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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, August 22, 2014
'Green News Report' 8/21/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Too much rain in AZ desert; Another toxic spill in Ohio River; New solar breakthrough; Wind energy prices hit all-time low; PLUS: Auto-magically cleaning up Baltimore Harbor...
Previous GNRs: 8/19/14 - 8/14/14 - Archives...
Rep. Hank Johnson on Ferguson and His Bill to Stop Police Militarization:
KPFK 'BradCast'
The Democratic U.S. Congressman from Georgia's 4th district joins Brad...
Republicans Call Ferguson Voter Registration 'Disgusting'
Rightwingers decry effort 'to register Democratic voters' following the killing of Michael Brown. But who said anything about 'Democratic voters'?...
Seriously, Ferguson Police?
The front page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reminds again how ridiculous the era of post-9/11 Wars has become, as does yet another comparison to the Bundy Bunch...
'Green News Report' 8/19/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Oregon nixes coal export facility; July 2014 4th hottest; Fracking industry illegally using diesel fuel, threatening water; PLUS GOP officials secretly accept climate science...
Previous GNRs: 8/14/14 - 8/12/14 - Archives...
Tale of Two Protests
The armed Bundy Bunch and the unarmed peaceful protesters of Ferguson -- one group was courageous enough to have possibly brought substantive, positive change to the nation...
Yes, Elections Still Matter: Brad on 'David Pakman Show'
With so many corrupt, corporatist politicians, even on the Democratic side, does voting and fighting voter suppression still even matter?...
97-Year Old Loses Right to Vote in KS for Lack of Photo ID
KS Sec. of State and long-time GOP 'voter fraud' fraudster Kris Kobach wins another one, as senior citizens turned away without voting on Primary Election Day...
'Green News Report' 8/14/14
Historic storms, floods from NE to MI to NY, as CA breaks more heat records; China dumps coal, breaks solar records; PLUS: Jimmy Carter slams denier 'nutcases'...
News Summer from Hell Continues:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Peace activist and author David Swanson joins Brad to explain why using military force in Iraq, even to stop a genocide, is a terrible idea. PLUS: Much more...
Journalists Now Being Arrested in Ferguson
Reporters pulled out of a McDonald's by militarized police while covering protests of police killing of Michael Brown. Freedom-fighting 'Tea Party' 'patriots' still AWOL...
'Green News Report' 8/12/14
Is weather now more extreme?; ExxonMobil begins drilling with Russia in the Arctic; Methane rising; PLUS: U.S. underestimated Keystone XL emissions...
CA Supremes Nix Corporate Personhood 'Advisory Measure' from 2014 Ballot
Prop 49, a CA ballot initiative calling on Congress to amend the Constitution, will not be allowed on this year's ballot after all...
SIEGELMAN JUDGE ARRESTED FOR BATTERY
Controversial Republican federal judge Mark Fuller charged with beating wife; Daughter of AL's former, now-jailed Governor calls news 'shocking', 'karma'...
Keystone XL Emissions Vastly Underestimated by State Dept.: New Report
Independent study finds carbon pollution may increase four times the amount previously predicted by U.S....
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...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
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
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...

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
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
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...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

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

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
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...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
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...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
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...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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...


TONIGHT: All of your worst 2012 nightmares, plus great news out of Wisconsin!
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 1/13/2012 3:58pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with tonight's nightmarish audio archives below! Enjoy!!!]

Mike has the night off! So we're back! Guest hosting the nationally-syndicated Mike Malloy Show on Friday the 13th! It's a Nightmare on Malloy Street!...

We'll be BradCasting all the horror LIVE from 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), coast-to-coast and around the uprising globe from the studios of L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE chat room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG, as usual, while we are on the air. Please stop by and join the fun while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)

Scheduled tonight (so far):

  • YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE! Me! With three hours over our public airwaves to talk about Iowa, New Hampshire & South Carolina voting nightmares! The nightmare that is Election 2012! And other related and unrelated nightmares!
  • GRAEME ZIELINSKI, Spokesman from the Wisconsin state Democratic Party, with some late breaking news on the "Recall Scott Walker" effort in the Badger State!
  • PLUS! The fraud that is James O'Keefe; the "cold" War against Iran; the failure that is the NY Times; the GOP wants more corporate money in campaigns; and all the nightmares on your minds, via your calls over your public airwaves at 877-520-1150 and your tweets to @TheBradBlog!...

