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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, October 1, 2016
WI Failing to Provide Voting IDs as Promised in Federal Court: 'BradCast' 9/30/16
Guest: Kathleen Unger of VoteRiders, the group which found WI appears to have lied about DMV's 'free' Photo ID program...
Trump's Law, Order, Denial: 'BradCast' 9/29/16
Several new and long overdue reports on the GOP nominee's unlawful business practices and a fact-check on his global warming denialism. Oh, and a song!...
'Green News Report' 9/29/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Clinton promotes clean energy, Trump denies his own denial in the first Presidential debate; PLUS: Big Coal tries to kill Obama's landmark emissions standards in federal court...
Previous GNRs: 9/22/16 - 9/20/16 - Archives...
Fallout from the 'Trumpwreck' Debate: 'BradCast' 9/28/16
The public reaction to the first Trump/Clinton Presidential debate --- from polls, betting markets, newspapers and listener callers (lots of them!)...
Trumpwreck: The First Presidential Debate: 'BradCast' 9/27/16
Smart and, at times, hilarious coverage of the Trump/Clinton Hofstra debate, with journalists Heather Digby Parton and David Dayen...
'The Most Audacious Political Heist of Our Time': 'BradCast' 9/26/16
David Daley on 'RatF**ked' and how the GOP 'stole' the House for a decade as Dems 'fell asleep at the wheel'...
Sunday Toons of the First Debate Moment
The final stretch for the general election begins and so do the Presidential Debates, as documented in PDiddie's collection of the best political toons of the week...
Eyewitness to Shooting at Protest Questions Official Account: 'BradCast' 9/22/16
Guest: Linda Flynn was 'feet away', believes police activity sparked violence at peaceful demonstration...
'Green News Report' 9/22/16
U.N. climate pact at crucial threshold; WH orders NatSec planning for climate change; Good/bad news in the Arctic; PLUS: Obama to world: Time to step up...
Callers' Debate Qs for Trump, Clinton: 'BradCast' 9/21/16
Plus: Police shootings, protests in NC, OK; Earth smashes more heat records; Trump leads Clinton in nat'l poll...
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...


Also: Texas undermines court-ordered remedy to unlawful Photo ID law, new studies reveal (again) how such laws undermine democracy...
By Brad Friedman on 9/9/2016 5:52pm PT  

On today's BradCast we try to make sense of today's whiplash of dramatic breaking news --- first from a federal judge then from three federal agencies --- concerning the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, before trying to make sense of still more breaking news concerning this November's elections. [Audio link to show posted below.]

First up: An Obama-appointed federal District Court judge in D.C. hands down his ruling [PDF] denying a preliminary injunction that would have blocked construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, as sought on Standing Rock Sioux sacred lands near their tribal reservation in North Dakota. Moments later, the U.S. Departments of Justice, Army and Interior issue a remarkable joint statement calling for a halt of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-approved construction at one federally controlled waterway and for a voluntary halt by the Dallas-based pipeline company on private lands within 20 miles.

We break down both the court's legal opinion and the federal government's encouraging directive, explaining the reasons behind both, as protests by thousands of native Americans continue to grow each day near the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball Rivers in the southern part of ND.

Then, new polls find Hillary Clinton's lead over Donald Trump shrinking or disappearing fairly dramatically in four different key swing states. And the parties challenging the state of Texas' unlawful Photo ID voting restriction seek emergency court relief after state officials (including its indicted Attorney General) attempt to undermine a court-ordered agreement that is supposed to allow registered voters to vote, even without the strict Photo ID mandated by the illegal statute enacted by state Republicans.

In the meantime, a new study reveals, yet again, that the only type of fraud that could possibly be prevented by Photo ID laws remains virtually nonexistent in the U.S., while another major new study offers empirical historical evidence documenting how such laws drastically and disproportionately reduce minority and Democratic-leaning voter turnout.

Finally: Minnesota Democrats file suit at the state Supreme Court to have Donald Trump removed from the Presidential ballot, charging that Republicans failed to follow state law in their nomination process...

