The BRAD BLOG http://bradblog.com Because it's not about Right or Left, it's about Right and Wrong! Sat, 17 Nov 2018 04:12:27 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.0.2 en 'Blue Wave' Still Growing Despite GA Guv Election Setback, Suppression: 'BradCast' 11/16/2018 http://bradblog.com/?p=12796 http://bradblog.com/?p=12796#comments Sat, 17 Nov 2018 02:45:28 +0000 Brad Friedman Election Irregularities Fox 'News' Florida CNN California Election Reform Georgia BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Election Fraud Rights And Freedoms U.S. Constitution Journalist Intimidation Accountability U.S. House U.S. Senate Voter Registration Vote Caging Democrats Republicans Bill Nelson Nancy Pelosi Vote-by-Mail KPFK Donald Trump Rick Scott Extreme weather BradCast Election 2018 Brian Kemp Stacey Abrams Jim Acosta Katie Porter http://bradblog.com/?p=12796 It was another very busy day on today's BradCast, as news breaks out of Georgia and California --- and seemingly everywhere else --- though we finally found at least a moment to take some stock of the midterm elections and what they portend, nearly two weeks after Election Day. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Before we get to elections and politics, however, there are horrifying new numbers today out of the ongoing, climate change-fueled wildfires in California. Officials now say that more 60 are known to have been killed, but on Thursday evening they also raised the number of those still unaccounted for amid the record Camp Fire in Northern California to a staggering and gut-wrenching 631. [Update: Just before posting this here, officials in Northern California increased the death toll, announcing 71 dead with more than an unfathomable 1,000 now said to be unaccounted for!]

Then, a Trump-appointed federal judge orders the White House to immediately restore press credentials to CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta.

Next, another midterm election victory is called by AP and others for Democrats in what had long been solidly Republican Orange County in California. Katie Porter, an unapologetically progressive Elizabeth Warren protégé, is now said to have defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Mimi Walters in the heart of what was once known as "Reagan Country", in the state's 45th Congressional district. Walters had easily won reelection by a huge 17% margin just two years ago, but now becomes the third of Orange County's four U.S. House members to see their seat flipped to a Democrat. The fourth seat, in CA's 39th Congressional district, is very likely to be called for Democrat Gil Cisneros over Young Kim any day now.

As of air time, Dems have reportedly picked up a net gain of 36 seats for their new House majority, though that number may still climb to 38 or even 39 seats as votes are tallied in the last of the undecided House races.

Meanwhile, in Florida today, statewide "hand counts" --- or what suffices for them in the Sunshine State --- continued on a ridiculously abbreviated schedule through Sunday in the state's U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and GOP Gov. Rick Scott, who is said to lead by 0.41%, or just over 12,000 votes out more than 8 million cast.

The partial "hand count" in the Senate race moves forward after full "machine recounts" in three of the state's largest and most Democratic-leaning counties were rejected by Scott's Sec. of State. In Palm Beach, the County's old computer scanners could not physically tally fast enough to meet the Thursday 3pm deadline at the end of just five days. In Hillsborough County, the second machine count differed from the original count by more than 800 ballots, so the first count will be used (whether it's right or wrong, nobody knows.) And in Broward County, state officials rejected their new count because it was uploaded to the Sec. of State's office two minutes after the 3pm deadline. Seriously.

As a source in Palm Beach told me earlier today about the impossible timelines instituted by state Republicans: "These deadlines they codified into law set up big counties to fail. How a county like ours (population 1.3 million) has the same deadline as a county like Liberty County (population 8400) is beyond me. Five days isn't enough, a week isn't enough, two weeks isn't enough. This is done by design. Why? The biggest counties are blue counties and they don't want those votes counted. It's not complicated."

And, in Georgia, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams announced that her Republican opponent Brian Kemp would be the winner of their very close and contested election, thanks in no small part to the extraordinary voter suppression he has implemented over the past eight years during his tenure as Secretary of State.

"Let's be clear: This is not a speech of concession because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper," Abrams said in a speech to supporters, while denouncing Kemp's outrageous record as the state's chief election official. "As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede that."

At the same time, she also announced she is forming a new organization --- Fair Fight Georgia --- that will sue Kemp and the state for "gross mismanagement" of the election as she declared "the law currently allows no further viable remedy" to overcome what many now see as a stolen election in the Peach State.

