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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, December 21, 2014
'Green News Report' 12/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Nothin' but good news for a change! - NY bans fracking!; Obama protects AK's Bristol Bay!; PLUS: More indictments for 'Freedom Industries' in WV toxic chemical spill!...
Previous GNRs: 12/16/14 - 12/11/14 - Archives...
Brad on Hartmann Radio: Wrapping Up a Few More Election 2014 Races
Yes, some of us are still paying attention.
Plus: A BRAD BLOG 'Programming Note'...
'Green News Report' 12/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Congress wraps for year w/ GOP anti-enviro initiatives to be signed by Prez; UN summit wraps up in Peru - ALL nations are in for Paris; PLUS: Another Bush, another climate denier...
Previous GNRs: 12/11/14 - 12/9/14 - Archives...
Bloomberg Editors Refuse to Correct Inaccurate, Misleading Photo ID Editorial
Read the 'mind-boggling' responses to BRAD BLOG's emailed explanation of blatant errors and inaccuracies in Francis Barry's op-ed...
Proponents of Oregon GMO Measure 92 Concede Defeat
Adverse court ruling, barring inclusion of 4,600 rejected ballots, signals end of road (for now) of state's most expensive campaign, decided by just 800 votes out of 1.5 million cast...
'Green News Report' 12/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOP anti-enviro wish list in "Cromnibus" bill; Crunch time at UN climate talks; Calls for an end to fossil fuels; Australia goaded into action; PLUS: CEO indicted for WV chemical spill...
Previous GNRs: 12/9/14 - 12/4/14 - Archives...
The Clint Curtis Story, Ten Years Later: A KPFK 'BradCast' Special Edition
It's been 10 years since we broke the whistleblower's claim about vote-rigging software, Rep. Tom Feeney (R) and more. So it seemed a good time to catch up with him...
SOLVED: Mystery that Flipped Maine Senate Election!
21 'phantom ballots' flipped the results of a Nov. 4th state Senate election from D to R. But a dramatic turn of events and hand-counted paper ballots have now resolved the mystery...
'Green News Report' 12/9/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Super Typhoon Hagupit blows 2014 into record books; Doesn't look good for KXL, if Obama on Colbert Report can be believed; PLUS: Rich v. Poor divisions stall UN climate talks...
Previous GNRs: 12/4/14 - 12/2/14 - Archives...
Bad News for Fox 'News' Viewers: 'Fox & Friends' Calls for Voter Literacy Tests
If they had to pass a test on American history and government, Fox 'News' viewers, as studies show, would be in big, big trouble...
Thousands of Ballots Excluded from Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure 'Recount'
Proponents charge interference by out-of-state corporate opponents, state's failure to count legal ballots due to 'signature problems'...
NC Repubs Trying to Run-Out Clock on Voter Suppression Lawsuit (Again)?
Plaintiffs charge state attempt to reschedule next summer's federal trial 'unsupportable', 'disingenuous'...
'Green News Report' 12/4/14
Biggest German utility spins off fossil fuel assets; Fossil fuel biz running scared? FL punishes homeowners for not polluting; PLUS: MSNBC's Big Coal infomercial...
House Judiciary Letter Suggests Impeachment for Wife-Beating Judge
Bi-partisan congressmen seek update from 11th Circuit Court, cite potential impeachment of Judge Mark Fuller...
'Green News Report' 12/2/14
New UN summit underway; Record rain, drought in CA; Global cost of falling oil prices; PLUS: Legacy of world's worst industrial disaster, 30 years later...
'Recount', Concerns in AZ U.S. House Race
Razor-thin computer-reported margin, failed paper-ballot tabulators, untallied provisionals, terrible 'recount' rules leave Barber-McSally contest in AZ-2 unsettled...
'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
'My thanks to all of you this Thanksgiving which, as a few callers reminded me, isn't nearly as terrible as it seems'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in tiny Maine town, reverse results of very close state contest...
'Recount' for Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure
Fewer than 900 votes separate 'Yes' from 'No' on 'Right to Know' Measure 92, out of more than 1.5 million paper ballots tallied by computers statewide in Nov. 4 election...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank's dire warning...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting
A few thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice in the killing of Michael Brown...
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
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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...

