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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, September 4, 2015
Un-Democratic Democratic Party: 'BradCast' 9/2/15
The DNC 'debate debate' with BRAD BLOG legal analyst Ernie Canning. Plus: The Iran Deal is sealed, listener calls and much more!...
KY Clerk Defying SCOTUS, Refusing to Issue Marriage Licenses: 'BradCast' 9/1/15
Guest Joe Dunman, attorney for couples challenging County Clerk Kim Davis: 'Imagine a Muslim clerk denying licenses to Christians'...
'Green News Report' 9/1/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Obama makes case for climate action in melting Arctic; 2015 hurricane season breaking records; Huge e-car news; PLUS: RWers go nuts after nation's tallest mountain renamed...
Previous GNRs: 8/27/15 - 8/25/15 - Archives...
'Voting Machines Are Being Manipulated' - KS Statistician: 'BradCast' 8/31/15
Beth Clarkson explains remarkable allegations, evidence, and how KS SoS Kobach is blocking attempt to audit touch-screen patterns favoring GOP | Also: 64 criminal counts for NM SoS...
O'Malley Slams DNC's 'Rigged' Nomination Process
Former MD Governor and 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate excoriates party's announced debate schedule (and more) at DNC Summer Meeting in Minneapolis..
Sunday Toons: 'Concerns Perhaps Overblown' Edition
...Then again, perhaps not. 'PDiddie' rounds up the political cartoonists take on what you need to worry about this week...and what you don't...
10 Years Later - Crawford and Katrina: 'BradCast' 8/28/15
Personal remembrances and audio from our on-air, on-the-ground 2005 coverage of Cindy Sheehan's anti-war uprising at the Bush 'ranch' in TX as Hurricane Katrina stormed ashore...
'A Crazy Man Got a Gun': 'BradCast' 8/27/15
Standing up to the NRA after Roanoke, horrifying U.S. gun death toll; PLUS: Denying global warming on Katrina's 10th anniversary; Trump's ugly nativism; Good news for Dems; Marriage dead-enders in KY...
'Green News Report' 8/27/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
10th anniv. of Hurricane Katrina; NASA warns 3 ft. of sea level rise now locked in; Obama heads to the Arctic; PLUS: Switch to clean energy costs less than fossil fuel, says Citigroup...
Previous GNRs: 8/25/15 - 8/20/15 - Archives...
Let's Go to the Phones: 'BradCast' 8/26/15
Covering a lot of ground with listener callers -- from the on-air shootings in Roanoke, VA to why Democrats shouldn't be so gleeful about Donald Trump -- and much more...
Carly's Climate Clap-Trap or The Fiorina Follies:
'BradCast' 8/25/15
Journalist David Roberts on the 'moderate', 'reasonable' GOP candidate's ridiculous climate comments and Citigroup's global warming report. Plus: Beck, Trump and Sanders...
'Green News Report' 8/25/15
July 2015 hottest month ever recorded; Record wildfires get worse; Whale deaths in WA; Oil hit hard by China; PLUS: Obama calls out anti-free market ideology...
TX Photo ID Law Found Illegal, Yet Still Suppressing Voters: 'BradCast' 8/24/15
Guests: Attorney Ernest A. Canning on TX' discriminatory law; Financial journalist David Dayen on Dow 'crash'...
Sunday Toons, Untrustworthy Edition
Hillary's email; Ashley Madison's mess; Subway's Jared; Schumer's shame; Amazon agonistes; Trump's tyranny and more...
E-Cigs Are Good For You; GOP is Not: 'BradCast' 8/21/15
Also: Bernie Sanders & ignoring corporate media are good for you too...
5th Circuit Photo ID Ruling Could Leave Thousands Without Right to Vote in TX
'Good news' decision could leave 600k lawfully registered voters disenfranchised in 2016...
'No Good Evidence' Russia Behind MH17 Shootdown in Ukraine, Says Longtime CIA Analyst: 'BradCast' 8/20/15
Exclusive interview with 27-year, top CIA vet turned peace activist Ray McGovern...
'Green News Report' 8/20/15
Fox now 'cares' about environment; Hillary opposes Arctic drilling; EPA rules cut methane; Islamic leaders call for climate action; PLUS: River toxins and intersex fish...
Did KXL Judges Profit Off Ruling?:
'BradCast' 8/19/15
Journalist Steve Horn on two judges who allowed disturbing precedent that led to completion and opening of Kestone XL pipeline's southern leg...
AT&T/NSA Whistleblower Mark Klein on New AT&T/NSA Docs: 'BradCast' 8/18/15
'They approached the phone companies before 9/11,' he says, citing new Snowden disclosures that 'vindicate' his own 2006 revelations...
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...


