IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: The BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, five years later; As Earth Day comes and goes, Obama pushes again for climate action; Jan-March 2015 was the hottest ever recorded; PLUS: Jeb Bush thinks climate change might actually be a thing... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 10 tips to make every day Earth Day; Geologists think they know what caused TX earthquakes; Everything you think you know about CA water is wrong; Majority of e-waste collected in 2014 not recycled correctly; Arctic is ‘unraveling’ due to climate change; Geologists blame fracking injection wells for TX earthquakes; Support for carbon tax reaches almost 70%; Electrical grid infrastructure needs major changes, report finds... PLUS: Since BP Spill, 9 Million Acres in Gulf Leased for Drilling... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Another GOP climate science denier enters the 2016 race; And a non-denier jumps in on the Democratic side; Bad news for Big Coal in China; PLUS: Florida's denier disease is spreading --- now officials in Wisconsin barred from work on climate change... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Climate censorship gains steam in red states; Rapid global warming may be coming sooner than you think; The last time oceans went acidic this fast, 96% of marine life went extinct; Why new study on Arctic permafrost is so scary - it's the microbes; L.A. mayor envision greener city where people walk and use mass transit; 5 years after BP Oil Spill, Obama Admin proposes new safety rules... PLUS: Republican Wins Award For Believing In Climate Change... and much, MUCH more! ...
The videos were good for a barrel of laughs. The Director of Florida's Div. of Emergency Management, Brian Koon was forced to engage in verbal gymnastics so as to avoid violating a state ban on using the words "climate change."
In another clip, replayed by Comedy Central's John Stewart, former FL EPA employee Kristina Trotta uses the words, "nuisance flooding," to evade the ban on mentioning "sea level rise." That drew an amusing Stewart suggestion that, in order to evade mentioning that a global warming-connected rise in sea level could eventually lead to an underwater Miami, state employees could refer to "moisture inconvenience!"
The exchanges were hilarious. But there is nothing funny about the attempt to erect thought control regimes, first in Florida and now in Wisconsin. In both states, the practice is verging on that deployed by Oceania's Ministry of Truth in George Orwell's 1984. In that classic but ominous work of fiction, written accounts of inconvenient truths were incinerated inside "memory holes."
While ominous, the clumsy efforts at "thought control" are quite useful. They underscore the warnings we offered nearly five years ago that the real future offered by the so-called "Tea Party" and the Koch Brothers' brand of "libertarianism" includes "Fascism [and] Feudalism --- an authoritarian reality that has already come to fruition in states like Florida and Wisconsin where Charles and David Koch, along with other rightwing billionaires, have already tightened the reigns of oligarchic control over ostensibly "public" institutions...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Climate change-denier Sen. Rand Paul is running for President (and Brad is delighted about it!); Climate denial a looming problem for the GOP; Thawing permafrost a looming problem for the planet; PLUS: Greening the City of Angels: Mayor Garcetti's ambitious sustainability plan for L.A.....All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): The Arctic has melted so much that now people want to race yachts through it; Tea Party hires actors to feign indignation over plan to save Everglades; Plummeting sardine numbers could prompt U.S. West coast fishing ban; New York just quietly raided its climate program for cash; Michael Bloomberg puts up $30m to kill coal; Utility sales may drop by half as homes make their own power... PLUS: VIDEO: Is "Game of Thrones" Cli-Fi... and much, MUCH more! ...
Romm, who served as Chief Science Adviser for last year's Emmy-award winning Years of Living Dangerously series on Showtime, also breaks a bit of news on The BradCast by confirming that there will be a season two for the groundbreaking environmental documentary series. He promises that "it will be on a cable network that has a far greater reach" than Showtime, though he can't let us know which one yet.
We're a few days late on this, but its worth it. If you didn't catch this in our laugh-out-loud Green News Report on Thursday (or even if you did), here's the full high-larious video of Brian Koon, Director of Florida's Div. of Emergency Management, trying and trying not to say the words "climate change" as he faces questioning from state Sen. Jeff Clemens (D)...and is roundly laughed at and mocked by pretty much everybody present...
Since then, a current DEP employee has claimed that he was put on leave and required to undergo a mental exam after sharing his views on climate change in one of the states likely to be most affected by it. (Been nice knowin' ya, Miami!) And then comes the testimony seen in the video above, wherein Koon, the Florida state official in charge of emergency management, ties himself into knots trying not to utter the phrase "climate change" out loud, in his official capacity, for some odd reason.
