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Glenn Beck

Can Rudy Win the Presidency?; NASA Astronaut Charged with Attempted Murder; Controversy Whirls around Cross in College Chapel

Aired February 06, 2007 - 19:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST: Coming up. Rudy Giuliani is throwing his hat into the presidential ring and the real question is can conservatives get behind this guy?
Plus for all of you sports fans out there, the one and only A-Rod, New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez, speaks to me. Nightmare television coming up.


ANNOUNCER: Tonight`s episode is brought to you by NASA, because even a crazy, diaper-wearing maniac can be an astronaut, too.


BECK: All right, as we told you yesterday, one of the heroes of 9/11, former New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani, moved closer to an `08 presidential run, when he officially filed a statement of candidacy.

What that officially means, I have absolutely no idea, but most polls indicate that Giuliani is one of the favorites to win the Republican Party nomination at this point.

Here`s the point tonight. Let`s be honest with ourselves. Conservatives want to nominate Rudy Giuliani. We want to like the guy. We just -- you know, we wouldn`t want him being president of the United States as long as he`s not as liberal and screwed up as many conservatives fear he just might be.

Here`s how I got there. Rudy Giuliani is kind of like the Republican Party`s Barack Obama but with a resume. Barack Obama has been anointed, I think, Jesus by the Democrats, while the Republicans are anointing Rudy as the 9/11 Terminator, but they each have a tough road ahead of them, because as far as images go you can really only go downhill from Jesus and the Terminator. The more we find out about Obama and Giuliani the more America may go, uh, not so much.

Now, Rudy Giuliani has a lot of things going for him, which have all been well documented. He cleaned up New York City. I mean, this place was a crime-ridden cesspool before he took office. Now it`s just a cesspool.

He barred Yasser Arafat from the Lincoln Center when Arafat was being wined and dined by the Clintons. Giuliani said, "I know who this guy is and I have a memory. He`s not welcome here."

He was the model of courage and strong leadership during 9/11, but he also has some pretty heavy bags right there off to the side of him. Let`s look at some of the baggage facts.

A little one. He appeared on "Saturday Night Live" in a dress. OK. John McCain dressed up as a hippie on "Saturday Night Live". His image is still intact.

He`s been married three times. OK, not great, but, whatever. Then you find out his first wife turned out to be his second cousin. Uh-oh. Now we`re starting to get into a little Jerry Lee Lewis territory. His second wife claims that she found out they were getting divorced via press conference. That`s not too good.

His third wife, current wife, Judi Nathan Giuliani, which I wonder if he ever becomes president and then leaves office, she just become Judi Nathan again, said in a recent interview with "Harper`s Bazaar" that -- well, this was an interview that made me almost cry. It was very, very tender.

She said of Rudy, "He`s a very, very Romantic guy. We love watching `Sleepless in Seattle`."

She then went on to describe him as the Energizer bunny with no rechargeable batteries. Eww. Kind of -- when I read that, it was like -- it`s like my soul threw up in its little soul mouth just a little bit, you know? It`s like "Penthouse" forum meeting "Highlights for Children", assuming that she was referring to his libido which, I don`t know, maybe he says he only sleeps for three hours a night. I`m not sure. I`m not asking any questions. Well, I`m asking questions, but I don`t really want the answers on that one.

Even so, I still don`t have a hard time seeing Rudy Giuliani as president of the United States, but I am having a really hard time now imagining her as first lady.

But finally, there`s stuff, you know, that I like to call the stuff that actually matters. We used to call those things issues. The issues are he`s pro-choice. In fact, the way it`s being spun by some in the media, he`s so pro-choice it`s almost that he`s pro-abortion to the extent that he once said he`d pay for his daughter`s abortion if she asked for it, although he did say he`d try to talk her out of it first by offering to raise the hypothetical child in her stead.

You know, I`d like to hear what Rudy Giuliani has to say about that and a lot of other things like gun control and gay marriage, you know, before I make up my mind on who he really is.

So tonight here`s what I do know. Rudy Giuliani, I think, is an exciting candidate. This guy doesn`t take crap from anybody. He transformed New York City before and after 9/11. He is the next mayor, mark my words, after La Guardia, to have an airport named after him in New York, but he`s also twice divorced, pro-choice, Energizer Bunny who married his cousin, which leads me to what I don`t know.

Which Giuliani is going to show up in our mind`s eye at the voting booth, the 9/11 Rudy or the Jerry Springer Rudy?

