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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in Town of Long Island, reverse results of very close state contest, leaving officials baffled...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Gov. Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank issue's dire warning...
Previous GNRs: 11/20/14 - 11/18/14 - Archives...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting of Michael Brown
A few early thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice on the night of his announcement...
'Recount' Ahead for Oregon's GMO Labeling Measure
Fewer than 900 votes separate 'Yes' from 'No' on 'Right to Know' Measure 92, out of more than 1.5 million paper ballots tallied by computers statewide in Nov. 4 election...
GOP House Intel Committee Findings Debunk GOP BENGHAZI! 'Scandal'
Final report released quietly before holiday weekend and before eighth Republican BENGHAZI! committee set to convene...
Monster Energy Drink Not Just Crappy, Also the Work of Satan!
The indisputable video proof is now here!...
'Green News Report' 11/20/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record-breaking storm breaks Buffalo; October 2014 hottest October on record; Sorry, Repubs: China to cap coal use by 2020; PLUS: Obama doubles down on climate foreign policy...
Previous GNRs: 11/18/14 - 11/13/14 - Archives...
Extreme Weather? What Extreme Weather?
Yes, scientists have been warning us about this for years. And, yes, the record breaking storm in Buffalo is tied to global warming...
We're #26! Harvard 'Electoral Integrity' Report Dings U.S.
'World's Greatest Democracy' rated worst among Western nations; Ranked just below Micronesia, just above Mexico in overall list...
Gag Order Won't Ensure Impartial Jury in Trial of 'Dark Lord of Coal Country'
WV's criminally indicted coal boss and U.S. Chamber of Comm. director Don Blankeship presents challenge for federal prosecutors...
Oxford English Dictionary's 2014 Word of the Year: 'Vape'
That small point likely underscores some very encouraging news for the health of the world...
'Green News Report' 11/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
US Senate fails to approve Keystone XL; Can Congress override the Prez next year?; Native Americans: KXL is 'an act of war'; PLUS: Accountability for 'The Dark Lord of Coal'...
Previous GNRs: 11/13/14 - 11/11/14 - Archives...
Sanders on Colbert: Midterms a Vote Against Both Parties
For those mad at us for asserting 'not voting IS a vote', look who just said the same thing...
Exclusive: St. Louis County Was Warned Before Election Paper Ballots Would Run Out
Email obtained by BRAD BLOG reveals County's top election official ignored warnings from election experts, leading to shortages...
Not Voting IS a Vote
Stop blaming those who didn't turn out. Americans did vote. By not turning out, they voted against the two major parties and against the system as a whole. It may have been a dumb vote, but it was a landslide...
Stephen Colbert is Really REALLY Funny
This segment makes clear once again that it's very very sad The Colbert Report is soon going away...
'Green News Report' 11/13/14
Historic US-China agreement that GOP said couldn't be done; New hope for int'l treaty; Repub freak out; Scientists say deal not enough, but good start...
Crucial Moment for FCC & 'Net Neutrality'
Will the Democratic majority commissioners support the President's clarion call and thwart GOP opposition to an open Internet?...
Brad on Hartmann TV: Election 2014 Mess
On thousands of 'missing' votes in Wisconsin, on Nate Silver and polls vs. 'results', on Rightwing 'True the Vote' voter fraud fraudsters, and on much more...
'Green News Report' 11/11/14
'Science has spoken': Final UN report - bad, good & room for hope; PLUS: Margaret Thatcher's historic climate change speech - when conservatives accepted science ...
IN MEMORIAM: Tomas Young, 1979-2014
On Veterans Day, America added another casualty from the War on Iraq -- one who, after first meeting and interviewing him in 2005, we will never forget...
Early Data Suggests TX GOP Photo ID Restrictions 'Worked'
Provisional ballots doubled, turnout down by more 1/4 million votes, despite larger population, contested gov's race and increased voter registration...
WI Scanner Fails To Tally Thousands of Votes in 'Citizens United' Referendum
'Programming error' blamed for paper ballot tabulator recording just 16 of 5,350 votes in city of Stoughton, WI...
The Results Were Skewed Toward Republicans: A Response to Nate Silver
The statistics guru unhelpfully explains away mid-term's surprising outcome by presuming pre-election polling was wrong and unverified election results were all correct...
'True the Vote' Group Fails to Find 'Voter Fraud' (Again)
Laughingstock RW org's 'army' of monitors and smart phone app uncover just 18 benign 'irregularities', 0 cases of polling place impersonation...
'Green News Report' 11/6/14
Election 2014-pocalypse: Republican hegemonic hellscape!; Climate deniers now in charge; PLUS: At least one note of very good environmental election news...
About Last Night: KPFK 'BradCast'
Guest Matthew Segal of OurTime.org joins Brad to discuss whether young voters are to blame for Tuesday's election results and, if not them, then who...or what...
Reuters: Voting Probs Around Nation, 2,000 Missing Election Judges in Chicago
Wire service summarizes machine probs, Photo ID vote suppression and a really strange story out of Chicago...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who's really behind the failed November ballot scheme?
By Brad Friedman on 6/24/2014 7:35am PT  

