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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, December 14, 2017
'Green News Report' 12/14/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Toxic smoke warnings from SoCal fires; New bad news for the Arctic; New good news for Tesla; World fights climate change without U.S.; PLUS: French prez makes good on promise...
Previous GNRs: 12/12/17 - 12/7/17 - Archives...
Veteran Recount Attorney Sees Little Chance for Moore in AL: 'BradCast' 12/13/17
Guest: Election recount expert Chris Sautter on Jones' win, Moore's odds, AL Supremes' order allowing destruction of 'ballot images'...
Internet Freedom of Speech Now at Stake
Trump's Republican-majority FCC is poised to kill Net Neutrality. Media activist Sue Wilson explains why the result be another political horror show for Democrats and the nation...
AL Supremes Allow 'Ballot Images' to Be Destroyed: 'BradCast' 12/12/17
Also, guest David M. Rothschild on a new study finding real, not fake, news was the problem in the 2016 Presidential election...
'Green News Report' 12/12/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
SoCal fire now 5th largest in state history; Trump Admin attacks private co. in nat'l monument fight, opens East Coast to offshore drilling, slows EPA actions against polluters...
Previous GNRs: 12/7/17 - 12/5/17 - Archives...
Moore, Moore, Moore...
and Other Vital News: 'BradCast' 12/11/2017
Terror attacks in NY, KS, NM; Pentagon to allow transgender enlistment; SoCal fires; A big court win for election integrity and a deep dive on the eve of Alabama's insane U.S. Senate election...
GOP/NRA's 'Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act' Likely Unconstitutional
A new bill just rammed through the U.S. House would block states' rights on gun safety laws and may violate the U.S. Constitution...
Sunday Toons of the Soulless Moment
A lot of souls have been sold in recent days. For what in return? 'PDiddie' rounds up the consequences in his latest weekly toon collection...
Former CO GOP Chair Found Guilty of Voter Fraud: 'BradCast' 12/8/17
And other ironies and outrages: SoCal fires spread; Trump dumps science; Election Integrity suit before AL election; House GOP ignores states' rights on guns; Listener e-mail...
'Green News Report' 12/7/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump rolls back protections for two national monuments; Tribes, conservationists sue; GOP tax bill slashes renewables; PLUS: Credit firm warns cities to address climate risks or else...
Previous GNRs: 12/5/17 - 11/30/17 - Archives...
Two SCOTUS Cases This Week 'Take the Cake' for Absurdity: 'BradCast' 12/6/17
Guest: Slate's Mark Joseph Stern; Also: Fires worsen in, near L.A.; Franken pressured by Dem Senators to resign...
Battle for 'Ballot Images' Before AL's U.S. Senate Election: 'BradCast' 12/5/17
Guest: Election expert John Brakey; Also: Conyers resigns, Farenthold skates, RNC & Trump all-in for accused pedophile...
'Green News Report' 12/5/17
Trump rolls back national monuments; Tribes, conserv-ationists sue; GOP tax bill slashes renewables; PLUS: Credit firm warns cities to address climate risks or else...
GOP Tax 'Cut' Hustle; Callers on Trump-Russia 'Collusion': 'BradCast' 12/4/17
Repub Senate rams through largest tax increase in history; What is Team Trump trying to hide?...
CA Congressional Repubs Endangered
Ernie Canning explains why it's actually now possible that the GOP could be left with zero U.S. House Representatives after 2018...
Sunday Toons of the 'Lock Him Up' Moment
As it turns out, 'fake news' can actually result in real jail time, according to the cartoonists in PDiddie's latest weekly collection...
FLYNN FLIPS, Cops Plea; GOP Tax Scam's Generational Upheaval: 'BradCast' 12/1/17
Two huge stories. One, a transformational shift in the U.S. that will alter it for decades...
'Trigger' Warning: GOP Tax Maneuver Proves It's 'All a Scam': 'BradCast' 11/30/17
Guest: The Nation's David Dayen; Also: Accountability for sexual misconduct, if not in AL, White House or Main St...
'Green News Report' 11/30/17
EPA climate hearings in Coal Country; Winter heat breaks records; Another FEMA scandal slows PR recovery; PLUS: Good news for breathers in WI and MO...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
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...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
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...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

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...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

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
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Ernest A. Canning on 5/22/2017 9:35am PT  

Faced with his own inept inability to control the antics of his American prisoners, the only defense for bumbling Luftwaffe POW camp guard Sergeant Schultz was to pretend he had no knowledge of events. Confronted with what he saw and was told in this classic Hogan's Heroes clip, Schultz proclaims: "I see nothing! I was not here! I did not even get up this morning!"

