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Ryan Ignores, Dismisses Elderly Voter's Question About His Medicare Cuts
2012 GOP Veep nom and 2016 Presidential hopeful has charming way of winning friends and influencing elderly voters in FL...
Perry Tells NH Businessmen His Felony Indictment Was for a 'Bribery' Charge
Huh?! It wasn't. Is this another 'oops' moment from the Republican TX Governor and 2016 hopeful? Or something else entirely?...
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Too much rain in AZ desert; Another toxic spill in Ohio River; New solar breakthrough; Wind energy prices hit all-time low; PLUS: Auto-magically cleaning up Baltimore Harbor...
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The Democratic U.S. Congressman from Georgia's 4th district joins Brad...
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  w/ Brad & Desi
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2010 2:07pm PT  

It's been an ugly day at the polls in Kentucky, at least between supporters of the two highest profile candidates on the ballot today, in what's become a highly contentious race. Allegations of vote buying and intimidation have been coming out all morning in county after county.

[See our backgrounder right here on today's race for the GOP U.S. Senatorial nomination between Sec. of State Trey Grayson and Dr. Rand Paul, along with details on the voting systems in use, and the recent history of election fraud by top election officials in the Bluegrass State.]

Nate Hodsen, the campaign manager for Grayson (who is responsible for overseeing his own election as the state's chief election official) released a statement to say: "This despicable behavior should not be tolerated. Bullying and intimidation should have no place in our elections. Rand Paul needs to rein in his goon squad and follow the law."

David Adams, the campaign manager for Paul (the son of TX U.S. House Rep. Ron Paul) responded in kind to call the allegations "ridiculous" and "much ado about nothing," before going on to blame them on Democrats somehow. "We had a tip over the weekend that some of our volunteer activities have been infiltrated by (national) Democratic operatives planning to cause problems," he told reporters.

See Janet Patton's detailed coverage at the Lexington Herald-Leader for much more on the problems being reported --- for now, mostly complaints about Paul volunteers, being publicized by Grayson's people (both his campaign staff and SoS staff.)

* * *

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 5/17/2010 12:30pm PT  

Among the many delights in this eminently-watchable video response by the indefatigable voice-over actor D.C. Douglas, aka "Lance Baxter," aka "D.C. Douglas L. Baxterstein, Jr.," who was recently fired by Geico in the wake of an Andrew Breitbart-fueled, FreedomWorks complaint campaign after he "drunk dialed a cyncial GOP-funded astroturf organization funded by a man with Dick in his name," is this tag near the video's end...

This public service announcement brought to you by:
The Andrew Breitbart Is To The Internet
What Gonorrhea Is To Your Genitals Fund

Enjoy...


[Hat-tip Gryhpen at Immoral Minority]

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Competing ads, a rare instance of investigative journalism and a hard-right embrace of AZ's Apartheid 'Pass Law,' helps close Poizner's gap against front-runner Whitman...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/16/2010 10:31pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

In "Meg Whitman, Wall Street, 'Billionaire Sociopaths' and the Media 'Substance Deficit,'" we noted:

Californians have been drawn within the cross-hairs of a propaganda blitz bought and paid for by Meg Whitman, the billionaire former CEO of eBay, who, since declaring her intent to run for governor in February, 2009, has already contributed $59 million of her own money to her "campaign" --- a one-sided political phenomenon which has seen a stealth candidate, with disturbing connections to Goldman Sachs, soar to the top of the polls because the electoral process has been emasculated by the absence of mandatory debates and meaningful investigative journalism.

Now comes a SurveyUSA poll, conducted May 6-9, revealing that Whitman's once commanding lead over CA Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has all but evaporated. Where she led Poizner by 22% on April 22, Whitman is now said to hold a meager 2% lead. One suspects that, in the wake of a hard-hitting, front page May 12 Los Angeles Times article, "Whitman's words put spotlight on deeds," Whitman's once-commanding lead may soon become a deficit.

