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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, July 30, 2015
NYTimes Blows It Again: 'BradCast' 7/30/15
Eric Boehlert of Media Matters on the latest fiasco by the 'paper of record' (and how it always hurts Dems); Also: Medicare turns 50; Trump dominates GOP (loses to Dems)...
'Green News Report' 7/30/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Portland activists blocking Arctic drilling; Wildfires explode across West, getting much worse around world; PLUS: The killing of Cecil the Lion ignites a firestorm of controversy...
Previous GNRs: 7/28/15 - 7/21/15 - Archives...
Michael Mann on 'Bombshell' New Report on Sea Level Rise: 'BradCast' 7/29/15
'Uncertainty, it turns out, was reason to act even faster,' says the Nobel Prize winning climate scientist...
Trump, 'Spousal Rape',
and His Horrible Attorney:
'BradCast' 7/28/15
Plus: Hacks, election debates, pipelines, spying, GOP approval ratings and much more...
'Green News Report' 7/28/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Hillary goes big on solar; Jeb wants to eliminate ALL energy subsidies; PLUS: New study suggests worst case sea level rise may happen much sooner than previously thought...
Previous GNRs: 7/21/15 - 7/23/15 - Archives...
Hillary's Climate Plan & the Awful Truth About It: 'BradCast' 7/27/15
Journalist David Roberts of Vox.com; Plus: Bernie beats all GOPers; Trump continues to surge; MUCH MORE...
U.S. House Passes Bill to Block 'Right to Know' About GMOs
Despite recent scientific findings on dangers of GMOs, failure of existing governmental testing standards, Repubs lead fight to keep you in the dark about what's in your food...
Sunday Toons: Guns Trump All
Also in this week's collection from 'PDiddie': Sandra Bland, Donald Trump, Iran, Climate Science and Planned Parenthood...
High Times for Pot Biz; Plus: More Shootings, More Trump: 'BradCast' 7/24/15
Dan Riffle of the Marijuana Policy Project joins us to discuss some encouraging news. Also: The Lafayette theater shooting; Perry's felonies; and Trump cracks the code...
Kansas SoS Kobach Defrauding Voters; FBI Whistleblower Coleen Rowley on 'Terrorism': 'BradCast' 7/23/15
A big show. But even bigger when our guest is a TIME Mag Person of the Year!...
'Green News Report' 7/23/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
OH's Kasich jumps into 2016 GOP race - we decipher his climate position; Dem candidate links global warming to ISIS - Fox goes nuts; PLUS: Two CA Guvs slam climate deniers...
Previous GNRs: 7/21/15 - 7/16/15 - Archives...
The Woman Who Led the #BlackLivesMatter Protest Against Sanders & O'Malley in AZ: 'BradCast' 7/22/15
Tia Oso on why she did it and reaction from progressives. Plus: Hillary in trouble? MORE...
Who the Hell is John Kasich and Why is He Running for Prez?: 'BradCast' 7/21/15
Journalist John Michael Spinelli of Ohio's PlunderBund; Plus: Trump soars in polls!...
'Green News Report' 7/21/15
Extreme weather whips CA - bridges collapse and cars burn; June 2015 hottest on record; PLUS: Record warming in Pacific kicks hurricane season off to record start...
America's Top Psychological Org Colluded w/ Bush on Torture: 'BradCast' 7/20/15
Dr. Yosef Brody of Psychologists for Social Responsibility; Plus: Progressive protesters disrupt Sanders; Trump disrupts himself...
Sunday Toons: Plutocracy is Not a Planet
Plus: 'Jade Helm'; Cosby; Iran; Greece and the rest of last week's messes in cartoon form, as curated by 'PDiddie'...
Mother of All GOP Voter Suppression Laws on Trial in NC: 'BradCast' 7/17/15
Nation's Ari Berman, at the trial this week, joins us. Plus: More on Walker/WI corruption & Maine's dumb Guv!...
Walker Wins & Democracy Loses (Again. Big Time.): 'BradCast' 7/16/15
We don't use the phrase 'death of democracy' lightly. But there's good reason to today. Brendan Fischer explains today's outrageous ruling by WI's corrupt Supreme Court...
'Green News Report' 7/16/15
Graham chides fellow GOPers on climate; Cap & trade nets big bucks for states; Dirty coal on the way out in U.S.; PLUS: Boy band joins climate movement...
Iran, Trump Rising & Confederate Monument Worth Keeping?: 'BradCast' 7/15
We cover a lot of ground today, plus listener calls and more (including Brad wrestling w/ tech probs, which is always amusing -- for you!)...
Chart of the Moment: You v. Donor Class
Wondering why you can't have nice things? This is why...
Not a Dime's Worth of Difference? Really?: 'BradCast' 7/14/15
Iran nuke deal; Then Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser on what really separates the two major parties...
'Green News Report' 7/14/15
Scott Walker's in! Here's his climate position; Warmest June ever for the Western U.S.; Exxon knew about global warming in 1981; PLUS: Latest denialist scam debunked...
Debunking New 'Mini Ice Age' Scam; Man Who Punked Scott Walker: 'BradCast' 7/13/15
Guests: Physicist Joe Romm; Ian 'David Koch' Murphy...
#FeelTheBern
Sanders is drawing crowds far larger than any other candidate, Dem or Repub, in the race for the 2016 Presidential nomination...
Stories Behind the Stories: On Confederate Flag, Trump, Marriage: 'BradCast' 7/10/15
Facts behind the headlines you may not have heard! Also: More on nation's dumbest Guv; Listener complaint...
Good Election & Campaign Finance News!: 'BradCast' 7/9/15
Prof. David Schultz on new rulings and how campaign finance can be reformed right now!; Plus: SC, Trump...
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: Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien...
By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2015 5:15pm PT  

