IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Record-breaking extreme winter storm breaks Buffalo, NY; It's official: October 2014 hottest October on record; Sorry, Republicans: China will cap coal use by 2020; PLUS: Obama doubles down on climate foreign policy... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): NASA video: a year in C02; Senate climate hawks introduce 'carbon fee & dividend' legislation; Keystone XL PR company plans dirty tricks campaign; Criminal charges for illegal toxic mine dumping in Alaska; World must 'mind the carbon emissions gap' to avoid dangerous climate change; Why are US farmers getting billions in aid amid record crop yields? ... PLUS: San Diego to use recycled wastewater for new drinking water supply ... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: US Senate floor fight fails to pass Keystone XL pipeline; Can Congress override the President next year?; Native Americans say KXL is 'an act of war' and vow to fight the pipeline on their land; PLUS: Finally! Accountability for the 'Dark Lord of Coal': Don Blankenship indicted on criminal charges... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Injuries and violations continue at coal mines that owe millions in fines; Scientists think they know why starfish are melting; PR firms' astroturf documents expose oil industry attacks; G20 issues climate change statement after 'trench warfare'; Soap ingredient triclosan triggers liver cancer in mice; Federal pipeline regulator issues first-ever warning; GMO pest resistance rising... PLUS: Peru prepares to host climate talks as indigenous forest defenders die ... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Historic climate deal between U.S. and China: it's the deal Republicans said could never be done; Hope breaks out for international climate treaty negotiations; Republicans freak out at home, while scientists say it's not enough, but it's a good start...(Also, BREAKING: Coal mine owner Don Blankenship indicted...) All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Coal mine boss Don Blankenship indicted for mine explosion that killed 29; Why those 5 cent charges for plastic bags actually work; Keystone XL Pipeline: Lame-Duck Congress Fast-Tracks Legislation; Why The U.S.-China Climate Deal Makes Keystone XL Pipeline An Even Worse Idea; IEA Warns Fossil Fuel Trends Dire; Lightning Will Increase With Warming... PLUS: Pope Francis: “Unbridled consumerism” will have destructive consequences for the planet ... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Big Oil's big subsidies survive the Senate; Federal investigators find "deviant practices" by Massey Energy; Faulty equipment at Japanese nuke plant also installed at US nuke plants; PLUS: It's the End of the World as we know it! So drive safely! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): NOAA scientists see 'unprecedented' ocean changes; US weather disasters are the 'new normal'; Are environmental regulations really 'job killers'?; 100% solar plane makes another successful flight; Hauling icebergs to deserts; CA hybrid owners to lose carpool lane privileges; Exposing babies to carcinogenic flame-retardants; Big fines for PA 'fracking' violations; Deforestation in Brazil escalates; Where has MT's water gone?; TX drinking water shows radioactive contamination; MS River flood making Gulf Dead Zone much worse; Bringing solar to the masses at Lowe's; Climate denier's retracted report exposes workings of the Denial Industry; Climate change deniers now like birthers ... PLUS: Is climate sanity the kiss of death for Republican presidential candidates? ...
Convicted federal criminal and Rightwing dirty-trickster James O'Keefe appears to have flagrantly run afoul of the rule of law yet again. This time, he appears to have violated and/or conspired to violate Maryland's Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act. It would not be the first instance of him having done so.
The apparent violation(s) of state felony laws, revealed today as part of what is being reported as O'Keefe's "botched" attempt to "punk CNN", comes on the heels of O'Keefe's previous apparent violations of the very same laws in MD, though law enforcement officials have yet to hold him accountable, to date, for those previous offenses.
Documents and other material produced by CNN today suggest that O'Keefe secretly, and illegally, taped phone calls he had with CNN's investigative journalist Abbie Boudreau, and conspired to secretly video tape her in a compromising situation, also in violation of MD law.
O'Keefe, who is currently on probation after pleading guilty to a federal misdemeanor following another botched scheme in Louisiana earlier this year, seems to have broken similar laws last year in a number of states, including Maryland, where he secretly video taped employees at the offices of the community organization ACORN in Baltimore. Despite requests to MD law enforcement by a non-profit watchdog organization for a criminal investigation into the previous apparent violations of the state's felony wiretap laws --- and despite recognition of the "possible" violation of those laws in a number of law enforcement investigations elsewhere --- no action has been taken to date by state officials...
Remember the disingenuous snit fits that Rightwing con-man Andrew Breitbart and his Tea Bag Boyz were on about when the original reports broke of "a plot to wiretap Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in the Hale Boggs Federal Building in downtown New Orleans" by Republican dirty trickster James O'Keefe and his band of co-conspirators?
