Benny's World

Saturday, September 02, 2006

JRE Buzz (24): Labor Day Edition

Welcome BW readers to the Labor Day edition of JRE Buzz. Note to all readers: this was really published on September 4th, just started a draft on 9/2.

As you see by Gil Talbot's photo, Edwards was on the road, literally on a union' man's day of hard work. The photo was taken in Manchester where he spoke to the NH AFL-CIO at their post-rally breakfast. And yep, Edwards quite a few things to say, including that Rummy needed to give up his cabinet seat for the terrible mess he has made in Iraq.

Edwards also continued to talk about the right to belonging to unions, sort of in response to Wal-mart and big corporations who continue to fire workers if they try to be union agents or have outsourced manufacturing jobs in their march to weaken unions. Here's what JRE had to say (that I posted on the Daily Kos earlier today):

The manufacturing jobs that everyone is so worried about losing to overseas competition "weren't good jobs before the union," he said.

Edwards said he favors increasing the minimum wage to $7.50 an hour and banning the hiring of permanent replacements for striking workers. He also backed making it easier for workers to unionize.

"If Americans can join the Republican Party by signing their name to a card, they should be able to sign a card to join a union," he said.

I find the quote in bold intriguing and I will have to think it about more, as to what he meant. But here's the link to the AP story, first reported in the Boston Globe, but has been picked up in a dozen other newspapers and TV news sites. Edwards is in Hampton, IL, where I had hoped to cover the story, but trip was going to be too much for me going at it alone for 9 hours out of one day, and probably wouldn't have gotten to say hello anyway. Senator Durbin, Congressman hopeful Bruce Braley from Iowa and our beloved IL governor (sarcasm) were to supposed to be there with JRE and some local Dems at the picnic. But I'll be looking for a post in a couple of hours from the Trib.

Edwards is on route as I speak to Springfield, MO to attend the Labor Day rally and to stump for Claire McCaskill, who is running a tough campaign against incumbent Jim "I'll put those who pursue embroyo stem research in jail" Talent. Again, I'll be looking for posts from the Dispatch and the KC star to see if they cover the event.

Meantime, what happened over the weekend...?? Here's the blog round-up.

The Next Prez, a blog I've mentioned here at BW before, maintains Edwards remains steady in his number 2 spot behind HRC as one of the Dem forerunners. Interesting since the overseas media reports that Friends of HRC seem to think she will not run. National Journal also ranks JRE number 2. Argus Reid says that Edwards, along with HRC has dropped in the polls and Gore is gaining, along with Kerry.

Speaking of polls, Pressing the Flesh saw numbers from a Zogby poll (which I cannot find at the moment) that shows JRE in 5th, but still ahead of HRC.

US News & World Repor
t is releasing a piece this week that says that Gore is not to be counted out but: "Meanwhile, party insiders say former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina has taken to the road, presumably testing presidential waters. His pitch: economic equity coupled with tough talk on President Bush. He is considered particularly strong in Iowa, which caucuses in January 2008." (sorry no link--I found out about the article a different way)

Hillary the next Pro-War Democratic Candidate to Fall? American Reporter Randolph T. Holhut writes that Hillary has tried to position herself as tough with not making her true view about the war (was it a mistake) transparent. Lieberman has, but his view will hurt him in his run against Ned. Why does this matter? Because JRE came out early and apologized for his vote.

Bernie Quigley, who writes for the FMNN that I mentioned in the JRE Buzz last week, ponders aloud about the New Democrats, on his blog. He asserts that Edwards is the only real New Democrat:

"John Edwards is a New Democrat, and among the three frontrunners, only he is a New Democrat. He could well get the nomination now. If so, he would have the opportunity and the responsibility to form a New Democratic party; a new “third party” replacing the old Democratic Party and which would return Americato itself and away from ideologs.

