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A THANKS TO JOHN EDWARDS

JOHN EDWARDS' HIDDEN PROBLEM

THE DEMOCRATIC RACE: POLITICS VS. FAIRY TALES

EDWARDS' APPROACH TO SINGLE-PAYER: LET THE CITIZENS CHOOSE IT

NY TIMES & WASHINGTON POST SCREW JOHN EDWARDS

WHY HASN'T JOHN EDWARDS DONE BETTER?

A BRIEF CATALOG OF MEDIA BIAS AGAINST EDWARDS

EDWARDS' APPROACH TO SINGLE-PAYER: LET THE CITIZENS CHOOSE IT

NY TIMES & WASHINGTON POST SCREW JOHN EDWARDS

EDWARDS ONLY TOP DEM WHO OPPOSES NUCLEAR POWER

EDWARDS WOULD END LOBBYIST ELECTION BRIBES TO CANDIDATES

EDWARDS PROPOSES LIMITS ON PHARMA ADVERTS

EDWARDS' STAFF TRIES TO KILL YOUTUBE VIDEO BY STUDENT JOURNALIST

WHY HASN'T JOHN EDWARDS DONE BETTER?

JOHN EDWARDS

2012

Detailed coverage of the John Edwards trial

A long time Washington correspondent on how John Edwards fooled him

Curious aspects of the John Edwards case

2010

MARCH 2010

RIELLE HUNTER ON HER AFFAIR WITH JOHNNY EDWARDS

FEBRUARY 2010

THE EDWARDS SAGA CONT'D

JULY 2009

POLISCUM: JOHN EDWARDS

AUGUST 2008

SWAMPOODLE REPORT: THE HAZARD OF PRAISE

Sam Smith

The Edwards affair helps to explain my reputation as a doubter; and it provides added support for one of my basic journalistic principles: the quickest way to get into trouble into say something nice about a politician. As one whom I had once admired, Marion Barry, put it to another reporter, "Sam's a cynical cat."

In fact, the overwhelming proportion of my journalistic misjudgments have been the product of excessive optimism. So obvious is this statistical bias that I never compliment a politician anymore without considering the risk involved, the letters I will receive and the ridicule I may endure.

One of the ways I try to protect myself is by not fudging the story. Thus, I have noted of another recipient of Smithian praise, "If I find Ralph Nader driving a Hummer, I'm going to report it."

Which is one reason why the Review was among a tiny number of journals that reported last December on the National Enquirer's claims about John Edwards, even though I believed - and still do - that Edwards was the best Democratic candidate who stood a chance. The other reason was that I figured if those readers who went to conventional supermarkets had at least read the headlines in the checkout line, those readers who preferred Whole Foods should be given equal status.

As for the actual adulterous act, there has been a rush among lazy liberals to defend Edwards by comparisons to Franklin Roosevelt, JFK and Bill Clinton. On the surface there are similarities. And then some. For example, I knew a guy who as a young man drove Kennedy during a key portion of the 1960 campaign and was specifically instructed to make sure that Kennedy remained in his assigned locations and didn't make a tryst-bound escape. On at least one occasion, he failed

But there are also striking differences. For example, a Huffington huffer writes:

"Some will claim, as they did with Bill Clinton, that it's not the affair but the lies that went along with it. Really? Did JFK come out and tell the American people - or his wife - 'by the way, while my wife was in the hospital I was having an affair with not one, but several women at the same time?' No, of course, he lied too. Every man that has ever cheated on his wife has lied (and so has every woman who has ever cheated). It is part and parcel of the affair."

What is not mentioned, of course, is that JFK did not lie under oath to a grand jury, deny a former sex partner a fair court hearing, and end up being legally punished not for casual sex but for being a legally contemptuous prevaricator.

Liberal denial notwithstanding, the Clinton story is different in a number of other ways:

- Although unreported, the Clinton sex escapades were so chronic they bordered on the pathological, as when - according to one of his police drivers - he had sex in car next to his daughter's school playground.

- The women - all of whom were later deserted, rejected or ridiculed by the women's movement - suffered more than the normal pangs of male sexual opportunism. They felt threatened, sometimes with good cause as with the skull found on the porch or a bullet laid on the front seat of their vehicle. One felt compelled to leave the country, another to another state.

- As I noted early in his presidency, Clinton's Don Juanish sexual behavior mirrored his political actions. He was no more to be trusted in one type of affair than in the other.

There is, on these grounds alone, a world of difference between Edwards, FDR and JFK on the one hand, and Clinton on the other.

There is another: his affair aside, Edwards was a clearly positive force in America. He was the first Democratic presidential candidate since the 1960s who had both a chance of winning and a program that would was in the best tradition of the most for the most. A liberal constituency absorbed with its own success (not to mention the socio-economic cleansing of our cities) wasn't interested.

I am sometimes criticized for being too priggish about politicians and how they should behave. Far from it. Two of the leading political scoundrels of modern time - Lyndon Johnson and Adam Clayton Powell - got more good legislation past in less time than anyone in American history. I was there to cover the story and I learned from the experience not to expect perfection but compensation. Here's how I explained in later in writing about DC mayor Marion Barry:

"When Barry ran for mayoral reelection the last time, I took the position that I was all in favor of redemption; I just didn't see why you had to do it the mayor's office. I broke up one talk show host by suggesting that Barry follow the example of a recently disgraced Irish bishop and go help the Indians of Guatemala.

"On another talk show, Barry said that the press was always blaming him for all the city's problems. I said that wasn't fair; I only blamed him for 26.7% of the city's problems. 'I'll buy that,' Marion replied. . .

Yet I also knew that Barry - like other urban ethnic politicians - had far more to blame than himself. Whatever his faults, he knew he had been granted dispensation because - like a feudal lord - he provided significant favors in return. Barry had lived in Memphis and I often suspected he had learned his politics from Boss Trump. For he understood the quid pro quo of traditional urban corruption that had helped the Irish, Italians, Jews, and Poles break down the worst corruption of all - that of an elite unwilling to share its power with others. It was far from a perfect deal but in the interim before the 'reformers' seized office again on behalf of their developer and other business buddies, more people would get closer to power than they ever had or would again. It happened in Chicago, in Boston as well as in Washington under Barry.

"And now the reformers are back. The young gentrifiers who think the greatest two moments in the city's history are when Barry went to jail and when they arrived in town. And their politicians, who don't feel it necessary to even tithe to the people."

That's where we found ourselves earlier this year. Two candidates - Obama and Clinton - running overwhelming for themselves and another, Edwards, at least tithing to the people.

Most politicians, when they fall, seek some safe haven to enjoy the rest of their lives. A few, and I suspect that Edwards may be one, are spurred to seek redemption through their acts. In which case the act that brought them down can fade and we see the wonder of a human recovering their soul.

He is blessed be still being married to Elizabeth Edwards, the finest spirit to show up on the national campaign trail this year. I was also struck by something Edwards said, "In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic. If you want to beat me up - feel free. You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself. I have been stripped bare and will now work with everything I have to help my family and others who need my help."

It brought to mind a TV show where I had questioned Barry about his failure to apologize to the people of Washington DC for the harm he had done them. He went into a little spiel about his redemption ending by saying he hoped I would someday think him redeemed as well.

