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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, August 30, 2016
FBI Warns of New Election Hacks: 'BradCast' 8/29/16
New FBI Cyber Division memo on voter registration database intrusions. Then, Ernie Canning w/ updates on several federal voting rights battles. Plus: Farewell, Gene Wilder...
7th Circuit: WI Photo ID Law to Remain in Place for 2016
Full Appeals Court relies on new assurances from state promising to make free IDs available without restriction, opponents remain dubious, worred about November disenfranchisement...
Sunday Toons of the Either/Or Moment
PDiddie rounds up the week in binary voting options, as seen via the eyes and hands of the nation's best political cartoonists...
Trump 'CEO' Just Latest Top GOPer Accused Of False-Residency Reg Fraud
Stephen Bannon doubles-down after initial revelations detail his alleged voter registration fraud. But he's joining a long, hypocritical list...
Trump Campaign Chief's Alleged Domestic Abuse, Vote Fraud: 'BradCast' 8/26/16
Credible new reports concerning Trump 'CEO' Steve Bannon appear to add him to a long list of very high-profile GOP voter reg fraudsters...
Standing Rock Sioux's Stand Against 'Dakota Access': 'BradCast' 8/25/16
Guest: David Archambault II, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe; Plus: Clinton calls out Trump's 'Alt-Right' campaign...
'Green News Report' 8/25/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
300+ dead, 6 million displaced by India flooding; Obama pledges long term LA flood aid; Bad news for WA state wolves; PLUS: 100th birthday of the National Park Service...
Previous GNRs: 8/23/16 - 8/18/16 - Archives...
Clinton, Trump and Cracking the Two-Party Duopoly: 'BradCast' 8/24/16
Guest: Historian, columnist Matthew Rozsa; Plus: Unfolding deadly disasters in Italy, India and Louisiana...
NSA Hacking Tools in the Wild, Hackable Elections in the US: 'BradCast' 8/23/16
Guest: Princeton computer scientist, e-vote 'hacker' Andrew Appel; Also: Obama in LA and Trump's latest vote suppression dog-whistle...
'Green News Report' 8/23/16
  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 w/ Dave Johnson of Campaign for America's Future, David Atkins of Washington Monthly, and Chain of Title author David Dayen...
6th Circ. Upholds 'Straight-Party' MI Voting
Republican AG vows appeal to optional voting method used in state for 125 straight years, disproportionately used at 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' v. Reality; Trump comes up short in NYC...
'Green News Report' 8/18/16
. Explosive CA fire forces evacs for 80,000; New rules for heavy trucks; Report: Ending oil subsidies won't raise gas prices; PLUS: First-ever U.S. offshore wind farm...
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...
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: Salon's Heather Digby Parton, CFA's Dave Johnson...
By Brad Friedman on 3/4/2016 4:08pm PT  

On today's BradCast, coverage, analysis, insight, snark and fact-checking following last night's amazing GOP Debate on Fox "News" in Detroit between the four remaining candidates Trump, Cruz, Rubio and Kasich. [Audio link to complete show is below.]

I'm joined on the show today by our post-debate analysis champeen, Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo, as well as long-time blog friend, first time BradCaster Dave Johnson, formerly of Seeing the Forest and now Senior Fellow at the progressive Campaign for America's Future.

Says "Digby" today when I ask her if she's having fun yet this election cycle: "Of course, from the perspective of a political junkie, it's never been better. But from the perspective of a citizen and a human being, this is one of the scariest [elections] ever, maybe the scariest ever."

Says Johnson about the raucous --- and arguably profane --- madness on display in Detroit last night: "I'm so old, I remember when Bill Clinton was asked if it was boxers or briefs, and the whole country was shocked. Yes, the debate was raucous, not something you'd want your kids to see. It was empty of policy, and I think we're going to see Trump's poll numbers go way up...It was embarrassing."

In addition to bringing some reality to the Republican Party's now, full-on panic and fantastical notions of somehow, by hook or crook, taking down Trump before he secures the nomination and, yes, discussing the facts in response to what little policy actually was alluded to last night (Just one question on Flint? During a debate in Detroit?!), we also discuss the current status of the race between Sanders and Clinton following Super Tuesday in what is, no doubt, the smartest --- and, occasionally, most amusing --- post-debate analysis in the whole wide world! Enjoy!...

