April 3, 2014

John Edwards, barred from entering Trinity Episcopal Church for the funeral of the woman who'd been forced at the age of 101 to testify at his trial.

The woman was Bunny Mellon, who had given $700,000, that was used in part to support Edwards's secret lover (Rielle Hunter). Do you remember what happened at that trial? I didn't.
A federal jury acquitted Edwards of one charge, and the judge declared a mistrial on the remaining five charges. The Justice Department dropped the case.
Because he'd suffered enough? Because the government's premise for the prosecution was bad? Why was it a mistrial? How did Bunny Mellon get away with giving $700,000 to a presidential candidate? We've all forgotten. We only remember that Johnny Edwards is an outcast, and now they block him from entering the church, the Episcopal church of the very rich dead lady, who can scarcely be held responsible for the federal crimes she committed along with him — I think — but no one was punished — it's all mistrials and dropped charges — so what difference at this point does it make?

But Edwards took a place in the overflow room, whence he witnessed "a moving eulogy by actor Frank Langella, and a poignant rendition of 'The Rose' by Bette Midler." Thereafter, as the NY Post's Richard Johnson puts it: "the thick-skinned Edwards — seemingly oblivious to the family’s wishes — followed the funeral procession to the cemetery."
“He was working the crowd near the graveside after the service,” [NY Social Diary blogger David Patrick Columbia said].
Working the crowd near the graveside? What does that mean? Talking to people?

By the way, did you know that when she was a schoolgirl, Bette Midler was teased mercilessly? The epithet that was hurled at her: "Haole Crab."
[Gayle] King: "Haole Crab?"

Midler: "Haole Crab," which is something that--

King: I don't know what that means.

Midler: Hawaii. Haole is the word for white.

King: Oh, okay.
How long can you work in media, work with Oprah, with all the racial issues examined on Oprah's show, including, presumably, all the tales of Barack Obama growing up in Hawaii, and never learn the word "haole"?
Midler: Or foreigner.

King: You're in Hawaii. You're poor and you're white.

Midler: Uh-huh.

King: And you're unpopular in school. That must've been really tough for you growing up.
But Bette grew up and unlike John Edwards — who also grew up poor and white — she got into the funeral of the Bunny Mellon — who grew up rich and white —  and Bette got to sing, and she sang poignantly:
Some say love, it is a hunger,
An endless aching need.
I say love, it is a flower,
And you its only seed.
Or did John Edwards grow up poor? Was he, like Bette, bullied?
Growing up in a roughneck mill town where bullies didn't just tease you, they made you eat dirt, Johnny Reid Edwards... internalized the lessons of his father -- and of that "rough little town where you either fought or you got the crap beat out of you," as he put it. Later, that childhood message would fuel a gnawing ambition.
A gnawing ambition and an endless aching need... love, it is a flower, and Johnny Edwards spread its seed.

55 comments:

RecChief said...

the government chose not to pursue Edwards further because he is part of the Progressive aristocracy. One who got caught, admittedly, butin a few years, he will be a rehabilitated elder statesman of the Democrat Party. Worked for Ted Kennedy, and Edwards didn't even kill anyone.

traditionalguy said...

It's not easy to get barred from an Episcopal Church Service. The General Confession covers the sins of Edwards and Mellon. So maybe it was a rented church building for a private funeral service.

surfed said...

Hawaii is the most racist place I've ever been to. The only thing Hawaiians like less than white people are black people. The last time I was in Hawaii I was told - Hey Haole fucka' who gave you permission to speak to me? Who gave you permission to be put here [surfing]? Get da' fuck outta' da' water haole. You looking for beef? You paddle one faster haole." Translation - Hey white guy asshole you're not allowed to talk to Hawaiians unless you are spoken to first. And just who on the beach said a white guy could paddle out here and surf anyways? Get out of the water now or me and my friends will beat your ass. You're not paddling fast enough white guy."

YoungHegelian said...

I don't like Edwards, but in his defense here, what was he supposed to do?

He shows up at the funeral, and is asked to leave.

If he doesn't show up at the funeral everyone says 'The sonafabitch --- after all Bunny did for him he doesn't even show up at the funeral!", because it's not like the Mellon family would hold a press conference to announce that Edwards had been barred, so everyone would just think the worst of Edwards (not tough to do, I know...).

