PREVIEW: INTERVIEW GEORGE AND BARBARA BUSH

Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara

This Sunday’s issue (7/15/12) of PARADE magazine features an exclusive interview with former president George H. W. Bush, 88 and his wife, Barbara, 87, where they share with presidential historian Mark Updegrove their extraordinary journey and their take on today’s politics. We were fortunate enough to receive a preview of the interview. and we’re sharing it with you. You can follow the link to the full interview here:  http://www.parade.com/bush.

Here are some highlights from the PARADE interview with the Bushes:

ON PRESIDENT BUSH’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS 

What is your proudest accomplishment in public life, Mr. President?

GB: I think we had an honorable administration. We were relatively scandal-free and blessed by good people. Something I guess I’d throw in there is the liberation of Kuwait.

BB: The coalition was huge. He was at the UN and in China—I don’t think any president’s ever had the background he had. I’m prejudiced, I admit. And 40 million people now have jobs they can get to because of the Americans with Disabilities Act. You can’t not count that.

THOUGHTS ON THE “NO NEW TAX” PLEDGE FROM GROVER NORQUIST

During your presidency you gave in on your “no new taxes” pledge. You’ve been vindicated in many respects for that decision. I wonder how you view the “no new tax” pledge from Grover Norquist that seems to be requisite for GOP political candidates.

GB: The rigidity of those pledges is something I don’t like. The circumstances change and you can’t be wedded to some formula by Grover Norquist. It’s—who the hell is Grover Norquist, anyway?

BB: I think he ought to go back to Alaska. [laughs] Don’t quote me! [A reference to a comment Mrs. Bush made about Sarah Palin in a 2010 interview, in which she said, “I think she’s very happy in Alaska—and I hope she’ll stay there.”]

THE BUSHES ON THEIR SON, GEORGE W. BUSH  

The media often characterized your relationship as one president advising another. … 

GB: We didn’t counsel on various issues. It was more just about father and son—family. For me, anyway. I think he’d say the same thing.

BB: He may have talked to you about things, but you never advised.

GB: Oh, yeah, we’d talk about things. He never said the “Dad, what do I do now?” kind of thing.

BB: Nor was there any competition. People always said, “I read that George was just doing this because he wanted to beat his father.”

GB: Yeah, there were a lot of those stories …

BB: … and they were stupid. It wasn’t true. There was no competition at all.

Did his presidency have a high point for you?

BB: Every day we were proud of him. Of course, 9/11 … I think George’s [leadership after] 9/11 was brilliant. I think it was a high point, just as the day the war started when you were president, trying to liberateKuwait—that first day was a high point. There were not many civilians hurt, which was very important.

ON REAGAN, CLINTON, AND REPAIRING THE BITTER REPUBLICAN DIVIDE

You served two terms as vice president under Ronald Reagan. What did you learn from him?

GB: Decency, honor, and kindness. He was a remarkable man and a kind guy—and generous. He didn’t care about the day-to-day legislation and amending the previous motion and all that kind of stuff. He was broad-gauged.

What should Republicans do to repair the bitter divide earlier this year over the nomination?

BB: I think they’ve started. [Mitt Romney has] been endorsed by the other candidates. That’s ever thus. I mean, you’re not very pleased with people who whip you verbally for months and then you turn around and you’re friends. But that’s the way it goes in both parties.

Which brings to mind your friendship with Bill Clinton. What most surprised you about him?

GB: Well, he knows a lot about everything. He’s a very knowledgeable, bright man. He sat out here  one time, and we talked about every possible [subject]—one after another.

BB: But he never said a mean word about anyone. “[My] brother by another mother,” the boys call him. But he’s very nice—I think he thinks of George as the father he never had. Truthfully. I mean that as a compliment.He’s been very thoughtful about calling and he’s a good fellow.

