Posts tagged Kennedy
Posts tagged Kennedy
She grew up in one of America’s most famous families, but Caroline Kennedy has always shunned the public life – until now.
This week, the only surviving child of John F. and Jackie Kennedy begins a quest to win the U.S. Senate to be vacated when Hillary Clinton joins Barack Obama’s cabinet. (Clinton’s replacement will be appointed by New York’s governor.)
Kennedy, 55, is married to New York designer Edwin Schlossberg. They have three children, Rose, 25, Tatiana, 23, and Jack, 20. She is a lawyer, author and fundraiser. But did you know she learned to talk while her dad was running for president, first uttering the words “plane,” “goodbye” and “New Hampshire”?
More facts about Kennedy:
• She has a tattoo
While on a trip to Hong Kong in the ’80s, Caroline and cousin Kara Kennedy were challenged by male family members – John F. Kennedy Jr. and Teddy Kennedy Jr. – to get inked, the New York Post reports. Kennedy flashed the resulting butterfly tattoo, on the inside of her right forearm, at this year’s Democratic National Convention in Denver.
• She inspired the song “Sweet Caroline”
Neil Diamond revealed that he wrote his 1969 hit “Sweet Caroline” in honor of the slain president’s daughter. “I’ve never discussed it with anybody before – intentionally,” Diamond told the Associated Press. “I thought maybe I would tell it to Caroline when I met her someday.” He did, when he performed the song for her live via satellite at Kennedy’s 50th birthday party.
• She volunteered as a school crossing guard
According to the New York Times, Kennedy, who persuaded wealthy New Yorkers to donate millions to the city’s schools, was not too proud to don a reflective vest and stand in traffic as a school crossing guard at her children’s own (private) school.
• She gets stage fright
Even with her pedigree, Caroline still has moments of self-doubt. In 1999, the year after her brother John’s death in a plane crash, social worker Rosa Pardo received an award from the Robin Hood Foundation, a favorite Kennedy charity. Caroline was at the ceremony on behalf of her brother and was sitting at the same table as Pardo, who told PEOPLE that Kennedy was as nervous as she was about standing up before the large crowd. “She’s a normal everyday person,” says Pardo.
• Her likeness is a hot collectible
Dozens of Caroline Kennedy items have shown up on eBay, including her books (In Our Defense and Right to Privacy), photos and dolls. The rarest? The Caroline Kennedy First Lady Dress-Up Book – a 1963 paper doll set featuring then 5-year-old Caroline in historic First Lady attire. Because of JFK’s assassination, the book was shelved just before its planned release. Only a few copies remain and are worth up to $900.
The youngest Kennedys steal the show: The crowd watches the speech of Max (19) and Chris Kennedy Jr (21) in Ireland.
Jack Schlossberg, with a look of his late uncle John John about him, has the easy Kennedy charm. Clearly comfortable in the public eye, he mingled easily with the crowds and the procession of women thrusting their daughters towards him for a photographic memento
Jack, Tatiana and Rose, children of Caroline, carry the family good looks and the legacy of history and tragedy in equal measure lightly upon their young shoulders.
Max Kennedy, Jr, son of Max Kennedy and grandson of Bobby, in Ireland
Caroline, the only surviving child of John and Jacqueline Kennedy, retraces the steps taken by her father 50 years ago, by visiting Ireland with her family.
MEDFORD, Mass. — JUNE 11, 1963, may not be a widely recognized date these days, but it might have been the single most important day in civil rights history.
That morning, Gov. George Wallace, in an effort to block the integration of the University of Alabama, made his futile “stand at the schoolhouse door.” That evening, Boston N.A.A.C.P. leaders engaged in their first public confrontation with Louise Day Hicks, the chairwoman of the Boston School Committee, over de facto public school segregation, beginning a decade-long struggle that would boil over into spectacular violence during the early 1970s. And just after midnight in Jackson, Miss., a white segregationist murdered the civil rights leader Medgar Evers.
But the most important event was one that almost didn’t happen: a hastily arranged speech that evening by President John F. Kennedy.
