Guest: David Dayen on the 'incredible' anti-trust hearing in the House and his new book 'Monopolized'; Also: Cain dies of COVID; Trump tries to distract from newly disastrous economic numbers; Rep. Lewis laid to rest...
Today on KPFK/Pacifica Radio's The BradCast I interviewed Joyce Block (seen at right), the 90-year old Doylestown, PA resident who has voted legally for 70 years, without fail and without a problem until this year, when the GOP's new polling place Photo ID restriction law threatens to disenfranchise her and so many others like her.
Her story is all the more remarkable considering she was born just two years after the 19th Amendment was ratified, giving women the right to vote --- at least until now. She is a pistol and more than ready for the fight! We were also joined by her grandson-in-law Det Ansinn, the Doylestown Borough Council president who has been working like hell to try and see that Block will be able to vote this year.
Earlier this week, I wrote about Block's remarkable story and the difficulty she's had in receiving one of the so-called "free" IDs, under the new restriction, that would allow her to vote this year, despite all of the paper work she presented to prove that she was who she said she was after a 30 minute-trip to the DMV (thanks to Ansinn!) Today, we got an update on her story, and it includes a bit of good news...sort of.
We were also joined by Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report, and some good callers, including one who wanted to challenge me on gun rights. So I obliged him...
Today, The BRAD BLOG's legal analyst Ernie Canning joined me on KPFK/Pacifica Radio's The BradCast to respond to my question: "What's the problem with ALEC?"
As I note in the opening, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), was co-founded in 1973 by Paul Weyrich (seen in the photo at right, and heard advocating in favor of vote suppression during the show). The group is a self-described "nonpartisan public-private partnership of America's state legislators, members of the private sector, the federal government, and general public" and has been vilified by progressives for the abhorrent policies they advocate (eg. polling place Photo ID restrictions, "Stand Your Ground" laws, etc.)
But other than partisan and/or political differences, isn't what ALEC does perfectly legal? Wouldn't the same type of an organization that advocated for progressive legislation in the same aggressive manor be welcomed by folks on the non-right? And if there is a problem with ALEC, isn't it one that underscores the systemic problems of our corporate lobbying and campaign finance laws, rather than a problem with ALEC themselves? In other words, aren't they only doing what our horrible system allows them to do?
Canning, as you may imagine, has some thoughts on all of that, as do several of our callers --- all of which you can hear in today's episode below. Oh, and though ALEC has yet to respond to our invitation to appear today, we'd still be delighted for them to do so if they'd like to have equal time on a future show.
So do either Smith or McCrea have confidence that the same problem hasn't already occurred or won't occur again in the 14 states (including many swing states and even Wisconsin) which use identical computer systems to tabulate votes? Do they think enough is enough and it's time to simply hand-count paper ballots, as per "Democracy's Gold Standard"? You'll have to listen to find out.
We were also joined by Margo Paez, just back from Santa Monica College, with her report on the outrageous pepper spraying of students (and one toddler) there last night; Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report and a remembrance of MLK who was assassinated in Memphis 44 years ago today as we find ourselves still in much the same fight for civil and human rights all of these decades later (hat-tip Tony Sorrentino and Desi Doyen for the really cool, and touching, montage!)...
We've been covering the extraordinary means by which the GOP establishment has been going to shut out the voices of the organized and well-numbered supporters of Republican Presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul at caucuses and delegate conventions, of late.
Here's our recent coverage of the extraordinary scenes (and, thankfully, video) of what happened at the Missouri Caucuses in St. Charles County over the weekend and in Athens-Clarke County, GA the weekend prior. (You can watch all the videos referenced in this broadcast at that link.)
Here's my appearance on RT TV Tuesday night discussing the entire fine mess, and charging that the "GOP establishment hates democracy". (That video has been viewed more than 13,000 times in the 24 hours since being posted by RT after its airing on the satellite/cable channel.)
Today, on my KPFK/Pacifica Radio show, I was joined by two of the key players at both of those of remarkable scenes. My guests were Brent Stafford, the Paul organizer seen, incredibly enough, being arrested while trying to reconvene the aborted caucus in St. Charles after pandemonium had broken out inside, and Lori Bone of Athens, who was seen (also on video, thankfully) trying to demand an explanation from Republican Party officials in GA after they'd rammed through a slate of delegates at the Clarke County GOP convention, and then ended the proceedings, ignoring the Paul supporters majority --- all in blatant violation of the official rules.
Stafford told us the St. Charles County GOP is likely to be forced to hold a new caucus (since they didn't even get to vote on delegates before everything broke down, as police were called to the scene). That ought to be interesting.
And Bone explained how Paul supporters in Clarke County took it upon themselves to reconvene the caucus the next day in order to elect their own slate of delegates for the upcoming district and state GOP conventions. Thought ought to be even interestinger.