Afterwards, in the green room, I explained that I wasn't talking about his redemption but about the harm he had done the rest of us in the city. Isn't one of the 12 steps, I asked, that you deal with the damage you have done to others? Barry nodded and said "So you think I should apologize to them?" I said I thought it would help. But he never really did.

Bill Clinton, of course, never apologizes to anyone for anything. But a corner of my heart still whispers that Edwards could be different and that we may not have seen the best of him yet.

EDWARDS ENDANGERED A PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN FOR THIS?

JULY 2008

GIRLFRIEND STORY KNOCKS EDWARDS OFF THE VEEP LIST

FEBRUARY 2008

JOHN EDWARDS' HIDDEN PROBLEM

Sam Smith

JOHN EDWARDS has departed the race leaving a surprising number of liberals without a target for covert class prejudices that have so broadly replaced ethnic and gender discrimination among the better educated. Now the righteous are safe to make what is in their mind a decent and diverse choice: between a black and a woman, one a graduate of Harvard Law School, the other of its Yale equivalent.

It's sort of like the beginning of the Clinton administration which was going to look like America. In fact, 77% of Clinton's initial cabinet were millionaires, beating out both Reagan and Bush in this category. In DC, the Clinton choices barely raised an eyebrow. Clinton's cabinet may not have looked like America, but it certainly looked like establishment Washington. It required no corruption or conspiracy for the city's journalists to ignore it; everything was just too normal.

One of the delusions of elite liberals is that that they lack prejudice. To be sure, they treat black, women and gays far better than once was the case. But if you are poor, uneducated, own a gun, weigh a lot, come from the South or mainly read the Bible it is another matter. Class and culture have replaced the genetic as acceptable targets.

The 28% of the American adult population with college degrees defines the country's values, its policies, its laws, what is stylish and how you get to the top, including the White House. And what it has defined has exacted no small price from the remaining 72%. For example, just in the past eight years, the following have gotten significantly worse:

Median income
Number of manufacturing jobs
Number of new private jobs
Percent of workers with company based health insurance
Poverty
Consumer credit debt
Number of housing foreclosures
Cost of heating oil & gas
Number without health insurance
Wages in manufacturing
Income gap between rich and poor
Wealth of the bottom 40% of Americans
Number of older families with pensions
Number of workers covered by defined benefit pensions
Hunger
Use of soup kitchens
Personal bankruptcies
Median rent

Yet when John Edwards tried to build a campaign around these issues he was subjected not only to the opposition of the establishment and its media but a notable tone of ridicule whose subtext was: why would anyone want to bother with such things? Especially a guy as rich as Edwards?

And when he pulled out of the race, Edwards was treated to more of the same, especially from such faux hip websites as Gawker, Radar and Fark:

Radar: The pretty-boy presidential candidate scored just 14 percent of the vote in yesterday's Florida primaries. . .

Fark: John Edwards announces he will drop out of race today to spend more time with his hair.

Gawker: John Edwards will end his 49th run for president Wednesday after failing to capitalize on his angry hobo-under-the-bridge message.

These sites, like much of elite America, are led by spoiled offspring of generations who had to struggle with just the sort of issues Edwards was trying to raise, but from which they now consider themselves immune by their education, status and cleverness.

It didn't used to be like this. I have sometimes tried to explain to people, usually unsuccessfully, that we've always had born-again Christians; we just used to call them New Deal Democrats. And those construction workers, easy foil of the New Yorker cartoonists, were once part of a Democratic electorate before they were lured away by the likes of Ronald Reagan.

For many years, as the Democratic establishment has become wealthier, the traditional Democratic base has been steadily pushed away as too dumb, too prejudiced, or otherwise too unworthy of the party. It wasn't that abortion, gays and family values were intrinsically so important. But if your campaign contributors won't let you talk or do anything about pensions, healthcare, outsourcing or usurious interest rates, the door opened wide for the rightwing hypocrites.

Class has always been the forbidden fruit of American political debate. A civil rights activist, Julius Hobson, with whom I worked once put it this way:

"The struggle isn't whether you like a nigger or a nigger likes a cracker or whitey is a pig or any of that stuff. I've called people whitey and pig and the FBI never said a word. All I have to do is put on a dashiki, get a wig, go out there on Fourteenth Street, and yell, 'Whitey is a pig and I'm going to take care of him' -- the FBI will stand there and laugh at me. But the moment I start to discuss the way goods and services are distributed and I start talking about the nature of the political system and show that it's a corollary of the economic system, that's when the FBI comes in for harassment."

And the Washington DC of today proves Hobson's point: a black city run by black politicians that is one of the most class-divided places you'll find in America but about which hardly anyone ever talks.

So along comes a wealthy southern white male lawyer and tries to change things back to the way Democrats used to do it. And what happens? Yes, those with power move to keep him in the background. Yes, from the start the establishment media gave him as little coverage as possible.

But more significant was the reaction of average members of the liberal - really post-liberal - establishment. Ridicule and disgust combined with a stunning disinterest in Edwards' issues that told much about the Democratic Party today.

Not only was this elite bored with Edwards' program, it made clear that the candidate didn't look or talk right, was too wealthy to say such things, and, when you come right down to it, wasn't one of us.

And, oh yes, the most frequent comment of all: he once had a $400 haircut.

Nowhere was it mentioned that Hillary Clinton had had a $1200 makeover during her Senate campaign. But then she wasn't the issue. She belonged.

Among the characteristics of America's second robber baron era is the manically narcissistic idea that the market justifies everything. If you're rich, you've said it all. You owe no one anything but they sure owe you a lot.

But if you go back before this contemporary epidemic of economic egomania, you will find in many prosperous corners the notion expressed in Luke: to whom much is given; from whom much is expected.

Edwards was clearly raised on such a principle. He made a great deal of money and in later years chose to pay a kind of ethical interest to those who have not done as well.

To be sure, he is still the son of the mill worker who made good and feels the need for what is, for many, excess footage in his home and excess hairage on his scalp. But that goes with the territory.

And there is nothing hypocritical about wanting to both to have it and to share it. After all Mitt Romney gives ten percent of his wealth back to the Mormon Church and nobody laughs at him.

Edwards' problem was that he made the smug set of American liberalism extremely uncomfortable. He showed them what they should really be thinking about and what they might do about it. And they didn't like it. Far better to relax in the self-righteousness of choosing between a Harvard Law School black and a Yale Law School woman.

And so, once again, the Democratic Party drifts further away from what once made it worth bragging about.

ANOTHER REASON EDWARDS DIDN'T DO BETTER

JANUARY 2008

DEAR SENATOR EDWARDS

It was good meeting with you yesterday and discussing my father's legacy. On the day when the nation will honor my father, I wanted to follow up with a personal note.

There has been, and will continue to be, a lot of back and forth in the political arena over my father's legacy. . .

I appreciate that on the major issues of health care, the environment, and the economy, you have framed the issues for what they are - a struggle for justice. And, you have almost single-handedly made poverty an issue in this election. . .

I am disturbed by how little attention the topic of economic justice has received during this campaign. I want to challenge all candidates to follow your lead, and speak up loudly and forcefully on the issue of economic justice in America. . .

I believe that now, more than ever, we need a leader who wakes up every morning with the knowledge of that injustice in the forefront of their minds, and who knows that when we commit ourselves to a cause as a nation, we can make major strides in our own lifetimes. My father was not driven by an illusory vision of a perfect society. He was driven by the certain knowledge that when people of good faith and strong principles commit to making things better, we can change hearts, we can change minds, and we can change lives.

