Keepin’ It Real

September 28, 2007

John Edwards: “[P]retty soon we’re not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They’re all going to be in prison or dead. One of the two.”

Filed under: John Edwards — mary @ 1:56 pm

At the MTV/MySpace Presidential Dialogue, John Edwards was asked the following question by a member of the audience:

“What would you do to eliminate inner city kids partake in violence?” (sic)

His answer began as follows:

“ The President must say to America: We cannot build enough prisons to solve this problem. And the idea that we can keep incarcerating and keep incarcerating — pretty soon we’re not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They’re all going to be in prison or dead. One of the two,” John Edwards

Here’s the video clip:

Pretty racist if you ask me.

Jesse and Al, are you out there?

Edited to add:

Is there a subtle racism in John Edwards? One does wonder. Take this comment he made during an interview in Iowa in June”

“It’s not just a question of who you like,” Edwards said. “It’s not just a question of whose vision you are impressed with. It’s also a question of who is most likely to win the general election. It’s a pretty simple thing. Who will be a stronger candidate in the general election here in the State of Iowa? Who can go to other parts of the country when we have swing candidates running for the Congress and the Senate? Is the candidate going to have to say, ‘Don’t come here. Don’t come here and campaign with me. I can’t win if you campaign with me.'”

He added later, “I think it’s just a reality that I can campaign anyplace in America.”

To me this implies that John Edwards believes that he, as a white male, is the only one who can campaign anywhere in the country.

I think as John Edwards speaks more and more one is going to see subtle racists hints. Of course, in a way, his brand of socialized everything does have racist tendencies. He states to minorities that they aren’t able to take care of themselves and government must take care of them from cradle to grave. In my opinion he just sounds like he has taken on the “white man’s burden”, which is so very condescending to a segment of the American population, and is dismissive of their talents and abilities.


June 7, 2007

John Edwards Outlines 10,000-person “Marshall Corps” to Combat Terrorism (or clean drinking water will make the bad boys back down)

Filed under: John Edwards — mary @ 9:23 pm

Yesterday, Senator John Edwards outlined his plan to combat terrorism. The New York Sun reported today:

The plan Mr. Edwards presented yesterday — which he dubbed “A Strategy to Shut Down Terrorists and Stop Terrorism Before It Starts” — calls for a 10,000-person “Marshall Corps” to deal with issues ranging from worldwide poverty and economic development to clean drinking water and micro-lending. He said investing in those areas would shore up weak nations and help ensure that terrorism does not take root there. That, he said, would allow the country to stop potential terrorists before they even join the ranks.

But according to a recent study by the U.S. Institute for Peace, released June 5, 2007 , “there is no correlation between the state of the local economy, marital status or education and support of terrorism.” The study does, however, find “a correlation among those who believe Islam should or does play a large role in politics, those who perceive they have freedom of expression and those who believe the United States threatens Islam.”

Big surprise, it’s all about Islam.

In Senator Edwards’ mind, this is too much of a bumper sticker concept.

Edwards’ plan, however, is just another New Deal program for the world. How about this for a bumper sticker :

“Great Society for Jihadists”

Pretty catchy and pretty much sums up John Edwards’ approach to every issue – throw money at it and it will go away. Unfortunately, Islamic terrorists aren’t going away for clean drinking water and micro-lending. They are in this game for keeps, and we need to have the same commitment and strength of will that they do.

Maybe it’s time to really study an issue, Senator Edwards, before you introduce more populist mumbo jumbo to the debate.

June 1, 2007

John Edwards on YouTube: “America must do things to show we are not selfish.”

