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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, June 30, 2016
Sanders, Clinton Surrogates Clash Over Democratic Party Platform: 'BradCast' 6/29/16
Guest: Ben Norton of Salon on the fight for progressive reform; Also: Trump seeks torture, CA seeks weed, some seek 'Texit'...
1000s of CA Primary Votes 'Saved' by Citizen Observer: 'BradCast' 6/28/16
'Ballots for Bernie' vote count observer Julie Tyler explains how she helped change L.A. County's provisional tally rules...
'Green News Report' 6/28/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Deadly WV flooding, CA fires; World emissions pact undermined by Brexit?; VW to pay $15B in emissions scandal; PLUS: TransCanada demands $15B from U.S. for KXL rejection...
Previous GNRs: 6/23/16 - 6/21/16 - Archives...
Sunday Stay or Go Toons
Some sit in, others find the exit in Pdiddie's latest collection of the week's best political toons from all sides of the pond...
Brexit: If it Could Happen There...: 'BradCast' 6/24/16
Also: NC voter suppression back in court; TX spending millions on unlawful Photo ID law; Did NY voter purge hurt Sanders or Clinton more?; Climate change death toll rising in WV, China...
SCOTUS on Immigration, Aff-Action; Dems End Gun 'Sit-in': 'BradCast' 6/23/16
Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser explains new Court rulings; and we cover far more breaking news than we can even fit here...
'Green News Report' 6/23/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Last CA nuke plant will close; Judge nixes Obama's fracking rules; Study: Toxic chemicals found in residents near fracking sites; PLUS: Researchers turn carbon emissions into stone...
Previous GNRs: 6/21/16 - 6/16/16 - Archives...
FL Rep.: Dems to 'Sit-In' Until Vote or GOP 'Hauls People Off Floor': 'BradCast' 6/22/16
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) explains House protest, calls GOP shutdown of C-SPAN 'astonishing', lack of vote on guns 'disgusting'...
Was Orlando the 'Worst Mass Shooting in U.S. History?': 'BradCast' 6/21/16
Guest: USC historian Ariela J. Gross | ALSO: Trump's disastrous fundraising numbers; New polls; 700th 'GNR'!...
'Green News Report' 6/21/16
OUR 700TH EPISODE!!! Record heat in S.W.; Bernie wants YOU to fight climate change; PLUS: Obama climate change warning for national parks...
About That 'Stolen' Democratic Primary: 'BradCast' 6/20/16
Brad has a few thoughts. Plus: Sanders' call for progressive candidates and GOP/NRA/Trump gun lies, and more evidence elections matter...
Sunday Keepin' Bear Toons
The nation's political cartoonists on Orlando. 'PDiddie' rounds up political cartoonists response to Orlando and the end of Primary season...
Broken Party; Bernie's Message; Hillary Rising: 'BradCast' 6/17/16
A year into Trump. Sanders 'revolution' just starting? 'Red' states could turn 'blue'...
Former CDC Injury Chief on Federal Gun Research 'Ban': 'BradCast' 6/16/16
Dr. Mark Rosenberg on his 1996 'Dickey Amendment' showdown w/ Congress, NRA; Also: Dem 'filibuster' forces gun votes, Obama in Orlando...
'Green News Report' 6/16/16
House GOP to roll back pollution standards; May 2016 hottest on record; Clean Power Plan saves $38b/year; PLUS: Trump for climate action before against it...
Bullets and Ballots: 'BradCast' 6/15/16
Fights over both continue, after Orlando Massacre and Presidential primary voting. We cover the latest on both, take listener calls, and more...
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: Salon's Ben Norton | Also: Trump seeks torture, CA seeks weed, some seek 'Texit'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/29/2016 6:09pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the Presidential Primary battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders becomes a fight over the official party platform and whether progressive reform can actually happen from within; Donald Trump wants the U.S. to torture again; and California goes to pot. [Audio link to show posted below.]

In the wake of this week's horrific terror attack at Turkey's Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, the presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump wants to "Make America Commit War Crimes Again" as he calls for the U.S. to once again implement torture policies such as waterboarding. In the meantime, new Pew polling shows Trump's support from nation's outside of the U.S. is dismal, often in single digits. While back here at home, according to new Quinnipiac poll out today, he remains "neck-and-neck" nationally with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton whose favorability ratings are also dismal, though not as bad as Trump's.

But as Bernie Sanders supporters quickly move toward Clinton, representatives for the two popular Democratic rivals hash out the party's official platform document to be adopted by delegates at the Democratic National Convention in July.

Salon political reporter Ben Norton joins us to discuss progress of the talks, specifically the Clinton camp's refusal to allow a demand for a $15/hour federal minimum wage mandate in the non-binding party manifesto, as well as the failure by Clinton surrogates to agree to more progressive language on a number of issues, from Israel to fracking to trade policies.

