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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, February 12, 2016
Behind the Rhetoric at PBS' Democratic Debate in WI: 'BradCast' 2/12/16
Journalists David Dayen and Jacki Schechner with substantive (and sometimes snarky) analysis of the last face-off before NV and SC...
Study: 'Racial Resentment' at Heart of 'Tea Party':
'BradCast' 2/11/16
Guest: Sean McElwee of Demos; Also: Photo ID vote suppression in NH, elsewhere; OR standoff ends; CA gas leak finally stopped...
'Green News Report' 2/11/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Sanders slams Repubs for denial in NH; SCOTUS halts historic emissions standards; U.N. sets new emissions standards for airlines; PLUS: Record heat wave in the Arctic...
Previous GNRs: 2/9/16 - 2/4/16 - Archives...
Sanders and Trump Dominate NH Primaries; Satan Wins in Phoenix: 'BradCast' 2/10/16
Guest: Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser. Also: Federal court finds NC racially gerrymandered Congressional districts...
Dirty Tricks, Voting Rights, Election Integrity and the NH Primary: 'BradCast' 2/9/16
Catching up with a LOT of news, and why voters in every state should be concerned...
'Green News Report' 2/9/16
Clinton pushes action for Flint Water Crisis; Trump calls out GOP on eminent domain; Sanders fights to block new pipelines; PLUS: Obama proposes new oil tax...
Rubio Short-Circuits, Cruz Keeps Lying, Trump Keeps Winning: 'BradCast' 2/8/16
GOP NH Debate coverage 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 (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
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
Dems keep pushing climate action, Repubs keep ignoring it; FL mayors slam Rubio on sea level rise; CA AG files suit over gas leak; PLUS: FBI launches Flint probe...
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: Radio Sputnik's Dimitri Boschmann from Paris climate talks...
By Brad Friedman on 12/3/2015 5:51pm PT  

Catching up with quite a bit today on The BradCast --- or, at least, trying to!

First up, the "Dark Lord of Coal" Don Blankenship is found guilty of just one misdemeanor count related to the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster in West Virginia, where 29 mine workers were killed. At the same time, the last of the BP executives who might have spent time in jail for the 2010 Gulf Oil disaster, where 11 workers were killed, gets off without jail time.

Next, facts, fall out and several open questions following Wednesday's mass shooting in San Bernardino, CA, where 14 were killed and another 21 injured. "Thoughts and prayers" still seem to be failing to solve the epidemic gun violence problem in the U.S., no matter how much the terrorist-supporting NRA's bought and paid for GOP stooges continue to avoid taking any real action.

Then, Dmitri Boschmann, Chief Editor for Radio Sputnik in France, joins us from on the ground in Paris to discuss the U.N. climate talks there (COP21), the security surrounding the largest gathering of world leaders in history, President Vladimir Putin's surprisingly strong warning about global warming (Boschmann calls it "quite a surprise" and "also quite symbolic"), as well as his perspective on both the French and Russian governments interests in a global climate treaty to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us with an American perspective on the same conference in our latest Green News Report on the progress and the undermining of progress that awaits a world hoping to avoid climate disaster...

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

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GUEST: Independent journalist, FOIA activist Brandon Smith...
By Brad Friedman on 12/1/2015 4:34pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Desi Doyen and I are finally back from a week of maddening illness over the holiday! My enormous thanks to Nicole Sander of RadioOrNot.com for her generously quick-footed and quick-witted guest-hosting in our absence!

First up today is a quick review of what we can (or can't) look forward to over the next two weeks in Paris, where the largest gathering of world leaders in history is now underway in hopes of carving out a "final" agreement to curb the global emissions that cause deadly climate change. We will have much more on the COP21 conference as it unfolds over the next two weeks.

Then it's onto the rightwing extremism --- from the Black Lives Matter protesters shot in Minneapolis to the attack at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs --- that took place over the past week. As we note, it wasn't ISIS or Syrian refugees threatening our nation last week. Rather, as made clear once again, "the call is coming from inside the house."

