The BRAD BLOG http://bradblog.com Because it's not about Right or Left, it's about Right and Wrong! Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:55:11 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.0.2 en Clinton, Trump and a Responsible Way to Crack the Two-Party Duopoly: 'BradCast' 8/24/2016 http://bradblog.com/?p=11818 http://bradblog.com/?p=11818#comments Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:55:11 +0000 Brad Friedman Florida Election Reform BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Louisiana Hillary Clinton Barack Obama Democrats Republicans Ranked choice voting KPFK Donald Trump Bernie Sanders Oil Climate change Extreme weather Green Party Jill Stein Gary Johnson Libertarian Party Election 2016 BradCast India Italy http://bradblog.com/?p=11818 On today's BradCast, deadly natural disasters across the world and the potential for a man-made one here in the U.S., depending on the outcome of the November election.

First up today, the latest breaking news on the disastrous, deadly earthquake in Italy where, as of air-time, at least 159 have been killed; the horrific and even deadlier flooding in India, where more than 300 have died; and President Obama's visit to the site of historic flooding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Then: Is voting for a so-called third party candidate in the November Presidential election tantamount to 'throwing your vote away'? That's a question confronting many U.S. voters who are dissatisfied with the two major party candidates. But does such a vote open the door to a deadly dangerous President Trump? And does it even matter if it does?

Historian and Salon columnist Matthew Rozsa, a Bernie Sanders supporter during the primary, joins me to discuss how American voters can take on the two-party duopoly, without taking the country and the world down with it, as discussed in his recent piece "Tired of Democrats vs. Republicans? Here's how to fix it".

Rozsa details what he sees as a moral case against Trump, that requires a vote for Clinton, even if his policy preferences are more closely aligned with someone like Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein. "When you juxtapose the possibility of a Clinton presidency with that of a Trump presidency," he argues, "you can see how policies they would implement on issues ranging from immigration, to taxes, to business regulations, would affect people directly. So when you say 'I don't see much of a difference between Clinton and Trump, and therefore I'm willing to risk the election of someone like Trump,' you are minimizing or ignoring how his policies would impact real people in this country."

But, he goes on to explain, there is a way to support third-parties in such a way that they can serve to crack the stranglehold of the two-party system and potentially even become viable at the Presidential level. "If you're going to try to empower third-party candidates, you shouldn't be indifferent for most of the four-year period, and then a few months before the general election say, 'oh, I don't like either of these alternatives, I'm going to vote third party to make that stance clear'. That doesn't accomplish anything. The way to really achieve this change is to be invested in the process constantly...even when it's not an election year," he says.

It's an interesting, detailed and history rich conversation, in which Rozsa and I disagree on a few key points, while agreeing on others. Please give it a listen and share your thoughts in comments.

Finally, don't count your chickens yet, Democrats. Trump regains the lead over Clinton in swing-state Florida, according to a new poll [PDF] out today from the Sunshine State...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
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]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=11818 NSA Hacking Tools in the Wild and Hackable Election Systems in the U.S.: 'BradCast' 8/23/2016 http://bradblog.com/?p=11817 http://bradblog.com/?p=11817#comments Wed, 24 Aug 2016 00:58:18 +0000 Brad Friedman Diebold/Premier Election Irregularities Election Reform Sequoia Voting Systems New Jersey NSA BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Alaska Election Fraud DNC Princeton University Touch-Screen Vote Flipping Mainstream Media Failure Louisiana Barack Obama Voter Registration Vote Caging KPFK Donald Trump DHS Climate change Extreme weather Election 2016 BradCast Arctic http://bradblog.com/?p=11817 Today on The BradCast, exceedingly powerful hacking tools from the NSA make their way to the black market as concerns about hackable U.S. election systems continue to raise concerns just weeks before our next Presidential Election. [Audio link to the show posted at end of article below.]

A shadowy hacking organization, thought to be a foreign entity, has made a set of hacking tools --- thought to have been purloined in some fashion from another shadowy hacking organization, thought to be the NSA --- available to the highest bidder. The vulnerabilities exposed by the malware tools suggests that the NSA is aware of serious, heretofore unknown vulnerabilities in worldwide computer networks, about which they have failed to notify the commercial vendors who produce the hardware and software found to be at risk.

