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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Raw Story Journalist Doxxed, Threatened After Reports on Teen Neo-Nazi Recruiters: 'BradCast' 2/28/24
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'Green News Report' 2/27/24
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Comrades! Please enjoy our latest weekly toon collection! Courtesy of highly trusted whistleblowers and military-grade informants!...
Our Russian Nesting Doll: 'BradCast' 2/22/2024
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DeSantis' Anti-Labor Law Now Nixing Unions for 1000s of FL Workers: 'BradCast' 2/21
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After Navalny: 'BradCast' 2/19/24
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Guns Again, Trump as Ever, Media Failure and the Way Forward: 'BradCast' 2/15/24
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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
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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
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CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
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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
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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
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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: BRAD BLOG legal contributor Ernest A. Canning; Also: Trump co-defendants begin surrenders on 2020 election theft RICO charges in GA...
By Brad Friedman on 8/22/2023 6:31pm PT  

There is no small amount of irony throughout today's BradCast, as Republican lawmakers threaten to impeach a newly elected state Supreme Court Justice just days after she was sworn in. Do they think we don't remember how they pretended to be outraged(!) in 2020 and 2021, charging Democrats were offending voters with attempted "election nullification" by twice impeaching the former President at the end of his four-year term?

Before we get to that mess in Wisconsin today, speaking of The Former Guy, two of his co-defendants in his fourth criminal indictment of the year (the RICO case in Georgia for his attempted to steal the 2020 election there) surrendered at a Fulton County jail on Tuesday. John Eastman and Scott Hall both turned themselves in after arranging to be released on bond after booking.

Eastman is the far-right Trump attorney and architect of the unlawful/unconstitutional failed scheme to have then Vice President Mike Pence toss out legitimate Electoral College votes on January 6th, 2021. Hall, little known to most of the nation but well known by now to longtime BradCast listeners, is the Atlanta bail bondsman (well, that'll come in handy!) who confessed to frequent guest on this program, Marilyn Marks of the Coalition for Good Governance, that he helped run the unlawful MAGA breach of Georgia's sensitive voting system hardware and software in Coffee County, GA on January 7th, 2021.

Marks had the wherewithal to record Hall's phone call to her. We aired it for the first time on this program last year and have been closely covering the Coffee County breach ever since (even as GA Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger appears to still be covering it up.) That scheme, part of a multi-state conspiracy, was allegedly hatched in Trump's Oval Office in December of 2020, and paid for by another co-defendant, Trump attorney Sidney Powell, and plays a key role in the 41-count grand jury RICO indictment [PDF] secured last week by Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis. More surrenders, including Trump's own, are to come this week before the Friday deadline, after which Willis has vowed to seek arrest warrants.

As that plays out in the Peach State, desperate Republican lawmakers in the Badger State may be seeing the writing on the wall. Their 15 years of autocratic, partisan gerrymandered majority rule of both chambers of the Wisconsin state Legislature may finally be coming to an end following the statewide landslide election victory last April of Janet Protasiewicz to the state Supreme Court.

On August 1, Justice Protasiewicz was finally sworn in (as pictured above), giving liberals on the High Court a 4 to 3 majority for the first time in some 15 years. The next day, August 2, the first of two petitions was filed with the Court seeking a ruling that the GOP's extreme partisan gerrymandered Legislative maps for both the state Assembly and Senate are unlawful violations of the state's Constitution. Plaintiffs seek not only new, fair maps in advance of the 2024 elections, but they are also asking the Court to order an emergency special election for all seats in the Senate next year. According to plaintiffs, current office holders "lack legal entitlement" to hold those seats due to the unlawful maps in place since 2011, as first approved by the state's hard-right radical then-Governor Scott Walker.

Republicans are both furious and terrified about the two new lawsuits filed by voters, leading current, far-right Assembly Speaker and autocracy fan, Robin Vos (arguably one of the biggest benefactors of the states "rigged" maps), to float the idea of impeaching Protasiewicz if she fails to recuse herself from both cases. Vos argues that, during her campaign earlier this year, Protasiewicz "prejudged" the cases by describing the obviously unfair maps as both unfair and rigged.

There are a whole bunch of problems with Vos' argument, one that was laughably shared in a recent "intemperate dissent" penned in response to these cases by Walker-appointed Justice Rebecca Bradley.

Longtime BRAD BLOG legal analyst ERNEST A. CANNING has been closely following and writing about the matter. He joins us today to detail the allegations against Protasiewicz, the hypocrisy of Bradley, and the constitutional crisis that could occur in the Badger State if Vos moves ahead with impeachment and removal by the state's Republican gerrymandered Assembly and Senate.

"For the Republicans to hold on to a 2/3rds majority in the Senate, even when they received as little as 45% of the vote, tells you what they've done. This is a deeply anti-democratic project," Canning explains. "If they're willing to impeach simply to hold on to power, that in itself is a direct assault on democracy. Particularly when you consider the argument that they really don't have a legal basis for the seats they are holding right now."

We also share a comment today on this entire fine mess from friend of the show, national affairs correspondent at The Nation and WI favorite son, John Nichols.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report as hurricane season suddenly kicks into full gear in the U.S., wildfire season continues unabated across Canada, and extreme drought partially shuts down operations at the Panama Canal. Also, before we close today, some grim news out of this year's climate change-fueled wildfires in Greece, and a quick update on Wednesday night's upcoming "Trump-free" 2024 Republican Presidential debate in Milwaukee...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Guest: Dr. Daniel Swain of UCLA and Nat'l Center for Atmospheric Research; Also: 850 still missing on Maui; Trump cancels 'exoneration' news conference, chickens out of debate, negotiates surrender in GA...
By Brad Friedman on 8/21/2023 6:06pm PT  

Welp, as discussed on today's BradCast we, personally, managed to dodge the worst of the weekend's Hurricane Hilary (downgraded to Post-Tropical Cyclone shortly after landfall) by dint of a complete coincidence. Thanks to many for the well-wishes. Tune in for more details on that today. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

But much of the U.S. Southwest was not as lucky over the past 24 to 48 hours, with parts of California seeing a year's worth of rain, in some cases, in just over a day. Our coverage begins with a focus on our hometown of Los Angeles, which saw the center of the storm pass over downtown at 7pm on Sunday. The desert areas, for example, Palm Springs, fared far worse. And now many in Nevada are facing the storm, which could continue to drop massive amounts of precip as far as southeastern Oregon and west-central Idaho.

Tropical storms are wildly unusual for the state of California. The last time one one made direct landfall in the Golden State was 1939, prior to the modern National Weather Service warning system and naming convention for tropical storms and hurricanes. All of which begs the question today: Was this storm --- which we tried to light a siren about on our final show last week, when few seemed to be noticing it --- a fluke? Or is it emblematic of our climate changed future?

We've got just the person to ask about that today. We are delighted to be joined by climate scientist DR. DANIEL SWAIN, of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. He also serves as a Research Fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and at The Nature Conservancy of California.

"This is definitely a historical event that we saw unfold this past weekend in Southern California," he tells me. The worst of it, debris flows, flash flooding, was "mostly in the places that we thought they would be most likely. Largely, this played out pretty close to forecast. This is something that was pretty well predicted."

The question of whether Hilary was a fluke or our future is a complicated one, with a multilayered answer that Swain explains with a great deal of clarity. At least with as much as can be had given what he describes as a huge lack of research of the phenomenon of West Coast tropical storms. Most such storms that form in the Eastern Pacific head out to sea toward Hawaii. But not Hilary. Why did that happen this time exactly? And can we expect more of them?

"We're all living in the context of a changed climate," Swain says as we discuss the now 4 or 5 (depending on how you count them) storms brewing in the Atlantic --- "a conga line of potential hurricanes" --- during what could end up being a very busy peak of the storm season on that side of the country. "We've never had the combination of record warm oceans plus a very strong developing El Nino event in recorded history."

On whether scientists have been low-balling the effects of climate change for years, Swain concedes: "I think we did historically underestimate how much that [warming] was going to disrupt ecosystems, ecologies and human systems --- cities, populations all around the world."

