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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, June 28, 2017
GOP Health Care Vote Delayed as Senators Balk at Medicaid Cuts, Harm to Hospitals: 'BradCast' 6/27/17
Guests: Health care reform analysts Allen Dobson and Randy Haught...
'Green News Report' 6/27/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Deadly fuel truck explosion in Pakistan; Wildfire evacs in Spain; Sea level rise accelerating; Trump Admin approves deadly seismic testing; PLUS: Mayors pledge to go 100% renewable...
Previous GNRs: 6/22/17 - 6/20/17 - Archives...
SCOTUS Rulings on 'Travel Ban', WI Gerrymandering, More: 'BradCast' 6/26/2017
Guest: Legal journo Mark Joseph Stern; Also: Kobach sanctioned, CBO finds GOP Senate health bill loses coverage for 22M...
What Will It Take for Americans to Understand Basics of Election Integrity?
After concerns of a 'hacked' 2016 Presidential race and unverifiable 'loss' in GA-06 that defied polling, Dems, media and the American people are still missing the verifiable facts...
Sunday Toons of the 'Trumpcare Revealed' Moment
The Senate bill is even more deadly than the one in the House. But that may be the least of our problems, as noted in PDiddie's latest collection of political toons...
Secrets Revealed: DoD Assessment of Manning Leaks, GOP Senate Healthcare Bill: 'BradCast' 6/22/17
Guest: BuzzFeed 'FOIA Terrorist' Jason Leopold; Also: Trump's audio tape bluff?...
'Green News Report' 6/22/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump's solar border wall; Perry's science denial; Trump Admin seeks to reactivate Yucca Mountain Nuclear Repository; Plastic reaches Antarctica; PLUS: UK to shift to e-cars...
Previous GNRs: 6/20/17 - 6/13/17 - Archives...
Tuesday's 100% Unverifiable Special Election Results in GA, SC: 'BradCast' 6/21/17
And, ironically enough, Wednesday's disinformative Senate hearings on alleged 2016 election manipulation...
'Bedlam' Ahead: Obstruction, Recusals, Chain of Succession, Impeachment, Indictments: 'BradCast' 6/20/17
Guest: Attorney Seth Abramson; Plus: Senate moving healthcare; Rick Perry still dumb...
'Green News Report' 6/20/17
Record heat wave in Western U.S.; Criminal indictments in Flint; Massive Portugal wildfire kills more than 60; PLUS: Court victory, enviro award for Standing Rock Sioux...
GA's Unverifiable E-Vote Passwords, Database, Found on Unsecured Server: 'BradCast' 6/19/17
State contracted programmers told of security prob last year, covered it up, left files online...
Sunday Toons of the Rhetoric Toning Moment
If only we could tone down the rhetoric in D.C., everything would be happily every after, right? The cartoonist in PDiddie's weekly collection aren't so sure...
NC Racial Gerrymandering Highlight's GOP 'Justice Delayed, Denied' Strategy
But after SCOTUS ruling and government realignment, justice may soon be at hand...
As Sessions Testifies, GOP Schemes: 'BradCast' 6/13/17
Guest: David Dayen on Congress/Trump plans to sell off public assets, gut banking reforms, more; Also: How to win young voters and the House Dem rift over impeachment...
'Green News Report' 6/13/17
Int. Sec. wants new nat'l monument borders; Heat waves more deadly in India; More 100-year floods in US; PLUS: French grants for US scientists...
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...


Guest: VotePA's Marybeth Kuznik on insane 'recount' laws and 100% unverifiable voting systems in Pennsylvania
Also: What good are paper ballots if nobody can afford to actually count them?...
By Brad Friedman on 11/29/2016 5:52pm PT  

On today's BradCast: The newly insane cost for a "recount" in Wisconsin and the even more jaw-droppingly insane voting system and "recount" laws in Pennsylvania. [Audio link to today's show is posted below.]

Barriers against citizen oversight of 2016 Presidential election results continue, even as the campaign of the Green Party's Jill Stein works with tens of thousands of citizens to try and overcome them in three different states where she is seeking "recounts". (For the record, if you're wondering, 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 during the official tally. It's impossible to know whether those computers actually tallied votes accurately unless paper ballots are examined by hand.)