The issue has raised disturbing questions and no small amount of outrage about the NSA's practice of keeping such vulnerabilities a secret, for their own cyber-offensive purposes, despite the risk it poses to our critical, commercial cyber-infrastructure.

In a somewhat related issue --- as we've been yelling and screaming about for more than a decade --- vulnerabilities to U.S. voting and tabulation computers have long been a threat to the nation, but are only now being taken (somewhat) seriously by corporate media, the U.S. government, and, as I report on today's program, at least one of the major political parties.

A man who knows all about the above --- if only because he was, as we reported back in 2007, one of the first to hack an electronic voting system in the U.S. after he purchased five Sequoia AVC Advantage voting systems for about $82 on the Internet (the same "closely guarded" systems, still used in states like NJ, PA, VA and LA, were originally sold for about $10,000 a piece) --- is Andrew Appel, Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University. (That's him in the photo above with one of his voting machines.)

Appel, who Politico recently noticed in Ben Wofford's excellent recent article, "How to Hack an Election in 7 Minutes", has been writing about both of these issues of late.

On the NSA matter, Appel tells me today: "They should not hoard the vulnerabilities in the hope the NSA can use them to spy on everybody else. The assumption the NSA is implicitly making is that nobody else will be able to find these bugs and vulnerabilities and use them to spy on us, and do banking transactions in our name, and read our emails." That, he explains, is a huge mistake and a grave disservice.

On the continuing concerns about U.S. voting systems and the Dept. of Homeland Security's very recent attempt at helping local election officials before November 8, he cautions: "Security is not something you can just patch on by some sort of 'critical infrastructure security squad' that descends and surrounds your house with the National Guard. It's got to be built in to all the software we buy." He adds ominously, in describing the type of voting systems used across the country: "Whoever got to install the software most recently is the one who gets to decide what kind of results are reported."

Appel, tends to concur with my general assessment that it's largely too close to the election to make real changes to protect our voting systems. He also shares the warning I've tried to give so many years about the real vulnerabilities to our electronic voting and tabulation systems."In this country, most election fraud has been conducted by insiders, who have access to how the votes get added up." But, he also goes on to offer a few proactive measures --- including "witnesses in each polling place just at the close of polls" to independently track numbers as originally reported by the voting systems --- that, he says, can still be taken to try and safeguard results.

Also today: Obama visits flood disaster sites in Louisiana; Trump continues his (potentially illegal) voter suppression dog whistles; and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with, among other things, a heart-wrenching tale of an Alaskan native American tribe forced to move their entire village as the Arctic continues to melt away...

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

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]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=11817 'Green News Report' - August 23, 2016 http://bradblog.com/?p=11816 http://bradblog.com/?p=11816#comments Tue, 23 Aug 2016 19:06:42 +0000 Desi Doyen Alaska Katrina Mainstream Media Failure Accountability Louisiana Environment FEMA Green News Donald Trump Climate change Extreme weather Election 2016 Native Americans Arctic http://bradblog.com/?p=11816

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Media criticized for their slow response to Louisiana flood disaster; Louisiana flooding could accelerate spread of the Zika virus; PLUS: A tale of two Arctics --- Native American tribe forced to move, while luxury cruises are just getting started... 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): 'Climate change is water change' - why the Colorado River system is headed for major trouble; A Deal With The Devil? Russia Kicks Up Arctic Oil Drilling; High-Price Ethanol Credits Add to Refiners' Woes; China's drive to clean up its coal power, one plant at a time; Widening 80 Mile Crack Threatens One Of Antarctica’s Biggest Ice Shelves; Ohio Residents Clash With State and County Government in Fight to Ban Fracking via the Ballot... PLUS: Most Cities Too Hot to Host Summer Olympics by 2085... 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)...

