Clinton’s Policy Party Packs Them In (But not Me!)

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matt damon.jpg
(Matt Damon speaking about expanding the activities of Water.org to Haiti in the opening plenary meeting of the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative.)
Bummer.
I listened to the Clinton Global Initiative media/press volunteers and left my comfortable spot in the press room (that took me two hours to get through the security lines and credentials process to get in) to go upstairs to interview some of the leading Middle East personalities attending this year’s CGI meetings. And then when I ventured back, there was no more room in the inn for Steve Clemons and The Washington Note.
The volunteers are great — but all they could say after I had been misled was, “Shucks, I’m sorry.” He really did say “shucks.”
But the place is packed, and they can’t wave a magic wand and invent seats — but I’m not going to go through this again. Huge waste of time when I can just watch on line. You can too — and the sessions are worth the time. I saw Joe Klein get in — and thought about sneaking in line with his trail. . .but that’s not appropriate at something like this (besides given the armed-to-the-teeth security in NY that Riz Khan references below, don’t want to find myself an accidental statistic).
So, unlike what I wrote before — I am missing the “live session” with Bill Clinton, Kevin Rudd of Australia, President Obama and a fun panel of others — but am watching the session over the web here (but could have done that in Kansas!)
Damn. Watching here — I see I’m missing Matt Damon too. (small surge of anger at self and CGI staff for telling me I didn’t have to worry about getting in)
My hat is still off to President Clinton for investing his time and focus in working to solve many enormous global problems.
This is an impressive assembly — and I’ve seen some of the best international do-gooders in the lobby of the Sheraton here, and I’m in awe of these hard working people helping to leverage resources to give those who don’t have much a chance at something better.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

38 comments on “Clinton’s Policy Party Packs Them In (But not Me!)

  1. Outraged American says:

    I know you all hate my celebrity stories but I interviewed Elizabeth
    Taylor in 1993. She was in a wheel chair at this big event. She was
    very gracious but obviously bored with my question, like, “Why did
    you convert to Judaism?”
    JUST KIDDING. I just asked her why she married that construction
    worker she met in rehab (hat tip POA — POA I truly admire manual
    labor and will repeat your invitation to come and do Feminazia’s
    threshold anytime)
    My mother is now in a wheelchair, but she is much more beautiful,
    sans 18 face lifts, than Elizabeth Taylor. POA you should have been
    jonesing for my mom rather than Liz with your imaginary penis.

    Reply

  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, in the sixties I probably expressed a desire to make love to Liz Taylor.
    But I can state, unequivicably, that I have, at this date, changed my mind.
    I hated Tums, too.

    Reply

  3. ... says:

    wigwag seems to measure everything in terms of “numbers” of dollars or “numbers” of lives.. principles are not something he’s as interested in or concerned about… only in so far as he can tear someone down will he bring up ‘principles’… wigwag is unwilling to acknowledge carters work of the ‘past’ 10 years for a specific reason.. this doesn’t escape anyone including wigwag if he were more honest in his motivations, which he isn’t..

    Reply

  4. Dan Kervick says:

    “As the camera panned the room taking shots of Ben Stiller, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore and the like seated next to presidents, prime ministers and potentates it did make my skin crawl a little.”
    Great progressive leaders all!
    And with Clinton in the room, I hope Ashton didn’t let Demi wander too far out of his sight.

    Reply

  5. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag to Dan Kervick:
    “Your right; given everything that’s happened in the economy in the past 12 months;
    the whole enterprise had an anachronistic quality to it; almost a “let them eat cake”
    quality.
    But at least the CGI is providing the “cake.” Its procured free vaccines to prevent
    river blindness which was once the scourge of Africa; it’s provided clean water to
    literally tens of thousands in Africa and with the Gates Foundation it’s worked on
    malaria prevention and provided anti retroviral drugs to those infected with HIV.
    In short, it’s no exaggeration to say that thousands or tens of thousands of people
    have benefited from the CGI in tangible ways that profoundly affect their lives.
    Jimmy Carter’s work since he left the Presidency has also been important. The Carter
    Center has made a small number of genuine contributions to world peace and Carter’s
    work monitoring elections has been worthwhile even though it’s an activity that could
    have been handled by many others equally well.
    While you may prefer the style of Carter’s post presidency to the style of Clinton’s
    post presidency, I don’t think there’s any way to argue that Carter’s efforts have
    had anywhere near the positive effect of Clinton’s efforts.”
    ———————————————–
    Now you`re talking… These arguments are relevant here, because the question (raised
    by Dan) was the role and style of Clinton versus Carter after leaving the Oval
    office.
    I doubt that anyone here would defend everything Carter may have done or said in 1973
    or 1978. That was not the issue.

