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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, September 1, 2015
'Voting Machines Are Being Manipulated' - KS Statistician: 'BradCast' 8/31/15
Beth Clarkson explains remarkable allegations, evidence, and how KS SoS Kobach is blocking attempt to audit touch-screen patterns favoring GOP | Also: 64 criminal counts for NM SoS...
O'Malley Slams DNC's 'Rigged' Nomination Process
Former MD Governor and 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate excoriates party's announced debate schedule (and more) at DNC Summer Meeting in Minneapolis..
Sunday Toons: 'Concerns Perhaps Overblown' Edition
...Then again, perhaps not. 'PDiddie' rounds up the political cartoonists take on what you need to worry about this week...and what you don't...
10 Years Later - Crawford and Katrina: 'BradCast' 8/28/15
Personal remembrances and audio from our on-air, on-the-ground 2005 coverage of Cindy Sheehan's anti-war uprising at the Bush 'ranch' in TX as Hurricane Katrina stormed ashore...
'A Crazy Man Got a Gun': 'BradCast' 8/27/15
Standing up to the NRA after Roanoke, horrifying U.S. gun death toll; PLUS: Denying global warming on Katrina's 10th anniversary; Trump's ugly nativism; Good news for Dems; Marriage dead-enders in KY...
'Green News Report' 8/27/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
10th anniv. of Hurricane Katrina; NASA warns 3 ft. of sea level rise now locked in; Obama heads to the Arctic; PLUS: Switch to clean energy will cost less than fossil fuel, says Citigroup
Previous GNRs: 8/25/15 - 8/20/15 - Archives...
Let's Go to the Phones: 'BradCast' 8/26/15
Covering a lot of ground with listener callers -- from the on-air shootings in Roanoke, VA to why Democrats shouldn't be so gleeful about Donald Trump -- and much more...
Carly's Climate Clap-Trap or The Fiorina Follies:
'BradCast' 8/25/15
Journalist David Roberts on the 'moderate', 'reasonable' GOP candidate's ridiculous climate comments and Citigroup's global warming report. Plus: Beck, Trump and Sanders...
'Green News Report' 8/25/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
July 2015 hottest month ever recorded; Record wildfires get worse; Mysterious whale deaths in WA; Oil hit hard by China crash; PLUS: Obama calls out anti-free market ideology...
Previous GNRs: 8/20/15 - 8/18/15 - Archives...
TX Photo ID Law Found Illegal, Yet Still Suppressing Voters: 'BradCast' 8/24/15
Guests: Attorney Ernest A. Canning on TX' discriminatory law; Financial journalist David Dayen on Dow 'crash'...
Sunday Toons, Untrustworthy Edition
Hillary's email; Ashley Madison's mess; Subway's Jared; Schumer's shame; Amazon agonistes; Trump's tyranny and more...
E-Cigs Are Good For You; GOP is Not: 'BradCast' 8/21/15
Also: Bernie Sanders & ignoring corporate media are good for you too...
5th Circuit Photo ID Ruling Could Leave Thousands Without Right to Vote in TX
'Good news' decision could leave 600k lawfully registered voters disenfranchised in 2016...
'No Good Evidence' Russia Behind MH17 Shootdown in Ukraine, Says Longtime CIA Analyst: 'BradCast' 8/20/15
Exclusive interview with 27-year, top CIA vet turned peace activist Ray McGovern...
'Green News Report' 8/20/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Fox 'News' now 'cares' about environment; Hillary opposes Arctic drilling; EPA rules to cut methane; Islamic leaders call for climate action; PLUS: River toxins create intersex fish...
Previous GNRs: 8/18/15 - 8/13/15 - Archives...
Did KXL Judges Profit Off Ruling?: 'BradCast' 8/19/15
Investigative journalist Steve Horn on two judges who allowed the disturbing precedent that led to the completion and opening of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline...
AT&T/NSA Whistleblower Mark Klein on New AT&T/NSA Docs: 'BradCast' 8/18/15
'They approached the phone companies before 9/11,' he says, citing new Snowden disclosures that 'vindicate' his own 2006 revelations...
'Green News Report' 8/18/15
Shell gets go-ahead to drill Arctic, Obama to visit to Arctic; July 2015 hottest on record; 'Monster' El Nino brewing; PLUS: Oregon kids sue govt over global warming...
Demise of the Death Penalty and Rise of The Donald's GOP; 'BradCast' 8/17/15
With Diann Rust-Tierney of National Coaltion to Abolish Death Penalty; Plus: 'Godzilla El Nino!' & more!...
Sunday Toons: Money Changes Everything
Another great collection this week from 'PDiddie'! On money in politics, poison in the river, Rick Perry in trouble and much more...
Happy 80th Social Security! And What's China Up To?: BradCast 8/14/15
Guest host Nicole Sandler interviews Eric Kingson on Social Security and more and Dave Johnson on China's currency manipulation...
VERDICTS IN: On ME Guv; CO Cakes; CT Death Penalty, ID 'Ag-Gag' & TX Photo ID: 'BradCast' 8/13/2015
Analyzing several recent, important rulings along with BRAD BLOG's Ernest A. Canning...
'Green News Report' 8/13/15
Half of US Forest Service budget now fighting wildfires; Australia's climate targets denounced; New Zealand ditches coal; PLUS: Free solar for African schools...
Walker, Bush Lies and Bernie's Rise: 'BradCast' 8/12/15
The Nation's John Nichols on new Walker revelations and Black Lives Matter makes Sanders a better candidate; Plus: Big news for Bernie & more!
'The Kids Who Die'
The words of Langston Hughes, spoken in a new video, capture the essence of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Please take less than three minutes to watch...
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...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

