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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, October 20, 2017
Trump's Schizophrenia, Congress' Fresh 'Health Care Hell': 'BradCast' 10/19/17
Guest: TPM's Alice Ollstein from Capitol Hill; Also: Trump meets with P.R. Guv, gives himself a '10' on Maria response!...
'Green News Report' 10/17/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Alaska's ANWR on chopping block, again; Toxic ash from CA wildfires; US Virgin Islands w/o power, clean water; PLUS: Shell opens e-car charging network at gas stations -- in Britain...
Previous GNRs: 10/12/17 - 10/10/17 - Archives...
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...


Guest: David Daley of FairVote.org on 'Gill v. Whitford'; Plus: Updates on the disaster in Puerto Rico, gun massacre in Las Vegas...
By Brad Friedman on 10/4/2017 6:28pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the future of American democracy itself is once again in the hands of a now-stolen U.S. Supreme Court, in what democracy advocates describe as a case that is likely to help determine the partisan balance of Congress and state legislatures for decades.

But, first up today: Updates on Donald Trump's embarrassing Tuesday jaunt to hurricane-torn Puerto Rico, where the official death toll has now doubled from 16 to 34 and is expected to go much higher as 3.4 million U.S. citizens on the island still face desperate circumstances with food and water shortages and 95% of the island remains without power two weeks after Hurricane Maria (despite Trump's bizarre claims to the contrary.) Also, a few updates on what little more we now know about the massacre in Las Vegas on Sunday, the lack of a known motive for the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, and the shamefully transparent attempts by both the White House and Congressional Republicans to avoid any legislative policy action in its wake.

Then we move on to what democracy advocates describe as one of the most important cases to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in years. Oral arguments in Gill v. Whitford were heard on Tuesday. That is the case where a three-judge federal court determined the state of Wisconsin had used severe (and secret) partisan gerrymandering to redraw district maps after the 2010 census. In so doing, despite receiving a minority of votes (48.6%) after the new maps were drawn, Republicans gained an extraordinary 60-to-39 majority in the State Assembly.

The GOP is now appealing that federal court ruling to SCOTUS, which has held racial gerrymandering to be unconstitutional in the past, but has never ruled on whether purely partisan gerrymandering, as in this case, violates the Constitutional rights of voters.

We're joined by the man who wrote the book on modern-day gerrymandering, DAVID DALEY, author of Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy. Daley, formerly Editor-in-Chief at Salon, now Senior Fellow at at FairVote.org, spent the night on the sidewalk outside the Court on Monday, to get one of 50 seats at Tuesday's hearing.

He explains how high the stakes are in this case (which could result in court challenges to electoral maps in virtually every state in the union), the arguments presented by both sides in the matter, and how everyone --- attorneys and Justices alike, were focused on making their case to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who will most likely determine the course of U.S. democracy for decades to come, thanks to the Republicans' stolen 5 to 4 majority on the Supreme Court itself.

"This case is everything," Daley tells me. "If this case is not decided on the side of democracy, on the side of competitive elections, there will be nothing to stop Republicans, who are likely to be holding the pens in all of these states in 2021 from doing the same thing, only with more sophisticated technology that's developed over the last decade, with better data analytic skills than they had in 2011, with stronger predictive algorithms to try to figure out where people are going to live and how they are going to vote for the next decade. It will be 2031 before Democrats get another shot at the maps if this case is decided the other way."

Daley sees the case now before the Supremes as "potentially bigger" than either 2010's Citizens United, which gutted campaign finance laws, or 2013's Shelby County, which gutted the Voting Rights Act. "This is the future of our democracy right here."

"Republicans reinvented the gerrymander in 2010 and 2011. This is not the same kind of gerrymander that you had 'back in the day.' This is different," he insists, as I press him on whether Democrats are carrying out the same type of partisan maps in states that they control. "This is space-age extreme gerrymandering on steroids. It has given Republicans huge advantages in all of these states that they control. Ohio, a very swing state, is represented by 12 Republicans and 4 Democrats. Michigan is 9-5, even though Democrats in 2012 got a quarter of a million more votes. These are 50-50 states and it has made our politics deeply uncompetitive. There's no swing in these swing districts. You have not had a single seat go from red to blue in any of those swing states. On these maps, no seats have gone from red to blue this entire decade."

