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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, July 13, 2024
Meanwhile... :
'BradCast' 7/11/24
Biden's tenuous candidacy; Trump and Orban; Inflation, prices falling; Climate liar Inhofe dies; California's stunning solar revolution...
'Green News Report' 7/11/24
  w/ Brad & Desi
Flooding, power outages, sweltering heat as deadly Beryl fallout continues; New FEMA flood risk standards; PLUS: House Republicans bravely seek Freedom for Refrigerators!...
Previous GNRs: 7/9/24 - 6/25/24 - Archives...
Paging 'Johnny Unbeatable'! Dems in Disarray! (But Really This Time): 'BradCast' 7/10/24
Guests: Heather Digby Parton of Salon, 'Driftglass' of 'Pro Left Podcast'...
SCOTUS Immunity Ruling 'As Bad as it Sounds', Arguably Worse: 'BradCast' 7/9/24
Guest: LawDork's Chris Geidner on that and the Court's massive 'power grab'; Also: Record-breaking Beryl; U.S. heat records smashed...
'Green News Report' 7/9/24
  w/ Brad & Desi
Beryl breaks records, slams TX; 140 million Americans under heat advisories; Big SCOTUS gifts for polluters; PLUS: Biden unveils first-ever extreme heat protections for workers...
Previous GNRs: 6/25/24 - 6/27/24 - Archives...
So, What Now?:
'BradCast' 7/8/24
We're back! And our listeners have strong opinions about where the hell we are and how to move forward to save democracy after corrupt SCOTUS rulings and a disastrous Presidential Debate...
Overdue Debunking of MAGA Cult Xenophobia
CANNING: Throughout U.S. history, decent, hard-working immigrants (like me) have contributed to the economy and our nation's security: CANNING
Sunday 'Courting Disaster' Toons
THIS WEEK: Kings and Things! In our special SCOTUS-sized edition of the last impossible week's best political toons!...
Sunday 'Bad Medicine' Toons
THIS WEEK: Trump's hot pants ... Biden's cool reception ... SCOTUS gone wild ... and more in our latest collection of the week's best toons...
A Friendly Suggestion:
Harris-Newsom 2024
An orderly transition to save the nation...if Biden himself agrees...
Former Fed Prosecutor: SCOTUS Corruption Ruling Less Corrupt Than Appears: 'BradCast' 6/27/24
Guest: Randall D. Eliason; Also: 'Chevron Deference'; SCOTUS nixes EPA pollution rule...
'Green News Report' 6/27/24
  w/ Brad & Desi
Disasterous flooding in China; Heatwave, crop failure in Inida; Fisaster upon disaster for NM town; On edge for SCOTUS decision; PLUS: Biden climate law creates 300,000 jobs!...
Previous GNRs: 6/25/24 - 6/20/24 - Archives...
Good News and Bad: At the Polls and From the Corrupted Court: 'BradCast' 6/26/24
NY, CO, UT, SC election results; SCOTUS on public corruption, social media; Long-overdue Biden pardons...
'Not Something Journalists Do': A NatSec Journo on Assange Hacking, Plea Deal: 'BradCast' 6/25/24
Guest: Marcy Wheeler of Emptywheel; Also: VA Rep. vows to block apparent primary loss...
'Green News Report' 6/25/24
Extreme U.S. heat, flooding; FEMA warns of funding shortfall; Climate change spiking home insurance; PLUS: Global warming turbocharging heat, wildfires...
Fox 'News' Grooming Viewers for Another Insurrection: 'BradCast' 6/24/24
Guest: Matt Gertz of Media Matters; Also: Climate change is now wreaking brutal, deadly, expensive consequences...
Sunday 'Shark Jumping' Toons
THIS WEEK: Unsavable ... Untouchable ... Undebatable ... Undeniable... And more unavoidable mischief in our latest collection of the week's best political toons...
The Prophecy and Warning of the White Buffalo: 'BradCast' 6/20/24
Our global air pollution and climate crisis and what we can do about it; Also: Biden now leads in Fox 'News' polling; Trump Media stock tanking again; CNN debate set...
'Green News Report' 6/20/24
Extreme U.S. heat intensifies; First named storm of year; Evacuations in NM; Astonishing heat in India, Saudi Arabia; PLUS: U.S. schools grapple with extreme heat...
BARCODED BALLOTS AND BALLOT MARKING DEVICES
BMDs pose a new threat to democracy in all 50 states...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
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Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


How the U.S. has fallen prey to a decade-long Russian intel op; Also: Lindell owes $5 million for 2020 'election data' challenge; Media ignore good Biden polling amid ill-considered bids to replace him...
By Brad Friedman on 2/22/2024 6:20pm PT  

On today's BradCast: As of this week, if it wasn't clear before (and, obviously, for many, it was not) it is now clearer than ever that the U.S., its corporate media, the Republican Party, its front-runner for the 2024 Presidential nomination (and, sadly, even too many on the "left"), have all fallen prey --- knowingly or unknowingly (it doesn't really matter) --- to a wildly successful, decade-long Russian intel op. [Audio link to full show is posted below this summary.]

From the Hillary emails in 2016 to the Hunter Biden laptop in 2020 to the Biden Burisma "bribery" allegations that fell apart so spectacularly this week with the arrest of the man who House GOPers cited as the lynch-pin for their entire Revenge Impeachment case against President Biden, it turns out it was all part of a wildly successful foreign campaign to divide and threaten American political system.

Turns out Alexander Smirnov, that guy with the false Burisma claims about the Bidens, apparently got it all from Russian intel operatives who have, for the past ten years, been pushing all of these phony narratives straight out from the Kremlin through various useful idiots, onto the set of Fox "News" and the rest of the rightwing media, into the mouth of the disgraced former President, and straight through to the hearing rooms of the U.S. Congress where it was shared --- either knowing or unknowingly (it doesn't really matter) --- by GOP dupes.

It's quite an extraordinary success story, in truth. For Vladimir Putin. And a shameful failure of our corporate mainstream media to even notice much of it happening in real time. They also played the role of useful idiots when it counted the most over much of the past decade and right on up until today.

Josh Marshall described it as "A Bigger Story Than You Can Possibly Imagine" this week, and I believe he is correct. Much more on all of that --- and Putin's deadly rise --- on today's program.

ALSO TODAY...

  • MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell is not only an election denier and grifter. He also won't pay off a bet. In 2021, Lindell claimed to have obtained "irrefutable" evidence that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump by China over the Internet. His evidence was Internet data packets that he claims to have obtained from a "whistleblower". He offered $5 million to anyone who could prove the data wasn't from the election. A two-time Trump voter did so in 2022. The data, he proved, was nothing but junk. But Mike wouldn't pay up the $5 million he offered via his "Prove Mike Wrong" challenge. A private arbitration panel agreed the man was owed the money. Cheap chiseler Mike still wouldn't pay. This week, a federal judge ordered him to do so.
  • Corporate media spend a lot of time focusing on Joe Biden's bad polling numbers against Donald Trump. This week, a new survey by Quinnipiac University, a major pollster, found Biden beating Trump among registered voters nationally by 4 points. So Politico covered the new survey with this headline: "Poll: Nearly 70 percent of voters say Biden is too old to serve again".
  • Is it any wonder so many on the left are still under the misguided impression that someone, anyone, who knows who?, but certainly someone, should replace Joe Biden on the 2024 ballot! Because that unidentified someone would certainly have a better chance of defeating Donald Trump this year! Well, even if there was evidence of Biden not running this year (there isn't), recent polling doesn't even back up the assertion that other Dems would do better against Trump than Biden would. But, hey, if you've got a realistic scenario to replace Joe Biden that won't result in a second Trump Presidency, please feel free to email me! I'd love to hear it and maybe even share it with listeners!
  • Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, as SCOTUS seems set to gut yet another landmark environmental protection; A bizarre winter heat wave slams Japan; and the Biden Administration continues moving forward with its historic effort to replace all of the nation's toxic lead water pipes...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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'Support' from 'tens of millions' deceived by Trump/Fox 'News' propaganda doesn't justify support for an authoritarian scoundrel...
By Ernest A. Canning on 1/27/2024 9:35am PT  

An extraordinarily absurd moment occurred during the past week's "Showdown for U.S. Senate Debate" between California Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff, Barbara Lee, Katie Porter and Republican former major league baseball player, Steve Garvey. The debate was conducted on KTTV Fox 11, the Southern California local affiliate of the Rupert Murdoch-controlled Fox Corp.

In an unsuccessful effort to persuade an evasive and reluctant Garvey to unreservedly state his intent to vote for Donald Trump this year, Fox 11 anchor, Elex Michaelson asked...

There are tens of millions of people that support Donald Trump. Polls show that California Republicans, he's supported by two thirds...There are a lot of people in this country that love Donald Trump and think he was a great President. What's your view?

The answer to that question may have been a difficult one for the former Dodger. After all, Trump is wildly unpopular among California voters who will vote in the March 5 open primary, even if very popular among the state's small --- and shrinking --- GOP electorate. Garvey hemmed and hawed to avoid answering. "Once a Dodger always a Dodger," quipped Porter at one point in the debate.

But, while the case could be made that Michaelson's question aided Democrats by cornering Garvey, the way he did so was absurd, even before Garvey's evasive response. The question itself recalled some graffiti I once saw on a bathroom wall while an undergrad at UCLA in 1971. It read: "Eat shit. Ten billion flies can't all be wrong."

A somewhat less crude analogy can be found in Germany. The fact that, in 1934, the vast majority of that nation's 66 million people adored a man named Adolf Hitler in no way provides a reason for any objective observer to support that genocidal tyrant.

It's especially troubling that KTTV's parent company is largely responsible for creating an alternative reality --- an Orwellian netherworld --- in which a large swath of the U.S. electorate now resides. The netherworld's residents include many of those "tens of millions of people," cited by Michaelson.

Deception, openly deployed not only by Trump and his Congressional Republican enablers, but also endorsed and amplified by Fox "News", provides the core reason why "tens of millions" of Americans, including two thirds of California Republicans, continue to irrationally support a Hitler-admiring demagogue, who called for "terminating" the U.S. Constitution...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 7/20/2023 10:28am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.N. warns nations must move faster to adapt to extreme heat; Heat waves in Europe and Middle East set astonishing new records; Outdated federal flood maps underestimate flood risk across U.S.; PLUS: Wind and solar on track to provide more than a third of the world's electricity by 2030... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): The world is reeling from record heat and flooding. Scientists say it's the cost of climate inaction; It's stupid hot. Here are the freakish global heating facts; Summers are always hot. Here's how we know climate change is making summer 2023 hotter; Seniors are migrating to states that face America’s most extreme heat; Your air conditioner isn't built for this heat. 5 tips can boost performance; Monsoon floods touch the walls of the Taj Mahal; Study finds using waste plastic in roads isn't ready for prime time (yet); Canadian wildfires hit Indigenous communities hard, threatening their land and culture... PLUS: How to keep your dog safe in the heat, according to an emergency vet... and much, MUCH more! ...

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And how the Fairness Doctrine, extended to cable, could have prevented Jan. 6 and the threat to democracy's survival...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/12/2023 10:05am PT  

A decision by President Ronald Reagan to veto [PDF] an Act of Congress that would have codified the FCC's Fairness Doctrine into law, rather than just FCC regulation, coupled with the failure of both the FCC and Congress to expand the Doctrine to apply not only to over-the-air broadcasting, but also to ubiquitous cable television networks like Fox "News", gave birth to today's mendacious right-wing media echo chamber.

The rationale offered by Reagan in his veto at the time, and by the Commissioners he appointed to the FCC when it repealed [PDF] the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, was that the Doctrine had a "chilling effect" on broadcasters' willingness to cover controversial topics. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, in Red Lion Broadcasting v. FCC (1969), brushed aside that same argument as speculative.

"It is the purpose of the First Amendment to preserve an uninhibited market-place of ideas in which truth will ultimately prevail," JFK-appointee Justice Byron White wrote on behalf of the unanimous Supreme Court in the Red Lion opinion. "Speech concerning public affairs," he added, "is more than self-expression; it is the essence of self-government."

That observation aligns with the words of James Madison, who introduced the First Amendment at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. "Knowledge will forever govern ignorance," Madison proffered; "and a People who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives."

Because the "goal" of the First Amendment is to produce "an informed public capable of conducting its own affairs," the Court, in Red Lion, ruled that it's the First Amendment "right of the viewers and listeners, not the right of the broadcasters, that is paramount."

The Supreme Court has never recognized a First Amendment right of a broadcaster to lie to the public, let alone a broadcaster's right to erect a pervasive, yet entirely fictional alternative reality, like the one created when Fox "News" embraced and amplified the same "Big Lie" that led to the January 6 insurrection.

If the Doctrine had been retained and expanded to cable TV outlets, it might well have prevented the January 6 insurrection. An expanded Fairness Doctrine would also have the potential to fend off today's ominous threat to the very survival of democracy in these United States...

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

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Guest: Election expert Susan Greenhalgh of Free Speech for People, with cameos by election integrity champions Jeanne Dufort and Marilyn Marks of Coalition for Good Governance...
By Brad Friedman on 4/24/2023 6:47pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Maybe now Jack Smith will start investigating the multi-state criminal plot by MAGA conspiracists to breach voting system software? Now that we know the unlawful scheme actually began in Donald Trump's Oval Office, as overseen by Trump himself, back in December of 2020? [Audio link to full show follows below.]

We have been reporting on the unlawful, criminal breaches of sensitive voting and tabulation system software by MAGA rightwingers following the 2020 election for nearly two years at this point. Most notably, we've focused most closely on the incident that occurred in the rural, right-leaning Coffee County, Georgia, where local GOP Board of Election members, County Commissioners and Republican Party officials allowed outsiders organized and funded by Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, to come in to the elections office to make illicit copies of the County's sensitive, proprietary election management software made by Dominion Voting Systems. The software in rural Coffee County also happens to be the exact same software that is used across the entire battleground state, thanks to the insistence of Republican Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger.

We first learned about the Coffee County breach last year, thanks to Marilyn Marks, founder of Coalition for Good Governance, which has a long-running federal lawsuit against the state, seeking to the ban the use of Raffensperger's 100% unverifiable touchscreen voting systems made by Dominion. She received a bizarre phone call --- which we previously aired on this program --- from an Atlanta-area businessman named Scott Hall, essentially confessing to the unlawful breach in Coffee County on January 7, 2021. He thought Marks was a fellow MAGA traveler. She wasn't. She is a non-partisan election integrity advocate. A real one.

