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...|
As everything falls apart on The Hill tonight, again, Sen. Ted Cruz' speech writer and senior communications adviser Amanda Carpenter just had the temerity to tweet this...
It's almost November and I have no idea what my health plan will be or what it will cost in January. This. Is. Awful.
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) October 15, 2013
She must be joking, right? Apparently, she isn't. Just completely and entirely tone deaf. Or just plain stupid. Congressional staffers are being forced to buy their health care on the Affordable Care Act exchanges because Republicans in the Senate added that requirement in an amendment during the fight over the ACA's passage in 2010, hoping that it would be a poison pill to kill the bill. The Democrats called their bluff and said, 'Okay, fine.' And now Carpenter is whining about the uncertainty it appears to be causing her.
That, while she and her boss are bringing down the U.S. government and potentially the global economy, in an attempt to keep some 50 million Americans from getting health care at all. Amazing.
UPDATE: With Fitch issuing a warning tonight that they may soon be forced to downgrade the U.S. government's AAA credit rating, thanks to the GOP's Cruz-inspired threats to default on the debt limit, maybe Carpenter will soon have the chutzpah to whine about the drop in value of her 401k plan.
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Breaking: U.S. Supreme Court to hear challenge to EPA greenhouse gas emission regulations; India dodges a bullet with Super Cyclone Phailin, while Fukushima prepares for another; 800,000+ gallon oil spill in ND; Government shutdown shuts down US Antarctic research program; PLUS: Glimpse the future with the latest winners in solar cars and solar houses ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Treaty curbing mercury emissions now international law; USA Today "balances" hundreds of scientists with fossil fuel-backed group; A way to full solar energy deployment; A warning for the US Southwest - it's gonna get a lot hotter; Light at the end of the tunnel for fusion energy research?; Study: climate may be even more sensitive than we thought; BP pleads guilty to negligence in TX refinery pollution, but absolved by jury; Which is better: plastic or compostable plastic?; US court hands win to Keystone XL pipeline supporters; Arizona solar plant generates electricity at night ... PLUS: Denial As a Way of Life: Climate denial is closely related to debt-ceiling denial ... and much, MUCH more! ...
As the idiotic Republican shutdown continues and debt ceiling collapse looms, GOP approval ratings plummet yet again in latest poll. The new survey from ABC/WaPo finds a stunning 74% of Americans disapprove of the way the GOP is handling budget negotiations, that's up 11 points from before the shutdown started.
But more important to remember, as all of this idiocy drags on --- and as Dems consider some form of "concessions" to allow the GOP the face-saving measures they need to get out of this mess --- are numbers like the following, underscoring just how idiotic and hypocritical all this nonsense actually is...
— ClassicalProgressive (@ProgressEconomy) October 14, 2013
Extremist 'Tea Party' Republicans like to pretend they are patriots --- so much so that when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) complained this week that the government shutdown he helped engineer had forced the elimination of Veteran's Administration healthcare services, he belatedly discovered that he had painted himself into an impossible corner.
Well, he didn't discover it on his own. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) helped him to notice that he was ardently advocating on the Senate floor for the Veteran's Administration health care system, which, unlike "ObamaCare", is an actual government run healthcare system of the type that Cruz pretends to abhor so much he was willing to lead his party to shutting down the entire government to block it.
"I just wanted to be clear," Stabenow asked Cruz during his floor speech advocating re-opening the VA as part of the GOP's desperate effort to re-open only those parts of government they approve, "Because the Senator from Texas has, in fact, made the ending of a private sector, competitive health care system for up to 30 million Americans part of what he wants to stop. I just wanted to be clear that the fully government-funded, government-run --- with government doctors --- system through the Veteran's Administration system is something that you are advocating we continue to fund through the federal government?"
Cruz couldn't say much more in response than: "The answer is yes. I believe we should fully fund the VA." (Full video here.)
Unlike "Obamacare", a private health insurance operation merely overseen by the government, the VA healthcare system that Cruz was advocating for, actually is a full-blown, government-run healthcare system. Or, as the heroic Republicans now like to deride it: A government takeover of healthcare!
Actual heroes, on the other hand, like Redge Ranyard, who fought against Nazis during World War II, are less than impressed by the claims made by Republicans like Cruz and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) that they are locked in an "epic battle" to save the nation...
Speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate last week, on the third day of the federal government shutdown, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) excoriated Republicans in the House of Representatives as "extremists" and "anarchists", while offering an impassioned case for why "government matters."
[See video and transcript below.]
