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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, August 29, 2015
10 Years Later - Crawford and Katrina: 'BradCast' 8/28/15
Personal remembrances and audio from our on-air, on-the-ground 2005 coverage of Cindy Sheehan's anti-war uprising at the Bush 'ranch' in TX as Hurricane Katrina stormed ashore...
'A Crazy Man Got a Gun': 'BradCast' 8/27/15
Standing up to the NRA after Roanoke, horrifying U.S. gun death toll; PLUS: Denying global warming on Katrina's 10th anniversary; Trump's ugly nativism; Good news for Dems; Marriage dead-enders in KY...
'Green News Report' 8/27/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
10th anniv. of Hurricane Katrina; NASA warns 3 ft. of sea level rise now locked in; Obama heads to the Arctic; PLUS: Switch to clean energy will cost less than fossil fuel, says Citigroup
Previous GNRs: 8/25/15 - 8/20/15 - Archives...
Let's Go to the Phones: 'BradCast' 8/26/15
Covering a lot of ground with listener callers -- from the on-air shootings in Roanoke, VA to why Democrats shouldn't be so gleeful about Donald Trump -- and much more...
Carly's Climate Clap-Trap or The Fiorina Follies:
'BradCast' 8/25/15
Journalist David Roberts on the 'moderate', 'reasonable' GOP candidate's ridiculous climate comments and Citigroup's global warming report. Plus: Beck, Trump and Sanders...
'Green News Report' 8/25/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
July 2015 hottest month ever recorded; Record wildfires get worse; Mysterious whale deaths in WA; Oil hit hard by China crash; PLUS: Obama calls out anti-free market ideology...
Previous GNRs: 8/20/15 - 8/18/15 - Archives...
TX Photo ID Law Found Illegal, Yet Still Suppressing Voters: 'BradCast' 8/24/15
Guests: Attorney Ernest A. Canning on TX' discriminatory law; Financial journalist David Dayen on Dow 'crash'...
Sunday Toons, Untrustworthy Edition
Hillary's email; Ashley Madison's mess; Subway's Jared; Schumer's shame; Amazon agonistes; Trump's tyranny and more...
E-Cigs Are Good For You; GOP is Not: 'BradCast' 8/21/15
Also: Bernie Sanders & ignoring corporate media are good for you too...
5th Circuit Photo ID Ruling Could Leave Thousands Without Right to Vote in TX
'Good news' decision could leave 600k lawfully registered voters disenfranchised in 2016...
'No Good Evidence' Russia Behind MH17 Shootdown in Ukraine, Says Longtime CIA Analyst: 'BradCast' 8/20/15
Exclusive interview with 27-year, top CIA vet turned peace activist Ray McGovern...
'Green News Report' 8/20/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Fox 'News' now 'cares' about environment; Hillary opposes Arctic drilling; EPA rules to cut methane; Islamic leaders call for climate action; PLUS: River toxins create intersex fish...
Previous GNRs: 8/18/15 - 8/13/15 - Archives...
Did KXL Judges Profit Off Ruling?: 'BradCast' 8/19/15
Investigative journalist Steve Horn on two judges who allowed the disturbing precedent that led to the completion and opening of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline...
AT&T/NSA Whistleblower Mark Klein on New AT&T/NSA Docs: 'BradCast' 8/18/15
'They approached the phone companies before 9/11,' he says, citing new Snowden disclosures that 'vindicate' his own 2006 revelations...
'Green News Report' 8/18/15
Shell gets go-ahead to drill Arctic, Obama to visit to Arctic; July 2015 hottest on record; 'Monster' El Nino brewing; PLUS: Oregon kids sue govt over global warming...
Demise of the Death Penalty and Rise of The Donald's GOP; 'BradCast' 8/17/15
With Diann Rust-Tierney of National Coaltion to Abolish Death Penalty; Plus: 'Godzilla El Nino!' & more!...
Sunday Toons: Money Changes Everything
Another great collection this week from 'PDiddie'! On money in politics, poison in the river, Rick Perry in trouble and much more...
Happy 80th Social Security! And What's China Up To?: BradCast 8/14/15
Guest host Nicole Sandler interviews Eric Kingson on Social Security and more and Dave Johnson on China's currency manipulation...
VERDICTS IN: On ME Guv; CO Cakes; CT Death Penalty, ID 'Ag-Gag' & TX Photo ID: 'BradCast' 8/13/2015
Analyzing several recent, important rulings along with BRAD BLOG's Ernest A. Canning...
'Green News Report' 8/13/15
Half of US Forest Service budget now fighting wildfires; Australia's climate targets denounced; New Zealand ditches coal; PLUS: Free solar for African schools...
Walker, Bush Lies and Bernie's Rise: 'BradCast' 8/12/15
The Nation's John Nichols on new Walker revelations and Black Lives Matter makes Sanders a better candidate; Plus: Big news for Bernie & more!
'The Kids Who Die'
The words of Langston Hughes, spoken in a new video, capture the essence of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Please take less than three minutes to watch...
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: Journalist David Roberts of Vox.com...
By Brad Friedman on 8/25/2015 3:58pm PT  