Here are the waves of the New Democrats: Edwards, Sebelius, Warner, Clark, Lynch, Webb,Fighting Dems – Duckworth, Massa, the dKos generation and Johnny Cash to return the Democrats to their roots (“If you don’t like Johnny Cash you can . . . .”). Edwards can nurture this group and bring in more like-minded. My first, second, third and fourth choices for Vice President on a John Edwards Presidential ticket would be Kathleen Sebelius, Governor of Kansas. She, with Warner, was identified as governor of “one of the five best governed states . . .” She personifies everything that needs to be said about New Democrats, which I would capture with Warner’s phrase, '. . . a Democratic team with management values'.:

Quigley offers a piece of advice I haven't seen anywhere and it is noteworthy to put it here:
Here is a proposal for Edwards: Compare the U.S. Government with any major corporate structure or national or global network. In rating managers and their existing network it would find last place.

Our vision of federalism is built on ideas of Alexander Hamilton well suited to a frontier society of 1776. Today it is structurally bereft, which is why the failure of Katrina took place. Consider new ideas, like Regional Circles of influence in places which have cultural coherence (like New England, like the Pacific Northwest, like the three Gulf States injured by Katrina. Try to imagine a national or global corporation or organization without regional management and you have only the U.S. Government.

Ed Fitzgerald at Unfutz likes JRE because of his moderate liberal views and potential governance thereof, in the spirit of FDR and Lincoln:

"So what we're looking for in 2008 is a moderately liberal candidate who is not afraid of campaigning from a populist platform and speaking the language of progressive populism. To me, the candidate that seems to fit that bill most (at the moment) is John Edwards, which is why he is (intermittently, at least) at the head of my list -- but whichever candidate we come up with should understand this point: we need to meld liberal governance and populist politics. Liberal governance because it's the right and best thing for the country, and populist politics to enable it."

And Claire, a Des Moines resident, and someone who I thought was a Kerry supporter, has come out already and has declared on her blog, My Best Life, who she wants to be president: JRE. The war in Iraq is one reason, but she asserts further:

Part of my sadness about the current situation is that it takes away from so many other pressing issues. The same administration that will throw billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of soldiers into a losing battle in Iraq will say things like, "You can't just throw money at the problem" when it comes to other important matters like poverty, education and drug treatment.

It's time for a shift in prioritites.

I'd much rather see my tax dollars at work here in this country feeding our poor, funding a college education for all of our high school grads and making health care affordable to all Americans.

That's why I'm supporting John Edwards. His priorities fit with mine almost perfectly. This time I am going to tell everyone I know why it's important and why it's crucial that we demand a fundamental shift in the national agenda. None of us can afford to bite our nails and wait for the outcome. We have to make it happen.


Snarkville is a new feature on BW. It reports more notable snarks, mainly by those who drink the kool-aid, but some also by those who just have flat out snarks about Senator Edwards and his family.

Of course, we have the snarks, such as the Federalist Journal (and their writing doesn't even come close to Alexander Hamilton's in tenor or style) who seem to have little appreciation for a new direction for our country that does not share the One America vision, such as that some people do admit their mistakes or have hindsight, as JRE did. Context: the MTP awful debate between trailing incumbent Rick Santorum and Bob Casey (not one of favs either, but JRE seems to think he would make a good senator--and Casey would be an improvement since Rick is way out of touch with his state literally):

"The question is idiotic. Policy makers don't get the benefit of hindsight when they're making decisions. That's the way it is in the real world. You take the best information you have available at the time, and you make a decision. Asking politicians to go back and "Monday morning quarterback" themselves based on information they didn't have available at the time is pure foolishness. And there's nothing smart or courageous in a politician, such as John Kerry or John Edwards, saying, "If I had know then what I know now, I would've voted differently."

Another snark, which almost plagarizes a piece by John Lillpop that was published in the Post Chronicle and in the blogosphere nearly 7 months ago (I guess wizbang's bomb squad is a little slow on picking up the news) was from Wizbang. The title of its thread is "Did Liberals voted for WMDs as much as Bush" and implies that they too lied?). Yes, I put on some virtual guerilla war gear and had something to say about JRE because I had seen the same commentary months ago, and it was time to debunk the bomb squad. If you will go look at the comments, I had a link to JRE's Op-Ed piece in Washington Post from November 13th, and that I was glad to see someone with some backbone to say he was accountible and was responsible for his vote, something Bush would not do, even in admitting "faulty intelligence."

I also commented that they didn't make the complete attribution either to where they got Lillpop's piece, which was originally entitled, "Did These Democrats Lie About Saddam's WMD?", but maybe Kevin Aylward, wizbang's E-i-C, has automatic permissions to make attributions in that way by Mr. Lollpop.

