September 18, 2009: President Obama, Joe Wilson & Health Care

THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY:


(President Barack Obama speaks about the financial crisis on the anniversary of the
Lehman Brothers collapse Monday, Sept. 14, 2009, at Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City. 
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

IN FOCUS: STATS

  • New Yorkers Want a Giuliani-Cuomo Face-Off in 2010: For months, the polls have been a ski slope for New York Gov. David Paterson – all downhill. The 2010 gubernatorial match-up that most New Yorkers want to see is Attorney General Andrew Cuomo on the Democratic side and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani for the Republicans. And, in that contest, Cuomo leads 53 percent to 43 percent, with 4 percent undecided, according to a Marist Poll conducted Sept. 8-10. The margin of error for that result is 3.5 points. – Politics Daily, 9-16-09

THE HEADLINES….

President Barack Obama speaks about the U.S. missile defense in Europe
(President Barack Obama speaks about the U.S. missile defense in Europe during a statement in the Diplomatic
Reception Room of the White House, Sept. 17, 2009.  Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • Dems unhappy with proposed tax in health care bill: Unhappy Senate Democrats on Thursday found plenty to complain about in the fine print of the latest health overhaul bill, particularly a tax provision they fear would hit hard at middle-class Americans, from coal miners in West Virginia to firefighters in New York.
    The opposition sprang up a day after Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., unveiled long-delayed legislation that would transform the nation’s health care system, requiring almost everyone to buy insurance, making insurance companies cover people with pre-existing medical conditions and reining in spiraling health care costs.
    The bill has given fresh momentum to President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority of extending health coverage and controlling costs…. – AP, 9-17-09
  • Rockefeller Stands Up for Liberals on Health Care: On Tuesday, John D. Rockefeller IV, a leading Senate liberal on health issues, said he would oppose a new Democratic proposal intended to win elusive Republican support to remake the health system. On Wednesday, he was summoned to a private meeting with President Obama…. – NYT, 9-17-09
  • Dueling ‘racist’ claims defuse once powerful word: Everybody’s racist, it seems. Republican Rep. Joe Wilson? Racist, because he shouted “You lie!” at the first black president. Health care protesters, affirmative action supporters? Racist. And Barack Obama? He’s the “Racist in Chief,” wrote a leader of the recent conservative protest in Washington. But if everybody’s racist, is anyone? The word is being sprayed in all directions, creating a hall of mirrors that is draining the scarlet R of its meaning and its power, turning it into more of a spitball than a stigma. – AP, 9-17-09
  • House bill would boost Pell Grants: The House voted Thursday in favor of the biggest overhaul of college aid programs since their creation in the 1960s — a bill to oust private lenders from the student loan business and put the government in charge.
    The vote was 253-171 in favor of a bill that fulfills nearly all of President Barack Obama’s campaign promises for higher education: The measure ends subsidies for private lenders, boosts Pell Grants for needy students and creates grant programs to improve community colleges and college graduation rates, among other things…. – AP, 9-17-09
  • Obama Is Pushing Israel Toward War President Obama can’t outsource matters of war and peace to another state: Events are fast pushing Israel toward a pre-emptive military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, probably by next spring. That strike could well fail. Or it could succeed at the price of oil at $300 a barrel, a Middle East war, and American servicemen caught in between. So why is the Obama administration doing everything it can to speed the war process along? At July’s G-8 summit in Italy, Iran was given a September deadline to start negotiations over its nuclear programs. Last week, Iran gave its answer: No…. – WSJ, 9-15-09
  • President Is to Appear on ‘Late Show With David Letterman’: After recording interviews for five Sunday political talk shows, President Obama will sit down with David Letterman on Monday night. Mr. Obama will be the sole guest on “Late Show,” CBS announced on Tuesday…. – NYT, 9-15-09
  • Senate Health Bill Due Wed, But Bipartisan Deal Elusive: Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., will release a long-awaited health-care bill Wednesday, but his Republican counterpart decried an “artificial deadline” for coming to agreement on the bill and appears to be withholding his support for it.
    Baucus told reporters that he will continue negotiations on the bill after he releases it Wednesday, expressing optimism that he will attract bipartisan support for the measure before the Finance Committee votes on it. The Finance Committee is expected to take up the bill as soon as next week…. – WSJ, 9-15-09
  • Jimmy Carter: Wilson comments ‘based on racism’: Former President Jimmy Carter says Congressman Joe Wilson’s outburst to President Barack Obama last week was an act “based on racism.” Carter says Wilson’s comment was part of an “inherent feeling” of some in this country who feel that a black man should not be president. Carter called Wilson’s comment “dastardly” and said the president should be treated with respect…. – AP, 9-15-09
  • House Vote of Disapproval on Rep. Joe Wilson: The 240-179 roll call Tuesday by which the House passed a resolution of disapproval against Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., for Wilson’s “You lie!” shout during President Barack Obama’s health care address to a joint session of Congress.
    Voting yes were 233 Democrats and 7 Republicans. Voting no were 12 Democrats and 167 Republicans. Voting present were 5 Democrats…. – AP, 9-15-09
  • Candidates Await Results as Polls Close: As the New York City primary election came to a close, candidates settled in and prepared to watch returns come in. At stake are the Democratic nominations for three citywide races — mayor, comptroller and public advocate — and for Manhattan district attorney. There are primary elections in 32 of the 51 City Council districts. Most incumbents seeking re-election were favored to win. NYT, 9-15-09
  • Jody Powell, who was White House press secretary and among the closest and most trusted advisers to President Jimmy Carter, died Monday of a heart attack. He was 65. AP, 9-14-09
  • Kennedy Senate race shaped by those not running: With the clock running on a shortened election calendar, the campaign to succeed Sen. Edward Kennedy has become notable for who’s not running, instead of who is.
    Not his wife, Vicki Kennedy. Not his nephew Joseph P. Kennedy II. Not Martin Meehan, a former congressman with a mother lode of $5 million in the bank. Not Andrew Card, a former White House chief of staff with the capacity to raise millions himself.
    On Monday, Rep. John Tierney said he wouldn’t run because he was more valuable to the state as a House veteran than as a Senate freshman. That was the same rationale his fellow Democrat, Rep. Edward J. Markey, gave Friday when he bailed on a campaign.
    So far, the field includes an attorney general not three years into her first statewide term, a state senator and a town selectman. Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has talked about running, and Stephen Pagliuca, co-owner of the Boston Celtics, is said to be weighing a campaign…. – AP, 9-14-09
  • Obama, Clinton eat Italian after Obama’s NY speech: President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton met privately for about 90 minutes on Monday, discussing the global economy over a meal in Manhattan…. – AP, 9-14=09
  • Rules on Wilson’s outburst open to interpretation: Republican Rep. Joe Wilson may have violated good taste when he yelled “You lie!” at President Barack Obama last week, and Democrats are moving forward with a resolution scolding him for it. But did he break any specific House rules? The answer is more complicated than it seems, and the rules that some initially cited don’t appear to apply…. – AP, 9-14-09
  • For Obama, a Chance to Reform the Street Is Fading: President Obama on Monday sternly admonished the financial industry and lawmakers to accept his proposals to reshape financial regulation to protect the nation from a repeat of the excesses that drove Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy and wreaked havoc on the global economy last year.
    “We will not go back to the days of reckless behavior and unchecked excess at the heart of this crisis,” President Obama said.
    But with the markets slowly healing, Mr. Obama’s plan to revamp financial rules faces a diminishing political imperative. Disenchantment by many Americans with big government, along with growing obstacles from financial industry lobbyists pressing Congress not to do anything drastic, have also helped to stall his proposals…. – NYT, 9-14-09
  • Obamas to hold event for Chicago Olympic bid: White House gathering on Wednesday will include Mayor Richard Daley, bid backers, athletes and schoolchildren… – Chicgo Tribune, 9-14-09
  • Dems seek to play down role of public option idea: The White House and its Democratic allies on Sunday tried to play down the role of a government insurance option in health care legislation as the party in power worked to reclaim momentum on President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.
    His spokesman described the public option as just one way to achieve Obama’s goal of providing coverage to the estimated 45 uninsured Americans without insurance. His senior adviser contended the White House was not ready to accept that Congress would reject the idea, though he, too, said it was an option, not a make-or- break choice… – AP, 9-13-09
  • Key group of lawmakers nearing healthcare deal: A key group of U.S. senators was “very close” to agreement on healthcare reform, one of its members said on Sunday, suggesting Congress was nearer to meeting President Barack Obama’s goal of passing a reform bill this year.
