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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, June 27, 2017
'Green News Report' 6/27/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Deadly fuel truck explosion in Pakistan; Wildfire evacs in Spain; Sea level rise accelerating; Trump Admin approves deadly seismic testing; PLUS: Mayors pledge to go 100% renewable...
Previous GNRs: 6/22/17 - 6/20/17 - Archives...
SCOTUS Rulings on 'Travel Ban', WI Gerrymandering, More: 'BradCast' 6/26/2017
Guest: Legal journo Mark Joseph Stern; Also: Kobach sanctioned, CBO finds GOP Senate health bill loses coverage for 22M...
What Will It Take for Americans to Understand Basics of Election Integrity?
After concerns of a 'hacked' 2016 Presidential race and unverifiable 'loss' in GA-06 that defied polling, Dems, media and the American people are still missing the verifiable facts...
Sunday Toons of the 'Trumpcare Revealed' Moment
The Senate bill is even more deadly than the one in the House. But that may be the least of our problems, as noted in PDiddie's latest collection of political toons...
Secrets Revealed: DoD Assessment of Manning Leaks, GOP Senate Healthcare Bill: 'BradCast' 6/22/17
Guest: BuzzFeed 'FOIA Terrorist' Jason Leopold; Also: Trump's audio tape bluff?...
'Green News Report' 6/22/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump's solar border wall; Perry's science denial; Trump Admin seeks to reactivate Yucca Mountain Nuclear Repository; Plastic reaches Antarctica; PLUS: UK to shift to e-cars...
Previous GNRs: 6/20/17 - 6/13/17 - Archives...
Tuesday's 100% Unverifiable Special Election Results in GA, SC: 'BradCast' 6/21/17
And, ironically enough, Wednesday's disinformative Senate hearings on alleged 2016 election manipulation...
'Bedlam' Ahead: Obstruction, Recusals, Chain of Succession, Impeachment, Indictments: 'BradCast' 6/20/17
Guest: Attorney Seth Abramson; Plus: Senate moving healthcare; Rick Perry still dumb...
'Green News Report' 6/20/17
Record heat wave in Western U.S.; Criminal indictments in Flint; Massive Portugal wildfire kills more than 60; PLUS: Court victory, enviro award for Standing Rock Sioux...
GA's Unverifiable E-Vote Passwords, Database, Found on Unsecured Server: 'BradCast' 6/19/17
State contracted programmers told of security prob last year, covered it up, left files online...
Sunday Toons of the Rhetoric Toning Moment
If only we could tone down the rhetoric in D.C., everything would be happily every after, right? The cartoonist in PDiddie's weekly collection aren't so sure...
NC Racial Gerrymandering Highlight's GOP 'Justice Delayed, Denied' Strategy
But after SCOTUS ruling and government realignment, justice may soon be at hand...
As Sessions Testifies, GOP Schemes: 'BradCast' 6/13/17
Guest: David Dayen on Congress/Trump plans to sell off public assets, gut banking reforms, more; Also: How to win young voters and the House Dem rift over impeachment...
'Green News Report' 6/13/17
Int. Sec. wants new nat'l monument borders; Heat waves more deadly in India; More 100-year floods in US; PLUS: French grants for US scientists...
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...


After concerns of a 'hacked' 2016 Presidential race and an unverifiable 'loss' in Georgia that again defied pre-election polling, Dems, the media and the American people are still missing the verifiable facts...
By Ernest A. Canning on 6/26/2017 10:08am PT  

There are several basic election integrity truths that have escaped the attention of most Americans, even as they confront the scope of alleged Russian cyber intrusions into America's disparately run, local elections systems.

[Despite repeated assurances from U.S. officials that hackers didn't go so far as to alter vote counts, Department of Homeland Security officials concede that they failed to run an audit in order to determine whether the 2016 vote count had been manipulated by anyone, be they hackers, foreign or domestic, from Russia or anywhere else, or by election insiders whose direct access could facilitate a malicious, or even accidental, manipulation of vote totals. The mainstream U.S. media has also raised concerns that the United States, under the Donald Trump administration, is not doing enough to prevent hacking or manipulation of the 2018 and 2020 elections.]

