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Thursday, January 13, 2005
Bill's Mugs
Progressives in power?
Guest: David Boies, former Gore attorney & author

"Senator Edward Kennedy has put forth his vision for America--the Iraq war is another Vietnam; higher taxes on affluent Americans; abortion of any kind on demand; and ultimately free health care for all Americans. All of this is the standard progressive dance card, and you can decide on its merit. But the Senator took his message further, opening up on the emotional Social Security issue. Senator Kennedy claimed President Bush is calling for a 33% cut in Social Security benefits. Talking Points checked the Social Security web site, which says that unless changes are made, benefits could be reduced by 33% in the year 2079. That's a long way from President Bush cutting Social Security by a third. This kind of misleading rhetoric hurts the progressive cause. The truth is that Social Security will have to change, everyone knows it, and politicians have to stop the deceit. If the Democratic Party ever wants to persuade Americans that its vision is better, it had better wise up and deal with difficult issues with no spin."

Can politicians from the Kennedy wing of the "progressive" left win over majority of American voters? Attorney and author David Boies, who represented Al Gore in the 2000 Florida election dispute, said the Democratic Party is not out of the mainstream. "If you look back at the last election," Boies told The Factor, "we were in the middle of a war and people wanted to support the President. And the Republicans just outworked everybody." Boies admitted Democrats are hurt by the perception that they side with people like atheist Michael Newdow, who wants to remove prayer from the Presidential inauguration. "His claim is wrong and it's silly. It only hurts the progressives if they let the people on the other side hijack God the way they hijacked the flag." The Factor advised Democrats to dump extremists on its far left wing. "I think we need two vibrant parties in this country slugging it out over issues. The progressive secular wing is driving people out of the Democratic Party."
Tsunami relief difficulties
Guest: Author Tracey Dahlby

Aid workers are having continuing difficulties trying to help those affected by the tsunami, often because of politics. Indonesia, for example, has ordered all foreign troops to leave by the end of March. Author Tracey Dahlby explained Indonesia's deadline is rooted in history. "Indonesia was a Dutch colony for 400 years. The specter of having foreign troops on Indonesian soil strikes a very sensitive chord." Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institute said, despite political risks, helping the victims is still worthy. "You've got at least a million people who need help. There's going to be ugliness and there will be profiteers, and we have to be prepared for that."
Militarizing the border
Guest: Mark Krikorian, Executive Director, Center of Immigration Studies

Last year more than a million illegal aliens were apprehended trying to cross the border from Mexico. Most were immediately let go under the policy characterized as "catch and release." The Factor has repeatedly urged armed military forces be employed along the border, but immigration expert Mark Krikorian disagreed. "There's a role for the military," Krikorian said. "It's surveillance and that sort of thing. But when you have actual armed patrols on the border, you're going to wind up with problems." The Factor once again warned that America's porous borders could result in an extreme act of terror. "I'm worried it's going to take thousands of American deaths to achieve something that we could do tomorrow."
Bat abortion follow-up
Guest: Prosecutor Eric Smith

The Factor followed up on story about the 16-year old boy who intentionally aborted his girlfriend's 6-month old fetus by repeatedly hitting her in the stomach with a miniature baseball bat. The boy's lawyer argued that he shouldn't be penalized, but prosecutor Eric Smith disagreed. "If you assault a pregnant woman," Smith said, "and cause an abortion, it's a crime. There's got to be some accountability... We wouldn't have brought this case forward if we didn't feel confident."
Liberal radio weakens
Guest: Ed Schultz, liberal commentator

Conservative hosts have dominated talk radio, while left-leaning hosts haven't had much of an impact. Ed Schultz is on 70 stations and has been hailed as the "left-wing Limbaugh." He told The Factor his predecessors failed because they weren't engaging. "It's got to be entertaining," Schultz asserted. "You've got to have personality. My show is off and running, and we have made phenomenal strides in the first year." Schultz explained his gradual conversion from conservatism. "I'd been pretty tough on homeless and downtrodden, but I went into a homeless shelter and had my eyes opened. The country has moved hard to the right, and the neo-con agenda is dangerous. The Democrats are correct on the issues, and I've changed."
Prince Harry's Nazi costume
Guest: Royal watcher Dr. Allan Starkie

20-year old Prince Harry has ignited an uproar by wearing a Nazi costume to a party. "Harry is an idiot," proclaimed author and royal watcher Allan Starkie. "He's willful and strong-minded and doesn't really have any guidance. He's immature and doesn't have a very high intelligence level." According to Starkie, Harry's older brother William is far better suited for the duties of the monarchy. "He's more serious, much more like his mother than Harry is."
Book Mentions
Check out the books mentioned during this show.
Fergie: Her Secret Life
by Allan Starkie

Read more...
Straight Talk from the Heartland: Tough Talk, Common Sense, and Hope from a Former Conservative
by Ed Schultz

Read more...
Courting Justice: From New York Yankees v. Major League Baseball to Bush v. Gore, 1997 - 2000
by David Boies

Read more...
Allah's Torch: A Report from Behind the Scenes in Asia's War on Terror
by Tracey Dahlby

Read more...
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