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...
See ThinkProgress for more detail on this, but I just wanted to flag this moment as I find it exceedingly creepy, and suspect this is more often than not the way these things happen. The quick handshake, wink, nod and walk away --- Bank of America, in the form of a top national executive, pledges the corporation's fealty to a Presidential candidate.
No need to discuss what the quid pro quo will be. No need for Perry to even acknowledge it out loud. It's just a 5 second investment by BofA almost certain to pay off should Perry be victorious. Really creepy...
But, ya know, what's the big deal? As Gov. Rick Perry's current main competitor for the GOP Presidential nomination, Gov. Mitt Romney explained recently, "Corporations are people, my friend."
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Extreme weather in 2011 breaking records for record-breaking; Civil disobedience coming to the White House over Canada's Keystone XL pipeline; PLUS: TX Gov. Rick Perry thinks he knows more about climate science than climate scientists do...and the GOP candidates' attacks on the EPA may be costly ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 'Every farmer in the world will be affected by climate change'; Wal-Mart Going 100% Renewable - in Canada; Op-ed: No to Arctic Drilling; Koch Brothers Fund Bogus Study Bashing Offshore Wind in New Jersey; Melting Arctic sea ice drives walruses onto land; Famine-struck Somalia faces cholera outbreak; EPA's Planned Phaseout of Harmful Refrigerant Hits Snag; Human Excrement to Blame for Coral Decline; Obama administration moves against ANWR oil drilling; Public's ideas for BP oil spill restoration projects; Otters are back in England; U.S. bans Syrian oil imports; Myth: smaller, fuel-efficient cars increase traffic deaths; Army Corps re-calibrating ’500-Year Flood’ standard; Fukushima's meltdown: reactors were doomed to fail" ... PLUS: Living beyond our means: How our indulgent economic and environmental models threaten future generations ...
So, this guy is the front-runner for the 2012 Republican nomination for President of the United States?...
TPM has more context, etc., and you can decide for yourself whether Romney was echoing the absurd Citizens United line there (that corporations are Constitutionally entitled to the same rights as human beings), or whether he was trying to say that what is good for corporations is good for the people who own and/or benefit from them.
But what strikes me is that Romney appears quite flustered and weak in that exchange. The entire tussle, with a few hecklers at the Iowa State Fair serves to make him appear profoundly unPresidential, when appearing Presidential is one of the few things he can be good at...at times. Perhaps Mittens oughta stay away from state fairs...and campaign appearances where actual people get to ask questions and stuff...for a while.
One thing is for certain though. Fairly or unfairly, that comment is likely to haunt him for a long time to come. I suspect it will become a landmark moment in Romney's political trajectory frankly. That view seems to be shared by both Rachel Maddow, who points out this isn't the first such awkward campaign appearance by Mitt, and by Stephen Colbert as well, who says Romney's "historic" statement yesterday makes him "this generations civil rights champion --- a Dr. Martin Luther, Inc., if you will." (Videos of their takes below.)
Nonetheless, for the moment, even after last night's very lively and entertaining Iowa GOP Debate on Fox "News" (a few, if not all, of the high/lowlights of what TPM describes as 'GOP Fight Night' here), Mitt still remains the man to beat --- though that's not saying much, given the current Republican field a full 15 months away from next year's Presidential election.
Maddow and Colbert video takes on Romney's "Corporations are people, my friend" comment follow...
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:
A senior aide and a consultant hired by former Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) were indicted Thursday in a case stemming from thousands of anonymous robocalls placed on election night last year that suggested voters could stay home even though the polls were still open.
Paul Schurick, 54, Ehrlich’s de facto campaign manager, and Julius Henson, 62, a consultant paid by the campaign, were both charged with three counts of conspiracy to violate election laws, one count of influencing votes through fraud and one count of failing to identify the sponsor of the calls. In addition, Schurick was charged on one count of obstruction of justice.
