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Sunday, October 23, 2016

At any moment, the jury deciding the fate of former Senator John Edwards could return with a guilty verdict that would send him to prison for violating campaign finance laws. If given the maximum sentence, the man who once ran for vice president on the Democratic ticket in 2004 – and bid for the top spot in 2008 – could spend the rest of his life behind bars, like Liberian warlord Charles Taylor.

But unlike Taylor, Edwards has not committed thousands of crimes against humanity, burning families to death in their homes and chopping off the limbs of defenseless civilians. Indeed, the former Senator may not have committed any crimes at all, according to the Federal Election Commission, whose views on that question were ruled inadmissible by the judge in the US District Court in Greensboro, North Carolina. Although Edwards is a narcissistic deceiver who hurt many good people, including his own family, none of his bad personal behavior violated the law.

So why is the Edwards case worth the expenditure of thousands of hours and millions of dollars by Justice Department prosecutors? That question seems especially pertinent this week for two reasons. The first is that the former wife of Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) has filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that Kirk used campaign funds in 2010 to keep both her and his mistress quiet about their tangled domestic affairs. If true, that presents a much clearer violation that that charged against Edwards, which did not involve any actual contributions to his presidential campaign.

Yet a still more compelling basis for wondering about the priorities of the Justice Department, however, is the publication of Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption and the Hijacking of America by Charles Ferguson, whose film Inside Job, which examined the forces behind the 2008 financial crash, won the Academy Award for best documentary in 2010. The central event (or non-event) of Predator Nation is the failure of the US Government – the same government putting so much effort into jailing Edwards – to prosecute any of the major financiers and fraudsters culpable in the highly profitable ruin on the US and world economy.

Ferguson told Alternet recently that the inaction of the Obama Administration over the past few years — and specifically the Justice Department – has proved a profound disappointment to him.

“I was not under the illusion when I made [Inside Job] that I was single-handedly going to change the course of American political history,” he told Alternet’s Don Hazen. “And I wouldn’t say that nothing has happened. In fact, in one area, namely in academia, there’s actually been quite significant change. But still, no senior person has gone to jail as a result of the activities that led to the bubble and crisis.”

What highlights this failure, of course, is that both the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission referred substantial evidence of banker misconduct to federal and state prosecutors more than a year ago – with no action to date. Instead, the white-collar division seems to have focused on the likes of Edwards, whose alleged offenses are literally penny ante – and whose conviction is unlikely to deter any significant crime in the future.

The deterrent effect of a long prison sentence and a stiff fine might well serve the public interest on Wall Street, where a special prosecutor ought to have gone hunting for miscreants years ago. Until the federal government prosecutes some “senior person” – preferably more than one –  for the massive fraud and scams that precipitated the crash, the Edwards verdict, win or lose, will only symbolize the far more consequential and troubling offenses that this administration has yet to pursue.

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Copyright 2012 The National Memo
  • His wife died of cancer and he had an affair. Also a distraction from the hose’in we are getting from our elected leaders was called for. Of course it does not take much to distract the majority of the ill informed and unwashed masses. The boys club is buying up what is left of our democracy and the public appears to just be standing by and watching. Pathetic.

  • This is not news, its opinion. Too much reporters’ opinions are masking as news. Unless you can get someone in the prosecutor’s office to give you a specific reason why Edwards was being prosecuted this article should be on the Editorial or Columnist’s comment page or labelled specifically as opinion. No crime should be created after the fact. Crimes should be based upon legislation and not court decisions. Public reporting of Edward’s behavior making it extremely impossible for him to run for office again should be enough. However it did not make any difference in Newt’s case where he campaigned on being a virtuous individual while cheating on a sick wife. Of course Newt didn’t win and his only accomplishment in running for President in 2012 was to leave himself miserably in debt and even more out of the loop in political circles which should be punishment enough.

    Because there is no clear cut crime Edwards committed and the office concerned with overseeing campaign fiance could did not see criminal intent, this trial is a complete waste of time and money.

    However as stated before this article is not written as as news article, but as an opinion article and it should be labeled as opinion. Just as this comment is completely my opinion, and not news.

