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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Report Cites Armed Walker Supporters Plotting to Target Democratic Voters in WI
'We can get our agents to watch their polling location, identify the individual, and then follow them to their residence'...
Resignation or Impeachment Would Be a Gift for Wife- Beating Judge Mark Fuller
2012 documents suggest years of repeated domestic abuse, of two wives and children by federal judge with lifetime appointment...
ACLU Files Emergency Petition to Halt 'Electoral Chaos' in WI
Seeks full 7th Circuit hearing after remarkable three-GOP judge ruling reinstating Photo ID restrictions just weeks before election...
'Green News Report' 9/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
DiCaprio takes climate role at UN; Jindal plays dumbest role yet; Fracking confirmed (again) to contaminate; Black lung coal disease on rise; PLUS: Polluter front groups newest attack...
Previous GNRs: 9/16/14 - 9/11/14 - Archives...
Audio of 911 Call from Judge Mark Fuller's Wife as She's Heard Repeatedly Struck
MSNBC's Chris Hayes plays horrifying audio from the wife-beating incident of Federal Judge Mark Fuller; ALSO: calls for accountability from two Alabama U.S. Congresswoman...
Oil & Water: KPFK 'BradCast'
BRAD BLOG's Desi Doyen sits in for Brad with guests Matthew Heberger on water wars, David O. Atkins on CA's latest fracking fight, and Margot Paez on Mars!...
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LA Governor and pretend 2016 GOP Presidential hopeful pulls the old 'I know you are, but what am I?' maneuver by calling Obama Admin 'climate deniers'...
'Green News Report' 9/16/14
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Wife-Beating Federal Judge Finally Mentioned on MSNBC
MSNBC contributor asks about lack of outrage, impeachment for federal judge Mark Fuller...
Outrage Slowly Grows After Wife-Beating Federal Judge Avoids Prosecution
Fellow GOP District Court judge calls for accountability, says 'no one should trust Mark Fuller's judgment in a federal trial courtroom'...
GOP PHOTO ID LAW RESTORED IN WI
Republican voter suppression laws getting huge boosts from GOP-appointed federal judges in NC, where 100s recently disenfranchised, and now in WI...
Not Taking the ISIS Bait
The media and U.S. Government have decided to give latest barbaric idiots to rise up in Middle East all the publicity they crave, despite 'exaggerated' threat posed to the U.S., or even the region. We won't...
'Green News Report' 9/11/14
Emissions jump at record rate; Australia emissions soar after carbon tax axed; Oceans acidify at historic rate; PLUS: Ozone Hole begone!...
Accountability for Judge Fuller?;
O, Mighty ISIS!: KPFK 'BradCast'
Will wife-beating federal judge face impeachment? Plus: Callers, on what to do about ISIS...
Wife-Beaters: Rice Loses Job; Judge Fuller Continues Lifetime Appointment
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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...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

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So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

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FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
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Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

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VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
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GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/13/2011 2:41pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Record U.S. heat --- again; Pakistan floods and pipelines explode --- again; Arctic sea ice hits record low --- again; Cargill ground turkey recalled --- again; PLUS: Fake 'reporter' Matthew Boyle at fake 'news' site Daily Caller offers fake 'news' story on EPA, as Republicans and their fossil fuel friends open full court press against Richard Nixon's clean air and water agency --- again and again and again ... 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): Coral reefs 'will be gone by end of the century'; Sorry, breathers: Obama's cave on EPA ozone regs strictly political; Australia PM introduces controversial carbon laws; Prince Charles warns of human extinction due to climate change; Drought leaves over 12 mln people short of drinking water in SW China; Bush Admin advanced Solyndra loan guarantee; China’s new plan for solar power supremacy; What If solar received the same subsidies as fossil fuel?; The coming German energy turnaround; Explosion at French nuclear plant kills one; Tons of US-supplied nuclear weapons material missing; 5 interesting facts on our energy-hog economy; The Onion on Climate Change: an issue this critical demands at least 45 seconds of real, concentrated panic; Al Gore's 24-Hour global broadcast on climate change science ... PLUS: Switching from coal to natural gas could accelerate climate change, say scientists ...