Andrew Kirtzman, author of "Rudy Giuliani: Emperor of the City".

Andrew, which is it that`s going to be the lasting impression when you`re walking into the voting booth?

ANDREW KIRTZMAN, AUTHOR, "RUDY GIULIANI": I think that Giuliani has probably been able to overcome a lot of the personal issues in his life because he has strong a strong persona, obviously from his leadership on 9/11 but also from his leadership of New York City.

And I think the key to understanding Giuliani is that this is a guy who, because of his exploits of 9/11 and because of what happened in New York City, he`s come to represent people`s personal security.

BECK: Right.

KIRTZMAN: And I think he`s more than a politician. He`s a phenomenon. That`s why people have been willing to overlook a lot of the kind of unusual things that have happened in his life.

BECK: I`m going to be real honest with you, Andrew. I find myself torn at this time, because I believe character matters, and I`m not sure about Rudy Giuliani`s character with his family life. I need to -- I need to read your book. I need to read more about Rudy Giuliani to know how I feel about his personal life because I believe character does matter. I said that in the `90s.

However, I`m a one-issue guy, and when it comes to security, there`s just nobody going to be able to beat Rudy Giuliani on security.

KIRTZMAN: Well, you know, there you go. And I think a lot of conservatives are kind of in the same boat. They`re going to have to decide what kind of character he has.

I mean, you know, I think it`s easy to kind of caricature his one divorce, his one annulment, you know, his getting up in drag. But, you know, in truth this is a guy who was raised blue collar, Roman Catholic, conservative in Brooklyn and has tried to kind of acclimate himself to the political environment as he`s gone along.

And as, you know, complications have developed in his life, he`s approached them the way he`s approached everything else in his public career which is, you know, this is me. Take it or leave it, but I`m not going to change for you, and I really don`t care what people think of me.

BECK: Right.

KIRTZMAN: And that`s partially why I wrote my book, because he`s such an unusual politician. He really doesn`t care what people think.

BECK: And I -- and I absolutely love him for that, but, you know, the whole dressing in drag thing is really no big deal.

But I think when it comes to the three wives, you kind of ask yourself after the `90s is this guy going to be Bill Clinton? I mean, can he -- I don`t mean to be rude here, but can he keep it in his pants? Is he -- does he have anything that shows him as a guy who is a guy`s guy, you know what I mean?

KIRTZMAN: I`m not sure how to answer that. That`s a loaded question. I mean, I think Giuliani is not a playboy if that`s what the implication is. I mean, he`s a person who has had a lot of complications in his life and has handled some of them very badly.


KIRTZMAN: There`s no question that he was, you know, he was seeing Judi Nathan before he divorced Donna Hanover and, you know, the press just killed him for it.

BECK: But, you know, you say that he`s a guy who wants to stand up for what he is, and he doesn`t care what people think about him, but you told me this morning on the radio program that he lost, what was it in `89 as a pro-life candidate.


BECK: He came back in `92 and ran as a pro-choice candidate and won.


BECK: Is that standing up for what you believe in?

KIRTZMAN: Well, I think on abortion, I think the bottom line is that he doesn`t really feel very strongly about it one way or another. I think that`s probably as close to the truth as you`re going to get.

And that`s why, you know, he went into the `89 race opposing Roe v. Wade. He got just killed for it by this liberal Democratic city, you know, took two weeks off. I write about it in the book, took two weeks off, wouldn`t take any calls. Came out, issued a clarification and said he was for it, and ever since then, you know, he`s been a pro-choice mayor. In fact, he received 100 percent approval rating from NARAL.

He went, you know -- he went to the opposite extreme and now, of course, that`s coming back to haunt him, because he`s got a national race to run. And he`s got to impress the Republican Party, and that doesn`t go over very well, so he`s going to try to nuance it.

BECK: Andrew, thanks a lot.


BECK: Now I don`t know if you remember this, but in the early days of Rudy Giuliani`s political career, he was a lot less careful as the mayor of New York than he is today, and I can`t imagine how this is going to come back to haunt him, but it just might.


ANNOUNCER: And now another installment of "What Was I Thinking?"

RUDY GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Maybe you can tell me what you think of this scent?


GIULIANI: This may be the best of all.

Oh, you dirty boy, you. Oh, oh. Donald, I thought you were a gentleman.

ANNOUNCER: That was another installment of "What Was I Thinking?"



