Yes, that's Desi Doyen of The BRAD BLOG's Green News Report...with breaking news...and a very funny hairstyle...
Cuz, as you know, TransformersAreDangerous.com.
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...|
Yes, that's Desi Doyen of The BRAD BLOG's Green News Report...with breaking news...and a very funny hairstyle...
Cuz, as you know, TransformersAreDangerous.com.
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Record wildfires burn a million acres in the Pacific Northwest; It's official: June 2014 was the hottest June globally on record; EPA moves to block massive Pebble Mine; California moves to block oil industry polluting groundwater; PLUS: Wanna cut your emissions? Then cut the beef... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Study vindicates climate models accused of ‘missing the pause’; Wildlife refuges ban bee-killing pesticide; Obama administration approves seismic testing for oil off Atlantic coast; NY seeks to shut down Indian Point nuclear plant to protect fish; Freedom Industries proposes $3m settlement for chemical spill; Portland, Maine fights off tar sands pipeline; CA couple fined for brown lawn while conserving water; Australia's drought caused by carbon emissions ... PLUS: Poll: U.S. Leads The World… In Climate Denial ... and much, MUCH more! ...
Over the weekend state Assembly John Pérez called off his request for a statewide "recount" in the state Controllers primary race, despite the results from the June primary remaining the closest in a statewide race in California history. The vast majority of ballots never received a review by human eyeballs. [See NOTE at bottom of article to explain our use of quotes around the word "recount".]
A partial hand-count of paper ballots in two different counties --- and calls from fellow Democrats to give up the attempt to assure Election Integrity --- was largely all that would occur before the Pérez campaign decided throw in the towel and toss their support behind fellow Democrat Betty Yee for this November's general election.
"While I strongly believe that completing this process would result in me advancing to the general election," Pérez said in a statement posted to his campaign website, "it is clear that there are significant deficiencies in the process itself which make continuing the recount problematic."
Yee had reportedly defeated Pérez by just 481 votes out of well over 4 million ballots cast --- a margin of approximately 1/100th of one percent --- during the statewide primary on June 3rd, securing second place behind comfortable first-place finisher, Republican Ashley Swearengin, and a coveted spot on the November ballot. California now has a "Top-Two" primary system, where the two highest vote-getters of any party go on to face each other in the general election.
There is no automatic, state-sponsored "recount" for statewide races in CA, no matter how close they are found to be after tabulation by the state's hodge-podge of oft-failed, easily-manipulated computer tabulators in each county. If such a post-election count is desired, a candidate or any voter, may request one and pay for it themselves --- though they are refunded the fees if the results end up changing.
The battle for second place in the primary race, and the right to appear on this November's ballot to become the state's next chief financial officer, resulted in what the Sec. of State's office had described as "uncharted territory".
It left counties scrambling, politicians scratching their heads, media trying to figure out how "recounts" even work in this state, while also revealing a number of tremendous flaws in the state's "recount" statutes, some of which we've attempted to warn about at The BRAD BLOG over recent years...with few in Sacramento bothering to take notice.
They seem to be noticing some of those flaws now, however, even as Perez abruptly ended the count over the weekend, after finding just a handful of votes changing in his favor during expensive, partial hand-counts in two counties.
While the situation revealed serious shortcomings in the state's "recount" statutes, it has also revealed that, at least unless the laws are changed, it may be a great time to steal an election in the Golden State, with very little likelihood of detection...
During an appearance last week on the Allan Handelman Show on WSJS in North Carolina --- a state, like almost every one in the union now, where non-corporatist, non-wingnut views are almost non-existent over our public airwaves --- I was discussing the state Republicans' new voter suppression law, which is, hands-down, the most draconian in the nation since the era of Jim Crow was supposed to have ended.
While a Rightwing caller, apparently, was on hold to participate in the show, I detailed the fact that the polling place Photo ID restriction part of the GOP law (just one part of their horrific anti-voting statute) would do nothing to prevent so-called "voter fraud", since polling place impersonation is, for all intents and purposes, non-existent in this country, as this 2012 study by a non-partisan news consortium, detailing every known and/or reported incident of election or voter fraud in all 50 states going back to 2000, illustrated once again.
Once the caller "Jay" finally made it to air, his admission was quite revealing --- and even courageous --- yet illustrative of just about everything that is wrong with our corporate media (and the politics it has created) these days.
What he had to say is not what you'd probably expect. Give it a listen...
Download MP3 or listen online below. [Appx 9 mins, lightly edited to cover for a commercial break between two segments]...
