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...|
First, hearty congratulations are in order to the Koch brothers who, according to Forbes, are now worth $25 billion each!
That's up from the pathetic $17 billion each were worth back in 2009. So it looks like this economic downturn...this "Obama recession"...despite all of those "job killing tax increases" (there were none, he's cut taxes repeatedly)...and "job killing regulations" (there were very very few new regulations)...seems to be working out great for the two "job creating" co-owners of Koch Industries, the oil and chemical conglomerate the brothers were fortunate enough to inherit from their father.
The combined personal wealth of the two brothers has increased a total of $16 billion dollars over the last three years under the current President --- no matter what they like to suggest to the contrary when they're speaking in places they think nobody is listening to them.
Seems like the Kochs should be thanking Barack Obama, rather than declaring "the mother of all wars" on him.
But, as Rachel Maddow discussed last week (video posted below), for some odd reason, all that increased personal wealth for the "job creators" at Koch Industries, the country's second largest private company, doesn't seem to have translated into the actual creation of, ya know, jobs for some odd reason...
Weird. Even though their personal wealth has increased by some 40% during the worst economy in nearly a century, even though they now personally are worth more than the GDP of some 48 different countries, they keep killing jobs by firing thousands of Americans.
It's almost as if that whole "job creator" thing --- the notion that people who already have a whole lot of money will simply create more jobs, out of the kindness of their wallets, if only they have still more money --- is a crock of shit that only the dumbest, most brainwashed, misinformed, incurious jackasses could possibly fall for...or something.
Rachel Maddow's thoughts on the "job killing" Koch brothers follow below. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)'s thoughts on throwing the Koch brothers in jail, are right here...
There are two important late Friday announcements from the newly revived, post-Bush Voting Unit at U.S. Dept. of Justice's Civil Rights Division this afternoon. In both cases, they've raised serious concerns about discrimination by Republican Presidential front-runner Rick Perry's Texas against Hispanic and African-American voters.
Given the Lone Star State's history of discrimination against racial minorities, new laws and regulations which relate to elections and voting must be pre-cleared by the Dept. of Justice before they can be put into effect, as per Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act.
In one finding, the DoJ sees purposeful discrimination against minorities in the state's redistricting plans [PDF] for apportioning both new statehouse districts, as well as four new U.S. House seats being added in the wake of the 2010 census. The new seats are being added due to an increase in the TX population, thanks in no small part, ironically enough, to huge growth in the state's Hispanic population. The DoJ finds the proposed statehouse plan violates Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, stating that it "was adopted, at least in part, for the purpose of diminishing the ability of citizens of the United States, on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group, to elect their preferred candidates of choice to the Texas House of Representatives."
The TX plan for the U.S. House didn't fare much better (see below), with similar findings that minorities are likely to see a "retrogressive effect" in their ability "to elect their preferred candidates of choice to the United States House of Representatives" under Perry's approved scheme.
Moreover, in a letter that echoes questions recently sent by the DoJ to the state of South Carolina about their new polling place Photo ID restrictions, as The BRAD BLOG detailed earlier this month, the DoJ has a series of questions concerning Texas' new, very similar restrictions. As the law mirrors the one in South Carolina --- and in many of the other states where the GOP has been able to ram through similar voter suppression bills over the past year --- many of the questions from the DoJ to TX also ask about the their plans for notification about the law, and issuance of free IDs to the more than 600,000 otherwise-legally qualified voters who don't currently own state-issued ID that would meet the strict new requirements to cast a vote at the polls on Election Day.
In TX, the DoJ voting unit is curious about how many of those residents who don't have such IDs also happen to have Spanish surnames...
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]...
IN TODAY'S VERY SCARY RADIO REPORT: Superbugs are on the rise! And Monsanto is helping!; Extreme drought and climate change affecting power plants in the US!; PLUS: It's 'Dirty Air Week' in the U.S. House, the scariest place of all!!! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Former Solyndra employees allege mismanagement; Solyndra executives will plead 5th in hearings; US will implement international standards for oil market transparency; BP Oil not degrading on Gulf floor; CERN Study: Are cosmic rays causing global warming? [No.]; $44m settlement in SF Bay oil spill; Interior Dept. confronts growing costs of wild horse control; World Bank: Ditch fossil fuel subsidies to fight climate change; Monsanto wins lawsuit against soybean farmer; Toxic BPA turning up in children's soup cans; Typhoon Roke spares Fukushima nuclear plant; Russia extends life of aging reactors; Rick Perry's dirty deals with Big Coal; TX, KS sue EPA over air pollution rule ... PLUS: Foreign land grabs in Africa threaten greater poverty ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: The President fights back; the EPA doesn't --- for now, anyway; Shell Oil one step closer to drilling in the Arctic; Massive anti-nuke protests in Japan; PLUS: Australia's prime minister faces the global warming fight head on ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Clinton blasts Republicans on climate change denial; Poll: More Americans now believe world is warming; 3rd hottest summer globally; The Solyndra Timeline; Solyndra is the next 'Climategate'; Siemens quits nuclear industry; 'Gasland' wins Emmy; Are cosmic rays causing global warming? [No.]; Safety violations at ExxonMobil refinery; More shale well cement problems; China invests billions in Canada oil sands; Rising seas to wash out California tourism; China's crackdown on rare earth metals; New study links Gulf War vets illnesses to area of service; Missing global heat may hide in deep oceans; China closes solar panel plant after anti-pollution protests; America and oil: declining together? ... PLUS: Best way to convince deniers: Butter them up ...
