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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, February 8, 2016
Rubio Short-Circuits, Cruz Keeps Lying, Trump Keeps Winning: 'BradCast' 2/8/16
GOP NH Debate coverage and analysis with Salon's Heather Digby Parton and Washington Monthly's Martin Longman...
Super Sunday Toons!
From the NFL's brain injury epidemic to the questionable brains of the 2016 candidates running for President (and more) in the moment before NH voters go to the primary polls...
'Progress' v. 'Revolution': Bernie and Hillary's Lively NH Debate: 'BradCast' 2/5/16
Coverage and analysis with KY civil rights attorney Joe Dunman and Crooks and Liars' Managing Editor Karoli Kuns...
Black Box Voting's Bev Harris on Iowa Caucus Mess, NH Concerns: 'BradCast' 2/4/16
ALSO: 'Hero of Democracy' Tom Courbat, In Memoriam...
'Green News Report' 2/4/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Dems keep pushing climate action, Repubs keep ignoring it; FL mayors slam Rubio on sea level rise; CA AG files suit over massive gas leak; PLUS: FBI launches Flint probe...
Previous GNRs: 2/2/16 - 1/28/16 - Archives...
FL Mayors Slam Rubio on Climate Flip-Flop; Cruz Accused of 'Fraud' in IA: 'BradCast' 2/3/16
Rising ire, rising tides. Mayor Cindy Lerner of Pinecrest, FL joins us...
What the Hell Just Happened in Iowa?!: 'BradCast' 2/2/16
Concerned about missing votes, coin tosses, videos suggesting fraud? Caucus expert Prof. David P. Redlawsk explains it all (and more) for you...and me...
'Green News Report' 2/2/16
Cruz promises to kill all energy subsidies; Rubio was for climate action, before against it; Crashing oil prices blow hole in NC budget; PLUS: Bad and good news in CA...
Sanders on the 'Edge'? Really, NY Times?: 'BradCast' 2/1/16
Jim Naureckas of FAIR on corporate media's false balance; Plus: More Dem debates; Trump's Iowa faux pas; Leaker Petraeus gets another pass...
Sunday Toons of the Hawkeye State Moment
Documenting the moments before the Iowa Caucuses via PDiddie's weekly collection of political toons...
Microsoft's App at the Iowa Caucuses: 'BradCast' 1/28/16
Also, the latest on the Oregon 'Patriot' standoff with independent journalist Arun Gupta...
'Green News Report' 1/28/16
Dems focus on climate, energy in IA; FL mayors smack Rubio on climate; Flint stuck with bad pipes, water; Poor bear brunt of pollution; PLUS: Victory for coal miners...
Ernie on Bernie: 'BradCast' 1/27/16
BRAD BLOG legal analyst turned Vets for Bernie advisor Ernest A. Canning on Sanders' electability and much more; PLUS: New OR standoff news, GOP/Dem debate controversies, listener calls!...
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: 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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GUEST: Climate scientist Dr. Michael E. Mann on that and much more
PLUS: Updates on AL vote suppression; NM's indicted SoS; OR's school massacre...
By Brad Friedman on 10/5/2015 6:14pm PT  

On today's BradCast, I'm joined by climate scientist Dr. Michael E. Mann of Pennsylvania State University, to discuss the historic flooding event now ongoing in South Carolina, even as Hurricane Joaquin missed the state by hundreds of miles.

The award-winning Mann, author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, offers a sobering explanation of the relationship between climate change and record flooding in SC. He also discusses what is actually meant by the phrase "1000-year flood", as so casually cited by SC Gov. Nikki Hailey (R) over the weekend, even as more than half of her state now faces unprecedented disaster.

"When you hear a statistic like that, 'it's a 1000-year event', that's based on the assumption that what's happening right now is no different from the sorts of things that were happening in the distant past, that the climate isn't changing. And it is," Mann tells me. "Climate change is very detectably increasing the likelihoods of precisely these sorts of events. Things we used to call a '1000-year event' become '100-year events'. And pretty soon, if we continue on the course that we are on, what was a '100-year event' becomes a '3 or 4-year event'."

Mann goes on to explain the climatic patterns that made the SC event possible, and how we are likely to experience much more of it in the very near future. "Part of the story --- and don't let anyone tell you otherwise --- was record heat in the Atlantic, which meant there was record moisture off the coast. And it's that record level of moisture in the atmosphere giving us these record levels of rainfall."

