June 24, 2021

Rebirth of Book by Aide to Carter

He spent the final years of his life on a quieter pursuit: writing a memoir of nearly 300 pages that was not quite finished at the time of his death in 2008.

Now his daughter, Kathleen, a 24-year-old television producer, is rushing to polish the manuscript in the hope of getting it published and cementing the legacy of one of the most notable members of the Carter administration.

The memoir, Mr. Jordan’s third book, is an account of his life growing up in the South. According to his daughter, it describes how he witnessed the cruelty of segregation and began to feel conflicted about systematic injustices. It also recounts how he later discovered the hidden history of his family.

Raised a Baptist, Mr. Jordan was told when he was in college that his maternal grandmother was Jewish, a closely held family secret up to then. (The book’s proposed title, “Meet the Gottheimers,” came from his startled observation at her funeral that she was buried in a plot between two members of a family with the last name Gottheimer.)

Mr. Jordan, who pronounced his last name JER-dun, in the Southern fashion, began working on the book around 2005, his daughter said, and was nearly completed when he died of cancer at 63.

“He had always been thinking about writing about his past, writing about his childhood,” Ms. Jordan said in an interview. “I’m becoming intimately familiar with big parts of my dad’s life that he never talked about.”

To observers of Washington politics in the late 1970s, Mr. Jordan was a larger-than-life presence: a member of the so-called Georgia Mafia who had worked for Mr. Carter while he was a little-known Southern politician, then designed the strategy for his successful bid for the governor’s office and his campaign for the 1976 presidential election.

When Mr. Carter was elected to the White House, he appointed Mr. Jordan, then 34, his chief of staff.

“He transformed ‘Jimmy Who?’ to the president of the United States,” said Charles S. Bullock, a professor of political science at the University of Georgia. “That was the high point of his career — getting his boss elected as president. The reviews that Jordan got as presidential chief of staff were much more critical.”

The stories about Mr. Jordan’s after-hours behavior were legendary. According to one published account, he once spat a mouthful of an amaretto-and-cream cocktail down the cleavage of a woman in a bar. (The White House released a statement denying it.) He was accused of using cocaine at Studio 54 during a jaunt to Manhattan — a charge that was investigated by a special counsel and found to be unsubstantiated.

Another story, told by Sally Quinn in a 5,000-word article in 1977 in The Washington Post, went like this: Mr. Jordan, a guest at a dinner party given by Barbara Walters, gazed at the “ample front” of the wife of the Egyptian ambassador and then drunkenly declared, “I’ve always wanted to see the pyramids.” (“Slur to Envoy’s Wife Tied to Carter Aide,” a New York Times headline blared the next day.)

In his book “No Such Thing as a Bad Day,” in which Mr. Jordan chronicled his previous bouts with cancer, he denied unequivocally that any incident had taken place.

His fame was briefly revived last year when his character was featured in the film “Argo,” the Oscar-winning account of the Iran hostage crisis. The role was played by Kyle Chandler, the star of “Friday Night Lights.”

The unfinished memoir reaches back to Mr. Jordan’s childhood in Albany, Ga., in the 1950s, a time when the South was in the middle of tumultuous changes on attitudes about social mores and race.

Jerry Rafshoon, a television and film producer who was Mr. Carter’s communications director and one of Mr. Jordan’s closest friends, has helped Ms. Jordan with the editing of the memoir.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/27/business/media/rebirth-of-book-by-aide-to-carter.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Extra Tax Revenue to Delay Debt Crisis

The new estimate creates a significant grace period for Congress to consider an increase in the maximum amount that the government can borrow, a step that House Republicans say they will not take without an agreement to curb spending.

Federal borrowing is still likely to hit the legal limit on May 16, the Treasury said, so this week it will begin to take emergency steps to buy additional time under the cap. Those steps, plus the increase in tax receipts, which have reduced the need for borrowing, will delay a crisis by about a month — to August from July.

“While this updated estimate in theory gives Congress additional time to complete work on increasing the debt limit, I caution strongly against delaying action,” the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, wrote Monday to lawmakers.

Mr. Geithner has warned repeatedly that failing to raise the ceiling would force the government to default on its debts and obligations. That, he wrote, “would have a catastrophic economic impact that would be felt by every American.”

Many Republicans have publicly agreed that Congress must raise the ceiling, although they insist that the White House must first agree to some form of meaningful spending limits. A vocal minority of members, however, have said that they are reluctant to raise the limit, and that Mr. Geithner and others ringing alarm bells have overstated the possible consequences of leaving the limit in place.

The debates have become a standard feature of Washington politics in the last two decades, cropping up when federal borrowing nears the limit while power is divided between the two parties. In 2006 and 2007, it was Democrats who inveighed against Republican arguments that debt increases were necessary.

In the past, Congress has always resolved its differences in time to avoid a debt crisis.

Vice President Joe Biden plans to convene White House staff and Congressional leaders Thursday to pursue an agreement on the terms of an increase. There is a growing consensus among Democrats that some restrictions on spending are reasonable and necessary to secure an agreement with Republicans.

To clear as much time as possible for that political process, the Treasury said on Monday that it would take the first in a series of emergency steps authorized by law this Friday. It will suspend a program under which it borrows money from state and local governments to help those governments meet legal obligations to invest in tax-exempt bonds.

The issuance of the State and Local Government Treasury securities, known as “slugs,” are largely a convenience for the governments. A senior Treasury official said the program’s suspension might not cost those governments any significant amount of money, but it would require them to find alternative investments.

The program has been suspended six times in the last two decades as the federal government bumped against the debt ceiling, most recently in 2007.

The Treasury said it would begin to take additional steps on May 16, including suspending programs under which the government borrows money from pension funds for federal employees and then pays interest to those funds. By law, the Treasury must make up for the lost interest payments once Congress raises the debt ceiling.

The ceiling is now set at $14.29 trillion. The government must constantly borrow more money because its commitments vastly exceed its revenue. The Treasury projected that the government would need to borrow $299 billion between April and June, and that it would hit the debt limit in early July.

It now projects that the government will need to borrow $142 billion during that period, thanks to the increase in tax revenue. That leaves enough room for the government to keep borrowing until August.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=a65bb497b5a25343bc3c2636977d30fb