Just cuz I think we all may need something to smile about today. HuffPo confirms the following online conversation with NetFlix customer was real...
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 Special Coverages Pages...|
Just cuz I think we all may need something to smile about today. HuffPo confirms the following online conversation with NetFlix customer was real...
As the idiotic Republican shutdown continues and debt ceiling collapse looms, GOP approval ratings plummet yet again in latest poll. The new survey from ABC/WaPo finds a stunning 74% of Americans disapprove of the way the GOP is handling budget negotiations, that's up 11 points from before the shutdown started.
But more important to remember, as all of this idiocy drags on --- and as Dems consider some form of "concessions" to allow the GOP the face-saving measures they need to get out of this mess --- are numbers like the following, underscoring just how idiotic and hypocritical all this nonsense actually is...
— ClassicalProgressive (@ProgressEconomy) October 14, 2013
[This is article now been cross-published by Salon...]
This is nothing less than remarkable. The 7th circuit court judge who wrote the majority opinion in the landmark Crawford v. Marion County Election Board case, has now admitted he got it wrong!
"I think we did not have enough information," Judge Richard Posner said in remarks at HuffPo Live today. "If the lawyers had provided us with a lot of information about the abuse of voter identification laws, this case would have been decided differently."
Crawford is the Indiana polling place Photo ID restriction case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court where it was upheld in 2008. It is the case cited, usually inaccurately, by Republican advocates of such restrictions, who argue that such disenfranchising laws are not in violation of the U.S. Constitution. For example, it is the case cited (inaccurately) by TX Attorney General Greg Abbott, in his argument against the U.S. Dept. of Justice's current lawsuit attempting to block the Lone Star State's most recent attempt to institute that voting restriction at their polling places. "The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that voter ID laws do not suppress legal votes," Abbott said misleadingly in response to the DoJ's suit, as explained in detail last month by BRAD BLOG legal analyst Ernest Canning.
But, setting aside the misuse of SCOTUS' very limited ruling on Crawford, the remarkable news today comes via UC Irvine election law professor Rick Hasen, who transcribes remarks made today by Judge Richard Posner, author of the original 7th circuit majority opinion in Crawford, now completely recanting his original opinion on the case!
Read this from Hasen. It's amazing...
Last night, climate scientist and MacArthur Fellow ("Genius Grant" recipient, but what do they know?), Peter Gleick tweeted: "Moon landing deniers, evolution deniers, tobacco causes cancer deniers, #climate deniers, now 'debt-limit' deniers."
But, it doesn't have to be that way, at least the "climate denier" part, according to this video released by The League of Conservation voters yesterday...
It's cute. And the "slow jam" may stay with you for hours. Sorry about that.
While discussing that video with a number of climate folks yesterday, our own not-frequent-enough guest blogger D.R. Tucker had this thought:
Well, there's that.
Extremist 'Tea Party' Republicans like to pretend they are patriots --- so much so that when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) complained this week that the government shutdown he helped engineer had forced the elimination of Veteran's Administration healthcare services, he belatedly discovered that he had painted himself into an impossible corner.
Well, he didn't discover it on his own. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) helped him to notice that he was ardently advocating on the Senate floor for the Veteran's Administration health care system, which, unlike "ObamaCare", is an actual government run healthcare system of the type that Cruz pretends to abhor so much he was willing to lead his party to shutting down the entire government to block it.
"I just wanted to be clear," Stabenow asked Cruz during his floor speech advocating re-opening the VA as part of the GOP's desperate effort to re-open only those parts of government they approve, "Because the Senator from Texas has, in fact, made the ending of a private sector, competitive health care system for up to 30 million Americans part of what he wants to stop. I just wanted to be clear that the fully government-funded, government-run --- with government doctors --- system through the Veteran's Administration system is something that you are advocating we continue to fund through the federal government?"
Cruz couldn't say much more in response than: "The answer is yes. I believe we should fully fund the VA." (Full video here.)
Unlike "Obamacare", a private health insurance operation merely overseen by the government, the VA healthcare system that Cruz was advocating for, actually is a full-blown, government-run healthcare system. Or, as the heroic Republicans now like to deride it: A government takeover of healthcare!
Actual heroes, on the other hand, like Redge Ranyard, who fought against Nazis during World War II, are less than impressed by the claims made by Republicans like Cruz and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) that they are locked in an "epic battle" to save the nation...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Shutdown's 'non-essential' food safety workers discovered essential after all in widespread salmonella outbreak; International community moving forward on climate solutions; Natural Gas War on Coal closes dirty coal plants; "The New Normal" - a time frame for climate change; PLUS: Climate science deniers now denied access to the L.A. Times ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): VIDEO: What’s Funnier than a Climate Denier at a Science Fair?; Latest leak at Fukushima plant contaminates 6 workers; ND suffers first big oil spill; Drought the culprit behind CO pine-beetle epidemic; Big Oil sues over ethanol mandate; Enviros urge WGBH to dump Koch on board; Shell exec says oil companies could lead in carbon capture technology; Shutdown means a delay in Keystone XL pipeline review ... PLUS: Fusion "Breakthrough" at NIF? [Uh, Not Really] … and much, MUCH more! ...
Speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate last week, on the third day of the federal government shutdown, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) excoriated Republicans in the House of Representatives as "extremists" and "anarchists", while offering an impassioned case for why "government matters."
[See video and transcript below.]
"When I hear the latest tirades from some of the extremists in the House, I am struck by how vague these complaints are," she said. "The anarchy gang is quick to malign government, but when was the last time anyone called for regulators to go easier on companies that put lead in children’s toys, or for food inspectors to stop checking whether the meat in our grocery stores is crawling with deadly bacteria, or for the FDA to ignore whether morning sickness drugs will cause deformities in little babies?"
She went on to argue that the American system of governance, though far from infallible, can carry out the will of the people who are positioned to correct it and make it better. "Our democracy is an experiment, and it’s always evolving. We constantly redesign and re-imagine and improve on what we do together."
"You can do your best to make government look like it doesn’t work when you stop it from working. You can do your best to make government look paralyzed when you paralyze it. You can do your best to make government look incompetent through your incompetence, and ineffective through your ineffectiveness. But sooner or later, the government will reopen. Because this is a democracy, and this democracy has already rejected your views," she said, before concluding with a message of optimism.
"Today," Warren said, "a political minority in the House that condemns government and begs for this shutdown has had its day. But like all the reckless and extremist factions that have come before it, their day will pass, and our democracy will return to the important work that we have already determined to do together."
Here's a video of the key section of Sen. Elizabeth Warren's powerful 10/3/2013 remarks on the U.S. Senate floor, (a longer version can be viewed here) followed by a text transcript...
Just chanced across this note I wrote to myself on my iPhone in June of 2010...
Wonder what's destroying our country/world? Fox 'News'. But u prolly knew that. (They didn't)
Too bad this wasn't published previously...before California's ill-considered and incredibly dangerous and deceptively sold SB 360 was signed by CA's Gov. Jerry Brown over the weekend (despite our advocacy and warnings against it.)
In his syndicated "California Focus" column (appearing in 93 papers around the state), Thomas D. Elias opines today on the partisan-passed election reform bill we've been yelling about for months now here at The BRAD BLOG. He accurately describes SB 360 as "a prominent entry in the unofficial sweepstakes to determine this year's worst new state law".
From his column, "New law threatens vote-counting reliability", today...
This bill cried out for a veto from Brown, considering the problems encountered by electronic voting systems during much of the last decade. Comprehensive testing demonstrated that many could be hacked, with the possibility that programming might be inserted so that - for one example - when a voter touched a screen favoring one candidate, the vote actually went into someone else's column.
Elias continues by pointing out the dishonest way in which the bill was represented to lawmakers and the public by its main sponsor, state Sen. Alex Padilla (D) who also happens to be a leading 2014 candidate for CA Secretary of State and, therefore, a potential main beneficiary of the unprecedented, sweeping new executive powers that the law will grant to the state's SoS.
As he writes...
NOTE: Those subscribed for free via iTunes should now be receiving automatic downloads again! We believe we've found the problem (a single bad character in the RSS file!) that's been holding up the subscriber feed for a number of weeks! Please let us know if it's fixed or still a problem! - BF
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Government shutdown doesn't stop record blizzard or National Weather Service meteorologists in Upper Midwest; 'Energy is the solution': making the economic case for climate action; Climate change denial industry harassing academics --- again; PLUS: Bright side to accidental power outage at Fukushima: at least we know the back-up systems work ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Professional climate science deniers manufactured the global warming 'pause'; Judge hears conflicting estimates in BP Oil Spill trial; 2 large coal plants close in PA; Diesel fumes linked to bees disappearance; Europe vs. Russia in natural gas antitrust suit; Battle in WA State over GMO labeling; CDC: Salmonella outbreak while government inspectors are furloughed; Radioactive fracking wastewater contaminated PA stream; Mass extinction may already be underway in world's oceans ... PLUS: IPCC Carbon Budget: How to Slice a Global Carbon Pie? ... and much, MUCH more! ...
[This is article has now been cross-published by Salon...]
The man who wrote Arizona's "Papers Please" law before running for Kansas Secretary of State in 2010 on the premise of stamping out "voter fraud" there ... before winning and subsequently not being able to find much, if any of it, at all, is nonetheless still at work attempting to keep legitimate voters from being able to cast their vote under the premise that thousands of non-citizens are somehow, secretly, illegally voting in the state of Kansas.
"In Kansas, the illegal registration of alien voters has become pervasive," Kris Kobach's personal website still reads today. He just can't seem to find any.
