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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, May 22, 2017
The Surreal and Present Danger of Donald Trump: 'BradCast' 5/22/17
Guest: Salon's Heather Digby Parton; Also: Two big election-related SCOTUS decisions, & this week's US House Special Election in MT...
Mike Pence and the 'Sergeant Schultz Defense'
The VP claims he was kept in the dark by Team Trump on key issues regarding disgraced former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn. But is his alibi even plausible?...
Sunday Toons of the 'Witch Hunt!' Moment
Looks like it's double, double toil and trouble for Trump once again this week in PDiddie's collection of the week's best political toons...
Sessions Rolls Back Justice Reform, Trump Digs Himself Deeper: 'BradCast' 5/19/17
Guest: Former Asst. DA Ames Grawert on DoJ's 'draconian' news guidelines; Also: Trump called Comey a 'nut job' in Oval Office with Russians, now heads overseas for nine days...
'Single Greatest Witch Hunt of a Politician in American History!': 'BradCast' 5/18/17
'Chaotic darkness' at Trump White House; Cold Turkey for Flynn, Pence; Eye on McGahn; More unauthorized US war in Syria; MUCH more from today's news tsunami...
'Green News Report' 5/18/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
VA creates carbon cap-and-trade system; Bears Ears Nat'l Monument targeted for gas, oil; Public to EPA: 'Keep regs!'; PLUS: Glacier National Park's glaciers are going, going...
Previous GNRs: 5/16/17 - 5/11/17 - Archives...
What is 'Obstruction of Justice'?:
'BradCast' 5/17/17
Guest: Former Asst. US Attorney Randall D. Eliason of GWU Law School; Also... BREAKING: Special Counsel named to take over Trump/Russia probe...
'Espionage Act': The Oval Office is Leaking (Bigly): 'BradCast' 5/16/17
Guest: Brennan Center's Elizabeth Goitein says Trump may have violated law in Russia meeting; Then... BREAKING: Trump asked Comey to end Flynn probe...
'Green News Report' 5/16/17
NC hurricane disaster relief denied; April 2017 second hottest on record; Tillerson signs climate change pact; PLUS: DoD warns again of climate's NatSec impacts...
Making Sense of (& Surviving) President 'Goldfish': 'BradCast' 5/15/17
Guest: David Roberts of Vox; Also: Good voting news for NC, thousands turned away from WI polls in 2016...
Sunday Toons of the Moment:
'Comey on Both Sides'...
Everybody hates Comey! Except when they don't, as 'PDiddie' details, among other things, in his latest collections of the week's best political toons...
'Green News Report' 5/11/17
Trump postpones decision on UN climate pact; Emergency at WA nuke site; Superfund sites mostly in low-income areas; PLUS: Repubs fail to repeal methane flaring rule...
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...


Shame and scandal before new Admin even takes office; Plus: Guest Fred Karger, activist and former GOP Presidential candidate, charges Comcast blocking new anti-Mormon ad in Utah at behest of LDS Church...
By Brad Friedman on 1/16/2017 6:06pm PT  

On today's BradCast, resignation and evidence of corruption continue to dog the wildly unpopular incoming Trump Administration just days before his Inauguration; And is Comcast/NBCUniversal doing the bidding of the Mormon Church in Utah? [Audio link to show follows below.]

As we barrel towards what is certain to be an incredibly bizarre (to say the least) Inauguration Day for the historically unpopular Donald Trump, the Obama Administration has reportedly transferred out another 10 Gitmo detainees to Oman. In the meantime, a senior Trump White House appointee (and former Fox "News" contributor) has already resigned after revelations of massive plagiarism, as new questions about financial improprieties continue to mount for a number of Trump cabinet nominees and for the Trump Campaign itself.

Then, we are joined by former GOP Presidential candidate and gay rights activist Fred Karger, to discuss his latest campaign against the Mormon Church, which he believes should lose their tax exempt status revoked by the IRS due to participation in a number of anti-gay political campaigns and other corruption. Karger is charging that Comcast/NBCUniversal has blocked the airing of his new TV ad for MormonTips.com, after the media behemoth had previously agreed to run the 30 second spots in the state of Utah.

"I know how the Mormon Church operates," Karger explains, describing his claim that the Church is behind Comcast nixing the spots. "They are all powerful, particularly in the state of Utah. It's a virtual theocracy. They exercise a tremendous amount of power."

"They don't like me," he notes. "I'm the guy that discovered their vast involvement in California's Prop 8 in 2008 to take away gay marriage. I got them investigated and prosecuted by [California's] ethics office because they only admitted to spending $2,078 on the campaign. Turns out it was hundreds of thousands of dollars they ended up reporting. Much more likely millions. So I've learned they are very dishonest, and they've have done things very secretively." He argues that they've used their muscle to convince Comcast (which, he says, "controls something like 90% of the [cable television] market in Utah") to kill the ads. "So they're using censorship to quash our free speech and I'm going to be fighting back against them."

