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 Post subject: The Flickering Light of America - John Edwards
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 3:58 pm 
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This is my former Senator and by rights should've been my VP:

The Flickering Light Of America
John Edwards

February 09, 2005

Last weekend in New Hampshire, former senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards did what he does best: riff on social inequality. In a speech that some observers believe indicates his 2008 presidential ambitions, Edwards combines his potent “two Americas” themes with attacks on the Bush administration’s policies—which value wealth over work.

John Edwards is a former senator from North Carolina and was John Kerry's vice presidential candidate in 2004. These remarks were delivered on February 5, 2005, at the 100 Club Dinner in New Hampshire.


___________________________

"You know all these political experts out there question what you and I and the Democratic Party believe in. They say that we don't believe in anything. That we don't stand for anything. Well, tonight I want to talk about what we believe.

We believe in hope over despair, possibilities over problems, optimism over cynicism. We believe in doing what is right even when others say it can't be done. And we believe in fighting desperately for people who don't have a voice. That's what the Democratic Party has always believed in and that's what we will always believe in. That's what you and I believe in.

We know the difference between right and wrong. And it's right to talk about the two different Americas we still live in. We've got one for those who have been blessed and have lived the American Dream. And another for those who are struggling to get by. It's time to build the one America we all believe in.

Do we believe that any child in our country should go without health care just because their parents can't afford to go to the doctor? That's not we believe in. We have to strengthen our health care system.

Do we believe one child should go to a school with computers while another goes to a school without enough books? That's not what we believe in. We have to strengthen our schools. We can start by expanding early childhood education and treating our teachers and those who work in our schools with the dignity and the respect that they deserve.

Do we believe in an America that is satisfied with two economies—one for wealthy insiders and one for the rest of us? That's not what we believe in. I'll tell you what's right. It's right to want to build one economy that honors work, not just wealth.

You know, all of my life I have seen the power and dignity that comes from hard work. In the mills, the post office and in our schools. I grew up believing that there are two important things we can give to each other—our love and our labor.

I believe there is dignity in work. It goes beyond the numbers on any paycheck. The men and women in my hometown—and yours—feel stronger and better when they know their hard work always—always—can provide for their families.

You've all heard my story—you know how my father had to borrow $50 to get home from the hospital, how he worked in a mill, and how I worked in the mill as a young man. The truth is, I have lived in the bright light of America. But today, that light is flickering. People are struggling more and more. They're falling deeper and deeper in to debt. And they don't know if it's even possible for their kids to have a better life.

This is not an accident. It is by design. Our Republican leaders value one thing: wealth. We see it in everything they do: Tax "reforms" that shift more of the burden onto the wages of working people. Health savings accounts that serve as tax shelters for millionaires. And now, Social Security—they want to borrow trillions of dollars, add even more to the deficit and cut benefits for millions of seniors.

And now they admit that private accounts will do nothing to solve the long-term problem. They want to stand with their friends on Wall Street. We want to stand with people who've worked hard all of their lives. And we believe that people should have the freedom to grow old with dignity without having to depend on their children. That's what we believe in.

George Bush likes to talk about an "Ownership Society." We already have one: CEOs with jets; power companies that get their way even if the health of children and pregnant women suffer. Oil companies who write our energy policy. George Bush's so-called "Ownership Society" is a secret society that rewards the wealthiest and shuts out those who work hard every day.

What we know and understand in our soul is that hard work built America. Men and women who worked with their hands and their heads—who still do—and just want America to be the land of opportunity again. What we want is an Opportunity Society where everyone who works hard and does right has the chance to get ahead. And you create an Opportunity Society by honoring work.

We want work to pay. We want work to matter. We want a trade policy that gives our workers a fair chance—with environmental and labor standards. And no American company should ever be allowed to leave this country, go overseas and hire children to do their work. When people do right by America, America ought to do right by them.

And it's wrong that millions give every day to this country and still live in poverty. This is one of the great moral issues of our time.

