Standing up to the NRA after Roanoke, horrifying U.S. gun death toll; PLUS: Denying global warming on Katrina's 10th anniversary; Trump's ugly nativism; Good news for Dems; Marriage dead-enders in KY...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Congressional Republicans attack the military's clean energy programs; NC Republicans vote to outlaw physics; Germany sets solar energy world record; Warming Arctic now growing 'pop-up forests'; PLUS: US wildfire season, off to a roaring --- and record --- start... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Top 5 US cities most vulnerable to hurricanes; House GOP's 7 bills increasing drilling, rolling back public health standards; Cost of deaths from coal pollution higher than value of electricity produced; Big US firms to develop plant-based plastics; Secrets of the first artificial leaf; Geo-engineering may disrupt rainfall; Solar Plane completes intercontinental voyage; Why are US taxpayers subsidizing the coal industry? ... PLUS: Warning: you are approaching a state shift in Earth's biosphere ... 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?...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Romney and Paul confused about public lands; Wacked-out Winter 2012: Record cold in Europe, record warm in the U.S.; Most anti-environment Republican Party ever; PLUS: Never mind Clint Eastwood's halftime --- it was the greenest Super Bowl yet ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): BP profits up, as oil spill victims still suffer; 7-yr oil leak in Gulf; MI River pushback on Corps levee ratings; San Onofre nuke plant shut down; Big Coal attacks climate scientist (again); Canada to poison wolves; Sacrificing the desert to save the earth; ... PLUS: "Peak Everything": special report ... and much, MUCH more! ...
Today on my show on Pacifica Radio's KPFK in Los Angeles, I spent the first part on a "Republican War on Democracy" update.
The update kicked off this week with the latest details in the story of Indiana's new Republican Sec. of State Charlie White who is facing seven felony charges, three of them for voter fraud, as yesterday, the Indiana Recount Commission found (incredibly enough) that though White was registered at his ex-wife's house to vote (rather than his own) and had re-married and purchased a condominium, he actually hoped to someday move back into the ex-wife's house. Therefore, he wasn't illegally registered to vote, so he was not illegally on the ballot, so he gets to remain as Indiana's Secretary of State. So sayeth the Indiana Recount Commission.
The Democrats who filed the complaint with the commission may still decide to take the case to court where, in the meantime, White is still facing those seven felony violations. (Did I mention that three of them are related to voter fraud?)
As well, I offered a quick review of all of the other recent high-profile GOP vote fraudsters, such as Ann Coulter, Gov. Mitt Romney, Ambassador Jon Huntsman and Rep. Todd Akin, and the latest news on which states' GOP-fueled voter-suppressing polling-place Photo ID restrictions have been passed into law, and which ones have been thankfully stopped by gubernatorial vetoes.
Also, there was a remarkable statement by Ohio's new Republican Sec. of State John Husted against Photo ID disenfranchisement recently! He deserves big props for that!
In the second part of the show, I was joined by Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen's energy program. He's an expert on the dangers and pitfalls of nuclear power and other fossil fuels. We discussed the unprecedented floods threatening the Fort Calhoun and Cooper nuclear plants in Nebraska; the wildfire threats to New Mexico's Los Alamos nuclear site; the woeful state of nuke plants across the country (as detailed of late in Jeff Donn of AP's remarkable investigative reports here, here, here & here); and the fact that there seems to be absolutely nobody at the federal level of our government able or willing to do a damn thing to protect the citizens from the looming and growing dangers.
My interview with Slocum (and a shot at climate change denying Rep. Steve King (R-IA)) is here:
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Summer of Floods, Summer of Fires continues to continue --- now with Extra Nuclear Flavor! Today's unlucky town: Los Alamos, NM and their nuclear labs; Nebraska nuke plants remain dry, sort of, hopefully...so stop worrying!; PLUS: Another climate science denier enters the 2012 Presidential race ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): US military spends more on desert tent air conditioning than NASA's entire annual budget; The Spam factory's dirty secret; Middle East has huge climate vulnerability; Bike & pedestrian infrastructure projects create more jobs than car projects; Top 10 Greenest Airlines; DoD plans large-scale integration of electric vehicles; Antarctica ice melt accelerating; Arctic sea ice headed for another major melt this year; EPA warns GOP House bill would 'overturn' Clean Water law; Insiders doubt future of natural gas in US; Insiders warn shale gas may be a Ponzi scheme; New foe for US solar energy: railroad companies; Fox News' Wallace encourages viewers to remain misinformed on climate change; Caribou herd in Canada threatened by tar sands; College grads flocking to green jobs; Alternative nuclear reactor design seeks country willing to fund & build prototype ... PLUS: Meet The ‘Friendly Fracosaurus’: Natural Gas Industry's propaganda special coloring books for children ...
