w/ Brad & Desi
w/ Brad & Desi
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
First, hearty congratulations are in order to the Koch brothers who, according to Forbes, are now worth $25 billion each!
That's up from the pathetic $17 billion each were worth back in 2009. So it looks like this economic downturn...this "Obama recession"...despite all of those "job killing tax increases" (there were none, he's cut taxes repeatedly)...and "job killing regulations" (there were very very few new regulations)...seems to be working out great for the two "job creating" co-owners of Koch Industries, the oil and chemical conglomerate the brothers were fortunate enough to inherit from their father.
The combined personal wealth of the two brothers has increased a total of $16 billion dollars over the last three years under the current President --- no matter what they like to suggest to the contrary when they're speaking in places they think nobody is listening to them.
Seems like the Kochs should be thanking Barack Obama, rather than declaring "the mother of all wars" on him.
But, as Rachel Maddow discussed last week (video posted below), for some odd reason, all that increased personal wealth for the "job creators" at Koch Industries, the country's second largest private company, doesn't seem to have translated into the actual creation of, ya know, jobs for some odd reason...
Weird. Even though their personal wealth has increased by some 40% during the worst economy in nearly a century, even though they now personally are worth more than the GDP of some 48 different countries, they keep killing jobs by firing thousands of Americans.
It's almost as if that whole "job creator" thing --- the notion that people who already have a whole lot of money will simply create more jobs, out of the kindness of their wallets, if only they have still more money --- is a crock of shit that only the dumbest, most brainwashed, misinformed, incurious jackasses could possibly fall for...or something.
Rachel Maddow's thoughts on the "job killing" Koch brothers follow below. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)'s thoughts on throwing the Koch brothers in jail, are right here...
Lee Fang at Think Progress offers devastating coverage in response to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)'s recent claim to The Street's Mallory Factor (video here) that those who pollute streams with benzene should be thrown in jail.
"I don’t want to pollute the water. I don’t want to pollute streams," said Paul, "If you dump benzene in the stream, I want you to go to jail."
Really, Senator? Are you calling for the billionaire Koch brothers --- likely two of your biggest and wealthiest fans --- to be thrown in jail then?
As Fang details, Koch Industries was indicted by the DoJ in 2000 for knowingly dumping "at least 91 metric tons of uncontrolled benzene in its liquid waste streams" at its Corpus Christi refinery, and for conspiring to cover it up in an attempt to deceive regulators.
After George W. Bush took office in 2001, however, "his Attorney General John Ashcroft dropped 88 counts against Koch for the benzene spill and cover-up" in exchange for a guilty plea to falsifying documents and a $20 million fine (a settlement from $350 million in potential fines.)
The Kochs made out pretty well in exchange for their $32,200 contribution to the 2000 Bush campaign. The job killing Koch brothers are making out even better under Barack Obama. But more on that later. [UPDATE: Those thoughts now here.]
Suffice to say, neither the Kochs, nor anybody who works for them, went to jail for "dump[ing] benzene in the stream," as Paul is calling for, even as he calls for doing away with even more environmental regulations in his remarks to The Street.
As we've been highlighting of late, the Republicans have been on a tear against clean air and water regulation by the EPA recently, and have shown themselves willing to partner with their various front groups in the media, at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and with folks like the Koch brothers to simply make stuff up about such regulations "killing jobs", in their 2012 "mother of all wars" to retake the White House.
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
A nearly two-hour hearing in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights earlier this month (full video available here), carefully examined the partisan, multi-state effort by the billionaire Koch brothers-funded, Paul Weyrich co-founded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)-fueled GOP effort to enact new state voting laws across the country.
The coordinated, nationwide GOP voter suppression effort was aptly described by Judith Browne Dianis, a civil rights litigator at The Advancement Project, and a witness in the second three-member panel, as "the largest legislative effort to roll back voting rights since the post-Reconstruction era."
"Our country has not seen such widespread attempts to disenfranchise voters as we have seen this year in more than a century. Inclusive democracy is under attack," she testified, while Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) described the "brazen" GOP attempts to undermine the right to vote.
Subcommittee Chair and Senate Majority Whip, Dick Durbin (D-IL) broke the new state voting laws into three major categories, and the discussions of each are worth covering here over two different articles. In Part 1 here, we'll cover the first category: Polling place Photo ID laws restricting the ability of lawfully registered voters to cast their ballot on Election Day. The hearing produced several remarkable face-offs, including between Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and long-time GOP "voter fraud" front man Hans von Spakovsky (cue James Bond villain music), as detailed below.
In Part 2, we will cover the discussion of the other two categories at the hearing --- draconian new restrictions on voter registration, and laws which significantly reduce early voting periods --- plus a very troubling event that "reactionaries" have planned for the 2012 election, according to Dianis' testimony [UPDATE: Part 2 is now posted here]...
