w/ Brad & Desi
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...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
I was joined on this week's KPFK/Pacifica Radio BradCast by some of the best bloggers/journalists in the nation (who all happen to live in L.A.) to discuss and deconstruct Obama's 2015 State of the Union Address, the Republican response and more.
Our star-studded in-studio roundtable panel included (from left to right in the photo above) David Dayen of Salon, Heather 'Digby' Parton of Hullabaloo, John Amato from Crooks And Liars, me and Desi Doyen (not pictures, but ever present.)
Nuff said. Listen up...
Download MP3 here or listen online below...
It's difficult to know where Rightwingers are now when it comes to the release of today's remarkable, horrifying, redacted 528-page executive summary [PDF] of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee's 6,000-page report on Bush-era CIA torture.
"Torture never happened!," they used to say. Then, "Okay, it happened, but it wasn't torture!" Then, "Okay, torture happened, but it was necessary!" Now, "This report is just meant as a distraction from America's real problem: ObamaCare!"
You get the idea. So did legendary syndicated cartoonist and blogger Tom Tomorrow (aka Dan Perkins), and he's been covering it with brilliant, dead-on satire for years. With the release of the Senate report, almost a decade in the making, we're posting a few very-much-related Tom Tomorrow toons from over the years below, as self-selected by Perkins on Twitter today.
"It's not as if we've learned nothing in ten years," he tweeted. "In a 2004 cartoon, I still had to explain what 'waterboarding' was."
And, as he also made clear, none of what we are learning today is ultimately a surprise. "Presumably if the cartoonists knew about it, the White House did as well."
They did indeed, as a glance at these toons from over the years makes clear yet again...
Well, I've been remiss over the years since 2012 in covering the BENGHAZI!!! "scandal" on these pages.
So allow me to make up for some of that lost time today, with this article just out from AP tonight:
Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, intelligence about who carried it out and why was contradictory, the report found. That led Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to inaccurately assert that the attack had evolved from a protest, when in fact there had been no protest. But it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call, the committee found. The report did not conclude that Rice or any other government official acted in bad faith or intentionally misled the American people.
The House Intelligence Committee report was released with little fanfare on the Friday before Thanksgiving week. Many of its findings echo those of six previous investigations by various congressional committees and a State Department panel.
The article continues describing the findings of the House Intel Committee report which its Republican chair Rep. Mike Rogers (MI) and Democratic ranking member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD) announced today. Among those findings, in response to the epic reports of a "stand down order" said to have been issued by the CIA or the State Dept. or the White House, AP reports: "None of that is true, according to the House Intelligence Committee report."
You get the idea.
Nonetheless, as AP notes, "the eighth Benghazi investigation is being carried out by a House Select Committee appointed in May." That special select committee, convened by Congressional "conservatives", is set to cost tax payers some $4 million. How very "conservative" of them.
In the run-up to the 2012 Presidential Election, as Superstorm Sandy was bearing down hard on the East Coast, we wrote quite a bit (both here and at Salon) about how flooding and, specifically, power outages in several states that rely almost exclusively on electronic voting systems, could cripple the integrity of elections in a number of them.
Ultimately, among the hardest hit of those northeastern states was New Jersey, which, shamefully, still forces almost all of its voters to cast their ballots on 100% unverifiable electronic touch-screen systems.
On the weekend before Election Day, as water was rising and power was out across much of the eastern part of the state, NJ's Gov. Chris Christie and Lt. Governor Kim Guadano issued an unusual, emergency order, allowing for the use of early voting to ease the crush on Election Day in areas where some polling places would be shut down to due flooding, and for the use of paper ballot voting in precincts where power was still likely to be out as of Election Day.
We applauded those emergency measures at the time, particularly as the chances for voters to actually have their votes counted accurately and transparently could only increase with the use of hand-marked paper ballots in a state which has had nothing but disasters over the years with their oft-failed, easily-manipulated touch-screen voting system.
