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Will Democrats continue to run scared, or will they embrace the unrelenting string of encouraging Affordable Care Act successes as we head into the 2014 mid-terms?...
'Green News Report' 4/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
One year since West, TX disaster; New 'habitable' planet!; Air pollution in poor areas; Record warm March; PLUS: 'Bombshell' study: CA drought caused by global warming...
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The Climate Is Invading the Earth! To Battle Stations!
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'Conservative' RW 'Legal' Blogger Defends Freeloading Nevada Rancher
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NSA Knew About, Exploited Internet Open Source Bug for Years
What part of "national security' does the National Security Agency not understand?!...
Destroying America: 'Obamacare' Kills Another Business
Free medical clinic in rural Arkansas to close doors after health insurance reform law leads to lack of customers...
'Green News Report' 4/10/14
RW Heartland Institute says 'climate change will be good for you!'; Russia threatens natural gas supplies to Ukraine, Europe; PLUS: Attack of the Tumbleweeds! (No, really!)...
'Green News Report' 4/8/14
Study: CNN, Fox 'News' FAIL on climate; CNN looks for plane, finds ocean of garbage; PLUS: Energy co. receives record fine for 85 years of toxic waste (& couldn't be happier about it)...
Christie's E-Cig 'Sin Tax' Due to 'Public Health' Concerns?
After slashing anti-smoking programs, 'conservative' Christie admin offers absurd reason for massive new tax, but NJ Star-Ledger ain't buyin' it. And neither are we...
Judge to TX Repubs: Turn Over the Docs!
Courts rules TX legislators must provide email related to passage of polling place Photo ID restrictions which may prove discriminatory intent of the GOP law...
'A New Kind of Liberty' for the Kochs and Anyone Else Who Can Afford to Buy It
Have the rightwing judicial activists on the Supreme Court made you feel freer yet?...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
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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
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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
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GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Los Alamitos, CA Mayor Dean Grose Revealed as Astounding Idiot...
By Brad Friedman on 2/26/2009 1:58pm PT  

It's becoming quite a collection for these Republicans. First there was the TX GOP convention's racist buttons, then the GOP chair-candidate's racist song, then the NYPost's racist cartoon, and now this...

"Post-racial" America, my ass.

UPDATE 2/27/09: Mayor Idiot to resign...

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By Brad Friedman on 2/24/2009 6:12pm PT  

Back in 2001, I wondered about the same thing. Why is the first address to a joint session of Congress in a new President's term not called a "State of the Union" address? And isn't a State of the Union message required by the Constitution every year?

I'm on the road this week (and next), so I'm short on time to find out the answers to those questions. If anyone has the answers, or any other thoughts on tonight's address to a joint session of Congress by President Barack Hussein Obama, please feel free to share them in comments...

Update: Thanks to commenter "Jon in Iowa", for the link to CNN's explanation of the above questions.

Update 7:32pm PT: Minority Off!

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UPDATE: Protests outside NYPost building | LATER UPDATE: Post issues apology. Sort of... | MUCH LATER UPDATE: Murdoch issues personal apology...
By Brad Friedman on 2/18/2009 2:55pm PT  

Al Sharpton has described Sean Delonas' outrageous editorial cartoon, published in Rupert Murdoch's New York Post, as "stunning". We'd have to agree.

UPDATE 2/19/09: Protests grow outside of Murdoch's NY Post building in NYC. Details...

LATE UPDATE 2/19/09: NYPost issues unusual apology (they usually do no such thing), and it's also an unusual non-apology apology. And a fairly obnoxious one at that. We post it here in full so you don't need to give your clickage to that particular rag:

THAT CARTOON

Posted: 8:00 pm
February 19, 2009

Wednesday's Page Six cartoon - caricaturing Monday's police shooting of a chimpanzee in Connecticut - has created considerable controversy.

It shows two police officers standing over the chimp's body: "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill," one officer says.

It was meant to mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill.

Period.

But it has been taken as something else - as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism.

This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize.

However, there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past - and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback.

To them, no apology is due.

Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon - even as the opportunists seek to make it something else.

UPDATE 2/24/09: And now Rupert Murdoch himself, issues his own personal apology. RAW has it...

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We hate to say we told ya so, but...
By Brad Friedman on 2/10/2009 7:19pm PT  

At Monday night's prime-time press conference (transcript) at the White House, President Obama was asked by NPR's Mara Liasson what he'd learned from his "experience with the stimulus" package, in regard to "future challenges" he will face, legislatively.

The key part of his answer: "I suppose what I could have done is started off with no tax cuts, knowing that I was going to want some, and then let them take credit for all of them. And maybe that's the lesson I learned."

Uh, ya think? Yeah, giving away the store, by negotiating with oneself --- by handing billions of dollars in tax cuts to Republicans, before they'd even asked for it --- is something we long ago learned in Negotiations 101. Apparently Obama skipped class that day.

While we do hope he's learned from it, we coulda seen the disaster coming for miles. In fact, we did --- way back in the early part of 2007 when he did something similar, causing us to post serious reservations about his negotiation and decision making skills at the time.

