Maddow warns: 'With this many top of ticket races tied, turnout will be everything...Now we watch for the ways that people will try to stop voters from turning out or from having their votes counted, by hook or by crook'...
On Tuesday, it was reported that the Air Force has blocked its personnel from reading Web sites that have posted WikiLeaks cables. This includes the sites of The New York Times, The Guardian, and "more than 25 other news organizations," according to the Times. Any Air Force member trying to access these sites from a work computer will get a message reading "Access Denied: Internet usage is logged and monitored." The ban only applies to sites that have posted "full classified documents, not just excerpts," says the Times, and it has not been adopted by the Army, Navy, or Marines. Since Air Force personnel can still access the blocked sites from home, bloggers are puzzling over why the Air Force bothered to take this step at all.
Of course, one would think that conservatives would be up in arms about such blatant (and stupid) assaults on at least the spirit of the U.S. Constitution's first amendment. However, fake "conservatives" of the Fox "News", Sarah Palin, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Rep. Peter King, Sen. Joe Lieberman seem to have no such concerns. They'd prefer, it seems, to see censorship of the media and/or the targeting of a man --- even for assassination --- who has been charged with breaking no U.S. laws.
Unfortunately, the new batch of elected officials heading to D.C. in January look to be just as confused about who and what they are supposed to be defending...
Dear "Tea Party": Whether you know it or not, your founding father is below. If you are to be what you claim you are (what you've been told to believe you are), then pay attention to what Rep. Ron Paul --- who actually is --- said on the floor of the U.S. House this week.
If you really think you are "conservative", isn't it time you started acting like it? Like Paul (The Elder, unlike The Younger) has been doing now for years? Pay attention. This is for you...
"One of the major reasons for government secrecy is to protect the government from its own population...[The WikiLeaks cables reveal a] profound hatred for democracy on the part of our political leadership." -Noam Chomsky, Democracy Now, 11/30/2010
There is no issue of greater import to the aspirations of a democratic people than matters of war and peace. There can be no greater display of contempt for democracy on the part of an American President than that reflected by a covert decision to engage in a secret war without the knowledge or consent of Congress or the American people.
According to Jeremy Scahill (video below), "in '03/'04 the Bush administration issued an Executive order that authorized U.S. forces to go anywhere in the world where al Qaeda was to fight them; essentially declared the whole world a battlefield..."
The WikiLeaks Pakistan/Yemen cables confirm that President Barack Obama, possibly relying upon the Bush/Cheney cabal's extremist position that the Sept. 14, 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists ("AUMF") is tantamount to a blanket license to initiate wars anywhere and everywhere there is a "suspected" presence of al Qaeda, has both perpetuated and expanded these dangerous claims of lawless Executive power...
Another big show tonight as I guest-host the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show this week. (Note: We're off tomorrow, but back on Friday!)
We'll be BradCasting again LIVE tonight from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT). Please join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! The LIVE chat room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG during the show as ever, so come on by 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.)
The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates around 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.
POST-SHOW UPDATE: Commercial free audio archives are below (and the chat room archive is below them.) Lots of interest stuff tonight, some great calls, and plenty to be thankful for...somehow...including my thanks to Mike and Kathy for allowing me to fill in. My favorite call tonight: Curtis in the third hour. Mike is back tomorrow with a Thanksgiving "Best Of" and then I'll be back again Friday night! See ya then! Happy holidays and enjoy the archives until then...
Tom DeLay, the former U.S. House majority leader whose name became synonymous with the Republicans' controversial rise to power in the Texas House, was found guilty today of laundering money in connection with the 2002 elections.
DeLay was charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit money. He faces a possible sentence of 5-99 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine on the money laundering charge, and 2-20 years in prison and a possible $10,000 fine on the conspiracy charge.
Prosecutors earlier said they believe the DeLay case is the first such criminal charge ever filed over Texas' century-old prohibition on corporate contributions in state political races.
Delay, a Republican who was nicknamed "The Hammer" because of his heavy-handed style, was accused of conspiring to funnel $190,000 of corporate money through the Republican National Committee, which sent $190,000 in campaign donations to seven GOP candidates for the Texas House.
State law prohibits corporations from giving donations to candidates directly or indirectly.
We played a few clips from this during Thursday's Green News Report, but if you didn't hear it, or even if you did, the full remarks from Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) are worth watching and worth the awarding of The BRAD BLOG's very rarely bestowed "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award."
Inglis, was ousted by a "Tea Party" candidate during the GOP primary this year --- despite his 93% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union --- so he is now the outgoing Republican U.S. Congressman representing South Carolina's 4th Congressional District. He is, for the moment, the ranking minority member of the U.S. House Energy and Environment Subcommittee and will likely be replaced in the new Congress with either Texas' Rep. Joe Barton (who apologized to BP) or Illinois' Rep. John Shimkus (who believes global warming doesn't exist, because God doesn't mention it specifically in the bible --- seriously.) In short, Inglis is one of the last sane Republican elected officials in the U.S. Congress.
