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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Kochs' Chris Christie; Wingnut Marriage Meltdown; 'Most Important Climate Ruling':
'BradCast' 6/30/15
Guest: Michael B. Gerrard of Columbia's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law...
'Green News Report' 6/30/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
SCOTUS nixes mercury pollution rules; Christie jumps in, we tell you his position on climate; Coal plant cleaned up in Navajo Nation; PLUS: Solar plane's dangerous Pacific crossing...
Previous GNRs: 6/25/15 - 6/23/15 - Archives...
The Good, Bad and SCOTUS Ruling on AZ Redistricting: 'BradCast' 6/29/15
Former AZ state legislator Ted Downing; Plus: much more on latest SCOTUS rulings...
Sunday Toons: Flags & Fits
Both supremacy and Supremes are at issue in PDiddie's collection of the week's best (and most iconic) political toons...
'A More Perfect Union': 'BradCast' 6/26/15
An extraordinary end to an extraordinary week. Mike Rogers of Raw Story joins us to discuss the landmark SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality and how we got here...
MARRIAGE EQUALITY FOR ALL
The U.S. Supreme Court finally recognizes what The BRAD BLOG has for more than a decade. Because rights ultimately win and haters ultimately lose...
Scalia Lies (Again); And 2014's Last Election Contest: 'BradCast' 6/25/15
Dr. Laura Pressley, Austin City Council candidate, explains why she's challenging her 100% unverifiable 2014 election...
'Green News Report' 6/25/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Jindal's in! Here's his weird climate position; Deadly heat in Pakistan; New studies see climate change as 'catastrophic' for health; PLUS: Landmark ruling in Netherlands...
Previous GNRs: 6/23/15 - 6/18/15 - Archives...
Vexillology! Why Flags Matter:
'BradCast' 6/24/15
Annie Platoff, flag expert from North American Vexillological Association explains it all for you! (Even flags on the moon!); Plus: Callers, Trump surge & more!...
TRUMP-MENTUM!
Republican's newest Frankenstein Monster and billionaire real estate developer surges into 2nd place in NH GOP Primary poll! Not to say 'we told ya so' or anything...
Sanders Destroyed Fed Chair Greenspan in 2003
Years before the economy would collapse, then-Rep. Bernie Sanders unloaded on the Fed Chair during a Congressional hearing. Years later, Alan Greenspan admitted he was wrong...
Fox 'News', Bill O'Reilly and
All Their Racist Viewers: 'BradCast' 6/23/15
Sean McElwee of Demos on his new study; More (positive) fallout from Charleston; (Some) Senate Dems help move TPP forward...
'Green News Report' 6/23/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Repubs in bind after Papal encyclical on climate; Massive algae bloom shuts down West Coast fisheries; May 2015 hottest on record; PLUS: Goodbye, American Eastern Cougar...
Previous GNRs: 6/18/15 - 6/16/15 - Archives...
Race, Guns, Flags, Terrorism and the Right's Quickly Changing Politics of Denial: 'BradCast' 6/22/15
Historic GOP flip-flops and Fox's 'pathological denial' w/ Eric Boehlert of Media Matters...
Sunday Toons:
Identity Crises Edition
This is now getting really strange. And 'PDiddie' has the week's collection of toons to prove it...
RW Domestic Terror in SC & Beyond; Big Govt GOP in TX; 'BradCast' 6/19/15
The 2009 DHS report Repubs hope you've forgotten; Plus: Adam Briggle of Frack Free Denton on GOP banning fracking bans and democracy in TX...
Sanders on 'Democratic Socialism'
'Bernie-mentum' begins to show itself in the polls as Sanders' message is heard on 'Late Night', beginning a challenge to nation's woeful 'democracy deficit'...
Evangelical Response to the Pope's Climate Encyclical: 'BradCast' 6/18/15
Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox, Repub CEO of Evangelical Environmental Network; PLUS: Latest on SC church massacre; Limbaugh's lie about the Pope...
'Green News Report' 6/18/15
The Pope's unprecedented call for climate action; The Right predictably freaks out about it; India goes solar in a big way; PLUS: Trump's running, thinks global warming is a hoax...
GOP's World of Trump: 'BradCast' 6/17/15
Has Trump blown up the GOP primary? Is he more than just a joke? Is he the Frankenstein Monster created by 40 years of Reaganism and Fox 'News'? Callers weigh in on that, Bernie Sanders and more!...
RW Radio Rescues Limbaugh in Boston
More wingnut welfare and Heart-less abuse of our public airwaves for corporate profit as Premiere radio uses it's corporate-owned station to save the failing Rush...
The GOP's New 'Frankenstein's Monster': 'BradCast' 6/16/15
Heather Digby Parton on Trump as 'culmination of 30 years of American Dream propaganda' by the Right; Plus: 'Dickensian' Kansas; Politifact fail...
TRUMP: THE CANDIDATE
Sure, he's a clown and the latest to get into the 2016 GOP clown car. But 'misunderstimate' his candidacy at your own peril...
'Green News Report' 6/16/15
Jeb Bush finally jumps in; Hillary Clinton pushes for renewable energy; Shell's Arctic drilling rig escapes Seattle; PLUS: The Pope's summer blockbuster, coming soon to a planet near you...
'Pope Francis: The Encyclical' (The Movie)
The Pope kicks climate ass, takes climate names...
'Citizens United' Ain't the Half of It: 'BradCast' 6/15/15
Rove, Republicans & the lawsuit against the utterly broken FEC with guest Craig Holman of Public Citizen. Plus: Jeb jumps in (don't think about Dubya!) and Hillary launches...
Sunday Toons: Help Wanted Edition
Where the jobs are (and aren't); TPP; Climate change; McKinney, TX; and the Jurassic World of GOP politics...
THIS is What's the Matter With Kansas: 'BradCast' 6/12/15
Guest Matthew Menendez says he's 'never seen anything like' Gov. Sam Brownback's amazing, new decree; Plus: Progressives block TPP 'Fast-Track' (for now)...
TX GOP's War on Voting While Female
After Hillary Clinton called out former TX Gov. and 2016 GOP hopeful Rick Perry for his support of discriminatory voting restrictions, a NH voter makes another good point...
Oversight, Transparency, Journalism & FOIA on Trial in U.S. House: 'BradCast' 6/11/15
VICE News reporter Jason Leopold on his U.S. House testimony and more; Also Tamir Rice news, call to stop TPP & poor Rick Santorum...
'Green News Report' 6/11/15
MSM challenges Santorum on science denial; G7's expiration date for fossil fuels; NASA's new tool to view future climate effect; PLUS: Denier group's secret donors...
Rep. Sherman Slams TPP: 'BradCast' 6/10/15
California Dem tells Brad why the proposed agreement 'continues worst trade policies in history of mammalian life' and why he believes Obama is living 'in a cloister'...
Limbaugh's Wingnut Reprieve in Boston?
After being dumped from his decades long radio home, wingnut welfare may ride to the rescue to return the controversial extremist to a market which rejected him...
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...