State Republicans' voter suppression law hitting its target
UPDATED: Media coverage finally results in voting ID for Ruby Barber...
By Brad Friedman on 5/21/2014 6:03am PT  

[This article now cross-published by Salon...]

Here is just one more of the hundreds of thousands of reasons that have led the U.S. Dept. of Justice to file suit against Texas Republicans' polling place Photo ID restriction law.

The same law had been previously blocked by the DoJ and again by a federal court under the federal Voting Rights Act, after the state's own data showed the law discriminated against racial minorities and others, while failing to deter actual voter fraud in the state.

But, literally minutes after SCOTUS gutted the heart of the Voting Rights Act last Summer, the section which was used to strike down the law previously, Texas Republicans announced their intention to re-enact the law which, of course, they knew to be discriminatory.

As the Waco Tribune reports, 92-year old Ruby Barber has tried, but has so far failed, to obtain one of those so-called "free" Photo IDs from the Texas Dept. of Public Safety (DPS), now that one is required for her to cast her legal vote this year, as she had for decades, until now, without a problem.

Barber's story is heartbreaking and maddening but, unfortunately, probably not entirely rare. The DoJ estimated, based on the state's supplied data when the federal agency blocked the law in 2012, "the total number of registered voters [in Texas] who lack a driver's license or personal identification card issued by DPS could range from 603,892 to 795,955."

Barber's driver's license expired in 2010 and she's now having difficulty locating "her nearly century-old birth certificate that she'd need to obtain a voter ID under a new state law." As the New York Daily News reports, the details of Barber's story and her fight to try and cast her vote are simply absurd...

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

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George W. Bush-appointed judge concludes 'We are a better people than what these laws represent'
UPDATE: Governor decides to NOT appeal ruling court's ruling...
By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2014 12:35pm PT  

Just hours after a similar decision in Oregon yesterday, Pennsylvania now becomes the 19th state where the Constitutionally conservative value of equal protection for all under the law becomes the law of the land again.

The Keystone State's ban on marriage equality has just been found by a federal judge to be in violation of the U.S. Constitution there. Wildly unpopular Republican Gov. Tom Corbett --- who lost today on this issue, as well as in his recent failed defense of Republican polling place Photo ID restrictions --- is believed likely to appeal the decision. (He recently chose not to appeal the indefensible polling place restrictions which, as the state was forced to admit before the trial even began, had nothing to do with stopping "voter fraud".)

Corbett, a self-proclaimed "conservative", hired a private $400/hour firm to defend the law after Democratic state Attorney General Kathleen Kane refused to do so. The wildly unpopular Corbett faces a very tough re-election this November.

District Court Judge John E. Jones, a George W. Bush appointee, described the state's ban on marriage quality as "an injustice" and wrote in his rather moving decision today, featuring section headers that mirror the classic wedding vows, that "all couples deserve equal dignity in the realm of civil marriage."

"In future generations the label same-sex marriage will be abandoned, to be replaced simply by marriage," he concluded. "We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history."

* * *

UPDATE 5/21/2014: As he did after the court's recent rejection of PA's polling place Photo ID restriction law, Corbett has now announced he will not appeal the trouncing his side of the argument received in court yesterday. Let the weddings, and equality, begin...

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Frankenstein's monsters finally turn against the good doctor...
By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2014 6:02am PT  

[This article now cross-published by Salon...]

Glenn Beck's natives are getting very restless, and many of them are now taking their frustrations out on him.

The organizers of last Friday's "Operation American Spring" (OAS) had claimed their massive Washington D.C. protest, "calling for the removal of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, and Eric Holder as a start toward constitutional restoration," was likely to draw 10 million to 30 million fed-up American patriots to the nation's capital.

To the weekend-long bemusement of Democrats and progressives, the number of attendees at the rally was closer to 10 than 30 million. As even the rightwing Washington Times reported, attendance fell "woefully below expectations," with turnout claims varying from a few hundred to a few thousand. "Hundreds is more like it," said one of the attendees quoted by the Times.

Progressives were predictably entertained by the dismal failure of the umpteenth rally to save our nation from the "outlaws" or "commies" or "Muslims" or "Constitution haters" who have now taken it over the government --- through peaceful elections. But once the King of the American Patriots himself, Glenn Beck, and his online "news" outlet The Blaze, appeared to join in to mock the event, the real patriots could no longer hold their tongues.

