Benny's World

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Special Edition of JRE Buzz (15)

BW readers may recall on Thursday that Gallup did a poll of most acceptable candidates. Here's the link to Gallup's site about the poll.

Here is what the link did not tell us until Argus Reid Consultants' blog today reported that it was a joint USA/Gallup poll (taken June 26-29), in which the thread is entitled

Edwards Tops List of Likeable Democrats for 2008

Opening paragraph:
- Former North Carolina senator John Edwards is regarded as a good presidential contender for Democratic Party supporters in the United States, according to a poll by Gallup released by USA Today. 71 per cent of respondents believe the 2004 vice-presidential nominee would be an acceptable candidate in the 2008 election.

Question: I’m going to read you a list of people who may run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. For each, please tell me if you would find that person to be an acceptable nominee for president from the Democratic Party.

Here's the rundown:

John Edwards


Hillary Rodham Clinton


Al Gore


John Kerry


Joe Biden


Wesley Clark


Howard Dean


Bill Richardson


Tom Daschle


Russ Feingold


Mark Warner


Dennis Kucinich


Tom Vilsack


Well Senator, if you want to run again, please pass GO!

Update, July 23rd:

John Atlas of the National Housing Institute and Peter Drier of ACORN wrote a think piece on the World Prout Assembly site entitled " The Politics of Poverty: Can John Edwards make fighting poverty a winning platform?".
Edwards clearly believes that America is ready to elect a president who inspires idealism rather than triangulates with caution. He differs from the centrist wing of the Democratic Party in his strong support for unions and the importance of reforming labor laws to strengthen the right to organize. Whether or not Edwards wins his party’s nomination, his presence in the campaign will help shift the debate to a stronger focus on social injustice. With a fire in his belly, Edwards is hoping to prove that promoting an agenda of prosperity, opportunity and fairness can win the hearts and minds of America’s affluent, its beleaguered middle class and the working poor. If he’s correct, the son of a mill worker might become the next president of the United States.
Note: This is retitled from a piece published in Common Dreams this past April.

Daniel Glover from the Beltway Blogroll (of the National Journal) had some complements for the One America site today. He wrote:

"I was just looking at the One America Committee Web site of former Democratic senator and presidential/vice-presidential candidate John Edwards and found this. It's a cool idea, one that other politicians would do well to mimick -- and one that I expect they will:

Through blogging, video blogging and podcasting, citizen journalists provide information and insights from many sources in addition to traditional media sources. We at the One America Committee embrace citizen journalism, and we encourage you to become a citizen journalist if you aren't one already."

He wonders if JRE will give citizen journalists same access as regular ones. I think I'll post a note today on his site and tell him about Gnomedex. (smile)

Left in the West seems to think that with Nevada's caucus tenatively accepted to go before NH, Edwards will benefit since Nevada is Unite Here territory. Sounds like LITH wouldn't mind Edwards being the anti-Hillary candidate either.

And it appears that JRE did speak at the ATLA meeting last week. ATLA just changed its name to American Association for Justice.

Oh, I am remiss for not mentioning this sooner. Nan and NCDem at OAC have started a really cool project called People For Edwards yahoo group. There are 50 groups, such as IllinoisforEdwards, in which I will be coordinator for, once I have the time to get it going and see some more interest from Illinoisians. The project was mentioned on July 17th by the Resonate Partnership blog, one that I've penned about more than once here. Marianne, the host, seems to really appreciate Edwards' site because it really is all about social media and how to leverage it.

And then...

Just a tip that I was given offline by a bud. There is an article coming out this week in the National Journal entitled "Where's Edwards?" Despite the odd title, it is about the juxtaposition of HRC and John Edwards, in their approaches politically and perceptions of them by voters and supporters.

