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By Brad Friedman on 9/5/2012 4:42pm PT  

Unlike the rigged votes at last week's Republican National Convention, the rigged vote during today's Democratic National Convention didn't have its results pre-determined by TelePrompter. Instead, it was left to Los Angeles Mayor and Convention Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa to simply ignore the shouts of "NO!", in passing an amendment this afternoon to the party platform "by a two-thirds vote in the affirmative"...

The otherwise-unscheduled vote came about after President Obama and the Democrats withered under several hours of GOP and Fox "News" criticism of the fact that the word "God" and recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, did not appear in this year's party platform. That, despite Obama's previously stated belief that the Israeli capital should be in an undivided Jerusalem, the existing platform reference to an "unshakable commitment to Israel's security", and the lengthy passage on faith and the importance of religion already present in this year's Democratic platform.

It took three tries, as seen in the video above, before Villaraigosa got up the nerve to pretend that the "Ayes" had it by the two-thirds majority required to adopt the amendment, which included restoring the party's 2008 platform language that had included the word "God", without debate. Well, Republicans and Fox "News" will be happy now at least. Right? And, after all, responding to fake Republican scandals, with a pretend vote, about an invisible bearded man floating in the sky, is certainly among the most important things that should happen at a Democratic National Convention.

* * *
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By Brad Friedman on 9/5/2012 4:10pm PT  

I'd say I was stunned to see a local TV news reporter --- any TV news reporter, frankly --- asking the President directly about his targeted assassinations of U.S. citizens, except that the reporter was Cincinnati Fox 19's Ben Swann.

Swann's reporting was key last February, in covering the Maine GOP's attempt to steal the state's caucuses for Mitt Romney, while largely everyone else in the corporate mainstream media had dutifully moved on to whatever the "next state" was at the time.

As Glenn Greenwald tweeted, here we find a "local anchor doing real journalism". Imagine that. Someone get this guy a network gig, please!

Here's his questions to President Obama last night on the U.S. drone strikes which targeted U.S. citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and his teenage son in Yemen, both without any form of due process...

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Republicans going 'whole nine yards' to suppress vote in OH, says former President in advance of DNC speech
UPDATE: Clinton cites GOP voter suppression during DNC speech...
By Brad Friedman on 9/5/2012 11:16am PT  

"Do you really want to live in a country where one party is so desperate to win the White House that they go around trying to make it harder for people to vote if they’re people of color, poor people or first generation immigrants?," Bill Clinton asked rhetorically on Tuesday night during an event organized by the Arkansas Democratic Party.

In what The Nation's Ari Berman highlighted as a possible "preview" of the former President's remarks tonight in Charlotte, where he'll be headlining at the DNC, Clinton savaged the Republican efforts, particularly in Pennsylvania and Ohio, to suppress the Democratic vote:

“Do you really want to live in a country where one party is so desperate to win the White House that they go around trying to make it harder for people to vote if they’re people of color, poor people or first generation immigrants?

“In Pennsylvania, where they passed all these voter ID requirements, the House Republican leader who passed it said it was one of the most important achievements because it will enable Governor Romney to defeat the president in Pennsylvania.

“In Ohio, they passed the whole nine yards. The problem was in Ohio you can actually put this stuff on the ballot pretty easily to overturn it. So they went back in—you gotta give it to Republicans, they’re good. They vetoed it, then they snuck in an end to advance voting. Then they allowed the counties—and every county in Ohio has an election commission of three Democrats and three Republicans [Ed Note: actually it's two and two]—to decide if they were going to go around advance voting. The Democrats, we were for it. So in every county that was Republican, Democrats said ‘OK, we’ll have advance voting.’ And in every single county that is overwhelming Democratic, the Republicans voted against allowing advance voting.

Berman goes on to note that Clinton offered similar sentiments during a speech he made last year, when he decried the "Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today":

In last year's speech, a clip of which we'll post again below, Clinton said:

I can’t help thinking, since we just celebrated the Fourth of July and we’re supposed to be a country dedicated to liberty, that one of the most pervasive political movements going on outside Washington today is the disciplined, passionate, determined effort of Republican governors and legislators to keep most of you from voting next time. There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the other Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today.
...
Why is all this going on? This is not rocket science. They are trying to make the 2012 electorate look more like the 2010 electorate than the 2008 electorate.

