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CA Repubs Block State-Paid Automatic 'Recount' Bill
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 10/27/2011 5:59pm PT  

As there are still a number of brain-dead and/or entirely corrupt and/or entirely dishonest phonies who, even now, pretend they're unclear on what Occupy Wall Street's message is, Dahlia Lithwick smartly dispatches with their hooey today. Those folks aren't really worth our time.

But the fact is, the wholesale takeover of the American government by corporate "persons" --- and the (at least) 30 years of corruption and crapping on the middle class that has come with it --- has some 99% of us with a long, 30 year-list of complaints. They don't easily fit on one single bumper sticker. Ultimately, though, there seems just one thing that underscores all of those complaints: the end of any real accountability for every one of those corrupting influences and often criminal acts.

It has become almost unimaginable that flagrant lawlessness by the elite --- be they in government or corporatist America --- will ever be met with any sort of real accountability, any kind of accountability that might actually dissuade others from the same behavior in a way that might serve to reverse the ever increasing race to lower the bar below ground. That, I suspect, is the frustration at the heart of every Occupation and ever Occupier or those who support them in the country.

Two back-to-back interviews on Tuesday night's Rachel Maddow Show seemed to make these points as plain as could be, and one even offered some hope in the bargain. The first was with NY state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman who actually suggests he gets it, and is actually pursuing real accountability, with real investigations into criminality by the banks and the banksters before, during and after the explosion of the mortgage crisis. We'll see if he means it (or if he gets "caught" with a hooker first.) The second interview was with Constitutional attorney, Salon blogger and author of the new book, With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful, Glenn Greenwald.

Key points on accountability from both interviews are excerpted below, and the full videos of each are embed below that. Both are worth reading and/or watching in full if you haven't. It's about the accountability, stupid...

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

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Iraq vet shot in head, 'brain swelling,' in 'critical condition'
Are they HOPING for an #OccupyDNC2012? If so, it's working...
By Brad Friedman on 10/26/2011 12:11pm PT  

Once again, late last night, as is becoming a too-regular nightly ritual, after the 11p news was over, police moved in again to violate the Constitutional First Amendment right "of the people peaceably to assemble." And, for the second night in a row, late last night in Oakland, CA, it resembled a war zone as police in riot gear unleashed a punishing onslaught of "non-lethal" flash-bang grenades, rubber (and or bean-bag) bullets and tear gas --- hour after hour, round after round --- injuring demonstrators, including women, the disabled, and even Iraq War veterans...

Unlike the police in Albany a few nights ago, where they defied orders from NY's Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo to arrest demonstrators, and more like Chicago, where the police followed the advice of Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel to break down the demonstrations over the weekend and haul more than 175 in, the Oakland Police Department, with the approval of Democratic Mayor Jean Quan, unleashed a punishing assault on those gathered "to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The results were horrific, according to video, photos, and eye-witness reports as it all happened and was reported on Twitter, including this scene appearing to show a member of Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War knocked out by either a concussive grenade or a tear gas canister or another projectile, and being carried away...

[Update]: The veteran seen above was shot in the head and the UK Guardian is now confirming his name is Scott Olsen and that he is in "critical condition" with a "skull fracture and swelling of the brain" at Highland hospital.

"It's terrible to go over to Iraq twice and come back injured, and then get injured by the police that are supposed to be protecting us," his roommate, Keith Shannon, also 24, who served alongside Olsen as a Marine in Iraq, told the Guardian in a late follow-up today.

Other scenes were similarly gruesome and, yes, shameful...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 10/22/2011 5:31pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

That'll teach 'em to mess with the Military-Industrial Complex.

As the Washington Post reported earlier this month, Maryland's "Montgomery County Council resolution asking Congress to spend less on wars and redirect the funds to social programs has drawn the scrutiny of one of the county’s largest employers and other lawmakers."

