Archive for the ‘news’ Category

Palin to Couric: ‘Game On’

In Global News, news, Sarah Palin on April 1, 2012 at 2:46 am

When news broke that Katie Couric will be filling in for Robin Roberts next week on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the country yawned. Or, at least we did, until we learned that NBC plans to pit “The Rogue Warrior” against “The Perky One”: Sarah Palin will be guest-hosting “Today” this Tuesday.

NBC’s decision to seat the former Alaska Governor-turned-multimedia star in their anchor chair will likely prove to be a fruitful one. Since coming onto the national scene in 2008, Palin has become one of the most charismatic figures in conservative America and will likely bring “Today” an entirely different demographic of viewers.

“I see this as a good opportunity to bring an independent, common-sense conservative perspective to NBC. We’re ‘going rogue’ and infiltrating some turf for a day,” Palin told Breitbart News.

Palin and Couric will be squaring off, in a sense, for the first time since their controversial interview on the 2008 campaign trail.

When Breitbart News asked for a comment about the fact that she will be competing with Couric, Gov. Palin responded simply: “Game on.”


Courtesy of


Bill Clinton endorses Emanuel, fires back at critics

In Bill Clinton, news on January 19, 2011 at 12:09 am

Former President Bill Clinton appears at a rally for Chicago mayoral candidate and former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011, in Chicago. Emanuel is vying to succeed the retiring Mayor Richard Daley. The election is Feb. 22. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Former President Bill Clinton endorsed Rahm Emanuel for Chicago mayor today and chastised critics who have sought to label the mayoral contender an outsider from Washington.

“We all knew where his heart was,” Clinton said of Emanuel’s love for Chicago while serving his presidential administration. “But we were glad to have his mind.”

Clinton recounted how he first met Emanuel while running for the White House and later tapped him to serve in a top strategic policy role. The former president called Emanuel “fearlessly honest” while acknowledging the candidate sometimes uses “extremely colorful language.” He credited Emanuel’s “skill set and values and sheer raw energy and determination and love” for the jobs he was assigned.

Speaking for nearly 20 minutes at the Chicago Cultural Center following a $250,000 closed-door fundraiser, Clinton said Chicago was “critical” to the nation’s future and needs “a big person for the job” of mayor.

“Rahm is not even 6-feet tall. He probably weighs about 150 pounds dripping wet. But in all the ways that are important, he is a very big person,” Clinton said. “He has made big decisions.”

Emanuel called Clinton a “teacher” and a “mentor” and credited the former president for instilling the values that led him to run for Congress as well as for mayor.

“I could not ask for a better role model than you,” he told Clinton and said he would “bring that same determination and grit” he displayed in the Clinton White House to the problems confronting the city.

“The challenge of change requires determination, strength, vision and courage,” Emanuel said. “Chicago is big enough, tough enough, strong enough and resilient enough to meet the challenge of change head on.”

Clinton’s endorsement was not without controversy. U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., a former mayoral candidate, had contended Clinton risked jeopardizing his standing with the African-American community by endorsing Emanuel. Prior to Clinton’s appearance, Emanuel aides used the rally stage to feature various supporters who are African-American.

When Emanuel left the White House, Clinton appointed him to the board of Freddie Mac. Emanuel’s position on the board has been highlighted by other mayoral candidates, including Gery Chico and Miguel del Valle. In an attempt to distract from the star power Emanuel has been able to draw, both held news conferences an hour before Clinton is scheduled to arrive.

Chico accused Emanuel of failing a character test for not speaking out about unscrupulous accounting practices at mortgage giant Freddie Mac, where Emanuel was appointed to the board of directors by then-President Clinton in 2000.

Quoting repeatedly from a 2009 Tribune article about Emanuel’s time at Freddie Mac, Chico said company executives told the board about a plan to mislead shareholders about the profits the government-chartered company was then reaping from risky investments.

“Running for public office is about having the guts to do what’s right,” Chico said at his downtown campaign headquarters. “One of my opponents, Rahm Emanuel, likes to talk about ‘hard truths’ and ‘cleaning up City Hall.’ He even made an ad about it. But the question to be asked is, ‘Is Rahm Emanuel himself willing to tell the hard truths?'”

