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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, February 26, 2017
Appeals Court Upholds MD's Ban on 'Weapons of War': 'BradCast' 2/22/17
And other encouraging news for a change! Guest: Attorney Mark Joseph Stern of Slate...
'Our Worst Fears Realized': 'BradCast' 2/21/17
Trump issues radical new deportation policies, disturbing anti-Semitic crimes are rising, and much more. Guest: Wendy Feliz of the American Immigration Council...
'Green News Report' 2/21/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
What to expect from the EPA after rushed confirmation of EPA-enemy Scott Pruitt; 3 fossil fuel explosions, 2 weeks; AK natgas pipeline leak; PLUS: New U.S. wind energy record...
Previous GNRs: 2/16/17 - 2/14/17 - Archives...
The Insidiousness Behind Trump's Dangerous Lies: 'BradCast' 2/20/17
False claims of 'terror' in Sweden and false 'voter fraud' in New Hampshire may be funny, but Trump's fake news is deadly serious...
Sunday Toons of the Flaming Hot Cheeto Moment
"This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine," says Trump. But the political cartoonists may see it somewhat differently, as PDiddie's latest collection helps document...
TRUMP DUMP: Much Too Much: 'BradCast' 2/17/17
Guest host Angie Coiro with guests Lisa Graves of the Center for Media and Democracy on Scott Pruitt and the 'Belabored' podcast's Sarah Jaffe on Trump and the unions...
Nearly One Million Signatures Calling for Impeachment: 'BradCast' 2/16/17
Guest: Author, activist Norman Solomon on grounds for removing Trump from office; Plus: Trump's insane presser; More on the Logan Act; our 8th Anniversary 'Green News Report'...
'Green News Report' 2/16/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
GNR's 8th ANNIVERSARY!: Trump nixes anti-corruption reg; New spill from Dakota Access co.; Good news for AZ breathers; PLUS: Man-made toxins in deepest ocean...
Previous GNRs: 2/14/17 - 2/9/17 - Archives...
Trump's Chaotic Weapons
of Mass Distraction:
'BradCast' 2/15/17
Guest: D.D. Guttenplan of The Nation; Also: Puzder out; Congress helps mentally disabled buy guns; ICE detains a 'DREAMer'...
It's Not the Crime, It's the Cover-Up: 'BradCast' 2/14/17
Trump's National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigns. What did the President know and when did he know it?...
'Green News Report' 2/14/17
Oroville Dam highlights climate & US infrastructure probs; Judge rejects tribe's request to halt Dakota Access; PLUS: Extreme heat, fire again in Australia...
'This is Not a Drill': Looming Catastrophe at Nation's Tallest Dam: 'BradCast' 2/13/17
Guest: Eric Wesselman on warning 12 years ago about now-potential disaster at Oroville Dam in Northern Cal...
Sunday Toons of the Fourth Reich Moment
In which 'PDiddie' goose-steps us through some of the best political cartoons of the latest Trump Era week...
Immigrant Deportations Begin, Even as Court Slams 'Muslim Ban': 'BradCast' 2/10/17
Guest: Maria Castro of People United for Justice. Plus: Repubs confirms Price in middle of night; Racists celebrate Sessions as A.G....
'Green News Report' 2/9/17
Dakota Access fight continues, owners reported 69 spills in 2 years; Air pollution and dementia; More American jobs in solar than coal; PLUS: Sweden to go zero emissions...
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: Attorney Mark Joseph Stern of Slate...
By Brad Friedman on 2/22/2017 5:08pm PT  

On today's BradCast, as dark as yesterday's show was, today is somewhat the opposite, with a whole bunch of encouraging news from the courts and the people across these United States. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Attorney and legal journalist Mark Joseph Stern of Slate joins us to break down the full 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' potentially landmark decision upholding the state of Maryland's ban on semi-automatic "weapons of war" and the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling today on a race-based death penalty case out of Texas.

