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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, July 25, 2014
'Green News Report' 7/24/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Breaking: Storm ravages VA campground; New rules for explosive oil trains; Big win against Big Oil in small Maine town; PLUS: U.S. and Rush Limbaugh lead world in denial...
Previous GNRs: 7/22/14 - 7/17/14 - Archives...
Israeli Attack on UN Shelter Kills At Least 15 in Gaza
The strategy of bombing children, but warning them first, will almost certainly result in years of peace and prosperity for the region...
The Good Fight Continues: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad speaks with John Wellington Ennis, documentarian and activist, on his newest film and his decade-long fight for election integrity...
What We Do Now
"It took one hour and 57 minutes for the execution to be completed, and Wood was gasping for more than an hour and a half of that time"..."Wood, 55, gasped more than 600 times before he died"...
'Green News Report' 7/22/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record wildfires burn the Pacific Northwest; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
Previous GNRs: 7/17/14 - 7/15/14 - Archives...
Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
In the closest election in state history, even a well-funded candidate couldn't afford to find out if he actually lost...
'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A Rightwing caller's admission in response to Brad on a radio show in NC underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's fake news show Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
No, JFK Didn't Steal the 1960 Election From Nixon
Another Zombie Myth that just won't die gets knocked down again...for now...even as its persistence continues to fuel false Republican claims of 'voter fraud' even today...
CA Adds Call to Overturn 'Citizens United' to Ballot
Measure calls for Amendment 'to make clear that rights protected by the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only'...
UK Deputy PM Condemns Israel's 'Deliberate Use of Disproportionate Response'
Nick Clegg calls attacks on Gaza 'collective punishment' that 'incubates next generation of extremists' and 'needs to come to an end'...
'Green News Report' 7/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama takes action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: California gets tough on water wasters...
Previous GNRs: 7/15/14 - 7/10/14 - Archives...
Koch Brothers' Radical Libertarianism Broke Kansas
More than 100 top GOPers endorse Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's Democratic opponent after tax cuts for the wealthy have busted the extremist Koch Brothers' home state...
Killing Zombie Myths Dead: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad takes on a bunch of lies this week that just won't die this week -- from e-cigs to Ann Coulter's voter fraud to 'global cooling' to the death penalty to marriage equality in Mississippi and more...
FEDERAL JUDGE FINDS CA DEATH PENALTY VIOLATES U.S. CONSTITUTION
George W. Bush appointee rules state system violates Constitution's ban of 'cruel and unusual punishments'...
'Green News Report' 7/15/14
Divesting from fossil fuels; Germany gives $1b to climate fund; Australia carbon tax repeal; All-electric Formula E racing revs up; PLUS: Climate denier Murdoch...
MO's Democratic Governor Discourages Quitting Smoking
Jay Nixon vetoes bill that would have exempted non-lethal e-cigs from being taxed like dangerous tobacco...
CNBC's Santelli Gets Schooled on CNBC
Fellow CNBCer slams the 'Tea Party' progenitor during on-air shout-fest in the perfect example of why people watch cable 'news' channels -- and why they don't...
GOP Voter Fraud Queen Ann Coulter Urges MS Senate Candidate McDaniel to NOT Pursue Fraud Concerns
Given her well-documented personal history, perhaps she shoulda stayed out of this one?...
'Green News Report' 7/10/14
Debunking the 70's 'global cooling' myth; Anti-science coal nuts in KY; BP oil in Gulf fish; Canada tar sands linked to cancer; PLUS: Pesticide killing birds & bees...
Challenging 'The Nation's Most Restrictive Voter Suppression Law': KPFK 'BradCast'
Journalist Ari Berman, just out of the federal courtroom in North Carolina, joins Brad to discuss the federal case; Plus MUCH MORE...
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...

By Ernest A. Canning on 9/13/2010 7:11pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

This November, California voters will be afforded a rare opportunity to directly decide whether to legalize and tax the lawful cultivation, processing, distribution, sale, and consumption of marijuana by and to individuals over 21 years of age.