Since that breach, which included the participation of folks like Doug Logan of Cyber Ninjas (the clowns who ran that phony audit of the 2020 Presidential election in Phoenix, Arizona in 2021), was revealed, thanks to Marks' ongoing civil lawsuit, Sec. Raffensperger seems to have been working very hard to cover the entire thing up and, according to our guest today, DoJ Special Counsel Jack Smith does not appear to be investigating.

Hopefully, that may have changed as of Friday, when two major media outlets ran scoops based on a new letter [PDF] sent by our guest today, SUSAN GREENHALGH of Free Speech for People, to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, Special Counsel Jack Smith and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

First, CNN reported Friday morning that text messages obtained via Marks' lawsuit revealed two of the software breaching Trump operatives discussed whether to somehow use information gleaned from their unlawful actions to try and prevent the certification of Democratic U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff's January 5th, 2021 U.S. Senate runoff victory over Republican David Purdue, or whether they should "hold it for a bigger moment."

Then, later on Friday, the New York Times ran a report detailing Greenhalgh's discovery that the plot to breach voting system software in several states --- which we already knew had been organized and funded by Powell --- was actually hatched during the infamous "crazy" meeting in the Oval Office on December 18, 2020. That, based on testimony to the House January 6 Committee that Greenhalgh documented from several Trump aides who were in the room where it happened that night. Attendees at the meeting included Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Michael Flynn, former Overstock.com CEO (and plot funder) Patrick Byrne, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and others. It went on for hours and was presided over by Donald Trump himself.

So, maybe Smith or Garland or Wray will be interested in investigating the multi-state conspiracy plot now?!

Greenhalgh explains that cybersecurity experts are concerned that the stolen software "can be used in disinformation campaigns, which we are already seeing happen. It could be used to fabricate evidence." She notes that "in 2020 when all those [Trump] lawsuits failed, it was because there wasn't any real or credible evidence. But software is mutable. You can play around with it. Could this be used to try and fabricate some false evidence to say, 'Look, this is what we found on some voting machines and look they stole the election?'"

"Most ominously," she warns, the software could be used to "to develop and tailor malware that could be deployed to actually start stealing votes, in the very way that we had people arguing was done in the 2020 election --- but now it's coming from the very same people that actually made those outrageous and baseless claims. Now [they] have the ammunition and basically the keys to the vault that could enable them to do much more nefarious things like actually hack an election."

So, why hasn't this been investigated by the Feds before now, as a response sent by the FBI to Greenhalgh in January [PDF] indicates, claiming the Bureau can only investigate after "a formal request for assistance" by "local authorities"? Why does GA Sec. of State Raffensperger, wrongly viewed as a hero for not stealing the 2020 election for Trump, seem to be working so very hard to cover up what happened in Coffee County? Why have corporate media been so reticent to dig into the story? Why have Greenhalgh and Marks had to do the bulk of the heavy lifting to even get us to this point? Why haven't members of Congress jumped in to demand a proper probe at the federal level? And will a proper federal probe finally happen now that the matter has found its way smack dab into Smith's purview by landing, via the New York Times, in Trump's Oval Office? (All thanks, of course, to the indefatigable work of Susan, Marilyn and their nonprofit organizations!)

"There's a lot more to this story to report," Greenhalgh insists. "As you know, it's still just the tip of the iceberg and there's a lot more information underneath that can still be reported. Greenhalgh's February follow-up letter to the FBI's response [PDF], for example, notes that, contrary to the assertion from R. Joseph Rothrock, Chief of the FBI's Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section, the Georgia State Elections Board says that it has, in fact, "requested assistance from the FBI." That, according to a public statement from its Chair in September of 2022

Tune in for answers to all of the above questions and many others on today's BradCast, which also includes some cameo call-ins from both Marks (who suggests listeners contact their U.S. Senators to ask them to demand a DoJ probe) and GA election integrity advocate Jeanne Dufort!...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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A jury will now decide whether defamation was done with 'actual malice' and, if so, how much the voting machine company is due in damages...
By Ernest A. Canning on 4/1/2023 1:41pm PT  

"Through its extensive proof, Dominion has met its burden of showing there is no genuine issue of material fact as to falsity. Fox therefore had the burden to show an issue of material fact existed in turn. Fox failed to meet its burden," the Judge found, before using italics and all-caps to emphasize the central point. It "is CRYSTAL clear that none of the [Fox] Statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true."

In a no-uncertain terms defeat for Fox, the 130-page Order [PDF] handed down on Friday by Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis found, as a matter of law, that the Fox "News" Network (FNN), during its post-election coverage of the 2020 Presidential Election, published four categories of false statements about Dominion Voting Systems. No evidence was presented by the Republican propaganda outlet to counter those material facts.

The court also found, as a matter of law, that Fox' statements amounted to "defamation per se," a finding that establishes that damages are to be presumed in the voting machine company's $1.6 billion dollar lawsuit.

All of the Fox motions for Summary Judgement to dismiss the case were "DENIED" by the court. Dominion's motion for Summary Judgement on Liability were "GRANTED in part and DENIED in part."

Barring a settlement by the parties, the case is now scheduled to proceed to trial in mid-April. Some of Fox' top stars, including Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Maria Bartiromo are believed likely to be called to the stand as witnesses...

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

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Uncertainty and necessity of Trump indictment(s); Bragg ponders 'perp walk' protocol; MAGA fears a protest 'trap'; Fox 'News' eating its own...
By Brad Friedman on 3/21/2023 5:33pm PT  

Looks like Donald Trump was not "ARRESTED ON TUESDAY" as he lied (again) to his easily-duped followers over the weekend. But, just to put this up front on today's BradCast: We reject the notion that indicting the former President in relation to a hush-money payment made to help him win the 2016 Presidential election --- and the payments made while he was in the White House to cover it all up --- is a "minor crime" not worth indicting a former President for. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

That point is explained in much more detail on today's program, along with other related stories and important points, as the GOP begins to collapse in on itself...

  • Given that no U.S. President has ever been indicted, nobody knows how (or if) this will work out, and what will happen after Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in New York (or Fani Willis in Georgia, or Special Counsel Jack Smith at the federal level), actually brings an indictment against Trump. That is, presuming one or more of them actually do, as we also discussed with callers on yesterday's program.
  • A so-called "liberal" at Facebook was critical of our coverage yesterday, even if he doesn't appear to have either listened to it, or even read the item we posted along with it. His critique seems to be that, on this week's 20th Anniversary of George W. Bush's unlawful, accountability-free invasion of Iraq and the war crimes that followed it (as discussed yesterday as well), we shouldn't be wasting time discussing accountability for Donald Trump. He is wrong for a host of reasons...
  • ...Several of which also happen to be discussed in Will Bunch's newsletter at Philly Inquirer today, headlined "U.S. presidents and their crime spree since 1968." Bunch concludes his piece with this on-point observation:

    So let me get this straight: We look the other way when our leaders oversee war crimes or greenlight torture or commit quasi-treason with foreign adversaries because the American presidency is too big to fail, but we're also going to ignore a cut-and-dried lower-level crime because it's too small? I'd argue that charging Trump with violating a law that applies to 333 million other Americans is a first baby step toward undoing 55 years of gross injustice, and it's long overdue. We need to rediscover that it's still illegal even when a president does it.
  • Meanwhile, as GOP House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (along with the Republican chairs of the Oversight and Administration Committees) is demanding NY D.A. Bragg come in to testify and turn over all documents from his criminal grand jury probe of Trump --- before any indictment has even been issued --- it seems worth noting that Congressional subpoenas are now optional. Jordan and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and several other GOP members made that clear last year when they ignored similar requests from the House January 6 Committee and faced no accountability for their Contempt. Nonetheless, they are apparently hoping to weaponize the federal government at this point to prevent elected state law enforcement officials from doing their job of fighting crime.
  • All of that, while Bragg is reportedly considering whether Trump will be forced to carry out the same "perp walk" that all other white collar criminals facing felony crimes in NYC must face, or whether a former President should be given special consideration for some reason.
  • At the same time, in the wake of Trump exhorting supporters to "PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST!!!", very few seem to be answering his call so far. That may be because many of them reportedly believe it's all a trap by the Feds! (Marjorie Taylor Greene, however, believes there's no need to protest, because any indictment of Trump only assures he will be re-elected in 2024. Maybe. Though it begs the question as to how other Republicans, like Jordan and Trump himself, can claim that indictments are only being brought to hurt his chances in 2024.)
  • And while all of those rightwingers collapse in on themselves, Fox "News" appears to be doing the same thing. A producer named in Dominion Voting Systems' $1.6 billion defamation suit against the Republican propaganda outlet is now suing Fox, claiming misogyny by Tucker Carlson and his staff and that she and Maria Bartiromo are being sacrificed by the company for their false reporting on fraud in the 2020 Presidential election. She is also charging she was coerced by Fox attorneys into offering misleading testimony in the Dominion lawsuit. As Media Matters' Angelo Carusone told us on this show several weeks ago regarding the damage that Dominion's suit may due to Fox: "It's sort of like a Jenga puzzle. Pulling one block is not going topple it down, but its certainly gonna make it a lot more vulnerable to toppling. The tiniest little breeze will probably knock the rest of it over." --- Well, it's getting pretty windy at Fox "News" these days.
  • Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, including news on the 12th(!) major winter storm now slamming California this season; unprecedented heat records smashed in Argentina; and the latest warning from the U.N. that the window for avoiding catastrophic, irreversible damage to the climate is almost closed, requiring an unprecedented worldwide effort to radically cut fossil fuel emissions before the end of this decade...

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Also: McConnell checks into rehab; DeSantis flip-flops on Ukraine; NM expands right to vote...
By Brad Friedman on 3/14/2023 5:30pm PT  

On today's BradCast: If lying to Americans about crime failed to result in a "red wave" for Republicans in 2022, perhaps lying to them about "woke" banks will do the trick in 2024! I'm sure it'll work. [Audio link to full show is posted below this summary.]

Among the many stories and important context offered on today's program...

  • Moody's considers downgrading the U.S. banking sector in the wake of several bank failures in recent days, even while declaring that the industry's outlook remains strong.
  • Inflation has eased slightly over the past month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wall Street rejoices.
  • Elizabeth Warren, as usual, was right when she warned in 2018 that rolling back the Dodd-Frank Act (enacted to prevent bank failures after the 2008 banking crisis) to loosen regulations and oversight of banks like Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank would end in disaster. As she noted at the time, before Donald Trump signed the bill to loosen restrictions on financial institutions: "Washington is about to make it easier for the banks to run up risk, make it easier to put our constituents at risk, make it easier to put American families in danger, just so the C.E.O.s of these banks can get a new corporate jet and add another floor to their new corporate headquarters." As usual, we should have heeded her warning.
  • Today we explain exactly happened that resulted in the failure and subsequent federal takeover of SVB and Signature by the FDIC, in case it hasn't yet been made clear. And, while the unnecessary failures stem directly from loosening government oversight and restrictions on banks to gamble with depositer funds, as allowed by Congress and Trump in 2018, what didn't cause it, is "wokeness." That's the explanation from Fox "News" over the past few days for what happened.
  • The cause of the bank failures was also not ESG (Environmental Social Governance) or DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, as Fox itself boasts about on its own company's website) or CRT or LGBTQ or anything else that Fox and Ron DeSantis are lying about to Americans about.
  • But what does appear to be true, when it comes to the latest Fox/DeSantis boogeyman of "woke", is that Americans have no problem with being "informed, educated on, and aware of social injustice," the definition of "woke" according to most Americans in a new USA Today/Ipsos poll. The same survey also finds Americans overwhelmingly (75% to 21%) in opposition of book banning by state's such as DeSantis' Florida.
  • 81-year old Republican minority Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has now been released from the hospital after suffering a concussion from a fall last week. But he has checked into inpatient rehab for some reason. We truly hope he will be okay, if only because he may now be the only thing still holding together Congressional GOP support for Ukraine in its war against imperialistic invading Russia.
  • As we learned on Monday night via Tucker Carlson on Fox, DeSantis is now against supporting Ukraine in what he now describes as a "territorial dispute" with Russia, the authoritarian-led nation that has invaded it. As it turns out, DeSantis, while a member of Congress, was strongly in favor of the U.S. supporting Ukraine with lethal aide against Putin. That was before he became a contender for the 2024 GOP Presidential nomination and decided to be against it. The survival of democracy in Europe is, apparently, no longer important for either of the GOP's two 2024 front-runners. Donald Trump has said his "peace plan" is to allow Russia to "take over" parts of Ukraine.
  • But some good news for democracy out of New Mexico, where the state legislature finally passed a voting rights bill on Monday that will expand the franchise to all residents who are now out of prison; strengthen access to the ballot for Native Americans; make Election Day a state holiday; and significantly strengthen the state's automatic voter registration program.
  • Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report. Among our stories: The Biden Administration's approval of controversial new oil drilling projects in Alaska, even while banning future such operations in Alaska and the Arctic Sea at the same time; Mack Truck introduces another electrified model; and Tropical Storm Freddy smashes all-time records in the Indian Ocean...

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Russia's missile assault on Ukraine; Trump's 'peace plan' censored by Hannity; Dominion will win Summary Judgement against Fox, attorney explains; 1/6 rioters trashed Senator's office; Finchem sanctioned in AZ; La Nina finally over; NY on verge of indicting Trump?...
By Brad Friedman on 3/9/2023 6:49pm PT  

It's another news-packed BradCast today, including some details and context you likely have not heard elsewhere.

Among our many stories today...