Norton goes on to report that the fight between surrogates for the two candidates at the DNC Drafting Committee's platform talks echoes the long Democratic primary race, suggesting, as he sees it, that the party, ultimately, may not be able to reform from within. "You have the Sanders' appointees pushing for more progressive measures, and the Clinton appointees opposing those measures. I think in some ways, we did see some progress, but overall I think there's reason to be pessimistic for a potential Clinton presidency, given the way that this has represented itself at the DNC committee drafting," Norton explains. "It really reflects the war going on within the Progressive community."

Real progressive policy change, he argues, will require new candidates to step up at the local and state level --- even as independents or under the banner of a third party, if necessary --- to take up the fight and seek office, he notes, just as Sanders did when he initially ran for office in Vermont decades ago.

Finally today, more calls for 'Texit'! California announces that an initiative to allow the recreational use of marijuana will be on the statewide ballot this November, and Colorado finds that teen use of pot has actually fallen below the national average since the state adopted a similar policy in 2014.

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

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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!

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

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Guest: Constitutional law expert and author Ian Millhiser...
By Brad Friedman on 6/23/2016 5:35pm PT  

We do our best on today's BradCast to keep up with an insane amount of breaking news that continues to pour in today, from the Democratic 'sit-in' protest in the U.S. House to two major rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court to the British vote to leave the European Union to extreme weather in China and back to the U.S. again for even more still-breaking news. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

The Dems' unprecedented 'occupation' of the U.S. House to force a vote on gun legislation came to an end --- without the vote Democrats sought --- earlier today after more than 25 hours, as Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan largely gave up by simply declaring the chaotic House in adjournment until after the July 4th holiday. But will it start all over again when Congress reconvenes? And will Democrats come to regret their popular upheaval the next time they are in the majority?

Meanwhile, constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser, author of Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, joins us to explain the two major U.S. Supreme Court rulings handed down today, one is very bad news for the Obama Administration's immigration policy and, the other, a very surprising decision on affirmative action admissions policy at public university and colleges.

"The good news" on the immigration ruling, he says, "is that because this is an even split, it means that's there's no precedential value to this. It means that when a ninth justice is confirmed [to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Scalia], it can be re-litigated all over again. But the bad news is that until there's that ninth justice, the program is at the mercy of some lower courts that are very hostile to immigration." As to today's other ruling, Millhiser explains: "People have thought that affirmative action was on its deathbed for a really long time. It had a series of near-death experiences. This case has been kicking around for something like eight years, and they finally get around to deciding it, and surprise, they don't strike down the program. There was a lot of language in the opinion that I think is going to give a lot of heartburn to people who support affirmative action, but the punchline is affirmative action lives to see another day."

But wait! There's much more breaking news on today's program: Yet another oil pipeline ruptures in Southern California; 'Oil Bomb' trains set to begin running again in Oregon just three weeks after fiery derailment; 'Brexit' voting in Great Britain ends amidst flash flooding that could effect turnout, as the 'LEAVE' coalition predicts defeat; Extreme weather, including a rare tornado, kills 78 in China; Volkswagen agrees to pay more than $10 billion to customers amidst emissions cheating scandal; and Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report with still more bad court news for the Obama Administration, this time on fracking rules, but some good news (at least for some of us) about the last remaining nuclear power plant in California.

Buckle up...

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

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Guest: Dr. Mark Rosenberg explains the 1996 'Dickey Amendment' and how it still prevents much-needed fact-finding work on guns today
Also: Dem 'filibuster' forces gun votes, Obama speaks to Orlando victims' families...
By Brad Friedman on 6/16/2016 6:04pm PT  

It's another very busy BradCast today, with breaking news on the murder of a British Member of Parliament, the Democratic 'filibuster' on guns in the U.S. Senate, Obama's visit to Orlando, and my interview with the man who led the CDC's fight against the NRA and Republicans in Congress twenty years ago, when federal funding for research into gun violence and prevention was effectively ended. [Audio link to full show is posted below.]

First up, the shooting and stabbing death of British Labour Party MP Jo Cox, has stunned the UK, just days before the controversial "Brexit" referendum vote on whether to leave the European Union. The alleged killer is in custody, and reportedly shouted "Britain First", the name of one of the Rightwing groups opposed to staying in the Union, during the attack.

Next, the Democrats' 15-hour 'filibuster' in the U.S. Senate, lead by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), comes to end with an apparent victory, of sorts. The Senator --- who served as Newtown, CT's member of Congress when the Sandyhook Massacre resulted in the deaths of 20 school children and 6 adults back in 2012 --- sought to force Republicans to allow votes on closing the gun show/online background check loophole, as well as legislation to disallow suspected terrorists from easily and legally purchasing guns. In related news, President Obama's spoke on Thursday after meeting with family members of the victims of last weekend's Orlando Massacre, and called once again for action to help prevent such tragedies.