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

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How Trump 'won' the 'Commander-in-Chief Forum' and Washington Monthly's Martin Longman on how media ignore actual Trump crimes and scams while continually misreporting Clinton 'scandals'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/8/2016 6:05pm PT  

On today's BradCast, it's starting to feel like the 2000 campaign all over again. Last night's "Commander-in-Chief Forum" as well as a comparison of corporate media coverage of "scandals" by both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both serve to underscore that point. [Audio link to full show posted below.]

First, the back-to-back town halls on national security issues with Clinton and then Trump on NBC on Wednesday night provided another disturbing example of the corporate media seemingly working hard to help level an unlevel playing field between the Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates. Moderator Matt Lauer held Clinton to account with tough questioning while giving a pass to all manner of dishonesty from Trump in response to fairly softball questions. Almost none of it went challenged by Lauer. In the bargain, as I argue on today's program, Trump won the night, which should be another note of great concern to Democrats as the polls continue to tighten in advance of the Presidential debates beginning later this month.

Then, speaking of media-aided false equivalence, Martin Longman, founder of Booman Tribune and Web Editor at Washington Monthly, joins us to discuss the very different ways in which the corporate media has been covering Clinton "scandals" concerning her email server and the Clintons' charitable foundation, versus actual criminal acts committed by Trump and his own foundation regarding illegal pay-offs to state Attorneys General.

Longman details the timeline of the Trump charity's illegal $25,000 payment to the political committee of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, after she had announced an investigation of his Trump University scam, after she had sought a donation from him, and before she finally decided to drop the case. Once caught, Trump paid a fine to the IRS for the illegal donation. But imagine if the Clinton's had done anything as blatant.

There are "all kinds of double standards" at play here, Longman explains. "Part of it is that the Right does a better job of working the refs." He goes on to cite one way in which Trump seems to avoid accountability in much the same way that the George W. Bush Administration had also managed to game the media.

"Before you can run down the problem with one story, [Trump's] created five more for you to run down," he tells me. "When you look at the variety of factors involved, some of it is bias against the Clintons, some of it is advantages that the right has, and some of it is just unique to Trump. You add it all up, and you've got this situation where you have one clearly --- in my mind --- crazy person who's getting fairly close to the Presidency, and people are treating it as though this is a normal choice between two candidates, and it's just not."

Yes, we've seen this pattern before in the recent past --- the 2000 Bush/Gore campaign comes to mind for good reason --- and it could result in an equally troubling outcome for the nation this November.

Finally, we close with Desi Doyen and our latest Green News Report, and then one last story on a man who really, REALLY, can't stand living with his wife...

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

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Latest on the Presidential race, attempted NC vote suppression, a controversial AZ election, and the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in ND...
By Brad Friedman on 9/7/2016 5:48pm PT  

On today's BradCast, I'm back after the holiday weekend, but you should tune in anyway! We're live today from the KPFK/Pacifica Radio studios in Los Angeles, as I try to catch up on stuff we missed over the long weekend, and breaking news today.

Among the stories we cover on today's program...

* Tightening Presidential polls [PDF] as pollsters change their methodology to move from "registered" to "likely" voters, as Donald Trump has taken a lead or is tied with Hillary Clinton in a couple of national polls and gaining in some swing states. Nonetheless, Clinton maintains her lead in the Electoral College and even remains competitive in a number of "red" states where she is receiving support from some surprising corners.

* North Carolina's vote suppressing Republican Governor Pat McCrory believes states should have "voting rights", as opposed to people/voters.

* We're reminded today, once again, that every vote counts (or, at least, should), as Helen Purcell, the controversial election chief in Maricopa County (Phoenix), appears to have won her Republican Primary by just over a hundred votes out of more than 300,000 cast, after trailing by just a few hundred votes following last week's state primary in Arizona. The exact percentage flip (she was reportedly losing the day after the election 49.93% to 50.07% against her challenger Aaron Flannery, before defeating him 50.07% to 49.93% as of today, according to Purcell's optical-scan computers reported on Purcell's website) reminds us once again of the need to publicly hand-count paper ballots on Election Night. Purcell, Maricopa's Republican County Recorder since 1988, was roundly criticized for reducing polling locations from more than 200 in 2012 down to 60 during the Presidential Primary in March. Flannery, her challenger last week, has said he cannot afford to mount a challenge to ask for a hand count, but will consider running again in 2020. If the current results hold, Purcell will face Democrat Adrian Fontes in November.

