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Wednesday, December 8, 2004
Bill's Mugs
The AARP's agenda
"You can put the American Association of Retired Persons in the progressive camp. The organization favors strict gun control, entitlements for migrant workers, and a progressive tax policy that is right out of the Marx handbook. The AARP also favors the 'death tax,' even though most seniors are opposed to it, and wants to raise payroll and gasoline taxes. In short, the AARP has become a liberal organization. There's nothing wrong with that, but it should be stated, especially since the group grosses nearly $800 million a year, mostly from American seniors of all political philosophies. We've invited the leadership on The Factor many times, but they're hiding out, counting the money. The left has a powerful ally in the AARP, and now everybody knows it."
Redefining the Democratic Party
Guest: Congressman Brad Carson

Leaders of the Democratic Party are meeting this week for a self-assessment. Former Democratic Congressman Brad Carson said his party needs to move to the center. "What's going on in this country is a religious awakening," Carson told The Factor. "And it's something Democrats have to be more in tune with. People see the Democratic Party as being too in league with Hollywood, and most Democrats are not in league with Michael Moore." The Factor suggested that party moderates have been silenced. "I think you've got a big problem--the moderate wing doesn't get the publicity, while the crazy left gets all the ink. The far left has hijacked the party, and progressive secularists have ruined the Democratic Party as it stands now."
Update on the Scott Peterson trial
Guests: Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano & journalist Aphrodite Jones

The sentencing phase of the Scott Peterson murder trial continues in California. Journalist Aphrodite Jones reported on the testimony of Peterson's mother Jackie. "The essence of her testimony was begging the jury to spare her son's life, telling them that her son was turned into a devil by the media. One juror was crying, and I believe Jackie Peterson may have saved her son's life." Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano agreed: "It was compelling, it was moving. The jury is not supposed to decide on life and death based on testimony by the mothers, but jurors are human." Jones, Napolitano, and The Factor all felt Peterson would be sentenced to life in prison.
Some tough questions for Donald Rumsfeld
Guests: Frank Gaffney, former Reagan assistant Secretary of Defense & P.J. Crowley, Center for American Progress

During a visit with the troops in Kuwait, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was surprised when a soldier criticized the military's preparedness, asking about vehicles that lack proper armor. National security expert P.J. Crowley said the root of the problem is actually lack of manpower. "We've never gotten the number of troops right, and now we've got troops who are very angry at the Secretary. We just flat-out need more troops." Former Pentagon official Frank Gaffney said no one, from Rumsfeld on down, expected to be fighting this kind of war. "The extent, duration, and intensity of the insurgency has come as a surprise. There are a lot of people who are unhappy with their circumstances in Iraq."
Demonizing political opposition
Guest: Conservative commentator Ann Coulter

Incoming Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been criticized by politicians and pundits on the left, while Senate minority leader Harry Reid disparaged Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as an "embarrassment." Conservative columnist and author Ann Coulter told The Factor these attacks are part of a pattern. "I find it curious that liberals always find black conservatives incompetent," Coulter contended. "They are called dumb, incompetent, not up to the job. You have to look at the overwhelming number of the attacks." The Factor suggested there is a double standard: "The silence on the left is very telling. If you call a liberal black person dumb, all hell would break loose."
Another point of view on the AARP
Guests: Terry Scanlon, president, Capital Research Center & author Dale Van Atta

Is the American Association of Retired People another liberal interest group, as asserted in the Talking Points Memo? "The organization has a very liberal agenda, and has for many years," according to author Dale Van Atta, who wrote a book about the AARP. Terry Scanlon of the Capital Research Center said most of the AARP's 35-million members have no clue about the organization's political leanings. "People join for the motel discounts, and have no idea how liberal it is. It is primarily a business entity." The Factor noted that AARP refused an invitation to defend itself. "They won't come on at all to explain how they started drifting left. I think they're trying to hide their left wing agenda.
Judge Rapkin back under fire
Guests: Lt. Paul Sutton, Sarasota Police Department & author David Essel

The Factor has been reporting about Florida Judge Harry Rapkin who allowed a career criminal to go free, after which he killed a young girl. Rapkin is back in the news, this time for overturning a local law prohibiting homeless people from sleeping on public or private property. Lieutenant Paul Sutton of the Sarasota Police Department said the ordinance was a crime-fighting measure. "We discovered the homeless were responsible for a disproportionately large percentage of our crime. So we wanted to protect our citizens." Author David Essel argued Rapkin's decision is downright dangerous. "It's ridiculous what he's done here," Essel said. "Judge Rapkin has stripped the police of the power they need to make a difference in our community. We don't have the protection from our police force because it's been taken away from them." The Factor agreed with both guests.
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