The BRAD BLOG Because it's not about Right or Left, it's about Right and Wrong! 2017-07-28T01:51:08Z Copyright 2017 WordPress Brad Friedman <![CDATA[White House, U.S. Senate Devolve Into Chaos: 'BradCast' 7/27/2017]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=12235 2017-07-28T01:51:08Z 2017-07-28T01:51:08Z Election Reform BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Alaska Rights And Freedoms Accountability U.S. House Environment Dept. of Justice U.S. Senate Dept. of Defense Health Care LGBTQ Economy Al Franken Lindsey Graham Jeff Sessions Lisa Murkowski KPFK Donald Trump Russia Kris Kobach BradCast Dept. of Interior Ryan Zinke CBO Anthony Scaramucci Ben Sasse Dan Sullivan On today's BradCast, Trump's White House and the GOP Senate devolve into utter chaos. And a former CBO director joins us to explain why the Congressional Budget Office is so important. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Both Congress and the White House are, figuratively, exploding today, with unprecedented, intra-party, public food fights and disarray among Republicans that now seems to be breaking out in virtually every direction --- inside the U.S. Senate, inside the Trump Administration, not to mention between Congress and a number of Executive Branch agencies.

The U.S. Senate is in disarray as they try to pass a "skinny repeal" to the Affordable Care Act, a last gasp effort to pass something, anything, to call a "win" in the 7-year effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare. But a number of Senators are concerned that the effort which guts the requirement for individuals to buy health insurance, could be adopted as is in the U.S. House, sending premiums skyrocketing and the insurance market into a death spiral.

The White House is in disarray as Administration officials face down bipartisan outrage over Trump's surprise military transgender ban. Turns out, as we've since learned, he was actually trying to save funding for his border wall with Mexico (and other priorities) in exchange for spiking medical funding for trans members of the military, when he shocked lawmakers by announcing a complete ban, which is much more than those Rightwing Congressmembers had actually been lobbying for.

And, of course, there's the disarray that spans between a number of Executive agencies, the White House and Congress, as Senators hope to avert a full-blown Constitutional crisis by attempting to block Trump from firing his own Attorney General and appointing a replacement without Senate confirmation during the upcoming recess. And the Secretary of the Department of Interior threatens members of the Senate on behalf of the President, for not voting as the White House wishes on repealing health care for millions of Americans. Yes, the Secretary is actually threatening to protect the environment if the Senators don't play ball!

All of that without even delving into the wildly bizarre intra-White House disarray between Trump's new Communications Director and his own Chief of Staff!

Then we're joined by a former Acting Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) DONALD MARRON, now a Fellow with the Urban Institute, to discuss the recent attacks by Republicans on the office responsible for scoring legislation like health care reform. Such analyses by the CBO help to let both Congress and the American public know how much such schemes will cost in both tax-payer dollars and Americans losing access to health care.

Marron, who also served as Chief Economist on the President's Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush, says the recent attempts by the Congressional Freedom Caucus to gut the CBO and have the office's work replaced by outside private research institutions is "a terrible idea". He explains why, what the CBO actually does for Congress and the American people --- such as scoring some 600 pieces of legislation a year and privately advising members as they develop bills --- that most are not familiar with, and how the office was formed out of the budget battles during the Nixon years.

"The folks at CBO are accustomed to some background level of being beaten up on --- just as umpires and referees are used to it," Marron tells me, but "the level of enmity towards CBO by some circles today is quite extreme." He goes on to detail why outside groups --- his own Urban Institute was cited by the Freedom Caucus as one of those which could help replace the CBO --- cannot take the place of the Congressional agency. "If you're going to run an intelligent Congressional budget process, Congress really ought to have its own agency, producing its own numbers, that works directly for Congress, is part of Congress, and responds to the needs of Congress in ways that outside groups simply can't," he explains.

