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Guest: BuzzFeed 'FOIA Terrorist' Jason Leopold; Also: Trump's audio tape bluff?...
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CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
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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
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GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 9/7/2010 6:35pm PT  

When it comes to elections, it seems there are no rules, laws, morals, or ethical boundaries which Republicans aren't willing to happily violate in order to be "victorious."

Our latest two examples:

  • Over at Daily Kos today, a commenter has been outed as a "concern troll" hoping to deflate progressive support for KY's Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jack Conway, while serving on the payroll of Republican candidate Rand Paul.

So what wouldn't these guys do to ensure a "victory"? Stay classy, GOP. The founders would be very proud!

* * *
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...




What about 'the public interest' in the death of Jennifer Strange?...
By Sue Wilson on 9/7/2010 3:41pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Sue Wilson

Wow. The FCC just fined a radio station $4,000 for getting a date wrong in some radio contest rules. If that infraction is worth four grand, whatever will the FCC do to the station which killed someone because it failed to give contestants any rules at all?

Will the FCC find that such a 'murder-by-radio' did not, in fact, serve the "public interest" which broadcasters are supposed to uphold in exchange for their free license to use our public airwaves?

DJs at Nassau Broadcasting's WWEG-FM, "106.9 The Eagle" in Myerson, MD, had broadcast rules that a Father's Day contest would be open "through June 13, 2008." But the contest actually ended June 12, apparently depriving would-be contestants of their right to enter. Two years later, the FCC is punishing WWEG for violation of Section 73.1216 of the Commission's rules, which state that broadcast licensees must "fully and accurately disclose the material terms" of any contests that it conducts, and "conduct the contest substantially as announced or advertised."

Okay. Let's now contrast that swift accountability in the public's interest, against what happened when Sacramento's Entercom Communications station, KDND, the unfortunately nicknamed "107.9 The End", didn't follow its own rules when it ran a water drinking contest which resulted in the January 2007 death of a mother of three, Jennifer Strange. This is a case where a jury found the station liable for Strange's death, awarding her family more than $16 million, even as the corporation who has been granted the broadcast license has yet to face a single sanction from the FCC…

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




By Brad Friedman on 9/6/2010 7:18pm PT  

From Michael Moore to Rahm Emanuel. Ditto.




Will the Orwellian lies of the oil industry's 'poison populism' be exposed in time to save humanity?...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/6/2010 5:43pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"Without a well-informed public, humanity itself and all species on the planet are threatened."-Dr. James Hansen, Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity.

That 'Tea Party' backing Koch Industries, an oily conglomeration which is ranked as one of the nation's worst polluters, has joined with two other Texas-based oil industry polluters, Tesoro Corp. and Valero Energy Corp., aka the "Toxic Twins," comes as no surprise. After all, Koch has already been aptly described by Greenpeace as "the kingpins of climate science denial."

It also comes as no surprise that California's Prop 23 measure on this November's ballot, which would require the state "to abandon implementation of [Assembly Bill 32's] comprehensive greenhouse-gas-reduction program that includes increased renewable energy and cleaner fuel requirements, and mandatory emission reporting and fee requirements for major polluters such as power plants and oil refineries," was submitted [PDF] to the CA Secretary of State's office bearing an Orwellian label, the "California Jobs initiative" --- an initiative that has the backing of "Tea Party" darling and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, whose idea of "jobs creation" entails the transfer of domestic jobs overseas.

This corporate deception mirrors Pacific Gas & Electric's effort to use the ballot box as a vehicle for acquiring monopoly power. PG&E deceptively described its failed Prop 16 initiative, on last June's ballot, as the "Taxpayers Right to Vote Act."

There's a good chance that, just as they defeated Prop 16, CA voters will see through the "jobs creation" scam of Prop 23. But, if current polls are indicative, a large segment of an under-informed electorate who, in their disgust with President Obama's betrayal of "change we can believe in," are being taken in by billionaire-funded "poison populism" --- moving to the Right when the health of our economy and of humanity itself cries out for a sharp turn to the Left...

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




Fawning front-page article describes lying wing-nut hatchet man, Andrew Breitbart, as a 'new media phenom'
Stenographer who thinks she's a journalist regurgitates Breitbart's latest Shirley Sherrod 'spin'...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/3/2010 10:47am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Robin Abcarian of the Los Angeles Times appears to be the type of reporter comedian Stephen Colbert had in mind during his blistering act at the 2006 White House Correspondence dinner:

"Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the Decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!"

