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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, May 23, 2015
Gov. Don Siegelman's Son on Father's Case; 'Bin Laden's Bookshelf': 'BradCast' 5/22/15
GUEST: Joseph Siegelman; Plus: Was al-Qaeda hoping to hack a US election?...
'Bin Laden's Bookshelf' Contained Classic Book on Hacking Computer Elections
Reading material said to have been on the al-Qaeda leader's shelf when he was killed may not be a surprise to BRAD BLOG readers...
GOP State Sen. on Nebraska's 'Veto Proof' Death Penalty Ban: 'BradCast' 5/21/15
Guest: State Sen. Al Davis (R); Plus: Siegelman appeal denied; Jeb still rewriting Iraq history; Goodbye, Dave; MORE...
'Green News Report' 5/21/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Major oil spill off CA coast; New settlement in 2010 BP Gulf Oil Spill; Fossil fuels subsidized $5 TRILLION/year; PLUS: Obama to Coast Guard cadets: climate threatens NatSec...
Previous GNRs: 5/19/15 - 5/14/15 - Archives...
BREAKING: Appeals Court Denies Siegelman Retrial
AL's former Dem Governor's request denied. He remains in federal prison as Repubs who orchestrated 'political prosecution' (including 'wife-beating' Judge Mark Fuller) remain free...
Walker, Christie, GOP, FCC, Untethered From Reality: 'BradCast' 5/20/15
Facts and reality matter; Journalist turned media-activist Sue Wilson helps explain...
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) on Obama's Executive Order to Demilitarize the Police: 'BradCast' 5/19/15
Plus: A spate of new voting laws, good and bad, around the country...
'Green News Report' 5/19/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
'The Paddle in Seattle' to stop Shell's Arctic drilling; Study finds new emmissions rules will save lives...so GOP blocking them; PLUS: Indigenous tribe nixes natural gas billions...
Previous GNRs: 5/14/15 - 5/12/15 - Archives...
Walker and GOP Turn First Amendment On Its Head
The FCC's blow to free speech rights you probably never heard about, and how, if Walker and Republicans have their way, it may soon get even worse...
People v. Shell in Seattle; Truth v. Iraq Lies on Fox:
'BradCast' 5/18/15
Guest: Seattle Councilman Mike O'Brien; Now Rubio trips over Iraq; TX shootout; Antarctica ice shelf disappearing; MORE...
The 'Br'er Rabbit Strategy' To Fend Off A Sanders-Led Democratic Revolution
Wall Street and the corporate MSM tell us they fear Bernie Sanders could 'pull Hillary to the left'. But is there more to their strategy?...
Sunday Toons: Off the Rails
From the TPP deal to tragedy in Philadelphia to the GOP 2016ers on Iraq to drilling in the Arctic and marriage equality in Texas, common sense continues to be derailed...
Learning From History
& GOP Rewriting Iraq's: 'BradCast' 5/15/15
Guest: Journalist Peter Dykstra, formerly of CNN, on how enviros should learn from the past; GOP 2016ers trying to rewrite Iraq...
Texas Republicans Hoping to Block Even More Legit Voters With New ID Scheme
New law, if adopted by state, would take already unconstitional Photo ID voting restrictions to new level...
NSA Spying & 'USA Freedom Act'; Dumb Jeb Still Between Iraq, Hard Place: 'BradCast' 5/14/15
Guest: Marcy Wheeler; Plus: Feingold's back! OH GOP still suppressing voters; 600th GNR...
