This page shows all the posts for the "John Edwards" Category from E Pluribus Unum
The most current posts are on the main page.

November 19, 2007

Odds & Sods #45: Optimist's Edition

October 31, 2007

The real winner in last night's debate (Updated)

[cross posted at Daily Kos]

Notwithstanding Krugman, it looks like a narrative is forming for the general election, and trust me, you've heard this song before: firmness versus nuance. It's a Republican frame and that means the traditional media will be eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And that means there was only one winner (see below).

But first, hear me out:

To the extent that Edwards (and Obama) attacked Clinton on being "for it and against it at the same time," it helps the Republicans as much as it helps any Democrat. Why? Because, for Republicans, right and wrong don't matter -- only firmness and resolve matter. [Note: did I miss something or did Edwards pass when it came to declaring his position on Spitzer's proposal?]

Granted, Edwards is showing he, too, has cojones. The problem for Edwards comes later -- during the general election. Far more people believe Giuliani and/or McCain have the stones than believe Edwards does. So, down the line, Edwards may only have himself to blame. That's what happens when candidates accept their opponents' frame -- it leaves your opponent with plenty of ammunition during the general.

Also: another Republican frame is going to be fear. So when the debate turns to drivers' licenses for immigrants (as it will for at least the next few days) I'll give you one guess as to who that helps. Hint: It ain't the Democrats. [UPDATE: Jonathan Singer addresses the pros and cons of the issue.]

Deal with it: fear is a Republican frame. Fear of terrorists, fear of illegal immigrants, free-floating fear of "colored people." In fact, racial fear will be the most potent theme that the Republican base responds to.

And Giuliani is all about racial fear. Clinton? Buddies with Charlie Rangel and everyone in Harlem (just ask O'Reilly). Edwards --helping those in poverty? Please. You know who that helps, right? Obama? Too black. Not black enough. Can't make up his mind about what his race is. Except we know he's soft. Soft on Islamofascists. And you know what color their skin is.

Bottom line: the real winner last night was George W. Bush. And, by extension, his rightful heir: Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani who (like Cheney and Bush) has made his career out of fear. Long before 9/11, he made a name for himself by appearing at -- and later, as mayor, ordering police riots. And that's not to mention the infamous killing of Amadou Diallo. In fact, before this is over, the 9/11 thing may very well have fallen by the wayside, having been exposed as his weak spot, not his strength. His strength? Giuliani is the one virulent, determined, resolute, angry white male who will stick it to em, once and for all, wink wink nudge nudge.

Will the Dems be ready for that? As I see it, the only way to be truly ready is to be prepared to hang Bush around Rudy's neck and let him sink to the bottom of the fetid ocean he swims in. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Who among the Dems is ready to do that?

Because you know Rudy's coming for you. Don't say you weren't warned.

October 30, 2007

You Were Wondering About Edwards?

by Mark Adams

Wonder no more. His debate performance was simply outstanding, taking punches well, and dishing them out even harder.

MSNBC Democratic Debate in Philadelphia – Reviews Are In

NBC's Domenico Montanaro: "Edwards Came Back Stronger" Against Clinton on Iran. "But Edwards came back stronger, taking the liberal mantle. He said does any of this sound familiar. This was ‘literally in the language of the neo-cons.’ How is this Democrats standing up and saying no. That was impassioned and a strong response. Tries to show himself as the clear, sharp alternative. This is wedging going on. He might be elbowing Obama out of the way on this issue. His, albeit reasonable, but tepid answer on this, just wasn't grabbing the spotlight."

Continue reading "You Were Wondering About Edwards?" »

September 17, 2007

Pop Quiz: Who Stole John Edwards' Health Care Plan?

by Mark Adams

If you answered that "unabashed Marxist" Hillary Clinton, (go ahead and giggle at that one, I did), you win.

Seriously, Hillary is best know to Wingnuttystan as the failed author of what they like to call "Hillarycare" and I've been waiting since 1994 for it to be implemented. But instead of immediately entering the presidential race by offering a health care plan she has been identified with for a decade and a half, she originally said that she'd like some kind of vague "universal" program to be implemented by the time she leaves office after her second term.

She's upped the timetable to the first term, and echoing John Edwards includes a mandate that requires medical coverage for all (Obama's plan does not) making it truly universal, sets up a competing public system to compete with private insurers like Edwards proposes, removes obstacles to access for pre-existing conditions (Edwards, ditto), and except for the devil-in-the-details tax considerations and the relative burden on small businesses, it does look every bit as "very, very sound" as the one offered by John Edwards.

Continue reading "Pop Quiz: Who Stole John Edwards' Health Care Plan?" »

September 15, 2007

Edwards/Dylan Video Mashup: The Courage To Bring Them Home

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)

I made this using an online video mashup application at Go ahead make your own.

And pass this along to your like-minded friends.

September 14, 2007

Edwards: “No timeline. No funding. No excuses.” (Updated)

Edwards goes over the heads of the President and the Congress and directly to the American people:

Our troops are stuck between a president without a plan to succeed and a Congress without the courage to bring them home. But Congress must answer to the American people. Tell Congress you know the truth...No timeline. No funding. No excuses.

Edwards has managed to frame the debate on his own terms.

UPDATE: Don't just sit there -- go on, call your Congressman. What are you waiting for? Tell them "no timeline, no funding, no excuses."

August 18, 2007

Cheney is a Dildo and Other Quyck Hyts

by Mark Adams

From his lust for Kralizec to his desire to privatize Social Security, Rudy unites left and right, by his stupidity.  Seriously, the guy is absofreakinglutely bat-shit crazy.