So here he is Wednesday morning, taking a remarkable parting shot at his fellow Republicans on the committee, all climate change denialists, along with the industry that fuels their cynical anti-science disinformation, the technological ground (and money) being lost to China in the bargain, all while celebrating, at least, that these hearings are "on the record...because I want our grandchildren to read what you said and what I said."
His fist-in-a-velvet-glove comments are not to be missed, such as these near the ends of his remarks:
Meanwhile we got people that make a living, and a lot of money, on talk radio and talk TV pronouncing all kinds of things. They slept at Holiday Inn Express last night, and they are now experts on climate. And those folks substitute their judgment for the people who have Ph.D.s and who are working tirelessly to discover the data.
So, we have some real choices ahead of us. But I hope in the future, as we have these hearings, that we realize it's all on the record. And our grandchildren and great-grandchildren are gonna get to see.
No worries. The election officials in Stark County, OH say the Diebold touch-screen vote-flipping, as captured on iPhone video by voter and University of Akron freshman Ian Sanderson on Election Day last week, was just "an isolated incident"...
In 2007, Ohio's current Sec. of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, commissioned the largest independent scientific review of electronic voting systems the nation has ever seen. That report, known as EVEREST, resulted in her recommendation that use of all touch-screen voting systems be discontinued in every county in the state. Nonetheless, election officials in counties like Stark have so much contempt for voters that they persist in forcing them to use these 100% unverifiable, oft-failed, easily-manipulated systems a full three years later.
Last Tuesday, the Buckeye State reportedly elected Republicans once more to the offices of both Governor and Secretary of State. Should be another fun Presidential Election there in 2012, eh? Unless, of course, the Republicans were serious about the concerns they expressed, largely for the very first time this year, about e-voting systems like the one seen flipping votes above.
Prior to Election Day we saw reports in Texas, in Nevada and in North Carolina of Republican votes flipping to Democrats or other candidates during the early voting period. The NC GOP claimed to be so outraged by the reports that they filed (and won) a lawsuit suit after one of their attorneys even went so far as to suggest "the touch screen systems should be been banned."
Well, good news for Republicans! As of January, they will be the majority party in the U.S. House of Representatives! If they really want to ban unverifiable touch-screen voting systems like the ones that failed this year in NC, TX, NV, OH and elsewhere, they've got their big chance! Democrats failed to do so over the last four years, so we'll be looking forward to the Republican legislation calling for exactly that come January, right?
* * *
Video coverage of the incident from Akron's ABC affiliate WEWS 5 follows below...
The upshot of its argument: If Republicans are set to take over the U.S. House, as predicted, and if they've suddenly found religion in regard to the dangers of electronic voting, as they seem to be asserting in North Carolina, in Nevada and in Texas, then it'll soon be their turn to take legislative action to once and for all ban the horrific, anti-democratic (small "d"), 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems plaguing our nation before they are again used to pervert results of the 2012 Presidential Election --- just as they have every year since they've been introduced into our electoral system (by a majority Republican Congress, by the way, in 2002.)
Please check it out and leave some nice (or not so nice) comments there, as you see fit. Lot's of disinformed bumpkins seem to currently be weighing in. Please free to straighten them out. Politely.
And, also speaking of the long-waged Republican War on Democracy, it's nice to see a bit of in-depth coverage of issues that actually matter from local news reporters for a change. Here's Melissa Sims of KARK 4 News in Arkansas last night, on the vote caging of Tim Griffin, the Karl Rove protege installed as U.S. Attorney without Senate confirmation by the Bush Administration during their infamous U.S. Attorney purge.
Griffin, notoriously, was discovered to have sent caging emails to RNC colleagues during the 2004 election in Ohio. He denies any wrong-doing, though BBC investigative journalist and author [and occasional BRAD BLOG guest blogger] Greg Palast who first reported on the caging emails in Griffin's name, believes otherwise. Several other independent reporters similarly confirmed his involvement in the scheme. Griffin has never been held legally accountable, in any case, despite being forced to tearfully resign as USA during the Attorney Purge investigation. He is now, incredibly, the GOP's nominee for Arkansas' 2nd District U.S. Congressional seat, proving --- yet again --- that IOKIYR.
KARK's Simas took the time to cover the matter in some detail --- a 7-minute report is extraordinary for local news --- even as it's been largely ignored by...well, just about everybody, certainly in Arkansas, until now...
UPDATE 10/20/10: Palast picks up on this same story and writes over at Truthout that attorney Robert Kennedy Jr., having looked at the Griffin caging emails, believes that what the SarahPAC-endorsed candidate Griffin did "was absolutely illegal and he should be in jail."
As comedian John Fugelsang wryly tweeted recently: "My only real beef with the Republican Party is that they keep forcing me to vote for Democrats."
As horrendous as the Democratic leadership (particularly in the Senate) has been over the last several years --- little better underscores that horrendousness than the embarrassing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's announcement yesterday that he'd be putting off a vote for overwhelmingly popular middle-class tax-cuts until after the election --- the Republicans still remain far worse...and far more dangerous to both the country and the world.
