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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, October 19, 2017
DHS Misled on 2016 'Russian Hacks' (Will They Get It Right in 2018?): 'BradCast' 10/18/17
Guest: Orange Cnty, CA Registrar Neal Kelley on new DHS 'Election Infrastructure' Council...
Impeachable Offenses: Trump's 'ObamaCare' Lie: 'BradCast' 10/17/17
Also, Guest: Pastor Michael McBride on the 'Cost for Peace vs. Death' and programs that cut gun violence where it's needed most...
'Green News Report' 10/17/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Hurricane batters Ireland; Deadliest wildfire week in CA history; Puerto Ricans drinking water from toxic Superfund sites; Coal plants closed in TX; PLUS: Oil rig explodes in LA...
Previous GNRs: 10/12/17 - 10/10/17 - Archives...
Something's Happening Here (Maybe): 'BradCast' 10/16/17
Guest: Heather Digby Parton on Trump rage, GOP 'cowardice', so-called 'Values Voters'; Also: Deadly hurricane in Ireland(?!), fires in CA, war between US-armed allies in Iraq...
Sunday 'Just Undo It' Toons
'PDiddie' rounds up yet another week in American politics where words frequently fail, but the political cartoonists do not...
'Chaos':
'BradCast' 10/13/2017
In less than 24 hours, Trump aggressively unleashes fresh havoc on the American health care system and foreign policy with Iran...
'Green News Report' 10/12/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Historic, deadly firestorms grow in CA; Water-borne diseases in Puerto Rico; PLUS: Trump EPA makes way for controversial mine in world's most valuable fishery...
Previous GNRs: 10/10/17 - 10/5/17 - Archives...
North Korea, Iran and Trump's Determined 'Path to WWIII': 'BradCast' 10/10/17
Guest: Dr. Trita Parsi of the National Iranian-American Council on Trump's dangerous, and foolish, scheme to break the Iran nuclear deal...
'Green News Report' 10/10/17
Deadly wildfires explode in CA; 2017 shattering disaster records -- and not over yet; PLUS: Trump EPA moves to kill Obama 'Clean Power Plan' to curb global warming...
Underestimating 'Trump's Dangerously Coherent Agenda': 'BradCast' 10/9/17
Guest: Author, journalist John Nichols; Also: Massive wildfires explode across CA; Trump EPA announces reversal of Obama 'Clean Power Plan'...
Sunday 'Now is Not the Time' Toons
GOP says 'not time' to discuss gun safety or climate or anything else they don't want to talk about. Cartoonists in PDiddie's latest toon collection beg to differ...
'Calm Before the Storm'?!:
'BradCast' 10/6/17
Trump's chilling remark; More deadly coal, chemical shills for EPA; Trump's 'reverse Midas touch'; Plus: Time to abolish the 2nd Amendment?...
Trump's Cabinet of 'Trickle-Down Corruption': 'BradCast' 10/5/17
Guest: Brendan Fischer of Campaign Legal Center; Also: GOP Rep. resigns in sex/abortion scandal, NRA gives (some) cover to GOP...
'Green News Report' 10/5/17
Trump visits PR, downplays disaster; US gives fossil fuel ind. $20B/year subsidies; Scotland bans fracking; PLUS: Climate change costing US 100s of billions per year...
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...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


President calls for 'major investigation', but forgot to check with own appointees first. Plus: EPA climate science lockdown and listener calls...
By Brad Friedman on 1/25/2017 5:58pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Donald Trump called this morning for "a major investigation" into what he falsely claims to be 3 to 5 million illegal votes cast in the November 2016 election, "including those registered in two states". But Trump probably should have checked with his own top appointees before pointing fingers. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Of course, many Republicans will be all too happy to "investigate" Trump's "bogus" claims and use them, no matter what little fraud is revealed, in order to institute voting restrictions that have nothing to do with fraud, but may well keep those who tend to vote Democratic from being able to vote at all.

As discussed today, we've been covering these issues for more than a decade here at The BRAD BLOG and on The BradCast for a reason. Donald Trump is just one of them. We look at his repeatedly debunked claims, the discredited studies cited in support of them by his Press Secretary and the nascent effort by some Democratic members of Congress to push back.

Also today: More on Team Trump's chilling efforts to remove climate science and environmental protection from the Environmental Protection Agency and listener calls on all of the above and much more...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Trump's lies distract from his Admin's dangerous actions on free speech, environment, voting rights and more. Guest: ACLU's Julie Ebenstein...
By Brad Friedman on 1/24/2017 6:17pm PT  

Never mind his inauguration crowd size or his claims to be "a very big person when it comes to the environment", or even his false claims about "voter fraud". On today's BradCast, while it may be hard to imagine, and the corporate media may have yet to fully notice, Donald Trump's actions speak much louder than his obnoxious words and virtually non-stop stream of public lies. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Don't be distracted by what Donald Trump says. Pay attention to what he does. To that end, while folks were debating his "alternative facts" on the crowd size at his inauguration, the new Administration was busy shutting down the Twitter accounts and ability for federal employees to communicate with the press and public at the Department of Interior, the National Park Service, the EPA and other federal agencies.