The WI Election Commission informed the Stein campaign (and independent candidate Rocky De La Fuente, who has also filed for a "recount" there) yesterday that she will have to pay $3.5 million to even begin counting paper ballots in the state. I've confirmed with her campaign that she intends to do so, even after state election officials had originally estimated the fees to be $1 million for a statewide recount. That, even as state law has recently changed to allow counties to use computers to "recount" ballots, rather than public hand-counts. As we've long reported, similar barriers are often erected to block citizen oversight of elections, begging the question again: What good are hand-marked paper ballots if nobody is actually allowed to count them?

But the situation is far worse in Pennsylvania, where voters in most of the state are forced to vote on 100% unverifiable touch-screen systems and the state's arcane "recount" statutes require tens of thousands of voters to file affidavits (3 in each precinct) asking for such counts.

Longtime election integrity champion and VotePA.us founder Marybeth Kuznik joins us with details on what is now going on in the Keystone state towards that end, and to help explain the insanity of the state's unverifiable voting systems and the near-incomprehensibility of its "recount" laws.

"Pennsylvania election law is so convoluted," she tells me, while explaining the requirements for three voters in each of the state's 9,163 precincts (that's 27,489 voters!) to file a complaint in order to have a statewide voter-initiated count. She also explains the second route towards such a count, which requires 100 voters to file in the Commonwealth Court.

In either case, since much of the state uses unverifiable touch-screens, there is often nothing at all to count, even if a count is allowed! "They'll print out the Election Night tapes. They'll bring out some sort of a printout from the central tabulator. Usually they just bring out results. They look at the precinct tape, they look at the precinct printout, they go 'Hmm, that looks the same to me!', and everything's good. That's the recount!," Kuznik explains. "The thing is, of course it's going to be 'good'. The same software that counted on Election Night and printed out that tape is what's counting and printing out this result paper that they compare. It's nuts. It's just crazy."

As you'll hear, it's even worse than I've described it here. But, that's how it still works (or doesn't) in PA, after all of these years, and even in light of a forensic analysis by computer scientists of just one PA county voting system in 2011, after vote-flips were reported and candidates received zero votes in several elections in heavily-Republican Venango County. (See our exclusive special report and documents here.) That landmark study found, among other disturbing things, as we reported at the time: "unexplained, out-of-sequence activity log entries in the computer tabulation system, indications that the system was mounted several times with a 'USB flash drive' device, and, perhaps most troubling, evidence that the system was repeatedly accessed by an unidentified remote computer, for lengthy periods of time, on 'multiple occasions.'"

Those same systems --- and even worse ones --- are still used today across the state in 2016, as the fate of the world relies on them. Yes, as we've been warning you for more than a decade: "It's just crazy."

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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An exclusive interview with the Green Party Presidential candidate...
By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2016 5:56pm PT  

On today's BradCast, my exclusive interview with Dr. Jill Stein, the 2016 Green Party Presidential candidate, on her announcement earlier today that her campaign plans to file for hand-counted paper ballot "recounts" and forensic audits of the Presidential election results in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. [Audio link to show and full interview posted below.]

"We have to move really fast in order to basically verify the vote and be confident our votes were actually counted," she tells me, citing the many concerns brought to her by computer scientists and voting systems and election integrity experts, all questioning whether paper ballots were counted accurately by error-prone and easily-hacked computer tabulators in WI and MI, and whether touch-screen systems were manipulated in some fashion in PA.

Across those three states alone, as we have been reporting, just 50,000 votes flipped from Trump to Clinton --- out of more than 13 million ballots cast in those states, where a number of anomalous results have been found --- could change who becomes the next President of the United States.

There is plenty of reason to question whether the results as reported are accurate. And not only because of the surprising results. As I note again on today's show, University of Michigan computer science and voting systems expert J. Alex Halderman, one of those urging the candidates to call for a hand-count, has cracked many electronic voting systems in recent years. He offered still more reasons to examine both the reported results and the systems used in WI, MI and PA earlier today.

Stein, explaining that some $2 million must be raised to meet the deadline to file in WI by Friday (and another $4 million or so for the other two states next week), tells me that it's an "outrage we have to go to extraordinary lengths to verify the vote," adding she is doing so, due to her "interests as a citizen, as a person in America, that the vote be valid." (The campaign has set up a fund raising page for the effort right here.)

"Why would anyone in their right mind not want to have a secured and verified vote?," she asks. "It’s long been demonstrated that our system of voting, relying on these machines, has virtually no security. They’re hack-friendly [and] tamper-friendly."

