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...|
Well, it took long enough for Washington Post's editorial board to take notice of wife-beating U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller, but at least they finally have...
The paper then details the police response to the horrifying 911 call from Fuller's wife Kelli after the Judge reportedly "threw her to the ground, pulled her by the hair, kicked her and hit her in the face" (the actual 911 call is more horrifying still), leaving her bloodied inside their Ritz-Carlton hotel room in Atlanta on August 9th, and the disturbing similarities to the case of the NFL's Ray Rice, who was also allowed off the hook by the court system after beating up his then-fiancee/now-wife, as "first time offenders". (Even though Judge Fuller's previous wife alleged similar physical abuse during their divorce trial).
In a blog item on Monday, law professor Ilya Somin, of the Washington Post's right-leaning "Volokh Conspiracy" blog, declared the weekend's reported 96.7% vote in favor of Crimea joining Russia to be either fraudulent or the result of voter intimidation of some kind.
In the article, Somin called the results "dubious" and "highly improbable," declaring at least three times in his very short, 6-paragraph item that the referendum's results were "achieved" (his quotes) and/or "likely tainted by fraud or intimidation" --- the likelihood of which Somin describes as a "fact."
"It is highly improbable that 96.7% would have voted yes in a genuinely free vote, since the Crimean population includes large Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar minorities that are overwhelmingly opposed to a return to Russian rule," the George Mason University School of Law professor instructs. "Crimean officials are also reporting a high 83% turnout. If that figure is correct, it makes it unlikely that the 96.7% result is explicable by selective turnout. If, on the other hand, officials are lying about the turnout, they could be engaging deception about the vote margin as well."
Mainstream corporate media in the U.S. have a very difficult time reporting on real evidence of fraud in American elections, much less reporting it as "fact." But when it comes to elections overseas, particularly those which involve perceived geopolitical foes of the U.S., papers like the Washington Post seem to have little, if any, reluctance in offering exceedingly speculative arguments that all but declare elections held by others to be "fraudulent." (See this head-spinning irony, also involving Ukraine, just days after the very same disparity in Exit Polling, carried out by the same firm, resulted in questions about the legitimacy of results from Ukraine's November 2004 Presidential election, but not the still-disputed results of the 2004 Presidential elections in the U.S. just a week or two earlier.)
But 96.7% is, indeed, an outrageously high number for any election result. So how much legitimacy should be given to the results of the voting announced from the weekend referendum in Crimea, given what we know about the balloting and what we don't? And can the U.S. learn anything --- for better or worse --- about the way votes were cast and counted in Crimea?...
Still on the road (back full time as of next week), but thought this video from yesterday's The Lead with Jake Tapper on CNN was well worth popping here quickly, if you've yet to see it.
It's a fantastic and very lively debate about Edward Snowden and, perhaps most-interestingly, Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, between journalist Glenn Greenwald and Washington Post op-ed columnist Ruth Marcus. Greenwald describes Marcus here --- much to her apparent consternation --- as an Obama Administration "loyalist" for, among other things, what he sees as a double-standard for her calls for the prosecution of whistleblower Snowden, versus the seeming free pass she's willing to give to Administration officials such as Clapper who has admitted to misleading Congress with false testimony (aka Lying to Them). That would be a felony crime...if anybody bothered to prosecute it.
Greenwald is tenacious (as usual) in forcing Marcus to answer his question about whether Clapper should be prosecuted. For her part, she does a decent job of acquitting herself, sort of, even as the entire conversation --- and the two staked-out positions here --- really do help to illustrate, as Greenwald describes it, how "the D.C. media" and "people in Washington continuously make excuses for those in power when they break the law."
"That's what people in Washington do," he charges. "They would never call on someone like James Clapper, who got caught lying to Congress, which is a felony, to be prosecuted. They only pick on people who embarrass the government and the administration to which they are loyal, like Edward Snowden. It's not about the rule of law."
"People in Washington who are well-connected to the government like she is, do not believe that the law applies to them. They only believe that the law should be used to punish people and imprison people who don't have power in Washington or who expose the wrongdoing of American political officials," Greenwald argues. I'll let you watch to see how Marcus responds.
This one is very much worth watching in full. If you prefer, the complete text transcript is posted here...
I was joined on this week's KPFK/Pacifica Radio BradCast by Dan Froomkin, formerly of the Washington Post, where he worked for more than a decade before becoming Washington Bureau Chief for the Huffington Post before becoming the founder of the soon-to-be-launched Center for Accountability Journalism at FearlessMedia.org.
My first question to him: Why should anyone in the public, other than journalism industry insiders, actually care that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post this week?
