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An Open Thread...
[UPDATED With Post-Debate Statement from ACORN on McCain's Comments]
By Brad Friedman on 10/15/2008 5:45pm PT  

For the last time this year, in theory, a Presidential Debate open thread. Share your thoughts during and after in comments below.

I'll be on WBAI/Pacifica (99.5FM in NYC, streaming here) right after the debate, for post-game analysis. Listen in, if ya like. Will try to follow comments here even while on air...

POST-DEBATE UPDATE: ACORN issues a fairly scathing press release in response to McCain's comments about them group during tonight's debate. Their statement follows below...

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

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Absentee Ballot Request Form Seems to Compare the Democratic Presidential Nominee to Ahmadinijead, Kim Jong-Il, Putin, Chavez
'America Must Look Evil in the Eye' Printed Over Photo of Eyes Some Believe to be Obama's...
By Brad Friedman on 10/15/2008 10:03am PT  

Last week we reported that voters in one New York county were receiving absentee ballots with "Barack OSAMA" listed as the Democratic Presidential candidate running against John McCain. This week, the beat goes on in Virginia, but in this case, it's not a typo (as the officials in NY claimed about their "Osama" ballots.)

The Republican Party of Virginia has sent absentee ballot request mailers to voters in the state, seeming to compare Barack Obama to Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinijead, North Korea's Kim Jong-Il, Russia's Vladimir Putin, and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

"In today's dangerous world, appeasement is not a foreign policy," declares the outside of the mailer from the Republican Party of Virginia, followed by photographs of the four leaders and the text "America must face the threat of terror head-on" on the inside.

On the back of the envelope used to send in the voter's absentee ballot request is a photo of what some Virginia voters, understandably, believe to be Obama's eyes, with the words "America must look evil in the eye and never flinch."

The complete mailer, with more of the pages and images than we show below, can be downloaded here as a PDF.

Decide for yourself, and note the additional graphic, now added as an update, comparing Osama to Obama (and calling for the latter to be waterboarded) as found on the Sacramento County, CA Republican Party's website...

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

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It Doesn't Exist, But That Fact Won't Keep the Wingnuts From Claiming Otherwise...
By Brad Friedman on 10/14/2008 6:28pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman

So where's the "voter fraud"?

Fox "News" and its Rupert Murdoch-owned print brethren, the New York Post, continue to bang the GOP's phony ACORN "voter fraud" drum, but as far as I can tell, they've failed to come up with a single incident of any actual voter fraud committed by the dastardly "left-wing extremists."

Yes, Ann Coulter has committed felony voter fraud, but neither of the Murdoch outfits has yet to note that point, even while they go wall-to-wall with misleading reports claiming that ACORN is committing massive "voter fraud" on behalf of the Democrats.

So, as it's now been revealed that John McCain himself was a keynote speaker at a 2006 ACORN rally (on immigration reform) in Florida, where he declared to the ACORN volunteers in the room that they are "What makes America special," and as I've been going back and forth with commenters on my "Republican Voter Fraud Hoax" piece at the UK's Guardian (which today has shot up to one of their most read items), still, nobody seems to be able to show me an instance of any actual voter fraud committed by ACORN, or even anybody who registered via ACORN, for that matter.

Those who wish to believe in the hoax, however, attempt to link to article after article about allegations of voter fraud carried out by ACORN. And yet, the articles themselves --- if one bothers to actually read them --- reveal that either 1) They describe allegations and investigations brought by Republican agents, with little or no evidence of any wrong doing, and certainly no "voter fraud," 2) Where voter registration fraud has occurred it has been by rogue ACORN employees, originally reported to authorities by ACORN themselves (who are the actual victims of any such fraud by their employees), or 3) Smoke and mirrors are used to cloud the fact that not a single fraudulent vote has actually been cast by anyone.

Let's take a look at just two recent, oft-linked, oft-quoted New York Post articles from today and last week to give you an idea of how the scam works, and how the rightwing suckers fall for it. Every time...