  • More war crimes by Russia, as the imperialistic aggressor nation launched a brutal, nationwide missile assault against Ukraine on Thursday. They claimed the bombardment was a "retaliation strike" for "terrorist actions" said to involve an attack by Ukrainian nationals who crossed the border into Russia's Bryansk region. There was no apparent evidence of such an attack as of this morning, but golly it must be bad when someone crosses your border to attack you.
  • Donald Trump has been claiming he has a plan to end the war in Ukraine "immediately". He revealed his ingenious plan on Sean Hannity's radio show this week. Apparently, the secret is to allow Russia to "take over" parts of Ukraine. When Hannity aired parts of that radio interview on his Fox "News" show later that night, they conspicuously, and clumsily, removed that part of Trump's comments. We share the evidence today.
  • It was efforts like that --- seemingly to protect the disgraced former President --- that helped Fox "News" find itself as defendant in a $1.6 billion defamation suit by Dominion Voting Systems which charges the Republican propaganda mill knowingly, and with "actual malice" lied about the company's voting systems after the 2020 election. The voluminous, well-documented allegations demonstrating that Fox knew it was lying about false fraud claims have been well covered elsewhere. But today we take a few minutes to share some specific thoughts from an attorney who predicts that Dominion will win their motion for Summary Judgement on liability in the case, leaving only the need for a jury trial on damages. It's actually less a prediction than a matter of law, according to the argument. We explain that argument today, as we haven't heard it offered broadly elsewhere.
  • This week, Fox' Tucker Carlson has been busy attempting to rewrite the history of Trump's deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection as little more than a peaceful "sightseeing" tour by those who "revered" the Capitol. His laughable segments have been roundly criticized from all quarters and are based on what is purportedly previously unseen security camera footage from the Capitol given to him exclusively by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. But, in addition to the evidence of the deadly riot that you have already seen with your own eyes, NBC News offered some previously unseen video today of the 1/6 trashing of a Republican Senator's office, by a guy who drove a stun gun into a police officer's neck that same day. Apparently, Tucker has yet to reveal that video to his viewers.
  • Arizona's failed 2022 Republican Sec. of State candidate and 2020 election denier Mark Finchem was sanctioned by a state judge this week for "groundless" claims that he lost his 2022 election due to fraud. The judge ordered him to pay attorney fees for the winning Democratic Secretary of State and Gubernatorial candidates after noting that "none of Contestant Finchem’s allegations, even if true, would have changed the vote count enough to overcome the 120,000 votes he needed to affect the result of this election." Nonetheless, Finchem still refuses to concede and says he will appeal the court's decision.
  • The three-year La Nina --- which increases Atlantic hurricane activity and worsens western drought, among other things --- is now officially over, according to NOAA. We explain what that means...and doesn't.
  • Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, with even more bad news than usual, most of which comes courtesy of the corrupt Big Oil industry.
  • And, finally, just before our hour is up, breaking news out of New York suggesting the Manhattan District Attorney is on the precipice of filing criminal charges against Donald J. Trump...

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Guests: Political scientists Tarah Williams and Andrew Bloeser of Allegheny College; Also: Tucker, House GOP stepping on rakes...
By Brad Friedman on 3/8/2023 7:06pm PT  

Much of our politics in the U.S. these days warrants more mockery and less outrage. Some, however, warrants more concern than Americans may yet fully appreciate. We discuss all of the above on today's BradCast. [Audio link to full show is posted below this summary.]

First up, we started the year with many Democrats troubled by what Republicans might do with their Committee "investigations" upon gaining back majority control of the U.S. House. We advised at the time that the promised Committee probes of stuff like Hunter Biden and the so-called "weaponization" of the U.S. Government were more likely than not to backfire on Republicans.

If last week's impressively aggressive response by House Democrats to Chair Jim Jordan's supposed FBI "whistleblowers" is any indication, things are already going quickly South for them. The Dems' 300+ page report [PDF] details the testimony and backgrounds of the first of these "whistleblowers" to be interviewed by the new House Select Subcommittee on the "Weaponization of the U.S. Government." They turn out not to be whistleblowers at all, but paid Donald Trump shills and disgruntled conspiracists who are unable to cite any actual violations of law, according to the Democrats report.

In a similar vein, we strongly recommend mockery as the correct response to Tucker Carlson's silly, cherry-picked segments this week, supposedly based on 40,000 or so hours of U.S. Capitol security camera footage from January 6, 2021, turned over to him by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Tucker is hoping to rewrite the history and known facts of Trump's deadly insurrection as little more than "sightseeing" and "mostly peaceful chaos". As it turns out, the U.S. Capitol Police chief, top elected Republicans in the Capitol that day, and, yes, even Fox "News" itself, seem to strongly disagree with Tucker's attempted revision of history.

But, while much of the phony outrage by far-right trolls like Carlson and Jordan deserve more laughter and mockery than outrage or panic from Dems, there is still plenty to be concerned about in our post-Trump politics, according to fascinating findings from researchers based on a nationally representative survey of 1,500 Americans from strong Democrats to independents to strong Republicans.

One of the most alarming findings is that "majorities of every political stripe agree or strongly agree with" the statement that "the only way our country can solve its current problems is by supporting tough leaders who will crack down on those who undermine American values. "

That, of course, sounds somewhat like authoritarianism, though the researchers left concepts like "current problems", "crack[ing] down", and "American values" intentionally vague in their survey for reasons they explain on today's program.

We're joined today by two of the report's four authors, Allegheny College Asst. Professor of Political Science TARAH WILLIAMS and Associate Professor ANDREW BLOESER, Director of the college's Center for Political Participation. Their recent article, summarizing their study's findings, leads with the troubling news of majorities, across all partisan lines, who support "crack[ing] down on those who undermine American values."

"It was fairly remarkable," Williams explains. "We anticipate that those who are answering this as Strong Democrats vs. Strong Republicans may have quite different visions of those folks who undermine American values. But the fact that there is this visible support across the board, we thought was really quite concerning."

The researchers discuss findings on partisan positions regarding things like "bending the rules" or "using rough language" to criticize political rivals or to "get things done," as well as how Americans feel about shutting down news organizations "attempting to undermine American values". Unsurprisingly (if still disturbingly) 72% of self-identified "strong Republicans" either agree or strongly agree with shutting down news organizations. Troubling in another way, a third (33%) of Strong Democrats feel the same way!

As to why some of the terms used in the survey are left intentionally vague, Bloeser explains, "Respondents may have their own ideas about what 'American values' mean to them. The next critical question is, 'What would you do in the service of your values? You believe that you are right, therefore, are you willing to say some groups in society should be, in a very blanket way, criticized, demeaned? Do you think that we should shut down the free press, something that is clearly anti-democratic? Do you think that it's fair for a leader to bend the rules for some groups in society to the detriment of others?' So you might have a variety of different goals that you think are noble in mind, but at the point where you're willing to undermine democracy, you're trading in something pretty significant there."

"Significant proportions of people across the political spectrum, but especially on the political right - Republicans and Strong Republicans --- are willing to say that crackdowns on entire groups, shutting down the free press, and bending the rules for people like them would be acceptable in service of what they think America should be. And that really is the pattern that we want be concerned about."

"It's not a tie," Bloeser is careful to note. "We certainly see it more on the political Right among self-identified Republicans. But the fact that some of those attitudes also exist fairly widely among Democrats should also be a concern. Because when one group starts to see another group as an existential threat, these are the things that can pull apart the fabric of society, and that can really undermine democracy."

Their study, published by Cambridge University Press, is titled "Are Stealth Democrats Really Committed to Democracy?" Williams makes clear that the reference is to small "d" democrats, as opposed to the Democratic Party.

"'Stealth democracy' is a notion that there are some individuals who would prefer a government that they don't really have to see," she tells me. "They don't like high-conflict politics. They think people making compromises is weak or failing to represent values. And they think it's a slog, which, let's be honest, policy-making is. So for those reasons, people who tend to be stealth democrats tend to prefer this expedient process that in a lot of ways looks distinct from what we think about as the necessary machinations of democracy."

As I note in response, "stealth democracy" sounds a whole lot like autocracy to me. Neither Williams nor Bloeser seem to disagree...

