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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Dems Help Trump Spy on All Americans Without Warrant: 'BradCast' 1/17/18
Guest: Elizabeth Goitein of Brennan Center; Also: Dems flip GOP seat in WI; Sex scandals overlooked; Mass resignation at NPS...
'Reshuffling the Decks' on Guns, Marijuana, Immigration: 'BradCast' 1/16/18
Guest: Mike Liszewski of Drug Policy Alliance; Also: Goodbye, Chris Christie and other encouraging news from the states...
Sunday Toons of the $h!thole Moment
And so now it's come to this. And on Martin Luther King Day weekend of all times. See PDiddie's latest toon collection...
Trump is a Symptom, Not the Disease: 'BradCast' 1/12/18
In the wake of the President of the United States' reported 'shithole countries' comment, the GOP's toxic, racist policies are laid bare in the U.S. and across the globe...
More White Supremacist Neo-Nazi Domestic Terror Ignored by Trump, Congress, Media: 'BradCast' 1/11/18
Guest: HuffPo's Ryan Reilly; House re-ups 702, Trump clueless, calls Haiti, Africa 'shitholes'
'Green News Report' 1/11/18
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record rain, deadly mudslides slam CA after record fires; Trump Admin reverses on offshore drilling -- but only for FL; PLUS: NYC sues oil industry, divests over climate change damage...
Previous GNRs: 1/19/18 - 1/4/18 - Archives...
Chaos Reigns: 'BradCast' 1/10/18
DACA scheme blocked; Off-shore drilling reversed; CA's latest disaster; VA's gamed elections; NC's gamed Congressional maps; much more...
Battling 'Big Lies' in 'Trump Country' with Facts and Sustainable Farming in IA: 'BradCast' 1/9/18
Guest: Farmer John Gilbert; Also: Detente in Korea; Arpaio returns; Landmark NC ruling...
'Green News Report' 1/9/18
2017 shatters US record for costliest weather disasters; Oil tanker on fire off China; Opposition to Trump expansion of offshore drilling; PLUS: Norway all in on e-cars...
Never Mind 'Fire & Fury', What About Record Fire & Hurricanes?: 'BradCast' 1/8/18
Also: More under-covered news, listeners ring in from around the world, including one REALLY angry Trumper...
Sunday Toons of the 'Mine's Bigger' Moment
Not that it's a contest. 'PDiddie' picks up his first round of 2018 toons where 2017 left off, but bigger...way bigger...
Will Trump's Ringer at IRS Game 2018 Paychecks to Boost GOP Tax Scheme?: 'BradCast' 1/5/18
Guest: David Dayen; Also: News missed during 'Fire & Fury', Mueller obsession...
'Green News Report' 1/4/18
Record cold in East; Drought grips CA - again; What happens in Arctic doesn't stay in Arctic; PLUS: Over holidays, Trump guts more environment, safety regs...
Sunday 'Auld Lang Syne' Toons
It's PDiddie's last weekly toon collection round-up of 2017! Thank God! Now, about what lies ahead for 2018...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

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
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Open letter from PDA details 'appalling record' of Democrat described by PDA-backed challenger as 'Joe Lieberman of the House'
Group seeks signatures in support of 'open letter' to Congresswoman, Co-Chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus...
By Brad Friedman on 1/11/2010 3:05pm PT  

-- By Brad Friedman and Ernest A. Canning

As The BRAD BLOG reported over the weekend, an internecine firefight has blown up among progressives who support the candidacy of Marcy Winograd against entrenched "Blue Dog" Jane Harman (D-CA), and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), long regarded as one of the more progressive members of the U.S. Congress.

Woolsey, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and a longtime Advisory Board Member of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), stunned progressives over the last several days when it was revealed that she was endorsing, and would be participating in a fundraiser for Harman next Saturday, January 16th, as noted in our report yesterday.

