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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, August 24, 2016
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
  w/ Brad & Desi
. Media failure on LA flooding; Floods accelerate Zika virus; PLUS: A tale of two warming Arctics -- Native American tribe forced to move, luxury cruises just getting started...
Previous GNRs: 8/18/16 - 8/16/16 - Archives...
'What 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...
Sunday Toons of the Makeover Moment
PDiddie's round up of his favorite toons from last week focuses on campaign shake-ups, shuffles, makeovers and other political reality avoidance techniques...
Three Daves:
'BradCast' 8/19/16
Guest host Angie Coiro with guests Dave Johnson of Campaign for America's Future, David Atkins of Washington Monthly, and Chain of Title author David Dayen...
6th Circuit Panel Upholds 'Straight-Party' Voting In MI
Republican AG vows appeal despite availability of optional voting method in the state for 125 straight years, and its disproportionate use at the polls by African-American voters...
DoJ to 'End' Private For-Profit Federal Prison System: 'BradCast' 8/18/16
Guest: Carl Takei of ACLU's National Prison Project; Plus: GOP 'Civil War' vs. Reality and The Donald comes up short in NYC...
'Green News Report' 8/18/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
. Explosive new CA fire forces evacs for 80,000; New rules for heavy duty trucks; Report: Ending oil subsidies won't raise gas prices; PLUS: First-ever U.S. offshore wind farm...
Previous GNRs: 8/16/16 - 8/11/16 - Archives...
Send in the Clowns:
'BradCast' 8/17/16
Eric Boehlert on Trump's bizarre staff shake-up; Plus: NC GOP's desperate voter suppression Hail Mary, California burning, and 'Bye-Bye' to John McLaughlin...
NC Files with SCOTUS for Emergency Stay of Unlawful Vote Suppression Law
State Republicans display remarkable chutzpah in their last gasp argument to keep a 'racially discriminatory' statute in place for November...
'Rogue' DEA Punts Pot: 'BradCast' 8/16/16
Guest: Michael Collins of Drug Policy Alliance on 'rotten to core' DEA's marijuana announcement; Plus: 'Third-party' Presidential woes, disturbing climate news, more...
'Green News Report' 8/16/16
. Another historic, deadly rain event in LA; Another massive fire in CA; July 2016 Earth's hottest month ever recorded; PLUS: Green Party nom Jill Stein on climate...
Facts Behind Fraud: 'BradCast' 8/15/16
Debunking Trump on terror, 'voter fraud' in PA and climate change; Plus: Even Rightwing propagandists beginning to realize 'We've created this monster'...
Sunday Toons of Performance Art Moment
Trump fails to win the gold in this week's Presidential olympics. Plus, other pratfalls in PDiddie's latest collection of his favorite toons of the past week...
An Excess of Trump: 'BradCast' 8/12/2016
Isn't he gone yet? Angie Coiro guest hosts, with guests RJ Eskow of 'The Zero Hour' and Gotta Laff of 'The Nicole Sandler Show'...
Emergency Filing to Avoid WI Vote Suppression
Action sought in response to partisan 7th Circuit panel rollback of recent remedy that would have restored voting rights to thousands under GOP Photo ID law...
Big Oil and Big Tobacco: Old Docs, New Revelations: 'BradCast' 8/11/16
Guest: Carroll Muffett of CIEL on oil and tobacco in bed on denial since 1940s; Plus: The Trump coverage dilemma...
'Green News Report' 8/11/16
Trump's 'new' energy plan; Clinton coal country plan; Industrial chemicals in drinking water of 6M Americans; PLUS: Court ruling sets major climate precedent...
'2nd Amndmnt People': 'BradCast' 8/10/16
Donald Trump's 'stochastic terrorism'; (temporary?) bad news for voters in WI; good voting news in TX; Listener calls on all of the above...
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...


Guests: Dave Johnson, Campaign for America's Future; David Atkins, Washington Monthly; David Dayen, 'Chain of Title'
Guest hosted by Angie Coiro...
By Angie Coiro on 8/19/2016 5:46pm PT  

On today's BradCast, guest hosted by Angie Coiro, we discuss how multinational corporations avoid taxes (and what to do about it). Then David Dayen brings us his award-winning book on the mortgage swindle, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street's Great Foreclosure Fraud.

