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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, August 28, 2016
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...


With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 8/25/2016 11:15am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: More than 300 dead, 6 million displaced by flooding in India; President Obama pledges Louisiana flood victims will not be forgotten; Very bad news for wolves in Washington state; PLUS: Celebrating the 100th birthday of the National Park Service... 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): Standing Rock Sioux Chairman: Dakota Access Pipeline "Is Threatening the Lives of My Tribe"; Texas Vowed 34 Years Ago to Track Oilfield Waste in Aquifers. It Didn't; EPA: North Texas Earthquakes Likely Linked to Oil and Gas Drilling; Ex-FERC Commissioner’s Rulings Favored Companies His Wife Lobbied For... PLUS: Most Cities Too Hot to Host Summer Olympics by 2085... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




Guest: Historian, columnist Matthew Rozsa | Plus: Unfolding deadly disasters in Italy, India and Louisiana...
By Brad Friedman on 8/24/2016 5:55pm PT  

On today's BradCast, deadly natural disasters across the world and the potential for a man-made one here in the U.S., depending on the outcome of the November election.

First up today, the latest breaking news on the disastrous, deadly earthquake in Italy where, as of air-time, at least 159 have been killed; the horrific and even deadlier flooding in India, where more than 300 have died; and President Obama's visit to the site of historic flooding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Then: Is voting for a so-called third party candidate in the November Presidential election tantamount to 'throwing your vote away'? That's a question confronting many U.S. voters who are dissatisfied with the two major party candidates. But does such a vote open the door to a deadly dangerous President Trump? And does it even matter if it does?

Historian and Salon columnist Matthew Rozsa, a Bernie Sanders supporter during the primary, joins me to discuss how American voters can take on the two-party duopoly, without taking the country and the world down with it, as discussed in his recent piece "Tired of Democrats vs. Republicans? Here's how to fix it".

Rozsa details what he sees as a moral case against Trump, that requires a vote for Clinton, even if his policy preferences are more closely aligned with someone like Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein. "When you juxtapose the possibility of a Clinton presidency with that of a Trump presidency," he argues, "you can see how policies they would implement on issues ranging from immigration, to taxes, to business regulations, would affect people directly. So when you say 'I don't see much of a difference between Clinton and Trump, and therefore I'm willing to risk the election of someone like Trump,' you are minimizing or ignoring how his policies would impact real people in this country."

But, he goes on to explain, there is a way to support third-parties in such a way that they can serve to crack the stranglehold of the two-party system and potentially even become viable at the Presidential level. "If you're going to try to empower third-party candidates, you shouldn't be indifferent for most of the four-year period, and then a few months before the general election say, 'oh, I don't like either of these alternatives, I'm going to vote third party to make that stance clear'. That doesn't accomplish anything. The way to really achieve this change is to be invested in the process constantly...even when it's not an election year," he says.

It's an interesting, detailed and history rich conversation, in which Rozsa and I disagree on a few key points, while agreeing on others. Please give it a listen and share your thoughts in comments.

Finally, don't count your chickens yet, Democrats. Trump regains the lead over Clinton in swing-state Florida, according to a new poll [PDF] out today from the Sunshine State...

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

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Guest: Princeton computer scientist, vote system 'hacker' Andrew Appel...
By Brad Friedman on 8/23/2016 5:58pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, exceedingly powerful hacking tools from the NSA make their way to the black market as concerns about hackable U.S. election systems continue to raise concerns just weeks before our next Presidential Election. [Audio link to the show posted at end of article below.]

A shadowy hacking organization, thought to be a foreign entity, has made a set of hacking tools --- thought to have been purloined in some fashion from another shadowy hacking organization, thought to be the NSA --- available to the highest bidder. The vulnerabilities exposed by the malware tools suggests that the NSA is aware of serious, heretofore unknown vulnerabilities in worldwide computer networks, about which they have failed to notify the commercial vendors who produce the hardware and software found to be at risk.

The issue has raised disturbing questions and no small amount of outrage about the NSA's practice of keeping such vulnerabilities a secret, for their own cyber-offensive purposes, despite the risk it poses to our critical, commercial cyber-infrastructure.

In a somewhat related issue --- as we've been yelling and screaming about for more than a decade --- vulnerabilities to U.S. voting and tabulation computers have long been a threat to the nation, but are only now being taken (somewhat) seriously by corporate media, the U.S. government, and, as I report on today's program, at least one of the major political parties.

