IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Obama talks big on climate at his 2nd Inaugural, but will the Administration follow up with action? A final decision on the Keystone XL pipeline and other climate & energy conundrums loom in the 2nd term of President Barack Hussein Obama ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): '2012 Was Once Considered Hottest Year On Record, Man In 2024 Remembers Wistfully'; Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to EPA pollution rule; Crop innovation saves water, boosts yields; Solar panel prices continue to fall; Antibacterial ingredient tainting US lakes; Widespread contaminants in Chesapeake Bay; Study: melamine from containers can leech in food; David Attenborough Calls Humans a "Plague Upon the Earth"... PLUS: Koch-funded study finds global warming is "manmade", "solar forcing does not appear to contribute" ... and much, MUCH more! ...
It was a crazy weekend --- and that may be an understatement --- in St. Lucie County, Florida, as the fight continued over the questionable, completely unverified-by-humans, and extremely close computer-reported election results between Rep. Allen West (R) and Patrick Murphy (D) in the U.S. House race for Florida's 18th Congressional District.
Two things, if nothing else however, have become clear. 1) The Florida Democrats supporting the unverified computer-tallied results, which reportedly offer a slim margin in Murphy's favor, have become virtually indistinguishable from the Republicans who supported George W. Bush over Al Gore in the state during the 2000 Presidential Election debacle, and for the same, unjustifiable and partisan reasons. 2) Allen West has terrible and incompetent election attorneys.
Here's a recap of all that has happened --- and there has been quite a bit --- over the weekend, since we last covered the race on Friday, just after a St. Lucie Circuit Court judge denied West's motion demanding a retabulation of all eight days of Early Voting ballots in the county and just before the county's Canvassing Board took up the same issue shortly thereafter in what became a seven hour meeting of the board to determine how to proceed.
(And all of that in the wake of a previous partial retally of three out of eight days worth of early votes had resulted in the unexplained disappearance of some 800 votes when the same paper ballots were run through the same machines a second time due to unexplained "issues" with the electronic tabulation systems the first time around. That initial re-tally had resulted in a net gain of some 500 votes by West.)
The insane weekend events included a two-day machine "retabulation" of all Early Voting ballots in St. Lucie (one of three counties, along with Martin and Palm Beach, that make up FL-18); the discovery of more than 300 previously-untallied early ballots in the same county; new computer-reported tallies resulting in pick-ups by both candidates, for an overall gain of nearly 300 votes by the current leader Murphy; and a County Supervisor of Elections who ended up spending the weekend in the hospital...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT:HURRICANE SANDY SPECIAL REPORT: The storm, the aftermath, and the impacts of climate change; PLUS: A reminder of one Presidential candidate's position on federal disaster relief --- Mitt Romney has called for privatizing it ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Chevron: $2.5 Million To GOP Super PAC. Single Largest Corporate Donation; BP Oil Spill: Researchers Take a Deep Look at Gulf Seafood Safety; BP returns to profitability; WY coal art dispute rages on; There Is No 'Simple Fix' for Commodity Farming; Protests Against Expansion of China Chemical Plant Turn Violent; Sand Mine Riches Are Tough to Refuse ... PLUS: Hurricane Sandy: Haiti in emergency aid plea as disaster piles upon disaster ... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Climate scientist Michael Mann sues Rightwing media for libel; NRC hides flood danger at US nuclear plants; Deadly earthquake caused by drilling; PLUS: The "C" Word: climate change a no-show in Presidential Debates for first time since 1988 ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): How stupid does Cato Institute think Congress is? [Oh, right]; Anchovy Poop Fights Global Warming; Committee advises halt to GMO trials; Bumblebee colonies at risk from pesticides; Fox Falls For Tabloid "Science" [again!]; Chinese protest new coal plant; Climate linked to violent conflict in East Africa: study; Wind turbine syndrome” is catching; Koch group aims to kill wind energy ... PLUS: Frontline exposes the Climate Change Denial Industry tonight on PBS ... and much, MUCH more! ...
