Allen's press-release writers look for way to get their boss out of hot water.
Statement from Senator George Allen
ARLINGTON, VA - U.S. Senator George Allen released the following statement this afternoon:
"Yesterday, I found it especially reprehensible that a reporter would impugn the attitudes of my mother, as Ms. Peggy Fox did in her first question at the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce Senate debate. My mother and father both taught me to abhor bigotry, and Ms. Fox's suggestion to the contrary was deeply offensive.
"The notion peddled by the Webb campaign that I am somehow embarrassed by my heritage is equally offensive, and also absurd.
"I was raised as a Christian and my mother was raised as a Christian. And I embrace and take great pride in every aspect of my diverse heritage, including my Lumbroso family line's Jewish heritage, which I learned about from a recent magazine article and my mother confirmed.
"On several occasions through the years, I have mentioned publicly that my mother's father was incarcerated by the Nazis. I have never known whether he was persecuted by the Nazis because of his nationality, his religious faith, his role as a community leader, or his part in the anti-Nazi resistance.
"What I do know is that my grandfather's imprisonment by the Nazis had a profound impact on my mother. It was a subject she found painful to discuss and so we almost never discussed it.
"Some may find it odd that I have not probed deeply into the details of my family history, but it's a fact. We in the Allen household were simply taught that what matters is a person's character, integrity, effort, and performance - not race, gender, ethnicity or religion. And so whenever we would ask my mother through the years about our family background on her side, the answer always was, `Who cares about that?'
"My mother has lived a long and full life, and I hope and pray she will enjoy many more years. She deserves respect and she also deserves privacy, especially where painful memories are concerned. I sincerely hope that simple decency will be respected."
They seriously want us to believe that Allen never knew why his grandfather was thrown in a concentration camp? Weird. Still, this might've worked had he said this in the debate, rather than claiming that a question about his Jewish ancestry was an insult.
And by the way, this statement is clear proof that this issue was starting to hurt.
Michelle Malkin is extremely upset because three convicted Christian terrorists in Indonesia are going to be executed despite -- in Michelle's words -- "grave doubts raised over the fairness of the trial." The title of her post is "Muslims will execute Christians" -- by which she means the Government of a predominantly Muslim country will execute three defendants who happen to be Christian,
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Olbermann's Special Comment From Sep 18, 2006
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Finally tonight, a Special Comment about the Rose Garden news conference last Friday. The President of the United States owes this country an apology.There are now none around him who would tell him - or could. The last of them, it appears, was the very man whose letter provoked the President into the conduct, for which the apology is essential. An apology is this President?s only hope of regaining the slightest measure of confidence, of what has been, for nearly two years, a clear majority of his people.
Finally tonight, a Special Comment about the Rose Garden news conference last Friday.
The President of the United States owes this country an apology. It will not be offered, of course. He does not realize its necessity.
There are now none around him who would tell him - or could. The last of them, it appears, was the very man whose letter provoked the President into the conduct, for which the apology is essential. An apology is this President?s only hope of regaining the slightest measure of confidence, of what has been, for nearly two years, a clear majority of his people.
Not "confidence" in his policies nor in his designs nor even in something as narrowly focused as which vision of torture shall prevail ? his, or that of the man who has sent him into apoplexy, Colin Powell. In a larger sense, the President needs to regain our confidence, that he has some basic understanding of what this country represents ? of what it must maintain if we are to defeat not only terrorists, but if we are also to defeat what is ever more increasingly apparent, as an attempt to re-define the way we live here, and what we mean, when we say the word "freedom."
Because it is evident now that, if not its architect, this President intends to be the contractor, for this narrowing of the definition of freedom. The President revealed this last Friday, as he fairly spat through his teeth, words of unrestrained fury?
?directed at the man who was once the very symbol of his administration, who was once an ambassador from this administration to its critics, as he had once been an ambassador from the military to its critics. The former Secretary of State, Mr. Powell, had written, simply and candidly and without anger, that "the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism."
