As is so often the case, just when everyone had given up all hope of some resolution of the issue, the MN Supreme Court ruled unanimously to affirm the election contest decision made by a lower court and reject the appeal of the non-prevailing candidate, Norm Coleman. In another violation of expectations, Coleman conceded the November 2008 U.S. Senate race to Al Franken....
IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: The heat was on as members of the U.S. House of Representatives angrily debated and narrowly passed the landmark American Clean Energy & Security Act, a sweeping overhaul of the nation's energy systems and the first attempt to address the oncoming freight train of climate change...in this special edition of the Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (links below): Canada's problems with new nuke power plants; Beijing's air still polluted, even after olympic effort for Olympics; Q&A on CFLs wtih Consumer Reports.... PLUS: Is it illegal to capture rainwater in your area?
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...
The Minnesota Supreme Court has just ruled that Democrat Al Franken will be the state's next U.S. Senator, bringing to a close the months-long contest against former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.
The decision was a unanimous 5 to 0 ruling, finding that Franken was "entitled" to be certified by the state's Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and its Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.
Pawlenty has recently said he would sign the certification for Franken, if ordered to do so by the MN Supremes. The state requires a signature for certification from both the Governor and the Sec. of State before Congress members may be seated. State law also allows for all election contests to be settled in the state before certification is signed.
Franken's seating would give Democrats a theoretical 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, following Arlen Specter's recent move to the Democratic party.
Franken, an author, former radio talk-show host, and comedian, was found, by a three-judge, tri-partisan election contest panel to have won the election by 312 votes following an historic, painstakingly careful hand count of nearly 3 million paper ballots cast in last November's election. Coleman may now appeal the decisions of the state canvassing board, the three-judge election contest panel, and the unanimous decision of the state Supreme Court to the U.S. Supreme Court...
In Pierce County, WA, indications are that Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) may be a failed experiment. 63% of the voters didn’t like it, and the auditor says scrapping it would save the county $600,000. The County Council voted to amend the county charter to repeal the mandate for RCV; the voters will make the final decision in November.
Smartmatic still hasn’t submitted its incorporation papers to the Philippines Comelec, and its local partner, TIM, has pulled out of the joint venture.
Internet voting is now being considered in Canada and Nova Scotia. Is there no end to the wack-a-mole of unobservable ballots? Prove in one place that Internet ballots are an exercise in unjustified trust, and the idea pops up its head in another.
Today's articles about the Voting Rights Act deal with how to minimize future challenges....
Several weeks ago, VelvetRevolution.us, in coalition with a number of other accountability groups, filed bar disbarment complaints against 12 different Bush Administration attorneys in four states and the District of Columbia in regard to their approval of banned torture techniques used during detainee interrogations.
In a press conference today we (Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is co-founder of VR) added two more to that list, both top CIA attorneys who continue to serve at the agency under the Obama Administration.
A grassroots coalition will file complaints today with the Washington, D.C. bar against two Central Intelligence Agency lawyers for their involvement in authorizing the use of controversial interrogation techniques against detainees in US custody.
Velvet Revolution, a coalition of over 150 grassroots groups, will register complaints against CIA lawyers Jonathan M. Fredman and John A. Rizzo. Fredmen, who is currently counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, served as the Associate General counsel for the CIA from 2001-2004. Rizzo is the current Acting General Counsel for the CIA but is retiring this month. His nomination to become full General Counsel has been held up for years over his alleged role in enabling the CIA’s controversial interrogation program.
DC lawyer and activist Kevin Zeese, along with a former Reagan administration Associate Attorney General Bruce Fein, held a press conference this morning at the National Press Club in which they discussed the complaints they will be filing later today.
“We call for dismissal of two torture architects still working in the Obama administration,” said Zeese. “The United States must face the reality of the extent of the torture program under the Bush-Cheney administration. War crimes were committed. The toxic poison of torture will not be removed from the body politic unless the rule of law is applied.”
Please see Alexandrovna's coverage today for details of revelations discussed at the presser this morning (eg. the "crucifixion" of a detainee who "died from asphyxiation after having been hung by his arms, in a hood, and suffering broken ribs" and details on, and links to, the new complaints against Rizzo and Fredman, both of whom still serve in the CIA today, incredibly enough).
More information on the campaign, including all of the complaints filed, is available at VR's DisbarTortureLawyers.com campaign. A quick video of Zeese's announcement, summarizing the complaints after today's press conference follows below...
Just a quick note to formally announce my honor in being named a Fellow at the Commonweal Institute. CI is a terrific, fearless, forward-thinking Progressive organization/think-tank, and I couldn't be prouder to have been invited to join their ranks and hopefully augment their already outstanding efforts.
