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More Good 'Obamacare' News for Terrified Dems
Will Democrats continue to run scared, or will they embrace the unrelenting string of encouraging Affordable Care Act successes as we head into the 2014 mid-terms?...
'Green News Report' 4/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
One year since West, TX disaster; New 'habitable' planet!; Air pollution in poor areas; Record warm March; PLUS: 'Bombshell' study: CA drought caused by global warming...
Previous GNRs: 4/15/14 - 4/10/14 - Archives...
The Climate Is Invading the Earth! To Battle Stations!
If only the climate was a person that could be defeated with guns -- the world might finally take the threat that climate change now poses with the seriousness it deserves....
'Green News Report' 4/15/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GNR Special Coverage: The UN Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change Report on Mitigation: costs, risks, and opportunities. Is it too late avoid climate catastrophe?...
Previous GNRs: 4/10/14 - 4/8/14 - Archives...
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RW Heartland Institute says 'climate change will be good for you!'; Russia threatens natural gas supplies to Ukraine, Europe; PLUS: Attack of the Tumbleweeds! (No, really!)...
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Christie's E-Cig 'Sin Tax' Due to 'Public Health' Concerns?
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Judge to TX Repubs: Turn Over the Docs!
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NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
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'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
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DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
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LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
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CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
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VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Ernest A. Canning on 8/13/2010 8:45pm PT  

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...

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

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'Targeted Assassinations' Threaten Very Foundation of Our Republic...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/6/2010 8:06am PT  

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...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 8/2/2010 10:15am PT  

Ditto:

If We Cared About The Women And Children Of The World

It would be far better to spend $100 billion per year granting them political asylum and paying for their transport and relocation to the US than invading their countries and caressing them with our freedom bombs.

Or you could come up thousands of other ways to spend $100 billion all of which would be almost infinitely better than invading their countries and caressing them with our freedom bombs if we cared about the women and children of the world.

So when an asshole like [Time magazine's managing editor] Rick Stengel suggests we must stay in Afghanistan otherwise more girls will be mutilated even though we're currently in Afghanistan and poor girls are still being tragically mutilated, I don't think that's the real reason he thinks we should be there.

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By Brad Friedman on 7/28/2010 11:00am PT  

NYU media prof Jay Rosen offers a number of observations well worth reading in regard to the classified Afghan War documents posted to Wikileaks this week, and how this new form of "journalism" changes the game in many different respects (and in very good ones, overall, I would argue).

One of his points in particular caught my eye, as it seems quite pertinent to the extraordinary allegations of former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds which we've been attempting to dig into and report on --- with far too much exclusivity --- for years here at The BRAD BLOG. Rosen's observation, posted below, echoes the general notion I've come to, of late, in regard to her story, and the lack of media coverage of it. In short, it's likely that the Sibel Edmonds story is simply too large for the media to handle --- even those organizations which aren't, themselves, directly implicated in her explosive allegations.

I'm on the road this week (and for the next many), so don't have time at the moment to provide full background on the Edmonds story for those who don't know of it yet, but we've got plenty here at The BRAD BLOG from our years of coverage if you'd like to poke around. Here's a link to one of my recent Hustler articles on her, which offers the basics and includes some discussion of the "too big to bust" theory that Rosen seems to be articulating below.

His point here seems as germane in regard to the Edmonds story as it does to the massive leak of the classified Afghan War documents which he was writing about...

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

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Our military and political leaders are still deceiving us after all these years...
By Ernest A. Canning on 7/26/2010 6:16pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"Somehow this madness must cease."
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Beyond Vietnam" April 4, 1967.

In Beyond Afghanistan, I utilized Dr King's "Beyond Vietnam" speech to deconstruct the empty words used by our Harvard-educated President during a December 1, 2009, address in which he sought to justify an escalation of the war in Afghanistan.

I noted then that President Barack Obama deliberately conflated the Taliban with al Qaeda just as "President" George W. Bush conflated Saddam with al Qaeda to exploit the fear and anger engendered by 9/11. Robert Scheer revealed, in War of Absurdity that there were, at that time, less than 100 members of al Qaeda still inside Afghanistan, who, per General James Jones, did not retain the "ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies." I added:

To defeat the ignoble 100, the U.S. is rapidly building toward an in-country presence of 100,000 American troops at a cost of $100 billion per year. NATO will also add 7,000 more troops, bringing a combined total to 140,000 foreign occupiers to that impoverished nation. To this, add some 104,000 "private contractors" aka armed mercenaries, who are paid more than three times the amount received by American troops.