The first basic election integrity truth is that, as The BRAD BLOG reported in 2009, following a stark presentation by a U.S. intelligence officer to the nation's only federal agency devoted to overseeing the use of electronic voting and tabulation systems, all electronically stored and/or processed data --- registration records, poll books, ballot definition scripts and, most importantly, computerized vote tabulators --- are vulnerable to malicious cyber intrusions.

"I follow the vote,” CIA cybersecurity expert Steven Stigall warned members of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) in a 2009 field hearing in Florida. "And wherever the vote becomes an electron and touches a computer, that’s an opportunity for a malicious actor potentially to…make bad things happen."

The second basic truth is that election system vulnerability is not confined only to malicious hackers, who may or may not be Russian. All electronic vote tabulation systems are vulnerable to election insider manipulation.

The third is that paper registration forms, poll books and hand-marked paper ballots are not, in and of themselves, vulnerable to electronic manipulation. (Paper ballots, of course, are not entirely risk free. Even before the advent of e-voting, there had been cases of ballot box stuffing. But it was the advent of central computerized/electronic tabulation that created a vulnerability to wholesale electoral theft by a "conspiracy" as large as one person, with little possibility of detection.)

The fourth is that the only way to ensure a transparent and verifiable count, one that can be overseen and confirmed the public, is to deploy what Brad Friedman aptly describes as "Democracy's Gold Standard": hand-marked paper ballots, publicly hand-counted with the verifiable results posted at each precinct on Election Night before ballots are moved to any other location.

The fifth is that the core issue in election integrity is not whether a given result is or is not the product of election fraud. Instead, as recently observed by Austria's Supreme Court, the issue is whether election officials have complied with procedures that are designed to ensure the integrity of a transparent and verifiable result.

Unfortunately, these basic democracy-sustaining truths, which have been judicially recognized in other nations, have been largely ignored by the U.S. mainstream media, the political leadership of both major U.S. political parties, and, critically, by our courts --- a point that truly came into focus with respect to the recent U.S. House Special Election in Georgia's 6th Congressional District...

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




And, ironically, Wednesday's mostly disinformative hearings in the U.S. Senate Intelligence Comm. on alleged manipulation of the 2016 election...
By Brad Friedman on 6/21/2017 6:35pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we cover the reported results from Tuesday's U.S. House Special Elections in Georgia's 6th District and South Carolina's 5th, and whether anybody in America can or should have confidence in those unverified and unverifiable results as reported. [Audio link to complete, rant-filled show follows below.]

In both cases, the Republican candidates are reported to have narrowly defeated the Democratic candidates in very Republican districts. In both cases, the computer tabulated results are based on votes cast on 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems. In both cases, the results may be absolutely right or completely wrong. In both cases, absolutely nobody knows for certain either way. And, in both cases, if anybody tells you otherwise, they are either lying or don't know what they're talking about.

We do know, according to the state's reported results, that Democrat Jon Ossoff defeated Republican Karen Handel in GA-06 by a nearly 2 to 1 on the only verifiable ballots used in the race, the paper absentee mail-in ballots. Or, at least we can know that, if anybody ever bothers to check them against the computer tallies. But the rest of the race, run on 100% unverifiable touch-screen systems, will remain 100% faith-based, despite the fact that, as we reported in detail on Monday, the folks who program all of Georgia's voting and voter registrations systems (Kennesaw State University's Center for Election Systems, which is paid $750,000 a year to do so) left the system passwords online, unprotected, at their website since last August and perhaps much longer and then covered it up. Moreover, the Republican candidate in GA-06, the state's former Sec. of State Handel, also personally covered up security failures at at Kennesaw's Center for Elections during her term as the state's chief election official.

Other than all of that, why worry? Last night and today, Democrats and progressives have been continuing their internecine battles, blaming one another for a candidate who wasn't progressive enough (in GA), even as they blamed each other for a candidate seen as too progressive in many areas just weeks ago, after losing Montana's U.S. House Special Election.

I'd suggest, as I do on today's show (and last night on Twitter), that Democrats might be better served if they fought like hell for actual human oversight of our voting and vote-counting system before reloading their circular firing squad. But that's just me. In both GA and SC yesterday, those unverified results, if you believe them, do show a nearly 20 point swing towards Dems since last November's election. Similarly encouraging results have been seen in all of the special elections this year. That should be a good sign for Dems, even as a "loss" is a loss, no matter how one looks at it, and whether they actually lost or not.

