Benny's World

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Look Who the Cat Dragged in at Daily Kos

Seldom do I take the initiative to be humorous at Daily Kos at one of Bill In Portland, ME's occasional weekend diaries.

Yeppers, I got Kos' attention, and Bill In Portland, Maine, who happens to be an acquaintance of mine thru Yearly Kos, had a better line, which I listed as my post line.

"Yes, we switched souls for that picture. I wouldn't recommend it, though. During the transfer back I briefly inhabited the body of Mike Gravel."

Love that guy. His partner, CSM, is one of my "coaster" boyfriends, but of course, it just means when we communicate, we believe we are in kindred spirits.

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Next American Idol

I saw this on Chancelucky's place. I liked the act by David Archuleta.

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SC John Edwards Radio Ad

This video is done by a JRE supporter, but the music and words are part of a radio ad by the Edwards Campaign.

It's time our voices our heard. Please those in SC, make your vote count today.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Cate Edwards Talks about Her Parents on MTV

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Online Donors Rediscover Edwards

Despite the media brownout of Edwards, as the primaries and caucuses got going and his message began to break through, Americans are turning to John Edwards. As he said after the 1/21/08 debate featuring the squabbling Clinton and Obama, "I'm John Edwards and I represent the grown-up wing of the Democratic Party."

read more | digg story

Letter from MLK III to John Edwards

Excellent video by Be Inspired at the DU and the reading of the letter by MLK III. Not a candidate endorsement but it is an endorsement of the cause.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

South Carolina's Native Son: John Edwards

New ad going up in SC. However, the campaign could use some change to air it more than once. If you have some extra change, please go here. Our country depends on John Edwards to be in the White House to bring back our democracy.

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John Edwards: the New Revolution

Rocky over at the DU tipped a lot of us to this new video about JRE. It's informative and touching too. The video was produced by lame54.

Oh, rumor has it that JRE is in second in SC.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It's time South Carolina rediscovered John Edwards

An insightful look at John Edwards and SC's place in history:"In the GOP primary eight years ago, the S.C. Republican Party launched George W. Bush on his way to the White House, opening an unprecedented era of corporate rape and corruption. By giving Edwards a boost on Saturday, perhaps S.C. Democrats can start to undo some of that damage.

read more | digg story

Fresno Bee endorses McCain and Edwards in California primary

Central California's largest newspaper backs Sen. John McCain in the Republican primary and former Sen. John Edwards in the Democratic primary on Feb. 5 in California. This is a big boost for Edwards, who has been lagging behind Sen Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama in polls in California.

read more | digg story

John Edwards on Letterman

He cracked me up. A presidential candidate with a good sense of humor.

Video clip via NCDem Amy.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mudcat: Only John Edwards can beat John McCain

Mudcat Saunders lays it out for ya. With his classic Southern, rural style, Mudcat lays it out, telling you why John Edwards is the only Democrat who can and will beat the eventual Republican nominee John McCain.

read more | digg story

MLK III to John Edwards: Stay in the Race

I got this e-mail from David Bonior which contains the text of a follow-up letter JRE received after meeting with MLK, Jr's son. I'm posting the content of the letter, which is more important than the e-mail itself.

January 20, 2008

The Honorable John R. Edwards
410 Market Street
Suite 400
Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Dear Senator Edwards:

It was good meeting with you yesterday and discussing my father's legacy. On the day when the nation will honor my father, I wanted to follow up with a personal note.

There has been, and will continue to be, a lot of back and forth in the political arena over my father's legacy. It is a commentary on the breadth and depth of his impact that so many people want to claim his legacy. I am concerned that we do not blur the lines and obscure the truth about what he stood for: speaking up for justice for those who have no voice.

I appreciate that on the major issues of health care, the environment, and the economy, you have framed the issues for what they are - a struggle for justice. And, you have almost single-handedly made poverty an issue in this election.