Incredibly, the Republican Justices other than Kennedy seem to believe the matter should not be decided by the courts, but should be left to the same rigged legislatures which created this mess in the first place. "In Michigan, this last decade," he notes, "Democrats have gotten more total votes every time. Republicans have kept control. This is the case in state after state. They have enshrined this problem. We need the Court here to come in and fix democracy"...

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

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Also: Attorney Ernest A. Canning on two new Indiana voter suppression suits | Callers respond to Trump's support for White Supremacists...
By Brad Friedman on 8/16/2017 5:57pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Is something happening here? Finally? [Audio link to show follows below.]

Following Donald Trump's insane press conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday, during which he vociferously equated neo-Nazis and White Supremacists with those who oppose them --- just days after the murder of a counter-protester by an apparent White nationalist in Charlottesville --- even some Republicans are finally condemning him. Sort of. But not nearly enough.

At the same time, Confederate monuments are being removed around the country and business leaders who claim to be furious have withdrawn from Trump's two different business councils, which he has now been forced to shut down. Nonetheless, despite their half-hearted protestations, Republicans continue to intentionally suppress minority voting in state after state. Another Federal Court determined as much this week in Texas, finding --- for the 11th time in recent years --- that state Republicans intentionally suppressed minority voters there.

Another such state is Vice President Mike Pence's Indiana, where a new analysis from the Indy Star finds that early voting sites were shuttered in Democratic counties and expanded in Republican counties after Obama won the state in 2008, and as Pence served as Governor. The strategy worked. Republican turnout increased in counties where voting rights were expanded and Democratic votes decreased in the state's largest and most Democratic leaning counties, where voting sites were shuttered. Now Pence heads up Trump's so-called "Election Integrity" Commission.

Long-time BRAD BLOG legal analyst ERNEST A. CANNING joins us to detail his new article on the two federal lawsuits, alleging violations of both the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution, that have now been filed in the Hoosier State.

Then, along with a clip of a GOP strategist breaking down into tears on Fox "News" in the wake of Trump's response to Charlottesville, callers --- including my own father! --- ring in on all of the above. Is Trump "a Nazi" himself? Will this moment ultimately make any difference moving forward? And, can the GOP officials rebuking Trump be taken seriously, given that they are still suppressing the votes of African-Americans and Latinos all across the nation at the very same time?...

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: David Roberts of Vox; Also: Good voting rights news for NC, more details on the thousands turned away from the polls in WI in 2016...
By Brad Friedman on 5/15/2017 6:29pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Our friend David Roberts of Vox.com on making sense of Donald Trump's seemingly senseless decision making process --- and, somehow, learning to live with it and/or contain the damage. [Audio link to show follows below.]

But, first up today, some good news! The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear North Carolina Republicans' appeal of the U.S. 4th Circuit Appeals Court ruling last year striking down what many have describes as the "Mother of All Voter Suppression" laws. The appellate court had found that state Republicans included provisions in the law that were intentionally discriminatory in that they were drafted in order to "target African-Americans with almost surgical precision".

But while that law was blocked last year in NC and will now remain blocked for the foreseeable future there, a similarly discriminatory Photo ID voting restriction was allowed to be used in Wisconsin last year, where Trump is said to have won by just 22,000 votes despite some 300,000 voters in the Badger State --- disproportionately African-American, poor, elderly and students --- who do not have the type of ID now required to vote under the GOP's restriction.

Last week, we detailed a new analysis of the affect of that law on the Presidential election results in WI last year, finding that some 200,000 otherwise legal voters may have been prevented from casting their vote. Today, we detail some of the specific voters who were prevented from voting last November, because of the discriminatory law, including, as AP reports: "The Navy veteran whose out-of-state driver’s license did not suffice, or the dying woman whose license had expired, or the recent graduate whose student ID was deficient", among others.

Then, we're joined by Vox' Roberts who, late last week, published a Tweetstorm in response to Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, in which he attempted to explain why it's so difficult, if not impossible, for journalists, politicians and the public to make sense of the President's decision making process. That is largely, Roberts detailed in his Tweetstorm and in a follow-up article at Vox and to me today, because Trump doesn't have any such process --- at least beyond what feels good at the moment he makes the decision based largely on whatever the last person he talked to told him about the issue.