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

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GUEST: Author and UNC political scientist Jonathan Weiler...
By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2016 5:43pm PT  

On today's BradCast, more Super Tuesday election results clean up, the GOP in full panic mode, and a political scientists' explanation for Trump's ascendancy. [Audio link to the complete show is below.]

First up, more information on some of the seemingly inexplicable computer-reported election results from Super Tuesday that we discussed in more detail on yesterday's program. The MA city which originally reported Jim Gilmore as "winning" the GOP primary in a landslide has "corrected" results, with little explanation. Though I was able to receive an an explanation from Roanoke County VA's General Registrar who responded to our query about why Bernie Sanders seemed to lose 600 votes in the county on election night, moving him from the "win" to the "loss" column there.

Next up, Mitt Romney's remarkable speech attacking Donald Trump as a "phony" and a "fraud" today, and how it may be as likely to help Trump as hurt him.

Then, my fascinating and even chilling conversation with Jonathan Weiler, author, blogger and UNC Chapel Hill political scientist, on the one trait that academics have recently identified to be most predictive of whether you will be a Trump supporter. It isn't racism, education level or economic concerns, as some might have guessed. It's authoritarianism.

As described in his recent article, "Understanding Trump: It's the Authoritarianism, Stupid" and in his 2009 book with Marc Hetherington, Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics --- published long before the rise of Trump --- authoritarianism, as defined by political scientists, is distinct from both racism and conservatism, even as the ideas can cross over in a number of ways.

Weiler explains how political scientists are able to determine who has such tendencies and who does not, based on survey questions regarding not political matters, but on family and child rearing. He goes on to note that authoritarianism, which had fallen out of favor somewhat in the 20th century, had been prevalent in the Democratic Party as well as the GOP, as recently as 1992.

"In 1992, there was really no difference in terms of the level of authoritarianism of the average Democrat and the average Republican," he tells me. "What's happened over the past quarter century is what a lot of political scientists call a 'sorting process,' where the non-authoritarians have increasingly gravitated from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party, and a lot of authoritarians have gravitated from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. In a nutshell, this has been a long complicated process that has played out over 40 years."

Authoritarians, he says, are not "particularly interested in the conservative economic agenda. They [are] not necessarily in favor of smaller government or lower taxes. The pieces of what has become modern conservatism that attracted them are more these kind of 'Us vs. Them' issues" and "Trump has really zeroed in, quite precisely, on what authoritarians care about, and what they don't care about."

While Weiler says he doesn't believe the GOP has been specifically targeting such followers, the gravitation to the Republican Party for authoritarians is the results of the party's specific messages about fear and division over recent decades. "Trump feels like he is the Republican id come to life. In that regard, he is in many ways a kind of logical extension of a dynamic that's been underway for a long time," he explains. "There's a kind of dance that goes on between elites and their followers. Elites come up with these 'Us vs. Them' messages --- these messages that attract authoritarians --- and they cultivate a base. And then that base turns around and says, 'all right, you've got our attention, you've promised to deliver on these issues, and now we expect you to'. So the monster, if you will, that the Republican Party created was in a very strongly authoritarian base that Donald Trump --- whether by instinct or consciously, I don't really know --- he's been the guy who's really taken advantage of that."

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report covering, among a bunch of other stuff, the shocking death of a Big Oil CEO on the day after he was indicted on criminal conspiracy charges...

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 3/3/2016 11:17am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Big Oil CEO dies just one day after indictment on conspiracy charges; Bernie Sanders pledges to stop two more tar sands pipelines; Florida bans fracking ban bans; Oregon breaks up with coal; Iowa breaks wind --- records, that is; PLUS: NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly's new perspective on returning to Earth... 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): Climate Deniers’ Favorite Temperature Dataset Just Confirmed Global Warming; Oil And Gas Industry Has Pumped Millions Into Republican Campaigns; Bitter Contract Dispute Extends to Who Owns Yosemite Names; BHP's Samarco To Pay $5.1 Billion In Damages For Dam Disaster; Justice Department Refers Exxon Investigation Request to FBI; In An Unusual Move, The EPA Tries To Pull A Pesticide From Market... PLUS: Polar Bear Critical Habitat in Alaska Restored by Appeals Court... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




(And how did Jim Gilmore 'win' an entire Massachusetts town?!)
By Brad Friedman on 3/2/2016 6:08pm PT  

On today's BradCast we examine what the big Super Tuesday wins mean, and don't, for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, as well what the media is both misreporting and failing to report at all. [Audio linked below.]

