Sunday, September 30, 2007

Help keep John Edwards in this fight

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hillary Hates You

David Mizner, Huffington Post

She thinks you're weak. She has no respect for you, and her lack of respect amounts to loathing--the kind of loathing that the powerful feel for the powerless. She's confident that progressives are too impotent, divided, and disorganized to deny her the nomination.

How else to explain her vote for the Lieberman-Kyl Amendment, which designates "Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization"? Do the math, people: the Revolution Guards are terrorists + Bush launched a global war on terror = _____. Jim Webb called the bill "Cheney's fondest pipe dream." Recall that "real men want to go to Tehran." Her vote tells you that she's cocikly crusing toward the nomination that the press has already awarded her. Her chief advisor, Mark "union buster" Penn has crunched the numbers and told her that she can defy the core beliefs of the party's core with impunity. She can prepare for the general election and focus on money and do AIPAC's bidding and still win the nomination.

John Edwards is betting she's wrong. Edwards is running a more progressive and populist campaign than Hillary, but the Clinton Machine, ever savvy, has convinced the MSM and even a few progressive bloggers that the differences between the two candidates are negligible. But Hillary's prowar vote on Thursday opened the door for Edwards and that night, at the debate in New Hampshire, he surged through.

"I voted for this war in Iraq, and I was wrong to vote for this war. And I accept responsibility for that. Senator Clinton also voted for this war.

"We learned a very different lesson from that. I have no intention of giving George Bush the authority to take the first step on a road to war with Iran.

"And I think that vote today, which Senator Biden and Senator Dodd voted against, and they were correct to vote against it, is a clear indication of the approach that all of us would take with the situation in Iran because what I learned in my vote on Iraq was you cannot give this president the authority and you can't even give him the first step in that authority because he cannot be trusted."

In a better, more logical world--one in which the war in Iraq had transformed the politics of national security--Edwards would have said that the lesson he learned from his vote on Iraq is not just that you can't trust George Bush but also that warmongering leads to war, which leads to occupation, which leads to disaster, or that change must come from within countries, that it cannot be imposed.

Nonetheless, the point was made. Edwards articulated an important difference between him and Clinton, and it's a difference that all Democrats, not just progressives, will grasp. With his commanding debate performance and that answer in particular, Edwards solidified his status as Clinton's main challenger.

We can argue till the troops come home about who, Obama or Edwards, is the superior progressive--indeed, in a subsequent post, I'll make the case for Edwards--but one thing is clear: only Edwards has been willing to challenge Clinton on ideological grounds. He has blasted her relentless corporatism and now, with this statement, her militarism as well.

This is not the first instance in the race that Edwards has carved out an important difference on national security. Unlike Clinton, he opposes the very concept of a global war against terrorism. And unlike Clinton, he backed the Webb Amendment, which would have made it a crime for Bush to attack Iran without Congressional authorization--a position that won Edwards no friends at AIPAC, which killed a similar measure in the House. And unlike Clinton, who would give Bush the 92,000 new troops he wants, Edwards isn't committed to making our monstrous military more monstrous. Huge issues, real differences.
Hillary thinks you won't pay attention to the differences, just as she thinks she can get away with casting a prowar vote in the middle of the race for the Democratic nominaton. John Edwards hope she's wrong.

So do I.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Do you believe?

This is about 35 minutes long and well worth it. It is John's speech the other day to SEIU. He talks about health care, unions and labor, poverty and Iraq.

Join me in supporting John Edwards for President

John Edwards on health care

In this speech to the Laborers Union, John Edwards talks about his health care plan and notes how Hillary Clinton flattered him by copying his plan so closely. He also tells Congress and the President — which will actually be telling himself — to either put up, get universal health care passed, or shut up. No health care for you.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Board of Equalization Chair Betty Yee throws her support to John Edwards

by Randy Bayne
The Bayne of Blog

Apparently I'm not on Betty Yee's mailing list. I had no idea John Edwards was in California this weekend, much less that he was here to receive an endorsement from Betty Yee, Chair of the State Board of Equalization.
"I support John because he has the boldest, most detailed policies to move this country forward," said Yee. "Whether it is ending the war in Iraq, providing truly universal healthcare, fighting global warming, ending poverty or enacting comprehensive immigration reform, John has set himself apart from the other candidates. I believe he is the best candidate to lead our country and the best chance Democrats have at taking back the White House."
Responding to the endorsement, Edwards called Yee a voice for the voiceless.
"Betty's commitment to advocating for those who have no voice is an example of what we all should be doing to build a better America," said Edwards. "I am honored to have her support and look forward to working with her to change our country, so every American has the opportunity to work hard and succeed."

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Senator Edwards on Iraq: "Enough is enough"

Today Senator John Edwards released the following statement on Iraq:

"After two days of General Petraeus' testimony, only one thing seems clear: this president isn't going to change his failed policy in Iraq until he is forced to do so. The question now is whether Congress will once again cave to his demands, or if they will stand firm and answer the call of the American people who last November voted for change in Iraq.

"My position has been very clear. For over a year, I have called for an immediate withdrawal of 40-50,000 troops--not by next summer, not in the near future, but today--to jumpstart the comprehensive political solution that will end the violence in Iraq and will allow a complete withdrawal of all combat troops within 9 to 10 months. Some, like Senator Obama, have said we should only `begin' to end this war now. Senator Obama would withdraw only 1-2 combat brigades a month between now and the end of next year, which for the next several months could essentially mimic the president's own plans to withdraw 30,000 troops by next summer.

