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'Green News Report' 10/21/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 1/17/2011 2:34pm PT  

Good for Congressman Nadler! Calling on the people's airwaves to be used, as required by law, in the "public interest"...

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said on Friday that the Federal Communications Commission should reinstate the fairness doctrine for broadcast television to ensure that multiple sides of controversial topics are offered to the public.

“For over the airwaves TVs, I think they should bring it back,” said Nadler on Fox Business News with Andrew Napolitano.

“I think it makes sense for people to be able to hear as many sides of political opinions as possible, and as long as it's the people's airwaves that should be used for that purpose.”

Nadler’s comments come in the wake of the recent shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), which has re-launched the debate over what role heated political rhetoric plays in the spurring people to take violent actions.

Nadler's comments follow on the heals of remarks by Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) following the shootings in Tucscon. "Free speech is as free speech does," he is quoted by the The Post and Courier as saying. "You cannot yell ‘fire' in a crowded theater and call it free speech and some of what I hear, and is being called free speech, is worse than that."

Despite originally calling for a "clarif[ication of] the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation's spectrum" on the White House website the day he was inaugurated, the Obama Administration has since retreated after false charges by the Right that Democrats intended to "censor" Rightwing talk radio. The passage was quickly removed from the White House website and, more recently, the Administrationhas said they have no interest in revisiting the Fairness Doctrine. (Though, we should note, that doctrine is not the only way to help restore fairness and balance to our public airwaves.)

The Fairness Doctrine, which had been enforced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) since 1949, required those who used the limited and publicly licensed broadcast airwaves to at least attempt to offer opposing views on controversial issues, was ordered abolished by President Reagan in 1987.

The doctrine's abandonment immediately paved the way for round-the-clock, one-sided propaganda from nationally syndicated talk radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and scores of others.

Diversity of viewpoints shared in the public interest over our public airwaves was further brought to an end by the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, signed by President Clinton. The act, sold as a "boon to competition in the market" lifted the cap on the number of radio and TV station licenses that could be procured by a single corporation. For example, prior to the Telecom Act, the Clear Channel corporation owned just 59 radio and TV stations nationwide. After passage of the act, they were allowed to purchase and control more than 1,200.

In the bargain, real competition --- and virtually all pretense of fairness and balance --- on our public broadcast airwaves largely died, rather than flourish as supporters of the Telecom act had claimed (and as detractors, such as Ralph Nader, had predicted), as corporations were allowed to hold virtual monopoly control over political viewpoints on the nation's airwaves in nearly all major cities across the country.

The BRAD BLOG has covered this topic for years, long calling for fairness and balance to be restored to our public airwaves. Following the recent shootings in Tucson, we have revisited the topic again, most recently in an article highlighting Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik's spotlight on "vitriolic rhetoric" on radio and TV as an element helping to incite violence and bigotry in his city which features six Rightwing radio stations, but none offering a progressive voice. And in another article, posted the day after the shooting, we offered statistics on how bad the problem is across the entire nation.

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The fine line between advocacy and incitement...
By Ernest A. Canning on 1/15/2011 9:33am PT  

[Update 4:26pm PT: Related to the story below, one of the victims of the Tucson shooting has just been arrested for issuing a threat against Rightwingers at a taping for an ABC News special. It seems incitements by some are taken more seriously than incitements by others. Story here... -BF]

* * *

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"I find it chilling to hear so many U.S. government officials calling for the leader of this organization, Julian Assange, to be labeled an 'enemy combatant' and jailed --- or worse."-Letter from Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) to Tom Hayden

Recently, a number of prominent politicians and pundits have called for the violent targeting of other individuals who have been neither accused nor charged with any crimes whatsoever, calling into the question the legality of such incitements to violence.

This article will transcend the issue of "moral responsibility" on the part of those politicians and pundits for the horrific consequences that may, and often do, ensue as the result of their deliberate appeals to fear, prejudice and hate so as to examine when such rhetoric actually amounts to an actual crime under the laws of our land.

