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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, July 30, 2014
'Green News Report' 7/29/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Obama Admin approves sonic cannons for offshore oil exploration; Bizarre weather across U.S.; CO judge nixes fracking ban; PLUS: Neil Young wants your help in the rainforest...
Previous GNRs: 7/24/14 - 7/22/14 - Archives...
'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
Record wildfires in Pacific NW; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
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...
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...


With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 3/31/2011 1:33pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Obama's 'new' blueprint for energy security --- not so 'new' after all; Offshore drilling --- not actually 'safer' after all; US falls further behind in the global clean energy race; PLUS: The 'Chernobyl Option' for Japan's nuclear reactors at Fukushima, as radiation continues to spike and spread ... All those disasters and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

Link:
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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): US energy efficiency gains eclipsed by new gadgets; Dead dolphins confiscated from Gulf scientists; PA enviro chief to personally approve violation citations; PA's gas drilling commission stacked with industry; Lose the 'smart' meter, but it'll cost ya; Packaged foods raise levels of BPA; Organic farmers sue Monsanto; Aircraft contrails impact climate change; Joshua Tree NP escapes nearby landfill threat; CA approves nation's strongest clean energy standard; Student's Solarball creates drinkable water ... PLUS: At least he's honest: Pawlenty Admits 'Every One Of Us' Running For President Has Flip-Flopped On Climate Change ....

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

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By Lizz Winstead on 3/21/2011 2:08pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Lizz Winstead

[Ed Note: And now for something completely different. As a welcome distraction from the last week plus of covering the Fukushima nuclear crisis around the clock (most recently here and here and here, for example), I was delighted to catch my friend Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show (originally hosted by Craig Kilbourne and now by Jon Stewart) and Minnesota native, distracting her own self yesterday on Twitter by answering 100 questions (more or less) from her "Tweeps". As the questions to and answers from Lizz were alternately amusing, provocative, hilarious and occasionally just inane, I asked her if she'd mind if we ran them in full here at The BRAD BLOG, typos, occasional misnumbering and all, as a guest blog today, just in case you needed the temporary distraction as much as I did. In those hopes, here's at least 99 more things to know about Lizz than you ever thought you wanted to...Oh, and for the Twitter challenged, "RT" means "Re-tweet". So you'll see the user's question re-tweeted (quoted briefly), followed by her answer to it in each tweet. If you need any more explanation than that, you're shit outta luck. I'm busy! - Brad]

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 3/3/2011 1:30pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Eastern Cougar goes extinct; Climate activist Tim DeChristopher goes on trial for fighting to save public lands; "Slash & Burn" Republicans cut the EPA, despite the trillions in dollars it saves; PLUS: Radio. Active. Water. Frack that! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

Link:
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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Navy Secretary says alt. fuels will save money and lives; Chevron employee: routine dumping of toxic chemicals in Ecuador; EPA Extends GHG Reporting Deadline; China's 5 year plans for green growth; Google backs climate-change insurance start-up; China faces up to 'terrible' state of its ecosystems; Underwater kite-turbine may turn tides; Combining solar PV with Thermal; CA salmon to triple this year?; Salazar says 'show me the money'; Conservatives oppose climate adaptation, too; Australia: farms "particularly vulnerable" to climate change; Microgrid electricity onthe rise; Global Public Health Implications of Electricity and Coal Consumption; Schwarzenegger calls for Tunisian-style green revolution; Charles Koch hypocritically blasts "Crony Capitalism" ... PLUS: How Koch Industries makes billions by demanding bailouts and taxpayer subsidies ....

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

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MSNBC's Maddow argues GOP attack on Wisconsin unions about nothing more than winning elections in the entire country...
By Brad Friedman on 2/18/2011 11:33am PT  

Dear TeaBaggers: Wondering what a real 'tea party', really fighting for real rights really being taken away by Big Government looks like? It looks like this...

If you're ready to join such a fight, we're quite certain there are tens of thousands of freedom-loving Americans now rallying in Madison, Wisconsin this week who would welcome you in that fight.

