Aaron Sorkin To Produce Movie On John Edwards-Rielle Hunter Scandal

Aaron Sorkin, one of my favorite television and movie writers, will be producing and directing The Politician, a movie on Andrew Young’s book on the downfall of John Edwards. I certainly intend to watch this, and from a box office perspective the story of the affair between Edwards and Rielle Hunter certainly makes a lot of sense. Still, as there are so few writers with Sorkin’s ability, I would prefer to see him take on a different target.

There is really no benefit in anything further to take down John Edwards. His career is over. I’m not being merciful because of any sympathy for Edwards. If anyone cares to dig through the blog archives you will see that I was writing about how dishonest, slimy, and superficial Edwards was well before the Rielle Hunter scandal. It’s just I find Sorkin’s work to be the most beneficial when he is taking on targets which still matter, such as the religious right. He did a great job of this in The West Wing, and even had some great moments in Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip. But yes, this upcoming movie is far more likely to be a success than Studio 60 was.

Elizabeth Edwards Doesn’t Want Rielle Hunter To Become Step-Mother To Her Children

While the separation of Al and Tipper Gore is receiving all the headlines today, the failed marriage of another Democrat who was recently on a national ticket provides for far juicer stories. The New York Daily News reports that Elizabeth Edwards is trying to deny John Edwards custody of their children should she not survive her breast cancer.  Reportedly she does not want John’s mistress Rielle Hunter near the kids and has been preparing their older daughter Cate to care for the younger children.

Legally it is doubtful that Elizabeth would be successful in preventing John from having custody should she die. There is one possible way it could happen. John is already under investigation for use of campaign funds to pay Hunter hush money. Elizabeth might know of additional skeletons in his closet which could send John to prison, leaving Cate to raise the children.

Update: Elizabeth Edwards sent an email to Norah O’Donnell of MSNBC News denying the story.

John Edwards and Sarah Palin Both Doing The Same Thing

Superficially the careers of John Edwards and Sarah Palin are somewhat similar. Both were the vice presidential candidate on the last losing ticket from their party. Edwards attempted to win his party’s nomination in the next election cycle. Palin is widely expected to seek her party’s nomination and fail (unless the Mayan calendar is correct about 2012). Despite this similarity, the two are at such different points in their career that I described it as being odd when Gallup ran a poll last October looking at these two. Looking at today’s headlines there is yet another superficial similarity. Both are testifying in court.

The Daily Beast report that Edwards will be testifying about his sex tape and affair with Rielle Hunter. Judging by the reaction to her in the conservative movement, many conservatives might wish that there was also a Sarah Palin sex tape. Sadly for them, Palin will be testifying about the hacked email case, not a sex tape.

Maybe the two are right where they belong. Conservatives such as Palin love to portray themselves as victims. Here Palin really is a victim (and we have a rare case where I side with her in opposing the hacking of her email). Palin gets what she wants in beng the victim, and we all know what John Edwards wants.

National Enquirer Reports Grand Jury Ready To Indict John Edwards

The National Enquirer, which so far has been correct with every aspect of the John Edwards/ Rielle Hunter scandal, reports that a grand jury is ready to indict Edwards for violations of campaign finance laws. Edwards allegedly used campaign funds to pay hush money to cover up the affair.  They report:

The ultimate fall from grace, a Federal grand jury is about to indict John Edwards, The ENQUIRER has learned exclusively.

In another shocker, close sources say Edwards’ estranged wife Elizabeth could help send the former presidential candidate to jail!

Edwards, the disgraced two-time Presidential loser, is being investigated by the feds, including the FBI and IRS for possible campaign violations related to paying his mistress Rielle Hunter.

The grand jury has been meeting since April 2009, and insiders say an indictment is imminent.

“John is terrified that he’s going to be indicted,” a friend told The ENQUIRER.

“While he believes he’s done nothing illegal in trying to hide his extramarital affair with Rielle and their daughter, he thinks the Feds are going to make an example of him.”

This could be tragic. I do not believe that prison barbers will be up to Edwards’ standards.

The 2012 GOP Invisible Primary On Late Night Television

Jay Leno is trying hard this week to get his show back on track with big name guests. Tonight he had Sarah Palin on. While Palin still has not dared to appear on any of the Sunday morning interview shows, she’s always up for some fluff.

Leno kept away from issues to avoid too much embarrassment for Palin. There was one strange exchange in which Leno talked about the media crossing the line to go after her children. Presumably this applies to comedians as well as the news media and I guess a joke such as this is a good example of crossing the line:

Governor Palin announced over the weekend that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is five months pregnant. Oh, boy, you thought John Edwards was in trouble before, now he’s really done it!

That joke, incidentally, was told by Jay Leno, who told far more jokes about Palin’s children than David Letterman despite all the noise made by the right wing.

Palin naturally had writing on her hand and she even made a lame attempt at stand up comedy. If this was anyone else such an act might be taken as evidence that she does not intend to run for president in the future. Sarah Palin has already made such a gigantic fool out of herself while running for vice president that tonight’s appearance cannot hurt her any more.

Letterman meanwhile countered Palin’s appearance on The Tonight Show by having Mitt Romney on Late Night. Romney warned Dave to be careful of what he says about Sarah Palin because, “She has a rifle, you know.” Personally I think that, instead of inviting Romney on to counter Sarah Palin, Letterman should have invited Tina Fey.

Liberalism, Atheism, & Sexual Exclusivity Among Males Linked To Higher IQ

Here’s a fun fact reported by CNN to help make a few conservative heads explode:

Political, religious and sexual behaviors may be reflections of intelligence, a new study finds.

Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa at the the London School of Economics and Political Science correlated data on these behaviors with IQ from a large national U.S. sample and found that, on average, people who identified as liberal and atheist had higher IQs. This applied also to sexual exclusivity in men, but not in women. The findings will be published in the March 2010 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly.

When we see the tea baggers how can there be any question that they are bringing down the average intelligence of their side? Even beyond them, it is hardly a surprise that there is some tendency for intelligent people to be the ones who accept ideas beyond those which are more conventionally held. The more intelligent might come to different answers as to belief in God, but it is the more intelligent who will even consider such questions as opposed to following what they have been taught.

There’s no question that there are intelligent people who are conservative and religious. However, being conservative at present by the American definition generally means accepting many claims that are factually untrue, believing a revisionist history of the United States, accepting “Voodoo Economics” in place of actual economics, and rejecting modern science. While there are clearly limitations to this study, there really should be no question that there will be a tendency, even if not absolute, for intelligent people to tend to be more liberal.When many in the conservative movement reject intelligence as elitism and pride themselves on their know-nothing attitude, this can only lead to the results seen.

These results are also not surprising  as numerous studies have demonstrated that more educated people are now voting Democratic as opposed to Republican. Education has become the strongest predictor of  partisan preference over the past decade. The correlation to both political and religious views is consistent with polls showing  that frequency of church attendance also predicts support for Republicans. Studies have also showed that scientists support Democrats over Republicans by large margins.

Sexual exclusivity is harder to explain by evolutionary science:

For men, on the other hand, sexual exclusivity goes against the grain evolutionarily. With a goal of spreading genes, early men had multiple mates. Since women had to spend nine months being pregnant, and additional years caring for very young children, it made sense for them to want a steady mate to provide them resources.

On the other hand, haven’t some of the actions by Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, and John Edwards ever caused you to question their intelligence?

Update: A commenter has provided the link to the actual study which has a far more blunt title than the CNN report: Why Liberals and Atheists Are More Intelligent

Sarah Palin Visiting Talk Show With Host Who Actually Made Jokes About Under-Aged Daughter

Jay Leno, needing some guest which might help revive The Tonight Show when he returns, is having Sarah Palin on as a guest on his second night back. This will be Palin’s first appearance on a late night talk show (and she has so far stayed away from all the Sunday morning interview shows).

I’m sure that it is no coincidence that Palin’s first appearance is on the late-night show which competes with Late Night with David Letterman. Letterman is one in the long list of people Palin is feuding with.  Last spring some right wingers launched a smear campaign against David Letterman claiming he told a joke about an under-aged daughter and Sarah Palin fell for it. She was too dumb to realize that the joke was obviously about Bristol’s pregnancy, not about a younger daughter, who by then was eighteen.

Palin also fails to realize that Letterman actually told fewer jokes about her family than the other late night comedians, and his was tamer than many of the other jokes told. While Letterman did not tell a joke about a daughter who was under the age of eighteen as was claimed in the smear campaign, other comedians did tell cruder jokes about the younger daughter, as well as jokes about Bristol before she turned eighteen. For example, it was Jay Leno who clearly realized he was joking about Bristol when only seventeen when he quipped, “Governor Palin announced over the weekend that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is five months pregnant. Oh, boy, you thought John Edwards was in trouble before, now he’s really done it!”

Edwards Denies Report Of Proposing to Rielle Hunter

CNN reports that an Edwards spokeswoman denies the earlier report that John Edwards has proposed to his mistress Rielle Hunter:

Former Sen. John Edwards’ spokeswoman flatly denied a story in the National Enquirer Wednesday that claimed the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee is engaged to his mistress, Rielle Hunter.

The Enquirer reported that Edwards proposed to Hunter on the day he told her that he would publicly acknowledge being the father of their child, Frances Quinn.

Edwards was taking steps to run for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination when he began his affair with Hunter, a videographer. The former senator denied that he was the father of Frances Quinn for more than a year, but he acknowledged paternity late last month.

Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, have legally separated.

“John has said that when his divorce is final, he’ll buy her a diamond ring,” the Enquirer quotes a ‘close source’ in the story as saying about the marriage proposal. “But in the meantime, he’s getting them a house.”

But Joyce Fitzpatrick, an Edwards spokeswoman, said in an e-mail to CNN that the report was “absolutely untrue.”

This may or may not apply here, but it should be noted that several times in the past John Edwards has denied report published by The National Enquirer which were later verified as true.

John Edwards Proposes to Rielle Hunter

It seems to be a pretty safe bet that John Edwards has given up all thought of making a political comeback after this story. The National Enquirer (which, despite its reputation, has been right from the start on this story) reports that he has asked Rielle Hunter to marry him:

John Edwards has proposed to his mistress Rielle Hunter, and is buying a luxury $3.5 million beachfront home where they can live happily ever after with their love child, The ENQUIRER has learned exclusively.

The disgraced presidential candidate popped the question at the same time he told Rielle that he’d be issuing a press statement finally confirming he fathered her daughter Frances Quinn, close sources told The ENQUIRER.

Edwards, 56, released that statement on Jan. 21, and just six days later a spokesperson for his cancer-stricken wife Elizabeth confirmed the couple had legally separated after 32 years of marriage. Sources say they expect to be officially divorced within a year, paving the way for the ex-senator to make Rielle, 45, his wife.

Worse Than Spitzer

Mark Sanford’s son’s reaction to the news of his father’s affair was that it’s “worse than Eliot Spitzer.” This comes out in Jenny Sanford’s book. Among the revelations:

– Mark Sanford kept “pestering” her for permission to see his mistress even after she found their lovelorn messages.

– He was a cheapskate who once took back a birthday necklace he gave her a day earlier.

Maybe it’s worse than Eliot Spitzer, but this all sounds pretty tame compared to what we’ve heard about John Edwards.