In the weeks since its debut on HBO, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has slowly, if assuredly, evolved from being little more than a weekend knockoff of its progenitor The Daily Show, to finding its own unique voice and ability to take advantage of the more in-depth "coverage" afforded by the lack of self-censorship otherwise required for commercial television and longer segments due to the lack of on-the-clock commercial breaks necessary for its Comedy Central brethren.
That maturity and evolution revealed itself in full flower during last night's lengthy segment on America's horrific and insane --- and getting horrificker and insaner --- prison and incarceration policy.
Aside from being really really funny at times, the lengthy segment was one of the smartest, most complete, most accessible treatises I've seen on TV --- or anywhere really --- in a very long time, if ever.
It concludes with a laugh-out-loud Sesame Street-style song on the broken state of America's prison policy, after covering obscenities along the way such as the explosive growth in our prison population; the failed "War on Drugs"; racial disparities in sentencing; our grotesque cultural fetish with "hysterical" prison rape humor; some fairly jaw-dropping Congressional testimony (courtesy of Sen. Al Franken); to the privatization and profiteering of the national Prison Industrial Complex which has culminated, as a judge described in 2012, in "a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts".
This smart piece is well worth watching in full for too many reasons to list here...
[Note: For a somewhat less amusing, if no less important take on one related issue not mentioned by Oliver during his otherwise surprisingly complete overview, see the second part of Ernie Canning's three-part 2012 BRAD BLOG essay on the so-called "War on Drugs", which discusses how legalization might well disrupt the economics of the Prison Industrial Complex and its increasingly relied-upon pool of slave --- yes, slave --- laborers.]
CORRECTION: Our original article had the name of HBO's show wrong, as well as the quote from a federal judge about the privatized prison system in Mississippi. Both have been corrected above, thanks to commenter "Niemand" pointing out the errors below.
Citing a related-ish piece of mine last week over at Salon, Paul H. Rosenberg attempted to slay yet another Zombie Myth that just won't die over the weekend: The myth that JFK "stole" the 1960 election from Richard Nixon, and that Nixon was just too much of a gracious statesman to challenge the results.
It is, of course, all bullshit, as Rosenberg is forced to detail once again. Nonetheless, the enduring myth remains part and parcel --- and, often, False Exhibit #1 --- of the very same scam that Republicans still use to this very day in attempting to deligitimize their Democratic opponents through phony claims of "voter fraud".
Yes, I've been working hard this summer to encourage you to support our work here at The BRAD BLOG, so we can focus as much as possible on stuff that actually matters this fall (and hopefully beyond).
I have long been losing money each month and tapping into whatever meager savings I have, in order to keep producing, for as long as possible, the truly independent journalism, blogging, broadcasting, trouble-making and muckraking --- wholly free from corporate or partisan strings --- that I believe is so important...and that I hope that you do as well.
But we really need your help, before I'm entirely tapped out.
To that end, I'm willing to pull out (most of) whatever stops I have at my disposal. (Hey, at least I'm not as horrible as the DCCC!) So, with that in mind, my birthday is this weekend!
Care to make it an extra special swell birthday, by dropping a birthday gift --- large or small --- into the tip jar? Monthly sustaining contributions are especially appreciated, but any gift is tremendously needed and very much appreciated!
Thanks in advance for whatever you can afford. --- Brad
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)
The measure not only calls upon Congress to "propose an amendment...to the United States Constitution" to overturn the infamous Citizens United decision and its progeny, but "to make clear that the rights protected by the United States Constitution are the rights of natural persons only."
According to state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), the author of SB 1272, the measure is intended to send "a message to Congress" that we "should not equate money with free speech and corporations are not people."
A constitutional amendment that eliminated "corporate personhood" would not only invalidate Citizens United but would overturn the newly minted right to "corporate religious liberty" established in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Inc. (2014).
Unfortunately, the language Lieu included in the measure stops short of "money is not speech." Instead, the measure simply provides for "full regulation or limitation of campaign contributions and spending, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of wealth, may express their views to one another."
While the ballot proposition is not binding, and has produced critics who describe the measure as little more than a political stunt, if adopted by an overwhelming majority of California voters this fall, it could very well help to ignite a nationwide groundswell of opposition to a series of decisions by an oligarchic Supreme Court that have threatened the very survival of our constitutional representative democracy...
British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, a Liberal Democrat party member of conservative Prime Minister David Cameron's coalition government, said the following on his weekly LBC radio program Thursday, in response to the shelling of a Gaza beach by an Israeli gunboat, which killed four Palestinian children and critically wounded another playing near the water [audio version follows below]...
I will always defend --- I've done it on this program before - Israel's right to respond and to defend itself in the face of violence that is designed to terrorize Israeli citizens. I have spoken out repeatedly about Israel's very legitimate demands that Hamas and others recognize Israel's right to exist, and to exist peacefully within its own borders and provide security to its own citizens.