Guest: Michael B. Gerrard of the Sabin Center for Climate Change...
By Brad Friedman on 6/30/2015 5:38pm PT  

Today on The BradCast...NJ Gov. Chris Christie is officially in! He's running for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination with the slogan: "Telling Like It Is".

But was he telling it like it was when he secretly snuck out of New Jersey in 2011 to secretly give the keynote address at the Koch Brothers secret billionaire summit in Vail, Colorado, as we reported exclusively here at BRAD BLOG and at Mother Jones that year?

We'll tell you the real truth that Christie didn't and won't. And we'll play a bit of the secret audio tapes of Christie and David Koch (calling him "my kind of guy"), that we'd obtained and published at the time. (Read/listen to all the Koch Tapes stories, with audio and transcript, right here: BradBlog.com/KochTapes)

Also, wingnuts - from Cruz to O'Reilly to Huckabee and beyond --- melt down following last week's Supreme Court rulings on marriage and "Obamacare". After picking such stupid fights in the first place, what would you expect? We enjoy laughing at them.

Then, we're joined by attorney Michael B. Gerrard, director of Columbia University's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, to discuss yesterday's Supreme Court ruling striking down the EPA's rule limiting mercury and other pollutants from coal-fired power plants (he explains a silver lining there), and the arguably even bigger news out of the Netherlands last week, where a court responded to a citizen lawsuit by ordering the Dutch government to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"I would say this is the most important decision on climate change law outside of the United States ever issued," Gerrard explains about the first-of-its-kind, landmark ruling. "Assuming that it stands, it is an extremely important decision."

Finally today, a bit of breaking news out of Cuba and then Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report on all of the above and more...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Guest: Former AZ state legislator Ted Downing...
By Brad Friedman on 6/29/2015 4:19pm PT  

It was another big day of decisions out the U.S. Supreme Court today, their last one of the session.

