The BRAD BLOG http://bradblog.com Because it's not about Right or Left, it's about Right and Wrong! Sun, 16 Dec 2018 22:01:35 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.0.2 en Sunday 'Hung by the Chimney' Toons http://bradblog.com/?p=12828 http://bradblog.com/?p=12828#comments Sun, 16 Dec 2018 14:21:27 +0000 PDiddie Toons http://bradblog.com/?p=12828

He's seen what you've been Tweeting!
He knows that you're a fake!
He knows you know that what he knows has been keeping you awake!

Oh, he's made a long list, redacted it twice,
Putin bought you and he knows the price,
Robert Mueller's poking around!

‘(Mulvaney) would have given up a very valuable appendage to get that job’

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Perry Dorrell blogs as PDiddie at Brains and Eggs, usually on topics concerning the strange brew of Texas politics. He's also on Twitter @PDiddie.


]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12828 Trump's Indictable Campaign Finance Felony and the 25th Amendment: 'BradCast' 12/14/2018 http://bradblog.com/?p=12827 http://bradblog.com/?p=12827#comments Sat, 15 Dec 2018 02:47:37 +0000 Brad Friedman Election Irregularities Election Reform North Carolina John Edwards BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Election Fraud U.S. Constitution Wisconsin Accountability Dept. of Justice Barack Obama Michigan Vote-by-Mail Maine Ranked choice voting KPFK Donald Trump Scott Walker Election 2016 BradCast Rick Snyder Election 2018 Stormy Daniels/Stephanie Clifford Michael Cohen Tony Evers David Pecker Karen McDougal Jared Golden Mark Harris Dan McCready Bruce Poliquin John Dean http://bradblog.com/?p=12827 On today's BradCast: Lock him up! Plus a whole bunch of November 6 midterm fallout, follow-up and fraud. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Yes, despite his many desperate and ever-shifting attempts to explain (lie) his way out of it, all evidence demonstrates that Donald Trump quite clearly committed a major, indictable, campaign finance felony in his hush-money payoffs before the 2016 election to women with whom he had had sexual affairs. We're joined today by longtime campaign finance expert CRAIG HOLMAN of Public Citizen for a very sober, clear, point-by-point explanation of Trump's apparent crime in this matter and what can (or, at least should) be done about it.

Holman methodically debunks each of Trump's various claims --- offered via both Fox "News" and on Twitter --- in the wake of the criminal sentencing in federal court on Wednesday, of his longtime personal attorney and "fixer" Michael Cohen. Cohen pleaded guilty for, among other things, facilitating the illicit, covert payoff scheme "directed" by Trump to cover up the trysts so they wouldn't adversely effect his 2016 election chances. Holman elaborates on how any other elected federal official would "absolutely" be indicted for the exact same unlawful scheme.

"Every other government official is subject to the laws of the nation, just like you and I. And we have seen many members of Congress, for instance, and other Executive Branch officials face indictment, prosecution and even imprisonment for this type of felony behavior," he tells me.

The only thing preventing similar accountability for Trump, Holman argues, is the controversial opinion from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) which states that a sitting President may not be indicted on criminal charges. But, Holman says, citing recent arguments from Richard Nixon's former counsel John Dean, that's precisely what the U.S. Constitution's 25th Amendment was already designed to handle.

"The entire rationale behind [the OLC opinion] it is that indicting a President would incapacitate the Executive Branch, and therefore you just can't indict a sitting President," he says. But "we've got the 25th Amendment in the Constitution, and that sets up an entire transition period if the President becomes incapacitated. So there is no incapacitation. We know the transition. So the president should be subject to indictment."

Beyond the protection of the OLC opinion, Holman notes one very narrow potential argument that Trump might otherwise be able to use to avoid try and avoid legal accountability. But, he concludes, "The evidence is overwhelming that our President committed a felony."

In other news today, Wisconsin's rejected Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a sweeping host of bills --- adopted with lightning speed by the gerrymandered GOP state legislature in an extraordinary lame duck session --- designed to undermine the Executive powers of incoming Democratic Governor-elect Tony Evers, and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul, as well as the state's voters. At least one lawsuit in response has already been announced to challenge the new provision that restricts Early Voting in the state. A similar provision was ruled unconstitutional by the federal courts in 2016 (as we discussed recently with the plaintiff in that case.)

In Michigan, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, also soon to be replaced by a Democrat, signed several bills on Friday that similarly undermine voters.

