Republicans have estate envy

Cross-posted at The Stinging Nettle Bumped by TG

emo, a frequent conservative commenter on The Stinging Nettle, trying to score a rhetorical point, asks in comments to one of my posts what the carbon footprint of the Edwards's new home in Orange County would be. The question is the latest unoriginal spew coming from the right wing, and it started at the Carolina Journal. It was then linked by Drudge, and awaaaayy we go.

The righties, laboring under their continual impression that being a liberal means one should never be able to enjoy the fruits of one's labor, are simply apopleptic that John Edwards, a massively successful trial lawyer, would dare build his family what can really only be described as an estate.

This is a sign, they claim, that Edwards is a hypocrite. Building a multi-million dollar home is allegedly inconsistent with caring about poverty (a statement they would never accept as true if made about a Republican) and must be environmentally unfriendly to boot.

They fail to realize that by buying a farm and keeping it at its original size - 102 acres, the Edwards have done one thing right away - they have prevented the subdivision and development of a significant piece of wooded property in Orange County - something that doesn't happen every day in that rapidly-developing part of the state.

But enough from me, I'll let Elizabeth Edwards tell you the details. She has tackled the issue (and the freeper commenters) at, and her post is a thing of beauty - as the house is, evidently.

Here's Elizabeth on the Edwards's efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas footprint:

Here is what our family has done and is doing.

We sold the conventional fuel SUV that we used to carry children, strollers, luggage and toys between Washington, DC and North Carolina, and we bought a hybrid, a Ford Escape.

All the water (all of which comes from wells) in our home and some of the flooring is heated with solar energy.

We built a highly energy efficient house. In fact, our home is Energy-Star rated. Energy Star is an EPA regulated designation for homes that are at least 30 percent more efficient than the national Model Energy Code. In building we made sure we had effective insulation in floors, walls, and attics. We chose efficient heating and cooling equipment and high-performance windows. Our builder paid close attention to making sure the construction was tight to seal out drafts and moisture. The day the independent inspector came to evaluate the house, we were on pins and needles while he tested our home's energy performance. As he packed his equipment, he gave us the good news: we are an Energy-Star home!

And as the incandescent light bulbs the electrician installed in our fixtures burn out, we are replacing them with fluorescent bulbs. If you are thinking that we are living now in harsh light, with buzzing sounds and constant flickers, you are thinking of your grandmother's fluorescent bulbs. There are a wide range of shapes and fittings available now; there are even dimmable fluorescents, and honestly I cannot tell without checking which of our bulbs are still incandescent and which are now - and will continue to be -- fluorescent. Switching is a little bit of a bite, because the bulbs are more expensive (although Costco and eBay have some good prices), but replacing a single 60 watt incandescent with a 15 watt fluorescent you use just six hours a day could see an energy savings of more than $40 over the 4 year (4 year!) life of the bulb. And it is not just energy. A single fluorescent bulb "can prevent more than 450 pounds of emissions from a power plant over its lifetime" according to the Energy-Star website. That same site has these incredible statistics: "If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR, we would save enough energy to light more than 2.5 million homes for a year and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of nearly 800,000 cars." One bulb.

Later, in comments, she gives even more detail:

We actually had a foremost name in green architecture (I would want to ask him before using his name, but he is maybe the US's best in this field) visit our site when he happened to be in NC and make suggestions -- one of his ideas was for Belvederes, which look like 3 little cupolas on our roof, and let in light reducing the need for additional lamps but unlike some skylights do not up the need for AC in summer

The house actually has solar panels, and is rigged for a geothermal heat pump when the technology becomes more affordable. Says Elizabeth:

Actually we are "geothermal-ready." The system was built in a manner to allow us to integrate geothermal. And, although we thought we would be talking about it in four or five years, we are already talking about installing it. For those who don't know, geothermal uses the more constant temperature of the earth to keep your house warmer in winter than the air outside and cooler in summer than the air outside. It is tremendously more efficient.

She then issues a call to join in the National One Corps Energy Day of Action. Do something tomorrow to save energy. I'm going to replace some light fixtures in my house and weatherstrip a particularly leaky window. What are you going to do, emo?


