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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, July 28, 2014
'A Kind of Propaganda War'
After U.N. denial, NBC's David Gregory apologized for use of unverified Israeli video claiming to show rockets fired from U.N. refugee shelter in Gaza where at least 15 were killed by Israel last week...
Bi-Partisan House to Obama: Get Out of Iraq
Overwhelming, if largely symbolic vote in the U.S. House, directs the President to pull U.S. troops back out of Iraq. Directive seen as stinging rebuke to GOP war haws in Senate..
'Green News Report' 7/24/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Breaking: Storm ravages VA campground; New rules for explosive oil trains; Big win against Big Oil in small Maine town; PLUS: U.S. and Rush Limbaugh lead world in denial...
Previous GNRs: 7/22/14 - 7/17/14 - Archives...
Israeli Attack on UN Shelter Kills At Least 15 in Gaza
The strategy of bombing children, but warning them first, will almost certainly result in years of peace and prosperity for the region...
The Good Fight Continues: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad speaks with John Wellington Ennis, documentarian and activist, on his newest film and his decade-long fight for election integrity...
What We Do Now
"It took one hour and 57 minutes for the execution to be completed, and Wood was gasping for more than an hour and a half of that time"..."Wood, 55, gasped more than 600 times before he died"...
'Green News Report' 7/22/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record wildfires burn the Pacific Northwest; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
Previous GNRs: 7/17/14 - 7/15/14 - Archives...
Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
In the closest election in state history, even a well-funded candidate couldn't afford to find out if he actually lost...
'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A RW caller's admission to Brad on NC radio underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
No, JFK Didn't Steal 1960 From Nixon
Another Zombie Myth that just won't die gets knocked down again...for now...even as its persistence continues to fuel false Republican claims of 'voter fraud' even today...
CA Ballot Prop to Overturn 'Citizens United'
Measure calls for Amendment 'to make clear that rights protected by the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only'...
UK Deputy PM Condemns Israel's 'Deliberate Use of Disproportionate Response'
Nick Clegg calls attacks on Gaza 'collective punishment' that 'incubates next generation of extremists' and 'needs to come to an end'...
'Green News Report' 7/17/14
Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: CA gets tough on water wasters...
Kochs Radical 'Libertarianism' Broke KA
More than 100 top GOPers endorse Republican Gov. Brownback's Dem opponent after tax cuts for wealthy have busted the extremist Koch Brothers' home state...
Death to Zombie Myths!: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad takes on a bunch of lies that just won't die -- from e-cigs to Ann Coulter's voter fraud to 'global cooling' to the death penalty to marriage equality in MS and more...
FEDERAL JUDGE FINDS CA DEATH PENALTY VIOLATES U.S. CONSTITUTION
George W. Bush appointee rules state system violates Constitution's ban of 'cruel and unusual punishments'...
'Green News Report' 7/15/14
Divesting from fossil fuels; Germany gives $1b to climate fund; Australia carbon tax repeal; All-electric Formula E racing revs up; PLUS: Climate denier Murdoch...
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...


By Brad Friedman on 8/23/2010 12:40pm PT  

As the disinformed and hypnotized crowd of angry protesters in downtown New York chant "No mosque here!" over the weekend, a black man in a white hat strolls through and the crowd instantly turns on him.

"Ya'll don't even know my opinion on shit," he's forced to reply in his own defense as the tension rises and the possibility of violence becomes imminent. "I'm not even Muslim!" shouts the man who, it turns out, was apparently a construction worker at Ground Zero.

Sick. August, 2010. U.S.A.


A commenter at Ballon Juice may have said it best (h/t Glenn Greenwald on Twitter): "They got one thing right: Ground Zero is being desecrated. Just not by Muslims."

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Despite links to hookers and taxpayer-funded 'Con-Air,' teflon Senate Republican leads polls...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/22/2010 8:19am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"I start from the supposition that the world is topsy-turvey, that things are all wrong, that the wrong people are in jail and the wrong people are out of jail, that the wrong people are in power and the wrong people out of power, that the wealth is distributed in this country and in the world in such a way as not simply to require small reform but a drastic reallocation...." Howard Zinn, "The Problem is Civil Obedience" (1970) from Voices of a People's History of the United States

Here, at The BRAD BLOG, we've spent a good deal of time addressing the duplicity of convicted federal criminal James O'Keefe and his employer Andrew Breitbart, a pathological liar, whose bogus ACORN pimp hoax proved the undoing of a benevolent community organization, ACORN.