Kennedy had dabbled with the idea of going on TV should the Alabama crisis drag out, so when it ended, his staff assumed the plan was off. But that afternoon he surprised them by calling the three networks and personally requesting airtime at 8 p.m. He told his speechwriter Theodore Sorensen to start drafting the text, but shortly before he went on air the president was still editing it.
The president had been routinely criticized by black leaders for being timid on civil rights, and no one knew just what to expect when the cameras started filming.
Kennedy began slowly and in a matter-of-fact manner, with an announcement that the National Guard had peacefully enrolled two black students at the University of Alabama over Wallace’s vociferously racist objections.
But he quickly spun that news into a plea for national unity behind what he, for the first time, called a “moral issue.” It seems obvious today that civil rights should be spoken of in universal terms, but at the time many white Americans still saw it as a regional, largely political question. And yet here was the leader of the country, asking “every American, regardless of where he lives,” to “stop and examine his conscience.”
Then he went further. Speaking during the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation — an anniversary he had assiduously avoided commemorating, earlier that year — Kennedy eloquently linked the fate of African-American citizenship to the larger question of national identity and freedom. America, “for all its hopes and all its boasts,” observed Kennedy, “will not be fully free until all its citizens are free.”
Perhaps the most significant part of the speech came near the end, when Kennedy, borrowing directly from the movement’s rhetoric, recognized the civil rights struggle as part of a political and cultural revolution sweeping the land — again, an obvious point to anyone on the other side of the 1960s, but not to a white population still living in the stifling bliss of the Eisenhower era.
Kennedy not only reported the revolution, but invited Americans of all backgrounds to engage in the kind of civic activism that reflects the tough work of democracy. “A great change is at hand, and our task, our obligation, is to make that revolution, that change, peaceful and constructive for all.”
Nor was this just stirring rhetoric: Kennedy’s announcement that he would introduce comprehensive civil rights legislation and spur school desegregation beyond its frustratingly glacial pace gave teeth to his historic address.
Kennedy’s speech was almost immediately overshadowed by Evers’s murder. Two months later the March on Washington would further render it a forgotten artifact of the civil rights movement’s heroic period.
Still, the speech had real consequences. A little over a week later, Kennedy followed through on his promise to submit strong civil rights legislation to Congress, which he pushed aggressively until his assassination in November 1963.
Kennedy’s death made him a martyr for many causes, and in a cruel twist, it provided a huge boost to the civil rights bill, which his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, signed on July 2, 1964. But without the moral forcefulness of the June 11 speech, the bill might never have gone anywhere.
The speech also set the tone for how presidents should address civil rights. No longer could they dance around the issue, qualifying it as a strictly regional or legal or economic issue (though many would later try to do so). The power of the White House, and of the federal government, was on the side of the struggle.
And it continues to resonate today. Barack Obama’s March 2008 “race speech,” delivered amid the Jeremiah Wright controversy, has been rightfully applauded for its nuanced depiction of contemporary American race relations. And yet it must be read within the context of Kennedy’s address: both reflected and defined the tenor of race relations at a moment of great tension and change.
Kennedy’s words anticipated some of the key themes found in King’s soaring March on Washington address two months later. And that shared moral force, that commonality of thinking between the two speeches, is the most important reason to remember the president’s address, 50 years ago today: it reminds us of a forgotten moment of the civil rights era, when presidential leadership and grass-roots activism worked in creative tension to turn the narrative of civil rights from a regional issue into a national story promoting racial equality and democratic renewal.
(Source: The New York Times)
"He was a boy who grew into a man with a zest for life and a love of adventure. He was a pied piper who brought us all along. He had a legacy, and he learned to treasure it. He was part of a legend, and he learned to live with it."
By Aaron Pressman
BOSTON (Reuters) - Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffrds received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award on Sunday, asking the U.S Congress to act more courageously on the issue of gun control.
"We all have courage inside," Giffords, who herself survived being shot in 2011, said at the Kennedy Library in Boston. “I wish there was more courage in Congress. Sometimes it’s hard to express it.”
The remarks come just a few weeks after the U.S Senate voted down a measure to expandbackground checks for gun buyers, a step favored by U.S. President Barack Obama and most Americans.
