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 BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
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! ...
Yesterday at the Tampa Bay Times...
Deal with reality
I've been a Republican for my entire adult life (a long time). In recent years, I've been troubled by the extreme course the party has taken on a number of issues. From my perspective, the Republican Party of years gone by was the party of middle America. Democrats were "liberals" and Republicans were "conservatives." But since tea party Republicans have hijacked the party, Republicans have become extremists, to the overall detriment of the entire party. No other issue demonstrates this better than global warming.
How any intelligent person can deny the existence of global warming is literally unbelievable to me. If you don't believe in global warming, check the Internet to see how glacial ice is receding at an incredible rate all over the planet. I have seen it with my own eyes in Alaska and was stunned.
As a result of Republicans' denial of a fact that is inarguable, I have become something I detested: a single-issue voter. I will not vote for any person who refuses to acknowledge the reality of global warming. My hope is that other Republicans will step forward and force the party to deal with reality.
Joseph Larrinaga, St. Pete Beach
Keep hoping, Joseph.
[Hat-tip to too-occassional BRAD BLOG contributor D.R. Tucker]
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! ...
A few weeks ago, our legal analyst Ernie Canning warned how the U.S. Supreme Court's pending decision on whether or not to hear the ACLU's challenge to the Wisconsin GOP Photo ID voting law might be the last chance before the 2016 Presidential elections to determine the Constitutionality of such laws.
On Monday, the Supreme Court decided not to grant cert in the WI challenge in the Frank v. Walker case. The decision is not a ruling on the merits of the case or the Constitutionality of the law. It simply means that, for now, there were not four votes on the Court to hear the ACLU's challenge at this time.
It also means that, barring further court action or a quick decision on a similar law out of another state, polling place Photo ID restrictions on voters will be allowed in the Badger State in 2016. That, despite the fact that the federal trial court found, when striking down the law as unconstitutional and a violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act last year, that the new Republican-enacted law may serve to bar some 300,000 disproportionately Democratic-leaning and already lawfully registered voters from casting a ballot in the state's Presidential election.
There is also more than a bit of irony in this matter, in that, after U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman soundly rejected the law in 2014 --- finding that "evidence adduced at trial demonstrates" WI's Act 23 "disproportionately impacts Black and Latino voters" and that the law would "prevent more legitimate votes from being cast than fraudulent votes" --- the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals deadlocked (disingenously) 5 to 5 on whether to stay the original ruling. That deadlock meant the stay would be granted and the WI law would be allowed, barring further court challenges, despite the fact that 6 federal judges had voted to strike down the law, while just 5 had voted in its favor. To make matters worse, Act 23 had also been struck down previously in state court as a violation of the state constitution as well. Nonetheless, in this matter, a minority of judges successfully ruled against the majority.
All of that, despite a blistering dissent filed in last year's 7th Circuit Court WI decision by against the law (and all such laws) from revered conservative 7th Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner. Posner's original ruling in favor of a Photo ID restriction law in Crawford v. Marion County, Indiana, was the basis of the first such case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, upholding Indiana's Photo ID law in 2008. So his unambiguous reversal on the issue, now that we know much more about such laws, was noteworthy and, opponents of the law had hoped, convincing to the Supremes who have, for many years, favorably cited the legal scholar's opinions.
Though the 7th Circuit's decision to temporarily stay the original ruling striking down the law was later vacated by the U.S. Supreme Court last year --- on the basis that the stay was made too close to the election --- the discriminatory law is now back in place in the state. The refusal by the Court to grant cert this weeks means that it will likely remain in place as the next Presidential election begins.
Some watching these matters closely, however, believe that Monday's decision by SCOTUS to not hear the Wisconsin case may ultimately be a good thing, perhaps "a blessing in disguise"...
This weekend, Washington Monthly blogger (and too-occasional BRAD BLOG guest blogger) D.R. Tucker cited the "Intellectually Honest Conservative" award The BRAD BLOG graciously offered recently to Texas Republican Rep. Sarah Davis.
He notes that while he kinda sorta mostly agrees with us, he has a complaint.
We granted the rarely-bestowed award to Davis last week for her courageous stand in favor of women's rights in Texas, where every other GOP lawmaker in her state Legislature is actively trying to remove them. She offers a (truly) conservative basis for her stance, arguing that Government has no business inserting itself into health decisions between a women and her doctor.