While claiming to be a champion for the environment this morning, he then signed an Executive Action to move forward with approval of the dirty and dangerous KeystoneXL and Dakota Access Pipelines by the afternoon.

While the new President continued to pretend that millions of illegal votes were cast in the 2016 election (even the New York Times called it a "Lie" in their headline!), he and his supporters fought successfully to stop the post-election "recounts" in all three states where evidence of such illegal votes --- if it actually existed (it doesn't) --- might have been revealed.

While the Administration claimed last week that their work wouldn't begin until Monday, their new Dept. of Justice leadership was taking action on Inauguration Day to undermine a long-standing lawsuit against Texas' unlawful Photo ID voting restrictions. Yes, Republican Trumpers understand the importance of voting laws and procedures --- even when it's not an election year. Do Democrats and progressives?

Julie Ebenstein, staff attorney at the ACLU Voting Rights Project, joins us to explain what exactly the Trump DoJ did on Friday in the Texas case and what it may signify for that case and others like it, what it all may mean for the future of the currently-gutted Voting Rights Act, and how the ACLU and other private plaintiffs plan to continue the fight for voting rights with or without the Trump Administration's DoJ on their side.

"There's certainly concern that DoJ will shift and no longer take the same positions that it's taken in the Texas and North Carolina cases --- and a lot of concern for future cases, for future protection of people's voting rights," Ebenstein tells me. "If the Department of Justice does not provide and enforce the same robust protections of the Voting Rights act, it's diluting the already scarce resources that are out there to challenge these laws." But, she vows, "we'll continue to do the work we've always done. There are certainly cases where private organizations like the ACLU will go forward without any Department of Justice involvement. We're going to keep doing what we do, no matter what we see coming."

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 1/11/2017 6:00pm PT  

I've seen a lot in my life, but today may be the most insane news day I've ever seen, or certainly attempted to cover in a single episode of The BradCast. Among the stories we cover today, all from with the past 18 hours or so [audio link to show follows below.]...

  • President Obama's moving farewell address in Chicago last night;
  • ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson's troubling first day of confirmation hearings as Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of State;
  • Testimony from members of the Congressional Black Caucus --- including from Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and from civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) --- against the disturbing civil rights and voting rights record of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Trump's nominee for Attorney General on the second day of his confirmation hearings;
  • Trump's first press conference since last July, among record low approval ratings, a shower of bizarre, if unsubstantiated allegations against him concerning claims that he has been compromised both personally and financially by Russia, and his announcement that he will not divest his business holdings before becoming President, despite unprecedented conflicts of interest;
  • Plus: Listener calls on all of the above and Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report!

And, yes, you may need to rinse off after today's show. I know I do.

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Senator Jeff Sessions responds to colleague queries on voting rights, climate science and lying about his own record...
By Brad Friedman on 1/10/2017 5:54pm PT  

On today's BradCast, U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for Donald Trump's top Administration nominees are officially underway. They began today with Day 1 of hearings for controversial U.S. Attorney General nominee Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Alabama. [Audio link to show posted below.]

In the days leading up to today's Sessions session, Democrats have blasted Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for reversing course on demands he had made for Obama nominees back in 2009, requiring that all background checks and vetting by the Office of Government Ethics be completed before hearings begin. Also, before today's hearing commenced, members of the Congressional Black Caucus requested time to give testimony on Sessions' extremely controversial civil rights record. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA), however, while agreeing to allow the member testimony, broke with Senate tradition by only allowing it only after all of the other witness testimony has completed.

We cover all of that today and more details on the former Alabama state AG and U.S. Attorney's https://www.thenation.co...e-to-the-jim-crow-era/\">troubling record on civil rights along with his failure to tell the truth about it. We offer extended excerpts of Sessions' testimony today, including exchanges with Senators Franken (D-MN), Klobuchar (D-MN) and Whitehouse (D-RI), who pressed the A.G. nominee on voting rights, civil rights, and climate science, among other issues, in what was, in my opinion --- and, in particular, given the moment --- an all-too friendly hearing among Senate colleagues.

Nonetheless, hooks were baited and traps were set for what could lead to trouble for Sessions on several of these key issues in the days (and years) ahead, if his nomination is confirmed as expected...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Dem Senators fail to act, so Trump officially becomes President-Elect; Journalist Steve Horn on Koch Brothers' triumph with House passage of REINS Act; AG nominee Jeff Sessions lied about civil rights record...
By Brad Friedman on 1/6/2017 6:09pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Donald Trump officially becomes President-Elect, House Republicans adopt a radical restructuring of the U.S. Government at the long-sought behest of the Koch Brothers, and Trump's nominee for Attorney General is exposed as a liar. [Audio link to show posted below.]