Former MD Governor turned Presidential candidate equates constricted debate to a 'decree of silence'...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/31/2015 1:20pm PT  

Standing at a podium before the Democratic National Committee (DNC), within arms length of DNC Chair and 2008 Hillary Clinton national campaign co-chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), former Maryland Governor and now a 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Martin O'Malley slammed the DNC for what he described as an "unprecedented" effort to "rig" the 2016 nomination process. (See video of O'Malley's DNC speech below).

Speaking at the DNC's Summer Meeting in Minneapolis over the weekend, O'Malley described the Party's decision to severely constrict the timing and number of Democratic Presidential primary debates (six total, just four before Primary voting begins) as "cynical." The DNC edict also imposes a punitive exclusivity clause that would prevent any candidate from participating in the DNC-sanctioned debates if they took part in any other unsanctioned debate. This contrasts sharply with the 26 Democratic Presidential primary debates that took place during the 2007-08 election cycle --- a process that was described as "an important factor in underdog Barack Obama's victory" over then front-runner Hillary Clinton.

This time, the first Democratic Presidential primary debate has been delayed until Oct. 13, 2015 --- four days after the deadline for unaffiliated NY voters to register to vote in the state's April 19, 2016 Democratic primary. O'Malley added that the one debate in New Hampshire, now scheduled on Saturday, Dec. 19, has been "cynically wedged in the high point of the holiday shopping season so that as few people watch it as possible."

"Four debates and only four debates --- we are told, not asked --- before voters in our earliest states make their decision," O'Malley said. "This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before. One debate in Iowa. That's it. One debate in New Hampshire. That's all we can afford."

O'Malley's charge, and palpable tension with party chair Wasserman-Schultz at the weekend event, echo a familiar process of establishment party politicians looking out for what they perceive as their own best interests, if not that of rank and file supporters...

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While its recent decision upheld a lower court finding that the state's Photo ID law was discriminatory, more than 600,000 lawfully registered voters could be disenfranchised in 2016 anyway...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/21/2015 6:35am PT  

The recent decision by a unanimous three judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeal in Veasey v. Abbott was greeted as "very good news." After all, it marked the first occasion in which a federal appellate court made an express finding that a state-enacted polling place Photo ID law violated the provisions of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA).

The appellate panel affirmed the lower U.S. District Court's finding late last year that a Texas polling place Photo ID law (SB 14), which threatened to disenfranchise 608,470 already legally registered voters (and many others not already registered), disparately impacted minorities and the poor. "Hispanic registered voters and Black registered voters," the 5th Circuit appellate panel observed in their recent ruling, "were respectively 195% and 305% more likely than their Anglo peers to lack [the requisite Photo] ID" now required to cast a vote at the polls under the Texas law.

