John Edwards’ phoneyism

He feels prettyThere’s cronyism and there’s phoneyism, and as we all know by now, John Edwards ranks high on the list of biggest phoneys to ever run for political office. I’ve written about it here before on numerous occasions, and tonight, ST reader Dana Pico takes the hammer to the nail in this piece about how Edwards has made oodles and oodles of $$ off of things he rails against to the public. Dana referenced this article, written for MSN’s Money Central page by Tim Middleton. In it, Middleton lays out the facts:

Edwards is running as a populist, but profits on his stock investments alone would distance the candidate from the cause.

Edwards has raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars in capital gains from stock in Apple, BP PLC, Burlington Resources, Medtronic and Schlumberger, the chief rival to Halliburton, where Vice President Dick Cheney was once CEO.

Edwards generated most of his wealth as a trial lawyer, but last year his principal employment was as a senior adviser to Fortress Investment (FIG, news, msgs), a large hedge-fund operator, for which he received $479,512. His and his wife’s investment in Fortress Investment Fund III (Fund D) totaled between $1 million and $5 million.

Fortress, based in New York, owns subprime lender Nationstar Mortgage, formerly Centex Home Equity. The Dallas company calls itself “one of the nation’s leading mortgage lenders offering nonprime mortgages and home-equity loans.”

As a presidential candidate, Edwards has lashed out at subprime lenders, saying they are “pulling a fast one on hardworking homeowners.”

Fortress Investment Fund III is based in the Cayman Islands. Edwards’ campaign said he opposes offshore tax havens and, “as president, he will end them.”

A mighty Fortress

Edwards has said he worked for Fortress to learn more about financial markets and their link to poverty. He is the former director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

He evidently learned a good deal because his portfolio is aggressive and slanted toward Wall Street’s most complex deals. He has accounts, including a trust for his children, with Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management and Oak Hill Capital Partners Fund. Two investments, Drawbridge Global Macro Fund and Drawbridge Special Opportunities Fund, are Fortress hedge funds that specialize in what his disclosure form characterizes as “global markets, strategies and instruments.”

Nothing, absolutely nothing, represents Edwards’ penchant for willfully and deliberately deceiving the public about his supposedly ‘noble’ intentions towards the poor than that line he made about why he worked for Fortress referenced in Middleton’s piece. And just as a show of compassion for lazy far lefties who will demand, rather than look for, the “mainstream media article” that talks about this quote, here it is:

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards said Tuesday that he worked for a hedge fund to learn more about financial markets and their relationship to poverty in the United States.

[…]

“It was primarily to learn, but making money was a good thing, too,” the 2004 vice presidential nominee said in an interview with The Associated Press.

“Primarly to learn”? “[w]orked for a hedge fund to learn more about financial markets and their relationship to poverty”? Right. And I’m the Secretary of Defense.

Edwards is trying his best now more than ever to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes about his motivations, but trust me, they are not noble, and they are definitely not altruistic, nor are they designed to really ‘help’ anyone – other than John Edwards, especially when you consider the following facts (in addition to the ones mentioned in Middleton’s write-up):

  • John Edwards, not the poor, was the main beneficiary of his poverty center’s fundraising activities.
  • Edwards used his wife’s cancer announcement as a fundraising tool on his website, after telling 60 Minutes that people should not vote for him because his wife has cancer.
  • In order to rake in the cash as a trial lawyer, he made a show of “channeling” the words of an unborn baby in front of a jury:

    In 1985, a 31-year-old North Carolina lawyer named John Edwards stood before a jury and channeled the words of an unborn baby girl.

    Referring to an hour-by-hour record of a fetal heartbeat monitor, Mr. Edwards told the jury: “She said at 3, `I’m fine.’ She said at 4, `I’m having a little trouble, but I’m doing O.K.’ Five, she said, `I’m having problems.’ At 5:30, she said, `I need out.’ ”

    But the obstetrician, he argued in an artful blend of science and passion, failed to heed the call. By waiting 90 more minutes to perform a breech delivery, rather than immediately performing a Caesarean section, Mr. Edwards said, the doctor permanently damaged the girl’s brain.

    “She speaks to you through me,” the lawyer went on in his closing argument. “And I have to tell you right now — I didn’t plan to talk about this — right now I feel her. I feel her presence. She’s inside me, and she’s talking to you.”

    The jury came back with a $6.5 million verdict in the cerebral palsy case, and Mr. Edwards established his reputation as the state’s most feared plaintiff’s lawyer.

    Ironically, the lawyer who stood in that courtroom and made you think he cared about unborn children opposes the partial birth abortion ban today. Channeled any partially aborted babies recently, Mr. Edwards? Probably not, considering there’s no money in it.

  • Claimed during the 2004 election season that he and John Kerry, if elected, would make Christopher Reeve and others like him walk again.
  • Also shamelessly used Dick Cheney’s daughter Mary, a lesbian, in order to make a cheap political point about gay ‘rights’ at his and the VP’s debate in 2004.
  • Pandered to the Truther crowd by promising a 9-11 Building 7 Truther that he would ‘look into’ his ‘concerns’ about what happened to Building 7 on 9-11.
  • Wanted to keep on two pottymouthed bloggers on his ’08 campaign staff even after finding out what they were all about, in a blatant effort to appease the Nutroots.
  • Blamed expensive haircuts and salon time that had been billed to his campaign on his staff rather than owning up to it.

