March 2014

Statement regarding Anwar Ibrahim March 10, 2014 : 2:57 AM

It is extremely disturbing that the government of Malaysia -- by continuing to press this case beyond the bounds of reason, let alone the bounds of justice -- has used the courts to short-circuit the political process.

The entire world understands with clarity that Anwar Ibrahim was at the verge of running for an office that would have given him serious leverage for advocating greatly needed reform, had he won the election, that his election by the people was likely, and that it was the likely judgment of the electorate that inspired this action by those presently holding power over the administration of "justice."

The court, by accelerating its calendar, reached its verdict in a rush -- early enough to prevent Anwar from running in the election. The calendar of events is itself a contextual indictment of the decision.

By behaving in the manner it did, the court has, of course, invited speculation by reasonable friends of Malaysia in the rest of the world that its independence of judgment and judicial temperament have been influenced by political fear of, and intimidation by, the individuals now in control of executive power in Kuala Lumpur.

The importance of the rule of law should be deemed important for the reputation of Malaysia as a nation within the community of nations.

Moreover, the integrity of Malaysia's parliament -- a crucial asset for the future of Malaysia's respect in the world community -- would be diminished if this decision were to be accepted as "legitimate" by the elected representatives of the people of Malaysia.

In short, future prospects for accomplishing meaningful and necessary change on behalf of the people of Malaysia would be seriously depreciated if the capricious and slanderous imprisonment of an individual who has a universally respected understanding and affinity for the democratic process throughout the world is tolerated.

His pending appeal offers what could be a last chance for Malaysia to make things right. The stakes for Malaysia could hardly be higher. Please do not be deceived. The eyes of the world are focused on what will come next.

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Statement on the passing of Gail Kerr March 26, 2014 : 4:58 PM

I was saddened to hear of the passing of my friend Gail Kerr. As a journalist, Gail's intuition was unsurpassed. She possessed an uncanny ability to dig into a story, understand its context and deliver articles that cut through the daily conversation and brought important issues to light.

I have many fond memories of Gail during the 1992 & 1996 campaigns. National campaigns are exhausting endeavors. You're always on the move and it’s easy to feel separated from your hometown. Between pointed questions, Gail and I would often discuss the latest from Nashville. Her insights and anecdotes helped me feel connected to home, even when I was thousands of miles away.

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Statement on the Latest Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change March 30, 2014 : 11:00 PM



The new report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—the world's preeminent group of climate scientists—represents even more definitive evidence of the growing urgency to immediately reduce the spewing of global warming pollution. The atmosphere can no longer be used as an open sewer. The costs of carbon pollution are clear: decreasing crop yields, more destructive storms, the spreading of tropical diseases to temperate latitudes, rising seas, more climate refugees, failures of governance, increasing floods, deepening droughts, more destructive fires and heat waves -- all contributing to the new reality of the global climate crisis. Put together, these factors are already affecting the lives of millions around the world by driving them from their homes, disrupting their livelihoods, and in some cases, further straining destabilized regions.

The consensus is clear. We need an immediate and determined shift to a clean, renewable economy. The continued mass burning of fossil fuels is inconsistent with a healthy, prosperous future for our civilization.

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