He also responds to critiques that CBO analyses have been inaccurate in the past and that the office, currently headed up by a conservative Republican appointed by a Republican Congress, is biased against Republican proposals. "From my point of view, the Congressional Budget Office is a real jewel in our government. It is a wonderful agency, filled with non-partisan professional staff whose job it is to give their best read to members of Congress about what the budget and economic implications will be of proposed policy."

Finally, as today's show closes, the U.S. Senate adopts a new sanctions package against Russia, Iran and North Korea, which now heads to the White House for the President's signature...or veto. And Kris Kobach, the GOP "voter fraud" fraudster heading up Trump's so-called "Election Integrity" Commission has court sanctions upheld against him, and receives another smack-down from another federal judge for having 'demonstrat[ed] a pattern' of 'deceptive conduct' and 'patently misleading representations' in the ACLU's lawsuit against his proof-of-citizenship voter registration restrictions as Kansas Sec. of State...

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]]> Desi Doyen <![CDATA['Green News Report' - July 27, 2017]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=12234 2017-07-27T18:03:09Z 2017-07-27T18:03:09Z Florida California Alaska National Security Environment San Diego Lamar Smith Green News Rick Perry Natural gas Oil Solar Climate change Extreme weather China Oceans Water Africa Arctic Italy Dept. of Energy

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.S. Coast Guard planning for six feet of sea level rise by 2100; U.S. House Science Committee chairman pushes myth that climate change will be "beneficial"; Rome may go to water rationing amid serious drought; Oil companies sued over climate change; Hundreds of new panda-shaped Chinese solar farms; South Miami law mandates solar; PLUS: Environmental factors linked to serious decline in North American men's sperm counts... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Trump threatens to protect the environment if Alaska senators don’t back health care bill; Unusual weather phenomenon explains simultaneous eastern and western India flooding; AEP plans the largest onshore wind farm in the U.S in OK; CA's marine sanctuaries face new offshore drilling threat from Trump Admin; New massive plastic garbage patch found in Pacific Ocean; EPA to seek public comment on water rule repeal; Bundy follower gets 68 years in prison for role in armed NV standoff; New database shows myriad pollutants in U.S. water systems... PLUS: New diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040... and much, MUCH more! ...

STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

For a comprehensive roundup of daily environmental news you can trust, see the Society of Environmental Journalists' Daily Headlines page


FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page

  • NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years:

  • ]]>
    Brad Friedman <![CDATA[Deflect, Distract, Deny and Other Lead Balloons: 'BradCast' 7/26/2017]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=12233 2017-07-27T00:50:41Z 2017-07-27T00:50:41Z BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Rights And Freedoms Accountability U.S. Senate John McCain Dept. of Defense Health Care Republicans LGBTQ Lindsey Graham Jeff Sessions Lisa Murkowski KPFK Donald Trump Mitch McConnell BradCast Susan Collins James Mattis Robert Mueller Richard Shelby On today's BradCast, we open the phones up for listeners to discuss all that has been going on in D.C. in recent days in these "slow news days of summer". [Audio link to show follows below.]

    But first, among the stories covered on today's show, which callers also ring in on...Donald Trump's new Twitter-announced policy to bar transgender people from the U.S. military catches his own military staff by surprise and otherwise goes over like a lead balloon with. not only the LGBTQ community, but with veterans and even conservative Republican members of Congress.

    Then, speaking of lead balloons, Republican Senate schemes for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), or just repealing it without a replacement, continue to be voted down (bigly) by Republicans in the U.S. Senate. Their options for killing the GOP great white whale of ObamaCare are dwindling, but don't count them out yet.

    At the same time, Trump continues to berate his own Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in hopes of convincing him to quit so he doesn't have to fire him (so, presumably, Trump can then appoint someone who will fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller). Republican Senators, however, are defending their old colleague Sessions, and some are even charging that Trump is showing "weakness" with his bullying of his own Attorney General and long-time ally.

    Lots of fodder for calls today before Desi Doyen joins us with the latest Green News Report as a sweltering summer reveals the "new normal" and Trump names a Rightwing talk radio host to a top science job at the USDA...