    Reply

  6. Outraged American says:

    Wig on Carter “criticism of a President whose policies were far
    more immoral and irresponsible than either Bush”
    Wig you are priceless: I’m going to lobby for you to get your own
    show.
    I just laughed-up beer all over my keyboard. Under the Cheney
    putsch we have killed more than 1.2 million Iraqis out of a
    nation of 25 million. That casualty study was done more than
    three years ago.
    Does the Soviet Union ring a bell? I would say Bzrez got it right
    in predicting that Afghanistan would be Obama’s, whoops, I
    meant the USSR’s, Vietnam.
    Did some people benefit from having the USSR and her client
    states gone? I would suggest “yes.”
    According to Sibel Edmonds, Bin Laden was a CIA asset until the
    day of the 9/11 attacks, when he became the scapegoat.
    Again, I’ve interviewed, many times, the last journalist to speak
    with Bin Laden before 9/11, Abid Ullah Jan. He has always said
    that Bin Laden knew something was coming but didn’t know
    what, as Bin Laden said himself after the attacks.
    Bin Laden also denied involvement in 9/11 until he died, most
    probably in December of 2001. Then suddenly all these
    palpably fake Bin Ladens came out on video to suddenly reverse
    himself and claim responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. And my
    husband dealt with movie special effects including the Lord of
    the Rings Trilogy, and so did I when I worked in production and
    post.
    Eight years later we’re still looking for the Bogeyman to end all in
    Afghanistan, or rather “Af-Pak” this new country, which is the
    latest result of America’s new found colonialism. Colonialism
    STARTED UNDER THE BUSH PARTE DUE, whoops I meant Cheney
    Parte Due, regime.
    What did Goebbels say about repeating a lie over and over and it
    will eventually be believed? Nadine probably has it engraved on
    her shot glass.
    Bin Laden is a myth. Al Qaeda is a loose network of lunatics,
    who. granted we’ve given many reasons to grind their scimitars
    about, but they couldn’t plan a can drive.
    Yet how many lives have been completely destroyed because of
    the HYSTERIA (and I’m a feminist like Wig and know that the
    word is based on something about how women have wombs,
    thanks goddess for that– no man should be trusted with
    bearing a child much less raising one, so can’t think properly)
    surrounding these myths?
    We don’t “do” body counts in “AF-PAK,” but I bet they sure do.
    The word “blowback” should be engraved on the foreheads of
    every member of Congress, along with a tattoo of the face of
    just one person killed in Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan, so on
    the rare occasion Congress gets together to do something
    meaningful like screw us out of single payer health care, they
    can look at the face of someone they killed pretending to
    represent us.
    And so that we’ll know they’re our representatives when they
    come back to their constituents who would then make sure to
    have plenty of shoes or teabags on hand.
    Like seriously, have you ever seen a picture of McCain? I
    wouldn’t know him if I bumped into him at our mutual grocery
    store. Except he’d probably be behind the meat counter selling
    the flesh of dead Palestinian children.

    Reply

  7. WigWag says:

    “Instead of addressing Carter’s astute observations, you are attacking the messenger, the usual slimeball Likud technique, when they know they cannot defend the indefensible.” (JohnH)
    I’ve presented the facts about Carter and I’ve provided the citations to back up my assertions. If you think you can refute the facts I’ve presented; feel free to try.
    You use the word “slimeball.” It seems to me that slimeball tactics are tactics which rely on speculation and run away from the facts.
    I’ve noticed that you and others here only respond by castigating what you assume my motivations are; you’re unable or unwilling to respond to actual evidence about the real Jimmy Carter.
    From time to time I’ll regale you with that evidence, JohnH. Perhaps next time we can go int depth about Jimmy Carter and his role in supporting Cambodian butchers who killed millions. Or if you prefer we can talk about how Jimmy Carter stymied democracy in South Korea. Maybe we can talk about the horrible things Carter did in Haiti or East Timor.
    But trust me, I get it; none of that matters to you. After all Carter doesn’t like Israeli policy very much.
    That makes up for everything.
    By the way, you never told us JohnH; who do you think was a more immoral president, Jimmy Carter or George W. Bush?

    Reply

  8. JohnH says:

    Wigwag–FYI I voted for John Anderson in 1980. Obviously, I was not pleased with Carter.
    My point still stands. The only reason you are vilifying Carter now is because he has said some unkind things about Israel, notable bringing up the Apartheid word. And, you have to admit, the man knows a lot about Israel, having had to endure Begin’s stony personality in a prison-like atmosphere at Camp David for two weeks.
    Instead of addressing Carter’s astute observations, you are attacking the messenger, the usual slimeball Likud technique, when they know they cannot defend the indefensible.
    Next I expect a tirade on Richard Goldstone, that anti-Semite. Oops, his family’s orginal name was Goldstein. I mean that self-hating Jew.

    Reply

  9. Steve Clemons says:

    Jackie!!! Greetings. Read what I wrote about Kansas again. If you clear your mind, you will see no criticism of Kansas at all. In fact, you will see an embedded preference that I was watching the Clinton Global Initiative from Kansas and not the overcrowded, overly press managed Sheraton Hotel and Towers.
    And…..guess what…..I was born in Kansas.
    So no criticism from me. 😉
    best, steve clemons

