If you want to see pure madness in action, ask a Republican friend about Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, the creator of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, who will face US Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) in one of the most high-profile races of the year.
Chances are, your Fox "News"-watching friend will turn beet-red within a half-second, swearing and sputtering about her supposed socialism and attacking her as the mascot of the Occupy movement. There's just something about Warren that sends the right into 'roid rage. Is it something she said --- or just something she represents?...
[Now UPDATED with commercial-free audio archives below!...]
Mike has the night off! So we're back guest hosting the nationally-syndicated Mike Malloy Show, and that means it's the RETURN OF "Friday the 13th! Nightmare on Malloy Street!"...
We'll be BradCasting all the horrors, LIVE from 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), coast-to-coast and around the globe from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE chat room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG, as usual, while we are on the air. Please stop by and join the fun while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)
POST-SHOW UPDATE: It was a nightmare indeed! You'll not want to miss a single, terrifying second! Lucky for you, all of those seconds are now posted below, commercial-free! It was a jam-packed show, with a LOT of good stuff! And, Mike returns Monday! Enjoy 'em all below...
In case you're wondering, it's not just The BRAD BLOG trying to warn folks on the Right, Left and everywhere in between of the pending disasters of our oft-failed, almost always wholly-unverified and quickly disappearing system of once-overseeable, theoretically-democratic system of electoral self-governance.
"We need good technology and we need good laws," said Barbara Simons. The retired IBM computer scientist and nationally known expert on voting technology is co-author of a new book, Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count? which details America's history of voting machinery and election administration, and concludes that many states have neither good technology nor good vote count rules.
"We are running elections in this country as if we are still in the 19th century," she said. "The results are announced and there is no verification. At minimum, we should be doing manual post-election ballot audits for all major elections whether or not the results are close, because there even could be a major problem with an election with a wide margin."
Rosenfeld covers a lot of ground in his piece, so you should read it in full.
That said, as much ground as he covers, he and the experts he quotes still manage to understate the concerns, while failing to define what, in nearly a decade on this beat we have found, so far, to be the only apparent solution: Hand-marked paper ballots counted publicly, by hand, on Election Night, at the precinct, in front of all parties, observers and video cameras, with decentralized results posted at those precincts, before ballots are allowed to move anywhere.
You have been warned. Again.
Now back to your bickering about off-shore bank accounts and "socialism", or whatever it is you feel your time is better spent on between now and November 6.
Far be it for me to call TPM's Josh Marshall "stupid". It just makes a more eye-catching headline in this case. And it also happens to be a fact, as I see it, that Romney's refusal to release his tax returns from any year prior to 2010, and especially his local state return from 2010, is about hiding evidence of a felony crime, as much or likely more than it is about hiding embarrassing details of off-shore bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Switzerland, etc.
Josh argued yesterday that the latter is the reason for the presumptive GOP nominee's continuing refusal to publicly disclose those tax returns. It's almost certainly a part of the campaign's calculations and, as he posits convincingly in his blog item headlined "Kryptonite", hard visual confirmation of Romney's foreign tax shelters would be difficult to shake off with explanations to Mr. and Mrs. America.
But the use of legal off-shore tax shelters can be massaged through the "conservative" "messaging" machine with a legitimate-sounding case that avoidance of federal taxes is somehow a patriotic "conservative" duty and/or otherwise yet another example of Romney's keen business insight and smart, fully legal fiscal discipline which every American should someday aspire to.
What cannot be so easily brushed off or propagandized away --- not without completely undermining the current culmination of the GOP's nearly-decade long effort in creating the imaginary notion of massive Democratic "voter fraud" which must be rectified immediately with polling place Photo ID restrictions (actually little more than the GOP's attempt to suppress the legitimate Democratic-leaning vote while preventing almost no existing voter fraud) --- is the likelihood that those tax returns would reveal indisputable evidence that this year's GOP standard-bearer is an actual voter fraud felon himself...
(By the way, Des will once again be sitting in today, Friday, co-hosting along with TYT top dog Cenk Uygur during the 4p-5p ET / 1p-2p PT hour. I'll try to remember to post the LIVE FEED here at The BRAD BLOG, but either way you can watch the full hour live at TheYoungTurks.com.)
A bunch of highlights from yesterday's two hours, on a bunch of topics covered --- from the health care ruling, to the RW push to close the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, to eating bugs to save the world, to new news on the Miami 'zombie' who tried to eat a guy's face --- all follow below. Enjoy!...
Props to CNN's Soledad O'Brien for her dogged attempt to get an actual answer from Romney's Senior Advisor (and former Commerce Secretary) Carlos Gutierrez as to whether the presumptive GOP nominee supports Arizona's controversial "papers please" law, in light of yesterday's SCOTUS ruling striking down most of the law, but allowing the most controversial part of it to stand (for now.)