Roberts' assessment, which cites psychological conditions such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder and something called "Theory of Mind", actually helps to illuminate the reasons for Trump's otherwise, seemingly, reason-free process.

"There's clearly something wrong with the dude," says Roberts. "From all indications he just doesn't have those beliefs and commitments that carry over from situation to situation. By all indications on the surface, what he's doing is: every situation is new. He gropes around for what makes him feel powerful or in charge, and then sort of lunges at that, with no thought of commitments that came before, or consequences that might come after, or how it relates to other things he's said, or other people he's committed to, or anything really!"

"I compare it to a goldfish. Every situation is new. Every day is new. And he's just this sort of bundle of impulses." But while that, Roberts explains, makes Trump so difficult to cover from a journalistic standpoint, or to understand from a political or voter's perspective, it's also what makes him exceedingly dangerous. "Imagine if there's a viral outbreak, or imagine if North Korea really tries to provoke him. Even his allies --- even the people in his administration --- have to be thinking 'Do I know what he's going to do in that situation?'"

While many try to explain Trump's decisions as some grand design, or even as an attempt to distract from one issue or another, Roberts argues it's usually far simpler (and more troubling) than that. He also speaks to what we --- journalists, politicians and citizens --- can all do now in hopes of minimizing the damage that he will be able to cause until he finally leaves office one way or another...

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

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The VP will now oversee Trump's sham 'Election Integrity' Commission; Also: Trump/Comey goes 'Godfather' and even more Nixon-like...
By Brad Friedman on 5/12/2017 6:12pm PT  

On today's BradCast: The story of Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey turns even more bizarre and takes a decidedly thuggish turn (don't worry, your President is 'not a crook') and Vice President Mike Pence gets tapped to head Trump's new "voter fraud" commission, despite his own (much overlooked) record of stoking false GOP allegations of "voter fraud" and helping to shut down a major registration drive in his home state, just before last year's Presidential election, while campaigning for Veep and serving as Governor of Indiana.

First, the Trump/Comey affair turns more insane and Godfather-like by the hour...or Nixon-like, if you prefer, now that Trump has hinted there may be audio recordings of his private conversation with the now-former FBI Director. We bring you up to date on the latest madness and lies on that quickly moving soap opera, which continues to tie the White House into knots.

We then turn to the Executive Order signed this week by the President amidst all the Comey fallout, which creates a new sham commission, by fiat, to examine Trump's false claims that as many as five million votes were illegally cast in the 2016 election. The so-called "Election Integrity Commission" --- which, according to the Order, is to look at only voter and voter registration fraud, rather than voter suppression, which is a far more extensive problem or concerns about the vulnerability of vote casting and counting systems --- is to be headed up by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas' notorious vote-suppressing Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

While many may be familiar, by now, with Kobach's years-long storied history of fraudulent 'voter fraud' claims, many are likely unaware of Pence's efforts last year during the campaign, while serving as Indiana's Governor, to suppress a major voter registration drive targeting African-Americans in Indiana, with false claims of "voter fraud" and the outrageously heavy-handed use of his State Police force.

On today's show, we detail how the offices of the Indiana Voter Registration Project were raided and shut down, with computers, cell phones and paperwork confiscated by Pence's cops, just days before the state's October 11, 2016 voter registration deadline. The effort (also aided and abetted by the state's Republican Sec. of State Connie Lawson, who is also set to serve on Trump's phony commission), served to shut down the major registration drive by a Democratic-leaning organization and resulted in the Marion County Prosecutor demanding an end to misleading and suppressing public statements from Superintendent of the State Police. It did not, however, despite claims of "thousands" of fraudulent forms, result in any arrests, and it was all quickly forgotten, as usual, after Election Day. In all, some 50,000 valid registrations may have been scuttled in the Hoosier State, thanks to the false claims of forged and fraudulent registration forms across dozens of counties in what Pence described to brain-addled supporters on the campaign trail as a "vigorous investigation into voter fraud".