There was one other snark about JRE on the TNR's comments concerning an Al Gore possible run, but unless the snarky pattern continues, I am cognizant that Al's supporters are sincere about his candidacy.

Holiday Reflections

To close on a reflective note, BW offers two threads that seem appropriate in thinking about Labor Day, and do reference JRE.

The first one is John Lacny and the title of the Thread is "State of the Class Struggle". I'm borrowing some meaty content here:

Poverty in the United States is an in-your-face fact for people who have to live with it -- or die from it. That is why it is so infuriating that there is a phalanx of bought-and-paid-for pseudo-economists whose job it is to minimize its importance or even deny its existence. It's difficult to suppress the urge to do simple physical violence to such people, but the accomplished Max Sawicky of the Economic Policy Institute has just mobilized facts and logic to skewer a pig from the American Enterprise Institute whose morally offensive pigshit was splattered on the pages of the Washington Post yesterday.

If we're to get any relief from this, it's going to require a lot of organization and agitation. But if you're looking for an interesting development on the electoral front, you might want to have a look at the website for the One America Committee, where John Edwards is positioning himself far enough to the left that he will not be able to secure the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 unless the left is able to pull off some sort of organizational and mobilizational miracle within the next two years. What Edwards is doing is fairly remarkable for those of us with no memory of the pre-Reagan years. Edwards is actually talking as if poverty is an issue for this country, and attempting to make it part of the national political conversation again (if you'll excuse my "conversation" metaphor, since real politics is not so much a conversation as a knife fight). For as long as I can remember, poverty and class in the electoral arena have been the provinces of a saving remnant of labor-inflected liberals and real progressives, a majority of them black (Conyers, Waters, Lee, Dellums, etc.), with a small and shrinking contingent of feisty elected officials from working-class white ethnic districts (Kucinich, without much of an etc.). But Edwards is not part of this "stage army of the good." When he ran for president in 2003-04, most of us at first figured he was a Bill Clinton clone, ideologically close to the DLC and wielding all of that dubious "Southern charm" as his most important asset. Instead, he started flipping the script in talking about the "two Americas." And even then, he almost became Vice-President of the United States.

Now, programmatically Edwards is not saying much that is all that different from the standard things that make Democrats generally preferable to Republicans. He is for raising the minimum wage. He opposes the shift in the tax burden from the wealthy to everyone else that has occurred under Bush, and wants to halt or reverse it. He supports card-check neutrality for union recognition, something to which most Democrats at the Federal level are now formally committed. So in what appears, at first glance, to be substantive issues, Edwards does not really stand out.

Where he differs, though, is on emphasis. He puts these issues front-and-center in his campaign and talks about them as if he wants to actually do something about them. And the way he is talking is going to scare away corporate donors and make Edwards dependent on working-class organizations if he wants to be viable in 2008. I have seen him at two events since the 2004 defeat. At one union event, he talked enthusiastically about his role as a national spokesman for the Hotel Workers Rising campaign, called unions "the most effective anti-poverty program in American history," and launched a blistering, spot-on attack on the Bush Administration's response to Hurricane Katrina. At the other event, which was part of the "Wake Up Wal-Mart" bus tour, he took an explicit and consistent anti-corporate line on Wal-Mart, flaying the company for the fact that most of its workers can't afford health care. He has also taken public positions on issues that are near and dear to the hearts of grassroots organizers: opposing predatory lending (an ACORN favorite campaign) and, as I mentioned before, supporting card-check neutrality for union organizing. This is an issue that is wonkish and hard to grasp for people who have not actually seen union organizing campaigns up close, but Edwards gives every indication that he takes it seriously, unlike other Democrats who have endorsed the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) on a pro forma basis but cannot reliably be expected to fight for it as a priority."

Benny's World appreciates Lacny's thoughtful commentary on the subject of class struggles, but respectfully disagrees that JRE is pulling himself too far to the left. I think it would useful if he revisited JRE's talk to the National Press Club 9 weeks ago in which he advocates moral responsibility from not only our government but from those who need to start showing responsibility at home. Edwards put it this way:

But after that, there’s only so much the government can do. So the real burden of promoting strong families falls to us.