On MD's ban on military-style assault weapons, enacted by the legislature following the 2012 Sandyhook Elementary school massacre, the full court's majority ruling, including a number of Republican-appointed judges, soundly rejected the opponents argument that, as Stern says, "once enough people own a certain type of gun, the 2nd Amendment magically begins to protect it." He explains what may happen next with this case as it moves toward the Supreme Court and offers his thoughts on why GOPers and the NRA are suddenly unconcerned with their "states rights" arguments when it comes to guns.

On the SCOTUS death penalty case, granting a repreive, for now, to a Texas man on death row since 1997, Stern explains how the case underscores that "people who are sentenced to death in this country get the worst lawyers sometimes...It's really quite shocking." Incredibly enough, Chief Justice John Roberts eloquently agreed --- at least in this case.

And more encouraging news also covered today...

  • A federal court in Texas blocks the state's attempt to defund Planned Parenthood;
  • North Carolina's Democratic governor moves to withdraw the state's appeal to SCOTUS, filed by his Republican predecessor seeking to overturn a federal appeals court finding that the state's election reform law unconstitutionally discriminated against African-Americans "with surgical precision";
  • An FEC commissioner refuses to back down in the face of legal threats from Koch Brothers'' funded group after her demand to see Trump's alleged evidence of thousands of illegal votes cast in New Hampshire's 2016 Presidential election;
  • Another new poll finds Trump's approval ratings "sinking like a rock";
  • A Muslim group raises $90 thousand (so far) to help repair the desecrated Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, MO;
  • A people continue to exercise democracy, whether Republicans and Donald Trump like it or not, by showing up in huge numbers at Congress member town halls across the country...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2016 6:59pm PT  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Repubs playing for keeps, Dems still bringing butter knives to gun fights...
By Brad Friedman on 12/15/2016 5:51pm PT  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Cobb, Green Presidential campaign manager, 2004 nominee
Also: U.S. Army halts construction of Dakota Access Pipeline (for now)...
By Brad Friedman on 12/5/2016 6:14pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we cover an enormous amount of news, breaking and otherwise, on both the Presidential "recount" story in three different states, as well as the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. And we speak to Green Party candidate Jill Stein's campaign manager, David Cobb, about the ongoing and "escalating" legal battles and fights for citizen oversight of election results in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. [Audio link to show posted at bottom of article.]

First today, the latest on the breaking news over the weekend in the story of the denial of a permit for the controversial pipeline in ND, where thousands of native Americans have been protesting for months against its construction near tribal lands. On Sunday, in a huge victory, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied an easement to Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners that would have allowed them to complete the pipeline by building on disputed land near and beneath Lake Oahe, the Standing Rock Sioux's source of drinking water. The victory, while monumental --- even as the protests and violent attempts by law enforcement to stop them have been almost entirely ignored by mainstream corporate media --- may be short-lived, depending on legal actions and decisions made by the next President. Desi Doyen joins us for the latest.

At the same time, over the weekend, the corporate media was busy misreporting and misleading the legal maneuvers of Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein, who has dropped just one of the statewide voter-initiated suits demanding a PA "recount", in favor of a federal filing [PDF] today, on Constitutional grounds, seeking federal intervention for a statewide count and forensic analysis of 100% unverifiable voting systems used there. Stein and her attorneys held a press conference and rally today outside of Trump Tower in Manhattan, to explain the efforts.

Also, a federal judge this morning ordered [PDF] the state of Michigan to being counting ballots today, after successful maneuvers by Team Trump delayed the start of that effort late last week and had hoped to further delay or deny citizen oversight of results entirely. MI's Attorney General (a Trump supporter) falsely argued in his filing and during an unusual emergency hearing in federal court on Sunday, that the count might endanger the state's Electoral College votes. U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith ordered the counting to begin at noon today, however, finding that any further delay "would likely violate [plaintiffs'] right to vote under the First and Fourteenth Amendments" and that "there is a credible threat to the voters' right to have a determination made that Michigan's vote for president was properly tabulated." The MI GOP has vowed to appeal both the federal and state cases against counting ballots.

