Archive for the ‘Carter’ Category

Obama apologizes for Nancy Reagan joke

November 8, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama called to apologize to former first lady Nancy Reagan on Friday after he made an errant joke at her expense in his first postelection press conference.

By Steven Dinan
The Washington Times

Mr. Obama, answering a question about which ex-presidents’ advice he sought, said he had “spoken to all of them that are living.” He went on, but appeared to realize he probably didn’t need the “living” qualifier, and explained, “I didn’t want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any seances.”

The joke at the expense of the ailing former first lady rubbed some who heard it the wrong way, and within hours Mr. Obama said he was wrong.

“President-elect Barack Obama called Nancy Reagan today to apologize for the careless and off-handed remark he made during today’s press conference,” spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said in a statement Friday evening. “The president-elect expressed his admiration and affection for Mrs. Reagan that so many Americans share, and they had a warm conversation.”

Reagan

Above: Mrs. Ronald (Nancy) Reagan

Mr. Obama seemed to get his facts backward in making the joke, aiming at Mrs. Reagan when it was actually Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton who wrote in her syndicated column during her time as first lady that she occasionally held imaginary conversations with long-dead first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

“I occasionally have imaginary conversations with Mrs. Roosevelt to try to figure out what she would do in my shoes,” Mrs. Clinton wrote in a June 1996 column. “She usually responds by telling me to buck up or at least to grow skin as thick as a rhinoceros.”

Mrs. Reagan, by contrast, consulted an astrologer friend about auspicious days for scheduling events. The White House said the practice began after the attempt on President Reagan’s life.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library didn’t respond to a message asking about the incident.

After an election heavy on personality, in which the candidates made headway with voters on “The View,” “The Daily Show” and celebrity gossip blogs, maybe it was fitting Mr. Obama found himself explaining what books he’s reading, what kind of dog he’s going to get and which presidents he has talked to for advice in response to a question from Chicago Sun-Times Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet.

She asked: “I’m wondering what you’re doing to get ready. Have you spoke to any living ex-presidents, what books you might be reading? Everyone wants to know, what kind of dog are you going to buy for your girls? Have you decided on a private or public school for your daughters?”

Mr. Obama said the dog – something he promised his daughters on election night – is a “major issue” in their household. They are looking for a breed that is hypoallergenic because of his daughter Malia’s allergies.

“Our preference would be to get a shelter dog, but, obviously, a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me,” he said, referring to his being the child of a white American woman and a black Kenyan man.

“So whether we’re going to be able to balance those two things, I think is a pressing issue on the Obama household.”

Carter: Hamas is willing to accept Israel as its neighbor

April 21, 2008

By KARIN LAUB, Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM – Former President Carter said Monday that Hamas — the Islamic militant group that has called for the destruction of Israel — is prepared to accept the right of the Jewish state to “live as a neighbor next door in peace.”

But Carter warned that there would not be peace if Israel and the U.S. continue to shut out Hamas and its main backer, Syria.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter delivers a speech during ... 
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter delivers a speech during a meeting held by the Israeli Council of Foreign Relations in Jerusalem, Monday, April 21, 2008. Carter said Monday that Hamas is prepared to accept the right of Israel to ‘live as a neighbor next door in peace.’(AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)

The Democratic former president relayed the message in a speech in Jerusalem after meeting last week with top Hamas leaders in Syria. It capped a nine-day visit to the Mideast aimed at breaking the deadlock between Israel and Hamas militants who rule the Gaza Strip.

“They (Hamas) said that they would accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, if approved by Palestinians and that they would accept the right of Israel to live as a neighbor next door in peace,” Carter said.

The borders he referred to were the frontiers that existed before Israel captured large swaths of Arab lands in the 1967 Mideast war — including the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza.

In the past, Hamas officials have said they would establish a “peace in stages” if Israel were to withdraw to the borders it held before 1967. But it has been evasive about how it sees the final borders of a Palestinian state and has not abandoned its official call for Israel’s destruction.