All of us—parents, clergy, teachers, public officials—we need to say that it is wrong when young men father children but don’t support them.

It is wrong when girls and young women bear children they aren’t ready to care for.

It is wrong when corporate America – through movies, music and advertising – promotes a culture of reckless behavior to our youth.

And it is wrong when all Americans see this happening and do nothing to stop it.

Fighting poverty is a job for government, it is a job for communities, it is a job for all of us.

Source: One America Committee

Letters from Here had a thinkpiece about the "Two Americas today". The context was a picture of a homeless or poor person juxapositioned to another who was affluent with Tiffany bags in a Tiffany's window display 20 years ago in NY. The window peepers remarked "how the bags were alike", but as evident, the irony was totally lost of them. Here's what Madison Guy wrote:

"The divisions are even greater today, the rich richer, the poor poorer -- and their ranks growing, as working Americans struggle more than ever, with so many of the decent jobs getting sucked overseas in pursuit of lower wages. At the same time, housing and health care are becoming more and more expensive.

But we don't talk about it nearly enough, and our two-party system is hardly doing much of a job of responding to the crisis. Republican control of the White house and Congress is part of it, of course. But where are the Democrats? How can it be that only one Democrat, John Edwards, has become known for talking about the two Americas? Why aren't they all? Timid Democrats inside the Beltway who are afraid of being accused of fomenting class warfare are one reason. Eight years of Clinton-era triangulation also left their mark, compromises that had real NAFTA-style price tag attached to them."

Yes, John Edwards seems to be the only one who consistently talks about it, and will until we get our Houses in order to pay attention to how to solve real people's problems, and tipping the balance away from Corporate Welfare.

Todd Beeton of Courage Campaign reports that California Treasurer Phil Angelides, who is a candidate for governor in California, sent out a Labor Day message on Friday "that invoked the words of John Edwards and Franklin D. Roosevelt in bringing attention to the rising gap between rich and poor in California.

In his message, Angelides begins by echoing the populist message of John Edwards’s presidential campaign in which he spoke in dire terms of the emergence of “two Americas,” one for the haves and one for the have-nots.

This Labor Day…should be a time to celebrate California’s fortune as the most economically vibrant state in the richest nation on earth. Instead, for many of our lowest paid workers, it is a time for concern about a widening disparity in economic opportunity that threatens to create a future of “two Californias,” one prosperous, one slipping toward poverty."

Beeton continues to say that "Angelides then goes on to call for the closing of this gap and cites the raising of the minimum wage and indexing it against inflation as integral to this effort."

Governor Ahr-nold, is set to sign the recently passed minimum wage increase to $8/hour by 2008, possibly to blunt some of the political advantage his opponent may garner. However, as Beeton writes, "Angelides is focusing on the importance of indexing the rise in pay, which Schwarzenegger opposes and which did not make it into the final bill."

In case you've forgotten, Ned and JRE are stumping for SEIU and Angelides next weekend. Looks like Angelides is becoming a "John Edwards Democrat". Hat-tip to d-day blog for the Beeton piece and for a nice analysis about income downturn in the past 2 years.

Happy Labor Day, all.

This Just In...from Western IL Event

Dave Barrett made this post on his blog, Moline Illinois Democratic Maverick.
"I was very impressed with John Edwards and what he had to say. I did not take notes or record the speach so what I say will be from my memory and impressions of what he said. He told us that people around the world were suspicious and dubious about the motives and objectives of the United States and what we are doing overseas but that was because they did not know the American people, who we are and what we stand for. The reason they do not know us is because Abu Graib and Guantanomo Bay do not reflect the American people. We are better than that! And if Democrats are returned to power in Washington the government's actions and polices will once again reflect the values and morals of the American people. He said more than that but that is the essence of what I took away from his speech.

The media is reporting that hundreds of people were there. That seems right to me."

Way to go, JRE! And kudos Dave for the mini-report on this event.

AP Story via WOI TV:

Edwards Talks Poverty, Labor in Quad Cities

HAMPTON, Ill. Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards told hundreds of union activists to discount suggestions of a decline in the labor movement.

The Democrat says an expanding service industry offers an opportunity for growth.

Edwards, the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee, headlined a Labor Day picnic today for the Quad City Federation of Labor. The event was held just across the Iowa border in Hampton, Illinois.