The unapologetic physicist takes shots at colleague Michael Mann and Al Gore; offers unsupported assertions about debunked 'Climategate'; calls for conservation and 'clean fracking'; stands by charge that most Global Warming concerns are 'exaggerated'...
On Wednesday, Progressive Radio Network host/veteran green journalist Betsy Rosenberg and I were honored to interview, the one-time climate change skeptic Dr. Richard Muller, whose Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project --- which was funded in part, ironically enough, by the notorious climate change deniers at the Charles G. Koch Foundation --- recently came to the same conclusion that virtually all climate scientists not affiliated with libertarian think tanks have long since recognized: climate change is "real" and "humans are almost entirely the cause," thanks to the the anthropogenic release of greenhouse gases. [Our audio interview is posted in full below.]
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Triumph of propaganda over truth: D.C.'s King of the Deniers, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OIL) takes a victory lap; Deadlock at Durban? Final days of the UN Climate Conference in S. Africa; 2011 breaks its own record for weather disasters; PLUS: GOP threatens to take another hostage to push the Keystone XL pipeline ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Must-reads: "The Brutal Logic of Climate Change" and "The Brutal Logic of Climate Change Mitigation"; EPA finds natural gas 'fracking' contaminated WY drinking water; Coal company put 'profits over people' in mining disaster; $4 billion for energy efficiency retrofits; GOP Jon Hntsman flip-flop-flips on climate denial; 1st floating wind turbine deployed in Atlantic ... PLUS: See for yourself: Time history of atmospheric CO2 ... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Republicans pounce on bankruptcy of US solar company Solyndra --- but what are they not pouncing on?; Shocking revelation: BP is to blame for BP's oil spill; PLUS: Al Gore's "24 Hours of Climate Reality" --- Well, that'll be a nice change of pace! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): EPA FAIL: Greenhouse gas rule delayed; Air pollution from ships plummets due to new fuel blend; NASCAR goes green; Indigenous Alaskans living with climate change now; Irene and Lee flushed pollutants into Chesapeake Bay; 4,600 sea turtles killed yearly by fishing; Think summer 2011 was hot? The worst is still to come; Privatizing government doesn’t actually save money; DIY: Build your own phone solar charger; Coral reefs 'will be gone' by 2100; Australia PM introduces controversial carbon laws; Exxon makes billion-dollar bet that climate change is real; Beginning of the end for suburban America ... PLUS: GOP wants create jobs by unleashing snakes...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Obama plays the infrastructure card; Perry jumps in; Huntsman refers to EPA as 'terrorists', while all of the GOP candidates positions on science and global warming are difficult to swallow; the Summer of Records continues; PLUS: Arctic ice melting 4 times faster than predicted ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): DoE panel calls for more study on natural gas fracking; After North Sea oil spill, Shell to drill in Arctic; New GMO corn for gas, not food; Battle over new coal depot in WA; China to double solar capacity by year end; Coast Guard: Arctic oil spill response capability lacking; Record-breaking electric car gets 1000 miles on one charge; CNN FAIL on Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining; Coping With Change: can humans adapt again?; "The (Polar) Bear Facts," checked; Massive protest shuts down Chinese chemical plant; Federal judge throws out Obama drilling rules ... PLUS: Monsanto's Roundup herbicide research shows plant, soil problems ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Tempers boil over as town runs out of water while drought deepens in TX; Devastating famine spreads in East Africa; New rules for heavy trucks; Japanese officials withheld radiation information from residents; PLUS: Al Gore calls 'BULLSH**T!' --- literally --- on the Climate Change Denial industry ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Fracking: groundwater contamination documented by EPA in 1987; Koch's ALEC Conf touts 'The Many Benefits of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment'; Australia's new carbon tax will boost jobs, revenues: study; China shuts down 583 lead-acid battery plants; U.S. invests in more solar power; TN nuke plant shut down due to hot river; Japan withheld radiation data, leaving evacuees in peril; 'Brave' Fukushima workers expect to 'die within weeks'; Israel to build $423m desalination plant; Consumers get a break on gas prices; St. Louis to pay $5B to repair sewers; Last of the Lobstermen: Chasing a vanishing treasure... PLUS: BBC’s ‘Top Gear’ FAKES test in order to criticize electric cars...