    “We think we are very close to an agreement,” said Senator Kent Conrad, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and part of the “Gang of Six” bipartisan group that is trying to forge consensus, on “Fox News Sunday.”… – Reuters, 9-13-09
  • Election trouble brewing for House Dems in 2010: Despite sweeping Democratic successes in the past two national elections, continuing job losses and President Barack Obama’s slipping support could lead to double-digit losses for the party in next year’s congressional races and may even threaten their House control…. – AP, 9-13-09
  • Lawmaker Says No New Apology for Outburst: Representative Joe Wilson said Sunday that he would not apologize again for his outburst on Wednesday night, when he shouted “You lie!” to President Obama during Mr. Obama’s speech about health care legislation before a joint session of Congress. – NYT, 9-14-09
  • Wilson funds reach $1 million after ‘you lie’ cry, aide says – CNN, 9-12-09
  • Obama rallies Minneapolis crowd for healthcare reform: Drawing on the spirit of his presidential campaign, he likens the battle over the overhaul to that over Social Security under FDR.
    “I have no interest in having a bill get passed that fails,” Obama said.
    “I intend to be president for a while, and once this bill passes, I own it,” he continued. “And if people look and say, ‘You know what? This hasn’t reduced my costs. My premiums are still going up 25%, insurance companies are still jerking me around’ — I’m the one who’s going to be held responsible.”…. – LAT, 9-12-09
  • In Health Care Battle, a Truce on Abortion: “And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up: Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortion, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.”
    Did that apparently unqualified statement by President Obama to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday guarantee that health care overhaul, whatever its other travails, will not fall victim to the seemingly intractable moral battle over abortion? Of course not… – NYT, 9-12-09
  • Commemorating 9/11, Obama renews resolve in terror fight: The president vows to ‘do everything in our power to keep America safe.’ He also notes Sept. 11’s ‘greatest lesson’: the spirit of service.
    Remembering those who died eight years ago in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, President Obama on Friday pledged to “do everything in our power to keep America safe.” “Let us renew our resolve against those who perpetrated this barbaric act and who plot against us still,” Obama said Friday. “In defense of our nation we will never waver. In pursuit of Al Qaeda and its extremist allies, we will never falter.”
    This week, Obama circulated a memorandum to Congress that said: “The terrorist threat that led to the declaration on Sept. 14, 2001, of a national emergency continues.” Despite his stated resolve, however, a Gallup poll released Friday found that Republicans had an edge over Democrats — 49% to 42% — when Americans were asked which party would better protect the U.S. from terrorism and military threats…. – LAT, 9-11-09
  • Healthy Minnesota offers Obama model for nation: President Barack Obama will be in one of the nation’s healthiest states Saturday, where most people have health insurance, medical care tends to be cost-effective and providers like the Mayo Clinic have made a name far beyond the Upper Midwest. AP, 9-11-09
  • Senate committee tackles illegal-immigrant healthcare concerns: Drafters of overhaul plans had been considering the issue for months, and it gained new attention during Obama’s healthcare speech to Congress. But enforcement is fraught with its own problems…. – LAT, 9-12-09
  • Olympics-Michelle Obama to urge IOC to pick Chicago for 2016: U.S. President Barack Obama is sending his wife Michelle to Copenhagen next month to urge Olympics organisers to select Chicago to host the 2016 Games…. – Reuters, 9-11-09
  • Census Bureau Drops Acorn From 2010 Effort: The Census Bureau on Friday severed its ties with Acorn, a community organization that Republicans have accused of voter-registration fraud.
    “We do not come to this decision lightly,” the census director, Robert Groves, wrote in a letter to Acorn that was obtained by The Associated Press…. – AP, 9-11-09
  • Former Bush aide Card not seeking Kennedy seat: Former Bush White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card said Friday he will not seek the Senate seat left vacant last month by the death of Edward Kennedy… – AP, 9-11-09
  • Obama faces skeptics in Congress over Afghan war: Carl Levin, the influential chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was the latest top Democrat in Congress to voice opposition to a fresh military build-up in Afghanistan, as the White House weighs deploying yet more troop combat troops…. – AFP, 9-11-09
  • The voices behind Joe Wilson: The South Carolina congressman is representative of the GOP’s talk-radio-led wing…. – LAT, 9-11-09
  • Obama’s healthcare speech helps unify Democrats: Conservatives in the party praised the president’s pledge to ensure that an overhaul would not add to the government’s debt, and liberals cheered his endorsement of a government-run insurance plan…. – LAT, 9-10-09
  • Senators pay tribute to Kennedy ‘One of a kind’ lawmaker lauded: Senators from both parties spent more than five hours yesterday paying bittersweet tribute to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, recalling their late colleague as the chamber’s generous elder statesman, a passionate liberal, and a fierce, well-schooled politician who never shied away from a political fight.
    But when the legislative skirmishing was over, his fellow senators recalled, Kennedy never held a grudge and knew the difference between an adversary and an enemy. And, they noted, he had nearly as many close friends among Republicans as he did among his Democratic allies…. – Boston Globe, 9-10-09
  • Abortion foes aren’t buying Obama’s assurances: They continue to campaign against healthcare reform, contending that federal money will go toward abortions if the president has his way…. – LAT, 9-10-09
  • Congress Faces Backlash Whether Overhaul Passes Or Not: When American political discourse has reached the point where a congressman shouts “You lie!” at the president during a nationally televised address, it must be a sign that the stakes are running pretty high.
    And so they are in the great health debate. Most analysis, though, has focused on only one side of the political poker game now under way: Will lawmakers pay a political price if they vote for a health bill that proves unpopular?
    There’s also a flip side to that question, which is about to get a lot more attention: Will lawmakers also pay a political price if nothing gets done — that is, if the effort to pass a health bill collapses in failure?… – WSJ, 9-10-09
  • Obama to deliver speech in N.Y. on financial crisis: President Obama will give what the White House called a major speech on the financial crisis on Monday, timed to the first anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse that precipitated the meltdown. At Federal Hall in New York City, Obama “will discuss the aggressive steps the administration has taken to bring the economy back from the brink, the commitment to winding down the government’s role in the financial sector, and the actions the United States and the global community must take to prevent a crisis like this from ever happening again,” the White House announced yesterday. – USA Today, 9-10-09
  • Obama advisers: 1M jobs saved or created: President Obama’s economic advisers estimated Thursday that the economic stimulus package has saved or created about 1 million jobs, drawing immediate criticism from Republicans.
    Christina Romer, the head of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, said her team consulted other economists for its report to Congress on the likely effects of the $787 billion package of tax cuts, government spending and aid to states. The administration’s million-job estimate, while preliminary and uncertain, was “in the middle of the plausible range” of estimates made by independent experts, she said.
    “An economy that was in free-fall with a tremendous amount of downward momentum” is now improving in part because of the stimulus package, Romer said. – USA Today, 9-10-09
  • US troops in Afghanistan run to remember 9-11: U.S. troops in Afghanistan donned shorts and laced up sneakers Friday to run in memory of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, as they fight a war that was born of that day but which has seen waning public support. More than 1,000 service members ran 9.11 kilometers (about 5 1/2 miles) at the main U.S. base to commemorate the anniversary and remember troops who have died in nearly eight-years of fighting. AP, 9-10-09
  • Outrage over Rep. Joe Wilson’s outburst isn’t dying down: Although President Obama accepted the Republican congressman’s apology for his ‘You lie’ remark, Democrats are calling for a public mea culpa and using the incident in fundraising appeals….
    “I’m a big believer that we all make mistakes,” Obama said in acknowledging the apology from Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.). The lawmaker’s shout of “You lie!” during the president’s speech on healthcare was a significant break in decorum. “I do think that, as I said last night, we have to get to the point where we can have a conversation about big important issues that matter to the American people without vitriol, without name-calling, without the assumption of the worst of other people’s motives,” Obama said. – LAT, 9-10-09
  • Sex scandal further damages lawmakers’ reputation: A scandal involving a family-values legislator caught boasting about his sexual escapades with his lobbyist mistresses created an embarrassing distraction for lawmakers Thursday, further diverting attention from California’s major policy issues in the crucial final days of their session. Republican Mike Duvall resigned Wednesday after a videotape surfaced in which he described to a colleague in lurid detail his sexual conquests, including a spanking fetish, the skimpy underwear of one mistress and his carrying on two affairs simultaneously. He sought to deny the affairs on Thursday…. – AP, 9-10-09