A man who knows all about the above --- if only because he was, as we reported back in 2007, one of the first to hack an electronic voting system in the U.S. after he purchased five Sequoia AVC Advantage voting systems for about $82 on the Internet (the same "closely guarded" systems, still used in states like NJ, PA, VA and LA, were originally sold for about $10,000 a piece) --- is Andrew Appel, Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University. (That's him in the photo above with one of his voting machines.)

Appel, who Politico recently noticed in Ben Wofford's excellent recent article, "How to Hack an Election in 7 Minutes", has been writing about both of these issues of late.

On the NSA matter, Appel tells me today: "They should not hoard the vulnerabilities in the hope the NSA can use them to spy on everybody else. The assumption the NSA is implicitly making is that nobody else will be able to find these bugs and vulnerabilities and use them to spy on us, and do banking transactions in our name, and read our emails." That, he explains, is a huge mistake and a grave disservice.

On the continuing concerns about U.S. voting systems and the Dept. of Homeland Security's very recent attempt at helping local election officials before November 8, he cautions: "Security is not something you can just patch on by some sort of 'critical infrastructure security squad' that descends and surrounds your house with the National Guard. It's got to be built in to all the software we buy." He adds ominously, in describing the type of voting systems used across the country: "Whoever got to install the software most recently is the one who gets to decide what kind of results are reported."

Appel, tends to concur with my general assessment that it's largely too close to the election to make real changes to protect our voting systems. He also shares the warning I've tried to give so many years about the real vulnerabilities to our electronic voting and tabulation systems."In this country, most election fraud has been conducted by insiders, who have access to how the votes get added up." But, he also goes on to offer a few proactive measures --- including "witnesses in each polling place just at the close of polls" to independently track numbers as originally reported by the voting systems --- that, he says, can still be taken to try and safeguard results.

Also today: Obama visits flood disaster sites in Louisiana; Trump continues his (potentially illegal) voter suppression dog whistles; and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with, among other things, a heart-wrenching tale of an Alaskan native American tribe forced to move their entire village as the Arctic continues to melt away...

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 8/18/2016 12:42pm PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Another massive new wildfire forces evacuations for 80,000 in Southern California; Obama Administration issues new rules for heavy duty trucks; New report finds eliminating fossil fuel subsidies won't raise gas prices; PLUS: America gets its first-ever offshore wind farm... 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): Beyond Coal: Imagining Appalachia’s Future; Flooding Compounds Pain of Tragic Summer in Baton Rouge; Biomass Power Slumps as EPA, Industry Spar on Science; Climate Change and Housing: Will a Rising Tide Sink all Homes?; Oregon 50% RPS will barely raise customer rates thru 2028; Massachusetts court bars electric utilities from charging ratepayers for gas pipeline construction; The Steel Magnate Helping Trump Vilify Pollution Regulations... PLUS: Flooding in the South Looks a Lot Like Climate Change... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




Guest: Michael Collins of Drug Policy Alliance | Plus: 'Third-party' Presidential woes, disturbing climate news and more...
By Brad Friedman on 8/16/2016 6:02pm PT  

It's a very 'green' show on The BradCast today, on a number of levels, from marijuana policy to the Green Party Presidential candidate's position on environmental issues, to another rather disturbing Green News Report.

But first up today, some news about 'third-party' Presidential candidate troubles getting on the ballot and being kept out of Presidential debates, and a Republican governor who has now vetoed a law that would have added millions of voters to the rolls in his state.

Then, Michael Collins, Deputy Director for the Drug Policy Alliance's Office of National Affairs in Washington D.C., joins us to discuss the recent announcement by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) that it will not reclassify marijuana from its current 'Schedule I' narcotic status --- which, like heroin means that it's classified as having "no accepted medical use" --- despite some 25 states which currently allow its sale and use for either medicinal or recreational purposes.

Collins explains what that classification actually means and how rescheduling it as a Schedule II drug wouldn't have been much more than a "symbolic victory" for proponents, particularly "in terms of prosecutions --- people getting arrested, the racial disparities we see because of the war on marijuana --- that would not have disappeared had the DEA rescheduled marijuana."

He goes on to describe the DEA as a "rogue agency", "rotten to the core", and long working against President Obama's "steps to unwind the war on drugs". "They're still fighting the drug war of Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon," he tells me, in opposition to the advocacy of a number of elected Democratic (and even Republican) officials in Congress who were furious at the federal agency's decision.

