On the upside though, even if they successfully violate the Constitution by keeping some 600,000 legally registered, disproportionately minority voters from voting this year, they can save some money on signage...
Maddow warns: 'With this many top of ticket races tied, turnout will be everything...Now we watch for the ways that people will try to stop voters from turning out or from having their votes counted, by hook or by crook'...
In truth, the worst of it isn't Rightwing Radio and other such outlets which we expect to be GOP shills. Far more insidious --- as we discussed recently on the Gregory Mantell Show --- is the lazy, enabling, complicit, rightwing slant of actual news outlets, such as AP, WaPo, NYTimes, etc., which are generally believed by the public to be credible, down the middle, unbiased, and legitimate. They aren't. As proven time and again over the last eight years. And they're still at it, even in the waning days of Bush. They're now helping him to prop up a phony legacy as phony as the last eight years of the phony illusions of "success" they helped him invent in the first place.
Greg Sargent elucidates the latest round of corporate mainstream media misreporting which, conveniently, helps both Bush and --- perhaps more to the point --- themselves by justifying their own failure to report the story of the unnecessary War on Iraq accurately, as they did, straight from the jump...
This article in Milwaukee Magazine was published last week, but I only had the chance to read it today. It was written by Dan Shelley, the former news director/program manager at one of Milwaukee's largest and most powerful radio stations, WTMJ. The article offers a lot of inside skinny on how Rightwing Radio chooses its slanted topics, marches in lockstep with GOP talking points, sets up its "conservative" listeners as victims, and shuts out all but the most artfully selected opposing viewpoints.
Shelley points to the popular Charlie Sykes, who hosts one of the shows he'd produced for years at WTMJ, and some others by way of examples of how the scam works.
"There is no way to win a disagreement with Charlie Sykes," writes Shelley. "Calls from listeners who disagree with him don’t get on the air if the show’s producer, who generally does the screening, fears they might make Charlie look bad. I witnessed several occasions when Sen. Russ Feingold, former Mayor John Norquist, Mayor Tom Barrett or others would call in, but wouldn’t be allowed on the air."
I'll take this moment to mention, yet again, that this is all being done on the publicly owned airwaves, which we grant license to out of the kindness of our public hearts, and which the wingnuts enjoy as public welfare queens to bludgeon Americans into voting against their own self-interest.
There's a reason guys like Hannity, Limbaugh and O'Reilly are so frightened of some form of restoration of the Fairness Doctrine. It's not because it would remove them from the air, as they like to lie about to their listeners, but because it would actually require them to be fair by carrying opposing viewpoints. Ya know, that balance thing you've heard so much about on Fox "News" where they're just kidding about it. If they weren't kidding about it, why would they be so terrified about restoring what Reagan did away with in 1987, which then allowed for the Hannitys, Limbaughs and O'Reillys to go on air, on virtually every single station, in every single market, to freely lie to the public via its own airwaves?...
Have been taking a few much-needed down hours over the last few days, as per my notice a few days ago. Has been good, if nothing else, for my wrist (which needs the rest, as noted, and as per doctor's orders). Hope to continue same for a while, though will be jumping in as needed and unavoidable, even as more Guest Bloggers will hopefully be coming aboard in the days ahead.
For your holiday weekend viewing pleasure in the meantime, I taped this show a few weeks ago, for airing on public cable channels in Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere. The topic, incredibly enough: "Is there a liberal bias in the media?" As you can imagine, I had a thought or two on that, as did the other guests who joined me on the panel.
Full show, appx 26 mins, I'm in the first and last, of the three segments...
Note: A week or so later I was invited back to do another episode, this time on election issues, on which I was the only guest. I'll try to get that posted here as well as soon as Gregory makes it available on the Internets.
We've predicted since Election Day that Al Franken's chances of winning the U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota are excellent. News tonight, out of the state where a manual count of the paper ballots began today, may already be bearing out that prediction, though it's far too early to know for sure. Franken, so far, has gained about 30 votes on the incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman on the first day of counting, bring the gap between the two to just 172 votes.