Then, as the American Medical Association (AMA), one of the nation's most powerful lobbying organizations, has finally come out in favor of federal funding for gun research, I speak with Dr. Mark Rosenberg, who headed the Center for Disease Control (CDC)'s National Center for Injury Prevention twenty years ago when, in 1996, he squared off with Republicans in Congress who ultimately forced the federal agency to end all research into gun violence, the causes behind it, and how to help prevent it from happening in the first place.

Rosenberg, who recently retired as head of the Task Force on Global Health, explains the history of what is now known as the 'Dickey Amendment', which effectively served to end all federal research on guns. He describes his initial confrontations with then U.S. Rep. Jay Dickey (R-AR), who has since, ironically enough, become a friend and ally, and why still-absent federal research funding is so important to helping curb the nation's extraordinary gun violence epidemic.

"The NRA had been attacking us [the CDC] for years, because they thought that to allow research to be done might not be good for gun sales. And so they developed a zero tolerance policy," Rosenberg tells me. "They told their members that it's either-or, black and white, take your choice. Either you can do the research or you can keep your guns. But they said you can't do both. And if you allow the research, we will all lose all of our guns."

The showdown with GOPers doing the bidding of the NRA at the time, he says, came not long after CDC-funded research found that "having a gun in the home --- not only did it not protect you, but it increased the risk that someone in your family would be shot and killed with a gun, not by 5 or 6 or 20 percent, not by 80 or 90 percent, but more than 200 percent."

Rosenberg explains his fascinating history with former Congressman Dickey, how federal research is not actually "banned" to this day (despite reporting to the contrary), why it is still not carried out nonetheless, and what he describes as the four "basic scientific questions" that federal research could help answer. Namely: "Who gets shot, how many people?"; "What are the causes" of gun death and injury and "what increases and decreases the risk"?; What could "work to prevent it"?; and, "once you find things that work, how do you put them into legislation and craft a policy that will both keep us safe and protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners"?

It's an eye-opening and important discussion that I hope you'll take some time to listen to and share. And, finally, at the end of the show, as your gift, you'll be rewarded with a much-overdue laugh, courtesy of Al Franken. Enjoy!

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

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By Brad Friedman on 6/15/2016 5:40pm PT  

On today's BradCast the fights over bullets and ballots both continue following the massacre in Orlando over the weekend and the official end of primary voting following Tuesday's Democratic Primary in Washington D.C. [Audio link for show posted below.]

First up today, the Democratic response to the horrific mass shooting in Orlando seems to be to revise legislative initiatives repeatedly rejected by the NRA and GOP in years past. Both President Obama and Hillary Clinton call for measures to keep suspected terrorists from easily buying semi-automatic weapons of mass destruction, and Dems in the U.S. Senate stage a 'filibuster' in hopes of forcing Republicans to allow votes on some of the most low-hanging-fruit gun safety legislation.

In the meantime, some Republicans, at least on Fox "News" (believe it or not), are finally calling for the enactment of some common sense measures, and even Donald Trump is set to meet with the terrorist-enabling NRA concerning their years long fight to assure that those who the U.S. Government will not allow to board an airplane can still easily purchase all of the assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines they may want.

Then, voting in the 2016 Presidential Primary season mercifully came to end with yesterday's Democratic Primary in Washington D.C. where Clinton reportedly defeated Bernie Sanders by more than 50 points before the pair held a two-hour long private meeting about the future of the party, after the close of polls. But the attempt to oversee the tallying, particularly here in California, where hundreds of thousands of Vote-by-Mail and Provisional ballots remain to be tallied, continues.

With a warning from the "U.N." that Donald Trump may be just months away from acquiring nuclear weapons, we open the phone lines to listeners on all of the above, before finally finishing up with our latest Green News Report. Listen up, spread the word and keep up the good fight!

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

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Guest: Anise Jenkins of FreeDC.org...
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2016 6:01pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Democrats take Trump's bait after the Orlando Massacre and the fight for D.C. Statehood continues. [Link to complete audio is posted below.]

First up, more fallout following the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, as both President Obama and Hillary Clinton fall for Donald Trump's disingenuous distractions about "radical Islam". And, thus, the GOP's presumptive nominee succeeds, yet again, in hijacking the important conversation on how to curb the nation's mass shooting and gun violence epidemic, just as the NRA and GOP are likely hoping. We try to correct the record in response to a number of fresh Trump lies related to Orlando, even as we notice that, yes, Trump is now banning even more journalists from his events for reporting on actual facts. The growing list of media outlets being rejected for press credentials now even includes the Washington Post.

Then, as Democrats in D.C. head to the polls for the blessedly final Presidential Primary contest of the 2016 cycle today, we speak to Anise Jenkins of FreeDC.org on the continuing fight for Congressional representation and full statehood for residents of our nation's capital which has, ironically enough, suffered under the tyranny of "taxation without representation" for more than 200 years. "We had African-American slaves. We had women who had no rights. There were a lot of inequalities," at the founding of our country, Jenkins tells me. "Those things have ended, thank goodness, after struggling...and a Civil War. However, D.C. is still --- because of Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 17 of the Constitution --- D.C. is still back in political slavery."

