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Diebold systems have been failing in Maryland since the state was the first to install them (and cover up their failures) in 2002. So why should 2014 be any different?...
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Brad Friedman on 8/3/2011 7:18pm PT  

On my Pacifica Radio show on KPFK in Los Angeles today, I interviewed Karen Bernal, chair of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party (CDP) on their new resolution in support of a primary challenge to President Obama. [Audio posted below.]

My article on the matter (which includes the full text of the resolution), was posted earlier today here.

I was struck during my conversation this afternoon with Bernal when she mentioned the CDP had actually considered "punishment" for the caucus for, apparently, even daring to suggest such a challenge to Obama, much less for overwhelmingly passing a resolution in favor it by some 75 of their members. While attacking the party's nominee might be in violation of the party's rules, the fact is, to my knowledge, the DNC has yet to nominate a candidate for the 2012 Presidential election.

It seems the CDP might do well to remember what the "D" stands for in their name.

Since today's interview, the San Francisco Chronicle's Joe Garofoli has posted a column on the matter, including some comments from Bernal and, of more note here, some, uh, colorful comments about the Progressive Caucus resolution and the idea of a primary against the President, by California Democratic Party chair John Burton. It's worth noting, as Garofoli did, that Burton supported the primary challenge against President Jimmy Carter by Sen. Ted Kennedy back in 1980. He's singing a different tune now. Of course, Kennedy didn't win that primary challenge, Carter won the re-nomination and he ended up losing in a landslide to Reagan --- for whatever that comparison may be worth. (Not too much, in my humble opinion.)

Also, progressive author and journalist David Swanson sent me a link to this new website, StopHoping.org, at which you can vote on whether Obama should be primaried and, if so, by whom.

And, a quick note of correction, during the show I accidentally mischaracterized Ernie Canning's piece last Friday calling for a primary challenge to Obama. His correction to my mistatement, posted in comments here, reads:

I did not propose a progressive primary challenge to "broaden the debate" or "strengthen the President's chances through that debate."

I proposed a progressive primary challenge because, in a democratic society, the People are entitled to chose between candidates who represent their interests and those who do not.

I am proposing that someone who truly represents the interests of the American people run and, hopefully, defeat an incumbent President who does not, period!

My apologies for that error. Enjoy the show!...

Download MP3 or listen online below [appx 28 mins]...

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CA Dem Party's Progressive Caucus passes resolution in support...
By Brad Friedman on 8/3/2011 12:22pm PT  

[NOTE: My radio interview today with Karen Bernal, head of the CA Democratic Party's Progressive Caucus, on my KPFK/Pacifica show, about the groups' resolution in support of a Democratic primary challenge to Obama, as detailed below --- and the state party's troubling reaction to it --- is now posted here. - BF]

* * *

No sooner did our own Ernie Canning call for a Eugene McCarthy-like progressive Democratic primary challenge to President Barack Obama last Friday afternoon, than Current's Countdown featured an interview with Ralph Nader to discuss exactly that on Friday night...


Nader argued that without a primary challenge and vigorous debate on issues important to the Democratic base, Obama would "be able, for another four years, should he win, which is likely, to turn his back on the liberal progressive base and become Obama/Bush Administration 2. Just look at all the similarities with the Bush Administration."

Host David Shuster challenged Nader by suggesting that "a primary challenge to President Obama would hurt him, cause fissures in the democratic party and possibly impede the party efforts in the the general election."

"Well, it's just the reverse," Nader countered. "It will challenge him, bring the best out of him and there's nothing worse for a candidate in terms of lessening the enthusiastic level for him than to go through an unchallenged routine of repetitious primaries."

The former Green and then independent Presidential candidate discussed a soon-to-emerge, campaign by Democratic progressives to organize an initiative in the coming days "not designed to defeat [Obama], in the Democratic Primary, but designed to generate a robust debate, and put the liberal progressive issues on domestic policies, including job production and foreign and military policy, on the national Presidential agenda in 2012."

He said that without such a challenge, Obama would be allowed to continue serving little more than just "the corporate warlords and corporate barons of Wall Street."

By the way, in an article last January, Canning called on Nader himself to register as a Democrat and consider exactly such a primary challenge to Obama.

Nader is not the only high profile figure to discuss the possibility of a primary challenge to the President. Vermont's extremely popular Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, said on Thom Hartmann's radio show the Friday before last that he thought "it would be a good idea if President Obama faced some primary opposition."

Then, over this past weekend, as word of the debt ceiling "deal" brokered between Obama and the Republicans, featuring historic spending cuts but no increases in revenue, leaked out, word came in that some 75 Progressive Caucus members of the California Democratic Party (CDP) had passed a controversial resolution in support of, you guessed it, a Democratic primary challenge to Barack Obama.