Israel, which evacuated Gaza in 2005, has accepted the idea of a Palestinian state there and in much of the West Bank. But it has resisted Palestinian demands that it return to its 1967 frontiers.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080421/ap_on_re_mi_ea/carter_israel;_
ylt=ApEnSVk0AC_.wGlBwiEAROSs0NUE

Carter meets Hamas chief over Israeli, US objections

April 18, 2008

By BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press Writer

DAMASCUS, Syria – Former President Carter met Friday with the exiled leader of Hamas and the militant group’s deputy chief, men the U.S. government has labeled as global terrorists and Israel accuses of masterminding suicide bombings and kidnappings.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, left, meets with Syrian ...
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, left, meets with Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, at the Presidential palace in Damascus, Syria, on Friday, April 18, 2008. Carter met Friday with Syrian President Bashar Assad and later with the exiled leader of Hamas, a day after he had asked senior officials from the militant Palestinian group he met in Egypt to stop rocket attacks into Israel. No media was allowed at the Hamas meeting. (AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi)

Carter’s meeting with Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal followed two other meetings between the former American president and the Palestinian militant group in the Middle East this week. Hamas officials say the meetings have lent their group legitimacy.

Mashaal’s deputy Moussa Abu Marzouk attended the meeting with Carter at Mashaal’s Damascus office, a Hamas official at the site told The Associated Press. Abu Marzouk was designated a terrorist by the U.S. Treasury Department in 1995, allowing the government to seize his assets. He was detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York that same year and spent two years in a New York jail before he was deported in 1997.

Carter’s convoy arrived at Mashaal’s office for the meeting under tight security and reporters were prevented from getting near the site. The meeting was closed to all media.

The U.S. State Department twice advised Carter against meeting Hamas….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080418/ap_on_re_mi_ea/carter_
palestinians;_ylt=AsDoDYbw2kPMPTWQVGT_iGys0NUE

Torture Policy Undermines U.S. Interests

October 11, 2007

USA Today Editorial
October 11, 2007

Is torture ever justified? America has been grappling with that question ever since the 9/11 attacks shifted it from the abstract to the real and immediate. On the one hand, it’s hard to imagine many Americans feeling much compunction about doing unspeakable things to Osama bin Laden or some associate who might know of terror plots. On the other hand, the United States is supposed to be a beacon of moral, democratic values.

Two distinct sides have done battle on that question within the U.S. government since Sept. 11, 2001.

In one corner: the Bush White House. Immediately after 9/11, the White House began aggressively trying to lift restrictions ….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/20071010/cm_usatoday/
ourviewonprisonerinterrogationarroganceontorturepolicy
underminesusinterests;_ylt=ApTx_q_NdCyWtgJqo.XGmcKs0NUE

Excellent Gingrich Speech, National Press Club, Aug. 7, 2007

August 9, 2007

The speech below is mainly a proposal to reform the way we in the United States discuss major issues and choose our president.   But Mr. Gingrich has thoughtful things to say on a wide variety of our nation’s issues.

Peace and Freedom sincerely thanks Mr. Rick Tyler of Mr. Gingrich’s staff who worked so hard to get us this transcript.  Mr. Gingrich gave this speech from notes (not text) and a transcript had to be made.  Since the text of the speech is so long we added some headers so readers can scan don and find the areas that interest them the most.  The headers are:

Introduction
Mr. Gingrich Begins
Lincoln-Douglas Debates
Current System Not Working
Strategy and Reality Not Connected
Challenges Are Immense
UPS and FedEx Superior to Federal Bureaucracy
The Scale of  Change
Britain’s Phoney War
 
Our Phony War: The Scale of the Challenge
Conversations About Our Future: Better Debates
Questions and Answers
—Proposal Favors Good Debaters
—How to Handle 3rd Party Candidates
—How to Engage The Public
—Revising Primary Debates
—Reforming The Overall Primary Process
—Campaign Financing
—Fred Thompson
—Gingrich’s Own Plan to Run
—2008 a Democratic Year
—Are The Candidates Up To The Task
—Near Future of the War On Terror

We had a lot of formatting trouble with this document and we are sorry for its porr appearance.  We think you’ll find that the content is excellent.All the best to everyone,
John E. Carey
******************* IntroductionMR. ZREMSKI: (Sounds gavel.) Good afternoon, and welcome to the National Press Club. My name is Jerry Zremski, and I’m the Washington bureau chief for the Buffalo News and president of the Press Club.I’d like to welcome our club members and their guests who are with this today, as well as those of you who are watching on C-SPAN. We’re looking forward to today’s speech, and afterwards, I’ll ask as many questions as time permits.Please hold your applause during the speech so that we have as much time for questions as possible.