There is nothing this man will not say and/or do to get elected. If by some fluke he becomes president of this country, God help us.

Oh, and for any lefties reading this who believe I have developed a newfound dislike for ‘the rich’ – think again. This isn’t about class envy. Rich people have just as much right to contribute to worthy causes as anyone else. I don’t begrudge that. What I immensely dislike is John Edwards trying to present himself to the public as some selfless savior of the less fortunate. He is neither, contrary to the hysterical rantings of Edwards’ fanatical supporters like “RG.”


Caption: Democratic presidential hopeful, former North Carolina Sen.
John Edwards rides his bike during the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great
Bike Ride Across Iowa, Wednesday, July 25, 2007, near Dumont, Iowa.
Photo courtesy: AP/Charlie Neibergall

The term “spin cyle” takes on a whole new meaning with that picture, doesn’t it?

House Judiciary Committee okays resolution of contempt re: Miers and Bolten

Here we go:

The House Judiciary Committee, in a straight party-line vote, approved a contempt resolution against White House Chief of Staff John Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, setting up a constitutional battle between the Bush administration and Congress over executive privilege.

After several hours of skirmishing over whether to send a contempt resolution to the House floor, the committee voted by a 22-17 margin to approve the measure.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders will now have to decide if and when to hold a vote by the full House on the resolution. A vote could take place as early as next week, said Democratic insiders.

The Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Bolten on June 13 seeking any White House documents related to the firing of nine U.S. attorneys last year. The White House, claiming the documents are covered by executive privilege, has refused to turn over the documents.

Miers was subpoenaed to testify before the committee on the same day, but she never showed up for the hearing, also citing executive privilege.

Democrats argue that the failure by Bolten and Miers to comply with the subpoenas violates the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches and must not be allowed to stand.

All of this over the cooked-up ‘fired attorneys’ scandal. And Alberto Gonzales isn’t helping matters, either.

Oppose impeachment? You’re guilty of treason

John Hawkins was brave enough to go digging around the troll-infested swamps of the Daily Kos recommended diaries to find out what some of their diarists are up to, and found this, um, nugget from DK diarist “Greyhawk” (emphasis added):

Now is the time for us, as a nation, to stand together and face the criminals inhabiting and infesting our government. It’s time for Congress to impeach, convict and remove all elements of this dangerous infection, preventing them from ever holding office again.

And anyone — Liebercrat or Republican — who stands to oppose impeachment, conviction and removal should be tried for their role as accomplice in the sedition and treason against the United States. No more should they be permitted to hide behind snivelling protocols and talk out both sides of their mouths — either they are with the nation, or they are part of the criminal conspiracy currently thwarting the will of both Congress and the People.

Translation: Agree with us – or PAY!

So much for that commitment Kos made to better monitor the utter nonsense and filth that is being posted on a daily (hourly?) basis on his own blog.

Or maybe he’s ok with Greyhawk’s suggestion …

Democrat candidates not interested in winning over moderates

… not yet, anyway:

WASHINGTON (AP) – Bill Clinton will be there. So will 300 officeholders from more than 45 states. But one thing will be missing when Democrats gather in Tennessee this weekend to discuss how to appeal to moderate, independent-minded voters in 2008: the Democratic presidential field.

Not a single one of the eight presidential candidates plans to attend the Democratic Leadership Council’s summer meeting, a snub that says less about the centrist DLC than it does about a nomination process that rewards candidates who pander to their parties’ hardened cores while ignoring everybody else.

“They have tunnel vision,” DLC founder Al From said of his fellow Democrats.

From said he has nothing against Clinton’s wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, or the other seven Democratic presidential candidates. He even understands why they won’t attend the DLC meeting.

But that doesn’t make him worry any less about the future of his party.

“Presidents are elected in the middle and they are elected by being bigger than their party. Neither parties’ activists alone can elect somebody president,” From said in a telephone interview from his Washington office. “Democrats have a long history of nominating people, including people who have lost badly. The challenge for Democrats is to nominate somebody who can win the election.”

Yeah, and considering who is running the party, that’s probably more of a challenge than perhaps even From realizes.

What is a “staunch Republican” to the Chicago Sun-Times?

One who overwhelmingly gives more to Democrats than Republicans, as Brit Hume explains:

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jennifer Hunter is taking heat for a recent story headlined “GOP Lawyer Sold on Dems.” She wrote that after watching the top Democratic presidential candidates speak —one “staunch republican” lawyer said he will not vote for anyone from the GOP in 2008.

But federal election contribution records show the so-called “staunch republican” — Philadelphia attorney Jim Ronca — actually has contributed overwhelmingly to Democrats since 1994 — giving them more than $10,000 — to $1,250 for Republicans.

