All posts by sirius

Nevada Race a 3 Way Statistical Tie – Edwards a Very Close 3rd

This is going to be a very short diary, because I just want to give Edwards supporters some excellent news.

The race for the Nevada caucus is in a statistical dead heat, according to a new poll.

A new poll by the Reno Gazette-Journal shows a neck-and-neck three-way race among Democrats for Saturday’s caucus. On the Republican side, U.S. Sen. John McCain has taken his first lead in Nevada of the election season, and Mitt Romney, who has been working Nevada harder than any other Republican, is trailing in fourth place.

A look at the top line results (more will be posted later this morning):

Barack Obama: 32 percent

Hillary Clinton: 30 percent

John Edwards: 27 percent

There is a margin of error of 4.5 percent, putting Edwards very close to within the margin of error – statistically tied with Obama and Clinton.

John Edwards will visit Nevada on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Exciting Pre-Debate Gathering

Jan 15, 2008

3:30 p.m.

Cashman Field

Corner of Las Vegas Blvd & Harris Avenue

Las Vegas, Nevada

**Our supporters and staff will gather before the debate to show all of the caucus goers and members of the local and national press on hand just how strong our grassroots campaign in Nevada really is. Click here to RSVP.

MSNBC Democratic Debate

Jan 15, 2008

6:00 p.m. Pacific

Cashman Center

850 Las Vegas Boulevard

55 E. Twain Avenue

Las Vegas, NV

Town Hall Meeting with John Edwards

Jan 16, 2008

12:30 p.m.

Grand Sierra Resort, Silver State Ballroom

Reno, Nevada

Click here to RSVP

Town Hall Meeting with John Edwards

Jan 16, 2008

7:00 p.m.

Carpenters Union Hall

501 N Lamb Blvd, between Stewart and Bonanza

Las Vegas, Nevada

Click here to RSVP

Town Hall Meeting with John Edwards

Jan 17, 2008

NEW TIME: 9:00 a.m.

Henderson Convention Center

200 Water Street

Henderson, Nevada

Click here to RSVP

To RSVP for any of these, go to the Edwards events page for Nevada. I have not recreated the “click here to RSVP” links above.

Of course, there’s the debate Tuesday night, and then the caucus on Saturday.

If you would like to go to Nevada and volunteer,  contact one of the Edwards campaign offices.

Harry Belafonte endorses John Edwards!

I think there may be some dispute between supporters of different candidates about who has the coolest celebrity endorsement, but for my money, the best one so far this campaign season is the endorsement of John Edwards today by Harry Belafonte.

Belafonte, who became famous in the 1950s by popularizing Calypso music from the Caribbean, has been a long time human rights activist. Among other things, he worked with the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. He hasn’t stopped working for the betterment of humanity since.

The Life of Harry Belafonte

Belafonte with Sidney Poitier and Charlton Heston at the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington

From wikipedia:

Like Robeson and other African-American entertainers, Belafonte’s success in the arts did not protect him from racial discrimination, particularly in the South of the United States. As a result, he refused to perform in the South of the U.S. from 1954 until 1961. In 1960, President John F. Kennedy named Belafonte as cultural advisor to the Peace Corps. Belafonte was an early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and one of Martin Luther King’s confidants. He provided for King’s family, since King made only $8,000 a year as a preacher. Like many civil rights activists, he was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. He bailed King out of the Birmingham City Jail and raised thousands of dollars to release other imprisoned civil rights protesters. He financed the Freedom Rides, supported voter registration drives, and helped to organize the March on Washington in 1963.

In 1968, Belafonte appeared on a Petula Clark primetime television special on NBC. In the middle of a song, Clark smiled and briefly touched Belafonte’s arm, which made the show’s sponsor, Plymouth Motors, nervous. Plymouth wanted to cut out the segment, but Clark, who had ownership of the special, told NBC that the performance would be shown intact or she would not allow the special to be aired at all. American newspapers published articles reporting the controversy and, when the special aired, it grabbed high viewing figures. Clark’s gesture marked the first time in which two people of different races made friendly bodily contact on U.S. television.

And there’s a lot more…

In 1987, he received an appointment to UNICEF as a goodwill ambassador. Following his appointment, Belafonte travelled to Dakar, Senegal, where he served as chairman of the International Symposium of Artists and Intellectuals for African Children. He also helped to raise funds, alongside more than 20 other artists, in the largest concert ever held in sub-Saharan Africa. In 1994 he went on a mission to Rwanda, and launched a media campaign to raise awareness of the needs of Rwandan children. In 2001 he went to South Africa to support the campaign against HIV/AIDS. In 2002, Africare awarded him the Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award for his efforts to assist Africa. In 2004 Belafonte went to Kenya to stress the importance of educating children in the region.