"People have felt such anguish during this election," Stein notes. "This is a joint effort, and there are many election advocates who are involved. A lot of the grassroots election integrity experts. If ever there was a time to stand up and demand an accountable and secure vote, this is the time to do it. If we don't do it now, when exactly, what would be the cause to do it?" She also details the attempt by the scientists and advocates to encourage the Clinton campaign to take up the effort as well. (I can confirm that effort happened and that the campaign was still considering doing so as of earlier today.) She says she welcomes other campaigns, such as the Libertarian Party and independent candidates with standing, to join the effort as well.

"It feels really good to be standing up right now," she tells me. "It’s time for us to take control of our democracy to start with. To give ourselves a gift on this Thanksgiving." We discuss all of that and the many concerns about the reported results, take a few calls afterward, and actually find a bit more to be thankful for on today's harrowing program --- including, believe it or not, today's Green News Report with Desi Doyen!...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Guest: Media Matters' Eric Boehlert | PLUS: Still trying to oversee election results; Police attack protesters in North Dakota; Arctic is burning up...
By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2016 6:39pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Donald Trump is well on his way to becoming the most corrupt U.S. President in history. And he's not even in office yet. For that matter, he's not even the officially winner of the election yet, as ballots are still be tallied and we're keeping an eye on three key battleground states (Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania) where less than 50,000 votes total (out of more than 13 million cast) remain the difference between a President Trump or a President Clinton. We continue to call for full hand-counts in those states and others to determine who actually won them. [Audio link to full show is posted below.]

Then, after Trump agreed to pay $25 million in a massive fraud settlement concerning his 'Trump University' scam late last week, the U.S. corporate media became immediately distracted by a his tweets about Mike Pence being booed at a Broadway play over the weekend.

We discuss today how the media --- and GOP politicians --- would have reacted differently if it was Hillary Clinton who had agreed to pay tens of millions of dollars to settle multiple fraud cases after the election. At the same time, word comes in from the foreign press that Trump has been cashing in since the election, on business deals in India, the Philippines and Argentina, while unconstitutionally receiving payoffs from foreign diplomats via his new Washington D.C. hotel.

So, what explains, if anything, the U.S. media's deferential treatment of Trump? Author Eric Boehlert of Media Matters joins us to discuss the extraordinary disparities between how the media cover Republicans versus Democrats and how they utterly failed the nation in the lead-up to the election.

Also today: Police unleash water cannons and tear gas in North Dakota overnight, against Native American protesters gathered to try and stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and climate scientists are freaking out (for very good reason) as the Arctic is now an "insane 36 degrees" warmer than usual for this time of year and as global sea ice area is now way lower than it has ever been in recorded history. It is, in fact, off the charts from even previous record low years.

This is all very not good...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Guest: Author, journalist, Ari Berman of The Nation | PLUS: Trump transition team packed with corporate lobbyists, D.C. insiders...
By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2016 6:40pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Did the gutting of the Voting Rights Act and new restrictions on voting in more than a dozen GOP-controlled states give the election to Donald Trump --- who is now staffing up his new administration with a swamp full of corporate lobbyists? [Audio link to show posted below.]

"Drain the swamp" of lobbyists and insiders in Washington D.C.? Who did Trump think he was kidding with that oft-repeated line during his campaign? Apparently, he was kidding a lot of folks, including both his supporters who fell for it and the corporate mainstream media which helped facilitate it. With the transition now underway, it is being led by dozens (hundreds?) of corporate lobbyists and former politicians, all staffing up federal agencies that will pretend to oversee their clients from the very same industries --- banking, communications, the environment, defense --- that they are supposed to be regulating. Sadly, many in the corporate media, like the New York Times' Richard Fausset, continue to fail in educating the electorate about Trump's big con. It's gonna be a rough bunch of years.

In the meantime, are the reported election results trustworthy? A few words on whether we can (or should) "trust" the results as reported by electronic voting tabulation systems (which, once again, fail to match reported pre-election or Exit Polling results), before a look at whether new restrictions on voting in more than a dozen GOP-controlled states after SCOTUS gutted the Voting Rights Act, may have affected the results.