You know, this president flies over America and goes to events and stands with his friends. Well, we ought to stand up for people nobody else will. Last week, I went to Little Washington, North Carolina and met privately with a group of men and women who were struggling. One woman had been living in a shelter. She told us how she wanted to work. If she walked into this room tonight, you wouldn't think anything of it. But when she walked into the local Laundromat to get warm, she said she was told to: "Get out of here. Anybody living in the shelter's got to be trash." There but for the grace of God go I.

And then I met Loretta.

You know, I can still feel her hand shake—determined and strong like a truck driver. She spent 14 years working at a wash house—working for the minimum wage—earning a little more that $200 a week. She would always try to do better, but no one would give her a chance.

Well, she kept pushing and pushing. She got her GED and a loan. And now she owns her own pizza franchise. We asked her how many people worked there. She said that there are "eight of us." Not seven people work for me. There were "eight of us." She was asked about the cost of her employees and she said that it was an honor to be able to give them their paychecks. You could hear in her voice the respect she has for other people.

There was hope in that room. America was in that room. It was a million miles from that mill in Robbins, but sitting with Loretta and the others—it was a very familiar place. That natural respect for other people. That belief in effort. And that hope that if you just keep going, try some more, things will get better—isn't this what America's all about?

So we're going to let the Republicans stand with their friends on Wall Street and the big oil, big insurance companies and the HMOs. And who are we going to stand with? We're going to stand with the teachers, nurses, factory workers, tech workers and small business owners. We're going to stand with Loretta.

That is why I have launched the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We don't pretend to have all the answers, but I can promise you this: We will ask the hard questions. Can we combat poverty in a way that also honors our core beliefs in hard work, responsibility, family? Can we find ways to build more homes and fewer shelters, more small businesses and fewer minimum-wage jobs? Can we find a way for government and charities and religious groups to work as more effective partners and honor America's traditions? Can we work to end drug addiction and teen pregnancy? Can we restore the promise of America for those living in poverty?

But here's what we know and can do.

We'll work on strengthening financial security so more families can put money into their own savings accounts and stop the poisonous hold of payday lenders. We'll work on raising the minimum wage and expanding the earned income tax credit so that families who work hard don't have to live in poverty. We'll work on extending health care so that nobody who works has to lose their insurance. We'll work on launching a new 'race to the top' that brings good jobs to forgotten corners. And we'll work on providing a real education and a real chance for every child. Because what we believe—what I believe—is that great potential is in all of us if given the chance.

It may seem like an impossible goal to end poverty, but that's what the skeptics said about all of our other great challenges. If we can put a man on the moon, conquer polio and put libraries of information on a chip, then we can end poverty for those who want to work for a better life.

My family and my faith didn't teach me to turn my back on a friend or neighbor in need. They taught me to open the door, let them in and help them get back on their feet. And millions are calling for help right now. We hear them. We're going to do something about this. Together, we're going to lift people out of poverty and into the middle class so that America's bright light of opportunity is always lit.

That's what freedom means to you and me. It means having a fundamental right to try and succeed. This belief doesn't come from a book; it comes from our hearts. And it inspires us knowing that each person who walks among us has the same worth as ourselves.

Our freedom inspires us; it also inspires the world. You and I know that freedom means more than standing up and giving a speech. It's not just what you say; it's what you do.

More than 60 years ago, President Roosevelt defined freedom for America and the world. And we stand by those words and all their meaning: freedom of speech, freedom to worship, freedom from fear and freedom from want.

But right now, you tell me.

Is that six-year-old child going to bed hungry in the Sudan—is that child free? How about the woman in Saudi Arabia who wants to vote this month but can't simply because she is a woman? Is she free? How about the Christian in China who wants to worship but can't? Is he free? And what about the Russian in jail whose only crime was telling the truth? Is he free?

Free nations must always fight tyranny, together. Not just with our muscle but with our moral clarity. And that means never again turning a blind eye to those who suffer, who want to educate their child, or who want to speak their minds.

