Richard Holbrooke has died after complications of 21 hour surgery to repair a torn aorta. He has served under every Democratic president since JFK. The Washington Post reports:
…that Holbrooke’s last wordscame just before the 21-hour operation. As Holbrooke was sedated for surgery, his final words were to his Pakistani surgeon, family members said: “You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan.”
Those are powerful words coming from a man who has brokered many difference peace accords between countries.
On Tuesday, Chris Dodd gave his farewell address to the Senate. He retires after 30 years in the Senate. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1974 and the Senate in 1980. Senator Dodd has left a legacy of legislation.
Perhaps his greatest contribution to improving American lives was the FMLA Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, signed into law by President Bill Clinton. To date, over 50 million Americans have taken leave to care for a sick child, spouse, parent, knowing that they would have a job to return to. Mothers have been able to take the necessary time off after giving birth or adopting a child.
As I listened to Senator Dodd’s farewell address, I thought of the advice in his wise words. He spoke of the Senate, the expectations of the Founding Fathers, and the collegiality that was necessary to get the job done. Listen for yourself:
I would ask that if people have negative, political comments, please keep them to yourself.
Chris Dodd’s advise to the Senate and really, to all legislators comes at a crucial time in our history as a nation. It could bode well for America to heed his advice. Our legislators need to relearn the art of working together towards a common goal.
Thanks for your service, Senator Dodd. Enjoy your retirement and smooth sailing in all your new endeavors.
In 1991, Anita Hill testified against Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearing. Hill had worked for Thomas at the Department of Education and at EEOC. Under oath, she testified that Thomas had made sexual remarks to her during the time they were both at DoEd and EEOC. Thomas was confirmed 52-48 but the hearings were extremely contentious and almost everyone had an opinion on Anita Hill. The support and condemnation usually ran along party lines.
In a voice mail left at 7:31 a.m. on Oct. 9 — the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend — Virginia Thomas asked her husband’s former aide-turned-adversary to make amends. Ms. Hill played the recording, from her voice mail at Brandeis University, for The Times.
“Good morning Anita Hill, it’s Ginni Thomas,” it said. “I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometimes and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband.”
Ms. Thomas went on: “So give it some thought. And certainly pray about this and hope that one day you will help us understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day.”
Ms. Hill, in an interview, said she kept the message for nearly a week trying to decide whether the caller really was Ms. Thomas or a prankster. Unsure, she said, she decided to turn it over to the Brandeis campus police with a request to convey it the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“I though it was certainly inappropriate,” Ms. Hill said. “It came in at 7:30 a.m. on my office phone from somebody I didn’t know, and she is asking for an apology. It was not invited. There was no background for it.”
In a statement conveyed through a publicist, Ms. Thomas confirmed leaving the message, which she portrayed as a peacemaking gesture. She did not explain its timing.
“I did place a call to Ms. Hill at her office extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get passed what happened so long ago,” she said. “That offer still stands. I would be very happy to meet and talk with her if she would be willing to do the same. Certainly no offense was ever intended.”
The olive branch seems to come with a very accusatory tone attached to it. Ms. Hill feels she told the truth which she was required to so and she owes no one an apology.
What is Virginia Thomas thinking? Why dredge up the past after nearly 20 years. To call someones office at that hour of the morning, on a weekend when the likelihood of the person being there is fairly remote, is nothing short of harassment. Mrs. Thomas is already under fire for being too much of an activist with her husband sitting on the Supreme Court. Most spouses of Justices keep a very low profile politically, much like a General’s spouse must do.
It now seems that Anita Hill is the one who should receive an apology. I hope she gets it.
Some of the slogans and buttons seen around town this past weekend simply do not represent the truth. How do we break these sort of misconceptions and report history accurately?
Seen at the Glenn Beck rally
George Washington never said it or wrote it, accordingn to most sources.
How about redefining what some of the founding fathers were?
From the Glenn Beck rally
Right Wing Radicals? There was nothing right wing about these guys. If one defines radical as: One who advocates fundamental or revolutionary changes in current practices, conditions, or institutions, then most definitely radical, just not right wing radical. I used to think that expression was an oxymoron. Not any more.
Glenn Beck gave a post mortem on his Restoring Honor rally. He was very concerned about the crowd size numbers being reported. Every organization is always concerned with numbers. It is going home with the most marbles on a grand scale. He did bring in a huge crowd. Good for him. It was peaceful and no one carried offensive signs.
