Hurricane Sandy demolished the policies of individual greed that found their most absurd application in Mitt Romney's prior proposal to privatize disaster relief. The super storm tested the inner resolve and character of a Republican governor, who was forced to choose between the doctrinaire insanity required by his dirty energy billionaire benefactors and responsible governance that, of necessity, includes coordination of critical disaster relief between federal, state and local agencies.
If there's a silver lining to be found in the death and devastation, it exists in how disaster can bring out the best in individuals operating together as a community and in the public function of government of, by and for the people...
[UPDATE: As of 6:00pm PT, the KPOJ website has now flipped to "Fox Sports AM 620 Portland".]
This is horrible. Tonight, without warning, Clear Channel Communications-owned 620 AM KPOJ in Portland, Oregon, one of the most progressive cities in one of the nation's most progressive states, has flipped from its years-long progressive news and talk format over to Fox Sports as of 5:30pm local time.
KPOJ was the only commercial progressive talk radio station in Portland. The city will still have several other Rightwing talk radio stations, including one owned by Clear Channel, and they already have two sports stations, but the Bain Capital-owned media conglomerate is now killing yet another progressive voice from our publicly-owned airwaves.
The BRAD BLOG can now confirm that KPOJ has flipped its programming format and website to Fox Sports as of 6:00pm PT tonight.
When one company owns "competing" talk radio stations in the same town, and gets to decide which one enjoys a stronger signal and which one receives promotional dollars (and which one doesn't), "competition" in the market place is a mirage. It's the equivalent of a Coca-Cola distributor owning the sole rights to distribute both Coke and Pepsi in the same town. Which one do you think is going to sell better there? That's precisely what talk radio is like in almost every major market in the country now. One company, usually Clear Channel, generally owns both the "Right" and "Left" talk stations. (In Portland, Clear Channel owns Rightwing talk outlet KEX as well as KPOJ.) Promoting one station would likely decrease listeners and ratings --- and, thus, ad dollars --- for the other. Thus, there is no "free market" competition in talk radio.
This is hardly the first time that Clear Channel has done the same thing, in very progressive cities, underscoring yet again that there is no real, "free market" competition in talk radio over our publicly-owned airwaves. The market place is decidedly rigged...
That said...Fox' Chris Wallace just reported he heard from the Romney campaign "who is unhappy with us for calling Ohio for Barack Obama". Karl Rove makes a case that Romney can still win Ohio, says the call by Fox is "premature". In a trip to the Fox 'News' "Decision Desk" room, Megyn Kelly is told by their statistician that there aren't enough votes out there for Romney to win. The "Decision Desk" says they are "99.95%" certain.
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: With Hurricane Sandy recovery underway, Bloomberg endorses Obama, Romney is heckled, and the impacts of climate change finally begin to dawn on corporate media and public officials; PLUS: Planning ahead for a climate changed future ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): CIA's Climate Change Security Report Delayed Due To Hurricane Sandy; Winter Storm May Hit In Early November, Possibly On Election Day; Energy company CEO: Why do we have to talk about climate change today?; Australia Rejects Calls From The Fossil Fuel Industry To Roll Back 20 Percent Renewable Energy Target; Exxon And Shell Earn $54 Billion So Far In 2012, After Taking $800 Million In Annual Tax Breaks; KFC UK will no longer source from Asia Pulp & Paper ... PLUS: The Onion: Nation Suddenly Realizes This Just Going To Be A Thing That Happens From Now On ... and much, MUCH more! ...
The Rightwing finally choked on their own internal feedback loop last night. Mitt Romney paid the price for it. It could be a big one.
During the 2nd Presidential debate, as Obama responded to the phony Rightwing charge that it took him two weeks to refer to the deaths of four U.S. State Department officials in Benghazi, Libya as an act of terror, I tweeted the moment this way: "Obama's best answer of the night was on Libya."
When Romney took the bait and fell back on a false Fox "News" talking point, only to be corrected by the moderator, I followed with: "Candy Crowley does LIVE fact-checking! He DID call it an act of terror. #Journalism!" and then, as Romney kept digging: "Boom. Libya discussion just makes TOP of every post-debate wrap" and finally "If he doesn't screw up hereafter, Obama may have just won the Presidency in that Libya moment."
Here was the moment in question...
Indeed, as I also noted on Twitter just afterwards, the President had, in fact, referred to Benghazi as "an act of terror" during his first statement on the tragedy on the day following the incident.