BECK: I don`t know what he`d be like as president but he makes one ugly woman.

Coming up, the story that brings new meaning to the term star-crossed lovers. An alleged kidnapping plot involving a NASA astronaut, adult diapers and bizarre details. They`re next.

Plus Iranian diplomats being kidnapped by Iraqi soldiers, U.S. choppers being shot down by Russian missiles. Is it time to finally admit that we just might be in the middle of a world war? That`s the "The Real Story" tonight.

And New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez, better known as A-Rod, stops by to discuss his new book and talk political baseball with me, the expert. Really? Do we have to talk about baseball? Can we talk about, I don`t know, Twinkies? Everybody loves Twinkies. Let`s unite on Twinkies, me and A-Rod.


BECK: It`s a crowded ADD-riddled brain, and it`s a mess up there. One of the things that`s been bouncing around in my head all day is this astronaut story. Did you hear about this? When did NASA lose control of our astronauts?

Lisa Nowak, she was 220 miles above earth. This is about a month ago. She was completing her mission on the International Space Station. Today she finds herself charged with attempted murder. Apparently reentry into life on this planet has been a little tricky for her.

Seems this woman, who is a married mother of three, allegedly involved in a love triangle with a fellow astronaut, Commander William Oefelein, who is unmarried but purportedly seeing a less insane Air Force engineer, not the crazy astronaut.

Well, the crazy astronaut decides to confront the woman she believes was trying to steal her man. Trouble is she decided to do this while wearing a disguise and armed with a B.B. gun, pepper spray, a steel mallet, a four-inch folding knife, rubber tubing and a bunch of garbage bags.

A disguise? Actually it was a wig, dark glasses and a trench coat. Not exactly James Bond. It`s like a bad episode from "Columbo".

Now I know what you`re probably thinking. Any story that begins with a woman in a wig toting a mallet and garbage bags, this one is not going to end well, is it, Glenn? No, no, it actually does, but there`s more.

Before touching down in Orlando to talk to her romantic rival, Captain Lisa had to rocket her way from Houston, making the 900-mile trip non-stop so, of course, to make that without any rest stops she had to, you know, she did what any of us would do, wear diapers. Hello.

The story could have a much more tragic ending, but fortunate, police were called in time and no one was hurt. However, this has called in to question, you know, the nature of some of the relationships there in NASA and the mental health of those that were rocketing up into space.

Eben Brown is a reporter at News Radio 970, WFLA in Tampa. He`s been following the story closely, which is still developing this evening.

Eben, right before earlier today they were going to release her on, like $15,000 bail, and then they held her back. Why did they hold her back?

EBEN BROWN, REPORTER, NEWS RADIO 970: Well, Glenn, the initial charges were just first-degree, I think, attempted kidnapping and some other associated charges.

After the judge agreed to let her go on $15,000 bond, some of those charges she was going to be ROR, released on her own recognizance. She`d have to wear a monitoring device. As she was being escorted out of the -- out of the courthouse, Orlando police come by and say, "Now wait a second. We`re also going to charge you first-degree attempted murder, and we`re putting you back in jail."

BECK: And why is that? Is that just because she had the big knife, the rubber tubing, the mallet and the garbage bags?

BROWN: Yes, they are putting, you know, "A" and "B" together and trying to figure it out all. What is it that she could have done or possibly have done or may have wanted to have done, and they figured let`s -- let`s just do this right now.

BECK: Eben, do you know, is this -- is this the first astronaut crime that we`ve had in the space program?

BROWN: You know, it`s certainly the first that I`ve heard of. She, I believe, is the first astronaut to be arrested, to be charged with a crime such as this, to be publicly involved in a love triangle of such sorts, so this is kind of shocking the Florida space community for a bit.

BECK: I bet it is. I remember growing up -- now I`m 40. I don`t even know what I am, 42, 43 years old. And I remember growing up, and the big phrase was what are you, are you a rocket scientist? For me it was always he`s no rocket scientist. He`s not an astronaut.

When did we lower our standards? When did we stop doing psychological profiles on people before we launched them up to the International Space Station?

BROWN: Well, this is confusing a lot of people. This woman, Lisa Marie Nowak, she`s a naval captain. That`s the equivalent to an Army or Marine colonel, a high ranking officer. Her only superiors in the military are generals and admirals.

So this is not someone -- you know, this is someone who`s had a lot of schooling, who is kind of considered the academic best of the best, you know, to get into the space program. So a lot of people are going what?

