Well, the time has come…
We will post the verdict shortly…See below for updates!
Here are a few links for you:
John Edwards at the federal courthouse for jury deliberations in Greensboro, North Carolina. Photograph: John Adkisson/Reuters
It appears that the jury has been sent back to the court jury room for further deliberation on other counts, although Fox News is reporting “Jury deadlocked on most counts”.
What all this means will become clear soon. We hope.
[Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET] The prosecution has asked for the jury to go back in the jury room to deliberate. The defense has asked for a mistrial on the remaining counts.
The judge is taking a five minute recess on the matter. The judge has the option to issue an “Allen charge,” which is essentially a request from the court for the jury to go back into deliberations and try again to reach a unanimous verdict on all counts.
Monday Evening Reads: Bill Clinton’s Advice, Romney and Rubio, George Zimmerman, and Stupid RepublicansPosted: April 23, 2012
Good Evening! It hasn’t been a particularly busy news day, but I have a few updates for you tonight.
According to Politico, the Obama campaign is changing it’s attacks on Mitt Romney based on some suggestions from Bill Clinton. The original approach was to paint Romney as a man without a moral or ideological “core.” Clinton, according to Politico argued that it would be better to focus on
Romney’s description of himself as a “severe conservative,” to deny him any chance to tack back to the center, according to three Democrats close to the situation.
“[Clinton] said he thought Romney’s positions on the issues would ultimately be the best way to attack him,” said a Democrat briefed on the details of an amiable Nov. 9 meeting in Clinton’s Harlem office that included Axelrod, Democratic National Committee Executive Director Patrick Gaspard and Obama campaign manager Jim Messina.
“That’s what we are doing, but it doesn’t mean we can’t and shouldn’t do the etch-a-sketch, flip-flop moments when they occur and we will,” added the operative — who says Obama’s campaign likely would have emphasized Romney’s conservative tilt once the primary was over, anyway.
But Clinton’s advice, buttressed by Benenson’s polling, has clearly gained traction internally since the end of Romney’s four-month primary ordeal.
Well, I can’t imagine a more expert political consultant than Bill Clinton, can you?
A new report from the Pew Hispanic Center shows that the number of illegal immigrants coming from Mexico has been falling because of the lack of jobs in the U.S. NY Daily News:
Roughly 6.1 million unauthorized Mexican immigrants were living in the U.S. last year, down from a peak of nearly 7 million in 2007, according to the Pew Hispanic Center study released Monday. It was the biggest sustained drop in modern history, believed to be surpassed in scale only by losses in the Mexican-born U.S. population during the Great Depression.
Much of the drop in illegal immigrants is due to the persistently weak U.S. economy, which has shrunk construction and service-sector jobs attractive to Mexican workers following the housing bust. But increased deportations, heightened U.S. patrols and violence along the border also have played a role, as well as demographic changes, such as Mexico’s declining birth rate.
In all, the Mexican-born population in the U.S. last year — legal and illegal — fell to 12 million, marking an end to an immigration boom dating back to the 1970s, when foreign-born residents from Mexico stood at 760,000. The 2007 peak was 12.6 million.
The New York and Pennsylvania primaries will be held tomorrow, but there isn’t much excitement about them anymore. Other states voting tomorrow are Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island.
In Pennsylvania, Romney was campaigning with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Without overshadowing Romney, Rubio on Monday hammered home the former Massachusetts governor’s position on Iran and helped Romney attack President Barack Obama’s energy policy.
In a brief question-and-answer session with reporters, Romney said he’d consider Rubio’s immigration proposal to find a way to allow young people who came to the country illegally as children to stay here if they’re in school or the military.
It sounds like the Obama campaign should get busy pinning Romney down on the cruel immigration policy he has been pushing throughout the primaries.
Romney also tried to appeal to younger voters by joining Obama in backing a bill to prevent doubling of student loan interest rates.
ASTON, Pa. — As the White House ramps up its push to woo young voters by urging Congress to head off a scheduled increase in student loan interest rates, GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney struck back Monday, throwing his support behind an extension of the current rates at a campaign event outside Philadelphia.
The former Massachusetts governor made the announcement at a press availability with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, the first joint appearance of Romney and the Florida Republican whose name is often floated as a top choice for his running mate.
“There’s one thing that I wanted to mention, that I forgot to mention at the very beginning, and that was that particularly with the number of college graduates that can’t find work or that can only find work well beneath their skill level, I fully support the effort to extend the low interest rate on student loans,” Romney said at the end of a seven-minute joint news conference with Rubio.
I have a few updates on the Trayvon Martin case. At one minute after midnight, George Zimmerman was let out of jail after posting bail. He will be going to a undisclosed location, reportedly outside of Florida.
