Apologies for the multiple emails this morning. Due to a technical error, the previous version did not have a link to the discussion thread. — Judd
So far this month, Popular Information exposed the inner workings of Charles Koch's non-profit network (prompting an avalanche of attacks from Koch-funded entities), revealed that the consulting firm that assisted Amazon's union-busting efforts still has many pro-union clients (prompting one major client, MoveOn, to immediately cut ties), and documented the brazen corruption of Jared Kushner.
Today, however, I want to hear from you. What's on your mind? What topics would you like to see Popular Information take on in the weeks ahead?
You can leave your thoughts in the discussion thread linked below, starting now. I’ll be dropping later today to answer as many of your questions as I can.
Support Accountability Journalism
Unless prosecution of the political and corporate command structure of the failed coup d’etat on 1/6/21 happens substantively and soon, not only will Democrats rightfully get clobbered in what ends up passing for this November’s election, the ‘small d’ system we’ve known - warts and all - is done.
Rendering everything else rather moot.
Who organized it. Who paid for it. Why aren’t they in jail?
I would like an expose on CNN. CNN, and not Fox News? Yes. We all know what Fox is. However, CNN's "doom and gloom" reporting for the past year or so has done every bit as much to depress Democrat support as Fox's Republican cheerleading. I have my own theories about why CNN is doing what it is doing, but I would love to see some hard reporting on whether I am totally off base in thinking this.
The Private Equity industry and how workers' pensions are being used to make PE executives very, very wealthy, AND, in the process, hurt millions of workers who work for private-equity-owned firms.
Expose price-gouging disguised as "inflation." We're being robbed in broad daylight!
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla) wants to sunset Medicare (and all other social programs) after the company he ran 20 years ago, Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., was fined $1.7B for perpetrating the largest Medicare fraud ever. How is it that this lunatic wasn't prosecuted? And why aren't his feet being roasted over the fire today? What Scott is proposing is downright frightening!
Your work is exceptional. World class. An expose on the Murdoch holdings and headquarters and employees would be interesting. Stories on the gangs that own the politicians, especially the Russian mafia, would be helpful. Trump easily extorted the GOP by having careers and families threatened. It was like a mafia gang takeover.
I’d love to hear some more about how US dark money is influencing elections (and especially far-right-wing candidates) worldwide.
By a mixture of happenstance and pandemic delays, a lot of foreign elections are happening this year. France is about to go to the polls, with the Far Right Le Pen looking more and more likely to take the presidency. Bolsonaro will be looking for a second term in Brazil in October, the son of former Filipino dictator Marcos is the front runner for the presidency there, while in five weeks Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (himself with links to both corporate mega churches that hide sexual abuse allegations, and potentially QAnon), will be seeking re-election. It’s in the interests of a lot of right-wing bodies - corporations, governments, and the like - to ensure all these elections go their way.
I would appreciate an ongoing scorecard which, once established, accounts for the income, wealth, investments, and financial interests of the nine most powerful Americans, the Justices of the Supreme Court. As federal employees, they should be required to file broad financial statements and to make requests to approve actions for which they will be compensated. But, in addition, it would be helpful to have that information combined with other sources to give us an idea of the financial underpinning of these very powerful, yet very cloistered individuals.
My friend was at medical conference yesterday in Sacramento. He said these 18 wheeler trucks were driving around the capital and honking all day along with antivaccine protestors as close as possible to the building. The venue provided extra security for the conference. Who is funding these protests? Who is paying these truckers for all of their lost wages? Is it the same group as those funding the DC rally?
Expose which businesses are ‘paying’ which Senators to not pass marijuana legalization law. Private prisons, bail companies, alcohol companies and mainly pharmaceutical companies, I’d think are the biggest. Which Senators are holding up a bill that 70% of Americans want. Time is of the essence.