His response to that question and others on the recent shameful history and hopeful future of journalism were much more optimistic than mine --- but, as I note during the show, I really need a break (which I hope to get somewhere in the mountains next week), so I may be a even more cynical this week than usual.
Speaking of cynicism, I also ranted a bit on the United States of Fear and Redaction, on CA Democratic Rep. Julia Brownley's vote to continue violating her constituents' and every American's civil liberties, and even found some time to offer some improbable kudos to WI Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner for his support of the Voting Rights Act.
All that, a bit more, and even Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report can be enjoyed in this week's BradCast.
Download MP3 or listen online below [appx. 58 mins]...
"If a tree falls in the forest (because of global warming), but the media doesn’t report on it, does it make a sound?," asks Joe Romm at Climate Progress, along with a pretty incredible observation.
Romm highlighted the Washington Post's front page banner the day after this week's State of the Union speech, during which President Obama spent a rather large chunk of it on issues related to climate change and energy.
Nonetheless, when WaPo summarized the percentage of the speech devoted to each of the various topics mentioned during the address, here was the front page banner used to detail it on Wednesday (click graphic to enlarge):
As Romm notes:
But, maybe such things just aren't very important to the "State of the Union" after a year of record drought, record heat, and a record number of global warming-related natural disasters.
Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning
Citizens United rejected a congressional legislative ban on corporate campaign contributions. It says nothing about the ability to tax such contributions...
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
"When you let university administrators or other employers rather than women and their doctors dictate whose medical needs are legitimate and whose are not, a woman’s health takes a back seat to a bureaucracy focused on policing her body." - Georgetown Univ. Law Student, Sandra Fluke
One unfortunate aspect of the firestorm surrounding Rush Limbaugh's profoundly uninformed, deceptive and misogynistic vitriol and calls for accountability for the Rightwing radio blowhard, is that it has completely overshadowed the substance of Fluke's testimony on the importance of access to prescription contraceptives to women's health.
The Limbaugh firestorm has also overshadowed the fact that the American Taliban (aka the elected Tea Party House Republicans) prevented Fluke from testifying at a House Oversight Committee hearing, framed by the Republican majority as a hearing on "religious freedom", because, as the Washington Post described, "she was not a member of the clergy."
Indeed, while much is made of the fact that the first panel at the 2/16/12 House Oversight Committee examining an issue vital to women's health was all-male, few have taken note that it was also all-clergy. In opening the hearing, Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) announced: "Today, the committee will hear testimony from leaders of different faiths."
Not only did the right-wing GOP House leaders fail to so much as recognize Fluke's right to be heard, but, according to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (see video embedded in above-linked Washington Post article), they also refused to permit House Democrats to use the House Recording Studio as part of an effort to try and prevent the public from seeing and hearing Fluke's testimony at all. Instead, Pelosi and the Democrats of the Democratic Steering Committee were forced to hold a separate, unofficial "forum", in order to hear Fluke's testimony.
The video of Fluke's opening statement, the testimony that Republicans sought to prevent from being heard at all, is now posted below.
But it is the larger, arguably more disturbing constitutional ramifications of the actions of House Republicans that we'd like to take a moment to highlight on, as they have been almost entirely overlooked in this unnecessary brouhaha...
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...
Still on the road and still a bit under the weather, so here's some very quick hits for now...
Naturally Premature Resigners: NPR CEO Vivian Schiller has resigned following the resignation of chief fund raiser Ron Schiller (no relation) after the latter Schiller was featured in a secretly video-taped attempted hit piece with two of convicted criminal and Republican con-man James O'Keefe's flunkies performing as members of a Muslim foundation. Having watched the edited version of the video tape, I have no clue as to why anybody at NPR has resigned. (Sidenote: Imagine if even half of the RWers who committed actual crimes, real ones that actually hurt and/or killed people, resigned in shame as fast as non-RWers resign in shame after having committed absolutely no crime at all.)
Pro-Life in IL: Gov. Pat Ryan (D) signs a bill banning the death penalty in the state. It is the 16th to do so. Prisoners previously on death row have had their sentences commuted to life without the possibility of parole. Welcome to the civilized world, Illinois!
GOP War on Voting in FL: Gov. Rick Scott (R)'s executive clemency board pulled a fast one by changing the rules for re-enfranchising former felons after former Gov. Charlie Crist (R) had previously restored their voting rights. "The board did not release the proposed rule changes to the public until moments before the meeting began and limited public testimony to two-minutes per person for a total of 30 minutes before unanimously approving the changes," reports Palm Beach Post. "Civil rights advocates, including five black lawmakers, objected to the rule changes, saying there is no evidence the current process ... is not working." Leon County Supervisor of Election, and election integrity hero Ion Sancho says the board is turning back the clock to FL's post Civil War era with restrictions "whose sole purpose was to ensure that the former slaves of this state could never reintegrate into the society."
