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By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2009 11:08am PT  

Must read from Eugene Robinson at WaPo. "Palin's own 'Climate-gate'". Starts this way:

Sarah Palin is such a cold-eyed skeptic about the Copenhagen summit on climate change that it's no surprise she would call on President Obama not to attend. After all, Obama might join other leaders in acknowledging that warming is a "global challenge." He might entertain "opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions." He might even explore ways to "participate in carbon-trading markets."

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...




Plus: The imaginary case that 'conservatives have no voice in the media'...
By Brad Friedman on 12/15/2009 1:35pm PT  

Sue, Bill, sue! Enough is enough! Go get 'em!...


(Hat-tip @Frank_Schaeffer)




Federal body tasked with overseeing U.S. certification of e-voting systems appoints scammer Edwin Smith, VP of e-voting companies Sequoia, Dominion, Hart-Intercivic...
By Brad Friedman on 12/14/2009 10:56am PT  

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):

Edwin B. Smith, III, vice president of compliance and certification at Dominion Voting Systems. Before joining Dominion Voting Systems, Mr. Smith was vice president of manufacturing, compliance, quality and certification at Sequoia Voting Systems. He also served as the operations manager at Hart InterCivic and the senior director of operations at K*TEC Electronics. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science in engineering technology from Texas A&M.

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...

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




Powerful Democratic donor, attorney from Mississippi, others, said to have been targeted for political prosecution by the Bush Administration's Dept. of Justice...
By Emily Levy on 12/11/2009 5:17pm PT  

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...

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




My new article at NY's 'Gouverneur Times' details months of 'urgent,' but ignored, warnings from election experts...
By Brad Friedman on 12/11/2009 12:09pm PT  

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.

Here's my exclusive over there...




Constitutional Attorney: Obama 'effectively gutting major part of Nuremberg' on behalf of Bush torture attorney, John Yoo...
By Brad Friedman on 12/10/2009 1:14pm PT  

Via RAW STORY...

The Obama administration has asked the Department of Justice to dismiss a lawsuit brought by convicted terrorist Jose Padilla against torture memo author John Yoo, asserting that Yoo cannot be sued for legal opinions he offered in the course of advising then-President Bush on national security matters.

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]




Will call for 'War Powers Resolution' in House to help 'End the War'...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/10/2009 9:05am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"We cannot afford these wars. We cannot afford the loss of lives. We cannot afford the cost to taxpayers. We cannot afford to fail to exercise our constitutional right to end the wars." So said Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) in an email on Wednesday, announcing his intention to introduce a privileged resolution in the House in January to "End the War."

He appeared on MSNBC with Ed Schultz (video below) the night before to explain that under President Obama's plan to immediately increase troops levels by 30,000 before beginning a withdrawal in July of 2011 (pending "conditions on the ground" which could extend the occupation for years, as Sec. of Defense Robert Gates recently admitted) we have an "orgy of crime."

"We will be spending at least $150 billion a year, at the costs of many lives, to be able to subsidize a criminal undertaking." What criminal undertaking was Kucinich referring to?...

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




'Please come up with a new name for whatever you are. You've destroyed my reputation.'...
By Frank Schaeffer on 12/9/2009 11:43am PT  

Guest blogged by Frank Schaeffer

Woe to you American Christians! You say I'm the "son of God" and yet you bully the defenseless in my name.

Do you understand the parable of the Good Samaritan?

Let me refresh your memory...

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




Applying the Lessons of 'Beyond Vietnam'...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/7/2009 1:34pm PT  

Guest essay by Ernest A. Canning

"Somehow this madness must cease."
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Beyond Vietnam" April 4, 1967.

On Jan. 18, 2010 our nation will observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, commemorating the extraordinary life of an intellectual and moral giant. The corporate media will fill the airwaves with excerpts of his uplifting August 28, 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech in which Dr. King called upon us to judge one another by the content of our character and not by the color of our skin. And, during that same holiday, the corporate media can be counted upon to ignore his April 4, 1967 "Beyond Vietnam" speech just as they have every year since the first Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 1986.

Why? Because the egalitarian principles enunciated in "I Have a Dream" challenged only the now (largely) defunct Jim Crow regime.

While de facto, race-based economic inequality stubbornly remains as a vestige of slavery and Jim Crow, the elimination of de jure segregation posed no threat to the stark economic inequality created by an increasingly brutal form of U.S. capitalism and imperialism. It was the brutal reality of corporate Empire which led Dr. King, in "Beyond Vietnam," to describe his own government as "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today" --- a point which exposes the hypocrisy in that same government's celebration of the life of a man singularly devoted to non-violence.

If you have not read "Beyond Vietnam" in its entirety, you should. If you have, you should read it again, for Dr. King's message is as applicable today as it was then.

Particularly, as we deconstruct the empty words used by our Harvard-educated President to justify an escalation of what Robert Scheer aptly describes as a "War of Absurdity," and as we look "Beyond Afghanistan"...

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




(In his own mind, email and that of the Muslim-fearing cowards and dupes sharing his story as if it actually happened)
By Brad Friedman on 12/5/2009 12:20pm PT  

[12/7/09: Updated again at bottom of article. Petruna standing by story. Sort of... & Now again on 12/8/09 as other passengers on flight say Petruna "living in a fantasy world".]

More evidence --- rather hilarious, or sad, depending on how you choose to look at it --- that rightwing Muslim-fearing Fox "News"-addled cowards live in an alternate-reality fantasy world entirely of their own making. In this case, quite literally.

First read the email frantically circulating around wingnut sites, according to Josh Marshall at TPM, including Glenn Beck's 9/12 Project site, as if it were fully based on reality.