  • Most Cities Too Hot to Host Summer Olympics by 2085 (Climate Central):
    In 70 years, most cities in the Northern Hemisphere will be unfit to host the summer Olympics due to rising temperatures associated with climate change, according to a medical journal's findings.
  • A Deal With The Devil? Russia Kicks Up Arctic Oil Drilling (Forbes):
    Russia’s Arctic development comes as its oil production increases despite a more than two-year long supply glut and plunge in prices. But it also comes as the country’s oil fields mature...“If you are the Russian government today and if you want to keep having your oil and gas, you need to start developing offshore Arctic oil and gas fast,” he said.
  • High-Price Ethanol Credits Add to Refiners' Woes (NY Times):
    Fuel credits known as RINs have been in place for the last decade as part of a federal program to encourage the blending of ethanol or other renewable additives into gasoline and diesel fuels. Refiners that do not fulfill the federal blending mandate are required to buy RINs instead — which they say impose financial burdens when market speculation or other factors cause RIN prices to rise.
  • China's drive to clean up its coal power, one plant at a time (New Scientist):
    Now, a Chinese engineer has re-engineered a Shanghai coal plant to make it one of the world’s most efficient – and a potential model for the country’s coal-burning future.
  • Widening 80 Mile Crack Threatens One Of Antarctica’s Biggest Ice Shelves (Washington Post):
    For some time, scientists who focus on Antarctica have been watching the progression of a large crack in one of the world’s great ice shelves — Larsen C, the most northern major ice shelf of the Antarctic peninsula and the fourth largest Antarctic ice shelf overall.
  • Ohio Residents Clash With State and County Government in Fight to Ban Fracking via the Ballot (DeSmog Blog):
    In July, the county boards of elections in Meigs, Portage, and Athens all voted 4-0 to pull their measures from the ballot. The boards of elections say the measures are invalid because they do not delineate every single duty of all county officers. In Medina - where a local judge and prosecutor have cautiously resisted the NEXUS natural gas pipeline and a gas compressor station - the board split 2-2. The decision was then put to Husted, who broke the tie in favor of the fossil fuel industry. Petitioners in all four counties are filing appeals.
  • 'Climate change is water change' - why the Colorado River system is headed for major trouble (Washington Post):
    The report predicts that Lake Mead - the river system's largest reservoir, supplying water to millions of people in Nevada, Arizona, California and Mexico - will narrowly escape a shortage declaration next year. But a shortage is looking imminent in 2018, and water experts are growing ever more worried about the river system's future.
  • Coal Burning Causes the Most Air Pollution Deaths in China, Study Finds (NY Times):
    Burning coal has the worst health impact of any source of air pollution in China and caused 366,000 premature deaths in 2013, Chinese and American researchers said on Thursday. Coal is responsible for about 40 percent of the deadly fine particulate matter known as PM 2.5 in China's atmosphere, according to a study the researchers released in Beijing.
  • Secret 'Chemtrail' Spraying Not Real, Scientists Agree (ENS):
    Long-lasting white trails left behind by aircraft are caused by well-understood physical and chemical processes, not a secret, large-scale atmospheric spraying program, concludes new research from Carnegie Science, University of California-Irvine, and the nonprofit Near Zero.
  • Environmental records shattered as climate change 'plays out before us' (Guardian UK):
    Temperatures, sea levels and carbon dioxide all hit milestones amid extreme weather in 2015, major international 'state of the climate' report finds.


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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    'What Do You Have to Lose?': 'BradCast' 8/22/2016 http://bradblog.com/?p=11815 http://bradblog.com/?p=11815#comments Tue, 23 Aug 2016 00:40:47 +0000 Brad Friedman California Election Reform North Carolina New Jersey BRAD BLOG Media Appearance New York Rights And Freedoms Photo ID Laws Mainstream Media Failure Riverside County Accountability Death Penalty Voter Registration Vote Caging Republicans Michigan Delaware Chris Christie KPFK Donald Trump Reince Priebus Election 2016 BradCast Rick Snyder http://bradblog.com/?p=11815 Donald Trump's newly celebrated 'pivot' to becoming a 'maturity' as a Presidential candidate, as declared by some Republicans and some in the corporate media, may be far less of a 'pivot' than he and his surrogates are pretending, especially in his new attempts to woo African-American voters.

    On today's BradCast [audio link posted below.], we take a look at some of the claims of Trump's surrogates, and how they stack up against reality. (Hint: Taking out a newspaper ad calling for the death penalty for five African-American kids found completely innocent of a horrible crime doesn't seem a particularly smart way to woo the African-American vote.)

    Similarly, if the GOP wants to reach out to minority voters, they have a very peculiar way of showing it, as Republican Party officials, operatives and Governors --- from CA to NC, from NJ to MI --- re-double their efforts to keep 'certain' voters from being able to cast a vote at all this November.

