Benny's World

Friday, June 03, 2005

Take America Back

JRE inspired many Dems yesterday at the Take America Back conference. (Look for John Edwards speech to click on the video links)

I listened to the speech, knew already many of the words he said, but as always, I felt inspired by JRE's passionate speech. He knows with moral clarity what he believes in, and how many of us believe it too. Thanks, JRE. You do inspire me.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

JRE--Video Blogging?

Rocketboom, a site I just heard about a few minutes ago, has its own video blog. They are a cross between SNL" "Weekend Update" and well, I 'm not certain of the second parallel.

I think someone really did get a quick clip with him out his backyard to be on this site. Wow, if JRE does video blogs in addition to the goodness. He is on the edge of technology. As one of the posters says, "Kewlness...and way kewlness." :-)

And jeepers, we thought we were doin' good to get Moveable Type at my library today.

Update: JRE said on his podcast today that he will be doing Video Blogging starting June 2nd.

JRE, Jack Kemp TF Co-Chairs on Russian-US Relations

From the Council on Foreign Affairs website (as announced on OAC a few minutes ago):

May 31, 2005 - The Council launched an Independent Task Force today to review current U.S. policy toward Russia and make recommendations on future policy-from global security to Russia's evolution as a democratic state. The Task Force is chaired by former Senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards and former Congressman and Housing and Urban Development Secretary and vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp. Council Senior Fellow Stephen Sestanovich, former ambassador-at-large and special adviser to the secretary of state for the new independent states, directs the Task Force.

"More than a decade and a half after the fall of the Berlin Wall, U.S.-Russian relations continue to follow a pattern in which high hopes for cooperation alternate with disappointment," said Edwards. "Our effort will examine this critical but challenging relationship and suggest a strategy for dealing with our differences and making the most of opportunities to work together."

The Task Force will focus on seven main areas: co-operating against terrorism, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, strategic energy partnerships, (de-)democratization, Russia's relations with its neighbors, Cold War legacy issues, and Chechnya.

"With both President Putin and President Bush now in a second term, prospects for U.S.-Russian cooperation could be strengthened, even on issues where Russian and American interests might not coincide," said Kemp. "Our goal will be to make recommendations in areas where they can make a useful contribution to the public debate."

The bipartisan Task Force is comprised of a diverse group of leading policy practitioners, scholars, and figures from the private sector.

Release of the report is planned for the fall of 2005.

Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations is an independent national membership organization and a nonpartisan center for scholars dedicated to producing and disseminating ideas so that members, students, interested citizens, and government officials in the United States and other countries can better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other governments.

JRE Blogs at the TPM Cafe

Check out his first guest post: Being Poor is Expensive. He's life right.

Coffee, Tea and JRE!

Here's a link to the story about his commencement speech at William & Mary. Link includes a really kewl picture of JRE.

Update, June 1: New Post: Things We Can Do , JRE's Cup Today

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Accomplishments at Home: DH Biked 115 Miles

Yesterday, my DH went with a group of 20 from the Prairie Cycle Club on an all-day wind ride. They hired a school bus and a driver to take them 112 miles west of our town, then as the wind was blowing 20-25 mph from the west, they rode home, propelled somewhat by the wind.

DH was really tired when he got in, but I knew he had accomplished something he wanted to do this year: his first century ride. He had a really good time and met some new people who share his passion for cycling.

You and I will remember this together, but you get the medal for pushing the envelope and seeing what you can do positive for your body and mental well-being.

Congrats, dear, for this milestone in your life.

The Brickyard's Lucky Lady

Danica Patrick proves her mettle at Indy
By PAUL NEWBERRY, AP Sports WriterMay 29, 2005

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Danica Patrick not only hung with the boys. She nearly beat them.

Patrick finished fourth in a thrilling conclusion to a dramatic race Sunday, the strongest showing for a woman in Indianapolis 500 history.

``I'm relieved,'' she said. ``I thought for a second we were going to win that thing at the end. When you've got to save fuel at the end, you're not as quick. I stalled in the pits once and I spun it on the green flag once. I went straight to the back a couple of times. I'm so proud of the team.''

Patrick, who qualified fourth as the highest-starting female in the race's history, became the first woman to lead a lap in the 89-year history of the race but her chances of winning were hurt by a couple of rookie mistakes.

Englishman Dan Wheldon took advantage, taking the checkered flag after a duel with Patrick that had fans at the Brickyard on their feet for several laps.

The first mistake came when the 23-year-old Patrick stalled her car in the pits, costing her precious time. Then, after working her way back up to seventh, she lost control with 45 laps to go while the yellow flag was out.

The cars were coming up to speed to take green when Patrick suddenly swerved left in front of Tomas Enge, shearing off her car's nose cone and left wing. The crash knocked out Enge and sent Tomas Scheckter spinning into the inside wall.

``I was beside Danica and she just spun into me,'' Sheckter said. ``Luckily for her, someone was there to keep her from spinning. If I'm not there, she would have spun into the wall.''

Patrick dipped into the pits, managed to get car repaired and got back on the track in 10th place, still on the lead lap.

``I'm sorry,'' Patrick told her crew over the radio. ``They were going so slow. I slowed down, but as soon as I went up high it just stuck.''

She pitted again two laps later to adjust the repairs and fill her tank, then re-took the lead on lap 172 as the leaders pitted.

Wheldon came on strong to overtake her again, but she passed him after a restart on lap 191 before she began slowing. She was running out of fuel.

Patrick, driving for the Rahal Letterman Racing team, started on the inside of the second row directly behind pole-winner Tony Kanaan.

She stayed among the leaders and was still running fourth when those ahead of her -- Sam Hornish Jr., Dario Franchitti and Kanaan -- came in for pit stops on the 56th lap.

That put Patrick in front briefly, but she came in for four tires and fuel the next time around and dropped back to fourth as she came onto the track.

My recollection is that she didn't fuel up at 172 as the writer suggests, and that's why she had to conserve her fuel, not winning at the last.

Here is a link to her website. Very impressive. She's breaking all kinds of glass ceilings.

Update May 30: Another story about her historic ride from the Trib today.

JRE Stands By His Values

For John Edwards, the most painful moment of last year's US election campaign came during one of the presidential debates when George W. Bush told Americans that, even if they disagreed with him, they could be sure where he stood. Mr Edwards, number two to John Kerry on the Democratic party ticket, felt his heart sink. Whatever else might be said about him, Mr Bush was projecting his convictions.

Six months on, Mr Edward's party is still sifting the ashes of November's election for clues to its defeat. The former senator from North Carolina shuns recriminations, insisting he is proud of Mr Kerry's courageous campaign. But, as he reflects on his own future - which just about everyone in US politics expects to include another attempt in 2008 to secure the presidential nomination - Mr Edwards is sure of one thing.

In London this week he dismissed suggestions that the election was lost because the party failed properly to get its message across. Those who thought salvation lay in more political consultants or sharper messages were just "dead wrong".

"For Democrats, what's critical is what people want in their leaders - it's strength. And strength comes from a core conviction. This is not about nuance or a change of position here or there. We have to stand up for the strength and the passion of our ideals." Voters, in other words, had to feel certain that policies were rooted in core values rather than tailored or trimmed for this or that interest group.

Read the rest in the Financial Times.