Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Obama Regarding Ted Kennedy: "I Stand on his Shoulders"

There has been an outpouring of support for Senator Ted Kennedy as the sad news was delivered today, of Kennedy's malignant brain tumor.

Senator Ted Kennedy recently endorsed Barack Obama, stating "I know what America can achieve," Senator Kennedy said. "I've seen it. I've lived it. And with Barack Obama, we can do it again."

Senator Kennedy has "lived it." Considered the most effective Senator, he has led the way in the fight for social justice and is responsible for the passage of some of the most critical legislation of our time.

Obama stated today on the Situation Room, "I stand on his shoulders."

Well, keep in mind that – I think you can argue that I would not be sitting here as a presidential candidate had it not been for some of the battles that Ted Kennedy has fought. So not only is he a personal friend, not only has been one of my most important supporters during the course of this campaign. But he is somebody who battled for voting rights and civil rights when I was a child. I stand on his shoulders...

Transcript CNN Situation Room

Obama Expresses his Support for Ted Kennedy

Senator Byrd, voice cracking and welling up with tears, was visibly "shaken and distraught" as he spoke to the Senate today regarding Senator Kennedy. Byrd is the longest serving Senator with Senator Kennedy being the second longest serving.

VIDEO: Senator Byrd's Remarks on Ted Kennedy

John Kerry reminded us of what a fighter Senator Kennedy is calling him a "living legend."

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, said he had talked to Kennedy's wife and the senator was in good spirits.

"The Senate really is a family," Reid said. "We, as a family, are tremendously concerned about Senator Kennedy."

Senator John F. Kerry, the junior senator from Massachusetts, said the Kennedys have faced serious adversity more times than most families.

"Every one of us knows what a big heart this fellow has," Kerry said, calling his colleague a "living legend." "This guy is one unbelievable fighter ... He's in a fighting mood."

People interviewed this afternoon in Boston's Back Bay area expressed shock and sympathy.

"Someone who has given 40 years of service -- that's pretty remarkable. My prayers are with him and his family," said Price Blair, 28, of Boston, a postdoctoral researcher. "It's hard to imagine Capitol Hill without him."

"He's been a part of the country's fabric for decades," said Eric Lass, 40, a financial analyst from Newton. "He's the final brother."

Boston Globe

Senator Kennedy's 46 year career is exemplary, as a champion of raising the minimum wage, promoting immigration rights, voting rights and civil rights in general, to name just a few. He is a true fighter.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Video-Edwards Endorses Obama: The Democratic Voters Have Chosen

"There is one man who knows that knows and understands that this is a time for bold leadership. There is one man that knows how to create the change, the lasting change, that you have to build from the ground up. There is one man who knows in his heart there is time to create one America, not two ... and that man is Barack Obama, " John Edwards told a fired up crowd in Michigan, as he endorsed Barack Obama for President.

Edwards has been hinting at an endorsement over the last week. "Obama will be the nominee," Edwards told Larry King Monday evening.

Edwards on Larry King

Edwards has also been praising Hillary Clinton, tonight calling her "made of steel."

What she has shown ... is strength and character, and what drives her is something that every single one of us can and should appreciate," Edwards said. "She is a woman who, in my judgment, is made of steel, and she's a leader in this country not because of her husband but because of what she has done."

Edwards called for party unity when the nomination is over, stating, "And it will be over soon, brothers and sisters ... we must come together as Democrats."

While Edwards has stated he is not interested the Vice President position, he emphasized the "cause of his life," ending poverty, in his endorsement speech calling to "tear down the wall" and "build One America." Edwards is leading a new campaign, "Half in Ten," to cut poverty in half in ten years.

Edwards' Full Speech Part One

Edwards' Full Speech Part Two

Perhaps Edwards will occupy the first Poverty Czar position in the history of our country, leading the way on cutting poverty in half, in ten years, within the Obama Presidential Administration.

And about those pledged Edwards' delegates...if all 18 of Edwards' pledged delegates move over to Obama, it will leave Obama "less than ten away from nailing the majority," as Olberman reported tonight.

The Democratic voters have chosen!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Video-John Edwards on FTN: "It's Important We Get United as a Party"

Appearing on Face the Nation, this morning, John Edwards stated, "It's important we get united as a party."

