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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Trumpwreck: The First Presidential Debate: 'BradCast' 9/27/16
Smart and, at times, hilarious coverage of the Trump/Clinton Hofstra debate, with journalists Heather Digby Parton and David Dayen...
'The Most Audacious Political Heist of Our Time':
'BradCast' 9/26/2016
David Daley on 'RatF**ked' and how the GOP 'stole' the U.S. House for a decade as Dems 'fell asleep at the wheel'...
Sunday Toons of the First Debate Moment
The final stretch for the general election begins and so do the Presidential Debates, as documented in PDiddie's collection of the best political toons of the week...
Eyewitness to Shooting at Protest Questions Official Account: 'BradCast' 9/22/16
Guest: Linda Flynn of Charlotte Spirituality Center was 'feet away', believes police activity sparked violence at peaceful demonstration...
'Green News Report' 9/22/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
U.N. climate pact reaches crucial threshold; White House orders NatSec planning for climate change; Good/bad news in the Arctic; PLUS: Obama to world: Time to step up...
Previous GNRs: 9/20/16 - 9/15/16 - Archives...
Caller Debate Questions
for Trump and Clinton:
'BradCast' 9/21/16
Plus: Police shootings and protests in NC, OK; Earth smashes more heat records; Trump leads Clinton in new national poll...
Trump Charity Scam; Warren v. Wells CEO; TX Defies Court: 'BradCast' 9/20/16
A whole lotta liars, cheats and scam artists on today's show! (So what else is new?)...
'Green News Report' 9/20/16
AL pipeline spill; Court reprieve for Dakota Access; U.N. trying to 'Trump proof' climate pact; PLUS: Leonardo DiCaprio wants you to watch over the oceans...
Terror Attacks in NY, NJ, MN; Massive Pipeline Spill in AL: 'BradCast' 9/19/16
What we know (and don't) in both cases. Guest: Alabama Media Group's natural resources reporter Dennis Pillion...
Sunday Toons of the Slightly Queasy Moment
'Slightly'?! ... 'PDiddie' may need a moment to see if it passes...
Trump's (Latest) Trap; Voting Rights Rulings in KS and OH: 'BradCast' 9/16/16
Also: Nat'l polls tied; Trump leads in OH; Sanders warns against 3rd-party voting; Colbert cheers us up...
'Green News Report' 9/15/16
Dakota Access pipeline fails climate test; House Comm probes state AGs on Exxon; Lead paint maker bought WI immunity; PLUS: LA floods U.S. 3rd costliest disaster...
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...


By Brad Friedman on 9/23/2016 6:48pm PT  

On today's BradCast, updates, racism, lies, voting rights and video tape. [Audio link posted below.]

We've got several updates on the situation in Charlotte, NC following the police killing of Keith Lamont Scott, including the release of an eyewitness video of the shooting said to be from his wife's cellphone. While the tape is heart-wrenching in and of itself, it also appears to show something that looks like a gun seemingly appearing from out of nowhere on the ground next to the victim's body. As noted on the show, I'm not sure what to make of this. It could somehow be a trick of light, shadows, editing, camera angle or...it might not be a gun at all. Others (NBC's Joy Reid, Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson) seemed to be wondering about it as well.

See it for yourself in both the New York Times version of the video as well as the NBC News version. (Enlarge the videos and watch the ground to the right of the body, just next to one of the cop's feet from appx 1:43 to 1:44 in the NBC version and appx 2:01 to 2:02 in the NYTimes version. The NBC version is a bit easier to see, since they have crop/zoomed-in the cellphone framing a bit.) Strange. No real comment. So, I'll just leave that here for now. (But, yes, police do get caught planting guns and falsifying police reports.)

Also today, more blatant and rather jaw-dropping racist statements from the (now former) Trump campaign chair in Mahoning County, OH, Republican U.S. Congressman Robert Pittenger (who represents Charlotte!) and, of course, from Trump himself.

Then, in advance of Monday's Presidential debate, a new non-partisan analysis finds the GOP nominee's proposed elimination of ObamaCare and replacement healthcare plan would result in 20 million Americans losing health coverage. We also review his repeated lie that he opposed the Obama/Clinton actions to intervene in Libya and take out Qaddafi (with audio from 2011 in which he declares the opposite in no uncertain terms.)

Next, troubling e-voting and hacking news and new court rulings and cases concerning voter suppression in the states of Ohio, Georgia and Texas. Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for an important Green News Report, as well as some disturbing, recently unearthed remarks from Libertarian Presidential nominee Gary Johnson concerning global warming...