So, on today's BradCast, we cover the new SCOTUS rulings knocking down the EPA's rule limiting mercury and arsenic emissions by coal-fired power plants (the health of the citizenry be damned); allowing the beastly use of a certain type of drug in executions (while opening the door to a Constitutional challenge to the Death Penalty); and upholding [PDF] the Arizona voter referendum requiring an "independent" commission carry out Congressional and state redistricting, rather than the state Legislature, as perfectly Constitutional.

On that last ruling, a very important one in a number of ways, we speak today with Ted Downing, former AZ state legislator and the first head of its state Electoral Integrity Commission. While he agrees with me the decision was very good for the nation, for several key reasons, Downing, formerly a Democrat, now an independent, has quite a few concerns about the "so-called independent" redistricting commission created by the state's 2000 voter referendum. Downing explains the "huge conflict of interest" in the structure of that commission which, he says, is completely "rigged" in favor of the Republican and Democratic parties.

Plus: More Trump-mentum, and even more Bernie-mentum, as both of those 2016 candidates continue to surge in New Hampshire polling! All of that and more on today's BradCast...

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Guest: Mike Rogers of Raw Story...
By Brad Friedman on 6/26/2015 4:13pm PT  

Today's landmark SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality was an extraordinary end to an extraordinary week. So, that what I was more than happy to cover on today's BradCast.

Rights win again, as the U.S. Supreme Court finally declares marriage equality to be a fundamental right to Americans in all 50 states in the union. We discuss the 5-4 opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, its Constitutional basis, its fallout, its dead enders, and how we predicted it years ago --- even as the GOP was using "gay marriage" as a politicized weapon back in the 2004 elections.

Our guest is Raw Story's Mike Rogers, who, as a journalist, has been helping to lead the way in this fight for years and served as the inspiration behind Kirby Dick's 2009 documentary film, Outrage, "a searing expose of the secret lives of closeted gay politicians".

Rogers credits the Internet and the first-hand coverage of cases that it allowed, for shifting American opinion so quickly on the issue. It "gave us the opportunity to do the most important thing, which is to tell the stories in our own voices," he explains. "America hearing from those folks, and being able to more creatively use the media and the web --- to be able to move those stories of people with kids, people with spouses, people who were widowed like Jim Obergefell in his case, and what it will mean for him and his family now that his marriage is recognized in Ohio --- that happened because of a shifting change in the media. Change doesn't happen without that."

Mike has also been a long-time friend of the blog and the show, having joined us for our "Big Gay Hour" episodes years before such things were done in polite company over our nation's public airwaves. Plus: Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, to take us into the weekend. Enjoy the show!

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/26/2015 11:29am PT  

Not to say "we told ya so," but...well...

In February of 2004, in the 15th article we ever posted to The BRAD BLOG, in a short piece headlined "Gay Marriage. Done Deal." we wrote rather presciently (even if we say so ourselves) and seemingly against all odds at the time: "The wall seems to be finally coming down, and the GOP and DNC are as powerless to stop it as East German Chancellor Erich Honecker was to stop the Berlin Wall from toppling in '89."

While the institutional barriers erected against marriage equality didn't fall quite as quickly as the Berlin Wall was finally toppled, today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling [PDF] in Obergefell v. Hodges, determining that marriage is a fundamental Constitutional right in all fifty states in the union, came faster than almost everyone had could have predicted, certainly 11 years ago.

In September of 2010, in the midst of some seemingly dark days for the nation, but even as the first of many federal court cases began to reveal the utter moral bankruptcy of the case against equal rights for all, we reminded readers once again that rights always win and haters always lose...eventually.

Here's what we wrote at the time...

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

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Guest: Dr. Laura Pressley, Austin City Council candidate...
By Brad Friedman on 6/25/2015 5:16pm PT  

On today's BradCast...The U.S. Supreme Court announces its decision [PDF] in King v. Burwell, a case that would have gutted the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare"). As usual, Justice Scalia, on the losing side once again, displayed his extraordinary hypocrisy in his dissent to a case that was stupid to begin with. I explain on today's show.

Then, the last election challenge of 2014 (as far as we know): Dr. Laura Pressley joins me explains why it's impossible to know whether the results of her runoff election for Austin City Council were accurately tabulated on the 100% unverifiable electronic voting systems used in Travis County, across much of the state of Texas and across much of our country.

"We're not just fighting this for our single city council district race. This is a bigger issue," Pressley explains. "Elections have to be verifiable. Candidates need to have the right to question and ask for validation. This is a tenet of our democracy."

