From Saturday's Houston Chronicle [emphasis added]...
w/ Brad & Desi
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...|
From AP today on the hostage stand-off that took place yesterday at a VA post office [emphasis added]:
Now I wonder where Taylor could have gotten those completely-misinformed ideas?
Of course, as non-disinformed folks know, there have been no moves --- zero, not even a peep --- by the Democratic-controlled Congress or White House about taking away anybody's "right to bear arms," and taxes have been lowered, not raised, since Obama took office, for 95% of working families. Though you'd be hard-pressed to know that if you did nothing more than watch Fox "News" or listen to talk radio on the public airwaves.
In one sadly ironic note, the AP article adds...
Earlier this month, a two-month independent investigation of ACORN, by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, found incidents of mismanagement, but no criminal wrongdoing by ACORN, the favorite whipping boy of Republican scammers such as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Fox "News" and the GOP itself. That investigation (full report here [PDF]) also found that the "sting videos" used recently against ACORN were highly doctored and manipulated.
Of course, readers of The BRAD BLOG know the Republicans' entire, long, sad, anti-democratic (small "d" and large "d" both) campaign is based on little more than the fact that ACORN registers millions of legal low and middle income voters who tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic (large "d") rather than Republican, and the GOP and their democracy-hating proxies will go to any lengths to keep those legal voters from exercising their legal franchise.
And today, once again, ACORN is cleared of wrongdoing vis a vis yet another independent investigation, this one by the Congressional Research Service [PDF], as noted in a press release from U.S. House Judiciary Chair John Conyers this afternoon (posted in full below).
Of most note to our readers, Conyers' statement points out what we've been pointing out - over and over and over again for years: "There were no instances of individuals who were allegedly registered to vote improperly by ACORN or its employees and who were reported 'attempting to vote at the polls.'" Who knew?! What a surprise! (At least to Fox "News" viewers, who probably won't hear about this report either.)
Also: "No instances were identified in which ACORN 'violated the terms of federal funding in the last five years.'"
And: "Recently enacted federal legislation to prohibit funding to ACORN raises significant constitutional concerns. The courts 'may have a sufficient basis' to conclude that the legislation 'violates the prohibition against bills of attainder.'" That finding is one that a federal judge also recently concurred with, when she issued an injunction earlier this month to keep the law from taking affect since ACORN had "been singled out by Congress for punishment that directly and immediately affects their ability to continue to obtain federal funding, in the absence of any judicial, or even administrative, process of adjudicating guilt."
Finally, according to today's report, Andrew "Drudge's Poodle" Breitbart's phony video-taped "sting operation" against ACORN may, itself, have violated the law in both California and Maryland, about which we might ironically recommend to prosecutors: "Capital punishment" for Andrew Breitbart!
The short press release from Conyers, announcing the new report's bullet points, follows below...
UPDATE: And coverage of the NYTimes burial of this report, now follows below it...
Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning
The year was 1969. I was attending a freshman college history class, shortly after returning from Vietnam, when my professor said:
While the topic was Afghanistan, a concern emerged over the splintering of the Left as a product of what Coiro described as strident "rhetoric," such as the suggestion that President Obama was a "sell-out" or the announcement by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) that he intended to introduce a privileged resolution to stop the "criminal enterprise" in Afghanistan. The concern was the potential for that "rhetoric" to adversely impact the Democratic Party in the 2010 and 2012 elections.
Unfortunately, in part due to technical difficulties they had on the show that night, I failed to adequately articulate my concerns, which go to the core of the Progressive dilemma in U.S. electoral politics....
Sue, Bill, sue! Enough is enough! Go get 'em!...
The 1,073 e-mails examined by the AP ... don't undercut the vast body of evidence showing the world is warming because of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
The e-mails were stolen from the computer network server of the climate research unit at the University of East Anglia in southeast England, an influential source of climate science, and were posted online last month. The university shut down the server and contacted the police.
The AP studied all the e-mails for context, with five reporters reading and rereading them — about 1 million words in total.
As part of the AP review, summaries of the e-mails that raised issues from the potential manipulation of data to intensely personal attacks were sent to seven experts in research ethics, climate science and science policy.
In the past three weeks since the e-mails were posted, longtime opponents of mainstream climate science have repeatedly ... cited a "culture of corruption" that the e-mails appeared to show.
