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I'm seeing John Edwards in a town hall meeting here in Reno

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NobleCynic Donating Member (991 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 09:52 AM
Original message
I'm seeing John Edwards in a town hall meeting here in Reno
5:30 pm Pacific time.

It should be interesting now that he's formally stated he is running.

Any good ideas on questions I should ask should I get the chance?
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demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
1. You live in a state where
Nuclear waste disposal is a hot issue. If I were you I'd ask about that. Let's see how Edwards handles regional issues that are hotbed ones for specific areas of the country. This will help him realize issues that are important to your specific area.
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MemphisTiger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. That's a good question but I think an important one is...
How he would handle the Iraq situation specifically, not just general campaign talk.
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NobleCynic Donating Member (991 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Not bad, kind of a test I suppose
See if he planned a response for it, or if he gets the right response off the cuff.

Along that line, federal control of public lands would be another good topic.
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pennylane100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
4. You could ask him about his early support for the war.
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 10:05 AM by pennylane100
I know he has renounced it and the information he was given that led him to support it but why did he choose to ignore all the information that was available at the time that said Saddam was co-operating with the inspectors and there was no reliable evidence of any weapons.

I do not mean to put Edwards down, I think he has a good chance of winning, and I like the platform he is running on. I would love to vote for him and may well do so, but I cannot get past the fact that he supported the decision to go to war when I, with no access to special information (except here on DU) knew that we would not find anything there and that the invasion was planned long before 9/11.
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NobleCynic Donating Member (991 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. That will be a tough issue for him
The war is well on its way to becoming a litmus test for any candidate. He'll have to have a solid position on it one way or the other to have a decent chance.
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IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. He's admitted that he should not have voted for the IWR - but he hasn't
come completely clean. I think he co-sponsored the IWR and I think he needs to say why he did so. I am a pacifist who believed the *ies were lying about everything so I am disappointed that he (or anyone) would vote for it. He needs to come really clean about having co-sponsored it.

It might help if he reminds people that George McGovern and Senator Byrd voted for the Vietnam War and later gained respect for fighting to end the war (McGovern)/ for recognizing that he should *not* cast a similar vote for the Iraq War (Byrd).
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pennylane100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Wow, I did not know that
McGovern voted for the Vietnam war. He certainly was able to rise above that bad decision. Maybe there is hope for Edwards yet. However he will have to be as vocal as McGovern was about how wrong the war was.
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IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
6. Ask him about enforcing laws that punish employers who hire illegal immigrants...
You may or may not agree with my perspective on this so you may or may not want to ask, but I was just reading his response to a question about immigrants during an appearance in Iowa yesterday.

He said we need to secure the borders and then allow law-abiding immigrants who are already here to become citizens. I disagree strongly with both ideas. If we build a 50-foot wall, someone will make a 51-foot ladder. We don't need a wall. Working people will be hurt if we legalize people who are already here - the more people who are competing for job openings the more abusive employers can be in terms of low wages and piss-poor benefits.

Employers are to blame for illegal immigration and all of the problems that go with it - including abuse of the immigrants. Employers KNOW when they are hiring an illegal immigrant because they do not have to/cannot pay taxes to the government for that employee. If the government cracked down on ILLEGAL EMPLOYERS, then those employers would have to pay US citizens and legal immigrants a decent wage to do those jobs.

Edwards should be emphasizing cracking down on Illegal Employers!
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NobleCynic Donating Member (991 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. That's unfortunate that he's taking the "secure the borders" copout
But everybody in politics does it. I agree that cracking down on employers is the only way to effectively deal with immigration, but that is going to be one hard sell to corporate america.
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IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Illegal immigration benefits corporate America tremendously -
As will building a wall and building and operating detention centers for people coming over the wall and legalizing millions of illegal immigrants who are already here.

We ARE in a battle between corporate interests and the interests of the people. The next leader of the U.S. MUST speak to this - explain it to the people. MUST.
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
9. Ask him if he deserves the support of atheist voters...
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 10:34 AM by SidDithers
and will work to keep religion separate from politics.