Long-time supporters of Beck's turned their sights on the radio host-turned-CNN-host- turned-Fox-"News"-host-turned-multi-millionaire-Internet-entrepeneur after The Blaze's Oliver Darcy covered the event, describing it as "only millions short of projected turnout," featuring "only a few dozen protesters" and as having "failed incredibly."

Many of Beck's fans were decidedly not happy about that, some going so far as to declare Beck himself "the enemy"...

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

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Law found in violation of U.S. Constitution; Judge declares 'let us look to each other...and rise'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/19/2014 12:51pm PT  

Constitutionally conservative victories for equal protection under the law are piling up across the country faster than we can note them here!

Moments ago, the latest victory was announced in Oregon, where a federal judge just found [PDF] the state's ban on marriage equality to be in violation of the 14th Amendment...

Because Oregon's marriage laws discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation without a rational relationship to any legitimate government interest, the laws violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Well, that was easy. Marriages are expected to begin in the state "almost immediately".

The final paragraph of District Court Judge Michael J. McShane's opinion was particularly thoughtful...

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

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Sacramento Bee does a lousy job of helping voters understand why that matters...
By Brad Friedman on 5/19/2014 6:05am PT  

California is making it slightly more difficult for millionaires and billionaires like the Koch Brothers to secretly and fraudulently influence elections in the state.

As the Sacramento Bee tried to report it...

Nonprofit organizations that make political contributions in California will have to disclose more information about the source of their money under a law Gov. Jerry Brown signed Wednesday.

Senate Bill 27 was inspired by the 2012 ballot measure wars in California, when two out-of-state nonprofit groups poured $15 million into fighting Proposition 30 and supporting Proposition 32. Because of the groups' nonprofit status, they were not required to report where their donations originally came from, leading some to describe the contributions as "dark money."

"Leading some to describe"? It was dark money! The groups did not disclose who the donors were when they spent millions and millions of that dark money to try and fraudulently effect election outcomes in the state!

It was all money laundered through Koch Brothers front groups, as the SacBee failed to note for some reason, but as the Mercury News reported last year when the scheme finally came to light...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2014 10:58pm PT  

[Hat-tip D.R. Tucker...]

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By Brad Friedman on 5/16/2014 7:54pm PT  

Lots of folks saw the photos of the two very happy young women pictured below --- among the first of more than 450+ same-sex couples to get married in Arkansas --- celebrating the end of the state's ban on marriage equality last week (at least until the court order lifting the ban was, once again, put on hold by the state's Supreme Court today)...

I, on the other hand, saw what the blonde woman behind them in black was holding...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/16/2014 11:41am PT  

If you do nothing else today, watch the moving closing remarks from the last two candidates in Idaho's Republican primary candidates debate for Governor, beginning at 52:20...

The rest of the debate was pretty much as awesome. But I realize a full hour of that is a tall ask.

On a more substantive note, while The BRAD BLOG had been considering an endorsement in this race for the guy who had been living in Fat Jack's cellar, we're trying to find Fat Jack himself to see if he can be drafted as a write-in instead.

Also, too, we're a little disappointed that the last guy didn't tell us anything about "the Negro". Seems a missed opportunity.

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Ruling allows weddings to begin Friday
UPDATE: 9th Circuit Court now puts weddings on hold pending appeal...
By Brad Friedman on 5/14/2014 7:00pm PT  

Hopefully, conservative Republicans are celebrating in Idaho tonight, as constitutional equal protection under the law is set to begin on Friday there, according to a federal court today...

BOISE, Idaho (AP) --- A federal magistrate judge has refused to put gay marriages on hold in Idaho pending an appeal from the state's governor.

U.S. District Magistrate Judge Candy Dale wrote Wednesday morning that Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's appeal isn't likely to succeed, and so there's no reason to keep same-sex couples from seeking marriage licenses or marrying on Friday.

On Tuesday, Dale struck down Idaho's same-sex marriage ban in response to a lawsuit from four Idaho couples.

Dale said Idaho's law unconstitutionally denies gay and lesbian couples their fundamental right to marry and wrongly stigmatizes their families. She said the state must start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Friday morning.

* * *

UPDATE 5/15/2014 12:33pm PT: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals puts freedom on hold for the moment in Idaho...