Here's a helpful mashup of Romney stepping in it last night, contrasted next to Obama's actual Rose Garden comments from 9/12/12:
Adam Sewer at Mother Jones offers about as good of an explanation as I've seen for what I believe will be regarded as Romney's historic debate failure, and why the Right was finally hoisted publicly on their own insulated petard.
To put a sharper point on what went so desperately wrong for them, and what will continue to go wrong on the Right until they break out of their Karl Rove "we create our own reality", Fox "News" internal feedback loop trance, Rightwingers would have been far better served here if they had bothered to heed the advice that was also ignored by Tony "Scarface" Montana: "Don't get high on your own supply."
For the historic record, Obama referred to the Libya attack as an "act of terror" both on the day following the attack and then again on the day afterward. The direct quotes of both of those responses follow below...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Debating the future - contrasting the candidates on energy; Obama fast-tracks solar on public lands; Car battery maker goes bankrupt; PLUS: It's official: September 2012 was the hottest month ever. Ever, people! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Corn Belt Shifts North With Climate as Kansas Crop Dies; TEPCO admits Fukushima was avoidable; New Study Ties Hurricane Strength To Global Warming; Keystone XL pipeline opponents turn to civil disobedience; Iraq to invest up to $1.6 bln in solar and wind ... PLUS: World's biggest geoengineering experiment 'violates' UN rules ... and much, MUCH more! ...
Fox "News" is now informing their viewers to get ready for President Mitt Romney! It's gonna be a rout this November, according to the Rightwing media outlet's latest "updated election forecasting model" for the November 2012 election.
That "model" today includes Romney winning every single swingstate, with the exception of Nevada. That would include Romney wins in Pennsylvania, where the TPM PollTracker average currently has Obama up by 4.4 points, and Wisconsin, where Obama is reportedly up by 8.5 points in TPM's combined poll average. (See all of TPM PollTracker's swingstate averages here).
So here's what all of that now looks like today in Fox "News" World...
To be sure, Romney has seen a significant bump in pre-election national polling on the heels of last week's first Presidential Debate. There is still a dearth of reliable state-by-state polls since the debate, however, that might lead to Fox' predictions seen above. Nonetheless, they're now on the record trumpeting the upcoming Romney Landslide.
Most importantly here: Anything can now happen on Election Day. There will be no "anomalies" in the computer-reported results, because, as Fox and their paid analyst Karl Rove will be happy to remind you on Election Night, "[Fill in the state] had been predicted to go for Romney for some time".
Some, such as National Journal's Matt Vasilogambros, who posted the above graphic today on Twitter today, are "LOL"ing about it. I'm not so sure this Fox "News" flag plant will necessarily prove to be quite as amusing as some of the Twitterati are regarding it as today.
Fox "News" has finally decided to cover the widening GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal. Sort of. Barely. And they've decided to include me in their coverage.
It took more than a week, and it was becoming embarrassing that they hadn't said a word about the national scandal rocking the Republican National Committee, so they had to say something because, ya know, "Fair and Balanced" and all.
I was interviewed by their "voter fraud" correspondent Eric Shawn late last week for use on Thursday night's Special Report with Bret Baier. He ended up running lengthier excerpts from the interview the following day on of their afternoon shows.
The video of both packages are posted in full below.
I was first interviewed by Anastasia Churkina of RT America, the English language Russian-sponsored cable and satellite news outlet in the U.S., about the failed e-voting systems in this country (and the failed U.S. corporate media as well) back before the 2008 election.
Here we are, four years later, and Churkina has put together another report or RT, for which I was interviewed again, on the same e-voting and e-tabulation concerns. Four years later and things are arguably no better in the U.S. than they were then, except that now we all know even more about the dangers of the oft-failed, easily-manipulated systems which tally votes in all 50 states --- while still having done almost nothing about it. Her new report ran Friday on RT, and afterwards I was interviewed live, via Skype, about it on their Evening News program.
As I noted earlier this week, when running CBS4 Miami's excellent first-in-a-series investigative report on the issue, focus on the serious concerns about computer tabulation failure and malfeasance have been largely lost this year, once again, amidst the continuing (and necessary) focus on rampant GOP voter suppression efforts. So it's nice to see at least a few outlets keeping their eye on this particular ball, even if it always comes way too late --- just weeks before the election --- to do much about it, other than to raise a bit of needed awareness.
Here's Churkina's very good pre-taped RT special report...