In a statement, the Office of the Maryland State Prosecutor, which obtained the indictments from a Baltimore grand jury, said its investigation is continuing. All but one of the charges handed down Thursday carry maximum prison sentences of five years.
Of course, while the Maryland scheme appears to have been criminal, this year, the more pressing problem is the fact that GOP state lawmakers aren’t resorting to robocall schemes; they’re just rigging the game before Election Day even comes.
As we talked about last week, there is a concerted national effort on the part of many Republican policymakers to make it harder for traditional Democratic voters to participate in the 2012 elections. Under the auspices of rooting out “voter fraud” — a problem that appears to exist largely in the over-active imaginations of GOP activists — Republicans are passing voter-ID measures, approving new laws restricting voter-registration drives, and closing early-voting windows.
If all goes according to plan, going forward, they won’t even need ridiculous schemes like the one in Maryland.
Of course, the new indictments handed down against Ehrlich's aides in MD (Ehrlich ended up losing the election anyway) are hardly the only examples of GOP election fraud going on out there, even as there are rarely indictments for any of it.
We recently detailed the story of the high-ranking Clay County, KY, election officials (including the County Clerk, a circuit court judge, and the school superintendent --- and other members of the County Election Commission) who were sentenced to a combined total of some 150 years in the federal penitentiary jail, for gaming elections for years in the county via buying and selling votes as well as, in 2006, actually changing the votes of voters on electronic touch-screen voting machines.
The complaint against Romney was filed by fellow GOP Presidential candidate Fred Karger, who was my in-studio guest last night on the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show (which I'm guest hosting this week and the beginning of next). The audio from my interview with Karger last night about his voter fraud investigation and complaint against Romney, and much more, can be downloaded here [MP3], or listened to online below...
We're back guest hosting the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show for the next few weeknights --- tonight through next Tuesday! Hope you can join us!
We'll be BradCasting LIVE 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT) each night, coast-to-coast and around the globe from the studios of L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE and lively chat room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG, as usual, while we are on the air. Please stop by and join the fun while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)
PLUS: Media and Democratic Party idiocy over Anthony Weiner; good (and bad) news on Constitutional rights; Bush admin CIA targeted an American middle-east expert/blogger; Fake civil war in the Republican/U.S. Chamber of Commerce Party; and much more, including whatever's on your mind via calls to 877-520-1150 and tweets to @TheBradBlog!...
The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates across the country and also on Sirius Ch. 146 & XM Ch. 167. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or via MikeMalloy.com.
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POST-SHOW UPDATE: Fast-paced show, with a GREAT interview with Fred Karger right in the middle! Be sure to give it a listen! The audio archives (and chat room archives) follow below. See ya again tomorrow night!...
Now, before I forget, a quick note to say that a) I'll be guest hosting the Mike Malloy Show again beginning tomorrow (Thursday), weekdays through next Tuesday and b) I will have what is no doubt a Malloy Show first on tomorrow night's show: one of my guests will be a 2012 Republican Presidential candidate. Which one? You're welcome to guess, but otherwise, stay tuned.
With that tease out of the way...Today I had a special extended 90-minute BradCast on on L.A.'s Pacifica Radio affiliate KPFK, as I filled in for the host of the hour-long show which follows my usual Wednesday, 3:30pm PT slot.
And with that extra time we had today, I was finally able to take some calls for a change (plus, discuss Mitt Romney's alleged voter fraud and some related issues). That was our first half-hour of the show, which you can listen to below.
In the last 60 minutes, I was delighted to have two guests, together, who had never spoken in person previously. The first is conservative/libertarian D.R. Tucker --- whose recent column, "Confessions of a Climate Change Convert" was published at former Dubya speechwriter David Frum's FrumForum.com. The must-read article begins "I was defeated by the facts." It then proceeds to explain how the man who had previously "joined others on the right in dismissing concerns about climate change," and felt that "any movement associated with Al Gore and Van Jones couldn't possibly be trusted, that environmentalists were simply left-wing, anti-capitalist kooks."