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By Brad Friedman on 5/14/2014 2:29pm PT  

[This article now cross-published by Salon...]

The Arkansas Supreme Court has tossed a ruling by a lower court judge who had found the state's Photo ID voting requirement to be in violation of the state Constitution. The high court did not, however, rule on the constitutionality of the law, finding only that Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox "erred" by going too far in his ruling, as the issue of the law's Constitutionality "was not properly before the circuit court."

Late last month we described Fox' decision [PDF], declaring the state's Republican-enacted Act 595 "null and void" and "unconstitutional in that it violates Articles 3, Section 1 and Article 3, Section 2 of the Arkansas Constitution."

Those sections of the state Constitution describe both the "Qualifications of Electors" as well as the "Right of Suffrage," stating that "Elections shall be free and equal. No power, civil or military, shall ever interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage; nor shall any law be enacted whereby such right shall be impaired or forfeited, except for the commission of a felony, upon lawful conviction thereof"...

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

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WATCH: 'Governor Christie and the Kochtopus'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/13/2014 7:05am PT  

Over the weekend, Showtime's James Cameron-produced environmental documentary series, Years of Living Dangerously, released an online-only video segment focused on NJ Gov. Chris Christie's still-unexplained flip on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

RGGI is the very successful cap and trade system created by northeastern states to help curb global warming gasses. The video segment cites a piece of our exclusive 2011 blockbuster report featuring audio recordings of that year's secret Koch Brothers' Summer Seminar near Vail, CO, where Christie appeared as the billionaires' super-secret, superstar keynote speaker...

The video, as Grist describes it, "featuring food writer Mark Bittman grilling [Koch-funded] Americans for Prosperity henchman Steve Lonegan about climate change, muses on the possibility that Koch money funded Christie’s rapid retreat on New Jersey’s part in the regional cap-and-trade system RGGI." That is, of course, one of the issues we first posited when initially breaking the story, based on comments made during Christie's introduction at the seminar by David Koch.

Here is the complete audio (and transcript) of Christie's address and his intro by Koch, who calls the Governor his "true political hero" while describing another secret meeting the pair had in New York City before Christie suddenly pulled NJ out of RGGI in May of 2011, just weeks before the Vail confab.

"Another example of Governor Christie's commitment to the free enterprise system is that only a few weeks ago he announced that New Jersey would be withdrawing from the [Regional] Greenhouse Gas Initiative," Koch said proudly during his remarks to cheers and applause. The fossil fuel magnate then went on to lie to the crowd that RGGI "would have raised energy costs, reduced economic growth and led to very little, if any, benefit for the environment." On mention of the word "environment" a "boo" is heard on the audio from amongst the gathered millionaires and billionaires in attendance.

As I wrote at Mother Jones at the time (in the article seen briefly in the video as a clip of the Koch audio "obtained by a journalist" is played):

"Five months ago we met in my New York City office and spoke, just the two of us, for about two hours on his objectives and successes in correcting many of the most serious problems of the New Jersey state government," Koch said. "At the end of our conversation, I said to myself, 'I'm really impressed and inspired by this man. He is my kind of guy.'"
...
The crowd cheered loudly as Koch, whose estimated $22 billion personal fortune derives from his family's oil refinery empire, described Christie's unilateral withdrawal, on behalf of New Jersey, from a regional cap-and-trade market created by 10 northeastern states to curb industrial greenhouse gas emissions. (He neglected to mention that, in announcing the withdrawal in late May, Christie had acknowledged in no uncertain terms that climate change is real and that human activities contribute to it. "It's time to defer to the experts," he'd said.) There was an extended ovation when Koch, just before turning over the floor, expressed his hope of seeing Christie "on a larger stage where, God knows, he is desperately needed."

* * *

If you don't subscribe to Showtime, you can at least watch the first episode of the series, featuring Harrison Ford, Don Cheadle, Chris Hayes, Arnold Schwarzenegger and many other well-known journalists and scientists, online below...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/12/2014 4:08pm PT  

Over the weekend, fading Republican superstar, weapons-grade professional troll and GOP voter fraud queen Ann Coulter decided to join other Rightwingers in mocking the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag --- currently being used on Twitter to help raise awareness to the plight of hundreds of young school girls recently kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorist group in Nigeria --- for her own obnoxious, partisan purposes.