By approving Proposition 19, formally labeled the "Regulate, Control, Tax Cannabis Act of 2010" [PDF], voters will take an important first step towards ending the costly, hypocritical, and liberty-destroying "war on drugs" which, like its predecessor (Prohibition), has created a lucrative niche for criminal organizations --- hypocritical because the covert agencies of the U.S. government have long engaged in drug trafficking in support of Empire even as the so-called "War on Drugs" has provided a convenient excuse for supporting brutal dictatorial puppet regimes whose function it is to serve the interests of what John Perkins described in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man as the "corporatocracy"...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Federal Judge Finds Act Violates First Amendment Rights of U.S. Service Members...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/10/2010 10:03am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

In her Sept. 9 decision [PDF] in Log Cabin Republicans vs. United States, U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips, a 1995 Clinton appointee, determined that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (D.A.D.T) is unconstitutional as it violates First Amendment rights even within the more restrictive confines of military speech.

The court rejected the government's argument that Log Cabin Republicans lacked standing to initiate the action, noting that at least one member of the group, John Nicholson, was discharged from the armed forces because of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” It expressly found that D.A.D.T "does not significantly further the government’s interest in military readiness or unit cohesion," and directed plaintiff's counsel to prepare a "Proposed Judgment, including a Permanent Injunction" by no later than Sept. 16.

Whether the Eric Holder Justice Department will appeal, despite President Obama's pledge to seek a repeal of D.A.D.T., is an open question...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 9/9/2010 6:04pm PT  

[Late Update: Quran burning back on? Maybe. Late, Late Update: "We will definitely not burn the Quran. Not today, not ever." "Pastor" Terry Jones. Despite the cancellation, deadly protests are staged in Afghanistan. See updates at end.]

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Burn the light to satisfy your darkness….
Burn the love to satisfy your hatred….
Burn the peace to satisfy your anger….
Burn the compassion to satisfy your cruelty….
Burn the knowledge to satisfy your ignorance.

- BRAD BLOG Commenter Hassan Yaghi in response to 8/19/10's "Gainesville, FL, Blocks 9/11 'Koran Burning'":

While many have been disturbed by dangerous implications of the process of dehumanization, which we covered here at The BRAD BLOG in "The 'Ground Zero Mosque' and the Hypnotic Power of Republican Race-Baiting," "Gainesville, FL, Blocks 9/11 'Koran Burning,'" and most especially in the ugliness of "Video: 'I'm Not Even Muslim,' the Black Man in the White Hat Had to Tell the 'Ground Zero' Mob," there is a flip-side.

A display of hatred and intolerance can also bring out the best of our species, as reflected by the elegant words seen above from commenter Hassan Yaghi in response to a whacked out fundamentalist Christian's announced intention to burn the Quran. We covered the recent appropriate and moving response to the "Ground Zero Mosque" silliness by Iraq and Afghan vets standing up to the haters, and now in the following email announcement from Rabbis for Human Rights, announcing a petition and march this weekend in New York City for religious freedom and against intolerance.

Their email, published in full below, notes the group is "concerned by an upsurge in Islamophobia, religious intolerance, hate crimes and attacks on religious freedoms in the United States in recent weeks," and highlights both the planned Quran burning as well as the protests against the planned "Park 51" Muslim community center in downtown New York City, near "Ground Zero." The group also condemned their fellow Jewish organizations, the Anti-Defamation League and Zionist Organization of America for their efforts to derail the community center.

While near universal condemnation appears to have put a halt to "Pastor" Terry Jones' planned "International Burn-a-Quran Day," late today --- along with a bizarre attempt to intercede by Donald Trump --- actions and words by good people remain essential in order to counter the virulent and dangerous Islamophobia that has been propagated by hard-right demagogues and their dehumanized followers...