According to a statement posted with their resolution at WarisaCrime.org: "Gathering in Anaheim during an Executive Board meeting of the CDP, the group overwhelmingly endorsed the resolution following a discussion on the importance of not only challenging the far-right agenda of unmitigated corporate greed but also the current administration's willingness to slash 650-billion dollars from Social Security and Medicare."

That resolution, passed by the Progressive Caucus of the CDP follows in full below...

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

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DoJ deploying election monitors in 11 counties today...
By Brad Friedman on 8/2/2011 4:42pm PT  

It's Primary Election Day in Mississippi and so, in a preview of next year's nightmare to come, a quick look at the early reports of voting machine problems coming out of the Jackson metro-area as reported by the Clarion Ledger who, as is required by law for MSM reporting on such things, refers to the reported voting machine failures as little more than "technical glitches." That, even in one case where 3 out of the 4 voting machines in use at a single precinct had failed. Good thing they had paper ballots on hand --- and that this wasn't a Presidential election!

So here's a quick roundup, from the Clarion-Ledger's running blog earlier this morning, of some of the technical "glitches", "hiccups", "snags" and "snafus" reported before noon near Jackson where, unless they break down, fail, won't start up, have the wrong names on the "ballots" or feature other problems that keep voters from being able to cast their vote on anything but a verifiable paper ballot, they use 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting machines.

Oh, and the Dept. of Justice is deploying monitors to 11 counties in the state today for some reason...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 8/2/2011 1:45pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Debt ceiling theatre is over --- for now --- with clean energy & environment the biggest losers; It's official: Record heat wave makes for a record July; Don doesn't do Dallas (Tropical Storm Don, that is); PLUS: The most anti-environment Congress ever... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

Link:
Embed:

Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Star Polar Bear Scientist in the Dog House; Conservative, white men more likely to be climate change sceptics: study; EPA delays smog rule for fourth time; CBO: Clean Energy Standards Are an Affordable Way to Cut Carbon Emissions; Protesters Continue To Block Mountaintop Removal At Coal River; More reasons to switch to LED light bulbs; Issa to investigate Obama's fuel economy deal; Not looking good: Climate Trends and Global Crop Production; GOP presidential campaign town halls become oil lobbyist theater; World is building low-carbon global economy without the United States; Beware these household energy-saving myths ... PLUS: Gee, why are climate scientists so perturbed? ...

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

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Measure passes following dramatic appearance, heads to Senate...
By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2011 5:40pm PT  

And a house divided is united, ever so briefly, as Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) made a surprise appearance tonight during the U.S. House vote on the contentious debt ceiling agreement. The dramatic appearance on the floor to cast her vote in favor, was her first since being shot in the head in Tucson on January 8th. The chamber erupted into applause.

"I had to be here for this vote," she said in a statement. "I could not take the chance that my absence could crash our economy."

Giffords voted against raising the ceiling previously, in December of 2009 and February of 2010, but voted in favor of it today, as her staff noted that "this vote was substantially different, with the strength of the U.S. economy hanging in the balance."


The measure passed in the House following Giffords' appearance, by a vote of 269 to 161, with most of the 74-person Progressive Caucus, the largest in the House, voting against it. Democrats ultimately split their vote 95 to 95 on the controversial bill brokered by President Obama and Republicans, featuring the largest spending cut in the nation's history. GOP members voted overwhelmingly in favor of passage, 176 to 66.

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to take up the bill tomorrow, prior to the August 2 deadline when the U.S. Government is said to be no longer able to pay all of it's obligations unless the debt ceiling is raised. Both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have already expressed their support.

* * *

UPDATE 8/2/11, 11:03am PT: Debt ceiling agreement has passed in U.S. Senate by a 74 to 26 margin. 19 Republicans and 7 Democrats voted against it. The President signed the bill, promising some $2 trillion in spending cuts, just moments ago, privately in the Oval Office. Mission Accomplished.

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By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2011 1:59pm PT  

Please don't say we didn't try to warn you. We even caught a bit of flak from folks on the "Left" and were quoted by Brit Hume on Fox "News" for our comments at the time.

Back on April 1, 2007 --- in what wasn't an April Fools Day joke, unfortunately --- The BRAD BLOG highlighted pretty much everything you needed to know about Barack Obama. In the middle of a tense debate over a military spending bill passed by Democrats and threatened with a veto by George W. Bush since it included a requirement for the President to set timelines for a withdraw from Iraq, Obama told AP that even if Bush vetoed the bill, Senate Democrats would simply send back another bill that didn't include the timeline requirement.

In short, he sold out his own caucus by showing their hand and thus paved the way for Bush to call their bluff with a veto without consequence. That's exactly what Bush did.

As we reported at the time...

If we ever need to negotiate for anything, remind us to not call on Obama to represent us.

