Really. And kudos to Daily Show correspondent Al Madrigal...
w/ Brad & Desi
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
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Really. And kudos to Daily Show correspondent Al Madrigal...
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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Water Wars: Midwest drought threatens Mississippi & Colorado Rivers, winter wheat crop; Fracking industry goes after Matt Damon; Climate change denial industry steps on cartoon rake [clonk!] again!; PLUS: Some good news for a change --- a new light powered by gravity ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): EPA tightens soot rules by 20%; Japan: nuclear operator TEPCO admits 'collusion' with regulators; Chevron to pay $1.8m in UT settlement; Study links pesticides to long-term brain damage; Sharp lessons from Deepwater Horizon report; Florida's rivers 'sicker' than ever; Mercury in seafood: Where does it come from? ... PLUS: VIDEO: A city-sized iceberg breaking off from a glacier will blow your mind ... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Romney mocks climate change, while Obama doesn't, as the Democratic National Convention gets underway; Energy company CEO pushes for a price on carbon(!); Midwest drought now coming for your popcorn; PLUS: Speaking of 'popping' - Hurricane Isaac recovery, now with dead rats! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Summer of Fire 2012: new fires prompt evacuations in NE, CA; Organics no healthier than conventional foods - if you don't count pesticides and antibiotic-resistant superbugs; Israel solar industry struggling; Arctic ice melt: 1st sailboat in the Arctic Ocean; Shell gets a pass, clears another hurdle to Arctic drilling; Methane now contaminating PA water supplies; Study: humanity set to blow past 2 degrees Celisus warming ... PLUS: Labor Day 2040: Endless Summer ... and much, MUCH more! ...
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
Ah, what more can you say about those "small government conservatives" as they once again attempt to place the big government they claim to despise between citizens and their doctors by taking away more rights and freedoms?
In Mississippi, the Jackson's Women's Health Organization --- which operates the only remaining clinic to offer abortion services in the entire Magnolia State --- filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block enforcement of a state law meant solely to shut them down and nullify the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade.
The new law requires any physician who performs an abortion to be both a board-certified OB-GYN and have admitting privileges at a local hospital. According to MSNBC's James Eng, this would almost certainly force the clinic to shut down because most of their physicians "live out-of-state or because local hospitals are reluctant to grant such privileges to physicians who perform abortions." That closure would "lead some to consider unsafe and illegal alternatives that pose grave risks to [women's] health, lives, and reproductive future," according to Nancy Northrup of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
On July 2, Reuters reported that "U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Jordan issued a temporary restraining order," stating that "plaintiffs have offered evidence --- including quotes from significant legislative and executive officers --- that the act's purpose is to eliminate abortions in Mississippi." On Wednesday, in a hearing on the Jackson Women's Health Organization's motion for a preliminary injunction, Judge Jordan, who was nominated to the federal bench by George W. Bush, extended his TRO pending his ruling. So the clinic stays open for the moment.
Meanwhile, Republicans in the Michigan legislature silenced a female colleague, Rep. Lisa Brown (D), when she responded to their anti-women's reproductive rights measure last month by stating: "And, finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but 'no' means 'no'."
At least in that instance, the GOP "War on Women" produced an hilarious segment on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart entitled "The Vagina Ideologues". If you missed it a few weeks ago, have a look...
Clearly, those "Turks" are just trying to steal her away from us!
Once again, the delightful Desi Doyen, co-host and managing editor of The BRAD BLOG's Green News Report was sitting in to guest host on The Young Turks yesterday along with longtime TYTer, Ana Kasparian.
They were both joined in the first hour, devoted to yesterday's stunning Supreme Court health care ruling, by Current TV's Jacki Schechner (an expert in health care legislation issues). The second hour, it was just Desi and Ana.
(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!...
Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning
I am old enough to remember not only the civil rights movement but that, amongst all the Southern Jim Crow states, Mississippi had absolutely the worst reputation. It was the state where, in 1955, Emmett Till, a 14-year old African-American from Chicago was lynched, burned and so badly mutilated his own mother couldn't recognize his corpse --- all because he whistled at a white woman (we'll spare you the horrific photo, but it's available here if you'd like to see it); where, in 1963, the NAACP's Medgar Evers was gunned down outside his home; where, in 1964, three civil rights workers attempting to register voters were lynched.
I have no doubt that the 83% of MS whites who, this past November, as we now learn in a new analysis, voted in favor of a state constitutional amendment that would mandate polling place photo ID restrictions as a prerequisite to voting --- as compared to more than 75% of non-whites who voted against polling place photo ID --- would vehemently deny their vote was racially motivated. They would do so even though African-Americans are more than three times more likely to lack photo IDs than whites and even though study-after-study has exposed the lie in the GOP's baseless claims that such laws are needed to prevent "voter fraud."