Ironically enough today, in the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, top intelligence officials from the FBI and DHS testified in regard to concerns about alleged Russian manipulation of the 2016 election. Neither they, nor the elections officials who also testified today, seemed to know much of anything about the actual vulnerability of U.S. voting systems. Or, if they did, they certainly offered a whole lot of demonstrably inaccurate information about whether voting systems are connected to the Internet (they are), whether our decentralized voting and tabulation systems make it impossible to hack a a Presidential election (it doesn't), and whether actual voting results were manipulated in the 2016 President race (they claimed that they weren't, even while the DHS finally admitted they never actually checked a single machine or counted a single ballot to find out!)

On the other hand, one computer scientist and voting machine expert, Dr. Alex Halderman of the University of Michigan, also testified today and he actually knows what he's talking about, because he's personally hacked just about every voting system in use in the U.S. today, including 10 years ago when he first hacked the exact same 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting machines used in the state of Georgia during Tuesday's Special Election for U.S. House, the most expensive such election in U.S. History. As he explained in his prepared remarks [PDF] today, 10 years ago, he "was part of the first academic team to conduct a comprehensive security analysis of a DRE [touch-screen] voting machine." It was a Diebold touch-screen machine, the exact same type used in GA yesterday, as obtained from a source of mine and given to his crew at Princeton University at the time.

"What we found was disturbing," he testified (even as the Senators had no clue that he was referencing the same systems used yesterday in Georgia), "we could reprogram the machine to invisibly cause any candidate to win. We also created malicious software --- vote-stealing code --- that could spread from machine-to-machine like a computer virus, and silently change the election outcome." I broke that story originally at Salon and at The BRAD BLOG in 2006, but Georgia is shamefully still forcing voters to use the exact same hackable, unverifiable machines.

In his remarks shared on today's show, Halderman also testifies to the fact that machines thought not to be attached to the Internet actually are vulnerable to malware from the Internet, and that our decentralized and disparate system of computerized voting machines and tabulators provides no real safeguards against malicious hackers, whether they are from Russia or France or Cleveland or Atlanta.

Finally today, we close with a few listener calls on all of the above and Desi Doyen with our latest, sweltering, Green News Report...

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

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Guest: Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Hullabaloo...
By Brad Friedman on 4/28/2017 6:00pm PT  

On today's BradCast, at the 100 days milestone for his Presidency --- which Donald Trump recently dismissed as an "artificial barrier" --- Heather Digby Parton of Salon and the Hullabaloo blog, joins us to try to make sense of (wish us luck) the extraordinary chaos, few successes and many failures, to date, of his historically unpopular Administration. [Audio link to show follows below.]

We do so on a day that Trump watches his hopes for a health care bill fall apart once again in the U.S. House, addresses the NRA in Atlanta, suggests a "major, major confrontation" may be ahead with North Korea, and as he seems to threaten trade wars with everyone from South Korea to Canada to Saudi Arabia.

All of that, as North Korea fires off another ballistic missile test today and Trump tells Reuters he thought being President of the United States "would be easier" than his old job as a real estate hustler and reality TV personality.

Digby --- who also wrote recently about the 100-day mark --- offers her always-enlightening insight on all of the above, explains what has, so far, surprised her most about Trump's Presidency, and speaks to how the corporate media, Congressional Democrats and we, the people, are holding up in The Resistance.

Just another day of havoc and confusion for a stressed out nation (and world) fighting to survive the Trump Era.

Then, speaking of, Desi Doyen joins us with the latest Green News Report as Florida burns and the melting Arctic now appears to be accelerating the rate of sea level rise beyond previous scientific predictions...