She goes on to explain how, despite paying more in taxes to the federal government than they take from it, all of the city's budgets and laws must still be approved by our dysfunctional U.S. Congress, where members --- often Republicans from far away states --- frequently abuse that power as a political bargaining chip or to just simply punish its residents.

So why have Democrats also failed to keep promises to pass legislation that would give autonomy to D.C., even when they've controlled both houses of Congress and the White House? Jenkins says she's been told it's "the four toos": "D.C. was too black, DC was too progressive --- or, they called it liberal at that time --- we were too urban, and we were too Democrat."

"The United States is the only country in the world that has a democratic form of government, where its residents of its capital have no vote or no local autonomy. The only one in the world," Jenkins says. "It's an international disgrace."

While Trump's multiple positions on statehood for D.C., as Jenkins details, should come as no surprise, even Obama, she says, has "been a huge disappointment" on this matter. When you stop to pay attention to it, which I hope you do, it's actually a remarkable discussion and an extraordinary ironic issue. All happening in the town that is the very seat of governance for a nation supposedly based on both individual freedom and representative democracy.

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By Brad Friedman on 6/13/2016 5:39pm PT  

Over the weekend, we saw the worst mass shooting in the history of the United States at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando.

Today on The BradCast, we discuss what happened, the reactions to it from President Obama and many others, including Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump (who lied about the tragedy to say that the alleged killer was a Muslim born overseas. He wasn't. He was born in New York. Like Trump.)

But, while we cover what we know about the tragedy, and the many reactions to it from a number of communities, we also discuss how it might never have happened in the first place had the terrorist-enabling National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Republican Party they support, not fought so hard to ensure that those suspected of involvement with extremist organizations still be allowed to easily and legally purchase all of the semi-automatic, military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines they might need, in order to carry out the type of mass shooting we saw, yet again, over the weekend in Orlando.

More than 100 were shot at the Pulse nightclub alone, in the nation's worst-ever mass shooting. It was able to happen, thanks in no small part, to the millions of dollars spent over many years by the NRA and the GOP officials who have repeatedly voted to allow even those on the so-called "Terror Watch List" to easily buy weapons meant for nothing more than mass murder --- just as al-Qaeda and other extremist groups have long, publicly instructed their followers.

In the meantime, the NRA-owned GOP officials, including Trump, who proudly stand with the terrorist-supporting NRA, offer nothing more than lies and "thoughts and prayers" in response, as the gun violence epidemic and body count continues to grow in the face of inaction by lawmakers in these locked and loaded United States of America.

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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Plus: Ready for Warren?...
By Brad Friedman on 6/10/2016 5:27pm PT  

On today's BradCast, while the Democratic Party and the mainstream corporate media may have moved on --- and Elizabeth Warren may feel ready to be Commander-in-Chief if tapped as Vice President --- there are millions of still-untallied ballots in the state of California. Meanwhile, in the key Presidential swing-state of Ohio, Democrats are being disproportionately purged from the voting rolls by state Republicans in advance of the 2016 general election. [Audio link posted below.]

Yes, democracy actually still matters, and that includes counting the ballots of all the legal voters who wish to vote, counting them accurately, and in a way that we can know they have been counted accurately. While we've been reporting this week, often exclusively, on the huge number of still untallied ballots --- both Provisional and Vote-by-Mail ballots --- here in Los Angeles County, ever since Tuesday's Presidential Primary, new data now reveals the totals are even higher than we've so far reported, both in L.A. and across the state. With some 3.5 million ballots now tallied in the Democratic Primary, and a 500,000 vote (appx. 13%) margin for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, there are still some 2.5 million ballots that have yet to be tallied at all. We discuss what that means and why it matters on today's program.

We also discuss the necessity of taking action on issues that effect elections before your candidate is announced as having lost one. While it's a message we've been shouting from the rooftops at BradBlog.com and on The BradCast for more years than we care to remember, perhaps Sanders supporters will now take note and action. And perhaps Clinton supporters will join them now, rather than waiting until the media declare President-elect Trump has sewn up the race. As one of the cell phone companies used to say: Can ya hear me now?

Speaking of taking action before it's too late, it appears that the state of Ohio is purging voters from the rolls at an alarming rate. Specifically, Democratic-leaning voters in urban areas won by Obama in 2008 and 2012 are being purged at a disproportionate rate to more Republican voters in suburban, whiter areas. To date, more Democratic-leaning voters have been removed in the state's three largest counties in OH than Obama's margin of victory in the state in 2012. Can ya hear me yet?

