Sue, Bill, sue! Enough is enough! Go get 'em!...
w/ Brad & Desi
w/ Brad & Desi
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...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
Sue, Bill, sue! Enough is enough! Go get 'em!...
Guest blogged by Frank Schaeffer
Following my recent appearance on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, where I was talking about my new book Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism) and where I warned her viewers that that the religious right is now “trawling for assassins” with the use of inflammatory items like T-Shirts calling for President Obama’s death, I got a lot of email. What is interesting to note is just how unimaginative and downright stupid the hate mail from the right is.
Speaking of “trawling” (this time for reactions to President Obama) I’d unwittingly conducted a little experiment without meaning to: a basic intelligence test of the right and left...
The wingnuttery continues to devolve. Last night, Rachel Maddow covered, among other recently related points, the new Rightwing "Pray for Obama" movement supporting, and selling merchandise in support of, Psalms 109:8 which begins this way: "Let his days be few; and let another take his office," and continues with "Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow."
Frank Schaeffer, repentant former rightwing fundamentalist evangelical, and now a contributor here at The BRAD BLOG, was on her show last night to discuss that point, and where it seems to signal that things may be frighteningly headed.
He also raised another point, in condemnation of critics on the Left, with which I'll offer a slight quibble. The video of the full Maddow interview follows, along with a crucial excerpt from the text transcript, and my thoughts on where I disagree with one of Frank's now-repeated assertions...
I always love the commenters on columns I do at the Guardian. My favorite exchange there so far this morning begins with commenter "Zounds" objecting to my points with: "Active discourse also requires a wider range of intellectual influences than all the American news channels offer."
To which "jcpenny", apparently an American, replied: "I've never seen British Tellie to provide the variety the American Tellie does. Perhaps our forebarers had a reason for leaving?"
To which "Zounds" replied hilariously in turn: "I believe the lack of variety on British TV was indeed the primary reason the Pilgrim Fathers gave."
:-) Add your own two cents and read the full column here...
Please see below for Jeremy Scahill at The Nation who, last week, covered the outrageous hypocrisy of federal legislation targeting ACORN (who committed no crimes), while the top 100 government contractors, who made "nearly $300 billion from federal contracts in 2007 alone" paid some "$26 billion in fines to settle cases stemming from fraud, waste or abuse".
By way of contrast with the federally favored criminal corporations, Scahill notes, "Over the past fifteen years, ACORN has received just $53 million in federal funds, much of it for low-income housing." Despite that, "In mid-September all but seventy-five House Democrats and seven senators voted with their Republican colleagues to bar the group from receiving federal funds."
The corporate welfare queens, of course, face no punitive legislative by Congress and are allowed to carry out their waste, fraud, abuse and often extraordinarily criminal behavior while on the tax-payer dole and nobody --- Republican or Democrat --- bats an eye.
Following the Scahill quotage on these points below, you'll find a must-see video clip of Florida's tenacious Rep. Alan Grayson, handing it to his Republican colleagues in a committee hearing this week, for their attempt to pass an "unconstitutional bill of attainder" meant solely to punish the GOP's favorite stalking-horse, ACORN. (See Rachel Maddow's expert coverage on the unconstitutionality of such bills, as posted late last month, for more details.)
Grayson's flat-out, apologetically cold-hearted unwillingness to yield the floor to the disingenuous wingnut cabal, and his shaming of them for pushing such an outrageously unconstitutional bill, is something to behold. Would that he were the model for what all Democrats sounded and acted like on behalf of the people. [Hat-tip to BRAD BLOG reader David Lasagna for the heads-up on that video. Now go watch it below!]
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow continued her series last night, on the "purely political smear campaign" which ACORN has faced since registering nearly 2 million legal voters over the last decade. In the third installment of her continuing series, she focused on the ACORN smears over non-existent "voter fraud," which were at the heart of the U.S. Attorney scandal.
Before being joined by former Republican U.S. Attorney from New Mexico David Iglesias --- fired by the Bush White House because he refused to bring fraudulent voter fraud cases against Democrats, as we covered in exclusive detail in March of 2007 --- Maddow notes accurately: "No accusation has ever been substantiated that anyone ever registered by ACORN ever voted fraudulently."