Finally, we are joined for the interview by independent journalist Brandon Smith of the blog Muckrakery. It was Smith's persistent work and FOIA requests and lawsuit (along with the efforts of independent activists and attorneys) that eventually led to the release last week of the Chicago PD dash-cam video showing the outrageous killing of 17-year old Laquan McDonald by Officer Jason Van Dyke who has now been charged with first-degree murder.

"The Freedom of Information Act," Smith explains, "can be used by anyone. So, if you're reading a news story and something sounds fishy to you, you can ask for any document or piece of information. It's your government. It's your responsibility, and mine too, to hold them accountable for what they do with their positions of power."

We discuss why it took more than a year for the Chicago Police to release the tape during its cover up of an apparent murder, whether Mayor Rahm Emanuel has responded sufficiently, and what we still do not know about the killing. (For example: What happened to the audio on that video tape?; What about the surveillance video allegedly deleted by cops at the Burger King?; Why didn't the corporate media file suit to get at the video themselves?; And what of all of those other officers at the scene who failed to take action, or lied about it, after witnessing Van Dyke pump 16 bullets into McDonald --- the first two while he was walking away from them, the other 14 while he was shot, on the ground, and a threat to nobody?)

"I'm just trying to report the story of police brutality in Chicago," Smith tells me while describing how much remains unknown and what he plans to FOIA next. "We want to know who knew what about the case, and how long they kept it hidden, and kept that story out there that Laquan was acting erratically and threatening officers. Not only that, but keeping the video secret and fighting the release of the video which would tell people this was a murder, according to the prosecutors."

All of that and more today on what is clearly just the tip of the very bad and racially-based policing in the Windy City and beyond...

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: Trevor Timm of Freedom of the Press Foundation...
By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2015 5:30pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: Two big election wins for Democrats in the Deep South; More opportunism following the Paris attacks; And mass GOP delusion. (Audio link for the complete show is below.)

After a quick welcome to our newest terrestrial affiliate --- KSOW 106.7FM in Cottage Grove, Oregon --- it's on to the huge victory over the weekend for Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards in his runoff against Republican Sen. David Vitter in the race to replace Louisiana's outgoing Governor and Presidential candidate Bobby Jindal (R).

Also, Democrats held off a Republican supermajority in the Mississippi state Assembly over the weekend by the luck of the draw, literally, as a reportedly tied race for a statehouse seat was settled by drawing straws. The losing Republican candidate is filing a challenge to the election in the Republican MS legislature. Both states, LA and MS, force their voters to vote on 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems. So, who really won and who really lost the races? Your guess is as good as mine...at least in the MS case.

Then, while elected officials and Presidential candidates shamefully continue their attempt to block Syrian refugees from coming to the U.S. after the Paris attacks, a number of current and former U.S. intelligence officials are just as disingenuously using the tragedy in an attempt to undermine encryption technology on your phone and computer.

Trevor Timm, attorney, columnist, activist and co-founder of the Freedom of the Press Foundation joins us to discuss his recent column at the UK's Guardian calling out U.S. intelligence officials for their appalling and misleading opportunism in the wake of the November 13th attacks.

Despite the fact that the Paris attackers were known in advance and communicated with each other via unencrypted text messages and Facebook, top intelligence officials are still fighting to be entrusted with the keys to unlock any and all encrypted communications in all software across the world.

"They're saying, you can use encryption as long as you give us the key," Timm tells me today. "That's the law that they would like to pass. Unfortunately, security doesn't work that way. Put aside the fact that if this was a power given to the government they would inevitably abuse it --- because, as we've seen over and over again in history, they constantly abuse their surveillance powers --- but let's just say, they will only use it when they have a warrant for information. The problem is that key is still vulnerable to all of these other actors who will try to steal it. They will try to steal that key from the U.S. government, which, we have seen, is not that hard to do."