That is not what the AP found.
Multitudes of climate science denialists have inundated The BRAD BLOG over the past several weeks with comments alleging that the stolen e-mails, offer "proof" that global warming is a "hoax" or the decades of science behind it is a "sham."
Despite repeated and open-minded requests for links to any actual email --- out of more than 1,000 stolen and posted --- demonstrating evidence of such a "hoax" or that the science behind global warming has now been revealed as incorrect, as many claimed, so far none of those denialists have been able to produce a single such a link.
Presumably they found what AP did: that despite cynical disinformation to the contrary from manipulative corporate operatives and stooges in the wingnut media hoping to play the disaffected rightwing rank and file as suckers (yet again), no such email or evidence actually exists. In short --- as with the ACORN nonsense, as with the WMD scam, as with the CIA leak case, etc. --- the tea baggers have been had, and played as useful fools and tools for rightwing corporatists who couldn't give less of a damn about them, other than where they can trick them into serving as their own unpaid PR disinformation squad.
ADDENDUM 12/13/09: And, in a related toon...
Those "conservative" Fox "News" fans sure do use a lot of F-words in their death threats.
We're used to various death threats by now, of course, even from Drudge's poodle, Andy "Big Government" Breitbart, but those socially "conservative," American "values"-lovin', Fox "News" viewers have really outdone themselves this time.
On Monday night, FoxNews.com featured a story on the latest announcement from VR's StopTheChamber.com campaign, concerning the offer of a $200,000 reward for insider information leading to the arrest and conviction of Tom Donohue, the CEO of the right-wing corporatist lobbying group, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. [Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us]
Apart from his work at the Chamber, Donohue has run a number of major corporations into the ground, as his tenure as CEO at each was generally plagued by improprieties, plunging stock values (coupled with soaring executive pay), scandal, various forms of illegal behavior, and SEC investigations. He was found by the FEC to have made millions of dollars in illegal corporate campaign contributions in 2004 and is now facing a criminal investigation by the DoJ about that, even while he runs the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in many ways, as nothing short of a criminal racket.
Unlike many similar campaigns VR has run in the past, offering such rewards for whistleblower information about wrong-doers over the years, this one caught the attention of the folks at Fox for some reason, and they decided to splash it on the front page of their website this week with a bold graphic shouting: "HUNTED BY THE LEFT: Bounty Put on Head of Chamber Boss." For good measure, in the story itself, they used the word "Liberal" a total of four times before they even finished the second graf. (An email to the story's author, Judson Berger, explaining that VR is a non-partisan group and works with folks of many different political bents, including Republicans, led them to change their headline from the wholly misleading "Liberal Group Puts Bounty on Head of Chamber of Commerce CEO" to the slightly-less misleading "Activist Group Puts Bounty on Head..." etc.)
Anyway, while there is no bounty on anybody's "head," and no one is being "HUNTED," the StopTheChamber.com campaign does feature a reward for information leading to Donohue's arrest and conviction. Roll Call also covered [$-only] VR's announcement on Monday, though much more responsibly (in a far less inflammatory way) than Fox did.
But this story is not about that, it's about the unbelievable amount of email that was sent from, presumably, those "socially conservative" Fox "News" fans in which a good 98% of those notes contained one or more of the following:
And, of course, many of them offer the cruelest cut of them all; they wish VR a "Merry Christmas." Ouch, that one hurts!
So here are just a few samples from some of those friendly emails from those good "conservatives" of Fox "News" willing to send out death threats, we'll guess, in support of the millionaire corporate lobbyists and billionaire corporations of the U.S. Chamber who've spent more money buying Congressmembers than anybody else in the country. These, apparently, are the Fox "News" "conservatives" --- Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly's "patriots" and Sean Hannity's "great Americans" --- as almost all of them came in at the same time that Fox's story on VR's reward offer was posted on the front page of FoxNews.com.
Out of an abundance of generosity, we're not posting the emailers names here (each bullet-point quote below comes from a different note) but the ones which include threats of violence have been given to the FBI [PDF] in D.C., along with a request for an investigation to find out if the Chamber itself might be behind the hit campaign.
As many of these are not safe for work, we'll post them below the fold...