There can be little doubt that, as observed by Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, the combination of 24/7 "vitriolic rhetoric" on TV and radio (See video below for poignant examples of such rhetoric), the absence of gun control, with leading U.S. politicians calling for "Second Amendment remedies," and the placement of "crosshairs" over a political opponent's district while calling on citizens to "reload," can produce lethal consequences --- consequences that are not limited to the actions of the deranged.

Such rhetoric is both the product and cause of dehumanization --- a process defined by Professor Phillip Zimbardo in The Lucifer Effect as a means "by which certain other people or collectives of them are depicted as less than human..."

Zimbardo writes:

The process begins with stereotyped conceptions of the other,...conceptions of the other as worthless, the other as all-powerful,…the other as a fundamental threat to our cherished values and beliefs. With public fear notched up and enemy threat imminent, reasonable people act irrationally, independent people act in mindless conformity, and peaceful people act as warriors. Dramatic visual images of the enemy on posters, television, magazine covers, movies, and the internet imprint on the recesses of the limbic system, the primitive brain, with the powerful emotions of fear and hate.

Where we covered the scientific work of Zimbardo and others in "Hate Speech and the Process of Dehumanization," and in a follow-up, demonstrating how the process applies both when directed to foreign "threats" and domestic "foes," here the focus is the thin legal line, unique to the U.S. courtesy of the First Amendment, between advocacy and incitement, and whether some U.S. politicians and pundits may have, at least in the case of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange as they have now charged, crossed that line so as to possibly warrant criminal prosecutions...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/14/2011 4:28pm PT  

As you may have noticed (or expected), I've been doing a lot of radio lately, discussing the AZ Shooting and related issues, such as the RW media and Democratic Party culpability and what needs to be done about it.

A discussion I had earlier this week with the non-partisan Allen Handelman on North Carolina's powerful 100k watt "Super Station," FM Talk 101.1 WZTK was particularly enlightening, I think. Most interesting was that the bulk of the callers --- even though I had been hoping for folks to call in disagreeing with my take --- seemed to generally agree with me. That, even on this station in supposedly "red" NC which features both non-RW talkers as well as far RW misinformants and miscreants such as Michael Savage and Neal Boortz who use our publicly owned airwaves to skew the nation with damnable lies and propaganda.

Happily, NC's FM Talk 101.1 is the exception to the national rule, as it uses its licensed airwaves to serve the public interest, as they are supposed to by law, by offering a variety of political viewpoints. In the bargain, they are the area's #1 talk station (yes, even beating the stations which carry Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, etc.). That, of course, would go against a lot of the "conventional wisdom" (propagated, naturally, by RWingers) which says that NC is "red," that RWingers only want to listen to RW talk, and that folks like Limbaugh and Hannity are so "good" and so many people agree with their "point of view" that they can't be beat. Of course, having the biggest 100k watt blowtorch in town never hurts either, as is the case in most places where the most powerful signal also seems to receive the most listeners for some odd reason.

So where RW stations are placed on 50,000 watt clear channel transmitters, they tend to handily beat the 1k and 5k and 10k stations where one may be able to hear progressive talk --- if you are in a town lucky enough to have such a station and live close enough to its transmitter to actually hear it.

If you'd like to listen to my two "hours" (with commercials already removed, they're really about 40 mins each) with Allen, they can be downloaded or listened to online below. My thanks to Allen for both having me and for sharing the audio files. He also informs me that he'll be re-playing these two hours on his nationally syndicated show as well this weekend...

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

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By Sue Wilson on 1/12/2011 2:02pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Sue Wilson

A moment in the culture.

A moment like Columbine, like Fort Hood, like Oklahoma City, yet different; different because the madman's rampage that targeted Tucson, Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was predictable.

It's hot in Tucson --- temperatures soar to 117 degrees in the summertime. But that's nothing compared to the political heat generated recently in this community just an hour north of the Mexican border. Nowhere in the country were the 'Tea Parties' angrier than in Arizona; rage over healthcare and immigration reform boiled over in Tucson.