As revealed by her front-page Los Angeles Times article, "Swinging at the left, hit or miss," Abcarian, apparently armed with nothing more than the baseline, mainstream media accounts of the Shirley Sherrod scandal, paid a visit to the West Los Angeles office of the man whom Brad Friedman aptly described as a "pathological liar" and "race baiter;" jotted down Andrew Breitbart's latest spin about himself and the Shirley Sherrod fiasco, and then dutifully spit out a fawning account which accepted at face value Breitbart's latest claim that he simply failed to "wait for full video" of the Sherrod speech, and which described Breitbart as a "new-media phenom;" a "transformed...liberal" who became "a star of the 'tea party' movement" after experiencing an epiphany during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarency Thomas, whom Breitbart describes as "an American hero" who was unfairly targeted by "a cavalcade of Caucasians asking...about his very private video rentals!"

In Abcarian and the Los Angeles Times, Andrew Breitbart, the consummate con-artist, had found yet another vehicle for rewriting history...

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




Fiorina offers bizarre claim that an increase in federal jobs, as opposed to outsourcing, is to blame for demise of middle class
As third party candidates protest exclusion, only a single Oakland TV station provided live coverage...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/2/2010 9:26pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

After months of electoral politics conducted exclusively by way of dueling, 30 second propaganda slots (aka paid-for political ads), incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and her Republican challenger, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina conducted what excluded Green Party candidate Duane Roberts derided as "a sham debate between two multi-millionaires backed by big business interests."

While there is some merit in Roberts' complaint, the debate proved of vital importance, especially since it exposed the extreme views of the lesser known Fiorina on a variety of issues ranging from her opposition to environmental protection, opposition to marital equality for same sex couples, and her outright call to reverse Roe v. Wade. But the most telling aspect was that the debate exposed Fiorina to be an unapologetic proponent of outsourcing and corporate globalization, which, since the passage of NAFTA, has proved to be the bane of the American middle-class.

That made this a debate of manifest importance to the people of California. Yet the corporate media, whose financial interest is served by failing to provide meaningful news coverage, thereby forcing candidates into the paid-for propaganda slots, proved true to form. Live coverage was limited to Cox Communications' Oakland, CA, affiliate, KTVU...

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




By Brad Friedman on 8/30/2010 7:35am PT  

On Saturday, Arthur S. Brisbane, the New York Times' new Public Editor, filed his debut column. He takes his difficult post following the reign of the former Public Editor Clark Hoyt, the disastrous 'weasel' (cartoonist Tom Tomorrow's infamous depiction, not ours, though we have no quibble) whose contract ended last June.

In the first column of his new thankless role, Brisbane mentions among others, as part of his description of the Times' "substantial infrastructure for responding to public complaints," Senior Editor/Standards Greg Brock. Readers of The BRAD BLOG will remember Brock for helping to kick off what became a 70-some part series here on the "paper of record's" horrendously damaging and inaccurate coverage of Andrew Breitbart, James O'Keefe, and Hannah Giles' ACORN "Pimp" Hoax.

Brock, as some of you will recall, had responded to a reader's request for correction on a number of stories in which the Times had misreported that O'Keefe had dressed as, and represented himself as a "pimp" in the offices of ACORN, even though, as we reported repeatedly beginning early this year, he never had, as first based on the information in the independent report that had come out several months earlier from former Massachusetts Attorney General, Scott Harshbarger. Though the paper had reported on the "pimp" scam in a number of articles, they had never so much as even mentioned the Harshbarger report [PDF] which accurately stated that O'Keefe never dressed in the "outlandish" outfit the Times (and other media outlets) had reported him as wearing while interviewing ACORN workers.

Worse, the paper continued to misreport that point long after Harshbarger had disabused the world of that notion, by noting clearly that "at each and every" ACORN office visited by O'Keefe with his partner Hannah Giles (who was dressed as a "prostitute") he was "dressed like a college student - in slacks and a button down shirt" and even though ACORN had stated on the record, based on interviews with their employees who were there, that "O'Keefe was not wearting that absurd costume when he visited our offices."

The Times' inaccurate reporting directly preceded the passage of federal legislation which was passed overwhelmingly by the Democratic-majority Congress and signed by the President to defund the four-decade old, anti-poverty, pro-democracy community organization, even though it was all a hoax. O'Keefe had never dressed as a pimp --- or even represented himself as one --- but merely edited his videos to appear that way, as acknowledged in at least three subsequent official reports. Nonetheless, lazy coverage in the NYT had bought it all, and reported it all, hook, line, and unverified sinker...