"We are starting to see the limits of our adaptability already. And it's only going to get harder with additional warming," he asserts. "The fact that the water vapor-holding capacity of the atmosphere is exponential with warming, means that the next degree of warming is going to bring about bigger changes than the last degree."

Please tune in for a very enlightening conversation about all of this.

Then, we close today first with a grim update from Maui, where the County's Mayor has announced the official death toll from their recent wildfires (fueled in part by the gusting winds of a different Pacific cyclone) now stands at 114, with some 850 people still unaccounted for.

And finally, a mercifully short update on the various weekend travails of our disgraced, four-time indicted former President and GOP front-runner for their 2024 Presidential nomination. Donald Trump cancelled his promised Monday morning press conference when he vowed last week to present an "Irrefutable REPORT" on "Election Fraud" in Georgia in 2020, which would be "CONCLUSIVE" and offer "complete EXONERATION" following his criminal indictment on RICO charges [PDF] last week. Apparently, there is no such report. He also announced over the weekend that he was chickening out from participation in this week's GOP Presidential Primary debate in Milwaukee, and most others to follow. And, on Monday afternoon, his attorneys negotiated a $200,000 bond for his release after his surrender this week in Fulton County, GA, where he is accused of 13 criminal felony counts related to his attempted theft of the 2020 election in the Peach State...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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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, Pandora, TuneIn, Google, Amazon or our native RSS feed!

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Also: Hurricane Hillary eyes Southern CA and/or AZ...
By Brad Friedman on 8/17/2023 7:11pm PT  

If you had "Hurricane in Southern California" on your Climate Crisis 2023 Bingo card, please come on up to accept your prize. Details on that on today's BradCast, along with a whole bunch of other stuff we've had to set aside of late, thanks to the now 91 criminal felony charges being faced by our corrupt and disgraced former President. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

Among the stories covered today that (largely) have nothing to do with felony indictments...

  • Hurricane Hilary spins up suddenly off the coast of Mexico and is now gaining strength amid an El Nino. The storm is said to be heading north to make what could be an "exceedingly rare" landfall over the next few days somewhere here in Southern California or along the Baja Peninsula before moving up and into Arizona --- if you believe scientists who are experts in this sort of thing.
  • The gerrymandered Republican state legislature in North Carolina on Wednesday overrode vetoes by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to enact new laws that are unspeakable cruel to, among others, transgender children. If you are unaware, we explain exactly why these types of laws --- now adopted by 22 GOP-controlled states (though being challenged in court in most of them) --- are so awful and cruel. That is, unless you are a Republican, like those who stole control of the NC legislature, who believe Big Government should intercede between doctors and patients and that so-called "parental rights" should also be overruled by Big Government autocratic fiat.
  • Speaking of autocracy, gerrymanders and Big Government Republicans now dictating to small, local government and voters...the morally and ethically broken GOP-controlled state legislature in Texas has recently passed a law to oust the chief election official in Harris County (Houston) --- and only in Harris County --- just months before upcoming municipal elections in the state's largest and most Democratic-leaning County. A state judge this week found the new law in violation of the Lone Star State's constitution. But, just hours later, the state put that ruling on hold by appealing it to the TX Supreme Court (all Republican). The November elections are now just weeks away and, unless something changes quickly, will apparently be run by the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector who has zero experience running elections and had nothing to do with the months-long planning for the one where early voting is set to begin next month.
  • In far more encouraging news about autocracy, gerrymandering and, in this case, democracy, we head to the great state of Wisconsin. On August 1, Justice Janet Protasiewicz became the state Supreme Court's newest member after being elected earlier this year. Her landslide (for Wisconsin) 11-point victory in April means that liberals now hold a majority on the state's High Court for the first time in about 15 years. On August 2, a group of petitioners filed with the state Supremes to not only force new, fair legislative maps for the state's House and Senate for the first time in more than a decade, but also for emergency elections next year for all members of the state Senate, many of whom will not otherwise face reelection until 2026 despite occupying seats that petitioners argue are held only thanks to the GOP's unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders. BRAD BLOG legal analyst Ernie Canning wrote about this challenge to the state's illicit, entrenched legislative majorities this week and the potentially very good news it represents for Badger State voters. Just after airtime today, however, he updated his article with...well, some more good news but also...some troubling news about the gerrymandered GOP's new scheme to undermine democracy, the rule of law, the state constitution and state voters with impeachment proceedings against Protasiewicz in hopes of stealing back the Court to hold onto their entrenched, corrupt state legislative majorities. (See Ernie's UPDATE today on that story for more details.)
  • Then, a bit of listener mail in response to my apparently controversial suggestions of late that Donald Trump may very well not be on the general election ballot by November of next year.
  • And, finally, Desi Doyen has our latest Green News Report with updates on the horrific fires on Maui and in Canada, but some very encouraging news about President Biden and the Democrats' landmark climate law, signed one year ago this week, which is already resulting in a clean energy manufacturing, construction and jobs boom in the U.S. --- and even overseas!...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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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, Pandora, TuneIn, Google, Amazon or our native RSS feed!

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Guests: Salon's Heather Digby Parton, Daily Kos' Keith Barber...
By Brad Friedman on 8/16/2023 6:26pm PT  

We've got more Special Coverage on today's BradCast of the fourth --- and, theoretically, last, but who knows? --- criminal indictment of our disgraced former President for the Summer season. [Audio link to full show follows below this summary.]

On Monday's show this week, just hours in advance of the massive new criminal charges out of Georgia, we detailed the dangers to next year's elections of the illicit Coffee County, Georgia voting system software breach carried out by Trump supporters beginning on January 7, 2021 (and covered up in the many months that followed by Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger). The scheme --- which we helped break last year and have been covering ever since --- is now known to have been just one part of a multi-state conspiracy organized by Trump attorney Sidney Powell and hatched inside Trump's Oval Office in December of 2020. It remains a huge threat to the security of next year's Presidential elections across the entire state of Georgia and in more than a dozen states with jurisdictions using the same breached, proprietry hardware and software that was stolen from Coffee County.

On Tuesday's show, we detailed the sprawling 97-page RICO indictment [PDF] of Donald John Trump and 18 co-conspirators charged with 41 felony counts by a grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia late on Monday. The charges are related to Trump's alleged (and failed) criminal enterprise to steal the 2020 Presidential election in the Peach State (and elsewhere) and comes out of the two-year probe by Fulton County, D.A. Fani Willis. We broke down all of the charges, detailed those who were indicted, along with a focus on the specific charges brought against Powell and the three others facing several counts related specifically to conspiracies to commit Computer Theft, Computer Trespass, Computer Invasion of Privacy ("with the intention of examining personal voter data") and Conspiracy to Commit Election Fraud as part of the Coffee County scheme.

The new indictment brings the number of criminal felony charges that our disgraced former President is now personally facing in four different jurisdictions at both the state and federal level to a gob-smacking 91!

And then on today's program, our hot indictment summer continues, with both legal and political analysis of the new indictment with two old friends. Former attorney KEITH BARBER of Daily Kos (who joined us last week for a splendid preview and explanation of what RICO charges are!) is with us again today, along with award-winning Salon columnist and Hullabaloo blogger HEATHER DIGBY PARTON.

Among the many topics discussed on today's program related to the latest Trump Indictment and what it means moving forward into next week's first-of-the-season GOP Presidential debate and next year's election...

