After an amazingly encouraging week or two, we head into the July 4th weekend with a whole bunch of stuff we've been trying to clear off our desk. Plus: Lots of breaking news and an encouraging ending for the weekend...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Oil companies heart Osama!; Record-breaking storms lead to record-breaking floods --- and exploding levees; Too little, too late?: a new tsunami wall for Fukushima; Big Oil spends millions to protect billions; PLUS: The role of climate change in last week's deadly storms ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Correlation or causation?: energy prices and US recessions; Court upholds CA's rights on federal auto emissions standards; Transparent solar panels to turn windows into generators; Shale gas and fracking unavoidable?; Response to blowout delayed despite PA plan for quick action; Study ranks food pathogens by cost to society; 21st century West to become even drier; Blowout could spill 58 mil. gallons in Arctic; Paper industry profits from pollution tax credits; Recycling resolution targets General Mills; "Mining is a loser" in practically every way; Cleaning up our air for World Asthma Day ... PLUS: The Real Reason Why Coca-Cola Isn't Ditching Bisphenol A ...
We don't normally do this, but since the entirety of the piece was so tremendously good; and, since it's so rare to see such an on-target OpEd on this topic in any major corporate news outlet; and, since St. Louis is our old hometown; and, since we've met with the MoHonest folks on a number of very pleasant occasions; and, since St. Louis County, the largest in MO, still shamefully uses 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems made by the oft-failed ES&S outfit in no small part because of this blog and this blogger's father; and, since the City of St. Louis still shamefully uses 100% unverifiable DRE systems made by Diebold; and, since much of the rest of the important "swing state" still shamefully uses similarly 100% unverifiable voting systems; and, since both fake "voting rights advocate" (really, top GOP vote suppression scam artist) Thor Hearne, and Bush's horrific U.S. Election Assistance Commission chair (now, Internet Voting huckster) Paul DeGregorio both live there and don't give a damn that voters in the state use such oft-failed, easily-manipulated, fully-unverfiable voting systems; and, since more people are likely to read the full article here than at the the Post; rather than just linking to the editorial, or quoting a few grafs, we're gonna run it in full below.
Please read it, and consider writing similar for your major newspaper in your hometown (and then watch them not publish it)...
Seems highly unlikely for the national general counsel of Bush/Cheney '04 Inc., who knowingly misled Congress on that point and many others. But perhaps after our years dogging him and detailing his lies and phony agenda working to keep legal (Democratic-leaning) citizens from being able to exercise their legal right to vote, he's gotten tired of being the poster boy for the Republican's anti-democracy campaign.
I'll be appearing for a Q&A in St. Louis on Tuesday (12/15 @ 7:30pm), after a screening of Patty Sharaf's award-winning documentary, Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story featuring both myself, and our reporting here at The BRAD BLOG on the Republican computer programmer turned vote-rigging whistleblower.
Hope you'll stop by and say hello! Here's a flier [PDF] if you're in the hood and feel like helping to spread the word!
(NOTE: If you're not near St. Louis, or even if you are, but would like to support our work, we are still offering DVDs of the film, as signed by both myself and Sharaf, as premiums to supporters of The BRAD BLOG. We enjoy no corporate or foundational funding, so we appreciate whatever you are able to offer to help us continue our work. See this item for details...)
Yesterday I posted what I learned while driving across Kansas. Someone asked in comments if I'd seen "Any Obama=Hitler type signs yet?" Well, here's what we saw today while driving across Missouri (my home state, I'm sorry to say) just outside of Kansas City...
UPDATE 11/28/09:Jill C. at Brilliant at Breakfast on this billboard: "When leftists talked about revolution in the 1960's, we were called traitors. Today when the right wing does it, it's called patriotism."
So whatever happened to that expected indictment of former Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL) and alleged vote-rigging conspirator for, among other things, his 2003 Abramoff-funded junket to play golf in St. Andrews, Scotland?
