Benny's World

Saturday, October 07, 2006

JRE Buzz (32): Weekend Edition

Welcome BW readers to the weekend edition of JRE Buzz, the place to get the latest news on fmr Senator John R. Edwards.

In today's Boston Globe, Derrick Z. Jackson writes the second of a two part series about the challenges and opportunities for the Democratic Party. Immigration, Iraq, and education are all issues discussed. In looking at a future window for presidential candidates for 2008, one Jackson reports:
Back at the bowling alley, Jim Northcutt’s wife, Delia, 41, arrived in the middle of a game. She is a registered Republican but likes 2004 Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards and Illinois Senator Barack Obama on education. ‘‘I’m divided,’’ she said. ‘‘If Edwards runs, I might go for it and vote for him.’’

Delia, I can't tell you how many Republicans told me that if John Edwards had been on the top of the ticket, they would have voted for him. I like John Kerry, but that's what quite a few said.

One article I missed earlier in the week, discovered Thursday, and just couldn't figure out where to put it except here is by Tim Funk that was published in the Miami Herald. It's John Edwards' tireless campaigning on behalf of other candidates. Other national candidates are beginning to follow suit, which is a good thing. What Funk is positing here is that Edwards is helping himself for a run in 2008. Candidates don't seem to care. As Funk wrote:

"Candidates appear thrilled to get a hand from Edwards. As a national political celebrity with Kennedy-esque charisma, he can attract crowds, cameras and cash.

Counting the $50,000 haul at the Webb fundraiser, Edwards has helped 2006 Democratic candidates raise almost $7.2 million."

Political Wire found something from the Hotline this week about pols and their number of appearances on different talk shows. Here's a little tidbit about Bill O'Reilly, who boasted that "no one could be president without being on his show. "

Guess who hasn't be on the show, according to Hotline and Political Wire: George Allen, Evan Evan Bayh, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, John Edwards and Al Gore.

Alex of Choosing our President posted results of a poll on the Daily Kos which listed Clark as number one for 2008 last month, but that Edwards was number one this month. I went and voted. No brainer on that one!

Mbair captured Edwards's appearance on Rocketboom (as reported here yesterday) and put it on YouTube last evening; it was about his trip to Uganda. The Blue State blog has picked up already and featured it as one of the vlogs for their Saturday morning clips. Mbair also did a separate one for Elizabeth. It's much appreciated because there's not any interruptions as sometimes can happen when watching Rocketboom via QT and modem speeds vary.

Iddybud, one of my favorite writers, posted an excellent digest about JRE's Uganda visit at blogcritics. I liked the way she tied it to Jimmy Carter's book, Our Engendered Values: America's Moral Crisis by writing this:
In his book "Our Endangered Values - America's Moral Crisis," former President Jimmy Carter has pointed out that in 2002, President Bush announced a Millennium Challenge fund of $5 billion annually for development aid, but three years later (at the time the book was written) only $400,000 (less than one percent) had actually been distributed. The annual U.S. foreign aid budget for fighting malaria has been $90 million, but 95 percent of that money is being spent on consultants and less than 5 percent is being spent on mosquito nets, drugs, and insecticide spraying.

There is no time to waste regarding our need to show the world a great example of moral leadership. We must actively demonstrate our nation's responsibility toward humanity now, because every wasted second means there will be more unnecessary and preventable deaths and abuses of innocent children in remote places to which the American media pays no attention.

I couldn't have said it better.

Here's a link to an article (via the Connection Newspapers site) about a young man in middle school who has started the Young Sully Democrats in Virginia. His name is Shane Grannum. He met JRE last week at the Webb Rally (I presume). He's the next generation of hope that many of us long for in tailspin of negative campaign ads which produce voter apathy.


Today's snark is from the Seldom Wrong blog. The blogger, whose name is not articulated very well, predicts that voter turnout in Cincinnati will be low compared to 2004 as he has only seen a few yard signs for this year's candidates, but more leftover bumper stickers from 2004. He writes, "Usually in Cincinnati, yard signs sprout like dandelions. But there are few to none compared to the typical crop. The same can be said for bumper stickers. There are more leftover 2004 stickers (the only thing preserving public memory of John Edwards, by the way) than current ones."

I guess the professor forgot that John Edwards was in Cincinnati not too long ago doing a minimum rally and to help do a private fundraiser for John Cranley, who is running for Congress. (photo credit: Luke Blocher, via Flickr) I guess Seldom Wrong is wrong here.