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
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    ]]> Brad Friedman <![CDATA['People Will Die': GOP Senators Vote to Open Debate on Unknown Health Care Repeal Scheme: 'BradCast' 7/25/2017]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=12232 2017-07-26T01:34:41Z 2017-07-26T01:34:41Z BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Accountability Dept. of Justice U.S. Senate Barack Obama John McCain Health Care Democrats Republicans Jeff Sessions KPFK Donald Trump Mitch McConnell BradCast Mike Pence Election 2018 Anthony Scaramucci On today's BradCast, we try and figure out WTF Republicans in the U.S. Senate are doing, and why, since even they don't seem to have a clue --- and many of them don't seem to care. [Audio link to show follows below.]

    Without even knowing what bill they were actually voting on, fifty Republican Senators on Tuesday voted to proceed to debate some scheme or another to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), or just repeal it, or even just kick the can down the road to worry about it later in conference with the U.S. House.

    They had help from Sen. John McCain, who flew back from Arizona after surgery and a diagnosis of brain cancer, and a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. Just two GOP Senators (Collins of Maine and Murkowski of Alaska) had the courage to join all of the Democrats and vote 'no', though McCain, just after his 'yes' vote, offered remarks excoriating Republican Senate leadership for their secretive process in creating unworkable legislation without committee processes or input from Democrats.

    We're joined by journalist and health care reformer JACKI SCHECHNER to help us try and make sense of what is being characterized as one of "the most chaotic, rudderless, un-Senate-like" moments in modern American history. She explains how today's process differs from the one that resulted in ObamaCare in 2009 and 2010, when she served as Communications Director for one of the nation's largest health care reform organizations.

    "There is this myth that things happened behind closed doors [in 2009], but that's not in fact the case. There was plenty of public disclosure when it came to what was up for consideration, and it took a long time," Schechner tells me. "We worked from the outside pushing the President to do what he campaigned on. The myth that Republicans were excluded is just that --- a myth."

    She charges that the various GOP plans, if adopted, will result not only in tens of millions of Americans losing health care coverage, but that, in many cases, "people will die" in the bargain. She explains why that is, and how it'ss going to "throw our system into a spiral that's going to jack up premiums for the people who are still paying private health insurance costs."

    "It's really dangerous when partisanship overtakes policy, and that's what happening here. This is about Trump getting a win. He has no idea what health care is, how the health care system works. Twice now he's confused it with life insurance. He has no clue," she tells me before declaring she's "over mincing words" and really unloads on the President. (You'll have to tune in for that part.)

    "People who worked on health care reform [during Obama's Presidency] actually care if people live or die," Schechner continues. "I don't understand how you stand up and vote for a bill that's going to strip millions and millions of Americans of their access to quality, affordable health care."

    She also explains how related moves from both Congress and the White House suggest the U.S. is rapidly devolving into an authoritarian nation, before offering a number of critical words for Democratic Party leadership in the bargain.

    Also today, speaking of authoritarianism, Trump continues his extraordinary attacks on his own Attorney General (we discuss why), and the President's new Communications Director moves to purge White House staffers who leak to the media and aren't sufficiently loyal to the President...according to a number of leaking White House staffers...

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
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    ]]> Desi Doyen <![CDATA['Green News Report' - July 25, 2017]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=12231 2017-07-25T17:36:29Z 2017-07-25T17:36:29Z Arizona Montana Environment Green News Russia Climate change Extreme weather Exxon Mobil Agriculture

    IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Evacuations and rescues as extreme weather impacts the U.S.; New study finds today's extreme heat days are tomorrow's "new normal"; Treasury Department fines Exxon Mobil for violating Russia sanctions in oil deal; PLUS: Trump nominates non-scientist and talk-radio host for top USDA science job... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

    Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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    Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

    IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Lamar Smith's dangerous new climate science denial; Rome facing water rationing as Italy suffers driest spring for 60 years; CO emails show residents begging for fracking regulation; DAPL pipeline company ordered to stop work on Rover pipeline after violations; Senate confirms coal lobbyist for #2 post at Interior; EPA stalls crackdowns on polluters; Trump's chemical safety pick helped DuPont avoid clean water rules; Trump Admin cancels hundreds of environmental and public health regulations; Fukushima: robot finds possible melted nuclear fuel; Coast Guard chief says U.S. not ready to clean up an Arctic oil spill... PLUS: Anthony Scaramucci called climate science ‘irrefutable’ before he worked for Trump... and much, MUCH more! ...

    STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

    'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

    For a comprehensive roundup of daily environmental news you can trust, see the Society of Environmental Journalists' Daily Headlines page


    FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page

  • NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years:

  • ]]>
    Brad Friedman <![CDATA[Myths, Dangers, and Powers of the Presidential Pardon: 'BradCast' 7/24/2017]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=12230 2017-07-25T01:01:57Z 2017-07-25T01:01:57Z BRAD BLOG Media Appearance U.S. Constitution Impeachment Accountability U.S. Senate Rudolph Giuliani Health Care Democrats Republicans U.S. Supreme Court Chuck Schumer Richard Nixon Jeff Sessions KPFK Donald Trump Bernie Sanders Russia BradCast Jared Kushner On today's BradCast, the turmoil continues in the Senate over the GOP undead attempt to repeal health care for millions, and in the White House where Team Trump faces the ongoing investigations of the Dept. of Justice's Special Counsel. [Audio link to complete show follows at end of article.]

    A new analysis out late Friday from the U.S. Senate Parliamentarian suggests that a number of provisions in the GOP's scheme to repeal and replace ObamaCare may not pass muster under Senate rules for passage under 'budget reconciliation' with just a 51 vote majority. Instead, 60 votes may be needed, in which case, the scheme may be in even more trouble than it already appears. Or, Senate Republicans could simply try to kill the legislative filibuster instead. Either way, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising a vote to proceed on Tuesday, even though it remains unclear exactly what Senators will be voting on.

    At the same time, Democrats are unveiling their own scheme ("A Better Deal") to try and win back voters in 2018. Comments over the weekend from Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer suggest that the passionate advocacy from progressives for a "Medicare-for-all" style system (single payer) or, at least a public option for health care insurance, may finally be moving the party establishment.

    Meanwhile, Donald Trump continues publicly attacking his own Attorney General Jeff Sessions and talking about Presidential pardon powers for some reason. But some of those powers, contrary to conventional wisdom, may not be as absolute as he and others have argued, including the power to pardon himself. We're joined by author and Constitutional law expert IAN MILLHISER, Senior Editor of ThinkProgress Justice, to discuss legal assessments from the Nixon era though the Clinton era through now, in regards the power of the Presidential pardon, and the dangers that power could present for Donald Trump himself if he chooses to exercise it for some of his close aides and family members.

    Among the man related questions and "myths" discussed: What dangers lurk for the President from those he may pardon? Can the President really pardon himself? Can a sitting President be criminally indicted?

    But, of course, much remains unknown when it comes to the various extraordinary ways we are discussing the power of the Presidential pardon, of late, because the U.S. Supreme Court has not rung in on most of it. That's because, as Millhiser notes, "most Presidents don't commit federal offenses when they're in office."

    "Here's what this really comes down to: Everyone has assumed that the President would be capable of shame. I'm dead serious about that. Why did Nixon resign? He resigned because he was capable of shame," Millhiser argues. "Everyone assumes that if the President somehow was not capable of shame, then the Congress would be capable of shaming him. When you go back and you read James Madison or Alexander Hamilton, they did not understand the inevitability of political parties," Millhiser argues. "So the Constitution was written on this assumption that you've got all these ambitious people in Congress...and so if you've got a rogue President, they'll all band together to throw that President out because it's good for their careers. They did not understand that, in 2017, we would have the kind of extraordinary partisanship we have right now, where you have a President who is incapable of shame, and you have Congress controlled by the President's party, which is unwilling to do anything to undermine its party's President. Our Constitution is not fit for this set of circumstances."

