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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 10/16/2012 10:04pm PT  

Your proposed captions are welcome in comments...

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Republican Sec. of State Husted finally forced to announce Early Voting hours for final three days before Election Day...
UPDATE: Order denying stay issued by entire Court without dissent
By Ernest A. Canning on 10/16/2012 3:12pm PT  

The old baseball adage that three strikes and you are out applies to Ohio's Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted and his underhanded effort to emulate his predecessor, the infamous J. Kenneth Blackwell (R), by preventing Early Voting for all over the last three days before the November 6, 2012 election.

That effort, to restrict voting in those days to active-duty military voters only, was first rejected by U.S. District Court Judge Peter Economus (strike one!) whose decision was upheld in all aspects by a three judge panel of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal --- strike two!

Now comes an order from the U.S. Supreme Court summarily rejecting Husted's eleventh hour request for a stay of Judge Economus' decision --- strike three!

When Brad Friedman interviewed the former Democratic Ohio Sec. of State Jennifer Brunner in mid-August, she explained how Husted's efforts to limit early voting were "clearly aimed at 'Souls to the Polls,'" the very successful effort by African-American churches to encourage their congregations to get out and vote on the Sunday before Election Day. During the 2008 election, nearly 100,000 largely Democratic-leaning voters cast their vote over that weekend.

Husted, who previously backed off an earlier effort to obstruct Judge Economus' initial order, filing an apology to the court in early September, has now issued a directive informing all County Election Boards "to open for early voting from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Nov. 3, 1-5 p.m. on Nov. 4 and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Nov. 5," according to the Chicago Tribune.

Contrary to the initial lie spun by the right wing echo chamber and by Mitt Romney himself, this case in no way impacted the right of military voters to cast Early Absentee ballots. To the contrary, it assured that all lawfully registered voters could do so.

This is a very clear victory for democracy.

UPDATE: The order [PDF] reveals that although Husted filed the application for a stay with Justice Kagan, she referred the request "to the Court," which, in turn, denied the stay without any dissents.

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/16/2012 2:53pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Debating the future - contrasting the candidates on energy; Obama fast-tracks solar on public lands; Car battery maker goes bankrupt; PLUS: It's official: September 2012 was the hottest month ever. Ever, people! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Corn Belt Shifts North With Climate as Kansas Crop Dies; TEPCO admits Fukushima was avoidable; New Study Ties Hurricane Strength To Global Warming; Keystone XL pipeline opponents turn to civil disobedience; Iraq to invest up to $1.6 bln in solar and wind ... PLUS: World's biggest geoengineering experiment 'violates' UN rules ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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By Brad Friedman on 10/9/2012 11:47am PT  

Fox "News" is now informing their viewers to get ready for President Mitt Romney! It's gonna be a rout this November, according to the Rightwing media outlet's latest "updated election forecasting model" for the November 2012 election.

That "model" today includes Romney winning every single swingstate, with the exception of Nevada. That would include Romney wins in Pennsylvania, where the TPM PollTracker average currently has Obama up by 4.4 points, and Wisconsin, where Obama is reportedly up by 8.5 points in TPM's combined poll average. (See all of TPM PollTracker's swingstate averages here).

So here's what all of that now looks like today in Fox "News" World...

To be sure, Romney has seen a significant bump in pre-election national polling on the heels of last week's first Presidential Debate. There is still a dearth of reliable state-by-state polls since the debate, however, that might lead to Fox' predictions seen above. Nonetheless, they're now on the record trumpeting the upcoming Romney Landslide.

Most importantly here: Anything can now happen on Election Day. There will be no "anomalies" in the computer-reported results, because, as Fox and their paid analyst Karl Rove will be happy to remind you on Election Night, "[Fill in the state] had been predicted to go for Romney for some time".

Some, such as National Journal's Matt Vasilogambros, who posted the above graphic today on Twitter today, are "LOL"ing about it. I'm not so sure this Fox "News" flag plant will necessarily prove to be quite as amusing as some of the Twitterati are regarding it as today.

It's about the narrative, stupid.

