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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, July 23, 2017
Constitutional Crisis Nears, Democracy Crisis Now: 'BradCast' 7/20/17
Guest: Legal analyst Ernest A. Canning on lawsuit and media fail in GA-06; Also: Trump's DoJ threat; NYT health care failure; Israel to hand-count ballots due to hack threat...
'Green News Report' 7/20/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
CA extends landmark climate program, but enviros say it's not enough; Trump re-opens offshore drilling in Arctic; PLUS: 2017 already breaking new global heat records as of June...
Previous GNRs: 7/18/17 - 7/13/17 - Archives...
Civilian War Deaths Skyrocket; Bipartisan CA Climate Action: 'BradCast' 7/19/17
Guest: R.L. Miller, climate hawk Dem, on opposition to the CA bills; Also: Big Oil's big trouble; State Dept. war crimes office closing...
GOP's ObamaCare Repeal Collapses (Again. Twice.): 'BradCast' 7/18/2017
What's the next illegit plan for Trump and Congress?; Also: 2016 election hacks worse than known; Kobach commission's voter suppression already a success...
'Green News Report' 7/18/17
Raging wildfires in British Columbia; Trump reduces royalties on offshore drilling; Energy Dept. study contra- dicts Energy Sec. claims; PLUS: Nuns block gas pipeline...
With ObamaCare Repeal on Brink, Admin Ups Their Lies: 'BradCast' 7/17/17
Guest: Ned Resnikoff of ThinkProgress; Plus: Guess what happened after TX cut family planning funding...
Sunday Toons of 'Borscht Thickens' Moment
Trump White House 'nothing burgers' more rancid by the moment. Plus: Voter suppression, e-voting, melting Antarctica in PDiddie's latest weekly toon collection...
Are They Liars? Or Just Incompetent? Or Both?: 'BradCast' 7/14/2017
Breathtaking Team Trump perfidy. Congressional GOPers not much better. Also: Espionage Act turns 100...
Why Do Georgia Election Officials Insist on 100% Unverifiable Elections?
Another contested election in GA following more than a decade of failures, vulnerabilities, repeated warnings...
Nun Too Happy: Catholic Order Builds Chapel to Block Pipeline: 'BradCast' 7/13/17
Guest: Pastor Malinda Harnish Clatterbuck; Plus: What is Team Trump hiding? And why?...
'Green News Report' 7/13/17
Huge iceberg breaks off Antarctica; Tesla builds world's biggest battery; EPA reviving controversial Pebble Mine; PLUS: France nixing coal, internal combustion engine...
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...


State contracted e-vote and pollbook programmers at Kennesaw State Univ. told of vulnerability last year, covered it up, left files unprotected
Also: Unlawful U.S. war on Syria expands, incurs Russian wrath; Dem plan to slow GOP Senate's secret health care bill; Fatal anti-Muslim attacks in London, Virginia...
By Brad Friedman on 6/19/2017 6:47pm PT  

On today's BradCast, another blockbuster report confirms vulnerabilities in our nation's voting systems that I've been trying to warn about for more than a decade, and several other stories not receiving the dire attention merited this week. [Audio link to complete show is posted below.]

In advance of Tuesday's highly contested U.S. House Special Election in Georgia's 6th Congressional District --- the most expensive House race in U.S. history --- Politico Magazine's Kim Zetter offers an absolutely chilling bombshell of a report headlined "Will the Georgia Special Election Get Hacked?" She reports that gigabytes of unsecured data --- including passwords for e-voting system central tabulators, voter registration databases and much more were kept on a wholly unsecured web server, potentially for years, at Kennesaw State University's Center for Election Systems.

The KSU Center, as they describe on their website, was "created and charged with the responsibility of ensuring the integrity of voting systems in Georgia" since the state adopted its statewide, 100% unverifiable Diebold touch-screen voting system in 2002. Those same machines are still used there today, despite their age (they run on a version of Windows 2000) and massive, well-documented vulnerabilities to hacking and insider manipulation. Nonetheless, the Center for Election Systems has long been cited as a model for election administration by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and is responsible for the security and programming of every 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting system, computerized central tabulator, and electronic pollbook used across the state of Georgia.

The unsecured data files at Kennesaw, according to Zetter, were discovered prior to last year's Presidential Election and reported to the Center, but were still available online for download without a password at the beginning of March this year, during the run-up to the April primary election in the GA-06 House race. The data may, in fact, have been available there for years, even as Kennesaw's Executive Director Merle King, who has spent years testifying in court on behalf of Diebold's systems, reportedly failed to inform GA Sec. of State Brian Kemp about the breach last year after he was informed of it. In fact, Zetter notes that he warned the outside computer security researcher who discovered it not to inform the state. GA's former Sec. of State, Karen Handel, is the Republican House candidate in the reportedly very tight GA-06 race against Democrat Jon Ossoff and is said to have repeatedly blocked a security analysis of the Center years earlier while serving as the state's chief election official.

When the results of the House contest are announced on Tuesday night --- whichever party's candidate is declared the winner --- it will be virtually impossible to know if the results are accurate or if even one vote cast on GA's 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems were recorded as per any voter's intent.

