We don't say it often (ever?), but kudos to HuffPo. This is their front page right now...
w/ Brad & Desi
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...
|More Special Coverages Pages...|
We don't say it often (ever?), but kudos to HuffPo. This is their front page right now...
As the Dow hit its all-time record high yesterday (continuing same today) and while corporate profits continue to hit record highs along with it --- underscoring, yet again, that Barack Obama is the worst socialist ever --- there are a couple more charts worth reminding you about today, courtesy of Rachel Maddow's show last night...
And while corporate profits sky-rocket, unemployment slowly (really slowly) improves, and Republicans hold the nation hostage with the "Sequester" by refusing to close any tax loopholes for the rich which might serve to increase revenues by even the tiniest amount, there is this chart to ponder...
So, remember, when you hear Republicans claim they are concerned about "the deficit", they are not. They are flat out lying. They are concerned only about maintaining low taxes and sky-high profits for corporations and the rich people who need those tax-payer funded giveaways the least.
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Another hurdle cleared for the Keystone XL pipeline; Obama names new environmental cabinet nominees; New York Times kills its Green blog; PLUS: Score one for endangered polar bears ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Pesticides are killing our sperm; "I am one of the Fukushima fifty"; L.A. aims to be coal-free by 2025; US scientists report big jump in heat-trapping CO2; Tar sands developers turn to railroads; Atmospheric warming altering ocean salinity, circulation; Drought, snow hit KS wildlife hard; Forest elephants near extinction due to ivory poachers; Offshore windpower vulnerable to wave power; Rising food prices triggered Arab Spring ... PLUS: 'Angry Summer': Australia's climate on steroids in record-breaking summer ... and much, MUCH more! ...
The good folks at Right About Now have decided to immortalize a quote from this September, 2009 op-ed of mine detailing my call for pilot projects around the country to develop much-needed data and benchmarks for what we describe around here as "Democracy's Gold Standard": Hand-marked paper ballots, publicly counted by hand at the precinct on Election Night, with the public, all political parties and even video cameras rolling, and results posted at the precinct before ballots are moved anywhere...
You can click on the cool graphic to enlarge it if you have any trouble reading it. And, about that quote, I totally agree!
Unfortunately, the supposedly "non-partisan" commission being convened [PDF] at the behest of the President --- and being co-chaired by an incredibly partisan former "Swift Boat" GOP operative --- in order to "fix" some of the problems which reared their ugly heads again during the 2012 election, such as long lines, difficulty in registration or casting overseas absentees ballots, is not currently set to review the extraordinary problems (here's just one recent example) that our nation has with vote tabulation in this country, much less explore the need for fully public, fully transparent, fully citizen-overseeable election result tabulation in a nation that supposedly prides itself on government of the people, by the people and for the people.
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: All hands on deck (if not the corporate media!) for the largest climate rally in U.S. history... but is President Obama all talk and no action?; Secret memo reveals tar sands are poisoning Alberta, Canada; PLUS: Mayor Bloomberg's big plans to greenify NYC ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Secret funding helped build vast network of climate denial thinktanks; BP challenges ‘excessive’ spill claims; GAO: Climate change poses big financial risk to US government; NASA: ‘Alarming’ water loss in Middle East; Study: Global warming will bring more blizzards, less overall snow; Air pollution causes heart attacks; Canadian enviro-activists 'threat to national security'; Tesla v. NYT, round 3; OH accused of dumping fracking wastewater; Did PA lie about fracking water contamination? ... PLUS: GMOs: Nearly half of all US farms now have superweeds ... and much, MUCH more! ...
One wonders whether the synapses simply fail to connect in the minds of zealots.
First we get a zealot like Scott Roeder who was so consumed with the "right to life" that he murdered Dr. George Tiller.
Then there’s the more recent case of the infamous ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, who told his captive, Jim Reynolds, that he had gone on his murderous rampage because he wanted to clear his name.
Now comes the case of 45-year old Everett Basham, who was so upset with the injustice of new gun safety legislation that he allegedly sent an email to California State Senator Leland Yee (D) threatening to kill him unless Yee "stopped pushing legislation to ban so-called 'bullet buttons,' devices that permit swift reloading of military-style assault weapons by allowing for rapid exchange of ammunition magazines."
"The author of the email specifically stated that if I did not cease our legislative efforts to stop gun violence that he would assassinate me in or around the Capitol," Yee said in a statement last week. "He stated that he was a trained sniper and his email detailed certain weapons he possessed."