You know as well as anyone that the 37 million people living in poverty have no voice in our system. They don't have lobbyists in Washington and they don't get to go to lunch with members of Congress. Speaking up for them is not politically convenient. But, it is the right thing to do.

I am disturbed by how little attention the topic of economic justice has received during this campaign. I want to challenge all candidates to follow your lead, and speak up loudly and forcefully on the issue of economic justice in America.

From our conversation yesterday, I know this is personal for you. I know you know what it means to come from nothing. I know you know what it means to get the opportunities you need to build a better life. And, I know you know that injustice is alive and well in America, because millions of people will never get the same opportunities you had.

I believe that now, more than ever, we need a leader who wakes up every morning with the knowledge of that injustice in the forefront of their minds, and who knows that when we commit ourselves to a cause as a nation, we can make major strides in our own lifetimes. My father was not driven by an illusory vision of a perfect society. He was driven by the certain knowledge that when people of good faith and strong principles commit to making things better, we can change hearts, we can change minds, and we can change lives.

So, I urge you: keep going. Ignore the pundits, who think this is a horserace, not a fight for justice. My dad was a fighter. As a friend and a believer in my father's words that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, I say to you: keep going. Keep fighting. My father would be proud.


Martin L. King, III

In the name of love and justice, here's U2's Pride.

And a quote from Gandhi, an activist both Dr. King and JRE admire:

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi

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John Edwards Shines in Myrtle Beach

I watched intently the first half of the debate, but I must say that I enjoyed it very much. It was like watching those of us who support candidates in the blogosphere, lots of debating about character. Then JRE talks about how our squabbles aren't going to get health care for children or a college education for a young person.

Read Ari Melber from The Nation:

Edwards tweaked both his opponents for making the debate about political squabbling instead of public policy. Returning to his populist economic platform -- especially salient as Americans ponder a recession -- he reminded voters that he was the only candidate to outline a comprehensive plan to end poverty, and the first to introduce a national economic stimulus proposal. His plan came out weeks before Clinton and Obama. The program drove the "party's policy agenda," as Paul Krugman explained, by advocating "aid to unemployed workers, aid to cash-strapped state and local governments," and alternative energy, (most of which Clinton later adopted in her plan). And while the debate moderators kept pushing trite racial questions, even asking Obama if Bill Clinton was the "first black president," Edwards outlined a vision of racial and economic equality, where "every American is of equal value."

And post-debate comments, via NCDemAmy:

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Monday, January 21, 2008

My Momma's Card: Why I Support John Edwards

Last week I received a "Thinking of You" card from my 76 year young mother. It's one of those cards that she bought in bulk, probably at a Dollar store, but she keeps them around as she gets older because her friends are having health problems and spending more time in hospitals or being confined to their homes. Receiving a caring note through the US mail is nice for anyone, especially since we either see only bills or advertisements, and her friends do appreciate them. I appreciated it too, but for a different reason.

Why is this card so special to me?

I was born at a time when my parents were struggling and really couldn't afford another mouth to feed. I suppose my mother could have had a back alley operation (and thank goodness she didn't because most abortions for women weren't safe back then, unless one was upper class and a doctor would do it illegally as a medical procedure), but she and my daddy would not have considered it. But right after I was born, momma did have a tubal ligation, which was illegal at the time as the state law said that you had to have a minimum of four children, but her doctor understood my family's economic situation, and did it for my family. State laws are sometimes screwy.

Momma worked full time while my daddy struggled to find work. He was a paraplegic from polio as a teenager and some car accidents. He dropped out of school when he was in tenth grade. We lived in Texas, a right to work state, so there were no unions, and at that, we lived in more agrarian areas, so there wasn't much work for someone who needed crutches to work. However, Momma was more employable. She went to a secretary school, which was known as a business college back then, and took bookkeeping, shorthand, typing, etc. And that is what she did. She worked during the day as a secretary, and one night a week and on Saturday mornings, she worked as an hourly bookkeeper.