The Los Angeles Times followed up on May 13 with a separate piece, "Companies challenged Poizner business claims," which revealed that a major portion of Poizner's wealth was acquired when SnapTrack Inc., the company Poizner founded, was sold to Qualcomm. Poizner claims SnapTrack invented mobile-phone GPS technology. In pending lawsuits, other companies accused SnapTrack of infringing intellectual property rights, and, the Times reports, "as SnapTrack developed its GPS technology, Poizner faced another test of his entrepreneurial skills, as a special interest trying to bend the Washington regulatory process his way."

The drastic change in the recent public opinion polls is tied not only to the fact that her fellow billionaire Poizner unleashed his own paid-for propaganda (ad) blitz, deconstructing Whitman's one-sided narrative. Nor is the change tied only to hard-hitting, if overdue, front page newspaper exposés on the facts behind how these two rapacious "business people" amassed their fortunes.

Disturbingly, Poizner's late gain in the polls may be attributed to his open embrace of Arizona's version of apartheid South Africa's infamous "pass laws." Poizner's is a cynically calculated effort to scapegoat immigrants while deflecting attention from the true source of California's fiscal woes: the very same billionaire sociopath economics in which both he and Whitman amassed their fortunes...

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

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Flashback Video: Brad plays AT&T CEO in pro Net Neutrality animation...
By Brad Friedman on 5/12/2010 12:55pm PT  

It seems the corporate lobbyist/GOP strategy for opposing everything is now officially to charge: "It's a Government takeover of [fill in the blank]!!!"

No matter what it is. And no matter whether it's actually a "government takeover" of anything or not.

As the rightwing corporatists seem to feel the strategy found some purchase in the healthcare insurance reform debate, it looks like they'll be recycling this line for just about everything. (See our recent coverage of the CA power company's "power play" to use a "government takeover of electricity" scare to trick voters into supporting the outrageous Prop 16.)

The latest corporate scheme/campaign to employ the strategy is the AT&T-funded telecom industry's latest assault on Net Neutrality. Assuring the Internet stays open to all would be a "government takeover" of it, according to the newly launched propaganda campaign (their first deceptive video is posted at the bottom of this article) which kicked off yesterday with the help of, naturally, Grover Norquist.

The new, cynical assault on the public also offers us a good excuse to re-post a pro Net Neutrality campaign video in which your humble host played a small but enjoyable role...

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

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Corporate greed masquerading as the 'Taxpayer's Right to Vote,' and another example of the corporate perversion of the 'citizens initiative' process in California...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/9/2010 7:19pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

On California's June ballot this year, a measure paid for and deceptively represented by one major corporate sponsor, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), purports to be a "Taxpayers Right to Vote Act." In truth, the initiative represents one corporation's attempt to pervert the "citizen's initiative" process by spending millions to deceive voters into believing they can push back against the vaguely socialist-sounding notion of "government-run electric service."

The measure is anything but a "Taxpayers Right to Vote Act," and that name itself has even been out-and-out rejected for use on the ballot by the state's Attorney General --- not that it has stopped PG&E from misleadingly selling it that way to the public in a multi-million dollar television ad buy and direct-mail propaganda campaign...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/22/2010 7:35am PT  

Wonder if our good friend, the alleged vote-rigging conspirator and high-flying Abramoff golf buddy, former Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL), will finally get the starring role he deserves in this new documentary. We're very much looking forward to it...


By the way, this is just one of the upcoming films on GOP uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Another one, a theatrical re-telling of his story, is currently in production with Kevin Spacey starring as "Casino Jack," and me not starring, despite my best efforts, as the diminutive yet dangerous Tom Feeney.

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By Ernest A. Canning on 4/16/2010 2:07pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 --- a date which will live in infamy."
- President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Amidst exploding bombs, smoke billowing from sinking battleships and dead bodies floating atop the oil slicked waters of Pearl Harbor, it was not all that difficult to appreciate the damage wrought by a surprise attack launched by the Empire of Japan. The same was true when we watched in horror as the smoldering twin towers of the World Trade Center precipitously collapsed on September 11, 2001.

Like these two earlier pivotal events, January 21, 2010 is, "a date which will live in infamy." Yet, unlike Pearl Harbor and 9/11, most Americans do not recognize it as such. This attack came not by way of planes or bombs delivered by some foreign menace. It came from within courtesy of what Professor Cass Sunstein aptly described as "radicals in robes" --- four directly connected to the Robert-Bork founded, billionaire-funded Federalist Society; all five as appointees of the Reagan and two Bush administrations. Men bent on unraveling the very constitution they had all solemnly sworn to uphold.

