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Ann Who?
The long-overdue irrelevance of Ann Coulter. The former GOP Superstar (and voter fraud queen) just doesn't matter anymore...
Kochs' Chris Christie; Wingnut Marriage Meltdown; 'Most Important Climate Ruling':
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Guest: Michael B. Gerrard of Columbia's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law...
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MARRIAGE EQUALITY FOR ALL
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  w/ Brad & Desi
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Vexillology! Why Flags Matter:
'BradCast' 6/24/15
Annie Platoff, flag expert from North American Vexillological Association explains it all for you! (Even flags on the moon!); Plus: Callers, Trump surge & more!...
TRUMP-MENTUM!
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Race, Guns, Flags, Terrorism and the Right's Quickly Changing Politics of Denial: 'BradCast' 6/22/15
Historic GOP flip-flops and Fox's 'pathological denial' w/ Eric Boehlert of Media Matters...
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RW Domestic Terror in SC & Beyond; Big Govt GOP in TX; 'BradCast' 6/19/15
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Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox, Repub CEO of Evangelical Environmental Network; PLUS: Latest on SC church massacre; Limbaugh's lie about the Pope...
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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
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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
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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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CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
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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
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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 Ernest A. Canning on 8/15/2012 7:35am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

No doubt during this election cycle, like every election cycle over the past forty years, we'll hear from the GOP about "tax and spend" Democrats.

Even though it doesn't detail how every Republican since Reagan has combined massive, unpaid-for tax cuts for the wealthy with runaway, unpaid-for military spending --- creating a great excuse to destroy the New Deal safety net, in order to slash their runaway deficit-spending --- this chart is, nonetheless rather revealing...

None of that, of course, has kept the bulk of the "Lamestream Media" from repeating the myth of Republicans as "fiscal conservatives," a concept this site has spent many years attempting to debunk. Last night, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow did exactly the same thing when it came to the claim that Mitt Romney's newly chosen Veep pick, Paul Ryan, is a "fiscal conservative."

To borrow from CNN's Soledad O'Brien yesterday, "I understand that this is a Republican talking point because I've heard it repeated over and over again" --- in this case by the Beltway Media --- but "you can't just repeat it and make it true."

Maddow dispatches with the "Ryan as 'fiscal conservative'" nonsense in the unforgiving video below, in which she notes:

If we really are going to be stuck with Paul Ryan as the face of Republicanism for a long time, and if the term "fiscal conservative" is supposed to mean anything, we should get clear there may be a lot of great stuff to say about this guy, but "fiscally conservative" is not one of the things you really can say about him. ... If that counts as fiscal conservative for you, you don't speak English


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By D.R. Tucker on 7/27/2012 6:35am PT  

Guest editorial by D.R. Tucker

If you want to see pure madness in action, ask a Republican friend about Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, the creator of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, who will face US Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) in one of the most high-profile races of the year.

Chances are, your Fox "News"-watching friend will turn beet-red within a half-second, swearing and sputtering about her supposed socialism and attacking her as the mascot of the Occupy movement. There's just something about Warren that sends the right into 'roid rage. Is it something she said --- or just something she represents?...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 6/24/2012 11:31am PT  

On the heels of her smashing debut a few weeks ago guest hosting on the The Young Turks, our own Desi Doyen, co-host and Managing Editor of The BRAD BLOG's Green News Report is back with The Turks, this time on their hit panel discussion show The Point.

Most of the topics on this episode are a bit less political, and a bit more cultural, than usual (perhaps because the scheduled Republican guest failed to show?), and include everything from jobs and the economy (with a cameo by Jerry Springer) to lying on online dating profiles and the perils of Reality TV. All in all, at least as enlightening as anything you'll get by watching David Gregory on a Sunday...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 6/14/2012 11:12am PT  

Guest Editorial by Ernest A. Canning

Newly introduced legislation would permit Wall Street wolves to drive off America's financial shepherds.

It is perhaps useful to think of the Wall Street executives who swindled their own investor/clients and nearly devoured the world's economy as predators.

One response to their predations has been exemplified by the Occupy Wall Street "move the money" campaign in which billions of dollars have been transferred from the "too big to fail" Wall Street banks to local banks and credit unions. Another response has come from former Wall Street broker/dealers, who, repulsed by a fraudulent system that created and sold toxic assets to unwitting investors even as their firms bet against the assets, opted instead to become independent Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) who will only accept fees from their own investor/clients to whom they owe a fiduciary duty to disclose all potential conflicts of interest.