My guest today, Stein's campaign manager David Cobb, the Party's 2004 Presidential nominee --- who, himself, called for the partial statewide count that happened after that year's Presidential contest in Ohio --- joins us to discuss the latest developments in the ongoing counts and court cases in all three states, and to explain why Stein and the Green Party "are demanding integrity in the election system."

In PA, he explains (as we long have as well), that "there is no way to properly verify the DRE --- direct recording electronic --- equipment, otherwise correctly known as 'black box voting'. It's terrible to begin with and they should never be used. ... The real gain here is forensic experts getting an opportunity to get their hands on these machines --- and that is exactly what we are seeking in all three states --- but, in Pennsylvania, in federal court specifically, because of the completely outrageous system of recount provisions in the state." (To get an idea how horrific they are, check out my interview with VotePA's Marybeth Kuznik from last week, or read today's filing [PDF] in federal court.)

"I really want to underscore," he tells me, "we are escalating the fight into federal court in Pennsylvania precisely because the Pennsylvania laws are so horrible."

"These black box voting machines are hackable," he continues. "If any nefarious individual can get their hands on them, there are ways to manipulate them. That's the reason it's so important to have these forensic studies done. So that we can literally verify the vote. What is Donald Trump afraid of?"

We also discuss the efforts of the Green Party going back to Cobb's own attempted "recount" in Ohio, when two top election officials in the state's largest county, Cuyahoga (Cleveland), were found guilty and sentenced to the maximum sentence in prison for having rigged the 2004 Presidential "recount".

"We are demanding that every vote counts, so count every vote! It's just that simple. At the end of the day, if we do not have confidence in the election system, we cannot have confidence in our government itself," he argues.

Finally, speaking of counting votes (or not), North Carolina's abhorrent Republican Gov. Pat McCory has announced he is giving up his own battle for a statewide recount (which we supported) and has conceded the race to the state's Democratic candidate Attorney General Roy Cooper, becoming the first Governor to lose a re-election bid in state history...

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

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Guest: Author, election fraud investigator Richard Hayes Phillips on concerns about reported voter turnout in WI and much more...
By Brad Friedman on 11/28/2016 6:06pm PT  

On today's BradCast: As we first broke last week, Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein has now filed for 'recounts' (attempts at first time hand-counts and forensic audits, in any event) in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and soon in Michigan. Independent candidate Rocky De La Fuente has also filed in WI. [Audio link to show is at end of article.]

Today we catch up on all that the calls for "recounts" have led to over the weekend and since the holiday break last week, including: News on the more than $6M raised by Stein to pay for the counts so far (the number that both she and the attorneys seeking the counts had told me about last Monday before any of this had become public); the Clinton Team (somewhat) joining the effort; Donald Trump demeaning it as a "scam" and offering wildly false claims of "voter fraud"; Stein's emergency effort to draft needed voter volunteers for filings in PA; the legal question (and now lawsuit) over whether WI will "recount" paper ballots by hand or by the same computers that tallied them in the first place; whether there will be sufficient time for any kind of proper public counting before the federally mandated December 13 deadline; and whether there is anything to count in PA at all, where they still shamefully force voters to use 100 percent unverifiable touch-screens across most of the state.

We are joined by long-time election fraud investigator and author Richard Hayes Phillips, to discuss all of that and his detailed report about the unusually large apparent voter turnout numbers in many rural WI municipalities and the difficulty citizens have in verifying and overseeing those numbers. As Phillips explains, there are horrible public reporting requirements for both results and for same-day voter registration provisions in the state.

"At a minimum, the problem is a lack of transparency," Phillips tells me today. "We have no way of knowing how many registered voters there are [in WI]. If you don't know how many registered voters there are, you don't know if too many ballots were cast." His report finds that, based on the latest state-reported voter registration numbers, there were "193 towns with turnout of 90% or better, 25 towns with turnout of 95% or better, and 7 towns with turnout of 100% or better." Those exceedingly high turnout numbers are likely lower in reality, due to same-day registration in WI, but the lack of reporting requirements for those numbers is "unacceptable".