ELECTIONS 2010, 2012….

  • GOP hope for 2010: Voters nervous about Obama spending: Republican strategists see an opening in the fact independent voters like President Obama but are nervous about his economic policies. The Republican advocacy group Resurgent Republic conducted five focus groups in August among independents who voted for Mr. Obama in the presidential election but were undecided about whether to support a Republican or Democrat in the 2010 congressional race…. – CS Monitor, 9-14-09

POLITICAL QUOTES

The crowd at the rally

  • Book: Bush dissed Obama, Palin (and Hillary’s behind): President George W. Bush’s former speechwriter Matt Latimer reveals that Bush considered Barack Obama unfit for the White House and predicted that vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin would be a disaster for the GOP.
    “After one of Obama’s blistering speeches against the administration, the president had a very human reaction: He was ticked off,” Latimer writes in his forthcoming book, “Speech-Less: Tales of a White House Survivor,” which has been excerpted in the October issue of GQ.
    “He came in one day to rehearse a speech, fuming. ‘This is a dangerous world,’ he said for no apparent reason, ‘and this cat isn’t remotely qualified to handle it. This guy has no clue, I promise you.'”… – KC Star, 9-15-09
  • REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON FINANCIAL RESCUE AND REFORM Federal Hall New York, New York: While full recovery of the financial system will take a great deal more time and work, the growing stability resulting from these interventions means we’re beginning to return to normalcy. But here’s what I want to emphasize today: Normalcy cannot lead to complacency. … So what we’re calling for is for the financial industry to join us in a constructive effort to update the rules and regulatory structure to meet the challenges of this new century. That is what my administration seeks to do. We’ve sought ideas and input from industry leaders and policy experts, academics, consumer advocates, and the broader public. And we’ve worked closely with leaders in the Senate and the House, including not only Barney, but also Senators Chris Dodd and Richard Shelby, and Barney is already working with his counterpart, Sheldon [sic] Bachus. And we intend to pass regulatory reform through Congress.
    And taken together, we’re proposing the most ambitious overhaul of the financial regulatory system since the Great Depression. But I want to emphasize that these reforms are rooted in a simple principle: We ought to set clear rules of the road that promote transparency and accountability. That’s how we’ll make certain that markets foster responsibility, not recklessness. That’s how we’ll make certain that markets reward those who compete honestly and vigorously within the system, instead of those who are trying to game the system. …. – WH, 9-14-09
  • Obama Pledges to ‘Own’ Health-Care Bill: President Barack Obama, continuing his push to secure support for a health-care overhaul, reiterated his willingness to address the issue of medical malpractice suits, a Republican priority. But the president suggested that his desire for a bipartisan bill wouldn’t trump his ultimate goal of passing legislation this year.
    “We’re not going to get a better opportunity to solve our health-care issues than we have right now,” he said in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes…. – WSJ, 9-13-09
  • WEEKLY ADDRESS: President Obama Highlights New Treasury Report on Instability of Health Insurance in America: “In the United States of America, no one should have to worry that they’ll go without health care – not for one year, not for one month, not for one day. And once I sign my health reform plan into law – they won’t.”… – WH, 9-12-09

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  • REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT WREATH-LAYING CEREMONY AT THE PENTAGON MEMORIAL The Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen and members of the Armed Forces, fellow Americans, family and friends of those that we lost this day — Michelle and I are deeply humbled to be with you.
    Eight Septembers have come and gone. Nearly 3,000 days have passed — almost one for each of those taken from us. But no turning of the seasons can diminish the pain and the loss of that day. No passage of time and no dark skies can ever dull the meaning of this moment.
    So on this solemn day, at this sacred hour, once more we pause. Once more we pray — as a nation and as a people; in city streets where our two towers were turned to ashes and dust; in a quiet field where a plane fell from the sky; and here, where a single stone of this building is still blackened by the fires.
    We remember with reverence the lives we lost. We read their names. We press their photos to our hearts. And on this day that marks their death, we recall the beauty and meaning of their lives; men and women and children of every color and every creed, from across our nation and from more than 100 others. They were innocent. Harming no one, they went about their daily lives. Gone in a horrible instant, they now “dwell in the House of the Lord forever.”
    We honor all those who gave their lives so that others might live, and all the survivors who battled burns and wounds and helped each other rebuild their lives; men and women who gave life to that most simple of rules: I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper… – WH, 9-11-09

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  • Dems answer Obama’s call for action on health care: Democratic leaders wrestling with health care legislation are confronting a host of knotty issues such as medical malpractice, abortion, illegal immigrants and Medicaid, all the while predicting passage of sweeping health care legislation within a few months.
    “That’s the legislative process,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said as she and other Democrats shifted from praising President Barack Obama’s health care speech this week to the less glamorous task of trying to negotiate a bill that will pass muster with a host of opposing factions.
    “As issues emerge, let’s drill down on the public option, let’s drill down on what this means to small business, let’s drill down on what this means to seniors,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday…. – AP, 9-11-09

HISTORIANS & ANALYSTS’ COMMENTS

The President records the Weekly Address

  • Stephen Hess “Change the channel Sunday, you’ll still see president”: On Sunday, Obama is scheduled to appear on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” ABC’s “This Week,” NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CNN’s “State of the Union” programs, according to the shows’ websites and the White House. He will sit for an interview on the Spanish-language network Univision to air that day as well. Obama also is booked for “Late Show With David Letterman” on Monday night.
    “He’s pulling out all the stops, and why not,” said Stephen Hess, a presidential historian at George Washington University in Washington. “The answer to why not is that he’s overbooked or that he becomes an old story. I don’t think that cuts the ice. Those stories are written by people who watch everything.” – Bloomberg News, 9-16-09
  • Gil Troy “‘He’s a black man’ What lies beneath the Obama backlash? A Democratic stalwart cries racism, igniting a fiery debate”: Gil Troy, a professor of U.S. history at McGill University, said he sees little difference between the treatment of Mr. Obama and the way opponents attacked his predecessors, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
    He pointed out that Mr. Clinton spent much of his presidency dealing with personal political attacks, while Mr. Bush was often branded a liar over his decision to invade Iraq.
    “When Obama was elected, everyone was talking about how it was a sign of Americans’ political maturity,” Prof. Troy said. “To immediately start playing the race card the first time he runs into trouble is a mark of his supporters’ immaturity.”
    If nothing else, the controversy makes it clear that Mr. Obama’s political honeymoon is over, he added.
    “His supporters are trying to demonize and marginalize normal politics. Conservatives do it to liberals. This time liberals are doing it to conservatives.” – Globe & Mail, 9-17-09
  • Julian E. Zelizer “Commentary: Why the shock about Joe Wilson?”: When Rep. Joe Wilson interrupted President Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress by yelling “You lie!” a livid House Speaker Nancy Pelosi looked as if she was about to jump out of her seat and give her colleague a five-minute “time out” for misbehavior.
    Majority Whip Jim Clyburn warned that he supports reprimanding Wilson unless he goes to the well of the House and apologizes. Many pundits and politicians have subsequently lamented that the incident has revealed a new level of incivility in Congress.
    And certainly this was an embarrassing moment for the GOP, which looked more like the party of Joseph McCarthy than Ronald Reagan. This has been a summer when some members of the Republican Party outside of Congress have chosen a strategy of yelling and screaming, rather than debating and legislating…. – CNN, 9-14-09
  • Stephen Hess: Unplugged: LBJ Had Unique Talent to Pass Medicare: Johnson “was the president of the United States who knew the Senate and the Congress better than any president in history,” Hess, a presidential historian, told CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson. “It would be love to have somebody else who had that capacity to twist arms, but there ain’t no Lyndon Johnson around.” (I dont get what the part in read means, is the quote right?) – CBS News, 9-16-09
  • Stanley Kutler “Afghanistan: Doubt grows over another distant war”: “Americans aren’t conscious of Afghanistan,” says historian Stanley Kutler, editor of The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War. “You couldn’t help but be conscious of Vietnam because of the draft,” he said. But in Afghanistan, “The alleged reasons for going there have completely left the public consciousness.”… – AP, 9-10-09
  • Rick Shenkman “Pelosi rates Obama’s speech one for the ages”: Historians will wait for the outcome of those fights and whether Mr. Obama wins before deciding whether his oratory was truly “great,” said Rick Shenkman, a presidential historian at George Mason University.
    “I don’t know what Nancy Pelosi was thinking,” he said, questioning what criteria she used to rate Mr. Obama’s forensic skills.
    He said Mr. Obama “got off a few good lines, I thought, but none that people are going to be quoting 50 years from now — let alone five months from now.”… – Washintton Times, 9-11-09
  • Fred Beuttler “Heckling of president is rare in American history”: Presidents didn’t even address Congress between 1800, when John Adams held the job, and 1913, says Fred Beuttler, deputy historian at the House of Representatives, who calls the Wilson incident “highly unusual, if not unique.” “Occasionally, members of the opposing party have been known to boo and jeer as expressions of dissent on a specific point,” says Beuttler, citing instances during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. But before Wednesday, he says, “expressions of individual opposition of members to a president’s speech had not been recorded.” – AP, 9-11-09
  • Jack Bass, humanities professor, College of Charleston, Lacy K. Ford Jr., historian, University of South Carolina: Over the Line in South Carolina – NYT, 9-10-09
  • Julian E. Zelizer “Commentary: Liberals’ passion for public option”: President Obama was caught off guard by the frustration that liberals expressed at the suggestion he might drop the public option from health care reform.
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that, “There’s no way I can pass a bill in the House of Representatives without a public option.”
    The proposal for the government to offer Americans health insurance as one of their options had excited many Democrats.
    But the White House insists that the public option was not central to its original plan. One senior adviser complained to the Washington Post, “I don’t understand why the left of the left has decided that this is their Waterloo.” Still, the administration responded to its critics and again expressed support for the public option…. – CNN, 8-25-09
  • David M. Kennedy: Could Afghanistan Become Obama’s Vietnam?: “The analogy of Lyndon Johnson suggests itself very profoundly,” said David M. Kennedy, the Stanford University historian. Mr. Obama, he said, must avoid letting Afghanistan shadow his presidency as Vietnam did Mr. Johnson’s. “He needs to worry about the outcome of that intervention and policy and how it could spill over into everything else he wants to accomplish.” – NYT, 8-23-09
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History Buzz September 14 & 21, 2009: Dan Brown “The Last Symbol” and the Founders