This was the same conservative appellate panel whose "emergency" stay of the lower court's injunction on SB 14 last year, in all likelihood, helped to facilitate the illegal disenfranchisement of as many as 600,000 lawfully registered voters during the 2014 mid-term election. That "emergency" stay was subsequently affirmed by a sharply divided Supreme Court, whose right-wing majority elevated the risk of confusion that could arise by an eleventh-hour, court-ordered change in election laws above the risk that hundreds of thousands of lawfully registered voters could be illegally disenfranchised by reason of the Texas Photo ID law. Both the 5th Circuit and the SCOTUS majority handed down that ruling, although, at that point, neither court was in a position to contest the District Court's finding that SB-14 not only violated Section 2 of the VRA but that the Photo ID statute had been enacted for a discriminatory purpose.

The SCOTUS decision last year, as The BRAD BLOG observed at the time, belied the contention made by the Supreme Court majority in Shelby County v. Holder, the 2013 case that gutted the VRA, that their destruction of Section 5 pre-clearance requirements for new election laws in states with a history of discrimination, "in no way affects the permanent, nationwide ban on racial discrimination in voting found in [Section] 2." In truth, per last year's decision, racial discrimination in voting will be allowed in those cases where a court order upholding that "ban" is issued too close to an election.

This case provided a classic example of the damage wrought by the gutting of Section 5. Prior to Shelby County, Section 5 mandated that Texas prove that its Photo ID statute woulds not have a disparate impact on minority voting rights before the Photo ID law could take effect. In 2012 a unanimous three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal refused to grant Section 5 pre-clearance to Texas' SB 14 precisely because of its disparate adverse impact upon minorities and the poor. Absent the Supreme Court's troubling decision in Shelby County neither the current, ongoing costly litigation on SB 14, nor the mass 2014 disenfranchisement would have ensued.

The new 5th Circuit panel's decision affirms that SB 14 has the effect of discriminating against racial minorities and the poor. Yet it failed to lift a stay that it imposed on a supposed "emergency" basis. Instead, it vacated the District Court's "discriminatory purpose" finding and remanded the case back to that court for further adjudication....

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By Ernest A. Canning on 8/12/2015 10:51am PT  

"In 1938," according to the online civil rights organization, Color of Change, "civil rights activist and poet Langston Hughes wrote his chilling poem 'Kids Who Die' which illuminates the horrors of lynching during the Jim Crow era." Hughes presciently foresaw a civil rights movement, later carried out in the 1950s and 1960s, that would counter racial segregation and hatred with interracial solidarity and love.

Listen, kids who die --
Maybe, now, there will be no monument for you
Except in our hearts
Maybe your bodies’ll be lost in a swamp
Or a prison grave, or the potter’s field,
Or the rivers where you’re drowned like Leibknecht
But the day will come --
You are sure yourselves that it is coming --
When the marching feet of the masses
Will raise for you a living monument of love,
And joy, and laughter,
And black hands and white hands clasped as one,
And a song that reaches the sky --
The song of the life triumphant
Through the kids who die.

This Danny Glover narrated, Frank Chi and Terrance Green video demonstrates the ongoing relevance of "Kids Who Die" and underscores why the #BlackLivesMatter movement must be a critical component of a just and equitable future. Please take less than three minutes to watch it...

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Journalists, whistleblowers may not be barred from recording abuses...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/10/2015 9:52am PT  

In a carefully reasoned, 29-page decision, Chief U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill struck down, as unconstitutional, an "Ag-Gag" statute that, according to the court, had been drafted for the express purpose of shielding Idaho's agricultural and dairy industries "from undercover investigators and whistleblowers who expose the agricultural industry to 'the court of public opinion.'"

"Under the law," the decision explains, "a journalist or animal rights investigator can be convicted for not disclosing his media or political affiliations when requesting a tour of an industrial feedlot, or applying for employment at a dairy farm. An employee can be convicted for videotaping animal abuse or life-threatening safety violations at an agricultural facility without first obtaining the owner’s permission." The offender not only faces up to one year in prison, but could be ordered to pay twice the economic loss an owner suffered as a result of publication of the video even if its content was true.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ADLF) and several other organizations, including the ACLU, filed the federal lawsuit and moved for summary judgment, alleging that the Idaho "Ag-Gag" statute violated both the First Amendment right to free speech and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The court agreed, expressly noting that "agricultural...operations that affect food and worker safety are not exclusively a private matter" and that the right to free speech includes the ability to rely upon audio and visual recording...