Finally, we're joined by the great HEATHER DIGBY PARTON of Salon and Hullabaloo, to try and help us make sense of these past two tumultuous weeks since the midterms. We discuss the Dems' extraordinary (and under-appreciated) "Blue Wave", how it has clearly served to throw Trump into a dark emotional spiral while exposing him yet again as a con-man, even to many of his supporters, and how some Democrats appear to be taking the rightwing Fox "News" bait in hoping to block Nancy Pelosi's likely return as House Speaker and leader of the Congressional Democratic caucus in January...

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

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]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12796 Florida 'Machine Recount' Extension Denied, 'Hand Recounts' to Begin: 'BradCast' 11/15/2018 http://bradblog.com/?p=12795 http://bradblog.com/?p=12795#comments Fri, 16 Nov 2018 03:03:55 +0000 Brad Friedman Election Irregularities Florida Election Reform Georgia BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Rights And Freedoms Accountability U.S. House U.S. Senate Voter Registration Democrats Republicans Bill Nelson Vote-by-Mail Maine Ranked choice voting EPA KPFK Climate change Rick Scott Extreme weather BradCast Election 2018 Brian Kemp Stacey Abrams Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Andrew Gillum Ron DeSantis Jared Golden http://bradblog.com/?p=12795 On today's BradCast: Good news for Democrats out of Maine, a mixed bag (at best) out of the Florida "recounts", and more shameful news from Georgia's illegitimate Governor's race...

First up, a federal judge in Maine allowed computer vote counting to continue today under the state's new Ranked Choice Voting scheme, denying a Constitutional challenge, for now, by an incumbent Republican Congressman. With the computer tally allowed to move forward based on the RCV algorithm, two-term GOP Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who won the first tally (but without receiving a majority of first choice votes), is said to have been defeated by Democrat Jared Golden after the second choices of voters who had selected other candidates for the first choice were then added to the totals until one candidate, the Dem in this case, received a majority of votes.

If you're confused by that, it's just one reason why I've long been no fan of Ranked Choice Voting (sometimes called Instant Runoff Voting). Nonetheless, Golden's reported win results in a total pick-up, so far, of 35 U.S. House seats for Democrats, with several more undecided races pending that is likely to boost their "blue wave" to as many as 39 new seats in Congress.

A federal judge in Florida on Thursday observed that the state's elections have become a "laughingstock" which state officials "choose not to fix". He's right. In fact, the Republicans who have run the state for years now have chosen to make voting and counting ballots accurately --- and in a way that the public can know they've been counted accurately --- just about as difficult as humanly possible. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker issued an order today finding Florida's absentee ballot "signature matching" scheme to be unconstitutional. The order allows some 4,000 voters whose Vote-by-Mail or provisional ballots had been rejected due to certain signature issues a few more days to try and cure those problems in their counties by Saturday at 5pm.

Sen. Bill Nelson's campaign, however, in his razor-thin re-election contest with Gov. Rick Scott, had wanted those ballots added to the count sight unseen. (Scott is appealing the ruling nonetheless.) With the explosion of Vote-by-Mail across the country, signature matching problems are becoming a big concern, particularly with votes cast by younger voters who use computers and don't develop personal signatures and for older voters whose signatures have changed over time. Add to that the problem of the awful computer touchscreens used to record those signatures at DMVs and polling places.

In a separate case today also brought by Nelson's campaign, Judge Walker denied an extension for statewide "machine recounts" in the U.S. Senate and Governors races across the state, despite the absurdly short statutory deadline to complete them by today. That, even after Palm Beach County --- one of the state's largest Democratic strongholds --- explained that they were physically unable to complete their "recount" even for only the U.S. Senate race due to their aging and failing computer tabulators which overheated during the process and can only tally one race at a time.

Immediately following the end of the "machine recount," Scott's Secretary of State ordered what suffices for a "manual hand-count" in Florida to begin in the U.S. Senate race, where the margin remains less than 0.25% percent. That limited hand-count of ballots for which the computer scanners reported no vote in the U.S. Senate race must be completed by Sunday --- another arbitrarily short deadline that seems designed to stymie a real hand-count of votes.

The reported 0.41% margin of Republican Ron DeSantis over Democrat Andrew Gillum in FL's Governor's race remains too large to merit an automatic hand count. But, given the "systematic machine failure during the machine recount" in Palm Beach, Democrats filed a new lawsuit today seeking a full hand count of all votes cast in the County.

