Benny's World

Saturday, February 02, 2008

From Fair Media Now.

Labels: , , ,

Quote by Kelly in Ohio about JRE's Exit

I just saw this at JRE's blog. It's a very succinct quote that describes many of us. Kelly in Ohio posted this at CNN's site.

"It's strange to realize how little the general public understands about Edwards supporters. As someone said in a recent article, 'People who love John Edwards really love him.' Many of us are still voting for him. From our point of view, all the other candidates are very, very far from him in spirit, in approach, in policy priorities, and in reliability. From our point of view, neither Clinton nor Obama are 'almost as good' as Edwards. From our point of view, we had one candidate who was going to be the advocate of the people, and many who are not. Many of us who identify as progressives don't have a 'second choice'. On top of that, folks don't seem to realize how many Republicans were going to vote for Edwards, who are now going back to the Republican side. Edwards appealed to conventionally 'red' areas-rural areas, small towns-due to both his economic agenda and his own rural, Christian roots. Now those people are lost to the Democratic party. And with our only publicly funded candidate out of the race, true democracy--rule by the people--remains lost to the country.

"In other words: No, Edwards' supporters are not 'up for grabs' by the other Democratic candidates. Instead, we are simply alienated from the Democratic party. And just as Republicans have a hard time winning without considering religious conservatives, Democrats are going to continue to have a hard time winning as long as they continue to alienate the progressive wing of the party."

Labels: , ,

Exit Left: Montana Maven and John Nichols about John Edwards

This morning I was cruising a few sites from my blogroll, and went over to Montana Maven's place. I discovered she had posted what she gleaned from John Nichols' piece from The Nation. First, these thoughts from Nichols:

After his third-place finish in South Carolina, Edwards knew he would not be the Democratic nominee. Within the Edwards camp, strategy sessions turned toward discussions of whether he could be a kingmaker in the race between Obama and Clinton. With the 300 delegates he might have won by soldiering on through Super Tuesday, Edwards could conceivably have held the balance of power at a closely divided Democratic National Convention.


But even as Edwards spoiled Clinton's math in key states--in South Carolina, he won among white men--he had little taste for the petty politics of positioning and power plays.

It's true that Edwards was more about substance than rhetoric. But Montana Maven picked up a tone from Nichols that I overlooked, and it was the praise of Barack Obama. Here's what Nichols said, "Presumably he would have aided Obama, whose candidacy holds more promise of healing the divisions between the "two Americas" Edwards sees as pulling the country apart."

Montana Maven doesn't agree with Nichols and I cannot say that I do either how Nichols interprets what the Two Americas are. She believes instead:

The Two Americas that John Edwards talked about was the America for the powerful and their lackeys and the America for the rest of us. It was not rich versus poor. It was an America that we no longer recognize. The one America is filled with folks who believed like Adams and Hamilton that only a few men in a back room should rule the masses. The other American believes in shared goals and equal opportunity to try and reach those goals. The one America is exclusive; the best schools, the best clubs, the best wine, the best martinis, the best, the best. The other America is inclusive; best friends, best neighbors, best stories.

As I told a few friends privately, anyone who thinks that Obama is going to bring bi-partianship back to the White House is misguided. If you heard the 72 times our low-30's approval rated President was interrupted by applause in his SOTU the other night, mainly by the most vocal of his ilk, you would know there is no chance in hades those people will negotiate with Democrats for what the American people want. They are too interested in keeping their own jobs, mainly propped up by special interests groups such as oil companies, drug companies, banks, etc.

Like I said earlier this week: I endorse no other candidate. I will still vote for Edwards no matter what. I have to vote my conscience and I can not follow anyone else.

To close, I replay the Dixie Chicks, "Taking the Long Way". It's tempting to replay "Not ready to make nice" but since I'm not in a vindictive mood, it's more appropriate to hear, "Taking the Long Way", which is what John Edwards did. And I identify with him.

UPDATE: check out Mark Adam's piece from Ohio4Edwards early this morning; it's very thoughtful as well.

