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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, July 28, 2016
Dems Nominate Clinton, Trump Predicted to Win: 'BradCast' 7/27/16
History and madness. Callers ring in on all of it. Buckle up...
'That's What Democracy is About': 'BradCast' 7/26/16
The Nation's John Nichols from Philadelphia, on Sanders, his supporters, their movement and future. Plus: Highlights from Sanders, Michelle Obama and others on DNC Day 1...
'Green News Report' 7/19/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump and Pence promise to roll back enviro protection, bring back dirty coal; PLUS: U.S. walloped by deadly heat wave, as June 2016 breaks yet another new temp record...
Previous GNRs: 7/19/16 - 7/14/16 - Archives...
DNC Chair Out Amid Hacks, Protests; Plus: Fox After Ailes: 'BradCast' 7/25/16
Eric Boehlert on the firing of FNC's founder, propaganda mastermind: Also: Deadly heat; Trump 'bump'; Clinton taps Kaine as Veep...
Sunday Toons of the Conscientious Moment
'PDiddie' rounds up the week's best toons following a chaotic week at the RNC in Cleveland and much more...
Trump's RNC Acceptance Speech and the GOP's Dark Future: 'BradCast' 7/22/16
Salon's Heather Digby Parton on the rise of a 'demagogue' and the fall of 'conservatism' after the GOP's 'dystopian hellscape convention'...
Ailes Out, Cruz Booed, and a World on Edge With 'President Trump': 'BradCast' 7/21/16
Guest: Longtime GOP campaign adviser, 2012 Presidential candidate, 2016 Cruz booer, Fred Karger from Cleveland...
5th Circuit Court Finds TX Photo ID Law Violates Federal Law: 'BradCast' 7/20/16
Also: 'Liars, Lucifer & Jail!' - RNC Day 2 coverage w/ Jimmy Dore in Cleveland, and why he believes Trump is no worse than Clinton...
Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth: 'BradCast' 7/19/16
ALSO: New insider election fraud warnings, worry, woes in several states as another national poll finds Trump and Clinton tied...
Happy Birthday to Me?
It's a pretty big birthday over here. Not that we'll much be able to enjoy it all that much this year, unfortunately. But you can help!...
'Green News Report' 7/19/16
Trump's Veep pick is also a science denier; UK's new PM abolishes climate dept.; AK heat wave breaks records; PLUS: India breaks amazing record for tree planting...
CIA Vet on Turkey Coup, Declassified 9/11 Pages: 'BradCast' 7/18/16
Guest: 27-year analyst, briefer of Presidents Ray McGovern; Also: RNC kicks off; Ailes 'out' at Fox?!...
Sunday Toons of the Moment
Trump hearts Pence; Ginsburg and Christie are sorry; and 'bomb delivery robots'?! Yes, all of those toons and more in PDiddie's latest collection of the week's best...
After Nice; Pence Tapped by Trump; Dem Poll 'Freak Out': 'BradCast' 7/15/16
Not hijacked by fear or terror. A science denier will be the GOP Veep nom. Trump leads Clinton in new poll...
'Feeding at the Pig Trough': What to Expect at the Cleveland RNC: 'BradCast' 7/14/16
GOP Presidential historian, adviser Doug Wead; Also: More bad poll news for Clinton...
'Green News Report' 7/14/16
Porn: dirty, Coal: clean!, says GOP; Senate Dems call out 'web' of professional deniers; June 2016 was hottest on record in U.S.; PLUS: Another fracking explosion...
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...


GUESTS: Bernie advocate Jimmy Dore; Hillary advocate Hal Sparks!...
By Brad Friedman on 1/18/2016 3:40pm PT  

Democrats held another 'secret' Presidential Debate over the weekend, but the DNC's effort to hide it from the public, yet again, hasn't kept us from full post-debate coverage and analysis on today's BradCast!

It was a very serious and substantive debate. Therefore, I've asked a couple of comedians to join me and Desi Doyen to help us make sense of it all! Incredibly enough, it is also the last scheduled debate before voters actually go to the polls and caucuses in Iowa and New Hampshire about two weeks from now to cast the very first votes of the 2016 cycle.

