Benny's World

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Real Men

My buddy Susie from North Carolina is taking computer graphics classes, and she has come up with a great slogan for JRE: Real Men. Looks like a winner to me!

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Friday, February 16, 2007

JRE on CNN's Situation Room

How crummy, CNN/ Blitzer put Edwards in the first block instead of full screen the entire time. That's not treating him like a Presidential candidate; it makes him look like a reporter. The reporters got better screen time.

Oh, geez, Edwards finally got full screen when talking about Marcotte and McEwan, but not when he talked about his ideas.

Well, at least Edwards got to say that the Net is a powerful place and that while candidates control what the bloggers say, it is a true grassroots for democracy.

I hope Media Matters studies this further to see if I have rose colored glasses on.

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Elizabeth Edwards to Speak at ALA This Summer

This is a good news day.

Elizabeth Edwards to speak at American Library Association meeting this summer.

CHICAGO – Susan Hildreth, president of the Public Library Association (PLA), is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Edwards will deliver the keynote address to the PLA President’s Program and Awards Presentation at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The program will take place Monday, June 25, 2007, 5 – 6:30 pm in the Washington Convention Center.

A passionate advocate for children and families, as well as an accomplished attorney, Elizabeth Edwards has been a tireless advocate for many important causes. Both Edwards and her husband are strongly committed to strengthening communities and expanding educational opportunities for all children. She charmed America with her smart, likable, down-to-earth personality as she campaigned for her husband, then vice-presidential candidate John Edwards. She inspired millions as she valiantly fought advanced breast cancer after being diagnosed only days before the 2004 election. She touched hundreds of similarly grieving families when her own son, Wade, died tragically at age 16 in 1996. She shared her experiences in “Saving Graces,” an incandescent memoir of Edwards’ trials, tragedies, and triumphs, and of how various communities celebrated her joys and lent her steady strength and quiet
hope in darker times.

PLA is pleased to present Elizabeth Edwards as part of the ALA Auditorium Speakers Series. Following her talk and the awards presentation, attendees are welcome to join PLA President Susan Hildreth for a gala, music-filled reception. For more information on the PLA President’s Program, contact the PLA office at 800-545-2433, ext. 5PLA, or visit PLA’s Web site at

PLA is a division of the American Library Association. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. Its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.

If only SLA had listened to my suggestion to invite EE to speak at its conference. Oh well.

ALA just regained their membership back from me.

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Andrew Sullivan has Heard of Champaign IL

Andrew Sullivan, a libertarian pundit whose blog I enjoy reading occasionally, has posted one of the "View Outside Your Window" pics. It's from a reader from Champaign, IL. No, it's not my pic, but it's nice to see that Sullivan has an inkling where Champaign is.

Other good news out of Champaign: The Chief is being retired.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Elizabeth: Unscripted

This nice blog post is by Jane Genova. I've seen her blog more than once, but this is the second time I think she has brought up Elizabeth Edwards. Sounds like Elizabeth had seen her stuff too.

I tell my clients: If you have a script, even if you don't deliver your talk from it, it will show. Some of them are old-line executives. Those still want a polished script not simply a briefing folder of background research and a detailed point outline (annotated bullets). You know the rest: They sound scripted and that's a credibility and ability-to-connect killer.

Given my background in the scripted versus non-scripted space, I have some observations to make about Elizabeth Edwards, whom I perceive as The (Totally) Unscripted.

Read the rest here.

(photo credit: L. Beyerstein, courtesy of Flickr)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

JRE to Discuss His Iraq Plan on Larry King Live Tonight

From the campaign blog (and referenced in an e-mail I got today):

Edwards believes that the only solution to the situation in Iraq is a political solution, which requires all the parties in Iraq to take responsibility for the future of their country. By leaving Iraq , the Iraqi people, regional powers, and the entire international community will be forced to engage in the search for a political solution that will end the sectarian violence and create a stable Iraq . Escalating the war sends exactly the wrong signal to the Iraqi people, regional powers and the world.

Edwards' plan for Iraq calls for Congress to:

  • Cap funding for the troops in Iraq at 100,000 troops to stop the surge and implement an immediate drawdown of 40-50,000 combat troops. Any troops beyond that level should be redeployed immediately.

  • Prohibit funding to deploy any new troops to Iraq that do not meet real readiness standards and that have not been properly trained and equipped, so American tax dollars are used to train and equip our troops, instead of escalating the war.

  • Make it clear that President Bush is conducting this war without authorization. The 2002 authorization did not give President Bush the power to use U.S. troops to police a civil war. President Bush exceeded his authority long ago, and now needs to end the war and ask Congress for new authority to manage the withdrawal of the U.S. military presence and to help Iraq achieve stability.