After my conversation with Stafford and Bone, we finished things up with a bit of Green News Report with the always lovely and very wise Desi Doyen....
I was delighted to finally have GOP Presidential candidate and former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer on my KPFK/Pacifica Radio show today! The result was a feisty conversation about corporate money in elections with a feisty, renegade Republican who, frankly, would change the course of both history and the televised debates, in my opinion, were he actually allowed to participate in them.
He speaks about being shut out of the debates, names a few names (ahem...Bloomberg News...Al Hunt...ahem) and we mix it up on a few other topics --- including the third party run he's considering with the shadowy Americans Elect outfit --- to boot.
In the second half of the show, Desi Doyen joins us for some Green News Report and an update on Obama's discussion about green issues in his State of the Union last night. And, speaking of feisty, we finish up with a bunch of calls from KPFK listeners.
As of today, I'm happy to say, my show on Pacifica Radio's KPFK here in Los Angeles has been expanded to a full hour. We made pretty good use of all of those minutes today, thanks in no small part to Rick Santorum (of all people) raising the issue of felon voting rights at Monday's GOP Presidential Debate in South Carolina. (And one heck of a largely unnoticed Freudian slip by Mitt Romney on that topic!)
P.P.S. Anybody wanna submit a suggestion for a cool logo for "The BradCast"? Happy to crowd source ideas, especially since you all actually came up with that name for the KPFK show in the first place! If so, here's a photo or two that may, or may not, come in handy.
I was also delighted to join my Green News Report co-host Desi Doyen this morning on former Air America host Betsy Rosenberg's On The Green Front radio show. Rosenberg is a feisty and smart --- and very funny --- voice in green media, and we were delighted to make our first-ever live appearance on her show today! We talked about the RW Denialism Industry, the genesis of the Green News Report, the impending shutdown of Green960 in San Francisco (the only progressive AM station on the public airwaves!) and the over-all failure of the corporate media to cover perhaps the most important story of our lifetime.
Oh, and it starts off with a swell special message from the D.C. King of the Deniers, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)! Really!...
I was honored to have both the infamous "OccupyFreedomLA" (aka Freedom) and the notorious "OakFoSho" (aka Spencer Mills), citizen journalists both, join me live in-studio today on my KPFK/Pacifica Radio show after they spent the entire night live video-streaming the LAPD's de-occupation of OccupyLA at City Hall for the entire world.
So it was awesome to meet them in person to discuss the art of live-stream citizen journalism, get the scoop on how they do it, how you too can also be the media as a live-streamer with little more than a smartphone, and to get some inside skinny on what happened last night as they tried to help counter the spin by corporate media and the 1,400 strong LAPD contingent, to ensure that "the whole world was watching."
It was a fun and, hopefully, informative interview/discussion. Give it a listen!
P.S. Naturally, both of 'em live streamed the interview from the studio as it happened! So, while the sound quality isn't nearly as good, and you won't get to hear the sound clips or music from their inside-the-studio cameras, the archived video versions of each of their live streams follow below, if you prefer...
More on Occupation Nation tonight, as I continue to guest host the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show. Tune in tonight at 6p PT / 9p ET. We'll have live listening links and an occupied chat room right here at The BRAD BLOG! (Audio archives of last night's show are here.)
This afternoon on my Pacifica Radio show on KPFK here in Los Angeles (and up and down the West Coast) I interviewed Dr. Roger Johnston of Argonne National Lab's Vulnerability Assessment Team on their $26 "Man-in-the-Middle" attack on a Diebold touch-screen voting system as I reported yesterday in my exclusive at Salon (and here at The BRAD BLOG.)
While yesterday's reports included information on the team's previous, similar-ish hack of a Sequoia touch-screen system, and the fact they feel they could do the same with most other e-voting systems, among the interesting new points raised during our discussion on KPFK today is that Johnston believes they could use a similar method to manipulate the vote count on a paper-ballot based optical-scan system as well!
So, in other words, the low-rent attack Argonne has demonstrated --- requiring no knowledge of the voting system software, $10 to $26 in off-the-shelf computer parts, and little more than an 8th grade computer lab education --- could also be implemented not just on touch-screen e-voting systems, with or without a so-called "paper trail," but also on the paper ballot op-scanners used to count the majority of votes that will be cast in the U.S. in next year's Presidential election.
Note: Of the media outlets listed above, only CNET got the ownership of Diebold voting equipment correct in their reports. Both The Register and ComputerWorld incorrectly report that ES&S now has ownership of what had been Diebold Election Systems, Inc. In fact, while ES&S, the world's largest e-voting company, did purchase the company (that some refer to as DESI, but I do not, for personal reasons) in late 2009, the DoJ ordered them to sell it off due to anti-trust concerns. It was then purchased by Canadian firm Dominion Voting, though ES&S was allowed to retain a fair number of the contracts from Diebold jurisdictions that preferred to stay with ES&S. So while Dominion officially owns what was Diebold's election division, ES&S still maintains and services many Diebold machines as well. Dominion also took over Sequoia --- and lied about it --- shortly thereafter.