“It’s about character, about who will do what at the time, when something like this is presented to you,” Chico added. “And when it was presented to Rahm Emanuel, he chose to look the other way, sat on his hands, took the corporate fees and the stock options, and went away.”

Emanuel spokesman Ben LaBolt offered a response to Chico’s comments.

“Rahm didn’t sit on the audit committee and isn’t named in any of the reports on the matter. Again Mr Chico knows this isn’t credible,” LaBolt wrote in an e-mail.

Emanuel made at least $320,000 for his 14-month stint on the Freddie Mac board, the Tribune reported.


Secretary Clinton to Celebrate International Women’s Day With Events in Washington, D.C. on March 10th

In Global News, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, United States, Women's Day on February 25, 2010 at 11:58 pm

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 24, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will celebrate International Women’s Day with two events on March 10th in Washington, D.C. During the day, Secretary Clinton will host the annual International Women of Courage Awards at the Department of State. In the evening, Secretary Clinton will present an award at the ninth annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards at the Kennedy Center. Information on additional events in recognition of International Women’s Day will be forthcoming.

Secretary Clinton will host the annual International Women of Courage Awards on March 10th at the Department of State. Then-Secretary Condoleezza Rice established the annual International Women of Courage Award in March of 2007 to recognize women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights. This is the only award within the Department of State that pays tribute to outstanding women leaders worldwide. It recognizes the courage and leadership shown as they struggle for social justice and equal rights.

The International Women of Courage Awards will be open to the press. Additional details will be forthcoming.

Secretary Clinton will present an award at the ninth annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards on March 10th at 6:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center. Secretary Clinton founded the Vital Voices Global Partnership, a leading international NGOs dedicated to supporting emerging women leaders, after the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing to promote the advancement of women as a U.S. foreign policy goal. This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the Beijing UN World Conference on Women.

Secretary Clinton will present the Global Trailblazer Award to Melinda Gates of the Gates Foundation. Other presenters include Vital Voices Honorary Co-Chair Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, Avon Global Ambassador Reese Witherspoon, Avon Chairman and CEO Andrea Jung, NPR’s Michele Norris, New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof, CNBC’s Suze Orman, Academy Award-winning Actress Sally Field, Artist Angelique Kudjo, Businesswoman Shelia Johnson, Vital Voices Chair Susan Davis, Vital Voices Vice Chair Bobbie Greene McCarthy and Vital Voices CEO Alyse Nelson.

Please excuse my absence. I have been slowly recovering from an almost fatal bout with pneumonia… thank you for your patience.. 🙂

This Just In: Australia setting the example to Muslims…

In news, Politics, Sharia Law, United States on November 17, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – Australia

Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks..

Separately, Rudd angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation’s mosques. Quote:

‘IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians. ‘

‘This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom’

‘We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society . Learn the language!’

‘Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.’

‘We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.’

‘This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, ‘THE RIGHT TO LEAVE’.’

‘If you aren’t happy here then LEAVE. We didn’t force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.’

US * RUSSIA Alliance- A Good Thing!

In Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, Nuclear Weapons, Putin, Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, United States on October 13, 2009 at 11:58 am

Gore Vidal: Obama ‘Dreadful’ as President

In Global News, Gore Vidal, news, Secretart of State Hillary Clinton, United States on September 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm


Gore Vidal, American literary giant and Democrat insider, is publicly declaring he made a mistake in switching his support during the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama.

I was hopeful,” Vidal says of an Obama presidency. “He was the most intelligent person we’ve had in that position for a long time.” Now, Vidal says in an interview published in the British paper, The Times, he was wrong and Obama is performing “dreadfully” as president.

Vidal says criticisms of Obama are mostly about his Afghanistan policies, which he says show the president is “inexperienced.” He says Obama “has a total inability to understand military matters. He’s acting as if Afghanistan is the magic talisman: solve that and you solve terrorism.”

In his view, the United States should retreat from Afghanistan, and he believes Obama is getting bad military advice because “he believes the generals. Even Bush knew the way to win a general was to give him another star.”