So, I urge you: keep going. Ignore the pundits, who think this is a horserace, not a fight for justice. My dad was a fighter. As a friend and a believer in my father's words that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, I say to you: keep going. Keep fighting. My father would be proud.

Sincerely,

Martin L. King, III

ABLOGISTAN - Social justice and nonviolence moved to the forefront of King's activism in his later years. In 1968, the year he was assassinated, he organized the Poor People's Campaign to address issues of economic injustice, and he was visiting Memphis to support a strike by sanitation workers when he was gunned down.

By taking on issues outside segregation, he had lost the support of many newspapers and magazines, and his relationship with the White House had suffered, said Harvard Sitkoff, a professor of history at the University of New Hampshire who has written a recently published book on King.

"He was considered by many to be a pariah," Sitkoff said. But he took on issues of poverty and militarism because he considered them vital "to make equality something real and not just racial brotherhood but equality in fact," Sitkoff said.

In 1967 King gave a speech titled "Beyond Vietnam," which Time Magazine denounced as "demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi." The Washington Post said "King has diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people.". . .

As we're mired in a very similar unpopular quagmire today, it's worth pondering what King would have said about the war in Iraq were he alive in 2003 and how his likely opposition to it would have been handled by the public and the press. Odds are, he would have been marginalized and slandered by many of the same people who will invoke his name today. But King had always sought justice and peace, not popularity, and that's why we're remembering him.

http://www.ablogistan.com/archives/2008/01/martin_luther_k.html

DECEMBER 2007

NATIONAL ENQUIRER CLAIMS EDWARDS HAS LOVE CHILD

TRUE OR NOT, the story below is spreading around the grocery checkout lines of America and could have a major impact: the National Enquirer is claiming that John Edwards is soon to have a love child. Various caveats follow the Enquirer account.

NATIONAL ENQUIRER - The Enquirer has learned exclusively that Rielle Hunter, a woman linked to Edwards in a cheating scandal earlier this year, is more than six months pregnant - and she's told a close confidante that Edwards is the father of her baby!

The Enquirer's political bombshell comes just weeks after Edwards emphatically denied having an affair with Rielle, who formerly worked on his campaign and told another close pal that she was romantically involved with the married ex-senator.

The Enquirer has now confirmed not only that Rielle is expecting, but that she's gone into hiding with the help of a former aide to Edwards. The visibly pregnant blonde has relocated from the New York area to Chapel Hill, N.C., where she is living in an upscale gated community near political operative Andrew Young, who's been extremely close to Edwards for years and was a key official in his presidential campaign.

And in a bizarre twist, Young - a 41-year-old married man with young children - now claims he is the father of Rielle's baby. But others are skeptical, wondering if Young's paternity claim is a cover-up to protect Edwards. . .

In a statement issued to The Enquirer through her attorney, Rielle said: "The fact that I am expecting a child is my personal and private business. This has no relationship to nor does it involve John Edwards in any way. Andrew Young is the father of my unborn child."

But a source extremely close to the 43-year-old divorcee says Rielle has told a far different story privately: "Rielle told me she had a secret affair with Edwards. When she found out that she was pregnant, she said he was the father."

Rielle loves Edwards and will do anything to protect him, the source says.

In The Enquirer's Oct. 22 issue, we revealed that Edwards, 54, was involved in a mistress scandal and the shocking allegations - if proven true - could devastate the Democratic hopeful's campaign. . .

Reporters asked Edwards about The Enquirer report during a campaign stop in Columbia, S.C., on Oct. 11. Edwards responded: "The story is false. It's completely untrue, ridiculous," adding: "Anyone who knows me knows that I have been in love with the same woman for 30 plus years."

Rielle issued her own statement through MyDD.com, a pro-Democratic Web site, saying: "The innuendos and lies that have appeared on the Internet and in the National Enquirer concerning John Edwards are not true, completely unfounded and ridiculous. . .

A former "Director of Operations" for Edwards' campaign, Young's last official position with the campaign was "North Carolina Finance Director." He left that job about a month ago - about the same time Rielle settled in Chapel Hill. . .

Edwards' lawyer called The Enquirer and denied the well-coiffed Democratic candidate is the father of Rielle's baby, adding that Rielle would deny it as well.

A day later, in a shocking twist, the attorney for Mr. Young issued a statement that Young fathered Rielle's baby. "Andrew Young is the father of Ms. Hunter's unborn child," declared his Washington, D.C.-based attorney.

"Sen. Edwards knew nothing about the relationship between these former co-workers, which began when they worked together in 2006.". . .

Now some insiders wonder whether Young's paternity claim is simply a cover-up to protect his longtime pal Edwards. "If you have an alternate explanation for a scandal, you don't take 24 hours to offer that explanation, let alone days or weeks," a political insider told The Enquirer.

When Enquirer reporters contacted Young in person at his home on Dec. 12, he became furious - and denied he was Andrew Young. He also denied knowing "any Rielle Hunter," yelling at the top of his voice: "You don't even know who I am!" But when his wife called him "Andrew," he shot her a dirty look.

An enraged Young called police, demanding our reporters be arrested for trespassing. Officers from the Chatham County (N.C.) Sheriff's Department responded, questioned everyone and made no arrests.

While controversy swirls around her, Rielle - a wannabe actress who by her own admission was a drug-using New York party girl in the '80s - stayed in touch with Edwards. "Rielle told me that she remains in phone contact with John, but can't see him for obvious reasons," said the source close to her.

http://www.nationalEnquirer.com/john_edwards_love_child/celebrity/64426

PROGRESSIVE REVIEW - This story, if true, means an extremely intelligent trial lawyer with no previous record of extra-curricular sexual escapades launched a casual affair just before running for president and while his wife was critically ill - and did so without using a condom. That's not lascivious; that's masochism.

While it is true that John F. Kennedy engaged in affairs during his primary campaign, he had already established a reputation strong enough that staffers took protective measures. This story also is strikingly different than those involving Bill Clinton who discarded women like they were just another long-standing Democratic party plank and where the accounts of what happened (and subsequent efforts to keep them quiet) came from the women themselves. There is also no accusation of rape in this instance in contrast to the Juanita Broaddrick case involving Clinton.

The Enquirer, it should also be noted, places the word of an unnamed source above those of the woman allegedly involved and the man she claims is the father.

One final note: the key owner of the Enquirer is a Clinton operative.

Stay tuned.

BEN SMITH, POLITICO, OCT 11 - What the tabloid's readers, in politics and out, may not know is that a key owner of the Enquirer is a prominent New York investment banker and one of Hillary Clinton's key backers, Roger Altman. Altman was an official in the first Clinton administration, and his name is often mentioned as a possible Clinton Treasury Secretary.

The investment boutique which Altman founded and chairs, Evercore Partners, bought a controlling stake in American Media, which publishes the Enquirer, in 1999, which it still holds with a partner. Evercore's president, Austin Beutner, sits on American Media's Board of Directors, according to Evercore's website.

A spokesman for American Media, Richard Valvo, said in an email that Altman has "no involvement in editorial, ever." He said that Evercore owns 20 percent of the company through an investment fund. Altman didn't respond to an email seeking comment or to a message left with his secretary. . .