"This is the period of time during which we must analyze those numbers to decide whether or not to challenge the election, and we don't have reliable numbers to use!" Philips, who personally examined tens of thousands of ballots and poll books and much more in Ohio after the disputed 2004 election there, resulting in his book Witness to a Crime: A Citizens' Audit of an American Election, says WI's turnout numbers remind him of a number of counties where he found fraud in Ohio, where there was some 80% turnout reported.

He also warns --- as I have, very loudly, for many years --- that there are almost no ballots to actually count in PA. "The five biggest cities in Pennsylvania that have no paper record of anybody's vote, except for absentee ballots, which only amount to 1 or 2% of the ballots," he says. "My God, if Wisconsin and Michigan which are very close were to actually flip and fall to Hillary Clinton's column, we will face a constitutional crisis, because this whole election will come down to Pennsylvania and the vote cannot be verified. I want America to know this."

Also hearkening back to Ohio in 2004, Phillips notes that there are tens of thousands of ballots with no vote at all for President in MI --- even near Detroit --- according to the state's unverified optical-scan tabulators. It's impossible to know how people voted, unless paper ballots are actually counted by human beings, he confirms. "Who knows who these ballots are actually marked for?"

"I'm not a shill for Hillary Clinton. I didn't even vote for her. But I want everyone's vote to count," he argues. "I want the winner to win and the loser to lose." Crazy idea, I know. Please take some time to listen to today's program...

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

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Guest: Journalist David Dayen on blocking the GOP SCOTUS theft
Also: Trump's buys his way out of fraud suits, makes new racist and anti-Semitic appointments, and NC Republicans plot to steal back their own state Supreme Court...
By Brad Friedman on 11/18/2016 6:09pm PT  

On today's BradCast: In 2000, Republicans used the U.S. Supreme Court to steal the Presidency. In 2016, they used the Presidency to steal the U.S. Supreme Court. So, what, if anything, can be done about it? And, as we also report today, that's not the only Supreme Court Republicans may be about to steal. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Journalist David Dayen of New Republic, the Fiscal Times and The Intercept, joins us to discuss how President Obama has one last "trump card" to play, if he wishes to block Republicans from out-and-out theft of the nation's highest court, at least for a while. But would Obama do it? Could he do it legally? And would Democrats end up being sorry if he did? We discuss that, whether Democrats will continue to "bring a butter knife to a gunfight", and much more today with Dayen, author of Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street's Great Foreclosure Fraud..

Also today: Donald Trump buys his way out of multiple 'Trump University' fraud suits by agreeing to pay up $25 million to his victims. He also, reportedly, names southern anti-voting rights racist Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (R-AL) as his nominee for U.S. Attorney General, the nation's chief law enforcement official. (That, along with another disturbing new appointment as well.)

Meanwhile, down in North Carolina, where voters appear to have elected a liberal majority to the state Supreme Court and may have rejected their controversial Republican Governor's re-election bid by a slim margin, the Republican-majority state legislature has a scheme to overturn the will of the voters in both the gubernatorial contest and at the NC high court. Because that's how the GOP rolls (and Democrats don't).

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, with a slim ray or two of optimism, believe it or not, as Sen. Bernie Sanders offers a way for Obama to (permanently?) block the Dakota Access Pipeline from being built, and international U.N. climate negotiators vow to keep reducing greenhouse gas emissions, no matter how Trump plans to undermine efforts to curb global warming...

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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ALSO: 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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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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Oft-failed ES&S op-scan system undermines Tar Heel State election...
By Brad Friedman on 11/16/2016 5:05am PT  

[Just crawling out from a recent illness. Baby steps here for the moment.]

The race between North Carolina's controversial and divisive Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and his Democratic challenger, Attorney General Roy Cooper, is very close. Out of about 2.5 million ballots cast, Cooper leads in the currently reported results by just 4,972 votes (or 0.11%), with tens of thousands of provisional ballots being tallied throughout the week before Friday's state certification.

