Benny's World

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Elizabeth Edwards' Refuge is a Passion for Health Care Reform

As noted on the sidebar, Elizabeth Edwards was interviewed at one of multiple events at the New Yorker Festival. She was asked how she manages to "keep going" amidst her personal travails with JRE. Elizabeth answered the question this way:

"Partly by plowing through, like I intend to do with your question, as well," she said, to laughter and applause from the audience.

"The ability to speak out doesn't require a particular skill. It requires one thing — passion about what you believe in. And that passion has been a really great refuge for me," she said.

(photo credit: Bill Divalia)

Concerning her current health, she said that her cancer hasn't spread to her liver or lungs. She added:

It hasn't really changed since March 2007," she said of her condition. "Then they gave me five years, so if I had five years then, I have five years now, and if I can just keep that up ..." The crowd interrupted her with laughter.

In talking about non-related health problems that occur when she had to cancel an appearance, Elizabeth said that when she checked a Google alert she has set up for her name, she read that she had been sick when she had an unrelated stomach flu.

(Note to BW readers, something that I didn't report on this week: she was supposed to have spoken at the Governor's Women's Conference on Thursday, but it was reported she was too ill to fly, but briefly participated via phonelink).

And of course, Elizabeth, in explaining she still is trying to maintain some privacy, sprinkled some humor about about that alert:

"It would really be nice to be able to throw up without having it appear in the Google alerts," she joked.

You can read more about the New Yorker event here.

(I admit I'm one of those guilty ones who wondered what had happened in reading that initial report, until it was clarified she had a stomach bug.)

Elizabeth earlier in the week had spoken at a roundtable at a Piedmont Health clinic near her home, and the day before, held a telephone conference about how the economy's woes were tied to the problems with the health care system as well. She continued to attack McCain's plan, citing it as "radical."

Elizabeth is on the road next week to Richmond, Columbus, OH, and Seattle. Livestrong, Elizabeth!

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Bruce Speaks from the Heart in Philly About Obama

On the Net, I saw The Boss perform live in front of 50,000 folks in the City of Brotherly Love this afternoon. He did some of my favorite songs, such as "Thunder Road", "No Surrender", and closed with Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land". NCDem Amy caught a bit of the concert when Springsteen gave a speech so poignant and left the crowd ready to go out and help Obama win the election, using metaphor of rebuilding the house for saving our country.

Springsteen is an American treasure and is at his best here. No bitterness in his voice, but a tone of hope, and from his point of view, a time for our country to start healing from the abuses of the past 8 years.

From My Way News:

The legendary rocker interrupted a seven-song acoustic set at a voter-registration rally in Philadelphia on Saturday to praise Democrat Barack Obama and bemoan the crises facing the next president. Springsteen said that America remains a house of dreams for some, but that too many people have given up on the promise of fairness and equality.

"I've spent 35 years writing about America and its people and the meaning of the American promise - a promise handed down right here in this city," said the New Jersey rocker, whose songs often depict down-on-their-luck, working-class dreamers. "Our everyday citizens ... have justifiably lost faith in its meaning."

The speech is followed by the performance of "The Rising". Enjoy.

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Bill Maher: Sarah Palin Exceeded Expectations

" We learned she can speak a whole sentence."

And the Exit Strategy (including some great lines by Garry Shandling):

(note: Maher is borrowing similar material from his new movie, Religulous, a bit)

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Joe Biden: Lookin' for Help, not More of the Same

Great concluding remarks. Thanks, Joe. You continue to be transparent, whereas your debate opponent was not, and you were kind not to call her on all of her BS about her assets, how she squeezed taxpayer money for herself and family.

Taylor Marsh nails the performances of the debaters.

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Why Does Congress Trust Bush and His Ilk?

(cartoon courtesy Barry Ritholtz at the Big Picture)

Congress doesn't trust the American people. We cannot trust them either.

They just gave us a pretty good reason last night. Pitiful.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bill Maher: Sentence to Nowhere

I love this guy's humor.

New Rules....and welfare white-ies.

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Sarah Palin Again On SNL

Tina Fey has her down to a capital S.

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Elizabeth Edwards Engages Audiences in NJ, CT

Yesterday, Elizabeth was engaging with women about mind and health issues in New Jersey, and later she went to Connecticut to talk about the role of a spouse in a presidential campaign. As far as I know, JRE was not mentioned in either talk.

(photos courtesy of the Courier)

At Mount Laurel, NJ, she spoke about making her cancer public. She said that she has received over 65,000 e-mails and 30,000 letters, among them a thank-you note from a woman who hadn't had a checkup in years, got a mammogram, and discovered she had breast cancer. The woman started getting treatment right away. As Elizabeth said, "I was overwhelmed".

Cooper Hospital officials said they wanted to have a women's conference not only just about health, but about mind and spirit too, and that inviting Elizabeth fulfilled that goal. Christine Messina-Boyer, director of women's health at Cooper, explained it this way: "We were looking for someone to tell women that no matter what they face, they can live life to the fullest."

Read more about it here.

And indeed, they got their money's worth.

Later, Elizabeth was on a panel about the Presidency in Hartford along with Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian Joseph Ellis and Matthew Dowd, chief strategist for the 2004 Bush-Cheney ticket. Elizabeth said that her spouse may have won the presidential race in 2004 if he had run the campaign of ideas from this past cycle, such as poverty and universal health care. "These ideas in a less cluttered field may have gotten more attention.

Then the panel discussed why voters care about spouses. Dowd said that until Hillary Clinton emerged with Bill Clinton in 1992, spouses were never part of the equation. Elizabeth believed it was sooner than 1992 and presented Rosalynn Carter as an example. Elizabeth said "by sitting down at the kitchen table and talking about issues with people in Iowa, Mrs. Carter — a farmer like many Iowans — was able to influence voters and help her husband reach the White House." And that she tried to do the same for her husband's campaigns.

All of the panelists agree that it takes a tremendous ego to run for the Presidency, and often surround themselves with "yes" staffers. Elizabeth expressed another role for the spouse. She said Michelle Obama is very important, because she can bring Barack Obama back down to earth. Elizabeth knew from experience that " generally people working on the campaign don’t care about making the spouse happy, because the spouse often is an impediment because she’s being honest."

You can read more about the conversation here.

Elizabeth is definitely living life to its fullest. Next month, in addition to the many speaking engagements listed on the right sidebar, she is opening a furniture store.

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