Earlier, I posted a five part series on the more than 50-year history of CIA torture. In Part III, citing Victor Marchetti's heavily redacted The CIA & The Cult of Intelligence, I reported on how the CIA's William Colby constructed interrogation centers whose [emphasis added] “operations…consisted of torture tactics against suspected Vietcong…usually carried out by Vietnamese nationals”; that this morphed into the infamous Phoenix torture, then kill and dump program, in which an estimated 46,000 Vietnamese lost their lives; that General Petreus suggested that the Phoenix Program be reinstated on a “global scale.”

A powerful, must-see Democracy Now segment, The New Pentagon Papers: WikiLeaks Releases 90,000+ Secret Military Documents Painting Devastating Picture of Afghanistan War (video below) potently establishes that nothing has really changed.

Our current crop of military and political leaders inside the Bush and Obama administrations have erected an elaborate deception as they carry out wars of imperial conquest and war crimes, including targeted killings of suspected terrorists in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, just as our past military and political leaders in the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations erected an elaborate deception to justify the quagmire in Southeast Asia a generation ago...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 7/6/2010 2:15pm PT  

Tom Ricks, author of the best-sellers Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 to 2005 and The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008, on the June 27, 2010 Meet the Press after arguing to Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) that leaving Afghanistan now would lead to an "endless war" ("I think if you want an endless war, Congresswoman, leave Afghanistan right now, and you'll find us having to go after al-Qaeda again and again there for decades."):

DAVID GREGORY: Twenty seconds, Tom. How does it end?

TOM RICKS: I don't think it does. I think we have landed in the middle of the Middle East, for better or worse, in a way that none of us expected us to. I think the war in Afghanistan was made much worse by the distracting war in Iraq, which never should have happened. But we are dealing with phenomena in the Middle East that's going to be crucial to this country as long as we're dependent on Middle East oil. So the best exit strategy I can think of is emphasize alternative fuels.

Um, yeah. Bingo. (On the "alternative fuels" part, not the 'can't leave now' part.)

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By Brad Friedman on 6/23/2010 1:24pm PT  

Yesterday, both Greta Van Susteren on Fox "News" and Ed Schultz on MSNBC asked the very same viewer poll question during their shows:

"Should President Obama fire Gen. McChrystal?"
Results from viewers as of last night...


YES: 3% - NO: 97%
Total Votes (via website): 7,410

YES: 94% - NO: 6%
Total Votes (via text msg): "Over 22,000"

Two Americas.

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U.S. Intelligence treats whistleblowing website as security threat, seeks ways to marginalize them...
By Ernest A. Canning on 4/6/2010 2:28pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Appearing on Democracy Now (video posted below) today, constitutional law attorney and Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald observed:

WikiLeaks has done an extraordinary valuable service because it has exposed what it is that war actually is; what we are actually doing in Afghanistan and Iraq on a day-to-day basis. My concern with the discussions that have been triggered, though, is that there seems to be the suggestion in many circles ... that this is some sort of extreme event, or this is some sort of aberration ... In fact it’s anything but rare. The only thing that’s rare about this ... is that we happen to be seeing it take place on video.

This is something that takes place on a virtually daily basis in Iraq and Afghanistan and other places where we invade, bomb and occupy, and the reason why there are hundreds of thousands of dead in Iraq and thousands of dead in Afghanistan is because this is what happens, constantly when we are engaged in warfare ... This is what war is. This is what the United States does in these countries and that is the crucial point to note along with the point that the military fought tooth and nail to prevent this video from surfacing precisely because it would shed light on what their actual behavior is during war.

During the same remarkable Democracy Now broadcast, Julian Assange, a WikiLeaks co-founder, revealed that even before it exposed this horrific video yesterday, Wikileaks had been targeted in a counterintelligence report [PDF], which describes WikiLeaks as an "information security threat to the U.S. Army." The report discusses outing the identify of the whistleblowers in hopes of destroying them and to deter others from leaking to the website:

The report states:

Web sites such as Wikileaks.org use trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers. The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the Wikileaks.org Web site.

But, as revealed by The BRAD BLOG's extensive coverage of the Sibel Edmonds story --- and as discussed by "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg in his 2008 BRAD BLOG guest editorial --- the real threat to U.S. national security more often lies not with those who expose government lies, but with those who hope to keep them.

