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GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 12/31/2009 6:05pm PT  




Rachel Maddow, journalist, fact-checker, explains what the others apparently haven't been able to
UPDATED: A Democrat finally pushes back...
By Frank Schaeffer on 12/31/2009 6:44am PT  

Guest blogged by Frank Schaeffer (with a little help from Rachel Maddow)

I am the father of a Marine who served his country with honor in Afghanistan and Iraq. In that role --- as part of the military family --- I call on anyone who cares about this country to speak out against the Republican Party, its leaders and followers and tell the truth: they are trying to cash in on the Detroit/terror attempt in a way that has clearly crossed a line. They are over the line of not just good taste, but into an area that has to be called what it is: unpatriotic, un-American cynicism on a new level.

I was going to write a post on this but Rachel Maddow said it better on MSNBC last night...


Please watch and pass on. One last thing: why is Rachel Maddow the only journalist who seems to be doing her job on this (and so many other matters!) of actually fact-checking?

UPDATE/ADDENDUM FROM BRAD: With all due respect to the indispensable Rachel, and our friend Frank Schaeffer, Glenn Greenwald and a few others in the blogosphere, were also early on this particular beat, as the non-Rachel corporate media were predictably performing their usual failure. And, if we may say so ourselves, we had a word (okay, a coarse and infuriated rant) or two on these very same matters, while guest hosting last night's Mike Malloy Show ourselves. That rant, at least a good chunk of it, can be downloaded here [MP3] or heard by hitting the play button below...

ANOTHER UPDATE FROM BRAD: Finally, a Democrat manages to grow a pair, and pushes back --- loudly and directly --- at the outrageous, appalling, hypocritical, anti-American attacks from Cheney and the rest of the America-hating Right...

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




By Brad Friedman on 12/29/2009 5:19pm PT  

Add this to our post yesterday calling for a 'War on Lightning', since the chances of being a victim of same in any given year (1:500,000) are so much higher than being a victim of terrorism on an airplane in the last ten years (1:10,408,947).

And yet it's those nasty terrorists the cowardly wingnuts are afraid of. Lack of health insurance? Salmonella? Firearms? Not so much.

Blue Texan at firedoglake has more...




By Brad Friedman on 12/28/2009 2:45pm PT  

Odds of being on an airplane attacked by a terrorist over the past decade, according to Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com: 1 in 10,408,947.

Odds of being hit by lightning in any single year: appx. 1 in 500,000.

Odds the U.S. will wage a War on Lightning: 0 in a Gazillion.

Odds we'll talk about all of the above tonight when I guest host The Mike Malloy Show: appx. 1 in 3 (if that high).

UPDATE: And furthermore, why no 'War on Salmonella'?




By Ernest A. Canning on 12/28/2009 10:09am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"There is a basic weakness in governments, however massive their armies, however vast their wealth, however they control images and information, because their power depends on the obedience of citizens....When the citizens begin to suspect they have been deceived and withdraw their support, government loses its legitimacy and its power." - Howard Zinn, A Power Governments Cannot Suppress

With all that talk of "Peace on Earth," often spelled out in festive shopping mall lights over the Christmas weekend, it seems few actually mean it. But on the presumption that readers of The BRAD BLOG actually do, allow me to note that in my recent editorial, "Beyond Afghanistan", I argued that there is no legitimate basis for our continued presence in Afghanistan and that the currently planned escalation serves to perpetuate, in the words of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a "criminal enterprise."


While not yet approaching the level of critical mass resistance that will be required to bring our presence in the Afghan quagmire to an end, the "Rethink Afghanistan" petition (video in support thereof at right) calls upon Congress to vote against any bill to fund troop escalation in Afghanistan. It provides an initial step in what I had argued was the right direction. The petition is sponsored by Brave New Foundation, Credo Mobile and True Majority. It was read into the Congressional Record recently by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL).