Will Clinton offer similar sentiments tonight during his speech in Charlotte?

UPDATE 9:10pm PT: In fact, Clinton did give a shout out against GOP voter suppression during his rousing convention speech tonight: "If you want ever American to vote and you think it is wrong to change voting procedures just to reduce the turnout of younger, poorer, minority, and disabled voters, you should support Barack Obama!"

* * *

The short clip from President Bill Clinton's 7/6/2011 speech to student voters, in which he slammed Republicans for their voter suppression efforts follows below.

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/4/2012 10:35pm PT  

According to Twitter, "The end [of] @MichelleObama's speech drove a higher Tweets-per-minute peak than @MittRomney's at #GOP2012. 28,003 vs. 14,289 for the Gov."

If you saw it, you probably know why that was. We don't take sides in these things, but we know a good speech when we see it. Even Chris Wallace on Fox "News" had little choice, as much as it seemed to pain him, but to call it "masterful". Former Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele described it as "one helluva speech."

While partisans always enjoy pretending First Ladies (anybody's), or even hopeful First Ladies, are just "amazing", they rarely are. This one, on the other hand, no matter what you may feel about her husband, actually is --- at least if her eloquent and extraordinary speech tonight is any indication.

Too bad shitty speakers like Bill Clinton on Wednesday and Barack Obama on Thursday, are gonna have to meet her incredibly high first night bar.

If you missed the speech that lit up Twitter tonight --- and even led some to call (only half joking?) for "Michelle Obama 2016!" --- the video of the entire speech follows below...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/4/2012 5:40pm PT  

The New York Times is reporting, and the campaign of Green Party Presidential nominee Jill Stein is confirming, that Google TV Ads is lifting its block on an ad for Stein featuring a partially bleeped "obscenity".

Google TV Ads, which, according to the Times, "fills advertising slots for television stations", had "initially rejected the commercial...citing the use of 'inappropriate language'".

After a "Tell Google TV Ads Not to Censor Our Ads!" campaign by the Green Party, the "hundred thousand dollars worth of airtime" that the campaign had purchased to run the ad mostly on cable TV in targeted markets, will move ahead as scheduled this week.

"Never mind that these ads already comply with F.C.C. regulations regarding appropriate content," the Green Party had argued, "what Google does not seem to understand is that federal law prohibits broadcasters from censoring ads submitted by candidates for public office."

The Times reports that Ben Manski, Stein's campaign manager, explained that the "ad was primarily intended to be shown on cable and satellite channels, like MSNBC and Comedy Central, which, like the Internet, are not subject to government regulation of objectionable language in the way that words and images broadcast over the airwaves still are."

Here is the shocking ad. Be sure to remove all young children, or the faint of heart, from the room before hitting the play button...

In the meantime, there continues to be no prohibition against blatant lies being told in campaign ads by Presidential candidates or any others. Go figure.

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/4/2012 2:47pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
FACEBOOK: Green News Report
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Romney mocks climate change, while Obama doesn't, as the Democratic National Convention gets underway; Energy company CEO pushes for a price on carbon(!); Midwest drought now coming for your popcorn; PLUS: Speaking of 'popping' - Hurricane Isaac recovery, now with dead rats! ... 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): Summer of Fire 2012: new fires prompt evacuations in NE, CA; Organics no healthier than conventional foods - if you don't count pesticides and antibiotic-resistant superbugs; Israel solar industry struggling; Arctic ice melt: 1st sailboat in the Arctic Ocean; Shell gets a pass, clears another hurdle to Arctic drilling; Methane now contaminating PA water supplies; Study: humanity set to blow past 2 degrees Celisus warming ... PLUS: Labor Day 2040: Endless Summer ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/4/2012 10:53am PT  

Before we get started with this week's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, a final noteworthy thought or two on last week's RNC in Tampa.

The first comes as Twitter battles continue over the truthiness of VP nominee Rep. Paul Ryan's acceptance speech last Wednesday, with trolls continuing to insist, somehow, that Ryan wasn't lying about one thing after another. The trolls will be disappointed to learn that George W. Bush's Chief Political Strategist, Matthew Dowd, disagrees with them. Yes, Ryan lied, said Dowd on ABC's This Week on Sunday...

