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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, May 27, 2016
A Minimum Income and Maximum Infrastructure?: 'BradCast' 5/26/16
Guest host Angie Coiro with Dave Johnson of Campaign for America's Future; Plus: Historians on the Trump/Hitler comparison...
L.A. County Clerk Explains 'Uncharted Territory' of CA Primary: 'BradCast' 5/25/16
Guest: L.A. Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan; Plus: Orange County, CA pollworker-in-training w/ viral video calls in...
Why Dems Should be BEGGING Sanders to Stay in Through CA: 'BradCast' 5/24/16
Guest: Washington Monthly's David Atkins; Plus: Sanders files for 'recanvass' in KY and very good news for OH voters!...
'Green News Report' 5/19/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Canada insurers call for climate strategy; Pakistan and India heat wave; Renewables record in Portugal; Exxon killed the electric car; PLUS: Trump preps for rising seas (really!)...
Previous GNRs: 5/19/16 - 5/17/16 - Archives...
Think Twice About 'Bernie or Bust': 'BradCast' 5/23/16
Columnist and Sanders supporter Harold Meyerson offers some historic warnings for other Sanders supporters; Also: More bad polls for Clinton; More bad 'track conditions' for Dems; Planet's climate crisis worsens...
Sunday Toons of the Slowly-Realized Moment
A number of toons in PDiddie's collection of this week's best should be prize winners, frankly. Check them all out...
Jill Stein: 'We're Seeing the Dean Scream of 2016': 'BradCast' 5/19/16
The Green Party's 2012 Presidential nominee and 2016 candidate offers thoughts on Dems, Sanders, the 'two-party system', the 'spoiler effect' and more in our exclusive interview...
'Green News Report' 5/19/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump will toss UN climate pact; Coal export terminal halted in WA; Nestle water plant halted in OR; Duke ordered to close coal ash pits in NC; PLUS: Another climate win for kids in MA...
Previous GNRs: 5/17/16 - 5/12/16 - Archives...
OR, KY Results, And 'Fraud' Concerns Examined (Where Possible): 'BradCast' 5/18/16
Also: Climate disaster in Sri Lanka; CT adds automatic voter registration; KS ordered to restore voting rights to 18,000...
Trump Gains on Clinton; Big Win Against Coal in WA State: 'BradCast' 5/17/16
Sierra Club's Mary Anne Hitt on another huge win for grassroots activism; And corporate media fails us again...
'Green News Report' 5/17/16
Global climate protests ignored by MSM; New evacuations for Ft. McMurray fire; New EPA methane rules; Shell spills in Gulf; A win for whales; PLUS: April 2016 hottest ever...
MO Repubs Seek To State Amendment To Impose Photo ID Voting Restrictions
Some state Dems back 'compromise' that will leave 200k legally registered voters at risk of disenfranchisement...
SCOTUS Punts ObamaCare Case; NV Dems Descends Into Chaos: 'BradCast' 5/16/16
Ian Millhiser on Court's latest unprecedented (post-Scalia) move; Chaos at NV state Dem convention...
Sunday Toons of the Moment
Big Government bathroom inspections in NC, Trump and Sanders shaking up the establishment, and more in PDiddie's collection of the week's best political toons...
Strange Days Indeed: 'BradCast' 5/13/16
Oil Spills; Pathological Trump lies; GOP transgender freak outs; EXCLUSIVE details on MD's decertification of Baltimore's 4/26 Primary Election results...
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...

GUESTS: Salon's Heather Digby Parton & Colorado Statesman's John Tomasic...
By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2015 4:53pm PT  

It was a 'Rocky Mountain Mess' to many, but we try to make sense of CNBC's GOP Presidential Debate in Boulder, CO last night on today's BradCast anyway!

My guests today are Heather Digby Parton --- Salon contributor, Hillman Foundation opinion journalism award winner, and proprietor of Digby's Hullabaloo blog and the Colorado Statesman's John Tomasic.

"Digby" has joined us for all of our post-debate coverage so far this year and offers smart insight yet again today. Tomasic shares his on-the-ground perspective after covering the goings on inside and outside of the Coors Event Center before, during and after yesterday's debate(s).

Was anything learned from either the 'Kiddie Table' or 'Main' debates? Is Jeb finally done for? Did Kasich's gambit work? Did Trump accidentally make sense again? Does Jindal have a magic wand he doesn't know about? Is Social Security really a scam?

Were the CNBC moderators as awful as the GOP would like us all to believe? Why was a Republican debate held in the liberal "Mecca" of Boulder in the first place? And why were the students at CU-Boulder kept from attending it?

