The BRAD BLOG http://bradblog.com Because it's not about Right or Left, it's about Right and Wrong! Wed, 27 May 2015 05:35:20 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.0.2 en Oil, Toil, Flooding & Trouble: 'BradCast' 5/26/2015 http://bradblog.com/?p=11196 http://bradblog.com/?p=11196#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 23:15:44 +0000 Brad Friedman California Election Reform Texas BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Rights And Freedoms Environment Marriage Equality KPFK Oil Climate change Oklahoma BradCast Ireland http://bradblog.com/?p=11196 Good news and bad today on The BradCast. As is too often the case, mostly bad.

We get the good news out of the way early. Namely, the overwhelming approval by voters for a Constitutional amendment for marriage equality in the very Catholic nation of Ireland over the weekend. The mandate was loud and clear and, thanks to publicly hand-counted, hand-marked paper ballots in Ireland, unmistakable.

Then, horrific, deadly flooding in Texas and Oklahoma on the heels of a years-long drought there. Mashable.com's Science Editor Andrew Freedman joins us to discuss the ongoing disaster and the influence of climate change on events like this --- which we seem to be seeing more and more of...just as climate scientists have been warning for decades.

Also today, a report on our own weekend encounter with private security guards at the scene of the Santa Barbara, CA oil spill after the rupture of a crude pipeline owned by a company named Plains All American.

An update on charges now filed against Doug Hughes, the postal worker who landed his gyrocopter on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol in April to deliver a message about the need for campaign finance reform (our full interview with Hughes from back in April is right here).

All that, and a few more items of note in today's BradCast!

Download MP3 or listen online below...
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Memorial Day Weekend Toons http://bradblog.com/?p=11195 http://bradblog.com/?p=11195#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 12:41:10 +0000 PDiddie Toons http://bradblog.com/?p=11195

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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.


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Gov. Don Siegelman's Son on Father's Case; 'Bin Laden's Bookshelf': 'BradCast' 5/22/2015 http://bradblog.com/?p=11194 http://bradblog.com/?p=11194#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 22:18:30 +0000 Brad Friedman (Uncategorized) Election Irregularities Election Reform Karl Rove 9/11 BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Maryland Election Fraud Alabama Rights And Freedoms BlackBoxVoting.org Accountability Dept. of Justice Barack Obama Don Siegelman Bush Legacy KPFK BradCast http://bradblog.com/?p=11194 We've reported for years about the ease with which foreign entities could hack a computerized US election with little possibility of being discovered. Well, guess what classic book was reportedly found on 'Bin Laden's Bookshelf'? We discuss on today's BradCast!

Then, my guest is the imprisoned Gov. Don Siegelman (D-AL)'s son Joseph Siegelman (pictured above with his father and sister Dana just before his father was sent back to federal prison in 2012 to serve out his 6.5 year sentence on "bribery" charges), on the latest disturbing ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals concerning his father's appeal for a new trial and/or reduced sentence in his outrageously politicized prosecution by the Bush Administration.

Joseph, now an attorney, explains what the court's decision this week means; where the case goes from here; whether he thinks the Obama Administration will ever right the wrong; and how you can help to restore justice in this matter.

"This is something that shouldn't happen in America," he told me. "If a sitting governor can be unseated and prosecuted and imprisoned for something that he did not do --- and for something that had not even been considered a crime in this country until he was convicted of it --- what chance do anyone one of us have?"

That and a bit more, including listener mail and some breaking voting news out of MD, on today's BradCast...

Download MP3 or listen online below...
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'Bin Laden Bookshelf' Reportedly Contained Classic Book About Hacking Electronic Elections http://bradblog.com/?p=11193 http://bradblog.com/?p=11193#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 13:35:55 +0000 Brad Friedman Greg Palast CIA 9/11 Election Fraud BlackBoxVoting.org Internet Voting Bush Legacy http://bradblog.com/?p=11193 We've long warned about the dangers that electronic voting and tabulation systems pose to our democracy, not just from simple insider attacks and domestic hacking, but also from foreign governments and other, even shadier entities.