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GOP's 'Winner-Take-All' system may open nomination door to Trump...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/3/2015 7:05am PT  

Initially utilized by William Shakespeare in Hamlet, the phrase "to be hoisted by his own petard" now refers to someone who is hurt or destroyed by their own plot or device. That phrase may well come into play by July 18, 2016 when the Republican Party gathers in Cleveland for its national convention --- precisely because of the undemocratic nature of the GOP's own primary rules.

The Democratic Party will, for the most part, select pledged delegates to its national convention on a proportional basis, based on primary and caucus results in each state. Additionaly, the Democratic Party employs an undemocratic feature in the form of "superdelegates", consisting of Democratic governors, members of Congress, members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and other party leaders, including current and former Democratic Presidents.

Like the Democrats, the Republicans also utilize "superdelegates" who are able to play a role in final selection of the party's Presidential nominee. Beyond that, however, the process the Republican Party uses to select its rank and file delegates to their national nominating convention is notably different. Only 16 states, which hold primaries or caucuses prior to March 14, 2016, will select delegates on a proportional basis. All other pledged delegates to the 2016 RNC will be selected based on a winner-take-all system from each state's primary or caucus system.

Where some, like the right-wing National Review, suggest that the crowded field of GOP presidential candidates could produce the first brokered Republican convention since 1976, recent polls suggest a greater likelihood that the GOP will nominate as its standard bearer the candidate least likely to succeed in the general election.

A recently released Quinnipiac University poll, reports that, "with 20 percent of Republican voters, Donald Trump is the clear leader in the crowded Republican presidential primary field." At the same time, interestingly enough, he also "tops the 'no way' list as 30 percent of Republican voters say they would definitely not support him," according to the Quinnipiac poll. Trump has "the worst favorability rating of any Republican or Democrat, a negative 27-59 percent among all voters." The poll also finds that whether matched up against Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, Trump would lose the general election by a wide margin.

It really doesn't matter that, nationally, 80% of Republicans may prefer another GOP candidate. In winner-take-all states, like Florida, where Trump leads his closest rival, the state's former two-term Governor Jeb Bush, 26% to 20%, Trump does not have to secure a majority of Republican votes. He need only secure enough votes to defeat whoever comes in second to gain the entire list of Sunshine State delegates to the convention. Accomplish that feat in enough crowded primary states, and Trump becomes the next GOP nominee for President of the United States.

Thus, there's a distinct prospect that the GOP may be hoisted by its own, undemocratic winner-take-all primary petard.

CORRECTION: Originally, we erroneously reported that pledged delegates to the RNC would be selected on a proportional basis in only 4 states. The correct number is actually 16. The article above has been modified to reflect those accurate numbers.

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Ernest A. Canning has been an active member of the California state bar since 1977. Mr. Canning has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science as well as a juris doctor. He is also a Vietnam Vet (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968). Follow him on Twitter: @cann4ing.

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Opponents vow fight against 'Monsanto Protection Act' in Senate...
By Ernest A. Canning on 7/27/2015 8:05am PT  

By a vote of 275-150 (including the support of 45 Democrats), the U.S. House of Representatives passed the "Safe and Accurate Food Act" this past week.

Don't be fooled by the name.

The Act, which would prevent state and local governments from mandating the labeling of genetically engineered foods (GMOs), has alternatively been described by opponents as the "Deny Americans the Right to Know" or "DARK Act", as well as the "Monsanto Protection Act".

Disturbingly, the House vote comes on the heels of a new, peer-reviewed scientific report finding an "accumulation of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, and a dramatic depletion of glutathione, an anti-oxidant necessary for cellular detoxification, in GMO soy, indicating that formaldehyde and glutathione are likely critical criteria for distinguishing the GMO from its non-GMO counterpart."

The study, published in Agricultural Sciences this month, used "a new biology method to integrate 6,497 in vitro and in vivo laboratory experiments, from 184 scientific institutions, across 23 countries." It is critical of the U.S. government's current standard for GMO assessment which, the report concludes, are "outdated and unscientific for genetically engineered food since it was originally developed for assessing the safety of medical devices in the 1970s."

Peer review of the study cited its new methods and findings to conclude that "until such Standards are developed for testing, we believe it premature to approve GMOs and to consider them safe." The study's lead author, MIT-trained biologist Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, Ph.D, adds: "This is not a pro- or anti-GMO question. But, are we following the scientific method to ensure the safety of our food supply? Right now, the answer is 'no'."