First, the GOP is now in full panic mode following Trump's seven-state victory yesterday, as the DNC and corporate media use misleading numbers to describe Clinton's own seven-state victory. In addition to the general horse-race numbers, and the Republican drama, we examine how the MSM continues to ill-serve the public in their coverage of the Democratic race to date, specifically when it comes to the unpledged so-called "SuperDelegates".

We also look at a few more of the more than 2,000 reports of voting problems that came into the non-partisan Election Protection coalition yesterday; More touch-screen trouble, this time in TN; And what the hell happened in Chelsea, MA, where former VA Gov. Jim Gilmore(!?!), who dropped out of the race weeks ago, crushed the Republican Primary competition, at least according to the paper-ballot optical-scan computers that tallied the results last night?...

The paper ballots in Chelsea were initially tabulated by the same type of op-scan systems used in states all over the country and shown to be capable of flipping elections without notice in the jaw-dropping finale of HBO's Emmy-nominated 2006 documentary Hacking Democracy. Today, the numbers have now been "corrected" [PDF] by the clerk's office [Update: The link to the document at the Chelsea government site is now broken, so here's a copy of the PDF that had been linked there] and, apparently, chalked up to "the computer system that reported the results". Ya don't say. Was it anything like this similar failure from Stoughton, WI in 2014?

Also today: Listener email in response to my interview earlier this week with Current Affairs magazine editor Nathan J. Robinson, who had offered his persuasive case, based on his recent feature article, for why Trump is likely to win the Presidency if Democrats fail to nominate Bernie Sanders. We look at the arguments from a number of you who disagreed with Robinson.

Finally: A short, but refreshing break from politics as Scott Kelly, the American astronaut who has been in space for the past year, returns safely to Earth with his Russian counterpart in furtherance of NASA's planned manned missions to Mars...

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

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GUEST: Journalist and media activist Sue Wilson...
By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2016 4:42pm PT  

As voters head to the polls in a dozen Super Tuesday states, we cover a number of the problems voters are already reportedly facing on today's BradCast, as well as how Donald Trump or Ted Cruz could actually help save democracy --- and our public airwaves --- by filing some lawsuits! [Link to audio for full show is posted below.]

First up today: The 866-OUR-VOTE Election Protection hotline is reporting a number of problems at polling places around the country so far today, particularly in states that were once covered by Section 5 of the (now-gutted) Voting Rights Act. Problem reports as of this afternoon include long lines at some precincts caused by failing electronic poll book systems, state voter registration and polling location databases being offline and confusion over new Photo ID voting restrictions.

Moreover, as expected, there is trouble once again with touch-screen voting systems in a number of states. Democrats in at least one Georgia precinct were given Republican ballots when they went to vote on their 100% unverifiable voting machines and, in Williamson County, TX, north of Austin, voters are reporting unverifiable touch-screen votes flipping from one candidate to another --- from Trump to Rubio (or someone else) in the cases reported so far.

As usual, here is our friendly reminder that many problems with voting systems, and the results they produce, do not come to light until well after Election Day. So, we will continue to keep our eyes on these issues, as ever. (And here are a few tips from 2014 on what to do about such probs should they happen to you today or in the upcoming primaries!)

Then, we're joined by award-winning journalist and media activist Sue Wilson of the Media Action Center to discuss her new article on how Ted Cruz or Donald Trump could actually help save democracy --- and the fight for facts over our public airwaves --- by filing lawsuits against broadcast outlets that air false propaganda ads purchased by third-party SuperPACs.

"In terms of the rules that television and radio stations have to follow, a candidate is, in essence, free to lie to the public as much as they can get away with, as long as it's one of their own ads, as opposed to the ads that are paid for by these murky third parties," Wilson explains. "But, if you're one of these third parties that's running an ad for a candidate, the TV stations are not required to take those ads at all. And if those ads are found to be false, yes, the candidate has standing to sue, and say, 'I'm going to hold you liable for these false ads that you're making a fortune running and you're not fact-checking.'"

She also goes on to explain how the public can take action as well here, since "we, the voters, are the people who really suffer the most from these ads that flatly lie about candidates and their issues," while, ironically, "you, and I, and everyone else, own the publicly-owned airwaves, but somehow don't have standing to sue radio stations and TV stations if they lie to us."

