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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Trump Blusters UN; GOP 'Repealing' Again; Dems 'Look Forward' w/ 'Medicare-for-All': 'BradCast' 9/19/17
Guest: John Judis of TPM; Also: Irma slams Caribbean, Quake devastates Mexico...
'Green News Report' 9/19/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Maria slams Caribbean in Irma footsteps, more storms in wings; Trump denies climate link; Zinke to shrink 10 Nat'l Monuments; PLUS: UN gathers 30th yrs after 1st global climate treaty...
Previous GNRs: 9/14/17 - 9/12/17 - Archives...
Lack of 'Convictions': Repubs on Trump, Dem Senator on Trial: 'BradCast' 9/18/17
Guest: Former Asst. U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eliason; Also: Hurricane Maria on Irma's path of destruction (and she's not alone)...
Sunday Toons of the Cognitively Dissonant Moment
Pity the poor 'PDiddie' who had to make sense of the past week of politics, much less the political cartoons about all of it...
Nothin' But News
(Good, Bad and Otherwise):
'BradCast' 9/15/17
From North Korea to London to Charlottesville to Florida to Texas to Ohio to California to Alaska and beyond...
Trump Plays Both Sides on DACA and Wall; Also: Equifax and You, Dems and 'Medicare-for-All': 'BradCast' 9/14/17
Guest: Gaius Publius of 'Down With Tyranny'; And another hurricane, another NK missile...
'Green News Report' 9/14/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Desperate conditions in the wake of Irma; Eight dead in FL nursing home as power out for millions; Toxic spills and lawsuits follow Harvey; PLUS: Impact of climate in a warming world...
Previous GNRs: 9/12/17 - 9/7/17 - Archives...
'A Threat to the Forces of Denial': Dr. Michael Mann on Science Facts After Irma: 'BradCast' 9/13/17
Guest: Renowned climate scientist; Also: More Dem election wins, GOP fraudster face-plant...
'Trump the Independent'?! Seriously, MSM?!:
'BradCast' 9/12/17
Corporate media falls for 'Trump pivot' again. Callers ring on that, VA finally decertifying touch-screen voting, more...
'Green News Report' 9/12/17
Recovery begins after Irma, sewage systems overflow, EPA waives pollution rules; GOP seeing light on climate?; PLUS: Pope Francis and Miss America slam Trump climate policy...
Sunday 'Double Trouble' Toons
Harvey, Irma and much more trouble in PDiddie's latest collection of the week's best toons...
Irma Ravages Caribbean on Way to FL; Lawsuits Challenge Trump DACA Reversal: 'BradCast' 9/7/17
Guest: Mayra Joachin of the Nat'l Immigration Law Center; Much, MUCH more...
'Green News Report' 9/7/17
After devastating Caribbean, Irma takes aim at US; Harvey's man-made ecological disaster; PLUS: Record heat, fires across West, and FEMA out of money...
CA Dems Undermining Election Oversight; Callers on DACA: 'BradCast' 9/6/17
Guest: Election Integrity expert Jim Soper on AB 840; Plus: Three hurricanes in the Atlantic...
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: Salon's Heather Digby Parton; Also: Two important election-related SCOTUS decisions and this week's U.S. House Special Election in MT...
By Brad Friedman on 5/22/2017 6:35pm PT  

The new Twin Peaks (which is excellent, by the way!) may be less surreal than the latest goings on inside our current White House. On today's BradCast, the latest news on the ever unfolding investigations into Team Trump and on his overseas trip (stories Trump already managed to conflate today), along with big election-related news from the U.S. Supreme Court and a quick preview of this week's upcoming U.S. House special election in the state of Montana. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Today, before we get to the latest in the David Lynchian tales of President Trump, two new and important election-related rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court. One, being described by UC Irvine Election professor Rick Hasen as a very "big deal" and "a major victory for voting rights plaintiffs" deals with racial and partisan gerrymandering in North Carolina, with ramifications for a number of other similar Republican gerrymanders in several states. The other is a victory for campaign finance restrictions. Both cases feature surprising alliances between Republican and Democratic-appointed Justices following last month's confirmation of Neal Gorsich to fill the vacant seat stolen by Republicans after the death of Justice Anton Scalia.

And, speaking of elections, we also preview the U.S. House Special Election set to take place in Montana this Thursday, as populist first-time candidate and popular folk singer Rob Quist barnstormed the state over the weekend with Bernie Sanders. Republican establishment candidate Greg Gianforte is said to have a small lead in pre-election polls, despite being recently caught on tape supporting the GOP health care bill while seeking money from wealthy lobbyists, even while telling voters on the stump he hadn't made up his mind about it yet. In addition to providing a bellwether for the 2018 elections, it may also serve to shake up the current, very serious divide within the Democratic Party itself, depending on how the results shake out this week. That divide has been somewhat obscured by the madness of the Trump White House, but the bitter split between Bernie and Hillary partisans is still very much creating a rift among progressives and Democrats.