This President?s response included not merely what is apparently the Presidential equivalent of threatening to hold one?s breath, but ? within ? it contained one particularly chilling phrase. Mr. President, former Secretary of State Colin Powell says the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism. If a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former secretary of state feels this way, don?t you think that Americans and the rest of the world are beginning to wonder whether you?re following a flawed strategy? BUSH: If there?s any comparison between the compassion and decency of the American people and the terrorist tactics of extremists, it?s flawed logic. It?s just ? I simply can?t accept that. It?s unacceptable to think that there?s any kind of comparison between the behavior of the United States of America and the action of Islamic extremists who kill innocent women and children to achieve an objective.
Of course** it?s acceptable to think that there?s "any kind of comparison." And in this particular debate, it is not only acceptable, it is obviously necessary. Some will think that our actions at Abu Ghraib, or in Guantanamo, or in secret prisons in Eastern Europe, are all too comparable to the actions of the extremists. Some will think that there is no similarity, or, if there is one, it is to the slightest and most unavoidable of degrees.
What all of us will agree on, is that we have the right ? we have the duty ? to think about the comparison. And, most importantly, that the other guy, whose opinion about this we cannot fathom, has exactly the same right as we do: to think ? and say ? what his mind and his heart and his conscience tell him, is right.
All of us agree about that.
Except, it seems, this President.
With increasing rage, he and his administration have begun to tell us, we are not permitted to disagree with them, that we cannot be right. That Colin Powell cannot be right.And then there was that one, most awful phrase.
In four simple words last Friday, the President brought into sharp focus what has been only vaguely clear these past five-and-a-half years - the way the terrain at night is perceptible only during an angry flash of lightning, and then, a second later, all again is dark.
"It?s unacceptable to think?" he said. It is never unacceptable? to think.
And when a President says thinking is unacceptable, even on one topic, even in the heat of the moment, even in the turning of a phrase extracted from its context? he takes us toward a new and fearful path ? one heretofore the realm of science fiction authors and apocalyptic visionaries.
That flash of lightning freezes at the distant horizon, and we can just make out a world in which authority can actually suggest it has become unacceptable to think. hus the lightning flash reveals not merely a President we have already seen, the one who believes he has a monopoly on current truth.
It now shows us a President who has decided that of all our commanders-in-chief, ever? he, alone, has had the knowledge necessary to alter and re-shape our inalienable rights. This is a frightening, and a dangerous, delusion, Mr. President.
If Mr. Powell?s letter - cautionary, concerned, predominantly supportive ? can induce from you such wrath and such intolerance ? what would you say were this statement to be shouted to you by a reporter, or written to you by a colleague?
"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government?"
Those incendiary thoughts came, of course, from a prior holder of your job, Mr. Bush. They were the words of Thomas Jefferson.
He put them in the Declaration of Independence. Mr. Bush, what would you say to something that annti-thetical to the status quo just now? Would you call it "unacceptable" for Jefferson to think such things, or to write them?
Between your confidence in your infallibility, sir, and your demonizing of dissent, and now these rages better suited to a thwarted three-year old, you have left the unnerving sense of a White House coming unglued - a chilling suspicion that perhaps we have not seen the peak of the anger; that we can no longer forecast what next will be said to, or about, anyone? who disagrees.
Or what will next be done to them.? On this newscast last Friday night, Constitiutional law Professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University, suggested that at some point in the near future?some of the "detainees" transferred from secret CIA cells to Guantanamo, will finally get to tell the Red Cross that they have indeed been tortured.
Thus the debate over the Geneva Conventions, might not be about further interrogations of detainees, but about those already conducted, and the possible liability of the administration, for them.?That, certainly, could explain Mr. Bush?s fury.
That, at this point, is speculative. But at least it provides an alternative possibility as to why the President?s words were at such variance from the entire history of this country. For, there needs to be some other explanation, Mr. Bush, than that you truly believe we should live in a United States of America in which a thought is unacceptable.
There needs to be a delegation of responsible leaders ? Republicans or otherwise ? who can sit you down as Barry Goldwater and Hugh Scott once sat Richard Nixon down - and explain the **reality** of the situation you have created.
There needs to be? an apology from the President of the United States.
