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By Brad Friedman on 10/15/2011 12:55pm PT  

I'm still largely off the grid for another day or so (as I have been for the last 24 hours+), but delighted to check in to see so much great conversation on D.C. Douglas' #OccupyWallStreet video we posted in the previous item. Also delighted to check in to see that the worldwide #OWS movement is today's top story across all the major corporate media outlets!

Incredibly, I'm here in Las Vegas (for a conference) and find huge signs advertising CNN's next GOP debate here on Tuesday being held at The Venetian. The embarrassing perfection and irony of the next Presidential debate being held at a CASINO is something I don't have time enough or perhaps even skills enough, to adequately elucidate upon at the moment.

All as some 20 #OccupyWallStreet protesters were reported arrested just minutes ago attempting to close their accounts at Citibank near Washington Sq. Park in Manhattan! More irony there than you can shake a GOP debate in a casino at.

In the meantime, cursorily related --- on both the irony scale and several others --- I was interviewed by Bob Jimenez on LA Business Today, about two weeks ago on our local LA Cityview 35 channel as the uprising was just begin to force its way onto the national corporate mediascape.

The segment, seen below, aired earlier this week. We discussed blogging, journalism, capitalism, the "occupation," e-voting and more in the very quick 12-minute segment...


Get Microsoft Silverlight

Back soon! Viva La Occupation!

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By Brad Friedman on 10/13/2011 2:05pm PT  

An awesome video from D.C. Douglas. Could well become an anthem for the movement...

The video is brilliant. Please crank up your speakers and watch it. You won't be sorry. But just to highlight the four items Douglas, no enemy of capitalism, calls for changing --- each of which would make very worthy demands for Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement, should they decide to create specific ones...

  • Reinstate Glass-Steagall: Restore the firewall, created during the depression to avoid a similar mess in the future, then abolished in 1999, which kept banks out of the business of risky investment and speculation schemes.
  • Audit The Fed: Force transparency for the trillions of tax-payer dollars given away in corporate bailouts and/or manipulated by the currently unaccountable public/private "national bank".
  • Reverse Citizens United via Constitutional Amendment: End the absurdity of corporate "personhood" and unlimited (and secret) corporate money in politics, as established by the U.S. Supreme Court last year.
  • Overhaul the Tax Code for Corporations & Top 1%: They often pay less of their income than you do. Sucker. That is simply obsene.
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By Ernest A. Canning on 10/13/2011 7:35am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Contrary to the Republican Party's recently launched, all-out War on the EPA, the 40-year old Environmental Protection Agency, founded during the Richard Nixon Administration with strong bi-partisan support, is a job creator, according to a newly released report by the Majority Staff of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Chaired by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D), the committee's 29-page report [PDF] touts "essential contributions that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and landmark environmental laws" contribute towards "protecting public health and promoting economic growth."

It also highlights quotes from radical leftists like George W. Bush's Republican EPA Director, Christie Todd Whitman ("[I]t is easy to forget how far we have come in the past 40 years. We should take heart from all this progress and not, as some in Congress have suggested, seek to tear down the agency that the president and Congress created to protect America’s health and environment.") and President Gerald Ford ("Nothing is more essential to the life of every single American than clean air, pure food, and safe drinking water").

The Democrats' report excoriates the deceptive partisan attacks embodied in recently introduced GOP House legislation meant "to weaken EPA's authority to regulate toxic emissions," and concludes by underscoring the EPA's role in promoting both environmental and economic health in the nation...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/12/2011 11:53am PT  

Missed this late last week, but it's still well-worth flagging here...particularly for all of the pretend "conservatives" who visit this blog.

Here's UK Prime Minister David Cameron speaking at last week's annual Conservative Party conference in Manchester [hat-tip Towleroad]...

"I once stood before a Conservative conference and said it shouldn't matter whether commitment was between a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, or a man and another man. You applauded me for that. Five years on, we're consulting on legalising gay marriage. And to anyone who has reservations, I say: Yes, it's about equality, but it's also about something else: commitment. Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don't support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I'm a Conservative."