Where the Ds are hapless, short-sighted, and cowardly, the Rs remain apologetically insidious, dangerous, shameless, and disingenuous.
The Daily Show's brilliant video montage last night, marking yesterday's thud-like introduction of the GOP's "Pledge to America" (which, we'd wager, is likely to be all but abandoned and forgotten by Rs by the time November 2 rolls around), illustrates that point as ingenuously as we've ever seen.
If Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) --- likely to become Speaker of the House if Republicans take it over this year --- had any shame, he'd be ashamed of himself. But he doesn't. So he won't...
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...
It's been a while since we've checked in with election fraud whistleblower turned would-be politician Clint Curtis, so let's bring everyone up to speed. Clint Curtis is the computer programmer who was allegedly asked to write election-flipping software by former Florida Speaker of the House-turned-U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney (R) back in 2000. Curtis blew the whistle and testified, under oath and on video tape, before a U.S. House Judiciary Committee panel shortly after The BRAD BLOG broke the extraordinary story in late 2004. (Quick recap of the Curtis story and links to our years-long, in-depth coverage right here.)
Curtis fought back, taking on Feeney twice for his congressional seat, only to lose both times - the first to a fishy vote count in 2006 (which Curtis challenged with evidence in hand, only to be shot down by a Democrat-led Congressional committee) and the second time to a pro-Bush Blue Dog millionaire put up by the Dems in the 2008 primary. Feeney, dogged by Curtis' allegations, and an FBI investigation into his dealings with disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, would finally lose his seat in '08. (Curtis' story is covered in depth in the award-winning 2008 documentary film Murder, Spies & Voting Lies.)
You'd think that'd be enough politics for anyone, but not Curtis. He loaded up the truck and moved several hundred miles north of Beverly… Hills, that is. Now armed with a brand-spankin' new law degree, he is mounting one more assault on a Congressional seat --- this time in Northern California's 4th Congressional district.
Will this be another quixotic attempt? Or will the progressive Democratic candidate who ran unchallenged in the recent CA primary, finally break through, giving Congress a much-needed voice of reason and election integrity advocates a serious ally in the House of Representatives?
I recent spoke to Curtis about all of the above, and much more...
You know nothing. You remember nothing. You don't remember George W. Bush or how badly he screwed things up. You love Republicans. They are here to help you. You will welcome them back...
Replace the hypnotist and watch with "illegal immigrants" or a "Ground Zero Mosque" (what the Los Angeles Times' Tim Rutten refers to as a "rising tide of Nativism") and the cartoon would be equally spot on, though this form of hypnosis is utilized by the billionaire-funded hard-right not only to "forget" the disaster that was the Bush/Cheney cabal but to avoid a debate on the Republicans' cold and heartless, class-based decisions to oppose an extension of unemployment benefits, to block funds for state governments intended to prevent a layoff of thousands of teachers, to block vital environmental legislation, to engage in never-ending privatization schemes, which by design are intended to destroy government's ability to provide vital public services (police, fire, health care, education), and to repeatedly level false charges of insolvency as part of their scheme to permit the thieves of Wall Street to raid the Social Security trust fund.
Those who are rational and see the mosque as an issue of First Amendment religious freedoms (and common sense) fail to appreciate the visceral appeal of Republican race-baiting, which, in the case of the mosque, seeks to tap into a deep-seated, cultural anxiety that has been created not only by 9/11 but --- as I explained in "Hate Speech and the Process of Dehumanization" here at The BRAD BLOG, and in its follow-up --- by the vilification of Arabs and Muslims in books, films and on television over a span of decades. It was this same deep-seated and subconscious loathing which permitted the Bush/Cheney cabal to conflate Saddam Hussein --- just another swarthy, mid-Eastern bad guy --- with al Qaeda for the purpose of invading Iraq.
The politics of Republican fear-mongering and race-baiting exploits cultural dehumanization so as to conflate all Muslims with 9/11. The result is a perversion of that seminal event --- which, even under the Bush/Cheney Administration's own "official theory," entailed only al Qaeda --- into an unprovoked assault by the Muslim world on "Christian America."
"You know nothing. You remember nothing. You don't remember George W. Bush or how badly he screwed things up. You love Republicans. They are here to help you. You will welcome them back..."
It's been explained to me that one of the reasons we have such a difficult time selling ads on this blog --- or receiving donations (Serious hint there, people! Please? Thanks!) --- is that I'm reliably unreliable when it comes to supporting any particular political party.
This, of course, makes me toxic to most of the partisans out there, in what has become an insanely partisan world. (It also makes it very difficult to pay the rent, so see shameless plea above.)
In any case, I'm now I'm more toxic than ever, as the following short animated video proves!
The video below has just been released by the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition, and I was honored to give voice to all of the different male cartoon characters you'll see. Yes, they're all actually me! Toxic, but hopefully amusing. Just like this blog. Enjoy and spread the word!...
(And I was serious about the terrible lack of donations. Could really use the support! And you know I hates askin'! If you can help, I promise much more relentless toxicity from this blog in the foreseeable future!)