So, with all of that in mind, today, unlike on our debate coverage up until now on The BradCast, I've invited actual advocates for each of the two front-runners, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, to have it out and make their best case for their respective candidates.

Joining me on today's raucous, lively and occasionally very funny program...

• In support of Hillary Clinton: actor, comedian and radio broadcaster, the great Hal Sparks, formerly of E's Talk Soup, Showtime's Queer as Folk, currently of Disney XD's Lab Rats and the Hal Sparks Radio Program Mega-Worldwide on WCPT in Chicago!

• In support of Bernie Sanders: comedian, author of Your Country Is Just Not That Into You, host of The Jimmy Dore Show on KPFK and Pacifica Radio, and regular contributor for The Young Turks, the no-less great Jimmy Dore!

• In support of Martin O'Malley: Well, no one. But that doesn't mean we won't talk about him behind his back on today's hilarious, helpful and, hopefully, very insightful edition of The BradCast!

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

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Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser...
By Brad Friedman on 1/11/2016 5:29pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, new polls reveal Bernie Sanders far outpacing Hillary Clinton in head-to-head match-ups against all potential Republican challengers and public sector unions take a beating in the U.S. Supreme Court.

First up today, new pre-election polls from NBC/WSJ and PPP in both Iowa and New Hampshire echo recent national polling suggesting that, contrary to so-called "conventional wisdom", Sanders is more electable against the leading Republican opponents than Clinton is.

Then, constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser joins us to report on today's "brutal" oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case which threatens to gut public sector union funding.

Millhiser, author of the new book, Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, was at the Court for today's hearing, and the news is not encouraging. As he explains, the case challenges the federal government's allowance of "agency fees" charged to non-union members in public sector union shops to help defray the costs of union negotiations. That fee makes sense, since non-union workers must receive the same wages and benefits at such shops as their union colleagues. Non-union workers benefit from those negotiations, he says, since "workers in unionized shops on average receive about 12% more pay than workers in non-unionized shops."

"As a general rule," Millhiser wrote after today's oral argument, "the First Amendment does not permit the government to compel someone to say something they disagree with, and the plaintiffs claim that requiring non-union members to subsidize collective bargaining by a union that they may not agree with essentially rises to the level of compelled speech."

He tells me today that striking down the right to charge these agency fees "creates what's called a 'free rider' problem. If I get something, whether I pay for it or not, a lot of people are going to say 'Well, why would I pay for this when I get it for free?'" That, in turn, threatens the viability of such unions entirely.

Millhiser goes on to say: "It was pretty clear today that there were five votes that are ready to strike down these agency fee agreements --- and that's going to be not great for the future of many public sector unions."

We also discuss how an adverse decision for the public unions here may also potentially be used by the Right to go after private unions as well. "What we've seen from conservative movement attorneys over the last seven or eight years is an extraordinary entrepreneurship. They've been really, really clever in coming up with creative news ways to try to convince courts to implement their policy preferences," he says.

Citing both that point and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's new call for nine, incredibly radical (and regressive) amendments to the U.S. Constitution (which Millhiser describes as the new Republican governor's "plan to repeal the 20th century"), I ask why it is that Democrats and progressives don't show similar "entrepreneurship" in pushing forward their own agenda.

In response, Millhiser defends Dems and progressives by noting a peculiarity about this particular moment in history: "I think conservatives right now increasingly believe that the last 80 years of American history are illegitimate. They believe that our society has started to go off the rails and we have to fundamentally rethink what our government does. Democrats are now in the unfamiliar position of being the nation's conservative party. I don't mean in the sense that they are now to the right of the Republicans. I mean 'conservative' in the sense that Democrats are conservative in the sense that it wants to preserve the gains that we already have."

The result is that Dems are put on the defensive, instead of pushing new, progressive programs forward, as I argue in return, leaving voters less than clear about what it is Democrats hope to do when and if they are elected to office.

