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 BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
The "Overturn Citizens United Act", or Prop 49, will not appear on California's ballot this November after all.
As we reported in some detail last month, the unusual "advisory measure" was placed on the ballot very recently by the California state legislature. It called for Congress to "propose an amendment...to the United States Constitution" to overturn the infamous Citizens United decision and its progeny, and "to make clear that the rights protected by the United States Constitution are the rights of natural persons only."
But now, the state Supreme Court in California, dominated by 5 Republican appointees and 1 Democratic appointee, has intervened to remove the measure from this year's general election ballot, as the Sacramento Bee reports tonight...
While Congressional Republicans are busy filing a lawsuit against President Obama, in a purported attempt to bring accountability for...failing to enforce the law...or something, Republican Commissioners on the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) are going to extraordinary lengths to avoid enforcing the law.
In the bargain, its GOP Commissioners are railing against their fellow Democratic Commissioners for attempting to bring accountability for actual violations of federal campaign finance law, turning the facts of the case on its head, and publicly attacking their colleagues as "strident" obstructionists, eschewing the rule of law.
Yes, it's another breathtakingly twisted chapter from the unending Partisan Wars of 2014, although a rather important one with potentially far reaching consequences for the nation, as those paying attention might notice --- though few seem to be...
This week's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio was a fund drive show for the station, but it included some interesting stuff along the way, including an in-studio visit with documentary filmmaker and election integrity advocate John Wellington Ennis, who's newest film, Pay 2 Play: Democracy's High Stakes, has its L.A. "green carpet" premiere next week. (Note: I appear in the documentary, but from the early cuts I've seen, it's excellent anyway.)
It also allowed me to
rant a bit about connect a few dots between things like last weekend's aborted "recount" in the California Controller's primary election (which, as I reported earlier this week, helped draw a roadmap for how to steal an election in this state with little likelihood of being caught), and the more-than-decade-long fight for election integrity, including the continuing fight for actual citizen oversight of public elections, which both Ennis and I have waged in parallel journeys.
Moreover, it allowed me to connect some dots again between things like the infamous Citizen's United decision, which cut off much hope for election integrity at its knees in 2010, and the emergence of the mainstream Republican global warming denialist movement. Yes, the two issues are directly connected. (For more on that, which I didn't get time to fully cover on the show as hoped, see this.)
Finally, it also allowed me to talk about, and play some great clips from, three of my favorite election integrity documentaries (one of them Ennis' Free For All: One Dude's Quest to Save Democracy), which we made available as premiums for listeners pledging support for KPFK's fund drive. (And you are still welcome to call the number and offer your support as well, if you like!)
Download MP3 or listen online below [appx 58 mins]...
According to the first-hand account of the AP reporter/witness of Arizona's state-sanctioned killing of convicted murderer Joseph Rudolph Wood this afternoon:
About 10 minutes later, the gasping began.
Wood's jaw dropped, his chest expanded, and he let out a gasp. The gasps repeated every five to 12 seconds. They went on and on, hundreds of times. An administrator checked on him a half-dozen times. He could be heard snoring loudly when an administrator turned on a microphone to inform the gallery that Wood was still sedated, despite the audible sounds.
As the episode dragged on, Wood's lawyers frantically drew up an emergency legal appeal, asking federal and state courts to step in and stop the execution.
"He has been gasping for more than an hour," the lawyers pleaded in their filings. "He is still alive."
The Arizona Supreme Court convened an impromptu telephone hearing with a defense lawyer and attorney for the state to decide what to do.
Wood took his last breath at 3:37 p.m. Twelve minutes later, Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles L. Ryan declared Wood dead. The state court was informed of the death while its hearing was underway.
It took one hour and 57 minutes for the execution to be completed, and Wood was gasping for more than an hour and a half of that time.
The spokesperson for the AZ Attorney General, however, was "surprised by how peaceful it was"...
