Benny's World

Saturday, December 15, 2007

John Edwards the Fighter

New ad..

Off the heels of his debate win.

Des Moines Register
has the complete story about Edwards' explanation to voters yesterday when asked why he would be a better candidate over Obama (or even Clinton) but without mentioning his opponents' names.

(h/t to Tarheel at MyDD)

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Friday, December 14, 2007

How Progressive John Edwards Celebrates a Debate Win

Go sledding!

You can hear Elizabeth laughing. I did too when I first saw this video.

Update: On the road with JRE by ABC News.

Still humorous...

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Why John Edwards is the Most Electable

Great diary by JedReport at My DD.

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John Edwards on James Lowe

New ad--not certain which state is being shown, but I'm guessing IA and NH.


BTW, if you didn't see the reactions of undecided voters in focus groups held by Fixed Noise and CNN, go here.

Now if someone could find them and get them to sign pledge cards!

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Another Great Comment by Jim Hightower

It's about corporate lobbyists going shopping for government money.

I think this man has got to be in JRE's camp.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Markos May As Well Vote for Ron Paul

Today, Kos did a straw poll to see which of the Dem candidates we supported. Well, John Edwards, who has won every one of them in the past year, prevailed again today, pretty solidly.

But Kos caught me and many others off guard, when he announced his intention to vote for Obama in the primaries. Here's his enlightening rationale:

I voted "Obama" this time, not necessarily because I support him, but because the alternatives are no good. Hillary? Yeah right. Edwards? If he hadn't taken public financing, I'd probably go for him (and who doesn't have a crush on Elizabeth?). But I refuse to vote for a guy who will be broke for about seven months in 2008 while the other side beats the crap out of him.

I see. And while Kos criticizes Edwards' decision to take public financing, despite his wishes that Howard Dean had done so in the 2004 election, he pens his real "process of elimination" this way:

That doesn't mean I think Obama walks on water. Far from it. The guy is going around idiotically attacking Paul Krugman, dancing with homophobic preachers, and while his rhetoric is beautiful upon first listening, an hour later you're left wondering if he said anything of substance at all (and the answer is usually "no").

So, as Philgoblue aptly said, Kos prefers candidates who can tap into their Ivy League alumni networks for money and votes.

Kos still believes in his mind that libertarians rule, that's all about pulling yourself up from your bootstraps or have families who have money to keep you afloat, and thinking the poor don't need a hand-up in theory. Government has no place either.

My comment on that diary:

But because he has a fat wallet, that counts more than who really is the most electable.

Hmmm...let's see about those other groups...

Friends of the Earth, which is running radio ads in NH
Caucus4Priorities, which is running ads in Iowa
Carpenters Union.., which is also running ads in Iowa

And SEIU locals who still may break for Edwards, or some powerful group like Change to Win.

And none of those can help produce ads for an electable candidate like John Edwards during the time between May and August.

You just closed your mind, Kos.

Kos didn't think about the 503's or 527s which are also entrepreneurial and can be powerful. I also think he lost his faith in Howard Dean. I know Howard will ensure that Edwards has plenty of money if he is the nominee. He is persistent on the 50 state strategy.

The way I read Kos' dismal rationale, he might as well vote for Ron Paul.

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Attention Dodd and Edwards Supporters: Contact the FEC by Noon Tomorrow

The FEC says that ActBlue is not a valid place to make donations that can be matched by Federal Funds. I think this is old fashioned, Republican thinking. Of course, it is legitimate. ActBlue is not a PAC for special interests or seeking special favors from Congress or the White House. It is an online donation distribution network to support candidates.

The Wall Street Journal picked up this important issue on their blog.

Both Chris Dodd and John Edwards have requested matching funds for public financing of the 2008 Primaries. It is their way to say we need to take the money out of politics, but they are not asking for extraordinary help.

You can help extend democracy by telling the FEC to get out of the 20st century and reverse its old fashioned thinking. We have until noon on Thursday, December 13th to have comments entered into the public record for consideration.

You can use this simple form on the John Edwards website, or you can e-mail FEC commission secretary, Mary Dove directly at

Major progressive bloggers helped spread the word. Beginning the crusade at DailyKos on Monday, Markos explained the issue:

Daily Kos lawyer and MyDD FP Adam B. chimed in with a draft of the public comments DailyKos, in conjunction with BlogPAC: 34/943/421130

Over at MyDD Jerome Armstrong, the "godfather" (Crashing the Gates co-author with Kos), also urged us to act:

Take action now. E-mail and crash the gates of the FEC.