But I am also relatively certain that race played a role in the inability of so many of the children and grandchildren of formerly Jim Crow Mississippi to appreciate what it is that photo ID truly seeks to accomplish...
The voters of Maine appear to have registered a stinging rebuke to their Republican Governor and Legislature's attempt to kill the state's 38-year tradition of Election Day voter registration at the polling place.
As the Lewiston Sun Journal reports tonight: "And it wasn't close."
That's an understatement. The People's Veto of the GOP bill was on the ballot tonight and, if the results are accurate as reported, the people of Maine couldn't have been clearer. Question 1 has is said to have passed by a remarkable
61 to 39% 60 to 40% margin (with 90% 98% 100% of the results in), quite literally winning in every single county in the state:
The overwhelming victory for voters' rights in the Pine Tree State comes on the heels of Maine's GOP Chair Charlie Webster embarrassing himself and his party over the last several months with his complaint to the GOP Sec. of State Charles Summers, Jr. that out-of-state college students were committing "voter fraud" in the state.
Despite some 200 names Webster submitted to Summers for an investigation, no evidence of fraud was found by the SoS. That lack of evidence of voter fraud, however, didn't keep Summers from sending intimidating letters to those legal student voters.
Nonetheless, Mainers of all stripes today appear to have soundly rejected the GOP's "voter fraud" fraud in their People's Veto at the ballot box.
"The advantage we had was the truth," David Farmer, a spokesman for Protect Maine Votes told the Sun Journal. "The facts carried the day. Same-day voter registration works and it has for nearly 40 years. Unlike other states, Mainers wouldn't stand for the erosion of their voting rights. They should be very proud of that."
They should indeed.
The contrast was stark, however, from results being reported in Mississippi tonight...
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
A nearly two-hour hearing in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights earlier this month (full video available here), carefully examined the partisan, multi-state effort by the billionaire Koch brothers-funded, Paul Weyrich co-founded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)-fueled GOP effort to enact new state voting laws across the country.
The coordinated, nationwide GOP voter suppression effort was aptly described by Judith Browne Dianis, a civil rights litigator at The Advancement Project, and a witness in the second three-member panel, as "the largest legislative effort to roll back voting rights since the post-Reconstruction era."
"Our country has not seen such widespread attempts to disenfranchise voters as we have seen this year in more than a century. Inclusive democracy is under attack," she testified, while Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) described the "brazen" GOP attempts to undermine the right to vote.
Subcommittee Chair and Senate Majority Whip, Dick Durbin (D-IL) broke the new state voting laws into three major categories, and the discussions of each are worth covering here over two different articles. In Part 1 here, we'll cover the first category: Polling place Photo ID laws restricting the ability of lawfully registered voters to cast their ballot on Election Day. The hearing produced several remarkable face-offs, including between Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and long-time GOP "voter fraud" front man Hans von Spakovsky (cue James Bond villain music), as detailed below.
In Part 2, we will cover the discussion of the other two categories at the hearing --- draconian new restrictions on voter registration, and laws which significantly reduce early voting periods --- plus a very troubling event that "reactionaries" have planned for the 2012 election, according to Dianis' testimony [UPDATE: Part 2 is now posted here]...
What the hell is the matter with Mississippi and their elections all of a sudden?!
You'll recall that two weeks ago, e-voting system failures --- such as machines that wouldn't boot up at all and votes that were counted twice --- created chaos during Mississippi's state primaries, leading one official to declare days afterward, as they were all struggling to sort out results of several close elections: "At this point there is no election...Everyone is baffled."
Then, last week, we reported on the Jones County, MS election clerk who asked for, and received permission from, the county Board of Supervisors to remove the so-called "paper trail" printers from his county's 100% unverifiable Diebold touch-screen voting machines because, as he told the board reportedly (with a straight face), "the voting machines record every vote and there is no way for them to be tampered with."
(That Jones County Circuit Clerk, Bart Gavin, has still not replied to our request for comment hoping to determine whether he's just hopelessly clueless, or something worse.)
And now comes this, from Rankin County, MS in advance of today's Democratic gubernatorial run-off election...
The Jones County, Mississippi, slogan is "A Great Place to Live." While this may or may not be true, and I've never been there, it's clearly not a great place to vote. At least if voting in a way that is verifiably accurate for the citizenry is something one might care about. A remarkable statement by the county's Circuit Clerk, and a unanimous decision in support of it by the County's Board of Supervisors this week, has made that as clear as can be.
