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Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
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DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
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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
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LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
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'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
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FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
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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
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CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
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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 David Swanson on 12/23/2009 10:21am PT  

[Ed Note: On Monday, The BRAD BLOG published Frank Schaeffer's guest editorial, "Obama Will Win: Why and How His Critics from the Left and Right Will be Proven Wrong". Today, we're pleased to offer a counterpoint in reply by author David Swanson.]

Guest editorial by David Swanson

I've appreciated much of Frank Schaeffer's commentary at The BRAD BLOG but his column here this week on Obama winning was an exception. Schaeffer labels himself an "Obama supporter" and explains that Obama supporters are "sticking with our President." The language Schaeffer uses, after identifying himself as a "former religious Rightwing agitator", is helpful in illuminating a troubling pattern of thought that is widespread in our society:

"We faithful Obama supporters still trust our initial impression of him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man to lead us."

Here is faith, or at least faithfulness, explicitly entering politics through the advocacy of a recovering religious advocate. As everyone knows who has tried to recover from a pattern of thought, it is far easier to reject or reverse the specifics than it is to step outside the framework. But it is the framework that I find disturbing. I disagree with the point of view above just as much as I disagree with rightwing religious agitation, and for the same reasons. I don't want to be a faithful, trusting supporter of a uniquely great and good being...

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

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UPDATE: NYTimes buries Story, gives last word to wingnuts...
By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2009 4:15pm PT  

Earlier this month, a two-month independent investigation of ACORN, by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, found incidents of mismanagement, but no criminal wrongdoing by ACORN, the favorite whipping boy of Republican scammers such as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Fox "News" and the GOP itself. That investigation (full report here [PDF]) also found that the "sting videos" used recently against ACORN were highly doctored and manipulated.

Of course, readers of The BRAD BLOG know the Republicans' entire, long, sad, anti-democratic (small "d" and large "d" both) campaign is based on little more than the fact that ACORN registers millions of legal low and middle income voters who tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic (large "d") rather than Republican, and the GOP and their democracy-hating proxies will go to any lengths to keep those legal voters from exercising their legal franchise.

And today, once again, ACORN is cleared of wrongdoing vis a vis yet another independent investigation, this one by the Congressional Research Service [PDF], as noted in a press release from U.S. House Judiciary Chair John Conyers this afternoon (posted in full below).

Of most note to our readers, Conyers' statement points out what we've been pointing out - over and over and over again for years: "There were no instances of individuals who were allegedly registered to vote improperly by ACORN or its employees and who were reported 'attempting to vote at the polls.'" Who knew?! What a surprise! (At least to Fox "News" viewers, who probably won't hear about this report either.)

Also: "No instances were identified in which ACORN 'violated the terms of federal funding in the last five years.'"

And: "Recently enacted federal legislation to prohibit funding to ACORN raises significant constitutional concerns. The courts 'may have a sufficient basis' to conclude that the legislation 'violates the prohibition against bills of attainder.'" That finding is one that a federal judge also recently concurred with, when she issued an injunction earlier this month to keep the law from taking affect since ACORN had "been singled out by Congress for punishment that directly and immediately affects their ability to continue to obtain federal funding, in the absence of any judicial, or even administrative, process of adjudicating guilt."

Finally, according to today's report, Andrew "Drudge's Poodle" Breitbart's phony video-taped "sting operation" against ACORN may, itself, have violated the law in both California and Maryland, about which we might ironically recommend to prosecutors: "Capital punishment" for Andrew Breitbart!

The short press release from Conyers, announcing the new report's bullet points, follows below...

UPDATE: And coverage of the NYTimes burial of this report, now follows below it...

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

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By Frank Schaeffer on 12/21/2009 10:30am PT  

[Ed Note 12/23/09: Author David Swanson has now published a counterpoint in reply to the following editorial. His guest editorial is now published here: "Will WE Win?: A Reply to Frank Schaeffer's 'Obama Will Win'".]

Guest editorial by Frank Schaeffer

Before he'd served even one year President Obama lost the support of the easily distracted Left and engendered the white hot rage of the hate-filled Right. But some of us, from all walks of life and ideological backgrounds --- including this white, straight, 57-year-old, former religious Rightwing agitator, now progressive writer and (given my background as the son of a famous evangelical leader) this unlikely Obama supporter --- are sticking with our President. Why? Because he is succeeding.