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

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Guest: Linda Flynn of the Charlotte Spirituality Center was 'feet away' from shooting, believes police activity led to violence at protest...
By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2016 6:51pm PT  

On today's BradCast, a witness to Wednesday night's shooting during protests in Charlotte, North Carolina. [Audio link posted at end of article.]

On the second night of demonstrations following the police killing of an African-American man, Keith Lamont Scott, in Charlotte, one of the peaceful demonstrators was gunned down in cold blood. The City of Charlotte quickly announced that he was killed by "civilian on civilian" gunfire. As it turns out, the man wasn't killed, he was in critical condition on life support at air time (AP has now since reported he has died), and several ministers who were witnesses to the shooting, including the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice, believe that it may have been carried out by police, not by a civilian.

"I saw the man go down on the pavement," said Minister Steve Knight of Missiongathering Christian Church in Charlotte, according to a statement released last night by the Coalition. "It was an ambush. The victim was shot while he stood between two ministers, and we believe he was shot by police. We would like to see surveillance video from the surrounding area that may have captured the shooting to determine who was responsible for the deadly shooting."

As the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Dept. --- which currently refuse to release video from the first shooting --- say they are reviewing tapes of the Wednesday night shooting, one of the witnesses, Linda Flynn, Executive Director of the Charlotte Spirituality Center, joins us to explain what she saw from just "feet away" from where victim was gunned down.

"I was about ten feet away from the gentleman who was shot. We heard a loud bang, it sounded like a gun shot, nobody knew where it was coming from, and we saw the man go down...Of course there was a pool of blood there. People who were directly next to the gentleman started vomiting because they had such a graphic view of everything."

Flynn goes on to say it's "unclear" whether or not he was shot by police or not, but adds: "I think at this point even the police have understood that it is completely unclear as to how the shooting happened. There are questions there. It would be very normal for all of us to have some suspicion because we're not receiving transparency. That's what we're calling for. But I do firmly believe, as a person of faith in this community, that it was a peaceful protest until police decided not to make it not so. And that is our concern."

She argues that it was the ramped-up militarized police presence that sparked violence during Wednesday night's demonstrations and explains her concerns about the history of race relations with the police in Charlotte, where she says it now looks like a "war zone", and we also discuss her concerns about "seeing shooting after shooting after shooting" nationwide.

Also today: Even Donald Trump says he is "very troubled" by video of the police shooting of Terrence Crutcher, an unarmed African-American man seen with his hands up in in Tulsa, OK, as he was gunned down, but his Veep candidate Mike Pence thinks there's just too much talk of "institutional racism". A Trump campaign official from Ohio insists she doesn't believe racism existed at all, until Barack Obama was elected President. (Seriously.)

Then, new polling from Fox finds Trump's lead over Hillary Clinton growing in three key swing states (along with disturbing Democratic denial). And, finally, a huge gasoline pipeline is reopened in Alabama, following a massive spill. We take a look at the Colonial Pipeline company's dreadful history of both spills and cleanups across the country...

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

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Also: National polls tied; Bernie Sanders cautions against third-party voting; Stephen Colbert and Desi Doyen try to cheer us up...
By Brad Friedman on 9/16/2016 5:45pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the corporate media fall for yet another Trump Trap, while we focus on crucial court rulings on voting rights in both Kansas and Ohio that could determine who ultimately wins the White House. [Audio link to the show posted below.]

First, the MSM beclowned itself yet again today, This time, giving free live coverage to the opening of Donald Trump's new hotel and endorsements from some military members, as the Republican nominee eventually offered lies about his 'birther' claims, in which he has spent years attempting to de-legitimize President Obama as an American and all other African-Americans along with him.

That same de-legitimization effort is at work from Republicans around the country attempting to make it harder and often impossible for certain voters (Democratic-leaning ones, disproportionately African-American) to cast a vote in the upcoming election.

This week we saw court rulings, both good and bad, on that front in both Kansas and the crucial battleground state of Ohio under their voter-restricting Republican Secretaries of State Kris Kobach and Jon Husted, respectively. On today's program we review those court decisions and their effect on the electorate as national polling now reflects a virtual tie between Trump and Hillary Clinton nationally, with the Republican nominee having taken a narrow lead in the Buckeye State, and 538.com giving Hillary Clinton just a 57% chance of winning if the election were held today.