But, there is also some good news for voting rights and democracy advocates out of the Buckeye State on today's show, as a federal judge has found this week that a number of election reforms enacted by the Republican state legislature and signed by its Republican Gov. John Kasich in 2014 are unconstitutional. That good news, however, comes a bit too late for those voters who had their otherwise legitimate provisional ballots unconstitutionally rejected, thanks to those GOP provisions. Naturally, the state's Republican Sec. of State Jon Husted plans to appeal the federal court's ruling.

Finally today, Desi Doyen joins us with the latest Green News Report which, as luck would have it, includes a number of encouraging new laws passed this week to help save the environment, underscoring once again that, yes, elections really do matter. You can hear us now by simply clicking on one of the links below. Enjoy!

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TPM's John Judis on recent history of convention floor fights; Los Angeles Registrar Dean Logan on 240k provisional ballots cast Tuesday...
By Brad Friedman on 6/9/2016 6:25pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Bernie Sanders meets with President Obama, who endorses Hillary Clinton; A look at recent convention battles and whether they suggest Sanders should drop out before the DNC's July convention; And we receive comment from Los Angeles County's chief election official on the seemingly alarming number of Provisional Ballots handed out to voters on Tuesday in the nation's largest voting jurisdiction.

First up, some breaking news from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which has now upheld the Constitutionality of restrictions on concealed carry weapons. Then, Bernie Sanders meets with President Obama at the White House, vows to work with Hillary Clinton to defeat Trump, but promises once again to continue his fight through next week's primary in D.C. and all the way through the Democratic National Convention in July. And President Obama finally endorses Hillary Clinton.

Next, we're joined by John Judis, formerly of The New Republic, now a Visiting Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and author of seven books, included his latest, The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics. Judis, who voted for Sanders, nonetheless argues that it's now time for Sanders to bow out and endorse Clinton. He cites two recent historic examples of convention floor fights (Ford/Reagan in 1976 and Carter/Kennedy in 1980, not to mention the mess in 1968) to buttress his case.

Earlier this week at Talking Points Memo, Judis, who acknowledges "Clinton has a lot of weaknesses", nonetheless argued that Sanders should get out after California and endorse Clinton no matter who ended up winning the primary here. "What concerned me was that the Sanders people would take a win in California as a reason to really go fight it out at the convention, and I thought that that would be a terrible mistake for the party and for the country, because of what I've seen happen at those kind of conventions," he tells me today. "It's in the interest of people who are Democrats, liberals who are queasy about Donald Trump becoming our next President, to do what they can to help her. And having a big convention battle will not help her." He offers much more on today's show.

Finally today, the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan offers us response to concerns about the seemingly huge number of Provisional Ballots cast during Tuesday's primary. As we reported in detail on yesterday's BradCast (which included a bonus second hour of callers from across Southern California, both voters and poll workers alike, describing problems at the polling place on Tuesday), voters cast some 240,000 provisionals in L.A. County alone. Between those and the still-untallied Vote-by-Mail ballots, there still more than half a million untallied ballots in the County.

But, following yesterday's program and my query to Logan about the large number of provisionals, he conceded the number does appear "high, but not disproportionately so, compared to other major elections and given the Primary-specific elements everyone was dealing with." Today, as he had promised, he sent more details with provisional ballot numbers from recent comparable elections in 2008 and 2012, which he believes supports the case that the numbers from Tuesday aren't as disturbing as they may seem at first glance.

Logan also responds to concerns about the many reports we've been receiving and reporting on since Tuesday regarding voters being told they had requested a Vote-by-Mail ballot when they attempted to vote at the polling place, even though the voters say they had made no such request. He explains that he's found a number of such voters had registered online and --- either accidentally or due to poor "design of the original online registration application" --- had selected the box that would have made them a Permanent Vote-by-Mail "without intention or understanding". He adds, however, "that is speculative" at the moment, as more investigation and counting of those ballots moves forward. He has told me that L.A. County generally is able to verify and include about 85 to 90 percent of provisional ballots in their final certified results.

His complete response, and a few thoughts of my own in regard to this latest mess --- and so many before it --- now serving to mar confidence in the results of another important election, on today's BradCast...

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

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Guest: Prof. Jonathan H. Adler on 'Baptists, Bootleggers and E-Cigs'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2016 5:10pm PT  

I usually try to avoid talk about elections on election days themselves, but the AP, NBC, CNN and all the rest in the corporate media gave me little choice on today's BradCast, even as millions of voters go to the polls today in California, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Last night, just after we got off air, Associated Press decided to declare that Hillary Clinton had "clinched" the Democratic nomination. Their reporting was based on conversations with unpledged Super Delegates who do not actually cast their vote in the nominating process until the end of July (July 25th, to be specific), at the Democratic National Convention. So, with their misleading, inaccurate pronouncements of the Democrats having 'selected a female nominee for the first time in history' (they haven't --- yet), I offer a word or two today --- okay, a rant or two --- on the amazing disservice those news organizations have done to voters (not to mention the Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigns, their supporters, the DNC and American democracy itself) with their inaccurate and misleading misreporting.