First up, David Atkins from The Washington Monthly and Dave Johnson of The Campaign for America’s Future dive into the murky waters of how to finally tax offshore corporate profits.

Finally, David Dayen discusses three unsung heroes of the mortgage meltdown – ordinary people who wouldn’t let their homes be foreclosed without fighting back. They sparked a movement that turned foreclosures back on the banks and led to real legislative change...

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: Carl Takei of ACLU's National Prison Project...
By Brad Friedman on 8/18/2016 6:01pm PT  

Shockingly good news on today's BradCast, following today's remarkable announcement by the U.S. Dept. of Justice that they are working to end the federal government's "use of privately operated prisons".

After that, you may want to pop up some popcorn to best enjoy the rest of today's program. [Audio link to complete program is posted below.]

First up today, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates issued a memo, as Washington Post reported, instructing federal officials "to either decline to renew the contracts for private prison operators when they expire or 'substantially reduce' the contracts’ scope. The goal, Yates wrote, is 'reducing --- and ultimately ending --- our use of privately operated prisons.'

Wow. Her memo goes on to cite a recent DoJ Inspector General's report finding that privately run prisons do not provide same level of service, "do not save substantially on costs" and "do not maintain the same level of safety and security" as those run by the federal government's Bureau of Prisons.

I am joined by Carl Takei, staff attorney for the ACLU's National Prison Project, for both an explanation and a bit of a victory lap after his organization and others have spent decades taking on the private, for-profit prison industry. Takei details what the announcement means, why it has finally come about now, and how the ACLU and others --- including investigative reporters, the Bernie Sanders campaign, and eventually the Hillary Clinton campaign --- have long argued precisely what the DoJ has admitted today.

"Handing control of prisons over to for-profit companies is a recipe for abuse, neglect, and misconduct because their primary duty is to their shareholders. They have to deliver value to their shareholders by skimming a profit off of whatever payments the government gives them to run the system," Takei tells me.

"In the 1990s, when the Bureau of Prisons first started this experiment with private prisons, the argument was they could provide incarceration more cheaply and that the innovations of the free market would somehow make things better. In fact, it turned out to be far worse. Because the major way that you can make money off incarceration is by cutting expenses," he says. "Some of the biggest expenses are security staff, medical staff, and providing medical services. Anywhere that the company starts cutting back its expenditures, it ends up harming the people inside."

He goes on to offer some startling examples of both that and of some of the easily-disproven responses and claims of the for-profit, private prison industry lobby.

Next, we look at how the coming and/or current GOP Civil War is shaping up not as a battle of ideas for the party's future, but as a wingnut street-fight over whose false version of 'reality' will win out. It's getting quite ugly. But also, at least for those of us on the outside, kinda hilarious in several regards.

Then, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, with "some news that blows" and, finally, we close with the NYC Parks Department hilariously short response to the growing erection of naked Donald Trump statues around the city. You're welcome.

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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Action sought as partisan court panel rolls back remedy meant to restore voting rights to nearly 10% of WI electorate...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/12/2016 1:51pm PT  

The plaintiffs in One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen, one of several long-running court challenges to Wisconsin Republicans' strict Photo ID voting restriction, have filed an emergency petition with the full en banc U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeal, asking that it overturn its previous photo ID decision in Frank v. Walker.

The still pending Frank case as well as the One Wisconsin challenge have, to say the least, undergone a circuitous recent history in a number of federal courts that oversee Badger State election law.

In April 2014, after a lengthy trial, U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman struck down and permanently enjoined Wisconsin's photo ID law after finding it in violation of both the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as well as the Voting Rights Act (VRA).

Republicans in control of the state naturally appealed that detailed and blistering ruling. The federal appeal was assigned to an all-Republican three-judge 7th Circuit panel, headed by Judge Frank H. Easterbrook. Easterbrook is a member of the radical right wing Robert Bork-founded, Koch Brothers-funded "Federalist Society". The ensuing decision to reinstate Wisconsin's photo ID law, despite Adelman's meticulous ruling in the lower court, was so extraordinarily partisan, factually deficient, riddled with errors and legally flawed that it prompted the ordinarily staid U.C. Irvine election law Prof. Rick Hasen to tweet: "I rarely just rant in my blog posts. But Judge Easterbrook caused me to blow a gasket."

