No doubt, the last person eight-term "Blue Dog" Democrat Rep. Jane Harman (CA-36) expected to see when she sat down for a Progressive Caucus panel discussion on April 20 at the California Democratic Convention was the progressive Democratic challenger for her U.S. House seat, Marcy Winograd. In fact, Winograd wasn't even in the room when Harman began to speak.
I spoke, then left, then got a cell phone call: "Get back here. Jane Harman just arrived." I ran back downstairs, returned to the crowded room, and quietly sat down, unbeknownst to Jane, just three bodies down from her on the panel. I waited for her to finish her thought, then jumped in.
Winograd seized the moment to engage in a debate of sorts (video below), confronting the wealthy eight-term Congresswoman on a range of issues, including Harman's committee vote to significantly extend Big Pharma's patent protection over biomedical drugs. Harman's response was remarkably deceptive; yet, perhaps because this was not a pre-scheduled "debate," Winograd failed to seize a rare face-to-face moment to directly confront Harman's conflicts-of-interest and prevarication...
Shortly after she signed SB-1070 into law, Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer sought to deflect criticism of Arizona's "show me your papers law," by claiming that criticism amounted to "hysteria." While acknowledging that racial profiling is "illegal," Brewer dismissed any notion that SB-1070 authorized Arizona police to engage in that illegal activity for the police "must ask that person for identification if there's reasonable suspicion that he or she is in the country illegally."
The temerity of the dissembling and unelected AZ governor, who claimed she did not know what an illegal immigrant looks like, but failed to identify just what factors, other than the color of one's skin, or perhaps the language one is overheard speaking, give rise to a "reasonable suspicion" that a given individual "is in the country illegally;" her enthusiastic embrace of a subsequent anti-ethnic studies law, aptly described by Pima County Legal Defender Isabel Garcia as a form of ”cultural cleansing” should not come as a surprise to long time readers of The BRAD BLOG.
Remember the disingenuous snit fits that Rightwing con-man Andrew Breitbart and his Tea Bag Boyz were on about when the original reports broke of "a plot to wiretap Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in the Hale Boggs Federal Building in downtown New Orleans" by Republican dirty trickster James O'Keefe and his band of co-conspirators?
They were outraged --- outraged --- that the "liberal media" had included the word "wiretap" in their reports about the felony arrests of the operatives, since the FBI's arrest affidavit didn't specifically mention an attempt to wiretap or bug the phones in her office. In a desperate attempt to distract from the actual story and find some way to support their friends' charged with serious federal felonies, the Tea Bag Boyz demanded that a number of media outlets issue immediate retractions for the claim, and, of course, the "liberal media" outlets complied --- as instructed --- as usual.
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: So far, so good: the 'Top Kill' said to be working; Federal heads are rolling; the President is speaking (finally), and extending the moratorium on off-shore drilling... PLUS: It's official: the BP Oil Disaster is now the Worst in U.S. History ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Clean Air Act settlement will close Ohio power plant; Climate Scientists Claim 'McCarthy-Like Threats'; Another oil spill in Alaska; Last rites in salmon country?; Nissan's electric car sells out in U.S., and it isn't even available yet; An insider's view of climate change; Corporate $$$ & lies behind 'Citizens' initiatives In Calif. ...PLUS: Economists on 'discounting' the future cost of climate change ...
As Republican dirty trickster, and now convicted federal criminal, James O'Keefe is neither Middle-Eastern nor a member of the Democratic Party, he was allowed to plead guilty to just a misdemeanor today for leading a conspiracy of criminals --- one of whom happened to be the son of the acting U.S. Attorney in Louisiana --- in an attempt to tamper with the telephone system of a sitting U.S. Senator in her federal office in New Orleans, before being sentenced accordingly this morning by a federal magistrate:
Conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe and three compatriots today pleaded guilty to entering real property belonging to the United States under false pretenses for the January incident in which they entered Sen. Mary Landrieu's New Orleans office and claimed to be from the telephone company, the Times-Picayunereports.
O'Keefe was sentenced to three years of probation, a fine of $1,500 and 100 hours of community service. The others --- Stan Dai, Joseph Basel, and Robert Flanagan --- got the same fine, two years of probation, and 75 hours of community service.
Previous coverage by The BRAD BLOG of this hopefully-now-completed story included:
I just wanted to pull out and highlight here my closing comments in regard to the BP Oil Disaster, from the end of today's Green News Report, because no matter how often I keep repeating a similar refrain, nobody --- particularly the Democrats in Washington --- seems to be hearing it...
You know, what I have been struck by over the last couple of days, is the lack of possibilities for being able to clean up. It simply cannot be cleaned up. And while that's true for an oil disaster like this, it's equally true for nukes! Yet, even Obama's Nobel-winning Energy Secretary Steven Chu has been calling for additional nukes, as have others. And the fact is nukes also cannot be cleaned up if things go wrong.
Don't sell me on anything that you don't know how to fix if something goes wrong.
Why we continue moving forward with such technology that cannot be corrected in the case of a disaster is beyond me.