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates across the country and also on SiriusXM Ch. 127. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate KPTR 1450 in Palm Springs or at WhiteRose Society or via MikeMalloy.com.

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: Tonight's show was a NIGHTMARE! Don't believe me? You can now listen to the full show, sans commercials, in the archives posted below. (You can also read the nightmarish chat room archives below too!) Be afraid...Be very afraid!...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/6/2011 11:42am PT  

And this comes from the New York Times, of all places, which Climate Progress' Joe Romm recently slammed for having "Abandon[ed] the Story of the Century and Join[ed] the Energy and Climate Ignorati," suggesting that "it is now worth seriously contemplating canceling your subscriptions to the one-time paper of record."

Then they, happily, go and do this...


Rest of toon below...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/10/2011 6:11pm PT  

The New York Times' Paul Krugman absolutely nails the rapidly growing fear and loathing amongst the Oligarchy as Republicans scramble to support years of corporatist cronyism and corruption over the very real grass-roots uprising of "Occupy Wall Street" protesters who've had enough and are now finally fighting for the general welfare of middle-class American citizens.

"This reaction tells you something important," Krugman writes. "Namely, that the extremists threatening American values are what F.D.R. called 'economic royalists,' not the people camping in Zuccotti Park."

"What’s going on here? The answer, surely, is that Wall Street’s Masters of the Universe realize, deep down, how morally indefensible their position is," he avers.

The short piece is a must-read, as it pretty well sums up exactly where we are at what could be a pivotal moment in history, especially as you're likely to see much more of the panic expressed on Fox "News" and other corporatist outlets as the popular and populist uprising continues to grow...

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PLUS: Local media outlet reports story accurately!...
By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2011 3:40pm PT  

The civil trial against Republican propagandist and con-artist Andrew Breitbart's salaried employee James O'Keefe --- a convicted federal criminal as well as propagandist and con-artist in his own right --- continues in San Diego where a former ACORN employee has sued both O'Keefe and his partner Hannah Giles for violations of California's privacy act.

The case arises from the secret video taping by O'Keefe and Giles of then ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera, as part of the deceptively edited hit videos the pair would later release on Breitbart's several propaganda websites. Vera was terminated after the release of the videos, despite having committed no wrongdoing --- he had even notified local police about the pair, after he suspected they were up to no good --- as confirmed in a detailed report by the California Attorney General last year. O'Keefe and Giles, on the other hand, as the CA AG found, most likely "violated state privacy laws." While they were given criminal immunity by the AG in exchange for the raw, unedited video tapes, they remain liable for civil violations of the that law.

Now it appears Breitbart himself may be pulled into the case, and we're likely to soon learn how much he paid O'Keefe and Giles for their hit tapes.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell D. Dembin has adjudicated a discovery dispute by ordering both O'Keefe and Giles to disclose payments Breitbart made to them, as well as email communications and other relevant documents concerning the illicit video taping of Vera.

While that is likely to offer an interesting expansion of this story soon (and we'll offer a few more details from the court's ruling below), more than anything what caught our eye in this story for the moment, was the reporting by local journalist Heather Johnson of Courthouse News. She broke the story this week, and managed to actually report accurately on the details of O'Keefe and Giles' ACORN hoax.

On the other hand, the "paper of record" New York Times is still unable to do similarly. Even though we'd already forced a number of other corrections to their repeated misreporting on this, they've still managed to misreport the facts of O'Keefe's ACORN "pimp" hoax as recently as late last June and then again in late July.

So, to offer you (and, actually, the New York Times) an idea of what accurate reporting on O'Keefe --- a man who has, since his ACORN con, also pled guilty to a scheme involving an attempted wire-tap plot of a sitting U.S. Senator --- looks like, just read the first three grafs of Johnson's coverage this week...

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

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Concedes to The BRAD BLOG 'no evidence whatsoever connects Saddam to 9/11,' after mea culpa piece suggesting otherwise...
By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2011 4:09pm PT  

In a lengthy piece in Sunday's New York Times Magazine, former Executive Editor, now opinion piece writer, Bill Keller attempted to come to terms with both his own, and his paper's, major failures during the lead-up and follow-through in the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

While Keller eventually comes around to admitting that both he and the paper got it wrong (albeit with lots of justifications for the failures along the way) he continued to hedge one very crucial bet in just the fifth paragraph, as he wrote [emphasis ours]:

...Iraq, a place that had, in the literal sense, almost nothing to do with 9/11, but which would be its most contentious consequence.