While many of the vulnerabilities in GA's terrible voting and tabulation systems have been publicly known for years, the fact that the security at Kennesaw's Center for Elections is even far worse than ever imagined is both new and absolutely chilling in regard to both Georgia elections, and all others across the country, as I explain in detail on today's program.

Beyond that nightmarish report today, we also cover two different fatal attacks on Muslims over the past 24 hours, one in London and one in Virginia (and Donald Trump's failure to comment on either of them); The new Democratic strategy to slow down progress on the Obamacare replacement bill being crafted by Senate Republicans in complete secrecy, without public hearings or amendments in advance of a possible floor vote on the controversial legislation before the July 4th recess; And, the U.S. shoots down a Syrian bomber over Syria in violation of international law and without any authorization (or complaint or debate) from Congressional Republicans or Democrats alike, even as the weekend incident has drawn the wrath and potential targeting of U.S. aircraft over Syria by its ally Russia...

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

Several other recent programs in The BradCast's series of reports leading up to the GA-06 U.S. House Special Election:

  • 4/4/2017: Computer and e-voting expert Barbara Simons on the initial reports of a "massive breach" of the state voter database files at Kennesaw State University
  • 5/8/2017: Garland Favorito of election watchdog VoterGA.org on the group's disturbing analysis of the central computer tabulator failure on the night of the April primary in GA-06.
  • 6/6/2017: Election integrity expert Marilyn Marks on her lawsuit demanding hand-counted paper ballots in the GA-06 race.
  • 6/12/2017: Diebold document whistleblower Steven Heller on Diebold caught lying in California in 2004 about the exact same machines still used in Georgia in 2017. (CA decertified them after Heller's disclosure.) And on the NSA analysis recently released by NSA contractor Reality Winner on spear-phishing attacks that may have allowed access to the voting system computers of election officials across the country prior to the 2016 Presidential election.

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By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2017 6:05pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we cover the breaking news of several mass shootings that happened today in the US, and the reactions to them, and/or lack thereof. [Audio link to full show follows below.]

In Alexandria, VA during early morning batting practice for a charity baseball game between Republican and Democratic members of Congressman, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), a Congressional aide, a member of the Capitol Police and a lobbyist were taken down in a hail of least at 50 bullets, during a shooting spree that reportedly went on, according to Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who was also on the scene, "for 5 to 10 minutes".

House GOP Whip Scalise and the Tyson Foods lobbyist, Matt Mika, are both said to be in critical condition following surgery as of air time. The alleged shooter, reported to have been a supporter of Bernie Sanders' Presidential campaign and an opponent of the Trump Administration (with a history of domestic violence), was eventually killed by members of the Capitol Police and the Alexandria Police after a lengthy gun battle.

We have reaction from lawmakers and statements of unity issued in the aftermath by the President, the Republican and Democratic House leaders, as well as the condemnation of the violence from Sen. Sanders.

Shortly thereafter, in San Francisco, five were shot, three fatally, before the shooter killed himself at a UPS facility.

Neither incident is believed to be related to international terrorism (the shooter in VA was a white, middle-aged man from Belleville, IL, the shooter in San Francisco has not been identified as of air time), yet a Republican Senator led off a hearing today by appearing to link the attack in D.C. to Islamic extremism.

Despite some 32,000 gun deaths per year and so many mass shootings by domestic extremists, including the 2011 Tucson shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, which killed six and wounded 12 others, Congress has failed to take any action (other than to pass a bill signed by Donald Trump earlier this year making it easier for the mentally ill to purchase firearms.)

We take some great calls from listeners today, with some very smart insight on all of the above and the reasons for it (one sagely notes, after recognizing the violence on which our country was build, "we have lost our national soul"), before a few quick news headlines, details of which we must put off until another day due to the breaking news. And then, finally, we're joined by Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report...

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

*** NOTE: I'm on the road for the next two days, so will be running 'Best Ofs'! But please read this (which I couldn't get to today, but it's VERY important!) in the meantime. We'll be back with a fresh BradCast on Monday!

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Plus: More bad court news for Trump on his 'travel ban' and the Emoluments Clause, but perhaps good court news for him in GA-06...
By Brad Friedman on 6/12/2017 6:46pm PT  

On today's BradCast, things are not going well in the judicial system for Donald Trump. And, an election-related whistleblower joins us to offer insight into the undoubtedly agonizing decision of another election-related whistleblower who was arrested just last week. [Audio link to show follows below.]

The week is not starting off well for Trump in the courts. A second U.S. Court of Appeals has now upheld lower court rulings blocking his second Muslim "travel ban" Executive Order. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals echoed a similar finding by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals late last month. The new court loss comes on the same day that the Attorneys General of Washington D.C. and Maryland filed a lawsuit against Trump's alleged violations of the U.S. Constitution's Emoluments Clauses, prohibiting elected officials like Trump from receiving payments from foreign and state governments.

But he may have won one in Georgia where, late last week, a state judge denied and dismissed [PDF] a complaint [PDF] and motion for a Temporary Restraining Order [PDF] seeking to demand paper ballots at the polling place for next week's much-watched (and most expensive ever) U.S. House special election. That, as voters will still be forced instead to use 100% unverifiable Diebold touch-screen voting systems at the polling place instead.