Upcoming Events

JRE will be the lead discussant and questioner of a panel at UNC-CH's Center for Poverty, Work and Opportunity (where he is Director) on October 11. The discussion topic is "The High Cost of Being Poor. "

The Center will also have a program on "High Poverty Schooling in America: Lessons in Second Class Leadership" on October 13th. After that, JRE zips over to do a rally for Larry Kissell, who is running for Congress.

Two events in Iowa on October 14. One at the University of Iowa Law School to give a keynote luncheon speech about welfare reform, and a rally later in the evening down at Fort Madison for Dave Loebsack, who is running for Congress.

More buzz l8tr...

Tags: John Edwards, Elizabeth Edwards, JRE Buzz, Benny's World, Blue State blog, Choosing Our President, Daily Kos, Mbair, Uganda, Political Wire, Derrick Jackson, Tim Funk, Larry Kissell, John Cranley, Dave Loesack, Shane Grannum, Iddybud, Congressional Races 2006

Friday, October 06, 2006

John Edwards Upcoming Event Buzzers for His Book: Home

Found Three so far:

Former Senator John Edwards
"Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives"
Friday, November 17, 2006 at 7:30 p.m.
Ivan Allen III Pavalion - Carter Center
Free and Open to the Public


Senator John Edwards
[Book signing]

The Senator signs Home: The Blueprint of our Lives.

Sat., Nov. 18, 6 p.m.
Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Charlotte, NC
4345 Barclay Downs Dr. [map]

John Edwards
Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives
Sunday December 03, 2006 12:00 p.m.---this is part of the Commonwealth Club series.

Stay tuned for exact location in the Bay Area.

Update, October 7: My friend Machka has posted the schedule on the Texas for Edwards site. Thanks, Machka for doing this to make it easier for all of us. I had received a note about this too from another blogger but the calendar is just super!

Tags: John Edwards, Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives, book tours, Texas for Edwards, Benny's World

WSJ Best Seller

Saving Graces by Elizabeth Edwards is number #3 for non-fiction.

It's number 17 overall on USA Today's list.

Nice review of the book on the Charlotte Observer site today. Elizabeth will be doing a book reading and signing there next Wednesday.

Nice CJ piece by Kristin of Candy Sandwich blog on the DC gig. I was moved by the following paragraphs:

"Instead, I stood, smiled inanely and thanked her a half dozen times. I think I shook her hand. I laughed and bent down for a picture after she pointed at number 60 and said, "Don't you want to get closer so your friend can take a picture?"

I thanked her again and number 60, my new friend, took my place at the table offering up her book and her story, the loss of her own son. She passed along the CD, Eva Cassidy, Songbird, that helped her in her grief. They posed for a picture but the picture wouldn't take. I almost cried and then I offered to take one with my own. Elizabeth Edwards offered to take a picture on her own camera as well, "We'll send you a copy."

Elizabeth and John are on Rocketboom.

Update, October 7: My buddy Machka of Southern Hope blog posted the CNN American Morning interview of Elizabeth from earlier this week. Click here to get to that vlog.

Another article about Elizabeth's book from the McClatchy papers, written by Jeri Krentz. Well done.

Tags: Elizabeth Edwards, Saving Graces, Southern Hope, Benny's World

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Keith Hits Another Homerun

Go to Crooks and Liars

Transcript there.

Tags: Keith Olbermann, Countdown, MSNBC, truthfulness

JRE Upcoming Events in the Midwest

Edwards slated for Fort Madison rally

For the Daily Gate City

FORT MADISON - Former North Carolina senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards will be joined by Democratic candidate Dave Loebsack in the “Strengthening the Heartland” rally in Fort Madison on Saturday, Oct. 14. Loebsack is running against long time second district Congressman Jim Leach. Candidates for county offices also are scheduled to appear.

Edwards is spending the end of September and beginning of October in Uganda with the International Rescue Committee. He and other delegates are searching for solutions to relocating the 1.5 million Ugandans who are displaced. Edwards' invitation to participate was the result of his work with the OneAmerica committee and OneCorps, which he created to fight poverty in the United States. His stance is that America cannot lead unless its citizens are poverty free and empowered. He recently said, “We're responsible for the United States of America, maintaining our strength. But we're also responsible for the interests of humanity. Without that we cannot lead. You don't lead just by being powerful. You have to have the moral authority to lead.”