Greenwald wrote more about the leaked video yesterday, and later sent out this noteworthy tweet commenting on both that news and word yesterday of a massacre by NATO forces in Afghanistan which U.S. Special Forces attempted to cover up as well:

The key thing to remember when watching the WikiLeaks/Iraq video and reading about the Afghan massacre: THEY HATE US FOR OUR FREEDOMS!!!

UPDATE 04/07/10: Democracy Now reported today that the "Obama administration is refusing to call for a new probe into the US military’s killing of twelve Iraqis despite the public release of video footage capturing the attack on tape."

UPDATE 04/08/10 Rick Rowley, an independent journalist with Big Noise films, who interviewed witnesses one day after this massacre, told Amy Goodman that there was "no reason at all to believe...any of the people in that picture [were] armed insurgents:"

you can see two men with Kalashnikovs, but this is 2007 in Baghdad. This is the height of the civil war, when dozens of bodies a day were being picked up from the street, when sectarian militias filled the Iraqi security forces, the police and the army. Every neighborhood in Baghdad organized its own protection force. And it was legal at the time for every household to own a Kalashnikov in Iraq, and every household I ever went to did.

* * *

The April 6, 2010 segment of Democracy Now's coverage of the WikiLeaks video follows below...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 2/11/2010 8:50pm PT  

Can't believe Andrew Breitbart and the heroic citizen watchdogs fighting against bloated government corruption at BigGovernment.com haven't said a word about this yet! Perhaps James O'Keefe is not donning his pimp costume even now, for some "undercover journalism" to shut these corrupt, tax-payer robbing bastards down once and for all! And prostitution foe "Patterico" is sharpening his poison pen of the people even as we speak!

I can't deny it any longer. These are, after all, the most outrageous examples of ACORN corruption yet! And apparently it wasn't just a few low level employees this time, but system corruption said to go to the very top of the organization, resulting in the defrauding of millions, if not billions of tax-payer dollars! It's now clearer than ever that all of their federal funding must be denied once and for all! Get this...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 2/3/2010 6:16am PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

While I've always had the utmost respect for Australian journalist and documentary filmmaker John Pilger, I must admit that the first time I watched his video, "Obama is a corporate marketing creation," I thought that, in implying that the President was some type of CIA-connected Manchurian Candidate, Pilger was a bit over the top.

In 1983 Obama went to work for "Business International Corporation," which, according to Pilger, had "a long history of providing cover for the CIA and infiltrating unions on the left." Though Pilger conceded that there "might be nothing sinister" in that, he cited Obama's failure to identify Business International by name or what he did there in Dreams of My Father. The President simply said he worked at “a consulting house to multinational corporations.” Coupling this with a litany of examples which place Obama on the wrong side of Empire and the corporate divide, Pilger implied the connection was not coincidental, then concluded his remarks by quoting Chris Hedges:

President Obama does one thing and brand Obama gets you to believe another. This is the essence of successful advertising. You buy or do what the advertiser wants because of how they make you feel.

Perhaps it's an accumulation of all that has transpired this past year; perhaps it's the striking revelations that emerged during an extraordinary Feb. 2, 2010, broadcast of Democracy Now, especially as it pertains to torture (video below), but I now can't help feeling like Claire Kubik, the sharp attorney played by Ashley Judd in High Crimes who starts out vigorously defending her husband Tom (Jim Cazviel) against charges he murdered innocent civilians in a covert military operation. She's convinced the man she married has been wrongfully accused; convinced of his innocence until, almost when it's too late, she learns the man she thought she knew so well was a murderous sociopath.

Who is this guy whose election so many so happily celebrated on a brisk November evening that now seems so long ago?...

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Anti-Semitic email, threats sent to Mikey Weinstein, founder of Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Rifle sight contractor Trijicon reportedly describes group as 'not Christian'; MRFF responds with threat of possible legal action...
By Brad Friedman on 1/24/2010 8:42pm PT  

And what they will never tell you on Fox "News," and probably not even on CNN or MSNBC, etc., is contained in the following three emails sent to Mikey Weinstein of the Nobel Prize-nominated Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), following an ABC News exposé last week on the bible verses that are encoded on the rifle scopes made by Trijicon, Inc., and used by our military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The first disturbing email below is from a U.S. soldier who happens to be a Caucasian Muslim, horrified by the dangers of having such verse referenced on military equipment used in the Middle East, particularly in the event of capture. The soldier shares an appalling alleged account of his superior officer's description of the weapon as the "the Fire Arm of Jesus Christ." All the better, said the officer according to the soldier, than what they might have received, since "Uncle Sam had seen fit not to give us a 'pussy "Jewzzi" (combination of the word 'Jew' and Israeli made weapon "Uzi").'"

