Huh. Imagine that...
w/ Brad & Desi
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
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...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Drill-Baby-Drill and Frack-Baby-Frack: Obama talks energy in his State of the Union address --- featuring actual clean energy! --- while climate denier Republicans double down on dirty energy; PLUS: Speaking the forbidden words --- out loud! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Conoco profits jump 66%; 5 energy issues to watch for in tonight’s GOP debate in FL; WH pressured scientists to underestimate BP spill; State Dept: Don’t mess with us on Keystone; CO2 is “driving fish crazy”; NHTSA: 'Chevy Volt is safe'; Judge blocks health studies from mine permit; NASA animation charts modern global warming ... PLUS: Raiding the bread basket: use and abuse of the Mississippi River basin ... and much, MUCH more! ...
It was a picture perfect day for a parade in Pasadena today. The sun was shining, the temperature was warm, and the crowds were in great spirits in time for early 8am start of the 123rd annual Tournament of Roses Parade.
The parade would be covered on not one, but two local TV stations. NBC 4 would carry the live network feed hosted by Al Roker and Shaun Robinson, while the local KTLA 5 station (owned by the rightwing Tribune Media) would feature Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards in their 30th year of parade coverage.
Today's parade was "crafted to help you dream about things you can imagine," Eubanks helpfully opened with to his TV audience. The parade's theme float, "'Just Imagine' sponsored by Wells Fargo" kicked things off, followed by a flyover of a U.S. Air Force B2 Stealth Bomber and then the U.S. Marine Corp color guard on horses followed by their marching band and a jaunty rendition of the Marines' Hymn.
The corporate banks and military industrial complex received premiere TV coverage right off the bat, prominently featured at the top of both corporate network and local television broadcasts.
The thousands of marchers --- LA Weekly pegged it at some 5,000 --- from the Occupy Wall Street movement, who had been granted a permit to march, and who had come from all over, on their own dime, to participate in the parade? Not so much. Not at all, actually...
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
The Dec. 26 Los Angeles Times article, written by Jim Puzzanghera and published as supposed front-page "news," typifies the type of corporate media hatchet job that has been the hallmark of corporate media deception and the source of what Prof. Noam Chomsky referred to in Failed States as the "democracy deficit" --- the significant gap between the substantive policy positions of the U.S. electorate and their elected "leaders."
Where Chomsky attributes the "democracy deficit" to the manner in which U.S. "elections are skillfully managed to avoid issues and marginalize the underlying population, freeing the elected leadership to serve the substantial people," the Puzzanghera/Times article, which seeks to marginalize Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and to obfuscate the clarity of message emerging from a candidate like Elizabeth Warren, provides a perfect example of how the corporate media aspire to manage public perceptions in their day-to-day "news" reporting as a means to preserve oligarchic control of our decaying political and economic systems.
In his Times piece, Puzzanghera manages to marginalize an entire popular uprising by misleadingly quoting from selected poll numbers, relying on the one-side-says-one-thing, but-the-other-side-says-another stenography posing as journalism, and by quoting from "experts" without bothering to offer their biased background. The Times article amounts to yet another example of how a dissembling corporate media passes off pro-corporate propaganda as "news"...
Attorney General Martha Coakley said on Thursday the lawsuit was filed in state court in Boston against Bank of America Corp, JPMorgan Chase & Co Inc, Citigroup Inc, Wells Fargo & Co and Ally Financial.
Coakley's office said the lawsuit was filed after more than a year of negotiations with the banks involving all 50 states.
By the way, while I realize that corporations are "people," I wonder how many actual people, after committing massive felonies, are allowed "more than a year" to "negotiate" with law enforcement over whether they will be indicted for those felony crimes or not.
UPDATE: A few more details now from Boston Globe...
The suit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, also names the private company Mortgage Electronic Registration System Inc. and its parent, MERSCORP Inc., as defendants, according to the attorney general’s office.
“The AG’s lawsuit seeks accountability for the banks’ unlawful and deceptive conduct in the foreclosure process, including unlawful foreclosures, false documentation and robo-signing, MERS, and deceptive practices related to loan modifications,’’ the news release from Coakley’s office said.
