, you know, he does stop during the campaign.

BECK: You`re high right now, aren`t you, Brian?

SACK: You know, there was some secondhand smoke. And, you know, the more I think about it, the more the universe is possibly on the end of your finger and maybe there`s a giant in space...

BECK: That`s weird.

SACK: ... and, you know, we`re all part of -- I kind of feel like this chair, like I`ve become one with this chair.

BECK: All right, good bye, good bye.

SACK: You look very vibrant.

BECK: Brian Sack, thank you very much.

SACK: Thanks for having me.


BECK: All right, we`re going to get to your mail in a second, but first let`s check in with Nancy Grace to see what she`s got coming up on the show tonight -- Nancy?

NANCY GRACE, CNN HOST: Glenn, tonight, cover girl Anna Nicole Smith evicted from her Bahamas seaside mansion, on the heels of an unexplained death of her young son and the birth of her brand-new baby girl. And, Glenn, to Vermont, where a 21-year-old coed goes missing after a birthday party at a local restaurant. Tonight, new details emerge.

BECK: Don`t forget, you can check out NANCY GRACE tonight, 8:00 and 10:00 Eastern.

All right, let`s get to the e-mail. First, we have one from Matthew in Providence. He writes, "Hey, Glenn, when gas prices were really high, that`s all the news we heard about. Have you noticed, now that they`re way lower, we don`t hear a peep?"

Well, actually, Matthew, that`s not exactly true. In fact, today, believe it or not, there was a report that said the fatter you are, the worse gas mileage you get. In an identical car, someone who carries around an extra 100 pounds will burn an additional 18 gallons of gas per year. That`s the cost of about approximately 40 Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers.

Or to put it another way, if Paris Hilton drove a Hummer 12,000 miles a year and Michael Moore drove a Toyota Prius the same distance, they would burn exactly the same amount of fuel. Isn`t that weird? It`s amazing.

Of course, we did have to estimate Michael Moore and Paris Hilton`s weight for the purposes of this example, so it`s only accurate if the estimates are correct, which I`m pretty sure they are, even though we just kind of eyeballed both of them. Sort of a guesstimate, if you will.

All right, Alex in Arizona writes, "Glenn, my wife and I just love your show, and I thought of an analogy for the way politicians are campaigning against each other. They treat each other like they just broke up. Do you remember when you were dumped?" No. "And no matter what good there was about that girl, she suddenly became the most evil person around? Anything she said was wrong, and it was your responsibility to slander her. That`s what you see on the commercials about opposing candidates."

You know what? I`ve got to tell you, I love you. No, I do. I love this audience. Great analogy. In fact, Alex, it`s so good I`m going to send you a free subscription to my magazine, "Fusion." And this isn`t some shameless plug. Oops, oh, who put that on the screen? Oh, gee, see, I wanted to convince you that I`m a giver.

Yes, if you`d like to subscribe to "Fusion," you can go to -- this is really shameless -- or you can call 888-GLENN- BECK, although you probably knew that because it was just on your screen a second ago. We`ll see tomorrow on the radio show, you sick, twisted freak. Back here tomorrow with John Edward.


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