Edwards responded to Schieffer's question regarding Hillary's "hardworking white Americans" comments noting that likely she feels it was a poor choice of words. Edwards furthered discussed how "Hillary needs to decide as she makes her case for herself...she has to be very careful she does not damage our prospects for the fall." Edwards believes that it is not possible for Hillary to win the nomination at this point, based on the math.

Watch John Edwards on FTN-May 11, 2008

With Obama now taking the lead with the popular vote, pledged delegates and the superdelegates, the pressure intensifies for Hillary to drop out of the race. Obama is the likely nominee, as Edwards noted.

It's becoming increasingly apparent that the time for party unity is upon us. All of our Democratic Presidential candidates, should be thanked for raising the issues that are most important to Americans, including lifting those out of poverty, strengthening the middle class, thus creating a sustainable economy. Issues that John McCain will not fight for.

John Edwards is continuing his fight for social and economic justice. As he talked about today, he not only has received committments from both Cliinton and Obama to make ending poverty central to their prospective Presidency, he has had a number of discussions about this issue with both of them, since he suspended his campaign.

This week, Edwards is launching a new intiative, "Half in Ten" in conjunction with Center for American Progress, to cut poverty in half in ten years through various efforts, including: raising the minimum wage, expanding the EITC, increasing access to child care, among other efforts. "If we care about middle class families, working families in this county and having sustainable long term economic growth, that in American history, when we have been lifting millions of Americans out of poverty and putting them into the middle class and broadening that middle class and strengthening the middle class, is when we have been able to achieve sustainable growth," Edwards stated on Face the Nation.

Half in Ten: From Poverty to Prosperity

The Center for American Progress Action Fund is committed to cutting poverty in half in 10 years. Under the leadership of Senator John Edwards, CAPAF has joined with ACORN, the Coalition on Human Needs, and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights to create the Half in Ten campaign.

Promote Decent Work. People should work and work should pay enough to ensure that workers and their families can avoid poverty, meet basic needs, and save for the future.

Provide Opportunity for All. Children should grow up in conditions that maximize their opportunities for success; adults should have opportunities throughout their lives to connect to work, get more education, live in a good neighborhood, and move up in the workforce.
Ensure Economic Security. Americans should not fall into poverty when they cannot work or work is unavailable, unstable, or pays so little that they cannot make ends meet.

Help People Build Wealth. All Americans should have the opportunity to build assets that allow them to weather periods of flux and volatility, and to have the resources that may be essential to advancement and upwardmobility.

Sign Up Here for More Info on Half in Ten!

It's time we move back to focusing on these critical issues and taking on the real fight, beating McCain in the General Election. There's too much at stake.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

John Edwards (Nearly) Endorses Obama

Just short of calling for Hillary to drop out of the race, Edwards stated that he just doesn't see how Hillary can win the nomination, based on the numbers.

Appearing on the Today Show, John Edwards also essentially stated that believes Obama has a better chance of winning the general election:

"I think Barack Obama has a better chance. It looks like he's going to be the nominee."

"He brings the capacity to unite the Democratic party, to bring in new voters and to get people excited about change.

...People are looking for a leader and someone they can trust and someone who will fight for them, every day. I think Obama will do that."
Watch it here:

Edwards stated throughout his campaign that he believes Obama is committed to bringing about serious change and recently was quoted as saying:

"One is, I think he really does want to bring about serious change and a different way of doing things. And secondly, I think it's a great symbolic thing to have an African-American who could be president."

The admiration goes both ways. Obama praised Edwards' courage and passion at the recent North Carolina Jefferson-Jackson Dinner and noted he "wont forget either of the Edwardses," if elected:

Obama took the podium later and, as Times reporter Peter Nicholas noted, he dropped an intriguing hint that he won't forget either of the Edwardses if elected president.

Said Obama: "I'm so grateful for their contribution and I'm looking forward to working with them in the next administration to make sure we are doing everything we can to deliver on the full promise of America.''

Obama also commended the couple for spotlighting poverty in America, saying the Edwardses "really set the tone for this presidential race with their courage, with their ideas, with their passion and commitment to working people and to making sure that we focus our attention on not just the haves, not even the have-littles and want-mores, but have-nots.''
LA Times

After the Today Show appearance, Edwards was a guest on Morning Joe where he further discussed whether Hillary should stay in the race, saying that while he admires Hillary's strength and tenacity, there comes a point where she needs to decide where the line is where she is not longer advocating but damaging the party.