It had been bad already, even before Obama had been elected to office in 2008. Take a look at this remarkable list of eliminationist rhetoric coming from the Right, as compiled as long ago as March 2007. But, as if that wasn't horrible enough, things have gotten even far worse since then.

Who wouldn't be incensed? Reports of increased crime, beheadings on the borders, government takeover of health care, death panels. Given all that, who would not stand and fight to protect their grandmothers?

If all that were actually true. But of course, it is not true. Those reports and other fabrications like them are a creation of Right Wing Talk Radio. It isn't just the vitriol spewing from Savage and Hannity and Boortz and others, it is what is behind the vitriol: a genuine fear born of propaganda. And as a culture, we the people are buying into it.

So, regardless of whether the alleged shooter Jared Lee Loughner actually listened to any of the six "Conservative" stations on the dial in Tucson, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik was correct when he blamed the attack on a cultural environment built of Talk Radio...

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

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Congresswoman now breathing on own, able to move arms...
By Brad Friedman on 1/11/2011 5:17pm PT  

And, still more very good news...

One of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' doctors declared Tuesday she has "a 101 percent chance of surviving," as she made more progress, moving both arms and breathing on her own for the first time - just three days after a bullet shot through her brain.

Doctors emphasize she is in for a long recovery, and her neurosurgeon repeated his cautionary phrase of "she's holding her own."

But there was no denying what was clearly good news.

More, just out from AP...

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By Brad Friedman on 1/10/2011 12:43pm PT  

Wonder if the former GOP U.S. House Majoriy Leader is still smiling.

From Austin American-Statesman moments ago...

Judge Pat Priest sentenced Tom DeLay to three years in prison.

The three-year sentence was on the charge of conspiring to launder corporate money into political donations during the 2002 elections.

On the charge of money laundering, DeLay was sentenced to five years in prison, but that was probated for 10 years. That means he would serve 10 years’ probation.

DeLay was taken into custody but he was expected to be released as soon as he posted an appeals bond.

UPDATE: WaPo now has more, including details on the only one to testify on behalf of DeLay at the sentencing hearing today: former Republican U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (who has his own legal issues).

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By Brad Friedman on 1/9/2011 4:52pm PT  

This flier was circulated in Dallas in the days before John F. Kennedy was assassinated...

Any of that look or sound familiar?

If not, and if you didn't see the Tucson Shooting coming months and months ago, then you are living in a world of complete and utter delusion.

[Update 1/11/11: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., responding to the Giffords shooting at Huffington Post, draws a similar allusion to the atmosphere in Dallas in the days prior to the murder of his uncle.]

If you, like pretend media critic Howard Kurtz, are finding rationalizations and excuses to justify what happened yesterday, dismissing it all as little more than the work of a "lone nutjob," you are similarly deluded and among the most dangerous of apologists.

You are also anything but "conservative," since the core of that ideology used to include personal responsibility. Taking none, unfortunately, seems to be the new hallmark of the no longer any more than name-only movement.

Remember what happened after this video-taped moment in September of 2009, when Nancy Pelosi called for "taking responsibility for our words" before tearing up while recalling the assassination of Harvey Milk in her own district in the 70's, and while decrying the scores of death threats and broken windows at offices of Democratic members of Congress after they'd voted in favor of Health Care Reform?...

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

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UPDATES: 6 dead, including federal judge, child, 14 others wounded; Hospital: 'Optimistic about recovery' of Congresswoman; Was 'Targeted' by Tea Party, Palin; Alleged gunman captured: Jared Lee Loughner, 22...
LATE UPDATE: Pima authorities find, interview, clear second 'person of interest'...
By Brad Friedman on 1/8/2011 11:25am PT  

[DEVELOPING COVERAGE. LATEST UPDATES ADDED AT BOTTOM OF ITEM.]

Three-term Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was shot "point blank" in the head at a town hall event in Tucson, along with 11 17 18 19 others according to news report. The "Congress on Your Corner" event was at a Safeway grocery store.