We have been attempting to contact Keller since Sunday, asking via both email and Twitter:

"Almost"? Okay, I'll bite. What exactly was Iraq's role in 9/11?

Today Keller replied, admitting that that part of his Sunday story --- a story about the Times' costly failure of getting the Iraq War wrong --- was wrong as well...

Brad,

Fair point. "Almost" is one of those wiggle words writers use to allow for the possibility they might have missed something. I know of no evidence whatsoever that connects Saddam to 9/11, and I assume the widespread popular belief that there is some connection is a myth. But of course it's hard to prove a negative, so it's cautious - perhaps over-cautious - to say a connection is unproven rather than disproven.

Best,
Bill

But, of course, Keller hadn't written that a connection between Iraq and 9/11 was "unproven," as he avers in his response above. He asserted, in no uncertain terms, as late as this past Sunday, a full 10 years since 9/11, in an article meant to come to terms with his paper's --- "the paper of record's" --- unspeakably costly inaccuracies, that Iraq had "almost nothing to do with 9/11," suggesting that they had, in fact, had some very small role in it.

There is, of course, no legitimate evidence of such a role, and both Keller and the New York Times should offer an immediate and clear and unhedging correction on that still-very-important point. (Hopefully, it will be a correction unlike the partial corrections they begrudgingly ended up publishing concerning their repeated misreporting on the phony James O'Keefe ACORN "pimp" hoax videos, after we'd spent many months proving to them that they'd gotten it entirely wrong and forcing them to finally offer correction.)

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Paper ignores calls for criminal investigations of Supreme Court Justice, growing record of judicial lawlessness...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/4/2011 3:05pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

However historically inaccurate the phrase may have been, the idea that Emperor Nero fiddled while Rome burned seems apropos the appearance of a David G. Savage fawning Clarence Thomas puff piece on the front page of the Sunday, July 3 edition of Los Angeles Times.

On March 7, as part of our coverage of a Daily Beast article, in which Univ. of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos called for Thomas to be thrown off the bench, we noted:

The BRAD BLOG was among the first to specifically detail Thomas' years of "knowing and willful" violations of the U.S. criminal code, even as the mainstream corporate media largely ignored or downplayed those violations of the Rule of Law in their limited coverage...

In a March 6 Los Angeles Times op-ed, George Washington Law School Prof. Jonathan Turley found allegations that Virginia Thomas received monies from the groups that had a direct interest in the outcome of Citizens United to be "particularly alarming." He went on to compare Thomas' cynical effort to equate criticism of his ethical lapses with an attack on the integrity of the Court to Louis XIV's infamous view that there was no distinction between himself and the state.

Yet, on July 3, Los Angeles Times gave page-one coverage to Savage's uncritical piece that begins with a self-serving description in which Thomas seeks to portray his radical and, at times, outright bizarre legal positions, such as his stand-alone position that prisoners have no constitutional right to be protected from beatings by their guards, as simply a reflection of a rugged individualist who is not afraid to be a minority of one when he thinks he is right.

During Thomas' contentious Senate Judiciary Committee Confirmation Hearings in 1991, the late Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D-MA) took a very different view as he likened the Thomas nomination to a game of "Russian roulette":

If we confirm a nominee who has not demonstrated a commitment to core constitutional values, we jeopardize our rights as individuals and the future of our nation. We cannot undo such a mistake at the next election or even in the next generation.

The firestorm of controversy surrounding questions about Thomas' conflicts of interest, severe ethical lapses, and possible crimes has momentarily slowed a bit over the past month of Congressional (almost) recess and the usual D.C. media "summer vacation." But the list of reputable individuals and organizations calling for the embattled Associate Supreme Court Justice to be investigated by the U.S. Dept. of Justice, removed from office, and possibly prosecuted is likely to grow again once politics as usual resumes following the Labor Day holiday, according to The BRAD BLOG's discussions with a number of those individuals and organizations.