"Whether he discussed it or not, he's doing their bidding," insists Jeff Tittel, the director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. "The Governor has a problem about completely telling the truth. If the Governor was Pinocchio, you'd be getting hit with his nose about now."
Those were among Tittel's remarks today during my interview with him this afternoon on my Pacifica Radio show here on KPFK in Los Angeles. (Full audio posted below.) Needless to say, he doesn't have much confidence in NJ Gov. Chris Christie's latest denials about his relationship with the billionaire oil magnate Koch brothers.
As we've reported over the past 24 hours, last night, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) scammed a local radio host concerning his meetings with the Rightwing billionaires. Earlier today, finally, local media forced a direct answer from him on whether he ever discussed the landmark Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) with the Kochs. The co-owners of Koch Industries, the second largest private company in the nation, which they inherited from their father, hate the RGGI cap-and-trade plan to curb pollutants, as created by 10 Northeastern states. Christie's unilateral withdraw from the agreement last May was a shocker, though one celebrated by the Kochs and their well-funded Climate Change Denial Machine who had long been lobbying against it.
Today, Christie denied the topic ever came up in either of two now-known private meetings with Kochs, both revealed by Part 2 of our exclusive report last week at Mother Jones on the secret speech Christie gave for the Kochs at their ultra-exclusive Summer Seminar near Vail, CO last June, and David Koch's introduction to it. (Audio we obtained and transcribed, from that speech, is posted right here.)
After we'd broken the story last week, Tittel, told AP the secret Koch Tapes provide "the smoking gun that shows [Christie's] been working with the Koch brothers from the beginning."
But now, even after Christie insists that discussion of RGGI "never came up" during discussions at either the Colorado appearance, or during his secret two-hour meeting with David Koch in New York City earlier this year, Tittle is not inclined to believe him. He explained his reasons why on today's KPFK show, where you'll also get to hear some of the audio from the Koch seminar (such as when Koch describes Christie as "my kind of guy"), and Christie's bamboozling of the NJ radio host who had asked him about the topic last night...
One of the firestorms has even led the Democratic Speaker of the NJ Assembly to call Gov. Chris Christie "disgraceful," charge that his comments about her were "outright lies," that he is "not fit to lead the state," and that she is "beginning to wonder if Gov. Christie is mentally deranged." All statements given to local media late today in response to our release of the tapes. Though some local Dems are still wondering if it may be the Speaker, rather than Christie, who is hiding the truth.
As I described in my BRAD BLOG piece linking to Part 2 at MoJo on Wednesday morning, the good citizens of the Garden State (and the whole of the mainstream media along with them) learned only yesterday that their Republican Governor had snuck out of state on June 26th, right after appearing on Meet the Press, jetted across the country to deliver the keynote address at the super-secret, ultra-exclusive gathering of rightwing corporate barons and billionaires --- otherwise known as the Koch Brothers 2011 Summer Seminar --- at a resort near Vail, Colorado, before he then flew back home to NJ that night, and went on to appear on three cable news shows, in studio in Manhattan, the next morning. Nobody ever knew he was gone --- at least until my story broke at MoJo yesterday morning.
More on the Part 2 fallout, including new details, confirmations from officials, ignited firestorms and opened hornets' nests below. But first, I wanted to front page these nice comments from an NPR report by Frank James, which helps to put this entire flurry of Koch muckraking in perspective:
The reports are well worth taking time to read not just for the secret thrill you'll get from glimpsing something never intended for the public eye.
It's a look behind the curtain of how big money is raised in conservative circles that's a worthwhile addition to our sum of knowledge about how American politics is practiced in the early 21st Century.
Indeed. And with that, on to the summary of yesterday's noteworthy fallout and, at points, rather mucky, developments...
This was an important discussion about an important article about one of the most important issues to directly effect the outcome of virtually every election in the nation in 2012. None of that, apparently, given what the rest of the MSM decided to cover today, is any where near as important as whether John Boehner will allow the President to speak to a joint session of Congress on Sept 7th or or whether it'll have to be on Sept 8th, and whether Christine O'Donnell or Sarah Palin will appear at a "Tea Party" event this weekend in Iowa.
And you wonder why we're in the mess we're in.
My conversation on "The GOP War on Voting" with Ari Berman today follows...
On today's BradCast on Pacifica Radio's KPFK here in Los Angeles, I picked up on all that's transpired over the last several days in the Wisconsin recall mess, as reported at The BRAD BLOG of late, including yesterday's late-night concerns about our old friend Kathy Nickolaus, the GOP activist and County Clerk of Waukesha County which played a key role in last night's drama and reported results.