We faithful Obama supporters still trust our initial impression of him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man to lead us.

Obama's steady supporters will be proven right. Obama's critics will be remembered as easily panicked and prematurely discouraged at best and shriveled hate mongers at worst...

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

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

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

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

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

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A Solution to the 'Progressive dilemma' in U.S. Electoral Politics...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/20/2009 5:01pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

There have been a few occasions during my 62 years when I heard something profound that stuck with me.

The year was 1969. I was attending a freshman college history class, shortly after returning from Vietnam, when my professor said:

If the American Right can be criticized for its insensitivity to the plight of the common man, the American Left can always be criticized for its inability to count.

His words came back to me as Brad Friedman and I simultaneously made guest appearances on Live from the Left Coast with Angie Coiro.

While the topic was Afghanistan, a concern emerged over the splintering of the Left as a product of what Coiro described as strident "rhetoric," such as the suggestion that President Obama was a "sell-out" or the announcement by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) that he intended to introduce a privileged resolution to stop the "criminal enterprise" in Afghanistan. The concern was the potential for that "rhetoric" to adversely impact the Democratic Party in the 2010 and 2012 elections.

Unfortunately, in part due to technical difficulties they had on the show that night, I failed to adequately articulate my concerns, which go to the core of the Progressive dilemma in U.S. electoral politics....

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

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By Frank Schaeffer on 12/17/2009 1:32pm PT  

Guest blogged by Frank Schaeffer

Dear Republicans: I used to be one of you. In fact you'd likely have no "Tea Bag" movement if it hadn't been for my dad and me, and many others who, back in the 1970s and 80s, instigated the rise of the Religious Right. Dad and I were leaders of that movement. Then, after 1985, I got out, quit, left. But I hadn't given up on the Republican Party altogether. As late as 2000 I worked to get McCain elected in the primaries instead of W Bush. (Later, as a "thank you", McCain wrote a long and wonderful endorsement of one of my books about the military family.) When I saw the lies told about McCain --- and others --- by the Bush people and my old buddies on the Religious Right I finally quit.

These days I'm an Obama supporter. I'm also horribly aware that what we did, in bringing the Republican Party together with the Religious Right, is the root of one of the great American tragedies: the takeover of the Republican Party by very sick, simple and religiously deluded fundamentalists. And now you are out of ideas to the extent that all Republicans stand for is, well, nothing but obstruction.

What you've been doing in the Senate to stall health care reform is just too sad for words. And I take it personally. Who should I send my rising impossible-to-pay health insurance premiums to? Dick Armey?...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/11/2009 3:05am PT  

Those "conservative" Fox "News" fans sure do use a lot of F-words in their death threats.

We're used to various death threats by now, of course, even from Drudge's poodle, Andy "Big Government" Breitbart, but those socially "conservative," American "values"-lovin', Fox "News" viewers have really outdone themselves this time.

On Monday night, FoxNews.com featured a story on the latest announcement from VR's StopTheChamber.com campaign, concerning the offer of a $200,000 reward for insider information leading to the arrest and conviction of Tom Donohue, the CEO of the right-wing corporatist lobbying group, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. [Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us]

Apart from his work at the Chamber, Donohue has run a number of major corporations into the ground, as his tenure as CEO at each was generally plagued by improprieties, plunging stock values (coupled with soaring executive pay), scandal, various forms of illegal behavior, and SEC investigations. He was found by the FEC to have made millions of dollars in illegal corporate campaign contributions in 2004 and is now facing a criminal investigation by the DoJ about that, even while he runs the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in many ways, as nothing short of a criminal racket.

Unlike many similar campaigns VR has run in the past, offering such rewards for whistleblower information about wrong-doers over the years, this one caught the attention of the folks at Fox for some reason, and they decided to splash it on the front page of their website this week with a bold graphic shouting: "HUNTED BY THE LEFT: Bounty Put on Head of Chamber Boss." For good measure, in the story itself, they used the word "Liberal" a total of four times before they even finished the second graf. (An email to the story's author, Judson Berger, explaining that VR is a non-partisan group and works with folks of many different political bents, including Republicans, led them to change their headline from the wholly misleading "Liberal Group Puts Bounty on Head of Chamber of Commerce CEO" to the slightly-less misleading "Activist Group Puts Bounty on Head..." etc.)