With Cassandra Fairbanks in Ferguson, Margot Paez at the L.A. Sanders rally, and Nicole Sandler's exclusive interview with Bernie Sanders...
By Brad Friedman on 8/11/2015 5:17pm PT  

We've got a big BradCast today, with on-the-ground reports from Ferguson, the huge Bernie Sanders rally in Los Angeles and an extended portion of an exclusive interview with Sanders himself.

First, we check in with Cassandra Fairbanks from our affiliate Sputnik News. She's in Ferguson covering the protests of the police killing of Michael Brown one year after his death and the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Fairbanks was, incredibly, arrested yesterday while covering one of the demonstrations as a journalist. "They started arresting everyone," she tells me in detailing the incident. "I said, 'You know I'm press, and [the police officer] was like, 'I don't care, you're going to jail.' It was arrest first, ask questions later."

She also reports that white, militant rightwing protesters, openly carrying semi-automatic weapons in Ferguson, are being left alone by the St. Louis County police while local black protesters are receiving an entirely different treatment for the mere suspicion of being armed.

Then, 'feeling the Bern' in L.A. after 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders drew some 28,000 supporters to the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena out here last night, following only slightly smaller crowds over the weekend in Portland and Seattle where he also faced a small, but intense protest from self-proclaimed members of the Black Lives Matter movement.

We detail how Sanders' campaign appears to have deftly adjusted course in the wake of that and a similar protest in Phoenix last month, but how big questions about his foreign policy positions still linger for many progressives. (Our recent interview with author and peace activist David Swanson on that latter issue is back here.)

Former BradCast associate producer Margot Paez interviews Sanders supporters at the raucus L.A. event on the foreign policy questions, and then Nicole Sandler, of our affiliate RadioOrNot.com, presses Sanders himself on the matter in an exclusive interview!

"If you have an aggressive foreign policy, if you think the United States should have ground troops in the Middle East, if you think we should be engaged in perpetual warfare, well, then you're going to have a larger military budget," Sanders tells Sandler. "Needless to say, that's not my view. I think organizations like ISIS and al Qaeda, very dangerous organizations, have to be combated and have to be defeated. But it can't be the United States alone," he says.

He discusses, if somewhat vaguely, his position on aiding partners in the Middle East and argues that "we can make judicious cuts in military spending without harming our ability to defend ourselves."

All of that and much more, including the latest Green News Report with Desi Doyen on today's BradCast! Please enjoy responsibly!

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Award-winning journalist charges LAPD 'basically stole something out of evidence room ... to send a message to other reporters'
Also: D.R. Tucker on MSNBC's firing of climate hawk Ed Schultz...
By Brad Friedman on 8/4/2015 5:02pm PT  

While the nation is getting more progressive by the day, it doesn't appear to be getting much easier for progressives in the corporate media. On today's BradCast, we talk about two progressive journalists both fired from two different corporate media outlets within the past week.

Award-winning syndicated editorial cartoonist, author and columnist Ted Rall joins us to discuss his bizarre firing by the Los Angeles Times last week after the LAPD leaked a 14-year old audio tape of Rall being ticketed for jaywalking to the paper. They claim it disproves a recent claim about the incident made by Rall in an LA Times column last May. Audio enhancement of the poor quality tape, however, suggests otherwise.

Why did the paper trust the LAPD without authenticating a 14-year old audio tape that appeared from nowhere? And was the firing about more than just that one column?