Finally today: The White House lies about the number of new manufacturing and coal jobs created last month and North Carolina receives just 1% of their requested funding for Hurricane Matthew relief from Congress and the President...

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

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Guest: Maricopa County, AZ Recorder Adrian Fontes...
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2017 6:23pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the new election chief in Maricopa County (Phoenix), AZ has discovered tens of thousands of voter registration forms from citizens who, he says, are otherwise eligible to vote, but were never added to the voting rolls by his predecessor, due to what he describes as an unconstitutional or, at least, immoral state statute. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Democrats seem quite giddy (with good reason) about their chances of re-taking the U.S. House next year following Thursday's passage of the wildly unpopular Republican bill to replace ObamaCare. But their voters will have to be able to actually cast a vote next year --- and have their votes counted as cast --- in order for Democrats to have any chance of regaining a majority in Congress.

On that note, we are joined on today's show by Maricopa's brand new County Recorder Adrian Fontes. Last November, the Democratic former prosecutor unseated Pheonix' previous election chief, Republican Helen Purcell, who had served in the post unopposed for 30 years. He was inspired to run following the disastrous Presidential Primary in Maricopa last year, when hundreds of precincts were shut down and many voters were forced to wait for hours to cast a vote in the Sanders/Clinton primary.

Since taking office, Fontes has discovered tens of thousands of voter registration forms, going as far back as a decade, stored in dusty boxes in a county warehouse. The forms, he explains, were never entered in to the voter database, since the applicants failed to include proof of citizenship, as required by Prop 200, a 2004 ballot initiative that is now Arizona law.

Fontes explains that he is now attempting to confirm the citizenship of the would-be voters himself, by checking their status as already tracked by the state's Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) database. "We had a policy in this office that uses what I consider to be a mis-read of state law," he tells me. "The read that was happening says that the County Recorder is to reject the form. My read is, if you've already proven to the State of Arizona that you're a citizen, then you should be allowed to vote."

Critics, specifically Republican critics, charge that Fontes, a U.S. Marine who formerly worked as a prosecutor in both the County Attorney's office as well as for the Arizona Attorney General, is not shy in countering those critics. "Why in the world would anyone not want me to go check with the MVD and say 'lo and behold, the Motor Vehicle Division of the State of Arizona has on file a document proving that this person is a citizen. I will therefore register you to vote!' Why would anybody oppose that?"

Making matters worse or more "ironic" or "laughable", as Fontes describes it, because the federal voter registration form has no instructions for attesting to citizenship status, state guidance requires him to check with the MVD himself to confirm citizenship status for those voters. But if the very same person were to have used a state voter registration form and forgot to fill in their drivers license number or provide other proof of citizenship, he is not supposed to register that person, according to the state rulebook. Moreover, he tells me, an online state registration system automatically checks that very same MVD database for applicants. "So, something that the state does, automatically, on its own website, you've got people telling me that I'm barred from doing. If that's not the epitome of craziness, I don't know what is!"

In all, Fontes tells me, he now believes "nearly 91,000" otherwise eligible voters may be found in those dusty boxes and he plans to register them all if he is able to confirm their status.

In addition to all of that, I ask Fontes about claims by Bernie Sanders supporters (he is one himself) that the DNC and/or Hillary Clinton Campaign were somehow behind the Primary election disaster in Phoenix last year, in order to rig the contest against the progressive Vermont U.S. Senator. That disaster, he explains, is what inspired him to run against Purcell. We also discuss allegations of Arizona's voter database being hacked last year, concerns about the county's electronic ballot tabulation system and whether there is actually any evidence to support claims by Republicans like Donald Trump and his adviser, Kansas Sec. of State Kris Kobach (who also instituted a "proof of citizenship" requirement in that state), that millions of illegal votes, including by non-citizens, were cast in last year's election.

Finally today, Desi Doyen joins us for the Green News Report with her usual disturbing news, but also with a number of happily encouraging reports on the amazing growth of clean, renewable energy both in the U.S. and around the world!...

