The BRAD BLOG Because it's not about Right or Left, it's about Right and Wrong! 2016-12-10T23:04:31Z Copyright 2016 WordPress Ernest A. Canning <![CDATA[Decision Suspending MI 'Recount' Threatens What's Left of American Democracy]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11956 2016-12-10T23:04:31Z 2016-12-10T23:04:31Z Election Irregularities Election Reform U.S. Constitution Paper Ballots Legislation EAC Touch-Screen Vote Flipping Accountability Michigan Everyone Counts Election 2016 Germany Austria If allowed to stand, the reasoning behind U.S. District Court Judge Mark A. Goldsmith's December 7, 2016 decision [PDF] in Stein v. Thomas to halt the Michigan presidential "recount" is flawed, at best. Issued, ironically enough, on the day we commemorate what President Franklin D. Roosevelt described as "a date which will live in infamy", it is by no means an exaggeration to suggest that Judge Goldsmith's reasoning could inflict greater harm on the very foundations of our constitutional form of democracy than that inflicted by the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

The halt to the "recount" came just two days after Judge Goldsmith issued a temporary restraining order ("TRO") directing the MI Canvassing Board to immediately commence the "recount" and one day after a U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal decision, upholding that TRO.

Under that 6th Circuit appeals ruling, Judge Goldsmith was obligated to revisit the issue if "the Michigan courts determine that Plaintiffs' recount is improper for any reason." Separately, on Dec. 6, the Michigan state appellate court ruled that, under MI law, only a candidate who has a reasonable chance of winning has a right to initiate a post-election count. But that state court ruling, by three Republican judges, did not justify Judge Goldsmith's decision to halt a "recount" that had been predicated on Dr. Jill Stein's rights under the U.S. Constitution.

As he acknowledged in his original decision, the Green Party Presidential candidate did not base her federal claim on state law. To the contrary, in his initial finding, Goldsmith held that the Plaintiffs had shown a likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that the two-business day waiting period mandated by state law "would likely violate their right to vote under the First and Fourteenth Amendments." Judge Goldsmith, in that first decision, added, "the [federal] right to vote, and to have that vote conducted fairly and counted accurately" [emphasis added] is not merely "fundamental" but serves as "the bedrock of our Nation."

State law, whether directed at the timing of the recount or to the aggrieved status (standing) of the candidate seeking the count, should not be allowed to infringe upon a fundamental right that every citizen has to a verifiably accurate count of their votes.

The truly damaging aspect of the decision to dissolve the TRO lies not in the question of standing but in Judge Goldsmith's upside-down reasoning as to who should bare the burden of establishing the integrity of the vote. That reasoning is directly at odds with the rulings made in two landmark cases in Germany and Austria, to the effect that the need for election integrity and transparency are paramount in any nation that values democracy...

Backwards burden of proof

As Brad Friedman reported when Stein first announced her intent to seek a "recount" in three states (WI, MI and PA), the Green Party Presidential candidate cited "the many concerns brought to her by computer scientists and voting systems and election integrity experts, all questioning whether paper ballots were counted accurately by error-prone and easily-hacked computer tabulators in WI and MI, and whether touch-screen systems were manipulated in some fashion in PA."

Stein was seeking a first-time hand-count of the optical-scan paper ballots, where they exist, along with an independent forensic audit of the touch-screen voting systems by computer experts. Her goal, she said, was to "verify the vote and be confident our votes were counted."

Judge Goldsmith did not dispute the validity of Stein's concerns. To the contrary, he acknowledged them, even while going on to rescind the TRO which would have allowed for either verification or refutation of the accuracy of the unverified machine tallies.

In his Dec. 7 decision, he wrote:

The issues that Plaintiffs raise are serious indeed. But invoking a court's aid to remedy that problem in the manner Plaintiffs have chosen — seeking a recount as an audit of the election to test whether the vulnerability led to actual compromise of the voting system — has never been endorsed by any court, and would require, at a minimum, evidence of significant fraud or mistake — and not speculative fear of them. Such evidence has not been presented here.

