w/ Brad & Desi
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...|
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! ...
On this week's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio, we air, for the first time, the complete EXCLUSIVE audio obtained via public records request from the Atlanta PD, that appears to contradict 'self-defense' claims by U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller following his arrest on domestic battery charges last year after his wife called 911 claiming he was "beating on her".
I also update my report on Fuller with new comment in response from Fuller's attorney, Barry Ragsdale.
Also on this week's show: Breaking news on today's shootings in Tunisia and Phoenix; Questions about Israel's election results; Donald Trump claims he's entering the 2016 GOP Presidential race (Dems celebrate); Oregon institutes Universal Voter Registration; and Desi Doyen joins us to explain the "impending disaster" of Friday's solar eclipse in Europe and, as usual, for the latest Green News Report...
Download MP3 or listen online below...
I am prepping for today's KPFK/Pacifica Radio BradCast, so don't have time to offer much detail at the moment. But, as so many have been dropping me email asking for my thoughts on yesterday's election in Israel --- and, specifically, the disparity between the reported final results and the earlier Exit Polling numbers --- I just wanted to say, I've been poking around to see what, if anything, I can make sense of.
I never like to go off half-cocked on issues like this, so, as usual, I won't have anything here unless it's hard and independently verifiable.
For the short term then, please see Josh Marshall's take on the Exit Poll/Final Results disparity here. (That's not an endorsement, just a link to one person's take. One person who, though he has some history of being not-skeptical-enough about polling numbers and election results, has been following this election and its polls very closely for some weeks. Moreover, he had at least some limited access to data from the Exit Polls in Israel as they were coming in yesterday. So his insight is useful.)
Also, for those asking about about Israel's voting system --- specifically, how they cast and count votes and whether they use an e-voting system --- my understanding is that all voters are still using the country's hand-counted paper ballot system, though some plans are in the works to move to an electronic system in the near future.
To my knowledge, however, yesterday's election used Israel's paper ballot system --- in which a paper card representing one of the parties on the ballot is selected by the voter, enclosed in an envelope, placed in a cardboard box, and then counted by hand at central headquarters after polls close --- rather than the e-voting system referenced in the news article above from December of 2014.
If anyone has information to the contrary, or additional details you feel I should look at, please feel free to note them in comments below or send to me direct via email here.
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)
As readers know, I'm no fan of Oregon's all Vote-by-Mail elections. (Yes, I understand most of you Oregonians love it. Save your hate mail and/or read this and this and this and this and this.) Nor am I a fan of Washington Post's mostly terrible editorial page. But on this matter, both the state and the paper have it right...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Another Category 5 storm wreaks devastation in the Pacific; Extreme weather is getting extremely expensive; Scientist warns California could soon run out of water; PLUS: Some good news: for the first time in history, the global economy grew, but carbon emissions did not....All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Now East Antarctica is rapidly melting, too; Record number of manatees counted in Florida; Wind power competitive with natural gas even without subsidies; Al Gore: climate deniers should pay a political price; Arctic melt is messing with our weather; Climate change is baking Alaska; Europe's regulation of pesticides could affect US food; Freedom Industries owners plead guilty in chemical spill; US Rail industry pushes White House to ease rules... PLUS: Experts agree: Renewable energy taking over... and much, MUCH more! ...
[This article now cross-published by Salon...]
In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, the attorney of Federal District Judge Mark F. Fuller (11th Circuit, Alabama, Middle District) says Fuller was simply "defending himself" against his wife when she called 911, said she was being beaten, requested an ambulance, and was then found bloodied by police in an Atlanta hotel room in August of 2014.
That claim would appear to be at odds with the available audio evidence from the 911 call, segments of which were aired on MSNBC last year, and since obtained in full by The BRAD BLOG via public records request from the Atlanta Police Department. We publish the audio, in full, below for the first time, as it appears to contradict new claims by Fuller's attorney.
The interview with the LATimes also appears to confirm that the special five-judge panel convened by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to investigate the disturbing incident and make recommendations for action to that Circuit Court's Judicial Council is investigating very similar claims of domestic violence and substance abuse made by Fuller's first wife Lisa during their 2012 divorce proceedings.
According to the paper's Timothy M. Phelps, Fuller's Birmingham attorney "and longtime friend" Barry Ragsdale explained during a lengthy recent interview that the incident last summer which led to the arrest of Fuller at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Atlanta began after Fuller's current wife Kelli accused the judge of having an affair with his law clerk. That claim is consistent with the initial police report, though Ragsdale --- who has also dismissed allegations of infidelity and abuse made by Fuller's first wife as little more than "nonsense" and "gossip" --- goes a bit farther in defense of the judge this time...
But we are pleased --- we might even say relieved --- to offer The BRAD BLOG's too-rarely, now-almost-never bestowed "Intellectually Honest Conservative" Award to Texas Republican state Representative Sarah Davis!
We've never figured out how so many Republicans get away with calling themselves "conservative", claiming a belief in "limited government", while still supporting huge and intrusive government programs and restrictions that rob citizens of rights, chief among them, targeted restrictions on women's health issues. Want to get between private citizens and their doctors --- as Republicans pretended to abhor during their fight against health care insurance reform? The GOP has done so for years, and continues to do so in spades, all over the nation.