"There's no question --- what we're seeing play out is precisely what we warned would play out decades ago," he tells me, before discussing what we may be able to expect from this year's record El Nino out West, where the ocean is also at record temperatures amidst a "1000-year drought" here in California.

He also offers some thoughts on the new blockbuster report from Inside Climate News (as I discussed with the co-author of that investigative series last week), concerning Exxon's knowledge, as early as 1977, of the catastrophic dangers of man-made global warming, thanks to the use of their product and their subsequent about-face decision to fund climate change denialist organizations beginning in the 1990s. Man describes the opportuninty for Exxon to have led us to a scientific solution long ago as both "sad" and "tragic", among other things.

Also today: Updates on the closure of DMVs in Alabama for, purportedly, "budgetary reasons", even as the shutdowns will disproportionately affect the ability of African-Americans to cast a vote in the state and could cost more in the defense of lawsuits than is saved by the closures; New Mexico's Sec. of State Dianna Duran (R) is now facing a 65th(!!!) criminal count --- this one for identify theft and forgery --- as we are reminded, once again, why simply "trusting" election officials is not a valid option in our Constitutional representative democracy; And, finally, updates on last week's shooting massacre in Oregon and how Fox 'News' and the Republicans are still doing all they can do to do nothing at all to prevent more such massacres in the future...

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: Historian Ben Railton of Fitchburg State University...
By Brad Friedman on 10/2/2015 5:58pm PT  

In the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Oregon on Thursday, President Obama asked Americans to address the epidemic of mass shootings, in part, by turning to the ballot box. We concur. And we've got a great idea about who to vote out of office first on today's BradCast!

Then: Are Muslims the new Catholics? Ben Railton, Associate Professor of English and American Studies at Fitchburg State University, joins us to discuss the historical parallels he recently documented at Talking Points Memo, between centuries of anti-Catholic sentiment in the U.S. and today's similarly toxic political rhetoric regarding Muslims.

2016 GOP Presidential candidate Ben Carson's recent assertions that a Muslim must "renounce Islam" before he'd consider them qualified to be President of the United States is just one example that echoes a similar sentiment about Catholics earlier in this country's history.

"It can seem like something 19th century, something really distant, but as recently as half a century ago, there was a pretty sustained debate in our mainstream political media, our body politic" Railton tells me, "of the genuine concern on behalf of many that any Catholic --- including John F. Kennedy, the candidate for President --- would owe a first allegiance not to anything within the United States, not to America, not to the American government or the American people, but to that entity, that foreign scary place, the Vatican and the Pope and the Catholic Church."

"Many of the fears that are directed at Muslim-Americans and Muslim communities are directed at the idea of these communities and their customs and beliefs, themselves representing an internal threat," he explains, while going on to remind us that, even with a well-established Muslim community in the U.S. at its founding ("We have Muslim-American communities going back to the Revolutionary Era...so fears of religious 'others' do date back to the very beginning"), this country's Constitutional framers determined there would be no religious test for the highest office in the land.

Railton's message is ultimately a very an encouraging one --- we have, it seems, finally moved beyond our fear of a Papal takeover in this country, after all, so we are likely to do the same with Muslims --- but is that historic comparison an appropriate analogue given the threat so many feel of an actual hostile takeover by Islamic extremists? We discuss.

Finally today, as ironic as it might be, the best news of all may well come from Desi Doyen and our latest Green News Report. How often does that happen?!...

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

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GUEST: ACLU voting rights attorney Julie Ebenstein
PLUS: All of today's grim breaking news to remind us why voting matters...
By Brad Friedman on 10/1/2015 5:52pm PT  

We start today's BradCast with the grim news of yet another mass shooting, this time in Oregon, and a massive storm bearing down on the U.S. East Coast.

As too-occasional BRAD BLOG contributor D.R. Tucker noted: "We have a superstorm on the East Coast brought to us by a problem right-wingers refuse to acknowledge, followed by another massive school shooting caused by a problem right-wingers refuse to do anything about."

But we can do something about it. We can vote those folks out of office. But, of course, only if we're allowed to vote.