Obama figures out
he's just not that good at the 30 second sound-byte debate format -- cuts and runs from attending any more debates than those already scheduled.  I assume that means there will be a hard limit of no more than 47 more until we begin voting -- probably right after Thanksgiving.  Hopefully, there will be lots of arugula.

After watching some TPMtv, spotlighting Mitt Romney's profound ignorance of anything east of Boston Harbor, Raising Kaine concludes "Multiple-Choice Mitt" is a "Giant Foreign Policy Goofball."  News Hounds gets the hypocrisy of Romney's schpeel, but you really need to watch Josh Marshall put it all together to understand how profoundly delusional Romney is. 

Meanwhile, Eleanor Clift has a question for Mitt & Co. that might stop some of the GOP hopefuls in their tracks -- since of course, they'd have to think instead of regurgitating their 30 year-old talking points or trying to remember whether they we talking to an audience that preferred the flip to the flop.

Stop asking Romney and the other Republican front runners about abortion and start asking them where they stand on family planning.
Shorter Elly C.:  "Please stop talking about this wedge issue that is destined to lose the election for us.  Our candidates suck eggs on this."

Fred Thompson, who turns 65 today (thus eligible for all the entitlements he vows to abolish), is the only candidate who needed to have his fat, lazy ass trucked around the Iowa State Fair in a golf cart. 

Actually he looked kinda gaunt.  He'll need to scarf down a few more elephant ears to be the right's answer to Michael Moore. 

She really ought to take it easy on the old guy.  How many little blue pills can one man take?

I noted before that Mike Huckabee was kind spoken towards the Clintons, to the point where he would sound almost gushing if he weren't a Republican.  Rights Field's David Dayen thinks these remarks point to where Huckabee first got the idea that cars and buses were lame, that his super-coolness would be enshrined forever once his Harley cleared the shark tank.

This kid came from a dysfunctional family — alcoholic abusive father. And yet he didn't just aspire, he was elected president of the United States not once, but twice. That is an affirmation of the system. And it's a wonderful testament to give to every kid in America that no matter where you've come from, you've got an opportunity to do something extraordinary.
John Edwards gets ahead of the "gotcha" game and David Sirota approves, he rejects right wing framing of the "war on terra" in the same way that former Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Meyers approved, connects with ordinary folks and David Brooks approves, talks the talk and walks the walk in a way RFK and MLK would approve, calls Coultergeist a "She-Devil," and I approve.  Atrios insults Instalinker and FU by comparing them to Annie Sunshine -- Digby approves.

Wingnuttystan still says, "Gotcha," cuz that's all they got.  I mean, what are they gonna do?  Buy into McCain trying to be the anti-war candidate?  Puh-Leeze.

More Wingnut News...

Vice President Cheney
is a dildo, what else to you call a dick substitute? (Do not Click if you are under age ... 40.)  Doctor BooMan advises us to use a condom anyway.

Speaking of nuts and other guilty pleasures of the alternate universe ... you know you just gotta click on a link that says Ron Paul teams up with Dennis Kucinich.

July 25, 2007

Reality Based Partisanship

by Mark Adams

Whether you're a moderate triangulator who prefers to be called "progressive" instead of "liberal," a neo-con who claims to "defend the liberal tradition," or just an old fashioned lefty peacenick who's into social justice and still wears the liberal moniker proudly -- like me -- you have to agree that a partisan Democrat calling another Democrat: Joe Lieberman's protege, is a devastating slam.

Jane Hamsher at FireDogLake is one such Proud Partisan:

One of the most pernicious and popular soundbites being exploited these days is the denigration of ‘partisanship.’ When it comes out of the mouths of Republicans who perfected the art of soulless political grandstanding in the 90s, it’s hard enough to take. It’s even tougher to stomach when it comes from George Bush with his thorough devotion to Karl Rove (who needs no better reason to sabotage national security and flagrantly violate the law than the fact that someone is a Democrat). Then there are the useful idiots like Sam Waterston and the Unity ‘08 nuts who really just don’t know what they’re talking about.

But people like Joe Lieberman (and his protege Barack Obama) who consistently indulge this frame ought to know that sometimes the right thing to do is to acknowledge that the other side cannot be bargained with, that no negotiation is possible, that what you’re up against is just wrong and it’s incumbent upon people of conscience to draw a line in the sand and say ‘enough.’ That too is partisanship, and they need to stop decrying it just because it focus groups well with people sick of the GOP and their bully tactics. Partisanship in fact has a glorious history.

To which I offer my own quote from another proud partisan...

But I -- if you listen to these questions, they all have exactly the same thing, which is how do we bring about big change?
And I think that's a fundamental threshold question. And the question is: Do you believe that compromise, triangulation will bring about big change? I don't.
I think the people who are powerful in Washington -- big insurance companies, big drug companies, big oil companies -- they are not going to negotiate. They are not going to give away their power. The only way that they are going to give away their power is if we take it away from them.

–John Edwards, YouTube Debate.

June 04, 2007

Most Telling Moment In Sunday's Democratic Debate

Walter Shapiro:

The question of how tough a Democratic presidential candidate needs to sound to get elected hovered over the debate, as it may over the coming primary races.

Edwards boldly defended his prior comment that the "war on terror" was little more than rhetoric: "This global war on terror bumper sticker -- political slogan ... was intended for ... George Bush to use it to justify everything he does: the ongoing war in Iraq, Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, spying on Americans, torture."

That was too much for Clinton, who, as the first woman to wage a serious candidacy for president, must understand the political risks of seeming weak in any setting.