Here's a bit of good news for California voters for a change: an effort to place a measure on the November 2014 ballot that would have implemented polling place Photo ID restrictions on voting in the Golden State has failed to gather enough signatures to qualify.

Similar voting restrictions enacted by Republicans around the country have recently been found to be in violation of both the U.S. Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act. See this recent federal court ruling in Wisconsin, for instance, or this state ruling in Pennsylvania.

Despite those recent blows and others to GOP efforts to implement such policies, the aborted effort in California, headed up by a shadowy organization calling itself GuardMyVote.org, would deny the right to vote to otherwise legal voters who failed to present very specific types of Photo ID at the polls, or a photocopy of same for absentee voters. The legislative language of the detailed 7-page initiative [PDF] would have required voters to present a Photo ID with an expiration date that, among other requirements, "was issued by the United States or the State of California (excluding public colleges and universities)."

Why state-issued Photo ID from public colleges and universities would not have been acceptable is not stated in the proposed measure, but similar GOP-enacted Photo ID restrictions in other states have been found by courts and academic studies alike to disproportionately discriminate against those who tend to vote Democratic, including minorities, the elderly, the poor and student voters.

Had the initiative made it onto the ballot and then been adopted by California voters, it would have taken effect on January 1, 2016, just in time for that year's Presidential election cycle. The failed effort may also prove to be a dodged bullet for Pete Peterson, the state's 2014 Republican nominee for Secretary of State who would have also been on the same ballot. Peterson managed to dodge some of The BRAD BLOG's specific questions about his position on such initiatives in "blue" California.

In a short search, the only names The BRAD BLOG has been able to find involved in the failed CA Photo ID measure appear to be two Rightwingers, though it's unlikely that either crafted the detailed legislative language of the proposal. The woman who submitted the initiative to the state identifies herself as a "conservative" talk radio host who broadcasts out of Palm Springs, even though, as the summary of the initiative [PDF] created by the state Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance found, the fiscal impact of the initiative was anything but conservative. The initiative, if adopted, would have included increased costs to state and local governments "potentially in the range of tens of millions of dollars per year" and required a potential increase in state funding of elections to the tune of "about $100 million," according to the legislative analysis.

The slick GuardMyVote.org webpage describes the group as a "pending" non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)4 social welfare organization. According to the site's "About Us" page: "Guard My Vote is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to protecting the integrity of the vote and the voter rights of all eligible California citizens, native born or naturalized."

The site accepts contributions but offers no information on exactly who they are, or who has funded either the initiative or the website. For all of their claims about "integrity," the site fails to list a single name or organization backing the initiative, so we had to do a bit of digging...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 6/23/2014 4:03pm PT  

Just getting back on the grid today after a few days off of it, so getting caught up with much, including today's release of the legal memo [PDF] detailing the Obama Administration's claim of legal authority for the 2011 targeted drone killing of U.S. citizen and alleged terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.

(Three other U.S. citizens were also killed in drone strikes abroad, including al-Awlaki's 16-year old son one month after his father, though the Administration contends those killings were incidental deaths during strikes targeting others...as if that makes them less awful somehow? In any event...)

As the Washington Post notes, portions of the document are redacted, including "paragraphs that presumably explained why the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel determined that killing Awlaki in a drone strike would not violate the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees due process to U.S. citizens accused of crimes."