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: Marta Segura of the Center for Biological Diversity's Climate Law Institute; Plus: Another immigration face-plant, another healthcare reform debacle, another Mike Flynn related embarrassment for Trump...
By Brad Friedman on 4/27/2017 6:40pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Trump and the GOP trip over themselves in their mad rush to his 100th day as President, while Americans plan to hit the streets yet again in protest, this time in a Saturday demonstration on behalf of Planet Earth. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Amidst the Trump Administration's panic to try and un-embarrass themselves about their historic lack of accomplishments before this weekend's "100 Day" benchmark, things only seem to be getting worse for them. Among their latest embarrassments: A new DHS program launched by the Administration to supposedly help victims of crimes purportedly committed by immigrants goes awry in several different ways; the new scramble to pass an updated health care bill in the House to replace the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare") has put some Republicans in an untenable position once again, and risks undermining a separate plan to avoid another government shutdown this weekend; the Pentagon confirms that Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is under an Inspector General's investigation for allegedly failing to obtain permission for payments from foreign sources; and Sean Spicer confirms the Administration didn't even bother to run a security background check on Flynn before naming him as NSA. (So much for "extreme vetting".)

But, on Saturday, the 100th Day of his Presidency, another embarrassment awaits as thousands plan to hit the streets yet again, this time for the People's Climate March, just days after Trump signed an Executive Order attempting, for the first time in U.S. history, to reverse national monument declarations made by three former Presidents. Among the public lands Trump hopes to remove protection for, to allow oil, gas and mineral extraction: the Bears Ear National Monument in Utah, a million acres "sacred to Native Americans and home to tens of thousands of archaeological sites, including ancient cliff dwellings."

Marta Segura of the Climate Law Institute at the Center for Biological Diversity's Climate Law Institute (whose modest mission is "Saving Life on Earth"), and a member of the steering committee for Los Angeles' version of this weekend's march, joins us to discuss all of that and more.

On Trump's attempt to reverse public lands declarations, Segura charges: "The agenda of the Trump Administration is to strengthen the fossil fuel industry and to give them access to lands that have not been explored for fossil fuels, and which they suspect there will be a lot of opportunity to make a lot of people, and a lot of the refineries, very rich, very fast."

"He's claiming that the government has had a 'land grab' on these lands across the nation, and has taken control without the consent of the people," she tells me. "He's misusing that term. He's basically trying to control these lands so that he can benefit the industries. The people are the ones that are benefiting from these public lands right now. That's the definition of public lands."

Speaking about this weekend's climate march and why it's separate from last weekend's March for Science, she explains why organizers in L.A. chose to hold their version of the People's Climate March near the site of a planned Tesoro Oil refinery expansion in Wilmington, near a densly populated residential area on the coast. If the expansion is allowed, she says, it would result in the "the largest refinery in the Western region. And it will be expanding at a time when we really need reductions in greenhouse gases."

"This march," Segura tells me before finishing on a hopeful note, "is for the representation and lifting voices of front-line communities who are disproportionately impacted by the greenhouse gases and pollution."

And, speaking of Planet Earth, we close today with some of Bill Maher's thoughts on hopes by some billionaires (and environmentalists) for colonizing Mars...

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

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Guest: Jim Dean of Democracy for America; Also: Trump popularity keeps falling and BP springs another uncontrolled oil well leak...
By Brad Friedman on 4/17/2017 5:56pm PT  

On today's BradCast, with the world on pins-and-needles over the weekend, thermo-nuclear war has been averted on the Korean Peninsula --- at least for the moment. And voters in Georgia head to the polls again on Tuesday for a U.S. House special election, in which they have the opportunity, again, to express their opinions about our current President. [Audio link to full show is at end of article.]

No nuclear weapons, either by North Korea or the U.S., were fired off over a weekend of high tensions amid U.S. Navy battleships sent to the Korean Peninsula as North Korea prepared for their biggest holiday of the year over the weekend. In past years, NK has 'celebrated' by testing firing new missiles or nuclear weapons. This year, Kim Jong-Un did attempt to fire a missile, but it reportedly blew during the launch.

The failure was the latest in an unusual string of similarly failed tests in the isolated nation recently. So, are we now seeing the results of U.S. cyber-warfare, as reportedly launched against North Korea three years ago by President Obama? Administration sources have been dodgy over the weekend, but say they'd prefer something "short of a military option" if possible. That moderation in tone is a bit different than Trump's chest-thumping last week. And, in the meantime, today, he bashed his Democratic predecessors, Bill Clinton and Obama, for their policies in NK, though he failed to mention George W. Bush (on whose watch NK developed their nuclear weapons program in the first place!)