The measure not only calls upon Congress to "propose an amendment...to the United States Constitution" to overturn the infamous Citizens United decision and its progeny, but "to make clear that the rights protected by the United States Constitution are the rights of natural persons only."
According to state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), the author of SB 1272, the measure is intended to send "a message to Congress" that we "should not equate money with free speech and corporations are not people."
A constitutional amendment that eliminated "corporate personhood" would not only invalidate Citizens United but would overturn the newly minted right to "corporate religious liberty" established in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Inc. (2014).
Unfortunately, the language Lieu included in the measure stops short of "money is not speech." Instead, the measure simply provides for "full regulation or limitation of campaign contributions and spending, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of wealth, may express their views to one another."
While the ballot proposition is not binding, and has produced critics who describe the measure as little more than a political stunt, if adopted by an overwhelming majority of California voters this fall, it could very well help to ignite a nationwide groundswell of opposition to a series of decisions by an oligarchic Supreme Court that have threatened the very survival of our constitutional representative democracy...
Ari is in NC covering this week's hearings in federal court challenging what we've described as "the nation's most restrictive voter suppression law", as enacted by state Republicans just days after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act last summer.
This case --- and NC's law --- are really amazing. Most importantly, the results of this challenge, and the way the VRA must now be used to fight to protect voters from discriminatory laws, will be very important to similar challenges now pending across the country. In other words, this fight is important to NC, but it's arguably even more important to the entire nation.
Next up, we discussed the Rightwing stooge "reporter" Matthew Boyle, responsible for the fake 2012 story about a U.S. Senator and Dominican prostitutes, and my run-in with that same fake journalist back in 2011.
Then, Desi Doyen joins us for a few thoughts on Kentucky's genius climate change denying state Senator Brandon Smith and, as usual, for the latest Green News Report.
Download MP3 or listen online below [appx 58 mins]...
[This article now cross-published by Salon...]
The case against North Carolina's radical voter suppression law begins hearings today, as the U.S. Dept. of Justice, the ACLU, the League of Women Voters and other plaintiffs seek a preliminary injunction on the most sweeping and restrictive "election reform" bill in the nation.
After Republicans took over both the legislature and the Governor's office in the Tar Heel State for the first time since Reconstruction, they instituted what we described after passage of the law in 2013 as "the nation's most restrictive voter suppression law".
In addition to draconian polling place Photo ID restrictions (despite any evidence of in-person voter impersonation in the state), the legislation also shortens the early voting period; eliminates NC's very successful same-day voter registration program; eliminates pre-registration for 16- and 17-year olds; bars counting provisional ballots cast in the right county but wrong precinct; prohibits extending poll hours even for extraordinary circumstances such as long lines; allows any registered voter in a county to challenge the eligibility of anyone else to vote in the same county; and much more.
Virtually every anti-voting provision that has been passed or attempted to be passed by Republicans across the country was included in NC's legislation. After House Bill 589 --- known officially as the Voter Information Verification Act (VIVA) --- was originally adopted in July of 2013, then signed days later by Gov. Pat McCrory (R), we explained it to be "the whole ball of wax. Everything that a Republican desperate to stay in power by keeping legal (Democratic-leaning) voters from being able to cast their legal vote could ever want, short of a provision declaring outright that 'Non-Republican voters need not apply'."
As the hearings begin, the Winston-Salem Journal's coverage over the weekend drew a bead on just how transparently partisan this legislation is, as it ballooned from 16 to 57 pages just days after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the federal Voting Rights Act, before the law was adopted by both the state House and Senate in just two days...
Despite having their own 100-foot buffer zone of protection at the Court, the U.S. Supreme Court Justices unanimously struck down Massachusetts' state-wide 35-foot buffer around reproductive healthcare clinics in this country with their McCullen v Coakley decision today.
They have just announced that it is 'Open Season' on reproductive healthcare clinics in this country.
