Thursday, July 26, 2007

John Edwards Post-Debate Webcast

For those who may not have seen it, here is John Edwards' special post-CNN/YouTube debate webcast:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Never Let Me Down - J.Ivy

Edwards' Poverty Initiative

A re-posting of John Edwards' recent trip focusing on his Poverty initiative:

  • Concert with Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys
    Roanoke, Virginia

  • Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys join with John Edwards and perform during a free concert in Roanoke, Va. Photos by Rachel Feierman.

    (Man, am I sad that I didn't get to attend that concert! Dr. Ralph Stanley is one of my favorites.)

  • Wise, Virginia
  • Smitty said the impoverished Appalachian region is a hotbed of heart disease, lung cancer and black lung.

    However, the group said it didn't want Edwards' poverty tour to reinforce negative stereotypes of the region.

    "These challenges don't define the people of this area," Edwards responded. "Their strength and defiance and courage define them..."
    - AP

    A perfect example of that strength and courage the story that John heard from James Lowe, a 51-year old coal miner who had lived with a cleft palate, unable to speak for the first 50 years of his life because he could not afford the $3,000 operation to treat the problem. Last year a volunteer orthodontist with RAM performed the operation. Traveling with Senator Edwards, Mark Kornblau described the encounter, remarking that rather than being angry or complaining, Lowe was grateful. "It was remarkable humility," he said. He said Lowe reminded John of the men who worked at the mill with his father in South Carolina. He wrote, "Senator Edwards was enraged that James and people like him are often invisible to George W. Bush."

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • After Cleveland, the Road to One America tour moved on to Youngstown, then Pittsburgh, PA. Pittsburgh was the last stop of the day. John ended the day in Pittsburgh by visiting the Hill House community center.

    Over the past four decades, it is estimated that the Hill House has provided care and support for more than 500,000 children, adults and seniors living in an urban environment. In 2004, more than 70,000 individuals participated in Hill House programs and outreach.

    Today, John visited one of their "Mission Discovery" classrooms, an award winning after-school program that brings real-world science and technology experiences to Hill District middle school students. "John met some incredible kids here," John Davis writes from the road

    During the speech, John was onstage stage with a diverse group of community members. The audience applauded when John pointed out how unjust it is that "we don't just have racial segregation, we have economic segregation in our schools. We all know it."

  • Youngstown, Ohio
  • He began at Beatitude House, which provides housing and support to homeless women with children in the Youngstown area. Beatitude House opened in 1991 to "offer housing and support to any woman dreaming of better opportunities for herself and her children."

    The founder of Beatitude House, Sister Margaret Scheetz, saw a too-prevalent problem in Youngstown - a cycle of poverty and homelessness that many women and their children were caught up in. Believing that education was the best way out of poverty she sought to offer these women an opportunity....

    ... John went from meeting with women just getting on their feet at Beatitude House to meeting with business leaders at the Youngstown Business Incubator. It's a very different setting, but an organization working to do a very similar thing as Beatitude House - which is to create opportunity where there is none. Although it was once home to a thriving steel industry, the decline of Youngstown Sheet and Tube in the late 1970s was the start of economic challenges. In the past few years, the Youngstown Business Incubator has been instrumental in helping to turn the economy of this former steel town around, by creating high-tech, information age jobs in a city that was stuck in the industrial age and quickly deteriorating as a result....

  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • The Road to One America tour continued today, moving up into Ohio and starting the day off with a visit to the home of Mariah Crenshaw in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio.

    Cleveland has suffered a wave of home foreclosures in recent months as a result of a combination of job losses, predatory lenders and falling home prices. Predatory lenders and mortgage brokers have targeted the Mount Pleasant neighborhood, like many other working-class and predominantly African-American neighborhoods across the country.

    While subprime loans can be valuable to families without other credit opportunities, African-American and Latino borrowers are three times more likely to receive subprime loans than white borrowers with similar credit scores. Mariah is fighting to keep her family home of 30 years after a coercive and deceptive mortgage process.

    In Cleveland--a city with more than 13,000 foreclosures a year--ACORN is helping citizens like Mariah and organizing residents of economically distressed neighborhoods like Mount Pleasant.

