Thursday, June 02, 2005

John Edwards: The Third Podcast

John Edwards: The Third Podcast
by Jude Nagurney Camwell

Washington "insiders" are talking about John Edwards, and so are his grassroots supporters.

John and Elizabeth have taken time from their busy schedules to talk a bit about themselves, so you won't have to consult the "insiders" in order to find out what's happening in their public and private lives. Their third podcast is available for listening at this link.

What Has John Edwards Been Doing This Month?

John Edwards has recently returned from a trip overseas, which ended in London. There, he had the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Tony Blair. They discussed issues such as Europe, the EU Constitution, Iran and their nuclear program, Russia and Putin, Blair Initiatives on Africa, Global Climate Change, China, Global Poverty, and some politics.

Sen. Edwards also met with Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown about the issue of Poverty. (Rumor has it that that Brown will succeed Blair.) Edwards gave a speech at the London School of Economics, where he'd found an interesting attitudinal dichotomy between British and U.S. students, which he gleaned by participating in an hour-long political Q & A session with students after the aforementioned speech. There was much more of a sense of hostility in the questions from people coming from outside the U.S. regarding topics such as the Guantanamo Bay prison (Gitmo), the alleged abuse of the Koran, America's methods of interrogating terror detainees, the treatment of enemy combatants, fair legal represenation for prisoners, etc. You can listen to speech (and future speeches) at the One America website (and see my own summary here).

Edwards has been attending events and working for Democratic state legislative caucuses in South Carolina, Michigan, and other states - as part of his Raising the States project for the building of more effective grassroots political organizations. (See Raising the States from the One America site) Sen. Edwards and his wife Elizabeth say there are two fronts on which they believe there must be a fight. First, it's important to have state legislatures who believe in the things we, the people, believe in. We must understand the role of an active government in order to do what must be done. However, a secondary point is that we need to see this as a virtual building bench for people who'll run in future gubernatorial, senate, and presidential contests.

Patsy Madrid, the current attorney general of New Mexico, has been aggressive - as has the attorney general of North Carolina Roy Cooper, on keeping tabs on predatory lending and other issues. Now, the Federal government wants to usurp state law and have federal law take precedence so the state laws are, in effect, made useless by the federal pre-emption.

There is not enough being done to build the party from the ground-up, and we need to empower people at local levels to get involved with Democratic party. You can read a synopsis of prospective State candidates at the One America site. Sen. and Mrs Edwards ask you to get involved with choosing your state legislators and to support these candidates, even if you are not from their respective states.

Council on Foreign Relations: Committee

John Edwards just returned from first meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations' new Independent Task Force for the review of current U.S. policy toward Russia. They will make recommendations on future policy - from global security to Russia's evolution as a democratic state. Edwards will be co-Chairing the Task Force with Jack Kemp. They've been working on the plans for the new Committee for many weeks now, with some of the foremost experts on Russia in the world. Issues they'll cover are: co-operating against terrorism, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, strategic energy partnerships, (de-)democratization, Russia's relations with its neighbors, Cold War legacy issues, and Chechnya.

The main question is: What will happen over next three years? Putin cannot run for President again, and with an election coming in 2008, there is no successor to have been groomed by Putin at the present time.

The Family

Jack and Emma Claire both had birthday celebrations this month. The "Jack-event" included real lizards and snakes, along with improvisational theater. Feeling "old age" setting in, Jack said to his father:
"I just can't believe I'm turning 5, Dad!"

John was happy to report that Elizabeth has finished her last treatment for breast cancer. She'd had chemotherapy first, then surgery, then a series of radiation treatments. Elizabeth plans to take a relaxing summer and spend it with the children, along with doing some reading and writing, and she hopes she will be in fighting form in the fall.


The Book forum at One America

John and Elizabeth have started a book forum at the One America site.

The book they've chosen for June's forum focus will be "The Working Poor" by David Shipler, which is an easy and compelling read. Anyone interested in participating is welcome. David has kindly agreed to participate in the forum.

If enough people are interested, the Book forum will be continued. Please send book suggestions to A "Bookcast" (podcast) with David Shipler will be forthcoming. Visit the Book Forum.

Currently, these are the books John and Elizabeth are reading:

Elizabeth - 'Gilead' by Marilynne Robninson
John - by "The World is Flat" by Thomas Friedman, "The End of Poverty" by Jefferey Sachs, "Ugly Americans" by Ben Mazrich, and "1776" by David Mccullough (He says he's reading them all a bit a at a time and that he's about halfway through all of them except "1776", which he's just started to read.


Now Available: Video Blog

A new video blog was launched Thursday, June 2 at the One America site. Edwards will videoblog while traveling, and it will be informal but substantive.