An online Reuters/Ipsos poll released in January showed that 86 percent of those surveyed favored expanded background checks of all gun buyers.
Giffords, a Democrat, was shot in the head when a gunman opened fire on a congressional outreach event in Tucson in January 2011, killing six people and wounding a dozen others. She resigned from Congress a year after the shooting to focus on her recovery.
Following the attack in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 26 people at an elementary school in December, Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, founded a lobby group aimed at curbing gun violence and challenging the political clout of the well-funded gun lobby.
Before the awards ceremony on Sunday, Giffords and Kelly visited victims of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing who are recovering at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.
The award, named for President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Profiles in Courage,” was presented to Giffords by foundation president Caroline Kennedy.
Remembering Michael Kennedy (1958-1997)
In his memoir ‘True Compass’ Ted Kennedy mentioned a moment when he was sitting next to Bobby and Ethel’s fourth son in the car and when he looked to him the shadow just fell over his face and for one second he thought it was Bobby..
Young Bobby Kennedy
By Conor Kennedy: Clean oceans and clean energy advocate
Mark Zuckerberg has not yet issued any response to public criticism that his political action group, FWD.us, is funding advertisements supporting construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Gulf of Mexico. FWD.us, co-founded by Zuckerberg with additional donations from a host of his fellow Silicon Valley superstars, has right-wing and left-wing subsidiaries working on parallel tracks to pass bipartisan immigration legislation. Those subsidiaries run advertisements for vulnerable Republicans and Democrats pledged to support that legislation. The ads generally don’t mention immigration reform — which is politically unpopular among conservatives — and some of them include ringing endorsements for Big Oil’s pet projects including Keystone XL. While immigration reform is an important cause, many Americans, particularly those of my generation, are uneasy with a strategy that seems to advocate sacrificing our planet’s future as an iffy wager for the bill’s passage.
Mr. Zuckerberg — a hero to many young people — has in the past been eloquent in his support for transitioning from fossil fuels to knowledge-powered and New Energy economies.
Now that his financial ties to the pro tar sands advertisements are public knowledge, many of us who want a brighter, cleaner future for America and who admire his other accomplishments hope Mr. Zuckerberg will disassociate himself from their dubious content. There are already enough billionaires advocating for Keystone XL and Big Oil’s other criminal enterprises. Anti-Keystone XL activists have written a million letters to President Obama. We have appeared, 40,000 strong, to demonstrate against Keystone in Washington, D.C. and we have engaged in peaceful civil disobedience by the thousands in locales from Texas to the White House gate. It’s disheartening to see all the billionaires, including leaders of our own generation, lined up against us.
It’s our great and only hope that President Obama will listen to the voice of democracy and — acting as a trustee for the future generations —- kill the pipeline. He promised in his rousing inaugural address, to make the battle to save the planet from climate chaos the centerpiece of his second administration. The Keystone decision is one of the few climate change issues solely under his control. To plug Keystone, President Obama needn’t genuflect to a Congress awash in democracy polluting oil money. He can do it while sitting alone in the Oval Office. We worry that President Obama, instead, will simply count the fat cats and weigh their furor — or their indifference — rather than reading his mail.
If Mr. Zuckerberg favors or is genuinely ambivalent about Keystone, here are seven reasons why he should reconsider:
1) The Keystone XL Pipeline will never be safe. Tar sands oil, sometimes known as bitumen, causes corrosion and the industry has not figured out how to stop it from bursting even the most state-of-the-art pipelines such as the first Keystone pipeline that leaked over a dozen times in its first year of operation. On March 31, an Exxon pipe carrying 95,000 barrels per day of Alberta tar sands oil from Illinois to Texas refineries burst and flooded a Mayflower, Arkansas, suburb beneath a river of heavy crude and lighter diluents, added by oil companies to move the gelatinous bitumen through the pipe. Arkansas taxpayers were shocked to learn that thanks to a loophole artfully created by the industry’s political allies, they — not the oil kingpins — will have to pay for much of the cleanup.