Their assault, though subtle, wrought far greater devastation than either Pearl Harbor or 9/11. They did not merely attack planes, ships and buildings. They assaulted the very foundations of our constitutional democracy...

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

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Wingnutter outraged that disgraced ACORN 'Pimp' Hoaxster O'Keefe 'overlooked' for Pulitzer Prize!...
By Brad Friedman on 4/15/2010 1:35pm PT  

Any remaining doubts about just how deeply detatched wingnuts are from Reality should pretty much be obliterated by this piece by Christian Toto at the far Rightwing website "Human Events."

I'm on the road today, so no time to offer details and/or direct rebuttal, but I suspect that, by now, BRAD BLOG readers should be able to both debunk and create your own punchline for just about each and every graf!

I'm also pretty sure that Toto wrote that article with a straight face (it's not April 1 still, right?), as incredible as that might sound. I don't believe I've read any story of late, in regard to the utterly debunked and disgraceful ACORN "Pimp" Hoax --- even from the pseudonymous rightwing blogger, O'Keefe/Breitbart dead-ender and (shockingly) L.A. County Dep. DA Patrick "Patterico" Frey --- which is so singularly disconnected from Reality.

A "Pulitzer Prize" for the fully disgraced and accused federal criminal James O'Keefe for fake reporting? That'd be roughly the equivalent of awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Timothy McVeigh or a Grammy Award to Richard Nixon for "Best Spoken Word" for his superb work on the Watergate Tapes!

Fun stuff. Crazy. Batshit crazy. But still fun!

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By Brad Friedman on 4/14/2010 11:08am PT  

Our old friend, the disgraced and disgraceful ACORN "Pimp" Hoax con-man Andrew Breitbart, is up to the same old tricks, according to AP. But this time they don't seem to be going as well for him.

In a deceptive effort to prove that Tea Baggers did not yell racial epithets at Democratic lawmakers during demonstrations against health insurance reform last month, Breitbart posted "VIDEO PROOF" from a different moment during those protests, the news service has found.

We're shocked he'd try to pull off such a scam. Even more shocked CNN hasn't hired him as a contract player yet.

Could the media finally be catching on to Breitbart's scams now that he's been caught lying time and again?

Now, as to the use of the phrase, "ACORN workers counseling actors posing as a pimp and prostitute," in the article by AP's Jesse Washington...um, really? Still? Even the New York Times has backed off of that one. Hasn't the AP bothered to read the CA Attorney General's report, much less any of our own coverage, on that point?

Glad to see AP holding Breitbart accountable for his bullshit, finally, but it's time for them to knock off their own lazy coverage, and start issuing corrections and apologies for their own months of misreporting on the ACORN "Pimp" Hoax.

AP's email address for corrections is: Info@AP.org. We've already sent such a request ourselves, but haven't heard back. Perhaps it will help, as it did at the New York Times, if they hear from a lot of readers.

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Health insurance mandator Romney wins at hard Right Southern Republican conference
Tea Bagger Palin trails again...
By Brad Friedman on 4/11/2010 3:13pm PT  

This must drive the Neo-Cons even crazier than they are already. From the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC)'s straw poll over the weekend:

NEW ORLEANS --- In the presidential-preference straw poll here at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Mitt Romney won by ONE vote over Ron Paul --- out of 1,806 cast.

Romney received 24% of the vote (439 votes) to Paul's 24% (438 votes).

Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin received 18% --- followed by Mike Huckabee at 4%, Tim Pawlenty at 3%, Mike Pence at 3%, Rick Santorum at 2%, and Gary Johnson at 1%.

Yes, Ron Paul lost to Mitt Romney, the man who signed legislation into law mandating health insurance policies for all Massachusetts citizens, by just one vote. That, after Paul easily won the straw poll at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) in D.C. in February.