For those just joining this extraordinary story in Madison (which also seems to be spreading to other states, like Ohio, where their new Republican governor is also attempting to legislate away the freedom for citizens to collectively bargain with their employers), MSNBC's Ed Schultz, who was on the ground in WI yesterday, has offered the most comprehensive coverage from the start of the still-growing fight for the rights of teachers, fire-fighters and other public employees to collectively bargain for themselves.

But it was Rachel Maddow who may have put things in the best perspective last night, as she offered a persuasive case as to how the purported claims of new Republican Gov. Scott Walker, and the new Republican majority in the state legislature, weren't really about responding to a "budget crisis" --- one that appears to have been "manufactured" by them, in fact --- but rather, a brazen attempt to break the backs of Democrats, via the unions which often support them, prior to the upcoming 2012 election.

"What's happening in Wisconsin right now is not about a budget. This is about elections. This about the Republican Party going after the institutions that make it possible for Democrats to win elections in America," said Maddow in her report last night (video posted below).

What's happening in Wisconsin right now is about Republicans versus Democrats. It's about elections. We saw the same thing with ACORN. Remember the Rightwing jihad against ACORN? What did ACORN do to earn that?," she asked before answering her own question. "Well, ACORN for years registered huge numbers of minority voters and poor voters. Minority voters and poor voters overwhelmingly vote Democratic when they vote.

"There were not any real problems with the way ACORN registered people. This whole 'ACORN voter fraud epidemic' was essentially made up out of whole cloth. The only problem with ACORN and its voter registration program is that they were really good at it! And that helped Democrats," she argued.

"ACORN was not a Democratic organization, but ACORN's work was very politically beneficial to the Democratic Party and so therefore the Right decided that ACORN had to be destroyed."

Unions, she then went on to argue, who are similarly not Democratic organizations, but whose well organized, often well funded work tends to help Democrats in elections and --- especially, since Citizens United --- now remain largely the only thing between Republicans with their enormous corporate benefactors and the chances for Democrats to win elections anywhere.

"The only institutions of any size, with any heft at all on the liberal side, are the unions. So, of course, they too, must be destroyed."

"If you break the public-sector unions in Wisconsin, then you can break them anywhere. And if you break them everywhere, then it is 'Bake sales versus Billionaires' for not only this next election, but for every election here on out. Republicans run the table. Bake sales on one side, billionaires on the other. That's it."

Maddow's seminal report on "The Survival of the Democratic Party", follows below...

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

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Surprise announcement comes at end of Friday broadcast on same week as Comcast take-over of NBC receives DoJ approval
Progressive news host was half-way through 8-year, $30 million contract...
By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2011 9:35pm PT  

No real clues what this is about, but Keith Olbermann announced, at the end of tonight's show, that it would be the last edition of Countdown with Keith Olbermann, MSNBC's top-rated program.

MSNBC, the nation's #2 rated cable news channel in primetime (behind Fox "News" and ahead of CNN), quickly released this terse announcement after the show:

MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors.

The announcement comes at the end of the same week that the FCC & Dept. of Justice approved Comcast's takeover of NBC. Writing at Daily Beast, media critic Howard Kurtz reports, however, that "A knowledgeable official said the move had nothing to do with Comcast taking control of NBC next week, although the cable giant was informed when it received final federal approval for the purchase that Olbermann would be leaving the cable channel. This official described the dramatic divorce-Olbermann was about halfway through a four-year, $30 million contract-as mutual."

New York Times' Bill Carter similarly reports that "NBC executives said the move had nothing to do with the impending takeover of NBC Universal by Comcast."

However, TMZ reports tonight, that Olbermann "was fired" according to "MSNBC sources" and that "it had everything to do with Comcast's acquisition of NBC." Their sources said that "Comcast honchos did not like Keith's defiance and the way he played in the sandbox," whatever that means.

[Update: Comcast issues statement denying they had anything to do with any of this. More details in full UPDATE now posted at bottom of story after the video.]