Edwards on Morning Joe

On both programs, Edwards also discussed his new project, "Half in Ten: From Poverty to Prosperity," that aims to cut poverty in half in ten years through intiatives such as: raising the minimum wage, creating better access to child care, expanding unionization, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, among other measures (Center for American Progress).

Half in Ten: From Poverty to Prosperity

The Center for American Progress Action Fund is committed to cutting poverty in half in 10 years. Under the leadership of Senator John Edwards, CAPAF has joined with ACORN, the Coalition on Human Needs, and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights to create the Half in Ten campaign.

Edwards noted that while he's not concerned about a job or title with a future administration, what he is concerned about is ensuring the ending poverty becomes a centerpiece of the next Presidential Administration. Ending poverty is the cause of Edwards' life and he intends to remain in the fight and give it everything he's got.

Edwards hinted that an endorsement may be forthcoming, stating that who he voted for is who he will endorse. I have a sneaky suspicion that John Edwards voted for the same candidate I did in the recent North Carolina primary.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Elizabeth Edwards:"Reform Health Care Responsibly, Morally, and Aggressively."

Crossposted from BlueNC

As today marked the 30th anniversary of the "War on Cancer," Elizabeth Edwards and Lance Armstrong appeared at a US Senate Committee Panel to push for a renewed fight against cancer.

Elizabeth Edwards,  one of the nation's most outspoken and effective advocates for universal healthcare coverage, takes this issue very personally. A survivor of breast cancer, Elizabeth told a panel led by Senator Ted Kennedy, "...we've chosen as a nation to turn our backs on some of us who have the disease. I urge you to reform health care responsibly, morally, and aggressively."

Elizabeth opened her testimony by describing an interaction that she had with a mother who had a lump in her breast but was afraid to get it checked out because she did not have health coverage. As Elizabeth noted, those who are uninsured are "more likely to die within the five year period." Elizabeth went on to discuss the impediments to adequate health insurance, cancer prevention, and early detection aspects.

Watch Elizabeth Edwards' main testimony here:

Elizabeth on Cancer Prevention and Detection

Elizabeth Edwards and Lance Armstrong are backing legislation "sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas, to create a more comprehensive approach to fighting cancer."

The measure seeks to improve the coordination of cancer research, prevention and treatment while giving more money to the National Cancer Institute and other public research agencies.

"We think the American people want action - and they deserve action," said Kennedy. "It's a complex disease and it requires comprehensive strategies to fight it."

Lance Armstrong, a survivor of metastasized testicular cancer, told the panel that "for us to win, we also have to be ruthless and renlentless."
"This is a major fight." This is a major war. And this is something, as I said, it doesn't care if you're Republican or you're Democrat, if you're young or you're old, if you're black or you're white, Native American, you're rich or you're poor. It comes and it comes hard. And it is ruthless and it is relentless. And for us to win, we also have to be ruthless and relentless. And so I encourage all of us to do that. Renew the war on cancer, renew a comprehensive war on cancer, and ultimately make sure that our kids and our grandkids don't have to face this."

Watch Lance Armstrong's testimony here:

With healthcare coverage being a top issue of the campaign season, there is no better time to "whisper in the right person's ear" about this issue.  Both Democratic Presidential candidates, Obama and Clinton  aim to provide healthcare coverage for all while Republican Presidential candidate McCain's disastrous healthcare plan "will be prohibitively expensive or gone if you have a pre-existing condition"  Only those who are "healthy and wealthy" will benefit from McCain's plan.

Overall, the McCain plan would raise taxes on workers in an effort to eviscerate the current health care system in the name of free market idolatry. To the extent it fails to completely destroy the existing system--as McCain's advisor anticipates--it would saddle the average family with $24oo in extra taxes to penalize them for having employer-sponsored care. And if the McCain plan succeeded in killing the current system, it would leave tens of millions unable to buy any care, until he comes up with some new safety net, details to be provided later, i.e. never.
McCain's HealthCare Plan

IOW, McCain is willing to give the corporate industries a "free ride on the backs of sick people." As Elizabeth Edwards stated today, "this is an issue that has no political boundaries, it has moral boundaries."