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

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    ]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=11815 Sunday Toons of the Makeover Moment http://bradblog.com/?p=11813 http://bradblog.com/?p=11813#comments Sun, 21 Aug 2016 13:32:36 +0000 PDiddie Toons http://bradblog.com/?p=11813

    You will have at least two...

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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.


    ]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=11813 Three Daves to Make Your (Political) Day: 'BradCast' 8/19/2016 http://bradblog.com/?p=11812 http://bradblog.com/?p=11812#comments Sat, 20 Aug 2016 00:46:40 +0000 Angie Coiro BRAD BLOG Mainstream Corporate Media Mainstream Media Failure Hillary Clinton Democrats Economy Eric Holder Bush Legacy Delaware U.S. Chamber of Commerce Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Occupy Wall Street ALEC Election 2016 TPP BradCast http://bradblog.com/?p=11812 On today's BradCast, guest hosted by Angie Coiro, we discuss how multinational corporations avoid taxes (and what to do about it). Then David Dayen brings us his award-winning book on the mortgage swindle, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street's Great Foreclosure Fraud.

    First up, David Atkins from The Washington Monthly and Dave Johnson of The Campaign for America’s Future dive into the murky waters of how to finally tax offshore corporate profits.

    Finally, David Dayen discusses three unsung heroes of the mortgage meltdown – ordinary people who wouldn’t let their homes be foreclosed without fighting back. They sparked a movement that turned foreclosures back on the banks and led to real legislative change...

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

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    ]]>
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    6th Circuit Panel Upholds Right to 'Straight-Party' Voting In Michigan, Republican AG Vows to Appeal http://bradblog.com/?p=11810 http://bradblog.com/?p=11810#comments Fri, 19 Aug 2016 17:05:57 +0000 Ernest A. Canning Election Reform U.S. Constitution Republicans Michigan Voting Rights Act Election 2016 Rick Snyder http://bradblog.com/?p=11810 This week, in yet another setback for GOP voter suppression efforts, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeal upheld a District Court preliminary injunction that prevented Michigan Republicans from eliminating "straight-party" voting in the Great Lake State. It did so because it found that the plaintiffs in Michigan State Randolph Inst. v. Johnson would likely prevail in their contention that the MI GOP's elimination of straight-party voting violated both the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA).

    "Straight-party voting," the appellate panel explained, "allows a voter to vote for all candidates of their desired political party by making a single mark designating the selection of that political party, rather than voting for each partisan candidate individually."

    The court does not suggest that all states must make it available. In fact, many states have never made that form of voting available to their respective electorates. But, the court observed, "straight-party voting has...been available to Michigan citizens for an uninterrupted period of 125 years" --- from 1891 - 2016.

    Straight-party voting in Michigan is so popular that voters twice rejected efforts to eliminate it via the referendum process --- first in 1964 and again in 2001. And while, overall, half of the MI electorate takes advantage of the straight-ticket option, this swift and efficient alternative to selecting individual candidates from a long-list of offices on a ballot has been disproportionately relied upon by African-Americans ("67% in 2012, and 73.5% in 2014"), the 6th Circuit panel observed.

    However, with their own ability to retain power at stake in 2016 --- especially after the scandalous poisoning of Flint's drinking water --- Michigan Republicans were not inclined to permit either efficiency or popularity to stand in the way...

    In a narrow (54-52 in the state's House of Representatives), strictly party-line vote in late 2015, the self-described "fiscally conservative" MI GOP passed legislation which not only repealed straight-party voting, but also included a $5 million appropriation for the purchase of voting equipment needed to implement the elimination of the straight-ticket voting option. The measure was signed into law by Michigan's Republican Governor Rick Snyder last January. The District Court's preliminary injunction was issued on July 21.

    The 6th Circuit upheld the injunction on the basis of uncontroverted evidence which revealed that the repeal of straight-party voting would impose a disparate burden on African-Americans. The loss of the efficient ballot marking method would create long lines at the polls that would "impose additional monetary costs on voters...and may even turn some voters away from voting at all," the 6th Circuit panel observed. It would also sew confusion because the state intends to use the "the same graphics that appeared on previous ballots in the straight-party voting section, and are in substantially the same location, but the bubble for selecting the party to vote that party's candidates on a straight-party ticket has been removed."