While corporate media were covering another mass shooting, this one allegedly by an Army veteran in Florida, the U.S. Congress met in a Joint Session today to certify the final Electoral College vote count. Despite multiple challenges to the results in 10 different states by House Democrats from the Progressive and Black Caucuses, not one U.S. Senator (Democratic, Republican or, yes, Independent) stepped up to join them, as required by the Constitution, for an official challenge to the results. We have full coverage of that, along with the citizen protests inside the Senate chamber as Vice President Joe Biden officially certified the results.

In another reminder that Democrats may not yet full appreciate what we are all now up against, Republicans in the U.S. House passed the radical REINS Act ("Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny" Act) on the second day of the Congressional session. The bill, which the Koch Brothers and their many political organizations have been pushing for years, will upend more than a century of governmental functioning by requiring that every major regulation adopted by a federal agency be approved by both houses of Congress within 70 days. Under the Act, if either the House or Senate fail to ratify new regulations --- created by experts, sometimes over many years, to enforce laws passed by Congress --- it cannot be enforced, and no other similar regulation can be considered until the next session of Congress, a year or two later.

Investigative journalist Steve Horn, who covered the bill's passage in the House at DeSmogBlog yesterday, joins us to discuss the disturbing and far-reaching ramifications if this bill passes in the Senate and is signed by the President, and why it is that it's seemingly receiving little or no attention or concern from Democrats or corporate media.

"The Koch Brothers and the entities they fund...see this as a potential landmark thing. It's huge," Horn tells me. "If it gets through the courts, it could be something akin to a Citizens United, where it sets a whole new precedent. I think the Koch Brothers see this as a potential sea change in government. They want to change the landscape altogether." Well, this'll do it.

Then, as the GOP is drastically limiting the number of days and witnesses for upcoming confirmation hearings of Trump's top appointments, more than 1,000 attorneys are opposing the controversial appointment of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as the next U.S. Attorney General. And a number of longtime DoJ Civil Rights Unit attorneys are calling him out for lying about his litigation record on civil rights when he served as US Attorney in the 80s.

And, finally, Michelle Obama, in her final remarks as First Lady at the White House, called for hope, not fear, as we all move forward together...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Also: House GOP adopts scheme to make federal lands giveaways easier...
By Brad Friedman on 1/4/2017 5:33pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: The U.S. electoral disasters continue, GOP takeover and theft, and what non-Rightwingers can do about it all. [Audio link to show posted below.]

House Republicans snuck in something else in their new U.S. House rules yesterday, beyond their aborted attempt to gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics: a provision to make it easier to give away federal lands. Desi Doyen fills us in on the scheme.

Then, a few updates --- troubling ones --- on the attempted Wisconsin Presidential 'Recount', where at least 11,000 votes were revealed to have been mistallied (in a state that Donald Trump reportedly won by just 22,000 votes), only half the ballots were allowed to be counted by hand, the cost was about half of what Green Party nominee Jill Stein had been forced to pay, and the final turnout and voter registration numbers in the state are still unknown (ensuring the results still cannot be verified as accurate, even as Congress will accept the Electoral College results on Friday.)

Those are just a few of the reasons why WI is found near the bottom of the list of states in the Electoral Integrity Project's newest report. Most of the lowest-ranked states (14 of the bottom 15) are in the South and/or have both legislatures and governorships controlled by Republicans. The survey, a project of Harvard University and the University of Sydney, also determined the U.S., once again, to be near the bottom of the list of established democracies when it comes to how world political scientists and election experts rate our elections.

Finally, we open the phone lines today to ask listeners: What now? What can progressives, Democrats, the left, the center-left, the center --- basically, the non-Right --- do as Republicans take control of Congress, the White House and a stolen U.S. Supreme Court? Lots of thoughts, with lots of perspective from a lot of great callers...though the last caller of the show may offer our favorite plan of action...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Guest: Univ of Chicago's Daniel Nichanian on proactive, state-by-state measures that Democrats can and must take to expand voting rights...
By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2016 4:55pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Enough playing defense. It's time for Democrats to go on the offense, in states all across the country, to expand the franchise, in numerous ways, rather than simply defending against increasing Republican efforts to restrict voting rights. And where they won't, it's time for progressives to hold them accountable for it. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Today I'm joined by Daniel Nichanian, election expert and post-doctoral fellow in political science at the University of Chicago to discuss his "Voting Rights Manifesto: A State-by-State Plan to Defend Democracy", as recently published in Vox.com's "Big Ideas" series.

Nichanian explains where and how Democrats can and must take action, right now, even during the Trump years, to expand voting rights and access to the polls. Yes, it can (and must) be done in states across the country where Democrats still have control of legislatures and governorships. In many cases, as he describes, Dems don't even need to control both.

No need to wait for and hope that Congressional Republicans to restore the Voting Rights Act, which they probably will never actually do. There are many ways for Democrats to expand voter registration (such as automatic universal registration and other reforms), expand the pool of those eligible to vote (restoring millions of felons' voting rights, for example), ways to make it easier to vote (early voting and easier access to absentee voting), and many other tools to take a proactive stand in the new year.