Responding to Edwards, she said flatly that she disagreed, before adding, "I am a senator from New York. I have lived with the aftermath of 9/11, and I have seen firsthand the terrible damage that can be inflicted on our country by a small band of terrorists who are intent upon foisting their way of life and using suicide bombers and suicidal people to carry out their agenda."

Of course they're both right. But Edwards' response focuses on his differences with Bush whereas Clinton's focuses (as Shapiro says) on her own strength and resolve.

The second most interesting moment was when Edwards and Obama sparred -- but not about Iraq. On that score I think Obama ate Edwards lunch, cooly reminding him that he [Edwards] was "4-1/2 years late on leadership."

No, I think their exchange on health care plans was more telling. Edwards' plan is mandatory (good) -- and Obama's is not (bad). Honestly, I hadn't thought about that until the debate. Of course neither plan is much good compared to Kucinich's -- the Ohio congressman has the best idea: Medicare for all. The only way you fix the system is to make it universal. Not only that -- you have to exclude the insurance companies completely from the equation. Health care should not be subject to profit and share price calculations. So anything shy of that is a cop-out -- and Edwards' plan (and Obama's) fall far short. That said, if either one gets elected, their plans will be subject to congressional influence (to say the least).

Bottom line? These are not really debates but rather candidate interviews. And based on last night, I'd hire Hillary Clinton for the job. Luckily for the other top-tier candidates there's time for them to improve their presentations.

May 23, 2007

Maybe It Won't Pass...

by Mark Adams

In a time when our President is identified merely by one initial, "W," and the spine of the congressional Democratic leadership cannot be identified at all, I yearn for the days when 3-initial Democrats, FDR, JFK, even LBJ and the promise of RFK were something quite different than the breed in attendance today.

Democrats with Balls.

I, like so many on the left -- some far left, others only moderately so -- and even those wandering in the middle cannot express their reaction to the "Capitulation Bill" without using the word, "disappointment." Even that word hardly seems to capture the proper emotion.

I've seen weak displays of rhetorical tricks masking the inability to follow one's convictions before; swallowing principles to pursue the practical, pragmatic politics of the day. But what we witnessed yesterday with the cave-in by the Democratic leadership giving Bush yet another blank check for his Iraq war was nothing short of pathetic.

The most egregious example came from Speaker Pelosi herself, indicating that she probably would not vote for a bill she is actively helping to get to the floor. Could there be a more cravenly cowardly stance? Explain how this is not the height of hypocricy.

The oft quoted maxim by Margaret Mead advising us never to underestimate the power of a small group of dedicated people's ability to change the world because that's the only thing that ever has, neglects to consider the sheer stupidity of those people when they've been in elected office too long.

The only thing that gives me some solace is that the candidate I've been supporting for President came out on the right side of this issue, and so many others in the way he urges us to look at our foreign policy and reject the GOP framing.

The only way to beat them is to stand our ground and not give an inch. That's what John Edwards did today.

Today, he went to the heart of America's foreign policy establishment and called out the Bush crowd for their misuse of patriotism. He had the guts to say what all of us know—that the Bush Terror Doctrine has failed our troops and failed America by straining our military to the breaking point and sowing chaos around the world.

John Edwards offered a clear plan to rebuild our forces and cure the damage inflicted on our military by Bush's policies. He offered a vision of an America where moral leadership is once again the rule, and where we are stronger and more secure because of it.

John Edwards' principled stand remains strong and righteous. I've no doubt that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama face a difficult choice -- one far harder than voting for cloture on the Feingold defunding bill when they knew it would likely fail.

Their choice, however, should not be that difficult -- if they really meant they way they voted on Feingold-Reid. We shall indeed see if they will put their money (rather, our money) where their mouths are. So far, their silence is deafening, and as you know, "silence is betrayal."

UPDATE: Chris Dodd is going to vote no on the Capitulation Bill, putting more pressure on Obama and Clinton -- and giving hope to those of us who still hold out hope...and want action.

UPDATE II: Kerry says NO too.

"An Iraq Bill Without a Deadline is Meaningless"

"We support the troops by getting the policy right and this bill allows the President to keep getting the policy wrong. We need a deadline to force Iraqis to stand up for Iraq and bring our heroes home, not watered down benchmarks and blank check waivers for this President. We support the troops by funding the right mission, not with a White House that opposes a pay raise for our brave men and women in uniform," Kerry said. "The original Senate legislation offered a roadmap to change course in Iraq. This new version enables the Administration and Iraqi politicians to deliver more of the same. I am determined to continue pressing this issue until President Bush changes course. We owe our troops nothing less than a strategy that is worthy of their sacrifice."
Call, make some noise. Be heard. Don't let this one go down without a fight.

May 19, 2007

Answer This Quiz Correctly -- Win Valuable Political Junkie Points

Mark, in the comments, pulls up the recent gem from John Zogby:

And [Hillary] has the misfortune of running her history-making campaign against both Jack Kennedy (Obama) and Bobby Kennedy (Edwards).
I loved that! Zogby nailed it.

Here's the quiz:
Who was the last candidate to run against both Jack AND Bobby?

Ten bazillion political junkie points for the first one who knows the answer.

May 18, 2007

Send It Back

by Mark Adams

For reasons I neither appreciate, approve of, nor care to understand, impeachment is still off the table.

(Okay, it's a numbers thing, and we lose, I know.)

So, what do you do when Bush, Inc. insists on their war in perpetuity, and laughs at the Democrats' pitiful effort to impose benchmarks he can and will ignore, and timetables we know he will never honor.