Hi Judd, I read your newsletter with equal amounts of hope and despair, and a lot of admiration. Being in the UK it's difficult to gauge the ebbs and flows of US happenings beyond the headlines, and wonder if there'd be a place (and indeed, time for), Before and After updates? For example, just as you documented the corps. which suspended then slowly resumed donations to supporters of the Riot/Insurrection, will you be able to keep us in the loop as time goes on as to just how fully things return to the status quo, as they seem to be doing?
Power to your elbow sir.
I find it very concerning how much the nightly news leads with stories like meat theft and store shuttering “due to theft” without any context or fact checking. You've done a good job covering real stories like wage theft here, but who underwrites shows like inside edition, and how do they get away with this sensationalized view of America that leads people to believe a fictionalized version of reality on a supposedly more neutral channel? They seem to be very heavily invested in middle class pearl-clutching against what is all too often people of color.
Hello - Please write about who got to Joe Manchin who flip flopped on “restoring the Senate” to pass his own “Freedom to Vote Act”. According to Rolling Stone Magazine article, Manchin agreed to rules changes ....until he didn’t. Senators Tester, Kaine, and King and their staffs could all be sources.
The enormity of the missed opportunity could break one’s heart. The country does not know the major reforms that were within reach: a) End of gerrymandering everywhere for US House seats, b) End of secret political spending, c) Federal standards for federal elections including automatic voter registration.
Whatever happened to the Trump era news story about the use of the NRA as a possible money laundering conduit from Russia to the GOP? Somehow this dropped from all coverage everywhere. Was it disproven? Proven but buried?
Can you talk at all about Prager U? Seems like right wingers are projecting once again. They claim that colleges are “liberal indoctrination machines” but then went ahead and literally created a propaganda “universit
Is the US government/military/right wing political “charities” stepping up action to counter progressive governments in Honduras, Chile or meddle in looming Brazilian election?
I am glad you get it! The democrats need to create a news network of their own and grow an EFFING BACKBONE instead of rolling over and allowing the GOP to kick them around and S**T all over them!
For those of us who are still dependent on cable for our TV viewing, we are yoked, unwillingly, to fees that get passed along to support Fox News and its enterprises. I have tried to get the attention of my US senators and the CFPB to help us untangle this horrible situation. Like millions, I am helping to underwrite our very demise by allowing Fox to reap millions of dollars from these fees that it gets from people like me. Can you help us examine how much money these monthly subscription services provide to Fox and help us figure out how we an stop paying for such enterprises that we are now forced to support? Thank you.
Who/what is funding the campaign to ban books and now math textbooks? What organization wrote the playbook for that?
After you get done with the Koch's stranglehold on us, how about continuing to dive into the revolving door of lobbyist, congress critter, think tank, and back again? Ethics are a dirty word in DC. No wonder nothing gets done, they all sit on their hands waiting for lobbyists to write THEIR legislation! Keep on holding their feet to the fire!
There have been cases recently where nurses have either been charged or found guilty of crimes while the hospital, nursing home, or jail was not penalized. The nurses in these situations didn’t act with malice, but made mistakes due to circumstances at their job (poor staffing, broken equipment, abusive police). It would be nice to see some more accountability for these institutions.
Judd, would it be possible for doing an expose on the founder of QAonon in the form of Ron “Q” Watkins? It be interesting to understand Ron’s bigotry as a half-Asian(his mother was born in the Philippines) nerd from the suburbs of Seattle and his “transformation” with the use of a computer in his mother’s basement. Ron’s father, Jim Watkins, is a pedophile who was convicted for child pornography. Yet, QAnon lunatics are currently obsessed with pedophilia as the topic initiated by Ron Watkins as a distraction from his twisted home life. Thanks. Paul Haider, England 🇺🇸 🇬🇧
I’m despairing that after the worldwide movement two years ago, American journalism is back to barely mentioning state sanctioned murder— police style. There is no in depth analysis of the death of Patrick Lyoya and what a travesty policing is in this cavern of inequity.
The January 6th Committee is under a tight deadline, yet things seem to be moving very slow. Are things happening behind the scenes? If charges are referred to the Department of Justice will Merrick Garland act, or will he run out the clock? It seems that only low level participants are being charged. We really need to get the upper echelon to bear some consequences.