Finally, we offer a short goodbye to David Bowie and receive late breaking word from the the U.S. Supreme Court concerning imprisoned former Gov. Don Siegelman (D-AL)'s final appeal for a new trial...Neither of those news items are encouraging either, unfortunately.

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/8/2016 5:24pm PT  

On today's BradCast, it was a trip through the week in wingnuttery, as we catch up with a number of stories we've been following of late, including (but not limited to):

• America's dumbest Governor, Paul LePage (R-ME), is apparently also America's most racist;
• President Obama's exceedingly modest and popular executive actions on gun safety freak out the NRA and the stooges who follow them;
• Native Americans in Oregon speak out against the out-of-state militiamen who've taken over a federal facility on their tribal lands;
• The Chief Justice of Alabama's Supreme Court, Roy S. Moore, reignites confusion over same-sex marriage in the state;
• And, Wheaton College shames itself still further by attempting to terminate a tenured professor because she believes Muslims and Christians "worship the same god".

As I said: A week of wingnuttery. (And some well-deserved righteous rants in response.) Enjoy!

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: Stewart Rhodes, President and Founder of OathKeepers.org
PLUS: Obama's announces executive action to take on America's gun scourge...
By Brad Friedman on 1/5/2016 5:16pm PT  

On today's BradCast, I'm back! And with huge thanks to Nicole Sandler of the awesome RadioOrNot.com for filling in for me and Desi over the holidays to help us get some some much-needed time off!

First up on today's show: President Obama announces his Executive Actions to combat the scourge of gun violence in this country.

Then, I'm joined by Stewart Rhodes, Founder and President of Oath Keepers, a group which describes itself as "a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders, who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to 'defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.'"

While the Oath Keepers were on the front lines of the armed 2014 standoff against the federal government at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada, Rhodes has declined to join the ongoing armed take-over of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon by other members of the so-called "Patriot Movement," including two of rancher Cliven Bundy's sons.

Rhodes explains how he believes the showdown at the Bundy Ranch differs from the current situation at Malheur. He claims the former resulted in stopping the "assassination" of the Bundy clan by federal officials, whereas, in the latter case, "I haven't seen any direct threat to anybody's life."

He describes one of the men holed up in the federal Oregon facility as "either insane or an agent provocateur who...wants to see violence," and another as a "loose cannon idiot who has a martyr complex." He suggests that Bundy's son Ammon, who helped lead the takeover in Oregon, is "naive" and "has people right there with him who are unstable, who may initiate violence."

"They want to go down in a glorious firefight," Rhodes warns about at least two of the individuals. "If they don't get that, it's entirely possible they might initiate it." And while the other Bundy son, Ryan, has reportedly said he was "willing to kill and be killed if necessary," in the stand-off, Rhodes rejects the idea that the men are "terrorists".

I also pressed Rhodes about critiques of his own organization, which has been described as "conspiracy theorists", "vigilantes", "rightwing extremists" and even "racists" at various times. Many have accused them and others in the Patriot and Militia Movements of looking to pick fights with the federal Government. I ask him why his group and others like it didn't come to the aid of the Occupy Movement when those peaceful protests were brutally crushed by local, state and federal officials back in 2011 and why they haven't been louder in opposition to the ongoing epidemic of police violence across the country.

We also discussed the claims made in a Rolling Stone feature article this week, charging that former Oath Keeper Sam Andrews was drummed out of the group for attempting to organize with African-Americans in Ferguson, MO. Rhodes calls Andrews a "liar".

As to the Bundys, Rhodes claims the family took advantage of his group back in 2014. "We didn't go there to get cattle back. We went there to keep the Bundy family from being murdered. They then took advantage of that situation and went and got their cattle back," he tells me. "They didn't say 'come help us with armed supporters to go get our cattle back'. That's not what they did. They said 'we're about to be murdered, come protect us'. And so Ammon Bundy has displayed the propensity to deceive people. And he's doing that right now [in Oregon.]"

There was a lot more in our spirited conversation --- we both agree, for example, about the outrage of "minimum sentencing" laws of the type at the center of the current dispute up in Oregon right now, as well as at the heart of the so-called "Drug War" --- but you'll have to give the full show a listen for complete details...