Then, speaking of elections and Diebold's unverifiable touch-screen systems, we're joined by "Diebold Document Whistleblower" [PDF] STEPHEN HELLER who, while working at a law firm in 2004, discovered the company and its attorneys were lying to the state of California about having illicitly installed uncertified hardware and software into its unverifiable voting systems that were, back then, allowed for use in the state. The touch-screen voting systems were decertified by the state following Heller's disclosures, but he paid a stiff price for sharing attorney-client privileged documents with the media. The same system he blew the whistle on in 2004 will be use in Georgia for next week's Special Election, and Heller offers thoughts on that issue.

But Heller joined us specifically today to share his unique perspective on another election-related leaker/whistleblower, 25-year old NSA contractor and Air Force vet Reality Leigh Winner. Her arrest comes on the heels of the release of U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, whose 35-year sentenced was commuted by President Obama before leaving office, to the seven years Manning served since her conviction.

Winner was charged [PDF] last week under the 1917 Espionage Act for leaking a "Top Secret" NSA analysis to the press, which asserted that, prior to last year's election, Russian intelligence had used spear-phishing attacks to try and gain access to the computers of election officials around the country. Those same computers are often used to program voting systems, tabulators and voter registration databases. Under the espionage charges, Winner will not be allowed to make her case to the jury as to why she leaked the classified materials, nor explain how she believed them to be in the public interest, said fellow NSA-contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden last week.

Heller offers his own insight into the difficult decision he believes Winner faced when deciding to leak the documents, and explains why whistleblowers like him are often forced to decide to do the wrong things for the right reasons. "I felt that the crime of violating attorney-client privilege in this single, isolated, discrete instance, was worthwhile --- that I had to get this information out to the public so that the people of California and the rest of the country would know that this corporation was diddling our elections," he tells me.

"I think the message in both Ms. Winner's situation and mine is essentially the same --- our elections are under attack. And we Americans can't be complacent. We must protect our elections. Keep them clean, fair, open, untainted either by corporations or foreign nations or our own politicians and elections officials."

"What is illegal is not always wrong," Heller goes on to explain, from his unique perspective on the agonizing choices that folks like him and Winner (and Manning, and Snowden, et al) face when deciding to do what they did. "There's no question that if she did indeed leak these documents, as is alleged, that was illegal. But is it wrong? Reasonable minds may disagree."

Lots of stuff in my conversation with Heller (who, by way of full disclosure, has become a friend and occasional BRAD BLOG contributor in his years since blowing the whistle on Diebold) is worth tuning in for today. Much more than I can detail here!

Finally, a major energy utility company in Virginia tries to help choose the winner of the state's Democratic gubernatorial primary on Tuesday, and an otherwise Trump-loving Fox "News" anchor charges Trump's problem isn't fake news or the media, it's Donald Trump...

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: Legal journalist Mark Joseph Stern of Slate...
By Brad Friedman on 5/30/2017 6:43pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Trump is back from his "incredible, historic" overseas trip, where everything was wildly successful, according to the White House. Longtime U.S. allies, however, do not appear to agree. Also, both he and fellow Republicans are facing a number of setbacks in court on both immigration and election-related matters. [Audio link to show posted below.]

The President returned from his 9-day overseas trip over the weekend amid still-growing investigations into Team Trump's secretive dealings with Russia and after, apparently, ticking off a number of very close U.S. allies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in particular, appeared disturbed about several issues, including Trump's failure to commit to keeping the US in the landmark UN Paris Climate agreement. Also, both before and during the trip, Trump managed to repeatedly lie about NATO members' commitments to the alliance. We've got some much-needed fact checking on that.

In the meantime, over the past week, there have been a number of landmark court rulings, both at the Appellate Court level (regarding Trump's second attempt at an Executive Order banning travel from six Muslim-majority nations and indefinitely barring refugees from war-torn Syria) and at the U.S. Supreme Court in two separate election-related cases (one on campaign finance and one on partisan and racial gerrymandering that could have far-reaching consequences.) Both cases also reveal interesting --- and somewhat surprising --- positions from Justice Clarence Thomas and the stolen Supreme Court's newest Justice Neal Gorsuch.

Legal journalist Mark Joseph Stern of Slate.com joins us to unpack all of those encouraging rulings, to explain why each is important, and to discuss what happens moving forward in all of them. He also offers a much-needed reminder of how the Trump Administration is still working below the mainstream media radar to deport thousands of undocumented immigrants --- on the thinnest of grounds, such as a traffic ticket --- despite many of them having lived in the U.S. since childhood or otherwise having children and family here. Those disturbing deportations continue, even as so many in the media (including us!) get too easily distracted by, as Stern notes, "Trump's latest tweets".

As to the election-related cases at SCOTUS, one of them, upholding campaign finance restrictions on the amount that individuals are allowed to donate to candidates and parties, may reveal what many have argued about Gorsuch --- whose seat was stolen for him by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Senate Republicans. Namely, that he is at least as far to the Right as Clarence Thomas, and perhaps even more so.

The other finding by the Supremes last week, agreeing with a lower court ruling that two North Carolina Congressional Districts were unlawfully drawn on a racial basis, is likely to have far reaching consequences as applied to a number of other recent, similar cases (in Texas, Virginia, Alabama, etc.) in which Republicans were found to have unconstitutionally drawn districts based on race. But, and here's where last week's ruling may set an important precedent, the majority opinion written by Justice Elena Kagan also finds that using race as a proxy for partisan gerrymandering is also in violation of the Constitution. In recent years, Republicans have argued that certain voting restrictions and gerrymandered districts were not done on a racial basis, but on a partisan one. The latter, they argue, is perfectly legal and Constitutional. Incredibly enough, that may be true --- at least for the moment --- but it was rejected in the NC case.