Filed under: John Edwards,Politics — mary @ 9:53 pm

Here’s five plus minutes of mush-headed nonsense posing as a serious interview of presidential candidate John Edwards. If he weren’t a contender for president his ignorance would be laughable. The fact that he could somehow take the highest office in our land makes it unbelievable:

John Edwards has vowed to travel the world the first six months in office is elected President to talk with the people of the world. According to Edwards, America “will have to do some things that are not selfish” to repair our relationships around the world. At this point he cites leading on AIDs in Africa, doing something to solve the problem in Darfur (short of sending troops, which you would pull out at the first hardship, what do you propose?) and educating over 100 million of the world’s children (No Child Left Behind for the world).

So the U.S. must do some things that are not selfish?? Who is advising you, Senator?? The United States and its citizens are very generous to the world. In a 2005 article from the Heritage Foundation, author Helle Dale sets forth the following facts about U.S. giving on both the governmental and private levels:

Fact: The United States donates more than any other country in Official Development Assistance, to the tune of $16 billion. That is up from $10 billion in 2000. For fiscal 2006, Mr. Bush has requested an additional $3 billion. American increases in official development assistance over the period of Mr. Bush’s presidency have far outpaced those of the European Union.

Fact: The United States is the largest single donor to international organizations, paying $362 million (or 22 percent) of the U.N. budget. We contribute more than $1 billion to the World Food Program. We contributed $194 (or 19 percent) to the U.N. Development Program and $288 million to the U.N. Children’s Fund.

Fact: The U.S. government counts less than half of its foreign assistance as development aid. Excluded is aid to Israel, to the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and the Baltic countries, peacekeeping and military aid, educational and cultural exchanges, the National Endowment of Democracy, educational and cultural exchanges, funding to the Export-Import Bank, the Inter-American-Foundation, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. All of this amounted to $12.7 billion in 2002.

Fact: The United States has a great tradition of private giving, unequalled in most of the other countries with whom we are regularly compared. In 2004, private assistance flowing from the United States totaled $48 billion. This includes charity from private foundations, corporations, colleges and universities, religious organizations and NGOs, as well as individuals. It also includes personal remittances, about $28 billion. The U.S. government, of course, has no role in directing remittances, but facilitates these transactions through immigration and commerce legislation.

Fact: Americans donated nearly $700 million in tsunami relief to the stricken people of the Indian Ocean.

In total flows of international aid, the United States far and away leads the world.

So Senator Edwards will be our “citizen of the world” President, flying hither and yon, apologizing for our selfishness, giving more and more money to make people like us. And at some point, will it result in our “Sally Field moment” where we stand on the world stage with a gee-whiz smile on our face declaring in surprise “You like me, you really like me?” Somehow I don’t think so.

ETA I had so much more to say. The 5+ minutes is laden with objectionable material. An interesting part was the “Lightening Round” where the interviewer set forth an issue and Edwards had to label it a “Right” or a “Privilege”. My bet that Constitutional law was not his strong suit in law school. Here’s Edward’s answers to the “Lightening Round”:

College Education: Right
Health Care: Right
Earning a Living Wage: Right
Owning a Handgun: Privilege
Citizenship after working 1 year in the US: Privilege
Citizenship after working 5 years in the US: Right

Come one, come all. Sneak across the border, work for 5 years and you have the RIGHT to become a citizen. Gee, Senator, didn’t see that one in the Bill of Rights, but I did see that pesky right to keep and bear arms. Back to class for you.

May 23, 2007

John Edwards’ non-profit campaign

Filed under: John Edwards,Politics — mary @ 12:03 am

I read an interesting entry at the American Thinker blog today, which discusses John Edwards “parking” his campaign staff at his non-profit poverty center.

The entry quotes a Business Week article questioning the practice of Edwards using his non-profit (the Center for Promise & Opportunity), a much different legal entity than a campaign entity, for the purpose of keeping his campaign staff employed, and thus ready to roll out the campaign when Edwards was ready, rather than use experts in the field of poverty.

The Business Week article states:

The line between an ordinary nonprofit and a group formed to test the political waters can be blurry. But legally there’s a big difference. Ordinary nonprofits aren’t subject to rules on disclosing donors and limiting contributions; exploratory political groups are. No one has challenged the status of the Edwards center, and experts in the field say it may technically pass muster as an ordinary nonprofit. But at a minimum, it appears to have helped Edwards prepare for the 2008 Presidential race.