However, at the same time Guadano was announcing those emergency measures, she also --- without bothering to consult with election officials around the state --- tossed in one other emergency order [PDF] which, as we warned at the time, was likely to be a terrible mistake.
Guadano ordered emergency Internet Voting --- of a sort --- by allowing for voters displaced by the storm (and it would be left up to election officials' discretion to determine which voters were or weren't "displaced") to cast their ballots via email or fax.
We now know, thanks to a new report from the Rutger's School of Law [PDF], that, indeed, NJ's experiment with voting over fax and the Internet was a disaster, one that led to tens of thousands of unauthenticated votes in 2012, and which hasn't hasn't been reported by the media...until now...
California Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R) is in the middle of an amusing kerfuffle after claiming that he was told by unnamed U.S. Border Patrol agents that "ISIS is coming across the southern border," and will soon be "bombing American cities [after] coming across from Mexico." Most disturbing, he also said that while several of the Islamic terrorists had already been nabbed by federal agents, more have most likely slipped through and are amongst us even now!
"I know that at least 10 ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas," the Congressman told a dubious Greta Van Susteren on Fox "News" earlier this week. Though those 10, luckily, were taken into custody, Hunter added, "you know there's going to be dozens more that did not get caught by the Border Patrol."
The Dept. of Homeland Security, however, has denied the claim, calling it "categorically false, and not supported by any credible intelligence or the facts on the ground." The Mexican Embassy has similarly disputed it. Politifact investigated the matter, before describing it as "incorrect and ridiculous" and rating it a "Pants on Fire" lie. And now other Republicans are being forced to grapple with how and whether to back up their colleague or not.
Nonetheless, Hunter Jr. is sticking by his alarming claim.
But this is hardly the first time a California Congressman named Duncan Hunter went on record, on television, during the heat of a campaign to simply make shit up about scary aliens sneaking across the border to come into our country and undermine our very way of life.
As The BRAD BLOG highlighted in 2007, Hunter Jr.'s father, now-retired Rep. Duncan Hunter Sr. --- who held the same Congressional seat his son holds now --- offered a similarly outrageous and apparently bald-faced lie while pretending to run for President that year.
Then, as now, Republicans were in the middle of attempting to enact disenfranchising Photo ID voting restrictions in the lead up to the election, akin to the very same ones blocked by the Supreme Court in WI and struck down as discriminatory and an "unconstitutional poll tax" by a federal judge in TX last night.
During a PBS-sponsored Republican Presidential debate that year, in response to a panelist's question, Hunter the Elder offered a blatant whopper about non-citizens "being round up [and] herded into the polls" to vote, claiming, with no apparent evidence to back him up whatsoever, that "we've seen that in California" in past elections.
Like Boy Hunter's recent claim on Fox "News", Father Hunter's response to debate moderator, Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Cynthia Tucker, appears to have been simply made up out of (nearly) whole cloth...
In an earlier life, I played a fake news man for some years. The character, which shared my name, was a slightly dumber Colbert-type rightwinger, though it pre-dated Colbert. (As I've previously noted, the line between fake news man and real one is uncomfortably thin.) At one point during that period, there had been an epidemic of well-publicized shootings. One of them was the Columbine Massacre. I remember using the satiric character, even at the time, to rail against the media for making the killers famous by headlining their names and plastering their faces on front pages and magazine covers, etc. In other words, for giving them exactly the infamy they likely sought in the first place.
You may have noticed we haven't written much about ISIS here. One of the reasons is because that's precisely what they'd like us all to do. And, since they emerged as the latest big scary menace on the world stage a few months ago, along with glossy and often horrible PR videos and a fairly sophisticated social media presence, the mainstream media and the political world seem to be all too happy to grant them every last bit of the very publicity they seek.