The failure of a widely used paper-ballot optical scan computer tabulation system has made the outcome of the close race even murkier.

"McCrory had the lead all of election night until 94,000 votes were reported late in Durham County. After that, the tide turned and Cooper secured the lead," WFMY reports today, from the state where both Donald Trump and incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Richard Burr were reported to have won their statewide races.

The Democrat Cooper, as is the habit of both Republicans and Democrats these days, used the slim lead to declare "victory" in the gubernatorial race on Election Night, well before the results were either canvassed or certified.

As Raleigh's News & Observer reported on Saturday: "Gov. Pat McCrory, trailing in a close race for re-election behind Attorney General Roy Cooper, claims there was 'malfeasance' in tabulating votes in Durham County and 'irregularities' reported around the state. Cooper's campaign said nothing improper happened in Durham, and accused McCrory of trying to undermine the election."

The paper reports: "About 90,000 votes weren't counted until late on Election Day. Durham officials said it was due to malfunctioning equipment that led to a backlog, and that it had no impact on the votes cast. ... McCrory's campaign staff said on Saturday that those ballots came from at least five early voting sites and one general election site in Durham County and appear to have been tabulated from corrupted memory cards. The cards could not be properly read by the system and the computers 'experienced a critical error,' according to the campaign."

"In Durham, the county was unable to upload results on Election Night from six electronic memory cards that save ballot data," WNCN reports. "But Durham was able to print out a tape log of the results and entered them manually. A petition has been filed to recount those votes."

For the record, Durham's Board of Elections (like all of the state's county Boards of Election, while a Republican serves as Governor) is majority GOP. The county votes on hand-marked paper ballots, tabulated at the precinct (either correctly or incorrectly, we can never know unless the ballots are actually counted by humans) by ES&S Model 100 optical-scanners. The M-100s, as we reported as long ago as 2008, have a storied history of failure. In 2008, for example, as we explained at the time, election officials in Oakland County, MI informed the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) that during testing, the ES&S system "yielded different results each time" the "same ballots were run through the same machines".

The NC GOP is now demanding ballots cast in Durham County --- which reportedly leaned very heavily towards Cooper as well as Hillary Clinton (approximately 3 to 1 in both cases) --- have its ballots "recounted", following the computer tabulator memory card failures on Election Day...

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




With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/13/2016 12:10pm PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Al Gore and Hillary Clinton rally Millennial voters to #VoteClimate; Federal appeals court allows construction to resume at Dakota Access pipeline; North Carolina grapples with Hurricane Matthew's toxic aftermath; PLUS: Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin calls for a day of prayer - for oil... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Record Warmth Helps Shrink U.S. Carbon Emissions; Elon Musk hits back at coal baron who called him a 'fraud' over green subsidies; Upward revision of global fossil fuel methane emissions based on isotope database; Efficiency saves developed countries $540 billion a year, IEA reports; New Jersey Transit, a Cautionary Tale of Neglect; Historic Climate Agreement Will Make Air Travel Carbon Neutral By 2020; Why the difference between taxing and trading carbon matters; The biggest climate change story in the world this week is quietly playing out in Rwanda; Solar Power Is About to Hit Texas Generators Where It Hurts Most... PLUS: A Trump presidency is a clean energy nightmare... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




By Ernest A. Canning on 9/12/2016 11:35am PT  

It's not for nothing that North Carolina Republicans are working so hard to keep certain people out of the voting booth this November.

North Carolina's Republican Governor Pat McCrory's chances for re-election took a direct hit after the U.S. Supreme Court recently denied his emergency request to stay a unanimous decision by the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeal. The 4th Circuit three-judge panel struck down a massive NC GOP voter suppression law that, the court found, had targeted Democratic-leaning African-American voters "with almost surgical precision."

McCrory now faces a reelection bid against a strong Democratic opponent who is not shy about calling the longtime Duke Energy CEO turned Governor to task for an environmental scandal (Ash-gate) that likely ranks second, in recent times, only to the poisoning of Flint, Michigan's drinking water.