[Now updated at end of article.]
Notice anything wrong with these Fox "News" reported poll numbers?
That's right, according to Fox, 120 percent of Americans have an opinion on global warming issues in the wake of stolen emails from climate scientists, and 94 percent of them believe it's at least "somewhat likely" that those scientists falsified research while 26 percent feel otherwise. That's tea bag math for ya.
Simon Malloy at Media Matters offers his best guess on how Fox "News" came up with their falsified numbers, though it's also worth noting that out of 120 percent or more of Fox "News" viewers, not a single one of them has so far been able to identify, at least to us, a single stolen email that demonstrates the science of global warming is in any way inaccurate...
[12/7/09: Updated again at bottom of article. Petruna standing by story. Sort of... & Now again on 12/8/09 as other passengers on flight say Petruna "living in a fantasy world".]
More evidence --- rather hilarious, or sad, depending on how you choose to look at it --- that rightwing Muslim-fearing Fox "News"-addled cowards live in an alternate-reality fantasy world entirely of their own making. In this case, quite literally.
First read the email frantically circulating around wingnut sites, according to Josh Marshall at TPM, including Glenn Beck's 9/12 Project site, as if it were fully based on reality.
Then read the airline's detailed account of what really happened, wholly debunking the email of Tedd Petruna, the "heroic" passenger from Texas, and his account of single-handedly saving a plane full of good Americans from 11 Muslim terrorists on an Airtran flight in Atlanta as it prepared for takeoff to the Houston-Hobby airport.
Your appetizer: Mr. Petruna, the courageous Texan who authored the email describing his own heroics, wasn't even on the plane that he claims to have personally saved from the evil Muslim terrorist hijackers, and the plane was never canceled at all, having continued to the Houston-Hobby airport as scheduled.
As we've been highlighting for some time now here at The BRAD BLOG --- our Rise of the Tea Bags video paints such a picture, and Frank Schaeffer has done a fine job illustrating it as well, most recently here and here) --- we really do now, officially, live in two different Americas. One actual America, with all its flaws, failures, and frustrations, and another world completely existing only in the minds and self-produced group hallucinations of wingnut media-addled fantasists, fear-mongers, and phonies. How that changes at any time in the near future is a question to be answered by someone well above our pay grade.
First, my thanks to Michelle Malkin, and all her of sycophantic re-linkers in the wingnut echosphere for all the swell traffic yesterday while I was on the road all day.
Second, how desperate the poor, sad, angry woman must be to try to find some story, somehow, somewhere, by someone, that she thinks she's gotten right and others must have gotten wrong, after having gotten so many stories completely and embarrassingly wrong over and over again over so many years.
Her latest: Apparently she believes that Andrew Sullivan and/or The BRAD BLOG (both of us, great mavens of "the Left," dontcha know?) have something to "retract" concerning the story of U.S. Census worker Bill Sparkman whose death by hanging in Clay County, KY, last September --- which appeared to be a possible murder by rightwing fomented "Fed"-haters --- is now believed by officials to have been a staged suicide meant to appear as such a murder...
Just last week Sean Hannity of Fox "News" was forced to offer an apology of sorts for "inadvertently" using falsified footage to make a recent tea bagger protest look larger than it was. The admission came only after Comedy Central's The Daily Show called Fox out for the scam. Though Hannity suggested he was sorry for the "mistake" where two-month-old footage apparently edited itself into a report on a D.C. rally held earlier that day, nobody has been held accountable for what appears to have been a not-"inadvertent"-at-all attempt at deceiving viewers.
As we noted at the time, had Keith Olbermann done the same thing, we can only imagine the organized wingnut campaign that would still be howling for his firing, boycotts of MSNBC and GE, CBS/Dan Rather-styled witch-hunt "internal investigations," and more. But, since Hannity's a "conservative" Republican, it's okay, and no sense of accountability or personal responsibility is necessary for such folks.
Well, that's good, because yesterday Fox did it again when "news" reporter Gregg Jarrett noted that Sarah Palin is "continuing to draw huge crowds while she’s promoting her brand new book."
"Take a look at --- these are some of the pictures just coming in to us," Jarrett told viewers as they rolled footage of Palin speaking at campaign rallies from last year's 2008 Presidential race. (See video above right.)
