New data shows stunning rise in RW domestic terror; Also: US 'out' of Afghanistan by 9/11/21; J&J vaccine 'paused'; Cop, police chief resign in MN; Appalling video shows VA cops pepper-spraying black service member in car...
So, I was minding my own business on Memorial Day afternoon, just starting to light up some coals for a backyard BBQ with a few neighbors, when --- THWACK! --- a dead rat fell from the sky and landed hard on the patio pavement no more than five feet from where I was standing.
It was gray rat, with some blackish spots, had a body about 8 inches long and a tail another 8 or 10 inches, and what appeared to be two bloody wounds of some type on the side of its body.
Since I am a wuss, it was Desi --- rescuer of enormous spiders and disposer of dead rodents --- who wasn't so grossed out that she couldn't pick it up with a rake and throw it away.
I am kicking myself now that all of us --- myself and the four other witnesses (after-the-fact witnesses to the dead rat, not the fall, since I was the only one lucky enough to be there for the THWACK!) --- were too freaked out and creeped out to think of taking a photo to prove this actually happened! But it did.
My preferred theory is that this real life B-Horror Movie moment was actually the result of a hawk with great eyesight and a lousy grip. In any case, if dead bloody rats raining from the sky isn't a sign of the coming apocalypse, I really don't know what is...
No significance here. Just a Memorial Day Weekend palette cleanser. And a really cool one, at that. No camera or editing trickery. Just one guy --- Marquese Scott --- and some awesome cool "dubstep"...
On paper, Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., who was appointed by President Barack Obama to replace now Supreme Court Justice Elana Kagan as the U.S. Solicitor General, appears to be an experienced litigator with a distinguished background.
It is a background that includes having served as a law clerk for former U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, Jr. and having participated in over 100 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. However, Verrilli's participation in Supreme Court oral arguments --- earlier with respect to the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or "ObamaCare") and, recently, in the challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, as well as U.S. v. Windsor, with respect to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and in Hollingsworth v. Perry pertaining to California's Proposition 8 --- raises some disturbing questions.
Either Verrilli lacks the professional competence to assume primary responsibility for supervising and conducting litigation on behalf of the U.S. Government before the Supreme Court, or Verrilli, and the Obama administration, are so politically fearful of staking out principled positions that they have opted for a muddled middle ground. Perhaps it's a little of both.
Regardless, if the Windsor and Hollingsworth cases should establish a constitutional right of same-sex couples to marry, as urged by attorneys Ted Olson (R) and David Boies (D) in their Prop 8 Supreme Court brief [PDF], it will be despite the half-baked arguments presented by the Solicitor General, not because of them...
The Oct. 23, 2012 Third Party Presidential Debate between four candidates vying, along with President Obama and Mitt Romney, for the office of the U.S. Presidency, provided a rare, yet valuable glimpse at what a genuine, representative American democracy might look like. The worthy discussion, at the very least, should be read via text transcript, exclusively available here at The BRAD BLOG, for those who lack the time to watch the ninety minute video, embedded below.
Unlike Democracy Now's three expanded debates, which presented third party candidate responses to the questions posed at the three "official" Presidential debates and one Vice-Presidential debate sponsored by the so-called Commission on Presidential Debates, the Oct. 23 debate provided a forum that was not tethered to what co-moderator Christina Tobin of the Free and Equal Foundation, the organizers, described as "the private interests who control our beliefs, our opinions and our lives." Here, questions were neither posed directly by, nor filtered through corporate media-controlled moderators. Rather, they were presented, word-for-word, as submitted by citizens through social media.
With the single exception of the failure of Libertarian Candidate and former New Mexico Republican Governor Gary Johnson to say where he stood on "top-two" primaries (aka "Cajun primaries"), it was a debate in which all candidates left no room for doubt as to where they stood. It was a debate that included in-depth discussion on a wide variety of issues of vital importance, many of which were understandably evaded not only by the two major party Presidential candidates, but by the corporate media in the official debates, because those issues conflict with corporate wealth and power, including the wealth of the corporate-owned media.
It was a debate that began with Tobin's promise of future debates between "more candidates at every level of government" and ended with her surprise announcement of a final, foreign policy debate, next Tuesday, Oct. 30, commencing at 9:00 p.m. ET, broadcast via RT America, between two of the four candidates to be selected via an [ugh] online, instant run-off vote...
Brad's anchoring along with Peter B. Collins from 3p-6p PT (6p-9p ET), and then with Mike Malloy from 6p-9p PT (9p-Midnight ET), and then he will finish it out, bradcasting live from Los Angeles for the rest of the night from 9p-Midnight PT (Midnight-3am ET).
In other words, all night long, covering reported results and concerns about election issues around the country. If your local affiliate is not carrying it, listen live online right here.
The show thread started here earlier today, but everyone's page will load and reload faster if we split this up.
***DON'T FORGET TO CHECK BELOW FROM TIME TO TIME BECAUSE THERE ARE GOING TO BE ELECTION NEWS UPDATES COMING ALL NIGHT.***
The second Mac-style "Paper Ballot v. Voting Machine" campaign ad from Jason Osgood, an election integrity advocate turned Democratic Secretary of State candidate in Washington state, has now been released.