Judge Goldsmith has utilized a backward application of the burden of proof that can only serve to undermine a fundamental right that the court, itself, acknowledged "is the bedrock of our nation": the right of the people to know that their votes were "accurately counted." Short of an impossible result, like the negative 16,022 votes recorded for Al Gore on Volusia County, FL's optical-scan system during the 2000 election, the only reliable means for verifying or refuting whether the official optical-scan count is the product of "significant fraud or mistake" is to have human beings publicly hand-count the paper ballots. To require proof of fraud or machine error before ordering a hand-count, or a forensic audit, is to put the cart before the horse.

Real issue is transparency

When it comes to elections, the word "fraud" is frequently invoked but rarely substantiated. Oh, there certainly have been instances where insider election fraud has been proven. See, for example, this site's coverage of the guilty verdicts handed down against high-ranking Clay County, KY election officials for multiple counts of felony election fraud. Those officials had illegally manipulated elections, including voting systems, for decades. But proving actual fraud is far too time consuming to be of any use within the context of the severely limited time constraints of a recount in a Presidential election. (In the Kentucky case, the guilty verdicts were handed down more than one year after the initial arrests).

When it comes to election integrity, the key issue is not to establish actual fraud, but to operate a transparent system that significantly reduces the opportunity that is afforded by e-voting systems for either hacking by outsiders or the rigging of the ultimate count by an insider. "I follow the vote," CIA cybersecurity expert Steven Stigall informed the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) during a 2009 presentation, "and wherever the vote touches electron and touches a computer, that's an opportunity for a malicious actor potentially...to make bad things happen."

When it comes to what Judge Goldsmith acknowledges is the "fundamental right" to an "accurate count," U.S. courts would do well to follow the lead of Germany's highest court, which, in 2009, banned all forms of e-voting. There the issue was not actual fraud but transparency. The court ruled that there is a "constitutional right to a public observed count" --- a right which would be denied by all forms of unverified e-vote counting, which, of course would include, optical scan tabulations as well as 100% unverifiable touch-screen (Direct Recording Electronic, or DRE) systems.

Earlier this year, Austria's Constitutional Court extended this core transparency principle to the counting of absentee ballots. The court went so far as to vacate the results of a Presidential election and to order a re-do of the election. Although, in that instance, the absentee ballots in question had been hand-counted, Austrian election officials had failed to comply with an election law requirement mandating two officials be present to personally observe the unsealing, opening and reading of the absentee ballots so as to insure a verified count.

The Austrian court ruled that the question as to whether someone illicitly manipulated the count "is of no relevance. All that a challenger need show is that the number of votes in which election officials failed to adhere to that nation's strict procedures is high enough that it may have altered the outcome."

If the U.S. truly aspires to genuine democracy, our courts should pay heed to the German and Austrian decisions. Whether or not there's sufficient time to overturn Judge Goldsmith's latest decision and to carry out a Michigan hand-count, his reasoning must be rejected as unsound. Anything less will serve to destroy a core pillar of our constitutional democracy.

* * *

Ernest A. Canning is a retired attorney, author, Vietnam Veteran (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968) and a Senior Advisor to Veterans For Bernie. He has been a member of the California state bar since 1977. In addition to a juris doctor, he has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science. Follow him on twitter: @cann4ing