She added astutely: "The Bush White House viewed voter fraud as the mother of all wedge issues. It's paying its dividends today, and remarkably, Democrats are playing right along with it."...
Maddow's excellent previous reports in this series are here:
Thursday: The truth about the extraordinary GOP lies and media failure concerning ACORN.
Friday: The hypocrisy (and unconstitutionality) of defunding ACORN while groups like Halliburton and Blackwater, which committed actual crimes, like murder and real fraud, still receive more federal funding in a day than ACORN has in its lifetime.
This is all much like watching a broadcast news version replay of the last 5 years here at The BRAD BLOG. And we're lovin' it. Thank you again, Rachel! Please keep it up! As "Annie" said in It's a Wonderful Life: "'Bout time one of you lunkheads said it!"
Following on Rachel Maddow's tremendous coverage last Thursday of the GOP's years-long witch-hunt of ACORN, and the media's abysmal job at telling the truth about the lies used to smear the community organization, the MSNBC journalist calls it an "outrage" and kept her promise of following up with another episode on Friday. The video is below.
We welcome her coverage of so much of what we have been reporting, sometimes almost completely alone, for years, and as further detailed now by a new academic study titled "Manipulating the Public Agenda: Why ACORN Was in the News, and What the News Got Wrong."
Maddow continued her long-overdue exposé, by examining the "Defund ACORN Act of 2009," which recently passed both houses of Congress by large margins, after sting videos showing low-level ACORN employees behaving stupidly (but breaking no laws) were created and posted by rightwing operatives. As she notes, the Congressional bill appears to be both unconstitutional, and incredibly hypocritical, given that other, still-federally funded organizations --- such as Halliburton, Blackwater, and many, many more --- often receive far more federal funding in a single day than ACORN has received during the organization's entire lifetime.
Furthermore, those other organizations, which still receive billions from the U.S. government, were actually found to have committed actual crimes, such as millions of dollars worth of fraud, have been charged with murder and the deaths of U.S. troops, and even involve child prostitution and sex slavery!
It's odd that Fox "News," Glenn Beck, Andrew Breitbart, Matt Drudge, Sean Hannity, et al. (including the bulk of the non-wingnut media!) have yet to point these matters out, isn't it? So thanks to Maddow, again, for doing so, along with credit to both Joe Conason, who pointed out some of this hypocrisy recently at Salon and, yes, ourselves, who similarly opined at the UK's Guardian.
Be sure to see her must-watch Thursday report back here. Her Friday report follows below, along with our repeated "thank you" to Rachel, and offer to help on any number of still-unreported points in the continuing GOP witch-hunt that both the media and Democrats have embarrassingly fallen for, and about which we have been reporting for years...
UPDATE 9/29/09: The third report in Maddow's must-see series is now posted here...
I was delighted (an understatement) to see Rachel Maddow on Thursday night jump into coverage of ACORN --- finally --- by highlighting so much of what we've been reporting here, sometimes completely alone, for years!
She details the facts about the GOP's long-waged phony war against the right's "most reliable trumped-up boogeyman" (using language akin to that in my recent article in the UK's Guardian on the recent rightwing hit job on ACORN and the Democrats' pathetic capitulation to it). Maddow goes on to note the corporate mainstream media's gullibility in "reporting" the wingnuts' out-and-out lies about the group while failing, miserably, for years, to note the truth.
The truth, of course, is that ACORN is responsible for registering millions of legal low and middle-income citizens (read: Democratic-leaning, as the GOP sees them) to vote. The truth is that when they find potentially fraudulent voter registration forms submitted by a handful of their 13,000 employees, it is they who alert authorities about the fraud, and turn both the forms (as required by law), and the workers who defrauded them in to officials so they can be investigated. The truth is that there is not a single recorded instance of voter fraud committed by any illegally registered voters via ACORN. Not one.
"The more that I look into the misleading nature of the charges against ACORN," Maddow notes, "not just from people from whom I expect misleading charges, but from reporters and people in the mainstream media who ought to know better, the angrier I get. ... And I think we're going to cover the lies about ACORN over a number of shows in the upcoming days." THANK YOU RACHEL!!!
