From Saturday's Houston Chronicle [emphasis added]...
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...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
To help discourage terrorism, let's give as much attention as possible to the Detroit plane bomber. Wall-to-wall coverage on Fox should teach those terrorists a thing or two. Let's put his face on the cover of TIME and Newsweek while we're at it. I'm sure it's the last thing he'd want.
UPDATE 6:12pm PT: Was trying to enjoy the rare luxury of few down hours to watch Sherlock Holmes with family here in Dallas (where I'll be guest hosting the Mike Malloy Show this week from Mike's local affiliate AM 1360 Rational Radio) when my iPhone alerts start buzzing. It's another TERRORIST ATTACK! SAME FLIGHT FROM AMSTERDAMN TO DETROIT! ANOTHER NIGERIAN! LOCKS HIMSELF IN BATHROOM!!! ... Of course, as you likely know by now, it was a Nigerian businessman whose "strange behavior" was walking back and forth to the bathroom.
Here is what I was forced to re-tweet from the movie theater...
Seriously, people. Can we get a grip? For more "explosive" news like the above (such as this re-tweet of Dave Roberts from Grist on the same topic, or this from Josh Marshall and this from Glenn Greenwald, both re-tweeted prior to the later afternoon Fox Fear Fest) which I may have neither the time nor inclination to bring you here on The BRAD BLOG, be sure to follow our Twitter feed. It's elementary, dear reader.
From AP today on the hostage stand-off that took place yesterday at a VA post office [emphasis added]:
Now I wonder where Taylor could have gotten those completely-misinformed ideas?
Of course, as non-disinformed folks know, there have been no moves --- zero, not even a peep --- by the Democratic-controlled Congress or White House about taking away anybody's "right to bear arms," and taxes have been lowered, not raised, since Obama took office, for 95% of working families. Though you'd be hard-pressed to know that if you did nothing more than watch Fox "News" or listen to talk radio on the public airwaves.
In one sadly ironic note, the AP article adds...
[Ed Note: On Monday, The BRAD BLOG published Frank Schaeffer's guest editorial, "Obama Will Win: Why and How His Critics from the Left and Right Will be Proven Wrong". Today, we're pleased to offer a counterpoint in reply by author David Swanson.]
Guest editorial by David Swanson
I've appreciated much of Frank Schaeffer's commentary at The BRAD BLOG but his column here this week on Obama winning was an exception. Schaeffer labels himself an "Obama supporter" and explains that Obama supporters are "sticking with our President." The language Schaeffer uses, after identifying himself as a "former religious Rightwing agitator", is helpful in illuminating a troubling pattern of thought that is widespread in our society:
"We faithful Obama supporters still trust our initial impression of him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man to lead us."
Here is faith, or at least faithfulness, explicitly entering politics through the advocacy of a recovering religious advocate. As everyone knows who has tried to recover from a pattern of thought, it is far easier to reject or reverse the specifics than it is to step outside the framework. But it is the framework that I find disturbing. I disagree with the point of view above just as much as I disagree with rightwing religious agitation, and for the same reasons. I don't want to be a faithful, trusting supporter of a uniquely great and good being...
Earlier this month, a two-month independent investigation of ACORN, by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, found incidents of mismanagement, but no criminal wrongdoing by ACORN, the favorite whipping boy of Republican scammers such as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Fox "News" and the GOP itself. That investigation (full report here [PDF]) also found that the "sting videos" used recently against ACORN were highly doctored and manipulated.
Of course, readers of The BRAD BLOG know the Republicans' entire, long, sad, anti-democratic (small "d" and large "d" both) campaign is based on little more than the fact that ACORN registers millions of legal low and middle income voters who tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic (large "d") rather than Republican, and the GOP and their democracy-hating proxies will go to any lengths to keep those legal voters from exercising their legal franchise.
And today, once again, ACORN is cleared of wrongdoing vis a vis yet another independent investigation, this one by the Congressional Research Service [PDF], as noted in a press release from U.S. House Judiciary Chair John Conyers this afternoon (posted in full below).
Of most note to our readers, Conyers' statement points out what we've been pointing out - over and over and over again for years: "There were no instances of individuals who were allegedly registered to vote improperly by ACORN or its employees and who were reported 'attempting to vote at the polls.'" Who knew?! What a surprise! (At least to Fox "News" viewers, who probably won't hear about this report either.)
Also: "No instances were identified in which ACORN 'violated the terms of federal funding in the last five years.'"
And: "Recently enacted federal legislation to prohibit funding to ACORN raises significant constitutional concerns. The courts 'may have a sufficient basis' to conclude that the legislation 'violates the prohibition against bills of attainder.'" That finding is one that a federal judge also recently concurred with, when she issued an injunction earlier this month to keep the law from taking affect since ACORN had "been singled out by Congress for punishment that directly and immediately affects their ability to continue to obtain federal funding, in the absence of any judicial, or even administrative, process of adjudicating guilt."