We search for reasonable answers to all of those questions and more on today's BradCast! Wish us luck!...

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

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GUEST: Author and Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser
ALSO: GOP in disarray, Dems in denial; Murdered elephants; Colbert v. vegetarians...
By Brad Friedman on 10/28/2015 3:53pm PT  

On today's BradCast...the Republican Party may appear to be falling apart on one level --- because it is (and we cover quite a bit of their various disasters in advance of tonight's Republican Presidential debate in Boulder, CO today) --- but on another level, the GOP still controls not just both chambers of the U.S. Congress, but also the vast majority of statehouses and Governor's mansions across the country.

So, while the Democrats' Presidential prospects may be encouraging for them, are they actually in denial about their real problems? And/or is there another way out of their current morass?

Ian Millhiser, journalist, Constitutional law expert and author of the new book, Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, joins us to discuss what may be the Democrats' best way out of the mess: The U.S. Supreme Court and as many as four vacancies that may occur on the bench during the next Presidency. "The Future Of The Democratic Party," he wrote recently, "Will Be Decided By The Supreme Court."

"A big reason why Democrats are so far underwater when it comes to state legislative races, when it comes to House races, is because of the Supreme Court," Millhiser tells me on today's show. "The Supreme Court has ordered the lower federal courts not to even look at partisan gerrymandering cases. They're not allowed to even consider them under existing Supreme Court doctrine."

Millhiser goes on to explain how the Court's recent rulings on voting rights have also made things far more difficult for Democrats. SCOTUS, he argues, "isn't enforcing the Constitution and at other times its mangling the Constitution."

"The situation Democrats find themselves in is due to a number of problems layered on top of each other, many of which are at the fault of the Supreme Court. Many of these problems could be solved if we had a Supreme Court that was prepared to give us fairer elections," he notes. With as many as four --- four --- seats potentially becoming vacant on the Court during the next Presidency, the party that controls the White House as of 2017 will have an enormous opportunity to affect what happens in this country for generations.

While both major parties often use the potential for Supreme Court vacancies to underscore the importance of controlling the White House, Millhiser explains the reasons --- and there are many --- why the 2016 election really is different from recent elections where that argument has been offered. "If the Supreme Court gets even more conservative," he warns, "then you're looking at an apocalypse for the Democratic Party."

Also today: Elephants murdered in Zimbabwe; GMO labeling hypocrisy; Colbert takes on vegetarians after bad news about smoke meats; And much more...

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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GUEST: Financial journalist David Dayen
ALSO: 2016 shakeups; Dog shoots owner; 'Black Friday' news; Excrement in D.C.; More...
By Brad Friedman on 10/27/2015 4:31pm PT  

On today's BradCast (link to complete audio below), Republican and Democratic leadership strike a deal to avoid defaulting on U.S. loan payments and to keep the government open for two years. But at what cost?

Financial journalist David Dayen of Salon joins us to explain both the grand deal and its cost to both Republicans and Democrats (though, arguably, much more to Democrats.)

"In general what this whole thing does is prevent a bunch of hostage-taking," on the part of Republicans, Dayen explains. "I think that is the real problem that the House Freedom Caucus [formerly the 'Tea Party Caucus'] has with it." Other than that, as he breaks it down for us, Republicans and war hawks seem to get a much better deal out of the bargain.

Democrats, while getting some much needed relief to arbitrary spending caps on several social programs, ultimately pay a price for cuts to Medicare and Social Security in this agreement, says Dayen. While Republicans, on the other hand, receive a huge $32 billion "slush fund" above and beyond anything Democrats get, in order to pay for more militarism under the bogus guise of "Overseas Contingency Operations".

"When we have homeless people that need shelter or poor people that need food for the food stamp program, then the answer is 'We're broke! We cannot pay for that! We're selling out our children's future! There's no way we can scrounge up any more money out of the couch cushions!," Dayen explains on today's show. "But when this little kitty that Pentagon generals want to use to protect their favorite program or build more weapons of any kind --- that we have plenty of money for, and if you don't like it you hate the troops and you're un-American."

All of that and much more detail to help you understand what's really going on in this deal and on one crucial point concerning the nation's debt ceiling that Dayen describes as "a total failure...by the leadership of the Democratic Party."

Also today: Poll shakeups in the Presidential race(s); The dog who shot his owner; The major retailer that plans to close for "Black Friday"; And --- speaking of excrement "in the barn" in Washington D.C. --- Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report with a new plan to literally put it all to good use and much more...