The state had argued that black voters were packed into just a couple of districts because they tend to vote Democratic, not because they were black. "The problem for the Court with that was that even though North Carolina purported to be using race as a mere proxy for partisanship,it was still using race," Stern explains. "And the five Justices in the majority said, 'Look, we get that you think this was just about partisanship. We get that you weren't trying to discriminate against black people. You were trying to discriminate against Democrats. But you still used race, you used black people, to accomplish your goals. And that, in itself, is a violation of the Equal Protection clause.'"

In other words, he says, the Court found: "You are no longer allowed to use the excuse that you weren't discriminating against blacks, you were discriminating against Democrats. It doesn't matter who you were trying to discriminate against --- what matters is that you used race as a proxy. That is the constitutional tripwire."

As to whether discriminating against Democrats on a partisan basis, that argument is now being tested in courts, says Stern. For now, though, it appears to have failed, at least in this North Carolina case and, in a seemingly shocking turn, didn't even win over Clarence Thomas, of all people. He joined the Court's liberal justices to give them the 5 to 3 majority in the case!...

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

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'Chaotic darkness' at Trump's White House; Bipartisan agreement in Congress; Flynn and Pence go cold Turkey; Eye on McGahn; More unauthorized US war in Syria; MUCH more from today's news tsunami...
By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2017 6:31pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we do our best to surf today's news tsunami, with a focus on a few troubling and under-appreciated stories amid the political flood pouring out of Washington and around the world in the wake of the DoJ's appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Among the huge number of quickly moving and/or under-covered stories pieced together on today's show...

  • CA Assembly bill calls for Donald Trump's impeachment;
  • U.S. launches new airstrike on Syrian forces (despite Congressional failure to authorize attacks on a sovereign nation, which could result in war with Russia);
  • Michael Flynn blocked President Obama's planned offensive against ISIS, which was opposed by Flynn's secret client Turkey;
  • Trump Team was told of FBI investigation of Flynn long before inauguration;
  • VP Mike Pence, head of Trump Transition, still claims he knew nothing about Flynn's ties to foreign nations;
  • Suspicion grows over Team Trump attorney, White House counsel Don McGahn;
  • Senate Intel Chair offers two different stories on Flynn subpoenas;
  • House Oversight Chair announces he's quitting Congress next month;
  • Mueller's appointment receives mostly bipartisan support, as....;
  • ...White House turns 'chaotically dark', cancels Kellyanne Conway appearance on Fox 'News', before...
  • Trump turns against appointment of Mueller to describe it as 'unprecedented witch hunt', which 'divides the country', even as he begins to separate himself from 'Russia collusion' and prepares to throw campaign team under the bus;
  • Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with, among other things, a citizen call to action to save National Monuments set for possible repeal by the Trump Administration...

I wish our countries had "scandals" like this one instead...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 5/18/2017 10:58am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Virginia's Governor sets up statewide carbon cap-and-trade system; Bears Ears National Monument targeted for repeal on behalf of oil and gas industry; EPA gets an earful on which pollution regulations to repeal --- or not; PLUS: See it while you still can --- Glacier National Park's glaciers are going, going... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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

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

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 5 reasons why the Regulatory Accountability Act is bad for science; Vulnerable communities lash out as companies sway climate talks; Nearly half of CA salmon species face extinction; Loggers hope to fire up chain saws in Trump era; Iowa senator slams Rick Perry for undermining wind energy; Pesticide sickens workers one month after Trump EPA refuses to ban it; Scientists identify another coral reef devastated by warming; Is the era of nuclear power coming to an end?... PLUS: Blood tests significantly underestimate blood levels, CDC warns... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




Guest: Pamela Smith of President of VerifiedVoting.org...
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2016 6:16pm PT  

There's been a lot of talk of "rigged" elections this year, but not only from Donald Trump and his supporters. Democrats, until recently, have also been warning that our electoral system was under threat of manipulation by outsiders. But, today, the President offered a very different message to voters, arguing that "there is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America's elections."

Huh? Well, that's confusing. So, we try and get a bit closer to the facts on all sides of this issue on today's BradCast. [Audio link to show posted below.]

While Hillary Clinton appears to be opening up a substantive lead in a number of nationwide polls, Trump's rhetoric of a "rigged" election grows more desperate and incendiary each day. Oddly enough, however, his message does not appear to be winning over many converts. In fact, evidence suggests his own supporters are not growing less confident in the election, but his rhetoric may actually be improving confidence among Dems that votes will be counted as cast.

But, is that confidence warranted? Just weeks ago Democrats were warning us about the possibility of voting, tabulation and voter registration systems being hacked by foreign entities like Russia. But now, many Democrats and Republicans alike, including the President in the Rose Garden today, are making the case that our election systems are secure and cannot be hacked. So which is it?

I'm joined today, to try and figure it all out, by Pamela Smith, president of VerifiedVoting.org, a non-partisan organization which closely tracks voting and registration systems --- and their well-documented vulnerabilities to manipulation --- in all 50 states and at the federal level.