  • General thoughts on and surprises from the new indictment.
  • Barber on "the power of RICO".
  • Parton on her article on whether former Trump Chief-of-Staff Mark Meadows may be cooperating in Special Counsel Jack Smith's federal case on Trump's attempt to steal the 2020 election.
  • Barber on Meadow's motion to move his indictment from state to federal court.
  • How and why did Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) escape indictment from Willis, despite his participation in the criminal enterprise to steal the Peach State election for Trump?
  • The still wildly under-investigated matter of the scheme to replace Mike Pence as President of the Senate overseeing the Electoral College certification on January 6, 2021 with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA). (Willis refers fleetingly to this scheme in her indictment, see p. 44; Barber wrote a bit about this as "Trump’s Plot To Kidnap The Vice President" back in April of 2022.)
  • Trump's post-indictment Tuesday morning claim that next Monday he will release an "Irrefutable REPORT" on "Presidential Election Fraud which took place in Georgia" in 2020 which he claims will be a "complete EXONERATION!" for him. (Giggle.)
  • How that "REPORT" is likely to be an unlawful continuation of the same criminal enterprise under RICO that he is already charged with.
  • What we should expect from next week's first-of-the-season 2024 GOP Presidential debate in Milwaukee and whether Trump will (or should) show up for it.
  • My continuing --- if, apparently, controversial --- Spidey Sense (not a prediction...just a sense, as explained today) that Trump will, ultimately, not end up being the GOP Presidential candidate on next year's ballot...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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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, Pandora, TuneIn, Google, Amazon or our native RSS feed!

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Computer election fraud charges via Coffee County voting system breach plays key role in second indictment in two weeks related to the disgraced former President's failed schemes to steal the 2020 election...
By Brad Friedman on 8/15/2023 6:14pm PT  

We thought it possible that the news might break during yesterday's program, as we were covering some very related news. It happened, instead, later in the evening, just a few hours after we signed off from The BradCast. And it was just about as broad and sweeping as we've been arguing that it was likely to be. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

A Fulton County, Georgia grand jury handed up a sprawling 97-page indictment [PDF] on Monday evening, detailing 41 criminal felony counts for its 19 named defendants. Leading the case, of course, are the 13 new charges against Donald John Trump, who is alleged by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to have run a racketeering (RICO) scheme with the other 18 defendants. The purpose of their criminal enterprise, the indictment details, was to steal the 2020 election from Joe Biden, Georgia voters and the American people. Happily, his racket failed.

The charging document details the counts related to the many different unlawful ways in which Trump and his co-conspirators attempted to flip the 2020 results in the Peach State, including by strong-arming state officials from members of the Legislator to the Secretary of State; lying to them all about non-existent voter fraud; threatening election workers into making false confessions; creating fake Trump electors as part of the scheme to pressure the Vice President into discarding the legitimate Electoral College results on January 6, 2021; and more, including the notorious voting system software breach in Coffee County which we had a hand in breaking on The BradCast more than a year ago.

Trump's indicted co-conspirators include his disgraced attorneys Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Ken Chesebro and Sidney Powell; his former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows; former DoJ official Jeffrey Clark; a number of GOP operatives who conspired to threaten election worker Ruby Freeman; former GA GOP chair David Shafer; sitting GOP state Senator Shawn Still; former Coffee County GOP chair Cathy Latham; former Coffee County Director of Elections Misty Hampton and Atlanta bail bondsman, Scott Hall.

It was Hall's ill-considered phone call to frequent BradCast guest Marilyn Marks of the Coalition of Good Governance, bragging about his role in the entire illicit scheme to image hard drives on voting and tabulation systems made by Dominion Voting Systems in Coffee County, which initially helped reveal the unlawful plot last year. That phone call was aired for the first time on our show in May of 2022. We've been covering the entire plot --- a multi-state conspiracy hatched in Trump's Oval Office in December of 2020 and organized by Powell --- ever since on this show and at The BRAD BLOG, even as GA's Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger appears to have been working hard to cover it up ever since. That, despite the ongoing dangers to next year's Presidential election.

The breach plays a major role in Willis' indictment. She charges Powell, Hampton and Hall with seven conspiracy crimes each related to Computer Theft, Computer Trespass, Computer Invasion of Privacy ("with the intention of examining personal voter data with knowledge that such examination was without authority") and Conspiracy to Commit Election Fraud. Latham was also charged with those same seven counts and another four related to her dual role as one of the fake electors in Georgia.

All of that and more is detailed on today's program, including Willis' late night announcement of Trump's fourth criminal indictment in just over four months. He is now, personally, facing 91 charges in four different jurisdictions at both the state and federal level.

Finally today, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, which also happens to include some landmark good news for a happy change (along with the usual amount of grim news), to end today's program...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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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, Pandora, TuneIn, Google, Amazon or our native RSS feed!

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Guest: Susan Greenhalgh of Free Speech for People; Also: Landmark court victory for kids challenging climate change in MT!...
By Brad Friedman on 8/14/2023 6:11pm PT  

New indictments did not yet come in Georgia as of airtime on today's BradCast. But, as the nation awaits the former President's almost certain fourth criminal indictment in about as many months --- and this could be the broadest and most sweeping yet --- a somewhat related "exclusive" by CNN on Sunday seems to have made a lot of folks suddenly pay attention to a story we've been covering in great detail on this show and at The BRAD BLOG for the better part of the past year.

The Coffee County, Georgia voting system breach by Trump supporters is likely to play a role in the expected new indictments from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, even though there was largely nothing "exclusive" at all about CNN's weekend report. At least to those of us who have been paying attention and reporting on it ourselves for the past year. But, that's okay. If CNN's coverage makes people sit up and pay attention to this critical issue, we'll take it.

If it helps people --- including other media outlets --- notice that the multi-state conspiracy is still either being ignored or actively covered-up by the folks who SHOULD be investigating it --- from GA Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger, to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) and even the Dept. of Justice --- then, okay, bring on more such "exclusives".

CNN's Sunday report, deceptively headlined "Exclusive: Georgia prosecutors have messages showing Trump’s team is behind voting system breach," repackages material already reported long ago by outlets like Washington Post, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta's NBC affiliate 11-Alive and, yes, The BradCast and BRAD BLOG. Almost all of CNN's material comes thanks to information discovered in a long-running federal lawsuit challenging the use of Raffensperger's new, unverifiable and insecure touchscreen voting systems, as filed years ago by the Coalition for Good Governance (CGG). CNN didn't even have the decency to name the nonprofit group in their "exclusive", referring simply to material "originally unearthed as part of a long-running civil suit focused on election security in Georgia."

As to the content of the story well, see our program from April headlined: "The Multi-State MAGA Conspiracy to Breach Voting Systems Was Hatched in Trump's Oval Office: 'BradCast' 4/24/2023". That show, from four months ago, features most of what CNN describes in their weekend "exclusive".

On that program, we were joined by guest SUSAN GREENHALGH, a election integrity and transparency expert who now serves as Senior Advisor on Election Security at FreeSpeechForPeople.org. Greenhalgh had discovered admissions in sworn testimony given to the U.S. House January 6 Committee revealing that the plot to have MAGA activists unlawfully obtain and copy sensitive, proprietary voting and tabulation system hard drives in multiple states (Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania) was a scheme dreamt up during Trump's crazy December 18, 2020 meeting in the Oval Office with attorneys Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, disgraced National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, former Overstock.com CEO and billionaire Patrick Byrne and others. Yes, the breaches in several states were not over-zealous local MAGA activists. It was a scheme hatched with the President of the Unites States himself.

Greenhalgh joins us again on today's program to continue connecting dots in the multi-state criminal scheme which remain uninvestigated or prosecuted to this day. (Pay attention, or wait to read them at CNN in about 6 months as "exclusive".)

Were it not for folks like Greenhalgh and CGG founder Marilyn Marks --- who had the wherewithal to hit the record button when one of the apparent MAGA breachers (Atlanta businessman Scott Hall) called her to essentially confess to the crimes in Coffee County --- we might not even know about it today. Lord knows Raffensperger and his friends in the Peach State have largely been covering it all up ever since the breach first occurred on January 7, 2021, the day after Trump's insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

"Who knows if there were other counties that they went into in Georgia?," Greenhalgh observes. "There might have been similar breaches in other counties. Because we've lacked a real, robust investigation from the people that are paid to protect our citizens and our government from these types of illegal activities, they haven't uncovered it!"

Charges were recently brought against some of the participants in Michigan's several breaches --- at least five of whom are also known to have been involved in the Georgia breach --- and charges may soon be brought against some of them by Willis in Georgia in the coming hours. But, as Greenhalgh argues, the threat posed by theses breaches to next year's 2024 election --- and accountability for all of the people who allowed it to happen --- is crying out for a federal conspiracy probe of this organized crime that took place in multiple states following the 2020 election.