Yesterday's National Enquirer story was mirrored by a pair of stories in the Huffington Post -- whose public face, Arianna Huffington, is a harsh critic of Clinton. The Huffington Post stories implied that the Edwards campaign was concerned about its relationship with a film-maker, Rielle Hunter, who had shot web videos for Edwards. The stories stopped short of directly suggesting the candidate had a relationship with her, something Mickey Kaus made explicit on Slate yesterday.

NOVEMBER 2007

EDWARDS TAKES ON CREDIT CARD USURY, TRICKS

ONE AMERICA - Senator John Edwards has outlined a plan to take on abusive lenders and help American families save. "Debt has become the central fact of middle-class existence," said Edwards. "For most families, wages have not kept up with rising costs for middle-class essentials like health care, housing and child care. Consumer debt has skyrocketed in recent years and today, half of Americans say they live paycheck to paycheck.

"At the same time, abusive credit card companies deliberately build in tricks and traps for families. Consumers often fail to understand the basic terms of their cards due to complicated and confusing disclosures. Most big credit card companies advertise low rates but reserve the right to change rates at any time for any reason - a single late payment can trigger penalties that raise interest rates to an average of almost 25 percent.

To take on the credit card industry - that has spent $250 million on lobbying and campaign contributions since 1998 - Edwards promises to:

- enact national legislation to protect families from the most abusive practices in the credit card industries.

- create a new Family Savings and Credit Commission to review all financial services products marketed to families to determine that terms are reasonable and fairly disclosed.

- subsidize bank accounts for low-income workers - nearly 28 million Americans lack them - and create work bonds to match their savings.

http://johnedwards.com/news/headlines/20071202-abusive-lenders/

AUGUST 2007

ELIZABETH EDWARDS TELLS IT LIKE IT IS

[From an interview in Salon]

Do you ever have twinges about, well, you're supporting this great guy, your husband, but against the first credible woman candidate and the first credible African-American candidate in the race?

ELIZABETH EDWARDS - No, I don't. I wind up talking about this a lot. My job as the mother of daughters is to make sure my children see that every opportunity is available to them. What we hope to achieve is a society that doesn't value a white man because he's a white man, but also doesn't value a woman because she's a woman, or a black because he's a black. So it bothers me that the pitch is made, as it is, that there's an obligation of people to give support. When I was a lawyer, I was the first female lawyer many people had ever seen. I had an obligation to my client to do the work right, but I thought constantly about my obligation to the women who came after me. If I didn't do a good job, they wouldn't get a chance to sit where I'm sitting. I think one of the things that make me so completely comfortable with this is that keeping that door open to women is actually more a policy of John's than Hillary's.

How do you see that?

ELIZABETH EDWARDS - On the issues that are important to women, she has not . . . well, healthcare, that's enormously important to women, all the polls say, and what she says now is, we're going to have a national conversation about healthcare. And then she describes some cost-saving things, which John also supports, but she acts like that's going to make healthcare affordable to everyone. And she knows it won't. She's not really talking about poverty, when the face of poverty is a woman's face, often a single mother. She gave that speech on abortion a few years ago [saying abortion should be "safe, legal and rare"].

Look, I'm sympathetic, because when I worked as a lawyer, I was the only woman in these rooms, too, and you want to reassure them you're as good as a man. And sometimes you feel you have to behave as a man and not talk about women's issues. I'm sympathetic -- she wants to be commander in chief. But she's just not as vocal a women's advocate as I want to see. John is. And then she says, or maybe her supporters say, "Support me because I'm a woman," and I want to say to her, "Well, then support me because I'm a woman." The question is not so much how she campaigns -- that's theater. The question is, what does her campaign tell you about how she'll govern? And I'm not convinced she'd be as good an advocate for women. She needs a rationale greater for her campaign than I've heard. When she announced her candidacy she said, "I'm in it to win it." What is that? That's not a rationale. Same with Senator Obama -- I've yet to hear a rationale. John is extremely clear about what he can accomplish and why he's the one to do it.

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/07/17/elizabeth_edwards/print.html

JULY 2007

EDWARDS HAS TIES TO MAJOR HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY

DAVID SWANSON, AFTER DOWNING STREET - John Edwards has reported $29.5 million in personal assets to the FEC, of which his aides have told the Wall Street Journal $16.1 million is invested in Fortress Investment Group, a hedge fund that invests in Humana, the health insurance company that comes in for sharp criticism in Michael Moore's blockbuster movie "Sicko."

Edwards does not just invest in Fortress. It also invests in him, to the tune of $1.7 million in pay and investment income, including $479,512 in salary for a year of "part-time consulting" that began in October 2005. And then there are the campaign contributions. . .

The Nation magazine provides a little background on Humana:

"Before 2003 Humana, a regional company peddling health insurance, including HMOs, was hardly a household name. One of its policies had been a big money loser, and the company was struggling to dig its way out of a financial hole. Vice president Steve Brueckner called the Medicare Modernization Act 'an unprecedented opportunity to establish relationships,' and his company made the most of it. Humana gained 4 million new policyholders and reported to stockholders in April that it had amassed 'record breaking revenues.' What's more, Humana has become a national brand poised to sell policies in the non-Medicare market, where people will increasingly be forced to buy their own health coverage, especially if an 'individual mandate' becomes a solution for the country's healthcare woes."

John Edwards' health plan would "require all American residents to get insurance" from private companies.

In "Sicko," Dr. Linda Peeno appears testifying before Congress that, when working for Humana, she made a decision to deny a Humana member treatment for a heart transplant, a decision that cost the patient his life but saved the company $500,000. Peeno says she was not punished, but rather rewarded, for such conduct. The money she saved the company was approximately the same amount paid to Edwards as salary.

Moore reported on Humana's policies at length in this video, which predates "Sicko". Watching it is one way to learn about financial markets and their relationship to poverty.

http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/24632

HILLARY CLINTON OUTSPENT EDWARDS ON HAIR STYLING

IAN BISHOP NY POST, JUL 24 2006 - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign army has increased its ranks to 50 staffers and more than 20 consultants, specialists in everything from fund-raising to speech-writing to hairstyling and makeup. Clinton, the likely 2008 Democratic White House front-runner, ponied up nearly $3,000 in campaign cash for her blond tresses to get some presidential pampering from acclaimed D.C. stylist Isabelle Goetz. Recently released federal fund-raising records show Clinton shelled out $1,500 in April for Goetz to carefully craft her coiffure and another $1,000 for a camera-ready clip in May. She passed off both styling sessions as "media production" expenses.

Clinton was so desperate for Goetz to style her gilded mane, she picked up the scissor siren's $405 travel tab in April and a $38 expenses tab in May. Goetz, a fixture at the swank Cristophe salon and the favored stylist of John Kerry, has been clipping the former first lady's locks for years - she's credited for updating Clinton's coif from country to chic.

To complement the touch-up of her tresses, Clinton invested another $3,000 for makeup maestro Barbara Lacy to brush on some blush. . . Clinton paid Lacy an eye-popping $1,600 for some eye-lining in mid-May and another mind-boggling $1,300 for some makeup two weeks later. Again, Clinton justified the makeovers as a media production expense.

http://www.shoutwire.com/viewstory/78621/Hillary_Spends_3_000_on_Haircuts

APRIL 2007

WASHINGTON POST'S DOES FRONT PAGE HIT JOB ON EDWARDS

THE WASHINGTON POST launched a front page attack on John Edwards, a good sign that the Washington establishment is beginning to get worried about Edwards' potential. Edwards and Gore are the two candidates who, if they upset the current leaders - Clinton and Obama, would signal a major loss of power by the current capital elite.