In Georgia, meanwhile, more counting of absentee and provisional ballots ordered by federal courts to be included in the tallies continued, as Republican Gubernatorial candidate and vote suppressor Brian Kemp called again for counting to end. He remains just 0.22% above the mark that would trigger a December runoff with Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams. Her campaign continues to decry Kemp's horrific administration of the election while Secretary of State, and many outside the state --- including Ohio's Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown --- now see a Kemp victory, if it happens, as illegitimate. Brown went so far as to say: "If Stacey Abrams doesn’t win in Georgia, they stole it. I say that publicly, it’s clear."

The maddening story of 92-year old African-American voter Christine Jordan's fight to even cast a provisional ballot this year in Georgia (after voting in the same place for the last 50 years!), underscores that argument, as we discuss today.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, with grim news on the rising death toll in California's record wildfires, some accountability for a top EPA official who was arrested today, and new Democrats in the U.S. House are already moving for bold action on climate change...

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

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]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12795 'Green News Report' - November 15, 2018 http://bradblog.com/?p=12793 http://bradblog.com/?p=12793#comments Thu, 15 Nov 2018 19:26:55 +0000 Desi Doyen California Alabama Environment Democrats Nancy Pelosi Green News EPA Climate change Extreme weather http://bradblog.com/?p=12793

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Death toll continues to rise as California wildfires rage on, and state officials grapple with preparing for tomorrow's disasters; Climate change may impact male fertility; Regional EPA official indicted on corruption charges; PLUS: New Democrats push old guard to take bold action on climate change... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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

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

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Part of the answer to climate change may be America’s trees and dirt; Solving microplastic pollution means reducing, recycling—and fundamental rethinking; The wheels on these buses go round and round with zero emissions; Spraying poisons, chasing ghosts; Hail Mary plan to restart a hacked US electric grid; The good and bad of the steep drop in oil prices; In Yellowstone National Park, warming has brought rapid changes; Scientists acknowledge key errors in study of how fast the oceans are warming; Natural gas industry keeps pushing to whittle away payments to residents... PLUS: 12 years after mocking Al Gore’s fight against climate change, South Park reconsiders... 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 a comprehensive roundup of daily environmental news you can trust, see the Society of Environmental Journalists' Daily Headlines page


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:

  • ]]>
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    Lawsuits Flying in Florida's 2018 'Recount' Mess: 'BradCast' 11/14/2018 http://bradblog.com/?p=12792 http://bradblog.com/?p=12792#comments Thu, 15 Nov 2018 02:32:18 +0000 Brad Friedman ES&S Election Irregularities Florida CNN California Election Reform Georgia BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Journalist Intimidation U.S. House U.S. Senate Democrats Republicans Bill Nelson Vote-by-Mail Al Franken KPFK Donald Trump Rick Scott BradCast Ken Detzner Election 2018 Emmanuel Macron Brian Kemp Stacey Abrams Andrew Gillum Ron DeSantis Jim Acosta Josh Harder http://bradblog.com/?p=12792 On today's BradCast: The electoral dysfunction --- and the fight to count every vote anyway --- continues today in Florida and Georgia, along with some new good news for Democrats elsewhere. At the same time, of course, the dysfunction of Donald Trump's White House never ends. [Audio link to full show is posted below.]

    After a quick update today on several thousand newly tabulated votes in Georgia (most of which were for Democrat Stacey Abrams in her uphill battle for Governor against Republican vote suppressor Brian Kemp), we start today with news that another U.S. House seat has flipped from "red" to "blue" in California. As the counting continues in the Golden State, the AP and others declared first-time Democratic candidate Josh Harder the winner over four-term Republican U.S. Rep Jeff Denham in the previously GOP-leaning Central Valley.

    That brings Dems to a 33-seat pickup, so far, in U.S. House contests this year. A number of other races in previously very Republican areas of California, such as Orange County, have already been declared as flipped to Democrats, with several others still undecided but trending towards Democrats. Those remaining undecided House races and a few in other states could ultimately result in a massive "Blue Wave" as large as 39 new seats in Congress, by my count, as votes from the November 6th midterms continue to be tallied.

