Benny's World

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Congrats to TAPPED

Which won the Sidney Hillman Foundation awards in Journalism recently. Ezra Klein, whose blog is on my blogroll, is part of the TAPPED (American Prospect online Edition) team.

Since 1950, the Sidney Hillman Foundation has recognized journalists, writers and public figures whose work promotes social and economic justice.

Annual awards are given in the following categories:

  • Books (non-fiction)
  • Newspaper Reporting
  • Magazine Reporting
  • Broadcast Journalism
    (includes television and radio)
  • Photojournalism
  • BLOGs
These awards reflect the vision and commitment of Hillman, president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (a predecessor union of UNITE HERE), whose tireless efforts to bring dignity and respect to working people left a lasting legacy for the American public.

Hillman was an architect of the New Deal and worked to build a vibrant union movement extending beyond the shop floor to all aspects of workers' lives. Today, his belief in social and political activist trade unionism is in the forefront of creating a new progressive movement for social change.

John Edwards has worked with UNITE Here for the past 2 years in raising awareness about poverty, the right to organize unions, and to raise working standards, wages, and benefits for hotel workers.

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John Mayer Gives John Edwards A Tip

From Starpulse:
John Mayer has tipped presidential candidate John Edwards to reach the White House because he "connects" with the youth of America. The Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter met Edwards for the first time at the Time Magazine 100 gala in New York City last week.

Edwards reveals he sought advice from the 29-year-old singer on how to impress young voters. The Democratic candidate says, "He was talking about the language of young people, his generation. " He basically said, 'You've got to get me in the first 20 seconds. I watch movies on YouTube, and if they're 25 seconds long, they're five seconds too long.'"

Now unlike the article implies, I don't think Mayer has officially endorsed John Edwards, although my understanding is that Edwards has requested another meeting with him on how to engage Mayer's generation better. However, one tidbit about Mayer: he's from Atlanta, and Georgians do like Edwards there.

Here's an Mayer clip, "Clarity" which I really like. Enjoy.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

John Edwards Holds Town Meetings Monday in NH

On Monday, May 21st, Senator Edwards will hold community meetings IN in Keene, Claremont and Lebanon. Here's the schedule:

2:30pm - Community Meeting with Senator Edwards at Keene State College Mabel Brown Room (in the student union)
229 Main St.
Keene, NH

4:00pm - Community Meeting with Senator Edwards in Claremont Earl Bourdon Senior Center
67 Maple Ave
Claremont, NH

5:30pm - Community Meeting with Senator Edwards on the Green in Lebanon
Lebanon Green
51 North Park St.
Lebanon, NH

Wish I could go! BW readers in New England, I hope you can.

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JRE Buzz: Friday Morning Edition

Good morning BW readers! I haven't typed a buzz column in awhile, so I thought I would do one today. Guest anchoring for the Edwards Evening News at the Daily Kos inspired me to do this one and I will cross post some of what I wrote there.
(photo courtesy of Sirus)

This morning's buzz begins with the latest about Wolfie's Resignation from the World Bank and Edwards' response:

"It's about time. I called for Paul Wolfowitz's resignation a month ago when it became clear that his leadership was undermining America's ability to lead the fight against global poverty. Wolfowitz's tenure at the World Bank was marked by serious questions of financial integrity that alarmed our allies.

"Now, President Bush must choose a successor who will help restore America's credibility and moral leadership in the world. We need a leader who can convincingly make the case for global anti-poverty investments that can lift up billions of lives and make the world safer and more secure."

Edwards was the first to speak out about Wolfowitz. Not surprised that Edwards saw the problems of ethics and moral responsibility immediately, as Edwards traveled the globe for two years and heard stories about the US being ignored as a moral authority.

Raising Money for Southern Candidates, or the 50-State Strategy

Here's what Channel 11 in Atlanta reported:

The former North Carolina Senator and Vice-Presidential candidate was ushered into the event with the help of the Washington High School marching band, which electrified the crowd with their musical athleticism.

Former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes introduced Edwards to the cheering crowd as “the next President of the United States, John Edwards!"

Still raising money for other candidates, just as he did in 2006. It was estimated he raised $600K at the dinner yesterday for the party. What Attorney General Mark Taylor said is so true:

"It is a long, long, long campaign,” said former Lt. Governor Mark Taylor. “And again, it is going to be a campaign for the experienced campaigner, with the strongest organization and that's the strength Senator Edwards brings from ‘04."

Support the Troops, End the War on Radio

Edwards was a guest on Ed Schultz's show again. Here's the audio clip in case you missed it.