At the beginning of his announcement, posted below, Olbermann suggests that he had been "told that this is going to be the last edition of your show." Few other clues are offered for the sudden departure in his closing statement.

Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall, who had been a guest at the top of tonight's show, says that he was "stunned" and "didn't sense anything different in Keith's manner or affect" during tonight's broadcast or inside the studio itself.

"There were a few more people than I'm used to seeing in the studio --- maybe two or three, seated, who seemed to be there to watch. (Something I don't remember seeing before)," he writes in an item tonight titled "What the hell was that about?" but says he saw "nothing that made me think twice that anything odd was going on."

The Times' Carter says that Lawrence O'Donnell, host of MSNBC's recently-added 10pm show The Last Word would take over the 8pm slot, Rachel Maddow would continue at 9pm, and progressive radio talker and host of MSNBC's 3pm The Ed Show, Ed Schultz, would take over O'Donnell's 10pm slot to fill out the new prime-time line-up.

Olbermann's announcement and final sign-off follows below...


* * *

UPDATE: Mediate reports that office politics had more to do with the departure than anything, and Comcast issues a statement to say they had nothing to do with it. See below...

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

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Also: WikiLeaks cables reveal Obama Admin worked with GOP to protect Bush Admin from torture charges in Spain
Tea Bagger Concerns: 'Corrupt' ACORN!...
By Brad Friedman on 12/3/2010 1:22pm PT  

Just thought we should flag this one while Dick Cheney is still around (and while Obama is still in office).

According to Business Week, the former CEO of Halliburton will soon be wanted for arrest on bribery charges by Nigeria, with whom the U.S. has a long-standing extradition treaty. As well, they may also be asking Interpol, whom the U.S. is supposed to be cooperating with, to help in seeking Cheney's arrest. All of this at a time when Rightwingers (and some non-Rightwingers) are calling on Interpol to arrest WikiLeaks' Julian Assange for...something or other.

All of which may put the U.S. in "a very awkward position", according to Georgetown University's Constitutional Law professor Jonathan Turley, who discussed that --- and the Obama Administration's collusion with Republicans to protect the Bush Administration from torture charges in Spain, as we've now learned from recently released WikiLeaks cables --- on MSNBC last night...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2010 12:09pm PT  

Yesterday we posted Rachel Maddow's round-up of "top-of-ticket" races that were still un-"called" on Wednesday after Election Night. Last night, she did us the continuing favor of updating that list with a follow-up detailing a number of those up-in-the-air races that have since been "decided" as based on media calls, candidate concessions, and/or the completion of unofficial tallies by the computers which do that sort of thing...


Reminder: Neither projections of "winners" by the media or concessions by "losers" have any legal standing on the final outcome of an election. Only officially canvassed and certified election results from elections officials do. In all of the races declared as "over" to date, none of them have actually been certified by officials yet, and in virtually every one of them, ballots (where they exist, as they don't when it comes to Direct Recording Electronic, usually touch-screen, voting machines) have been tallied only by oft-failed, easily-manipulated computer tabulators, with few, if any, such ballots actually being examined by any human beings to assure the computer tabulators have been accurate.

Also, there are still many un-"called" and/or contested races across the nation which are not "top-of-ticket", but which still matter a great deal to both the candidates and voters affected by them.

* * *
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, 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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All results in all races still 'unofficial'...
By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2010 2:21pm PT  

Rachel Maddow did us the favor, last night, of rounding up the bulk of the "top-of-ticket" races from Tuesday which were still un-"called" as of last night...


There are still many more races undecided and going through calls for recounts, etc., around the country. Many of them are not "top-of-ticket" contests, so you may not yet have heard about many of them. I've been fielding calls and emails from representatives of many such campaigns over the last 24 hours or so while looking into various charges of irregularities, etc.

Also remember that in just about every race where you've heard a "winner" announced at this hour, those results are still un-official and un-canvassed for accuracy with virtually all of the ballots (where ballots actually exist) uncounted by nothing other than a computer tabulator. There has been virtually no human confirmation of accuracy of those (failure-prone and easily-manipulated) computer-reported results as of today.