"There's no deterrence," Greenhalgh asserts. "What we saw happen in Coffee County --- if these people do not face any consequences, the message that is being presented is, 'It's okay. Go ahead and do this. If you can get a complicit election official, go in and do whatever you want to the voting machines and nothing is going to happen to you.' This crime happened on videotape. There's no question about it. If this was a corner store robbed by some kids, they'd be in prison by now."

There is a lot more of note in my conversation with Greenhalgh, and she offers much more in a well-sourced and linked "Background Briefing" document published late last week.

Finally today, some very good news out of Montana, where a landmark legal challenge by young plaintiffs, aged 5 to 22, challenging Republican state lawmakers for failing to follow the state constitution's mandate guaranteeing a "clean and healthful environment," was victorious! The court found that the Montana Environmental Policy Act, which weakened environment protections on behalf of the state's fossil fuel industry, is unconstitutional. The first-of-its-kind ruling by a judge in the U.S. may very well affect similar suits by youth plaintiffs as now filed in all 50 states and nations around the world...

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Guest: Maui radio veteran Shaggy Jenkins; Also: Record U.S. storm damage; Tim Scott's climate change lies; Listener mail and more...
By Brad Friedman on 8/10/2023 6:34pm PT  

The death toll stood at 36 as we went to air on today's BradCast, with nearly 300 structures confirmed as destroyed. But officials have since bumped up the confirmed death toll to 53, with more than 1,000 homes and buildings destroyed in the town of Lahaina and surrounding areas on Hawaii's island of Maui. According to our guest today, who has been on the ground there since the blazes were first sparked on Tuesday, those numbers could still get far worse as he describes what has happened in his community as if "Hell opened its mouth."

You have likely heard, by now, that devastating wildfires were whipped up this week in Hawaii, amid near hurricane force wind gusts from the northern edge of Hurricane Dora, passing about 500 miles to the south. The high winds made it impossible for firefighting helicopters to snuff out the blazes in their early hours on Tuesday. Those fires then grew out of control amid dry and windy conditions over the next two days.

Officials are still battling to contain the fires as search and rescue efforts are ramping up, even as they attempt to find shelter for displaced residents and tourists in the once tropical paradise.

We're joined today by radio veteran SHAGGY JENKINS from Maui, where he formerly served as the longtime Program Director at our affiliate station there, KAKU 88.5FM. Jenkins now serves as Operations Manager for a group of Hawaii stations and has been putting in a ton of overnight on-air hours along with his regularly scheduled morning show, to try and help keep the community informed over our public airwaves during the ongoing emergency.

In addition to the firestorms that seemingly sprang up from nowhere and have leveled much of the historic, 1700s-era town of Lahaina --- once the Hawaiian kingdom's capitol city --- on the western side of Maui, Jenkins explains that fires are also raging somewhat to the east and on the Big Island as well.

"Although Lahaina made a lot of national headlines, parts of the neighborhoods upcountry, far away from Lahaina, have also had devastation. We've had complete neighborhoods and subdivisions wiped out for local families," he tells me, describing scenes that look more like bombed out cities of post-WWII Europe or in Ukraine today. "It's on a scale that we've never seen. It's just exhausting to look at, because it's still happening. I don't know how to describe Lahaina other than it's like Hell opened its mouth."

I hope you'll tune in for this must-listen conversation, particularly if you both want to know what appears to have happened and how you can help.

"It's all gone," laments Jenkins, as he becomes swept up in emotion describing the fate of Lahaina, "one of the most historic cities in the entire state."

"It's kind of hard to put into scale how much history, and how much of our old families that were born here and raised for generations, have lost everything. Some of the places that have been devastated --- they're the postcard images that you send everybody when you come to a vacation here. And they're all gone."

"The families that lived in those areas ... they're gone ... I'm sorry ... It's hard," he tells me as he chokes up, "...because we on the island, we're very close, as far as the local population. We know everybody."

Jenkins details how environmental conditions have changed in recent years as our climate crisis has taken a toll in drying out the once idyllic tropical paradise, and as "Big Ag" sugar operations up and left behind unrestored swaths of land.

"It is appreciably different" in recent years, he explains. "Part of the reason for that, not too long ago, we shut down the sugar industry here. The center body of the island is mostly ag land. And when the sugar industry left, a lot of that land went barren waiting for different owners. As all of these changes have happened, it's dried out the island. For the past five years, we have seen more and more brown than we usually do. Those conditions --- those dry, big, open-area fields --- were some of the reasons that the fires here spread so much. And since the sugar industry ended, we have had a step up in our wildfires."

One of the biggest ways we can help, Jenkins says, is to not come to Maui right now. While the island thrives on the tourism industry, now is not the time, as empty hotel rooms are being used to help house those who have lost everything. "We do not have the water, we do not have the power, we do not have the space," he asserts, noting that he is not "anti-tourist", but "every single resort that we have that has an empty room, we are trying to put in a local displaced family."

"The way that you can help us, the best way, is to stay away, and let us have the time to find and bury our dead, to fix our broken infrastructure. And, sadly, to start the very dangerous and long, arduous process of rebuilding one of the most historic cities in the state."

Jenkins does point those who would like to offer help to visit MauiFoodBank.org/Donate. As noted, I hope you will tune in for today's conversation with Shaggy.

Meanwhile, in other, very much related, news today...

  • Reinsurance giant Swiss Re Group released a report asserting that severe thunderstorms during the first half of this year in the U.S. have resulted in unprecedented levels of damage, including some $34 billion in insured losses. That number accounted for 70% of the $50 billion in global catastrophic damage from similar storms over the same period.
  • All of this, even as 2024 Republican (Vice-)Presidential hopeful and U.S. Senator Tim Scott of climate change-threatened South Carolina took to Fox "News" on Wednesday with faux outrage claiming that the idea that we are facing a "climate emergency is ridiculous"(!) Of far greater import, he asserted, is that "we have a border emergency that is an existential threat right now." Desi Doyen has a few choice words for the embarrassing Senator, who apparently hasn't noticed the actual existential threat of climate change, right now, which has, over the same 24-hour period during which Scott was blathering his dangerous, wingnut, fossil-fueled disinformation on Fox, taken the lives of at least 53 of Scott's fellow American citizens in Hawaii. That, just days after hundreds have died from prolonged extreme heat in places like Arizona.
  • More on all of this follows in Desi's latest Green News Report today, before we then close out the week with some listener mail on "autocracy v. fascism" and some anecdotal evidence that support for our disgraced, so-far thrice-indicted former President may finally be flagging among some his supporters...

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Guest: Robin Marty of the West Alabama Women's Center, author of 'The End of Roe v. Wade'; Also: Deadly, climate fueled wildfires in Maui, HI...
By Brad Friedman on 8/9/2023 6:33pm PT  

It was a great day for democracy in Ohio on Tuesday. And how often do we get to say that on The BradCast? [Audio link to full show follows below this summary.]

But first, it's not a great day for our friends in Maui, Hawaii, where windswept wildfires have leveled homes and businesses and a historic town; killed at least six and injured dozens so far; and sent some residents fleeing into the ocean to avoid the flames. That, as wind gusts above 60 mph --- part of Hurricane Dora passing about 500 miles safely to the south --- kept firefighting helicopters out of the sky, while climate change-fueled dry conditions and non-native, non-drought tolerant plant species (brought there by humans) went up like torches. Sending our best wishes to our listeners at our affiliate station, KAKU 88.5FM, "The Voice of Maui"! Please drop us a line when you can to let us know how you're doing!

Moving on from that terrible news, to much better news out of Ohio last night, where democracy was literally on the ballot. The Buckeye State GOP's anti-democracy constitutional amendment, known as Issue 1 on Tuesday's special election ballot, went down to huge defeat by some 13 points --- 57% to 43% --- according to the latest unconfirmed tallies. The measure, which could have passed with a simple majority, would have changed the state constitution to require 60% voter approval for all future constitutional amendments. As it turns out, voters don't like voting their own democracy away.