Today we discuss two states, specifically (and a few more, generally) controlled by Republicans where they are making it much more difficult for many of their voters to vote. First, the state of Alabama has announced it will shut down 31 DMV offices, after the state's new Photo ID voting restriction just went into effect last year. You'll be shocked to learn that the closures disproportionately affect voters in the state's "Black Belt", including the closure of offices in "Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters."

Then, in Iowa, we look at the ongoing legal challenge to the more than 100,000 former felons who have fully completed their sentences, but are being kept from voting for life by one man: the state's Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, who, by executive order, has rolled back Iowa's previous policy that had automatically restored voting rights to former, non-violent felons.

ACLU Voting Rights attorney Julie Ebenstein, who spent years fighting similar voter suppression tactics by Republicans in Florida, joins us on today's program to discuss the latest legal battle(s) for the right to vote in the Hawkeye State (and elsewhere).

"It's shameful the way that we treat our fellow citizens because of a prior conviction, sometimes decades ago," Ebenstein tells me. "The confluence of over-criminalization, mass incarceration, and the ongoing collateral consequences of that --- which is disenfranchisement, sometimes for life --- is something that really rips at our democracy."

It is shameful. As Think Progress noted earlier this year, "in the 2008 election, 5.3 million Americans, or one in 40 adults, were unable to vote due to a felony conviction, according to the Sentencing Project." But, as bad as that is, it's even worse for African Americans. "Nationally, 2.2 million --- or one in every 13 --- black adults is disenfranchised."

And as bad as that is, Ebenstein explains, it's even worse in Florida which, she notes, "like Iowa, has a lifetime ban on voting for people who have committed a felony. And, as a result of that, there's over 1.5 million citizens in Florida who are disenfranchised. So that's about 10 per cent of the voting population --- 1 in 5 African-American men in Florida --- who remain disenfranchised."

Also today: Oklahoma halts all scheduled executions indefinitely following the state's latest death penalty disaster. And a quick look at Bernie Sanders' rather extraordinary fund-raising operation, built on small donations from the Internet, as the independent Vermont Senator almost outraised Hillary Clinton in the third quarter of 2015.

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 9/30/2015 5:35pm PT  

Among the many stories covered on today's very newsy BradCast (which also includes some excellent listener calls today)...

• Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin stays an execution at the last minute, for once;
• Democrats rescue U.S. House Republicans to keep the government open;
• Hurricane Joaquin hitting Bahamas, U.S. East Coast flooding imminent as storm barells toward continent;
• Russia begins air strikes in Syria, but are corporate media misreporting it?;
• Israel's former military defense chief confirms Iran Deal is good for Israel;
• Hand-marked, hand-counted paper ballots are needed in the U.S.;
• How the U.S. corporate media continues to under-report what Exxon knew about global warming in the 70s;
• China's cap-and-trade carbon initiative and other Green News;

And much, much more (and, did I mention listeners calls too?)...

Download MP3 or listen 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: Virginia S. Martin (D) and Jason J. Nastke (R), Columbia County Election Commissioners...
By Brad Friedman on 9/29/2015 6:01pm PT  

First on today's BradCast: Why Rush Limbaugh believes NASA has faked their discovery of flowing liquid water on Mars. Then, why MSNBC completely ignored Bernie Sanders on last night's Rachel Maddow Show.

Then, onto our interview with Virginia Martin and Jason Nastke, the Democratic and Republican Election Commissioners (respectively) of Columbia County, NY, where they refuse to certify results until every hand-marked paper ballot is publicly counted by hand after each election.

The two Commissioners joined me to respond to a recent Brennan Center study [PDF] warning that the nation's voting computers and tabulators are aging and failing and should be replaced as soon as possible with new computer systems. I agree with the first part of their findings, not so much with the second part, both of which we discussed in a recent BradCast with Lawrence Norden, co-author of that well-reported study.

Martin and Nastke don't seem to agree either, finding that hand-marked paper ballots, publicly hand-counted by human beings, remain the best way to assure that every voter's intent is accurately and transparently tallied.

"In reality, computing is maybe 50 years old," the Republican Nastke tells me on today's program. "We use paper ballots and paper is hundreds, if not thousands of years old. Historical documents continue to exist to this day. So, what we know is that when a voter votes on a paper ballot that there is an absolute way for the voter's intent to be determined, and properly counted."

