w/ Brad & Desi
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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...|
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Eleventh time's the charm: House GOP passes Keystone XL bill --- again; Apple Computers invests big in big solar; Record snow in Boston with more on the way; Oil companies dump toxic waste into CA's aquifers; PLUS: Uncle Sam wants YOU to help save the monarch butterfly... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Geoengineering is dangerous and 'should not be deployed'; Heavy metal in your valentine chocolate?; New Tesla battery will power your home, and maybe the electric grid, too; BOMB-Shell CEO calls for "carbon pricing system"; Fox host: 'We had to give up our freedom' during snow storm because climate change is a hoax; Oil CEO says worse to come for oil industry; Total Oil report $5b loss; Native Americans protest bison killings... PLUS: VIDEO: Thanks Dr. Evil! Fossil Fuel Propaganda Misfire Goes Viral... and much, MUCH more! ...
Chapel Hill police said Wednesday morning that a dispute about parking in the neighborhood of rented condominiums near Meadowmont may have led Craig Stephen Hicks to shoot his neighbors, Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, and his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and Abu-Salha's sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, of Raleigh.
But the women's father, Dr. Mohammad Abu-Salha, who has a psychiatry practice in Clayton, said regardless of the precise trigger Tuesday night, Hicks' underlying animosity toward Barakat and Abu-Salha was based on their religion and culture. Abu-Salha said police told him Hicks shot the three inside their apartment.
"It was execution style, a bullet in every head," Abu-Salha said Wednesday morning. "This was not a dispute over a parking space; this was a hate crime. This man had picked on my daughter and her husband a couple of times before, and he talked with them with his gun in his belt. And they were uncomfortable with him, but they did not know he would go this far."
Abu-Salha said his daughter who lived next door to Hicks wore a Muslim head scarf and told her family a week ago that she had "a hateful neighbor."
"Honest to God, she said, 'He hates us for what we are and how we look,'" he said.
Police charged Hicks with three counts of first-degree murder.
"Our preliminary investigation indicates that the crime was motivated by an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking," said police spokesman Lt. Joshua Mecimore. "Hicks is cooperating with investigators."
I hate having to agree with Fox Opinion Channel personality Megyn Kelly, but I can't dispute her point about the bizarre segment on the February 8 edition of MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry, in which Harris-Perry actually asked outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder to quack like a duck.
Granted, MSNBC's weekend programming hasn't been the same since Chris Hayes left Up in 2013 to host his weeknight broadcast All In, but this segment was just too daffy. Holder, who answered graciously nonetheless, seemed to know that something had gone off the rails; while responding to Harris-Perry, he seemed to be second-guessing his decision to participate in the interview.
Reportedly, there has been a lot of second-guessing at the network, and it's not hard to understand why. MSNBC has a credibility problem --- though its not about ducks or even Brian Williams --- but a segment on the February 9 edition of The Ed Show unintentionally highlighted its magnitude...
I'm on the road this week, but was able to carve out a minute or two upon learning that some in our trusted news media seem to have lied about the Iraq War! Can you believe it?!
As Jon Stewart declared on The Daily Show last night: "The media is on it! Now this may seem like overkill. But for me, no, it's not overkill. Because I am happy. Finally, someone is being held to account for misleading America about the Iraq War!"...
By the way, when MSNBC's Rachel Maddow produced her excellent Hubris: Selling the Iraq War documentary in 2013, to mark the tenth anniversary of our invasion, she cited the blatant and knowing lies that resulted in the war. While congratulating her on the fine work, we also took the time to document just some of the many lies told and/or facilitated by NBC and MSNBC themselves which helped lead us into that disaster in the first place...
One never wants to see incompetence rewarded, but sadly, that's exactly what happened on Monday in Australia, as right-wing Prime Minister Tony Abbott survived an effort by members of his own party to oust him.
"Tone-deaf Tony" has now stuck as a favorite media nickname, and pundits are describing his leadership as "terminal." Even in publications run by billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch, a traditional Abbott ally, front page headlines have been scathing.
Given Abbott's embarrassing record on climate change, however --- particularly as heat records have been repeatedly smashed in recent years Down Under --- environmentalists will be particularly disappointed that the Prime Minister, for now, has been able to hang on to power...
With Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, incredibly enough, having vaulted to the front of the GOP pack of 2016 Presidential hopefuls in Iowa and a number of other states, he'll undoubtedly (or, at least, hopefully) come under much more scrutiny on a national level for the kind of policies he's been carrying out back home. (And, additionally, as Brendan Fischer explains, "Rumors of the Walker [John Doe] Probe's Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated")
One aspect of those policies was noticed by Jonas Persson and Mary Bottari at the Center for Media and Democracy's PRWatch this week. It seems Walker, without publicly mentioning it during a recent speech on his newly proposed state budget, included $300 million in cuts to the University of Wisconsin (UW) System along with some other troubling changes.
"The unprecedented cut, which amounts to 13 percent of the state funding for the university system and 2.5 percent of the total budget, accompanied by a tuition freeze will result in the defunding of scores of departments and jeopardize the livelihood of faculty and graduate students," PRWatch reports. The cuts come on the heels of Walker's tax breaks for the wealthy and cuts to social services which have left Wisconsin "32nd in the nation in new job growth," while "the state faces a $2.2 billion dollar deficit." Not helpful numbers when running for President (at least in a general, versus primary, election.)