Then, we're joined by the great Heather Digby Parton of Salon.com and the Hullabaloo blog to try and make sense of ALL of the latest in the increasingly surreal Trump Administration investigations, and the ongoing troubles Trump ("the clear and present danger"), his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn ("something wrong with him"), his Vice President Mike Pence ("Involved up to his eyeballs"), and many others. In addition to all of that and whether or not it may be heading towards impeachment, Parton also shares thoughts on Trump's overlooked recently reported threat to lock up journalists (reminding us that AG Jeff Sessions is "by far the most dangerous, malevolent person in the Administration") and offers insight on a number of late-breaking stories related to all of the above, including: Flynn, reportedly, now taking the 5th to avoid self-incrimination in response to Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenas; Trump digging himself deeper in Tel Aviv during his 9-day jaunt overseas; and now he may have even have lost a few of his own supporters following his speech on Islam in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

If you watched the new Twin Peaks over the weekend, as I did (the first two hours all year that I haven't thought about Trump, frankly!), what's going on in this Administration is even more difficult to make sense of right now, believe it or not. So, enjoy!...

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

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'Chaotic darkness' at Trump's White House; Bipartisan agreement in Congress; Flynn and Pence go cold Turkey; Eye on McGahn; More unauthorized US war in Syria; MUCH more from today's news tsunami...
By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2017 6:31pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we do our best to surf today's news tsunami, with a focus on a few troubling and under-appreciated stories amid the political flood pouring out of Washington and around the world in the wake of the DoJ's appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Among the huge number of quickly moving and/or under-covered stories pieced together on today's show...

  • CA Assembly bill calls for Donald Trump's impeachment;
  • U.S. launches new airstrike on Syrian forces (despite Congressional failure to authorize attacks on a sovereign nation, which could result in war with Russia);
  • Michael Flynn blocked President Obama's planned offensive against ISIS, which was opposed by Flynn's secret client Turkey;
  • Trump Team was told of FBI investigation of Flynn long before inauguration;
  • VP Mike Pence, head of Trump Transition, still claims he knew nothing about Flynn's ties to foreign nations;
  • Suspicion grows over Team Trump attorney, White House counsel Don McGahn;
  • Senate Intel Chair offers two different stories on Flynn subpoenas;
  • House Oversight Chair announces he's quitting Congress next month;
  • Mueller's appointment receives mostly bipartisan support, as....;
  • ...White House turns 'chaotically dark', cancels Kellyanne Conway appearance on Fox 'News', before...
  • Trump turns against appointment of Mueller to describe it as 'unprecedented witch hunt', which 'divides the country', even as he begins to separate himself from 'Russia collusion' and prepares to throw campaign team under the bus;
  • Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with, among other things, a citizen call to action to save National Monuments set for possible repeal by the Trump Administration...

I wish our countries had "scandals" like this one instead...

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: Attorney Robert Dunham of the Death Penalty Information Center on Arkansas' extraordinary planned killing spree
Also: More electoral concerns for GA's U.S. House special election; Britain's PM announces snap elections; and Turkey's President declares victory as international observers protest...
By Brad Friedman on 4/18/2017 6:18pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Voting and killing. Voting and killing. The world sure seems to be doing a lot of each these days, especially the U.S. (particularly when it comes to the killing part, anyway.) [Audio link to complete show follows below.]

First up today, an obnoxiously arrogant (and hypocritical) comment about the U.S. and North Korea by Vice President Mike Pence. Then, voters head to the polls today in Georgia's 6th Congressional District for a U.S. House special election in which the Democratic candidate has been polling far ahead of a split Republican field. But Jon Ossoff will have to win more than 50% of the reported vote to avoid a one-on-one run-off election with the top Republican vote-getter, in a very Republican district, as still more concerns arise about the reliability of reported results from the state's 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems. Among the concerns (in addition to the unverifiable results): a "massive data breach" last month at the facility which programs both the voting machines and the state's electronic pollbook systems and, over the weekend, the theft of a number of those e-pollbooks from a poll workers car. (Widely mis-reported as a theft of "voting machines", but still concerning nonetheless. We discuss why.)

Also today, Britain's Prime Minister makes a surprise announcement calling for snap elections to be held in June, in advance of final Brexit negotiations and, also over the weekend, a Turkish referendum to grant sweeping powers to the nation's President appears to have narrowly passed. But the opposition and international election observers (if not Donald Trump) are crying foul. That apparent "victory" has resulted in the Turkish President calling for restoration of the death penalty, which, the European Union warns, would prevent Turkey from finally joining the beleaguered EU.

