September 17th, 2010
11:56 AM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Beth Holloway

The mother of Natalee Holloway, an American teen who vanished in Aruba in 2005, visited a Peruvian prison Thursday and reportedly spoke to the man who she believes killed her daughter. Beth Holloway made a trip to the Castro Castro Prison along with documentary filmmaker Peter de Vries. Unconfirmed reports say she was able to see prisoner Joran Van der Sloot for at least five minutes before being led away by authorities.

Van der Sloot was arrested twice in Aruba in connection with the younger Holloway's disappearance but was never charged. He is in Peru facing murder charges in the death of Stephany Flores, who was killed in a Lima hotel in June.

In 2005, 18-year-old Natalee was last seen getting into a car outside Carlos n’ Charlie’s nightclub in Aruba with van der Sloot and brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe. She was visiting with her high school classmates as part of a graduation celebration.
 
Since Natalee’s disappearance, Beth Holloway’s life has taken many paths. She has written a book about her daughter, which became a television movie. This summer, federal investigators said that van der Sloot attempted to extort $250,000 from Holloway in exchange for telling her the location of Natalee’s body.
 
Personally, her marriage to Natalee’s stepfather Jug Twitty has ended. She briefly dated John Ramsey, father of JonBenet Ramsey, the 6-year-old beauty queen from Boulder, Colorado, whose death in 1996 has yet to be solved.

CNN: Holloway's mom visits Peruvian jail

President Carter

The former president has told “60 Minutes” that the late Sen. Edward Kennedy single-handedly prohibited universal health care from happening during the late 1970s.

"The fact is that we would have had comprehensive health care now, had it not been for Ted Kennedy's deliberately blocking the legislation that I proposed," Carter told CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl. "It was his fault. Ted Kennedy killed the bill."

How might the “Lion of the Senate” respond to President Carter’s accusations? In his book “True Compass,” published posthumously, Kennedy wrote that his relationship with the former president was “harmonious enough” and that Kennedy always supported Carter as the Democratic candidate for president. It was Carter’s failure to allow compromise, coupled with his “malaise” speech, that persuaded Kennedy to run unsuccessfully against him in 1980.

“The overarching political cause for me was health insurance, and that is where the comity really broke down between us,” Kennedy said. “In fact health care and health insurance were the issues that damaged our relations beyond repair.”

Carter came to the White House apparently convinced that health care must be put in place incrementally, through many bills with cost-containment benchmarks. It would not come to fruition until after the 1978 midterm elections, Kennedy wrote. Kennedy worked to negotiate with the powerful unions about what they would accept in a national plan and sought to use the existing private insurance industry to administer the program. But by late 1978, Kennedy wrote, Carter had stalled any process of developing a workable bill.

“Looking back, I think he simply had convinced himself that he was going to do it his way,” Kennedy wrote. “This was true of his dealings with the Senate, and one of the principal reasons that he never won that body’s cooperation.”

Political Ticker: Jimmy Carter blames Ted Kennedy for health care delay

Casey Affleck

The director/actor has told the New York Times that Joaquin Phoenix’s disheveled appearance on David Letterman’s show in 2009, followed by a documentary about celebrity life called “I’m Still Here,” was an act.

Affleck, who is married to Phoenix’s sister, said he admires Phoenix for spending so much time playing a character that caused many to wonder whether he was unstable. During filming, Phoenix grew out his hair and a ragged beard. His demeanor appeared incoherent. He even put forth the notion that he was shifting careers to become a rapper.

“His performance is compelling, always watchable, manages to be repulsive and charming, believable in all emotions, completely committed, incredibly brave,” Affleck wrote in an e-mail. “How difficult to resist the cheap joke, the wink, the nudge.”

Affleck said the criticism was undaunting, and he’d do it all again if he could. “Definitely, all of it. Change nothing. I feel good about everything through and through.”

Phoenix is slated to reunite with Letterman on September 22.

NYTimes.com: Documentary? Better call it performance art

soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Matt

    Thats a jerk move. Why didn't he say this while Kennedy was alive? Can't really defend himself now.

    September 17, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      ...because Kennedy accused Carter of screwing it up in his book that was published posthumously (i.e. after he died). Did you read the article?

      September 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas

      It is not a "jerk" move at all. This is nothing that has not been stated in on way or another by both of them before Sen. Kennedy died.

      September 17, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eddie

      People hate it when Carter speaks his mind, but he's the only ex-president who's far enough removed from the political game that he can say things that professional politicians can't say without costing the people they support elections. I think its interesting to hear a political commentary from this unique unbridled perspective. He's not vindictive... he just says things that aren't politically correct to say.... Sadly, Carter is a victim of the Cult and Myth of the Greatness of Ronald Reagan... he got bashed the same way the moderate Weimar Republic dudes did when Hitler came in... not that I'm comparing Reagan to Hitler... but Carter was a voice of reason and moderation when people really wanted an action hero/cowboy...

      September 17, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Couldn't agree more. This Hamas loving Saudi kissing, Jew hating mean-spirited old man who once held the presidency of the US (how did that ever happen??) says "The fact is that we would have had comprehensive health care now, had it not been for Ted Kennedy's deliberately blocking the legislation that I proposed," Carter told CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl. "It was his fault. Ted Kennedy killed the bill."

      In case you haven't been reading the news Jimmah, Ted Kennedy passed away. I may not have agreed with his politics, but I would never–ever speak ill of the dead to keep your name in the papers. You were the worst president in my 58 years as a US citizen and I think I speak for a lot of people when I say–go back to your peanut farm and into your rocker (in your case you're out of it) and fade away quietly. Very quietly. We are done with you, comprendo?