'Green News Report' 5/14/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
OUR 600th EPISODE! -- Hours after Amtrak crash, GOP votes to cut Amtrak budget; FBI spied on Keystone XL protesters; PLUS: Hawaii to be 1st in nation to go 100% renewable...
Previous GNRs: 5/12/15 - 5/7/15 - Archives...
CIA Drugging of 9/11 Detainees? & Jeb Too Dumb to Run: 'BradCast' 5/13/15
VICE News' investigative reporter Jason Leopold on his new exclusive CIA documents; MORE...
Dems: 'No' to Obama on TPP
'BradCast' 5/12/15
Salon's David Dayen joins us to discuss Dems' refusal to go along with their President (for now); Plus: First election lawsuit of 2016; Jeb on Iraq, Allen West on 'Sharia Law'; MORE...
'Green News Report' 5/12/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Fire & oil spill at NY nuke plant; Shell approved for Arctic drilling; More CA water cuts; GOP slashes NASA Earth research; PLUS: Solar-powered plane's most dangerous journey...
Previous GNRs: 5/7/15 - 5/5/15 - Archives...
NY Nuke Plant Fire, Oil Spill; NC's Mysteriously Vanishing Voter Registrations:
'BradCast' 5/11/15
Guests: Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen; 'DocDawg' of Daily Kos...
Bernie Who? 'Meet the Press' Ignores Sanders
Media watchdog documents NBC's Chuck Todd snubbing Sanders' entry into 2016 Presidential primary, while covering GOP also-rans dozens of times...
Sunday Toons: 'Loon Star State' and Beyond
It's getting crazy in Texas and in the GOP 2016 race and...oh...just pick a place...
Unverifiable Voting Machines (& How to Hack Them): 'BradCast' 5/8/15
Guest: Computer scientist Jeremy Epstein of Verified Voting on the decertification of 1/5 of Virginia's voting machines; MUCH MORE...
Broken Political Machines (& How to Fix Them): 'BradCast' 5/7/15
Guests: TX blogger Perry 'PDiddie' Dorrell on Rick Perry's felonies; Ernie Canning on Bernie Sanders and the 'democracy deficit'; & MORE...
'Green News Report' 5/7/15
Huge, political win for progressives in Alberta; New rules for oil 'bomb trains'; C02 emmissions milestone; PLUS: Elon Musk and Tesla revolutionize batteries...again...
Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) and the Conservative Case for Climate Action: 'BradCast' 5/6/15
Finally! A Republican on The BradCast! Plus: Fox 'News' v. RWers; Another oil train explosion in ND and more!...
Perry's Ace in the Hole in Felony Trial
The former TX Governor is preparing to run for President, even while facing felony charges. He doesn't seem worried. Maybe this is why...
Equal Justice for All?: 'BradCast' 5/5/15
Constitutional law expert and reporter Ian Millhiser on last week's oral hearings in the landmark marriage equality case at SCOTUS. Plus: 'BridgeGate'; Huckabee; more...
'Green News Report' 5/5/15
2016 GOP nomination race just doubled in size with Carson, Fiorina, Huckabee (deniers all) all jumping in; PLUS: The Pope's moral message on climate change...
'Free Speech' Versus 'Hate Speech': 'BradCast' 5/4/15
Brad and comedian Jimmy Dore continue debate they've had since 'Charlie Hebdo' following another 'Mohammed cartoon' shooting; Plus: FEC dysfunction & more...
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...


