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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, August 31, 2016
The Ballad of Paul LePage: 'BradCast' 8/30/16
Nation's dumbest Governor receives an intervention in Maine amidst racist outbursts, obscene voice mails, death threats to political opponents...
'Green News Report' 8/30/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
ND Sioux Tribe takes a stand against massive new oil pipeline; CA passes sweeping climate law; Chlorine gas leak in WV; PLUS: Obama creates world's largest marine sanctuary...
Previous GNRs: 8/25/16 - 8/23/16 - Archives...
FBI Warns of New Election Hacks: 'BradCast' 8/29/16
New FBI Cyber Division memo on voter registration database intrusions. Then, Ernie Canning w/ updates on several federal voting rights battles. Plus: Farewell, Gene Wilder...
7th Circuit: WI Photo ID Law to Remain in Place for 2016
Full Appeals Court relies on new assurances from state promising to make free IDs available without restriction, opponents remain dubious, worred about November disenfranchisement...
Sunday Toons of the Either/Or Moment
PDiddie rounds up the week in binary voting options, as seen via the eyes and hands of the nation's best political cartoonists...
Trump 'CEO' Just Latest Top GOPer Accused Of False-Residency Reg Fraud
Stephen Bannon doubles-down after initial revelations detail his alleged voter registration fraud. But he's joining a long, hypocritical list...
Trump Campaign Chief's Alleged Domestic Abuse, Vote Fraud: 'BradCast' 8/26/16
Now we can Trump 'CEO' Steve Bannon to a long list of very high-profile GOP voter reg fraudsters...
Standing Rock Sioux's Stand Against 'Dakota Access': 'BradCast' 8/25/16
Guest: David Archambault II, Chair of Standing Rock Sioux tribe; Plus: Clinton calls out Trump's 'Alt-Right' campaign...
'Green News Report' 8/25/16
300+ dead, 6 million displaced by India flooding; Obama pledges aid for LA flooding; Bad news for WA wolves; PLUS: 100th bday for National Park Service...
Clinton, Trump and Cracking the Two-Party Duopoly: 'BradCast' 8/24/16
Guest: Historian, columnist Matthew Rozsa; Plus: Unfolding deadly disasters in Italy, India and Louisiana...
NSA Hacking Tools in the Wild, Hackable Elections in the US: 'BradCast' 8/23/16
Guest: Princeton computer scientist, e-vote 'hacker' Andrew Appel; Also: Obama in LA and Trump's latest vote suppression dog-whistle...
'Green News Report' 8/23/16
. Media failure on LA floods; Flooding accelerates Zika virus; PLUS: A tale of two Arctics -- Native American tribe forced to move, luxury cruises begin...
'What the Hell Do You Have to Lose?': 'BradCast' 8/22/16
Trump 'pivots', reaches out to African-American voters, forgets to tell the rest of his party...
Three Daves: 'BradCast' 8/19/16
Guest host Angie Coiro w/ Dave Johnson of Campaign for America's Future, David Atkins of Washington Monthly, and Chain of Title author David Dayen...
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: Indiana University cybersecurity law expert Scott Shackelford | Also: Why your right to vote matters, 52 years after 'Freedom Summer'...
By Brad Friedman on 8/4/2016 6:11pm PT  

On today's BradCast, after great news on voting rights from a bunch of state and federal courts over the past week, and sudden concerns from the the Right, the Left and the corporate media about the possibility of stolen elections, the Dept. of Homeland Security is finally looking into taking action. [Audio link to today's program posted below.]

"We should carefully consider whether our election system, our election process is critical infrastructure, like the financial sector, like the power grid," DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said this week. "There’s a vital national interest in our electoral process."

Years ago, I began reporting on the serious vulnerability of our election system to manipulation (and error) from both foreign and domestic sources. In 2006, for example, after helping supply computer security analysts at Princeton University with a Diebold touch-screen voting system for the first independent tests of such a machine, I reported both at The BRAD BLOG and at Salon that the analysts were able to hack into it, in about 60 seconds time, with a virus that would flip election results and pass itself from machine to machine with virtually no possibility of detection. That followed on an Exclusive series of 2005 reports from a Diebold insider who I called "DIEB-THROAT" at the time, describing how the company's lead programmers admitted that the security on their systems was terrible and that a branch of DHS had already warned, in 2004, about an "undocumented back door" in the systems.

In 2009, by way of just one more example, we reported here on remarks delivered to the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) by CIA cybersecurity analyst Steven Stigall, describing how "wherever the vote becomes an electron and touches a computer, that's an opportunity for a malicious actor potentially to make bad things happen," before going on to note that the CIA became interested in electronic voting systems years earlier "after concluding that foreigners might try to hack U.S. election systems."

So, it is with some skepticism that I regard Johnson's remarks this week about finally taking action to identify our existing, vulnerable electoral system as "critical infrastructure". Is it too little, too late on the eve of another Presidential election? And is it even possible to protect the type of electronic vote casting and counting systems we currently use in our elections? And what does the designation as "critical infrastructure" actually mean any way?

I'm joined on today's program for some answers by Scott Shackelford, cybersecurity law and business expert from Indiana University and the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfter Center, to explain some of this, and to describe some of the ways in which the U.S. might expand existing international agreements to keep domestic elections from being tampered with by foreign powers. Shackelford, writes about the issue this week at the Christian Science Monitor in an op-ed titled "How to make democracy harder to hack."

"It definitely is too late at this point to wake up and get all 9,000 jurisdictions on board for November," he tells me today. "Maybe instead of focusing quite so much on driver's licenses [to prevent fraud] and making sure we have different IDs in some of these states, it would've been great to have put that focus a little bit more on cybersecurity. But that didn't happen."

For what it's worth, my answer, after more than a decade on this beat: No, it's not possible to protect the type of electronic systems we currently use without moving to what I describe as "Democracy's Gold Standard". But Shackelford offers several ways we can, at least, try to improve the situation and mitigate the current dangers, as well as some thoughts on why action has been so long in coming. "Elections do quite a bit to focus minds. It is unfortunate that we lose some of that focus in the aftermath of these elections," he says.

Also today, why the right to vote is so important, whether you like it or use it or not, and why, for me, at least, it's still about rights, not politics, some 52 years to the day after the bodies of civil rights activists Andrew Goodman, James Earl Chaney and Michael Henry Schwerner were found after being murdered in Mississippi for trying to help register African-Americans to vote in 1964.

And, finally, speaking of vulnerable, as deadly, climate-fueled extreme weather continues across the planet, Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, up for re-election this year against former Democratic U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, offers up some of the dumbest, most embarrassing, scientifically disproven and just out-and-out inaccurate arguments against taking action on climate change that he could possibly muster. All of that and more on today's BradCast...

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

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Guest: ACLU Voting Rights Project attorney Julie Ebenstein
Plus: Hillary's DNC bounce, Trump 'unfit', and very bad monkeys...
By Brad Friedman on 8/2/2016 6:19pm PT  

On today's BradCast I'm joined by litigator Julie Ebenstein, staff attorney with the ACLU Voting Rights Project, to discuss the remarkable string of encouraging voting rights victories in courts in some six different states over just the past few days.

The long-fought and long-sought wins in both federal and state courtrooms in North Carolina and Wisconsin (as Ernie Canning reported earlier today), as well as in Texas, Kansas, Michigan and North Dakota (as summarized by The Nation's Ari Berman) in the past two weeks, have severely undercut Republican voter suppression laws imposing Photo ID voting restrictions, cuts to early voting, restrictions on voter registration and much more. As Berman writes: "The Republican war on voting rights is backfiring."

Ebenstein, who has helped lead the legal battle against these discriminatory laws for years, shares my delight over the recent rulings, but is surprised only that they have come so quickly in succession of late. "Given how extreme and egregious some of the laws are," she tells me, "I'm not surprised the courts have found they violate the Constitution. I think a lot of these laws really have gone very far to put barriers in the way of voters and, in many instances, particularly in the way of black voters."

On the courts finally striking down or weakening GOP Photo ID voting restrictions in NC, TX, WI and ND under the Voting Rights Act and/or the Constitution, she explains: "There's a broader recognition that this is really disenfranchising people in a very practical, day-to-day sense. I think the other thing the laws have highlighted, is that they're just not justified. As the North Carolina [ruling] put it, the laws constitute a solution in search of a problem. There's no evidence of any sort of voter impersonation, which is what these laws purport to protect against. So you have laws that will disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of potential voters. It's just shocking when you look at the harm these laws cause and the lack of justification that they were passed [with] in the first place."

But, she stresses, there remain a number of barriers and concerns about the November election and the various primaries leading up to it. "Even though we have a good decision, there's still going to be ongoing challenges. Things do stay in flux for quite some time," Ebenstein tells me, citing ongoing suppression tactics in a number of states, and adding, "I would encourage everybody to check right now whether you're registered, whether your registration is up to date, whether it has the accurate address on file, and [to] know what the rules are."

There's much more important information in our conversation that I can adequately even summarize here, so please give it a listen!

Also today: Hillary Clinton receives a bounce in both national and state polling (including in a number of very "red" states) following last week's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and Donald Trump's subsequent attacks on the parents of a Muslim-American U.S. Army Captain who is said to have given his life protecting fellow troops in Iraq in 2004. President Obama has declared Trump "unfit" for office in the bargain, and a number of high-ranking, elected GOPers have denounced Trump for it in recent days, but almost none have unendorsed the Republican nominee, much less announced an intention to keep him out of office by voting for Clinton. All of that and election-hating monkeys gone wild on today's BradCast!

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

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Major wins for voting rights advocates in NC, WI, elsewhere could be reversed by the next appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court
UPDATES: U.S. District Court blocks implementation of ND Photo ID Law; NC Republicans Seeks Stay pending petition to Supreme Court
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/2/2016 11:11am PT  

The good news is that over the past week two federal courts struck down multiple provisions of GOP-enacted voter suppression laws in Wisconsin and North Carolina. The cautionary news is that the rejection of 21st century Jim Crow-style disenfranchisement at the polls, and, indeed, the fate of democracy itself, may well now hinge on the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election.

The prospect of a Donald Trump presidency does not merely, as suggested on a recent BradCast by The Nation's John Nichols, portend a descent into fascism and "madness." A Trump victory would permit Republican-appointed Supreme Court "radicals in robes" and their anti-democracy agenda to recapture the majority status they lost last February with the passing of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Consider the long term impact of a Trump-selected Supreme Court Justice. A quarter century has passed since the late Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D-MA), during the 1991 Clarence Thomas Senate Judiciary Committee Confirmation Hearings, observed:

If we confirm a nominee who has not demonstrated a commitment to core constitutional values, we jeopardize our rights as individuals and the future of our nation. We cannot undo such a mistake at the next election or even in the next generation.

In the first voting rights case to see a ruling come down last Friday, North Carolina NAACP v. McCrory, the good news is that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeal struck down as unconstitutional a comprehensive GOP voter suppression scheme that the court determined had been deliberately designed to have a retrogressive impact on the right of African-Americans to participate in electoral democracy. The state Republican legislature's scheme, the court held, was specifically designed to "target African-Americans with almost surgical precision."

The bad news, however, is that over the past three years --- a period that included the 2014 midterm election and this year's primary elections --- this unconstitutional scheme was the law of the land in North Carolina only because a cabal of five Republican-appointed Supreme Court Justices gutted a key provision (Section 5) of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). That section required pre-clearance from either the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) or a three-judge U.S. District Court panel before election restrictions of the type enacted by NC could have implemented. In arriving at their decision, the 4th Circuit judges rejected as "clearly erroneous" the factual findings of a George W. Bush-appointed U.S. District Court Judge who had previously upheld this racially motivated scheme's constitutionality.

In the second case last week, One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen, the good news is that U.S. District Court Judge James D. Peterson, after a full trial on the merits, struck down as unconstitutional eight (8) specific aspects of eight (8) election laws that were enacted after the election of Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker and Republican majorities in both houses of its state legislature. The bad news is that a previous decision handed down by Republican appointed "radicals in robes" on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeal --- a decision that became final after the Supreme Court declined to hear the case --- prevented Judge Peterson from reevaluating the constitutionality of a strict polling place photo ID law in WI even though his honor acknowledged that, in seeking to remedy the phantom menace of in-person voter fraud, Republicans had created "a cure worse than the disease."

The importance of the next Supreme Court Justice was underscored by Judge Peterson's suggestion that both the 7th Circuit and the Supreme Court should revisit the issue given that "the evidence in this case casts doubt on the notion that [photo] ID laws foster integrity and confidence" in the electoral process...

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




Guest: Salon's Heather Digby Parton...
By Brad Friedman on 7/29/2016 5:02pm PT  

On today's BradCast, our lead story almost certainly would have been the historic acceptance speech of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination, but for the landmark ruling out today from a federal appeals court in North Carolina. [Audio link to show is below.]

As reported in more detail at The BRAD BLOG earlier today, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down North Carolina's massive voting restriction law --- the nation's worst since the Jim Crow era --- finding that it was enacted by state Republicans with "racially discriminatory intent" that "target[ed] African-Americans with almost surgical precision." We cover the court's landmark ruling --- which has far-reaching consequences beyond North Carolina and beyond the 2016 election --- at the top of today's show. As I explain, according to legal experts, it seems almost certain now that today's ruling, following on similarly encouraging blows to GOP Photo ID restrictions in federal courts in both Texas and Wisconsin just last week, will succeed in permanently striking down NC's purposefully disenfranchising poling place Photo ID restriction, reduction to the early voting period, removal of same-day registration, and other disingenuous and unnecessary restrictions on the franchise.

In short, while there are still a very few narrow corridors for appeal or delay for the vote suppressors here, as explained on the show, this is a long coming and very good day for voting rights in America!

Then, we move on to Clinton's historic nomination as the first female nominee to be put forward by one of the two major American political parties. For perspective on that, both historical and political, we are joined once again by Salon's very wise Heather Digby Parton. She and our own Desi Doyen share the personal meaning of Clinton's nomination and acceptance speech and, yes, even the historical significance of Clinton's white pant suit. (Yes, there apparently is one!)

We also go on to discuss how and if the speech --- and the entire week in Philadelphia, for that matter --- met the DNC's goal for reaching out to the bulk of progressive Sanders supporters as well as disaffected Republicans. Parton seems bullish on both matters, and suggests that Clinton's speech, embracing "the most progressive Democratic platform in history" (as hashed out recently by both Clinton and Sanders proponents), represents a potential realignment for American politics.

"By embracing the platform in the way that she did," Parton argues, "having put the Democratic Party at the center of American politics, she has now said, 'That's the center. That progressive platform is where the center of America is. Going forward, that's the mainstream philosophy of America.' It could end up being important because this election may just finish off a realignment that's been in the making for a long time."

Please listen to the show for much more on all of that, as well as our conversation on where the Presidential race and both major political parties are heading from here...with just 100 days left until the 2016 election...on today's exciting thrill ride otherwise known as The BradCast!...

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

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Huge victory for voting rights comes on heels of similarly encouraging decisions against GOP Photo ID voting restriction in TX, WI...
By Brad Friedman on 7/29/2016 11:30am PT  

The 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals has struck down all of the very worst provisions of North Carolina's voter suppression law, which we originally described, after it was enacted in 2013, as "the nation most restrictive voter suppression law" and "the worst since the Jim Crow era". Others have described it as "the mother of all voter suppression laws."

In its 83-pages of decisions [PDF], the three-judge panel on the 4th Circuit finds that North Carolina acted with a racially discriminatory intent when enacting the law which included Photo ID voting restrictions, the reduction of early voting days, cancellation of the state's successful same-day registration option, the counting of provisional ballots cast out-of-precinct, and pre-registration of young voters who would be 18 years old by Election Day.

Those provisions, the 4th Circuit holds, "target African-Americans with almost surgical precision."

This is a huge and long-fought victory for voting rights, and it comes on the heels of similar wins within the past week as the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the state of Texas' similarly draconian Photo ID restriction had a racially discriminatory effect, and as a federal court in Wisconsin ordered that state to allow voting provisions for those who do not own the few, narrow types of Photo ID now required to vote at the polling place under the new voting restriction adopted there.

All three laws --- in NC, TX, WI --- were enacted by Republican legislatures and put in place after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted a key provision of the federal Voting Rights Act in 2013...

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




ALSO: 'Liars and Lucifer and Jail', Oh My! - RNC Day 2 coverage w/ Jimmy Dore in Cleveland, and why he believes Trump is no worse than Clinton...
By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2016 6:22pm PT  

BIG BREAKING NEWS just before going to air for today's BradCast! [Link to complete audio below.] The full, very conservative U.S. 5th Circuit Court of appeals has just issued a very surprising and very encouraging ruling finding that the Texas GOP's long-contested Photo ID voting restrictions are, in fact, a violation of the federal Voting Rights Act!

Moreover, a federal court in Wisconsin issues an order allowing those without GOP-approved Photo IDs to be allowed to vote anyway. And, Day 2 of this year's insane Republican National Convention results in the official nomination of Donald J. Trump for President of the United States.

First up, the very encouraging breaking news out of Texas, where the most conservative appellate court in America has just undercut one of the nation's most draconian Republican Photo ID voting restrictions. Conservatives had been hoping --- despite the lack of voter fraud that could possibly even be deterred by the law --- that the full 5th Circuit would overturn the rulings of court after court after court all finding the GOP law has both a racially discriminatory intent and effect. But it looks like it was not to be. The 5h Circuit's 203-page ruling [PDF] today finds the law in violation of the Voting Rights Act and remands the case back down to the lower court (where it had already been found both unconstitutional and in violation of the VRA), in order to find a remedy that may allow for something like an affidavit to be signed by voters who do not have the strict type of ID now required by Republicans to cast a vote at poling places under the controversial law.

Some 600,000 already legally registered Texans had faced potential disenfranchisement during this fall's Presidential election. That is now looking much less likely, even as the remedy still needs to be fashioned and the case could still go to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, even a tie there would revert the case back to today's very positive ruling by the 5th Circuit. In related news, a federal court struck a "critical blow" to the Wisconsin GOP's version of the same law. The court there has ordered that state to implement a program to allow voters without the newly-requisite Photo ID to vote anyway, by signing an affidavit.

A lot of legal votes may have just been saved today in those two states, as well as in others where similar laws are being challenged by voting rights advocates and/or considered for passage by other Republican-controlled legislatures.

Then, it's on to our somewhat-truncated (due to the above) coverage of Day 2 of the RNC in Cleveland, where the GOP officially nominated Trump as their standard bearer on Tuesday. Comedian Jimmy Dore of Pacifica Radio's Jimmy Dore Show and The Young Turks joins us from Cleveland with a report on his bizarre (if not totally surprising) conversations with Republican delegates at the convention. He then goes on to offer his own impassioned case as to why he, a longtime Bernie Sanders supporter, will not support Hillary Clinton this year, and believes that a Trump Presidency would ultimately be no worse, and perhaps even better for the country, than a Clinton Presidency.

Suffice to say, I disagree with my friend Jimmy on a number of points, despite his well-argued case, in our very lively and spirited conversation today. All of that and much much more in another fast-paced edition of The BradCast! Enjoy!

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

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By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2016 5:17pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Day One of Donald Trump's Republican National Convention in Cleveland was insane. But it was all going well enough until it became apparent late on Monday night that portions of Melania Trump's headliner speech was plagiarized directly from Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic convention speech.

Incredibly, the man who made 'You're fired!' a catch phrase can't seem to muster up the ability to hold anyone in his own campaign accountable for it. As such, the oratorical fraud and, more importantly, how its being handled (and denied) by Team Trump, offers a stark warning to voters as to how a Trump Presidency might handle the actual serious issues and difficult decisions that need to be made.

Or, at least, it should.

Speaking of warnings, new national polling remains tight between Trump and Hillary Clinton, who continues losing ground in several of them. That, as several new cases and disturbing allegations of voter registration fraud by Republican election insiders in a number of states, along with some very troubling news from the U.S. Dept. of Justice concerning their plans to no longer send observers to polling places in certain jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination, should serve as yet another stark warning for American voters...

But will it?

All of that and Desi Doyen with today's Green News Report on the latest BradCast...

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 6/27/2016 6:22pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Climate change continues to ravage Americans and take lives in the east and west, surprisingly good news from the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.K. remains gripped with panic, confusion and uncertainty in the wake of last week's vote 'Brexit' vote to leave the European Union.

We start today with more on the historic deadly flooding and "mass destruction" in West Virginia 'coal country' and the out-of-control wildfires across bone-dry Southern California. Yes, it's everything we've been warning you about for so long on both The BRAD BLOG and The BradCast, even if just the latest example of the enormous (and growing) cost of climate change, as still both under-reported by the corporate media and over-shadowed by other new events across both the U.S. and world.

Then, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down several major decisions on its final day of the session. Surprisingly, a number of those decisions were very good news for progressives, even on an otherwise divided Court with its still-vacant 9th seat. The biggest decision concerned abortion rights in Texas, where the Court dealt a devastating blow to Republican laws meant to shut down women's health clinics under the guise of 'safety'. The Court saw through the Rightwing con, and the 5-3 decision could result in the overturning of similar "TRAP laws" enacted by Republicans in other states. In any event, the decision is a huge setback for rightwing anti-abortion activists and a big victory for those who believe in Constitutionally protected reproductive rights and freedoms. Can we take anything from this decision as to how SCOTUS might eventually rule in the Texas Photo ID voting restrictions case --- another GOP law meant to rob (certain) citizens of their rights for entirely specious reasons?

Also, the right of states to restrict the possession of guns by domestic abusers was upheld in a surprising bi-partisan 7 to 2 opinion, as was a new rule by the U.S. Dept. of Labor concerning overtime pay for home healthcare workers.

In an unusual unanimous decision by the Supremes, Virginia's former Republican Governor Bob McDonnell saw his bribery conviction vacated, despite having accepted some $165,000 in personal gifts and cash loans from a wealthy businessman hoping the Governor would help promote his products. Will that decision have any effect on Alabama's former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman, who is now serving his 6th year in federal prison for having done far less than McDonnell was found guilty of? That, even as the Republican federal judge who sentenced Siegelman has resigned from the bench after having been arrested for beating his wife and the Republican heads of all three branches of government in Alabama face removal of office via impeachment (Governor), ethics charges (Chief Justice of the AL Supreme Court) and multiple felony conviction (AL Speaker of the House) for various crimes, alleged and proven, in their home state.

Finally today, last week's 'Brexit' vote continues to wreak havoc as world financial markets continue to plunge (though not nearly as low as I incorrectly reported it on today's show, as based on an inaccurate number reported by my iPhone's stock app!); the British government is in complete disarray about how (or, perhaps, even, if) they will officially begin the formal procedure required to leave the EU; voters express 'bregret' over having voted to exit; questions arise about overseas voters failing to correctly receive ballot papers at all; and some call for a second ("do-over") referendum.

All of that and much more on yet another insanely busy BradCast today!

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Plus: NC suppression law back in court; TX spending millions on unlawful Photo ID law; NY voter purge data; Climate change death toll rising...
By Brad Friedman on 6/24/2016 6:26pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the bombshell passage of Britain's EU 'Brexit' Referendum is shaking both world markets and politics. Is the rise of nationalism and anti-immigration sentiment in the UK a disturbing omen for the U.S. Presidential election this fall? [Audio link to complete show is below.]

Donald Trump certainly hopes so, as he's changed his position on European unity from just three years ago, when he was for it, to today, when he's apparently against it, now that he's running for President. On today's show we discuss a number of things that Americans can and should learn from both the dishonest politics of the Brexit vote and the way the election itself was carried out (on publicly hand-counted, hand-marked paper ballots.)

Meanwhile, back here across the pond, the fight to count votes from the June 7th primary in California continues, and the fight to keep (certain) voters from voting at all continues as well in a federal courtroom in North Carolina (No, Washington Post, Photo ID is not required to board an airplane and you should let your readers know as much), and in the great state of Texas, where so-called 'conservatives' have spent millions of taxpayer dollars attempting to defend their illegal, discriminatory and unconstitutional Photo ID voting restriction year after year in case after case. (Texit, anyone?)

Finally, we look at details from the unlawful purge of voters in Brooklyn, which came to light after the NY state primary in April. Were Sanders voters purged at a higher rate than Clinton voters, as Sanders supporters have been charging? We look at some of the actual evidence now in, which suggests otherwise (and as we've previously argued.) Plus: Death toll rising along with flood waters in West Virginia and in China; And Bluegrass fans lose a legend...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/17/2016 5:05pm PT  

It's been a rough week, so today on The BradCast, we try and catch up on a whole bunch of stuff we haven't been able to get to over the past several days in the wake of Orlando. [Audio link to complete show follow below.]

It's now been one full year since Donald Trump entered the race --- and since we accurately predicted the precise effect he would have on the GOP's 2016 Presidential Primary. Sure enough, the wheel's are now falling completely off for Republicans. Among the fresh evidence: John McCain declares (repeatedly) that Obama is "directly responsible" for the Orlando Massacre, while lying about how and why we 'left' Iraq. It's now so bad for Republicans that George W. Bush, of all people, is coming to the party's 'rescue'. Good luck with that. But, no worries, the GOP has declared the Republican National Convention a gun-free (and fruit-free) zone, so all is well.

On the Democratic side of the aisle, Bernie Sanders offers an online message to supporters, calling on them to work together to defeat Trump and to run for office at the state and local level to the continue the "political revolution". Meanwhile, polls begin to look very good for Hillary Clinton nationally and even in a number of traditionally very "red" states (could a Dem actually win in Utah and in Kansas this year?) All of that would seem to be good news for Democrats, but only if they are allowed to vote this November, which may just have gotten slightly easier for some in Kansas, where GOP "voter fraud" fraudster, Sec. of State Kris Kobach, continues to shame the state.

Finally today, we finish up with the latest Green News Report following the hottest May ever recorded on Planet Earth, and the emergence of new proof that Trump was for action on climate change before he decided to pretend it was all "a hoax".

All of that and much more on today's BradCast!...

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Mitch McConnell: 'There are no serious barriers to voting anymore anywhere in America' and, oh, yeah, global warming is still 'a hoax'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/3/2016 5:55pm PT  

On today's BradCast, denial, denial, denial. It's not just a river in Egypt. Though, if it were, that river would likely be either drying up about now or rising at a record pace and threatening the lives of everyone who lives near it. [Audio link for show posted below.]

First on today's program, a word or two about the violence outside (and inside) Donald Trump's rally on Thursday in San Jose, CA, and about the anti-American freedom of the press denied reporters covering his campaign.

Then, speaking of denial, the planet's climate crisis continues to worsen and the body count continues to mount from Houston to Fort Hood to Paris and beyond. But, while GOPers continue to pretend that climate science is a "hoax" or "pseudoscience", at least the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is finally warning about the increasing costs of federal spending that it will cause. Will Republicans bother to listen now?

And, while we're at it, GOPers continue to deny the voter suppression they are working very hard to carry out in 2016, even if it requires them to make a fraudulent case about 'voter fraud', as Tom Mechler, the Chair of the Republican Party of Texas, did this week, when he used cases of absentee fraud to fraudulently make the case for polling place Photo ID restrictions in the Lone Star State. He's hardly alone, however. GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also recently lied about voter suppression, telling USA Today: "There are no serious barriers to voting anymore anywhere in America."

Really, Senator? Hope you'll let the disenfranchised Native Americans in North Dakota and elsewhere know about that before this Tuesday's primary --- not to the mention the millions of Americans who do not have the very specific type of Photo ID now required to vote at the polling place in many states controlled by Republicans. As the Brennan Center for Justice notes, some 17 states have made it more difficult for legal (disproportionately Democratic-leaning) voters to cast their legal vote since the last Presidential election, many of those states passing new restrictions on voting since the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the most important section of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. (But, if all goes well, at least registering to vote may soon become a bit easier in Illinois. Maybe. If their Republican Governor plays along.)

Finally on today's BradCast, another oil train derails and explodes in Oregon, and the massive wildfire in the tar sands oil region of Alberta, Canada continues to burn nearly a month after record hot and dry conditions initially sparked the blaze that sent tens of thousands of residents of Fort McMurray scrambling for their lives. Now, some relief has finally arrived, at least in Canada, where 300 South African firefighters have made a 24-hour flight to Edmonton to give exhausted firefighters there a bit of a break. But will the residents of Fort McMurray, a town built to support the tar sands oil industry, continue to deny the damage they have helped cause to their own town and planet?

All of that and much more on today's BradCast...

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

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Guest: Columnist Harold Meyerson on history and how 'the reality of a Trump Presidency will concentrate the mind'
Plus: More bad polls for Clinton v. Trump; More bad electoral 'track conditions' for Democrats; And the planet's climate crisis continues to worsen...
By Brad Friedman on 5/23/2016 6:11pm PT  

On today's BradCast, long time Bernie Sanders supporter Harold Meyerson, a former Washington Post columnist and now Executive Editor of The American Prospect magazine, argues Bernie Sanders supporters would betray both their candidate and history by staying home this November (or voting third-party or, worse, for Donald Trump) if their preferred candidate fails to win the Democratic nomination. [Audio link to complete show is below.]

Meyerson, who quips that there was a time decades ago when Sanders and he were the only "out-of-the-closet" Democratic Socialists in D.C., offers two historic parallels to the current divide seen in today's Democratic Party during its contentious nominating contest between Sanders and Clinton. One concerns the Democratic Party's fate after the 1968 convention and the other, perhaps more disturbing and enlightening, concerns Germany in 1932, as described in his recent American Prospect column headlined "How the Bros Are Undermining Bernie".

"What's really crucial," Meyerson tells me on today's program, "is that the forces [Sanders] has put into action continue to operate --- and continue to push the limits of the possible in the United States --- once his campaign is over, whether that is in July or in November."

"I would hope that the Sanders campaign generates a lot of people who want a more democratic, equitable economy and society, and stick around after the Sanders campaign is over this year," he says. "But it takes staying power. You don't change a political party by coming in and then going out."

Meyerson is optimistic, however, that so-called "Bernie or Bust" folks will eventually come to see that they have far more to gain from Hillary in the White House than they do if Trump wins this November. "I think the number of Sanders supporters who ultimately will not vote for Hillary, if she's the nominee and it comes down to her vs. Trump, is a lot smaller than we're seeing now. Confronting the reality of a Trump presidency will concentrate the mind."

"We need to remember the greater goal and the greater narrative, of really changing economic and political power in this country, and that's the main goal here. While there are legitimate distinctions between the Sanders and the Clinton camps, we should also remember there are a lot of lefties in the Clinton camp, too," he adds, citing, for example, progressive Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)'s inclusion on the DNC Platform Committee, along with a number of other progressives just named this afternoon.

Also on today's BradCast: A host of new polls from major news outlets suggest, once again, that Clinton is likely to have a very tough time against Trump this November if she wins the nomination; Anti-Trumpers continue coming around to him on the GOP side; Bad news for the fight against Photo ID voting restrictions in VA, and even more potential bad news for the state's Democratic Governor; Plus: Climate change related extreme weather kills scores in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka over the weekend, as the planet's climate crisis continues to worsen and the U.S. corporate mainstream media continue to ignore it...

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

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Some state Democrats back 'compromise' legislation that leaves otherwise legally registered voters at risk of disenfranchisement...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/17/2016 8:48am PT  

Missouri Republicans hope to work around a series of adverse state court rulings by way of a ballot measure that would amend the Show-Me State Constitution and require that citizens present state-approved Photo ID at the polls before voting.

The legislation to place the issue on the ballot was approved by the state Senate 24-8 last Wednesday. The next day it was adopted in the House 110-39. The wide margin in both chambers, likely enough to override a veto by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon, was the product of a purported "compromise" that would permit voters who can't obtain the necessary documentation to sign an affidavit to that effect and cast an otherwise normal ballot. The "compromise" language was struck after days of filibusters in the state Senate by Democrats.

But Republican State Senator Bill Kraus told PBS that the stipulation would be temporary and that Missouri could have "strict Photo ID" in the near future, once the state constitution has been amended to allow for it. It wouldn't be the first "Missouri Compromise" to go awry...

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




Guest: NC State Rep. Chris Sgro of Equality NC; Also: Fires devastate Canada's oil sands region; MO passes new Photo ID law; MUCH MORE...
By Brad Friedman on 5/9/2016 6:16pm PT  

The fires in the tar sands oil region of Canada and the lawsuits (yes, two of them filed today) result in a busy breaking news edition of The BradCast today. [Audio posted below.]

First up, Desi Doyen joins us for an update on the devastating climate-driven wildfires that have devastated the town of Fort McMurray, Alberta, in the heart of Canada's oil sands region where many workers from the oil sands mines live and work. Cooler weather, and even a bit of rain, helped keep the fires from growing to a full half-a-billion acres, as feared on Saturday. Still, the scenes of neighborhoods completely destroyed from the fire are heartbreaking. Some 88,000 residents remain evacuated, even as the irony of this particular region being devastated by climate-induced fires remains palpable.

Then, on to North Carolina Republicans' latest self-induced disaster. Late last week, the U.S. Dept. of Justice warned the state that their anti-LGBT law (HB2) was in violation of the federal Civil Rights Act. They were given until today (Monday) to let the DoJ know how they planned to respond in order to avoid the potential loss of more than $2 billion dollars in federal education funding. That response came today in the form of a suit filed against the DoJ by NC. The DoJ quickly responded in kind, with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announcing a lawsuit against NC for violation of the Civil Rights Act. She described HB2 as "state-sponsored discrimination," and told the transgendered community: "We see you. We stand with you…And please know that history is on your side."

Democratic NC state Rep. Chris Sgro, who also serves as president of Equality NC, joins us today to talk about the entire fine mess, even as news of the various suits were still breaking. He tells me that the state has already lost about half a billion to their economy, even before the potential loss of federal education funding, as businesses react to the "terrible anti-LGBT, anti-worker, anti-education bill that we know is in violation of the Civil Rights Act".

"This is not pro-business conservatism," Sgro tells me. "This bill wasn't about enabling local government. They went in and they were the big government who stripped local rights. And they are the anti-business party right now. If they really want to be pro-business, pro-growth, they have to act as quickly as possible to overturn House Bill 2. That's the only answer at this point."

Also on today's program: Surprising polling news out of Georgia (and another warning for Democrats along with it); Missouri Republicans pass a new Photo ID restriction law, with a compromise that leads to some Democrats joining; Democratic voter registration numbers skyrocket in California (and in Oregon); and the Dumbest Story of the Day as a photograph of female black cadets at West Point generates an official investigation...

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

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Guest: Missouri state Sen. Bob Onder (R)...
By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2016 4:21pm PT  

On today's BradCast, as voters head to the polls for the big Presidential Primary in Indiana --- where many of them will again cast 100% unverifiable votes on touch-screen voting systems --- a Republican State Senator from Missouri joins us to explain his bill to do away with such systems in the Show-Me State. [Link to audio of the show at bottom of article.]

In April, St. Louis County held a disastrous local primary election in which, for the first time in years, they used only paper ballots at the polling places, since election officials said they did not have enough time, following the state's Presidential Primary in March, to reprogram the County's touch-screen systems. The County has long given voters the option to vote on hand-marked, optically-scanned paper ballots or on unverifiable touch-screen systems, with more and more voters choosing paper, even as local election officials encouraged them to vote on the oft-failed, easily-manipulated touch-screen machines.

The April disaster occurred when the County's co-Election Directors (one Democrat and one Republican, both of whom have gone on record to state they love the touch-screens and regard them as virtually infallible) failed to provide the correct paper ballots to some 60 precincts. There are now multiple ongoing investigations into the disaster from the state level on down. The Democratic Director has now been suspended and the Republican has tendered his resignation.

It's hardly the first time St. Louis County has screwed up their elections, but those human errors can be corrected with competent personnel. What can never be corrected is the fact that, for example, in the state's Presidential Primary in March, the reported margins of victory were so small (just over a thousand votes on each side), and the number of votes cast on unverifiable touch-screens in MO so large, that it is impossible to know if Trump actually beat Cruz on the Republican side and if Clinton actually beat Sanders on the Democratic side. Not a great way to run elections in the once-key swing state of Missouri.

Republican state Senator Bob Onder joins me on today's program to discuss his bill (SB 771) that calls for doing away with the state's touch-screen voting systems all together. Acknowledging the recent paper ballot foul-ups, Onder explains why the touch-screens are still worse: "you can't audit an electron."

"Only with a paper ballot can we have an auditable, verifiable record of a voter's intent as he or she casts a vote and exercises their most sacred privilege in our democratic republic, which is the right to vote," he says, going on to recall another local election in 2014 "in which the margin was very tight" and where "the loser in that election" is "not really sure he lost."

The GOP's Asst. Majority Floor Leader in the State Senate tells me about the various obstacles his legislation is facing, including from the state's Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander who, he says, "is a big fan of electronic voting machines" and "an enemy of paper ballots."

It's a fascinating and encouraging conversation over all...at least until we discuss the MO Republicans' continuing push for disenfranchising Photo ID voting restrictions in the state, which Onder, unfortunately, supports (though apparently based on fraudulent information provided to him by some notorious GOP "voter fraud" hucksters, as I explain during the program.)

But, hey, we'll take what we can get! And if Republicans are willing to work with the long-time Election Integrity champions at Missourians for Honest Elections on the issue of banning touch-screens, I'll take it! We can try to get Dems on board and fight with Republicans about everything else on another day.

Also on today BradCast: Republican officials in WI and in KS continue their effort to suppress the vote and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report' with good news for lions, elephants and children, but not so good for opponents of fracking...

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

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