If it were me, I'd show up, be asked to leave, and then go back home. I'd then pay my respects at the grave site privately when no one else was around.

MathMom said...

Little Johnny Edwards would not have made it beyond the Senate if he was Republican. His dalliance would not have been covered up, and he would have been forgotten.

Lucien said...

Inwardly, I pronounce the "BNY" in BNY Mellon as "Bunny".

David said...

There would have been too much collateral damage in a prosecution of Bunny Mellon (and her handlers) and Edwards.

Edwards radiated fake from the get go. If I could see it, so could the people who knew him best--press, fellow politicians, donors, democratic big wigs, etc. They had to know he was a mountain of pretense. They just did not care.

Charlie said...

I dislike Bette Midler almost as much as I dislike John Edwards.

David said...

"f it were me, I'd show up, be asked to leave, and then go back home. I'd then pay my respects at the grave site privately when no one else was around."

Yes, but one of your objectives in life is to actually be a decent human being. Not so John Edwards.He would like to appear to be a decent human being.

jimbino said...

Right on. I try daily to imagine what it would be like to live in a nation that enshrined the "rule of law" instead of PC favoritism, prejudice, gossip and innuendo.

cubanbob said...

It should be standard procedure to ban John Edwards from any venue where decent people are present.

Malta1565 said...

My memory of the trial is that Mellon gave the money to Edwards personally as a gift and paid the appropriate federal and state gift taxes on the money. It wasn't paid as a campaign contribution.

St. George said...

Forgive John Edwards.

Forgive those who closed church doors against him.

David said...

By the way, congrats on the Drudgish juxtaposition, with mega heiress Mellon next to some obscure toiler named McCutcheon who got prosecuted for his political efforts.

Ralph Hyatt said...

"My memory of the trial is that Mellon gave the money to Edwards personally as a gift and paid the appropriate federal and state gift taxes on the money. It wasn't paid as a campaign contribution."

As a non-lawyer with little to no knowledge concerning campaign finance law, my thought on that is that money is fungible.

If you can just give a political candidate money as a "gift" what's to stop him from turning around and using that money to fund his campaign?

Possibly the prosecutors didn't pursue Edwards more vigorously because he didn't use the money to fund his campaign. He used it to support his mistress.

David said...

Malta1565 said...
My memory of the trial is that Mellon gave the money to Edwards personally as a gift and paid the appropriate federal and state gift taxes on the money. It wasn't paid as a campaign contribution.

Your recollection is wrong. Malta.

From Wikipedia:

Beginning in May 2007, Mellon contributed more than $725,000 to John Edwards' personal accounts over an eight-month period, writing checks disguised as furniture purchases. During this period Mellon wrote a note to Young stating: “...[F]rom now on, all haircuts, etc. that are necessary and important for his campaign—please send the bills to me... It is a way to help our friend without government restrictions.” [footnotes omitted]

Michael said...

Surfed!!

Restrict your surfing on Oahu to the breaks off the Outrigger Canoe Club. No. North. Shore.

surfed said...

Too old for North Shore. Lotsa' friends there...I was on the Westside. My bad.

Amexpat said...

Years ago, I had a part time job delivering flowers in LA and delivered some to Bette Midler, at her home, on the day she was going to the Oscars ceremony for her role in the The Rose. She answered the door herself, gave me a big smile and a 5$ tip - which was very good then.

cubanbob said...

Ralph Hyatt said...
"My memory of the trial is that Mellon gave the money to Edwards personally as a gift and paid the appropriate federal and state gift taxes on the money. It wasn't paid as a campaign contribution."

As a non-lawyer with little to no knowledge concerning campaign finance law, my thought on that is that money is fungible.

If you can just give a political candidate money as a "gift" what's to stop him from turning around and using that money to fund his campaign?"

Assuming that its true (the gifting) so what if he used what is now his money to finance his own campaign? Now if it isn't true then issue isn't some nonsense about campaign contributions-something the government shouldn't be involved with to begin with but the real issue of tax evasion.

Sigivald said...

How long can you work in media, work with Oprah, with all the racial issues examined on Oprah's show, including, presumably, all the tales of Barack Obama growing up in Hawaii, and never learn the word "haole"?

A long time, I reckon.