Paul's positions, however, are actually conservative, and thus run antithetical to most of the Neo-Con, Big Government, Bush/Cheney-era Republicanists who now call themselves Tea Baggers, as RAW STORY notes today here. How many more "Democrats in Disarray" articles will we have to read before the "Republicans in Disarray" articles finally begin in the corporate media?

One other related thought: When Palin came in a distant fourth at CPAC's straw poll, the Republican and Republican-enabling and TeaBag-promoting Chattering Class instructed us via the corporate media that she would have done better had she actually showed up and spoken at the event. Well, she showed up and spoke at the SRLC, received a larger percentage of the vote, but still managed to do no better than third place among the dyed-in-the-wool, hard Right Southern Republicanists at the conference. Go figure.

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By Brad Friedman on 4/8/2010 2:40pm PT  

A reader alerted me this morning to these misleading, inaccurate, propaganda anti-ACORN "editorials", duplicates of which have been appearing, unbylined, in a bunch of papers under different headlines. Before I was able to get to them, it looks like Muriel Kane at RAW STORY was able to jump on it. (Thankfully! Since I've been busy with both today's Green News Report today, and putting together tonight's Mike Malloy Show!) . Here's the lede from Kane's coverage today...

When you read an editorial in your local newspaper, your natural assumption is that it expresses the views of that paper's staff and reflects local concerns. This, however, does not appear to be the case with the many small-town papers owned by Ogden Newspapers, Inc.

On March 31, an editorial headed "ACORN can't distract public from the truth" appeared in the Fairmont Sentinel, published in Fairmont, MN. It was bylined by Gary Andersen and Lee Smith, the paper's publisher and editor, and it slammed ACORN as a "front for liberal politicians" that has been involved in "illegal actions."

That original publication seems legitimate enough. But over the next few days, the same editorial started popping up elsewhere, with no byline and under a variety of headings. On April 3, for example, it appeared in the Minot Daily News of Minot, ND under the heading, "Good riddance to ACORN."

On April 5, it was in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette of Williamsport, PA, headed "ACORN victim of its own transgressions."

These papers have one thing in common. They are all owned by Ogden Newspapers of Wheeling, WV.

Like the GOP's years-long hit-campaign against ACORN, the GOP's ACORN "voter fraud" fraud, and their ACORN "Pimp" Hoax, these "editorials" are similarly faked propaganda, meant as a part of that same, blatant, shamefully partisan, anti-Democratic and anti-democracy scheme. See RAW's full story here.

* * *

And in related-ish news, the audio archives from last night's Malloy Show, in which we covered (as I was guest hosting) the anti-ACORN "Pimp" Hoax scam in some detail --- including a pretty tough live interview with ACORN's CEO Bertha Lewis --- are now posted here for download and/or online listening.

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Also: ACORN not dead yet!...
By Brad Friedman on 4/6/2010 6:32pm PT  
(ED NOTE 4/9/10: ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis was my guest on Wednesday night while I was guest hosting the Mike Malloy Show. My interview with her can now be heard here. - Brad)

Yesterday, Peter Hart, of the media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), flagged the New York Times' latest ACORN-related report for us and notes "how far the Times is from where it started on this story."

Yes, after a full six months of out-and-out misleading the public on the now-infamous ACORN "Pimp" Hoax by repeatedly misreporting that disgraced rightwing prankster and activist James O'Keefe had dressed as a 70's-era blaxploitation pimp while scamming low-level workers in ACORN offices --- and even as the Times finally conceded it was wrong on at least that point just two weeks ago --- the paper has still been standing by the misleading assertion that O'Keefe "clearly presented himself as" a pimp in those offices.

But the NYTimes' latest story is decidedly "pimp"-less and seems to tacitly serve as an admission that even that false narrative was previously misreported. Of course, they've yet to issue a public acknowledgment --- much less a correction, retraction, apology, or explanation --- for having gotten that point so wrong, for so long.

Last week's finding by the CA Attorney General, that ACORN committed "no violations of criminal law" in any of the illicitly and likely-illegally taped videos that O'Keefe and his partner Hannah Giles created in CA offices, may finally have convinced the people running the paper they had it wrong. At least if one notices the glaring absence of what wasn't reported this time around by the Times in its most recent story...

