In pursuit of that, he 'refreshed' himself by sleeping around on his dying wife and having a child with another woman. Things he kept from the American voters.
CBS (link is video and text) has their legal expert Jack Ford who says his guess is Mr. Edwards will not take the stand in his own trial. "After all these years," Mr. Edwards insists, "I finally get my day in court." Edwards, who looks more than fit in all the photos, is the one who delayed the start of the trial with claims that he was suffering heart problems.
An e-mail came in from a man who states he is a right-winger but enjoys my blog because it makes him angry. He asked if I would highlight something from Matthew Balan of Newsbusters:
On Monday's CBS This Morning, correspondent Erin Moriarty and legal analyst Jack Ford wrote off the campaign finance case against former Democratic V.P. candidate John Edwards. Moriarty and Ford agreed that "even if [Edwards is] convicted, it will be overturned on appeal; that he'll never spend a day in prison." The network did devote 12 minutes total to the upcoming Edwards trial on Sunday and Monday.
Both reports on the Sunday Morning and CBS This Morning programs played sound bites from Hampton Dellinger, but failed to mention that he ran for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor in North Carolina in 2008. The Sunday report also featured Melanie Sloan, the president of the liberal-leaning organization CREW, without mentioning her past work for Democrats John Conyers, Chuck Schumer, and Joe Biden.Use the link to read in full, I can only excerpt here. I chose that because it was the opening and because I do not care for Melanie Sloan as I have made clear here repeatedly. AP notes that Edwards insists he is innocent on all "six criminal counts" involving the over $900,000 he took in donations and spent on Rielle Hunter and her baby with Mr. Edwards. (For the record, I have not made this about Ms. Hunter or the child. I have no hostility towards her and I certainly have no hostility to a cute little toddler.) 12 jurors were seated, AP tells us, as well as four alternates for a total of 7 women and 9 men. Why four alternates? Clearly the judge is trying to avoid anything that results in a retrial. Raelyn Johnson and Joe Johns (CNN -- link is text and video) report:
John Edwards "made a choice to break the law" by accepting illegal campaign contributions to hide his pregnant mistress from the public as he campaigned in 2007 to be the Democratic presidential nominee, prosecutors said Monday in the opening day of the former U.S. senator's criminal trial.
"This affair was a gamble with exceedingly high stakes," prosecutor David Harbach said in his opening statement, referring to the affair between Edwards and mistress Rielle Hunter. "If the affair went public it would have destroyed any chance to become president and he knew it.
"Two of his most enthusiastic supporters happened to be wealthy and he knew that, too. He made a choice to accept hundreds of thousands of dollars. He made a choice to break the law."
The trial is expected to last no more than six weeks. Who knows how long the jury will deliberate. I will try to note the trial every day but I cannot promise anything. I say that because what interested me the most about the case today was not what happened in court.
All over the cable channels today was the news that John Edwards has whined that Bill Clinton did not suffer like this for his affair.
Bill Clinton received oral sex from Monica Lewinsky -- a woman so trashy she chose to save a semen soaked dress.
I will grant Mr. Edwards that he had better taste in women. Ms. Hunter seems talented, creative, and a loving mother to her child.
But former-President Clinton did not have it 'easy.' Everyone -- including Mr. Edwards -- was publicly attacking him.
And let me be clear, if a woman came up to me tomorrow and told me she had an affair with my late husband, I would be surprised, I would probably want to talk to her at length but I would not be destroyed. I do not think my husband cheated on me but I do know spouses sometimes do. I also know that what my late husband and I had was real love.
That said, if a woman came up to me tomorrow and told me she had an affair with my late husband and he fathered a child with her, I would be furious.
That is no longer just an affair, that is about planning to have a life together.
Mr. Edwards cheated on his wife. As did Mr. Clinton. As do many spouses. Where it differs is that he had a child with the woman (Ms. Hunter) and hid it from his wife, from the voters, from everyone.
John Edwards is scum.
With Mr. Clinton, Hillary forgave him. They were married, they are married, it is nobody's business.
With Mr. Edwards, he did not just fool around, he completely and totally betrayed Elizabeth Edwards which is why, even as she knew she was dying, she no longer wanted him in the home.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
U.S. Senator Patty Murray
202-224-2834 - press office
202--224-0228 - direct
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday at the start of a two-day visit to boost relations between their Muslim states. "If Tehran and Baghdad are strong, the region will have no place for the United States and the Zionist regime," Ahmadinejad said, quoted by state news agency IRNA, in reference to Tehran's arch-foe Israel. He said there was "no limit to the strengthening of political, economic and cultural ties" between them.