    John Edwards knows that homeownership is the foundation of the American dream and fighting these predatory lenders must be part of the solution to moving people into the middle-class. He has presented a plan to fight these lending practices and help protect homeowners.

    In addition to meeting with Mariah, John toured the Mount Pleasant neighborhood with Mariah and organizers from ACORN.

  • Pictures from Marks, Mississippi

  • Marks, Mississippi

  • This afternoon John and the One America tour moved on to Marks, Mississippi. You don't have to tell anyone in Marks that poverty is still a problem in America--1 out of every 3 people here live below the poverty line. In fact, the people of Marks have a great deal to tell the rest of the country about their struggle for economic fairness, and they have been fighting to be heard for decades.

    Martin Luther King came to this town in 1968 to launch his Poor People's March. Though Dr. King was assassinated before the march could reach Washington, over 7,000 people continued all the way to the capital.
    And now a new generation is ready to sound the call to justice from these same streets in Marks, Mississippi--ready to continue the great journey towards justice that Martin Luther King began.

    Here's the report from John Davis, traveling with the group down historic Cotton Street:
    In Marks, MS we had one of the most moving moments of the tour. On our walk down Cotton Street we stopped at the home of Mrs. Sammie Henley. Mrs. Henley told Senator Edwards about hosting students during Freedom Summer in 1964. She also talked about the flood that came in 1968, and how Dr. King rowed a boat up to the house at the start of the Poor People's March when he famously described the situation as "an island of poverty" surrounded by an ocean of American wealth.

    Today John also spoke with Sam McCray, another long time local activist who participated in the Poor People's March in 1968. He met with Sonya Murphy, who led 40 members of ACORN from Jackson on a 3 hour drive to join the One America tour. He was introduced at a small gathering by Steve Simmons, who spoke powerfully about his struggles as a low-wage hospital worker without health insurance.

    It's important to know that the story of Marks is about so much more than the ravages of poverty--it's about some of the most daring and innovate work to fight poverty going on anywhere in the country.

  • Canton, Mississippi

  • In New Orleans, John met with community leaders who were working to create opportunities - through rebuilding and recovery programs in the 9th Ward, providing early childhood education and offering at-risk teenagers a choice between destructive behaviors and violence or constructive set of life skills and a career path. These organizations are working at the local level to create the opportunity for those who were struggling to get ahead.

    In Canton, John talked about the second part of this equation - rewarding work. Anyone who works hard should have the chance to get ahead. Yet, many industries routinely break basic labor laws, making getting ahead impossible.

    To address this problem, John Edwards will revive the Department of Labor and create a new task force to target the industries with the worst abuses of minimum wage and overtime laws. He will also stop the misclassifying of employees as independent contractors, and make workplaces safer by boosting funding for OSHA inspectors and extending OSHA protections to all workers.

    In addition, to make sure workers can take care of their families and themselves, John Edwards will make sure that all workers have at least seven paid sick days a year. Nearly half of all private-sector workers, and nearly 80 percent of low-wage workers, must forgo pay to miss even a single day when they get sick or have to take of a family member who is.

    These new initiatives are part of the Edwards agenda to reward work with a higher minimum wage, stronger unions, new protections for home health workers, universal health care, Stepping Stone jobs and smart trade policies that work for workers as well as corporations.

    You can read more details on his plan for rewarding work, here.

  • Kingsley House and Cafe Reconcile

  • Kingsley House was founded in 1896. Since that time it has been a safe haven for the children and families of New Orleans.

    Since 2005, Kingsley House has stepped up as a saving grace to thousands of families who were victim to the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. After sustaining $3.5 million in damage to their buildings and grounds from the hurricane, Kingsley House rebuilt and became even more focused on their mission of "educating children, strengthening families, building community." Kingsley House now serves as an essential resettlement and recovery center for thousands in Southeastern Louisiana.

    Yet despite the selfless efforts of Kingsley House and dozens of other relief organizations, large areas of the city still remain deserted and government services taken for granted in most American cities have become a luxury in post-Katrina New Orleans.

    John Davis writes in from the road:
    Over and over we have heard stories of folks getting caught up in red tape. Much of the city looks exactly as it did immediately following Katrina. The level of frustration among the residents is incredible but the commitment to the community is amazing.