Journalist Ari Berman of The Nation, author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, has been relentlessly and heroically covering this beat for years now, while most of the corporate media have regarded voting rights as a fringe issue. He joins me today to discuss what we know so far --- and what we don't --- about why the turnout was reportedly the lowest since the 2000 election, and if suppression may have flipped any states from Hillary Clinton to Trump.

For example, as Berman reported this week: "27,000 votes currently separate Trump and Clinton in Wisconsin, where 300,000 registered voters, according to a federal court, lacked strict forms of voter ID" as now required by state Republicans to vote there at all. "Voter turnout in Wisconsin was at its lowest levels in 20 years and decreased 13 percent in Milwaukee, where 70 percent of the state’s African-American population lives."

"I talked to a lot of voters who jumped through lots of different hoops to be able to vote, or didn't vote at all because they didn't have the right documentation or they couldn't get the right documentation, or they got so frustrated with the entire process," he tells me. "How many people didn't show up because they didn't want to deal with it? How many people thought they wouldn't be able to vote?"

"The head of elections in Milwaukee said he believed voter ID had an impact, that the parts of the city where voter ID was going to have the biggest impact, that turnout there declined there the most," he says. "The fact that we made it harder for people to vote, for no good reason, to me, is a scandal." And all of that is before we even get to states like Florida in our discussion, where, Berman reminds us, the state recently "blocked 1 in 5 African-Americans from voting by taking away the right to vote for ex-offenders."

"Isn't the right to vote the most fundamental aspect of a democracy? And if you're not disturbed by people being turned away from the polls, there's something wrong with how you're approaching this," he says, before we turn to the media's role in ignoring this issue, which he describes as "an unbelievably huge failing, particularly by cable and broadcast news."

There is much more in today's conversation with Ari than I can adequately summarize here, so please give today's show a listen.

Finally, a few closing thoughts, for now --- from The Daily Show, from Stephen Colbert, and finally from me --- on what the horrific and painful news of this week means to the nation and the world and how we will need to survive (and resist) together...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/9/2016 5:46pm PT  

Donald Trump has now been declared President-Elect of the United States. The unthinkable has happened. Except that we've been thinking it --- and warning about it --- virtually day in and day out on The BradCast since the moment he descended that escalator to call Mexicans rapists and declare his candidacy in June of 2015.

On today's show [audio link posted below] we look briefly at how voter suppression may have affected the reported results that even the RNC didn't see coming. "For example", as Ari Berman points out, "27,000 votes currently separate Trump and Clinton in Wisconsin, where 300,000 registered voters, according to a federal court, lacked strict forms of voter ID" as now required by state Republicans to vote there at all. "Voter turnout in Wisconsin was at its lowest levels in 20 years and decreased 13 percent in Milwaukee, where 70 percent of the state’s African-American population lives," he adds. Oh, and there is the also the non-transparent voting machines and tabulators that may have effected the stunning reported results --- as we have also been warning for years.

Then, we open the phone lines to a lot of callers on this very grim day, to ask who and what they blame or credit for what happened on Tuesday. Was it racism? Sexism? Xenophobia? Third-Party voters or candidates? The Constitution and its electoral college scheme? Citizens who didn't bother to vote at all? FBI Director James Comey? Wikileaks? The corporate media? The independent media? The pollsters? The voter suppression? The voting machines? The candidate (Hillary Clinton)? The Democratic Party for putting its thumb on the scale against Bernie Sanders? The Republican Party for not doing more to keep its party from becoming the party of Donald Trump? Something else I haven't thought of?

Listeners ring in with many thoughts on all of the above, as we all go through this national nightmare together...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2016 5:02pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Documenting trouble for voters at polling places from coast to coast today on Election 2016 (Yes, it's finally arrived!) as Americans struggle to take part in their own democracy. [Audio link to today's program is posted below.]

Among the breaking news stories covered on today's program...

  • After Hillary Clinton wins the first contest of Election Day...
  • Broken voting machines, electronic pollbooks and shamefully long lines are reported in parts of Arizona, New York, North Carolina, Illinois, Kentucky, Texas, Ohio and elsewhere.
  • Misinformation about ID needed to vote and polling place closing times and registration requirements in a number of states is being reported as well.
  • North Carolina's NAACP calls for poll hours to be extended in Durham County.
  • A judge in Nevada firmly rejects the Trump campaign's claim that polls were improperly left open during Early Voting over the weekend (in Hispanic areas.)
  • The woeful Governor of Maine Paul LePage lies about student voting requirements in his state, hoping to intimidate them, after fliers are posted at a local college doing the same.
  • An Idaho county elections office also wildly misleads to discourage student voting.
  • Trump and his campaign misinform voters.
  • Rightwing disinformation expert and dirty trickster James O'Keefe pretends to find "voter fraud" in Pennsylvania.

