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Old 04-12-2002, 04:46 PM   #1
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Originally posted by *Stormy*:
''and I'm here asking you for more money to stop the worst epidemic in history.''
He's lobbying for the Bubonic plague?

Sorry but unless I'm wrong, AIDS is not the worst epidemic in history. Helping people with AIDS is important but scaring people in to thinking AIDS is our certain doom is not the way to do it.

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Old 04-13-2002, 03:51 AM   #2
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Elton John, Danny Glover follow Bono's footsteps to Washington


Sir Elton wows the Senate
Fri Apr 12, 6:03 AM ET
Steve Sternberg USA TODAY

WASHINGTON -- Elton John's rollicking road show wowed an entirely different sort of audience Thursday as the British superstar made his first appearance in a political venue to testify on an issue close to his heart -- global AIDS.

Sir Elton, as he's now known, spoke before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee at the invitation of its chairman, Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. ''This is the government of the richest nation in history,'' John said, ''and I'm here asking you for more money to stop the worst epidemic in history.''

Congress is used to celebrity crusaders, most notably John's fellow rocker Bono, whose impassioned campaign for debt relief for the world's poorest nations made a convert of conservative Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. Privately, before the hearing, Hatch told John: ''We helped him (Bono) break through, not only in Congress but at the White House. It means a lot to me that you've come here.''

John followed in Bono's footsteps, meeting privately with his host, Kennedy, and Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Hatch and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who presented the singer with a boxed record set and asked John to autograph it for his wife.

A man who has performed before millions under some of the most trying conditions imaginable -- consider the pressure of Princess Diana's funeral -- John confessed to nervousness before he took his place at the witness table.

''I've never appeared before any political committee before,'' he said. ''I wonder if I'm going to get interrogated McCarthy-style.''

Instead, he was welcomed by Kennedy with effusive praise and greeted by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (news - web sites), D-N.Y, with a kiss on each cheek, which he returned.

''I asked Chairman Kennedy if we couldn't just get a piano in and he could sing his testimony,'' she said.

Founder and chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, John wore a dark Versace suit, powder-blue shirt and a colorful, but tasteful, striped tie. His most visible adornments were Versace-style Greek key designs on his lapel pin and the heels of his shoes.

His testimony was unadorned as well. He recalled the profound sadness he felt 12 years ago while watching a young hemophiliac named Ryan White succumb to the AIDS virus. And he described the work of his foundation, which has contributed $35 million to AIDS programs in 55 nations, including South Africa, Uganda, Russia and Brazil.

The foundation's hospice in Soweto is the only one in a township where a quarter million people are infected with the AIDS virus.

''But, Mr. Chairman, our hospice in South Africa has eight beds, and the nation has more than 4 million people infected with HIV (news - web sites),'' John said.

''The people on the front lines of this disease need reinforcements, and they need them now.''

And then it was over, and John was off to New York to rehearse for a concert to benefit groups working to save the world's disappearing rain forests.

Yesterday, actor Danny Glover spoke on the issue:

I was wondering where Bono was. Maybe he's done his part, and he's leaving it to his allies now while he works on the album. But his presence has been felt and he has made a difference, and he will continue to. I know he's with them all the way. It was his turn last month, now theirs. Still I was thinking for sure I'd find a Bono pic in all this

~"A little out of touch, little insane, just easier than dealin' with the pain!" ~Soul Asylum, "Runaway Train"

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