Where Tucker takes issue is that he believes if Davis really cared about women's rights she'd have no choice but to "leave her misogynist party and [tell] her right-wing colleagues to kiss her Tex-ass."
In making the case, he offers up an interesting anecdote worth sharing about Mary Crisp, for those of us who didn't know about it. She was the first female co-chair of the Republican National Committee. She had worked her way up from a party volunteer to eventually become one of its top officials before, essentially, being pushed out of the role by Ronald Reagan in 1980, thanks to her stance on abortion and the Equal Rights Amendment --- the latter of which the GOP had long supported...until they didn't anymore...
What we've been referring to of late as the Politics of Stupid regime that we are all forced to live under since the GOP takeover of both the U.S. House and Senate, is living up to its name once again today.
The Republicans who now control the once-honorable and formerly-esteemed U.S. House Judiciary Committee go full "BuzzFeed" (Plus sexism! Minus amusing!) with this incredibly embarrassing page posted on Wednesday as a "Press Release" in opposition to the President's Executive Actions on immigration.
Here's a partial screenshot...
You'll have to click on it to get the full idea (cuz, ya know, all those are animated "ditzy girl" GIFs are just so delightfully hysterical.)
By way of reminder, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, now led by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), is the esteemed body where such things as impeachment of U.S. Presidents and federal judges, etc., are carried out.
So embarrassing. And, frankly, so very dispiriting. Maybe that's the point.
UPDATE 3/20/2015: Since we published the above yesterday, a few other websites have also begun to notice (and deride) this shameful "press release". Moreover, they've also raised one or two points that we didn't mention here.
TPM, which is covering this as its top story for the moment, notes the irony of a "press release" regarding immigration reform in which "all 10 GIFs included in the press release depicted white characters or celebrities."
And ZDNet, who describes the "press release" as a "new low" even for Congress, also notes that the GIFs in question, all taken from popular films or TV shows, may well be in violation of copyright laws and "anti-piracy laws" that members of this same House Judiciary Committee have been attempting to pass since 2011. Oops.
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: No more Mr. Nice Guy: Obama calls out 'shills', takes more new action on climate change; New rules for fossil fuels on public lands; It's official: Winter 2015 the warmest winter on record; PLUS: Solar-powered Germany says its ready for a major solar eclipse....All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): California: $1B drought relief package just the beginning; US has grown a pipeline network by almost a quarter; Chemical lobbyist exposed as author of new bill to regulate industry; US and Chinese companies dominate list of most-polluting coal plants; Rate of climate change to soar by 2020... PLUS: A Texas city pulls plug on fossil fuels with shift to renewables... and much, MUCH more! ...
As readers know, I'm no fan of Oregon's all Vote-by-Mail elections. (Yes, I understand most of you Oregonians love it. Save your hate mail and/or read this and this and this and this and this.) Nor am I a fan of Washington Post's mostly terrible editorial page. But on this matter, both the state and the paper have it right...
But we are pleased --- we might even say relieved --- to offer The BRAD BLOG's too-rarely, now-almost-never bestowed "Intellectually Honest Conservative" Award to Texas Republican state Representative Sarah Davis!
We've never figured out how so many Republicans get away with calling themselves "conservative", claiming a belief in "limited government", while still supporting huge and intrusive government programs and restrictions that rob citizens of rights, chief among them, targeted restrictions on women's health issues. Want to get between private citizens and their doctors --- as Republicans pretended to abhor during their fight against health care insurance reform? The GOP has done so for years, and continues to do so in spades, all over the nation.
There are few state legislatures more aggressively inserting Big Government between citizens and their doctors than the state of Texas. With few Democrats in the body to stop them, the GOP's completely not-conservative Big Government "conservatism" continues unabated, with the state Legislature now hoping to even shut down cancer screenings at women's health facilities that they don't care for. And they are using very specifically targeted and powerful Big Government apparatus to simply put them out of business.
One Republican --- just one --- in the TX Legislature has been consistently standing up to them, and using true conservative values to do it...
And, if you've been following The BRAD BLOG lately, you'll know that I think so much of what's going on, in the media, in Congress, and just about everywhere else of late, is just insanely dumb.
So, on those topics today, I was delighted to be joined by our friend Eric Boehlert of Media Matters to discuss the media hypocrisy over Hillary Clinton's email "scandal" (while ignoring other, almost identical matters that actually are or were scandals) and the massive lies of Bill O'Reilly that somehow nobody seems to care about.
I also had a few words to say about the GOP's latest, embarrassing Iran idiocy, and their, um, unconvential methods of governing for the next two years, as well as the media's failure to say the words "global warming" and/or "climate change".
Yes, all of that and much more in a very lively hour! And Desi Doyen even joins us at the end for an uplifting Green News Report (sort of).
Download MP3 or listen online below...
Lots of deserved criticism of late for Arkansas' freshman U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Neocon Tea Party) for the ridiculously condescending (and, ironically, Constitutionally inaccurate) letter he authored to Iran in hopes of undermining sensitive negotiations concerning their nuclear program.
But while Cotton richly deserves all the criticism he is now roundly receiving, even from some in his own party, let's please not forget about the other 46 U.S. Senators, all Republican, who also signed onto that letter.
This was not a hundreds-of-pages-long bill or something. It was five simple paragraphs long and each Senator appears to have signed onto it by hand. They have no excuse.
You've probably heard about it, but may not have actually read it in full. Until I did, I figured it was likely another bit of obnoxiousness from the GOP, akin to inviting Netanhayu to speak to Congress without White House approval, but the outrage around it was largely a partisan attack from Democrats against Republicans who'd written the letter for the usual, silly partisan reasons.
But it's way worse than that. It's unprecedentedly obnoxious, embarrassing and just childishly condescending. And it doesn't take any particular allegiance to the Democratic Party or the White House to see that. It just jumps off the page.
Again, it's just five grafs long and rather astonishing. Read it, if you haven't. It's posted in full below or read the PDF. And remember: 47, theoretically grown-up U.S. Senators actually signed onto this thing. On purpose. Including the entire GOP leadership in the U.S. Senate, none of whom had the adult sense to stop them!...
Even prior to last Friday's announcement by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics trumpeting the higher-than-expected 295,000 jobs added in February, helping to drop the unemployment rate to 5.5%, the GOP lie that the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare") was a "job-killer" was already quite apparent.
Why are elected officials not held accountable when they are so demonstrably wrong? Or, worse, why are they treated by the media as if they are serious people, when clearly they are not?
On March 17, 2010, just five days before Obama signed the ACA into law, as Forbes' Dan Diamond reminded us last week, even before the huge new job numbers came in, House Speaker John Boehner reiterated what pretty much every Republican opponent of Obamacare had been reciting for months by that time...
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! ...
In his "Morning Plum" round-up today at Washington Post, Greg Sargent's collection of items on legislative priorities in the new Congress reads more like a warning than anything else. Buckle up. The serious dysfunction in the Republican House and Senate is only going to get very bad before it gets better.
His opening item details the improbability of the Voting Rights Act, broken in 2013 by the U.S. Supreme Court, being fixed by the Republican majority in both houses any time soon. Indeed, as The Nation's Ari Berman tweets today, even on the heels of the weekend's 50th anniversary commemoration of the Bloody Sunday march for voting rights in Selma, AL, just 10 House Republicans currently support the Republican-authored bill to restore the VRA.
"There's no incentive for House Republicans to act" on it, observes Sargent. That's true, in so much as, ya know, simply doing the right thing would otherwise provide incentive to at least some lawmakers.
Similarly, Sargent notes, it seems unlikely that Republicans will be able to make much progress on immigration reform, a long-promised, so-called GOP version of health care reform, or even on their own legislative priorities, such as tax reform or trade deals, given the necessity of having to deal with Democrats to get almost anything passed in the Senate and a Democratic President who is disinclined to gut programs that "Tea Party" Republicans tend to poison their own legislation with.
But, following last week's predictable GOP brinksmanship on funding for the Dept. of Homeland Security, Sargent cites Ashley Parker at the New York Times and her round up of the long list of must-pass spending bills that are coming due soon with hard deadlines and a likelihood --- some might say certainty, at this point --- that much more governing-by-brinksmanship lies in our near future. All of that, it seems, is all but certain to take up any time that might have been used to pass bills meant to, ya know, actually help the American people...
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