Last Thursday, we witnessed a version of the Sergeant Schultz defense. But it wasn't for laughs. It came from a source said to be "close to the [Trump] administration". According to an NBC News report (later echoed by a number of other outlets), the source claimed that "Vice President Mike Pence has been kept in the dark about former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn's alleged wrongdoing"...

Earlier this year, Pence said he was not made aware of Flynn's discussions with Russian officials until 15 days after Trump and the White House were notified.

The source close to the administration, who requested anonymity as the White House denies the story, is now saying that Pence and his team were not made aware of any investigation relating to Flynn's work as a foreign agent for Turkey.

"It's also a fact that if [Flynn] told [Trump Transition attorney, now White House Chief Counsel, Don] McGahn that during the transition, it's also a fact that not only was Pence not made aware of that, no one around Pence was as well," the source said. "And that's an egregious error — and it has to be intentional. It's either malpractice or intentional, and either are unacceptable."

The source's claims are offered despite the fact that Flynn himself also served as one of Pence's vice-chairs on the Presidential transition.

The NBC report offers a plausible sounding explanation for Pence's seeming ability to be everywhere, yet know absolutely nothing about what happened, particularly given the number of occasions where Trump has swiftly thrown those defending his actions under the bus: e.g., when, one day after Pence said the President had simply complied with Assistant Attorney General Rob Rosenstein's "recommendation" when he fired FBI Director James B. Comey, Trump acknowledged he'd made the decision to fire Comey before Rosenstein wrote the memo.

But there are a multitude of reasons why the "I know nothing!" defense doesn't really wash, particularly given Pence's penchant to quietly lie with a straight face, even when directly confronted by contradictory information and instances in which Pence has denied all knowledge of otherwise broadly publicized information...

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




Critical vulnerabilities remain on state's 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/5/2017 12:54pm PT  

Two things occurred last Thursday that should bolster the chances of Democrat Jon Ossoff in the June 20, 2017 runoff special election for the U.S. House in Georgia's 6th Congressional District. One thing --- one big thing --- remains in place that could help to derail those prospects.

The first helpful item entails the removal of an obstacle to casting a vote at all in the upcoming election, thanks to a ruling by a federal judge yesterday. The court has effectively blocked an effort by Georgia election officials to prevent any otherwise eligible voter in the 6th District who had not been registered prior to March 20, 2017 from casting a vote in the run-off election between Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel.

A Georgia statute treats a run-off election as a "continuation" of a primary election. Thus, Georgia election officials had asserted that, under state law, only those timely registered before the April 18 primary election could vote in the run-off. The GA State Conference of the NAACP and other voting rights advocates filed a lawsuit alleging that the state's restriction on new voter registrations is in violation of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) which mandates that any qualified voter who submits a valid registration form more than 30 days prior to a federal election must be allowed to vote.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr., a George W. Bush appointee, agreed with the NAACP plaintiffs. On Thursday he issued a Temporary Restraining Order mandating the state "extend the voter-registration deadline for the June 20, 2017 special runoff election to no earlier than May 21." Any "eligible resident" who has "registered to vote" on or before that date is entitled to cast a ballot "that will count in the June 20 special runoff election."

Prior to the ruling, Republican Sec. of State Brian Kemp had contended that only voters registered by March 20th would be eligible to vote in the run-off election, three months later(!), on June 20.