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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GUEST: Brendan Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy...
By Brad Friedman on 10/26/2015 5:28pm PT  

Last week at the Center for Media and Democracy, their general counsel Brendan Fischer warned "Darkness descends upon Wisconsin." Today, on The BradCast, Fischer joins me to explain the three new pieces of legislation being quickly rammed through the Republican-dominated state legislature in the Badger State, which, taken together, are set to serve an unprecedented blow to transparency, elections, and democracy. (Audio link to complete show follows below.)

Formerly, one of the most transparent states for election oversight and the ability to either prevent corruption or, at least, discover it and hold those accountable for it after it is found, WI is now set to become the very opposite unless something happens to prevent this full package of election reform bills from being enacted. Yes. Darkness descends upon Wisconsin and, frankly, the rest of the nation if these laws are all passed and signed by Gov. Scott Walker (R-Koch) expected.

One of the bills has already been adopted by the legislature and was hastily signed over the weekend by Walker. That one bars state prosecutors from investigating political corruption under the state's "John Doe" provisions. A WI John Doe investigation is akin to a grand jury process, but allows prosecutors to carry out criminal probes under the auspices of a state court. Such investigations in the past, for example, resulted in the conviction of six top aides and allies to Walker. A more recent John Doe probe into illegal campaign coordination between the Governor and his Koch Brothers-funded allies during the 2012 recall elections in WI, was shut down earlier this year by the same state Supreme Court justices elected and funded by those very same Koch Brothers-funded groups who stand to benefit from this entire package of "reform".

The other two bills were passed in the Assembly last week and are now pending in the state Senate. One replaces the state's non-partisan Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.) --- the commission of retired judges convened to oversees state elections following a massive campaign finance scandal by both Dems and Republicans (uncovered by a John Doe probe!) back in 2007 --- with a new commission of partisan appointees modeled after (incredibly enough!) the entirely broken Federal Elections Commission!

Finally, saving the worst for last: The last of these three bills would allow unlimited undisclosed financing of political groups and campaigns in Wisconsin, as well as allow the millionaire and billionaire funders of those campaigns to remain completely secret to everyone but the candidate whose campaigns the funders would be supporting with unlimited cash payments!

"This is not something that voters in Wisconsin are calling for, neither Republicans nor Democrats," Fischer explains. "The only groups lobbying in favor of these three bills are the Koch Brothers' Americans for Prosperity and other organizations with deep ties to Americans for Prosperity and Koch-tied groups. It's almost like a wish list of the Koch Brothers or other wealthy billionaires who want even more influence in elections."

"It's going to allow unlimited money from billionaires and corporations to political parties and legislative leaders. It's going to allow unlimited coordination between candidates and dark money groups," he tells me. "The implication of that is a candidate could form a non-profit group --- even have it operated out of its campaign headquarters --- and politicians can say to donors: 'Give to this dark money group I am working with. You can give as much as you want.' It can come from anywhere. It can come from Koch Industries corporate treasury. The money could even come from foreigners and the politician is going to know where the money is coming but the public will not."

And, of course, the existing non-partisan commission meant to oversee elections won't be able to block it (because they likely will not exist) and if there is anything left that is still illegal in such campaigns, state prosecutors will have much of their ability taken from them to be able to investigate it. It's a breathtaking set of reforms that, arguably, makes Walker's gutting of collective bargaining back in 2010 look like child's play. And all of this legislation and its provisions are being watched very closely by the GOP nationally, as this gutting of democracy is exactly what the party now hopes to see in every state, as well as at the federal level. Citizens United was not even the beginning of their scheming to undermine fairness and transparency in elections and campaigns.

Fischer goes on to note that, "with rightwing Republicans in control of a lot of state legislatures," similar "reform" is likely to be pushed forward elsewhere after it takes effect in WI, "even though it's not voters who are calling for it."

Please listen to today's program and pass it along to others! This matter needs a lot more national attention than it is currently receiving!

Also on today's program: Death and destruction over the weekend from Oklahoma to British Columbia to Pakistan and Afghanistan, even as Mexico and the U.S. may have dodged a bullet, of sorts, after the most powerful hurricane on record barreled ashore as a Category 5 storm.

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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By Brad Friedman on 10/23/2015 5:08pm PT  

On today's BradCast we catch up with a bunch of news, breaking and otherwise, at week's end.

Among the stories covered --- with much gusto and an occasional bit of snark --- on today's program...

• The stuff that actually mattered from Hillary Clinton's testimony at Thursday's disastrous Benghazi Hearing in the U.S. House;
Record-breaking Hurricane Patricia barreling towards Mexico;
• New Mexico's Sec. of State Dianna Duran --- a longtime Republican "voter fraud" fraudster --- resigns after pleading guilty to multiple counts of election fraud and embezzlement;
• Ben Carson overtakes Donald Trump in two Iowa polls;
• Jeb Bush's campaign death rattle continues;
• Paul Ryan's attempt to become House Speaker could still be thwarted by "conservatives" ready to primary other "conservatives";
• And some listener mail on our Richard Viguerie interview...