    • ObozoMustGo

      Mike… if you read The Memo with any regularity, you’ll quickly realize that there is little to NO objective journalism around here, especially from the leftist political hack and useful idiot Joe Conason. If Edwards were a Republican, Conason would be all over him like a cheap suit. Instead, you must realize that Joe Conason and The Memo are nothing more than a tool of the Obozo reelection campaign propaganda machine. Pay attention and you’ll quickly notice that the narrative coming from the Obozo campaign and the narrative at Them Memo are in lock step. This is not by accident.

      Have a nice day!

      • Hey Bozo feeling a little inferior today. Do you really think that anyone who disagrees with your right-wing point of view is an idiot. So far you have called Paul Krugman, VP Biden, Joe Conason and others an idiot. What is your educational background and where are your grades (Bozo is like Trump who demands that the President show his grades). I guess you feel that Fox News (the unfair & unbalanced network and the NY Post are unbiased. Come back when you have substantiated facts not conjecture (do you need to look this word up!!)

        • perplejado

          We shouldn’t be too hard on Obozo, I believe he is really one of us. How else can we explain, why his comments appear day after day, without any more substance than to call us idiots. Suffering from some Freudian psychosis he needs to be with us, because deep down, he is a liberal just like the rest of us. Instead of having penis envy he has progressive envy and wants to be one of us. Break free of the chains and join us Obozo, we can free you from the specious propaganda of the right and you can join a movement that will save this great country from the capitalistic robber barons who want to sink the country with their greed.

          • ObozoMustGo

            What up perp? I hope you are doing fine today.

            Just wanted to say that I’m reminded by your comments of an old song by Traffic called “Dear Mr. Fantasy”…………. 🙂

            Have a nice day!

          • perplejado

            And covered very nicely by those liberal icons Crosby, Stills & Nash.

          • ObozoMustGo

            no perp… the band was Traffic. Stevie Winwood’s first band.



          He’s probably paid by the GOP to write his silly right wing propaganda!!

        • Cancel_NPR

          Bill: Not buyin’ your bull-sh!t anymore dude…
          Conason IS a liberal HACK…
          BOZO is an inexperienced moron with a socialist agenda…
          You’ll be squalling come November…
          And I’ll be HIRING just as soon as that PUNK clears his sh!t outa’ the whitehouse, and NOT ONE DAY BEFORE…

      • EdC

        You is so right, the gingridge got away with it didn’t he, Hey since your handle is OMG just who is your God, the one in the Bible says you ain’t suppose to give false witness, and even you know you are doing that,

      • William Deutschlander

        ObozoMustGo – it appears that you are living in a false world, on another planet, but it would indicate you are neither rational or sane .

        Please get the mental help you need!

        • ObozoMustGo

          Hi Nazi Bill! I hope you are well. And thanks for the well wishes, but their not needed. I am one of the very few sane people that come here to swim in this sea of leftist insanity. In fact, I am a life raft of truth in this sea of leftist nutjobs that dominate The Memo. You just dont recognize it because your brain has been clouded with the lies of the left for too long.

          Rember, liberalism is the disease that presents itself as its own cure! It’s why most of you are helpless.

          Have a nice day!

          • EdC

            Delusions of Grandure, to bad you ain’t a good lookin broad, you ae more likely the sirens call to death.

          • ObozoMustGo

            Nice! That’s a fairly good insult, Ed. You’re getting better at it. Keep it up please. I like the laughs!

            Have a nice day, Ed!

      • joyscarbo

        In my opinion, when a man cheats on his wife (or visa versa) it’s between him, his wife and God, if they believe in God. The fact that he lied about it isn’t a big deal to me. Most men who have been caught with their hand in another cookie jar would try to lie their way out of it. It’s a story as old as time! But if I cheat on my huband, does it mean I lose my job? No. Whether I cheat or not on my husband isn’t my employer’s business. Many former presidents have cheated or had mistresses. If Hillary can live with his indisgretion, I can’t understand why we’re all still yammering about it.

        • ObozoMustGo

          Good afternoon, Joy. I hope you are well today.

          While I agree with you in general on the concept of keeping one’s private life private, no matter how rotten it may be, the problem comes into play when a candidate takes campaign donations and then uses them for his personal purposes. That’s called stealing by any other standards. And John Edwards stole money. People may think the 2 issues are different, but a man of his obvious lack of character is likely to be a man that also steals money.