BECK: I would imagine that -- I mean, hey, I`m not a rocket scientist, but I am a thinker. I would imagine that a crazy person up on the International Space Station could cause a few problems for everybody involved.

Is there any kind of -- was there -- do we know anything at this point about her history? Were there any signs that this woman was as unstable as she appears to be?

BROWN: Well, some of her astronauts that worked with her at NASA have spoken up, and they`ve said, that you know, they`re completely perplexed by this. One astronaut said that perplexed was the word that he wanted to use, and he didn`t want to say anything past that. So this is coming to a surprise to a lot of people over at NASA, both in Florida and Texas.

BECK: I wonder if she`s going to end up in rehab like everybody seems to be ending up here lately. What is -- what`s next for the other two involved, quickly?

BROWN: Well, so far we really don`t know. We know the victim, the other woman, is going to be in some sort of protective custody or have some sort of police protection for now, and there hasn`t been any talk of what the man involved may or may not be facing if any involvement he`s had.

However, we should also know that we are talking about people in the military here, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice may be applicable. She may be facing other charges in the military.

BECK: That`s craziness. Eben, thanks a lot.

Now coming up next, why some people have a problem, get this, with a cross in a chapel. World`s upside down. Back in a minute.


BECK: Kim Jong-Il, you know, his country is starving to death. He`s decided that he is -- he`s buying German-grade giant bunny rabbits. It is a 25-pound bunny rabbit, and he has decided that he`s going to import these bunny rabbits to help with starvation, because they grow to enormous size.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So then you can eat lots of bunny.

BECK: Lots of bunny. Now why wouldn`t you just ship cows? They get bigger than rabbits.


BECK: Well, for almost 70 years, a simple brass cross adorning a chapel at the altar at the College of William and Mary brought comfort to those who sought it. For those who, you know, didn`t share a Christian faith, they could just request that the cross be taken out of there.

That system, however, not quite simple enough for the school`s president, Gene Nichol, who`s decided to remove that evil cross permanently. He had it removed this past fall in the name of making the chapel open to worshippers of all faiths. Wasn`t that the case before?

Facing increasing protests, Nichol has allowed the cross to be returned on Sundays only, but this week William and Mary`s governing board is going to meet to discuss restoring the cross to the chapel, kicking political correctness to the curb.

Vince Haley, founder of, graduated from William and Mary in 1988.

Vince, why all the divisiveness? I mean, that cross, it`s got to go. You know it and I know it.

VINCE HALEY, FOUNDER, SAVETHEWRENCROSS.ORG: Yes, I think it`s a phony controversy. This came out of the blue. There was no public discussion, and then we learn in the newspapers at the end of October that the cross was removed in order to make the chapel, quote, "more welcoming."

BECK: OK. So wait a minute. There wasn`t -- there wasn`t an outcry? Wait a minute. I`m just showing a picture of the cross now. This is an uncomfortable work environment now.

HALEY: Yes. It`s an 18-inch cross that was on the altar table there for the last 70 years, in this beautiful chapel at one of the world`s great liberal arts universities, William and Mary. And this chapel is 275 years old. And for some reason it was thought by the president that we needed to remove it to make it more welcoming.

BECK: Did he ever explain what the catalyst was?

HALEY: Well, he said that over the last couple months that he had a number of conversations with people that were uncomfortable about the cross on the altar table. And, you know, we asked some documents or some students requested documents, and there`s one letter revealed by somebody who apparently knows the president that was uncomfortable about the cross on the table.

BECK: You know, I`ve been to synagogues, and I haven`t been uncomfortable with the star of David. You know what? I`ve been in the room where they say the Last Supper took place, and it`s got all kinds of Muslim symbols all over it. I wasn`t in the room of the Last Supper, offended by the crescent. I mean, can we get a life here, people?

HALEY: Well, you`re not alone in that view. The governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine, expressed something similar to that. He was asked on a radio show about this. And he said, "Look, I don`t see the need to do that." It certainly didn`t offend him, the cross. He commented about how it`s unique to William and Mary`s heritage, and he sure would like to see it continue the way it was.

And so the William and Mary board that meets this week has to face a choice between restoring the heritage of the college or going off in this new direction, this new theory that somehow religious symbols are obstacles to us getting along with one another at the heart of a great public university.

BECK: It`s absolutely unbelievable. So I would imagine on your web site people are signing petitions. What are you asking people to do? What would help get the cross back?