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

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A long-overdue indictment of the unabated, GOP-created, media-enabled, incalculably-damaging 'unmooring of politics from facts'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2010 8:05am PT  

On Friday night, responding to the CA AG's finding that the ACORN "Pimp" Hoax videos --- as created and published by righwing con-artists James O'Keefe, Hannah Giles, and Andrew Breitbart --- were precisely the hoax we'd long described them as, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow hit it out of the park, detailing precisely the reason we've been focused on this point for so long: "The triumph of fake politics...The unmooring of politics from facts," and the unforgivable truth that you've heard far more about the partisan-driven hoax/politics agenda in the media, than about the fact that that these things were all hoaxes.

Maddow takes the opportunity to highlight not only the "triumph" of the ACORN "Pimp" Hoax, but of other successful GOP-played/MSM-enabled scams such as "ClimateGate" (also near and dear to our hearts as we've covered that scam in great depth in our Green News Reports for months, most recently on Thursday), faked GOP outrage about recess appointments, health insurance reform, Miranda rights and civilian trials for accused terrorists, the stimulus bill, "death panels," Obama's birth certificate, supposed threats to the Second Amendment, armed IRS agents coming to get you, abuse of the census, Obama's "plans" to ban sport fishing, et al.

These things are, as she declares in no uncertain terms, "all bull." Yet, she adds, "there’s more bang for the political buck to make stuff up like this than to try to debate real problems in the real world. So just go with the bull"...


Our only complaint is that her indictment comes a month or two (at least) too late for victims of the GOP's ACORN scam, and that, other than Fox "News," she fails to call out the still-respected-but-shouldn't-be enablers of the scams in the first place --- in this case, for example, the still-misreporting New York Times.

If you can't watch the video above, or would just like to savor it and/or quote any of the exceedingly-quotable text to your erstwhile inexorably-brainwashed, fully-hoaxed, teabagging wingnut friends and family members, the text transcript is posted here...

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The corporate threat to both our health and our liberties...
By Ernest A. Canning on 4/4/2010 10:05am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"You've got a small number of multinational corporations that control the entire food system from seed to the supermarket. This isn't just about what we're allowed to eat. This is about what we're allowed to say; what we're allowed to know. It's not just our health at risk...They have managed to make it against the law to criticize their products. There is an effort to make it illegal to publish a photo of any industrial food operation." - Food, Inc. narration.

We hear it constantly from Republicans; an ideological mantra to the effect that government, especially government programs that would place the interests of public health, safety, and equality above the profits and power of those who already have too much of both, threatens our liberties.

Perhaps in a manner even more successful than Michael Moore's very powerful presentations in Sicko! and in Capitalism: A Love Story, Robert Kenner and Eric Schlosser, in their Academy Award nominated documentary feature Food, Inc. (trailer posted at end of article), expose the lie behind the myth that so-called "free markets" make us free....

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/31/2010 3:13pm PT  

Sorry this took a few days to get posted. Have been busy. As noted last week, on Saturday I made my third appearance in as many years at the annual "L.A. Media Reform Summit" sponsored by CA Common Cause. It was again held at Occidental College, and I was honored to serve as their keynote speaker for the first time this year.

Below is the video of my full speech, in which I discussed the serious crisis we now face as our corporate mainstream media hit full fail mode. That point, as I argued, is exemplified by 1) the massive failures of the old "dead tree" media to meet their constitutional responsibilities to help protect the public from bad guys (as illustrated by the NYTime's months of damaging and flagrant misreporting on the ACORN "Pimp" Hoax, as we've been covering at The BRAD BLOG for months), and 2) the full, rightwing take-over of nearly every inch of the public's broadcast spectrum by a handful of corporations that do not meet their FCC license obligations to manage those airwaves in the public's interest (as we've been covering at The BRAD BLOG and elsewhere for years).

I also discussed your responsibility in doing something about both of those serious problems!

The video is posted below the fold, since it's about 40 minutes in all, and might otherwise get interupted by the main page's auto-refresh routines. Enjoy. And get to work!...

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

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expert on issues of election integrity,
and a Commonweal Institute Fellow.

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