Atrios says send the little punk in the Oval Office the exact same funding bill he vetoed the last time, again and again. If he want's to defund the troops, so be it.

So does MarKOS.

Joe Biden approved of the idea last week.

How about you? Do you you agree with this statement?

“The American people gave Congress a mission to end the war - not a mission to accept meaningless benchmarks or endless temporary extensions. There is only one way to stop the president - Congress should use its funding authority to end the war. Congress passed a plan to support our troops and bring them home, and they should do it again. And if the president vetoes it - if he vetoes any bill that supports our troops but sets conditions - then he alone is standing in the way of what our troops need.”

Continue reading "Send It Back" »

May 09, 2007

Why Edwards' Anti-Poverty Campaign Won’t Help Him

(cross posted at Daily Kos)

I read this item about John Edwards and took it at face value:

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards said Tuesday that he worked for a hedge fund to learn more about financial markets and their relationship to poverty in the United States.

Edwards won't disclose how much he got paid as a consultant to Fortress Investment Group, but said he did keep the money.

"It was primarily to learn, but making money was a good thing, too," the 2004 vice presidential nominee said in an interview with The Associated Press.

The Edwards campaign had a righteous follow-up statement:
"Would it be better if I had done well and now I didn't care about people who are struggling?"
He also mentioned FDR and Bobby Kennedy as people of privilege who also cared about poverty whereas he "came from nothing and now I have everything."

These are all excellent points and there isn't anything about the hedge fund story that bothers me. I liked Edwards before and I like him now -- not enough to make him #1 in my book, but that's another story.

I think Edwards has a larger problem.

Fact is, what’s going to lead to Edwards’ probable failure to get the nomination (and if he gets it, his possible failure to be elected) is not the hypocrisy, but the very emphasis on poverty to begin with.

The sad fact is that (outside of religious institutions like churches, synagogues and presumably mosques) there is no cultural bias in this country toward helping the poor.

Fact is, deep down, most Americans probably believe that if you’re poor, it’s because you screwed up somehow.

And speaking of religion, didn’t Jesus say that “the poor will always be with you?” That doesn’t mean that you don’t help them; but it also doesn’t mean that we can permanently solve the problem, either.

Also: there is no political will to solve poverty. Even if Edwards is elected he’ll have a tough time getting any anti-poverty legislation passed. I hate to be brutal about it, but how many poor people actually, you know, vote?

Here's the thing: I'm old enough to remember Bobby Kennedy's campaign for president in 1968 and I was tremendously inspired by it. Kennedy was right: it was a crime that people live in this country and don’t have enough to eat or a decent place to live.

But that was then, this is now. Edwards is going to find that running on an anti-poverty platform, in 2008, may be noble but it isn’t going to get him a lot of votes.

P.S. Go back and read more about Kennedy's campaign. I recommend Evan Thomas' Robert Kennedy: His Life. Kennedy's underlying assumptions about poverty and how to fix it were surprisingly conservative in many ways. I think you'll agree that it was Daniel Patrick Moynihan, of all people, who took up Kennedy's fallen standard.

May 07, 2007

The Elite Media Psych Out

by shep

Bob Somerby continues his invaluable deconstruction of the endlessly shallow, partisan treatment of Democratic politicians by mainstream "journalists" (he has also “unofficially” nominated Glen Greenwald for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the subject). Say what you will about tough criticism of both parties on matters of substance, it is the Democrats who are relentlessly diminished and treated as unserious, through childish and repetitious stories about them concerning sex, haircuts, brown suites and windsurfing.

Somerby sees “big money” at the heart of the problem:

“Sometimes, money makes people get dumb; sometimes, people play dumb to get it. But nothing else can explain the haircut wars—wars which have raged for the past fifteen years—other than the corrupting role being played here by big money.”

While he doesn’t explain exactly how this money influences the punditocracy to be petty only toward Democrats, I do agree that it insulates them from the reality and the interests of the people they are supposed to be informing, which was not so much the case not too many years ago. But I have a slightly different take on the pampered press poodles, vis-à-vis, their superficial treatment of Democrats.

First off, I should point out, this is quite obviously the product of the press being inculcated with Republican frames about serious Daddy Republicans and emotional Mommy Democrats. That mostly explains the partisan aspect but still not the clueless, juvenile fixation on these silly stories.

And not enough can be said about the market-share-driven Barnumization© of journalism itself, especially on television. Katie Couric and Brian Williams sure are cute but can you imagine Walter Cronkite lending his giant disembodied head for a regular bit on a comedy cable show?

Nevertheless, I think that the biggest factor in the relentless substancelessness of the stars of the mainstream press may be their fundamental competitiveness. It is more than just a trait, it is a way of thinking, a psychological orientation, that they happen to share with politicians (which is why they seem more like the people they are supposed to report on than their everyman customers).

They all see things simply in terms of winning and losing – politics – in the highly competitive arena of politics and high-powered media. It’s one reason why, in general, they fixate on politics and almost never drill down into policy – almost the exact opposite of what they should be doing.

Their success is quite obviously not based on the quality of their work (understanding and explaining what’s going on in the world), since there are lots of smarter people who could do the job better. They get to the top by how well they play the game and how well they "play" on TV. Think of George Bush and Chris Mathews as being flip sides of the same, nearly worthless political/journalistic coin of the realm.

They aren’t stupid, it’s just that what should be fundamental to their work – what happens out in the real world and why – is of little interest to them compared to their own personal success and the inside game. They live in the world of the petty and the meaningless, except that their fortunes and fame hang on whether they understand it and exploit it successfully. So, in the end, they just don’t quite understand the world of the meaningful and important because they aren’t really paying that much attention.

