Benny's World

Sunday, December 27, 2009

JRE Still Helps the Needy

NCDem Amy alerted me to latest JRE's helping again the needy:

I don't care who you are, this man doesn't do everything because it's political. It is because it is just in the name of poverty.

JRE and my personal history inspired me to team up at work to help a needy family in our area, as one saw a couple of weeks ago.

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  • The article may or may not be helpful to Senator Edwards. Many people are skeptical of someone working on behalf of others. In this case, there are those dismissive of any words or actions at this point. For the people who did see the best, questions may remain as a result of disappointments. Some people ignore anything they don’t want to hear. Often hope dies hard. Time will tell if the work is genuine regardless of what anyone thinks.

    May he find meaning and purpose in his life. Blessings and good wishes for Mrs. Edwards, her family and friends, too.

    By Blogger indyvoter, at 9:48 AM  

  • I continue to be inspired by JRE and EE.

    By Blogger benny06, at 1:43 PM  

  • I was not commenting on any person's belief in Senator Edwards. For some, nothing he can do will be right and for a few others, he still can do no wrong. For many people somewhere along the spectrum, they will see the article as either a genuine effort to help others or a public relations ploy based on their individual perspectives.

    No one can know what is in another's heart; therefore, time will be more enlightening than any one article or a particular trip.

    By Blogger indyvoter, at 3:20 PM  

  • I don't see how JRE helping out as a public relations ploy considering:

    "“I just tried to get in touch with everyone I could think of,” Bonderer said, and Edwards responded with interest –he’s now been there three times this year. Pictures from his most recent three-day trip, last week, show him in blue jeans passing buckets of mortar to American college students volunteering to build houses with Bonderer’s Christian housing organization, Homes from the Heart. "

    Looks like he is laying low and doing what he thinks will help.

    By Blogger waiting for hope, at 1:29 AM  

  • Edwards may really be interested in helping the poor but the publicity does him more harm than good. As long as he is a tabloid fixture for the mess he created and has yet to resolve, as long as his trail of lies and deceit continues and stretches over more years, as long as there are questions and investigations into campaign finance law violations, a few days in a foreign country giving some speeches and doing a little work won’t erase everything else.

    How many houses did he build in the few hours he could have been working at the site? It smells too much like a photo op. Better to go spend a week or two working without the attention, at least for the time being. It isn’t charitable work if you are trying to get more out of it than the intended recipients or if you need a spotlight shining on you while you do it.

    As the article points out, Edwards himself brought the work up in a Washington Post story in an attempt to distract from the projects he started at home and then abandoned. He abruptly pulled the plug on College for Everyone with a lame excuse that donors wouldn’t contribute after he dropped out of the race despite the fact he continued to raise money for the program months after dropping out. Despite all his talk about making whole the victims of Hurricane Katrina with mortgages through Fortress Investments, for whom he worked, he provided half of the $100,000 he promised to raise but not a single one of the 32 impacted homeowners received any money. A press release in New Orleans with a phone number to call would have easily helped identify the 32 homeowners but $50k or even $100k wouldn’t have done the job Edwards promised during the campaign.

    Edwards needs to get his own house in order before touting his work building houses for others.

    By Blogger JeanLouise, at 2:24 AM  

  • The comments prove the point that peoples' opinions span the range from inspiration to skepticism. An article or two won't change opinions and ultimately the work can and should speak for itself.

    In the meantime, Senator Edwards can take personal satisfaction in doing something for others even if done in anonymity.

    By Blogger indyvoter, at 6:03 AM  

  • Laying low = COWARD

    This is just more play acting on Edwards' part. He should move to that foreign country. Maybe they will feed his ego and stroke him the way he likes it.

    By Blogger David, at 7:26 AM  

  • JeanLouise-- sometimes we get our house in order BY helping others with their houses. We can't always wait until we're "ready" to start rebuilding our life or being there for others.

    The College For Everyone program was only ever intended to be a pilot program, lasting only a few years.

    It's not true that none of the families he promised help to "never saw a single penny", though I will agree with you that he didn't finish what he started and even 100K may never have been enough. Over-optimism, over-promising, under-delivering... very different from actual deceit and fleecing. Though of course both actions make the other person feel the same.

    I have written him several times, and one of the biggest messages I hoped to impress on him was that getting back with the poor he promised to help would be the best thing he could do to rehab his image.

    By Blogger Frances, at 11:40 PM  

  • David-- for him to do anything but lay low would be foolish. What would he be showing his face to? He's an outcast. He literally has nothing left except Elizabeth, the kids, his assets and El Salvador. He grew up in NC, and he's unwelcome in his own home now. His friends are vanishing. And, I might add, some are literally dying, like his Houston lawyer friend John O'Quinn in that car crash around Halloween.