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Summer of Floods, Summer of Fires: today's unlucky town is Minot, ND; Bad news for US nukes; Sea level rise accelerating; PLUS: Al Gore slams Obama on climate change, Fox "News" gets all confused ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Can nuclear waste storage co-exist with nearby oil & gas drilling?; Drilling co. sells kids on fracking with new coloring book; Google hits $780M in total clean energy investing; Seafood processors accused of violations; Conservative group sues NASA for climate scientist's records; How livable streets make us happier humans; Answers from the E. coli outbreak in Germany; Are architects the change agents for the new Green Economy?; GOP House votes to weaken Clean Air permits for oil-drillers; Transocean blames BP for Gulf Oil Spill Disaster; Canada opposes labeling Asbestos as hazardous; DoD plans large-scale integration of electric vehicles; Civil Disobedience in DC this summer to stop the Keystone XL tar sands p pipeline; Congress: Let's just rename it the "Dirty Water Act" ... PLUS: Which cities can best adapt to climate change? (Congrats, Cleveland!) ...
Please see RAW STORY for the whole story, but Bush's former White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer pulled a slick, if sleazy maneuver on CNN's Larry King Live last night while undermining the wingnut "birthers" who believe that Obama is not a U.S. citizen:
I want to point out something that is a terrible hypocrisy about all of this. When George Bush was elected, there were many people who called him illegitimate and said that he lost Florida despite there being no evidence of that being the case.
Actually, there is "evidence of that being the case," Ari. Plenty of it. Beginning (but not ending) with this years-old independent study [PDF] by a media/academic consortium posted at the "conservative" American Enterprise Institute showing that when all the ballots in the state of Florida were counted --- by any standard (hanging chads, swing chads, pregnant chads, etc.) --- Bush lost and Gore won. By. Every. Conceivable. Counting. Standard. Period.
Other than that, yeah, "for everyone...who's a little lulu on the right, there's about 1.8 who's lulu on the left," as Fleischer misled.
Dishonest Moral Equivalence Accomplished.
The video from the 10/6/09 Larry King Live, also featuring whacky Rep. Michele Bachmann's evasion of whether the "birthers" are crazy or not, is posted below...
I don't mind admitting it. For an Election Integrity journalist, HBO's Recount is pure pornography. Anticipation for Sunday's Memorial Day premiere showing was at the top of last weekend's holiday agenda. And the excitement grew still more late Friday when the good folks of PDA Florida made my week (my month? my year? my last four eight years?) by sending me an actual Palm Beach County "CES Votomatic III" voting booth, one which they tell me was among the 24 used in HBO's film itself.
Since I have a very difficult time paying the bills around here --- contrary to popular opinion, election integrity blogging isn't the windfall it might otherwise appear --- perhaps I'll consider the kind gift a reward for my too-many years on this beat. Though perhaps my consolation prize would be a better way to look at it.
When I first opened it, actual chads (HBO's film advises the plural of "chad" is actually "chad") from the 2000 election spilled out of the machine all over the office floor. The gods of democracy and the goddess of the Butterfly Ballot were taunting me. I rather enjoyed it. I learned long ago that I'd have little choice.
So it was with great anticipation that I sat down on Sunday night to watch the film as it premiered, along with the "Diebold Document Whistleblower" (and my new colleague at VelvetRevolution.us) Steven Heller and his wife, and Robert Carillo Cohen, one of the filmmakers of HBO's landmark documentary, the Emmy-nominated Hacking Democracy which enjoyed a re-airing earlier in the day, as the cable net set the stage for its newest democracy thriller/heart-breaker, Recount.