Hunter — who is married to the publisher of the Sun-Times — subsequently blamed the headline writer for emphasizing the Republican lawyer angle and critical readers for making the contributions an issue.

Here’s the piece in question. Patterico was on top of this story back when it was first published last week and has a link up to recent campaign contributions for Ronca.

Isn’t it telling how Hunter blames the headline writer when “staunch Republican” is nowhere in the headline? The article also notes that the lawyer is not just any lawyer, but a trial lawyer, which was a dead giveaway to eagle-eyed readers of the Sun-Times who know that trial lawyers are the bread and butter of the Democratic party.

This guy is about as staunch of a Republican as I am a staunch feminist.

The New Republic’s credibility issues

CPAC director Lisa De Pasquale has a must-read piece up this morning about the latest controversy surrounding The New Republic:

Last week, conservative bloggers came to the defense of American soldiers after The New Republic published its third article by “Scott Thomas” a pseudonym for a soldier that says he is currently serving in Iraq. On July 13, “Thomas” relayed an incident that took place in the chow hall in which he and a group of soldiers made fun of a female contractor whose face was disfigured by an IED. “Thomas” claims he sarcastically told the group (within earshot of the woman), “I love chicks that have been intimate with IEDs. It really turns me on – melted skin, missing limbs, plastic noses…” The group responded like hyenas while the woman rushed out in shame.

“Thomas” recalls another incident of barbaric proportions. “One private, infamous as a joker and troublemaker, found the top part of a human skull, which was almost perfectly preserved. It even had chunks of hair, which were stiff and matted down with dirt. He squealed as he placed it on his head like a crown. It was a perfect fit. As he marched around with the skull on his head, people dropped shovels and sandbags, folding in half with laughter. No one thought to tell him to stop. No one was disgusted. Me included.”

“Thomas” asks, “Am I monster?” Yes, in more than one respect. Like monsters under the bed, this one may also be fictional. American Thinker blogger Ray Robison thinks so. Last week he reported that “Thomas’s” writing and experiences were eerily similar to Clifton Hick’s, a former Army sergeant. Robison writes, “Hicks has become that most cherished item for the anti-war crowd, a soldier who fulfills their need for first-hand accounts of war atrocities. Hicks was granted conscientious objector status and a release from the Army after receiving administrative punishment for unprofessional conduct. Since then, and especially recently, he has tapped into the anti-war establishment for self-promotion.”

Following Robison’s questions on whether “Scott Thomas” is actually Clifton Hicks (who has been out of the Army for a couple of years), Hicks responded that he is not Scott Thomas. Hicks wrote, “Ray, I don’t know if this Scott Thomas character is real or not, nor do I care… It could be fake, or it could be real, you and I will probably never know.”

Does The New Republic care if his story is real or fake? In addition to Robison’s questioning, several readers have said that “Thomas’s” description of military equipment and timeline of events are inaccurate. But, that’s just another day in the life of a New Republic editor.

The New Republic has a history of believing the worst about certain groups with little fact-checking and regard for the truth. Many remember their former associate editor, Stephen Glass, who the magazine later acknowledged had fabricated details in 27 of his 41 articles while he was at The New Republic. However, the liberal magazine only issued apologies for three of the 27 articles. Despite a handwritten apology from Glass more than six years later, The New Republic itself never apologized for the outright lies that were published about the 1997 Conservative Political Action Conference. In his 2003 letter to the American Conservative Union, sponsor of CPAC, Glass wrote, “I recently reread the story and was very ashamed of it. It was a horrible thing to have written, and I deeply regret it.”

[…]

The New Republic has a propensity to believe the very worst lies about conservatives and the military. When one of their writers confirms their worldview, fact-checking is thrown on the window. Instead, The New Republic is in the business of conducting investigations after articles have been published and people have been dragged through the mud. Rather than practicing journalistic integrity, they slide by until they get caught.

Sounds like the editors of The New Republic are graduates of the NYT School of Journalism.

I’ll ask a rhetorical question I’ve asked at this blog before: If conservatives and members of the military are so awful, why do liberals continually have to either make up or at the very least embellish stories about them? I mean, shouldn’t the material they have on us be so voluminous that there’d be no reason to make up or embellish stories?

Forecaster WSI Corp revises forecast for hurricane season 2007 to ‘less severe’

Via Reuters:

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The 2007 hurricane season may be less severe than forecast due to cooler-than-expected water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic, private forecaster WSI Corp said on Tuesday.

The season will bring 14 named storms, of which six will become hurricanes and three will become major hurricanes, WSI said in its revised outlook. WSI had previously expected 15 named storms of which eight would become hurricanes and four would become major hurricanes.

“Because the ocean temperatures have not yet rebounded from the significant drop in late spring, we have decided to reduce our forecast numbers slightly,” said Todd Crawford, a WSI seasonal forecaster.

As you may recall, the 2006 Hurricane season didn’t turn out like forecasters expected it to, either.

STOP GLOBAL COOLING!

Hat tip: Paul at Wizbang.

Related: More good reading: Climate Extremism: the Real Threat to Civilization (h/t: ST reader Sev)