Despite the non-binding resolution's [PDF] 5 to 4 majority support on the Council, it was withdrawn from consideration after "Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin," a giant manufacturer of sophisticated military weapons, "which employs more than 5,000 workers in Montgomery, urged county officials against the resolution."

The Lockheed lobbyists were joined in their efforts to derail the County Council's resolution --- supported by Democratic members of the council --- by Democratic state and county officials concerned about implications of insulting the weapons contractor giant, while officials in neighboring Virginia "gleefully watch[ed] from afar" as the two states are in frequent competition for billions of Pentagon dollars and the jobs that portend to go with them.

But Pentagon dollars are among the least efficient ways to increase jobs and wealth in any given community, as explained by John Feffer, a co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies and Jean Athey, a coordinator of Montgomery County Peace Action, a supporter of the now-withdrawn Montgomery resolution:

Spend a billion dollars on the military, economists Robert Pollin and Hedi Garrett-Peltier estimate, and you get about 11,000 jobs (just a little more than what Lockheed Martin employs in all of Maryland). Spend that same billion dollars on clean energy projects and you generate about 17,000 jobs. The same money invested in education produces nearly 30,000 jobs.

Nonetheless, Lockheed and other longtime members of the Military-Industrial Complex continue to work with public officials in exploiting the "jobs scam" in order to pit state against state, county against county and town against town to bilk tax-payers out of billions under the cynical rubrik of "job creation."

And when that doesn't work, there are other, darker methods that can be used to send the "right" message to those members of the public who might have the temerity to oppose their corporate interests...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/20/2011 10:06am PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2011 1:16pm PT  

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Updated with new solar employment stats & 'Revenge of the Electric Car' trailer...
By Ernest A. Canning on 10/16/2011 7:09pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

As is reflected at right in a 1912 photo taken in Cincinnati, OH, Electric Vehicle (EV) technology has been with us for a very long time.

Underscored in the 2006 documentary, Who Killed the Electric Car? (see video trailer below), the principle obstacles to the development of practical and affordable Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs, as opposed to PHEVs, or Plug-in Electric Vehicles) have been political and economic, as opposed to technological.

As today is National Plug-in Hybrid Day, a look at the current state of our nation's struggle to realize the massive benefits of truly green automotive technology seems in order --- particularly as the job-creating industry continues to face uphill battles from both fossil fuel-funded obstructionist Republicans in Congress and aggressive attempts by China and other nations to "win" the fight for renewable energy technology at any cost...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/15/2011 12:55pm PT  

I'm still largely off the grid for another day or so (as I have been for the last 24 hours+), but delighted to check in to see so much great conversation on D.C. Douglas' #OccupyWallStreet video we posted in the previous item. Also delighted to check in to see that the worldwide #OWS movement is today's top story across all the major corporate media outlets!

Incredibly, I'm here in Las Vegas (for a conference) and find huge signs advertising CNN's next GOP debate here on Tuesday being held at The Venetian. The embarrassing perfection and irony of the next Presidential debate being held at a CASINO is something I don't have time enough or perhaps even skills enough, to adequately elucidate upon at the moment.

All as some 20 #OccupyWallStreet protesters were reported arrested just minutes ago attempting to close their accounts at Citibank near Washington Sq. Park in Manhattan! More irony there than you can shake a GOP debate in a casino at.

In the meantime, cursorily related --- on both the irony scale and several others --- I was interviewed by Bob Jimenez on LA Business Today, about two weeks ago on our local LA Cityview 35 channel as the uprising was just begin to force its way onto the national corporate mediascape.

The segment, seen below, aired earlier this week. We discussed blogging, journalism, capitalism, the "occupation," e-voting and more in the very quick 12-minute segment...


Get Microsoft Silverlight

Back soon! Viva La Occupation!

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By Brad Friedman on 10/13/2011 2:05pm PT  

An awesome video from D.C. Douglas. Could well become an anthem for the movement...