There's a few more important news items littered throughout today's very lively and busy program, but you'll have to listen to learn about 'em...

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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GUESTS: Fracking expert and Mahoning County, OH voter Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer; Columbia County, NY Election Commish Virginia Martin...
PLUS: A few words on the continuing GOP 'Benghazi Investigation' circus...
By Brad Friedman on 10/22/2015 5:12pm PT  

On today's BradCast, first a rant about the nonsense that is the Benghazi "investigation", and then on to a real investigation concerning an anti-fracking initiative on the ballot in Mahoning County, OH, questions about the results reported by the county's electronic tabulators, and an election official or two who are caught on tape going kinda nuts when asked about it.

To talk about our latest example of "Election Officials Behaving Badly", I'm joined on today's show by Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer, the voter who asked a simple question at a recent Mahoning County, Ohio Board of Elections meeting, before the officials accused him of accusing them of a crime in response!

And, since the Mahoning County election officials --- the ones caught on tape responding so outrageously to Beiersdorfer's reasonable request for a hand-count --- failed to reply to our multiple requests to join us on the show, we are joined instead by Virginia Martin of the Columbia County, NY Board of Elections to comment on all of this. (Our invitation remains open to Mahoning County election officials David Betras (D) and Mark Munroe (R) if they'd like to respond to today's program.)

Beiersdorfer is a geology professor, fracking expert and supporter of the ProtectYoungstown.org anti-fracking initiative. As you'll here, at the meeting of the Elections Board, he politely asked for a hand-count of paper ballots regarding the ballot initiative, after a post-election poll appeared to offer contradictory results to those reported by the unverified computer optical-scan tabulation systems used in the county. (An electronic tabulation system, I'll note, which has failed in election after election elsewhere.) In response, Betras freaks out and charges that Beiersdorfer has accused him of "rigging an election".

"You just basically accused this board of elections of election fraud!," Betras, a Democratic, snaps in outraged response, as caught on tape. "I find it highly offensive you’d accuse me of a crime!" His fellow election commissioner, Munroe, a Republican, takes similar offense.

All of that, simply because a voter wished to oversee the results of an election to confirm that computer-reported results were accurate --- in a town with a history of election problems and where some of the same election officials reportedly spent some $30,000 of tax-payer money in a failed effort to keep the initiative off the ballot in the first place (before being overruled by the state Supreme Court.)

"I certainly wasn't accusing anyone of a crime," Beiersdorfer tells me today (and as the tape confirms). "I just pointed out the discrepancy and I asked for a public, open, transparent hand-count of the ballots. I was a little bit surprised at how he reacted to that --- and basically attacked me."

Unfortunately, it's not an isolated case. We've seen similar responses from election officials elsewhere. Martin, the Democratic co-chair of the Columbia County, NY Board of Elections --- one of the few counties in the nation to publicly hand-count every paper ballot before certifying any election (my recent interview with Martin and her Republican co-chair on that specific topic is here) --- explains on today's show: "We election officials often find ourselves in the crosshairs. There's always somebody in the public who's not happy about something that's transpired at the Board of Elections. There's a winner and there's a loser, so we often are in a position of having to defend ourselves. I can understand why they would be very sensitive."

But, she adds, that type of concern simply doesn't come up in her county, given that the public is invited to oversee the hand-count of paper ballots for every election. As an election official, she insists on hand-counts, she says, because: "I wasn't comfortable with trusting what the computer said, because I know computers can make mistakes. I know that computers can be programmed incorrectly --- inadvertently. I also know they can be manipulated, they can be tampered with. I personally can't know how a computer counts anything, because I don't get to see that. So how am I going to know that the result is correct?"

I think it's a fascinating show today --- as this is a problem that occurs more and more, as election officials and electronic voting and tabulation systems make it far more difficult for the citizenry to oversee their own elections --- but you'll be the judge. Give it a listen below!...

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

[You can watch the complete, exclusive Mahoning County, OH video from which we played audio clips today, here. And the full video of Pima County, AZ Election Supervisor Brad Nelson caught on tape similarly freaking out back 2007, which we played a bit of as well today, can be seen here.]

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Biden out, Ryan in...Maybe...As original 'funding father' of the modern conservative movement argues 'we are heading towards a cliff'...
By Brad Friedman on 10/21/2015 5:28pm PT  

Joe Biden is out (of the race for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination) and Paul Ryan is in (sort of...for the contest to replace John Boehner as Speaker of the House).

