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...|
After many months of chatting back and forth via email, we were both finally able to work out our schedules so that I could talk with Dr. Michael E. Mann live on air today on the KPFK/Pacifica Radio BradCast!
Mann, for those who don't know, is the creator of the famous (or infamous, depending on whether you're sponsored and/or duped by the fossil fuel industry or not), "Hockey Stick Graph", which is likely the most controversial graph in history and certainly among the most consequential, as he agreed during our conversation today.
The "Hockey Stick Graph", showing stable and even declining temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere over the past thousand years, until they suddenly spike upwards over the last hundred (similar in shape to a hockey stick), thrust the physicist and climatologist Mann into a world of global warming and climate change controversy that he told me he could never have imagined. Following its publication over the past decade, while the recipient of many awards and honors, he has also received death threats, had his professional emails stolen (in the pretend "ClimateGate" scandal), and has been the focus of an unprecedented smear campaign by science denialists, including attacks by sitting U.S. Congressmen and (unsuccessful) subpoenas of his private documents and email by woeful Rightwing denialists and tools like (the happily outgoing) Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
Environmental activist and author Bill McKibben, who describes Mann as "a hero", has correctly noted that "very few people have sounded more important alarms about our climate future, and very few people have paid a higher price for doing so."
Mann's latest book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, now in paperback with a new foreword by Bill Nye "The Science Guy", tells the whole story and much more. (Tell Big Fossil Fuel to go to hell by buying a copy!)
My conversation with Mann today ranged from all of that, to the parallel denier tactics employed by both Big Tobacco and Big Fossil Fuel, to whether or not scientists should enter the political realm, to why it is that so many TV weathermen seem to be denialists (though the vast majority actually aren't.)
In the back end of the show, I covered the new uprising by Florida election officials against FL Sec. of State Ken Detzner, new Pope news(!) and much more. Enjoy the show!...
Download MP3 or listen online below [appx 58 mins]...
At this point, the slogan for Republican Secretaries of State around the country seems to be: "If it ain't broke, break it!"
That's certainly the case in Florida, where Sec. of State Ken Detzner --- fresh off his and Governor Rick Scott's embarrassing and failed 2012 purge of supposed "non-citizen voters" from the rolls (with another more recent attempt underway since then) --- is at it again. And this time, Detzner seems to be facing a full-blown uprising from county Supervisors of Elections (SOE) refusing to carry out a new directive which would make it more difficult for absentee voters to cast their ballot.
The elected SOEs are claiming that the new directive by Detzner, an appointee of Gov. Rick Scott (R), was neither asked for nor necessary under state law. They Supervisors have also denied Detzner's initial claim that the directive was issued in response to requests by two SOEs.
Last week, Detzner issued a directive [PDF] to county SOEs instructing them that they may no longer allow voters to use secured remote absentee ballot drop-off stations created at locations like public libraries and tax-collectors offices. Suddenly, according to Detzner's new rules, all absentee ballots must either be mailed in, or dropped off at county election offices.
The directive was issued just prior to an upcoming special election to replace the late, long-serving Republican Congressman Bill Young in the 13th Congressional District, and it has led to both suspicion for its motives, and somewhat of a bi-partisan mutiny from election officials, leading one well-known Florida SOE to respond tersely to The BRAD BLOG's request for comment last week this way: "I do have a comment, legally it's not worth the paper it's printed on"...
The Affordable Care Act (ACA, or "Obamacare") mandates that preventive care under group health insurance plans include a "full range" of FDA-approved "contraceptive methods". That requirement has resulted in two cases now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court which may result in "religious rights" being extended to so-called "corporate persons".
The cases are brought by two different for-profit corporations, each arguing that the mandate violates the corporate employer's rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Neither of the cases involve non-profit religious institutions, which are exempt from the ACA's contraceptive mandate.
The RFRA, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993, requires that an otherwise neutral government action "not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion" absent a compelling governmental interest.
The government, in its Supreme Court petition [PDF], argues that the "contraceptive coverage" mandate does not "substantially burden" an employer's free exercise of religion. (More on that particularly point in a subsequent article on this.) But while additionally urging that the contraceptive coverage mandate is based upon a compelling government interest, the government sets forth a number of significant ACA benefits that have been obscured by the fog of the unrelenting right wing, anti-Obamacare propaganda war. The critical threshold issue that must be met in these cases, before any of those additional issues need be reached, entails the validity and/or scope of the controversial concept of "corporate personhood".
Will the religious rights of actual persons now be extended to fictional corporate "persons"? That is one of the key issues that will now be decided by the same U.S. Supreme Court which handed down the now infamous Citizens United case...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: It's official: Hottest spring on record Down Under; Big Fossil Fuel = Big Tobacco; BP suit halts Gulf Oil Spill compensation; New rules for toxic flame retardants; Say goodbye to antibacterial soaps; PLUS: Wall Street may finally be looking to cover its (unburnable) assets ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 'Rat retraction reaction': journal withdraws controversial GMO rat study; Arctic Ocean leaking methane at 'alarming' rate; The ugly aftermath for families in AR pipeline spill; Sea level rise 'too fast' to reverse climate change; First Nations fracking protestors refuse to back down; WA State lawmakers investigate impacts of coal export terminals; Judge rejects climate refugee plea; US $38b nuclear waste fiasco ... PLUS: Why Climate Change Skeptics and Evolution Deniers Joined Forces ... and much, MUCH more! ...