He charges that this effort would result in the government helping us to be less secure by undermining technology that is meant to make all of our lives more secure. "That, to me, sounds like a crazy idea."

Timm also helpfully explains how encryption actually works, for those who don't know, and how some of these same officials --- (talking to you, current CIA Director John Brennan, and you, former CIA Director James Woolsey and others) --- are also, outrageously, actually blaming the Paris attacks on privacy advocates and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden!

"This is a scapegoat that former and current intelligence officials are using to hide and cover up their own failures," says Timm. "When they're out there blaming Snowden, no one is asking them questions about what they could have done better or where they failed. To be honest, it was a pretty masterful PR tactic by them and unfortunately the media took it hook, line and sinker."

Finally, as we were reminded again over the past couple of days, GOPers from Trump to Fiorina to Carson and beyond are now, apparently, completely debilitated by mass hallucinations about 9/11, Planned Parenthood, and just about everything else they've been told to believe is real on Fox "News". I explain how these delusions mean big trouble for the country, the world...and even your Thanksgiving dinner...

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: Author and Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser...
By Brad Friedman on 11/20/2015 6:13pm PT  

What a week. On today's BradCast (audio link below), Republican legislators and Presidential candidates continue their demonization of Muslims and refugees from war-torn Syria and we pause from their madness to shed some light on a disturbing new scheme to block Democratic policymaking altogether.

First, with an unabashed rejection of facts (and reality and history), Republicans from the state level to the Presidential candidate level put forward stunning new rejections of the nation's values. From the high-ranking GOP lawmaker in Tennessee who wants to use the National Guard to round-up and deport Syrian refugees in his state, to Donald Trump's disturbingly Nazi-like call to force all Muslims to register as such with the federal government, we reach new, shameful lows following the Paris attacks one week ago today.

Also of note: CNN's remarkable double standard in suspending a reporter for expressing sympathy for refugees. (Here's that Don Lemon/CC item I mentioned from The BRAD BLOG in 2010.); And a precious few rays of light from one GOP Congressman (at least for one courageous moment) and then from Stephen Colbert.

Finally, even as that shameful "debate" bottoms out, rightwing schemes to further cripple the ability for Democrats to govern at all on the federal level continue. Ian Millhiser, journalist, Constitutional law expert and author of the new book, Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, joins us to discuss his disturbing observations from this year's annual gathering of the Federalist Society.

As reported in his recent article, "The Little-Noticed Conservative Plan To Permanently Lock Democrats Out Of Policymaking", Millhiser explains the rightwing group's broad new efforts to attack rule-making by federal agencies. He tells me how the group is now trying to "permanently hobble not just the federal rule-making process but the federal law-making process" itself.

"What groups like the Federalist Society are pushing," he charges, "is ways to change the fact that elections matter. To make it so that they can permanently put into place structures --- whether it's declaring something unconstitutional, whether it's changing the balance of power between the various branches of government --- they're looking to permanently put in place structures to make sure that only conservative policies can go into effect."

"The basic idea is to shut down the agency's power to regulate," Millhiser tells me. "Between gerrymandering and so many other factors, it's so difficult for Democrats to take the House [even when they win a majority of votes]. If they [the Federalist Society] can prevent [federal] agencies from regulating, then that means that, well, Democrats might be able to take the Presidency but they won't be able to do anything with it when they have it. It effectively shuts the Democrats out of the policy-making process even when they win the Presidential election."

That idea, he explains, absolutely dominated the group's recent gathering and it's one they hope to implement "by any means necessary", whether in Congress or, more disturbingly, through judicial activism on the federal bench.

While four Supreme Court Justices (Scalia, Roberts, Thomas and Alito) are already dedicated Federalist Society members, "the big scary," he reminds us, "is that there are four Supreme Court justices who are likely to retire in the next 5 or 6 years. So if the next President gets to replace four Justices, there's going to be a massive shift in the law. If that next President appoints four very conservative Justices in the vein of Justice Samuel Alito, then whatever agenda the Federalist Society wants to be able to enact in this phase, they're just going to enact it in the Court."