In 2009, just by way of one of scores (if not hundreds) of examples, we covered the chilling presentation given by the CIA's cybersecurity expert Steven Stigall to a panel convened by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) during a field hearing in Orlando, FL. Stigalll warned at the time: "You heard the old adage 'follow the money. I follow the vote. And wherever the vote becomes an electron and touches a computer, that's an opportunity for a malicious actor potentially to...make bad things happen."

"For several years," Stigall said, according to the transcript [WORD], "I've worked with others in my organization to try and identify foreign threats, emphasis on 'foreign threats,' to important U.S. computer systems. A few years ago it occurred to us that that should include potential foreign threats to the computers upon which our elections in this country are increasingly dependent."

Well, funny thing. Remember that Osama Bin Laden guy? On Thursday, The Hill and others published a list [PDF] of about forty English-language books said to have been found at Bin Laden's compound when he was killed. Among them, amusingly enough, were "9/11 conspiracy theory" books. Another was the New York Times best-seller The Best Democracy Money Can Buy by our friend, investigative reporter Greg Palast.

Interesting. But look at what else showed is said to have been found on Osama's bookshelf...

Yes, that's right. The 2004 classic that gave the name to so much of what we've been covering on this very blog since that infamous year, Black Box Voting: Ballot Tampering in the 21st Century, by my colleague Bev Harris, who I've interviewed countless times on The BradCast as well as for BRAD BLOG stories and who, like Palast, has even guest blogged here on occasion over the years.

When I called her last night for comment, she pointed me to a quick piece she posted in response at her site, BlackBoxVoting.org, on Thursday, describing the revelation as "Bizarre. Odd. Stunning."

The book is now available for free download on her website as she's working on several new books, including what she told me was to be a "completely revised and updated version of Black Box Voting for 2016."

"As I thought about it, I couldn't understand how Osama could really have gotten his hands on a physical copy of the book," she said. "Only about 800 physical copies went out, though by now we've had well over half a million downloads of it. The only time physical copies were available, it was only 2 1/2 years after the Sept. 11 attack, and Osama was supposedly hiding in a cave having dialysis or something." She says it's likely that Bin Laden had one of the freely available Internet versions of the book.

In 2004, she notes, during the Bush Administration, someone from D.C. had requested a copy of the book "for the White House Library". Harris added, "If the White House Library still has it then I guess the book is on Obama's bookshelf and Osama's bookshelf. Quite a demographic spread."

With a nod to Palast and some of the others on the list, she told me, "It's good company to be in." She added: "It looked to me from his reading list, he was looking at how fucked up the Western World really is."

Maybe so. But recall the warnings from the CIA's Stigall to that EAC-convened panel, warning of "all of the things that foreign actors try and do to effect the outcome of the election long before Election Day."

"I've referred a lot to hackers in this presentation," he said at the time. "I'm not really concerned about the 18-year old wannabes. I'm concerned about the 28 or the 38-year old folks who have been doing this a long time and who may be under contract for some other organization. In other words, an organized structured effort to throw an election."

Now who would possibly want to do that?

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State Sen. Al Davis (R) on 'Veto Proof' Vote to Ban Nebraska's Death Penalty: 'BradCast' 5/21/2015 http://bradblog.com/?p=11192 http://bradblog.com/?p=11192#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 00:21:15 +0000 Brad Friedman Iraq War Election Reform BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Alabama Accountability Death Penalty Environment Democrats Republicans Nebraska Don Siegelman Bush Legacy KPFK Jeb Bush Election 2016 BradCast http://bradblog.com/?p=11192 After a bunch of breaking news on The BradCast today --- out of Baltimore, on Gov. Don Siegelman (D-AL)'s rejected criminal appeal, on Jeb Bush's latest easily disprovable nonsense in hopes to rewriting Iraq and his brother's criminal culpability in it --- I was delighted to move on to some very encouraging news out of Nebraska.

On Wednesday, in Nebraska's unique, non-partisan unicameral state Senate, Republicans and Democrats voted --- with a "veto proof majority" --- to end the use of the death penalty in the state. The move, in the pretty deeply Republican state, seems to have shocked many, particularly with the state's Republican Governor having just announced his purchase of a a new batch of drugs to kill people with...from a very questionable source.