In North Carolina -- where Republicans invented these very types of unprecedented lame duck power grabs back in 2016 --- the GOP absentee ballot election fraud scandal that has, so far, prevented the certification of Republican Mark Harris' reported 905-vote "victory" over Democrat Dan McCready in the state's 9th Congressional District, may be spreading to a completely different U.S. House District. In Columbus County, in the state's 7th CD, there was reportedly an even larger percentage of mysteriously unreturned absentee ballots from Democratic voters than that which originally sparked the 9th CD's ongoing election fraud probe. In Columbus, a Republican candidate for Sheriff is said to have unseated the Democrat Sheriff by by just 37 votes after hiring the same GOP contractor at the center of the NC9 absentee ballot fraud allegations. As we've been reporting, evidence revealed during the ongoing investigation in NC9 will, almost certainly at this point, result in a new U.S. House election there.

Finally today, in Maine, incumbent Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin saw his Constitutional challenge to the state's new Ranked Choice Voting system rejected by a Trump-appointed federal judge on Thursday. On Friday, he called off the ongoing hand-count he had requested in his 2nd Congressional District race. Poliquin, after winning the most votes in the first computer tally by more than 2,200 votes, failed to win a majority. In the next round of counting, after voters' second place choices were redistributed to other candidates according to the computerized RCV algorithm now used to tally ballots in the state, Democrat Jared Golden was declared the winner of the November 6th contest. The complicated RCV hand-count began last week and, until ended by Poliquin today, was otherwise expected to continue for several more weeks. The outgoing Republicans says he is still mulling an appeal to the federal court ruling.

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
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]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12827 Fine Messes in Trump World, Congress, Kentucky, North Carolina, Michigan and The Arctic: 'BradCast' 12/13/2018 http://bradblog.com/?p=12826 http://bradblog.com/?p=12826#comments Fri, 14 Dec 2018 02:45:26 +0000 Brad Friedman Election Irregularities Election Reform North Carolina BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Election Fraud Journalist Intimidation Accountability U.S. House Dept. of Justice U.S. Senate Kentucky Washington State Immigration Republicans Michigan KPFK Donald Trump Climate change Election 2016 BradCast Matt Bevin Rick Snyder Arctic Robert Pittenger Election 2018 Jared Kushner Robert Mueller Jay Inslee Michael Cohen Mark Harris Dan McCready ProPublica http://bradblog.com/?p=12826 Among the many messes covered on today's BradCast [Audio link to full show is posted below]...

  • Trump can't seem to find anyone who wants to be his new Chief of Staff. So, his son-in-law Jared Kushner now appears to be in the running;
  • Trump finally responded (on Fox "News", naturally) to Wednesday's news that his former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen received a three year prison sentence after cooperating with federal investigators and pleading guilty to a number of felonies. The charges include an illegal 2016 hush-money payout scheme to women said to have had sexual affairs with Trump, which Cohen and the prosecutors describe as having been "directed" by Trump in violation of campaign finance laws. Trump now says it wasn't unlawful, but if it was, it was only a civil, not criminal violation --- and that he didn't do it in any case, but if he did, it was all Cohen's fault --- and that Cohen only pleaded guilty to it as a favor to federal prosecutors in order to "embarrass" Trump. Or something. Got it?;
  • Meanwhile, a federal government shutdown next week before Christmas is looking increasingly likely. After Trump's televised Oval Office tantrum with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer earlier this week over funding for his Border Wall, it's become apparent that Republicans in Congress currently have no plan to avoid a shutdown next week after Trump declared during the meeting that he would happily take the blame for such a shutdown. Even in the House, where Republicans still hold a large majority until January, they seem unable to pass a version of a spending bill that includes funding for the wall that Trump repeatedly promised Mexico would pay for;
  • In Kentucky, taking a page from Trump, Tea Party Republican Governor Matt Bevin released a bizarre video on Twitter Wednesday night, attacking the Louisville Courier-Journal for their new partnership with independent, non-profit investigative reporting outlet ProPublica. Bevin charges ProPublica is a "far-left" organization secretly funded by "George 'I Hate America' Soros" and, therefore, everyone should "disregard" the reporting from the Courier-Journal. ProPublica responded to the charges, and suggests a recent damning exposé by the paper finding Bevin hired an old friend for a top IT job in the state and gave him a $215,000 raise after less than a year, is just one of the reasons Bevin may be hoping Kentuckians stop reading the paper;
  • In North Carolina, the mess created by the GOP absentee ballot election fraud scandal in the state's 9th Congressional District continues. Republican lawmakers, on Wednesday, passed legislation that would allow the State Board of Elections to call not just a new general election for the U.S. House in NC9, but for a new primary as well, following evidence of absentee fraud in both elections this year by a GOP contractor hired by Mark Harris, the Republican candidate. Harris is said to have defeated incumbent Congressman Robert Pittenger by just over 800 votes in the May GOP primary and his Democratic opponent Dan McCready by just over 900 votes in the November midterm. State Republicans seem to now be conceding that both races were tainted with fraud by their candidate and will now require a do-over;
  • In Michigan, GOP lawmakers are scrambling to pass a measure in the lame duck session that would make it much harder for voters to place statewide initiatives on the ballot. That's just one of several ongoing efforts by Republicans in the state to strip power from voters and the Executive Branch before Democrats can be sworn in as Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State next month.
  • And finally, in The Arctic....well, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report to detail that frightening and worsening mess, along with several others...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
[See post to listen to audio]

