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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, November 30, 2015
Leftover Turkey Toons
'PDiddie' warms up the oven to roast a few of the folks who deserve it in his latest collection of Thanksgiving week's best political toons...
The 'F' Word:
'BradCast' 11/27/15
Guest Host Nicole Sandler is joined by Howie Klein of Down with Tyranny and Blue America PAC on the rise of Trump, Grayson's endorsement of Clinton, and how marijuana helped him fight cancer...
Serve & Protect?:
'BradCast' 11/25/15
The Guardian's Steven W. Thrasher joins guest host Nicole Sandler to discuss two different and disturbing attacks on African Americans...
Alan Grayson Explains His Hillary Endorsement: 'BradCast' 11/24/15
Guest host Nicole Sandler's tough interview with the FL Congressman seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate...
'Green News Report' 11/24/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Carbon tax coming to Alberta tar sands; Obama: Paris conf must proceed; Senate Repubs to monkeywrench int'l agreement; PLUS: FDA okays GMO salmon for humans...
Previous GNRs: 11/19/15 - 11/17/15 - Archives...
Sunday 'This Means War' Toons
PDiddie's must-see collection of the past shameful week's best -- and most dead-on and occassionally horrifying -- toons...
ISIS Wins in US House; Plus: TPP, NAFTA and the Return of KXL?: 'BradCast' 11/19/15
With guest David Dayen of Salon, Fiscal Times, The Intercept, et al...
'Green News Report' 11/19/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
House GOP's war against climate scientists; October 2015 was hottest on record; Fossil fuel subsidies at $500B/year; UK phases out coal; PLUS: Canada kills another tar sands pipeline...
Previous GNRs: 11/17/15 - 11/12/15 - Archives...
Home of the Brave:
'BradCast' 11/18/15
GOP Governors and Presidential candidates help ISIS dreams come true by turning against refugees from war-torn Syria, as some Americans follow their lead by turning against fellow citizens after the Paris attacks...
How NOT to Respond to the Paris Terror Attacks: 'BradCast' 11/17/15
Anti-war author David Swanson on how we got here, how the media and politicians continue to make it worse, and what we must do instead...
'Green News Report' 11/17/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Climate gets short shrift in 2nd Dem Debate; Yes, climate change is a NatSec threat; Intn'l climate talks in Paris after attacks; PLUS: NY's Cuomo vetoes major NatGas project...
Previous GNRs: 11/12/15 - 11/10/15 - Archives...
A Word About Paris; Coverage of CBS' Dem Debate in Iowa: 'BradCast' 11/16/15
Salon's Heather Digby Parton and longtime GOPer Fred Karger on the debate the DNC didn't want you to watch...
Sunday Somewhat Horrible Toons
PDiddie's round-up of a number of smart toons in the wake of the horrific terror attacks in Paris...
'Very Similar, If Not Identical': DoJ's Big Tobacco Prosecutor on Case Against ExxonMobil: 'BradCast' 11/12/15
Attorney Sharon Eubanks on RICO, conspiracy and the big lies of Big Tobacco and Big Oil...
'Green News Report' 11/12/15
2016 Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates talk climate, energy, and the path forward in GOP Debate and Dem Forum...
Decoding and Debunking Fox Biz Channel's GOP Debate: 'BradCast' 11/11/15
Smartest post-debate analysis anywhere! With journalists Heather Digby Parton and David Dayen...
Impossible Results for OH Pot Measure?: 'BradCast' 11/10/15
Screenshots suggest disappearing 'Yes' votes; OH SoS offers us explanation. PLUS: Calls for KY hand-count...
'Green News Report' 11/10/15
Obama rejects KXL; Big Coal caught lying about climate change; ExxonMobil facing probe; PLUS: 2nd cyclone for Yemen & Sea World responds to critics...
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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...

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...

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...

The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

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...

The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

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...

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...

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...

6th Circuit fails to note conflicting 11th Circuit ruling; Leaves open possible loss of privacy rights via 'national security' allegations, fine print of ISP 'user agreements'...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/19/2010 12:44pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

The government may not access your private emails without a warrant, says the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal.

In a landmark Dec. 14, 2010 opinion, United States vs. Warshak [PDF] an appellate court invalidated provisions of the 1986 Stored Communications Act to the extent that the Act permitted the government, without a warrant, in violation of the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure without probable cause, to obtain electronic communications from an ISP (Internet Service Provider), stating [emphasis added]:

Since the advent of email, the telephone call and the letter have waned in importance...People are now able to send sensitive and intimate information, instantaneously…half a world away….By obtaining access to someone’s email, government agents gain the ability to peer deeply into his activities...The Fourth Amendment must keep pace with the inexorable march of technological progress, or its guarantees will whither and perish.