While the video testimony is hysterical on its own, for extra credit, here's the full segment from last night's The Daily Show, as Jon Stewart takes it all apart...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Lots of good and/or hysterical news today! Climate change denier Ted Cruz compares himself to Galileo; BP breaks up with ALEC; Texas town goes 100 percent renewable; PLUS: Florida official struggles with Gov. Scott's unwritten ban on the words 'climate change'....All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): India to Rich World: Give us Cash and We’ll Cut Emissions Faster; Study shows acceleration in decline of Antarctic ice shelves; Has California’s mega-drought already begun?; Exxon Shareholder Climate Vote Blocked, Chevron's Approved by SEC; The hidden benefits of cutting coal pollution... PLUS: Shut Up and Dance: Should we stop talking about climate change and start dancing about it?... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Get out your popcorn - Climate change-denying Sen. Ted Cruz is running for president...and Gov. Jerry Brown is unimpressed; Is mandatory water rationing in California's future?; PLUS: In Florida, don't say 'climate change' or you be sent to a mental hospital....All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Scientists Want to Mine Our Poop for Gold --- Literally; Gulf Stream Slowdown: 'The Day After Tomorrow' Might Kinda, Sorta Come True; 10 years after BP refinery explosion, more reforms needed; 26 US coal companies have gone bankrupt in the last three years; Texas town goes 100% renewable energy; Top Chinese Official Says Climate Change Is “Serious Threat"; Yemen tearing itself apart over water; BP drops membership with ALEC... PLUS: Plastic pollution worse than thought: Scientists finding plastic embedded in scales of fish... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Sec. John Kerry slams climate change deniers in government; More whistleblowers corroborate a Florida ban on 'climate change'; Solar energy is booming, in the good, non-explosive, jobs-creating kind of way; PLUS: Great news for the oil industry! Thanks to the oil industry, Arctic sea ice heads to a record low....All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): World record-breaking 8 ft of snow in 18 hours hits Italy; Scientists near breakthrough on artificial photosynthesis; Leaked emails reveal who' who list of climate denialists; India to hide pollution data from the public; Math and myth clash in Senate hearing on Clean Power Plan; The Hydraulic Hypothesis and the 'ends' of civilization; Plastic runs through everything; Farmers take up no-till agriculture ... PLUS: Unlike temperatures, climate change deniers falling fast... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Another day, another two oil train explosions; In Florida, the first rule of global warming is don't talk about global warming; Fukushima Nuclear Disaster still a disaster, four years later; PLUS: The world's first solar-powered plane soars into aviation history....All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Rate of climate change predicted to soar in 2020s; 10 myths about fossil fuel divestment; EPA failed to warn residents about contaminated water; The promise of energy storage; Time to worry about exploding Siberian craters?; Houston Ship Channel closed after collision and MTBE spill; Millions of songbirds slaughtered in Cyprus ... PLUS: How the Merchants of Doubt push global warming denial on your television... and much, MUCH more! ...
[Remarks prepared for event with comedian Lee Camp, Charlottesville, Va., February 21, 2015, event postponed by snow storm. When it's rescheduled I'll say something completely unrelated. - DS]
This is the serious part of tonight's event, except that Lee often deals with very serious topics. So what I mean is: this is the unfunny part of tonight's event, except that I'm going to talk about the United States government. One of my favorite things that Mark Twain didn't really say but definitely should have said was "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." He left out the possibility of imbeciles who are putting us on.
On Thursday, Comcast Internet was not working at my house, just as Comcast's hired Congress members were introducing a bill to create a closed Internet with fast lanes for the corporate crap we didn't need the Internet for. And a good Internet media outlet called TheRealNews.com wanted to do a video interview with me, which I didn't want to do in Java Java because I try not to be quite that rude. So I sat out on the Downtown Mall and did the interview. It was about 12 degrees out, and I think you can see me shaking. And what did they want to talk about? War? Peace? The climate?
They wanted to talk about Jeb Bush. Clearly he is an imbecile who is putting us on. He'd been talking on foreign policy, and of course he agreed with Obama on most everything but claimed not to. On NSA spying, for example, he disagreed basically with the fact that there has been public criticism of Obama's abuses. How he would eliminate criticism he didn't say. He didn't bring up Ukraine or Afghanistan or drone wars, because what would he disagree with? He did bring up the Korean War in order to claim it was a success and not the stupid pointless draw that everyone called it for decades, but of course the innovator in popularizing that ridiculous claim was ... President Obama...
"Honest statement," "Karl Rove" and "Fox News" are three phrases that usually do not belong in the same sentence (unless it's the one I'm writing now!), but George W. Bush's aide-de-camp actually told the truth on the January 6 edition of Fox's "America's Newsroom."
Karl Rove says Jeb Bush's support for Common Core education standards will be the biggest obstacle he faces as he seeks the Republican presidential nomination.
"Common Core is, I think, the biggest challenge he faces," Rove said Tuesday on the Fox News show "America's Newsroom." "The question is, how can he defend high academic standards, which he believes in, when it has been conflated with the Obama administration."
Rove, formerly the top adviser to Bush's brother, President George W. Bush, said Common Core was originally a Republican idea put forth by Bill Bennett, the secretary of Education under President Reagan who was later appointed to a post in the administration of President George H.W. Bush.