And here's my subsequent live interview following it, on the RT Evening News with anchor Kristine Frazao. Appropriately, a few computer issues, at a key moment, made the interview a bit more difficult, if instructive...
* * *
P.S. For those who may have noticed, yes, I was also interviewed by (gasp!) Fox "News" this week on the latest in the GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal. The interview, by their "voter fraud" reporter Eric Shawn, was pre-taped and then parts of it were used first on Special Report with Bret Baier Thursday night, and then a longer portion on one of their afternoon shows on Friday in a separate package. I hope to share both of those videos with you, and, knowing me, a few thoughts on them as well --- as soon as I can get to 'em...
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that Ohio must make early voting during the three days before the election available to all voters if it's available to military members and voters who live overseas. The ruling upheld a lower court's decision.
"The State's asserted goal of accommodating the unique situation of members of the military, who may be called away at a moment's notice in service to the nation, is certainly a worthy and commendable goal," the court ruled. "However, while there is a compelling reason to provide more opportunities for military voters to cast their ballots, there is no corresponding satisfactory reason to prevent non-military voters from casting their ballots as well."
In short, the attempt by Ohio Republicans to keep Democratic-leaning voters, who turned out in droves to support Obama in 2008 on the final weekend before Election Day from voting, has failed yet again.
A 3-judge panel on the 6th Circuit of Appeals has upheld, as our legal analyst Ernie Canning describes it, "every aspect of" the lower court's ruling in August. The ruling comes as yet another stinging defeat for Ohio Republicans and Sec. of State Jon Husted (R) and their attempt to restrict voting rights in the Buckeye State. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling is available here [PDF].
This case began as an attempt by the Obama campaign and Democrats to restore voting rights removed by Republicans, for no reason other than to disenfranchise voters. It became widely public, as a blatant lie by the editor of Breitbart.com who lied about Obama attempting to keep military voters from being able to vote. It was then advanced by Fox "News" and even the Romney campaign who repeated the lie, and it all recently culminated in an apology to the court by Ohio's Secretary of State who had attempted to ignore the lower court's ruling which was ultimately upheld today.
Despite all of those embarrassments, and today's latest court victory, there remains a bit of wiggle room for the OH GOP if they still wish to attempt to keep voters --- or, as the Republican Party Chair and Election Board Commissioner of Franklin County (Columbus), OH put it, " the urban --- read African American --- voter-turnout machine" --- from exercising their right to vote during the final three days before the November 6th Presidential Election...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Paul Ryan lies about the Keystone XL pipeline; Arctic scientist cleared, Fox forgot to tell you; The Monsanto Effect: GMO crops cause a rise in superbugs and superweeds; Carmageddon 2's silver lining; PLUS: America's wilderness to remain wild --- for now ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Fracking: casualties of Chesapeake's "land grab" across America; Fish May Shrink as Oceans Warm; Oregon: Return of White Salmon Marks River’s New Direction; The eco=footprint of bio-fuels: study; The 'true cost' of electricity: fossil fuels vs. wind & solar; EPA rules create $5 of good for each $1 they cost; Obama vs. Romney: A Stark Contrast on the Environment ... PLUS: Half of Great Barrier Reef lost in 3 decades... and much, MUCH more! ...
A major element of the Republican National Committee's overall attempt to game the 2012 elections by trying to affect who gets to vote and who does not, has just been stopped dead in its tracks.
Along with it, a criminal election fraud complaint has now reportedly been filed with law enforcement in the state of Florida against a Republican firm, owned by a paid Mitt Romney consultant, which was hired by the GOP to carry out partisan voter registration operations in at least five battleground states.
Millions of dollars were spent on the aborted effort by the GOP over the last two months --- their largest single expenditure in several of the states where the scheme was in full tilt --- to seek out Romney supporters only, and sign them up to vote.
The strategy resulted in (or included) fraudulent registration forms collected by the firm and then submitted in Florida by the state GOP with voter addresses, signatures and party affiliations changed. Election officials in the state have told The BRAD BLOG that they fear the scheme could result in the disenfranchisement of a still-unknown number of otherwise legal voters, and they are taking extraordinary measures to try and contain the potential damage as they attempt to work through more than 45,000 new and updated registrations submitted by the GOP and verify their legitimacy.
The fraudulent voter registration forms have so far been discovered in "at least 11" FL counties at this hour, all submitted by the state Republican Party and collected by the RNC's top voter registration firm, a shell company formed in June called Strategic Allied Consulting, as owned by a notorious GOP operative named Nathan Sproul.