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: Dr. Joe Romm on the historic U.N. Paris Agreement and beyond
PLUS: KY's new GOP Guv disenfranchises 140,000; Trump supporter arrested with bomb...
By Brad Friedman on 12/23/2015 5:41pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we've got both good news and bad at year's end.

First up, Kentucky's new 'Tea Party' Republican Governor Matt Bevin revokes the restoration of voting rights for 140,000 former felons as instituted by the former Democratic Governor. That, after the dubious and completely unverified results of the state's November gubernatorial contest. Yes, as we've noted for well over a decade now, elections matter! Bevin also did away with the previous governor's increase to the minimum wage for state workers, while he was at it.

Also today, quick news on the Trump supporter (a middle-aged white guy) arrested with a bomb after threatening to kill Muslims at a mosque in California more than two weeks ago. Also, a quick word on the record number of sign-ups this year at Healthcare.gov for new and renewed health insurance policies thanks to the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare").

Then, I'm joined by Dr. Joe Romm, editor of Climate Progress and former Asst. Sec. of Energy in the Bill Clinton Administration, after his return from Paris where the UN struck its historic agreement just over one week ago to curb greenhouse gasses that cause global warming.

As usual, Romm offers extremely informed and helpful insight, including his explanation for how the UN talks began earlier this month with the challenging goal of an agreement that would keep global temps from rising any higher than 2 degrees Centigrade, but surprisingly ended with an landmark pact that included the aspirational goal of 1.5C.

"It became clear from just looking at the science that there's nothing safe about 2 degrees Centigrade," he explains. "What we've learned in the last 18 months, with the instability in the West Antarctic ice sheet, and all the extreme weather events that we're already seeing, and the brutal droughts we're seeing in this country and elsewhere, that we're already at dangerous impacts, and we're only at 1 degree Centigrade of warming. So, I think that reality did set in." He adds: "If you want to limit to 2 degrees Centigrade total warming, the planet's net emissions have to go to zero by the end of the century. So, pretty much every country is going to have to go to zero."

Romm details exactly what that means and echoes remarks from my interview with Dr. Michael Mann last week, where Mann declared that the Paris Agreement signals the "end of the age of fossil fuels."

"We are talking about the end of the fossil-fuel driven Industrial Revolution that began 250 or so years ago," Romm tells me. "And that's why, in some senses, this is such a big deal. Because you literally had every single significant country in the world, large and small, rich and poor, all sign on to this agreement, which recognizes, yeah, the age of fossil fuels is coming to an end."

We cover a number of the steps ahead ("I was describing this as Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope. We have a lot more battles before us.") during our wide-ranging conversation that also includes his complaints about Bill Gates' big new clean tech fund, and his response to the charge by NASA's former chief scientist Dr. James Hansen that the Paris Agreement is a "fraud".

"I think we're certainly at an inflection point," says Romm. "You know, change happens slowly, until it happens quickly. I tend to think we have now entered the phase of much more rapid changed than people expected."

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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GUESTS: Journalists David Dayen and Jacki Schechner...
By Brad Friedman on 12/21/2015 4:42pm PT  

The DNC seems to have wanted their Democratic Presidential Debate in New Hampshire over the weekend to remain a secret. Otherwise, why would have they have scheduled it on the Saturday before Christmas?!

On today's BradCast, we spoil the secret by talking about that and everything else that actually went on during Saturday's debate on ABC between Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley.

Joining me are financial journalist David Dayen of The Fiscal Times, Salon, The Intercept and everywhere else and health care reform advocate and journalist Jacki Schechner, formerly of CNN and CurrentTV.