    Reply

  10. WigWag says:

    One more comment for Dan Kervick.
    Dan you say that you prefer the role that Jimmy Carter plays as a former President to the role that Bill Clinton plays.
    After watching the broadcast of the opening session of the Clinton Global Initiative, I understand your reasoning. I agree with you that there was something vaguely creepy about it. As the camera panned the room taking shots of Ben Stiller, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore and the like seated next to presidents, prime ministers and potentates it did make my skin crawl a little.
    Your right; given everything that’s happened in the economy in the past 12 months; the whole enterprise had an anachronistic quality to it; almost a “let them eat cake” quality.
    But at least the CGI is providing the “cake.” Its procured free vaccines to prevent river blindness which was once the scourge of Africa; it’s provided clean water to literally tens of thousands in Africa and with the Gates Foundation it’s worked on malaria prevention and provided anti retroviral drugs to those infected with HIV.
    In short, it’s no exaggeration to say that thousands or tens of thousands of people have benefited from the CGI in tangible ways that profoundly affect their lives.
    Jimmy Carter’s work since he left the Presidency has also been important. The Carter Center has made a small number of genuine contributions to world peace and Carter’s work monitoring elections has been worthwhile even though it’s an activity that could have been handled by many others equally well.
    While you may prefer the style of Carter’s post presidency to the style of Clinton’s post presidency, I don’t think there’s any way to argue that Carter’s efforts have had anywhere near the positive effect of Clinton’s efforts.
    Carter’s done some good things, but thousands if not tens of thousands of people (especially in Africa) are alive today because of the CGI. Carter can’t boast of anything similar.

    Reply

  11. WigWag says:

    JohnH, you are perfectly emblematic of my point. As long as Jimmy Carter is critical of Israel you (and others) don’t care how many racist comments he made; how many East Timorese deaths he’s responsible for (it was in the tens of thousands); how many Cambodians died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge; how many Haitians were impoverished by Baby Doc or how many Afghan girls were locked up at home and prevented from going to school.
    Jimmy Carter was implicated in every one of those foreign policy scandals (as was Zbig Brzezinski). Carter’s claim to be the “human rights” president was a fraud; which makes him a fraud. Sorry to say it makes those who admire him frauds.
    While Carter’s policies had tremendous similarities to the policies of the man who succeeded him, Ronald Reagan; the president Carter most resembled was George W. Bush.
    He was a bigot like Bush; he was an incompetent like Bush, and Americans paid the price for his disastrous policies for decades (we still are) just like we will with Bush.
    But for his attitude about Israel that you happen to like, you too would be condemning Carter as a monster. As long as Carter’s views on the Middle East are allied to yours, you are willing to ignore the rest of his record; a record that if any other President had; you would find loathsome.
    Dan Kervick asks how I felt about Iran at the time and Afghanistan at the time.
    I confess that I didn’t ponder Iran policy much at the time so I can’t really say that I felt positively or negatively about Carter’s embrace of the Shah; but then again it wasn’t my responsibility to adopt a wise policy; I wasn’t the President. Like many Americans, I did think it was a big mistake for Carter to let the Shah into the United States after he was exiled. Carter could have found some other country to take the Shah; instead he welcomed his friend into the United States. This was one of the proximate causes of the hostage crisis.
    At the time I did find Carter’s policy on Afghanistan a terrible mistake. I didn’t support his cancelling American participation in the Olympics and I didn’t think his obsession with fighting the Soviets (abetted by the biggest Cold Warrior of all times, Zbignew Brzezinski) to be wise. Many Americans thought that Carter’s decision to support the Mujahadeen was a mistake even if few had a complete understanding that it would promote the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. Those of us who were suspicious of what Carter was doing in Afghanistan turned out to be right.
    By the way, you’re incorrect about Jimmy Carter’s role in Nicaragua. After Somoza had opposition leader Joaquin Chamorro murdered, Carter requested a significant increase in military aid to the Somoza Government to help it fight the leftist rebels. He did get push back from Congress; but Carter was an ally of Somoza. Here’s the citation if you would like to look it up yourself; (Dennis Gilbert, *Nicaragua,* in Morris J. Blachman, William M. Leogrande and Kenneth Sharpe, eds., Confronting Revolution. Security through Diplomacy in Central America New York: Pantheon Books, 1986, 94;)
    Dan, I think you are also incorrect in suggesting, that Carter backed away from Latin American dictators; the record simply doesn’t bear this out.
    Despite the fact that many Latin American nations had far worse records on human rights than the Soviet Union, Carter requested substantial increases in military assistance for Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Uruguay. Carter remained silent about the human rights record of these nations. (Thomas M. Franck, Edward Weisband, Foreign Policy by Congress (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), 86.)
    Now it is true that all of this happened in the context of the Cold War; Carter was, after all, a Cold War President. But he fought the Cold War in a manner far to the right of his two predecessors, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Nixon was, of course, the father of détente (along with Kissinger) and it was highly questionable whether Ford, had he been victorious, would have made the same moves in Afghanistan that Carter did. The final stake through the heart of Détente was the decision Carter made about supporting the Afghan rebels. So while all Presidents support “dictators and thugs” Carter did it with a level of gusto that exceeded that of his predecessors.
    The comments on this thread questioning my motivations are truly rich. After years of yelling and screaming about how bad George Bush was and lamenting that Obama’s policies are too centrist, criticism of a President whose policies were far more immoral and irresponsible than either Bush or Obama elicits nothing but disdain.
    Before criticizing my motivations, folks, you need to look in the mirror. I know some of you like Carter’s views on the Middle East, but if you think that excuses everything else in his record, what does that say about your own motivations?
    I can’t help but wonder if any other President who sought votes by appealing to “ethnic purity” would be so revered by the left. Why are Carter fans so afraid to scrutinize his record? What could it be about Jimmy Carter that makes everything else he’s done excusable?
    Oh yeah; I know.