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday Morning Picture

This was taken in Kentucky back in October.

Haven't heard what the Carpenters' union is doing now in supporting candidates.

Even in Massachusetts, where I lived for 8 years, some folks are undecided again. Found this quote this morning out of the Salem News:

"Beth Willis, 44, was a John Edwards supporter. The former North Carolina senator dropped out of the race earlier this week and hasn't yet endorsed a candidate. His name will still appear on the Massachusetts Democratic ballot, and Willis said she may vote for him anyway."

That's what I intend to do.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, February 01, 2008

How to Stop Junk Mail

This salient post by George Jenkins shows how to stop paper junk mail and how at the same time to contribute some revenues for environmental causes. Jenkins is the editor for I've Been Mugged, an excellent website about identity theft and privacy.

read more | digg story

A Freeper Snark to Enjoy

Extreme Mortman blog has a great idea, even it is a snark, about John Edwards. He suggests putting John Edwards on Mount Rushmore. Seldom do I agree with freepers, but I like that idea. I wrote a comment and said that it was better to put Edwards' face on Mt Rushmore than Ronald Reagan's.

Whoever did that photoshop did a great job!

Labels: , , ,

Paul Krugman: The Edwards Effect

Paul Krugman was a fan of Edwards' campaign. He wrote a really nice column in the NYT today about JRE and how his campaign was run on ideas, not just talking about change.

One thing is clear, however: whichever candidate does get the nomination, his or her chance of victory will rest largely on the ideas Mr. Edwards brought to the campaign.

Personal appeal won’t do the job: history shows that Republicans are very good at demonizing their opponents as individuals. Mrs. Clinton has already received the full treatment, while Mr. Obama hasn’t — yet. But if he gets the nod, watch how quickly conservative pundits who have praised him discover that he has deep character flaws.

If Democrats manage to get the focus on their substantive differences with the Republicans, however, polls on the issues suggest that they’ll have a big advantage. And they’ll have Mr. Edwards to thank.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Empty Third Chair: John Edwards

I'm surprised CNN recognized there was a third candidate for the debate tonight: JRE. That chair is empty, so is the debate.

Labels: , ,

Window from NOLA

Seems like all of us.

Labels: , ,

Sweet Surrender by Sarah McLauchlan

I love this song and her CD, Surfacing.

Labels: ,

John Edwards: Mystery to the Press

Madeline Stowe, an actress and writer who went on the campaign trail with the Edwards family this winter, wrote a salient piece about the shroud of mystery of his campaign: being transparent, being himself, and letting others be themselves. The media never got it until the campaign was suspended. Here are the two leading paragraphs from her article in the LA Weekly:

The Beltway Establishment is bewildered and bothered by John Edwards — he's never fully been one of them. The national press also had a difficult time understanding and defining him clearly, describing him in turns as optimistic or angry, as a populist or a phony. He started this election cycle with a bang, putting out one hard-detailed policy initiative after another. His health care plan had the blogosphere abuzz and was an unexpected shot in the arm for a flailing progressive movement. Edwards followed up with environmental, education, economic, trade and labor plans that reinforced the perception that he was walking a true progressive path, so much so that Ralph Nader went on television to call him "the most progressive mainstream presidential candidate I've seen in years."

Obama and Clinton, who for months kept promising to unveil their plans, were caught off-guard by the aggressiveness of Edwards' positioning. And when they finally revealed their plans, their ideas tended to be sketchy in some instances and, in others, stunningly similar to the ones Edwards had put forth long before. The media mostly looked the other way at this policy boosting, and instead focused on an almost fetishistic anointing of either the first female or the first black president of the United States.

Read the rest here.

For another point of view about the media brownout of JRE, read the Wilmington Star's piece today in which two supporters gave a similar, but more succinct viewpoint to a reporter. It's about the media's obsession with gender and race, not issues.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pride by U2: In Honor of MLK and JRE

Labels: , , , , ,

John Edwards: America's Hour of Transformation is Upon Us

I just watched JRE on TV, announcing that he has suspended his campaign. It appeared clear that he made his decision yesterday afternoon and evening, when he called the other two front runners. He said Clinton and Obama have pledged to JRE that they will make ending poverty central to their campaigns, and if one of them is in the WH, they will make it central to their administration.