IN TODAY'S VERY SCARY RADIO REPORT: Superbugs are on the rise! And Monsanto is helping!; Extreme drought and climate change affecting power plants in the US!; PLUS: It's 'Dirty Air Week' in the U.S. House, the scariest place of all!!! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Former Solyndra employees allege mismanagement; Solyndra executives will plead 5th in hearings; US will implement international standards for oil market transparency; BP Oil not degrading on Gulf floor; CERN Study: Are cosmic rays causing global warming? [No.]; $44m settlement in SF Bay oil spill; Interior Dept. confronts growing costs of wild horse control; World Bank: Ditch fossil fuel subsidies to fight climate change; Monsanto wins lawsuit against soybean farmer; Toxic BPA turning up in children's soup cans; Typhoon Roke spares Fukushima nuclear plant; Russia extends life of aging reactors; Rick Perry's dirty deals with Big Coal; TX, KS sue EPA over air pollution rule ... PLUS: Foreign land grabs in Africa threaten greater poverty ...
"We know that this was not a family vacation to Disney World, but a political fundraiser designed to further the governor's national political aspirations," NJ state Sen. Loretta Weinberg said on Friday, in announcing her plan to introduce new legislation today requiring the Governor to alert state legislators when he's traveling out of state.
As mentioned on Friday, more new developments continue to follow in the wake of our Mother Jones exclusive on NJ Gov. Chris Christie's secret appearance (at least until we revealed it) and keynote speech at the billionaire Koch brother's ultra-confidential (at least until we ruined that too) political strategy and fund raising soiree near Vail, Colorado late last June.
"No man is an island, and the governor needs to recognize that he has a responsibility to the people of New Jersey to at least assure for the orderly transfer of power if he does decide to leave the state in search of right-wing campaign donations," Weinberg told New Jersey Newsroom's Tom Hester, Sr. "If an emergency situation had occurred while he was away, the members of the Legislature would have had to scramble to figure out who they're supposed to be working with in the front office."
As Hester reports, "Christie traveled with a state police escort to Vail to give the keynote address at a political fundraiser hosted by David and Charles Koch, oil billionaires and conservative Republican powerbrokers. It was at least the fourth time Christie left the state since taking office without notifying legislators, the public or the media."
The first the local media, or Christie's constituents, had heard about his pilgrimage to the Koch shindig in Vail, was more than two months afterward in our report, based on audio we'd obtained, as recorded by an insider source at the event.
Incredibly, when he was called on the carpet for the secret political trip halfway across the country on a friendly NJ Meet the Governor radio show last week, Christie attempted to downplay it all as little more than a family vacation, even likening it to running out to the deli to pick up a quick sandwich.
"Like this past Saturday," he told 101.5FM's host Eric Scott, "I left the state to go to a University of Delaware football game with my wife and my four children. Do you think the people of the state of New Jersey are dying to know that?"
"I also, ya know, went to the deli on Saturday, do I need to tell people that too?," Christie continued, insisting his hob-nob with the Kochs and several hundred of their closest corporate titan friends was little more than "personal time"...
Reverberations from our exclusive stories last week at Mother Jones on the Secret Koch Tapes we'd obtained from the billionaire brothers' ultra-confidential political strategy and fund raising confab in June near Vail, CO, continue. Most of the fallout has come in the wake of Part 2 on the secret keynote speech given by NJ Gov. Chris Christie, as introduced by brother David who revealed that he'd had a secret meeting with Christie several months earlier in New York, before he went on to describe the tough-talking Republican governor (audio/transcript here) as "my kind of guy."
Earlier this week, a reporter from an East Coast daily sent us a generous email noting: "Remarkable stories last week. I have no idea where the hell you got that audio, but it stopped the news cycle cold in Trenton. Changed the conversation. That doesn't happen often."
The conversation in NJ's capitol, it seems, is still changing in light of the stories, with several additional new issues emerging over the last day or two. We'll cover one of them --- an interesting result of Christie's tough-talking, thought-it-would-stay-secret Colorado comment that "We need to take on the teachers' union once and for all" --- here (and the other, a bit later)...
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
It's bad enough that CNN surrendered what little credibility it had as a "news" organization by adopting the name and sponsorship of a mega-billionaire Koch Brothers' funded and controlled, pseudo-grass-roots organization to partner with on Monday's GOP Presidential debate in California.
Now, in the midst of this Los Angeles Times front-page headline, U.S. poverty totals hit a 50-year high, comes the loud “yes” (several, actually) from the audience at the CNN 'Tea Party' debate, applauding the prospect of simply letting those who can’t afford healthcare insurance die...
"Whether he discussed it or not, he's doing their bidding," insists Jeff Tittel, the director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. "The Governor has a problem about completely telling the truth. If the Governor was Pinocchio, you'd be getting hit with his nose about now."