The second issue that could enhance the Democrat's chances for filling the U.S. House vacancy in an otherwise Republican-leaning district --- a vacancy created when Rep. Tom Price became Donald Trump's Sec. of Health and Human Services --- is related to yesterday's narrow passage in the U.S. House of the so-called "American Health Care Act" (AHCA, or what many have referred to as #wealthcare, since the legislation includes, among other things, a massive tax cut for the top 2% at the expense of healthcare coverage and other benefits for the poor and middle class).

A Congressional Budge Office scoring predicted that the original version of the ACHA would result in the loss of health care coverage for 24 million Americans over the next 10 years. Not surprisingly, the Ryan/Trump wealthcare initiative has proved immensely unpopular according to a Quinnipiac poll in March, finding just 17% of Americans support the measure. The Center for American Progress described the amended version of the bill, that was rammed through the House yesterday without an updated CBO score, as far worse than the original bill. It is expected not only to "explode premiums," they find, but also allow states to negate ObamaCare's most popular feature --- the prohibition on health insurance companies discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions.

While both of these factors could serve to aid Ossoff's chances in June, there's no escaping the fact that the runoff will be conducted using the same 100% unverifiable, easily-manipulated, oft-failed Diebold touch-screen voting system that may have cost him an outright win on April 18...

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




By Ernest A. Canning on 4/26/2017 12:09pm PT  

I couldn't help but burst out laughing while reading White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's description of U.S. District Court Judge William H. Orrick's late Tuesday decision partially blocking a Presidential Executive Order on funding to so-called "sanctuary cities" as an "egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge."

(All federal judges are nominated by a President and confirmed by the Senate. None are "elected.")

Not to be outdone by his Press Secretary, Trump via Twitter described the ruling to enjoin the enforcement provision of his January 25 Executive Order as "ridiculous."

In that Executive Order, Trump threatened to withhold and/or recapture all federal funds and grants from any local jurisdiction that did not assist the federal government in its newly aggressive efforts to deport undocumented immigrants.

Trump vowed to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court.

Hilarious!

In the forty (40) years that have passed since I was first admitted to the California State Bar, I can scarcely recall a more one-sided "contested" case --- one in which I actually felt sorry for the Justice Department attorney who had been assigned to defend this indefensible Executive Order...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 4/14/2017 9:05am PT  


"Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind" - President John F. Kennedy

By recklessly following up on his unconstitutional decision to commit an act of war (Syrian missile strike) with a reckless exercise in nuclear brinksmanship (North Korea), President Donald J. Trump has brought us to the edge of a precipice.

Unless Congress, currently on an 18-day holiday recess, immediately acts to Censure him for his dangerous usurpations of its exclusive Constitutional power to decide whether we are at war or at peace, our nation, indeed the world, could be plunged into a nuclear abyss...

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




By Ernest A. Canning on 4/3/2017 8:35am PT  

In August of 1822, James Madison, one of this nation's Founding Fathers, famously argued: "Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

On the other hand, on January 6, 2017, a joint Intelligence Community Report ("IC Report"), entitled "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections" explained: "The Intelligence Community rarely can publicly reveal the full extent of its knowledge or the precise bases for its assessments, as the release of such information would reveal sensitive sources or methods and imperil the ability to collect critical foreign intelligence in the future."

There is a core conflict seen in those two quotes. What we see proclaimed in the IC Report is a direct collision between self-proclaimed national security interests and the public's right to know.

There is no question that Congress has both the Constitutional right and obligation to investigate "Russia-gate". It does so in accordance with its exceedingly broad powers of oversight that include the ability to "provide new statutory controls over the executive," executive accountability and to exercise its exclusive power of impeachment.

It is really not controversial to suggest, as did The Chicago Tribune, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), and Adam Schiff (D-CA), that Congressional hearings be conducted either by an independent or select committee. But even if a reasonable level of investigative objectivity and integrity is achieved, the thorny question remains as to the extent to which such hearings, and testimony from witnesses, should be carried out in public.

It is a difficult issue that pits the public's right to know against (a) avoiding disclosure of classified information, and (b) compromising the ability of federal prosecutors to secure criminal convictions in their own parallel investigations...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 3/10/2017 9:54am PT  

The never before utilized Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (full text posted below) may provide the most efficient lawful means to facilitate a swift end to the madness brought on by the Presidency of Donald J. Trump.

