Benny's World

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Classic Zinger by Biden on McCain

Ladies and gentlemen, your kitchen table is like mine. You sit there every night after you put the kids to bed and you talk, you talk about what you need. You talk about how much you’re worried about being able to pay the bills. Well ladies and gentlemen, that’s not a worry that John McCain has to worry about. It’s a pretty hard experience — he’ll have to figure out which of the seven kitchen tables to sit at.

We need Joe Biden on that wall.

McCain, good luck trying to define yourself now.

I agree with Taylor Marsh: Joe-bama, O-Biden.

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Hillary Clinton and I Agree on Joe Biden

“In naming my colleague and friend Joe Biden to be the vice presidential nominee, Barack Obama has continued in the best traditions for the vice presidency by selecting an exceptionally strong, experienced leader and devoted public servant. Senator Biden will be a purposeful and dynamic vice president who will help Senator Obama both win the presidency and govern this great country.”

from The Page blog at Time Magazine.

Thank you, Senator Clinton. Your personal stock just went up with this blogger. Go knock a few out of the ballpark while at the DNC in Denver.

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Will Progressives' "Happiness Be a Thing Called Joe"?

As the media stayed up most of the night to get a simple text message from Barack Obama's campaign about his VP candidate, I never doubted it would be anyone else (well, I take that back, I was concerned Chet Edwards was really being considered) but a guy named Joe Biden.

Joe Biden is a very down to earth politician who no doubt will tell Obama what he thinks. The good thing about Joe though is that he's experienced enough now that if Obama chooses not to accept his suggestions, Joe can roll with him.

Obama needed someone who could help his message connect to the lunchbuckets and to swing voters--Catholics-and Joe will work with Obama well in that regard. Note: Biden is one of the least wealthy senators. His wife is a teacher and a mental health advocate. Joe also has foreign policy credentials that actually put him on par with McCain, and McCain is going to have to figure out how to compete with Obama without competing with Joe Biden. That will be interesting.

Hopefully, the crowd in Springfield today will walk away with the feeling that "Happiness is a Thing Called Joe", which is a title of a real song. You can type in in the brower and get a redirect to a form from Barack Obama's site to welcome Joe Biden to the team. (That's probably why Obama waited so late to announce--they had to get the technical stuff ready--in addition to ramping up more publicity for the campaign.)

Otherwise, here's Audra McDonald's rendition of Harold Arlen's memorable song from the musical, Cabin in the Sky. Harold Arlen also wrote my very favorite song, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", something we all could use after a disasterous 8 years under the Bush administration.

Welcome Joe Biden.

Update: Ezra has a good piece about why Biden would be a good choice for the ticket and the American people.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Benny's World

This guy has got the scoop on Benny.

Enjoy--takes about 2 minutes to watch.

(h/t to George at I've Been Mugged blog)

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Thursday, August 21, 2008


John McCain has to rely on a staff member to tell anyone how many houses he and his wife own?


Grandpa John.

Update: Obama ad about McCain's wanker.

And Chris Bowers has written a pretty good diary about what this gaffe may mean to the regular BW reader.

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I Hate It When Karl Rove May Be Right

Today, I took the bus to work (which I do more frequently these days). Whenever I take the bus, I grab the Wall Street Journal from the driveway, and look at it. Generally I glance at "What's News Section" on the FP, then if the human interest story below the fold gets my attention, I read that next. Otherwise, I skip to the Opinion pages to see what my favorite Conservatives are yapping about.

On page A11, a header at the top of the page grabbed my attention: Conventions Need a Believable Script. The opinion piece was about McCain and Obama, and what they needed to do to define themselves, and Mr. Rove had some suggestions. His premise was using the upcoming Conventions as the vehicle. Here are Mr. Rove's hints:

For McCain:

Mr. McCain's handlers must achieve three things. First is a greater public awareness of the character that makes him worthy of the Oval Office. Mr. McCain's warrior ethic makes it difficult for him to share his interior life, though his conversation with Rick Warren did provide moving glimpses into it. To win, Mr. McCain will need to show more.

Mr. McCain's second goal is to persuade Americans he can tackle domestic challenges. The doubts are whether he understands their concerns about their jobs, their family's health care, their children's education, the culture's coarseness, and their neighborhood's safety.

Third, Mr. McCain must show voters he remains a maverick who will, as president, work across party lines as he has as senator. Naming a Democrat or two he will draw into his cabinet would remind people of his bi-partisanship.

As though three things take up a bit of column space, Mr. Rove nails it about Obama with this comment:

Mr. Obama, on the other hand, needs to reassure Americans he is up to the job. Voters recognize he represents change, yet they are unsettled. Does he have the experience to be president? There are growing concerns, which the McCain campaign has tapped, that Mr. Obama is an inexperienced celebrity-politician smitten with his own press clippings.

Then he points out the obvious, but most of us overlooked:

Mr. Obama's performance this summer has added to voter doubts, putting a large burden on his acceptance speech. There are challenges in a speech staged with 75,000 screaming partisans at INVESCO Field. Will it deepen the impression that he's more of a rock star than a person of serious public purpose, or can Mr. Obama have the serious conversation he needs to reassure Americans?

Mr. Rove also suggested that demonization of each other would not work in this election. Ironic considering that was Mr. Rove was particularly good at when advising the Chimperor in Chief. But you know what? He's right for this reason:

Voters want to learn more about these two men, their personal values and their public vision. Every possible minute should be spent on these.