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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52 years following LBJ's Voting Rights Act speech, and four since the VRA was gutted by SCOTUS, two recent cases prove it's still much needed...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2017 6:24pm PT  

On today's BradCast, it was another bad day in court for Donald Trump, a disturbing day in the nation (and around the world) for those who care about science, the arts, the war ravaged and the poor, and a pretty encouraging week for those voters who actually give a damn about racial discrimination at the polling place. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Donald Trump's second attempt at a travel ban is, so far, not faring much better than his first one. Two federal courts have now blocked his newer Executive Order attempting to block Muslims and refugees from entering the country.

In the meantime, Trump finally released his alarming budget proposal, detailing draconian cuts to science, the arts, and policies that assist and aid the poor, in order to pay for a massive $54 billion increase in military spending and the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. The cuts, if they were to be enacted, are far worse than you might have imagined, and even more drastic than many Congressional Republicans --- and even some in Trump's own Administration --- had been calling for. We detail the cruel mess and some of the responses, including one from the Corporation for Public Broadcast (for which each American pays just $1.35 per year), and who, along with the National Endowment for the Arts and organizations which help the poor and hungry across the globe, would be wiped out by Trump's "American First: Budget Blueprint to Make American Great Again".

Then, on the 52nd anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's historic 1965 introduction of the Voting Rights Act in Congress following the Bloody Sunday march in Selma, Alabama --- and four years since the U.S. Supreme Court gutted that landmark voting law in 2013 --- several court cases over the past week have, once again, found racial discrimination at the polling place by elected officials. We cover two such cases today, one that unlawfully purged African-American voters in a rural Georgia county before a white man unseated a black incumbent mayor in 2015, and the other, with far-reaching implications, in Texas, where a 2 to 1 appellate court ruling finds the state intentionally discriminated against Hispanic voters when drawing up its 2011 Congressional redistricting maps. That ruling (with a remarkable dissent) could result in the state being required to once again obtain federal pre-clearance under the VRA before enacting any new voting laws in the future.

Finally, we close with an amusing --- and telling --- look at what Fox "News" considers to be "anti-Trump media bias"...

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...

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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...

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ALSO: NC GOP wants 'recount' after vote tabulators fail in Governor race...
By Brad Friedman on 11/16/2016 6:04pm PT  

On today's BradCast, I'm back after a brief health scare over the weekend, and apparently I've got a lot to talk about concerning the reported results of last week's election! [Audio link to show posted below.]

First up: The difference between fake news and real news in our new "post-truth" world, and what the hell can be done about it when fake news comes from even supposedly legitimate corporate news outlets.

Next: North Carolina's awful Republican Gov. Pat McCrory appears to have lost his re-election bid in a reportedly very close race to Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper. But the GOP is demanding a 'recount' following the failure of a very popular (if oft-failed) paper ballot optical-scan computer tabulation system...and his voters deserve one.

Then: Should Americans have confidence in the reported results of the Presidential election? Some explanations for disparities between the results and the pre-election polls are not holding up. Voter suppression likely played a role. But what about those magical computer voting and tabulation systems? Were they manipulated? Did they fail? How would we know if they did? Why do the same-day Exit Polls results, once again, differ from the reported election results? And will Americans ever demand that hand-marked paper ballots be publicly counted by actual human beings, instead of by vulnerable computers which often fail and/or report results incorrectly?

If a manual hand-count is needed to determine for certain who voters selected to become NC Governor, don't U.S. voters deserve no less in determining who will be the next President of the United States? We review what we (so far) know and don't about legitimate questions some voters (and electronic voting system experts) have about the results of the Trump/Clinton race, as currently reported by computers without virtually any verification by actual human beings.

Finally: With me out sick earlier this week, Desi Doyen joins us for a slightly less snarky Green News Report today!

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

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Guest: Author, journalist, Ari Berman of The Nation | PLUS: Trump transition team packed with corporate lobbyists, D.C. insiders...
By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2016 6:40pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Did the gutting of the Voting Rights Act and new restrictions on voting in more than a dozen GOP-controlled states give the election to Donald Trump --- who is now staffing up his new administration with a swamp full of corporate lobbyists? [Audio link to show posted below.]