Among the issues covered in today's post-debate coverage and analysis:

  • Do voters actually care about last Friday's database breach by the Sanders campaign?
  • Is the DNC 'in the bag' for Hillary Clinton?
  • Do Democrats play into GOP/corporate media narratives by spending so much time discussing ISIS and terrorism?
  • Is there any real daylight between Clinton and Bernie Sanders' positions on gun safety reform?
  • Does Martin O'Malley bring anything to the contest that Clinton and Sanders don't already have covered?
  • Why did ABC News spend so much time on Republicans during Saturday's Democratic debate?
  • Does the math really work for Sanders' plan to provide free college tuition to all public colleges and universities by instituting a tax on Wall Street transactions?
  • Does the math really work for Sanders' call for a single payer health care system?
  • Did ABC's Martha Raddatz completely misinform America in her question to Clinton concerning Obamacare?

All of that and much more on today's BradCast, as expertly answered by Dayen and Schechner! Especially helpful to those of you who might have had something else to do on a Saturday night before Christmas...like, I dunno, go see Star Wars!

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, journalist Ari Berman of The Nation
PLUS: More RW terrorism; More racism from Justice Scalia; U.N. climate conference in Paris turning out much better than expected...
By Brad Friedman on 12/10/2015 5:22pm PT  

On today's BradCast, more rightwing domestic terrorism in the U.S., more Scalia race-baiting, another rightwing challenge to minority voting rights heard by SCOTUS, and some potentially good news for the climate out of Paris. [Link to the full program follows below.]

First up today, another 'active shooter' situation plays out as we go to air. And, once again, the terrorist in question appears to be a rightwinger --- at least based on the 'Tea Party' flag on his pickup truck.

Next, we're joined by The Nation's Ari Berman, author of the recently published Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, to discuss Evenwell v. Abbott, the somewhat astonishing rightwing challenge to minority voting rights heard this week at the U.S. Supreme Court (for some reason).

Despite the "One person, one vote" principal having been seen by most as settled law for about 50 years in the U.S., the Court took up a challenge to that idea brought by the same man who successfully challenged the Voting Rights Act --- which SCOTUS subsequently gutted --- back in 2013. Now comes the idea out of Texas that each state's legislative districts should not be drawn with an approximately equal population in each, as they are now, but rather an equal portion of eligible voters in each Congressional and state house district.

Redrawing maps in this way --- and it would likely need to be done in all 50 states --- would lead not only to chaos, but it have the effect of seriously undercutting minority voting rights, as Berman explains on today's program.

If the plaintiffs in Evenwell are successful, he observes, "many people who are now counted would be excluded, because they are not eligible voters, such as those who are under 18, those who are not U.S. citizens, both documented and undocumented [and] prisoners who have lost the right the vote. All of those people will not be counted [when drawing up legislative maps]. So if you look at the math itself...that will mean that 55% of Latinos, 45% of Asian-Americans, and 30% of African-Americans will not be counted towards representation. And that's why this case is such an attack on minority voting representation."

Few, including Berman, saw such a challenge coming, though perhaps we should have. The case, he tells me, is "brought by the same people that challenged the Voting Rights Act, the same people that challenged affirmative action, and seemingly everything they bring --- particularly this one guy, Ed Blum and his Project on Fair Representation --- everything he brings seems to be heard by this Supreme Court. It's literally like he's sitting around thinking 'What's the next way I can try to attack voting rights? What's the next way I can attack racial equality?' And they keep thinking of more and more creative schemes. And it like they're just going through everything that was done in the 1960s and challenging it --- whether it's the Voting Rights Act or the Fair Housing Act or it's 'One person, one vote'. All of these landmark achievements that have been so successful are now under attack, and this is just the next iteration of this."

After spending months researching for his book, Give Us The Ballot, Berman observes the fight against voting rights today is a continuation of the same fight that has been waged since the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act half a century ago. "There has been a 50 year attempt to try to restrict voting rights. And one of the things that I've noticed is that there's always new ways thought up to try to roll voting rights back. And we've seen a dramatic escalation, I think, of a very old strategy...And they don't seem likely to stop anytime soon."

Berman details how the questions from the Justices at Wednesday's oral arguments to suggest that we are likely looking at another 5 to 4 split decision from the Court...one way or another.