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Will the Orwellian lies of the oil industry's 'poison populism' be exposed in time to save humanity?...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/6/2010 5:43pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"Without a well-informed public, humanity itself and all species on the planet are threatened."-Dr. James Hansen, Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity.

That 'Tea Party' backing Koch Industries, an oily conglomeration which is ranked as one of the nation's worst polluters, has joined with two other Texas-based oil industry polluters, Tesoro Corp. and Valero Energy Corp., aka the "Toxic Twins," comes as no surprise. After all, Koch has already been aptly described by Greenpeace as "the kingpins of climate science denial."

It also comes as no surprise that California's Prop 23 measure on this November's ballot, which would require the state "to abandon implementation of [Assembly Bill 32's] comprehensive greenhouse-gas-reduction program that includes increased renewable energy and cleaner fuel requirements, and mandatory emission reporting and fee requirements for major polluters such as power plants and oil refineries," was submitted [PDF] to the CA Secretary of State's office bearing an Orwellian label, the "California Jobs initiative" --- an initiative that has the backing of "Tea Party" darling and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, whose idea of "jobs creation" entails the transfer of domestic jobs overseas.

This corporate deception mirrors Pacific Gas & Electric's effort to use the ballot box as a vehicle for acquiring monopoly power. PG&E deceptively described its failed Prop 16 initiative, on last June's ballot, as the "Taxpayers Right to Vote Act."

There's a good chance that, just as they defeated Prop 16, CA voters will see through the "jobs creation" scam of Prop 23. But, if current polls are indicative, a large segment of an under-informed electorate who, in their disgust with President Obama's betrayal of "change we can believe in," are being taken in by billionaire-funded "poison populism" --- moving to the Right when the health of our economy and of humanity itself cries out for a sharp turn to the Left...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 9/5/2010 11:34am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Paul Conrad, 1924 - 2010

Paul Conrad, winner of three Pulitzer Prizes, whose poignant political cartoons were so effective in speaking truth to power that the criminal cabal inside the Nixon White House placed Conrad on its "Enemies List," has passed at the age of 86. Conrad regarded placement on the Nixon's enemies list as a badge of honor. He lampooned the ethically challenged former President in this biting cartoon.

We at The BRAD BLOG join with the Los Angeles Times in mourning the loss of one of the giants of 20th Century journalism.

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Fawning front-page article describes lying wing-nut hatchet man, Andrew Breitbart, as a 'new media phenom'
Stenographer who thinks she's a journalist regurgitates Breitbart's latest Shirley Sherrod 'spin'...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/3/2010 10:47am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Robin Abcarian of the Los Angeles Times appears to be the type of reporter comedian Stephen Colbert had in mind during his blistering act at the 2006 White House Correspondence dinner:

"Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the Decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!"

As revealed by her front-page Los Angeles Times article, "Swinging at the left, hit or miss," Abcarian, apparently armed with nothing more than the baseline, mainstream media accounts of the Shirley Sherrod scandal, paid a visit to the West Los Angeles office of the man whom Brad Friedman aptly described as a "pathological liar" and "race baiter;" jotted down Andrew Breitbart's latest spin about himself and the Shirley Sherrod fiasco, and then dutifully spit out a fawning account which accepted at face value Breitbart's latest claim that he simply failed to "wait for full video" of the Sherrod speech, and which described Breitbart as a "new-media phenom;" a "transformed...liberal" who became "a star of the 'tea party' movement" after experiencing an epiphany during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarency Thomas, whom Breitbart describes as "an American hero" who was unfairly targeted by "a cavalcade of Caucasians asking...about his very private video rentals!"

In Abcarian and the Los Angeles Times, Andrew Breitbart, the consummate con-artist, had found yet another vehicle for rewriting history...

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Fiorina offers bizarre claim that an increase in federal jobs, as opposed to outsourcing, is to blame for demise of middle class
As third party candidates protest exclusion, only a single Oakland TV station provided live coverage...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/2/2010 9:26pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

After months of electoral politics conducted exclusively by way of dueling, 30 second propaganda slots (aka paid-for political ads), incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and her Republican challenger, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina conducted what excluded Green Party candidate Duane Roberts derided as "a sham debate between two multi-millionaires backed by big business interests."