The petition bears the names of more than 100,000 citizens. Perhaps if that number swells to 100 million, members of Congress will take seriously the fundamental truth it bears, though those who support the petition would do well to address the difficult questions as to "how" we could safely withdraw our forces in an expeditious fashion through such means as a negotiated ceasefire with the Taliban pending an orderly withdrawal.




By Brad Friedman on 12/26/2009 7:30pm PT  

To help discourage terrorism, let's give as much attention as possible to the Detroit plane bomber. Wall-to-wall coverage on Fox should teach those terrorists a thing or two. Let's put his face on the cover of TIME and Newsweek while we're at it. I'm sure it's the last thing he'd want.

UPDATE 6:12pm PT: Was trying to enjoy the rare luxury of few down hours to watch Sherlock Holmes with family here in Dallas (where I'll be guest hosting the Mike Malloy Show this week from Mike's local affiliate AM 1360 Rational Radio) when my iPhone alerts start buzzing. It's another TERRORIST ATTACK! SAME FLIGHT FROM AMSTERDAMN TO DETROIT! ANOTHER NIGERIAN! LOCKS HIMSELF IN BATHROOM!!! ... Of course, as you likely know by now, it was a Nigerian businessman whose "strange behavior" was walking back and forth to the bathroom.

Here is what I was forced to re-tweet from the movie theater...

TheBradBlog | Explosive diarrhea! Run! RT @msnbc BREAKING: Disruptive passenger on board today's flight may have had stomach problems http://bit.ly/3ieuwr

Seriously, people. Can we get a grip? For more "explosive" news like the above (such as this re-tweet of Dave Roberts from Grist on the same topic, or this from Josh Marshall and this from Glenn Greenwald, both re-tweeted prior to the later afternoon Fox Fear Fest) which I may have neither the time nor inclination to bring you here on The BRAD BLOG, be sure to follow our Twitter feed. It's elementary, dear reader.




By David Swanson on 12/23/2009 10:21am PT  

[Ed Note: On Monday, The BRAD BLOG published Frank Schaeffer's guest editorial, "Obama Will Win: Why and How His Critics from the Left and Right Will be Proven Wrong". Today, we're pleased to offer a counterpoint in reply by author David Swanson.]

Guest editorial by David Swanson

I've appreciated much of Frank Schaeffer's commentary at The BRAD BLOG but his column here this week on Obama winning was an exception. Schaeffer labels himself an "Obama supporter" and explains that Obama supporters are "sticking with our President." The language Schaeffer uses, after identifying himself as a "former religious Rightwing agitator", is helpful in illuminating a troubling pattern of thought that is widespread in our society:

"We faithful Obama supporters still trust our initial impression of him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man to lead us."

Here is faith, or at least faithfulness, explicitly entering politics through the advocacy of a recovering religious advocate. As everyone knows who has tried to recover from a pattern of thought, it is far easier to reject or reverse the specifics than it is to step outside the framework. But it is the framework that I find disturbing. I disagree with the point of view above just as much as I disagree with rightwing religious agitation, and for the same reasons. I don't want to be a faithful, trusting supporter of a uniquely great and good being...

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




By Frank Schaeffer on 12/21/2009 10:30am PT  

[Ed Note 12/23/09: Author David Swanson has now published a counterpoint in reply to the following editorial. His guest editorial is now published here: "Will WE Win?: A Reply to Frank Schaeffer's 'Obama Will Win'".]

Guest editorial by Frank Schaeffer

Before he'd served even one year President Obama lost the support of the easily distracted Left and engendered the white hot rage of the hate-filled Right. But some of us, from all walks of life and ideological backgrounds --- including this white, straight, 57-year-old, former religious Rightwing agitator, now progressive writer and (given my background as the son of a famous evangelical leader) this unlikely Obama supporter --- are sticking with our President. Why? Because he is succeeding.

We faithful Obama supporters still trust our initial impression of him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man to lead us.

Obama's steady supporters will be proven right. Obama's critics will be remembered as easily panicked and prematurely discouraged at best and shriveled hate mongers at worst...