HISTORY BUZZ:

POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS:

BIGGEST NEWS STORIES:

  • Rosh Hashana, Circa 1919: Mrs. Shapiro is actually Barbara Ann Paster, one of the actors here at the Strawbery Banke restoration, a living museum in which over 350 years of Portsmouth homes, stores, churches and history have been preserved. It is in Puddle Dock, which was a decrepit neighborhood destined to be razed under urban renewal until a campaign in the 1950s and ’60s led by the town librarian saved 42 houses on 10 acres to create the museum…. – NYT, 9-17-09
  • Dan Brown: Da Vinci author’s ‘uproar’ warning: The Lost Symbol is expected to make claims about the influence of secret organisation the freemasons on US leaders. And it is tipped to brand first President George Washington a TRAITOR.
    British historian and Masonic expert Ashley Cowie: “Dan Brown is about to make a huge controversy because he knows it sells. He’s going to create uproar in America. But it’s fiction, not fact.”
    But fellow historian David Shugarts said: “It’s true that some of the founding fathers were powerful Masons.”… – The Sun (9-15-09)
  • The Economic Freeze on History: More than two-thirds of history departments are experiencing budget cuts that have “required real reductions in resources, faculty and staff,” according to a survey released Friday by the American Historical Association…. – Inside Higher Ed (9-14-09)
  • Historian Rebecca Solnit talks about how 9-11 should be remembered – Free Speech Radio News (9-11-09)

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

IN THE NEWS:

OP-EDs & BLOGS:

REVIEWS & FIRST CHAPTERS:

  • Morris Dickstein: When Grave Years Fueled Grand Art DANCING IN THE DARK A Cultural History of the Great Depression NYT, 9-16-09
  • Nicholas Thompson: Friends, Not Allies THE HAWK AND THE DOVE Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War – NYT, 9-13-09
  • Norman Podhoretz: Because They Believe WHY ARE JEWS LIBERALS? NYT, 9-13-09
  • Alan Simons examines how Republic of Turkey saved Jewish lives Shoah: Turkey, the US and the UK Jewish Info News (9-2-09)
  • Philip Smallwood: The Life of R. G. Collingwood Times Higher Education (UK), (9-3-09)

PROFILED & FEATURED:

  • Nicholas Thompson’s trump card in writing about Nitze and Kennan – NYT (9-11-09)

QUOTED:

  • John Hafnor: Historian Predicts Dan Brown Theme, Reveals New Lost Symbols: “The Da Vinci Code’s overarching premise was an Old World clash of religion and science, while the fresh theme for The Lost Symbol is likely to be a uniquely American power struggle between secret societies and the experiment known as democracy.” – USPRWire (9-10-09)

INTERVIEWED:

  • Anthony J. Badger: British historian says FDR has some complex lessons for Obama: Badger is a University of Cambridge historian and the author of several accessible and well-reviewed books about the South and the Depression, among them “North Carolina and the New Deal,” “FDR: The First Hundred Days” and “The New Deal: The Depression Years, 1933-1940.” Given the current economic situation, it seems especially appropriate that the University of South Alabama’s Department of History has selected Badger as this year’s N. Jack Stallworth lecturer (his topic: “The New Deal and the Creation of the Modern American South”)…. – al.com (9-14-09)
  • Peter Bance Sikh author short listed for historian award: A renowned Sikh author has been short listed for the annual EDP-Jarrold East Anglian Book Awards, for his book on Maharajah Duleep Singh… – The Sikh Times (9-14-09)

HONORED, AWARDED &APPOINTED:

  • Mark Updegrove: Presidential historian appointed to direct LBJ Library: The LBJ Library and Museum announced the appointment of presidential historian Mark Updegrove to director Wednesday…. – News 8 Austin (9-17-09)
  • Best political communication book of the decade is … Campaign Talk: Why Elections are Good for Us by Roderick Hart was named the best political communication book of the last decade by the American Political Science Association. – Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire (9-12-09)
  • Dr. Takashi Yoshida: Associate Professor of History honored as emerging faculty scholar by Western Michigan University – WMU News (9-9-09)

SPOTTED:

  • Richard Norton Smith, Presidential Historian: The Clinton School invited Presidential Historian Richard Norton Smith to come speak on “Lincoln 200”. It has been 200 years since Abraham Lincoln was born…. – TodaysTHV.com, 9-16-09

EVENTS CALENDAR:

  • Inaugural Semester-long seminar on Constitutional History offered at N-Y Historical Society this fall: Lincoln’s Constitution will be taught at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, on Thursday afternoons from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. The seminar will be held on September 17 and 24 and on October 1, 15, 22, and 29, 2009. NYHS Press Release (7-20-09)

ON TV:

  • BBC to launch new series on history of Christianity – Religious Intelligence, 6-19-09
  • C-SPAN2: BOOK TV Weekend Schedule
  • PBS History Detectives: Mondays at 9pm
  • History Channel: Weekly Schedule
  • History Channel: “Beyond The Da Vinci Code” – Saturday, September 19, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Angels & Demons Decoded” – Saturday, September 19, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Holy Grail in America” – Sunday, September 19, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Templar Code ” – Monday, September 20, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld: Stalin’s Secret Lair” – Monday, September 20, 2009 at 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld: 09 – Freemason Underground” – Monday, September 20, 2009 at 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Secrets of the Founding Fathers” – Monday, September 20, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Dark Age” – Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Nostradamus Effect” Marathon – Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 2-5pm ET/PT

BEST SELLERS (NYT):

    NYT Non-Fiction Best Sellers List – September 20, 2009

  • #1 – Michelle Malkin: CULTURE OF CORRUPTION
  • #3 – Ronald Kessler: IN THE PRESIDENT’S SECRET SERVICE
  • #12 – Peter S. Canellos: LAST LION
  • #15 – J. Randy Taraborrelli: THE SECRET LIFE OF MARILYN MONROE
  • #20 – C. David Heymann: BOBBY AND JACKIE
  • #21 – Douglas Brinkley: THE WILDERNESS WARRIOR
  • #29 – Edward Klein: TED KENNEDY

COMING SOON BOOKS:

  • Jon Krakauer: Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman, September 15, 2009
  • Dean C. Jessee (Editor): The Joseph Smith Papers: Revelations and Translations, Volume 1: Manuscript Revelation Books, September 2009
  • James Patterson: The Murder of King Tut: The Plot to Kill the Child King – A Nonfiction Thriller, September 28, 2009
  • Timothy Egan: The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America, October 19, 2009
  • Gil Troy, Vincent J. Cannato, eds.: Living in the Eighties, October 23, 2009
  • L. Fletcher Prouty: JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, (Paperback), November 1, 2009
  • Edward Kritzler: Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean: How a Generation of Swashbuckling Jews Carved Out an Empire in the New World in Their Quest for Treasure, Religious Freedom–and Revenge, (Paperback), November 3, 2009
  • Anthony Haden-guest: Last Party: Studio 54, Disco, and the Culture of the Night (Paperback), December 8, 2009

DEPARTED:

September 9, 2009: President Obama’s Joint Address to Congress on Health Care Reform

THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY:

A close shot of the address
(President Barack Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress on health care at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009.  Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

IN FOCUS: STATS

  • FACT CHECK: Obama drops iffy line on health plan: The change was subtle, but significant. In his speech to Congress on Wednesday night, President Barack Obama gave a more accurate — and less reassuring — account of the impact of his proposed health care overall than he has done in the past. It went by in a blink…. – AP, 9-9-09
  • Obama disapproval on health care up to 52 percent: Public disapproval of President Barack Obama’s handling of health care has leaped to 52 percent, according to Associated Press-GfK poll that underscores the country’s glowering mood as the White House made a renewed pitch for an overhaul. Just 42 percent approve of the president’s work on the high-profile health issue. The survey was released Wednesday before his nationally televised effort to persuade Congress and voters to back his drive to reshape the nation’s $2.5 trillion-a-year medical system…. – AP, 9-9-09

THE HEADLINES….

President Obama was greeted by members of Congress as he entered the House chamber

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times President Obama was greeted by members of Congress as he entered the House chamber.

