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...|
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...
When it mattered, was based in terrifying reality, required actual selflessness and extraordinary courage...47 years ago today..."The greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation"...
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"...
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
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...
As the disinformed and hypnotized crowd of angry protesters in downtown New York chant "No mosque here!" over the weekend, a black man in a white hat strolls through and the crowd instantly turns on him.
"Ya'll don't even know my opinion on shit," he's forced to reply in his own defense as the tension rises and the possibility of violence becomes imminent. "I'm not even Muslim!" shouts the man who, it turns out, was apparently a construction worker at Ground Zero.
Sick. August, 2010. U.S.A.
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.
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:
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..."
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
Proponents of equality for all will have to wait a bit longer --- again --- before seeing marriage equality return to the Golden State.
A three judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeal has issued an order [PDF] granting a motion to stay the Aug. 4, 2010 decision by a U.S. District Judge which had found California's ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling would have allowed marriage equality to resume as of Wednesday, but that is now on hold pending appeal by proponents of the constitutional amendment put into law by Proposition 8 in November of 2008.
The 9th Circuit panel, on its own motion, expedited both briefing and a hearing on the appeal, which will be scheduled for the week of December 6. The stay essentially means that California officials could not sanction new same-sex marriages until either a decision is rendered on the appeal or the panel lifts the stay.
Addendum In my haste to report on this breaking story, I neglected to include the following statement from the 9th Circuit decision...
A number of noteworthy news items occurred yesterday while I was on the hot, hot, hot Midwestern road for the entirety of the day. These are several among those items...
Greene Indicted on Obscenity Charges
South Carolina's mystery Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate (the one whose election "victory" is only explicable through malfeasance or malfunction of the 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting systems) was indicted on obsenity charges yesterday. One of the charges was an "extremely rare" felony count. The state Democratic Party chairwoman, Carol Fowler --- the one who presided over the 5-hour Executive Board protest hearing by Greene's primary opponent Judge Vic Rawl who argued that voting machine failure was the only explanation for the unknown, jobless, money-less, campaign-less Greene having "won" --- has asked him, again, to voluntarily step down from the nomination. When asked if he'd be willing to accept the nomination if Greene steps down, Rawl has told The BRAD BLOG previously that he'd cross that bridge when/if he came to it.
Appelate Court Backs Congressional Defunding of ACORN
A 3-judge panel (two Rs, 1 D) on the 2nd District Court of Appeals has unanimously reversed [PDF] the ruling of a federal district court judge last March concerning the Congressional defunding of ACORN in light of deceptively-edited video tapes published by Rightwing propagandists Andrew Breitbart and James O'Keefe. The appellate court determined that Congress can target a specific group for punishment, despite what the district court judge had identified as an unconstitutional Bill of Attainder in light of the government having "offered no...unique reason to treat ACORN differently from other contractors accused of serious misconduct." U.S. District Court Judge Nina Gershon had previously granted injunctive relief to the four-decade old community organization after finding they were barred "from federal funding without either a judicial trial or an administrative process applicable to all government contractors." The 3-judge appellate panel disagreed. ACORN's legal representation has called the decision "deeply flawed," says they are planning to ask the full court for reconsideration, and added "We cannot let Congress act like judge, jury and executioner without any hearings at all."
O'Keefe Accidentally Admits to Being Immoral
And speaking of ACORN, the Rightwing dirty trickster and federal criminal James O'Keefe who hacked together secretly-taped videos in order to phony up the idea that the anit-poverty, pro-democracy community group was committing some sort of crimes, has, according to Think Progress, admitted during a recent speech that what he does is "the nadir of morality." ("Nadir" means "lowest point", versus "zenith" which means "highest".) No worries though. O'Keefe's employer, the discredited, pathological liar Andrew Breitbart, has plans to deceptively re-edit the video of O'Keefe in order to "fix" that little Freudian slip.
Stephanie Comes Out!
Finally, the most fun news of the day comes from progressive radio talker and friend of The BRAD BLOG, Stephanie Miller. During a moving program yesterday, Miller announced to listeners that she was gay, noting that it's been an "open secret" among close friends and family for years, but that a "perfect storm" of events (the recent federal court ruling that CA's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and the fight to repeal the federal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the military, etc.) led her to the belief that it was the right moment to come out to her listeners and the public. The BRAD BLOG sends our props and kudos to Stephanie for her courageous decision. The audio of her "coming out" segment, follows below...
Guest Editorial by Ernest A. Canning
Sorry, Mr. Gibbs, but your description of a "professional left" whose critiques of your boss, President Barack Obama, should be disregarded as the "crazy" musings of "people who ought to be drug tested" reflects that you are both authoritarian and out-of-touch.
The vast majority of citizens who supported the President in 2008 favor positions on policies that are far more progressive than anything which has emerged from either the corporate-controlled Democratic "leadership" in Congress or the Obama White House. The majority of Americans are by no means obligated to ignore the "democracy deficit" or the betrayal of the President's promise to bring "change we can believe in."
While one can readily agree that many of the Obama administration's policies are an improvement over those which are advanced by the reactionary fascist billionaires, and their mindless "Tea Party" followers, there are many instances in which the policies of the current administration threaten more harm than those of its predecessor. E.g,, those documented by a recent ACLU report (see Democracy Now video below) in which the current administration has created policies that may "enshrine permanently within the law policies and practices that were widely considered extreme and unlawful during the Bush administration."
Perhaps most disturbing is that the President's zeal to please his true constituency --- corporate America, Wall Street and the military-industrial complex --- comes from the same Presidential candidate whose soaring and lofty, yet deceptive campaign rhetoric gave rise to hope in so many that Election Day 2008 would mark a return to economic fairness, transparency, a restoration of the rule of law, an end to the fear-driven perpetual "war on terror," and a restoration of nature's ecological balance.