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Brad Friedman <![CDATA['Reality is Just as Hackable as the Lab': 'Recount' Legal Battles in WI, PA, MI and FL (Yes, FL!): 'BradCast' 12/9/2016]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11957 2016-12-10T02:51:43Z 2016-12-10T02:51:43Z Florida Pennsylvania Clint Curtis BRAD BLOG Media Appearance National Security Wisconsin Paper Ballots Legislation Touch-Screen Vote Flipping Accountability Environment Barack Obama Harri Hursti Michigan EPA KPFK Donald Trump DHS Russia Climate change Jill Stein Election 2016 BradCast HBO Recount 2016 Scott Pruitt VR Systems Eric Schneiderman Dept. of Energy 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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]]> Brad Friedman <![CDATA[Evidence? What Evidence?: 'Recount' Stopped in MI, Stein Appeals MI, PA, WI: 'BradCast' 12/8/2016]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11955 2016-12-09T02:22:43Z 2016-12-09T02:22:43Z ES&S Election Irregularities Election Reform Pennsylvania BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Election Fraud Wisconsin Paper Ballots Legislation Touch-Screen Vote Flipping Exit Polls Mainstream Media Failure Environment Hillary Clinton Democrats Republicans Michigan EPA KPFK Donald Trump North Dakota Oil Extreme weather Green Party Jill Stein Election 2016 BradCast Arctic Dakota Access Pipeline Recount 2016 On today's BradCast, our coverage of what suffices in the U.S. as a Presidential election "recount" continues, in no small part, because someone has to cover what is actually going on there. [Audio link to show posted below.]

A federal court ruling [PDF] issued late yesterday in Michigan has effectively stopped the counting of paper ballots in the state following an earlier 3-Republican judge state court ruling that Green Party candidate Jill Stein is not an "aggrieved candidate" and, thus, not entitled to any type of "recount". Moreover, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith finds there is no federally recognized right to a "recount" and, in any case, Stein presented no "evidence of significant fraud or mistake" while asking for one. But, of course, how could she, without being allowed to examine the evidence in question? State Republicans described the suspension of ballot counting as "a victory for the taxpayers and voters of Michigan."

That, even as scores of precincts across the state --- hundreds in Detroit alone --- were deemed "unrecountable" by election officials under MI's horrible statutes disallowing the hand-count of votes when human error or computer vote tabulator failure leaves Election Night ballot totals off by as little as a single ballot, as compared to the number of names signed in to pollbooks. Even in just three days of counting before it's suspension today, many such precincts were found to be "unrecountable", despite totally unreconciled vote tallies.

"It is an outrage that the voters of Michigan are being denied their right to have their votes properly counted," rails longtime election integrity advocate and attorney John Bonifaz, one of those who initially argued to both Hillary Clinton and Stein that a post-election count was necessary. "Because of a partisan state appeals court decision, Americans will never know the truth about what happened in this election."

Bonifaz was joined by many longtime computer science and voting systems experts, such as Douglas Jones of the University Iowa, who warns today: "In a healthy democracy, elections are run with sufficient transparency that partisans of the losing candidate can convince themselves that they lost fair and square. Recounts in close elections are a necessary part of this transparency, particularly when the margin of victory is exceeded by an unusual number of ballots that were cast without reporting any vote in the election." Jones is referring to the 75,000 ballots in MI said to have no vote for President at all, nearly twice as many undervotes as reported in 2012, despite a 10,000 vote margin between Trump and Clinton in MI, where some 5 million votes were cast. That case is headed to MI's Supreme Court, where Stein is demanding two state Justices recuse themselves after being named by Donald Trump as potentially U.S. Supreme Court nominees.

In Pennsylvania, a similar, if even worse case of lacking "evidence" of fraud has served to block forensic analyses of the otherwise 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting and tabulation systems used across most of the state. Late Wednesday, Stein filed a new court challenge in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), seeking the type of examination that computer science and voting systems experts have been desperately calling for. A similar challenge was rejected yesterday in Philadelphia for...you guessed it...lack of evidence of fraud.

And in Wisconsin, observers of the ongoing counts and retallies are calling for a federal suit --- which, I'm told, could be filed on Friday --- seeking a statewide hand-count of paper ballots, after a state court previously found a new law passed by Republicans last year allowed most of the largest (and Democratic-leaning) counties to "recount" by the same computer scanners that initially tallied votes (either correctly or incorrectly). The computer tallies, and a number of other concerns revealed to date, have led some of those observers to describe the current process as a "farce", and declare: "The most urgent issue in America right now is to be able to confirm that every vote was counted fairly, accurately, and honestly, and if not, for patriotic Americans to raise bloody hell about it."