Please take note. And please listen to the full, disturbing conversation on today's BradCast.

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

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GUEST: Financial journalist David Dayen...
By Brad Friedman on 11/19/2015 4:22pm PT  

On today's BradCast (audio link below): The U.S. House rolls over for ISIS. And, could NAFTA and TPP lead to a return of the previously rejected Keystone XL pipeline?

First, the U.S. House voted today to do the bidding of ISIS by passing a bill that would essentially block refugees from war-torn Syria and Iraq from coming to the U.S.. Shamefully, while the bill was passed mostly by Republicans, some 47 cowardly Democrats voted in favor of what both Bin Laden and ISIS have made very clear they would love to see.

Meanwhile, wingnut conspiracy theories about Obama's super secret plan to force a "Muslim overthrow of the U.S." and the "Islamization" of our country continue to grow from the bowels of rightwing radio up through state legislatures and even into Congress and the U.S. Presidential race.

All of that, as, surprise surprise, a new report finds that illegal Mexican immigration is actually at a net negative during the Obama Administration, with some 130,000 fewer undocumented Mexicans now in the country, versus prior to 2009.

Then, financial journalist David Dayen of The Fiscal Times, Salon, WaPo, The Intercept and more joins us to explain his disturbing assertion about the troubling mechanism built in to both NAFTA and the newly released TransPacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement that could lead to approval, after all, of the Keystone XL pipeline --- even though the dirty tar sands project has finally been rejected by the White House.

Dayen explains how KXL's owner, TransCanada, could invoke the "extra-judicial tribunal" known in both trade agreements as the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system in order to force compensatory damages that might either lead to approval of the pipeline after all and/or serve to help scuttle the TPP itself.

The ISDS tribunals, as Dayen explains today, are "composed of corporate lawyers who can act on behalf of the corporation in one case and then sit on a panel judging that corporation on another case." He says that "one of the options" TransCanada now has is that "through the ISDS system in NAFTA, they can sue and say 'this is a violation, you are discriminating against a foreign pipeline operator relative to domestic pipeline operators, and we are going to sue for compensatory damages based on our expected future profits'." The resulting decision could become a "political footbal" at the "worst possible timing for the Administration," as they hope to put TPP up for a vote in a Congress where more Republicans and Democrats are coming out against the agreement.

There is much more that you need to know about in our conversation concerning the proposed TPP agreement, now that its 5,000 or so pages have finally been released to the public and now that the frontrunners for President in both the Republican and Democratic Parties have come out against it. "Political football," indeed.

Listen to today's show for much more welcome clarity on all of the above!

Finally, speaking of pipelines and more, Desi Doyen joins us with our latest Green News Report on yet another rejected Canadian pipeline; the GOP's intensifying witch hunt against scientists (as discussed in more detail on a recent BradCast with David Roberts); and the planet's hottest October ever recorded...

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: Anti-war author and activist David Swanson...
By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2015 4:51pm PT  

On today's BradCast (audio link below), I'm joined by anti-war author and activist David Swanson of WarIsACrime.org and RootsAction.org.

We discuss, among other things, the extraordinary response to his article, "Non-French War Deaths Matter", posted just hours after the terror attacks in Paris. The piece, which I read in full at the top of yesterday's show, notes how similar civilian massacres in non-European nations --- many just days before Paris --- are equally troubling, if not more so, yet were almost entirely ignored by much of the media and the world.

He tells me his article began with a Tweet. "Usually, my tweets get 3 or 4 retweets. This one is over 12,000 at this point." Swanson says the interest in the issue was "driven largely by the media-fueled sympathy for the horror and suffering in France, which is entirely appropriate and desirable and needs to be built on. But also, there was this disgust with the politically-driven, selective nature of where the mass media tells us to direct our sympathies." He believes that the interest in the topic is evidence of those who "share my desire to have that sympathy broadened to all victims of organized violence, not just those in a politically friendly government and a white Christian European population."