The other two Congressman who took the trips with the disgraced, imprisoned Republican uber-lobbyist have been held, at least, partially to account (Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) spent time in jail, Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) is still facing related indictments in Texas). Feeney ran a sad "apology" commercial --- five years later --- during his unsuccessful re-election bid in 2008, but since then has so-far escaped real accountability for that, and the many other allegations of corruption that helped see him listed as among Congress' "Most Corrupt" for four years running.
So what happened to Feeney's indictment? A D.C. Court of Appeals decision from February (as we reported at the time, when we also noted Feeney is now being repped by Karl Rove's criminal attorney) was finally unsealed last week likely explaining the answer --- at least for the delay of such an indictment...
Federal agencies were involved in the decision to raid the office of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in Nevada last October, just weeks before Election Day, the offices of Nevada’s Secretary of State and Attorney General say.
The allegations raise questions of whether politics played a part in the raid and calls into question assertions by the US Attorney’s office that they were uninvolved. Federal guidelines instruct agencies investigating election fraud to avoid action that might impact the elective process.
Bob Walsh, a spokesman for Nevada’s Secretary of State, and Edie Cartwright, a spokeswoman for Nevada’s Attorney General, said that not only were the Nevada US Attorney’s Office and the FBI involved in investigating Nevada ACORN on allegations of voter registration fraud but that all four agencies jointly made the decision to conduct the raid. Both the investigation and the raid were conducted as part of the joint federal-state Election Integrity Task Force announced last July, the spokespersons said.
The electronic voting problems in the 2008 election are broader than recently-publicized snafus such as machines not turning on, voter databases omitting names, or touch screens not properly recording votes, according to an analysis of 1,700 incident reports from the nation's largest voter hotline.
Moreover, the voting machine issues and the confusion they caused among poll workers appear to have compounded the delays faced by untold thousands of voters this fall, a preliminary analysis of 1-800-OUR-VOTE reports by Joseph Lorenzo Hall, a researcher at Princeton University and the University of California, has found...
Remember yesterday when we told you about the transcript of the Fox & Friends show yesterday morning, discussing the bogus raid of an ACORN office in Las Vegas, and then implying "more" ACORN "voter fraud" occurring in Missouri? The RNC actually issued that transcript verbatim as an official RNC press release. Remember when we told you that, given the hints within the RNC/FNC report that swing state MO was likely next on the RNC/FNC/FBI hit-list?
Well, late last night, AP delivered right on schedule, open their story with "Officials in Missouri...are sifting through possibly hundreds of questionable or duplicate voter-registration forms submitted by an advocacy group that has been accused of election fraud in other states."
The report quotes GOP tool & Jackson County (Kansas City), MO election director, Charlene Davis complaining they are "bogged down" with registrations right now, and insinuating that it's ACORN causing the problem for them.
Of course, as with the pageant staged in Las Vegas, the Missouri action is also a scam. Read a little closer into the AP article, and you'll see the tell-tale signs of this October "Surprise" joke rather clearly...
The RNC isn't even trying to pretend like they are independent from their media arm, Fox "News", anymore, apparently.
Here's today's RNC press release. It's, quite literally, a transcript of this morning's Fox & Friends, wherein the FNC/RNC clowns "report" on yesterday's PR stunt/raid on a Las Vegas ACORN office and then, for good measure, prime the pump for yet another similar raid in Missouri (another swing state, go figure.) Needless to say, it's utter stuff and nonsense, with zero evidence of "criminality" by ACORN --- as explained in our coverage yesterday, all civic organizations are required by law to turn over ANY signed voter registration applications even when they are known to have problems -- and includes plenty of unsubstantiated hearsay and garbage, as if it were actually fact. So, naturally, it's been released as a press release by the RNC, as is.
Unless they find that yesterday's PR stunt in NV has blown up on them (and it might, as folks, even some in the corporate media, are beginning to understand what a desperate scam this GOP "voter fraud" hoax really is) we'll expect a similar stunt or two, akin to the one in Vegas, soon in MO, OH, and anywhere the GOP feels they need a phony reason to challenge elections, intimidate voters, and otherwise cause havoc at the polls before, during and even after Election Day.