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), one of 300 organizations opposing the "DARK Act", has vowed to fight the measure in the U.S. Senate.

Although the legislation would deprive U.S. citizens of a right to know possessed by citizens in 64 other nations including China and most of Europe, there is a silver lining, of sorts. No doubt final passage would furnish comedian Bill Maher with the material needed to repeat the hilarity he offered following California's rejection of a GMO labeling initiative last year.

"If you’re one of the millions of Californians who voted against labeling genetically modified foods," Maher said, "you can’t complain when it turns out there’s horse meat in your hamburger and your sushi is made out of lost cats and condoms. You said you didn’t want to know. Now lap that shit up!"

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Ernest A. Canning has been an active member of the California state bar since 1977. Mr. Canning has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science as well as a juris doctor. He is also a Vietnam Vet (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968). Follow him on Twitter: @cann4ing.

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By Ernest A. Canning on 7/12/2015 9:59am PT  

"In an age of universal deceit," George Orwell once wrote, "telling the truth is a revolutionary act." That act is now drawing crowds in the thousands --- far larger than any other candidate, Democratic or Republican, in the race for their respective party's 2016 nomination for President of the United States.

The phenomenon known as "Bernie-mentum" could be just the beginning. Bernie Sanders, who is more the focal point of a democratic revolutionary movement than the leader of a presidential campaign, appears to be tapping into what historian Howard Zinn described in A Power Governments Cannot Suppress as "an aroused citizenry."

We are seeing the power of social media and the exponential growth of the Sanders revolution grow to challenge what Noam Chomsky describes as the "democracy deficit" --- the significant gap between the policy positions of the electorate and their "representatives", occasioned by the manner in which "elections are skillfully managed to avoid issues and marginalize the underlying population…freeing the elected leadership to serve the substantial people." Even now, long before the first debate, Hillary's advisers informed The New York Times that they fear Sanders "could move past her in Iowa polls by fall and even defeat her there."

Hillary and, later, Republicans will rely on huge sums to pay for slick political ads. Yet, Sanders is banking on his hope that no amount of ad money can be effective against an "informed" and aroused working and middle class electorate --- one that includes the 63% who did not vote in the last election.

Every new Sanders event not only serves to convince those in attendance to vote for Sanders. They add thousands of new activists to the burgeoning movement. Whether that will be enough to translate into electoral victories remains to be seen. But, as Sanders argues near the end of this video created by his grassroots supporters: "When millions of people stand up and fight, they win." #FeelTheBern ...

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By 2008, Alan Greenspan was forced to admit Sanders had it right...
By Ernest A. Canning on 6/24/2015 7:05am PT  

In a blistering confrontation with then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan during a 2003 Congressional Hearing (see video below) --- five years before the 2008 meltdown of Wall Street --- then-Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) revealed why he may be better positioned now to square off against right-wing economics than Hillary Clinton who, twenty years ago, served as a member of the Wal-Mart Board of Directors.

(The Arkansas-based company was a principal beneficiary of President Bill Clinton's decision to ram NAFTA through on the fast track. And, even now, though Hillary has been critical of a number of the company's practices, influential members of the Walton family, the mega-billionaire owners of the retail giant, have been very supportive of the Clintons.)

During that 2003 hearing, as revealed by this must-see video compiled by Sanders supporters, the Congressman arguably demolished not only Greenspan, but the fundamentalist market-based economics that remain the centerpiece of today's Republican Party and at the center of the dispute over new international trade agreements, such as the TPP.

After chastising the Fed Chairman for being out of touch with the needs of ordinary Americans --- "You don't know what's going on in the real world!" --- Sanders unleashed this...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 6/19/2015 8:05am PT  

In "Bernie Sanders Versus the 'Democracy Deficit'" we argued that the independent senator from Vermont's principal opponent in the upcoming election was not Hillary Clinton but the media and PR industries which have created what Noam Chomsky describes as a "democracy deficit" --- the significant gap between the policy positions held by the electorate and those of their "representatives". Chomsky argues that is occasioned by the manner in which "elections are skillfully managed to avoid issues and marginalize the underlying population…freeing the elected leadership to serve the substantial people."