The rightwing has had their Wingnut Welfare Program in place for some time, so it's nice to see organizations like CI --- even if they're not funded on anywhere near the scale of the rightwing "think-tanks" --- expanding and maturing to take on so much of the disinformative nonsense coming from the extremist Right. Perhaps reality-based discourse and forward-thinking Progressivism can return someday to find it's voice welcomed again in the public square. See their recent announcement on their new Fellows Op-Ed program.
Where I can help, I'm happy and honored to do so under the auspices of CI, in good company with a number of my fine fellow Fellows. Be sure to check out Commonweal's website. Lots of good stuff to be found there, with more coming soon! And again, I'm delighted to be onboard!
[Ed Note: CI Executive Director Barry Kendall will be joining me as a guest tonight on the final night of my week-long stint guest hosting the Mike Malloy Show. Update: Interview now here, choose HOUR 3, interview with Kendall begins just after the 11 min. mark.]
The Tennessee Senate’s defeat, last week, of a bill that would have delayed a switch from paperless e-voting machines to optical scanners is already having an effect. Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy is pressing the county election commission to begin the switch. Some counties in New York will be switching from levers to optical scanners this year, too – testing the uncertified scanners on 1.4 million real voters in real elections in a ‘pilot program.’...
I finish up my week-long Guest Host stint on the The Mike Malloy Show LIVE tonight, Bradcasting from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 from 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT). My great thanks to Mike and Kathy Malloy for allowing me to make noise on his loud microphone from coast to coast all week!
Scheduled guests for tonight's show include:
MARCY WHEELER, author and master blogger at the indispensable emptywheel blog, on all matters of Bush Administration corruption, whether we'll ever see accountability under Obama, and the sorry state of our mainstream corporate media. (Marcy was appropriately recognized today in Dan Froomkin's final column for WaPo for her "fine investigative blogging".)
This item will be tonight's Open Show Thread, hosted, as always, by the ever-affable "Agent 99". See ya tonight!
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POST-SHOW UPDATE, AUDIO ARCHIVES: I had a great week, and a lot of fun. Thanks again Mike & Kathy! Tonight's finale, I believe, was great as well. The audio archives for all three "hours" (about :36 mins each with commercials removed, courtesy of Ben Burch at WhiteRoseSociety.org) follow below. Have fun...
As of tomorrow, the increasingly useless Washington Post will become more so. Dan Froomkin, one of the few journalists at the once-credible newspaper who bothered to do his job by investigating and asking the questions that mattered during the Bush Administration's historic gutting of America and so much of what it stands for, filed his final "White House Watch" column today. He described, today, what he does as "accountability journalism." We could use dozens more like him in the MSM.
His piece today echoes FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley's exposé on these pages yesterday, in his description of Bush as "the proverbial emperor with no clothes." He goes on to note how, after 9/11, "the nation, including the media, vested him with abilities he didn't have and credibility he didn't deserve."
On a day in which celebrity deaths will capture headlines, we mourn the loss of FL Elections Supervisor, Phyllis Busansky, and honor her lifetime of public service as "an election official with integrity."
No it's not a typo, ACORN brought a lawsuit and won....
Consider this an Open Show Thread, where, as always, "Agent 99" will be your cordial hostess throughout the proceedings. See ya tonight!
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POST-SHOW UPDATE, AUDIO ARCHIVES:Lots of good stuff in tonight's show. Dig in. All three "hours" (about :36 mins each with commercials removed, courtesy of Ben Burch at WhiteRoseSociety.org) follow below for your archival listening pleasure...
By late January/early February, 2003, I and other Americans were witnessing the Bush Administration's final and intense push to launch their pre-emptive war on Iraq, based largely on (what are now well known as) two completely false pretexts: Iraq's possession of WMD and its connections to Al Qaeda terrorists. My knowledge that Iraq's WMD was being exaggerated was merely what anyone could gain from close reading of public sources: the McClatchy news articles by Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel (who later won Pulitzers for their reporting) as well as a few buried articles in the Washington Post and Newsweek debunking the "evidence" being educed by Bush-Cheney-Powell-Rice-Rumsfeld et al.
Due to the Minneapolis FBI's pre-9/11 investigation of an Al Qaeda operative, however, I was in a better position to know more than J.Q. Average Citizen in regard to the non-existence of ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda.
I felt it my responsibility to speak out, and so I did --- or tried to --- to my bosses at the FBI, and to the media, including CBS' 60 Minutes...
IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: Darryl Hannah arrested (no, not for public intoxication!); Floor fight pending over climate change; Big Three automakers ignored their own consumer research ... PLUS: The Supreme Court kills a lake ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
CORRECTION 6/26/09: In the above report, we misspoke in referring to the League of Conservation Voters as a "conservative" group --- the League is a conservation group dedicated to the protection of the environment. We regret the error.
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (links below): UN suggests a global ban on plastic bags; Surprise! FEMA misspent millions intended for Katrina victims; 600 U.S. Neighborhoods Have Air That Could Cause Cancer; Sailing to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch...PLUS: Learning to live with climate change may not be enough...
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...