"Drain the swamp" of lobbyists and insiders in Washington D.C.? Who did Trump think he was kidding with that oft-repeated line during his campaign? Apparently, he was kidding a lot of folks, including both his supporters who fell for it and the corporate mainstream media which helped facilitate it. With the transition now underway, it is being led by dozens (hundreds?) of corporate lobbyists and former politicians, all staffing up federal agencies that will pretend to oversee their clients from the very same industries --- banking, communications, the environment, defense --- that they are supposed to be regulating. Sadly, many in the corporate media, like the New York Times' Richard Fausset, continue to fail in educating the electorate about Trump's big con. It's gonna be a rough bunch of years.

In the meantime, are the reported election results trustworthy? A few words on whether we can (or should) "trust" the results as reported by electronic voting tabulation systems (which, once again, fail to match reported pre-election or Exit Polling results), before a look at whether new restrictions on voting in more than a dozen GOP-controlled states after SCOTUS gutted the Voting Rights Act, may have affected the results.

Journalist Ari Berman of The Nation, author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, has been relentlessly and heroically covering this beat for years now, while most of the corporate media have regarded voting rights as a fringe issue. He joins me today to discuss what we know so far --- and what we don't --- about why the turnout was reportedly the lowest since the 2000 election, and if suppression may have flipped any states from Hillary Clinton to Trump.

For example, as Berman reported this week: "27,000 votes currently separate Trump and Clinton in Wisconsin, where 300,000 registered voters, according to a federal court, lacked strict forms of voter ID" as now required by state Republicans to vote there at all. "Voter turnout in Wisconsin was at its lowest levels in 20 years and decreased 13 percent in Milwaukee, where 70 percent of the state’s African-American population lives."

"I talked to a lot of voters who jumped through lots of different hoops to be able to vote, or didn't vote at all because they didn't have the right documentation or they couldn't get the right documentation, or they got so frustrated with the entire process," he tells me. "How many people didn't show up because they didn't want to deal with it? How many people thought they wouldn't be able to vote?"

"The head of elections in Milwaukee said he believed voter ID had an impact, that the parts of the city where voter ID was going to have the biggest impact, that turnout there declined there the most," he says. "The fact that we made it harder for people to vote, for no good reason, to me, is a scandal." And all of that is before we even get to states like Florida in our discussion, where, Berman reminds us, the state recently "blocked 1 in 5 African-Americans from voting by taking away the right to vote for ex-offenders."

"Isn't the right to vote the most fundamental aspect of a democracy? And if you're not disturbed by people being turned away from the polls, there's something wrong with how you're approaching this," he says, before we turn to the media's role in ignoring this issue, which he describes as "an unbelievably huge failing, particularly by cable and broadcast news."

There is much more in today's conversation with Ari than I can adequately summarize here, so please give today's show a listen.

Finally, a few closing thoughts, for now --- from The Daily Show, from Stephen Colbert, and finally from me --- on what the horrific and painful news of this week means to the nation and the world and how we will need to survive (and resist) together...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2016 5:02pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Documenting trouble for voters at polling places from coast to coast today on Election 2016 (Yes, it's finally arrived!) as Americans struggle to take part in their own democracy. [Audio link to today's program is posted below.]

Among the breaking news stories covered on today's program...

  • After Hillary Clinton wins the first contest of Election Day...
  • Broken voting machines, electronic pollbooks and shamefully long lines are reported in parts of Arizona, New York, North Carolina, Illinois, Kentucky, Texas, Ohio and elsewhere.
  • Misinformation about ID needed to vote and polling place closing times and registration requirements in a number of states is being reported as well.
  • North Carolina's NAACP calls for poll hours to be extended in Durham County.
  • A judge in Nevada firmly rejects the Trump campaign's claim that polls were improperly left open during Early Voting over the weekend (in Hispanic areas.)
  • The woeful Governor of Maine Paul LePage lies about student voting requirements in his state, hoping to intimidate them, after fliers are posted at a local college doing the same.
  • An Idaho county elections office also wildly misleads to discourage student voting.
  • Trump and his campaign misinform voters.
  • Rightwing disinformation expert and dirty trickster James O'Keefe pretends to find "voter fraud" in Pennsylvania.

And many other developing shameful stories (and occassional hopeful ones) from Election Day 2016 --- as a glimmer of light may be shining at the end of our long national tunnel...or is that just an oncoming train?...