GIRLS LIKE US: WOMEN WHO HAVE ROCKED THE MUSIC WORLD

Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

She's a Rebel

On next week’s The Halli Casser-Jayne Show, get ready to put another dime in the jukebox, baby. That’s right: on July 18th at 3 p.m. EST and July 19th at 9 p.m. EST, we’ll be bringing you GIRLS LIKE US…Women Who Have Rocked the Music World. The show is centered around the NY Times Bestseller GIRLS LIKE US, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon by award-winning journalist Sheila Weller. Ms. Weller will talk about her epic work, and the music of her generation.

Also joining the show will be Kathyrn Wat, Chief Curator of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, who’ll talk about their upcoming exhibit on loan from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum:  Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power. The exhibit highlights the flashpoints, the firsts, the best, the celebrated — and sometimes the lesser-known — women who moved rock and roll music and American culture forward.

Next up is Dr. Jeannie Poole, who will be discussing her documentary PEGGY GILBERT AND HER ALL-GIRL BAND. As a performer on saxophones, clarinet, violin, and vibes, as well as a singer, arranger, and contractor for women musicians, Peggy Gilbert had been a one-woman support network and staunch advocate for women since the 1920s. A professional tenor saxophonist for more than 80 years (she recently passed away at 102), she had been an inspiration for several generations of musicians. Dr. Poole herself is a force to be reckoned with:  since 1980, she has organized many conferences and concerts, including International Congresses on Women in Music in New York, Los Angeles and Mexico City. She has produced LP, CD and cassette recordings for Cambria Master Recordings, an independent label in California which specializes in contemporary American music, and serves as an Advisor to the Board of the International Alliance for Women in Music, which she helped to establish. In 1995 she was honored by the National Association of Composers, USA (NACUSA) for her work to promote American composers and music, and served as Chair and Secretary of their National Board of Directors. She currently serves on the Board of the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers (ASMAC).

Finally, we will talk with music legend Darlene Love, whose number one single “He’s A Rebel,” topped the charts in 1962 and is still beloved today. Ms. Love has played with such greats as Sam Cooke, Dionne Warwick, The Beach Boys, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones and Sonny and Cher; she’s also had a long and rich Broadway career, including a stunning portrayal of herself in the Tony Award-nominated jukebox musical Leader of the Pack. It’s going to be a show you won’t want to miss–join us on the 18th at 3 PM ET and find out for yourself!

The Halli Casser-Jayne Show is Talk Radio for Fine Minds.

OUR SHOW ON MORMONISM

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Mormon Temple

For those of you who asked, here is the  information on where you can learn more about the guests who appeared on Wednesday’s The Halli Casser-Jayne Show: Is Mitt Romney’s Mormonism Fair Game? We tackled the controversial subject of Mormonism, the often besmirched and little known religion. In that context, we asked the question whether Republican presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney’s Mormonism would be a consideration of voters when they make their choice for president. It was an informative and sometimes controversial discussion. I hope that you’ll all tune in. You can listen right here on our website, or download the episode/podcast directly from iTunes. If you do go to iTunes, we ask that you leave a comment there to help us build our presence on iTunes.

Professor Richard Bushman: For more information try the search engines
Richard Packham: http://packham.n4m.org
Adam Christing:  www.amormonpresident.com
David Mason: www.yavanika.orghttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/13/opinion/im-a-mormon-not-a-christian.html

BORING…BORING…BORING!

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Election 2012: Boring…boring…boring!!!

Maybe it’s because Election 2008 was so extraordinary. Maybe it is because during Election 2008 I was researching what would become my book A YEAR IN MY PAJAMAS WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA, The Politics of Strange Bedfellows. Maybe it’s because the two men vying to win Election 2012 could not be running more lackluster campaigns than Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

From the man who took presidential campaigns to new heights in 2008, the once mercurial Barack Obama now comes across as phlegmatic.  The campaign itself is equally composed.

Boring, boring, boring!

And then there is Mitt Romney and his uninspiring style. Mitt Romney reminds me of the Ken doll. I suppose he might be considered good-looking, if you like the type of man who graces the back pages of cheap newspaper supplements with their arms in that odd waist-high position and their dead facial expressions. Romney is a figure in a wax museum. His voice is as mundane as his looks, and as annoying as his lack of style. He speaks with a nasal tone and always seems breathless to me, his cadence oddly staccato.