As of Wednesday night, it looks as though President Obama is similarly happy to take the ISIS bait and grant them the honor of being elevated as the latest Public Enemy #1 of the United States of America. The precise direct threat they pose to the U.S. at this time remains unclear. At least I haven't been able to figure it out and Obama's speech on Wednesday night made it no clearer. But the GOP war hawks seemed to be thrilled with it all, and party-line Democrats seem to be offering few, if any, objections either. The military industrial complex is certainly rejoicing over their newest apparent windfall.
To be clear, all available evidence suggests that ISIS or ISIL or the Islamic State is most certainly dangerous (at least to those within their expanding vicinity), extremely ruthless, and extraordinarily barbaric. Still, granting them the fame or infamy they seek --- be it in the mainstream media or from the U.S. Government, much less from the bully pulpit of the Presidency --- seems to be playing precisely into their hands. I'm not interested in doing so.
It's also, at least according to this report from Associated Press published just hours before the President's speech on Wednesday, exactly what their PR masterminds have been working towards. Another very public over-reaction to a most-likely "exaggerated" threat described by the AP as "no unstoppable juggernaut" and "wield[ing] outsize influence" thanks, in no small part, to their mastery of social media...
Part 1 of this week's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio: How the NFL's Ray Rice knocked out his wife in a hotel elevator, lost his job and outraged America --- and how U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller beat his wife bloody in a hotel room, will have his arrest record expunged, gets to keep his lifetime appointment to the federal bench and very few in America seem to give a damn.
Part 2: What would you do about ISIS if you were President? Callers, lots of 'em, share their thoughts. I share a few of mine in kind. Nobody gets a free pass.
Plus, Desi Doyen and the latest Green News Report, and a few more items here and there in what was a very lively show this week. You should listen to it.
Download MP3 or listen online below...
On this week's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio, I invited peace activist David Swanson to explain to me why it's wrong for the U.S. to take military action in Iraq amidst what the President describes as "genocide".
I pressed him and he offered a smart, persuasive, and well-reasoned case. Yet, I'm still not certain that I'm persuaded. Please give the short conversation a listen and let me know what you think.
We also took calls on the above, and covered a bunch of other stuff, including updates on the CA Supreme Court nixing the "corporate personhood" ballot initiative (Prop 49); the extraordinary North Carolina "voter suppression" law that a federal judge (W. Bush appointee) has allowed to move forward for now; and the remarkable story of federal judge Mark Fuller --- who helped railroad former AL Gov. Don Siegelman (D) into federal prison --- being arrested and charged for allegedly beating up his latest wife in an Atlanta hotel room over the weekend.
All of that, and a visit from Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report, as the News Summer from Hell continues...
Download MP3 or listen online below...
It's a very busy news day today. In particular, with the important decision from the U.S. Supreme Court (on corporations being granted religious rights and chipping away at more union rights) and the usual partisan chum which is irresistible to network and cable news wags, I'd hate to see this jaw-dropping report from James Risen at New York Times get lost amidst all the holiday week noise.
This amazing story reveals that the billion-dollar private security contracting firm Blackwater, hired by the George W. Bush Administration for all manner of things in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere, was apparently even running rough-shod over the U.S. government itself. An investigation into allegations of their corrupt activities in 2007 --- well before their employees are said to have opened random automatic-weapon fire on a crowd in Iraq's Nisour Square (leading to deaths of 17 civilians, including a 9-year old boy) and the enormous blowback against U.S. troops and other interests that subsequently came with it --- was reportedly shut down by the Administration at the time after the firm's "top manager" in Iraq threatened the U.S. State Department's investigator looking into Blackwater's unbridled abuse of power and contract corruption.
According to documents buried by the U.S. government until now, Blackwater's chief in Iraq, Daniel Carroll warned State Dept. investigator Jean C. Richter to his face "that he could kill me at that very moment and no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq".
The government's investigation of Blackwater went away almost immediately thereafter...
Just getting back on the grid today after a few days off of it, so getting caught up with much, including today's release of the legal memo [PDF] detailing the Obama Administration's claim of legal authority for the 2011 targeted drone killing of U.S. citizen and alleged terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.