I wonder how this plays out

We were talking about this yesterday: it was a bad political judgment, but I cannot stand the Republicans and their dittoheads jumping into the politics of personal destruction on it. Of course, it quite clearly shows that they have no other arguments against Edwards if they have to stoop to this so early.

Repub Junk Yard reveal by Pope U2 near Edwards Home

It quite clearly shows that they have no other arguments against Edwards if they have to stoop to this so early.*TG

Look on the bright side! The Repub Art SpyPopepuppets fools caught one of their own. No wonder we screw up in Iraq with Repubs doing mission impossible over Orange County.

Across the road from the entrance to the Edwards estate is Big Valley Auto Repair, a modest garage crowded with cars.

There is a sign painted on the fence: "Go Rudy Giuliani 2008," a reference to the former New York City mayor who is expected to seek the Republican nomination for president.

Monty Johnson, owner of the garage site and one of Edwards' closest neighbors, is no Edwards fan. Johnson has left standing an abandoned house facing the entrance to the Edwards property.

"He claims to be for the poor people," said Johnson, 55, a farmer and retired landscaper.

Monty Johnson

sounds like an idiot. He probably thinks Rudy the G-man lives in a lower east side walk-up and rides a bike to work.

This is great.

I love Elizabeth's technical knowledge and her willingness to dig in an push back on idiots armed with nothing but talking points.

Is there an archive somewhere with pictures of homes of Congress people? I suspect it would be an interesting contest. Too bad we won't have Chuck Taylor's mountain mansion to hang around the necks of Greeders.

"Edwards' nest is grist for critics"

This morning the N&O jumps on the partisan bandwagon attempting to bash Edwards for the size of his house... ON THE FRONT PAGE. [I don't buy the paper I see it in the box...]

At the same time the N&O attempts to "balance" this smear article with a big color graphic and story about how the lottery isn't earning as much money as expected. (A stereotypical 'librul' issue)

When will big media learn that their so called consumers have become much more media literate? It doesn't take people that long to figure out their game. Give one to the conservatives and one to the liberals and they'll both give us their money.


The N&O was horrible

They clearly enjoy being part of the right-wing attack machine. I am going to have to write a LTE, but I am not looking forward to it.

Wash Post Smearing Edwards Too

According to this article in Editor & Publisher the Washington Post Ombud gave the smack down on a article published on the front page of the Wash Po that sounds a lot like the one the N&O ran.

More criticism arose within The Washington Post on Sunday concerning the paper's recent front-page story about the sale of former Sen. John Edwards' local house.

The article by the Post's Lois Romano and John Solomon -- and its placement on the front page -- had earlier been criticized by another Post reporter in an online chat. Solomon, in his own online chat this week, defended it.

Recently hired as a politics reporter by the Post, he had been criticized by liberal bloggers repeatedly for previous stories about Sen. Harry Reid and other Democrats when he was still at The Associated Press.

Today, the Post ombudsman, Deborah Howell, wrote a column finding fault with two Post pieces, charging that even accurate stories "can be misleading."

The Edwards story, she related, "was controversial even in the Post newsroom and was attacked by Edwards, his staff, liberal-leaning blogs and about 50 readers."

I'm interested in this because of the ORGANIZED effort by writers, editors, and possibly Newspapers owners to smear a Dem. Speculation at this point but ya think they would spread out this non-story to not make it look so obvious.


The small private school I went to for the first two years of college is using a geothermal system for both of the new dorms that have been built in the last three years.

What people need to do is call the Republicans on their hypocricy. John Edwards was born poor. He is now rich. He did it through hard work, and the "American Way". The fact that he isnt using his wealth to fund Republican PACs is probably the only thing they SHOULD be upset about.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Jealous, Jealous, Jealous

Who wouldn't want to live in an energy efficient home in God's country? And BTW, he got rich because he was GOOD at what he did and he worked HARD. Sorry,
right wingers, Dems can be successful too.


Conservation Easement

They fail to realize that by buying a farm and keeping it at its original size - 102 acres, the Edwards have done one thing right away - they have prevented the subdivision and development of a significant piece of wooded property in Orange County

Hopefully, they'll take the additional step of dontaing a conservation easement on most of their property to permanently ensure the open space is maintained. Otherwise, the prevention of subdivision of the farm only lasts while they own it. I am sure there are some land trusts in or near Orange County willing to take it on. BTW, they can also get a tax break for doing it.