As longtime BRAD BLOG readers know well, yes, our voting and registration systems --- in every state --- remain vulnerable to error and tampering by outsiders and, more directly, election insiders. Because we use computer tabulation systems, it's often impossible (as with touch-screens) or unlikely (as with op-scans) to know that results accurately reflect voter intent. That alone remains a threat to confidence in our electoral system, no matter how confident many would like voters to be today.

"The challenge we have when we use electronic systems is that some problems that can be introduced into those systems are difficult or impossible to detect," says Smith. "Evidence-based elections is a really important standard for us to have nationwide. It builds confidence when jurisdictions can demonstrate that votes were counted correctly."

Smith and I discuss all of that, examine some of the most vulnerable areas (Hello, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada!), and talk about what, if anything, can be done to try and assure that votes will be counted as cast in Election 2016 for President, Congress, the U.S. Senate, state and local contests as well as ballot measures and everything else. Much more detail than I can effectively summarize here. So, please give it a listen for yourself.

Near the end, however, with voting already under way in many states and Election Day just three weeks from today, Smith adds this important thought: "The one way we know for sure that your vote won't count is to not show up. And, whether or not you have full confidence in the voting system you're going to use, you still need to make the effort to make your voice heard."

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 10/7/2016 5:52pm PT  

On today's BradCast, with just one month to go before Election Day, the fight to vote continues in key swing states like Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida, where millions have been displaced due to Hurricane Matthew on the final weekend before the voter registration deadline.

As the deadly storm sweeps up the Florida coast, knocking out power and leading to evacuations across the state, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) refuses to extend the state's voter registration deadline, despite major registration drives planned for this weekend forced to be cancelled due to the state emergency and (perhaps because of) the fact that 50,000 voter registered during the same last minute time-frame in 2012. (Meanwhile, in GOP-leaning South Carolina, Republican Gov. Nikki Hailey has extended the deadline in her state.)

In Wisconsin, voter suppression continues as the state's lie to a federal court about the availability of Photo IDs at DMVs continues to disenfranchise 90-year old women and many others, and, thanks to a new law by state Republicans, thousands of absentee ballots are now at risk of being tossed altogether in the Badger State.

In Ohio, absentee ballots and provisionals are being tossed out for technical reasons in urban areas but not rural areas, and a federal appeals court has, once again, declined to take action. All of that while Trump and Republicans continue to lie about non-citizens voting and as the U.S. Dept. of Justice, for the first time in 50 years, will be unable to deploy hundreds of polling place monitors in states with a history of racial discrimination, thanks to the 2013 gutting of the federal Voting Rights Act by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Finally, in 2008, young Jewish voters worked to turn out their elderly Jewish grandparents for Barack Obama in Florida. In 2016, as a new video illustrates, the tables have somewhat turned...

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Guests: Salon's Heather Digby Parton, Crooks And Liars' John Amato...
By Brad Friedman on 10/5/2016 5:20pm PT  

On today's BradCast, coverage and analysis of this year's one and only (thank God!) Vice Presidential Debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia on Tuesday night between Hillary Clinton's centrist Democratic running mate Sen. Tim Kaine of VA and Donald Trump's religious right Republican running mate Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana. [Audio link is posted below.]

It was, in my opinion, as I noted on The Twitters last night, the worst Presidential or Vice Presidential debate in modern U.S. history, thanks in no small part to the disastrously horrible moderator, CBS News' Elaine Quijano. Her questions seem to come straight off of Fox "News" (where CBS News chief David Rhodes previously worked, coincidentally), failed to follow up any answers, failed to either keep decorum between the two candidates or at least get out of their way, and failed to raise real issues of note --- such as gun violence, race issues, health care, global warming, LGBT issues, campaign finance or voting rights, to name just a few --- effecting the actual everyday lives of Americans.

Mike Pence is a man who has argued smoking doesn't cause cancer, denies climate change, couldn't run for President himself in 2016 because he screwed up so badly on the anti-LGBT bill he signed in Indiana, in December of just last year tweeted "Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional" in response to Trump's call for same --- and, yet, Quijano couldn't muster up a single question on any of those incredibly disturbing things from Pence's career.

But it was also the remarkable avalanche of lies, as offered by the very impressive if astonishingly dishonest GOP Veep nominee, which made the evening simply jaw-dropping at times. Some of those lies were rebutted by a struggling, over-eager Kaine. Others have since been left to those in the media who care to sort such things out.

That's where we come in, I guess. I'm joined today to try and make sense of all of the above by Heather Digby Parton of Salon and the Hullabaloo blog, John Amato, founder of the Crooks and Liars blog and, of course, our own Desi Doyen.

Buckle up and tune in as we "whip out that Mexican thing again"...

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By Brad Friedman on 8/15/2016 5:59pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: While the corporate media continues to amplify Trump's BS, we do our best to counter it with actual, independently verifiable facts. Yes, it is possible. [Audio to full show linked below.]

Fact-checks on today's program include long-disproven and yet still-repeated nonsense from Trump's 'major speech on national security and terrorism' in Ohio on Monday --- (You knew it wasn't going to go well when it started with former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani claiming that in the "eight years before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attacks in the United States".) --- and on Trump's wildly misleading claims about 'voter fraud' in Pennsylvania on Friday.