The video is brilliant. Please crank up your speakers and watch it. You won't be sorry. But just to highlight the four items Douglas, no enemy of capitalism, calls for changing --- each of which would make very worthy demands for Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement, should they decide to create specific ones...

  • Reinstate Glass-Steagall: Restore the firewall, created during the depression to avoid a similar mess in the future, then abolished in 1999, which kept banks out of the business of risky investment and speculation schemes.
  • Audit The Fed: Force transparency for the trillions of tax-payer dollars given away in corporate bailouts and/or manipulated by the currently unaccountable public/private "national bank".
  • Reverse Citizens United via Constitutional Amendment: End the absurdity of corporate "personhood" and unlimited (and secret) corporate money in politics, as established by the U.S. Supreme Court last year.
  • Overhaul the Tax Code for Corporations & Top 1%: They often pay less of their income than you do. Sucker. That is simply obsene.
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By Ernest A. Canning on 10/12/2011 7:05am PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

While both phenomena --- Occupy Wall Street and the "Tea Party" --- have emerged at a time of acute economic distress and a sense of alienation, disenchantment and betrayal brought on by an increasingly authoritarian corporate capitalism, they are as different as night is to day.

Occupy Wall Street is a genuine, organic, knowledge-driven democratic uprising. Its source, as perceptively described by Ben Manski, Executive Director of the Liberty Tree Foundation, is to be found in a profound "contradiction." "The promise of the Unites States is democracy," he writes, yet "The reality is that corporate elites rule."

The American "promise" is embodied in the lofty, egalitarian principles of the Declaration of Independence, in the recognition provided by the U.S. Constitution that the purpose of government is to "promote the general welfare," and in the concept inscribed above the portico of the U.S. Supreme Court --- "EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW." The "reality," as noted by former New York Times reporter, Chris Hedges, is that political power in the U.S. has been seized by a "criminal class" of rapacious oligarchs, whose radical goal is not merely the ability to carry out their criminal pillage of the economy and the environment with impunity, but the decimation of "all impediments to the creation of a neo-feudalistic corporate state."

The goal of Occupy Wall Street, Manski observes, is "to make the promise the new reality." It is, in that sense, a broader movement than both the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s, for it is not limited to a rejection of Jim Crow and imperial conquest, but a total rejection of the authoritarian corporate security state that the rapacious oligarchs have erected.

Like the occupiers, the indoctrinated followers of the "Tea Party" are experiencing a profound sense of fear, alienation and betrayal. But what the latter do not realize is that theirs is a misdirected anger --- the product of an Orwellian manipulation by the same reactionary billionaires (aka "economic royalists" per FDR) who, in reality, are the source of their economic insecurity and political oppression.

But, before exploring the Orwellian manipulations of billionaire sociopaths, let's examine the underlying political and economic conditions that have given rise to Occupy Wall Street...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/11/2011 7:05am PT  

Of course, unscientific online polls don't mean much of anything, right? Still, this one is both interesting and/or amusing, given where it is and what the question was.

Our guess is that these results won't be getting much air time on Fox "News"...

[The above results are as of 10/11/11, 11:39am PT.]

UPDATE 10/16/11: Oh, look! After all the attention the above poll received outside of Fox "News", a huge number of alleged votes have now flipped the results back in favor of "No. They have no idea how jobs are created or how a free-enterprise system works." Go figure.

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TONIGHT: Greg Palast on 'Uber Vultures'; Ernest Canning on The Uprising; & more Occupation as our week occupying the airwaves for Malloy concludes...
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 10/7/2011 4:31pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with awesome audio archives at the bottom! Enjoy!]

It's our last night for a while occupying the public airwaves as guest-host of the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show.

