Edwards To Accept Matching Funds Ending Pretense of Being Most Electable Candidate

John Edwards has announced he will accept matching funds. I doubt few will see this as anything more than a desperation move due to the inability to raise a meaningful amount of money from anyone other than the trial lawyers. For those who believe Edwards when he says, “This is about taking a stand, a principled stand, and I believe in public financing” I have a bridge or two for sale that I’d like to show you.

For John Edwards, “principle” means a view that changes based upon what is the most beneficial for John Edwards at the time. The legal training to argue either side of an argument convincingly has paid off well for him. With regards to matching funds, Edwards held different “principles” back in February:

Democrat John Edwards on Monday joined New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in saying he will not use public money for the presidential primary campaign or, if he wins his party’s nomination, for the general election.

The move by the former North Carolina senator is the latest sign of trouble for the public campaign funding system, created after the Watergate scandal to set limits and disclosure rules on contributions to presidential campaigns.

Edwards said in an interview that he expects major candidates in both parties to raise unlimited private dollars rather than participate in the public system. He said he needs to do the same “to have the funds to be competitive.”

No doubt Edwards will now apologize for having been wrong on public financing, and then attack the other candidates who have not had the same revelation as he has had, reminiscent of his changing position on the Iraq war.

Edwards has long been arguing that he is more electable than the other candidates despite deteriorating support from independents and moderates after seeing the populist views he has adopted since the 2004 campaign. As Edwards himself argued in February, by accepting the limits from public funds he will no longer have the funds to launch a competitive race.

Documentary Promoting Intelligent Design Deceived Scientists

The right wing has become increasingly active in promoting their alternative reality. This includes a recent documentary promoting their revisionist history denying that separation of church and state is a fundamental principle upon which this country was founded, denial of the scientific consensus on global warming, and claiming that there is scientific controversy over evolution.

The New York Times demonstrates how the religious right is using deceptive techniques in a documentary entitled Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed to present a false view on evolution. In order to attempt to give the documentary which presents misinformation about science credibility, several scientists were deceived into appearing in the movie. P.Z. Myers, one of the biologists interviewed, writes on his blog, “We were lied to, and they tricked us. It’s that simple.”

The science writer for the Times sums up the issue well:

The growing furor over the movie, visible in blogs, on Web sites and in conversations among scientists, is the latest episode in the long-running conflict between science and advocates of intelligent design, who assert that the theory of evolution has obvious scientific flaws and that students should learn that intelligent design, a creationist idea, is an alternative approach.

There is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution as an explanation for the complexity and diversity of life on earth. And while individual scientists may embrace religious faith, the scientific enterprise looks to nature to answer questions about nature. As scientists at Iowa State University put it last year, supernatural explanations are “not within the scope or abilities of science.”

Two Provisions of Patriot Act Called Unconstitutional by Federal Judge

Two provisions of the Patriot Act were called unconstitutional by a federal judge in Oregon:

In a case brought by a Portland man who was wrongly detained as a terrorism suspect in 2004, U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken ruled that the Patriot Act violates the Constitution because it “permits the executive branch of government to conduct surveillance and searches of American citizens without satisfying the probable cause requirements of the Fourth Amendment.”

“For over 200 years, this Nation has adhered to the rule of law — with unparalleled success,” Aiken wrote in a strongly worded 44-page opinion. “A shift to a Nation based on extra-constitutional authority is prohibited, as well as ill-advised.”

It makes one wonder how supporters of these measures can be considered patriots considering how they violate the principles upon which this nation was founded and stands for.

This legal challenge to the Patriot Act comes soon after another federal judge called the gag orders under the act unconstitutional.

Dan Rather Might Call George Bush to Testify

In discussing Dan Rather’s suit yesterday I noted that the validity of the charges against Bush, even if the questionable memos are ignored. I wonder if Bush isn’t as much a target in the suit as CBS. There’s speculation that Rather will call George Bush as a witness:

Former CBS “Evening News” anchor Dan Rather choked back tears on several occasions today when discussing his decision to file a lawsuit against CBS and he left many audience members with a sense that he may call President George W. Bush as a witness should the lawsuit proceed to trial (and Rather said he hoped it would).

When asked by Carol Joynt, host of the “Q&A Café” held at Nathans restaurant who worked with Rather at CBS in the 1970s, whether “he’d like to” call President Bush as a witness in the trial, Rather paused, then said “I’d like not to answer the question,” leaving both Joynt and audience members wondering whether the newsman has Bush in his sights.” Joynt later told Yeas & Nays, “From the look in his eye — and he gave me a definite Ratheresque look — I got the impression he will call the president as a witness. Possibly both of them: 41 and 43. He implied the suit is not against them, but what the suit is about stems directly from his antagonistic relationship with them.”

It would be interesting to see George Bush testify under oath about his National Guard experience and have to respond to the ten discrepancies quoted in yesterday’s post. If Bush were to answer honestly and verify the story, this would vindicate Dan Rather. If Bush were to lie under oath, and this could be proven, would this be any less grounds for impeachment than Bill Clinton lying about an affair in the Paula Jones trial?