    In Florida, however, as the state's 67 counties scramble to complete an unprecedented three statewide computer "recounts" in the U.S. Senate, Governor and Agriculture Commissioner races (not to mention several other state legislative and local races) by this Thursday at 3pm, dozens of lawsuits are being filed in state and federal courts.

    We cover some of the most notable today, including incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson's suit to extend the arbitrary "recount" deadline set for Thursday. At least one county, Democratic-leaning Palm Beach, has already said that it will be physically impossible to complete all of the machine rescans there in time, thanks to their aging computer tabulation system which can only scan one single race on 300 ballots at a time. Making matters still worse in the state's third most-populous county, those scanners reportedly overheated this week, leading to mismatched tabulations for the first batch of 174,000 ballots scanned (of some 700,000 total). That means that batch will need to be re-rescanned.

    And all of that before a similarly absurd statutory Sunday deadline to complete any subsequent so-called "manual recounts" in races such as Nelson's U.S. Senate contest against Republican Gov. Rick Scott, where the margin is less than 0.25 percent. (It's currently reported to be just 0.13%, or 12,562 votes out of more than 8 million cast.)

    Nelson has asked a federal court to extend the deadlines in all 67 Florida counties and, in separate filings, seeks to force a review of tens of thousands of absentee vote-by-mail ballots rejected across the state due to claims of signature mismatches and other unspecified "voter-caused error". Scott's hand-picked Sec. of State Ken Detzner is opposing those suits, and Scott has filed several of his own to try and halt the ongoing tabulation.

    But not all Republicans oppose extending the deadlines and counting of all ballots, as we also note today, even as most of them, including the President of the United States, are calling for "recounts" to end and incomplete tallies reported from last weekend --- just days after the Tuesday midterms --- to be certified instead. (Friendly reminder here that Republicans held up a statewide hand-count in the 2008 U.S. Senate race in Minnesota for eight months in order to keep Al Franken from being seated in the Senate until July of 2009!)

    Then, we're joined by BradBlog.com legal analyst ERNEST A. CANNING for the latest on the lawsuit filed by CNN this week (and supported by Fox "News" of all outlets!) against the White House for their removal of press credentials for White House Correspondent Jim Acosta. Not only is the White House in violation of the Constitution's First and Fifth Amendments, the complaint alleges, but the White House and Secret Service also reportedly blocked Acosta from a planned interview with French President Emmanuel Macron last weekend at an event marking the centennial of the WWI Armistice. That, even though the interview was approved by France...and Trump failed to even show up at the event!...

    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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    ]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12792 CNN Pushes Back, Files Legal Action Against White House to Restore Acosta Press Credentials http://bradblog.com/?p=12790 http://bradblog.com/?p=12790#comments Wed, 14 Nov 2018 18:05:33 +0000 Ernest A. Canning CNN Rights And Freedoms U.S. Constitution Journalist Intimidation France U.S. Supreme Court CBS Emmanuel Macron Sarah Huckabee Sanders Jim Acosta http://bradblog.com/?p=12790 On Tuesday, CNN, along with its Chief White House Correspondent, Jim Acosta, filed a federal complaint alleging President Donald J. Trump and high level White House personnel, including Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the U.S. Secret Service, violated their First Amendment free press rights to access White House press facilities.

    They also allege the Trump administration violated their Fifth Amendment rights to due process when, without notice or a compelling reason for doing so, the White House rescinded Acosta's press credentials and seized his "hard pass" following a contentious November 7 Presidential press conference.

    The complaint goes on to charge that the news organization's First Amendment rights were violated a second time on November 9, when Acosta traveled to France to cover the President's visit and to interview French President Emmanuel Macron during the centenary events commemorating the end of World War I. "The Secret Service refused to allow Acosta to attend an allegedly 'open' press event whose attendees included journalists from around the world," according to the CNN complaint. They did so even though "the French government issued credentials to Acosta." (Ironically, as they also note, Trump did not attend the event "due to inclement weather.")

    Citing both facts and case law, the CNN complaint sets forth the argument that the President's actions against both Acosta and the news outlet amounted to an unlawful "attempt to censor the press and exclude reporters from the White House who challenge or dispute the President's point of view". However, that compelling argument, which is now supported by the White House Correspondents' Association, the ACLU and even by Fox "News", may not carry the day at the District Court level given that the case has been assigned to Judge Timothy J. Kelly, a Trump appointee...

