Benny's World

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Just Say No

Nancy Reagan started a campaign in the 1980's as First Lady of "Just Say No." Just say no meant lots of things but most especially practicing abstinence and not engaging in smoking marijuana or other recreational (as well as narcotic) drugs.

Just say no can mean other things too. It can mean that the 4th Estate will say no in publishing a story without solid evidence. The National Enquirer, who is now being aided and abetted by Faux Noise, reported that John Edwards was seen in the Beverly Hills Hilton visiting Rielle Hunter, which they claim is his mistress and the mother of an illegitimate offspring. No evidence has linked them ever on this. And I don't think the onus is on Edwards to prove this. To me, it is Rielle Hunter's problem, since obviously she was paid to be in the tabloid and on ExtraTV, another gossip channel in which guests, sometimes of ill-repute, are paid to be on the show.

I find this odd that no pictures have appeared. The NE claims there is a video. I have a feeling this will be trumped up too. I might add that I find it odd that Edwards would have been driven anywhere in a foreign car; he prefers to ride in and owns American made cars.

The AP, NYT, and other newswires have not reported anything. It is rumored that the LAT Blog editor has ordered his blog columnists not to blog about it either. For these reasons, the News-Record of Greensboro, which hasn't always been kind to John Edwards, has chosen not to report it either since there is no credible evidence such as photos, or a credible witness either, other than some security guard who didn't recognize Edwards at first either until he was hounded and likely goaded into a statement after being shown a picture of Edwards. If he didn't recognize Edwards right away, seems to me this is all balderdash.

This is now between John and Elizabeth to sort out. It is not for me to judge him on what happened without evidence. I give John the benefit of the doubt. I do not give Rielle Hunter that same benefit because this is twice this has story has occurred in 8 months and I wonder if she is a spurned person because she came on to him and he said no, that they are friends (if that strong of a relationship). If indeed John came to visit her for whatever reason, she should have said no (or her surrogates thereof) to The National Enquirer and ExtraTV. It smells to me that this trap of paparazzi of only the National Enquirer seemed to know about a visit--and tons of TV journalists within 2 doors down having a party.

And the News-Record agrees--this is not a credible story. They said no.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Teamsters are Going Green

With permission, I am supplying BW readers with a fantastic diary by TomP that appeared today on the Daily Kos. It's great news...our unions are thinking green and now acting on it too.

This is big.

Great news for all of us who seek a Blue/Green Alliance! The Teamsters today left the ANWR coalition, a group in favor of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Jim Hoffa has just announced that the Teamsters are pulling out of the coalition supporting drilling in ANWR and are shifting their support to efforts to build coalitions with green groups to create a sustainable energy economy around sources like solar, wind and geothermal.

"We are not going to drill our way out of the energy problems we are facing—not here and not in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," Hoffa told labor and environmental activists at an Oakland, Calif., summit on good jobs and clean air. "We must find a long-term approach that breaks our dependence on foreign oil by investing in the development of alternate energy sources like solar, wind and geothermal power."

Hoffa Rejects 'Drilling Our Way Out' of Energy Crisis, Demands Long-Term Policy Solutions

Jim Hoffa announced the union’s withdrawal from the ANWR coalition, citing the need to build a green economy that fosters the development of alternative energy sources and creates good union jobs—instead of lining the pockets of big oil tycoons.

"Our economy is in shambles. Gas is climbing to $5 a gallon. The dollar has collapsed. Inflation is on the rise. Americans are seeing their paychecks shrink. Their family health care is being slashed," Hoffa said. "Finding a long-term solution has a tremendous upside. It will be environmentally friendly and will serve as a much-needed boost to our sagging economy."

Hoffa also thanked labor’s partners in the environmental movement, who are currently working to reduce emissions from port trucks. He urged the strengthening of the alliance, known as the Coalition for Clean & Safe Ports, to achieve a common goal: Good jobs and clean air.

"If we are to prosper as a nation, our future lies in a green economy," he said. "But it’s up to us to help define the rules of that new green economy. A green economy means we must reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And it means creating good union jobs in America’s growing industries."

