w/ Brad & Desi
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...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
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You'll be shocked --- shocked --- to learn (once again) that rightwing political propagandist and operative James O'Keefe, a federal criminal, is also a professional liar.
From O'Keefe's Project Veritas Investigates: Voter Fraud" racket on January 11, 2012...
That was the lie. Here's the truth. From TPM's report on the dropped criminal investigation of a Congressman's son today:
Police told a local Patch reporter that both Morans had cooperated with the investigation, but that O'Keefe had not complied with several requests for the full, unedited video in his possession, along with the identity of the videographer.
"We want the full version. That's our job, to do a thorough investigation. And that's a huge piece of the process right there," [police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck told Patch.]
Of course, we've highlighted O'Keefe's lies about releasing full, unedited videos, from which he creates his doctored and deceptively edited video propaganda, many times.
For example, despite his fundraising pleas to the contrary, it took a deal for criminal immunity from the California Attorney General in 2010 before O'Keefe finally agreed to turn over the raw, unedited videos from his phony 2009 ACORN "Pimp" Hoax to law enforcement. (The AG's investigation determined that the only violations of criminal law seen on the tapes were O'Keefe's.)
The screenshot from his dishonest fundraising plea at the top of this article was published after he and his co-conspirators trumped up secretly video taped "voter fraud" incidents during last year's New Hampshire Primary.
As we reported in great detail at the time, even while attempting to raise money on his fake "voter fraud investigation" --- which led to the Republican Mayor of Manchester calling for O'Keefe and his gang to be "arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law" --- O'Keefe lied about the release of what he claimed were the full, unedited tapes from that particular scam. They weren't. James O'Keefe had lied then, just as he did about the ACORN tapes, just as he has done, according to law enforcement, in the Virginia case.
James O'Keefe is a professional liar. That's how he makes a living. Alert the media.
Speaking to Jon Stewart on The Daily Show this week, former Vice-President Al Gore said:
Gore also offered a few interesting words about capitalism in the 1/30/2013 clip from The Daily Show which is posted below. In a lengthier conversation on MSNBC's Morning Joe this week, posted below as well, Gore also discusses the deadly costs of the uncontrolled dumping of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere and the ravaging effects its having on our planet, criticism of his sale of Current TV to the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera, and he goes on to say that "both capitalism and democracy have been hacked"...
During testimony before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in 1999, after the mass shooting at Columbine, the National Rifle Association's CEO Wayne LaPierre stated plainly:
The NRA even went as far as to take out an ad [PDF] that included LaPierre's full testimony from his U.S. House Judiciary Committee appearance that day.
But that was then.
Today, testifying before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in the wake of the mass shooting at Newtown, LaPierre has completely reversed his position on background checks, as highlighted during this exchange with the Committee Chair Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)...
In short, despite tens of thousands of criminals prevented from buying guns at licensed dealers and pawn shops, thanks to instant background checks --- LaPierre pegged the number at 76,000 people who "have been denied under the present law" --- the NRA mouthpiece is now against closing the loophole that allows unlimited gun sales at trade shows with no background checks whatsoever, even though 40% of weapons in the country are purchased at such shows.
Once again, the con-man who heads up the NRA is completely out of touch with the vast majority of his own constituency as well as the vast majority of the nation as a whole...
Yesterday, a Virginia State Senate committee killed a GOP plan to completely revamp the state's "winner-take-all" electoral vote system despite a last minute change to the bill by its sponsor in hopes of making it more palatable. The original scheme would have awarded electoral votes by Congressional district instead of "winner-take-all". Had that plan been in place in 2012, Mitt Romney would have been awarded 9 electoral votes to Obama's 4, despite the President winning the popular vote in the state by some 150,000 votes and being awarded all 13 of the VA's electoral votes.
The bill's author, Republican Sen. Charles W. "Bill" Carrico, tweaked the bill at the last minute, so that electoral votes would be awarded proportionally, based on the popular vote, rather than by Congressional district. It didn't help. The scheme was defeated in committee by a bi-partisan vote of 11 to 4.