Election 2013 is but a memory --- good or bad --- for much of the nation. But, in Virginia, election officials, attorneys and partisans will still be busy as elves throughout much of the holiday season, and potentially even beyond, determining final results of the statewide November 5th Attorney General's election this year.
Last week, on the day before Thanksgiving, Virginia's Republican AG candidate Mark Obenshain filed for a recount [PDF] of the incredibly close race at the Richmond Circuit Court. Two days prior, his Democratic challenger Mark Herring had been certified by the state as the winner of the race by just 165 votes out of more than 2.2 million votes cast early last month.
Should those state-certified results hold, Herring would replace Republican Ken Cuccinelli as Virginia's AG. Cuccinelli was unsuccessful in his own run for Governor in November against Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Along with the Democratic win in the Lt. Governor's race as well, a Herring victory would result in the first time since 1969 that Democrats held all three statewide offices, and the first time in twenty years that Virginia will have a Democratic AG.
A "recount", in Virginia, however --- as we've documented previously (see last section of this article) --- amounts to much less than it may seem, given the technology used in the state and some of the ridiculous "recount" laws specified by the Virginia election code [PDF].
As bad as those "recount" statutes are, however, a margin of 165 votes could certainly be reversed, even in a state where most votes are currently recorded (either accurately or inaccurately, who knows?) by 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems, and where the rest are tallied (either accurately or inaccurately, who knows?) by paper-ballot optical-scan tabulators that will be used once again to "recount" (either accurately or inaccurately, who knows?) most of the state's paper ballots.
Yes, that's right. Hundreds of thousands of 100% unverifiable electronic votes cast in the closest statewide race in VA state history cannot be "recounted" now in any meaningful way. For those votes, state election code specifies that, during the "recount", election officials will merely recheck the voting machine computer printouts from Election Night to make sure the certified results match. Meanwhile --- and short of a court order --- votes that were cast on paper ballots will simply be run through the same optical-scan computers that tallied them the first time, after they've been reprogrammed to set aside all ballots which the scanner sees as an over vote, an under vote or a write-in vote in the AG's race. Those set aside paper ballots, at least, will then be examined by hand, in public, by actual human beings.
As ridiculous as the VA "recount" statute is, the "contest" law --- another procedure which the candidate who loses the "recount" may file thereafter --- is even more ridiculous. But, depending on the results of the "recount", that may be the only option Obenshain is left with...and it could result in a GOP "victory", even with fewer recorded popular votes, presuming there are enough heavily partisan Republicans in the VA state legislature...
Great thanks to Peter Sinclair and his "Climate Denial Crock of the Week" last week for plotting this out in a quick video. The parallels between the denialist PR scams, lies, pretend science, spending and attacks by both 'Big' industries here are, indeed, striking.
It's also interesting to see both Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), the man who apologized to BP after the 2010 Gulf Oil Disaster, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), the man who handed out checks from Big Tobacco on the floor of the U.S. House, both playing sleazily similar roles now for Big Fossil Fuel denialism as they did for Big Tobacco denialism back in the 90s...
[By the way, for more on the same band of con-men playing the same roles now as then, see Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. M. Conway's Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming.]
A very quick note of thanks, on this Thanksgiving weekend, particularly to those of you who have answered the call in our recent fund drive. We're still figuring out how to survive through our tenth anniversary in January (and hopefully well beyond!), but to those of you who have helped get us this far with your contributions, we are incredibly grateful.
We're still working to figure out how to make our work sustainable without having to ask for your help as we do. Those who know me realize that I really hate doing so. Nonetheless, without an angel or three showing up, or even one or two percent of our daily readership signing up for sustaining monthly contributions (see below!), I'll have to keep asking.
One more idea for now to both help us continue our work and help counter the rampant corporatization of everything in our world (which is what, ultimately, makes it so difficult for us to continue our completely independent muckraking and trouble-making here): Instead of giving your money to major corporations on "Black Friday", considering sharing some with us instead. Or, if you are planning to "save" money by spending it on "Black Friday", please consider sharing some of your savings with us! We'll call it "Brad Friday"! Either way, we promise to put your contributions to much better use than Target, Best Buy or Walmart will...
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" also very welcome!)
Hope you'll grab this one for some Thanksgiving weekend listening!
My guest on this week's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio was the Center for Corporate Policy's Gary Ruskin, author of the new report, "Spooky Business: Corporate Espionage of Nonprofit Organizations" [PDF]. The report is "spooky" for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that I am named in the report, as one of the targets of an extraordinary $12 million espionage plot by the loathsome, rightwing U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
[The scheme involved the U.S. Chamber, their powerful and sleazy law firm Hunton & Williams, LLP and three grifter U.S. defense/intel contractors, HBGary Federal, Palantir Technologies and Berico Technologies. It was meant to use tools developed for the "war on terror" against me, my family and a number of progressive organizations. None of the parties involved have been held accountable to this day. Read more about it here...]