After initial reports that Giffords had been killed, a hospital spokesman confirmed that she is alive, and that he was "optimistic" that Giffords would recover following surgery. He said she was shot "through and through...from one side of the head through the other, through the brain." [See below for updated reports as they are occurring.]

Late reports now have six dead, including federal judge John M. Roll and a 9-year old girl. 12 13 14 others were injured, many faced emergency surgery and are were in both critical and serious condition.

The alleged shooter is now been reported as 22-year old Jared Lee Loughner. He was wrestled to the ground by two people during the incident and is now in police custody. More on him, including his bizarre Youtube page, below.

Giffords' husband is NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, set to command the Shuttle Endeavor scheduled for launch on April 1. His twin brother, Scott, also an astronaut, is currently on the International Space Station.

Giffords had reportedly been threatened after the health care vote last year, and had seen shots fired at her office. She also appeared as one of a number of Congressmembers "targeted" for replacement on Sarah Palin's map, where districts were highlighted with a gun sight.

On March 25, 2010, after Gifford --- a former Republican, now a Blue Dog Democrat --- was placed on Palin's target list, she had this to say about the increasing rise in violent political rhetoric:

I mean, this is a situation where people really need to realize that this rhetoric, and firing people up, and even things … For example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the way she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. And when people do that, they’ve gotta realize that there’s consequences to that action.

* * *

Many more details, updated throughout the day, follow below. LATEST REPORTS AT BOTTOM...

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

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Tonight: David Dayen, Wacky Day in the GOP U.S. House & More!
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 1/6/2011 3:57pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with audio archives below.]

I've just been asked to jump in tonight (and tomorrow) to guest host for Mike on the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show. He's taken ill, but should be back in fine fettle on Monday.

So scrambling to put together tonight's show, but hope you'll tune in!

We'll be BradCasting LIVE as usual from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT) --- though we'll be pre-empted tonight for hockey in L.A. on KTLK, so see below for LIVE listening links! Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! The LIVE chat room will be up and rolling, as usual, right here at The BRAD BLOG during the show, so please come on by and say hey while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)

Scheduled (so far) for tonight:

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates across the country and also on Sirius Ch. 146 & XM Ch. 167. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or via MikeMalloy.com.

* * *

Click here to jump into our LIVE Chat Room during the show. Or just see below!...

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: Fun show tonight! It was U.S. Congress fever tonight! Commercial-free audio archives follow below (and the chat room archives are below those, if you like). Enjoy!...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/6/2011 3:15pm PT  

Not ironic at all. During today's $1.1 million, GOP-led reading of the U.S. Constitution on the floor of the U.S. House today, Article 2, Section 1, as read by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ, the parties were taking turns reading) the "natural born citizen" clause was interrupted by a protester shouting from the gallery.

As Pallone read "No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President," the "birther activist" Theresa Cao shouted out: "Except Obama! Except Obama! Help us Jesus!"

Cao's First Amendment rights were abruptly revoked as she was ordered escorted out of the chamber and arrested by Capitol Police.

Here's the video, courtesy of TPM who has more...


That wasn't the only early embarrassment for the new GOP majority in their first full day on the job. There was also this amusing little problem. May be an amusing couple of years ahead... :-)

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By Brad Friedman on 1/5/2011 5:19pm PT  

This afternoon, during my weekly "Muckraking Wednesdays" appearance with Harrison on KPFK/Pacifica out here in Los Angeles, we discussed the first day of the 112th Congress, Kindergarten Kapitol Kop Rep. Darrell Issa, the continuing intentions of the GOP to keep legal (Democratic) voters from being able to cast their vote, the seating of disgraced RNC vote cager Tim Griffin in the U.S. House of Representatives and the proposed new rules for filibuster reform [PDF] in the U.S. Senate.

Joining us on that last point was the great David "d-day" Dayen, news blogger from FireDogLake.

The lively hour follows in full below, if you'd like to give it a listen.

Download MP3 or listen online here...