Despite that annoying little truth, he now has a new plan to try and keep those "alien voters" from voting, even if it involves keeping 17,500 or more perfectly legal U.S. citizen residents of Kansas from voting as well...
The radically activist Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia --- who, despite his increasing tendency to legislate from the bench, likes to pretend he's not an activist and not legislating from the bench --- was asked about his personal sources for news in a New York interview by Jennifer Senior published over the weekend.
His answer, while perhaps the least surprising news of the day, may explain a lot...
His "favorite" "talk guy", he says, is former Reagan official, Bill Bennett, who once declared "you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down." That's the type of person that Scalia looks to for his "news", apparently.
Ian Millhiser who, after quaintly describing the aging Justice as "Archie Bunker in a less comfy chair," citing the remarks from the interview above, as well as Scalia's statements that he believes the Devil is "a real person", and his being troubled by Hollywood "ladies" using "the f-word" in movies, notes a more disturbing revelation from the interview...
When running a series of stories like the one that seems to have ended (for now) in yesterday's quiet signing of SB 360 by CA's Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, I'm reminded again of the importance of independent media outlets, and the difficulties inherent in being one, as we strive to be. But we can only continue to do so with your help. Seriously.
I'm also reminded of what legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hersch was quoted as saying just last week in The Guardian [emphasis added]...
In short, when it comes to our work as independent journalists here, I take that as: "If you're not pissing someone off, you're doing it wrong."
Please help The BRAD BLOG continue to piss people off, because "trouble makers don't get promoted." Nor do they receive support from corporations or partisan foundations. We do, however, hopefully have folks like you to generously help us continue what we have done, tirelessly, for almost a decade now. And I thank you again for that help in advance...
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)
Over the weekend, Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) signed SB 360, a radical new election reform bill, that will, for the first time in decades, end all federal testing of new e-voting systems approved for use in the state of California.
The measure, sold dishonestly by its supporters to the public and lawmakers, is expected to have an impact across the rest of the nation as well. It's enactment paves the way for the final development of a new, unverifiable touch-screen voting system for use in Los Angeles County, where it is then slated to be sold for use in jurisdictions elsewhere in the state and country.
Before the adoption of SB 360, new voting systems in California required two independent levels of testing, both at the federal and state levels before they could be used in an election here. Even with those two independent testing regimes in place, the systems certified by the Sec. of State over the past decade or more have been riddled with errors and security flaws that were later discovered. For those reasons, and others, The BRAD BLOG had been calling, unsuccessfully, for Brown's veto of SB 360.
As we've documented on these pages, the new law also affords sweeping new executive powers to the Sec. of State to approve new e-voting systems for use in so-called "pilot programs" without any certification testing at all, even from state auditors. Those "pilot" e-voting and tabulation systems, according to the new law, may now be used in "a legally binding election" at the sole discretion of the Sec. of State.
The BRAD BLOG has reported in great detail on this dangerous new bill, which was eventually passed along partisan lines with almost no debate in either chamber of the state legislature. It was supported by all the Democrats in both the state Senate and Assembly, and opposed by all but one Republican.
The bill, granting unprecedented power to the California Sec. of State, was authored by state Senator Alex Padilla (D) --- himself a leading 2014 candidate for California Sec. of State. It was also supported by one of his two main rivals for that job, State Sen. Leland Yee (D), who has also gone on record calling for Internet Voting systems in California.
The only one among the top three Democratic contenders to replace CA Sec. of State Debra Bowen (who is termed out in 2014), who did not go on record in support of SB 360, is former Common Cause official Derek Cressman.
As we also reported, the bill was sold dishonestly by Padilla to both lawmakers and the public...
As the government shutdown began, the corporate U.S. media played its usual unhelpful role by not taking sides in what was clearly a one-sided argument.
"In shutdown blame game, Democrats and Republicans united: It's the other side's fault," declared Washington Post's headline. "Shutdown: Obama and Republicans Trade Blame as Deadline is Crossed," TIME unhelpfully noted, sounding much like the pretend news outlet Fox "News", which declared similarly "Partial shutdown begins: Can Congress, White House compromise?"
Never mind that Democrats had already compromised by agreeing to "Sequestration" level budget cuts, the only question was how would the two sides "compromise" on the Affordable Care Act which had nothing to do with the budget resolution itself, but has long been a bete noir for Republicans.
Meanwhile, the non-U.S. news outlet, The Guardian in the UK, accurately reported that the U.S. government shutdown occurred because Democrats refused to give into the Tea Party's extortion-like demands. Specifically, they wrote, it occurred after "Republicans staged a series of last-ditch efforts to use a once-routine budget procedure to force Democrats to abandon their efforts to extend U.S. health insurance."
Was that so hard? Apparently so, for the U.S. corporate media anyway...
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