Benny's World

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Edwards to Join Global Poverty Initative Advisory Board at MIT

Yesterday, JRE was at MIT as one of the keynotes for kicking off Millennium Campus Conference at MIT.

Video courtesy of NECN.

It's amazing to me we can spend billions and trillions of dollars in a black hole called Iraq, but 35 million Americans went to bed hungry or were underfed last year. And my understanding is that GPI will be looking at sustainability of water as it is connected to growing crops in underdeveloped countries.

And no, he's still not interested in VP.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

edWORDS on Colbert

I don't want to seen as not hopeful nor James Carville to bite me.

Classic JRE. Very funny. Thanks, NcDemAmy

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Elizabeth Edwards Receipent of National Mother's Day Award

On May 8th, Elizabeth Edwards, Caroline Kennedy, Vera Wang, and Debbie Murtha will receive recognition at the 30th Annual National Mother's Day awards.

According to the press release from today:
These are truly exceptional women who have nurtured their families, built successful careers and helped improve the lives of others, said Laurie Dowley, Chairwoman of the National Mothers Day Council. As we honor these outstanding women on Mothers Day, we will donate all proceeds of the awards luncheon to Save the Children, as part of our commitment to support meaningful philanthropies dealing with issues affecting mothers, fathers and children.

To date, the Fathers Day/Mothers Day Council has donated nearly $20 million to meaningful charities nationwide, which includes more than $3.5 million in 2007.

Good cause.

Congrats and I look forward to seeing any speeches from these very notable women, especially Elizabeth Edwards. The luncheon and awards ceremony will be held at The Pierre New York Hotel.

I believe John got a similar one last year as Father of the Year.

He still credits Elizabeth the most.

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ABC News: Debates You Cannot Count On for Election Coverage

Short post because Tom Shales at WaPO wrote most of how I felt about the ABC News Debate last night. I don't know if camera work or questions were slanted to help Clinton, but Charlie and George should have known better than to spend the first hour on gossip.

Aldon Hynes wrote an estute complaint to ABC News:

I hope you are truly ashamed for having produced the worst Presidential debate on television. Some of us want to hear the possible next leaders of the free world talk about real issues.

What you did was a grave disservice to our country.

Like Aldon, I also complained at ABC News' website here.

Our media needs serious reform. And news journalism is should not be entertainment.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Elizabeth Edwards Inspires New Generation of Tar Heels

Elizabeth was a guest lecturer at an event earlier this week at UNC. It was about "speaking up." (photo courtesy of Sam Ward at the Daily Tar Heel)

At a campus known for its public service initiatives, Elizabeth Edwards emphasized the importance of reaching beyond academics, sharing stories of her time at UNC during the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement.

"I wanted to do something, not throw a rock or burn a flag, but something that would make a difference," she said.

No, she didn't say much about her husband, but she did say not "to be disillusioned" if their favorite candidate wasn't the nominee.

Many students at the event said they felt inspired by her speech.

"I think it's just the ideas she has and how she puts them forward that intrigues me and so many others," sophomore Kaylyn Siporin said.

Good for them and for Elizabeth. She inspires me too. Click here to read the entire article from the Daily Tar Heel.

(h/t Oklahoma Voter at EENRb)

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

John Edwards: Form One for Tax File Reform

I spent more than 7 hours, even with Turbotax, to get the numbers right. I wasn't trying to cheat the government or anyone. Tax codes are written by the Congress, and they depend on who need the break.

If only John Edwards were still in the race.

And here's the podcast. It makes perfect sense to me.

Oh, understand that JRE is not taking phone calls or ideas at this time. It was a year ago, but he still had the right idea.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Masters New Champ: Trevor Immelman

Congrats to Trevor Immelman (and his family) as he won the Masters pretty handily today. He follows in the footsteps of his mentor, Gary Player. South Africa must be proud as he puts on the Green Jacket.

His humility and hard work remind me of someone else: John Edwards.

I enjoyed watching the tournament more this afternoon as Trevor and his opponent, Brandt Snedeker, showed more camaraderie on the links than I've witnessed on camera in a long time. It reminded me of the days of Jack, Gary, and Arnie, all who liked one another, good competitors, but always gracious.