In contrast, he thinks Hillary Clinton would handle military matters better because she is a woman. “Hillary knows more about the world and what to do with the generals,” Vidal
tells The Times. “History has proven when the girls get involved, they’re good at it.

Vidal says terrorism is a government-created fraud.
The “war on terror” was “made up,” he says. “The whole thing was PR, just like ‘weapons of mass destruction.'”

Citing his father Gene Vidal, who founded TWA Airlines, he says of the war on terror: “It has wrecked the airline business, which my father founded in the 1930s. He’d be cutting his wrists. Now when you fly you’re both scared to death and bored to death, a most disagreeable combination.”

On health care reform, Vidal says that Obama mishandled the issue. “I don’t know how, because the country wanted it. We’ll never see it happen.”

Vidal tells The Times he regrets moving back to Hollywood, after years of living in Italy. He says the United States has “no intellectual class” and is “rotting away at a funereal pace. We’ll have a military dictatorship fairly soon, on the basis that nobody else can hold everything together.”

In general, he thinks that the White House is failing because “Obama would have been better off focusing on educating the American people. His problem is being over-educated. He doesn’t realize how dim-witted and ignorant his audience is.

He says that another of Obama’s mistakes is that he “believes the Republican Party is a party when in fact it’s a mindset, like Hitler Youth, based on hatred — religious hatred, racial hatred. When you foreigners hear the word ‘conservative,’ you think of kindly old men hunting foxes. They’re not — they’re fascists.”

In giving advice to President Obama, Vidal cites President Lincoln, who “wrote to one of his generals in the South after the Civil War” ‘I am President of the United States. I have full overall power and never forget it, because I will exercise it.’ That’s what Obama needs — a bit of Lincoln’s

At 83 and in a wheelchair, Vidal’s bitterness seems to stem from his own unfulfilled political ambitions. “I would have liked to have been president, but I never had the money. I was a friend of the throne. The only time I envied Jack [Kennedy] was when Joe [Kennedy, his father] was buying him his Senate seat, then the presidency. He didn’t know how lucky he was.

A few excerpts from the Times Online:

“America should leave Afghanistan, Vidal said. “We’ve failed in every other aspect of our effort of conquering the Middle East or whatever you want to call it.” Vidal, a friend of President John F. Kennedy, became an Obama backer because he “grew up in a black city” (Washington) and was impressed by Obama’s intelligence.

On Mr Obama’s plan to reform healthcare, he said: “He f***** it up. I don’t know how, because the country wanted it. We’ll never see it happen.”

Vidal added: “He loves quoting Lincoln and there’s a great Lincoln quote from a letter he wrote to one of his generals in the South after the Civil War. ’I am President of the United States. I have full overall power and never forget it, because I will exercise it’. That’s what Obama needs – a bit of Lincoln’s chill.” He also predicted Obama may be assassinated: “Just one lone gunman lurking in the shadows of the capital.”

If you missed Hillary on FACE the NATION- video here

In Face the Nation, news, Politics, Secretart of State Hillary Clinton, United States on September 28, 2009 at 8:50 am

Video of Hillary at Four Freedoms Awards (in it’s entirety in Eng)

In Four Freedoms Awards, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news on September 14, 2009 at 7:14 pm

(ht/Videos courtesy of our friends at

Submit a Question to BILL CLINTON:

In Global News, Health Care, Human Rights, news on September 13, 2009 at 9:33 am

Now-now, be thoughtful and polite and maybe your question will be chosen.

Hillary’s remarks Upon Receipt of the Roosevelt Institutes’s Four Freedoms Award

In Award, news, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on September 12, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Hillary’s remarks Upon Receipt of the Roosevelt Institutes’s Four Freedoms Award

at the Roosevelt Institute’s Four Freedoms Medals Gala Dinner

Hillary new

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
New York City
September 11, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you so very much. Oh, what an evening and what inspiration I certainly have derived from the stories and the words of our four honorees. I am deeply grateful for that very kind introduction, Dick. I thank everyone associated with the Institute, particularly Anne Roosevelt, who has been a friend for a number of years. I am also pleased that my successor and friend, Senator Gillibrand is here somewhere in the ballroom, along with another wonderful friend and colleague, Representative Jerry Nadler. And it is only fitting that we would be graced by the presence not only of their Royal Highnesses, but also of my colleague, the foreign minister, and so many friends and supporters of the Institute and the work that it has done during this special week where we celebrate 400 years of our relationship with the Netherlands.