Trump's latest lie concerning voters voting multiple times "in certain areas" in Pennsylvania (they don't) and about the 59 precincts in Philadelphia where Romney received zero votes in 2012 (he did, as we reported at the time, finding it to be neither surprising nor "fraudulent") have all been debunked long ago. But, as he and other desperate Republicans repeat the same bullshit, as he keeps sinking in the polls, we're happy to revisit the facts once again so you can check 'em for yourself.

As to the GOP Presidential nominee's new scheme to combat that 'voter fraud' in PA with police officers and citizens observers, he may be calling for something that is a violation of a long-standing, federal court-approved, 1983 consent decree, signed by the Republican National Committee after a similar voter intimidation scheme was carried out by the GOP in minority areas of New Jersey. We explain.

Also on today's program: Very important news from over the weekend that has not received the coverage it deserves. From the two Muslim clerics gunned-down execution style in broad daylight in Trump's hometown of Queens, NY on Saturday, to the devastating and growing cost of climate change as 20,000 residents of Louisiana were rescued amid record rain and flooding ("close to two feet over a 48-hour period") and 4,000 were evacuated as hundreds of homes were destroyed (for the second year in a row) amid wildfires in just one small, rural county in bone-dry California.

Finally on today's BradCast: the Rightwing talk radio host who may have finally realized what he and his fellow propagandists have done. "There's got to be a reckoning on all this," he said this weekend. "We've created this monster."

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Guest: ACLU Voting Rights Project attorney Julie Ebenstein
Plus: Hillary's DNC bounce, Trump 'unfit', and very bad monkeys...
By Brad Friedman on 8/2/2016 6:19pm PT  

On today's BradCast I'm joined by litigator Julie Ebenstein, staff attorney with the ACLU Voting Rights Project, to discuss the remarkable string of encouraging voting rights victories in courts in some six different states over just the past few days.

The long-fought and long-sought wins in both federal and state courtrooms in North Carolina and Wisconsin (as Ernie Canning reported earlier today), as well as in Texas, Kansas, Michigan and North Dakota (as summarized by The Nation's Ari Berman) in the past two weeks, have severely undercut Republican voter suppression laws imposing Photo ID voting restrictions, cuts to early voting, restrictions on voter registration and much more. As Berman writes: "The Republican war on voting rights is backfiring."

Ebenstein, who has helped lead the legal battle against these discriminatory laws for years, shares my delight over the recent rulings, but is surprised only that they have come so quickly in succession of late. "Given how extreme and egregious some of the laws are," she tells me, "I'm not surprised the courts have found they violate the Constitution. I think a lot of these laws really have gone very far to put barriers in the way of voters and, in many instances, particularly in the way of black voters."

On the courts finally striking down or weakening GOP Photo ID voting restrictions in NC, TX, WI and ND under the Voting Rights Act and/or the Constitution, she explains: "There's a broader recognition that this is really disenfranchising people in a very practical, day-to-day sense. I think the other thing the laws have highlighted, is that they're just not justified. As the North Carolina [ruling] put it, the laws constitute a solution in search of a problem. There's no evidence of any sort of voter impersonation, which is what these laws purport to protect against. So you have laws that will disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of potential voters. It's just shocking when you look at the harm these laws cause and the lack of justification that they were passed [with] in the first place."

But, she stresses, there remain a number of barriers and concerns about the November election and the various primaries leading up to it. "Even though we have a good decision, there's still going to be ongoing challenges. Things do stay in flux for quite some time," Ebenstein tells me, citing ongoing suppression tactics in a number of states, and adding, "I would encourage everybody to check right now whether you're registered, whether your registration is up to date, whether it has the accurate address on file, and [to] know what the rules are."

There's much more important information in our conversation that I can adequately even summarize here, so please give it a listen!

Also today: Hillary Clinton receives a bounce in both national and state polling (including in a number of very "red" states) following last week's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and Donald Trump's subsequent attacks on the parents of a Muslim-American U.S. Army Captain who is said to have given his life protecting fellow troops in Iraq in 2004. President Obama has declared Trump "unfit" for office in the bargain, and a number of high-ranking, elected GOPers have denounced Trump for it in recent days, but almost none have unendorsed the Republican nominee, much less announced an intention to keep him out of office by voting for Clinton. All of that and election-hating monkeys gone wild on today's BradCast!

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Guest: Eric Boehlert on Rightwing media after the firing of FNC's founder and propaganda mastermind amid sexual harassment charges
Plus: Another deadly heatwave; Trump gets convention 'bump'; Clinton taps Kaine for Veep...
By Brad Friedman on 7/25/2016 5:34pm PT  

On today's BradCast, a very rocky start for Democrats in Philadelphia and bad news for Fox 'News' may be good news for the country. [Link to complete audio of show posted below.]

Before our coverage of today's remarkable news from the Democratic National Convention, some late (and overlooked) news on the mass shootings in Munich last week and in Fort Meyers, Florida on Sunday night. Also, record deadly heat continues to grip both the U.S. and the world, and new polling shows Donald Trump now taking a lead both nationally and in key battleground states after receiving a 'bump' from last week's GOP convention in Cleveland.