Trump's poll numbers continue to fall, particularly on whether Americans believe him to be someone who "keeps his promises". And, all of that may well be on the mind of voters as they head to the polls for another U.S. House special election on Tuesday in Georgia's 6th Congressional District. This one, to fill the seat vacated by Trump's Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

So, will Democrats have any better luck in picking off the seat from Republicans in Georgia than they did last week in Kansas? Both districts are heavily Republican, but unlike KS-4, which voted for Trump by nearly 30 points last November, he won GA-6 by just over a single percentage point. And, in GA, a popular young Democratic candidate, Jon Ossoff, has racked up a record amount of money for this House race, largely from grassroots activists. He is currently far ahead of a split field of Republicans in the unusual all-party primary, in which a candidate who wins more than 50% of the vote takes the House seat outright. Otherwise, he would go on to face the second place finisher in a June run-off.

Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America (the grassroots, progressive organization founded following his brother Howard Dean's Presidential run in 2004), joins us to explain DFA's endorsement of Ossoff and his chances on Tuesday, as well as to discuss his strong critique of the national Democratic Party for failing to adequately support the Dem candidate last week in Kansas.

"It's time we stood up for what we are," Dean tells me, referring to Democratic candidate James Thompson's run in Kansas last week, and Ossoff's in Georgia, as well as national party Democrats' fear of running as progressives. "When we do, we win. Especially at a time like this, when even Trump voters realize they're being marginalized."

"Real progressive candidates are the key to Democrats winning. 'Republican Lite' doesn't work. Real progressive candidates usually reflect the majority of values of America, particularly when it comes to issues that surround economic inequality. We think if you're a real progressive running anywhere, you've got a better shot at winning, even in West Virginia," he argues.

Dean also rings in with a thought or two on the 100% unverifiable Diebold touch-screen voting systems that Georgia is once again forcing on voters, even after the organization that programs all of them was said to have been hacked just last month. We also discuss next month's upcoming Special Election for the U.S. House in Montana, where Dems have put forward a popular and populist candidate, Rob Quist, and whether the DNC, in 2018, will finally return to its "50-state strategy" initially championed by his brother Howard when he ran the DNC --- and seemingly abandoned thereafter. On that front, Jim has both encouraging and not-so-encouraging news for progressives.

Finally, we close today with the latest on the BP oil well that sprung two leaks and has been spewing both crude oil and natural gas onto Alaska's North Slope near Prudhoe Bay since last Friday...

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

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Guest: Wendy Feliz of the American Immigration Council...
By Brad Friedman on 2/21/2017 5:57pm PT  

It's a dark day on today's BradCast, as hate crimes continue to rise across the country and Donald Trump's Administration issues new, radical guidelines on the detention and deportation of immigrants. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Wendy Feliz of the American Immigration Council joins us to help unpack the Department of Homeland Security's disturbing new instructions to law enforcement regarding the arrest and deportation of virtually any undocumented immigrant at any time for any reason, including the most minor of crimes or even just a suspicion of such crimes.

The memos issued today are "sort of our worst fears realized," she explains, before detailing the "very stark and very punitive" measures that are "broader than is almost imaginable."

"Essentially, they've done away with all the priority enforcement memos that were written under the Obama Administration, whereby they were trying to narrow down who was deportable. That's just basic Law Enforcement 101 --- the idea that if you go after jaywalkers with the same force that you go after bank robbers, then you're not really doing a good job of stopping people that pose a real threat to society."

Feliz goes into the troubling details of the orders --- which, she charges, are "going to be very disruptive, and potentially disastrous to the economy" --- and the madness of attempting to allocate law enforcement resources for the expulsion of 400,000 people for 11 million instead. Those numbers will now include both children and those who came here as children and had received legal federal work permits under Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. We also discuss what is likely to be an explosion of litigation in response to the orders ("Make American litigate again," Feliz quips) and what it is that those directly affected by these new mandates must now do in order to try and both defend and protect themselves.

Also today, the unprecedented string of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers across the nation continues, with the organizations now reportedly targeted in at least 26 states since the first of the year, and some 200 headstones desecrated in a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri (the one where my grandparents are buried, in fact).