"When New York State and the federal government mandated that we use optical scans instead, I started looking at those systems, and my question was, how do I know that that result is the right result?," says the Democrat Martin. "I'm not going to be able to see how the voting machines added up the votes. So I'm not going to know and I'm going to have to certify these results and I feel very uncomfortable doing that. So how can I know that the machine results are correct? Well, we have the paper ballots, let's count them."

"It's not a Republican or a Democrat issue," Nastke insists. "The issue is one of what's right. And what is right is that every vote is counted." Martin adds: "The fact is that I and Jason are both very, very confident in the results that we certify. And I must say that I think the voters in our county are similarly confident. The candidates whose votes --- for or against --- we are counting, are similarly confident. If we've got a candidate that lost by a few votes, and they've been here and they've watched the process, they are very confident that they did truly lose."

"It works very well because it's so bipartisan. For every Democrat who is doing something, a Republican is watching like a hawk," she says. "And it's very, very accurate. People are thrilled to see how the process works, to understand how it works, and to actually be a part of it and see what the result is."

Martin recently responded in comments here at The BRAD BLOG following my interview with Norden. She expands on some of those thoughts today, as both Commissioners explain why they --- and their respective political parties in the county --- have been able to buck national trends to agree on hand-counting ballots, rather than using unverifiable computer systems.

I ask them, among many other questions, why other counties in New York state have yet to adopt their system?; Whether they have found errors from the optical-scan computers which initially tally ballots at each precinct (as required by the state) before the hand-count takes place?; Whether they believe humans or computers are able to count ballots more accurately? (Norden had asserted that computers were more accurate during our conversation last week); Why they don't hand-count at the precinct, rather than back at County headquarters?; Could their system work in a much larger county or is hand-counting only for small jurisdictions?; And what happens in those instances when party observers don't agree on voter intent or a voter has left their intent unclear?

We first reported on Columbia County turning to 100% hand-counts back in 2012, but this is the first time either Martin or Nastke has joined me on the show! So it's great to have them! Here's a recent article on Columbia "becoming known for hand-counting votes" from one of their local papers. Look close and you'll see some films and books I've contributed to sitting in front of Martin in the paper's photo! :-)

Please listen to the full interview on today's show...

Download MP3 or listen to the 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: Neela Banerjee, co-author of an explosive report on Exxon's long knowlege of man-made global warming and their efforts to obscure it
Also today: Shell out of the Arctic; NASA's big discovery; Obama and Putin at the U.N....
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2015 5:04pm PT  

On today's BradCast, first, a number of breaking news items, including Shell Oil coming up dry and calling an end (for now) to their misadventurous quest for oil in the otherwise pristine Arctic; NASA announcing the discovery of flowing liquid water on Mars, allowing for the possibility of human travel to the planet; And Presidents Obama and Putin both addressing the U.N. General Assembly, offering conflicting assessments of the worsening crisis in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Then, I'm joined by Neela Banerjee, investigative journalist at Inside Climate News, to discuss the Pulitzer Prize winning organization's explosive new series of reports revealing that Exxon's scientists had confirmed the catastrophic effects of man-made global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels as long ago as 1977. But, rather than continue their work on that finding, they turned tail in an attempt to obscure their own science with the massive funding of climate change denial front groups.

"In the '70s and '80s they really wanted to be seen as a leader in climate research because they understood the implications of climate change for their business as a fossil fuel producer," Banerjee explains. She says Exxon "thought that the best way to shape whatever policies would emerge to limit fossil fuel emissions...was do really good science and have a seat at the table. That's obviously different from the approach they started taking in 1989."

Banerjee, formerly a New York Times reporter and now co-author of Inside Climate's multi-part series based on months of digging into four decades of company documents and interviews with former Exxon scientists and other employees, goes on to explain the known circumstances of the company's sudden about-face to become a major funding source for the denialist movement.

"Even before the question of CO2 appeared on the scene and started to shape their thinking about continuing to produce fossil fuels, Exxon was already starting to think of potentially becoming a diversified energy company," she tells me, detailing the company's early work on lithium ion batteries, solar and nuclear energy and even hybrid cars. "Exxon had this mindset that they were not just wedded to oil and gas."