Also today: Bernie Sanders urges potential third-party voters to vote for Hillary Clinton instead; Stephen Colbert offers a "polite reminder"; the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein will not be invited to join the first debate; And, finally, Desi Doyen joins us to try and cheer everybody up with the latest Green News Report. (We wish her luck!)

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

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Guest: Noah Bookbinder, Exec. Director of complainant Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)...
By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2016 6:04pm PT  

On today's BradCast, fresh accountability is sought as a criminal bribery complaint is filed with the U.S. Dept. of Justice against GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump and Florida's top law enforcement official, Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

New polls out today from Ohio and Florida find the Republican Party nominee now leading Hillary Clinton by several points in both swing-states. That, after several recent unforced errors by the Democratic nominee and months of misleading and often inaccurate mainstream media reporting on Hillary Clinton's email server and charitable foundation. All the while, Trump has largely received a pass from that same corporate media on his multiple cases of apparent outright fraud and even admitted illegalities.

On that score, I'm joined by Noah Bookbinder, Executive Director of the non-partisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), to discuss the new criminal complaint his organization filed yesterday with the U.S. Department of Justice, calling for a bribery probe of both Trump and Bondi (pictured above). The complaint centers on the illegal $25,000 donation solicited by Bondi in 2013 and illegally delivered by Trump's charitable foundation to her political committee just days after the Florida AG's office announced they were considering joining a New York state fraud probe of "Trump University" and the "Trump Institute".

The Trump Foundation donation, as Bookbinder explains, was unlawful. And, following CREW's civil complaint to the IRS about it in March of this year, Trump admitted the violation by paying a fine and reimbursing his own charitable foundation for the illegal payment to Bondi's political action committee.

On today's show, Bookbinder explains how CREW's new criminal complaint goes even farther in calling for accountability via a new federal probe of Trump's apparent payoff to Bondi, whose office decided not to join the NY civil suit shortly after she received the Trump donation (and then what appears to be a hugely reduced rate for a fundraiser held for her at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.)

"There's a lot of evidence here that looks a whole lot like classic corruption," Bookbinder, who formerly worked on the United States Sentencing Commission, tells me. "The evidence that we do have of this timeline looks really bad, especially when you combine it with the kinds of statements that Donald Trump has regularly made about how he operates --- that he gives public officials money and then they do what he wants them to do. If he did that here, it starts to look like a crime."

Then, a number of Trump supporters are arrested on assault charges for attacking protesters at a Trump rally in Asheville, NC earlier this week, and another from his ever growing "basket of deplorables" is sought by police after punching out a 69-year old lady outside of the rally. Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for some good news (believe it or not) in our latest Green News Report, on fracking in CA and on ND's Dakota Access Pipeline, and some otherwise disturbing news following the hottest month ever recorded on Planet Earth...

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

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Also: Texas undermines court-ordered remedy to unlawful Photo ID law, new studies reveal (again) how such laws undermine democracy...
By Brad Friedman on 9/9/2016 5:52pm PT  

On today's BradCast we try to make sense of today's whiplash of dramatic breaking news --- first from a federal judge then from three federal agencies --- concerning the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, before trying to make sense of still more breaking news concerning this November's elections. [Audio link to show posted below.]

First up: An Obama-appointed federal District Court judge in D.C. hands down his ruling [PDF] denying a preliminary injunction that would have blocked construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, as sought on Standing Rock Sioux sacred lands near their tribal reservation in North Dakota. Moments later, the U.S. Departments of Justice, Army and Interior issue a remarkable joint statement calling for a halt of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-approved construction at one federally controlled waterway and for a voluntary halt by the Dallas-based pipeline company on private lands within 20 miles.

We break down both the court's legal opinion and the federal government's encouraging directive, explaining the reasons behind both, as protests by thousands of native Americans continue to grow each day near the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball Rivers in the southern part of ND.

Then, new polls find Hillary Clinton's lead over Donald Trump shrinking or disappearing fairly dramatically in four different key swing states. And the parties challenging the state of Texas' unlawful Photo ID voting restriction seek emergency court relief after state officials (including its indicted Attorney General) attempt to undermine a court-ordered agreement that is supposed to allow registered voters to vote, even without the strict Photo ID mandated by the illegal statute enacted by state Republicans.

In the meantime, a new study reveals, yet again, that the only type of fraud that could possibly be prevented by Photo ID laws remains virtually nonexistent in the U.S., while another major new study offers empirical historical evidence documenting how such laws drastically and disproportionately reduce minority and Democratic-leaning voter turnout.

Finally: Minnesota Democrats file suit at the state Supreme Court to have Donald Trump removed from the Presidential ballot, charging that Republicans failed to follow state law in their nomination process...