Finally today: Is the Trump Administration planning to shut down the White House Press Room after taking office? Esquire reported over the weekend that the matter is under serious consideration and, in response, Trump's top officials are not denying it...though they do appear to be lying about their reasons for it...

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

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Guest: Matt Gertz on Trump's marginalization of media and their failure to push back; Also: House moves to dismantle health care for millions; What's up with Tillerson?; And an Inauguration Day cover-up...
By Brad Friedman on 1/13/2017 6:10pm PT  

On today's BradCast, U.S. media failed to report on the rise and dangers of Mussolini and Hitler with the gravity that was warranted in the 20s and 30s. Are they making similar mistakes today with the rise and elevation of Donald Trump to President of the United States? [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Media Matters' Matt Gertz joins me to today to argue Trump's bizarre press conference on Wednesday, his first since the November election (first since last July, actually), revealed more than a dozen "signs of how bad press treatment will be under Trump". At the presser, the day after the release of an unsubstantiated dossier charging personal and financial compromise with Russia, Trump refused questions from either CNN or BuzzFeed News, declaring them both to be "fake news" for breaking various elements of the story. Gertz suggests the way it played out illustrates that the media are both failing to push back against Trump, and are likely underestimating how bad things are likely to get for them (and all of us) once he becomes President.

"This was not something that came out of nowhere," Gertz tells me. "This was clearly the strategy going into the press conference: to attack Buzzfeed, to attack CNN, to tie the two of them together, and to suggest that all of their reporting was illegitimate."

"They're going to go on trying to de-legitimize the media, one by one, piece by piece, to make it impossible for anyone to try to get out critical news analysis about what his administration is doing. This was the first step, and it's going to keep getting worse," he warns. "Trump bragged on the campaign trail that he could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and could shoot somebody and he wouldn't lose voters. Rhetorically speaking, that's what he basically did to [CNN's] Jim Acosta. He basically took him out in front of the entire press corps, humiliated him, pretty brutality, and other reporters just sort of moved along. They went on and they asked their questions, and they just kept going."

But were CNN and BuzzFeed wrong to report as they did in the first place? And do the media, in general, have only themselves to blame for the spot they're in at this point? Have they learned anything from last Wednesday, much last the past year? And is that Breitbart clown "reporter" Matt Boyle the new "Jeff Gannon"? We discuss all of that and much more during today's conversation.

Also today: The GOP Congress gets one step closer to dismantling health care for millions of Americans; What's up with the cancellation of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson's second day of confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate?; Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report as Obama bids farewell and seeks reason on climate change; And a particularly smelly Inauguration Day cover-up is revealed...

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: Comey and FBI face 'email' investigation; Govt. ethics chief blasts President-elect; Senate confirmation hearings continue; and Hustler's publisher tells me why he blames U.S. media for giving us all Trump...
By Brad Friedman on 1/12/2017 6:38pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the GOP "dogs" having finally caught up with the "reality" bus on ObamaCare and Iran and more. So, what will they do now? Also, free speech icon Larry Flynt joins us to blame the U.S. media for Donald Trump and much more. [Audio link to show follows below.]

First today, the DoJ Inspector General announces he will investigate the FBI and its Director James Comey concerning their controversial actions regarding Hillary Clinton's private email server in the run-up to last year's election and whether they ran afoul of long-established Justice Department guidelines.

Then, the head of the Office of Government Ethics blasts Donald Trump for failing to divest his business holdings. And, in the U.S. Senate, Trump's unprecedented conflicts of interest came into play during Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)'s questioning of super-genius Dr. Ben Carson, Trump's nominee (for some reason) to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Meanwhile, Trump's Secretary of Defense nominee, Gen. James Mattis, began his confirmation hearings today in the Senate, where he said he intends to honor the anti-nuclear agreement with Iran that the GOP pretends to hate. At the same time, Republicans in both the House and Senate are finally beginning to face reality on that and on the fact that their years of pretending the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare") was a disaster may now be a huge problem for them, as they have no actual plan to "repeal and replace" the program.

Finally, we're joined by Larry Flynt, longtime First Amendment champion and publisher of Hustler Magazine, to discuss his recent ad [PDF] in Variety which slammed the U.S. media, blamed them for the rise and Presidency of Trump, and called on them to "wake up!"

He tells me that while he's seen a lot during his decades of battles with Republicans like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, but "it's never been as bad as with Trump. Every time this guy opens his mouth, he tells a lie. I mean, that should not be tolerated by any member of the press."

Flynt also discusses what his $1 million bounty for incriminating video tape on Trump has uncovered so far, and why it's so difficult to actually damage him at this point. We also discuss, among other things, Hustler's consistent years of covering news in the magazine, in addition to porn, even when other media outlets have pulled their punches at various times when Republicans were in power. [Full disclosure: I have, for some years, written news articles and columns for the magazine and we discuss that a bit as well during today's program.]