GOP War on Voting Nationwide: ThinkProgress details GOP efforts in 22 states around the nation to impose new polling place Photo ID restrictions likely to disenfranchise millions of elderly, minority and student (read: Democratic-leaning) voters. That, even though there is no "voter fraud epidemic" in this country, or any state in the union, at least not among Democrats. Republican voter fraud, however, as we noted late last week, when IN's new GOP Sec. of State was indicted on 3 counts of felony voter fraud, is a different matter all together.
2012: Newt Gingrich says he cheated on his wife because he loves his country so much. Or something. Sarah Palin won't be in the first GOP Presidential Debate at the Reagan Library (which reminds me that she's only ever been in one national debate, and that was with just one person, Joe Biden. I have a feeling she'll not want to participate in any "real" debates with a bunch of other folks, and therefore, while I don't make predictions, I'll predict she will not be running for President.)
In Memoriam: David Broder, WaPo's "Dean of the Washington Press Corps," died today at the age of 81. The death of the Washington Press Corp itself, however, has yet to be officially reported, even as its passing occurred quietly years ago without public notice.
It took nearly a week of The BRAD BLOG bitching, moaning, emailing, complaining, and tweeting to the Washington Post, its ombudsman, and, of course, the author of the story, Alexandra Petri, who had blatantly misreported, twice in the same article at Dana Milbank's "Rough Sketch" blog, the long-ago debunked myth that Rightwing con-man and dirty trickster James O'Keefe had "dressed up as a pimp to interview members of ACORN" in his scam video tapes that shamefully took down the four-decade old anti-poverty, pro-democracy organization based on his hateful hoax.
As we detailed in our original report on Petri's inaccuracy last week, O'Keefe never dressed as a pimp and never even represented himself as a pimp in the offices of ACORN. The truth about all of that had been publicly available to know for almost a year before Petri misreported on it in the pages of the Washington Post last week.
Given that the Washington Post published another related story over a year ago with a number of similarly misleading inaccuracies in it, which they have yet to correct even after all this time, perhaps we should be happy it took less than a week this time around for the right thing to be done at the paper.
Petri has finally, nearly a week later, corrected her article, as she notes in the following email sent to us this morning...
Alexandra Petri writing on Dana Milbank's "Rough Sketch" blog at Washington Post:
For chrissakes, you're the WASHINGTON POST! Get the story straight please!
O'Keefe NEVER "dressed up as a pimp to interview members of ACORN." Never. Not once. Ever. It was a hoax. Period. Just like his criminal operation at Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in New Orleans (for which he is still on probation), and the CNN sexual assault/wiretap scheme.
How many times are you guys gonna fall for it and keep misreporting the same damaging, inaccurate story?
That he NEVER "dressed up as a pimp to interview members of ACORN" has now been documented, in no uncertain terms, over and over again for nearly a year. Not just by The BRAD BLOG repeatedly, but by his own accomplice Hannah Giles (twice, including once on video tape!), and by one official investigation after another, going back nearly a year.
For example, here's former MA Attorney General Scott Harshbarger's report [PDF] from December of 2009:
For the record, when you issue your swift correction (which I hope you'll do immediately and transparently and loudly), before you make yet another mistake, as the NYTimes did when issuing theirs, O'Keefe also did not "represent himself as a pimp" to ACORN workers either. He represented himself as the boyfriend of the girl/prostitute (played by Hannah Giles) trying to save her FROM an abusive pimp who was trying to kill her.
Jesus. It's not the first time WaPo has misreported on this matter. But we figured they'd have figured out the scam by now. Apparently not.
Please issue a correction immediately. Thank you. And good lord. (This is how James O'Keefe, Andrew Breitbart, and the rest of their crew get away with lying again and again and again. Incredible.)
P.S. If you want to report on the story --- in your own MD backyard, Washington Post --- why don't you cover the fact that O'Keefe has now violated Maryland's Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act again and again (and now, likely, the terms of his federal criminal probation), as we laid out yesterday, and the fact that MD law enforcement officials seem to be doing absolutely nothing about it?!
UPDATE 10/1/10, 12:50pm PT: It has been nearly 48 hours since the Petri/Milbank story was posted containing the egregious mistakes noted above, and yet there has still be no correction. Over the past 24 hours we've notified both @Milbank & @Petridishes via Twitter multiple times; have notified WaPo's "Corrections" address (Corrections@WashPost.com); and have notified their Ombudsman Andy Alexander who has responded with Alexandra Petri's email address so we could contact her that way directly, which we have. And yet, still no correction for the blatantly innaccurate reporting.