Over the weekend, supposedly moderate, supposedly reasonable 2016 GOP Presidential candidate Carly Fiorna discussed climate change --- for four long minutes --- with Yahoo News' Katie Couric. In the bargain, as climate journalist David Roberts of Vox.com noted, "everything she said was wrong." Really wrong.

Roberts joins me on today's BradCast to dissect Carly's clap-trap, and to discuss a new report from those lefty, environmentalist, tree-huggers over at Citi GPS (the research arm of Citigroup), finding that moving to clean renewable energy now, in order to try and help mitigate climate change, is ultimately less expensive for the world than sticking with our current fossil fuel economy status quo.

"Moderate Republicans have decided that outright science denial is no longer working for them," Roberts explain in regard to Fiorina's bizarre climate comments. "They've concluded that it makes them look old and cranky and backwards, and it's hurting them with young people and Latinos. So there's at least a small collection of Republicans who have started thinking 'How do we oppose doing anything without denying the science?' That's the dilemma that's in front of them. That's what Fiorina is trying to solve here."

The results, for the failed businesswoman and failed U.S. Senate candidate, as we discuss point-by-point --- from her silly claims to Couric about wind farms and birds, to the one about solar power requiring "huge amounts of water" --- were as disastrous as her failed reign as CEO of HP.

"Republicans have spent so long dug in on this stupid science debate over climate change," Roberts tells me, "they haven't bothered to notice or look around or educate themselves at all about what's going on in this area. So, now they are leaving science denial behind --- slowly but surely --- [and] wandering out into this territory where they know almost nothing. They're just stepping on rakes everywhere."

Summarizing Citi's new report, Roberts explains its findings this way: "It's basically, 'Do you do the same thing you're doing at enormous risk, or do you take this alternative route which costs about the same and avoids this enormous risk?' At the end of all this they basically say, 'Why would you not do this? It's got so many benefits and so little downside. Why aren't we doing that?' And, of course, why we aren't has everything to do with politics."

"If you want to say that the transition to clean energy is going to destroy the economy, then the burden of proof is on you at this point, because there's so much research saying otherwise," he adds during our wide ranging --- and kinda fun --- conversation!

Also on today's show: Glenn Beck's coming-soon tyranny apocalypse; Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump both continue to surge in New Hampshire polling...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Also: Bernie Sanders & ignoring corporate media are good for you too...
By Brad Friedman on 8/21/2015 5:46pm PT  

No, I wasn't just blowing smoke when I told you many many months ago that vaping (quitting tobacco and moving to e-cigs) is a life saver and that those who were trying to restrict its use were helping to kill people unnecessarily.

A new independent expert study out this week, commissioned by the UK government's Public Health England (PHE), underscores exactly that, as we discuss at the top of today's BradCast.

As the new study finds, e-cigs are "around 95% less harmful" than tobacco cigarettes; there is no evidence that vaping is a "gateway" to tobacco smoking; horrible reporting has misinformed the public to believe that e-cigs are as dangerous as tobacco; vaping helps smokers quit and saves lives; and that public officials (shamefully, many of them Democrats!) should be encouraging smokers to move to vaping, rather than discouraging the use of e-cigs, since they are harming the public by doing so.

All stuff we've told you long ago. And here's another study, a major one, proving that The BRAD BLOG and The BradCast had it right to begin with.