And many other developing shameful stories (and occassional hopeful ones) from Election Day 2016 --- as a glimmer of light may be shining at the end of our long national tunnel...or is that just an oncoming train?...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Plus: Sproul is back! Last minute voting rights court rulings! And more...
By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2016 5:52pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the last one before Election Day(!), we debunk a lot of nonsense --- and out-and-out lies from the Donald Trump Campaign, in several instances --- from over the weekend and in to today. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Among the stories and avalanche of news covered on today's BradCast:

  • FBI Director James Comey confirms there is nothing in newly discovered emails (most of them duplicates they'd seen before) that would lead to an indictment of Hillary Clinton;
  • And, no, there is no "murdered FBI agent" involved, no matter what you saw on Facebook over the weekend;
  • There was also no "assassination attempt" on Trump in Reno, NV over the weekend by a Republican sign-holder despite his campaign suggesting otherwise;
  • There was, however, a Trump supporter with a gun intimidating voters outside a VA polling location;
  • There appears to be record early voting turnout in dozens of states, and notably in Hispanic areas, where Trump's campaign blatantly lied over the weekend about polls being kept open "illegally" after hours;
  • Nathan Sproul, a long-time GOP operative whose companies have a checkered past related to voter registration fraud in several states, was secretly hired by the RNC in 2012 and then fired once more fraud allegations became public. He's now been quietly hired again by the RNC and Trump camp in 2016;
  • Dems lose several 'voter intimidation' lawsuits against Trump (but may have actually won anyway);
  • There will be at least 868 fewer places to vote in 2016, thanks to SCOTUS gutting Voting Rights Act
  • Kansas Sec. of State Kris Kobach is ordered (yet again, and hopefully once and for all!) to allow all registered voters to vote in both state and federal elections;
  • North Carolina is ordered by a federal court to restore all unlawfully purged voters to the rolls before Election Day;

And, much more, as we head into Election Day together, near the end (hopefully?) one of the darkest and most insane cycles in U.S. history...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Guest: Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center | Plus: Mississippi burning again and 'zombie voters' still not voting...
By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2016 6:17pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Rightwing extremist groups are reportedly plotting to wreak potential havoc on Election Day, as Donald Trump's candidacy has helped to mainstream previously fringe organizations. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Despite Trump's repeated claims that millions of 'dead people' are voting, the evidence --- reported many years ago by The BRAD BLOG and more recently even by a mainstream corporate news outlet investigation in Wisconsin --- continues to show otherwise.

But while the threat of zombie voters has long been wildly overstated by Republicans, rightwing extremist groups --- neo-nazis, the KKK, militia organizations and others --- are claiming they have plans to mobilize a "show of force" at polling places across the country next Tuesday. That, as another black church in Mississippi is set on fire this week with the words "Vote Trump" spray painted onto it.

So, do these radical groups pose a real threat for chaos and disenfranchisement on Election Day? Or are they just latching on to Trump's racist coat tails in hopes of intimidating American voters? Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremists and hate groups, joins us to answer those questions and much more related to this extraordinary election and the not-coincidental emergence and rise of the so-called "Alt-Right".

Potok, who tells me he believes "there's a real possibility of sporadic violence" next week, says "the Radical Right in America today has a hero, in the [Republican] nominee for President of the United States. They see Donald Trump as the best thing, politically, that they've seen in a half-century or more, going back to at least George Wallace and probably further. They're thrilled. They are very energized."

He tells me that in his 25 years on this beat, he has never seen the radical right play such a key role in an American Presidential election, and explains that the term "Alt-Right" is little more than "a re-branding of white supremacy for the digital age."

"Trump," he explains "has taken the lid off Pandora's Box in a very real and substantial way." But will the threat that they pose to the nation be worse if Trump wins or if he loses? Tune in for that and much more (including --- make sure you are sitting down for it --- my defense, of sorts, of the late, rightwing propagandist Andrew Breitbart! Yes, there's another example of how insane this election year has become.)

