Edwards Evening News Roundup: Save the Planet Edition

Welcome to your Saturday night Edwards Evening News edition, where we’re working to save the planet!  I am delighted about tonight’s news, which includes:

  • Dr. Helen Caldicott says vote for JRE!
  • Edwards Opposes Peru Free Trade Agreement
  • Edwards visits 99th Iowa County
  • Media Shocker: the Washington Post Has a Decent Story on Edwards!

All this and more below the fold…

Dr. Helen Caldicott says vote for JRE!

For over 35 years, Nobel Prize nominee Dr. Helen Caldicott has been a leader in the struggle to rid the world of nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, and to educate others about the dangers of radiation.

While living in the United States from 1977 to 1986, she co-founded the Physicians for Social Responsibility, an organization of 23,000 doctors committed to educating their colleagues about the dangers of nuclear power, nuclear weapons and nuclear war. On trips abroad she helped start similar medical organizations in many other countries. The international umbrella group (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War) won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. She also founded the Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND) in the US in 1980.

This woman is a hero!  I think I probably heard about her first at least 25 years ago, and she’s been working on this issue all that time.  She is really inspiring.

Dr Caldicott has received many prizes and awards for her work, most recently the Lannan Foundation’s 2003 Prize for Cultural Freedom, 19 honorary doctoral degrees, and was personally nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Linus Pauling – himself a Nobel Laureate. The Smithsonian Institute has named Dr Caldicott as one of the most influential women of the 20th Century. She has written for numerous publications and has authored seven books, Nuclear Madness, Missile Envy, If You Love This Planet: A Plan to Heal the Earth (1992, W.W. Norton) and A Desperate Passion: An Autobiography (1996, W.W. Norton; published as A Passionate Life in Australia by Random House), The New Nuclear Danger: George Bush’s Military Industrial Complex (2001, The New Press in the US, UK and UK; Scribe Publishing in Australia and New Zealand; Lemniscaat Publishers in The Netherlands; and Hugendubel Verlag in Germany), and Nuclear Power is Not the Answer (2006, The New Press in the US, UK and UK; Melbourne University Press in Australia). Dr. Caldicott’s most recent book is War In Heaven (March 2007).

She also has been the subject of several films, including Eight Minutes to Midnight, nominated for an Academy Award in 1981, If You Love This Planet, which won the Academy Award for best documentary in 1982, and Helen’s War: portrait of a dissident, recipient of the Australian Film Institute Awards for Best Direction (Documentary) 2004, and the Sydney Film Festival Dendy Award for Best Documentary in 2004.

Dr Caldicott currently divides her time between Australia and the US where she lectures widely. She is also the Founder and President of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute (NPRI),headquartered in Washington DC. NPRI’s mission is to facilitate a far-reaching, effective, ongoing public education campaign in the mainstream media about the often-underestimated dangers of nuclear weapons and power programs and policies.

Today, annefrank told me about a wonderful letter to the editor in the Concord Monitor in support of JRE. The writer, who had flirted with several candidates, had finally decided on Edwards because of his environmental policies, but what really caught my eye was this:

I’m moved by his Friends of the Earth endorsement. We must tackle man-made global climate change.

I’m moved by Dr. Helen Caldicott of the group Beyond Nuclear, who told a recent gathering that Edwards is the right candidate. “Clinton and Obama are ignorant on radiation-release issues,” she told us.

I’m not sure if this can be called an official endorsement, but Dr. Caldicott speaking out in favor of John Edwards is huge, in my opinion.  Did I mention that she’s brilliant?

I wanted to confirm that this was true, so I did a Google search and found this article. Dr. Caldicott spoke about problems with nuclear weapons and nuclear power and the need for a nuke free world in Boise, Idaho on Tuesday night.  And…

Political action is the way to avert a radioactive disaster, Caldicott said. She is pushing for the removal of subsidies to nuclear power plants. She urged the audience to support presidential candidate John Edwards, who opposes nuclear weapons and nuclear power.

So there you have it.  Another brilliant woman for JRE!

I was hoping to find a video of the event, so that we could hear her speaking about John Edwards directly, but I didn’t find one.  What I have instead, is a delightful interview with her that I did find on YouTube. I don’t think she mentions Edwards in this, although I might have missed a brief reference, because I was doing other things while listening to it, but she does speak her mind about another presidential candidate.  In the interview, she has also asked what she would do if she were president of the United States, and her response is fascinating.  Here’s a woman I would gladly support as president of the United States!  Lucky for John Edwards, she’s Australian. The interview is almost an hour long.