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]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12826 'Green News Report' - December 13, 2018 http://bradblog.com/?p=12825 http://bradblog.com/?p=12825#comments Thu, 13 Dec 2018 19:22:41 +0000 Desi Doyen Alaska Environment U.S. Senate Washington State Democrats Republicans Chuck Schumer Green News EPA Donald Trump Coal Climate change Extreme weather Oceans Water Arctic Joe Manchin NOAA Jay Inslee Carbon Tax http://bradblog.com/?p=12825

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Very bad news in the latest Arctic Report Card; Coal state Democratic Senator gets top energy committee position; Washington state Governor unveils ambitious climate change legislation; PLUS: Trump EPA rolls back yet another major water protection rule... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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

Link:
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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): Welcome to the Eocene, where ice sheets turn into swamps; Big Oil's covert campaign to rewrite American car emissions rules; The race to understand Antarctica’s most terrifying glacier; Democrats shift toward impact on jobs as climate change moves to front of 2020 agenda; California is turning farms into carbon-sucking factories; Radical fixes get a boost at climate talks; California wildfires take toll on insurance industry; Minneapolis moves to eliminate mandatory parking... PLUS: More floods and more droughts: climate change delivers both... and much, MUCH more! ...

STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

For a comprehensive roundup of daily environmental news you can trust, see the Society of Environmental Journalists' Daily Headlines page


FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page

  • NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years:

  • ]]>
    http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12825
    Cohen Sentenced. Trump Cooked. (But Obama-Care Still Hanging On!): 'BradCast' 12/12/2018 http://bradblog.com/?p=12824 http://bradblog.com/?p=12824#comments Thu, 13 Dec 2018 02:33:25 +0000 Brad Friedman Election Irregularities North Carolina BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Election Fraud New York Accountability U.S. House Dept. of Justice Health Care Democrats Republicans Vote-by-Mail KPFK Donald Trump Russia Election 2016 BradCast Michael Flynn Election 2018 Robert Mueller Stormy Daniels/Stephanie Clifford Michael Cohen Trump Foundation David Pecker Trump Organization Mark Harris Dan McCready McCrae Dowless Letitia James http://bradblog.com/?p=12824 On today's BradCast: Trump appears now to be in very big trouble. So do Republicans in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District. But President Obama's Affordable Care Act soldiers on, even as signups are down as the open enrollment period for 2019 on the federal HealthCare.gov exchange quietly nears its close on Saturday, December 15th.

    On Wednesday, Donald Trump's former personal lawyer and 'fixer' Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison and some $2 million in fines after cooperating with federal prosecutors following guilty pleas to several felonies in August. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team noted that Cohen has been helpful in their probe of Trump's still-unexplained relationship with Russia, but it was the charges brought by federal prosecutors against Cohen in New York's Southern District related to hush-money payoffs to women with whom Trump was said to have had sexual affairs that most immediately appears to cook Trump's goose.

    Both Cohen and the federal government now allege that Trump, in the waning days of the 2016 campaign, "directed" a conspiracy to pay off the women in order to buy their silence in an illicit scheme to "influence the election". Those payoffs of $130,000 to porn actress Stormy Daniels and $150,000 to Playboy model Karen McDougal (via National Enquirer publisher AMI) are considered illegal campaign contributions.