  • Obama hopes his pitch will sway health care debate: President Barack Obama’s leadership in the days ahead will determine whether his forceful health care address to Congress heralds the kind of sweeping change he promised while campaigning for the White House…. – AP, 9-9-09
  • The Congressman Who Cried ‘Lie!’: President Obama was halfway through his speech, trying to dispel what he called “bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform.” Then he ran into Rep. Joe Wilson’s agenda for the night. His plan would not insure illegal immigrants, said Obama. “You lie!” rang out in the chamber…. – WaPo, 9-9-09
  • Obama Vows to ‘Deliver on Health Care’: President Obama sought to reframe the contentious debate over health care on Wednesday, asking a critical Congress and a skeptical nation to reach consensus on legislation to expand coverage to millions of Americans and lower costs through a sweeping overhaul that has eluded lawmakers for generations.
    “I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last,” Mr. Obama told a joint session of Congress, adding, “Our collective failure to meet this challenge — year after year, decade after decade — has led us to a breaking point.”…
    “What we have also seen in these last months is the same partisan spectacle that only hardens the disdain many Americans have toward their own government. Instead of honest debate, we have seen scare tactics,” Mr. Obama said. “Some have dug into unyielding ideological camps that offer no hope of compromise. Too many have used this as an opportunity to score short-term political points, even if it robs the country of our opportunity to solve a long-term challenge.” He added, “And out of this blizzard of charges and counter-charges, confusion has reigned.” – NYT, 9-9-09
  • Live Blogging the President’s Speech: ….What was true then remains true today. I understand how difficult this health care debate has been. I know that many in this country are deeply skeptical that government is looking out for them. I understand that the politically safe move would be to kick the can further down the road – to defer reform one more year, or one more election, or one more term.
    But that’s not what the moment calls for. That’s not what we came here to do. We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it. I still believe we can act even when it’s hard. I still believe we can replace acrimony with civility, and gridlock with progress. I still believe we can do great things, and that here and now we will meet history’s test. – NYT, 9-9-09
  • On Brink, Obama Is Resolute and Clear: There was high drama in the setting and most of all in the timing. After a summer of chaos, criticism and confusion, President Obama stood before Congress on Wednesday night — with three major networks broadcasting live (Fox sat out the speech in favor of the season premiere of “So You Think You Can Dance”) — and tried to seize the last word on health care reform…. – NYT, 9-9-09
  • Obama: Time for ‘bickering’ is over on health care: Shaking off a summer of setbacks, President Barack Obama summoned Congress to enact sweeping health care legislation Wednesday night, declaring the “time for bickering is over” and the moment has arrived to protect millions who have unreliable insurance or no coverage at all…. – AP, 9-9-09
  • Obama Says Time Is Now for Health Reform: President Barack Obama sought to call Congress and the American public to action Wednesday night, in a prime-time speech aimed at resetting the terms of the debate over health care reform…. – PBS Newhour, 9-9-09
  • Obama: Claims of death panels are a ‘lie’: President Barack Obama says the charge that Democrats want to set up death panels as part of health care overhaul is a “lie, plain and simple.”… – AP, 9-9-09
  • Analysis: Obama gambles on making nice, no vetoes: Barack Obama faces the same obstacles that plagued former President Bill Clinton during a health care standoff 15 years ago. But Obama took a strikingly different path around them Wednesday night, choosing the promise of compromise over Clinton’s sharp-edged veto pen….
    “The time for bickering is over,” Obama told a joint session of Congress. “Now is the season for action.” – AP, 9-9-09
  • Baucus may move health bill without Republicans: The Democratic U.S. senator leading an effort to write a bipartisan healthcare reform bill said on Wednesday he was ready to move forward without Republican support, but still hoped for a deal…. – Reuters, 9-9-09
  • Obama tries to build momentum for health overhaul: Reaching for a game-changer, President Barack Obama is beset by conflicting goals in a prime-time address Wednesday expected to detail just how he wants to expand health care coverage and lower medical costs while signaling to a deeply divided Congress that he’s ready to deal. And show the public he’s in control…. – AP, 9-9-09

POLITICAL QUOTES

A wide shot of the address
(President Barack Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress on health care at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday,  Sept. 9, 2009.  Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT TO A JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS ON HEALTH CARE U.S. Capitol Washington, D.C. – WH, 9-9-09
  • Below is the text of the letter from Senator Edward M. Kennedy referenced by the President in tonight’s address to a Joint Session of Congress. – WH, 9-9-09
  • Full Text: Obama’s Health Reform Speech Following is the text of President Barack Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress Wednesday, as prepared for delivery, released by the White House and distributed to news organizations. – PBS Newshour, 9-9-09
  • Full Text: GOP Response to Obama Reform Speech Following is the text of Louisiana Rep. Charles Boustany’s GOP response to President Obama’s health reform address to a joint session of Congress Wednesday, as distributed to news organizations: “I read the bill Democrats passed through committee in July. It creates 53 new government bureaucracies, adds hundreds of billions to our national debt, and raises taxes on job-creators by $600 billion. The president had a chance tonight to take government-run health care off the table. Unfortunately, he didn’t do it.”… – PBS Newshour, 9-9-09

HISTORIANS & ANALYSTS’ COMMENTS

  • Julian Zelizer “Obama’s speech: A simple message, a tough task”: Above all, he has to make sure he holds on to his liberal base, said Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University.
    “If he goes too far and the compromise is so meager that it’s almost like doing nothing, that could trigger a backlash from supporters,” Zelizer said. But he also has to be seen as effective and open to cooperation with opponents. Obama created his challenge by holding himself out as a transformational politician. “If he looks just like the people he ran against, that would be very damaging,” Zelizer said. – Philadelphia Inquirer, 9-9-09
  • Julian E. Zelizer: Commentary: Obama’s moment of truth: On Wednesday, President Obama will make the most important speech of his presidency. We hear this phrase so much that it has become a cliché. But, in this case, the cliché is accurate.
    President Obama suffered a politically brutal month in August. The opponents of health care dominated public debate about the legislation circulating in Congress. Public approval ratings for the president and his health care plan, as well as the Democratic Congress, have fallen. Democrats have become internally divided.
    It is possible Obama could end his first year in the White House without a major piece of legislation beyond the economic stimulus.
    For a president who began the year with his supporters talking about a transformative leader who would equal Presidents Lincoln or Roosevelt, this would be a major disappointment…. – CNN, 9-9-09
  • Reactions to the Speech: A Health Care Roundtable – NYT, 9-9-09

DESCRIPTIONAP With Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, left, and House Speaker Sam Rayburn, far right, President John F. Kennedy addresses a joint session of Congress in May 1961.

  • A Bit of History on Presidents and Joint Sessions: President Obama’s health-care speech tonight is officially an address to a joint session of Congress. Such addresses are somewhat out of the ordinary but not all that rare.
    Certain events take place routinely during a joint session — counting electoral votes, for example, or delivering a State of the Union message. (When a president is first inaugurated, he usually gives just an address at a joint session.)
    Joint sessions are not necessarily called for emergencies or moments of crises but often, as in the case of Mr. Obama tonight, to push certain policies…. – NYT, 9-9-09

September 8, 2009: President Obama’s Speech to Schools Causes Debate & Opposition

THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY:

The crowd listens as President Barack Obama speaks at the AFL-CIO Labor Day Picnic in Cincinnati, OH on Labor Day
(President Barack Obama speaks at the AFL-CIO Labor Day Picnic in Cincinnati, OH on Labor Day.  September 7, 2009.  Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

IN FOCUS: STATS

  • After years of trashing polls, Republicans now embrace them: “New Rasmussen Poll Shows That 53 Percent of Americans Oppose Democratic Government-Run Health Plan,” read an Aug. 13 release. It cited “no fewer than five polls” that it said “showed increasing concern, if not outright opposition” to the Obama administration’s efforts…. – McClatchy Newspapers, 9-7-09
  • Obama’s declining support among whites: After a summer of health care battles and sliding approval ratings for President Obama, the White House is facing a troubling new trend: The voters losing faith in the president are the ones he had worked hardest to attract.
    New surveys show steep declines in Obama’s approval ratings among whites–including Democrats and independents– who were crucial elements of the diverse coalition that helped elect the country’s first black president.
    Among white Democrats, Obama’s job approval rating has dropped 11 points since his 100-days mark in April, according to surveys by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. It has dropped by nine points among white independents and whites over 50, and by 12 points among white women–all voter groups that will be targeted by both parties for support in next year’s mid-term elections…. – Chicago Tribune, 9-5-09
  • Is Obama wrecking the Democrat party?: It’s no secret that President Obama’s popularity is on the skids. The current Rasmussen Poll lists his job approval rate at just 45%; down from a high of 65% in January. Perhaps more importantly, Rasmussen measures a minus 12 point gap in the number of people who “strongly disapprove” of Obama, over those who “strongly approve.” Gallup currently has Obama at a 54% approval level; as against a disapproval level of 40%…. – Examiner, 9-5-09
  • Obama’s approval rating tumbles to lowest point at 53%: The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey results released yesterday show his overall approval number at 53 percent, down from 76 percent in early February, just after he took office…. – Boston Globe, 9-1-09
  • Hostages of the Hermit Kingdom: Laura Ling and Euna Lee, the two American journalists released last month after being imprisoned in North Korea, tell their story — and remind people of the story they wanted to cover…. – LAT, 9-1-09
  • U.S. journalists say entered North Korea, arrested in China – Reuters, 9-1-09

THE HEADLINES….