Such moves would serve to "boost stability and security in the region," chimed in Maliki, who also held talks with parliament speaker Ali Larijani.Maliki was also to see Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili.
Dar Addustour notes the public remarks Ahmadinejad made with Nouri by his side about how the region was no place for enemies of freedom like the US and Israel. The Tehran Times has Ahmadinejad calling the US and Israel enemies of the free world. (It's "Zionist regime," but he's referring to Israel.) RTT News observes, "Observers believe Iranian leaders intend to enhance their influence in Iraq after the pullout of U.S. troops by strengthening ties with Prime Minister Maliki who, like a majority of Iranians, is also a Shia Muslim."
"We don't differentiate between Sunnis or Shias. Arab, Kurd or Turkmen, they are all our brothers," Erdogan told reporters in comments reported by the NTV news channel.
"If we respond to Mr. Maliki, we give him the opportunity to show off there. There is no need to allow him to gain prestige."
Turkey, which is majority Sunni, has been seen as a key ally and even a role model for Iraq, because of its secular constitution and close relations with the West, including membership in NATO.
Iraq is Turkey's second largest trading partner after Germany, with trade reaching $12 billion last year, more than half of which was with the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
Middle East observers are expressing concern that the row between the two neighbors is a sign of growing Sunni-Shiite tension in the region, as predominantly Sunni Turkey lines up against Maliki, Iran and Bashar al-Assad's violent suppression of Syria's mainly Sunni population.
Mehmet Seyfettin Erol, head of Ankara's International Strategic and Security Research Center (USGAM), says that Maliki's recent comments must be viewed in the context of his government's alliance with the Shiite regime in Iran. Maliki, who is currently on an official visit to Tehran, "is paying lip-service to Iran, which is trying to implement Shiite political dominance in the region," Erol told Turkish daily Today's Zaman. In response, he said, Turkey is being forced to protect Sunni rights in the region.
Aswat al-Iraq reports, "Kurdish region president Masoud Barzani returned yesterday night to Arbil province at the end of his external visit to Bulgaria, USA, Hungary and Turkey, sources said here. Barzani discussed with the Turkish president Abdulla Gul the relations between Kurdistan and Turkey, as well as the situation in Iraq and Syria."
The visit was a success for Barzani. It became an embarrassment for Nouri al-Maliki who first attacked Barzani early last week and cattily insisted that Barzani had Kurds who 'speak ill of him.' Alsumaria reports that Barzani has declared he could meet with Nouri to dicuss the political crisis 100 times and it would change nothing. In addition, he states that the Kurdistan Region is in danger and that he is going to begin talks immediately with Kurdish parties and Iraq President Jalal Talabani on the topic of independence. Rudaw speaks with Barzani and reports:
"I have met with Maliki many times. I don't have any personal problems with him. I have respect for him. But my experience with Maliki is that even if I met him 100 more times, it wouldn't bear any fruit because he has not implemented any of his promises," said Barzani in response to a question by Rudaw.
"Nothing but dictatorship threatens the territorial integrity of Iraq,"" warned Barzani, speaking to journalists in his office in Salahaddin, a resort town northeast of Erbil.
Relations between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Baghdad authorities have been tense recently over a range of issues, especially the unsettled oil and gas disputes.
"If all the people of Iraq are happy with this situation, they can do as they please. If the people of Kurdistan and all Kurdistani parties are content with the current situation and don't see any threat, I have no personal problems. But I must clear my conscience with my people," Barzani said about his recent strong remarks against Baghdad authorities, especially PM Maliki.
But the Kurds face a problem. While they pursue an independent oil policy and have taken important steps toward that end by drafting their own oil law in 2007 and signing over 40 contracts with foreign oil companies without Baghdad's input or approval, they lack the means to export their oil without Baghdad's help and therefore its permission. To date, the federal government has used its control over the national pipeline network, as well as its hold on the treasury and budget, to rein in the Kurds' ambitions.
Hemmed in by Baghdad and anxious to become economically self-sufficient, Erbil is turning its eyes to another potential outlet for its oil: Turkey. Masoud Barzani, the Kurdish region's president, reportedly told foreign visitors to his mountain redoubt that if Maliki remains in power beyond the 2014 parliamentary elections, the Kurds would go their own way. Not coincidentally, 2014 is when the Kurdish region expects to complete construction of its own strategic oil pipeline, one that skirts (federal government) Iraqi territory before reaching the border with Turkey. For Kurdish leaders, economic dependency on a democratic neighbour with an attractive window on the West is far preferable to a continued chokehold by a regime displaying authoritarian tendencies -- all of which raises the question of what Ankara would do if the Kurds ask it to take their oil without Baghdad's approval.