"When I hear the latest tirades from some of the extremists in the House, I am struck by how vague these complaints are," she said. "The anarchy gang is quick to malign government, but when was the last time anyone called for regulators to go easier on companies that put lead in children’s toys, or for food inspectors to stop checking whether the meat in our grocery stores is crawling with deadly bacteria, or for the FDA to ignore whether morning sickness drugs will cause deformities in little babies?"
She went on to argue that the American system of governance, though far from infallible, can carry out the will of the people who are positioned to correct it and make it better. "Our democracy is an experiment, and it’s always evolving. We constantly redesign and re-imagine and improve on what we do together."
"You can do your best to make government look like it doesn’t work when you stop it from working. You can do your best to make government look paralyzed when you paralyze it. You can do your best to make government look incompetent through your incompetence, and ineffective through your ineffectiveness. But sooner or later, the government will reopen. Because this is a democracy, and this democracy has already rejected your views," she said, before concluding with a message of optimism.
"Today," Warren said, "a political minority in the House that condemns government and begs for this shutdown has had its day. But like all the reckless and extremist factions that have come before it, their day will pass, and our democracy will return to the important work that we have already determined to do together."
Here's a video of the key section of Sen. Elizabeth Warren's powerful 10/3/2013 remarks on the U.S. Senate floor, (a longer version can be viewed here) followed by a text transcript...
[This is article has now been cross-published by Salon...]
The man who wrote Arizona's "Papers Please" law before running for Kansas Secretary of State in 2010 on the premise of stamping out "voter fraud" there ... before winning and subsequently not being able to find much, if any of it, at all, is nonetheless still at work attempting to keep legitimate voters from being able to cast their vote under the premise that thousands of non-citizens are somehow, secretly, illegally voting in the state of Kansas.
"In Kansas, the illegal registration of alien voters has become pervasive," Kris Kobach's personal website still reads today. He just can't seem to find any.
Despite that annoying little truth, he now has a new plan to try and keep those "alien voters" from voting, even if it involves keeping 17,500 or more perfectly legal U.S. citizen residents of Kansas from voting as well...
As the government shutdown began, the corporate U.S. media played its usual unhelpful role by not taking sides in what was clearly a one-sided argument.
"In shutdown blame game, Democrats and Republicans united: It's the other side's fault," declared Washington Post's headline. "Shutdown: Obama and Republicans Trade Blame as Deadline is Crossed," TIME unhelpfully noted, sounding much like the pretend news outlet Fox "News", which declared similarly "Partial shutdown begins: Can Congress, White House compromise?"
Never mind that Democrats had already compromised by agreeing to "Sequestration" level budget cuts, the only question was how would the two sides "compromise" on the Affordable Care Act which had nothing to do with the budget resolution itself, but has long been a bete noir for Republicans.
Meanwhile, the non-U.S. news outlet, The Guardian in the UK, accurately reported that the U.S. government shutdown occurred because Democrats refused to give into the Tea Party's extortion-like demands. Specifically, they wrote, it occurred after "Republicans staged a series of last-ditch efforts to use a once-routine budget procedure to force Democrats to abandon their efforts to extend U.S. health insurance."
Was that so hard? Apparently so, for the U.S. corporate media anyway...
Looking for something to do while the government is shut down? Sign up for "ObamaCare"!
At the same moment Republican extremists closed down the U.S. Government tonight at midnight Eastern Time, for the first time in 17 years, HealthCare.gov finally opened for business!...
As the latest round(s) of GOP hostage taking play out in Congress, it's worth stepping back a moment to take note of what is at the heart of their ploy-slash-temper tantrum-slash-effort to undermine the very essence of American democracy.
It's also worth taking note of the fact that it's unlikely, ultimately, to work and, if we can take any lessons from what has happened here in California, is very likely to redound, big time, against the Republicans and their "contempt for the democratic process," as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) described it Friday, now on display in the nation's capitol.
"This whole debate over Obamacare is just a small part of what this right wing agenda is all about," Sanders observed during an appearance on MSNBC, as he described the twin threats of a government shutdown and defaulting on our financial obligations in the debt ceiling fight a few weeks from now, as but a part of "a right wing extremist agenda funded by people like the Koch brothers…who put hundreds of millions of dollars into the 'Tea Party.'"
Sanders' observation is vital to a comprehensive understanding as to why the very survival of our representative form of democracy may hinge upon a refusal to cave into a tactic that the Senator describes as "blackmail". Indeed, the New York Times describes the latest GOP tactics as the equivalent of a "ransom note" filled with "extortionist demands". President Obama, who once made the mistake of negotiating with Republicans on such terms, now aptly described the GOP threats, in a speech to The Business Roundtable, as a form of extortion.