In the meantime, the question remains as to why Los Angeles Times saw fit not only to publish a ridiculous puff piece on Thomas as the firestorm was still cresting in July, failing to so much as reference these serious issues, but why they even found it necessary to elevate such a softball article to their front page.

Before reaching that, however, let's again examine the real issues...

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

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Error-ridden puff-profile goes from shoddy to absolutely absurd...
By Brad Friedman on 7/4/2011 6:35pm PT  

While we wait for the New York Times to hopefully correct last week's puff-profile on Rightwing scam-artist Andrew Breitbart, in regard to their demonstrably inaccurate statements about what occurred in his and James O'Keefe's phony "pimp" hoax videos, I just noticed that the paper, which already corrected another point in the same piece, seems to be purposefully covering for Breitbart's own original lie in their corrected text of the article.

At this point, they seem to be going out of their way to avoid calling Breitbart a liar, even if it means, impossibly, attempting to cover up for the very lie the paper states he originally told them!

As we noted last week, the Times issued a correction to Jeremy W. Peters' softball story, where he had originally reported that, in Breitbart's selective clip from a speech by then USDA official Shirley Sherrod, audience members (according to Breitbart, but inexcusably never fact-checked by the paper before publication) "applauded" when she discussed her initial reticence in helping out a white farmer decades earlier.

In fact, as Media Matters first detailed on the day Peters' NYTimes article was published --- and as easily apparent to anybody who bothered to view the selective clip that Breitbart published at his websites under the inaccurate headline "NAACP Awards Racism" --- the audience at the speech did not "applaud."

In the course of correcting the inaccurate report, however, which had previously asserted that "Breitbart said...the crowd applauded," the Times is now offering a completely different story about what Breitbart "said" --- a story that differs with their own published correction on the very same page!

Here's what the original June 26 version of the Peters' NYT report stated [emphasis added]...

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

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UPDATED: NYT Public Editor's office responds...
By Brad Friedman on 6/30/2011 6:40pm PT  

The New York Times has issued one correction to Jeremy W. Peters' error-ridden weekend puff-profile on Rightwing scam-artist Andrew Breitbart.

They corrected the error where Peters reported, just as Breitbart lied to him, that members of the NAACP applauded when they heard now-former USDA official Shirley Sherrod discuss her initial reticence at helping a white farmer decades ago. As Media Matters pointed out on Sunday, and as the Times now concedes, members of the audience didn't applaud, as Peters might have discovered simply by reviewing the video in question (otherwise known as fact-checking or reporting).

On that error, at least, the Times has now issued a correction. No correction has been issued yet, however, in response to our article on Monday detailing other errors in Peters' story, which inaccurately reported that the phony and "severely edited" "pimp" videos published by Breitbart, as created by business-partner James O'Keefe, showed "Acorn workers offering advice on how to evade taxes and conceal child prostitution."

As we pointed out on Monday (and in much greater detail long ago, in March of 2010), the ACORN workers did no such thing, in fact all of the workers secretly video-taped by O'Keefe instructed him and his partner Hannah Giles that they must pay their taxes, even on money illegally obtained through prostitution. None advised them to "evade taxes" as the Times has now defamed.

Peters says in report that "The stories and videos Mr. Breitbart plays up on his Web sites...tend to act as political Rorschach tests. If you agree with him, you think what he does is citizen journalism. If you don’t, his work is little more than crowd-sourced political sabotage that freely distorts the facts."

This is not a matter of a "Rorschach test", Mr. Peters. These are simple, independently verifiable errors of fact. ACORN workers either "offer[ed] advice on how to evade taxes" or they didn't. If you have evidence that ACORN workers did so, we'd be happy to review it. We are aware of none. Are you?

Media Matters' Eric Boehlert picked up on our Monday article, after we highlighted, once again, what the transcripts of the unedited tapes reveal actually happened in those ACORN meetings, versus the way liars like Breitbart, O'Keefe, Giles, and their minions at Fox "News" and, apparently, the New York Times have repeatedly spun it in order to fool the public. Again.

It's hardly the first time the NYTimes has flagrantly mis-reported the ACORN "pimp" hoax story, though we hope it doesn't take us six months, like last time, before we they finally issue even a partial correction. Haven't they done enough damage already?