Hoffa Rejects 'Drilling Our Way Out' of Energy Crisis, Demands Long-Term Policy Solutions

This is the core of the Blue/Greeen alliance that will rebuild and remake a just America:

"A green economy means we must reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And it means creating good union jobs in America’s growing industries."


The Sierra Club praised the Teamnsters for this move.

"The Sierra Club and the environmental movement applaud your announcement and look forward to building a powerful movement together—a movement that helps workers, protects the environment, prevents global warming and rebuilds our economy with good, green jobs," said Greg Haegele, The Sierra Club’s Director of Conservation. "We are proud to stand here today, as allies and friends of the Teamsters."

Hoffa Rejects 'Drilling Our Way Out' of Energy Crisis, Demands Long-Term Policy Solutions

Hoffa and the Teamsters are joining with Al Gore and Barack Obama in working to build a Green economy and all realize that we cannot drill our way out of this mess. We need alternative energy.

Barack Obama last week:

"For decades, Al Gore has challenged the skeptics in Washington on climate change and awakened the conscience of a nation to the urgency of this threat. I strongly agree with Vice President Gore that we cannot drill our way to energy independence, but must fast-track investments in renewable sources of energy like solar power, wind power and advanced biofuels, and those are the investments I will make as President. It’s a strategy that will create millions of new jobs that pay well and cannot be outsourced, and one that will leave our children a world that is cleaner and safer."

Gore: "end our reliance on carbon-based fuels"

Al Gore laast week:

We're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that's got to change.

But if we grab hold of that common thread and pull it hard, all of these complex problems begin to unravel and we will find that we're holding the answer to all of them right in our hand.

The answer is to end our reliance on carbon-based fuels.

In my search for genuinely effective answers to the climate crisis, I have held a series of "solutions summits" with engineers, scientists, and CEOs. In those discussions, one thing has become abundantly clear: when you connect the dots, it turns out that the real solutions to the climate crisis are the very same measures needed to renew our economy and escape the trap of ever-rising energy prices. Moreover, they are also the very same solutions we need to guarantee our national security without having to go to war in the Persian Gulf.

What if we could use fuels that are not expensive, don't cause pollution and are abundantly available right here at home?

Gore: "end our reliance on carbon-based fuels"

Jim Hoffa today:

"We are not going to drill our way out of the energy problems we are facing—not here and not in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," Hoffa told labor and environmental activists at an Oakland, Calif., summit on good jobs and clean air. "We must find a long-term approach that breaks our dependence on foreign oil by investing in the development of alternate energy sources like solar, wind and geothermal power."

Working together with labor, environmentalists and Democratic candidates, we can change America, solve our energy crisis, rebuild a greeen economy with good union jobs, and address global warming.

Jim Hoffa at Yearly Kos in 2007.

(personal note: TomP and I sat together as we heard Hoffa's talk at YearlyKos 2007; John Edwards had just spoken to him about a union agenda)

We need to work with the Teanmsters and other unions to rebuild a Green America. Thank you Mr. Hoffa and all Teamsters! Solidarity!

Update. From Change to Win in the comments. Grist has a good write up on this:

For years, the Teamsters have supported opening the Arctic Refuge and other protected areas to oil drilling; they ran ads bashing John Kerry on it in 2004. So it is a Very Big Deal that the Teamsters have just come out and rejected drilling as a solution to the energy crisis.

At an event in Oakland, Calif., Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said that drilling won't do anything to help; he announced that the Teamsters are withdrawing from the coalition pushing for Arctic drilling; and he stressed that pushing for "alternate energy sources like solar, wind and geothermal power" will revitalize the economy and create jobs.

It looks like reality is finally starting to bite in American politics.

UPDATE: Kate called up Teamsters spokeswoman Leigh Strope for more on the move.

"Americans are suffering in this difficult economy," said Strope. "[President Hoffa] really realized, like a lot of people have, that there needs to be a long-term energy solution. Like he said, we can't drill our way out of this problem ... We need a comprehensive energy policy to deal with this crisis."

