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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 5, 2007 / 23 Elul, 5767

Who's the biggest phony of them all?

By Paul Greenberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | John Edwards, the presidential candidate, has been outed by the Wall Street Journal as the kind of investor in subprime real estate that he's been blasting on the campaign trial.


It turns out that the hedge fund Mr. Edwards has a long and profitable connection with — Fortress Investment Group — invests in the kind of "shameful lending practices" that Candidate Edwards denounced when he kicked off his presidential campaign in New Orleans' Ninth Ward last December.


The very model of the populist orator, Candidate Edwards took out after those nasty subprime lenders who've been foreclosing on poor folks in Katrina's wake. The candidate felt no need to go into detail — and mention that his hedge fund's lending unit was doing just that.


One of Fortress' subsidiaries was trying to hold a 67-year-old New Orleans resident in default on her mortgage just two months after she was flooded out of her home.


According to the Wall Street Journal, a total of 34 homeowners in New Orleans were facing foreclosure suits filed by Fortress' subprime lending operation.


Mr. Edwards earned almost $480,000 as a consultant to Fortress last year, has picked up about $150,000 in campaign donations from its employees, and has invested $16 million of his own $30 million in assets in the company.


Fortress in turn has taken the precaution of incorporating its hedge funds in the Cayman Islands, which lightens its investors' U.S. tax load. Naturally enough, that's another practice John Edwards has criticized.


Fortress' well-paid consultant claims he had no idea the investment firm was expanding its subprime lending, even though its involvement in such loans was reported back in May.


Maybe he should start reading the papers.


And do you remember his fiery speech about "Two Americas," a grand oratorical performance in the spread-eagle tradition of William Jennings Bryan's populist classic, "Cross of Gold"? It turns out that John Edwards belongs to the America he's been lambasting.


Quite an orator, that John Edwards. He delivered a rousing speech on the evils of poverty — a cri de coeur entitled "Poverty, the Great Moral Issue Facing America" — at the University of California-Davis for a mere $55,000. (His spokeswoman noted that part of his fee went to a booking agent, and that Bill Clinton had charged $100,000 for his speech there, as if any of that mattered.)


Taking everything into consideration, some of us could better understand why it would be worth $55,000 not to hear John Edwards deliver a speech about the moral challenge poverty presents. The poverty he's most successfully combated has been his own.


The contrast between John Edwards' public stances and his private choices is enough to give mere sanctimonious hypocrisy a good name.


To quote the director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University in Washington, who goes by the wonderful name of James A. Thurber, on the subject of John Edwards:


"It is self-evident that he is saying one thing on the campaign trail and investing another way." Self-evident? Not to the poor suckers who swallow his act hook, line and Poor Boy image.


Candidate Edwards now says he'll divest himself of any part of his portfolio at Fortress that involves subprime loans — while keeping his $16 million investment in the fund. That's going to be an interesting challenge in accounting, not to mention simple moral consistency.


Speaking of consistency, the candidate also has made a big deal of how environmentally aware he is while, at last report, living in a 28,200-square-foot home, counting its two garages. It's the biggest and costliest house in Orange Country, N.C.


That 28,200 square feet includes an adjacent 15,600-square-foot recreation building complete with basketball court, squash court, two stages, swimming pool, four-story tower, lounge and other amenities. This guy's got a bigger environmental footprint than Godzilla.


None of this would be anybody else's business if John Edwards weren't a presidential candidate with a hankering to lecture the rest of us on the need to conserve energy.


This is the same candidate who, when he was running for vice president back in 2004, flew his hair stylist across the country (from Beverly Hills to Atlanta) to trim his 'do. Total cost: $1,250. And it does look mighty nice.


Hypocrisy, said La Rochefoucauld, is the tribute vice pays virtue, and let it be said John Edwards never stops paying tribute to virtue.


It hasn't been too long since he was urging his Democratic rivals for the presidency to return any money they'd received from press tycoon Rupert Murdoch, the publisher the left loves to hate, and refuse to appear on Murdoch's Fox News network.


Mr. Edwards himself had appeared on Fox News 33 times at last count. And he's collected $800,000 for a book published by a subsidiary of a Murdoch corporation, HarperCollins. (The candidate says much of the money went to charities. One of them, College for Everyone, turns out to be one he founded.)


Presidential campaigns have a way of attracting gold-plated phonies and, before this one is over, no doubt the inconsistencies of other candidates will be laid bare, too.


But for now, when it comes to deciding who's the phoniest of them all, John Edwards leads the pack — and his lead may be unbeatable.

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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