State Sen. Al Davis (R-District 43), one of those who voted to end the state's immoral killing of prisoners, joined me on today's show to explain why he voted as he did (on this matter and in the recent bipartisan rejection of a polling place Photo ID voting restriction); whether he believes the "veto proof" majority on the death penalty ban will hold at this point; why the state's unicameral, non-partisan chamber seems to result in common sense alliances rarely seen elsewhere across our dysfunctional partisan landscape; and what other surprising moves (yes, increased taxes and more!) may soon come out of the majority Republican statehouse.

All of that today, along with a thought on David Letterman's departure and Desi Doyen with the latest, very oily, Green News Report...

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

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'Green News Report' - May 21, 2015 http://bradblog.com/?p=11191 http://bradblog.com/?p=11191#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 18:05:20 +0000 Desi Doyen California National Security Accountability Environment Barack Obama Republicans Los Angeles Green News BP Oil Disaster Natural gas Coal Oil Climate change Oceans Louie Gohmert http://bradblog.com/?p=11191

 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Major oil spill off the Santa Barbara coast; Another settlement reached in 2010 BP Gulf Oil Spill; Fossil fuels subsidized to the tune of $5 trillion a year; PLUS: President Obama to Coast Guard cadets: climate change is a threat to global and national security ... 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): US House Republicans Vote To Restrict Research Funding; Chinese Fleets Illegally Fish in West African Waters, Greenpeace Says; In Heavily Fracked Ohio County, Unsafe Levels of Toxic Pollutants; Avian Flu Outbreak Takes Poultry Producers Into Uncharted Territory... PLUS: Experts Blast New York Times Hit Piece On EPA... 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)...

  • Experts Blast New York Times Hit Piece On EPA (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
    The New York Times put a 1,700-word piece on its front page Tuesday that accuses the EPA of violating federal laws on grassroots campaigning. The paper ran the story despite knowing the accusation is not true, a fact that is buried deep in the article. How is that journalism?
  • US House Republicans Vote To Restrict Research Funding (AFP):
    US House Republicans voted to place limits on funding for scientific research, including climate change studies, as they passed legislation that more narrowly defines their priorities.
  • Chinese Fleets Illegally Fish in West African Waters, Greenpeace Says (NY Times):
    Chinese fishing fleets, driven by plummeting catches close to home, are flocking to distant West African waters, where they engage in ecologically ruinous bottom trawling, subterfuge and other illegal activities that threaten marine resources in a region already under pressure from overfishing, according to a report issued on Wednesday by Greenpeace.
  • In Heavily Fracked Ohio County, Unsafe Levels of Toxic Pollutants (InsideClimate News):
    New study finds fracking releases cancer-causing chemicals into the air many times higher than the EPA considers safe.
  • Avian Flu Outbreak Takes Poultry Producers Into Uncharted Territory (NPR):
    An avian flu outbreak is sweeping across the Midwest at a frightening pace, ravaging chicken and turkey farms and leaving officials stumped about the virus's seemingly unstoppable spread.
  • Canadian Aboriginal Group Rejects $1 Billion Fee for Natural Gas Project (NY Times):
    About a decade ago, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that native groups like the Lax Kw'alaams that never signed treaties must be consulted and accommodated when projects cross their land.
  • Clean Power Plan Would Save Thousands of Lives Each Year (Scientific American):
    [Dallas Burtraw, a senior fellow at Resources for the Future and one of the study's co-authors] said that when the power sector begins shifting away from coal-fired power plants and toward energy sources with smaller carbon footprints, like natural gas, wind and solar, the health benefits would begin materializing immediately. "Really, we are talking about a matter of days to weeks," he said.
  • Rate Of Climate Change To Soar By 2020s, With Arctic Warming 1°F Per Decade (Climate Progress):
    New research from a major national lab projects that the rate of climate change, which has risen sharply in recent decades, will soar by the 2020s. This worrisome projection - which has implications for extreme weather, sea level rise, and permafrost melt - is consistent with several recent studies.
  • Now's Your Chance to Help Save the Imperiled Monarch Butterfly-and Get Paid to Do So (Take Part) [emphasis added]:
    Another threat, according to Grant, has been well-intentioned individuals who have planted a tropical form of milkweed, which competes with native varieties and is not beneficial to monarchs or other pollinators.