They were outraged --- outraged --- that the "liberal media" had included the word "wiretap" in their reports about the felony arrests of the operatives, since the FBI's arrest affidavit didn't specifically mention an attempt to wiretap or bug the phones in her office. In a desperate attempt to distract from the actual story and find some way to support their friends' charged with serious federal felonies, the Tea Bag Boyz demanded that a number of media outlets issue immediate retractions for the claim, and, of course, the "liberal media" outlets complied --- as instructed --- as usual.
As Republican dirty trickster, and now convicted federal criminal, James O'Keefe is neither Middle-Eastern nor a member of the Democratic Party, he was allowed to plead guilty to just a misdemeanor today for leading a conspiracy of criminals --- one of whom happened to be the son of the acting U.S. Attorney in Louisiana --- in an attempt to tamper with the telephone system of a sitting U.S. Senator in her federal office in New Orleans, before being sentenced accordingly this morning by a federal magistrate:
Conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe and three compatriots today pleaded guilty to entering real property belonging to the United States under false pretenses for the January incident in which they entered Sen. Mary Landrieu's New Orleans office and claimed to be from the telephone company, the Times-Picayunereports.
O'Keefe was sentenced to three years of probation, a fine of $1,500 and 100 hours of community service. The others --- Stan Dai, Joseph Basel, and Robert Flanagan --- got the same fine, two years of probation, and 75 hours of community service.
Previous coverage by The BRAD BLOG of this hopefully-now-completed story included:
Last night, the far Righties over at FreeRepublic linked to my story yesterday on ACORN 'Pimp' Hoaxster James O'Keefe being dressed down by a federal judge, before being given a free ride to avoid trial and personal accountability for attempting to tamper with the phones of Louisiana's Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.
As usual, all of the comments there, in reply, are fun to read --- if you have enough antibodies to ward off the toxins --- but here are just a few of my personal faves ...
A federal judge gave a stern talking to this morning to the Rightwing dirty trickster James O'Keefe III and his three fellow conspirators --- one of whom is the son of the Acting U.S. Attorney in Louisiana --- for their attempt to access the telephone system of Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu in her New Orleans office, by impersonating phone company employees.
While describing the Republican activists' actions as "unconscionable" and "extremely serious," Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. stopped short of ordering a trial, according to AP today:
A federal judge had strong words for four conservative activists who initially were accused of trying to tamper with the phones in Sen. Mary Landrieu's New Orleans office, but ruled the misdemeanor charges against them can be resolved before a magistrate instead of a judge.
U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. said Wednesday he isn't exercising his right to hear the case even though the four defendants are charged with an "extremely serious" crime involving a security breach at a federal building.
"Deception is alleged to have been used by the defendants to achieve their purposes which in and of itself is unconscionable," Duval wrote.
If you've not heard, over the weekend it was announced that the felony charges against James O'Keefe --- who famously, never actually posed as a pimp in ACORN offices --- and his three co-conspirators in the matter of attempting to illegally access the phone system of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) in New Orleans, have been reduced to misdemeanor charges.
It's believed likely that the agreement was part of a plea deal. The reduced charges would carry a maximum prison sentence of 6 months and a fine of $5,000, versus the maximum sentence of 20 years for the felony charges.
MORAL 1: If you're going to attempt to feloniously enter federal property under false pretenses in order to manipulate the phone system of a sitting U.S. Senator, make sure a) you're an operative for the Republican, not Democratic, Party (remember: IOKIYAR!), b) you do not have an Arabic sounding name and, most importantly, c) you have as one of your co-conspirators the son of the acting U.S. Attorney in the same state where you are attempting to commit your crime.
MORAL 2: If you get caught and arrested while doing any of the above, even if, as your attorney says, you're just "kid," be sure to be a "kid" who has the ample funding and high-powered connections to employ, for your defense, a superstar GOP attorney such as one who was powerful enough to have represented the U.S. Senate Republicans during the Watergate Hearings nearly 40 years ago and during the witch-hunt investigation of the Clinton administration in the 90's.
Speaking to Washington Independent reporter David Weigel today at CPAC, Hannah Giles, who posed as a prostitute in James O'Keefe and Andrew Breitbart's infamous, highly-doctored, heavily-overdubbed, secretly-taped, ACORN hit videos, confirms what we've been reporting for several weeks here: O'Keefe never dressed as a pimp in the offices of ACORN.