    Press right to White House access

    In Sherrill v. Knight (1977), the DC Circuit Court of Appeal held that "access [to White House press facilities] may not be denied arbitrarily or for less than compelling reasons". The appellate court further ruled that, prior to revoking White House press credentials, the press must be afforded the "opportunity to rebut" the ostensible White House reason for the revocation.

    That right of access cannot be denied simply because the President is disturbed by hard-hitting questions. To the contrary, as observed by the CNN complaint, citing two Supreme Court cases, New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) and Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell (1988):

    The Framers of our Constitution embraced "a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasant sharp attacks on government and government officials" ... The President lacks the authority to quash "the sort of robust political debate encouraged by the First Amendment ... that is critical of those who hold public office."

    Pretext vs. real reason

    As CNN argues in both the complaint and a Nov. 13 article, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has essentially abandoned her initial claim that Acosta's credentials and hard pass were revoked because he had "placed his hands" on a staffer when she tried to seize a microphone out of his hand --- a point she sought to support by posting an InfoWars-doctored video on Twitter. That rationale, according to CNN's article, was "widely mocked and dismissed by journalists across the political spectrum." Now, the official White House position is that Acosta "physically refused to surrender the White House microphone to an intern."

    (The pertinent video (see below) reveals that Acosta, who did not place his hands on the intern, asked the President one additional question, before handing the microphone over to the intern.)

    CNN argues that the real reason why the White House seized his hard pass and rescinded his credentials is that Trump simply did not like being cornered by Acosta about his specious claim that a caravan of unarmed Central American asylum seekers, (unarmed parents and children still hundreds of miles away), could appropriately be described as an "invasion".

    The complaint cites numerous instances in which the President has demeaned multiple media outlets as "Fake News" and "enemies of the people", and includes an admission made by Trump when interviewed by Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes, concerning his true purpose for attacking the media and demeaning reporters:

    You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.

    Judge Kelly, on an expedited schedule, gave the defendants until 11:00 a.m. Wednesday to file their responses. He has scheduled a hearing for 3:30 p.m. Stay tuned...

    * * *

    UPDATE 11/16/18: Based solely upon what he determined to be a denial of 5th Amendment due process rights, Judge Kelly issued a temporary restraining order which directed the White House to temporarily reinstate Acosta's press credentials pending a later ruling on CNN's and Acosta's First Amendment claims, according to Politico's Jason Schwartz.

    Schwartz reported that Kelly was troubled by the White House's "shifting rationale" for its decision and that Kelly regarded the 1977 DC Circuit Court of Appeal decision in Sherrill to be a controlling precedent. In Sherrill, the appellate court held that the White House may not deny press access "arbitrarily or for less than compelling reasons".

    In confirming that the White House would immediately reinstate Acosta's "hard-pass", Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated:

    We will also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future. There must be decorum at the White House.

    One suspects that whatever rules for decorum the White House comes up with, they will not prevent the President from rudely interrupting and/or berating reporters whenever they ask a question that he would prefer not to answer.

    * * *

    Video containing pertinent moments of the Nov. 7 White House press conference follows...:

    * * *
    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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    New Court Rulings Favor Voters Amid Election Count Fiascos in FL, GA: 'BradCast' 11/13/2018 http://bradblog.com/?p=12791 http://bradblog.com/?p=12791#comments Wed, 14 Nov 2018 02:33:44 +0000 Brad Friedman Election Irregularities Florida California Election Reform Arizona Georgia BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Rights And Freedoms Journalist Intimidation U.S. Senate Voter Registration Vote Caging Bill Nelson Vote-by-Mail KPFK Donald Trump Climate change Rick Scott Keystone XL BradCast Election 2018 Brian Kemp Melania Trump Stacey Abrams Martha McSally Kyrsten Sinema Andrew Gillum Ron DeSantis Jim Acosta http://bradblog.com/?p=12791 The Trump dumpster fire continues at the White House today, with CNN filing a lawsuit to restore White House press credentials for White House correspondent Jim Acosta, fresh rumors of top Administration officials about to be axed, and a "stunning" public call from the First Lady to fire National Security Advisor John Bolton's top deputy. But it's still the ongoing dumpster fires in Georgia and Florida that we focus in on once again on today's BradCast, as Democrats and voting rights advocates fight to ensure all legitimately cast ballots are tallied and the results are accurately recorded and reported. [Audio link to full show is posted below.]