But then, with a drop in oil prices, things changed, including leadership at the company. Exxon began discussing "uncertainty and kept cherry-picking quotes from scientists to say that there was too much that was unclear to warrant enormous action on cutting back fossil fuels and changing our economy." In other words, they knew, they denied, and they didn't seem to care.

I also ask Banerjee about the lack of corporate mainstream media coverage of her remarkable series --- (even MSNBC has failed to cover it) --- and she describes how its even worse than I had realized. We also discuss whether Exxon (and other Big Oil entities) might face legal liability for obscuring the known harm caused by their products in the same way that Big Tobacco eventually did.

Lots of revealing conversation on all of that and more on today's BradCast...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2015 5:49pm PT  

News is breaking like crazy today. We do our best to cover it all on today's BradCast, along with yet another new chapter in the long and shameful history of voter suppression by Republicans in the state of Florida.

Among the stories covered on today's thrilling, action-packed adventure!...

• The sudden resignation of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner; the gleeful reaction to it from Republicans; who might replace him, and who the hell would want to?

• China and the U.S. come to an 'understanding' on cyberhacks...at least some of them...as President Obama meets with President Xi Jinping in Washington D.C.

• Pope-mania continues, as Francis wows 'em at the U.N. General Assembly in New York City today.

• And we take a trip back down to Florida, where new audio recordings, revealing evidence of a blatant vote suppression scheme in the Sunshine State, remind us (yet again) why it is so outrageous that the Rightwingers on the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the federal Voting Rights Act...

All of that, plus China announces a nationwide cap-and-trade program to curb carbon emissions; AP has a new way to describe climate change deniers, and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report...

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

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Guest: Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network...
By Brad Friedman on 9/24/2015 6:01pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Pope Francis' historic addresses to the U.S. Congress on the heels of his landmark remarks at the White House yesterday.

Rev. Mitch Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network --- an organization working to bridge the partisan gaps on climate stewardship --- joins us to discuss both. He was at the White House on Wednesday for the Pope's address there and joined the throngs on the Mall in D.C. today. He describes the experience yesterday as "probably my most memorable experience".

He explains why that is and how the event has given him hope that we may get out of "our partisan silos" and "actually accomplish something in the United States. Instead of just having these partisan divides. We could agree on the things we agree on, and least dialogue on the things that we don't agree on."

We discuss why it is that, following the call for action on climate change and global warming from previous Popes we did not have the same kind of denialist response from the Right as we are now seeing. "What the Pope does more than anything else," Hescox says, "is he puts the issues of climate change...about being as pro-life, about being hope for rebuilding the economy, about sustainable energy for all. And that's the kind of language that, I think, awakens conservatives --- both theologically and political.

"I think that puts a little fear in people that the momentum is gathering against those who would differ on climate change, for all sorts of reasons... And it also puts fear in those whose way of life and, quite honestly, maybe whose funding sources may change."

Hescox rebuts the GOP/Fox "News" notion that Francis is "being political" in his positions on climate and other (suddenly) controversial issues. "He stands in the tradition of the Bible, which mandates to care for the Earth, to be good stewards of it and certainly, as we all know, to care for 'the least of these', which climate change impacts the most severely, both here in this country and around the world."

"Pastor Mitch" was last on the show in June, following the release of the Pope's encyclical on climate change. He tells me today that, since then, he's seen "a groundswell building" in the religious communinty and even saw, by way of one example, his own "moderate" Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), "support the EPA's Clean Power Plan basically because of his faith, because of the Pope's actions."

In the meantime, however, GOPers continue to try and marginalize the Pope as "meddling in politics" or, worse, as a "false Pope". Those folks are roundly criticized and held up to the ridicule they so richly deserve on today's program...which also includes one of the funniest moments in BradCast history. (At least in my opinion --- if not Desi Doyen's.)

Also today: More than 700 Muslim pilgrims are killed during an horrific stampede near a holy site in Saudi Arabia.

Download MP3 or listen to the complete program online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 9/23/2015 4:54pm PT  

On today's BradCast, live from Pacifica Radio's KPFK, as Pope Francis makes his historic visit to the U.S., speaks at the White House on climate change, canonizes a controversial figure and makes Republicans heads explode, we discuss it all and take listener calls --- some of them fairly strange (though entertaining) --- on all of the above.