I asked Giles about a criticism that’s often been leveled against them — that they hyped up the video by wearing outrageous clothes in promotional materials and the videos’ introductions that they didn’t wear in the actual stings.
“We never claimed that he went in with a pimp costume,” said Giles. “That was b-roll. It was purely b-roll. He was a pimp, I was a prostitute, and we were walking in front of government buildings to show how the government was whoring out the American people.”
"B-roll" refers to footage shot separately and later inserted during editing, as frequently seen in movies and television. E.g., an overhead helicopter shot of Las Vegas, used to establish where the scene takes place, before cutting to the interior of a casino where the main character is seen playing cards at a table.
Breitbart's out-and-out lies in his own 9/21/09 column to help promote the videos by claiming they show O'Keefe and Giles "going to the Baltimore offices of ACORN ... dressed as a pimp and a prostitute and asking for - and getting - help for various illegal activities";
Greg Brock, the New York Times Senior Editor for Standards, as we documented exclusively some weeks ago, is even on email record as citing that Fox "News" appearance by O'Keefe (embedded again at right) as his only evidence to "stand by our reporting" in which the "paper of record" has, time and again, misreprested O'Keefe as having "visited Acorn offices ... dressed so outlandishly that he might have been playing in a risque high school play."
Just two days after the Times described the "outlandish" dress of O'Keefe, the Congress of the United States passed legislation to remove federal funding for ACORN. (A federal judge later found the legislation to be "unconstitutional".)...
But, as it turns out, evidence from Breitbart's own Sept. 21, 2009 Washington Times column reveals that Breitbart did, in fact, not tell the "truth every step of way." In fact, he out and out lied while selling O'Keefe's all together phony misrepresentation (some might call it a lie) that he "dressed as a pimp" while "asking for - and getting - help for various illegal activities," as Breitbart inaccurately reported in his column.
Breitbart's promotion of those videos, as published on his own BigGovernment.com website, with the spectacular, media-friendly marquee selling point of low-level ACORN workers so stupid that they couldn't even spot a skinny white kid as a phony "pimp," kick-started the sting video campaign that was built and sold on an utter lie.
More evidence has been published today at Media Matters highlighting the effectiveness of that lie, and how media outlets from one side of the country to the other --- not just the New York Timesas we've shown --- were utterly bamboozled and played for chumps by Breitbart and O'Keefe's phony scheme.
Furthermore, when confronted with the lies --- yes, lies --- in his column, while on the air live last night, Breitbart chose to do what he always does...lie about them...
Following the recent federal felony arrest of his Rightwing dirty trickster employee, Rightwing propagandist and flim-flam artist Andrew Breitbart has had difficulty keeping his story straight. In two recent radio interviews, Breitbart offered two directly contradictory descriptions of his business relationship with the 25-year-old accused felon who remains on payroll while facing federal charges.
During a recent live appearance on the Internet radio show African-American Conservatives (AACONS), Breitbart was asked about his ongoing relationship with James O'Keefe. O'Keefe was recently arrested in Louisiana, along with three others (one the son of the acting U.S. Attorney), for allegedly heading up a scheme to "maliciously interfere" with the telephone system of Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.
He's "technically not salaried," Breitbart told AACONS host Marie Stroughter during the interview last week, in reply to her question about O'Keefe.
Breitbart's answer, however, was in direct contradiction to an an admission he offered on-air on the nationally syndicated radio program of fellow Rightwing propagandist Hugh Hewitt just weeks ago, on January 26th, on the night of O'Keefe's arrest.
In response to Hewitt's query about whether O'Keefe was "in your employ in any way," Breitbart admitted that O'Keefe was "paid a fair salary" for content published on Breitbart's various websites.
So, according to Breitbart, his accused felon employee O'Keefe is both "technically not salaried" and "paid a fair salary" at the same time. A neat trick.
So, was he lying to Hewitt on January 26th? Or to Stroughter on February 9th?
Or, perhaps there's a third way for Breitbart to try and thread his impossible needle in his continuing successful series of hoaxes on both the American public and the mainstream corporate media. He could pull out a tortured, Clintonian reliance on what the meaning of the word "salary" is...
[NOW UPDATED: Patty strikes back! Swings and misses again.]
Oh, noes! Rightwing blogger "Patterico", one of the only ones silly enough to throw in with GOP propagandist Andrew Breitbart to defend his employee, accused federal felon James O'Keefe, sez I'm "Liberal"! And a "stooge"!
Ouch! Thems good bloggery, Patty! U shure skooled me! 'Cept for the part where you hit publish before bothering to check your facts 'n' stuff...