Civil libertarians have cause to celebrate the Sixth Circuit's ruling this week, as well as an earlier Third Circuit decision [PDF], reaffirmed [PDF] this week, finding that a federal magistrate has the right to make a factual determination whether the government is required to get a court warrant to obtain cell-site information that mobile-phone carriers retain on their customers.

However, an assertion made by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which had filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief, applauding the Warshak decision as "the only federal appellate decision currently on the books that squarely rules on this critically important privacy issue" is not entirely accurate. Moreover, concerns remain as to the scope of the Fourth Amendment protection that will be afforded by the Warshak decision...

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

UPDATE: Conyers calls on DoJ to review Bush waterboarding order, reconsider decision to let CIA torture tape destroyers off the hook...
By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2010 3:55pm PT  

If there was ever an article worth reading in its entirety (and it's not a long one), it would be Dahlia Lithwick's "Interrogation Nation" as published yesterday at Slate. Here is one of several key passages as written on the heels of George W. Bush's latest proudly shameless admission that he ordered torture, and this week's announcement that nobody will be held accountable for purposely covering up some of those heinous acts by destroying video-taped evidence...

We keep waiting breathlessly for someone, somewhere, to have a day of reckoning over the prisoners we tortured in the wake of 9/11, without recognizing that there is no bag man to be found and that therefore we are all the bag man.

President Barack Obama decided long ago that he would "turn the page" on prisoner abuse and other illegality connected to the Bush administration's war on terror. What he didn't seem to understand, what he still seems not to appreciate, is that what was on that page would bleed through onto the next page and the page after that. There's no getting past torture. There is only getting comfortable with it. The U.S. flirtation with torture is not locked in the past or in the black sites or prisons at which it occurred. Now more than ever, it's feted on network television and held in reserve for the next president who persuades himself that it's not illegal after all.

We have argued since forever that if Bush and his gang of proudly boasting war criminals were not held to account for their abhorrent crimes, the future would be a dim one indeed, where any president in the future, of any political party, would preside over an ever-lowered bar for criminality. This is that future.

Lithwick's commentary is a chilling and maddening one, but it should be required reading for everyone in these United States --- at least for those who may someday wonder what the hell happened here, on our watch.

In the meantime, pressure is growing again, at least in a few circles which still seem to care about the Rule of Law and the U.S. Constitution, for a probe of Bush's torture orders, particularly in light of his recent admissions and our obligation to do so under the U.N. Convention Against Torture as signed by Ronald Reagan in 1988 and ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1994.

* * *

UPDATE: Late this afternoon, U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers issued a statement urging the DoJ to "reconsider their decision reconsider the recent decision not to pursue justice against those responsible for destroying videotape evidence involving water boarding by the CIA" and, as importantly commit to "a thorough review of President Bush's now admitted ordering of waterboarding take place."

Conyers' statement goes on to say: "We are a nation of laws, not men, and the domestic and international laws - including the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment - governing the use of torture are clear in their scope and application. There is no exception for the President or any other official and no lawyer's opinion can provide immunity from these laws."

The full statement follows below...

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

By Brad Friedman on 10/20/2010 1:45pm PT  

It's getting incredibly difficult to keep up with the amount of The Crazy out here of late. So here is a very quick round-up of the latest today (so far)...

She Did What?!: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' activist Tea Bagger wife --- and, apparently, long-term denialist --- Virginia leaves a voice message to Anita Hill asking her to apologize for Hill's accusations, twenty years ago, that she was sexually harassed by Thomas. Hill's attorney was "shocked" by the call. In 2007, in a New York Times op-ed, as we noted at the time, Hill said she stood by her testimony. Hill repeated the sentiment again today, saying she has "no intention of apologizing because I testified truthfully about my experience and I stand by that testimony," as WaPo reports on yet another woman who knew Thomas back then coming forward today to say "The Clarence I know was certainly capable not only of doing the things that Anita Hill said he did, but it would be totally consistent with the way he lived his personal life then."