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




Or are we still ignorning all the warnings?...
By Desi Doyen on 8/29/2010 6:05am PT  

Guest blogged by Desi Doyen

Today marks the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina slamming into the Gulf Coast at New Orleans, Louisiana, on August 29th, 2005. What the Category 3 hurricane did not destroy, the man-made disaster finished off, drowning much of the beloved city, killing over 1800 people, and displacing over a million more, many permanently.

There are many ways to look at what happened five years ago today and in the horrifying days and weeks that followed. There are successes and plenty of failures to document for history. There are surely lessons to be learned, but have we even come close to learning the most important one?...

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




By Ernest A. Canning on 8/26/2010 9:54pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"The terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 do not represent Islam. Far better representatives of Islam are the over 100 Muslims who died at work in the towers that day. No one need apologize for Islam."—Hal Donahue, VoteVets.org

Seeing it as part of their duty to support and defend the Constitution and dismayed by the "toxic effect" of the never-ending "war on terror" upon our society by the process of "dehumanization" which has created "a propensity to violence, a devaluing of others, even our own citizens, and a decided lack of empathy," VoteVet.org, a nation-wide group of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is circulating an "open letter" in support of the right to build a Muslim community center near "Ground Zero"...

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




By Brad Friedman on 8/23/2010 12:40pm PT  

As the disinformed and hypnotized crowd of angry protesters in downtown New York chant "No mosque here!" over the weekend, a black man in a white hat strolls through and the crowd instantly turns on him.

"Ya'll don't even know my opinion on shit," he's forced to reply in his own defense as the tension rises and the possibility of violence becomes imminent. "I'm not even Muslim!" shouts the man who, it turns out, was apparently a construction worker at Ground Zero.

Sick. August, 2010. U.S.A.


A commenter at Ballon Juice may have said it best (h/t Glenn Greenwald on Twitter): "They got one thing right: Ground Zero is being desecrated. Just not by Muslims."




Despite links to hookers and taxpayer-funded 'Con-Air,' teflon Senate Republican leads polls...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/22/2010 8:19am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"I start from the supposition that the world is topsy-turvey, that things are all wrong, that the wrong people are in jail and the wrong people are out of jail, that the wrong people are in power and the wrong people out of power, that the wealth is distributed in this country and in the world in such a way as not simply to require small reform but a drastic reallocation...." Howard Zinn, "The Problem is Civil Obedience" (1970) from Voices of a People's History of the United States

Here, at The BRAD BLOG, we've spent a good deal of time addressing the duplicity of convicted federal criminal James O'Keefe and his employer Andrew Breitbart, a pathological liar, whose bogus ACORN pimp hoax proved the undoing of a benevolent community organization, ACORN.

While Breitbart received his comeuppance when he made the mistake of attempting a dishonest smear of a woman, Shirley Sherrod, who would not go quietly into the night in the face of the hard-right's distortion of her words, David Vitter (R-LA), the hard-right's Senate point man in its effort to destroy democracy and verifiable truth by smearing and then defunding ACORN is sailing towards re-election despite links to hookers and to an aide, Brent Furer, who plead guilty to an assault in which he held a knife to his girlfriend's throat and stabbed her in her hand --- Furer allegedly held her against her will for 90 minutes and threatened to kill her.

Now, comes a revelation that Vitter not only kept Furer on his taxpayer-funded payroll while tasking the girlfriend-assaulting Furer with overseeing women's issues, but that U.S. taxpayers footed the bill for the convicted Furer's travel to appear in court on the assault charge and on a DUI...

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




Same systems to be used by millions of voters this November...
By Brad Friedman on 8/21/2010 12:48pm PT  

This is your Sequoia touch-screen voting machine....

This is your Sequoia touch-screen voting machine with Pac-Man hacked onto it without disturbing any of the "tamper-evident" seals supposedly meant to protect it from hackers...

Any questions?...

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




By Brad Friedman on 8/20/2010 10:35pm PT  

With the deepest and sincerest apologies to our good friend Jeannie Dean (look away, Jeannie, seriously), some things just need to be seen to be believed. And no, I don't believe this thing is a joke, despite what may be the most ironic (and awful) lyric of all time...

If we let 'em build it, can't ya see,
they'll turn 9/11 to a mockery.

Yes, you read that right...


And with this, the Rightwing "civil rights" movement, has finally taken full flower. God save us all. Mindblowing Accomplished.

[Hat-tip Digby. The drink is on us. We'll join ya.]