The Fort Madison rally is at the Comfort Inn on Highway 61 West. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with local candidates speaking at 7 p.m.

Edwards is scheduled to speak, then meet the public from 7:30 until 8:30 p.m.

The event is free to the public.

More buzz l8tr...

Tags: John Edwards, Ft. Madison, IA, Iowa politics, Benny's World, Dave Loebsack, Congressional Races 2006

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

2008 Has to be More than "Had Enough"

John Hall of Media General News believes that while 2006 there is plenty of negative things for the Dems to say about the Republicans this year in the light of recent scandals, they will have to do more than that in 2008.

Hall puts it this way in the Washington Dateline column of the Media General News site:
The Democrats need to stay out of the gutter on this subject and find an appealing voice to tell the public why they can do better. If the party were concentrating on winning, it would be making new ads with someone who could calm people down rather than screaming at them, who has appeal in the South, is squeaky clean and who can help the Democrats win ...
... Someone like former Sen. John Edwards, the party's vice presidential contender in 2004.
Couldn't agree more. (photo credit:dsmolen88, taken at a Webb rally last week)

And do you see John Davis, the guy with the sunglasses? He's the anchor on OAC Newsroom. He's always got a Sharpie pen handy!

Tags: John Edwards, Presidential 2008 race, Congressional Races 2006, Washington Dateline, One America Committee, Benny's World

John and Elizabeth Edwards: Scholars and Biographers

Senator John Edwards wrote a nice little piece for a new online journal of the American Constitutional Society as a send-off for a journal, Harvard Law and Policy Review.

Citation: John Edwards, Constitutional Values Beyond the Courts, 1 HARV. L. & POL'Y REV. (Online) (Sept. 18, 2006),

Here's a snippet:

Throughout our nation’s history, Americans have looked to the courts to guarantee the rights and freedoms embodied in the Constitution. They have sought protection from abuses of government power, enforcement of equality, and restraint of corporate power.

Last July, on the eve of the nomination hearings for Chief Justice John Roberts, I spoke to the American Constitution Society about the historical role of the courts in securing the rights of all Americans. One year and two Supreme Court appointments later, it is clear that the courts can only go so far in ensuring that every American has the same opportunity to lead a fulfilling life.

We are in the midst of a right wing movement to stifle the ability of ordinary people to obtain justice through the courts. This movement advances what I call “protect the powerful” jurisprudence, because that is what it is designed to do: maximize the constitutional protection for corporations and property rights, minimize the constitutional commitment to equality, and restrict the power of the federal government to solve the country’s problems.


Meantime, Elizabeth is busy with a book tour for promoting her new autobiography, Saving Graces. Mbair at the OAC has posted a preliminary report from an event at Barnes & Noble last night. Elizabeth was also featured in a Washington Post column today. (photo credit: Susan Biddle/WP) One thing I didn't know mentioned in the article, "Now happily describing herself as "cancer-free," Edwards recently accepted the Congressional Families Leadership Award at the 14th annual Action for Cancer Awareness Awards luncheon, held on the Hill last week." Kewl!

The Thirtysomething blog mentions seeing Elizabeth on TV. Wasn't sure which show, but the part of the book about Elizabeth's worst day resonated with the blogger. The title of the post is Comfort. I'm certain Elizabeth would appreciate knowing she has written something that can help others, especially the death of a child.

Tags: John Edwards, Elizabeth Edwards, Saving Graces, Harvard Law and Policy Review, American Constitution Society, Benny's World

Monday, October 02, 2006

JRE Buzz (31): Out of Africa Edition

Welcome BW readers, where JRE Buzz catches up with the nimble John Edwards, who is currently in Uganda.

According to JRE's post read on his blog (or a piece of it):

Little background - we had a tough time getting here. We started in NY thinking we were going from NY to Brussels, to Entebbe, Uganda, but because of flight problems, we ended up changing planes in NY, flying to Brussels, then on to London, then on to Nairobi, then finally Entebbe. For two nights the only sleep we got was on airplanes. As soon as we arrived in Entebbe we went to a hotel, took a shower, and then flew to northern Uganda - Kitgum.