"The Democratic Party has not been at the forefront of the voting rights issue in the past two years," Nichanian observes. "The issue has really come to a head since the wave of Republican takeovers of state houses in 2010 and 2014, when the Republican Party really prioritized, in state after state, putting in place a very ambitious and consistent agenda of its own to curtail voting rights. The extent to which the Republican Party has prioritized this issue, it keeps taking Democrats by surprise." But, he explains, "when the Democratic Party has power, in many places, they really don't get their act together to think about what has to be done on this issue, and actually get it done."

We discuss how Democrats can do so. We also try and hold them accountable for not having done so to date in so many places where they should have by now --- even in places like New York and California. I'm hoping the conversation, and Nichanian's piece at Vox, might give us all something positive to work for in the new year, even at the same time as progressives build the resistance against the destructive, anti-democratic agenda of Donald Trump and the GOP.

Also on today's show: Fox "News" wingnuts continue their climate change hoax; Democrats in North Carolina end up playing Charlie Brown to the state Republicans' Lucy --- again. And, finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our year-end Green News Report as Obama, on his way out the door, bans off-shore oil drilling in large parts of the Atlantic and the Arctic, and not a moment too soon. The Arctic has turned freakishly warm over the past two months of what is likely to be the warmest year ever recorded on the planet (for the third year in a row). She also has some good news as the year wraps up, however: A new poll finds that Trump's voters actually support regulations on the burning of carbon that causes global warming and, something that even Trump can't change, solar power is now the world's cheapest form of energy. Take that, Big Oil, Big Coal and 2016!...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2016 6:59pm PT  

On today's BradCast, it's not much discussed by the media, but the cost of killing "ObamaCare" is more than simply a political one for millions of Americans. And the brazen GOP coup in North Carolina's state government is not only a fait accompli, but likely a model for Republican controlled states everywhere. [Audio link to show posted below.]

There's a lot of talk of late about the politics of "repealing and replacing" the Affordable Care Act by the incoming Republican Administration and GOP majorities in both the U.S. House and Senate. But there's not as much discussion in the media about the very real costs --- to actual human beings --- of repealing the measure, or of those who will be devastated by its loss, both medically and financially. All of this comes with more than 20 million more Americans now enjoying access to healthcare thanks to the ACA, and, just last week, the largest single day of sign-ups ever for the federal program.

But Republicans may no longer fear any political ramifications for anything with their gerrymandered stronghold of Congress and control of the nation's public airwaves.

That argument seems to be bearing itself out in North Carolina right now, where the GOP state legislature --- which already enjoys a super-majority in both chambers of the state assembly --- has successfully carried out a brazen power grab to strip power from the Executive Branch now that a Democrat has narrowly won election as Governor.

In NC and in Wisconsin alike, Republicans have recently been found by federal courts to have unconstitutionally gerrymandered state election districts. And, in both states, the GOP has passed wildly radical laws that hurt Democrats and progressive, no matter how unpopular (or unconstitutional) those laws may be or the ensuing uprisings at both state capitols. Both states are likely to be a model for GOP legislators in the rest of the country.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for some late-breaking news concerning new Obama Administration restrictions on off-shore drilling and for our latest Green News Report, with new attempts to keep drinking water safe from coal and lead, and to keep science safe from Donald Trump...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Guests: Election integrity filmmaker Lulu Friesdat, advocate Emily Levy
Plus: Few defectors, as Electoral College majority casts their votes for Trump...
By Brad Friedman on 12/19/2016 5:50pm PT  

It's another very busy day today on The BradCast with terror attacks in Europe, the Electoral College vote in the U.S., and our continuing attempt to figure out if the votes in Election 2016 were actually tallied as per voter intent. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Despite thousands of protesters at state capitols around the nation today, there were only a few defectors (so-called "faithless electors") for both for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, as the Electoral College finally cast its votes today in 50 states and the District of Columbia. As of airtime, despite receiving a almost 3 million fewer votes than Clinton nationally, Trump had just received the requisite 270 votes, a majority of the Electoral College, needed to win the Presidency today. Presuming all state totals are certified by the U.S. Congress on January 6th (and I see no reason they wouldn't be), Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20th.

In the meantime, late last week, we learned that the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) --- the federal agency responsible for certifying the accuracy and security of electronic voting and tabulation systems used across the U.S. --- was, itself, recently hacked, with about 100 user names and passwords put up for sale on the black market. The well known vulnerability exploited was one that experts say could have been easily patched (it has now been) and would have allowed access to a database of vulnerabilities in the nation's voting and tabulation systems.

The Commission might have patched its own system earlier, but its Commissioners were very busy before the election and after, ensuring the nation (in an op-ed that was incorrect and misleading on innumerable levels) that "election officials have been working to secure our voting systems for years," so concerns about any such manipulation of results "are overstated".