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...
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
It's bad enough that CNN surrendered what little credibility it had as a "news" organization by adopting the name and sponsorship of a mega-billionaire Koch Brothers' funded and controlled, pseudo-grass-roots organization to partner with on Monday's GOP Presidential debate in California.
Now, in the midst of this Los Angeles Times front-page headline, U.S. poverty totals hit a 50-year high, comes the loud “yes” (several, actually) from the audience at the CNN 'Tea Party' debate, applauding the prospect of simply letting those who can’t afford healthcare insurance die...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Record U.S. heat --- again; Pakistan floods and pipelines explode --- again; Arctic sea ice hits record low --- again; Cargill ground turkey recalled --- again; PLUS: Fake 'reporter' Matthew Boyle at fake 'news' site Daily Caller offers fake 'news' story on EPA, as Republicans and their fossil fuel friends open full court press against Richard Nixon's clean air and water agency --- again and again and again ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Coral reefs 'will be gone by end of the century'; Sorry, breathers: Obama's cave on EPA ozone regs strictly political; Australia PM introduces controversial carbon laws; Prince Charles warns of human extinction due to climate change; Drought leaves over 12 mln people short of drinking water in SW China; Bush Admin advanced Solyndra loan guarantee; China’s new plan for solar power supremacy; What If solar received the same subsidies as fossil fuel?; The coming German energy turnaround; Explosion at French nuclear plant kills one; Tons of US-supplied nuclear weapons material missing; 5 interesting facts on our energy-hog economy; The Onion on Climate Change: an issue this critical demands at least 45 seconds of real, concentrated panic; Al Gore's 24-Hour global broadcast on climate change science ... PLUS: Switching from coal to natural gas could accelerate climate change, say scientists ...
We knew there was something not being told about the story when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce started tweeting the following link (and others like it) to an article at the Rightwing website The Daily Caller this morning...
The second tweet above linked to the U.S. Chamber's blog site "Chamber Post," and their article, penned by the appropriately-named Sean Hackbarth, headlined simply "EPA Regulation Kills 500 Jobs."
The Daily Caller story by Matthew Boyle that started it is headlined "EPA regulation forces closure of Texas energy facilities, eliminates 500 jobs," and goes on to describe how poor Texas-based coal plant owner Luminant is unable to meet a "new Cross-State Air Pollution rule, which requires Texas power generators to make 'dramatic reductions' in emissions beginning on January 1, 2012."
"The company said it has been trying to meet the new standards, but won't be able to do so without closing down several facilities and eliminating 500 jobs," reports The Daily Caller's very very Luminant-friendly Boyle, without bothering to offer any other side to the issue. (What? Tucker Carlson's The Daily Caller is even less "fair and balanced" than Fox "News"?! Say it ain't so! But more on that, and on Boyle, below.)
"Meeting this unrealistic deadline," says Luminant CEO David Campbell without rebuttal in Boyle's article, "also forces us to take steps that will idle facilities and result in the loss of jobs."
Really? Those burdensome EPA regulations --- darn all that clean air and water anyway! --- that's what's forcing poor Luminant to lay off 500 workers during this horrible downturn in the economy?!? Really?! Why, Barack Obama should be ashamed of himself!
Since The Daily Caller and Boyle and the far-right Republican U.S. Chamber of Commerce didn't find it necessary to offer any other side of the story --- and since we suspected there was one --- The BRAD BLOG touched based with Ilan Levin, Associate Director at the Austin-based, non-partisan, non-profit advocacy group Environmental Integrity Project, to get his response to this news, and to find out if maybe Luminant and their operatives at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their tools at The Daily Caller weren't telling us the full story in their propaganda today.
And surprise! There is another side to the story! But, as Boyle conceded to us in a rather remarkable conversation, he just wasn't able to report it, no matter how hard he tried...
During the billionaire Koch brothers' secret Summer Seminar near Vail, Colorado, on June 26th, their secret superstar keynote speaker, New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie, criticized President Barack Obama, charging that he "had failed the fundamental test of leadership, which I believe is to tell the people who hired you the truth, unvarnished truth."
Never mind that until our exposé at Mother Jones last week, based on a complete audio recording of his secret speech, Christie himself had failed to tell the truth to those who had hired him, by concealing the fact that he had flown half way across the country to address the Koch's gathering...just a few months after he had also secretly met with billionaire brother David Koch himself one-on-one, "for about two hours --- just the two of us," as Koch revealed during his introductory remarks, in the oil and chemical magnate's New York City office. That secret meeting took place just prior to a major announcement by Christie to unilaterally withdraw from a Northeast greenhouse gas initiative which Koch had been long advocating against.
