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GOP Outraged After AR Attorney General Candidate Removed from Voting Roll
Found to have voted in AR after registering in D.C., she's now removed from rolls and maybe ballot. GOP attorneys (ironically) furious...
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  w/ Brad & Desi
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GOP Values: Beating Wives, Suppressing Votes, Threatening Journalists - KPFK 'BradCast'
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Sproul Threatens BRAD BLOG With Legal Action After FL Confirms Our 2012 Reporting
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Audio of 911 Call from Judge Mark Fuller's Wife as She's Heard Repeatedly Struck
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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


[Now updated with audio from tonight's radio appearances]
By Brad Friedman on 1/18/2010 1:35pm PT  

A quick follow up, as I'll be on the road for most of today, on the mess I warned about on Friday concerning Tuesday's Special Election for the U.S. Senate in MA, the terrible optical-scan Diebold voting machines in use there, and the company with a dubious, criminal background which sells, services and programs them:

  • Over the weekend, I was briefly interviewed by Joan Brunwasser of OpEd News and Citizens for Election Reform about it all. That interview is now published here...
  • A coalition of election integrity experts have issued an "Orange Alert" about the concerns for tomorrow's election, calling on MA Sec. of State Bill Gavin to take effective action to protect secure chain of custody for ballots, voting machines, tabulators, memory cards, unvoted ballots and all other related materials, and calling on the candidates to NOT CONCEDE until all votes are actually counted accurately and transparently.

UPDATE 1/19/10: More on early reports and other developments on Election Day, now here...

* * *

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

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My full coverage is now posted at Upstate NY's Right-leaning Gouverneur Times...
By Brad Friedman on 1/15/2010 11:35am PT  

Since writing today's piece for Upstate New York's right-leaning Gouverneur Times, a new poll has come out this morning showing the Republican Scott Brown now leading the Democrat Martha Coakley by 4 points in the race for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by a Democrat named Kennedy for nearly 60 years.

As of last night, when I filed the story with them, the latest survey from a Democratic-leaning pollster showed Coakley up by 8, though a day or two earlier, Republican Rasmussen had Brown down only by 2 points.

Suffice to say it's now officially "a toss-up," at least according to the Rothenberg Political Report, and to all the Dems and Reps now sweating out what was previously thought to have been an easy Democratic win.

With the 60th "filibuster-proof" Senate seat now hanging precariously in the balance, I'm sure you'll be delighted to hear that the winner will now be whoever Diebold declares it to be. The near-entirety of the state will vote next Tuesday on paper ballots to be counted by Diebold op-scan systems. The same ones used dubiously in the New Hampshire Primary in 2008, and the same ones notoriously hacked --- resulting in a flipped mock election --- in HBO's Emmy-nominated Hacking Democracy.

And to make matters even worse, the notorious LHS Associates --- the private company with the criminal background that has admitted to illegally tampering with memory cards during elections, and which has a Director of Sales and Marketing who embarrassed himself with obscene comments here at The BRAD BLOG some years ago, resulting in his being barred from CT by their Sec. of State --- sells and services almost all of MA's voting machines along with those in the rest of New England.

Read my detailed coverage of the entire sad affair over at Gouverneur Times today. And yes, here we go again...

UPDATE 1/18/10: FOLLOW-UP: Election experts issue "Orange Alert", what you can do to help protect the election, and a bunch of my interviews on all of the above, now here...

* * *

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/21/2009 8:40am PT  

$636 billion for annual military spending was approved by the U.S. Senate over the weekend, with little more than a hiccup of debate from Republican "conservatives," not a peep from the Democrats, and even less coverage from the corporate mainstream media.

But $850 billion for 10 years of what is ostensibly meant to be health care reform for the health and welfare of American citizens --- all while reducing the budget deficit by $132 billion over that period, according to the CBO? "A budget buster!," shout the phony "conservatives" in the same Senate.

Anyway, there's your "American Values," in a two-part nutshell, from today's Republicans and the Democrats and corporate media who enable their madness as if it weren't so.

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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!... ---

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Former AL Governor says same people working on his case even after Obama took office...
By Rebecca Abrahams on 12/18/2009 11:20am PT  

Guest Blogged by Rebecca M. Abrahams

Two weeks ago Washington Post reported that U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan named federal prosecutor Henry Schuelke to investigate whether gross prosecutorial misconduct tainted the government's case against now-former Republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. At issue, whether prosecutors withheld critical evidence from the defense or whether the case was improperly handled under pressure to meet deadlines.