While there is some merit in Roberts' complaint, the debate proved of vital importance, especially since it exposed the extreme views of the lesser known Fiorina on a variety of issues ranging from her opposition to environmental protection, opposition to marital equality for same sex couples, and her outright call to reverse Roe v. Wade. But the most telling aspect was that the debate exposed Fiorina to be an unapologetic proponent of outsourcing and corporate globalization, which, since the passage of NAFTA, has proved to be the bane of the American middle-class.

That made this a debate of manifest importance to the people of California. Yet the corporate media, whose financial interest is served by failing to provide meaningful news coverage, thereby forcing candidates into the paid-for propaganda slots, proved true to form. Live coverage was limited to Cox Communications' Oakland, CA, affiliate, KTVU...

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Dire, deadly consequences of our irrational, greed-driven, vice-into-virtue economic system
Perverse priorities undermine democracy, destroy our sense of humanity and community...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/1/2010 5:48am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

While the recent recall of more than a half billion eggs in the wake of some 1,470 Salmonella infections has triggered a renewed focus on the dangers posed by factory farms to human health and to the environment (see videos below), the discussion stops short because factory farms are but one symptom of the deadly consequences of a perverse ideology whose sole purpose is to expand the already obscene wealth of less than 1% of the population at the expense of a healthy economy, community, the environment, peace, and the very ability of our planet to sustain life...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 8/31/2010 2:17pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

This November, after all that we've learned over so many years, twenty percent of the nation will still engage in blind-faith voting on DREs that are 100% unverifiable, with or without a so-called "Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail" (VVPAT). Elsewhere, the vast majority of Americans will feed paper ballots into easily hacked optical scan systems and then quietly accept the results that the machines spew out without demanding a hand count of the paper ballots.

The corporate media will dutifully publish the reported "results" without so much as mentioning that in most jurisdictions not a single ballot will have been counted by a human being.

With Brad Friedman and Desi Doyen off enjoying some much needed R & R, I thought some levity was in order, courtesy of this hilarious, if somewhat dated, Onion video.


Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

* * *

UPDATE FROM BRAD 9/6/10: Now that I'm almost back on the grid, a quick addition here to note that we ran this same video back on February 25, 2008. That it still has resonance and meaning today --- after all that we've learned about the 100% unverifiable nature of such systems --- says a great deal, since we're still foolishly using these things all across the country, as Ernie pointed out. Also related from The Onion, as we ran in November of 2008, there's this: "Sequoia Touch-Screen Elected 44th President".

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By Ernest A. Canning on 8/26/2010 9:54pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"The terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 do not represent Islam. Far better representatives of Islam are the over 100 Muslims who died at work in the towers that day. No one need apologize for Islam."—Hal Donahue, VoteVets.org

Seeing it as part of their duty to support and defend the Constitution and dismayed by the "toxic effect" of the never-ending "war on terror" upon our society by the process of "dehumanization" which has created "a propensity to violence, a devaluing of others, even our own citizens, and a decided lack of empathy," VoteVet.org, a nation-wide group of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is circulating an "open letter" in support of the right to build a Muslim community center near "Ground Zero"...

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Former Wall Streeter seeks votes by attacking Attorney General Brown's refusal To appeal Judge Walker's ruling
Oath of office not designed to blindly follow whim of 'perceived' majority but to support and defend the constitution...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/26/2010 11:06am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

In Meg Whitman, Wall Street, 'Billionaire Sociopaths' and the Media 'Substance Deficit' I reported:

Californians have been drawn within the cross-hairs of a propaganda blitz bought and paid for by Meg Whitman, the billionaire former CEO of eBay, who, since declaring her intent to run for governor in February, 2009, has already contributed $59 million of her own money to her "campaign" --- a one-sided political phenomenon which has seen a stealth candidate, with disturbing connections to Goldman Sachs, soar to the top of the polls because the electoral process has been emasculated by the absence of mandatory debates and meaningful investigative journalism.