Of course, she’s not the only person impressed with JRE’s rejection of nuclear power.  That was a factor in the endorsement by Friends of the Earth Action.

Here’s a recent video of John Edwards speaking about energy and global warming in New Hampshire:

I think it’s time to save the planet!

Edwards Opposes Peru Free Trade Agreement

Today in Iowa, John Edwards spoke out against the controversial Peru Free Trade Agreement, which at least one other presidential candidate supports.

Newton, Iowa – Today, as part of his seven-day “Stand Strong” campaign, Senator John Edwards will announce his opposition to the expansion of the NAFTA model with the Peru trade deal now before Congress.

Edwards will make this announcement in Newton, Iowa – the former headquarters of the Maytag Corporation and the location of a Maytag washer and dryer plant. The Maytag plant, which opened in 1893, officially closed its doors last Thursday. Maytag was acquired by Whirlpool in March of 2006 for $2.6 billion. Several weeks later, Whirlpool announced it would close the Newton factory and former headquarters, eliminating 1,800 jobs. Whirlpool is moving production to non-union factories in Ohio where workers earn significantly less than their union counterparts in Newton.

“I grew up in Carolina mill towns and so I’ve seen firsthand the devastating impact trade can have on workers and communities,” said Edwards. “Presidents from both parties have entered into trade agreements like NAFTA and the WTO promising that they would create new jobs. Instead, in recent years we’ve lost millions of manufacturing jobs, seen wages stagnate, and run up larger and larger trade deficits.

“For too long, Washington has been looking at every trade deal and asking one, and only one, question – is it good for corporate profits? And they haven’t looked at all at the harm it will do to workers, their wages, or to the U.S. economy. Like the failed free trade agreements before it, the Peru Agreement puts the interests of the big multinational corporations first, ahead of the interests of American workers and communities.”

NCDem Amy had a great diary on this earlier, in case you missed it.

Here’s Edwards speaking on trade in New Hampshire recently:

Edwards visits 99th Iowa County

As of today, John Edwards has visited all of the 99 counties in Iowa, and marked his visit to the 99th county with a community meeting in Coulter, Iowa.

“Democrats will never win in so-called ‘red areas’ if we don’t go to them,” said Edwards. “I believe Iowans from all walks of life deserve a voice in Washington, no matter where they live. I will continue to reach out to Iowans from the largest cities to the smallest towns, and as the nominee, I will never concede the ‘red states’ or the rural vote to Republicans. Our party should stand up and fight for regular, hard-working families everywhere.”

To mark this milestone, Iowans from every county are participating in the “99 County Day of Action.” Iowans from all 99 counties are taking action to help Edwards win the Iowa caucuses and build One America – from a phonebank in Mills County to a winter clothing drive in Cedar County to a letter writing party in Dubuque County. The Edwards campaign has built grassroots organizations in all 99 counties with County Chairs and Rural County Chairs in every county. The campaign is on track to be the first campaign to announce Steering Committees in all 99 counties. The campaign will also commemorate the milestone by handing out a special edition of its newspaper, The Edwards Extra.

Media Shocker: the Washington Post Has a Decent Story on Edwards!

This goes into the “will wonders never cease” category.  The Washington Post actually has a decent article on John Edwards today!  Aside from the media’s obligatory nod to the Clinton “inevitability” theme, there’s barely a negative in this article.  What on earth are they thinking? If they keep this up, we might even begin to think of them as responsible journalists.

Pomerantz, who first caucused for Edwards in 2004, hasn’t felt this way about a candidate since she volunteered for Kennedy’s campaign when she was a teenager. Edwards has a combination of honesty and charisma, she says. She senses that when he talks about poverty, he means it, and that despite his success, he hasn’t forgotten his roots as the son of a millworker. She likes the attention to detail he shows in his policies. She feels for his wife, Elizabeth, who is struggling with cancer, and to whom she gave a necklace with a Hebrew word that means “life.”

She likes the fact that when his daughter Cate showed up once to speak at an event, “she came in flip-flops. . . . Her feet hurt. They’re real people.”

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