We cover both breaking stories today on The BradCast before settling in for a related, and at times, very lively, conversation with conservative icon Richard Viguerie about what the hell Republicans and 'conservatives' in the so-called Freedom Caucus are thinking at this point, as the GOP Civil War rages over control of the U.S. House and much more.

"I consider myself a conservative, not a Republican," Viguerie clarifies right off the bat. "I do operate in the Republican Party, but do consider myself a conservative, which is the case with many of my national conservative friends. They think of themselves as conservatives, not Republicans."

The 82-year old Viguerie is a legend amongst conservatives. He is regarded by many as the 'funding father' of the movement, thanks to his roll in the creation of direct mail political fund raising. He continues to play a very influential role among Republicans via his books --- such as Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It and Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause --- and the ConservativeHQ.com website, self-described as "the online news source for conservatives and Tea Partiers committed to bringing limited-government constitutional conservatives to power."

Right now, it seems, neither he nor the others at his Conservative HQ site are willing to agree to Ryan's newly issued demands to become the next Speaker. So, what are they and fellow Republicans thinking at this point?

Viguerie says he and those in the so-called Freedom Caucus are "looking for a fighter. The grassroots is white hot with anger at the silence and the ineptness of our supposed leaders out there. And that's what driving this problem with the House Speaker selection right now."

I did my best to press Viguerie on all matter of related issues, including whether he and his conservative compatriots support the U.S. Government defaulting on our loan payments for the first time in history, as may well be the case in the next several weeks if the "debt ceiling" is not raised and a budget is not passed to keep the government open and operating --- which, I tell him, seems very un-conservative to me!

His responses make clear that he is more than willing to take such gambles and has no intention of rolling over for those "Big Government Republicans" that he considers to have sold out the movement. He believes "we are heading towards a cliff," thanks to overspending and tells me that he is is willing to force spending cuts as "part of a deal" to raise the debt limit, even if that results in default or shutdown. "We need to have a conversation with the American people about our priorities."

On the hunt for a Presidential candidate, Viguerie insists: "Voters do not like establishment Republicans. They really do reject them across the board. When I talk to Republicans and they say 'we've got to beat Hillary', I say that's fine, I understand that, but if you nominate an establishment Republican --- a Chris Christie, a Jeb Bush type, a John Kasich --- you're going to lose. The people don't want an establishment Republican."

That's just a taste, of course, of what I'll call our very spirited conversation on all of the above and much more. Listen to the show below and let me know what you think in comments! Enjoy!...

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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GUEST: Alex Doukas of Oil Change International...
PLUS: More 'voter fraud' fraud in KS; Webb drops out; Several huge green news stories...
By Brad Friedman on 10/20/2015 5:25pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we examine the huge news out of Canada last night as the Liberal Party and its leader Justin Trudeau swept into power and Stephen Harper's Conservative Party government was sent packing.

We speak about the big development with Canadian Alex Doukas of Oil Change International, who explains the election results first in broad terms, specifically for those of us in the U.S. who may not have even realized Canada was holding a major election this week!

Doukas describes the results as "a referendum on Stephen Harper's leadership" as much or more than a "vote of confidence" for the Liberal Party. "Canada's sliding back into recession now, in contrast to a lot of other G7 economies," he tells me. That's "partly a result of the knock-on effects of a low oil price, [and Harper's] nearly single-minded promotion of Canada's oil and gas industry at the expense of other sectors."

"Harper really bet the farm on oil and gas in his policy approach, and he lost that bet," he says. "And, unfortunately, that bad bet is now hurting Canadians."

We discuss what Trudeau's stunning win may mean for the future of energy and climate related issues in Canada, including the Keystone XL pipeline project, Canada's commitment to an international climate treaty, their reliance on a fossil fuel economy and their relationship with the U.S..

"Hopefully," he tells me, "with a new government in power, we'll start to see recognition of the value of economic diversification and a recognition that oil and gas is not the future for Canada, but that clean energy is really a huge opportunity for Canadians."

Doukas goes on to offer extraordinary clarity on all of the above and also offers a thought or two on the Conservative Party's newly implemented vote suppression techniques they seem to have picked up recently: "The Conservatives in Canada were learning lessons around voter disenfranchisement from GOP politicians south of the border. So, thanks for that." You're welcome, Canada!

Also today: More on KS Sec. of State Kris Kobach's outrageous voter suppression; Jim Webb drops out of the 2016 Democratic Presidential race; And much more sea change in today's Green News Report with Desi Doyen...

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

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Congressman charges oil company's 'affirmative campaign against science of climate change' echoes conspiracy case against Big Tobacco...
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2015 6:01pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) joins me to explain the letter [PDF] he sent late last week, with Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), to Attorney General Loretta Lynch seeking an investigation and, if appropriate, prosecution of ExxonMobil.

In light of internal company documents recently unearthed and published by Inside Climate News and by the Los Angeles Times revealing that Exxon knew about the "potentially catastrophic" dangers of global warming as early as 1977 and their subsequent funding of the climate change denial industry in an attempt to obscure their own science, Lieu tells me he believes that a conspiracy case, akin to the one brought against Big Tobacco, would now be appropriate against the world's largest oil producer.

"In the case of [Big] tobacco," Lieu explains on today's program, "it's having knowledge that your product had a tendency to cause harm in people, and then denying that was the case, and affirmatively selling your product in the face of that knowledge."

He believes Exxon's actions are very similar and likely to trigger the broad "conspiracy statute" known as RICO, as successfully brought against the tobacco industry in the largest such prosecution ever.

"It wasn't just that Exxon remained silent and didn't share [what their scientists had confirmed]. They took affirmative steps to campaign against the science of climate change. They funded organizations that obscured the science behind climate change. Their top executives would make statements to say that climate change either isn't happening or 'these are just models that we don't know much about and things are very uncertain'," Lieu tells me. "And keep in mind, they internally took actions to take advantage of global warming," by changing their business strategy in the Arctic where drilling would become easier thanks to the melting caused by the use of their product.

"So this is beyond hypocrisy," he says. "An investigation is warranted into what Exxon knew, when they knew it, and what they said about it."

[My recent interview with Neela Banerjee, co-author of Inside Climate News' blockbuster investigative report, is posted here.]

Also on today's program: New polls are out in the wake of last week's Democratic debate in Las Vegas suggesting that things may be changing for both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, though not necessarily as the corporate media had predicted; Alabama's Republican Governor attempts to roll back the closure of drivers license offices that threaten to further disenfranchise African-American voters in the state; And Jeb Bush throws his own brother under the bus on voting rights, in hopes of winning the 2016 Republican nomination...

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GUEST: Artist, author and former felon Anthony Papa on criminal justice reform and his '15 years to life' for a first-time, non-violent drug crime...
ALSO: More climate dots connected; Trump, Jeb & Dubya; Arrest of a Fox 'News' fraud...
By Brad Friedman on 10/16/2015 5:38pm PT  

We cover a lot of ground, yet again, on today's BradCast.

First: More climate change dots connected out here in California, as another freeway is shut down (the third in the last couple of months) thanks to yet another extreme weather disaster.

Next: As Donald Trump correctly notes that George W. Bush did not "keep us safe" either before or after 9/11, Jeb tries again to come to his brother's defense and fails almost as much as his own campaign is now floundering.

Then: With federal sentencing reform for non-violent drug offenders about to result in freedom for 6,000 federal inmates (and another 40,000 likely in the near future), we are joined today by artist and author Anthony Papa of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Papa (self-portrait seen above in today's BradCast logo) shares his amazing story about how he was sentenced to "15 years to life" for a first-time, non-violent, drug-related crime under New York's "tough on crime", "war on drugs" policies of the 80s. He served 12 years of hard time --- for delivering 4 ounces of cocaine in exchange for $500 --- before he was finally granted clemency by the Governor.

He follows his first book, 15 to Life: How I Painted My Way to Freedom up with his latest, An Open Letter to Men and Women Returning Home in the Age of Reform, just released on Kindle today.

Papa was lucky enough to earn three degrees while serving 12 years in prison, where he also discovered he knows how to paint. He now serves as Artist in Residence at Drug Policy Alliance and has had his work exhibited at the Whitney Museum. On today's show, in addition to his personal story, he shared his optimistic thoughts on criminal justice reform ("mandatory minimum sentencing became the poison that literally broke the system"), some words of advice to those about to be released ("these men and women coming home into a society that is not ready for them, can be a problem"), and his opinions on the outrage of restrictions on voting placed on both current and former felons.

"The greatest thing for me being in prison, was my discovery for me of my political awareness," he tells me. But, after his release, he learned he would still not be able to vote for another five years, even though he had served his time under laws passed by officials he should have been able to vote against. "Before I went to prison, I didn't even bother to vote. I was a regular Joe. When I came out, discovering I couldn't vote was very painful for me. So it took five years, but when the time came, I cast that vote. I felt like I was whole again. It was a wonderful feeling."