Anyway, while there is no bounty on anybody's "head," and no one is being "HUNTED," the StopTheChamber.com campaign does feature a reward for information leading to Donohue's arrest and conviction. Roll Call also covered [$-only] VR's announcement on Monday, though much more responsibly (in a far less inflammatory way) than Fox did.

But this story is not about that, it's about the unbelievable amount of email that was sent from, presumably, those "socially conservative" Fox "News" fans in which a good 98% of those notes contained one or more of the following:

  • Threats of death or violence;
  • The F-Word (or similar);
  • Accusations of Nazism and/or Communism (never mind that it's difficult to be both) or Marxism or Socialism;
  • Racist slurs against Obama;
  • Accusations that VR is working with or for the White House or the Democrats (which is somewhat amusing if you know anything about VR).

And, of course, many of them offer the cruelest cut of them all; they wish VR a "Merry Christmas." Ouch, that one hurts!

So here are just a few samples from some of those friendly emails from those good "conservatives" of Fox "News" willing to send out death threats, we'll guess, in support of the millionaire corporate lobbyists and billionaire corporations of the U.S. Chamber who've spent more money buying Congressmembers than anybody else in the country. These, apparently, are the Fox "News" "conservatives" --- Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly's "patriots" and Sean Hannity's "great Americans" --- as almost all of them came in at the same time that Fox's story on VR's reward offer was posted on the front page of FoxNews.com.

Out of an abundance of generosity, we're not posting the emailers names here (each bullet-point quote below comes from a different note) but the ones which include threats of violence have been given to the FBI [PDF] in D.C., along with a request for an investigation to find out if the Chamber itself might be behind the hit campaign.

As many of these are not safe for work, we'll post them below the fold...

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

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By Frank Schaeffer on 12/3/2009 1:56pm PT  

Guest blogged by Frank Schaeffer

Nothing illustrates the danger we face from our own Taliban better than the way American "Christians" are now tangled up with the homophobic --- now potentially gay murdering --- Ugandan Christian/political leadership.

The Ugandan Parliament is considering a bill that would impose the death penalty on gays. One American must be cheering from the grave. Here’s what the late R.J. Rushdoony, Reconstructionist theologian and founder of the modern movement of that name, wrote in a letter to gay rights activist Mel White: “God in His law requires the death penalty for homosexuals.”

Disclosure: Both Mel White and Rushdoony were friends of mine, back in the day I was a Religious Right leader and sidekick to my father – the late Francis Schaeffer – who is “credited” by many, including by Karen Armstrong and Max Blumenthal – with being a key father of the Religious Right...along with R.J. Rushdoony. I quit the movement over its hate for the “other” and got out by the late 80s and started writing novels like Portofino, aimed at the heart of the movement through humor at fundamentalist’s expense.

Back in the day before Mel came out he was working with me on one of my father’s movie/book projects. We both left our far right “faith.” Mel acknowledged that he was gay and I said I’d had it with hate. These days I propose an anti-right progressive Christianity in my book Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism)

That said... The problem of American exceptionalism combined with a theocracy in which the “we” of evangelical faith finally destroy the “they” (everyone else) is growing. Who do you think Fox News' rabid followers are? Who do you think calls Obama "Hitler" while using the tactics of fascism themselves?...

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

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Says Republicans likely tempted to 'keep qualified minority voters from casting their ballots'...
By Brad Friedman on 12/2/2009 1:01pm PT  

On the road and short on time, so forgive the lack of background... Politico tells the story --- though they fail to use the word "caging" because, well, it doesn't make the GOP look so great, and that's what the main interest of Politico seems to be in just about everything they do. They do, however, liberally use the Orwellian phrase "ballot security" instead, as the GOP no doubt appreciates.