McCrory's Ash-gate vulnerability was previously touched upon by Desi Doyen in a February 2015 Green News Report. After covering both a massive spill of 39 tons of toxic coal ash into North Carolina's Dan River in February 2014 and criminal charges leveled by federal prosecutors against Duke Energy for violations of the Clean Water Act in relation to the company's North Carolina projects dating back to 2010, Doyen quoted a report from WRAL-TV Raleigh (emphasis added):

The administration of Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican who worked at Duke for 29 years, then proposed what environmentalists derided as a "sweetheart deal" under which the Charlotte-based company worth more than $50 billion would have paid fines of just $99,111 to settle violations over toxic groundwater leeching from two of its plants. That agreement, which included no requirement that Duke immediately stop or clean up the pollution, was pulled amid intense criticism after the Dan River spill.

McCrory's Democratic opponent, Roy Cooper, has served as NC's elected Attorney General since 2001. He is not only well-positioned to appeal to those whose very right to participate in our democracy had been threatened by McCrory's failed, Jim Crow-like voter suppression scheme, but has also launched a powerful TV ad (video posted below) highlighting the latest revelations concerning whether the McCrory administration may have fraudulently concealed the dangers to public health posed by the presence of Duke Energy's toxic coal ash in their drinking water...

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




Guest: Eric Boehlert of Media Matters on the latest 'rightwing media coup'; Plus: California burning and 'Bye-Bye' to John McLaughlin...
By Brad Friedman on 8/17/2016 5:24pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Trump turns to a Rightwing 'news' blogger with no experience in national elections to help him save his campaign, and North Carolina Republicans further reveal their desperation to keep Democrats away from the voting booth this November. [Audio link posted at bottom of article.]

But first, California continues to pay the huge, early costs of climate change as brand new wildfires explode in bone-dry Southern California, leading to evacuations of more than 80,000 residents today and the destruction of an untold number of structures, including at least one Route 66 landmark.

Then, Donald Trump responds to plummeting poll numbers with a staff shake-up that taps a Rightwing media huckster with no political experience, from far-right propaganda/conspiracy website Breitbart 'News', to head up his campaign. Eric Boehlert from Media Matters joins us to explain how the GOP establishment's demand that the Republican nominee begin running a more traditional campaign has been answered by Trump's decision to do the complete opposite, as illustrated by the new hires.

"This is someone who has no campaign experience," Boehlert, a longtime Breitbart watcher explains, describing Trump's new campaign chief Stephen Bannon. "The Trump campaign, which has been hit hard for being amateurish, for having no ground game, for having no advance teams, poor fund-raising, no surrogate operation --- they decided what they really need is someone at the top of the campaign who's never been on a campaign, let alone a presidential campaign."

"There's already this raging civil war within the conservative media. We've never seen anything like it," he says. "In terms of that civil war, people were already pointing to Breitbart as the problem. So, for Trump to now go to Breitbart to get a new campaign chief, for the rest of the conservative movement, it's just proof positive that everyone in the Trump campaign is just completely off the rails and have no idea what they're doing."

"There's going to be so many reckonings after November," Boehlert predicts. We'll see if he's right about that.

In the meantime, desperate North Carolina Republicans have now filed an emergency petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to help them keep the state's "racially discriminatory" voter suppression law in place through November, even as GOP officials around the state work to adopt new restrictions on voting in lieu of the sweeping election law recently struck down by the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals for having "target[ed] African-Americans with nearly surgical precision".

At this point, for unpopular Republicans in NC --- and, similarly, around much of the rest of the country --- voter suppression may be one of just a very few ways they have left to save their bacon this November.

Finally today, we say "Bye-Bye!" to legendary broadcaster John McLaughlin, who changed the political media landscape (for both better and worse), following news of his death this week at age 89...