    Finally today, in related matters, the public is much more in favor of impeachment now than they were at the start of the Watergate scandal, four years and six months into Richard Nixon's term as President. And, speaking of public interests, it appears the GOP attempt to undermine ObamaCare has resulted in many more Americans believing the federal government has a responsibility to ensure health care coverage for all...

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
    [See post to listen to audio]

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    ]]> PDiddie <![CDATA[Sunday Toons of the 'Job Well Done' Moment]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=12229 2017-07-23T13:50:57Z 2017-07-23T13:50:57Z Toons

    * * *

    Perry Dorrell blogs as PDiddie at Brains and Eggs, usually on topics concerning the strange brew of Texas politics. He's also on Twitter @PDiddie.


    ]]> Brad Friedman <![CDATA[Admin Now Sabotaging Health Care Law; Spicer is Out; Trump Readies for War: 'BradCast' 7/21/2017]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=12228 2017-07-22T00:50:18Z 2017-07-22T00:50:18Z California BRAD BLOG Media Appearance U.S. Constitution Impeachment Accountability Dept. of Justice U.S. Senate Health Care Republicans KPFK Coal BradCast Tom Price Sean Spicer Ivanka Trump Jared Kushner Robert Mueller Anthony Scaramucci Sarah Huckabee Sanders On today's BradCast: Another roller-coaster as Trump's war on his own nation and its people takes several dark and/or ominous turns. [Audio link to show follows below.]

    We continue to move closer to the coming Constitutional and political crisis we discussed yesterday, as shakeups in the Trump Administration and in his legal team rocked D.C. and the nation. Embattled Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned on Friday in protest of the hiring of Fox 'News' contributor, Wall Street financier and former Goldman-Sachs executive (yes, yet another one) Anthony Scaramucci as new White House Communications Director.

    Late on Thursday, Marc Corallo, the spokesman for Trump's legal team, also quit in protest of infighting among attorneys and White House officials and, specifically, due to the Administration's plan to go to war against Special Counsel Robert Mueller who is leading the Justice Department's investigation of Team Trump. At the same time, Trump appears to be going to war with the rule of law itself as the likelihood of firing Mueller and others at the Justice Department seems to be increasing each day (hour?) while the probe focuses in on Trump family finances. That has reportedly led the President to inquire about his own power to pardon staffers, family members and even himself.

    Meanwhile, amidst all the noise, Senate Republicans press ahead toward votes on repealing and replacing ObamaCare (or just repealing it) in the coming days, despite questions about whether they have enough support for passage. But while Trump has, at times, called for letting the Affordable Care Act "fail" if it can't be replaced by Republicans in Congress, more and more evidence is piling up to reveal that his Administration is not just letting it fail, but actively trying to make it fail.

    ELIZABETH HAGAN, Associate Director of Coverage Initiatives at Families USA, a non-partisan health care advocacy group, joins us to detail the number of ways the Administration is now, aggressively and affirmatively (and possibly unlawfully) attempting to sabotage the ACA itself, and putting at risk millions of Americans who have gained access to health care coverage, thanks to the landmark law.

    "Without repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, there are a lot of things that the Trump Administration can do to undermine the law," Hagan says, detailing the effect of the Administration's cancellation of contracts this week, for in-person sign-up assistance in 18 major cities. "Consumers that have in-person assistance are twice as likely to successfully enroll as those who didn't. And I would argue that that's probably even more likely now, given all the rhetoric and attempts to undermine the law going on."

    "I think it is clear that this is part of a larger effort to sabotage and undermine the Affordable Care Act, absolutely," she tells me, as we detail a number of those efforts recently reported, including changes to the Health & Human Services (HHS) and HealthCare.gov exchange websites to make sign-ups more difficult, cutting days for the open enrollment period in half for 2018, cancelling advertisements for the enrollment period, and even spending tax-payer money on propaganda videos meant to convince Americans that the law is failing, when it isn't.