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

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Matthew Boyle, alleged 'reporter' from Rightwing 'news' site Daily Caller, claims he could find no other side of the story
The BRAD BLOG finds one in two minutes...
By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2011 7:33pm PT  

We knew there was something not being told about the story when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce started tweeting the following link (and others like it) to an article at the Rightwing website The Daily Caller this morning...

The second tweet above linked to the U.S. Chamber's blog site "Chamber Post," and their article, penned by the appropriately-named Sean Hackbarth, headlined simply "EPA Regulation Kills 500 Jobs."

The Daily Caller story by Matthew Boyle that started it is headlined "EPA regulation forces closure of Texas energy facilities, eliminates 500 jobs," and goes on to describe how poor Texas-based coal plant owner Luminant is unable to meet a "new Cross-State Air Pollution rule, which requires Texas power generators to make 'dramatic reductions' in emissions beginning on January 1, 2012."

"The company said it has been trying to meet the new standards, but won't be able to do so without closing down several facilities and eliminating 500 jobs," reports The Daily Caller's very very Luminant-friendly Boyle, without bothering to offer any other side to the issue. (What? Tucker Carlson's The Daily Caller is even less "fair and balanced" than Fox "News"?! Say it ain't so! But more on that, and on Boyle, below.)

"Meeting this unrealistic deadline," says Luminant CEO David Campbell without rebuttal in Boyle's article, "also forces us to take steps that will idle facilities and result in the loss of jobs."

Really? Those burdensome EPA regulations --- darn all that clean air and water anyway! --- that's what's forcing poor Luminant to lay off 500 workers during this horrible downturn in the economy?!? Really?! Why, Barack Obama should be ashamed of himself!

Since The Daily Caller and Boyle and the far-right Republican U.S. Chamber of Commerce didn't find it necessary to offer any other side of the story --- and since we suspected there was one --- The BRAD BLOG touched based with Ilan Levin, Associate Director at the Austin-based, non-partisan, non-profit advocacy group Environmental Integrity Project, to get his response to this news, and to find out if maybe Luminant and their operatives at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their tools at The Daily Caller weren't telling us the full story in their propaganda today.

And surprise! There is another side to the story! But, as Boyle conceded to us in a rather remarkable conversation, he just wasn't able to report it, no matter how hard he tried...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2011 2:20pm PT  

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!)...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/11/2011 1:28pm PT  

While I may have something else to share with you on this later tonight, for now, just a few very thoughts on today's somber 10th anniversary of 9/11. While my thoughts this afternoon are, naturally, with the families of those who lost their lives on 9/11, they are as much today with those exponentially many more families who have lost loved ones, needlessly, in this nation's childish and/or cynical and/or opportunistic and/or cowardly responses to that horrific day.

I am also thinking of those countless many --- a great number of whom also lost family members on both 9/11 and during our response --- who carried on with exceptional courageousness nonetheless during the course of our lost decade since. To those who were not cowed by the events of 9/11 --- and by our far more damaging responses to it --- I thank you today, again, for your selfless persistence in exercising your freedoms and liberties to do what is right, as opposed to what, no doubt, would have been far easier and far less costly on so many levels.

Beyond that (and beyond the additional thoughts, as noted, I may have later tonight), I suspect you've seen plenty in relation to the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 by now. So allow me to offer just a few short links to a few short and sweet articles or clips, all very much worth reading or watching, from over the last several weeks, as they offer a great deal about what now seems to matter most --- even as much of the nation's media choose instead to travel the very same road today as they did back then, and ever since...

* * *

STEVE CLEMONS: "9/11 and One Measure of bin Laden's Success"

GLENN GREENWALD: "The Decade's Biggest Scam"

MSNBC: In regard to both items above, this clip exploring 9/11 as "good business...huge business," as from MSNBC's new documentary Day of Destruction, Decade of War ...

SIBEL EDMONDS: "Answers in Absolute for 'Why 9/11?'"

MSNBC: And in additional support of Edmonds' thoughts above, another clip from Day of Destruction, Decade of War, this one on the cynical, systematic, and criminal (if still shamelessly uncharged) use of tactics once known, and prosecuted by our country, as "torture"...

Never forget.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/10/2011 6:40pm PT  

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...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 9/9/2011 4:59pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
(With additional reporting and snark by Brad Friedman)

Maine's GOP Chairman, Charlie Webster, displayed a remarkable level of ignorance about the right of college students to register and vote in the Pine Tree State during a recent appearance on local radio, weeks after virtually everyone in the state has been trying to explain to him that he is off his nut.