And so, we do. Even as the corporate media continue to misreport or ignore altogether what is actually going on in all three longtime "blue" states where just 3 votes per precinct recorded for Clinton instead of Trump would have meant that she, not he, would be considered the President Elect right now. Citizen oversight of election results matter. As simple as that should be, the struggle to achieve any such post-election oversight or verification, in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, is astounding and an outrage.

Also today, speaking of outrages and science ignored by corporate media and elected officials alike: Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on Trump's shocking choice to head the EPA, on another oil pipeline rupture --- this time not far from the contested Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota --- and temperatures in the Arctic are now from 35 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit warmer today than they normally are this time of year...

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]]> Desi Doyen <![CDATA['Green News Report' - December 8, 2016]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11954 2016-12-08T19:52:40Z 2016-12-08T19:52:40Z Montana Mainstream Media Failure Environment Republicans Green News EPA Natural gas Coal North Dakota Oil Climate change Oklahoma Water Mining Native Americans Arctic Dakota Access Pipeline

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Donald Trump picks climate science denier and fossil fuel industry tool to head EPA; Weather Channel smacks back at climate denial propaganda; It's official: sea ice at both poles falls to stunning record lows; PLUS: Another oil pipeline spill - this time in North Dakota - not far from the Dakota Access Pipeline... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Memo Outlines Planet-Killing GOP Energy Policy; More on Trump's Catastrophic Plan to Gut NASA's Earth Science; While Eyes Were On Standing Rock, The Dakota Pipeline Was Being Drilled Under Another Water Source; The Perfect Tide - Sea Level and the Future of South Florida; This fall was the warmest on record, 2016 will be at least second-warmest year; Trump AG Pick Introduced First Bill Exempting Fracking from Water Regulations; Soon-To-Expire Health Benefits For Coal Miners Are At The Center Of The Government Funding Fight; Nuclear plant 'overwhelmed' say inspectors... PLUS: Rapid Arctic ice melt sets the stage for economic disaster under Trump... and much, MUCH more! ...

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FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page

  • NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years:

  • ]]>
    Brad Friedman <![CDATA['Unrecountable' in MI, Blocked in Philly and Other 'Recount' 2016 News: 'BradCast' 12/7/2016]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11953 2016-12-08T02:00:21Z 2016-12-08T02:00:21Z Election Irregularities Election Reform Pennsylvania BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Election Fraud Rights And Freedoms Wisconsin Paper Ballots Legislation Touch-Screen Vote Flipping Environment Hillary Clinton Democrats Republicans Michigan Green News EPA KPFK Donald Trump Climate change Jill Stein Oklahoma Election 2016 BradCast Recount 2016 Scott Pruitt On today's BradCast, state and federal court rulings, shameful 'recount' laws and other outrageous obstacles preventing citizen oversight of Presidential election results in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and elsewhere. And, as if that's all not disturbing enough, wait until you hear who Trump is reportedly tapping to head up the Environmental Protection Agency! [Audio link posted below]

    Our "Recount" 2016 coverage continues today, on the heels of "dueling" federal and state court rulings on Tuesday night in Green Party candidate Jill Stein's fight to continue hand-counts in Michigan, hundreds of precincts across the state (including tens of thousands of ballots) are being declared "unrecountable" by state officials --- for often absurd reasons. We explain those rulings as we await what is likely to be a federal court order ending all counting in the state by tomorrow, despite Trump's razor thin 10,000 vote statewide margin of just one-tenth of one-percent over Hillary Clinton.

    Another court ruling comes down today against Stein's suit for a forensic analyses of 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems used in Philadelphia, prompting plans to seek same in state court. And the counting (and computer re-scanning) continues in Wisconsin, despite efforts by Team Trump to stop counting and oversight immediately in all three states.