    By Blogger Frances, at 11:51 PM  

  • This is the saddest thing in this whole episode for me-- how JRE is being "dematerialized", as if he never existed except as a force of evil.
    How his whole life is being revised as fraudulent, how his earlier accomplishments are being ignored or re-written in everyone's mind to fit the new narrative of him as thorough rotter.

    It's a life being thrown away. And while he brought the first part of it on himself, the rest is pure narrative. And narratives used improperly can literally destroy lives. So much that I worry about him committing suicide at some later date, like Larry Manzanares, who took a similar rapid moral and legal descent, that seemed astoundingly out of character.

    I'd feel like it if I were in his shoes. It would preferable to, for starters, being tied forever to a sociopath like Hunter. It would be preferable to living every day with the knowledge of what I did to my loved ones, knowing I could have stopped the chain of destruction at any time, and I didn't, and I will be suffering the consequences every day for the rest of my life-- and that no gesture of remorse or reparation will ever make a difference in the eyes of my community.

    It's hell on earth; the removal of any joy or purpose from a life. Only a Dick Cheney or a Phil Gramm deserves that.

    By Blogger Frances, at 12:00 AM  

  • What kind of kool-aid do some people drink to excuse everything this man has done? Yes, he may have had and still have some good qualities but he lied, cheated and possibly "stole" campaign funds for person use. And those are just the things we know about so far.

    When asked about political candidates who cheat being judged on that behavior, one politician said: "it’s fundamental to how you judge people and human character, whether you keep your word, whether you keep what is your ultimate word, which is that you love your spouse." So true!

    Who said it? John Edwards did in December 2007 after he fathered a child with his mistress while his wife was battling cancer!

    By Blogger Anonymous, at 12:50 AM  

  • Anonymous: the "kool-aid" is a simple recognition that being a liar and a cheater was NOT part of this man's history. It's a recognition that how he acted during the affair was NOT normal-- and it's a desire, therefore, to not allow those terrible choices and decisions cancel out the rest of his life, or define him.

    We love our narratives. I'm not taking part in this one.

    By Blogger Frances, at 1:28 AM  

  • Frances, When you try to rewrite history by distorting the facts, all of your arguments lose validity. Yes, College for Everyone was a pilot program started in the fall of 2005 but never had a timeline attached to it. It ended in July 2008 a week or so before Edwards admitted to the affair. He was still raising money for the program (yearly cost $300,000) as late as May 2008 which leads to questions about the plans for the program changing in a matter of a couple of months.

    The Hurricane Katrina victims of Fortress owned mortgages are another matter. Edwards donated $50,000 and promised to raise another $50,000 (which didn't happen) to fund a program to be run by ACORN (yep, that ACORN) to make the 32 affected homeowners whole. One family said after numerous attempts to receive help, the lender reduced their monthly mortgage payment but then it shot back up and no help was available. (They didn't receive any of the $50,000 and could have found other ways to renegotiate the mortgage.) Another homeowner couldn't get a response at all and eventually lost the home to foreclosure. ACORN put the $50,000 into a general mortgage counseling program instead of toward the 32 families for which it was intended. When even ACORN admits the money went into a general fund, you are going to have a difficult time proving any of the money went to the impacted homeowners much less that they were made whole.

    You are correct that John Edwards didn't have a lifelong pattern of cheating (ala Clinton) but that fact and the cover up are what make the story more distasteful. Reframing the other facts to spin a different narrative doesn't change the truth or bolster the case you are making but rather harms any other points you raise. All of the facts, good and bad, speak for themselves. Likewise, all of Edwards' actions, good and bad, speak for themselves.

    By Blogger JeanLouise, at 6:03 AM  

  • JeanLouise, you present your points in a very logical way, and you make me worried that I'm the one who is narrative-bound and performing mental gymnastics.

    This has been something I believe not of you but of those following this sad story who think that just because the Enquirer was right once about JRE, they're going to be right all the time about him. (When the main reason they're right at all is, in fact, Hunter being the source.)

    You and I both believe we're seeing the whole picture, looking at the facts, and seeing the situation for what it is. It's likely we both are right, and I will agree to disagree with you.

    What I want to take away from this scandal, is what I believe it says about our larger culture:
    The dangers of compulsory positivity, especially how it's messed up our idea of what good mental health looks like; and the pressure it places on us to get happy by any means necessary, even if it means being cruel and callous.
    The ways in which the fact we're social creatures is used to enslave us. The way we are putty in the hands of coercive persuasion, and how following our lizard brains has become a necessary thing if we want good relationships.
    The way our reliance on charismatic leaders has changed our very definition of personal power... and kept us from participating not only in the political process, but to our fullest extent in social life as a whole.
    And, what may be especially controversial: the insidious arrogance of the "most likeable of all". The hubris that comes from believing yourself to be more plugged-in, more prosocial, more emotionally intelligent than everybody else. The way this hubris is protected by the seal of approval given not just by society, but by neurologists and psychologists.