Other members of the 7th Circuit were so troubled by Easterbrook's flawed opinion that they took the unusual move of granting a rehearing en banc on their own motion. Because of prior refusals by Congressional Republicans to fill a vacancy on the 7th Circuit with an Obama nominee, at that time of the court's motion there were only ten (10) jurists serving on the full 7th Circuit --- as opposed to the allotted eleven (11) judges. The ensuing 5-5 en banc ruling --- now referred to as Frank I --- left Easterbrook's horribly flawed ruling in place, effectively disenfranchising nearly 10% of Wisconsin's electorate who did not possess or have easy access to the very specific types of Photo ID now required by state Republicans to cast a vote. .

Last April, however, after a disastrous Presidential primary in Wisconsin, where, most visibly, student voters were forced into hours long lines on Election Day in hopes of obtaining a state approved photo ID that would allow them to vote under the GOP law, the Easterbrook panel handed down a decision that appeared designed to ameliorate the widespread disenfranchisement. The ruling --- now referred to as Frank II --- suggested that disenfranchised voters who lack the ability "to obtain a qualifying photo ID with reasonable effort" should be permitted to cast a regular ballot nonetheless.

On July 19, 2016, in what was thought to be compliant with the Frank II directive, the District Court issued a remedial injunction that mandated Wisconsin afford the right to cast a regular ballot to "those who cannot with reasonable effort obtain a qualifying ID", so long as they signed an affidavit to that effect at the polling place. Many, like The Nation's Ari Berman, celebrated, believing that the voting rights of Wisconsin's disenfranchised electorate had finally been restored.

That celebration, it now appears, proved both premature and an underestimate of the level partisan duplicity on the part of the three "radicals in robes" on the Easterbrook 7th Circuit panel...

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




Guest: Ernest A. Canning of 'Vets for Bernie' on tough November choices for hard-core Sanders supporters...
By Brad Friedman on 8/9/2016 5:23pm PT  

The primaries are over, the nominees are set, so what are the best options remaining for dyed-in-the-wool Bernie Sanders fans this November 8th?

On today's BradCast, attorney, veteran and longtime legal analyst at The BRAD BLOG, Ernest A. Canning, who serves as a senior advisor to VetsForBernie.org, joins us to discuss his new article, "Revolution at a Crossroad". [Audio link to show posted below.]

Canning walks through the pros and cons of the various possibilities (staying home, voting for the Libertarian or Green Party candidate, voting for Hillary Clinton, as Sanders suggests, or even, gasp, voting for Donald Trump) as now faced by hard-core Sanders supporters, before offering his recommendation for how best to vote in order to continue the Sanders-led "political revolution". (Ernie also responds to a number of reader comments from the lively debate in response to his article.)

"I think the critical issue, and I think the question that every thinking progressive has to ask themselves is: 'What is the most effective means for moving the goals of the democratic revolution forward?'," he explains while we work through the potential options and outcomes.

Also today, the fight to restore the Voting Rights Act continues. Voting rights advocates on the ground in North Carolina and elsewhere are working hard to assure access to the polls for all this year, on the heels of a number of recent, very encouraging state and federal court victories. And national leaders are, once again, pressing Republicans in Congress to simply allow hearings to discuss ways to try and fix the landmark 1965 legislation after it was gutted by a rightwing majority on the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013.

Finally, we wrap up today's show with a few thoughts from liberal author and intellectual Noam Chomsky, on the threat posed by Donald Trump to the globe and, indeed, life on earth...

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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Politico feature on Princeton computer scientists who cracked U.S. e-voting and tabulation systems offers what could be very good news
Also: TX agrees to restore reasonable ID requirements; Wingnut climate dead-enders...
By Brad Friedman on 8/5/2016 6:31pm PT  

On today's BradCast, amidst a fresh flurry of mainstream media coverage of how simple it is to manipulate election results via electronic voting and tabulation systems, Politico Magazine offers a blockbuster cover story describing it as "child's play" and, as it turns out, also serving as a virtual "Best Of" from the past 15 years of The BRAD BLOG's coverage of e-voting failure and concerns. [Audio link to full show posted below.]