In the wake of Woolsey's curious support for the seven term Democrat, PDA is issuing an email blast to supporters tonight, asking them to sign on to an open letter (posted in full below) demanding Woolsey withdraw from the upcoming event, as well as drop her endorsement of Harman who will be challenged this year by Winograd, a longtime leader in PDA's Los Angeles chapter, and the first candidate of 2010 to be endorsed by the group. Winograd ran an unsuccessful challenge against Harman in 2006, but has begun her campaign earlier this year, and hopes to capitalize on growing progressive outrage at entrechned Congressional Democrats such as Harman. In a recent letter to supporters, Winograd described Harman as "the Joe Lieberman of the House."

In the open letter posted here, initially signed by Tim Carpenter, PDA's National Director, Mimi Kennedy and PDA's Advisory Board Chair, the group, describes the process signing the letter as "painful," but describes the negative response from members to the Woolsey endorsement of Harman, and asks for her to withdraw from the event immediately.

"The tone and emphasis of the responses vary, but the overwhelming gist is clear," Carpenter and Kennedy write to Woolsey, "The progressive base is upset about your scheduled involvement [in the January 16 fund-raising event] and hopes that you will withdraw from this event. As an organization, Progressive Democrats of America joins in that request."...

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




More heat emerges from Winograd vs. Harman primary contest...
By Ernest A. Canning on 1/9/2010 9:16am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and board member of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), has confounded progressives by joining forces to support notorious "Blue Dog" Democratic Rep. Jane Harman in her upcoming primary re-match against PDA-backed Marcy Winograd, long time leader in the grassroots progressive organization.

Several weeks ago, in "Winograd, Harman Race Heats Up Again," we noted that the looming 2010 primary contest between Harman, California's powerful eight-term Democratic U.S. Congresswoman and the progressive Winograd "presents a classic David and Goliath match up. With a net worth ranging between $236 million to $558 million, Harman, is said to be one of the richest members of Congress. Winograd, by contrast, is running a bottom-up progressive campaign of the type I advocated for recently in 'Progressives of America - Unite!'."

We noted:

In addition to Progressive Democrats for America, Winograd's notable progressive supporters include Daniel Ellsberg, Gore Vidal, Ron Kovic, Jodie Evans, Co-Founder, Code Pink, Norman Solomon, Lila Garrett of KPFK, David Swanson and Jim Hightower.

Harman's campaign web site, contains a long list of people and organizations who have endorsed her candidacy, which includes numerous elected officials...

An endorsement for Harman, from Lynn Woolsey of all people, has engendered some predictably strong reactions from progressive circles...

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




The discussion not being had about the 'War on Terror'...
By Brad Friedman on 1/4/2010 5:05am PT  

The baseball metaphors were theirs. I just thought I'd pick up on them.

Over the holiday weekend, there was a bit of an "academic" tête-à-tête in the upper-blogosphere over President Obama's handling of the arrest, detention and prosecution of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Detroit "Underwear Bomber," as it compared to George W. Bush's almost exactly similar handling of the arrest, detention and prosecution of Richard Reid, the "Shoe Bomber," and other alleged terrorists by the former administration.

While there were swell arguments into which "both" sides could firmly dig their heels, as usual, the conversation that the people of this country really need to be having was shunted far aside in favor of the one Dick Cheney and Karl Rove prefer to be having...

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




Primary battle looms once more between eight-term House Dem and progressive challenger...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/29/2009 4:05pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

A little more than seven months after launching her second attempt to unseat California's powerful eight-term Democratic U.S. Congresswoman Jane Harman, the PDA-backed Marcy Winograd recently sent out a fundraising email in which she described Harman as the Joe Lieberman of the House.

In the campaign letter, Winograd notes Harman's claim in her 1998 election, as reported by the Los Angeles Times: "I was flattered to be introduced in the last election as the best Republican in the Democratic primary."

The Harman campaign did not respond to an email requesting comment on the quote above, though a spokesperson from the Winograd camp sent us a copy of the archived 1998 LA Times report on the Congresswoman's comments to "several hundred civic leaders" in downtown Los Angeles, containing her direct quote which ends with Harman adding: "I accept."