Finally, hooray for Hollywood and boo for coal-loving West Virginia's elected con-artists in our latest Green News Report with Desi Doyen!...

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: Current Affairs' Nathan J. Robinson...
By Brad Friedman on 2/29/2016 6:23pm PT  

On today's BradCast [audio link below], we examine the reported results of Hillary Clinton's huge victory over Bernie Sanders in South Carolina over the weekend: What do they mean? Can the results be "trusted"? Are corporate media such as NY Times and Washington Post misleading Americans about what the current numbers, including the Democratic Party delegate count, actually suggest?

Then, I'm joined by Current Affairs magazine editor Nathan J. Robinson to discuss his recent feature article which makes the case that "unless the Democrats run Sanders, a Trump nomination means a Trump Presidency".

Robinson, an attorney, Harvard PhD student and children's book author, offers one of the most persuasive arguments I've heard to date regarding the "electability" of Sanders versus Clinton --- at least under the presumption that Trump is to be the Republicans' standard-bearer.

"The problem with polls is that they are unable to foresee events that will occur in the future that will change the way people think," Robinson explains about perceived advantages that some see in Clinton's favor right now. "Things that happen in the campaign change people's opinions, make them more favorable to one candidate, less favorable to another."

The "key point" in Robinson's calculation: Donald Trump as the GOP nominee. "That is something that the Democrats need to start thinking when they ask all these questions about electability. 'What's going to happen? Who is going to be attacked and how?' They need to be thinking in terms that Donald Trump is likely to be the nominee."

While it's true the Right has been attacking Hillary for years --- something that Sanders has yet to face --- she has never come under the full withering force of Trump's particularly aggressive and personal campaign style, argues Robinson, who says he's not personally a fan of either Clinton or Sanders (or Trump, for that matter.) He details why he believes Clinton stands to be pulled under by Trump's onslaught, whereas Sanders stands a far greater chance of surviving the type of campaign that Trump has shown himself willing to wage against his Republican opponents.

We discuss what is likely to happen in both a Trump v. Sanders and Trump v. Clinton race, how Democrats who are focused on the inevitable attacks from the Right against Sanders as a "Socialist!" may be missing a much larger concern, and how all of this calculus completely changes if someone other than Trump somehow manages to win the GOP nomination.

Finally, the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has already had a profound effect on the Court. On Friday, Dow Chemical dropped their planned SCOTUS appeal of a $1 billion judgment against them, citing the "increased...likelihood for unfavorable outcomes for business involved in class action suits." And, today, Justice Clarence Thomas spoke up to ask questions during oral arguments at the Court for the first time in 10 years!...

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

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One of them could do us all a great favor by holding broadcasters accountable in a way that We the People cannot...
By Sue Wilson on 2/26/2016 10:05am PT  

Republican Presidential contenders Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are at war over what they charge to be false political ads against each other. It's one battle in this bizarre and contentious campaign year which could actually benefit us all.

The Cruz campaign has been running a series of attack ads about Trump's position on abortion, which Politifact reviewed and described as "flawed." In response to what he calls Cruz' "lying ads", Trump has threatened to file a suit charging that Cruz, who was born in Canada, may not be eligible for the Presidency.

Meanwhile, a SuperPAC called the American Future Fund ran an attack ad against Cruz calling him "weak" on defense, which the group Fact Check reviewed and found to be "misleading." Cruz' response was to have his attorneys write a sternly worded letter to the TV stations running the ad against him, demanding they pull it, citing FCC public interest obligations and more.

"Because this advertisement makes a flatly false factual claim for which your station is ultimately liable," the Cruz attorneys wrote, "we strongly urge you to exercise your discretion as a licensee to refuse to continue to broadcast this advertisement, and, because it is already airing, immediately pull the advertisement from your rotation."

In this case, the Cruz attorneys are right, at least in regard to the legal issues at stake...

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




GUEST: Investigative journalist, 'FOIA terrorist', Jason Leopold of VICE...
ALSO: Wingnuts hope to count dead Scalia's votes and Obama's terrible SCOTUS idea...
By Brad Friedman on 2/25/2016 5:33pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, it's back to fighting about Gitmo, fighting about SCOTUS and celebrating a delightful birthday.

Seven years after his initial attempt to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center, President Obama presented yet another plan to Congress in hopes of doing so on Tuesday. Investigative journalist and notorious "FOIA terrorist" (we explain on the show) Jason Leopold of VICE.com joins us to explain the new plan, its shortcomings and the political pushback against it from both Democrats and Republicans.