    That commitment was demonstrated by the staff of Kingsley House, including, Dr. Keith Liederman, their executive director who led John and Elizabeth on a tour through the facilities.....

    ......Following their visit to Kingsley House, John and Elizabeth stopped at Café Reconcile where they met with dozens of young people who are part of their training program for at-risk youth.

    From the Café Reconcile describes their mission:
    In 1996, under the leadership of the late Rev. Harry Tompson, S.J., a group of concerned people of faith gathered together to began a course of prayer, study, research, observation and dialogue regarding the witnessed challenges facing out-of-school youth in New Orleans. The newspapers, police reports, television news, research and personal experiences all pointed to a multitude of young lives spiraling into destructive and violent behaviors.

    In an effort to stem that tide, to effect a glimmer of hope in the near-downtown community of Central City, this group of concerned and motivated people began the planning and research necessary to establish a safe and supportive place where at-risk youth could have the option of receiving the life, work and educational skills necessary to turn their lives on a productive path toward thriving and complete citizens of this city.....

  • Behind the Scenes: The GMA Town Hall

  • Video: The Lower 9th Ward

  • Walking in the Lower Ninth Ward

  • 8:37 p.m. - New Orleans, Louisiana

    We are walking around the Lower Ninth Ward, one of the areas hit hardest by Katrina. I have to say, this area is still devastated. It's hard to imagine that it's been almost two years since the storm hit. It really makes you realize how incredibly insufficient our government's response to the storm was and how many people's lives were ruined as a result.

    We just met a man named Henry Phipps. He's been living in a FEMA trailer for the last 2 years. These trailers are not big by any means - they could easily fit in your average driveway. Tomorrow he is putting in the baseboard at his home - almost two years later. He told us he has received no help getting back on his feet.

    9:31 p.m. - New Orleans, Louisiana

    We just finished a tour of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School for Science and Technology in the Lower 9th Ward. This school is a testament to the dedication of this community. It was their effort that built this school and community center. The dedication of these teachers to the students and their community is heroic......

  • Rebuilding New Orleans Starts in New Orleans

  • In New Orleans, Senator Edwards will unveil his three-point plan to rebuild the city. The plan seeks to address the question of recovery with a focus on rebuilding infrastructure, creating jobs and keeping the city safe from future storms and rising crime.

    Rebuild: The rebuilding of infrastructure in New Orleans is stalled. The city needs new hospitals, clinics, schools and roads. John Edwards will call for building a new Veterans' hospital downtown, call on the VA to stop delaying site selection and choose downtown New Orleans, and then fast-track the design process so construction can begin. He will also propose building a 21st century infrastructure, integrating new housing, and preserving livable housing.

    Create: Edwards believes we need to create good jobs in New Orleans. He will propose hiring 50,000 Gulf Coast residents to fill stepping stone jobs dedicated to rebuilding infrastructure that will help local and returning residents gain skills and experience. He will also protect workers from contractor exploitation.

    Protect: Finally, Edwards believes we need to protect the city and the region from weather and crime. As president, Edwards will do whatever is necessary to ensure that Katrina never happens again, including building stronger levees and restoring coastal wetlands. Following Katrina, New Orleans has experienced an epidemic in violence. Edwards will strengthen public safety to end the epidemic of crime and violence.

    Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    Chris Cillizza: Why Edwards Criticized Hillary's Coat

    Chris Cillizza says this about John Edwards debate performance last night:
    Edwards' emotion seemed to fit the night..
    It certainly did!

    Chris asks why John Edwards criticized the jacket that Sen. Clinton was wearing. I wondered myself, and then realized that it was likely done deliberately to point out how publicly pointless and vain it is to criticize something so very personal....
    like a haircut.

    It got Chris' attention...but why doesn't the perpetual political uselessness and pettiness surrounding the haircut make so many in MSM take notice?

    Welcome, David and Victoria Beckham

    Iddybud Journal wishes to make welcome to the United States the major-gorgeous Mr. and Mrs. Beckham. In the photo on the left, they're enjoying themselves at a welcome-to-L.A. party recently held in their honor.

    In attendance was Katie Holmes, whose new hairdo looks smashing and sophisticated. To heck with meeting Tom Cruise, I want to meet her hairdresser!