So what are the local media obsessed with, given so many of the revelations that suddenly came to light in both our detailed report and its accompanying audio and transcript? Whether or not one of the state's top Democrats, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, should step down from her position!
Naturally. Heckuva job, New Jersey media! (And Democrats!)...
While I may have something else to share with you on this later tonight, for now, just a few very thoughts on today's somber 10th anniversary of 9/11. While my thoughts this afternoon are, naturally, with the families of those who lost their lives on 9/11, they are as much today with those exponentially many more families who have lost loved ones, needlessly, in this nation's childish and/or cynical and/or opportunistic and/or cowardly responses to that horrific day.
I am also thinking of those countless many --- a great number of whom also lost family members on both 9/11 and during our response --- who carried on with exceptional courageousness nonetheless during the course of our lost decade since. To those who were not cowed by the events of 9/11 --- and by our far more damaging responses to it --- I thank you today, again, for your selfless persistence in exercising your freedoms and liberties to do what is right, as opposed to what, no doubt, would have been far easier and far less costly on so many levels.
Beyond that (and beyond the additional thoughts, as noted, I may have later tonight), I suspect you've seen plenty in relation to the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 by now. So allow me to offer just a few short links to a few short and sweet articles or clips, all very much worth reading or watching, from over the last several weeks, as they offer a great deal about what now seems to matter most --- even as much of the nation's media choose instead to travel the very same road today as they did back then, and ever since...
• STEVE CLEMONS: "9/11 and One Measure of bin Laden's Success"
• GLENN GREENWALD: "The Decade's Biggest Scam"
• MSNBC: In regard to both items above, this clip exploring 9/11 as "good business...huge business," as from MSNBC's new documentary Day of Destruction, Decade of War ...
• SIBEL EDMONDS: "Answers in Absolute for 'Why 9/11?'"
• MSNBC: And in additional support of Edmonds' thoughts above, another clip from Day of Destruction, Decade of War, this one on the cynical, systematic, and criminal (if still shamelessly uncharged) use of tactics once known, and prosecuted by our country, as "torture"...
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
(With additional reporting and snark by Brad Friedman)
Maine's GOP Chairman, Charlie Webster, displayed a remarkable level of ignorance about the right of college students to register and vote in the Pine Tree State during a recent appearance on local radio, weeks after virtually everyone in the state has been trying to explain to him that he is off his nut.
Earlier this summer, Webster raised eyebrows (and more than a few laughs) when he brought the names of some 200 out-of-state college students to the ME Secretary of State, seeking an investigation for "voter fraud."
"I am convinced that my research proves that [voter] fraud is a problem, and I’ve only found the tip of the iceberg," Webster said during a press conference at the State House at the time, though he shared no evidence of any of the students having voted twice, or otherwise having illegally registered.
Webster's "research" began after a petition effort was launched seeking a "voter veto" ballot initiative to reverse a law recently passed by the Republican-led state legislature ending the state's 38-year-old practice of allowing for same-day voter registration. The new Maine law is just one of many new voter suppression efforts enacted by the GOP under the wholly unsupported guise of combating "voter fraud" in states across the nation over the past several months since the GOP took over many statehouses in the 2010 election.
The state's GOP chair has apparently never heard the old axiom about once you're in a hole, stop digging...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Texas is roasting! (and Rick Perry is still denying); 2011 disasters are getting expensive; Climate science is vindicated --- again; PLUS: Obama calls for infrastructure jobs - again - but undercuts clean air rules ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Regulator says Murdoch oil shale company must fix faulty wells; Bachmann dodges question on whether God uses weather to send messages; China challenges U.S. supremacy in shale gas; Oil exploration under Arctic ice could cause 'uncontrollable' natural disaster; If you eat strawberries, you should know about Methyl Iodide; Iran’s 1st nuclear power plant goes into operation; New microbe can clean up uranium; Solar power innovator Solyndra files for bankruptcy; NSFW: Don Cheadle is Captain Planet; Fukushima’s long link to a dark nuclear past ... PLUS: Scientist: “The Murdoch media empire has cost humanity perhaps one or two decades in battle against climate change ...
Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning
While Brad Friedman recently exposed Matthew Vadum to be but the latest in a long line of fraudulent right-wing propagandists who flat-out lie about "voter fraud" as part of the billionaire-funded assault on the right of the those who would be inclined to vote against the GOP, no one could have done more to demolish Vadum's credibility than Matthew Vadum.
"Why are left-wing activist groups so keen on registering the poor to vote?," asks Vadum in the latest of his series of wingnut welfare op-eds/commercials for his laughable new anti-ACORN book:
Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals
Encouraging those who burden society to participate in elections isn't about helping the poor. It's about helping the poor to help themselves to others' money.
In claiming that the poor are but a "burden" on society and that registering the poor to vote is "like handing out burglary tools to criminals," who seek "to help themselves to others money," Vadum not only advanced long-discredited hard-right ideological beliefs but revealed the abhorrence that the billionaire class and its paid-for propagandists have for democracy, itself...
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