As to how the media, and our politicians, ultimately end up delivering exactly what terrorists want in these situations, Swanson argues: "What they want is fame. What they want is to be targeted as the prime enemy of the foreign imperialists. What they want is the bombing, and this is what the US government is giving them and France is giving them and the media."

He goes on to list a number of threats that are far more likely to kill Americans (including both McDonald's and Climate Change), but which are rarely, if ever, given the same wall-to-wall media and political spotlight now being enjoyed by the Paris attackers. Nations like the U.S. and France, he tells me, "need to stop repeating this mistake of creating blowback and then using that as justification to escalate the violence that created the blowback in the first place."

But if the way to respond to the attacks by ISIS in Paris and elsewhere is not more war, what are the solutions for the mess the world now finds itself in? For Swanson's answers to that question, you'll need to tune in to today's program.

Also on today's show: CNN's embarrassing coverage and Muslim-blaming; Desi Doyen and the latest Green News Report on climate and energy (or lack thereof) during last weekend's Democratic Presidential Debate in Des Moines, Iowa, and the extraordinary security preparations being made in advance of the upcoming world climate negotiations next month...in Paris...

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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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 11/17/2015 10:37am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Climate and energy get short shrift in 2nd Democratic Presidential Debate; Yes, U.S. Media, climate change remains a national security threat; International climate talks will go forward despite Paris terror attacks; PLUS: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoes major natural gas project... 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): Canadian PM Trudeau effectively kills Northern Gateway pipeline; Antibiotics in Animal Feed May Endanger Kids, Doctors Warn; New Map of Earth's Groundwater To Help Estimate When It May Run Out; Minigrids Seen as Fix for 620 Million Africans Without Power; Brazil's Slow-Motion Mine Catastrophe Unfolds; Beyond what #Exxonknew, refineries face flooding dangers; Manure From Millions of Hogs Fuels Natural Gas Project... PLUS: So You Want to Be a Polar Bear Wrangler? ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




GUESTS: Salon's Heather Digby Parton & former GOP consultant Fred Karger...
By Brad Friedman on 11/16/2015 5:04pm PT  

Before our coverage today on The BradCast of Saturday's Democratic Presidential Debate in Iowa, a quick word about the Friday night terror attacks in Paris, courtesy of anti-war activist and author David Swanson, whose response we share at the top of the show. His piece, "Non-French War Deaths Matter", is posted here.

Then, yes, though the DNC apparently didn't want you to know about it, the three Democratic candidates for the 2016 Presidential candidate gathered in Des Moines on Saturday night to hold their second debate of the season. The CBS debate was held less than 24 hours after the bloodshed in Paris and, thus, had more of a foreign policy focus than it otherwise would have, before turning to domestic affairs.

We cover all of the above today. I'm joined for analysis by our reigning post-debate coverage champ, Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo blog, as well as Fred Karger, former longtime GOP political consultant and 2012 GOP Presidential candidate (and, in fact, the first openly gay Presidential candidate from either major party).

As usual, we try to make sense of it all with analysis and fact-checking that, hopefully, serves to help create a smarter and better informed electorate...

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: Kit Kennedy of Natural Resources Defense Council...
By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2015 4:47pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the winning streak for environmentalists continues...as does the losing streak for the CIA.

First, new revelations from former CIA Directors about the many months of attempted warnings from the CIA and other national security officials about "significant" and "spectacular" al Qaeda attacks prior to 9/11 and even long prior to the "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S." Presidential Daily Briefing memo in early August of 2001. Also, new admissions about the agency giving the go ahead to killing women and children during drone attacks on suspected terrorist targets.

Then, another big victory for the climate, this time in New York state where Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday rejected [PDF] a proposed pipeline that would have brought imported liquefied natural gas from Africa and elsewhere in to Long Island. One of Cuomo's stated reasons for vetoing the project in federal waters was due to climate change and the fact that the pipeline would have threatened not only commercial traffic and fisheries in the area, but also the construction of several proposed windfarms for the same location that would have brought clean, renewable energy to the Empire State.