Finally, my parents relocated to a bigger town, and my dad started his own business. My mother found work pretty readily, but the business my father had was dangerous. He ran a used car lot in a run-down part of town, and he was robbed a few times at gunpoint. He gave up that business after being robbed a third time and unable to defend himself. We had to move to a not so nice part of town for a year when he got into being a manager of a motel night club in a run-down part of town too so that he wouldn't have to spend so much money on gas. He still made very little, and while my mother drew a decent salary, it was hard for them as three children were growing and more clothes, coats and shoes. There were plenty of nights we had eggs and toast for dinner, especially towards the end of the month.

Luckily, my parents found a decent house in a middle class part of town. They did all right for the next few years and daddy was able to start his own night club businesses in better parts of town. Momma helped keep his books, and I helped him count the cash, and reorganize the bills whereby they faced all of the same way.

When I was ten, my parents began to openly criticize one another, and the bickering got worse, and sometimes fights broke out. There are reasons I won't get into here as to why they fought, but money was certainly one of them. A year later, my mother took my sister and me to stay with relatives, and given they lived in small towns, there were no jobs, and if memory serves me correctly, the country was in a major recession. My mother's self-esteem eroded away, and she had no choice but to move us back with my dad. My dad, who I loved, was very angry (and had low self-esteem issues himself) though at my mother. One Friday morning in January the following year, two police officers came and had a warrant to take her to a local hospital as she was declared incompetent. The officers didn't even allow her to get dressed. She was allowed to put on a coat and house shoes. My mother was ill, but she was not incompetent. You can imagine the humiliation I felt for her. I felt humiliated too.

Because mental illness was a misunderstood disease, most who were in hospitals were over medicated and there was no group therapy for patients to talk until the mid-70's. My mother went in and out of institutions for years, and it is the period that I described as "lost in the wilderness" to John Edwards in 2006, then Director of the Center for Poverty, Work, and Opportunity. My dad worked at nights and thus, my brother, sister, and I had to pretty much raise ourselves. There was very little for us since the doctor bills were tremendous and because my mother was unemployable, we had no health insurance. My mother, when she was at home and stable at times, prayed none of would get sick because otherwise, she had to beg the doctors to allow us to pay out the bills, usually $5 or $10 a month.

We three all tried to get money for ourselves either from mowing lawns, babysitting, cleaning apartments, waitressing, etc. My brother started working as a busboy when he was 14, then pumped gas at the age of 15, and at 16, he worked in retail. I lied about my age and started working at McDonald's when I was 15. Luckily, I could walk to work. I obtained a trainer's permit, and drove one my mom's car to places in town because my mom wasn't up to driving. I was never so glad when I turned 16 because then I could work and drive legally.

Dad's health turned for the worse, and he started drawing disability checks. I would not have been able to go to college had it not been for drawing disability checks, PELL grants, and working part-time. This is where I identify with John Edwards, in the sense he worked his way through college, and went to public universities. Going to a private school was totally out of the question for me and I attended teaching colleges. The money from the government was a hand-up I needed as I was able to find a job within 2 months when I graduated. However, it did not provide health care. I was totally dependent on Planned Parenthood for my check-ups and emergency rooms.

Eventually, I left one career, transitioned into another one by attending graduate school, and got low interest loans to help pay my way. Another hand-up, but an investment that I believe I have paid back by working in educational institutions, and luckily, I have had health care. I have walked in hunger drives in different states or gave checks to charities. I organized toy drives at work for the displaced children when the hurricanes hit Florida back in 2004. And I gave money in 2005 for displaced pets.

Momma recovered from her mental health problems a little over 10 years ago, but was never able to hold down a job for long, and when my dad passed away, she wasn't eligible for social security for the longest time. She managed to get back payments of disability, after making appeals for her case for many years. Now she lives SS check to SS check and still cannot pay all of her doctor bills, despite Medicare. All three of us send her money to help pay for bills and rent. Medicare is a godsend, but to me, it is still not the universal health care that includes mental health and other care that only John Edwards has a plan to do in his first 6 months.