As an indicator of the media bias on this score: a stunning 83% of the candidate-citing headlines we have scanned this month have included neutral or positive mentions of Clinton or Obama. Only 17% have mentioned Edwards in a positive or neutral way. All the other candidates took what was left before rounding off the averages.

The Post story is not inaccurate as it relates directly to Edwards. What is striking, however, is that the article takes nine paragraphs to mention that other Democratic candidates including Clinton and Obama have close hedge fund ties.

Edwards' sin is that while he is wealthy, he wishes to do something to help the poor and less fortunate in this country. This is apparently considered hypocrisy by the Post, although other wealthy candidates such as Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson and Kerry have gotten away with urging economic reforms.

In fact, according to Forbes, the five richest presidents in American history were, in order, George Washington, John F Kennedy, Andrew Jackson, Lyndon Johnson and Herbert Hoover. The middle three all had a politics close to that of John Edwards than to that of either Clinton or Obama.

The Post article has all the marking of a hit job by one of the leading advocates of neo-robber baron capitalism and serves as a reminder of whatever faults Edwards has, there are plenty of powerful people afraid of him.

As for the Post, we trust we will now finally see a close look at the corrupt financial dealings of Hillary Clinton and thorough follow-up on the Chicago Sun Times' revelations about Obama.

JOHN SOLOMON & ALEC MACGILLIS, WASHINGTON POST - Two years ago, former senator John Edwards of North Carolina, gearing up for his second run at the Democratic presidential nomination, gave a speech decrying the "two different economies in this country: one for wealthy insiders and then one for everybody else." Four months later, he began working for the kind of firm that to many Wall Street critics embodies the economy of wealthy insiders -- a hedge fund.

Executives and guests of Fortress Investment Group celebrate the hedge fund's initial public offering in February. Executives and guests of Fortress Investment Group celebrate the hedge fund's initial public offering in February.
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has raised at least $167,700 from individuals associated with Fortress Investment Group, a New York-based hedge fund that hired the former North Carolina senator as an adviser in the fall of 2005. . .

Edwards became a consultant for Fortress Investment Group, a New York-based firm known mainly for its hedge funds, just as the funds were gaining prominence in the financial world -- and in the public consciousness, where awe over their outsize returns has mixed with misgivings about a rarefied industry that is, on the whole, run by and for extremely wealthy people and operates largely in secrecy.

[Six grafs later]

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R), for whom Wall Street is an especially key constituency, count hedge fund executives as donors and fundraisers for their presidential campaigns. Hedge fund executive Paul Singer is a key adviser and fundraiser for Giuliani, whose presidential campaign collected $159,000 from employees at Singer's firm, Elliott Associates. Clinton is getting fundraising help from Lisa Perry, whose husband, Richard, runs a $12 billion hedge fund, and the former first lady got $46,000 from employees of the private equity firm Farallon Capital Management.

Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, a Democratic presidential candidate from Connecticut, home to many hedge fund firms, received $175,400 from employees of the SAC Capital Advisors hedge fund during the first quarter - his top source of support from a single company. As chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Dodd has opposed additional regulation of hedge funds.

One of Sen. Barack Obama's biggest presidential fundraisers is a hedge fund manager -- Orin Kramer, general partner of Boston Provident Partners LP in New York and a longtime Democratic fundraiser. Along with Sens. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) and Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), Obama (D-Ill.) has proposed legislation to drastically reduce offshore tax havens that includes a provision to crack down on offshore hedge funds. The senators introduced the bill after an investigation last year documented how wealthy U.S. investors had used hedge funds to evade taxes.

MARCH 2007

EDWARDS SUPPORTS END TO TOUCH SCREEN VOTING MACHINES

BRAD BLOG - John Edwards is the first Presidential Candidate to announce his support for a growing movement calling for a ban on the use of all direct recording electronic voting systems [usually trouch screen] in American elections.

The Brad Blog was contacted late last night by Progressive Democrats of America) Board Chair Mimi Kennedy with the news that during a campaign event in Los Angeles Edwards agreed to join her organization in calling for an end to electronic ballots in American elections. . .

During a Q & A period following his address last night, she asked Edwards whether he would join PDA in their campaign calling for "the complete removal of all touch-screen direct record electronic voting machines from U.S. elections, with or without a paper trail."

Drawing an "X" in the air as the question was being asked, Edwards --- who was reportedly upset at Sen. John Kerry's decision not to contest the 2004 Presidential Election count, or lack thereof, in Ohio --- answered with a definitive "Yes!"

http://www.bradblog.com/

EDWARDS CHICKENS OUT ON FOX

CBS - Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards won't participate in a debate co-hosted by Fox News and the Nevada Democratic Party, his campaign said, as party officials tried to settle a dustup over their partnership with the cable network. Edwards' campaign said the involvement of Fox News, which is often accused by liberals of having a conservative bias, was part of the decision to pass on the Aug. 14 debate in Reno. . . The two Democratic presidential frontrunners, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, have not indicated whether they will attend the Nevada debate. . . Move On Civic Action says it has collected more than 260,000 signatures on a petition that calls the cable network a "mouthpiece for the Republican Party, not a legitimate news channel.". . . Democratic Party officials and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid initially touted the partnership with Fox News as an opportunity to reach out to a different bloc of voters.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/03/08/politics/main2546570.shtml

SAM SMITH - The Edwards reaction, apparently motivated in part by the self-righteous lot at Move On, demonstrates one of the reasons the Democrats don't do better. You can't win a fight if you refuse to get in the ring. As one of the few who has appeared on Pacifica, NPR. . . and the Bill O'Reilly Show, your editor learned that long ago. Admittedly, you've got to know your moves, among which I would include these:

- Keep smiling. The rightwing hosts want to get you mad. Just don't. It throws them off their pace.

- Find something they can agree on or something you have in common. Before my appearance on the O'Reilly Factor, I mentioned to the host that my granddaughter was growing up about 20 miles from his hometown on Long Island. He immediately become friendlier. In the 1990s, I was worried about a book related appearance on a Idaho radio station in the heart of Mark Fuhrman country. Then in his introduction, the host mentioned that I was a supporter of jury nullification, an issue that has fans on both the left and the right. When I heard that, I knew I was home free. Just one sentence in the book had saved me from being stereotyped. The interview, originally scheduled for 20 minutes, went on for an hour.

- Help people move from their pet issues to others they haven't thought much about. I once did a talk show in Michigan militia territory. I used some lines about gays not being the ones who take your pensions and feminists not shortchanging your healthcare. Some guy calls in and says, "You know this fellow from Washington has a point. We have to stop worrying so much about those gays and women and worry more about the corporations." It taught me not to give up on people

Part of the problem is that many on the left and the right approach the other side as solders against an enemy or lawyers in a trial rather than as teachers or organizers. Its not a good approach because if you can't change the hearts and minds of some of those watching on Fox, you're probably going to lose the race. Put a smile on your face, some facts in your mouth and give it a try.