For the record, at least five separate independent investigations (see here, here, here, here and, just last week again, here) have all concluded there was no criminality seen in any of the ACORN videos, other than by O'Keefe and Giles who are now in court defending themselves against CA Invasion of Privacy Act violations.

NYTimes Public Editor, Arthur S. Brisbane, can be politely emailed at the following address if you'd like to help encourage the "Paper of Record" to correct the record: Public@NYTimes.com.

* * *

UPDATE 7/1/11: While Jeremy W. Peters has refused to respond to several inquiries concerning his errors, the office of the NYTimes Public Editor has note replied to thank us for our email notifying them about the errors, and to say...

This is going to take us a few days to look into, so realistically we won't have a response until later next week. Hope this is understandable.

So that's good. At least the Times finally appears to be looking into it. It's unfortunate that Peters, a media reporter for the paper who has a frequently used Twitter account, has declined to respond publicly to at least our queries on this matter. We will update, of course, when there is more.

UPDATE 7/4/11: The NYT correction for the Sherrod part of the story is even worse than we had realized, as the paper appears to be trying to protect Breitbart by re-writing history, even though their own correction undermines them. Full details now here...

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PLUS: Breitbart tells yet another 'provable lie'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2011 6:52pm PT  

How many times can the New York Times, the country's so-called "Paper of Record," misreport the very same story?! Even after being called out repeatedly on it? They seem to be working on breaking their very own previously set record at this point.

In the yet another puff-piece on Rightwing scam-artist Andrew Breitbart, published over the weekend, in which he's described as being "careless with facts," the Times' Jeremy W. Peters continues the paper's long and proud record of being exceedingly careless with facts themselves in reporting on the faked ACORN "pimp" videos created in 2009 by Republican activist and convicted federal criminal James O'Keefe, as published by Breitbart.

That, even as Breitbart would once again provably lie to the media --- this time to Fox "News" anchor John Stossel --- about the tapes once again just late last week....

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

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Why same MSM that hounded Weiner from office stays mum on Senate's serial hooker chaser and ethically bankrupt Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas...
By Ernest A. Canning on 6/22/2011 2:06pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

On Tuesday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) submitted a complaint to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics [PDF] alleging that Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) violated a federal bribery statute when he submitted a May 23, 2011 letter to Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar threatening to block legislation that would provide Salazar "a nearly $20,000 salary increase" until the Interior Secretary began to issue permits for deepwater exploratory wells in the Gulf at the same pace that permits were being issued before Salazar's moratorium issued in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster last year.

The statute, 18 U.S.C. § 201 (b) "Bribery of Public Officials and Witnesses" makes it a crime to offer or promise "anything of value to any public official" in order "to influence any official act" and CREW alleges that "Vitter's conduct is exactly the type of quid pro quo the bribery statute was intended to prevent."

While a scant reference to the bribery allegation can be found in the Wall Street Journal, and more extended coverage was provided by The Hill and by Politico, the same corporate-owned media outfits which hounded Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) from office for sexually inappropriate Twitter messages that did not amount to a crime, have remained largely mum about Vitter, the Senate's serial hooker chaser's alleged criminal activities, and his role in a taxpayer-funded "Con-Air."

Want to know why?...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/27/2011 4:13pm PT  

Rightwing activists and propagandists James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, employees of con-artist and propagandist Andrew Breitbart, may not use the First Amendment as an excuse for breaking the law in California, according to a federal judge's ruling this week.

Judge M. James Lorenz rejected the defendants' argument and motion for summary judgment in federal court, as part of the civil lawsuit filed against them by former San Diego ACORN worker Juan Carlos Vera.

Giles had previously thrown O'Keefe under a bus by arguing that she should not be held accountable at all for violating California's Invasion of Privacy Act [CA Penal Code § 632], since he, not she, was actually wearing the hidden video camera used to secretly tape their conversations with Vera, even after they had asked if their meeting would be kept confidential.

For his part, O'Keefe, a convicted federal criminal, argued that he was allowed to violate the law because the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment protected him as a "journalist". The judge ruled against the defendants on all points...

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

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PLUS: Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) my guest on tonight's 'Malloy'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/4/2011 2:11pm PT  

While prepping for tonight's Mike Malloy Show (which I will be busy guest hosting all week), here are just a few of the items which caught my eye so far today...in no particular order...