"I think that it's important for voters to get a sense of how the next president will make decisions in a foreign policy arena," he told AP.

Great. We've just gotten that "sense," and if that's your plan, then thanks but no thanks.

Yes, President Obama has been forced to deal with an unprecedented extremist GOP willing to use terrorists tactics to get their way, creating phony "hostage crises" time and again --- in the latest episode putting a gun to the head of the world economy. But negotiating with terrorists only ensures the likelihood of the bad guys taking another hostage in the future, which the Republicans have repeatedly done, and will continue to do. Capitulating to them, as he has now done time and again, is inexcusable.

Following whatever the resolve may be of this phony debt "crisis" created by the Republicans, the FY 2012 budget debate will very quickly begin and we're likely to see the very same tactics and Republican victory resolution played out all over again. (Bookmark this post for use in October, when the FY '12 year begins and the GOP will be staging another hostage crisis.)

What was clear to us as long ago as 2007 was that Obama was the worst. negotiator. ever. His time in office to date has done nothing to assuage us of that initial assessment, as he has negotiated with himself and capitulated to terror tactics again and again, acceding to virtually every demand of the hostage takers by the end.

From giving away the store with un-stimulating tax cuts in a much-smaller-than-needed stimulus package, to giving up away the public option (much less single payer) right off the bat in the health care reform bill, to capitulating on extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich earlier this year, and now accepting a "bargain" which tosses out everything he had formerly promised to be a "bottom line" for any debt ceiling deal, the President has done almost precisely as he projected he would 4 years ago when we pointed it out, so that we could "get a sense of how the next president will make decisions."

If you didn't notice then, please don't blame us. We tried to tell you.

* * *

On the wonky details of the President's latest capitulation...For one of the best critiques that we've seen to date, on the dangers posed to jobs and the economy by the current Dems-give-all-GOP-gives-nothing "deal," please see Krugman, who charges "The President Surrenders." He offers an argument that his "deal" will make things much worse, rather than better, both economically and politically. He says that "we're witnessing here...a catastrophe on multiple levels"...

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

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Latest Rightwing propagandist paid to make stuff up about ACORN to bolster GOP voter suppression laws...
By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2011 8:39am PT  

Matthew Vadum will lie about anything he needs to in order to collect his wingnut welfare paychecks apparently. American values such as democracy be damned. It's partisan politics (and paychecks) at all costs.

Vadum has, of late, taken over from the disgraced Bush/Cheney general counsel turned fake "voting rights advocate" Thor Hearne of the fake "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR), and the disgraced liar John Fund of the Wall Street Journal as the moment's GOP master of media misinformation meant to confuse the public about polling place Photo ID restriction laws passed by the GOP in statehouses around the country over the past few months in order to suppress the legal Democratic-leaning vote in advance of 2012.

Like Hearne and Fund before him, he's very good at his job. He's very aggressive. And there is little he is unwilling to blatantly, if cleverly, lie about to fool his gullible constituency.

Vadum's latest misinformative article, as published by Tucker Carlson's The Daily Caller and, predictably, echoed around the intellectually dishonest and incurious wingnut blogosphere last week, picks up where his recently published propaganda book about ACORN leaves off.

That book, which he was kind enough to send us a copy of recently, is pitched on its cover and its publicity sheet as an exposé uncovering the truth behind the former four-decade old community organization who he describes as "Ballot Box Stuffers," "Urban Terrorists," and "Gangsters."

That his silly book fails to detail even a single ballot box "stuffed" by ACORN is little surprise. There exists no actual evidence, after all, of any illegal vote ever having been cast by any voter who was improperly registered by an ACORN worker. But this is all politics as usual to partisans like Vadum. So preposterous propaganda meant to directly undermine American democracy is merely all in a days work for dudes like him.

The same disingenuous "voter fraud" sleight-of-hand used in his book is once again recycled in his latest "news" article. Like his book, the article is meant to do little more than dishonestly reinforce support for reprehensible voter suppression laws that offer an advantage to Republicans at the ballot box. As Vadum knows, it's far easier for Republicans to "win" elections by keeping their opposition from being able to cast their legal votes --- and certainly easier than risking jail time by gaming electronic voting systems --- than it would be to actually garner popular support for their actual agenda. That's the game for which Vadum gets paid.

He's a rather silly man, and its child's play, naturally, to demonstrate, using his own words --- as we've been doing similarly for years with now-disgraced 'voter fraud' fraudsters like Hearne and Fund --- how Vadum knowingly lies to his constituency. But we guess it's necessary to do it one more time here with Vadum, if only to place it on the Internet record to help those who don't know about him or his pernicious scam, and how it's meant to mislead otherwise good folks with clever "voter fraud" rhetoric that represents the problem as something far different than what it actually is....

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

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