Earlier today, I was reminded that similar nonsense occurred just days prior to the 2004 Presidential Election, when the wingnuts falsely reported that ACORN had registered a terrorist to vote in Ohio. And, of course, the DoJ famously violated it's own written rules when it brought similar "voter fraud" charges against ACORN workers just days before the '06 election.
Why do these people hate democracy? Oh, yeah, because if legal voters are actually allowed to vote, and to have their vote counted accurately, the Republicans will lose. At least this year. So, let's hear it one more time for modern-day Republican Deity Paul Weyrich who sent out this year's marching orders some 28 years ago (the video is 40 seconds, but it should tell you just about all you need to know)...
It shouldn't be necessary --- at least if we had a corporate media which did their Constitutionally-protected jobs --- but since ACORN doesn't have the budget of FNC/RNC, here's an ACORN press statement, issued late this afternoon, concerning the bogus Vegas raid/PR stunt yesterday...
KPFK is heard at 90.7FM in Los Angeles and 98.7FM in Santa Barbara and streams live on the net at KPFK.org. Please tune in, stream in, and call-in at 818-985-5735, if you like.
Post-Show Update: Thanks to both Phil Lindsey and Dean Logan for joining me today. It was a very good and informative hour, if I say so myself. So informative, in fact, that someone called in to complain after the show that I wasn't tough enough on Logan. Okay. You can decide for yourself if I was, or wasn't, or if he even deserved it this time out. The archive follows. I appreciate that he showed up and took questions. We've got to work with election officials, folks. Period. Even as we hold feet to the fire.
This story is unfrickin'-believable. Or maybe it isn't. It took place in Thor Hearne country, after all. And though she didn't get arrested and thrown in jail, a similar incident happened to the Missouri Secretary of State during the 2006 election.
A voter in Kansas City on Tuesday --- one I happen to know, because he's an Election Integrity advocate in the Show Me State --- was arrested and sent to jail after he refused to show a driver's license at the polling place before attempting to vote during the state's Primary Election.
He told me, via email late last night, that he's been in close touch with MO Secretary of State Robin Carnahan following the incident, and that both local media and folks such as nationally syndicated radio host Thom Hartmann have been in touch with him since the story broke last night. He was surprised, but pleased, that the incident has received so much coverage already. [UPDATE: Local Fox affiliate now covering here, for example.]
Never mind that requiring a voter to show a driver's license in MO before he or she can vote was found unconstitutional in 2006. Never mind that he showed the pollworkers a perfectly legal and proper precinct-issued voter ID card when he went to vote. Never mind that he had even called to check with the local Board of Elections before going to vote, to make sure that the ID would be acceptable. Never mind that he even brought a copy of the MO law to show the pollworkers who had demanded a driver's license (much as they had done, illegally, in a previous election he'd voted in).
The cops were called, and he ended up going to jail anyway. The charge on the citation: "Did knowingly cause a disturbance/disorderly conduct to wit: acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another, placing such person(s) in fear of safety by refusing to show proper I. D. when voting"...
Wall Street Journal (subs. req'd) reports Bradley Schlozman, one of the DoJ's GOP "voter fraud" operatives, who was inserted as US Attorney in Missouri just in time to bring "voter registration fraud" indictments just days before a major election, may be heading for more trouble...
Justice Department lawyers have filed a grand-jury referral stemming from the 2006 U.S. attorneys scandal, according to people familiar with the probe, a move indicating that the yearlong investigation may be entering a new phase.
The grand-jury referral, the first time the probe has moved beyond the investigative phase, relates to allegations of political meddling in the Justice Department's civil-rights division, these people say. Specifically, it focuses on possible perjury by Bradley Schlozman, who served a year as interim U.S. attorney in Kansas City, Mo.
The article goes on to say it's unclear which of Schlozzie's comments --- characterized by one BRAD BLOG DoJ source, at the time, as "on the razor's edge of perjury" --- that prosecutors are specifically focusing on.