    "The ACA is doing well," Hagan argues, citing a great deal of evidence to support the case. "A lot of the insurance companies are finally seeing a more stable market, and the only instability that they're seeing is due to the Trump Administration."

    Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report amidst the newly record-breaking heat of 2017, California's ambitious if controversial extension to its landmark cap-and-trade emissions law, and the President announces 45,000 new mining jobs in just his first six months of office! (In fact, there are only 800, which is 500 fewer new coal jobs than in the final six months of Obama's Administration.)

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
    [See post to listen to audio]

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    ]]> Brad Friedman <![CDATA[Constitutional Crisis Nears, Democracy Crisis Already Here: 'BradCast' 7/20/2017]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=12227 2017-07-21T01:36:02Z 2017-07-21T01:36:02Z Diebold/Premier California Election Reform Texas Georgia BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Election Fraud New York Paper Ballots Legislation New York Times Touch-Screen Vote Flipping Mainstream Media Failure U.S. House Dept. of Justice FBI U.S. Senate South Carolina John McCain Health Care Jeff Sessions Israel KPFK Donald Trump Russia Election 2016 BradCast Election 2017 Jon Ossoff Karen Handel Robert Mueller On today's BradCast: We may be quickly heading towards a very troubling Constitutional crisis and what will it take for voters (and corporate media!) to appreciate the dangers posed by our absurd voting systems in the U.S.? [Audio link to full show is posted below.]

    President Donald Trump offers some astounding revelations regarding his thoughts about firing the nation's top law enforcement officials (the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, the Acting FBI Director and the Special Counsel investigating Team Trump) during a rare interview with the New York Times. He also suggests he believes he can restructure the Dept. of Justice so that the FBI Director reports directly to the President, rather than the Dept. of Justice. The breathtaking admissions in the interview leads at least one former top Justice Department official under Obama to predict that "we are headed for a massive clash....I don't see how we get past this without him firing either [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller or other people at the Justice Department and a massive, massive crisis."

    As disturbing and important as Trump's revelations are, the Times' reporters, Peter Baker, Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman, utterly failed to ask any substantive questions about the President's positions on and understanding of the various ongoing Republican schemes to repeal ObamaCare. That, despite each of the GOP's proposed plans for doing so predicted by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office to result in anywhere from 22 million to 32 million Americans losing access to health care coverage.

    Instead, the reporters focused only on process questions surrounding the political difficulty of enacting health care repeal, rather than the untold suffering and damage it will cause and Trump's own wildly conflicting advocacy for such proposals. They even ignored the fact that the transcript of the interview appears to suggest he does not even know the difference between health insurance and life insurance!

    All of that, as former Presidential candidate and Vietnam War torture victim, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer and Senate GOP leadership is reported to be desperately promising to spend some $200 billion in hopes of buying votes for their health care repeal schemes from so-called moderate Republicans in the U.S. Senate.

    Then, we're joined by BRAD BLOG legal analyst ERNIE CANNING, to discuss his analysis of the multi-partisan lawsuit recently filed in Georgia contesting the surprising and 100% unverifiable results of the June 20 U.S. House Special Election in the 6th Congressional District and his rather gob-smacking article on the massive security breaches before the election and the more-than-a-decade of disturbing revelations from computer scientists and whistleblowers alike about the Diebold touch-screen voting systems still forced on voters in the Peach State.

    Moreover, he tells me about an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter who recently dismissed his concerns about her reporting on GA Sec. of State Brian Kemp's comments that there was no evidence to suggest any election results in the state, including the recent GA-06 race, were inaccurate, or that any manipulation, hacking or programming error occurred. "Well, that's true," says Canning, "but you can't prove that the actual count is valid, either. There's no scientific way to do it. The only one that would really know if it was rigged would be somebody who actually took part in the rigging of the vote."