"Look, I pissed off cops. I've done many anti-LAPD cartoons and essays over the years. The LAPPL [Los Angeles Police Protective League] made clear in their blog that they have long been angered by me, and they are crowing about my dismissal. So, just at a bare minimum, think about how disturbing this is," Rall tells me. "The LAPD, or the LAPPL, passed illegally --- basically stole something out of the evidence room --- slipped it to the top editors at the LA Times, one of the biggest and most widely-respected metro-dailies in the United States, in order to get me fired. In order to send a message to other reporters, 'don't screw with cops'."

"This would be disturbing, even if I'd been lying," Rall explains. "Even if I'd been fibbing, this would be the nuclear option." He believes, however, that the professionally enhanced audio tapes completely exonerate him and tells me that the LA Times (who has yet to respond to my request for comment on this) has stayed mum since the professionally enhanced audio has been published.

"This is a huge story. This is an epic example of corruption at the highest levels of government and media. I don't want to use the 'c' word, conspiracy, but it might legally be considered a conspiracy," Rall believes. He tells me he is now considering his legal options against both the paper and the police.

Also on today's program, D.R. Tucker of The Washington Monthly (and, too occasionally, of The BRAD BLOG) joins us to discuss MSNBC's firing of Ed Schultz last week and the impact it may have on corporate coverage of both the TPP and of climate change, particularly following Schultz' remarkable reporting last year which subsequently led to his reversal on support for the Keystone XL pipeline.

"It's not often that you see somebody have a principled change of heart," Tucker explains. "And of course he was pilloried for that by the shills for the fossil fuel industry for daring to change his mind. But he stood his ground, and he basically maintained, right up until the day he was off the air, that the Keystone XL was a bad idea."

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on Obama's new EPA rules for slashing carbon emissions at power plants in a landmark action to fight global warming...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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By Ernest A. Canning on 5/1/2015 10:39am PT  

In anticipation of Thursday's formal announcement, the L.A. Times described the effort by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to secure the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States as a "long shot."

That assessment is consistent with a recent ABC News/Washington Post Presidential Preference Poll finding that Hillary Clinton not only trounces any potential Democratic challenger but also showing her well ahead of specifically-named GOP candidates. It is also consistent with the MSM's past practice of immediately setting out to marginalize candidates who pose a threat to corporate wealth and power.

The "long shot" perception is both a reflection and product of what Prof. Noam Chomsky, in Failed States, described as the "democracy deficit" --- the significant gap between the policy positions of the electorate and their elected representatives. Long before the Supreme Court handed down its infamous Citizens United decision, Chomsky attributed the "democracy deficit" to the manner in which "elections are skillfully managed to avoid issues and marginalize the underlying population…freeing the elected leadership to serve the substantial people."

As reflected by this Washington Post headline from Chris Cillizza --- "Bernie Sanders isn’t going to be president. That’s not the point." --- the 2016 MSM marginalization strategy is already in play. Without waiting to see how the public, itself, would react to a Sanders/Clinton debate, or even see how they'll react to his policy positions when and if they get to hear them, the Post tells its readers to just forget about it.

Sanders countered Cillizza's contention during his April 30 news conference: "We're in this race to win." (See video below)

As Sanders, himself, appears to recognize, it is not Hillary Clinton, but the "democracy deficit," that is his true opponent. "Hillary Clinton is a remarkable woman with an extraordinary history of public service," Sanders said earlier this year, during an address at the National Press Club. "It would not be my job to run against her. It would be my job, if she ran and if I ran, to debate the serious issues facing our country."

In this age of deception, where the oligarchy's PR industry and corporate-owned MSM tirelessly strive for message control, Sanders' effort to bridge the "democracy deficit" by way of a campaign based on "serious issues" is a daunting task. But it's one that, if successful, could not only lead to a Sanders landslide but also to nothing less than a "democratic revolution"...

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

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LA Times Buries 'grim' news on page A-11...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/11/2014 1:24pm PT  

The much-debated Keystone XL pipeline could increase global warming pollution by as much four times the amount estimated by the U.S. State Department, according to a new study by an independent non-profit research organization.