Then, I'm joined by Jonathan H. Adler, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law & Regulation at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, to discuss the strange bedfellows who've joined forces in support of onerous new FDA regulations on life-saving vaping (e-cigarette) technology. We've discussed the topic on the show on a number of occasions in the past (most recently here), not only because half a million Americans still die each year, unnecessarily, from cigarette smoking, but because, bizarrely, it has largely been Democrats and other supposedly anti-tobacco crusaders who have been leading the deadly campaign against vaping, making it much harder for smokers to quit smoking in the bargain.

Why would Dems be fighting --- alongside Big Tobacco(!) --- to kill the vaping industry, despite scientific studies finding e-cigarettes to be at least 95% safer than smoking and the UK's Royal College of Physicians (the equivalent of the office of the Surgeon General in the U.S.) recent pronouncement: "in the interests of public health it is important to promote the use of e-cigarettes...as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking"?

In her recent article, "Democrats Work With Big Tobacco and Big Pharma to Choke the Vaping Industry," at the American Media Institute (and at the NY Observer), journalist Monica Showalter offers an answer. She details the "strange bedfellows against vaping," citing both Big Tobacco's support of the crippling new FDA regulations, along with massive donations given by Big Pharma to big name Democrats in the U.S. Senate, just as those politicians came out in favor of restrictions on vaping. The Big Pharma companies include those which control the multi-billion dollar smoking-cessation nicotine industry that produces products such as nicotine gums, patches and, yes, inhalers!

Adler, the co-author of a study titled "Baptists, Bootleggers and E-Cigarettes", joins us to explain the strange coalition, and the powerful history of the "Baptist and Bootleggers" political/economic theory, where seemingly opposing groups, such as bootleggers and religious opponents of alcohol, worked together to keep Prohibition going as long as possible in the U.S. in the early part of the 20th century.

A similarly fascinating and powerful (and bizarre) political and financial coalition seems to be at work here, as Adler explains, to blunt the nascent and life-saving e-cigarette industry, despite recent studies showing, for example, "that when restrictions are imposed upon electronic cigarettes that either make them harder to get or make them more expensive, teen smoking rates go up. The idea that we could adopt policies in the name of public health that increase teen smoking rates should really be frightening."

Also, what should be similarly frightening to Democrats and others who claim to be against smoking, according to Adler, is that the Big Tobacco companies have been very supportive of the onerous FDA regulations no being applied to vaping products. Those are costly new rules that Big Tobacco can afford to comply with, but Mom and Pop vaping shops, currently leading the industry in the U.S., simply cannot. "The major tobacco companies asked [for] and supported the FDA's proposals to regulate e-cigarettes," Adler tells me. "Indeed, Phillip Morris is largely credited with helping to write the statute under which these regulations were adopted."

Finally, we end another very busy BradCast today with our latest very busy Green News Report!...

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

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Mitch McConnell: 'There are no serious barriers to voting anymore anywhere in America' and, oh, yeah, global warming is still 'a hoax'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/3/2016 5:55pm PT  

On today's BradCast, denial, denial, denial. It's not just a river in Egypt. Though, if it were, that river would likely be either drying up about now or rising at a record pace and threatening the lives of everyone who lives near it. [Audio link for show posted below.]

First on today's program, a word or two about the violence outside (and inside) Donald Trump's rally on Thursday in San Jose, CA, and about the anti-American freedom of the press denied reporters covering his campaign.

Then, speaking of denial, the planet's climate crisis continues to worsen and the body count continues to mount from Houston to Fort Hood to Paris and beyond. But, while GOPers continue to pretend that climate science is a "hoax" or "pseudoscience", at least the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is finally warning about the increasing costs of federal spending that it will cause. Will Republicans bother to listen now?

And, while we're at it, GOPers continue to deny the voter suppression they are working very hard to carry out in 2016, even if it requires them to make a fraudulent case about 'voter fraud', as Tom Mechler, the Chair of the Republican Party of Texas, did this week, when he used cases of absentee fraud to fraudulently make the case for polling place Photo ID restrictions in the Lone Star State. He's hardly alone, however. GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also recently lied about voter suppression, telling USA Today: "There are no serious barriers to voting anymore anywhere in America."

Really, Senator? Hope you'll let the disenfranchised Native Americans in North Dakota and elsewhere know about that before this Tuesday's primary --- not to the mention the millions of Americans who do not have the very specific type of Photo ID now required to vote at the polling place in many states controlled by Republicans. As the Brennan Center for Justice notes, some 17 states have made it more difficult for legal (disproportionately Democratic-leaning) voters to cast their legal vote since the last Presidential election, many of those states passing new restrictions on voting since the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the most important section of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. (But, if all goes well, at least registering to vote may soon become a bit easier in Illinois. Maybe. If their Republican Governor plays along.)