The race presents a classic David and Goliath match up. With a net worth ranging between $236 million to $558 million, Harman, is said to be one of the richest members of Congress. Winograd, by contrast, is running a bottom-up progressive campaign of the type I advocated for recently in "Progressives of America - Unite!". The match-up presents a stark contrast in directions for a conflicted Democratic Party...

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




By Ernest A. Canning on 12/28/2009 10:09am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"There is a basic weakness in governments, however massive their armies, however vast their wealth, however they control images and information, because their power depends on the obedience of citizens....When the citizens begin to suspect they have been deceived and withdraw their support, government loses its legitimacy and its power." - Howard Zinn, A Power Governments Cannot Suppress

With all that talk of "Peace on Earth," often spelled out in festive shopping mall lights over the Christmas weekend, it seems few actually mean it. But on the presumption that readers of The BRAD BLOG actually do, allow me to note that in my recent editorial, "Beyond Afghanistan", I argued that there is no legitimate basis for our continued presence in Afghanistan and that the currently planned escalation serves to perpetuate, in the words of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a "criminal enterprise."


While not yet approaching the level of critical mass resistance that will be required to bring our presence in the Afghan quagmire to an end, the "Rethink Afghanistan" petition (video in support thereof at right) calls upon Congress to vote against any bill to fund troop escalation in Afghanistan. It provides an initial step in what I had argued was the right direction. The petition is sponsored by Brave New Foundation, Credo Mobile and True Majority. It was read into the Congressional Record recently by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL).

The petition bears the names of more than 100,000 citizens. Perhaps if that number swells to 100 million, members of Congress will take seriously the fundamental truth it bears, though those who support the petition would do well to address the difficult questions as to "how" we could safely withdraw our forces in an expeditious fashion through such means as a negotiated ceasefire with the Taliban pending an orderly withdrawal.




UPDATE: NYTimes buries Story, gives last word to wingnuts...
By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2009 4:15pm PT  

Earlier this month, a two-month independent investigation of ACORN, by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, found incidents of mismanagement, but no criminal wrongdoing by ACORN, the favorite whipping boy of Republican scammers such as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Fox "News" and the GOP itself. That investigation (full report here [PDF]) also found that the "sting videos" used recently against ACORN were highly doctored and manipulated.

Of course, readers of The BRAD BLOG know the Republicans' entire, long, sad, anti-democratic (small "d" and large "d" both) campaign is based on little more than the fact that ACORN registers millions of legal low and middle income voters who tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic (large "d") rather than Republican, and the GOP and their democracy-hating proxies will go to any lengths to keep those legal voters from exercising their legal franchise.

And today, once again, ACORN is cleared of wrongdoing vis a vis yet another independent investigation, this one by the Congressional Research Service [PDF], as noted in a press release from U.S. House Judiciary Chair John Conyers this afternoon (posted in full below).

Of most note to our readers, Conyers' statement points out what we've been pointing out - over and over and over again for years: "There were no instances of individuals who were allegedly registered to vote improperly by ACORN or its employees and who were reported 'attempting to vote at the polls.'" Who knew?! What a surprise! (At least to Fox "News" viewers, who probably won't hear about this report either.)

Also: "No instances were identified in which ACORN 'violated the terms of federal funding in the last five years.'"

And: "Recently enacted federal legislation to prohibit funding to ACORN raises significant constitutional concerns. The courts 'may have a sufficient basis' to conclude that the legislation 'violates the prohibition against bills of attainder.'" That finding is one that a federal judge also recently concurred with, when she issued an injunction earlier this month to keep the law from taking affect since ACORN had "been singled out by Congress for punishment that directly and immediately affects their ability to continue to obtain federal funding, in the absence of any judicial, or even administrative, process of adjudicating guilt."

Finally, according to today's report, Andrew "Drudge's Poodle" Breitbart's phony video-taped "sting operation" against ACORN may, itself, have violated the law in both California and Maryland, about which we might ironically recommend to prosecutors: "Capital punishment" for Andrew Breitbart!