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

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Latest on the Presidential race, attempted NC vote suppression, a controversial AZ election, and the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in ND...
By Brad Friedman on 9/7/2016 5:48pm PT  

On today's BradCast, I'm back after the holiday weekend, but you should tune in anyway! We're live today from the KPFK/Pacifica Radio studios in Los Angeles, as I try to catch up on stuff we missed over the long weekend, and breaking news today.

Among the stories we cover on today's program...

* Tightening Presidential polls [PDF] as pollsters change their methodology to move from "registered" to "likely" voters, as Donald Trump has taken a lead or is tied with Hillary Clinton in a couple of national polls and gaining in some swing states. Nonetheless, Clinton maintains her lead in the Electoral College and even remains competitive in a number of "red" states where she is receiving support from some surprising corners.

* North Carolina's vote suppressing Republican Governor Pat McCrory believes states should have "voting rights", as opposed to people/voters.

* We're reminded today, once again, that every vote counts (or, at least, should), as Helen Purcell, the controversial election chief in Maricopa County (Phoenix), appears to have won her Republican Primary by just over a hundred votes out of more than 300,000 cast, after trailing by just a few hundred votes following last week's state primary in Arizona. The exact percentage flip (she was reportedly losing the day after the election 49.93% to 50.07% against her challenger Aaron Flannery, before defeating him 50.07% to 49.93% as of today, according to Purcell's optical-scan computers reported on Purcell's website) reminds us once again of the need to publicly hand-count paper ballots on Election Night. Purcell, Maricopa's Republican County Recorder since 1988, was roundly criticized for reducing polling locations from more than 200 in 2012 down to 60 during the Presidential Primary in March. Flannery, her challenger last week, has said he cannot afford to mount a challenge to ask for a hand count, but will consider running again in 2020. If the current results hold, Purcell will face Democrat Adrian Fontes in November.

* Then, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest on the growing protests and emergency legal battles by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota against the desecration of sacred sites with the construction of the massive, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-approved (and EPA-opposed) Dakota Access Pipeline and the bad faith actions of its supporters.

Finally, we take listener calls on all of the above! Enjoy!...

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

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Guest: Attorney Ernest A. Canning; Plus: Farewell to Gene Wilder...
By Brad Friedman on 8/29/2016 5:28pm PT  

On today's BradCast: As several polls tighten in advance of the Presidential election, the FBI issues a new warning to states about voting system intrusion and last minute battles continue in federal courts over voting rights access to the polls.

First up, a new report today from investigative journalist Michael Isikoff warns of recent intrusions, believe to be by foreign entities, into voter registration systems in both Illinois and Arizona. The report cites an "FBI Flash" warning [PDF] from its Cyber Division, recently issued to state election officials in hopes of warding off similar intrusions to electronic registration and voting systems in advance of the November election.

The latest news on the completely foreseeable vulnerabilities in our voting and registration systems underscores (yet again) what we've been warning about for so many years at both The BRAD BLOG and The BradCast. Unfortunately, as usual, reporting on this issue from mainstream corporate media comes too late to make much of a difference before the next election, after which the warnings are likely to be all but forgotten...until just before the next election.

Then, BradBlog.com's long-time legal analyst, attorney Ernest A. Canning joins us for an update on the roller coaster-like voting rights battles still waging in federal courts across the country, including the latest disturbing news on Photo ID voting restrictions in Wisconsin and why something known as "The Purcell Principle" will, once again, play a key role in all of those legal fights this year.

Canning, who also wrote about the just the latest example of GOP "voter fraud" hypocrisy over the weekend, summarizes the latest dispositions in a number of key court fights against racially discriminatory Photo ID voting restrictions in Wisconsin, Texas and North Carolina, and related legal battles over access to the polls in states such as Kansas, Arizona and the swing-state of Ohio. All of those cases are likely to have an impact on results up and down the ballot this year.

Finally, we say goodbye to the hilarious Gene Wilder today, a regular presence --- in both voice and spirit --- on The BradCast...

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

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Guest: The Nation's John Nichols from the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, on Sanders, his supporters, their movement and future...
By Brad Friedman on 7/26/2016 5:32pm PT  

Not to give away the ending, but by the close of today's BradCast, Hillary Clinton became the Democrats' nominee for President of the United States.

Before we got there, however, we were joined from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia by longtime progressive journalist and author John Nichols of The Nation and Madison, Wisconsin's Capital Times to discuss yesterday's early tumult with the resignation of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and what we should expect from her interim replacement Donna Brazile between now and Election Day.