While Breitbart received his comeuppance when he made the mistake of attempting a dishonest smear of a woman, Shirley Sherrod, who would not go quietly into the night in the face of the hard-right's distortion of her words, David Vitter (R-LA), the hard-right's Senate point man in its effort to destroy democracy and verifiable truth by smearing and then defunding ACORN is sailing towards re-election despite links to hookers and to an aide, Brent Furer, who plead guilty to an assault in which he held a knife to his girlfriend's throat and stabbed her in her hand --- Furer allegedly held her against her will for 90 minutes and threatened to kill her.

Now, comes a revelation that Vitter not only kept Furer on his taxpayer-funded payroll while tasking the girlfriend-assaulting Furer with overseeing women's issues, but that U.S. taxpayers footed the bill for the convicted Furer's travel to appear in court on the assault charge and on a DUI...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 8/20/2010 10:35pm PT  

With the deepest and sincerest apologies to our good friend Jeannie Dean (look away, Jeannie, seriously), some things just need to be seen to be believed. And no, I don't believe this thing is a joke, despite what may be the most ironic (and awful) lyric of all time...

If we let 'em build it, can't ya see,
they'll turn 9/11 to a mockery.

Yes, you read that right...


And with this, the Rightwing "civil rights" movement, has finally taken full flower. God save us all. Mindblowing Accomplished.

[Hat-tip Digby. The drink is on us. We'll join ya.]

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By Ernest A. Canning on 8/18/2010 4:59pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"Dr. Laura's radio career ended in disgrace tonight because of the bigoted, ugly and hateful remarks made on her show. Americans have had enough. Listeners are now holding hosts, affiliates, and sponsors accountable for the offensive and inexcusable content on the airwaves." Media Matters 08/17/2010.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger (Ph.D. in physiology), whose brief television career ended after she referred to homosexuality as a "biological error" and compared LGBT parenting to pedophilia, announced that she was ending her worldwide syndicated radio broadcast in December.

Previously, Media Matters covered "Doctor" Laura's Aug. 10 broadcast in which she castigated an African American woman (“Jade”) who had called in to complain about her white husband’s silence in the face of racist remarks made by his white friends and family. During the contentious colloquy, "Doctor" Laura dropped the N-bomb 11 times. (Audio and transcript below).

While the same content was appropriately addressed by Media Matters, some additional observations are in order…

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 8/17/2010 5:05pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

On Sunday, Brad Friedman posted a "Toon of the moment" in which a hypnotist sits dangling a watch in front of two stupified voters as Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) look on. The hypnotist tells the voters:

You know nothing. You remember nothing. You don't remember George W. Bush or how badly he screwed things up. You love Republicans. They are here to help you. You will welcome them back...

Replace the hypnotist and watch with "illegal immigrants" or a "Ground Zero Mosque" (what the Los Angeles Times' Tim Rutten refers to as a "rising tide of Nativism") and the cartoon would be equally spot on, though this form of hypnosis is utilized by the billionaire-funded hard-right not only to "forget" the disaster that was the Bush/Cheney cabal but to avoid a debate on the Republicans' cold and heartless, class-based decisions to oppose an extension of unemployment benefits, to block funds for state governments intended to prevent a layoff of thousands of teachers, to block vital environmental legislation, to engage in never-ending privatization schemes, which by design are intended to destroy government's ability to provide vital public services (police, fire, health care, education), and to repeatedly level false charges of insolvency as part of their scheme to permit the thieves of Wall Street to raid the Social Security trust fund.

Those who are rational and see the mosque as an issue of First Amendment religious freedoms (and common sense) fail to appreciate the visceral appeal of Republican race-baiting, which, in the case of the mosque, seeks to tap into a deep-seated, cultural anxiety that has been created not only by 9/11 but --- as I explained in "Hate Speech and the Process of Dehumanization" here at The BRAD BLOG, and in its follow-up --- by the vilification of Arabs and Muslims in books, films and on television over a span of decades. It was this same deep-seated and subconscious loathing which permitted the Bush/Cheney cabal to conflate Saddam Hussein --- just another swarthy, mid-Eastern bad guy --- with al Qaeda for the purpose of invading Iraq.

The politics of Republican fear-mongering and race-baiting exploits cultural dehumanization so as to conflate all Muslims with 9/11. The result is a perversion of that seminal event --- which, even under the Bush/Cheney Administration's own "official theory," entailed only al Qaeda --- into an unprovoked assault by the Muslim world on "Christian America."

