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Friday, February 1, 2013
Parchments
Lionizing Hillary Clinton
"Newsweek is declaring former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 'the most powerful woman in American history' in an article that reads more like campaign literature than a serious examination of her record. Mrs. Clinton is highly intelligent, she's a global celebrity, and she reached a level few people do. But there were the Benghazi attacks, a failed 'reset' with Russia, a more powerful China, an Iran closer to a nuclear weapon, and Islamic terrorists fanning out across North America. Under Barack Obama and Mrs. Clinton, the U.S. has been unwilling to lead and this has left a huge vacuum on the world stage. She should be judged on whether she's left American foreign policy in a stronger or weaker position, and most experts think the future lies more with China than the U.S. It's not all her fault, but the fact is that we just don't have the influence we used to have around the world. So, in effect, the former Secretary of State helped manage our decline in what increasingly looks like a post-American world."

Laura invited dissenting views from two liberal-leaning analysts. "I think we are safer today," said Simon Rosenberg," than when Barack Obama took office. Hillary Clinton and President Obama have put the Democrats on the course of a more muscular foreign policy, and we've reestablished our commitment to free trade and the promotion of democracy. America is stronger today, fewer Americans are dying, we're much more respected in the world, and the argument that we're in decline is just false." Julie Roginsky was somewhat more measured in her praise. "I'm an admirer of Hillary Clinton, but it's still unclear to me what the 'Clinton doctrine' is. People either lionize her or despise her, so there's extremism on both sides instead of looking at her as a person who is talented but also flawed."
January jobs report is bad news for Americans
While unemployment inched up to 7.9% in January, on Friday the Dow Jones average closed above 14,000 for the first time since 2007. Laura examined the apparent disconnect with Fox News contributor Gary B. Smith. "The market is mostly owned by the top 5%," he said, "but the average investor has missed most of this move. What most people care about more is the unemployment number and the labor participation rate. For all the stimulus the administration has put in place, they haven't budged the needle at all." David Callahan of the liberal Demos think tank lamented that the unemployment situation may be worse than the numbers indicate. "These statistics underestimate the number of people who are out of work, there are a lot of people who are discouraged. Employers are not hiring and a big reason for that is that consumers don't have money, their incomes have not gone up. A lot of wealth being generated by the economy is going to the 1%, this is the structure of modern capitalism." Laura complained that President Obama and his team continue to avoid responsibility: "We've had four years of Barack Obama in the White House and they're still blaming Congress."
Why was Chuck Hagel so ill-prepared for his Senate confirmation hearing?
Former Senator Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defense, bumbled and stumbled and back-tracked during his confirmation hearing Thursday. Laura discussed the nomination with former Congressman and Fox News contributor Dennis Kucinich. "Chuck Hagel will be Secretary of State," Kucinich declared. "He never voted against Israel, he wants peace, and he'll keep us out of wars. He's also a combat veteran, he saved a man's life, he took shrapnel to the chest." Laura took issue with Kucinich's criteria: "By that measure John McCain should have been president in 2008 when he ran against a guy who had no experience in the military or the executive branch. I don't care if Chuck Hagel has 30 Purple Hearts, that appearance was shocking! He seemed confused and out of his depth."
Biden: New gun laws won't "guarantee" end to mass shootings
Vice President Joe Biden, the point man in the administration's push for stricter gun laws, has admitted that the proposed legislation would probably not prevent another mass shooting. Geraldo Rivera entered the No Spin Zone to opine. "I think the Vice President is absolutely correct," Rivera said, "when you consider that these grotesque massacres perpetrated by crazy people with assault-style weapons are a tiny percentage of the victims of gun violence. Banning assault weapons and extended magazines, although I am in favor of doing whatever we can, are largely symbolic efforts. But everyone who purchases a gun should have a federal background check, and Joe Biden should be pushing to expand New York City's 'stop and frisk' law to every police precinct in this country when violence rises above a certain threshold." Before leaving Rivera affirmed that he is "seriously contemplating" a run for the Senate from New Jersey.
U.S. Embassy attack in Turkey
A suicide bomber struck the U.S. embassy in Ankara Friday, killing himself and a guard. Laura spoke about the attack with Fox News military analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters. "Attacks on U.S. embassies and other U.S. installations is the new normal," he lamented. "It's going to continue because the Middle East is so utterly broken. It's trying to right itself, but it's going to be a long struggle and we'll see more of this. The good news here is that the terrorists lost. They got through the Turkish security, but they didn't get past the first level of our security. The Turks are embarrassed and I'll bet Iran was behind this."
Marco Rubio in the No Spin Zone
Laura introduced Bill's recent interview with Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who is promoting his version of immigration reform. "We need legal immigration," Rubio said, "but we also have a right to have immigration laws. We have a problem in that our immigration system is antiquated and needs to be modernized. We also need real enforcement, which includes improving the infrastructure at the border and tracking people when they come into the country and when they leave." Rubio explained how his plan would deal with the millions of illegal immigrants already in the country. "We have to deal with this in a way that is responsible but also compassionate. If you've committed a serious crime you're going to be deported. If you haven't, you have to come forward and pay back taxes and fines and you have to know English. If you do those things, you get a work permit that allows you to be in this country legally and work. But under that status no one qualifies for any federal benefits."
Will the question of citizenship derail an immigration compromise?
Laura asked two immigration analysts to evaluate the plan put forth by Senator Rubio. "Everybody gets their amnesty on the first day," complained Steven Camarota, a staunch foe of amnesty. "They not only get a Social Security number, they also get a driver's license and the ability to travel to and from the United States. It's all the amnesty up front with the promise of enforcement coming later, which means you have to trust the administration to enforce the law. Past experience with successive presidents suggests the law simply will not be enforced." Immigration activist Enrique Morones argued that border enforcement is already extremely tough. "Nobody's looking for amnesty, which comes from the Greek word meaning 'to forget.' Marco Rubio is saying he wants tougher enforcement on the border, but how tough is tough enough? But we're encouraged that both sides of the aisle finally want to take on immigration reform. Let's give these people the chance to actually become documented for the first time."
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