And while we're waiting for more info on the above, let's not forget the woman who was arrested by New York City police for daring to close her Citibank account, as seen on video tape. The NYPD is not being sued by the AG (although they should). She did not receive a year to negotiate with the plain-clothed cops who physically picked her up and dragged her back into the Citibank branch just moments after she had the temerity to close her own personal account at the bank. Rather, it's been left to the woman herself to file a lawsuit against the cops and NYC that were both doing the bidding of Citibank on the tax-payers' dime, as Ernest Canning detailed yesterday.
I can't imagine what those Occupy Wall Street folks are calling for. Gosh and golly, just what are their demands?! It's all so confusing.
Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning
The photo at right may well provide a pivotal moment in a new American revolution. It exposes a crack in the façade of the corporate security state that could grow to the point that rule by and for the 1% may some time soon internally collapse.
The real story lies not in the fact that retired Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis was arrested by the NYPD during an Occupy Wall Street confrontation. (Video of arrest posted below). It's the potential that Lewis' recognition of immense betrayal will spread throughout the rank and file of the security apparatus even as the clueless and increasingly desperate power elites seek to effectuate a coordinated crackdown on Occupy Wall Street encampments...
Our own Jeannie Dean --- longtime reader, supporter and commenter at The BRAD BLOG, years-long Election Integrity champion, and now OccupyLA rep --- brings the gospel of the Occupation to RT (formerly Russia Today)...
Says Jeannie to the whole wide world via RT: "We have already changed the narrative from deficit spending to jobs and to the economic disparities and the social injustice as we are seeing through our banking system, and the hijacking and corruption inherent in our banking and political system."
Way to sing it, JD! You do us proud! Great job! And keep making noise!
Had a very enjoyable and very lively debate yesterday with the Rightwing co-host of the Fairness Doctrine Radio show with Dr. Patrick O'Heffernan (to the Left) and Chuck Morse (on the Right).
I was invited to discuss the Occupy Wall Street movement, and Morse led off the questioning --- with a bunch of unsupportable RW talking points, in my opinion --- which meant things got very lively from the start...and stayed there.
I'd offer you more teasers, but I think I'll just make you listen for yourself instead, if you're interested. But, suffice to say, the photo posted below is sent with my compliments to Chuck.
(BTW, while the show is called Fairness Doctrine Radio, Morse, who says he came up with the name, is against restoration of the real Fairness Doctrine and offers some, um, interesting reasons why during our discussion. Ironically, however, while the show is "balanced" in that it features both Leftish and Right points of view via its co-hosts, and would have been perfectly appropriate on our public airwaves under the Fairness Doctrine, the show is largely confined to the Internet, instead of the public airwaves...where such debate might otherwise actually serve in the public interest, unlike most of the corporatized crap that is currently forced on the nation. In any case, that's why the hosts sound like they are both on the phone. It's because they are.)
Download MP3 or listen online below [appx 40 mins]...
Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning
An October 9 Time Magazine poll revealed that 89% of Americans agree that Wall Street exerts too much influence on our political system; 79% feel the gap between rich and poor is too large; 71% feel the executives from the major financial institutions responsible for the 2008 economic meltdown should be prosecuted; and that only 6% of Americans identify themselves as "Tea Party" followers.
Previous MSM efforts to either ignore what amounts to a genuine democratic uprising or to disparage Occupy Wall Street by falsely claiming the movement has no goal have obviously fallen flat. Against that backdrop, the corporate-owned Los Angeles Times launched a desperate effort to deceptively depict the movement as a transient phenomenon which has had its say and should now fade away.
Despite such efforts, neither the dire underlying conditions which have been brought on by history's greatest wealth disparity and the tyranny of the corporate security state, nor the people's desire to realize America's still-unfilled egalitarian democracy is likely to dissipate any time soon. As the Mavis Staples song says, "We shall not be moved!"...
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...
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...
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:
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...
A Few Great Blogs
· Baghdad Burning
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· Fired Up! Missouri
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· Jesus' General
· Juan Cole
· Washington Monthly
· Media Matters
· Nashua Advocate
· Oliver Willis
· RAW STORY
· Sanoma State's
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· Cagle's Index
· Chan Lowe
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· Non Sequitur
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