Now some good cheer out of the heartland of America: Edwards wins a four county wide straw poll in Iowa, finishing with 31.2 percent of the votes, followed by Clinton with 29.9 percent, and Obama with 14.3 percent. The counties were Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton and Escambia. 150 people who understand that democracies don't survive when their elections become auctions, they fail to tend their wounded soldiers, and they don't educate the next generation better than every other country out their competing for global trade. Too many Democrats who remember why they were uninspired by Kerry and aren't looking for the same stuffed shirt in Hillary Clinton. Liberal Americans who want the President John Edwards will be and the priorities he speaks of in the Des Moines Register:
I grew up in a small, manufacturing town -- Robbins, North Carolina -- population 1,100. My father worked at the mill and my mother was a postal worker. They never had a chance to go to college, but they got up every day believing in the promise of America. They worked hard -- no matter what obstacles were thrown against them -- to give me a chance at a better life. As I travel across Iowa and the country, I hear unease and uncertainty -- real concern that unless we change course dramatically, we may be the first generation of Americans to fail the moral commandment that makes us Americans: the obligation met by our parents to leave our children a better life than we had.
Iowans have a right to expect more than the rhetoric of change. You deserve real substance. Honest answers to honest questions. That's why, throughout this campaign, I have outlined plans that are not only strong and bold to meet the great challenges facing our country, but detailed enough to allow Iowans to make an informed decision.
In fact, this month my campaign is delivering Iowans across the state a copy of a book titled The Plan to Build One America: Bold Solutions for Real Change. It outlines my far-reaching agenda to redeem the promise of our country and ensure a better life for our children.
The change we need starts in Iraq. We should immediately withdraw 40,000 to 50,000 combat troops and complete the process within nine to 10 months. We need a "diplomatic surge" -- engaging in direct talks with all the nations of the region, including Iran and Syria, for a comprehensive political solution to the sectarian violence inside Iraq.
Second, we need truly universal health care that leaves no one behind. I have a bold plan to stand up to the big drug and insurance companies and finally guarantee health care to every American while cutting costs for families and employers. My plan costs $90 billion to $120 billion a year -- paid for by repealing President Bush's tax cuts for those making over $200,000 per year.
Third, we must support working and middle-class families, and end the divide between the "Two Americas." As president, I will raise the minimum wage, strengthen a worker's right to organize and sign trade deals only if they help American workers -- not just multinational corporations. My agenda includes plans to help families save, cut taxes for middle-class families, protect pensions and rein in excessive CEO pay. I have outlined a comprehensive agenda to protect family farms and revitalize rural communities like the one where I grew up.
We must radically overhaul No Child Left Behind, invest in smaller classes, pay our teachers more and treat them like the professionals they are. I've outlined detailed plans to reduce greenhouse emissions by 80 percent by 2050, invest in renewable energy, curb the power of special interests, restore our civil liberties -- and more.
I invite you to read more about these ideas at my web site or join me at one of my town hall meetings so I can answer your questions.
I have tremendous respect for the caucuses, and a deep admiration for all those who take the time to learn about the candidates and participate in the process.
You are the guardians of what kind of president we'll have -- and whether our nation will rise up and meet the great moral test of our generation: leaving our kids a better life.
I believe we can -- and must meet this challenge. I would be honored to have your support on January 3rd.
Nothing illustrates the difference between Bush and company and Edwards than our candidate's statement on the Pentagon billing soldiers to seize their signing bonuses for the medical care they need from combat wounds. You'd think in a time of declining enlistment and constant Republican fears that anything negative in the media about our military "gives aid and comfort to the enemy," the neocons would go out of their way to make sure they don't create bad news. Funny strategy the Republicans have there: cover your eyes while you do despicable things and your neighbors won't be able to see you do it. Too bad, arsehats, we see you!!