I admire your work and look forward to this newsletter in my inbox. My suggestions usually revolve around exposing which states are using federal money to fund their attempts to control education. I still think that’s a pivotal question, but today I’ll switch gears. Michigan state sen Mallory McMorrow went viral yesterday. I believe there are others like her, people fighting for what’s right in the face of vicious accusations. I think it would be popular information (see what I did there) to focus on people and/or groups standing up like she did. It’s inspirational and could have a very positive impact on those looking for ways to get involved and support.
I would like to hear much more about the coordinated efforts to takeover state elections boards and offices. I have been watching this since reading about the plans for it in Democracy In Chains, but don't see much if any in-deoth reporting about it.
You are so good at unravelling complex stories in a very digestible way. Dark money has evolved into "dark" so called parent groups, (we need a catchy phrase here), these astroturfers are all backed by anti public education billionaires behind the scenes. MOreover, i am pretty certain some of these more extremist candidates and leaders of these astroturf parent groups are getting paid. We need the smoking gun.
Appreciate all the work you guys do.
Is it time to look at the mega churches? What good works DO they do?
Flint, Michigan! Rick Snyder got away with poisoning children with lead tainted water.
Hi Judd. I really love this newsletter! You dig deeply, a topic at a time, to report in depth and breadth, the current injustices and outright horrors in the world. It's incredibly important that we understand these things. Sadly, I receive similarly bleak and incredulous reports in other newsletters as well; enough to the get the impression that we are doomed. But I have 2 daughters in their 20s, and I would like a shred of hope that humans can turn some of these travesties around in time to allow a quality life to go on after I'm gone. Can you devote occasional space to the few signs of hope anywhere in the world, however feeble they may seem against the backdrop of horror. Sure would be great to cheer every now and then.
The top law enforcement officer in Florida is the Attorney General. Ours, Ashley Moody, was head of the Rule of Law committee of the Republican Attorney General Association. In that role she helped fund January 6. She completely escaped accountability and never even had to answer any questions. She continues her dangerous partisanship on a daily basis. It would be great to focus on these rogue AGs who fly under the 4adar and do incredible damage.
There’s a high school in Pennsylvania where 90 graduates have acquired a brain tumor that only happens from prolonged exposure to radiation without protective equipment. One man’s entire family has died and now he has it. No one knows why. Maybe you can investigate? I wonder if there are other similar places?
Wondering how to go about pushing back if you work within one of the companies you profile? One that portend to do good but maybe through a political pact or such that is supporting bad political actors.
I can't find data on which companies are currently advertising on Fox News and whether it is on television or just social media. Everything I see is from 2021.
It seems many companies have pulled back without making a public statement about it. Some have withdrawn from the commentator shows like Tucker Carlson but not the actual news. That's a pointless distinction in my mind
I am interested in the big picture of what Republican held state legislatures are creating. 43 as of last count and Virginia teetering on the edge. We know voters rughts have been attacked. The latest in TN is establishing no age limit for girls to get married. Besides grooming, is this the set up where men like Gaetz and Eostein and Trump can get away with pedophilia with girls underage, sex trafficking becomes easier? It was a surprising turn for naive me. What other states are looking like this?
I greatly appreciate your coverage of companies engaging in performative D&I. I wonder what the long term effects of the anti trans bills will be. Will NCAA pull out of states that have enacted unconstitutional laws?
Someone else mentioned it and I agree. Name and shame corps raising prices beyond their cost increases. Time to boycott greed and support those keeping prices in line with or below costs
I have a suggestion:
It would be worth visualizing corporate donations to Jan 6th supporters. Both at the time, and “now”.
A picture speaks a thousand words, this artifact would be useful for furthering discussion and providing us a salient baseline understanding of where things stand.
Sans a visual, a simple table w/
corporation | PAC donated to (in $) | candidate supported by PAC | Candidate stance on Jan 6th insurrection
Something like that. Thank you.