The bulk of our conversation, however, centers on how some of the most die-hard Bernie Sanders supporters and convention delegates are feeling today, what it may take for Clinton to win their votes between now and November, and where Sanders' progressive movement may go thereafter. "Bottom line is," he cautions, "it's not what you hear at the convention, necessarily. It's about what comes after."

On an optimistic note, Nichols describes how he has been seeing many progressive Sanders supporters step up to run for office in recent days "all over this country. You won't know all their names, and neither will I, because a lot of them will be running for Drainage Commissioner. But that's how the Christian Coalition got its power, because they figured out there was a Religious Right way to be a Drainage Commissioner. And I can tell you something: there is absolutely a democratic socialist way to be a Drainage Commissioner."

As to the likelihood of a Trump Presidency, Nichols is very concerned. "He's talking to people who have had the hell beaten out of them by globalization, de-industrialization, automation. So it is not shocking at all that there are people feeling so pressured that they might consider an option that, by any reasonable measure, seems madness. We must accept that. The reality of politics. If we don't, we end up with a surprise like Reagan in '80. We tell ourselves something couldn't happen, and then it goes and happens."

But does the Democratic Party understand that? And is Nichols' own home state of Wisconsin really in play this year, as Republicans seem to suggest every year? His answers to all of those questions and many others on today's BradCast!

Also on today's program: Extended excerpts from the moving and inspiring Day 1 speeches of Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders and others, and a brilliant new way that one group concerned about climate change is hoping to entice new young voters to register...

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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Salon's Heather Digby Parton on the rise of a 'demagogue' and the fall of 'conservatism' after the GOP's 'dystopian hellscape convention'...
By Brad Friedman on 7/22/2016 4:45pm PT  

On today's BradCast, it's our Republican National Convention wrap up following Donald Trump's dark and dishonest acceptance speech at the end of a chaotic week for the GOP in Cleveland.

Salon's Heather Digby Parton --- who was with us on Day 1 of Trump's candidacy last year, when we largely predicted what has now happened (while most everyone else saw it as a joke) --- joins us to try and make sense of where things are now for the nation, for the nominee and for the future of the Republican Party's 'conservative movement', which she sees in its final death throes.

"This has been a sick and unhealthy party for a very long time," Parton (better known as just "Digby" of the Hullabaloo Blog ) tells me. "It finally succumbed to the illness. And the reason is not not because of bad leadership or they had terrible choices for President. It's really their ideology that they adopted --- starting back with Goldwater, reaching its zenith with Reagan --- [on which] this conservative movement was built. They called it 'the 3-legged stool'. There was social conservatism/family values, small government/free markets, and a strong national defense. All three of those collapsed within the last 15 years. They failed in spectacular fashion."

As I argue in turn today, as we dissect Trump's fear-mongering speech, his movement, the media coverage and everything else from the week in Cleveland, I am not quite as confident about the collapse of the Republican Party, whose imminent death, to paraphrase Twain, may still be greatly exaggerated. That, particularly given the continuing disservice to the electorate and the nation performed by our dreadful "both sides do it" corporate media, which, after decades, are still misleading and misinforming the country about the candidates, the parties, the facts and the dysfunctional state of American politics.

"The Republican Party isn't dead," she counters. "There will always be opposition. But the form that we're familiar with isn't operative any longer. I don't think it's ideological anymore at all. What's left is Trumpism. That's nationalism, xenophobia, nativism, and authoritarianism."

Okay. But mightn't that be enough to win another Presidential election given a dynamic, if sociopathic, TV-friendly GOP candidate, a not-terribly popular Democratic candidate, a misinformed electorate, and a divided nation? All of those questions asked, answered and debated on today's BradCast, including some listener e-mail and a few other odds, ends and thoughts on what Digby describes as this past week's "dystopian hellscape convention"...

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Guest: 27-year analyst and briefer of Presidents Ray McGovern
Also: GOP Convention kicks off in Cleveland; Ailes 'out' at Fox; Trump ghostwriter 'regrets'...
By Brad Friedman on 7/18/2016 5:54pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the GOP Convention finally gets underway in Cleveland as we try to make sense of the attempted military coup in Turkey over the weekend and the release of 28 previously classified pages of the 9/11 Commission's report.