    We're joined today by author, former attorney and longtime election integrity advocate Paul Lehto to discuss all of the above and much more, including how failed tabulation systems, woeful election law, and extraordinary legal challenges in at least six courts in three states to block all oversight is little more than an invitation for future fraud.

    On MI's "outrageous" law resulting in hundreds of "unrecountable" precincts in Detroit alone, Lehto charges: "All you need to do is add an extra ballot without adjusting the poll books, which makes it easier to do fraud or easier create an error. And that error or fraud is insulated from ever affecting the results. If somebody did want to do fraud, it's like a dream for them."

    "But here's the thing: it doesn't really matter, from the perspective of democracy, whether it's an error or whether it's a fraud. Because we're only interested in the true vote count," he tells me. "But in this case, Michigan law itself is protecting and creating 'safe harbor' for both errors and fraud."

    "Don't count on anything happening after Election Night," Lehto has long warned. "Why? Number one: everybody wants to avoid embarrassment. Nobody wants to be the next Florida. So everybody in the state government and the elections bureau is working really, really hard not to be embarrassed, and that's a non-partisan interest that really goes against transparency. The other thing is that 100 percent of all election law is made by election winners, who absolutely do not want their victories to be questioned. So that's another factor why you can never really count on getting good election laws for post-election remedies, because everybody that's voting on it is a winner and they don't want losers --- or what they would call 'sore losers' --- questioning their great victory. So basically that leaves democracy defenseless."

    As he describes the evolution of the Election Integrity movement over the past decade, Lehto concludes our system amounts to "basically: certify first, ask questions later." He says post-election audits or "recounts" are ultimately "not sufficient, no matter who you are. The only option is to get it right on election night."

    Also on today's show, in case you still don't believe elections and democracy matter: Trump will reportedly nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt --- a climate change denier, opponent of environmental regulations, and long-time fossil-fuel industry tool --- to head up the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
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    ]]> Brad Friedman <![CDATA[Failed Paper Ballot Scanners in Detroit Put MI 'Recount' at Risk: 'BradCast' 12/6/2016]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11952 2016-12-07T02:09:32Z 2016-12-07T02:09:32Z Election Irregularities Al Gore Election Reform Texas Pennsylvania BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Election Fraud Rights And Freedoms Wisconsin Paper Ballots Legislation Vermont Hillary Clinton Democrats Republicans Michigan KPFK Donald Trump Oil Wind Extreme weather Green Party Jill Stein Election 2016 BradCast Exxon Mobil Native Americans Dakota Access Pipeline Recount 2016 On today's BradCast, the latest breaking news on how broken optical-scan tabulation computers may have undermined the ability to count tens of thousands of ballots in Michigan --- specifically in or near Detroit --- and much more "recount" 2016 related news, even from Vermont! [Audio link to show is posted below.]

    With a reported margin of just over 10,000 votes for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in MI --- out of some 5 million votes tallied in the state --- the ability to hand-count tens of thousands of votes in Green Party candidate Jill Stein's federal court-ordered [PDF] "recount" may be at risk of "chaos" under state law, thanks to the failure of computerized paper-ballot optical-scanners which may have mistallied ballots in some fashion on Election Day.

    Hopefully, hand-counts can reconcile mismatches between poll book signatures and computer printouts from "610 of 1,680" precincts in Wayne County, which includes heavily Democratic-leaning Detroit, where "392 of 662" or 59% of precincts may now be uncountable. That's a major concern, obviously, not just due to the state's razor thin margin, but also, as Stein points out today, since some 75,000 ballots --- until now, completely unexamined by human beings --- were reported by the computers to have no vote at all for President. That's a 70% increase from 2012 in the number of ballots reported to have Presidential undervotes, a number that is more than seven-fold the margin of votes that could flip the state from Trump to Clinton.