Pressley charges that the unverifiable Hart-Intercivic eSlate voting systems actually violate the Lone Star state's own elections laws, even as they clearly undermine overseeable democracy. Remarkably, she says she is now facing a potential court fine of $100,000 for simply bringing her challenge, following some rather disturbing irregularities on the voting systems during her runoff and a complete inability to recount thousands of in-person electronic ballots despite an exact tie on the Vote-by-Mail paper ballots.

Her case was dismissed in state court, but she is appealing the decision and tells me: "One of the comments [in court] was, we needed to be punished as a candidate for challenging these electronic voting systems and that the sanctions should reflect a punishment to deter other candidates from bringing this forward."

Plus: Fox 'News' discovers that electronic voting systems can be hacked; Texas continues preparation to survive its impending take-over by the U.S. government. All on today's BradCast!...

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Guest: Annie Platoff of the North American Vexillological Association; Plus: Callers, Trump surge & more!...
By Brad Friedman on 6/24/2015 5:22pm PT  

As the Confederate flag falls, once again, across the South, in the wake of the Charleston AME church terrorist attack, flag expert Annie Platoff of the North American Vexillological Association (yes, there is such a thing!) joins us to a question I've had all week on The BradCast: Why so much passion about a piece of colored cloth?!

I understand why people want the Confederate Battle Flag taken down. But I have much less understanding of why people are so passionate and emotional about wanting it, or any other flag, to be raised in the first place --- at least outside of a military context.

Platoff, who, in addition to being a flag expert is also a librarian at UCSB, explains the history of flags, their symbolic importance, and why they inspire such passion --- both for and against. She also tells us about the Apollo mission flags, which are still on the Moon, and about which wrote a paper when she worked as a lunar/Mars librarian at NASA. (She's also an expert on Russian flags and discussed their history and use in more recent context, both after the fall of the Soviet Union and during the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.)

Also on today's BradCast: A whole lot of breaking news on a whole lot of stuff, including Donald Trump's surge into 2nd place in the GOP 2016 race in New Hampshire (told ya so!); Listener/callers weigh in on the controversial Confederate flag and more; Plus: Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report!...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/24/2015 1:07pm PT  

You people scoffed --- scoffed! --- when I suggested (along with Heather Digby Parton) that Donald Trump could end up doing very well among the GOP base in the Republican 2016 primary race for President...

Who's scoffing now?

He’s dismissed by the political professionals, but there is no denying that the appetite for Donald Trump among Republican primary voters is real.

The New York developer and reality television star is second among 2016 presidential candidates in a new Suffolk University poll of New Hampshire Republicans – behind only former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

The poll of 500 likely GOP presidential primary voters found 14% back Mr. Bush. Mr. Trump is right behind at 11%. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio come next, with 8% and 7%, respectively.

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Guest: Sean McElwee of Demos...
By Brad Friedman on 6/23/2015 4:52pm PT  

Fallout continues --- much of it surprisingly encouraging, thankfully --- following last week's racist terrorist shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

In its wake, I spoke to Sean McElwee of Demos on today's BradCast about his new study comparing the racist views of white Fox 'News' viewers versus white non-Fox 'News' viewers, and self-identified "conservative" Fox 'News' viewers with "conservatives" who don't watch Fox.

He describes the findings as "a deep indictment of the way that Fox News portrays the news." The analysis also examines whether regular viewers of Fox' The O'Reilly Factor are more racist than Fox 'News' viewers who do not regularly watch O'Reilly. The results, as they'd say on The Factor, will shock you! (Or not.)

"It's very clear that Fox News is playing on the racism and the latent racial resentment of many whites in the country," McElwee tells me. "You can see that on their coverage of the 'ground zero mosque'. You can see that on their coverage of the Trayvon Martin case. It's very clear." But does that racist coverage rub off on their viewers or vice versa? We discuss, you decide.

Also on today's show, several Senate Democrats help Republicans and President Obama move "Fast Track" authority for TPP and other trade deals forward in Congress; FEC Commissioners are not 'persons', according to the FEC; And an update on the federal case against postal worker Douglas Hughes, who landed his gyrocopter at the U.S. Capitol in April (our interview with him at the time is right here) in hopes of bringing attention to the need for campaign finance reform...