It really explains their obtuseness about what matters better than the fact that they’re wealthy. There are actually some wealthy people who are not hopelessly shallow. You just won’t read their columns in Politico or see them anchoring the evening news.

May 04, 2007

No Democrat Started The War

by Mark Adams
Cross-posted. Also in Blue and Orange.

Let me be clear on one thing. Every single Democratic presidential candidate condemns the Bush Administration for its disastrous fiscal, domestic and foreign policies. Every single one knows Bush is a joke when he pretends to be the least bit competent on anything whatsoever. They understand that "compassionate conservativism" is a fraud. They all realize that the next president, who will undoubtedly be a Democratic president, faces a monumental task rehabilitating our nation's reputation in the world and economic and social rifts at home.

Nobody gets a cookie for being the "most" unlike Bush. Everybody will do their best to correct the disastrous course of our ship of state.

All of them.

Continue reading "No Democrat Started The War" »

May 02, 2007

John Edwards Is Helping Your Neighbors

by Mark Adams
Cross-posted and KOS-Posted

Well, maybe not in my neighborhood, but certainly my fellow Kossack Konspirator, Ara's neighbors should be taking notice of this:

As part of his ongoing efforts to fight poverty in America, Senator John Edwards will travel to New Orleans on Friday, May 4th, 2007, to draw attention to the struggles of the community and to help with recovery efforts. Edwards announced his candidacy for president in New Orleans and last spring traveled to Louisiana with 700 college students to help with rebuilding efforts.

Later in the day, Edwards will travel to Baton Rouge to speak at the National Conference of Black Mayors' 33rd Annual Convention.

Josh has all the details if you happen to be in the area.

Continue reading "John Edwards Is Helping Your Neighbors" »

April 13, 2007

The Christian Thing

by Mark Adams

Taegan's Quote of the Day:

"I believe in redemption, I believe in forgiveness."

-- John Edwards, quoted by WCBS-TV, on the racially-charged comments made by radio talk show host Don Imus. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were less forgiving.

Don Imus has been pissing me off for years. But, as Digby points out, not only is there a certain fascination, the show also exposed the unseemly underbelly of just how internecine the D.C. punditry was.

This strange relationship between the beltway punitocracy and elected officials first came to my attention when Imus dubbed Bill Clinton, "Bubba." Since then, a virtual parade of media elite and candidates seeking their approval have been a regular staple of the program. It all came to a head for me during the Libby trial. Nowhere else was Timmeh! Russert spouting off as much about the case than on Imus (just between friends), nor juicy tidbits like Andrea Mitchell's kidding around about being too drunk to really know what she said she knew about her involvement in the case.

Lately, the show would inevitably return to a "comedy" skit featuring their resident skin-head, Bernard McGuirk, doing an intentionally unflattering impression of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as more of a Stepin Fetchit character than anything else. This recurring bit, more than anything, made me switch to see what was on CNN.

The list of indiscretions is long and well documented for an "edgy" program that far too often went over the edge. I lose no sleep over the end, if this is indeed the end, of Don Imus's show. I won't jump for joy that a blight on our public airwaves has been erased as long as Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savidge and Sean Hannity continue to pollute our national discourse with impunity -- or that Ann Coulter is given a forum to purvey her filth.

But I have to admire John Edwards keeping true to himself and his professed faith. I don't know that I am so forgiving, at least not enough to want to hear Imus again or believe that CBS Radio or MSNBC TV were wrong to fire him. Christianity, after all, is a faith of redemption from sin.

I believe in a benevolent and merciful God. That when things seem at their worst and their lowest, he will always be there for you. That no matter what you do, he will forgive you. And it is important to ask for his forgiveness. It's important in my case to have a personal relationship with the Lord, so that I pray daily and I feel that relationship all the time. And when I'm faced with difficult decisions, which I regularly am, I very often go to him in prayer.
There are some that criticize Edwards for missing an opportunity to pander to women or African-Americans who are indignant about Imus' behavior, to kick him while he's down in order to score some political points.

Cheap shots are easy, especially when the target is wounded. Again, John Edwards proves that he's something special, because he's just such a nice guy.

April 12, 2007

MoveOn Members Lift Obama Into First Place (Updated)

Here are the full results from MoveOn's Virtual Town Hall vote (remember, this does not imply a MoveOn endorsement):

Sen. Barack Obama 28%
Sen. John Edwards 25%
Rep. Dennis Kucinich 17%
Gov. Bill Richardson 12%
Sen. Hillary Clinton 11%
Sen. Joe Biden 6%
Sen. Chris Dodd 1%

I would have thought John Edwards would be stronger than this. Well like they said, this isn't equivalent to an endorsement from MoveOn.

UPDATE: But wait -- there's more! MoveOn members who watched the Town Hall at one of the parties voted differently from those who did not. Here are how the folks who attended the event ranked their choices:

Sen. John Edwards 25%
Gov. Bill Richardson 21%
Sen. Barack Obama 19%
Rep. Dennis Kucinich 15%
Sen. Joe Biden 10%
Sen. Hillary Clinton 7%
Sen. Chris Dodd 4%

Good news for Edwards, Richardson, Biden and Dodd. Not so good for Obama and Clinton -- the two front runners.

April 09, 2007

The DLC Doesn't Lead

by Mark Adams

They should be renamed, because they are the Democratic Party's leading compromisers and capitulators.