That same week, a Canadian company spilled 30,000 gallons of Alberta crude in Minnesota. In 2010, an Exxon pipeline in Michigan spewed a million gallons of Alberta dilbit into the Kalamazoo River, causing the worst and most expensive pipeline oil spill in U.S. history. Experts are still wondering how to restore the Kalamazoo. Clean-up crews who commonly use floating booms to remediate aquatic oil spills learned that tar sands oil doesn’t float! Instead, the toxic tar sands sludge permeated and sealed the Kalamazoo River bottom ravaging the foundation of its aquatic ecosystem.
In fact, even oil and gas companies shipping conventional oil, experience thousands of oil spills each year. In June, an Exxon pipe that runs parallel to the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline burst, spilled upwards of 42,000 barrels, at a crossing on the iconic Yellowstone River killing life in that blue ribbon trout fishery and national treasure for 25 miles.
Given the industry’s abysmal record, it’s safe to say that Keystone XL will experience a major spill and, due to its planned route, that spill will almost certainly contaminate the Ogallala aquifer, the sole water supply for millions of middle state Americans as well as the breadbasket of American agriculture and the ranching industry in seven states.
2) Keystone XL will not create significant American jobs. According to the State Department’s study, Keystone will provide only 35 full time jobs following the construction period. We could more beneficially create permanent jobs by incentivizing solar and wind development. Even with the current anemic federal incentives, solar and wind companies are creating each year, more new generation capacity than all the incumbents (oil, gas, coal and nuke) combined. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are already 93,000 jobs in solar and 85,000 in wind, and those numbers are growing exponentially.
3) Keystone XL will neither improve energy security nor lower gasoline prices.Virtually all of Keystone’s Alberta tar sands oil is destined for overseas markets. Canadian and mostly non-U.S. owned oil services companies, the Koch Brothers, and Asian plutocrats will profit from the pipeline but there will be little value to the U.S. in terms of security or lower oil prices. In fact, U.S. oil prices will actually increase as the result of Keystone as that pipeline relieves the current glut of the landlocked tar sands in the US Midwest and Canada. Top economist Philip Verleger estimates that the average cost of American gasoline could actually rise upward of 5¢-10¢ per gallon if Keystone is constructed. The Pipeline will therefore hurt the U.S. economy, not help it.
4) If we kill Keystone, the oil companies will not build a pipeline elsewhere in Canada. Contrary to what the oil industry claims, alternative pipelines elsewhere in Canada are not moving forward. Resistance among Canadians in British Columbia, especially salmon-dependent First Nations, is even greater than here in the United States.
5) Without Keystone, the oil companies cannot simply haul their tar sands out of Alberta by rail and truck. The $7 billion Keystone pipeline will transport 1.1 million barrels each day — far more than could be transported economically by rail and truck traffic. If we stop Keystone, we lock most of this carbon underground.
6) We don’t need oil-based fossil fuels while we ramp up clean energy alternatives.Renewables like solar and wind are proven and market-ready technologies. Their widespread deployment is only being impeded by multibillion dollar annual subsidies to oil, coal and gas. And a mixture of fuel efficiency standards, transit, smart growth and alternative fuels has U.S. use of oil on a downward slope. In any case, the Keystone XL Pipeline is not a stop-gap measure. Instead the pipeline will entrench our use of fossil fuels for generations.
7) Keystone XL will have a catastrophic impact on climate change. The amount of carbon in the tar sands is equivalent to all the carbon in all the oil ever removed from Saudi Arabia. Burning the vast oceans of oil beneath Saudi Arabia has gotten us where we are today; ice caps melting, glaciers retreating on every continent, water supplies drying up, continent wide droughts disrupting agriculture and global food supplies, acidified oceans and rising sea levels, and climate chaos flooding our greatest cities. According to a new study published last week by Oil Change International, "Cooking the Books: How the State Department Analysis Ignores the True Climate Impact of the Keystone XL Pipeline,” the pipeline will emit 181 million tons of carbon every year — the equivalent of 37.7 million cars or 51 new coal plants. There are 561 tons of carbon locked in Alberta’s tar sands, more than twice the amount, according to former Goddard scientist James Hansen, than all the oil and combustion have released in the history of mankind. We can double that sum by burning Alberta’s tar sands, but what genocidal politician or oilman, would want to do that to future generations? We could better solve our energy problems by scuttling the pipeline, cutting incentives to big oil, and leveling the playing field to let the cleaner, cheaper technology prevail in the free market.