David Wildstein cooperating with investigation into 'conspiracy' to punish Fort Lee's Democratic mayor; Two other top Christie aides also indicted...
By Brad Friedman on 5/1/2015 11:27am PT  

[UPDATE: In addition to the Wildstein indictment and guilty plea described below, two more top Christie officials, Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni, have now been indicted as well, on seven counts each for charges of conspiracy and fraud. Those indictments are now posted here.]

This will not be good for Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)'s already long-shot chances of winning the 2016 Republican nomination for President. In fact, this could be the end of the line for him.

David Wildstein, one of Christie's top staffers at the center of the notorious "BridgeGate" scandal which shut down access lanes to the George Washington Bridge [GWB] from the town of Fort Lee, NJ beginning on the first day of school in September of 2013, has now accepted a plea agreement, pleading guilty to two federal charges of "Conspiracy to Obtain by Fraud, Knowingly Convert, and Intentionally Misapply Property of an Organization Receiving Federal Benefits" and "Conspiracy Against Civil Rights".

The punitive traffic shut down occurred, according to the federal indictment (posted in full below), in retaliation against Fort Lee's Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich's refusal to endorse the Republican Christie in his 2013 gubernatorial re-election bid against Democratic state Senator Barbara Buono, as initially suspected when the "BridgeGate" scandal first came to light last year.

"The object of the conspiracy was to misuse Port Authority property to facilitate and conceal the causing of traffic problems in Fort Lee as punishment of Mayor Sokolich," the federal plea agreement charges. "Just as the Conspirators had intended, the lane and toll both reductions resulted in significant traffic in Fort Lee, both for motorists intending to access the GWB from the Local Approach and for the residents of Fort Lee, whose streets were choked with traffic backing up from the Local Approach. ... [T]he Conspirators purposely ignored communications from Mayor Sokolich, including his pleas for help, requests for information, and repeated warnings about the increased risks to public safety."

Despite a call from a Port Authority employee who was unaware of the scheme, warning that the traffic congestion had already caused problems for police and ambulance responding to a missing child and a resident having a cardiac arrest, the conspirators ignored all such concerns and kept the closure in place...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/29/2015 5:25pm PT  

Would the nation even be discussing what happened in Baltimore were it not for the violence that broke out at the protests over the killing in police custody of Freddie Gray?

Also, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is jumping in to the 2016 race for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Our listeners call in with thoughts on all of the above and more in a very lively show! All of that and Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report on today's BradCast!

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Guest: Doug Hughes who landed his gyrocopter at the U.S. Capitol...
By Brad Friedman on 4/28/2015 4:50pm PT  

On today's BradCast: What's really going on in Baltimore? We discuss the riots and the reason and turn to Fox "News", of all places, for a bit of sanity! (No, really. Thank you, Shep Smith!)

Then, Doug Hughes, the U.S. postal worker who landed his gyrocopter on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol to bring attention to the need for campaign finance reform in the wake of Citizens United, joins me for a conversation that focuses --- for a change --- on why he actually did it. See his website TheDemocracyClub.org for more.

It's an "orgy of spending," Hughes told me, and he's hoping to see a "nonpartisan, ground swell voter rebellion" against it. He also talked about his cool gyrocopter, what his bosses at the USPS have done since his brush with infamy, and the failure on behalf of our national security apparatus to stop him. The letter he was attempting to deliver to 535 members of the U.S. Congress is now posted here.

Plus: Marriage equality is winning the day even on Fox 'News', but can it win once and for all in the U.S. Supreme Court?...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 4/23/2015 9:02pm PT  

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court severely curtailed the government's ability to utilize a routine traffic stop as an excuse to subject motorists to a canine-sniff of their vehicles as a precursor to a search for narcotics.

In Rodriguez v. United States, the Court ruled that the right of "seizure" during a routine traffic stop extends only for the length of time necessary to effectuate the purpose of the stop --- a purpose that ends with the issuance of a citation or warning for the routine stop. While the time needed to effectuate the purpose of the stop includes such measures as necessary to protect an officer’s safety, it does not, according to the Supremes, include a "dog sniff" which, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote on behalf of the court's majority, relates to "the Government’s endeavor to detect crime in general or drug trafficking in particular."

While the 6 to 3 decision (Justices Thomas, Alito and Kennedy dissenting) was handed down in a case in which a motorist was caught transporting methamphetamine inside his car, it also serves to protect the rights of those who are innocent, such as 63-year old Dennis Eckhart, whose nightmarish plight --- including multiple, invasive, forced medical procedures --- all came about as the result of a routine traffic stop and wholly unfounded suspicion by local police...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/15/2015 6:59pm PT  

"War is peace. And more war is 'mellowing out'," according to the U.S. corporate mainstream media. War is now the default. Peace is "extremist" and we can't have it breaking out in Iran.

I explain in this week's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio.