Finally today: Wayne Simmons, the "former CIA operative" regularly featured on Fox "News" for more than a decade, where he has been cited by wingnuts time and again on everything from Benghazi to torture to ISIS and their "19 paramilitary Muslim training facilities in the United States" (which don't exist), turns out to have never worked for the CIA at all and has now been arrested on federal fraud charges.

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/15/2015 5:00pm PT  

We were forced to reschedule our planned guest for today's BradCast at the last minute --- (you'll have to listen to the show to find out who it was to be, but I'm still very much looking forward to that conversation!) --- but that worked out just fine, as we had to much to cover on today's show as is!

Among the stories and issues we were, therefore, able to cover today...

• New insider whistleblower releases documents revealing the inner-workings of the United States' disastrous drone assassination program.
• Democratic debate suggests a new day for progressivism, if not for the still-failing corporate U.S. media.
• Finally, climate change takes the spotlight in a Presidential debate, as Rightwing deniers and fraudsters like Jeb and Rush freak out about it.

All of that a much (much) more on today's BradCast!...

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

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GUESTS: Salon's Heather Digby Parton and Media Matters' Eric Boehlert...
By Brad Friedman on 10/14/2015 4:42pm PT  

On today's BradCast we dissect Tuesday night's pleasantly substantive (for the most part) Democratic Presidential Debate in Las Vegas.

Joining me on today's show are two of our favorite guests, both long time journalists/bloggers and both of whom have been pretty much right about pretty much everything for the past decade and more.

Heather Digby Parton --- Salon contributor, Hillman Foundation opinion journalism award winner, and proprietor of Digby's Hullabaloo blog --- joins us for the hour along with Eric Boehlert --- Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America and author of Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press.

Last night's debate drew in a record number of viewers and offered a striking contrast from the debates we've seen so far this year from Republicans. But, did it change either the trajectory or the conventional Beltway "wisdom" for any of the candidates? Has the Democratic Party finally broken away from the shackles of corporate wingnuttery?

Was Hillary Clinton able to overcome the absurd attacks over pretend scandals from corporate media and the GOP? Was Bernie Sanders able to demonstrate his viability as a general election candidate? And what of those other guys on stage with them --- and even one who was not on stage with them? Why did this debate draw even more viewers than the Clinton/Obama matchups in 2008? And was the DNC right in their decision to limit the number of debates for the Democratic candidates this cycle?

We discuss all of that and much more on today's BradCast, with really smart observations from two really smart journalists who are decidedly not "inside the Beltway" pundits...

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

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GUEST: Michael Collins of Drug Policy Alliance
PLUS: GOP now coming apart at the seams...
By Brad Friedman on 10/13/2015 4:43pm PT  

I'm back after a few days off for today's BradCast! My huge thanks to Radio Or Not's Nicole Sandler for guest-hosting over the past several days and affording Desi and me a bit of much-needed down time.

Of course, as soon as we stood down, everything blew up in Congress and everywhere else. So, I touch on a few of those points --- particularly the Republican Party coming apart at the seams, as we now see in their inability to find a House Speaker or even a Presidential candidate for that matter --- on today's program.

Then, it's on to the continuing fight for the right to vote across the country. We've got some troubling news out of Kansas, where their Sec. of State Kris Kobach (R) is attempting to justify his voter suppression with new prosecutions. And then we've got some very good news out of California, where voter registration will now be automatic and could lead to as many as 6.6 million new voters in the Golden State.

At the same time, Fox "News" is now offering a huge lie about the state's new law, as advanced on air today by Judge Andrew Napolitano.

After offering his (rather remarkable) opinion that the U.S. Supreme Court "wrongly" found voting to be "a fundamental right," Napolitano asserted the lie that "once it said that, states like California decided to allow people to vote who aren't qualified by law to vote because of the fundamental aspect." The former Judge then added to his lie by claiming that "an illegal alien in California...can vote in local, state, and federal elections in California and those votes count," simply by obtaining a drivers license under the new Motor Voter Law signed over the weekend by Gov. Jerry Brown (D).

In response to Napolitano, we obtained a statement via email from Dean Logan, the Los Angeles County Register-Recorder/County Clerk, describing the outrageous assertion as categorically "false". "The new Motor Voter law only applies to those identified by DMV records as meeting the eligibility requirements to be registered to vote --- including citizenship," Logan says in his statement this afternoon, as read on air. "The law specifically mandates that distinction and the adoption of regulations to ensure against registration of non-eligible persons. The contention that the law automatically places non-citizens on the voter rolls is false."

Since airtime, the office of CA Sec. of State Alex Padilla (D) has also responded to our query and confirms that the new law "expressly prohibits" voter registration for non-citizens. Of course, Fox couldn't be bothered to find out and accurately inform their viewers.