Edwards still pushed out his message "that we need to end this war". Notice though how Schultz saw the folly of Mike Huckabee's hit on JRE on the Debate two nights ago:

"..he's saying you are dam*ed good lookin' man.

JRE had to laugh at that one. Then they discussed how none of the Republican candidates and how that comment had to do with getting out of Iraq or what to do about health care."

Also, some good discussion about the escalation too, and how it's not working. Give it a listen.

Speaking of Supporting the Troops and Ending the War, did everyone get an e-mail from David Bonior today, in which the campaign received some personal responses about the patriotism we wish to show on Memorial Day? Tracy posted this on JRE's blog this evening:

In Raeford, North Carolina a woman whose husband is serving in Iraq is hosting a prayer vigil. She writes:

My husband is in Iraq, and I pray each and every day for the Troops and that maybe someday soon there will be an end to this war. Please join me in praying for my husband and all the troops that are deployed throughout the world.

In Milton, West Virginia, the mother of an Iraq War veteran is organizing a letter writing drive to Congress and the President.

And from Fort Riley, Kansas, a soldier writes simply:

As I get ready for my third tour into Iraq, I just want to say "BRING US HOME!"

You don't have to be a military family or a veteran to speak out now. You just have to be one of the millions of Americans who are done letting George Bush abuse the rhetoric of patriotism to defend policies that hurt our country and misuse our troops.

Real patriotism is about standing up to do what's right for our nation and the men and women who defend us. This Memorial Day weekend and beyond, let's wear our patriotism on our sleeve--and put it on our bumper--for all the world to see. Support the troops. End the war.

And remember--on Memorial Day itself (Monday the 28th)--let's all take time to solemnly honor all of those who have served in our armed forces and given their lives for our freedom.

Edwards on Congress Not Standing Strong for our Citizens

Edwards had a few other things to say at the J-J Dinner last night too. Here are some snips from the Albany Herald:

Congressional Democrats aren’t using their newly-won power to stand up to President Bush and minority Republicans, Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said Thursday.

The 2004 candidate for vice president and former U.S. senator from North Carolina criticized his ex-colleagues in Congress for giving in too much to Republicans on both immigration reform and the war in Iraq.

“The Democratic leadership needs to show some strength and stand their ground,” said Edwards, who served as the keynote speaker Thursday night at the Georgia Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

Illegal immigration was in the spotlight on Thursday, with Senate leaders announcing a bipartisan agreement with the White House on a comprehensive reform bill.

The deal would set up a way for illegal immigrants already in this country to live and work here and eventually obtain legal residency and citizenship.

But the first priority, under the proposal, would be improving border security, cracking down on employers who hire illegals and establishing a high-tech identification program to screen for undocumented workers.

Edwards said the agreement has the wrong emphasis.

“We have a responsibility to keep our borders secure,” he said.” (But) there needs to be a pathway to citizenship.”

On Ed Schultz's show, he believed that those who wish to live here need to fess up and pay a fine, plus learn English. I think that's fair.

Edwards Continues to Be a Leader in Social Networking Tools


Eventful, Inc., the leading global events website, announced today that it is working with several presidential campaigns including John Edwards, Jim Gilmore, Barack Obama and Ron Paul, to help candidates reach potential voters across the United States. The campaigns are benefiting from Eventful Demand, a free online service that empowers supporters to lobby for political figures to come and speak in their local town. Using Eventful, the candidates are able to track where they are most in demand, schedule appearances based on this data and also communicate directly with the Demanders via email.

“Our goal is to connect with every American who shares our vision for change and get them directly involved with the campaign. helps us identify supporters who are looking to get engaged and make sure we reach out where it matters most,” said Ben Brandzel from the John Edwards Campaign. “Politics should be a two-way conversation, and we’re committed to making conversation a central component of our campaign.”

Eventful Demand is a viral service that has transformed the way that audiences interact with public figures and performers, empowering them to directly influence where events take place. Eventful’s viral tools make it easy for campaigns and supporters to spread the word by including links and widgets in blogs, MySpace pages, Facebook groups and other social networking sites.

I did a search for Champaign-Urbana. Sigh. No demand. Oh well, the site is new, after all.

NPR's Marketplace had a nice little story on Social Networking yesterday to a younger audience The reporter, Alana German, liked John Edwards' site the most with this comment:

John Edwards' page is my favorite. MySpace is all about being yourself. And in his pictures he's playing with his children on the beach and having lunch with volunteers during a clean-up after Hurricane Katrina.

I haven't been to MySpace in a couple of weeks. Maybe I'll check it out.

Here's a cool little tool that the Edwards campaign came up with for the Memorial Day weekend:

You can add your event if you choose.

