James Bopp is the lawyer who first represented Citizens United in the case that ended up in the Supreme Court, which ruled that corporations and unions could give money to political committees active in election campaigns. That decision and subsequent lower court decisions have led to SuperPACs, which allow corporations, unions and individuals to make unlimited contributions, pool them together, and use the money for political campaigns.
Republican and Democratic SuperPACs, empowered by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, can collect unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations and unions. Potter became a celebrity when he signed on as Stephen Colbert's lawyer and advised the satirical TV host on how to create his own SuperPAC.
(This post was updated with breaking news at 9:27 a.m. ET.)
Seven U.S. Marines were killed Wednesday night when two helicopters collided over the Yuma, Ariz., Training Range Complex, according to a statement just emailed to the NPR Newscast Desk by a spokesman for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
The statement adds that:
"The aircraft, an AH-1W 'Cobra' and an UH-1Y 'Huey,' were conducting routine training operations around 8:00 p.m. Identities of the Marines will be withheld until next of kin have been notified."
Demonstrators shouted anti-American slogans during a protest in Kabul today (Feb. 23, 2012).
"Two U.S. troops have been shot to death and four more wounded by an Afghan solider who turned his gun on his allies in apparent anger over the burning of Qurans at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, an Afghan official tells CBS News."
Officially, the International Security Assistance Force says that:
Mount Healthy United Methodist Church in suburban Cincinnati offered a drive-thru blessing. Believers could get the traditional cross of ashes smudged onto their foreheads without getting out of their cars.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti wants more transparency so he made his cabinet disclose their finances. That sparked so much interest, the government website crashed. Ministers own real estate in New York, Brussels and Paris. One made $9 million last year.
An Iraqi policeman inspects a destroyed vehicle at the site of a blast in the northern city of Kirkuk earlier today (Feb. 23, 2012).
"A rapid series of attacks spread over a wide swath of Iraqi territory killed at least 50 people on Thursday, targeting mostly security forces in what appeared to be another strike by al-Qaida militants bent on destabilizing the country," The Associated Press reports.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves to the crowd as he is introduced at the start of Wednesday night's Republican presidential debate in Mesa, Ariz.
Ten months and a score of debates ago, the Republican Party and a slew of news organizations brought forth on our TV screens a new definition of a presidential nominating process — conceived in targeted marketing and dedicated to the proposition that no number of debates was too many for hardcore conservatives.
Syrian government troops are continuing to bombard the central city of Homs. The United Nations says more than five thousand people have been killed during the 11-month uprising. Syrian activists say the number is much higher. Yesterday, two foreign journalists were among those killed.
An Egyptian stock trader reads a copy of the Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper last November. Critics say the newspaper is reluctant to criticize the ruling military council and has engaged in self-censorship.
Credit Nasser Nasser / AP
Egyptian protesters are chased by soldiers in Cairo on Dec. 17, 2011. Egyptian soldiers swept into Cairo's Tahrir Square that day, chasing protesters and beating them to the ground with sticks and tossing journalists' TV cameras off balconies. The media in Egypt face direct threats such as these — but also more subtle pressures.
Back in October, a group of Republican voters in Arizona gathered at NPR's request to watch one of the early GOP presidential debates on TV. Wednesday night, they got together again. NPR's Ted Robbins watched with them in Saddlebrooke, a retirement community northwest of Tucson, and asked them to share their thoughts.
At the Charles Aidikoff Screening Room on Rodeo Drive, filmmakers can screen their works in progress for an invite-only audience in the small, 57-seat theater. The screening room is also rented to show films to members of the Academy and the press.
Credit Thaddeus Bridwell / Charles Aidikoff Screening Room
Charles Aidikoff, 97, learned the art of projection from his father, who ran silent movies in a Coney Island theater in the early 1900s. Aidikoff's grandson Josh carries on the family tradition — he became manager of the screening room at age 19.
Credit Cindy Carpien / NPR
Josh Aidikoff mastered the complicated business of running film projectors when he was still in his teens. Now, the Aidikoff Screening Room has a digital projector, too, and Josh predicts that in a few years he won't be handling film at all.
Before they made it to the Oscars, the nominated films — not to mention all the films that didn't make the cut — were viewed by some 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Many of those movies were shown in small, private, rented screening rooms all over Hollywood.
The studios have their own screening rooms, of course, but often directors want a more private place to screen works in progress — with no studio suits in sight.
Luz Escamilla's bedroom walls are stained with the blood of bedbugs. She says she doesn't want to bleach them until reps from CW Capital, her landlord, pay an in-person visit to her Maryland home.
Credit Mario Lugay
Pedro Jimenez and three of his kids, in the living room of their East Oakland, Calif., apartment. JPMorgan Chase hasn't hired a management company to fix the shattered window panes or make other repairs.
Credit Mario Lugay
David Jimenez, 7, patches up holes in his East Oakland, Calif., apartment. The bottom sticky note says, "I love you Papi."
Across the country, big banks and other large investors are buying up tens of thousands of foreclosed rental properties. They're not always model landlords, according to tenants and regulators. Some banks are failing to follow local and state housing codes, leaving tenants to live in squalor — without even a number to call in the most dire situations.