Next, we are joined by Michael Collins of the Drug Policy Alliance to discuss the federal Bureau of Prisons' long overdue reform to sentencing guidelines that will result in some 6,000 inmates being freed within days, and perhaps a total of 46,000 thereafter. Collins explains how the changes came about and notes: "The Sentencing Commission definitely deserves to be applauded for what it's doing. But, at the same time, it's a drop in the bucket compared to the overall prison population."

"Drug offenses and the hysteria around drugs in the 80s and 90s, where laws were introduced, mandatory minimum sentencing was introduced, and we saw the prison population grow through the roof," requires reform that only Congress can provide. But, as dysfunctional as Collins acknowledges Congress to be, he says, on this issue, there is actually very real, bipartisan momentum in favor of reform in both chambers.

"There is a strong, bi-partisan movement for criminal justice reform and for sentencing reform," he tells me. "Republicans, Democrats, liberals, Tea Partiers, hard-core conservatives, old-school law and orders --- you name it --- there's this broad bi-partisan momentum to do something on criminal justice reform."

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, with an opportunity to call out Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for his remarkable display of hypocrisy in the wake of historic flooding in his home state.

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

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GUEST: The Nation's Joshua Holland...
By Brad Friedman on 10/7/2015 5:08pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Examining yet another enduring NRA myth in the wake of the Oregon massacre at Umpqua Community College; the GOP race for U.S. House Speaker could get very interesting; and more.

The Nation's Joshua Holland joins us to discuss his article this week: "Combat Vets Destroy the NRA's Heroic Gunslinger Fantasy", investigating whether there are any facts to back up the NRA and its scam artist Vice President Wayne LaPierre's long contention that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

You'll be shocked to learn that (unlike the liar LaPierre) folks who actually fire guns --- and have had them fired at them in combat --- have a very different opinion about the best way to stop that "bad guy with a gun."

"Wayne La Pierre has been a lobbyist for his entire career, and has no concept of what it really means when people start shooting at you," Holland tells me. The folks he talked to, he said, "did know that." In fact, as study after study confirm, he explains, guns often serve only to make bad situations much much worse.

I don't want to to share more of the conversation, for now, because I'd prefer you give it a listen in full --- gun fans and foes alike. (Click to listen to the full show below.)

Also on today's program: the Congressman who, in 1996, sponsored legislation that blocked the CDC from collecting statistics on gun deaths and public health now has regrets; How John Boehner could find himself remaining as Speaker of the House, even after the date he plans to resign; Desi Doyen with our latest Green News Report on the historic, global warming-fueled flooding in SC and new EPA regulations to help curb ozone and pesticides...

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

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GUEST: Steve LeVine on e-cars and our battery-powered near-future
ALSO: Sen. Lindsey Graham's short memory; GOP bum fight for U.S. House Speaker...
By Brad Friedman on 10/6/2015 5:17pm PT  

On today's BradCast, idiocy in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House and --- much more importantly --- the future of cars and a clean, livable planet!

First up, as the death toll mounts in Guatemala and the waters continue to rise in South Carolina, all thanks to global warming, the state's U.S. Senator and woeful 2016 GOP Presidential candidate Lindsey Graham embarasses himself as he begs for federal relief from the government, while conveniently "forgetting" that he repeatedly voted against similar aid for other states after Hurricane Sandy.

Then, speaking of disasters and climate change, Steve LeVine, author of The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World, joins us to discuss his recent article, "Volkswagen’s best shot at a comeback now has the automaker right where Elon Musk wants it."

LeVine explains how Volkswagen, whose recent emissions test cheating scandal will cost them billions in fines, may be able to help save themselves by helping to power the future of electric cars in a massive way. That future, LeVine tells me, is just about here. "In the coming 3-5 years," he says, we will be hitting "a critical mass."

"All of this has been triggered by [Tesla CEO] Elon Musk. Musk has put the fear into car makers --- they think that he could be a game changer, and they could be left out," LeVine explains. "You've got GM, Audi, Porsche, Jaguar, BMW, Nissan [and] a bunch of others car-makers, all planning to launch their own 200-mile, $35-40K [electric] cars" in the next several years. Even Apple is getting in the game. But, that new generation of clean cars needs to be powered, and VW could help their horrible damaged image by taking a leading role.

Finally, we go back to more idiocy in Congress to finish out today's show, as two incapable jackasses battle it out to win the GOP nomination in hopes of becoming the next Speaker of the U.S. House and, incidentally, third in the line of succession to become the President of the United States. And, speaking of which, is that the "death rattle" of the Jeb Bush campaign that we hear?...

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

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