Then, my guests today are Lulu Friesdat, filmmaker of the award-winning election integrity documentary Holler Back: [not] Voting in American Town (which I am in, but it is excellent anyway) and longtime election integrity advocate Emily Levy of RecountNow.org. Both are just back from attempting to help oversee the statewide Presidential election "recount" in Wisconsin, as requested (and paid for) by Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Friesdat shares her short, disturbing new video released on Friday, revealing what appear to be machine mistallies noted by observers during the statewide "recount" of ballots by computer optical-scanners in Racine County, WI, and a stymied attempt by one observer there, Liz Whitlock, to get a hand-count of the paper ballots in question. Citing the 5% error rate by the machines that observers tallied in one small precinct in WI, Friesdat notes: "A similar error rate applied across all of Wisconsin’s 2,976,150 votes --- could produce an error of 140,000 votes. Trump won Wisconsin by 22,000 votes."

Levy explains a troubling report from the attempted Presidential "recount" in Nevada (yes, there was one there too!), as filed by independent candidate "Rocky" De La Fuente. There, in the state said to have been won by Hillary Clinton, Clark County Clerk Joe Gloria appears to have admitted to secretly "recounting" votes prior to the lawful, public count of votes cast on the county's absentee paper ballots and completely unverifiable touch-screen voting systems. (In the 2004 Presidential "recount" in Ohio, two election officials were convicted and sentenced to the max for doing something similar in that state.)

As both explain on today's program, the long list of failures in the "recount" cases (and they describe many more such failures) have left both Friesdat and Levy even more concerned about the accuracy, security, reliability and ability to oversee our own election system than they were even prior to Election 2016. So, what can we all do about it? How can the system be improved to allow more transparency and oversight? We discuss all of that on today's show as well --- and it starts with you...

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Repubs playing for keeps, Dems still bringing butter knives to gun fights...
By Brad Friedman on 12/15/2016 5:51pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Republicans are flexing their muscles and demonstrating their willingness to break all norms --- and even laws and the Constitution when necessary --- in order to take power and hold onto it at all costs, while Democrats continue to be caught flat-footed. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

An unprecedented attempted power grab is now underway at the capitol in Raleigh, North Carolina, where Republican lawmakers, stinging from having lost the Governorship and their majority on the state's Supreme Court last month, have suddenly convened an emergency "special session" to strip power from the incoming Democratic Governor.

The naked lame duck coup attempt by the GOP --- which already enjoys a super majority in both chambers of the statehouse --- would take away Executive Branch powers previously granted to the outgoing Republican Governor. If successful, the "sore loser power grab" as some are calling it, strips the incoming Democrat of control of state and county boards of election(!), limits his ability to make appointments, shifts power from the newly Democratic-majority high court back down to the Republican-controlled state court of appeals, and keeps Republican state employees in place across many state agencies.

All of those attempts to effectively undo the will of millions of voters also comes on the heels of a federal court order for new special elections for the state legislature in 2017, after finding that Republicans had unconstitutionally gerrymandered 28 statehouse districts following the 2010 census. (And that, not long after a federal court found Wisconsin Republicans had also done so.)

With a similarly unprecedented coup at the federal level --- for example, a stolen U.S. Supreme Court majority --- Republicans in a number of other states are also quickly working to pass newly restrictive laws to make it harder for Democrats to even take part in elections around the nation.

It's difficult to win a war when you're fighting against a dishonest opponent who has no interest in playing fairly. The questions then remain: When will Democrats figure that out? What do they intend to do about it? And who, if anyone, will emerge to lead the way in the current Democratic power vacuum more than a month since Election Day?

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with details on Trump's disturbing new appointments at federal agencies, the EPA's admission that fracking can harm drinking water supplies, and the Arctic unraveling before our eyes...

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Guest: Physicist, author and former Asst. Energy Sec. Joe Romm on Trump, Perry, Tillerson, the DoE and 'the fate of the next thousand years'
Also: Jill Stein's 'recount' lessons and her ongoing fight for citizen oversight of elections...
By Brad Friedman on 12/13/2016 6:22pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Green Party candidate Jill Stein speaks to lessons learned during her wildly obstructed attempt at citizen oversight of election results in three states, and a former U.S. Dept. of Energy official joins us with warnings about Donald Trump's disturbing choices to head the State Department, the EPA and the DoE, where a chilling Transition Team memo was recently sent in apparent hopes of ferreting out climate scientists in a witch-hunt reminiscent of the McCarthy era. [Audio link to show posted at bottom of article.]

First up, Stein held a press conference call today to wrap up her attempted "recount" of Presidential election results in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Despite her willingness to pay millions of dollars, only one of those states, WI, allowed a statewide count at all. And, even there, it was done mostly by computer, so the results remain unverified by actual human beings. Still, she and her attorney on the call vowed to press on with a lawsuit in Pennsylvania and other actions meant to try and amend the horrific election practices, processes and laws exposed, once again, during the wildly obstructed and unprecedented attempt at counts and forensic analyses in all three states.

Then, my guest today is Dr. Joe Romm, physicist and former Deputy Asst. Secretary of Energy at the U.S. Dept. of Energy. He is now a Climate Progress blogger and author and he joins me to discuss, among other things, Donald Trump's nominations of former TX Gov. Rick Perry to head up the DoE (which, when he could remember its name while a Presidential candidate, he vowed to shut down entirely); Climate science denier and Oklahoma A.G. Scott Pruitt as DPA chief; and ExxonMobil's enormously interest-conflicted CEO Rex Tillerson as Sec. of State.