Maple View Farms.

This is from their site:

Triangle Land Conservancy sign above reads:
This property permanently protected by a
Conservation easement granted
to the Triangle Land Conservancy.
"Saving Land for Tomorrow"
Triangle Land Conservancy

In December 1995 the first conservation easement on the farm proper (107 acres) north of Dairyland Road was granted to the local Triangle Land Conservancy. This easement designates that Maple View Farm land will be used for agricultural purposes or as open land forever. The intent is to grant additional conservation easements on two large parcels of farmland south of Dairyland Road within the next few years; a total of 350 acres.

This land use plan to protect the farm was developed with the assistance of Brian Dobyns, a conservation land planner and designer, Piedmont Planning Associates, in Efland, NC. By placing a conservation easement on the farm, the value of the land was reduced for estate taxes. The plan allows continued agricultural use while reserving a few lots for family members in the future. Rural views, natural areas and prime agricultural soils are preserved.

Go to our "Links to Related Sites" page for Triangle Land Conservancy's URL address.

My understanding is that the farm has a number of wildlife trails that pass around the outskirts of the farm and connect different regions of the county, so that you can walk from one subdivision/neighborhood through the country to the ice cream store for instance.

Something similar could be really helpful.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


Matt Stoller from Mydd has jumped on the bandwagon. God I hate that man.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Which bandwagon?

I met him this weekend . . . he seemed pretty smart and committed to all the right stuff.

This presidential race will drive us all crazy before it's over.

the JRE

is evil for buying a big house. On every single topic related to Edwards he is ready to buy the right wing smears hook line and sinker. Its disgusting.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Got it.

I don't think anyone on the left should be slamming any candidates on the left. Period.

Some people accused me of slamming Hillary when I said I thought she'd make our job in NC hard as hell in 2008. I've thought a lot about that - and still believe it - but I also decided there was no reason for me to say anything about it in the first place.

Which is why I've decided to zip my lip on the whole presidential scene for a good long year.

If you catch me having opinions about anybody, smack me.

If You DON'T

- voice your opinions -

I will smack you. I've looked long and hard to find someone with opinions similar to mine.

Don't you dare stop now. >''

Oh all right.


Don't worry, I won't out of things to say.

I know what you mean!

The Charlotte Observer ran an article (probably the same one they ran in N&O) theorizing that "some" in the Democratic Party may have a problem with Edwards talking about poverty issues while owning such a luxurious home.


Because if you are wealthy you can't be concerned with poverty issues just like if you are white you can't concern yourself with issues facing minorities or if you're straight you can't possibly be concerned about LGBT issues or if you're human you can't possibly speak out on animal rights issues and men can't have an opinion on women's issues...yada...yada...yada...

Good grief.

Larry Kissell is MY Congressman

It's another Christensen article

I'd be surprised if Betsy isn't on the warpath about him

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

You know what I think about johhny boy

The Observer ran Rob Christensen's article on Sunday, so I shot off this LttE:

To The Editor:

While I'm not a supporter of Mr. Edwards's bid for the Democratic nomination, I believe Rob Christensen's article on the Edwards's residence outside Chapel Hill leaves out a few key facts. First, by buying up the land around the home, the Edwards family is preserving a beautiful part of North Carolina from the harmful and unsustainable growth that is running rampant in the Chapel Hill area. Second, the home that Mr. Edwards built is environmentally friendly and Energy-Star rated, demonstrating his campaign's commitment to energy independence. Mr. Edwards may have a more lavish lifestyle than the rest of us, but he still has a genuine concern for our nation and our planet.


I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks


I know how you feel about him, but that is definetly a good letter.

I wonder if they will print it now that you arent running for something.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

They Printed it, but ...

They left out the "I don't support Edwards" part.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

thank god

for journalistic integrity. so now they have turned you into a partisan shrill. fantastic news.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy :)

Partisan shrill....heh heh :)

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Wow, that's great. I

Wow, that's great. I already have the flourescent bulbs in my apartment. If there is a store named Fred's around you then go there and they are $2.00 a piece or less.