Without mentioning that the State Department's own environmental impact report may have been hopelessly compromised by "corporate conflicts of interest," Los Angeles Times offered an important article discussing the findings of the new report published Sunday by the journal Nature Climate Change.

The State Department's dubious estimate of the Keystone XL's anticipated impact on increased carbon emissions is critical to President Barack Obama's determination as to whether he will approve the controversial tar sands oil project since, as noted by the scientists who authored the report at the Stockholm Environment Institute, the President has stated that "he would only approve the Keystone XL pipeline…if it 'does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.'"

This new report may alter his calculation of exacerbated emissions expected to occur from building the massive pipeline that would ship dirty tar sands crude from Alberta, Canada down to the Gulf of Mexico for export, as the LA Times' Neela Banerjee explains in her article, headlined in the print version as "Grim estimates on pipeline"...

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

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If the FEC is too (purposely) gridlocked to do it, state Attorneys General should take action...
By Ernest A. Canning on 2/10/2014 7:05am PT  

Last year, as we reported at the time, California Republicans who sought to sabotage the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, sent out deceptive mailers to constituents at taxpayer expense directing them to a fake "Obamacare" website.

This year, picking up on the idea that duping the public (committing fraud) is the key to their success, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) was recently found to have created at least eighteen websites built to appear to support Democratic candidates while, in actuality, using the sites to fund raise against those same candidates.

The website seen in the graphic above, for example, appears to support Arizona Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick's re-election bid --- unless you are very careful to read the fine print. The site, AnnKirkpatrick.com, "might greet visitors with a welcoming photo of the Arizona congresswoman and a screaming 'Kirkpatrick for Congress' logo, but that design belies its true agenda," according to the Los Angeles Times. That agenda, they say, includes duping supporters of Democratic candidates into donating towards their defeat --- a tactic, which, the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center's senior counsel Paul S. Ryan describes as a "slam dunk" violation of Federal Election Commission (FEC) Rules.

As we've recently been reporting, however, "slam dunk" violations of federal campaign finance laws and FEC rules are anything but a "slam dunk" when it comes to their actual enforcement by the FEC...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 2/10/2013 4:56pm PT  

The still unfolding events surrounding the murderous rampage that has allegedly been carried out by Christopher Jordan Dorner, a former LAPD officer who has vowed to take revenge for his 2009 job loss by killing other officers and their families, while tragic, provide a teachable moment.

The notion advanced by the National Rifle Association (NRA) that safety can be insured if law abiding citizens simply take up arms or by adding armed police inside our schools is nothing more than dangerous nonsense.

In this instance, as two people who had nothing to do with Dorner's rampage were mistakenly shot at dozens of times by police officers wrapped up in the manhunt, we saw what can happen when fear is added to the equation...

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

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LA Times edits, publishes my personal letter in response...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/26/2012 12:05pm PT  

There has been much debate over the last several weeks over the inaccurate use of scenes of torture in the new film Zero Dark Thirty to suggest that so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" were key to the capture and ultimate killing of Osama Bin Laden. (See "Zero Dark Thirty's Wrong and Dangerous Conclusion" by Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney, for example, or Glenn Greenwald's "Zero Dark Thirty: new torture-glorifying film wins raves", which asks "Can a movie that relies on fabrications to generate support for war crimes still be considered great?")

Beyond the question of whether it is appropriate or not to use blatantly false and misleading "dramatic license" in a theatrical film which it's filmmaker describes as employing "almost a journalistic approach to film", there is another troubling issue that seems to be getting lost in the debate.

It is disturbing, if not altogether surprising, to find an article on the front page of the Los Angeles Times recently, discussing the film, and its related "debate" amongst Democrats and Republicans on the U.S. Senate Intelligence over "the value of 'enhanced interrogation techniques.'"

The topic is one we have covered extensively here at The BRAD BLOG --- coverage that has included a five-part series on the history of CIA torture and a dire warning that the very survival of our Constitutional Democracy could hinge on justified prosecutions of those who previously ordered or engaged in torture.

