Saturday, June 2, 2012

What I Didn't Want To Think About Yet (Again) (OK - Maybe Once More Before the Conventions)

Here's the last word (or it would be if only North Carolina weren't under the rule of Koch-funded Republican plants at all levels) on John Edwards' innocence of the violation of federal campaign regulations:

The government's prosecutorial arm was at odds with the very agency charged with policing campaign financing. And even after Edwards was indicted on six felony counts, trial testimony showed, the agency did not require his campaign to list the payments as campaign contributions.

Moreover, a former FEC chairman was prepared to testify on Edwards' behalf that $925,000 in payments were private gifts, not illegal campaign contributions — testimony that the judge disallowed.

"Given the absence of even civil sanctions by the FEC, in hindsight deciding to bring a criminal case against Edwards is certainly questionable,"
said Hampton Dellinger, a North Carolina lawyer who has taught election law at Duke University and attended the trial.

Prosecutors were hamstrung by the challenge of convincing jurors that Edwards' use of the money to cover up the affair was a violation of complex federal campaign finance laws, Dellinger said.

"It was a big stretch, and an even bigger stretch than the judge let the jury know, because she excluded evidence from the Federal Election Commission which would have showed how murky this area of the law is," Rick Hasen, a professor at the UC Irvine School of Law, said in an email.

Hasen added: "The prosecution was flawed from the start. Criminal liability for campaign finance violations should be reserved for violations of clearly established law."
Months before the case went to trial, Edwards' lawyers accused the Justice Department of a politically motivated and "vindictive" prosecution. In October, they sought and failed to have the charges dismissed on grounds that the Republican U.S. attorney in Raleigh at the time, George Holding, was politically biased against Edwards, a Democrat.

Holding, the millionaire scion of a North Carolina banking family and former aide to Sen.
Jesse Helms, donated to Edwards' Republican opponent in a 1998 U.S. Senate race. As senator, Edwards helped block Holding's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2001.

"This case is about politics.... A Republican U.S. attorney with political ambitions of his own has used this high-profile case to his personal benefit," Edwards' lawyers wrote in the motion to dismiss.

The Obama administration, sensitive to charges of political interference, left Holding, a George W. Bush appointee, in office while Holding was prosecuting North Carolina's Democratic then-governor, Mike Easley.
Holding indicted Edwards in June 2011, then resigned a week later to run for Congress in the state's 13th District.

Oh, and I almost forgot, Driftglass has my back on the character and past history of these Republican gentlemen.

And one of those gentlemen, who  has been active in over 300 Republican cotillion campaigns, is quoted lately saying " 'Let's hurl some acid' at female Democratic senators."

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

And now for the really bad news.

From Angry Bear:

The Employment Situation

Posted by spencer | June 01, 2012

Usually I describe the employment report as disappointing. But this one was just miserable.

Private sector employment only rose 69,000 and the unemployment rate ticked back up from 8.1%to 8.2%.

On a positive note, the household survey showed a gain of 422,000 and generally this series tends to lead the payroll data.


But the average work week fell from 33.5 to 33.4.  In combination with the weak employment increase this generated a significant drop of 0.2% in aggregate hours worked.  This reversed the recent strengthened in the index of hours worked as it fell back below the trend for this cycle.


Average hourly earnings rose less than 0.1% from $23.39 to $23.41. The year-over-year gain is back to an all time record low of 1.39%.


 With the drop in hours worked, average weekly earnings fell $806.96 to $805.30.

The unemployment rate rose for almost every category of workers.  One of the exception was a fall in the unemployment rate for college graduates.


maybe more bad news to come, too:
Announced U.S. Job Cuts Jump 67% From Year Ago, Challenger Says - Businessweek: Job cuts announced in the U.S. jumped in May by the most in eight months, led by computer companies. Planned firings surged 67 percent from May 2011 to 61,887, according to figures released today by Chicago-based Challenger, Gray Christmas Inc. It marked the fourth year-over-year increase so far in 2012. Employers have announced 245,540 reductions since Jan. 1, 20 percent more than a year earlier, the report said.

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