US Attorney General Eric Holder, in a stunning move, threw out the government's corruption case against Stevens last April and issued the following statement:

After careful review, I have concluded that certain information should have been provided to the defense for use at trial. In light of this conclusion, and in consideration of the totality of the circumstances of this particular case, I have determined that it is in the interest of justice to dismiss the indictment and not proceed with a new trial.

Holder also relocated attorneys who worked on the case including William H. Welch II, who ran the Department's public integrity unit.

WaPo failed to report that William Welch is currently under criminal contempt of court for his role in the case against Stevens. Welch was also involved in the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. Siegelman was convicted of bribery in 2006 and served nine months in prison before his release was ordered pending appeal.

Despite Welch's pending legal issues, his name continues to be listed on recent filings in Siegelman's case. Siegelman finds this "quite curious as he's been hot after my prosecution for a good long time now."

Aside from alleged governmental misconduct in the Siegelman case, there are paramount legal issues that have been recognized by 91 former State Attorneys General and a group of First Amendment law professors across the country. And yet, while the DOJ is making a point to review Republican cases, not one case against a Democrat has been completely overturned and, as Siegelman told me in a recent interview, he believes very little has changed at the department, other than the names "at the top"...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/17/2009 7:24pm PT  

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) says "comity" in the must-see clip below, but "comedy" might have been more appropriate in regard to Sen. Al Franken's (D-MN) shut down of Sen. Joe Lieberman (WhoKnows-CT), as Franken was presiding over the chamber, which left us laughing out loud, and applauding quietly to ourselves. (Via TPM with more background)...


And, if you missed it earlier this week, Franken's take-down of Sen. John Thune (R-SD) is an absolute must-see as well. Though we've had our own beefs with Franken's politics over the years, we must concede that it's frickin' awesome to finally see and hear someone --- anyone --- speak this way in the U.S. Senate. We'd be delighted to see 60 more just like him! Check it out if you haven't seen it already (and again, TPM has more background)...


Take a bow, Sen. Franken. Please keep up the great work!

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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...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/4/2009 2:55pm PT  

"Biased thermometers" are to blame for scientific data documenting a precipitous rise in global temperatures, according to Marc Morano.

Morano was Rush Limbaugh's former producer and a columnist at the rightwing "news" site, Cybercast News Service, before becoming denialist-extraordinaire Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)'s top aide on the U.S. Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works. In 2003, Inhofe described global warming as "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people," a statement which he stills stands by today.

Morano now runs the climate denialist website ClimateDepot.com and is, essentially, the very heart of the entire climate change denialist echosphere.

On CNN on Thursday, he debated with James Balog, photographer and former "climate change skeptic" with a degree in geomorphology....

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

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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!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2009 1:23pm PT  

A big tactical move today by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in the Environment and Public Works Committee, which she chairs, in working around the Republican boycott this week of mark-up on the climate legislation bill. Very smart, and a big twist in that story as she's out-foxed the GOP stallers, obstructionists, and denialists! At least for now.

Check out Boxer's surprise move, and get caught up on where the roller coaster ride of climate legislation in the U.S. Senate stands for the moment, in today's Green News Report!

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Progressive group pledges withholding contributions to Dems until healthcare initiative with 'robust public option' signed into law...
By Ernest A. Canning on 10/24/2009 11:30am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Coinciding with an internal Senate Democratic Caucus debate over health care reform that Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) described as only “slightly less raucous than the town hall meetings,” the non-affiliated progressive activist group Democrats.com has launched a petition campaign aimed at curtailing donations to official Democratic fundraising organizations [emphasis in original] until "the Democratic Congress passes --- and President Obama signs --- healthcare reform with a robust public option."

That "robust public option" is defined in the petition as being "based on Medicare rates, not negotiated rates," available "nation-wide, with no state opt-outs," "administered by Medicare, not a for-profit insurance company." and "available immediately."

The idea that the public option would be managed by a private insurance company has recently emerged in reports of Congressional negotiations aimed at merging various versions of the legislation passed by separate committees in the House and Senate, as noted by RAW STORY's John Byrne today.

The progressive activists campaign calls for signatories to respond to requests for donations from the three major Democratic campaign/fundraising organizations --- the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) --- with a http://www.democrats.com...rike-for-public-option\">link to the petition, instead of funds, until such legislation has been passed and signed by the President.

"Until then," the petition states, "I will only support individual Democrats who support single-payer Medicare for All (the 88 sponsors of HR 676)."

"We elected solid Democratic majorities in Congress and a Democratic President to fulfill Democratic promises of progressive change," the statement continues, "We did not elect Republican Senator Olympia Snowe to break those promises."

The complete short petition follows in full below...