Speaking of stuff we've told you long ago, we then move back to Presidential politics and how --- as we told you on the day he entered the race in mid-June (before almost anybody was taking him seriously --- they are now!) --- Donald Trump has blown up both the 2016 campaign and the Republican Party along with it.

Today's latest high-larious examples include both Jeb Bush and Scott Walker absolutely falling over themselves trying to figure out and/or flip-flop on their positions on immigration (and "anchor babies" and Constitutional birthright citizenship) and the latest embarrassment for now-disgraced Republican favorite Josh Duggar and the rest of his Republican Party.

Finally, we finish with an adult politician, Democratic 2016 Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, and his extended response this week (you're welcome!) to corporate media failure in covering the substance of important campaigns and why he refuses to attack Hillary Clinton just to please them...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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U.S. Administration's 'evidence is as sketchy as one could imagine,' charges the intelligence veteran turned peace activist...
By Brad Friedman on 8/20/2015 5:00pm PT  

It's been just over one year since we were told by Sec. of State Kerry and President Obama that pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 killing all 298 on board. The evidence to support the claims, as repeatedly cited by Sec. of State John Kerry at the time, was based largely on "social media". But no hard evidence has been presented by the U.S. since that no time.

On today's BradCast, we are joined by retired, 27-year CIA analyst turned peace activist Ray McGovern, who personal delivered the CIA's Presidential Daily Briefings to several Presidents, including Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. His organization,Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) --- which includes several high-ranking former intelligence professionals and whistleblowers --- have called, once again, on the U.S. to release any evidence to support their claims that Russia was behind the downing of MH17.

"We're investing 90 billion dollars a year in U.S. intelligence and when push comes to shove, we have to rely on social media?," he asks incredulously. "The evidence is as sketchy as one could imagine." In fact, he goes on to tell me on today's program that "there is no good evidence that pro-Russian separatists, so called, or the Russians themselves shot down that plane. I am morally certain were there to be such evidence, it would be [shouted] from the housetops as proof that Kerry was right.""

In support of his disturbing assertions, McGovern cites, for example, the so-called "Government Assessment" that was publicly issued by the Administration just days after the incident, in place of a traditional "Intelligence Assessment". "What [Kerry] offered was a 'Government Assessment', which means it was written in the White House, which means it was a political document written by political hacks, and that the intelligence analysts would not sign on to it," McGovern tells me. "That is significant. This is a new genre of report not supported by the intelligence analysts, and that speaks volumes."

"The reason why there could be no intelligence assessment," he asserts, "is because my former colleagues were honest enough to prevent that. They said, 'look, we don't want to sign on, like our former colleagues did, in a fraudulent estimate saying Iraq has weapons of mass destruction'."

McGovern, who is decidedly non-partisan (see his infamous personal 2006 confrontation with then-SecDef Donald Rumsfeld over lies about WMD, for evidence) offers several cases of similar misinformation offered by the U.S. in the recent past (during his time with the Reagan Administration, for example), and goes on to explain why he believes the U.S. is concealing "available" evidence and/or failing to correct previous assertions during our must-listen conversation on today's show.

Also on today's BradCast: Several other breaking news items and updates, as well as our latest Green News Report...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Guest: The Nation's John Nichols...
By Brad Friedman on 8/12/2015 4:55pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we begin with the sad breaking news about Jimmy Carter's illness and a few thoughts on the ailing former President. Then, it's onto a bit of fact-checking on "ObamaCare" and on Jeb's silly, fact-free foreign policy propaganda speech last night at the Reagan Library.

Next, Wisconsin's own John Nichols of The Nation joins us to explain new revelations about an old criminal investigation of Wisconsin Governor and 2016 GOP candidate Scott Walker and his remarkable ability to blatantly lie about that and so much more.

"Scott Walker is, frankly, better than just about anybody in American politics at gaming the media," Nichols, who has covered him for years in the Badger State, tells me. "At counting on the media to take his absolute denial and give it the same treatment as the accusations, the charges, rather than getting to the bottom of it to actually figure out whether something is there."

He explains that Walker is clever enough to realize that lying works with today's Rightwing electorate, who get their news from very selective sources that rarely bother to fact-check. "He is, in fact, the embodiment of where our politics is going," Nichols warns, citing a description of Walker as "more Nixonian than Nixon."