On today's BradCast: much more on the 2016 GOP candidates still --- incredibly --- tripping up over Iraq. Over the weekend, once again, it was Marco Rubio's turn after a disastrous appearance on Fox "News" Sunday with Chris Wallace. And no, once again, the Iraq War wasn't "a mistake", it was a crime and should be treated as such.

Then, I was joined for a fascinating conversation with Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien as Shell Oil's 400-foot Polar Pioneer offshore oil rig is now docked in the Port of Seattle's Elliot Bay and facing ShellNo.org protesters on both land and sea. They hope to keep the rig from heading into the pristine Arctic waters to drill for oil this summer, after the Obama Administration has granted "conditional approval".

O'Brien says the City Council has determined that Shell is there "in violation of the existing permits," and tells us they are now "working on enforcement actions to get them back into compliance." Unfortunately, he concedes, that may mean, for now, little more than a $500/fine fine. But he also says the city is working hard to see what else they might be able to do to block the rig from moving north this season and, as importantly, keep any more oil rigs from using the port at all in the future.

On why O'Brien, who also took to a kayak himself to protest the rig last week, isn't only fighting Shell from the safety of his City Councilmember's office, but is actually taking to the water along with other "kayaktivists", he says: "For me, because it's happening right here in my city on my waterfront, I, frankly, can't just stay in my chambers and work on this. I felt the need to get out there and join with my fellow citizens to be part of the activity on the water." He adds: "The number of us and the size of us compared to this monstrosity is a monument to the hubris of the oil industry."

Well worth listening to today's interview! Also today: The weekend's deadly biker gang shootout in Waco results in TX legislators calling for more guns; Religious freedom in Indiana? Not so much if your religion is Rastafarianism; And a 10,000 year old ice shelf in Antarctica is about to disappear entirely. But why worry?...

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GUEST: Environmental journalist Peter Dykstra...
By Brad Friedman on 5/15/2015 5:44pm PT  

With Jeb Bush's disastrous week of blunders concerning the Iraq War, the GOP and its 2016 candidates are now desperately trying to rewrite the history of this nation's greatest foreign policy debacle by claiming that the "intelligence was faulty". It wasn't. Their memory, however, may conveniently be.

