By now, you've probably have seen the ad Michigan's former congressman Pete Hoekstra released targeting Debbie Stabenow in his bid for a seat in the Senate. In it, an Asian woman bicycles through rice paddies to thank Debbie "Spend-it-now" for spending so much money, presumably to benefit China. Hoekstra denied the racist undertone of the ad, of course.
But the actress in the ad, Lisa Chan, isn't buying into Hoekstra's plausible deniability. And her conscience bothered her enough about her participation in these kind of ugly stereotypes that she issued an apology:
"I am deeply sorry for any pain that the character I portrayed brought to my communities," Chan wrote on her Facebook page, as first reported by the Angry Asian Man blog. "As a recent college grad who has spent time working to improve communities and empower those without a voice, this role is not in any way representative of who I am. It was absolutely a mistake on my part and one that, over time, I hope can be forgiven. I feel horrible about my participation and I am determined to resolve my actions."
Look at that: a genuine apology. Not the kind that we get from Republicans so often ("I'm sorry if someone was offended...") but a real, no excuses, owning-up-to-my-mistake apology. Take note, Republicans, this is how it's done.
Now it's time for Hoekstra to apologize. Here's the "Contact" page from his campaign website. Ask him (politely, of course) to apologize forthrightly for the ad. And perhaps that his failure to do so already has spurred you to support Debbie Stabenow.
It's an old newsroom axiom: If it bleeds, it leads. The bobblehead corollary to that axiom is that even if no one actually bled from the event, if the possibility of someone bleeding existed, then it leads, with plenty of speculation as to whose head should roll from this almost-bloodbath. And the thwarted (and let's be honest, really poorly planned and a pretty lame) attempt on the part of the Underpants Bomber is just the kind of scenario that makes the bobbleheads excited: perfect for partisan sniping and insinuations of everything from benign neglect to gross malfeasance. Hence the appearance of the Senate's version of Statler and Waldorf on State of the Union all the way from Jerusalem, to heckle Obama as only two irrelevant electoral losers can. And Pete Hoekstra, who in his Twitter stream has been eagerly linking Captain Underpants to everything, including the "smoking gun" of the Ft. Hood shootings (if you can follow his thinking, please feel free to explain it to me in the comments--I'm flummoxed.) And even more egregiously, Liz Cheney on the This Week round table. What reason could anyone have to get Liz Cheney's take on today's issues, other than for partisan sniping? Speaking of which, we will also be treated to head-to-head match ups of RNC chair Michael Steele and DNC chair Tim Kaine on Meet the Press and Fox News Sunday. Will David Gregory find his journalistic gonads enough to ask Michael Steele why he's using an outside PR firm to promote his book instead of the RNC flacks? On the non-bleeding side, WH Economic Adviser Christina Romer will be on a couple shows as well, trying to instill some economic confidence and encourage jobs.
ABC's "This Week" - Christina Romer, chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
CBS' "Face the Nation" - Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich.
NBC's "Meet the Press" - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif.; Democratic National Chairman Tim Kaine; Republican National Chairman Michael Steele.
NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show"- Panel: Joe Klein, Elisabeth Bumiller, Andrea Mitchell, David Ignatius. Topics: If al-Qaeda Is On The Run, Why Do They Seem On The Attack? Does Obama Have Support From the Military and Intell Leadership, and Does He Have Their Back? Have the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Helped the Fight Against al-Qaeda? YES: 7 NO: 5; Will Obama Push A Big Jobs Bill Next Year? YES: 6 No: 6.
CNN's "State of the Union" - Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.; former Gov. Doug Wilder, D-Va.; Romer.
CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" - Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen discusses the war on terror, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
CNN's "Amanpour" - U.S. Gen. David Petraeus, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
"Fox News Sunday" - Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Jack Reed, D-R.I.; Kaine; Steele.
The similarities between failed airplane bombers Richard Reid and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab are striking. Each Al Qaeda convert was radicalized in London. Reid and Abdulmutallab were each subdued by fellow passengers after their explosive devices failed to detonate. The two men struck just as the President of the United States was starting his vacation for the Christmas holiday. In each case, the President spoke publicly about the incident only days later. And the Nigerian, just like Reid before him, will face criminal charges in an American civilian courtroom.
The only difference? Richard Reid hid a bomb in his shoe, while Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab packed his in his underwear. Oh, and the Democratic President Barack Obama has faced a firestorm of criticism from his political opponents and the media alike while Republican George W. Bush's silence during his extended holiday in 2001 was greeted with yawns.
Bush's Non-Response. While President Obama did not speak to the American people for three days after the Flight 253 incident, George W. Bush did not surface to address the December 22, 2001 attempted shoe bombing until six days after it occurred. Even then, as Huffington Post's Sam Stein recounted, "it was only in passing."
And that hardly caused a ripple. As the Boston Globe noted two days later on December 24, 2001:
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said that President Bush continued to monitor the situation and receive updates at Camp David. Bush has not issued any statements about the incident.
The bad terrorist men are coming to get you! Oooga booga booga! Isn't it funny how Republicans have continually intoned they are the only ones able to keep us safe from the scary men, but when the Obama administration actually decides to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and five others for their terrorists acts, they turn--to a one--into the biggest WATBs at the thought of these Guantanamo detainees in a super-max prison standing trial through the American court systems. For all their jingoistic "We're #1" exceptionalism, these Republicans have remarkably little faith in our criminal justice system. And who better to represent these little p*ssified pseudo-toughs than Rudy "A Noun, A Verb and 911" Giuliani? He scored a trifecta of appearances, besting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who only will be on two shows. Meanwhile, the Republicans aren't done scaring Americans about health care reform, and you can bet the Pete Hoekstra on Face the Nation, Newt Gingrich on Meet the Press and Mitch McConnell on Fox News Sunday will be amping up the rhetoric.