Kreepy Scam: Matt Osborne from Osborne Ink notices our report on the insane email from Gary Kreep, Esq, Executive Director of the group calling themselves "United States Justice Foundation", sent out to the Tea Bag set on Monday, warning that ACORN is "still alive and ready to steal the November 2 elections" with "MASSIVE VOTER FRAUD". (Never mind that the org has been knocked out of business by the O'Keefe/Breitbart/MSM "pimp" hoax, and that they've never been shown to have stolen even one vote, much less an entire election.) Osborne tweets to us that Kreep is the same cretin who actually aired an Obama Birther Infomercial asking viewers to send him money for...something or other. He's doing the same thing in his latest ACORN "voter fraud" email scam.

More Birther/Voter Fraud Fraudster Connections: TPM picks up on Mother Jones' report that the so-called "voter integrity program" discussed by Illinois' GOP candidate Mark Kirk on a recorded phone call "was launched by the Illinois Republican Party, working with a conservative political action committee and an anti-Obama birther". Without evidence for the claim, Kirk had cited two predominately African-American areas of Chicago as "vulnerable" and "where the other side might be tempted to jigger the numbers somewhat."

He's back!: And speaking of phony "voter fraud" allegations, we reported some weeks ago on the Houston group calling themselves "King Street Patriots" and their "True the Vote" campaign warning about, as usual, massive Democratic voter fraud!!! (Sans evidence to support the actual claim, naturally). Their call to draft "poll watchers" has now reportedly led to voter intimidation charges such as "poll watchers 'hovering over' voters, 'getting into election workers' faces' and blocking or disrupting lines of voters waiting to cast their ballots" as early voting has opened in Houston where a fire recently destroyed all 10,000 of their 100% unverifiable e-voting machines (don't worry, they borrowed more from neighboring counties). The DoJ has now been called in to investigate the complaints. But, as it turns out, one of the folks supposedly responding to the complaints of voter intimidation on behalf of the county attorney's office is none other than John Tanner, George W. Bush's disgraced Voting Section Chief at the DoJ. Tanner was forced to step down from his post after The BRAD BLOG, in 2007, infamously caught him, on video, downplaying concerns of racial discrimination and intimidation at the polls by telling folks at an L.A. seminar that white people are more likely to be disenfranchised because "minorities...die first". He looks to be making a similar "both sides do it" play now in Houston, telling TPM "There are a lot of allegations out there on both sides." Really? Where are the complaints of voter intimidation by Democratic poll watchers in Houston? None have so far been reported, but we'll try to get more info on this.

Uhhhh...: Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI)'s opponent, businessman Ron Johnson has a "deer in the headlights moment", caught on tape, during an interview with the Green Bay Press-Gazette editorial board when he was asked what he plans to do to bring back jobs for the middle class. He can't think of anything other than cutting government spending and freezes up when asked for more specifics. The moment helped lead to the paper's endorsement of Feingold for the first time ever (previously, they've always endorsed his opponent.)

Mythgivings: If you missed it in yesterday's Green News Report, WV's GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate, in a debate Monday, discussed "the myth...and I say myth, that there is Global Warming." His Democratic opponent in the coal state, Gov. Joe Manchin, while not necessarily believing GW is "a myth", none the less ran a campaign ad last week displaying his manliness by shooting a hole, literally, through "Cap and Trade" legislation (which had been killed months ago anyway in the U.S. Senate.)

Louder Than Words: Obama's Dept. of Justice appeals for an "Emergency Stay" of the Federal Judge's recent order for a "worldwide injunction" on the military's unconstitutional "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. This comes after Obama has repeatedly claimed he will end the policy "on [his] watch"; after the Military instructed recruiters yesterday to begin accepting openly gay applicants; and after Arabic translator Lt. Daniel Choi --- who had been discharged from the military for being gay --- walked into the Times Square recruiting office yesterday to sign up again (great video there, btw! Choi says there was plenty of "unit cohesion" in the office, even after his application to serve his nation openly.)

Man in the Mirror: Glenn Beck, The Crazy personified, says the idea of evolution is "ridiculous" because he hasn't "seen a half-monkey, half-person yet". Sigh...

Seeing more of The Crazy out there? Let us know about it in comments.

UPDATE: Dramatic video just after 'arrest' as Joe Miller's goons threaten other reporters as well...
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2010 11:23pm PT  

No, seriously. Via Anchorage Daily News tonight...

The editor of the Alaska Dispatch website was arrested by U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller's private security guards Sunday as the editor attempted to interview Miller on camera at the end of a public event in an Anchorage school.