None of that, however, has prevented the state of Arkansas from attempting to move ahead with an unprecedented eight executions over the next 10 days, as the state's supply of one of the controversial drugs --- of dubious effectiveness and purchased under false pretenses by the state --- used for lethal injections there, is set to expire on May 1.

Longtime capital punishment litigator Robert Dunham, Executive Director of the Death Penalty Information Center, joins us to explain Governor Asa Hutchinson's extraordinary planned killing spree and the blizzard of protests, legal measures and court rulings at both the state and federal level, which have already resulted in a last minute U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Monday night, and stays on the state's killing of the first two men set to die in the first of four nights of scheduled double-executions over this week and next.

"This is completely unprecedented. No state in the modern history of the U.S. death penalty has ever attempted to carry out this many executions in a short period of time," Dunham explains, describing the "artificial 'Kill By' date" set by the Governor. "This is something we have never seen before. And [Arkansas is] trying to use a very, very controversial and inappropriate drug in circumstances in which the execution schedule only makes things worse."

We discuss the "psychological trauma for the prison personnel" tasked with carrying out the killings, the pharmaceutical companies trying to keep their medicines from being used to kill prisoners "against their corporate mission, which is to save lives, and not take lives"; questions about the innocence, guilt, legal representation and mental acuity of some of those set to be killed; and the multiple state and federal cases furiously moving through the courts over all of this, including the "irony" of the state of Arkansas' "states rights" Governor and Attorney General challenging a ruling on state law by their own state Supreme Court at the U.S. Supreme court.

Finally today, in hopes of cheering us all up a bit, it appears that folks in Texas have finally gotten something right about politics --- and Donald Trump will not like it one bit...

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...

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

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Guest: 27-year analyst and briefer of Presidents Ray McGovern
Also: GOP Convention kicks off in Cleveland; Ailes 'out' at Fox; Trump ghostwriter 'regrets'...
By Brad Friedman on 7/18/2016 5:54pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the GOP Convention finally gets underway in Cleveland as we try to make sense of the attempted military coup in Turkey over the weekend and the release of 28 previously classified pages of the 9/11 Commission's report.

First, as the RNC kicks off amidst a cycle of gun violence in this country and on the heels of another mass shooting of police officers over the weekend, this time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Cleveland Police union begged Ohio Gov. John Kasich to restrict guns outside the gathering during the convention, despite the state's open carry provisions. Kasich refused, citing Ohio's Constitution which, he says, does not permit the Governor to restrict real guns from the perimeter of the Quicken Loans Arena, even as toy guns and tennis balls are disallowed.

As the official proceedings finally began today inside the convention center, Republican opponents of Trump clashed with GOP officials after a thwarted attempt to force a roll call vote on the approval of the rules. Not a good start.

Then, we're joined by my guest today, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern. The longtime agency veteran, who used to deliver Presidential Daily Briefings to Reagan and Bush Sr. among others, joins us to discuss the apparently-failed military coup attempt that took place over the weekend in Turkey. We discuss what appears to have happened in the NATO nation, what it may mean for their hopes of joining the European Union, as well as what President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's mass arrests of police, military and judges in its wake may mean for Turkey, NATO, the EU, the U.S. and other nations.

The veteran analyst turned anti-war advocate and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), also details his opinion on whether the attempted coup by a faction of the Turkish military was at least partly a "false flag" event orchestrated by Erdogan, how much the U.S., an allly, may or may not have known about the uprising in advance, and why the U.S. will continue to be friendly with the Islamic nation, come what may.

"The bottom line on the Turkish coup," McGovern says, "is Erdogan has been given a terrific present here. He'll be able to change the constitution further, and he'll be able to exert dictatorial powers without much dissent. And that is very dangerous for NATO and the whole Near East area because he is the very definition of a loose cannon."

On the related topic of increasingly authoritarian friends of the U.S., we discuss the newly declassified 28-pages [PDF] of the 9/11 Commission's Final Report regarding a much closer relationship between the 9/11 hijackers and the Saudi government than either the Obama Administration or a number of major media outlets have so far reported. "These are damning, damning pieces of evidence of extensive Saudi government support for some of the 9/11 hijackers," he explains, before also explaining how the information revealed by these pages could have even come about in the first place --- and his quick thoughts on the rise of Donald Trump.

Finally today: It looks like Roger Ailes, longtime mastermind of the Fox "News" Channel scam, is about to be pushed out of his job in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him by a former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson; Donald Trump's Art of the Deal ghostwriter says he has a "deep sense of remorse" for "put[ting] lipstick on a pig"; and a bit of somewhat encouraging polling news for Hillary Clinton over the weekend...

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: Salon's Ben Norton | Also: Trump seeks torture, CA seeks weed, some seek 'Texit'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/29/2016 6:09pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the Presidential Primary battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders becomes a fight over the official party platform and whether progressive reform can actually happen from within; Donald Trump wants the U.S. to torture again; and California goes to pot. [Audio link to show posted below.]