Americans who want to stop Keystone XL Pipeline may outnumber those who favor the pipeline but we will never out-money them — particularly when Mr. Zuckerberg and his legions of 21st century technology moguls take the side of Big Oil’s 19th century robber barons. Without some disavowed, young clean energy advocates who regard Mr. Zuckerberg as an iconic leader of our generation are apt to view his investment in the opposition to be not only disheartening, but treacherous.
(Source: The Huffington Post)
To the most graceful, compassionate and fun-loving 85-year-old I know… happy birthday Grandma!
Caroline Kennedy enjoys a relaxing beach holiday with her family in St. Barts just weeks before her expected announcement as a U.S. ambassador in Japan.
(Source: Daily Mail)
He recalls sitting around the dinner table at his grandmother’s house listening to his aunts and uncles and older cousins debate the issues of the day. At the age of eight, he “pretty much watched”, he says. “It was one of those valuable experiences for me to listen and observe.” This would be the average experience for any child growing up in a large family. But when the family is that great American political dynasty, the Kennedys, and around the dinner table are the many children and grandchildren of the late Robert F. Kennedy, it makes the act of speaking up by one of the youngest members of the family that bit more daunting.
The exposure to these wide-ranging debates clearly rubbed off on the young Joseph P. Kennedy III, the grandson of Bobby; he is the only member of the Kennedy clan currently holding political office in the United States. “You saw how passionate people were, that even in the midst of the same family you could have a spirited debate about various issues,” Kennedy, sitting in his congressional office on Capitol Hill in Washington, says of those regular family dinners.
“We have got a big family and people were going off all over the country, all around the world doing different things. No one is shy. They all had the courage to be able to stand up and speak their minds.”
Kennedy was elected to the House of Representatives for Massachusetts ’ fourth congressional district last November, winning an impressive 61 per cent of the vote against Republican nominee Sean Bielat.
The self-effacing and intelligent 32-year-old is the son of Sheila Rauch and Joseph P Kennedy II, the second of Bobby and Ethel Kennedy’s children and himself a Democratic congressman from 1987 to 1999. Joseph P Kennedy III and his twin brother, Matt, have been immersed in politics from an early age. They were born in October 1980, around the time when his father was working on the presidential campaign of then US senator Ted Kennedy. Some of his earliest memories were of the campaign trail when his father first ran for Congress. He and his brother were six years old and enjoyed playing with campaign confetti at rallies.
“I have snapshots of that very first campaign. There are still some photographs up in my dad’s house. Both my brother and I got married last year so there were rather embarrassing photographs of us at various campaign events when we were yay tall,” he says, holding up a hand.
The freshman congressman, just two months in elected office, is deeply proud of his family’s long-standing service to public life in Massachusetts and the US. He understands the weight of the family name he carries in political office but equally he wants to plough his own furrow.
Kennedy ran an aggressive campaign last year, wearing out shoe leather meeting voters in a district spanning Brookline near Boston in the north to the southern Massachusetts coast. He says he wanted constituents to “come out and kick the tyres” – to meet him and to understand first hand his policies and values.
“It was extraordinarily important for me to give people that opportunity so they understand who they are voting for and supporting,” he says.
“I am extraordinarily proud of my family but it is important for people to know the real me and not just what they might think of when they think of various members of my family.”
Polite, eloquent and considered, Kennedy speaks with great authority and bears a striking resemblance to his grandfather. He has been busy working at his desk, despite wearing a heavily supportive sling on his right arm – the result of treatment to fix an old sporting injury. He played lacrosse while studying at Stanford University in California. A teetotal, his teammates nicknamed him “The Milkman” after one party when he matched every beer his friends drank with a glass of milk.