Why Democrats, including Barack Obama, have not used this opportunity to demand passage of serious climate change and energy legislation --- including a Manhattan Project for clean, renewable energy for all --- remains an absolute outrage.
UPDATE 5/27/10 A bit of, perhaps, encouraging news. At today's White House presser, Obama noted that the BP underscores the need to pass clean energy legislation. Details in today's Green News Report...
It is vital that the American people come to appreciate the danger to liberty as well as community posed by doctrinaire libertarianism.
Despite widespread coverage of Rand Paul's absurd criticism of the provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as applied to private businesses, there has been a dearth of analysis as to how this absurdity was brought about by the serious intellectual deficiencies in doctrinaire libertarian philosophy; a philosophy which led to a second astounding Rand Paul remark.
In the face of horrendous safety records on the part of both Massey Energy, which had been found to have violated federal safety regulations thousands of times over the past several years, and BP, which had steadfastly fought off safety measures for deep water oil rigs, Rand summarily dismissed the significance of both the deadly West Virginia mine disaster and the deadly explosion at BP's deep water facility that has produced the worst oil spill in U.S. history with the cavalier, "accidents happen."
What Rand Paul has done is open a window into "libertarianism," which, contrary to the current Wikipedia definition, does not merge into "anarchism." The principle distinction arises because, as explained by Noam Chomsky, anarchism challenges not only authoritarian government but all authoritarian societal structures, including the work place.
Libertarians like Ron and Rand Paul focus exclusively on individual liberty vis-a-vis the government. They fail to appreciate that, especially in the 21st Century, the removal of government as a check against unfettered corporate wealth and power leads to "the tyranny of a corporate controlled economy"...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: New Rules for truck mileage; King Coal on the Congressional hot seat.... PLUS:Beyond Patience: Tough talk from the feds amid new accusations of corruption, as the gusher keeps on gushing, and now NUKES(?!) --- nobody in government seems to be getting the message... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): China, India Lead the Developing World in Green Building; Study projects Senate climate bill would add less than a quarter to gas prices; Google launches green-product institute; Alfalfa sprouts linked to latest salmonella outbreak; New oil spill off Singapore; How worried should we be about everyday chemicals? ...PLUS: Oil companies fund initiative to repeal California’s landmark climate law...
Those who follow me on Twitter may already know that I've been referring there to the New York Times' shameful coverage of the Richard Blumenthal situation as the paper's "ACORN Pimp Hoax REDUX."
Their front page exposé last week suggested that Connecticut's Attorney General --- the leading Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate --- was, perhaps, a serial liar because, the "paper of record" informed readers, he'd exaggerated his service in the military. But then we learned that the Times had failed to share the complete video taped comments from a recent speech. Instead, they chose to quote and share just one selective portion out of context to help make their case.
Not only did the complete video --- which Times Executive Editor Bill Keller now admits the paper had seen prior to publication of their story --- offer additional comments from Blumenthal in the same speech, which may have mitigated the comments the Times selectively shared with readers, the paper also failed to share with readers that the story had been fed to them originally by the campaign team of one Blumenthal's Republican rivals for the U.S. Senate seat.
Now that the NYTimes' Public Editor, Clark Hoyt --- supposedly the paper's "readers' representative" or ombudsman --- has rung in with his "verdict" on the whole mess over the weekend, we can officially announce that the comparison to the Times' shameful response to the ACORN Pimp Hoax scandal, which we spent the better part of three months detailing earlier this year, is complete...
If you're in or near L.A., there will be a FREE screening tomorrow (Saturday, 5/22) at 1pm, of Murder, Spies and Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story at the Unurban Cafe, 3301 Pico Blvd in Santa Monica. I'll be there for a Q&A afterwards, and to sign DVDs, and would love to see ya there!
And Tonight (Friday, 5/21) at 5pm PT (8pm ET), I'll be live on Russian television's English language news network, RT (formerly "Russia Today") to discuss Rand Paul. Should be fun! If you don't have RT on your cable or satellite system, you can watch RT live online here. Otherwise, I'll try to add the video here later if they post it to YouTube as they often do.
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UPDATE 7:28pm PT: I wish they hadn't called me a "Liberal Blogger," which I find grossly inaccurate. I've corrected them for next time. In any case, had fun on RT. You'll let me know how I did!...
BTW, for those who had been paying attention, I predicted all of this Rand Paul fun earlier in the week, when I wrote in my "Super-ish Tuesday Backgrounder" on Monday:
The "Tea Party," however, may be in for a surprise should Paul win tomorrow and then in November, as he is an actual conservative candidate --- now otherwise known as a libertarian --- meaning he, like his father, calls for removing government entirely from all but those functions called for directly in the Constitution. For example, he supports an immediate pull out of U.S. troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan, an idea that, in truth, is largely anathema to the bulk of the grossly disinformed "Tea Baggers"/GOP base (versus the true "Tea Partiers" who first emerged in 2006 in support of Ron Paul, against George W. Bush, and who were consequently marginalized as wackos back then by the bulk of the GOP and its Bush-lovin' base.)
I just didn't think it was gonna happen on the Wednesday after his Tuesday election!