"You know nothing. You remember nothing. You don't remember George W. Bush or how badly he screwed things up. You love Republicans. They are here to help you. You will welcome them back..."

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

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By Brad Friedman on 8/15/2010 11:45am PT  

[Hat-tip BRAD BLOG toon sherpa, Pokey Anderson]

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By Brad Friedman on 8/7/2010 10:26am PT  

New York's WBAI Evening News tracked me down while I was on the road in the sweltering wilds of SE Texas yesterday to discuss the story of the Rightwing cabal which had been revealed as having secretly and systematically worked to kill/bury/down-vote links to stories from The BRAD BLOG and other non-wingnut news sites before they could reach the front pages of major social aggregator networks like DIGG. See our coverage of this from Thursday.

One point I was able to make during the WBAI interview, which I didn't in the quick Thursday article, is that this episode illustrates, yet again, that even these Rightwingers recognize their own ideas are so weak they can't stand up to legitimate scrutiny on their own. The system must be gamed in hopes of giving them an edge in the public arena.

Moreover, if the Right is willing to sabotage social networking sites and willing to publish faked videos (see their ACORN "Pimp" Hoax videos, Shirley Sherrod video, etc.) in dishonest hopes of scoring political points, then why wouldn't they be similarly willing to steal elections whenever/however possible? That is, after all, the greatest prize and it's all for a greater purpose, right?

My interview on WBAI Evening News follows below. (My thanks to WBAI political reporter Rebecca Myles for sending me the audio while I was otherwise on the road and largely off the grid all day yesterday.)

MP3 Download or listen online below [appx. 8.5 mins]...

* * *

P.S. In a related note, Dave Johnson at "Seeing the Forest" reminds me that he pointed out last year how the same concerted Rightwing effort seems to go into gaming material at Wikipedia. I can also attest to that first-hand, as I've seen the "Brad Friedman" article over there defanged, tagged and even targeted for deletion by the same Right-leaning Wiki-administrator over and again throughout the years.

P.P.S. Billy Dennis, the "Peoria Pundit," picked up on our Thursday article, and offers some additional thoughts, along with this one at the end which I think is meant as a compliment :-) :

Hat tip: Brad Blog (his site is sorta like Breitbart’s would be if Breitbart was progressive, honest, willing to criticize BOTH parties and well-researched).
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By Brad Friedman on 8/5/2010 3:31pm PT  

As usual, when Rightwingers can't win outright, they cheat. Such is the case on the very popular social aggregator website DIGG, as documented today at Alternet.

We've suspected for quite some time that links to The BRAD BLOG's articles as posted on DIGG have been quickly "buried" by Rightwingers hoping to keep our stories from reaching the front page --- or even the "upcoming" page, where others might see the story rising in DIGG "votes," so that it might then be propelled to the front page, where millions more would then see the link to the article.

The AlterNet piece details a "massive" Rightwing cabal which has been doing exactly that, and we weren't particularly surprised when we found The BRAD BLOG named in the piece as one of several non-wingnut websites that have been targeted for "burial" by a Rightwing group of Internet hacks calling themselves "Digg Patriots"...

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

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PLUS: An actual conservative laments rise of 'crazy-cons' and movement's shift to 'demagoguery and hucksterism'...
By Brad Friedman on 8/3/2010 1:35pm PT  

No wonder rightwing extremist Andrew Breitbart is so angry about the outrageous insult to his fellow clansmen. Can't imagine where that "racist" NAACP came up with the crazy idea that there are "elements of racism" in the Tea Party. [Hat-tip Maddow Blog.]...

And while we're on the topic, kudos, at least, to former National Review editor David Klinghoffer for correctly identifying in an LA Times opinion piece over the weekend, the hateful disaster that has become the once-legitimate, now insane-beyond-repair conservative movement in this nation. The item is headlined "From neocons to crazy-cons" and is aptly sub-titled: "Once the conservative movement was about finding meaning in private life and public service. But it has undergone a shift toward demagoguery and hucksterism."

Here's a few more grafs worth reading. Breitbart might be heart-broken, if he had one. [Hat-tip Eric Boehlert.]...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 7/23/2010 12:56pm PT  

(Ed Note: Hope to have various and sundry coverage from Netroots Nation here in Vegas later today and beyond --- augmenting my seat-of-the-pants Twitter coverage --- but, for now, this...)


If you like the above, much more Tea Party Dummies here...