During those same 24 hours, Milbank has posted one item, and Petri has posted two --- one as recently as two hours ago, another a few hours earlier than that today --- so we know they are both around to make the corrections. They have apparently chosen to not correct their inaccurate reporting.
Next time you are told how the "professionals in the MSM fact-check their work, but bloggers don't," please feel free to keep this incident handy.
(Thanks to Eric Boehlert at Media Matters for picking up this story today!)
UPDATE 10/1/10, 3:46pm PT: Incredible. Petri has just posted yet a third item on Milbank's blog without bothering to correct the O'Keefe "pimp" story. I've left a comment on every one of her blog items since, pointing back to this article and asking her what gives and if she ever intends to correct her blatant inaccuracies. Hope you'll consider doing same until she accurately and transparently corrects the story. Milbank's blog is here.
UPDATE 10/3/10, 11:36am PT: It has now been four days since Dana Milbank allowed Alexandra Petri's complete inaccuracies about Rightwing con-man James O'Keefe and ACORN to be posted on his WaPo blog without correction. The paper's corrections editor, their ombudsman and both Milbank and Petri have been notified many times. They continue to appear not to give a damn that they are blatantly misinforming their readers and the nation.
UPDATE 10/5/10: SUCCESS! After nearly a week of prodding, Petri has finally issued a correction! Though even older WaPo misreports, by other journalists, on this same matter, are still unaddressed. Full details now posted here...
As the Washington Post continues its shameful drift farther and farther to the right, it has long demonstrated the inability to use the "L" word, no matter how appropriate, and even seemed to support rightwing propagandist Andrew Breitbart's deceptively edited hit-video on Shirley Sherrod last week, long after everyone else had come to realize it was a hoax. So it was nice to see E.J. Dionne's column in WaPo on Monday in which he actually used the correct words to identify the facts of the matter.
He used the words "right-wing propaganda," as in the headline for his column: "Enough right-wing propaganda." That's right. What Andrew Breitbart and his ilk do is not opinion, it's not "conservative journalism" or even "activism." It's propaganda. And it's certainly not "conservative" by any stretch of the imagination. It's right-wing. There is nothing "conservative" about it.
Using a phrase akin to the ones we've applied to Breitbart for a very long time, Dionne went on to refer to him, accurately, as a "right-wing hit man," as in: "The administration's response to the doctored video pushed by right-wing hit man Andrew Breitbart was shameful."
And then, the "L" word appeared in the pages of the Washington Post. Finally. As Dionne appropriately used the word "liars," as in: "When an outlandish charge for which there is no evidence is treated as an on-the-one-hand-and-on-the-other-hand issue, the liars win."
Good for Dionne. I suspect he'll be fired immediately.
For those who have asked, no, I'm not particularly interested in Andrew Breitbart's latest, deceptively-edited video scam campaign which, shamefully, the Obama Administration and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack fell for before bothering to view the whole video.
We did what we did earlier this year --- exposing Breitbart's ACORN scam in extraordinary detail and for months on end --- in hopes that the rest of the media would not fall for such scams again in the future.
Clearly, the entirety of the corporate MSM has yet to fully learn the lesson. (e.g., see this piece on Washington Post's ombudsman falling for Fox/Breitbart's ridiculous "New Black Panther Party" non-scandal, non-story over the weekend and WaPo's embarrassing coverage of the Sherrod incident tonight --- even after the hoax has been exposed --- where they waited until the 15th graf(!) to note the video was deceptively edited!) Obviously, the Obama Administration hasn't learned its lesson at all, as witnessed by the firing of Shirley Sherrod without any due diligence.
But it's nice to see that, this time, it took many in the media just 24 hours or so before catching on to Breitbart's hoax...
If you didn't already know that the latest Fox "News" fake "outrage" about the jackass from the New Black Panther Party who was caught on video standing outside a Philadelphia polling place with a nightstick in 2008 was another predictably trumped-up Rightwing scam story, Jamison Foser will help you understand why that is.
But as with the phony ACORN "Pimp" Hoax, the most unsettling part of this latest scam is not just that Fox is promoting a phony story, round-the-clock, to rile up and scare their gullible viewers. That's what they do. We all know that by now. Or should. What's disturbing is that so-called Ombudsmen at major, theoretically non-wingnut "liberal media" outlets have yet to figure any of that out.
This time around, it's Washington Post's Ombudsman Andrew Alexander who takes the bait --- hook, line, nightstick, and phony whistleblower --- in support of his paper's coverage of what they shamefully headlined as a "political bombshell." Hoax Accomplished. Again.
Media Matters' Simon Maloy predicted this story would play out in exactly this way back on July 2nd [emphasis ours]:
See Foser for details, so we can go back to (hopefully) ignoring this ridiculous non-story.
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