Plus, we take tons of listener calls, details some more GOP lies about 'Obamacare' and much more. And, of course, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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9 out of 10 Americans now covered, even more likely soon...
By Brad Friedman on 4/13/2015 1:57pm PT  

The non-partisan, non-politicized data concerning the effects of the "job-killing", "failed" Affordable Care Act (ACA or "ObamaCare") continue to pour in, underscoring the indisputable success, to date, of the program's intended objectives.

Based on a longterm national tracking survey conducted by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, including responses from some 500 random Americans per day since 2008, the number of adults now covered by health insurance has reached 9 out of 10...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 4/13/2015 7:44am PT  

The videos were good for a barrel of laughs. The Director of Florida's Div. of Emergency Management, Brian Koon was forced to engage in verbal gymnastics so as to avoid violating a state ban on using the words "climate change."

In another clip, replayed by Comedy Central's John Stewart, former FL EPA employee Kristina Trotta uses the words, "nuisance flooding," to evade the ban on mentioning "sea level rise." That drew an amusing Stewart suggestion that, in order to evade mentioning that a global warming-connected rise in sea level could eventually lead to an underwater Miami, state employees could refer to "moisture inconvenience!"

The exchanges were hilarious. But there is nothing funny about the attempt to erect thought control regimes, first in Florida and now in Wisconsin. In both states, the practice is verging on that deployed by Oceania's Ministry of Truth in George Orwell's 1984. In that classic but ominous work of fiction, written accounts of inconvenient truths were incinerated inside "memory holes."

While ominous, the clumsy efforts at "thought control" are quite useful. They underscore the warnings we offered nearly five years ago that the real future offered by the so-called "Tea Party" and the Koch Brothers' brand of "libertarianism" includes "Fascism [and] Feudalism --- an authoritarian reality that has already come to fruition in states like Florida and Wisconsin where Charles and David Koch, along with other rightwing billionaires, have already tightened the reigns of oligarchic control over ostensibly "public" institutions...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/9/2015 11:05am PT  

A Letter to the Editor on Saturday in Louisville's Courier-Journal...

Here is an enlightening little quiz. Guess the source of these quotations:

1. Congress should "authorize separate federal matching of state and local expenditures for the medical care needed by public assistance recipients."

2. "To guarantee adequate financing of health care on a nationwide basis," we need a "comprehensive health insurance plan (to) offer to every American the same broad and balanced health protection."

No, not Barack Obama. The answers are: 1. Dwight Eisenhower and 2. Richard Nixon who, today, would be called "socialists" and drummed out of the GOP.

Today we have only moderate Republicans - whom we now call Democrats - and the Tea Party.

Or, as I prefer to call them, the cowards and the bullies.

JUSTIN MILLER
Glenview, Ky. 40025

[Hat-tip D.R. Tucker on the Twitters...]

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By Brad Friedman on 4/6/2015 8:35am PT  

A provision added to Ohio's new transportation bill by Republican lawmakers would have made it more difficult --- and expensive --- for out-of-state students to vote in the Buckeye State. The scheme would have required anybody who registers to vote there to obtain an Ohio driver's license and register their car in the state (at a cost of at least $75) within 30 days, or risk losing their right to drive.

That provision, voting rights advocates warned, was likely to deter out-of-state students at Ohio colleges and universities from registering to vote there, despite a long-held U.S. Supreme Court determination that students may register to vote where they attend school.

The good news on this issue is that while Ohio's Republican Gov. John Kasich signed the transportation bill last week, he used a line-item veto to remove the offending provision. But more than a bit of potential confusion --- and the ability to deter student voters from exercising their right --- still looms...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2015 6:35pm PT  

You probably already heard about the Indiana pizza shop whose owners said, if asked, they would refuse to cater a same-sex wedding, and how the shop has since raised more than $840,000 in donations in the wake of the announcement.

Since then, a florist in Washington state who refused to sell wedding flowers to a same-sex couple has, so far, received "more than $85,000 in a crowdfunding campaign".