In early 2009, 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, not back. As I noted at the time, it was an "illogical formulation [that] was incompatible with the very essence of the rule of law."

Those prosecutions were not forthcoming, and, as a result, we find two writers at Los Angeles Times discussing the dispute triggered by the movie, Zero Dark Forty, over the efficacy of torture without so much as a passing reference to the fact that torture is a crime under both U.S. and international law.

This woefully deficient "coverage" drew a sharp and very personal response, given my family's history, by way of a Letter to the Editor I wrote to the paper, which they recently edited, and then published...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 10/15/2012 6:35am PT  

Where, in Pennsylvania, the state GOP admitted that they are not aware of so much as a single instance in which an ordinary citizen has been charged with, let alone convicted of in-person voter impersonation --- the only form of voter fraud that can be prevented by disenfranchising polling place Photo ID restriction laws --- there have been a growing number of claims that political elites have used a false residence to vote, often to insure their own elections in a district where they do not reside.

On October 2, a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge ordered that "Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon [D] and his wife will face trial on 23 felony counts of perjury and voter fraud" when the couple allegedly used a false address to both vote and qualify for elective office within LA's 7th district, according to Los Angeles Times. The Alarcons claim they were simply using a second home outside the district while their other home was being renovated.

The issue of false residency voter fraud is neither novel nor limited to Democrats like Alarcon. Indeed, as Brad Friedman has tirelessly documented, the issue of false residency voter fraud amongst high-profile Republicans --- including the GOP's 2012 nominee for President of the United States --- has approached epidemic proportions.

Class, as well as party, may explain the disparity between the ability of the elites to commit false residency voter fraud with near impunity as compared to the harsh impact of Photo ID laws that address a phantom menace as applied to the most vulnerable segments of our society.

Here are just a few recent cases of false residency voter fraud by some faces you will be very familiar with. Only one of them, to date, has faced any sort of actual accountability for their election crimes...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/12/2012 7:01pm PT  

On Thursday, we reported that the companies of Nathan Sproul, the man at the center of the GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, are still at work for Republicans in some 10 states. That, despite previous claims by the RNC that they'd fired his company, Strategic Allied Consulting, after fraudulent registration forms the firm collected on behalf of the Florida GOP were discovered in 12 counties across the state late last month, and reports that employees of the company destroyed Democratic registration forms in other states.

The RNC, which had a $3 million contract with Sproul (a paid political consultant of Mitt Romney's), claimed they fired his company --- the one Sproul says he created at the RNC's request, due to his long reputation for having been accused of doing the same thing in elections going back to 2004 --- because they had a "zero tolerance" policy for those involved in election fraud. Nonetheless, as detailed yesterday, several other companies of his, including one, Issue Advocacy Partners, with a nearly identical website to Strategic Allied Consulting, was found to be still operating in a whole bunch of states.

We had identified 10 such states in yesterday's report: Alabama, California, Georgia, Wisconsin, Iowa, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, and Virginia (with former Sproul associates reportedly at work in Ohio.)

Tonight, however, Joseph Tanfani at LATimes is reporting that, in fact, Sproul "is now hiring workers for a voter canvassing operation this fall in as many as 30 states"...

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'Paycheck Protection' Initiative just another scheme to further erode union voices in politics...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/20/2012 8:35am PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

California’s Proposition 32 --- the so-called "Paycheck Protection" Initiative --- is nothing less than a cynical attempt by "the one percent" to manipulate the revulsion now felt by "the 99 percent" towards the U.S. Supreme Court's infamous Citizens United ruling in order to solidify the ability of corporate wealth and power to destroy any semblance of government of, for or by the people.

The text of the initiative, set for this November's ballot in the Golden State, reads as follows:

"Prohibits unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. Applies same use prohibition to payroll deductions, if any, by corporations or government contractors. Prohibits union and corporate contributions to candidates and their committees. Prohibits government contractor contributions to elected officers or their committees."