Introduced by Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), the Chairman of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee and the number one fundraiser from commercial banks, finance/credit companies, and mortgage bankers and brokers during the 2011-2012 election cycle, the so-called "Investment Advisor Oversight Act" of 2012 (H.R. 4624) claims that it is meant "to amend the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to provide for the registration and oversight of national investment adviser associations."

In reality, however, the bill represents nothing less than an effort by the Wall Street wolves to drive off these financial shepherds so that they may feast on a field of unprotected sheep (the consumers of financial products)...

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

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Come November, CA voters may be forced to choose between two Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/30/2012 1:19pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Recently, The BRAD BLOG criticized the undemocratic features of the new "Top Two" open primary system (aka the "Cajun Primary") in California. The new system, approved via a ballot initiative in 2010, changes the state's primary to system to allow a single, open primary in which the two candidates who receive the highest numbers of votes, go on to face each other in the November general election even if the combined totals of the 'Top Two' do not amount to a majority of votes cast in the primary.

In our critique, we cited the race for the newly created CA-26 Congressional seat where, despite a Democratic Party voter registration advantage, come November, voters may be forced to choose between a 'Tea Party' Republican and a stealth Republican who changed her party registration to independent just days prior to the candidate filing deadline because the two are matched against four Democrats on the June 5 "Top Two" primary ballot.

Our analysis drew criticism in comments from some right-leaning readers claiming our critique was simply a case of sour grapes by a progressive author. But, the state's upcoming U.S. Senate race reveals that the undemocratic potential of the 'Cajun Primary' cuts both ways; that there is a distinct possibility that all Californians, come November, will be forced to choose between the incumbent corporate Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein, and the Occupy Wall Street-connected, computer scientist David Levitt (see video below), who is also a Democrat...

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

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CA-26 House race exemplifies anti-democratic potential of 2010's voter-approved 'Top Two' open primary system...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/23/2012 1:31pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

When the new Congressional map was first produced by the non-partisan California Citizens Redistricting Commission, CA's GOP leadership expressed concern that it might lose up to five of its nineteen Congressional seats in the bargain.

Although its legal challenge to redistricting was rejected by the CA Supreme Court (a majority of whom were appointed by Republican Governors), the June 5, 2012 "Top Two" open primary (aka "Cajun Primary") contests, approved by a 2010 ballot initiative, may allow for GOP pickups, even in areas where Republican voters represent the minority.

One example is in the newly created CA-26 Congressional District, which reveals a potential formula by which the GOP can overcome adverse party registration numbers --- in that case, 40% (D), 36% (R), 19% (I) --- in order to seize a Congressional seat.

Because four Democrats are competing in the CA-26 primary, long suffering progressives, including this writer, who had previously been forced to cast a protest vote in the now defunct, heavily gerrymandered CA-24 District of the outgoing, extreme right-wing Republican Elton Gallegly, may awake on June 6 to the reality that, come next November, they will be forced to choose between a 'Tea Party' Republican and a County Supervisor who "changed her voter registration...from Republican to 'no party preference' in preparation for her bid for Congress"...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/21/2012 2:20pm PT  

Well, imagine that...

And, my goodness, imagine this, too...

Imagine all that. President Obama isn't the "out-of-control tax-and-spend liberal" his opponents claim lie about him being. Not by a long shot.

Now it's not that we're arguing any of the above is necessarily worth bragging about one way or another. But they are certainly facts which run counter to the lies being told by the GOP and its propaganda machines in hopes of unseating Obama.

As we've noted here many times, there is much to complain about when it comes to the President. Trouble is, his Republican detractors haven't mentioned, and aren't campaigning on, virtually any of them, choosing instead to simply make stuff up to fool a gullible, well-propagandized nation rather than run on any real difference in ideologies.

Lame.

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Robert Reich explains 'The Magic of Private Equity'...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/15/2012 9:19pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

We covered the subject of wealth acquisition by the likes of Charles Koch and Mitt Romney in "Wealth vs. Democracy and the 2012 Presidential Campaign" --- "outsourcing, manipulations of the financial markets, of government and our laws" --- not as character flaws but as variants of the behaviors one can anticipate from their class.

