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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, September 25, 2016
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's Charity Scam; Warren's Wells Fargo Slam; Texas' Photo ID Court Snub: '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
  w/ Brad & Desi
Gas pipeline spill in AL; Court reprieve for Dakota Access construction; U.N. trying to 'Trump proof' climate pact; PLUS: Leonardo DiCaprio wants you to watch over the oceans...
Previous GNRs: 9/15/16 - 9/13/16 - Archives...
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: National polls tied; Trump leading in OH; Sanders cautions against third-party voting; Colbert tries to cheer us up...
Leaked Emails Reveal Walker's Illegal 2012 Fundraising, GOPers Faking Dem 'Fraud': 'BradCast' 9/15/16
Attorney Brendan Fischer on smoking guns from quashed criminal probe of WI Guv...
'Green News Report' 9/15/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Dakota Access pipeline fails climate test; House Comm probes state AGs probing Exxon; Lead paint maker bought WI immunity; PLUS: LA floods third costliest disaster in U.S. history...
Previous GNRs: 9/13/16 - 9/8/16 - Archives...
Criminal Bribery Complaint Filed Against Trump, Bondi: 'BradCast' 9/14/16
Guest: Noah Bookbinder, of complainant Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)...
Parade of 'Deplorables' (Cuz We're Gonna Need a Bigger Basket): 'BradCast' 9/13/16
String of hate crimes follow GOP 'outrage' over Clinton remarks & MSM ain't helping. Some good news too!...
'Green News Report' 9/13/16
Obama halts ND pipeline; Big Oil's push for pipelines; Judge stops plan to frack on CA public lands; Unfinished nuke plant for sale; PLUS: Aug 2016 hottest ever... again...
Trump Even Lies About 9/11; Big Oil's New Pipeline Trick: 'BradCast' 9/12/16
MSM's dangerous Clinton/Trump 'balance'; Plus: Steve Horn on fossil fuel industry scam to avoid enviro laws...
Courts and Coal Ash Dampen McCrory's Re-Election Chances
It's not for nothing that NC Repubs are working so hard to keep certain people out of the voting booth this Nov...
Sunday Toons of the Questionable Moment
What the hell is going on, and how long will keep going? PDiddie's latest collection of toons attempts to answer some of those unanswerables...
Fed Judge Denies ND Pipeline Halt, Fed Agencies Halt It: 'BradCast' 9/9/16
Also: TX violates court-ordered Photo ID remedy, new studies reveal such laws undermine democracy...
The Soft Bigotry of Trump Expectations: 'BradCast' 9/8/16
How Trump 'won' the 'Commander-in-Chief Forum' and Washington Monthly's Martin Longman on media coverage of actual Trump crimes v. Clinton 'scandals'...
'Green News Report' 9/8/16
Major fracking quake in OK; Violence at Dakota Access protest; Asian typhoons 50% stronger than in 70s; PLUS: Obama in China formally signs landmark climate pact...
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 8/15/2016 5:59pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: While the corporate media continues to amplify Trump's BS, we do our best to counter it with actual, independently verifiable facts. Yes, it is possible. [Audio to full show linked below.]

Fact-checks on today's program include long-disproven and yet still-repeated nonsense from Trump's 'major speech on national security and terrorism' in Ohio on Monday --- (You knew it wasn't going to go well when it started with former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani claiming that in the "eight years before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attacks in the United States".) --- and on Trump's wildly misleading claims about 'voter fraud' in Pennsylvania on Friday.

Trump's latest lie concerning voters voting multiple times "in certain areas" in Pennsylvania (they don't) and about the 59 precincts in Philadelphia where Romney received zero votes in 2012 (he did, as we reported at the time, finding it to be neither surprising nor "fraudulent") have all been debunked long ago. But, as he and other desperate Republicans repeat the same bullshit, as he keeps sinking in the polls, we're happy to revisit the facts once again so you can check 'em for yourself.

As to the GOP Presidential nominee's new scheme to combat that 'voter fraud' in PA with police officers and citizens observers, he may be calling for something that is a violation of a long-standing, federal court-approved, 1983 consent decree, signed by the Republican National Committee after a similar voter intimidation scheme was carried out by the GOP in minority areas of New Jersey. We explain.

Also on today's program: Very important news from over the weekend that has not received the coverage it deserves. From the two Muslim clerics gunned-down execution style in broad daylight in Trump's hometown of Queens, NY on Saturday, to the devastating and growing cost of climate change as 20,000 residents of Louisiana were rescued amid record rain and flooding ("close to two feet over a 48-hour period") and 4,000 were evacuated as hundreds of homes were destroyed (for the second year in a row) amid wildfires in just one small, rural county in bone-dry California.

Finally on today's BradCast: the Rightwing talk radio host who may have finally realized what he and his fellow propagandists have done. "There's got to be a reckoning on all this," he said this weekend. "We've created this monster."