Wherever George Zimmerman went after he was released on bond from a Florida jail, a sensitive GPS device will pinpoint his location for authorities and alert them if he drifts even a few feet away from where he is allowed.
Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, went into hiding Monday as he awaits trial. He must pay an $8-a-day fee to use the device, which is generally used to track people charged in domestic violence cases.
According to the WaPo,
Local LA Bail Bonds companies whose clients have worn the same device used to pinpoint Zimmerman said it is highly sensitive and can send messages to authorities in real-time….
Seminole County Sheriff’s officials are offering few details on how Zimmerman will be specifically monitored, other than to say the device he is wearing has the same 24/7 capabilities it uses to track accused domestic violence offenders. Zimmerman may be residing outside of Florida for safety reasons.
The monitoring program has been in use since 2003 in Seminole and provides “real-time monitoring of an offender’s movements and is capable of monitoring anywhere in the U.S.,” according to a sheriff’s office news release.
Later this morning, Sanford, FL police chief Bill Lee, who has been on leave with pay, submitted his final resignation; but the move was rejected by the Sanford city commissioners at a hastily-called meeting.
Earlier Monday, the city announced in a statement that a separation agreement had been reached with Lee to resign. If it was approved by the City Commission, it would have taken effect at midnight.
But by a 3-2 vote, the commission opted not to accept the proposed deal, which would have permanently dismissed Lee from the job and given him a severance package. Two commissioners had questioned the fairness of Lee losing his job, while Mayor Jeff Triplett said he preferred to wait possibly several months for the results of an investigation into Lee and his department….
Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for Martin’s family, criticized the commission for not letting Lee step down.
“Sanford residents deserve quality leadership in law enforcement who will handle investigations fairly for all people,” he said. “If Chief Bill Lee recognized that his resignation would help start the healing process in Sanford, city leadership should have accepted it in an effort to move the city forward.”
Sanford City Manager Norton N. Bonaparte had supported the resignation.
Benjamin Crump also criticized George Zimmerman and his defense attorneys over a photo of Zimmerman’s head with two small cuts with blood coming out of them.
An attorney for Trayvon Martin’s family believes their son’s shooter is lying about injuries he sustained the night he killed the unarmed 17-year-old.
“If this is any indication of what’s to come, then the lying has already begun,” attorney Ben Crump told reporters on Sunday, while promoting a documentary at the Florida Film Festival on another case….
“When you look at those pictures and you see those two little cuts on his head, that is not consistent with your head being pounded into the pavement,” said Crump. “Objective evidence, evidence we can see and touch, is more important than whatever George Zimmerman says because we have to remember Trayvon Martin isn’t here to tell us his version of what happened.”
Crump pointed to the 911 call where someone is heard screaming before the fatal gunshot.
Democrats in Congress have been pushing for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, but Texas Sen. John Cornyn says that Democrats are just trying to ‘score cheap political points.’ with their efforts to renew the bill.
Republicans oppose the current reauthorization bill because it would allow battered undocumented immigrants to claim temporary visas, and expand protections to same sex couples and Native American tribes.
All eight Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted against renewing the law and Democrats were quick to denounce them, linking their opposition to the bill to the so-called “war on women.”
“The law was enacted to protect and serve the interests of crime victims, not to help a political party fire up its base,” Cornyn continue. “Moreover, to argue that a minor policy disagreement indicates a lack of sensitivity toward battered women is simply beyond the pale.”
In Missouri, a Republican woman who is running for the senate against current Sen. Claire McCaskill says she is “not sure” what the Violence Against Women Act is.
Former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, a Republican now hoping to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), said recently that she was unfamiliar with the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the landmark anti-domestic violence legislation whose re-authorization is now stalled in the Senate….
A video released today by the Missouri Democratic Party shows a man asking Steelman about VAWA at a campaign event. Steelman replies, “I’m not sure what that is because I’m not serving right now.” He asks again, “you haven’t really heard about it?” And she confirms, “no, not really.”
What stories have you been following today?
As many of you know…I joke about the little part of backwoods North Georgia Mountains that I call home. My little Banjoland and especially Banjoville is a play on words, the town and county I live in is called, Blairsville, Union County Georgia. Some will tell you it is called Union because it sided against the Confederacy during the civil war. Uh, they are full of shite! Union County was named for the Union Party, which was a group of people who supported the forced removal of the Cherokee Indians so that white settlers could move in. Union has had its share of slave holders, and Joseph E. Brown…the Governor of Georgia during the Civil War grew up here. This little redneck of the woods doesn’t have the distinction of being listed in the Southern Poverty Law website, like its neighboring counties…where the weekly cross burning and white hoods can still be found.