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By Ernest A. Canning on 10/7/2012 12:49pm PT  

As she has done in the past, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! offered a real-time alternative to the narrow constraints of a Presidential debate, which constricted the scope of political discourse to that which had been presented by the two major party candidates.

Two third party Presidential candidates, Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party and former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party, responded to questions posed by Presidential debate moderator Jim Lehrer following the initial responses of President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson was invited but declined to take part in the Democracy Now! forum.

Where much of the post-debate analysis focused on the President's failure to forcefully respond to his opponent's deceptive claims or to point to his weaknesses, such as outsourcing in relation to his tenure at Bain Capital and his 47% remark, the scope of the two-party debate was also constricted by the questions posed by moderator Jim Lehrer. As Goodman observed, "some domestic issues went virtually unmentioned…including immigration policy, global warming, gun control, incarceration rates and poverty." One could add to that the disturbing failure to include such issues as Supreme Court appointments, Citizens United, Occupy Wall Street and issues of gender equality and women's health.

But, even within the confines of Lehrer's myopic questions, Stein and Johnson offered responses that suggest how including all Presidential candidates who have qualified to be on the ballot, into a single, extended debate, would serve to enhance the knowledge base of the U.S. electorate...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/4/2012 3:20pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Obama vs. Romney vs. Facts: fact-checking & debunking the 1st Presidential debate; Total Oil slams Shell Oil's Arctic drilling; PLUS: A whole lotta shakin' going on: more fracking earthquakes in Texas ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): "Culture of fear" at San Onofre nuclear plant; 'Hundreds of problems' at EU nuclear plants; Gasoline shortage closes CA gas stations; Enbridge CEO floats new light oil pipeline plans; US Solar industry pushes for China trade sanctions; Alaska-to-Asia natural gas pipeline plan timeline set; Exxon plans to drill near atomic waste dump in Arctic; Ocean acidification emerges as new climate threat ... PLUS: Clean energy showdown in Arizona ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 10/2/2012 10:11pm PT  

Today, democracy in Pennsylvania was granted a reprieve. For now. Of a sort.

In response to a recent state Supreme Court remand, unanimously voiding his previous August ruling, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson, a Republican, issued his new ruling [PDF] today on the state GOP's polling place Photo ID restriction law.

He enjoined just a part of the law, but it effectively strikes down the most onerous provision of it --- but only for this November's Presidential election. There were also a number of troubling caveats with what he left in place, rather than striking down the entire statute as the petitioners had sought.

There has been some confused and confusing reporting on the ruling today. Here is where --- barring any additional court challenges --- the law stands at this moment, just over one month from Election Day...

  • Voters will NOT have to show a state-issued Photo ID at the polling place in order to cast a normal ballot.
  • Poll workers SHALL ask voters for Photo ID, but they may NOT keep them from voting if they do not have one.
  • Voters will NOT have to cast a provisional ballot if they do not have state-issued Photo ID.

Hopefully that clarifies the key points of today's ruling, which is being misreported in some quarters.

Also of note, the court refused to enjoin the Commonwealth's tax-payer funded $5 million ad campaign, as written into the statute for the purposes of "educating" the public about the polling place Photo ID requirement (even though it no longer practically applies for this election.)

Given that, and given that poll workers may still ask for ID this November, and given that the Photo ID requirements, barring more legal challenges, will be allowed to take effect next year, it is almost guaranteed that confusion will reign in parts of Pennsylvania this year. On the upside, the 1.6 million otherwise-eligible voters who it was feared could be disenfranchised, will at least be allowed to vote in this year's Presidential election, presuming they can navigate all of the confusion left in place by Judge Simpson.

Contrary to the claim made by GOP "voter fraud" fraudster, Hans Van Spakovsky, the court did not rule on the constitutionality of PA's Photo ID statute. A ruling on that aspect of the law will not be made until after the case proceeds to a trial, following the election, on the plaintiff's request for a permanent injunction.