"I think the DEA gets its science from the same people as climate change denialists," Collins quips. "To say that marijuana has no recognized medicinal value contradicts decades of scientific research and is a huge slap in the face to the thousands of people who use medical marijuana every day to alleviate their illnesses."

It's not all bad news, however. Collins notes that the DEA has announced they will allow an expansion of federal marijuana research facilities, ending what had been a monopoly, with just one facility in Mississippi, and that states are moving forward nonetheless, with expansive pot initiatives on the ballot in at least six states (California, Arizona, Maine, Nevada and Massachusetts) this November. "The question isn't 'Should we legalize marijuana?', but more 'When should we legalize marijuana?' The end is nigh," he tells me.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with breaking (and disturbing) news on more historic, deadly flooding in Louisiana and fires in California, July 2016 as the hottest month ever recorded on Planet Earth, and the official position on climate change action from Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party's freshly minted 2016 Presidential nominee...

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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RJ Eskow of The Zero Hour and Gotta Laff of The Nicole Sandler Show
Guest hosted by Angie Coiro
By Angie Coiro on 8/12/2016 7:09pm PT  

On today's BradCast, guest hosted by Angie Coiro, we wade through this week's Trump dump so you don't have to.

Angie's guest is RJ Eskow from The Zero Hour. His excellent report on the makeup of Donald Trump's economic advisory group almost got lost in the noisier news this week. It's an important read, full of shadowy Steves with nefarious histories.

Also today: Gotta Laff joins Angie to review the rest of this week's Trump follies. Then a more serious discussion: does it do damage to use mental health terms like "nut", "crazy", "sociopath" when discussing someone like Trump?

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!




While distasteful for many, Clinton may represent progressives best path forward, at least in swing states...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/8/2016 11:28am PT  

After agreeing to serve as a Senior Advisor to the Veterans for Bernie organization over the past year or so, I have refrained from writing articles about the Presidential primaries here at The BRAD BLOG, so as to avoid any potential conflicts of interest for the site. With that disclosure out of the way, those primaries now behind us, and the general election just months away, it seems an appropriate moment to ring in with some personal thoughts, which may or may not be shared by Brad and the site itself, on the dilemma now facing many long-time Bernie Sanders supporters, including myself.

The Sanders-led "political revolution" has arrived at a political crossroad.

Progressive supporters of Sanders cannot go back. The U.S. isn't Austria. There will be no do-over of the Democratic Presidential primaries.

The road to the extreme right (Donald Trump) is unthinkable. It entails the very real and ominous prospect of the very thing so many fought and died to prevent during World War II --- a fascist America. In turn, unabashed Sanders supporters, such as myself, are left with a limited number of options as we struggle with the difficult choice of how to move forward at the ballot box this November in the Presidential race.

Petulantly standing in place (not voting) is akin to the child who takes his football and goes home because the others wouldn't let him play quarterback. It is not a viable option. A boycott of the voting booth by progressives would serve only to reinforce the goal of GOP voter suppression. It would also betray a core tenet of the Sanders-led political revolution --- genuine (small "d") democratic accountability that can only be accomplished via participatory democracy. "I understand that many of my supporters are disappointed by the final results of the nominating process," Sanders wrote in a newly published Los Angeles Times op-ed over the weekend, drawing stark contrasts between both the two major political parties and their 2016 nominees, "but being despondent and inactive is not going to improve anything."

While some may mistake it as progressive, the Libertarian Party ticket, headed by Presidential nominee Gary Johnson, New Mexico's former Republican Governor, does not offer a progressive alternative. To the contrary, libertarianism amounts to an oblique path that is nearly as right-leaning as the now Trump-led GOP.

As I explained in 2010, in "Rand Paul exposes Libertarian Blind Spots", libertarian philosophy focuses exclusively on individual liberty vis-a-vis the government. Many of its proponents fail to appreciate the threat to individual liberty posed by "the tyranny of a corporate controlled economy." Indeed they equate corporate liberties with the liberties of individual human beings. It was that twisted reasoning that led to the Supreme Court's infamous Citizens United decision. Individual liberty without social responsibility, as many supporters of the Libertarian platform ultimately espouse, knowingly or otherwise, is destructive of community, an equitable economy and the environment. In 1980, David Koch, one of the infamous Koch brothers, became the Libertarian Party VP candidate. That selection alone speaks volumes about the party's core values.