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Also: Computer tabulators declared losing candidates to be winners in at least two states in the November, 2022 mid-terms...
By Brad Friedman on 2/20/2023 6:22pm PT  

Yes, it's possible that two seemingly conflicting things can be true at once. On today's BradCast we report on two different cases where that is true, regarding Russia's war on Ukraine and Dominion Voting Systems' defamation case against Fox "News". [Audio link to full show is posted below this summary.]

First up today, on Presidents' Day, Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine to meet with its President Volodymyr Zelenskyy just days before the first anniversary of Russia's horrific invasion of its sovereign neighbor. It was also just days after Vice President Kamala Harris declared at the Munich Security Conference over the weekend that the U.S. believes Russia has committed "crimes against humanity" in their unlawful invasion.

In his remarks, President Biden described "a brutal and unjust war," as air raid sirens were heard during his visit to the Ukrainian capital. "One year later, Kyiv stands," said Biden after meeting with Zelenskyy at Mariinsky Palace. "And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands. The Americans stand with you, and the world stands with you." As we discuss, yes, it's possible to understand various diplomatic missteps taken by the U.S. and NATO in Eastern Europe following the fall of the Soviet Union, while still being able to hold the correct party accountable --- in this case, Russia --- for unjustifiable and continuing atrocities.

As yet another war in defense of democracy rages in Europe against a tyrannical autocracy, a decades-long champion of democracy in the U.S. and across the world is now in his final hours. On Saturday, the Carter Center in Atlanta announced that "After a series of short hospital stays," 98-year old former President Jimmy Carter has "decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention."

We share some thoughts today on the legacy of our 39th President, including some of his comments last year on the first anniversary of the Donald Trump-incited Republican attempt to overthrow the U.S. Government on January 6, 2021. "One year on, promoters of the lie that the election was stolen have taken over one political party and stoked distrust in our electoral systems," Carter wrote at New York Times. "These forces exert power and influence through relentless disinformation, which continues to turn Americans against Americans."

The "relentless disinformation" of Fox "News" has been on full display for the past several days, following last week's redacted unsealing of Dominion Voting Systems' 192-page motion [PDF] seeking summary judgment in its $1.6 billion defamation suit against the right-wing fake news outlet. As the striking filing reveals in detail, Fox hosts and executives alike knew they were broadcasting fake, evidence-free claims of election fraud by Trump and his supporters following the 2020 election. They didn't much care. Instead, they feared losing viewers and chose to put company profits above both truth and the health of American democracy.

Dominion may prevail in this case. We hope they do. Even as we have been no friend to the company or any of the other oft-failed, private computer voting and tabulation firms over the past 20 years. In fact, some of the news misreported by Fox and Trump's supporters like Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani was taken directly from some of our accurate, exclusive reporting from years ago. But, again, two seemingly conflicting things can be true at once. Fox lied about election fraud and should be held accountable for that, and Dominion and other voting system vendors have repeatedly failed in American elections.

By way of fresh evidence to support that charge, we close with details on voting system failures in both New Jersey and California in November of 2022. In both cases, the systems ended up naming candidates who actually lost to be the winners and vice versa. In Monmouth County, NJ, the ES&S voting tabulators allowed duplicate votes to be uploaded to it twice. It wasn't discovered until last month. In Alameda County, CA, the tabulators were programmed incorrectly to do the impossible math of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) elections in the Bay area. It was discovered in late December last year by a pro-RCV organization who happened to run the math on their own computers and discovered the error.

In both cases, the errors were discovered after losing candidates were certified as winners. How many places did that happen but wasn't ever discovered, because human beings rarely bother to count ballots to make sure the computers did so accurately. This is what comes of outsourcing public elections to private companies and running elections on computer systems that are virtually impossible to oversee by the American public.

Many more details --- and callers --- on all of the above on today's program!...

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The President's son threatens legal action against rightwing media, seeks legal probe of 'stolen' emails; Also: Omar pushes back against GOP revenge vote; And, a 'BradCast' programming announcement!...
By Brad Friedman on 2/2/2023 6:51pm PT  

Apparently, our week of GOP debunkery continues on today's BradCast. I have a feeling we may be at it for quite some time, as Republicans are just getting started with their crash and burn majority control of the U.S. House. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

On yesterday's program, we shared a few clips from interviews this week with the new Republican Chair of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. James Comer of Kentucky. He explained why he was dead set on his committee investigating the connection between classified documents found by Joe Biden's aides at his Delaware residence (and immediately returned to the federal government) and concerns about "influence peddling" by the President and his family. That, despite any actual evidence to support the allegations.

Comer also made clear he had no interest in his Committee investigating the former President, despite the hundreds of classified documents he'd stolen from the White House (and refused to return, with many still missing) and mountains of evidence of influence peddling by Donald Trump and many of his children, including son-in-law Jared Kushner who received $2 billion from the Saudis just after Trump left office.

There was one point Comer focused on, however, in an effort to buttress his case. "There's one email that's been identified that is suspicious, that we want to look into," he explained. "We want to make sure that this one email that was on Hunter Biden's laptop wasn't one of the classified documents" found at Biden's residence in DE.

This claim seems to stem from an allegation first published by a New York Post columnist, apparently. GOP Senators have also been citing the same claim of late. Sen. Ron Johnson (WI) recently argued on Fox Business that an email from 2014, said to have been found on what Republicans have long claimed to be an "abandoned" laptop from the President's son contained "a very detailed analysis of what's happening in Ukraine." Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) alleged on a podcast that information in the email "could easily have come from a classified briefing."

Washington Post's Glenn Kessler examined the allegation and the evidence today. He found that the facts stated in the 22-point email said to be from Hunter actually lined up with information that was not only on the public record at the time, but published by major news outlets just weeks before the date of the email. "Laptop email suggests Hunter Biden read newspapers, not classified documents," Kessler's headline reads today. He awarded "Three Pinocchios" to the claims from Johnson and Cruz, as echoed by Oversight Committee Chair Comer on Sunday.

At the same time, Hunter Biden, after years of staying quiet about all of this, appears to now be pushing back. His attorneys recently sent legal letters to Fox "News" and Tucker Carlson, for example, demanding they retract and apologize for what the letters characterize as defamatory statements. They've also sent letters seeking criminal investigations by both state and federal authorities into the dissemination of his personal data by folks like Rudy Giuliani in the run-up to the 2020 election, making clear that while some of the data discovered was his, he neither authorized its public release, nor dropped off an allegedly abandoned laptop at a repair shop, as the GOP story, initially spread by Giuliani, goes.

Much more on all of the above today. But if Republican members of Congress believe that House investigations into this sort of stuff is what voters want them to do, after months of campaigning on claims of out-of-control crime, record inflation, high gas prices, etc., they are likely very wrong. At least according to a new report on focus groups of independent voters in Wisconsin, Virginia and Texas.

Next up today, we share some of the remarks by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the House floor today before a vote by House Republicans to remove her from the Foreign Affairs Committee based on comments they regard as anti-Israel four years ago. In truth, the move by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy --- who was finally able to scrounge up the minimum number of votes needed to remove her (all Dems voted in her favor) --- was clearly revenge for Democrats removing Reps. Marjorie Taylor Green (GA) and Paul Gosar (AZ) from their committee assignments during the last Congress. That, after they each posted violent threats against Democrats. (For example, Green promoted a comment from a supporter calling for the assassination of then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Gosar posted a video in which he is depicted as decapitating Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Biden with a ninja sword.)