    Also on Wednesday, prosecutors announced a non-prosecution agreement with AMI, run by longtime Trump pal David Pecker, in exchange for their cooperation in the case. As discussed on today's show, Trump now appears to be in very VERY big trouble, at this point. If the man who helped make the payoffs at Trump's "direction" --- who had also cooperated with investigators --- received three years in prison for his crimes, imagine what may happen to the man who actually directed the conspiracy.

    While there are still a number of potential escape hatches such as the Presidential pardon power for Trump, his associates, his family members and his businesses, a new interview with incoming New York state Attorney General-elect Letitia James suggests she has that base covered as well. James says she intends to "use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well" at the state level, including "anyone" in his circle who may have violated state law. Trump's businesses and campaign are based in New York. James tells NBC she intends to bring state charges in an attempt to ensure Trump, his associates, his family and his various organizations are unable to evade accountability with Presidential pardons at the federal level.

    In North Carolina, meanwhile, fresh revelations continue to emerge regarding the 9th Congressional District election which is at the center of an ongoing GOP absentee ballot election fraud scandal. New details in that matter today include the state Republican Party's admission that a new election will most likely be needed, following news this week that Early Voting results in Bladen County were reportedly leaked, illegally, in advance of the November 6th election.

    Moreover, a new affidavit from a Republican now charges that McCrae Dowless, the GOP contractor hired by Republican Mark Harris to run his absentee ballot campaign in Bladen, where the fraud scheme appears centered, told him that he (unlawfully) had as many as 800 absentee ballots in his possession prior to the election. What came of those ballots we don't yet know, but Harris is said to have defeated Democrat Dan McCready by just 905 votes in the 9th District last month. At this point, I see no way that a new election in the district can be avoided, other than simply naming McCready the winner.

    Also today, we're joined by ALICE OLLSTEIN, formerly of Talking Points Memo, now a congressional reporter at Politico, to discuss the nearly 10 percent drop off in signups this year for the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), as the federal open enrollment period comes to a close this weekend. "It's not high prices that are deterring people," Ollstein argues, citing a key piece of data to back that up, before explaining the several different reasons why signups are down this year so far, and how that may affect the future stability of the federal exchanges.

    With Democrats set to take the majority in the U.S. House in January, Ollstein also details their dilemma in how to best defend against a federal lawsuit brought by several Republican-controlled states (and now supported by the Trump Administration) hoping to kill the landmark ACA and its vital protections for those with preexisting conditions...

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
    [See post to listen to audio]

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    ]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12824 'If We Don't Get What We Want, I Will Shut Down the Government': 'BradCast' 12/11/2018 http://bradblog.com/?p=12822 http://bradblog.com/?p=12822#comments Wed, 12 Dec 2018 02:29:42 +0000 Brad Friedman Election Irregularities Florida North Carolina Washington Post BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Election Fraud Military/Overseas Voting Journalist Intimidation Accountability U.S. House U.S. Senate Washington State Immigration Republicans Chuck Schumer Nancy Pelosi Vote-by-Mail Time Magazine KPFK Donald Trump Nuclear power/weapons Climate change Rick Scott BradCast Saudi Arabia Race Dept. of Energy Election 2018 Jamal Khashoggi Mark Harris Dan McCready http://bradblog.com/?p=12822 On today's BradCast: A preview of the unimaginably worse dysfunction that awaits us all after Democrats take over the U.S. House majority in January and Donald Trump becomes even worse and more dishonest at his job? [Audio link to show follows below.]

    First up today, some quick news headlines, including Time Magazine's announcement that several journalists, killed or imprisoned, are "Person of the Year" for 2018, and a life sentence plus 419 years recommended by the jury for the neo-Nazi who murdered activist Heather Heyer by plowing a car into counter-protesters during the August 2017 "United the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

    Also, the Washington Post Fact Checkers have been forced to create a new category to describe Donald Trump's dozens of endlessly repeated lies, such as his claims that Mexico would pay for his border wall (he's demanding U.S. tax-payers do so instead) and that his tax cuts were the largest in U.S. history (they weren't. They were the 8th largest.) The new category will be called "Bottomless Pinocchio" and will apply to lies that repeated more than 20 times after they've long been debunked by the fact-checkers as a falsehood. To date, Trump is the only politician to merit such a rating. At least 14 of his most frequently repeated lies have already earned the dubious new distinction.