According to SCOTUS blog, where the decision was being reported live, the issue is about restricting free speech in public spaces: "A state can go beyond narrow laws that block obstructions to clinics, and more broadly ban abortion protests, only if it builds a record showing that the narrower measures don't work." (More at scotusblog.com)
I am a long-time clinic defense escort volunteer in cities from Los Angeles to Chicago to New York. The idea that the people standing outside clinics screaming and yelling, chasing people into the streets, surrounding medical transport vehicles and threatening staff are there for First Amendment expression reasons would be laughable if the potential for violence wasn't so real. They show up to intimidate patients and companions and terrorize communities.
More than 300 acts of violence were committed against reproductive healthcare clinics just between 2010 and 2012. That includes eight murders and seventeen attempted murders since 1991. More than 80% of facilities have called the police and National Abortion Federation members overwhelmingly report that buffer zones prevent violence and make staff and patients feel safer.
Apparently intimidation and terrorizing those seeking legal medical procedures is now an important First Amendment expression of "free speech", according to the Supreme Court Justices. The Court has weighed the safety of healthcare providers and American citizens against potential violence and has decided they aren't worried...
The case against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), charging that he ran a "criminal scheme" by coordinating his 2012 recall election campaign with about a dozen "outside" groups, is about much more than just Walker and his corruption.
On this week's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio, I spoke with Brendan Fischer, general counsel at the Center for Media and Democracy about what could be the very last piece of campaign finance law to fall in the wake of 2010's Citizens United and 2014's McCutcheon rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court. Depending on how the challenge against the case against Walker goes, there may be nothing left that keeps candidate campaigns from putting unlimited, undisclosed millions to work in buying our elections. In short, as I discussed with Fischer, democracy could well become even more hosed than it already is in this country. Who knew that was even possible, at this point?
Also, on this very busy BradCast on a very busy day: "the most prolific multiple voter in memory" (a case of massive GOP voter fraud in WI); the shadowy Photo ID initiative that went down in flames in CA; the terrible "recount" bill in CA that has now been (largely) killed following BRAD BLOG's recent exposé; a word or two about the latest absurdity in the GOP's pretend IRS "scandal"; and, as usual, Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report and a some utter nonsense from Fox and Friends.
All of that and more (seriously) in this week's insanely busy BradCast! Enjoy!
Download MP3 or listen online below [appx 58 mins]...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.S. Supreme Court upholds EPA authority on greenhouse gas emissions --- again; It's official - May 2014 was the hottest May on record; Canada's First Nations vote to fight the other tar sands pipeline; PLUS: Titans of Wall Street warn climate change is really, really expensive ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): How Rupert Murdoch created the world’s newest climate change villain; Carbon tax would boost global economy up to $2.6T a year; Autism risk higher near pesticide-treated fields; Save the Bees: widespread impacts of neo-nicotinoids 'impossible to deny; Insecticides put world food supplies at risk; Silver lining: CA drought is stopping spread of Sudden Oak Death disease; Feds failing to inspect over 1k high risk oil and gas wells .... PLUS: These maps show how many brutally hot days you will suffer when you're old ... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: President Obama pushes back against climate change-denying politicians; Real-world data shows cutting emissions boosts economic growth and that the Koch Brothers are wrong; PLUS: Supreme Court says BP must continue oil spill payouts ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): How Solar Will Destroy Utilities in 5 Easy Steps; President of Kiribati: "It's too late for us"; Amazon tribal chief: the white man is destroying everything; War on Coal already happened - mining industry won and miners lost; FAA oks first drones on US soil - for BP; Supreme Court rules against homeowners in Camp Lejeune water contamination; Duke Energy signs deals for Dan River spill cleanup; Illinois bans plastic microbeads in personal care products due to water pollution ... PLUS: 7 reasons to be more optimistic about climate change than Ezra Klein ... and much, MUCH more! ...