On the upside, Donald Trump has finally spoken out, sort of, against the string of anti-Semitic events and has also appointed someone who is not insane to be the next National Security Advisor following last week's resignation/firing of Michael Flynn.

Desi Doyen joins us once again for the latest Green News Report on the confirmation of EPA enemy Scott Pruitt as the next head of the EPA and with some good news on wind energy. Finally, we close with a bit of breaking good news from the courts concerning guns...

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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Plus: White nationalist Trump supporter alleged to have carried out weekend mass shooting at Quebec City mosque...
By Brad Friedman on 1/31/2017 6:05pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the fallout and chaos continues following Donald Trump's reckless Executive Order banning travel from seven majority-Muslim countries and his firing of the Acting U.S. Attorney General who refused to enforce it, after announcing that she was unconvinced the order was lawful. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

But first today, the shooter alleged to have killed six and wounded 19 others at a mosque in Quebec City over the weekend is reported to be a white nationalist (and Trump supporter). Therefore, as with deadly climate change, Trump, Republicans and the corporate media can largely ignore the entire matter...as they largely have. That's particular disturbing in light of new reporting on the FBI's awareness of white supremacists and sympathizers inside the ranks of the nation's law enforcement agencies.

Then, when Sally Yates, the Acting U.S. AG was fired shortly after announcing her act of conscience on Monday night, Trump's White House described it as an act of "betrayal" to the Department. (She is sworn to defend and protect the U.S. Constitution, not the DoJ or the White House). Shortly thereafter, the White House also removed another top official at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, but without explanation. Yates' act was one that she, herself, might have predicted during her 2015 Senate Confirmation hearings, and largely did, while being questioned by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) who now happens to be Trump's nominee for U.S. Attorney General. We play some of the remarkable exchange between Sessions and Yates on today's show, which suggests that a) Sessions should come out in support of Yates (he won't) and b) Democrats should not vote on Sessions' nomination until he answers the very same questions he put to Yates in 2015, seeking to find out if she would, correctly, defy an unlawful, unconstitutional order from a President.

The entire mess is being referred to as the "Monday Night Massacre" by some, for its obvious echoes of Richard Nixon's infamous "Saturday Night Massacre" in 1973 at the height of the Watergate Scandal. Nixon's White House Counsel John Dean, for example, predicts today that "The way the Trump Presidency is beginning, it is safe to say it will end in calamity."

Calamity is already underway across much of the nation and at a number of other federal agencies reporting turmoil and despair following the wildly unpopular President's Friday order. But Democrats appear to be finding at least a partial spine and are now boycotting a Senate committee in order to hold up votes on Trump's nominees to head up the Treasury Department (Steven Mnuchin) and Health and Human Services (Rep. Tom Price), due to alleged financial improprieties and dishonest answers given to Congress about them by both men.

In the meantime, Speaker Paul Ryan and the House GOP remain 100% all-in with Trump, as are most Senate Republicans. So, unless Democrats can figure out how to hold the line (and the public can figure out how to force Dems to do so), the nation's near and long-term future remains perilous, as Donald Trump plans announces his nomination tonight to replace Antonin Scalia on the GOP's stolen U.S. Supreme Court...

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Guest: Lena Masri of the Council on American-Islamic Relations
By Brad Friedman on 1/30/2017 6:26pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Donald Trump's Executive Order on Friday, banning immigrants and even some permanent U.S. residents from seven majority-Muslim countries, has sparked chaos, confusion and a blizzard of lawsuits in its wake. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Along with Trump's order --- which was largely a surprise to most of the federal agencies tasked with enforcing and vetting it, including the Dept. of Homeland Security, the Dept. of Justice and the State Dept. --- protests continue at airports and elsewhere across the country. Federal agents are reportedly ignoring multiple federal court orders, and elected officials and legal scholars (even some on the Right) are condemning the order as unlawful and/or unconstitutional. ISIS-supporters, however, are "celebrating" Trump's order, which they reportedly regard as a "blessed" victory for their cause.

Some observers suggest the order --- which is separating families from loved ones, and undermining the efforts of many who have supported American efforts for years in the countries on the ban list --- may well develop into a full blown Constitutional crisis. All of which Trump described over the weekend as "working out very nicely".