The real issue is not whether Donald Trump --- an utterly dishonest raging authoritarian narcissist and "pathological liar" --- should be removed from office. Instead, the focus should be on which of two alternative constitutional means for removing this miscreant from office has the best chance of ultimately succeeding.

Impeachment is a cumbersome process that, assuming the GOP-controlled Congress would permit it, entails lengthy investigative hearings, and the introduction of Articles of Impeachment alleging High Crimes and Misdemeanors --- Articles that must be approved by a majority of the House. This would be followed by a trial in the Senate. Trump would then be removed from office only if two-thirds of the Senate votes to convict. Tall orders for both Republican-majority chambers, to say the least.

Throughout the length of those protracted proceedings, Trump would remain in office with access to the nuclear codes.

In his recent New York Times op-ed, Nicholas Kristof, quoting Harvard's renowned Constitutional Law Professor Laurence Tribe, opined that the 25th Amendment offered a viable means for removing Trump from office. Per the language of Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, if Vice President Mike Pence and a majority of Trump's own cabinet transmitted to the leaders of the House and Senate "their written declaration that [Trump] is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President." The burden would then shift to Trump to submit "his written declaration that no inability exists." If he submits a declaration contending that he is able to carry out the duties of his office, Trump would not be permanently removed unless two-thirds of both Houses of Congress upheld the Vice President's declaration.

Irrespective of the legal bases for impeachment --- such as Trump's corrupt and remarkably overt violations of the Constitution's Emoluments Clauses --- it is unlikely that a GOP-controlled Congress would be willing to entertain, let alone vote to impeach a Republican President. This would especially be true if, as is likely, the Articles of Impeachment were introduced by Democratic members of the House.

By contrast, as observed by Lawrence O'Donnell during a Feb. 20 airing of The Last Word (see video below) --- if successfully invoked, the 25th Amendment would pit Republicans against Republicans: to wit, Vice President Mike Pence and a majority of the cabinet against Trump and a minority of the cabinet. If the chaos that is the Trump administration continues and potentially threatens GOP majority rule in either or both houses of Congress in 2018, there's a distinct possibility that, as predicted by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), the dynamics within the GOP could undergo a significant change. If he could overcome loyalty to the man who named him as his running mate, Pence and a majority of the cabinet could legally initiate a swift end to the Trump presidency.

That's a lot of "ifs"...and even if they all came to pass, there is more to think about regarding this path...

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Court loses sight of fundamental right to verifiably accurate count...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/10/2016 3:04pm PT  

If allowed to stand, the reasoning behind U.S. District Court Judge Mark A. Goldsmith's December 7, 2016 decision [PDF] in Stein v. Thomas to halt the Michigan presidential "recount" is flawed, at best. Issued, ironically enough, on the day we commemorate what President Franklin D. Roosevelt described as "a date which will live in infamy", it is by no means an exaggeration to suggest that Judge Goldsmith's reasoning could inflict greater harm on the very foundations of our constitutional form of democracy than that inflicted by the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

The halt to the "recount" came just two days after Judge Goldsmith issued a temporary restraining order ("TRO") directing the MI Canvassing Board to immediately commence the "recount" and one day after a U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal decision, upholding that TRO.

Under that 6th Circuit appeals ruling, Judge Goldsmith was obligated to revisit the issue if "the Michigan courts determine that Plaintiffs' recount is improper for any reason." Separately, on Dec. 6, the Michigan state appellate court ruled that, under MI law, only a candidate who has a reasonable chance of winning has a right to initiate a post-election count. But that state court ruling, by three Republican judges, did not justify Judge Goldsmith's decision to halt a "recount" that had been predicated on Dr. Jill Stein's rights under the U.S. Constitution.

As he acknowledged in his original decision, the Green Party Presidential candidate did not base her federal claim on state law. To the contrary, in his initial finding, Goldsmith held that the Plaintiffs had shown a likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that the two-business day waiting period mandated by state law "would likely violate their right to vote under the First and Fourteenth Amendments." Judge Goldsmith, in that first decision, added, "the [federal] right to vote, and to have that vote conducted fairly and counted accurately" [emphasis added] is not merely "fundamental" but serves as "the bedrock of our Nation."