  • Record amounts of cash being spent by labor unions and the (supposedly grass-roots) "Tea Party" on tomorrow's Supreme Court election in Wisconsin, as the race between the unabashedly pro-Walker Justice David Prosser and Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg has turned into a proxy battle between the two clashing ideologies right now in WI. A defeat of Prosser would tilt the court's 4-3 majority from Right-leaning to not Right-leaning. The race is also seen as a bellwether for upcoming recall elections of GOP state Senators likely to occur there in the near future, as Ernie Canning reported on earlier today at The BRAD BLOG.
  • Nuclear triage. Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan are dumping 11.5 tons of "low-level" radioactive water into the ocean to make room in filled storage containers for the more radioactive water leaking from reactor Unit 2. They say they have "no choice," but to dump that water (with radiation levels 100 times over the legal limit) as they must continue injecting new water to cool the plant's four crippled reactors, even as the radiated water floods out. Over the weekend, workers were unsuccessful in their attempt to use polymer, sawdust and newspaper (BP "JunkShot" anyone?!) to plug an 8 inch crack in a flooded tunnel at Unit 2 said to be gushing highly radioactive water, at 100,000 times legal levels, into the ocean.
  • A sweeping new election law in Florida is working its way through the GOP-controlled state legislature along predictably partisan lines, just in time for the 2012 Presidential election there. Some of the proposed changes will make it much more difficult for non-partisan voter registration groups, such as the League of Women Voters, to do their work, and will likely lead to a huge increase in "provisional" (and, therefore, frequently uncounted) ballots. Leon County's highly-respected Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho has called the bill "a travesty".
  • Former U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley --- recently forced to step down for referring to the treatment of alleged WikiLeaks leaker Bradley Manning as "stupid" --- compares WikiLeaks to the New York Times. The paper's Editor-in-Chief, who has been bashing Julian Assange and WikiLeaks themselves of late, even though the "paper of record" has written hundreds of stories based on WikiLeaks documents, will not be happy. Good. (Coverage at RAW STORY courtesy of BRAD BLOG alum David Edwards.)
  • Even Republican state Senators in Maine are beginning to become uncomfortable with the radical statements and extremist behavior of the state's new GOP Governor Paul LePage and are asking him to "tone it down". Beginning to see the writing on the wall, boys?

So what's on your radar?

In addition to some of the above possibly coming up for discussion tonight, we will definitely be discussing the U.S. Chamber Plot (which was to have targeted, among others, myself and my family) with my guest U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) who is trying to see some accountability in that horrific affair after House Republicans refused his request for investigative hearings into the matter.

Please tune in at 6p PT (9p ET) tonight --- and all week! We'll have live listening links and a lively chat room right here at The BRAD BLOG during those hours as usual!

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By Brad Friedman on 2/25/2011 1:27pm PT  

[Note: SD City Beat has now corrected their story as per our criticism in this article. See the UPDATE at bottom of this article for more details.]

The story quoted below, detailing Hannah Giles' attorneys tossing Rightwing hoaxster James O'Keefe "under the bus," comes from San Diego City Beat this week.

Please note, however, that SD City Beat's Dave Maass is still, unfortunately, misleading readers by incorrectly reporting that O'Keefe played Giles' "fake pimp partner" or that he ever "pos[ed] as a pimp" in the scam video tapes featuring deceptively and "severely edited" secretly-recorded interviews with ACORN employees.

O'Keefe never played or posed as a "pimp" in those interviews, as we spent a good portion of 2010 illustrating to the world, such that both the New York Times and its then-Public Editor Clark Hoyt both, eventually, were forced to admit in partial corrections to their repeatedly inaccurate reports making the same misleading claims.

It's a shame that Maass is still inaccurately reporting that part of the story here, as his report is otherwise good in bringing us up to date on the latest in the law suit filed against O'Keefe and Giles by former ACORN worker Juan Carlos Vera, one of those targeted by the hoax video tapes made by O'Keefe and Giles and published by their employer, Rightwing con-man Andrew Breitbart...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 2/3/2011 6:15pm PT  

Rush Limbaugh is a disgusting human being. But you probably knew that. If you didn't, audio from his show today --- which is broadcast over our public airwaves to some 15 million Americans a day, and even over U.S. Armed Forces Radio --- makes it as clear as ever.