I bring all this up because my lovely town of Blairsville is in the news…
Students in Union County have one snow day to make up for the school year, and they will use Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to do it.
A member of King’s family, however, says the move insensitive.
Union County superintendent Gary Steppe said January 16th is the only day for students to make up the absence. Days must be made up before April’s CRCT testing, he said, and Martin Luther King day and spring break are the only opportunities.
The man is great with the excuses for our county school making up snow days on MLK Day. Every year the kids have a snow make up day on Dr. King’s holiday.
He said he has directed teachers to incorporate Dr. King into their lessons that day.
“We’ve talked about things like reading books at the primary school, stories about Dr. Martin Luther King,” he said. “Also, writing essays, things like comparing the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech to the preamble of the Constitution.”
My kids have pointed out that this is a load of B.S. (Actually their word for it was bullshit.) They say they never talk about MLK on MLK Day. Sounds to me like the superintendent “directs” his teachers to incorporate Dr. King in their lessons…wink…wink. (You get what I am saying…yes?)
But, all this doesn’t fool the black community:
Dr. King’s nephew and SCLC president Isaac Newton Farris, Jr. said those are days they should be using anyway.
“To single out a holiday that’s celebrated on one day, versus all these other days, multiple days when you’re off — it just does not fit the smell test to me.”
Steppe said the move is not intended to disrespect Dr. King in any way.
“He was a great Georgian and a great American and we certainly support his ideals,” he said. “We certainly intend no disrespect to Dr. King. But we also believe it’s our mission to be sure we get the best possible education in.”
During last year’s heavy snowstorms, at least one Georgia district gained national attention when civil rights leaders blasted the decision to use the holiday as a make-up day.
So, once again the holiday will come and go, but the racism remains. You will probably find the Union County Courthouse open on Monday as well…but you can bet your ass it is closed in April for Confederate Day.
Speaking of MLK, Report: Quote on MLK Memorial Will Be Changed – ABC News
A quote carved in stone on the new Martin Luther King memorial in Washington will be changed after the inscription was criticized for not accurately reflecting the civil rights leader’s words.
The Washington Post first reported on Friday the decision to change the inscription, which currently reads: “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.” The phrase is chiseled into one side of a massive block of granite that includes King’s likeness emerging from the stone. It became a point of controversy after the memorial opened in August.
The phrase is modified from a sermon known as the “Drum Major Instinct,” in which the 39-year-old King explained to his Atlanta congregation how he would like to be remembered at his funeral. He made the February 1968 speech just two months before he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn.
In the speech, King’s words seem more modest than the paraphrased inscription: “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.”
Poet Maya Angelou previously said the truncated version made King sound like “an arrogant twit” because it was out of context.
I am glad they are going to come up with a more “acceptable” form of the quote, per US Dept of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
And since this is an open thread, I wanted to add one more link…that seems like a spectacular coincidence.
A cardiologist for former presidential candidate John Edwards says he has a life-threatening medical condition that will require surgery next month, a federal judge disclosed Friday as she postponed Edwards’ campaign corruption trial for at least two months.
Saying the 58-year-old Edwards suffers from “a serious condition,” U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles delayed the trial until at least March 26. The judge said she had read two letters from Edwards’ cardiologist but she did not disclose details about the former senator’s condition.
Eagles quoted the cardiologist as saying that Edwards’ condition is treatable, with a good chance of recovery. She said the doctor recommended that Edwards avoid driving or traveling.
I guess I am skeptical…and jaded towards Edwards. It seems to me that Edwards is just like the Union County School superintendent, using a snow make up day…or a heart condition, to get out of celebrating Martin Luther King Day…or postpone his day in court.
This is an open thread…
According to the National Enquirer, which originally broke the story of John Edwards’ affair with Rielle Hunter and that he was the father of her child now claims that Elizabeth Edwards secretly recorded a video that she believed would incriminate him.
“Elizabeth wanted to exact revenge against John for destroying their 33-year marriage and family by cheating with Rielle,” source close to the scandal told ENQUIRER.
“It was Elizabeth’s idea to secretly record a video and tell what knew of the affair and John’s horrific betrayal.”
Before her death in December 2010 at age 61, Elizabeth got newly engaged daughter Cate, 29, to agree that if anything happened to John, she would take care of the youngsters with the help of relatives and friends.
“It was then – without Cate’s knowledge – that Elizabeth turned the video camera on herself. She passed the video to a close friend and asked that it be sent to prosecutors,” said the source.
If the Enquirer hadn’t already proved itself to be accurate about this story several times in the past, I wouldn’t believe it. If this is true, it says a lot about Elizabeth’s strength of will and determination. Talk about a “steel magnolia!”