I'd like you to read something, and see if you agree that the official party-within-a-party-line of the Democratic Leadership Council is no better than President Bush when he says his sworn duty is to protect the American people -- when it actually is his sworn duty to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution.

Normally, we would be skeptical of attempts by Congress to write war strategy into law -- as opposed to exercising its Constitutional duties to declare and finance wars.
The United States Congress has not declared war since WWII. Moreover, there is no obligation for Congress to fund a war it's membership no longer supports. These are legislative prerogatives, but certainly not their duty. Besides, this really isn't a war.

However, the DLC throws this framing into their argument to give George Bush exactly what he want's, a "clean" supplemental spending bill. Their "plan" is to (1) cave into Bush on funding after he vetoes the conditional bills, complete with their timetables, then (2) take a look at whether the surge escalation is working, and finally (3) to call for a diplomatic strategy.

(Cross-Posted and KOS-Posted)

Continue reading "The DLC Doesn't Lead" »

March 22, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards

What shocked me most about Elizabeth Edwards' statement today was that her cancer is now considered "treatable" but not "curable." Being the son of a cancer victim myself, I remember that it was chiefly the hope (and belief) that my father was going to pull out of it that kept me going; when he died it was a double shock. Hearing that Mrs. Edwards will live with cancer for the rest of her life was especially discouraging. All the more impressive, then, is her public attitude of en(courage)ment. Not to mention that she is the 57 year old mother of 6- and 8-year old children.

Here's a short anecdote from Ana Marie Cox about what it was like meeting Elizabeth Edwards for the first time:

She was, as most will tell you, animated and interested, very knowledgeable about blogs and quick to laugh. After a bit, she asked if we'd "like to meet John." (Husband and I had hung back, as Edwards was receiving a long line of admirers.) We at first demurred but she sort of pulled us to the head of the informal line and said, "John, I'd like you to meet..." and introduced us.

Anyone who's been around politicians when they're on the job would have recognized the somewhat frozen smile and half-glassy eyes that Edwards then turned on us. He's got charisma, but he's human, and you can't get through years of shaking hands with strangers without developing the ability to do it by rote. But Elizabeth saw that same automatic gesture and she cut him off mid-"how do you do?"

She hit him gently on the arm in a loving, spousal way. "No, John," she said, "I want you to meet them." He looked at her, a little surprised I think, and then broke into a genuine smile as she re-introduced us. It was the difference between shaking hands with a stranger and shaking hands with a friend of a friend. I feel very lucky to have met someone with such heartfelt charm, and I don't mean John.

Doesn't that just make you want to be friends with her? Doesn't it make you feel like you already are?

March 14, 2007

You Can't Spell Controversy Without R.O.V.E.

by Mark Adams

Shep (who really should start his own blog) points us here:

John Dean: Refocusing the Impeachment Movement on Administration Officials Below the President and Vice-President: "The House Judiciary Committee Should Undertake Appropriate Proceedings

Given the number of officials within the Bush Administration who may have been engaged in Constitutional high crimes or misdemeanors, and the nature of the impeachment process, there is no shortage of civil officers worthy of consideration. Where there is clear prima facie evidence of such constitutional misconduct, impeachment action should be commenced."

Exhibit "A" -- Elliot Abrams, despite his pardon, could have been disqualified from holding office through the impeachment process.

Currently Alberto Gonzales is the focus of much of the left's wrath with a growing chorus calling for his resignation, and some intra-party partisans will point out that many of the current Democratic presidential contenders voted against his nomination, notably Clinton, Obama and Biden. John Edwards came out against the nomination as well even though he wasn't in the Senate at the time.

My question is, (since so much has been made about Edwards' vote for the Iraq war lately, suggesting that he should have done something then and not just speak out now) is why Gonzales wasn't given the same treatment as John Bolton or even a closely fought battle like we saw with Alito?


The President is not the Attorney General's client - the people are. And so the true test of an Attorney General nominee is whether that person is ready to put the Constitution of the people before the political agenda of the President. As such, I cannot approach this nomination the same way I approached that of Secretary of State Rice or VA Secretary Nicholson or any other Cabinet position. The standard is simply higher.
Where was the filibuster threat? If this position was so important, so substantively different than other administration officials, where was the "hold" of the nomination from Joe, Hillary and Barack?

This isn't sour grapes, this is outrage that the man who gave cover to an administration engaged in kidnapping, torture, murder and wholesale spying on you and me was given the job in the first place -- without a fight.

NOW we're suprised, shocked! Shocked that there was some shenanigans going on?

Well, at least they didn't vote for Gonzo.

March 09, 2007

The '08 Money Chase; An (Updated!) Update

The Hotline has the latest buzz on the other public opinion poll -- the one where one dollar equals one vote:

  1. We're fairly certain that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) raised $12 million through the first of March. Banked means banked; pledges don't qualify. If that figure is correct, and we have reason to believe that it is, Obama will probably amass northwards of $18 million this quarter, and we'll bet that he banks a little more than $13 million. Can Obama build a mid-to-small donor base in time to reap its rewards by the end of the 2nd quarter? Unclear.

  2. Expect Sen. Hillary Clinton to transfer $11 million from her Senate campaign account into her presidential account. Informed donor-types believe that she's be able to raise more than $20 million in "new money," giving her a grand total of more than $32 million. One caveat: a not-small percentage of the new money has been shunted to Clinton's general election account and can't be used for the primaries. So expect Clinton to have roughly $16-20M cash on hand when she reports. How much Clinton raises in the second quarter will determine how large her fundraising network really is. Plenty of donors are hedging their bets.