First, as highlighted by Media Matters, Limbaugh made light of foreign journalists, including two reporters from the New York Times, being rounded-up in Cairo today because being detained while covering a story of huge import to this nation and the world, by a regime that has spent decades torturing such people is, of course, hilarious...

LIMBAUGH: Ladies and gentlemen, it is being breathlessly reported that the Egyptian army --- Snerdley, have you heard this? The Egyptian army is rounding up foreign journalists.

I mean, even two New York Times reporters were detained. Now, this is supposed to make us feel what, exactly? How we supposed to feel? Are we supposed to feel outrage over it? I don't feel any outrage over it. Are we supposed to feel anger? I don't feel any anger over this. Do we feel happy? Well --- uh --- do we feel kind of going like, "neh-neh-neh-neh"?

I'm sure that your emotions are running the gamut when you hear that two New York Times reporters have been detained along with other journalists in Egypt. Remember now, we're supporting the people who are doing this.

Next, later on in the very the same show, after he's learned that two Fox "News" reporters had been beaten and hospitalized following detention in Egypt, suddenly Rush gives a damn, and says he was just "kidding before about The New York Times"...

LIMBAUGH: According to Mediaite, Fox News' Greg Palkot and crew have been severely beaten and are now hospitalized in Cairo. Now we were kidding before about The New York Times, of course. This kind of stuff is terrible. We wouldn't wish this kind of thing even on reporters.

Moral depravity. As appalling as it gets.

For the record, as White House correspondent Paul Brandus tweeted last night as the round-up was beginning, "79 journalists were killed around the world last year - just for trying to tell a story."

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 849 journalists have been killed since 1992. Isn't that hysterical, Rush?

* * *

UPDATE 2/4/11: ABC News has compiled a rather lengthy list of the journalists rounded-up in Egypt this week and what happened to each. Rachel Maddow explains why she believes it is being done.

UPDATE 2/5/11: Thanks to UK's Guardian for citing our coverage in their own coverage of Egypt yesterday, helping the world to understand that Limbaugh does not represent the true values of this nation.

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By Brad Friedman on 12/27/2010 1:09pm PT  

As this noteworthy New York Times editorial was buried by its publication on Christmas Day, it's worth highlighting here today in hopes that a few more folks may actually read it.

To date, the lack of alarm (by both media and, subsequently, the public) caused by the idea of major U.S. financial services companies serving as little more than instruments of unofficial U.S. governmental policy is troubling enough as is. That WikiLeaks, the organization being outrageously penalized by these enormous corporations, has been been charged with absolutely no violation of law, makes the actions of these banks even more extraordinary and chilling.

And finally, the entire affair is made most disturbing of all, perhaps, due to the fact that in 2010 none of this seems to come as much of a surprise to anybody, as reflected by the lack of concern expressed in the bulk of the mainstream media and, therefore, by the populace at large (most of whom, thanks again, MSM, likely have no knowledge of any of it, or why it's extraordinary in the first place)...

The whistle-blowing Web site WikiLeaks has not been convicted of a crime. The Justice Department has not even pressed charges over its disclosure of confidential State Department communications. Nonetheless, the financial industry is trying to shut it down.

Visa, MasterCard and PayPal announced in the past few weeks that they would not process any transaction intended for WikiLeaks. Earlier this month, Bank of America decided to join the group, arguing that WikiLeaks may be doing things that are "inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments."
...
[A] bank's ability to block payments to a legal entity raises a troubling prospect. A handful of big banks could potentially bar any organization they disliked from the payments system, essentially cutting them off from the world economy.

The fact of the matter is that banks are not like any other business. They run the payments system. That is one of the main reasons that governments protect them from failure with explicit and implicit guarantees. This makes them look not too unlike other public utilities. A telecommunications company, for example, may not refuse phone or broadband service to an organization it dislikes, arguing that it amounts to risky business.
...
The decisions to bar the organization came after its founder, Julian Assange, said that next year it will release data revealing corruption in the financial industry. In 2009, Mr. Assange said that WikiLeaks had the hard drive of a Bank of America executive.

What would happen if a clutch of big banks decided that a particularly irksome blogger or other organization was “too risky”? What if they decided — one by one — to shut down financial access to a newspaper that was about to reveal irksome truths about their operations? This decision should not be left solely up to business-as-usual among the banks.

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