If the rest of the media insisted on actual answers from politicians and their surrogates before moving on (talking to you David Gregory), we might actually move the ball forward occasionally.
For the record, Romney has previously called AZ's SB1070, the law that was largely struck down yesterday, a "model" for the nation. But I guess we all get to pretend he didn't for a while, as he tries to Etch-a-Sketch his way out of the extremist positions he staked out in hopes of winning the GOP primaries.
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Summer of Fire in the US; Summer of Floods in the UK; Fracking FAIL: Gasland's Josh Fox exposes new info on the dangers of natural gas fracking --- again; PLUS: Good news --- and bad news --- on rising sea levels in the US... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): BREAKING: U.S. Appeals Court upholds EPA greenhouse gas emission rules; NREL: US could be 80% renewable by 2050; Midwestern drought intensifies; Louisiana school voucher students taught creationism; Canada: Harper Admin seeks to "authorize" water pollution; SCOTUS: Can EPA regulate mud from logging roads?; Will US join Law of the Sea Treaty? ... PLUS: The Battle Over Climate Science --- death threats, hate mail, nuisance lawsuits, political attacks. How much worse can it get? ... and much, MUCH more! ...
So, remember way back in the not-so-cold month of January when, on the night of the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucuses the GOP announced Mitt Romney as the "winner"? And then, a couple of days later when, thanks to publicly counted hand-marked paper ballots used by the GOP for their own caucuses across the entire state, a Ron Paul supporter was able to come forward to point out that the GOP had reported inaccurate Caucus Night tallies on their website? And then, several weeks later when the GOP was forced to admit their previously reported tallies were indeed wrong, and the citizens who actually witnessed the counting on Caucus Night with their own eyes were right and that, in fact, Santorum, not Romney had actually received the most votes?
Well, funny thing. Over the weekend, at the Iowa GOP State Convention, neither Santorum nor Romney was the winner. The winner of the state of Iowa --- at least the man who will have, by far, the most delegates representing him at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August --- is Ron Paul. Thanks to Paul supporters turning out in droves at district, county and then the state convention, Paul will have 21 of the state's 25 delegates at the RNC in August. And Iowa is not the only state where that has been happening.
Last week while I was guest hosting the nationally-syndicated Mike Malloy Show, I interviewed Presidential historian, author and Ron Paul Campaign Senior Advisor Doug Wead about the fascinating strategy, and extraordinary, even violent push-back (see here and here for just two examples caught on video) from the GOP establishment against the Ronulans turning out in democratic support of their candidate at these conventions. And almost all of it seems to be quietly happening well below the MSM radar at GOP state convention after GOP state convention.
If you missed the interview last week, I ran the bulk of it again yesterday (slightly shortened) on my KPFK/Pacifica show here in Los Angeles. Afterwards a ton of callers phoned in --- from all sorts of political viewpoints --- in response.
Wead was coy in responding to my questions about what Paul's game is precisely, and he wouldn't answer directly when I pressed him (twice) as to whether Paul was still seeking the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination or something else entirely, but the conversation was often quite revealing --- particularly (and here I'm not quite sure Wead is reading Paul's supporters accurately), when he finally suggested that "the son also rises".
Give it a listen. I'd certainly welcome responses from all of you, Paul supporters or otherwise!
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Raging wildfires turn deadly in the West; More frequent wildfires predicted in coming years... while Mitt Romney campaigns against hiring more firefighters; VA GOP banishes the words 'sea level rise''; PLUS: 2012: Hottest spring on record for the US .... All that CRAZY and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Global investment in renewable energy at record high; Health care costs of coal; IEA Report: Natural Gas Is Not The Answer To Climate Problem; Florida: Blockade to Save Community from Fracking Industry; Honeybee decline linked to killer virus; Romney energy plan includes drilling in national parks; BP sues to obtain oil spill scientists' emails; Simulating 3,000 years into the future ... PLUS: Report: Humans near tipping point that could dramatically change Earth ... and much, MUCH more! ...
We covered the subject of wealth acquisition by the likes of Charles Koch and Mitt Romney in "Wealth vs. Democracy and the 2012 Presidential Campaign" --- "outsourcing, manipulations of the financial markets, of government and our laws" --- not as character flaws but as variants of the behaviors one can anticipate from their class.
As we approach the Fall campaign, we can anticipate a propaganda blitz that is based on variations of a line from the song "If I Were a Rich Man" of Fiddler on the Roof --- "When you're rich, they think you really know."