So this is, by all accounts, an extraordinary moment, and especially for this event to be held at the end of a long and emotional day for our city, our state, and our country. But I often believe that it is moments like this that are not only, as Dick said, about yesterdays, but about tomorrows. And Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were all about tomorrows. They embodied American leadership at its best. The exemplified the true partnership that they brought to our nation’s challenges. They, in effect, demonstrated the real power of principle being a driving force for change and challenge. They mobilized the might of our nation at a time when their leadership and understanding was especially needed. And it is a great honor, and I am deeply touched to receive this Four Freedoms Medal.

I am an admirer, I think as we all are, of both of these great Americans. As some of you might remember, I used to have imaginary conversations with Eleanor. (Laughter.) And she gave me a lot of really good advice. (Laughter.) I often remarked about how there was nothing I did as First Lady that Eleanor had not already done. I would go to a place in New York or a place in India, and be greeted by some excited person saying, “Oh, we haven’t had a First Lady here since Eleanor Roosevelt.” I discovered that she had blazed trails that were not only unique for her time, but really stood the test of time. But when she visited, it was not just a simple drop-in. She would listen, she would learn, she would bring that information back to her husband, and she would continue to push for the kinds of changes that were absolutely necessary.

And of course, President Roosevelt and the Four Freedoms speech and the declaration, the real call to action that what he said still resonates through the years, shaped much of the work that Eleanor did on her own as she chaired the drafting committee for the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that enshrines the Four Freedoms in its preamble. So when leaders from around the world gather for the UN’s General Assembly in about ten days, we will do so in part as inheritors of her work and wisdom.

I think that so much that President Roosevelt said and did during another challenging time in American history stands very large today. Looking at what was done with economic and other difficulties here at home, the rallying of a nation to continue to believe in itself, the optimism that marked everything he did, and the vision that he articulated that helped Americans transcend their personal problems and the troubles of a nation provided a lodestar for every succeeding generation as to how to move forward in the face of adversity.

We bear that responsibility today. And we are called to respond as courageously, as he and his generation did. We therefore should ask ourselves now, as you’ve heard from our four honorees, just what the Four Freedoms mean. Times have changed. Circumstances have certainly altered. But the fundamental truth of the Four Freedoms stands as a stark reminder of what is expected of us. So that even though the circumstances may be different, our response and how we are guided in acting remains the same.

Freedom of expression, for example, is no longer just defined by whether citizens can go to the town square, or the town hall, and criticize their government without fear of retribution. Advances in technology, from email and blogs to Twitter and text messaging, have opened up new forums for exercising free speech, and created new targets for those who would suppress the open exchange of knowledge and ideas.

Often, as we deal with these problems in the State Department now, we see that human rights defenders, civil society advocates, bloggers, and journalists are now being targeted for harassment and prosecution, even murder.

We see the continuing imprisonment of Aung San Suu Kyi, the recipient in absentia of the Freedom from Fear Award in 2006. We see the murders of journalists in Russia who are trying to expose the truth of criminal activity and governmental misconduct. We see Iran using arbitrary arrests to detain nearly 4,000 people for voicing or reporting complaints about the conduct of recent elections. And then we see the consequences of what happens in Venezuela or China, or elsewhere, when people believe that they are just exercising the universal right to speak and be heard.

Just weeks ago, an award-winning journalist and human rights activist was abducted and shot to death while investigating human rights violations in Chechnya. And while I welcome Russian President Medvedev’s pledge to foster independent media, actions speak louder than words. Dozens of journalists have been killed in Russia in the last decade. Most of the murders are unsolved. Those responsible for such crimes should be brought to justice. And we in the United States have to stand firmly on the side of those who speak out. (Applause.)

We will continue to form partnerships with those who share our values, like the Government of the Netherlands. On Monday, the United States will take its place as a returning member of the UN Human Rights Council. When I made the decision that we would rejoin the Human Rights Council – (applause) – there were those who questioned that. How can you be part of something that is so contrary to the values that we espouse, that we wish to uphold, not only here at home but around the world? Well, we are going in to the arena. One of our priorities will be upholding universal standards for freedom of expression as we combat intolerance and discrimination everywhere it rears it head. (Applause.)