Read the rest here.

Damn, I hate it when Karl Rove may be right. Obama's team could benefit from reading this free piece of advice.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Update: A Great Soldier, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Passed Away

Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio — a Democratic superdelegate and one of Hillary Clinton's most ardent supporters — is in critical condition at a Cleveland Hospital. She has been taken off life support and not expected to make it.

Update: Congresswoman Tubbs-Jones passed away a hour ago. So sad.

Clinic spokeswoman Eileen Sheil says Tubbs Jones died at 6:12 p.m. Wednesday after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by an aneurysm that burst and left her with limited brain function.

She suffered the hemorrhage while driving her car in her east side district Tuesday evening. Source: AP via Yahoo!

A bit about her: The 58-year-old Tubbs-Jones was the first black woman to represent Ohio in Congress and a strong critic of the Iraq war. Her first term was in 1999.

Before becoming a member of Congress, Tubbs Jones was elected a judge of the Cleveland Municipal Court in 1981, and subsequently served on the Court of Common Pleas of Cuyahoga County from 1983 to 1991.

In 1990, she ran for Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio replacing Mary Cacioppo, the winner of the Democratic Primary, who withdrew for health reasons. She narrowly lost that race to Republican incumbent J. Craig Wright.

She then served as the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor from 1991 until resigning in early 1999 to take her seat in Congress.

On December 19, 2006, Tubbs Jones was named Chairwoman of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct for the 110th Congress. She was also a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Tubbs-Jones didn't go gently into that good night last night. She fought as she could, just as she did in her life. I enjoyed her on C-SPAN each time she was on the show, and she was a beacon of hope who possessed a bit of pragmatism.

More l8tr about this great lady and member of Congress.

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McSame's VP Choice TBA on 8/29

I'm wondering since it is going to be announced in Dayton, OH, if it may be this guy?

John Kasich

Shrewd choice if my hunch is correct.

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Facebook Friend Rachel Maddow Gets Own Show on MSNBC

Rachel is highly credentialed to be a pundit and the host of her own show. I had suggested privately that I wouldn't mind seeing her as guest host of MTP, but this is good.

Congrats to Rachel and to MSNBC. You're bringing us a long way, baby!

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Good Article about the Media Narrative of John and Elizabeth Edwards

Ezra Klein nails it.

(h/t to Neil the Ethical Werewolf and a former Eliza weekend blogger)

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Arson on an Old Mill

When I was a child, I never understood the purpose of fire other than to cook food and be warm. I heard about fires to buildings, mainly out of learning the chemistry and physics of buildings who didn't have proper wiring, or maybe, they did not have enough heat.

Fires as being arsonic were later in my life, especially with Dr. King's movement, but more noticeably when he died. I was not quite 9 when Dr. King was assassinated, but I recall I wasn't allowed to go roller skating from 7-10 on the following night.

Today, a mill that John Edwards worked in as a boy or teen was in flames, but the mill didn't totally burned down. The mill hadn't been used in awhile, and John used it to talk about jobs going away recently. But he worked there, sweeping, and did other odd jobs with his father, Wallace. Hard work. Something about his work is now considered a mockery in lieu of a salacious story about Rielle Hunter, who was an immature woman--and with no dignity towards others.

I hope it wasn't an arsonist act in retaliation to John Edwards or what he stood for.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Blogger Leroy Sievers Succombs to His Cancer

I was listening to ABC's "This Week" and learned that Leroy Sievers passed away. Sievers worked for ABC News for many years, and in the past 4 years, he had a blog for NPR entitled "My Cancer."

Here's the statement from the blog yesterday:

Dear friends:

I'm so sorry to bring you this news. Leroy passed away last night. It happened very quickly.

You will hear from Laurie later. In the meantime, please let me tell you something all of you already know, how much this blog and all your comments have meant to Leroy. He felt all the affection and good wishes and strength you sent him every day. He told us that of the many things he had accomplished, he was proudest of My Cancer. The connection he felt with all of you made such a difference in his life.

--Maeve McGoran

Many of you probably remember that Elizabeth Edwards and Leroy appeared with Ted Koppel twice: last year on the Discovery Channel, and about a month ago on NPR, when they were both looking at their lives over the past year. As I expected, Elizabeth Edwards posted a comment on My Cancer last night:

Leroy has died. That great big man with a voice that could curl itself around you like fingers and comfort you is gone. Our blessing is that we felt that comfort. Our pain is for those like Laurie closest to him and for Leroy himself, who had so much more life in him than he was allowed. We put aside our private pains today, and we think about the gift that he was, and the gift that he will continue to be. I for one will always hear the timber in his voice as the soothing promise that we can face whatever comes if we remind ourselves not to be so afraid that it falls short of perfect.
In my last short words to him, I read the lyrics to something Leonard Cohen wrote, something someone sent to me when I discovered my cancer had never left.

Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.

To the light that was and is Leroy.

Sent by Elizabeth Edwards | 6:29 PM ET | 08-16-2008

My thoughts and prayers go to the Sievers family for their loss, and my heart is with Elizabeth Edwards.

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Quote Worth Reading

"There are no perfect candidates and every election is a gamble. But a candidate's personal life is not always a reliable indicator of his or her performance in elected office.

Just remember, as far as we know the current president never cheated on his wife. That doesn't mean he's done a good job in office."

--Mark Hare, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

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