I only ever heard of the word because I knew white people who lived in Hawai'i and talked about it.

(I'm not sure it's always as bad as surfed says, but all available evidence agrees with his basic premise.

And to sink into politics, that might be precisely why the professional grievance class doesn't "know" about it - because the targets are the "wrong" people to get upset about racism against.

After all, I keep hearing "only people with power can be racist" ... and of course, somehow now matter what and no matter the circumstances, it's only ever the white man that "has power" in that context.)

Wilbur said...

Juries loved him.

Harold said...

Agree 100% with what surfed said about Hawaii. Any military kid who spent time in school there can tell you about it. The media absolutely refuses to report it. Beat Haole Day is a tradition there.

You are safer walking around bad areas of NYC then non-tourist areas in Hawaii. IMHO, anyhows.

AJ Lynch said...

I wonder if King has heard of Slap A Jap Day which is big in Hawaii.

RecChief said...

"How long can you work in media, work with Oprah, with all the racial issues examined on Oprah's show, including, presumably, all the tales of Barack Obama growing up in Hawaii, and never learn the word "haole"?

A long time, I reckon."

YOu never watched Magnum PI?

Ralph Hyatt said...

"Assuming that its true (the gifting) so what if he used what is now his money to finance his own campaign? Now if it isn't true then issue isn't some nonsense about campaign contributions-something the government shouldn't be involved with to begin with but the real issue of tax evasion."

Personally, I don't think that the government should be regulating campaign contributions. However, at that time, it was. So, the hypothetical stands. If the government is regulating campaign contributions, then it follows that people cannot just gift you money when you are running for office. Cause then you can turn around and use that money to fund your campaign.

Once again, I am not saying the government should be regulating campaign financing, I am just making the point that this would seem to logically follow from it doing so.

And it appears that I am correct, that just gifting the money can't be done in that scenario because Mellon was hiding the gifting through phoney furniture purchases.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Hawaiian Nazis? I hate Hawaiian Nazis.

John said...

Haole means, "person without a soul". And yes, it is meant as an insult.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Little John should have channeled the spirit of dead Bunny and let her speak through him.

It makes millions of dollars through stupid juries and can get you into funerals as well if the timing is precisely accurate.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

WFB was more concerned about Edwards than Hillary or Obama becoming POTUS.

cubanbob said...

Personally, I don't think that the government should be regulating campaign contributions. However, at that time, it was. So, the hypothetical stands. If the government is regulating campaign contributions, then it follows that people cannot just gift you money when you are running for office. Cause then you can turn around and use that money to fund your campaign."

Something that between this ruling and Citizens United it is becoming obviously clear the government never had the constitutional authority to get involved to begin with.

"And it appears that I am correct, that just gifting the money can't be done in that scenario because Mellon was hiding the gifting through phoney furniture purchases"

Gifting without declaring above the limit is a tax evasion. The old biddy and the slick grifter were evading taxes or at least evading reporting requirements.

Skeptical Voter said...

Well Lil Johnny spread a lot of seed.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

I am in WI and called Sprint to set up a hotspot.

Just got a text from Sprint asking about the "overall handling of your call by John-Edward..."

I am now frightened.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Working the crowd near the graveside? What does that mean?

If you ever watched the movie The Wedding Crashers you would understand.

Ralph Hyatt said...

"Something that between this ruling and Citizens United it is becoming obviously clear the government never had the constitutional authority to get involved to begin with."

I remember way back in the paleolithic when campaign finance reform was going to get "money" out of politics and then good government would naturally follow.

All nonsense of course. Campaign finance reform is always about getting the other guys money out of politics. And then, since your now in charge, of course government is good. How can it not be?!

mccullough said...

You know her family hates Edwards because he ate into their inheritance and estate tax exemption. Good for him for showing up. It's her funeral, not their funeral. I'm sure she paid for it herself. I lost my copy of Emily Post, but I'm pretty sure it says etiquette requires one to attend the funeral of someone who gifted $700,000 to you.

surfed said...

Hawaii for some reason gets a complete pass on racism from the MSM. The surfing press has acknowledged it for years but in a wink and a nod kinda' way. Lotsa' racial horror stories have been perpetrated on haole surfers over the years. Not a lot of Aloha there...it's more of a tourist slogan.

William said...