With those options out of the way, we are left with either turning to the left --- where one can find a far more progressive platform than that offered by the Democrats, with the Green Party's nominee for President, Dr. Jill Stein --- or, moving directly forward with the now Sanders-endorsed Democratic Party Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton, a candidate who openly embraced an extraordinarily progressive Democratic Party Platform and many, but not all, of the core goals of the Sanders-led revolution during her DNC Acceptance Speech.

The path that thoughtful progressives choose should be guided by both their understanding of the scope of the Sanders-led political revolution and the wisdom behind Otto von Bismarck's astute observation that "politics is the art of the possible"...

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




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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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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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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Guest: 27-year analyst and briefer of Presidents Ray McGovern
Also: GOP Convention kicks off in Cleveland; Ailes 'out' at Fox; Trump ghostwriter 'regrets'...
By Brad Friedman on 7/18/2016 5:54pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the GOP Convention finally gets underway in Cleveland as we try to make sense of the attempted military coup in Turkey over the weekend and the release of 28 previously classified pages of the 9/11 Commission's report.

First, as the RNC kicks off amidst a cycle of gun violence in this country and on the heels of another mass shooting of police officers over the weekend, this time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Cleveland Police union begged Ohio Gov. John Kasich to restrict guns outside the gathering during the convention, despite the state's open carry provisions. Kasich refused, citing Ohio's Constitution which, he says, does not permit the Governor to restrict real guns from the perimeter of the Quicken Loans Arena, even as toy guns and tennis balls are disallowed.

As the official proceedings finally began today inside the convention center, Republican opponents of Trump clashed with GOP officials after a thwarted attempt to force a roll call vote on the approval of the rules. Not a good start.

Then, we're joined by my guest today, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern. The longtime agency veteran, who used to deliver Presidential Daily Briefings to Reagan and Bush Sr. among others, joins us to discuss the apparently-failed military coup attempt that took place over the weekend in Turkey. We discuss what appears to have happened in the NATO nation, what it may mean for their hopes of joining the European Union, as well as what President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's mass arrests of police, military and judges in its wake may mean for Turkey, NATO, the EU, the U.S. and other nations.

The veteran analyst turned anti-war advocate and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), also details his opinion on whether the attempted coup by a faction of the Turkish military was at least partly a "false flag" event orchestrated by Erdogan, how much the U.S., an allly, may or may not have known about the uprising in advance, and why the U.S. will continue to be friendly with the Islamic nation, come what may.

"The bottom line on the Turkish coup," McGovern says, "is Erdogan has been given a terrific present here. He'll be able to change the constitution further, and he'll be able to exert dictatorial powers without much dissent. And that is very dangerous for NATO and the whole Near East area because he is the very definition of a loose cannon."

On the related topic of increasingly authoritarian friends of the U.S., we discuss the newly declassified 28-pages [PDF] of the 9/11 Commission's Final Report regarding a much closer relationship between the 9/11 hijackers and the Saudi government than either the Obama Administration or a number of major media outlets have so far reported. "These are damning, damning pieces of evidence of extensive Saudi government support for some of the 9/11 hijackers," he explains, before also explaining how the information revealed by these pages could have even come about in the first place --- and his quick thoughts on the rise of Donald Trump.

Finally today: It looks like Roger Ailes, longtime mastermind of the Fox "News" Channel scam, is about to be pushed out of his job in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him by a former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson; Donald Trump's Art of the Deal ghostwriter says he has a "deep sense of remorse" for "put[ting] lipstick on a pig"; and a bit of somewhat encouraging polling news for Hillary Clinton over the weekend...

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

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'I'm here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem'...
By Brad Friedman on 7/12/2016 5:57pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Bernie Sanders finally endorses Hillary Clinton and President Obama offers yet another memorial speech following another mass shooting. All three Democrats call for America to rise above those hoping to divide the nation. [Audio link posted below.]

First up, during a joint rally by the two candidates in Portsmouth, NH on Tuesday, Sanders offered his long-anticipated concession and endorsement of Clinton to be the Democratic Party's nominee for President of the United States. The Vermont Senator explained that his full-throated endorsement for the former Sec. of State comes on the heels of progressive policy announcements by Clinton on health care and college education and after the completion of what both of them describe as "the most progressive party platform in history".

In Sanders' remarks he contrasted Clinton's positions with those of Donald Trump's, underscoring where he believes Clinton's positions are largely in line with his own on the expansion of health care, appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court, combating climate change, fighting against income inequality and for a living wage, access to college without the burden of student debt, on immigration and on criminal justice reform and much more.