    Reply

  12. samuelburke says:

    here is an audio of Giraldi being interviewd by antiwar….also
    interviewd is Joe Lauria who also published sibel in London.
    http://antiwar.com/radio/2009/09/22/philip-giraldi-joe-
    lauria/

    Reply

  13. ... says:

    wigwag is a hypocrite… the reality is carter stands for something that wigwag loathes, and it doesn’t have to do with the long ago past… it is carters actions of the present that really get under wiggys skin… fortunately everyone here outside of kotz and nadine can see wiggy for who he is and unfortunately on this level, it ain’t pretty… lets hear the answer to the question put to him by dan in the 11:46pm post.. it is a forgone conclusion.. we know what side wigwag is on and it has nothing to do with what carter did in the past, but what he does in the present that really frightens wigwag..

    Reply

  14. Dan Kervick says:

    And WigWag, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1980, was it your view *at that time* that the US shouldn’t try to help Afghans kick them out, due to the progressive nature of Soviet client governments?
    Where Carter is concerned, you seem to be reaching into kitchen sink territory to vilify a man whose record, while as spotted and compromised as many a US president in the human rights are, was certainly better than most, and whose life in his recent decades does indeed make him a role model.
    Name me the president who didn’t support his share of dictators and thugs in the name of US interests that were thought to be more urgent at the time. The Cold War was long and nasty, and the presidents who served during it were all forced to make some tough calls and ugly choices.
    But Carter gave the Panama Canal back to Panama, helped negotiate an historic Arab-Israeli peace accord, dumped Samoza and backed the US away from other Latin American fascists. But yes, he didn’t cancel the Cold War and ditch every last established strategic ally.

    Reply

  15. JohnH says:

    Wigwag–I’m sure we are all as outraged as you that Carter forced Israel to give Sinai back to Egypt. Greater Israel hasn’t been the same since. And giving back the Sinai oil fields? Sheer lunacy! And the chutzpah of the man to suggest apartheid in Israel! Everybody knows that the Jewish state doesn’t discriminate against non-Jews. Where does this man come off?
    Well, Wigwag, we know the root of your antipathy towards Carter. And it doesn’t have anything to do with what he did in Georgia. Or what he did with the Shah. This is all Wig-wagging the Dog, distracting us from your usual agenda…

    Reply

  16. Dan Kervick says:

    Until the Shah fell, WigWag, all American presidents supported the Shah. I doubt that was the only such state dinner. What was your view on the Shah back in the seventies?
    I wonder what folks will think in 2040 about the support for some Americans of the governments of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the hypercapitalist slavemaster of Dubai?

    Reply

  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Actually, Wig-wag has learned that the ‘ol “anti-semite bomb” doesn’t work too well at TWN, so he’s using the back door approach to accuse Carter of racism.
    Knowing a bit about Habitat for Humanity, I cringe thinking about these poor black folks in the Bakersfield area finding out that the man responsible for thier ownership of a home is a racist. You’d think a racist would know better than to actually house “those people”, wouldn’t you???

    Reply

  18. WigWag says:

    “WigWag, your attempts to sully Carter’s reputation seem opportunistic and politically motivated.” (Dan Kervick)
    It may seem that way to you, but I wasn’t the person who brought Carter up as a role model. You did that.
    Carter has become a hero for many on the left. His record shows he should be viewed with the same contempt that Ronald Reagan is viewed, not as some type of courageous figure.
    Americans are still suffering and American service people are still dying because of decisions that Carter made 30 years ago in Afghanistan.
    Carter is responsible for thousands if not tens of thousands of deaths in East Timor; he was a shill for the Khemer Rouge and he was a close friend of the Shah.
    As a matter of fact, Dan, for your viewing pleasure, here’s a transcript of the toast Jimmy Carter gave to the Shah of Iran when the Shah visited the White House in 1977.
    As you know, Carter considered the Shah to be a close personal friend. Sitting at the President’s table along with Roslyn Carter the Shah, and the Empress was none other than Zbignew Brzezinski.