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Guest: Eric Boehlert of Media Matters for America...
By Brad Friedman on 6/22/2015 5:51pm PT  

News events are now moving very quickly following the terrorist shooting last week at Charleston, SC's Emanuel AME Church. On today's BradCast, we do our best to bring you up to date if you made the mistake a taking a few minutes off over the weekend!

Politicians (Republican ones, particularly those running for President --- but even one or two in the Obama Administration) are now being forced to flip their previous positions at lightning speed, even as the state's Republican Governor Nikki Haley announced today that she is calling for the South Carolina legislature to remove the Confederate Flag --- a long time symbol of slavery, rebellion, divisiveness and hatred --- from the grounds of the state capitol.

But we'll get you up to speed on the rapidly "evolving", all-new positions from Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, Ben Carson and many others.

In the bargain, Fox 'News' and all of the politicos and pundits who swear allegiance to it, now find their ideological walls closing in on them, after years of being mired with "pathological denial" on all of the very topics the SC shooting tragedy highlights (and many more.) Eric Boehlert of Media Matters for America joins us to talk about it all on today's BradCast.

Also, we begin to catch up on a few items we've had to push off due to last week's breaking events...

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Guest: Adam Briggle of FrackFreeDenton.com...
By Brad Friedman on 6/19/2015 4:53pm PT  

Remember that 2009 Dept. of Homeland Security report about Rightwing Domestic Extremism that Republicans forced the Obama Administration to retract?

We do --- once again --- on today's BradCast, particularly in the bloody wake of this week's domestic terrorist attack at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church. For some reason, Rightwingers don't want to remember that report, much less describe this week's attack at "terrorism". Wonder why. And so does Jon Stewart.

Then, speaking of extremist Republicans, the state of Texas has overruled a voter-approved ban on fracking in the city of Denton and declared such local control illegal. TX Gov. Greg Abbott actually says, with a straight face, that, in fighting for fossil fuel industry profits over people, he's protecting private property rights from the "heavy hand of local regulation." (Yes, he actually said that.)

Adam Briggle of FrackFreeDenton.com joins us to discuss how Denton hopes to fight the GOP's Big Government attack on democracy, local control and private property rights across the state --- ya know, all that stuff Republicans like to pretend they believe in.

"The industry went to the legislators that they have bought and paid for, and they wrote a new law for them to change the rules," Briggle tells me. "They just bought a new law that changed the standards by which you evaluate the constitutionality of local ordinances."

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, on the Pope's climate encyclical and Donald Trump's global warming denialism...

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Guest: Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network; Plus: Latest on the South Carolina AME church massacre...
By Brad Friedman on 6/18/2015 5:08pm PT  

We start today's BradCast with the latest grim news out of Charleston, South Carolina after Wednesday night's horrific gun massacre at the historic African Methodist Episcopal Church --- and word that the suspected gunman has now been apprehended.

Then, things brighten up a bit with our coverage of the landmark encyclical on the environment, as issued today by Pope Francis, who calls for "a bold cultural revolution" in response to the moral imperative of fighting climate change "due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases released mainly as a result of human activity."

My guest to discuss it is Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox, President and CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network.

Hescox, a Republican who has testified before Congress and spoken at the White House, offers his key takeaways from the Pope's historic 184-page teaching letter and explains his organization's fight for climate action, and how other evangelicals and fellow Republicans must once again join the fight. "We see ourselves as a bridge between many Republicans," he tells me, "to help them understand that climate change is not about polar bears. It's about our children. It's not about a future event. It's about what's happening now."

"We do have to have a price on carbon," Hescox explains. "There is no ifs, ands or buts in anybody's mind that the fossil fuel industry has put the cost of fossil fuel energy into the lives of each of our children and they've taken the profits. And, as a conservative, that's not fair. That's not even true market economics."

He believes "a Republican cannot win the White House unless he talks about climate change" and that it's "something which the Republican Party has to deal with." Hescox tells me he hopes ("prays", actually) that the Pope's encyclical "will be another step forward in empowering the world to act together to solve what we like to say is the greatest moral challenge of our generation."

Plus: After Rush Limbaugh pathetically attempts to smear Pope Francis as a "Marxist" for hoping to save humanity, we offer definitive, irrefutable, water-tight evidence that the extremist rightwing radio host is an unrepentant liar and hypocrite on the topics of both climate change and "Marxism"...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/17/2015 5:34pm PT  

So, did Donald Trump just blow up the GOP primary? Is he more than just a joke? Is he the Frankenstein Monster created by 40 years of Reaganism, Fox 'News' and the Tea Party as we charged (along with Heather Digby Parton) on yesterday's BradCast? Could he actually win the Republican nomination and...gasp...the White House?