          Have a great day, my lefty friend! 🙂

          • joyscarbo

            I was really speaking more about Clinton than Edwards. I think that campaign funds should only be used for campaigns as well. The paper trail must be there and proven in court. It’s with the jury now and they will decide.
            But every politician should be held to the same standard. I personall believe that campaign contributions should ONLY come from the citizens who wish to contribute. Big corporations should stay in their lane and out of politics. Too many of our leaders are being bought and this is a conflict of interest that will prove to have dire consequences on our country. This is a problem on both sides of the aisle.
            Until the American people become actively engaged in democracy, we will continue to see the effects that abuses of power has on our freedom.
            Absolute power corrupts absoltely.

          • ObozoMustGo


            I dont think limiting money is a good thing. I think the more speech, the better. Nothing disinfects like the light of day shone on a lie. And that goes both ways.

            Have a pleasant evening, Mrs. Joy!

          • joyscarbo

            Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Power is money. Greed is good.
            However, the love of money is the root of all evil.
            Corporations shouldn’t own our politicians. They should stick to making things and providing services. God knows they make enough money doing that to begin with.
            I don’t see how you can condone a corporation bribing or buying our government leaders! It’s just not a good idea. Or is it only a good idea when it floods your favorite political party with money? I’m not saying it’s not good for republicans to get all this corporate money, I’m saying NO POLITICAL PARTY should be able to get outrageous amounts of corporate cash.
            Why are corporations doing this in the first place? Why not take those millions of dollars and put it into improving or expanding your company? Or why not invest that money into it’s employees? Better healthcare, pensions, etc?
            Money and greed is the great intrusion that will bring our democracy to it’s knees. It will be our country’s undoing if we don’t harness the beast.
            Please, dude (since I’ve come to like you, I can’t call you Bozo anymore), tell me what good could possibly come of corporations buying our leaders and our votes?

            Have a nice day!

          • ObozoMustGo

            Good morning, Joy. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

            Look. I dont disagree with your assertion that money influences politics. It always has and it always will. In ANY political system. Even the most tyrannical and centrally controlled system. I think where you and I disagree is in the fact that I accept this reality. The truth is that it’s not the money that corrupts the system per se. Rather, it’s weak-kneed and personally corrupt politicians that allow the money to influence them in sometime scrupulous ways that benefit them personally. And those politicians are a reflection of us and our culture which has deteriorated drastically over the past 50 years. Until we the voters on BOTH sides insist on solid ethics and honesty from our politicians, this will not end. The problem with accomplishing this is that politics has become so partisan, and our media has become equally partisan, that those on the left and those on the right are likely to perceive different standards on what is acceptably ethical. I dont think it can be corrected, unfortunately. Not without significant social upheaval.

            I believe it is equally true that money and influence can also be positive. Think of this scenario: The semiconductor industry sees more and more of high tech electronics that go into military systems being made in China or elsewhere. They spend a few million with a number of lobbying firms to get their side of the story heard with a bunch of congressmen, particularly those on the defense committee. The next authorization bill that comes around, those congressmen rightly agree to put into the funding requirements that those components be made in America. The law is changed so components are made in the US, and this is without a doubt a good thing. Don’t you agree? And this is but one example. There are thousands of examples, I am sure. Even the most hardcore leftist would not rationally call this “corruption”, would they?

            So, while one person can easily say “get the money out of politics”, another can just as easily point to the good things that come from allowing people to have a voice with their legislatures and in the public forum.

            I always hear the people on the left raging against those “evil corporations”. I just dont get it. I really dont. A corporation is just a legal entity that exists on paper. What makes up those corporations are people like you and me, working to make a living and provide for our families. This is what Romney means when he says “corporations are people too”. All those people working for that corporation have the same interests in their company’s success, and their common interests are legitimately represented in front of their elected representatives. That is fair.

            In summary, I’m not sure how we can say that one type of person cannot have the access and opportunity to have their interests heard or their views heard on the airwaves, while the other is allowed to have it. So, rather than have the rest of the world adhere to the standards of one group of people, simply allow all people the same access and opportunity to have their voices heard without restriction. In the halls of Congress and on the airwaves. This is true meaning of freedom of speech. It applies to all equally.