This was the paragraph I found most interesting:

Edwards, a former Democratic senator from North Carolina, launched the center in 2005 at the Washington (D.C.) address of his PAC. The nonprofit raised $1.3 million in 2005, the only year for which data are available, and spent some of it on a national speaking tour for Edwards. It also spent $259,000 on consultants. The campaign declines to disclose the donors or consultants. The center is now defunct, and some of its key leaders are now aiding the Edwards campaign. The Edwards campaign says the Center is not connected to a separate Edwards anti-poverty effort at the University of North Carolina.

I find the funding of a speaking tour for John Edwards to be absolutely fascinating on two levels. First, on non-profit dollars he was able in 2005 to position himself and grow a constituency without ever having to declare for President and follow the election rules. Second, one wonders, did this funding of a speaking tour allow Sen. Edwards an opportunity, on the backs of donors, to earn speaking fees? It has been diclosed that in 2006, Edwards earned more than $400,000 in speaking fees, presumably speaking on the topic of poverty as he did at UC Davis in January, 2006.

One does wonder, what fees, if any were earned in 2005.

And, further, the Business Week article is hardly the first, to raise Edwards’ use of a non-profit as a way to launch his campaign. The author at the JimBuie blog, discusses his misgivings about a UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity event:

“Come have coffee with John Edwards,” the email in late August, 2006 stated. Since former senator Edwards and I, in our jobs, both worked on the issue of poverty, I didn’t find the invitation surprising. It seemed natural that people from my organization — the North Carolina Justice Center — and Edwards’ organization — the University of North Carolina Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity — would want to communicate closely.

But when I arrived at the “coffee,” the room was bursting with hundreds of people, mostly students, and Edwards was pontificating about a range of issues as if he were on the campaign trail. Any fantasy I had that Senator Edwards and I would be in a small-group setting discussing the intricacies of poverty in North Carolina dissolved.

What he said during the event (Daily Tar Heel coverage) was fine as far as it goes, for a general audience with a cursory knowledge of the subject. But I came away feeling disappointed and cynical that he was using his position at the University and the issue of poverty to connect with core constituencies in the Democratic Party who would provide a base of support as he plans to run for president in 2008.

Also, an October 25, 2006 article in the University of North Carolina newspaper The Daily Tarheel discussed the concern raised about Edwards’ use of the University of North Carolina’s Center for Poverty, Work and Opportunity, of which he was a director, as a political platform for his eventual run for President:

Other than a few family portraits, some books and a couple of cans of mixed nuts, John Edwards’ office at the UNC School of Law appears unused.

It’s apparent that the office, where Edwards sits as director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, is not his only workplace.

An analysis by The Daily Tar Heel of Edwards’ calendar items shows that the potential White House hopeful has spent about half of the past two months away from Chapel Hill, where he and wife Elizabeth recently built a $4.2 million estate.

His travels are leading many to believe that the former senator is gearing up for 2008. . . .

. . . .”The poverty center at UNC-Chapel Hill is largely a vehicle for running a campaign based on economic concerns,” he (John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation) said. “I think it’s obvious by the activities of the center that it is primarily designed to keep John Edwards in the public debate on a signature issue so he will be a viable candidate.”. . . .

. . . .”It is not an uncommon thing for politicians who lost and want to stay in the game to see a platform to address public issues,” Hood said.

But Hood said that the center’s location on campus draws valid concerns.

“It’s a legitimate concern for the public in North Carolina to wonder if an arm of their state university is being used to enhance a political campaign,” he said.

All very interesting. Do his actions affect the status of the two non-profits? Was his work in the non-profits at all in contravention of election laws? No matter what, to me, it smacks of political opportunism on the backs of donors. One of the most important things one learns in law school is to “think like a lawyer”. Working the system, I guess, is one way to embody that law school mantra, but not the one many of us idealists had in mind as we developed that skill.