Earlier this summer, Webster raised eyebrows (and more than a few laughs) when he brought the names of some 200 out-of-state college students to the ME Secretary of State, seeking an investigation for "voter fraud."

"I am convinced that my research proves that [voter] fraud is a problem, and I’ve only found the tip of the iceberg," Webster said during a press conference at the State House at the time, though he shared no evidence of any of the students having voted twice, or otherwise having illegally registered.

Webster's "research" began after a petition effort was launched seeking a "voter veto" ballot initiative to reverse a law recently passed by the Republican-led state legislature ending the state's 38-year-old practice of allowing for same-day voter registration. The new Maine law is just one of many new voter suppression efforts enacted by the GOP under the wholly unsupported guise of combating "voter fraud" in states across the nation over the past several months since the GOP took over many statehouses in the 2010 election.

The state's GOP chair has apparently never heard the old axiom about once you're in a hole, stop digging...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
'Koch and a Smile' Edition!
By Desi Doyen on 9/8/2011 3:00pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

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!

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): 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 ...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/8/2011 4:30am PT  

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:

The reports are well worth taking time to read not just for the secret thrill you'll get from glimpsing something never intended for the public eye.
...
It's a look behind the curtain of how big money is raised in conservative circles that's a worthwhile addition to our sum of knowledge about how American politics is practiced in the early 21st Century.

Indeed. And with that, on to the summary of yesterday's noteworthy fallout and, at points, rather mucky, developments...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/7/2011 6:35am PT  

After raking a considerable amount of muck yesterday at Mother Jones with Part 1 of our exclusive on the secret Koch tapes which I obtained from an insider source, it's time to do it again today in Part 2.

In yesterday's report, we promised to reveal the identity of the Koch brothers' opening night keynote speaker at their super-confidential, ultra-exclusive, invitation-only 2011 Summer Seminar. We teased that the mystery man was a high-ranking GOP public official who, until our special report, had managed to keep his appearance at the billionaire brothers' soiree at the plush Ritz-Carlton Beaver Creek Resort in Bachelor Gulch, CO (near Vail), a complete secret from both his own constituents and his local media.

That GOP superstar, we reveal today, is none other than New Jersey's flamboyant Republican Governor Chris Christie who, on the morning of Sunday, June 26, appeared on NBC's Meet the Press, then jetted quietly out to Colorado, mingled with the billionaires, offered a rousing stem-winder of a keynote address over dessert, jetted back home, and then appeared live Monday morning, in-studio, on three different cable news shows (two on Fox and the other MSNBC's Morning Joe) in Manhattan.

He never breathed a word of where he'd been the day before. Nobody other than those inside the big dinner pavilion at Bachelor Gulch --- where, outside, "pink noise" was blasted into the mountains on huge loud speakers to deter eavesdroppers on the night Christie appeared --- would ever even know he had left the state. Until now.

At one point during his nearly hour-long remarks (including a lively Q&A), Christie criticized President Obama as having "failed the fundamental test of leadership, which I believe is to tell the people who hired you the truth." Ironically enough, however, Christie seems to have forgotten to have told the people who hired him the truth about where he spent the day and night on June 26th.

While GOP Presidential front-runner Gov. Rick Perry (TX) as well as Govs. Bob McDonnell (VA) and Rick Scott (FL) had been discovered to have attended this year, Christie's presence had not previously been reported publicly anywhere. That changes today, thanks to the secret audio recorded inside the Koch's 2011 Summer Seminar.

Part 2 in my exclusive series is now published at Mother Jones here.

Any reason in particular that Christie didn't want his constituents to know he was palling around with the Kochs and delivering a wildly entertaining stem-winder to the hundreds of gathered corporate titans? Dunno. While his office confirmed to us that the trip was not on his public calendar, they declined to respond to multiple attempts seeking comment on the Colorado trip. Maybe, as the Kochs did yesterday, they'll decide they want to respond after all, once the story gets out today.

As noteworthy, if not more so, billionaire brother David Koch is heard introducing the Governor and revealing, among other things, that he had met privately with Christie in Koch's New York City office a few months prior, "just the two of us - for about two hours," according to the audio tapes. Afterward, the oil-and-chemical magnate, said to be worth $22 billion (just like his brother, as they both inherited their father's fortune), determined that Christie was "a true political hero" and "my kind of guy."