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 1/11/2017 6:00pm PT  

I've seen a lot in my life, but today may be the most insane news day I've ever seen, or certainly attempted to cover in a single episode of The BradCast. Among the stories we cover today, all from with the past 18 hours or so [audio link to show follows below.]...

  • President Obama's moving farewell address in Chicago last night;
  • ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson's troubling first day of confirmation hearings as Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of State;
  • Testimony from members of the Congressional Black Caucus --- including from Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and from civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) --- against the disturbing civil rights and voting rights record of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Trump's nominee for Attorney General on the second day of his confirmation hearings;
  • Trump's first press conference since last July, among record low approval ratings, a shower of bizarre, if unsubstantiated allegations against him concerning claims that he has been compromised both personally and financially by Russia, and his announcement that he will not divest his business holdings before becoming President, despite unprecedented conflicts of interest;
  • Plus: Listener calls on all of the above and Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report!

And, yes, you may need to rinse off after today's show. I know I do.

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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Senator Jeff Sessions responds to colleague queries on voting rights, climate science and lying about his own record...
By Brad Friedman on 1/10/2017 5:54pm PT  

On today's BradCast, U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for Donald Trump's top Administration nominees are officially underway. They began today with Day 1 of hearings for controversial U.S. Attorney General nominee Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Alabama. [Audio link to show posted below.]

In the days leading up to today's Sessions session, Democrats have blasted Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for reversing course on demands he had made for Obama nominees back in 2009, requiring that all background checks and vetting by the Office of Government Ethics be completed before hearings begin. Also, before today's hearing commenced, members of the Congressional Black Caucus requested time to give testimony on Sessions' extremely controversial civil rights record. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA), however, while agreeing to allow the member testimony, broke with Senate tradition by only allowing it only after all of the other witness testimony has completed.

We cover all of that today and more details on the former Alabama state AG and U.S. Attorney's https://www.thenation.co...e-to-the-jim-crow-era/\">troubling record on civil rights along with his failure to tell the truth about it. We offer extended excerpts of Sessions' testimony today, including exchanges with Senators Franken (D-MN), Klobuchar (D-MN) and Whitehouse (D-RI), who pressed the A.G. nominee on voting rights, civil rights, and climate science, among other issues, in what was, in my opinion --- and, in particular, given the moment --- an all-too friendly hearing among Senate colleagues.

Nonetheless, hooks were baited and traps were set for what could lead to trouble for Sessions on several of these key issues in the days (and years) ahead, if his nomination is confirmed as expected...

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

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Guest: David Arkush of Public Citizen; Plus: Hollywood versus Trump...
By Brad Friedman on 1/9/2017 5:43pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of State, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, has filed papers to "divest" from the oil giant. But a closer look at his filings suggests he may not actually have cut all ties and interests in the profits of the only company he has ever worked for until now. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

First today, apparently it's still not "terrorism" when a non-ISIS American carries out a mass shooting, as was the case last Friday at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport. The alleged shooter, a veteran of the Iraq War and former National Guardsman, killed five and wounded six others, even as Republican Florida lawmakers press for more guns in airports and elsewhere.

Then, as many as eight of Trump nominee's are all set to come before U.S. Senate committees this week for confirmation hearings, pretty much all at the same time, and even before the U.S. Office of Government Ethics has even completed the background checks for many of them for the first time since the OGE was created. That, despite unprecedented corporate conflicts of interests for virtually all of the cabinet-level and top advisory positions being filled --- not to mention the first press conference in six months scheduled by Trump at the same time, along with the Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan plan to hold a budget "vote-a-rama" concurrently with all of the above.

One of the nominees set for truncated confirmation hearings this week is Exxon's Tillerson, who last week filed papers with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) explaining how he plans to divest from some $180 million in Exxon stock. While Tillerson's attorneys describe the scheme as a way to sever ties with the oil giant, Public Citizen's David Arkush finds a discrepancy in the legal filings that suggest Tillerson may still have reason for allegiance to Exxon, rather than the well-being of U.S foreign policy.

"In the agreement between Exxon and the trustee [set to keep Tillerson's holdings while he serves as Sec. of State]," Arkush finds wording "that would leave him with a clear incentive to still favor Exxon as Secretary of State."

"He has viewed the entire world through the lens of what's good for Exxon," Arkush explains after detailing the concerns with the SEC declarations. "A lot of people look at that record and are critical of the fact that he has no government experience and, technically, I guess, in a certain sense, no foreign policy experience. I don't think that's the issue. I think the issue is he does have experience...He has spent 41 years working at a single company that has a single motive, which is to make money by finding oil around the world, digging it up, and burning it." He goes on to optimistically warn: "We are headed toward utter disaster."

Finally today: Hollywood takes a stand against Trump and in favor of press freedoms...