Boring…boring…boring!

My description of both candidates must seem oddly superficial. I talk about their style and delivery and not about the content of their campaigns. There is good reason for this: There is no content in either campaign. The candidates attack each other, they attack each others’ party, they attack each others’ politics. Election 2012 is a campaign Against and is nothing about FOR.  Romney is against whatever Obama is for, and Obama is against whatever Romney is for. Or I could say that Romney is for whatever Obama is against, and Obama is for whatever Romney is against. Whichever way you play the sentence, it gets you to the same place. No innovation, nothing inventive, no wealth of ideas. Truth is, they were both for it, whatever it is, before they were against it.

Boring…boring…boring!

So, if you believe, as I do, that our candidates reflect us, than you have a pretty good idea where America is today. America is no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave…it’s just…

Boring…boring…boring!

‘TIL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY

Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

Well, I just have to share this. Yesterday, in the middle of the July 4th celebration that included a host of parties, fireworks, friends and neighbors and a show on one of my favorite subjects CHOCOLATE! CHOCOLATE! CHOCOLATE!  (as if the day wasn’t a culinary orgy as it was) that included a lively interchange with the best fans a show could have in our chat-room, the day was made even more memorable when I witnessed a rare weather phenomenon: a roll cloud, officially known as an arcus cloud. According to Wikipedia, “they differ from shelf clouds by being completely detached from other cloud features. Roll clouds usually appear to be “rolling” about a horizontal axis. They are a solitary wave called a soliton, which is a wave that has a single crest and moves without changing speed or shape.”  Who knows if I’ll ever see one again in my lifetime. But I recorded this, and now I’m sharing my photo with you. I hope you enjoy! By the way, be sure to listen to the podcast of CHOCOLATE! CHOCOLATE! CHOCOLATE! You know, you can download it from the link above, and also from iTunes. By the way, if you do download it from iTunes, we’d love for you to give us an, of course, great review on the page!

 

 

SOME THOUGHTS ON TODAY’S SUPREME COURT DECISION

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Chief Justice Roberts votes to uphold The Affordable Care Act

The Supreme Court, in particular Chief Justice John Roberts, surprised just about everyone today when it upheld President Obama’s signature legislation, The Affordable Care Act. The ruling leads to my thought that the election just might be over. With the ruling, Obama gets to reframe the health care discussion — the Republican cry against him — and fix the biggest blunder of his administration: the failure to properly frame in a positive sense, Obamacare…or is it Romneycare…ah…aren’t they the same?

Kudos to Justice Roberts. Who would a thunk it? Roberts is a mensch,  as my good friend Sheila Weller who will be our guest on The Halli Casser-Jayne Show  July 18th, called him on hearing the news of the decision. Justice Roberts of the right, broke ranks and voted with the left of the court. Will wonders never cease?  Democracy surely will never cease to amaze me. Just when it looked like the Supreme Court was going the way of partisanship like so many institutions in America, Robert’s actually made a judicial decision, not a political one.

We should all be celebrating a fair decision in a difficult political climate, a bipartisan decision that gives this American hope for our future.

 

ENTER OUR CONTEST AND WIN THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN, VOL. 1

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The report of my death was an exaggeration…

…but reports of a GIVE-AWAY

Mark Twain in front of his home in Hannibal, Mo.

from The Halli Casser Jayne Show? Those are spot-on. If you want to win the AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN, VOLUME 1, to read yourself or to give to the brilliant/irreverent/troublemaking genius in YOUR life, you’re in luck! Just pop over to our Facebook fan page (http://www.facebook.com/HalliCasserJayne) before July 8, 2012 and click the “LIKE” button! At the end of the week, one of you will be the big winner, and we’ll ship the book right to you. There is a hitch (there always is. Did Twain say that?) We want at least 100 new “likes” before we issue a prize. So, tell all your friends to join in the fun.

Whether you’re looking for a great gift or just want to know more about the man who taught us that, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society,” you can’t argue with free stuff. See you over there!