First, as the RNC kicks off amidst a cycle of gun violence in this country and on the heels of another mass shooting of police officers over the weekend, this time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Cleveland Police union begged Ohio Gov. John Kasich to restrict guns outside the gathering during the convention, despite the state's open carry provisions. Kasich refused, citing Ohio's Constitution which, he says, does not permit the Governor to restrict real guns from the perimeter of the Quicken Loans Arena, even as toy guns and tennis balls are disallowed.

As the official proceedings finally began today inside the convention center, Republican opponents of Trump clashed with GOP officials after a thwarted attempt to force a roll call vote on the approval of the rules. Not a good start.

Then, we're joined by my guest today, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern. The longtime agency veteran, who used to deliver Presidential Daily Briefings to Reagan and Bush Sr. among others, joins us to discuss the apparently-failed military coup attempt that took place over the weekend in Turkey. We discuss what appears to have happened in the NATO nation, what it may mean for their hopes of joining the European Union, as well as what President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's mass arrests of police, military and judges in its wake may mean for Turkey, NATO, the EU, the U.S. and other nations.

The veteran analyst turned anti-war advocate and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), also details his opinion on whether the attempted coup by a faction of the Turkish military was at least partly a "false flag" event orchestrated by Erdogan, how much the U.S., an allly, may or may not have known about the uprising in advance, and why the U.S. will continue to be friendly with the Islamic nation, come what may.

"The bottom line on the Turkish coup," McGovern says, "is Erdogan has been given a terrific present here. He'll be able to change the constitution further, and he'll be able to exert dictatorial powers without much dissent. And that is very dangerous for NATO and the whole Near East area because he is the very definition of a loose cannon."

On the related topic of increasingly authoritarian friends of the U.S., we discuss the newly declassified 28-pages [PDF] of the 9/11 Commission's Final Report regarding a much closer relationship between the 9/11 hijackers and the Saudi government than either the Obama Administration or a number of major media outlets have so far reported. "These are damning, damning pieces of evidence of extensive Saudi government support for some of the 9/11 hijackers," he explains, before also explaining how the information revealed by these pages could have even come about in the first place --- and his quick thoughts on the rise of Donald Trump.

Finally today: It looks like Roger Ailes, longtime mastermind of the Fox "News" Channel scam, is about to be pushed out of his job in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him by a former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson; Donald Trump's Art of the Deal ghostwriter says he has a "deep sense of remorse" for "put[ting] lipstick on a pig"; and a bit of somewhat encouraging polling news for Hillary Clinton over the weekend...

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By Brad Friedman on 7/15/2016 5:48pm PT  

We will not be hijacked by fear and terror, as many hope, on today's or any other BradCast, even after the horrific attack in Nice, France. A few words on that, before the rest of today's show [audio link below] including...

  • 'Tea Party' wingnut Indiana Gov. Mike Pence gets the nod to become the GOP's Veep nominee, despite differing with Donald Trump on a number of issues central to the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee's campaign, and (perhaps because of?) Pence's denial of crazy "liberal" ideas like global warming and that cigarettes are deadly.
  • Failed Presidential nominee and rejected VP candidate Newt Gingrich calls for the violation of both religious freedom and the U.S. Constitution;
  • GOP blocks last(?) "Never Trump" effort to derail Trump's nomination and begs billionaire Sheldon Adelson for millions to help pay for their convention next week in Cleveland after some corporate sponsors bail out;
  • A major new poll now finds Trump leading Hillary Clinton nationally (though within the margin of error) as Senate Democrats reportedly "freak out" about the presumptive Democratic nominee's plunging numbers --- even after outspending Trump 40 to 1 in swing states;
  • California set to finally certify results from its June 7 Presidential primary;
  • And remarks from the UK's new Prime Minister serve as a reminder of what 'center-right' actually means.

All of that and much more on today's BradCast, at the end of yet another disturbing week.

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Guest: Doug Wead, author, presidential adviser, GOP convention expert...
By Brad Friedman on 7/14/2016 6:24pm PT  

Nobody really knows what the GOP convention in Cleveland next week will look like, or even if the delegates there will vote for Donald Trump as expected. Joining us today on The BradCast to offer perspective on all of it is Doug Wead, Presidential historian, author, advisor to two Republican Presidents and a number of campaigns, and an expert on GOP political conventions and rules. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

But first, briefly, corporate media are reporting today that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will be Trump's Veep nominee and that the list of star-studded speakers Trump had promised for the convention may not be studded with quite so many stars after all. But, BENGHAZI! Also, following on the heels of yesterday's disturbing polls for Hillary Clinton, both nationally and in several key swing-states, another new poll out today, this one showing her tied with Trump nationally, confirms her falling support in the wake of the recent closure of the FBI investigation (and often-misleading reporting on it) into her use of a private email server as Secretary of State.