Leopold, who has covered the U.S. detention center there for years, and is just back from another visit, tells me how the law ties Obama's hands in one regard, even as it requires him to present a plan to close the controversial prison.

"When [Obama] signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law in December, there was language in the NDAA that said that no Defense Department funds can be used by the Administration to transfer any detainees to the United States. It cannot be used to construct any new facilities or upgrade any facilities even at Guantanamo." But, he adds, even though Congress tied his hands, they told him: "'Even though you're not allowed to do any of these things, we'd still like to see what your plan looks like.' That's essentially what Congress was saying. Democracy at work."

Leopold joins both lawmakers and human rights advocates in his critique of the new plan, even while acknowledging the legal morass, political football and, as Obama mentioned when releasing the plan, the "stain" that the entire issue has become for the U.S.

Also today: As I predicted just after Scalia's death almost two weeks ago, some Rightwingers are now pushing for Scalia's votes on cases he'd already heard to be counted, even though he is now dead and, as is sometimes the case, Justices change their opinions before they are finally handed down. The White House floats a terrible idea for a U.S. Supreme Court nomination. And the NYTimes editorial board, years after it should have, describes Republican U.S. Senate leaders as "twisted" for their "deranged" attempt to block any nominee by Obama to the high court.

Finally: Desi Doyen joins us on her birthday with the latest Green News Report (and requests you stop by here with a gift!) and we tease the "progressive radio legend" currently booked to join guest host Nicole Sandler on tomorrow's BradCast for GOP Debate coverage! :-)

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 2/25/2016 11:07am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Saudi Arabia declines to help US oil producers survive oil's downturn; Big Coal's new trick to get out of paying retired miners' pensions; Sea levels rising faster than at any time in the last 3,000 years; PLUS: Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates proposes billion-dollar breakthrough energy research fund --- so why aren't renewable energy experts happy?... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Pesticide Combo Impacts Often Greater Than Sum of Parts; Longest Global Coral Bleaching On Record Isn’t Over Yet; Presumed dead, wild Atlantic salmon return to the Connecticut River; Increased flooding in US coastal cities caused by climate change, study says; Water emergency in Peruvian Amazon after 3,000-barrel oil spill contaminates 2 rivers; EPA asks Volkswagen to make electric cars in U.S; Tesla: GM wrote a bill in Indiana to stop us from selling cars in the state; ... PLUS: Kiribati looks to artificial islands to save nation from rising sea levels... and much, MUCH more! ...

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GUEST: Wichita University's Beth Clarkson on her case and continuing concerns about 'manipulation' of 2014 touch-screen election results
ALSO: Trump wins again in NV, are Dems getting worried yet?...
By Brad Friedman on 2/24/2016 6:11pm PT  

It's another very busy show on today's BradCast! [Audio link to the complete show is at bottom of this article.]

First up, Trump crushes his competition in the Nevada Caucuses in every single demographic. Are Dems getting concerned yet? If not, they should be, as I explain today.

Speaking of those caucuses: I detail why they are far more transparent than a primary system would be in the state of NV, which still uses the same 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems that were certified in violation of state and federal law in 2004 by NV's then Sec. of State, now U.S. Senator Dean Heller. (See my exclusive with Michael Richardson in the 2008 book Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008, in which we detail how, based on public records obtained during our six-month investigation, Heller blatantly lied to the media and the public about the failed status of the machine's federal testing results, yet certified them for use in the 2004 election anyway.)

As we saw last night, the Nevada GOP, wisely, used hand-marked paper ballots, publicly counted at each caucus precinct. And now, Wichita University mathematician Beth Clarkson, PhD, head of the school's National Institute for Aviation Research, is calling for the same thing for Kansas elections, in light of a state court ruling last week barring her from accessing so-called "paper trails" from the state's touch-screen voting systems as used in their 2014 elections.

"I am becoming more and more convinced that we need to go with an entirely paper ballot system --- and hand-counted," she tells me, while noting that optical-scan computers may "provide fast results, but you have to verify them --- which we're not doing. I think to have full transparency for all citizens, you need to have a hand-count of paper ballots."

Clarkson notes that while post-election audits or "sampling" of optically-scanned paper ballots could be done, it would not solve the growing problem of the electorate questioning results. "As a statistician, I love sampling. It's faster and it'll get you excellent results, but it can also be manipulated just like any other system. And you can't really manipulate hand-counted paper ballots. It's the transparency issue that's convinced me."