    Ed Koch: Done Defending US Iraq Policy

    "I'm bailing out. I will no longer defend the policy of keeping U.S. troops in Iraq to assist the Iraqi central government in the ongoing civil war."

    - Ed Koch [Fox News]

    Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch is jumping off the Bush bandwagon. Has he seen the light? Yes and no. His persistent stock in Friedman units still causes me to question his current judgement. Koch still credits captured braggart Khalid Sheikh Mohammed where credit may not be due. The terrorist is still given public credit by Mr. Koch for having murdered WSJ journalist Daniel Pearl, but recent developments lead us to question whether or not it was, indeed, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who was actually Pearl's murderer.

    According to the BBC, widow Marianne Pearl has initiated a lawsuit to bring out fact through more rule of law and less lawless Guantanamo bragging and conjecture:
    The lawsuit notably names al-Qaeda, alleged al-Qaeda kingpin Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - who claimed responsibility for beheading Pearl and is now in US custody-- and Pakistan's Habib Bank among the defendants.

    "I am looking for the truth of what happened to Daniel, for our family, our friends, and the public record," Mariane Pearl said in a statement.

    "This process allows us to delve deeper into the investigation, and to bring accountability and punishment to those involved with his kidnapping, torture and murder," she said.

    I'm not quite sure who Koch is blaming for Tony Blair's fall from grace:
    Tony Blair was cast out as prime minister in part because he supported the U.S. in Iraq. Under the new prime minister, Laborite Gordon Brown, the British commitment is shrinking and the inevitability of a minimal and ultimately no British troop presence is clear.
    He's not willing to let go of the fear-mongerer's meme about them following us home if we leave Iraq:
    The American people no longer support our presence in Iraq. They made that clear in the 2006 congressional election when the majority in both Houses of Congress shifted to the Democrats. My own position has been that we were better off fighting Islamic terrorism in Iraq than abandoning and having that battle shift to American soil which I am certain will happen when we depart Iraq.
    Mr. Koch, as so many writers and pundits tend to do, draws no distinctions between civil violence between Iraqis and the attacks that come from outside radical forces. He's not clear on exactly who's going to "follow us home". The bad guys in his narrative are lumped into our fortune in Iraq when, in reality, it is the Iraq war that is impeding the national security activities we could and should be pursuing.

    But, at the very least, Koch is admitting that the foreign policy that the Bush administration has been pursuing for so many years is a sham and a failure - a fact that so many of us have seen for years. Welcome to your move toward reality, Mr. Koch. Thank God you aren't cursed with the Bill-Kristol-bubble syndrome.


    Joe Gandelman talks about the Koch proclamation

    Comments at

    Monday, July 23, 2007

    Edwards CNN Debate:YouTube Reverend Lacked Full Truth

    I was a bit confused by the premise of Reverend Longcrier's question addressed to John Edwards on the CNN/YouTube debate this evening. He stated that religion had been used to justify slavery when, in fact, the earliest campaign to end slavery in the United States was largely the work of a small number of Christians who opposed slavery on explicitly religious grounds and who, in their own time, were regularly condemned as fanatical zealots.

    Perhaps Reverend Longcrier, who said religion was used to justify keeping the vote from women, didn't realize that it was the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) - with Frances Willard at its head in 1876 - who was a powerful force in the women's suffrage movement. Interestingly, one of the most vehement opponents to women's enfranchisement was the liquor lobby, which feared women might use the franchise to prohibit the sale of liquor.

    In the framing of his YouTube question, Reverend Longcrier appeared to have mistaken John Edwards' personal faith for what Edwards had already explained to Wolf Blitzer about Presidential responsibility during the CNN Forum on Faith and Politics at George Washington University on June 4. At that time, Edwards stressed that the president of the United States should never use his personal belief system to impose that belief system on the rest of the country.