As Ohio's Sec. of State Frank LaRose was eventually caught on tape admitting to supporters --- after claiming for months it had nothing to do with abortion --- the measure was "100% about abortion". It was meant to preempt a citizen-led ballot initiative set for this November that will codify reproductive freedoms into the constitution of the otherwise right-leaning and wildly gerrymandered state.

We spend some time today explaining what happened, why it happened, and just how extraordinarily corrupt and hypocritical the measure's lead proponent, LaRose, actually is, as he hopes to become the state's GOP nominee to square off with Ohio's Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown next year. Good luck after Tuesday's $20 million, anti-democracy boondoggle, Frank!

But what happened in Ohio on Tuesday is reverberating throughout the nation today and will, almost certainly, continue to reverberate into next year's 2024 general election. It is also giving hope to a lot of otherwise "deep red" states, proving again that their citizenry can also successfully push back against GOP forces of hypocrisy, anti-democracy and pro-autocracy. Even in states like "deep red" Alabama.

We're joined today by ROBIN MARTY, Operations Director at the West Alabama Women's Center, and the prescient author of 2019's The New Handbook for a Post-Roe America and The End of Roe v. Wade: Inside the Right's Plan to Destroy Legal Abortion.

Marty, as you might guess, is elated about the great news out of Ohio. "Of course, I am very excited about it," she says, before adding: "I'm not surprised, though. This is yet another in a series of wins for abortion rights when it is put up to a statewide vote." Indeed, every time a measure even tangentially related to reproductive rights has appeared on a statewide ballot since the corrupt U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, reproductive freedoms have ultimately won. That is true in both "red" and "blue" states alike.

But Marty also shares just some of the authoritarian horror still playing out in her own home state where abortion has now been banned entirely by state Republicans, and where her West Alabama Women's Center still offers much-needed healthcare for woman...but may no longer provide them with abortion services.

Most incredibly, as Marty tells details today, the medical professionals at her clinic are not even allowed, by law, to tell patients where they might go --- which states or clinics --- to receive lawful abortion care elsewhere. That, she says, could result in felony charges and up to 99 years in prison. In fact, she wasn't even certain she could tell me about that on air!

"The moment it became illegal in our state, not only did we have to stop every bit of abortion care that we were doing in the clinic," she explains, "our Attorney General made statements saying that, in his opinion, he believed that providing a person with information about how they could access abortion care somewhere else would, in fact, constitute a criminal conspiracy. And people could be arrested over that."

The center has just filed suit against the state A.G., hoping to win back their free speech rights. As the ACLU describes the case, the lawsuit was last month "in federal court to prevent Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and district attorneys throughout the state from prosecuting those who assist Alabamians seeking to travel across state lines to access abortion care where abortion is legal. Attorney General Marshall has explicitly threatened that health care providers could face felony charges for assisting Alabamians seeking to travel out of state to obtain abortion where it is legal."

The health care providers are fighting the law adopted by the very same hypocritical GOP lawmakers who pretended to be "outraged" about "Big Government coming between a patient and their doctor" during the passage of ObamaCare in 2010. And the very same ones who, today, are pretending to be "outraged" about Trump being prosecuted for "nothing more than exercising his Free Speech rights!" (that's not why he is being prosecuted) and pretending to be concerned that social media sites are "censoring" rightwing opinions.

Marty has a lot to say on all of these topics, so I hope you'll tune in for today's very lively conversation with her!...

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Guest: Attorney Keith Barber's primer on the crime of Racketeering; Also: Raskin on Trump trying to 'steal' the 2020 election; Election Day in OH...
By Brad Friedman on 8/8/2023 6:17pm PT  

For some reason, it seemed like a good moment on today's BradCast to bone up on exactly what "racketeering" or RICO charges are. I have a feeling it may come in handy in the days ahead. [Audio link to full show follows below this summary.]

But, FIRST UP, it's Election Day in Ohio. One single statewide ballot issue, in the middle of August. That's because Republican lawmakers were hoping to undermine a ballot measure set for this November which, if successful, will codify protection for reproductive freedoms into the state Constitution.

For more than 100 years in the Buckeye State, Constitutional Amendments were adopted via the ballot with a simple majority vote. Today's measure, Issue 1, would raise the requirement needed for passage to a 60% super-majority. Of course, the GOP's Issue 1 on the ballot today would require just 50% + 1 for passage.

As we've been reporting, despite the state Republicans' attempt to sneak their anti-democracy Amendment past voters (after, earlier this year, adopting legislation to ban August Special Elections), early voting has been huge. Today's Election Day turnout was reportedly higher than expected as well. Happily, there were, so far, only a few reported problems at the polls. We'll see if that changes and we'll have reported results on this critical measure tomorrow.

THEN, over the weekend, Donald Trump's top attorney on his new indictment by Special Counsel Jack Smith for his many failed attempts to steal the 2020 Presidential election, was all over the news shows offering absurd defenses for his client's crimes. John Laura told Meet the Press, for example, that "a technical violation of the Constitution" isn't actually unlawful.

Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who happens to be a Constitutional law professor (as well as both the Lead Manager for the U.S. House during Trump's second impeachment for insurrection and a member of the bipartisan House Select Committee investigating it) strongly begged to differ. Critically, he noted in his response to Lauro's remarks, there are people serving years in jail in this country for falsifying one single vote, whereas Trump "tried to steal the entire election."

Thank you, Congressman!

NEXT, we continue to await what is almost certainly going to be Trump's fourth criminal indictment in about as many months. This one will come any day now, likely this week or next, courtesy of Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis in relation to Team Trump's failed attempts to steal the Peach State's election in 2020 from Joe Biden and the state's voters.

Her case, for reasons explained on today's program, could be expansive, including many charges and many conspirators acting in concert with Trump. Exactly who will be charged and what they will be charged with remains unknown.

Among the many questions about Willis' case: Will she invoke the state's "Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations" (or RICO) Act or just simple conspiracy charges? And, oh, by the way, what are the difference between the two, as RICO is best known for use against organized crime by the mafia, etc.?

Luckily, KEITH BARBER, former attorney, former Republican and current Daily Kos contributor on law and Constitutional matters, recently wrote about exactly that and joins us today for a helpful RICO primer and insights into Willis' likely imminent indictments.

Short version of the difference between "conspiracy" and "RICO", as Barber wrote last month: "Conspiracy requires an agreement between the co-conspirators to commit what are usually specific crimes. RICO does not require proving any such agreement. So long as the parties commit the required predicate offenses, as part of the same 'enterprise,' acting 'in furtherance of a common purpose,' RICO can be satisfied."

As Barber tells me today: "The mob boss doesn't necessarily plan anything with the guy who is running the protection racket He may not even know him. But they are both engaged in the same broad criminal enterprise. That's the distinction between RICO and conspiracy. You don't have to show the connections that are shown in the [Jack] Smith indictment of Trump between the co-conspirators. It's sufficient if they engage in a pattern of racketeering activity in furtherance of the same general objective."

If you'd like a more detailed explanation, tune in to today's show, when Barber also offers his thoughts on who is likely to be indicted. "All indications are, all the hints are, that it's going to be a whole lot of people, with a whole lot of charges. It's kind of mind-boggling how many people it could be."

Also discussed: last night's court ruling in columnist E. Jean Carroll's rape and defamation case against Trump and his counter-suit for defamation against Carroll. Short version: Trump's suit was tossed as the judge confirmed that, yes, Trump was found by a jury to have been a rapist according to common vernacular, and Carroll's second civil trial against him (she already won $5 million from him during the last one, now she's suing for at least $10 million) is scheduled to begin early next year and could be a very very short trial given everything that was already established as a fact in the first trial.

FINALLY, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, as the death toll rises under prolonged extreme heat in Arizona; climate change unleashes a brand new flooding problem in Alaska; President Biden moves to protect a million acres from uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, and extreme rains and deadly flooding continue to pummel parts of Europe...