(Three other U.S. citizens were also killed in drone strikes abroad, including al-Awlaki's 16-year old son one month after his father, though the Administration contends those killings were incidental deaths during strikes targeting others...as if that makes them less awful somehow? In any event...)
As the Washington Post notes, portions of the document are redacted, including "paragraphs that presumably explained why the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel determined that killing Awlaki in a drone strike would not violate the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees due process to U.S. citizens accused of crimes."
The paper adds, however, that "the memo provides previously unknown details about the reasoning behind one of the most controversial counterterrorism operations carried out by the U.S. government since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."
But what caught my eye in particular today, was the Congressional Progressive Caucus' somewhat snarky, if very clever, promotion of their press release in response to the released (and redacted) memo, which Roll Call's Steven Dennis describes as "Progressive Caucus Trolls Obama on Drone Memo"...
Dick and Dubya are back in the news! Now I wonder how that might have happened. On the upside, it allowed me to play some clips on this week's show that I first put together for a show back in 2006 (or earlier?)
• What was Dick Cheney's epic trolling of Obama really about? (Hint: Not necessarily Obama or even Democrats).
• Who's to blame for the current mess in Iraq?
• We take a whole bunch of great calls on all of the above, including one caller with a very interesting defense of Bush and Cheney.
• Some good voting news for Ohio, for a change.
• The fossil-fueled "War on Science" now includes war on science museums.
• Plus, as ever, Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report (including some epic trolling by Obama of science deniers!)
Download MP3 or listen online below [appx 58 mins]...
Some pretty epic trolling tonight from Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz at Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal.
Read it at your own peril. These selected quotes oughta be enough to make your head explode all by themselves, however...
Epic Trolling Accomplished.
Kind of amusing. With today's news that U.S. Special Ops forces have captured the alleged ringleader of the deadly 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, suddenly Fox "News" is less than impressed.
Or, as Media Matters for America describes it today, "Fox Finally Finds a Benghazi Story That Is Not a 'Bombshell'".
"Since 2012, Fox News has referred to numerous Benghazi reports --- which typically just rehash their tired smears about the attacks --- as 'bombshells.' But in the hour after news of the arrest [of Ahmed Abu Khattala], nobody at the network has called the latest development a 'bombshell'," MMFA observes, before adding parenthetically: (Instead, Fox is busy questioning the timing of the arrest.)
Here's a few comparative samples from the archives of Fox, which must be finally recognized as one of the most impressive and effective propaganda organizations of all time...
Seriously. This capture of the Benghazi guy is obviously just another play by Obama to distract us from #Benghazi.
Via John Amato at C&L on Friday...
And there's more. Watch...
And for still more truth (which probably won't see much light of day on Fox "News") about the disastrous War on Iraq , please see our previous post...
A Few Great Blogs
· Baghdad Burning
· Brilliant at Breakfast
· Crooks and Liars
· Dan Froomkin
· Fired Up! Missouri
· Freedom's Phoenix
· Freeway Blogger
· Glenn Greenwald
· Huffington Post
· Jesus' General
· Juan Cole
· Washington Monthly
· Media Matters
· Nashua Advocate
· Oliver Willis
· RAW STORY
· Sanoma State's
Project Censored Sites:
· Daily Censored
· Media Freedom
· Project Censored
· Scholars & Rogues
· Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
· Talking Points Memo
· Think Progress
· Tom Tomorrow
· TV Newser
· Ben Sargent
· Bill Deore
· Bob Gorrell
· Cagle's Index
· Chan Lowe
· Don Wright
· Doug Marlette
· Glenn McCoy
· Jeff Danziger
· Joel Pett
· Mike Luckovich
· Non Sequitur
· Not Banned Yet
· Pat Oliphant
· Paul Conrad
· Ted Rall
· This Modern World
· Thomas Burns
· Tom Toles
· Tony Auth
· Stuart Carlson
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