Ben Wofford's 8,500+ word feature today on how a group of computer scientists and cybersecurity experts coming out of Princeton University have, in recent years, been able to hack virtually every such system still in use across all 50 states in the U.S., details one story after another that we've either broken or covered in detail, and highlights the brilliant work of a bunch of the scientists and experts who I've interviewed on the blog or radio show or who have otherwise served as sources for much of my reporting over the years both at The BRAD BLOG and other publications.

(Just a very few of those greatest hit hacks from over the years: the Diebold Touch-Screen Virus Hack, the Sequoia Pac-Man Hack, the $26 Radio Shack Hack, the D.C. Internet Voting Hack.)

More importantly (as I detailed earlier today), Wofford's lengthy and well-researched report offers hints that even the computer scientists are finally beginning to concede that the most secure voting and counting system of all may be plain old, hand-marked paper ballots, publicly counted by hand at each precinct on election night before ballots are moved anywhere. (What I've long described as "Democracy's Gold Standard".)

As Shane Harris reports at The Daily Beast this week in his piece "How Hackers Could Destroy Election Day", there are many ways that electronic voting and tabulation threatens American democracy, including by someone merely claiming that the vote has been hacked, whether it really has been or not. "If you have a system that's been shown to have vulnerabilities, even if someone doesn't attack them, but creates the impression that they might have, in a closely contested elections you've got a problem," explains Johns Hopkins' computer scientist Avi Rubin, one of the first to detail the enormous vulnerabilities in computer tabulator source code (in systems made by Diebold, in that case.)

Also today: After the nation's most conservative federal appeals court recently found Texas Republicans violated the Voting Rights Act with their racially discriminatory Photo ID voting law, the state agrees to a court-ordered remedy that broadly expands ID types that may be used for voting, re-enfranchising at least 600,000 legally registered, disproportionately Dem-leaning Texas voters in the bargain.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with some accountability in Michigan, and to bat down several persistent wingnut climate changes myths (from Donald Trump and WI's Republican Sen. Ron Johnson among others) that just won't die, no matter how much independently verifiable science gets thrown at them...

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: 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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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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MSM, Repubs and Dems finally decide e-voting and tabulation a concern...
By Brad Friedman on 8/3/2016 6:13pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we examine charges made by Donald Trump of a rigged November election, the case made by Bernie Sanders supporters that Hillary Clinton may have won the primary due to election fraud, and the mainstream corporate media finally deciding that, yes, hacked voting and tabulation systems really are a threat to American elections. [Link to audio of today's program follows below.]

It's fun (not really) to see corporate media outlets --- once again on the eve a major election --- suddenly very worried about so much of what we have been reporting (see, literally, thousands of stories at The BRAD BLOG and on The BradCast) about the vulnerability of the U.S. electoral system. We've been warning of exactly that for more than a decade.

The recent concerns follow the hack of DNC emails, said by Dems to have been carried out by Russian intelligence agencies, months of charges of "election fraud!" from Sanders supporters, and now new charges from Trump and friends that the Presidential Election will be stolen by Dems this November by electronic voting machines or voter fraud (or whatever the hell he and his supporters are now sputtering.)

It might all have been more fun had all of the above noticed these concerns years ago, rather than right after what some believe is a stolen election and right before one that some believe could be stolen. Ya know, back when there would have been time to move to transparent voting and counting systems instead.

Nonetheless, with those real concerns --- from all sides --- of hacked, stolen, manipulated or just plain erroneously reported election results, I note that "concerns" are not proof of fraud. So, today, we examine the various arguments, including some detailed thoughts --- both critical and complimentary --- on a new 100-page draft report [PDF] by Election Justice USA, titled "Democracy Lost: A Report on the Fatally Flawed 2016 Democratic Primaries".