Then, Nichols, a long time supporter of Bernie Sanders, addresses the recent controversy concerning Black Lives Matter protesters confronting the Vermont Senator and quickly rising 2016 Dem candidate to suggest that, as he explains in detail at The Nation today, such protests have, in fact, made Presidents such as FDR and Kennedy much greater than they might have been otherwise. He argues that the BLM protests have already had a similar effect on Sanders' campaign.

"What we should understand is that pressure from activists often makes politicians into what we like about them, what we respect about them," he says. "What it means is that pressure from activists forces politicians --- and Presidents even --- to step up, to do what they should do, do what will make them more universal in their appeal."

Finally, some very good polling news for Sanders in New Hampshire and more embarrassing polling news for Bush, Walker and the rest of the Republican Party...

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Guests: Blogger/journalists Heather Digby Parton and Paul Rosenberg...
By Brad Friedman on 8/7/2015 3:32pm PT  

Buckle up! On today's BradCast, we jump on board the crazy train to dissect last night's GOP/Fox 'News' Presidential Debate(s)!

My guests today are award-winning blogger/journalists Heather Digby Parton of Digby's Hullabaloo and Paul Rosenberg of Random Lengths News --- both also contributors for Salon.

Can Trump ever be derailed? Fox 'News' and Roger Ailes sure seems to be trying. And does any of it actually matter a year and a half out from the general election and more than six months before any votes are ever cast? We discuss all of the above (after "Digby" and I take short victory lap concerning Donald Trump!) and much more in today's post-debate roundtable!

"[Trump] has absorbed all of the rightwing tropes of the past 30 years and made them his own. He's ingested them, digested them, regurgitated them, played with them, shaped them into figurines, and just endlessly fascinated himself with them, and invited people to play along with him," Rosenberg tells me. "And people are happy to do so, because he is their ideal --- he is a super-wealthy person who is 'just one of us'."

For her part, Parton says the debate actually does matter, for one reason, "because what we're seeing are the contours and outlines of the Republican argument. I think it's pretty clear they're going to be running as war-mongering, tax-cutting, slash-and-burn politicians who are going to roll back everything that's happened in the last eight years. And they're going to do it all in the first day, so that's good."

A fascinating and fun discussion! Plus: Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report' on another new candidate in the GOP race and the pushback against the President's new rules for emissions cuts...

What a week. An incredibly busy one, but we've got some really good shows to show for it, I think. Enjoy today's!

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Guest: Author/journalist Ari Berman of The Nation...
By Brad Friedman on 7/17/2015 4:08pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we start where we left off on yesterday's show, regarding Thursday's amazingly corrupt and disturbing ruling in favor of Scott Walker and his cronies --- by the amazingly corrupt Wisconsin Supreme Court --- and how, if Republicans have their way, that ruling may soon enough become the law of the land for the entire nation.

As our producer Desi Doyen noted on today's show: "This is your early warning system." Ignore at your peril. Then it was on to a couple of quick items and updates, including dumb Confederate flag wavers in Oklahoma and Maine's even dumber Governor Paul LePage.

From there, we head to North Carolina, where "the most extreme anti-voter bill passed by any state since the Jim Crow Era", as we initially described it when it was passed by state Republicans back in 2013, is finally now facing trial against the NAACP, the ACLU, the DoJ and other democracy and voting rights advocates.

We are joined by The Nation's author/journalist Ari Berman, who was in the federal courtroom in Winston-Salem, NC this week as the trial finally got under way. The results of this trial are likely to head all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, one way or another, and may well determine the future of voting rights in this country. The new voting restrictions were passed in 2013, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court demolished the provision of the Voting Rights Act that otherwise, says Berman, would have kept this law --- which is "already disenfranchising voters" --- from even taking effect.

"That's such a clear case study to me that the Supreme Court was wrong when it said that the special protections of the Voting Rights act weren't needed." Berman goes on to explain why he believes NC, a state which had made astounding progress in voting rights over the previous decade, has now become the new Selma, Alabama, where the bloody fight for voting rights led directly to passage of the federal Voting Rights Act in 1965.

"In North Carolina, they had seemingly everything," Berman tells me. "They had all these voting reforms --- early voting, same day registration, pre-registration for 16 &17 year olds. And it was all taken away or reduced" when the GOP took over both the state legislature and Governor's mansion for the first time since Reconstruction in 2013.