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

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Guest: Carroll Muffett of CIEL on old documents and new revelations; Plus: The dilemma of how to cover Trump and much more...
By Brad Friedman on 8/11/2016 5:53pm PT  

On today's BradCast we'd be delighted to NOT cover Donald Trump. But, frankly, as annoying as it is, that would be journalistic malpractice for a number of reasons. We discuss the journalists' dilemma in covering Election 2016, and try our best to otherwise focus today on substance that both matters and is otherwise being ignored by the corporate media amidst the madness. [Audio link is posted below.]

To that end, the U.S. Dept. of Justice investigation of the Baltimore Police Department in the wake of the 2015 Freddie Gray killing sets off troubling, if all too familiar, alarm bells. Nonetheless, the findings represent yet another success of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Then Carroll Muffett of the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) joins us to discuss startling new revelations from their "Smoke & Fumes" investigation detailing a treasure trove of old tobacco industry documents illustrating that Big Oil did not, in fact, model their decades of science denial after Big Tobacco. As it turns out, it was Big Tobacco who lifted their playbook from Big Oil!

Over the past year we've covered the explosive discovery of company documents revealing that Exxon knew of the dangers of man-made climate change from the burning of fossil fuels as early as the 1970s, and began secretly funding climate science denial organizations not long thereafter. But CIEL's new investigation now details how some 100 recently-noticed documents unearthed from among 14 million at the Tobacco Archives (a public University of California website database of industry documents made available via U.S. smoking and health litigation) offer jaw-dropping revelations suggesting Big Oil's anti-science scam actually began as long ago as the late 1940s. That work resulted in collusion with the tobacco industry in the 50s, to seemingly help avoid accountability and legislation --- no matter the cost to the public --- that might cut into profits for both industries.

"The [tobacco industry's] 'Smoke and Fumes Committee' had its genesis in the oil industry's efforts to respond to bad press, bad science, and the risk of regulations resulting from the L.A. smog crisis of the late 1940s and early 1950s," Muffett explains. "So, in late 1946, a group of oil industry executives came together and decided that they needed to create a joint effort to fund pollution science, and then combine that pollution science with an active PR effort that was designed to shape the public's opinion on the science related to environmental issues and air pollution issues."

"The tobacco companies themselves, when they were looking at how to develop their own deception campaigns around smoking, looked again and again and again to the oil industry for people, for models, and even for advice," he tells me, describing what has been found in the documents so far. "The links between the industries were far more extensive than we ever anticipated. What was truly novel in what we found was that it's not that Oil is the new Tobacco but that Tobacco was at one time the new Oil."

We go on to discuss how the recent discoveries are likely to effect ongoing investigation and litigation into ExxonMobil's deceitful practices by more than a dozen state Attorneys General; the "completely unprecedented" nature of U.S. House Republicans on the Science Committee attempting to intimidate those AGs and environmental groups with subpoenas; and the accompanying irony of the fossil fuel industry attempting to hide behind constitutional First Amendment protections for fraudulent practices (a tactic which failed when Big Tobacco used a similar defense during litigation in the 80s and 90s.)

Hope you'll take a few minutes off from your daily (hourly?) Trump fix to listen to today's fascinating and important conversation.

Then --- because we know you still need a fix --- Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, covering energy policies of Trump and Clinton, and a very encouraging climate precedent just established by a federal court...

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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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 8/9/2016 11:21am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: In Rio Olympics' opening ceremony, Brazil goes big on global warming and the environment; U.S. government to use global warming 'litmus test' for all new projects; Melting Arctic ice uncovering anthrax and toxic waste; Happy Earth Overshoot Day; PLUS: Florida gets approval to release GMO mosquitoes... 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): What Happens to the U.S. Midwest When the Water's Gone?; Researchers find unsafe levels of industrial chemicals in drinking water of 6 million Americans; Climate Changes at Rio Olympics is Risky For The Health and Performance of Athletes; Chevron Wins Big in $9.5 Billion Oil Pollution Case. But It’s Not Over; A Year After Toxic River Spill, No Clear Plan To Clean Up Western Mines; Two former Republican EPA administrators throw support to Clinton... PLUS: Customers Could Pay $2.5 Billion for Nuclear Plants That Never Get Built... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




MSM, Repubs and Dems finally decide e-voting and tabulation a concern...
By Brad Friedman on 8/3/2016 6:13pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we examine charges made by Donald Trump of a rigged November election, the case made by Bernie Sanders supporters that Hillary Clinton may have won the primary due to election fraud, and the mainstream corporate media finally deciding that, yes, hacked voting and tabulation systems really are a threat to American elections. [Link to audio of today's program follows below.]

It's fun (not really) to see corporate media outlets --- once again on the eve a major election --- suddenly very worried about so much of what we have been reporting (see, literally, thousands of stories at The BRAD BLOG and on The BradCast) about the vulnerability of the U.S. electoral system. We've been warning of exactly that for more than a decade.

The recent concerns follow the hack of DNC emails, said by Dems to have been carried out by Russian intelligence agencies, months of charges of "election fraud!" from Sanders supporters, and now new charges from Trump and friends that the Presidential Election will be stolen by Dems this November by electronic voting machines or voter fraud (or whatever the hell he and his supporters are now sputtering.)