Link to the entire speech text at: http://extendedremarks.blogspot.com/2007/08/speech-below-is-mainly-proposal-to.html
 

Daguerreotype of Lincoln c. 1846

Daguerreotype of Lincoln c. 1846

What in the world could the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 POSSIBLY teach us today?  Newt knows.  This is why everyone needs to understand history….

Restore Civility in Debate, Politics and Government

July 28, 2007

We’ve published the essay below before so if you find your lips starting to move as you read it; that is entirely our fault.  We thought we would republish this essay, though, because of the stalemate in the U.S. Congress.  No funding bills have been agreed upon this session and the most important one, the defense appropriations bill, was pulled from the floor of the Senate by Senator Harry Ried, the Majority Leader.  Mr. Reid also engineered the meaningless all night “pillow fight” in the Senate which amounted to nothing.

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
Republished July 28, 2007

There seems a lack of civility, good manners, decorum and protocol in Washington these days.

And it has spread beyond Washington to the internet and to email onscenities.

One side frequently calls the other side names; instead of making organized, logical arguments.

We entered the world of the “blogosphere” on July 4, 2006. In this internet land of people discussing world events, the language we found often is particularly harsh, polarizing and nasty.

Former President Bill Clinton entered (or re-entered depending upon your point of view) the fray on Sunday, September 24, 2006, during an interview with Chris Wallace on the Fox News Sunday show. Associated Press writer Karen Matthews, reporting on the exchange, called it “combative.”

That’s not a word usually associated with a president during a media interview. I can’t think of that word ever applied to an ex-president during a media exchange — especially with a president.

This may just qualify Mr. Clinton for another description: “not presidential.”

Clinton accused host Chris Wallace of a “conservative hit job.” Not presidential at all. He seemed to be just venting rage. Who needs that?

Did president Clinton miss a memo about letting others mix it up in public with the opposition and their media? Even my Vietnamese-born wife observed: “Good thing Clinton didn’t interview with Bill O’Reilly on Fox. It might have ended up with Bill and Bill on the floor slugging each other.”

Not presidential.

Last week, in mid-July 2007, the two Democrat front runners for the nomination of their party to run for president duked it out in public.  As we used to say in the navy: “Hold Fire!” you two.  Save it for the Republicans!

It is bad enough we have to hear the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “talking smack” as they say, at the United Nations; now we have to hear it from a former President of the United States and those running for that high office. 

On President Bush’s trip to South America, not only has he refrained from talking about Mr. Chavez: he has refused to mention him by name.  This is the same Mr. Chavez that called the president the devil at the U.N.

Thoughtful, courteous national discourse has managed to get us through a revolution against the most powerful nation on the Earth, a War Between the States, two World Wars and other tragedies and trying times.

If we can get along, maybe we can discuss the problems and get the best answers. Maybe a more civil and etiquette-driven discussion of the issues can help us get through the War on Terror.

Instead, we have become a nation led by name-callers, insult-slingers and generally rude, angry and impolite representatives.

And sometimes, the media, maybe unintentionally, magnify the animosity.

My friend, retired Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters at The New York Post, wonders about “the unscrupulous nature of those in the media who always discover a dark cloud in the brightest silver lining. They are terror’s cheerleaders.”

What does this teach our children? And does it do us any good?

Candidate for president John Edwards not too long ago defended his own bloggers for their use of “the most hate-filled, blasphemous and obscene remarks—all of which were brought to the attention of Edwards—that have ever been written by any employee of a presidential candidate,” according to the Catholic League of the United States.

In other words: a new low.

Opposite Mr. Edwards, we were delighted to see Governor Bill Richardson call for civility among the national candidates.

Senator James Webb, a former Marine and Secretary of the Navy, met the President of the United States in November 2006 at the White House. Maybe Mr. Webb was a little too taken with himself after beating Senator Allen in the election. Whatever the reason, newspapers reported that Mr. Webb, while a guest at the White House, “Tried to avoid President Bush,” refusing to pass through the reception line or have his picture taken with the president. The president had to seek out the illusive Mr. Webb, a guest inside the Executive Mansion.