Then, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, as Big Oil profiteers announce all-time record profits after a year or two of inflating gas prices; and the Biden EPA announces some very good news for longtime opponents of what would have been a toxic mining project in a pristine part of Alaska.

Finally today, a programming announcement for The BradCast! We will be moving to a four-day-a-week, Monday through Thursday schedule (with rebroadcasts scheduled for Friday) for the foreseeable future. While there are no emergencies, as noted on the program, there are several reasons for this change. Catching up on some long overdue health issues (physical, emotional, mental) is just one of them. We're fine. But, after moving from a weekly to a daily schedule back in early 2015, in order to cover the 2016 elections, and then staying with that schedule thanks to the "surprise" ending of that election, and then continuing on through four years of Trump and a years-long pandemic...well, we've got a lot to catch up with here and hope you will both understand and forgive us for our need to take Fridays off for a while. Perhaps even permanently. (Feel free to leave any complaints in the comments section below, however!)

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Formalizing 2020's ad-hoc strategy, Republicans have organized nationally to create and unleash phony fraud claims, as needed, amid the havoc of next Tuesday's critical elections...
By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2022 6:49pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, we continue our focus on next Tuesday's critical midterm elections by picking things up, somewhat, from our conversation on yesterday's program. [Audio link to full show is posted below.]

We were joined yesterday by longtime election and voting system expert Eddie Perez to discuss, among other things, what he has been writing about as the "manufactured chaos" that Republicans are creating to wreak havoc in the 2022 elections.

Today, we dive into broader details of that organized, manufactured chaos program that is emerging as a national strategy by the GOP to create enough havoc around the country to allow them a patina of "evidence" with which to challenge results of election outcomes they don't like.

A number of seemingly disparate efforts are actually now emerging as of a piece with a national strategy that you (and the Democrats and the media) need to know about before it all comes crashing down at once amid chaotic smoke and mirrors on Election Day and thereafter.

This is clearly an effort that echoes the less coordinated post-election chaos of 2020. Many of the same players are involved, including corrupt Trump attorneys John Eastman and Cleta Mitchell, as well as his convicted former aide Steve Bannon, the laughable billionaire pillow guy Mike Lindell, not to mention those in the far-right political media set to help execute the strategy as if it is legitimate, from Tucker Carlson on down.

The hope, as Josh Kovensky outlines at TPM today, is to sow the seeds of enough chaos to be able to create court cases and "thousands of sworn affidavits" (sound familiar?) to "credibly" point to (false) claims of "fraud" in virtually any election around the country next week, if and when they don't win it. "The chaos is the point," he writes.

We pull many of these threads together on today's program. One example is the seemingly isolated case of the campaign manager for Maryland's white nationalist Republican candidate for Attorney General who directed supporters at a rally last weekend to vote next Tuesday "as late in the day as possible," explaining that, "If everyone could stand in long, long lines at 6 o’clock, that would actually help us."

Then there are the door-to-door canvassers --- organized in part by folks like Eastman, Bannon, Lindell, Mitchell and others --- who, according to a Reuters report today, have been active in at least 23 states. They are dressing as if they are government officials --- sometimes armed and with badges --- intimidating voters with questions about who lives in their house, what their voting record is, etc. They appear to be collecting information to use to challenge voters on Election Day at the polls and/or in the post-election period, as required to create enough chaos to offer the appearance of fraud and/or uncertainty in the legitimacy of election results. And, yes, Fox "News" and the rest will be standing by to report all of these false accusations as if they are real.

Forewarned is forearmed, as they say. It's important that you --- not to mention the Democratic Party and everyone at legitimate media outlets --- understand what is going on before the fog of chaotic election war overwhelms all of us beginning next Tuesday.

In a not unrelated story today, we noted yesterday that AP has found more than 100 election lawsuits have already been brought this year related to the 2022 elections. Most have been filed by Republicans in efforts to make voting more difficult. We detailed several of those cases yesterday (in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada). Today we discuss one filed in Illinois that seeks to invalidate lawful absentee ballots that are cast on or before Election Day but do not arrive until afterward, in the two week period allowed by state law. A Republican Congressman is suing to block the counting of those votes, even though they are lawfully cast ballots that could include tens of thousands cast by members of the U.S. military stationed overseas. The complaint was originally filed in May of this year. But the Trump-appointed federal judge overseeing the case has yet to rule on it, for some reason, with Election Day less than a week away. Chaos in waiting.

Also, since we quickly waved at these Trump accountability stories at the top of today's show, some links for more deets for ya:

  • A judge has appointed an independent monitor to oversee Trump Organization finances in the civil fraud suit filed by NY A.G. Letitia James against Trump, his company and his three oldest kids.
  • The NY criminal tax fraud case against the Trump Organization is now under way.
  • Top Trump aide Kash Patel has been granted immunity to testify against him before a federal grand jury probing the documents Trump stole upon leaving the White House.
  • Trump settled the lawsuit against him for ordering his security goons to beat up protesters in front of Trump Tower in 2015, as jury selection was underway in the case.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report with a whole bunch of climate related stories both good and bad as winter is coming...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Guest: Stephanie Foggett of The Soufan Center...
By Brad Friedman on 8/16/2022 6:53pm PT  

We really do have (at least) two Americas at this point. One America, led by President Joe Biden and his Democratic party in Congress, who have now triumphantly signed into law the largest climate bill in U.S. history, which also includes landmark measures to make healthcare cheaper for tens of millions of Americans. And another America, which is calling for violence, mayhem and murder of American law enforcement officials, and they are led there by the disgraced former President of the United States. We discuss both Americas on today's BradCast. Apologies in advance for the whiplash. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

On Tuesday, Joe Biden signed the historic, if somewhat misleadingly named, Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a trimmed down version of his Build Back Better Act which was blocked by all 50 Senate Republicans and two Democrat last year. The IRA, however, includes some $400 billion to finally begin tackling climate change and moving the nation from dirty fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy; institutes a $2,000 annual cap on prescription drug costs for seniors; allows Medicare to negotiate for cheaper prices with drug companies for the first time ever; and increases taxes on hugely profitable corporations that currently pay no taxes at all. It also helps pays down the deficit and a bunch of other things.

It was passed in both chambers of Congress, where Democrats hold the thinnest of majorities in each, without one single Republican vote, as the President took pains to note during his White House signing ceremony today.

"Let’s be clear," Biden said, "In this historic moment, Democrats sided with the American people, and every single Republican in the Congress sided with the special interests in this vote — every single one. In fact, big drug companies spent nearly $100 million to defeat this bill. A hundred million dollars. And remember: Every single Republican in Congress voted against this bill."

"We’re delivering results for the American people," the President boasted. "We didn’t tear down; we built up. We didn’t look back; we looked forward. And today offers further proof that the soul of America is vibrant, the future of America is bright, and the promise of America is real and just beginning."

"I know there are those here today who hold a dark and despairing view of this country," Biden said. "I’m not one of them. I believe in the promise of America. I believe in the future of this country. I believe in the very soul of this nation. And most of all, I believe in you, the American people."