    You simply could not talk about these subjects throughout most of this decade without being labeled negative and a crank. I thank Barbara Ehrenreich for getting the ball rolling-- and I'd actually like Elizabeth to write a follow up to Bright-Sided, about how to recognize and pursue true positivity.

    By Blogger Frances, at 10:27 AM  

  • For the love of all things decent, Frances! Are you in bed with Edwards, too? Your sappy devotion is ludicrous.

    By Blogger David, at 1:10 PM  

  • LOL David!

    Frances, The dangers of compulsory positivity, especially how it's messed up our idea of what good mental health looks like; and the pressure it places on us to get happy by any means necessary, even if it means being cruel and callous.

    Getting "happy" by hurting others isn't good mental health. It is sadism and definitely mentally unhealthy.

    Good people do bad things and evil people do bad things. Being an enabler by making excuses in either case doesn't help anyone. The only redemption is to be accountable for one's own actions and make amends for the wrongs.

    you make me worried that I'm the one who is narrative-bound and performing mental gymnastics.

    Anyone who sees Edwards as entirely saint or sinner is likely in this category. The truth is he likely was a good person but also true is that he made extremely serious errors. Those mistakes are fatal to any political career and probably to any public service career. Whether those mistakes are fatal personally depends upon his actions going forward. The best course would have been for those actions to be private but it is too late for that because of the lies, the cover up and the continuing tabloid and other headlines.

    By Blogger JeanLouise, at 2:54 PM  

  • Benny, I continue to be inspired as well. :)

    By Blogger waiting for hope, at 9:57 PM  

  • The fact these tabloid stories, true or not, keep appearing is part of Edwards' problem. Here is the newest.

    My heart goes out to Elizabeth. How she can endure so much and still go on with life helping others is astounding. What a remarkable woman. May God bless and keep her!

    By Blogger Anonymous, at 3:12 PM  

  • If it's true that Elizabeth is meeting the little girl and is going to be a part of her life, the child just won the lottery in the only way that really matters - she'll have a mother in her life who puts her first instead of using her as a meal ticket. (And it's all the more incredible because it much be so difficult for Elizabeth. God bless her is right!)

    Elizabeth is an amazing role model for anyone but especially for a young girl growing up with such a horrible excuse for a mother in her biological parent. Hopefully John will demand shared custody so the child can spend as much time as possible with Elizabeth.

    By Blogger JeanLouise, at 4:01 PM  

  • Kudos to Elizabeth if she is willing to be a part of the little girl's life. Personally, I hope the Edwardses get shared custody as that would be in the best interest of all the children.

    By Blogger StandupGuy?, at 5:38 PM  

  • I wouldn't assume the most recent story is true. While it would be characteristic of Elizabeth to put the child first, I doubt she would be discussing it with anyone who would sell the story.

    Granted the tabloid is correct when Hunter is selling the stories but Elizabeth has more sense than to surround herself with people who would do the same since it hurts her and her children. Besides, Elizabeth hasn't been shy about speaking directly when she has something to say.

    Even it if is true, it doesn't mean Edwards will do as Elizabeth wants . . . he hasn't so far.

    By Blogger Anonymous, at 6:14 AM  

  • Even it if is true, it doesn't mean Edwards will do as Elizabeth wants . . . he hasn't so far.

    I don't know-- so far it looks as he has done largely what she wants. She still has a public life, is still speaking out, and just won an award. I would love to see her take on the recent health care bill, and I'm looking for it to pop up soon.
    Their children are kept out of the media glare. Her furniture store is a success. They're back together, and seem to rebuilding nicely. (I would hope that working to discredit the sociopath Hunter has become a kind of shared battle for them.)

    The only thing I wish is that JRE had spoken up in Elizabeth's defense a few months back, when Arianna and the women on The View trashed her about some blog posts that were supposedly hers.

    I refuse to pay attention to anything the Enquirer or any gossip website says-- even as they are the most prolific sources of Edwards news out there, unfortunately. Same goes for any story popping up in the mainstream media, that you follow and come up with the Enquirer as its ultimate source. As the Charlotte Business Journal (!) and FOX Charlotte unfortunately did last month.

    (If nothing else, FOX Charlotte ended up making Charlotte residents look very bad, presenting them as excited to have Hunter move in. They made Charlotte look like a city of fantasists and celebrity chasers, and for a while I was begging not to find myself in any circumstance where I would have to move to Charlotte-- for how would I make any friends in a city where the population is too much in love with escapist fluff to think, too starry-eyed to have a meaningful conversation?)

    By Blogger Frances, at 10:50 AM  

  • Keep drinking the KoolAid, Edwards lovers! The truth shall set you free!

    By Blogger AllyOop, at 4:04 PM  

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