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Friday, June 01, 2012

A couple of guys named John

Why I support John Edwards: Okay, I used the present tense just now simply to get your attention, and because I have a puckish sense of humor. The man's political career is over; I accept that fact. Still, this powerful piece by a former (albeit brief) Edwards campaign staffer reminds us of our choices during the previous campaign:
Back then, the other potential Democratic nominees, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, were widely and correctly perceived as timid centrists who had a knee-jerk tendency to run from conflict the second conservatives ruffled their feathers. Edwards, on the other hand, spoke convincingly of how change couldn’t come from  “negotiation and compromise,” arguing that the idea that corporate interests would voluntarily give away their power is “a fantasy.” Long before the economic crash and Occupy Wall Street forced major Democratic politicians to address the question of growing inequality, Edwards’s famous “two Americas” rhetoric helped force the issue onto the table. Occupy boiled it down to the 1 Percent vs. the 99 Percent, but back in 2007, Edwards was taking cracks at “the very rich vs. everyone else.”

In the rush of headlines about Edwards’s despicable sexual behavior, what’s forgotten is how much his campaign haunted the primary contest between Clinton and Obama long after he dropped out. An early push in the campaign season from Edwards on healthcare reform set the tone for the rest of the election season on this issue. Edwards put out a plan for healthcare reform before the other candidates, forcing the other candidates to release competing plans that were likelier farther to the left than they were comfortable promising.
I don't think that Edwards' populist rhetoric was just rhetoric. Yeah, he's rich. But as a lawyer, Edwards had always stuck up for the little guy.

If Edwards had not committed a sexual sin, he would now be someone the media would consider quotable. And if he were offering views on current politics, I feel confident that he would never have referred to Romney's record at Bain as "sterling." Bill Clinton did just that. What a wretched thing to say! My god, but the Clintons have been incredibly disappointing lately.

Bill Clinton has steered clear of the Occupy movement. Edwards would have been in the park with the protesters.

As I've said before: Most of the great mistakes I've made in life occurred when I let Downstairs Cannon overrule the judgment of Upstairs Cannon. In the case of Edwards, Little John royally screwed things up for Big John. But we should not forget that Big John was the only person in 2007-08 who said the right things -- and in doing so, he forced his competitors to speak the same language.

Why declassifying the JFK records matters: I don't care where you stand on the JFK controversy -- or where you stand on Russ Baker, whose book Family of Secrets is not universally admired in the assassination research community. Baker's new piece in Salon, on the Obama administration's efforts to undermine transparency, is must reading. The issue goes far beyond the great unpleasantness of 1963.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has been holding forums on which government records should be declassified.
The #1 most popular idea? Get those Kennedy records out — before Nov. 22, 2013, the fiftieth anniversary of the Dallas tragedy.
That is, in fact, what we were promised. What we got was very different...
Here’s what actually happened at the NARA forums.

The first was held in 2010. The assistant archivist, Michael Kurtz, said that withheld JFK assassination records would be processed, along with other documents, for declassification — and that the process should be completed by the end of 2013.

But by 2011, Kurtz, who had been at NARA for decades, had retired. At the 2011 forum, Jim Lesar was told that JFK assassination records are not part of the declassification process. Hence, they will not be reviewed for release.

Huh? What Happened

For some perspective, meet Sheryl Shenberger. She’s the head of the Archives’ National Declassification Center. What would you guess Sheryl’s professional background would be? Library of Congress? Academic research? Nope. Before NDC, Sheryl worked for … the Central Intelligence Agency.
Why on earth would Barack Obama put a "former" CIA employee in charge of declassification of records? Traditionally, there has been an adversarial relationship between the CIA and the forces favoring transparency.

When things like this happen, I start to wonder if my previous speculation about Obama's spooked-up family might have validity.

Shenberger has an interesting resume...
Prior to working in the declassification field, Ms. Shenberger worked in the CIA Counter Terrorism Center (2001 – 2003), the CIA Crime and Narcotics Center (2000 – 2001), and the National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency (previously known as NIMA and NPIC; 1988 – 2000).
Let me state this in very plain terms. We don't want anyone connected in any way with the CIA to make any decisions about which JFK documents get released because -- as John Newman (himself formerly of Army intelligence) has proven beyond the point of rational debate -- people in the CIA fucking did the crime.

To be specific: James Jesus Angleton planned the murder. And right now, this country is being overrun with nutty, extreme-right paranoids who are Angleton's spiritual heirs. (I was going to write "intellectual heirs," but many of the extreme-right paranoids we see today -- Bachmann, Beck -- resist any application of the term "intellectual.")

Contrary to latter-day myth, "Poppy" Bush had no real connection to the assassination. Got that, Russ Baker?
The media re-assassination of JFK over the next year (Is this the third, or the fourth? I've lost count.) will be ugly and very well orchestrated. A good prophylaxis will be to read the long-awaited new edition of Jim DiEugenio's "Destiny Betrayed", scheduled for release November 1, 2012. He's promised this edition will be greatly revised and expanded, with a wealth of new material from AARB files.
Excellent excellent point.

I was watching the news on Edwards, and listening to some of the jurers say that while they strongly suspected he was guilty, they couldnt see any proof in the evidence and couldnt understand why the case was brought. I muttered to myself, that Mr. Edwards must have pissed off the wrong people. Usually a politician can get away with all sorts of campaign finance naughtiness, and lord alone knows what kind of sexual stuff without fear of exposure. For some reason, the justice department, which couldnt see a case against the banks for fraud, can see a case against a one time political rival of the current president.