Tonight, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow also discussed the confusion likely to be brought by the state's continuing ad campaign along with the other vagueries allowed to continue by Judge Simpson's ruling today...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/27/2012 3:09pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Hey, fracking industry: you didn't build that, either!; Chevron caught cheating in SF refinery fire; Texas police Taser pipeline protesters; PLUS: BACONPOCALYPSE --- this time, global warming has gone too far! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Why is solar cheaper in Germany than the US?; Carbon tax could half deficit in 10 years; Obama must break 'climate silence'; EPA regs create $5 in benefits for every $1 in costs; Gov. Brown signs 'human right to water' bill; '100m to die' from global warming?; If US oil production is at all-time high, yet so are gas prices; Total Oil chief warns against drilling in Arctic ... PLUS: Obama vs. Romney: Stark contrast on the environment ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/25/2012 3:50pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Elizabeth Warren's U.S. Senate race could decide the environmental future; Fox 'News' Alert!!!: Fox misleads on climate! - Also: Sun rises in East!; Polls show voters vote on climate; PLUS: Marking major milestones: Silent Spring and saving the planet by saving the ozone layer ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Chevy Volt outsells half of US cars; West should expect bigger wildfires, more often; Coal fight looms over Pacific NW; Study ignites furor over GMO corn; MI chemical plant still poisoning town; Tree sitters stop Keystone XL; Romney's energy advisor will profit more from Romney energy policies; Oil poisoning Africa; Nate Silver missteps on climate ... PLUS: What Will Ice-Free Arctic Summers Bring? ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Rollback of existing voting rights presents significant legal issues...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/24/2012 6:35am PT  

The veteran's advocacy group, VoteVets.org filed an amicus curiae brief [PDF] last Wednesday in support of U.S. District Court Judge Peter Economus' recent order compelling Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) to restore Early Voting for all registered Ohio voters during the three days immediately preceding the Nov. 6, 2012 election.

The order came in response to a lawsuit filed by the Obama Campaign challenging the Buckeye State Republicans attempt to restrict voting in that period to all but active duty military. The Romney Campaign supported the Republican attempt to restrict the voting rights that had previously been shared by all state residents.

In their brief, VoteVets argues that Husted's directive adversely affects the voting rights of Ohio's more than 900,000 veterans, including more than 90,000 disabled veterans, many of whom are incapable of standing in long lines on Election Day.

The brief also alleges that the Republicans' new restrictions on Early Voting, for all but active duty military in the Buckeye State during those three days, could also arbitrarily deprive many active members of the armed forces of their right to cast an early in-person absentee ballot as well. This can occur, says the group, because Husted left the decision whether "to open those three days for in-person voting by [active military] voters...[to] the discretion of the individual county boards of elections."

The point also raises another salient legal issue, not fully considered by many of the Election Law experts who have weighed in on both the specific and broader implications of the Secretary of State's pending, expedited appeal of Judge Economus' recent decision to restore those three days of Early Voting for all...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/20/2012 3:22pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: One day later, Japan reverses planned nuclear phase-out; Romney and Republicans fight for Big Coal - with unpaid labor; New record HOT ocean temps cause lobster glut in Northeast; PLUS: Putting their bodies on the line to stop the dirty Keystone XL pipeline ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): US wind industry withers with end of tax credit; False balance lives: PBS FAIL on climate science; Bolivia protects unique pink dolphins; FDA to investigate arsenic in rice; Insurance companies won't pay for climate disasters; UK slams Trump's misleading anti-wind ad; Mexico pipeline explosion kills 28; GM corn study draws skepticism ... PLUS: Existing technologies could halve fuel efficiency. So why aren't we using them? ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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At least by his own moveable standards...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/17/2012 10:50am PT  

On Friday, ABC's George Stephanopoulos caught Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaking out of both sides of his mouth. (Not that it's all that hard to do.)

As TPM's Josh Marshall described the remarks --- tongue only somewhat in cheek --- "Romney Apologizes to Muslim Rioters".

Romney, over the course of his lengthy ABC interview, finally acknowledged that the statement issued by the Cairo Embassy condemning "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims --- as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions" was made before the protests began.

However, the GOP candidate, who had shamelessly seized upon that statement to falsely accuse the Embassy and President Obama of having "sympathize[d] with those who waged the attacks," evaded a direct answer to Stephanopoulos' direct question: "Where do they show sympathy for those who waged the attacks?"