(photo courtesy of Yahoo)

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Mixed Reactions to the Obama 's Comments (update)

I have mixed reactions to what Barack Obama said about rust belt citizens in rural America. In some ways, I think people are bitter about what has happened to their jobs and their lives. But I'm not certain that is the reason they cling to guns and religion either.

I'm linking to Talking Points Memo's Election Central which has the reactions and responses of both Clinton and Obama, and you can decide. I think both are right, and both are a little wrong. Clinton is correct in what she is hearing; Obama is correct that people are angry and feel ignored.

Obama though made a mistake, no question about it, as McSame saw it as an opportunity to call him on it. Why? Because the offhand comment was made at a California high dollar fund raiser.

To see opposing views about this latest gotcha, go to this diary and this diary at MyDD. Identity politics at work. The second diary concluded with this paragraph:

... I hope this supposed controversy continues to rage right up to the next debate in Philly on Wednesday, April 16th. Let Clinton try to defend her GOP-lite position in front of an audience of Democrats and let Obama take his position from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party and let's see how the audience responds.

In half-truthed snark, I penned a response:

The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party has left the room for now. It resides at the Center for American Progress.

However, I'm hoping the Democratic Wing in the form of a very progressive platform will return in August at the DNCC.

Update: Mudcat Saunders, whom I thought was working for Obama, made this comment to CNN:

“I’m a southern boy myself,” Saunders told CNN by phone. “I don’t have a gun because I’m bitter, it’s because I’ve always had one. I don’t pray to God because I’m bitter. I pray to God because it makes my life better.”

Saunders was an adviser to former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, and he wrote on The Huffington Post in January that Edwards was the only Democrat with the potential to defeat McCain in a general election match-up.

The consultant is also credited with helping former Virginia governor Mark Warner win election in 2001 by moving socially-conservative voters into the Democratic fold. Warner sponsored a vehicle in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series during that campaign, a move attributed to Saunders.

Obama’s advisers, including the state’s current Gov. Tim Kaine, see Virginia as a state Obama can win this fall. Although Obama won the state’s primary on Feb. 12 overwhelmingly, he lost the 9th congressional district in rural southwestern Virginia to Hillary Clinton.

Saunders said “rural America will be crucial in this election.”

“The one thing that I preached during this whole deal is we can’t be stereotyping anybody,” he said. “Well, Barack Obama just stereotyped my people out in rural America.”

“Here’s a guy who says he shouldn’t be stereotyped, but yet he stereotyped us.”

Well, if he was working for Obama, I bet he's not anymore.

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Elizabeth Edwards at Harvard's IOP

Elizabeth was interviewed by the Crimson at Harvard. Here's part of her comments.

The Harvard Crimson: During your husband’s presidential campaign, there was a lot of focus on the recurrence of your cancer. What was it like having all this personal information out in the public sphere?

Elizabeth Edwards: I’ve never been a very private person. I’ve lived in very small communities where everybody knows everything, and our house was always the meeting place for all the kids. I long ago got used to the idea that I wasn’t going to have any secrets.

THC: Why has health care been such an important issue for you?

EE: It’s not just my personal condition. This was something that was of great concern to me before I realized that I either had breast cancer or that the breast cancer returned. Partly because everybody knows that if you have a health problem, it is like you don’t have any other problems. Basically, health care issues can take over your life. It’s something we all share universally, both fear of health care issues and the very high probability that all of us are going to face some health care issue in our lives.

When John was developing his health care policy, since he’d heard the same stories, one of the things we wanted was a truly universal health care program.

THC: Will you or your husband be endorsing either remaining Democratic candidate before one drops out of the race or receives the nomination?

EE: He’d have to speak for himself. As for me, if something drastically changed, I guess there would be some possibility. In the current landscape, I don’t really see any need to use the tiny bit of political capital I have on a person. I’d rather use it on an idea or policy.

Read the rest here.

(h/t NcMindy at JREG)

Not much to add here. This is Elizabeth through and through.

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