He still talked about the cause of poverty and not to turn away from the 37 million whose children go to bed hungry at night. We do not turn way from those who wish to organize as union members when they have been bullied by corporations.

Touchtone comment:

"Your country needs you. We need you, even if the government has turned its back on you, and it has turned its back on you. We have an American house to build. "

JRE mentioned that on the way to the announcement that he stopped at a bridge where 100-200 people were homeless and slept every night. A minister was there to help give comfort, and needed money to do more for them. And in speaking to those homeless, one woman begged him, "Please don't forget us."

I don't doubt he will not forget us. And John and Elizabeth, and in the name of my parents, especially my Mother, I will continue to march with you to end poverty and dream to bring two Americas into one.

I'm certain that BW readers want to know why I think he decided to suspend the campaign, other than the obvious that he was outspent and the media blackout that happened, especially when he told Fixed Noise it was not a legitimate news outlet nor would it be fair and balanced when it came to the debates.

Here's the reason, as exemplified in this quote:

It's time for me to step aside so that history can blaze its path.

That says it all.

As for me, I will not endorse any candidates. JRE will still get my vote on February 5th. But my blog posts will now be more about the One America and I will be holding the other candidates accountable to their pledge, and will comment throughout the campaign about it. I wish them well and luck. They will need backbone and courage to make it through, and help make the party unified.

Godspeed to the Edwards family, and I'll be watching for them too.

UPDATE: Transcript of his speech can be found at the Daily Kos.

Labels: , , ,

Yes, dear Friends, It's True: John Edwards is leaving the Race

I have received official word that John Edwards is leaving the race. I ask my readers to watch the press conference at 1 EST today--all of the major networks--who ignored this fine candidate for so long--will likely carry the announcement.

I will write later about his accomplishments.

Thank you, Taylor Marsh and her crowd for acknowledging my blog today. I have some rethinking to do about where I want to take it.


More l8tr...

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Minnesota Labor Folks Welcome Back John Edwards

and in -11 degree temps.

ST. PAUL - A crowd of more than 1,200 packed the Carpenters union hall Tuesday to hear Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards -- one week before Minnesotans go to their party caucuses as part of the Feb. 5 "Super Tuesday."

"We have such important work to do in this country," the Star Tribune quoted Edwards as saying. "I think we've had enough of a president kowtowing to big money and the big corporations."

In recent primaries and caucuses for the Democratic presidential nomination, Edwards has run third behind Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Several unions, including the United Steelworkers, the Carpenters and the United Mine Workers have endorsed Edwards.


You may recall that to this day, JRE had the only electoral vote (apart from Kerry) from MN in 2004--I don't think it was a fluke!

Labels: , , , ,

Snapshot of the Castro in SF by Predictor

Predictor and his partner are JRE supporters. They are also fantastic photographers!

Feb 5th is around the corner.

Labels: , , , , ,

Liberal Lion's Endorsement Unleashes Anger from NY NOW Chapter

As BW readers know, I am not a supporter of Clinton nor Obama. I was disappointed that Teddy didn't come out and support JRE considering they worked for years together on minimum wage issues and patients' bill of rights, but I was not totally surprised either that he endorsed Obama. Personally, I think the endorsement is a help to Obama, but it could be negative too in the long run, depending on who the nominee is on the other side. I'll address that issue in another post.

But this incendiary news release by NY NOW in its outburst about the Liberal Lion's endorsement is an embarrassment to feminists everywhere. The press release begins with this comment:

Women have just experienced the ultimate betrayal. Senator Kennedy’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton’s opponent in the Democratic presidential primary campaign has really hit women hard. Women have forgiven Kennedy, stuck up for him, stood by him, hushed the fact that he was late in his support of Title IX, the ERA, and the Family and Medical Leave Act to name a few.