Sanders noted that it's as if the Republicans now say: "Elections don't matter! We can shut down the government at any time to get our way!"
And, he's right. That's the plan. But it's not likely to get them what they want. More encouragingly, it's very likely to backfire on them completely...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: First-ever carbon pollution standards for new power plants; Colorado's flood disaster now an oil spill disaster; US coal plants 7th biggest polluter in the world (all by themselves!); Fracking industry study accidentally proves case for more regulation; PLUS: Al Gore says science denial should be socially unacceptable ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): What it means to be 95% certain about climate change; India plans to build world's largest solar plant; WSJ debunks WSJ on renewable energy; Risky plan to remove spent fuel from Fukushima's unstable Reactor 4; Study predicts 40% increase in storms; Cutting carbon pollution would save lives; Monsanto & Big Ag spend millions to stop WA state GMO labeling; Commercial fishermen don't deny climate change impacts on oceans ... PLUS: An Illustrated Bestiary of Climate Trolls ... and much, MUCH more! ...
A few 'Tea Partiers' --- even in Georgia, of all places --- are finally beginning to discover how they've been had by the very corporate powers who helped create them in the first place. They're now joining forces with some of the folks, like the Sierra Club, who have been fighting for their best interests all along...
My only quibble with the otherwise not-horrible-at-all coverage by Fox "News" here, is their chyron on the bottom which reads: "Using Tea Party values to advance green energy". Well, perhaps we can forgive Fox needing to find some way to save face here, but wouldn't "Joining environmentalists to advance Tea Party values" have been equally as accurate, if not more so? Or "Tea Party joins environmentalist fight for free market competition", or some such?
[Hat-tip to too-infrequent BRAD BLOG contributor, D.R. Tucker.]
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: President Obama smacks down Keystone XL jobs claims; EPA's McCarthy smacks down false choice of jobs vs. environment; Rand Paul and Chris Christie smack down each other; In Australia, winter is the new summer; 'Witches brew' of pesticides still killing bees; PLUS: Solar-powered battery breakthrough - but you'll never guess where it's being used ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Can GMO oranges save FL industry?; Internal EPA Report reveals disputes over fracking, water; Sunken tar sands oil still threatening Kalamazoo River; BP Oil Spill: Halliburton pleads guilty to destroying evidence; Feds details JPMorgan's criminal electricity market manipulation; Legal battles over land rights, pipelines increase; Does Lake Michigan's record low mark start of new era for Great Lakes?; FL natural gas pipeline explodes; Cashmere boom threatens snow leopards ... PLUS: Sea level rise is 'locking in quickly' ... and much, MUCH more! ...
I've always wondered why non-Rightwing Christians have allowed Rightwingers to take "God" and "Jesus" as their own, particularly since progressive principles are far more in line with those said to be the teachings of Jesus.
The folks in North Carolina --- who are now under siege by Republican control of both congressional houses and the governorship for the first time in 150 years --- have been going about reclaiming the moral high ground with a series of massive (and growing larger) "Moral Monday" protests at the state house, so far resulting in about 900 arrests for civil disobedience as of this week's twelfth consecutive Monday protest.
The protests are being held by a wide coalition of groups in response to the radical Republican legislation --- much of it written out of state by the Koch-funded corporatist lobby, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) --- meant to see the state government shut down women's health clinics, cut education funding and, of particular note, suppress voters by truncating early voting, ending Sunday voting, banning NC's successful Election Day registration program, instituting tax penalties to parents whose children vote at their college residences, and by putting in place draconian polling place Photo ID restrictions. (See Ari Berman today at The Nation for more on the NC Republican's attempt to institute all of these "extreme voter suppression measures".)
At Salon, Kristin Rawls explains that the "Moral Monday" protests in NC, "that include support for LGBT and abortion rights", seem to be "confounding to the Tea Party", but not to the many groups of faith (as well as "atheists, agnostics and members of other faiths in attendance every week") who are finally taking back the moral high ground from the Rightwing hypocrites who have claimed it, but never earned it, for so much of the past decade.
It's an interesting read, and an interesting phenomenon that, Rawls notes, "is supported by a 150-organization coalition spearheaded by the NC-NAACP that includes everything from Occupy Raleigh to Planned Parenthood-NC to the NC Association of Educators."
Her point about why the voter suppression laws Republicans are now trying to pass are so important for the NC GOP radicals, is explained in this key passage...
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