On today's BradCast, we set the story straight, again, on what really happened when George W. Bush sent the country to war based on known lies.

Plus, environmental journalist from EHN.org and CNN's former executive producer of their Science and Technology division (until they disbanded the division) Peter Dykstra joins us to discuss his new article on how environmentalists would be wise to learn from our nation's history of civil rights battles. "Want to change the future?," says Dykstra, "pay attention to the past." Good advice all around today.

Also, Boston Marathon bomber sentenced to death; Philadelphia Amtrak disaster underscores U.S. failure; the passing of blues legend B.B. King and more on today's BradCast...

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By Brad Friedman on 5/15/2015 12:22pm PT  

The polling place Photo ID voting restriction enacted by Republicans in Texas has been repeatedly found in violation of the Voting Rights Act. Most recently, late last year, a federal judge found, after a full trial on the merits of the law, that the restrictive statute "creates an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, has an impermissible discriminatory effect against Hispanics and African-Americans, and was imposed with an unconstitutional discriminatory purpose." U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos went on to note in her 147-page ruling [PDF] that the law also "constitutes an unconstitutional poll tax."

Based on evidence from the state examined at trial, the law could serve to disenfranchise as many as 600,000 already legally registered voters in the state, not to mention more than a million eligible voters in Texas over all.

Naturally, Texas Republicans who currently run the state are appealing that ruling. Not because they have been able to demonstrate any actual "voter fraud" that might have been deterred by their restrictions, but because, with rapidly changing voter demographics in the Lone Star State, keeping legal voters (specifically, those that tend to lean towards Democrats) from being able to cast their otherwise legal vote has become a top priority for the GOP if they hope to keep their stranglehold on political power there in coming decades.

With all of that in mind --- including the existing law having been found in violation of both federal law and the U.S. Constitution --- state Republicans are hoping to make the law even more restrictive, and last week in the state House, the GOP passed another law to make it even more difficult for certain people to vote...

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

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GUEST: Marcy Wheeler of Emptywheel...
By Brad Friedman on 5/14/2015 4:48pm PT  

The new USA Freedom Act has just sailed through the U.S. House and now heads to the Senate, as a replacement for the bulk spying provisions of the USA Patriot Act. National security blogger/muckraker Marcy Wheeler of Emptywheel.net joins us on today's BradCast to explain what it all means, whether it will pass, what happens if it doesn't, and whether the new bill will make things better or worse.

Also, way-too-dumb-to-be-President Jeb Bush takes his fifth embarrassing stab at answering a very simple question about Iraq; We finally find a Republican who isn't running for President in 2016; Great news for progressive Democrats in Wisconsin!; And Desi Doyen joins us for our 600th(!) Green News Report!...

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GUEST: Journalist David Dayen; Plus: Jeb on Iraq & crazy Allen West...
By Brad Friedman on 5/12/2015 3:54pm PT  

The Senate Democrats voted almost unanimously against giving President Obama "Fast Track" authority for trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) today.

Journalist David Dayen of Salon joined me on today's BradCast to discuss what today's procedural vote portends; what both TPP and "Fast Track" actually are (and aren't); whether Dems will continue to block the controversial trade agreement in the Senate; and whether Republicans will be able to do the same in the U.S. House.

Also today: The first lawsuit of the 2016 election season is filed in (where else?) Ohio; Defending Jeb Bush on Iraq (yes, you read that right!); Another 2-year old shoots his mom (thank, NRA!); Crazy former Rep. Allen West says he's a victim of "Sharia Law"...at the Walmart!; And Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report...

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GUESTS: Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen; 'DocDawg' of Daily Kos...
By Brad Friedman on 5/11/2015 3:31pm PT  

Today on The BradCast I spoke with Tyson Slocum,the Director of Public Citizen's energy program following the explosion and now oil spill into the Hudson River at the controversial Indian Point nuclear facility just 30 miles north of New York City and the 20 million people in harms way in the metropolitan area. What went wrong at the facility? Why is it still even in operation? And, oh, yeah, should we be worried still about what is happening at Fukushima while we're at it?