We were even quoted on it, at the time, by Brit Hume on Fox "News"...

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

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Scott Horton says paper conflated Dubya's program of kidnap, long-term foreign imprisonment and torture with older, less-nefarious anti-terror tool...
By Brad Friedman on 2/2/2009 11:41am PT  

From Scott Horton at Harper's...

In a breathless piece of reporting in the Sunday Los Angeles Times, we are told that Barack Obama “left intact” a “controversial counter-terrorism tool” called renditions. Moreover, the Times states, quoting unnamed “current and former U.S. intelligence figures,” Obama may actually be planning to expand the program. The report notes the existence of a European Parliament report condemning the practice, but states “the Obama Administration appears to have determined that the rendition program was one component of the Bush Administration’s war on terrorism that it could not afford to discard.”

The Los Angeles Times just got punked.

Horton --- who testified as an expert witness for the European Parliament report mentioned --- says the paper conflated the controversial Bush program, which often included torture and long-term abduction into secret CIA-run prisons in foreign countries, and a significantly less nefarious type of rendition, in use since the early 90's, and perhaps even during the Reagan era.

He explains the difference between the pre-Dubya "renditions program", which an Executive Order from Obama has not ended, versus Dubya's "extraordinary renditions program" which Obama has outlawed (despite media reports over the last several days to the contrary), thusly...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2009 4:35pm PT  

Tea leaves?...

President Obama announced the nomination on Thursday of a former government lawyer, who had been critical of the legal rationale for the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program, to lead the Justice Department’s national security division.

The lawyer, David Kris, served as a senior Justice Department official in both the Clinton and Bush administrations from 2000 to 2003, and is widely respected in Washington for his knowledge of intelligence law.
...
In late 2005, following the public disclosure of the N.S.A. wiretapping program approved by President Bush, Mr. Kris wrote a 23-page legal analysis that described as “weak’’ and likely unsupportable some of the Bush administration’s key legal arguments in justifying the program.

And when he was still at the Justice Department, he advised his boss, who was at the time Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson, not to sign a mysterious batch of wiretapping warrants — which grew out of the program — because intelligence officials would not reveal how the information in the wiretaps was obtained.

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By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2009 12:24pm PT  

The photo above was taken on Jan 20th, 2009. President Obama has since signed an Executive Order calling for the closure of Gitmo within a year.

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Or, The Return of Fairness...
By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2009 1:47pm PT  

Promises on the campaign trail are one thing, as are position statements posted on one's campaign website. But positions posted at Whitehouse.gov by a President are quite another and raise the bar, as far as I'm concerned, in regard to holding feet to the fire for any particular promise, statement, or posted position.

Thus, while perusing President Barack Obama's new White House website last night, there was much I found of interest. There was a bit, here and there, on issues of Election Reform --- particularly of note to this site, of course --- which I'm sure I'll get to in a bit. But, for the moment, this comment from the "Technology" page caught my eye, as posted in the section titled "Ensure the Full and Free Exchange of Ideas through an Open Internet and Diverse Media Outlets" [italics mine]...

Encourage Diversity in Media Ownership: Encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints, and clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation's spectrum.

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

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News, Photos, Videos, Songs, Observations and More from an Extraordinary and Overdue Inauguration...
By Brad Friedman on 1/20/2009 5:00am PT  

End of the night: Some of our favorite pictures from today...

More photos, videos, news, songs, observations and historical documentation throughout the day follows below, newest to oldest...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/19/2009 2:47pm PT  

I'm not certain, but I think I just saw the minute hand on my clock move backwards.

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By Brad Friedman on 1/19/2009 11:53am PT  

...It goes like this:

(As Obama finishes taking his oath...)

OBAMA: ...and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God...

JUSTICE ROBERTS: Congratulations, Mr. President.

OBAMA: Thank you.

(The 44th President of the United States then turns, and points to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, both sitting near him on the dais...)

OBAMA: Mr. Attorney General, arrest those two men.

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But you'll be lying if you do
By Jill C. on 1/18/2009 5:17pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Jill C. of Brilliant at Breakfast

You know, I almost always feel cynical about this country. I have for as long as I can remember, even back when I was a thirteen-year-old stuffing envelopes for a Congressional candidate who ended up losing. I don't think you can grow up when I did without being a cynic.

I've been watching the "We Are One" concert at the Lincoln Memorial, with its smiling gospel choirs and its Geezers of Lefty Rock and Queen Latifah looking like, well, a queen. I've been watching the hoopla and the imagery and smiling faces standing in the cold to share a moment that's like nothing we've seen in my lifetime. And for at least one moment, it feels like we --- the people with whom I've identified my entire life --- are finally, FINALLY taking back our country from the people who have done everything in their power to ruin everything these symbols have stood for...

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

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A look back at two videos which helped change the world...
By Brad Friedman on 1/17/2009 2:05pm PT  

For the next few days --- at least through Tuesday, if possible --- we intend to do our best to try and take in this extraordinary moment in history, as we hadn't previously been able to enjoy it during the Primaries, on Election Night, or even thereafter while our duties required focus elsewhere.