As we approach the Fall campaign, we can anticipate a propaganda blitz that is based on variations of a line from the song "If I Were a Rich Man" of Fiddler on the Roof --- "When you're rich, they think you really know."

No doubt we will hear, time and again, that Mitt "Gordon Gekko" Romney's wealth acquisition is a testament to his business savvy that will equate to jobs creation. Against that backdrop is this short video (below) in which Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, provides a succinct rebuttal to the jobs scam canard...

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By Brad Friedman on 4/30/2012 3:00pm PT  

From the formerly Republican, now independent Presidential Candidate Gov. Buddy Roemer who, satirically, describes these two items on Twitter today, as "justice in a #Corporatocracy"...

For the record, though we hadn't seen it previously, the above juxtaposition of these two stories first made the Internet rounds last year when some described it all as a hoax. Suzy Marinkovich of the Cornell Journal of Law & Public Policy dug in to find out if that was the case, but reported back, that nope, the above stories are indeed both very real.

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Is the evil, that many cite as indicative of the 'failure' of the 'War on Drugs,' actually a perverse indices of its success?
By Ernest A. Canning on 4/20/2012 8:05am PT  

Guest Editorial Series by Ernest A. Canning

Even a glimpse at the statistics leads knowledgeable sources, like Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, to describe the 'War on Drugs' as a "failed prohibitionist policy."

"Over the last 40 years, more than 45 million drug-related arrests have cost an estimated $1 trillion," Amy Goodman reported on Democracy Now! "Yet drugs are cheaper, purer and more available today than ever."

And that's just in the U.S.

According to the United Nations' 2011 World Drug Report [PDF], "in 2009, between 149 and 272 million people...aged 15-64 used illicit substances at least once in the previous year." The UN estimated that Cannabis was "consumed by between 125 and 203 million people worldwide in 2009," adding:

Drug traffickers and organized criminals are forming transnational networks, sourcing drugs on one continent, trafficking them across another, and marketing them in a third. In some countries and regions, the value of the illicit drug trade far exceeds the size of the legitimate economy.

But Nadelmann's description of the 'War on Drugs' as a "failed prohibitionist policy" is derived from the supposition that the 'War on Drugs', at least here in the U.S., was actually formulated with a desire to suppress or eliminate drug abuse.

In PART 1 of this series, we examined the question of whether the U.S. Government's effort to challenge legalization of marijuana in California and elsewhere was akin to shutting down the competition, given the CIA's long-documented history of profiting from the world-wide drug trade. In PART 2 we posited that an end to the 'War on Drugs' could deliver a devastating blow to the bottom line of American corporations who have come to depend upon the Prison Industrial Complex in the U.S. and its huge pool of slave laborers --- most, non-violent drug offenders.

So now, we must examine the hypothesis that, if accurate, should rock us all to our core.

What if the horrific consequences of the worldwide drug trade, which, per the UN 2011 World Drug Report, includes an annual death toll of 200,000, are precisely what President Nixon and the covert branches of U.S. Empire had in mind when formulating a policy that would enhance the domination of the 1% over the 99%? Are we now living in a form of Aldus Huxley's Brave New World in which "Failure is Success" can be added to the three slogans from George Orwell's 1984 --- "War is Peace," "Freedom is Slavery" and "Ignorance is Strength" --- a world in which a vote against legalization is actually a vote in favor of illicit distribution by organized crime and their allies in the CIA?...

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

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Would legalization reduce CIA access to covert funding?...
By Ernest A. Canning on 4/16/2012 6:05am PT  

Guest Editorial Series by Ernest A. Canning

How does one explain it?

The Eric Holder Department of Justice (DOJ) is faced with massive banking and Wall Street fraud that nearly brought the world's economic system to its knees, yet no bankers are prosecuted. It is confronted by environmental crimes that have poisoned our air, water and even the food we eat, yet, for the most part, those crimes go unpunished. It has its hands full fending off voter suppression laws concocted by a billionaire-funded, subversive organization, which is also responsible for deadly "stand your ground" laws and an assault on the right of citizens to engage in collective bargaining.

Yet, the DOJ and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) make it a priority to target California medical marijuana dispensaries and to raid Oaksterdam University, a school founded by Richard Lee, a legalization activist who offers training in the cultivation and use of medical marijuana. It does so even though, in 1996, CA voters, by a wide margin, passed an initiative that "allows patients with a valid doctor's recommendation...to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal medical use." The raids were also made against the backdrop of polls showing that a majority of Americans support legalization of marijuana.

