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What Needs "Reform" is FNL

Reported by Nancy - January 5, 2005 -

Today (1/5) on FNL, in addition to the PR blitz about US relief efforts in S Asia, there were a few extra Bush-friendly items thrown in for good measure (Social Security "reform" & "frivolous lawsuits"), showcasing 2 Dems who fell all over themselves to praise Bush.

At 11:22am, Quinn announced that Bush says tsunami relief aid will be the first order of business for Congres, then interviewed Kirsten Powers (Dem) & Brad Blakeman (GOP). Quinn opened by noting that the #350M in US aid does not include costs of military. Blakeman agreed, saying it costs >$1M/day to operate an aircraft carrier. Quinn's next comment was to Powers: "Somebody from your side of the aisle -- Joe Lieberman" has proposed a tsunami warning system. Powers fell all over herself being more GOP than Blakeman, praising Bush & saying "Congress is united", "bipartisan" efforts blah blah blah. Quinn seized on Powers' words to ask Blakeman whether Congress will "be as united" about Iraq, more equipment, more troops if needed. Blakeman answered that "Bush has said time & again" we'll do "whatever it takes" re the troops & Iraq, that "elections are gonna be held" & this is a "hopeful time in Iraq." Quinn asked whether Iraq would be a "source of contention" in Congress, & Powers again grovelled, saying that Dems "stand with" GOPs to "support the troops". She said Dems "will argue about Social Security," & may "fight him [Bush] a little bit on that," & there may be "some contention" re Gonzalez. Quinn asked "How little or big a fight?" & Blakeman took the opportunity to appear gracious, saying that while "Social Security is a big problem" it won't be a "fight" it will be a "debate" adding that "Bush doesn't have a lock on the best idea, he wants to fix a problem." Powers countered that it will be a "huge issue," & there will be a "bit of a fight over privatization" because "it's a risky scheme" but it was too late to undo the damage.

At 12:12pm, noting US military relief efforts, Folbaum repeated the stats re dead & missing Americans. He said the global relief effort is "staggering" & the US has a big role", then interviewed 2 US Representatives, Jeff Flake (R-AZ) & John Salazar (D-CO) about whether this will show the "softer side of the mighty US military." Salazar, like Powers before him, couldn't be more sycophantic if he tried, saying things like "I'm extremely proud of what Bush has come forth with" & touting the "bipartisan" nature of it all. Folbaum showed a picture of a kid from some tsunami-devastated area wearing an OBL T-shirt & sneered "I haven't heard about any aid from Al Qaeda" [comment: a statement so inane it's beyond comment]. Flake said that we "need to take every opportunity" to improve our image. Folbaum said it's in our "national interest" that our image be a good one, & Salazar said the "US is the most compassionate nation in the world" & we "help other countries less fortunate" & "that image is a true image." Folbaum noted that "Arab countries" have pledged only $50M total to relief efforts & asked Flake "What does that say to you?" Flake, to his credit, refused to get into FNL's bashing routine & simply said "whatever we can do to help long-term development in SE Asia will help us." He added that the "US will stay longer & do more than any other country." At 12:17pm Folbaum wrapped it up with a plug for usafreedomcorps.gov & focnews.com .

General Comment: Is there an agency that specializes in booking the most namby-pamby, wishy-washy Dems possible for FNL? I've seen Powers on FNL before, & she's been a good advocate for progressive policies, but today she & Salazar made Caspar Milquetoast look aggressive.