In the wake of this week's horrific terror attack at Turkey's Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, the presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump wants to "Make America Commit War Crimes Again" as he calls for the U.S. to once again implement torture policies such as waterboarding. In the meantime, new Pew polling shows Trump's support from nation's outside of the U.S. is dismal, often in single digits. While back here at home, according to new Quinnipiac poll out today, he remains "neck-and-neck" nationally with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton whose favorability ratings are also dismal, though not as bad as Trump's.

But as Bernie Sanders supporters quickly move toward Clinton, representatives for the two popular Democratic rivals hash out the party's official platform document to be adopted by delegates at the Democratic National Convention in July.

Salon political reporter Ben Norton joins us to discuss progress of the talks, specifically the Clinton camp's refusal to allow a demand for a $15/hour federal minimum wage mandate in the non-binding party manifesto, as well as the failure by Clinton surrogates to agree to more progressive language on a number of issues, from Israel to fracking to trade policies.

Norton goes on to report that the fight between surrogates for the two candidates at the DNC Drafting Committee's platform talks echoes the long Democratic primary race, suggesting, as he sees it, that the party, ultimately, may not be able to reform from within. "You have the Sanders' appointees pushing for more progressive measures, and the Clinton appointees opposing those measures. I think in some ways, we did see some progress, but overall I think there's reason to be pessimistic for a potential Clinton presidency, given the way that this has represented itself at the DNC committee drafting," Norton explains. "It really reflects the war going on within the Progressive community."

Real progressive policy change, he argues, will require new candidates to step up at the local and state level --- even as independents or under the banner of a third party, if necessary --- to take up the fight and seek office, he notes, just as Sanders did when he initially ran for office in Vermont decades ago.

Finally today, more calls for 'Texit'! California announces that an initiative to allow the recreational use of marijuana will be on the statewide ballot this November, and Colorado finds that teen use of pot has actually fallen below the national average since the state adopted a similar policy in 2014.

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: Julie Tyler, filmmaker, 'Ballots for Bernie' vote count observer...
By Brad Friedman on 6/28/2016 5:53pm PT  

More than half a million ballots remain to be processed and tallied from California's June 7th Presidential Primary, and thousands of those votes have just been saved. On today's BradCast we speak to a citizen vote count observer in Los Angeles County who, through her diligence, just days ago, helped change L.A.'s process for determining which provisional ballots will be tallied, potentially saving tens of thousands of Democratic votes from being tossed in the bargain. [Audio link to complete show posted at bottom of this article.]

First today, the latest on the breaking news out of Turkey where an apparent terror attack had killed at least 28 people by air time today. Then, U.S. House Republicans release their final Benghazi report, for what it's worth, and Donald Trump continues to plummet in national polls, even as he remains quite competitive with Hillary Clinton in swing states.

Then, I'm joined by Julie Tyler, Los Angeles filmmaker and citizen vote count observer with Ballots for Bernie, to discuss how her oversight of on-going Provisional Ballot processing in L.A. has resulted in thousands of Democratic Primary votes cast by "No Party Preference" (NPP) voters being included in the tally, instead of being tossed out, as originally planned by election officials.

Indeed, The BRAD BLOG confirmed late last week with L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan that the County changed its process for determining voter intent after Tyler noticed that some provisional votes cast on Democratic ballot cards (instead of NPP-Democratic "cross over" cards) were being discarded under Logan's original process.

"I have further reviewed that category of provisional ballots," Logan said in a statement he sent via email, "and I am in agreement that the ballot card itself is sufficient to indicate voter intent to participate in the Democratic primary under the liberal construction clause of Elections Code 14312; therefore canvass staff has been instructed to process all such ballots as NPP-DEM cross over ballots and to prepare them for tabulation in subsequent updates as scheduled."

He went on to explain that, "while there is no process for a challenge to the determination of voter intent on provisional ballots, the election official does have to authority to identify the need for and to take corrective action during the canvass period. I am exercising that authority with regard to any provisional ballots processed and counted prior to the clarification listed above. Those ballots are being identified and will be re-processed as NPP-DEM cross over ballots and will reflect a vote cast in the Presidential contest, if any." Logan told me that some 2,801 ballots processed under the original interpretation of the rules were reprocessed under the new ones, and the more than 100,000 still-unprocessed provisionals in L.A. County will be verified and tallied under the new interpretation of the rules as well.

Tyler and others observers estimate some 60,000 votes may have been otherwise tossed, and tells me (though I haven't confirmed this part) that the CA Secretary of State is instructing other counties to similarly review their procedures for the inclusion of provisional Presidential votes from the June Democratic Primary, which Clinton still leads over Sanders, with the statewide margin very slowly narrowing and more than half a million ballots still untallied statewide as of today, in advance of the July 8 state certification deadline.

