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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, November 28, 2014
'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
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The indisputable video proof is now here!...
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  w/ Brad & Desi
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Yes, scientists have been warning us about this for years. And, yes, the record breaking storm in Buffalo is tied to global warming...
We're #26! Harvard 'Electoral Integrity' Report Dings U.S.
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'Green News Report' 11/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
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For those mad at us for asserting 'not voting IS a vote', look who just said the same thing...
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Email obtained by BRAD BLOG reveals County's top election official ignored warnings from election experts, leading to shortages...
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IN MEMORIAM: Tomas Young, 1979-2014
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Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
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Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2011 3:08pm PT  

Reuters in 2008:

The parole board in the state of Georgia spared a convicted killer from execution hours before he was due to die by lethal injection on Thursday and commuted his sentence to life in prison.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles made its decision less than three hours before Samuel David Crowe, 47, was to be executed, according to a spokeswoman for the state's prisons.

"After careful and exhaustive consideration of the requests, the board voted to grant clemency. The board voted to commute the sentence to life without parole," the parole board said.
...
In March 1988, Crowe killed store manager Joseph Pala during a robbery at the lumber company in Douglas County, west of Atlanta. Crowe, who had previously worked at the store, shot Pala three times with a pistol, beat him with a crowbar and a pot of paint.

Crowe pleaded guilty to armed robbery and murder and was sentenced to death the following year.

"David (Crowe) takes full responsibility for his crime and experiences profound remorse," according to Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, an advocacy group, who welcomed the board's decision.

The BRAD BLOG last night, after the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles had denied clemency to a different prisoner:

Despite 20 years asserting his own innocence; 7 of 9 witnesses having recanted their testimony, claiming police coercion; 3 jurors in the death penalty case having filed affidavits retracting their votes for "guilty" verdict; the murder weapon used in the killing of off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail never having been found; no physical evidence tying Davis to the murder; hosts of luminaries from Republicans Bob Barr and Michael Steele to Democrats like President Jimmy Carter to a former GA Supreme Court Justice to a former FBI Director and many more calling for him to be spared; and after 3.5 hours of secret deliberation by the U.S. Supreme Court who temporarily reprieved his execution at the last moment before denying a stay without explanation, Davis was killed tonight by the big government state of Georgia at 11:08pm ET.

In his last words, according to witnesses to the execution, Davis spoke to the family of Officer MacPhail in the front row, and told them again he was sorry for their loss, but that he was innocent, did not have a gun, and did not kill their "son, father, brother."

Other than the confessed murderer being spared, and the man who maintained his innocence for 20 years being killed, I wonder if the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles saw any other significant differences between the cases of Samuel David Crowe and Troy Anthony Davis.

[Hat-tip @AngryBlackLady on Twitter.]

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
Very Very Scary Edition!
By Desi Doyen on 9/22/2011 2:35pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

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!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

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 ...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2011 8:26pm PT  


Troy Anthony Davis, 1968 - 2011

Despite 20 years asserting his own innocence; 7 of 9 witnesses having recanted their testimony, claiming police coercion; 3 jurors in the death penalty case having filed affidavits retracting their votes for "guilty" verdict; the murder weapon used in the killing of off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail never having been found; no physical evidence tying Davis to the murder; hosts of luminaries from Republicans Bob Barr and Michael Steele to Democrats like President Jimmy Carter to a former GA Supreme Court Justice to a former FBI Director and many more calling for him to be spared; and after 3.5 hours of secret deliberation by the U.S. Supreme Court who temporarily reprieved his execution at the last moment before denying a stay without explanation, Davis was killed tonight by the big government state of Georgia at 11:08pm ET.

In his last words, according to witnesses to the execution, Davis spoke to the family of Officer MacPhail in the front row, and told them again he was sorry for their loss, but that he was innocent, did not have a gun, and did not kill their "son, father, brother."

Finally, he said to the prison officials: "May God have mercy on your souls and may God bless your souls."

* * *

Davis' letter today to supporters...

I want to thank all of you for your efforts and dedication to Human Rights and Human Kindness, in the past year I have experienced such emotion, joy, sadness and never ending faith. It is because of all of you that I am alive today, as I look at my sister Martina I am marveled by the love she has for me and of course I worry about her and her health, but as she tells me she is the eldest and she will not back down from this fight to save my life and prove to the world that I am innocent of this terrible crime.