The race was previously determined, by the faulty and easily manipulated ES&S and Diebold ballot-scanning machines initially used to tabulate the paper ballots, to have given an edge of little more than 200 votes in favor of Coleman, out of nearly 3 million ballots cast.
That hasn't stopped Coleman from desperately and prematurely declaring "victory" --- hey, it worked for Dubya in 2000, and he was able to successfully take that to the Supreme Court, after all! --- nor has it kept the GOP conspiracy theorists and potential sore-losers from declaring all manner of unsubstantiated claims of "fraud" and attempts to "steal the election."
But as the hand count moves slowly forward --- and as I may be "off the grid," or otherwise unable to keep up with every beat as quickly as usual over the next several weeks --- I'd ask that you folks keep a very close eye on a very important point likely to reveal itself (to those who pay attention) during this count...
Of all the shameful behavior by the Republicans during this last election cycle, the National Republican Senatorial Conspiratorial Committee's continuing baseless charges that Al Franken and the Democrats are trying to "steal" the U.S. Senate election in Minnesota has to be near the top of a difficult list to top! If only because that rejected sort of politics continues despite the thorough spanking their party took in an election which would seem to have been a rejection of such tactics.
Even Minnesota's own governor, Tim Pawlenty, has now reversed his previous conspiratorial tone to declare on yesterday's Fox "News" Sunday that there is "no actual evidence of wrongdoing or fraud in the process." He was referring to the currently reported election results --- where Franken trails the incumbent Sen. Norm Colman by just over 200 voters --- and in the upcoming manual recount plans.
None of that has kept the RNSC from keeping up their shameful "Minnesota Recount" conspiracy theory website with postings that declare Franken "lost the election, so he is pulling an Al Gore, with his supporters manufacturing postelection votes by the hundreds" and shoveling, without correction, the now wholly debunked theory that "his supporters discover mislaid ballots in places like the trunks of their cars. By a mysterious coincidence, none of these includes votes for Franken’s rival Norm Coleman."
Though the last post on their conspiracy website was made on Friday --- so perhaps that signals they're getting the message --- all of it still remains there, as unretracted garbage, even after Pawlenty himself has now acknowledged it as such. But the RNSC isn't the only bad actor here. So are the networks, cable channels and even the New York Times...
For those following the nonsense being put forward by the GOP conspiracy theorists (such as Sean Hannity, Norm Coleman, RedState blog, PowerLine blog, and all their fact-free friends), David Brauer at MinnPost.com does a terrific job of debunking the whole "32 ballots driven around in an election director's car for days" nonsense.
They weren't driven around in her car, they weren't all votes for Franken, they weren't "lost" for days, and the claim, which is being used by the national GOP at their conspiracy theory "Minnesota Recount" site to prop up their unsubstantiated claims of a "stolen election," turns out (surprise surprise) to be entirely false...
The response from the guy who works at the real NYTimes alone --- after he claims "we've been all over the Bush administration since day one, we set the standard for coverage of the Iraq War" before the reporter mentions the name "Judith Miller" --- makes this a must-see video (appx. 2 minutes)...
Thank you to those who dare to dream, even if such dreams are little more than saying out loud what we all know to be possible. Even that much, incredibly, in 2008, seems to have become the impossible for so many, in a country which once saw nothing as impossible.
The Democrats, as usual, have only themselves to blame. But we're still happy to help both them and the Republicans if it means the voters might see their votes counted and counted accurately, no matter who will ultimately be declared the winner of any election. You're welcome, Republicans (and Democrats).
After years of Democrats refusing to use the f-word (fraud) or discussing concerns about the s-word (stolen) for elections, for fear of being declared conspiracy theorists and sore-losers by the Republicans, we'll note that Republicans have no such fears. They never did. And they are happy to don enormous and shiny tin-foil hats any time to claim any conspiracy they need to, regardless of the actual evidence (or lack thereof) to support their theory.
They will claim --- even at the highest official levels of their party --- that "Democrats are stealing the election," "stuff[ing] new ballots into the ballot box" and all other manner of unsubstantiated allegations, if they believe it might help their candidate "win." The voters be damned.