National Resources Defense Council attorney, and former Special Deputy AG for Environmental Protection in New York, Kit Kennedy was at Cuomo's veto ceremony on Thursday and joins us to explain his reasons and the larger implications of rejecting the controversial Port Ambrose Terminal project.

"This was a classic David vs. Goliath fight between dirty fossil fuels and renewable energy," Kennedy explains. "And in this case, Goliath went down and renewable energy has prevailed over fossil fuel and it is a huge victory."

She credits a large local coalition for that "huge victory", another in a recent series that came about due to the dedicated commitment of organizers and activists. "Local residents, elected officials, fishermen, environmentalists of all stripes, came together not only to oppose the project but to support an offshore wind project that was proposed for the same site."

"In vetoing the project yesterday, Governor Cuomo said the risks exceeded the reward of the project," she tells me today, arguing that this victory and other recent ones represent "a turning point" for energy production in this country.

"This is an incredibly exciting time to be working on climate and clean energy issues in the United States. We have all sorts of decisions going the way of clean energy. I think it is a tipping point, and we're going to see our country take strong action to fight climate pollution and to build up the clean energy economy," Kennedy says.

Also on today's BradCast: Did you know the year's biggest entertainment release is all about the effects of climate change?; Free energy in Texas, thanks to wind power; And, now's your chance to get a really great price on an electric car while sending a message to VW and the rest of the auto industry!...

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PLUS: U.S. Boots on the ground in Syria, but Congress doesn't care; Jeb's campaign death rattle continues; Hillary calls for Exxon investigation; And climate change finds its way into a GOP Presidential debate...
By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2015 5:26pm PT  

On today's BradCast... With Boehner out, Ryan in and "all family business settled" (for now) in the U.S. House, the GOP looks elsewhere for enemies.

They find a lot of them.

This week's CNBC GOP debate opened up a great opportunity for new attacks on a favorite old enemy: the so-called "liberal media"! (Yes, they are actually considering Wall Street's favorite wingnut cable channel for the investment class to be part of the "liberal media" now, rather than blaming themselves for the failures of their own Presidential candidates!) But they also find new enemies amongst fellow Republicans like RNC Chair Reince Preibus, who may quickly become the Rightwing's new "John Boehner".

Plus: The White House announces U.S. boots will now be on the ground in Syria --- but does Congress even care?; Is Jeb's campaign really dead? Or should the voters decide that rather than the media?; Hillary joins the growing calls for investigation of ExxonMobil; And, climate change actually finds its way into a Republican Presidential debate!...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Guests: 2012 GOP Presidential candidate Fred Karger and blogger/journalists Heather Digby Parton...
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2015 4:39pm PT  

On today's BradCast, what else? We dissect last night's GOP debate on CNN at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA.

My guests are fantastic! Our old friend, Heather Digby Parton --- Salon contributor, Hillman Foundation opinion journalism award winner, and proprietor of Digby's Hullabaloo blog --- joins us for the hour!

And I'm delighted to welcome back to The BradCast, Fred Karger, the former longtime Republican political consultant, 2012 GOP Presidential candidate, the first openly gay Presidential candidate from either major party and now "indefatigable" activist for equal rights.

No need to tease too much more, frankly. Find out what "Digby" and Karger, who is still (incredibly enough) a Republican --- though "hanging on by his fingernails" --- thought about last night's circus and if any of it will finally shake the party loose from its Trump fever dreams.

Debate analysis and insight that you won't hear anywhere else --- on what actually matters and what actually doesn't. Enjoy!

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

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Guest: NatSec journo Shane Harris on his startling Daily Beast exclusive
Also: New Presidential politics and polling news and MUCH more today...
By Brad Friedman on 9/10/2015 6:11pm PT  

Today's BradCast is packed with news from top to bottom. Please buckle up before listening.