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The two Justins win back their seats in TN; Huge turnout in response to OH's Issue 1 scam; Deadline for military PACT Act benefits; Also: Callers want to talk about our thrice-indicted former President...
By Brad Friedman on 8/7/2023 6:32pm PT  

It may be the dead of Summer, not exactly when most Americans are thinking about elections. But they were thinking about them last week in Tennessee and Ohio. No matter what these days, Americans are still thinking about Donald Trump. We cover all of that and more on today's busy BradCast. [Audio link to full show follows below this summary.]

Among the stuff covered on today's program...

  • Another victory for Americans and our current President. Months earlier than expected and ordered by Congress, Joe Biden signed a landmark Presidential order just over a week ago that officially updates the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) for the first time in decades. The update changes the way the military handles sexual assault cases and other violent crimes, many of which, advocates of the new system have argued for some twenty years, were swept under the rug in the military chain of command.
  • In somewhat related-ish news, the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act [or PACT] Act has an important deadline this week that former Daily Show host Jon Stewart wants you to know about. The PACT Act greatly expanded medical benefits for veterans harmed by toxic burnpits, agent orange and other toxins while in service to the country. The landmark measure was signed by President Biden in 2022 --- also after years of advocacy by proponents --- and, while eligible vets can sign up anytime, those who either sign up or offer their intent to sign up by Wednesday, August 9, will be able to get full benefits going back to August of 2022. So make sure you let anyone you served and may have been sicked while on duty know about it! Learn more and sign up at VA.gov/PACT.
  • Remember the Two Justins --- Tennessee State Rep. Justin Pearson of Memphis and Justin Jones of Nashville --- the two young, black, progressive Democratic lawmakers [pictured above] who were expelled by Republicans from the TN State House for supporting children and teachers protesting for new gun safety legislation following the mass school shooting in Nashville in March? Both Justins just won back their seats in the state House of Representatives during special elections held last Thursday. They were expelled by the racist white Republican House super-majority last April when an older white woman --- Rep. Gloria Johnson of Knoxville --- was spared from expulsion by the same lawmakers, despite participating in the same protest on the House floor with the two Justins. Jones reportedly won his race with a whopping 78% of the vote. Pearson won his election to his old seat with 94% of the vote. Well done, Tennessee voters!
  • Meanwhile, in Ohio, far-right Republicans in that state's gerrymandered state legislature and their dark money supporters have been lying to voters for weeks now about Issue 1, which will be decided tomorrow (Tuesday, August 8th) at polls across the Buckeye State. The statewide ballot measure would make it harder for citizens to adopt citizen led initiatives to amend the Constitution by, among other things, requiring 60% for passage. Just a few months ago, in May, just weeks after adopting legislation to outlaw August special elections, GOP lawmakers voted to hold a special election for this ballot measure (which would only need a simple 50% majority for passage, just like all other ballot measures in state history) in hopes of pre-empting a citizen-led Constitutional ballot measure scheduled for this November that would enshrine reproductive freedoms into the state Constitution. Rightwingers have reportedly been blanketing the airwaves with false claims about Issue 1, telling voters that a "yes" vote will prevent your daughter from receiving a sex change operation without your approval. (Seriously.) But, again, democracy rising? Early voting turnout is through the roof, surpassing even last year's 2022 mid-term primaries. But we'll see how it turns out. A number of counties are reporting poll closures and precinct changes just days before tomorrow's Election Day.
  • Finally, after awarding our kudos to the latest member of the corporate media to be brought to our attention correctly describing Donald Trump's multiple failed attempts to "STEAL" the 2020 election, we open up the phone to callers. Many of whom want to talk about Donald Trump, his latest four-count federal indictment [PDF] last week, and how the hell the guy is even allowed to run for President after inciting an insurrection (he shouldn't be), much less serving as the front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination. I still believe it's possible that he will not ultimately be the GOP nominee next year, for a number of reasons I suspect we'll be discussing in the days ahead. For today, however, it was great to talk to a number of very good callers about all of the above!

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Former Prez pleads 'not guilty' in election theft conspiracy; Also: U.S. credit rating cut thanks to 'fiscal conservatives'; WI GOP threaten 2024 election administration; MI GOP A.G. nominee charged with vote machine tampering; Willis threatened, but 'ready to go' in GA...
By Brad Friedman on 8/3/2023 7:22pm PT  

Ten years ago, a BradCast like today's would have been unimaginable. Today, it's just our latest BradCast. [Audio link to full show follows below this summary.]

Among our many stories covered (some of which we've been trying to get to all week but for all the breaking news that kept bumping them!)...

  • The former President of the United States pleaded "not guilty" to felony crimes in his third arraignment in four months. This one at the federal courthouse in D.C., on four alleged charges [PDF] brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith related to Donald J. Trump's failed conspiracies to steal the 2020 Presidential election before, during and after his January 6, 2021 insurrection. Defendant Trump was reportedly warned by the magistrate judge overseeing his arraignment about committing more crimes, tampering with jurors or communicating with co-conspirators while he was freed pending trial.
  • Congressional Republicans still pretend they are "fiscal conservatives". Shamefully, the media still allows them to do so. But their brand of "fiscal conservatism" is, once again, costing the Government and American people untold billions. This week, the Fitch Rating service downgraded the U.S. credit rating from top tier AAA to AA+, citing principally the GOP's recent brinkmanship threatening to allow the U.S. government to default on its debts for the first time in history, and even due to the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The newly lowered credit rating led the stock market to dive in response, is already increasing the cost of government borrowing and mortgage rates for homeowners.
  • On Tuesday, the state Supreme Court in Wisconsin officially flipped to a liberal majority for the first time in about 15 years after the election of Milwaukee Judge Janet Protasiewicz to the high court back in early April. The new era in the critical Presidential battleground state comes not a moment too soon, as Republicans in the gerrymandered state Senate are attempting to oust Elections Administrator Meagan Wolfe from the state's Election Commission after unanimously appointing her four years ago. When Trump lost the state in 2020, state Republicans decided the experienced administrator who has successfully overseen thousands of state election jurisdictions and is well-respected by clerks and experts of all parties, had cheated --- or didn't cheat enough --- or something. And now, amusingly, Democrats on the Election Commission are citing a ridiculous, 4 to 3 opinion by the state Supremes from last year, when the court had a rightwing majority, which allowed agency heads to remain in place after their term had ended. (The ruling was meant to support a sleazy GOP scheme to prevent Democratic Gov. Tony Evers from being able to appoint his own nominees to state agencies.) The 2024 election in the critical battleground state now hangs in the balance and may --- or may not --- as Bolt's Cameron Joseph reports, lead the Court's liberals to change their position on the issue when this matter, almost certainly, makes it's way to the newly liberal high court.
  • Michigan's failed 2022 Republican candidate for Attorney General, Matt DePerno, was indicted this week along with a former GOP State Rep. on state charges related to accessing and tampering with voting systems. The Trump-endorsed Matt DePerno was a 2020 election denier already under investigation for the alleged crimes when he was nominated by his party to become the state's top law enforcement official last year. State Attorney General Dana Nessell then referred the probe to a Special Prosecutor who brought charges this week against DePerno, former State Rep. Daire Rendon and, as we've learned since getting off air, GOP attorney and Trump ally Stefanie Lambert. The Special Prosecutor, D.J. Hilson, suggests more charges are likely coming as part of a scheme by the MAGA Republicans to take voting system tabulators from several counties in order to "test" them for...something or other. Lambert and four others targeted by the probe, also participated in the breach of sensitive voting system hardware and software in Coffee County, Georgia, a story which we broke on this show last year and have been covering in detail ever since.
  • Speaking of Georgia, election deniers, voting system breaches and GOP attempts to steal the 2020 election, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, over the weekend, said she is "ready to go". She made the remarks to a local news outlet, suggesting she will be bringing indictments in her broad conspiracy probe of Team Trump's failed attempt to steal the Peach State's 2020 election "before September the first of 2023". Willis recently warned County officials to "stay alert" and keep staffers "safe" as barricades have now been erected around the County Courthouse in anticipation of new indictments. In her warning to County Commissioners, she shared a sample of the appalling, racist threats her office has received recently. All signs suggest that Trump --- and perhaps many others --- are about to be indicted in her probe. It would be Trump's fourth such criminal indictment in the past four months. We told you long ago accountability would be coming. Now, it finally is. Bigly!
  • Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, with a climate in crisis that couldn't care less about politics. A new study finds that man-made climate change is getting very costly for small businesses; record high temps are, ironically, forcing the shut down of oil refineries and raising gas prices in the bargain (neat trick, eh?); and, speaking of Georgia, the state has finally opened the nation's first new nuclear plant in decades. It is already costing state ratepayers a lot more money...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Guests: Salon's Heather Digby Parton, Pro Left Podcast's 'Driftglass'...
By Brad Friedman on 8/2/2023 6:06pm PT  