"Taking credit for this gradual withdrawal is like taking credit for gravity. These 30,000 troops would have to be withdrawn anyway, unless the president extended tours to an unconscionable 18 months.

"Enough is enough. We don't need to `begin' to end the war now. What we need to do now is actually end the war. This is about right and wrong. Our young men and women are dying every day for a failed policy. Every member of Congress who believes this war must end, from Senators Obama and Clinton to Senator Warner, has a moral responsibility to use every tool available to them, including a filibuster, to force the president to change course. Congress must stand firm and say: No timetable, no funding. No excuses."

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Another union endorsement for Edwards - Transport Union Workers

Workers that keep America moving and protect homeland security choose Edwards

New York, New York – The Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) today endorsed Senator John Edwards for president at the union’s international headquarters in New York City. Edwards was joined by TWU International President James C. Little, TWU Local 100 President Roger Toussaint, and rank and file members from early caucus and primary states for the announcement.

“I’m proud to stand in New York with members of the Transit Workers Union, who keep the city moving and help keep New Yorkers safe,” said Edwards. “The men and women of the TWU serve on the front lines of our country’s homeland security, protecting public transportation users, the nation’s railways, and skies. These are the workers who get us to our jobs and our families.

“For too long, these good union men and women and millions of other working families have been ignored by a broken system in Washington. I’m looking forward to campaigning with them in early primary states and key general election battleground states, and as president I’ll fight for them every day, so we can honor their hard work and make our transportation infrastructure safe and secure.”

Nationwide, TWU has a total of 200,000 active and retired members, which brings Edwards over the 2 million member mark for union support – the largest bloc of any presidential candidate. In the last week, Edwards has received endorsements from the Carpenters, who represent 520,000 active members, the Steelworkers with 1.2 million active members and retirees, and the Mine Workers with 105,000 active members and retirees.

“Some candidates seem to be figuring out how to best triangulate on campaign issues,” said TWU President James C. Little. “John Edwards takes on subjects such as job security, health care, retirement and the growing gap in wealth between the rich and the middle class in a straight forward way that the country and working families desperately need.”

This endorsement further enhances Edwards’ strength in early states and in many key battleground states necessary for Democrats to win back the White House. Close to half of the TWU members and retirees live in states that will caucus or vote on or before February 5th, including 8,000 active and retired members in Nevada, 10,000 active and retired members in Oklahoma, 12,000 active and retired members in California, 8,000 active and retired members in New Jersey, and over 50,000 active and retired members in New York.

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Sunday, September 2, 2007

Two more unions endorse Edwards

Official endorsement at Pittsburgh Labor Day rally gives Edwards largest bloc of union support among presidential candidates so far

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – The United Steelworkers (USW) and the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) today endorsed Senator John Edwards for president. Following the Thursday endorsement of Edwards by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners in America, the two endorsements announced today at a Labor Day rally in Pittsburgh with union members and their families give Edwards the largest bloc of union support so far—combined, more than 1.8 million members and retirees—among any of the presidential candidates.

"I am especially honored to receive the support of the Steelworkers and Mine Workers unions," said Edwards, "These are the workers who built the middle class in America, and they are the backbone of the American labor movement. They understand how important it is to fight back when jobs, safety, standards and our values are at risk—and they know what's at stake in this election."

"These workers have felt the negative impact of a broken system in Washington that is rigged against America's working families for far too long—whether it's the tragic lack of oversight in mine safety, trade agreements written to benefit multinational corporations while they ship American jobs overseas, or the millions of working Americans who still can't afford health insurance," added Edwards. "As president, I will proudly lead the fight on behalf of working families with their support—and together we will win."

Representing 1.2 million workers and retirees, the USW is the nation's largest private sector industrial union. Following extensive outreach to USW members that included a poll of the union's 15,000 activists, as well as a nationwide survey of the union's membership, the USW International Executive Board voted unanimously on Sunday, September 2nd to endorse Edwards.

The UMWA represents 105,000 active and retired coal miners, municipal employees, health care workers and manufacturing workers in North America. Their membership includes more coal miners than any union in the world.

Both Steelworkers President Leo W. Gerard and UMWA President Cecil E. Roberts announced their endorsement by making clear the stakes hard-working families face and laying out why Sen. Edwards is the best candidate to lead the fight for change in America.

"Senator John Edwards is committed, as he has been throughout his life, to going to bat for everyday Americans and to changing a broken political system that leaves millions of Americans without a voice in their government," said Steelworkers President Leo W. Gerard. "Edwards is right on the issues that matter to us, and he's the candidate with the best chance of winning in the general election. The big corporations don't need another president who does their bidding. It's time we had a president who will fight for working people—and that's what John Edwards will do."

"Senator Edwards' positions on the issues of importance to UMWA members make him the best fit of all the candidates for president," UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said. "We need a president who cares about ordinary working people instead of the richest Americans and the big multinational corporations. We believe John Edwards is that person, and we will work as hard as we know how on his behalf anywhere and everywhere we can."

Close to 1,000 people were expected at the Pittsburgh Labor Day rally where the unions' official endorsements were announced. Sen. Edwards was joined on stage by USW President Leo Gerard, UMWA International President Cecil Roberts and local union members. Elizabeth Edwards and Edwards Campaign Manager David Bonior also attended the event.

On Thursday, August 30th, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, representing more than 520,000 members from all political affiliations, also announced that they would endorse John Edwards for president. Their formal endorsement will take place at a rally of union members on September 8th in New Hampshire.

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