In this three-part series, we will advance the hypothesis that this seemingly irrational obsession with busting medicinal marijuana dispensaries and fending off legalization of even the most innocuous of drugs, Cannabis, can only be understood in the context of U.S. Empire and the economics of the Prison Industrial Complex.

In this first part of the series, we examine both historical and recent links between the CIA and the illicit drug trade. We touch upon the extent to which the so-called 'War on Drugs' has been used as cover for the CIA's covert import of narcotics, both into the U.S. and other nations, in order to fund the mischief the Agency engages in on behalf of U.S. Empire. That operation, evidence strongly suggests, continues to this day.

At the core of that hypothesis is the question as to whether an end to the phony 'War on Drugs' and its replacement by controlled legalization, taxation and medical, educational and psychological assistance in avoiding substance abuse would cut off a key, illicit source of covert CIA funding...

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

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Uh, well, not really...
By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2012 6:42pm PT  

You've heard the Republican meme of the moment. Mitt Romney, the GOP front-runner and presumptive Presidential nominee recently told supporters that the price of gas has "doubled under this president."

Newt Gingrich released an ad last month charging: "Since Barack Obama’s inauguration, gas prices have doubled."

Their reliable allies at the fossil-fuel industry-funded astroturf trade group American Energy Alliance have a similar ad, declaring: "Since Obama became president, gas prices have nearly doubled." And, of course, reliable wingnut stooges like Katie Pavlich at the rightwing "news" site Townhall are all too happy to help spread the propaganda on all of their behalves with articles like the one she filed yesterday headlined "Gas Prices Officially Doubled Under Obama."

Of course, it's not actually all that true. Surprised? More accurately, it's an outright lie, since the folks who are pushing it know damned well how intentionally misleading it is. Worse, we've yet to see anyone in the corporate media bothering to correct it.

FACTS: According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the average price for a regular gallon of gas today across the U.S. is $3.92.

The week that Obama took office in January of 2009, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration it was $1.83/gallon. But that was just after the price of oil had come crashing down on the global market thanks to the crash of the global economy which led to the Great Recession --- all under the leadership of George W. Bush.

Just months before President Obama took office, and before the crash, in July of 2008, during the Administration of failed former oil man George W. Bush, gas prices had hit their all-time record average high in the U.S. at $4.11/gallon.

Here's what the average price of gas actually looks like in the U.S. from April of 2004 through today, according to GasBuddy.com's data and our own clarity placed over the top [click to enlarge]...

So, yes, strictly speaking the price of a gallon of gas has roughly doubled since Obama took office. That, of course, is barely even half of the story, as you can see above...

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

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UPDATE: CA Assembly asks U.S. Congress to pass a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United...
By Ernest A. Canning on 3/22/2012 10:17am PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

Citizens United rejected a congressional legislative ban on corporate campaign contributions. It says nothing about the ability to tax such contributions...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/20/2012 1:35pm PT  

Huh. Imagine that...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 1/29/2012 3:40pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

The title of historian Kevin Phillips' otherwise excellent work, Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich, is somewhat misleading. With the exception of constitutional monarchies, which preclude royalty from all but figurehead status, democracy and the concentration of great wealth cannot co-exist in the same society.

If citizens can see past the corporate media-erected contest of personalities so as to examine how it reflects the undemocratic structure of our society, the 2012 Presidential election can provide us with a teachable moment of great value. This is true whether we examine the flood of SuperPAC monies, courtesy of the now infamous Citizens United decision, the striking similarities in their methodology of wealth acquisition depicted both in the 1987 movie Wall Street through its fictional Gordon Gekko and in real life by Bain Capital and Mitt Romney, the ridiculously low 13.9% federal taxes on Romney's $21.7 million income in 2010, his extensive Goldman Sachs holdings and as much as $32 million maintained in off-shore accounts, or the fact that only one, essentially marginalized Presidential candidate in either of the two major political parties --- Ron Paul --- is willing to discuss an end to perpetual war and our global military presence.

Here, Mitt "Gordon Gekko" Romney provides the principle focus, not because of personality, or "envy", but because his candidacy affords an opportunity to explore the inconsistency between wealth and democracy...

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

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