Here's the junky part about the article: it's not easy to obtain. You can pay $25 for a day to access the National Journal site as it is likely to be firewalled there. Here's my suggestion. Many libraries have a service called Interlibrary Library Loan or Document Delivery, and you can request the article (it's the July 22nd--I'll check for the exact citation l8tr). Another idea: many larger public libraries, state libraries, and larger state universities, open to the public, carry the journal, so you may be able to read it there and make a photocopy.

More buzz l8tr...

Tags: John Edwards, Presidential Race 2008, One America Committee, Democrats, polls, Gallup, politics, Benny's World, Argus Reid Consultants, JRE, John Atlas, Peter Drier, ACORN, National Housing Institute, World Prout Assembly, Beltway Blogroll, National Journal

Elizabeth Edwards Buzz

This morning, I got a message that Elizabeth Edwards was in the news today. Oh boy--it's true!

Edwards Emerges from Cancer with Grace

From the News-Observer this morning:

Largely out of the public eye since her husband's loss to the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2004, Edwards describes in a forthcoming autobiography how she endured months of grueling treatment in early 2005. The treatment included chemotherapy, surgery and radiation with side effects, including nausea, loss of hair and nerve damage in her hand that made it difficult to write.

"The cancer seems to be gone," she writes in the book, "Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength From Friends and Strangers," scheduled for publication Sept. 26 by Broadway Books. The book will have an initial printing of more than 100,000 copies.

The AP picked up the story, and here's a different excerpt:

Elizabeth Edwards says in a new book that when she shaved her head because of hair loss from treatment for breast cancer, her husband - former Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards - offered to do the same.

So did their young son Jack, Edwards writes in "Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength From Friends and Strangers," scheduled for publication Sept. 26 by Broadway Books.

To read more, go to mbair's diary on the Daily Kos. She gets the hat-tip.

Excerpt from the book:

"He got on the phone, and I started slowly. 'Sweetie,' I began. It's how I always began. And then came the difference: I couldn't speak. Tears were there, panic was there, need was there, but not words. He knew, of course, when I couldn't speak that something was wrong. 'Just tell what's wrong,' he insisted."-- on telling John that she had cancer.

Freeps, I never want to hear the term "Breck Girl" again about John Edwards.

Update, July 23rd: MamasInk site applauds Elizabeth's foray into publishing her story. What's MamasInk? According to their homepage, "MamasInk are a bunch of writers who are also mamas. We quite often take motherhood as our subject matter, but not always. We're blogging as a group to support each other in our adventures in writing."

Yep, I second that accolade for Elizabeth.

More buzz l8tr...

Tags: Elizabeth Edwards, John Edwards, JRE, Saving Graces, mbair, Broadway books, MamasInk

Thursday, July 20, 2006

JRE Buzz (14)

Greetings BW readers. We have a little buzz to share this evening.

First, an e-mail from JRE yesterday:

Dear Benny,
I want to invite you to visit the One America Book Club. This month, we're reading and discussing Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis by President Jimmy Carter. I had the pleasure of discussing this remarkable book with President Carter, and you can listen to our conversation here.
(photo credit: TO, OAC, via Flickr)

Our country's history is full of examples of how books sparked political organizing and massive social change. Think about how Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin provided a compelling -- and widely discussed -- argument against slavery. Or how Rachel Carson's Silent Spring started a national debate about pesticides and gave birth to the environmental movement. That's why book clubs can be so powerful.

In Our Endangered Values, President Carter draws upon his life experience as a president and as a Nobel Peace Prize winner to reflect on what's gone wrong over the past six years. President Carter and I agree that the current administration has made a radical break from the basic values that past presidents, both Democrats and Republicans, embraced as core governing principles -- equality, opportunity and justice. They've been replaced with a rigid fundamentalism, disregard for the truth, contempt for people that disagree, and abandonment of basic human rights.

President Carter is an amazing person, and I was excited to have the opportunity to talk with him.

I hope you will pick up a copy of President Carter's book and join in our blog and discussion for the rest of July. And if you'd like to make a book recommendation for the One America Book Club, we'd love to hear from you.