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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Public outrages forces GOP to reverse plan to gut Congressional oversight on first day, U.S. media inappropriately credit Trump...
By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2017 5:45pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Desi and I are back from holiday break, and just in time for the start of the new Congress, where the GOP had hoped to break the U.S. House even further by gutting the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. [Audio link to show posted below.]

First: A huge thanks to Nicole Sandler and Angie Coiro for filling in for us while we were gone and allowing us some much-needed time off! Please support them, their work and all independent media, wherever you can find it! As today's show makes clear, it's more important now than ever!

The U.S. House watchdog office was formed by Democrats in 2008 after the massive Jack Abramoff influence-peddling and bribery scandals of the George W. Bush era. After voting last night --- with no advance notice or public debate --- to hobble the OCE, Republicans were forced to reverse their plans thanks to public outrage expressed through phone calls to Congress. Nonetheless, Donald Trump is being inappropriately credited by the corporate media for the reversal, despite the lack of evidence that he actually opposed the move or that his tweets were responsible for the GOP changing course.

The episode suggests that public opinion, outrage and shaming may still matter in these United States, even in the Age of Trump, and even if the corporate media fail to notice. But we'll see.

At the same time, as NBC News guts their own news reporting outlets, they've announced today they are hiring Fox "News" star Megyn Kelly for untold millions. And, in Wisconsin, the agency responsible for environmental protection has solved Climate Change...by simply changing their website to pretend it no longer exists.

But, hey, "It's a New Year and Time to Face Reality". All of that and more on today's BradCast!...

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

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AND Fake News vs Bad Journalism; Jeff Chang on Diversity
GUEST HOSTED BY ANGIE COIRO
By Angie Coiro on 12/30/2016 5:40pm PT  

On today's BradCast, I'm in for Brad again. We start by pick up where we left off yesterday, with another review of fake news - this time, contrasting it with lazy, bad, or mistaken news reports.

And - about that reported book contract a flamboyant neo-Nazi is crowing about: why it's way too early to say, "We're boycotting Simon & Schuster!"

Then Natalie Blake with the California National Party explains how a state can secede from the US (hint: more than one option here). This is NOT the same California independence group allied with Russia, although you'd never get that from most media.

And an excerpt from a live conversation with author and culture critic Jeff Chang. Kind of fun to hear the Executive Director of Stanford's Institute for Diversity in the Arts explain how diversity is problematic.

Download MP3 or listen 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!




Guest: Univ of Chicago's Daniel Nichanian on proactive, state-by-state measures that Democrats can and must take to expand voting rights...
By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2016 4:55pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Enough playing defense. It's time for Democrats to go on the offense, in states all across the country, to expand the franchise, in numerous ways, rather than simply defending against increasing Republican efforts to restrict voting rights. And where they won't, it's time for progressives to hold them accountable for it. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Today I'm joined by Daniel Nichanian, election expert and post-doctoral fellow in political science at the University of Chicago to discuss his "Voting Rights Manifesto: A State-by-State Plan to Defend Democracy", as recently published in Vox.com's "Big Ideas" series.

Nichanian explains where and how Democrats can and must take action, right now, even during the Trump years, to expand voting rights and access to the polls. Yes, it can (and must) be done in states across the country where Democrats still have control of legislatures and governorships. In many cases, as he describes, Dems don't even need to control both.

No need to wait for and hope that Congressional Republicans to restore the Voting Rights Act, which they probably will never actually do. There are many ways for Democrats to expand voter registration (such as automatic universal registration and other reforms), expand the pool of those eligible to vote (restoring millions of felons' voting rights, for example), ways to make it easier to vote (early voting and easier access to absentee voting), and many other tools to take a proactive stand in the new year.

"The Democratic Party has not been at the forefront of the voting rights issue in the past two years," Nichanian observes. "The issue has really come to a head since the wave of Republican takeovers of state houses in 2010 and 2014, when the Republican Party really prioritized, in state after state, putting in place a very ambitious and consistent agenda of its own to curtail voting rights. The extent to which the Republican Party has prioritized this issue, it keeps taking Democrats by surprise." But, he explains, "when the Democratic Party has power, in many places, they really don't get their act together to think about what has to be done on this issue, and actually get it done."

We discuss how Democrats can do so. We also try and hold them accountable for not having done so to date in so many places where they should have by now --- even in places like New York and California. I'm hoping the conversation, and Nichanian's piece at Vox, might give us all something positive to work for in the new year, even at the same time as progressives build the resistance against the destructive, anti-democratic agenda of Donald Trump and the GOP.