As to those who do "hold a dark and despairing view of this country," many of them have been showing their true, dark colors over the past week since the FBI obtained a lawful warrant to search Donald Trump's Florida compound for highly classified and sensitive national security documents that he stole from the White House upon leaving office last year.

After Trump revealed the search publicly last week, using rhetoric seemingly chosen to incite violence --- falsely citing "prosecutorial misconduct," "weaponization of the Justice System," describing the U.S. as a "broken, Third-World Country" --- there has been what the DHS and FBI described in a bulletin last week as an "unprecedented" number of "violent threats" against federal law enforcement, courts and government personnel and facilities.

"These threats are occurring primarily online and across multiple platforms, including social media sites, web forums, video sharing platforms, and image boards," the bulletin warns. It was published the day after a Donald Trump supporter was killed following his attempt to attack an FBI field office in Ohio with a nail gun and an AR-15, and as another Trump supporter was taken into custody and charged for issuing graphic calls to "slaughter" federal officers on several different social media cites.

And while threats on far-right, neo-Nazi Internet sites reportedly spiked following Trump's announcement of the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago, it has also spiked on "mainstream" Rightwing media outlets like Fox "News", where the rhetoric --- from many of its prime time hosts and elected Republican officials alike --- has become hauntingly similar to that found on the darkest, far-right cesspools of the Internet.

We're joined today by STEPHANIE FOGGETT, a Research Fellow at The Soufan Center and Director of Global Communications at The Soufan Group, where her areas of expertise include terrorism, online extremism and the rise of white supremacy. She has a great deal of perspective to offer on this issue.

"This rhetoric is alarming, but it is not surprising, especially given the online spaces and activity that I watch every day," she tells me. "I monitor the darkest and most violent corners of this information ecosystem, and I really think, above all, it's important to know that these threats and attacks on law enforcement, they're not coming out of a vacuum."

Indeed, as Matt Gertz at Media Matters observed last week "Fox and other right-wing outlets describe the search as 'the worst attack on this republic in modern history,' part of a 'preemptive coup' to prevent Trump’s reelection, and a sign the country is now a 'tyranny.' They say the FBI is acting like 'the East German Stasi in the Cold War' and the Nazi 'Gestapo,' and call its agents part of a 'lawless criminal organization' that 'planted evidence,' bugged Trump’s bedroom, and may be planning his 'assassination.'"

"And they are quick to tell their viewers that they should fear their own persecution in the wake of the search," Gertz writes. "According to right-wing outlets, 'the real target of this investigation is you'." Just last night, Tucker Carlson, the most popular host on the nation's most popular cable "news" outlet, told viewers that President Biden is now "declar[ing] war on his own population."

"It's rinsing and repeating narratives and concerns that we saw with the Stop the Steal campaign and things like that," Foggett explains. "It's really tapping into this narrative on the far-right that if they can go after a President they will be able to come after you one day."

She worries even more "about what comes next," while offering both historical context for this current moment --- in which "every agency in America, from intelligence agencies to law enforcement agencies [have] come to the assessment that the far-right and domestic extremism is the greatest threat that America is facing today" --- and ways in which responsible Americans can respond in hopes of decreasing the threat.

"It is tricky, and there is no silver bullet. There's no one single thing that can be done to address this," Foggett asserts, before describing how individuals can be mindful of what they share online --- stuff that is meant to go viral with misleading messages --- and how "it's really about individuals in positions of power to be much more careful about the things that they say, and how they interact with the violence that this movement promises."

In short, solving this problem won't be easy, and things may get much worse before they get better. But there are ways to educate Americans about these now main-streamed extremists and ways to "isolate them by rejecting them, by ignoring them, and by denouncing them."

Finally today, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, with more on the Democrats' historic climate bill and several alarming new reports underscoring how the measure has finally become law not a moment too soon...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Special coverage with Salon's Heather Digby Parton; U.S. Army vet, attorney, former Republican, Keith Barber...
By Brad Friedman on 6/10/2022 5:09pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we kick off our special coverage of the bipartisan U.S. House Select Committee's public hearings on Donald Trump's unprecedented attempt to steal the 2020 Presidential election via not only the deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection he incited, but via a well-coordinated (by Trump standards) 7-point scheme. [Audio link to full show is posted below this summary.]

During Thursday night's gripping and, at times, emotional first prime time hearing, the Committee began to lay out their case, placing the disgraced former President firmly at the center of "an attempted coup". It was a plot to prevent the peaceful transfer of power for the first time in our nation's history. The panel detailed what we will learn over a series of at least five more hearings over the next two weeks.

Last night, they employed disturbing, never before seen footage of the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, and snippets of stunning video-taped testimony from a number of Trump's top officials and his own family members.

The pieces of evidence laid out on Thursday already make clear that Trump was told time and again, for weeks before the assault, that there was no evidence to support his claim that he lost the election due to fraud. His own Attorney General Bill Barr told him on several occasions that the claim was "bullshit." His own daughter, Ivanka Trump agreed with Barr. Both were seen testifying to that end on video last night.

Meanwhile, after Trump incited his supporters --- including extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers --- to attack the Capitol and threaten the life of Vice President Mike Pence, Trump did nothing to stop them for hours. His top general, Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified that Pence contacted the military several times on January 6 to put down the insurrection, while the former President took no action at all. His Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, however, did contact Milley in an attempt to "kill the narrative that the Vice President was making all the decisions" and to "establish the narrative that the President is still in charge."

The damning evidence was presented before two live witnesses took the stand. One was documentary filmmaker Nick Quested, who was embedded with the Proud Boys on the night before the insurrection and the day of, capturing both their chilling assault on January 6 and a secret meeting between the heads of both the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers on the night before. U.S. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, reportedly the first of more than 100 law enforcement officials to be critically injured that day, testified how she had been knocked unconscious by the Trump supporters, before awaking to continue the fight among "carnage" and "chaos" while slipping on the blood of her fellow law enforcement officers and being attacked with pepper spray from the violent mob.

There was much more presented by Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY), suggesting several of Trump's top allies in Congress sought pardons after January 6, and that, as his supporters were chanting "Hang Mike Pence!", Trump was following along via television in the Oval Office; became irate at aides urging him to take action to quell the violence; and even declared, "maybe our supporters have the right idea, Mike Pence deserves it."

We're joined today for analysis by Salon's award-winning opinion journalist HEATHER DIGBY PARTON and former U.S. Army Captain and now-retired attorney KEITH BARBER (who was also a lifelong Republican, until Trump.) He had long been a contributor at Daily Kos on legal and constitutional matters, and now writes at Medium.

Among the many questions discussed today...

  • What did they learn Thursday night that they hadn't known previously?
  • Who are these hearings meant to reach?
  • Why was Fox "News" the only major broadcast or cable news network too terrified to allow their viewers to watch the proceedings?
  • Why is the Committee so focused on the violent, seditious conspiracy carried out by the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, and is there evidence they conspired directly with the Trump Administration?
  • What are the seven points in Trump's failed plot to steal the election that the Committee will detail in the days ahead?
  • How do the claims by Trump supporters that they support law enforcement square with the MAGA mob's brutal assault of Capitol Police?
  • What do both of our guests hope to see from the hearings in the days ahead?
  • And will the hearings continue to grab the attention of the American people?

Both Parton and Barber offer insight and analysis for us today on all of the above and much more!...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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