David Koch's "kind of guy." Well, that's the sort of thing that could leave a mark. Especially when the entire thing is recorded for posterity on audio tape. Perhaps that's why Christie didn't want anybody to know he was hobnobbing with the Kochs...or what he had to say at their secret shindig, including (but hardly limited to):

  • Details on wielding extraordinary unitary executive powers to declare a "fiscal emergency" upon taking office in order to impound billions in planned spending ("The good news for all of you and for me is that the governorship in New Jersey is the most powerful constitutional governorship in America.");
  • Snookering and strong-arming Democrats in the state Legislature to cut pensions and benefits and collective bargaining rights from public workers ("You know, I cannot believe how stupid these people are");
  • How the same tactics and strong-arm governance he's brought to New Jersey need to be applied to the country as a whole, and;
  • How his next major plan for his Garden State constituents is to crush the power of public school teachers ("We need to take on the teachers' union once and for all.")

It's all in today's report.

Part 2 of my exclusive special report at Mother Jones...
Complete audio & transcripts of David Koch's introductory remarks and Gov. Chris Christie's keynote and Q&A...

Enjoy!

* * *

UPDATE 9/8/11: Looks like Part 2 of my MoJo exclusive has ignited several political firestorms --- particularly in New Jersey. Oops. Full details now here...

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Kochs respond, the story is advanced, my appearances on CNN and MSNBC, and even a response from the White House...of a sort...
By Brad Friedman on 9/6/2011 11:07pm PT  

A few quick follow-up items, for now, in advance of tomorrow morning's Part 2, from Part 1 of my exclusive secret Koch tapes scoop at Mother Jones this morning which went very viral, very quickly today, as I figured it probably would.

• As I noted in UPDATE to my short stub story this morning linking over to the MoJo article, the Kochs finally decided to respond today, first to Jake Tapper at ABC News, after days of their refusing to give me a response --- even though I pressed them, multiple times in advance, for an explanation of Charles Koch's seeming comparison of "Saddam Hussein" to Barack Obama and the 2012 election as the "Mother of All Wars." See their response, and my response to it, in that UPDATE.

• CNN's Brian Todd did a decent report on the Situation Room today, in which I offer a quick comment...


• After years of appearing on Fox "News" and CNN, it was nice to finally be invited today to appear on MSNBC for the first time. Here's my appearance this evening on The Ed Show...


And just a few more quick points for now...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/6/2011 3:12pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Texas is roasting! (and Rick Perry is still denying); 2011 disasters are getting expensive; Climate science is vindicated --- again; PLUS: Obama calls for infrastructure jobs - again - but undercuts clean air rules ... 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): Regulator says Murdoch oil shale company must fix faulty wells; Bachmann dodges question on whether God uses weather to send messages; China challenges U.S. supremacy in shale gas; Oil exploration under Arctic ice could cause 'uncontrollable' natural disaster; If you eat strawberries, you should know about Methyl Iodide; Iran’s 1st nuclear power plant goes into operation; New microbe can clean up uranium; Solar power innovator Solyndra files for bankruptcy; NSFW: Don Cheadle is Captain Planet; Fukushima’s long link to a dark nuclear past ... PLUS: Scientist: “The Murdoch media empire has cost humanity perhaps one or two decades in battle against climate change ...

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

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[Now UPDATED with comment from the Kochs, finally, as given to ABC News & more...]
By Brad Friedman on 9/6/2011 5:10am PT  

Those of you who follow The BRAD BLOG closely may know that I've been working in the background, for a number of weeks, on an exclusive series concerning the billionaire Koch Brothers, the co-owners of the nation's second largest private corporation, the oil and chemical conglomerate Koch Industries. They are also massive funders behind much of the Rightwing political disinformation machine. The articles, as I can now reveal, cover audio I've obtained as recorded from inside their super-secret, super-confidential, invitation-only Summer Seminar held in late June at the tony Ritz-Carlton Beaver Creek Resort near Vail, CO (seen above).

Among this year's attendees, in addition to hundreds of corporate baron billionaires and millionaires, were GOP public officials such as current Republican Presidential front-runner Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) and Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL).