This is what you and I believe. And together, we will ensure that the image of America—the image all of us love—America this great shining light, this beacon of freedom, democracy and human rights that the world looks up to—that that beacon is always lit.

We must also ensure that democracy remains strong here. We have work to do. We believe is that it's time to move past these days of division where we have "vote challengers" and "vote protectors"—and launch a historic effort to ensure more participation and confidence in our elections. It is an outrage that anyone in America—America—would have any reason to doubt their vote.

So in this century, let's finally build the best that money can buy here in America. So that when we elect the next leader of the free world, every American will have confidence in their vote and that their vote was counted.

All week, we have seen the power of freedom pulling people to the polls. No one could turn on the television or pick up the paper and not feel the weight of the Iraq war. No matter where we stood on getting into this war…no matter where we stand on getting out of this war. All Democrats and all Americans should stand together in honoring the millions of Iraqis who risked their lives to exercise the precious right to vote and to build their own democracy.

We are blessed to have friends and neighbors and loved ones who are willing to serve their country. We stand with the men and women on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. And we wish them God's speed and that they'll return home safely soon.

And here's what we believe: When our soldiers come home—they deserve a country that will honor their service. We believe that no one who has worn the uniform should have to beg for their back pay. We believe that no veteran should have to pay a registration fee to get the health care they are entitled to—they paid that fee when they put on the uniform of the United States of America. And we believe that no soldier who's just returned from serving their country in Iraq should be homeless—they earned their right to a home!

That's what you and I believe in—as Americans.

So don't tell me Democrats don't stand for anything. We do. We stand for work and opportunity. We know when something's right. And we know when something's wrong.

It's wrong when our neighbors work full-time and they still live in poverty. It's wrong when too many towns are forgotten because the jobs are gone. It's wrong when our children give up on a dream because our schools are broke. It's wrong when our men and women return home from a war and have to fight for the health care to recover from their wounds. And it's wrong when we let a young person in another country thousands of miles away grow up hating us, never knowing or believing in the good of our country.

So don't tell me we Democrats don't believe in anything and don't know where to go. Because we do.

I know the soul of this party and so do you. It lies deep inside each of us and goes to the core of what we believe not just as Democrats—but as Americans. Everyone—-and I mean everyone—deserves a fair chance. And we have a moral responsibility to help those who are doing everything right, but are still struggling.

We have been given minds to think with. But we've also been given hearts to inspire us. When we try to lead with just our minds, we are neglecting the better half of our nature

So don't tell me Democrats don't stand for anything. Because we do. What we believe is that you should never look down on anybody, we should lift people up. We don't believe in tearing people apart. We believe in bringing people together. What we believe—what I believe—is that the family you're born into and the color of your skin in our America should never control your destiny.

Let's turn the page. Let's move forward. Let's build that one America we all believe in.


Comment: Compare this speech with the Coronation Speech of the Usurper.

Catherine

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:21 am 
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I love this man! I love his heart--what a great man!

Thank you Cathreine, that speech really made my day.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:09 pm 
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I did too... until last June when he was a guest speaker at the annual meeting of the Bilderbergers... now, I fear, he has become one of them or beholding to them which is JUST as bad...

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:34 pm 
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I voted for him in the California Primary, which was before the Bilderberg Meeting... I wonder if he will be invited this year... probably not since he is no longer a political star.

Question... How come he had to resign from office to run for Vice President when John Kerry did NOT have to to run for President?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 6:55 pm 
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Stripey....Edwards was up for re-election and chose not to run in order to pursue the VP position. Kerry isn't up for re-election until 2006.


Edwards was my senator...and a very good one, My rather ignorant state replaced him with a Republican.