Also today, more on that new warning about old voting machines and how the Volkswagen computer software emissions scandal underscores worries about computerized voting and counting systems in 2016.

All of that and more today, including Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report. A very short description for a very busy show. Enjoy!

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

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Guest: John Nichols of The Nation | PLUS: Hillary finally takes a position on the Keystone XL pipeline...
By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2015 5:02pm PT  

On today's BradCast...

First: The Nation's Washington Correspondent and Wisconsin native son John Nichols joins us to explain what went wrong with the Walker campaign and what to expect in the wake of a state Supreme Court Justice dying yesterday in court.

"The fantasy," upon which Walker's campaign was built, Nichols tells me, "was that Americans hate trade unions so much --- they hate living wages, they hate good benefits, they hate weekends off, they hate vacations --- so much, that they were ready to elect a guy whose only argument for himself was that he got in a fight with the unions. And when Walker actually got the spotlight and he started talking about his record, what he wanted to do, everybody got bored in about five minutes."

Even Republicans "said, 'what else do you have for us?'," he says. "In fact a fifth of Republicans say they think unions should be stronger. So the notion that there's some scorching anti-union sentiment out there isn't true."

Nichols contends it wasn't a lack of funding that did Walker in, but he also explains why the Koch Brothers --- who have long been Walker's his biggest supporters --- didn't bother riding to his rescue. "When you play with billionaires, they always set the rules of the game," he explains.

Also, Nichols details how yesterday's sudden death of state Supreme Court Justice N. Patrick Crooks could shake up the balance of the court --- perhaps even more in Scott Walker's favor than it already is --- as another contentious court election battle now looms once again in the Badger State.

Next: The U.S. Judicial Conference sends its report [PDF] to the U.S. Congress on the now-resigned and long-disgraced U.S. District Court Judge Mark F. Fuller, following his arrest on domestic violence charges last year. Turns out, as we've long suspected and reported, Fuller was found, during the year-long investigation, to be a serial wife-beater.

"Judge Fuller physically abused [his second wife] Kelli Fuller at least eight times, both before and after they married, which included and culminated in the assault that took place on August 9, 2012, in the Riz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Atlanta, Georgia," the cover letter on the report to Congress reads. The Special Commission of federal judges investigating the matter also found the Judge lied (committed perjury) to the panel of federal judges carrying out the probe, and should be impeached by Congress for his "reprehensible conduct", even though he has already resigned.

I offer details and background on the full case on today's program, including information on Fuller's lifetime appointment to the federal bench by George W. Bush in 2002, his participation in the Karl Rove-cabal takedown of Alabama's Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman (who is still in federal prison following his sentencing by Fuller), and more.

My full report on this latest Fuller news, including some of the apparently false information his attorney offered me earlier this year (which I declined to report at the time), and Kelli Fuller's chilling 911 call from that hotel room in Atlanta last year, is now posted here.

Finally: Mid-show today, we received word that Hillary Clinton finally decided to take a public position on the Keystone XL pipeline. We've got her announcement and reaction to it from her fellow Democratic 2016 opponents and even a predictable thought or two from the Republican side of the contest...

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

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Guest: Lawrence Norden, co-author of Brennan Center's disturbing study
PLUS: Walker drops out, Fiorina moves up...
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2015 5:39pm PT  

We've got a lot to cover on today's BradCast (in addition to welcoming about our newest affiliate partner, WLRI 93FM in Lancaster, PA!)

First, some Presidential politics, including the late breaking news of Republican superstar and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker plummeting to the bottom of the 2016 GOP race for President and then promptly dropping out. At the same time, failed businesswoman and successful fantasist Carly Fiorina has surged in to 2nd place nationallly, even as Fox "News", of all outlets, challenges her on her pretend memories of a deceptively edited Planned Parenthood smear video.

Then, Volkswagen admits that their cars were built to hoax emissions testing by only kicking in pollution controls when the cars' computers sensed that they were undergoing emissions tests!

That, sadly enough, is meant to take us to our main story today, the new report from Brennan Center for Justice warning that "America's Voting Systems are at Risk" [PDF]. My guest is Lawrence Norden, co-author of the new report with Christopher Famighetti, explaining how the electronic voting systems in at least 43 states are more than a decade old and could fail entirely at any moment.