"It's our democracy, and it doesn't happen in a vacuum," Tyler tells me on today's show, while explaining how she noticed the problem initially and brought it to the attention of election officials, emphasizing "how important it is for observers to be on hand when these tallies are being done, for this very reason."

"It's not something that those people do over there. We have to take part. Frankly, I found the whole thing fascinating," she says, urging others to participate in this crucial aspect of our elections and noting "how empowering [it is] to know that, simply being there and observing, you can find errors and weigh in...Everybody has that power." Thank you, Julie! Couldn't agree more!

Finally today, we finish with our latest Green News Report on Volkswagen's $15 billion settlement with U.S. customers, as part of their emissions cheating scandal, Transcanada's $15 billion NAFTA complaint over U.S. rejection of the KeystoneXL pipeline, and much more...

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

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Flashback to BRAD BLOG coverage of bribery, blackmail allegations by FBI translator/whistleblower Sibel Edmonds from years past...
By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2015 11:04pm PT  

Oh, man...

CHICAGO (AP) — Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million in hush money to keep an unidentified person silent about "prior misconduct" by the Illinois Republican who was once third in line to the U.S. presidency, according to a federal grand jury indictment handed down on Thursday in Chicago.

The indictment, which does not describe the misconduct Hastert was allegedly trying to conceal, charges the 73-year-old with one count of evading bank regulations as he withdrew tens of thousands of dollars at a time to make the payments. He is also charged with one count of lying to the FBI about the reason for the unusual bank withdrawals.

Each count of the indictment carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
...
Hastert withdrew a total of around $1.7 million in cash from various bank accounts from 2010 to 2014, and then provided it to the person identified in the indictment only as Individual A. Hastert allegedly agreed to pay the person $3.5 million, but never apparently paid that full amount.

Specifically, the indictment reads, the payoffs were to cover up "past misconduct by defendant against Individual A that had occurred years earlier." That "years earlier" part could be important here. See AP's story for much more, including the 7-page indictment itself.

I'll be on the road for a few days as of Friday for some long-scheduled family obligations, so I won't be able to delve much into this for the moment. However, we covered a number of questions about Hastert and criminality in some detail here as far back as 2006. At the time, many seemed to think such questions were outlandish. Much of our coverage stemmed from allegations made about Hastert by former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. She had charged, years ago, that Hastert was mixed up with shadowy Turkish interests and even suitcases full of cash, generally speaking. For example, from the 241-page transcript [PDF] her sworn video taped testimony during a 2009 case, Edmonds claimed Hastert was involved in...

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




Would legalization reduce CIA access to covert funding?...
By Ernest A. Canning on 4/16/2012 6:05am PT  

Guest Editorial Series by Ernest A. Canning

How does one explain it?

The Eric Holder Department of Justice (DOJ) is faced with massive banking and Wall Street fraud that nearly brought the world's economic system to its knees, yet no bankers are prosecuted. It is confronted by environmental crimes that have poisoned our air, water and even the food we eat, yet, for the most part, those crimes go unpunished. It has its hands full fending off voter suppression laws concocted by a billionaire-funded, subversive organization, which is also responsible for deadly "stand your ground" laws and an assault on the right of citizens to engage in collective bargaining.

Yet, the DOJ and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) make it a priority to target California medical marijuana dispensaries and to raid Oaksterdam University, a school founded by Richard Lee, a legalization activist who offers training in the cultivation and use of medical marijuana. It does so even though, in 1996, CA voters, by a wide margin, passed an initiative that "allows patients with a valid doctor's recommendation...to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal medical use." The raids were also made against the backdrop of polls showing that a majority of Americans support legalization of marijuana.

In this three-part series, we will advance the hypothesis that this seemingly irrational obsession with busting medicinal marijuana dispensaries and fending off legalization of even the most innocuous of drugs, Cannabis, can only be understood in the context of U.S. Empire and the economics of the Prison Industrial Complex.

In this first part of the series, we examine both historical and recent links between the CIA and the illicit drug trade. We touch upon the extent to which the so-called 'War on Drugs' has been used as cover for the CIA's covert import of narcotics, both into the U.S. and other nations, in order to fund the mischief the Agency engages in on behalf of U.S. Empire. That operation, evidence strongly suggests, continues to this day.

At the core of that hypothesis is the question as to whether an end to the phony 'War on Drugs' and its replacement by controlled legalization, taxation and medical, educational and psychological assistance in avoiding substance abuse would cut off a key, illicit source of covert CIA funding...

