Benny's World

Friday, August 04, 2006

Friday Edition of JRE Buzz (17)

Update, 8/5/, 3:10 CDT

This just in...

John Edwards was live chatting with OAC bloggers this afternoon, about an hour ago. I am going to post the clip in its entirety. Sorry I missed the fun live, but it's cool to see it anyway.

John Edwards: hey guys - we're driving thru NH on the way to a fundraiser for a state senator that's taking place by a lake. it's supposed to be beautiful. weather here is great!

nan: Hi Senator! This is too cool!

John Edwards: hey nan - where are you typing from?

nan: My computer at home in Wilmington, NC. Hot and humid here, enjoy the weather up there!

John Edwards: EE and the kids are going back to Wilmington today, and I'm meeting them there tonight.

nan: Nice, going to Figure 8?

ZeitgeistRover: Hi Senator! It is wonderful to see you get so active online. Can we expect some policy-oriented blog posts in the future?

Thread Opener: Senator, how is that connection?

John Edwards: yes - tell me what you want to hear about?

nan: I would like to hear about the middle East, possible solutions.

Left is Right: I don't want to step on ZR's toes but I am worried about the Middle East. I see Nan is too.

ZeitgeistRover: I'd especially like to hear more about your views on the American Education system (primary, secondary, post-secondary), whether you think it can train kids for the challenges of the 21st centuries, and what are some of your reform ideas...

nan: Excellent ZR.

ZeitgeistRover: I third the call on Middle East, too. And, you've talked about the need for universal healthcare. I was wondering if you have worked on some specifics of how to accomplish that? Seriously though, I'd love to hear your views on just about anything *grins*

nan: Me too, lol!

Left is Right: I second the *grins!

*nan: This reminds me of that E F Hutton commercial :)

Thread Opener: As an fyi, Sen. Edwards and Josh are in a car so the wireless connection might by spotty

ZeitgeistRover: He is gone *sighs

*Left is Right: left, joined, left, joined. I never left!

nan: Thanks TO! This is a huge treat!

John Edwards: i will be glad to tell you what i think about what's happening in israel, lebanon, iran and iraq, and also my ideas about what we should do about public education. briefly for now, it's clear we need an intl security force in southern lebanon and the actions of hezbollah and hamas are aimed at inciting radical islam. iran is clearly behind it since hezbollah is effectively an arm of iran. as to iraq - we need to make clear that we're leaving, and the best way to do that is to actually start leaving. we should withdraw at least 40,000 troops now, and instruct out military leadership to prepare a plan to have combat troops out of Iraq in roughly 12- 18 months. as for the schools, more investment in early childhood, better training for those teaching early childhood, starting early childhood programs earlier, and providing better health and nutrition support for those in the programs. incentive pay for teachers willing to teach in the most difficult shools in the most diffiuclt environments. and of course, smaller shool sizes. these are just a few ideas, and i'd be glad to do a longer policy post later.

Left is Right: thank you for the policy preview, it all sounds good to me.

nan: Thank you, that would be very welcome. Agree with your preview here.

John Edwards: we're about to arrive at an event where i'll speak and take questions. when we leave to head to the next event, we'll try to hop back on. thanks.

Left is Right: Thanks for the chat!! Have a great event.

ZeitgeistRover: Great. I look forward to a longer post (and perhaps a policy speech).

nan: Thanks! Safe travels!

Left is Right: Was that great or what!

ZeitgeistRover: Wonders of the internet... yup, that was great LIR ;)

nan: Awesome!!

ZeitgeistRover: I look forward to more such chats. Good luck typing, Josh!

He's da man!


Mbair just got back from Pittsburgh at the WakeUp Walmart Rally. She said he rocked the place, just as I reported earlier today.

Like to read the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's take on his visit? Here you go.

"We want every single consumer in America, every person in America, to know that if they walk into a Wal-Mart, that first of all their tax dollars are subsidizing Wal-Mart employees. Their tax dollars are helping provide health care for Wal-Mart employees, because Wal-Mart's not doing it. Their tax dollars are going to provide housing and food stamps for Wal-Mart employees," Mr. Edwards told a crowd of 400 at Hill House. "What is wrong with this picture?"

There's been some allegations about JRE having Wal-Mart stock. This article says he sold it in 2004. "Still regarded as a potential candidate for president in 2008, Mr. Edwards was himself once an owner of Wal-Mart stock. He sold it during his presidential bid two years ago."

Well you know someone is a serious contender and a threat to the Rethugs when JRE makes one of the Freeper threads. They are so full of the kool-aid that they didn't understand a word he said.

Update, August 5: JRE was in NH late afternoon yesterday. The crowd had interesting reactions to him, according to the Concord Monitor:

"Some in the audience liked the man, but less so his chances in the next election.

"He has great charisma . . . and he's beautiful," said Therese Lane, of the Kendal retirement community in Hanover. But she and others said they were uncertain if he could win.