On Thursday night, the RNC finally fired the firm which they'd paid more than $3 million dollars over the past two months alone, for voter registration work in at least five key battleground states, and "Get Out the Vote" efforts in at least two more.
But, despite the efforts by the RNC and Strategic Allied Consulting, run secretly by Romney's paid political consultant, the 2012 GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, which The BRAD BLOG initially reported late last Tuesday night as it began to break, is not over yet. Not by a long shot...
The original appearance was set to discuss the FL GOP firing the firm on Tuesday after more than 100 apparently fraudulent voter registration applications --- with addresses and party affiliations changed, as well as other defects --- were discovered in Palm Beach County, FL. But by air time, the NC GOP had also fired the group, and then the RNC jumped in to do same late yesterday after their firm was reportedly discovered to have been registering dead people as new voters in another FL county.
If you've had trouble keeping up with this fast moving story, this 5-minute clip of my appearance on Hartmann's TV show last night should bring you generally up to speed with what's going on...
Since that appearance, FL officials are now confirming "suspicious and possibly fraudulent voter registration forms" in "at least ten counties" in the state, which shatters the "one bad apple", "just one individual in Palm Beach" talking point which the AP had been helping both the RNC and Sproul's shell company, Strategic Allied Consulting, pass on to the public late last night.
There will be more on this, as the story continues to be both developing and fast moving. I'm working on pulling together several threads all at once over here, as there is evidence that this scandal is larger than just the five key battleground states (FL, NC, VA, NV, CO) acknowledged by the RNC, so far, where Sproul's firm was working. So your patience is appreciated as I work to make sense of what's really going on here.
One last note for now: Please notice that neither Brietbart's website, nor Fox "News", both of whom had pretended to be so concerned about "voter fraud" by ACORN in previous years (when they committed no such thing), has yet to say word one about any of this, as Eric Boehlert notes at Media Matters. And at Salon, Alex Seitz-Wald reports that "a search on Strategic Allied Consulting or Nathan Sproul turns up zero results on the Weekly Standard, the National Review, RedState, the Breitbart sites, Michelle Malkin, Hot Air and other" Rightwing sites that went wall-to-wall about ACORN in the past. That, even though, in this case, unlike with the ACORN nonsense, there is actual evidence of real voter registration fraud by the RNC (ACORN was never backed by the DNC) which could, as the Palm Beach County, FL Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher pointed out to me during my Wednesday interview with her on this, end up disenfranchising an unknown number of otherwise legal voters in Florida, as well as other states where this crew has been at work.
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Elizabeth Warren's U.S. Senate race could decide the environmental future; Fox 'News' Alert!!!: Fox misleads on climate! - Also: Sun rises in East!; Polls show voters vote on climate; PLUS: Marking major milestones: Silent Spring and saving the planet by saving the ozone layer ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Chevy Volt outsells half of US cars; West should expect bigger wildfires, more often; Coal fight looms over Pacific NW; Study ignites furor over GMO corn; MI chemical plant still poisoning town; Tree sitters stop Keystone XL; Romney's energy advisor will profit more from Romney energy policies; Oil poisoning Africa; Nate Silver missteps on climate ... PLUS: What Will Ice-Free Arctic Summers Bring? ... and much, MUCH more! ...
Both The Daily Show and the Colbert Report have been absolutely en fuego this week in the wake of Romney's "47%" disaster.
But last night's "Chaos on Bulls#%t Mountain," on The Daily Show, documenting the crisis that has struck "Romney Election Headquarters (the Fox "News" Channel)" in the wake of the disaster, is almost certainly an instant classic. Part 2 (both are posted below) and its stinging final button, may be among the show's smartest moments of all time.
As The Daily Show's website summarizes Part 1: "In the 48 hours since the Romney video first gained wide exposure, turd containment crews at Fox News have been working overtime on Bullshit Mountain."
As Jon Stewart concludes at the end of Part 2: "The biggest problem with the denizens of Bullshit Mountain, is they act like their shit don't stink. If they have success, 'they built it'. If they failed, the government ruined it for them. If they get a break, they deserve it. If you get a break, it's a 'handout' and an 'entitlement'. It's a baffling, willfully blind, cognitive dissonance, best summed up by their head coach, in what is, perhaps, my favorite sound bite of all time..." (You'll have to watch to hear the sound bite)...