Also today: Justice Antonin Scalia, the Donald Trump of the Supreme Court, offers remarkably offensive comments about African-Americans; Rush Limbaugh's guest host testifies on climate change (sort of) in Ted Cruz' U.S. Senate Science Committee hearing; And the U.N. climate conference in Paris (COP21) comes down to the wire and may be set to produce an even better global agreement than almost anyone had predicted...

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, columnist, gun safety activist Cliff Schecter...
By Brad Friedman on 12/7/2015 5:28pm PT  

On today's BradCast, President Obama's primetime address to the nation on Sunday discussed the nexus between terror and guns. We discuss that same nexus and much more on today's program.

First up, a quick welcome to our newest affiliate partner, Grateful Dread Public Radio in Nashville!

Then, how Donald Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric --- including his call today to block all Muslims from entering the country --- has real world consequences, perhaps even in last week's San Bernardino massacre, as suggested by the disturbing Islamophobic tweets from one of the shooting victims who had been a co-worker of the male shooter.

With that event, and more shootings and Islamophobic incidents than we can even keep up with at this point, we are joined Cliff Schecter, gun safety activist, Daily Beast columnist and author of the best selling The Real McCain to discuss all of it.

Schecter, formerly a competitive shooter, discusses how U.S. extremists from the NRA to the GOP on down the line are blocking reform of the nation's gun laws at the federal level, and how that failure to respond to the majority interests in the country underscores a serious deficiency in our system of democracy "where we have to balance the rights of people who want to own guns versus the rights the rest of us are guaranteed in numerous parts of our Constitution, to live."

"When people are being shot in multiple instances, every day," he opines, "these are the kinds of things that are happening that aren't supposed to happen in a society like ours, and just proves how out of whack things have gotten. If you are a waitress and you have to be scared to actually ask one of your customers to stop smoking, if you have to be nervous about going to movie theaters, or getting in arguments with people --- which we all do with random people in life --- I mean, what kind of society is that? That's a sick society."

We also discuss the refusal of Republican lawmakers in Congress, as recently as last week, to close the so-called "Terror Gap" that allows those on the Terror Watch List to purchase weapons in the U.S., even without any background check at all (as Al-Qaeda has been very happy to note).

Republicans, he explains, have chosen the NRA's financial support over protecting the American people. "I don't think it gets any weaker on terrorism than that. They are trading in people's safety here for NRA money and NRA support. That's sad and that's pathetic."

When I ask if he agrees with my long-held assertion that the NRA is a terrorist-supporting/enabling organization, he responds: "If you don't want to call them straight-out terrorist, which I would. They are the political wing of various domestic terrorist organizations --- of white supremacist organizations, of militias, and all these other groups --- quite clearly."

We also discuss the New York Times' landmark weekend editorial calling for a ban on assault weapons (and actually taking them away from citizens) and the largely good news out of the U.S. Supreme Court today, upholding a lower (Right-leaning) appellate court decision on an assault weapon ban in an Illinois community.

Also today: Some very good news for former President Jimmy Carter and more...

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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...

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GUEST: Howie Klein of Down with Tyranny and the BlueAmericaPAC
Guest Hosted by Nicole Sandler...
By Nicole Sandler on 11/27/2015 2:43pm PT  

On today's BradCast, guest host Nicole Sandler of Radio or Not speaks with Howie Klein of Down with Tyranny and the Blue America PAC.

They spoke about just about everything - from Alan Grayson's endorsement of Hillary Clinton (and the reported strong-arm tactics her campaign is employing to gain those endorsements) to Trump's dangerous rhetoric to medical marijuana. And, as if we didn't already know, Bernie Sanders' constituents love him!

And since so many are embracing the 'F' word as it relates to the GOP's frontrunner, Nicole brought out "The 14 Characteristics of Fascism", just to review.

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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...

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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.

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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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By Brad Friedman on 11/18/2015 5:22pm PT  

Following last week's horrific terror attacks in Paris, Republican Governors and Presidential candidates have turned against those fleeing terror in Syria by calling for states to keep out the huddled Syrian masses of men, women and children yearning to be free.

Despite the existing, incredibly onerous, nearly two-year process of vetting such refugees before they are allowed to come here --- and despite state Governors having no direct control over immigration/refugee policies at the federal level, more than 30 of them have now declared they will not allow refugees from the war torn nation to be relocated within their state borders.