So, again, with the vast majority of self-identified "conservatives" in the U.S. not actually conservative at all, and most "liberals" not particularly liberal, we know why Rightwing media love to use those completely misleading labels, but what's the pathetic excuse for the rest of the media doing so?

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By Ernest A. Canning on 10/12/2011 7:05am PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

While both phenomena --- Occupy Wall Street and the "Tea Party" --- have emerged at a time of acute economic distress and a sense of alienation, disenchantment and betrayal brought on by an increasingly authoritarian corporate capitalism, they are as different as night is to day.

Occupy Wall Street is a genuine, organic, knowledge-driven democratic uprising. Its source, as perceptively described by Ben Manski, Executive Director of the Liberty Tree Foundation, is to be found in a profound "contradiction." "The promise of the Unites States is democracy," he writes, yet "The reality is that corporate elites rule."

The American "promise" is embodied in the lofty, egalitarian principles of the Declaration of Independence, in the recognition provided by the U.S. Constitution that the purpose of government is to "promote the general welfare," and in the concept inscribed above the portico of the U.S. Supreme Court --- "EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW." The "reality," as noted by former New York Times reporter, Chris Hedges, is that political power in the U.S. has been seized by a "criminal class" of rapacious oligarchs, whose radical goal is not merely the ability to carry out their criminal pillage of the economy and the environment with impunity, but the decimation of "all impediments to the creation of a neo-feudalistic corporate state."

The goal of Occupy Wall Street, Manski observes, is "to make the promise the new reality." It is, in that sense, a broader movement than both the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s, for it is not limited to a rejection of Jim Crow and imperial conquest, but a total rejection of the authoritarian corporate security state that the rapacious oligarchs have erected.

Like the occupiers, the indoctrinated followers of the "Tea Party" are experiencing a profound sense of fear, alienation and betrayal. But what the latter do not realize is that theirs is a misdirected anger --- the product of an Orwellian manipulation by the same reactionary billionaires (aka "economic royalists" per FDR) who, in reality, are the source of their economic insecurity and political oppression.

But, before exploring the Orwellian manipulations of billionaire sociopaths, let's examine the underlying political and economic conditions that have given rise to Occupy Wall Street...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/11/2011 11:16pm PT  

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/11/2011 2:19pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Occupy Wall Street movement pushes back against dirty fossil fuel corporations; World's newest oil spill, now in New Zealand!; Keystone XL pipeline bombshell --- pipeline company's buddies help Obama/Clinton State Dept. approve the pipeline, but no complaints from Republicans; Million-dollar Solyndra bankruptcy gets more coverage than Billion-dollar Iraq war contracting corruption; PLUS: Rightwing freakout over peaceful Occupier protests challenging corporate greed ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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

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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): Every $1 of coal power costs U.S. $2 in damages; Too late for Central Appalachia to prepare for collapse of the coal industry?; China's PV Feed-In Law Results in Solar Boom, Unlike Weak US Subsidies; Illinois Team Wins Oil Spill Cleanup X Challenge; Study: 25% renewable energy by 2025 would create millions of new jobs; Algae biofuel industry wants equal fed treatment; Lessons for the Colorado River from drought-stricken Australia; EPA Whistle-Blower Warns EPA Must Not Buckle to Industry Pressure and Greenwash Fracking; Sandia Laboratory testing miniature glitter-sized solar cells; Pharmaceutical manufacturer fined for Violating Hazardous Waste Law; This is where your plants will come from after the Ecopocalypse; UN Ambitions in Check on Global Climate Deal; Conservation Funding Sparks Political Battle; Robo-Deer Used to Catch Poachers; CA Bans Possession, Sale of Shark Fins ...PLUS: Obama Rips GOP Defeatism: ‘I’m Not Going To Surrender To Other Countries’ ...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/11/2011 7:05am PT  

Of course, unscientific online polls don't mean much of anything, right? Still, this one is both interesting and/or amusing, given where it is and what the question was.

Our guess is that these results won't be getting much air time on Fox "News"...

[The above results are as of 10/11/11, 11:39am PT.]