The paper adds, however, that "the memo provides previously unknown details about the reasoning behind one of the most controversial counterterrorism operations carried out by the U.S. government since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."

But what caught my eye in particular today, was the Congressional Progressive Caucus' somewhat snarky, if very clever, promotion of their press release in response to the released (and redacted) memo, which Roll Call's Steven Dennis describes as "Progressive Caucus Trolls Obama on Drone Memo"...

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

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Potential GOP 2016 nominees alleged to be at center of broad state and federal criminal conspiracies in WI and NJ...
By Brad Friedman on 6/19/2014 3:24pm PT  

It is not a good day for Republican Governors and potential 2016 GOP Presidential nominees Chris Christie and Scott Walker. Both men are making news today, and not in a good way.

Wisconsin's Walker is at the center of what state prosecutors described as an extensive "criminal scheme" to illegally coordinate his 2012 recall campaign effort with about a dozen "conservative" political action committees, according to documents unsealed today in the Badger State.

And New Jersey's Christie is, according to another report today, said to be the ultimate target of federal prosecutors in a sprawling conspiracy case that appears to include all manner of improprieties --- not only limited to the infamous George Washington Bridge closure, but branching out from it to a number of his top political appointees and cronies who are reportedly said to face "near-certain indictment"...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 6/19/2014 1:11pm PT  

We will be heading into election season proper in the months ahead. And we'd really like to be able to afford to cover it, and all that goes with it. As I've noted on a number of occasions over the past year or so, that is getting very difficult to afford here.

If you --- or a rich friend or two of yours --- can spare a few dollars to help assure that we continue independently blogging and broadcasting and covering stuff that actually matters free of corporate or partisan or foundational control or interference, it would be greatly appreciated. I continue to believe that's very important and I hope that a few of you will recognize the value in what we do here, and the value and perspective that we bring to issues that are often found absolutely nowhere else.

I know there are many sites and organizations out there asking you for similar help these days. Many of them are multimillion dollar organizations. We are not. When we ask for your support, it's because we really need your support to survive from month to month.

I'll be on the road throughout the weekend (family obligations), so it may be quiet here for a few days, but you can use the form below to help while we're gone. Please consider taking the 90 seconds or so that is required to do so. Monthly sustaining contributions mean the most, as they may serve to offer us some much needed stability in the year ahead, if you can afford to help in that way. If not, we're also very grateful for a few dollars or more to help with our costs, or even gas money, as we take some rare down time over the weekend as the first of a few short, but obligatory breaks over this summer season.

Thank you for your consideration, and especially to those who are able to step up and help out in any way...

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(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)

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By Brad Friedman on 6/18/2014 5:51pm PT  

Dick and Dubya are back in the news! Now I wonder how that might have happened. On the upside, it allowed me to play some clips on this week's show that I first put together for a show back in 2006 (or earlier?)

Anyway, we talk about all of that and more on this week's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio, including:

• What was Dick Cheney's epic trolling of Obama really about? (Hint: Not necessarily Obama or even Democrats).
• Who's to blame for the current mess in Iraq?
• We take a whole bunch of great calls on all of the above, including one caller with a very interesting defense of Bush and Cheney.
• Some good voting news for Ohio, for a change.
• The fossil-fueled "War on Science" now includes war on science museums.
• Plus, as ever, Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report (including some epic trolling by Obama of science deniers!)

Enjoy!

Download MP3 or listen online below [appx 58 mins]...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/17/2014 6:21pm PT  

Some pretty epic trolling tonight from Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz at Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal.

Read it at your own peril. These selected quotes oughta be enough to make your head explode all by themselves, however...

  • "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many."
  • "Iraq is at risk of falling to a radical Islamic terror group and Mr. Obama is talking climate change."
  • "Terrorists take control of more territory and resources than ever before in history, and he goes golfing."
  • "Only a fool would believe American policy in Iraq should be ceded to Iran, the world's largest state sponsor of terror."
  • "This president is willfully blind to the impact of his policies."
  • "President Obama seems determined to leave office ensuring he has taken America down a notch. Indeed, the speed of the terrorists' takeover of territory in Iraq has been matched only by the speed of American decline on his watch."
  • "Al Qaeda and its affiliates are resurgent and they present a security threat not seen since the Cold War. Defeating them will require a strategy---not a fantasy."

