September 19, 2013

Tom Delay’s Conviction Thrown Out

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:13 pm

Of course the Austin, Texas-based sore loser county prosecutor will appeal:

A Texas appeals court tossed the criminal conviction of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on Thursday, saying there was insufficient evidence for a jury in 2010 to have found him guilty of illegally funneling money to Republican candidates.

The Texas 3rd Court of Appeals said prosecutors failed to prove that the money being laundered was illegally obtained, which the court said was required for a money laundering conviction. Prosecutors alleged that DeLay illegally channel $190,000 in corporate donations though his political action committee and into Texas legislative races, where corporate money is barred.

“The fundamental problem with the State’s case was its failure to prove proceeds of criminal activity,” the court wrote in a 2-1 decision.

Justices on the appeals court suggested that even jurors appeared confused during deliberations, based on questions they asked about whether the charge required that the money be illegally obtained in the first place.

DeLay was meeting with religious conservatives in Washington when he learned of the court’s ruling.

“We were all basically on our knees praying and my lawyer calls and says, `You’re a free man,’” the former Texas congressman said. “It’s a really happy day for me and I just thank the Lord for carrying me through all of this.”

State prosecutors said they would appeal to Texas’ highest criminal court.

“We are concerned and disappointed that two judges substituted their assessment of the facts for that of 12 jurors who personally heard the testimony of over 40 witnesses over the course of several weeks and found that the evidence was sufficient and proved DeLay’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” the Travis County District Attorney’s office said in a statement.

Mark Levin on Defunding Obamacare

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:52 am

Epic — Just listen (HT Right Scoop):

“(This is about stopping) raw tyranny.”

Initial Unemployment Claims (091913): Garbage, Again

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:29 am

Predictions: Bloomberg will only predict that seasonally adjusted claims will “increase” from last week’s artificial number caused by two states not reporting. Business Insider’s email had nothing.

Seasonal adjustement factors:
- Week ended Sept. 14, 2013 — 87.9
- Week ended Sept. 15, 2012 — 87.2

Raw Claims:
- Week ended Sept. 7, 2013 — 228,399 (before revision)
- Week ended Sept. 15, 2012 — 330,454

To generate a seasonally adjusted result of 325K or lower, raw claims will have to be 286K or lower. Given last week’s garbage report, who knows what’s in store?

The report will be here at 8:30.

8:40 a.m.: Still nothing …

8:42 a.m.: Still nothing released, but AP has this report:

US UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT APPLICATIONS RISE TO 309K

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose 15,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 309,000. But the data was distorted for the second straight week by reporting delays.

The Labor Department says the level is only slightly above the previous week’s 294,000, the lowest in six years.

Applications plummeted two weeks ago when California and Nevada were unable to report all their applications of computer upgrades in both states. A government spokesman says those states reported all the applications that came in last week.

… backlogged applications from two weeks ago may elevate the figures in the coming weeks …

In other words, garbage — again.

I’m not waiting around for the official release. On to other things …

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (091913)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:10 am

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow. Other topics are also fair game.

Music Video: ‘This Time’

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

Outstanding, please watch (HT Twitchy.com):

From the YouTube description (bolds are mine):

Former “Kansas” lead singer and producer John Elefante is using his newest single “This Time,” to share the story of his adopted daughter’s birth, and in the process, bring some attention to Online for Life (OFL), an educational non-profit working to rescue babies from abortion so they can live to make their mark on the world.

“I can’t imagine life without my daughter, Sami, and it just breaks my heart that pregnant young women much like her birth mother, instead of choosing life for their babies, are denying them the chance to be born,” Elefante said. “If our song can in any way bring attention to this issue and encourage those who are considering abortion to choose life through options such as adoption, then we couldn’t be happier.”