Technically, my momma is one of those in poverty.

I wish I could do more for her, but my spouse and I cannot afford to send her very much as there may be changes in his work situation and there is a recession coming. Thus, knowing we have had some ups and downs, this is why she sent the card. And here is what she wrote inside the card:

John Edwards' message and agenda appeal to me and my momma. We believe that we in America are better than this, and that no one should be without health care, struggle in poverty, and that we should have the same chances and obtain our dreams. Will you in South Carolinans and others in the primaries ahead to join me in voting for the candidate who truly cares about all of us and is willing to stand for us: John R. Edwards?

I close this diary with a clip of my favorite speech by John Edwards, in which he asks the Democratic Party, to stand up for One America.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Congrats to the NY Giants and the Patriots

I really thought the Pack had it in the bag, but the Giants, just like JRE, kept fighting, and making the scores.

Expect a good Super Bowl in Arizona.

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27 Dresses: Great Chick Flick

Yesterday, my DH had a birthday--his mid-century--and we were trying to get tickets for a 7:15p showing for Atonement, a Golden Globe award winner. However, the wait lines were too long and we knew we couldn't get in and be able to sit together. So instead, we decided we would go to a movie today while everyone was watching the AFL and NFL football championship games.

About mid-morning when we were finalizing plans, we opted to go see something with levity and go to 27 Dresses instead. The movie turned out to be a good choice for us, albeit it really was more of a chick flick. I think the female to male audience ratio was about 25 to 1 and we almost didn't get to sit together either as the movie theater was full.

Disclaimer: holiday weekend + cold weather (14 degrees) + free parking = more movie goers

The trailer is uploaded here, to give you a sense of the movie.

Link to video trailer

After seeing the movie, I would concur these were good teasers. But in case you cannot pull up wthe trailer, here is the synopsis, which I scarfed from

Jane is idealistic, romantic and completely selfless – a perennial bridesmaid whose own happy ending is nowhere in sight. But when younger sister Tess captures the heart of Jane’s boss -- with whom she is secretly in love – Jane begins to reexamine her “always-a-bridesmaid….” lifestyle.

To us, the movie is a cross of several successful formula romantic comedies, among them, Four Weddings & a Funeral, Love Actually, and My Best Friend's Wedding. The latter is most recognizable. Rotten Tomatoes reviewers felt it was too predictable and full of cliches', but I disagree. While it is predictable, most romantic comedies have been for 2o years or more. Thus, I think if the characters and the setting had been in Britain, the reviews would be higher. I love British comedies, but I do think based on the audience's reactions here, the reviewers were too critical for a romantic comedy and expected more because of Edward Burns' presence in the film. (I still loved him in The Brothers McMullen and who can forget Sarah McLauchlan's ending tune, "I Will Remember You".)

Most of the audience, including my DH, laughed at most of the good lines (I cackle when something really cracks me up--and sometimes it is a very subtle line), and by far the best scene that draws the audience in simpatico takes place in a blue collar bar. The chemistry is superb between the actors, and only a few times, did the script lag and was a bit trite (a woman who tries to take care of sisters or brothers either forced or unforced), but overall, my DH and I came to care about all of the major characters.

There are plenty of ironies, but very subtle. One thinks of them later.

The credits section is the most creative I've seen in awhile, worth staying to see.

For a couple of hours of laughter, I heartily recommend this movie for matinee or DVD.

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John Edwards: My Vote, My Voice Video Contest

JRE and Elizabeth had a contest where one could submit a video and whichever one wins, will be televised in an ad. The last day for submissions was January 16th.

I like this one in particular, but it would have to fit edited to fit in a minute commercial.

If this doesn't move you to reach for the tissues's beautiful and submitted by blogger Moms for Edwards also known on YT as hwanken.