And so, it was my hope that we'd be able to use radio to actually work on finding solutions, for a change, rather than exacerbate conflict. And so we did in the second hour, after Tucker explained his remarkable conversion. That too is also available below for your listening pleasure (or displeasure)...
Maddow's excellent report does not, however, delve into the recent and growing spate of high-profile GOPers who have, or appear to have committed similar felony voter fraud violations --- such as Romney's potential fellow Mormon GOP Presidential hopeful Gov. Jon Huntsman, Missouri's GOP U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin, Indiana's Republican Sec. of State Charlie White (who is currently facing 3 voter fraud-related indictments), or GOP voter fraud queen Ann Coulter.
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: It's official: record flooding on the Missouri River, record snowpack & record drought mean another record-breaking Spring in the US; Record drought in Europe too, bringing crop failure and blackouts this summer; Obama Administration boosts funding for the smart grid; PLUS: It's that time again: Get ready for a year and a half of Republican presidential campaigning ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 'Liquid battery" breakthrough?; Where's that green jobs revolution Obama promised?; Obama Pushes for More Cleantech, Green Jobs; Planet Earth Doesn't Know How To Make It Any Clearer It Wants Everyone To Leave; Oil to spike again before new recession; Japanese unite against nuclear power; NM Abandons Efforts to Restore Mexican Gray Wolves; New breed of wheat 'near immune' to devastating plague; Appeals Court Rules for Massey Over U.S; In Koch Country, KS gov begs federal government for climate disaster relief; High levels of Strontium Found at Fukushima Plant; EPA Delays Rule on Power Plant Emissions; New Rules For Offshore Fish Farms; 150 Chemicals No Longer Icognito; 2 Common Materials Pose Risk of Cancer; GAO finds most plants lack emissions controls; Do You Live Near One of the Top 25 Dirtiest Coal Plants?; Mining Company to Pay $263 Million settlement; Do we have a moral obligation to stop screwing up the planet? ... PLUS: "Humans ‘blissfully unaware’ of coming climate crisis"...
What is it about Mormon Republican Presidential candidates and their proclivity for committing voter fraud?
For that matter, what is it about high-profile Republicans in general and their rapidly growing record of voter fraud, as we have two new reports today of two more very high profile Republicans who appear to have committed voter fraud? One of them is GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the other U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri.
But they are just the two latest in a quickly growing list of Republican vote fraudsters.
In March, as you'll recall, Utah's former Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. --- who is believed likely to jump into the GOP Presidential race soon --- was alleged to have committed voter fraud by casting his vote last year via his registration at the governor's mansion despite having resigned and moved out of the address almost two years prior to become President Obama's Ambassador to China.
Previously, of course, we've reported in great detail on GOP superstar Ann Coulter's repeated and now well-documented voter fraud. More recently (and more ironically), Charlie White, the newly-elected Republican Sec. of State of Indiana --- a state with, until recently, the most draconian, disenfranchising polling-place Photo ID restrictions in the nation --- was indicted on seven felony counts, three of them related to voter fraud, after he continued to vote at a residence where he no longer lived (where he also continued to illegally serve on the town council, despite no longer living there).
And now, according to a complaint filed by another GOP Presidential hopeful, it appears that current front-runner Mitt Romney has been playing similarly fast and loose with his own residency and is alleged to have voted, illegally, in last year's special election for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts despite no longer being a resident of the state...
Obama is doing so well lately that, despite the midterm shellacking and the notion that it was a referendum on the President, Americans would rather see the country go in the direction Obama wants than in the direction Congressional Republicans want. An ABC/Washington Post poll found that Americans wanted to see Obama rather than Republicans take the lead by a 44% to 35% split. That finding was supported by a PPP poll in which 48% of respondents said they had more faith in Obama to lead the nation, versus 44% who said they were more confident in Republicans.