Also on today's show: Fox "News" wingnuts continue their climate change hoax; Democrats in North Carolina end up playing Charlie Brown to the state Republicans' Lucy --- again. And, finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our year-end Green News Report as Obama, on his way out the door, bans off-shore oil drilling in large parts of the Atlantic and the Arctic, and not a moment too soon. The Arctic has turned freakishly warm over the past two months of what is likely to be the warmest year ever recorded on the planet (for the third year in a row). She also has some good news as the year wraps up, however: A new poll finds that Trump's voters actually support regulations on the burning of carbon that causes global warming and, something that even Trump can't change, solar power is now the world's cheapest form of energy. Take that, Big Oil, Big Coal and 2016!...

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: 27-year CIA vet Ray McGovern on why he disputes the secretly sourced allegations, and on Trump skipping Presidential Daily Briefings...
By Brad Friedman on 12/21/2016 6:03pm PT  

On today's BradCast, how corporate media control of our public airwaves helped elect Donald Trump, and a decades-long, top-level CIA intelligence briefer of U.S. Presidents responds to concerns about Trump skipping Presidential Daily Briefings and on, so far, evidence-free, anonymous claims that Russia hacked and manipulated the U.S. election.

First up today, speaking of questioning "conventional wisdom", there is no doubt that the stranglehold of our public airwaves by corporate media helped elect Trump. But a new report suggests their helping hand may have been even worse than we knew, as Sinclair Broadcasting, the infamously rightwing media behemoth and largest single owner of television stations in the nation, apparently struck a deal with the Trump campaign to provide non-critical coverage on its scores of television "news" outlets in the South, Midwest and elsewhere.

Then I'm joined by 27-year CIA analyst, Ray McGovern, who served as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and prepared and personally delivered the CIA's Presidential Daily Briefings (PDBs) each morning to American Presidents from Kennedy to Clinton. Since leaving the agency, he has become an outspoken anti-war advocate and peace activist and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), a group which includes esteemed former intel officials, analysts, experts, and whistleblowers such as Daniel Ellsberg, Coleen Rowley, William Binney, Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou, Karen Kwiatkowski, Col. Ann Wright and others. He is also a contributor at Consortium News and his writings and appearances can also be found at RayMcGovern.com.

I invited him back on today to offer insight as to how the preparation and delivery of PDBs to Presidents and Presidents-Elect have changed over the years and how important they are. McGovern offers some fascinating insight and inside Presidential stories on all of the above. But I wanted to talk to McGovern about this specifically in the wake of Trump's somewhat alarming recent admission that, he rarely attends the briefings because he's "smart", and doesn't "have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years." Instead, Trump says, he sends his national security team to attend what McGovern describes as "the acme of the intelligence cycle, just to give you an awareness off how important the process is."

But our conversation soon moved to the various allegations --- still without evidence and said to be from unnamed intelligence sources citing secret National Security Estimates (NIEs) that some respectable critics say don't necessarily make a lot of sense --- charging that Russia hacked DNC and other emails during the campaign in hopes of helping Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.

In short, McGovern and his fellow team of longtime intelligence analysts, experts and whistleblowers believe the allegations are, in McGovern's words, 'a crock'. He explains why he and his colleagues recently released a memo explaining their dispute with the charges, and what they actually believe is at the root of the thousands of leaked emails. While I agree with Ray on the lack of evidence presented at this time in support of the claims against Russia, I am also skeptical of VIPS' assertions about what they believe really happened, as we discuss on today's show as well.

But, of course, I am always skeptical of anything that cannot be independently verified, especially when it comes to anonymous claims and secret evidence used to lead us into wars. McGovern offers some fascinating details and reminders on the show today as to why such skepticism is a very good idea! Unfortunately, similar skepticism seems to be all too rare these days in much of the rest of our media. Either way, I'll look forward to your thoughts on today's program...

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Guests: Election integrity filmmaker Lulu Friesdat, advocate Emily Levy
Plus: Few defectors, as Electoral College majority casts their votes for Trump...
By Brad Friedman on 12/19/2016 5:50pm PT  

It's another very busy day today on The BradCast with terror attacks in Europe, the Electoral College vote in the U.S., and our continuing attempt to figure out if the votes in Election 2016 were actually tallied as per voter intent. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Despite thousands of protesters at state capitols around the nation today, there were only a few defectors (so-called "faithless electors") for both for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, as the Electoral College finally cast its votes today in 50 states and the District of Columbia. As of airtime, despite receiving a almost 3 million fewer votes than Clinton nationally, Trump had just received the requisite 270 votes, a majority of the Electoral College, needed to win the Presidency today. Presuming all state totals are certified by the U.S. Congress on January 6th (and I see no reason they wouldn't be), Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20th.

In the meantime, late last week, we learned that the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) --- the federal agency responsible for certifying the accuracy and security of electronic voting and tabulation systems used across the U.S. --- was, itself, recently hacked, with about 100 user names and passwords put up for sale on the black market. The well known vulnerability exploited was one that experts say could have been easily patched (it has now been) and would have allowed access to a database of vulnerabilities in the nation's voting and tabulation systems.