FEBRUARY 2007

EDWARDS' PLAN FOR IRAQ

JOHN EDWARDS CAMPAIGN - "Nearly a month ago, I called on Congress to block the President's escalation of war. Unfortunately, while Congress has been debating Iraq , President Bush has been surging troops into Iraq . The escalation is underway, so blocking it is no longer enough - now we have to take the next step and cap funding to mandate a withdrawal," Edwards said. "We don't need debate; we don't need non-binding resolutions; we need to end this war, and Congress has the power to do it. They should use it now. In order to get the Iraqi people to take responsibility for their country, we must show them that we are serious about leaving, and the best way to do that is to actually start leaving."

Edwards believes that the only solution to the situation in Iraq is a political solution, which requires all the parties in Iraq to take responsibility for the future of their country. By leaving Iraq, the Iraqi people, regional powers, and the entire international community will be forced to engage in the search for a political solution that will end the sectarian violence and create a stable Iraq . Escalating the war sends exactly the wrong signal to the Iraqi people, regional powers and the world.

Edwards' plan for Iraq calls for Congress to:

- Cap funding for the troops in Iraq at 100,000 troops to stop the surge and implement an immediate drawdown of 40-50,000 combat troops. Any troops beyond that level should be redeployed immediately.

- Prohibit funding to deploy any new troops to Iraq that do not meet real readiness standards and that have not been properly trained and equipped, so American tax dollars are used to train and equip our troops, instead of escalating the war.

- Make it clear that President Bush is conducting this war without authorization. The 2002 authorization did not give President Bush the power to use U.S. troops police a civil war. President Bush exceeded his authority long ago, and now needs to end the war and ask Congress for new authority to manage the withdrawal of the U.S. military presence and to help Iraq achieve stability.

- Require a complete withdrawal of combat troops in Iraq in the next 12-18 months without leaving behind any permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq.

After withdrawal, Edwards believes that sufficient forces should remain in the region to contain the conflict and ensure that instability in Iraq does not spillover and create a regional war, a terrorist haven, or spark a genocide. In addition, Edwards believes the U.S. should step up our diplomatic efforts by engaging in direct talks with all the nations in the region, including Iran and Syria and work to bring about a political solution to the sectarian violence inside Iraq, including through a peace conference. He also believes the U.S. must intensify its efforts to train the Iraqi security forces.

http://blog.johnedwards.com/story/2007/2/14/112343/492

EDWARDS JOINS THE SWORD RATTLERS ON IRAN

RON BRYNAERT, RAW STORY - In a speech at a conference in Herzliya, Israel, former Senator John Edwards (NC-D) took aim at Iran, warning that the "world won't back down." The 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee, who recently launched a new presidential campaign also said that Israel should be allowed to join NATO. Although Edwards has criticized the war in Iraq, and has urged bringing the troops home, the former senator firmly declared that "all options must remain on the table," in regards to dealing with Iran, whose nuclear ambition "threatens the security of Israel and the entire world.". . . Edwards added, "Iran must know that the world won't back down. The recent UN resolution ordering Iran to halt the enrichment of uranium was not enough. We need meaningful political and economic sanctions. We have muddled along for far too long. To ensure that Iran never gets nuclear weapons, we need to keep all options on the table, Let me reiterate - all options must remain on the table."

Edwards gets tough

JANUARY 2007

EXCERPT OF JOHN EDWARDS SPEECH AT RIVERSIDE CHURCH

DECEMBER 2007

NATIONAL ENQUIRER CLAIMS EDWARDS HAS LOVE CHILD DUE

TRUE OR NOT, the story spreading around the grocery checkout lines of America and could have a major impact: the National Enquirer is claiming that John Edwards is soon to have a love child. Various caveats follow the Enquirer account.

NATIONAL ENQUIRER - The Enquirer has learned exclusively that Rielle Hunter, a woman linked to Edwards in a cheating scandal earlier this year, is more than six months pregnant - and she's told a close confidante that Edwards is the father of her baby!

The Enquirer's political bombshell comes just weeks after Edwards emphatically denied having an affair with Rielle, who formerly worked on his campaign and told another close pal that she was romantically involved with the married ex-senator.

The Enquirer has now confirmed not only that Rielle is expecting, but that she's gone into hiding with the help of a former aide to Edwards. The visibly pregnant blonde has relocated from the New York area to Chapel Hill, N.C., where she is living in an upscale gated community near political operative Andrew Young, who's been extremely close to Edwards for years and was a key official in his presidential campaign.

And in a bizarre twist, Young - a 41-year-old married man with young children - now claims he is the father of Rielle's baby. But others are skeptical, wondering if Young's paternity claim is a cover-up to protect Edwards. . .

In a statement issued to The Enquirer through her attorney, Rielle said: "The fact that I am expecting a child is my personal and private business. This has no relationship to nor does it involve John Edwards in any way. Andrew Young is the father of my unborn child."

But a source extremely close to the 43-year-old divorcee says Rielle has told a far different story privately: "Rielle told me she had a secret affair with Edwards. When she found out that she was pregnant, she said he was the father."

Rielle loves Edwards and will do anything to protect him, the source says.

In The Enquirer's Oct. 22 issue, we revealed that Edwards, 54, was involved in a mistress scandal and the shocking allegations - if proven true - could devastate the Democratic hopeful's campaign. . .

Reporters asked Edwards about The Enquirer report during a campaign stop in Columbia, S.C., on Oct. 11. Edwards responded: "The story is false. It's completely untrue, ridiculous," adding: "Anyone who knows me knows that I have been in love with the same woman for 30 plus years."

Rielle issued her own statement through MyDD.com, a pro-Democratic Web site, saying: "The innuendos and lies that have appeared on the Internet and in the National Enquirer concerning John Edwards are not true, completely unfounded and ridiculous. . .

A former "Director of Operations" for Edwards' campaign, Young's last official position with the campaign was "North Carolina Finance Director." He left that job about a month ago - about the same time Rielle settled in Chapel Hill. . .

Edwards' lawyer called The Enquirer and denied the well-coiffed Democratic candidate is the father of Rielle's baby, adding that Rielle would deny it as well.

A day later, in a shocking twist, the attorney for Mr. Young issued a statement that Young fathered Rielle's baby. "Andrew Young is the father of Ms. Hunter's unborn child," declared his Washington, D.C.-based attorney.

"Sen. Edwards knew nothing about the relationship between these former co-workers, which began when they worked together in 2006.". . .

Now some insiders wonder whether Young's paternity claim is simply a cover-up to protect his longtime pal Edwards. "If you have an alternate explanation for a scandal, you don't take 24 hours to offer that explanation, let alone days or weeks," a political insider told The Enquirer.

When Enquirer reporters contacted Young in person at his home on Dec. 12, he became furious - and denied he was Andrew Young. He also denied knowing "any Rielle Hunter," yelling at the top of his voice: "You don't even know who I am!" But when his wife called him "Andrew," he shot her a dirty look.

An enraged Young called police, demanding our reporters be arrested for trespassing. Officers from the Chatham County (N.C.) Sheriff's Department responded, questioned everyone and made no arrests.

While controversy swirls around her, Rielle - a wannabe actress who by her own admission was a drug-using New York party girl in the '80s - stayed in touch with Edwards. "Rielle told me that she remains in phone contact with John, but can't see him for obvious reasons," said the source close to her.

PROGRESSIVE REVIEW - This story, if true, means an extremely intelligent trial lawyer with no previous record of extra-curricular sexual escapades launched a casual affair just before running for president and while his wife was critically ill - and did so without using a condom. That's not lascivious; that's masochism.