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

  • Skeptical Science: Database with FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Myths
  • 4 Scenarios Show What Climate Change Will Do To The Earth, From Pretty Bad To Disaster (Fast CoExist):
    But exactly how bad is still an open question, and a lot depends not only on how we react, but how quickly. The rate at which humans cut down on greenhouse gas emissions--if we do choose to cut them--will have a large bearing on how the world turns out by 2100, the forecasts reveal.
  • How to Solve Global Warming: It's the Energy Supply (Scientific American):
    Restraining global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius will require changing how the world produces and uses energy to power its cities and factories, heats and cools buildings, as well as moves people and goods in airplanes, trains, cars, ships and trucks, according to the IPCC. Changes are required not just in technology, but also in people's behavior.
  • Warning: Even in the best-case scenario, climate change will kick our asses (Grist)
  • NASA Video: Warming over the last 130 years, and into the next 100 years:

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    BREAKING: 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Denies Siegelman Request for New Trial http://bradblog.com/?p=11190 http://bradblog.com/?p=11190#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 01:28:08 +0000 Brad Friedman BRAD BLOG Karl Rove Tom DeLay BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Alabama Accountability Don Siegelman Bush Legacy Mark Fuller http://bradblog.com/?p=11190 From AP late today:

    A federal appeals court has upheld the bribery conviction and prison sentence of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.

    The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that Siegelman was not entitled to a new trial. The judges also upheld Siegelman's 78-month sentence.

    The ruling is the latest legal blow to Siegelman, who has been fighting to overturn his 2006 conviction in a government corruption case. A federal jury convicted Siegelman of appointing former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to a state board in exchange for campaign donations.

    Siegelman, a Democrat, had argued that a prosecutor with ties to GOP politics remained involved in his case despite her recusal. Federal judges said there was no evidence she influenced the prosecution team

    Siegelman is projected to get out of prison in 2017.

    See below for an appearance of mine on Thom Hartmann's television show in 2013 discussing the status of the Siegelman case at the time. Hartmann describes him as "America's Political Prisoner". The appearance coincided with the dismissal of the conviction against former Republican U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay for money laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars. 113 bi-partisan former state Attorneys General have stated that what Siegelman was convicted of had never been a crime until he was charged with it.

    The court's decision, however, could help to finally clear the way for clemency or a pardon from the President, as advocates have long sought. See Jeffrey Toobin's January 2015 New Yorker column calling for same.

    Meanwhile, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller (the former head of the Alabama GOP and George W. Bush-appointed federal judge who oversaw Siegelman's trial and sentencing after refusing to recuse himself despite long-held grudges against the popular Democratic governor) remains a free man. His criminal record has been expunged despite having been arrested for allegedly beating his wife in a hotel room last summer. (911 call here and embed below.) Unless impeached by Congress, Fuller will retain his $200k/year seat on the federal bench for life.

    More info at Free-Don.org.

    USA. USA. USA.

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    My 2013 appearance on Hartmann's show and a video snippet of the chilling 911 call from Judge Fuller's wife in 2014, both follow below...


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    Untethered From Reality: 'BradCast' 5/20/2015 http://bradblog.com/?p=11189 http://bradblog.com/?p=11189#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 23:08:38 +0000 Brad Friedman Election Irregularities Iraq War Mainstream Corporate Media New Jersey BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Rights And Freedoms U.S. Constitution Wisconsin Accountability Environment Fairness Doctrine Republicans Los Angeles FCC Torture Election 2012 Bush Legacy Chris Christie KPFK WI Recall Elections Scott Walker Oil Election 2016 BradCast http://bradblog.com/?p=11189 We've been talking about reality here a lot lately, and the difficulty a huge portion of our population has with it.

    On today's BradCast: Our nation's untethering from reality, as it affects accountability for Iraq War war crimes and torture, the 2016 race, climate change and much more. We can't fix our problems until we can agree on the facts, but Governors Chris Christie and Scott Walker remind us once again that we are nowhere near such agreement. (Even as we must take a side trip through the Bush Family's relationship with Nazi Germany to help understand it all.)