    With the news out of Arizona late last night night that the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Republican Jeff Flake has most likely been won by Democrat Kyrsten Sinema over Republican Martha McSally, many have lauded the GOP Congresswoman's gracious concession video Monday night, even as Trump and the RNC were reportedly pressuring her to advance phony claims of fraud and miscounts in the race. To her credit, she did not take the bait. But that's likely only because she still hopes to be appointed by the Governor to the state's other U.S. Senate seat in the coming months.

    Meanwhile, in Florida, an unprecedented three statewide "recounts" are now underway (as we discussed in detail on yesterday's BradCast), with Republicans holding diminishing leads in both the U.S. Senate and Governor's race. Those so-called "recounts" must be completed by Thursday November 15th. But, as our guest yesterday, Ion Sancho (who oversaw the state's 2000 Presidential "recount") explained, it will be physically impossible for paper ballot tabulation computers in Palm Beach County to finish the job before the state's absurdly short and largely arbitrary deadline this week.

    Today, a state judge in Leon County, FL extended that deadline for Palm Beach --- one of the state's most populous and Democratic-leaning counties --- until November 20th. (Note: I incorrectly called it the most populous on today's show. I mispoke. It's the third most populous in the state.) Will similar court orders for other counties, such as Broward, be far behind? If not, the incomplete results tabulated by last Saturday, November 10th, just days after the Tuesday midterm elections, will be used in the final results, according to state law.

    Will Republicans file a federal challenge to today's state court order? GOPers have been repeating their Florida 2000 playbook which successfully robbed voters of a legitimate count (and, likely, Democrats of a Presidential victory) that year. Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Donald Trump have been offering up evidence-free charges of "fraud" in the vote count and ginning up protests outside tabulation centers. So, a similar federal legal challenge may not be far behind if the numbers keep narrowing against Republican Gov. Rick Scott in his Senate race against incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, and against Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis in his gubernatorial contest against Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum.

    At the same time, in Georgia, the federal courts continue to find in favor of voting rights advocates. On Monday night, a federal judge ordered the state to hold off on certification of election results and to review the voter registrations of those forced to vote by provisional ballot. The judge in the case brought by Common Cause Georgia said the state must create a website or telephone hotline for provisional voters to learn whether their votes had been counted or rejected --- with detailed reasons for the rejection and an opportunity to cure whatever is said to be have been the cause of it --- before Friday.

    In a separate case today, brought by the Coalition for Good Governance and the National Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights, a different federal judge granted an emergency ruling to stop the unlawful rejection of Vote-by-Mail absentee ballots in Gwinnett County, GA based only on missing information such as a voters birth date. The judge found the state's process to be in violation of the federal Civil Rights Act.

    We're joined today by Common Cause GA Executive Director SARA HENDERSON to try and make sense of the continuing dumpster fires in the state set ablaze by Republican vote suppressor Brian Kemp who resigned his position as Secretary of State last week after declaring victory in his race for Governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams --- even as the fight continues to tally thousands of uncounted or rejected absentee and provisional ballots. Kemp is reportedly leading the race with 50.24% of the vote, less than one-quarter of one percent above the 50% mark that would trigger a December runoff between him and Abrams.

    Henderson explains that, thanks to the disastrous way Kemp has run the election, as well as how the state's electoral system has been allowed to whither over the past several decades, it's virtually impossible to know how many uncounted or incorrectly tabulated ballots remain across the state. "This whole circus that we're witnessing is just a product of years and years of defunding elections," she tells me.

    Finally, we're joined by Desi Doyen with our latest Green News Report on the horrific and record-breaking wildfires in California, and the latest federal court rejection of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline...