Visit the new videoblog at One America.

RSS feeds to which you can subscribe are listed here.



Q: Mark LeVine asks about the problem of the United States' ever-increasing debt held by China.

Sen Edwards says that the bigger issue is the rising economic power of China and India. U.S. jobs are steadily leaving, and are being outsourced, for China and India. Over next 20-40 years, China will undoubtedly become an increasingly powerful competitive global economic force. America is going deeper and deeper into debt under President Bush, and China is holding more and more of America's debt. These countries understand that the best way to compete is through the field of Education. In the fields of Math, the Sciences, and Technology, we could lose economic advantage and opportunity for ourselves if we fail to maintain educational standards comparative to those of nations like China and India.

A crackdown is necessary on the Chinese government's ability to manipulate their own currency, allowing them to dump goods on the American markets much cheaper than they otherwise would be able to.

We need an American President (not George Bush) who will stop putting the United States deeper and deeper into deficit and get us back on a path to operating our government in a responsible way. We need to invest more in graduate education for young people, especially in the areas of concern. (Math, Sciences, Technology). We should be finding ways to create incentives for young people to become interested in those areas.

Elizabeth Edwards commented that President Bush has taken us down the wrong path on trade in his failure to enforce existing trade agreements and in his failure to act agressively against China's currency manipulation. In his most recent press conference, President Bush said that we shouldn't leave a burden for our children - and he's talking about Social Security - but he should be concentrating on the deficit he's leaving for our children. We can't stop the Chinese from buying
T-bills when they're auctioned, but we know it has left us vulnerable to China's rapidly increasing economic power; leaving us at a disadvantage. We have ourselves - our own government - to blame. We've gotten ourselves into this. Because China has become such a huge creditor, they have a big stick with which to hit us. But, the truth is, it comes at a price to them, too. They'd have to have some real hesitation before dumping - or doing something to ruin the credit of the United States.


Q: Tammy Lane asked, regarding the Nuclear Option:
"What do you think of the compromise that was reached?"

First, Sen Edwards stated that he has "no idea what the Republicans were thinking." The reality is, he says, that one of two things would have happened had there been no compromise and they got rid of the filibuster:
- Democrats could have shut the Senate down.
- So much hinges upon cooperation in the Senate, as politically confident the Republican leadership in the Senate may feel at this time, one thing that is certain is that the Democrats will be back in power someday They would be remiss to throw away the Senate's long-standing tradition of cooperation since they will be affected by the rule change someday.

Although Sen. Edwards considers the compromise a win for Senate Democrats, these right wing judges going through because of the compromise agreement are unacceptable. They are, in a word (said twice for effect) "terrible, terrible choices" and they run against everything we believe in as Democrats.


Q: When are the Edwards moving back to North Carolina?

On June 8, the kids will finish school for the year - and teh Edwards plan to make the move in mid-June. They will eventually move to a new home in Chapel Hill (next Spring), but for now, they will be at their house in Raleigh. Elizabeth said she was pulling out stuff for summer vacation and is having a lot of "fun" deciding what to pack - and for where?

June 10th is John's birthday, and they'd all like to be in one place for that special family celebration.


The Edwards want to hear from you. Your questions are very imporatnt to them. Send them by e-mail, by videoblog, however you can get your questions to them.

Other Summaries:

Podcast One
Podacst Two

ADDITIONAL NOTE: See Edwards' speech today at the Take Back America Conference.

My Right to Rant: Jeff Jacoby is Full of Crap

My Right to Rant: Jeff Jacoby is Full of Crap

Can't the Boston Globe at least get a reasonably honest Conservative to write for them?

I think this is the most unfair (and untrue) statement I've ever heard.

"..there is a difference. Nixon really did a face an overwhelmingly hostile press corps. Kerry, Gore, and Clinton, by contrast, benefit from a news media that is overwhelmingly liberal, as countless surveys have shown." - Jeff Jacoby

Surveys schmurveys. Clinton was not protected by the alleged "liberal" media during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. The supposedly "liberal" MSM "news" networks piled on him and smothered all of us with the tawdry details 24/7, just like those who hawk gossip rags.
As Marvin Kalb said in 2002, "According to Bernie [Goldberg's] thesis, the Washington press corps is a very 'elitist liberal press corps'. Why in God's name, if he's right, would they have gone out and lacerated and destroyed a liberal president? That doesn't make any sense whatsoever!"

During the last election season, the partisan Swift Boat vets were given free reign by MSM with barely a challenge.

