w/ Brad & Desi
w/ Brad & Desi
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
We're a few days late on this, but its worth it. If you didn't catch this in our laugh-out-loud Green News Report on Thursday (or even if you did), here's the full high-larious video of Brian Koon, Director of Florida's Div. of Emergency Management, trying and trying not to say the words "climate change" as he faces questioning from state Sen. Jeff Clemens (D)...and is roundly laughed at and mocked by pretty much everybody present...
The hilarity above comes after four former FL Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) employees claimed that the state banned the official use of words like "climate change," "global warming," "sea level rise," etc., after Gov. Rick Scott (R) first came to office in 2009. State officials have denied it, but it appears it was a spoken policy rather than a written one.
Since then, a current DEP employee has claimed that he was put on leave and required to undergo a mental exam after sharing his views on climate change in one of the states likely to be most affected by it. (Been nice knowin' ya, Miami!) And then comes the testimony seen in the video above, wherein Koon, the Florida state official in charge of emergency management, ties himself into knots trying not to utter the phrase "climate change" out loud, in his official capacity, for some odd reason.
While the video testimony is hysterical on its own, for extra credit, here's the full segment from last night's The Daily Show, as Jon Stewart takes it all apart...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Lots of good and/or hysterical news today! Climate change denier Ted Cruz compares himself to Galileo; BP breaks up with ALEC; Texas town goes 100 percent renewable; PLUS: Florida official struggles with Gov. Scott's unwritten ban on the words 'climate change'....All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): India to Rich World: Give us Cash and We’ll Cut Emissions Faster; Study shows acceleration in decline of Antarctic ice shelves; Has California’s mega-drought already begun?; Exxon Shareholder Climate Vote Blocked, Chevron's Approved by SEC; The hidden benefits of cutting coal pollution... PLUS: Shut Up and Dance: Should we stop talking about climate change and start dancing about it?... and much, MUCH more! ...
Yesterday at the Tampa Bay Times...
Deal with reality
I've been a Republican for my entire adult life (a long time). In recent years, I've been troubled by the extreme course the party has taken on a number of issues. From my perspective, the Republican Party of years gone by was the party of middle America. Democrats were "liberals" and Republicans were "conservatives." But since tea party Republicans have hijacked the party, Republicans have become extremists, to the overall detriment of the entire party. No other issue demonstrates this better than global warming.
How any intelligent person can deny the existence of global warming is literally unbelievable to me. If you don't believe in global warming, check the Internet to see how glacial ice is receding at an incredible rate all over the planet. I have seen it with my own eyes in Alaska and was stunned.
As a result of Republicans' denial of a fact that is inarguable, I have become something I detested: a single-issue voter. I will not vote for any person who refuses to acknowledge the reality of global warming. My hope is that other Republicans will step forward and force the party to deal with reality.
Joseph Larrinaga, St. Pete Beach
Keep hoping, Joseph.
[Hat-tip to too-occassional BRAD BLOG contributor D.R. Tucker]
Was Netanyahu/Likud's win last week in Israel the best possible outcome for Palestinians? While it seems counter-intuitive at first blush, some who follow Israeli/Palestinian politics very closely say it was.
My guest on this week's Pacifica Radio BradCast, Estee Chandler of JewishVoiceForPeace.org and the producer/co-host of KPFK's Middle East in Focus program believes that is the case and tells me why. She offers a different (and very welcome) perspective than the Right/Left (and now, sadly, Republican/Democratic) narrative we've heard so much of from most of the media since last week's election.
Also, BRAD BLOG's legal analyst Ernie Canning joins me to discuss the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to hear the WI Photo ID voting case and what that means for voting across the country in 2016, as well as the error the CA Supreme Court seems to have made when they removed Prop 49 (the "Overturn Citizens United" initiative) from the 2014 ballot last year.
Plus, Ted Cruz' astoundingly ingenious if extraordinary cynical remark the day after he declared his intention to seek the 2016 GOP nomination for President; OH tries a new voter suppression tactic; another predictable Internet Voting failure in Australia; Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report and MUCH MORE!...
Download MP3 or listen online below...
I wrote a bit about this after last year's elections, though from a different direction. But, given the recent remarks by President Obama (and more than a fair bit of questionable reporting about those remarks), its worth adding a few more thoughts here.
Over the years, I've seen folks misinterpret The BRAD BLOG's coverage of voting and elections and voter suppression by presuming that by covering these things, it's the same thing as telling everyone to vote.
In fact, I strongly believe in the right to not vote. While I think it's a counter-productive response to pretty much everything --- including the misguided and lazy notions that "elections don't really matter" or "both parties are the same" --- I would fight for your right to not vote under our existing system as vigorously as I'd fight for your right to vote (if you want to) and to have that vote counted, counted accurately and in a way that everyone can know that everyone's votes have been counted accurately.