Presidential candidates like Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and even the supposedly "reasonable" and "moderate" Jeb Bush have declared we need to consider shutting down mosques and/or institute a Christians-only policy for refugees coming to the U.S. from countries under siege by terrorists.

These GOP cowards and liars have little more evidence to back up their assertions about dangerous refugees "pouring into our country from Syria" than they did when they warned President Obama was allowing an Ebola epidemic to land on our shores and kill us all just a few short months ago.

Nonetheless, some gullible and frightened American citizens have responded to the offensive, anti-American rhetoric of GOP leaders by turning against their fellow citizens, sometimes violently, for the "crime" of being Muslim or even just appearing to be of Middle-Eastern origin.

All of the above, of course, is precisely what Osama bin Laden --- and now ISIS --- long ago announced to be exactly what they were hoping for.

All of that and many more disturbing tales from the 'Land of the Free' and the 'Home of the Brave' in today's BradCast...

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Screenshots suggests disappearing 'Yes' votes on Election Night; OH Sec. of State's office offers us an explanation, downplays concerns
PLUS: Citizen calls for hand-count grows in Kentucky; And Fossil Fuel's very bad week...
By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2015 5:15pm PT  

Did someone or something flip election results last week in Ohio's statewide ballot initiative Issue 3 to legalize marijuana? We try to get to the bottom of that question --- and many others --- on today's BradCast. (Audio is linked below.)

As initially reported by Ohio's Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, and later by Steve Rosenfeld, screenshots captured from several different media outlets on Election Night last week show what appear to be impossible results on both Issue 3 and on Issue 1, a ballot measure for redistricting reform in the Buckeye State.

For example, according to screenshots from Dayton's WHIO-TV website, as published in the Fitrakis, Wasserman and Rosenfeld articles, Issue 3 reportedly had 969,662 "Yes" votes with 39% of precincts reporting. But later in the night, with 45% of precincts, there were only 614,866 "Yes" votes on Issue 3. That's a seemingly impossible drop of more than 300,000 votes in the initiative that is said to have ultimately failed, according to the unverified election night results reported by the OH Sec. of State.

Similarly, screenshots of results on Issue 1, which ended up reportedly passing, saw "No" votes drop impossibly from 990,555 to 486,596 later in the evening.

What explains these numbers? I spoke to Matt McClellan, Communications Director for Ohio Sec. of State John Husted (R) earlier today. He says that WHIO and the other media outlets whose screenshots were cited by Fitrakis, Wasserman and Rosenfeld, were all Cox Media outlets and "the problem was on their end."

"Someone was manually entering data," McClellan told me. "When they noticed the mistake, they made a correction." He went on to say that the Secretary of State's website had no such discrepancies or irregularities throughout the evening. His office does not take their own screenshots throughout the night, so we can't confirm that either way, at the moment, though McClellan says the office "went back and double-checked to make sure" after the issue was initially reported.

In response to the Sec. of State office's assertions (we offer more detail on them during the show), Fitrakis shared pre-election tracking poll results with me, that suggest the marijuana initiative should have passed, rather than lost, by a 2 to 1 margin. "Tracking polls suggest more that [results] were flipped than not flipped," he told me today. Fitrakis was is skeptical of the explanation from Husted's office, while adding that if Cox is manually entering results on the fly on Election Night, "then they need to stop, because it's absurd."

For the record, our calls to try and confirm the OH SoS' claims with WHIO and/or Cox Media have not yet been returned. But, again, much more detail during the program.

As if all of that isn't enough of a mess, the citizen movement to demand a hand count of the questionable results of last week's Kentucky Governor's race continues to grow. A petition has been posted to Change.org asking KY SoS Allison Lundergan Grimes to carry out a hand count of paper ballots statewide. So far, more than 10,000 have signed on to the effort, as we discuss today as well.

Finally on today's show, Desi Doyen joins us with the latest Green News Report on the fossil fuel industry's no good, very very bad week...

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

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