"The biggest finding is that, in the vast majority of the country, machines are at or rapidly approaching the ends of their life spans, and that, right now anyway, in most places, there aren't plans or budgets to replace them," Norden explains. "With older machines also comes just a difficulty in finding replacement parts. They're often running on very old software which creates security vulnerabilities --- so there are a lot of reasons that we need to start taking this more seriously."

Those failing machines, he goes on to tell me, resulted in some 500-700,000 votes being lost in last year's election alone, thanks to long lines that occur when these machines fail to work at all on Election Day. There is also a racial disparity to go along with those numbers, as Norden details, because "wealthier counties are in a position to replace their equipment that is aging, and those that don't have those resources are not."

While the report is expansive, well-researched and, justifiably, received a decent amount of attention from mainstream media sources upon its release last week, I share my concern with Norden that, while the study covers so much of what we've known for years (and have reported, virtually non-stop, for more than a decade both here at The BRAD BLOG and on The BradCast), the study's recommendations to replace old electronic systems with new electronic systems that will have many of the same problems is quite troubling. Nowhere in the report are overseeable, fully transparent hand-marked, hand-counted paper ballot systems discussed, despite such systems being regarded by many as Democracy's Gold Standard.

I also share my concerns with Norden about the report's timing, coming out right now when it is largely too late to replace voting systems --- at least with new electronic systems --- before voting begins in the 2016 cycle.

Norden, who I've had lively debates with in the past on related issues, says the Center's report is "not favoring any kind of technology," even if it is clear that they are calling for computer technology over more transparent and overseeable hand-counted systems. "I'm not crazy about the idea of having people just vote on paper without some kind of notification of potential errors," he argues, "notification that their vote won't be read."

He also argues, in making his case that computers are "more accurate" than hand-counts, that "a lot of vote-by-mail is not counted", mostly due to voter error.

Beyond that, I'll let you give the conversation a listen and you can decide for yourself what to make of the new report and its recommendations. I'll be delighted to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!...

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

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Impeachment of now-resigned jurist recommended; Report contradicts prior, unreported claims made by Fuller's attorney to The BRAD BLOG
Gov. Don Siegelman (D-AL), sentenced by corrupt, disgraced, abusive judge who failed to recuse, remains in federal prison as Fuller roams free...
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2015 12:37pm PT  

"Impeachment of former United States District Judge Mark E. Fuller [Middle District, Alabama] may be warranted," according to the Special Committee to the Judicial Council of the U.S. 11th Circuit Court.

While Fuller has already resigned from his lifetime appointment in the wake of his wife-beating scandal, the panel of federal judges found "the severity of the misconduct" by the former jurist so "reprehensible", they believe impeachment may be appropriate nonetheless.

"In the event that the House of Representatives determines in its sound discretion that impeachment is not warranted, this certification may also serve as a public censure of Judge Fuller's reprehensible conduct, which has no doubt brought disrepute to the Judiciary and cannot constitute the 'good behavior' required of a federal judge," U.S. Judicial Conference Secretary James C. Duff wrote in his letter [PDF] to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, accompanying the final report of the Special Committee.

As the panel of federal judges tasked by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court with investigating the 2014 arrest of Alabama's U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller on spousal abuse charges proceeded over the past year, his Birmingham attorney, Barry Ragsdale, was adamant about his client's innocence.

Fuller "never hit, punched, slapped or kicked," his wife Kelli on the night he was hauled away by police from the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta following her chilling call to 911, Ragsdale repeated over and over to any media outlet which would listen.

Judge Fuller made similar "repeated statements under oath before the Special Committee," according to Duff. The Committee found those assertions to be "false."

As we suspected over the past year --- and as both 911 evidence and evidence from the divorce proceedings in Judge Fuller's previous marriage suggested as well --- Ragsdale's assertions on behalf of his client were completely untrue. At least according to the final report issued by that panel of judicial investigators last week.

In an email exchange with The BRAD BLOG earlier this year, Ragsdale even went so far as to describe our detailed coverage of the Fuller affair [see complete index below] as "sensationalized and misleading". He suggested that Fuller's second wife Kelli --- who, during that chilling call to 911, tearily begged for an ambulance, as apparent sounds of battering could be heard through the phone --- had made the entire thing up. Ragsdale claimed she admitted as much under oath during the probe by the judges impaneled to investigate the matter.