UPDATE 10/16/11: Oh, look! After all the attention the above poll received outside of Fox "News", a huge number of alleged votes have now flipped the results back in favor of "No. They have no idea how jobs are created or how a free-enterprise system works." Go figure.

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By Brad Friedman on 10/10/2011 6:11pm PT  

The New York Times' Paul Krugman absolutely nails the rapidly growing fear and loathing amongst the Oligarchy as Republicans scramble to support years of corporatist cronyism and corruption over the very real grass-roots uprising of "Occupy Wall Street" protesters who've had enough and are now finally fighting for the general welfare of middle-class American citizens.

"This reaction tells you something important," Krugman writes. "Namely, that the extremists threatening American values are what F.D.R. called 'economic royalists,' not the people camping in Zuccotti Park."

"What’s going on here? The answer, surely, is that Wall Street’s Masters of the Universe realize, deep down, how morally indefensible their position is," he avers.

The short piece is a must-read, as it pretty well sums up exactly where we are at what could be a pivotal moment in history, especially as you're likely to see much more of the panic expressed on Fox "News" and other corporatist outlets as the popular and populist uprising continues to grow...

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Venango County's Craig Adams says candidates reported to have received ZERO votes on ES&S voting machines in 2008 election...
By Brad Friedman on 10/10/2011 1:25pm PT  

Last week we wrote about Venango County, PA's landmark independent forensic audit of their 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting machines. The heavily-Republican county will be moving to paper ballots this November, as their systems are now being examined by computer scientists from Carnegie Mellon University following what Marybeth Kuznik of the non-partisan Election Integrity group VotePA.us described to us as "numerous reports of vote-flipping, candidates missing from screens, write-ins missing, and high undervote rates in their May 17 Primary."

In our coverage last week, we highlighted the comments of Venango's Republican Election Director Craig Adams who asked at a presser, as the examination finally got underway following months of legal wrangling and opposition, "What is a vote worth?"

"If the vote is counted it is priceless," he continued. "If it is not counted, I don't care what it costs. Let's get a right."

On Friday night, as I was guest hosting the nationally-syndicated Mike Malloy Show last week, Adams was kind enough to call in to the show. [Audio posted below.] We didn't know we'd hear from him, but when he called in I was delighted to take his call, as he had more information to share on what had led to his Election Board --- currently comprised of two Republicans and one Democrat --- fighting together to move to paper ballots, and to see their machines independently examined.

"It started with an election in 2008 when the machines were basically showing a large number of undervotes," he explained. "And then there were candidates for positions in the county and they had zero votes, but there was like 250 or 260 undervotes..."

"Wait a minute," I interrupted. "There were people who had zero votes on the ballot? Is that normal?," I asked.

"No. No, it is not normal," he responded bluntly. "And so, ya know, that was a red flag"...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/9/2011 11:17am PT  

This story is heart breaking, appalling, and just the first of many similar that we're likely to hear as new voter suppression laws, jammed through by Republican legislatures around the country, take effect before next year's 2012 Presidential election cycle.

Dorothy Cooper is a 96-year old African-American woman from Tennessee. Born before women even had the right to vote, she's now been voting religiously for some 70 years without a problem, even before the Voting Rights of 1965 during the the Jim Crow-era in the South. At least until now.

The newly-elected GOP legislature in her state has rammed through a disenfranchising polling-place Photo ID restriction law which has now made it incredibly difficult for Cooper to cast her legal vote, just like some 500,000 legal and largely Democratic-leaning voters in Tennessee.

As Rachel Maddow details below, Cooper has never had a driver's license. So, at 96 years old, she worked to make her way to the DMV in advance of next year's election and presented her birth certificate and all sorts of other identifying documents in order to receive the supposedly "free" state ID she is legally entitled to receive under the new law so that she can once again cast a vote next year.

However, as Cooper has gotten married since birth and her name has thus changed in the bargain, she was denied the ID, as she was unable to find and produce her marriage certificate to prove that she was who she said she was.

Welcome to your 2012 elections in the "world's greatest Democracy"...