Also on today's BradCast: In North Carolina, a federal judge finds the state's statute allowing challenges to the voter rolls to be "insane", and the state's incumbent U.S. Senator who is locked in a close re-election battle, apologizes for disturbing comments about 'targeting' Hillary Clinton, but vows to keep anybody from being seated on the U.S. Supreme Court for the next four years if she wins.

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 11/3/2016 9:05am PT  

Irrespective of whether a citizen favors or opposes adult recreational marijuana consumption, a "yes" vote on California's Proposition 64, the Marijuana Legalization Initiative, is a no-brainer.

The measure would legalize possession and use for adults 21 and older, create a new Bureau of Marijuana Control charged with the regulation and licensing of non-medical marijuana businesses, permit cities and counties to require licenses and restrict the locations of marijuana businesses, and provide for taxation on both cultivation and sales. As is the case with alcohol, there is nothing in the measure that would prevent criminal penalties for driving under the influence.

Setting aside the well-documented history of complicity in the global drug trade both by U.S. covert agencies and by the global banking industry, the plain and simple fact is that prohibition, whether applied to alcohol or to other "narcotics" has, at best, repeatedly proven to be an inordinately expensive abject failure that is destructive of the lives of those who partake of the forbidden fruit and, all too often, has a devastating impact upon their families and finances...

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




Guest: Attorney, veteran, BRAD BLOG legal analyst Ernest A. Canning...
By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2016 5:20pm PT  

On today's BradCast, it looks like "Giant Meteor" could win after all! With one week to go, the race could be back up in the air, as polls tighten, Democrats sue Republicans in federal court, and we take a look at some key statewide ballot measures in California and elsewhere. [Audio link for show is posted below.]

The reverberations from FBI Director James Comey's unprecedented and (so far) evidence-free announcement last week concerning a potential new aspect of the agency's investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails continues to rock the 2016 Presidential Election, just one week before Election Day. Polling is moving back in Donald Trump's direction and we discuss other concerns that are not reflecting by polling numbers. Oh, and it turns out there is "voter fraud" at the polls, at least in Iowa, and you'll never guess who the alleged perp was caught voting twice for! (Sound familiar? Seems to happen a lot this time of year.)

Then, attorney and Vietnam veteran Ernest A. Canning, long time BRAD BLOG legal analyst now back from his Primary advisory role with Veterans for Bernie, joins us to discuss a number of California ballot initiatives he's been writing about here, as well as the several lawsuits filed by Democrats over the weekend charging "voter intimidation" by the Trump campaign and state GOP operations in Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, in violation of both the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871.

All of that follows on a decades-long consent decree barring the Republican National Committee from certain racially targeted "poll watching" and "ballot security" activities. That is a restriction they agreed to after getting caught using race-based intimidation tactics at polling places in the early 1980s, when one of the named defendants, Roger Stone --- a long time advisor to Trump and GOP dirty trickster going back to the Nixon era --- actually worked on the "ballot security" operation that got the RNC in trouble in the first place back in NJ in 1981.

Then, Canning details a number of state initiatives on the California state ballot next week --- and some well-funded lies about them --- which could have a major effect on prescription drug prices, legalized marijuana (and ending the disastrous "War on Drugs"), the death penalty (two different, competing measures), Citizens United and much more...even porn is on the CA ballot this year!

Speaking about one of the initiatives, Prop 61, which he wrote about over the weekend, and which the pharmaceutical industry is spending tens of millions to defeat by falsely claiming that it will harm veterans, Canning explains: "This proposition, more than any other, shows you the problem with money in our political system. They put these [false] ads on --- and naturally, the TV station should say, 'We should fact-check that. That's not true.' But they're not going to do that because that would be like biting the hand that feeds them. These ads have become a major source of revenue for our commercial media" which, he ads, are "the ultimate beneficiaries of Citizens United, which is perhaps one of the reasons why they don't ask questions in the debates about repealing Citizens United!"

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Uneven playing field underscores needed media, campaign finance reform...
By Ernest A. Canning on 10/31/2016 8:05am PT  

California's Proposition 61, "the Drug Price Standards Initiative", is simple and straightforward. It mandates that any California state agency that provides funding for prescription drugs may not pay more than the lowest price paid for the same drug by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

PhRMA, the powerful drug industry lobbying organization, opposes the measure, and is using blatantly dishonest television ads, such as this one featuring Marine Corps Veteran Lamont Duncan, to claim that the measure will increase the price the VA pays for prescription drugs, harming veterans in the bargain...