The short press release from Conyers, announcing the new report's bullet points, follows below...

UPDATE: And coverage of the NYTimes burial of this report, now follows below it...

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




A Solution to the 'Progressive dilemma' in U.S. Electoral Politics...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/20/2009 5:01pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

There have been a few occasions during my 62 years when I heard something profound that stuck with me.

The year was 1969. I was attending a freshman college history class, shortly after returning from Vietnam, when my professor said:

If the American Right can be criticized for its insensitivity to the plight of the common man, the American Left can always be criticized for its inability to count.

His words came back to me as Brad Friedman and I simultaneously made guest appearances on Live from the Left Coast with Angie Coiro.

While the topic was Afghanistan, a concern emerged over the splintering of the Left as a product of what Coiro described as strident "rhetoric," such as the suggestion that President Obama was a "sell-out" or the announcement by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) that he intended to introduce a privileged resolution to stop the "criminal enterprise" in Afghanistan. The concern was the potential for that "rhetoric" to adversely impact the Democratic Party in the 2010 and 2012 elections.

Unfortunately, in part due to technical difficulties they had on the show that night, I failed to adequately articulate my concerns, which go to the core of the Progressive dilemma in U.S. electoral politics....

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




By Brad Friedman on 12/13/2009 1:05pm PT  

I'll be appearing for a Q&A in St. Louis on Tuesday (12/15 @ 7:30pm), after a screening of Patty Sharaf's award-winning documentary, Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story featuring both myself, and our reporting here at The BRAD BLOG on the Republican computer programmer turned vote-rigging whistleblower.

The screening is part of the traveling Burning Fuse Film Festival which hits Webster University's Film Series this week. Murder, Spies... will screen Tuesday, December 15 @ 7:30 in St. Louis at Webster's Winifred Moore Auditorium, 470 E. Lockwood, Webster Groves, MO, Directions/Map, More info: 314-968-7487.

Hope you'll stop by and say hello! Here's a flier [PDF] if you're in the hood and feel like helping to spread the word!

(NOTE: If you're not near St. Louis, or even if you are, but would like to support our work, we are still offering DVDs of the film, as signed by both myself and Sharaf, as premiums to supporters of The BRAD BLOG. We enjoy no corporate or foundational funding, so we appreciate whatever you are able to offer to help us continue our work. See this item for details...)




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!... ---




But you ain't seen nothin' yet. Just wait for Climate Legislation...
By Brad Friedman on 12/9/2009 1:47pm PT  

David Kurtz at TPM avers "It never stops":

A whopping $1 billion was spent this year --- a non-election year --- on political ads, according to a leading political advertising expert. Most of the money was spent on issue ads, the biggest chunk of that going to health care reform ads, pro and con.

And, guess what? If you think that's bad, just wait until we get to Climate Legislation proper, where the Petroleum Industry, some of the largest and most profitable corporations in the history of civilization --- in no small part, thanks to enormous federal subsidies --- have a direct financial stake in the outcome.

(Yes, the world's most profitable corporations benefit mightily from U.S. government welfare, your tax-payer dollars, to the tune of some $72 billion over the last seven years in permanent subsidies. See the handy chart below the fold to see how those subsidies stack up against other energy industries, such as renewables. Never mind the worldwide recession. Exxon Mobil profited more than $45 billion last year, Chevron $23 billion, and the federal subsidies keep coming nonetheless, even as their stooges in the Tea Party denialist "ClimateGater" crowds have been duped into mindlessly continuing their dirty work for them.)

The Oil and Coal (Fossil Fuel) Industries have played no small part in ginning up the tea bagging fight against health care reform if only because it further serves to stall Climate Legislation.

It's horrible, an abrogation of what the Founding Fathers likely had in mind (nowhere, to my knowledge, does the support for unbridled corporate spending as "free speech" come into play in the Constitution at last read) and yet all signs suggest it's only going to get far worse before it gets any better --- if it ever does.