Today, AFP reported that Barzani has also stated that he opposes the US sale of F-16 fighter planes to Nouri and that, "The F-16 must not reach the hand of this man. We must either prevent him from having these weapons, or if he has them, he should not stay in his position."
The value of the F-16s on the world stage includes the fact that the US and its allies are the ones who know how they work. Nouri's close relationship with Tehran should be seriously factored in before the sale moves forward. If Nouri has F-16s, it's a pretty good conclusion that Tehran then has all knowledge of F-16s. The issue of Barzani and the F-16s was the first of three issues the press raised at today's US State Dept press briefing.
Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, made the following statement after the VA announced that it would be moving to hire 1,600 mental health care professionals. The announcement comes just days before the findings of a major VA Inspector General report that Senator Murray requested on long wait times for VA mental health care are expected to be announced. VA's action is welcome news to Senator Murray who has held multiple hearings over the past year on overcoming barriers to VA mental health care. Murray will hold a third hearing on this subject in order to hear the Inspector General's findings on Wednesday, April 25th.
Dr. Robert Petzel: Uh, thank you, Mr. Filner. The, uhm . . . What I want to do is, uh, first talk about our, uh, notification process. The, uh, the process by which we determine who ought to be notified or who might be at risk, as I said before, is an industry standard. I will stand by that process under any circumstance. It takes some time but it is transparent and it is weighted heavily in the favor of --
Ranking Member Bob Filner: Nobody knew about St. Louis for 8 weeks.
Dr. Robert Petzel: I'm --
Ranking Member Bob Filner: Eight weeks.
Robert Petzel: Sir.
Ranking Member Bob Filner: And I'm if that's industry standard, we shouldn't be following industry standard.
Dr. Robert Petzel: Sir, I'm not talking about the communication, I'm talking about the process that we go through. It is very thorough and it's weighted on the side of being abundantly cautious to be sure that we take into account every possible risk. The process by which we disclose to patients involves letters, phone calls and case managers. Particularly in the instance of St. Louis, every single individual that was effected was called, they were offered a case manager, there was a case manager that involved -- in fact, in some instances, the leadership of the medical center. I will admit that we've learned figuratively since --
Ranking Member Bob Filner: Sir, that conflicts exactly with what you said to me at St. Louis. The Chairman was there, Mr. Carnahan was there, Mr. Lacy -- Clay [US House Rep William Lacy Clay] was there, sorry, sir. Mr. [John] Shimkus was there. You never mentioned the word case manager, you never mentioned mentioned that they were called. Is that right, Russ? [Carnahan nods his head in agreement.] We-we went through this discussion with you. The first word I said to you was case manager. I said to you, "Why don't you have case managers?" You said, "Yeah, we'll look at that." We're both going to review your testimony in St. Louis because it's contrary to what you just said now.
US House Rep Phil Roe is also (medical) Doctor Roe. This is part of what he had to say in that hearing:
US House Rep Phil Roe: One of the things that we have to sell in medicine is trust. Our patients need to trust us. They need to trust the VA that that's where the quality of care and transparency, Mr. Filner is absolutely 100% correct. I can assure you that when I had a problem go wrong in my shop when I practiced medicine, not the clerk that answered the phone made the call to the patient, I made the call to the patient. I called them up. I explained to them. I had them come in and tell them what was going on. And I can tell you, with 1500 people, that could have been in a large institution with multiple people, I would have had the highest level people contacting someone when they think they have HIV or a potential life threatening condition.
That's Petzel. He should be gone.
Mike Vizena (Director of Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards) wrote a Saturday column for the Battle Creek Enquirer Saturday which included , "According to veteransandfamilies.org, 18 veterans commit suicide each day, and a CBS News investigation uncovered that the suicide rate for veterans is twice that of other Americans. These numbers are far too high, and we as a community should come together and strengthen the safety net of support for our veterans in need of treatment."
And the numbers aren't really going down. At some point, department heads are going to need to tie in accountability. They're going to need to set goals and they're going to need to fire those -- at the top the deputies -- who cannot meet those goals because the American people are sick of this across the board. In fact, if Barack Obama or anyone else wanted a winning talking point, that's what they could propose. It would probably work better for a Mitt Romney, Jill Stein or Ron Paul or anyone else who hasn't been president for the last four years, but it would work for Barack as well.