First, Big Oil's deceptive scam in California (as discussed on yesterday's show) has succeeded, for now, as Dems pull landmark legislation that would have called for a 50% cut in petroleum usage in the state.

Then, new polling finds Bernie Sanders overtaking Hillary Clinton now in Iowa, as well as New Hampshire, while the party's internecine battle over more debates continues. On the GOP side, candidates not named Trump are flailing as they desperately try to get attention. It's not working --- neither is their lost hopes of scuttling the Iran peace plan.

Next, author and national security correspondent Shane Harris joins us to discuss his disturbing new exclusive at The Daily Beast on 50 U.S. intelligence analysts now reportedly charging that the U.S. has been "cooking" its intel on ISIS.

The still-unnamed military intelligence analysts working for CENTCOM, as Harris explains, are reportedly seeing some of their own reports manipulated by higher-ups. "Key pieces of [their analyses] that they feel are very important [are being] taken out, not given the proper context, [and] in some cases making it look like ISIS and al Qaeda are weaker than these analysts actually believe they are."

So are these charges akin to the way intel on Iraq and WMD was manipulated by the Bush Administration in the 2002/2003 lead-up to war, as revealed by the notorious Downing Street Memos ("the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy")? Or are these claims more akin to the hyperventilation over unsubstantiated allegations from the Right concerning Benghazi?

Harris tells me his reporting suggests it is more likely the former than the latter, though it remains unclear who is behind the alleged manipulation of intel and how high up it might go, even if proven true. "What I think is notable is that these 50 --- actually 52 --- professionals who are doing this every day, to go against their bosses, to take this to the IG is a very bold move. They feel very strongly that they have a case," he explains. "I've never seen anything like this. Usually whistle-blowers are in ones and twos, but for a group of people en masse to complain like this is certainly unique in my experience as a reporter."

We discuss who may be behind the alleged "cooking" of the intel and whether President Obama or the White House is somehow directing all of this as the Bush/Cheney Administration was doing in the case of the manipulated intel on Iraq. Tune in for Harris' response to those questions and many others, in what seems, at least as of now, a startling, if still-developing story.

Finally, our latest Green News Report is also a very busy one today, and not only because it includes several fresh examples of Sarah Palin's unparalleled ignorance...

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

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'They approached the phone companies before 9/11,' he says, citing new Edward Snowden disclosures that 'vindicate' his 2006 revelations...
By Brad Friedman on 8/18/2015 5:29pm PT  

Today on The BradCast...First, I need to pick up with a few more points from yesterday's show, concerning how the Republican Party is, frankly, no longer a legitimate political party, how they have absolutely no governing philosophy, how they will say whatever they need to say in order to support whatever they feel like "believing in" at any particular time and, basically, how they are simply making this shit up as they go at this point. I offer a few more examples of that today concerning Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Donald Trump and a couple of others.

Then, it's on to our main interview with AT&T/NSA whistleblower Mark Klein, the now-retired 22-year AT&T employee who, in 2006, infamously exposed that the company had a secret room in its San Francisco facility --- Room 641A --- where the NSA had been allowed to install a splitter to trap and record all Internet traffic coming and going over AT&T's backbone lines.

Over the weekend, the New York Times and Pro and ProPublica revealed newly disclosed documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden concerning AT&T's long and happy --- and illegal --- relationship with the NSA. The documents, in many ways, he believes, vindicate precisely what he had blown the whistle on in 2006.

I discuss the newly released documents with Klein on today's show, what they reveal about AT&T and NSA, how he came about discovering the secret NSA room at AT&T, and his experience since then as a whistleblower.

Among other things, he tells me he doesn't buy "the government's cover story that 9/11 changed everything," pointing to the new Snowden docs which cite AT&T's cooperation with the NSA going back as far as 1985. The friendly relationship between AT&T and the NSA goes back decades and underscores his contention that "AT&T gives NSA what it wants."

On the billions (perhaps trillions?) of land lines, cell phone lines and Internet traffic intercepted by the government illegally, he says that "there was no warrant that could cover this. Warrants are supposed to be specific, covering individual people, papers and whatnot - they were sweeping up everything."

