GUEST: Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien...
By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2015, 5:15pm PT  

On today's BradCast: much more on the 2016 GOP candidates still --- incredibly --- tripping up over Iraq. Over the weekend, once again, it was Marco Rubio's turn after a disastrous appearance on Fox "News" Sunday with Chris Wallace. And no, once again, the Iraq War wasn't "a mistake", it was a crime and should be treated as such.

Then, I was joined for a fascinating conversation with Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien as Shell Oil's 400-foot Polar Pioneer offshore oil rig is now docked in the Port of Seattle's Elliot Bay and facing ShellNo.org protesters on both land and sea. They hope to keep the rig from heading into the pristine Arctic waters to drill for oil this summer, after the Obama Administration has granted "conditional approval".

O'Brien says the City Council has determined that Shell is there "in violation of the existing permits," and tells us they are now "working on enforcement actions to get them back into compliance." Unfortunately, he concedes, that may mean, for now, little more than a $500/fine fine. But he also says the city is working hard to see what else they might be able to do to block the rig from moving north this season and, as importantly, keep any more oil rigs from using the port at all in the future.

On why O'Brien, who also took to a kayak himself to protest the rig last week, isn't only fighting Shell from the safety of his City Councilmember's office, but is actually taking to the water along with other "kayaktivists", he says: "For me, because it's happening right here in my city on my waterfront, I, frankly, can't just stay in my chambers and work on this. I felt the need to get out there and join with my fellow citizens to be part of the activity on the water." He adds: "The number of us and the size of us compared to this monstrosity is a monument to the hubris of the oil industry."

Well worth listening to today's interview! Also today: The weekend's deadly biker gang shootout in Waco results in TX legislators calling for more guns; Religious freedom in Indiana? Not so much if your religion is Rastafarianism; And a 10,000 year old ice shelf in Antarctica is about to disappear entirely. But why worry?...

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