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

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Gov. McCrory ignores previous promise, vows appeal to SCOTUS...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/6/2016 3:59pm PT  

As we reported late last month, in a sweeping victory for voting rights on July 29, a unanimous panel of the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeal struck down North Carolina's massive voter suppression law --- the nation's worst since the Jim Crow era. In a stinging rebuke, the court found the statute's provisions were enacted by state Republicans with "racially discriminatory intent" that "target[ed] African-Americans with almost surgical precision."

Days later, on August 3, as anticipated, North Carolina filed a Motion with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal seeking a stay of the court's injunction that bars enforcement of its "omnibus" election law, pending a petition for a writ of certiorari (essentially, a request for a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court). The principal basis for NC's request was based upon what is known as the "Purcell principle" --- the Supreme Court's recently-adopted general notion that changes in election laws, for good or ill, should not be ordered too close to an election due to the risk of chaos and uncertainty the late changes may cause at the polls.

The next day, on August 4, the same unanimous 4th Circuit panel summarily denied the NC's request for a stay, noting that, during oral arguments "the State assured us it would be able to comply with any order we issued by late July." Indeed, a stay, the 3-judge panel noted, would actually violate the Purcell principle because the "State has already notified its voters that it will not ask them to show ID [when voting at the polling place] and that early voting will begin on October 20."

"Finally," the 4th Circuit panel observed, "the balance of equities heavily weighs against recalling the mandate or granting a stay. Voters disenfranchised by a law enacted with discriminatory intent suffer irreparable harm far greater than any potential harm to the State."

On Friday, August 5, North Carolina’s Republican Governor Pat McCrory refused to take "no" for an answer, pretended his state never gave the court its assurances about timing, as cited by the 4th Circuit, and vowed to seek a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Changing our state's election laws close to the upcoming election, including common sense voter ID, will create confusion for voters and poll workers," McCrory explained in a statement. "The court should have stayed their ruling, which is legally flawed, factually wrong, and disparaging to our state. Therefore, by early next week, we will be asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the ruling of the Court of Appeals."

Prior to the 4th Circuit's denial of the stay request, U.C. Irvine Law Professor Rick Hasen opined that NC's Supreme Court cert petition was likely to be denied because of "the changing composition of the Supreme Court" following the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. At that point, Hasen had rated "the chances of emergency relief only fair, because there is enough time to implement most of these changes before the election." (Emphasis added).

Given the rationale advanced by the 4th Circuit's denial order that included the state's own concession during oral arguments that it had time to comply with any order issued before the end of July, it is perhaps prudent to downgrade North Carolina's chances of obtaining a Supreme Court stay from "only fair" to "unlikely".




Major wins for voting rights advocates in NC, WI, elsewhere could be reversed by the next appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court
UPDATES: U.S. District Court blocks implementation of ND Photo ID Law; NC Republicans Seeks Stay pending petition to Supreme Court
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/2/2016 11:11am PT  

The good news is that over the past week two federal courts struck down multiple provisions of GOP-enacted voter suppression laws in Wisconsin and North Carolina. The cautionary news is that the rejection of 21st century Jim Crow-style disenfranchisement at the polls, and, indeed, the fate of democracy itself, may well now hinge on the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election.

The prospect of a Donald Trump presidency does not merely, as suggested on a recent BradCast by The Nation's John Nichols, portend a descent into fascism and "madness." A Trump victory would permit Republican-appointed Supreme Court "radicals in robes" and their anti-democracy agenda to recapture the majority status they lost last February with the passing of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Consider the long term impact of a Trump-selected Supreme Court Justice. A quarter century has passed since the late Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D-MA), during the 1991 Clarence Thomas Senate Judiciary Committee Confirmation Hearings, observed:

If we confirm a nominee who has not demonstrated a commitment to core constitutional values, we jeopardize our rights as individuals and the future of our nation. We cannot undo such a mistake at the next election or even in the next generation.

In the first voting rights case to see a ruling come down last Friday, North Carolina NAACP v. McCrory, the good news is that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeal struck down as unconstitutional a comprehensive GOP voter suppression scheme that the court determined had been deliberately designed to have a retrogressive impact on the right of African-Americans to participate in electoral democracy. The state Republican legislature's scheme, the court held, was specifically designed to "target African-Americans with almost surgical precision."