And more than one.
But, Mr. Bush, the others ? for warnings unheeded five years ago, for war unjustified four years ago, for battle unprepared three years ago ? they are not weighted with the urgency and necessity of this one. We must know that, to you?thought with which you disagree ? and even voice with which you disagree - and even action with which you disagree ? are still sacrosanct to you.
The philosopher Voltaire once insisted to another author, "I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write." Since the nation?s birth, Mr. Bush, we have misquoted and even embellished that statement, but we have served ourselves well, by subscribing to its essence.
Oddly, there are other words of Voltaire?s that are more pertinent still, just now. "Think for yourselves," he wrote, "and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too."? Apologize, sir, for even hinting at an America where a few have that privilege to think ? and the rest of us get yelled at by the President.
Anything else, Mr. Bush, is truly? unacceptable.
When I read this article in the LA Times I wasn’t surprised at all.Antiwar remarks at All Saints in Pasadena were made two days before the 2004 election. The church is ordered to hand over records. The IRS investigation was triggered by an antiwar sermon delivered by its former rector, the Rev. George F. Regas, [...]
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Roll Call executive editor and Fox News host Mort Kondrake included this tidbit in his most recent syndicated column:In a controversial move within the administration, [Undersecretary of State Karen] Hughes and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice seem to have persuaded Bush — temporarily, at least — to drop the label “Islamic fascism” from his speeches; [...]
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Jack begs the questions and gives us some disturbing news: an experienced computer technician could tamper with these machines and ‘flip’ the vote in a matter of minutes.Video - WMV Video - QTIf the recent disaster in Maryland taught us anything, its that we should be very concerned about this considering that more than 80% [...]
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Responding to prosecutors' complaints that the chief judge was "soft on Saddam," Iraq's prime minister removed the judge from Saddam Hussein's trial. But wait, you say. What kind of democratic government allows the executive branch to control the judicial branch, to the point of removing a judge during a trial because prosecutors want a judge who will side with them more often? The kind that has emerged in Iraq. The kind that cares more about assuring convictions than providing fair trials. The kind of government that is, by rational standards, a joke.
The change could revive complaints that the government is interfering in the tribunal trying Saddam and his regime members to ensure a quick guilty verdict.
The judge who presided over Hussein's first trial resigned midway through the trial in response to complaints that he, too, was "soft on Saddam." American prosecutors must envy the power of the Iraqi government to toss out any judge who isn't sufficiently pro-prosecution.
Soon enough, they'll have Sally Struthers helping me out....[...]
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I took Hillary and some other Senate Dems to task for not contributing their weight to the DSCC.
Hillary may be cheap by giving just $1 million out of a $22 million warchest to the effort to win the Senate. Feingold's $10K was pitiful. But of the Senate's presidential aspirants, none is as cheap and miserly as Evan Bayh,
Amount given to the DSCC: $0
Cash on Hand: $10,363,520
His next election is not until 2010.
Update: Hmmm, and what about John Kerry? He gave $1 million to the DSCC from the $16 million he had left over after the last election, and I don't think he's given anything since. Right now he has about 180K in his Senate account. I don't know what happened to the rest of that $16 million. I don't know if he has a separate leadership PAC or presidential committee to hold that cash.
Update II: Okay, to clarify the Kerry stuff -- his money is in his leadership PAC, which can't transfer money to the DSCC. And most of the money he raises these days clearly goes into that PAC.
Also, I should not that all of these candidates are using their PACs to help out races this cycle. I'm sure you guys have seen Feingold and Warner advertise their efforts here and elsewhere. This isn't just about "helping" other candidates, but about providing the cold, hard cash to finish out the cycle strong. There's a loophole that allows senators to transfer as much money from their Senate committees as they want to the DSCC. If we have to sacrifice and contribute to campaigns from our household budgets, there's no reason that the Senators who would most benefit from being in the majority do so from their Senate budgets as well.
Feinstein, Kennedy, Wyden, and Durbin have stepped up in a big way. Others have made significant contributions as well, like the non-Democrat Jeffords.