Finally on today's BradCast, another oil train derails and explodes in Oregon, and the massive wildfire in the tar sands oil region of Alberta, Canada continues to burn nearly a month after record hot and dry conditions initially sparked the blaze that sent tens of thousands of residents of Fort McMurray scrambling for their lives. Now, some relief has finally arrived, at least in Canada, where 300 South African firefighters have made a 24-hour flight to Edmonton to give exhausted firefighters there a bit of a break. But will the residents of Fort McMurray, a town built to support the tar sands oil industry, continue to deny the damage they have helped cause to their own town and planet?

All of that and much more on today's BradCast...

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

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Or, 'Making Our Country Look Ridiculous Again'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2016 5:45pm PT  

We're happy to keep informing the electorate, one important fact, data-point and reality-based story at a time, so that we might all be better prepared to do our job as voters. That, even as one young woman heard on today's show charges, correctly, that so much of what is going in our country of late "reflects back on our nation and makes us look ridiculous."

With all of that in mind, among the many reality-based stories covered on today's BradCast [Audio link for the full show posted below.]...

  • Thanks to some excellent reporting by the LA Times, tens of thousands of CA voters who might not have been able to cast a ballot in the party primary of their choosing on June 7th, will now be able to do so;
  • Donald Trump is endorsed by the terrorist-supporting NRA, lies about Hillary Clinton, and vows no more "gun-free zones" (even though his own major properties are "gun-free zones");
  • Republican voters, party leaders and major funders continue to coalesce behind the presumptive GOP nominee;
  • Clinton continues to struggle in still more state and national polls against Trump, even as Sanders continues to outperform her against Trump in the same polls;
  • Revisiting some of Clinton's reasons from 2008 for staying in the race against then-Senator Obama, long after it was clear she was unlikely to win the Presidential nomination;
  • Oklahoma's GOP governor vetoes a bill that would have criminalized abortions, even as her Republican state legislature passes an "emergency" anti-LGBT bathroom bill;
  • A brilliant Connecticut woman smacks down anti-LGBT laws and hate, after she is harassed in a public restroom for being transgender (which she isn't);
  • And, our latest Green News Report with a startling number of victories this week for environmental champions...

Enjoy!...

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

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Also: Climate disaster in Sri Lanka; CT institutes automatic voter registration; Federal judge orders KS to restore voting rights to 18,000...
By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2016 5:59pm PT  

Yes, the Democratic Primary cycle continues to continue, as Bernie Sanders wins in Oregon, obtains a "virtual tie" with Hillary Clinton in Kentucky, and the less-than-transparent electoral process in both states triggers more cries of "election fraud!" from Sanders supporters.

On today's BradCast, we look at the results and the concerns about them (debunking some, though not all), along with several important breaking news items. [Audio link to the complete show is below.]

Before diving into Tuesday's primary, we start with the horrific climate change-related mudslides that have buried hundreds in Sri Lanka. Then, some encouraging news for all voters as Connecticut becomes the fifth state to institute automatic voter registration and as a federal judge orders GOP "voter fraud" fraudster and Kansas Sec. of State Kris Kobach to restore full voting rights to 18,000 state voters "suspended" by Kobach's "proof of citizenship" requirement.

Then, the battle between Clinton and Sanders grinds on through two more primary states, with Sanders earning a reported 12 point victory in OR, while battling to a reported margin of less than one-half-of-one percent in KY and vowing to stay in the race through the July convention. We warned earlier this week about the possibilities of a close race in KY, where the state (shamefully) still uses enough 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems that it will now be impossible to know who the voters actually hoped to be the winner. The same was true, as we reported at the time, after the Missouri Primaries on both the Republican and Democratic sides, and the same is true in KY whether Clinton or Sanders ultimately end up being declared the official winner in the Bluegrass State. As of airtime today, though AP has appropriately refused to call the state, Clinton is reportedly ahead of Sanders by just under 2,000 votes.

But throughout Primary night on Tuesday, and continuing today, concerns of "fraud" are being heard very loudly from Sanders supporters once again. Some of their concerns are justified, as we explain. Others are decidedly not. For example, some news outlets irresponsibly reported "More than 76 reports of election fraud from 31 counties were called into the Kentucky Attorney General's hotline". That is incorrect. (Happily WSAZ NewsChannel 3 has finally modified their initial bad reporting. Others, like Bipartisan Report, have not.)

Other concerns we examine are from Pike County, KY, where results were, in fact, "zeroed out" for a time last night, resulting in thousands of "disappearing" votes for both Sanders and Clinton, as well as 11,000 thousands votes said to have been added to Clinton's totals in Marion County, OR. (Evidence suggests a typo by AP, as I explain on today's show.) Some concerns, however, for example the evidence from little-known Democratic candidate Rocky de la Fuente suggesting some of his votes simply vanished in recent Democratic contests in NH, MI and SC, cannot be so easily explained away.