State law, whether directed at the timing of the recount or to the aggrieved status (standing) of the candidate seeking the count, should not be allowed to infringe upon a fundamental right that every citizen has to a verifiably accurate count of their votes.

The truly damaging aspect of the decision to dissolve the TRO lies not in the question of standing but in Judge Goldsmith's upside-down reasoning as to who should bare the burden of establishing the integrity of the vote. That reasoning is directly at odds with the rulings made in two landmark cases in Germany and Austria, to the effect that the need for election integrity and transparency are paramount in any nation that values democracy...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 11/3/2016 9:05am PT  

Irrespective of whether a citizen favors or opposes adult recreational marijuana consumption, a "yes" vote on California's Proposition 64, the Marijuana Legalization Initiative, is a no-brainer.

The measure would legalize possession and use for adults 21 and older, create a new Bureau of Marijuana Control charged with the regulation and licensing of non-medical marijuana businesses, permit cities and counties to require licenses and restrict the locations of marijuana businesses, and provide for taxation on both cultivation and sales. As is the case with alcohol, there is nothing in the measure that would prevent criminal penalties for driving under the influence.

Setting aside the well-documented history of complicity in the global drug trade both by U.S. covert agencies and by the global banking industry, the plain and simple fact is that prohibition, whether applied to alcohol or to other "narcotics" has, at best, repeatedly proven to be an inordinately expensive abject failure that is destructive of the lives of those who partake of the forbidden fruit and, all too often, has a devastating impact upon their families and finances...

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Uneven playing field underscores needed media, campaign finance reform...
By Ernest A. Canning on 10/31/2016 8:05am PT  

California's Proposition 61, "the Drug Price Standards Initiative", is simple and straightforward. It mandates that any California state agency that provides funding for prescription drugs may not pay more than the lowest price paid for the same drug by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

PhRMA, the powerful drug industry lobbying organization, opposes the measure, and is using blatantly dishonest television ads, such as this one featuring Marine Corps Veteran Lamont Duncan, to claim that the measure will increase the price the VA pays for prescription drugs, harming veterans in the bargain...

The ad leads viewers to the same erroneous assumption presented by the state's Legislative Analyst (emphasis added) --- that "drug manufacturers might choose to raise VA drug prices" in response to passage of Prop 61. Worse, the ad erroneously suggests that veterans themselves could be forced into higher co-pays.

As Senator Bernie Sanders, the former chairman of the U.S. Veterans Affairs Committee, noted in an LA Times op-ed in support of Prop 61, "pharmaceutical companies cannot unilaterally raise the price of drugs it sells to the VA." Those prices, he explains, are fixed by federal law.

Conservative economist Greg D'Angelo, from Heritage Foundation's Center for Health Policy Studies confirms Sanders point in this explanation published some years ago: "The VA's discounts are mandated by [federal] law." Drug manufacturers lack the power to so much as "negotiate" a higher VA price, according to D'Angelo, let alone unilaterally raise them. And, as Sanders adds, "veterans' drug co-payments are fixed and do not rise even if drug prices go up." In cases where their treatment is for a service-connected condition, veterans "pay no out of pocket costs whatsoever for prescription drugs," the Senator notes.

While Prop 61 is subject to valid concerns, as explained below, under existing federal law, a betrayal of the right for affordable pharmaceuticals to Veterans is not one of them...

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




By Ernest A. Canning on 10/25/2016 9:05am PT  

According to a Los Angeles Times "Debate scorecard," the opening segment of last week's third and final Presidential debate, concerning the respective nominees plans for appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court, was a "draw."

Three of the paper's pundits each proffered what at best could be described as a superficial one-paragraph explanation for their verdict: It was a "draw" because 1) an ordinarily unhinged Trump was "calm" and "sedate," and 2) by describing what they would look for in a nominee to SCOTUS, both candidates had appealed to their respective conservative Republican and liberal Democratic bases.