The title of Studs Turkel's powerful book is Hope Dies Last.
Even during the darkest days of the Bush/Cheney cabal, there was the hope that the foundering American ship of state could be righted by way of the electoral process. By raising the hopes of the American people during the course of the 2008 campaign, only to dash those hopes by betraying his own rhetoric, President Obama has, in some measure, caused more harm than the Bush/Cheney regime...
The conservative victories in favor of the Constitution and equal rights for all continue, as the Reagan/Bush I-appointed U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker has just ruled that same-sex marriages in California may resume once again as of 5pm PDT, August 18th.
Opponents of equality have until then to appeal the decision at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Walker's ruling today follows his recent ruling which found that the state's Prop 8 constitutional amendment banning such marriages is in violation of the U.S. Constitution's equal protection and due process clauses.
Seriously, what part of "conservative values" and the "U.S. Constitution" do Fox "News" "conservatives" not get?
As we've been pointing out for years, and as we re-iterated yet again on Wednesday when CA's Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage was found to be unconstitutional by a Reagan/Bush I-appointed federal judge, the ruling was "Great news for real conservatives who believe in the U.S. Constitution and its guarantee of equal protection under the law!"
Poor Fox "News" viewers, however, have been so obscenely and opportunistically disinformed for so many years about what "conservatism" actually means (basically, they've been told by the Fox/GOP opportunists that Republicanism is the same thing as conservatism, when it's usually anything but, and foolish folks on the non-Right have continued that fiction by describing them as "conservatives"), that they've had a next-to-impossible time wrapping their grotesquely disinformed brains around what last Wednesday's extremely conservative ruling actually means.
The scam that has been played on wingnuts --- inaccurately and opportunistically conflating Republicanism with Conservatism --- has rarely been more clear than it was on Fox News Sunday today, when anchor Chris Wallace's "conservative" disinformation train ran smack-dab into the brick wall of conservative facts and reality offered by Theodore Olson, George W. Bush's former Solicitor General (he of the infamous Bush v. Gore), who happens to be the plaintiff's victorious lead attorney in the Prop 8 case.
So, we'll ask again: What part of "conservative values" and the "U.S. Constitution" do Fox "News" "conservatives" not get? As we've got many such disinformed phony "conservatives" trolling us here at The BRAD BLOG, we'll look eagerly forward, as always, to their amusing, self-defeating, non-conservative, anti-Constitutional comments in reply to this video [courtesy of RAW STORY]...
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
"There's no difference between one's killing and making decisions that will send others to kill. It's exactly the same thing, or even worse." - Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir
In a March 25, 2009 article, "Prosecute or Perish," in which I urged that "the survival of our Constitutional Democracy may hinge on factually justified criminal prosecutions of the Bush/Cheney cabal," and again in "Fixing the Facts and Legal Opinions Around the Torture Policy," I took dead aim at the sophistry employed by President Barack Obama to evade his constitutionally mandated obligation to see that the laws are faithfully executed. The same Harvard Law School-educated President who said that, in torture, America had lost its "moral bearings," suggested we must only look forward --- an "illogical formulation [that] was incompatible with the very essence of the rule of law."
I was naive. I thought the President was merely evading his constitutional obligation out of political expediency; that he actually intended to restore the rule of law and salvage what was left of our nation's honor.
A growing body of evidence, including confirmation contained in the recently exposed Afghan "Pentagon Papers," suggests the President did not look back at his predecessor's war crimes because he saw, in the failure to prosecute, the ground work for his own round of "Unitary Executive" lawlessness --- an expanded, illegal and increasingly covert "war on terror" in which hundreds, perhaps thousands of paramilitary assassins, operating in secret and beyond the rule of law, carry out targeted killings of "suspected" terrorists on a global scale --- a program that has already produced massive collateral casualties amongst innocent civilians who are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Worse, as revealed by a newly filed lawsuit, the Obama administration has moved beyond the Bush/Cheney cabal's assertion of unchecked Executive lawlessness in the form of extraordinary rendition, indefinite detention and torture. The Obama administration has now not only asserted a right to assassinate anyone that the Executive branch labels a terrorist, including U.S. citizens, but has gone so far as to place lawyers in legal jeopardy should they seek a court order to block an extrajudicial execution unless the executive branch grants the lawyer permission to do so...
Great news for real conservatives who believe in the U.S. Constitution and its guarantee of equal protection under the law!
A U.S. District Court Judge, first nominated by Ronald Reagan and then appointed under George H.W. Bush, has struck down CA's Prop 8 which added an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage equality. The state's majority Republican-appointed Supreme Court had previously found no basis for banning same-sex marriage in the CA constitution. That finding was, in effect, overturned at the ballot box in November 2008 by Prop 8 which ended same-sex marriage in the state and left thousands of marriages in limbo until today's finding.
Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same sex couples.
That's what history sounds like. Of course, before the ruling was released, lawyers for the opposing side filed a motion to stay his ruling pending an appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
TPMMuckraker's Rachel Slajda reports that "Supporters of Prop 8 (that is, opponents of gay marriage) have already promised to file an appeal," and she now offers more quotes from Judge Vaughn Walker's landmark decision.
And just a reminder to those of you foes of equality and the Constitution: Remember, where same-sex marriage is found to be legal and Constitutional, it will still be voluntary. You will not be forced to marry someone of the same sex. Just in case that's been unclear up until now.
UPDATE: CNN reports that, in a separate ruling [PDF], Walker grants a stay to his finding, pending appeal by the opponents of equality. If appealed, as is almost certain, the case will go to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then likely to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Marcy Wheeler of emptywheel tweets a very interesting point, worth remembering, in relation to the likely inevitable hearing before the U.S. Supremes...
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