* Then, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest on the growing protests and emergency legal battles by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota against the desecration of sacred sites with the construction of the massive, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-approved (and EPA-opposed) Dakota Access Pipeline and the bad faith actions of its supporters.

Finally, we take listener calls on all of the above! Enjoy!...

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

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Salon's Heather Digby Parton on Trump's immigration policy speech in Phoenix and the chilling winds blowing through American politics...
By Brad Friedman on 9/1/2016 5:33pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the great Heather Digby Parton of Hullabalo and Salon.com joins me to try and help us all make sense --- if that's even possible --- of Donald Trump's whirlwind visit to Mexico on Wednesday and his chilling speech on immigration policy in Phoenix on Wednesday night. [Audio link for show posted below.]

That's no easy feat, but we give it our best try, including a discussion about the success of Trump's calculated strategy to scam the corporate media with his daytime meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieta in advance of his evening speech in Arizona.

"All this discussion that's been going on about 'softening' and 'hardening' [his deportation policy] and whatever else --- in the end it was Trump himself who really wanted to give that speech that he ended up giving," Parton explains. "We ended up with this very strange, two parallel story lines that were being fed to the press. 'Look at the pivot! It's just so wonderful!' --- Then he goes to Arizona last night and basically leads a Nuremberg Rally."

It was, as we both concur, his creepiest, most truly frightening speech to date. As she notes, Trump was targeting immigrants, "illegal" and "legal" both, as "un-American parasites on the American system" and "the reason for whatever distress, both cultural and economic, that 'real' Americans are feeling."

Parton goes on to argue that his supporters ultimately "don't care what he says, it's the attitude with which he says it", and I unveil my new theory explaining why the GOP nominee keeps holding rallies in states where he is almost certain to lose and/or certain to win, as opposed to the swing-states he'll need to actually win the Presidency. (In short: Win the popular vote, lose the electoral college, claim to be the most beloved candidate with the added bonus of not actually having to serve as President. Win, win, win. Cherry on top: The scenario can also serve as even more evidence that the entire system is "rigged"!)

Then, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report as two hurricanes and a U.S. President head toward Hawaii, even as another hurricane bears down on Florida and the East Coast...in an increasingly warming --- and frightening --- world...

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

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Guest: Jeremy Nichols of WildEarth Guardians | Plus: Breaking news on NC voting rights from SCOTUS and AZ, FL state primary results...
By Brad Friedman on 8/31/2016 5:26pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the Primary season is still going (believe it or not), and we've got several important results from Arizona and Florida's contests on Tuesday. Also, important breaking news for the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Obama Administration gets sued to stop new leases to oil and gas companies on federal lands. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

First today, Donald Trump goes to Mexico for a brief visit with the Mexican President. Our coverage is mercifully even briefer.

Then, the Scalia-free U.S. Supreme Court splits 4 to 4 in response to North Carolina's emergency attempt to stay a blistering ruling from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal in late July, where the state Republicans' massive voter suppression law was struck down after being found to have been enacted with "racially discriminatory intent" that "target[ed] African-American with almost surgical precision". The tie at SCOTUS means the lower court's ruling, nixing the law, will stand, even though four Justices (guess which ones) on the highest court in the land would have preferred to keep a law broadly seen as the nation's worst voter suppression law since the Jim Crow era in place for this November's Presidential election!

Speaking of elections, we review the results of several key races from Tuesday's state primaries in Arizona and Florida, where the reelection battles of Sens. John McCain and Marco Rubio may determine the balance of the U.S. Senate this November. Also, the controversial Democratic FL Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz survives, as does controversial Republican Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, AZ. But the news for Helen Purcell, Maricopa's Republican County Recorder in Phoenix, who many blame for the disastrous Presidential Primary in the state earlier this year, may have reached the end of her 30-year career, with just a few hundred votes (out of more than 25,000 cast) now hanging in the balance.

Then, why is the Obama Administration, which has placed a moratorium on new federal land leases to coal companies, still selling millions of acres of leases to oil and gas companies? Jeremy Nichols, Director of the Climate and Energy Program at WildEarth Guardians, who, with Physicians for Social Responsibility, filed a suit last week seeking a moratorium from the Administration's Bureau of Land Management on such auctions, joins me to discuss the landmark federal lawsuit.