I’ve been a fan of Belafonte for many years, ever since my mother introduced me to his music when I was probably in junior high school. One year, my sisters and I asked her what she wanted for Christmas, and she told us she wanted a copy of Harry Belafonte’s hit record from the 1950s, “Calypso.” That was the first time I ever heard of him, and this great album quickly became one of my favorites. I got to see him in concert probably least about 20 years ago now, and it was a wonderful concert!

Since I am a fan of Harry Belafonte, I want to share with you a couple of entertaining videos of him that I found on YouTube. I hope you will enjoy these!

Harry Belafonte on the Smothers Brothers Show

Harry Belafonte on the Muppet Show

Harry Belafonte and Nat King Cole

Belafonte’s endorsement of John Edwards today

Here’s what Harry Belafonte had to say about John Edwards when he endorsed him today in South Carolina. (Article and Video here.)

Belafonte is a likable, friendly man: one genuinely concerned with people and the state of this country. He says John Edwards is the only candidate also concerned and compassionate enough to try and deal with it.

“I’ve looked at his platform on education, healthcare, poverty, what young people are going through and I have come to believe he’s the best candidate,” Belafonte said.

He says all the other candidates talk about the plight of the middle class, While only Edwards talks about the poor.

“I also happen to believe that had he not so forcefully and precisely put the issue of poverty into this campaign, I don’t think we’d be talking aobut it as much as we are,” Belafonte said.

Belafonte feels Edwards was sincere when he announced his candidacy in New Orleans, saying it showed a commitment to the people devastated by hurricane Katrina.

“I’ve talked with John Edwards. I’ve looked into heart and his soul,” Belafonte says.

He added that Edwards has the makings of a great president. Belafonte attended a rally with Edwards at the College of Charleston.

Thank you to this great humanitarian, Harry Belafonte, for recognizing and supporting the promise of another great humanitarian, John Edwards.

The above is cross-posted from Daily Kos

(Note: Updated below to fix a mistake about the location.)

As an example of Harry Belafonte’s respect in the activist community, this Sunday in San Francisco, he will be honored by the ACLU of Northern California with the Chief Justice Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award at the organization’s Bill of Rights Day Celebration. I wish I could be there.

Celebrating the Bill of Rights,

Achieving Justice for All!


registration opens at 1 pm


light refreshments, no-host bar



wheelchair accessible

JOIN US in Honoring:

Harry Belafonte

Click here for information on tickets.

Ways to help victims of wild fires – and call for One Corps volunteers from John Edwards

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the more than 300,000 families who have been forced to flee their homes to escape the wildfires spreading across southern California. Those affected by this tragedy should take comfort in the fact that their fellow Americans are standing with them and will do whatever it takes to fight the fires and rebuild the homes and businesses that were destroyed.” – John Edwards

John Edwards has called on One Corps members who live in California to help organize volunteer projects to help the victims of the fires. You can sign up here. There are also more links to helpful web sites on that page, but follow me below the fold and I’ll put them in here.

By the way, sorry to be a blog hog today. I know I just posted a diary here, but this one was too important. I wanted to get these links out there.

The Red Cross is asking for donations to help fire victims. Money donations will help the most. has the latest info on the fires and emergency contact info.

California Volunteers has ways to sign up to help.

The State of California web site also has some information, including this link I found there:

The Red Cross Safe and Well list lets you inform family members and friends that you are safe.

Interview with Friends of the Earth Action President Blackwelder Re Edwards Endorsement

Interview by Tom P, and cross-posted from Daily Kos with his permission.

Last week, Friends of the Earth Action (“FOE Action”) endorsed John Edwards.  This week, I interviewed Brent Blackwelder, President of Friends of the Earth and of Friends of the Earth Action, about FOE Action’s endorsement of John Edwards.

Part I of the interview is in this diary. 

Here’s a little about FOE Action for those unfamiliar with it:

Founded by David Brower in 1967, Friends of the Earth Action has established a 35-year record of not only fighting the tough battles, but winning them too. FoE Action provides extra political muscle on legislative battles here in the U.S. for to our sister organization, Friends of the Earth, which is part of a network of affiliates in over 70 nations around the world. 


FoE Action looks beyond the symptoms of environmental degredation, to the systemic causes.

FOE Action

Come around after the fold to hear a real hero of the struggle to save our planet.

Mr. Blackwelder is a long-time advocate for the planet and the people on it.  He has worked in Washington DC for over 30 years fighting for clean air, clean water, and a healthy planet.  He has testified before Congress on environmental issues more than 100 times. 

Mr. Blackwelder was founder and first chairman of the board of American Rivers, our nation’s leading river-saving organization. He also founded the Environmental Policy Institute, which merged with Friends of the Earth in 1989.  In 1994 he became president of Friends of the Earth and FOE Action. 