"Your blog entries on this case suffer from the very glaring misapprehension that Kelli Fuller was telling the truth when she claimed that Judge Fuller was 'beating on me' to the 911 dispatcher," Ragsdale told The BRAD BLOG via email last March. "The only thing that is clear from the 911 call is that Kelli Fuller was drunk when she made the call."

The Birhimgham attorney asserted that he had "a very decided advantage" over us "when discussing the facts of this matter," due to the fact that he had heard "the sworn testimony of all of the witnesses with knowledge about this case, and I have examined and cross-examined them under oath."

"The truth," Ragsdale continued in one part of his email that we declined to report publicly at the time, "is that even Kelli Fuller has admitted under oath that the 'slap' sounds that you think you hear on the 911 tape were not caused by Judge Fuller hitting her. Instead, Kelli Fuller has admitted under oath that the brief physical altercation between her and Judge Fuller was over before she ever called 911."

He claimed that it was Kelli Fuller who, in fact, "assault[ed]" and "attack[ed]" the judge, who was otherwise lying on the bed, minding his own business while watching TV.

Ragsdale's description of events at the Ritz-Carlton that night appear to be in stark contradiction to the report submitted by the panel of federal judges. They assert that Judge Fuller's behavior towards his wife was far worse than we had reported and included "at least" eight different instances of spousal abuse between Fuller and his second wife Kelli, "both before and after they were married, which included and culminated in the assault that took place on August 9, 2014, in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Atlanta, George," according to Duff's description of the Judicial Conference report.

While we reported some of Ragsdale's comments at the time, we declined to report both his characterization of Kelli Fuller's sworn testimony before the panel of judges, as well as his characterization of the sworn testimony by Fuller's first wife Lisa. In both cases, the testimony had been confidential at the time and it was impossible for us to verify what had or hadn't been said. We had only Ragsdale's word for it. Moreover, as his previous public assertions were often in apparent contradiction from known evidence --- and he was unwilling or unable to offer evidence to back up his assertions about the sworn, confidential testimony and other supposed evidence that he claimed to have access to --- it seemed irresponsible to uncritically publish hearsay and unverifiable claims that he was clearly offering us in hopes of exonerating his own client in the "court of public opinion".

The 11th Circuit Court's Judicial Council report, forwarded to the U.S. Judiciary Council and then to the U.S. House of Representatives last week, as AP notes, paints a very different picture of that probe, declaring that, in fact, Judge Fuller was a serial domestic abuser, whose conduct was nothing short of "reprehensible"...

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




Guest: Howie Klein of Down With Tyranny and Blue America PAC
Plus: NYT notices the GOP is crazy; Trump's plan to 'save Social Security'; and the hottest August ever recorded on the planet...
By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2015 5:11pm PT  

After a week talking (mostly) about sleazy Republicans, we switch to sleazy Democrats today for a bit on The BradCast.

I'm joined by great progressive blogger Howie Klein of DownWithTyranny.com, who is also co-founder of the Blue America PAC, to discuss the recent smear of Bernie Sanders by a Hillary Clinton-supporting Super PAC, which is not supposed to be coordinating with the Clinton campaign or vice versa. But are they?

"There's no chance that it's not coordinated," Klein tells me, while admitting he has no hard evidence. "They'll deny it. It's illegal. If they admitted it, they would all go to jail. But the Clinton campaign, just like the Republican campaigns of Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz and Scott Walker --- they're all coordinating with their SuperPACs."

Klein details his assertions and his thoughts on the $1.2 million raised by Sanders in response to the smear, in the 48 hours after it!

Also, we discuss the absurd fiction of these so-called "SuperPACs", the failure of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to do anything about blatant violations of campaign finance laws, and the remarkable hypocrisy of the DNC and the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) in the wake of the GOP's latest threat to shut down the government, this time over a pretend Planned Parenthood "controversy".

Also today: New York Times finally notices how the Republican Party has lost touch with reality; Donald Trump's ingenious "plan" to "save Social Security"; and Desi Doyen joins us with Green News Report coverage of this week's CNN/GOP debate and the hottest August ever recorded on Planet Earth...

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

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