Then, I was joined by "DocDawg" of Daily Kos whose startling analysis published late last week, documenting an as-yet unexplained plummet in voter registration forms submitted via public assistance agencies in North Carolina since Gov. Pat McCrory (R) took office, has now lead to the threat of legal action by civil rights groups [PDF] who see a disturbing violation of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA or "Motor Voter Act") of 1993. Someone has some explaining to do in the Tar Heel State where Republicans there have also enacted the most extreme voter suppression law since the Jim Crow era. You gotta check out this disturbing story!

Plus, some breaking news on the jackass George Zimmerman who was reportedly involved in yet another shooting today and a new report finding that the Baltimore City Jail turned away thousands of arrestees since 2012 after they were brought in by police but too injured to be admitted.

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By Ernest A. Canning on 5/11/2015 6:35am PT  

When Vermont's independent Senator Bernie Sanders recently entered the race for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination, we explained how the corporate U.S. media was certain to "set out to marginalize candidates who pose a threat to corporate wealth and power."

Now, a venerable media watchdog organization has documented how, as predicted, both America's "Paper of Record," The New York Times and the nation's most widely watched Sunday public affairs program, NBC's Meet the Press, wasted little time in fulfilling that prediction.

As we recently wrote (and discussed some days later during an appearance on The BradCast), Sanders' principle opponent in the upcoming primary election is not Hillary Clinton. It is, in fact, what Noam Chomsky describes as the "democracy deficit" --- the significant gap between the policy positions of the electorate and their elected representatives. Chomsky attributes the "democracy deficit" to the manner in which "elections are skillfully managed to avoid issues and marginalize the underlying population…freeing the elected leadership to serve the substantial people."

In our article, we pointed to two examples in which the corporate-owned media, sans any discussion of where Sanders or Clinton stood on vital issues, had immediately set out to marginalize the Sanders candidacy by either describing it as a "long shot," or dismissing it altogether with headlines such as the Washington Post's: "Bernie Sanders isn’t going to be president. That's not the point." The practice of simultaneously anointing a corporate friendly candidate as a "front runner" while dismissing those who challenge the status quo is designed to become a self-achieving prophesy at the polls by discouraging citizens from backing a media-dubbed "long shot."

The respected media watchdog organization, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), has now begun to document instances in which The New York Times and Chuck Todd, host of NBC's Meet the Press, applied a second, tried and true media method to both evade issues and marginalize candidates who threaten the interests of "the substantial people." The strategy appears to entail "manipulation by omission" --- a method in which the MSM aspires to mold public opinion by simply pretending that a disfavored candidate and his/her issue-laden campaign doesn't even exist...

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Guests: TX blogger Perry 'PDiddie' Dorrell; Attorney Ernest A. Canning...
By Brad Friedman on 5/7/2015 4:22pm PT  

It was a very busy BradCast today!

We started with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling finding that the NSA's mass surveillance of US citizens under the Patriot Act is, in fact, illegal; Then, more arrests of top elected officials in NY state (Who's next?);

Next, I was joined by BRAD BLOG's Texas blogger and 'toon curator Perry "PDiddie" Dorrell of Brains & Eggs to discuss the "Ace in the Hole (and on the Bench)" in the ongoing criminal felony trial of former TX Governor and presumptive 2016 GOP Presidential candidate Rick Perry. (And for an update on whether he's properly prepared for the imminent "Jade Helm 15" U.S. government takeover of Texas!)

Then BRAD BLOG legal analyst Ernest A. Canning on "the democracy deficit" and how it applies to Bernie Sanders and his run for the 2016 Dem nomination.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for a very busy Green News Report on Oklahoma tornado outbreak, 'oil bomb' trains, the progressive take over of Alberta, Canada's government, and Elon Musk's huge new announcement...