    Although, according to the 6th Circuit panel, the state could neither refute these findings nor offer a state interest that would counter this new disproportionate burden, Michigan's Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette has vowed to seek a stay from the full 6th Circuit Court.

    Given that the preliminary injunction issued on July 21 and that voters would more likely be confused by the repeal of straight-party voting, as opposed to its retention, it is exceedingly doubtful that MI Republicans could obtain a stay under the Purcell principle --- the concept adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court in recent years that courts, in order to avoid potential confusion at the polls, should not change election laws at the eleventh hour.

    UPDATE: As promised, Citing Purcell, Michigan filed an Emergency Initial Hearing En Banc with the full 6th Circuit. In what looks like an offhand concession that it is now the state which seeks an eleventh hour change in procedures, Michigan asks that the court issue a decision no later than August 30 so that state and local officials can timely initiate ballot preparations.

    ***

    Ernest A. Canning is a retired attorney, author, Vietnam Veteran (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968) and a Senior Advisor to Veterans For Bernie. He has been a member of the California state bar since 1977. In addition to a juris doctor, he has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science. Follow him on twitter: @cann4ing


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    DoJ Announces 'End' of Private For-Profit Federal Prison System; Plus: GOP 'Civil War' vs. Reality: 'BradCast' 8/18/2016 http://bradblog.com/?p=11811 http://bradblog.com/?p=11811#comments Fri, 19 Aug 2016 01:01:17 +0000 Brad Friedman Fox 'News' CNN California BRAD BLOG Media Appearance New York Accountability Environment Dept. of Justice Hillary Clinton RNC Republicans Bush Legacy Andrew Breitbart KPFK Donald Trump Bernie Sanders Prison Industrial Complex Oil Wind Climate change Election 2016 BradCast http://bradblog.com/?p=11811 Shockingly good news on today's BradCast, following today's remarkable announcement by the U.S. Dept. of Justice that they are working to end the federal government's "use of privately operated prisons".

    After that, you may want to pop up some popcorn to best enjoy the rest of today's program. [Audio link to complete program is posted below.]

    First up today, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates issued a memo, as Washington Post reported, instructing federal officials "to either decline to renew the contracts for private prison operators when they expire or 'substantially reduce' the contracts’ scope. The goal, Yates wrote, is 'reducing --- and ultimately ending --- our use of privately operated prisons.'

    Wow. Her memo goes on to cite a recent DoJ Inspector General's report finding that privately run prisons do not provide same level of service, "do not save substantially on costs" and "do not maintain the same level of safety and security" as those run by the federal government's Bureau of Prisons.

    I am joined by Carl Takei, staff attorney for the ACLU's National Prison Project, for both an explanation and a bit of a victory lap after his organization and others have spent decades taking on the private, for-profit prison industry. Takei details what the announcement means, why it has finally come about now, and how the ACLU and others --- including investigative reporters, the Bernie Sanders campaign, and eventually the Hillary Clinton campaign --- have long argued precisely what the DoJ has admitted today.

    "Handing control of prisons over to for-profit companies is a recipe for abuse, neglect, and misconduct because their primary duty is to their shareholders. They have to deliver value to their shareholders by skimming a profit off of whatever payments the government gives them to run the system," Takei tells me.

    "In the 1990s, when the Bureau of Prisons first started this experiment with private prisons, the argument was they could provide incarceration more cheaply and that the innovations of the free market would somehow make things better. In fact, it turned out to be far worse. Because the major way that you can make money off incarceration is by cutting expenses," he says. "Some of the biggest expenses are security staff, medical staff, and providing medical services. Anywhere that the company starts cutting back its expenditures, it ends up harming the people inside."

    He goes on to offer some startling examples of both that and of some of the easily-disproven responses and claims of the for-profit, private prison industry lobby.

    Next, we look at how the coming and/or current GOP Civil War is shaping up not as a battle of ideas for the party's future, but as a wingnut street-fight over whose false version of 'reality' will win out. It's getting quite ugly. But also, at least for those of us on the outside, kinda hilarious in several regards.

    Then, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, with "some news that blows" and, finally, we close with the NYC Parks Department hilariously short response to the growing erection of naked Donald Trump statues around the city. You're welcome.