      September 19, 2010 at 5:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. Irene

    I was no fan of Ted Kennedy but Jimmy Carter is a whiner.

    September 17, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephen

      Jimmy Carter was a lousy president, a decent humanitarian, and now, well, just a sad remenant of a man.

      September 17, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CA Ed

    No, Jimma is a wiener; always was, always will be.

    The last person standing gets to write the final history, ask Kissinger about his role during the Nixon years.

    September 17, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ratkartz

    Two complete losers. We used to think that Carter was only the second worst president in history and that Kennedy was simply a drunk and a criminal.

    September 17, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bug Killer

    They both suck. We just still have to listen to peanut head.

    September 17, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. FoolKiller

    You had better like Carter, because Obama will soon be imitating him (for years to come)...

    September 17, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joel Miller

    Carter is a weasily guy. Why didn't he bring this up when Kennedy was alive and could defend his actions. The animosity of Carter has always been palpable, maybe because he sold out the country in so many different ways that Kennedy was wise to. Its why Kennedy took him on, unsuccessfully in the 1980 election. Too bad he didn't win.

    September 17, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pablo

      We didn't need to bring it up while Kennedy was alive because we watched it happen.

      September 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired USAF

      Both Carter and Kennedy were bad for the country. I personally know Carter is a liar and was caught dead to rights on several big whoppers he told, one against the head of the Southern Baptist organization. Kennedy was a morally deficient drunk that killed his mistress in a drunken mishap that anyone else would have gone to prison had they done the same thing. The amazing part to me is how quickly the public forgot this criminal act he did. Even more amazing to me is his getting re-elected over and over and over. Doesn't speak well for the intelligence levels of New England.

      September 17, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ScottK

    Carter was an amazing progressive who was way ahead of his time. He wanted to reform energy, healthcare, the EPA and America's infrustructure but was stymied and laughed at by both party's as too liberal, too progressive so he left a legacy of many things undone, which many look at as failure. But you can also view it as a bold attempt to steer America away from the bad policies which have led us into the worst fiscal period since the depression. If we as a nation had embraced the solar and wind power technologies back when Carter placed solar panels on the White House we would be in a far better position to stop funding the middle east extremists through our overconsumption of oil.

    September 17, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Carter was an abysmal failure. Having lived through the "Carter Malaise", I can say that he even made Bush (W) look good, and that isn't easy.

      September 17, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • pay attention

      what a load. carter had good intentions as ScottK lays out. W was/is a piece of craap and there is no way around it. to have lived through his traitorship and still deny it is just insanity.

      September 17, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chris patrick

    @Matt – he did. Quite a few times. No one listened.

    @Irene – He isn't a whiner, he's an I told you so. And he did. In the 70's (40 years ago) he wanted solar, nuclear and was a devout supporter of the EPA. And he funded the first counter terrorism team which you now refer to as Delta Force. He didn't bargain for the release of American lives, he sent in a team of operators who hit murphy's law hard. Reagan bought their release by giving arms to terrorists...who are now running some of the biggest drug markets in Central America.

    @ratkartz – you base this on what exactly? Certainly not history. Got to read the history.

    @Bug Killer – exactly...absolutely right. We should have listened to him but we didn't. 40 years later...we are still reliant on the oil powers of the middle east.

    September 17, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • John B

      Ummmm ... you wanna enlighten us on how Reagan was "giving arms to terrorists" before he was in office? In case you forget, the hostages were released from Iran on the day Reagan took office ... hardly enough time for him to "buy" them with arms or anything else. You might want to follow your own advice: "Read the history."

      September 17, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      JohnB, Don't confuse him with facts.

      September 17, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John B

    @Chris patrick

    "He didn't bargain for the release of American lives, he sent in a team of operators who hit murphy's law hard. Reagan bought their release by giving arms to terrorists...who are now running some of the biggest drug markets in Central America."

    Ummmm ... you wanna enlighten us on how Reagan was "giving arms to terrorists" before he was in office? In case you forget, the hostages were released from Iran on the day Reagan took office ... hardly enough time for him to "buy" them with arms or anything else. You might want to follow your own advice: "Read the history."

    September 17, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ramon F. Herrera

    I had lost all respect that I ever had for Carter. I am sure the Democratic party is saying to the old man: "Gee, thanks! Great timing, just before an election!".

    Carter legitimized the 2004 electoral fraud in Venezuela. Hugo Chavez is extremely grateful to Carter.

    September 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Matt

    The fact is that we have some universal Health care, regardless who did it. But I wonder how perfect is the present system.

    September 17, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • pay attention

      what country are you referring to? the u.s. does NOT have universal health care, centrist obama wouldn't have it.

      September 17, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mike

    I never liked Jimmy Carter at all, not in 1976, and not now, but he was 10X the man Teddy "Butcher of Chappaquiddick" Kennedy ever was. Teddy was the poster-child of social INjustice: the only reasons he didn't do life in Walpole MA for murder is because he was (a) rich AND (b) white. That's it. If a brown man had been riding with Mary Jo that night, he'd have been strung up from the nearest oak tree whether she lived OR died. Even a RICH brown man would have been doomed. Teddy's face was the face of everything that is WRONG with the criminal justice system. (And I say that as a fellow rich white boy from Boston. Yeah, maybe I'm only talking smack because Teddy gave ALL us rich white boys from Boston a bad name, but he and any people that look(ed) like him can eat my Speedos I don't care.)

    September 17, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jj

    Carter and Kennedy never got along after the 1980 re-election campaign by Carter who did not get any support from the Kennedy wing of the party. Kennedy shun Carter at the 1980 convention and they never reconciled after that.

    September 17, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |