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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, August 24, 2017
'Where Never is Heard a Discouraging Word, and the Coal Dust Isn't Toxic All Day': 'BradCast' 8/23/17
Guest: WV's Bob Kincaid; Plus: Trump's lie rampage; TX Photo ID nixed again; more...
No First or Second Amendment Right to Armed White Supremacist Protests
After Charlottesville, the ACLU changed its position on the right to armed protest -- and for good reason, argues Ernest Canning...
Bush's War Became Obama's War Becomes Trump's War: 'BradCast' 8/22/17
Guest: Historian, Middle East expert Juan Cole on Trump's Afghanistan 'flip-flop', why the hell we're there & if we'll ever be able to get out...
'Green News Report' 8/22/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Monsanto pesticide decimating crops; Federal climate advisors not going away easily; Court lets Exxon off hook (again); PLUS: Trump's Nat'l Park Service ends plastic bottle ban...
Previous GNRs: 8/17/17 - 8/15/17 - Archives...
Democrats. Remember Them?: 'BradCast' 8/21/17
Guest: Author, journalist David Dayen on the Democratic Party's 'quietly radical' 'Better Deal' plan and much more; Plus: The eclipse!...
Why I Anonymously Wrote an Election Integrity Novel in 2008, and Why I'm 'Anonymous' No More
Guest blogged by the no-longer anonymous author of Cassandra, Chanting...
Sunday Toons of the 'Many Sides' Moment
This week, PDiddie's collection of political toons mark what could be a seminal point in the Trump Presidency, examining the issue 'on many sides, many sides'...
The 25th for 45?:
'BradCast' 8/18/17
Guest: Political scientist, author David Faris; Plus: BANNON IS OUT and more than 1.5M Chicago voter registration records exposed (again), by nation's largest e-voting vendor...
Fighting for Free Speech For and Against Nazis, Trump, and Israel: 'BradCast' 8/17/17
Guest: Inst. for Policy Studies' Aniqa Raihan; Also: Bannon interview's revelation on North Korea; Fox 'News' buckling under stress...
'Green News Report' 8/17/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump revokes infrastructure protection; July 2017 hottest month ever; Solar eclipse to challenge power grid; PLUS: Nat'l monuments on chopping block in unprecedented review...
Previous GNRs: 8/15/17 - 8/10/17 - Archives...
After C'Ville, Trump's Presser: Is Something Happening Here?: 'BradCast' 8/16/17
Also: Attorney Ernest Canning on IN vote suppression suits; Callers on Trump's support for White Supremacists...
Federal Lawsuits Challenge Indiana's Wildly Disparate Voting Site Laws
Legal analyst Ernie Canning on suits filed against years-long, blatant voter suppression in Mike Pence's Indiana...
Path to Peace w/ NK? Also: CBO Undercuts Trump Threat: 'BradCast' 8/15/2017
And Trump keeps digging deeper on C'Ville, despite newly revealed FBI, DHS warning of violent RW extremism...
'Green News Report' 8/15/17
Deadly Sierra Leone mudslide; Largest Gulf 'dead zone' ever; 'Super heat waves' on rise; Fossil fuel ind's $5T in subsidies/yr; PLUS: Sea rising faster in Southeast...
Making America Hate Again: From C'Ville to OK to White House: 'BradCast' 8/14/17
Guest: Former neo-Nazi Tony McAleer; Also: U.S., N. Korea remain on edge of World War...
Sunday Toons of the 'Superior Race/Arms Race' Moment
At this rate, between N. Korea, C'ville and climate crisis, it's unclear if America can survive more "greatness", as the cartoonists in PDiddie's latest weekly collection illustrate...
More Trump Admin Sabotage of ObamaCare Revealed: 'BradCast' 8/11/17
Guest: TPM's Alice Ollstein; Also: Trump continues NK threats, experts worry, diplomatic solutions remain...
'Fire and Fury': Overblown Bluster or Time for Real Alarm?: 'BradCast' 8/10/17
Guest: VOA's WH House Bureau Chief, 26-yr Asia journo Steve Herman; Also: DoJ flips in voting rights case; Trump still ignoring MN mosque attack...
'Green News Report' 8/10/17
Fed scientists leak climate report; Admin wants to stay in Paris accord?; EPA finds regs don't hurt economy; PLUS: Obama climate policies save billions...
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: Steven Rosenfeld of Alternet...
By Brad Friedman on 11/22/2016 6:02pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Will the 2016 Presidential election be publicly hand-counted (what some call a 'recount')? Should it be? Experts, citing anomalies in the reported results and other concerns, are beginning to say 'yes'. But action would need to be taken --- and a lot of money raised --- by one or more of the Presidential candidates quickly in order for that to happen. [Audio link to full show follows below.]

I haven't been the only one asking questions about the reliability of the reported results of the November 8, 2016 election and whether voters should have confidence in the computer-tallied results. As we've been reporting since Election Day, there are a lot of folks looking at the numbers and asking questions about what actually did --- or didn't --- happen. A number of world class computer science, voting system and election integrity experts are beginning to urge for a public count of the election in a number of key states.

With approximately 100,000 total votes (out of more than 13 million cast), reportedly separating Clinton and Trump in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania alone, I can confirm that a number of those experts believe it would be a worthwhile exercise to file for hand-counts to make sure the results are correct. (Remember, just 50,000 votes recorded for Clinton instead of Trump across those three states would mean she, not Trump, becomes the next President of the United States.)

Today we look at just a few of the anomalies that have been widely cited today by some of the nation's top election experts, such as more votes reportedly cast in the Presidential election than the "Total Votes Cast" in a number of Wisconsin counties --- at least according to the counties' initially reported results.

Author and long-time election integrity journalist Steven Rosenfeld of Alternet recently wrote about just some of the concerns being analyzed and noted by experts that both he and I have been speaking with in the days since the election. He joins me to discuss concerns and discrepancies in several states where hand-counted "recounts" could, potentially, flip the results of the Electoral College and the Trump/Clinton election along with it.

"The big point here is we don't really know --- still --- what the actual count is," Rosenfeld tells me. "I, like everybody else, would like to really know what happened. And I can accept the results if I know that they're true and accurate...so let's make sure that people's votes are accurately counted. "

We also discuss the challenges that would be faced by a candidate calling for such a count and the money (lots of it, about $2 million per state) that they would need to raise in a hurry in order to get such a hand-count and a forensic analysis of voting systems and tabulators in the states where experts are saying the effort may be well worth it.

NOTE: Since getting off air, where both Rosenfeld and I needed to talk around the record a bit, Gabriel Sherman at New York magazine offers some details about some of what is going on.

Also today: The effort some activists are making to urge Trump electors to change their vote before casting it in the Electoral College on December 19th.

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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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: Election integrity expert and exit poll analyst Jonathon Simon
Also: Fake news from both fake AND real news outlets continues to undermine democracy...
By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2016 6:28pm PT  

What would Donald Trump do if the Exit Polls showed him winning key states before Election Results announced that he had actually lost them instead? It's an excellent question (that virtually answers itself), raised by my guest on today's BradCast. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Yes, once again, according to several analyses, the disparities between Exit Polling and Election Results, as reported by unverified computer tabulators, suggest that one or the other of those two sets of data may be wrong. The first Exit Polls released by the media consortium on Election Night suggested that Hillary Clinton won in key battleground states, such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan and North Carolina, that she ended up reportedly losing.

Figuring out what did or didn't happen, of course, remains very important. Had just about 50,000 votes across the three states of WI, PA and MI alone been recorded for Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump, she would be the President-Elect today.

Dr. Jonathon Simon, author of CODE RED: Computerized Election Theft and The New American Century, and the man who originally documented almost identical disparities during the 2004 President Election, joins me to discuss his latest analysis of the still-continuing problem in 2016 and what needs to be done about it --- hopefully before the Electoral College meets to make it official by casting their votes next month.

"There are huge disparities, way outside the margin of error, pretty much all in the same direction and, yeah, outcome reversing," he tells me. "So the question becomes, what do you believe? I'd be the first to say we're not going to prove anything with exit polls. But what we really have is two sets of really lousy evidence. We have exit polls --- you could ask, 'Why would you believe them?' --- and you have the vote counts. And you could also ask, 'Why would you believe them?' They're concealed, they're computerized, they're outsourced, they're privatized --- whoever is programming them has the basic control over how those votes are counted or how fictitious it could be. They're also subject to outsider hacking, as well as insider rigging."

"Let me put it this way," Simon continues, "the question that I would want to put to anybody keeping score at home would be, 'What would Trump do?' If these same numbers came out, only they were reversed --- in a parallel universe, he won the popular vote, and Hillary Clinton won the Presidency and the electoral college, and there were all these states in which the exit polls favored Trump and somehow the vote counts favored Clinton --- you can bet your bottom dollar, based on what he said going into the election, based on the attitude he had about not conceding, about making sure if he felt there was any suspicion that he would challenge, that they would be challenging these results."

But what of the response from Edison Research, the sole provider of Exit Polling data for the national media, that the methodology used for Exit Polling in U.S. elections, unlike polls designed for use in other countries, should not be used as an indication that the reported vote counts are fraudulent or otherwise in error? And why do these apparent "red shifts" in vote counts, as Simon describes the difference in the two data sets, tend to happen mostly to Democratic candidates (or, in the case of the Democratic Primary, to the more progressive candidate, Bernie Sanders) rather than to Republicans?

Simon, a longtime election integrity advocate, and I discuss all of those questions and much more, including the real problem with this type of analysis between Exits and Results: the data that create both are still kept secret from public scrutiny, leaving everyone guessing --- and serving to further undermine U.S. democracy as a result.

"The system is set up to be concealed, and the government and the media are working pretty hard to make sure it stays concealed," Simon explains. "And you've got a bunch of people with democracy in their hearts who are working just as hard, if not harder, to try to un-conceal it. It's an uphill battle, but that's what we're doing right now."

Also today, speaking of undermining U.S. democracy, more on the problem of fake news versus real news in a 'post-truth' world, and how fake, pro-Trump/anti-Clinton news stories received more exposure on social media in the run-up to the Presidential Election than news from actual news outlets did. But, as we also report, even the real, theoretically legitimate new sites continue to undermine democracy with fake news, even today...

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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ALSO: NC GOP wants 'recount' after vote tabulators fail in Governor race...
By Brad Friedman on 11/16/2016 6:04pm PT  

On today's BradCast, I'm back after a brief health scare over the weekend, and apparently I've got a lot to talk about concerning the reported results of last week's election! [Audio link to show posted below.]

First up: The difference between fake news and real news in our new "post-truth" world, and what the hell can be done about it when fake news comes from even supposedly legitimate corporate news outlets.

Next: North Carolina's awful Republican Gov. Pat McCrory appears to have lost his re-election bid in a reportedly very close race to Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper. But the GOP is demanding a 'recount' following the failure of a very popular (if oft-failed) paper ballot optical-scan computer tabulation system...and his voters deserve one.

Then: Should Americans have confidence in the reported results of the Presidential election? Some explanations for disparities between the results and the pre-election polls are not holding up. Voter suppression likely played a role. But what about those magical computer voting and tabulation systems? Were they manipulated? Did they fail? How would we know if they did? Why do the same-day Exit Polls results, once again, differ from the reported election results? And will Americans ever demand that hand-marked paper ballots be publicly counted by actual human beings, instead of by vulnerable computers which often fail and/or report results incorrectly?

If a manual hand-count is needed to determine for certain who voters selected to become NC Governor, don't U.S. voters deserve no less in determining who will be the next President of the United States? We review what we (so far) know and don't about legitimate questions some voters (and electronic voting system experts) have about the results of the Trump/Clinton race, as currently reported by computers without virtually any verification by actual human beings.

Finally: With me out sick earlier this week, Desi Doyen joins us for a slightly less snarky Green News Report today!

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: 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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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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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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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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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: Brennan Center's Alicia Bannon | PLUS: More emails, more racism, more lies, more wingnuttery...
By Brad Friedman on 10/28/2016 5:54pm PT  

On today's BradCast: While the national media is obsessed with Trump, a record amount of dark money from undisclosed corporate sources is being spent on judicial elections at state Supreme Courts. Also: A whole lotta other breaking news today, from a new development in the Hillary Clinton email probe, to some white, armed hooligan wingnuts getting off the hook for an armed federal takeover, to one U.S. Senator likely killing his own re-election chances during a debate last night. [Audio link to complete show posted below.]

On today's interview, Alicia Bannon, Senior Counsel at the Brennan Center's Democracy Program, joins us to explain the flood of outside spending from corporate, dark money sources now pouring in to state Supreme Court elections around the country, as detailed in her new analysis published this week. We also discuss the disturbingly increasing politicization of judicial elections and why it is that judges are selected by elections at all in some 38 states.

"Around the country, we've been seeing these elections become higher cost, more politicized, and attracting a lot of special interest attention," she tells me. And that's worrying, because, among other reasons, "a judge needs to be deciding cases based on their understanding of what the law requires and the facts that are in front of them, and not out of fears of what that's going to mean for fundraising in the next election cycle, or what's going to be the subject of their next attack ad."

While judicial elections "were actually a reform measure," when originally introduced in the 19th century because "there was a concern that those judges were too closely aligned with the political branches," Bannon explains, in the wake of Citizens United and other measures that have increased the flow of money into politics, judicial elections, "are putting even more pressure on judges because of the money involved and the conflicts of interest that get created."

We go on to discuss a number of such judicial conflicts of interests, from the remarkable case of the state Supreme Court in Wisconsin to the election that will determine the balance of the Supreme Court in North Carolina next week, to the judicial campaign being funded in no small part by fossil fuel interests in Louisiana, where the same corporate funders are facing legacy environmental cases to be decided by the very same court.

Bannon, who also clerked for Sondra Sotomayor when she was an appellate judge on the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, also shares a bit of personal insight on the U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Also today: The FBI notifies the U.S. Senate that they have found some additional emails in a separate investigation that may relate to their probe of Hillary Clinton's email server and the cable "news" industry predictably freaks out; The Bundy Brothers are acquitted at trial, for some reason, after their six-week armed takeover of a federal wildlife facility in Oregon earlier this year; Donald Trump fails to put up the $100 million he had promised to his own campaign; and Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk (R) offers an outrageously obnoxious racial slur during a debate with his opponent, double-amputee Iraq War veteran Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D)...

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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...

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From Smartmatic to Diebold: Responding (yet again) to partisan worries of vote flips and voting machine ownership...
By Brad Friedman on 10/25/2016 6:40pm PT  

It's that time of the election cycle again. Happens every four years. (Every two, actually.) On today's BradCast: That moment when partisans on the Right declare Democrats are stealing the election with voting machines owned by George Soros and Democrats worry that Republicans are doing the same via private companies actually owned by big GOP supporters. [Audio link posted below.]

Both sides see votes flipping on touch-screen systems to their opponents. Both sides declare it only happens to their chosen party. Both sides have reason to worry about private ownership of our electoral systems. Both sides tend to be very selective about their concerns. And both sides do nothing about it until it's time to start freaking out again just before the next election.

The old, previously debunked charge that the progressive billionaire Soros is somehow controlling voting machines across the U.S. re-appeared yet again in the Rightwingosphere over the weekend, only slightly modified from its 2012 version. This time it has resulted in a petition to WhiteHouse.gov --- so far, signed by more than 70,000 since it was posted late last week --- demanding "congress meet in emergency session about removing George Soros owned voting machines from 16 states."

But, of course, as we noted back in 2012, when Democrats were concerned about the actual ownership of voting machine company Hart Intercivic by associates of Mitt Romney, Soros does not own any companies with voting machines in the U.S. He doesn't own any companies with voting machines used elsewhere either, to my knowledge. But the original seed for the persistently false rumor seems to have been planted, in no small part, by The BRAD BLOG's exclusive coverage way back in 2008 of a Venezuelan voting machine company named Smartmatic --- once believed linked to Hugo Chavez --- and their secret ownership of the Intellectual Property (IP) used in voting machines made by Sequoia Voting Systems. Many of those machines are still used in about 15 states across the country.

Sequoia has since been purchased by a Canadian firm named Dominion Voting, which, like Sequoia before it, lied about Smartmatic's ownership of IP used in Sequoia's machines. But, as I explain on today's program, it could hardly be further removed from Soros who, as it turns out, has absolutely no stake in Smartmatic or any of the other vote counting companies deployed in the U.S..

But, like Democrats, Republicans have every right and reason to be concerned about the obscene private corporate ownership of our nation's public voting and tabulation machinery. (Please petition Whitehouse.gov about that!) As I noted to a reporter seeking comment about the concerns about Romney's ties to Hart Intercivic around this same exact time before the 2012 Presidential Election...

Once again, we're reminded of the dangers of the privatization of our once-public electoral system. The company's ties to Romney aren't the only disturbing ones we've seen with similar companies over the years. The fact is, that nobody other than the public should have any sort of control of our elections. The proprietary voting systems now in use in all 50 states, whether owned by Romney associates, a George W. Bush associate (as with Diebold in 2004) or even a company tied to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez (as with Sequoia Voting Systems which blatantly lied about that tie to public officials, and the Canadian firm Dominion which purchased Sequoia and also immediately lied about the fact that Intellectual Property of their voting systems used all across the U.S. is still owned by the Venezuelan firm), continue to be a grave threat to American democracy and confidence in U.S. Elections.

And, like similar clockwork, once again this year we are now hearing the shouts about touch-screen voting machines flipping Democratic to Republican and Republican to Democratic --- and the claims from partisans on both sides that "this only ever happens to Republicans/Democrats!" --- as early voting gets underway in a number of states. Is there legitimate reason to worry about such votes flipping? The answer is both yes and no, with reason for all of us to be ashamed, as I explain on the show today.

Also, not unrelated on today's program: Volkswagen's record billion dollar settlement for programming their cars' software to cheat on emissions tests; GOP Senator in close election warms up to climate change; Desi Doyen joins us for the Green News Report as pipeline protests rage, China closes coal-fired power plants, Sen. Marco Rubio looks the other way as Florida faces rising seas, and the corporate media ignore all of it during each of this year's Presidential debates...

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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.

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Through the darkness and towards the light...
By Brad Friedman on 10/14/2016 5:47pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we peer into the rancid dark heart of the Republican Party meltdown and the trauma all Americans are being forced through to get there. [Audio link posted below.]

As detailed today, the ongoing meltdown began long before the campaign of Donald Trump, whose angry, dangerous, paranoid speech in West Palm Beach, FL on Thursday offered only a glimpse into the party's decades-long lurch towards the fact-free 'reality' they've worked to create for all of us. No longer tethered to facts or truth, but to a nominee who embodies and reflects the very xenophobic, nativist, racist, and misogynistic tactics employed for political gain over at least the last two Presidential Administrations, the beginning of a reckoning may finally be in sight.

Yet, even those GOPers who finally understand some of this --- and many in the corporate media who've enabled it for so long --- still fail to grasp the gravity of the moment, their own culpability, and the traumatic stress the nation faces in the bargain.

Nonetheless, our message today: We're going to be okay, there is a way out.

All of that and what you can do to help us get there --- as illustrated with the news of the day, a bit of listener mail and even some South Park(!) --- on today's BradCast...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/7/2016 5:52pm PT  

On today's BradCast, with just one month to go before Election Day, the fight to vote continues in key swing states like Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida, where millions have been displaced due to Hurricane Matthew on the final weekend before the voter registration deadline.

As the deadly storm sweeps up the Florida coast, knocking out power and leading to evacuations across the state, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) refuses to extend the state's voter registration deadline, despite major registration drives planned for this weekend forced to be cancelled due to the state emergency and (perhaps because of) the fact that 50,000 voter registered during the same last minute time-frame in 2012. (Meanwhile, in GOP-leaning South Carolina, Republican Gov. Nikki Hailey has extended the deadline in her state.)

In Wisconsin, voter suppression continues as the state's lie to a federal court about the availability of Photo IDs at DMVs continues to disenfranchise 90-year old women and many others, and, thanks to a new law by state Republicans, thousands of absentee ballots are now at risk of being tossed altogether in the Badger State.

In Ohio, absentee ballots and provisionals are being tossed out for technical reasons in urban areas but not rural areas, and a federal appeals court has, once again, declined to take action. All of that while Trump and Republicans continue to lie about non-citizens voting and as the U.S. Dept. of Justice, for the first time in 50 years, will be unable to deploy hundreds of polling place monitors in states with a history of racial discrimination, thanks to the 2013 gutting of the federal Voting Rights Act by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Finally, in 2008, young Jewish voters worked to turn out their elderly Jewish grandparents for Barack Obama in Florida. In 2016, as a new video illustrates, the tables have somewhat turned...

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By Brad Friedman on 10/3/2016 5:48pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Trump's "charitable" foundation gets shut down by law enforcement, two major (unusual) hurricanes threaten millions, and actual fact-checks from one side of this nightmarish election to the other. [Audio link posted below.]

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

• "The Trump Foundation must immediately cease soliciting contributions or engaging in any other fundraising activities in New York," according to the letter from New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office, warning that the GOP nominee's charity "shall be deemed a continuing fraud upon the people of New York" unless it provides required paperwork regarding fundraising activities within the next 15 days.
• Two major hurricanes threatening island nations in both the Atlantic and Pacific.
• Much-needed fact-checking on the misreporting and purposeful mischaracterization of comments made at a February fundraiser by Hillary Clinton.
• More much-needed fact-checking on the misleading (and potentially illegal) comments made by Trump regarding long ago debunked 2012 "voter fraud" in Pennsylvania (which even Philadelphia Republicans are getting sick to death of) and details on why Trump is now being so careful about the words he is using to urge supporters to go to "certain areas" and "watch" the polls.
Updates on the state of Wisconsin's failure to follow federal court orders concerning their discriminatory Photo ID voting restrictions. (More on this in last Friday's show.)
More concerns about the possibility of hacked voting, voter registration and tabulation systems resulting in potential chaos this November 8th.

So many pants on fire, so little time before Election Day to try and help put them all out...

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Guest: Kathleen Unger of VoteRiders...
By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2016 6:12pm PT  

On today's BradCast, another Republican run state appears to be blatantly violating federal court requirements on voting rights, just over one month from Election Day. [Audio link to show posted below.]

While Donald Trump and his businesses have continuously violated state and federal law, even as he calls for 'Law and Order' on the campaign trail as detailed, yet again, on yesterday's program, Republican controlled states continue to violate federal court orders on voting rights. The latest appears to be Wisconsin who, as Ari Berman at The Nation reported, is systematically failing to supply voters with Photo IDs at Departments of Motor Vehicles as the state had promised the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in late August. That promise prevented the court from weakening or killing the GOP's Photo ID voting restriction which has been found, over and over (and over), to disproportionately disenfranchise minority voters in violation of the federal Voting Rights Act.

Joining us to discuss the news --- which has resulted today in a federal judge, on his own motion, ordering the state back in to court to explain themselves --- is Kathleen Unger, President of VotersRiders.org. Her non-profit, non-partisan organization, as Berman detailed, visited 10 DMVs around the Badger State and found only 3 of them prepared to provide Photo IDs to voters who need them to vote within the promised 6 days. Many of the others said the process would take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks at best, long after Election Day is over and after tens of thousands of voters will have lost their right to vote.

"These Voter ID laws are an unfunded mandate on citizens," Unger explains, for minorities as well as seniors, students, low income voters and others who must take time off work and travel to get the very narrow type of IDs now required to vote in states where these laws have been allowed by courts to stand.

She offers details on the disturbing revelations discovered by her group during visits to WI DMVs with otherwise eligible voters, and what --- if anything --- can now possibly be done to correct the situation less than 40 days out from Election Day and with early voting already under way. She also hopes to point folks towards VoteRiders' downloadable, wallet-sized Photo ID information cards detailing the laws in each state. Informed voters may be the only hope, as chaos in many such states on Election Day is, yet again, a very serious concern.

Wisconsin, as Unger and I discuss, is just the latest scofflaw "red" state to blatantly violate recent federal court requirements concerning voting rights, following on the heels of Texas, Kansas, Ohio and others.

Also today: Yet another major newspaper breaks with years of tradition by asking readers to vote against the Republican nominee; Trump unleashes a bizarre overnight Tweetstorm railing against (and lying about) his former Miss Universe, and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report recapping what little climate discussion there was at Monday's Presidential debate...

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

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