As I look at my mail from across the globe, from places I have never ever dreamed I would know about and people speaking languages and expressing cultures and religions I could only hope to one day see first hand. I am humbled by the emotion that fills my heart with overwhelming, overflowing Joy. I can’t even explain the insurgence of emotion I feel when I try to express the strength I draw from you all, it compounds my faith and it shows me yet again that this is not a case about the death penalty, this is not a case about Troy Davis, this is a case about Justice and the Human Spirit to see Justice prevail.

* * *

Our previous coverage of the Troy Davis case, including our 2007 interview with the "forgotten victim", Larry Young, is here.

Some of our coverage via Twitter, of the last minute drama as it unfolded live over the last 5 hours in Georgia tonight, can be perused here.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2011 12:53pm PT  

Short of the serious concerns about election integrity in her race that Ernie Canning highlighted over the weekend, if Massachusetts' Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren continues to be as effective as she is in this video over the next year, she blows her opponent, Republican Sen. Scott Brown (the favored candidate of Wall Street, receiving more money from hedge funds and venture capital firms than any other Senator), out of the water next November...

Other Dems running in 2012 would be wise to watch, and learn, from what Warren --- a political novice and, so far, original --- is doing here.

As WaPo's Greg Sargent (who pointed us towards this video) notes:

Republicans are planning to paint Warren as a liberal Harvard elitist — they’re already referring to her as “Professor Warren” — because they believe that she will have trouble winning over the kind of blue collar whites from places like South Boston that helped power Scott Brown’s upset victory.

But as this video shows, Warren is very good at making the case for progressive economics in simple, down-to-earth terms. Despite her professorial background, she sounds like she’s telling a story. She came across as unapologetic and authorative [sic], without a hint of the sort of defensiveness you hear so often from other Democrats when they talk about issues involving taxation and economic fairness. This is exactly what national Dems like about Warren.

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/20/2011 1:56pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: The President fights back; the EPA doesn't --- for now, anyway; Shell Oil one step closer to drilling in the Arctic; Massive anti-nuke protests in Japan; PLUS: Australia's prime minister faces the global warming fight head on ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Clinton blasts Republicans on climate change denial; Poll: More Americans now believe world is warming; 3rd hottest summer globally; The Solyndra Timeline; Solyndra is the next 'Climategate'; Siemens quits nuclear industry; 'Gasland' wins Emmy; Are cosmic rays causing global warming? [No.]; Safety violations at ExxonMobil refinery; More shale well cement problems; China invests billions in Canada oil sands; Rising seas to wash out California tourism; China's crackdown on rare earth metals; New study links Gulf War vets illnesses to area of service; Missing global heat may hide in deep oceans; China closes solar panel plant after anti-pollution protests; America and oil: declining together? ... PLUS: Best way to convince deniers: Butter them up ...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2011 7:05pm PT  

UPDATE 9/20/11, 9:48am PT: Despite all that we have detailed below --- including witnesses who've recanted their testimony, jurors who've retracted their 'guilty' verdicts, scores of luminaries, former Presidents, current Popes, prosecutors, elected officials (both Republican and Democratic), judges, and law-enforcement officials who've called for Troy Anthony Davis to be spared, along with Amnesty International's description of the state's decision today as "unconscionable" --- the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied Davis' final appeal for clemency this morning.

Barring a last minute intervention from someone, somehow, somewhere (please see and sign this), the Big Government lethal injection killing of Georgia's citizen Davis will proceed at 7pm local time Wednesday night.

The "Tea Party" protests over the outrage are scheduled to begin never.

* * *

In August of 2007, Troy Anthony Davis was just weeks away from his then scheduled execution in the state of Georgia when The BRAD BLOG ran the following article, including an exclusive interview with Larry Young, the "forgotten victim" in the Davis case who now, like 7 of the 9 witnesses in the case, has recanted his testimony. Young says, as you'll read, that he was left to bleed while the police coerced him into identifying Davis as the assailant, even though he had never seen him before.