DOWD: Paul Ryan, what he did in his speech, I think so stretched the truth. And I like Paul Ryan, have a lot of great respect for Paul Ryan, but the elements that he said about closing the GM plant which closed before Barack Obama took President [sic], about the Simpson-Bowles bill which he opposed and then all of a sudden he faults Barack Obama for. At some point, the truth should matter…He was trying to convey that Barack Obama was responsible for the closing of that GM plant and that isn’t true.

The second and, for now, last point in RNC wrap-up, was this response to it all from President Obama on the stump, Saturday in Iowa...

The president recalled the GOP convention as a look backward. “It was a re-run — we’d seen it before,” he said. “You might as well have watched it on a black-and-white TV.”
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By his own admission, they argue, hundreds of thousands of legal voters may be disenfranchised by the GOP-enacted law...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/4/2012 6:35am PT  

The petitioners challenging the Republican polling place Photo ID restriction law as a violation of the state Constitution in Pennsylvania, have filed their appeal to the state's Supreme Court, after being caught off-guard by a surprising and stinging defeat at the hands of a Republican Commonwealth Judge last month.

In their 68-page Pennsylvania Supreme Court brief [PDF], the petitioners in Applewhite vs. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania set forth a compelling legal case to demonstrate the need for a preliminary injunction in advance of the November 2012 President Election in order to prevent what they describe as the potential disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of lawfully registered voters.

The brief does much more than simply urge that Commonwealth Judge Robert E. Simpson, erred in applying the federal "minimum scrutiny" standard instead of subjecting Photo ID to "strict scrutiny" under state law because, they argue, it threatens to deprive hundreds of thousands of Keystone State citizens of a fundamental right to vote. The brief lays bare many of the GOP myths about the purpose of polling place Photo ID restrictions, while demonstrating why the GOP-enacted Pennsylvania law would not qualify as constitutional even under the less demanding test laid down by six of the U.S. Supreme Court's nine Justices in Crawford v. Marion County Board of Elections, their 2008 decision approving Indiana's version of a similar restriction on voting in that state...

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

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But stops short of a call to end 'corporate personhood'...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/2/2012 6:42pm PT  
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER?
President Obama, during his surprise Reddit chat last Wednesday, jumps into the Citizens United fray.

"I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it)," President Barack Obama wrote last week during a surprise public Reddit chat.

"Consider mobilizing?" Groups like Move to Amend and Public Citizen initiated that mobilization shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court's radical-right quintet handed down that infamous decision in 2010. By July of this year, California had become the sixth state to call for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizen's United.

"Assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it?" The Court had an opportunity to revisit Citizens United earlier this year, or at least to limit its impact to federal elections. Instead, the same radical-right quintet expanded the reach of that democracy destroying decision by overturning a Montana Supreme Court decision which had sought to uphold a century old, state anti-corruption law.

While the President's remarks will no doubt be welcomed by the already-mobilized movement, one should not lose sight of the fact that they fall far short of an endorsement of either Vermont's proposed constitutional amendment or the measure introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the U.S. Senate. Both efforts call for the end to "corporate personhood" and a determination that money does not equal free speech under the First Amendment.

If the President truly desires to spotlight what amounts to a hostile corporate takeover of our democracy, he will confront Mitt "corporations are people, my friend" Romney in the upcoming Presidential debates with an openly stated support for a constitutional amendment that, as the Sanders measure provides, establishes that the "rights protected by the Constitution...are the rights of natural persons and do not extend to for-profit corporations, limited liability companies, or other private entities established for business purposes." Indeed, that position could frame the issue for all candidates seeking public office in the 2012 election.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/2/2012 4:22pm PT  

Needed to give my brain a bit of a break by using a different part of it for a few minutes (okay, hours) this weekend. Made a few long overdue design tweaks, and some other clean up here and there. Will probably tweak a bit more in the days ahead, and still need to do a major software overhaul in the future, if I'm able to afford to update some of the customization that is built into the blog.

But for now, if you find anything that doesn't look or work as you think it's supposed to, first hit SHIFT-REFRESH (so all of the underlying design files properly update), and then if it's still not quite right, please let me know in comments. If you can include the operating system and browser you're using, that will be helpful.

Beyond the obvious design changes, I've also tried to make the site a bit more Facebook friendly as well. Let's see if I was successful!

Of course, your general input on the changes, good or bad, is always welcome!

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