The quote in the headline for today's BradCast comes, according to one of our guests today, from former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, who knows quite a bit about both Constitutional crimes and American history. Finally, Donald J. Trump is facing accountability for his worst (known) crime of all: Attempting to overthrow American democracy itself by stealing a Presidential election from the American people before our very eyes. Luckily, he was as bad at that as he is at everything else. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

"This is a momentous legal event. It's the most significant legal event of our lifetimes, one of the most significant legal events ever in the history of this country. It is up there with Marbury vs Madison, Brown vs Board of Education, Dred Scott as a defining case for the times," Katyal told MSNBC after the new indictment against the the disgraced former President was handed up in D.C. yesterday. "This indictment lays out a case that a guy who was President of the United States --- while he was President of the US --- leveraged his office, used his power to thwart the will of the people in the most solemn thing they do in our country, vote. This is the biggest constitutional crime in our history."

We're joined today discuss that crime and Trump's latest indictment (his third in four months, and his second at the federal level) for it by two favorite BradCast special coverage guests. HEATHER DIGBY PARTON is the award-winning columnist at Salon and founder of Digby's Hullabaloo blog; and our old friend "DRIFTGLASS" is otherwise known as both @Mr_Electrico on Twitter and simply "Bill" at home in "Flyover Country, Illinois" where he has long and proudly produced The Professional Left Podcast.

Following the release of Special Counsel Jack Smith's new, very readable 45-page indictment [PDF] against Trump just minutes before airtime on Tuesday --- including four felony fraud, obstruction and conspiracy charges related to his attempt to steal the 2020 election before, during, and after the January 6, 2021 insurrection he incited at the U.S. Capitol --- we've had a bit of time to finally read the charges and evidence presented with them in full.

Also, we've had some time to learn about the judge assigned to the case, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan. And, boy howdy, is Trump not gonna like her. She was appointed by President Obama, has been particularly tough on January 6 insurrectionists, and famously (and correctly) wrote, in a 2021 ruling allowing the bipartisan House Jan. 6 Select Committee access to documents from the Trump White House that "Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President."

As noted, he's not gonna like her one bit. Oh, well. Perhaps it balances out the Trump-appointed federal judge/stooge overseeing his federal indictment on 40 felony charges related to his theft and retention of national security documents and his attempts to obstruct the government's investigation and attempts to retrieve them down in Florida.

Among the topics discussed with "Digby" and "Driftglass" on today's special coverage...

  • Why it took so long to bring this case, particularly as so much of it had already been revealed by the House Jan. 6 Committee last year.
  • What either struck or surprised them about the new indictment.
  • Who the still-unidentified "Co-Conspirator 6" might be.
  • Will history better remember Mike Pence's moment of courage on January 6 or his pathetic turnabout ever since?
  • Why this case feels so much different than the other two indictments filed against Trump.
  • Why it seems that nobody in the media is able to describe what Trump did as an attempt to STEAL a Presidential election. (Though MSNBC's Joy Reid and Parton --- both of whom have long followed me on Twitter --- get well-deserved kudos for doing so today!)
  • Whether, as folks on the Right like to claim, Tuesday's new indictment (and the others) actually help him in the 2024 election.
  • And, would they support or oppose a plea agreement in which the disgraced former President was allowed to plead guilty, get some home confinement, pay a huge fine and, most importantly, drop out of the 2024 race and vow to never run for public office again in exchange for escaping prison time (akin to Nixon VP Spiro Agnew's deal with federal prosecutors)?

Answers to all of those questions and many others on today's BradCast Special Coverage! Enjoy!...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Six co-conspirators cited, but still unnamed, in charges handed up by federal grand jury in Special Counsel Jack Smith's Jan. 6-related probe; Also: NJ Lt. Gov. Oliver dies suddenly; OH's critical Aug. 8 election...
By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2023 6:23pm PT  

Literally minutes before today's BradCast, news broke that the grand jury in D.C. hearing Special Counsel Jack Smith conspiracy case against Donald J. Trump regarding his many failed attempts to steal 2020 Presidential election had handed up a four-count federal indictment against Donald J. Trump. Seconds before airtime, Smith offered a brief statement on the new indictment. We cover both today...on the fly...

As Smith announced (we share his brief remarks in full), Trump was indicted on four federal felonies...

Count 1: Conspiracy to Defraud the United States [18 USC 371]
Count 2: Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding [18 USC 1512(k)]
Count 3: Obstruction of, and Attempt to Obstruct, an Official Proceeding [18 USC 1512(c)(2)]
Count 4: Conspiracy Against Rights [specifically, the right to vote and to have one's vote counted, 18 USC 241]

Six of Defendant Trump's alleged co-conspirators are briefly described in the 45-page indictment [PDF], though not named within it. The co-conspirators appear to be uncharged at this time. Most of their names were pretty simple to identify based on their description in the indictment (see pages 3 and 4). According to Washington Post, which names 5 of the 6 of them, it appears we got them pretty much correct as we read through the early portion of the charges on today's show. WaPo identifies them as...

Co-Conspirator 1: Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani
Co-Conspirator 2: Trump attorney John Eastman
Co-Conspirator 3: Trump attorney Sidney Powell
Co-Conspirator 4: DoJ Asst. Attorney General Jeffrey Clark
Co-Conspirator 5: Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro
Co-Conspirator 6: A still unidentified "political consultant" whose description matches several potential different Trump henchmen.

Looks like we were correct, at least, on Co-Conspirators 1 through 4. Emptywheel's Marcy Wheeler agrees WaPo's ID of Chesebro as number 5 is "sound". He is described in the indictment as "an attorney who assisted in devising and attempting to implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding". We speculate on the show that Co-Conspirator 6 could be Trump's 2020 campaign Director of Election Day Operations Michael Roman, but that's just an on-the-fly guess.

The most central aspect of the charges, at least to my eyes, is that Donald Trump not only attempted to steal the election by lying about it, using dozens of fraudulent claims for months after the November election, but knew that he was lying about every aspect of it.

"The Defendant lost the 2020 presidential election," the indictment reads in its first paragraph...

Despite having lost, the Defendant was determined to remain in power. So for more than two months following election day on November 3, 2020, the Defendant spread lies that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the election and that he had actually won. These claims were false, and the Defendant knew that they were false. But the Defendant repeated and widely disseminated them anyway --- to make his knowingly false claims appear legitimate, create an intense national atmosphere of mistrust and anger, and erode public faith in the administration of the election.

He lost. He knew it, because he was told by his closest advisors and all the top state and federal officials with whom he conferred. And, yet, he fraudulently claimed otherwise in hopes of defrauding the American people and stealing a Presidential election. He is finally be charged for all of the above.

It's all spelled out, quite readably, in the indictment [PDF] which Smith, in his brief remarks, encouraged "everyone" to "read in full".

We will, no doubt, have more on all of this in the days ahead. In the remaining time on today's show, as salvaged somewhat from our previous planned program...