Then, again, perhaps Basham, the alleged author of the email, will claim that he was simply following the advice of James Yeager, the CEO of Tactical Response, a Tennessee company that specializes in weapons and tactical training. Yeager posted a video on YouTube in January in which he threatened to "start killing people" if President Obama continued to advance a gun safety agenda.
Prosecutors in Santa Clara County have charged Basham with ten felonies, including illegal possession of assault weapons, illegal possession of a destructive device and bomb making materials, criminal threats and the forging and possession of a fake driver's license. There's been no indication, as yet, that Tennessee authorities have undertaken to charge Yeager in connection with his terrorist threat, though his concealed carry permit was quickly suspended following his video-taped threat.
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Special Coverage: Climate change takes center stage at the State of the Union address (though not in the corporate media) while activists and Senate Democrats turn up the heat ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Fukushima: 3 youth diagnosed with thyroid cancer; GAO warns weather is changing; Superstorm Sandy 2nd costliest; $188b cost for weather disasters in two years; NY to ban Styrofoam cups?; NJ officials charged with poisoning drinking water; Tesla v. NYTimes; Solar 'glass' breakthrough; Fox News 'stands in way of energy security progress'; Refinery fire: Chevron refinery pipes 80% corroded; Industry ousts scientist from EPA panel ... PLUS: Global climate treaties work: Antarctic ozone hole smallest in 10 yrs ... and much, MUCH more! ...
"If a tree falls in the forest (because of global warming), but the media doesn’t report on it, does it make a sound?," asks Joe Romm at Climate Progress, along with a pretty incredible observation.
Romm highlighted the Washington Post's front page banner the day after this week's State of the Union speech, during which President Obama spent a rather large chunk of it on issues related to climate change and energy.
Nonetheless, when WaPo summarized the percentage of the speech devoted to each of the various topics mentioned during the address, here was the front page banner used to detail it on Wednesday (click graphic to enlarge):
As Romm notes:
But, maybe such things just aren't very important to the "State of the Union" after a year of record drought, record heat, and a record number of global warming-related natural disasters.
On today's KPFK/Pacifica Radio BradCast we covered the State of the Union Address last night, with extended focus on the President's call for election form and his new "Presidential Commission on Election Administration" [PDF], to be questionably co-chaired by Swift Boat GOP attorney Ben Ginsberg. As we noted yesterday, color us dubious about all of that.
My guest in the first half-hour was Marcia Johnson-Blanco, Co-Director of the Voting Rights Project at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and we also discussed their recent report on "Our Broken Voting Systems And How to Repair It", as well as the upcoming February 27th U.S. Supreme Court hearing in Shelby County v. Holder, challenging the Constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act's Section 5 protection of jurisdictions with a history of discrimination at the voting booth.
Suffice to say, she was more optimistic about all of the above than I was.
In most of the second half of the show, we focused on the many environmental issues raised in Obama's State of the Union with the Green News Report's Desi Doyen. I'm not sure who was more (or less) optimistic in that half of the show.
Download MP3 or listen online below [appx 58 mins]...
Republican House Speaker John Boehner didn't seem to care for President Obama's State of the Union address tonight...
The Speaker "managed not to rise even for a shout-out to 'wounded warriors,' or 102-year-old Desiline Victor, who waited seven hours to vote in Miami on Election Day," notes Joan Walsh in "The night John Boehner just sat there".
But the biggest boner of the night came during Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) official Republican Response. The junior Senator and 2016 hopeful was apparently demonstrating the need for action on climate change, by personally re-enacting the nation's worst drought in fifty years. It all eventually led to what has now become known as the "gulp heard round the world"...
Don't worry, Marco. Nobody noticed. Except for everybody. And, of course, Deadspin, who has the entire moment in excruciating extreme slo-mo.
For more serious concerns about tonight's State of the Union address, see our earlier report.
[UPDATED THRICE following the State of the Union address.]
Ryan J. Reilly had the scoop at HuffPo tonight. We're about to get another bipartisan commission on voting reforms...
The commission is one of a number of efforts the Obama administration is making to address the problems that plagued voting on Election Day 2012. The commission, which will focus specifically on Election Day issues and not broader voting reform, will likely be co-chaired by one Republican and one Democratic lawyer, according to one of the sources.
After the 2000 Presidential election fiasco, a bipartisan blue-ribbon commission headed by former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford was created by Congress. The commission offered reforms that ultimately helped lead to the disastrous Help America Vote Act of 2002. That bill, among other things, offered some $4 billion in federal money to states in order to "upgrade" to computerized voting systems. Those same systems, using proprietary hardware and software from private vendors, tally votes in secret and continue to fail in election after election even today.