She details the basis for her lawsuit which attempts a recount of a ballot measure from the 2014 election following a statistical analysis of the results which, says she, confirms a theory initially reported by two other statisticians in 2012 [PDF]. According to their study, computer-reported results from larger precincts, with more than 500 voters, reveal a "consistent" statistical increase in votes for the Republican candidates in general elections. That increase in votes runs counter to expectations for more densly populated jurisdictions. (Clarkson explains the theory in more detail during my previous BradCast interview with her from August 2015.)

Last week a state Judge allowed her recount case to move forward, but denied the motion by her new lawyer, former US Attorney Randy Rathbun, to allow her to review the "Real Time Audit Logs" (RTALs, also known as "Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails" or VVPATs in other states) from the voting machines used in the 2014 election, thus defeating the entire point of her challenge.

"[My] analysis only shows that there's something there we don't understand. It does not show cause. I think that manipulation of voting machines is the most probable cause, but I could be wrong on that. But the only way to know is to look. And not being allowed to look is, in many ways, a more serious issue." Clarkson has now been blocked from viewing the RTAL's now in both her public records request and recount lawsuit. "It seems to me that either I should be able to look at them under the Open Records Act or I should be able to examine them as part of a recount. You can't have it both ways, but apparently they can."

She goes on to offer her thoughts on why the state, including GOP "voter fraud" fraudster turned Sec. of State Kris Kobach, would be working so hard to block her attempt at oversight of election results; the unprecedented support she has received from the public for her case; and whether last week's state court ruling will now be appealed.

By the way, the very same, oft-failed, unverifiable touch-screens in question --- the ES&S iVotronics --- will be used once again across the state of South Carolina during this weekend's Democratic Presidential Primary. You can follow Clarkson's progress on her case at her ShowMeTheVotes.org website.

Finally, good news for former TX Gov. Rick Perry who is now, apparently, off the hook for both of the felony indictments filed against him last year...

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

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GUEST: Journalist Brad Plumer of Vox.com...
By Brad Friedman on 2/23/2016 5:07pm PT  

First up on today's BradCast, Republicans vow to continue their unprecedented obstructionism of Obama's Constitutional duty to nominate and appoint a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, as well as the President's new plan, sent to Congress today, to close the Guantanamo Bay 'terrorist' detention facility.

We discuss whether the GOP's unpopular hard line on blocking any SCOTUS nominee by Obama can hold, have a laugh at the cowards and hypocrites who are frightened of closing Gitmo, and examine how much Congressional Democrats are also to blame for the entire matter.

Then, we're joined by Vox.com's Brad Plumer (because there can never be enough Brads on The BradCast!) to discuss the enormous consequences of Justice Antonin Scalia's death on the planet and Obama's landmark Clean Power Plan --- the first ever greenhouse gas emissions standards for power plants in the U.S.

As a number of scientists recently noted, the policy decisions made today will have grave implications for 10,000 years and the survival of human civilization. That, however, hasn't stopped a number of fossil fuel companies and a whole bunch of Republican-run states from attempting to block Obama's new environmental standard. Nor did it keep Scalia from voting with a narrow Rightwing 5 to 4 majority on the Supreme Court to take the unprecedented step of staying Obama's EPA rule before the case had even been heard in the lower D.C. Circuit Court.

As Plumer explains, Scalia's death may end up being very good news indeed for the future of the planet. Nonetheless, questions persist about how so-called "red states" may now respond, as well as how the world will react if the U.S. is unable to keep up its part of the UN's landmark Paris Agreement to cut emissions worldwide.

"That is a huge question," Plumer tells me. "It would be very difficult for us to meet our goals without this rule, so the question is how do other countries react? Do China and India decide, 'Okay, the U.S. has had bit of a setback, but we want to keep pushing on ahead toward clean energy because we think it's beneficial"? Or do they decide that they throw up their hands and say, 'Well, if the US isn't going to do what it promised to do, we sure as hell don't need to do what we promised to do'?"