[Hat-tip @OTOOLEFAN & @LadyLibertyBlog]

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The madness in AZ provides ample warning, but is anyone paying attention?...
By Ernest A. Canning on 7/22/2010 3:05pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

The radical-right agenda, hidden from so many of the uninformed, working class useful idiots (aka post-2008 "Tea Party" followers) was aptly described by Chalmers Johnson on the cover of Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine as "a conspiracy to privatize war and disaster and grab public property for the rich few...[as part of] our headlong flight back to feudalism..."

In Meg Whitman, Wall Street, 'Billionaire Sociopaths' and the Media 'Substance Deficit', we cited a Pew Research Center study on how the campaign by America's political elites to ravage the middle class has, for "wide layers of the population," destroyed "faith in the US government to secure their most basic social needs." As we observed at the time:

What has become painfully obvious is that many within these "wide layers of the population" simply do not realize that the source of the middle class demise lies not in government per se but in the carefully thought out, decades-long effort of the hard-right to "starve the beast" by massive tax cuts for those who already have too much in order to, in the words of Grover Norquist, reduce government to the point it could be "drown in a bathtub" and in order to privatize the commons so that the privileged few can be enriched beyond the wildest imagination of ordinary citizens.

An American Political Science Association study, cited by Bill Moyers in Moyers on America (2004) referred to a "radical political elite who have...inequality as its mission and has organized 'a fanatical drive to dismantle the political institutions, the legal and statutory cannons, and the intellectual and cultural framework that have shaped public responsibility from social harms arising from the excesses of private powers.'"

Into this mix comes "Tea Party in Sonora": Ken Silverstein of Harper’s Says Arizona is Laboratory for Radical GOP Policies, a powerful, must-see segment of Democracy Now (video below) which exposes the bleak future, indeed the madness, in store for all of us if we permit the radical right to assert the same control at the national level that they have already secured in Arizona.

An eerily prescient 1944 New York Times op-ed written by Franklin D. Roosevelt's then-Vice President may have best described the ultimate goal of the hard-right agenda of those who now drive the so-called "Tea Party" in 2010...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 7/21/2010 1:08pm PT  

It's a neat trick. Andrew Breitbart, the pathological liar, race-baiter, propagandist, and rabidly partisan dirty-trickster, posts a deceptively edited video (again), to which media and Democratic officials cowardly knee-jerk in reaction (again), before the video is ultimately discovered to have been a deceptively edited hoax. Then, rather than copping to having been a pathological liar, race-baiter, propagandist, and rabidly partisan dirty-trickster, Breitbart criticizes the media and those others who bought into the hoax that he himself perpetrated.

You see, it was all the media's fault for being irresponsible enough to buy into his own bullshit. Well played, Mr. Breitbart - you pathological liar, race-baiter, propagandist, and rabidly partisan ratfucker.

Breitbart, as usual, is partially correct, which is why his ratfucking continues to have any effect at all. The media did, at first, buy into his Shirley Sherrod scam. And not just Fox "News," who more than simply "bought into it," actually played their usual vital role in the rightwing disinfo food chain by offering a news-like presentation to the false story, as if it's a real one which deserves coverage by others. But others in the non-wingnut, theoretically-legitimate media also treated this story, initially, as legitimate. For that matter, even after the hoax was revealed for what it was, Washington Post, late last night, granted the phony story more legitimacy by "privileging the lie" and burying the by-then known truth in the 15th paragraph of its coverage.

Today, however, as the dust settles, Breitbart's lie has been uncharacteristically exposed in a record 24-hours or so, and he finds himself backed into a corner threatening whatever legitimacy he had foolishly been granted by adults who ought to have known better long ago. So now, the very professional snake-oil salesman and con-artist is attempting to riggle out of that corner with an all new lie that moves the goal posts from his original, now-discredited smear, to an entirely new, made-up-out-of-whole cloth claim. To wit: Since he was discovered to have lied in the first place, Breitbart is now claiming, to anyone stupid enough to listen, that his original blog post where he published the deceptively-edited video, was "not about Shirley Sherrod. It's not about Shirley Sherrod. I can say it 20 times. It's about the NAACP."

Oh, and also, he now adds in desperation upon having taken on a foe who was willing to fight back: "I feel bad that they made this about her, and I feel sorry that they made this about her...Watching how they've misconstrued, how the media has misconstrued the intention behind this, I do feel a sympathy for her plight."

They made this about her? The media misconstrued the intention behind this?

Of course, those claims are complete lies as well. As usual. And they're betrayed by his very own words. As usual...