"In a grim irony, the cut also comes amid reports that other states in the Midwest, such as Minnesota (which recently reported a $1.04 billion budget surplus), Indiana, Iowa and Ohio, are ramping up funding for its state universities, the Wisconsin State Journal reports."
PRWatch adds that, under Walker's proposed new structure for the UW System, "The Board of Regents appointed by the governor would be the governing body and the legislature and the public would have less of a role in protecting academic freedom and other statutory rights."
As much as some are alarmed by the restructuring and massive budget cuts to state education, a rather striking change to the UW System's written mission statement in the budget proposal has left some "nearly speechless", setting off arguably more controversy about what Walker, after being called on it, initially described as little more than "a drafting error"...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Australia's climate change-denying Prime Minister Tony Abbott takes a coal drubbing; Record number of malnourished baby sea lions washing ashore in CA; BP's missing oil has been found - at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico; PLUS: The first presidential warning on global warming was issued 50 years ago this week... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): We have some really good news on how America uses energy; Of course Paris climate talks won't keep warming below 2 degrees Celius; 'Clean coal' plant FutreGen is dead --- again; Massive mine spill due to design flaw; 5 questions to ask when deciding on rooftop solar; WV legislature guts weak new chemical tank regulations; The real problem underlying deteriorating US road infrastructure; Utility vs. Solar battle gets uglier; Galapagos declares emergency over grounded ship... PLUS: Wind pattern behind California’s drought also struck at ocean food chain... and much, MUCH more! ...
When California state Sen. Lou Correa (D) authored SB 29 last year, allowing Vote-by-Mail (VBM) ballots to be accepted and counted even if they arrive at county election headquarters up to three days after Election Day, some state Election Integrity advocates were concerned.
Somewhat vague language in part of the bill might allow for a case where, in the event of a very close margin announced on Election Night, unvoted absentee ballots could be quickly filled out after the fact and delivered to election officials inside the new three day post-election window.
If a race was close enough, late arriving ballots --- either legitimately voted on or before Election Day, or, depending on how local election officials choose to interpret the statute, illegitimately voted and delivered after Election Day --- could actually reverse the results of such a contest.
Little could Correa have known, however, as he was successfully moving his bill through the California state legislature last year, to take effect in January 2015, that the very first election of the year --- and the very first to be decided by a small enough margin that it could be directly affected by late ballots now allowed under SB 29 --- would be...Lou Correa's...
Ya think? As Carney writes:
The paychecks earned by the professionals who create and place ads, raise money, take polls, manage communications and direct strategy draw less scrutiny than the billionaire donors who now drive the increasingly deregulated political marketplace. But political consultants have cashed in handsomely, and are earning more money with less oversight than ever before.
In the three federal elections since the Supreme Court threw out limits on independent political spending, consultants have pocketed a healthy cut of the $13.6 billion spent on campaigns. In the recent midterms, which cost $3.7 billion, $275 million of it was spent by outside groups whose activities are partly or completely undisclosed. Such groups are exempt from FEC rules that bar candidates and parties from misusing campaign money. That leaves consultants who work for those groups unfettered by gatekeepers or regulators.
But while consultants may be getting a larger slice of the pie than ever, you know who else is unfettered to receive even more of that money, as the single largest bulk recipient of all that cash?...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: EPA gives Obama reason to reject Keystone XL pipeline; Feds must account for rising sea levels; Scarborough calls liberals 'science deniers'; Extreme weather whiplash from Boston to San Francisco; PLUS: Majority of Americans (including Republicans) now want government action on global warming, won't vote for politicians who don't... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Mercury levels rising in yellowfin tuna; State let oil companies taint drinkable water; IPCC: World has not woken up to water crisis caused by climate change; Saudis using oil to pry Russia away from Syria?; How fish could change the definition of 'organic'; Not enough time for geoengineering to work; One bacterium could save biofuel industry... PLUS: Fossil fuel companies gave Congress hundreds of millions to support Keystone XL... and much, MUCH more! ...
It seems a slow news day. So please enjoy this very short "nature documentary"...
For the record, like the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, the Energy East pipeline discussed above is also a project of the TransCanada Corporation. Unlike Keystone XL, which would ship the world's dirtiest oil from Alberta, Canada all the way south through the U.S. to the Gulf of Mexico for sales and export over seas, the Energy East pipeline would ship the world's dirtiest oil from Alberta, in western Canada, all the way across the country, nearly 3,000 miles, to Quebec in eastern Canada for sales and export over seas. It would be, if completed, the longest pipeline in North America.
What could possibly go wrong?
"Energy East would put hundreds of communities in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick at risk of a tar sands oil spill," according to Environmental Defence, which produced the video above. "Canadians would see few benefits. Nearly all of Energy East’s tar sands oil would be exported unrefined."