In a video decrying the ballot measure, the "No on 32: Stop the Special Exemptions Act" campaign, describe it as "Miracle-Grow for...billionaires and their super PACs"...

The initiative was drafted by the Lincoln Club of Orange County --- the same group of right-wing mega millionaires and billionaires whose political hit piece, Hillary: The Movie became the centerpiece of the Citizens United ruling and the ensuing, democracy-destroying flood of dark money into our political system. Its top "$50,000 and over" donors represent a list of the state's wealthiest corporatist Republicans.

Although corporations enjoy a 15-to-1 advantage in political donations over organized labor, according to Open Secrets.org, CA's Prop 32 lumps these two very different forms of organizations under the same "special interest" umbrella.

Under the guise of ending the corrupting influence of "special interest" monies, Proposition 32's wealthy backers seek to eliminate the ability of organized labor to fund campaign ads for political candidates that would otherwise compete with the dominant corporate message, while providing loopholes that are large enough for "the one percent" to haul a trainload of politically corrupting gold bullion from Ft. Knox to Sacramento...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 8/8/2012 2:47pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

“We’re very disappointed that this happened," Chevron spokesman Walt Gill said (audio available in yesterday's Green News Report), after a fire at the company's Richmond, CA refinery, just outside of San Francisco, spewed toxic smoke that sent more than 900 people to hospital emergency rooms due to respiratory distress.

"We're sorry for the inconvenience," Gill added.

An environmental disaster that Gill sees as merely "inconvenient" for local citizens, could also provide a golden opportunity for the oil cartel, whose five largest companies are raking in $14.4 million in profits/hour along with $270,000/hour in tax breaks. As Gill was apologizing for the "inconvenience," Bloomberg not only noted a sharp gas price increase in the Bay area but predicted significant increases as far north as Seattle. This was followed by a Los Angeles Times prediction that "California gasoline prices could surge at least 35 cents a gallon this week."

If those predictions come to fruition, they would follow a pattern which occurred earlier this year when the entire West Coast experienced a sharp spike in gas prices after the shutdown of BP's Cherry Point refinery in Washington State. As reported by McClatchy, the spike prompted Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to call upon "the Federal Trade Commission to investigate refinery operators Alon, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Shell, Tesoro and BP."

In that case, Cantwell cited a McCulloch Research report which claimed that prices were about 68 cents per gallon higher than they should have been, based on available supply. According to that report, the "sudden price shift...provided a significant windfall for refineries and retailers on the West Coast. At a differential of $.68 a gallon, this translates into a windfall profit of $43 million a day."

Looks like recent history is about to repeat itself.

All the while, we, the people, continue to give these monster corporations, the most profitable in world history, $270,000 in tax breaks every hour, while leaving the renewable, clean energy industry to beg for whatever scraps they can get. All of that, even though, "When there's a huge solar energy spill," as the Greenpeace billboard banned by oil-friendly Canada notes, "it's just called a nice day."

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Democracy Now!'s 8/8/12 segment, dealing with the local impact of Chevron's Richmond, CA refinery fire follows below. (Note the map reflecting the number of additional refineries in the immediate area which were not shut down by the fire.)...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/2/2012 2:02pm PT  

It was a picture perfect day for a parade in Pasadena today. The sun was shining, the temperature was warm, and the crowds were in great spirits in time for early 8am start of the 123rd annual Tournament of Roses Parade.

The parade would be covered on not one, but two local TV stations. NBC 4 would carry the live network feed hosted by Al Roker and Shaun Robinson, while the local KTLA 5 station (owned by the rightwing Tribune Media) would feature Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards in their 30th year of parade coverage.

Today's parade was "crafted to help you dream about things you can imagine," Eubanks helpfully opened with to his TV audience. The parade's theme float, "'Just Imagine' sponsored by Wells Fargo" kicked things off, followed by a flyover of a U.S. Air Force B2 Stealth Bomber and then the U.S. Marine Corp color guard on horses followed by their marching band and a jaunty rendition of the Marines' Hymn.

The corporate banks and military industrial complex received premiere TV coverage right off the bat, prominently featured at the top of both corporate network and local television broadcasts.