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




By Ernest A. Canning on 6/7/2010 1:34pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

"The problem with making excuses for and giving explanations for a child's misbehavior(s) is that it doesn't 'help' the child. It doesn't HELP anybody. In fact, it does nothing but cloud one's judgment preventing any form of objective observation from being made thereby eliminating any real assistance being implemented."
- Randa Williamson-McCoy, "Making Excuses for Your Child's Actions and Behavior," 05/19/2010

Beginning with Israel's unprovoked attack on the U.S.S. Liberty during the 1967 Six Day War, continuing throughout the next 43 year illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, right up to the June 2, 2010 Obama administration decision to block a U.N. Human Rights Council proposal to establish an independent international inquiry into Israel's heavily armed assault and capture of the six vessel, unarmed civilian humanitarian aid convoy in international waters, the relationship between the U.S. and Israel has resembled that of a parent whose love, devotion and inability to say "no" to their incorrigible teenager in the face of increasing levels of anti-social behavior only serves to harm parent, child and society...

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




Feature article offers comment from Perle, Feith, spokesman for Grossman, as well as information and comment in support of the FBI translator/whistleblower's charges of nuclear treason...
By Brad Friedman on 10/21/2009 12:58pm PT  

The military news outlet Military.com is covering the story of FBI linguist-turned-whistelblower Sibel Edmonds as their lead story today.

Reporter Bryant Jordan's 1,500 word feature includes a background summary of Edmonds' story, which The BRAD BLOG has been detailing for years, and a summary of the allegations she offered under oath last August in her sworn deposition following seven years of "forced silence" under a court-ordered gag due to the so-called "State Secrets Privilege" twice-invoked by George W. Bush's Department of Justice. A good round-up of the startling information Edmonds says she gleaned while listening to and translating wiretaps in the counterintelligence division at the FBI after 9/11 is offered throughout his coverage.

Jordan's piece is well reported and includes, for the first time to our knowledge, several forms of denials of Edmonds allegations by some of Bush's key State and Defense Department officials --- such as Richard Perle and Douglas Feith --- who, she says, were participants in espionage plots against the United States in order to share military and even nuclear secrets with Turkish and Israeli government operatives.

Edmonds also offers a very spirited and seemingly common-sense response to those denials (one of which is rather ironic in retrospect) and to critics who maintain she has been offering these allegations due to some form of vendetta.

If you're not already familiar with Edmonds' story, we'll recommend Jordan's full article at Military.com, just as we have previously recommended the excellent cover-story interview by CIA vet Philip Giraldi at American Conservative magazine also published following her 8/8/09 deposition in which she was finally able to tell her story publicly and on the record for the first time. She did so as the Obama Dept. of Justice chose not to invoke the "State Secrets Privilege" when they had the opportunity this time.

If you are already familiar with her story, then read on, as we'll try to highlight the new information in which Jordan advances the story a few beats --- as every other U.S. mainstream corporate media outlet has simply failed to since Edmonds' remarkable allegations have finally become public...

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




Allegations mirror those long made by FBI translator / whistleblower Sibel Edmonds...
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2009 4:23pm PT  

This is, of course, the precise sort of thing which FBI linguist-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has been alleging concerning both Turkish and Israeli interests for some time. In her case, she has testified under oath to nearly-identical behavior by U.S. scientists, military personnel and academics at top-secret nuclear and military installations who are alleged to have done precisely what Stewart David Nozette has now been busted for, as reported today by AFP...

A top American scientist who once worked for the Pentagon and the US space agency NASA was arrested Monday and charged with attempted spying for Israel, the Department of Justice said.

Stewart David Nozette, 52, developed an experiment that fueled the discovery of water on the south pole of the moon, and previously held special security clearance at the Department of Energy on atomic materials, the DOJ said.

He is charged with "attempted espionage for knowingly and willfully attempting to communicate, deliver, and transmit classified information relating to the national defense of the United States to an individual that Nozette believed to be an Israeli intelligence officer," the DOJ said.

Nozette had been dealing with an FBI undercover agent in a sting operation, the department said, adding there was no wrongdoing by Israel.
...
"The conduct alleged in this complaint is serious and should serve as a warning to anyone who would consider compromising our nation's secrets for profit," said David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security.
...
"From 1989 through 2006, Nozette held security clearances as high as top secret and had regular, frequent access to classified information and documents related to the US national defense," the Justice Department said.
...
"In addition, Nozette allegedly offered to reveal additional classified information that directly concerned nuclear weaponry, military spacecraft or satellites, and other major weapons systems," DOJ said.

In addition to allegations against a network of moles said to be based at U.S. nuclear weapons facilities, Edmonds has also fingered current and former members of Congress, such as Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY) and Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased), as well as high-ranking Pentagon and State Dept. officials such as Marc Grossman, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, as having participated, via bribery and blackmail schemes, in related espionage with Turkish and Israeli interests.