Your friend,


Yep, JRE and Jimmy Carter's co-podcast/bookcast is out. It's great! The wisdom of Carter will be his legacy. It was like watching a mentor give sanguine views to a potential mentee. But rather than writing a summary, go here to read Iddybud's fab digest on the OAC blog and here to see Mbair's post on My DD, the granddaddy of progressive blogs.

Another plug from the PSoTD blog here..

"John Edwards recorded a podcast with President Jimmy Carter that's well worth listening to...

Here's a morsel from Carter:

"To improve our country's reputation as the only superpower on earth: I think that everyone in the world should look to Washington and say there is a mighty nation that believes in peace, not pre-emptive war. That tries to address the inevitable conflicts that exist among people and within nations and between nations by using our tremendous and unchallengable military and economic power for peace."

That is a foreign policy statement that Americans can get behind - short, easy to understand and something we can be proud of as a long-term vision."

Agreed. High five to them both.

K, I admit I haven't read Carter's latest book, but it's on my list, I promise. Maybe by the elections...but keep rockin' Jimmy. JRE must have felt so honored to exchange ideas with a Nobel Peace Prize winner, something I don't think our current president will ever acheive in his lifetime.


The Gallup Poll has an interesting headline (as Montana Maven pointed out today on the Kos)
Four in 10 Republicans Would Not Find McCain an "Acceptable" Nominee; Clinton, Edwards, Gore most acceptable possible Democratic nominees.

From their posting, the summary:

"Most Democrats would find John Edwards, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Al Gore -- and, to a lesser extent -- John Kerry to be acceptable presidential nominees for their party in 2008. Roughly 7 in 10 Republicans rate Rudy Giuliani and Secretary of State Condoleezza as acceptable 2008 presidential nominees. While a majority of Republicans view John McCain as acceptable, a substantial proportion (41%) does not."

This is what National Journal's Hotline/blogmeter had to say about it first:

"Who are these numbers good for? Edwards, Clinton and Gore, but especially Edwards. The guy has a much lower name recognition than either Gore or Clinton, yet higher acceptable ratings. "

What do we mean " lower name recognition"? A former senator and VP candidate who has been working tirelessly by holding rallies, speeches about poverty that's been C-SPAN, and is in the local newspapers more often as a result has lower name recognition, with potential voters?

Alas the blogger concludes: "It still blows my mind that more people don't take him[Edwards] seriously in 2008. He could really run the table--and I say that as a supporter of someone else."

Well, I am a JRE supporter, I take him seriously--thus I agree JRE could run the table.

This just in...

JRE to Speak at "Wake Up Walmart" event for SEIU in Pittsburgh on August 4th. Hat-tip to ZeitgeistRover at OAC. Marc Canter, are you reading this? What southern politican would take Wal-Mart on?

Bush's Poverty Talk Is Now All but Silent (Washington Post)

Well, we know he hasn't done a spittin' thing since September, and invoked a little of it today at the NAACP. Yeah, heck of a job, Georgie.

Here's what John Edwards had to say about W's record, and I quote from WaPO:
"The Bush administration has shown a total lack of leadership on this issue," said former Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards, who has made a new war on poverty his signature issue as he travels the country in preparation for an expected 2008 presidential bid. "He has consistently opposed ideas that would help lift people out of poverty."

Edwards has called for tax credits for first-time home buyers and to help low-income workers establish savings accounts; expanded opportunities for college; and the creation of 1 million temporary government-subsidized jobs. Bush has hurt the poor, he said, with his long-standing opposition to increasing the minimum wage and expanding the earned income tax credit, which supplements the income of low-wage workers with a refundable tax credit.

And Tony Snow admits in this same that Bush's policy is about prosperity. Yep, it sure is for his vice-president and corporate buddies, but not overall for Americans who are impoverish or on the edge of losing their homes due to the bad donut of prescription bills.