It was Primary Day in Alabama on Tuesday and the first time since passage of the law that the state's Republican-enacted polling place Photo ID restriction on voting has been in place. Sure enough, the voter suppression law was successful, as voters were immediately disenfranchised by the new restriction, according to Zach Roth at MSNBC...
Mims, as he explains in the video below, first voted back during WWII. He says he's voted in almost every election since then. Until now...
[This article now cross-published by Salon...]
As we noted last night, the global warming deniers were sure to start firing on all carbon-emitting pistons this week in response to the Obama EPA's landmark announcement today of proposed new rules to decrease harmful, climate-destabilizing CO2 pollution from existing dirty power plants, as per the U.S. Supreme Court-mandated enforcement of the Clean Air Act.
The deniers haven't disappointed.
The following quotes come from a press release sent out this morning from the fossil fuel industry-funded "Heartland Institute," which pretends to offer science-based arguments in support of their "mission...to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems."
In fact, the group serves as little more than a mouthpiece for Big Carbon and the modern Republican Party which, largely thanks to Citizens United in 2010, now eschews the use of actual science in the public sphere.
Despite their ironic "non-profit" status --- enjoying government subsidies for promoting "free-market solutions" --- the Heartland Institute is also little more than an arm of the Republican Party. In one of the responses to today's announcement, the Heartland Institute President argues that "Republicans in the House and Senate are right to oppose EPA's new global warming rules," and "Voters will do well to remember who was on their side during the coming political battles."
In another response, the "non-partisan" group says that challenging the Obama EPA's proposed policy could be great for the GOP. "If done intelligently," Heartland's Science Director(!) Jay Lehr writes, the challenge "could cost [Obama's] party the Senate in the November elections and dramatically increase the Republican majority in the House of Representatives - which will enable the Republicans to stymie any further legislative action by the president for the remainder of his term."
Now that's some good Science Directing! And some good non-partisanship! Of course, this is also the same group that purchased billboards comparing those who believe in science to "The Unabomber" and Charles Manson, so it's not as though anybody would take these folks seriously, right? Wrong. They are consistently featured and quoted by theoretically legitimate mainstream media outlets in coverage of the pretend "global warming debate".
Here then, in no particular order, are the top 7 most amusing responses from the Heartland Institute's "experts", as released this morning in response to today's EPA announcement...
Our too-infrequent guest blogger D.R. Tucker is now working the weekend shift at Washington Monthly's excellent "Political Animal" blog and, as expected, he's out of the gate like a lion on the climate crisis and the pre-wrangling over the Obama EPA's proposed landmark guidelines for restrictions on CO2 emissions by dirty coal-fired power plants (ya know, the rules they're required by law, under the 1970 Clean Air Act, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, to put in place.)
Over just this weekend, D.R. has published a number of sharp articles there on the topic, including "It's On: You can already hear the denialists screaming. And scheming."; "The Short-Timers"; "(Dirty) Power Concedes Nothing Without a Demand"; and the ingeniously-named "If You Like Your Planet, You Can Keep Your Planet" (in which he quotes The BRAD BLOG at some length, from this recent piece).
You should read them all if you'd like to be smarter about actual facts in regard to climate change, the GOP denial industry (which will certainly be kicking into the highest of dudgeon once again this week), and the clear and present danger we now face thanks to run-away, human-caused CO2 emissions and the global warming it is causing.
But it was the following exchange in the comments section of the "If You Like Your Planet..." piece --- specifically the last line by commenter "Virginia" --- which made me smile...
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· Baghdad Burning
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· Jesus' General
· Juan Cole
· Washington Monthly
· Media Matters
· Nashua Advocate
· Oliver Willis
· RAW STORY
· Sanoma State's
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· Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
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· Ben Sargent
· Bill Deore
· Bob Gorrell
· Cagle's Index
· Chan Lowe
· Don Wright
· Doug Marlette
· Glenn McCoy
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· Joel Pett
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· Non Sequitur
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