The Commission might have patched its own system earlier, but its Commissioners were very busy before the election and after, ensuring the nation (in an op-ed that was incorrect and misleading on innumerable levels) that "election officials have been working to secure our voting systems for years," so concerns about any such manipulation of results "are overstated".

Then, my guests today are Lulu Friesdat, filmmaker of the award-winning election integrity documentary Holler Back: [not] Voting in American Town (which I am in, but it is excellent anyway) and longtime election integrity advocate Emily Levy of RecountNow.org. Both are just back from attempting to help oversee the statewide Presidential election "recount" in Wisconsin, as requested (and paid for) by Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Friesdat shares her short, disturbing new video released on Friday, revealing what appear to be machine mistallies noted by observers during the statewide "recount" of ballots by computer optical-scanners in Racine County, WI, and a stymied attempt by one observer there, Liz Whitlock, to get a hand-count of the paper ballots in question. Citing the 5% error rate by the machines that observers tallied in one small precinct in WI, Friesdat notes: "A similar error rate applied across all of Wisconsin’s 2,976,150 votes --- could produce an error of 140,000 votes. Trump won Wisconsin by 22,000 votes."

Levy explains a troubling report from the attempted Presidential "recount" in Nevada (yes, there was one there too!), as filed by independent candidate "Rocky" De La Fuente. There, in the state said to have been won by Hillary Clinton, Clark County Clerk Joe Gloria appears to have admitted to secretly "recounting" votes prior to the lawful, public count of votes cast on the county's absentee paper ballots and completely unverifiable touch-screen voting systems. (In the 2004 Presidential "recount" in Ohio, two election officials were convicted and sentenced to the max for doing something similar in that state.)

As both explain on today's program, the long list of failures in the "recount" cases (and they describe many more such failures) have left both Friesdat and Levy even more concerned about the accuracy, security, reliability and ability to oversee our own election system than they were even prior to Election 2016. So, what can we all do about it? How can the system be improved to allow more transparency and oversight? We discuss all of that on today's show as well --- and it starts with you...

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

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Guest: Micheal Baca, Presidential Elector from Colorado...
By Brad Friedman on 12/14/2016 6:17pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Will there be some form of an Electoral College mutiny when they gather to cast their votes for President of the United States next week? My guest today, one of those electors, suggests we may all be in "for a big surprise". [Audio link to show posted at end of article.]

The 538 members of the Electoral College are finally set to cast their votes for President on Monday, December 19th. So far, just one GOP elector has publicly announced his intention to vote for someone other than Donald Trump (who, in 2012, railed that the U.S. Electoral College system was "a total sham", calling for "revolution" in response to a candidate winning the Electoral College while losing the national popular vote...as he did this year, by nearly 3 million votes, a record in U.S. history.)

But according to Harvard's Constitutional law professor Lawrence Lessig, who has offered free legal support to electors considering voting for a candidate other than the one their state voted for, "there are now at least 20 GOP electors considering a vote of conscience." Lessig argues electors have a Constitutional right under federal law to vote for whomever they please, despite some state laws that apply fines or other penalties against so-called "faithless electors". (University of Chicago law prof Geoffrey Stone explained this week why he believes they are "faithful not faithless".)

Colorado Presidential Elector Micheal Baca, a former U.S. Marine, joins me today to discuss how he and other electors are planning to vote on Monday. Baca is part of a group calling themselves the Hamilton Electors, citing founder Alexander Hamilton's Federalist Papers explanation of the Electoral College as a device meant to prevent popular demagogues or otherwise unfit or unqualified candidates from becoming President.

Baca explains his own plan, as a Democratic elector, to vote for a compromise Republican candidate, such as Ohio Gov. John Kasich, rather than Hillary Clinton, in order to encourage GOP electors to do the same, in hopes of stopping Trump from winning the requisite 270 vote Electoral College majority. Baca explains why he believes information made available since the election reveals Trump to be unfit for office.

"On December 19th," Baca explains, "538 individual people --- not numbers on the map, not computer generated, not Wolf Blitzer numbers --- 538 people will be casting a ballot for the President of the United States of America. I believe that by reaching across party lines, I am putting my country above my party. And I may not agree ideologically on what the Republicans stand for, but Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our republic. And I believe that it's imperative in this election that we do exercise our conscience and our moral judgment."

Baca also tells me during our interview how he became an elector in the first place, the rather stunning way in which he is told the vote is set to occur on Monday in Colorado (with "pre-printed ballots"!), how his experience as a Marine has informed his position, and what he has learned from speaking to other electors, both Democratic and Republican, about how they plan to vote. He suggests a surprise could be ahead, even as I (and he, as well) remain skeptical.

"I try to operate my life with a healthy dose of skepticism," he tells me. "And until things are out in public, the only thing that I will confirm is that we have one public Republican elector. Are there others out there? I do believe so. Are they not public? I do believe so...I'm not Professor Lawrence Lessig [but] I don't think he would just speak without having any factual evidence."