Epic Trolling Accomplished.

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By Brad Friedman on 6/17/2014 12:42pm PT  

Kind of amusing. With today's news that U.S. Special Ops forces have captured the alleged ringleader of the deadly 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, suddenly Fox "News" is less than impressed.

Or, as Media Matters for America describes it today, "Fox Finally Finds a Benghazi Story That Is Not a 'Bombshell'".

"Since 2012, Fox News has referred to numerous Benghazi reports --- which typically just rehash their tired smears about the attacks --- as 'bombshells.' But in the hour after news of the arrest [of Ahmed Abu Khattala], nobody at the network has called the latest development a 'bombshell'," MMFA observes, before adding parenthetically: (Instead, Fox is busy questioning the timing of the arrest.)

Here's a few comparative samples from the archives of Fox, which must be finally recognized as one of the most impressive and effective propaganda organizations of all time...

Seriously. This capture of the Benghazi guy is obviously just another play by Obama to distract us from #Benghazi.

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By Brad Friedman on 6/16/2014 3:30pm PT  

As we noted when citing the excellent recent episode of Fox' COSMOS, which explained the causes and dangers of global warming in a way that turned a long-time, self-described "climate denier" colleague of ours into a "believer," the documented facts of science don't require "belief." Scientific facts are still true, whether one chooses to believe them or not.

One of the great strengths of COSMOS host Neil deGrasse Tyson's explanation of climate change in the episode is that he did not hedge bets to satisfy the misinformed beliefs of science deniers. The show simply taught the science of global warming and what is both known and unknown about it. Period. That would seem to be the very central point of science education. But it's a point that is being forgotten, or lost, or simply ignored by some science museums when it comes to teaching the science of global warming, according to a report by Anna Kuchment of the Dallas Morning News.

Kuchment's central example is Dallas' Perot Museum of Nature and Science and their display celebrating Texas' energy boom. "Some [of the museum's] choices are scientifically questionable," James S. Russell understated for Bloomberg News shortly after the $185 million dollar facility first opened in December of 2012.

The Morning News found that some such institutions are failing to accurately portray the science of global warming and climate change, in part, "to avoid stirring up controversy with donors, visitors and political representatives."

The paper cites the energy exhibit at the Perot Museum which "failed to display a panel that spelled out the link between burning fossil fuels, higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and a warming planet."

Museum officials claim the omission of the panel, which was part of the exhibition's original design, was little more than an oversight or that the panel was "incorrectly designed to fit its space" --- and that they have now "ordered a temporary panel to hang in its place until a new one can be manufactured" after the matter came to light. But those explanations seems fairly thin...particularly once the main funders of both the museum itself and this particularly exhibit are taken into consideration...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 6/13/2014 5:26pm PT  

Via John Amato at C&L on Friday...

Smith: Are we about to be drawn back into a conflict in Iraq? The same people who 12 years ago told us this will be quick, this will be easy, this will be inexpensive, they will see us as liberators, it's the right thing to do, are now telling us, 'It's the right thing to do.'

And there's more. Watch...

And for still more truth (which probably won't see much light of day on Fox "News") about the disastrous War on Iraq , please see our previous post...

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Oliver Willis helps set the record straight...again...
By Brad Friedman on 6/13/2014 3:06pm PT  

As Iraq seems to finally (and predictably) be imploding this week, longtime Republican apologists in this country are returning from their wingnut ghettos to mainstream spotlights once again to pretend this isn't the result of their unprecedented disaster of a criminal foreign policy.

Naturally, even eleven years later, they are still lying to themselves and everyone else about the Bush Administration and the Iraq War, including: The reasons we attacked the country, who did and didn't support the war of choice and why, and what role the entire clusterfuck of a disastrous pointless mess has played in our continuing American history.

Among the best and briefest responses to the newly invigorated round of Bush-era apologia disguised as (naturally, misleading and/or fact-free) Obama-era 'told-ya-so-isms', comes from Kurt Eichenwald on Twitter...

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

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A busy week & lots of exclusive reporting you'll hear nowhere else...
By Brad Friedman on 6/12/2014 7:05am PT  

It's been a stupid busy news week this week, but I tried to fit as much of it as possible into this week's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio.