Because, ya know, making fun of concern about kidnapped children who may be sold into slavery is always high-larious and a great way to exploit a partisan advantage before the U.S. mid-term elections!

Coulter's scheme, however, may have "backfired", as Caitlin Macneal explains at TPM, once Twitter got a hold of Coulter's tweeted photo and decided to use it against her.

Here was her original photo Tweet:

Well, we thought we'd join the "fun" as well. So this morning we Tweeted our own modified version of Coulter's photo, and that new photo immediately began receiving dozens of Re-Tweets. So, perhaps it's also worth noting here for history...especially since it happens to be true...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/12/2014 6:00am PT  

[This article now cross-published by Salon...]

Just over a week ago, The BRAD BLOG's legal analyst Ernie Canning posited that the decision by a federal court in Wisconsin to strike down that state's polling place Photo ID law could signal "the beginning of the end" for such disenfranchising, Republican-enacted laws around the nation.

Since that landmark ruling in the Badger State, new signs from top elected Republican officials in Pennsylvania and Iowa, and even in Wisconsin, suggest that the (at least) decade-long GOP "voter fraud" fraud may have finally peaked, and will now begin the inevitably long slide into abandoned, historical shame.

We don't want to be too quick to declare the demise of this insidious attempt at reviving Jim Crow with a sophisticated and nefariously misleading legal patina, but after covering this beat for a decade --- long before much of the general public, much less the Democratic Party itself, seemed to notice --- it seems that the recent landmark court ruling in WI, followed by last week's towel toss in Pennsylvania and embarrassing revelations in Iowa, may be seen in the not-too-distant future as the moment that the GOP "voter fraud" fraud finally began to permanently unravel...

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

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That's the best you've got, 'Senator Freedom & Liberty'?...
By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2014 1:29pm PT  

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is running for President. There's little question of that. But he's got a lot to get ahead of if he hopes to have a prayer of doing so successfully.

Namely, as even the Rightwing HotAir site observes, he's got some race issues to deal with, such as "his old comments on the Civil Rights Act, his father's newsletters, having the 'Southern Avenger' on staff, even agreeing with Cliven Bundy about federal land-use practices before quickly denouncing him after his comments about blacks went viral."

So Paul has been spending the last year or so on an occasional outreach tour to African-American communities, trying to smooth things over. His latest stop was in Memphis on Friday, where he met with black pastors and, afterward, very softly --- though in terms that will reverberate in a 2016 GOP Presidential primary nonetheless --- broke with his party's orthodoxy on discriminatory polling place Photo ID restriction laws. Sort of...

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

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NEXT DAY UPDATE: Marriages have begun in AR...
By Brad Friedman on 5/9/2014 3:34pm PT  

A state judge has found Arkansas' state Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage to be a violation of the U.S. Constitution. Here's a statement on the case, just in from the Freedom to Marry advocacy group...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2014

Arkansas Judge Strikes Down Marriage Ban

New York - Today Judge Chris Piazza of Arkansas upheld same-sex couples' freedom to marry, striking down the state's discriminatory constitutional amendment and becoming one of more than a dozen judges to rule in favor of the freedom to marry since last year's Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Windsor.

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:

"Today a state circuit judge in Arkansas ruled in favor of the freedom to marry, the latest in a unanimous wave of favorable rulings from more than a dozen state and federal judges across the country in recent months. Judge Piazza held that there is no good reason for discriminating against couples and their loved ones just because they are gay. With nearly 70 marriage cases now making their way through the courts, and five federal appellate courts now hearing arguments and soon to rule, today's decision out of Arkansas underscores that all of America is ready for the freedom to marry."

A record-high 59% of Americans support marriage for same-sex couples. 50% of Southerners support marriage, with only 42% opposed.

###
Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.

Constitutionally conservative equal protection under the law continues to sweep across the nation, as we'd long ago predicted it would.

Indeed, the race is on, at this point, to figure out which state will be the last in the union to accept the inevitable. Surprisingly, as both we and The Daily Show discovered not long ago, it's unlikely to be whichever state you might have otherwise guessed.

So, which state will be last? Leave your guesses in comments for history. We should be able to determine the winner before very long --- likely even well before Obama leaves office, at this rate.

* * *

UPDATE 5/10/14: The first same-sex marriages in the state have begun. Congrats, Arkansas!...

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