    "You have all this coverage everyday with MSNBC about potential Russian hacks," he continues, "and yet nobody there bothers to talk about the fact that these systems are vulnerable to anybody, whether it be Russia or anybody else, and that there's no way to know whether the votes have been altered."

    So, what will it take for Americans --- Republicans and Democrats alike --- to understand the on-going threat to democracy posed by both 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems and by paper ballot systems that are tallied by easily-manipulated, oft-failed computer tabulators? What will it take, for that matter, for the corporate media (including Georgia's largest newspaper!) to understand it as well?

    We discuss all of that and much more today, including the Texas County that is finally returning to paper ballots after a disaster in November, and the decision by Israel to stick with hand-counted paper ballots in light of recent election hacks around the world...

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
    [See post to listen to audio]

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    ]]> Desi Doyen <![CDATA['Green News Report' - July 20, 2017]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=12226 2017-07-20T18:12:43Z 2017-07-20T18:12:43Z California Alaska Environment Green News Natural gas Oil Climate change Jerry Brown Oceans Arctic Dept. of Interior NOAA

    IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: California's legislature extends landmark cap-and-trade program, but environmental justice groups say it's not enough; Trump Administration re-opens the Arctic for offshore drilling; PLUS: June was the third hottest on record globally, and 2017 is already breaking records... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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    IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): So, you've decided to give a sh*t about climate change?; Battle for the Moon begins; Fires rages near Yosemite, destroys dozens of structures; Rising seas spark Big Tobacco-style lawsuits against fossil fuel companies; Methane seeps out of Arctic permafrost increasing; Rising seas threaten ancient coastal ruins; North Dakota communities seek to clean up abandoned oilfield waste; Trump nominates non-scientist climate skeptic to USDA top science post; The immense, eternal plastic footprint humanity leaves on Earth... PLUS: How Y2K offers lessons for the battle against climate change... and much, MUCH more! ...

    STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

    'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

    For a comprehensive roundup of daily environmental news you can trust, see the Society of Environmental Journalists' Daily Headlines page