So grab a pencil to take notes and buckle up before listening. We've got a lot of exclusive reporting for you in this week's episode!

Among the stories covered this week: The ignored and unverified votes in the Eric Cantor Bombshell/Guessing Game; the shamefully retracted 2009 DHS Report on Rightwing Extremism in the U.S. in light of continuing and recent carnage from RW terrorism in the U.S.; the 'Tea Party' Trio's Mississippi Mystery Courthouse Caper in last week's Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in MS; the CA legislature's move to restrict election recounts to all but the wealthiest of individuals.

And, as if all of that's not enough, a few callers and the delightful and ingenious Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report. Enjoy!

Download MP3 or listen online below [appx 58 mins]...

* * *

P.S. We've been asking of late, but few have answered the call. Please consider supporting The BRAD BLOG with a one-time donation or a monthly sustaining donation. Everything that we do here --- including our survival and our independence and much of the exclusive reporting offered for free above --- depends on your support to help us continue. It's getting very difficult to do so. So please consider helping us out if you can afford it. Every bit really helps!

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Republican bill supported by Democrats in the Assembly would allow only wealthy individuals to seek post-election counts...
By Brad Friedman on 6/11/2014 1:45pm PT  

Up until now, the state of California has been able to boast about one of the most liberal election "recount" statutes in the nation. It allows any voter or group of voters to request a post-election hand-count of any number of precincts in any race or ballot initiative in the state. The state election code allows crucial access to citizen oversight of public elections.

That may all be about to change, however, if a Republican proposal, currently being supported by Democrats in the state legislature and causing alarm among some who have carried out recent "recounts", becomes law.

[NOTE: The BRAD BLOG generally uses quotes around the word "recount" to denote post-election hand-counts of ballots which have never actually been counted by human beings, but rather, only tabulated by computers. It's impossible to know whether those computers actually tallied votes accurately unless paper ballots are examined by hand.]

Under current law, voters seeking such a post-election count have to pay for the cost, though if the outcome of the election is changed in favor of the requester, they are entitled to receive a refund. Over the years, The BRAD BLOG has also documented abuse by County Registrars who have arbitrarily priced such counts so high that they became cost-prohibitive, effectively blocking such citizen oversight from happening at all.

Still, the provision for post-election citizen oversight of election results in the state, until now, has been far better than most such laws elsewhere in the nation.

But now, a bill proposed by a Republican and broadly supported by Democrats in the state Assembly has moved on to the state Senate for approval. If it passes there and is signed by the Governor, it is almost certain to put a chill on post-election citizen oversight...for all but the wealthiest of voters...

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

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D.C. reels after reported upset victory by Dave Brat over the GOP House Majority Leader in Virginia's 7th Congressional District
But can the oft-failed, easily-manipulated e-voting results be trusted?...
By Brad Friedman on 6/10/2014 11:26pm PT  

The political world exploded tonight with the stunning reported defeat of Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to little-known "Tea Party" candidate Dave Brat.

Cantor's loss was so unexpected that Democrats didn't even bother to nominate anyone to run in Virginia's 7th Congressional District until last night, reportedly during a conference call, when they decided to put up a professor named Jack Trammell (from the same Randolph-Macon College where Brat works) as their nominee, just before today's deadline.

"A conservative challenger is expected to fall far short of defeating House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in Tuesday's congressional primary," wrote Rachel Weiner in Virginia's local paper known as the Washington Post just this morning. "The question in this race is how large Cantor's margin of victory will be."

So, there's more than enough speculative analysis complete guess work out there for you elsewhere about what all of this portends, from the same political pundits and geniuses and well-sourced insiders who had no clue that Cantor was about to become famous as the first sitting House Majority Leader to lose in a primary race since either 1899 or...forever, depending on who you listen to.

But, pretty much just as soon as it appeared that Cantor was about to be announced the "loser" in a blowout of an election late today, questions started coming in to us, via Twitter and elsewhere, with concerns about the integrity of the reported results and if there could have been any chicanery behind them...