            You see, the means to restrict speech are unfortunately established by those same politicians you seek to control by limiting who can spend and how much they can spend. Once you place in the politicians hands the power to restrict speech, those restrictions are politically motivated. For a time, your side gets to set the rules. When it’s my side that gets to set the rules, your side freaks out. This is precisely why I don’t think there should be ANY restrictions on political speech or spending for any group. I dont like the Communist Party USA, in fact I despise them. But I will defend their rights to my dying day to have as much political speech and influence as they can get. This is the First Ammendment to the Constitution, Joy.

            I hope this helps you to understand my perspective. It really is not a D or R thing. I think that I am very much a liberal on this issue. A Jeffersonian or Madisonian liberal, that is.

            By the way, I have come to like you very much, as well, Joy. I very much enjoy learning from you and your perspective. If we knew one another personally, I am certain that you would be a great friend of mine. And you can call me Bozo any time you want. 🙂

            Wishing you and your family the best, Joy, have a nice weekend! God Bless.

      • are you really that stupid, or do you just like to play the imbecile?

  • EdC

    Edwards gets nailed for having an affair, while on the campaign trail, and a sick wife, man thats bad. Newt persecutes clinton for having an affair in the white house, while Newt is having a second affair against a sexond sick wife, while bitching about clinton, Not only does he get away with it but gets to lie about when running for President For 2012. Is it exceptualism, or is it a double standard. Being a democrat vote which wouldn’t count, I vote Double Standard.

    • ObozoMustGo

      Lets get it straight, Ed…. Clinton was impeached for purjury and suborning purjury in a court of law. If you or I get caught doing the same, we go to jail. It had nothing to do with sex, and you know it! Be fair, Ed. Be fair.

      Have a nice day, buddy!

  • OWER

    Prosecutors love high profile cases even when they lose. Because they are then in the news. They waste taxpayers’ money on cases like Edwards and baseball’s Clemens, cases that will not act as deterrents, seeking punishments of no benefit to the public. It is all in their self interest.

  • ObozoMustGo

    Of course we all know the real number 1 reason Edwards should be let go…. he’s a DemocRAT. That’s why. If he were a Republican, then he could be prosecuted. Dont those idiots on the court realize they cant prosecute DemocRATS even if they stole money from contributors to cover up what a scumbag he is? You tell ’em Joe!

    Have a nice day!

    • Bozo again with the idiots statement, you must really have a bad inferiority complex. Everyone is an idiot, that’s the only thing you can write but have nothing to back up you angry old man satements

    • BozoMustgo2

      Give it up, Bozo. Your rhetoric is biased opinion if that. If you will recall back to the Abramoff scandal I believe Democrats and Republicans alike were prosecuted and given jail sentences. In addition the political appointees got away with murder except for Steve Griles. He was only given a little slap on the hand of jail time, but others like McCain got off scott free. Enough of the biased and pathetic rhetoric. Get a job instead of spending all of your time trolling so you can bad mouth the Democrat Party.

      • ObozoMustGo

        Nice handle, but you forgot the first letter “O”…

        And you’re full of crap if you think there are not double standards in terms of how R’s and D’s are handled in the media, especially in this sea of leftist insanity called The Memo. Of course there is. You know it.

        Have a nice day!

  • RichardPatrock

    Oh come on. They got Martha Stewart. If she hadn’t been peddling all those fancy homewares, rich people wouldn’t have needed to be so greedy in keeping up with the Dow Joneses.

    I’m glad the ex-Mrs. Kirk doesn’t stand by her man. But I bet the rest of the Republicans and Democratic friends in the Senate will be more loyal. All he has to do with some of them is to hold up a mirror.

  • EdC

    Like I said said double standard Gingridge gets away with out a alp on the hand and Democrates get the sh– kicked out of them, Thank god, Godgave us the strength to withstand it.

  • EdC

    Don’t confuse a Republican with Facts his mind is made up.

  • ObozoMustGo

    One other question for you Joe….. While you are complaigning about “banksters running free” how come you don’t write any articles about your leftist buddy and THE BIGGEST THIEF OF OUR DAY, JON CORZINE?