HALEY: Well, we`ve asked people to sign the petition. The petition is very simple. It says we disagree with this change and would like to go back to the former policy. And so people can sign that.

People have all different types of reasons why they disagree with the policy, and they`ve written letters. We`ve posted some letters online. People can send e-mails to the president. People can send e-mails to the board of visitors.

BECK: I`m looking at the pictures of this cross and I`m thinking, man, unless you are somebody who has been actually crucified or you`re a vampire, I can`t imagine what`s spooking you about it.

Vince, thanks a lot.

HALEY: Thanks.

BECK: We`ll be back with the "The Real Story" next.


BECK: All right. Welcome to "The Real Story."

Yesterday, the president sent Congress a $2.9 trabillion budget, and it was very warmly received by the Democrats. No, it was. Today the media is throwing around a bunch of different numbers, but the only real number that matters is this one: $1.6 trillion. That is the amount of money that we`re going to keep if the president gets to keep his first-term tax cuts and make them permanent.

But the Democrats aren`t exactly lining up to support that, which is a shame, because the real story is that virtually every tax cut in history has helped the U.S. economy, and this one is no different. Now, for any Democrat who is too busy to do their own homework, please, let me do it for you. I`ll give you a quick history lesson.

Let`s start in the 1920s. You might remember it as the roaring `20s. Guess why they were roaring? Congress cut taxes five times during that decade. According to the U.S. Treasury, quote, "As tax rates declined, the economy was strengthened further." Gee, that doesn`t sound logical. After the stock market crash in `29, the brainiacs in the government figured out what better way to get us out of this hole than to make everybody pay more in taxes, so they raised them.

By 1936, the top tax rate had ballooned to -- you ready? -- 79 percent. Gee, you still wonder why it took us so long to get out of the Great Depression? By the end of World War II, taxes had been raised so much that the wealthiest people faced a top marginal tax rate of 94 percent. That`s probably about the same time that the Grand Caymans became quite the offshore travel destination.

By the late 1960s, early `70s, the economy was not surprisingly underperforming badly. Enter Ronald Reagan, 1981, tax cuts. They worked so well that the U.S. Treasury said, quote, "They convinced many political leaders of both parties that lower tax rates were essential to a strong economy."

Did you hear that? People in charge of our money said the evidence was so overwhelming that tax cuts actually became bipartisan. During Reagan`s term in office, our country`s gross domestic product had grown an unbelievable 27 percent. Unfortunately, those pesky, you know, 22nd amendment details got in the way and Reagan had to leave office, giving way to Mr. "Read My Lips" himself, George Bush, who promptly signed a, quote, "significant tax increase" right into law in 1990. Through not to be shocked, but our GDP actually declined in `91. Starting to see a trend here?

Bill Clinton apparently didn`t, because when he took office he raised taxes again. Now, the `90s were good, Glenn, how does this make sense? Well, there was the collapse of the USSR, low inflation and interest rates, and the advent of a little something called the information age, the interweb and superhighway. It bailed us out for a while eventually, because of that and corruption, all of that faded away, and we faced another downturn.

That brings us to 2001 and George Bush`s tax cuts. The Treasury Department says these cuts not only ended that downturn early, but they propelled us into the amazing economy that we have now, an economy that is breaking records even in the face of terror and war, one of our country`s most challenging times in history.

Now, it sounds crazy, I know, but when you give people more money, they spend that money. That means people have to be hired to make more stuff for the stuff that people want to buy. When they hire more people to make that stuff, those people have higher salaries or more salaries, which means they pay more taxes.

Now we sit here in 2007, with one of the best economies of all time, and we`re debating whether or not to make these cuts the same ones that created this economy permanent? I`m all for a good debate, Washington, but when it comes to tax cuts, the only thing we should be debating is the sanity of anybody who is actually against them. But they will debate these tax cuts, because the last thing they want to do is what they know everybody else knows they should do, and that is cut spending.

Next, in Iraq, yesterday, a group of 30 gunmen dressed in Iraqi special operations uniforms kidnapped a high-ranking Iranian diplomat right off a Baghdad street. Now, they tried to escape, but Iraqi police opened fire. They caught six of the kidnappers, brought them back to the police station.

Don`t get excited. A little while later, another security force showed up and said, "Yes, we have instructions to transport the kidnappers to the serious crimes building." Swear to you, you can`t make this stuff up. You guessed it: The kidnappers haven`t been heard from since. They`re gone, disappeared.