None of us, including Heller, who anticipated hating the fictionalized re-telling of America's crushing democratic abortion of 2000, would be disappointed...
Not really. But it's a damned funny headline. And it's probably accurate "enough" for the New York Times, where accuracy doesn't much matter anymore, apparently.
We'll have some of our own thoughts very soon on Recount, which we much enjoyed over the holiday weekend. Until then, our preview of the new HBO film, filed before we finally got to see it when in premiered Sunday night, is posted here.
But it's worth noting, for the moment, that the New York Times, the disgraced "Paper of Record," even today persists in misreporting the story of the 2000 Florida Election debacle. As Larry Beinhart documents today at Smirking Chimp:
"In 2001 painstaking postmortems of the Florida count, one by The New York Times and another by a consortium of newspapers, concluded that Mr. Bush would have come out slightly ahead, even if all the votes counted throughout the state had been retallied."
-- Alessandra Stanley, New York Times, May 23, 2008 in a review of the HBO television movie, Recount
That's not true.
The New York Times did not do its own recount. It did participate in a consortium. Here's what they actually said:
"If all the ballots had been reviewed under any of seven single standards, and combined with the results of an examination of overvotes, Mr. Gore would have won, by a very narrow margin."
-- Ford Fessenden And John M. Broder, New York Times, November 12, 2001
Why did Ms. Stanley make such an important and fundamental error?
It is not a trivial matter. It is a common piece of misinformation. Many, many people believe it. Now a few more do, as a result of Ms. Stanley's review.
It is not a trivial matter. Because that misinformation was created by one of the most bizarre, and still completely unexplained, journalistic events in modern times.
Here's what happened.
Read Beinhart's piece for the remarkable details in what really is one of the "most bizarre, and still completely unexplained, journalist events in modern times." Unfortunately, he doesn't include links in his coverage (please add them if you can, Larry!), but for the doubters, here's the report [PDF] showing that Al Gore did, in fact, receive more votes in Florida in 2000 than George W. Bush. That, despite the stunningly contrary headlines, as Beinhart shows, from almost every paper that reported on that complete state count. Even the papers who bothered to report --- if you read them closely enough --- that Gore received more votes than Bush, still used inexplicably misleading headlines for the story.
Given the wholly inaccurate claim, as includied in their review of Recount, it would appear that NYTimes is intent on simply ensuring the matter is inaccurately reported forever. We'll remember to keep that, and their year-long front page pre-Iraq War-mongering, in mind next time we're inevitably told by some wingnut on the radio, just how "liberal" the NYTimes is.
Pollack had been slated to direct Recount originally, but was forced to bow out due to being diagnosed with cancer last August. He lived, at least, long enough to see Recount premiered on Sunday night on HBO. He had stayed on with the production as Executive Producer.
Given his great sense of humor, we'd like to believe he would well have appreciated the satirical headline above.
"The recount never really happened," notes Kevin Spacey, correctly, about the 2000 Florida election debacle in his interview Wednesday night on Countdown, in advance of Recount, HBO's theatrical retelling of the nightmare. The film premieres this Sunday.
Some weeks ago, we ran an item which included the theatrical trailer for the film and noted that we've neither seen it, nor been contacted by anybody from the production (they didn't purchase an ad here either, boo hoo) but that they did manage to use our "Stuck in the Middle With You" theme song for the film, curiously enough, as you'll see in the trailer. We'll take it as a compliment, as if we have a choice.
We also noted, with evidence, that Al Gore received more votes than George W. Bush in the state of Florida in 2000, and that seven whistleblowers from the company, Sequoia Voting Systems, who produced the paper ballots for Florida, have come forward to reveal that they were forced by someone to use bad paper on those ballots (only in Florida) against their objections, and to misalign the chads on them (only in Palm Beach County). To this day, other than Dan Rather at HDNet, who originally ran the report, nobody in the corporate media has found that story worthy of following up, or even merely reporting.