Fox has since issued a statement calling it all "a production error" and promising "an on-air explanation" during Thursday's broadcast of Jarrett's ironically named Happening Now "news" program on which the footage aired yesterday. Chicago Tribune's "The Swamp" blog reports that "serious disciplinary action will be taken for those responsible."
Sure it will. And how about for that whole Hannity thing? "Serious disciplinary action" there as well? How about for these "errors"? Don't hold your breath.
(Related Note: On Monday, the UK Guardian ran my opinion piece on the propaganda outlet that is Fox "News" and the Obama Administration's correct and long-overdue decision to call them out as such. The article certainly brought out the tea baggers on both sides of the pond, bringing in some 261 comments in reply.)
I always love the commenters on columns I do at the Guardian. My favorite exchange there so far this morning begins with commenter "Zounds" objecting to my points with: "Active discourse also requires a wider range of intellectual influences than all the American news channels offer."
To which "jcpenny", apparently an American, replied: "I've never seen British Tellie to provide the variety the American Tellie does. Perhaps our forebarers had a reason for leaving?"
To which "Zounds" replied hilariously in turn: "I believe the lack of variety on British TV was indeed the primary reason the Pilgrim Fathers gave."
:-) Add your own two cents and read the full column here...
I was in-studio and on-the-air this morning with a couple of my favorite cats, Rick and Doran of Digital Village, featuring the most maddeningly-catchy theme song in all of radio, on KPFK (L.A. and Santa Barbara's Pacifica station).
We talked e-voting, including "open source" secret vote-counting machines (the latest ill-considered fad sweeping the nation), Internet voting schemes (the other latest ill-considered fad) and transparently overseeable hand-counting ("Democracy's Gold Standard"), DieboldReturnOurMoney.com, the Rise of the Tea Bags, Muppets, Glenn Beck (about whom questions are being asked as to whether he raped and murdered a young girl in 1990), and much more...
Download MP3 or listen online below [appx. 28 mins]...
[Updated twice below. Once with Hannity's "apology" and then with Stewart's response to it.]
The Daily Show still offers just about the best news coverage on cable...
UPDATE: Media Matters documents how Hannity's phony video is only "the tip of Fox News' video-doctoring iceberg"...
UPDATE, 7:48pm PT: Having no choice but to cop to it, Hannity admits getting busted, though claims it was "an inadvertent mistake". How one can inadvertently go fetch footage from two months ago, and "inadvertently" edit it into a report on an event that took place earlier on the same day is not entirely clear.
He failed to explain to his viewers the context in which the "incorrect video" actually was shown. Neither did he run Stewart's report from last night explaining clearly how Hannity had attempted to fool them. So, as usual, Hannity's viewers remain largely both in the dark and misinformed.
How many times does he have to get these stories wrong before ABC News cans their hapless and constantly wrong "investigative correspondent" Brian Ross? We suspect he'll be allowed to keep screwing up, again and again and again, so long as his screw-ups result in lots of media attention. Little wonder Ross is one of the only broadcast network news stooges invited on Bill O'Reilly's show, again and again and again.
Gawker's John Cook takes apart Ross' big "scoop" yesterday, which swept both the wingnut and non-wingnut media alike --- cooking up the alleged Fort Hood shooter Army Major Nidal Malik "Hasan's Contacts with al Qaeda".
Those "contacts with al Qaeda"? Um, not so much, as Cook details. Turns out that Hasan's "attempt to reach out to al Qaeda" were, in actuality, three emails sent to the imam of the mosque that Hasan attended in Virginia in 2001, back when two of the 9/11 hijackers, reportedly, also attended the same mosque. The cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, has since moved to Yemen where he has reportedly spoken out in favor of al-Qaeda.
The emails sent to him by Hasan? Whatever they were about, Ross doesn't know, and the FBI, who reportedly did know, apparently didn't find they warranted any action be taken.
Oh, and the "people" connected to al-Qaeda who Hasan allegedly "attempt[ed] to reach out to"? Ross now admits there was just one --- singular, not plural --- and it was al-Awlaki.
Here's our favorite passage from Cook's excellent evisceration of Ross' yet-again irresponsible coverage, proving (by ABC News' own standards) that Ross himself may well be an al-Qaeda terrorist!...
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