The Tightrope

Last week, I was in Copenhagen, and I heard a speaker talk about what consumers are looking for from business libraries, but it seemed applicable to Edwards. She said that library users are wanting from libraries:

dissatisfied with the status quo
want to offer their own content
want a voice
want someone who is willing to be the change to promote change
want authenticity from librarians and leaders in general
want trust
want respect

And that in looking towards the future, each person on the tightrope takes baby steps first, looking down, but once they have the grasps down, they look ahead, and no longer look down as they reach for the future. That's Edwards. He took baby steps in the first election, but now he is confident and reaching towards the future. Not looking back, just moving forward.

I'm reminded of Elizabeth Edwards's comment in Des Moines last summer concerning healthcare for all, which was a window to the walk on the tightrope: "too many tomorrows have come and gone. We need universal health care."

She should know.

More buzz l8tr..

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

John Edwards to be Guest on Ed Schultz Show

Senator Edwards will be a guest on the Ed Schultz Show today at 12:20 PM CST to talk about “Support the Troops, End the War” and other Iraq issues. Tune in at 1360 AM in Chapel Hill or online at

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Memorial Day: A Call to Patriots

I got the following e-mail from John Edwards yesterday.

Memorial Day Weekend is a time to honor all the brave men and women throughout our history who have served in our armed forces, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice to safeguard our freedom. I believe it is our duty to use that freedom to stand up for those now serving in the most meaningful way that we can--by thanking them, supporting them, and bringing them home to a hero's welcome.

It's time to support the troops. For far too long, George Bush has abused the rhetoric of patriotism to silence his critics and paper over the devastating cost of his war to the country we love. Our troops have served bravely and sacrificed without hesitation. Yet they are now paying the price for Bush's stubborn pursuit of his failed strategy in Iraq. Our troops deserve far better, and we all have a responsibility to stand up for them.

So this Memorial Day Weekend, I'm asking every one of us to take a stand for the troops and against the war. Let's reclaim patriotism for all of us who love our country, support our troops and fiercely believe in our hearts that this war must end now.

There are many ways we can take action this Memorial Day. We've prepared 10 ideas to get you started, like sending care packages for the troops or holding public gathering to speak out for the troops and against the war. What matters most is that you take action in a way that honors our troops and feels right to you.

To sign up to take action or to see what actions others have planned near you, go to:

Thanks to your support, we were able to rush a full page ad to the Washington Post featuring most of the more than 115,000 names we've collected calling on Congress to end the war. But we have to do more. To stand up for our men and women in uniform and force this President to do the right thing, we must take extraordinary action.

For we are citizens. And as citizens, we must honor and support our troops for their service and sacrifice.

We are Americans. And as Americans, we give thanks for the blessing of their sacrifice and support, which keeps us safe and keeps us strong.

And we are patriots. And as patriots we must use our power and the responsibility that comes with it to push our government to support our troops in the most important way it can--by ending this war and bringing them home.

So this Memorial Day Weekend, let us gather as patriots. Wherever you are--with your family, with your friends, at a BBQ, at a parade--wherever you can be seen and heard, first take a moment of silence to honor the fallen, and then let us raise our voices together and say:

We support our troops. End the war. Bring them home.

Because it is possible to stop a president who believes he can do no wrong--it just takes people with the courage to do what's right.

There is a good reason behind this rally. Listen to Alex, a soldier who just got back from Iraq. He says we are spending more time defending ourselves against even children who are throwing grenades at our troops, instead of accepting our candy. The surge is not working. It's best we send our troops home and we should speak out about this.

Check out JRE's new website, Sign up and click the what you wish to do. For me, it will be a sign in my yard thanking the troops and to pray for peace. You can write your Congressman, which seems fruitless where I live (my congressman is a Republican who supports the McCain doctrine), but I probably will anyway. I will definitely be writing my Senators, Obama and Durbin. This will be a test for Obama, who has stood by idly so far and did not support the Kerry/Feingold bill last year, which failed.

However, there's more you can do to reclaim our patriotism. You can attend a rally, bring a sign to a parade, or grab the mike. We cannot wait for John Edwards to get elected. We must start brokering peace by bringing our troops home and allow the Iraqis to assemble themselves to determine their own governance.

A call to patriotism. It's not new. And we will do it because it is not only for our security, but also a matter of life and death, as Edwards says. We cannot be silent anymore.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Summer of Love, John Edwards Edition 2007

Excellent video by Refinish69. Shows videos from working in NOLA, helping a family winterize their home, meeting with the hotel workers in LA and standing with the SEIU in Miami.

This is a "summer of love" redo video as we approach the 40th anniversary of the celebration and the release of Sargent Pepper by the Beatles. Geez, I was 8 years old.

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