Then read the airline's detailed account of what really happened, wholly debunking the email of Tedd Petruna, the "heroic" passenger from Texas, and his account of single-handedly saving a plane full of good Americans from 11 Muslim terrorists on an Airtran flight in Atlanta as it prepared for takeoff to the Houston-Hobby airport.

Your appetizer: Mr. Petruna, the courageous Texan who authored the email describing his own heroics, wasn't even on the plane that he claims to have personally saved from the evil Muslim terrorist hijackers, and the plane was never canceled at all, having continued to the Houston-Hobby airport as scheduled.

As we've been highlighting for some time now here at The BRAD BLOG --- our Rise of the Tea Bags video paints such a picture, and Frank Schaeffer has done a fine job illustrating it as well, most recently here and here) --- we really do now, officially, live in two different Americas. One actual America, with all its flaws, failures, and frustrations, and another world completely existing only in the minds and self-produced group hallucinations of wingnut media-addled fantasists, fear-mongers, and phonies. How that changes at any time in the near future is a question to be answered by someone well above our pay grade.

UPDATE: A bit more info for ya...

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




By Frank Schaeffer on 12/3/2009 1:56pm PT  

Guest blogged by Frank Schaeffer

Nothing illustrates the danger we face from our own Taliban better than the way American "Christians" are now tangled up with the homophobic --- now potentially gay murdering --- Ugandan Christian/political leadership.

The Ugandan Parliament is considering a bill that would impose the death penalty on gays. One American must be cheering from the grave. Here’s what the late R.J. Rushdoony, Reconstructionist theologian and founder of the modern movement of that name, wrote in a letter to gay rights activist Mel White: “God in His law requires the death penalty for homosexuals.”

Disclosure: Both Mel White and Rushdoony were friends of mine, back in the day I was a Religious Right leader and sidekick to my father – the late Francis Schaeffer – who is “credited” by many, including by Karen Armstrong and Max Blumenthal – with being a key father of the Religious Right...along with R.J. Rushdoony. I quit the movement over its hate for the “other” and got out by the late 80s and started writing novels like Portofino, aimed at the heart of the movement through humor at fundamentalist’s expense.

Back in the day before Mel came out he was working with me on one of my father’s movie/book projects. We both left our far right “faith.” Mel acknowledged that he was gay and I said I’d had it with hate. These days I propose an anti-right progressive Christianity in my book Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism)

That said... The problem of American exceptionalism combined with a theocracy in which the “we” of evangelical faith finally destroy the “they” (everyone else) is growing. Who do you think Fox News' rabid followers are? Who do you think calls Obama "Hitler" while using the tactics of fascism themselves?...

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




Republican Secretary of State defied federal election law
Hundreds of thousands of voters likely to benefit from settlement...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/2/2009 10:32am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has won a substantive victory on behalf of the voters of Ohio --- perhaps hundreds of thousands of them --- via a court case filed in 2006, challenging a number of voter suppression tactics employed by the state's then Sec. of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell (R).

The victory may lead to the enfranchisement of "hundreds of thousands of voting-eligible low-income Ohioans" according to one of the attorneys involved in the case, yet it looks like Fox "News", Matt Drudge, and all of the other Rightwingers may have forgotten to post a thank you note to ACORN this week for their successful battle to strengthen the growth of democracy in the U.S....

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




30,000 more troops; Withdrawal beginning in July 2011...
By Brad Friedman on 12/1/2009 5:13pm PT  

We're watching the speech tonight with you...

TPM: Prepared text of Obama's speech
RAW STORY: Obama orders 30k troops to Afghanistan, plans 2011 withdrawal
AP: Obama: Afghanistan not lost, remains challenge
NYTimes: Obama Vows to Fight Al Qaeda ‘Cancer’

Your thoughts, as always, are welcome in comments...




Former AR Governor, GOP Presidential Candidate, Fox 'News' Host Must Take Responsibility for Murder of Four Police Officers
'How many more godly goofs can this country afford?'
By Frank Schaeffer on 12/1/2009 8:34am PT  

Guest Editorial by Frank Schaeffer

Mike Huckabee broke his silence on Monday and defended his decision to give clemency to a convict said to be responsible for the ambush murder of four Seattle police officers. I have an odd connection to Huckabee. He told Katie Couric, during the 2007 primary race, that my Religious Right leader father's (Francis Schaeffer) book, How Should We Then Live?, was his favorite book. The book is credited (along with others my father wrote) for starting the evangelical wing of the anti-abortion movement.

In Huckabee’s more than 1000 pardons of criminals that prosecutors and victims objected to in Arkansas Huckabee most often cited his belief in “redemption” as his "reason." This belief was a result of Huckabee’s extreme and literal born-again fundamentalist views about people’s path to God. His religious views obviously trumped common sense. And this was a direct result of a theology known as "Dominionism" (or "Reconstructionism") where believers want to not just believe their religion privately but "take back America for God" in other words rule on the basis not of American law but the Bible. I explain this trend in my book Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism).

Huckabee freely mixes his ideas about church and state and how religion should shape policy. That brings up a question: should any religious fundamentalists ever be elected President by Americans who want them to do a good, sensible, moderate job, not use their office for expression of their pet religious fanaticism? And another: wasn't one already more than enough?...

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




By Frank Schaeffer on 11/29/2009 12:07pm PT  

Guest blogged by Frank Schaeffer

Op-Ed Columnist Thomas Friedman's editorial in today's New York Times , "America vs. The Narrative", sparked this thought:

If the Islamic world has a fantasy "narrative" about America and our intentions, don't we ourselves --- those within the American religious right --- have a similarly misinformed "narrative"?

Here's my thought experiment: Read Friedman's original, posted below for your convenience, then read my Americanized version which follows. All I've done is change a few names and issues and you'll get the point.

We have our own religious/political myths and they are no less dangerous...

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




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