Moreover, the pipeline's opponents note, in addition to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, the plan calls for "two massive new export terminals for oil tankers --- one in the St. Lawrence River, threatening where an endangered population of beluga whales raise their young, and another in Saint John, risking oil spills into the environmentally sensitive Bay of Fundy."
But, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln...
"I am not a victim," Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of the Rightwing voter suppression group calling themselves "True the Vote" told members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday morning. It was an odd turn of phrase given all that came before it in her testimony, both written and oral, at the confirmation hearings for U.S. Attorney General-nominee Loretta Lynch.
"I'm here today because I was targeted by the government for daring to speak out," the non-victim informed the Senators and those watching via C-Span at the very top of her remarks, much of which followed her written testimony [PDF] submitted in advance, and much of which did not. She is, she explained, just "one of thousands of Americans who have become living examples of a kind of trickle down tyranny that is actively endorsed by the current Administration and rigorously enforced by the Department of Justice."
"Over the years it has become clear to me that they don't just want True the Vote shut down, they want me broken," Engelbrecht wrote dramatically, but, for some reason, didn't say during her spoken testimony [video posted at the end of this article].
But, remember, she is "not a victim" at all. She is, on the other hand, the head of a wingnut Tea Party grifter organization which has, as we described in detail earlier this week, stepped on one rake after another since its ignominious appearance on the "voting rights" scene in 2010 when, in their introductory video, the group included a Photoshopped photo of an African-American woman holding a sign at a protest reading: "I ONLY GOT TO VOTE ONCE!" Another faked sign behind her head read "I'M WITH STUPID." (In actuality, as the original photos from a protest during the Presidential election theft in Florida in 2000 show, the woman's sign read: "DON'T MESS WITH OUR VOTES." The sign behind her had read "Gore/Lieberman 2000.")
During her testimony, Engelbrecht, after years of faking voter fraud statistics to try and help the GOP case for polling place Photo ID restrictions, even had the temerity to describe her organization as "a national non-profit initiative to protect voters' rights and promote election integrity."
Faking the truth seems to come easy to Engelbrecht and her group, as they've spent years attempting to intimidate voters at the polls under the guise of protecting against pretend Democratic "voter fraud". At the Senate hearing on Thursday, however, it was often what she didn't say during her oral testimony, as contrasted with her written testimony submitted beforehand, that may have been most revealing.
For some reason, for example, she --- or, perhaps a staffer on the new Republican-majority Senate committee --- must have thought it better not to discuss "pigment of skin" in polite company at the confirmation hearings for the first African-American woman to be nominated as the nation's chief law enforcement official. That part didn't make it into to Engelbrecht's spoken outrage...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.S. pipelines now rupturing faster than we can keep track of them; So, U.S. Senate passes Keystone XL bill with Dem help; Obama's India trip a boost for US nuclear industry; IMF calls for end to fossil fuel subsidies; PLUS: Some good news: fracking banned in Scotland, and great 'Fox News' for a change!... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): It's not too late to stop climate change, and it'll be super-cheap; Americans are out of step with science on pretty much everything; Climate models don't over-predict warming; Big Utilties' 'Kodak Moment': a phase-change builds; Air pollution plunges in AL; Feds open waters to largest offshore wind farm; EPA sued over industrial livestock pollution... PLUS: Oceans on the verge of a 'mass bleaching event'... and much, MUCH more! ...
If you were looking for a fresh reminder as to why Vote-by-Mail is a terrible idea, why provisional ballots are not the same as actually casting a vote, and why there needs to be more accountability for and oversight of election officials, today's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio should fit the bill.
In short, we cover the election contest now pending in the race for City Council (Seat 1) in the San Diego County city of Chula Vista, CA. The certified results from the November 2014 election show a 2-vote margin between the John McCann (R) and Steve Padilla (D) in a race with some 37,000 ballots cast. McCann has been certified as the "winner".
Trouble is, according to the lawsuit [PDF], at least 15 mail-in and provisional ballots were rejected, even though the signatures on them matched the signatures from the voters' registrations on file. That, argues attorney John S. Moot (my guest this week, and a former Chula Vista City Council Member himself), is in violation of the law.
The other trouble is, those ballots were rejected by San Diego County Registrar Michael Vu, who was the infamous Election Director of Cuyahoga County, Ohio's most populist (and most Democratic) county during the 2004 Presidential election, when two of his immediate subordinates were indicted and found guilty of rigging the Presidential "recount" in Cuyahoga. Yes, if you didn't know or don't remember, there was a partial "recount" of that election, across the entire Buckeye State, as requested by the Green and Libertarian Parties. And, yes, it was found to have been rigged in a court of law.
Vu, who was protected at the time by the Republicans who ran the Cuyahoga Election Board, was never charged and was happily hired not long thereafter by San Diego County, where elections have been little more than a joke for many years, even before Vu got there.
For the full story on this, listen to this week's show and Moot's commentary on the suit he's filed on behalf of his client, a long-time poll worker and voter from Chula Vista.
ALSO on this week's program: Accountability, finally, for an election official elsewhere (in St. Louis County, MO), and the fake "voter fraud" activist set to testify at AG-nominee Loretta Lynch's very real U.S. Senate nomination proceedings. Plus, as usual, much more, including Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report.
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