Next, Wead joins us to answer a lot of my questions of what can and can't happen under Republican rules in Cleveland next week, and to offer his thoughts on whether the "Never Trump" movement still has a chance in hell --- legally or otherwise --- at blocking Trump's nomination.

"They say, 'release these delegates to vote their conscience!' It's not like these are people who have a conscience!," he tells me with a hearty laugh. "It's insider-establishment people who want to be free to use the power they have as a vote, to get money and to get things in exchange." Wead also confirms that, yes, it is perfectly legal for the various campaigns to offer gifts, even cash if done carefully, to delegates in exchange for their vote at the convention.

He goes on to lament what he believes has come of his party: "I was astonished when I went into the White House to have some of these conservatives come into my office and say, 'Now you gotta get us federal dollars for this and for that, and all these companies', and I said, 'Hey, wait a minute, I thought we're the conservatives, I thought the liberal Democrats did that?' They said, 'Well, we gotta to do it when we're in power, just like they do it when they're in power. That's the way it works.' So you've got all of these people feeding at the pig trough, that are part of the Republican establishment."

Wead offers an historical perspective on all of this (the 1880 election may have been as insane); reports what both the Bush and Paul families (he has worked for both) currently think of Trump's rise to become the standard bearer of the Republican Party; what effect, if any, Vice Presidential nominees have on Presidential races; and how, he believes, establishment power brokers (in control of both the Republican and Democratic parties, he says) will come out of the election as the winner, one way or another.

As to Trump's chances of becoming the next President of the United States, the historian offers a chilling warning for Democrats: "Yeah, he could win. It could happen, very much so. Don't underestimate this guy. Ronald Reagan was seen as a warmonger and a racist and no way he could get elected. But he defied the prognosticators and won."

Finally today: Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, including coverage of the one ridiculous word added to the Republican Party platform this week to undermine the environment and for what may be the funniest 'snarky comment' ever on a GNR (this one, courtesy of Sen. Al Franken)...

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

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Guest: Attorney Ernest Canning on how the mere possibility of fraud was enough to overturn Austria's recent national election...
By Brad Friedman on 7/13/2016 5:32pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, the Republican Party remains a mess, some Democrats remain in denial, Cleveland remains a tinder box in advance of next week's RNC convention, and if only the concerns about electoral fraud and the need for citizen oversight were taken as seriously in this country as they are in other nations.

While the Democratic platform becomes vastly more progressive this, thanks to the leverage retained by Bernie Sanders and his supporters, the GOP platform stays dumb or dumber. Speaking of dumb, clueless rightwingers (from Bill O'Reilly to Donald Trump to a Canadian singer at the MLB All-Star Game) still don't understand, or want to understand, what 'Black Lives Matter' means. And speaking of jackassery, the Republican National Convention is set to take place next week amidst angst over the party's presumptive nominee and the possibility of protests and racial tensions, even while state law will allow the open carry of loaded guns on the street outside of the convention center. What could possibly go wrong?

Meanwhile, as some Democrats laugh among themselves about who the GOP is likely to nominate for President, several major new polls find Hillary Clinton plummeting against Donald Trump both nationally and in several of the most key swing-states (including OH, PA and FL.)

But with so much talk of electoral fraud during this year's Presidential Primary cycle, some may be pleased to know that a court has finally ordered a new Presidential Election! In Austria! That, not due to fraud necessarily, but to the mere possibility of it. Attorney Ernest A. Canning, long time legal contributor at The BRAD BLOG, joins us to explain what happened, how the nation's Constitutional Court ruling will benefit a far-right candidate, but is a victory for the Election Integrity movement nonetheless, and to discuss why concerns of election security and oversight aren't taken as seriously in the U.S. as they seem to be elsewhere.

"People have a tendency to be blind to this issue so long as their side wins. And that's not what election integrity is supposed to be all about," Canning explains. "The Austria constitution has a constitutional requirement for complete transparency of the count. If it was applied in the United States, most of our elections would have to be re-done. As far as the Austria Constitutional Court was concerned, it's irrelevant whether or not there was actual manipulation [of vote counting]. The fact is, if you had enough ballots that could have been manipulated because it wasn't a completely transparent count, then they're going to set it aside. The mere possibility that the count could have been manipulated is enough in Austria to overturn the results."

Imagine that.

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Guest: Historian Jon Wiener of The Nation and KPFK on why believes Democrats have little to worry about this November...
By Brad Friedman on 6/30/2016 6:47pm PT  

As some progressive Democrats freak out about Hillary Clinton's chances against Donald Trump, we're joined on today's BradCast by historian, author and broadcaster Jon Wiener to discuss his recent article detailing why he believes both math and history suggest Trump will be simply unable to win the Presidency this November. [Audio link at end of article.]

Wiener is a longtime friend and colleague at KPFK/Pacifica Radio here in Los Angeles, where he hosts the 4 O'Clock Report (airing right after The BradCast) on Wednesdays. His piece at The Nation, where he is Contributing Editor and host of the Start Making Sense podcast, is headlined "Relax, Donald Trump Can't Win". But is he right about that?

"My goal was to take a step back, to try to get a sense of the realities of things separate from our passions and our fears," he tells me, while explaining his case and the critical electoral math that undergirds it. Essentially, he argues, Trump must find millions of more Republican votes than Mitt Romney was able to scrape up in 2012. "It's very much of an uphill climb for [Trump] to find another 6 or 7 or 8 or 10 million people," particularly with the broad baggage that he has already accrued during the primary.

"There are very few people who switch from one party to another between elections," the UC Irvine history professor and author of How We Forgot the Cold War and Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files (and many others) explains. "Trump does claim that he's brought millions and millions of people into the primaries. But the people who looked at this closely discovered that Trump's voters in the primaries were Republican voters in the last general election. They're already committed Republicans. These are not new, first-time, never-before, non-voters --- these are Republicans. These aren't going to increase the Republican total. They've already been counted as Republicans in past elections."

So, even presuming his math is correct, what of a number of critical points that his analysis seems to simply overlook, such as voter suppression, other forms of election fraud, more "scandal" (phony or otherwise) for the presumptive Democratic nominee, and the possibility of Trump becoming a more disciplined candidate? Not to mention so many of the recent failures of pundits, pollsters and political scientists --- on which his case rests --- on everything from the GOP primary election itself to the recent right-wing populist victory in the UK's Brexit referendum?

Tune in for Jon's responses to my skeptical questions on all of the above in our lively conversation today.

Also on today's program: The U.S. Dept. of Defense announces an end to the ban on transgender service members; Trump's African-American support is amazing; Ohio's GOP Gov. John Kasich vetoes a 'poll tax' bill passed by his own party; Canada's Parliament goes gaga for Obama; And Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report...

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Guest: USC historian Ariela J. Gross | ALSO: Disastrous fundraising numbers for Trump; New polls; And our 700th 'Green News Report'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/21/2016 5:47pm PT  

Following the massacre at the LGBT nightclub in Orlando in which more than 100 were shot and 49 killed, the media (including us!) have been reporting the incident as 'the worst mass shooting in U.S. history'. But was it really?

On today's BradCast [audio link to show posted below], I'm joined by Ariela J. Gross, professor of law and history at USC, co-author of several history text books, and the author of What Blood Won't Tell: A History of Race on Trial in America to discuss a number of U.S. mass killings from early in the 20th Century that were, arguably, far 'worse', in that the death toll was much higher.

Several of them, including those in East St. Louis, IL and Tulsa, OK, have been largely obscured by history as "race riots" instead of the mass killings they actually were. Some historians, she explains, now use the term "'massacre' because 'race riot' makes it sounds as though there were something two-sided" about these wholesale slaughters of African-Americans. "Some historians refer to them as 'racial cleansing', not unlike the ethnic cleansing that we saw in parts of Eastern Europe in the late 20th Century," Gross tells me.

The exact number of deaths in those horrific incidents (not to mention similar slaughters of Native Americans) are still unknown, but are believed to be in the hundreds in a number of cases. Gross notes, however, that had the killers at the time "had access to military-grade weapons the way [the Orlando shooter] did, we'd be talking about thousands of people dead." She also details how "racial terror has gone hand-in-hand with our gun culture" or the years.

Also today: Surprise! Attempts to pass gun safety legislation in the U.S. Senate fail again; The latest FEC filings are in, and the Trump Campaign appears to be in big big trouble, at least if fundraising, staffing and cash on hand mean anything to his particular candidacy and what it may mean for the RNC as a whole; And new polls find Hillary Clinton still ahead of Trump, though not by as much as might think, particularly given the presumptive GOP nominee's disastrous past couple of weeks.

And finally on today's BradCast, Desi Doyen joins us amidst the horrible heat wave here in Southern California, for the 700th(!) episode of our Green News Report!...

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

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