Well, in her case, Helen Thomas, White House reporter for years, put her foot in her mouth.
Ok. While we might not agree with her words, there is something bothering me about the hue and cry over her remarks. For starters, she offered an opinion. She said she felt that Palestine was occupied by Israel. I never heard her utter the word ‘Jews.’ There are an awful lot of people in the world who believe that. Why is Helen Thomas, daughter of Lebanese immigrants, not allowed her opinion? Additionally, she said that those occupying needed to go home. Good grief, that is said every day towards Latinos here in this county.
Helen Thomas is almost 90 years old. She apologized. Many news agencies have said her apologies were not good enough because she didn’t really mean it. This is where the thought police come into play. There is just something about that kind of mind control that bothers me a great deal. Who are we to tell others how to think? While we can be held accountable for what comes out of our mouths, how can anyone hold us accountable for what they think we should think.
On June 4, Helen Thomas issued the following apology:
“I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.” (June 4, 2010)
To her credit, Ellen Ratner of Fox News issued the following:
Helen Thomas has apologized. What more do people want?
If I had a dollar for every American who has said something in private about a racial, ethnic, or sexual minority in this county I would be a multimillionaire many times over.
Let’s face it we all have said things — or thought things — about “other” groups of people, things that we would not want to see in print or on video. Anyone who denies it is a liar.
Helen is three months short of ninety and her brain’s filters might not work as well as a forty year old’s. Give her a break.
Ellen Ratner is Washington bureau chief for Talk Radio News Service and a Fox News contributor.
Helen Thomas has resigned. Her resignation was announced around noon. I think the greater tragedy is that a 90 year old woman can’t be allowed to retract her statements, especially a lady of her stature.
She is a very remarkable woman. I can’t image being her age and doing the job she is still doing. Many of us who grew up with Helen Thomas will miss her. The good news is, now she is a free agent, she can also speak freely. I expect she will, knowing Helen Thomas and I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that acerbic tongue.
[disclaimer: This post does not imply agreement with Helen Thomas]
Republicans got that dead cat bounce from the new law in AZ. However, now they might be going back to the old adage about being careful what you wish for. Now the movers and the shakers in the GOP are worried that there might be a negative impact from this law and that some new potential base might be lost.
Arizona’s immigration law has been an immediate hit with the Republican base, but some of the party’s top strategists and rising stars worry that the harsh crackdown may do long-term damage to the GOP in the eyes of America’s Hispanic population.
From Marco Rubio to Jeb Bush to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Republicans who represent heavily Hispanic states have been vocal in their criticism of the Arizona law, saying it overreaches. Even Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, a conservative hero for his win last fall, has questioned the law.
And the party’s long-term thinkers worry that the Arizona law is merely a quick political fix which may create a permanent rift with the fastest growing segment of the U.S. electorate.
Most of us were unaware the Governor McDonnell had weighed in on the AZ issue.
The question people need to be asking themselves is will the new legislation help alleviate AZ’s violence. If the answer is no, then they need another strategy. They are making a bad mistake if they are curbing lawn care workers entering the United States. Meanwhile, London burns.
Specifically, Rove, Jeb Bush, and Governor Perry had the following to say:
“I think there is going to be some constitutional problems with the bill,” top Bush strategist Karl Rove said during a stop on his book tour. “I wished they hadn’t passed it, in a way.”
“I have concerns with portions of the law passed in Arizona and believe it would not be the right direction for Texas,” Perry said earlier this week.
Jeb Bush was also blunt: “I don’t think this is the proper approach.”
Regardless of what GOP heavy-weights say, the many folks in AZ are pleased with their legislation. It must be that RINO Karl Rove who just doesn’t have what it takes to be a conservative Republican. [Sarcasm key pressed.]
In September ABC announced that long time journalist Charlie Gibson would retire. Tonight as throngs of family and friends and dignitaries honored him, Charlie Gibson signed off World News for the last time with the following words:
As has been mentioned a time or six over the past week — this is my last broadcast in this chair. And it’s hard to walk away from what I honestly think is the best job in the world — but my parents taught me you should understay — not overstay your welcome. And there is so much to do. In the years I have left, I don’t want to miss any of it.