Apparently Whitman now feels that campaigning exclusively by way of paid-for propaganda (political ads) will not be enough to evade scrutiny of her economic "plan" to "rescue" California's economy (a rehash of Bush tax cuts for wealthy people and business, the elimination of climate change regulations and imposition of further draconian spending cuts to a state government already operating on life support --- a plan which a group of economists, including Stanford University's Kenneth Arrow, a Nobel laureate, have derided as policies which would "deepen California's budget crisis and are likely to reduce employment and economic growth").

Whitman has now pandered to what she may mistakenly believe was a majority of Californians who voted against marriage equality in passing Proposition 8...

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Despite links to hookers and taxpayer-funded 'Con-Air,' teflon Senate Republican leads polls...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/22/2010 8:19am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"I start from the supposition that the world is topsy-turvey, that things are all wrong, that the wrong people are in jail and the wrong people are out of jail, that the wrong people are in power and the wrong people out of power, that the wealth is distributed in this country and in the world in such a way as not simply to require small reform but a drastic reallocation...." Howard Zinn, "The Problem is Civil Obedience" (1970) from Voices of a People's History of the United States

Here, at The BRAD BLOG, we've spent a good deal of time addressing the duplicity of convicted federal criminal James O'Keefe and his employer Andrew Breitbart, a pathological liar, whose bogus ACORN pimp hoax proved the undoing of a benevolent community organization, ACORN.

While Breitbart received his comeuppance when he made the mistake of attempting a dishonest smear of a woman, Shirley Sherrod, who would not go quietly into the night in the face of the hard-right's distortion of her words, David Vitter (R-LA), the hard-right's Senate point man in its effort to destroy democracy and verifiable truth by smearing and then defunding ACORN is sailing towards re-election despite links to hookers and to an aide, Brent Furer, who plead guilty to an assault in which he held a knife to his girlfriend's throat and stabbed her in her hand --- Furer allegedly held her against her will for 90 minutes and threatened to kill her.

Now, comes a revelation that Vitter not only kept Furer on his taxpayer-funded payroll while tasking the girlfriend-assaulting Furer with overseeing women's issues, but that U.S. taxpayers footed the bill for the convicted Furer's travel to appear in court on the assault charge and on a DUI...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 8/19/2010 8:31am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"Where they burn books, at the end they also burn people."- Heinrich Heine (1823)

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." - George Santayana

Heine's ominous warning came more than a century before the infamous May 10, 1933 Nazi book burning where Joseph Goebbels told the Berlin student book burners, "The era of extreme Jewish intellectualism is now at an end."

It was the beginning of the end for millions who would be gassed and then shoved into the death camp ovens over the next twelve years.

Today, we find a group of whack right-wing Christians operating under the Orwellian-labeled Dove Outreach Center. The group, which openly proclaims "Islam is the Devil," announced that they planned "to commemorate the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 by burning Korans."

Today, the Los Angeles Times reported that Gainesville officials denied the group "a bonfire permit."

I'm reminded of Pete Seeger's Where have all the flowers gone?: "When will they ever learn?"

* * *

Update: Despite the denial of the permit, the Dove Outreach Center has vowed to proceed with its plan to burn Korans. I suppose one could call it an act of uncivil disobedience.

Update 08/20/10: There have been a number of comments, here, and elsewhere, raising First Amendment concerns about the City of Gainesville's decision to deny a bonfire permit. Deputy Chief Tim Hayes of the Gainesville Fire Dept., however, said that his department's denial was not related to the content of the books but on a city ordinance which prohibits the burning of "newspaper, corrugated cardboard, container board or office paper, which are akin to books."