In a similar vein, I am herewith declaring that The BRAD BLOG will not sell our blogging services to any same-sex marriage ceremonies.

Our PayPal information follows below...

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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 4/2/2015 10:58pm PT  

As its reputation goes to pot, it looks like Indiana's new "religious freedom" law has sparked up more trouble than even Gov. Mike Pence (R) expected.

U.S. News reports "Indiana's Church of Cannabis Growing Like a Weed":

A new religion glorifying cannabis is officially incorporated in Indiana, and adherents plan to take full advantage of the state's controversial religious freedom law.

That law - the Religious Freedom Restoration Act - generally bans state officials from burdening a person's exercise of religion, "even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability."

Opponents say the law blesses discrimination by business owners against people they dislike, with most news coverage focused on the possible effects on sexual minorities.

Bill Levin, founder of the First Church of Cannabis, believes his religion will help restore the state's reputation after an intense bout of bad press.

"I created the fastest-growing religion in America last week," Levin tells U.S. News. "I've got to cork the leak up that [Indiana Gov. Mike] Pence caused with love."

Levin says he and other church members "all smoke religiously" and says supportive attorneys are advising him. He's working to find a facility with a large sanctuary.

"We have people who will be pilgriming in from California, from Maine, from Florida," he says. "I planned this to be a small church of three to five hundred, but the numbers have staggeringly grown."
...
"Of course I'm going to test this law. I'm not going to test it, I'm going to beat it," Levin says. "We're building a church with the cornerstone of love, the way religions are supposed to be built."

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GUESTS: Estee Chandler; Ernest Canning...
By Brad Friedman on 3/25/2015 2:35pm PT  

Was Netanyahu/Likud's win last week in Israel the best possible outcome for Palestinians? While it seems counter-intuitive at first blush, some who follow Israeli/Palestinian politics very closely say it was.

My guest on this week's Pacifica Radio BradCast, Estee Chandler of JewishVoiceForPeace.org and the producer/co-host of KPFK's Middle East in Focus program believes that is the case and tells me why. She offers a different (and very welcome) perspective than the Right/Left (and now, sadly, Republican/Democratic) narrative we've heard so much of from most of the media since last week's election.

Also, BRAD BLOG's legal analyst Ernie Canning joins me to discuss the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to hear the WI Photo ID voting case and what that means for voting across the country in 2016, as well as the error the CA Supreme Court seems to have made when they removed Prop 49 (the "Overturn Citizens United" initiative) from the 2014 ballot last year.

Plus, Ted Cruz' astoundingly ingenious if extraordinary cynical remark the day after he declared his intention to seek the 2016 GOP nomination for President; OH tries a new voter suppression tactic; another predictable Internet Voting failure in Australia; Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report and MUCH MORE!...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 3/25/2015 11:54am PT  

I wrote a bit about this after last year's elections, though from a different direction. But, given the recent remarks by President Obama (and more than a fair bit of questionable reporting about those remarks), its worth adding a few more thoughts here.

Over the years, I've seen folks misinterpret The BRAD BLOG's coverage of voting and elections and voter suppression by presuming that by covering these things, it's the same thing as telling everyone to vote.

In fact, I strongly believe in the right to not vote. While I think it's a counter-productive response to pretty much everything --- including the misguided and lazy notions that "elections don't really matter" or "both parties are the same" --- I would fight for your right to not vote under our existing system as vigorously as I'd fight for your right to vote (if you want to) and to have that vote counted, counted accurately and in a way that everyone can know that everyone's votes have been counted accurately.

With that in mind, it was interesting to see the reactions to President Obama's statement last week in Cleveland which some, including CNN and, naturally, the ever-outraged Fox "News", took it upon themselves to interpret as a call for "mandatory voting" in the U.S...

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

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Decision means Constitutionality of 'discriminatory' voting laws unlikely to be determined by Supremes before 2016 Presidential elections...
By Brad Friedman on 3/23/2015 2:36pm PT  

A few weeks ago, our legal analyst Ernie Canning warned how the U.S. Supreme Court's pending decision on whether or not to hear the ACLU's challenge to the Wisconsin GOP Photo ID voting law might be the last chance before the 2016 Presidential elections to determine the Constitutionality of such laws.