Also remember that neither a media declaration of a "winner" nor a candidate's concession has any actual legal meaning on the official results of any race. Clearly, there are a number of races where counting, canvassing, and contesting will be continuing for quite a while.

* * *
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, 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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[UPDATE: Full episode now available free online for a limited time!]
By Brad Friedman on 10/25/2010 9:15am PT  

In the summer of 2007 they ran one of the most extraordinary and explosive exposés on the topic we've ever seen. It included absolutely mind-blowing details on ES&S iVotronic touch-screens voting machines (the same ones currently failing in North Carolina and in Texas and being used in about 15 other states this year) and featuring an astonishing segment with seven on-camera employee/whistleblowers from Sequoia Voting Systems charging they were ordered by higher-ups to rig the chads to fail, only in Florida, on the paper ballots their company made for the 2000 election. You can (and should!) watch that remarkable report --- picked up by absolutely nobody in the MSM, incredibly enough --- right here.

This Tuesday, it looks like HDNet's Dan Rather Reports is set to roll another story on hackable e-voting systems. Here's the :30 second teaser for their latest...

The premiere showing will be Tuesday, Oct. 26th @ 8pm and is described this way on HDNet's Dan Rather Report's website:

Das Vote - As Americans prepare to vote-many of them by electronic machines-millions of Europeans are going back to paper and pencil. Germany is just one of three European countries to buy electronic voting machines, only to throw them out after hackers demonstrate their vulnerabilities. Also, one American's fight against voting machines in his state.

With all the endless hours (upon hours, upon hours) the network and cable news mainstreamers like Chris Matthews have found to devote to the horse-race and politicking of these elections, you'd think they might be able to find more than just 19 seconds to cover the issue that can be, and so often has been, the deciding factor in so many recent elections. If you'd think that, you'd be wrong. 19 seconds is all Rather got on this weekend's Chris Matthews Show to discuss the topic. [Hat-tip Heather at Crooks & Liars]...


* * *

UPDATE 10/27/10: The HDNet folks have responded to pleas to make the episode available for all (even those of us who don't have it on their cable system!). The entire episode is now available here through next Wednesday only! Get it while it's full, free and hot!

Otherwise, it's also available here via iTunes for $1.99 according to Mr. Rather who was nice enough to let me know on the Twitters.

For folks with shorter attention spans, or those who need a little more encouragement, Rather blogs about the episode here, and here's a 2.5 minute video clip featuring the great Frank Heindel, patriot Election Integrity advocate of South Carolina, who is (as he notes in comments below), the one alluded to when the description above says "one American's fight against voting machines in his state."

* * *
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, 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 9/26/2010 3:05pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman

As horrible as things seem right now --- with sociopathic loons on one side of the aisle, cowardly failures on the other, a mainstream corporate media completely out of touch with virtually everything that matters, an economy in which everyone but the rich are gasping for air --- there is one very bright spot on which we can all take great comfort.

Rights win.

It rarely happens immediately, and almost never without a far-too-long struggle, but rights for we, the people, almost always eventually win in this nation --- usually against all odds, avarice, greed and ignorance --- but our Constitution is brilliant enough that rights eventually win out.

If you have any doubt, look no further than the latest news (video posted below) heralding the last dying gasps of institutionalized homophobia in our laws and in our military.

The good news is: the haters have lost. The question which played such an enormous --- if entirely trumped up --- role in our Presidential elections just 6 years ago has been all but finally settled.

Well before the end of this decade (and likely far sooner than that, perhaps even before the end of Obama's first term in office), marriage equality for gays and lesbians will be recognized in every state in the union, and homosexuals will be as welcome in our nation's military as African-Americans.