"What Selma in the 1960s and what North Carolina in the 2013-2015 era shows is how far these conservative white Southerners will go to protect political power. There aren't billy clubs. There aren't literacy tests. But they're saying this is how black turnout increased --- North Carolina went from 48th in voter turnout in the late 80s, to 11th in voter turnout in 2012 --- Republicans there basically said we're gonna tamp this turnout down."

And now it's left to the courts to find out if those rights, once granted, can be taken away by political whim --- and if NC, and other states with a history of racial discrimination in elections, will be forced once again to face preclearance from the federal government before they can enforce any new voting restrictions.

Berman has a lot of insight on all of this. His new book, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, will be published next month to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of passage of the VRA. As I note during the show, the book is an exhaustively researched and heart-wrenching documentation of the uniquely American and harrowing tale of the fight to vote in this country --- and the outrageously long and continuing effort to block it. That fight continues, sadly, to this day. Go buy his book!

Finally, Desi joins us again for some listener email and then a stunningly upbeat Green News Report for a change!...

Download MP3 or listen 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: Brendan Fischer of Center for Media & Democracy...
By Brad Friedman on 7/16/2015 5:11pm PT  

I had to ask my guest on today's BradCast whether I was being overly dramatic in seeing today's stunning news from the Wisconsin Supreme Court as "the death of democracy". He did not warn me off that thinking.

Before that, however, we quickly covered two other breaking stories today: The verdict in the Aurora, CO shooting case and another new shooting today at two U.S. Marine facilities in Chattanooga, TN --- along with some thoughts on both of them.

Then, it's onto the jaw-dropping WI Supreme Court verdict in the challenge to the prosecutorial investigation into blatant collusion between Gov. Scott Walker and a number of Rightwing groups which spent millions in an alleged "criminal scheme" to help Walker win his 2012 recall election.

Brendan Fischer, general counsel at the Center for Media and Democracy joins us to explain the outrageous ruling. It's disturbing on several levels and bodes ominously for campaign finance laws across the entire nation. It's a must-hear interview, frankly.

In short, Walker and his campaign colluded with those "outside" groups in violation of state campaign finance law and what the U.S. Supreme Court said, in Citizens United, was not supposed to happen. But, it did --- to the tune of millions of dollars to help get Walker elected. Amazingly, it was the Rightwing groups that went to court in this matter to claim that their rights were being abridged by the prosecutors' investigation (a Republican prosecutor, by the way). We explain, in detail, how they made that case and how the Court's Justices went along with them to shut down the so-called "John Doe II" investigation.

But, the most outrageous part is the fact that the very same groups who sued to quash the probe also funded the elections (to the tunes of millions of dollars) of the very same Rightwing WI Supreme Court Justices who found in their favor today. That, despite both the prosecutor's request that those Justice's recuse themselves and a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court ruling (Caperton v. Massey) finding that judges must recuse if the case they are hearing involves a party with a "significant and disproportionate influence" on their elections.

"This is not just about past conduct, this is about future conduct, as well," Fischer tells me. "The court has okayed outside coordination between outside groups and candidates. It applies to their own campaigns, it applies to elections for judges....And the exact same groups that were parties to this case are going to be able to coordinate directly with these justices when they are up for re-election."

And, as if all of that isn't outrageous enough, this case, as I've long warned, is part of a national effort to eviscerate similar campaign finance restrictions across the entire nation --- because Citizens United and McCutcheon etc. apparently isn't yet enough for these Republicans.

"There's really not a whole lot left," Fischer says. "And you can see this being a huge mile-marker in the continued erosion on limits of money in politics. And it's not going to turn out well." Oh, well. I did try to warn everyone at least a year ago that this case was "about much more than just Walker and his corruption."

There's much more. But, as I said, a must-hear conversation today.

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By Brad Friedman on 7/15/2015 5:25pm PT  

On today's BradCast...

• Obama responds to critics of the Iran deal --- legitimate ones and Republicans. (I'm glad the grownup is driving.)

• Trump continues to rise --- and for good reason. (Should we endorse him?)

• NAACP wants to sandblast a huge monument to the Confederacy --- which feels a bit too Taliban-y for my tastes. (But am I wrong?)

