Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sen John Edwards & Pres Carter on Universal Health Care

Senator John Edwards & President Carter on Universal Health Care

Senator John Edwards and former President Jimmy Carter seem to get together a lot these days. In July, it was to podcast for the One America Committee Book Club. Yesterday it was to talk about the future of universal health care in America at a convention of the Laborers' International Union of North America in Nevada. Senator Edwards has been a strong supporter of labor unions and the American worker.

President Carter was appearing for his son, Democratic Senate candidate Jack Carter, who has been hospitalized with severe colitis. Here's prayers and good wishes for a quick recovery.

In this week's New Yorker, Blake Eskin recalls David Remnick writing that former President Bill Clinton, while still in office, looked at the examples of the living ex-Presidents — Nixon, Ford, Carter, George H. W. Bush—and saw Jimmy Carter as the best model for his own future. Mr. Remnick explains why it's President Carter.

President Carter will sit down with Larry King on Wednesday night, September 13 (CNN) to talk about the issues of the day.

Former Pres Clinton Meets Progressive Bloggers

Former Pres Clinton Meets Progressive Bloggers

McJoan has a diary up on the front page of Daily Kos in which she's reporting on a meeting that former President Bill Clinton held with chosen progressive bloggers (a la former Senator John Edwards, who has been doing this on a regular basis for over a year now). Barbara O'Brien of Mahabog was among the group of invited bloggers, as was Matt Stoller of MyDD and Pete Daou.

Here's an excerpt from McJoan:
What we did talk about was the rise of the left-wing blogs as a reality-based medium. He's very impressed by the amount of research and fact-checking that happens on the blogs on a daily basis, particulary compared to the traditional media. (Kind of makes you want to double-check everything you write, knowing that Bill Clinton is reading, huh?) He was impressed and grateful for the work done in pushing into the mainstream the travesty that the ABC/Disney movie was. He encouraged Democrats running for election this year to run as Democrats--to not run away from the party, and to stand tough on Iraq--regardless of their position on troop reductions, pull-out, whatever. The issue is making this administration and the GOP Congress that enables it accountable for the massive national security challenges we still face that haven't been addressed in the five years since September 11.

New Yorker Article Profiles President Clinton

President Clinton is featured in this week's edition of the New Yorker, where David Remnick profiles President Clinton. He discusses the former President’s legacy and Senator Hillary Clinton’s political future.

Presidents Clinton and G.H.W. Bush to Receive Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center

On Thursday, October 5, 2006, President Clinton, along with former President George H.W. Bush will accept the Liberty Medal and its accompanying $100,000 prize, the first under the management of the National Constitution Center. In June 2006, the National Constitution Center reached an agreement with the Philadelphia Foundation to assume all responsibility for the Liberty Medal. Their transcending of partisan and political differences to do what's best for the country and the world through their Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund and Bush-Clinton Tsunami partnership will be honored. It will be the first time both Presidents will be present to accept a joint award for their efforts.

More about the medal.

Bush's Sandwich Speech

Bush's Sandwich Speech

Bush stuffed a lot of lofty rhetoric in his sandwich speech last night (it was raw meat between two wonder-bread ABC drama segments)....but when he spread Iraq on that sandwich, it was like putting mustard on peanut butter.

Iraq had no connection to 911 and Bush politicized the 5th anniversary of his failure to adequately warn Americans about the aviation risks and stop the 911 attacks.

Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw had this to say to NBC/MSNBC's Chris Matthews last night:

Chris Matthews: “What did you hear in that speech tonight?”

Tom Brokaw: “I was surprised that there was not more poetry in it, a, and b, that he didn't take us to a different place in terms of where he wants to go next. This is the kind of speech that he could have given three years ago, not five years after 9/11. The American public now has been through a lot in five years, Chris, and with all due respect to the President, they'll be measuring his rhetoric versus the reality that they see almost every day in their newspapers and on television. When he talks about all the people who have voted in Iraq, for example, he's absolutely correct on that, but that's touched off this terribly violent struggle over there for power between the Shiite and the Sunni. In Afghanistan, where they've had elections, as well, and I've spent a lot of time in that country, if you get just outside of Kabul, you'll find that women are living a very traditional Islamic life. They're not able to go to a clinic where there are male doctors, for example. That has not changed. It doesn't mean that this is not a noble effort. But, in fact, the policies versus the reality, I think is what a lot of people are going to be looking at. And whether or not we have to find other ways, than just militarily going in to deal with these issues, is the question on the minds of a lot of people.”

Matthews: “You've spent a lot of your life and career involved in the dialogue between the media and political power. It seems to me if you watched the last couple of weeks there's been a dialogue back and forth, almost a deposition, between the media -- especially the White House press corps -- and this President. Getting him to the point where he admitted there was no connection between what happened here and the war in Iraq, the Vice President, because of Tim Russert this weekend, agreeing to that, even though he had been the hardest man to convince on that point. And now here is the President, in a formal speech saying even though there's no confection directly between 9/11. It seems that is how democracy works, a dialectic, an argument back and forth, where one side finally says I don't have the evidence to keep making my case, therefore I'm going to ask you to accept my leadership, that it is a threat to our country even if they weren't involved with 9/11.”

Brokaw: “People have been saying all day long, is this a political speech, are these political appearances? But of course they are. We live in a political system. This is how we work all that out. When he said tonight, for example, that Saddam Hussein was a clear threat to this country, if you watched Tim Russert yesterday, he had the Vice President on saying that, in fact, there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and Iraq. And we had Saddam in a box, which a lot of people believed at that time. The question is, do we advance the goals of trying to suffocate this Islamic rage, which is real, we are still under threat from a lot of jihadists around the world, by fighting the war the way we are in Iraq and doing what we have been doing in Afghanistan, or is there another way worth examining? It's not just a choice between cutting and running, as the administration likes to put it, and what a lot of Democrats would like to do, which is to just get out of there. There are other positions there, as well. This is a very complex war in which we're involved and it requires, it seems to me, more complex analysis than we're able to get in the current political debate.”