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

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Plus: Sproul is back! Last minute voting rights court rulings! And more...
By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2016 5:52pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the last one before Election Day(!), we debunk a lot of nonsense --- and out-and-out lies from the Donald Trump Campaign, in several instances --- from over the weekend and in to today. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Among the stories and avalanche of news covered on today's BradCast:

  • FBI Director James Comey confirms there is nothing in newly discovered emails (most of them duplicates they'd seen before) that would lead to an indictment of Hillary Clinton;
  • And, no, there is no "murdered FBI agent" involved, no matter what you saw on Facebook over the weekend;
  • There was also no "assassination attempt" on Trump in Reno, NV over the weekend by a Republican sign-holder despite his campaign suggesting otherwise;
  • There was, however, a Trump supporter with a gun intimidating voters outside a VA polling location;
  • There appears to be record early voting turnout in dozens of states, and notably in Hispanic areas, where Trump's campaign blatantly lied over the weekend about polls being kept open "illegally" after hours;
  • Nathan Sproul, a long-time GOP operative whose companies have a checkered past related to voter registration fraud in several states, was secretly hired by the RNC in 2012 and then fired once more fraud allegations became public. He's now been quietly hired again by the RNC and Trump camp in 2016;
  • Dems lose several 'voter intimidation' lawsuits against Trump (but may have actually won anyway);
  • There will be at least 868 fewer places to vote in 2016, thanks to SCOTUS gutting Voting Rights Act
  • Kansas Sec. of State Kris Kobach is ordered (yet again, and hopefully once and for all!) to allow all registered voters to vote in both state and federal elections;
  • North Carolina is ordered by a federal court to restore all unlawfully purged voters to the rolls before Election Day;

And, much more, as we head into Election Day together, near the end (hopefully?) one of the darkest and most insane cycles in U.S. history...

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

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Guest: Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org...
By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2016 6:08pm PT  

As we note on more than one occasion on today's BradCast, buckle up! [Audio link to show is at bottom of article.]

Just days before the Presidential election, Democrats are in court in 6 different states attempting to preemptively block alleged "voter intimidation" schemes by Trump and the GOP, and today a federal judge slapped a restraining order on the Trump campaign and his operatives, to try and prevent it. (The order is now posted here [PDF].)

Meanwhile, the GOP nominee is just a narrow polling error away from defeating Hillary Clinton, according to the experts at FiveThirtyEight, who now find Trump's chance of winning the Presidency to be about 1 in 3. So every vote will count --- at least if it's counted correctly.

Longtime non-partisan election integrity expert Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org joins us to explain her startling new discovery of functionality built into computer vote tabulators --- both touch-screen and paper-ballot systems in use in 99% of the nation's jurisdictions --- that, she says, would allow some votes to be weighted more than others in a way that would be nearly impossible to detect.

Harris details what she describes as "Fraction Magic" (see a real-time video demonstration here) and how that functionality, and its use by election insiders (or even outside hackers --- as the U.S. Government continues to warn about), could determine the results of elections on Tuesday, from the Presidential level on down to local races and ballot initiatives.

This ability to fractionalize votes (for example, the functionality allows certain types of voters to have their votes weighted as 1.2 votes, while other votes are counted as just .8 of a vote, so the final results will still tally up to the correct number of votes cast), was originally discovered in the GEMS tabulation system, used with Diebold/Premier voting systems and, Harris explains, systems made by almost all of the other private vendors used across the country. "It's now been confirmed in Hart Intercivic, in 2006. In Dominion. They've admitted it. And ES&S, according to the Illinois Board of Elections, has also got it in there. ES&S counts about 60 percent of the votes in the U.S. So it is actually pretty pervasive."

"We are putting our whole system at risk," warns Harris, about both "Fraction Magic" and the use of voting and tabulation systems that are difficult, if not impossible, for the public to oversee. "Sooner or later, if we keep running these mystery elections, there's going to be something that is actually destabilizing, kind of a perfect storm. This is predictable. Sooner or later, when you keep running elections that are not accountable to the public, that are not something we can verify with actual evidence --- i.e. ballots and ballot images --- there's going to be a meltdown that's destabilizing. This is actually rather dangerous."