Whisper it in the right person's ear.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Edwards Supporter For Obama: On the Ground in North Carolina!

Crossposted from BlueNC

I have joined the ranks of a number of other Edwards supporters for Obama, including numerous top advisors of the Edwards campaign and yesterday, here in the Great State of North Carolina, I voted!

Obama at the NC JJ Dinner: Stand Up!

Early voting ended yesterday, here in North Carolina. Turn out was tremendous. At one of the Cary, Wake County early voting sites, voters were waiting in line for two hours throughout the day. I was voter #5705 and stood in that line for hours, in the hot sun, to vote for Obama and North Carolina Democrats.

A record number of North Carolina voters are standing up! Health Care, ending the war in Iraq and the economy are top issues for NC voters. One voter in line at the Herbert C. Community Center in Wake County stated, “the Iraq war is killing more than just our troops and Iraqis. It’s killing our economy. Think of what we could have done here with all of those billions spent in Iraq.”

Wake county along with other metro countries are expected to be Obama counties due to support from African-Americans, upper-income and younger Democrats. The rural counties where more conservative voters reside, will pose more of a challenge for Obama:

But a weaker union presence combined with a heavier concentration of African-Americans is expected to give Obama the edge in North Carolina, says Carsey. African-Americans are expected to make up more than a third of voters in North Carolina's primary. They have heavily backed Obama in previous contests. Unemployment is at 5.2% in North Carolina, up from 4.5% a year ago.

North Carolina's economy has diversified from the "Big 3" of tobacco, textiles and furniture into "knowledge work" like banking and pharmaceutical research, says Ferrel Guillory, the director of the program on public life at the Center for the Study of the American South at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Obama, says Guillory, is going to win the support of many of the "new economy" workers, while Clinton can rely on middle- and lower-income workers and retirees, he says.

North Carolina represents a bigger delegate haul for the candidates than does Indiana, with 134 delegates, including superdelegates. At this point, however, it's the uncommitted superdelegates who will matter in the race. If either candidate wins both states on Tuesday, says Carsey, that'll give the remaining superdelegates "potentially a pretty strong signal to respond to."

Democrats' battlegrounds shift to Indiana, N.C. Obama favored to win southern state but midwestern Indiana still a toss-up.

Democrats' battlegrounds shift to Indiana, N.C.
Obama favored to win southern state but midwestern Indiana still a toss-up

Obama is also facing opposition from the NCGOP who has injected itself into the NC Democratic Primary. They are still running the racist ad on some major stations. The ad has been denounced by Elizabeth Edwards, the President of the NAACP, and over a thousand progressive bloggers including . Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake and Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend. The ad may push some of the more conservative voters into the Hillary camp.

NC Governor Easley, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton and is running ads for her, disagrees that the racist ad will adversely affect Obama. Appearing on CNN to campaign for Hillary this morning, Easely stated, "It's [the Wright Ad] not going to be an issue in North Carolina in the primary... But it will be an issue in the fall if [Obama is] the nominee."

Despite the attacks, Obama remains in the lead in NC polls and he is not taking the last large state of the primary for granted. Last night, he appeared at the North Carolina Jefferson-Jackson dinner where he told North Carolinians:

The American people are ready for a real challenge. They're ready for a sacrifice. They're ready for a call to action. We've been seeing it in every state that we've been campaigning in. And, we can't let that moment to pass by. It's now in your hands North Carolina. You make this election about how to renwew that fundamental belief in America.

Obama: "The American People are Ready"

Obama has opened up 36 campaign offices around the state. At the Obama headquarters in Raleigh, volunteers fill the office, working to organize GOTV efforts.

Super Volunteer for Obama in Raleigh, NC

North Carolina is expecting a record voter turn out, with more than 5.8 million North Carolina residents registered to vote heading into the primary, and more than 261,000 people having already voted. As Kossack dean4ever wrote yesterday, "Early voting in North Carolina is through the roof."