    Then, Trump's bizarre on-camera pageant in the Oval Office today with presumptive, soon-to-be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer. During a media avail before what was to be a meeting regarding the impending federal budget deadline, the three bickered about Trump's threat to shut down the U.S. Government if a budget deal fails to include billions for his southern border wall. "If we don't get what we want," Trump threatened the Democrats during the lengthy and bizarre televised negotiation, "I will shut down the government."

    Pelosi and Schumer tried to convince the President to accept one of two bi-partisan deals they say could be immediately passed by both the House and Senate. But Trump, the great deal-maker, failed to budge --- so far. Trump's threat to shutdown the U.S. Government despite the costs to Americans and the economy, comes even while Republicans still control both chambers of Congress. Things are likely to get much uglier once Dems take over the House with their (at least) 40-seat majority on January 3.

    Speaking of which, we've got a few more new details today on the GOP election fraud scandal in North Carolina's still-uncertified 9th Congressional District race. Republican Mark Harris is said to have won the election in November by just 905 votes over Democrat Dan McCready. But evidence of absentee ballot fraud by a GOP contractor hired by Harris (in both the general election and Republican primary) has delayed certification of the race by the State Board of Elections. They will decide whether to order a new election or declare one of the two candidates the winner. The Board had planned to review evidence from the ongoing investigation by December 21, but has now told a state court they they may need more time, given that the Harris Campaign has been slow in responding to documents subpoenaed by the Board.

    Also, new evidence this week reveals that election workers in Bladen County (one of two NC counties at the center of the probe), illegally tabulated early vote results and leaked them to non-election officials (the Harris campaign?) several days prior to the close of polls on November 6th.

    Meanwhile, election officials in Florida have now revealed that more than 6,600 vote-by-mail absentee ballots sent and post-marked by Election Day went uncounted in the Sunshine State's midterm election. Those numbers don't yet include ballots from Palm Beach County, a Democratic stronghold. The untabulated ballots might have effected a number of close races in FL, including those tallied in statewide "recounts" for U.S. Senate, Governor and Agricultural Commissioner. While state law allows ballots post-marked by Election Day from overseas military votes to be included in the tally if they are received up to ten days after the election, all other "late" ballots are ignored.

    Finally today, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with news from COP24, the U.N. climate conference in Poland, where the U.S. has joined Russia and Saudi Arabia in an "Axis of Oil" and is, literally, being laughed at for pushing coal while youth protesters demand fossil fuels be kept in the ground. Back home, the Trump Administration is now planning to reclassify high-level nuclear waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state (and other facilities) in order to avoid billions of dollars in clean-up at the nation's most polluted former nuclear weapons site...

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
    [See post to listen to audio]

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    ]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12822 'Green News Report' - December 11, 2018 http://bradblog.com/?p=12821 http://bradblog.com/?p=12821#comments Tue, 11 Dec 2018 18:44:53 +0000 Desi Doyen United Nations Environment France Green News Natural gas Coal Russia Oil Climate change Saudi Arabia Paris Agreement Emmanuel Macron Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez http://bradblog.com/?p=12821

    IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: 'Axis of Oil': U.S. joins forces with Saudi Arabia and Russia to block action at U.N. COP24 climate talks in Poland; US fossil fuel event at conference draws laughter; Meeting Paris Agreement targets would also save millions of lives from air pollution, finds WHO; France nixes fuel tax hike in response to protests; PLUS: Youth climate activists from Poland to the halls of Congress pressure politicians to act on climate change... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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

    Link:
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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): The Arctic is in even worse shape than you realize; Inslee wants 100 percent clean energy in Washington by 2045;
    GM fights to retain tax credit amid Trump threat to cut all subsidies; More rural jobs in clean energy than fossil fuels; How to convince MAGA cretins to fear climate change; A devastating report details a 'monumental' assault on science at the Department of the Interior; The Camp Fire took my home. Now I understand that no one ends up sleeping under an overpass by choice... PLUS: The simplest climate action you tan Take is in the kitchen... and much, MUCH more! ...

    STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

    'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

    For a comprehensive roundup of daily environmental news you can trust, see the Society of Environmental Journalists' Daily Headlines page


    FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page

  • NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years:

  • ]]>
    http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12821
    The Pentagon's Great Budget 'Fraud' (and Other Federal Boondoggles): 'BradCast' 12/10/2018 http://bradblog.com/?p=12820 http://bradblog.com/?p=12820#comments Tue, 11 Dec 2018 02:33:39 +0000 Brad Friedman Election Irregularities Florida North Carolina BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Election Fraud Accountability U.S. House Dept. of Justice Dept. of Defense Democrats Republicans FEC Nancy Pelosi Vote-by-Mail Maine Ranked choice voting KPFK Donald Trump BradCast Adam Schiff Robert Pittenger Election 2018 Michael Cohen Jared Golden Mark Harris Dan McCready Bruce Poliquin McCrae Dowless Ross Spano http://bradblog.com/?p=12820 On today's BradCast: The boondoggles continue --- from the Pentagon to the U.S. House and American elections --- as we can't look ahead to the new year without the continuing unresolved muck from this year. [Audio link to full show is posted below.]

    When Democrats take the majority in the new Congress after the first of the year, one of their first orders of business will be determining who actually is allowed to be seated following the November 2018 midterm elections. There could be as many as three (and possibly more) seats challenged in the 116th Congress, thanks to the burgeoning GOP absentee ballot election fraud scandal in North Carolina, an admission by a newly-elected Florida Republican that he "may have" violated federal campaign finance laws, and a lengthy hand-count process in Maine's first-ever Ranked Choice Voting election for a U.S. House seat.

    In NC's 9th Congressional District, Mark Harris --- the GOP candidate whose uncertified 905-vote "victory" is now being probed by state and federal officials after the emergence of evidence of absentee ballot fraud by a GOP contractor Harris hired in both the primary and general elections --- has said he'd agree to a new election, but only if evidence surfaces that the fraud in question would have changed the final results. That's a much higher bar than called for by state law, which allows the State Board of Election to take any necessary actions to "assure that an election is determined without taint of fraud or corruption."

    In FL, Ross Spano, the Republican who is said to have won the race in the state's 15th Congressional District, now admits he received nearly $200,000 in personal loans for his campaign from two friends, in violation of the $2,700 per person federal contribution limit. One of those friends, despite having no official government role, is today reported to be helping to select Spano's Congressional hires. In both the NC and FL cases, it's not just Democrats crying foul. Tthe Republicans who were defeated in the primaries by Harris and Spano are also joining the public outcries.

    In ME, a "recount" request by ousted Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin in the 2nd Congressional District could result in a vacant seat for a while, as a hand-count of the complicated RCV counting process --- initially carried out after the election by a computer algorithm --- is a lengthy and onerous one that could stretch beyond January 3, when the new Congress is sworn in.

    In non-election related news today, Donald Trump will reportedly call for an unprecedented $750 billion budget next year for the Pentagon after his previous increases to military spending. That, despite his description of Defense Department spending last week as "crazy" and previous vows to cut DoD's budget by 5 percent. The Administration's proposal for $750 billion is reported to be a "negotiating tactic" to ensure the $733 billion requested by the Pentagon, which is a far cry from the $700 billion Trump had called for previously and a substantial bump from the "crazy" $716 billion allocated for the current fiscal year.

    We're joined today by investigative journalist DAVE LINDORFF to discuss the decades-long "accounting fraud" being carried out by the Pentagon, as detailed in his new exclusive exposé for The Nation. Citing whistleblowers, Inspector General's reports and a recent admission by the private accounting firm Ernst & Young that the Pentagon's books were so poorly documented that they simply cannot be audited, Lindorff explains how the DoD continues to seek --- and receive --- more tax-payer dollars year-after-year, even without needing or spending all they received in previous years. Rather than returning unpsent funds to the federal Treasury, DoD accounting gimmicks ("nippering" and "plugs") ensure endlessly increasing budgets and payments to Defense Contractors. The unchecked spending --- which amounts to trillions of dollars --- also helps to ensures that services Americans may actually need and want --- like healthcare, education and maintenance for infrastructure --- continue to be on the chopping block every fiscal year, even as Defense spending now accounts for 54 cents out of every federal tax-payer dollar collected.

    "What the Pentagon does is they ask for more money than they need. They don't spend it all, and then they tuck away what isn't spent in ways that it won't be found --- violating the Constitution, by the way --- then that unspent money becomes a slush fund that's available to use however they want," Lindorff tells me.

    "They've known about this stonewalling by the Pentagon for 26 years, which includes a lot of Democratic Congresses. Nobody has ever called them to the carpet on this," he charges. Despite Inspector General reports detailing the gimmicks and unaccounted for budget holes, "Nobody has been prosecuted for this. Nobody has been fired for this....If it's signed off on by the proper authority in the chain of command then it's 'supported' whether or not there's evidentiary material to back it."

