By now the world is inured to all those Bonos and other millionaire rock stars with their self-aggrandizing concerts to "battle hunger," which fundraising efforts seem never to raise nearly as much as those same millionaire rock stars could raise, among themselves, in a second, if they actually contributed themselves anything like what they should.
And we are inured, similarly, to all those megalomaniac and greedy political figures who, once out of office, set up their world-imroving schemes, almost always named after themselves, which allow them to pretend to be doing good, and while doing that good, to travel around the world, sometimes delivering speeches for which they are paid dizzying sums, and always meeting the even richer, and more powerful, who end up contributing not only to the Clinton Global Initiative or the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Clinton himself, as of a few years, had managed since leaving office to graspingly put away a cool one hundred million dollars, by travelling the globe, delivering himself of a few pieties about World Peace, Understanding, Combatting Poverty, stuff like that. Blair, I understand, is coming up fast on the outside, and he may now be approaching a hundred million dollars himself.
Then there are the World Conquerors, the megalomaniacs who travel the globe, and who set up, as Jeffrey Sachs has, private fiefdoms, sometimes within, or associated with, a larger institution (often a university), and endowed with such modest titles as the Earth Instute.
Now comes that miserable wretch, the quondam senator from North Carolina, Mr. Edwards, about whom nothing more need be added after you have read this sentence from a story about his relations with Rachel Mellon, the widow of Paul Mellon, of Upperville, Virginia and the world.
He apparently won her favor, so much so that Mrs. Mellon agreed to supply his primiparous mistress with nearly one million dollars for support of herself and her child -- and possibly to buy her silence.
Here is an excerpt from the Times article on Mrs. Mellon and John Edwards:
"Mrs. Mellon, a Democrat in a world of Republicans, first met Mr. Edwards, a former Senator from North Carolina, through Mr. Huffman five years ago. She expressed an interest in Mr. Edwards because he reminded her of President John F. Kennedy, she told the decorator. And he arranged a first meeting, over tea, at her estate, Oak Spring Farms, in Upperville, Va.
Mr. Edwards ingratiated himself with Mrs. Mellon to the point where she gave him millions of dollars as well as a gold necklas as a good-luck charm for the campaign trail, according to tell-all memoir by Andrew Young, Mr. Edwards's former aid, who is also an unindicted co-conspirator in the case.
In May 2007, when Mr. Edwards's mistress, Rielle Hunter, told Mr. Edwards she was pregnant, Mr. Edwards and Mr. Young began looking for people who could give them money to help conceal the affair, the indictment said.
About the same time, it said, Mrs. Mellon wrote a note to Mr. Young, saying: "I was sitting alone in a grm mood- furious that the press attacked Senator Edwards on the price of a haricut. But it inspired me -- from 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. ...
Over the next eight months, the indictment said, Mrs. Mellon sent checks for Mr. Edwards through Mr. Huffman totaling $725,000, “falsely” referring in memo lines to things like “chairs,” “antique Charleston table” and “bookcase.” (Mr. Huffman refused to discuss this aspect of the case.)
After Mr. Edwards dropped out of the presidential race in early 2008, Mr. Young said, he still hoped that Mrs. Mellon would give him $50 million and access to her private jet so he could lead a fight against poverty around the world. (This never occurred.)
No further questions, Your Honor.