On George W. Bush's claims that "we're just listening to a few phone calls from no-good people who are calling the Middle East," he says: "That was a complete lie and a diversion from the fact that they were collecting billions and billions of communications every day on the Internet."

On the recently passed legislation, the USA Freedom Act, which was supposed to have curbed many of the greatest warrantless wiretapping abuses under the USA Patriot Act, Klein says: "That law does not address Internet surveillance at all, it does not touch the secret rooms that are still in place doing what I already described. That law did not address that at all. So the Freedom Act is a fraud, in my opinion."

Klein also harshly criticizes then-Senator Obama for voting in 2008 to grant AT&T and other telecoms retroactive immunity on the heels of his 2006 disclosures. Obama "knew what he was doing," he argues. "He was running against Hillary for the nomination in 2008, so he postured to the left and said explicitly he would oppose any bill with immunity in it. He tried to gather his liberal supporters by making that promise. As soon as he won the nomination and beat Hillary, he quickly switched sides, and came out for immunity. It was a cynical move on his part, not some light-minded stupidity."

We covered much more during our discussion, so please give the full interview a listen!

Finally, speaking of Obama and Hillary, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report as the Obama Administration gives final approval for Shell Oil to drill in the Arctic, even as Obama announces a visit to the Arctic to decry global warming and as Hillary comes out against drilling in the Arctic. Try and square all of those (Arctic) circles if you can!

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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With Cassandra Fairbanks in Ferguson, Margot Paez at the L.A. Sanders rally, and Nicole Sandler's exclusive interview with Bernie Sanders...
By Brad Friedman on 8/11/2015 5:17pm PT  

We've got a big BradCast today, with on-the-ground reports from Ferguson, the huge Bernie Sanders rally in Los Angeles and an extended portion of an exclusive interview with Sanders himself.

First, we check in with Cassandra Fairbanks from our affiliate Sputnik News. She's in Ferguson covering the protests of the police killing of Michael Brown one year after his death and the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Fairbanks was, incredibly, arrested yesterday while covering one of the demonstrations as a journalist. "They started arresting everyone," she tells me in detailing the incident. "I said, 'You know I'm press, and [the police officer] was like, 'I don't care, you're going to jail.' It was arrest first, ask questions later."

She also reports that white, militant rightwing protesters, openly carrying semi-automatic weapons in Ferguson, are being left alone by the St. Louis County police while local black protesters are receiving an entirely different treatment for the mere suspicion of being armed.

Then, 'feeling the Bern' in L.A. after 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders drew some 28,000 supporters to the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena out here last night, following only slightly smaller crowds over the weekend in Portland and Seattle where he also faced a small, but intense protest from self-proclaimed members of the Black Lives Matter movement.

We detail how Sanders' campaign appears to have deftly adjusted course in the wake of that and a similar protest in Phoenix last month, but how big questions about his foreign policy positions still linger for many progressives. (Our recent interview with author and peace activist David Swanson on that latter issue is back here.)

Former BradCast associate producer Margot Paez interviews Sanders supporters at the raucus L.A. event on the foreign policy questions, and then Nicole Sandler, of our affiliate RadioOrNot.com, presses Sanders himself on the matter in an exclusive interview!

"If you have an aggressive foreign policy, if you think the United States should have ground troops in the Middle East, if you think we should be engaged in perpetual warfare, well, then you're going to have a larger military budget," Sanders tells Sandler. "Needless to say, that's not my view. I think organizations like ISIS and al Qaeda, very dangerous organizations, have to be combated and have to be defeated. But it can't be the United States alone," he says.

He discusses, if somewhat vaguely, his position on aiding partners in the Middle East and argues that "we can make judicious cuts in military spending without harming our ability to defend ourselves."

All of that and much more, including the latest Green News Report with Desi Doyen on today's BradCast! Please enjoy responsibly!

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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