Sanders, who, even before any actual debates, is beginning to show strength in a number of different polls, demonstrated how he believes that gap can be bridged. He explained to Seth Meyers and his audience, during an appearance on Late Night earlier this month, why his self-description as a "Democratic Socialist" is an asset, rather than a liability...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 5/18/2015 6:35am PT  

Since the entrance of Sen. Bernie Sanders into the race for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination (and even well before), we've been discussing the concept of the "democracy deficit", defined by Noam Chomsky as the significant gap between the policy positions of the electorate and their "representatives", occasioned by the manner in which, as he argues, "elections are skillfully managed to avoid issues and marginalize the underlying population…freeing the elected leadership to serve the substantial people."

An article by Kevin Cirilli in The Hill last week, "Banks brace for Bernie Sanders" provides yet another opportunity to examine that troubling paradigm and the well-organized role the nation's corporate elite play in it.

While an effective, issue-based campaign from a self-declared "democratic socialist" like Sanders could otherwise serve to galvanize a bottom-up, small "d" democratic revolution at the polls, The Hill fails to so much as suggest that Wall Street is in any way concerned about what might transpire if Sanders were actually to secure the Democratic Party Presidential nomination. "He poses no real threat to the former secretary of State’s eventual nomination," Cirilli writes, citing the self-fulfilling prophecy of the elusive "conventional wisdom".

Instead, quoting one banking lobbyist after another, each who marginalize Sanders, the DC-based publication reports only that "Wall Street is worried that Sen. Bernie Sanders’s vigorous calls for banking industry reform will pull Hillary Clinton to the left, as the two presidential candidates battle for the 2016 Democratic nomination"...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 5/11/2015 6:35am PT  

When Vermont's independent Senator Bernie Sanders recently entered the race for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination, we explained how the corporate U.S. media was certain to "set out to marginalize candidates who pose a threat to corporate wealth and power."

Now, a venerable media watchdog organization has documented how, as predicted, both America's "Paper of Record," The New York Times and the nation's most widely watched Sunday public affairs program, NBC's Meet the Press, wasted little time in fulfilling that prediction.

As we recently wrote (and discussed some days later during an appearance on The BradCast), Sanders' principle opponent in the upcoming primary election is not Hillary Clinton. It is, in fact, what Noam Chomsky describes as the "democracy deficit" --- the significant gap between the policy positions of the electorate and their elected representatives. Chomsky attributes the "democracy deficit" to the manner in which "elections are skillfully managed to avoid issues and marginalize the underlying population…freeing the elected leadership to serve the substantial people."

In our article, we pointed to two examples in which the corporate-owned media, sans any discussion of where Sanders or Clinton stood on vital issues, had immediately set out to marginalize the Sanders candidacy by either describing it as a "long shot," or dismissing it altogether with headlines such as the Washington Post's: "Bernie Sanders isn’t going to be president. That's not the point." The practice of simultaneously anointing a corporate friendly candidate as a "front runner" while dismissing those who challenge the status quo is designed to become a self-achieving prophesy at the polls by discouraging citizens from backing a media-dubbed "long shot."

The respected media watchdog organization, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), has now begun to document instances in which The New York Times and Chuck Todd, host of NBC's Meet the Press, applied a second, tried and true media method to both evade issues and marginalize candidates who threaten the interests of "the substantial people." The strategy appears to entail "manipulation by omission" --- a method in which the MSM aspires to mold public opinion by simply pretending that a disfavored candidate and his/her issue-laden campaign doesn't even exist...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 5/1/2015 10:39am PT  

In anticipation of Thursday's formal announcement, the L.A. Times described the effort by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to secure the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States as a "long shot."

That assessment is consistent with a recent ABC News/Washington Post Presidential Preference Poll finding that Hillary Clinton not only trounces any potential Democratic challenger but also showing her well ahead of specifically-named GOP candidates. It is also consistent with the MSM's past practice of immediately setting out to marginalize candidates who pose a threat to corporate wealth and power.

The "long shot" perception is both a reflection and product of what Prof. Noam Chomsky, in Failed States, described as the "democracy deficit" --- the significant gap between the policy positions of the electorate and their elected representatives. Long before the Supreme Court handed down its infamous Citizens United decision, Chomsky attributed the "democracy deficit" to the manner in which "elections are skillfully managed to avoid issues and marginalize the underlying population…freeing the elected leadership to serve the substantial people."