"What we're seeing here is a pattern and practice of the Administration continuing to hand over rights to our public lands to the oil and gas industry," Nichols explains. "By leasing these lands, they basically convert them to the ownership of the industry, and industry can hang on to these lands for as long as they want. It really is what we call an irreversible commitment of public resources here."

He goes on to tell me that while, in many respects, the Obama Administration has been a champion for the climate and the environment, on this issue, it seems, they appear to have "a very serious blind spot."

"We feel that it's high time for this administration to apply the same scrutiny to the oil and gas program that is has applied to coal-fired power plants, its coal mining program, and other aspects of our fossil fuel consumption," says Nichols. "We are in essence condoning the release of a lot more carbon into our atmosphere and, at this moment in time, pumping more carbon into the atmosphere is the last thing that this administration --- and we as the American public --- should be condoning."

At the same time, he says, the fossil fuel industry is actually suing the Obama Administration for not making more land available to them. "It's really a shocking filing on their end," Nichols argues. "They're basically saying that even though they've gotten everything they want on our public lands --- 10 million acres of our public lands since President Obama has taken office --- that it's not enough for them."

Finally today, a few follow-ups on a number of stories we've been covering over the past week, from Maine Gov. Paul LePage's mental and political breakdown to the reports of an official law enforcement investigation into more high-level GOP voter registration fraud in Florida, this time by Trump's top campaign chief. Oh, and Vladimir Putin has been arrested at a supermarket in Florida! No, really!

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

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Nation's dumbest Governor receives an intervention amidst racist outbursts, obscene voice mails, death threats to political opponents...
By Brad Friedman on 8/30/2016 5:11pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Maine's Republican Governor Paul LePage is melting down. [Audio link posted below.]

We've been reporting on the two-term, 'Tea Party' dimwit for years, describing him variously as both the nation's dumbest Governor and the worst in history. But now, at the seeming climax of a months-long saga concerning racist comments by LePage, a threatening and obscene voicemail he recently left for a Democratic state lawmaker, comments about shooting that lawmaker in the head and, this week, an apparent emergency intervention by GOP state legislators, the possibility of resignation --- or, perhaps, mental breakdown --- is seeming likelier by the minute.

We cover that insane story today, how this loon became a two-term Governor in the first place in an otherwise not-insane state (hint: you can thank third party challengers), and how, even after all of the years of LePage's various embarrassments, Donald Trump has said this month that he'd be delighted to consider the Maine Governor for a role in his White House cabinet!

Then, Apple owes $14.5B in back taxes in Europe, but it could cost the U.S.; One county official in Colorado is standing up to a major coal company in bankruptcy to force them to pay what they owe in taxes; Desi Doyen joins us for an unusually uplifting Green News Report; and, finally, closing the circle on today's show, how some residents of an impoverished area of Maine (LePage voters, no doubt) tried to block a land grant and millions of dollars to the local community in order to prevent President Obama from establishing a new national monument in that portion of the Maine North Woods...

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

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Guest: Attorney Ernest A. Canning; Plus: Farewell to Gene Wilder...
By Brad Friedman on 8/29/2016 5:28pm PT  

On today's BradCast: As several polls tighten in advance of the Presidential election, the FBI issues a new warning to states about voting system intrusion and last minute battles continue in federal courts over voting rights access to the polls.

First up, a new report today from investigative journalist Michael Isikoff warns of recent intrusions, believe to be by foreign entities, into voter registration systems in both Illinois and Arizona. The report cites an "FBI Flash" warning [PDF] from its Cyber Division, recently issued to state election officials in hopes of warding off similar intrusions to electronic registration and voting systems in advance of the November election.

The latest news on the completely foreseeable vulnerabilities in our voting and registration systems underscores (yet again) what we've been warning about for so many years at both The BRAD BLOG and The BradCast. Unfortunately, as usual, reporting on this issue from mainstream corporate media comes too late to make much of a difference before the next election, after which the warnings are likely to be all but forgotten...until just before the next election.

Then, BradBlog.com's long-time legal analyst, attorney Ernest A. Canning joins us for an update on the roller coaster-like voting rights battles still waging in federal courts across the country, including the latest disturbing news on Photo ID voting restrictions in Wisconsin and why something known as "The Purcell Principle" will, once again, play a key role in all of those legal fights this year.