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

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(Were There Any Preconditions?)
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: McCain Tells ACORN Gathering 'What Makes America Special Is What's In This Room Tonight'...
By Brad Friedman on 10/13/2008 3:34pm PT  

Golly, for a group that's committed so much "voter fraud" for so long (if you're gullible enough to believe the lies that RNC/FNC has been telling you) it's mighty strange that, as News One notes, "McCain attended an ACORN convention just two years ago."

The once-honorable Republican's campaign has even seen fit to produce a video smear ad, attempting to tar Obama with "associations" with ACORN, and alleging the group has committed "massive voter fraud" to boot! (They've yet to produce any actual evidence for that, unfortunately.)

But more than just attending the ACORN-sponsored February 2006 rally, ACORN confirms in a statement today that McCain was actually the keynote speaker!

So now, they wonder, why it is that McCain seems to have "lost that loving feeling"?

"It has deeply saddened us to see Senator McCain abandon his historic support for ACORN and our efforts to support the goals of low-income Americans. Maybe it is out of desperation that Senator McCain has forgotten that he was for ACORN before he was against ACORN," noted Bertha Lewis, Chief Organizer of ACORN.

"We expected Senator McCain to support our efforts to give voice to millions of Americans who have never participated in an election before," she continued. "We are surprised at his efforts to vilify an organization that, until recently, he saw as an ally."

Hmmm...So, why was John McCain "palling around with" an organization that "has violated more Americans' civil rights to have their votes counted than any group since the KKK," as described by noted Florida 'vote-rigger' and McCain surrogate Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Abramoff)? Or was Feeney speaking out of school? If so, we've yet to hear McCain condemning the outrageous remarks, or distancing himself from Feeney, the three time winner of CREW's "Most Corrupt Members of Congress" Award.

Also, we can't help but wonder, in regard to McCain's meeting with ACORN, where he spoke on immigration reform, by the way...were there were any preconditions before he agreed to meet with them?

Special Coverage of the GOP's ACORN "Voter Fraud" Scam right here...

Now updated below with video of McCain's appearance, when he tells the ACORN crowd: "What makes America special is what's in this room tonight."...

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

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Gets Booed at His Own Rally, During First Honorable Moment of His 2008 General Campaign...
By Brad Friedman on 10/11/2008 4:52pm PT  


As Josh Marshall notes, in his must-read take on the video clips at right from a McCain rally yesterday, it's "Weird. Sad. Surreal."

"There's something else to note too," writes Marshall. "Over the last 48 hours several name brand Republicans have come out and either chided or denounced McCain's borderline incitement. And given how taboo it is to level such criticism of your own nominee at this stage of the election you have to assume these criticisms were only the tip of the iceberg, with a far more intense and angry barrage of criticism voiced privately."

"[L]look at the facial expressions. McCain looks down as he says it and has the countenance of someone who been forced to tell someone else they're sorry," he continues.

"I get from his expression a sense of a man that is, in addition to all the other things he's angry about, is frustrated or angry at the situation he's gotten himself into. But he has sown the wind and now he's reaping the whirlwind."

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By Brad Friedman on 10/9/2008 9:04pm PT  

Too hilarious... This is not an Onion headline! From AP, within the last hour...

Palin pre-empts state report, clears self in probe

Trying to head off a potentially embarrassing state ethics report on GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, campaign officials released their own report Thursday that clears her of any wrongdoing.
...
Lawmakers are expected to release their own findings Friday.

UPDATE: 10/10/08: Oops. The official bi-partisan state report has now been released, and Palin has been found to have illegally abused the power of her office. MSNBC's coverage here...

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VIDEO: McCain Picks Up Phony ACORN 'Voter Fraud' Allegations in Stump Speech Today
Concerns of Actual Election Fraud, Voter Registration Purges in State After State, Completely Ignored by Republicans, Media...
By Brad Friedman on 10/9/2008 4:55pm PT  

The GOP's October "Surprise" continues...Even as it's no surprise at all that they are hoping to cause absolute bedlam at the polls. They are off to a good start, as the Democrats seem to be caught flat-footed, despite years of warnings about all of this.

The latest Republican assault on democracy began earlier this week with a 'stunt' raid in (swing state) Nevada, then unsubstantiated allegations in (swing state) Missouri last night (raid coming soon, no doubt), and just hours ago as AP reports, it's (swing state) Ohio...