One of the only witnesses to not retract his testimony is Sylvester "Redd" Coles, who was with Davis before the 1989 murder of Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail, whom Davis has been convicted of killing. During a party in June of 2009, Coles reportedly claimed to have been the actual assailant.

Davis' execution was delayed in 2007 as new evidence was presented, but he is now, once again, scheduled to be killed at 7pm local time on Wednesday, pending a grant of clemency by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles (BPP), the sole authority able to commute his death sentence to life in prison with or without the possibility of parole.

Since Emily Levy's exclusive article below ran on August 3rd, 2007, citing both the Indigo Girls and the Pope in calling for Davis to be spared, a host of dignitaries, such as President Jimmy Carter, former FBI Director William Sessions, former far-right Republican U.S. Congressman Bob Barr of Georgia, and former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Fletcher, have all asked the BPP to grant clemency to Davis.

Moreover, among witnesses heard during today's impassioned hearing before the board was Brenda Forrest, a juror who voted to sentence Davis to death at his 1991 trial. According to to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tonight, Forrest "now says she has doubt about her verdict and is asking the board to grant clemency. Two other jurors who voted to sentence Davis to death have signed affidavits asking the board to spare Davis from execution."

In her affidavit, Forrest says "she learned information that makes her no longer believe the case against Davis was ironclad. 'I feel, emphatically, that Mr. Davis cannot be executed under these circumstances,' she said."

The BPP has adjourned for the evening, having postponed deliberation until tomorrow on the fate of the man who has maintained his innocence without fail for 20 years now. (It had been only 17 years at the time of Levy's original article for The BRAD BLOG). In light of the possibility of the ultimate Big Government abuse of power being exercised against a citizen on Wednesday, it seems an appropriate moment to revisit Levy's original, and disturbing, exclusive...

* * *

The Indigo Girls and The Pope Agree: Troy Davis Should Not Be Executed
After 17 Years on Death Row, Davis Will Have Opportunity To Present New Evidence
The 'Forgotten Victim' Speaks in a BRAD BLOG Exclusive...

Special to The BRAD BLOG by Emily Levy - Originally published 8/3/2007

"The part what really makes me mad is the part that I don't know who hit me. You know, it might sound weird, but that'd be a little bit of closure for me to know who done it. You know, because when I got hit, and I hearin' somebody clicking a gun by my head about three, four times, and that gun not going off. You know, for a lot of years I've been hearing that click and I've been hearing that gun going off. Jumping up out of my sleep."
--Larry Young, July 2007, 18 years after he was attacked in the parking lot of a Savannah, Georgia Burger King.

You might think Larry Young would know who hit him, because two weeks ago the man who was convicted in the case came within 24 hours of being executed by the State of Georgia. But Larry Young doesn't know because he, like nearly all the witnesses whose testimony originally convicted Troy Anthony Davis of the assault on Young and the murder of a white police officer that night, doesn't believe Davis is guilty. Next week, the testimony these witnesses want to give, testimony that will show their original "witness statements" were coerced by police, will finally be heard...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2011 10:33am PT  

"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"...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 9/18/2011 11:11am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"One of the great questions of our time is whether the American people, through Congress, will control the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, or whether Wall Street will continue to wreak havoc on our economy and the lives of working families."
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) 9/16/11

Sanders' question is indeed one of the "great" ones for our time. But, as Yoda said, "there is another."

If there was ever a candidate perfectly suited to expose the lie that is to be found in the pseudo-populism of the mega-billionaire Koch brothers funded and controlled 'Tea Party' that helped Scott Brown (R-MA) secure a reported upset win in the 2010 special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the death of the late Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D-MA), it would be Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat.

The brilliant, straight-talking Harvard Law Professor and special adviser appointed by President Barack Obama to oversee the development of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), whose interview with Michael Moore for Capitalism: A Love Story (see video below) established her to be the same thorn in the side of Wall Street's financial "products" that Ralph Nader was to GM when he exposed the Corvair in Unsafe at Any Speed, announced last week that she is a 2012 candidate for the U.S. Senate seat now occupied by a GOP Senator who has turned to Wall Street, in a big way, for financial support.