Read the rest here. Not much to it.

One other news post about the Quad Cities event entitled Election Season in Full Swing.

snippet from WHbF TV:

We asked the senators what it will take for democrats like Hare to win in November.

"I'm hoping this November 7th the American people who have been frustrated and angry will speak up with their vote," said Durbin.

"People to understand how much is at stake," said Edwards. "Literally the future of America and the world is at stake in these elections. We can't continue on the course that we are on now, we're better than that."

More buzz l8tr...

Tags: John Edwards, JRE Buzz, Benny's World, Madison Guy, New Hampshire, New Hampshire AFL-CIO, Poverty, Labor, Presidential Race 2008, John Lacny, My Best Life, Bernie Quigley, Ed Fitzgerald, Unfutz, Claire in Des Moines, New Democrats, One America Committee, Snarkville, d-day blog, Courage Campaign, Todd Beeton, California, income downturn, Dave Barrett, Moline Illinois Democratic Maverick, Hampton IL, Quad Cities, Next Prez 2008, Pressing the Flesh, American Reporter, Lessons from Here, Senator Dick Durbin, WHBF TV, WOI-TV, Labor Day

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

JRE Buzz(23)

Hi BW Readers..this just in..(Sept 1)

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Senate candidate from Connecticut, Ned Lamont, who won his primary race over an old guard incumbent this summer, will join John Edwards, Phil Angelides, and hundreds of rank-and- file leaders from California's largest and fastest growing union next week to rally for fundamental change in healthcare and the labor movement, in Sacramento and in Washington, D.C.

The 2nd Annual SEIU United Healthcare Workers - West (UHW) Leadership Conference, on September 8th and 9th at the San Jose Convention Center, will gather 2,000 frontline healthcare workers from across the state -- leaders of the union's 140,000 caregivers throughout California -- who will plan next year's work to change the course of the country.

Read the rest here.

Is that not the kewls of kewls. I've become a Ned Head! Go JRE too to help out Dems in California.

Smaller edition tonight...just finding a snipper or two.

Here's one from Wednesday Wire:

1. The growing power of blogs.
John Edwards makes a telling comment, based on Ned Lamont's win in Connecticut, about blogs being important on a national level; 2. Sen. Schumer comes out four square for Net Neutrality; 3. 1800 individuals respond to MyDD, dailykos and ActBlue to make 7500+ donations worth $180K to Democratic candidates in less than a week and 4. the blogs - left and right - force Senators to openly declare that they did not put a secret hold on the Obama/Coburn legislation to create an internet database on government spending. All are testaments to the growing power of blogs and the internet in political affairs.

This just in...update, August 31

JRE is to picnic with Senator Durbin and Rock Island County Dems on Monday at Illiniwek Park (I think it is the forest preserve). Hmmm, sounds like it may be a CJ opportunity for someone.

Hotline mentions the Troika again of IA, NH, and SC, in response to a David Broader editorial today, saying he thinks the Dems messed up by voting their approval for the new schedule. I disagree with Mr. Broder in that there won't be enough time for voters to measure the candidates up. Heck, they're already visiting those places anyway--this year.

More buzz l8tr...

Tags: John Edwards, JRE Buzz(23), Hotline, Ned Lamont, Benny's World

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Katrina: A look back

I refer to Iddybud who wrote on the OAC blog a very good analysis, entitled: Katrina: A Moral Wake-Up Call Still Unanswered.

On the night of August 28, 2005, we heard warnings on the television about a storm named Katrina whose sheer size had become devastatingly clear. It was said that it might be "the one" that many had feared would someday drown New Orleans. The next morning, it seemed as if New Orleans had dodged the worst-case scenario after having had experienced the sixth-strongest Atlantic hurricane on record. Then the word came in that the storm surge was too much for the levees and that they were failing. If we were lucky enough to have been out of the storm's path, many of us will recall being glued to the television, watching the horrific story play out before our eyes, as millions of Americans watched and mourned for their fellow citizens in the days that would follow.