But Rove said President Obama has since grasped onto it, making it toxic to Republican voters.
Now how about that! Common Core --- a national state standards initiative for k-12 education --- was a GOP concept until a Democrat found merit in the idea, at which point it became radical-left tyranny.
The same, of course, is now true for the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare"), a scheme first proposed by the rightwing Heritage Foundation before it was later embraced by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts, before Obama embraced it, so Republicans decided to pretend it was a precursor to full apocalypse.
But I can think of yet another major policy initiative that Republicans used to love until Democrats said they thought it was a good idea, too...
When asked over the weekend, after a round of golf, to comment on court rulings that will lead to same-sex marriage becoming legal across the Sunshine State on Tuesday (and already today in Miami-Dade County), Bush muttered to the Miami Herald:
"It ought be a local decision. I mean, a state decision," the former governor said Sunday in a brief interview. "The state decided. The people of the state decided. But it's been overturned by the courts, I guess."
After the comment was met with criticism from advocates of the Constitution as well as Miami-Dade's Republican mayor who said he "believes adults should be free to marry whomever they desire" and that he "respects anyone's right to marry, gay or straight," Jeb attempted a mulligan and offered the following, almost impossibly non-committal, have-it-all-ways official statement...
A few weeks ago, Francis Barry, whose bio identifies him as having "previously served as Director of Public Affairs and Chief Speechwriter for New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg," had a piece published by Bloomberg View (the op-ed arm of the Bloomberg News outlet), portending to examine whether Photo ID voting laws had an adverse effect on turnout this year.
Specifically, as the very first paragraph of his piece explained, Barry claims to have been looking at whether "voter identification laws suppress turnout" since, as he opined in the same graf, "Liberals" argue "not all citizens have the type of ID that many states now require at the polls."
The piece, headlined "Quit Blaming Low Turnout on Voter ID", went out of its way to make the case that such laws had nothing to do with turnout this year, as some states with such laws even saw higher turnout than others without them. While one could attempt to make such an argument, in this case, unfortunately, Barry used extraordinarily deceptive data and moving goal posts in order to do so, as detailed in the emails (posted below) between me, him and one of his editors.
The main trick he employed was an apples to oranges comparison of turnout rates in "21 states that had a competitive gubernatorial or Senate race", where, he misleadingly claimed, "Fourteen of the 21 states had a voter ID requirement in place, while seven didn't".
But here's the thing. Barry deceptively swapped the type of very specific Photo ID laws cited in his first paragraph, with very non-restrictive ID laws that are in use without objection in many states.
When I explained all of this in detail to him and his editors via email (all posted below), the response I received back was, as I noted, "mind-boggling, to be frank"...
Incredibly enough, it's been ten years this month since we broke the story about vote-rigging software whistleblower Clint Curtis. It was certainly the biggest story we'd broken up until that time, in December of 2004, and, for some, it is still the story we may be best known for.
That's not surprising as it involves election fraud, touch-screen voting systems, Florida, a powerful Congressman, the Bush family, Chinese spies and several disturbing deaths.
For those not familiar with it, you can find a quick summary here. The index of most of the key articles in our years-long series, beginning with our 12/6/2004 exclusive on Curtis' sworn affidavit can be found at BradBlog.com/ClintCurtis. (And, yes, if you're looking for the horrifying NSFW "crime scene photos" of the main death involved in this case, those are here.)
In short, Curtis was a software programmer from Oviedo, FL who claimed in a sworn 2004 affidavit and then sworn testimony before members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, that he was asked to create a vote-rigging software prototype for touch-screen voting systems back in 2000 by then Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL), a very powerful Republican in the Sunshine State and a close friend of the Bush family. At the time, Curtis worked for a company named Yang Enterprises, Inc., which had many contracts with NASA and the state of Florida. In 2000, when he says Feeney asked him to create the vote-rigging software, Feeney was both the Speaker of the FL House, as well as a registered lobbyist for Yang. Feeney would also go on to great ignominy due to his dealings with Republican uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
There is much much more to this story, much of which was also eventually told in Murder, Spies and Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story, an award-winning documentary film by Patty Sharaf. It includes spying for China and at least two deaths in addition to the vote-rigging allegations, but I'll let you explore it all via the links above and/or in my all-new interview with Curtis from this week's KPFK/Pacifica RadioBradCast
As it's been 10 years since we broke the initial story, it seemed a good time to get caught up with Curtis, reminisce a bit about the original story (and his eventual, gutsy, and at times hilarious campaign to run against Feeney for the U.S. House), as well as find out what he (and Feeney) have been up to since then --- even as we've been almost-continuously reporting on new developments in the case over the years since we originally broke the story in late 2004.
I gotta say I enjoyed this interview with Clint --- it was great to catch up with him --- and I hope you will too.
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