Baca adds: "I think we were all in for a big surprise. Surprises happen. This is the year 2016. If there's a time in history, I believe this is the time."

Okay, then. Could be a big week ahead. Or not. It's a fascinating conversation that you may wish to listen to in full.

Also today: The Trump Transition team says a questionnaire sent to the Dept. of Energy seeking the names and backgrounds of climate scientists was "not authorized", and the Massachusetts Attorney General says it's time for ExxonMobil to "come clean" about their efforts to fund climate change denial, now that their CEO Rex Tillerson has been nominated by Trump as Secretary of State.

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

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Guest: Marcy Wheeler on U.S. intel agencies' 'secret' allegations about foreign interference in the Presidential race, as 'recount' ends in WI, is denied by courts again in MI, PA...
By Brad Friedman on 12/12/2016 6:18pm PT  

On today's BradCast, what we know and don't about newly reported charges that the CIA is said to believe Russian state-actors interfered in the U.S. election on behalf of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, even as attempts to verify the actual Presidential election results, and concerns that they were hacked or otherwise in error, are blocked by Republicans in Michigan and Pennsylvania and come to an official close in Wisconsin. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Over the weekend, Washington Post and New York Times each reported on unnamed sources alleging a "secret" "consensus" of U.S. intelligence agencies charging Russia tried to interfere with the Presidential election in order to help Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton. National security journalist and author Marcy Wheeler of EmptyWheel.net offers a measure of skepticism about the explosive reports on those allegations, which she suggests could echo what proved to be blatantly misrepresented and cherry-picked intel by the George W. Bush Administration in their run-up to the Iraq War.

We discuss what we know and don't know concerning the newly reported charges, which parties have an interested in forwarding them and why they are arising in this form now, and how those concerns can possibly square with seemingly contradictory resistance --- by both Republicans and Democrats alike --- to human verification of the stunning and poll-defying 2016 Presidential election results reported in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

Speaking of which, late on Friday, a 3-2 split vote at the MI state Supreme Court denied a hearing of Green Party candidate Jill Stein's appeal of a 3-Republican judge decision that aborted the state's disastrous paper ballot hand-count last week. And today, a federal court in PA denied [PDF] Stein's lawsuit seeking a statewide hand-count of paper ballots and a forensic analysis of the 100% unverifiable touchscreen voting and computer tabulation systems used across most of the state. Also today, the state of Wisconsin completed its partial statewide hand-count and certified Donald Trump as the winner of that state's electoral vote. (Final tallies are not yet available from the Wisconsin Election Commission, but as of earlier today Reuters reported "Trump with a increase of 628 votes, Clinton with an increase of 653 votes and Stein with an increase of 68 votes". Those are net increases, without reflecting the total number of originally-mistallied votes, nor explaining that most of the state's largest counties simply ran the hand-marked paper ballots back through the optical-scan computers again to derive their "recount" totals.)

All of that amidst a repeated, coordinated, well-funded and familiar efforts by Republicans and Team Trump to block any and all verification of Presidential election results in all three states. "Cronyism, bureaucratic obstruction, and legal maneuvering have run roughshod over the democratic process," Stein said following Friday's Supreme Court decision in MI after tens of thousands of votes were deemed "unrecountable" due to the state's arcane "recount" laws while the attempted count was still underway last week. "A recount should not be this difficult or controversial. If you take out money from a bank, the teller counts it twice --- and the second time, they count it in front of your eyes. It should be well understood that something as important as a presidential election requires a basic level of quality assurance and verification."

We have all of the latest details on today's BradCast...

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

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Court loses sight of fundamental right to verifiably accurate count...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/10/2016 3:04pm PT  

If allowed to stand, the reasoning behind U.S. District Court Judge Mark A. Goldsmith's December 7, 2016 decision [PDF] in Stein v. Thomas to halt the Michigan presidential "recount" is flawed, at best. Issued, ironically enough, on the day we commemorate what President Franklin D. Roosevelt described as "a date which will live in infamy", it is by no means an exaggeration to suggest that Judge Goldsmith's reasoning could inflict greater harm on the very foundations of our constitutional form of democracy than that inflicted by the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

The halt to the "recount" came just two days after Judge Goldsmith issued a temporary restraining order ("TRO") directing the MI Canvassing Board to immediately commence the "recount" and one day after a U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal decision, upholding that TRO.

Under that 6th Circuit appeals ruling, Judge Goldsmith was obligated to revisit the issue if "the Michigan courts determine that Plaintiffs' recount is improper for any reason." Separately, on Dec. 6, the Michigan state appellate court ruled that, under MI law, only a candidate who has a reasonable chance of winning has a right to initiate a post-election count. But that state court ruling, by three Republican judges, did not justify Judge Goldsmith's decision to halt a "recount" that had been predicated on Dr. Jill Stein's rights under the U.S. Constitution.