While it is true that John F. Kennedy engaged in affairs during his primary campaign, he had already established a reputation strong enough that staffers took protective measures. This story also is strikingly different than those involving Bill Clinton who discarded women like they were just another long-standing Democratic party plank and where the accounts of what happened (and subsequent efforts to keep them quiet) came from the women themselves. There is also no accusation of rape in this instance in contrast to the Juanita Broaddrick case involving Clinton.

The Enquirer, it should also be noted, places the word of an unnamed source above those of the woman allegedly involved and the man she claims is the father.

One final note: the key owner of the Enquirer is a Clinton operative.

Stay tuned.

BEN SMITH, POLITICO, OCT 11 - What the tabloid's readers, in politics and out, may not know is that a key owner of the Enquirer is a prominent New York investment banker and one of Hillary Clinton's key backers, Roger Altman. Altman was an official in the first Clinton administration, and his name is often mentioned as a possible Clinton Treasury Secretary.

The investment boutique which Altman founded and chairs, Evercore Partners, bought a controlling stake in American Media, which publishes the Enquirer, in 1999, which it still holds with a partner. Evercore's president, Austin Beutner, sits on American Media's Board of Directors, according to Evercore's website.

A spokesman for American Media, Richard Valvo, said in an email that Altman has "no involvement in editorial, ever." He said that Evercore owns 20 percent of the company through an investment fund. Altman didn't respond to an email seeking comment or to a message left with his secretary. . .

FEBRUARY 2006

EDWARDS JOIN HOTEL UNION WORKERS FIGHT

NY TIMES - The nation's largest hotel union opened a nationwide campaign on Wednesday to improve workers' wages with an unusual strategy - it had John Edwards, the former Democratic candidate for vice president, sit with hotel workers to hear their complaints. They complained of injuries from moving hotel mattresses, of not earning enough to support their families, of rising health care costs. . . The workers and Mr. Edwards, a former senator from North Carolina, have joined an effort by Unite Here, the union of hotel, restaurant and apparel workers, to pressure hotels around the nation to improve wages for not just 90,000 unionized hotel workers, but also for more than a million nonunion hotel workers. . . "Can we still really call America the land of opportunity when hotel workers who work full time for profitable hotel companies cannot afford to make ends meet?" Mr. Edwards said. "This is not just unjust. It is immoral, and we need to do something about it."

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/16/national/16labor.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

JUNE 2005

UPI - Among the 100 or so invitees to the annual Bilderberg conference under way Sunday in a northern Italy resort is potential U.S. vice president John Edwards. Reporters generally are not invited and those who are observe the conference group's general pledge of secrecy, reinforcing the view of conspiracy theorists that the elite gathering is up to no good, London's The Guardian newspaper reported. Other invitees are Mrs. Bill Gates and likely are regulars Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger and U.S. Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld.

http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20040606-103603-4126r.htm

JULY 2004

GREAT THOUGHTS

"I think Iraq is the most serious and imminent threat to our country."--John Edwards, CNN Late Edition, Feb. 24, 2002

WALL STREET JOURNAL - The Edwards campaign merely shrugged this spring when Sen. Kerry's press secretary assailed the North Carolinian's White House bid as "wholly funded by trial lawyers." More remarkable yet was how Edwards's spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri had earlier responded to similar sniping: "We have no problem if 100% of our money came from trial lawyers."

EDWARDS USED 'JUNK SCIENCE' TO GAIN FORTUNE

WORLDNET DAILY - As newly announced vice-presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards' record is scrutinized, political critics are re-examining claims the former trial lawyer amassed much of the personal fortune that financed his political career by winning legal cases based on "junk science." . . .

CNSNews.com first reported in January how Edwards won record jury verdicts and settlements in cases alleging that the botched treatment of women in labor and their deliveries caused infants to develop the brain disorder cerebral palsy. Edwards specialized in these cases, which he characterized in his presidential campaign as battles on behalf of the common man against insurance companies. But the cause of cerebral palsy long has been debated, and two new studies in 2003 further undermined the scientific premise of Edwards' cases, CNSNews.com reported.

"There are some cases where the brain damage did occur at the time of delivery. But it's really unusual. It's really quite unusual," Dr. Murray Goldstein, a neurologist and the medical director of the United Cerebral Palsy Research and Educational Foundation, told the news agency. "The overwhelming majority of children that are born with developmental brain damage, the ob/gyn could not have done anything about it, could not have, not at this stage of what we know," Goldstein stated.

Medical science increasingly is exonerating doctors in cases of labor and delivery where cerebral palsy resulted, medical and legal experts told CNSNews.com. "At the end of the day, I verily believe we will find [the cause of cerebral palsy is] all genetic," said Eldon L. Boisseau of the Kansas-based firm Turner and Boisseau.

FUN FACTS ABOUT JOHN EDWARDS

DOUG IRELAND, LA WEEKLY - Edwards' legislative record - what little there is of it - is hardly populist. In fact, Edwards is a classic, corporate-friendly, centrist New Democrat. In his five years as a freshman senator, Edwards on his own produced little legislation, much less than some other first-termers - although he was assigned by Tom Daschle to represent the Democrats in negotiations over a patients' bill of rights, and so can boast he was a co-sponsor of the final, but aborted, bill.

However, there's one highly significant chapter in his Senate career omitted from Edwards' campaign Web site. Edwards, who comes from a state where banking is big business, played a critical role in brokering legislation to allow banks to sell mutual funds and insurance, and to engage in other speculative ventures. This law, worth hundreds of billions to the banks, blasted a gigantic hole in the Glass-Steagal banking law's firewall of protections designed to prevent the kinds of bank collapses that marked the Great Depression of the '30s - meaning that it put the money of Joe Six-Pack depositors at risk. Such a gigantic boon to the banking lobby can hardly be classed as a populist victory.

If there was real depth to Edwards' rhetorical populism, one would expect to find it in "Real Solutions for America." That's the 60-page campaign booklet that Edwards refers to in his stump speech. But when one checks out these "real solutions" (available on his Web site), one finds a lot of nice-sounding hot air, some innocuous small-bore proposals - and few specific details. On a number of important matters - example: federal corporate welfare - the "solutions" Edwards' speeches describe as "bold" involve . . . appointing a commission.

Sometimes, the pamphlet contradicts Edwards' reality. Example: "Some tax lawyers make millions through flimsy letters telling clients how to shelter their income. Edwards will stop these abuses," it claims. But in 1995, Edwards - already a multimillionaire - set up a professional corporation to shelter at least $10 million in legal earnings from having to pay Medicare taxes on them, saving himself some $290,000, according to the News and Observer, which quoted a top specialist from the American Institute of CPAs as labeling this trick "gaming the system." Populist hypocrisy?

The foreign and defense policy sections of the pamphlet are similarly airy and detail-free, with lots of boilerplate guff about "promoting democratic values." And while Edwards, when campaigning, bashes John Ashcroft for assaults on civil liberties, his pamphlet boasts that he'd "create thousands of neighborhood watch groups by 2007," which sounds suspiciously akin to Ashcroft's infamous TIPS program of setting citizen to spy on citizen. Edwards, of course, voted for both the blank check to Dubya for war in Iraq, and for the civil liberties­shredding Patriot Act. He's in no position to take on Dubya over his lies about Iraq's WMD - for Edwards himself proclaimed, as late as October 10, 2002, "We know that Hussein has chemical and biological weapons"; and hailed the invasion of Iraq, which "still might prove a victory for people everywhere . . . who seek to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction."