Sid
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
10. Please ask this!
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 10:30 AM by Dems Will Win
ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION FROM MEXICO HAS SOARED BECAUSE NAFTA ALLOWED U.S. AGRIBUSINESS TO DUMP CHEAP CORN ON THE MEXICAN MARKET. MEXICAN CORN PRICES HAVE PLUNGED 70% SINCE 1994 AS A RESULT, TAKING AWAY THE INCOME FROM 15 MILLION PEOPLE IN 90 MICRO-REGIONS IN MEXICO. STOPPING THE DUMPING OF CORN AND SPENDING ABOUT $360 MILLION TO RESTORE AGRICULTURE IN THOSE 90 MICRO-REGIONS COULD CUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IN HALF. WE NEED TO ADDRESS THE CAUSE RATHER THAN THE SYMPTOMS OF EVERY ISSUE.

DO YOU SUPPORT THIS NEW PROGRESSIVE SOLUTION ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION OR DO YOU SUPPORT SPENDING SEVERAL BILLION DOLLARS ON A FENCE THAT WILL NEVER WORK?


More info from me:

The NW Progressive Institute has the real answer to illegal immigration, now at 3 million per year: develop the Mexican economy and educational system.

Not only would this keep Mexican workers at home, it eventually creates new markets for our exports. The important beginning is to let them produce their own food and other items profitably and let wages rise down south as the economy and infrastructure develops.

American exports of corn have tripled, while real prices of corn in Mexico
have fallen 70% since 1994! This has affected 15 million people in Mexican farm families.


The advantages to this approach are numerous, beginning with the avoidance of silly spending on low-wage soldiers running around in the desert trying to catch an evil tide of Jack-in-the-Box counter clerks. If the same dollars wre spent on schools, it would give the carpenters among those counter clerks work on that side of the border. Second, and more importantly, it would generate human capital there. And both sooner and later it would generate well-being, a truly indigenous economy, and even real demand for US goods.


Sustainable Development of Mexico is the REAL ANSWER that Progressives
should repeat endlessly until the November election. It makes more sense than building a 1,000 mile fence and spending all that salary and gasoline driving around trying to catch 3 million people a year sneaking over the border.

In fact, liberals like Thom Hartmann have made the case that illegal
immigration is a favor to Corporate America because it depresses the price
of labor by increasing its supply. He and others have correctly pointed out that if employers of illegals were jailed for hiring them, the flow would be stanched quicker than any size electric fence could accomplish.

But the real answer, the economic answer, is to provide development support for the populations where they currently reside: Basic investment in roads, utilities and education, not subsidies to factories on the edge of town, whose only mission is to exploit cheap labor before it has to cross the border.

In fact, it is an economic problem, a trade problem. To a very real
extent, people flood into the US because the economies of their native
countries have been decimated by a trade regime instituted by the US. The
agriculture that has been the backbones of many of their economies and
provided the framework for their societies has been wiped out by cheap
American imports.

The point is often made that menials can earn four times the wage here in the United States that they can in Mexico. First, Four times nothing is
still not a living wage. Second, People only need self-determination and a
chance for survival, not big bucks, and it is these minimum conditions that are becoming scarce.

Since the 1970s the economies of the developed and newly industrial
countries have increased steadily, if in some cases not spectacularly.
Economies of underdeveloped countries have contracted by one-third. It is
not material extravagance these folks are rushing into when they come across the border, it is want they are fleeing. All for the benefit of the
industrial farm that has already wiped out the family farm here at home.

The development must be progressive and sustainable. Regenerate the ability of the land to grow, cut off the agribusiness cheaper food supply as the land regenerates and farming comes back in central and southern Mexico and regenerate the economy and the culture. Mexicans don't WANT to leave their homes. If they could eat and prosper down there, they would stay at home and not come over the border in droves.

Progressive candidates must start speaking the truth on the illegal
immigration issue.

Juan Hernandez, then Fox's righthand man and former campaign manager, lived a fair amount of his life in Fort Worth, talked about such a framework of cooperation.

To make this even more effective in stemming migration, Hernandez indicated that they had already identified a list of 90 "micro-regions" from which the vast majority of migrants had emanated. This simultaneously highlighted the areas where need was apparently the greatest, and the areas that spawned migration. Unfortunately, as with much of the original hope and promise of the Fox era, not much was ever done w/this plan.