She wasn't sent to an early grave by government prosecution.....If a rich person wishes to subsidize a politician's mistress, how can any law possibly restrict that behavior? Is the $200,000 speaking fee that Hillary received from Goldman Sachs something that clean government people need to concern themselves about?

CatherineM said...

He is a democrat. End of story.

Ralph Hyatt said...

surfed,

I have read that local surfers are always protective of their beaches, since not all beaches are good for surfing and only so many people can be out in the surf at one time.

I not a surfer, so I have no way to determine if that is true or not. So I thought I would ask you.

Portia said...

TEC is hardly a church. As Charlie said, Edwards and Mitler and about even keel. I dislike both.

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...


Haole is the Hawaiian word foe foreign devil.

Portia said...

Should be 'are about even keel'.

mikee said...

As a native of North Carolina, with a wife from Georgia, I recall the first time we saw Mr. Edwards on TV.

We both looked at each other, and while I said, "Slimeball!" my wife said, "Creepy liar!"

Anyone who has met local southern government officials of the old "smiling politely while stealing your wallet" variety knew after about one minute that Edwards should not be allowed anywhere near any authority.

Jay said...

How did Bunny Mellon get away with giving $700,000 to a presidential candidate?

Because Democrats do good and therefore money given to Democrats is good.

Stop asking dumb questions!

rhhardin said...

A handkerchief is a cloth used to conceal the lack of tears at funerals, Bierce said.

JohnBoy said...

Althouse - this comment is kind of brilliant.

Danno said...

"so what difference at this point does it make?

shades of Clillary Hinton?

Link to Capitol Steps "Lirty Dies"

http://www.capsteps.com/lirty/election2008.html

donald said...

Many, not all Native Hawaiians will beat you to death if they get a shot. The ones that won't would like to.

donald said...

And yes, they have an extra gear for black people hatred.

John said...

Re the question of whether Bunny Mellon could give a gift to John edwards while he was in politics: The answer is no.

It was even specifically addressed in the oral arguments in McCutcheon:

GENERAL VERRILLI: Let me try to answer this with an analogy, if I could, Justice Kennedy.

I think the right way to think about it is this, if somebody thinks the Secretary of Defense is doing a great job, they can take out an ad in the
Washington Post, spend $500,000 on that ad saying, the Secretary of Defense has done a great job. And -- and they would have an undoubted First Amendment right to do that. No one could think that there's a content -- it's hard to imagine a content-neutral justification for
prohibiting that speech.
But if, instead, the person wanted to express their symbolic -

JUSTICE SCALIA: What if Boeing does it? I mean, you know -

GENERAL VERRILLI: I still think -

JUSTICE SCALIA: You think, no problem?

GENERAL VERRILLI: -- that would be an independent expression. But if, instead, somebody
wanted to express symbolically their view that the Secretary of Defense has done a great job by giving the Secretary of Defense a Maserati, nobody would think that there was a First Amendment ground that could be -- that could be invoked.


Pg 34-35 oral argument transcript.

I listened to the oral arguments last night and the Maserati just jumped out at me. I didn't even know they were in business in the US. I wondered why Maserati and not MB, Audi, Cadillac or something a bit more common.

John Henry

John Henry

John said...

Ann said:

But Bette grew up and unlike John Edwards — who also grew up poor and white — she got into the funeral of the Bunny Mellon

Did she "get into" the funeral? Was she a friend, relative, admirer of the late Ms Mellon?

Or was she hired to sing at the funeral?

I suspect the latter which makes it even more delicious. She got paid to attend a funeral Edwards was kicked out of.

John Henry

surfed said...

The new name for Haoles in the islands is "donkeys". Don't ask me why.

Barbara said...

There are haoles and there are haoles. We've lived in Hawaii nearly all our haole lives and our native-born kids surfed happily alongside everyone else here. You gotta grow up speaking pidgin as your second language, that's all.

And it's "Kill Haole Day," not "Beat Haole Day." More joke than reality though. Every ethnic group here had a nickname (Pake, Buddha-Head, Flip, etc.) until mainlanders began moving here en masse and declaring that such labels were politically incorrect. It was better in the old days.

Crazy Jane said...

It inspires a small (very small, but still) flame of hope in our political process when a dirtbag like John Edwards is denied admission to an unrelated but
serious event.