The Web zine Slate called him "more hawkish than all the Democratic candidates except for Joe Lieberman." Example: As a senator, Edwards voted to deploy the "Star Wars" national missile defense as soon as possible - but you won't find this controversial position in Johnny's feel-good pamphlet. His solution to the quagmire of the U.S. occupation of Iraq is not to hand it over to the United Nations - of which Edwards has been a tart critic - but to have Iraq policed by NATO, which is not exactly what most of the world would interpret as a step toward the international rule of law. . .

Edwards on the stump likes to proclaim, "What you see is what you get." Not quite, Johnny.

JOHN EDWARDS

EDWARDS GAVE LOAN TO FEDERAL JUDGE

GEOFF EARLE, THE HILL - In 1994, when Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) was still the biggest tort lawyer in North Carolina, he lent $30,000 to a federal bankruptcy judge who was then overseeing a case on which Edwards's wife, Elizabeth, did much of the legal work. The judge, J. Rich Leonard, is a longtime friend of Edwards's. Edwards, who won election to the Senate in 1998, did no business in Leonard's courtroom. But in 1999, Leonard approved a $1 million contingency fee for Nicholls & Crampton, the law firm where Elizabeth Edwards was an associate and working on the case. She had left the firm in 1996, three years before the parties settled and the fee was actually awarded. She has said she received no benefits from the award. Subsequently, Edwards supported Leonard's unsuccessful efforts to move up the federal judicial ladder.

EDWARDS SET UP CORPORATION THAT GAVE HIM HUGE TAX BREAK

ROBERT NOVAK CHICAGO SUN-TIMES - Sen. John Edwards got through last Thursday night's debate in Los Angeles, as he has his entire presidential campaign, without being asked an embarrassing question. How can he explain setting up a dummy corporation to avoid paying an estimated $290,000 in Medicare taxes in the two years before he ran for the Senate? It would be an embarrassing question for a self-described populist inveighing against privileges for the rich and powerful. . .

At 9 a.m. on June 28, 1995, articles of incorporation were filed with the North Carolina secretary of state for John R. Edwards, P.A. (professional association), of Raleigh, N.C. The new corporation was authorized to issue 100,000 shares of common stock -- all owned by Edwards, who is its only employee. This is a classic Subchapter ''S'' corporation devised to shelter income, mainly for professionals such as lawyers. It is one of the last loopholes in the Internal Revenue Code, and it is a big one. Edwards put his own little corporation to good use in his last two years as a personal accident lawyer before becoming a full-time politician. He paid himself salaries of $600,000 in 1996 and $540,000 in 1997, on which he paid Medicare taxes. As the sole stockholder, Edwards received dividends of $5 million for each of those years -- all of it free from Medicare taxes. That saved the future senator around $290,000.

EDWARDS ON SOCIAL SECURITY

DRUDGE REPORT - The senator from North Carolina "strongly opposes investing Social Security in the stock market," according to his campaign website. In a page titled "seniors," Edwards takes a stand on the controversial issue, declaring how he "strongly opposes recent efforts to privatize Social Security, which would jeopardize benefits by risking our Social Security funds in the stock market."

But before he decided he was going to seek the Democratic presidential nomination, Edwards supported investing Social Security funds in the stock market. In a speech on October 6, 1998 in Raleigh, Senator Edwards told a group of senior citizens that Social Security surpluses - money not needed immediately to pay benefits - should be invested and kept separate. A portion of the money, up to 10 percent, could be invested in the stock market and the remainder put in secure investments such as treasury bills, Edwards explained.

On September 27, 1998, Edwards told a gathering at Elon College how a small part of the Social Security fund should be invested in stocks and bonds "to see the kind of returns it would produce." Investment brokers and not Washington bureaucrats should decide how the money should be invested, Edwards said.

EDWARDS ON NICE

JAKE TAPPER, ABC NEWS - On Monday night, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina attributed his second place finish in the Iowa Democratic Caucuses to his positive message and his refusal to engage in negative attacks against his opponents. "The people of Iowa tonight confirmed that they believe in a positive, uplifting vision to change America," Edwards said to cheers.

But ABC News has obtained an official "John Edwards for President" precinct captain packet that includes myriad personal attacks for Edwards caucus-goers to make against his Democratic opponents, perhaps belying this claim.

The document - marked "CONFIDENTIAL AND PRIVILEDGED" (sic) and "NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION" and signed by the senator - encourages Edwards supporters to tell undecided caucus-attendees that former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is a "Park Avenue elitist from New York City" and say Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts has "the stale record of a Washington insider" and "has been a part of the failed Washington politics for too long."

EDWARDS ON WALL STREET

BUSINESS WEEK - Wall Street has long provided a soft landing for out-of-work pols. But increasingly, the revolving door leads to private investment firms. The Street's latest recruit: John Edwards, the ex-North Carolina senator and Vice-Presidential standard bearer for the Democratic Party in the 2004 elections. Business Week has learned that Edwards has signed up to work for the New York-based private investment concern Fortress Investment Group as a part-time senior advisor. As such, he will be "providing support in developing investment opportunities worldwide and strategic advice on global economic issues," says Edwards spokesperson Kim Rubey. Fortress declined to comment about hiring Edwards, who teamed up with Massachusetts Senator John Kerry in a losing bid against President George Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney last year.

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/oct2005/nf20051013_3314_db016.htm

DID EDWARDS GET RICH ON JUNK SCIENCE AT DOCTORS' EXPENSE?

MARC MARANO, CNS NEWS - Judgments or settlements related to medical malpractice lawsuits that focused on brain-damaged infants with cerebral palsy helped Edwards amass a personal fortune estimated at between $12.8 and $60 million. . . Edwards' old law firm reportedly kept between 25 and 40 percent of the jury awards/settlements during the time he worked there. According to the Center for Public Integrity, Edwards was able to win "more than $152 million" based on his involvement in 63 lawsuits alone . . .

Eldon L. Boisseau of the Kansas-based firm Turner and Boisseau, specializing in defending doctors' insurance companies from medical malpractice lawsuits, agreed that physician-caused cerebral palsy "occurs only rarely." . . . Dr. John Freeman, a professor of neurology and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., also believes there is little obstetricians can do to prevent cerebral palsy during delivery. "Most cases of cerebral palsy are not due to asphyxia," Freeman told CNSNews.com. "A great many of these cases are due to subtle infections of the child before birth," Freeman said. "That is the cause of the premature labor and the cause of the [brain] damage. There is little or no evidence that if you did a [caesarean] section a short time earlier you would prevent cerebral palsy," he added.

NIH: In the United States, about 10 to 20 percent of children who have cerebral palsy acquire the disorder after birth. (The figures are higher in underdeveloped countries.) Acquired cerebral palsy results from brain damage in the first few months or years of life and can follow brain infections, such as bacterial meningitis or viral encephalitis, or results from head injury -- most often from a motor vehicle accident, a fall, or child abuse. Congenital cerebral palsy, on the other hand, is present at birth, although it may not be detected for months. In most cases, the cause of congenital cerebral palsy is unknown.