IMHO, however, it remains a good idea, and, if anything, is much urgent
and thus might be more willingly embraced on both sides of the border.

The idea of regional development in the micro-regions where most of the
illegals are coming from is perhaps the most important concept here. That
makes this whole thing practical and understandable to the voters and maybe even liberal Dem politicians.

Regeneration works by a regional development plan that emphasizes first food self-sufficiency and then moves on from there. (invented by Robert Rodale in the 1980s).

Figuring $4 million per micro-region 3-year program (an estimate from my NGO work), a large part of the illegal immigration problem could be permanently solved through a new approach to international development called the "Regenerative Zone Method". This is based on Soil Science, Organic farming methods and "Regenerative Economics". It's development from the bottom up instead of the failed, top-down policies of the past.

This would cost around $360 million to regenerate the 90 poorest Mexican
micro-regions, far less than the several billion dollars to build, staff and maintain a useless border wall.

The Regenerative Zone Method is a systematic, grassroots approach to making economic development restorative and sustainable--literally from the ground up, from the soil and the individual to the regional environment and community. By facilitating an integrated campaign based on community buy-in and ownership, the Zone Method synergizes several different efforts such as organic agriculture, micro-credit, youth development, online education, health, sewage projects (in som areas), renewable energy and so on, all within a single regional zone. This create multiple regenerative sources within one area, allowing the development to take on a life of its own and become sustainable.

In the 1980s Robert Rodale, of The Rodale Institute and Rodale Press,
conceived of the Regenerative Zone Method and Regenerative Economics, which charts regional progress through a "Regenerative Index".

To fully support and encourage the peoples of the 90 micro-regions to emerge as successful producers and entrepreneurs, a paradigm shift is needed in the approach to agricultural technology, economic development, and human justice. This proposal is based on a new systematic method designed to do just that by "Regenerating" soil, then water, then communities and whole regions. Based on a new "Regenerative Zone Method", the plan calls for restoring the natural food production and thus the community and economy of the 90 Mexican zones.

The Zone Method is based on the recently established science of
Regeneration, an organic approach to restoring the earth in a humanly and
environmentally sustainable manner. By creating multiple sources of
regeneration within a single Zone, a powerful economic and cultural synergy appears and grows stronger with every passing year. In the agricultural sphere, regenerative farming provides immediate production and income, which incrementally increases while stabilizing the soil and the environment.


The program will be supported by appropriate training in leadership,
community organization and participation, business development plus training in health and other life skills. The Regenerative Zone Method will be complemented by parallel learning programs featuring practical education.

The program will be implemented through partnerships with local
non-government organizations (NGOs) which have successful experience working with local populations, and which share the development vision, the commitment to sustainable technology, and the participatory philosophy of this program. As the program proceeds to Regenerative Zone planning, partnerships with businesses, government entities, schools and universities, and other groups will be developed. Regenerative Zone Planning is the way to align the vision and coordinate the work of governments, NGOs and communities alike so that they all synergize and reinforce each other.

The Need for a Paradigm Shift

A new scientific-based approach to development is needed if the donor
countries and leaders of the developing world do not adopt a holistic,
humanly equitable, and environmentally sustainable approach. This science
must include the social elements of participation and inclusion if it is to succeed on the ground. In short, the old top-down macro-economic approach that tried to raise average country incomes by trying to place foreign investment there has had very little return on investment. Regenerative Development in essence is "bottom-up" economic development from the village level up--and with a regional plan that the villages are all cooperating on.

All of these benefits are achieved without vast expenditures in fertilizers and tractors.

The New Science of Regeneration

Restoring the Earth has in recent years become a science, or rather a
combination of several sciences. Based on the ability of nature to restore that which has been lost or diminished, Regenerative Science has evolved over the past twenty years and is now taught in universities around the world. Examples of this near-miraculous phenomenon of restoration include natural recoveries from a range of catastrophes including forest fires to lakes, rivers and entire watersheds. Yet restoration can also occur on purpose, by human hands.