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By Brad Friedman on 10/8/2011 5:09pm PT  

Loony Rightwing website Newsbusters seems to have a complaint about Mike Malloy and me, though I'll be damned if I know what it is, even after reading their article.

In any case, thanks for helping us spread the word, Newsbusters!

* * *

UPDATE 10/10/11: When I asked Tim Graham, the author of the silly NewsBusters report cited above, what exactly his complaint was, since it's not particularly clear, he Tweeted to me that "Lefties have this arrogance problem where the conservatives are always 'dumb as dirt'."

In response, I tweeted back: "Generalize much? Did I say 'conservatives are always 'dumb as dirt''? Or that Cain was? You're a media critic. Get it right."

His response in kind: "I wasn't just talking about you and this show. I was generalizing that liberals always thinking they're the smartest. Arrogant."

Of course, his "generalizing" article neither makes that claim, nor bothers to support any part of his contention. Lazy wingnut journalism --- and nice quotes by both Malloy and me about the pathetic state of Republican support for corporatist cronyism and corruption over the general welfare of middle-class American citizens --- is all we're left with. So thanks again for helping to get the word out, NewsBusters!

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TONIGHT: Greg Palast on 'Uber Vultures'; Ernest Canning on The Uprising; & more Occupation as our week occupying the airwaves for Malloy concludes...
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 10/7/2011 4:31pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with awesome audio archives at the bottom! Enjoy!]

It's our last night for a while occupying the public airwaves as guest-host of the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show.

Once again we'll be BradCasting LIVE 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), coast-to-coast and around the uprising globe from the studios of L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG, as usual, while we are on the air. Please stop by and join the fun while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)

Scheduled tonight:

  • GREG PALAST, BBC investigative reporter and NYTimes best-selling author on his upcoming new book Vultures' Picnic: a Tale of Oil, Sex, Radiation and Investigative Reporting and the "Über-Vulture" billionaires who hope to pick our next President.
  • ERNEST A. CANNING, attorney and legal analyst for The BRAD BLOG on his thoughts on "Occupy Wall Street" and how it ain't no "Tea Party"...
  • PLUS! More calls from "Occupation Nation" (Hour 3 is once again wide open for calls from "Occupiers"!) and anything else that we didn't get to this week, or that you'd like to talk about at 877-520-1150 and with your tweets to @TheBradBlog!...

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates across the country and also on SiriusXM Ch. 127. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or at WhiteRose Society or via MikeMalloy.com.

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: Thanks all for a great week of occupation and a great closing night show! It was a huge show, with an unexpected guest (the Republican Director of Venango County, PA's Board of Elections, see below for more) and a tremendous closing hour of Occupation Nation Calls! See below for the must-listen commercial-free audio archives (and the chat room archives as well.) Thanks again to Mike and Kathy for letting us occupy their airwaves! Until next time...

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

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PLUS: Citizen journalist coverage of Occupy LA...
By Ernest A. Canning on 10/7/2011 3:59pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Los Angeles is no New York City. Following a torrential down pour on Wednesday, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sent a hundred rain ponchos over to those who had been encamped outside of L.A. City Hall since last weekend, as the core of the Occupy Los Angeles movement.

Later that same day, the Los Angeles City Council filed an extraordinary Resolution [PDF] in support of the L.A. "occupiers" and of the larger "Occupy Wall Street" movement as a whole.

The resolution, to be adopted "with the concurrence of the Mayor" (and supported by the L.A. County Federation of Labor), comes very close to a formal governmental endorsement of "Occupy Wall Street," a movement which Michael Moore describes plainly enough as "an uprising of people who have had it."

Amongst the powerful WHEREAS statements in support of the L.A. City Council Resolution, adopted "with the concurrence of the Mayor," was a recognition that "corporations hold undue influence and power;" that wealth disparity in the U.S. is greater than many of the nations in the Middle East that have been racked by "violent revolutionary protests;" that "our economic system" is "broken," creating an "economic crisis" that is "eroding the very social contract upon which the Constitution of the United States of America was founded"...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/7/2011 3:41pm PT  

Via #OccupyAustin..

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