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

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Conservative Republican terror analyst Daryl Johnson's remarks are chilling and prescient in light of weekend shooting in Las Vegas...
By Brad Friedman on 6/9/2014 4:27pm PT  

In July of 2011, just days after the massacre of 77 mostly children at a youth summer camp by a Rightwing extremist in Norway, Brian Levin, the Director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University interviewed Daryl Johnson, formerly of the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS).

Johnson was the agency's senior domestic terrorism analyst from 2004 to 2010. He was also the lead author of DHS' April 2009 draft report --- which was, shortly thereafter, retracted under pressure from Republicans, rightwingers and some veterans groups --- entitled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment" [PDF].

After the public outcry from the Rightwing victimization industry, the DHS shamefully apologized for working on the report at all, even though it was begun during the Bush Administration; was being produced in response to a mandate from Congress; followed a DHS report on Leftwing extremism [PDF] (which received no similar outraged protestations) in January of 2009; and was authored by Johnson, who describes himself in the interview below as a pro-life, pro-gun, conservative Republican Mormon.

The draft 9-page DHS report had cautioned about the re-emergence of potentially violent extremist groups "that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely."

It warned that similar conditions to those in the 1990's (an economic recession, a Democrat in the White House) which had led to, among other domestic terrorist incidents, the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, had brought about a "growth in the number of domestic rightwing terrorist and extremist groups and an increase in violent acts targeting government facilities, law enforcement officers, banks, and infrastructure sectors."

The report cautioned that "lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States" and concluded that "rightwing extremism is likely to grow in strength."

Following the deadly attack on two police offers and another person on Sunday in Las Vegas, allegedly carried out by two married members who self-identified as part of the so-called "Liberty Movement" and who appeared at the Nevada ranch of Cliven Bundy during the recent armed protest against the federal government with others in the movement, it seems a good moment to revisit that 2011 interview with the lead author of that retracted DHS report.

The alleged killers in the tragedy over the weekend later killed themselves. They reportedly draped the dead bodies of the two cops they shot with the Gadsden ("Don't Tread on Me") flag, popular with those in the "Tea Party" and "Liberty" movements, and were said to have kept Swastikas and other Nazi memorabilia in their apartment.

Neighbors told reporters that the two "had a reputation for spouting racist, anti-government views, bragging about their gun collection and boasting that they’d spent time at Cliven Bundy’s ranch during a recent standoff there between armed militia members and federal government agents."

In other words, the warnings of Johnson, both in the retracted 2009 DHS report and in his 2011 interview, seem extraordinarily prescient today, for some odd reason.

Here are extended excerpts, some of them chilling in retrospect, from that 2011 interview of Daryl Johnson by Brian Levin...

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County Clerks vow to begin marriages immediately, while Republican AG warns them not to, pending appeal
NOW UPDATED WITH SOME FANTASTIC WEDDING PHOTOS!...
By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2014 4:17pm PT  

[Ed Note: Be sure to check out the great photos added at the bottom of this post! - BF]

To head into the weekend with some good news, a federal judge has now overturned Wisconsin's ban on marriage equality. So freedom comes to the Badger State, despite its Governor, Scott Walker's continuing effort against such freedom, and against Constitutionally conservative values. It's hardly the first time Walker has been on the wrong side of the Constitution, the wrong side of conservatism, and the wrong side of history.

"Quite simply, this case is about liberty and equality, the two cornerstones of the rights protected by the United States Constitution," U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb wrote in her 88-page ruling [PDF] striking down a state constitutional amendment passed in 2006, finding it in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

There's a bit of a legal skirmish ongoing tonight in the state, as Crabb did not stay her ruling pending the inevitable appeal, though suggested she might do so later after hearing responses from both sides of the lawsuit which was filed by the ACLU on behalf of eight gay couples.

State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has vowed to appeal, just as he did recently after losing the federal challenge to state Republicans' polling place Photo ID voting restriction. That statute, enacted by self-described "conservatives", was found by U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman to have placed draconian and discriminatory restrictions on yet another American freedom (the right to vote) in violation of both the Wisconsin state and federal Constitutions.

"Current law remains in force," Van Hollen says tonight about the ban on marriage equality, though few seem to be listening or agreeing. According to the Journal Sentinel, County Clerks in Dane and Milwaukee Counties have announced they will begin issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples immediately...

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