Those were among Tittel's remarks today during my interview with him this afternoon on my Pacifica Radio show here on KPFK in Los Angeles. (Full audio posted below.) Needless to say, he doesn't have much confidence in NJ Gov. Chris Christie's latest denials about his relationship with the billionaire oil magnate Koch brothers.
As we've reported over the past 24 hours, last night, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) scammed a local radio host concerning his meetings with the Rightwing billionaires. Earlier today, finally, local media forced a direct answer from him on whether he ever discussed the landmark Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) with the Kochs. The co-owners of Koch Industries, the second largest private company in the nation, which they inherited from their father, hate the RGGI cap-and-trade plan to curb pollutants, as created by 10 Northeastern states. Christie's unilateral withdraw from the agreement last May was a shocker, though one celebrated by the Kochs and their well-funded Climate Change Denial Machine who had long been lobbying against it.
Today, Christie denied the topic ever came up in either of two now-known private meetings with Kochs, both revealed by Part 2 of our exclusive report last week at Mother Jones on the secret speech Christie gave for the Kochs at their ultra-exclusive Summer Seminar near Vail, CO last June, and David Koch's introduction to it. (Audio we obtained and transcribed, from that speech, is posted right here.)
After we'd broken the story last week, Tittel, told AP the secret Koch Tapes provide "the smoking gun that shows [Christie's] been working with the Koch brothers from the beginning."
But now, even after Christie insists that discussion of RGGI "never came up" during discussions at either the Colorado appearance, or during his secret two-hour meeting with David Koch in New York City earlier this year, Tittle is not inclined to believe him. He explained his reasons why on today's KPFK show, where you'll also get to hear some of the audio from the Koch seminar (such as when Koch describes Christie as "my kind of guy"), and Christie's bamboozling of the NJ radio host who had asked him about the topic last night...
Download MP3 or listen online here [appx 28 min]...
After being allowed to bamboozle 101.5FM's Eric Host on last night's Meet the Governor radio program in New Jersey, by conflating one secret meeting with David and Charles Koch with another that occurred months earlier, Gov. Chris Christie is now denying he ever had any discussions about a key environmental initiative with the billionaire oil baron brothers in either of the secret meetings.
According to Timothy J. Carroll at PolitickerNJ today, the Governor was pressed once again at a press conference this morning to clear up an issue that has remained in contention since we posted our exclusive story at Mother Jones last week, revealing audio we'd obtained of Christie's secret keynote address --- and David Koch's introduction to it --- at a recent, invitation-only Koch brothers political strategy and fundraising seminar near Vail, Colorado...
Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) was asked about his secret meetings with the billionaire Koch Brothers this evening on a local New Jersey town hall radio show, and whether his private meeting had any affect on his surprise decision to unilaterally withdraw New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, pronounced "Reggie) last May.
The Governor failed to tell the truth in his response during tonight's appearance on the monthly Meet the Governor radio show on New Jersey's 101.5FM. Moreover, he purposely conflated two entirely separate events in order to mislead in his evasive response.
The question arose out of our story published last Wednesday in Mother Jones, featuring exclusive audio from inside the Koch brothers' ultra-confidential 2011 Summer Seminar near Vail, Colorado, where Christie delivered the keynote address to hundreds of corporate millionaires and billionaires on June 26th, after being introduced by oil tycoon and hard right political activist David Koch.
During his introduction to Christie --- whose presence at the secret political strategy and fund raising session had been kept a secret from his constituents until we broke our story last week --- Koch revealed that he had met with the Governor privately "five months ago."
"We met in my New York City office and spoke - just the two of us - for about two hours," said Koch, who, with his brother Charles, had taken extraordinary security measures to help ensure that nobody outside of the event would ever hear what had taken place inside of it.
The Kochs have spent millions funding the Global Warming Denial Industry and lobbying against RGGI, an agreement among 10 Northeastern states to create a cap-and-trade market to curb pollutants --- such as those emitted by many of Koch Industries' plants --- and to invest the profits into clean energy initiatives.
Tonight, Christie was asked directly about the private meetings, but managed to bamboozle the show's host Eric Scott --- and the voters of New Jersey along with him --- in his answer, charging that the issue has only come up because "reporters don't do their homework." It seems it may have been Scott who hadn't done his, as he allowed Christie to deflect the question from the private, one-on-one meeting Koch revealed he'd had with Christie, and instead claim that the June meeting in Colorado couldn't have affected his decision on RGGI, since it took place a month after his announcement about it.
"I don't know how a conversation I...had two months after I did something, could have an effect on what I did," said Christie, knowing exactly how he was scamming both Scott and his constituents who were listening tonight...
