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The U.S. Department of Justice is gearing up to throw the book at disgraced former presidential candidate John Edwards for alleged violations of campaign laws.

The alleged crimes took place as the former U.S. Senator tried to cover up an extra-marital affair and love child, revealed in '08 by the National Enquirer.

Edwards is aware the government intends to seek an indictment and is considering his (limited) options. He could accept a plea deal of some kind.

The government contend that huge donations made to his presidential campaign were used, illegally, to support and seclude his mistress, Rielle Hunter.

If the case were to proceed to trial, the government would have to prove that the intent of the donations was to cover-up the affair so that Edwards could continue his pursuit of the 2008 Democratic nomination for president.

Not a big stretch, according to his ex-aide Andrew Young.

The former staffer says he was intimately involved with all facets of the coverup - even claiming paternity. He also has a John Edwards sex tape, BTW.

Hunter was a campaign videographer with whom Edwards had a lengthy affair that resulted in a daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, now three years old.

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Is Donald Trump's non-existent presidential bid ready to exist after all?

The billionaire business mogul phoned into Fox News' Fox & Friends (he's not gonna call MSNBC, people) Monday to lament the state of the GOP field.

Anthony Weiner Picture

He took issue with Mike Huckabee exiting the race for the Republican nomination, saying he's sure Huckabee could win - and that Trump could too.

Trump refused to rule out a late entry. "Who knows if I did the right thing," he said of declining to run. "I am not seeing a lot out of the candidates."

"I can't rule out anything ... [It's] vital we choose the right person, and at this moment, I don't see that person ... I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election."

Is anyone out there buying it? Does even Trump buy his own BS?

It's hard to see him mounting a serious run, given the allegations of racism he already faced hammering away at his signature "birther" issue - which is now off the table. But he does have business experience ... relevant or not.

What do you think? Should Trump run for President?

 

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Frank Bailey, a former member of Sarah Palin's inner circle, has written a scathing tell-all book about the former Alaska governor turned professional celebrity.

Among many other things, he says Palin was ready to quit as governor months before she resigned and was eager to leave office for more lucrative options.

"In 2009 I had the sense if she made it to the White House and I had stayed silent, I could never forgive myself," Frank Bailey told The Associated Press.

Blind Allegiance

Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years, due out Tuesday, is based on thousands of emails Bailey kept during his time with Palin.

It began with working on her 2006 gubernatorial campaign and continued through a failed run for vice president in 2008 and her brief stint as governor.

The Alaska attorney general's office has said it's investigating Bailey's use of emails and whether executive ethics laws bar him from profiting from them.

In any case, Blind Allegiance bolsters the perception of Sarah Palin as self-serving, casting Bailey as her enforcer - doing the dirty work, no questions asked.

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In a light-hearted nod to the infamous birther controversy, President Barack Obama and his re-election campaign have released a new line of t-shirts and coffee mugs touting that the Commander-in-Chief was "Made in the USA!"

The "birthers" have long held the belief that Obama is not a natural born citizen of the U.S. of A. and thus ineligible to be president. Obama's birth certificate, released last month to quell the rumor, is featured on the shirts:

Obama said he "can't walk around with his birth certificate plastered on his forehead," so deputy campaign manager Julianna Smoot asked his supporters to wear it for him, according to an email message on Wednesday.

The birther conspiracy theory was given a loud, annoying mouthpiece this year in the form of Donald Trump, who allegedly pondered running against Obama but dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination Tuesday.

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With his recent comment that Sarah Palin is profoundly stupid - his words - Chris Matthews is not showing any indications of dialing back his fiery rhetoric.

The host of MSNBC's Hardball took a shot at the ex-Alaska Governor Tuesday while discussing the presidential prospects of another Republican woman.

While talking about Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s shot at the 2012 GOP nod, Matthews was told by a guest analyst not to count out Sarah Palin.

He found that idea laughable, to say the least.

“I think Sarah Palin proved herself to be - I think she’s proven herself to be profoundly stupid,” Matthews said to applause on-location in Los Angeles.

“Her inability to answers the questions of Katie Couric, her inability of even now to explain if she ever reads anything... her absolute failure to begin studying and get serious about running for president,” he continued.