    Unfortunately, as Marc Ambinder pointed out at the Atlantic, John Edwards "seemed on his game, although a noisy audience deprived him of the chance to impress a questioner on gay rights." Reverend Longcrier, who was in the audience during the debate, claimed not to have been satisfied by Edwards' answer and left me with the distinct impression that his own dissatisfaction was because of his own clumsily worded YouTube question. While CNN seemed happy to put such a controversial wedge question to Edwards on gay marriage, Reverend Longcrier's less than theologically/historicallly honest set-up of the question shortchanged everyone involved. On Cooper's live audience follow-up with the Reverend, Longcrier was given a brief chance to expand his question toward the more relevant issue he seemed to have wanted to lead into ...that is to say overall social justice and fairness issues. Alas, Anderson Cooper cut the Reverend off as quickly as he cut most of the candidates off tonight for the sake of fitting in as many YouTube videos as possible.


    Tip of the hat to Chris Johnson for this excerpt from the CNN debate transcript:

    COOPER: This next question is for Senator Edwards.

    QUESTION: I'm Reverend Reggie Longcrier. I'm the pastor of Exodus Mission and Outreach Church in Hickory, North Carolina.

    Senator Edwards said his opposition to gay marriage is influenced by his Southern Baptist background. Most Americans agree it was wrong and unconstitutional to use religion to justify slavery, segregation, and denying women the right to vote.

    So why is it still acceptable to use religion to deny gay American their full and equal rights?


    EDWARDS: I think Reverend Longcrier asks a very important question, which is whether fundamentally -- whether it's right for any of our faith beliefs to be imposed on the American people when we're president of the United States. I do not believe that's right.

    I feel enormous personal conflict about this issue. I want to end discrimination. I want to do some of the things that I just heard Bill Richardson talking about -- standing up for equal rights, substantive rights, civil unions, the thing that Chris Dodd just talked about. But I think that's something everybody on this stage will commit themselves to as president of the United States.

    But I personally have been on a journey on this issue. I feel enormous conflict about it. As I think a lot of people know, Elizabeth spoke -- my wife Elizabeth spoke out a few weeks ago, and she actually supports gay marriage. I do not. But this is a very, very difficult issue for me. And I recognize and have enormous respect for people who have a different view of it.

    COOPER: I should also point out that the reverend is actually in the audience tonight. Where is he? Right over here.

    Reverend, do you feel he answered your question?


    QUESTION: This question was just a catalyst that promoted some other things that wrapped around that particular question, especially when it comes to fair housing practices. Also...

    COOPER: Do you think he answered the question, though?

    QUESTION: Not like I would like to have heard it...


    COOPER: What did you not hear?

    QUESTION: I didn't quite get -- some people were moving around, and I didn't quite get all of his answer. I just heard...

    COOPER: All right, there's 30 seconds more. Why is it OK to quite religious beliefs when talking about why you don't support something? That's essentially what's his question.

    EDWARDS: It's not. I mean, I've been asked a personal question which is, I think, what Reverend Longcrier is raising, and that personal question is, do I believe and do I personally support gay marriage?

    The honest answer to that is I don't. But I think it is absolutely wrong, as president of the United States, for me to have used that faith basis as a basis for denying anybody their rights, and I will not do that when I'm president of the United States.


    I have commented at these posts:


    Bible Bending

    Hair - Video From John Edwards Campaign

    What Really Matters?

    You Choose.

    Why Does Jonathan Darman Hyperfocus on Edwards' Looks?

    The kindest thing I can say about Jonathan Darman is that I firmly believe he's overpaid for the goo he's pumping out.

    Media Matters called him on the horsecrap he'd spewed last March:

    In a cover story for Newsweek's March 12 issue, senior writer and political correspondent Jonathan Darman baselessly asserted that "[i]t is hard to imagine" former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) "botching the response to Katrina in the way President Bush did," without noting the flaws critics have cited in Giuliani's supervision of the post-9-11 cleanup. Darman also asserted as fact that Giuliani is "America's Mayor" and is "heroic."

    The Darman article further claimed that Giuliani is "always thriving at moments of crisis," that "when the crises come, Giuliani has proved to be big enough," and that, on September 11, 2001, Giuliani "was transformed into the man of destiny he'd seemed to always believe himself to be."

    My goodness! Talk about a so-called serious journalist drooling over a candidate.