As he acknowledged in his original decision, the Green Party Presidential candidate did not base her federal claim on state law. To the contrary, in his initial finding, Goldsmith held that the Plaintiffs had shown a likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that the two-business day waiting period mandated by state law "would likely violate their right to vote under the First and Fourteenth Amendments." Judge Goldsmith, in that first decision, added, "the [federal] right to vote, and to have that vote conducted fairly and counted accurately" [emphasis added] is not merely "fundamental" but serves as "the bedrock of our Nation."

State law, whether directed at the timing of the recount or to the aggrieved status (standing) of the candidate seeking the count, should not be allowed to infringe upon a fundamental right that every citizen has to a verifiably accurate count of their votes.

The truly damaging aspect of the decision to dissolve the TRO lies not in the question of standing but in Judge Goldsmith's upside-down reasoning as to who should bare the burden of establishing the integrity of the vote. That reasoning is directly at odds with the rulings made in two landmark cases in Germany and Austria, to the effect that the need for election integrity and transparency are paramount in any nation that values democracy...

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




Guest: Susan Pynchon of Florida Fair Elections Coalition on high 'invalid vote' rate, a hacked election vendor, case calling for hand-counts in FL
Plus: Claims of Russian election hacking and chilling Trump transition news at DOE...
By Brad Friedman on 12/9/2016 6:51pm PT  

A federal court victory for Jill Stein in Wisconsin; a federal court hearing in Pennsylvania; the fight to restart counting in Michigan; and the case for a recount in Florida. Yes, in Florida. But that's just the tip of the iceberg on today's very busy BradCast! [Audio link to complete show follows below.]

First up, some encouraging news from the New York Attorney General concerning his intentions to hold Donald Trump's nominees to head up the Environmental Protection Agency and Dept. of Labor accountable to the rule of law. Then, a bit more good news out WI today, where a federal court dismissed a Team Trump attempt to stop the ongoing Presidential "recount" in the state.

Meanwhile, a federal court in PA heard Jill Stein's case calling for a statewide count and forensic analysis of voting systems today. And, following the the hearing, in a press conference outside the courthouse, University of MI Computer Science and voting systems expert Prof. J. Alex Halderman explained again why such a study is necessary.

"Over the past ten years, we've found every one of the [voting and tabulation systems in the U.S.] susceptible to hacking. Doesn't matter whether they're plugged into the Internet directly or not," he said. "The evidence on the paper ballots, the evidence on the software in the machines --- that's what we're asking to examine. And that's the only way we're ever going to know for sure whether our votes were counted correctly or not in the 2016 Presidential election. We think that by looking at that evidence, which seems to me like just a common-sense security precaution, we can increase voter confidence, and help everyone know their that their votes really counted." Those comments come on the same day that the Obama Administration announced plans to release a report on charges that Russian hackers attempted to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.

Then, we're joined by long time election integrity champion, Susan Pynchon, founder of Florida Fair Elections Coalition and a central character in HBO's Emmy-nominated 2006 documentary Hacking Democracy, joins us to discuss a lawsuit [PDF] filed late last week calling for a statewide hand-count of paper ballots in FL(!)

Pynchon explains the reasons why it was filed, which include not just the surprising result in the state's Presidential race, but also reports that a Florida-based corporate vendor by the name of VR Systems --- a company contracted by about a dozen states --- was reportedly hacked earlier this year. She says they provided "voter registration and other services in 64 of Florida's 67 counties. Voter databases, management and tracking of mail-in ballots, and election reporting services on election night." (And here is that Exhibit T [PDF] from the complaint that I referenced during the show, concerning troubling voter registration problems reported on Election Day in several Sunshine State counties, including Broward and Lee.)

Also, Pynchon details the high "invalid vote rate" ("votes that weren't actually counted --- undervotes, overvotes, and invalid write-in votes"), which she says is "more than double in this election than it was in 2008 and 2012. We need to take a close look at that because it's not normal. It's not typical of past elections." She goes on to describe how one county was also found to have "ordered duplicate sets of [security] seals," asking: "So how secure is that when you're sealing a ballot box with a seal that could then just be replaced with your duplicate set of seals?"

Coincidentally, part of Halderman's remarks from outside of the federal courthouse in Philadelphia this afternoon, which we play in full on the show today, referred to how easy it is to break into those voting machine security seals. He says they are "easy to remove in just a few seconds with a hairdryer or a screwdriver."

"You know, if you'd asked me this ten years ago, I would have said, well, maybe it sounds like science fiction, someone hacking into a country's national election by tampering with the voting machines," warns Halderman. "I think it's only a matter of time before this happens, if it hasn't happened already."

Finally today, an incredibly chilling missive was confirmed to have been sent to the U.S. Dept. of Energy from the Trump transition team, seeking the names and details of scientists and other employees there and at national laboratories involved in climate change and other related studies...

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

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