That account is then followed by two very short, anti-Semitic threats sent to Weinstein in regard to the same matter, following ABC's report. Moreover, a senior company executive is said to have described MRFF as "not Christian" to ABC, according to a letter threatening legal action sent to the company by the non-profit organization which counters that it's allied with thousands of Christian troops and organizations.

All three of the email missives are horrifying, though none of them are likely to receive the time of day in the bulk of the cowardly corporate media, where the real cause and effect of the Rightwing's modern day politicized religious agenda is rarely broached in any way, shape, or form...

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

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Our view of 9/11; Their view of Fallujah...
By Ernest A. Canning on 1/8/2010 3:40pm PT  

Guest essay by Ernest A. Canning

"The terrorist of yesterday becomes the hero of today, and the hero of yesterday becomes the terrorist of today." --- Eqbal Ahmad

Irrespective of whether one accepts the government's official explanation or one of the multiple "inside job/false-flag" theories advanced by the "9/11 Truth" movement, or even if you simply regard the current state of public information about 9/11 to be inadequate to arrive at any hard-and-fast conclusions about that seminal event, the mere mention of it evokes the word "terror" in some way for all Americans.

But the word "terror" is rarely applied to Donald Rumsfeld's "shock and awe" assaults on the city of Fallujah. Why?...

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

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Escalation in the 'War on Terror' continues...
By Ernest A. Canning on 1/3/2010 8:03am PT  

Guest essay by Ernest A. Canning

In "Beyond Afghanistan," I responded to President Obama's Dec. 1 Afghan escalation speech by quoting from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Beyond Vietnam" speech: "Somehow this madness must cease."

I directed readers’ attention to King’s assessment that our obsession with war and occupation was but a symptom of “a far deeper malady within the American spirit;" that our presence in Afghanistan and so many other conflicts over the past 60 years was not the product of a desire to insure our safety; that it was the product of a military-industrial complex and a U.S.-led, corporate Empire whose core purpose is to feed the insatiable greed of the privileged few.

In the short time since I wrote “Beyond Afghanistan,” we have witnessed an expansion of the absurd...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 12/28/2009 10:09am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"There is a basic weakness in governments, however massive their armies, however vast their wealth, however they control images and information, because their power depends on the obedience of citizens....When the citizens begin to suspect they have been deceived and withdraw their support, government loses its legitimacy and its power." - Howard Zinn, A Power Governments Cannot Suppress

With all that talk of "Peace on Earth," often spelled out in festive shopping mall lights over the Christmas weekend, it seems few actually mean it. But on the presumption that readers of The BRAD BLOG actually do, allow me to note that in my recent editorial, "Beyond Afghanistan", I argued that there is no legitimate basis for our continued presence in Afghanistan and that the currently planned escalation serves to perpetuate, in the words of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a "criminal enterprise."


While not yet approaching the level of critical mass resistance that will be required to bring our presence in the Afghan quagmire to an end, the "Rethink Afghanistan" petition (video in support thereof at right) calls upon Congress to vote against any bill to fund troop escalation in Afghanistan. It provides an initial step in what I had argued was the right direction. The petition is sponsored by Brave New Foundation, Credo Mobile and True Majority. It was read into the Congressional Record recently by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL).

The petition bears the names of more than 100,000 citizens. Perhaps if that number swells to 100 million, members of Congress will take seriously the fundamental truth it bears, though those who support the petition would do well to address the difficult questions as to "how" we could safely withdraw our forces in an expeditious fashion through such means as a negotiated ceasefire with the Taliban pending an orderly withdrawal.

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By Brad Friedman on 12/21/2009 8:40am PT  

$636 billion for annual military spending was approved by the U.S. Senate over the weekend, with little more than a hiccup of debate from Republican "conservatives," not a peep from the Democrats, and even less coverage from the corporate mainstream media.

But $850 billion for 10 years of what is ostensibly meant to be health care reform for the health and welfare of American citizens --- all while reducing the budget deficit by $132 billion over that period, according to the CBO? "A budget buster!," shout the phony "conservatives" in the same Senate.

Anyway, there's your "American Values," in a two-part nutshell, from today's Republicans and the Democrats and corporate media who enable their madness as if it weren't so.

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