  3. Equivocal signs from Sen. John Edwards's camp. But a $12-15M quarter is reasonable. His second quarter matters more than his first quarter. He probably needs to raise just as much. His fundraising drop-off from Q1 to Q2 in 2003 hurt his campaign more than some of his advisers care to admit.
Note all the caveats about 2007 Q2 -- all of that is being floated by the rival campaigns about each other. So it's clear that most of this is just so much smoke and spin -- not to mention that the quarter doesn't end for another 3+ weeks.

Bottom line: there is no correlation between raising the most money and actually getting the nomination -- wiki Howard Dean. But if I had a choice, I'd want more money, not less.

Update: The Note includes the Republicans and has it like this:

Clinton, Obama, McCain, Edwards, Romney, Giuliani. Or — Clinton, McCain, Obama, Edwards, Giuliani, Romney. Or — Clinton, McCain, Romney, Obama, Edwards, Giuliani. Or — something else, as long as you've got Clinton first.

Our point: It is all about the fundraising, and yet not even Susan Page knows how it's all going to turn out. Our second point: Clinton, McCain, and Romney will have the highest burn rate of spending money this quarter, and their disbursement records are going to be required reading.

Update: From Kos:

There are a couple of things I'll be looking at when these numbers will be reported. First of all, how many donors will each campaign have? A campaign heavy on $2,300 contributions may look good in Q1, but like Edwards learned in 2003, it leaves little for subsequent quarters. A campaign with lots of small dollar donors can continue hitting up those donors and build exponentially in further quarters. I suspect all three of the top-tier candidates -- Clinton, Edwards, and Obama will be heavy on the small dollar donors. Those candidates with the most will be in better shape (and if Obama clears $6 million online for the quarter, those are shockingly high numbers).

March 07, 2007

"Foxy" Edwards: Not A "Godless" Liberal

by Mark Adams KOS-Posted

John Edwards is just not your average tone-deaf, pandering politician with the common sense of a goldfish, like the so-called leaders we've become accustomed to. He's truly a liberal. But liberal does not mean you have to be "Godless."
First, the News:

  1. In yet another first, Edwards decided NOT to participate in the skeet shoot debate being hosted by FOX News in Nevada.

  2. Edwards directly links Jesus to the central themes of his campaign, saying Christ "would be appalled" that we "resort to war when it's not necessary," and ignore "the plight of those around us who are suffering."
Wondering where all those disenfranchised Christian voters might turn when the dust settles between the exasperated fiscal conservatives and imperial neo-conservatives as they fight over the hard-core Coulterites in the GOP?

Continue reading ""Foxy" Edwards: Not A "Godless" Liberal" »

February 28, 2007

Does Your Candidate Support Murtha's Plan?

Mine does :-)

by Mark Adams

Citizen 53 has posted the full transcript of an almost hour long interview with John Edwards from WNYC Radio. (Audio link to John Edwards interview).

This is an in depth interview with detailed examination of every position that matters in this election:

This interview is an excellent example of Edwards in full. shows his policies and much of who he is as a person, a human being, running for President.

If you have the time, I hope you will read it and offer your comments.

Clearly, what follows is better than any sound bite. is Edwards's views in depth, where he has an opportunity to expound. gives interested DKos'ers a chance to become better educated about Edwards, straight from Edwards, not from the flame wars in a thread that contains oft-repeated information and misinformation that, alas, is so prevalent in the blogosphere.

Get some coffee, settle back, and enjoy!

It's the following exchange that catches the eye. No other major candidate takes this position. None. As the Democratic Congressional Leadership quietly distance themselves from John Murtha's position that the time to get out of Iraq starts now, Edwards has Murtha's back:

BL: And what if you were in the house? This Murtha plan...

JE: I'm for it.

BL: ... to starve the war by requiring shorter stays for American troops, longer intervals between tours, some other're for it?

JE: I'm for it.

BL: You'd vote for it.

JE: I'm for it.

BL: Alright then, do one other thing on this before we leave Iraq to distinguish yourself from the other presidential c...

JE: Can I interrupt you for just a minute?

BL: Sure

JE: You did that very quickly. The Murtha plan that I know about is one that requires American troops not to be sent back for another deployment in Iraq, some of them 3rd and 4th deployments without adequate training, without adequate equipment - is that what you're talking about?

BL: Yes.

JE: OK. Yes, I'm for that.

BL: Which is just an indirect way to stop the troop surge, true?

JE: Yeah, yeah - it certainly affects the number of troops in Iraq.

This is very clear. Surely THE most unambiguous statement a politician could ever make regarding the Murtha plan, and John Edwards is the ONLY presidential candidate saying this.

This is big folks, possibly the best talking point Edwards Supporters have.

February 25, 2007

Crystal Ball Triangulation - Getting To Super Tuesday

by Mark Adams Cross-posted

Ara has the video of a Barack Obama rally with some 15 to 20 thousand very enthusiastic supporters in Austin, Texas. Impressive crowd. What his advance people lack in experience, cash and infrastructure (and he's getting more good people every day) his supporters make up in enthusiasm.

Obamania, Obamanon, catch it. It's a wave, and anyone who worries that he's peaking too soon might be on to something,

Obama's in a weird place and is going to get squeezed from both ends. Hillary and her "vast" network and practically unlimited cash will hammer him from above while Edwards and Richardson (who I think gains most from Vilsack's departure -- as do those closer to the scene) will keep the pressure on from below.

Continue reading "Crystal Ball Triangulation - Getting To Super Tuesday" »

February 22, 2007

It's time to take on Fox

Somehow, Fox News convinced the Democratic Party to let Fox host a nationally-televised Democratic presidential primary debate this summer in Nevada.