On Monday, the Supreme Court decided not to grant cert in the WI challenge in the Frank v. Walker case. The decision is not a ruling on the merits of the case or the Constitutionality of the law. It simply means that, for now, there were not four votes on the Court to hear the ACLU's challenge at this time.

It also means that, barring further court action or a quick decision on a similar law out of another state, polling place Photo ID restrictions on voters will be allowed in the Badger State in 2016. That, despite the fact that the federal trial court found, when striking down the law as unconstitutional and a violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act last year, that the new Republican-enacted law may serve to bar some 300,000 disproportionately Democratic-leaning and already lawfully registered voters from casting a ballot in the state's Presidential election.

There is also more than a bit of irony in this matter, in that, after U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman soundly rejected the law in 2014 --- finding that "evidence adduced at trial demonstrates" WI's Act 23 "disproportionately impacts Black and Latino voters" and that the law would "prevent more legitimate votes from being cast than fraudulent votes" --- the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals deadlocked (disingenously) 5 to 5 on whether to stay the original ruling. That deadlock meant the stay would be granted and the WI law would be allowed, barring further court challenges, despite the fact that 6 federal judges had voted to strike down the law, while just 5 had voted in its favor. To make matters worse, Act 23 had also been struck down previously in state court as a violation of the state constitution as well. Nonetheless, in this matter, a minority of judges successfully ruled against the majority.

All of that, despite a blistering dissent filed in last year's 7th Circuit Court WI decision by against the law (and all such laws) from revered conservative 7th Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner. Posner's original ruling in favor of a Photo ID restriction law in Crawford v. Marion County, Indiana, was the basis of the first such case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, upholding Indiana's Photo ID law in 2008. So his unambiguous reversal on the issue, now that we know much more about such laws, was noteworthy and, opponents of the law had hoped, convincing to the Supremes who have, for many years, favorably cited the legal scholar's opinions.

Though the 7th Circuit's decision to temporarily stay the original ruling striking down the law was later vacated by the U.S. Supreme Court last year --- on the basis that the stay was made too close to the election --- the discriminatory law is now back in place in the state. The refusal by the Court to grant cert this weeks means that it will likely remain in place as the next Presidential election begins.

Some watching these matters closely, however, believe that Monday's decision by SCOTUS to not hear the Wisconsin case may ultimately be a good thing, perhaps "a blessing in disguise"...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/22/2015 12:40pm PT  

This weekend, Washington Monthly blogger (and too-occasional BRAD BLOG guest blogger) D.R. Tucker cited the "Intellectually Honest Conservative" award The BRAD BLOG graciously offered recently to Texas Republican Rep. Sarah Davis.

He notes that while he kinda sorta mostly agrees with us, he has a complaint.

We granted the rarely-bestowed award to Davis last week for her courageous stand in favor of women's rights in Texas, where every other GOP lawmaker in her state Legislature is actively trying to remove them. She offers a (truly) conservative basis for her stance, arguing that Government has no business inserting itself into health decisions between a women and her doctor.

Where Tucker takes issue is that he believes if Davis really cared about women's rights she'd have no choice but to "leave her misogynist party and [tell] her right-wing colleagues to kiss her Tex-ass."

In making the case, he offers up an interesting anecdote worth sharing about Mary Crisp, for those of us who didn't know about it. She was the first female co-chair of the Republican National Committee. She had worked her way up from a party volunteer to eventually become one of its top officials before, essentially, being pushed out of the role by Ronald Reagan in 1980, thanks to her stance on abortion and the Equal Rights Amendment --- the latter of which the GOP had long supported...until they didn't anymore...

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

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Brad is an independent investigative
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VelvetRevolution.us co-founder,
expert on issues of election integrity,
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