Despite several high profile front-page features on all of this in the UK Sunday Times last year (here, here and here), Edmonds' recent sworn deposition on these matters, a recent cover-story interview in American Conservative magazine, and an 18-year FBI executive officer corroborating key elements of her story and calling for a "Special Counsel" to investigate and prosecute, the U.S. corporate mainstream media have failed to report on the Edmonds story at all since she was finally allowed to speak about these matters in August following seven years of gag orders from the Bush Administration's invocation of the so-called "State Secrets Privilege."

* * *

The BRAD BLOG receives no corporate or foundational funding. Please consider donating to The BRAD BLOG in support of our years-long continuing coverage of the Sibel Edmonds case.




UPDATE: Historic accord signed following last minute intervention from SoS Clinton...
By Brad Friedman on 10/10/2009 11:12am PT  

The highly-contentious diplomatic relationship between Armenia and Turkey is set to warm up a bit today --- maybe --- as the long-quarreling countries are scheduled to sign an agreement opening up both diplomatic relations and their shared border.

To the surprise of probably nobody, the signing ceremony has hit a few last minute snags, as U.S. Sec. of State Hilary Clinton, present for the occasion, has been attempting to broker peace between the two sides as disagreements about what would be said at the signing has momentarily derailed finalization of the historic accord.

We point out all of this today as the dispute over a long-sought resolution in the U.S. Congress --- declaring the deaths of some 1.5 million Armenians by Turkey during WWI to be a "genocide" --- has been at the heart of many of the disclosures made by FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds that we've been covering here at The BRAD BLOG for some time.

Edmonds contends that FBI counterintelligence wiretaps from 1996 to 2002 document the Turkish lobby/government's extraordinary efforts to compromise members of the U.S. Congress, through both blackmail and bribery, in order to derail the passage of such a resolution. Though the resolution has garnered a great deal of support in Congress over the years, it has been derailed, sometimes at the very last minute, every time it has been raised over the last decade or two.

You can read about those Congressmembers said to have been bribed/blackmailed here in our article covering that aspect of Edmonds' recent sworn deposition in an Ohio Election Commission case related to a dispute between Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH-2) and her 2008/10 opponent David Krikorian concerning the very same issue.

In addition to the Armenian Genocide dispute, Edmonds' disclosures also name high-ranking U.S. State and Defense Department officials as participating in espionage efforts said to include the theft of nuclear secrets from secure military bases, and their sale on the foreign black market. In a recent interview, 18-year FBI executive John M. Cole, a Counterintelligence and Counterespionage Manager, corroborated key elements of Edmonds' disclosures, including a "decade-long investigation" of Marc Grossman, our former Ambassador to Turkey, before he became the third-highest ranking official in the Bush State Department .

Cole, who says that Edmonds has been "one hundred percent right on the money, on the mark" in her disclosures, explained that the FBI's espionage probe "ultimately was buried and covered-up." Last week he called for a Special Counsel to investigate those named by Edmonds, so they may finally "be held accountable for their actions --- and prosecuted if they've done wrong."

UPDATE 12:31pm: Accord signed after Clinton's intervention, and the agreement that no statments would be made by either side. :-)

ZURICH (AP) --- Turkey and Armenia signed an accord Saturday to establish diplomatic relations after a century of enmity, as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton helped the two sides clear a last-minute snag.

''It was pulled back from the brink,'' said a senior U.S. official

The Turkish and Armenian foreign ministers signed the agreement in the Swiss city of Zurich after a dispute over the final statements they would make. In the end, the signing took place about three hours later and there were no spoken statements.

Officials say Clinton and mediators from Switzerland intervened to help broker a solution.




Details panic inside the Bureau, executive effort to 'keep this whole thing quiet' when matter first came to light in 2002
Further confirms FBI translator/whistleblower's allegations, credibility...
By Brad Friedman on 10/5/2009 11:18am PT  

An 18-year Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism Manager for the FBI has called for a Special Counsel to be appointed to investigate the allegations of FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. John M. Cole, who now works as an intelligence contractor for the Air Force, made his comments during an audio interview released late last week with radio journalist Peter B. Collins.

He also offered a detailed insider's look at the concerns among high-level officials inside the Bureau as Edmonds' disturbing allegations began coming to light back in 2002, before they would be quashed for seven long years by the Bush Administration's unprecedented use of the so-called "State Secrets Privilege" to gag her.

Earlier last week, following the publication of a remarkable American Conservative magazine cover story interview with Edmonds --- detailing a broad bribery, blackmail, and espionage conspiracy said to have been carried out between current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials and covert operatives from Turkey and Israel, resulting in the theft and sale of nuclear weapons technology on the foreign black market --- Cole had been quoted by the magazine confirming one of Edmonds' key allegations.