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John and Elizabeth Edwards: Days We Will Remember Video

by : epw4edwards08
From Florida for Edwards

Don't know the band, but this is a nice tribute...reminding us life is too short and we should live life to its fullest, not to mention we need someone to lead us out of the Iraq War soon.

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Now the More Positive News: John Edwards in Greenville, SC

A fellow JRE supporter tipped me off to a post by Tim at Op-Ed News. He attended the rally last night and had many good things to say about it, and has pictures too. Go check it out here.

No wonder JRE didn't stick around in Nevada. Who needs bullies when you can be with friends!

Update: another terrific report in..from Atlanta. Excellent pics with the event story. CJ's for JRE! from A Speculative Fiction blog.

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John Edwards Supporters Bullied in Nevada

Dear BW Readers,

As you have seen in the news, JRE suffered the worst defeat yesterday ever in any campaign. As many of us watched the returns, it was incredulous. We didn't understand. This state should have been his win (in addition to Iowa), but instead it became a circus and a nightmare. We heard reports that those showing up to caucus for JRE were told to go home and that he was not a viable candidate. Taylor Marsh reported Edwards wasn't viable either. Why was this the case, the champion for the working people?

Below is a diary entry from JRE's blog is one caucus goer's experience. I only wish C-SPAN would have shown this. It proves that the other two campaigns have gotten even dirtier and many of their supporters make me more determined not to support their candidacies ever.

The night before the Nevada caucus, the Clinton Precinct Captain stopped by my home. She said she knew I was leaning towards John Edwards.

She went on to say that the Edwards people were already pulling out and asked that I join Hillary because, like Richardson, Edwards would not be a viable candidate. (Imagine - she actually compared John to Richardson) The Hillary supporter also said that she didn't think our precinct had a captain for Edwards.

Yet, I knew John would not be giving up. The Hillary people have a lot of nerve pretending that John is not even in the race. He easily won the debate. Nevada should have showed him more support. Instead, I wonder how many people decided to support Hillary or Barack only because they were told that John didn't have a chance. I know this was happening because my own mother fell into this category. She ended up supporting Edwards only because I called and told her she shouldn't support one of the other candidates merely because she didn't think John would win. The caucus system would take care of that. Others may not have given him a chance, due only to people spreading lies.

When me and my husband arrived at the caucus sight, we were surprised that there was no section set up for uncommitted voters. I wanted to talk to the uncommitted people and tell them how we need John to represent us, the American people. Instead, I had to put up with Hillary and Barack supporters booing and yelling and making ugly comments as I attempted to find out if there were any undecideds among them. I did indeed find some, but it was very difficult to sway anyone, or even attempt to sway anyone, surrounded by these other candidates' supporters. By the way, our precinct only needed 8 people for John to be a viable candidate. I strongly believe that we would have had a chance to get those 8 if there had been an uncommitted section.

The worst part of the caucus was having to leave the John Edwards section and move over to the Obama section. I truly believe John is the right man for the job, but Obama was the best second choice. Still, it was hard to give up. For some, it was even more difficult. Me and my husband had already decided our second choice, while others had not. For those among the Edwards supporters who had not made up their minds for a second candidate, the Clinton and Obama supporters made their decision extremely difficult. One lady was completely surrounded by members of both groups and successfully driven to tears. She ended up leaving without turning in her preference slip.

Lastly, after moving, I stood next to an Obama supporter who was practically laughing at the aforementioned Edwards supporter, for being overcome by emotion. It made me nauseous. But, she said something that made me chuckle. She said that she, the Edwards supporter, should have known this was coming and made up her mind. She said she should have known from watching tv! I told her that some people don't believe everything the tv tells them. Her response - "How did you find out about the caucus then?"

In the end, I thought the caucus was an ugly experience and I wish John well in other states. Nevada is definitely driven by the media. It sounds like tv ads may have been the way to go, in Nevada.

Krystal Hernandez
Las Vegas, Nevada

Sickening and disheartening.

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