    And now he shits out this nasty little hit-headline:
    The Down and Out Tour
    Edwards's poverty campaign echoes RFK's, but times have changed (and Edwards is no RFK)
    Who is Jonathan Darman to say that Edwards is no RFK? He sounds more like an RNC staff writer than a well-educated political journalist. When are we readers going to start hearing about things that actually matter rather than seeing these nauseating, brash, and juvenile ad hominem jabs at our candidates in bold headline print?

    Look at the way the decidedly shallow Darman uses John Edwards' outward appearance to discredit Edwards' heartful stance on poverty:

    John Edwards is too perfect to be Robert Kennedy. In popular memory, all Kennedys are immaculately tailored and silver-tongued. But Robert was not John; the younger Kennedy's hair was wild and unkempt, his tie was eternally askew, his eyes were lined with crow's-feet from too many hours in the sun.[..]

    [..] Edwards too has suffered. He was born into poverty; his eldest son was killed in a car accident at the age of 16; his wife is fighting bravely against terminal cancer. But he shows no sign of struggle. His face is tan but unaged. His famous hair is not just well coiffed, it is nearly immobile and lacks even a touch of gray. Edwards says his notorious $400 haircut and his 28,000-square-foot house are the obsessions of the media, not "normal voters." (He does have a snarkier press corps than RFK. Not only did reporters not criticize the size of Kennedy's Virginia mansion, they wrote fawning prose about the senator in the hopes of scoring an invitation.) He is also quick to point out that other rich men—like Franklin Roosevelt and Kennedy himself—were able to help the poor. But fundamentally, the problem caused by the house and haircut is not the appearance of hypocrisy. Rather, it is the perception that Edwards will pay any price to maintain his flawless veneer.
    So, Darman's line is that Edwards hasn't really suffered in his personal life and the proof is that he looks so good.

    Let me ask you, just how substantively empty and wrongly judgmental is Darman's hyperfocus on John Edwards' HAIR? This opinion piece (which shouldn't be called an article for all its reliance on vacuous right wing talking points) is a virtual BLACK HOLE on substance.

    Simply put, it's stupid.
    A waste of ink.
    The lazy antithesis of good investigative political journalism.

    One look at the comments from the collective brain trust under his hit-headline piece will show you the crowd Darman apparently wishes to write to.

    It's all hate comments all the time at the after-Darman party:
    Boy, do you have that right. I don't think Bobby Kennedy ever paid over $5.50 for his hair cuts. Edwards is even disliked by his neighbors for being a pompous you know what.....

    I think maybe he blew it when he chartered a jet to keep the press focused on him. A flight is too short of a time period! He should charter asomething like the QE II and keep them locked up, I mean focused on him, for a week or maybe more, like until December 2008! This guy is so-o-o-o-o out of touch with reality and so in love with himself and the vast amounts of money he has..... pitiful that it's wasted in this manner.....

    He is a ambulance chaser and nothing more. But fortunately for the DNC, qualifications and responsibility take a back seat to "image". Most people that vote DNC are uneducated and looking for a handout-what a perfect marriage, eh?....

    I remember how Mr. Darman had judged Edwards on his looks rather than treating him as a whole person; failing to taking seriously the message Edwards was sending to the American voters:
    The "real" John Edwards is not someone America knows well. When he first crossed the national stage, he called himself the "son of a mill worker," but he seemed more like a creature spawned in a focus group—attractive, well spoken and safe. Since then, he has weathered enormous hardship—his wife, Elizabeth, has battled breast cancer—but hardly a wrinkle has crossed his perpetually tanned face.

    People who met Edwards last week in hardscrabble places like Marks, Mississippi and Wise, Virginia see things differently than this pampered purveyor of poof hitpieces.

    I don't think Darman would be surprised by my critique of his writing. After all, in another of his poofy hit pieces, this one on Markos Moulitsas in 2006, he'd said, "Moulitsas is also learning another downside of membership in the elite: the bigger the liberal sniper gets, the more incoming fire he faces."

    The same goes for writers with a warped view on what matters. The bigger the fish is, the more incoming fire.
    Bang, bang, Mr. Darman.

    I think that Newsweek should be embarrassed. A writer with a Harvard honors degree should be employed to focus on more than a personality/beauty contest. Ask my dear Harvard honors colleague and friend Anonymoses, who writes about substantive political matters and can tell Jonathan Darman a thing or two about his hero Nosferatu Giuliani.