Canning, who also wrote about the just the latest example of GOP "voter fraud" hypocrisy over the weekend, summarizes the latest dispositions in a number of key court fights against racially discriminatory Photo ID voting restrictions in Wisconsin, Texas and North Carolina, and related legal battles over access to the polls in states such as Kansas, Arizona and the swing-state of Ohio. All of those cases are likely to have an impact on results up and down the ballot this year.

Finally, we say goodbye to the hilarious Gene Wilder today, a regular presence --- in both voice and spirit --- on The BradCast...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 8/26/2016 6:00pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, it seems the Republican Party's Presidential nominee can't keep alleged criminals from running his own campaign --- but he wants the American people to trust his plan to keep them out of the country?! [Audio link to today's show posted below.]

Donald Trump may want to carry out some of that "extreme vetting" he has planned for immigrant refugees hoping to come to the U.S., on his own campaign staff. Credible new reports today reveal that Trump's newest campaign chief, Stephen Bannon --- hired after two previous ones were fired --- was charged with domestic violence in the 90s and allegedly threatened retribution against the victim, one of his former wives, for testifying against him.

Separately, it appears that Bannon, previously the chief executive for the far-rightwing Breitbart "News" site, also may have committed voter registration fraud and possibly tax evasion, by registering to vote in a state where he doesn't appear to have ever lived. (Since finishing today's show, the Guardian has now posted a second story to report that, since their first exclusive, Bannon has now moved his Florida voter registration to a different residence.)

If the new evidence reported today holds up, Bannon's case, as I detail on today's program, would be just the latest example of another very high profile Republican who appears to have committed the type of election-related fraud that Republicans disingenuously claim Dems are carrying out, and for which the GOP continues to enact voting restrictions that disproportionately block minority voters at the polls.

As discussed on today's program, we have covered, at The BRAD BLOG, on The BradCast, and in many other publications, in great detail and documentation over the past decade or more, the many cases of actual, well-documented voter and voter registration fraud carried out by the likes of GOP superstars like Ann Coulter, Mitt Romney, the former Sec. of State of Indiana, and a host of many other high-profile Republicans. That long list includes many who have, themselves, long called for "anti-fraud" measures meant only to make it harder for certain perfectly legal voters (Democratic-leaning ones) to participate in U.S. elections.

And, as if Trump's "extreme vetting" for his own campaign staff hasn't yet failed spectacularly enough by now, we end today's show with still one more brand new example! Yes, it's an epic romp through recent historical GOP hypocrisy on today's BradCast. Buckle up, and please enjoy responsibly!...

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

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Guest: David Archambault II, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux; Plus: Clinton calls out Trump's 'Alt-Right' White Nationalist campaign...
By Brad Friedman on 8/25/2016 6:17pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the ugly fight over Presidential campaign 'bigotry' and the righteous battle by Native Americans to block another massive oil pipeline from being constructed in the Dakotas. [Audio link for show is posted below.]

After Hillary Clinton's Reno, NV address today, calling out Donald Trump for mainstreaming "alt-right" White Nationalism in his campaign, and Trump describing her as a 'bigot' in return, we head up to North Dakota, where thousands of Native American tribal members are camping out near the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball Rivers to protest and, hopefully, block the construction of the massive Dakota Access Pipeline.

David Archambault II (pictured above), Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, joins us to explain his concerns about the $3.7 billion dollar project set to pump crude oil 1,200 miles from the Bakken shale region down to refineries in southern Illinois. The tribal leader details the growing prayer camp protest where thousands are now in a stand off with state and federal officials, as well as Dallas-based pipeline owners, Energy Transfer Corporation which, he says, received approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build the pipeline across sacred ancestral lands and the tribe's water supplies without appropriate consultation with the sovereign nation.

Archambault explains how the decision to route the pipeline near their reservation was made after determining that any breach of the pipeline there would effect fewer people than an alternate route near metropolitan Bismark, ND. The American Indians, he argues, are once again being forced to pay a price for resource exploitation by others.

"What we look at are not only our ancestral sites, but we are looking at future generations. It may not be impacting our drinking water today or tomorrow, if it does go through, but we have to look after the kids that are not even here yet," Archambault tells me. "So there's a serious issue here with these Dallas-based corporations that are driven by greed and money to get a project done at all cost. And the cost that has to be paid is a burden placed on tribes."