As Romm notes, "the Department of Energy is a very poorly understood agency" which most Americans, including Trump and Perry, likely know little about. It's a sprawling federal agency that carries out nuclear energy research as well as oversight and disaster clean-up. "So you have the weapons labs, you have all the national labs, which do energy and all sorts of work, including the nation's physics labs," he explains. "The Department of Energy has the highest ratio of PhDs per employee of any of the agencies, because it's doing all of this physics and energy research, and weapons research. So it's a good thing that Rick Perry got those glasses that make him smart."

On Trump's nomination of Tillerson to head up the State Department, Romm describes the conflicts of interest with the ExxonMobile CEO's pending $500 billion deal with Russia, observing: "If we didn't live in this topsy-turvy world where Donald Trump is President and naming people to run agencies who are anti-everything the agencies stand for, it would be ridiculous. Secretary of State is one of the most important, maybe the most important cabinet positions there is. Historically, it goes to someone who really understands diplomacy and many aspects of international policy." But Tillerson, he argues, has "literally no qualifications other than the fact that he has negotiated oil deals around the world."

As disturbing as Trump's nominations may be, however, even more chilling may be the story told by the McCarthy-esque survey recently sent by someone at the Trump Transition team to the Dept. of Energy, asking them to identify scientists and other career civil service employees who have worked on climate change and renewable energy issues at the federal agency, or even those who may have simply attended a U.N. climate conference. Romm speaks to all of the above, which he describes as "unprecedented" and details why there are newly disturbing reasons to be concerned about, "literally, the fate of the next thousand years."

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, with more on the above and, believe it or not, some arguably good news she was able to find from the U.S. Congress, of all places!...

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Guest: Marcy Wheeler on U.S. intel agencies' 'secret' allegations about foreign interference in the Presidential race, as 'recount' ends in WI, is denied by courts again in MI, PA...
By Brad Friedman on 12/12/2016 6:18pm PT  

On today's BradCast, what we know and don't about newly reported charges that the CIA is said to believe Russian state-actors interfered in the U.S. election on behalf of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, even as attempts to verify the actual Presidential election results, and concerns that they were hacked or otherwise in error, are blocked by Republicans in Michigan and Pennsylvania and come to an official close in Wisconsin. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Over the weekend, Washington Post and New York Times each reported on unnamed sources alleging a "secret" "consensus" of U.S. intelligence agencies charging Russia tried to interfere with the Presidential election in order to help Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton. National security journalist and author Marcy Wheeler of EmptyWheel.net offers a measure of skepticism about the explosive reports on those allegations, which she suggests could echo what proved to be blatantly misrepresented and cherry-picked intel by the George W. Bush Administration in their run-up to the Iraq War.

We discuss what we know and don't know concerning the newly reported charges, which parties have an interested in forwarding them and why they are arising in this form now, and how those concerns can possibly square with seemingly contradictory resistance --- by both Republicans and Democrats alike --- to human verification of the stunning and poll-defying 2016 Presidential election results reported in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

Speaking of which, late on Friday, a 3-2 split vote at the MI state Supreme Court denied a hearing of Green Party candidate Jill Stein's appeal of a 3-Republican judge decision that aborted the state's disastrous paper ballot hand-count last week. And today, a federal court in PA denied [PDF] Stein's lawsuit seeking a statewide hand-count of paper ballots and a forensic analysis of the 100% unverifiable touchscreen voting and computer tabulation systems used across most of the state. Also today, the state of Wisconsin completed its partial statewide hand-count and certified Donald Trump as the winner of that state's electoral vote. (Final tallies are not yet available from the Wisconsin Election Commission, but as of earlier today Reuters reported "Trump with a increase of 628 votes, Clinton with an increase of 653 votes and Stein with an increase of 68 votes". Those are net increases, without reflecting the total number of originally-mistallied votes, nor explaining that most of the state's largest counties simply ran the hand-marked paper ballots back through the optical-scan computers again to derive their "recount" totals.)

All of that amidst a repeated, coordinated, well-funded and familiar efforts by Republicans and Team Trump to block any and all verification of Presidential election results in all three states. "Cronyism, bureaucratic obstruction, and legal maneuvering have run roughshod over the democratic process," Stein said following Friday's Supreme Court decision in MI after tens of thousands of votes were deemed "unrecountable" due to the state's arcane "recount" laws while the attempted count was still underway last week. "A recount should not be this difficult or controversial. If you take out money from a bank, the teller counts it twice --- and the second time, they count it in front of your eyes. It should be well understood that something as important as a presidential election requires a basic level of quality assurance and verification."