Rebecca Vigil-Giron, who oversaw New Mexico elections for ten years, was indicted last Wednesday on 50 counts including fraud or embezzlement, money laundering, tax fraud, tax evasion, illegal kickbacks, tampering with evidence, and conspiracy.
Like last year's indictment of 13-year Monterey County, CA, Registrar of Voters, Tony Anchundo on 43 criminal counts, and last March's indictment of six Clay County, KY election officials [corrected from "KS"] for changing votes at voting machines and showing others how to do it, Vigil-Giron's indictment reminds us that democracy thrives on checks, balances, and transparency --- and is threatened by conditions that force us to trust in election officials.
Ion Sancho, Leon County Supervisor of Elections in Florida, and Freddie Oakley, Yolo County Registrar-Clerk in California understand that threats to elections come from the insiders. They warn us --- in their speeches and writings --- not to trust election officials. Vigil-Giron's indictment warns us in a more sensational way...
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 film above quickly notes the GOP's nearly identical efforts to swiftboat ACORN in 2000 and 2004, we should point out that today, those same folks are not only doing it again in 2008, they are now sending out private investigators to intimidate voters in NM. And more incredibly, taking the White House politicization of the U.S. DoJ to an unprecedented new level, George W. Bush himself has now asked the DoJ to "investigate" the OH GOP's allegations of some 200,000 voters after the case was recently rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Further, while the piece above is not bad, it looks like they forgot to include John McCain's own statement to ACORN, when he was their keynote speaker at a 2006 rally, and told the assembled volunteers they were "what makes America special." That short video follows below as a reminder...
This week, Broward County, Florida, Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes said, with a straight face, "No one could have anticipated that this election would be so historic and draw as much attention as it has," and defended her choice to oppose expanding early voting hours next week due to "logistical problems."
In addition to the problems in Florida, there are now reports that longtime GOP "voter fraud" hoaxster Pat Rogers (also known for his involvement in the U.S., Attorney Purge Scandal for the bogus "voter fraud" allegations he filed in 2004, and as a board member of the now-defunct and fully-debunked GOP astro-turf group, "American Center for Voting Rights," or ACVR), is apparently using private investigators to intimidate voters in New Mexico.
Details on those stories and many more --- pre-election litigation over polling place photo I.D. restrictions in Georgia and Ohio, absentee military ballots in Virginia, GOP efforts to close early voting polling places in Indiana, GOP calls for the Dept. of Justice to investigate ACORN just days before a federal election --- from across the country, all follow in the detailed round-up below...
I've written both here and at the UK's Guardian to point out that not a single case of ACORN "voter fraud" has been shown anywhere despite the Republican's phony outrageous and MSM's knee-jerk reporting of it.
That changed on Friday (for about a minute) when the GOP and their always-reliable and incurious media echo chamber began trumpeting "undeniable proof that a significant number of fraudulent votes were cast in Democrat primary races for the New Mexico legislature as a result of ACORN’s voter registration fraud."
Knock us over with a feather, but those charges have now fallen apart as well...
Several days ago, in this space, we recommended that voters who have the ability to vote “straight party” do not exercise that right. Yes, it is easier because all you have to do is mark one box on the ballot for the top-of-the-ticket votes are all taken care of for you. However, consider this. In North Carolina (and South Carolina also) the “straight party” vote does NOT include President.
According to the first “Featured” article, ballots in North Carolina have the following words: “A Straight Party vote is a vote for all candidates of that party in partisan offices. Individual partisan office selections are not necessary if you select a Straight Party below.” What the ballot doesn’t tell you is that this does not include President. How many thousands of voters will vote straight-party but not for President in North and South Carolina?
In our second “Featured” article we learn another good reason not to vote straight party. New Mexico is one of the states that allows straight party voting, including the presidential race. However, if the ballots are not properly programmed and thorough pre-election testing is not accomplished, there is no telling what may be the result of voting straight party. Voters should not take a chance that the county has tested thoroughly. Voters should not take a chance that their machine may not even register straight party votes for their party while it does for the other party. Don’t trust them. Forego the “straight party” selection and pick each candidate individually.