Kennedy studied management science and engineering at Stanford. After graduating he worked in the peace corps (founded by his great-uncle, then US president John F Kennedy, in 1961) in the Dominican Republic and East Timor. It was in East Timor that he came across Tom Hyland, the former Dublin Busdriver from Ballyfermot who became a campaigner for Asia’s poorest country – “an incredible guy”, says Kennedy.
After years of travelling, Kennedy wanted to be closer to home so he enrolled in Harvard Law School and later worked as an intern for a Republican district attorney before taking a full-time job as a prosecutor. Prosecuting cases made Kennedy look differently at every file on his desk, each one being “somebody’s life”, he says. He saw them as problems to solve rather than “another person to prosecute”, and that brought him into policy discussions about what could have been done earlier to help the person being charged. “It starts to get you looking further upstream to what caused that crime to be committed.”
In his new job, one of the biggest challenges facing Congress is the long-overdue reform of immigration laws to tackle the US’s 11 million illegal immigrants – the so-called “undocumented” of which there are thousands of Irish, including many in Kennedy’s congressional district in Massachusetts.
Kennedy’s great-uncle Ted tried and failed to push through an immigration Bill with Republican senator John McCain in 2006. But Kennedy believes there is a strong likelihood of legislation passing this time as momentum builds around broad principles on tightening border control, a pathway to citizenship, and simplifying the legal route to a visa to attract job-creating talent to the US.
“We need to get this done now. Not only do I believe it is the right thing to do morally, it is the right thing to do economically. It is the right policy decision. We have got an immigration system that I quite simply believe is broken.”
Another hot political topic is US president Barack Obama’s plans to overhaul gun ownership laws, including a ban on military-style assault weapons. Kennedy unsurprisingly supports the pressure the president is exerting on Congress to vote on the White House’s proposals; his family has experienced its own share of gun violence
“My family, yes, has a personal history with this; far too many other families have as well. I think this is something the president said very eloquently – they deserve a vote,” says Kennedy.
Passing laws through Congress is difficult when a Democratic president is continuously clashing with a House of Representatives led by Republicans, particularly over divisive budgetary issues. For a new Democratic congressman in a Republican-controlled chamber, Kennedy admits this can be “frustrating”.
“There is a party in charge here that largely wants smaller government … so fewer days in session and less legislation passed isn’t necessarily a defeat for them – that is in fact what they are looking for,” he says.
Kennedy believes government “can be a source for good” and that Congress has to “start taking on some of these problems in a real and big way”.
One of the few occasions when Democrats and Republicans put aside their differences is St Patrick’s Day. This year, Republican House speaker John Boehner will host the traditional Irish-American lunch on Capitol Hill for the Taoiseach, his visiting party and members of Congress.
Kennedy is not sure whether the congeniality that gets a small country access to the corridors of power in Washington is unique to Ireland, but it is very powerful, he says, and something he values.
“People like to be around folks who are friendly, jovial, who like to laugh and have a joke and enjoy themselves. That’s one of the great things whenever you see the St Paddy’s Day up in Boston and around the country. It is a time of joy, a time of reflection, a time of friends coming together, a time of enjoying each other’s company.”
Kennedy’s Irish heritage is “extremely important” to him, he says, acknowledging the service of his great-aunt Jean Kennedy Smith as US ambassador to Ireland, the role Ted Kennedy played in the Northern Irish peace process, and his father’s commitment to Ireland while serving in Congress. He visited Dublin a year and a half ago and is “trying to find a way back this summer”.
“The roots are so deep and, for so many members of my family, despite the fact that we might be gone a while, it is still considered by so many of us a home away from home and looked on very fondly.”
Two other prominent Irish-Americans in US politics, congressmen Stephen Lynch and Ed Markey, are fighting it out to be on the Democratic ticket in the June election for the Massachusetts Senate seat vacated by former presidential nominee John Kerry after Obama installed him as secretary of state.
Kennedy declines to say which of his congressional colleagues he will be backing. “Both of them are extraordinarily impressive individuals who will serve Massachusetts really well in the Senate or Congress,” he says.
And would this be a seat he would have an eye on in the future? “My friend, the only seat I have an eye on is the one I am sitting in right now,” he says, flashing that famous Kennedy smile