  • Require a complete withdrawal of combat troops in Iraq in the next 12-18 months without leaving behind any permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq.

After withdrawal, Edwards believes that sufficient forces should remain in the region to contain the conflict and ensure that instability in Iraq does not spillover and create a regional war, a terrorist haven, or spark a genocide. In addition, Edwards believes the U.S. should step up our diplomatic efforts by engaging in direct talks with all the nations in the region, including Iran and Syria and work to bring about a political solution to the sectarian violence inside Iraq, including through a peace conference. He also believes the U.S. must intensify its efforts to train the Iraqi security forces.

Folks, this is a good start to act now, not wait until 2009 to be President and fix the mess.

I also hope he will talk about engaging Iran and Syria as countries who have significant interests in not seeing Iraq's political will failing. We need peace as soon as possible.

Larry King Live tonight, at 8CT and for my California readers, 6PT. Not surprising as JRE is going to private events today in LA and SF tomorrow.

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AP Reporting is Just Not What It Used to Be

Today I look at Yahoo news and this is what they had to say about the weather in the Northeast.

They report that a storm out that roared out of the Midwest turned into a blizzard for NY and NE.

Yet, buried within the story is how Springfield, IL got 16 inches of snow.

All I know is that the University of Illinois cancelled classes after 9 am yesterday and all today due to severe winds that lasted for 28 hours. The drifts are 4 or more feet near my front porch, as BW readers can see here.

If that isn't a nor'easter for Illinois, I guess AP thinks midwesterners all have lollipops on Valentine's Day too.

To me, the storm and the AP's report are metaphors for what happened to Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, formerly of the Edwards campaign. Update: article written by Marcotte in Salon magazine, giving her side of the right wing misogyny that took place, and continues on.

Hearts all...l8tr..

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dixie Chicks Are the Grammy Winners

Including Album of the year award, for "Taking the Long Way Around" and for other awards. My post from last May:

The New Outlaws of Country Music

Back in the 70's, Willie Nelson, Jessie Coulter, and Waylon Jennings called themselves the Outlaws. One of the reasons is that they decided they didn't have to live in Music City to make music and didn't have to be married to the Establishment anymore. Willie moved back to Texas and through him, a whole new progressive country-- grassroots type-- music flourished around Austin and Kerrville. PBS's Austin City Limits was born and is still kickin' with artists of all kinds, but mainly ones who were influenced by Willie and Waylon. Some of my favorite artists were part of that movement such as Nancy Griffith, Lyle Lovett, and Joe Ely.

Some of these outlaws' kids have grown up and in some instances, have become the new Outlaws. In the case of Joe Ely and his band which included Lloyd Maines, a very fine musician, one of the daughters of Maines, Natalie, joined the Dixie Chicks in the 90's and they have become a very successful band.

Dixie Chicks have been the subject of controversy in the past 2 years, after Maines said she was embarrassed her President was from her state of Texas on the eve of the Iraq War. Uh-oh. Talkin' about politics. Many country music fans who generally are supporters of the Republican party, got angry, called Clear Channels and a few other radio station chains, or even locals, and requested they not play Dixie Chicks any more. CD sales went down and even death threats were sent to Maines. They backed off and went into the "Easy Silence" (one of the tunes on their new CD).

But the Chicks are back--and I think they will rebound big. They are on this week's Time magazine cover. They did an interview with 60 Minutes, which looked a bit biased to me, and just kept attacking Maines. She fought back, and decided to be, just like their new release, "Not Ready to Make Nice." Their new CD, Taking the Long Way, is terrific. It's a very personal album for them, but also it is about the hypocracy of many country music critics, listeners, and has a very progressive viewpoint. Lots of social commentary, especially "Lubbock or Leave it". That song has angered a lot of Texas Techans. I am TTU grad, and that song doesn't offend me in the least. I am from Lubbock too. My only comment is that the music, which is very Joe Ely/Lloyd Maines influenced, overshadows the singing and the words aren't easy to understand unless you read them as you listen. The title cut and "Not Ready to Make Nice" do resonate with me.

The Dixie Chicks are the new outlaws of country music. And it's great that they are "taking the long way" around all of the hypocracy. Long time listeners of country music can choose not to buy their music or play it on their damn Clear Channel stations. The Chicks know there is a new audience out there. Progressives are buying their music, via iTunes, Circuit City, Target, or other places. But whoever thought progressive country music would take on a new meaning in our country.

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