No doubt we will hear, time and again, that Mitt "Gordon Gekko" Romney's wealth acquisition is a testament to his business savvy that will equate to jobs creation. Against that backdrop is this short video (below) in which Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, provides a succinct rebuttal to the jobs scam canard...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: The deepest well ever dug; Cyber-attacks on the US natgas pipeline industry; Romney makes big promises to Big Oil; RFK Jr. fights Big Coal in Portland; Schizo Fox 'News' now says lower gas prices are a bad thing; PLUS: It's official: the last 12 months were the hottest on record in the US .... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Oil spill in Antarctica; VT poised to be first state to outlaw fracking; CBO: Boosting Oil Production Won’t Protect From Gasoline Price Shocks; Clean-Energy Requirements Targeted by ALEC, Norquist; Innovation: Inertial Seawave Energy Generator; Asian carp electric barrier loses power; Makers of flame retardants manipulate research findings; Anti-Wind Group Colludes on Fake Grassroots 'Subversion' Campaign ... PLUS: Flipping the Switch: First Solar Plant on Public Lands Now Delivering Power... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Poll shows Americans want clean energy, and are willing to pay for it; Mitt Romney, unclear on the concept of overfishing; Meet the nation's newest oil spill, now in Louisiana; Study criticizes federal pipeline oversight; Big Oil rolls in taxpayer dough, as America's wind energy industry begs for scraps; PLUS: Fox 'News' and hot air: No, wind farms do not cause global warming .... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): EPA offiical resigns over controversial remarks; ALEC plans $$$ campaign to take down state renewable energy targets; Fracking sand threatens drilling workers; Coal's future in US is rocky at best; Nuclear industry, regulators 'foot-dragging' on basic safety measures; IBM's 500-mile range electric car battery; Ocean plastic pollution: far worse than reported; Global water cycle changing faster than predicted; 'The Killing Agency': Wildlife agency kills indiscriminately & illegally... PLUS: AEI Scholar: “Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem”... and much, MUCH more! ...
"If we play Russian Roulette with the Supreme Court," Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) said during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, "if we confirm a nominee who has not demonstrated a commitment to core constitutional values, we jeopardize our rights as individuals and the future of our nation."
"We cannot undo such a mistake at the next election or even in the next generation," he warned. Too bad more of his Democratic colleagues failed to listen.
With four of the nine Supreme Court Justices now in their seventies, and the GOP Senate minority having bottled-up the Obama administration's nominations to the federal trial and intermediate appellate courts, the decision by the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, to select Robert Bork (see video below), founder of the ultra-radical, right-wing billionaire-funded Federalist Society as his chief legal adviser has turned the 2012 Presidential election into a new, and far more serious game of "Russian Roulette" --- one that would give the same forces that were behind the Bush v. Gore judicial coup and the infamous Citizens United decision a super majority on the Supreme Court.
The harm to the rule of law that would accompany the expansion from four
Supreme Court radicals in robes to seven could not be remedied, as Kennedy warned, by "the next election or even in the next generation"...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf, 2 years on: Bizarre mutations in the Gulf ecosystem; First criminal charges finally filed; BP's billion-dollar settlement on hold; PLUS: Never mind Earth Day --- Mitt Romney wants to double down on coal.... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Blight discovered on citrus tree in CA; CO2 Not all That Good for Plants; Senate Panel Unveils 2012 Farm Bill Overhaul; Fees and Anger Rise in CA Water War; Ban on Some Seafood Has Fishermen Fuming; EPA Battles Examined Through 'Documerica' Photos; 'Garbage' Chemical Threatens CA Valley Water; Mexico Reins in Oil Monopoly; Insurance Comapnies Face Increased Risks from Warming... PLUS: Top Donor Is Confident Romney Secretly Supports 'Climate-Change Controls' ... and much, MUCH more! ...
On Wednesday, by a bi-partisan vote of 26-3, the Vermont state Senate passed a resolution "calling for an amendment to the [U.S.] Constitution that corporations are not people and money is not speech and can be regulated in political campaigns" according to advocacy group, Move to Amend.
A majority of Senate Republicans joined with all of the Democrats in voting to approve the measure. The three nay votes came from Republicans after similar resolutions were passed in March by 64 different communities in Vermont.
In 2010, President Barack Obama blastedCitizens United as "devastating to the public interest." During his 2010 State of the Union Address, the President said the Court's decision would "open the floodgates for special interests --- including foreign corporations --- to spend without limit in our elections."
However, the President has, as yet, not offered a rejoinder to the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt "Gordon Gekko" Romney, by squarely stating that "corporations are not people!"
If the President followed Vermont's lead, would it portend to a Democratic landslide in November? Would the SCOTUS, faced with the prospect of a Constitutional Amendment that would put an end to corporate personhood altogether, feel pressured to either overrule or, at a minimum, curtail the reach of Citizens United?...