Iranians, of course, are blaming the whole thing on us, the U.S. They say that the men who kidnapped the diplomat were soldiers who work for or under the supervision of American forces. Of course, they also claimed that they`re going to be announcing an herbal cure for AIDS this coming Sunday, so they`re not real high up in the trust tree with me.

But I`ll be real honest with you. The first thing that came to mind when I heard this story today was, "Uh-oh, is this it?" And then my second thought was, "Were the Iranians actually behind this?"

Now, call me Mr. Conspiracy Theory, which I really am, but what better way to make us look corrupt and evil than framing us for a violent kidnapping of an innocent diplomat? And all of that conjecture and all of that conspiracy is just that, but that`s exactly the problem.

The real story is we have reached such an unbelievable level of distrust with Iran that we don`t believe a word that the other is saying. That scares me to my core, because last week I talked to you about how I believe World War III is going to start with a whimper and not a bang, just like the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand that led to World War I.

I mean, there could be another Pearl Harbor, a 9/11, and that would certainly do the trick, but my gut tells me that the trigger is going to be something that first shows up buried on page eight of your paper, a story like this one, something that seems so harmless at first that you don`t even pay attention to it, but it turns out to be a pivotal moment in time. That domino triggers an unstoppable change of events.

Now, I am not saying that the kidnappings of this diplomat is that event, but I`m not not saying that, either. Just keep your eyes open. If this story starts to move from page eight to page five, chances are it will go to page two and maybe page one. And if that happens, the headline above the fold might just read "World War III."

James Carafano, he is counterterrorism expert at the Heritage Foundation. James, I`m trying to understand this story. Who do you think is responsible for the kidnapping of this diplomat?

JIM CARAFANO, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Well, there`s a long possible list of, you know, guilty parties. It could be Sunnis. The Sunnis are not thrilled that the Iranians are paying Shias to kill Sunnis, so that`s certainly likely. There are Shia groups that are actually fighting each other.

Some Shia groups are very pro-Iranian, and there are others that are anti-Iranian, so it could be a jealous Shia group going after these guys. The Iranians could have staged the thing themselves. It could have just been a bunch of criminals trying to extort money from the Iranians, so there`s a long list of people that might have done this.

BECK: You know what, James? This kind of goes into what I was talking about yesterday on the program with somebody, that it`s hard to see us escaping a major war in the Middle East, just because this whole -- I mean, this whole thing is chaos. You don`t know what the facts are. Something small could happen and then be twisted, and you won`t know. It will just ignite. Is that nuts to you?

CARAFANO: No, I mean, I think your concerns are valid. I mean, most wars actually begin, you know, as road accidents. People don`t go out to start, you know, World War I or World War II, and things just kind of spin out of control, so you`re right. You should be concerned about these things, because they can expand, and there is a great danger, particularly if the United States pulls out of Iraq and just, you know, leaves a vacuum, that things could really spin out of control.

But on the other hand, you know, there`s lots of events in history that start like this and, you know, go nowhere. Think back, you know, to the seizure of the Pueblo by the North Koreans. There`s a lot of times these things get tense and then they get solved.

And the reason why they get solved, you know, particularly for the United States, is when the United States is engaged, you know, when it demonstrates the will to prevail, when it demonstrates that it`s serious, you know, usually people back down. It`s when we lose our cool and lose our courage, that`s when things tend to spin out of control.

BECK: Well, but unfortunately isn`t that the message that we`re sending to the world, at least some are, that we`re losing our courage, that we don`t have the courage of conviction to be able to finish this job, and to stabilize this region, and fill the vacuum that we ourselves created?

CARAFANO: Well, you know, that`s true, and some of these resolutions of the Congress are really kind of nutty. I mean, there`s not one analyst in Washington, D.C., that doesn`t believe that the U.S. troops leave tomorrow, that you`re going to have Rwanda on steroids, something that makes Bosnia look like a nice day. And to think that we should just walk away from this and let World War III spin out of control, it`s just totally nutty.

BECK: I`ve got to tell you, I`ve said several times, go ahead, let our troops, pull them out. Let this thing, because it will -- it will become the Sudan on steroids, as you just said. I mean, it will be really bad.

Then Hollywood and all the liberals will be saying, "Hey, we`ve got to go in. Mr. President, you`ve got to go in and protect these people." It`s that nuts. Is there anybody that you think -- I mean, I`m accused all the time, "Oh, you`re just trying to stir stuff up."