"Ever since we learned about this, we said 'Stop, don't come here. It's a half-mile away from our reservation.' It seems like the company out of Dallas, the Corp of Engineers [and] the federal government does not listen. Right now what's happening is tribes are helping people remember that we are here, and we still exist, and we are a strong voice, and to take notice."

He goes on to detail the "State of Emergency" declared by ND Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) in response to the protest, the charge in his NYTimes op-ed today that "the state has militarized my reservation", as well as the federal court hearing on Wednesday in Washington D.C. where he is suing in hopes of an injunction to block the construction.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on the deadly floods in India, very bad news for wolves in Washington state, and a celebration of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service...

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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...

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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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Trump 'pivots', reaches out to African-American voters, forgets to tell the rest of his party...
By Brad Friedman on 8/22/2016 5:40pm PT  

Donald Trump's newly celebrated 'pivot' to becoming a 'maturity' as a Presidential candidate, as declared by some Republicans and some in the corporate media, may be far less of a 'pivot' than he and his surrogates are pretending, especially in his new attempts to woo African-American voters.

On today's BradCast [audio link posted below.], we take a look at some of the claims of Trump's surrogates, and how they stack up against reality. (Hint: Taking out a newspaper ad calling for the death penalty for five African-American kids found completely innocent of a horrible crime doesn't seem a particularly smart way to woo the African-American vote.)

Similarly, if the GOP wants to reach out to minority voters, they have a very peculiar way of showing it, as Republican Party officials, operatives and Governors --- from CA to NC, from NJ to MI --- re-double their efforts to keep 'certain' voters from being able to cast a vote at all this November.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Guest: Eric Boehlert of Media Matters on the latest 'rightwing media coup'; Plus: California burning and 'Bye-Bye' to John McLaughlin...
By Brad Friedman on 8/17/2016 5:24pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Trump turns to a Rightwing 'news' blogger with no experience in national elections to help him save his campaign, and North Carolina Republicans further reveal their desperation to keep Democrats away from the voting booth this November. [Audio link posted at bottom of article.]

But first, California continues to pay the huge, early costs of climate change as brand new wildfires explode in bone-dry Southern California, leading to evacuations of more than 80,000 residents today and the destruction of an untold number of structures, including at least one Route 66 landmark.

Then, Donald Trump responds to plummeting poll numbers with a staff shake-up that taps a Rightwing media huckster with no political experience, from far-right propaganda/conspiracy website Breitbart 'News', to head up his campaign. Eric Boehlert from Media Matters joins us to explain how the GOP establishment's demand that the Republican nominee begin running a more traditional campaign has been answered by Trump's decision to do the complete opposite, as illustrated by the new hires.

"This is someone who has no campaign experience," Boehlert, a longtime Breitbart watcher explains, describing Trump's new campaign chief Stephen Bannon. "The Trump campaign, which has been hit hard for being amateurish, for having no ground game, for having no advance teams, poor fund-raising, no surrogate operation --- they decided what they really need is someone at the top of the campaign who's never been on a campaign, let alone a presidential campaign."

"There's already this raging civil war within the conservative media. We've never seen anything like it," he says. "In terms of that civil war, people were already pointing to Breitbart as the problem. So, for Trump to now go to Breitbart to get a new campaign chief, for the rest of the conservative movement, it's just proof positive that everyone in the Trump campaign is just completely off the rails and have no idea what they're doing."

"There's going to be so many reckonings after November," Boehlert predicts. We'll see if he's right about that.

In the meantime, desperate North Carolina Republicans have now filed an emergency petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to help them keep the state's "racially discriminatory" voter suppression law in place through November, even as GOP officials around the state work to adopt new restrictions on voting in lieu of the sweeping election law recently struck down by the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals for having "target[ed] African-Americans with nearly surgical precision".

At this point, for unpopular Republicans in NC --- and, similarly, around much of the rest of the country --- voter suppression may be one of just a very few ways they have left to save their bacon this November.

Finally today, we say "Bye-Bye!" to legendary broadcaster John McLaughlin, who changed the political media landscape (for both better and worse), following news of his death this week at age 89...

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

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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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