May 21, 2007

John Edwards ridiculous assertion that just poor kids get sent to war

Filed under: John Edwards,Politics — mary @ 9:17 pm

In a campaign stop in New Hampshire today, John Edwards stated that all all young people should serve their country, “not just poor kids who get sent to war.”,2933,274417,00.html

One does begin to wonder who this man thinks he is. I doubt that he has ever spent one minute in true service to his country, prancing about as a Senator notwithstanding. And I doubt that his children would be forced by the government into doing anything for this country. The children of wealth are never required to do anything. Just think about Paris Hilton, the child of wealth and privilege who gets jail time reduced for good behavior by just showing up to court. John Edwards’ children would most likely start a poverty study center and then work for a hedge fund to learn more about poverty to do their national service, while the middle class fellow down the road would be forced to dig ditches or something.

Second, and most infuriating, is his ridiculous statement about “poor kids who get sent to war”. Keep up the class war, Senator Edwards. However, your class-baiting , has no facts to back it up. According to a demographic study by the Heritage Foundation:

In summary, we found that, on average, 1999 recruits were more highly educated than the equiv­alent general population, more rural and less urban in origin, and of similar income status. We did not find evidence of minority racial exploitation (by race or by race-weighted ZIP code areas). We did find evidence of a ?Southern military tradition? in that some states, notably in the South and West, provide a much higher proportion of enlisted troops by population.

The household income of recruits generally matches the income distribution of the American population. There are slightly higher proportions of recruits from the middle class and slightly lower proportions from low-income brackets. However, the proportion of high-income recruits rose to a disproportionately high level after the war on ter­rorism began, as did the proportion of highly edu­cated enlistees. All of the demographic evidence that we analyzed contradicts the pro-draft case

Just another case of demigoguery based upon outright lies. But, have we come to expect any less from the fair-haired boy from North Carolina?

May 16, 2007

Not Bad For A Part-Time Job

Filed under: John Edwards,Politics — mary @ 4:48 pm

In an article by Rob Christensen, a staff writer for The News and Observer (NC), it was revealed that John Edwards made a pretty penny working part-time for the hedge fund Fortress Investment Group:

Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards earned nearly a half million dollars while working as a part-time advisor for a New York-based hedge fund, according to campaign report made public todayday.
Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, reported earning $479,512 as a senior advisor to Fortress Investment Group LLC last year.

Further, according to the Washington Post, Edwards has also received “$167,460 in campaign contributions from Fortress employees and their families”.

So in the course of one year John Edwards earned $646,972.00 in wages and campaign contributions.

Not bad for a part-time job. Maybe you can clue in the rest of us working stiffs on how to become part of your America.

May 15, 2007

John Edwards Immigration Reform: Illegal Aliens Should Pay a Fine to Become Citizens

Filed under: John Edwards,Politics — mary @ 3:42 pm

A story on the Radio Iowa website reports that democratic presidential candidate John Edwards today outlined some of his immigration policy to Iowa voters. The headline of the article reads: “Edwards: immigrants need to learn the language of commerce.” (English) The most important and disturbing thing Edwards said about immigration, however, is buried in the body of the article:

During a campaign event today in Des Moines, a man who described himself as “an advocate for immigrants” asked Edwards for his thoughts on the issue. “You’re going to like some of what I have to say and you’re not going to like some it, but I’m going to tell you what I believe,” Edwards told the crowd.

Edwards has answered Iowans’ questions about immigration policy in many forums here. “I do think that somebody who came here illegally…should pay a fine. I don’t think we should pretend it didn’t happen and the second thing is — more controversial — I think they should learn to speak English,” Edwards said, to applause from the crowd of more than 200. “But I am strongly in favor of comprehensive reform.”

