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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, June 30, 2015
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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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By Brad Friedman on 10/6/2011 11:00am PT  

Douglas Rushkoff's CNN article from where the above was found --- in which he slams his colleague, CNN's Erin Burnett as "condescending and reductionist" --- is well worth the read as well.

We will continue to #OccupyYOURPublicAirwaves and cover the uprising on tonight's nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show, which I'm guest hosting through Friday night as Mike emcees at the kick off for today's OccupyWashingtonDC.org.

(Last night's very lively show is now archived, commercial-free, right here, in case you missed any of it!)

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TONIGHT: Malloy checks in from D.C. protests, Jesse LaGreca from 'Occupy Wall Street', Dr. Roger Johnston from Argonne National Labs & much more!
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 10/5/2011 2:42pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with tonight's audio archives below!]

The revolution may not be televised...but it will be radio-active as we #OccupyYOURPublicAirwaves!

I'll be guest-hosting the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show tonight, tomorrow and Friday as Mike heads to D.C. to emcee the kick off of the October2011.org demonstration and we'll be

As ever, 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 begins. A helluva show tonight. You can check it all out below in the commercial-free audio archives (along with the chat room archives). Enjoy!...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/26/2011 3:27pm PT  

Just a friendly reminder. As originally posted on Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)'s flickr stream last May...

So who are the "big spenders" again?

[Hat-tip David Roberts.]

* * *

UPDATE The original graphic we used above had been posted by Pelosi's office on 5/3/11, even though they had updated the graphic on 5/19/11. We had linked to the updated one, but had posted the older one here (which illustrates the same idea, though George W. Bush's increase to the debt was seen as 115% versus 86% in the update, and Barack Obama was responsible for increasing the debt by 16% versus 35% in the updated version, which is now posted above.) Thanks to longtime BRAD BLOG commenter Soul Rebel for catching the mistake!

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By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2011 12:19pm PT  

First, hearty congratulations are in order to the Koch brothers who, according to Forbes, are now worth $25 billion each!

That's up from the pathetic $17 billion each were worth back in 2009. So it looks like this economic downturn...this "Obama recession"...despite all of those "job killing tax increases" (there were none, he's cut taxes repeatedly)...and "job killing regulations" (there were very very few new regulations)...seems to be working out great for the two "job creating" co-owners of Koch Industries, the oil and chemical conglomerate the brothers were fortunate enough to inherit from their father.

The combined personal wealth of the two brothers has increased a total of $16 billion dollars over the last three years under the current President --- no matter what they like to suggest to the contrary when they're speaking in places they think nobody is listening to them.

Seems like the Kochs should be thanking Barack Obama, rather than declaring "the mother of all wars" on him.

But, as Rachel Maddow discussed last week (video posted below), for some odd reason, all that increased personal wealth for the "job creators" at Koch Industries, the country's second largest private company, doesn't seem to have translated into the actual creation of, ya know, jobs for some odd reason...

Weird. Even though their personal wealth has increased by some 40% during the worst economy in nearly a century, even though they now personally are worth more than the GDP of some 48 different countries, they keep killing jobs by firing thousands of Americans.

It's almost as if that whole "job creator" thing --- the notion that people who already have a whole lot of money will simply create more jobs, out of the kindness of their wallets, if only they have still more money --- is a crock of shit that only the dumbest, most brainwashed, misinformed, incurious jackasses could possibly fall for...or something.

* * *"

Rachel Maddow's thoughts on the "job killing" Koch brothers follow below. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)'s thoughts on throwing the Koch brothers in jail, are right here...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2011 12:53pm PT  

Short of the serious concerns about election integrity in her race that Ernie Canning highlighted over the weekend, if Massachusetts' Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren continues to be as effective as she is in this video over the next year, she blows her opponent, Republican Sen. Scott Brown (the favored candidate of Wall Street, receiving more money from hedge funds and venture capital firms than any other Senator), out of the water next November...

Other Dems running in 2012 would be wise to watch, and learn, from what Warren --- a political novice and, so far, original --- is doing here.

As WaPo's Greg Sargent (who pointed us towards this video) notes:

Republicans are planning to paint Warren as a liberal Harvard elitist — they’re already referring to her as “Professor Warren” — because they believe that she will have trouble winning over the kind of blue collar whites from places like South Boston that helped power Scott Brown’s upset victory.