How about reporting on "limited liability": how corporations conned state legislatures into giving them this immensely valuable gift???
Since there are many voices that point to national 24/7 news as playing a key role to divisiveness in our country and point us in the direction of local news then I think the Sinclair Group should be closely monitored.
I would appreciate continued monitoring of which companies are funding these strategized, organized local school board attacks. In Mallory McMorrows viral speech she referenced the “grooming” accusation. This sounds similar to an email shared in my local school district accusing our incumbent members of being pro-porn.
Lastly, I would appreciate the roll out of programming on GAC and its advertisers to be monitored.
Lastly, I want to thank you for your reporting. The world is overwhelming. And much of the news is just heart crushing. The reason your writing resonates with me is it helps me, as a consumer to make more informed purchasing decisions. For instance, I have never purchased Arizona Iced Tea products. But now that you shared that even though their costs have increased (aluminum), they have not transferred those costs onto the customer; keeping their product the same price, I am now going to try their product. The frustration I do have those is armed with your research, I now don’t feel there’s a single mobile phone service provider that I can feel proud to support as a customer.
Fee for All: How Judges Are Raiding the Assets of Older Americans and Lining the Pockets of Guardianship Lawyers. It got some attention because of the Britney Spears's conservatorship in California, but it is nationwide racket involving judges, court-appointed lawyers and others who know this has been going on for decades. This is what RICO was designed for.
I'd be interested in an explainer and expose of pharmacy benefit managers' business practices - how they impact drug costs, patient access to meds, and small/local pharmacies. The FTC has a call for public comment on this, and the comments are enraging and (based on my experience) mostly accurate https://www.regulations.gov/comment/FTC-2022-0015-0069
Your fabulous work needs to scale in all of: breadth of topics; follow-through on existing stories; and *much* wider exposure. Can you recruit partners? get grants from https://craignewmarkphilanthropies.org/ ?
I fed up with the COWARDLY recusal on the part of the whole “Democratic” Party to fight back tooth and nail against the DAMN REPUBLICAN BULLIES!
Ever since August of 2009 when the damn TEA PARTY REPUBLICAN NEO NAZI FASCIST THUGS first rose up and ran wild all over the USA and full blown maliciously smashed up and destroyed every single town hall meeting that President Obama set up all over the USA to explain his healthcare reform agenda to the public, and the. The DAMN TEA PARTY GOONS grabbed hold of the news media and POISONED it with their malicious fear MONGERING propaganda lies, claiming that there were DEATH PANELS on it, I sent emails to the DNCC in 2009-2010 BEGGING and BEGGING and BEGGING the whole Democratic Party to quickly mobilize, grab hold of the news media and FIGHT BACK TOOTH AND NAIL against the damn VERY DANGEROUS TEA PARTY REPUBLICAN BASTARDS!
I warned the democrats in my emails that despite the great wins they got in the 2008 elections the DAMN REPUBLICAN BASTARDS still OWNED the supreme court majority and most of the money in this country because of the huge tax breaks given to them by REAGAN and BOTH BUSHES and with those two HUGE WEAPONS on THEIR side they WOULD, bit by bit DESTROY every shred of democracy itself in this country by Ed a period of just a few years (Just like Hitler and his THUGS destroyed the German Democrats in the 1930’s bit by bit over a period of just a few years) unless you “Democrats” would heed my warnings about the importance of fighting back against the DAMN REPUBLICAN Bastards tooth and nail to NIP THEM IN THE BUD before they would have a chance to flourish and poison the whole USA!
But the “Democrats” turned STINKING YELLOW BELLY COWARDLY instead of fighting back which has turned out to be POLITICAL SUICIDE for them and already HAS DESTROYED MOST of whatever little democracy is left in this country!
All I ever got in response to
My BEGGING the COWARDLY “Democrats” to fight back against the VERY DANGEROUS TEA PARTY THUGS of the GOP was a single insulting email from the DNCC telling me that the TEA PARTIERS were just a nasty but HARMLESS little bunch of Crackpots who would surely go away if only we “Good Democrats” just IGNORE THEM!