Tony Hopfinger was handcuffed by the guards and detained in a hallway at Central Middle School until Anchorage police came and told the guards to release him.

Hopfinger has not been charged but the owner of the Drop Zone, private security firm that's been providing Miller's security, accused Hopfinger of trespassing at the public event, a "town hall" meeting sponsored by the Miller campaign. The owner, William Fulton, also said Hopfinger assaulted a man by shoving him.

Josh Marshall of TPM's brilliantly understated headline for his coverage: "Didn't Know You Could Do That."

Alaska blogger/radio host Shannyn Moore tweets late tonight: "The Drop Zone has a picture of Obama as the joker in their window."

Miller's Democratic opponent Scott McAdams tweets: "@JoeWMiller - in case you were unaware, the Constitution also applies to reporters."

Alaska's incumbent Senator, Republican Lisa Murkowski, is also running in the race as a write-in candidate this year after having lost to Miller in the GOP primary which, as we detailed some weeks ago, could seriously test the state's lousy Diebold optical-scan voting system.

Finally, there's Miller's most famous endorser, celebrity organizer Sarah Palin who loves to shout "Do you love your freedom?!" at her rallies. Perhaps she means that as a threat at this point? Good lord.

* * *

UPDATE 10/18/10: Wow. Miller's goons, thugs --- apparently Secret Service wannabes --- threatened to handcuff another reporter or two after the incident with Hopfinger, as seen in this rather dramatic video courtesy of Salon/Anchorage Daily News [hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter AzDesertRat]. Amazing...

News reports have noted that the incident took place after Miller had left the building, leading Media Matters' Eric Boehlert to ask via Twitter: "Why did Miller's rent-a-cops 'arrest' blogger if Miller had left the building? Who were they protecting/what were they afraid of?" Good question.

John Wellington Ennis' new documentary on big corporate money's corruptive influence on American democracy...
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2010 11:50am PT  

I'm no good at raising money for The BRAD BLOG - so let's see if I have any better luck helping out progressive filmmaker John Wellington Ennis to complete his newest documentary, Pay 2 Play: Democracy's High Stakes, covering the Supreme Court's Citizens United disaster and other related bastardizations of our democracy by the highest corporate bidder.

As his website describes the new film: "The cost of running for office makes candidates beg, borrow, and steal. PAY 2 PLAY shows how our elections encourage extortion, and how to stop it."

John is also the director of 2008's high-lariously informative Free For All: One Dude's Quest to Save Democracy (which features yours truly, but is brilliant nonetheless!)

Unfortunately, progressives are not shoveled barrels of free money as partisan scammers Andrew Breitbart, James O'Keefe, and the other liars and snake-oil salesmen on the Right are. Progressives actually have to beg for funds and then produce actual, truthful material in the bargain! That takes time, effort, and funding. So it's gonna take money to get money out of our politics once and for all! Please help. Ennis is doing his part, big time, so please help him out to finish the film if you can afford to toss in a few dollars!

If you need any more convincing, here's a slightly shortened version of an appearance I made at one of his fundraisers in Santa Monica last week [apologies for the echoey sound, it gets easier to see and hear as it goes forward!]...

Ruling seen as victory for GOP gay organization, Constitutional rights supporters against long-standing discriminatory U.S. military doctrine...
[UPDATES: Confusion reigns as DoJ appeals, Pentagon says 'Don't come out yet!']
By Brad Friedman on 10/12/2010 1:32pm PT  

Just in. Yet another in the recent string of victories for (real) conservative values and the U.S. Constitution...

A federal judge issued a worldwide injunction Tuesday stopping enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, ending the U.S. military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops.

U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips' landmark ruling was widely cheered by gay rights organizations that credited her with getting accomplished what President Obama and Washington politics could not.

U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say they are under no legal obligation to do so and could let Phillips' ruling stand.

More details in the full AP story.

The order follows a successful lawsuit by the Log Cabin Republicans in which Judge Phillips found the military's policy --- which President Obama has chosen not to end with an executive order as he could have --- to be unconstitutional on First Amendment free speech grounds and a violation of the due process rights of gay and lesbian service members.

The decision also follows a string of other recent victories in federal courts for real conservative values, as confirmed by Republican-appointed judges, such as the U.S. District Court judge's finding this past August that California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection clause.

As we noted recently, while it often takes far too long in this nation, the good news is that, eventually, Constitutional rights win and the haters lose. Today's ruling underscores that hopeful point --- in an otherwise dark period in this nation's history --- once again.