It's over. The good guys have won. In these quiet victories of rights over wrongs, we can all take some quiet comfort, even in these maddening, ugly days...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 8/25/2010 12:38pm PT  

We were on the road all day long yesterday, after getting the morning's Green News Report. We finally got off the road and back on the grid as the sun was setting here in the Midwest, and as "results" began coming in from some of the five different states (Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma and Vermont) holding primary elections last night.

It seemed a good moment to ask a question on Twitter about what we'd missed so far. In the bargain, we received some interesting Twitter replies from NBC's Chief White House Correspondent and election results guy Chuck Todd, in regard to counting ballots and the fact that he (and others) were busy reporting "results" to the world, even as not one single ballot had yet to be counted by any human being in all of the United States by that point.

Here's how some of that conversation on Twitter went...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 8/18/2010 6:10pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman

Tonight, it's been announced, the last U.S. "combat brigade" has left Iraq, some 7 years, 4 months and 29 days after they were sent there for specious and deadly reasons by the Administration of George W. Bush.

Coincidentally, it is just over 5 years to the day since 14 Marines from a base in the Cleveland, Ohio, suburb of Brook Park were killed by a roadside a bomb in Iraq. The incident, the deadliest bombing there at the time, when "just" 1,820 U.S. troops had died to date, led Bush to tell "the people of Brook Park" that he "hope[d] they also take comfort in the understanding that the sacrifice was made in a noble cause."

That statement brought one very courageous woman --- Cindy Sheehan, whose son had also been killed in Iraq --- down to Crawford, Texas, where Bush had been vacationing at his ranch, in hopes of asking him in person "what noble cause" her son, and those from Cleveland, and from so many other cities and towns around the U.S., had died for.

Sheehan faced down an extraordinary gathering of seething hatred on the blistering hot Central Texas prairie for several weeks in response, in hopes of getting an answer from her son's Commander-in-Chief to that simple question. (And yes, it was nothing short of seething hatred, which we saw first-hand as we covered the extraordinary moment on the ground for this blog and during more than 50 hours of live radio broadcasts, smack dab in the center of it all.) She was joined, in support, by dozens of other family members of the fallen, scores of U.S. Armed Service veterans and thousands of regular, patriotic U.S. citizens on that cow pasture near Bush's home.

5 years later, nearly to the day, after that extraordinary summer and extraordinary display of American courage, the last U.S. "combat troops," we're told, have left Iraq, leaving "just" 50,000 behind, theoretically for logistical and training purposes.

4,415 U.S. troops, including U.S. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, never came home from Iraq. At least not alive. Tens of thousands more have had their lives forever shattered due to permanent physical and emotional injury. Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis were also slaughtered and maimed in the bargain.

And tonight, after all of that time, we're still left wondering: What was that "noble cause"?

* * *

UPDATE 8/19/10: NYU's Nir Rosen tweets wryly: "american combat troops pull out of iraq. the remaining fifty thousand are armed only with sticks, fly swatters, pepper spray and nunchucks"

And we later followed with: "Last one out of Iraq, turn out the lights (as soon as they get electricity back)."

Video from MSNBC's exclusive coverage of the last U.S. "combat brigade" leaving Iraq and entering into Kuwaiit follows below...

--- 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 8/10/2010 5:29pm PT  

[As noted, I'm on the road this month, so blogging has been catch as catch can for me while on the roll. Have had terrible net access from the road of late. So apologies for the lateness of this one --- and others I've been trying, but failing, to log over last day or three, but haven't been able to. But better posting this here late, rather than never. For the record.]

The host of Late Night with David Letterman, during his interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow last week, used uncharacteristically harsh language to describe the discredited Rightwing hitman, race-baiter and pathological liar Andrew Breitbart. Yes, he called him an asshole...


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By Brad Friedman on 7/13/2010 5:02pm PT  

Yesterday The BRAD BLOG covered the invasion of privacy lawsuit filed by former San Diego ACORN worker Juan Carlos Vera against Rightwing activists and dirty tricksters James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles after they'd video-taped him secretly, in violation of California law.

Last night, Rachel Maddow on MSNBC covered it, rather amusingly (and accurately), this way...


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