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Guest: Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser...
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2015 4:56pm PT  

On today's BradCast we finally get the chance to catch up on at least one of the big items we missed last week while Baltimore was on fire: the landmark oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case which is likely to result (finally!) in the whole big enchilada decision on marriage equality for all 50 states.

Constitutional law expert and reporter Ian Millhiser of Think Progress joins me to discuss the hearing, the history, the likely outcomes, who to watch, and what could happen thereafter.

Also, Huckabee joins the 2016 GOP nomination circus; Chris Christie begs for a subpoena in 'BridgeGate'; more on the Garland, TX 'anti-muslim' group shootings; and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with the climate positions of the three new candidates tossing their hats into the 2016 race...

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By Brad Friedman on 5/4/2015 5:10pm PT  

I've been having sort of a running conversation/debate with author, comedian, friend and KPFK/Pacifica Radio colleague Jimmy Dore ever since the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. He heard my take on the shootings, as discussed on KPFK at the time, and picked it up (a less generous person might say, misinterpreted it) on his own show.

We then had it out on his show and, finally, with the weekend shootings in Garland, TX at a rightwing group's event offering $10,000 for the most offensive cartoon featuring the prophet Mohammed, it seemed like a good time to pick up that conversation to see if either his or my views have changed.

So, Jimmy was my guest on today's BradCast and I think you'll enjoy the discussion!

Also, Bernie Sanders' refreshing words on a Sunday network news show; Carly and Carson both jumped into the 2016 GOP nomination clown car; one encouraging moment in Nepal amongst unspeakable tragedy following their recent devastating earthquake; the FEC continues to be dysfunctional, with one of their chairs now out-and-out noting that campaign finance regulations are unlikely to be enforced during the 2016 Presidential elections, despite record "dark money" set to be spent on them.

All of that and more on today's show! Please enjoy and spread the word!

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While we'll be posting The BradCast here everyday, 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: Larry Pfeifer (aka 'Easton Eliot')...
By Brad Friedman on 5/1/2015 4:44pm PT  

It was an appropriate end to our first week of daily BradCast shows. In a week filled with quickly moving breaking news to keep us on our toes here at BRAD BLOG World News Headquarters, it ended with the breaking news of major criminal indictments in both the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore and in Chris Christie's NJ "BridgeGate" scandal.

After covering both of those, my guest today was Larry Pfeifer, otherwise known as "Easton Eliot", or the man who hoaxed Rush Limbaugh and the entire Rightwing media bubble into running with the false story that Harry Reid's eye injury was caused by his brother who beat him up over the New Year's holiday.

Larry, who says he has never been involved in politics --- he told me he's never even voted before! --- explains exactly how the ruse came about, how the wingnuts fell for his scam hook, line and sinker, and why he's now created CleanUpTheMedia.com in its wake.

Plus: Bernie Sanders raises a lot of money since announcing his candidacy for 2016; the loss of an R&B legend; and speaking of hoaxes, the NRA's latest fund raising scam.

What a week! My thanks to all our fantastic guests this week and to all of our affiliate partners and listeners for your support! If you missed any of this week's shows, they're all here. We're back Monday to do it all again! Enjoy today's program!...

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While we'll be posting The BradCast here everyday, 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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Please help support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system and so much more --- now in our TWELFTH YEAR! --- as available from no other media outlet in the nation...

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David Wildstein cooperating with investigation into 'conspiracy' to punish Fort Lee's Democratic mayor; Two other top Christie aides also indicted...
By Brad Friedman on 5/1/2015 11:27am PT  

[UPDATE: In addition to the Wildstein indictment and guilty plea described below, two more top Christie officials, Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni, have now been indicted as well, on seven counts each for charges of conspiracy and fraud. Those indictments are now posted here.]

This will not be good for Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)'s already long-shot chances of winning the 2016 Republican nomination for President. In fact, this could be the end of the line for him.