And we are reinvigorating the Global Internet Freedom Task Force as a forum for addressing challenges to internet freedom around the world, and we are urging United States media companies to take a proactive role in challenging foreign governments’ demands for censorship and surveillance of their citizens. (Applause.)

President Obama and I are committed to defending the Freedom of Expression on the new terrain of the 21st century so that, someday, people everywhere will have unencumbered access to the flow of information and the tools of expression – tools which are more abundant and more powerful today than at any time in history.

Similarly, we wish to stand firmly on the side of the freedom of religion. As President Obama noted in his historic speech in Cairo, faith should bring us together. That’s why we have welcomed international efforts such as Turkey and Spain’s leadership in the Alliance of Civilizations. It’s one of the reasons that on my first trip as Secretary of State I visited Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim country and a secular democracy. It’s why we are encouraging people of different religions to come together not only in dialogue, but in service. In projects ranging from Malaria prevention in Africa to disaster assistance in South Asia, we are laying a foundation for good works – and good relations – among the world’s religious communities.

Learning to respect the faith of our neighbors should be the price of admission into the 21st century. Now, in some cases, threats to religious freedom come from authoritarian regimes. Some Eritreans have been imprisoned in shipping containers for seeking to practice their non-violent beliefs. In others cases, bias and discrimination by majorities toward minority faiths or hateful ideologies can threaten the freedom of belief. So we must speak out forcefully against these wrongs wherever they exist.

Now, some claim that the United Nations can best protect the freedom of religion by adopting what is called an “anti-defamation” policy that would restrict the freedom of expression and the freedom of religion. I, obviously, strongly disagree. An individual’s ability to practice their religion should have no bearing on others individuals’ freedom of speech. The protection of speech about religion is particularly important since persons of different faiths will inevitably hold divergent views on religious questions. And these differences should be met with tolerance, not suppression of discourse. And the United States will stand against the idea of defamation of religion in the United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Council. (Applause.)

Even in a century of unprecedented plenty, Roosevelt’s third freedom – the freedom from want – is elusive for millions of families in our own country, and tens and tens of millions around the world. This freedom must be central to our foreign policy. We advance our own security, prosperity, and values when we work to improve the material conditions of people everywhere. Our development efforts provide a platform for collaboration with new partners, not only with other governments but with the private sector, the not-for-profit sector, with citizen groups and civil society. And we have a lot of work to do to address hunger, climate change, and disease.

President Obama and I are committed to elevating and integrating development as a core component of our global agenda. We have to produce results for people. People have to believe that moving away from extremism, moving toward democracy, moving toward more openness in their societies, will put food on the table, and will provide education for their children and healthcare in their time of need.

Because many people suffer in unspeakable conditions without the basic necessities of life, the President asked me to lead a whole-of-government effort to tackle hunger, poverty and under-nutrition by encouraging agricultural-led growth. We are working toward new solutions that can improve agricultural productivity, expand markets, and deliver millions from hunger and undernourishment that stalk the world’s poor.

Central to this challenge, like so many others, will be our campaign to achieve equal opportunities for women, who are the key drivers of economic growth and social stability in every successful country in the world. Societies where women are accorded their rights and provided with opportunities for basic services – education, health, gainful employment – make progress and expand prosperity. (Applause.) In nations where these rights are denied, stagnation, decay, and corruption are often the rule.

Now, in order to address the challenges, we are focusing on women, as you heard Dick say. It has been, of course, a longstanding passion and commitment of mine, but it is also the smart approach for our foreign policy. So we are training women entrepreneurs through an initiative in Latin America, and we’re supporting micro-credit lending in Africa and Asia, and we’re helping women gain access to global financial and trade networks.

Freedom from want has to be a particular commitment that really engages our citizens. There are so many ways each and every one of us can make a contribution.

And finally, freedom from fear, which was the most immediate concern to President Roosevelt’s audience in 1941. As the war ravaging Europe edged closer to the United States, fear returned as a tangible feature and led to such regrettable decisions as the internment of Japanese in our country.