• All of that and more today, including: Listener calls on all of the above; I wrestle with technical probs; and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report! Enjoy!

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Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser...
By Brad Friedman on 7/14/2015 5:07pm PT  

Yes, Donald Trump is still leading in the national polls, but, after that, we turn to slightly more serious topics on today's BradCast, as a nuclear deal is finally struck between Iran, the U.S., China, Russia, France, Great Britain and Germany.

But, of course, those heads you hear exploding are (mostly) Republican Presidential candidates who, it seems, are either talking about another deal entirely or they haven't a clue how foreign policy actually works or maybe they've been living in a cave over the past 15 years. (Particularly the years from 2000 to 2008.)

Scott Walker, a very serious candidate for the Republican nomination, is particularly daft on the issue, opposing the agreement with Iran on absolutely ridiculous grounds. But his domestic policy is quite a different and far more disturbing matter. It includes a legal/political/Constitutional philosophy that, while once rejected by the courts and largely left for dead, is now "ascendant within the Republican coalition," as my guest, constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser explains on today's show.

"One thing that has transformed amongst the American right in the last several years is a desire to implement their agenda through any means necessary --- and if that means bypassing the democratic process and just getting their friends on the Supreme Court to implement it, they're happy to do that," Millhiser tells me while discussing one key dog-whistle offered during the Wisconsin Governor's announcement of his 2016 GOP candidacy on Monday.

"What they're doing here is they're trying to effectuate a wholesale transfer of power from the two branches of government that are elected to the one branch of government that is not elected," he says. "And I don't care what your agenda is, that's not something that should be done."

Not a dime's worth of difference between the two major parties? We discuss that laziest of knee-jerkisms --- you decide...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 7/14/2015 11:29am PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: WI Gov. Scott Walker jumps into the 2016 race - we report on his (predictable) position on climate change; Warmest June on record for the Western United States; Exxon Mobil knew about man-made global warming in 1981 - and then funded climate denial industry for 30 years; PLUS: No, we are not headed into a new 'mini-ice age' - the latest denialist theory debunked... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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

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

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): In Pennsylvania city, the poor are paying the price for a bad water deal; Japan is building huge solar power plants that float on water; China: June coal imports fall 34 per cent; Iran Nuclear Deal Is Reached After Long Negotiations; Pipeline Safety in the Congressional Spotlight; Presidential Candidates Say 'No' To Fossil Fuel Funding... PLUS: Australia: Tony Abbot's government pulls the plug on household solar... and much, MUCH more! ...

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

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Guests: Physicist Joe Romm; Journalist Ian 'David Koch' Murphy...
By Brad Friedman on 7/13/2015 5:39pm PT  

A busy week kicked off today on The BradCast! Scott Walker makes his 2016 run for the GOP nomination official; Hillary Clinton takes shots at both him and Jeb Bush in a major economic speech; And the long-awaited NAACP/ACLU/DOJ trial begins in North Carolina against "the most extreme anti-voter bill passed by any state since the Jim Crow Era".

But after those updates, we dig into debunking a new global warming denier scam that began making the rounds over the weekend, concerning a "mini ice age" that wingnuts are now certain will happen instead of the planet continuing to warm at record rates just as scientists have long predicted.

The nonsense begin in the Rightwing denialist media, but has since been making its way into the theoretically legit media as well.

Physicist and former Clinton Administration Dept. of Energy official Joe Romm joins me to help with the debunkery and warns that, unfortunately, "there's no escape from the catastrophic consequences of human-caused global warming by hoping the sun does something. The only hope is that humans do something, which is to slash carbon pollution, and have a global treaty negotiated in Paris in December and take action like the United States is doing through the President's EPA Clean Power Plan, replacing dirty fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy that lasts forever."

The new study being cited by deniers "doesn't mean anything about the long-predicted global warming trend," he tells me. "Anybody who cites this study to suggest that global warming science isn't real, or somehow we're going to avoid catastrophic warming this century, literally has never talked to a climate scientist," Romm says, describing the newest "'Jiggery-pokery' from the climate science deniers."

We also discuss a new email charging Exxon knew about CO2 and climate change since the early 80s, but spent millions in the decades since to fund the denier movement instead of taking action. And I also get Romm's thoughts on a newly unearthed 1969 Nixon Administration memo warning about CO2, global warming and sea level rise.