David Wildstein, one of Christie's top staffers at the center of the notorious "BridgeGate" scandal which shut down access lanes to the George Washington Bridge [GWB] from the town of Fort Lee, NJ beginning on the first day of school in September of 2013, has now accepted a plea agreement, pleading guilty to two federal charges of "Conspiracy to Obtain by Fraud, Knowingly Convert, and Intentionally Misapply Property of an Organization Receiving Federal Benefits" and "Conspiracy Against Civil Rights".

The punitive traffic shut down occurred, according to the federal indictment (posted in full below), in retaliation against Fort Lee's Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich's refusal to endorse the Republican Christie in his 2013 gubernatorial re-election bid against Democratic state Senator Barbara Buono, as initially suspected when the "BridgeGate" scandal first came to light last year.

"The object of the conspiracy was to misuse Port Authority property to facilitate and conceal the causing of traffic problems in Fort Lee as punishment of Mayor Sokolich," the federal plea agreement charges. "Just as the Conspirators had intended, the lane and toll both reductions resulted in significant traffic in Fort Lee, both for motorists intending to access the GWB from the Local Approach and for the residents of Fort Lee, whose streets were choked with traffic backing up from the Local Approach. ... [T]he Conspirators purposely ignored communications from Mayor Sokolich, including his pleas for help, requests for information, and repeated warnings about the increased risks to public safety."

Despite a call from a Port Authority employee who was unaware of the scheme, warning that the traffic congestion had already caused problems for police and ambulance responding to a missing child and a resident having a cardiac arrest, the conspirators ignored all such concerns and kept the closure in place...

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By Brad Friedman on 4/29/2015 5:25pm PT  

Would the nation even be discussing what happened in Baltimore were it not for the violence that broke out at the protests over the killing in police custody of Freddie Gray?

Also, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is jumping in to the 2016 race for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Our listeners call in with thoughts on all of the above and more in a very lively show! All of that and Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report on today's BradCast!

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Guest: Doug Hughes who landed his gyrocopter at the U.S. Capitol...
By Brad Friedman on 4/28/2015 4:50pm PT  

On today's BradCast: What's really going on in Baltimore? We discuss the riots and the reason and turn to Fox "News", of all places, for a bit of sanity! (No, really. Thank you, Shep Smith!)

Then, Doug Hughes, the U.S. postal worker who landed his gyrocopter on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol to bring attention to the need for campaign finance reform in the wake of Citizens United, joins me for a conversation that focuses --- for a change --- on why he actually did it. See his website TheDemocracyClub.org for more.

It's an "orgy of spending," Hughes told me, and he's hoping to see a "nonpartisan, ground swell voter rebellion" against it. He also talked about his cool gyrocopter, what his bosses at the USPS have done since his brush with infamy, and the failure on behalf of our national security apparatus to stop him. The letter he was attempting to deliver to 535 members of the U.S. Congress is now posted here.

Plus: Marriage equality is winning the day even on Fox 'News', but can it win once and for all in the U.S. Supreme Court?...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 4/23/2015 9:02pm PT  

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court severely curtailed the government's ability to utilize a routine traffic stop as an excuse to subject motorists to a canine-sniff of their vehicles as a precursor to a search for narcotics.

In Rodriguez v. United States, the Court ruled that the right of "seizure" during a routine traffic stop extends only for the length of time necessary to effectuate the purpose of the stop --- a purpose that ends with the issuance of a citation or warning for the routine stop. While the time needed to effectuate the purpose of the stop includes such measures as necessary to protect an officer’s safety, it does not, according to the Supremes, include a "dog sniff" which, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote on behalf of the court's majority, relates to "the Government’s endeavor to detect crime in general or drug trafficking in particular."

While the 6 to 3 decision (Justices Thomas, Alito and Kennedy dissenting) was handed down in a case in which a motorist was caught transporting methamphetamine inside his car, it also serves to protect the rights of those who are innocent, such as 63-year old Dennis Eckhart, whose nightmarish plight --- including multiple, invasive, forced medical procedures --- all came about as the result of a routine traffic stop and wholly unfounded suspicion by local police...

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