    Hair, hair, hair.

    Perfect tan, perfect tan. Doh!

    What Really Matters?

    You Choose.

    Al Gore Apparently Not Running in 2008?

    Taegan Goddard has a quote from Kristin Gore, as quoted by ABC News, indicating that her Nobel-prize nominee dad is satisified in his political liberation and apparently doesn't plan to run for President in 2008.

    Sunday, July 22, 2007

    GOP Prays Press Corps Will Distort Edwards' Message

    Ian Welsh at The Agonist has led me to a Taylor Marsh piece that shows how the national press corps - for whatever reason - deliberately chooses to write (and broadcast) for Americans with a Junior High mindset rather than educated information-seeking readers or viewers. (Is it any wonder so many are increasingly turning to the blogs for information?)

    Taylor Marsh:
    The haircut is easier to ridicule, as they hope to capitalize on the juvenile mind set of the average American voter who is too busy working two jobs and is willing to hate anyone so rich, good looking and who has succeeded where they have failed.

    Ian Welsh:
    When Edwards put up his hand and said he didn't believe in the War on Terror, he did something that had to be done. He was the only one with both the guts and brains to see it had to be done. The fact that American wages have stagnated for 30 years; the fact that America has the most inequality in the 1st world; the fact that social mobility is dropping like a rock - John talks about these things. And they matter.

    Taylor Marsh sees the vulnerability of the GOP, explaining why they are gleeful as pigs in mud about the national press corps expanding on the Edwards haircut and house stories while virtually ignoring his core message:

    Republicans know how to fight on war turf. However, they haven't a clue how to battle someone who's talking about the poor and that terrorism isn't some talking point "bumper sticker," but something we can tackle through our own actions and policies. Looking inwards isn't a GOP strong suit. They point outward and blame others. Edwards doesn't blame anyone, but instead searches for solutions, even if it means picking up a hammer and fixing the problem himself.

    Edwards is asking us all to search our souls and unearth results.

    Republicans only talk about souls, while being far more content with identifying enemies and making sure we're sufficiently afraid.

    John Edwards is the near-perfect antidote to the disastrous poison of the Little Bush era. The intelligent and heartful North Carolinian's brand of leadership would be a breath of corrective and healing action - - the farthest from the kind of fiercely stubborn and sociopathic leadership style exhibited by G.W. Bush, of whom conservative pundit David Brooks today (on Meet the Press) said that citizens will understandably see as either "strong" or "deranged". (After six long years of witness, I choose "deranged" - how about you?)

    The GOP's only hope is that the national press corps holds on to their false view of John Edwards as a politically arrogant leader just because he enjoys a lifestyle that he has honestly earned the right to enjoy, just as I'm sure a lot of those elite media employees enjoy the best that their salaries can afford them and their families.

    I keep asking myself why the national press corps cannot reconcile a scenario where an economically successful person in the United States could run for President while desiring to urge others to be leaders and, through government, help the working poor to achieve a fair level of economic success in their own right.

    What the heck does a haicut have to do with any of it?

    Right - nothing.

    In these post-DLC days where triangulation is a word from what is a Democratic lifetime ago, the empty GOP can only hope that their fear mongering and self-righteous narrow values message continues to reverberate and that John Edwards' comprehensive and idea-filled message for turning around the ship of democracy will remain buried under a blanket of ignorant, plaint national press coverage.

    If anyone from the national press happens to be reading this, please - for your own sense of self-respect - don't keep making us think of you as bought puppets. Read Taylor Marsh. Read Jamison Foser. Start a revolution within your own industry. So many of you realize that we bloggers aren't just a lump of extremists. We're your brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and in some cases, we are your personal friends.

    In my dream, bloggers and MSM are a living, breathing media astronomical ecosystem. Each of us, whether paid a handsome stipend or paid nothing for our work, is a star with an imaginary shell of space surrounding us where conditions are such that our shared democratic life might survive. When I see any part of that democratic support system destroying its own, I can see more clearly - in retrospect - how our nation wound up with George W. Bush as its President. For the love of God, let's not let that happen again.

    Wake up! Write about something reasonable; meaningful; relevant to the future of our democratic survival.