No doubt, attendees from the Sarah Palin/Dr. Laura School of Law would regard it as an infringement of the Dove Outreach Center's First Amendment rights, should a group of concerned citizens peacefully surround these book burners, whom Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe describes as a "tiny fringe group and an embarrassment to our community," holding up signs which quote Heine's "Where they burn books, at the end they also burn people."

Update 09/07/10: General David Petraeus has expressed his concern that the proposed Quran-burning "could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan."

What Petraeus fails to mention is that the swiftest way in which he and his boss, President Barack Obama, could insure the safety of American troops and ratchet down tensions between the people of the Middle East and those residing in the U.S. would be to immediately end our imperial occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan by way of a orderly but complete and total withdrawal of all U.S. military forces as well as all private mercenaries.

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By Ernest A. Canning on 8/18/2010 4:59pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"Dr. Laura's radio career ended in disgrace tonight because of the bigoted, ugly and hateful remarks made on her show. Americans have had enough. Listeners are now holding hosts, affiliates, and sponsors accountable for the offensive and inexcusable content on the airwaves." Media Matters 08/17/2010.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger (Ph.D. in physiology), whose brief television career ended after she referred to homosexuality as a "biological error" and compared LGBT parenting to pedophilia, announced that she was ending her worldwide syndicated radio broadcast in December.

Previously, Media Matters covered "Doctor" Laura's Aug. 10 broadcast in which she castigated an African American woman (“Jade”) who had called in to complain about her white husband’s silence in the face of racist remarks made by his white friends and family. During the contentious colloquy, "Doctor" Laura dropped the N-bomb 11 times. (Audio and transcript below).

While the same content was appropriately addressed by Media Matters, some additional observations are in order…

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By Ernest A. Canning on 8/17/2010 5:05pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

On Sunday, Brad Friedman posted a "Toon of the moment" in which a hypnotist sits dangling a watch in front of two stupified voters as Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) look on. The hypnotist tells the voters:

You know nothing. You remember nothing. You don't remember George W. Bush or how badly he screwed things up. You love Republicans. They are here to help you. You will welcome them back...

Replace the hypnotist and watch with "illegal immigrants" or a "Ground Zero Mosque" (what the Los Angeles Times' Tim Rutten refers to as a "rising tide of Nativism") and the cartoon would be equally spot on, though this form of hypnosis is utilized by the billionaire-funded hard-right not only to "forget" the disaster that was the Bush/Cheney cabal but to avoid a debate on the Republicans' cold and heartless, class-based decisions to oppose an extension of unemployment benefits, to block funds for state governments intended to prevent a layoff of thousands of teachers, to block vital environmental legislation, to engage in never-ending privatization schemes, which by design are intended to destroy government's ability to provide vital public services (police, fire, health care, education), and to repeatedly level false charges of insolvency as part of their scheme to permit the thieves of Wall Street to raid the Social Security trust fund.

Those who are rational and see the mosque as an issue of First Amendment religious freedoms (and common sense) fail to appreciate the visceral appeal of Republican race-baiting, which, in the case of the mosque, seeks to tap into a deep-seated, cultural anxiety that has been created not only by 9/11 but --- as I explained in "Hate Speech and the Process of Dehumanization" here at The BRAD BLOG, and in its follow-up --- by the vilification of Arabs and Muslims in books, films and on television over a span of decades. It was this same deep-seated and subconscious loathing which permitted the Bush/Cheney cabal to conflate Saddam Hussein --- just another swarthy, mid-Eastern bad guy --- with al Qaeda for the purpose of invading Iraq.

The politics of Republican fear-mongering and race-baiting exploits cultural dehumanization so as to conflate all Muslims with 9/11. The result is a perversion of that seminal event --- which, even under the Bush/Cheney Administration's own "official theory," entailed only al Qaeda --- into an unprovoked assault by the Muslim world on "Christian America."

"You know nothing. You remember nothing. You don't remember George W. Bush or how badly he screwed things up. You love Republicans. They are here to help you. You will welcome them back..."

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