Thailand's military has launched a coup attempt - the nation has been under a caretaker government, and faces uncertainties. It is not the first time that the military has intervened in civilian government - a bloodless coup in1932 toppled the monarchy, and in 1947 toppled the civilian government, and then in 1952 another coup revoked the constitution and appointed half of the members of parliament. In 1971 the premier dissolved parliament and suspended the constitution. There have been other since.
Reports at present indicate that the coup is taking hold, with roadblocks being set up around Bangkok, and army officers siezing power in the name of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The conflict is between the rural populism, and corruption, of the government, and the elites in Bangkok that want a crackdown on the corruption associated with the current government. The military has publicly fueded with the Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, over both foreign affairs and domestic arrangements.
The coup comes on the back of snap elections in April which Thaskin won handily after an opposition boycott and charges of corruption; Thailand's elections have a long history of vote buying with Thai Rak Thai having had victories thrown out for election irregularlities in the past. Opposition groups saying they would only rejoin the process if Thaskin stepped down. Earlier they had rejected an offer to be included in Thaskin's government, saying that only constitutional and election reform was acceptable. Thaskin's opponents organized marches to pressure him to resign, while Thaskin supporters bombed an opposition head quarters.
After the judiciary invalidated the elections, Thaskin had an electoral comission loyal to him schedule new elections, since he was already the head of Thailand's first elected single party government, there was no pressure on him to concede much ground. The new elections, scheduled for October 15th, were expected to go to Thaskin's party, in no small part because the opposition was barely given a chance to organize. With this the frustrations of the country's military and media elites finally boiled over at the tycoon politician. The judiciary removed the election commissioners loyal to Thaskin and declared that elections should be delayed to give the opposition a chance to get organized.
Only a few days ago Thaskin was telling people that there would be no coup, but also expressed displeasure at the slow pace of tracking down those responsible for the bombing.
Everyone loves snap judgements that tell us who to support, however, both sides have their points. On one hand, Thaskin is the duly elected leader of the country, and will probably win elections. On the other hand, Thaskin's time in power has been very profitable for his family, and made him a billionaire in a poor country.
Both the opposition Democrat Party and Thaskin's Thai Rak Thai party are in favor of trade liberalization to bring in more industrial base to Thailand from countries with higher wages bases. The major parties all agree on the continuation of universal health coverage and education subsidies, thought differ on the implementation. The major dispute then, is over the finances of the Prime Minister himself.
The signals from the US are that matters are going to be handled very gingerly. Instead of "the political process", UN ambassdor Bolton stated that the crisis needed to be settled within the "Constitutional process". Since one of the opposition's key demands is for a new constitution that limits executive power, these are carefully chosen words meant to indicate that the United States might not be upset if Thaskin were forced from power.
The main opposition party is the Democrat Party, one of a number of Asian Parties which grew up in opposition to authoritarian and one party government in Asia, including the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan. Their own history in power included being overthrown by military coups, just as Thaskin seems in danger now of falling from power. It has been torn by internal fighting between its Bangkok and southern wings, with southern politicians now holding an edge in leadership and representation. The Democrat Party believes that were Thaskin not to be there to hold his own party together, that it would splinter back into the factions that make it up, many of them hostile to each other.
Thailand has a history of coup, followed by military appointed Prime Minister, followed by turbulence that led to constitutional reform and a new elected government, only to face another coup or election defeat. If this pattern holds, the military will either dictate changes, or face street demonstrations until changes are made in the electoral system. This, however, does not deal with the controversy of Thaskin himself. Even if he steps aside as PM, he has vowed to remain the head of the TRT party, and would be expected to be immune from investigation and prosecution.
Thaskin's time in power has moved Thailand's politics to the left on social spending, even as he has supported American foreign policy and trade liberalization. However, it has also introduced a persistent element of instability, as questions surrounding his personal fortune, made in telecommunications and augmented by tax free sales of assets, have been used by opposition parties to repeatedly bring down his government.
Today's coup then, needs to be seen in the light of a very personal struggle between Thaskin and the Bangkok power centers, as well as a struggle between the very poor north, and the less poor south.