Edwards seems to be only one who gets it that when we lift up the poor to middle class, it strengthens the middle class, and it strengthens us all.

Another poll on the Kos today. They try to stay in touch with the bloggers. No worries for JRE at present as blogger Copper noted:
I wouldn't care if he was a Democrat or Republican, I vote for the Man not the Party. John Edwards seems to be a man of Intergrity, Honesty, and a plan to change this Country. In my option if he stands fast and doesn't waiver, and holds onto that Integrity , then He would make a fine outstanding President. But He Must Remember NEVER to sway with the Wind but to KEEP His commitment to the People and serve us and Not Money or Politics..I Believe in Him....


The biggest buzz this week has been the announcement of One America using Move Digital to distribute videos and bigger files into torrents. A torrent is a mobile stream, meaning from what I can tell, the company can compress the big files and make them mobile. BitTorrent is the name of the software that makes this possible, and it is a pay as you go system. I'm not certain what market they are targeting to buy this, but I presume it's the media. To read more about this innovation, go to Techcrunch's article. What I do know it is sort of like Napster for very small streams--peer to peer file sharing--of video files, but at less bandwith--which means the user doesn't need to spend hours downloading--or uploading either. Even IT guru Lawrence Lessig lauds JRE for this move.

Link to JRE's MoveDigital site.

Speaking of other spaces, JRE and Elizabeth have profiles on it turns out they have been there awhile. At OAC's invitation, I decided to join. You can find me at

And as always, you can get the best JRE News Round-up at OAC.

Update, July 21:

Chicago Tribune published an LA Times article entitled,"Campaign '08 Preview: Podcasting Politicians". Yep, JRE is mentioned, but I wish the author would have said JRE was the first! Here's the snip:

"In the latest creative wrinkle, politicians are podcasting — White House hopefuls Gen. Wesley K. Clark, John Edwards and Sen. Bill Frist are among those regularly offering their downloadable ruminations — and turning up on Flickr, MySpace, YouTube and other photo- and video-sharing Internet sites."

More buzz l8tr..

Tags: John Edwards, Jimmy Carter, One America Committee, bookcast, National Journal, Hotline, My DD, MySpace, SEIU, BitTorrent, Movie Digital, podcasting, streaming media mobile, JRE

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Valley of Shadows

I'm going to bring up a different topic today, something that we all are touched by in our lives: the loss of someone we knew.

Yesterday, I found out one of my colleagues, who actually lived down the street, could no longer fight her disease with brain cancer. Because the family wanted to keep the hospice stage limited to her very closest friends, colleagues, and family, I wasn't able to say goodbye, but I respected her wishes. Hopefully, we will still be able to do something for the family in the next few days...or months, as needed. She was courageous to the end, and I am saddened as she was one to bring tomatoes out of her garden to our house, and I made some nice meals out of the sauces created from them.

Two weeks ago, my niece's spouse lost his dad to cancer. He was in his late 50's. Cancer also.

Another friend lost his dad to lung cancer on July 7th. He was in his 80's, but still, one always feels sad about losing a parent.

Cancer has an ugly face.

I will say more about what we can do about this later. But for now, my heart aches for all who have lost a loved one lately. May they be embraced by love and peace.

Update, July 20: I attended the memorial service of the colleague last night. Her brother-in-law led the service and read things about her that embody the same characteristics that Jimmy Carter talked about on the podcast with John Edwards, (released yesterday) about what we look for in a President: grace, flexibility, decisiveness, empathy, courage, and transparency (honesty).

What struck me was that I wished I had had more time with my colleague to get to know her better. We had far more in common than I knew. But I realized I was lucky to be acquainted with her as a neighbor and certainly as a professional.

Amazing grace.

Tags: John Edwards, Jimmy Carter, Presidents, leadership, characteristics, professionalism, special librarianship, grace, Benny's World, cancer, death, shadows