[View full size]

(President Barack Obama talks with Justice Sonia Sotomayor prior to her investiture ceremony at the Supreme Court September 8, 2009. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • Court signals it may loosen campaign spending: The Supreme Court signaled Wednesday it may let businesses and unions spend freely to help their favored candidates in time for next year’s elections. Such a step could roll back a century of attempts to restrain the power of corporate treasuries in American politics.
    The justices cut short their summer recess for a lively special argument that indicated the court’s conservative skeptics of campaign finance laws have the upper hand over its liberals, including new Justice Sonia Sotomayor…. – AP, 9-9-09
  • Mass. Democrats support filling Kennedy seat now: Democratic politicians urged Massachusetts lawmakers on Wednesday to pass a law that would allow an interim senator to succeed the late Edward Kennedy immediately, preserving the party’s 60-vote majority during a battle to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system…. – Reuters, 9-9-09
  • Obama tries to build momentum for health overhaul: Reaching for a game-changer, President Barack Obama is beset by conflicting goals in a prime-time address Wednesday expected to detail just how he wants to expand health care coverage and lower medical costs while signaling to a deeply divided Congress that he’s ready to deal. And show the public he’s in control…. – AP, 9-9-09
  • Obama’s back-to-school speech inspires some kids: On the very first day of the school year, 12-year-old Mileena Rodriguez was reminded by President Barack Obama himself that hard work can take you places.Mileena listened to Obama’s plea to study hard and stay in school Tuesday, watching along with several of her classmates at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School and students across the country. For all the hubbub among adults over the back-to-school speech, many youngsters took the president’s message to heart…. – AP, 9-8-09
  • Schools say no to Obama’s speech: Controversial address won’t be shown today by some area districts…. – Detroit News, 9-7-09
  • Its recess over, Congress has hands full: As Congress returns today after a month-long recess, lawmakers face a pileup of pressing legislation, from immigration to energy, that has been eclipsed by the all-consuming battle over health care…. – USA Today, 9-7-09
  • Obama faces a critical moment for his struggling presidency: President Barack Obama returned to the White House from his summer break Sunday determined to restart his struggling presidency by reasserting command of the health care debate and recalibrating expectations that some advisers believe got away from him. With his honeymoon seemingly over and his White House on the defensive, Obama faces what friends and foes alike call a make-or-break moment in his young administration. Because he has elevated health care to such a singular priority, advisers said he must force through a credible plan or risk crippling his presidency.
    “It goes without saying that a lot is riding now on his ability to re-energize the health care debate and bring it home to a successful conclusion,” said John Podesta, who ran Obama’s transition and still advises him on health care, energy and other issues. “Nothing will influence the perception of the presidency more than whether he can be successful in getting a health care bill through the Congress.”… – NYT, 9-6-09
  • Obama to make Bloom manufacturing czar: President Barack Obama is to name auto adviser Ron Bloom as the administration’s manufacturing czar Monday, responsible for creating policies to boost the long-struggling industries…. – Detroit Free Press, 9-6-09
  • Critics charge ‘indoctrination’ as Obama plans busy speaking week: President Obama will be delivering high-profile speeches three days in a row next week: On Monday, he’ll be the featured attraction at the AFL-CIO’s Labor Day picnic in Cincinnati. Not so coincidentally, that trip will put Obama in the backyard of Rep. Steven Driehaus, a freshman Democrat who faces a tough re-election battle in a district that Republicans held for 14 years before last November…. USA Today, 9-6-09
  • Analysis: More wrangling could doom health care: The patient isn’t dead yet. A few more months of wrangling and indecision, and health care legislation to remedy America’s coverage and costs problem could be drawing its last gasps. As Congress returns to work this week, President Barack Obama and lawmakers have three broad options — competing treatment plans for a patient whose vital signs are growing weak. It’s not clear which one, if any, will work…. – AP, 9-6-09
  • Financial Bailout Package, a Year Later: Obama has said he inherited the financial crisis from President George W. Bush. But he also received a powerful arsenal from his predecessor — the $700 billion financial bailout package…. – WaPo, 9-6-09
  • Obama ‘green jobs’ adviser quits amid controversy: President Barack Obama’s adviser Van Jones has resigned amid controversy over past inflammatory statements, the White House said early Sunday. Jones, an administration official specializing in environmentally friendly “green jobs” with the White House Council on Environmental Quality was linked to efforts suggesting a government role in the 2001 terror attacks and to derogatory comments about Republicans. The resignation comes as Obama is working to regain his footing in the contentious health care debate.
    “On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me,” Jones said in his resignation statement. “They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.”… – AP, 9-5-09
  • Senate Democrat aims to end healthcare deadlock: A key U.S. Senate Democrat, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus may seek to end a stalemate on healthcare legislation by offering a proposal next week prior to President Barack Obama’s highly anticipated address to Congress, Democratic aides said on Saturday…. – AP, 9-5-09
  • FACT CHECK: Biden overlooked stimulus problems: Vice President Joe Biden proclaimed success beyond expectations for the $787 billion economic stimulus, but his glowing assessment overlooks many of the program’s problems, including delays in releasing money, questionable spending priorities and project picks that are under investigation…. – AP, 9-5-09
  • Politics, not race, likely behind Obama speech uproar: After decades of criticizing public schools as places where hardly anybody learns anything, suddenly conservatives are upset that a 15- to 20-minute Web cast in schools might teach too much. That’s because the Web cast is by President Barack Obama. His critics fear he might teach something that they’d rather not have our schoolchildren hear…. – Houston Chronicle, 9-5-09
  • Passing a health bill: What are the odds?: We look at the likely scenarios ahead and predict which results you can bet on… – Houston Chronicle, 9-5-09
  • Obama To Meet With Liberals: Liberal Democrats in the House will get their wish: President Obama will meet with them face to face Tuesday or Wednesday to discuss health reform legislation. Atlantic, 9-4-09
  • Calls to boycott Obama’s speech to kids offer a disturbing lesson in paranoia: Those who are whipping up hysteria over the president’s address are playing a dangerous game with an unhinged segment of public opinion….. – LAT, 9-4-09
  • Kennedy death could impact Wall Street oversight: President Barack Obama’s plan to recast how the government regulates Wall Street could be thrown a curve this fall if Sen. Tim Johnson, a Democrat whose home state is a major hub for credit card companies, takes over the chairmanship of the Senate’s banking committee…. – AP, 9-4-09
  • White House to Open Visitor Logs to Public: President Obama announced Friday that he will open up White House visitor logs on a regular basis for the first time in modern history, providing the public an unusually extensive look at who gets the opportunity to help shape American policy at the highest levels. “Americans have a right to know whose voices are being heard in the policymaking process,” the president said in a written statement issued by the White House while he vacationed with his family at Camp David. The new policy settles four lawsuits against the government seeking such records. NYT, 9-4-09
  • Obama runs into resistance over school speech: The president is scheduled to address students next week about responsibility and goals. Florida’s Republican Party chairman issues a statement denouncing ‘Obama’s socialist ideology.’ LAT, 9-3-09
  • Obama aims to take control of health care debate: Aside from State of the Union speeches, presidents rarely use joint sessions of Congress as backdrops for their remarks to the nation. But President Barack Obama will do just that next week to discuss health care. He hopes to gain control of a high-stakes debate that has been slipping from his grasp under relentless Republican-led attacks. AP, 9-3-09
  • Obama’s big gamble on healthcare debate: The president seeks to retake control of the healthcare debate with his speech to a joint session of Congress next week. But it carries great risk as well…. – LAT, 9-2-09
  • Obama faces a pivotal autumn: Americans are showing signs of impatience with their new president as Barack Obama enters a pivotal period facing a raft of critical decisions ranging from healthcare to Afghanistan. A wide variety of public opinion polls paint a difficult picture for Obama, with Americans expressing doubts about his handling of the U.S. economy, healthcare and Afghanistan. His job approval rating has drifted down to around 50 percent. It was at 68 percent when he took office in January. Reuters, 9-2-09
  • Kennedy memoir reveals remorse over Chappaquiddick: In a posthumous memoir, Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy writes of fear and remorse surrounding the fateful events on Chappaquiddick Island in 1969, when his car accident left a woman dead, and says he accepted the finding that a lone gunman assassinated his brother President John F. Kennedy. The memoir, “True Compass,” is to be published Sept. 14 by Twelve, a division of the Hachette book group. The 532-page book was obtained early by The New York Times…. – AP, 9-2-09
  • Kennedy-Obama Bond Put Health Care on Fast Track: Other than his victory in the Iowa Democratic caucuses, no moment catalyzed Barack Obama’s historic presidential campaign more than winning the endorsement of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy…. – AP, 9-1-09
  • GOP senators seek go-slow approach on health care: An odd couple of Republican senators have hit the road, arguing for a go-slow approach to President Barack Obama’s push to revamp health care. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and 2008 presidential nominee John McCain are headlining the GOP’s answer to the raucous town hall meetings of August in which congressional Democrats had to shout over angry constituents about health care, growing deficits and the increasing role of the federal government…. – AP, 9-1-09
  • Politician won’t apologize for ‘Obama tags’ remark: Idaho Republican Rex Rammell said Tuesday the hoopla over his remarks about hunting President Barack Obama has been a boon to his campaign, and he again refused to apologize for what he called a joke. “This country needs to lighten up,” the GOP gubernatorial candidate said during a press conference in a Boise park Tuesday…. – AP, 9-1-09
  • Obama reduces 2010 pay increases to 2 percent: President Barack Obama notified Congress on Monday he is reducing pay increases for federal workers from 2.4 percent to 2 percent. Using powers employed by his two most recent predecessors, the president cited the national unemployment rate and the budget busting federal payroll…. – AP, 8-31-09
  • Burr, McCain, McConnell to hold NC health forum: McCain will join North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell at event in Charlotte on Tuesday morning. McCain and McConnell are traveling around the country to discuss health care and take questions from those involved in the debate. The GOP lawmakers have been mounting a challenge to the plan offered by President Barack Obama that would create a government option to compete with private insurers. Burr’s plan would raise money by taxing health benefits and use the revenue to give people tax credits to buy their own care. AP, 8-31-09
  • White House Not Pleased With Two Republican Senators: Senator Mike Enzi, the ranking Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, among copies of the health care reform bill before a committee meeting in June.
    The White House was evidently listening when Senator Michael B. Enzi delivered the weekly Republican radio and Internet address Saturday. And the White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, did not like what he heard on health care from the Wyoming lawmaker who is supposed to be part of bipartisan talks…. – NYT, 8-31-09
  • Key Republicans bail on ‘Obama-care’; Dems’ options narrow: The Democrats are edging toward a go-it-alone approach to legislation. Part 1 of two….
    As key Republicans grow increasingly hostile to President Obama’s plans for healthcare reform, the Democrats are edging toward a go-it-alone approach to legislation. In the Senate, where normal rules require 60 votes out of 100 to halt a filibuster, the Democrats’ hopes of passing a bill that way are hanging by a thread. The death of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) of Massachusetts means the party is down to 59 votes in the Senate. It’s still possible a Republican or two could be persuaded to vote with them, but they would still need to hold onto the more conservative Democrats in their caucus, and that’s not a sure thing…. – CS Monitor, 8-31-09

