Among Al Franken's proofs that Bill O'Reilly is a "liar" ? in addition to his jaw-dropping revelation that O'Reilly's former TV show won a "Polk" and not a "Periwinkle" Award ? Franken attacked O'Reilly for having the audacity to say the U.S. gives more foreign aid than any other country in the world.
Responding to this outrage, Franken writes: "Japan gives more. Not per capita. More." (And Franken is the world's largest donor of mentions of his own USO tours.)
I guess there are as many ways to calculate "aid" as there are to calculate "love of country." According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, in 2003, the U.S. gave $37.8 billion out of a total $108.5 billion in foreign aid from the world's major countries ? notable for being more than three times the amount from the next largest donor, the Netherlands, clocking in at $12.2 billion. Americans make up about 5 percent of the world's population and give about 35 percent of the aid.
So it's interesting that a great patriot like Al Franken ? who goes on USO tours regularly, in case he hasn't called you at home in the last 10 minutes to remind you ? would choose the method of calculating foreign aid most disparaging to his country and call O'Reilly a "liar" for using a different calculus.
At a minimum, in order to discount the largesse of the United States, one must carefully exclude gigantic categories of aid, such as military aid, food aid, trade policies, refugee policies, religious aid, private charities and individual giving.
However "aid" is calculated, it is not that hard to calculate someone's affection for their country based on their propensity to tell slanderous lies about it.
The New York Times calls the U.S. "stingy" and runs letters to the editor redoubling the insult, saying: "The word 'stingy' doesn't even come close to accurately describing the administration's pathetic initial offer of aid. ... I am embarrassed for our country."
Al Franken flies into a rage upon discovering that O'Reilly imagines the U.S. is the most generous nation in the world.
The Washington Post criticizes Bush for not rushing back to Washington in response to the tsunami ? amid unfavorable comparisons to German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who immediately cut short his vacation and returned to Berlin. (Nothing snaps a German to attention like news of mass death!)
The prestigious Princeton "ethicist" Peter Singer, who endorses sex with animals and killing children with birth defects, says "when it comes to foreign aid, America is the most stingy nation on Earth."
And has some enterprising reporter asked Sen. Patty Murray what she thinks about the U.S.'s efforts on the tsunami? How about compared to famed philanthropist Osama bin Laden?
In December 2002, Murray was extolling Osama bin Laden's good works in the Middle East, informing a classroom of students: "He's been out in these countries for decades building roads, building schools, building infrastructure, building day-care facilities, building health-care facilities, and the people are extremely grateful. It made their lives better." What does Murray say about bin Laden's charity toward the (mostly Muslim) tsunami victims?
Speaking of world leaders admired by liberals, why isn't Fidel Castro giving the tsunami victims some of that terrific medical care liberals tell us he has been providing the people of Cuba?
Stipulating that liberals love America ? which apparently depends on what the meaning of "love" is ? do they love America as much as they love bin Laden and Castro?
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