On today's BradCast, callers weigh in on 'Trump World' and other 2016 game changers like Bernie Sanders.

Plus: Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, on Jeb and Hillary's climate strategy (or lack thereof, in one of those cases) and the Pope's upcoming, highly anticipated (and satirized) environmental encyclical...

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Heather Digby Parton on Donald 'The Candidate' Trump, 'the culmination of 30 years of American Dream propaganda' by the Republican Party...
By Brad Friedman on 6/16/2015 3:41pm PT  

As I suggested earlier today, I believe Donald Trump just blew up the 2016 Republican Presidential primary, and maybe even the 2016 general election.

All bets are off, now that, as our guest on today's BradCast, Heather 'Digby' Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabalo explains, the very embodiment of the misbegotten Reaganist American Dream --- and a TV star, at that --- has entered the contest for the Republican nomination.

Born a millionaire, Trump "became a billionaire, which is really kind of the ultimate American Dream. In fact, it's the only American Dream now," Parton opines. "You're a billionaire or your not and anything less than that is, you're kind of a loser."

Am I right when I argue that media and political pundits who disregard him as a clown (which he is), "misunderestimate" Trump's candidacy at their own peril? Parton, a 2014 Hillman Foundation Prize winner for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, seems to believe I could be. After all, she notes, "this is the culmination of about 30 years of propaganda" that folks like Reagan, Fox "News" and Roger Ailes put in place.

Trump "is channeling the GOP id," she says, adding: "The grand metaphor of this era, is Frankenstein's monster getting out of control. And that's what happened on the Right. And Donald Trump is another manifestation of that particular metaphor coming to life."

Plus: Speaking of misbegotten Reaganists, how Gov. Sam Brownback's Kansas has officially become "a Dickensian nightmare"; And Politifact fails again in rating Hillary Clinton's facts about the voting rights records of her opponents...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/16/2015 11:45am PT  

From Charlie Pierce at Esquire [emphasis added]...

[T]his is the day in which the denizens of the epistemically closed hallucinatory menagerie of the political right become reality. The conjuring words finally have worked. The black spirits of the conservative imagination walk the landscape, making news.

Donald Trump, [will] actively pretend to run for president this time around, and ... announced his intentions in a speech that apparently was written by elves who learned English 20 minutes before Trump walked on stage.

"Politicians are all talk, no action. Nothing is going to get done. They will not bring us, believe me, to the promise land. They will not. I've been on the circuit making speeches and I hear my fellow Republicans - and they're wonderful people, I like them! They all want me to support them! - ... I watch the speeches of these people and they say, 'The sun will rise, the moon will set! All sorts of wonderful things will happen!'"

Personally, I think saying that the sun will rise and the moon will set are two of the easiest campaign promises to keep ever.
...
Trump's vaguely paragraph-like globs of words were shot through with magical spells. There's this doctor he knows who doesn't like the Affordable Care Act. There's this manufacturer he knows who's having trouble with China. They all call Trump --- perhaps through his bridgework, perhaps not --- and unburden themselves on him because they know that Trump is the person who can solve their problems because he is a problem-solver on the art of the deal, the four bankruptcies notwithstanding.

He is the inevitable result of 40 years of political conjuring, mainly by Republicans, but abetted by far too many Democrats as well. He is the inevitable product of anyone who ever argued that our political institutions should be run "like a business." ... He is the inevitable product of anyone who ever argued why the government can't balance its books "the way any American family would." He is the inevitable result of the deregulated economy that was deregulated out of a well-cultivated wonder and awe directed at the various masters of the universe. Sooner or later, all of this misbegotten magical thinking was going to burp up a clown like Donald Trump.

Only quibble with Pierce here: Trump is not "pretend[ing] to run" for President. He's actually running. And anybody who 'misunderestimates' what the Republican Party has become at this point --- who they would actually nominate as their standard bearer and, by extension, who they might actually be able to get "elected" in the US of A in 2016, through any means necessary --- does so at their own peril...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/15/2015 10:01pm PT  

With Pope Francis' encyclical on climate change due later this week --- and wingnuts freaking out about it (talking to you, Rick Santorum) --- this parody video is pretty Popin' brilliant...

By the way, fun fact to keep in your back pocket this week: Pope Francis, back when he was just Jorge Mario Bergoglio, likely received more training in science than any of the folks running for President this year. He graduated from technical school as a Chemical Technician.

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