    All of that as Team Trump ups their efforts in both state and federal court to stop the counting in MI entirely and as Stein pushes back in both court cases, including a move to force the recusal of two state Supreme Court judges named by Trump as potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees.

    Also, while a recent change to state law by Republicans in WI has resulted in many of the largest counties simply running paper ballots through the same computer scanners that tallied them (either correctly or incorrectly, who knows?) the first time in that state's "recount", it's not just Republicans who prefer unverified computer tallies over hand-counts. In Vermont, the will of the voters may never been known in two exceedingly close state legislative races, thanks to a 2014 state law supported Democrats, requiring that computers, not people, tally ballots during ongoing "recounts" there. Two incumbent Democratic lawmakers who supported the new law may now be undone by it, as one is set to lose a "recounted" race by just six votes, and the other is facing a tie, depending on whether two questionably marked paper ballots were tallied by the scanner or not. (I wonder how they could figure out if they were?)

    All of that may be good news to the Washington Post, however, which published an op-ed yesterday explaining why the authors believe, in contravention of computer scientists and voting systems experts, that "computers are better than humans at counting ballots." Of course, to know that for certain, the authors suggest...um...counting ballots by hand.

    Also on today's BradCast: Al Gore meets with Donald Trump to discuss Climate Change and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on the weekend's victory for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, on Trump reportedly eying Native American lands for energy development and Exxon Mobile's CEO for Sec. of State, and a bit of good renewable energy news out of Texas (of all places)...

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    ]]> Desi Doyen <![CDATA['Green News Report' - December 6, 2016]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11951 2016-12-06T19:17:27Z 2016-12-06T19:17:27Z Texas Mainstream Media Failure Environment State Department Green News Japan Donald Trump Natural gas Nuclear power North Dakota Oil Wind Climate change Extreme weather Exxon Mobil Water Mining Native Americans Dakota Access Pipeline

    IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Victory and temporary reprieve for the Standing Rock Sioux in long fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline; Trump advisors suggest privatizing oil-rich Native American lands; Exxon Mobil CEO could be next U.S. Secretary of State; Extreme rainfall events projected to increase five-fold across the U.S.; PLUS: Enormous cost of cleaning up Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster has doubled... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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

    IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Al Gore: climate change threat leaves 'no time to despair' over Trump victory; Canada's ruling Liberals count on math, time to survive pipeline uproar; Why Trump will struggle to save the coal industry; For Flint Residents, A Fog of Unanswerable Questions; Trump Can't Kill Solyndra Loan Office That Outperforms Banks; Texan who could lead Trump's EPA wants to end renewable energy subsidies... PLUS: Pope urges world leaders not to hobble climate change pact... and much, MUCH more! ...

    STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

    'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...


    FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page

  • NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years:
    • NASA climate change video: This is the U.S. in 2100 (NASA).



    • ]]> Brad Friedman <![CDATA[Stein Campaign Chief: 'Corporate Media Lied. We are Escalating Fight in PA': 'BradCast' 12/5/2016]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11950 2016-12-06T02:14:52Z 2016-12-06T02:14:52Z Diebold/Premier Election Irregularities Election 2004 Ohio Election Reform North Carolina Pennsylvania BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Election Fraud Wisconsin Touch-Screen Vote Flipping Mainstream Media Failure Environment Hillary Clinton Barack Obama Dept. of Defense Democrats Republicans Michigan Nevada KPFK Donald Trump North Dakota Oil Green Party Jill Stein Election 2016 BradCast Native Americans Pat McCrory Dakota Access Pipeline Dept. of Interior Roy Cooper Rocky De La Fuente Recount 2016 On today's BradCast, we cover an enormous amount of news, breaking and otherwise, on both the Presidential "recount" story in three different states, as well as the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. And we speak to Green Party candidate Jill Stein's campaign manager, David Cobb, about the ongoing and "escalating" legal battles and fights for citizen oversight of election results in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. [Audio link to show posted at bottom of article.]