ELECTIONS 2010, 2012….

  • First Candidate Steps Up for Kennedy Seat: Attorney General Martha Coakley of Massachusetts on Tuesday became the first candidate to begin the formal process toward running for the United States Senate seat left vacant by the death last week of Edward M. Kennedy…. – NYT, 9-1-09
  • Another Senator Kennedy in Massachusetts?: Another Kennedy just might occupy the Kennedy seat in the Senate. Amid the emotional public outpouring over the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy, talk of a successor has focused on his widow, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, and his nephew, Joseph Kennedy II, the 56-year-old former congressman who could return to politics after a decade’s absence. “Even though he’s emotionally drained right now, he can’t help but be moved by the enormous flood of affection and respect from all over the country,” said veteran Democratic strategist Dan Payne. “He wouldn’t be human and he wouldn’t be a Kennedy if he didn’t give serious consideration to running for what is known as the ‘Kennedy seat’ in Massachusetts.”… – AP, 8-31-09
  • Va. candidate distances self from college thesis: Virginia’s Republican candidate for governor said Monday he no longer believes his argument in a graduate thesis written 20 years ago that discrimination against gays and other groups is acceptable for the benefit of straight, married couples…. – AP, 8-31-09

POLITICAL QUOTES

The President memorializes Walter Cronkite
(President Barack Obama delivers remarks at a memorial service for Walter Cronkite at Lincoln Center in
New York, September 9, 2009.  Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT MEMORIAL SERVICE IN HONOR OF WALTER CRONKITE Lincoln Center New York, New York: He was forever there, reporting through world war and cold war; marches and milestones; scandal and success; calmly and authoritatively telling us what we needed to know. He was a voice of certainty in a world that was growing more and more uncertain. And through it all, he never lost the integrity or the plainspoken speaking style that he gained growing up in the heartland. He was a familiar and welcome voice that spoke to each and every one of us personally.
    I have benefited as a citizen from his dogged pursuit of the truth, his passionate defense of objective reporting, and his view that journalism is more than just a profession; it is a public good vital to our democracy. Even in his early career, Walter Cronkite resisted the temptation to get the story first in favor of getting it right.
    Our American story continues. It needs to be told. And if we choose to live up to Walter’s example, if we realize that the kind of journalism he embodied will not simply rekindle itself as part of a natural cycle, but will come alive only if we stand up and demand it and resolve to value it once again, then I’m convinced that the choice between profit and progress is a false one — and that the golden days of journalism still lie ahead…. – WH, 9-9-09
  • Assemblyman Mike Duvall resigns after his sex comments are broadcast: KCAL-TV in Los Angeles played a tape of the married Yorba Linda Republican speaking about sex with two women. He apparently did not realize a microphone was on during a legislative hearing
    “I am deeply saddened that my inappropriate comments have become a major distraction for my colleagues in the Assembly, who are working hard on the very serious problems facing our state,” Duvall said in a written statement. “I have come to the conclusion that it would not be fair to my family, my constituents or to my friends on both sides of the aisle to remain in office. Therefore, I have decided to resign my office, effective immediately, so that the Assembly can get back to work.” – LAT, 9-9-09
  • REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT IN A NATIONAL ADDRESS TO AMERICA’S SCHOOLCHILDREN Wakefield High School Arlington, Virginia: I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself. Every single one of you has something that you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.
    Maybe you could be a great writer — maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper — but you might not know it until you write that English paper — that English class paper that’s assigned to you. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor — maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or the new medicine or vaccine — but you might not know it until you do your project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a senator or a Supreme Court justice — but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.
    But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.
    Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future…. – WH, 9-8-09
  • Obama says ‘it’s time to act’ on healthcare: In a speech to the AFL-CIO, the president accuses critics and special interests of using scare tactics and spreading ‘lies’ in healthcare debate….
    The president, speaking at an AFL-CIO picnic, said that “special interests” were determined to “scare the heck out of people.” “I’ve got a question for all these folks who say, you know, we’re going to pull the plug on Grandma and this is all about illegal immigrants — you’ve heard all the lies,” Obama said. “I’ve got a question for all those folks: What are you going to do? What’s your answer? What’s your solution? “And you know what? They don’t have one.” – LAT, 9-7-09
  • REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT AFL-CIO LABOR DAY PICNIC Coney Island Cincinnati, Ohio: But today we also pause. We pause to remember and to reflect and to reaffirm. We remember that the rights and benefits we enjoy today weren’t simply handed to America’s working men and women. They had to be won. They had to be fought for, by men and women of courage and conviction, from the factory floors of the Industrial Revolution to the shopping aisles of today’s superstores. They stood up and they spoke out to demand a fair shake and an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. (Applause.)
    Many risked their lives. Some gave their lives. Some made it a cause of their lives — like Senator Ted Kennedy, who we remember today. (Applause.)
    So let us never forget: much of what we take for granted — the 40-hour work week, the minimum wage, health insurance, paid leave, pensions, Social Security, Medicare — they all bear the union label. (Applause.) It was the American worker — men and women just like you — who returned from World War II to make our economy the envy of the world. It was labor that helped build the largest middle class in history. Even if you’re not a union member, every American owes something to America’s labor movement. (Applause)…. – WH, 9-7-09
  • VP Joe Biden pledges to back workers in Pa. stop: Vice President Joe Biden told a rally at Pittsburgh’s Labor Day parade that organized labor was the backbone of the country and that he and Sen. Arlen Specter would continue fighting for workers. “You built the middle class. The middle class cannot be rebuilt without a growth in labor,” Biden told a crowd of about 300 Monday morning outside Mellon Arena…. – AP, 9-7-09
  • WEEKLY ADDRESS: President Obama Announces New Initiatives for Retirement Savings: As we spend time with family and friends this Labor Day weekend, many of us will also be thinking about the state of working America. Yesterday, we received a report showing that job losses have slowed dramatically compared to just a few months ago. Earlier in the week, we learned that the manufacturing sector has posted its first gains in eighteen months, and that many of the banks that borrowed money at the height of the financial crisis are now returning it to taxpayers with interest.
    These are only the most recent signs that the economy is turning around, though these signs are little comfort to those who’ve experienced the pain of losing a job in the previous month, or in the previous two years of this recession. That’s why it is so important that we remain focused on speeding our economic recovery. Throughout America today, tens of thousands of recovery projects are underway, repairing our nation’s roads, bridges, ports and waterways; renovating schools; and developing renewable energy. We’re putting Americans back to work doing to the work America needs done – and mostly in private sector jobs…. – WH, 9-5-09
  • Obama hosts dinner for Islamic holy month: President Barack Obama on Tuesday praised American Muslims for enriching the nation’s culture at a dinner to celebrate the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
    “The contribution of Muslims to the United States are too long to catalog because Muslims are so interwoven into the fabric of our communities and our country,” Obama said at the iftar, the dinner that breaks the holiday’s daily fast…. – AP, 9-1-09
  • WEEKLY ADDRESS: President Obama Marks Fourth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina; Will Visit New Orleans Later This Year: This weekend marks the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of the Gulf Coast. As we remember all that was lost, we must take stock of the work being done on recovery, while preparing for future disasters. And that is what I want to speak with you about today.
    None of us can forget how we felt when those winds battered the shore, the floodwaters began to rise, and Americans were stranded on rooftops and in stadiums. Over a thousand people would lose their lives. Over a million people were displaced. Whole neighborhoods of a great American city were left in ruins. Communities across the Gulf Coast were forever changed. And many Americans questioned whether government could fulfill its responsibility to respond in a crisis, or contribute to a recovery that covered parts of four states…. – WH, 8-29-09