Perhaps it could be the moment seen in the video at right? (But, even if not, the clip featuring an outraged Rep. Patrick Leahy, is always worth watching again!)
After his testimony, Schlozman, who had passed the buck, claiming he was "acting at the direction of the [DoJ's] Public Integrity section," suggesting that they had given him the go-ahead to violate DoJ rules disallowing election-related indictments just prior to elections, was forced to offer a retraction to that part of his testimony.
Today's WSJ article also notes: "Separate investigations into the department's handling of the prosecutor firings and related issues, which are being conducted by the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility and the Inspector General, are expected to be completed within the next few weeks."
Looks like it could be a long hot summer for Schlozzie. Or the DoJ could bury it entirely. At this point in the Bush Adminstration, it's anyone's guess how, or if, the DoJ works at all.
'We the People' Win, as Thor Hearne's MO Voter Suppression Attempt Fails; von Spakovsky Withdraws FEC Nomination; TN to Require Paper Ballots; AZ Agrees to Follow Law, Perform Voter Registration at Public Facilities...
On the federal level, GOP voter-fraud zealot Hans von Spakovsky (cue evil music), finally withdrew his nomination to the FEC, which had been blocked by Sens. Obama and Feingold. The standoff had kept the FEC from have the required quorum of commissioners needed to do business in a crucial election year. With vS out of the way, perhaps a responsible, pro-voter set of commissioners can now take their place. But we'll see. Rick Hasen has the outlook. Either way, it's another very big victory.
In Tennessee, both houses have approved a bill to require a paper ballot for every vote cast! The bill has to go back to conference to work out one last point, but given its extraordinary success in both houses (it passed unanimously this week in the state Senate!) it's likely to be enacted quickly. This is a huge win for the tireless Election Integrity citizen heroes on the ground in TN, and a loss for the pro-machine, pro-invisible/unverifiable ballot crowd there, including Davidson County's Republican Election Commissioner Lynn Greer, who once told me, after I attended a meeting there, that "paper is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on this country." Apparently he was serious. The good news: the responsible folks in the state disagree with him. The bad news: the requirement for paper ballots won't take effect until 2010. But we'll take what we can get!
Finally, in Arizona, as Steve Rosenfeld, as one of my guests yesterday while I was guest hosting The Peter B. Collins Show told us, the DoJ has finally settled a lawsuit against the state where Sec. of State Jan Brewer, who once called Election Integrity advocates "anarchists" and "conspiracy theorists" has been doing everything she could, for years, to keep legitimate voters from being able to properly cast their ballots and have them counted accurately. The state has now finally agreed to follow the law (National Voter Registration Act of 1993, known as the NVRA or the "Motor Voter Bill") by performing voter registration services at public assistance facilities such as welfare clinics.
We spoke about most of the breaking good news above last night on the PBC Show (audio archive here), and will try, for the next few hours at least, to enjoy some of the great news, for a change, on several fronts in the continuing Republican War on Voting.
By way of late update, MO sources tell The BRAD BLOG that the Republicans' state Constitutional Amendment to require draconian proof of citizenship and photo ID in order to cast a legal vote --- which the MO SoS reports could disenfranchise as many as 240,000 legal Show-Me State voters --- is still likely to come up for a vote today in the MO Senate, as this is the last day of the legislative session before recess.
All eyes were on developments on the floor until the early hours last night, when the Senate was still in session as of 2:30am, even as Columbia Tribune reports there may be attempts to amend the language to make the Constitutional revision more "palatable" by allowing for the disenfranchisement to not take place until 2010, instead of this November.
The Senate session is scheduled to end today at 6pm CT, and we're monitoring the situation. We hope to have an update tonight when we'll be guest hosting the Peter B. Collins Show at 5pm PT (7pm CT ).
Advocates for democracy (small "d") are still urging Missouri residents to call their Senators to ask them to vote NO on HJR48, which could be all the GOP needs to keep the important swing-state in the R column this fall! Here's the details you'll need...