By Ernest A. Canning on 8/19/2010 8:31am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"Where they burn books, at the end they also burn people."- Heinrich Heine (1823)

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." - George Santayana

Heine's ominous warning came more than a century before the infamous May 10, 1933 Nazi book burning where Joseph Goebbels told the Berlin student book burners, "The era of extreme Jewish intellectualism is now at an end."

It was the beginning of the end for millions who would be gassed and then shoved into the death camp ovens over the next twelve years.

Today, we find a group of whack right-wing Christians operating under the Orwellian-labeled Dove Outreach Center. The group, which openly proclaims "Islam is the Devil," announced that they planned "to commemorate the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 by burning Korans."

Today, the Los Angeles Times reported that Gainesville officials denied the group "a bonfire permit."

I'm reminded of Pete Seeger's Where have all the flowers gone?: "When will they ever learn?"

* * *

Update: Despite the denial of the permit, the Dove Outreach Center has vowed to proceed with its plan to burn Korans. I suppose one could call it an act of uncivil disobedience.

Update 08/20/10: There have been a number of comments, here, and elsewhere, raising First Amendment concerns about the City of Gainesville's decision to deny a bonfire permit. Deputy Chief Tim Hayes of the Gainesville Fire Dept., however, said that his department's denial was not related to the content of the books but on a city ordinance which prohibits the burning of "newspaper, corrugated cardboard, container board or office paper, which are akin to books."

No doubt, attendees from the Sarah Palin/Dr. Laura School of Law would regard it as an infringement of the Dove Outreach Center's First Amendment rights, should a group of concerned citizens peacefully surround these book burners, whom Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe describes as a "tiny fringe group and an embarrassment to our community," holding up signs which quote Heine's "Where they burn books, at the end they also burn people."

Update 09/07/10: General David Petraeus has expressed his concern that the proposed Quran-burning "could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan."

What Petraeus fails to mention is that the swiftest way in which he and his boss, President Barack Obama, could insure the safety of American troops and ratchet down tensions between the people of the Middle East and those residing in the U.S. would be to immediately end our imperial occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan by way of a orderly but complete and total withdrawal of all U.S. military forces as well as all private mercenaries.




By Brad Friedman on 8/18/2010 6:10pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman

Tonight, it's been announced, the last U.S. "combat brigade" has left Iraq, some 7 years, 4 months and 29 days after they were sent there for specious and deadly reasons by the Administration of George W. Bush.

Coincidentally, it is just over 5 years to the day since 14 Marines from a base in the Cleveland, Ohio, suburb of Brook Park were killed by a roadside a bomb in Iraq. The incident, the deadliest bombing there at the time, when "just" 1,820 U.S. troops had died to date, led Bush to tell "the people of Brook Park" that he "hope[d] they also take comfort in the understanding that the sacrifice was made in a noble cause."

That statement brought one very courageous woman --- Cindy Sheehan, whose son had also been killed in Iraq --- down to Crawford, Texas, where Bush had been vacationing at his ranch, in hopes of asking him in person "what noble cause" her son, and those from Cleveland, and from so many other cities and towns around the U.S., had died for.

Sheehan faced down an extraordinary gathering of seething hatred on the blistering hot Central Texas prairie for several weeks in response, in hopes of getting an answer from her son's Commander-in-Chief to that simple question. (And yes, it was nothing short of seething hatred, which we saw first-hand as we covered the extraordinary moment on the ground for this blog and during more than 50 hours of live radio broadcasts, smack dab in the center of it all.) She was joined, in support, by dozens of other family members of the fallen, scores of U.S. Armed Service veterans and thousands of regular, patriotic U.S. citizens on that cow pasture near Bush's home.

5 years later, nearly to the day, after that extraordinary summer and extraordinary display of American courage, the last U.S. "combat troops," we're told, have left Iraq, leaving "just" 50,000 behind, theoretically for logistical and training purposes.

4,415 U.S. troops, including U.S. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, never came home from Iraq. At least not alive. Tens of thousands more have had their lives forever shattered due to permanent physical and emotional injury. Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis were also slaughtered and maimed in the bargain.

And tonight, after all of that time, we're still left wondering: What was that "noble cause"?

* * *

UPDATE 8/19/10: NYU's Nir Rosen tweets wryly: "american combat troops pull out of iraq. the remaining fifty thousand are armed only with sticks, fly swatters, pepper spray and nunchucks"

And we later followed with: "Last one out of Iraq, turn out the lights (as soon as they get electricity back)."

Video from MSNBC's exclusive coverage of the last U.S. "combat brigade" leaving Iraq and entering into Kuwaiit follows below...

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




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