I have to say, though, I really do think now the Israeli response is --- appears to be deliberately disproportionate. It is amounting now to a disproportionate form of collective punishment. It is leading to a humanitarian crisis in Gaza which is just unacceptable. And I really would now call on the Israeli government to stop.
Interviewer: [crosstalk] Hamas would continue, though, Deputy Prime Minister...
CLEGG: Well, no, Israel of course retains the right to react, but I'm just saying you cannot see the humanitarian suffering in Gaza now, without concluding that --- and the very many numbers of deaths in Gaza --- without concluding that there is not much more going to be served in Israel's own interests.
And this is a point I keep wanting to make, because every time of course any politician speaks out, I guarantee I'll get lots of people kind of getting --- I quite understand to be quite passionate about this --- all I would say is, as someone who is a long-standing defender of Israel's right to defend itself, of Israel's right to defend its values and its own citizens, it is not in the long run in Israel's own interests to see this festering humanitarian crisis get ever worse in Gaza. Because all it does, of course, in the long run, is act as a kind of, almost as an incubation, if you will --- it incubates the next generation of violent extremists who want to do harm to Israel, so...
Interviewer: They might argue, though, that Hamas will just carry on shelling, Deputy Prime Minister.
CLEGG: Well, if Hamas does that then of course Israel reserves the right to respond. All I'm saying is today, we have the glimmer of hope that a five-hour humanitarian cease-fire has been entered into by both sides. And my plea today, to both sides, is please build on that. Because further deaths, more violence begetting more violence, is not in anybody's interests. And it's not going to help deliver the only way, the only way, in which Israelis will be able to live in security and peace in the long run. Which is a negotiated two-state peace settlement. It is the only way. And there's just no --- I know it's very easy as an outsider to pronounce on these things, but I really do think that the level of humanitarian suffering in Gaza now, the number of deaths, and the disproportionate --- the apparently, almost deliberate use of disproportionate response --- now needs to come to an end.
According to the UK's Evening Standard, before Israeli ground troops moved into Gaza on Friday: "More than 220 Palestinians have died in nine days of fighting and Hamas rockets have killed one Israeli."
For his part, UK Prime Minister Cameron reportedly told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week that he "strongly condemned the appalling attacks being carried out by Hamas against Israeli civilians," and he "reiterated the UK's staunch support for Israel in the face of such attacks, and underlined Israel's right to defend itself from them."
However, Cameron also is said to have signed on to an EU statement [PDF] on Wednesday, which "condemns the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel and the indiscriminate targeting of civilians," but adds that the European Council "deeply deplores the loss of innocent lives and the high number of wounded civilians in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israeli military operations".
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Australia's Rightwing government repeals successful landmark carbon tax; Obama moves forward on bracing for global warming impacts; Record wildfire season burning from California to Alaska; PLUS: California gets tough on water wasters ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): English Channel all fished out; Jellyfish invasion off Maine coast; Feds ban bee-killing pesticides in wildlife refuges; North Dakota wrestles with radioactive oilfield waste; Natural gas boom hasn't made US energy secure, warns IEA chief ... PLUS: Hottest March-June On Record Globally ... and much, MUCH more! ...
The Washington Post recently reported that more "than 100 current and former [Kansas] Republican officials [have] endorsed Democratic state Rep. Paul Davis [in his] bid to unseat Gov. Sam Brownback (R)."
The website of the group that refers to itself as the "Republicans for Kansas Values," reveals that the source of their revolt can be found in what the LA Times' Michael Hiltzik described as Brownback's draconian "Tea Party tax cuts," enacted in the name of economic "freedom" that have, he says, benefited only the wealthy and have turned the Sunflower State "into a smoking ruin."
As we once described in "'Tea Party' Future: Fascism, Feudalism, Economic Collapse", that "smoking ruin" was not unexpected. But neither was the revulsion of traditionally conservative Kansas Republicans to Brownback's application of the Koch brothers' radical brand of libertarianism...
In other words, those popular lies and deceptions that never seem to die on everything from e-cigs and vaping to the death penalty to Ann Coulter's voter fraud to Fox "News" propaganda on global warming and polling place Photo ID laws (too many of those to link here) to the fight for marriage-equality in Mississippi.
In other words, there was a lot packed in to this week's 58 minutes, including a lot of bullshit to dispel, a bunch of great callers, and even one who totally disagreed with me on e-cigs and children. That was fun.
Check it out. I think you'll enjoy it...
Download MP3 or listen online below...