There are few state legislatures more aggressively inserting Big Government between citizens and their doctors than the state of Texas. With few Democrats in the body to stop them, the GOP's completely not-conservative Big Government "conservatism" continues unabated, with the state Legislature now hoping to even shut down cancer screenings at women's health facilities that they don't care for. And they are using very specifically targeted and powerful Big Government apparatus to simply put them out of business.
One Republican --- just one --- in the TX Legislature has been consistently standing up to them, and using true conservative values to do it...
Last year, the California State Supreme Court improperly nixed a ballot initiative meant to encourage state Legislators to support an amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's infamous Citizens United decision, according to a court brief recently filed by several state advocacy groups.
In the summer of 2014, the California state Legislature enacted SB 1272, a ballot initiative (Prop 49), asking California voters to advise whether the state's elected representatives should pursue passage of an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would overturn Citizens United. The advisory measure, had it been allowed on the general election ballot last year, had sought to establish that corporations are not people and that the rights enshrined in our nation's founding documents apply only to living, breathing human beings.
The effort to permit voters to weigh-in on the subject was cut short when the CA Supreme Court promptly ordered then Secretary of State Debra Bowen to remove Prop 49 from the November ballot pending full briefing and argument with respect to a legal challenge filed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association ("HJTA") --- an anti-tax organization founded by Republican Howard Jarvis.
As described on the Court's docket sheet, the state Supremes removed Prop 49 from last year's ballot based on a 1984 CA Supreme Court decision, American Federation of Labor v. Eu ("Eu"), which established "that substantial harm can occur if an invalid measure is permitted to remain on the ballot."
In Eu, the CA Supremes struck down a ballot initiative that sought "to compel California's elected representatives, on penalty of loss of salary, to apply to Congress to convene a constitutional convention for the…purpose of proposing an amendment to the United States Constitution requiring a balanced federal budget." (Emphasis added).
But, according to the amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief, recently filed by Free Speech for People (FSP) and other advocacy groups, the Court's earlier decision in Eu does not support last year's decision to remove the Overturn Citizens United initiative from the 2014 ballot. The brief explains that the state Legislature does, indeed, have the constitutional authority to seek advisory instructions from the Golden State's electorate via the ballot.
FSP not only defends the legality of the Prop 49 initiative, as measured against both the U.S. and California Constitutions, but presents both historical and legal arguments that, if successful, could define the very essence of our (small "r") republican form of government (aka, representative democracy) --- a form of government that is guaranteed in every state by Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Sec. John Kerry slams climate change deniers in government; More whistleblowers corroborate a Florida ban on 'climate change'; Solar energy is booming, in the good, non-explosive, jobs-creating kind of way; PLUS: Great news for the oil industry! Thanks to the oil industry, Arctic sea ice heads to a record low....All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): World record-breaking 8 ft of snow in 18 hours hits Italy; Scientists near breakthrough on artificial photosynthesis; Leaked emails reveal who' who list of climate denialists; India to hide pollution data from the public; Math and myth clash in Senate hearing on Clean Power Plan; The Hydraulic Hypothesis and the 'ends' of civilization; Plastic runs through everything; Farmers take up no-till agriculture ... PLUS: Unlike temperatures, climate change deniers falling fast... and much, MUCH more! ...
And, if you've been following The BRAD BLOG lately, you'll know that I think so much of what's going on, in the media, in Congress, and just about everywhere else of late, is just insanely dumb.
So, on those topics today, I was delighted to be joined by our friend Eric Boehlert of Media Matters to discuss the media hypocrisy over Hillary Clinton's email "scandal" (while ignoring other, almost identical matters that actually are or were scandals) and the massive lies of Bill O'Reilly that somehow nobody seems to care about.
I also had a few words to say about the GOP's latest, embarrassing Iran idiocy, and their, um, unconvential methods of governing for the next two years, as well as the media's failure to say the words "global warming" and/or "climate change".
Yes, all of that and much more in a very lively hour! And Desi Doyen even joins us at the end for an uplifting Green News Report (sort of).
Download MP3 or listen online below...
Lots of deserved criticism of late for Arkansas' freshman U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Neocon Tea Party) for the ridiculously condescending (and, ironically, Constitutionally inaccurate) letter he authored to Iran in hopes of undermining sensitive negotiations concerning their nuclear program.
But while Cotton richly deserves all the criticism he is now roundly receiving, even from some in his own party, let's please not forget about the other 46 U.S. Senators, all Republican, who also signed onto that letter.
This was not a hundreds-of-pages-long bill or something. It was five simple paragraphs long and each Senator appears to have signed onto it by hand. They have no excuse.
You've probably heard about it, but may not have actually read it in full. Until I did, I figured it was likely another bit of obnoxiousness from the GOP, akin to inviting Netanhayu to speak to Congress without White House approval, but the outrage around it was largely a partisan attack from Democrats against Republicans who'd written the letter for the usual, silly partisan reasons.
But it's way worse than that. It's unprecedentedly obnoxious, embarrassing and just childishly condescending. And it doesn't take any particular allegiance to the Democratic Party or the White House to see that. It just jumps off the page.
Again, it's just five grafs long and rather astonishing. Read it, if you haven't. It's posted in full below or read the PDF. And remember: 47, theoretically grown-up U.S. Senators actually signed onto this thing. On purpose. Including the entire GOP leadership in the U.S. Senate, none of whom had the adult sense to stop them!...
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