“She has shown no effort to doing any homework or understanding issues about the economy or science or the world. No effort and she’s running for president? I don’t believe she would be at all helpful to our republic.”

Well that leaves clears up where Chris stands. We're not even gonna touch this.

Cue blistering Sarah Palin Twitter response in 5 ... 4 ... 3 ...

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Arnold Schwarzenegger's startling admission that he fathered a child out of wedlock over a decade ago begs a number of questions, chief among them:

  1. Who is the mystery female employee he impregnated?
  2. Having hidden it so well under heavy scrutiny, why admit it now?
  3. How could be run for office while hiding a secret of this magnitude?

We don't know the answer to question #1 right now, though we imagine we will in time. The second is equally unclear. The third? Only Arnold knows.

Maria Shriver, Arnold Schwarzenegger

His mistress, who worked in the family's home and continued to do so until earlier this year, always maintained that her then-husband was the dad.

This is a remarkable story for a number of reasons.

Even if Schwarzenegger's public persona was a macho rogue, adultery doesn't play well with voters ... nor does lying and pulling a John Edwards.

When the former U.S. senator and presidential candidate knocked up Rielle Hunter, he denied it to everyone's face until he was flat out busted.

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Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly clashed over the non-issue that simply won't go away - Common's recent invite to the White House - Monday on Fox News.

Having already crushed Fox News over its treatment of the subject last week, the Comedy Central host more than held his own on Bill's home court.

When O'Reilly accused Common of defending cop killers, Stewart broadened the argument to discuss Fox's "selective outrage" against the rapper.

If the network's outrage is over an artist who writes sympathetically about convicted criminals visiting the White House, why didn't Fox attack Bono? Bob Dylan?

Noting that Bono wrote a song about Leonard Peltier, convicted of killing FBI agents, Stewart hilariously delivered a "Boo-yah!" that left Bill dazed.

Stewart's humor, however brilliantly timed, was only present briefly in what became a heated and thought-provoking exchange on the subject.

Watch the second half of their exchange below ...

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Guitar great Carlos Santana was given the Beacon of Change award before the Atlanta Braves' fifth annual Civil Rights Game Sunday against the Phillies.

The Mexican-American Grammy-winner used the occasion at Turner Field to openly criticize Arizona and Georgia for their tough new immigration laws.

Anthony Weiner Picture

Saying that he represented immigrants, Santana said, “The people of Arizona, and the people of Atlanta, Georgia, you should be ashamed of yourselves.”

The Braves won 3-2 Sunday, but Atlanta's still the loser, Carlos feels.

Friday, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill requiring employers to check the immigration status of new hires and allowing law enforcement officers to check suspects' immigration status in some cases.

The law, one of the toughest in the nation, is similar to Arizona's.

“This law is not correct. It's a cruel law, actually,” Santana, who emigrated to San Francisco from his native Mexico in the 1960s, said after the ceremony.

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Donald Trump will not make a bid for the White House in 2012, telling reporters Monday that "I will not be running for president as much as I'd like to."

In typical Trump fashion, he added that, "This decision does not come easily or without regret. I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary, and ultimately, the general election."

Sure thing, Don.

Trump concludes that as tempting as it would be to run, "Ultimately business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector."

It was a hard decision, "especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking among the top [GOP] contenders across the country."

Well, sort of.

Testing the wasters this spring, Trump polled well at first, but miscalculated big time by not focusing on his (perceived) strength: Business acumen.

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Amidst controversy from conservatives, Common performed a spoken word piece at the White House in celebration of American poetry and prose last night.

Among other critics, Sarah Palin ripped Common and the Obamas for inviting the rapper/actor, given his former harsh words against former President Bush.

In any event, Common brought Chi-town to the White House as Barack and Michelle Obama hosted a poetry night in the "People's House." Watch him here:

Did he just anoint Barack some kind of king at the end there?

It's unclear, but that was pretty cool. After all of the controversy of the last few days, Common responded by doing what he was invited there for, delivering a beautiful poem. He also addressed the criticism of his visit on Facebook.

“Politics is politics and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I respect that,” he said. “The one thing that shouldn’t be questioned is my support for the police officers and troops that protect us every day. Peace yall!”

Well put. Read the full text of his poem after the jump:

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