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Law enforcement officials in southwest Ohio are seeking information on hundreds of voters who registered and voted during Ohio's weeklong same-day voting window.

Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer and representatives of County Prosecutor Stephen Haller have contacted the local Board of Elections asking for the voter registration cards of everyone who voted during the six-day window, which ended Monday.

Haller is the former law partner of Mike DeWine, the former Republican senator who is chairing presidential nominee John McCain's Ohio campaign.

[Update: In an updated version of the AP report quoted above, it's noted that Sheriff Fisher is "a Republican," that Green County is "rich with Democrat-leaning college students," and that Fisher requested the voter information after "he had been inundated with phone calls from people concerned about possible fraud." In other words, no actual evidence of anything, just angry Republicans, fired up by chasing their own tails after Fox/RNC told them too. Smelling the rats here, yet?]

Of course, the GOP's ACORN "Voter Fraud" Scam was picked up today by John McCain on the stump (and, mercilessly, on Fox "News" all morning, naturally). Here's McCain putting the scare tactics first, and democracy and country second, if even that high on his list. Here's the shameful video...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/9/2008 9:45am PT  

Remember yesterday when we told you about the transcript of the Fox & Friends show yesterday morning, discussing the bogus raid of an ACORN office in Las Vegas, and then implying "more" ACORN "voter fraud" occurring in Missouri? The RNC actually issued that transcript verbatim as an official RNC press release. Remember when we told you that, given the hints within the RNC/FNC report that swing state MO was likely next on the RNC/FNC/FBI hit-list?

Well, late last night, AP delivered right on schedule, open their story with "Officials in Missouri...are sifting through possibly hundreds of questionable or duplicate voter-registration forms submitted by an advocacy group that has been accused of election fraud in other states."

The report quotes GOP tool & Jackson County (Kansas City), MO election director, Charlene Davis complaining they are "bogged down" with registrations right now, and insinuating that it's ACORN causing the problem for them.

Of course, as with the pageant staged in Las Vegas, the Missouri action is also a scam. Read a little closer into the AP article, and you'll see the tell-tale signs of this October "Surprise" joke rather clearly...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/7/2008 6:05pm PT  

Your thoughts --- and perhaps even mine --- are always welcome, in comments below...

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McCain Supporters Begin Ugliest of Dirty Tricks - Seen in '04 in OH and WI - Early This Year...
By Brad Friedman on 10/4/2008 2:11pm PT  

The dirty tricks are starting even earlier than usual this year. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, "An anonymous flier circulating in African-American neighborhoods in North and West Philadelphia states that voters who are facing outstanding arrest warrants or who have unpaid traffic tickets may be arrested at the polls on Election Day."

The Daily News goes on to note that "Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Everett Gillison, who learned of the flier last week, said that the message is completely false."

Here's the misleading, dirty tricks flier...

The information seen above is an old, and venerable trick meant to scare Democrats, usually African-Americans, away from the the voting booth. We'll likely see much more of it --- and the variation of it, fliers that "inform" voters that Democrats are supposed to vote on Wednesday --- between now and November 4th.

A few similar dirty tricks fliers that were circulated in 2004, in Wisconsin and Ohio, are reposted below as a reminder...

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

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Listen to the Debate LIVE at 6p PT (9p ET) Followed by a LIVE 'Bloggers Roundtable' from 7:30p-9p PT (10:30p-Midnight ET)!
Now UPDATED With Audio Archives...
By Brad Friedman on 10/2/2008 1:37pm PT  

I'll be Guest Hosting a special "VP Debate" edition of the The Mike Malloy Show tonight. We'll carry the debate LIVE at 6pm PT (9pm ET), followed by an in-studio "Bloggers Roundtable" until 9pm PT (Midnight ET), featuring world class bloggers:

Plus your calls if we can fit 'em in, at 800-989-1480. To hell with Chris Matthews, Wolf Blitzer and their professional spinners! Join us for the real scoop! Live from Los Angeles!

Malloy's show is nationally syndicated on a number of air affiliates around the country, on Sirus Ch. 146, XM Ch. 167 and streaming live online at NovaMRadio.com.