More on Mr. Blackwelder here: Friends of the Earth

On October 14, FOE Action became the first major environmental organization to endorse a candidate for president, and they endorsed John Edwards:

WASHINGTON, DC — Friends of the Earth Action (FOE Action), one of the longest-standing, national environmental organizations in the country, today announced its endorsement of Senator John Edwards for President, citing his leadership on real solutions to combat global warming and his unequivocal position against dangerous and expensive nuclear power.

“Friends of the Earth Action enthusiastically endorses John Edwards for President,” said Brent Blackwelder, president of FOE Action.

Friends of the Earth Action Endorses John Edwards

Mr. Blackwelder answered 10 questions that I sent him via email.  Here is Part I of the Interview.  I will publish the remaining questions and answers in Part II tomorrow.

Q:  What most differentiates John Edwards from the other Democratic presidential candidates with respect to environmental issues?

A:  Of the leading Democratic candidates for president, John Edwards is most committed, and best prepared, to halt global warming and promote a healthy, livable planet for our families and our future. Friends of the Earth Action feels John Edwards has set the paces among all of the Democratic candidates by putting forth a plan that provides real action to combat global warming. 

We encourage people to visit our web site, . to learn more about why we endorsed Edwards and facts about his environmental record.

Q:  John Edwards has proposed a global warming plan that will reduce greenhouse pollution by 20 percent by 2020, and reduce it by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050.  What in this plan do you feel will be most effective in achieving this reduction?

A:  John Edwards plans to share America’s clean energy technology with other nations in exchange for binding greenhouse reduction commitments. If necessary, he will insist that strong labor and environmental standards in our trade deals include commitments on climate change. This new deal will require global participation, promote shared responsibility, and let American workers and businesses compete on a level playing field.  In addition, Edwards’ plan will lead America to a new energy economy by investing in clean, renewable energy and creating a million new jobs. 

Q:  Polluters often attempt to present a false choice between environmental degradation and jobs.  In fact, clean, green technologies can mean more jobs for Americans, and good paying jobs.  Edwards proposes creating at least 1 million “green collar jobs” by investing in clean energy and energy efficient technologies.  Can you explain the relationship of economic growth, including good paying jobs, and using clean, green technologies?

A: Edwards really gets it: green does not have to mean fewer jobs.  If our nation makes  serious and smart investments in clean energy technologies, such as wind, solar and geothermal, we can create good-paying jobs, expand markets for the renewable energy industry and secure our country’s energy future. 

Renewables are secure and viable alternatives to dirty, fossil fuels and costly and dangerous nuclear power. They can be scaled up relatively quickly, which means jobs and economic growth for states and local communities in the U.S., particularly in rural areas that have been hardest hit by economic downturns but have the space for these technologies to be constructed and brought online.

Q:  What can FoE Action do to help John Edwards be nominated and then elected?  I understand you plan to set up an independent campaign on Edwards’ behalf in New Hampshire.  How will that work?  How can people inside and outside New Hampshire help you ?

A:  We plan to be especially active in New Hampshire, establishing an independent campaign and organization to carry the message about John Edwards’ global warming plan and his vision for a healthy environment. There is a powerful, untapped environmental constituency out there that is up for grabs in this country and we are here to lend our voice to push that constituency toward Edwards.  We believe he has the right vision and record to tap that constituency. 

In New Hampshire, there are a lot of Democratic primary voters who care deeply about the quality of their environment and cite it as a top concern when choosing a nominee for president. In particular, voters in the Granite State are looking for real action to combat global warming. We plan to spend the next 3 months letting these voters know that John Edwards is the candidate best qualified and most committed to help achieve this big and bold goal. 

Please visit the FoE Action website to find out how you can get involved in our campaign to elect John Edwards as president:


I’d like to thank Brent Blackwelder for granting me this interview and Jenna Moran for facilitating it.  I will publish Part II of the interview tomorrow.

I also want to thank Mr. Blackwelder for his years of service to people and our planet in fighting corporate polluters and a corrupt government.

And like he says:  Please visit the FoE Action website to find out how you can get involved in our campaign to elect John Edwards as president:

Edwards Evening News: Big Blue Map Edition

Welcome to your Saturday Night EENR! Tonight’s theme is a big blue map.

Tonight’s stories below the fold:

  • Bill Maher Stalked by Big Blue Map
  • Carpenters Building a Big Blue Map in Nevada
  • True Blue Majority
  • YouTubes You May Have Missed
  • JRE Diary Roundup

Bill Maher Stalked by Big Blue Map

Suddenly, big blue maps are showing up everywhere! Talk show host Bill Maher is even being stalked by one. Check it out sneaking up behind him in this next clip! Oh yeah, and John Edwards is in the clip too.