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

    * * *
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    ]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12791 'Green News Report' - November 13, 2018 http://bradblog.com/?p=12788 http://bradblog.com/?p=12788#comments Tue, 13 Nov 2018 19:16:53 +0000 Desi Doyen California Environment Dept. of Justice Los Angeles Green News Donald Trump Oil Climate change Extreme weather Keystone XL Jerry Brown Native Americans http://bradblog.com/?p=12788

    IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Northern California's record-breaking Camp Fire now the most destructive, and the most deadly, in state history; State investigating utilities' role in sparking latest round of deadly wildfires; Kids' landmark climate lawsuit against the federal government placed on hold, again; PLUS: Judge halts all work on controversial Keystone XL pipeline... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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

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    IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Climate research scrapped from goals in EPA draft plan; A Democrat ran on climate change in a Republican stronghold—and won; US climate politics just got even more polarized. Here’s how Democrats can move forward; Amid global outcry, China decides not to legalize rhino horn; Zinke is the cabinet official most vulnerable to Democratic probe, White House fears; Americans voted overwhelmingly to protect wild places; New Mexico weighs options for reusing oil and gas wastewater; Canada eyes new ways to move stranded crude... PLUS: Why is the Gulf of Maine warming faster than 99% of the ocean?... 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 a comprehensive roundup of daily environmental news you can trust, see the Society of Environmental Journalists' Daily Headlines page


    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:

  • ]]>
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    FL 2000 'Recount' Chief: State 'Cannot Physically' Complete Three 'Recounts' by Thursday Deadline: 'BradCast' 11/12/2018 http://bradblog.com/?p=12787 http://bradblog.com/?p=12787#comments Tue, 13 Nov 2018 02:39:44 +0000 Brad Friedman ES&S Florida California Election Reform Election 2000 Arizona Georgia BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Election Fraud Paper Ballots Legislation U.S. House U.S. Senate Democrats Republicans Bill Nelson Vote-by-Mail Bush Legacy KPFK Donald Trump Rick Scott Extreme weather BradCast Election 2018 Brian Kemp Dana Rohrabacher Broward County Stacey Abrams Martha McSally Kyrsten Sinema Andrew Gillum Ron DeSantis Harley Rouda http://bradblog.com/?p=12787 The Florida election official so well-respected by Republicans and Democrats alike in 2000 that he was tapped to oversee that year's historic Presidential "recount" between George W. Bush and Al Gore in Florida (until it was stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court), tells us today that it is likely impossible for the state to complete three statewide recounts --- for U.S. Senate, Governor and Agriculture Commissioner --- in time to meet the state's ridiculously arbitrary statutory deadlines. Run by Republicans for decades, the state "puts a premium on speed", rather than accuracy, ION SANCHO, the 28-year former Leon County (Tallahassee) Supervisor of Elections tells me on today's BradCast. "This is, by no means, a system geared toward finding the truth." [Audio link to show follow below.]

    Sancho explains how it is currently unlawful to add any vote to the totals as based on a hand examination of ballots by human beings, as he details the process now officially under way in the Sunshine State for a machine "recount" in the gubernatorial race between Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis (who, the computers report, leads by about 0.41%) and a supposed "manual" count in the U.S. Senate contest between incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and term-limited FL Gov. Rick Scott (which Scott is said to be leading by 0.15%, or less than 15,000 votes out of more than 8 million cast.) Sancho details how even in a "manual" count in FL, ballots are first fed through tabulation computers and only ballots determined by the computers to be over- or undervotes are then re-examined. But, even those ballots are, yes, "remade" by officials onto a fresh ballot paper so that it can can then be run through a computer tabulator.

    Given the limitations on the so-called high-speed tabulation systems made by companies like ES&S, still used across the state --- which only accept "300 ballots at a time" --- the scanners used in counties like heavily Democratic-leaning Palm Beach "cannot physically do this job" before statutory deadlines run out. All ballots must be "recounted" by Thursday (even though overseas and military votes aren't due until this coming Saturday!) It's a system, Sancho describes, that was put in place before the very popular no-excuse absentee Vote-by-Mail system was allowed in Florida, along with provisional voting and other election practices that require time-consuming ballot-by-ballot evaluation to determine whether it's eligible for tabulation in the first place.

    As noted on today's program, Florida will have "counted" and "recounted" its ballots (correctly or incorrectly, we will never know) less than a week and a half after last week's midterms, several weeks before California even announces completion of its initial count in early December.

    All of this, as Scott and even the President of the United States are falsely charging election fraud is ongoing in the state's two largest counties (Broward and Palm Beach), despite a complete lack of evidence to support any such claims. Scott's own Secretary of State and Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement --- who Scott oversees and who both have authority to oversee elections and election crimes in all 67 Florida counties --- concede they have no evidence to support the GOP claims. Sancho also responds to the "laughable" charges of "fraud" being made by Scott and the "truth-free statement" tweeted by Trump on Monday morning, which falsely claims that "ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged" in Florida.