"It's important to our members," Strope continued. "There's an opportunity to really explore the whole issue of green jobs, and that would obviously benefit Teamsters and all Americans."

grist: Blockbuster Teamsters announcement rejects oil drilling as an energy solution

Go Teamsters! Here's a song for them and Change to Win:

Eighteen Wheels and A Dozen Roses by Kathy Mattea

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

John Edwards: True to his 5'2" With Eyes of Blue

In the past two days, the National Enquirer, aided and abetted by plenty of freepers, as well as Hillary supporters and Deaniacs who are still incensed by Edwards' support of Barack Obama, is spewing out plenty of fiction about John Edwards and a woman he once contracted in some video production in 2006. Granted, they don't overly lie about everything, but this one deserves a lawsuit.

This is the second time the NE has spit out this story. While many local stations and blogs are taking the bait in using this as reports for this nonsense, it is because it is a slow news day for them and perhaps the NE is encouraging them to question John Edwards, considering that the VP vetting is taking place as I type this post.

Out of respect to Elizabeth Edwards, whom I consider to be an acquaintance and who has been here to comment a couple of times, I stayed silent about what I read yesterday. But to quote JRE and the late Rev King Jr, "silence is betrayal". I felt I had to speak out and debunk the asinine mistruths about John Edwards in this instance--and why I think the NE should retract its story, apologize, and turn the page.

I have met John Edwards up close five times, and another time at the Harkin Steak Fry, whereby I was supposed to have my picture made with him and Elizabeth before the speeches of all of the Dem candidates (except Dennis K), but it didn't work out for them or for me in our timing.

Elizabeth and I met up close in 2006, not long after I had a conversation with her spouse. Elizabeth knows I met with him because of the poverty band I gave him, and she also knows we spoke privately in the presence of a staffer in an undisclosed location. JRE was willing to meet with me, but I decided on my own not to disclose where I met him in order not to make the local papers. My conversation with him was private, which is what I wanted. And I found him to be an excellent listener.

Thus, I just gave BW readers a clue: JRE generally doesn't meet with women alone. He has a staffer with him most times. Maybe he didn't in this instance, but maybe he did, and we haven't heard about it.

and this:

JRE has denied these smears and called them what they are..tabloid trash.

More debunking l8tr...

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Arizona Cardinals' Owners are Scrubs

Figures--McSame's team acting like the Chimp-in-Chief's administration.

The Arizona Cardinals are trying to "protect the nest." This means they'd like University of Phoenix Stadium to continue to sell out, and to do so with as few opposing fans as possible.

In the past two seasons, there was little concern about this since the team sold out every home game. But with ticket sales a bit slower as the third season approaches, the Cardinals are requiring fans who want to buy tickets to the Dallas game on Oct. 12 to also buy tickets for the Aug. 7 exhibition opener vs. New Orleans. Cardinals fans have "created a decisive home-field advantage" the past two years, and the team wants to keep it that way by discouraging single-game ticket sales to Dallas Cowboys fans, team spokesman Mark Dalton said.

Source: Yahoo! Sports

Oliver Willis will probably favor this idea along with one of my Steeler-fan friends.

I've been told that bundling is not unusual, but I think this takes the cake since only the Cowboy fans have been singled out. Of course, the half full glass says this is good for the Saints.

GO POKES! Beat the hades out of the Cardinals on October 12th.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Al Gore, Sorry I Missed You

I have to hand it to Gina Cooper and Markos for keeping Al Gore's visit a mystery until a few minutes before it broke in the media via Twitter. Here's the video of the surprise and the standing O Gore got., courtesy of Goodboydc:

Aparently when he went in, when raising Nancy Pelosi's hand in unity, he said he was very much at home with the group already. I was totally unaware of any of the news since I was with company.

Last night, I awoke around 1:30, flipped on C-SPAN, and there was Al Gore, speaking to the Netroots Nation bloggers. I was impressed. Here is another YT of his remarks to the group, courtesy of fellow Edwards supporter Mooncat.

Part 1

Part 2

Nancy Pelosi is another story. She was well spoken at the Conference, but I still find her demeanor disingenuous. Authenicity matters, and I think that's why I'm still an Edwards supporter, but an Al Gore one too. If only...well, maybe Edwards will find Gore to be a good model for his poverty work.

Labels: , , , , , , ,