During the billionaire Koch brothers' secret Summer Seminar near Vail, Colorado, on June 26th, their secret superstar keynote speaker, New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie, criticized President Barack Obama, charging that he "had failed the fundamental test of leadership, which I believe is to tell the people who hired you the truth, unvarnished truth."
Never mind that until our exposé at Mother Jones last week, based on a complete audio recording of his secret speech, Christie himself had failed to tell the truth to those who had hired him, by concealing the fact that he had flown half way across the country to address the Koch's gathering...just a few months after he had also secretly met with billionaire brother David Koch himself one-on-one, "for about two hours --- just the two of us," as Koch revealed during his introductory remarks, in the oil and chemical magnate's New York City office. That secret meeting took place just prior to a major announcement by Christie to unilaterally withdraw from a Northeast greenhouse gas initiative which Koch had been long advocating against.
So what are the local media obsessed with, given so many of the revelations that suddenly came to light in both our detailed report and its accompanying audio and transcript? Whether or not one of the state's top Democrats, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, should step down from her position!
Naturally. Heckuva job, New Jersey media! (And Democrats!)...
Were you too busy last week to keep up with Part 1 and Part 2 of our blockbuster Mother Jones exclusives on the Koch Brothers' super secret (until now) Summer Seminar near Vail., Colorado, and the extraordinary audio we obtained and released, as recording inside of it?
If so, here's your chance to get caught up in one fell swoop!
I've been doing a lot of media interviews this week in support of the stories, all of them quite good. But the conversation with my friend, the great Peter B. Collins, is likely the most definitive, as we had a full, commercial-free hour, to discuss both parts of the story, play a bunch of clips from the "secret" speeches of Charles Koch, David Koch, NJ Gov. Chris Christie and Fox's Judge Andrew Napolitano, as well as discuss the background context and what it all means as we move forward into 2012.
Get caught up on all the key points of the "Secret Koch Tapes" stories by giving the PBC interview a listen over at his joint, or below...
Download MP3 or listen online here...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: In our exclusive leaked audio, climate denial kingpin billionaire David Koch calls NJ's Chris Christie "my kind of guy" and reveals they met privately before the Governor pulled out of a major greenhouse gas initiative; Wednesday's GOP debate goes from science to fiction; Gov. Perry's TX is now the hottest state ever on record! PLUS: The planet is still not listening to Republicans ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Skeptical Science Wins Award for Demolishing Denier Myths; Google Details Electricity Usage of Its Data Centers; Bankrupt Solar Company Solyndra Raided by F.B.I.; Solar PV systems to double on Americans homes by 2016; BP removes tar balls in Alabama; Nobel Winners Call On Obama to Reject Keystone XL Pipeline; Attack of the Monsanto Superinsects; Policing Your Power-Hungry Appliances; Is Obama’s reluctance to mention climate change motivated by a false assumption about public opinion?... PLUS: Climate Change: An Issue This Critical Demands at Least 45 Seconds of Real, Concentrated Panic Each Week ...
Well, it looks like Part 2 of my Secret Koch Tapes exclusive at Mother Jones yesterday has ignited a political firestorm. Several of them, actually, particularly in the state of New Jersey. Oops.
One of the firestorms has even led the Democratic Speaker of the NJ Assembly to call Gov. Chris Christie "disgraceful," charge that his comments about her were "outright lies," that he is "not fit to lead the state," and that she is "beginning to wonder if Gov. Christie is mentally deranged." All statements given to local media late today in response to our release of the tapes. Though some local Dems are still wondering if it may be the Speaker, rather than Christie, who is hiding the truth.
As I described in my BRAD BLOG piece linking to Part 2 at MoJo on Wednesday morning, the good citizens of the Garden State (and the whole of the mainstream media along with them) learned only yesterday that their Republican Governor had snuck out of state on June 26th, right after appearing on Meet the Press, jetted across the country to deliver the keynote address at the super-secret, ultra-exclusive gathering of rightwing corporate barons and billionaires --- otherwise known as the Koch Brothers 2011 Summer Seminar --- at a resort near Vail, Colorado, before he then flew back home to NJ that night, and went on to appear on three cable news shows, in studio in Manhattan, the next morning. Nobody ever knew he was gone --- at least until my story broke at MoJo yesterday morning.
Since then, local media and politicos have been combing through our report --- and Tuesday's Part 1 before it, as described later that night. They've apparently been digging through the full transcript of Christie's remarks, and David Koch's introduction to it, as transcribed from a secret audio recording of the goings on at the Koch fete, which we obtained from an insider source.
More on the Part 2 fallout, including new details, confirmations from officials, ignited firestorms and opened hornets' nests below. But first, I wanted to front page these nice comments from an NPR report by Frank James, which helps to put this entire flurry of Koch muckraking in perspective:
Indeed. And with that, on to the summary of yesterday's noteworthy fallout and, at points, rather mucky, developments...
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