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By Brad Friedman on 1/4/2011 3:35pm PT  

Once again proving the well-worn axiom IOKIYAR ("It's okay if you're a Republican"), disgraced former U.S. Attorney, Karl Rove protege and the Republican Party's 2004 vote cager, Tim Griffin has not only been elected as a Representative to the U.S. House from Arkansas' 2nd district, he's also been assigned to a leadership position as deputy whip and has been given a seat on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, of all places. Guess they had to replace the previously disgraced anti-democracy champion Rep. Tom Feeney (FL-24) with someone, eh?

As Talking Points Memo notes...

A few years ago, Tim Griffin was a key figure in of the biggest scandals in the Bush administration. Democrats said --- and the Justice Department Inspector General later concluded --- that the Bush White House and Justice Department pushed out U.S. Attorney H.E. "Bud" Cummins III to give Griffin, a former aide to presidential adviser Karl Rove, a plum spot as interim U.S. attorney that would pad his resume.

Now Griffin, who was elected to Congress from Arkansas in November, has been named by House Republicans to be a member of the House Judiciary Committee --- the very same committee which took a close look at his own role in the scandal that ultimately lead to the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

"Tim Griffin was a linchpin of one of the dirtiest, Washington-insider schemes that brought down the Bush-era Justice Department and now, ironically, House Republicans have appointed him to oversee the very department he helped undermine," Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said in a statement.

"Griffin loves to talk about his 6-month stint as a US Attorney but forgets to tell voters that he was forced to quit amid the national scandal about his hiring," Ferguson added. "It came to light that Tim Griffin was illegitimately appointed to the role of US Attorney as part of a massive controversy over unprecedented political influence over the Department of Justice. Arkansas families are right to question the character of Tim 'Dirty Tricks' Griffin and question his appointment to oversee our justice system knowing his rap sheet."

TPM has more on that aspect of Griffin's "rap sheet", but as The BRAD BLOG has detailed over the years, Griffin was also at the center of a dirty scheme to peel thousands of legitimate voters off the roles in Ohio in 2004, as revealed by his own "vote caging" emails sent to fellow George W. Bush/RNC campaign officials at the time...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2011 6:48pm PT  

Scary black man with weapon outside a polling place somewhere!!! It's a scandal!!! A "voter suppression" outrage!!! And Obama's scary black men are coming to get you next!!!

I don't care much about this silly story and, apparently, neither did any voters. Not a single one of them filed a complaint of "voter intimidation" during the 2008 "incident" captured on video for a minute or so outside a polling place in a largely minority area of Philadelphia and then played endlessly on Fox "News" ever since. Naturally, the footage is always accompanied by some sort of pretend "outrage" from the Fox host in each instance.

As the incident has even less relevance to the lives of Americans as the death of Natalie Holloway, we haven't covered it more than once or twice here, most recently last July when Washington Post Ombudsman Andrew Alexander took the bait in support of his paper's regard of the non-story as some sort of "political bombshell".

But, with the death-by-fake-scandal of ACORN, the Republicans need something on which to hang their fake, vaguely "voter fraud"-related, very much black people-related investigations in Congress as they take over the majority in the House. So, get used to it. We're all gonna be forced to hear about this silly story --- over and over again --- whether we like it or not, in the coming months (and, probably even years!) as the GOP hold hearings and "investigations" on this story, rather than on ones which actually matter.

So to that end, if you're not already familiar with the ridiculous "scandal" concerning the "intimidation" by two jackasses from the so-called "New Black Panther Party" at a polling place in 2008, Adam Serwer's summary at WaPo today (of all places) has you covered. He's even honest enough to take his paper on directly for the ink they continue to give to the non-story courtesy of their Rightwing columnist (one of many) Jennifer Rubin.

Gosh, I wonder if, when the GOP hold their hearings on "voter intimidation" at the polling place, they'll also be demanding that Eric Holder prosecute this guy as well. Somehow, I'm doubting it.