    Why aren’t you doing articles about how Eric “The Incompetent” Holder is NOT going after their buddy Corzine for stealing $2 BILLION from customers to cover his bad bets? Why does Obozo just ignore that? Why do you ignore that? Ohhhhh… that’s right…. there I go again forgetting the number 1 rule…. we cant cant prosecute DemocRATS, only Republicans, right Joe?

    Have a nice day!

  • Kansan

    Not only has Holder avoided prosecuting the banksters, but he’s prosecuted more whistleblowers than criminals, more licensed medical marijuana growers than Bush’s AGs.

    He declined to retry corrupt US Senator Ted Stevens and did not indict Congressman Don Young.

    At the same time Holder has retained apparently corrupt DOJ officials such as the former Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Eric Holder, rehired and promoted other apparently corrupt officials such as Stacia Hylton, the former head of the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee and now the head of the U.S. Marshals Service.

    Holder is taking his place in a long line of awful Attorneys General, including John Mitchell, Ed Meese, John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales. He’s the only Democrat on the list. Is he corrupt as well?

  • William Deutschlander

    If you have a brain, it is obvious that the lawyers club, has agreed among themselves, that politicaly they will stand firm in opposing any action against the misconduct and malase, that prevails in the arena of wealth. Why, simply the fact that the campaigns for office are controlled by the uber wealthy and in return those elected must toe the line that is drawn for them. Most of the legal professions income comes about from services to the wealthy and the wealthy corporations.

    That said, it is a very, very said time for our Democracy!

    The only feasible conclusion a rational person can arrive at is “GREED” has overcome COMMON SENSE, DECENCY and RESPONSIBILITY!

    The HORRENDOUS TRUTH is that ultimately, this disrespect for JUSTICE leads to AUTOCRACY, PLUTOCRACY and worse!

  • dick cheney for one!!

  • tigerlille

    I also find it bizarre that opinion pieces are
    so often presented as hard news here. But hey,
    at least they are out front about it, instead of
    being dishonest and manipulative like the straight

    That said, I think that the question posed by the
    author of the above piece is an excellent one.
    Why is Edwards being prosecuted with such enthu-
    siasm while the banksters not only go free, but are
    actually financially rewarded for reckless and criminal
    conduct that wrecked lives across the country? Isn’t Edwards
    being prosecuted by a Democratic administration? And
    while he is not uber wealthy, is he not a millionaire?

    My guess is that the person who pointed out that his
    prsecution is probably motivated by some lawyer wanting
    to make a name for himself has the right of it. That and revenge,
    someone some where felt slighted by Edwards and wants to
    humiliate him.

    As for the Republican/Democrat rivalry, count me out. I loathe both
    parties. I am one of those old fools who actually thought Obama might
    be more than a political hack.

  • EdC

    It’s time to talk about people who should face charges, At the end of WWII we executed two Japanese officers for torture, to American, British , and French Prisioners of War, Japan gave them up freely, at the time there was treaty stating that any official accused of torture was to be turned over to a court of the world to be tried for that offence. Mr, Bush Mr. Chaeny and Mr. Rumsfield, have been requested of the United States to turn them over for trail. The offence Mr Chaney has not only admitted but gleefully so, is the cause of this request. The reason that these men are not being tried, is that President Obama has refused to turn them over. These men are wanted for trail in one hundred forty five countries for torture, actually including the United States of America. Only two countries of the onehundred and forty-seven countries do not consider them absent from judgement, Isiral and Saudi Arabia. Great Britain, Finland, and Scotland have PROMISED to arreste these men the minate they step on their countries grounf. Again Obama is the only person that stands between them and persecution in the rest of the world. Furthermore, It is Obama that keeps the rest of the world from underminign the U.S. to get these men. And don’t give me that right wing arrogant crap, go look it up.

  • Colorado15

    Edwards should like all politicians be held to a higher standard not a lower one. Until we start really prosecuting people like him there is no hope of changing WA. If you violate the public trust while serving or running for office you should be held accountable..regardless of party.

  • While I agree with many points in the article, I disagree with the premise that the financial criminals run free because the federal prosecutors are too busy going after Edwards. There are plenty of federal courts and prosecutors to both simultaneously. The problem with going after the banksters is that they have plenty of money to defend themselves, so the prosecution will be slow, expensive, and difficult. Money can buy a damn good defense.