This is a bad, bad, bad idea because, let's face it: Fox isn't a legitimate news channel! It's a right-wing mouthpiece like Rush Limbaugh—dedicated to smearing Democrats. For example, Fox falsely claimed Sen. Barack Obama attended a terrorist school.

There's a growing backlash of people demanding that Democrats drop Fox and you can help make it happen. Here's how:

Sign the petition to the Democratic Party of Nevada.

Don't wait -- do it now before you move to the next blog or open your email. It'll take just a minute and will make a difference.

Tell the Dems in Nevada to wake up and smell the coffee. Sign the petition now. Thanks.

January 30, 2007

All major Dem candidates are electable -- even in Ohio

McCain and Giuliani? Bring em on:

In general election matchups, the independent Quinnipiac University poll [in Ohio] finds:
  • Sen. Clinton squeaks by Arizona Sen. John McCain 46 - 42 percent;
  • Clinton inches by former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani 46 - 43 percent;
  • Clinton tops former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 52 - 31 percent;
  • McCain edges Illinois Sen. Barack Obama 41 - 38 percent;
  • Former Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards edges McCain 44 - 41 percent.
So if you're getting the vapors imagining, say, Hillary getting the nomination, think again.

January 26, 2007

Rasmussen: McCain Losing Ground, Trailing Obama and Edwards

McCain's heart isn't in it -- not in the necessary task of pandering to the Republican base. He's not good at it and they don't trust him.

Furthermore, the McCain Doctrine is dead on arrival -- the majority of Americans don't believe we should be sending more troops to Iraq -- and his close association with Bush is a major turn-off.

All of this is beginning to weaken McCain's support...

John McCain (R) 44%
Barack Obama (D) 47%

John McCain (R) 43%
John Edwards (D) 46%

As soon as Giuliani takes a higher profile in the campaign, you'll probably begin to see the same erosion of support for him as well.

January 15, 2007

Untwist Yer Knickers

by Mark Adams

Al ain't out and Hillary ain't pissed, despite what otherwise sober voices think.

My advice, consistent with the five basic principles of the Progressive Netroots, is not to play Hillary's game. Don't be defensive and apologetic, insisting that no offense was intended, but ask rather what size shoe the former First Lady wears, because her lack of an affirmative, absolute rejection of the escalation of the war seems like a perfect fit to John Edwards' call to stop the madness.

Any apologetic response, a "hey, I didn't mean you personally," defense, will come off weak and mitigate the importance of Edward's message.

Continue reading "Untwist Yer Knickers" »

JRE Echos MLK, Tomorrow Is Today

by Mark Adams

The General directs us to remember the wisdom of MLK. I believe that there is no coincidence that the theme, the three-word slogan that launched John Edwards' candidacy for president last month can be found in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech at Manhattan's Riverside Church.

There's more....

Continue reading "JRE Echos MLK, Tomorrow Is Today" »

January 09, 2007

How Democrats Should React To The Denial Of Habeas Corpus

by Mark Adams
"That's Bullshit!"
John Edwards, never afraid to speak his mind, or truth to power.

UPDATE (from Ara): Here is the Olbermann video Edwards G.A. Roach is referring to: "The Beginning of the End of America."

OLBERMANN: Habeas corpus? Gone. The Geneva Conventions? Optional. The moral force we shined outwards to the world as an eternal beacon, and inwards at ourselves as an eternal protection? Snuffed out. These things you have done, Mr. Bush, they would be "the beginning of the end of America."

January 07, 2007

Hillary's Friends Playing Dirty Tricks

by Mark Adams

In the sphere of juvenile internet tricks, this one ranks near the bottom. It's silly, transparent, and of course . . . THIS MEANS WAR!

Huff Post: Click On And You Go To

John Edwards' '08 website is But the campaign didn't buy Hillary Clinton did. Click on and you end with Hillary Clinton.

Ok folks, we need a mature, non-whiney, appropriate response to this outrage. Might I humbly suggest we sign her up for free samples of male enhancement products, or a subscription to FHM?

UPDATE: They changed it to re-direct you to the Democratic Party.

I guess she couldn't take the heat.....she never was good in the kitchen. Her cookie recipe blew.
(HT: Joe4Gov at Digg.) and LisaRenee at AOG.)

Maybe I should send her some flowers, or a nice fruit basket....or some anti-aging cream.

January 05, 2007

Lake Erie Blows

by Mark Adams

I used to think that the wind blowing on Lake Erie was only good for sailing and making that notorious lake-effect snow in Cleveland and Buffalo.

BruceMcF explains how wrong I was, and why we in Ohio and the other Great Lake States are lucky not only live next to the greatest source of fresh water in the world, but also one of the most accessible clean energy resources one can imagine.

Just take a look, and tell me it doesn't make you think about John Edwards' "Apollo Program for Energy Independence" in a whole new light -- that there are amazing possibilities -- and those possibilities will change the world.

As soon as we take the country back from the corporatists, neo-cons and big-oil men.

December 28, 2006

Edwards to announce candidacy Thursday in New Orleans


Thursday morning from this place [Upper Ninth Ward, New Orleans], I will announce that I am a candidate for the president of the United States. What I will do is ask millions of Americans, including you, to join me in taking action and taking responsibility, not sitting around and waiting for somebody else to do it, but actually going out and doing it ourselves, from the ground up and taking action now and not in the future. We're not waiting for election day. These kids are here working today. We're going to ask you to do things today...
You can find out more by visiting Edwards' website.

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