    Lindorff also argues that, with one recent exception, Democrats --- including progressives from Bernie Sanders to Beto O'Rourke --- have been largely silent on what he describes as a massive account fraud.

    Finally today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who will chair the U.S. House Intelligence Committee after Dems take over Congress next year, argued over the weekend that new filings from federal prosecutors on Friday suggest "There’s a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict him" and "that he may be the first President in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time." Schiff was referencing, among other things, details from a sentencing memo filed by federal prosecutors in New York on Friday charging that Trump "directed" a criminal conspiracy with his former attorney Michael Cohen to pay hush money to two women with whom Trump had affairs, in order to effect election results in violation of federal campaign finance laws...

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
    [See post to listen to audio]

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    ]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12820 Sunday 'Painted Into a Corner' Toons http://bradblog.com/?p=12819 http://bradblog.com/?p=12819#comments Sun, 09 Dec 2018 14:07:41 +0000 PDiddie Toons http://bradblog.com/?p=12819

    "Faster than a sinking stock market!  More powerful than many GM factories closing!  Able to incite an international trade war and crash the economy in a single bound!"

    Backlash as more radio stations ban "Baby, It's Cold Outside" over lyrics

    * * *

    Perry Dorrell blogs as PDiddie at Brains and Eggs, usually on topics concerning the strange brew of Texas politics. He's also on Twitter @PDiddie.


    ]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12819 Trump Appointment Spree; Cohen 'Deserves' Prison Time: 'BradCast' 12/7/2018 http://bradblog.com/?p=12818 http://bradblog.com/?p=12818#comments Sat, 08 Dec 2018 02:17:57 +0000 Angie Coiro Election Irregularities Fox 'News' CNN USA Today Tucker Carlson Mainstream Corporate Media Washington Post Rights And Freedoms New York Times United Nations In Memoriam San Francisco Hillary Clinton FBI Dept. of Defense Republicans LGBTQ CBS Bush Legacy Jeff Sessions Clarence Thomas Donald Trump Russia Prison Industrial Complex Election 2016 China Vladimir Putin James Comey BradCast Germany Exxon Mobil Nikki Haley Social Media Rex Tillerson Ivanka Trump Mike Pompeo Jared Kushner Robert Mueller Switzerland Angela Merkel John Kelly George Papadopoulos Heather Nauert Matthew Whitaker http://bradblog.com/?p=12818 On today's BradCast, I'm your host - Angie Coiro, host of In Deep with Angie Coiro.

    Donald Trump's tweet fingers were a'twitchin', as he tried to keep up with the flow of Mueller investigation news while churning out headlines of his own. For starters, he made three key appointments/nominations:

    • Army head General Mark Milley will move over to chair the Joint Chiefs of Staff;
    • Former H.W. Bush Attorney General William Barr is up for confirmation as Trump's next A.G.;
    • Former Fox 'News' talking head Heather Nauert is up to replace Nikki Haley as UN ambassador.

    I've got the whys and wherefores on those for you. Also, Trump went into rage mode at word of his former Sec. of State Rex Tillerson's very frank discussion on Thursday at a public interview with CBS news veteran Bob Schieffer. Tillerson's explanation of Trump's incomprehension of basic issues, along with his trademark lack of discipline, provoked high-minded Trump tweets calling Tillerson "dumb as a rock" and "lazy as hell".

    The BBC has a good basic rundown if you're trying to catch up with the case of Chinese telecom Huawei's alleged spying. I bring you the highlights plus updated news.

    Meanwhile, a Swiss paper has published a conversation with Fox's Tucker Carlson who damned the White House occupant as "incapable" of fulfilling his promises. And he went further: "I don't think he's capable of sustained focus. I don't think he understands the system. I don't think the Congress is on his side. I don't think his own agencies support him."

    Then, legal expert and journalist LARA BAZELON joins me to discuss her work on restorative justice for wrongly-convicted parolees. She's covered the topic for years for Slate.com, and has now released a book called Rectify. The full version of our conversation will be posted here over the weekend. Don't wait for that, though - I've brought you a big chunk of it right here on The BradCast!

    Plus, so much more! It's a bellyful of news today. Check it out!...

    Download MP3 or listen online below...
    [See post to listen to audio]

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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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