WRONG! Bullies never go away unless their victims fight back tooth and nail against them!
IGNORING dangerous enemies is STUPID and COWARDLY! And as a result of the STUPID COWARDLY decision on the part of the “Democrats” who chose to IGNORE the dangerous REPUBLICANS who poisoned the news media with fear MONGERING propaganda lies about Obamacare, the DAMN REPUBLICAN BASTARDS FLOURISHED and DESTROYED everything that the democrats had won in 2008!
Bad things started happening to the “Democrats” even before the mid term elections because the DAMN TEA PARTY REPUBLICANS managed to get their SUPREME COURT MAJORITY ALLIES to ram two VERY BAD decisions down our throats, namely CITIZENS UNITED and the McCutcheon rulings down our throats!
And the WORTHLESS COWARDLY “Democrats” did NOTHING to fight back against those HORRIBLE decisions!
Thanks to the COWARDLY refusal On The part of the “Democrats” to fight the damn republican bastards in 2009-2010 the “Democrats” suffered HORRIBLE LOSSES in both the 2010 and 2014 mid term elections because the voters who the Democrats need most of all to win and keep their winnings are the very base of their party the REAL Progressive voters.
And these progressive voters HATE COWARDS who refuse to fight back when attacked by the DAMN REPUBLICAN BASTARDS and showed their hatred for the COWARDLY “Democrats” by giving them LOW VOTER Turnout in BOTH the 2010 and 2014 elections!
The loss of the senate majority in 2014 was actually the FINAL NAIL in the coffin that the DAMN REPUBLICAN BASTARDS built for the whole Democratic Party because it allowed a very horrible man MITCH Mcconnell to SEIZE SUPREME POWER in the senate!
McCONNELL lost no time in full blown Maliciously smashing up and maliciously DESTROYING the constitutional RIGHT of president Obama to have his nominated man JUDGE GARLAND given both a fair hearing and fair vote from the senate to get a fair chance for a seat on the Supreme Court!
And once again the COWARDLY “Democrats” did NOTHING to fight back against what McCONNELL had done! They just ROLLED OVER for him just like a pack of STINKING COWARDLY Yellow Belly dogs with their tails between their hind legs!
It made me feel totally DISGUSTED with the “Democrats!”
As a result the damn Supreme Court is packed with SIX out of NINE extremist FASCIST REPUBLICAN BASTARDS who have already succeeded in allowing JIM CROW laws passed at state level can remain which has already destroyed the voting rights of at least 50 million NON-WHITE American Citizens and on top of that 26 states have DESTROYED the reproductive rights of at least fifty or more
Million women who must now rely on dangerous coat hanger back alley abortions to limit their family size. Because these days most women cannot afford large families! As a result the candles of women’s lives are being BURNED at BOTH ENDS!
And once again the COWARDLY “Democrats” are doing NOTHING to fight back against these loss of civil rights that both women and non white American citizens fought so hard to get!
And on top of all the STUPID politically suicidal mistakes the “Democrats” made they TRASHED a popular progressive candidate (Bernie Sanders) who the progressive base of the Democratic Party would haves come out in high numbers to vote for in favor of UNPOPULAR, UN-CHARISMATIC HILLARY who was NO MATCH for the DAMN NEO NAZI REPUBLICAN BASTARDS, especially bullies like TRUMP.
It’s bad enough that Hillary could not rally her base (progressive voters) to get out in high enough numbers to vote for her (especially in the right battleground states) but on top of that she STUPIDLY took the most important states FOR GRANTED!
Hillary made the real STUPID mistake of thinking that just because DEMOCRAT OBAMA won all three of these most important states (Pennsylvania Wisconsin and Michigan) in BOTH the 2008 and 2012 elections that she (DEMOCRAT HILLARY) could just automatically have all three of those states in HER POCKET without doing even the slightest bit of hard work in person rally style campaigning in those three most important states!