As reflected by this Washington Post headline from Chris Cillizza --- "Bernie Sanders isn’t going to be president. That’s not the point." --- the 2016 MSM marginalization strategy is already in play. Without waiting to see how the public, itself, would react to a Sanders/Clinton debate, or even see how they'll react to his policy positions when and if they get to hear them, the Post tells its readers to just forget about it.

Sanders countered Cillizza's contention during his April 30 news conference: "We're in this race to win." (See video below)

As Sanders, himself, appears to recognize, it is not Hillary Clinton, but the "democracy deficit," that is his true opponent. "Hillary Clinton is a remarkable woman with an extraordinary history of public service," Sanders said earlier this year, during an address at the National Press Club. "It would not be my job to run against her. It would be my job, if she ran and if I ran, to debate the serious issues facing our country."

In this age of deception, where the oligarchy's PR industry and corporate-owned MSM tirelessly strive for message control, Sanders' effort to bridge the "democracy deficit" by way of a campaign based on "serious issues" is a daunting task. But it's one that, if successful, could not only lead to a Sanders landslide but also to nothing less than a "democratic revolution"...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 4/23/2015 9:02pm PT  

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court severely curtailed the government's ability to utilize a routine traffic stop as an excuse to subject motorists to a canine-sniff of their vehicles as a precursor to a search for narcotics.

In Rodriguez v. United States, the Court ruled that the right of "seizure" during a routine traffic stop extends only for the length of time necessary to effectuate the purpose of the stop --- a purpose that ends with the issuance of a citation or warning for the routine stop. While the time needed to effectuate the purpose of the stop includes such measures as necessary to protect an officer’s safety, it does not, according to the Supremes, include a "dog sniff" which, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote on behalf of the court's majority, relates to "the Government’s endeavor to detect crime in general or drug trafficking in particular."

While the 6 to 3 decision (Justices Thomas, Alito and Kennedy dissenting) was handed down in a case in which a motorist was caught transporting methamphetamine inside his car, it also serves to protect the rights of those who are innocent, such as 63-year old Dennis Eckhart, whose nightmarish plight --- including multiple, invasive, forced medical procedures --- all came about as the result of a routine traffic stop and wholly unfounded suspicion by local police...

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A comprehensive approach in all sectors of the economy to conserve and increase supply must be undertaken...
By Ernest A. Canning on 4/22/2015 10:04am PT  

Gov. Jerry Brown's decision to mandate a 25% reduction of urban water use in California was absolutely necessary and woefully inadequate.

The unprecedented mandatory restriction is necessary because the state faces an historically acute and potentially catastrophic shortage of freshwater. Newly released NASA data suggests the state could run out of surface water reserves completely within the next year.

The severe water shortage, however, is not merely acute. It is chronic. The Golden State is now in its fourth year of an extreme, global climate change-linked drought that scientists predict could continue for decades.

There are a multitude of reasons why Brown's overly simplistic 25% urban water use reduction --- a meager 6.25% of water consumption by all sectors of the California economy --- is woefully inadequate when measured against both acute and chronic extreme drought conditions...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 4/13/2015 7:44am PT  

The videos were good for a barrel of laughs. The Director of Florida's Div. of Emergency Management, Brian Koon was forced to engage in verbal gymnastics so as to avoid violating a state ban on using the words "climate change."

In another clip, replayed by Comedy Central's John Stewart, former FL EPA employee Kristina Trotta uses the words, "nuisance flooding," to evade the ban on mentioning "sea level rise." That drew an amusing Stewart suggestion that, in order to evade mentioning that a global warming-connected rise in sea level could eventually lead to an underwater Miami, state employees could refer to "moisture inconvenience!"

The exchanges were hilarious. But there is nothing funny about the attempt to erect thought control regimes, first in Florida and now in Wisconsin. In both states, the practice is verging on that deployed by Oceania's Ministry of Truth in George Orwell's 1984. In that classic but ominous work of fiction, written accounts of inconvenient truths were incinerated inside "memory holes."

While ominous, the clumsy efforts at "thought control" are quite useful. They underscore the warnings we offered nearly five years ago that the real future offered by the so-called "Tea Party" and the Koch Brothers' brand of "libertarianism" includes "Fascism [and] Feudalism --- an authoritarian reality that has already come to fruition in states like Florida and Wisconsin where Charles and David Koch, along with other rightwing billionaires, have already tightened the reigns of oligarchic control over ostensibly "public" institutions...

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