The thousands of marchers --- LA Weekly pegged it at some 5,000 --- from the Occupy Wall Street movement, who had been granted a permit to march, and who had come from all over, on their own dime, to participate in the parade? Not so much. Not at all, actually...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 12/29/2011 11:28am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Buried at p. AA3 of the 12/28 LAEXTRA section of Los Angeles Times, beneath the headline, "Occupy protest plan prompts beefed up Rose Parade Security" ("Rose Parade security beefed up as Occupy plans protest" in the online version) one can find news of a significant accord. But you have to read closely.

The Pasadena Police Department and Tournament of Roses officials have agreed to furnish the Occupy Movement with a slot at the end of the parade, according to Los Angeles Times, which adds:

Protesters intend to march with large banners that decry wealth inequality in the United States and to unveil a few colorful "floats" of their own, including a giant people-powered octopus, said Pete Thottam, an Occupy spokesman.

The octopus --- to be made out of recycled bags and stretching 40 feet from tentacle to tentacle --- is designed to represent the stranglehold that Wall Street has on the political process, he said.

Planned speakers include Cindy Sheehan, an antiwar activist who lost her son in the Iraq war; local Occupy activists; and possibly...Michael Moore.

The question now is whether the corporate-owned media will include the Occupy portion of the parade in its televised coverage or cut away to commercials at that point. We'll be watching to find out.

* * *

UPDATE 1/2/12: Well, we now have our answer as to whether the corporate TV media covered the huge Occupy turnout at the parade. Your answer is now here...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 12/27/2011 11:51am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

The Dec. 26 Los Angeles Times article, written by Jim Puzzanghera and published as supposed front-page "news," typifies the type of corporate media hatchet job that has been the hallmark of corporate media deception and the source of what Prof. Noam Chomsky referred to in Failed States as the "democracy deficit" --- the significant gap between the substantive policy positions of the U.S. electorate and their elected "leaders."

Where Chomsky attributes the "democracy deficit" to the manner in which U.S. "elections are skillfully managed to avoid issues and marginalize the underlying population, freeing the elected leadership to serve the substantial people," the Puzzanghera/Times article, which seeks to marginalize Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and to obfuscate the clarity of message emerging from a candidate like Elizabeth Warren, provides a perfect example of how the corporate media aspire to manage public perceptions in their day-to-day "news" reporting as a means to preserve oligarchic control of our decaying political and economic systems.

In his Times piece, Puzzanghera manages to marginalize an entire popular uprising by misleadingly quoting from selected poll numbers, relying on the one-side-says-one-thing, but-the-other-side-says-another stenography posing as journalism, and by quoting from "experts" without bothering to offer their biased background. The Times article amounts to yet another example of how a dissembling corporate media passes off pro-corporate propaganda as "news"...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/30/2011 8:01pm PT  

I was honored to have both the infamous "OccupyFreedomLA" (aka Freedom) and the notorious "OakFoSho" (aka Spencer Mills), citizen journalists both, join me live in-studio today on my KPFK/Pacifica Radio show after they spent the entire night live video-streaming the LAPD's de-occupation of OccupyLA at City Hall for the entire world.

I was right there with them, last night, and this morning --- at least on the Internets --- following their invaluable reporting and video feeds (OakFoShow's Ustream page here, OccupyLAFreedom's Ustream page here) until just about 5:30am.

So it was awesome to meet them in person to discuss the art of live-stream citizen journalism, get the scoop on how they do it, how you too can also be the media as a live-streamer with little more than a smartphone, and to get some inside skinny on what happened last night as they tried to help counter the spin by corporate media and the 1,400 strong LAPD contingent, to ensure that "the whole world was watching."

It was a fun and, hopefully, informative interview/discussion. Give it a listen!

Download MP3 or listen online here...

P.S. Naturally, both of 'em live streamed the interview from the studio as it happened! So, while the sound quality isn't nearly as good, and you won't get to hear the sound clips or music from their inside-the-studio cameras, the archived video versions of each of their live streams follow below, if you prefer...

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