Once again we'll be BradCasting LIVE 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), coast-to-coast and around the uprising globe from the studios of L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG, as usual, while we are on the air. Please stop by and join the fun while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)

Scheduled tonight:

  • GREG PALAST, BBC investigative reporter and NYTimes best-selling author on his upcoming new book Vultures' Picnic: a Tale of Oil, Sex, Radiation and Investigative Reporting and the "Über-Vulture" billionaires who hope to pick our next President.
  • ERNEST A. CANNING, attorney and legal analyst for The BRAD BLOG on his thoughts on "Occupy Wall Street" and how it ain't no "Tea Party"...
  • PLUS! More calls from "Occupation Nation" (Hour 3 is once again wide open for calls from "Occupiers"!) and anything else that we didn't get to this week, or that you'd like to talk about at 877-520-1150 and with your tweets to @TheBradBlog!...

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates across the country and also on SiriusXM Ch. 127. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or at WhiteRose Society or via MikeMalloy.com.

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: Thanks all for a great week of occupation and a great closing night show! It was a huge show, with an unexpected guest (the Republican Director of Venango County, PA's Board of Elections, see below for more) and a tremendous closing hour of Occupation Nation Calls! See below for the must-listen commercial-free audio archives (and the chat room archives as well.) Thanks again to Mike and Kathy for letting us occupy their airwaves! Until next time...

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

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PLUS: Citizen journalist coverage of Occupy LA...
By Ernest A. Canning on 10/7/2011 3:59pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Los Angeles is no New York City. Following a torrential down pour on Wednesday, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sent a hundred rain ponchos over to those who had been encamped outside of L.A. City Hall since last weekend, as the core of the Occupy Los Angeles movement.

Later that same day, the Los Angeles City Council filed an extraordinary Resolution [PDF] in support of the L.A. "occupiers" and of the larger "Occupy Wall Street" movement as a whole.

The resolution, to be adopted "with the concurrence of the Mayor" (and supported by the L.A. County Federation of Labor), comes very close to a formal governmental endorsement of "Occupy Wall Street," a movement which Michael Moore describes plainly enough as "an uprising of people who have had it."

Amongst the powerful WHEREAS statements in support of the L.A. City Council Resolution, adopted "with the concurrence of the Mayor," was a recognition that "corporations hold undue influence and power;" that wealth disparity in the U.S. is greater than many of the nations in the Middle East that have been racked by "violent revolutionary protests;" that "our economic system" is "broken," creating an "economic crisis" that is "eroding the very social contract upon which the Constitution of the United States of America was founded"...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/7/2011 3:41pm PT  

Via #OccupyAustin..

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TONIGHT: Malloy checks in from OccupyDC, Joshua Holland on OccupySF, Nanci Tobi on Hand-Counted Paper Ballots(!) & more!
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 10/6/2011 4:16pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with audio archives below!]

The occupation of your public airwaves continues tonight as I guest-host the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show one again (and again tomorrow) while Mike is in D.C. rallying with the October2011.org / OccupyWashingtonDC.org demonstrations kicking off today.

Once again we'll be BradCasting LIVE 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), coast-to-coast and around the uprising globe from the studios of L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG, as usual, while we are on the air. Please stop by and join the fun while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)

Scheduled tonight (so far):

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates across the country and also on SiriusXM Ch. 127. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or at WhiteRose Society or via MikeMalloy.com.

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: The uprising continues. And it's all heard in audio archives below, with the commercials removed for your uprising pleasure! (The chat room archives are there too.) Enjoy!...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/6/2011 2:23pm PT  

On my KPFK/Pacifica Radio show yesterday, I spoke with Lisa Clapier, media rep from OccupyLosAngeles.org on the growing protests outside of the LA city hall, and the remarkable cooperation --- including an extrarodinary resolution of support(!) [PDF] --- they've so far received from members of the L.A. City Council.

[Update: More now on the L.A. City Council's remarkable resolution from Ernest Canning here.]

Download MP3 or listen online below [appx 28 mins]...

More on Occupation Nation tonight, as I continue to guest host the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show. Tune in tonight at 6p PT / 9p ET. We'll have live listening links and an occupied chat room right here at The BRAD BLOG! (Audio archives of last night's show are here.)

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