According to Edwards, what is happening along the southern border is “unacceptable” and security needs to be beefed up with more border agents and better technology to track people trying to enter the country illegally. “We should crack down on employers who are knowingly violating the law and exploiting workers,” Edwards said, to applause.

Edwards contends those who are currently in the country illegally should have some way to “earn” citizenship by paying a fine. “I don’t think we should have 11 (or) 12 million people — whatever the best estimate is — living in this country and living in the shadows,” Edwards said. “I don’t think that’s right. I don’t think that’s who we are.”

Wow. Pay a fine for coming here illegally and you can become a citizen? Talk about comprehensive immigration policy change. And in what way will this stem the flood of illegal aliens Mr. Edwards? And, since you advocate so heartily for the poor, would the fine be low enough so as not to hinder the illegal aliens who work for wages? Better yet, why not make it an entitlement that the US government pay the fine for these folks so as not to discriminate against those who are poor?

The pandering for votes to the detriment of our country is apalling Mr. Edwards. Of course, this isn’t the first time you have done so in this so-far short election season. What more can you think up in the next 18 months??

May 12, 2007

Outrage: John Edwards dishonors the troops and the fine organizations which support them

Filed under: John Edwards,Politics — mary @ 4:03 pm

It takes a lot to anger me, but John Edwards has done it. Today, he announced a new website where we can support the troops by getting our elected officials to pull them out of Iraq.

Nothing new from him there, but this is the part that outrages me: he has also advocated in the same breath to send goodies to the troops through organizations like and He, the political equivalent of a snake oil salesman, advocates through this website that, on one hand we undermine troop progress and morale by protesting for their immediate withdrawl from Iraq, while sending them bon bons to boost their morale.

Under his Reclaiming Patriotism section he tells readers to:

Send our troops a taste of home. Go shopping with your kids, your friends, your neighbors, and buy a whole bunch of stuff that would make a soldier happy to receive (check for restrictions). Then go through a site like,, or to send your package to a soldier in Iraq. Take photos and tell us about it.

Undermine the troops, take photos and send them to us. What a creep.

I have supported soldiers through and through other fine organizations and I am furious that such fine and good-hearted people, who have been supporting the troops from the beginning, would have their cause in any way harmed by Edwards’ posturing.

Frankly, John Edwards has now become the lowest form of human being in my book.

If you read this and agree with me, please speak out. Call your local talk radio folks, write a letter to the editor. Don’t allow him to demoralize our troops and those who have faithfully supported them.

ETA: Here’s a link to a well-written blog entry on this same subject:

May 11, 2007

John Edwards: “I was unemployed except for a part-time job.”

Filed under: John Edwards,Politics — mary @ 1:03 pm

Sometimes it is better to keep your mouth shut. John Edwards can’t seem to do that though. In an aricle in yesterday’s Washington Post, Edwards attempts to yet again explain away his job at the hedge fund Fortress Investment Group. This time it was against accusations that he should have known that the hedge fund owned a subprime lender, making money off the poor who had to pay higher interest rates because of bad credit. (Horrors – big bad companies charge more to a customer who has a higher risk of default.) Rather than just tell the Post that he learned in capital markets higher risk results in higher rates (and the lesson he learned is that all folks should learn to protect their credit by paying their bills on time), he hemmed and hawed about not knowing about the subsidiary.

Worse yet is the totally ridiculous excuse he made for taking the job in the first place (besides his first excuse that he was learning about markets and poverty):

Edwards, a highly successful trial lawyer before entering politics, said yesterday he went to work for Fortress to learn more about capital markets. He acknowledged the job provided a financial benefit at a time when his only other salary was $40,000 from the poverty center.

“I’m 53 years old and have worked my whole life since I was a teenager, and here I was unemployed except for a part-time job, and so I wanted to work and earn an income,” he said. “No question that was part of it.”