With that in mind, it was interesting to see the reactions to President Obama's statement last week in Cleveland which some, including CNN and, naturally, the ever-outraged Fox "News", took it upon themselves to interpret as a call for "mandatory voting" in the U.S...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Get out your popcorn - Climate change-denying Sen. Ted Cruz is running for president...and Gov. Jerry Brown is unimpressed; Is mandatory water rationing in California's future?; PLUS: In Florida, don't say 'climate change' or you be sent to a mental hospital....All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Scientists Want to Mine Our Poop for Gold --- Literally; Gulf Stream Slowdown: 'The Day After Tomorrow' Might Kinda, Sorta Come True; 10 years after BP refinery explosion, more reforms needed; 26 US coal companies have gone bankrupt in the last three years; Texas town goes 100% renewable energy; Top Chinese Official Says Climate Change Is “Serious Threat"; Yemen tearing itself apart over water; BP drops membership with ALEC... PLUS: Plastic pollution worse than thought: Scientists finding plastic embedded in scales of fish... and much, MUCH more! ...
The call for the impeachment of U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller is now making its way onto the airwaves in a number of Congressional districts around the country.
The women's rights group UltraViolet, which describes itself as "an online community of over 600,000 women and men who want to take collective action to expose and fight sexism in the public sector, private sector and the media," is now airing radio ads calling for the impeachment of Fuller in the wake of the federal judge's arrest last year on domestic battery charges.
The :30 second spots (posted below) are said to be "airing in GOP house districts in Wisconsin, Ohio, Texas, California and Virginia urging members of the [U.S. House] Judiciary Committee to remove Alabama Judge Mark Fuller from the bench for assaulting his wife."
Citing The BRAD BLOG's recent publication of the complete, chilling audio from the 911 call by Fuller's wife Kelli, which seems to contradict new "self-defense" claims being advanced by Fuller's Birmingham attorney Barry Ragsdale, the group argues in a recent mailing to media that "The 911 call makes clear that Judge Mark Fuller is not fit to sit on the bench in Alabama and highlights the need for Congress to take action immediately."
A press release sent out to announce the release of the radio ads, notes that UltraViolet is "sounding the alarm about an Alabama judge who was arrested for assaulting his wife last August but remains on the Federal Bench"...
A few weeks ago, our legal analyst Ernie Canning warned how the U.S. Supreme Court's pending decision on whether or not to hear the ACLU's challenge to the Wisconsin GOP Photo ID voting law might be the last chance before the 2016 Presidential elections to determine the Constitutionality of such laws.
On Monday, the Supreme Court decided not to grant cert in the WI challenge in the Frank v. Walker case. The decision is not a ruling on the merits of the case or the Constitutionality of the law. It simply means that, for now, there were not four votes on the Court to hear the ACLU's challenge at this time.
It also means that, barring further court action or a quick decision on a similar law out of another state, polling place Photo ID restrictions on voters will be allowed in the Badger State in 2016. That, despite the fact that the federal trial court found, when striking down the law as unconstitutional and a violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act last year, that the new Republican-enacted law may serve to bar some 300,000 disproportionately Democratic-leaning and already lawfully registered voters from casting a ballot in the state's Presidential election.
There is also more than a bit of irony in this matter, in that, after U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman soundly rejected the law in 2014 --- finding that "evidence adduced at trial demonstrates" WI's Act 23 "disproportionately impacts Black and Latino voters" and that the law would "prevent more legitimate votes from being cast than fraudulent votes" --- the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals deadlocked (disingenously) 5 to 5 on whether to stay the original ruling. That deadlock meant the stay would be granted and the WI law would be allowed, barring further court challenges, despite the fact that 6 federal judges had voted to strike down the law, while just 5 had voted in its favor. To make matters worse, Act 23 had also been struck down previously in state court as a violation of the state constitution as well. Nonetheless, in this matter, a minority of judges successfully ruled against the majority.
All of that, despite a blistering dissent filed in last year's 7th Circuit Court WI decision by against the law (and all such laws) from revered conservative 7th Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner. Posner's original ruling in favor of a Photo ID restriction law in Crawford v. Marion County, Indiana, was the basis of the first such case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, upholding Indiana's Photo ID law in 2008. So his unambiguous reversal on the issue, now that we know much more about such laws, was noteworthy and, opponents of the law had hoped, convincing to the Supremes who have, for many years, favorably cited the legal scholar's opinions.
Though the 7th Circuit's decision to temporarily stay the original ruling striking down the law was later vacated by the U.S. Supreme Court last year --- on the basis that the stay was made too close to the election --- the discriminatory law is now back in place in the state. The refusal by the Court to grant cert this weeks means that it will likely remain in place as the next Presidential election begins.
Some watching these matters closely, however, believe that Monday's decision by SCOTUS to not hear the Wisconsin case may ultimately be a good thing, perhaps "a blessing in disguise"...
Another new Internet Voting system, another major vulnerability to massive election fraud discovered along with it. This time in Australia, as reported by ABC:
The iVote system allows people to lodge their votes for Saturday's state election online, instead of visiting a physical polling station.
It aims to make voting easier for the disabled or for people who live long distances from polling booths.