The bad news, however, is that over the past three years --- a period that included the 2014 midterm election and this year's primary elections --- this unconstitutional scheme was the law of the land in North Carolina only because a cabal of five Republican-appointed Supreme Court Justices gutted a key provision (Section 5) of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). That section required pre-clearance from either the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) or a three-judge U.S. District Court panel before election restrictions of the type enacted by NC could have implemented. In arriving at their decision, the 4th Circuit judges rejected as "clearly erroneous" the factual findings of a George W. Bush-appointed U.S. District Court Judge who had previously upheld this racially motivated scheme's constitutionality.

In the second case last week, One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen, the good news is that U.S. District Court Judge James D. Peterson, after a full trial on the merits, struck down as unconstitutional eight (8) specific aspects of eight (8) election laws that were enacted after the election of Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker and Republican majorities in both houses of its state legislature. The bad news is that a previous decision handed down by Republican appointed "radicals in robes" on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeal --- a decision that became final after the Supreme Court declined to hear the case --- prevented Judge Peterson from reevaluating the constitutionality of a strict polling place photo ID law in WI even though his honor acknowledged that, in seeking to remedy the phantom menace of in-person voter fraud, Republicans had created "a cure worse than the disease."

The importance of the next Supreme Court Justice was underscored by Judge Peterson's suggestion that both the 7th Circuit and the Supreme Court should revisit the issue given that "the evidence in this case casts doubt on the notion that [photo] ID laws foster integrity and confidence" in the electoral process...

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




Plus: NC suppression law back in court; TX spending millions on unlawful Photo ID law; NY voter purge data; Climate change death toll rising...
By Brad Friedman on 6/24/2016 6:26pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the bombshell passage of Britain's EU 'Brexit' Referendum is shaking both world markets and politics. Is the rise of nationalism and anti-immigration sentiment in the UK a disturbing omen for the U.S. Presidential election this fall? [Audio link to complete show is below.]

Donald Trump certainly hopes so, as he's changed his position on European unity from just three years ago, when he was for it, to today, when he's apparently against it, now that he's running for President. On today's show we discuss a number of things that Americans can and should learn from both the dishonest politics of the Brexit vote and the way the election itself was carried out (on publicly hand-counted, hand-marked paper ballots.)

Meanwhile, back here across the pond, the fight to count votes from the June 7th primary in California continues, and the fight to keep (certain) voters from voting at all continues as well in a federal courtroom in North Carolina (No, Washington Post, Photo ID is not required to board an airplane and you should let your readers know as much), and in the great state of Texas, where so-called 'conservatives' have spent millions of taxpayer dollars attempting to defend their illegal, discriminatory and unconstitutional Photo ID voting restriction year after year in case after case. (Texit, anyone?)

Finally, we look at details from the unlawful purge of voters in Brooklyn, which came to light after the NY state primary in April. Were Sanders voters purged at a higher rate than Clinton voters, as Sanders supporters have been charging? We look at some of the actual evidence now in, which suggests otherwise (and as we've previously argued.) Plus: Death toll rising along with flood waters in West Virginia and in China; And Bluegrass fans lose a legend...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 5/19/2016 10:57am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Trump promises to toss historic UN climate agreement; Native American tribes halt massive coal export terminal in WA; Voters halt massive Nestle water bottling plant in OR; Duke Energy ordered to close all toxic coal ash pits in NC; PLUS: Another big climate victory for kids in court, this time in MA... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): New Evidence About the Dangers of Monsanto’s Roundup; Southern hemisphere CO2 level rises above symbolic 400 ppm milestone; Stuck on hot: Earth breaks 12th straight monthly heat record; Trump's son woos sportsmen, covets top job at Interior; Feds brace for another hot, expensive wildfire season; California's use of coal drops dramatically - to almost nothing... PLUS: Environmental Group Accuses ExxonMobil Of Polluting The Mystic River... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




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