We have all of the latest details on today's BradCast...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Court loses sight of fundamental right to verifiably accurate count...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/10/2016 3:04pm PT  

If allowed to stand, the reasoning behind U.S. District Court Judge Mark A. Goldsmith's December 7, 2016 decision [PDF] in Stein v. Thomas to halt the Michigan presidential "recount" is flawed, at best. Issued, ironically enough, on the day we commemorate what President Franklin D. Roosevelt described as "a date which will live in infamy", it is by no means an exaggeration to suggest that Judge Goldsmith's reasoning could inflict greater harm on the very foundations of our constitutional form of democracy than that inflicted by the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

The halt to the "recount" came just two days after Judge Goldsmith issued a temporary restraining order ("TRO") directing the MI Canvassing Board to immediately commence the "recount" and one day after a U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal decision, upholding that TRO.

Under that 6th Circuit appeals ruling, Judge Goldsmith was obligated to revisit the issue if "the Michigan courts determine that Plaintiffs' recount is improper for any reason." Separately, on Dec. 6, the Michigan state appellate court ruled that, under MI law, only a candidate who has a reasonable chance of winning has a right to initiate a post-election count. But that state court ruling, by three Republican judges, did not justify Judge Goldsmith's decision to halt a "recount" that had been predicated on Dr. Jill Stein's rights under the U.S. Constitution.

As he acknowledged in his original decision, the Green Party Presidential candidate did not base her federal claim on state law. To the contrary, in his initial finding, Goldsmith held that the Plaintiffs had shown a likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that the two-business day waiting period mandated by state law "would likely violate their right to vote under the First and Fourteenth Amendments." Judge Goldsmith, in that first decision, added, "the [federal] right to vote, and to have that vote conducted fairly and counted accurately" [emphasis added] is not merely "fundamental" but serves as "the bedrock of our Nation."

State law, whether directed at the timing of the recount or to the aggrieved status (standing) of the candidate seeking the count, should not be allowed to infringe upon a fundamental right that every citizen has to a verifiably accurate count of their votes.

The truly damaging aspect of the decision to dissolve the TRO lies not in the question of standing but in Judge Goldsmith's upside-down reasoning as to who should bare the burden of establishing the integrity of the vote. That reasoning is directly at odds with the rulings made in two landmark cases in Germany and Austria, to the effect that the need for election integrity and transparency are paramount in any nation that values democracy...

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




Guest: Susan Pynchon of Florida Fair Elections Coalition on high 'invalid vote' rate, a hacked election vendor, case calling for hand-counts in FL
Plus: Claims of Russian election hacking and chilling Trump transition news at DOE...
By Brad Friedman on 12/9/2016 6:51pm PT  

A federal court victory for Jill Stein in Wisconsin; a federal court hearing in Pennsylvania; the fight to restart counting in Michigan; and the case for a recount in Florida. Yes, in Florida. But that's just the tip of the iceberg on today's very busy BradCast! [Audio link to complete show follows below.]

First up, some encouraging news from the New York Attorney General concerning his intentions to hold Donald Trump's nominees to head up the Environmental Protection Agency and Dept. of Labor accountable to the rule of law. Then, a bit more good news out WI today, where a federal court dismissed a Team Trump attempt to stop the ongoing Presidential "recount" in the state.

Meanwhile, a federal court in PA heard Jill Stein's case calling for a statewide count and forensic analysis of voting systems today. And, following the the hearing, in a press conference outside the courthouse, University of MI Computer Science and voting systems expert Prof. J. Alex Halderman explained again why such a study is necessary.

"Over the past ten years, we've found every one of the [voting and tabulation systems in the U.S.] susceptible to hacking. Doesn't matter whether they're plugged into the Internet directly or not," he said. "The evidence on the paper ballots, the evidence on the software in the machines --- that's what we're asking to examine. And that's the only way we're ever going to know for sure whether our votes were counted correctly or not in the 2016 Presidential election. We think that by looking at that evidence, which seems to me like just a common-sense security precaution, we can increase voter confidence, and help everyone know their that their votes really counted." Those comments come on the same day that the Obama Administration announced plans to release a report on charges that Russian hackers attempted to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.

Then, we're joined by long time election integrity champion, Susan Pynchon, founder of Florida Fair Elections Coalition and a central character in HBO's Emmy-nominated 2006 documentary Hacking Democracy, joins us to discuss a lawsuit [PDF] filed late last week calling for a statewide hand-count of paper ballots in FL(!)

Pynchon explains the reasons why it was filed, which include not just the surprising result in the state's Presidential race, but also reports that a Florida-based corporate vendor by the name of VR Systems --- a company contracted by about a dozen states --- was reportedly hacked earlier this year. She says they provided "voter registration and other services in 64 of Florida's 67 counties. Voter databases, management and tracking of mail-in ballots, and election reporting services on election night." (And here is that Exhibit T [PDF] from the complaint that I referenced during the show, concerning troubling voter registration problems reported on Election Day in several Sunshine State counties, including Broward and Lee.)

Also, Pynchon details the high "invalid vote rate" ("votes that weren't actually counted --- undervotes, overvotes, and invalid write-in votes"), which she says is "more than double in this election than it was in 2008 and 2012. We need to take a close look at that because it's not normal. It's not typical of past elections." She goes on to describe how one county was also found to have "ordered duplicate sets of [security] seals," asking: "So how secure is that when you're sealing a ballot box with a seal that could then just be replaced with your duplicate set of seals?"