    • So, You've Decided to Give a Shit About Climate Change (VICE):
      I can't really help you be a more moral person, or "fix" the problem, but reading and watching this stuff might finally make it real for you.
    • The Battle for the Moon Begins (Bloomberg):
      An increasing number of nations and companies are headed there. One group says the UN needs to start making more rules before it’s too late...As more nations and companies plan missions to the moon, the real fear isn’t of some spacefaring Indiana Jones so much as the impacts of numerous lunar landings or, say, a massive mining operation.
    • Fire Racing Near Yosemite Park Destroys Dozens Of Structures (AP):
      A surging wildfire raced through California mountains and foothills west of Yosemite National Park on Wednesday, forcing thousands to flee tiny, Gold Rush-era towns, destroying 29 structures and wafting a smoky haze over the park's landmark Half Dome rock face.
    • Rising Seas Spark Tobacco-Style Lawsuits in California (Climate Central):
      Several flood-prone municipalities in California filed first-of-their-kind lawsuits against fossil fuel companies this week as they attempt to recoup the cost of coping with rising seas. The suits point to indisputable climate science and decades of industry efforts to mar that science. Experts likened the legal complaints to those brought against the tobacco industry in decades past, which succeeded by alleging the use of anti-science tactics to mask the dangers of their products.
    • Methane Seeps Out as Arctic Permafrost Starts to Resemble Swiss Cheese (Inside Climate News):
      The findings suggest that global warming will "increase emissions of geologic methane that is currently still trapped under thick, continuous permafrost, as new emission pathways open due to thawing permafrost," the authors wrote in the journal Scientific Reports. Along with triggering bacterial decomposition in permafrost soils, global warming can also trigger stronger emissions of methane from fossil gas, contributing to the carbon-climate feedback loop, they concluded.
    • Canada’s Oil Sands Development Is Enabling This Jerk Bird (Motherboard):
      The brown-headed cowbird used to sit atop roaming bison, now it perches on oil equipment.
    • DEP seeks federal approval of WV water pollution law change (Charleston Gazette):
      Department of Environmental Protection officials are pressing federal regulators to approve a significant change to West Virginia’s water pollution law, despite having previously said the state agency wasn’t sure if the language was overwritten by passage of a subsequent bill during this year’s legislative session.
    • Research on mountaintop removal health effects adequate, panel told (Charleston Gazette):
      Dozens of studies already published about mountaintop removal coal mining’s effects on public health provide adequate evidence to support ending the practice to protect coalfield residents, a former West Virginia University researcher and leading author on the subject told a National Academy of Sciences panel on Tuesday.
    • How Y2K Offers a Lesson for Fighting Climate Change (NY Times):
      Why feed the public a too-bleak picture of the future? Why frighten people into action, rather than inspire them? Because sometimes, the worst case is the only thing that prompts us to get anything done. I know this because I’ve studied the last time that governments, businesses and ordinary citizens joined together to combat a complex, man-made problem that threatened to wreak global havoc in the distant future.
    • Perry Praises ‘Clean Coal,’ but Trump Administration Policies Don’t Promote It (NYT Times):
      Mr. Perry has proposed to cut by 54 percent the budget of the Energy Department’s Office of Fossil Energy, which focuses on researching technologies to use coal, oil and natural gas more cleanly and safely.
    • Kentucky: In the heart of coal country, state officials bet on renewable energy (CNBC):
      At one point more than 90 percent of the electric power provided by EKPC was coal-fired. Last year that number was down to about 70 percent, and today the cooperative is in the process of installing a 33,000-panel solar field on its property.
    • Heritage at Risk: How Rising Seas Threaten Ancient Coastal Ruins (Yale e360):
      The shores of Scotland’s Orkney Islands are dotted with ruins that date to the Stone Age. But after enduring for millennia, these archaeological sites – along with many others from Easter Island to Jamestown – are facing an existential threat from climate change.
    • Chemicals: Appropriators Target EPA Bid To Ban 3 Industrial Solvents (E&E News):
      House appropriators are quietly urging the Trump administration to abandon proposed U.S. EPA regulations that would ban certain uses of three dangerous chemicals and restrict the number of hazardous waste reviews done by the Department of Health and Human Services.
    • A Toxic Legacy: North Dakota Looks To Clean Up Old Oilfield Waste (Prairie Public News):
      Way up in northern North Dakota lies an old oilfield with a problem 60 years in the making.
    • The Immense, Eternal Footprint Humanity Leaves on Earth: Plastics (NY Times):
      If human civilization were to be destroyed and its cities wiped off the map, there would be an easy way for future intelligent life-forms to know when the mid-20th century began: plastic.
    • Trump Just Nominated A Non-Scientist Climate Skeptic To USDA’S Top Science Post (Washington Post):
      President Trump on Wednesday nominated Sam Clovis, a former college professor and talk radio host who has challenged the scientific consensus that human activity has been the primary driver of climate change, to serve in the Agriculture Department’s top scientific post.
    • GOP Takes Aim At Reforming Endangered Species Act (The Hill):
      Congressional Republicans launched efforts Wednesday aimed at reforming the Endangered Species Act to make it more friendly for states, landowners, industry and others.
    • Trump Plans To Destroy Texas Wildlife Refuge for 1st Border Wall Segment (Texas Observer):
      If the levee wall is constructed, it will essentially destroy the refuge, a federal official told the Observer.
    • The Uninhabitable Earth: When will climate change make earth too hot for humans? (New York Magazine):
      Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak - sooner than you think.
    • A beginner's guide to the debate over 100% renewable energy (Vox):
      Clean-energy enthusiasts frequently claim that we can go bigger, that it's possible for the whole world to run on renewables - we merely lack the "political will." So, is it true? Do we know how get to an all-renewables system? Not yet. Not really.
    • No country on Earth is taking the 2 degree climate target seriously (Vox):
      If we mean what we say, no more new fossil fuels, anywhere.


    FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page

  • NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years:

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