Finally, according to today's report, Andrew "Drudge's Poodle" Breitbart's phony video-taped "sting operation" against ACORN may, itself, have violated the law in both California and Maryland, about which we might ironically recommend to prosecutors: "Capital punishment" for Andrew Breitbart!
The short press release from Conyers, announcing the new report's bullet points, follows below...
UPDATE: And coverage of the NYTimes burial of this report, now follows below it...
[Ed Note 12/23/09: Author David Swanson has now published a counterpoint in reply to the following editorial. His guest editorial is now published here: "Will WE Win?: A Reply to Frank Schaeffer's 'Obama Will Win'".]
Guest editorial by Frank Schaeffer
Before he'd served even one year President Obama lost the support of the easily distracted Left and engendered the white hot rage of the hate-filled Right. But some of us, from all walks of life and ideological backgrounds --- including this white, straight, 57-year-old, former religious Rightwing agitator, now progressive writer and (given my background as the son of a famous evangelical leader) this unlikely Obama supporter --- are sticking with our President. Why? Because he is succeeding.
We faithful Obama supporters still trust our initial impression of him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man to lead us.
Obama's steady supporters will be proven right. Obama's critics will be remembered as easily panicked and prematurely discouraged at best and shriveled hate mongers at worst...
$636 billion for annual military spending was approved by the U.S. Senate over the weekend, with little more than a hiccup of debate from Republican "conservatives," not a peep from the Democrats, and even less coverage from the corporate mainstream media.
But $850 billion for 10 years of what is ostensibly meant to be health care reform for the health and welfare of American citizens --- all while reducing the budget deficit by $132 billion over that period, according to the CBO? "A budget buster!," shout the phony "conservatives" in the same Senate.
Anyway, there's your "American Values," in a two-part nutshell, from today's Republicans and the Democrats and corporate media who enable their madness as if it weren't so.
Guest Blogged by Rebecca M. Abrahams
Two weeks ago Washington Post reported that U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan named federal prosecutor Henry Schuelke to investigate whether gross prosecutorial misconduct tainted the government's case against now-former Republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. At issue, whether prosecutors withheld critical evidence from the defense or whether the case was improperly handled under pressure to meet deadlines.
US Attorney General Eric Holder, in a stunning move, threw out the government's corruption case against Stevens last April and issued the following statement:
Holder also relocated attorneys who worked on the case including William H. Welch II, who ran the Department's public integrity unit.
WaPo failed to report that William Welch is currently under criminal contempt of court for his role in the case against Stevens. Welch was also involved in the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. Siegelman was convicted of bribery in 2006 and served nine months in prison before his release was ordered pending appeal.
Despite Welch's pending legal issues, his name continues to be listed on recent filings in Siegelman's case. Siegelman finds this "quite curious as he's been hot after my prosecution for a good long time now."
Aside from alleged governmental misconduct in the Siegelman case, there are paramount legal issues that have been recognized by 91 former State Attorneys General and a group of First Amendment law professors across the country. And yet, while the DOJ is making a point to review Republican cases, not one case against a Democrat has been completely overturned and, as Siegelman told me in a recent interview, he believes very little has changed at the department, other than the names "at the top"...
Guest blogged by Frank Schaeffer
Dear Republicans: I used to be one of you. In fact you'd likely have no "Tea Bag" movement if it hadn't been for my dad and me, and many others who, back in the 1970s and 80s, instigated the rise of the Religious Right. Dad and I were leaders of that movement. Then, after 1985, I got out, quit, left. But I hadn't given up on the Republican Party altogether. As late as 2000 I worked to get McCain elected in the primaries instead of W Bush. (Later, as a "thank you", McCain wrote a long and wonderful endorsement of one of my books about the military family.) When I saw the lies told about McCain --- and others --- by the Bush people and my old buddies on the Religious Right I finally quit.
These days I'm an Obama supporter. I'm also horribly aware that what we did, in bringing the Republican Party together with the Religious Right, is the root of one of the great American tragedies: the takeover of the Republican Party by very sick, simple and religiously deluded fundamentalists. And now you are out of ideas to the extent that all Republicans stand for is, well, nothing but obstruction.
What you've been doing in the Senate to stall health care reform is just too sad for words. And I take it personally. Who should I send my rising impossible-to-pay health insurance premiums to? Dick Armey?...
Must read from Eugene Robinson at WaPo. "Palin's own 'Climate-gate'". Starts this way:
Oh, wait. Those quotes aren't from some smug Euro-socialist manifesto. They're from an administrative order Palin signed in September 2007, as governor of Alaska, establishing a "sub-Cabinet" of top state officials to develop a strategy for dealing with climate change.