The "Debate scorecard" presents a classic example of what Bill Moyers derides as the "charade of fair and balanced --- by which two opposing people offer competing opinions with a host who assumes the viewer will arrive at the truth by splitting the difference" --- an unacceptable "substitute for independent analysis." Combined with the "draw" assessment, this form of irresponsible punditry lends itself to the false equivalency separately offered by FiveThirtyEight's Oliver Roeder, who suggested that both candidates were "promising an extreme candidate" to fill the vacancy left by the death of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

In truth, the differences between the two Presidential nominees are profound. They represents the difference between oligarchy (Trump) and democracy (Clinton). Trump's preference for a judiciary that would protect the privileged few at the expense of the vast majority of ordinary Americans is both extreme and unpopular. Clinton's egalitarian criteria for judicial nominations is immensely popular and decidedly mainstream. There is nothing "extreme" about a jurist who is committed to the words that appear above the entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court: "Equal Justice Under Law."

What is especially troubling is that media pundits have erected a false equivalency on an issue of vital importance to the American electorate. Outside of global climate change, which threatens the very survival of humanity, the issue of what could turn out to be as many as three lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court over the next four years is amongst the most monumental that voters will face on Nov. 8. As we previously reported the fate of democracy itself is at stake.

Roeder and the three L.A. Times pundits would have understood that if they had bothered to either consult constitutional scholars or specific issue polls before erecting their false equivalency in their respective debate analyses...

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




By Ernest A. Canning on 10/19/2016 1:40pm PT  

During this highly unorthodox election cycle, some of the harshest criticisms of Donald Trump have been leveled by respected members of the right-wing establishment.

Early on, the fascist label was first affixed to Trump’s policies not by Bernie Sanders but by John Noonan, foreign policy advisor to Jeb Bush.

Now, just weeks away from the November 8, 2016 Presidential Election, Max Boot, a neocon apologist and former foreign policy advisor to hawkish Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) informs us in a Los Angeles Times editorial that he can hear "Nazi echoes in Trump's tweets".

Specifically, Boot makes a troubling comparison between the fact-free tweet the Republican nominee posted in response to the firebombing of a North Carolina Trump campaign office to the deliberately deceptive Nazi response to the Reichstag fire of Feb. 27, 1933...

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




By Ernest A. Canning on 10/17/2016 12:10pm PT  

In an unusual late Sunday night court order [PDF], a federal judge declared Florida's rules for validating absentee ballots to be "illogical" and bizarre" and ordered that thousands of voters receive the option to correct a problem that might otherwise have resulted in thousands of unnecessarily and inappropriately rejected vote-by-mail ballots in the key battleground state.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark E. Walker granted a preliminary injunction sought by the Florida Democratic Party to a GOP-enacted statute that allows election workers who lack training in handwriting analysis to reject absentee ballots on the basis of mismatched-signatures without first providing voters with the opportunity to cure the perceived defect.

Notice and a right to cure under Florida's irrational vote-by-mail system is afforded to those voters who fail to include any signature at all on their absentee ballots, but not to those judged to have submitted a signature that does match the one on file with their registration record.

As AP notes, "Florida's Republican-controlled Legislature in 2004 passed a law that said all vote-by-mail ballots that had mismatched signatures or did not contain a signature were to be tossed out. But then in 2013 legislators changed the law to allow people who turned in a ballot without a signature to fix the mistake prior to the election." That statutory change did not offer the same option to cure signatures believed to be mismatches.

"It is illogical, irrational, and patently bizarre for the state of Florida to withhold the opportunity to cure from mismatched-signature voters while providing that same opportunity to no-signature voters," Judge Walker wrote. "And in doing so, the state of Florida has categorically disenfranchised thousands of voters for no reason other than they have poor handwriting or their handwriting has changed over time"...

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




By Ernest A. Canning on 10/15/2016 6:13pm PT  

Brad Friedman was no doubt correct when he described the insanity that passed for a Second "Presidential Debate" as "one of the darkest chapters in modern U.S. Presidential history." That unfortunate event, however, led to a moment of extraordinary candor. Former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt told NBC's Chuck Todd that Donald Trump's candidacy had "exposed the intellectual rot in the Republican Party."