Her report follows on a new study, "Manipulating the Public Agenda: Why ACORN Was in the News, and What the News Got Wrong," just out from Occidental College and the University of Northern Iowa, detailing, as she describes it, "the embarrassing extent to which the media has gotten the ACORN story really really wrong." (I've yet to read the report, but am looking forward to it!)
I can't recommend this video enough. And, as Maddow promises to continue her coverage on this story, let's hope she'll take a serious look at snake-oil salesman Thor Hearne, his direct connections to Karl Rove and the Bush White House, and the unconscionable astroturf group, American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), which The BRAD BLOG outed years ago and has been covering ever since. ACVR, of course, was the phony tax-exempt "non-partisan" organization set up after the 2004 election to lead the disinformation campaign against ACORN and disenfranchise legal voters by issuing propaganda meant to fool Americans into instituting unconstitutional photo ID requirements at the polling place, despite the fact that some 20-30 million legal U.S. voters --- largely Democratic-leaning voters --- are likely to be disenfranchised in the process!
Yes, Rachel, "this story gets [us] mad" too! Has for years! Please give me a shout if I can help. Got some swell stuff I've never reported on this that I'd be happy to share with you! Would be delighted to!
CORRECTION: Thanks to alert reader "TM," we had originally noted that ACVR was formed after the 2000 election. We should have said after the 2004 election, when Hearne first appeared to give testimony to then-Rep. Bob Ney's House Administrative committee, as the only supposed "voting rights" group called to testify in the only Congressional hearing convened following the election, to supposedly discuss its many problems. Hearne represented himself only as a "long-time voting rights advocate" at the hearing, failing to note to the committee, or for the record, that he had been the national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. The "non-partisan" ACVR was formed by Hearne and former RNC communications director Jim Dyke, who would later go on to work in Dick Cheney's office, and now represents various Republican candidates. Other than that, they were completely non-partisan. Oh, and they never disclosed whom they received nearly $1 million dollars from when they initially started up. See BradBlog.com/ACVR for much more in our years-long coverage of these anti-democracy bamboozlers.
UPDATE 9/28/09: The second report in Maddow's must-see series is now posted here...
Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning
Last week, in his address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama correctly noted:
We are the only advanced democracy on Earth...that allows such hardships for millions of its people….In just a two year period, one in every three Americans goes without health care coverage at some point. And every day, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage...
But the problem that plagues the health care system is not just a problem of the uninsured. Those who do have insurance have never had less security and stability than they do today…More and more Americans pay their premiums, only to discover that their insurance company has dropped their coverage when they get sick, or won’t pay the full cost of care. It happens every day.
That was the easy part. Anyone who has paid attention understands that the core problem lies in the profit motives of the private insurance and pharmaceutical industries.
Thus, the President's diagnosis of the U.S. health care system was accurate, but did he prescribe "change we can believe in?"...
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
Former U.S. Attorney and Rhode Island Attorney General Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) recently wrote in National Law Journal:
The only exceptional thing is the parties involved: the former vice president of the United States, his counsel David Addington, Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) lawyer John Yoo and their private contractors Bruce Jessen and Jim Mitchell, psychologists who designed the torture program.
During a Sept. 2, 2009 segment of MSNBC's Countdown, Keith Olbermann interviewed Whitehouse about his National Law Journal piece (video below) and quoted former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who praised Attorney General Eric Holder's appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate CIA employees who exceeded the guidelines contained in the infamous Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) torture memos.
Olbermann's interview included a Fox "News" segment in which Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) was cut-off by a Fox anchor while making the following crucial point...
Guest Editorial by Ernest A. Canning
Appearances by single-payer advocates on corporate mainstream media are few and far between --- all the more reason that when a golden opportunity arises, single-payer advocates must take care to appropriately frame the base-line issue of health care reform.
While there can be no doubt that a single-payer system, which President Obama concedes, provides the only means by which every American can be "covered," is the most cost-effective, the issue is really more basic.
It's about the immorality of treating the health of our people as a commodity; that those who seek to perpetuate a system designed to create obscene wealth for a few insurance company CEOs and their Wall Street investors are advocating nothing less than a death sentence for more than 18,000 Americans each year...
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
On Aug. 20, 2009 The New York Times published a front-page article:
[Emphasis added]The Central Intelligence Agency in 2004 hired outside contractors from the private security contractor Blackwater USA as part of a secret program to locate and assassinate top operatives of Al Qaeda, according to current and former government officials.