Back then, Palin was the governor of a state where "coastal erosion, thawing permafrost, retreating sea ice, record forest fires, and other changes are affecting, and will continue to affect, the lifestyles and livelihoods of Alaskans," as she wrote.
"Alaska's climate is warming," Palin wrote to Alaskans in a July 2008 newsletter. "While there have been warming and cooling trends before, climatologists tell us that the current rate of warming is unprecedented within the time of human civilization. Many experts predict that Alaska, along with our northern latitude neighbors, will warm at a faster pace than any other areas, and the warming will continue for decades."
In her administrative order, Palin instructed the sub-Cabinet group to develop recommendations on "the opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Alaska sources, including the expanded use of alternative fuels, energy conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, land use management, and transportation planning." She also instructed the group to look into "carbon-trading markets."
There's more, so please read the rest. So was Palin lying then about global warming? Or is she lying now?
And does it even matter to those who have become so professional at justifying and rationalizing such obvious and overt lies and statements of blatant absurdity that all relationship with Reality has become little more than a quaint memory of days long gone by? Before the madness and derangement had permanently set in...
Sue, Bill, sue! Enough is enough! Go get 'em!...
Incredible. This would be the equivalent of appointing the sitting Vice President of Exxon Mobil to an EPA advisory committee, but Ed Smith has now been appointed to the disastrous U.S. Election Assistance Commission's (EAC's) Technical Guidelines Development Committee as one of their new "Technical and Scientific Experts."
From the EAC's email announcement on Friday (posted in full at end of article):
So Smith went from voting machine company Hart Intercivic to voting machine company Sequoia Voting Systems and is now at voting machine company Dominion Voting Systems, where he is a VP, selling e-voting systems to jurisdictions around the country that receive federal money doled out by the EAC. And now he'll also sit on an advisory board at the EAC helping to advise which one of those companies sees their systems certified for use in U.S. elections by the EAC. Just amazing.
But that's not even half the story of why this is just incredible, and another huge black eye for the EAC. (How many eyes do they have left to blacken at this point?) If you're not a long time reader of The BRAD BLOG reader, and don't recall who this Ed Smith is, read on. It's simply stultifying...
Guest blogged by Emily Levy of VelvetRevolution.us
[UPDATED by Brad Friedman, 12/12/09, 12:02pm PT]
The federal bribery convictions of Paul Minor, an influential Democratic donor and attorney from Mississippi, and several others have been overturned by the Fifth Circuit of Appeals. Critics of the Bush Administration's Dept. of Justice have long charged that Minor's prosecution, along with those of many other powerful Democrats, such as former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, were politically motivated and directly manipulated by Bush political operative Karl Rove.
Earlier this year, Velvet Revolution's RestoreJusticeAtJustice.com campaign called on the Obama Administration's Dept. of Justice to review all such prosecutions by their predecessors, and to vacate any that are found to have been politically motivated. [Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR]
The Jackson Free Press has the details on the court's finding overturning the "bribery" counts of Minor and a number of former judges found guilty in the same trial, after improper instructions were found to have been given to the jury by trial Judge Henry Wingate who also sat on Minor's motion to be released during the appeal, even as his wife was dying from terminal cancer...
My latest special to the Right-leaning Gouverneur Times of Upstate NY details multiple "urgent" warnings that state and federal officials received over the last year from multiple election advocacy groups concerning the dangers and pitfalls of the state's e-voting pilot program which came crashing down on voters during the recent NY-23 Special Election for the U.S. House.
They were warned, over and over and over again, about the dangers of using uncertified e-voting systems in real live elections, yet, despite the concerns expressed by experts about using real voters "as guinea pigs," it appears officials took no action in response.
Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley finds ths decision inexplicable. "The president literally has gotten onto a plane this evening to go to Norway," he told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Wednesday, "to accept the Nobel Prize, while his Justice Department is effectively gutting a major part of Nuremberg."
"The Obama administration is arguing not only that they shouldn't be prosecuted," Turley emphasized, "but it's now saying that you shouldn't even be able to sue them civilly. ... It's an international disgrace."
Turley pointed out that several legal advisors to Germany's Ministry of Justice were convicted during the Nuremberg trials held after World War II for providing the legal advice that justified Nazi war crimes. Now the Obama administration, in its desire to uphold executive privilege at any cost, is willing to toss that principle aside.
"The Justice Department's prosecuted lawyers who give advice to mobsters," Turley concluded, "but apparently if you give advice to advance a war crime, that's just 'full and frank advice.'"
RAW STORY has the video of the complete interview with Turley from last night's Countdown.
Velvet Revolution's DisbarTortureLawyers.com campaign is right here. Please sign on to join the call for accountability and disbarment of the many attorneys who violated the Rule of Law and the U.S. Constitution by justifying illegal torture through twisted and factually unsound "legal findings," and the conspiracy to carry out that torture during the Bush Administration. [The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us]
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