And, as today's show wrapped up, the Acting U.S. Attorney General, a hold-over from the Obama Administration, announced the DoJ would not defend the order in court.

One of the lawsuits she says the department will not defend against was filed this afternoon by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and is being described as "the biggest lawsuit yet filed against Donald Trump’s immigration order".

CAIR's National Litigation Director, Lena F. Masri, Esq., joins us on today's show, just hours after the suit [PDF] was filed with the aim of completely blocking what the group describes as an unlawful and unconstitutional "Muslim Exclusion Order" meant to result in Trump's campaign promise for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States".

"This Executive Order very clearly targets the Muslim community," Masri explains in describing the complaint and its 20 or so plaintiffs, some of which are anonymous because they "will likely face persecution, torture and even execution" if they are sent back to their home countries. "This impacts us all as Americans," she tells me, "and that is the reason why this this order is so dangerous and why, as Americans, we need to stand up and oppose this order."

Also today: California threatens to push back against Trump's order concerning "sanctuary cities", and they've got the pocketbook to do so if they wanted to...

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Guest: Alternet's Steve Rosenfeld on a report from legal experts finding more than 50 Trump electors were unlawfully seated...
By Brad Friedman on 1/5/2017 6:13pm PT  

On today's BradCast, it's another busy day of warmongering on Capitol Hill, attempts to gut American's health care systems, and one last-ditch effort to keep Trump from becoming the President-Elect. [Audio link to the show follows below.]

The cyberwar-mongering against Russia continued today in both the U.S. media and U.S. Congress, despite wildly erroneous reporting by mainstream media outlets and the disturbing lack of public evidence to support both the claims and calls from Democrats and some Republicans alike, to go on the offensive against the former Soviet nation. Those calls increased today during a U.S. Senate hearing with outgoing Dir. of National Intelligence James Clapper (who previously lied to Congress about the NSA's bulk collection on American email and phone call information), and despite new revelations that the FBI never examined the computer servers of the DNC, which they allege to have been hacked by Russia in hopes of supporting Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.

Then, a new report documents an attempt from a bi-partisan legal team hoping to block the ratification of Trump's Electoral College victory in Congress on Friday. The effort is based on the group's 1,000-page documented legal finding that more than 50 of Trump's electors were unlawfully and/or unconstitutionally seated.

Alternet journalist Steve Rosenfeld, who broke the story late last night, joins us to explain the basis for the last-ditch effort to stop Trump, its chances for success, and some Congressional Democrats' surprising response to it.

"Everywhere you look under the rug, there's something else that is either broken or not followed when it comes to the partisan tinkering of elections," Rosenfeld tells me, arguing that Dems should use the information from the legal experts to both challenge Trump's (lack of) mandate and, at the very least, "as a moment to lecture the Republicans on voter suppression." He adds that despite the seeming Hail Mary nature of the effort, "today people are frantically searching for a Senator" to support a challenge to the Electoral College results during the Joint Session of Congress scheduled for Friday. Good luck with that.

Also today: U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan announces that the GOP plans to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood, despite the organization's popularity and Desi Doyen joins us for the first Green News Report of the new year, with a whole bunch of environmental-related news that you may have missed over our holiday break, including the blatantly false story late last week by the Washington Post charging that "Russian hackers penetrated [the] U.S. electricity grid"...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Guest: Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org...
By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2016 6:08pm PT  

As we note on more than one occasion on today's BradCast, buckle up! [Audio link to show is at bottom of article.]

Just days before the Presidential election, Democrats are in court in 6 different states attempting to preemptively block alleged "voter intimidation" schemes by Trump and the GOP, and today a federal judge slapped a restraining order on the Trump campaign and his operatives, to try and prevent it. (The order is now posted here [PDF].)

Meanwhile, the GOP nominee is just a narrow polling error away from defeating Hillary Clinton, according to the experts at FiveThirtyEight, who now find Trump's chance of winning the Presidency to be about 1 in 3. So every vote will count --- at least if it's counted correctly.

Longtime non-partisan election integrity expert Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org joins us to explain her startling new discovery of functionality built into computer vote tabulators --- both touch-screen and paper-ballot systems in use in 99% of the nation's jurisdictions --- that, she says, would allow some votes to be weighted more than others in a way that would be nearly impossible to detect.