    Visit of the Shah of Iran: Toast of the President at a Dinner Honoring the Shah, November 15th, 1977 (From the Carter Library Website)
    PRESIDENT CARTER: First of all, I want to welcome all of you here this evening to join with me in expressing our own appreciation that the Shah and Empress would come here to represent their wonderful people of Iran.
    There’s one thing I can say about the Shah–he knows how to draw a crowd.
    I really thought today, when the tear gas came across the South Lawn, that the Shah showed a tremendous amount of self-assurance and graciousness and also courage in giving his speech to the people of our country without hesitation, and I deeply appreciate that exhibition of your strength.
    This is one time when the news reporters were accurate about me. I saw on the evening television that they said it was one of the briefest speeches I had made. I was glad to turn the microphone over to the Shah.
    We’ve had a wonderful chance to visit and get to know one another. Our country was blessed a few weeks ago to have Empress Farah come here and travel around our Nation. She came to visit Rosalynn and me. We are very delighted to have personal friends, as well as leaders of one of the great nations of the world.
    There’s an old saying in the East that history is a mirror to the past and a lesson for the future. And if there was ever a country which has blossomed forth under enlightened leadership, it would be the ancient empire of Persia, which is now the great country of Iran.
    When the Shah assumed a mantle of leadership in his own country 36 years ago, he faced a very dismal future. His country was occupied then by foreign forces. His father had started some social change that was very doubtful about its own success. At that time, there were about 1,000 people in Iran who had advanced college degrees, and there are now 15 colleges and universities in Iran, 175,000 students in the college, and the Shah just told me that in 10 years, they’ll have 500,000 college students in Iran. This is a remarkable demonstration of leadership and growth in the spiritual and also knowledge of the people of that great country.
    As you well know, Iran has always been kind of a crossroads. The cultural history of Iran is absolutely remarkable. And Empress Farah has taken on her own shoulders a responsibility for preserving that ancient culture so that they can learn from the past and preserve the beauty for the future.
    There’s also been a growth in the wellbeing of the people there. They’ve expanded the opportunity for good health care as well as education.
    Just not much more than 15 years ago, their average per capita income in Iran was not much more than a hundred dollars per year. The Shah just told me it was now $2,220 per year last month, and it’s probably more this month. That shows what a tremendous job he is doing.
    Iran has recognized that their great natural resources need to be husbanded and invested to guarantee a sound and a prosperous future in the years to come.
    Iran is a country that is strong militarily, is strong politically, and is strong in the commitment and in the spirit of its people, and also is at peace with its neighbors, is well respected.
    Iran is a nation, and its leadership is epitomized by a man who has a trust of other countries. Even those that historically have been enemies now look upon the Shah and the people of Iran with a great deal of confidence and trust, recognizing that they are a stabilizing influence in that region, indeed, throughout the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, and with a growing degree of influence, in the Western World, in Japan, and in Africa.
    I had a chance today to listen to the Shah explain to me the perspective of the region and the rest of the world as viewed from the great country of Iran. And I learned a great deal from him as he talked about the history and the present and future possibilities of the people in Pakistan and Afghanistan, of Burma, India, Iraq, other nations in the Middle East, in the Horn of Africa, things that I had not seen from that particular point of view. And it helped me greatly to understand the special challenges that face us as a great nation and the importance of the partnership that we have with the people of Iran.
    We are bound together with unbreakable ties of friendship, of past history, a mutual commitment to the present and to the future. Our military alliance is unshakable, and it’s an alliance that is beneficent in its impact on the rest of the world. Iran seeks no dominion over other people. They seek no territorial gains. They just want peace, and they have spread their influence, because of the great leadership of the Shah, very rapidly.
    We look upon Iran’s strength as an extension of our own strength, and Iran looks upon our strength as an extension of theirs.
    We derive mutual benefit from this close relationship. The Shah has been to our country more than a dozen times. His first meeting with an American President was in 1943, when President Roosevelt was in Tehran at a conference there; and subsequently he’s met with every President we’ve had–with Truman and with Eisenhower, with Kennedy and with Nixon, with Ford and myself, with President Johnson. And this is a continuation of a growing understanding of one another.
    The Shah is very gracious in his attitude toward Americans. In addition to the 175,000 students in his own colleges, there are about 30,000 Iranian students in the colleges of the United States. And this guarantees an investment in the future of understanding of one another. We have about 40,000 Americans in Iran, and in a very gracious demonstration of friendship which was not well publicized at all, the Shah has provided extra allotments of funds and educational opportunities for American young students there–boys and girls who are at the grammar school and high school level. This is something that he didn’t have to do, but it was just an extra demonstration of how valuable they consider our friendship with them.
    I would like to say, in closing, that we look upon Iran as a very stabilizing force in the world at large. We don’t fear the future when we have friends like this great country.
    There are some emerging nations who are assuming regional leadership roles which, in the past, has not been recognized. But I think that Iran is undoubtedly one of those great countries. And with the spreading of their own influence, the world is guaranteed a greater degree of assurance for peace.
    We’re proud that Empress Farah, perhaps one of the most beautiful leaders in the world, has come to see us again. She’s admired by all. Her next-door seatmate here, Mr. Wasserman, has been trying to get her to join him in making a film as a movie star. I promised that if he made a film, I’d be the first one to buy a ticket to see her. But she’s a gracious woman who has taken a lot of interest in the personal lives of the people of her country.
    And the Shah has a young son, who’s now 17 years old, who will come here for his flight training when he reaches the age of 18. And I think this shows a mutual investment in the future by them in our country and by us in their country.
    Your Majesty, it’s a great honor for me to have you here with us at the White House to renew your old friendship for our country and to express our renewed commitment for friendship in the future. And on behalf of the people of our Nation, I would like to propose a toast to the Shah and to the Empress of Iran and to the great people of that country who are our close, present, and future friends.
    NOTE: The President spoke at 9:40 p.m. in the State Dining Room at the White House.
    In his remarks, the President referred to an incident which occurred outside the White House grounds. Tear gas was used during an attempt by police forces to separate two groups of demonstrators, one supporting and one opposing the Shah and his visit to the United States.
    The Wasserman the President referred to was Lew Wasserman, CEO of MCA-Universal Studios

    Reply

  19. Dan Kervick says:

    What we know is that Carter has grown consistently more progressive with age, especially following his presidency. That should be celebrated. My interpretation is that Carter has a strong intuitive moral compass that has, over the course of a lifetime, consistently helped lead him out of the woods of his earlier regional biases and moral and political errors, and into a more universal and uncompromised commitment to truth and human rights. He has shown uncommon fearlessness and integrity, something that makes him the target of odious smears and dishonest attacks.
    WigWag, your attempts to sully Carter’s reputation seem opportunistic and politically motivated.