It appears the brothers went to extraordinary measures, particularly on the first night of the event, to assure that none of the uninvited would ever know what went on inside or even who the first night's keynote speaker actually was.

Nonetheless, a few of their closely guarded secrets are about to spill out.

The first of my two articles in the series is finally published at Mother Jones today.

Part 1 focuses on the opening and closing remarks, as heard on tape, by billionaire brother Charles as he raises still more undisclosed political money and rallies his troops in advance of the 2012 Presidential election --- or "the mother of all wars" as he's heard describing it. On the first night, Charles welcomes his "great partners" to the event, alludes to President Obama as "Saddam Hussein" and proceeds to list --- by name --- those "partners" who have donated more than a million dollars to the Koch Foundation political causes over the past year. So much for the post-Citizens United "anonymity" that Koch exec Kevin Gentry, the emcee for both evening's dinners, informs patrons they can "help protect."

The full audio and text transcript of Charles' opening and closing remarks are posted here.

Today's article also details remarks, several rather noteworthy I think, made by the Kochs' closing night speaker, Judge Andrew Napolitano of Fox "News." The Fox host tells the crowd of corporate titans, among other things: how he got his job at Fox (it had to do with the FL 2000 Presidential election debacle, he claims); how he "sometimes" gets in "a little bit of trouble at Fox" when he's too tough on Republicans, and; what he believes the Second Amendment to the Constitution is really for. You'll have to read the article and/or the Napolitano transcript excerpts for the full details.

Finally, today's report at Mother Jones describes some of the extraordinary security measures taken by the Kochs to try and ensure that nobody outside the dinner pavilion at the Beaver Creek Resort in Bachelor Gulch would ever know the identity of the GOP public official who delivered the keynote address on opening night. To this day, neither the official's own constituents nor his own local media seem to have any idea that he'd ever even left the state to pal around with the Kochs, much less offer their opening night's headline address.

In tomorrow's report, we'll reveal the identity of that headliner and detail his stem-winder of a keynote! But for now...

Part 1 of my exclusive report at Mother Jones...
Complete audio & transcripts of Charles Koch's opening & closing remarks...
Transcript excerpts from Judge Andrew Napolitano's closing night speech...

Enjoy!

* * *

UPDATE 3:56pm PT: Has been a busy day over her for some reason. CNN's just aired a not-bad story on the above (including a quick appearance by yours truly), and I'll be on MSNBC's The Ed Show tonight, late in the 10p ET / 7p PT hour. Ironically, I've been on Fox and CNN many times in the past. This will be my first appearance ever on MSNBC. Go figure.

After trying for days to get comment from the Koch's on Charles' "We have Saddam Hussein, this is the Mother of All Wars we've got in the next 18 months" remark, they've finally decided to respond now that the story is out and not, um, reflecting very well on them, it seems...

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

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Paper ignores calls for criminal investigations of Supreme Court Justice, growing record of judicial lawlessness...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/4/2011 3:05pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

However historically inaccurate the phrase may have been, the idea that Emperor Nero fiddled while Rome burned seems apropos the appearance of a David G. Savage fawning Clarence Thomas puff piece on the front page of the Sunday, July 3 edition of Los Angeles Times.

On March 7, as part of our coverage of a Daily Beast article, in which Univ. of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos called for Thomas to be thrown off the bench, we noted:

The BRAD BLOG was among the first to specifically detail Thomas' years of "knowing and willful" violations of the U.S. criminal code, even as the mainstream corporate media largely ignored or downplayed those violations of the Rule of Law in their limited coverage...

In a March 6 Los Angeles Times op-ed, George Washington Law School Prof. Jonathan Turley found allegations that Virginia Thomas received monies from the groups that had a direct interest in the outcome of Citizens United to be "particularly alarming." He went on to compare Thomas' cynical effort to equate criticism of his ethical lapses with an attack on the integrity of the Court to Louis XIV's infamous view that there was no distinction between himself and the state.

Yet, on July 3, Los Angeles Times gave page-one coverage to Savage's uncritical piece that begins with a self-serving description in which Thomas seeks to portray his radical and, at times, outright bizarre legal positions, such as his stand-alone position that prisoners have no constitutional right to be protected from beatings by their guards, as simply a reflection of a rugged individualist who is not afraid to be a minority of one when he thinks he is right.