As on 9/11, the day the levees failed in New Orleans was a day were reminded of our common values as American citizens. Concerned Americans generously donated their talents, their money, and their time to helping the people of the Gulf Coast. The media's coverage of the aftermath of disaster from the deadly storm reminded us how well we work together as one America. Although citizens from all walks of life were affected by the tragedy, we were shocked and perhaps ashamed to have met the faces of so many Americans who had been living in what seemed to many of us to be another world - another America - long before a hurricane had come along to displace them. We witnessed the injustice of poverty in our nation as we learned of thousands of Americans who were stranded in New Orleans because they had no way to escape Hurricane Katrina. The class differences we've seen, in not only the level of devastation, but also in the overall rebuilding and recovery in New Orleans over the past year has served to reinforce Senator Edwards' "Two Americas" message.

Read the rest here.

Well said, Iddybud. Amen

Prosense at the DU has posted links about the state of NOLA today. Discouraging, but JRE did say last year it would take decades to rebuild as he was there within 2 weeks after the levees broke.

Facing South blog (which interviewed JRE earlier this summer) has an interesting perspective about Katrina and its tragedy. They maintain that the tragedy is still happening to due fraud, red tape, and that for the exception of certain stalwart groups, such as Jesse Jackson, NAACP, and guess who was among that list, John Edwards, progressives forgot Katrina survivors too.

A new Census Bureau report is out and the number of uninsured climbed up closer to 47 million. The only cheery short of news is that poverty didn't go up--it's not going down either. John Edwards issued the following statement in response to this report:

The horrors of Katrina were a terrible wake-up call to the vast majority of Americans about the millions of families in our midst who live in poverty every day, all across our country. Katrina should have been a defining moment in the fight against poverty - the American people's desire for change should have been matched by action from this Administration. But it wasn't. And a year later, we see the result of the Administration's inattention and neglect - stagnation. The number of Americans living in poverty remains unchanged at 37 million. A year ago, the President said we have a duty to confront poverty with bold action, and then he turned a blind eye once again. If the President won't act, I hope the American people will - talk to your church or synagogue or mosque, contact a local charity, anything you can do will make a difference.

"Just as alarming, the number of Americans without health care coverage grew to nearly 47 million. These families are already living on the edge and just one health care emergency will make it even harder for them to make ends meet. It is time for this Administration to finally take action, to stop the growing divide between the wealthiest Americans and the millions and millions who live paycheck to paycheck."

Lastly, ACORN is sueing FEMA on behalf of Katrina survivors. just got this PR about 30 min ago from Charles Jackson of ACORN. I'm proud JRE is affiliated with this group and stood with them last month.

WASHINGTON, DC - This morning the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) filed suit against the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in federal district court in the District of Columbia for failing to adequately explain to hurricane evacuees why their housing benefits are being terminated. Approximately 7,000 evacuees stand to lose their housing as of August 31 unless the court acts.

Katrina survivors assert that FEMA systematically fails to explain why benefits have been denied and what evacuees may do to fix any problems with their applications for continued housing assistance. Instead, FEMA sends form letters to evacuees that only contain a cryptic computer code or phrase that refers to a reason for each termination of benefits.

The suit alleges that the reasons for termination remain vague even after the computer codes have been deciphered, and that for a half-century, the Supreme Court has consistently required agencies to clearly explain their reasons for denial of benefits in time to allow affected individuals to appeal the agency's decision. Survivors of Katrina and Rita deserve this basic due process.

"Anyone with a $299 computer can mail-merge an explanatory paragraph into a form letter," said Texas RioGrande Legal Aid attorney Jerome wesevich. "By using a computer code instead of the English language, FEMA has made what appears to be a deliberate attempt to place barriers between desperate families and the housing that Congress said they should have."

When evacuees call in response to a letter denying benefits, FEMA representatives strain to clearly state the reason for the termination. The process has forced evacuees to run in circles to obtain documents that may not even be needed, and some evacuees have even been given entirely different reasons for the denial when they call FEMA at a later time.

"We stand today with evacuees all across this country who have done everything within their power to put the pieces of their lives back together," said ACORN representative Debra Campbell. Ms. Campbell is the leader of the ACORN Katrina Survivors Association that has over 5,000 members.

ACORN is represented by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (Jerome Wesevich 915-241-0534) and Public Citizen Litigation Group (Michael T. Kirkpatrick 202-588-1000).

The lawsuit and supporting exhibits can be found at Public Citizen.