I THOUGHT THIS MIGHT INTEREST YOU…

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It’s an insane Monday here at The Halli Casser-Jayne Show as we prepare for Wednesday’s broadcast. I promise that our show L.A. NOIR: THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF L.A.’S NOTORIOUS MOBSTERS is going to be fascinating. That being said, I just took a break and was checking the news when I came across the following. It’s sometimes nice to get away from the politics of Washington and remember that our politicians are people, too. No doubt this was released to help lend a human quality to President Obama for purely political purposes. Still, the images are of our president and the First Lady and other dignitaries are interesting.  I hope you enjoy.

 

MITT ROMNEY AIN’T NOTHING BUT A HOUND DOG

Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

I begin with this: we don’t have to agree with everyone about everything. But we must be respectful of each other’s point of view. This simple notion, long the tenet of American society, seems to have gone to the dogs. Ruff…ruff…rough.

Rough is what we all seem these days. We’ve, like dogs, separated into packs: staunch Republicans, die-hard liberals, and somewhere in the middle a bunch of stray blue-dogs, if you will, who have wandered.

And then there is Mitt Romney, top dog of the current Republican Party, their candidate to lead the pack that hopes to unseat President Barack Obama. Obama’s somewhat in the doghouse these days due to an uncompromising economy, not helpful to his hope to remain chief dog.

About Mitt Romney, he’s no mutt. He presents himself as a pedigree: well-mannered, well-educated, well-bred, and oh, so successful. No doubt he’s a handsome puppy, which ought to garner him a pack of votes because the animal instinct of most human beings is to be attracted to the best-looking dog.

But there is a character issue that has dogged Romney since the start of his campaign – no, not the one about his flip-flopping – but instead the one about his intolerance to those who don’t share the Romney pedigree and all that it means.

The character issue, one of intolerance, apparently surfaced early in Romney’s privileged life. A recent Washington Post story revealed that senior high school student Mitt Romney didn’t much care for a soft-spoken (code description for gay back in the day) new student at the prestigious Cranbrook School, John Lauber, also deemed a non-conformist. When Lauber returned to school after a vacation with bleached-blonde hair, which seductively draped over one eye, it was too much for the upper-crust, high school senior, the un-MITT-igated bigot Romney.

“He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” a riled Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled.

A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school pack shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.

The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another.

Is it fair to judge the character of the adult Romney by the acts of a high school senior? If you don’t think so, it is worth noting that Team Romney’s reaction to the incident as revealed most definitively fails the character test.

Laughing non-denials and a half-assed “if I hurt anyone” apology in response to charges of violence and violation is the hallmark, not just of a bully, but of the culture that enables them. And laughing off the incident is exactly what Romney and his team attempted to do.

Did Romney also lie? He said he doesn’t remember the incident. WTF? Doesn’t remember the incident? He doesn’t remember leading a pack of assaulting students with sharp implements?

He’s also made the claim that he didn’t think that the soft-spoken, bleached blonde guy he attacked was gay (so he did remember?). What? Did bigotry against sexual orientation just begin today? No. Bullies like Romney were attacking what they called “faggots” long before Romney’s violent attack against a closeted homosexual. Finally, what kind of person isn’t quite sure “if I hurt anyone” by holding down a whimpering young man and chopping off his hair?

Romney makes me want to howl, and so I will now at the latest revelation about Romney and his disdain for the LGBT community.

Hear me. I’m howling. HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWLING!

As reported in the Boston Globe, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s administration in 2006 blocked publication of a state anti-bullying guide for Massachusetts public schools because officials objected to use of the terms “bisexual’’ and “transgender’’ in passages about protecting certain students from harassment, according to state records and interviews with current and former state officials.

Suppressing the guide’s publication was among steps that Romney and his aides took during his last year in office to distance the Republican governor from state programs designed to specifically support gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people. His critics said it was part of an effort to court social conservatives as he prepared for his first campaign for president in 2008.

Pretty lame excuse for not standing up for the LGBT community, as a man of character would. What kind of man wouldn’t?

A hound dog.

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