The ad leads viewers to the same erroneous assumption presented by the state's Legislative Analyst (emphasis added) --- that "drug manufacturers might choose to raise VA drug prices" in response to passage of Prop 61. Worse, the ad erroneously suggests that veterans themselves could be forced into higher co-pays.

As Senator Bernie Sanders, the former chairman of the U.S. Veterans Affairs Committee, noted in an LA Times op-ed in support of Prop 61, "pharmaceutical companies cannot unilaterally raise the price of drugs it sells to the VA." Those prices, he explains, are fixed by federal law.

Conservative economist Greg D'Angelo, from Heritage Foundation's Center for Health Policy Studies confirms Sanders point in this explanation published some years ago: "The VA's discounts are mandated by [federal] law." Drug manufacturers lack the power to so much as "negotiate" a higher VA price, according to D'Angelo, let alone unilaterally raise them. And, as Sanders adds, "veterans' drug co-payments are fixed and do not rise even if drug prices go up." In cases where their treatment is for a service-connected condition, veterans "pay no out of pocket costs whatsoever for prescription drugs," the Senator notes.

While Prop 61 is subject to valid concerns, as explained below, under existing federal law, a betrayal of the right for affordable pharmaceuticals to Veterans is not one of them...

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




Touch-screen votes flipping; GOP suppression is working; Dems take RNC back to court; ND cracks down on pipeline protests; More...
By Brad Friedman on 10/27/2016 5:57pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, voters are fighting to cast their vote, as voting machines, election officials and GOP suppression efforts continue to work against them. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

The RNC may now be facing another 8 years of court-ordered restrictions against targeting minority voters, as the DNC files to have a federal Consent Decree from the early 80s extended, charging that the RNC and Trump campaign have colluded to unlawfully suppress the vote through so-called "ballot security" schemes and other intimidation tactics.

In the meantime, confidence in accurate election results is plummetting nationally and voter suppression seems to be working against voters in North Carolina, where early voting has been shortened in many counties and some voters --- including a 100-year old African-American woman --- are finding themselves threatened with being purged from the rolls after being challenged by Republican "caging lists".

In Wisconsin, Democratic lawmakers are begging the U.S. Dept. of Justice to send poll monitors after the state's GOP Photo ID voting restrictions are said to be resulting in havoc, confusion and disenfranchisement.

In Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Illinois (so far) 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, touch-screen style) voting systems are reportedly flipping votes from R to D and from D to R and, once again, election officials are blaming voters, rather than themselves.

Also today: Militarized troops in North Dakota clear out Dakota Access Pipeline protesters near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and the owners of the pipeline are revealed to be big Trump funders while the GOP nominee is revealed to have large stock holdings in the companies that own it; The Yale Record does "not" endorse Hillary Clinton and neither does Libertarian Party Veep nominee Gov. William Weld (wink); and Desi Doyen joins us to "blame the cows", among other things, in our the latest Green News Report...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 10/25/2016 9:05am PT  

According to a Los Angeles Times "Debate scorecard," the opening segment of last week's third and final Presidential debate, concerning the respective nominees plans for appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court, was a "draw."

Three of the paper's pundits each proffered what at best could be described as a superficial one-paragraph explanation for their verdict: It was a "draw" because 1) an ordinarily unhinged Trump was "calm" and "sedate," and 2) by describing what they would look for in a nominee to SCOTUS, both candidates had appealed to their respective conservative Republican and liberal Democratic bases.

The "Debate scorecard" presents a classic example of what Bill Moyers derides as the "charade of fair and balanced --- by which two opposing people offer competing opinions with a host who assumes the viewer will arrive at the truth by splitting the difference" --- an unacceptable "substitute for independent analysis." Combined with the "draw" assessment, this form of irresponsible punditry lends itself to the false equivalency separately offered by FiveThirtyEight's Oliver Roeder, who suggested that both candidates were "promising an extreme candidate" to fill the vacancy left by the death of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

In truth, the differences between the two Presidential nominees are profound. They represents the difference between oligarchy (Trump) and democracy (Clinton). Trump's preference for a judiciary that would protect the privileged few at the expense of the vast majority of ordinary Americans is both extreme and unpopular. Clinton's egalitarian criteria for judicial nominations is immensely popular and decidedly mainstream. There is nothing "extreme" about a jurist who is committed to the words that appear above the entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court: "Equal Justice Under Law."