We cover, explain and/or debunk all of those concerns and more on today's BradCast, before closing out with our latest Green News Report and the hottest April ever recorded (the 12th such month in a row to set such a record)...

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

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Guest: Mary Anne Hitt of Sierra Club's BeyondCoal.org...
By Brad Friedman on 5/17/2016 4:48pm PT  

On today's BradCast, voting is underway in Oregon and Kentucky and new polling shows Donald Trump continuing to gain momentum against Hillary Clinton, even as Bernie Sanders remains more popular than either of them (and is still outpacing Clinton against Trump --- not that the corporate media reports on much of that.)

Then, as more oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and worldwide protests demanding action on climate change go largely ignored by the U.S. corporate media, we talk with Mary Anne Hitt, director of the the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, about how sustained grassroots activism has succeeded, once again, this time by blocking a major coal export facility on Native American tribal lands in Washington state.

"Yes, grassroots activism is working and accomplishing amazing things," Hitt tells me as she describes last week's huge victory when "the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a landmark decision to deny federal permits for the biggest proposed coal export terminal in North America." The successful 5-year effort to block the proposed coal export facility at Xwe’chi’eXen (also known as Cherry Point), is also a major victory for the Lummi Nation and native Americans in general, because the facility would have violated U.S. treaty obligations to protect the tribe's fisheries and ancestral lands.

"Our reliance on coal here in the U.S. has been dropping dramatically thanks to a lot of grassroots activism. We've got a third of the coal plants in the U.S. already announced to retire and we're not building any new ones. We have the biggest coal reserves in the world. Shipping that to Asia was the grand plan of some of these mining companies, and they needed to get the coal out through the Northwest, and they needed these big new coal export terminals to make that happen. It's a big deal," she explains, before adding: "It's demonstrating the power of advocacy. In addition to the Lummi Nation, we had hundreds of thousands of people across the Northwest speaking out against these export terminals. The voices of the people were heard. It's a victory for our climate, it's a victory for our treaty obligations, and it's a victory for democracy."

Environmentalists have had a number of major victories in the U.S. of late, from Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline last year to NY Governor Andrew Cuomo's rejection of a major natural gas pipeline more recently. "I think the worst thing you can do for the climate is give up on the power of grassroots advocacy, because I have seen it again and again. I have seen these David and Goliath campaigns where David has won. The Cherry Point export terminal is a perfect example," says Hitt.

The West Virginia native goes on to offer her thoughts on the future of Coal Country and its miners, as well as an opinion or two on whether President Obama has done enough to fight for the environment, against fossil fuel, and in favor of renewable energy.

Finally today, Bernie Sanders offers some candid thoughts on how the corporate media continues to fail in their obligations to the electorate, and a wingnut hissy fit over transgender people and bathrooms takes an ugly turn at a Connecticut Walmart...

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

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Guest: Constitutional law expert and author, Ian Millhiser...
By Brad Friedman on 5/16/2016 6:24pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the U.S. Supreme Court's remarkable decision to punt on a 'religious freedom' case (for now) following the death of Scalia, and all hell breaks lose in Vegas over the weekend as Sanders supporters clash with party officials at the Nevada State Democratic Convention.

First up, some very encouraging news today about renewable energy use over the weekend in Germany. Everything else today is not quite as encouraging, beginning with SCOTUS' extraordinary decision to not decide Zubik v. Burwell, a case related to the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare)'s mandate requiring contraceptive coverage by employers or health insurers.

Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser, author of Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, joins us to explain the Court's latest "punt", sending the case back to the lower courts in search of a compromise, and in hopes of avoiding another 4 to 4 split decision on the High Court as they wait for Republicans in Congress to fill the vacancy left on the Court in the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia's death in February.

Millhiser details both the case itself and the Court's 3-page non-opinion opinion [PDF] today which will, for the moment anyway, help to save access to birth control for thousands of women. He also describes why the Court made the ruling, the havoc that is expected to come from it, and why it underscores, yet again, the desperate need for a 9th Justice on the Court, despite the Senate GOP's unprecedented decision to block hearings on any nominee from President Obama.

Then, speaking of healthcare, while Sanders' policy for a single-payer universal healthcare program remains more popular than the policies of both Clinton and Trump, his supporters are growing increasingly frustrated with what they regard as unfair treatment by the Democratic Party establishment.

That frustration turned to fury over the weekend in Las Vegas, where the Democrats' state party delegate nominating convention devolved into chaos as a number of Sanders supporters were disqualified, party officials denied parliamentary procedure on rules amendments, and officials from the County Sheriff's office were brought in to clear the room as the convention was gavelled to a premature close. All in a huge fight over what might have resulted in 2 more Sanders delegates at the national convention in July.

We try to make sense of all of that (wish us luck!), before offering a preview of tomorrow's Presidential Primary elections in both Kentucky and Oregon...

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

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