Catherine

Quote:
Sen. John Edwards (Democrat, North Carolina.) A multimillionaire trial lawyer, Edwards, 49, emphasized his roots as the son of a textile worker and said he wants to win the White House to be "a champion for regular people." A product of public schools, John became the first person in his family to attend college. He worked his way through North Carolina State University where he graduated with high honors in 1974, and then earned a law degree with honors in 1977 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For the next 20 years, John dedicated his career to representing families and children hurt by the negligence of others. Edwards, married and the father of four (his oldest, son Wade, died at 16 in a 1996 traffic accident), does stand out in at least one way among the presidential contenders: His clean looks earned him People magazine's nomination as "Sexiest Politician" in 2001.

Taxes & Spending: Based on ratings from taxpayer advocacy groups such as National Taxpayers Union and Americans for Tax Reform, this candidate shares very little of their views. According to the Concord Coalition, he is in the center on balanced budget issue. He opposes eliminating estate taxes.

Social Services Funding: His views regarding "faith-based initiatives" are not known.

Welfare: The Children's Defense Fund, an organization concerned how poverty and welfare cuts effect children and families, recently gave him a score of 91%. BIPAC, the Business-Industry Political Action Committee gave him a score of 0%.

Security & Terrorism: Voted "yes" on HR 3162, Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001. Later said he has heard anecdotal stories about misuse of the (PATRIOT) act. But he added that there’s a need for more concrete evidence about what’s actually happening.
The Christian Science Monitor reported that Edwards looks to be taking on post-9/11 restrictions on civil liberties as an issue. Edwards was concerned by a machine being tested at Orlando International Airport in Florida that civil liberties groups have called a "virtual strip search." The machine uses low-level X-rays to conduct a full-body scan of a passenger. According to news reports, the machine can detect plastic knives hidden under clothing, but it also can clearly see the outline of a passenger's body.
Voted "yes" on the "Visa Entry Reform Act of 2001", a bill to strengthen counter-terrorism efforts by imposing restrictions on student visas and among other things, it creates a centralized 'lookout' database. In a questioning Attorney General John Ashcroft regarding military tribunals, Edwards asked, "Do you believe that there needs to be a process that allows some appeal that looks at the fundamental question of how the trial was conducted -- whether evidence was properly considered by the court, and whether, in fact, there's evidence that was not considered by the court that would have shown this person, in fact, did not do it, did not commit this crime?" After Ashcroft replied the process was adequate, Edwards then asked, "But the President and the Secretary of Defense are the people who decided the prosecution should be brought in the first case. Do you believe there needs to be an objective third party that looks at the trial, looks at the conviction, looks at the imposition of the death penalty"

Foreign Affairs: Voted "yes" on H.J.RES.114, Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq
Voted to pass a joint resolution that would authorize the use of force against Iraq. The administration would be required to report to Congress that diplomatic options have been exhausted before, or within 48 hours after military action has started. Every 60 days the president would also be required to submit a progress report to Congress

Education: "The president continues to tout private school vouchers. I oppose them because they divert resources and energy from reform and divert students into the only schools that don't have to meet high standards."
Voted "yes" on S1: Better Education for Students and Teachers (BEST) Act, an amendment that would increase funding to local educational agencies under Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 [ESEA] to $132 billion over 10 years.
First, the national government needs to make good teaching a national priority. We should say to the smartest young people in America: if you make a five-year commitment to teach in a place or a subject where top-flight teachers are in short supply, then we will pay for your college education.
National Educational Association give Edwards 100% rating for his efforts to improve our schools.

Healthcare: "The Senate overwhelmingly approved the patient's bill of rights, strong and far-reaching patient protection legislation that I wrote with Senator John McCain."
Announced that he will soon unveil a universal healthcare program.
Expected to support legalized human cloning for experiments by conservative analysist at the publication "HUMAN EVENTS".

Social Security: Opposes privatization. Voted "no" on HR 1259: Social Security and Medicare Safe Deposit Box Act of 1999.

Illicit Drugs: Voted "no" on S 625, a bill to increase penalties on certain drug-related crimes.

Trade: "Here's what I would do as president. I would make sure in our trade agreements that we had real environmental protections, real labor protections, prohibitions against child labor and forced labor, so that we give our workers a better chance to compete."