The former Washington Post energy reporter also offers insight as to whether it'll be "fatal" to U.S. attempts to curb emissions if the CPP is struck down; whether Rush Limbaugh was right when he recently declared that the CPP's goal of curbing emissions by some 30% below 2005 levels before 2030 is "not possible without going back to the Stone Age"; and whether, even if the CPP is allowed to move forward, the new emissions stndards will be enough to prevent the quickly growing effects of global warming.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with news on fracking earthquakes in Oklahoma, Sanders' and Clinton's dueling vows to cut fossil fuel drilling, some accountability for the Freedom Industries CEO responsible for poisoning the drinking water of 300,000 in West Virginia in 2014, and the largest cyclone ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere which slammed into Fiji over the weekend...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 2/23/2016 11:40am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Oklahoma finally acts to reduce man-made fracking earthquakes; Bernie Sanders promises to end fossil fuel drilling on public lands; Hillary Clinton promises to end drilling off the Atlantic coast; Slap on the wrist for 'Freedom Industries' CEO responsible for West Virginia chemical spill; PLUS: Tropical Cyclone Winston smashes record for strongest hurricane ever in Southern Hemisphere... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Want to fight climate change? Here are the 7 critical life changes you should make; Seas are rising way faster than any time in past 2,800 years; Legionnaires’ Outbreak in Flint Was Met With Silence; Arctic Sea Ice Is in Record Low Territory (Again); EPA Asks Volkswagen To Make Electric Cars In U.S.; China To Close More Than 1,000 Coal Mines In 2016; Two PA Families take toxic fracking water contamination case to trial... PLUS: Kiribati looks to artificial islands to save nation from rising sea levels... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




GUEST: Salon's Heather Digby Parton...
By Brad Friedman on 2/22/2016 4:58pm PT  

On today's BradCast, big news on both the Republican and Democratic sides of the American divide over the weekend, as Trump took South Carolina, Jeb took the hint, and Hillary took Nevada. [Link to full audio is below.]

Yes, there was a lot more good news for Donald Trump on Saturday, as he routed the competition in South Carolina's Republican Primary, Jeb Bush finally decided to call it quits, and the corporate media finally began to realize what we've been telling you for months about Trump and his likelihood of winning the GOP nomination.

Meanwhile, in Nevada's Democratic caucus on the same day, Hillary Clinton declared victory over Bernie Sanders after a day of very messy caucusing (as usual) around the state.

The great Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo joins once again to explain what it all means, if the Bush era is really, finally, blessedly over --- even among Republican "dead-enders" --- and on whether reality is finally settling in for Republicans (and Democrats) concerning the GOP front-runner.

On Jeb's exit from the race and the bitter end of the long propped-up Bush Era, she observes: "My belief has been from the beginning of this Jeb campaign that the Bush Era was over on Jan. 20, 2009, and basically this was some kind of a zombie campaign to try and reanimate it. It never struck me as realistic to think that the country was ready for George Bush again --- or any Bush family member again --- or, at least, not this soon."

On Trump, Parton agrees with me that, despite the establishment GOP panic about him, he may well be their very best bet for the general election and, even now, remains 'misunderestimated' by the party, the media and, yes, even Democrats. "I think [Trump] is [the GOP's] best chance," she says. "At this point, Trump is riding a tiger and it's a pretty powerful thing. And it scares me to death, to be honest. Because what I'm starting to see is [the GOP establishment] coming around to Trump, beginning to see that Trump is probably going to get the nomination and it is increasingly difficult to stop him."

As to Clinton's victory over Sanders in the Nevada Caucuses, and what that may mean going forward: "It was a good victory for her, because she was able to prove that her coalition --- of older people, women, African-Americans and Latinos, and union members --- that group of demographics that she is supposed to be stronger in, she proved she was able to turn them out."

Parton correctly notes that "turnout is lower for Democrats than it was in 2008 and it's huge for Republicans." Nonetheless, she remains bullish on the chances for a Democratic win in November. Tune in to find out why! (And if I share that outlook!)

Also, while my friend and colleague Jimmy Dore from The Young Turks and KPFK's The Jimmy Dore Show was unable to join us at the last minute today as scheduled, we have his report from inside one of the chaotic caucus sites in Las Vegas over the weekend. "I know they do it every four years, but it looks like they do it every forty years!," he notes. Hey, at least, unlike the South Carolina results, you could see that much! Whoever said democracy wasn't messy, Jimmy?

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

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Guests: Dem Consultant Mike Lux; Investigative Journalist Greg Palast
Guest Hosted by Nicole Sandler...
By Nicole Sandler on 2/19/2016 4:13pm PT  

Nicole Sandler of RadioOrNot here, your trusty guest host for this Friday edition of The BradCast!

