Well, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is on his way to the Middle East to brief some Arab countries on the upcoming military action against Afghanistan and possibly other places.
Meantime, the Fed has cut interest rates back here another half point, in order to try and stimulate the economy. The "Talking Points" memo this evening deals with the military and economic implications of those two events.
The strong odds are that America will remove the Taliban government in Afghanistan, most likely before Ramadan, which begins in mid-November. Support for the Taliban within Afghanistan is reportedly weak and the initial military operation should be quick.
What happens after that is anyone's guess, as the Taliban fanatics will probably head to the hills. Removing the Taliban is the message that President Bush has to send to the world. If you hurt America, we will destroy your infrastructure.
Back home, the economy is a huge challenge to Mr. Bush as well. Americans are frightened and have grown very cautious. Consumer spending is slowing and corporate spending is almost nonexistent. Alan Greenspan is doing the right thing now, but he and his pals helped dig this country a deep hole. It'll be a while before we get out of it.
By the way, Greenspan should still resign. His tight-money policy a year was one of the biggest economic blunders in American history.
It is now time for American corporations to step up and help out. Yesterday, I told you how the airlines have to improve or Americans will simply stay home. The airlines owe it the country to be more efficient and not cut personnel when people are waiting online for hours. Thousands of FACTOR viewers wrote in about that problem. And I'll read some of the letters at the end of the broadcast.
But one letter struck a cord with me. Kim Kennedy, who lives in Alameda, California says, "Hey, O'Reilly, I heard you complaining about understaffed ticket counters and long security lines. Well, go stand out on the tarmac and flap your arms. See if you can get there any faster yourself."
Well, with all due respect, Ms. Kennedy, your take is misguided. Many Americans simply have to fly for personal and business reasons. If we the taxpayers are kicking $15 billion to keep the airlines solvent, they owe us a good performance.
The Bush administration made a huge mistake by not demanding that the airlines straighten out their services scheduling problems in return for the money. Welfare is welfare. And it doesn't work, unless the entity receiving the money has to labor for it.
No American should have to wait in line for hours to board a plane. That should never happen. I hope you understand that, Ms. Kennedy.
The airline mess is symbolic of our entire economy, which has worsened since the terror attack. We need corporations to forget about the bottom line for a few months and keep people working. We need big business to invest in America. This is no time to make Americans suffer in order to earn a few extra bucks. And that's the memo.
Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for the "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day.
Your humble correspondent, that's me, and Phil Donahue will be appearing together on ABC's "Good Morning America" tomorrow around 8:00 a.m. That might be ridiculous, you never know.
Also, two weeks from today on October 16, my new book goes on sale. It's called The No Spin Zone: Confrontations With the Powerful and Famous in America. And it is a spirited defense of the values that make America great, values that are under siege right now in some quarters. Publishers Weekly gave the book a nice review and pre-orders on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com's are strong. You can also preorder a copy on our website. Sorry for the ridiculous plug, but I do think you'll like the book.
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