That PPP poll had other great news for the President, as it showed him improving his lead on several frontrunners for the GOP presidential nomination in hypothetical 2012 matchups. In December, Obama led Mitt Romney by just one point nationally, though he now leads by five points, 48% to 43%. His lead on Mike Huckabee grew from three to five points over the same period, while he pulled away from Palin to lead that contest by 17 points, 55% to 38%.
This must drive the Neo-Cons even crazier than they are already. From the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC)'s straw poll over the weekend:
NEW ORLEANS --- In the presidential-preference straw poll here at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Mitt Romney won by ONE vote over Ron Paul --- out of 1,806 cast.
Romney received 24% of the vote (439 votes) to Paul's 24% (438 votes).
Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin received 18% --- followed by Mike Huckabee at 4%, Tim Pawlenty at 3%, Mike Pence at 3%, Rick Santorum at 2%, and Gary Johnson at 1%.
Yes, Ron Paul lost to Mitt Romney, the man who signed legislation into law mandating health insurance policies for all Massachusetts citizens, by just one vote. That, after Paul easily won the straw poll at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) in D.C. in February.
Paul's positions, however, are actually conservative, and thus run antithetical to most of the Neo-Con, Big Government, Bush/Cheney-era Republicanists who now call themselves Tea Baggers, as RAW STORY notes today here. How many more "Democrats in Disarray" articles will we have to read before the "Republicans in Disarray" articles finally begin in the corporate media?
One other related thought: When Palin came in a distant fourth at CPAC's straw poll, the Republican and Republican-enabling and TeaBag-promoting Chattering Class instructed us via the corporate media that she would have done better had she actually showed up and spoken at the event. Well, she showed up and spoke at the SRLC, received a larger percentage of the vote, but still managed to do no better than third place among the dyed-in-the-wool, hard Right Southern Republicanists at the conference. Go figure.
(By the way, be sure to catch's Mike's latest not-ironic-at-all column at the Republican News Channel (RNC)'s website on the "The Death of Journalism"!)
No doubt the Republican News Channel (RNC), recently seen on video-tape "stage managing" the Teabagger protests they sponsored last week in D.C., is very proud. Though perhaps they missed an opportunity by not putting Glenn Beck into the poll? With a show five days a week on the RNC, and on your public radio airwaves --- unlike Huckabee, who's only seen on weekends (though he does do a short syndicated daily essay on your public airwaves in 500 radio markets) --- it's likely he would have been a shoo-in! Why waste all that valuable air time, Fox, when you could be using it to put your superstar in office?!
This weekend's summit in D.C., as in previous years, celebrated far-rightwing liberal interpretations of the Constitution and extremist judicial activism, such as the promotion of big government intrusion into the lives of American citizens, the "right" of that government to come between patients and their doctors, and other anti-American values such as ignoring the Rule of Law, and the Constitutional right to equal protection under the law for same sex couples who wish to be recognized by the government as married, just like their heterosexual counterparts.
The winners and losers, out of 597 votes cast in the straw poll, were reported to have been Huckabee with 28%, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney a distant second at 12%, followed by Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, with the celebrity community organizer and former Alaskan Governor who aborted her term earlier this year, Sarah Palin tying with Indiana's U.S. Rep. Mike Pence for fourth/fifth.
Congratulations to them all! You're all both winners and losers in our eyes!
There's folks to the right of Ann Coulter? Well, yeah, since Coulter is little more than a phony "conservative" opportunist (and voter fraud felon). We always enjoy it, of course, when these guys eat themselves alive. So who are we to stop them? And we're equally glad to know that the cowardly Coulter also now runs away during interviews with them on the radio, just as she did with us way back in 2005.
Here's the latest video campaign, launched by the anti-choicers on the right, wherein Coulter can't run fast enough...over and over again. As Coulter's '08 endorsed Mitt Romney is likely the closest thing resembling a "legitimate" front-runner for 2012 --- at least by GOP standards --- it'll be fun to watch this internecine fight ramp up between now and then...
(Hat-tip Wendy Norris, who has more at Colorado Independent)