Before that scheme was killed in the VA Senate on Tuesday, I appeared on The David Pakman Show, via Skype, to discuss that and related issues, including the impending U.S. Supreme Court threat to the very important Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act...
Last year we spent quite a bit of time detailing what we described, with much justification, as The Year of GOP Election Fraud.
From the three felony voter fraud convictions of Indiana Sec. of State Charlie White (R), to the admitted ballot petition fraud of the campaign of Newt Gingrich (R) and of the staff of U.S. House Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R) to the attempted voter fraud by Rightwing propagandist James O'Keefe's co-conspirators, to the registration fraud allegedly committed by employees of the firm hired by the RNC to carry out voter registration in seven key swing states, to the actual apparent voter fraud of the GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and beyond, it was another year in which the Republican Party pretended there was a massive Democratic voter fraud epidemic in order to institute new polling place voter suppression laws, even while carrying out their own crime spree which largely went ignored by the very same media covering the GOP attempts to enact polling place Photo ID restrictions.
But it wasn't only the GOP superstars named above who attempted to game the system. Some of their gullible followers, who were distracted and conned into buying into the pretend "Democratic voter fraud" panic, decided to take matters into the their own hands by attempting to double-vote, claiming they were simply "testing the system".
Two different such cases in two different states led to voter fraud felony arrests last November. One of the cases, in Nevada, has now been settled with a guilty plea. The other appears to still be pending in New Mexico against a man who claims he thought his job as a Republican precinct challenger was to challenge the system itself...
Yes, you and I and the "six or seven"* others who read this site are now officially closing in on one full decade of investigative muckraking and trouble-making!
Our official 9th anniversary was actually late last week, but I've been working on an investigative report over the last week or so (hopefully, coming soon!) and didn't have time to stop to mark the day.
I was looking back at last year's anniversary announcement, and noticed that it came on the very "day we learn[ed] that Mitt Romney makes some $33k a day --- simply by doing nothing --- while paying a lower tax rate than most of you and me, [even as] we'll be happy just to make this month's rent and put some gas in the tank (both literally and figuratively)."
A year later, the sentiment remains true, as we fight on for yet another year here. But it's a year in which, as the media landscape --- particularly on the Internet, but on the broadcast and cable airwaves as well --- continues to change, we are likely to have to make some tough decisions. So, once again, I turn to you all for help even as we celebrate this week's extraordinary milestone.
Don't worry. I'll try to make it worth your time, with a very cool new premium offer to help both me and you celebrate the beginning of our tenth year "being the media"...
From Bill Maher's "New Rules" on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher last Friday...
Did you know that the defense budget of the United States is bigger than the defense budgets of the next thirteen countries combined, most of whom are allies and none of whom are enemies?
So, lemme ask you: If a guy on your block was so frightened of mostly non-existent prowlers that he spent all of his resources on alarm systems and guns and cameras --- so much so that he didn't even have enough money left to maintain his home or send his kids to college --- would you call him "brave"?
By the way, here's what those courageous numbers look like...
And, for those who've heard about the "devastating" $500 billion in spending cuts to our military budget that will soon come as a result of the 2011 "sequestration" deal if a new accommodation isn't worked out, here's what those numbers will look like...
As it is said when it comes to voting technology: As California goes, so goes the nation. To that end, there is some disturbing news on the horizon from BlackBoxVoting.org as the Internet Voting virus threatens to spread to the Golden State.
If you're not familiar with the many insane dangers of this idea, and if the Academy Awards' recent nightmare wasn't enough, here's an article or two or three or four from the past year or two here which should do well to appropriately scare the hell out of you.
In the meantime, here's how BBV cuts to the chase --- and the core --- of the real concerns of Internet Voting, as the anti-democratic profiteering vultures descend into the state...
They tell us Internet voting is secure. It's not. It's not secure, and can't be made secure, but that's not even the point.
The point is it's not transparent. The whole premise in our Constitution is that we self-govern. To do that, the public must be able to see and authenticate essential processes, like who actually voted and the vote count, and that is not possible with Internet voting.