HISTORIANS & ANALYSTS’ COMMENTS

The President records the Weekly Address

  • Julian Zelizer “New rallying cry: ‘Win one for Teddy’ Dems look to unite pols on health care”: Julian Zelizer, a Princeton University political scientist, said Kennedy colleagues’ love for the departed senator isn’t going to be enough. “The reality is we saw in August a Congress that is very polarized, and the opposition is pretty set,” Zelizer said. “It’s hard to imagine they’d switch their vote because it’s called Kennedycare. That’s not the era we live in.” In an earlier era, the death of another Kennedy – President Kennedy – was invoked to pass long-stalled civil rights and Medicare legislation backed by the slain leader. But Zelizer said it was as much President Johnson’s legislative skill as Kennedy’s memory that got the bills passed. Besides, he said, in this case the sponsor died an old man. “It’s about the bill and not the name on the bill,” Zelizer said. – Boston Herald, 9-7-09
  • Julian Zelizer “Commentary: Did Obama underestimate his critics?”: One of the great puzzles this summer has been why President Obama seemed to have underestimated the intensity of the counter-mobilization he would face in proposing health care reform.
    Historically, each time an American president has sought to reform the health care system, opponents mounted a fierce and unrelenting attack to undermine public support…. CNN, 9-1-09
  • H.W. Brands: “As support fades, Obama attempts to reinvigorate agenda, Scholars say it’s time for Obama to step up leadership”: H.W. Brands , a University of Texas professor who was among a small group of historians who joined the president earlier this summer for a private dinner, said that much of what had happened to Obama this summer had been “entirely predictable.”
    “He sometimes sounds as if he’s still running a campaign. But once you get to be president, you’ve got to figure out who the bad guys are,” Brands said. “And you’ve got to convince Americans that the ones you think are the bad guys really are the bad guys.” – McClatchy Newspapers, 9-1-09
  • Harold Cox “As support fades, Obama attempts to reinvigorate agenda, Scholars say it’s time for Obama to step up leadership”: Harold Cox , a presidential scholar and archivist at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania, recalled how Ronald Reagan had great success in his first eight months, winning approval of a major tax cut and the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to the U.S. Supreme Court . When Congress returned in September, however, budget fights and a staggering economy made it hard for Reagan to control policy, and his approval numbers slipped.
    Bill Clinton suffered a similar fate in 1993 after he won approval of his massive deficit-reduction bill early in his term. Cox recalled how Clinton was distracted by the gays-in-the-military debate.
    Obama “needs to understand the glow can disappear awfully fast,” Cox said. “Even now, I’d say he’s got only a 50-50 chance at getting health care.” – McClatchy Newspapers, 9-1-09
  • Ross Baker “As support fades, Obama attempts to reinvigorate agenda, Scholars say it’s time for Obama to step up leadership”: “Unless a president lays down a very visible, strong marker, Congress tends to wander,” said Ross Baker, a professor of political science at Rutgers University.” Congress is historically a ship without a keel, and the president provides the keel. There comes a time when he has to step up and put his imprint on policy.” – McClatchy Newspapers, 9-1-09
  • Kennedy letter to pope sought support: Scholars examine message, meaning… – Boston Globe, 9-1-09
  • Julian Zelizer “Commentary: Ted Kennedy was a true believer”: …Americans suspect that a majority of politicians are willing to switch their position on any given day, depending on which way the political winds are blowing. Everyone, we sometimes fear, is a flip-flopper.
    This was certainly not the case with Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy. He was a refreshing presence in Washington for many Americans, even those on the right who hated the political ideas that he championed. Love him or hate him, as Walter Sobchak might say, at least Kennedy stood for something…. CNN, 8-27-09

History Buzz September 7, 2009: 9/11 8th Anniversary & Health Care Reform

HISTORY BUZZ:

POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS:

BIGGEST NEWS STORIES:

  • Betsy McCaughey: NYT says historian’s profile has risen sharply as a result of her involvement in Obama health care debate “Resurfacing, a Critic Stirs Up Debate Over Health Care” – NYT (9-4-09)
  • Betsy McCaughey Addresses New York Times: Charges of Falsehoods But No Evidence – Reuters, 9-5-09

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

IN THE NEWS:

OP-EDs & BLOGS:

REVIEWS & FIRST CHAPTERS:

  • Steven F. Hayward: Another One for the Gipper THE AGE OF REAGAN The Conservative Counterrevolution, 1980-1989 NYT, 9-6-09
  • Veronica Buckley: Undercover Queen THE SECRET WIFE OF LOUIS XIV Françoise d’Aubigné, Madame de Maintenon NYT, 9-6-09
  • Janet Soskice: Two of a Kind THE SISTERS OF SINAI How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Hidden Gospels NYT, 9-6-09
  • Fred Kaplan: Planting the Seeds of the Sixties: 1959 The Year Everything Changed WaPo, 9-4-09
  • Fred Kaplan: 1959 The Year Everything Changed, Excerpt – WaPo, 9-4-09
  • Norman Podhoretz: RELIGION Speaking in Generalities WHY ARE JEWS LIBERALS? WaPo, 9-4-09
  • Marina Belozerskaya: HISTORY Getting Attached to the Past TO WAKE THE DEAD A Renaissance Merchant and the Birth of Archaeology WaPo, 9-4-09
  • Edward M. Kennedy: Books of The Times Kennedy’s Rough Waters and Still Harbors TRUE COMPASS A Memoir NYT, 9-4-09
  • Kennedy Memoir Doesn’t Ignore Lows – NYT, 9-3-09
  • Sam Tanenhaus: History of conservatism shown in Tanenhaus new book – SF Gate (9-1-09)

PROFILED & FEATURED:

INTERVIEWED:

  • A conversation with Jill Lepore – Humanities (9-1-09)
  • Interview with Rodney Stark: The Crusades were “a justified war waged against Muslim terror and aggression” – http://www.medievalists.net (9-3-09)
  • Historians Helen Rappaport and Lisa Hilton: are women guilty of “feminising” their subject?
    BBC (Radio 4) (9-2-09)

HONORED, AWARDED &APPOINTED:

SPOTTED:

  • NASA historian Andrew Chaikin: “Space historian” talks up lunar exploration at the OMNIMAX Theater at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) – The Bee (9-2-09)

EVENTS CALENDAR:

  • Inaugural Semester-long seminar on Constitutional History offered at N-Y Historical Society this fall: Lincoln’s Constitution will be taught at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, on Thursday afternoons from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. The seminar will be held on September 17 and 24 and on October 1, 15, 22, and 29, 2009. NYHS Press Release (7-20-09)

ON TV:

  • BBC to launch new series on history of Christianity – Religious Intelligence, 6-19-09
  • C-SPAN2: BOOK TV Weekend Schedule
  • PBS History Detectives: Mondays at 9pm
  • History Channel: Weekly Schedule
  • History Channel: “Next Nostradamus” – Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Last Stand of The 300” – Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld: Maya Underground” – Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Nostradamus: 2012” – Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Next Nostradamus” – Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Decoding The Past: Mayan Doomsday Prophecy” – Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The World Trade Center: Rise and Fall of an American Icon” – Friday, September 11, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Countdown to Ground Zero” – Friday, September 11, 2009 at 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: Zero Hour: The Last Hour of Flight”” – Friday, September 11, 2009 at 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Day the Towers Fell” – Friday, September 11, 2009 at 7pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “102 Minutes that Changed America / Witness to 9/11” – Friday, September 11, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Crumbling of America” – Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Manson” – Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Templar Code” – Monday, September 14, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT

BEST SELLERS (NYT):

    NYT Non-Fiction Best Sellers List – September 13, 2009

  • #1 – Michelle Malkin: CULTURE OF CORRUPTION
  • #3 – Ronald Kessler: IN THE PRESIDENT’S SECRET SERVICE
  • #11 – J. Randy Taraborrelli: THE SECRET LIFE OF MARILYN MONROE
  • #16 – Douglas Brinkley: THE WILDERNESS WARRIOR
  • #17 – Peter S. Canellos: LAST LION
  • #20 – C. David Heymann: BOBBY AND JACKIE
  • #32 – Doug Stanton: HORSE SOLDIERS

COMING SOON BOOKS:

  • Jon Krakauer: Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman, September 15, 2009
  • Dean C. Jessee (Editor): The Joseph Smith Papers: Revelations and Translations, Volume 1: Manuscript Revelation Books, September 2009
  • James Patterson: The Murder of King Tut: The Plot to Kill the Child King – A Nonfiction Thriller, September 28, 2009
  • Timothy Egan: The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America, October 19, 2009
  • Gil Troy, Vincent J. Cannato, eds.: Living in the Eighties, October 23, 2009
  • L. Fletcher Prouty: JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, (Paperback), November 1, 2009
  • Edward Kritzler: Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean: How a Generation of Swashbuckling Jews Carved Out an Empire in the New World in Their Quest for Treasure, Religious Freedom–and Revenge, (Paperback), November 3, 2009
  • Anthony Haden-guest: Last Party: Studio 54, Disco, and the Culture of the Night (Paperback), December 8, 2009

DEPARTED:

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