Meanwhile TRUMP was in all three of those states rallying HIS BASE of hate groups, misogynists, KKK Racists, NEO NAZI Republicans, etc to get out and vote for him!
And STUPID COMPLACENT HILLARY paid NO ATTENTION to what DISGUSTING DONALD was doing in those states and also did NOTHING to defend herself when he and his cronies SLAMMED HER for having a private e-mail account and also blamed her for the deaths of four Americans in BENGHAZI when she was Secretary of State even though it was NOT HER FAULT!
As we know STUPID COMPLACENT HILLARY shamefully LOST and the humiliating loss to a SCUM BAG like TRUMP has further pushed this country into FASCISM!
Four years of TRUMP were bad enough but even though Joe Biden was able to beat TRUMP in the last election because the incompetent handling of the coronavirus pandemic is what caused at least enough people to show up at the polls in the right battleground states to VOTE TRUMP OUT, the DAMN REPUBLICAN BASTARDS still managed to get enough people (incited by TRUMP) to cause a major vicious insurrection on January 6, 2021 in an attempt to overthrow the legitimately elected HONEST WINNER (President Biden) of the 2020 election to get overthrown and SCUM BAG TRUMP given the White House for LIFE!
And the COWARDLY “Democrats” are doing NOTHING to give the DAMN REPUBLICAN TRAITORS the penatjt they DESERVE (life with no parole
In prison AT LEAST).
Evil has flourished in the USA because the “good folks” (Democrats) did NOTHING to fight back against it when they had the chance to do so and nip it in the bud back in 2009-2010!
That is why I fear it is now TOO LATE to stop the damn tea BASTARDS from turning America into the same nightmare that GERMANY was in 1933-1945!
As midterms approach, facts outlining what we can expect if Republicans take leadership of the House and Senate in terms of climate change action , gridlock between the Legislature and President, immigration, healthcare, NO change in inflation
love your newsletter Judd. Would love to hear more on climate change, corporate greenwashing (i know you've covered it previously), Repukelican Treachery & Fascism, & Gerrymandering, the GQP culture attacks. thanks.
Ohio redistricting again. A good article that lays it all out. https://www.cincinnatimagazine.com/article/the-chaos-theory-behind-ohios-redistricting-fiasco
Living in the Western part of the United States, climate change, especially drought is a big concern for me. We build massive pipeline systems for oil, yet the government (corporations) can't see fit to build water pipelines from regions of the USA that continually flood each year. If the water level of the nation’s largest reservoir continues to fall and hits a certain level, the hydroelectric power plant at Hoover Dam will have to shut down. Millions in the Southwest will literally be left in the dark and blistering heat when there’s no longer enough water behind the dam to power the giant electricity-producing turbines.
In almost every grocery checkout line among the impulse items like gum, candy, magazines and the ever present National Enquirer. Almost every issue of National Enquirer is screaming right wing philosophy and smearing of progressives, most often, our President. There is no other side presented and it is almost obscene to have to view this every time I go to buy groceries. I would prefer to not have any politics in my checkout line, especially lying and misleading politics.
I wrote to the CEO of Safeway but received no response. All they care about is profit, however I can't remember the last time I ever saw someone buy the Enquirer in line. I have a feeling the Enquirer doesn't care if we buy it as long as it gets viewed by millions of shoppers each day. Perhaps you can look into this.
I am a member and support your journalism but I feel like I should be getting a renewal notice by now. You are a true patriot. Keep up the good work!
Please expose all corporations who are taking advantage of consumers via price gouging (gas companies, grocery stores, etc.) blaming inflation while reporting record PROFITS on the backs of lower and middle class.
Also need investigative reporting why our AG hasn't pressed any charges yet on the Trump crime mafia, there's certainly enough evidence to do so!
Lastly, more reporting on Clarence Thomas and his QAnon wack job wife tainting the Supreme Court's impartiality, we need to build up public opinion pressure so he is either impeached or recuses himself.
Thank you for all the work you do! :)