What is especially troubling is that media pundits have erected a false equivalency on an issue of vital importance to the American electorate. Outside of global climate change, which threatens the very survival of humanity, the issue of what could turn out to be as many as three lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court over the next four years is amongst the most monumental that voters will face on Nov. 8. As we previously reported the fate of democracy itself is at stake.

Roeder and the three L.A. Times pundits would have understood that if they had bothered to either consult constitutional scholars or specific issue polls before erecting their false equivalency in their respective debate analyses...

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




Guest: David Jarman, Editor of Daily Kos Elections...
By Brad Friedman on 10/24/2016 6:05pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Will Hillary Clinton's apparent lead in national polling and turnout to date translate into a Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate? Poll watchers and analysts, at least Democratic leaning ones, seem to think so. For now. But just barely. [Audio link for show posted below.]

More early voting numbers in several states continue to suggest a potentially banner year for Democrats. In addition to those new indicators today, Hillary Clinton's poll numbers continue to rise, even as Donald Trump argued over the weekend that all the polls are "phony", not to be believed, and are meant to do little more than suppress the vote. (Though someone may want to let his own campaign manager know about that.)

But, will the hints of success for the Clinton campaign translate into Democrats taking back control of the U.S. Senate? David Jarman, editor of Daily Kos Elections, joins me to explain what the polls currently suggest about the likelihood of a Senate majority for Dems, the races in 9 states that he believes will determine that balance and, specifically, the 3 states he believes will ultimately be the tipping points for control of the upper chamber of Congress over the next two years.

While Daily Kos is a website meant to support Democrats, Jarman explains the roll of the analysts at Daily Kos Elections: "We're sort of the quantitative side of Daily Kos, but we also do more qualitative analysis of where we feel the chances are in the Senate and the House, looking at it race by race, doing the sort of old-fashioned scouting approach of 'this is a toss-up, this is lean-Democratic', that kind of thing. We also compile a lot of the data that eludes other people, about where the ad dollars are going, what the topics of ads are, every poll, we collect those in our daily digest."

Jarman and I also discuss, among other things, how and if things like voter suppression are included in his predictions; how large a majority Democrats would need in order to be able to bypass some of the more conservative/corporatist members of its caucus; whether Democrats could also retake a majority in the U.S. House, and some serious havoc that may occur for House Speaker Ryan even in the likelihood that they don't; and, also, some of the gubernatorial races that may end up going "blue" this year as well.

Finally, Bernie Sanders responds to Wikileaks' release of emails from Clinton staffers painting him in a less than favorable light, and Donald Trump says that he has plans to rethink freedom of the press, as defined by the Constitution's First Amendment, should he become the next President.

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Guests: Heather Digby Parton of Salon, David Dayen of Fiscal Times...
By Brad Friedman on 10/20/2016 5:27pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Bad hombres! Nasty women! And SUSPENSE! Real coverage of the final Presidential Debate of 2016, some of which is almost guaranteed to piss off just about everybody in one way or another. You're welcome! [Audio link to show posted below.]

For our analysis of the final --- and, by our count, 25th! --- debate of the 2016 cycle, I'm joined once again by award-winning journalist Heather Digby Parton of Salon and the Hullabaloo blog, and by David Dayen, of Fiscal Times and author of Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street's Great Foreclosure Fraud.

As you probably expect, we spend some time focusing on Trump's dishonest claims that the election is being "rigged" and his refusal to promise a peaceful transfer of power. But we also discuss the, at times, disingenuous outrage about it all from the media as well as both Republicans and Democrats, each of whom seem to have developed more than a bit of convenient amnesia about recent elections, about the mechanics of our electoral system, and even very recent assertions about all of the above.

Yes, election fraud and election integrity are topics about which we have some familiarity around here. And, while nuance and complexity and facts may not play well in the corporate media or among angry partisans near the end of an insane election cycle, no small amount of each are called for today. We do our best.

"Digby" and Dayen also bring insight on a number of the other surprisingly substantive issues raised at the debate (as well as important issues that, once again, were not), many of which have been largely overlooked in the wake of Trump's latest embarrassing tantrum(s)...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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