To that end, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has now gone so far as to set up a "Minnesota Recount" conspiracy theory blog. The site is devoted to the advancement of making and reposting unsubstantiated claims from around the wingnut 'sphere --- and that would include liar John Fund's Wall Street Journal --- that Al Franken and the Democrats are in the process of "stealing" the U.S. Senate race in Minnesota...
"Source code is almost irrelevant to us," says MD's State Election Director Linda Lamone a few minutes before she removes her mic and walks off the interview. "That's not what we use to run this voting system. It's the executable code."
Lamone, responsible for bringing Diebold's 100% unverifiable voting machines to the entire state of MD in 2002, is wrong and/or lies about so much in the course of this interview --- taped by a major broadcast news network, but never aired, in 2006 --- that we don't even have time to dissect it all. So, for the moment, I'll leave it to all of the good denizens of The BRAD BLOG who are now very well-versed in just how full of it Lamone is during the entirety of this interview.
"I think you're in Fantasy Land, so I'm gonna end this," Lamone says, ironically enough from the bowels of her own Fantasy Land, in support of her 100% faith-based voting system, before she rips off her mic, walks off camera, and ends the interview. We guess she's not used to being interviewed by a reporter who knows what she's talking about.
The remarkable, never-before-seen video follows (appx 6:45 mins)...
[Ed Note: Please "Reddit" this one up, as Republicans have been trying to down rate it over there!]
A devastating article on Sunday destroys the GOP's claims of "voter fraud" as a member of McCain's own (amusingly named) "Honest and Open Election Committee" has admitted that Republicans are unable to cite a single "documented instance of voting fraud that resulted from a phony registration form."
The fact-based comments were made despite the once-honorable Republican nominee's dangerously specious claims during the final Presidential debate, that the ginned-up "crisis" was "one of the greatest frauds in voter history" and was "maybe destroying the fabric of democracy."
Looks like someone in his own campaign failed to get the memo. But it's not about facts, it's about fears, even ones that they themselves have created. As we've come to learn, that's more than good enough for the U.S. Supreme Court at least, and certainly for those attempting to keep you from being able to cast your legal vote...
Rightwinger Laura Ingraham ably filled in for Bill O'Reilly in the "No Spin Zone" this week, by seeing her argument dismantled by constitutional attorney, prosecutor, and former (Republican-appointed) special counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, John Flannery on Fox "News."
Ingraham just couldn't believe there would be "all these reports" on the news about "massive voter fraud going on" all over the country, led by ACORN, if they weren't all true! (As we showed both here and at UK's Guardian, it's not true. It's a GOP hoax. More at our special coverage page here.)
Despite being in way over her head, having fallen for the hoax, Ingraham, naturally, played the loyal dead-ender and stuck to her empty guns. (Gosh, we hope there are no typos on Ingraham's own driver's license or voter registration, or she might find herself purged from the voting rolls entirely this November, as they're doing in Florida and so many other state, not mentioned on Fox "News," or even by the Democrats.)
The video follows below, along with further evisceration of Ingraham's "If this were happening to the benefit of the Republicans, the Democrats would be screaming fraud" argument...
See below for a rather breathtaking "Round-up of Problems Facing Voters Nationwide", such as registration backlogs, illegal voting roll purges, deceptive practices and dirty tricks, etc., now plaguing American voters across the country with just 17 days left before our country's biggest election ever.
All of that, while Fox "News" (whose asked me to come on live tomorrow, Sunday, at 2:40pm PT, btw, along with my old friend John Fund "for balance") continues to misreport, alarm and deceive their viewers in regard to the GOP's phony ACORN "voter fraud" fraud. Unfortunately, it's not just Fox who is irresponsibly and dangerously misreporting that scam --- though they seem to have made a small cottage industry out of it of late --- CNN and MSNBC have been filed loads of equally inaccurate and misleading reports on it as well.
Fox "News" and its Rupert Murdoch-owned print brethren, the New York Post, continue to bang the GOP's phony ACORN "voter fraud" drum, but as far as I can tell, they've failed to come up with a single incident of any actual voter fraud committed by the dastardly "left-wing extremists."