Like you didn't think you had enough to worry about between now and Election Day?

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the last Green News Report before Election Day, and we round up a few other last minute voting concerns in swing-states North Carolina and Ohio...

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

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Guest: Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center | Plus: Mississippi burning again and 'zombie voters' still not voting...
By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2016 6:17pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Rightwing extremist groups are reportedly plotting to wreak potential havoc on Election Day, as Donald Trump's candidacy has helped to mainstream previously fringe organizations. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Despite Trump's repeated claims that millions of 'dead people' are voting, the evidence --- reported many years ago by The BRAD BLOG and more recently even by a mainstream corporate news outlet investigation in Wisconsin --- continues to show otherwise.

But while the threat of zombie voters has long been wildly overstated by Republicans, rightwing extremist groups --- neo-nazis, the KKK, militia organizations and others --- are claiming they have plans to mobilize a "show of force" at polling places across the country next Tuesday. That, as another black church in Mississippi is set on fire this week with the words "Vote Trump" spray painted onto it.

So, do these radical groups pose a real threat for chaos and disenfranchisement on Election Day? Or are they just latching on to Trump's racist coat tails in hopes of intimidating American voters? Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremists and hate groups, joins us to answer those questions and much more related to this extraordinary election and the not-coincidental emergence and rise of the so-called "Alt-Right".

Potok, who tells me he believes "there's a real possibility of sporadic violence" next week, says "the Radical Right in America today has a hero, in the [Republican] nominee for President of the United States. They see Donald Trump as the best thing, politically, that they've seen in a half-century or more, going back to at least George Wallace and probably further. They're thrilled. They are very energized."

He tells me that in his 25 years on this beat, he has never seen the radical right play such a key role in an American Presidential election, and explains that the term "Alt-Right" is little more than "a re-branding of white supremacy for the digital age."

"Trump," he explains "has taken the lid off Pandora's Box in a very real and substantial way." But will the threat that they pose to the nation be worse if Trump wins or if he loses? Tune in for that and much more (including --- make sure you are sitting down for it --- my defense, of sorts, of the late, rightwing propagandist Andrew Breitbart! Yes, there's another example of how insane this election year has become.)

Also on today's BradCast: In North Carolina, a federal judge finds the state's statute allowing challenges to the voter rolls to be "insane", and the state's incumbent U.S. Senator who is locked in a close re-election battle, apologizes for disturbing comments about 'targeting' Hillary Clinton, but vows to keep anybody from being seated on the U.S. Supreme Court for the next four years if she wins.

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

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Touch-screen votes flipping; GOP suppression is working; Dems take RNC back to court; ND cracks down on pipeline protests; More...
By Brad Friedman on 10/27/2016 5:57pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, voters are fighting to cast their vote, as voting machines, election officials and GOP suppression efforts continue to work against them. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

The RNC may now be facing another 8 years of court-ordered restrictions against targeting minority voters, as the DNC files to have a federal Consent Decree from the early 80s extended, charging that the RNC and Trump campaign have colluded to unlawfully suppress the vote through so-called "ballot security" schemes and other intimidation tactics.

In the meantime, confidence in accurate election results is plummetting nationally and voter suppression seems to be working against voters in North Carolina, where early voting has been shortened in many counties and some voters --- including a 100-year old African-American woman --- are finding themselves threatened with being purged from the rolls after being challenged by Republican "caging lists".

In Wisconsin, Democratic lawmakers are begging the U.S. Dept. of Justice to send poll monitors after the state's GOP Photo ID voting restrictions are said to be resulting in havoc, confusion and disenfranchisement.

In Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Illinois (so far) 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, touch-screen style) voting systems are reportedly flipping votes from R to D and from D to R and, once again, election officials are blaming voters, rather than themselves.

Also today: Militarized troops in North Dakota clear out Dakota Access Pipeline protesters near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and the owners of the pipeline are revealed to be big Trump funders while the GOP nominee is revealed to have large stock holdings in the companies that own it; The Yale Record does "not" endorse Hillary Clinton and neither does Libertarian Party Veep nominee Gov. William Weld (wink); and Desi Doyen joins us to "blame the cows", among other things, in our the latest Green News Report...

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

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