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Contests 'vague voter intent' determinations, reliance on Diebold op-scan tallies on Constitutional grounds
But GOP candidate's decision to drop contest of Murkowski certification could prove fatal to overall case...
By Brad Friedman on 12/27/2010 6:53pm PT  

[Update 12/28/10: Federal judge dismisses Miller's complaint. Details now here...]

"We want the end result of this legal action to be for the people of Alaska to not only have full faith in the outcome of this race, but a confidence in the manner in which elections will be conducted in our state in the future," Alaska's "Tea Party"-supported, Sarah Palin-endorsed GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate, Joe Miller said in a statement today calling for "fairness and transparency" in the election process, issued after filing an amended complaint in federal court. His statement concludes with the simple sentiment: "Election integrity is vital."

Miller has decided to press on in his election contest against the state's Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell and their Division of Elections (DoE), as overseen by Treadwell, by filing a Substitute Amended Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief in U.S. District Court in Alaska today. The filing comes after resounding losses in state court and --- if the state's hand-count of write-in ballots and the Diebold optical-scanner tallies of all the other ballots are to be believed --- to Republican write-in candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski in November's general election for the U.S. Senate. As the unofficial state count now stands, Murkowski reportedly defeated Miller (and Democratic candidate Scott McAdams) by more than 10,000 votes.

In the statement (posted in full at end of this article) Miller explains that his team has decided to forgo challenging Murkowski's official certification as the winner, allowing her to be seated in the U.S. Senate on January 5th.

"The integrity of the election is vital and ultimately the rule of law must be our standard. Nevertheless, I have also decided to withdraw our opposition to the certification of the election, ensuring that Alaska will have its full delegation seated when the 112th Congress convenes next month." he said, "This decision will allow Alaskans to focus on bringing fairness and transparency to our elections process without distraction of the certification issue."

But Miller's decision to drop his challenge to Murkowski's seating may prove to be a fatal blow to his case --- at least if precedent set by Republicans in Congress some years ago, ironically enough, is any indication. But more on that below.

After winning the GOP nomination against Murkowski, and then reportedly losing to her unprecedented write-in bid in November, Miller originally filed his election contest in federal court in November. U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline subsequently responded by sending the case down to state court for initial adjudication on relevant issues of state law. Late last month, Beistline temporarily halted state certification of the race until those issues were decided, and last week the state's Supreme Court rejected Miller's appeal, siding with the state, on all counts.

Beistline had given Miller until today to re-file his amended complaint in federal court. His filing now includes just three counts asserting violations of the U.S. Constitution's "Election Clause" and "Equal Protection Clause" as based on both the DoE's liberal interpretation of state law in counting write-in ballots, as well as the disparate weight the hand-count of those ballots was afforded, versus those tallied by Diebold optical-scanners in the case of "pre-printed" candidates...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/23/2010 4:52pm PT  

A "turducken" is defined by Wikipedia as "a dish consisting of a de-boned chicken stuffed into a de-boned duck, which itself is stuffed into a de-boned turkey." Sounds pretty close to what we've just witnessed in the closing hours of the 111th Congress.

Conventional wisdom, at least that flogged by the MSM over the last 24 hours or so, has it that somehow Democrats shocked the nation by finally stepping up their game and doing the extraordinary in the lame duck session by passing an unprecedented number of their hard-fought initiatives, many thought to have been otherwise dead (or waiting for reconsideration in the next, more heavily Republican-weighted Congress).

Not to be a contrarian here, or even a Christmas curmudgeon, but while the Democrats deserve credit for hanging in there on a number of important initiatives, rather than tossing up their hands and walking away in the face of unprecedented, historic obstructionism by the GOP, it's a fact that the major legislation finally passed can hardly be seen as any sort of "progressive," or even "liberal," victory. It all may well represent a Democratic victory, if a short-lived one, but that only demonstrates how successful Republicans have been in pushing Dems far to the right, and how willing Democrats are these days to celebrate the passage of center and center-right (and even hard-right) legislation, almost all of which was depressingly low-hanging holiday fruit to begin with...

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

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