The straight party states are: North Carolina, South Carolina, New Mexico, Utah, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, and Rhode Island. ...
There was a very low-turnout state Primary Election in New Mexico today. And yet, it brought more November tea leaves....
Computer problems affected ballot verification procedures in some counties across the state earlier Tuesday.
The Secretary of State's office started getting calls around noon from smaller counties saying their computer connection to Santa Fe wasn't working. By 1 p.m., no county in the state was connected to the system that allows counties to access voter registrations and also report results.
Cibola County also experienced some computer problems. Election officials there said they only had one computer to verify where people should go to vote, as all other computers crashed.
Last we had checked (and no time to re-check for the moment), ES&S ran the voter registration system in NM. During the state's Democratic Caucus last February, thousands of voters were reportedly dumped from the newly-privatized voting rolls. If you live in New Mexico, or anywhere else, please check your voter registration status soon!
See the full article for details on today's failures in other counties across the state.
Today the paper finally published a story about the allegations of vote buying at the mid-February Bernalillo County Republican Party's pre-nominating conventions. And what a lame, disgraceful story it was. Read this stupid lede:
A registration fee for rank-and-file Republicans to attend their county convention— a fee candidates sometimes pick up— might be the root of a behind-the-scenes political flap in Bernalillo County.
Naaah! Really? A registration fee might be the root of a behind-the-scenes political flap?
How about allegations of criminal vote buying are ripping the party apart? That would be more accurate. How about this story has been raging in the national blogosphere for weeks and has contributed to a massive swell of anti-Rep. Heather Wilson venom? How about former KKOB Radio afternoon drive time news anchor Laura MacCallum broke the stories in late February and resigned in early March when her idiot news editor killed them because bloggers hadn't picked them up? How about the f-brilliant blog which broke the MacCallum resignation story and put the vote-buying allegations on the Internet on March 3, more than two weeks ago?
Or The BRAD BLOG, which joined f-brilliant and advanced the story on March 5 with its own exclusive interviews with a number of the players, including KKOB's news director Pat Allen, who backpedaled on his explanations for spiking MacCallum's stories once the reasons he'd emailed to MacCallum became public?
You'll never read about those things in the Journal because they're the truth and that paper is incapable of telling it...
New Mexico Secretary of State Mary Herrera said her office is working closely and quickly with the state Attorney General’s Office to finish the investigation into the state Republican Party’s vote-buying scandal.
The agencies want the investigation completed before the state GOP’s statewide convention on Saturday, Herrera said late Tuesday in an exclusive interview with this blog.
Herrera also said she was troubled by the allegations that the campaigns --- including Congresswoman Heather Wilson’s U.S. Senate campaign --- had paid people to attend the Bernalillo County, NM GOP’s ward conventions on Feb. 17 and vote for certain delegates.
“It’s something new --- people being paid to get to conventions. I’ve never heard of it. I’ve been attending (Democratic Party) ward and state conventions since I’ve been 18 and I’ve never heard of anything like this. Now we have paying people to do it. It seems very odd,” Herrera said during the face-to-face interview in Albuquerque.
New evidence emerged in the case that offers a reason why Wilson’s campaign was suddenly forced to admit that they paid for at least five people to attend the conventions, after initially refusing to comment on the allegations of vote-buying at the Feb. 17 Bernalillo County GOP’s ward conventions: A paper trail...
After waiting nearly a week, the Albuquerque Journal on Sunday finally published a story about Laura MacCallum quitting her job as KKOB Radio’s afternoon drive time anchor.
What a pathetic story it was, though. It shows why the blogosphere is daily becoming more powerful and why more and more people are turning away from traditional media sources for their news. The fact is, those traditional sources can’t be trusted to tell us what’s really going on, especially when it comes to their own industry.
MaCallum quit because KKOB News Director Pat Allen pulled her stories about allegations of vote buying at the recent sate Republican Party’s pre-primary conventions. Allen caved after getting complaints from Heather Wilson’s U.S. Senate campaign and from state Republican Party officials. (See BRAD BLOG's Special Coverage Page on the scandal here.)
The Journal's --- this newspaper is the largest media outlet in the state --- seven-paragraph story, buried on page B4, fails to mention that it was Wilson’s campaign that did the complaining. It didn’t go into detail about the vote-buying scandal, and it said nothing about Allen’s memo to MacCallum that he didn’t think the stories were valid because other media outlets and bloggers hadn’t picked them up...