WTF? The organization doesn't acknowledge that John Edwards is in the race. Never mind that Kate Michelman, past President of NARAL, is a senior advisor to the Edwards campaign, but perhaps they gave her a pass. Maybe it because they know Elizabeth Edwards is also a feminist.

However, like militant feminists who have done some good for us, but also have given feminism a bad taste in many citizens' mouths over the years, they believe Teddy has repaid them for their "good" name--debt he owes them-- in this way:

And now the greatest betrayal! We are repaid with his abandonment! He’s picked the new guy over us. He’s joined the list of progressive white men who can’t or won’t handle the prospect of a woman president who is Hillary Clinton (they will of course say they support a woman president, just not “this” one). “They” are Howard Dean and Jim Dean (Yup! That’s Howard’s brother) who run DFA (that’s the group and list from the Dean campaign that we women helped start and grow).
Since Teddy endorsed a man instead of a woman, they wrongly jump to this conclusion:

This latest move by Kennedy, is so telling about the status of and respect for women’s rights, women’s voices, women’s equality, women’s authority and our ability – indeed, our obligation- to promote and earn and deserve and elect, unabashedly, a President that is the first woman after centuries of men who “know what’s best for us.
Read the response by Feministe, a well-regarded feminist blog:
In case you didn’t get that, women have been betrayed by voting on the issues instead of according to what’s in their pants. It’s like the Lifetime Movie version of a shitty-to-begin-with press release.

Thank goodness for Feministe, the voice of reason. They are spot on in pointing out that NY NOW is protesting Kennedy as though he is tarnishing its cause. Feministing and Culture Kitchen blogs are on record as that NY NOW doesn't speak for them either.

Geez, no telling what they thought of Kate Michelman, former President of NARAL, when she was hired as a senior advisor to the Edwards campaign. Did Kate betray us too? I don't think so. Kate channeled Liza at Culture Kitchen when she penned this observation at Open Left:
As women take a second look at the candidates, now that attention is focusing more on the issues and how each of the candidates would lead, how they would make decisions; now that making a choice is becoming real, less about celebrity, more about being president, legitimate questions are being raised about Senator Clinton.

snip, still Open Left...and where Kate speaks for me, as I have been a feminist since I was 17, Pro-ERA, etc:

Any serious candidate for president should make their views clear and let the American people know where they stand on issues.

And any serious candidate for president should be held to the same standard - whether man or woman.

Have we have come a long way? Well, far enough to know better than to use our gender as a shield when the questions get too hot.

Maria Pappas should heed Kate's advice. Moreover, the Clintons need to get a grip and so do their staunch supporters. Granted, Obama had too many "present" votes about women's reproductive issues when he was in the IL senate, but it's my opinion that one militant group does not attack the Liberal Lion on feminist issues when he has been fighting for women and children a lot longer than the Clintons have. We have to remember Mrs. Clinton was a Goldwater girl when she entered college, after all, and Teddy was already fighting his brothers' causes for economic justice. Granted, Teddy has had his infamous share of problems with women, but most of it was his own personal problems, not political ones as far as I know.

This kind of attack does not serve them or those who have supported the civil rights--including feminists and gays--movement since we were young.

Keep marching Teddy. I don't support your candidate, but I don't think you've suddenly become being against feminism either.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, January 27, 2008

John Edwards Moves on to Georgia

Today JRE was in Dublin, and sounds like he got to eat some good down home cooking while he was there. The Macon Telegraph reports that he met with a group of Blue Plate Diners and got asked quite a few questions, including his stance on guns. He replied, "I support the Second Amendment". That answered seemed to ease the man's mind.

Here's a video clip, courtesy of the Macon Telegraph.

You will note he went back and said hello to the cooks and wait staff too.

Later, he went to Macon and was greeted by 400 folks. I liked it when he said this:

"The truth is, I understand what's going on in your lives and I don't treat Georgia as a place you fly over between Miami and New York City," Edwards said. "I treat Georgia as a place I know."

Good turnouts!

Check out this awesome MySpace page, Georgia for Edwards.

Labels: , , , ,