Their report (and others making similar charges in recent months) details what EJUSA believes to be proof and/or evidence of fraud that benefited Hillary Clinton during the primary. In stark summary (much more detail offered on today's show itself!), the group's evidence of voter registration fraud in some locations is disturbing, if not completely unlike what we've seen in previous elections. But, I am somewhat less moved by their evidence of electronic voting and tabulation manipulation, as based largely on analysis of disparities between Exit Polling and reported election results. I try and explain why I am not particularly persuaded by studies of Exit Polls in regard to U.S. elections, and why, frankly, my response to their report would be similar whether they found proof of fraud or proof of zero fraud in the election. In both cases I would say what I have been saying for years: We need publicly hand-counted, hand-marked, paper-ballots in this country in order to have real confidence in results. (That is what I've long described as Democracy's Gold Standard.)

Short of that, with computerized voting and counting systems that are difficult, if not impossible for the public to oversee, confidence in U.S. elections will continue to erode whether fraud or error actually exists in the results or not. That, in and of itself, as I have shouted for years, continues to present a grave threat to America's system of representative democracy.

All of that and the latest Green News Report, on today's 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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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 8/2/2016 12:01pm PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Democrats make the case for action on climate change and clean energy jobs at the Democratic National Convention, while smacking Republicans and Donald Trump for denying science; PLUS: Another deadly extreme rainfall event, this time in Maryland... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): New York adopts renewable energy standard, subsidizing nuclear energy; California adds weedkiller atrazine to toxics list, avoids outright ban; Toxicologist: State's claim that NC water was safe 'scientifically untrue'; Federal coal ash case could impact cleanups beyond VA; Chernobyl's toxic wasteland may be converted to solar farm... PLUS: We were promised the greenest Olympics ever. We got an ecological disaster... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




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!... ---




Edina Lekovic of Muslim Public Affairs Council tackles Trump; 'GottaLaff' parses complicated progressive feminist reaction to Hillary
Guest Hosted by Angie Coiro...
By Angie Coiro on 8/1/2016 7:20pm PT  

On today's BradCast, guest hosted by Angie Coiro: How the Democratic Convention came across to two lifelong progressive feminists, and how Muslim women clapped back against Donald Trump with #CanYouHearUsNow.

My guest, Edina Lekovic from the Muslim Public Affairs Council, tackles Trump's misogynist, racist reaction to Khizr and Ghazala Khan's Democratic Convention appearance. Then, she reacts to common slams against American Muslims - "the hijab proves you're not a feminist", and "Islam is dedicated to violent conversion of infidels".

Also today: Laffy, the famous 'Gotta Laff' of The Nicole Sandler Show, reacts to the Dem Convention - from its visual appeal, to the style of its speakers, to the very mixed blessing of the first mainstream woman Presidential nominee.

Finally, Angie puts the new movie The Great Wall in the context of the many, many White Savior-flavored films that have preceded it.

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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!...

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Guest: NY Daily News' Shaun King on the difficult choice to stop Trump...
By Brad Friedman on 7/28/2016 5:33pm PT  

On today's BradCast [audio link posted below], our coverage of the Democratic National Convention continues; a fascinating conversation with a longtime Sanders supporter who explains his gut-wrenching decision to vote for Clinton this November; and pundits on the Right continue to melt down as the two major party conventions illustrate stark differences in world views between Democrats and Republicans.

First up, Donald Trump does not want you to watch the proceedings in Philadelphia, as he told supporters in a fund raising email today. Wednesday night's blockbuster DNC speeches from President Obama and Vice President Biden to the one from Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine to a particularly stinging Trump critique from self-made billionaire and former Republican-turned-Independent NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, make the case for why Trump would be delighted if you didn't notice what was going on in Philly.

But it's not all unity and flowers at the DNC, as some Sanders supporters and anti-war advocates continue to protest, and as polls between Clinton and Trump remain very tight for now.

Then, we're joined by Black Lives Matter advocate and fierce Bernie Sanders supporter Shaun King --- former Daily Kos blogger turned NY Daily News journalist --- to discuss his column this week describing the difficult choice he's made to support Bernie Sanders by supporting Hillary Clinton.