See the chart below to understand how the federal welfare queens from Exxon Mobil and Chevron et al. make out, thanks to your hard-earned tax dollars, and keep it in mind every time you hear yet another global warming denialist out there --- and even here in comments at The BRAD BLOG --- hoping to punk the world for more such free money and endless, record corporate profits...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/30/2009 1:58pm PT  

I've covered the problems and failures in NY-23's recent Special Election for U.S. House in a number of previous articles here at The BRAD BLOG, detailing some of the early problems with results as they emerged, pointing out that, thanks to Republican precedent in 2006, it now no longer really matters whom the actual voters may have voted for, but arguing that a full manual hand-count of paper ballots would be appropriate nonetheless.

Over the holiday weekend, the good Richard Hayes Phillips --- author of the book Witness to a Crime, in which he painstakingly detailed, ballot by ballot, the scandal which was the Ohio 2004 Presidential Election --- reported on some curious numbers he's now found in that election, over at the right-leaning Gouverneur Times. As luck would have it, Richard is a resident of NY-23 himself, and seems to be finding that both "impossible" and then many more "improbable" tallies were certified, as NY tested its Seqouia/Dominion e-voting systems on live voters, in a real, live election, for the first time earlier this month.

Both of his pieces are worth a quick read over there.

And now, the Gouverneur Times has asked me to put together a bit of a "backgrounder" for them on all of these e-voting nightmares, and how they pertain to NY-23, since it seems that right-wingers, for some odd reason, are somewhat lacking (up until now anyway) in real information on just how dangerously insane our privatized system of e-voting in public elections has become. Too much time spent being fooled by ACORN-conspiracists like Andrew Breitbart and Fox "News," I guess.

My piece for them, "NY-23, Sequoia and the Private Corporate Takeover of Your Once-Public Democracy," as written over the weekend, following the latest in a string of embarrassing "concessions" and "un-concessions" by the Conservative Party's Doug Hoffman, is now their front page lead story if you (or Breitbart) care to give it a look.




Not on purpose, but happy to have accidentally done so...
By Brad Friedman on 11/25/2009 9:38am PT  

First, my thanks to Michelle Malkin, and all her of sycophantic re-linkers in the wingnut echosphere for all the swell traffic yesterday while I was on the road all day.

Second, how desperate the poor, sad, angry woman must be to try to find some story, somehow, somewhere, by someone, that she thinks she's gotten right and others must have gotten wrong, after having gotten so many stories completely and embarrassingly wrong over and over again over so many years.

Her latest: Apparently she believes that Andrew Sullivan and/or The BRAD BLOG (both of us, great mavens of "the Left," dontcha know?) have something to "retract" concerning the story of U.S. Census worker Bill Sparkman whose death by hanging in Clay County, KY, last September --- which appeared to be a possible murder by rightwing fomented "Fed"-haters --- is now believed by officials to have been a staged suicide meant to appear as such a murder...

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




Unconstitutional 'Bill of Attainder' to be legally challenged, but was it also an example of class warfare?
By Ernest A. Canning on 11/16/2009 9:35am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

On Nov. 12, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court alleging that separate House and Senate Resolutions to bar all funds to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) were unconstitutional Bills of Attainder, which violated ACORN's Fifth Amendment right to due process of law and First Amendment right to freedom of association. (See Rachel Maddow's excellent coverage and explanation of a "Bill of Attainder" here.)

The CCR suit "seeks a temporary restraining order to prevent the government from reallocating funds designated for the organization and its affiliates and a preliminary injunction to stop Congress from singling out a single organization for punishment without proper investigation or due process."

During his Nov. 13 appearance on Democracy Now, CCR Attorney Bill Quigley (video below) warned that if constitutionality of the legislation is not legally challenged, ACORN could be but the first of numerous groups seen as supportive of Democrats whose funding will be challenged, as that rightwing blogs are already looking to target the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) as well.