After the 2004 Presidential election fiasco, a private bipartisan commission was created, as The BRAD BLOG was the first to reveal, by high-level Republican operatives and former Bush/Cheney officials calling themselves the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR). The private commission, formed in secret, was headed by Carter and longtime Bush family friend James A. Baker III, the man who took Bush's 2000 fight to keep ballots from being counted in the state of Florida all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The inclusion of Baker on the commission led to an uproar from Election Integrity advocates, a furious response at The BRAD BLOG from the commission's Executive Director for our revelation of the scam, a letter from then Chair of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) stating his "strong opposition" to Baker's presence on the commission, and then a guest-blog from Conyers himself, here at The BRAD BLOG.
As Conyers noted at the time, and as the sham Baker/Carter commission's report ultimately showed, the private commission was created in order to lay the groundwork for polling place Photo ID restrictions down the road. "Make no mistake about it," Conyers wrote here at the time, detailing his belief that the commission's push for Photo ID restrictions was "more of the same old Ken Blackwell-style Republican electoral dirty tricks, where Democratic voters are deliberately disenfranchised so that Republicans can win elections."
While the privately created Baker/Carter commission was meant to appear similar to the official Ford/Carter blue-ribbon commission (Ford was ailing at the time of the second commission, so was replaced with Baker), we can only hope that whatever new commission President Obama has in mind won't end up with the same "dead-on-arrival" recommendations as the ones from Baker and Carter. Though those recommendations were roundly criticized at the time, they are still cited today --- as if they were official recommendations --- by Republicans hoping to disenfranchise legal American voters through new restrictions on voting.
UPDATE: Reilly at HuffPo had it right. The President announced his call for a new commission during his State of the Union address tonight...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: 'Too pooped to pope': Pope Benedict's green legacy; Did global warming find Nemo?; State of the Union - Obama's next act on climate change; Wind power now cheaper than coal in some countries; PLUS: Fox 'News' surrenders to Germany (in the clean energy race) ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Koch-backed 'Tea Party' started in 2002 with Big Tobacco; Meet your newest national park; Shell's damaged Arctic drilling rigs go to Asia; Map of cities to avoid as sea levels rise; Keystone XL pipeline: Just Say No; National Journal covers rising costs of inaction on climate change; Bloomberg's clean energy investor factbook; Flame retardants linked to ADHD; Why the US drilling boom lowered gas prices ... PLUS: Energy Subsidies and the 'Free Market' Lie ... and much, MUCH more! ...
The massive operating deficits that have driven the U.S. Post Office to announce an end to delivery of First Class mail on Saturdays, beginning in August, are not the product of postal service ineptitude. Those deficits are not the product of increased public access to emails or from competition by private delivery services like UPS or FedEx.
The U.S. Postal Service has been victimized by the Orwellian-labeled Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA), which embodies a scheme designed to destroy the constitutionally established U.S. Postal Service in order to privatize mail and parcel delivery. In a lame duck session, at the peak of the USPS' profitability and productivity, a then Republican-controlled Congress forced the U.S. Postal Service "to pre-fund 75 years worth of pensions" in the span of ten years, "a requirement not made of any other public or private institution." If not for the onerous and unprecedented requirements of the PAEA, the U.S. Postal Service, which is not funded by any taxes, would now be experiencing a $1.5 billion surplus.
The contrived demise of the postal service must be understood within the broader subversive goals of libertarian and right wing philosophy --- a philosophy which, despite the express provisions of both the Preamble and Article I of the U.S. Constitution, rejects the right of government to "promote the general welfare"...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Obama nominates REI CEO for DOI; Historic Nor'easter to hit Nor'east, historic low water levels in Great Lakes; Ben & Jerry's junks GMOs; Saving Indonesia's rainforest; PLUS: Find the nation's biggest polluters - in your backyard... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): "These big pools of oil will be burned if we choose to cook ourselves"; Air pollution linked to higher infant mortality; Flame retardants linked to ADHD: study; OH: Frackers illegally dump toxic fracking fluid into storm drain; Big Oil profiting from record high gas prices; BP objects to $34b spill bill from states; Faulty bolts halt offshore drilling; USDA reports climate change to slam farms, forests ... PLUS: AZ's anti-Agenda 21 bill wants to eat your brains ... and much, MUCH more! ...
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