I can`t say enough I think war with Iran is nightmare of possibly biblical proportions. Last thing I want is war. Is there anybody who feels that they are going to gain if there is a major war?

CARAFANO: The only people that really think that having violence spin out of control is in their favor are, you know, Al Qaeda look-alikes, Al Qaeda wannabes, people that really started with the agenda of destabilizing these governments with the notion that some day, you know, a Taliban-style regime will pop up.

But, you know, Iran doesn`t really want a regional war. Saudi Arabia doesn`t. Turkey doesn`t. But they all -- but all of them use violence to kind of push their agenda, but that`s exactly how we got into World War I. People were kind of pushing the edge trying to get an edge, and things just kind of spun out of control.

You know, I mean, there is good news here. I mean, you know, we talk about Iran, and there`s not an Iran. I mean, the Iranian people themselves -- it`s a young population, very well-educated, terrific people, but there`s nuts there running this country.

And, I mean, those are the people you really have to worry about. I mean, the Iranians are going to be marched off to their death, and it`s going to be because there`s just nuts there.

BECK: Good. James, thanks a lot. That`s "The Real Story" tonight. If you`d like to read more about this, or if you found a real story of your own, please tell us about it. Go to and click on the "Real Story" button on the front page.



BECK: This was the headline today. Tale of two cities, cold north, hot west. And then I thought, no, not a cold north. Hot west in the winter? No way. Never see that kind of behavior in the weather before.

By the way, story yesterday was the unusual amounts of heavy snow in Alaska, so heavy, in fact, that the moose had to come down into the town because he couldn`t navigate without it being plowed. Wow, global warming, that sucks. What`s next, warmish weather in Atlanta?


BECK: All right, I`m not a sports fan. In fact, I`m the guy in school who tried out for the AV squad instead of the baseball team, and I did get cut after a film strip injury. It was very nasty. But, anyway, I may run and catch and throw like an elderly diabetic woman, but I can eat my weight in double stuffed Oreos and that, my friend, is a true story.

It is ironic that today I find myself the envy of every real man in this building, because I`m sitting across from one of the greatest athletes of all time. At 29, he became the youngest player in Major League Baseball history to hit the 40 home run mark, which I hear is a big deal. And when he`s not playing third base for the New York Yankees, he finds time to write children`s book. His latest is "Out of the Ballpark." It has just been released in Spanish and English, and I am pleased to welcome Alex Rodriguez.

How are you, sir?


BECK: So I`m not a sports fan, and it`s always very awkward. I`m glad you`re one of the guys. Like we just had Jerry Rice on, and he was just like a good guy, and there seems to be fewer and fewer good guys in sports. You`re one of them.

RODRIGUEZ: Well, Jerry is one of my favorites. I mean, talking about a great role model, a guy that played for so many years and was so consistent, world champion, did everything you can do.

But at the same time I think, for me growing up, I looked up to guys like Cal Ripken and Keith Hernandez, guys that, having especially one mother and not my father around, it was important for me to have role models and mentors to kind of develop my career. And, you know, for me, hard work, dedication and staying out of trouble was always, you know, first on my list.

BECK: Motivation, like, I mean, you`re not hurting for money or anything. Motivation for the book, why did you write the book?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, I wrote a book 10 years ago, and it was an autobiography for children. And I was overwhelmed with the response that I got on a national level from parents and children.

Fast forward that to today, 10 years later, and now being a husband and a father, I just get tremendous joy when I see my baby girl, who`s two now, reach over and grab her books. And before she goes to bed, she reaches over and grabs the books again.

I think, as parents, we have an incredible opportunity and a window to help our children read and also educate their mind. And I think there`s a tremendous residual, as you get into your junior high, high school, and university, if you did read early.

BECK: $252 million, wow.

RODRIGUEZ: It`s pretty cool.

BECK: I would imagine that is. You know that Beckham guy is $500 -- you know you`re being ripped off?

RODRIGUEZ: Yes, that was a pretty big -- I was very, very happy.


RODRIGUEZ: I was very happy for Beckham. I don`t know much about soccer, but that`s pretty good.

BECK: Yes, well, you must have been happy. That must take some of the pressure off of you.