Finally: Since Walker is announcing his 2016 run for President today, it seems a good time to revisit the audio of that prank 2011 phone call to him from "David Koch" during the height of Walker's union-busting campaign. The call was a hoax, but Walker had no idea. We play some clips from the call to help you remember it all, along with a bit of my 2011 interview with then Buffalo Beast editor Ian Murphy, the man who played "David Koch" during the prank call. (If you're interested, you can hear my complete 2011 interview with Murphy, while guest hosting The Mike Malloy Show on April Fools day that year, right back here.)

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By Brad Friedman on 7/8/2015 5:07pm PT  

We were live at the KPFK/Pacifica Radio studios in Los Angeles for today's BradCast and had the opportunity to open up the phones for a lot of great listener calls.

But, first, we covered today's disturbing, near-simultaneous collapse of computer systems at the New York Stock Exchange, the Wall Street Journal and United Airlines, and what we might (but won't) learn from it.

Then, it's onto the nation's dumbest Governor (perhaps in U.S. history) and the unbelievably dumb thing he's finally done now...

Come and listen to a story 'bout a Governor named LePage,
A total dumbass (and sometimes filled with rage).
They said the state of Maine is the state he oughta run,
But wait until you hear what their Guv has gone and done...

But while LePage may be indescribably stupid, at least he's not running for President (yet) --- unlike Wisconsin's Gov. Scott Walker who is not only running, but currently has a very good chance of winning the Republican nomination. And he's as insidiously sneaky and dangerous as Governors get.

All of that and more on today's lively BradCast!

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Guest: Brendan Fischer of Center for Media & Democracy
By Brad Friedman on 7/7/2015 4:50pm PT  

I'm back on The BradCast today after a much-need July 4 weekend respite! My huge thanks to Nicole Sandler of RadioOrNot.com for filling in for me yesterday!

While Nicole covered some important items that might have otherwise disappeared into the holiday weekend news hole, there was at least one notable story that she missed, which a few folks in Wisconsin --- specifically, Gov. Scott Walker (R) and his allies in the state legislature --- had hoped nobody would notice: their blatant attempt to completely gut the state's beloved Open Records law.

"This was an effort by Walker and some Republicans in the legislature to undermine open government in the dead of night," my guest today, Brendan Fischer, general counsel at the Center for Media and Democracy tells me. And it was done, he suggests, in hopes of keeping piles of fresh baggage from making its way into the mainstream media as Walker --- whose entire career now seems to be predicated on secrecy and lack of transparency --- prepares to announce his candidacy for the GOP Presidential nomination in a week or so.

What the Badger State's Republican-dominated legislature tried to pull off over the weekend was extraordinary. "There was no public statement whatsoever," Fischer explains. "This was introduced, through this last minute budget amendment that was passed on the evening of the holiday weekend. There was no public debate. This was something they tried to do in the dead of night."

Fischer also catches us up on the status of several other cases now pending against Walker and/or his closest allies, including one that is set to face a crucial ruling shortly by the state's Supreme Court. That challenge in that case, known as "John Doe 2", is being brought by the largest financial supporters of both Walker's and several of the court's elected(!) Republican Justices!

Also today: We catch up after the holiday weekend on the latest developments in Greece and with Trump, marriage, the Confederate flag and more!...

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By Brad Friedman on 7/2/2015 3:47pm PT  

It's our last BradCast before the long holiday weekend, so, after an amazingly encouraging week or two of news, we head into the July 4th weekend today with a whole bunch of stories that we've been trying to clear off our desk for the past week or two, along with a bunch of breaking news as well today.

From Trump and Bernie-mentum to Jim Webb entering the 2016 race to the dead-enders in Kentucky still fighting the Supreme Court ruling on marriage to more green news than we can even fit into a single Green News Report with Desi Doyen.

Oh, and real-life killer robots on the rise --- no, it's not product placement for the new Terminator movie, but it sure sounds like it --- before we finally end today's show with an encouraging bang (courtesy of our friend D.R. Tucker at Washington Monthly)!

Please enjoy and have a happy (and safe) 4th of July!...

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P.S. We're taking a long weekend off from the show, so our friend Nicole Sandler of RadioOrNot.com will be filling in for us on Monday! We'll be back on Tuesday though! Peace!

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