Our democracy is at stake, and we don't want or need any more election unfairness. It's time the FEC acted on behalf of the public, not just for those politicians with fat wallets.

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Holiday Greetings from John Edwards

This is what Elizabeth wrote:

Happiness. Health. Hope.

But our words are just a promise about our actions. Live deliberately, sacrifice for what is truly important, and, above all, in these times -- and all times -- trust your heart.

John & Elizabeth Edwards
Cate, Emma Claire & Jack

This is the 3rd holiday card I have received from the Edwards family. I've noticed it generally comes out around the 11-13th of December.

I am very fond of this picture. What a beautiful family with a never ending spirit of kindness and best wishes for us all. Can't you just see them in the White House?

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Are We Ready to Be Patriotic for Something Other than War?

Earlier today, Al Gore and Rajendra K. Pachauri, the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, accepted their Nobel awards in Oslo. Sven from My Silver State has wonderful photos from the event.

In Gore's acceptance speech, I was struck by the notion that his passion had increased and with stronger resolve to raise awareness about this ongoing issue after the SCOTUS vote on the 2000 election.

"The distinguished scientists with whom it is the greatest honor of my life to share this award have laid before us a choice between two different futures - a choice that to my ears echoes the words of an ancient prophet: "Life or death, blessings or curses. Therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live."

But instead of looking back on their work and all what they have accomplished, Gore and Pachauri gave a sobering look at the future by stating the present dangers of global warming, and urged all countries to stop the assault on the planet.

Follow me..

From the NYT:
Mr. Gore called on the negotiators to establish a universal global cap on emissions and to ratify and enact a new treaty by the beginning of 2010, two years early. And he singled out the United States and China — the world’s largest emitters of carbon dioxide — for failing to meet their obligations in acting to mitigate climate change. “They will need to make the boldest moves, or stand accountable before history for their failure to act,” he said.

And he added:
“Both countries should stop using the other’s behavior as an excuse for stalemate and develop an agenda for mutual survival in a shared global environment.”

(To further enjoy the celebration of this award, Think Progress has captured it and provided a link. )

Related to shared goals, Rajendra K. Pachauri presented statistical-filled presentation of the possible consequences of climate change. He said that the prize committee’s decision to award the Nobel to the panel “can be seen as a clarion call” for the world to face up to the gravity of the situation. His words include something that resonate with this blogger: the insecurity that the crises feeds into famine, poverty, lack of natural resources, all competition as fodder for additional conflicts.

From Rachauri's address:
The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report concludes that non-climate stresses can increase vulnerability to climate change by reducing resilience and can also reduce adaptive capacity because of resource deployment towards competing needs. Vulnerable regions face multiple stresses that affect their exposure and sensitivity to various impacts as well as their capacity to adapt. These stresses arise from, for example, current climate hazards, poverty, and unequal access to resources, food insecurity, trends in economic globalization, conflict, and incidence of diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
Within other areas, even those with high incomes, some people (such as the poor, young children, and the elderly) can be particularly at risk.

Migration and movement of people is a particularly critical source of potential conflict. Migration, usually temporary and often from rural to urban areas, is a common response to calamities such as floods and famines. But as in the case of vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, where multiple stresses could be at work on account of a diversity of causes and conditions, so also in the case of migration, individuals may have multiple motivations and they could be displaced by multiple factors.

This explains why they were honored for their work. Critics, especially on the Republican side, did not and probably still do not understand how making our planet safer and better climate security can lessen famine and poverty, which are two reasons people flock to other countries or have power mongers (ie Sudan) who represent fear over hope.

Obviously, the speeches were designed to lead into further addresses and recommendations at the UN Conference in Bali, which has been underway since last week. The talks are between representatives of about 180 countries, some of which have ratified and some of which have not yet ratified the Kyoto Protocol.

We learned on Friday some good news was coming from Australia, whose government decided to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd readily signed the instrument of ratification of the protocol on December 3 and the country will be a full member to the agreement by the end of March 2008. The same group said that the US would need to initiate no later than 2009 to reduce our greenhouse gases and other programs as we are one of the worst offenders.

But Gore had a few more words today about countries who do not act soon:

We, the human species, are confronting a planetary emergency - a threat to the survival of our civilization that is gathering ominous and destructive potential even as we gather here. But there is hopeful news as well: we have the ability to solve this crisis and avoid the worst - though not all - of its consequences, if we act boldly, decisively and quickly.