Ex-felons' Voting Rights: Voted "no" on this issue.

Gun Policy: Edwards received no evaluation from from the NRA, and a 67% from The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

Abortion Policy: Edwards received a 100% score from Planned Parenthood and 0% from the National Right to Life Committee.

Environmental Policy: Edwards received 88% from the League of Conservation Voters.

Minority Issues: Edwards received 95% from the NAACP.

Civil Liberties: Edwards received 50% from The American Civil Liberties Union.

Websites:

http://www.johnedwards2004.com - Edwards' campaign site
http://www.forward.com/issues/2002/02.12.27/news5.html - universal health care.
http://www.humaneventsonline.com/articl ... loning.htm - Cloning
http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0108/p08s02-comv.html - Post 9-11 Security
http://edwards.senate.gov/issues/health.html - Healthcare
http://edwards.senate.gov/issues/schools.html - Schools
http://www.johnedwards2004.com/education2.asp - College
http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/edwards ... 102sp.html - Vouchers
http://www.november.org/razorwire/2002- ... gress.html - Ex-Felons voting
www.washtimes.com/national - Security
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/law/july ... _12-6.html - Military Tribunals
www.concordcoalition.org - The Concord Coalition
www.atr.org - Americans for Tax Reform
www.ntu.org - National Taxpayers Union
www.childrensdefense.org - The Children's Defense Fund
www.bipac.org - Business-Industry Political Action Committee
www.nra.org - The National Rifle Association
www.gunfree.org - The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
www.plannedparenthood.org - Planned Parenthood
www.nrlc.org - National Right to Life Committee
www.lcv.org - League of Conservation Voters
www.naacp.org - The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
www.aclu.org - American Civil Liberties Union
www.vote-smart.org - Vote-Smart.org


Link: http://selectsmart.com/president/Edwards.html

Catherine

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 11:39 pm 
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Ok, that makes sense...

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:16 pm 
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"This is not an accident. It is by design. Our Republican leaders value one thing: wealth."

I am LMAO...this guy made millions being a dirty Trial Lawyer.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 5:10 am 
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Willie Mcgee wrote:
"This is not an accident. It is by design. Our Republican leaders value one thing: wealth."

I am LMAO...this guy made millions being a dirty Trial Lawyer.


Not a dirty lawyer at all. The dirty lawyers are the ones who he fought, the ones who work to allow dirty companies to continue to harm people, often children.

Only the heartless believe everyday people who are harmed by big companies or by shoddy physicians should have no recourse in courts.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:44 pm 
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Save it!

"The John Edwards we know crushed [obstetrics, gynecology] and neurosurgery in North Carolina," said Dr. Craig VanDerVeer, a Charlotte neurosurgeon. "As a result, thousands of patients lost their health care."

"One of his most noted victories was a $23 million settlement he got from a 1995 case — his last before joining the Senate — in which he sued the doctor, gynecological clinic, anesthesiologist and hospital involved in the birth of Bailey Griffin, who had cerebral palsy and other medical problems.
Linking complications during childbirth to cerebral palsy became a specialty for Mr. Edwards. In the courtroom, he was known to dramatize the events at birth by speaking to jurors as if he were the unborn baby, begging for help, begging to be let out of the womb.
"He was very good at it," said Dr. John Schmitt, an obstetrician and gynecologist who used to practice in Mr. Edwards' hometown of Raleigh. "But the science behind a lot of his arguments was flawed."


http://www.washingtontimes.com/national ... -1949r.htm


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:07 am 
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The Washington Times?

Yeah, right.

So you are for shoddy medical practitioners. Bet if you were harmed by one, or a loved one was harmed by one you would not feel so lovingly towards them.

Doctors would rather go out of business than clean up their acts. And if you are about to drag in malpractice insurance, keep in mind that is about insurance companies and their disreputable ways--not about patients who have been harmed being able to have some way to pay their medical bills for the rest of their lives.

Take a close look at Senator Frist. Now THERE is someone to be ashamed of if you care about people at all.


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