ABC's "This Week" - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
CBS' "Face the Nation" - Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich.; Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
NBC's "Meet the Press" - Clinton; Education Secretary Arne Duncan; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.; the Rev. Al Sharpton.
NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show" - Panel: Eugene Robinson, Katty Kay, Peggy Noonan, Michael Duffy. Topics: Will Obama Suffer Longterm Damage For Afghanistan and Health Care Delays? Will Sarah Palin's Book Tour Convert Her From Republican Rogue to Frontrunner? Meter Questions: Will President Obama Sign a Health Care Reform Bill This Year? YES: 5
NO: 7; Will Delays Over Afghanistan and Health Care Hurt Obama's Image Longterm? YES: 5 No: 7.
CNN's "State of the Union" - Giuliani; White House senior adviser David Axelrod; Sens. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Judd Gregg, R-N.H.; Gov. Brian Schweitzer, D-Mont.
CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" - Fareed gives you a sneak peak into the HBO film he narrated entitled Terror in Mumbai. Plus, an incisive panel discussion on President Obama's first trip to China and the most important relationship in the world - between Beijing and Washington.
CNN's "Amanpour" - Amira Hass, Ha'aretz "Occupied Lands" correspondent, and Aaron David Miller, former diplomat who served six U.S. Secretaries of State discuss peace prospects in the Middle East.
"Fox News Sunday" - Giuliani; Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Stunning. Millions of Iranaian citizens are staging protests of historical proportion and Republican Pete Hoekstra compares it to being taken to the woodshed by Democrats. Zero shame. The best part of Pete's Tweet? The comments.
That House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has badly bungled the imbroglio over what she knew and when about the Bush administration's regime of detainee torture is hard to dispute. Seemingly snatching PR defeat from the jaws of victory, Pelosi should have instead simply called the Republicans' bluff and insisted on investigations of torture architects, perpetrators and "accomplices" alike, letting the bipartisan chips fall where they may. But by savaging Pelosi for her statement that the CIA "misled" Congress, Bush's Republican water carriers are again exhibiting selective amnesia. After all, just two years ago it was the same raging right which insisted the CIA was an "anti-Bush cabal" behind a "bureaucratic coup d’état" seeking to "undermine" the President.
To be sure, the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame in retaliation for her husband's revelations regarding President Bush's bogus claims that Iraq sought uranium in Niger prompted right-wing calls of betrayal by the agency. In March 2007, California Republican Darrell Issa accused Plame of perjury, insisting "She has not been genuine in her testimony before Congress." For his part, former Fox News host John Gibson argued that ending the classified career of CIA agent deeply involved in critical nuclear proliferation work and compromising her global network was essential because "this was about an anti-Bush cabal at the CIA" that needed to be "rooted out."
"I'm the guy who said a long, long time ago that whoever outed Valerie Plame should get a medal. And if it was Karl Rove, I'd pin it on him myself."
Among Speaker Pelosi's interlocutors now is former Intelligence Committee chairman, Republican Pete Hoekstra (R-MI). But as ThinkProgress detailed, years before he claimed Pelosi was "blaming the CIA," Hoekstra blasted "an intelligence community that covers up what it does and then lies to Congress." And when it came to the 2007 NIE which asserted Tehran halted its nuclear program in 2003, Hoekstra insisted the agency was holding back:
Similarly, in 2007, Hoekstra described a closed-door briefing by representatives from the intelligence community (including CIA) on the National Intelligence Estimate of Iran's nuclear capability, saying that the members "didn't find [the briefers] forthcoming."
For his part, Newt Gingrich, who claimed that Nancy Pelosi had "disqualified herself" from the same Speaker's position he once held, took to the op-ed pages to make his case for her to "step down" and to the airwaves to defend Hoekstra. But while Gingrich today redefined what the meaning of "is" is by claiming Hoekstra "did not say the CIA routinely lies," back in December 2007 he accused the CIA of precisely that over the Iran NIE:
"[The NIE] is so professionally unworthy, so intellectually indefensible and so fundamentally misleading that it is damaging to our national security.
[The NIE appears to be a deliberate attempt to undermine the policies of President Bush by members of his own government by suggesting that Iran no longer poses a serious threat to U.S. national security because we apparently have credible reports that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003."
"The National Intelligence Estimate on Iran can only be understood as a bureaucratic coup d’état, deliberately designed to undermine the policies of the United States, on behalf of some weird goal." (Applause)
When it was revealed yesterday that the internet document dump to the "Army of Davids" contained plans for building nuclear weapons in arabic, I knew that the 101st Keyboarders and Pete Hoekstra and Rick Santorum had been agitating for it for some time.---What I didn't know was that George W. Bush himself considered this a personal project and specifically ordered the program.
He did this because he listened to the crew of childlike idiots, both in the congress and on the radio and internet, who comprise the heart of his political movement. It illustrates something I don't think I've ever fully understood before. Bush listens to the 101st keyboarders and believes their delusionary drivel. In essence, the nation is being led by Limbaugh, Powerline and Michele Malkin.
If that doesn't scare the hell out of you, I don't know what will...read on