New footage from the war in Afghanistan
"Fox News correspondent Steve Harrigan has come up with exclusive footage of a firefight between Taliban terrorists and American forces. Things were intense, and when the shooting stopped at least 14 Taliban fighters were dead. This is a stark reminder that the US is fighting two wars and not getting a lot of cooperation. President Obama is faced with a largely apathetic world, with some countries helping the terrorists. The Russian tyrant Putin tried to pressure Kyrgyzstan to close an U.S. air base that was supplying American troops in Afghanistan; Germany's Merkel, a very weak terror warrior, is reluctantly sending a few thousand troops to Afghanistan; French President Sarkozy is also not stepping up. So it's another 'Barack and a hard place' situation - if you're tough the world doesn't like you, if you're not tough the scoundrels do what they want. History says when fighting a war, the strong prevail."
Rep. Barney Frank returns to The Factor
Eight months after their scorching shootout, The Factor
again welcomed Congressman Barney Frank into the No Spin Zone. Some excerpts from their conversation:
Bill: "President Obama decided not to release the photos of prisoner abuse. Do you support the president's action?"
Frank: "Pretty much ... given the situation he's in, I think that's a reasonable decision."
Bill: "But Senators Graham and Lieberman were very angry with Nancy Pelosi, you, and a few other Democratic Congressmen who stripped out the provision banning the photos from public release."
Frank: "My objection to that was purely procedural. The House had passed a bill funding the Iraq and Afghanistan military efforts, and the Senate then unilaterally put this in there ... there was no chance those photos were going to be released."
Bill: "The Obama administration wants to keep traditional marriage as the law of the land. I guess you disagree with that?"
Frank: "You guessed wrong. I defended the president against some of my fellow gays and lesbians who criticized him ... President Obama wasn't saying he likes that law, he was saying it is his constitutional duty to uphold it."
Bill: "President Obama has gone on record that he believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman exclusively."
Frank: "I've told the president that I disagree with him. The president does say he believes marriage should be between one man and one woman, but he's opposed to the Defense of Marriage Act because it intrudes on states."
Bill: "President Obama's health care deal is going to cost more than a trillion dollars. Where is the money going to come from?"
Frank: "There is military spending on Cold War weapons that can be reduced ... we should be reducing military activity in Western Europe and Japan."
Bill: "Your state, Massachusetts, has a health care plan and a $1.5 billion deficit. Can you reassure me that universal health care is not going to bankrupt the United States?"
Frank: "Absolutely, because there are other areas we can cut. As to the Massachusetts deficit, it's not caused by the health care plan. There are deficits everywhere."
Bill: "Does the Constitution dictate that the federal government should make sure that everyone has free health care?"
Frank: "Absolutely not. The Constitution is basically a restraint on government, it's not a mandate for government."
Bill: "Under President Obama the government is expanding rapidly and spending record amounts of money."
Frank: "Every single intervention they are making - in automobiles, in the banks and elsewhere - was done originally by the Bush administration."
Bill: "The last time we were yelling at each other it was about your oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Now you're back saying that banks should loosen up condominium loans, and some people are saying you're social engineering again."
Frank: "They're completely wrong. I was a strong opponent of the Bush administration's effort to send loans to people who couldn't afford it ... with the condominiums we are not talking about subprime loans or poor people ... they should not allow any borrower who can not pay for it."
Bill: "We gave you your say tonight, are you happy?"
Frank: "With what?"
Bill: "With everything."
Frank: "No, I'm never happy with everything, Bill."
Dick Morris on Catastrophe
welcomed political strategist Dick Morris, whose new book "Catastrophe" dissects President Obama's ambitious agenda. Morris disputed Barney Frank's notion that spending cuts can pay for universal health care. "It's a fantasy," Morris declared. "To say that cutting obsolete defense programs will finance a $100 billion a year program, which we all know will cost more, is disingenuous. If President Obama goes through with health care, the U.S. will have to borrow the bulk of the money, which will drive interest rates so high that it will trigger a new recession." Morris painted a bleak picture of America under a national health care system. "Obama wants to cut Medicare fees and other areas of doctors' income, which will reduce the number of doctors. What will happen is what goes on in Canada - because of the long wait for colonoscopies, the incidence of colon cancer is 25% higher than in the U.S." The Factor
applauded Morris for dealing in facts: "The compelling thing about your book is that you deliver statistics that say Americans are a lot healthier than Canadians in many areas. But I'm also sympathetic to the cost issue because most working people I know are getting hammered by medical costs."
Featured Book: Catastrophe
by Dick Morris
SC Gov. Mark Sanford admits extramarital affair
South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, a rising star in the Republican Party, has admitted to an affair with an Argentine woman. The Factor
spoke about Sanford's Wednesday press conference with communications expert Eric Dezenhall. "The thing that always amazes me," Dezenhall observed, "is that there is no correlation between the quantity of an apology and making the problem go away. The governor should have kept things much shorter; there comes a time to get off the stage." Dezenhall speculated about Sanford's ability to remain in office: "If there is a corruption element, he'll be hounded from office; if this is simply a personal matter, I believe he will survive until the end of his term." The Factor
predicted that, because Sanford is a conservative Republican, "the liberal media will celebrate this situation."
Dennis Miller on Barney Frank
The Factor introduced "The Pasha of the Provocative," a.k.a. Dennis Miller, who analyzed the interview with Barney Frank. "That got a little too lovey-dovey," Miller jested. "Did you say you two might go camping together? If you do, I want you to invite Dick Cheney and me because I'll be laughing so hard that Cheney will have to shoot me in the head to put me down." Miller turned to the substance of Barney Frank's arguments. "He's one of the smartest guys from that side, but I don't agree with anything he says. And I can never understand why he is such a sourpuss - his sexuality is out there, he slipped a noose when a guy ran a male prostitution service out of his apartment, and he still has his job. I always look at him and think, what are you so cranky about?" Miller concluded with a tribute to Ed McMahon: "I don't know who sits at the right hand of the Father, but they had better move over, because that is big Ed's spot. He was a great man, a sweet man, and the very best Hollywood had to offer."
Barack and a Hard Place
The Factor asked liberal Alan Colmes and conservative Monica Crowley to evaluate President Obama's week. Colmes lauded the president for his handling of the Middle East. "It began with his speech in Cairo," Colmes claimed. "He inspired and energized people, and I'm giving him credit for what's happening in Iran. The tone he set lit the fuse." Crowley argued that praise belongs elsewhere: "We ought to give credit to President Bush and his freedom agenda. He liberated people in Iraq and Afghanistan, on both sides of the Iran border. And President Obama missed a huge opportunity in Iran - he could have gathered some powerful women in America and have them come out with a statement of solidarity for the women who are struggling under oppression in Iran."