Schmidt's point is well taken, but there are also systemic sources for our current political malaise. These center upon (1) a privately-owned media system that elevates its own commercial interests over the public interest,, and (2) the euphemistically self-described "non-partisan" Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) --- the undemocratic guardians of the status quo who, in conjunction with the two major political parties (which its commissioners represent) and the mainstream media, tirelessly strive to prevent Presidential debates from achieving their true function --- the facilitation of an informed electoral decision...

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




By Ernest A. Canning on 9/12/2016 11:35am PT  

It's not for nothing that North Carolina Republicans are working so hard to keep certain people out of the voting booth this November.

North Carolina's Republican Governor Pat McCrory's chances for re-election took a direct hit after the U.S. Supreme Court recently denied his emergency request to stay a unanimous decision by the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeal. The 4th Circuit three-judge panel struck down a massive NC GOP voter suppression law that, the court found, had targeted Democratic-leaning African-American voters "with almost surgical precision."

McCrory now faces a reelection bid against a strong Democratic opponent who is not shy about calling the longtime Duke Energy CEO turned Governor to task for an environmental scandal (Ash-gate) that likely ranks second, in recent times, only to the poisoning of Flint, Michigan's drinking water.

McCrory's Ash-gate vulnerability was previously touched upon by Desi Doyen in a February 2015 Green News Report. After covering both a massive spill of 39 tons of toxic coal ash into North Carolina's Dan River in February 2014 and criminal charges leveled by federal prosecutors against Duke Energy for violations of the Clean Water Act in relation to the company's North Carolina projects dating back to 2010, Doyen quoted a report from WRAL-TV Raleigh (emphasis added):

The administration of Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican who worked at Duke for 29 years, then proposed what environmentalists derided as a "sweetheart deal" under which the Charlotte-based company worth more than $50 billion would have paid fines of just $99,111 to settle violations over toxic groundwater leeching from two of its plants. That agreement, which included no requirement that Duke immediately stop or clean up the pollution, was pulled amid intense criticism after the Dan River spill.

McCrory's Democratic opponent, Roy Cooper, has served as NC's elected Attorney General since 2001. He is not only well-positioned to appeal to those whose very right to participate in our democracy had been threatened by McCrory's failed, Jim Crow-like voter suppression scheme, but has also launched a powerful TV ad (video posted below) highlighting the latest revelations concerning whether the McCrory administration may have fraudulently concealed the dangers to public health posed by the presence of Duke Energy's toxic coal ash in their drinking water...

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




Plaintiffs seek emergency relief after state officials use deception, intimidation against voters. Should AG Ken Paxton be held in contempt?...
UPDATE: Court schedules Sept. 19 hearing on plaintiffs' emergency motions...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/9/2016 11:15am PT  

Following a recent court-approved agreement entered between the state of Texas and challengers to its unlawful Photo ID voting restriction, the plaintiffs are now back in court after state Republicans, including the state's Attorney General, appear to be skirting the remedies they had previously agreed to.

Both the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) and the private plaintiffs in Veasey v. Abbott are now seeking emergency relief to prevent the state from utilizing a deceptive scheme that plaintiffs believe will serve to intimidate and disenfranchise voters despite the court-ordered remedies agreed to by all parties just weeks ago.

The remedies, which promised to restore voting rights to hundreds of thousands of Texans this November, were an encouraging sign for voting rights advocates. The outlook for the Presidential Election was suddenly much brighter for Lone Star State voters. At least until now.

Two separate motions, one filed by the DoJ and the other by the private Veasey plaintiffs, allege that Texas Republicans, including the state's Attorney General Ken Paxton, have resorted to deception and intimidation in what appears to be a bad faith effort to prevent or at least discourage those who lack state-approved photo IDs from casting a regular vote on November 8. Both motions seek emergency relief from the District Court, but stop short of what may be an appropriate request that the AG be ordered to show cause as to why he should not be held in contempt of court...

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




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