  • If federal prosecutors believe Edwards broke a law regarding campaign financing, then it is right and proper for them to pursue prosecution. Personally, I think campaign finance laws are virtually irrelevant now that we have entered the era of Super PACs, but that does not mean that the laws should be disregarded with impunity.

  • No amount of campaign finance reform can fix the current problem that the Supreme Court created. Political offices can now be purchased by the highest bidder, and laws will be created as needed to court the highest bid. The Fox has taken full control of the hen house. The Koch brothers must be delirious with joy. Pity the poor and the middle class, for their voices are now silenced by the rich men with their court-provided bull horns. This is now the only issue that truly matters to the long term future of the United States. If we can’t find some way to fix this, we are surely going down the tubes.

  • ObozoMustGo

    Democratic National Convention Schedule released by WikiLeaks!

    Democratic National Convention Schedule
    4:00 PM – Opening Flag Burning Ceremony
    4:05 PM – Singing of “G_D___ America” led by Rev. Jeremiah Wright
    4:10 PM – Pledge of Allegiance to Obama
    4:15 PM – Ceremonial ‘I hate America’ led by Michelle Obama
    4:30 PM – Tips on Dodging Sniper Fire – Hillary Clinton
    4:45 PM –Al Sharpton Leads Castrati Choir in Singing “Great Balls of Fire”
    5:00 PM – UFO Abduction Survival – Joe Biden
    5:30 PM – Eliot Spitzer Speaks on “Family Values” via Satellite
    5:45 PM – Tribute to All 57 States
    6:00 PM – Joe Biden Delivers 100,000-Word Speech Featuring 23-Minute Question and 2- Hour Answer
    8:30 PM – Airing of Grievances by the Clintons
    9:00 PM – Bill Clinton Delivers Rousing Endorsement of Obama Girl
    9:15 PM – Tribute Film to Freedom Fighters at Gitmo – Michael Moore
    9:45 PM – Personal Finance Seminar – Charlie Rangell
    10:00 PM – Denunciation of Bitter Gun Owners
    10:30 PM – Ceremonial Waving of White Flag for IRAQ, & Afghanistan
    11:00 PM – Obama Energy Plan Symposium /Tire Gauge Demonstration
    11:15 PM – Free Gov. Blagojevich rally
    11:30 PM – Obama Accepts Tony and Latin Grammy Awards
    11:45 PM – Feeding of the Delegates with 5 Loaves and 2 Fish – Obama Presiding
    12:00 AM – Official Nomination of Obama by Bill Mahre
    12:01 AM – Obama Accepts Nomination, declares that the Kenyan thing was a distraction, he was really born in Bethelehem
    12:05 AM – Celestial Choirs Sing
    3:00 AM – Biden Delivers Acceptance Speech
    OPTION: Closing with a Declaration of War on the rich To be decided just before the Convention

  • tigerlille

    Re: the Dem. National Convention Schedule…

    This is really quite amusing. Thanks for the laughs

  • perplejado

    You’re partly right, original Traffic release, but as I said, was covered by CSN, and released on CSN boxed set. Recorded at Rudy Recorders, Los Angeles, November 17, 1980
    Engineers: Stanley Johnston, Steve Gursky and Don Gooch
    Produced by Stephen Stills & Graham Nash, Stanley Johnston & Steve Gursky
    Mixed by Don Gooch, Graham Nash, and Gerry Tolman
    Composition first released on Traffic’s Mr. Fantasy, January, 1968
    Unreleased version

  • BettyBenson

    Thank God someone brought this out. Why indeed is our government going after non-crimes and letting major crimes go unpunished? What has happened to America that has brought about such a profound change in justice and fairness? It all goes to prove to me that there are powers at work behind the scenes of our country that are or have lead us down a destructive path of greed, corruption, and moves to make a possible takeover by powerful international financial interests. The Gnomes of Zurich are alive and well!

  • rustacus21

    This article asks several profound questions, but as conservatives have managed to complicate the entire process, this verdict could only fall the way it has. Why indeed, in an age of corruption, greed & selfishness, reaching all the way to the highest levels of the 2001-2009 (& beyond) levels of government & courts…