Man, he just was an older white male (hard to find a job over 50), working only part time for wages only about $16,000 above the federal poverty level for a family of four. No wonder he had to take a job with the big bad hedge fund. Poor soul.

May 9, 2007

John Edwards’ Hedge Fund Job: A Learning Experience

Filed under: John Edwards,Politics — mary @ 5:30 pm

One has to admire how brazen politicians have become in attempting to pull the wool over our eyes. The problem is when they believe the public is so stupid to buy any load of nonsense they shovel, they are the ones who show how truly stupid they are.

John Edwards has tried to explain away his job as a paid consultant at the Fortress Investment Group, a hedge fund with over $35 billion in managed assets by claiming he was there to learn about financial markets and their relationship to poverty.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Edwards stated:

“I didn’t feel like I understand, and to be honest with you still learning right now, sort of the relationship between that world and the way money moves in this country through financial markets” .

Wow, getting paid to learn. Maybe that is the lesson that Edwards can take away from his job with Fortress Investment Group. Perfect idea for a new poverty program. Problem with guys like Edwards is that they just can’t leave their tall tales alone. Embellishment is always necessary. So here goes his:

He said his role was to advise the firm about what he saw happening economically in the United States and during his travels overseas.

First, he was there to learn, but then he was there to teach. And, not only that, but to teach about the economy he saw while travelling. Interestingly, according to the New York Times, he started this job right after he and his running mate, John Kerry lost their bid for the presidency:

Mr. Edwards’s year-long stint at Fortress began in October 2005, after he served as running mate to Senator John Kerry in his failed presidential bid.

So he must have been advising the Fortress Investment Group about all that economic stuff he saw on the campaign trail: those rubber chickens taking over fundraising dinners, the plight of the private general aviation airports, the black SUV market, and the shape of the country’s hairstyling industry. Although he has not disclosed his salary yet, I’m sure the information he was able to supply to his employer was extremely valuable resulting in a handsome salary.

Such silly stories to the American public to try and hide the real markets that Edwards was there to learn about: the high-paid market in access to public officials, past and future. Access is a hot commodity and really is an ever expanding market.

Hedge funds seem to be particularly interested in expanding their presence in this market. The hedge fund industry has been tarnished in the last few years and they don’t want politicians to start regulating their cash cow. A recent article in Forbes highlighted some of the issues:

Another hedge fund lobby group is being formed to ward off heightened regulation, but industry experts acknowledged that attempts to repair fund managers’ image as freewheeling, unregulated risk takers may be futile because large funds are so profitable.

“Obviously what we make is absolutely obscene,” Marc Lasry, founder and managing partner of Avenue Capital Group, said at a panel sponsored by the Milken Institute of former Drexel Burnham Lambert junk bond king Michael Milken. “I’m not saying it’s wrong, trust me, but it’s still obscene.”


The need for more effective lobbying became apparent when Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, earlier this year tried to attach a mandatory registration amendment to an anti-terrorism bill. There’s clearly an image problem when hedge funds get associated with terrorism, Roth said.


Last year’s collapse of Amaranth, a large hedge fund, has raised concerns in the industry that Congress or regulators could increase regulation and disclosure of funds’ trading strategies.

Lobbying is a good strategy, but wouldn’t it be better if your former employee became President of the United States? Very smart use of market forces by the ultimate capitalists. And, the Fortress Investment Group is not the only smart hedge fund. The Avenue Capital Group, whose founder was quoted in the above Forbes article, has wisely paid now for potential future rewards by hiring Chelsea Clinton.

One does wonder what she is there to learn? Maybe what she learns about markets can help her Mom solve the Iran nuclear crisis.

One thing I’m sure we can all learn from John Edwards’ hedge fund job: Take one former public official with friends in high places or with ambitions for future public office and, presto, any prospect of poverty is erased forever from his life.

One thing John Edwards should learn from the media coverage of this job: Stop thinking that your fellow citizens are so stupid that you can tell illogical whoppers and get away with it.

Next Page »

Blog at