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

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The Baucus Bill 'milestone' obscures the only real solution to the ills of our current health care system...
By Ernest A. Canning on 10/16/2009 10:34am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

As recounted in a front-page article in The New York Times, on the strength of a single "yes" from a member of the Party of No, President Barack Obama described the 14 to 9 Senate Finance Committee vote in favor of the Baucus health care bill as "a critical milestone," adding, "We are now closer than ever to passing health care reform."

With all due respect, Mr. President, it is nothing of the sort. To the contrary, the Senate Finance Committee has produced nothing less than a legislative obscenity.

After nearly a year of back room deals and unending propaganda, which has included extensive corporate media coverage of insurance industry sponsored, wing-nut assaults on town halls, fabricated issues about "death panels," the exclusion of single-payer advocates from the White House and the Senate Finance Committee, and a deafening corporate media silence about the widespread public support* for a single-payer (Medicare for All) system, the time has come to pierce through the confusion by asking and answering a few simple questions...

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

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Longtime counterintel official acknowledges evidence behind key aspect of allegations against Marc Grossman made by former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds
Bureau vet says investigation was 'buried and covered up,' calls for new investigation, 'accountability'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2009 5:08pm PT  

[UPDATE 10/5/09: Cole has now greatly expanded on his confirmation of Edmonds' credibility and is calling for a 'Special Counsel' investigation, prosecution. Full story here...]

George W. Bush's third-highest ranking State Department official, Marc Grossman, who became the Under Secretary of State after previously serving as Ambassador to Turkey, was targeted as part of a "decade-long investigation" by the FBI, according to an 18-year veteran manager of the bureau's Counterintelligence and Counterespionage departments.

For still-unknown reasons, the investigation, which also involved a multitude of cases involving Israeli espionage, was ultimately "buried and covered up," according to the official.

The comment from the former FBI official John M. Cole, in response to recent, stunning disclosures made by former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, helps to shore up a key aspect of her allegations. Cole is now calling for an investigation to help "bring about accountability" in the matter.

Edmonds' allegations of bribery, blackmail, and infiltration by foreign agents at the highest levels of the U.S. government were recently detailed in a remarkable cover story interview, as published last week by the American Conservative magazine.

"I read the recent cover story by The American Conservative magazine. I applaud their courage in publishing this significant interview," Cole says in his public response, as posted today at the AmCon website by interviewer and former CIA agent Philip Giraldi.

Cole then went on to verify his knowledge of the espionage investigation which, he says, included Grossman. Edmonds has long alleged he had been a key target in the agency's counterintelligence probe of the Turkish lobby and their relationship to current and former members of Congress and high-ranking officials in the Bush State and Defense Departments.

Cole also charges, in his brief comment, that the investigation was ultimately quashed by still-unnamed officials.

"I am fully aware of the FBI's decade-long investigation of the High-level State Department Official named in this article, Marc Grossman, which ultimately was buried and covered up," Cole notes, adding his call to re-open the matter. "It is long past time to investigate this case and bring about accountability."...

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

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New study finds 45,000 Americans die each year for lack of health care...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/18/2009 7:31pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

In "ObamaCare: Right Diagnosis, Wrong Prescription" I noted that it was virtually impossible to mount an honest defense of the current U.S. health care system. Doing so would amount to suggesting that the obscene wealth of a few health care insurance company CEOs and their Wall Street investors has a greater social value than the lives of 18,000 of our fellow citizens whom the current system annually sentences to death simply because they are too poor to purchase insurance coverage.

Today, as I mulled over the legislative obscenity that Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) and a former vice president of WellPoint spent months preparing --- an insurance carrier wish-list that contains no public option, no means for controlling costs or abuse; a measure that does not merely protect but expands the already obscene wealth of the few by mandating that every citizen purchase insurance, with massive subsidies flowing into carrier coffers --- I learned that I was wrong...

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

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$900 billion insurance carrier gift leaves 36 million uninsured...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/14/2009 1:07pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

Last week, in his address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama correctly noted:

Our collective failure to meet this challenge --- year after year, decade after decade --- has led us to a breaking point. Everyone understands the extraordinary hardships that are placed on the uninsured, who live every day just one accident or illness away from bankruptcy...

We are the only advanced democracy on Earth...that allows such hardships for millions of its people….In just a two year period, one in every three Americans goes without health care coverage at some point. And every day, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage...

But the problem that plagues the health care system is not just a problem of the uninsured. Those who do have insurance have never had less security and stability than they do today…More and more Americans pay their premiums, only to discover that their insurance company has dropped their coverage when they get sick, or won’t pay the full cost of care. It happens every day.

That was the easy part. Anyone who has paid attention understands that the core problem lies in the profit motives of the private insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

Thus, the President's diagnosis of the U.S. health care system was accurate, but did he prescribe "change we can believe in?"...

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

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