You may recall that just last week, e-voting system failures --- such as e-voting machines that wouldn't start up at all and votes that were counted twice --- led to chaos and uncertain results in Mississippi's state primaries, leading one official to declare days afterward, as they were all struggling to sort out results of several close elections: "At this point there is no election...Everyone is baffled."
Against that backdrop then, behold what Jones County, MS, Circuit Clerk Bart Gavin is now calling for --- and receiving unanimous approval from the Jones County Board of Supervisors for(!) --- as irresponsibly reported without even a hint of fact-checking by Laurel Leader-Call reporter Charlotte Graham under the laughably misleading headline, "Improving the voting process" [emphasis added]...
On Tuesday, we highlighted some of the many failures of e-voting systems in the Jackson, Mississippi (Hinds County), metropolitan area during their statewide primary election that day. Apparently enough systems failed, touch-screen systems that simply malfunctioned and refused to allow votes to be cast, names missing from electronic "ballots," etc., that the Clarion-Ledger quoted a senior Democratic party official yesterday offering this remarkable statement:
What? Verify an election before announcing results?! Candidates refusing to concede before that's done?! And how exactly will they be able to "verify" those numbers from 100% unverifiable electronic voting systems? My goodness. It's anarchy in Mississippi!...
It's Primary Election Day in Mississippi and so, in a preview of next year's nightmare to come, a quick look at the early reports of voting machine problems coming out of the Jackson metro-area as reported by the Clarion Ledger who, as is required by law for MSM reporting on such things, refers to the reported voting machine failures as little more than "technical glitches." That, even in one case where 3 out of the 4 voting machines in use at a single precinct had failed. Good thing they had paper ballots on hand --- and that this wasn't a Presidential election!
So here's a quick roundup, from the Clarion-Ledger's running blog earlier this morning, of some of the technical "glitches", "hiccups", "snags" and "snafus" reported before noon near Jackson where, unless they break down, fail, won't start up, have the wrong names on the "ballots" or feature other problems that keep voters from being able to cast their vote on anything but a verifiable paper ballot, they use 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting machines.
Oh, and the Dept. of Justice is deploying monitors to 11 counties in the state today for some reason...
Last week, in a unanimous verdict, the U.S. Supreme Court limited the use of "honest services fraud" by federal prosecutors in cases that do not include bribery or kickback as part of that charge. The specific case considered by the court was focused on the convictions of Enron's Jeffrey Skilling, who is likely to see part of his conviction overturned by the decision.
How will that SCOTUS ruling affect the appeals in the cases of Alabama's former Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman and Mississippi's once-powerful Democratic attorney Paul Minor, both of whom were targeted with apparent political prosecution by Karl Rove and the Bush Administration's politicized US Attorneys?
Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane at RAW STORY take a look at the still-uncertain future in both of their cases...
UPDATE 6/29/10 SCOTUS vacates Siegelman conviction, remands case back to appellate court! Great news, if not yet a full victory. Details at RAW STORY...
UPDATE 7/5/10 Brad's exclusive interview discussing all of the above with Siegelman on the Mike Malloy Show...
Guest blogged by Emily Levy of VelvetRevolution.us
[UPDATED by Brad Friedman, 12/12/09, 12:02pm PT]
The federal bribery convictions of Paul Minor, an influential Democratic donor and attorney from Mississippi, and several others have been overturned by the Fifth Circuit of Appeals. Critics of the Bush Administration's Dept. of Justice have long charged that Minor's prosecution, along with those of many other powerful Democrats, such as former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, were politically motivated and directly manipulated by Bush political operative Karl Rove.
Earlier this year, Velvet Revolution's RestoreJusticeAtJustice.com campaign called on the Obama Administration's Dept. of Justice to review all such prosecutions by their predecessors, and to vacate any that are found to have been politically motivated. [Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR]
The Jackson Free Press has the details on the court's finding overturning the "bribery" counts of Minor and a number of former judges found guilty in the same trial, after improper instructions were found to have been given to the jury by trial Judge Henry Wingate who also sat on Minor's motion to be released during the appeal, even as his wife was dying from terminal cancer...
Guest Blogged by Steve Heller of VelvetRevolution.us
The Mississippi State Senate has made an unusual move; they've pulled legislation that they passed on January 15 requiring that voters show a photo ID before being allowed to vote, stripped all amendments out of it, and passed the new legislation.
The previous version had an amendment that allowed voters age 65 and older to vote without showing a photo ID. Mississippi's Republican Governor Haley Barbour had pressed for the removal of that exemption. He got his wish...
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