What hypocrisy--and Our President and his wife are in New Orleans today, in remembrance of what?

Slideshow of 9th Ward, NOLA

Tags: Iddybud, John Edwards, JRE, uninsured, health insturance, poverty, ACORN, FEMA, Katrina survivors, Katrina, New Orleans, NOLA, Public Citizen, One America Committee, Benny's World

Monday, August 28, 2006

JRE Buzz (22)

Hello BW readers...time for another round-up of JRE buzz, some not seen yet.

Speaking of round-ups, NCDem has put out another JRE News, vol 25. Recommended and a most for JRE news-hungry bloggers and readers. She found one picture I did not on there: it from the SC fundraiser. So do go visit!

You may wish to see another video captured by NCDem and her fellow CJ's in which they caravaned with Schuler and Edwards to visit a Habitat for Humanity family. How proud the family must feel.

Paul Bass wrote a somewhat provocative piece in the NE Magazine section of the Hartford Currant. It was about Edwards stumpin' for Ned Lamont and purposely not meeting with the MSM, but rather with local Connecticut bloggers, just as I reported a couple of weeks ago:
Accounts of this exclusive press conference appeared on his web site, other Connecticut sites, as well as the national Internet commons known as the Daily Kos.


This wasn't a scheduling failure. This was deliberate. Edwards was well aware of what happened in Connecticut on Aug. 8. The nation's political establishment got a glimpse of how centers of power are shifting on the ground in election campaigns.
Then Bass gave examples of how editorials of some prominent papers in CT endorsed Joe Leiberman; he lost, as well as another Dem, Dannel Malloy over John DeStephano for the governor's race. DeStephano also won that primary.

Bass further asserts "One big story in American politics is how the Internet, the decline of old party powerbases, as well as other trends are gradually changing the rules. Power is shifting to real voters and away from consultants, insiders and the kind of campaigning that basically serves as a bipartisan incumbent-protection racket. "

Hat-tip to for linking to Bass's article. Kos also has it linked and a shout out as well.

Speaking of blogger power, The American Propsect's TAPPED has asserted a challenge about the race in 2008 of the usual HRC and will she run or not. The blogger, Franke-Ruta had this to say about the race: "

"Frankly, I'm getting a little tired of discussing Clinton in the abstract. Until someone can make the case for how John Edwards or Evan Bayh would beat McCain or Giuliani, the criticisms of Clinton don't strike me as being much more than the politics of personal distaste. Clinton could probably beat 75 percent of the Republican field. So could most of the Democratic contenders. But the two candidates she'd face a tough race against would be tough for any Democrat to beat, and until someone makes the case for how the other Democrats would do any better in contests against the toughest Republican contenders, it's not at all clear we're actually discussing Clinton's "electability," rather than her personality or gender difference."

Blogger David Mizner took up the challenge and this was his comment:
Garance, do you want numbers or common sensical political analysis? If you want numbers, you have John Edwards's favorability/unfavorabiliy ratings (64/26) versus Hillary's (56/44). Notice that 18 point difference in unfavorability.

As for analysis: Edwards would, with his populist economic message and opposition to the war, do a much better job of mobilizing the base. He would also put the entire South in play and stand a good chance of winning North Carolina, Virgnia, Lousiana, Tennessee, and Florida. (This is crucial because McCain--forget Guliani: he doesn't stand a chance--would be competitive in blue states.)Plus there's the perception that Edwards's, because of his Southern roots and appealing personality, is moderate. That's the irony, Edwards is a strong progressive who appeals to independents while Hillary is a triangulating centrist who scares moderates.

Lastly for now--I could go on and on--Edwards is articulating a broad political vision based on moral principles. People, whatever their party, like candidates who have strong beliefs. That excludes Hillary, and Evan Bayh for that matter."

Another blogger, DivGuy made responded this way: " I can see the case that someone else's numbers - say, Evan Bayh's or Mark Warner's - are only good because the Republican machine hasn't hit them yet. But Edwards was subject to constant attacks as a "trial lawyer", and they didn't stick. All the attacks slid off, to the degree that people now forget even that the attacks were made.

I don't see much of a case, on electability grounds, for a Warner over Hillay. John Edwards, though, is the nearly the perfect storm of electability, and he's a better progressive than Russ Feingold."