The New York Times article provided limited background information on Blackwater aka Xe, referencing what amounted to a massacre of 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians gunned down by Blackwater mercenaries in Nisoor Square as simply an instance in which Blackwater had been "accused of using excessive force."
In "Blackwater = Murder, Inc." I covered the explosive allegations made in sworn statements by two former Blackwater employees --- murder, weapons smuggling, corruption, and the use of child prostitutes. I argued:
Now, that same corporate press learned from "official sources" that Blackwater is linked to former Vice President Richard B Cheney's "assassination wing." It repeats, without challenge, the official source contention that the only ones targeted by the "assassination wing" were senior al Qaeda officials --- this despite Jeremy Scahill's and Keith Olbermann's revelation that John Doe 2, reportedly a former member of Blackwater's management, alleged:
These articles reveal as much about the sorry state of mainstream media journalism as they do about Blackwater...
Guest Editorial by Ernest A. Canning
A number of comments, some posted here at The BRAD BLOG, others in media accounts, suggest that President Obama's willingness to abandon the "public option" was either a caving-in to "formidable opposition" or, as Howard Fineman speculated on MSNBC's Countdown, merely the case of the President's use of the "public option" as a "bargaining chip" which he played "way too early." T.J. Caswell described it as "throwing in the towel."
Other assessments have been less charitable. In a powerful video, journalist John Pilger argues that President Obama is nothing more than "a marketing creation"; that the American electorate was duped into believing the junior senator from Illinois was on the side of common men and women. Pilger portrays the President as a sort of Manchurian candidate for Wall Street, the corporate security state and Empire.
While perhaps not quite as harsh as Pilger's, Ralph Nader's assessment is just as devastating:
You can see this emerging over the last few months. President Obama has met with the heads of the drug companies and the health insurance companies. Some executives have met with President Obama four to five times in the White House in the last few months. He has never met with the longtime leaders of the “Full Medicare for Everybody” movement...
Not much of a dialogue over health care when those representing a reform --- single-payer --- favored by 60% of the American electorate can't even get an audience with the President...
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
In the final analysis, the ideological differences between Republicans and the corporate/controlling sector of the Democratic party are relatively narrow and insignificant as compared to the bi-partisan link to corporate wealth and power --- a link both share with the corporate-owned, mainstream media.
In 2008 it was the insanity that was the Bush/Cheney flirtation with fascism. Today, it's imaginary "death panels" and the undereducated, easily manipulated wing-nut mobs sent to shut down one of the oldest forms of American democracy --- the town hall meeting.
These provide the perfect cover. They permit the more gifted corporate Democrats, for example Barack Obama, to seduce the great masses of working stiffs who make up the American electorate with soaring, but ultimately deceptive, rhetoric; producing brief euphoria on the eve of the last election, followed by no real substantive change.
As the corporate media misdirects focus on brown shirt-like disruptions at the town halls, the real "death panels" --- the corporate profiteers and their bought-and-paid-for politicians --- hammered out a pseudo-reform package that will perpetuate a corrupt, dysfunctional and deadly health care system which kills more than 18,000 Americans each year simply because they can't afford coverage and countless more when carriers refuse to authorize vital, life-saving procedures...
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
The Nation magazine headline was sensational: Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder. The article, written by Jeremy Scahill, an investigative journalist and author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, exploded on screen during a must see Aug. 4, 2009 segment of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann (video posted below). It was summarized by Amy Goodman on Aug. 5 when Scahill appeared on Democracy Now!:
The two men claim Blackwater’s owner, Erik Prince,* may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. One also alleges that Prince, quote, “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Prince’s companies, “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.”
The significance was underscored in Scahill's Aug. 4 remarks on MSNBC's Countdown:
While the allegations are extremely disturbing, they are apparently not disturbing enough to warrant coverage in almost all of the nation's leading newspapers. That, even though, as reported in Scahill's book, amongst the first to arrive in the aftermath of Katrina --- before the U.S. government and most aid organizations --- were a contingent of 150 Blackwater mercenaries, "some with M-4 automatic weapons, capable of firing nine hundred rounds per minute"....
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