      First today, the latest on the breaking news over the weekend in the story of the denial of a permit for the controversial pipeline in ND, where thousands of native Americans have been protesting for months against its construction near tribal lands. On Sunday, in a huge victory, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied an easement to Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners that would have allowed them to complete the pipeline by building on disputed land near and beneath Lake Oahe, the Standing Rock Sioux's source of drinking water. The victory, while monumental --- even as the protests and violent attempts by law enforcement to stop them have been almost entirely ignored by mainstream corporate media --- may be short-lived, depending on legal actions and decisions made by the next President. Desi Doyen joins us for the latest.

      At the same time, over the weekend, the corporate media was busy misreporting and misleading the legal maneuvers of Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein, who has dropped just one of the statewide voter-initiated suits demanding a PA "recount", in favor of a federal filing [PDF] today, on Constitutional grounds, seeking federal intervention for a statewide count and forensic analysis of 100% unverifiable voting systems used there. Stein and her attorneys held a press conference and rally today outside of Trump Tower in Manhattan, to explain the efforts.

      Also, a federal judge this morning ordered [PDF] the state of Michigan to being counting ballots today, after successful maneuvers by Team Trump delayed the start of that effort late last week and had hoped to further delay or deny citizen oversight of results entirely. MI's Attorney General (a Trump supporter) falsely argued in his filing and during an unusual emergency hearing in federal court on Sunday, that the count might endanger the state's Electoral College votes. U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith ordered the counting to begin at noon today, however, finding that any further delay "would likely violate [plaintiffs'] right to vote under the First and Fourteenth Amendments" and that "there is a credible threat to the voters' right to have a determination made that Michigan's vote for president was properly tabulated." The MI GOP has vowed to appeal both the federal and state cases against counting ballots.

      My guest today, Stein's campaign manager David Cobb, the Party's 2004 Presidential nominee --- who, himself, called for the partial statewide count that happened after that year's Presidential contest in Ohio --- joins us to discuss the latest developments in the ongoing counts and court cases in all three states, and to explain why Stein and the Green Party "are demanding integrity in the election system."

      In PA, he explains (as we long have as well), that "there is no way to properly verify the DRE --- direct recording electronic --- equipment, otherwise correctly known as 'black box voting'. It's terrible to begin with and they should never be used. ... The real gain here is forensic experts getting an opportunity to get their hands on these machines --- and that is exactly what we are seeking in all three states --- but, in Pennsylvania, in federal court specifically, because of the completely outrageous system of recount provisions in the state." (To get an idea how horrific they are, check out my interview with VotePA's Marybeth Kuznik from last week, or read today's filing [PDF] in federal court.)

      "I really want to underscore," he tells me, "we are escalating the fight into federal court in Pennsylvania precisely because the Pennsylvania laws are so horrible."

      "These black box voting machines are hackable," he continues. "If any nefarious individual can get their hands on them, there are ways to manipulate them. That's the reason it's so important to have these forensic studies done. So that we can literally verify the vote. What is Donald Trump afraid of?"

      We also discuss the efforts of the Green Party going back to Cobb's own attempted "recount" in Ohio, when two top election officials in the state's largest county, Cuyahoga (Cleveland), were found guilty and sentenced to the maximum sentence in prison for having rigged the 2004 Presidential "recount".

      "We are demanding that every vote counts, so count every vote! It's just that simple. At the end of the day, if we do not have confidence in the election system, we cannot have confidence in our government itself," he argues.

      Finally, speaking of counting votes (or not), North Carolina's abhorrent Republican Gov. Pat McCory has announced he is giving up his own battle for a statewide recount (which we supported) and has conceded the race to the state's Democratic candidate Attorney General Roy Cooper, becoming the first Governor to lose a re-election bid in state history...

      Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
      [See post to listen to audio]

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      ]]> PDiddie <![CDATA[Sunday Toons, of Trolls and Recounts]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11949 2016-12-04T14:41:17Z 2016-12-04T14:41:17Z Toons

      Troll-in-Chief inadvertently makes SNL's point

      * * *

      Perry Dorrell blogs as PDiddie at Brains and Eggs, usually on topics concerning the strange brew of Texas politics. He's also on Twitter @PDiddie.


      ]]> Brad Friedman <![CDATA['Recount' 2016 Looking Like 'Recount' 2000 as Team Trump Files to Stop Counts in WI, MI, PA: 'BradCast' 12/2/2016]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11948 2016-12-03T01:57:51Z 2016-12-03T01:57:51Z Election Irregularities Election Reform Pennsylvania Election 2000 BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Election Fraud Rights And Freedoms U.S. Constitution Wisconsin Paper Ballots Legislation Touch-Screen Vote Flipping Republicans Michigan U.S. Supreme Court Bush Legacy KPFK Donald Trump Herman Cain Venango County Green Party Jill Stein Election 2016 BradCast Recount 2016 On today's BradCast, Team Trump takes a page from the George W. Bush 2000 playbook by attempting to stop the "recounts" in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, just as his margin over Hillary Clinton plummets in PA. [Audio link to show follows below.]

      Over the past 24 hours, Donald Trump or his surrogates have filed multiple legal complaints in three different states in an effort to stop the "recounts" (hand-counts, machine counts and/or forensic analyses of computerized voting and tabulation systems) as lawfully sought by Green Party Presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein. As the Stein camp noted today, the sudden interest by Team Trump comes as Trump's margin over Hillary Clinton has dropped from about almost 70,000 votes to about 46,000 votes (out of some 6 million tallied) as PA counties finally complete their initial tallies. The Stein camp notes today: "With his margin of victory in the state nearly halved as of last night, and now within 0.2% of triggering an automatic statewide recount, Donald Trump is desperately fighting to stop the recount in Pennsylvania." His attorneys filed a suit [PDF] late Thursday to dismiss her filings in the Keystone State.

      He is also attempting, somewhat successfully, to stop hand-counting from moving forward in MI, where he reportedly leads Clinton by just over 10,000 votes out of about 5 million tallied, including more than 75,000 ballots with no vote reported for President at all, many of those cast in or near Detroit. That figure, Stein charges, "is double the number [of undervotes] from 2012." After Trump filed an objection to the "recount" request in MI last night --- claiming that a count would "risk having the Electoral College door knocked off its hinges" and delaying the start of counting for as many as five days --- the state Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Trump supporter, filed a separate complaint [PDF] today on behalf of the state in federal court, seeking to prevent votes from being counted as well. His claim supports Trump's objection filed yesterday and argues that counting ballots is "frivilous" and is meant by Stein to delay final certification of the results. She describes his action as "nothing more than party politics that needlessly delays what should be a routine verification of the democratic process."

      In Wisconsin, pro-Trump outfits calling themselves the Great America PAC and the Stop Hillary PAC filed a complaint [PDF] in federal court to immediately stop the counting of ballots, which is now in its second day in the Badger State. That complaint, citing Bush v. Gore from 2000, argues that counting ballots violates the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the U.S. Constitution and "may cast an unjustified pall over the election of President-Elect Trump, undermining public confidence in the integrity of the electoral process." Sounds familiar, ironic and, yes, hypocritical.

      Just before airtime today, a federal Judge in Wisconsin denied the plaintiffs' motion in that case seeking an immediate restraining order to halt the ongoing counts, but has set a hearing on the matter for December 9th. For her part, Stein, pushing back, has announced a press conference for Monday, December 3, across from Trump Tower in Manhattan.

      So, why are Trump and the GOP against verifying election results? We discuss that, the ongoing and not-ironic-at-all fight of the GOP Governor in North Carolina to verify his own election results(!) and much more, including Desi Doyen and her latest Green News Report, on today's BradCast!...

      Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
      [See post to listen to audio]

      * * *
      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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      ]]>