Then, with Dems gathering for their own convention in Philly this week, things were off to a very bumpy start on Day 1. The release of hacked emails written by DNC insiders (in which The BradCast makes a very brief cameo) have led to Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), a long time Hillary Clinton supporter, finally stepping down from her role as DNC Chair before the gathering was even gaveled to order. That followed booing for the controversial party chief by protesters at a breakfast meeting of the Florida delegation, as well as similar jeers for California Democrats and even for Bernie Sanders himself after an appearance asking his supporters to defeat Trump and elect Clinton.

Then, we're joined by Eric Boehlert of Media Matters on what history may well regard as the biggest news of the past chaotic week: the firing of Fox 'News' mastermind Roger Ailes on the heels of sexual harassment allegations, now said to be supported by some twenty-five other staffers in the company's internal investigation.

"I can't even calculate how much more powerful Roger Ailes is to the Republican Party than Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is to the Democratic Party," Boehlert notes early in our conversation, before we discuss what finally took down Ailes, what more is still to come, what happens next for the Rightwing propaganda outlet, and whether or not Fox' remarkable effect on the national electorate for the past twenty years can continue in Ailes' absence.

"That Islamophobia, that race-baiting, that ugly hate rhetoric, 'Democrats are traitors' --- that all came from Roger Ailes. That came from the top," Boehlert explains. "Certainly under Obama, you could make the argument [Ailes] was running the Republican Party. He was picking the candidates. He was picking the talking points. Fox News created the 'Tea Party' with non-stop coverage back in 2009."

"The Beltway press, for twenty years for the most part, has treated Roger Ailes as this brilliant genius," he tells me. "Never a hint that any of this was going on. The press has treated Ailes with kid gloves, considering the damage he's done to politics. ... I think people try to put Fox and the right-wing media into this box, 'Well, it doesn't affect me, it doesn't affect our politics, those people are crazy'. It permeates everything, and the Trump campaign is the best example of that. People are crying: 'Where did he come from?! Oh my gosh, how is this happening to America?!' It's been broadcast for twenty years."

Finally, just in case you hadn't heard, in what would normally be today's lead story, if these were normal times, Clinton has chosen Sen. Tim Kaine, a moderate and well-liked Democrat from Virginia, as her Vice Presidential running mate. Yes, all of that and much more on today's BradCast...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2016 6:22pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Climate change continues to ravage Americans and take lives in the east and west, surprisingly good news from the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.K. remains gripped with panic, confusion and uncertainty in the wake of last week's vote 'Brexit' vote to leave the European Union.

We start today with more on the historic deadly flooding and "mass destruction" in West Virginia 'coal country' and the out-of-control wildfires across bone-dry Southern California. Yes, it's everything we've been warning you about for so long on both The BRAD BLOG and The BradCast, even if just the latest example of the enormous (and growing) cost of climate change, as still both under-reported by the corporate media and over-shadowed by other new events across both the U.S. and world.

Then, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down several major decisions on its final day of the session. Surprisingly, a number of those decisions were very good news for progressives, even on an otherwise divided Court with its still-vacant 9th seat. The biggest decision concerned abortion rights in Texas, where the Court dealt a devastating blow to Republican laws meant to shut down women's health clinics under the guise of 'safety'. The Court saw through the Rightwing con, and the 5-3 decision could result in the overturning of similar "TRAP laws" enacted by Republicans in other states. In any event, the decision is a huge setback for rightwing anti-abortion activists and a big victory for those who believe in Constitutionally protected reproductive rights and freedoms. Can we take anything from this decision as to how SCOTUS might eventually rule in the Texas Photo ID voting restrictions case --- another GOP law meant to rob (certain) citizens of their rights for entirely specious reasons?

Also, the right of states to restrict the possession of guns by domestic abusers was upheld in a surprising bi-partisan 7 to 2 opinion, as was a new rule by the U.S. Dept. of Labor concerning overtime pay for home healthcare workers.

In an unusual unanimous decision by the Supremes, Virginia's former Republican Governor Bob McDonnell saw his bribery conviction vacated, despite having accepted some $165,000 in personal gifts and cash loans from a wealthy businessman hoping the Governor would help promote his products. Will that decision have any effect on Alabama's former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman, who is now serving his 6th year in federal prison for having done far less than McDonnell was found guilty of? That, even as the Republican federal judge who sentenced Siegelman has resigned from the bench after having been arrested for beating his wife and the Republican heads of all three branches of government in Alabama face removal of office via impeachment (Governor), ethics charges (Chief Justice of the AL Supreme Court) and multiple felony conviction (AL Speaker of the House) for various crimes, alleged and proven, in their home state.

Finally today, last week's 'Brexit' vote continues to wreak havoc as world financial markets continue to plunge (though not nearly as low as I incorrectly reported it on today's show, as based on an inaccurate number reported by my iPhone's stock app!); the British government is in complete disarray about how (or, perhaps, even, if) they will officially begin the formal procedure required to leave the EU; voters express 'bregret' over having voted to exit; questions arise about overseas voters failing to correctly receive ballot papers at all; and some call for a second ("do-over") referendum.

All of that and much more on yet another insanely busy BradCast today!