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

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Bonus Flashback Video: Tea Party Express & 'Rise of the Tea Bags'!
By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2010 7:05am PT  

The Tea Party Express has been expelled from the National Tea Party Federation, an umbrella group of Tea Parties, in a disturbing incident of Tea Party on Tea Party non-violence.

The weekend expulsion came in response to a so-called satirical letter written to Abraham Lincoln by Tea Party Express spokesman and Rightwing talk show host, Mark Williams.

The letter in question begins: "Dear Mr. Lincoln, We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!"

The National Tea Party Federation had called on the Tea Party Express to remove Williams as spokesperson. They didn't. So they're out. Whatever "out" means to these folks. Tea Party poopers!

Williams is also the Rightwing clown who recently called on citizens to defraud the government's $20 billion BP Fund, as The BRAD BLOG reported earlier this month. Some "conservative," eh?

Williams' high-larious "parody letter" (as he later called it when he took it off his site) was, itself, in response to the NAACP's recent resolution, condemning "racist elements" within the Tea Party. Geez, what racist elements?!...

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

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Government 'irreparable harm' argument fails to gain traction before majority Republican-appointed appellate court...
By Ernest A. Canning on 7/9/2010 3:19pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

A three judge panel of the heavily-Republican 5th Circuit Court of Appeal in New Orleans rejected the Department of Interior's request for an emergency stay of Judge Martin Feldman's June 22, 2010 preliminary injunction [PDF], which prevents enforcement of the Department of Interior's six month moratorium on exploratory drilling on only 33 "of the approximately 3,600 structures in the Gulf dedicated to offshore oil exploration and production."

The panel's two Reagan appointees, Judge Jerry E. Smith, joined by Judge W.Eugene Davis, ruled that the government had failed to demonstrate that it would be irreparably harmed if a decision on whether to vacate Judge Feldman's injunction was deferred until after the appeal was heard sometime around the end of August or early September. Judge James L. Dennis, a Clinton appointee, dissented, noting that he did not believe Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar had abused his discretion in ordering a moratorium, which, per the government's motion is limited to those drilling operations that apply "the same technologies employed by Transocean's Deepwater Horizon...only to waters over 500 feet deep..." Since, under the Administrative Procedures Act, a court cannot overturn an agency decision absent an abuse of discretion, Judge Dennis appears to have concluded that Judge Feldman erred in issuing the preliminary injunction.

Judge Dennis did have a question, however, about the six month length of the moratorium.

While yesterday's ruling does not mean that the panel will ultimately rule against the moratorium, the Justice Department and the attorneys representing a number of environmental organizations in the appeal face a daunting climb given Judge Smith's expression of the usual appellate court deference to the findings of the district court judge --- a climb up an oil slicked slope given the ties between the oil industry and the judges who will decide the moratorium's fate...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/27/2010 4:05pm PT  

Remember the disingenuous snit fits that Rightwing con-man Andrew Breitbart and his Tea Bag Boyz were on about when the original reports broke of "a plot to wiretap Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in the Hale Boggs Federal Building in downtown New Orleans" by Republican dirty trickster James O'Keefe and his band of co-conspirators?

They were outraged --- outraged --- that the "liberal media" had included the word "wiretap" in their reports about the felony arrests of the operatives, since the FBI's arrest affidavit didn't specifically mention an attempt to wiretap or bug the phones in her office. In a desperate attempt to distract from the actual story and find some way to support their friends' charged with serious federal felonies, the Tea Bag Boyz demanded that a number of media outlets issue immediate retractions for the claim, and, of course, the "liberal media" outlets complied --- as instructed --- as usual.

The notion of calling the federal criminals "TeaBuggers" just drove Andy's boys --- particularly the shamelessly pseudonymous wingnut blogger & L.A. County Dep. District Attorney, Patrick "Patterico" Frey --- to embarrassingly self-righteous (and inaccurate) distraction!

The fact was, of course, that, at the time, we had no idea what O'Keefe and friends were actually trying to do in that office, and O'Keefe --- who already had a well-established, if entirely unreported, record of lying to the media and the public about his phony, highly-doctored and illegally-recorded ACORN videos --- then went on to offer a preposterous public statement to explain his New Orleans scheme.

But now that O'Keefe's superstar GOP attorney was successful in pleading his client's felony charges down to a misdemeanor --- to which he and his conspirators pled guilty yesterday before a federal magistrate --- lo and behold, the FBI has released its own account of the arrest and plea deal.

And whaddaya know? According to the FBI, O'Keefe did plan to secretly wiretap the proceedings by secretly recording the conversations of employees in a U.S. Senator's office...

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

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