But for the third in our countdown of productions with the word "count" in its title, we turn to our friend Mary Mancini, who smartly blogs at the website of the documentary film Uncounted (We're in it, so see FULL DISCLOSURE at end of this article). Mancini notes that Olbermann, during his interview with Spacey (at left, including clip from film), joined so many other journalists who have taken the opportunity of the premiere of HBO's film to miss more than a few good journalistic opportunities...
With all the publicity surrounding this movie, now would be the perfect time for journalists to take the national conversation to the next level and ask the most logical follow up questions:
1) Why wasn’t our electoral process equipped, as Kevin Spacey says in the interview, “to handle margins of victory so small and margins of error so big” in 2000?
2) Are we equipped to do so now?
Another great opportunity was lost last night when during the interview Spacey explains the punch-card recount process:
That when you have a margin of victory so small, you have to go to what is called an automatic machine recount and yet, 18 counties, over 1,500,00 votes, didn’t bother to put their ballots back through the machine. They just re-tabulated the memory card, and you always get a different count when you do a machine recount. So, when you kind of realize that, well, that’s ’cause people just couldn’t bother to do it, um, it’s pretty stunning that…that…so..when Baker and Bush kept coming out and saying, “The votes have been counted, and they’ve been counted again, and Gore wants to count them a third time,” they were actually never counted.
No, they weren't. And the Supreme Court demanded that they remain uncounted, so Bush could be named "President."
Only the media and academic consortium who actually did bother to count all of those ballots [PDF] afterwards in Florida would know that Gore received more votes than Bush. Period. Even if they've done a superb job of keeping that little fact to themselves ever since. Whether HBO's Recount tells that truth, we'll have to wait until Sunday to find out.
Following below, for your convenience, are both the HBO trailer for Recount and, once again, the breathtaking Dan Rather report on the gaming of the paper ballots in Florida's 2000 election...
We've never been contacted by the makers of HBO's upcoming Recount film, which promises to be a theatrical re-telling of the 2000 Presidential Election Debacle in Florida. Yet, we'll chalk it up to one helluva/swelluva coincidence, that the preview for the film, as seen below, happens to use The BRAD BLOG's own personal "theme song," Stuck in the Middle With You. Go figure...
HBO's film begins airing May 25, and while we hate to give away the ending, Al Gore won [PDF].
Of course, that's only if one bothers to count all of the ballots actually successfully cast (if not counted) in the state of Florida, as a media and academic consortium did, as seen at the link above, revealing that by every possible chad-counting standard (hanging, pregnant, swinging, etc.) Al Gore received more votes than George W. Bush. Period.
That might help to explain why Bush had to go to his friends on the Supreme Court to get them not to allow the ballots to be counted, in one of the most remarkably liberal acts of judicial activism, undercutting states' rights, in the history of this nation.
But we're guessing the film has that other, less accurate ending, implying that Bush actual "won" Florida (which he didn't).
In either case, since the myths of the FL 2000 election are likely to be re-debated afresh with the release of HBO's film, we wanted to a) Offer the link above (showing that Gore received more votes in FL than Bush) and b) Remind you, and the entirety of the corporate mainstream media, which ignored it when the following report first aired, that the chads on those ballots in Florida hung for a reason. As 7 former employees of Sequoia Voting Systems, the company which produced FL's paper ballots in 2000, attest on-camera, they were forced by company superiors to use inferior paper for those ballots, only the ones going to Florida, and were further ordered to misalign the chads on those paper ballots, but only for those going to Dem stronghold Palm Beach County.
That, after decades of producing ballots which never featured a hanging chad.
If you've yet to see it, here's the mind-blowing section of Dan Rather's remarkable HDNet report which aired last summer, but was picked up by absolutely nobody in the CMSM thereafter. If you can't watch the following, the transcript is posted here. But if you've not seen this one yet, please prepare to be amazed, and appalled...