These grafs from Politico, summarizing the RNC's rejected argument for moving to throw away the national consent decree they were forced to sign in the 80's, after getting busted caging minority voters from the voter rolls (illegally suppressing their vote) are rather amusing...

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

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The Pathetic Twitterings of a Wingnut Mad Man...
By Brad Friedman on 11/30/2009 11:47am PT  

[Updated several times at bottom of article...]

Rightwing con man, ACORN conspiracy monger, Drudge protégé, and, naturally, Fox "News" perennial, Andrew Breitbart tweeted in favor of the murder of a climate scientist yesterday...

andrewbreitbart | Capital punishment for Dr James Hansen. Climategate is high treason.
8:22 AM Nov 29th from web

...as part of a Twittered string of his usual lies about global warming, ACORN, and whatever other stuff he feels like making up, as he and his desperately shameless ilk of pretend "conservatives" are wont to do.

But Hansen's murder wasn't the only one Breitbart subsequently called for to his flock of gullibles...

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

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By Frank Schaeffer on 11/29/2009 12:07pm PT  

Guest blogged by Frank Schaeffer

Op-Ed Columnist Thomas Friedman's editorial in today's New York Times , "America vs. The Narrative", sparked this thought:

If the Islamic world has a fantasy "narrative" about America and our intentions, don't we ourselves --- those within the American religious right --- have a similarly misinformed "narrative"?

Here's my thought experiment: Read Friedman's original, posted below for your convenience, then read my Americanized version which follows. All I've done is change a few names and issues and you'll get the point.

We have our own religious/political myths and they are no less dangerous...

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

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They're ready to see her as President, though they're not sure why...
By Brad Friedman on 11/28/2009 9:25am PT  

Sarah Palin's tea baggers are ready to give the Presidency to her, even as they don't seem to have a clue what her policies actually are. Go figure. Kudos to Chase Whiteside and Erick Stoll of New Left Media for telling the story of these folks --- as we strongly encouraged others to do in our own not-dissimilar film, Rise of the Tea Bags --- at a Going Rogue book signing event recently in Columbus, OH, even if they're a bit less "confrontational" than we were...


And, again, if you missed it previously, here's our own Rise of the Tea Bags...

Part 1...
Part 2...

Keep telling the stories, folks!

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By Brad Friedman on 11/20/2009 2:45pm PT  

Remember when the wingnuts were so concerned (and therefore, naturally, the media were as well) about Barack Obama becoming "overexposed"? Why no such concern about that happening to Sarah Palin? I guess they just care about Obama more than her.

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And an effort to remove the 2/3 majority vote required to make fiscal changes to the budget...
By Ernest A. Canning on 11/20/2009 11:27am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

California, a state which, at $1.8 trillion, has the world's eighth largest economy, now finds itself at the edge of an economic abyss.

Despite Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Draconian cuts to health care and education of more than $15 billion, purportedly to close a $26.3 billion gap in the state's finances, despite a pending 32% increase in student tuition at all University of California campuses and three "furlough" days per month in which state employees are forced to stay home without pay, California now faces a 2010 budget deficit estimated to range from $21 billion to $25 billion.

As shocking as it may seem, this looming fiscal catastrophe did not arrive by accident. It is, according to a number of progressive policy experts, the intended product of a Republican-led privatization scheme...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/19/2009 3:35pm PT  

NY-23's failed Conservative Party Congressional candidate, Doug Hoffman, now says he was "forced to concede" (though it's not clear who forced him, and the concession, as BRAD BLOG readers know, has no legal standing in any case, and, as we noted last week, neither do the voters of New York for the most part, at this point).

But now, as it turns out, Hoffman has also discovered that ACORN stole the election! Not a surprise, given that a new public opinion poll finds that a majority of Republicans think ACORN stole the Presidential election, too! [Hat-tip Digby]:

PPP's newest national survey finds that a 52% majority of GOP voters nationally think that ACORN stole the Presidential election for Barack Obama last year, with only 27% granting that he won it legitimately...

But NY-23 and the 2008 Presidential election is not all that ACORN did! You can learn more about their stunning crimes (e.g., "ACORN is behind the Eggo Waffle shortage!!!") via #AcornFacts, the new topic that's taking Twitter by storm today...

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