Others were enthusiastic backers, comparing Edwards idealism and focus on the poor with Robert Kennedy. One of the problems for Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry in the 2004 campaign was lack of a clear message, said Tom Oppel, a political consultant who lives in Canaan. "That will not be a fault of John Edwards."

Right on, Brother Oppel.

Looks like JRE is staying in NH today, and it has caught the attention of a Vermont news station. How cool.

Here's an odd tidbit: someone who campaigns for Evan Bayh posted the Newsweek pic of JRE in Indianola because there have been requests for it.

More buzz l8tr..

Tags: John Edwards, tour, poverty, mbair, health care, Benny's World, One America Committee, New Hampshire, Vermont, Iowa

Will there be a Backflip from the Junior NY Senator?

I liked Hillary Clinton at first when she was campaigning with her husband, and I thought it was neat that she and Tipper got along so well at the time.

But over time, I felt she overstepped her role as First Lady. No, I didn't expect her to stay in the kitchen and bake cookies, as she stated she didn't want to do either in 1992. But I thought the health care proposal she made in front of Congress and did a poor job in defending it, alienated so many people that the Class of 1994 was voted in. And we're in a mess today, thanks to their inebriation of power. And that would come to haunt her husband.

Moreover, Vince Foster's death still left me wondering why he wanted to commit suicide.

I was sorry to see that Bill Clinton wasted his political capital having to defend himself regarding an affair with a WH intern. Be that as it may, he was impeached. To me, it was dumb to be impeached for a small lie, compared to what we read in Rep. John Conyers' report that was posted earlier today on the Huffington Post (hat-tip to Mardee) about the statues broken by Bush. If it weren't for JRE's defense speech for President Clinton, I'm not so certain he would have been acquitted. And Hillary would not be in the Senate today. She would have had to wait until this year to make a run for the Senate, if the voters were still willing.

Yesterday, she made statements to Rumsfeld about mis-managing the war. And they were true. Yet, there was no questioning that suggested oversight and demanding accountability about the senseless war in Iraq.

But the real problem was that her words were so scripted, and she left out something she really thought, which was to call on Rummy's resignation, but she did so later in an obscure interview with someone from the AP. When this was the question posed for the second call-in segment of this morning's Washington Journal on C-SPAN, most of the callers (on all 3 lines) had unkind words about her, and most supported Rummy staying in, or admitting that it would unlike the President to "choose to accept Rumsfeld's resignation", as she was quoted in that AP piece.

Today Media Matters reported that on Monday's Hardball show, that Hillary would have to do a backflip on her position on Iraq if she wanted to gain traction for a run in 2008. The day before, on the Chris Matthews Show, she was considered unauthentic, as reported on the OAC blog, and JRE was considered to be more geniune.

Thus, I believe that even if she does the backflip, it will not be perceived as geniune. She would choose some kind of language that wouldn't say she was sorry or "I was wrong." Her ego is too large for that, in my view, and there are other voters who think she's not real either.

To tie this together, Bill Clinton was OK as a President and our economy was better during his administration. But due to his impeachment, he is a liability to Hillary as much as an asset in fundraising. But I think most Dems are tired of pols who are "in bed" (pun intended as to follow Bill's sin) with special interest groups, and certainly Hillary is in that category with Rupert Murdoch, whereas JRE is not.

It's time to have a person be in charge of our country who will be honest and caring about our people, and will help heal the wounds here and abroad.

That person is John Reid Edwards.

(photo credit: Chris OTR, via Flickr)

Check out the report about the WakeUp Wal-Mart rally I posted on OAC blog today. JRE definitely brings people together. Paul Blank from the Tour de WUW gets it.

Tags: John Edwards, JRE, Hillary Clinton, Chris Matthews Show, reversal of political position (backflip), Iraq war, authenticity, President 2008 race, One America Committee, Benny's World

Take this Bill and Shove It

Question: On the Cloture Motion (Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to Consider H.R.5970 )
Vote Number: 229Vote Date: August 3, 2006, 09:41 PM
Required For Majority: 3/5Vote Result: Cloture Motion Rejected
Measure Number: H.R. 5970
Measure Title: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the unified credit against the estate tax to an exclusion equivalent of $5,000,000, to repeal the sunset provision for the estate and generation-skipping taxes, and to extend expiring provisions, and for other purposes.
Vote Counts:YEAs56


Thank goodness. This was a nasty ploy to give the uber-rich not have to pay any taxes on estates, such as Paris Hilton. I'm proud my senators, Durbin and Obama, stood up for the rest of us. As Senator Durbin aptly said:

This trifecta is a high-stakes gamble with America’s future,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat. “This is the worst special-interest bill I have seen in my time in Congress.” (source: NYT)

Meantime, Wake up Wal-Mart. You must be pleased that bill didn't pass either, although your founder's children wanted this piece of ***t legislation to pass. Sam Walton is probably turning over in his grave.