I will be carefully checking Open Secrets after next quarter’s fund raising reports come out. I expect Bill Maher to put his money where his mouth is, otherwise you never know what that big blue map may be capable of. Mwahahahahahahahahaha!

Carpenters Building a Big Blue Map in Nevada

In Nevada today, John Edwards spoke to the Carpenters Union, which has endorsed him, and laid out his plan to train low-income workers and connect them to good paying union jobs.

“Right now, our public jobs programs send job seekers into low-wage jobs and do nothing to help build the middle class. I have a plan called Training Works to connect hard-working Americans to smart training for good-paying, union jobs that actually exist,” Edwards said at the Carpenters International Training Center.

Along with his Training Works plan, which includes Career Ladders to train low-wage workers on the job for higher-wage, higher-skilled jobs in their same field, Edwards talked about his Green Collar Jobs program to create over 1 million new jobs in the ‘new energy economy.’

Carpenters Union International General President Doug McCarron spoke about why the Union has chosen to endorse Edwards.

“The Carpenters Union chose Edwards as the candidate with the best chance of winning the White House and the person who will best represent hard-working families,” Carpenters Union International General President Doug McCarron said.

The Carpenters Union is one of the largest and most politically active unions in Nevada. The union, which represents over 12,000 members in the state, endorsed Edwards last month. Edwards has also received support from the United Steelworkers of America and the Transport Workers of America, giving him the largest bloc of labor support for any presidential candidate in Nevada.

McCarron continued, “John Edwards has committed to campaign in all 50 states when he wins the nomination. He believes that all Americans, whether they see themselves as Democrats, Republicans or Independents, want real change and bold leadership, and he is confidant that his message of telling the American people the truth and fighting for real change will win these voters and states.”

And this segues nicely into our next story…

True Blue Majority

Yesterday, John Edwards was in California to receive the official endorsement of the California SEIU, 656,000 members strong. During his speech, Edwards described his True Blue Majority initiative, a strategy to campaign in all 50 states and build a super majority for the Democrats in Congress.

“The press and the pundits think the most electable candidate is the one with the most money and the most ties to Washington,” said Edwards. “The problem is the press and the pundits have confused the candidate who would win an election inside the Beltway with the candidate who can win an election in the rest of America. I believe any candidate who takes money from lobbyists and special interests is not electable, and I believe any candidate who defends the broken system in Washington will not win.

Edwards continued: “The most electable candidate is the one with the best ideas who is committed to bringing change to every corner of America. The people who want change don’t just live in blue states or big cities. They don’t just live in swing states – they live in every state in this country, and on every street in America. I believe that if we offer real change, if we reject the broken system, say no to the corporate interests and stand once and for all with the people, nothing can stop us. We’ll not only win the White House, we’ll elect super-majorities in the House and the Senate as well.”

Just how likely is it that Edwards could win over red and purple states and help candidates for the Senate, the House, and on down the ballot in those states?  Plenty likely, according to a Global Strategy Group polling memo released earlier this week.

The memo by Edwards campaign pollster Harrison Hickman examines polls from many different polling organizations to come to its conclusions.

Nationwide general election polling shows John Edwards is the Democrat with the best chance of defeating the Republican candidate in the 2008 general election for President. Edwards is the only Democrat with a significant lead in a head-to-head match-up against Republican frontrunner Giuliani. Against the other three major Republican candidates, Edwards’ average margin of victory is identical to or better than that of Barack Obama, and significantly higher than Hillary Clinton’s average margin.

Edwards also outperforms the other Democratic candidates in match-ups with Republican candidates in key battleground states including Iowa, Missouri, and Ohio. Further, unlike other Democrats who must “run the table” in states where Democrats have been competitive in recent elections, Edwards brings new states into play. This provides alternate scenarios – and a margin for error – when it comes to amassing 270 electoral votes.

More detailed analysis is available in the memo.

There’s the big blue map again! It’s following me!

YouTubes You May Have Missed

Here are two YouTube videos from the Edwards campaign that came out two days ago, but they don’t have very many views.  I didn’t see them, and I suspect you may have missed them too.

You Are The Guardians

Rebuilding New Orleans

JRE Diary Roundup

John Edwards is Fighting to Restore Real American Leadership by jamess
Iowa shakeup, California SEIU WILL work for Edwards in Iowa by Wade Norris
Following Senator Edwards’ Example on FCC Media Consolidation Question by Karita Allegheny
John Edwards is a Friend to Women by Todd Bennett
Hope… by Chaoslillith
Edwards for a True Blue Coalition by AJ WI

Contribute to turn the map blue! Remember, your donation is matched up to $250.

We’re big! We’re bad! We’re blue! Let’s get MEAN!