    Reply

  20. WigWag says:

    “Jimmy Carter knows of what he speaks, and he spoke it.” (David)
    Nobody knows what was in Jimmy Carter’s heart in the 1970s or what’s in it now. All we can do is look at the record. He’s done some fine things since he left the presidency but none of that excuses his record when he was Governor of Georgia or President of the United States.
    Jimmy Carter was no innocent child when he made the racist remarks I cited. In 1970, when he called his democratic primary opponent for governor a “racial liberal” he was 46 years old and the civil rights movement had been going on for a decade.
    In 1976 when Carter tried to attract the Wallace voters to his presidential campaign after Wallace pulled out by advocating “ethnic purity,” Carter was 52 years old. Martin Luther King had already been dead for 8 years.
    Carter’s views on race may have mellowed with the passing of the years or maybe Bert Lance was right about Carter (see quote in my post above); he’s a chameleon who will say or do anything.
    What we do know about Carter is that when he had to lay it on the line to win votes in Georgia and later in the Presidential contest, Carter sided with the racists. If nothing else, Carter should reflect on his own history before casting aspersions on Obama critics.
    Carter’s racist comments are a perfect metaphor for his entire political career; he has a history of saying one thing and doing another.
    You shouldn’t be surprised, David, that Carter sided with the southern racists; after all he also sided with the Duvaliers in Haiti, with Suharto in Indonesia, with the Shah in Iran and with the progenitors of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
    If you don’t believe it; I provided the citations above. Check them out and see if you find them convincing. Alternatively an easy Google search with verify the points that I’ve made.
    Read them and weep.

    Reply

  21. Dan Kervick says:

    The more I’ve thought about it today, the more convinced I am that the CGI, Wall Street, Davos and board room crowds just don’t get it. The “Great Recession” has changed everything. The Clinton show already looks like some retro rerun of the 90’s, an unconvincing revival of a dying neoliberal model of social change.
    There is a growing populist upsurge in this country that, so far, is weakened by its division among two different parties, with a lot of people wandering in the wilderness, venting distorted and self-conflicted rage in a politically incoherent manner. But it won’t be long before they start putting two and two together, and begin consolidating their energies, building new coalitions and directing their animus toward their real opponents.
    Those teabaggers aren’t always working with a full deck, but eventually a not-insignificant number of them are going to figure out that, in a single one-hour meeting, an investment banker can take more money from the pockets of ordinary Americans than can 50,000 welfare mothers in a whole year. They will figure out that the obscene salaries and benefits paid out to the top earners in our society are not distributed by the divine and unimpeachable wisdom of the “invisible hand”, but by grubby, flesh and blood human hands in the service of conniving human brains who know how to grab the biggest pieces of the pie they can get those serviceable hands on. And when that realization comes, these confused populists will finally reckon that the government is not *always* their enemy, and they will stop listening to their slave masters in the elite corporate echelon of the Republican Party, who constantly tell their abject followers that what the country needs is even more *corporate freedom*.
    Our government is really totally sick. The legislative branch is wholly owned by powerful interests, which is why the vast majority of Americans have no respect for it. The stinking and subservient whoredom is too obvious. And we have now evolved a crazy system in which legislation needs a Senate supermajority to pass, and all the power is in the hands of tiny centrist gangs whose campaigns were bought and paid for by the institutionalized powers that are most invested in the status quo, and in opposing change.
    These tides of change are coming up fast, and they are only minimally subject to control. Barack Obama is ultimately going to have to make a choice. He is going to have to shake off his cautious technocratic centrism, dig back and rediscover some populist mojo – which I know is in there somewhere – and figure out how to help lead these powerful new forces in a constructive direction. Or else, he is also going to be swept aside himself by the rush of history.

    Reply

  22. David says:

    It is worth noting that George Wallace also grew in stature in his later years, and his daughter penned one of the most moving endorsements of Barack Obama I can remember.
    One of the interesting things about racist Southern Democrats who remained Democrats has been their ability to grow and genuinely discard their racism in favor of acceptance and endorsement. The recalcitrant Southern Democratic racists (and they were legion) became Republicans at Richard Nixon’s invitation.
    Jimmy Carter knows of what he speaks, and he spoke it.

    Reply

  23. Outraged American says:

    Arthur, I keep meaning to thank you for saying that I constantly
    piss you off. You are more than welcome to come on the radio
    show too as a guest co-host, and choose your first “partner” at
    the subsequent orgy. And, if you’re really lucky, get POA, or
    Nadine or Questions.
    It’ll be like The Dating Game — we’ll hide them behind a screen
    and you can pick which one you want to… ahem *date*
    ahem…via their voice and their attitudes towards dating butlers
    with neo-Nazi tendencies.
    Now I have to go see what that god damn Satanist next door
    wants. He’s literally mending fences, by which I mean he’s fixing
    the fence. What was I telling Questions about talking to people
    rather than bombing them?
    Much less expensive to talk rather than bomb, which I found out
    when I lobbed a hand grenade over there and only killed one of
    their kids and not the pit bull who tried to eat my nephew.