Instead, Romney insisted it was "inappropriate" for the Cairo Embassy to leave the statement up on its website after its wall was breached. "The statement was reiterated after they had breached the sovereignty of the embassy," Romney proclaimed.

After its wall was breached, the Cairo Embassy tweeted: "This morning's condemnation (issued before protest began) still stands. As does our condemnation of unjustified breach of the Embassy."

Without explaining why he felt it was inappropriate for the Embassy to retain its condemnation of the film's scurrilous slander of the prophet Muhammad while simultaneously condemning the "unjustified breach of the Embassy," Romney followed up with a criticism of the film that was virtually indistinguishable from that which had been initially issued by the Cairo Embassy...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/13/2012 3:38pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: US solar industry fights off Republican attacks; US wind industry does, too; PLUS: Rightwing media FAIL in attacking the Chevy Volt --- again ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): NW wildfires vex crews; $50 solar-powered water purifier is so green it’s like a joke; America's first ocean-energy project now delivering; Arctic ice melt 'like adding 20 years of CO2 emissions'; Ice floes continue to shut out Shell's Arctic drilling; Gaps in US nuclear regulations; US media climate change coverage drops further; Common railroad car increases risk of hazmat spills; Canadian mining company admits 100 years of polluting WA's Columbia River ... PLUS: Calculating the true cost of electricity ... and much, MUCH more! ...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Questions raised about GOP nominee's fitness to serve
UPDATED: Obama says Romney 'shoots first, aims later'...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/12/2012 1:05pm PT  

"It's disgraceful," Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney proclaimed, "that the Obama administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks."

Except, none of what Romney said was actually true.

While factual misrepresentation has proved to be a hallmark of the Romney/Ryan campaign (e.g. the lie that Obama stole $716 billion from Medicare to fund "Obamacare" or the bogus claim that the President's Ohio lawsuit, which sought to open Early Voting for all, was actually an effort to suppress the military vote), the effort to exploit a tragic assault that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his aides was seen by Robert Dreyfuss of The Nation as so despicable as to "disqualify" Romney as a candidate for our nation's highest office.

The statement which Romney seized upon was not made by the President or anyone on its staff, but from the Cairo Embassy. More importantly, Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast observed, the Cairo Embassy statement was issued before either it or the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was attacked.

For the same reasons expressed by General David Petraeus two years ago when he warned that a plan to commemorate 9/11 by burning Qurans would endanger U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo had sought to prevent a violent reaction by condemning "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims --- as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions."

Nonetheless, TPM's Benjy Sarlin notes that Romney shamelessly refused to back off his inaccurate critique of the President --- in the midst of a very live, ongoing crisis during which the whereabouts of a U.S. Ambassador remained unknown --- even when confronted by reporters about the chronology of events, because the Cairo Embassy apparently was not as swift as Romney felt they should have been in taking down their tweets in the wake of a violent assault on their Embassy and the one in Libya. Romney insisted the President was responsible for the Embassy's statement, which statement, the GOP Presidential candidate claimed, was "akin to [an] apology."

In truth, neither the President nor the Embassy "sympathized" with the attack or the attackers. To the contrary, the Cairo Embassy followed the attack with this tweet (emphasis added): "This morning's condemnation (issued before protest began) still stands. As does our condemnation of unjustified breach of the Embassy."

But the incident has turned out to be rather revealing about the GOP nominee's readiness to serve as President of the United States...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/11/2012 2:58pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: A Tale of Two Conventions: wrapping up the DNC vs. RNC; It's official: 2012 shaping up to be hottest year on record; Shell begins Arctic drilling, but the Arctic has other plans; PLUS: 9/11, and the consequences of ignoring warnings ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Foul smell across Southern Cali; Caribbean coral reefs near collapse; BP unloads millions in Gulf of Mexico leases; Massive wildfires, evacuations in West; NYC unprepared for rising sea levels, storm surge; Looming national security issue at chemical plants; Climate change challenge for power plant operators; China orders renewable energy standard ... PLUS: GM calls report of money-losing Volt sales 'grossly wrong' ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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