We wrote, in some detail late last month, about Osgood and his reasons for running, as he released the first in a series of humorous 60-second spots that take off on the popular "PC v. Mac" television ads. In his first ad, the slick-looking, yet hapless "Voting Machine" character had lost a few ballots (see that video and the article with it, here). In Osgood's latest spot in the series, our friend "Voting Machine" is having just a bit of trouble due to the heat and humidity...
By the way, since we ran our initial article on Osgood, he has signed the StandingForVoters.org pledge to not concede his election unless and until all votes are counted, counted accurately, and all serious election challenges have been adequately resolved. The BRAD BLOG, which is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us, the initial sponsor of the SFV campaign, thanks Osgood for his commitment to the voters. We'd similarly welcome his Republican opponent, incumbent Sam Reed, signing the pledge as well!
Also...we're happy to note that last week, the Green Party's Cynthia McKinney became the first Presidential candidate to sign the SFV pledge. In her case, she signed the "Super Pledge" which includes a few more commitments, such as speaking out about election integrity concerns, and working with SFV to educate voters on the issue.
While guest hosting Mike Malloy's nationally syndicate radio program last week, during an interview with McKinney, we discussed her signing of the pledge, and other issues related to election integrity in some detail. Earlier in the show, independent Presidential candidate Ralph Nader also committed to signing the pledge, so we hope he'll do so soon. The interviews with both Nader and McKinney are posted online here.
Has your candidate signed the pledge yet? It's the least they can do. If they won't stand up for you, why should you stand up for them? Please demand your candidate takes the pledge, whoever, they may be, at StandingForVoters.org! Otherwise, donate to a candidate who has pledged to use their standing to stand up for you, or, hell, send The BRAD BLOG a donation, since we do pledge to stand up for the voters, every damned day!
I'll withhold most of my personal thoughts here for the moment, since Gail Pellerin, County Clerk for Santa Cruz County, CA, has agreed to come back to continue this discussion on the Peter B. Collins Show this Friday. For the moment then, I'll just let you listen and offer your own thoughts on this conversation from last Friday's show.
Pellerin and I appeared on PBC's radio show to discuss issues of Election Integrity, CA SoS Debra Bowen's "Top-to-Bottom Review" and the Sequoia Voting System that Pellerin uses in Santa Cruz, the hometown of former CA SoS Bruce McPherson.
She is on the public record as having said last July at the public hearing in Sacramento for Bowen's TTB Review: "I can guarantee that every eligible vote is counted accurately," about which, you can imagine, I challenged her on the show. As well, in the interview (complete audio below) she commits to sending her voting systems home yet again on "sleepovers" with poll workers in next year's elections. I also had a thing or two to say to say about that, as you may have guessed. Suffice to say, it was a lively interview.
Pellerin --- presumably a Democrat, as she once worked in the CA state assembly for then-Speaker Willie Brown --- was scheduled only for the first half-hour of the show, but fortunately called back for the final segment to answer some of the questions that I didn't have time to ask her about when she was on the air. I greatly appreciate her willingness to do so and to stand up to the fire.
You'll want to stay tuned for that final segment.
As well, be sure to tune in this Friday at 5pm on the PBC Show (listening link here), where she has agreed to come back and pick up where we left off. I greatly appreciate her willingness to do so. The continued discussion can only benefit voters both in Santa Cruz (one of the locations where Peter's show is heard live on the air) and across the nation, where Elections Officials and Election Integrity advocates must continue to find ways to work together to solve our problems and push back at the damaging, cynical, divisive, selfish, and inaccurate propaganda being forwarded by the Voting Machine Companies.
UPDATE: The original video had one error identifying Frederick Kagan as a co-founder of PNAC. In fact, it was Robert Kagan, Freddie's brother who co-founded PNAC with General Kristol. Freddie is merely a rank and file member of PNAC and signatory to some of the reports generated by the neocon think tank. (hat tip Robert Danow)
Neoconservative co-founder of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) and author of Bush's recent Iraq "Surge" plan, Frederick Kagan, shared a virtual propagandafest with Brit Hume on Fox 'News' Sunday yesterday. BRAD BLOG covered the entire charade that was Kagan's Plan for Success back in January along with a timeline evidencing Freddie's ever-changing call for a troop surge which began with 50,000 additional troops and ended up with either 20,000 or 33,000 more soldiers depending on the day of the week.
Perhaps the only thing more amazing than Kagan's lack of honesty and empathy for our troops is Fox's audacity for continuously giving Kagan and his warmongering kin, including "General" Bill Kristol, a platform to spout their neoconservative rhetoric. If Fox 'News' had any integrity whatsoever it would implement a Mendoza Line type requirement for its pundits. In baseball, all one has to do to stay even with the Mendoza Line is get a hit 1 out of every 5 at bats. Imagine if Fox made it a requirement that Kagan had to be right on at least 1 of 5 matters that he weighs in on. Actually, as far as I know, if the minimum requirement were merely to be right once he wouldn't make it on the air.