    Reply

  24. Jackie says:

    Outraged,
    Thanks for the invite. I take a pass. Don’t own a gun.
    As to “What’s the Matter With Kansas”? Still trying to figure that out. I live in the tiny liberal part of the state, so the question is “What’s the Matter With the Rest of Kansas”?

    Reply

  25. ... says:

    some people live in the past.. wigwag can’t let go of it… sign of old age i guess… carter moved on and continued to grow… that must really bother someone like wigwag who would prefer to stay stuck in the past.. most recent comment from carter??? 1976… that is impressive how in touch with the past and removed from the present you are wiggy!

    Reply

  26. Outraged American says:

    Jackie, I forgot to invite you to the show and the orgy. Don’t forget
    to bring your T-shirt about being out of estrogen and having a gun.
    And bring the gun too, because the Iranians are massed at the
    border, but those sexually repressed yahoos probably are only
    there to watch the orgy.
    What is the matter with Kansas?
    POA I didn’t invite you girlfriend — we know that you’re all man.
    Grrrrrrr. You are invited to co-host the radio show. You will need
    a phone, not a telegraph or a homing pigeon.

    Reply

  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “And since we’re all lesbians we’ll have an orgy afterwards……..”
    If I’m a lesbian, Wig-wag lied about owning a tape measure.

    Reply

  28. WigWag says:

    Obama spoke for 15 minutes and said absolutely nothing. Talk about a television commercial; Obama’s speech could have been written on Madison Avenue.
    Dan Kervick’s point is much more interesting than anything Obama had to say. Kervick said,
    “For all the criticism he’s been handed lately, especially on this blog, I think Jimmy Carter has practiced a much better model of the kinds of things a Democratic ex-president can do, and the image and aspirations he can project.”
    I’m always happy to talk about Jimmy Carter. The peanut farmer from Plains, GA has been in the news recently for accusing Obama critics of racism. I don’t know if Carter’s right about that or not, but I do know that if anyone can spot a racist it’s Jimmy Carter. As they say, it takes one to know one.
    Here’s a little bit of Carter’s history on race relations.
    1970: When running for Governor, Carter calls his primary opponent a “racial liberal.” Carter attacks his primary opponent for speaking negatively about George Wallace and promises that if elected he will personally invite Wallace to Georgia. (Betty Glad, Jimmy Carter, In Search of the Great White House (New York: W.W. Norton, 1980), 84-85)
    1972: Jimmy Carter calls busing “the most serious threat to education that I can remember”. (Peter G. Bourne, Jimmy Carter. A Comprehensive Biography from Plains to Post residency (New York: Scribner, 1997), 213.
    1972: Jimmy Carter calls George Wallace “a great American” and says that Wallace would be a good President. (Elizabeth Drew, American Journal: The Events of 1976 (New York: Random House, 1977), 123.
    1976: At the very height of the Primary Battle, during the 1976 presidential campaign, Carter nearly sinks his candidacy by making his infamous “ethnic purity” remarks. He talks about “black intrusions” in white communities and of “alien groups” and of the negative effects of “injecting… a member of another race” or “a diametrically opposite kind of family” into communities trying to maintain their “ethnic purity.” He later apologizes but because the remarks were made shortly after Wallace withdrew they are viewed as a blatant attempt to attract Wallace voters. (Christopher Lydon, “Carter Defends All-White Areas,” New York Times, Apr. 7, 1976; Joel D. Weisman, “Carter Supports “Ethnic Purity” of Neighborhoods,” Washington Post, Apr. 7, 1976)
    1976: Carter close friend, Bert Lance says, “Jimmy was a formidable campaigner. He was a moderate to the moderates, a conservative to the conservatives, and a liberal to the liberals. He was all things to all voters, a great trait to be able to project…” (Bert Lance with Bill Gilbert, The Truth of the Matter: My Life in and out of Politics (New York: Summit Books, 1991), 30.).

    Reply

  29. Outraged American says:

    Wig says “within a few years Israel will have 100 thousand
    electric cars on the road” no doubt all running down
    Palestinians, the four that are left.
    Bill was always a jokester. Wait, I meant “opportunist.”
    Wig, you are a comic genius and I’m seriously not kidding. Wig,
    and I’m being real here, do you want to guest co-host my radio
    show? I would LOVE to have you on, same with Questions.
    Same with Carroll and Nadine. And Kathleen except she politely
    declined because she thinks I’m stalking her. Kathleen, I’m
    outside your door right now, and that thing I’m holding under
    the bouquet is not a tire iron.
    We wimmin need to stick together because there’s been an
    alarming rise in Anti-Feminism, as this site itself has evidenced.
    Come on the show! You’ll get to yammer on to your hearts’
    content about… I honestly can’t remember what you all you
    yammer on about. Except Nadine and her illicit love affairs with
    Palestinian 10-year-olds.
    And since we’re all lesbians we’ll have an orgy afterwards, film
    it, post it here and The Washington Note will become the #1 site
    on the web. Not that it isn’t already, because Steve and his
    commentators are the funniest people on Earth. Second City in
    DC.