P.S. During the show, a caller questioned the facts of a quote I read on air from a press release issued today by the Freedom to Marry organization, citing the first Mississippi mayor to call for marriage equality in the state. The quote in question was from the group's President Evan Wolfson, who said in the statement: "More same-sex couples are raising children in Mississippi than in any other state."
The caller, appropriately, challenged the veracity of the statement, and I promised I'd look into the details, since I had just received the release prior to air time and didn't have the details handy. Now I do. Here's where that claim comes from...
Just in, via HuffPo, a federal judge in California has ruled that the state's death penalty system violates the U.S. Constitution's restriction against "cruel and unusual punishments"...
"California's death penalty system is so plagued by inordinate and unpredictable delay that the death sentence is actually carried out against only a trivial few of those sentenced to death," Carney writes. "For all practical purposes then, a sentence of death in California is a sentence of life imprisonment with the remote possibility of death --- a sentence no rational legislature or jury could ever impose."
Carney continues: "Inordinate and unpredictable delay... has resulted in a system in which arbitrary factors, rather than legitimate ones like the nature of the crime or the date of the death sentence, determine whether an individual will actually be executed. And it has resulted in a system that serves no penological purpose. Such a system is unconstitutional."
The story goes on to note that the judge also vacated petitioner Ernest Dwayne Jones' death sentence --- he had been convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to die in 1995, and that "an analysis by the Los Angeles Times found that the state spent $308 million on each execution." That analysis underscores what critics of the death penalty have long pointed out, that the cost of killing prisoners far outpaces the cost to the state of keeping them imprisoned for life.
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Huge Christian organization divests from fossil fuels; Germany pledges $1 billion to international climate fund; Australia slides backward to repeal carbon tax; Step aside, Formula One racing: all-electric Formula E is on your tail; PLUS: Climate denier Rupert Murdoch's Big 'But' ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): How long will world's oil reserves last? 53 years, says BP; Clear differences between organic and non-organic food; Chevron admits oil shale will use huge amounts of West's water; US oil consumption still rising; Nuclear waste plan unsafe, panel told; Midwestern farmers fight 'superweeds' of their own making; 7 earthquakes in OK in 1 day; Early fire season destroys homes in PacNW ... PLUS: Neverglades: Sorry, Time Magazine, South Florida IS Drowning ... and much, MUCH more! ...
Here's a perfect example of why people watch cable news --- and, also, why they don't.
As TPM's Josh Marshall describes it: "Rick Santelli, famously in 2009, by one measure launched the 'Tea Party' with an epic rant about how big government was crushing capitalism while it was actually in the midst of saving it. Since then he's been wrong about every economic question worth being asked. One of the CNBCers got tired of his nonsense today and this happened."
Or, as Vox.com's Ezra Klein tweeted it (with a pretty perfect allusion for old school Real World fans): "What happens when CNBC hosts stop being polite and start getting real"...
Matthew Yglesias describes Santelli, in citing the video above, as a "big time inflation fearmonger" and adds that fellow CNBCer "Steve Liesman absolutely took him to school pointing out that anyone who'd listened to his inflationista advice over the years would have lost a ton of money."
I'm not nearly expert enough in monetary policy to appreciate who's actually right and who's actually wrong in this made-for-cable pissing match. While I'd happily bet against the yutz Santelli on just about anything, the rest of his network has also been notoriously wrong in just about every bit of corporate log-rolling and back-slapping they've engaged in over the last decade or more. In any event, if you want a bit more of an explainer on what the hell these people are actually yelling about, Time's Pat Regnier offers this one.
A Few Great Blogs
· Baghdad Burning
· Brilliant at Breakfast
· Crooks and Liars
· Dan Froomkin
· Fired Up! Missouri
· Freedom's Phoenix
· Freeway Blogger
· Glenn Greenwald
· Huffington Post
· Jesus' General
· Juan Cole
· Washington Monthly
· Media Matters
· Nashua Advocate
· Oliver Willis
· RAW STORY
· Sanoma State's
Project Censored Sites:
· Daily Censored
· Media Freedom
· Project Censored
· Scholars & Rogues
· Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
· Talking Points Memo
· Think Progress
· Tom Tomorrow
· TV Newser
· Ben Sargent
· Bill Deore
· Bob Gorrell
· Cagle's Index
· Chan Lowe
· Don Wright
· Doug Marlette
· Glenn McCoy
· Jeff Danziger
· Joel Pett
· Mike Luckovich
· Non Sequitur
· Not Banned Yet
· Pat Oliphant
· Paul Conrad
· Ted Rall
· This Modern World
· Thomas Burns
· Tom Toles
· Tony Auth
· Stuart Carlson
Or by Snail Mail
Make check out to...
7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594
Los Angeles, CA 90028