    Journalist-turned-media-activist and documentarian Sue Wilson from Media Action Center joins us to discuss the FCC ruling that upends the First Amendment and Walker and his supporter's efforts to make things even worse in a Wisconsin criminal investigation into his 2012 recall election that may have an enormous impact on the entire nation in 2016.

    Plus: Minimum wage boosted to $15/hour here in Los Angeles; Another huge oil spill in Santa Barbara; and much more on today's BradCast...

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

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    While we post The BradCast here everyday, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!

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    Rep. Hank Johnson on Obama's Executive Order to Demilitarize the Police: 'BradCast' 5/19/2015 http://bradblog.com/?p=11188 http://bradblog.com/?p=11188#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 23:53:57 +0000 Brad Friedman Ohio Florida Election Reform Texas BRAD BLOG Media Appearance War On Terror Maryland Rights And Freedoms Vermont New Hampshire Barack Obama Dept. of Defense Democrats Republicans Hank Johnson KPFK War on Drugs Election 2016 BradCast http://bradblog.com/?p=11188 Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA-4) returned to The BradCast today to take a bit of a victory lap after President Obama's Executive Order this week restricting the flow of heavy armaments from the Dept. of Defense to state and local police via the Pentagon's 1033 program.

    Johnson spoke with us most recently last summer, after Ferguson blew up, and as he was preparing to file his "Stop Militarization Law Enforcement Act of 2015" [PDF]. Long before that, he had been working to roll back the obscene militarization of our local police. So he was justifiably happy about this week's development, even while explaining that its still important to pass his legislation because Executive Orders are easily undone by Congress and Republicans are, somewhat schizophrenically, in the process of actually trying to expand the 1033 program.

    Then we cover a spate of new voting laws working their way through statehouses around the country from TX to OH to NH to FL to VT to MD. While most off the new laws in Republican states are predictably restrictive and in Democratic states more expansive, there is one pleasantly surprising exception to that rule this week.

    Also, millions of spiders falling from the skies in Australia! And Desi Doyen joins for the latest Green News Report, which actually includes a some encouraging good for a change!...

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

    * * *

    While we post The BradCast here everyday, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!

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    'Green News Report' - May 19, 2015 http://bradblog.com/?p=11187 http://bradblog.com/?p=11187#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 18:36:50 +0000 Desi Doyen Environment Republicans Green News EPA Natural gas Canada Oil Climate change Shell Oil Seattle http://bradblog.com/?p=11187

     

    IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: 'The Paddle in Seattle' - 'kayaktivists' hit the water to stop Shell's Arctic drilling; Good news for breathers - study finds new rules for power plants will save lives...but Republicans already trying to stop them; PLUS: Indigenous tribe in British Columbia says 'NO' to natural gas billions ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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

    Link:
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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): Massive Antarctic ice shelf will disappear in a few years; El Nino set to upset commodities markets; Texas bans local fracking bans; Emails show oil tycoon sought to fire fracking earthquake researchers; US extreme heat waves to rise six-fold by 2100; Pope Francis - destroyers of environment will face God's wrath; Disease spreads to US salamanders; Goldman Sachs projects crude oil prices to remain low through 2020... PLUS: Shell Assures Nation Most Arctic Wildlife To Go Extinct Well Before Next Spill ... 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 MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page

  • Skeptical Science: Database with FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Myths
  • 4 Scenarios Show What Climate Change Will Do To The Earth, From Pretty Bad To Disaster (Fast CoExist):
    But exactly how bad is still an open question, and a lot depends not only on how we react, but how quickly. The rate at which humans cut down on greenhouse gas emissions--if we do choose to cut them--will have a large bearing on how the world turns out by 2100, the forecasts reveal.
  • How to Solve Global Warming: It's the Energy Supply (Scientific American):
    Restraining global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius will require changing how the world produces and uses energy to power its cities and factories, heats and cools buildings, as well as moves people and goods in airplanes, trains, cars, ships and trucks, according to the IPCC. Changes are required not just in technology, but also in people's behavior.
  • Warning: Even in the best-case scenario, climate change will kick our asses (Grist)
  • NASA Video: Warming over the last 130 years, and into the next 100 years:

  • ]]>
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