Today, of all days, we are reminded that our citizenship and residence on this continent do not grant us immunity from the vagaries of history. But rather than becoming prisoners of fear, we know that we can rise to the challenge if we stay true to ourselves. We can think about how President Roosevelt would have summoned us to really follow our better selves as we took on an enemy that showed no respect, no conscience, no humanity.

Even as FDR exhorted the American people in his time to escalate weapons production, he envisioned a post-war world of greatly reduced armaments where international peace would rest on a foundation of freedom. And President Obama shares that vision. We are committed to working with concerned nations throughout the international community to reverse the spread of nuclear weapons and to do much more to prevent their use. (Applause.) We are acting in concert with countries to isolate and defeat violent extremists. And we are working within the international community for the resolution of deadly conflicts that hold millions in fear and misery. And I want especially to thank the Government of the Netherlands for their stalwart partnership and for their alliance with us in Afghanistan, where American and Dutch soldiers fight side-by-side and even die side-by-side.

Violence and conflicts often exact a disproportionate toll on women and children. I saw that recently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I’ve seen it in my travels across the world. But meeting with survivors of rape, which is now used increasingly as a tool of war, was shattering. The atrocities described to me distill evil to its basest form. And the United States and our partners throughout the world will not just condemn these attacks and all those who commit them and abet them, but work harder to try to find ways to prevent them. It’s why I thank the foreign minister and the Government of the Netherlands for coming up with the idea of having a forum about how to prevent violence against girls and women that we will be co-sponsoring during the UN General Assembly. (Applause.)

These are crimes against humanity. They don’t just harm a single individual, or a single family, or village or group. They shred the fabric that weaves us together as human beings. This criminal outrage against women must be stopped. And we are going to – your government is going to be providing more funding for medical care and counseling and security and legal support to prevent and respond to the Congo’s epidemic of gender-based violence. (Applause.)

But we also must condemn violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity. (Applause.) In country after country after country, young men and women are persecuted, are singled out, even murdered in cold blood, because of who they love or just based on claims that they are gay. We are starting to track violence against the LGBT community, because where it happens anywhere in the world, the United States must speak out against it and work for its end. (Applause.) Through our annual human rights report, we are documenting human rights abuses against LGBT communities worldwide. And we are seeking out partners at the United Nations such as Brazil, France, Sweden and the Netherlands to help us address these human rights abuses.

We will be pushing for passage of a Security Council resolution on sexual and gender violence at the UN General Assembly, and we hoping many other nations will join this cause.

So these four freedoms are not just a celebration of the past. They are a reminder and a challenge of what is expected of us. Now, after President Roosevelt’s speech, another son of New York, Norman Rockwell, created those four iconic paintings that you have seen on the screen. It took seven months of non-stop work during which he lost 15 pounds. If I had any artistic talent, I would try to follow that model. (Laughter.) And when Rockwell was finished, the Treasury Department sent his paintings on a tour around the country in a successful effort to encourage the purchase of war bonds. And the paintings were accompanied by essays on each of the four freedoms. And one of them sought to remind Americans what they were fighting for. And here’s what it said:

“When we yield our sons,” and we would add today ‘and daughters’ “to war, it is in the trust that their sacrifice will bring to us and our allies no inch of alien soil, no selfish monopoly of the world’s resources or trade, but only the privilege of winning for all peoples the most precious gifts in the orbit of life—freedom of body and soul, of movement and enterprise, of thought and utterance, of faith and worship, of hope and charity, of a humane fellowship with all [humankind].”

Our adversaries and our battles today may be different, but our objectives have not changed. These rights are no less relevant and these freedoms are no less precious. The principles put forward by President Roosevelt are no less deserving of our defense.

In response to President Roosevelt’s call to action, the citizens of the United States went to work. In response to the attacks of 9/11, the citizens of the United States went to serve.

In the future, we will be called to make sacrifices of our own. We may not be able now to foresee what they will be. But let us resolve to summon up that vision that Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt provided for their times which still is as important to our times. Let us forge again our commitment to carry on in service of these four universal and uniquely American freedoms.

Thank you very much.