“How’s your boy?” President Bush asked the Senator then elect, referring to Webb’s son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

“I’d like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President,” Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

“That’s not what I asked you,” Bush said. “How’s your boy?”

“That’s between me and my boy, Mr. President,” Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.

When Webb was asked about the apparently rude response to a question from the President of the United States, he responded by saying, “So I know the drill. I’m looking forward to working with people in this administration.”

The language and smart remark to the President of the United States, and the host of the event in his own residence, seems an insult to me and not an indicator of someone eager to work with the opposition. It is not the language of a gentleman.

“I’ve got good friends on the Republican side,” added Webb, a former Republican.

I would say, apparently, that Senator Webb does not know the drill: at least the drill taught to the leaders of Communist Vietnam, where the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Vietnam held a cordial discussion in November 2006 or at the United States Naval Academy, Webb’s alma mater, where many of America’s finest young men and women are taught to behave in a certain manner and make the case cogently and without obscene language or smart remarks.

We can assure readers that at the Naval Academy, midshipmen are instructed to conduct themselves as gentlemen and gentlewomen.

Our American history is full of great men who teach us the importance of good conduct for the common good.

Some say George Washington actually authored “The Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour [sic] in Company and Conversation.”

Though not the author, Washington embraced good manners so famously that the “Rules” could easily have been his own creation. The good manners of John Adams also echo to us through history.

With Thomas Paine, Adams watched a young American officer conduct himself less than diplomatically and courteously before the King of France.

Adams wrote to his wife, describing the “Man of Choleric Temper.” Adams said the man “like so many Gentlemen from his State, is abrupt and undiplomatic. Last evening, at a Royal Reception, he confronted His Most Christian Majesty Louis XVI with Words both ardent and impatient, whilst Mr. Paine wrung his Hands at the other man’s lack of Tact. Never did I think that I would see our impetuous Paine so pain’d by another’s want of Courtesy and Civility. To our amazement, however, the King took [the man’s] Enthusiasm in good Part.”

When told one of his generals, John C. Fremont, had been nominated by a group of 400 anti-Lincoln loyalists to run for president, Lincoln opened a Bible and read aloud from I Samuel:22, “And everyone that was in distress, and everyone that was in debt, and everyone that was discontented gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them; and there were with him about four hundred men.”

Modern statesmen pulled the country together, not by tearing others apart or barking at the media, but more often by thoughtful discourse and conduct.

“Both Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt operated beautifully on the reporters who surrounded them,” wrote David Keirsey and Ray Choiniere in “Presidential Temperament.”

“Both used the press as if it were their own publicity machine.”

This was largely achieved in a civil, diplomatic style.

A modern day solon of wisdom and truth might be former Indiana Congressman and Democrat Lee Hamilton.

Hamilton volunteered some stern remarks about the importance of truth. “Facts are not Republican and they’re not Democrat,” he said.

“They’re not ideological. Facts are facts,” said Mr. Hamilton.

I cannot ever recall seeing Gerald Ford, our late president whom we honored last December, look mean, uncivil, rude or terribly angry.

Neither can I remember John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan (”The Great Communicator”), George H.W. Bush, or George W. Bush look petulant, angry or rude. I also cannot recall any of them knowingly distort the facts.

Other great national leaders also reflect respect, even admiration, for the importance of good protocol and decorum.

Winston Churchill described a 1941 university ceremony this way: “The blitz was running hard at that time, and the night before, the raid … had been heavy. Several hundreds had been killed and wounded. Many houses were destroyed. Buildings next to the university were still burning, and many of the university authorities who conducted the ceremony had pulled on their robes over uniforms begrimed and drenched; but all was presented with faultless ritual and appropriate decorum, and I sustained a very strong and invigorating impression of the superiority of man over the forces that can destroy him.”

Let’s hope leaders become enlightened enough to avoid the forces that can destroy them. For our sake and the sake of our children. Especially as we in the United States near an important national election.

I regret the times that bad conduct, anger and a disregard for etiquette got the best of me. I hope our present day political leaders see the light too.

To get though the war against terror and to achieve victory, a united, clear-thinking leadership just might be important.

Angry rhetoric and arson with clever words serves no good purpose.

I am be wrong but that’s how we see it.

Related:
Lingo of Failure: How to Decode Washington Political Speak