Harris details what she describes as "Fraction Magic" (see a real-time video demonstration here) and how that functionality, and its use by election insiders (or even outside hackers --- as the U.S. Government continues to warn about), could determine the results of elections on Tuesday, from the Presidential level on down to local races and ballot initiatives.

This ability to fractionalize votes (for example, the functionality allows certain types of voters to have their votes weighted as 1.2 votes, while other votes are counted as just .8 of a vote, so the final results will still tally up to the correct number of votes cast), was originally discovered in the GEMS tabulation system, used with Diebold/Premier voting systems and, Harris explains, systems made by almost all of the other private vendors used across the country. "It's now been confirmed in Hart Intercivic, in 2006. In Dominion. They've admitted it. And ES&S, according to the Illinois Board of Elections, has also got it in there. ES&S counts about 60 percent of the votes in the U.S. So it is actually pretty pervasive."

"We are putting our whole system at risk," warns Harris, about both "Fraction Magic" and the use of voting and tabulation systems that are difficult, if not impossible, for the public to oversee. "Sooner or later, if we keep running these mystery elections, there's going to be something that is actually destabilizing, kind of a perfect storm. This is predictable. Sooner or later, when you keep running elections that are not accountable to the public, that are not something we can verify with actual evidence --- i.e. ballots and ballot images --- there's going to be a meltdown that's destabilizing. This is actually rather dangerous."

Like you didn't think you had enough to worry about between now and Election Day?

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the last Green News Report before Election Day, and we round up a few other last minute voting concerns in swing-states North Carolina and Ohio...

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By Brad Friedman on 10/21/2016 6:06pm PT  

On today's BradCast, as a major, mysterious automated Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack took huge Internet sites like Twitter, Netflix and Amazon offline for hours today, Democrats and Republicans, including the President, continue to mislead the public about the vulnerability of our voting, tabulation and voter registration systems. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Just weeks ago, as you'll recall, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security were warning of the vulnerability of U.S. election systems to intrusion, manipulation and attack from outsiders (and all but ignoring the more direct threat from election insiders). Now, as Donald Trump has ramped up his claims that the election is being "rigged", Democratic and Republican officials alike are claiming the opposite is true, that "there's no way to rig an election in a country this big". They are either misinformed or lying. Take your pick. Either way, they are misinforming the American people. I explain in detail on today's show.

Speaking of disrupting the election...

• "Unnamed intelligence officials" float yet another warning of how bad actors could cause havoc during the elections in November. (And recent evidence suggests that route would be quite easy.)
• A federal court ordered Ohio this week to allow millions of unlawfully purged voters to be allowed to cast a provisional ballot this November, after the state's Republican Sec. of State Jon Husted (who also claimed this week that the election can't be rigged) fought an earlier court order to restore those voters to the rolls;
• Republicans in Tarrant County, Texas may have violated a federal court order by targeting Democratic polling places with an "EMERGENCY VOTER FRAUD ALERT";
• The state of Utah (Utah!) has been moved into the toss-up category in the Presidential contest;
• Early voting numbers look promising for Democrats;
Evidence that Donald Trump loved both Bill and Hillary Clinton very recently...at least until he ran for President, started losing "big league" and decided she was a "nasty woman";
• And, finally, the GOP Presidential nominee offered a little noticed admission during the final debate that Democrats have been right all along the necessity of regulations on businesses.

All of that and much more on today's BradCast, as our Shocktober Spooktacular continues...

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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...

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Guest: Indiana University cybersecurity law expert Scott Shackelford | Also: Why your right to vote matters, 52 years after 'Freedom Summer'...
By Brad Friedman on 8/4/2016 6:11pm PT  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About Brad Friedman...
Brad is an independent investigative
journalist, blogger, broadcaster,
VelvetRevolution.us co-founder,
expert on issues of election integrity,
and a Commonweal Institute Fellow.

Brad has contributed chapters to these books...


...And is featured in these documentary films...

Additional Stuff...
Brad Friedman/The BRAD BLOG Named...
Buzz Flash's 'Wings of Justice' Honoree
Project Censored 2010 Award Recipient
The 2008 Weblog Awards



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