He explains, in detail, that while he's "disgusted that the Democratic establishment clearly did everything in its power to make sure Bernie didn't win," he has determined that Trump represents a "dangerous threat" to the nation that must be stopped with "a necessary vote" for Clinton this fall.

"Donald Trump has out-maneuvered and out-thought seventeen other candidates in the Republican primaries, and I think he's doing it now in this presidential race," King warns. "I think it's going to be a dog-fight to the very end. There's a distinct likelihood he could win. And anybody who says otherwise doesn't really have their finger on what people are thinking right now."

I think it's important that you, particularly Sanders supporters, listen to the conversation, hear out the reasons for his decision --- which he has clearly struggled with --- and then decide for yourself what to make of it. So, I don't want to quote too much from our conversation today. I will note, however, that he tells me: "I trust Bernie as a person and as a politician. He's maybe the only politician I would say that about. I felt like if he could swallow not only a sense of pride but compromise on some of the things that matter most to him --- be it disagreements he's had with the Clinton campaign --- then if he could do that then I could do it."

I also get King's thoughts on why he has long supported (and still supports) Sanders; on the belief of Bernie partisans that the primary was "stolen" by fraud; about the option for voting "third party"; on the idea that only after a Trump win, as some suggest, will the Democratic Party finally learn its lesson; and why it is that some folks at his former journalistic home Daily Kos (one of the places where The BradCast is posted every day) seem to absolutely freak out whenever I report on polling that suggests Clinton may have a difficult time defeating Trump. (Or, frankly, when I report on anything that they perceive as being critical, somehow, of the Democratic nominee. That, even as Sanders supporters elsewhere have been accusing me for months of being a "HillBot". Sigh. As much as I love democracy, sometimes I really hate elections.)

Finally, Bill O'Reilly seems to be melting down, again, as he plays the victim card on behalf of himself and Fox 'News', again, following his recent comments about slavery. All of that and more on today's show...

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Plus: Callers ring in on all of it. Buckle up...
By Brad Friedman on 7/27/2016 5:37pm PT  

On today's BradCast [audio link posted below], the historic nomination of Hillary Clinton for President of the United States on Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, as Dems continue to seek unity in a still-fractured party, Republican nominee Donald Trump calls for Russia to hack and publicly release emails from Clinton's time as Sec. of State, and the latest data-based prediction from FiveThirtyEight.com finds Trump with a 55% likelihood of winning the Presidency, compared to Clinton's 45%, if the election were held today.

With all of that history and madness in mind, we turn to calls from listeners on all of the above. Many (though not all) say they still refuse to vote Clinton, despite Bernie Sanders' plea for them to do so. Others argue why Clinton (and even Trump) should be elected. Our friend and historian Jon Wiener, of The Nation and Pacifica Radio's KPFK also calls in to (somewhat) refute FiveThirtyEight's prediction, and I do my best to challenge everyone to support their positions.

Suffice to say, it was a very lively caller segment today.

We then finish up with Desi Doyen and the Green News Report's wrap up of last week's Republican convention in Cleveland (including a fact-check on Trump's promise to burn much more coal), and new data on more record heat across the globe...

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

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Guest: The Nation's John Nichols from the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, on Sanders, his supporters, their movement and future...
By Brad Friedman on 7/26/2016 5:32pm PT  

Not to give away the ending, but by the close of today's BradCast, Hillary Clinton became the Democrats' nominee for President of the United States.

Before we got there, however, we were joined from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia by longtime progressive journalist and author John Nichols of The Nation and Madison, Wisconsin's Capital Times to discuss yesterday's early tumult with the resignation of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and what we should expect from her interim replacement Donna Brazile between now and Election Day.

The bulk of our conversation, however, centers on how some of the most die-hard Bernie Sanders supporters and convention delegates are feeling today, what it may take for Clinton to win their votes between now and November, and where Sanders' progressive movement may go thereafter. "Bottom line is," he cautions, "it's not what you hear at the convention, necessarily. It's about what comes after."