But the real test will be on the official voting day, May 6th. If you haven't already, get out and vote!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Elizabeth Edwards & Bloggers Denounce Racist Ad Against Obama and NC Democrats

Elizabeth Edwards Calls Racist GOP Wright Ad an “Assault Weapon”

Taking time off from her family vacation in Florida, Elizabeth Edwards commented on the GOP racist ad, “Extreme,” during an MSNBC interview, calling it an “assault weapon.” Elizabeth went on to support Obama’s decision to separate himself from Reverend Wright.

Watch the interview here:

As the North Carolina Primary heats up, the NC Republican party is igniting the race issue, employing Jesse Helms style tactics. McCain, having failed yet another leadership test, made a request for the ad not to air, but is being defied by the NC Republican Party who plans on airing this reprehensible ad:

It’s no surprise that Elizabeth Edwards has stepped up and denounced this racist ad. From confronting Ann Coulter for calling her husband a gay slur to telling the media to “do their job,” she’s known for speaking out.

A media frenzy and airing racist ads about Reverend Wright further distract from the issues that American voters want and deserve to hear about, threatening our democratic process.

Media Corporations should be held accountable for what political messages they sell on their stations.

As Elizabeth recently noted in her NYT Op-Ed Piece, “But as long as corporations to which news gathering is not the primary source of income or expertise get to decide what information about the candidates “sells,” we are not functioning as well as we could if we had the engaged, skeptical press we deserve.”

Bowling 1, Health Care 0 by Elizabeth Edwards


News is different from other programming on television or other content in print. It is essential to an informed electorate. And an informed electorate is essential to freedom itself. But as long as corporations to which news gathering is not the primary source of income or expertise get to decide what information about the candidates “sells,” we are not functioning as well as we could if we had the engaged, skeptical press we deserve.

And the future of news is not bright. Indeed, we’ve heard that CBS may cut its news division, and media consolidation is leading to one-size-fits-all journalism. The state of political campaigning is no better: without a press to push them, candidates whose proposals are not workable avoid the tough questions. All of this leaves voters uncertain about what approach makes the most sense for them. Worse still, it gives us permission to ignore issues and concentrate on things that don’t matter. (Look, the press doesn’t even think there is a difference!)

I was lucky enough for a time to have a front-row seat in this campaign — to see all this, to get my information firsthand. But most Americans are not so lucky. As we move the contest to my home state, North Carolina, I want my neighbors to know as much as they possibly can about what these men and this woman would do as president.

If voters want a vibrant, vigorous press, apparently we will have to demand it. Not by screaming out our windows as in the movie “Network” but by talking calmly, repeatedly, constantly in the ears of those in whom we have entrusted this enormous responsibility. Do your job, so we can — as voters — do ours.

National and local state bloggers are not holding back either. Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake, Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend, along with BlueNC bloggers, will be delivering a petition on Thursday, to NC U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole, demanding she put a stop to this ad:

Dole is up for re-election this year (and will be running against either Kay Hagen or Blue America candidate Jim Neal). But where is she? She's never in the state, she lives at the Watergate in DC, she rarely makes public appearances in NC. It seems she's gone Washington -- because once again, she's nowhere to be found when it comes to a North Carolina issue.

She can stop the racist attack ads against Obama, and we're asking her to send this letter:

Dear Chairwoman Linda Daves,

I disapprove of the content of the North Carolina Republican Party's recent advertisement "Extreme". I feel that it resorts to a type of negative politicking that betrays the best interest of North Carolinians.

I call on you, as Chairwoman of the North Carolina Republican Party, to immediately stop airing this advertisement. Failure to do so will reflect negatively on all North Carolina Republicans, and would necessitate that I return the Party's contributions to my campaign to disassociate myself from the vitriol which you appear to embrace.

Whether you are for Obama or Clinton, this ad is a prime example of gutter politics. It’s flat out wrong. The corporate MSM needs to step up and “do their job” by refusing to run this ad.

Liddy Dole needs to step up do her job by denouncing the ad.

Help put a stop to this despicable ad by signing the petition here: Stopping the Slime

Oh, and on that endorsement that some are demanding John and Elizabeth Edwards “must do” (as if they are obligated), Elizabeth had this to say:

If we thought that somehow there was a partial bloodletting that an endorsement would solve, that would be reason to do it. I don't think Vice President Gore or my husband think their endorsement would change that dynamic."