While the suit presents a significant legal challenge, and while there is little doubt that ACORN has been the victim of a GOP witch hunt which, as Brad Friedman and others have reported, included the "phony 'voter fraud' charges" that were at the "heart of the U.S. Attorney purge scandal," the willingness of so many Congressional Democrats to jump at the chance to punish ACORN via this Bill of Attainder may also entail something more subtly insidious...

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




Narrowing margin in post-election canvass raises hopes for GOP/Conservatives, but recent Republican-set precedent may well dash that hope...
By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2009 12:53am PT  

A potentially interesting situation is underway in New York's 23rd Congressional district where post-election canvassing of the recent Special Election for the U.S. House is still underway.

According to Syracuse's Post-Standard, the post-election canvass shows the race between Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, who conceded on Election Night, and Democratic candidate Bill Owens, who was sworn in as the district's new U.S. Congressman last Friday, to be tightening as results are double-checked, errors are being found, and a few thousand absentee ballots are still uncounted.

The race, regarded by many as a a bellwether contest before next year's full Congressional elections, appeared to have swung in the Democrat's favor on Election Night, following the suspension of the campaign of Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava who threw her support to Owens after she'd dropped out just days prior to the election.

On Election Night, Owens was reported to be the "winner" by just over 5,000 votes, with 93 percent of the votes tallied, leading to Hoffman's concession. Since then, various errors have been discovered in at least two different counties, resulting in a gain of some 2,000 votes for the Conservative Party's Hoffman, bringing the latest tally to 66,698 to 63,672. Closer, now a 3,000 vote margin, but still favoring Rep. Owens.

There were, however, some 10,200 absentee ballots requested and distributed. And, as we understand New York's state election laws, none of them have yet been counted. Many of those ballots were purportedly cast when Scozzafava was still in the race. At that time, according to Hoffman's campaign at least, they might have had an edge in the then-three-way contest. So it's possible, though believed to be a long shot, that Hoffman could gain enough votes in absentees to eclipse Owens.

This scenario --- a Congressional candidate quickly sworn in, based on unofficial results shortly after a bellwether Special Election before all votes have been properly counted --- should be a familiar one to long-time readers of The BRAD BLOG. A very similar situation occurred in the 2006 race to replace the jailed Republican Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham in California's 50th Congressional district.

While Republicans who stood in support of the Conservative Party's Hoffman this year --- he was endorsed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin and the Republican Party itself (only after Scozzafava was pressured to drop out) --- are finding some cause for optimism in the still-narrowing margin. Limbaugh certainly has, at least according to his breathless reporting of the goings-on in NY-23 on his show this morning.

But the legal maneuvering and judicial precedent that the then-Republican-led House pulled in the Summer of 2006, in order to keep votes from being counted in the CA-50 Special Election and, indeed, to keep the voters of California from even being able to contest their own election, should ensure that Hoffman can no longer, legally, take possession of the House seat via any challenge in New York --- even if he's eventually found to have received more votes than Owens!...

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




UPDATE: Fox 'News' host forced to 'apologize' for 'some incorrect video' played as 'inadvertent mistake'
UPDATED AGAIN: Stewart responds to Hannity 'apology'...
By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2009 2:15pm PT  

[Updated twice below. Once with Hannity's "apology" and then with Stewart's response to it.]

The Daily Show still offers just about the best news coverage on cable...

UPDATE: Media Matters documents how Hannity's phony video is only "the tip of Fox News' video-doctoring iceberg"...

UPDATE, 7:48pm PT: Having no choice but to cop to it, Hannity admits getting busted, though claims it was "an inadvertent mistake". How one can inadvertently go fetch footage from two months ago, and "inadvertently" edit it into a report on an event that took place earlier on the same day is not entirely clear.

He failed to explain to his viewers the context in which the "incorrect video" actually was shown. Neither did he run Stewart's report from last night explaining clearly how Hannity had attempted to fool them. So, as usual, Hannity's viewers remain largely both in the dark and misinformed.

Here's the transcript and the video of Hannity's statement, which came at the very end of his show tonight, about an hour ago...

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