* * *

UPDATE 4:08pm PT: 21 Democratic U.S. Senators have sent a letter to the Obama Administration asking them to not appeal Judge Phillips' order. There are no GOP Senators signed on to the letter despite the fact that it was a GOP group who won the decision in court. While, to be fair, we also don't know if the Dem Senators asked the Republicans to sign or not, the fact that all of them voted against a repeal of DADT (if it were to be approved by the U.S. military) in the recent Defense Authorization bill suggests that it's likely none of the Republican Senators would have done so anyway. The letter from the Democratic Senators is now posted here....

UPDATE 10/15/10: Confusion reigns. Incredibly, the DoJ is asking the Judge to stay the order pending appeal after all. (Which part of "Unconstitutional" do you not understand, Mr. President?!) Of course, in truth, the decision is the DoJ's, not the President's directly. The Pentagon, earlier this week, has said for the moment they will not be enforcing DADT, though later in the week they told folks to not come out yet! Apparently. As mentioned, confusion reigns. Details on the appeal here. Memo from the Pentagon here.

By Brad Friedman on 9/26/2010 3:05pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman

As horrible as things seem right now --- with sociopathic loons on one side of the aisle, cowardly failures on the other, a mainstream corporate media completely out of touch with virtually everything that matters, an economy in which everyone but the rich are gasping for air --- there is one very bright spot on which we can all take great comfort.

Rights win.

It rarely happens immediately, and almost never without a far-too-long struggle, but rights for we, the people, almost always eventually win in this nation --- usually against all odds, avarice, greed and ignorance --- but our Constitution is brilliant enough that rights eventually win out.

If you have any doubt, look no further than the latest news (video posted below) heralding the last dying gasps of institutionalized homophobia in our laws and in our military.

The good news is: the haters have lost. The question which played such an enormous --- if entirely trumped up --- role in our Presidential elections just 6 years ago has been all but finally settled.

Well before the end of this decade (and likely far sooner than that, perhaps even before the end of Obama's first term in office), marriage equality for gays and lesbians will be recognized in every state in the union, and homosexuals will be as welcome in our nation's military as African-Americans.

It's over. The good guys have won. In these quiet victories of rights over wrongs, we can all take some quiet comfort, even in these maddening, ugly days...

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

By Brad Friedman on 9/10/2010 12:50pm PT  

From @PeterDaou during Obama's presser this morning:

Obama: Burning Quran "contrary to what this nation stands for" - so how about assassinating Americans without a trial?

...Or disallowing torture victims a day in court, for that matter.

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

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Atty: 'Court closed to victims, complete immunity to torturers'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/8/2010 4:36pm PT  

From Charlie Savage at New York Times [emphasis added]:

A sharply divided federal appeals court on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit [PDF] involving the Central Intelligence Agency’s practice of seizing terrorism suspects and transferring them to other countries for imprisonment and interrogation. The ruling handed a major victory to the Obama administration in its effort to advance a sweeping view of executive secrecy power.

Gosh. Can't understand why Obama's approval ratings keep falling.

In any case, the heart of this matter is the Government's "alleged" right (the President of the United States' actually) to use the so-called "state secrets privilege" to keep victims of alleged torture from ever even having a day in court --- even when one of those victims, as in this case, charges that his torture included "cutting his penis and other body parts with a scalpel and then pouring stinging liquid on the wounds."

Good thing none of this was done by Iran. We'd be outraged...

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

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

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

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

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

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

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

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

By Brad Friedman on 8/23/2010 12:40pm PT  

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.

A commenter at Ballon Juice may have said it best (h/t Glenn Greenwald on Twitter): "They got one thing right: Ground Zero is being desecrated. Just not by Muslims."

By Brad Friedman on 8/19/2010 4:35pm PT  

We usually don't like to take the wingnut bait, preferring instead to focus on issues that actually matter, but this one is just too gobsmackingly stupid for even us to look the other way.

Last night Ernie Canning noted Dr. Laura's cutting and running from her 30-year career in radio after an ill-advised rant in which she used the "n-word" repeatedly and made even far more offensive comments to boot. He didn't, however, flag the fact that her post-rant self-victimization included the absurd-on-a-billion levels notion that she claimed to be quitting in order to "regain [her] First Amendment rights."

We'd have otherwise left that alone, were it not for fellow-quitter Sarah Palin --- who some, incredibly, still believe to qualified to be President of the United States for Chrissakes --- who Tweeted this in response yesterday...

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

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

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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