  • The sudden death of New Jersey's Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, the first statewide black official in the Garden State and a central character in my 2011 blockbuster exclusive on then Gov. Chris Christie's secret address to the Koch Brothers secret political gathering that year in Vale, CO.
  • The critical election next Tuesday, August 8, in Ohio, where corrupt, authoritarian Republicans have suddenly called a special election to try and adopt a constitutional amendment that would require 60% approval by voters for all future constitutional amendments placed on the ballot. This measure, however, would still need only 50% to be adopted. The scheme is meant to undermine a citizen's ballot initiative planned for this November that would write protections for reproductive freedoms into the Buckeye State constitution.
  • Finally, Desi Doyen has our latest Green News Report with news on the hottest month ever recorded in human history (July 2023); President Biden's new federal heat protections for workers; Canada's first steps toward ending subsidies for the fossil fuel industry; and the landmark banning of natural gas hook-ups in new construction by a major state in Australia...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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And his inability to read the simple text of the U.S. Constitution; Also: Callers ring in on him, Trump and other democracy v. autocracy issues...
By Brad Friedman on 7/31/2023 6:07pm PT  

Whenever we're able to open up the phones to callers on The BradCast, I invite listeners to ring in and disrupt all of my plans for the day. Happily, they took me up on the offer today! [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

Thus, my plan for the second half of today's show --- to focus on Trump's latest criminal charges (Which ones? Take your pick!) --- was largely waylaid by folks who wanted to discuss both him and the topic of my monologue in the first part of today's show regarding the wildly corrupt U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Alito.

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal's editorial page ran parts of fawning 4-hour interview with Alito, in which he falsely claimed: "No provision in the Constitution gives [Congress] the authority to regulate the Supreme Court-period."

Perhaps Alito has never read the U.S. Constitution? For example, he must have missed the part (Article III, Section 2) which reads: "[T]he supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact...and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make." [Emphasis mine.]

As Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) pointed out on CNN over the weekend in response to Alito's B.S., Alito arguably owes his seat to the fact that Congress has regulated the number of seats that are on the Court (and have changed that number many times over the years) since the Constitution was founded! Of course, Alito likely also hates the fact that Congress, after Watergate, as per the Constitution, created legislation (regulations!) requiring annual financial disclosures by SCOTUS Justices. As ProPublica recently detailed, Alito has flouted that legislation by failing to disclose his luxury travel funded by GOP megadonors and other Republican ideologues.

Arguably worse, however, is the fact that one of the authors of the WSJ piece is attorney David Rivkin. He is currently representing the far-right Leonard Leo before the U.S. Senate, which is seeking Leo's testimony as part of their consideration of reforming the corrupted Court. Leo is the longtime head of the Federalist Society, which has spent decades shaping the federal judiciary --- including SCOTUS --- to the liking of billionaire rightwing ideologues.

Even more shameful than that, Rivkin currently has a case pending before the High Court next term! Moore v. U.S. is likely to result in a landmark ruling that could establish whether or not a wealth tax --- long sought by progressive Dems and opposed by rightwing ideologues --- is Constitutional or not.

And yet, Rivkin arguably gave Alito something of value --- presumably for free --- in his four-hour softball interview with the Justice, headlined "Samuel Alito, The Supreme Court's Plain Spoken Defender," in which Rivkin and his co-writer (WSJ Editorial Page Editor James Taranto) fluffed him up with a 2,400-word puff piece including remarks praising Alito, for instance, for his "candor that is refreshing and can be startling."

I'm sure Sammy appreciates it and will remember the favor when it's time to decide Moore v. U.S next year. That's because Alito is damned near as corrupt as Clarence Thomas and don't even get me started here on him today. (I had a few words for the corrupted Clarence on today's show, however.)

After that, my plans to cover Donald Trump's latest criminal problems and two recent Court losses (one today, one last Friday) in the second part of the show, as mentioned, were largely waylaid by callers. And happily so! We had some very good ones! Enjoy!...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Also: Election theft related charges coming soon; Smith hasn't talked to Mo Brooks?!; MI 'indictment' for vote system breach; Biden's strong economy; Inflation Reduction Act success; Record heat continues...
By Brad Friedman on 7/27/2023 6:27pm PT  

Note: The barest of headlines about the huge news regarding new, additional charges filed by Special Counsel Jack Smith in Donald Trump's stolen documents case began coming in just minutes before the end of today's BradCast. Up until then, however...we had plenty of other stuff to cover.

Among that stuff...

  • We have another new winner in the corporate media's never-ending effort to find new euphemisms to avoid accurately informing the American people about what Donald Trump did after the 2020 Presidential election. (For those still unclear, he used every tool he could muster to try and STEAL a Presidential election from the American people). Today's winner in the Euphemism Olympics is the New York Times, which ended a short piece on Trump attorneys meeting with Jack Smith's prosecutors on Thursday, in anticipation of indictments in D.C., with this ridiculous turn of phrase: "Mr. Trump also faces scrutiny from the district attorney in Fulton County, Ga., who is investigating his efforts to bend the results of the 2020 election in that state in his favor." --- To "bend the results"?! Really, New York Times?!
  • Yes, I admit to being obsessed with the above point, but for good reason. A few words today on why the media (and Democrats!) failure to accurately inform the American people about the simple fact that Trump tried to STEAL the last Presidential Election is so critical right now, especially in advance of next year's Presidential election.
  • While Jack Smith is clearly digging very deep in both of the federal Trump investigations he is overseeing --- the stolen documents case and the attempted theft of the 2020 election --- it's quite bizarre that, according to former, far-right Rep. Mo Brooks, the Special Counsel has, to date, failed to interview him! That, even though Brooks spoke before Trump at the January 6, 2021 pre-insurrection rally in D.C. where Brooks instructed the angry, duped crowd to "start taking down names and kicking ass". But it's all the more odd because of the four very specific things that Brooks claims Trump instructed him to do last year, seven months after Trump was out of office, including instructions to advocate "rescinding the election" and "physically removing Joe Biden from the White House". All of which, according to the now former Alabama Congressman and one-time Trump endorsee, "violate the U.S. Constitution and federal law."
  • Meanwhile, accountability continues in Michigan where, last week, state Attorney General Dana Nessel charged the state's 16 fake Trump electors with 8 felony counts each related to their attempt to help the former President steal the state's 2020 election. On Wednesday night, Stefanie Lambert, a Michigan attorney who was part of a group being investigated by a MI Special Prosecutor, claimed that she has "been indicted" for her role in breaching voting systems in several townships across the state. Nessel appointed the Special Prosecutor late last Summer to investigate the activities by a bunch of MAGA folks believed to have unlawfully stolen and breached vote tabulation systems after 2020. The group includes a former State Rep, a sitting County Sheriff, a few of the clowns from that Cyber Ninjas outfit, and the failed former Republican A.G. candidate Matt DePerno. After the Trump-endorsed DePerno was nominated by the state GOP to run for A.G. last year, Nessel referred the probe to a Special Prosecutor, so as to not be seen as prosecuting her own election opponent. We'll soon find out if Lambert (who is a real piece of work, apparently) and the others, including DePerno, have indeed been indicted by the Special Prosecutor's grand jury.
  • Even Fox "News" was agog today at the latest numbers on the U.S. economy under Joe Biden, as released by the Commerce Department on Thursday. The new numbers revealed, among other things, higher-than-expected growth in GDP in the second quarter and extraordinary resilience of Biden's economy which many had expected to be in recession by now. It isn't.
  • Joe Biden and the Democrats' landmark climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act, turns one year old next month and, according to experts, it is already "turbocharging clean energy technology" in the U.S. and producing massive investment in U.S. manufacturing and jobs for the first time in decades. No wonder the fossil fuel industry and Republicans worked so hard for so many years to prevent such investments --- and why Congressional Republicans are working so hard to try and repeal it.
  • With July now likely to have been the hottest single month that any human being has ever lived through on Planet Earth, the President, in remarks today at the White House, detailed efforts across his Administration to help folks survive the extreme heat now slamming about 170 million Americans across about 40% of the nation. His remarks offered yet another opportunity for Biden to sing the praises of the Inflation Reduction Act, which not one Republican in Congress supported when the landmark bill was adopted last year.
  • Finally (as today's big news about new charges against Trump in the documents case just began to break at show's end), Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report with several items related to the extreme heat in both the U.S. and Europe --- and, some very good news about EV charging!...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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