As scenes of Obama's train ride towards the Inaugural inspire us to try and suspend our cynicism, a bit, for a few short days (no easy feat), it's worth taking the opportunity for a quick look back at the videos which made a difference in last year's election. We weren't really able to enjoy or celebrate these at the time they were first released, due to our responsibilities in the midst of the long and grueling Battle for American Democracy, but now, it seems, is a good time to review these with some of the historical perspective we momentarily have the luxury to enjoy.

The extraordinary "Big Brother" spot that kicked it all off by daring to express the possible, at a moment in time in which it seemed impossible (1:14)...


The video that ingeniously sampled the poesy of Barack Obama, elevated him from mere Presidential candidate to the stuff of legend, and somehow managed to capture the dreams and hopes of a new generation. "Yes We Can" (4:30)...


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By Brad Friedman on 1/17/2009 12:30pm PT  

Last week, President-elect Barack Obama said he was open to "good ideas" from anyone, even from the New York Times' Paul Krugman. (Video here.)

"If Paul Krugman has a good idea...then we're gonna do it," said Obama. He was speaking about "good ideas" for his economic stimulus package at the time, but we'd written that we hoped the sentiments might extend to good ideas on any important issue that his administration might face, including some good ideas of our own that we'd offered to his transition team, who had consulted with us, as they are working on review of the dreadfully-failed U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC).

Well, as it turns out, the New York Times' Paul Krugman does have some very good ideas, as noted in an op-ed yesterday, this time on why the Obama administration must bring accountability for the crimes of the Bush Era. The must-read column, headlined "Forgive and Forget?" begins this way...

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

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But Bush's DoJ Declines to Prosecute...So Will Obama?...
By Brad Friedman on 1/13/2009 3:22pm PT  

I've had this picture in my mind lately, an editorial cartoon-like drawing, of a dam about to break and someone (Obama?) leaning hard up against it in futile hopes of keeping it from bursting forth. The dam and its contents, in my mind's eye, are labeled "Bush Administration Crimes and Failures." I've been pondering, over the last several days, how we're soon likely to learn that everything we think we already know about the historically-unparalleled failures, crimes and cover-ups of the Bush administration, will likely prove to be barely the tip of the iceberg as the Bushies lose their power, and "the files" are finally opened for all to see.

It's likely to take years, after President Obama is sworn in next week, to unearth the entire breadth of the degradation, filth, corruption and dismantling of federal law and U.S. Constitution under the current administration, and to piece together all of the unshredded and likely-shredded evidence both, and to take in the information likely to pour forth from officials and former officials who finally find the courage to tell the world just how bad it all really was and is (even if many of them would now be doing so only to salvage their own hide.)

One hint of what will be found beyond the tip of that iceberg, or inside that near-to-bursting dam (take your metaphorical pick) comes in today's remarkable report [PDF] from the DoJ Inspector General on the illegal politicization of the hiring practices at the DoJ's Civil Rights Division and "other improper personnel actions" in the division.

It's remarkable on several fronts. Not only because it describes the politicization of the department under the Bushies, their strictly illegal hiring practices; their determined dismantling of a core of career attorneys devoted to years of legal-processes in the fight for civil rights; as well as perjury and out-and-out lying to Congress, but also because the report itself --- in one last classic stroke of corrupt Bush Administration gaming of the system --- was completed last July, prior to the election, but held for release until today, just 7 days before the criminals (or at least those who won't be still-embedded like cancer cells within the federal buearocracy for years to come) take their leave.

And, as if all of that isn't bad enough, with the out-and-out finding of criminal wrongdoing in the report (such as illegal hiring practices and lying about them to Congress), the Bush Administration's own DoJ has decided that no prosecutions should be brought against the Bush Administration's own DoJ for the Bush Administration's own DoJ's now-well-documented actions in breaking federal law.


The bastardization of the DoJ Civil Rights division is a topic which we've covered closely over the years here at The BRAD BLOG, and even played a part in helping to expose, for example, when the head of the Voting Section in that division, John Tanner, was forced to resign from his post, not long after we'd video-taped and published controversial (and inaccurate) comments he made at a 2007 conference in Los Angeles declaring that disenfranchising Photo ID restrictions at the polling place were more of a concern for the elderly than for African-Americans because "minorities don't become elderly the way white people do. They die first."

(See our now-infamous video, shot by our own Alan Breslauer, at right.)

As today's (actually July's) report reveals, that wouldn't be the only unfortunate --- and one might say, "ironic", given his position --- derogatory remark made about African-Americans by Tanner. But the bulk of the report, it seems, is devoted to one Bradley Schlozman, who insidiously twisted the mission of the Civil Rights division, brought political prosecutions in order to try and affect the outcome of elections, in violation of written DoJ policy, and attempted (and arguably succeeded) in helping to engineer an outright illegal, and ideological purge --- an ethical cleansing, if you will --- at the department, in an attempt to stack it with far rightwing brethren from the Federalist Society, or "right thinking Americans" (RTAs), as he referred to them among friends...

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

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