However computer security researchers said they found a critical issue and alerted the NSW Electoral Commission on Friday afternoon.
The commission said the problem was fixed over the weekend and it expected 200,000 people would use the system in the lead up to the election.
Well. If the people who run it said it was fixed, why worry? (Just because they also said it was secure in the first place? Silly you.)
"Just because they've patched this particular bug that they've been specifically notified of does not mean that they've fixed the fundamental questions around the security and verifiability of the system," said University of Melbourne's Vanessa Teague, who discovered the security vulnerability. "If anything the existence of this one particular bug serves to bolster the argument that these kinds of bugs are probably inevitable in these kinds of systems"...
This weekend, Washington Monthly blogger (and too-occasional BRAD BLOG guest blogger) D.R. Tucker cited the "Intellectually Honest Conservative" award The BRAD BLOG graciously offered recently to Texas Republican Rep. Sarah Davis.
He notes that while he kinda sorta mostly agrees with us, he has a complaint.
We granted the rarely-bestowed award to Davis last week for her courageous stand in favor of women's rights in Texas, where every other GOP lawmaker in her state Legislature is actively trying to remove them. She offers a (truly) conservative basis for her stance, arguing that Government has no business inserting itself into health decisions between a women and her doctor.
Where Tucker takes issue is that he believes if Davis really cared about women's rights she'd have no choice but to "leave her misogynist party and [tell] her right-wing colleagues to kiss her Tex-ass."
In making the case, he offers up an interesting anecdote worth sharing about Mary Crisp, for those of us who didn't know about it. She was the first female co-chair of the Republican National Committee. She had worked her way up from a party volunteer to eventually become one of its top officials before, essentially, being pushed out of the role by Ronald Reagan in 1980, thanks to her stance on abortion and the Equal Rights Amendment --- the latter of which the GOP had long supported...until they didn't anymore...
Out here in California --- for those of us now living directly "on the front edge of a climate crisis", as MSNBC's Chris Hayes describes it in the interview below --- it's both extraordinarily unusual and incredibly welcome to hear a politician with ambitions for higher office speak as frankly as Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) does here.
But with temps in the high 90s over the past week here in Southern California (in March!) and new data from NASA finding the state may well run out of surface water completely in just a year's time, it's very good to see someone with the courage to say what needs to be said.
Newsom describes the state's voluntarily water conservation measures to date, in the face of our record-shattering drought, as "small ball".
"I think we're going to have to move to mandatory rationing," he notes bluntly. Hayes appears surprised in response, noting that calls for mandatory rationing are "essentially anathema in American political vocabulary."
"This is serious," Newsom responds in turn, detailing the crisis the state is now facing. "This is Code Red".
"We can call for voluntary rationing because that polls better, or we can lead. And I guess at the end of the day, we have to ask ourselves 'Are we just stewards? Or are we gonna step up and step in and actually share our private thoughts --- trust me, private thoughts are ample around some requirements for mandatory reductions --- or we can continue to play the finger in the wind politics that, frankly, has put us in this crisis in the first place."
What we've been referring to of late as the Politics of Stupid regime that we are all forced to live under since the GOP takeover of both the U.S. House and Senate, is living up to its name once again today.
The Republicans who now control the once-honorable and formerly-esteemed U.S. House Judiciary Committee go full "BuzzFeed" (Plus sexism! Minus amusing!) with this incredibly embarrassing page posted on Wednesday as a "Press Release" in opposition to the President's Executive Actions on immigration.
Here's a partial screenshot...
You'll have to click on it to get the full idea (cuz, ya know, all those are animated "ditzy girl" GIFs are just so delightfully hysterical.)
By way of reminder, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, now led by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), is the esteemed body where such things as impeachment of U.S. Presidents and federal judges, etc., are carried out.
So embarrassing. And, frankly, so very dispiriting. Maybe that's the point.
UPDATE 3/20/2015: Since we published the above yesterday, a few other websites have also begun to notice (and deride) this shameful "press release". Moreover, they've also raised one or two points that we didn't mention here.
TPM, which is covering this as its top story for the moment, notes the irony of a "press release" regarding immigration reform in which "all 10 GIFs included in the press release depicted white characters or celebrities."
And ZDNet, who describes the "press release" as a "new low" even for Congress, also notes that the GIFs in question, all taken from popular films or TV shows, may well be in violation of copyright laws and "anti-piracy laws" that members of this same House Judiciary Committee have been attempting to pass since 2011. Oops.
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: No more Mr. Nice Guy: Obama calls out 'shills', takes more new action on climate change; New rules for fossil fuels on public lands; It's official: Winter 2015 the warmest winter on record; PLUS: Solar-powered Germany says its ready for a major solar eclipse....All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): California: $1B drought relief package just the beginning; US has grown a pipeline network by almost a quarter; Chemical lobbyist exposed as author of new bill to regulate industry; US and Chinese companies dominate list of most-polluting coal plants; Rate of climate change to soar by 2020... PLUS: A Texas city pulls plug on fossil fuels with shift to renewables... and much, MUCH more! ...
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