As always, "Agent 99" will be your rascible hostess here in our live Open Thread during the show. Hit comments below and give us your two-cents tonight! Maybe we'll read it on air!


POST-SHOW UPDATE: We had a very lively roundtable, with a lot of disagreements (the Rightwinger, Patrick Frey thought Palin dropped the ball, while the Progressives tended to think Palin did well, except for Danziger, and lord only knows what he is. My thanks to all of them, as well as the callers, including my father who offered an "Edward R. Murrow-esque" field report, live from St. Louis! Unfortunately, Pamela Leavy was not able to join us at the last second.

We ended the spirited discussion --- audio archive below --- with my request for a quick McClaughlin-style response to the following question: "Between now and the next debate on Tuesday, after tonight's debate, do the polls go up, down, or no change for Obama and McCain?" The answers from the bloggers...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2008 11:33am PT  

Expectations for Sarah Palin continue to plummet in advance of the Veep Debate Thursday night. From NYTimes today...

"I think she has pretty thoroughly — and probably irretrievably — proven that she is not up to the job of being president of the United States," David Frum, a former speechwriter for President Bush who is now a conservative columnist, said in an interview.

You can add the comments of Frum, the man credited with coining the phrase "Axis of Evil", to previous Republican defections from Palin, including Kathleen Parker's call for her to leave the ticket, Laura Bush's admission that she lacks experience to be President, and Fox "News'" sad attempt at hiding an article detailing a number of conservatives jumping off the ship. All coming on the heels of the disastrous CBS interviews with Couric, which made her look like a Rhodes Scholar in her initial disastrous outing on ABC with Gibson.

At this rate, all Palin should have to do on Thursday is show up, and not pass out in the middle of the debate, and she'll be declared "the winner". For more background, please see Quayle '88, Bush '00 and Bush '04.

[Note: We'll be Guest Hosting The Mike Malloy Show this week, Wed - Fri, including during the debate on Thursday night. We'll be carrying it in full, starting at 6pm PT (9pm ET) followed by a world-class "Bloggers Roundtable". To hell with Chris Matthews and the professional spinners! We'll be talking with the folks who have been right, instead, for years! Scheduled to be with us so far: Marcy Wheeler of Empty Wheel, David "dday" Dayen of Hullabaloo and Calitics and more to be announced soon. Hope you'll tune in!]

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By Brad Friedman on 9/29/2008 2:12pm PT  

The only thing America really cares about...


As of this posting, despite her latest disastrous interviews, calls from conservatives for her to drop out, Laura Bush's admission she's unqualified, and damage control from Fox "News", Palin is still on the ticket for some reason. The above video may explain why.

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AP Article Detailing a Number of Criticisms of the Republican Veep Nominee Was 'Top Story' at FNC Website, Only to be Suddenly Disappeared
Copy of the Story, as Killed by the 'Fair and Balanced' Propagandists, Reposted as BRAD BLOG Courtesy, in Full, Below...
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2008 1:46pm PT  

We were surprised as anyone to see this listed today at Google News...

We were somewhat less surprised when we clicked on it to find the page it linked to was now an error page at the Fox "News" website, reading...

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

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CNN's Cafferty: 'If That Doesn't Scare the Hell Out of You, It Should'
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2008 11:06am PT  

Wow. These CBS/Katie Couric interviews on the economy with Sarah Palin are breathtaking. Cafferty's response afterwards is, on the other hand, a breath of fresh air in the corporate media.

If any serious John McCain supporter can claim, with a straight face, to actually have no problem voting for this woman for President, as that's what she's ostensibly running for, I'd sure like to hear it.

As it seems very few saw these when they originally aired (during the bailout panic last week), perhaps they need a bit more play. My god. Seriously, take a look at these...


Little wonder, then, that even rightwingers, after looking at this stuff, are starting to face reality, and call for Palin to be dropped from the ticket.

On CNN, Jack Cafferty was at least as alarmed by the interview as I was, noting on air that "If John McCain wins this woman will be one 72-year-old's heartbeat away from being President of the United States. And if that doesn't scare the hell out of you, it should." Take a look at his reaction...

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

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