Coincidentally, part of Halderman's remarks from outside of the federal courthouse in Philadelphia this afternoon, which we play in full on the show today, referred to how easy it is to break into those voting machine security seals. He says they are "easy to remove in just a few seconds with a hairdryer or a screwdriver."

"You know, if you'd asked me this ten years ago, I would have said, well, maybe it sounds like science fiction, someone hacking into a country's national election by tampering with the voting machines," warns Halderman. "I think it's only a matter of time before this happens, if it hasn't happened already."

Finally today, an incredibly chilling missive was confirmed to have been sent to the U.S. Dept. of Energy from the Trump transition team, seeking the names and details of scientists and other employees there and at national laboratories involved in climate change and other related studies...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Systemic obstacles to citizen oversight of election results continue to reveal 'outrageous', 'farcical' deficiencies in U.S. election processes...
By Brad Friedman on 12/8/2016 6:22pm PT  

On today's BradCast, our coverage of what suffices in the U.S. as a Presidential election "recount" continues, in no small part, because someone has to cover what is actually going on there. [Audio link to show posted below.]

A federal court ruling [PDF] issued late yesterday in Michigan has effectively stopped the counting of paper ballots in the state following an earlier 3-Republican judge state court ruling that Green Party candidate Jill Stein is not an "aggrieved candidate" and, thus, not entitled to any type of "recount". Moreover, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith finds there is no federally recognized right to a "recount" and, in any case, Stein presented no "evidence of significant fraud or mistake" while asking for one. But, of course, how could she, without being allowed to examine the evidence in question? State Republicans described the suspension of ballot counting as "a victory for the taxpayers and voters of Michigan."

That, even as scores of precincts across the state --- hundreds in Detroit alone --- were deemed "unrecountable" by election officials under MI's horrible statutes disallowing the hand-count of votes when human error or computer vote tabulator failure leaves Election Night ballot totals off by as little as a single ballot, as compared to the number of names signed in to pollbooks. Even in just three days of counting before it's suspension today, many such precincts were found to be "unrecountable", despite totally unreconciled vote tallies.

"It is an outrage that the voters of Michigan are being denied their right to have their votes properly counted," rails longtime election integrity advocate and attorney John Bonifaz, one of those who initially argued to both Hillary Clinton and Stein that a post-election count was necessary. "Because of a partisan state appeals court decision, Americans will never know the truth about what happened in this election."

Bonifaz was joined by many longtime computer science and voting systems experts, such as Douglas Jones of the University Iowa, who warns today: "In a healthy democracy, elections are run with sufficient transparency that partisans of the losing candidate can convince themselves that they lost fair and square. Recounts in close elections are a necessary part of this transparency, particularly when the margin of victory is exceeded by an unusual number of ballots that were cast without reporting any vote in the election." Jones is referring to the 75,000 ballots in MI said to have no vote for President at all, nearly twice as many undervotes as reported in 2012, despite a 10,000 vote margin between Trump and Clinton in MI, where some 5 million votes were cast. That case is headed to MI's Supreme Court, where Stein is demanding two state Justices recuse themselves after being named by Donald Trump as potentially U.S. Supreme Court nominees.

In Pennsylvania, a similar, if even worse case of lacking "evidence" of fraud has served to block forensic analyses of the otherwise 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting and tabulation systems used across most of the state. Late Wednesday, Stein filed a new court challenge in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), seeking the type of examination that computer science and voting systems experts have been desperately calling for. A similar challenge was rejected yesterday in Philadelphia for...you guessed it...lack of evidence of fraud.

And in Wisconsin, observers of the ongoing counts and retallies are calling for a federal suit --- which, I'm told, could be filed on Friday --- seeking a statewide hand-count of paper ballots, after a state court previously found a new law passed by Republicans last year allowed most of the largest (and Democratic-leaning) counties to "recount" by the same computer scanners that initially tallied votes (either correctly or incorrectly). The computer tallies, and a number of other concerns revealed to date, have led some of those observers to describe the current process as a "farce", and declare: "The most urgent issue in America right now is to be able to confirm that every vote was counted fairly, accurately, and honestly, and if not, for patriotic Americans to raise bloody hell about it."

And so, we do. Even as the corporate media continue to misreport or ignore altogether what is actually going on in all three longtime "blue" states where just 3 votes per precinct recorded for Clinton instead of Trump would have meant that she, not he, would be considered the President Elect right now. Citizen oversight of election results matter. As simple as that should be, the struggle to achieve any such post-election oversight or verification, in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, is astounding and an outrage.

Also today, speaking of outrages and science ignored by corporate media and elected officials alike: Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on Trump's shocking choice to head the EPA, on another oil pipeline rupture --- this time not far from the contested Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota --- and temperatures in the Arctic are now from 35 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit warmer today than they normally are this time of year...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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