Now, let's get a real bill for raising the minimium wage and turning it into a living wage minimium. We need to pay workers better for a service economy--the industrial economy is gone.

JRE speaking at Pittsburgh Wake-Up Wal-Mart Rally in less than an hour. Woot!

Tags: John Edwards, JRE, Wake-Up Wal-Mart tour, Senate, H.R. 5970, Pittsburgh

Thursday, August 03, 2006

JRE Buzz (16)

Good evening BW Readers. It's time for a round-up of recent news about Senator John Edwards since OAC blogger Mbair posted hers on Sunday, with some snippets from NCDem during the week. Update: Check out the post on Daily Kos, "Tonight I Became a John Edwards Fanatic," and Ourprez posted that JRE edged Gore this month on a poll by netrooters.

Also, check out the news story, "Edwards Tells Party to Care, Lead Nation" from the NewsOK site. (registration req'd, but free).

Regarding fundraising: the Pilot and the News & Observer seemed concerned that Edwards hasn't developed a very good warchest this year, at least in the first half. While I am concerned too, I think JRE will be able to mobilize staffing for campaigning in 2007--whenever he decides to announce--and again, all predicated on many factors. But what the MSM forget is that JRE is employed elsewhere--as Director of the Center for Poverty, Work, and Opportunity at UNC-Chapel Hill's Law School, and he's not running yet.

South Carolina Elephants have already scheduled a debate for May 15, 2008. It signals that their primary is not the same day as the Dems in late January. Greenville Online/Tribute-Times was kind enough to remember JRE won the Dem primary there in 2004.

American Prospect talked about the Netroots today, and how folks should put them down, but not always as criticism. Mark Schmitt, the author, mentioned John Edwards and Wes Clark as garnering a lot of netroots support, just as Dean did 3 years ago. I don't think the Netroots is all about left-ideology, as the blogger wrote:
" And part of that actually involves a greater tolerance of non-liberal positions on core interest-group issues where it’s necessary to win: Casey on choice, Schweitzer and others on gun control. So even if the netroots are liberals, the fact that they are channeling their liberalism into a vision of what they think the Democratic Party should be is a significant development since the 1990s.

As a Blue Moderate, I support this notion. I'm not crazy about Bob Casey's view on abortion, but it's similar to John Murtha's too. I guess as long as both PA candidates support other choices for women (ie birth control and the support of birth control clinics), I can live with them in the Congress.

Tomorrow, JRE is in Pittsburgh at the WakeupWalmart rally to have citizens and employees to listen to the concept of putting pressure on Wal-Mart to allow their employees to unionize and get better wages and health care benes. After all, Costco does. I hear rumblings that there may be an event report from a JRE blogger tomorrow from this rally. We'll have to see. And then JRE goes to NH...etc.

Edwards blogged yesterday about being in Tejas for some fundraisers and going to have dinner with Lance Armstrong. Kewlness. However, I should tell you, it's clear JRE doesn't like to type. I share that with you, JRE. I don't like to type either, but I've gotten a little better at it since PC's and Macs came around.

There's more, but I'm going to stop since blogger has been really really bizzy...

I like the title of this: John Edwards 09

(title & photo credit: Bryan Buchan, from Flickr)

Tags: John Edwards, Wake-up Wal-Mart Rally, Fundraising, One America Committee, mbair, NC Dem, Benny's World

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Gladiolas for Iddybud and Me

Iddybud and I had a common experience recently. Last Wednesday night (July 26th), both of us lost aunts who meant something to us. I was not able to attend my aunt's funeral and frankly, until Sunday, I kind of put the passing of my mind.

My mother tells me that my aunt's funeral went well and there were many people there, considering my aunt was 96 and hadn't been able to get to church very often. I also reminded my mom that my aunt and her husband, who proceded her 2 years ago, lived a lot longer than any of us thought they would considering they were in a tragic boat accident 24 years ago and almost lost their lives, albeit their cousins didn't make it.

Anyway, Jude, this bouquet is for you and me. Peace be with you and your family, and also to the ones who are suffering in the Middle East.

Update: I'm adding Senator Max Baucus and his family to the bouquet list. I found out this afternoon that Senator Baucus' nephew was killed in Iraq a few days ago.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Happy Anniversary John & Elizabeth Edwards

Would you believe this couple who got married the day after they took their bar exams in 1977 and pledged their lives together by giving each other rings that cost less than $15 (and still wear them) are still happily married?

I'm impressed.

But I'm not surprised. I have seen both Elizabeth and John in one month. They are gracious, loving people. They talk to each other constantly, and they tell each other what's on their minds. As John used to say before Elizabeth got cancer, they are connected at the breast bone. I think they are still so, but in their hearts and minds, if not their souls. And it shows.

Have a Classic Single or a salad, JRE and EAE!

Tags: John Edwards, Elizabeth Edwards, marriage, anniversaries, celebrations, One America Committee, Benny's World