"I am fully aware of the FBI's decade-long investigation of" Marc Grossman, he said in response to the AmCon article/interview. Grossman had served as the third-highest ranking official in the Bush State Department and was alleged by Edmonds in the interview, and in a sworn, video-taped deposition a month earlier, to have been the U.S. ringleader for a massive Turkish espionage scandal reaching through the halls of power and into top-secret nuclear facilities around the country to the benefit of allies and enemies alike. Cole said that the FBI's counterintelligence probe "ultimately was buried and covered up," and that he believes it is "long past time" for an investigation of the case to "bring about accountability."

In his subsequent interview with Collins last week (audio and text excerpts posted below) Cole elaborated on those comments in much greater detail, noting that Edmonds has been "one hundred percent right on the money, on the mark" and confirming the existence of an "ongoing and detailed effort by Turkey to develop influence in the United States" through various illegal activities.

"Yes, I can confirm that," Cole told Collins, "That's true."

The FBI veteran executive also offered an insider's account of the panic that ensued inside the highest echelons of the bureau following Edmonds' first disclosure of information in 2002, recounting how an executive assistant director admitted to him at the time, just after the story first broke, "Well, all I know is that everything that Sibel is stating is true. I read her file. Everything she stated is, in fact, accurate."

Cole further describes how the concerns about Edmonds ultimately led to the Bush Administration's two-time use of the Draconian "State Secrets Privilege" in hopes of keeping her extraordinary information from becoming public. "Everybody at headquarters level at the bureau knew that what she was saying was extremely accurate."

"I know they didn't want her to go out and speak about it at all," Cole revealed, "and I know they were trying to figure out ways of keeping this whole thing quiet, because they didn't want Sibel to come out."

He also offered information which directly counters one of the criticisms of Edmonds' allegations as frequently offered by skeptics. Namely, that as a short time FBI contract translator --- even though she was tasked to review some seven years of counterintelligence wiretaps made from 1996 to 2002 --- she couldn't have had enough understanding of the full scope of the investigations to understand what was really going on.

"The thing is," Cole explained to Collins, "the position that Sibel was in, she had access to extremely sensitive information. The translators have access to some of the most sensitive information that we receive."

He detailed how first-hand information goes first from the translators to the investigators who then act on it, as some of the most important information collected by FBI language specialists could have "implications that may affect even the White House, or policy."

"So what I'm saying is, I know she had access to some very sensitive stuff, and I could see why the Bureau would squirm over her coming out and speaking about some of the things that were going on."

The interview concluded with Cole's reiteration of both his confidence in Edmonds' credibility, and his call for accountability.

"I would love to see, especially with the allegations that Sibel has come out with, her allegations --- which I believe are in fact true, I have no reason to doubt what she's saying --- I would love to see somebody take that, a Special Counsel or whatever, some group of people that you could trust, have them investigate those allegations and have people's feet held to the fire. Have them be held accountable for their actions --- and prosecuted if they've done wrong."

"You know, no one's above the law, and no one should be above the law," he added, along with one more chilling thought: "You know, it really irritates me that people are getting away with murder, in some cases. They should not be allowed to get away with that. There needs to be accountability. And that's what I'd love to see."

The complete audio, and key text excerpts from Collins' interview with Cole follow below...

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




UPDATED: The recommendations from the Ohio Election Commission are in...
By Brad Friedman on 10/1/2009 1:51pm PT  

The Schmidt v. Krikorian hearing is continuing today before the Ohio Election Commission. This is the case which resulted in FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds' stunning sworn deposition in early August, and in "high drama" on the first day of proceedings early last month.

I'll be off the grid for much of today, so allow me to refer to today's live tweeting by Cincinnati Enquirer's Jon Craig, and to Geoffrey "Ohiobama" Sea's live blogging over at Daily Kos. Both come straight from the courtroom as the, apparently equally contentious, second day continues.

There was discussion, after the first day ended last month, of Edmonds testifying in person; she is not currently scheduled to do so, though Krikorian says her deposition transcript and video will be submitted nonetheless. And as Craig's tweets suggest, this thing may go to a third day, in any case.

More later as I'm able to get back and pay attention. For more background on the case for now, see the stories in our Jean Schmidt category...

UPDATE 10/2/09: Here's an excellent, if Armenian-leaning summary/report on the case by Peter Musurlian of Horizon TV, following the September 3rd hearing (in advance of the second day continuation yesterday), including some shoving in the elevator outside the hearing room, for which the filmmaker is said to be considering a lawsuit, a "screw you" comment from Schmidt's Chief of Staff, Barry Bennet, and some forgetful testimony from Schmidt who had twice been found in "reckless disregard for the truth" by the same commission, for having lied about receiving a second college degree:


FURTHER UPDATE 10/2/09: The decisions of the Ohio Election commission are now in, including the decision to allow portions of Edmonds' sworn deposition to be submitted into evidence in the hearing. These are the final updates from Sea's live blogging at dKos yesterday from within the hearing room (his earlier updates are also well worth the read, as it sounds like it was quite a day in that room!)...

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




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