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




By Brad Friedman on 12/21/2009 8:40am PT  

$636 billion for annual military spending was approved by the U.S. Senate over the weekend, with little more than a hiccup of debate from Republican "conservatives," not a peep from the Democrats, and even less coverage from the corporate mainstream media.

But $850 billion for 10 years of what is ostensibly meant to be health care reform for the health and welfare of American citizens --- all while reducing the budget deficit by $132 billion over that period, according to the CBO? "A budget buster!," shout the phony "conservatives" in the same Senate.

Anyway, there's your "American Values," in a two-part nutshell, from today's Republicans and the Democrats and corporate media who enable their madness as if it weren't so.




Former AL Governor says same people working on his case even after Obama took office...
By Rebecca Abrahams on 12/18/2009 11:20am PT  

Guest Blogged by Rebecca M. Abrahams

Two weeks ago Washington Post reported that U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan named federal prosecutor Henry Schuelke to investigate whether gross prosecutorial misconduct tainted the government's case against now-former Republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. At issue, whether prosecutors withheld critical evidence from the defense or whether the case was improperly handled under pressure to meet deadlines.

US Attorney General Eric Holder, in a stunning move, threw out the government's corruption case against Stevens last April and issued the following statement:

After careful review, I have concluded that certain information should have been provided to the defense for use at trial. In light of this conclusion, and in consideration of the totality of the circumstances of this particular case, I have determined that it is in the interest of justice to dismiss the indictment and not proceed with a new trial.

Holder also relocated attorneys who worked on the case including William H. Welch II, who ran the Department's public integrity unit.

WaPo failed to report that William Welch is currently under criminal contempt of court for his role in the case against Stevens. Welch was also involved in the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. Siegelman was convicted of bribery in 2006 and served nine months in prison before his release was ordered pending appeal.

Despite Welch's pending legal issues, his name continues to be listed on recent filings in Siegelman's case. Siegelman finds this "quite curious as he's been hot after my prosecution for a good long time now."

Aside from alleged governmental misconduct in the Siegelman case, there are paramount legal issues that have been recognized by 91 former State Attorneys General and a group of First Amendment law professors across the country. And yet, while the DOJ is making a point to review Republican cases, not one case against a Democrat has been completely overturned and, as Siegelman told me in a recent interview, he believes very little has changed at the department, other than the names "at the top"...

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




Powerful Democratic donor, attorney from Mississippi, others, said to have been targeted for political prosecution by the Bush Administration's Dept. of Justice...
By Emily Levy on 12/11/2009 5:17pm PT  

Guest blogged by Emily Levy of VelvetRevolution.us
[UPDATED by Brad Friedman, 12/12/09, 12:02pm PT]

The federal bribery convictions of Paul Minor, an influential Democratic donor and attorney from Mississippi, and several others have been overturned by the Fifth Circuit of Appeals. Critics of the Bush Administration's Dept. of Justice have long charged that Minor's prosecution, along with those of many other powerful Democrats, such as former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, were politically motivated and directly manipulated by Bush political operative Karl Rove.

Earlier this year, Velvet Revolution's RestoreJusticeAtJustice.com campaign called on the Obama Administration's Dept. of Justice to review all such prosecutions by their predecessors, and to vacate any that are found to have been politically motivated. [Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR]

The Jackson Free Press has the details on the court's finding overturning the "bribery" counts of Minor and a number of former judges found guilty in the same trial, after improper instructions were found to have been given to the jury by trial Judge Henry Wingate who also sat on Minor's motion to be released during the appeal, even as his wife was dying from terminal cancer...

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




Constitutional Attorney: Obama 'effectively gutting major part of Nuremberg' on behalf of Bush torture attorney, John Yoo...
By Brad Friedman on 12/10/2009 1:14pm PT  

Via RAW STORY...

The Obama administration has asked the Department of Justice to dismiss a lawsuit brought by convicted terrorist Jose Padilla against torture memo author John Yoo, asserting that Yoo cannot be sued for legal opinions he offered in the course of advising then-President Bush on national security matters.

Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley finds ths decision inexplicable. "The president literally has gotten onto a plane this evening to go to Norway," he told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Wednesday, "to accept the Nobel Prize, while his Justice Department is effectively gutting a major part of Nuremberg."

"The Obama administration is arguing not only that they shouldn't be prosecuted," Turley emphasized, "but it's now saying that you shouldn't even be able to sue them civilly. ... It's an international disgrace."

Turley pointed out that several legal advisors to Germany's Ministry of Justice were convicted during the Nuremberg trials held after World War II for providing the legal advice that justified Nazi war crimes. Now the Obama administration, in its desire to uphold executive privilege at any cost, is willing to toss that principle aside.
...
"The Justice Department's prosecuted lawyers who give advice to mobsters," Turley concluded, "but apparently if you give advice to advance a war crime, that's just 'full and frank advice.'"

RAW STORY has the video of the complete interview with Turley from last night's Countdown.

Velvet Revolution's DisbarTortureLawyers.com campaign is right here. Please sign on to join the call for accountability and disbarment of the many attorneys who violated the Rule of Law and the U.S. Constitution by justifying illegal torture through twisted and factually unsound "legal findings," and the conspiracy to carry out that torture during the Bush Administration. [The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us]




Will call for 'War Powers Resolution' in House to help 'End the War'...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/10/2009 9:05am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"We cannot afford these wars. We cannot afford the loss of lives. We cannot afford the cost to taxpayers. We cannot afford to fail to exercise our constitutional right to end the wars." So said Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) in an email on Wednesday, announcing his intention to introduce a privileged resolution in the House in January to "End the War."

He appeared on MSNBC with Ed Schultz (video below) the night before to explain that under President Obama's plan to immediately increase troops levels by 30,000 before beginning a withdrawal in July of 2011 (pending "conditions on the ground" which could extend the occupation for years, as Sec. of Defense Robert Gates recently admitted) we have an "orgy of crime."

"We will be spending at least $150 billion a year, at the costs of many lives, to be able to subsidize a criminal undertaking." What criminal undertaking was Kucinich referring to?...

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




'Please come up with a new name for whatever you are. You've destroyed my reputation.'...
By Frank Schaeffer on 12/9/2009 11:43am PT  

Guest blogged by Frank Schaeffer

Woe to you American Christians! You say I'm the "son of God" and yet you bully the defenseless in my name.

Do you understand the parable of the Good Samaritan?

Let me refresh your memory...

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




Applying the Lessons of 'Beyond Vietnam'...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/7/2009 1:34pm PT  

Guest essay by Ernest A. Canning

"Somehow this madness must cease."
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Beyond Vietnam" April 4, 1967.

On Jan. 18, 2010 our nation will observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, commemorating the extraordinary life of an intellectual and moral giant. The corporate media will fill the airwaves with excerpts of his uplifting August 28, 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech in which Dr. King called upon us to judge one another by the content of our character and not by the color of our skin. And, during that same holiday, the corporate media can be counted upon to ignore his April 4, 1967 "Beyond Vietnam" speech just as they have every year since the first Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 1986.

Why? Because the egalitarian principles enunciated in "I Have a Dream" challenged only the now (largely) defunct Jim Crow regime.

While de facto, race-based economic inequality stubbornly remains as a vestige of slavery and Jim Crow, the elimination of de jure segregation posed no threat to the stark economic inequality created by an increasingly brutal form of U.S. capitalism and imperialism. It was the brutal reality of corporate Empire which led Dr. King, in "Beyond Vietnam," to describe his own government as "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today" --- a point which exposes the hypocrisy in that same government's celebration of the life of a man singularly devoted to non-violence.

If you have not read "Beyond Vietnam" in its entirety, you should. If you have, you should read it again, for Dr. King's message is as applicable today as it was then.

Particularly, as we deconstruct the empty words used by our Harvard-educated President to justify an escalation of what Robert Scheer aptly describes as a "War of Absurdity," and as we look "Beyond Afghanistan"...

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




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