Strong words. Philgoblue offered one other perspective: "But in general, Edwards is far more likeable (see David's polling numbers) and able to win the "cares and understands people like me" vote than HRC could hope to.

Edwards would run a 50-state campaign and could peal off some Border states and at least put Southern states in play. With HRC, it's again putting all our eggs in winning Florida or Ohio."

And lastly, Diane, another blogger had this to say:
American voters don't like dynasties except on TV. We need fresh faces. We need to move past the Vietnam War and not fight it again in our PResidential election. We need an optimistic vision for the future, not Ms. Scoldy McSchool Marm. Reagan had fake folksiness and optimism. Clinton had real optimisim and folksiness and smarts, but it was all about him. John Edwards has not only optimism and smarts, but he is part of something bigger. He's part of a movement, a people's movement against the two party corporate state.
Yeppers, Diane.


The Chillicothe Gazette jumps on the bandwagon that the Dem Primary schedule will benefit other candidates and not Hillary. But what I didn't understand is why they think Nevada will hold for Bill Richardson, Evan Bayh, or Tom Daschle (remember him?), when clearly Edwards has the advantage with the largest voting block in the state: hospitality workers.

Speaking of Nevada, the Las Vegas Sun reports JRE is planning another visit sometime next month. Update, August 29: Looks like he will be in DC to help stump for Andrew Hurst, DCCC for Virginia's 11th District.

The New Republic has officially declared JRE the anti-Hillary candidate. They have some poll numbers, but one has to be a subscriber.

OMG.. Faux News mentions JRE as a contender in 2008. The writer is Susan Estrich, who is a lawyer and a Democratic pundit, so I guess I don't need bug spray. Her comment that stood out in this piece, "Edwards, more so than any of the other candidates, knows how to run in Iowa, and has the time, inclination, and ability to do it. If anyone is currently situated to upend Hillary in Iowa, he is."

The FMNN (Free Market News Network) had a catchy headline on their site today: John Edwards to the Fore. Hmm, what's that about? Well, its about pejoratives that 2008 potential candidates such as George Allen uses and gets caught for everyone on the Daily Kos to see within a few hours. Then the article shifts towards the 2008 primary season and the schedule we already know: Iowa, Nevada, NH, and South Carolina, which seems to bode well for Clinton, Kerry, and Edwards. But the article takes it one step further: "Of the three mainstream candidates, Kerry, Clinton and Edwards, Edwards stands to gain in this new political environment. "

"Both Clinton and Kerry will now spew venom on Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld and already they are doing so. Among these three, Edwards alone seems not to have the Revenge Gene."The author had another observation about bloggers at DK: "Among the young voters at the Daily Kos, the Dark Horses ride high. Warner and Clark have consistently scored highest in this past year, but among the mainstream candidates only John Edwards has strong appeal." Then the accolades, so geniunely written, come out of the author:

"There is much to like about him. He knows how to throw a football. He is a great debater and although his debate with Vice President Cheney was overlooked by the press, it was one of the best debates in recent years.

And he is one of us. When the primary season first started, I brought my children to one of his first events at the Coffee Cup in Littleton, NH. As it turned out, we ended up having lunch with Edwards, his wife Elizabeth and his daughter Cate. I compared him then to Tip O’Neil and the old real world politicians in these parts who came from places like Hell’s Kitchen and South Boston."

The article concludes very much in line with the One America vision: "And at that tragic, pivotal moment of 9/11 they cast their net, bringing in the army, the government, the press and 80 percent of the American people. With Edwards, perhaps we can put the war behind us without venom or vindication, and go forth into the world again in faith and good hope."

Yep. Have to agree with that. Swe-et!

This just in...

NCDem reports that CTblogger's vlog of Ned and JRE on Youtube has netted over 5700 views. Wow.

More buzz l8tr...

Tags: John Edwards, NCDem, JRE News Roundup, Paul Bass, New Haven Independent, Susan Estrich, Hartford Currant, FMNN, Free Market News Network, New Hampshire, Presidential Race 2008, Daily Kos, One America, One America Committee, Chillicothe Gazette, Benny's World, TAPPED, David Mizner, Philgoblue, The New Republic, Diane, JRE, JRE Buzz