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

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    ]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=11811 'Green News Report' - August 18, 2016 http://bradblog.com/?p=11809 http://bradblog.com/?p=11809#comments Thu, 18 Aug 2016 19:42:58 +0000 Desi Doyen California Environment Barack Obama Green News EPA Natural gas Oil Wind Climate change Extreme weather Transportation http://bradblog.com/?p=11809

    IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Another massive new wildfire forces evacuations for 80,000 in Southern California; Obama Administration issues new rules for heavy duty trucks; New report finds eliminating fossil fuel subsidies won't raise gas prices; PLUS: America gets its first-ever offshore wind farm... 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): Beyond Coal: Imagining Appalachia’s Future; Flooding Compounds Pain of Tragic Summer in Baton Rouge; Biomass Power Slumps as EPA, Industry Spar on Science; Climate Change and Housing: Will a Rising Tide Sink all Homes?; Oregon 50% RPS will barely raise customer rates thru 2028; Massachusetts court bars electric utilities from charging ratepayers for gas pipeline construction; The Steel Magnate Helping Trump Vilify Pollution Regulations... PLUS: Flooding in the South Looks a Lot Like 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 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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    Send in the Clowns: Trump Staff Shake-Up, NC's Vote Suppression Hail Mary: 'BradCast' 8/17/2016 http://bradblog.com/?p=11808 http://bradblog.com/?p=11808#comments Thu, 18 Aug 2016 00:24:32 +0000 Brad Friedman California Election Reform North Carolina BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Rights And Freedoms Photo ID Laws Voter Registration Vote Caging Democrats Republicans U.S. Supreme Court Vote-by-Mail Andrew Breitbart KPFK Donald Trump Voting Rights Act Climate change Election 2016 BradCast Race Pat McCrory John McLaughlin http://bradblog.com/?p=11808 On today's BradCast, Trump turns to a Rightwing 'news' blogger with no experience in national elections to help him save his campaign, and North Carolina Republicans further reveal their desperation to keep Democrats away from the voting booth this November. [Audio link posted at bottom of article.]

    But first, California continues to pay the huge, early costs of climate change as brand new wildfires explode in bone-dry Southern California, leading to evacuations of more than 80,000 residents today and the destruction of an untold number of structures, including at least one Route 66 landmark.

    Then, Donald Trump responds to plummeting poll numbers with a staff shake-up that taps a Rightwing media huckster with no political experience, from far-right propaganda/conspiracy website Breitbart 'News', to head up his campaign. Eric Boehlert from Media Matters joins us to explain how the GOP establishment's demand that the Republican nominee begin running a more traditional campaign has been answered by Trump's decision to do the complete opposite, as illustrated by the new hires.

    "This is someone who has no campaign experience," Boehlert, a longtime Breitbart watcher explains, describing Trump's new campaign chief Stephen Bannon. "The Trump campaign, which has been hit hard for being amateurish, for having no ground game, for having no advance teams, poor fund-raising, no surrogate operation --- they decided what they really need is someone at the top of the campaign who's never been on a campaign, let alone a presidential campaign."

    "There's already this raging civil war within the conservative media. We've never seen anything like it," he says. "In terms of that civil war, people were already pointing to Breitbart as the problem. So, for Trump to now go to Breitbart to get a new campaign chief, for the rest of the conservative movement, it's just proof positive that everyone in the Trump campaign is just completely off the rails and have no idea what they're doing."

    "There's going to be so many reckonings after November," Boehlert predicts. We'll see if he's right about that.

    In the meantime, desperate North Carolina Republicans have now filed an emergency petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to help them keep the state's "racially discriminatory" voter suppression law in place through November, even as GOP officials around the state work to adopt new restrictions on voting in lieu of the sweeping election law recently struck down by the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals for having "target[ed] African-Americans with nearly surgical precision".

    At this point, for unpopular Republicans in NC --- and, similarly, around much of the rest of the country --- voter suppression may be one of just a very few ways they have left to save their bacon this November.

    Finally today, we say "Bye-Bye!" to legendary broadcaster John McLaughlin, who changed the political media landscape (for both better and worse), following news of his death this week at age 89...

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

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    Choose monthly amount...


    (Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)


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