Internet voting transfers all control to whoever runs the server. (The server is just a computer that sits in a room --- and one Internet voting company, Scytl, has its server physically sitting in Spain.)
Internet voting gives the administrator complete control over the front end (who put the votes into the system) and the back end (the counting of the votes).
Internet voting is trying to come on with a vengeance, and not just in California. It is now imminent. Unless we are vigilant, many of us will be forced to vote online in 2014 and 2016. Lobbyists are at work to persuade your legislators to install Internet voting.
Political support has been secured from officials in several states. The governor of Hawaii has announced he wants Internet voting. Secretaries of State from Connecticut, West Virginia, Washington, and Oregon are already pushing online voting, and soon you'll hear about it near you. Federal bills promise cash to states that "expedite" their voting systems, with vague language as to what that means.
Because Americans are skeptical about Internet voting, politicians and reporters describe it as "smart phone voting" and "iPad voting." They also call it "convenience voting" but what they don't tell us is that, in exchange for convenience, we will lose the ability to self-govern.
To put this into blunt terms: It's not whether Internet Voting is or isn't secure. (It's not, but that's actually beside the point.) It's whether you, or anybody else, can ever know that it's secure. And the hard, cold, scientific fact is that you cannot.
After Harry Reid decided to fail to reform the filibuster today, despite his pretend outrage last year at the undemocratic U.S. Senate process being "abused, abused, abused" by the Republican minority in the Senate, the Washington Post's Ezra Klein tweeted what seems a pretty silly question: "Interesting Q on all this is whether Reid's restraint now will lead to R restraint when they're in charge and D's are filibustering".
No clue why Klein would even imagine that Republicans would show similar restraint when it comes to anything these days. For evidence of that, one needs look no further than what the VA state State Senate did just across the river on Monday, Martin Luther King Day, as President Obama was being sworn in for his second term.
Normally balanced with 20 Democratic and 20 Republican state Senators, Republicans took advantage of one of those state Senators, Democratic civil rights icon Henry Marsh, taking the day off to be at the second Inauguration of the nation's first black President, to carry out a complete state redistricting coup.
Stephen Colbert covered the coup in his Alpha Dog of the Week segment last night, quoting Martin Luther King thusly: "I have been to the mountain top, and while I was there, they heavily redistricted the promise land."
The coup described above is separate, though related to, a parallel effort also moving forward in the VA legislature, to rig the next Presidential Election by dividing up electoral votes based on the winner of each Congressional district, rather than the current "winner take all" system. Had the Republican plan for this, currently moving through the state Senate, been in place during the 2012 election, Romney would have won 9 of the commonwealth's electoral votes to Obama's 4, despite the President having won the popular vote there by some 150,000 votes (4 percentage points).
For a less amusing, if similarly maddening, explanation of the Virginia Republicans' shameless redistricting coup on Monday (we hope to have more on their subsequent electoral vote gimmick in the near future) and where it is likely to go from here, see Rachel Maddow's explanation from Tuesday posted below...
The one thing the Senate Majority Leader never seems to fail at: Failing.
Harry Reid last May, on the Senator floor, apologizing to Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Tom Udall (D-NM) for blocking their 2010 attempt to weaken the filibuster: "These two young, fine senators said it was time to change the rules of the Senate, and we didn’t," Reid said then. "And they were right. The rest of us were wrong --- or most of us, anyway. What a shame… If there were anything that ever needed changing in this body, it’s the filibuster rule, because it’s been abused, abused and abused."
Harry Reid today, after striking a deal with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to ensure anything close to (small "d") democracy stays decidedly out of the U.S. Senate: "I’m not personally, at this stage, ready to get rid of the 60-vote threshold."
See Ezra Klein for more of Reid's reasons for striking a deal to make minor procedural changes to Senate rules which do absolutely nothing to change the use --- and abuse, abuse, abuse --- of the filibuster. See Sam Stein and Ryan Grim for more of an explanation of what the marginal procedural changes to be made actually are.
In short, as many Filibuster reformers are noting today: Harry Reid's filibuster reform doesn't actually reform the filibuster in any way.