We flew on small, prop planes and landed on a dirt runway in Kitgum. Not only was the runway dirt, but the roads were dirt too, and very rough. We went to an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) campaign outside Kitgum - IDP's are the same as refugees, but they have not crossed a country border. Many of the people in this camp have been stuck there for several years, some for twenty years. When we got to the camp we were greeted by a crowd of people singing, banging drums, and welcoming us. We had performances by a women's group and a children's group, then we proceeded to my favorite part, speeches.

Most of the village had gathered in a tree covered area where we met. I spoke for a few minutes and a translator told the crowd what I was saying. I then sat under a tree with three adult IDPs and lots of children. They told me the stories of what they've been through and what there hopes were. I met a little girl, about a year old, whose mother said she had never smiled - her father was killed by the LRA. I touched her cheeks, tried to get her to smile, and it ALMOST worked. I toured the camp, and the living conditions were awful - open sewage, little water, malnourished children.
(photo credit: Vanessa Vick)

There were also kids there that had been abducted by the LRA, forced to commit atrocities against others, including their own family, but had escaped and come back - the entire place made a huge impression on me. I will never forget it.

The next day we flew on a slightly larger prop plane to a shorter, dirt runway in Lira - another region of northern Uganda. We went to many places, including another IDP camp where we spoke in a crowded building with children peering into the windows from the outside. We visited the home of a family who had recently returned from the camp - there I saw a young girl who was an orphan that had been taken in by the family - her name was Lilly, and her parents had been killed by the LRA. She was about eight or nine years old, carried a baby in her arms, and one on her back. She's about the same age as my daughter Emma, and the look in her eyes was as different as night and day from Emma's - it was heartbreaking. She was providing childcare for these babies instead of going to school.

Yeah, imagine a child carrying on the burden the age of Emma Claire. I had to grow up fast, but not like that.

Here are 2 more and here.

Elizabeth Buzz

Want to see Elizabeth interviewed on Charlie Rose's show? Go here this evening for free, then you can pay $1 for a showing. Not too bad.

She was on Diane Rehm's show yesterday. Note: the link is to an audio file on Real Player. Elizabeth is unfailingly honest and empathic with callers. I learned there that JRE is going to China late this month.

She was also interviewed by Will Fima of MSNBC, in which she answers questions of those who e-mailed MSNBC. She talks about how writing helped her, especially amongst Internet support groups when Wade died. Oh, wow, she talks about Ann Coulter and how polarizing Coulter is by calling people names instead of stating that we disagree and why we do.

and one more, an interview on a radio show in NYC earlier today.

This Just In...update...EAE Buzz

A OAC blogger reports in the chat room that JRE showed up to Elizabeth's reading and book signing in NYC tonight...more l8tr...

IloJE: Sorry, Benny and America in 08, but my PC froze up
IloJE:I wanted to tell you that John Edwards showed up
benny has joined the conversation.
benny: What, JRE was there?
benny:with EAE?
benny:Tell me more!
IloJE:for support and yes there was a full house of all chairs and some people standing. He said something to Elizabeth as she was answering a persons question, sorry I can't remember what he said, but she said, "now, do I interupt you when are making a speech. People laughed and of he did. He sat in the up front, he stayed for the whole Q&A and then posed for a photo for some photographers, most looked professional and then he left. I guess he didn't want to overshadow her so he was rather quite. First time I have seen either one of them. I don't know about a diary, because I never remember much, I was so impressed I think I am still in a fog. So if I can think of more I will write at least some comments. There should be lots of photographs from this event by professionals.

IloJE: I think someone is going to put Elizabeth on the U-tube??. There was a photographer who looked like Annie Leibowitz, but I couldn't see her name
benny: Really?
IloJE: tag. She's the women that takes a lot celebrity photos. I am looking for my last copy of Vanity
benny: Did you get to say anything to Elizabeth? Get a book signed? Say anything to JRE?

IloJRE: Fair, with Tom and Kathy Cruise, I think there's a picture of Annie in there. Will confirm tommorrow. I got my book signed and told her she looked great, looks like lost some weight and she said she's trying. Good for her. If I think of anything else will write about it tomorrow. Have a good night.

More buzz l8tr...

Tags: John Edwards, Uganda, Elizabeth Edwards, One America Committee, Saving Graces, Benny's World

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Senator Durbin endorses David Gill.

Senator Durbin endorses David Gill in the IL- 15th Congressional District.