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Sen. Liberman's offensive associates

Uncle Sam
With a major league Hat Tip to BigDavefromQueens over at My Left Nutmeg, Here's today's
Greenwich Time column

U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman has made some questionable decisions over the last seven years, but in deciding to spend the evening of Sept. 11 with Ann Coulter at Sean Hannity's "Freedom Concert," he's shown an astounding lack of taste and sensitivity.

The event Sen. Lieberman chose last Tuesday was ostensibly in aid of the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund for the "children of America's military heroes who have been killed or permanently disabled ... in the line of duty." A noble aim to be sure, except, according to the concert Web site, the $38-$78 ticket price only included a " $4.00 donation to the Freedom Alliance." Note that the donation is to the Freedom Alliance, not to the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund.

The Freedom Alliance, founded by ex-Lt. Col. Oliver North (who in delicious irony, had his felony convictions vacated thanks to support from the organization that conservatives love to hate -- the ACLU), states its mission is "to advance the American heritage of freedom by honoring and encouraging military service, defending the sovereignty of the United States and promoting a strong national defense." Sounds laudable so far. But, as they say in late night infomercials, "Wait! There's more!"

Because the Freedom Alliance is basically an ultra-right-wing political group, as can be seen from this quote taken directly from their Web site:

"While there has been a liberal domination of the institutions of the federal government, the media and college campuses, Freedom Alliance has worked diligently to educate concerned citizens across the nation to the dangers of a growing federal government and an expansion of international institutions whose policies and influence adversely impact U.S. policy."

Say what?! I thought we were honoring and encouraging military service and helping the kids of killed or wounded vets. Where'd all this "liberal domination" come in? And weren't the Republicans in charge of all that until November 2006?

Despite Sean Hannity's claims that "100 percent of the profits" go to the military families, they are getting less of the ticket price than the parking attendants, and it's unclear how much of the $4 given to the Freedom Alliance actually goes to the scholarship fund. But if one peruses the Freedom Alliance's 2006 Form 990 (exempt from income tax), it looks like it's not a whole lot. Of the fund's net assets or fund balances of $14,503,615 , a mere $403,900 actually went to "Scholarship Grants and Grants and Contributions." More than three times that went for "printing and publications" ($1.4 million), and over four times that went to "postage and shipping" ($1.7 million). And of course, we mustn't forget the "consultations" of $641,411. While nominally promoting a good cause, in actuality the Freedom Alliance is a pretty dubious organization to be associated with when you are supposedly an "independent Democrat."

I could almost forgive Sen. Lieberman for being taken in by Sean Hannity's disingenuousness, if it weren't for the inclusion of the odious Ann Coulter on the program. In between hair-tossing and leg-flashing, Ms. Coulter has probably managed to lower the tone of political debate in this country more than any other person.

Take her comments about the "Jersey Girls," four 9/11 widows from the Garden State who successfully pushed for the formation of the 9/11 Commission.

Coulter said of the women, whom she dubbed "The Witches of East Brunswick": "These broads are millionaires, lionized on ... reveling in their status as celebrities. I have never seen people enjoying their husband's death so much."

There's more: "How do we know their husbands weren't planning to divorce these harpies? Now that their shelf life is dwindling, they'd better hurry up and appear in Playboy."

As the slandered widows said in a press statement: "There was no joy in watching men that we loved burn alive. There was no happiness in telling our children that their fathers were never coming home again. We adored these men, and miss them every day."

Jacqueline Pietronico, a mother of two whose husband, Bernard, died at the World Trade Center, defended the Jersey Girls:

"Those women did nothing wrong. Those were the ones who had the courage and the voice to speak. A lot of us just cannot do it for our own reasons. These women had the nerve to stand up and fight for all of us, and [Coulter] attacked them. And it's shameful."

Shameful too, is Sen. Lieberman's decision to associate himself with hate-monger Ann Coulter at any time, but particularly on 9/11.

(Note: A call to Sen. Lieberman's office asking for comment was not returned.)

Extra Note: I wonder what this will do for neighborly relations, given that my parents live in the same building. I can imagine the conversation in the elevator:

Joe: your last name is ____. Are you related to Sara____America who writes all those nasty columns about me in the Greenwich Time?

Dad: Um...yes. She is my daughter. And I'm kind of proud of her writing, even though I hate what she writes. Seriously. I'm a supporter of yours. I brought her up to be a good Republican. I don't know what went wrong with the kid. Ever time we get together I try to convince her that her political views are a function of her youth (ok, she's a middle aged mother of two but you know what I mean.)She just doesn't listen. You know what kids are like. I mean look at your daughter Hana. She registered as Unaffiliated. She can't even vote for you in a primary. Oh, sorry, didn't mean to mention the primary....etc.


Uncle Sam


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