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Guest: Columnist Harold Meyerson on history and how 'the reality of a Trump Presidency will concentrate the mind'
Plus: More bad polls for Clinton v. Trump; More bad electoral 'track conditions' for Democrats; And the planet's climate crisis continues to worsen...
By Brad Friedman on 5/23/2016 6:11pm PT  

On today's BradCast, long time Bernie Sanders supporter Harold Meyerson, a former Washington Post columnist and now Executive Editor of The American Prospect magazine, argues Bernie Sanders supporters would betray both their candidate and history by staying home this November (or voting third-party or, worse, for Donald Trump) if their preferred candidate fails to win the Democratic nomination. [Audio link to complete show is below.]

Meyerson, who quips that there was a time decades ago when Sanders and he were the only "out-of-the-closet" Democratic Socialists in D.C., offers two historic parallels to the current divide seen in today's Democratic Party during its contentious nominating contest between Sanders and Clinton. One concerns the Democratic Party's fate after the 1968 convention and the other, perhaps more disturbing and enlightening, concerns Germany in 1932, as described in his recent American Prospect column headlined "How the Bros Are Undermining Bernie".

"What's really crucial," Meyerson tells me on today's program, "is that the forces [Sanders] has put into action continue to operate --- and continue to push the limits of the possible in the United States --- once his campaign is over, whether that is in July or in November."

"I would hope that the Sanders campaign generates a lot of people who want a more democratic, equitable economy and society, and stick around after the Sanders campaign is over this year," he says. "But it takes staying power. You don't change a political party by coming in and then going out."

Meyerson is optimistic, however, that so-called "Bernie or Bust" folks will eventually come to see that they have far more to gain from Hillary in the White House than they do if Trump wins this November. "I think the number of Sanders supporters who ultimately will not vote for Hillary, if she's the nominee and it comes down to her vs. Trump, is a lot smaller than we're seeing now. Confronting the reality of a Trump presidency will concentrate the mind."

"We need to remember the greater goal and the greater narrative, of really changing economic and political power in this country, and that's the main goal here. While there are legitimate distinctions between the Sanders and the Clinton camps, we should also remember there are a lot of lefties in the Clinton camp, too," he adds, citing, for example, progressive Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)'s inclusion on the DNC Platform Committee, along with a number of other progressives just named this afternoon.

Also on today's BradCast: A host of new polls from major news outlets suggest, once again, that Clinton is likely to have a very tough time against Trump this November if she wins the nomination; Anti-Trumpers continue coming around to him on the GOP side; Bad news for the fight against Photo ID voting restrictions in VA, and even more potential bad news for the state's Democratic Governor; Plus: Climate change related extreme weather kills scores in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka over the weekend, as the planet's climate crisis continues to worsen and the U.S. corporate mainstream media continue to ignore it...

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Guest: West Virginia native and champion Bob Kincaid...
By Brad Friedman on 5/11/2016 5:41pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, Bernie Sanders beats front-runner Hillary Clinton once again, this time in the West Virginia Primary. But Exit Polls reveal some bizarre demographics, even as a new national poll now finds Donald Trump surging and tied with Clinton nationally. [Audio link to the show is below.]

Sanders racked up another win on Tuesday, even as his odds for winning the Democratic nomination remain long (if not impossible) against Clinton. But with Trump's GOP competition now finally out of the way, Exit Polling coming out of the Mountain State last night suggests that many "Democratic" voters there are prepared to vote for Trump in November...even if he's running against Sanders, oddly enough. So is that new reason for Dems to be worried?

Ninth generation WV native, Head-On Radio Network host, co-founder of the Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Campaign and President of Coal River Mountain Watch Bob Kincaid joins me to try and make sense of the reported results and Exit Polling. We also examine what effect Clinton's out-of-context remarks about "putting miners and coal companies out of business" may have had on the state's electorate, as well as on the upcoming primary next week in Kentucky, and even for the general election in key swing coal states like Ohio and Pennsylvania (where another new poll this week found Clinton tied or losing to Trump.)

"The coal issue is a considerable part of this process because you've got a lot of people in West Virginia who will clutch at any straw, even though the coal industry doesn't wield the power it once wielded," he tells me. "But the openly anti-coal rhetoric that comes from our side, and of which I am a practitioner, puts a lot of people off."

Kincaid, however, is no fan of Clinton's, at least when it comes to what he sees as her chances in a head-to-match with Clinton nationally. "I've gone on record saying that I fully expect her to lose in November if she's the nominee. She's a terrible candidate. She's an awful campaigner, and --- I don't like saying this, Brad --- I want a Democrat in the White House. I'm a grown-up politically. I know that 'I want a pony' is not on the ballot. But, she's a tone-deaf campaigner. She's got 25 years worth of real and imagined baggage, and a 25-year-old Republican-funded filth machine that runs on 200-proof pure hate, that's humming along on 64 valves, okay?"

The colorful longtime radio host also goes on to offer a no-uncertain-terms warning to Democrats about the party's Gubernatorial nominee Jim Justice who, he predicts, will end up endorsing Trump this Fall.

In related news today: New polling shows Trump surging 13 points over the last week and now tied nationally with Clinton. (Not to say 'we told ya so', but...well...); Also: New indications that the GOP electorate in North Carolina may now be turning against state Republican lawmakers in the wake of their Big Government, anti-business, anti-LGBT 'bathroom law'; and, finally, a follow-up on the stupid, recent investigation against black, female cadets at West Point...

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

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