Ruskin's report is chilling and the interview is disturbing. But the second half of the show is (largely) much less troubling! We update a lot of the stories we've been covering of late on The BradCast, most of them with good news updates!
So, curl on up to the holiday radio hearth and give it a listen...and all of my best to you and yours for Thanksgiving! (Or, as we call it around here since Chanukah falls on the same day this year: Thanksalatke!)
Download MP3 or listen online below...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Last-minute agreement at contentious UN climate talks in Warsaw; U.S. methane emissions 50% higher than previously thought; World's 1st genetically modified food animal one step closer to market; PLUS: Ontario, Canada breaks up with coal, and Al Gore is happy about it! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): "We have to consume less": Scientists call for end to mindless consumption; Chicago seeks to shut down Koch Industries' petcoke piles; Say goodbye to toxic couches in CA; Warming 'will be hard to reverse for centuries': study; Unprecedented $1m fine for wind farm over eagle deaths; CT: Don't rake fall leaves - mulch them; NYT climate coverage suffers after closing 'Green' blog; Evacuation questions after 55 killed in China pipeline explosion; Shanghai opens carbon trading scheme; Setback for CA high-speed rail; ... PLUS: Drowning Kiribati: This entire country is about to be drowned by climate change. It won't be the last ... and much, MUCH more! ...
[This article now cross-published by Salon...]
In the wake of 60 Minutes' bogus Benghazi report, starring an eye-witness who, as it turns out, appears to have completely lied about being there during the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound which resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. personnel, rightwing reporter Lara Logan and her producer will be taking a "leave of absence" of unspecified length.
"As Executive Producer, I am responsible for what gets on the air," Fager wrote in a memo obtained by The Huffington Post. "I pride myself in catching almost everything, but this deception got through and it shouldn't have."
See Calderone for the text of the memo from Fager, which includes the summary of the internal report by Fager's underling Al Ortiz, Executive Director of Standards and Practices at CBS News. Fager is both CBS News Chairman and the Executive Producer of 60 Minutes. Apparently, he has not required himself to take a leave of absence, even though, as Executive Producer, he is ultimately responsible for what goes on the air.
In the memo, Fager describes what happened as "a regrettable mistake"...
I'd hate for this rather high-larious conversation to get lost. Aside from being hysterical funny, to me, anyway, it's also quite illustrative of how wingnuttery works these days.
Purposely disinformed boobs are given false information by Rightwing corporate charlatans to create an army of pawns and stooges all to ready to spread the disinformation. Those pawns and stooges occasionally show up in blog comments or at your Thanksgiving table, offer the misinformation they've been propagandized to believe, get called out on it with actual, independently verifiable facts, and, instead of responding with actual facts in kind, declare the entire thing "bullshit!" before running off with their disinformed tail between their heavily propagandized legs.
That was the precise model of my recent conversation with disinformed wingnut stooge "Greg" in BRAD BLOG comments last week, in response to a very short blog item which did little more than illustrate how Matt Drudge covers undocumented immigrants in the U.S. as if they were an invading Zombie Army coming to destroy America and Americans. (See the illustration I snipped from the Drudge Report last week above right.)
Here's how the embarrassing --- but, I fear, all too recognizable --- conversation went with "Greg". Pop up some popcorn, and enjoy. His final response, especially, makes it all worth while...
Let's keep this a secret from the U.S. corporate media, but, as Sy Mukherjee and Andrew Breiner note at ThinkProgress...
According to a ThinkProgress analysis, English-language online and print media published about ten times as many pieces on the troubles with the Obamacare site than they did on the new health care spending report.
They go on to explain that analyst opinion remains mixed, at the moment, as to the extent of the Affordable Care Act's influence on the "remarkable slowdown in health spending" since the bill's passage in 2010, but that "savings from the ACA's hospital payment reforms" and "more efficient and collaborative care models" as "encouraged by Obamacare" are among the factors...
Let's end this week far better than it began
On Tuesday, Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds (D) was stabbed multiple times in his own home, by his son Gus who, having reportedly had a mental evaluation the day before, was not kept overnight, due to lack of bed space in western Virginia.
Gus shot himself to death that morning, after stabbing his father who was airlifted to the hospital in critical condition as of Tuesday night.
Today, Sen. Deeds was released from the hospital in "good" condition, and returned to Twitter to send this message his many supporters...
I am alive so must live. Some wounds won't heal. Your prayers and your friendship are important to me
— Creigh Deeds (@CreighDeeds) November 22, 2013
UPDATE 11/25/2013: Deeds was interviewed by the The Recorder today and blames the beauracracy of the local community services board for releasing his son from an emergency custody order for lack of a bed space just 13 hours before the tragedy occurred. Some local hospitals have said, since the incident, that they did have room, but were not contacted...
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· Chan Lowe
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