Perhaps most important of all for our planet is the ability of soil to
regenerate itself. Regenerative Agriculture is based on restoring the soil
health of poor and drought-ridden farmlands by regenerating micro-organisms and micro-nutrients in the soil itself. The result is healthy food and improved soil health with each harvest. Farmers know when the quality of their soil and the value of their land is increasing.

This is the REAL ANSWER to illegal immigration. Address the true causes
that make people leave their beloved homelands, but with a workable
practical plan, with the details crafted by the locals themselves.

Here is the Rodale Institute site.

http://www.newfarm.org

PLease ask Edwards this question and report back to DU on the answer!!

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NobleCynic Donating Member (991 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Immigration is definitely a huge issue
Both in the general public and here on DU. I expect someone to beat me to it asking about the Iraq war, so this might be next on the list. If it gets asked (by me or someone else), I'll certainly report back to DU.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. No one is going to ask Edwards if he wants to spend $360 million on the New Progressive Solution or
several billion on The Fence. This is a new idea I'm trying to get out there and it will blow his and the audience's mind to hear it because it is the first time the root cause is being addressed rather than the symptoms. The recent huge increase in Illegal immigration is just a symptom of the root cause of NAFTA.

Even if someone asks an immigration question remember this: YOU ARE NOT ASKING AN IMMIGRATION QUESTION, YOU ARE SUGGESTING A NEW PROGRESSIVE SOLUTION THAT NO ONE HAS THOUGHT OF BEFORE TO JOHN EDWARDS. IF THE LIGHT GOES ON IN HIS BRAIN, HE JUST MIGHT START PROPOSING THIS.

So go ahead and ask this, even if someone brought up immigration before. Because the real question is: do you think we should spend $360 billion to solve the root cause or billions for a near-useless Fence?
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IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #10
16. Damn Good Post! Thank you! We must repeal NAFTA. (n/t)
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. You're Welcome! Dems need to come up with innovative solutions that address the root cause of our
problems. I hope Noble Cynic gets to ask this because this new solution could re-FRAME the debate, much in the Dems favor.
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NobleCynic Donating Member (991 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Heading off, and taking your question
If I get to ask it, I'll back on DU with the response.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. How did it go?
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NobleCynic Donating Member (991 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Many apologies
I didn't get to ask the question. I was stuck standing in the back of the room. There were FAR more people there than expected, giving the seating arrangements provided. They had a space rented out in one of the casinos that was meant for maybe 300-400 people, and they got two to three times that amount. Which is rather incredible given how red Washoe County is. (In Nevada, only Las Vegas is somewhat Democratic. The rest of the state is Republican teritory.)

As far as the questions that were asked, he said that he supports an immediate reduction of 40-50 thousand troops in Iraq gearing towards an eventual withdrawl. A stated a categorical opposition to any escalation in the war. He also stated support for universal health care, and made it clear that he did not mean just affordable health care, but truly universal health care.

I was disappointed in his responses on immigration. He did the same thing as in earlier speeches, and only addressed the issues of border security and possible amnesty for those already here. He avoided discussing any of the root causes, he just stuck to the symptoms.

I was fully disappointed in how he handled a question regarding a return to the fairness doctrine on the public airwaves. When asked if he would support a return to the fairness doctrine, he just dodged the question. Understandable if he wants to do any television advertising in the future, but disappointing nonetheless.

In conclusion, I'm not certain if the incredible turnout to the event was a function of Edwards actually having some popularity and support, or simply that Democratic turnout has been strong, comparatively speaking, in Northern Nevada throughout 2006. We don't get many candidates through Reno, so the large size of the crowd may simply be a reflection of general Democratic support for any candidate rather than Edwards specifically.

Oh, and regarding the big local issue, nuclear waste and Yucca mountain. He handled it perfectly, not just telling the crowd he opposed it, but displaying a good deal of specific knowledge about the issue as well. He did his homework on the issue. If it's a sign of how he will be running his campaign, he might actually be a contender.
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NobleCynic Donating Member (991 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
15. I apologize ahead of time to anyone I don't reply to
I'm a graveyard shift person, and I need to catch a little sleep before I head off to the event. I will be awake before then to read any responses, and I'll take a list of the better questions with me. Good night all.
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LSK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
18. just tell him to stay honest and dont let handlers control his message
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