But as this video shows, Warren is very good at making the case for progressive economics in simple, down-to-earth terms. Despite her professorial background, she sounds like she’s telling a story. She came across as unapologetic and authorative [sic], without a hint of the sort of defensiveness you hear so often from other Democrats when they talk about issues involving taxation and economic fairness. This is exactly what national Dems like about Warren.

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By Ernest A. Canning on 9/18/2011 11:11am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"One of the great questions of our time is whether the American people, through Congress, will control the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, or whether Wall Street will continue to wreak havoc on our economy and the lives of working families."
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) 9/16/11

Sanders' question is indeed one of the "great" ones for our time. But, as Yoda said, "there is another."

If there was ever a candidate perfectly suited to expose the lie that is to be found in the pseudo-populism of the mega-billionaire Koch brothers funded and controlled 'Tea Party' that helped Scott Brown (R-MA) secure a reported upset win in the 2010 special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the death of the late Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D-MA), it would be Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat.

The brilliant, straight-talking Harvard Law Professor and special adviser appointed by President Barack Obama to oversee the development of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), whose interview with Michael Moore for Capitalism: A Love Story (see video below) established her to be the same thorn in the side of Wall Street's financial "products" that Ralph Nader was to GM when he exposed the Corvair in Unsafe at Any Speed, announced last week that she is a 2012 candidate for the U.S. Senate seat now occupied by a GOP Senator who has turned to Wall Street, in a big way, for financial support.

There is little question but that Warren's brilliance, eloquence, and sincerity will come into play during the ensuing campaign. But while Warren plants her flag in the fight for oversight, transparency, and accountability for our financial system, will she (and other candidates) come to understand the importance of oversight, transparency, and accountability for our electoral system before it's too late? Before yet another election --- like the one which brought Brown to the Senate in the first place --- is decided under a cloud of unverified results reported by easily-hacked, oft-failed, optical-scan voting systems such as those made by Diebold and programmed by a company with a criminal background in the great commonwealth of Massachusetts?...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 9/3/2011 4:31pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

While Brad Friedman recently exposed Matthew Vadum to be but the latest in a long line of fraudulent right-wing propagandists who flat-out lie about "voter fraud" as part of the billionaire-funded assault on the right of the those who would be inclined to vote against the GOP, no one could have done more to demolish Vadum's credibility than Matthew Vadum.

"Why are left-wing activist groups so keen on registering the poor to vote?," asks Vadum in the latest of his series of wingnut welfare op-eds/commercials for his laughable new anti-ACORN book:

Because they know the poor can be counted on to vote themselves more benefits by electing redistributionist politicians. Welfare recipients are particularly open to demagoguery and bribery.

Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals
...
Encouraging those who burden society to participate in elections isn't about helping the poor. It's about helping the poor to help themselves to others' money.

In claiming that the poor are but a "burden" on society and that registering the poor to vote is "like handing out burglary tools to criminals," who seek "to help themselves to others money," Vadum not only advanced long-discredited hard-right ideological beliefs but revealed the abhorrence that the billionaire class and its paid-for propagandists have for democracy, itself...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 8/25/2011 10:13pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Noting that someone earning $106,000 a year contributes the same amount as a billionaire, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced his intention to introduce the "Keeping Social Security Promises Act."

The legislation, modeled after a promise President Obama made during his 2008 campaign, would attach the Social Security payroll tax to all incomes over $250,000.

Sanders cited the Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration, who said that the move would "ensure that Social Security can pay out all benefits for at least the next 75 years."

Receiving a standing ovation from some 3,000 labor leaders at last week's Las Vegas United Steelworkers Convention (see video below), Sanders blasted both Republicans and those Democrats who've called for cuts to Social Security. He noted that as Social Security is funded by the payroll tax and not the U.S. Treasury, it "has not contributed one nickle to the deficit."

"In fact," said Sanders, "according to...the Congressional Budget Office, Social Security has a $2.6 trillion surplus."

"When [Social Security] was developed, 50% of seniors lived in poverty," explained Sanders. "Today…that number is 10%. Social Security has done exactly what it was designed to do….For 75 years…Social Security has paid out every nickel owed to every eligible American."

The Senator went on to tell the union workers in Vegas that he'd "be damned if they're going to cut Social Security."

Video of Sen. Sanders' speech at the United Steelworkers convention follows...

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

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