    A couple of points worth underscoring here, as the Republicans have been busy dusting off their 2000 playbook to lie about "fraud" occurring in Palm Beach and particularly in Broward, in hopes of shutting down the tabulation of legitimate ballots altogether, once again, in Florida: 1) Brenda Snipes, the Supervisor of Elections in Democratic-leaning Broward County, which has had a number of election failures over the years, was appointed by Republican Gov. Jeb Bush in 2003; 2) Current Republican Gov. Rick Scott appointed his hand-picked Sec. of State Ken Detzner, who has tasked officials from his own office to oversee Broward's election office this year; 3) Nobody from Detzner's office or Florida Law Enforcement has seen or alleged any criminal wrong doing in the county. None of that, however, has prevented GOPers from claiming otherwise.

    "Everybody's vote needs to be given the same weight," Sancho, a longtime election integrity champion who has taken on both the state and the voting machine companies argues during today's conversation. "It shouldn't depend upon whether you're in a competent or incompetent jurisdiction. Your vote should count if you cast them properly and you've made no errors."

    Also today: Desi Doyen on California's horrific, deadly wildfires which have, to date, killed 31 across the state with hundreds more still unaccounted for; Georgia's Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, in a still too-close-to-call race against GOP Sec. of State and notorious vote-suppressor Brian Kemp filed a new lawsuit over discarded absentee and provisional ballots on Sunday; Democrat Kyrsten Sinema appears to have defeated Republican Martha McSally to win the the U.S. Senate being vacated by Republican Sen. Jeff Flake in Arizona; And 15-term Orange County, CA Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher has reportedly been unseated by Harley Rouda in one of the state's most GOP districts. That would bring the net pickup for Democrats in the U.S. House to 32, with results for more than ten seats in CA and elsewhere still said to be too close to call...

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

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    ]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12787 Sunday 'VFW' Toons http://bradblog.com/?p=12786 http://bradblog.com/?p=12786#comments Sun, 11 Nov 2018 14:22:42 +0000 PDiddie Toons http://bradblog.com/?p=12786


    (as always, click it to big it)

    "How (were) you feeling (last Wednesday) morning?"

    (More answers to this question here.)

    * * *

    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.


    ]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12786 Election Battles Raging On in FL, AZ, GA: 'BradCast' 11/9/2018 http://bradblog.com/?p=12785 http://bradblog.com/?p=12785#comments Sat, 10 Nov 2018 03:07:11 +0000 Angie Coiro Election Irregularities Florida CNN Election Reform AP Arizona Georgia Voting System Certification Election Fraud New York Times Voting Technologies International Journalist Intimidation Environment FBI NPR Democrats Republicans U.S. Supreme Court Los Angeles Wall Street Journal Donald Trump Keystone XL BradCast Germany Civil disobedience Ruth Bader Ginsburg Election 2018 Robert Mueller Sarah Huckabee Sanders ACLU Stormy Daniels/Stephanie Clifford Michael Cohen Stacey Abrams David Pecker Jim Acosta http://bradblog.com/?p=12785 On today's BradCast, I’m in for Brad and Desi today – Angie Coiro, of In Deep with Angie Coiro.

    My guests are AMBER McKINNEY, from Law360, discussing the DACA ruling from the 9th circuit and Trump’s latest royal edicts on immigration; and D.D. GUTTENPLAN, editor-at-large at The Nation, and author of the new book The Next Republic: The Rise of a New Radical Majority.

    Of course, we have to start off with a lovely story: the Wall Street Journal reports that Donald Trump's been caught red-handed, connected directly to the hush money sent to former mistresses.

    Then it's onto the two ongoing big stories: horrific fires in Northern and Southern California, and the elections grinding on in Florida, Arizona, and Georgia. Both the NAACP and a passel of retired generals have weighed in against GOP interference.

    A review of the numerous headlines on Trump's efforts to alter immigration policy by presidential proclamation, and his loss in the 9th Circuit court on his efforts to undercut DACA.

    A sprinkling of good news (Ruth Bader Ginsberg already back and work! Thousands in the street protecting Mueller!), then D.D. Guttenplan with his new book on revolutionaries rejuvenating our republic.

    Download MP3 or listen 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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