Yes, Ann Coulter has committed felony voter fraud, but neither of the Murdoch outfits has yet to note that point, even while they go wall-to-wall with misleading reports claiming that ACORN is committing massive "voter fraud" on behalf of the Democrats.
Those who wish to believe in the hoax, however, attempt to link to article after article about allegations of voter fraud carried out by ACORN. And yet, the articles themselves --- if one bothers to actually read them --- reveal that either 1) They describe allegations and investigations brought by Republican agents, with little or no evidence of any wrong doing, and certainly no "voter fraud," 2) Where voter registration fraud has occurred it has been by rogue ACORN employees, originally reported to authorities by ACORN themselves (who are the actual victims of any such fraud by their employees), or 3) Smoke and mirrors are used to cloud the fact that not a single fraudulent vote has actually been cast by anyone.
Let's take a look at just two recent, oft-linked, oft-quoted New York Post articles from today and last week to give you an idea of how the scam works, and how the rightwing suckers fall for it. Every time...
The Russians flew into town to talk to me last week. The result, from Russia Today, their huge worldwide English-language satellite/news outlet, follows (appx 3.5 mins)...
For the record, I take little joy or comfort in detailing, to folks from Russia, just how bad the current state of democracy is in the U.S.. Describing the failures of our corporate media to them was not much fun either. But I call 'em as I see 'em.
Describing our elections these days as "Russian Roulette," however, did seem to make some kind of perverse sense on Russian television, even if it's not the first time I've used that turn of phrase that way. But I looked Anastasia Churkina in the eye, found her to be very straight-forward and trustworthy, and we had a very good dialogue. In fact, I was able to get a sense of her soul, so I knew I could trust her.
POST-SCRIPT: Anastasia headed up to Portland to speak to the good Thom Hartmann, on many of the same topics, the day after she was here to interview me. The RT interview with Thom is here.
The RNC isn't even trying to pretend like they are independent from their media arm, Fox "News", anymore, apparently.
Here's today's RNC press release. It's, quite literally, a transcript of this morning's Fox & Friends, wherein the FNC/RNC clowns "report" on yesterday's PR stunt/raid on a Las Vegas ACORN office and then, for good measure, prime the pump for yet another similar raid in Missouri (another swing state, go figure.) Needless to say, it's utter stuff and nonsense, with zero evidence of "criminality" by ACORN --- as explained in our coverage yesterday, all civic organizations are required by law to turn over ANY signed voter registration applications even when they are known to have problems -- and includes plenty of unsubstantiated hearsay and garbage, as if it were actually fact. So, naturally, it's been released as a press release by the RNC, as is.
Unless they find that yesterday's PR stunt in NV has blown up on them (and it might, as folks, even some in the corporate media, are beginning to understand what a desperate scam this GOP "voter fraud" hoax really is) we'll expect a similar stunt or two, akin to the one in Vegas, soon in MO, OH, and anywhere the GOP feels they need a phony reason to challenge elections, intimidate voters, and otherwise cause havoc at the polls before, during and even after Election Day.
Earlier today, I was reminded that similar nonsense occurred just days prior to the 2004 Presidential Election, when the wingnuts falsely reported that ACORN had registered a terrorist to vote in Ohio. And, of course, the DoJ famously violated it's own written rules when it brought similar "voter fraud" charges against ACORN workers just days before the '06 election.
Why do these people hate democracy? Oh, yeah, because if legal voters are actually allowed to vote, and to have their vote counted accurately, the Republicans will lose. At least this year. So, let's hear it one more time for modern-day Republican Deity Paul Weyrich who sent out this year's marching orders some 28 years ago (the video is 40 seconds, but it should tell you just about all you need to know)...
It shouldn't be necessary --- at least if we had a corporate media which did their Constitutionally-protected jobs --- but since ACORN doesn't have the budget of FNC/RNC, here's an ACORN press statement, issued late this afternoon, concerning the bogus Vegas raid/PR stunt yesterday...