Thing about Edwards being rich, well he is rich. But he aint filthy rich. He aint Koch Bros rich, or Gates rich or oil rich. He is just rich.

He has no business interests to defend. He made his money dishonestly in the law. No need to fiddle legislation to get extra public money channelled to him.

I can see lots of good reasons why the big money would want him gone.

100% with you on Edwards-- and I still like the rumor that Obama dimed him to the Enquirer. My burning question: why was he even charged? Who on the food chain ordered this hit? If anyone should be charged, it would be Young, who scammed most of the money.
Frankly it was all about MONEY! He wanted to keep the affair a secret for his political aspirations and for the benefit of receiving his wife's estate. When her cancer returned he continued on, without regard for her health. She underwent IVF after the death of their son (From which Edwards was very emotional over) and then had another son (one wonders).

So, Edwards for years has expected people to do for him and give to him...I ask would you leave your grandmother or ill relative and their check book with Edwards?
I remember watching Kerry and Edwards on the 2004 campaign trail, robot stick man and a dark haired Bill Clinton.
Whatever Baker's errors, it seems he has found firm evidence that Bush was apparently making an alibi and a distraction, for reasons that would be unclear except for at least a tangential involvement, or more. Is there some anodyne explanation for what Baker starts the book with about Bush's actions on that day?

Edwards must have had something going for him, as Ralph Nader endorsed him when Ralph dropped out. I hate to believe Nader could be fooled by an inauthentic man.

I read where Nader, however, because of a grievance with Kucinich, chose Edwards over a man who was obviously closer to him ideologically.

Any info would be appreciated.
As I recall, then Barak [nobody]Obama got up on the podium and declares Kerry and Edwards are full of excrement...there aren't TWO America's only ONE!

And the media praised Obama's 2004 inauguration speech to high heavens for once again sticking the knife into a liberals back publicly, where other right wing extremist would fear to tread.

Of course, Obama did have it right; We only have a 1% America.
What Woman Voter said.

Ken Hoop can keep whatever it is he's smoking. Nader's equivalent is Zerobama. The Naderites and Obots derailed our country.

And Kookcinich is Edwards without the sincerity.

Just do everyone a favor, yourself first of all, KH. Don't try to figure it out. Just internalize that you have it all wrong and stop recycling memes.

do you think that Edwards deserves a 30 year sentence?

The other question is: how bad was Edwards for having an affair, hiding the affair while his wife was dying from cancer?

Obviously Edwards is a firstclass scumbag here, but when does being a scumbag justify getting a 30 year prison term?

I have heard that the woman he had the affair with, Rielle Hunter, set her sights on Edwards and pursued him, not the other way around as per this excerpt from this article:

Hunter in some ways is reminiscent of other women who came forward to ruin or nearly ruin Democratic politicians with accusations of sexual improprieties—while personally profiting from their actions–including Donna Rice (Hart), Gennifer Flowers (Clinton) and Ashley Dupre (Spitzer). Meanwhile, some of those who turned on Edwards, notably his former aide Andrew Young and his wife, have by their own admission done well financially for doing Edwards in.

-Though Hunter was their entire case, prosecutors were sufficiently wary of her (or perhaps of drawing additional attention to her precise role in the matter) that they did not call her to the witness stand.

This investigative reporter smells a rat in Edwards’s downfall. Maybe I’m wrong.

I think the honeytrap for Edwards was set in 2006. Having Edwards fall for a honeytrap, hiding up the relationship, using campaign donors to help him hide the relationship, was so much better than having Edwards killed in a tragic plane accident, a traditional route for top political rivals like JFK Jr.

This was posted in 2008:

Rielle Was The Honey, But Who Set The Trap?


In this youtube video, Rielle is described as "voracious social climber".

Before meeting Edwards, Hunter lived something of a colorful life—so colorful, she changed her name. In the 1980s, Hunter—then-Lisa Druck—dated novelist Jay McInerney, whose 1988 "Story of My Life" is told from the point of view of a point of view of a Hunter-like character.

Famous Jay McInerney Novel About Rielle Hunter Goes Into Reprint

by Sara K. Smith

Jay McInerney used to love dating crazy broads and doing a lot of blow, back in the 80s, when it was considered un-American not to walk around with a cocaine mustache and a persistent case of chlamydia. During these halcyon days, he dated the craziest broad of them all: Lisa Druck, who went on to change her name to “Rielle Hunter” and attain universal revile for her terrible use of fonts in John Edwards’ painfully embarrassing presidential campaign “Webisodes.” Now Jay McInerney’s publisher is reprinting a book he wrote in 1988 called Story of My Life, which is told from the point of view of a Hunter-like character, about a 20something actress who does whatever and whenever to further her career and a name for herself. This was before Rielle, aka Lisa, ever met Edwards in 2006.
Edwards did stand up for universal healthcare and push back against Big Insurance Co's. His policy stands were more liberal than those of Hillary or Obama, and kept them from creeping further right. Too bad that is forgotten now.

Yes, he was a scumbag in how he treated his wife. Yet he was prosecuted when others who've done the same or equivalent are not prosecuted. Odd.

Meanwhile Wall Street and Big Oil and their cronies continue to screw the 99% without (as yet) consequences.

--NW Luna
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