On an optimistic note, Nichols describes how he has been seeing many progressive Sanders supporters step up to run for office in recent days "all over this country. You won't know all their names, and neither will I, because a lot of them will be running for Drainage Commissioner. But that's how the Christian Coalition got its power, because they figured out there was a Religious Right way to be a Drainage Commissioner. And I can tell you something: there is absolutely a democratic socialist way to be a Drainage Commissioner."

As to the likelihood of a Trump Presidency, Nichols is very concerned. "He's talking to people who have had the hell beaten out of them by globalization, de-industrialization, automation. So it is not shocking at all that there are people feeling so pressured that they might consider an option that, by any reasonable measure, seems madness. We must accept that. The reality of politics. If we don't, we end up with a surprise like Reagan in '80. We tell ourselves something couldn't happen, and then it goes and happens."

But does the Democratic Party understand that? And is Nichols' own home state of Wisconsin really in play this year, as Republicans seem to suggest every year? His answers to all of those questions and many others on today's BradCast!

Also on today's program: Extended excerpts from the moving and inspiring Day 1 speeches of Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders and others, and a brilliant new way that one group concerned about climate change is hoping to entice new young voters to register...

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

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Guest: Eric Boehlert on Rightwing media after the firing of FNC's founder and propaganda mastermind amid sexual harassment charges
Plus: Another deadly heatwave; Trump gets convention 'bump'; Clinton taps Kaine for Veep...
By Brad Friedman on 7/25/2016 5:34pm PT  

On today's BradCast, a very rocky start for Democrats in Philadelphia and bad news for Fox 'News' may be good news for the country. [Link to complete audio of show posted below.]

Before our coverage of today's remarkable news from the Democratic National Convention, some late (and overlooked) news on the mass shootings in Munich last week and in Fort Meyers, Florida on Sunday night. Also, record deadly heat continues to grip both the U.S. and the world, and new polling shows Donald Trump now taking a lead both nationally and in key battleground states after receiving a 'bump' from last week's GOP convention in Cleveland.

Then, with Dems gathering for their own convention in Philly this week, things were off to a very bumpy start on Day 1. The release of hacked emails written by DNC insiders (in which The BradCast makes a very brief cameo) have led to Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), a long time Hillary Clinton supporter, finally stepping down from her role as DNC Chair before the gathering was even gaveled to order. That followed booing for the controversial party chief by protesters at a breakfast meeting of the Florida delegation, as well as similar jeers for California Democrats and even for Bernie Sanders himself after an appearance asking his supporters to defeat Trump and elect Clinton.

Then, we're joined by Eric Boehlert of Media Matters on what history may well regard as the biggest news of the past chaotic week: the firing of Fox 'News' mastermind Roger Ailes on the heels of sexual harassment allegations, now said to be supported by some twenty-five other staffers in the company's internal investigation.

"I can't even calculate how much more powerful Roger Ailes is to the Republican Party than Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is to the Democratic Party," Boehlert notes early in our conversation, before we discuss what finally took down Ailes, what more is still to come, what happens next for the Rightwing propaganda outlet, and whether or not Fox' remarkable effect on the national electorate for the past twenty years can continue in Ailes' absence.

"That Islamophobia, that race-baiting, that ugly hate rhetoric, 'Democrats are traitors' --- that all came from Roger Ailes. That came from the top," Boehlert explains. "Certainly under Obama, you could make the argument [Ailes] was running the Republican Party. He was picking the candidates. He was picking the talking points. Fox News created the 'Tea Party' with non-stop coverage back in 2009."

"The Beltway press, for twenty years for the most part, has treated Roger Ailes as this brilliant genius," he tells me. "Never a hint that any of this was going on. The press has treated Ailes with kid gloves, considering the damage he's done to politics. ... I think people try to put Fox and the right-wing media into this box, 'Well, it doesn't affect me, it doesn't affect our politics, those people are crazy'. It permeates everything, and the Trump campaign is the best example of that. People are crying: 'Where did he come from?! Oh my gosh, how is this happening to America?!' It's been broadcast for twenty years."

Finally, just in case you hadn't heard, in what would normally be today's lead story, if these were normal times, Clinton has chosen Sen. Tim Kaine, a moderate and well-liked Democrat from Virginia, as her Vice Presidential running mate. Yes, all of that and much more on today's BradCast...

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

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