RODRIGUEZ: Not really. You know, I think the one thing that I`ve been so fortunate with is, having these great finances that baseball provides, is I`ve been able to touch thousands of kids all over America and in the Dominican Republic, through my charity, through my foundation, through the United Way. And it`s something that I`m very proud of and I hope to continue to help out children all over America.

BECK: I know you are very involved in charity, and it must be a great blessing to be able to do that. On the flip side, does it wreck the game at all? To have that, that`s got to be outrageous pressure?

RODRIGUEZ: It is outrageous pressure. You know, I never knew that signing the contract would bring that much pressure, that much notoriety to the element of money. I`ve always wanted to be known for my work ethic, my accomplishment.

BECK: Right.

RODRIGUEZ: My hopefully being a future world champion and doing the things that I`ve always aspired to do as a young boy, especially coming from a single parent, being a Hispanic kid from Miami. I always looked at myself like an underdog. And the contract just kind of changed my whole world around. And now, you know, your expectations are so much different. And that`s been really weird to deal with, especially since the last six years since the contract.

BECK: I bet it has. World Series in your future?

RODRIGUEZ: No question. I mean, that`s why I play for. That`s why I came to New York.

BECK: I will tell you that, you know, you`ve probably seen the footage at some of the training camps around, but I threw out a first pitch at an Angels game, and, in fact, do we have it? Can we show it? Yes, here it is. See. OK, you know -- I mean, you don`t have to relish it. That`s really...

RODRIGUEZ: Well, at least you look good in the uniform.

BECK: Really, it`s an uncomfortable moment here you`re providing for me now. But really what I -- all I need here from you is -- my son is two, and at some point that`s going to be dug up, and I`ve wrecked his life.

RODRIGUEZ: Yes, I can see that.

BECK: You don`t need to say that. So what I would like you to do is just -- and we`ll just clip this out so I can give this to him. You just need to say -- his name is Raphe -- you just need to say, like you mean it, "Raphe, your dad, he taught me everything I know."

RODRIGUEZ: All right.

BECK: All right, here we go.

RODRIGUEZ: Raphe, your dad taught me everything I know. Thank your dad.

BECK: I didn`t buy that. For some reason, it didn`t look convincing. Best of luck to you, sir.

RODRIGUEZ: All right. Thank you.

BECK: Congratulations. And the name of the book is "Out of the Ballpark." Read it with your kids. All right. Back in a minute.


BECK: I`ve got to tell you, I look at this as a blessing, to be able to change the subject from sports, to which I know nothing about, to something I know way too much about, rehab. Bill writes in. He says, "Glenn, what`s the deal with celebrities and politicians constantly going to rehab after they screw up? I don`t even feel like these guys take it seriously at all, including Gavin Newsom from San Francisco. I don`t get it."

You know, it does seem to get a little more ridiculous every day, doesn`t it? The soap opera of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has added another cheesy plot twist, after he admitted his affair with his appointment secretary who just happened to be the wife of his deputy chief of staff, campaign manager, and, worst of all, good friend. Here`s some of his statement.


GAVIN NEWSOM, MAYOR OF SAN FRANCISCO: Everything you`ve heard and read is true, and I`m deeply sorry about that. I`ve hurt someone I care deeply about, Alex Tourk, his friends and family, and that is something that I have to live with and something that I am deeply sorry for.


BECK: OK, I mean, that`s a pretty good apology, you know, and at least he didn`t drive from Texas to Florida wearing adult diapers, I`m just saying. The apology, however, in today`s America is just step one in the complicated public image plastic surgery that has to be performed after any misstep in the public eye.

Second half is to find your way to the nearest rehab outlet or counseling depot. Here`s the statement from Newsom: "Upon reflection with friends and family this weekend, I have come to the conclusion that I`d be better off as a person without alcohol in my life. I take full responsibility for my personal mistakes, and my problems with alcohol are not any excuse for my personal lapses in judgment."

Newsom, who had been criticized for allegedly drinking before appearing at a hospital to pay his respects for a police officer who had been killed in the line of duty, is seeking counseling that will allow him to continue to do his job as mayor ahead of the November re-election bid.

Of course, receiving counseling strictly for drinking is so 2005. I mean, these days alcohol isn`t enough. You need to combine it with something like, you know, Mel Gibson and anti-Semitism, you know? Hopefully all these guys take their rehab seriously and use it for what it is, not a P.R. tool but an opportunity to better themselves. But then again, probably not so much.

That`s it. We`ll see you tomorrow, you sick, twisted freak.