But let's spread some blame around. According to Merkley --- who had been leading a coalition of Democratic Senators and activists calling for the requirement of a "talking filibuster" (already fairly weak tea when it comes to filibuster reform) --- during a conference call last week, he called on reformers to pressure these Democratic Senators who were still "wrestling with his proposal", as Politico characterized it: Max Baucus (MT), Patrick Leahy (VT), Dianne Feinstein (CA), Barbara Boxer (CA), Joe Manchin (WV) and Mark Pryor (AR).
Presuming the Reid/McConnell deal is adopted today, as it likely will be, another chance to reform --- or kill --- the filibuster all together will not occur until the first legislative day of the next U.S. Congress, in 2015. All of which goes some way towards supporting the suggestion offered by progressive activist David Swanson during my interview with him last November, that Dems, at least a minority with enough power to undermine their caucus, have little interest in reforming the filibuster, as it gives them an excuse to make sure things they want to act like they believe in, but actually don't, will never see the light of day in the U.S. Senate.
On today's BradCast on Pacifica Radio's KPFK here in Los Angeles, we focused on the climate remarks in President Obama's Second Inaugural address which, frankly, seem to have stunned even the most seasoned environmental reporters.
We were joined by Bill Clinton's former acting Assistant Secretary of Energy Joe Romm, who is now the editor of the indispensable ClimateProgress.org and author of Language Intelligence: Lessons on persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga.
We discussed, among other issues, Romm's encouraging speculation on whether or not Obama and the State Dept. (with John Kerry as its likely new head) will approve the Keystone XL pipeline or not, and what the horrifying consequences are likely to be if they do.
That, and much more (including a bit of other news, some great listener phone calls and the Green News Report's Desi Doyen), all follow.
Download MP3 or listen online below...
P.S. Remember, I don't post all of the BradCasts here. But you can subscribe to the RSS feed here, or listen to the archive anytime on your mobile device with either the Stitcher Radio app or the TuneIn app, both of which carry the show.
P.S.S. Also still interested in creating a logo for The BradCast. So if you got logo-makin' chops and wanna give it a crack, drop me a line!
Palm Beach Post's George Bennet wrote last week about how so-called "Tea Party" groups seem to be running away from the "Tea Party" name in places like Florida.
The South Florida Tea Party, for example --- the one that helped launch the national career of Sen. Marco Rubio and hosted Donald Trump while he was initially pretending to think about running for President --- is changing their name to the National Liberty Federation.
"As Tea Party groups go," observes Steven Benen at MaddowBlog, "the South Florida Tea Party was one of the bigger and better organized outfits."
But it's little wonder these folks are running from the name. Their popularity, and their name brand, is now plummeting along with the fortunes of the Congressional Republican Party. As Bennet notes, even Rightwing pollsters like Rasmussen are finding that support for the "Tea Party" movement is absolutely cratering...
“Should we really have gone after reducing the turnout of voters in those places where we thought it would make a difference? The Republican Party should be a party that says, ‘We want everybody to vote,’ and make it easier to vote and give them a reason to vote for the party, [whereas] not to find ways to keep them from voting at all,” Powell said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Powell went on to note that "What’s happened in the last few years, is the party has shifted dramatically to the right — that’s perfectly acceptable, but if you stay that far to the right, you’re losing where the country is."
Please note, though Powell endorsed Obama twice, he was George W. Bush's Secretary of State and still considers himself a Republican. He says he voted for seven straight Republicans for President before voting for Obama.
We couldn't help but notice this passage, concerning climate change, which received not only as much or more attention than any other single issue referenced in the entire speech, but as much or more attention than the issue received during the entirety of the seemingly endless 2012 Presidential campaign...
Receiving less time during the address today, but also noteworthy for this news site...
Finally, for now, one personal moment worth highlighting --- perhaps the most personal of the day --- was this unscripted few seconds, after the President had finished his speech, and just before he disappeared out of view at the exit of his Inaugural podium for the final time. He stopped and turned around to view the enormous crowd on the National Mall.
The audio is difficult to hear, but he appears to say "I want to take one more look. I'm not going to see this again"...
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