There is little question but that Warren's brilliance, eloquence, and sincerity will come into play during the ensuing campaign. But while Warren plants her flag in the fight for oversight, transparency, and accountability for our financial system, will she (and other candidates) come to understand the importance of oversight, transparency, and accountability for our electoral system before it's too late? Before yet another election --- like the one which brought Brown to the Senate in the first place --- is decided under a cloud of unverified results reported by easily-hacked, oft-failed, optical-scan voting systems such as those made by Diebold and programmed by a company with a criminal background in the great commonwealth of Massachusetts?...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/16/2011 4:32pm PT  

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)...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/15/2011 2:21pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Republicans pounce on bankruptcy of US solar company Solyndra --- but what are they not pouncing on?; Shocking revelation: BP is to blame for BP's oil spill; PLUS: Al Gore's "24 Hours of Climate Reality" --- Well, that'll be a nice change of pace! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): EPA FAIL: Greenhouse gas rule delayed; Air pollution from ships plummets due to new fuel blend; NASCAR goes green; Indigenous Alaskans living with climate change now; Irene and Lee flushed pollutants into Chesapeake Bay; 4,600 sea turtles killed yearly by fishing; Think summer 2011 was hot? The worst is still to come; Privatizing government doesn’t actually save money; DIY: Build your own phone solar charger; Coral reefs 'will be gone' by 2100; Australia PM introduces controversial carbon laws; Exxon makes billion-dollar bet that climate change is real; Beginning of the end for suburban America ... PLUS: GOP wants create jobs by unleashing snakes...

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

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Ghoulish love for premature death permeates GOP debates...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/15/2011 8:35am PT  

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...

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PLUS: Sam Seder interviews Brad on 'Ring of Fire'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2011 10:51pm PT  

"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]...

* * *

Also, since I received a lot of nice compliments on it, the video of Sam Seder's interview with me --- also discussing the Koch tapes --- from this past weekend's Ring of Fire, is posted below...

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By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2011 1:26pm PT  

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...

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Equates political strategy session, fund raiser for billionaire oil magnates with trip to deli, family vacation...
By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2011 8:05pm PT  

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...

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Concedes to The BRAD BLOG 'no evidence whatsoever connects Saddam to 9/11,' after mea culpa piece suggesting otherwise...
By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2011 4:09pm PT  

In a lengthy piece in Sunday's New York Times Magazine, former Executive Editor, now opinion piece writer, Bill Keller attempted to come to terms with both his own, and his paper's, major failures during the lead-up and follow-through in the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

While Keller eventually comes around to admitting that both he and the paper got it wrong (albeit with lots of justifications for the failures along the way) he continued to hedge one very crucial bet in just the fifth paragraph, as he wrote [emphasis ours]:

...Iraq, a place that had, in the literal sense, almost nothing to do with 9/11, but which would be its most contentious consequence.

We have been attempting to contact Keller since Sunday, asking via both email and Twitter:

"Almost"? Okay, I'll bite. What exactly was Iraq's role in 9/11?

Today Keller replied, admitting that that part of his Sunday story --- a story about the Times' costly failure of getting the Iraq War wrong --- was wrong as well...

Brad,

Fair point. "Almost" is one of those wiggle words writers use to allow for the possibility they might have missed something. I know of no evidence whatsoever that connects Saddam to 9/11, and I assume the widespread popular belief that there is some connection is a myth. But of course it's hard to prove a negative, so it's cautious - perhaps over-cautious - to say a connection is unproven rather than disproven.

Best,
Bill

But, of course, Keller hadn't written that a connection between Iraq and 9/11 was "unproven," as he avers in his response above. He asserted, in no uncertain terms, as late as this past Sunday, a full 10 years since 9/11, in an article meant to come to terms with his paper's --- "the paper of record's" --- unspeakably costly inaccuracies, that Iraq had "almost nothing to do with 9/11," suggesting that they had, in fact, had some very small role in it.

There is, of course, no legitimate evidence of such a role, and both Keller and the New York Times should offer an immediate and clear and unhedging correction on that still-very-important point. (Hopefully, it will be a correction unlike the partial corrections they begrudgingly ended up publishing concerning their repeated misreporting on the phony James O'Keefe ACORN "pimp" hoax videos, after we'd spent many months proving to them that they'd gotten it entirely wrong and forcing them to finally offer correction.)

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