I don't know if Gore was referring to the passage of the Lieberman-Warner bill out the Environmental Works and Public Works committee, but I didn't think the bill was all that great. It was about too much compromise. One presidential candidate, John Edwards, had this reaction to that vote:
"Addressing global warming is one of the great moral tests of our generation, and it's time for bold action and leadership to address this crisis that threatens the globe. While I'm glad to see that global warming legislation is finally moving in the Senate, unfortunately the Lieberman-Warner bill doesn't go far enough to address the crisis of global warming. We cannot be limited in our approach by the armies of lobbyists from big oil companies and other special interests. This bill gives away pollution permits to industry for free - a massive corporate windfall - instead of doing what is right and selling them so that we can use these resources to invest in clean energy research, create a new economy of green jobs, and help regular families and business go green.

Additionally, Gore made it plain international cooperation was necessary, not just one or two countries. But he also took a swing at Bush’s cowboy antics when he said:
We must abandon the conceit that individual, isolated, private actions are the answer. They can and do help. But they will not take us far enough without collective action. At the same time, we must ensure that in mobilizing globally, we do not invite the establishment of ideological conformity and a new lock-step "ism."
That means adopting principles, values, laws, and treaties that release creativity and initiative at every level of society in multifold responses originating concurrently and spontaneously.

Edwards has said all along that our nation’s security starts with moral leadership and the ability to seek how problems fit together in order to create solutions that will benefit all of us, not just the United States. Back in September, Edwards gave an address at Pace University that was directed at combating terrorism, but he took a more wholistic approach in the looking at the problem when he stated:

Finally, we must achieve energy independence. If we reduce our reliance on oil from instable parts of the world, Middle Eastern regimes will finally diversify their economies and modernize their societies. And fighting global climate change will reduce global disruptions that could lead to tends of millions of refugees and create massive new breeding grounds for desperation and radicalism.

There are those who are hard-core proponents of terror, and I have spoken here about how we must deal with them.

Several months ago, I proposed a sweeping effort to eliminate the poverty and instability that create the conditions for extremism, including increasing our funding for global primary education to $3 billion a year, expanded microfinance programs, ramping up our support for sanitation and preventive health care in developing nations, and dramatically increasing our promotion of constitutional democracies and the rule of law across the developing world.

And during my first year in office, I will establish a "Marshall Corps," patterned after the military reserves that will include at least 10,000 civilian experts. Its members will be deployed abroad to serve on reconstruction, stabilization, and humanitarian missions.

John Edwards is heeding what Al Gore and believes what Gore, Pachauri, and the UN are telling us. In the words of Gore:
However, despite a growing number of honorable exceptions, too many of the world's leaders are still best described in the words Winston Churchill applied to those who ignored Adolf Hitler's threat: "They go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent."

Edwards declared on December 7th in support of a new international framework that he would gladly meet with the leaders as President:
“Our government should be offering the world more encouragement than the inadequate remark by the U.S. representative that our country would ‘not be a roadblock.’ America should be a leader in development of a new treaty that arrests climate change to block the worst effects of global warming. That means binding emission reduction targets, protocols for technology transfers to support efforts by developing countries and an aggressive approach to stopping deforestation.

“As president, I intend to meet with world leaders in my first 100 days in office to personally offer America’s support for a vigorous and comprehensive effort to halt global warming.”

The most powerful statement that ended Gore's speech today:

It is time to make peace with the planet. And
So let us renew it, and say together: “We have a purpose. We are many. For this purpose we will rise, and we will act.”

Edwards’ response: it is time for us to be patriotic about something other than war.

Gore asks us to take bold steps, not just contemplation or baby steps. Edwards wants to lead us in that direction, and it will take a lot of strength, courage and backbone. Are we ready?

I am.

UPDATE: I had e-mailed the campaign to see if Edwards had a statement about today's ceremony. Wow, they answered me pretty quickly. Here is the statement:

“Today’s award by the Nobel Committee recognizes three decades of Vice President Gore’s prescient and compelling advocacy for the future of the Earth. His passionate voice and calls for change have echoed throughout America and the world and sparked a true movement to save our plant from global warming. Now, more than ever, we must be stand united as one nation and meet the moral test of generation that compels us to leave a better America and a better world to our children and all future generations.”

Seems to fit.

To conclude, I remember a quote by a famous poet:
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it."-Goethe

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