During Thomas' contentious Senate Judiciary Committee Confirmation Hearings in 1991, the late Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D-MA) took a very different view as he likened the Thomas nomination to a game of "Russian roulette":

If we confirm a nominee who has not demonstrated a commitment to core constitutional values, we jeopardize our rights as individuals and the future of our nation. We cannot undo such a mistake at the next election or even in the next generation.

The firestorm of controversy surrounding questions about Thomas' conflicts of interest, severe ethical lapses, and possible crimes has momentarily slowed a bit over the past month of Congressional (almost) recess and the usual D.C. media "summer vacation." But the list of reputable individuals and organizations calling for the embattled Associate Supreme Court Justice to be investigated by the U.S. Dept. of Justice, removed from office, and possibly prosecuted is likely to grow again once politics as usual resumes following the Labor Day holiday, according to The BRAD BLOG's discussions with a number of those individuals and organizations.

In the meantime, the question remains as to why Los Angeles Times saw fit not only to publish a ridiculous puff piece on Thomas as the firestorm was still cresting in July, failing to so much as reference these serious issues, but why they even found it necessary to elevate such a softball article to their front page.

Before reaching that, however, let's again examine the real issues...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 9/3/2011 4:31pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

While Brad Friedman recently exposed Matthew Vadum to be but the latest in a long line of fraudulent right-wing propagandists who flat-out lie about "voter fraud" as part of the billionaire-funded assault on the right of the those who would be inclined to vote against the GOP, no one could have done more to demolish Vadum's credibility than Matthew Vadum.

"Why are left-wing activist groups so keen on registering the poor to vote?," asks Vadum in the latest of his series of wingnut welfare op-eds/commercials for his laughable new anti-ACORN book:

Because they know the poor can be counted on to vote themselves more benefits by electing redistributionist politicians. Welfare recipients are particularly open to demagoguery and bribery.

Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals
...
Encouraging those who burden society to participate in elections isn't about helping the poor. It's about helping the poor to help themselves to others' money.

In claiming that the poor are but a "burden" on society and that registering the poor to vote is "like handing out burglary tools to criminals," who seek "to help themselves to others money," Vadum not only advanced long-discredited hard-right ideological beliefs but revealed the abhorrence that the billionaire class and its paid-for propagandists have for democracy, itself...

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

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State AG vows to litigate 'up to U.S. Supreme Court'...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/2/2011 8:35am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

In an Aug. 29, 2011 letter, T. Christian Herren, Jr., Chief of the Obama DOJ's Civil Rights Division, not only demanded that South Carolina, within 60 days, provide additional information about its recently enacted polling place photo ID restriction law, but stated that if SC failed to provide a timely "response...the [U.S.] Attorney General may object to the proposed changes consistent with the burden of proof placed upon the submitting authority."

Herren noted that SC has the "burden of demonstrating" that the new polling place photo ID law was neither enacted "for a discriminatory purpose nor will have a retrogressive effect."

SC's Republican Attorney General, Alan Wilson, in an apparent recognition that pre-clearance is likely to be denied, told those in attendance at a GOP fundraiser that he had "no faith" that the DOJ "will do the right thing." He vowed to litigate the matter "up to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary."

As The BRAD BLOG previously reported, on Aug. 5 the ACLU submitted a 15-page letter to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) seeking a denial of pre-clearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of South Carolina’s polling place photo ID restriction law. The letter argues that proponents’ unsubstantiated claims of "voter fraud" were but a pretext for unlawful discrimination and that statistics suggest that the new law would operate as an illegal poll tax, especially for the disproportionate number of African Americans who live below the federal poverty level in the state.

Last Friday, SC's Senate Democrats weighed in as well, asking the DOJ to deny pre-clearance for what they contend is the nation's harshest polling place ID restrictions, which could potentially disenfranchise, for example, someone whose driver's license has been suspended.

While denial of pre-clearance due to the retrogressive effect of photo ID restrictions in SC would be a positive step, it will not serve to protect democracy and the sanctity of the vote in other jurisdictions not subject to pre-clearance under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

As described by John Nichols in The Nation (see video below), and again by Ari Berman in Rolling Stone --- as we detailed yesterday --- state-after-state across the nation has come under a well-coordinated assault by the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and GOP legislators bent on rigging electoral outcome as part of their war on the middle class...

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

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