    Reply

  30. Jackie says:

    Hey Steve,
    Don’t insult Kansas. It might be more interesting watching it here on the web.

    Reply

  31. Dan Kervick says:

    Steve alluded earlier to the dubious atmospherics of the CGI program. It comes across – at least at the top of the program – as a glitzy otherworldly pageant of American corporatocracy and Hollywood “sizzle”. The whole spectacle just screams “out of touch!” Clinton hasn’t adapted to the new populist ethos and “get real” aesthetics of our post-economic meltdown world.
    I don’t want to disparage the fact that Clinton is raising a lot of money and getting some valuable things done. That’s good. But there seems to be something off-kilter about the spectacle of Mr. Democrat heading up an organization devoted to old-fashioned Republican-style fat cat philanthropy instead of old-fashioned Democrat-style deep social change. Nobody thinks Coke, Walmart and Hollywood A-listers are going to lead the way to a progressive new world.
    Is this really the image leading Democrats want to be holding up to the world? The 90’s-style neoliberal cult of wealth, corporate rule and cultural imperialism that caused so much blowback before? An America and a world community that is ruled by an alliance of politicians, movie stars and massive corporations? Corporations are, by the way, thoroughly hierarchical organizations, and the least democratic institutions one can imagine.
    Shouldn’t Democrats be doing something to give the global limelight to some of the more lowly activists and geniuses of systematic social change, people who have great ideas about how to change the world but who maybe don’t know which fork to use, have imperfect teeth and wouldn’t look so good on the cover of People or Vanity Fair? People who could surely use the imprimatur of someone like Bill Clinton to have their views advanced and greeted more respectfully?
    Clinton never looks so embarrassingly much like the small-town rube trying to escape from his roots than he does when he flaunts his unattractive need to rub shoulders with the glitterati and titans. Maybe before he’s dead he’ll cut the jet-set crap and get back to grass root basics.
    For all the criticism he’s been handed lately, especially on this blog, I think Jimmy Carter has practiced a much better model of the kinds of things a Democratic ex-president can do, and the image and aspirations he can project.
    Here is one recent news report spotlighting one small aspect of Carter’s legacy. See if you can spot the promising young college freshman from New Hampshire!
    http://www2.wsls.com/sls/news/local/article/roanoke_college_freshmen_build_habitat_for_humanity_house/44223/

    Reply

  32. Paul Norheim says:

    Why should Steve ask Prince Turki Al Faisal those questions, WigWag?
    The Saudi princes can do whatever they please to do, including denying women to drive
    these huge, polluting SUVs, because they are in power. They have the money and the
    monopoly of violence in their country. Now, you and other feminists may whine about
    the condition of women on internet forums, but does that help women in Saudi Arabia
    any more than those who whine about the Palestinian losers help the Palestinians?
    The wealthy men in Saudi Arabia have the upper hand, and not the women, just like the
    Israelis have the upper hand in Gaza and the West Bank, and not the Palestinians.
    Now, we may regret this fact, but does it go away just because we complain at TWN?

    Reply

  33. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “…but he’s apparently waiting back stage… or going back to try to move Netanyahu”
    I doubt he’ll go back for more until the painkillers take effect. We can rest assured Netanyahu didn’t offer Obama a lubricant.

    Reply

  34. WigWag says:

    Steve’s right; Kevin Rudd is very impressive. He actually reminds me of Clinton. I would even go so far as to say he even looks like Clinton.

    Reply

  35. WigWag says:

    Speaking of Netanyau (or to be more precise, Barak), Clinton pointed out that within a few years Israel will have 100 thousand electric cars on the road which is more than the United States will have.
    I wonder how many electric cars the wealthy Arab nations will have on their roads.
    Come to think of it Steve, I see Prince Turki Al Faisal is at the Clinton Global initiative. I know you respect him. If you see him in one of the hospitality rooms why not ask him what he’s doing to solve the global warming problem.
    Or if you prefer, you could just ask him when his country plans to allow woment to drive.

    Reply

  36. Steve Clemons says:

    Part of the framework of this is drawing big players into making big globally responsible gestures…kind of like a massive, intl telathon — but I think that you are right WigWag that it sometimes has a feel of a commercial….
    …which is why President Obama, after all, is not in the panel format and will be the “last speaker” of the plenary session. I was surprised when I saw the rundown of the schedule and would have been shocked had he sat through the testimonials — but he’s apparently waiting back stage… or going back to try to move Netanyahu.
    best, steve

    Reply

  37. ... says:

    coca cola – expert at ripping off india of its water or turning around and selling it to them at a price with the label coca cola on it… capitalism at its finest or worst, depending on ones perspective.

    Reply

  38. WigWag says:

    I’m listening to this but it seems like a commercial to me. The CEO of Walmart is speaking and all he’s doing is talking about how great Sam Walton’s vision was and how great Walmart is.
    I understand that Walmart has done a few positive things on the Global Warming front but do we really need to take our cue on how to prevent Global Warming from Walmart.
    And is the CEO of Coca Cola really the right expert to rely on for expertise on water issues?

    Reply

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