Although Brad strives to objectivity regarding the Democratic candidates --- necessary to do the great reporting he does regarding voter suppression and other nefarious election-time practices --- I am not a journalist. I do a fact-based opinion show, and in that capacity, I support Bernie Sanders candidacy. But, I have noticed the level of vitriol rising among Democrats lately, and it worries me.

Democratic consultant and strategist Mike Lux wrote about some new polling data his firm commissioned, and it shows a great divide in the Democratic party. He wrote about it at Crooks and Liars, and joined me on today's BradCast to discuss the data and the implications.

Meanwhile, while watching the MSNBC Democratic town hall/forum on Thursday night, I noticed an ad attacking Bernie Sanders, the first one I've seen this election season. It was paid for by a SuperPAC called Future 45. A little sleuthing confirmed that one of the biggest contributors to this group is hedge-fund billionaire Paul "The Vulture" Singer. Investigative journalist Greg Palast has been writing about that guy's sleazy dealings for years now. The minute I saw his name, I knew I had to invite Palast to tell us what he knows about this vulture.

And, as you might imagine, Palast also had a few words about the death of Antonin Scalia...and they weren't "rest in peace."

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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GUEST: Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center
PLUS: More reminders of impossible e-voting results in advance of SC and NV; Happy anniversary, Justice Kennedy!; Happy anniversary, 'Green News Report'!...
By Brad Friedman on 2/18/2016 5:09pm PT  

On today's BradCast, hate is on the rise in the U.S., for some reason; More reminders of impossible e-voting results in advance of SC and NV; And, we mark two important anniversaries. [Audio link for the program follows below.]

First up, on this day in 1988, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was sworn in after the Republican nominee was unanimously approved by a Democratic-majority U.S. Senate...during an Election Year, and with the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor calls on Republicans to "get on with it".

Then, another reminder --- before this weekend's Democratic Nevada Caucuses and 100% unverifiable Republican South Carolina Primary --- of electronic election results that remain impossible to explain, including the conservative Texas Supreme Court Justice who reportedly received ZERO votes in one county back in 2006, after winning that same county by huge margins in both 2002 and 2004. (See our 2006 coverage of Steve Smith's eventually aborted election challenge back here. And see how this group of Bernie Sanders supporters is hoping to help oversee the results by filming the caucuses in Nevada.) Oh, and there was also that time in 2000 when Al Gore was credited with receiving NEGATIVE 16,022 votes on a paper ballot optical-scan system in Volusia County, FL.

Next up, we are joined by Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to discuss the disturbing rise in domestic hate groups in the U.S., after several years of decline. We talk about both the numbers and reasons --- and what Donald Trump and the Internet have to do with it all --- from Potok's new report on "The Year in Hate and Extremism".

It's a fascinating discussion in which Potok explains how the SPLC defines "hate groups" --- including rightwing extremists as well as black separatists --- which saw an overall 14% spike in their 2015 numbers. Also on the rise were so-called "Patriot" movement groups, though they are not (necessarily) included among the "haters".

"Probably the unique thing that happened in the last year," Potok tells me, "was the just astounding extent to which people like Donald Trump were willing to directly inject really Rightwing extremist poison into the political mainstream. Some of the things Trump has said, we really haven't seen the likes of in many, many decades."

Potok notes that with the GOP frontrunner's outrageous claims about immigrants and Muslims, similar rhetoric from extremist groups now "seems more normal to people. They don't seem quite as far out. After all, if Donald Trump thinks Muslims shouldn't be allowed in this country, what's wrong with joining a group that says Muslims are involved in a conspiracy to destroy the rest of us?"

We also discuss the difference in media coverage and political rhetoric concerning Islamic terrorism versus Rightwing domestic terrorism in the U.S., as well as how the Black Lives Matter movement and legalization of same-sex marriage over the past year has seemingly terrified many on the Right who feel that "their white privilege is being taken away from them...stok[ing] rage on the part of whites who feel that this is somehow part of their birthright."

Finally today, Desi Doyen joins us for our 7th Anniversary Green News Report (our 690th GNR episode!) with both disturbing and encouraging news for the planet. And, if you can help us to continue connecting the climate change dots for yet another seven years, like almost nobody else in the media, we'd greatly appreciate it! Please consider making a DONATION RIGHT HERE and it'll be an even happier anniversary, indeed!...

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

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