During her own remarks, Clinton effusively thanked and lauded Sanders for his endorsement and his campaign, spoke to the tragic events in Dallas last week and to the epidemic of both police violence and weapons of war on our streets. She detailed her own plans to combat income inequality, to offer tuition-free college for more than 80% of American families, while vowing to block trade details like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). She described plans to reform the tax code, prevent more tax cuts for the rich, as she argued Trump and the GOP are offering, to expand Social Security, to fight for paid family leave and equal pay for women, reform of our campaign finance system and to fight back against voter suppression with the institution of automatic universal voter registration and other electoral reforms, including the restoration of the federal Voting Rights Act.

Shortly thereafter, President Obama appeared in Dallas to memorialize the five slain Dallas Police officers and two African-American men killed by police in the days just prior in Baton Rouge and St. Paul. His moving remarks called on Americans to rise up against hatred, violence and bigotry in all forms.

On today's show, we offer extended excerpts from all three speeches, as each shared a common theme of unity and a call for Americans to rise above divisions to come together as a nation. Also today, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on the environmental and climate issues hammered out in the Democratic Party platform over the weekend, the results of which are being described by both the Sanders and Clinton camps as the greenest in history...

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

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Wherein I finally find something nice to say about Texas, and Dems unite to complete 'the most progressive platform' in party history...
By Brad Friedman on 7/11/2016 5:49pm PT  

On today's BradCast, important lessons after the Dallas mass shooting and Dems end up coming together on a whole bunch of more progressive stuff for their party's official platform. [Audio link to today's show is posted below.]

First, my thanks to In Deep Radio's Angie Coiro for filling in for us, and producing a stellar and very enlightening show last Friday under impossible circumstances in the hours after the tragedy in Dallas! (If you weren't able to listen, it's here.)

So what can we learn today from that horrific shooting of 12 cops in Dallas last week at a Black Lives Matter protest following two more tragic killings of African-Americans in Louisiana and Minnesota? For one, we learn that the citizens of Dallas are incredibly lucky to have a Police Department led by Chief David Brown, whose community policing model of 'guardian', rather than 'warrior' cops, has succeeded in drastically lowering the city's crime rate, resulted in the number of excessive force complaints plummeting, and otherwise served to reassure a terrified city (and nation) at the height of last week's massacre and ever since.

But don't tell Texas' despicable Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), who chose to blame peaceful protesters for the deranged murderer with a high-capacity, military-style assault weapon. That, of course, is the very type of weapon that folks like Patrick and the National Rifle Association (NRA) have fought to ensure remain on our streets and available to killers (even cop killers) for years, despite law enforcement officials begging them otherwise.

Meanwhile, as the same Rightwing Republican and NRA hypocrites pretend to support cops, they spam the world with myths and pretend facts about guns, protesters and President Obama. Real facts, however, reveal that the killing of police officers is worse wherever legal gun ownership is highest and officer deaths are at a 40-year low, since Obama has been in office.

Finally, today, after a very long process, and in advance of what will reportedly be a Bernie Sanders endorsement of Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Democrats adopt a draft of what both the Sanders and Clinton camps are describing as "the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party"...

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

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Some words of hope for change from Connie Rice, founder of Advancement Project and from Debra Cooper on Hillary's email
Guest Hosted by Angie Coiro...
By Angie Coiro on 7/8/2016 11:23pm PT  

On today's BradCast, guest hosted by Angie Coiro, we look at the aftermath of the killings of five police officers in Dallas. Even something this shattering can't break the flow of hatred from some sources. Give an ear to Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, who faulted Black Lives Matter protestors for dodging the bullets that killed the officers, and has his own conspiracy theories of how far in advance the protest had been planned.

And witness former Congressman Joe Walsh, who climbed atop the bodies to rally violence against President Obama. Of course, he says he didn't do that. You be the judge.

Then for some positive inspiration, some stunning results from an effort in Los Angeles to build an effective community policing policy. Connie Rice, cofounder of The Advancement Project tells of one housing project where daily body counts gave way to zero - ZERO - shots fired once the program was in full swing.

Give a listen to Julisa Wilson's heartfelt, striking What's the Recipe For Freedom?.

Also, Debra Cooper, Democratic State Committeewoman for Manhattan’s Upper West Side, gives her take on the Clinton email investigation results, including this week’s hearing. She and Angie are pretty far apart on the merits of Hillary Clinton, but they - and Debra's five-year-old nephew - are on the same page about having a woman in the Oval Office.

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!




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