Howard Dean's yell was turned into a circus when only the version of his yell with the blown-out-of proportion volume was shown again and again and again by the MSM. (And the Democratic party allowed him to be eaten alive without a peep)."If the media are “liberal” and the media had anointed Dean as the “liberal” – why would they beat the scream to death over the airwaves during the most critical moments of Dean’s campaign? In fact, if the mainstream media were truly “liberal”, they would have downplayed it to Dean’s benefit." - Ilpundit

Mainstream Media:
If they're so powerful and "liberal",
why do Republicans keep kicking ass
in the elections?
MSM is not "liberal."
It's "ineffective"."

If any of the following was true (which it's not) - if "liberal" MSM were doing something newsworthy and if they were effective at doing so - then John Kerry would surely be President today:
"The right-of-center Fox News cannot hold a candle to the combined left-of-center output of ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, and PBS."
"Cannot hold a candle"?!!
Obviously, they CAN.
CNN is not any more liberal, in a political sense, than Entertainment Tonight. CNN has gone from a reputable news organization to a lame entertainment network since FOX starting kicking their kiesters in viewer ratings. One of their best newsmen, Eason Jordan, was sent flying when CNN allowed themselves to be cowed by Conservative pressure. CNN no longer knows the meaning of real investigative journalism, with the exception of Lou Dobbs and some of their reporters in Iraq ie: Christiane Amanpour (and she admits that the press has muzzled itself).
Jacoby never mentions MSNBC, who has enough Conservative schlock (like Scarborough's verbal diarrhea and the recently-cancelled Dennis Miller's boring Dem-hating "humor") to turn any liberal's stomach.

How Much Longer Can the Boston Globe Continue to Prop Up
Such A Buffoon as a Credible Columnist?

I know this sounds crass, but I think Jeff Jacoby is full of crap and I can't think of any plainer way to say it.
Who does he think he's kidding?
Doesn't intellectual honesty mean anything at all to the Boston Globe editorial staff?
It's time for Americans to wake up and see what Jeff Jacoby is trying to get away with and how much the Boston Globe editors allow him to get away with. My intelligence and common sense is insulted by his categorization of the press as "hostile" to a President who was a proven criminal. Those Nixon-era press people did their jobs! The people on the inside also did the right thing. Where are those people today? George McGovern made this statement to Fox News Radio:
"We need someone like that who is highly placed to tell us what's really going on. We know that we were misled on Iraq."

Parallels are easily drawn to what Bush and Cheney have been allowed to get away with because we no longer seem to have an accomplished investigative press or brave, ethical editors. Geov Parrish recently wrote the opinion that Watergate, as it was reported in 1974, would never have been reported today. Parrish says:
"It's hard not to contrast the frenzy that greeted the revelation of a 30-year-old secret with the thudding indifference U.S. media has given the Downing Street Memo. The memo has scarcely been mentioned in the country's leading newspapers, and has been completely ignored by evening network news."
So much for the "liberal media."

The I-Word

The I-Word
The Downing Street memo is causing the I-Word to be brought up quite a bit lately. The Blogworld is abuzz.

In an editorial, The National Catholic Reporter states:
"In the rush to war, the memo shows, both Britain and the United States trampled international law ostensibly on the way to establishing the rule of law elsewhere."

59 Bloggers

59 Bloggers
First there was Blogumentary, by Chuck Olsen. Now, there will be 59 Bloggers. (50 have been chosen - nine slots still remain undecided).

Time Magazine Sucked In by Blogebrity?

Time Magazine Sucked In by Blogebrity?

From Steve Rubel:

Blogebrity Fools Time Magazine
Time magazine has a blurb on Blogebrity in this week's Blogwatch column that makes it all seem very real. Amazingly, they seemed to neglect that it was all part of a big viral marketing campaign. Hey. some are even calling it a hoax. Did Time drop the ball here?
I've got to admit, it's easy, at first glance, to be fooled by the website (I'm on their C-List).

Jesus cries while eating

Crying While Eating is beating Blogebrity at the contest in which both are competing. I can see why. The home-made videos of people melodramatically sobbing while munching on their tastefully chosen morsels (pun intended) are nothing short of hilarious. Jesus' video is one of my personal favorites at the CWE site, eating his potatoes and ketchup while crying about the wasted promise of youth.

Inauguration Day 2005

Sorry - it takes me forever nowadays to get my photos developed.

These were taken at

President Bush's inauguration in January, 2005.

The young man in the second photo, who happens to be my son, is the same as the one in the photo directly above. Only the President was different then.

Perhaps you can spot him in this photo (along with another person who will more than likely run for President someday).

All photos property of Jude Nagurney Camwell

Downing Street Googlebomb