It might all have been more fun had all of the above noticed these concerns years ago, rather than right after what some believe is a stolen election and right before one that some believe could be stolen. Ya know, back when there would have been time to move to transparent voting and counting systems instead.

Nonetheless, with those real concerns --- from all sides --- of hacked, stolen, manipulated or just plain erroneously reported election results, I note that "concerns" are not proof of fraud. So, today, we examine the various arguments, including some detailed thoughts --- both critical and complimentary --- on a new 100-page draft report [PDF] by Election Justice USA, titled "Democracy Lost: A Report on the Fatally Flawed 2016 Democratic Primaries".

Their report (and others making similar charges in recent months) details what EJUSA believes to be proof and/or evidence of fraud that benefited Hillary Clinton during the primary. In stark summary (much more detail offered on today's show itself!), the group's evidence of voter registration fraud in some locations is disturbing, if not completely unlike what we've seen in previous elections. But, I am somewhat less moved by their evidence of electronic voting and tabulation manipulation, as based largely on analysis of disparities between Exit Polling and reported election results. I try and explain why I am not particularly persuaded by studies of Exit Polls in regard to U.S. elections, and why, frankly, my response to their report would be similar whether they found proof of fraud or proof of zero fraud in the election. In both cases I would say what I have been saying for years: We need publicly hand-counted, hand-marked, paper-ballots in this country in order to have real confidence in results. (That is what I've long described as Democracy's Gold Standard.)

Short of that, with computerized voting and counting systems that are difficult, if not impossible for the public to oversee, confidence in U.S. elections will continue to erode whether fraud or error actually exists in the results or not. That, in and of itself, as I have shouted for years, continues to present a grave threat to America's system of representative democracy.

All of that and the latest Green News Report, on today's BradCast...

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"...

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Guest: Longtime GOP campaign consultant and 2012 Presidential candidate Fred Karger from Cleveland...
By Brad Friedman on 7/21/2016 5:36pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Once again, as we go to air today, breaking news, this time concerning Fox "News", where its founder, CEO and evil rightwing propaganda mastermind Roger Ailes is officially pushed out after 20 years, on the heels of sexual harassment allegations from at least two Fox stars, and as many as 20 women over all. [Audio link to full show posted below.]

Then, as the GOP continues to step on itself all week during its national nominating convention in Cleveland, second place 2016 GOP Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is booed off stage, during his primetime speaking slot, for failing to endorse Donald Trump. As it turns out, the Trump camp knew that Cruz wouldn't endorse days ago, but gave him the high-profile time slot at the convention anyway. All of which served to obscure the official acceptance speech of Vice Presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana. Idiocy or genius?

We discuss all of that and much more related on today's show with longtime Republican consultant and 2012 GOP Presidential candidate (the first openly gay one from either major party) Fred Karger, who tells me from Cleveland that he was one of the folks on the floor booing last night --- though not necessarily for the same reason as others. "Any chance I get to boo Ted Cruz, I will do it," he explains.

Karger, who says he's attending his 11th RNC, after having served as a senior campaign adviser to Presidents Ford and Reagan, discusses his broken party and what he believes broke it. He tells me he won't be supporting Trump this year --- (tune in to find out who he will support) --- but warns of the likelihood of a "Trump victory."

"He's a master promoter and look what he's done in 13 months," he says. "He's not only the nominee, but he's taken over the Republican Party. And he's neck-and-neck with Hillary." Yup. And, as Karger notes, the Republican delegates in Cleveland have actually warmed up to Trump over the past several days, despite the apparent chaos to those of us non-wingnuts watching from afar.

Finally, if you're not concerned enough yet, the Republican nominee has not only sown chaos at his own convention but, now, also amongst U.S. allies around the world, with remarkably cavalier comments to the New York Times about the future of NATO and other foreign policy issues under a Trump Presidency.

All of that and more (including more breaking news mid-show, as the NBA exercises it's free market rights to pull their 2017 all-star game from Charlotte, NC, in response to that state GOP's anti-LGBT law) on today's BradCast...

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

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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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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: The Intercept's Jon Schwarz | Also: Gretchen Carlson sues Fox 'News' boss Roger Ailes for sexual harassment...
By Brad Friedman on 7/6/2016 5:37pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the UK releasing a damning report on former Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003, underscoring facts revealed by the Downing Street Memo in 2005, and former Fox 'News' anchor files suit against Roger Ailes for sexual harassment.

Today's release of the 2.6 million word Chilcot Report in the UK --- the result of an exhaustive seven year investigation into then British Prime Minister Tony Blair's 2003 decision to go to war in Iraq --- opens up many old wounds, not the least of which is a painful reminder that those of us shouting about the 'Downing Street Memo' back in 2005 --- the leaked memo citing the head of British intelligence charging the George W. Bush administration was "fixing" the "intelligence and facts...around the policy" of invading Iraq and removing Saddam Hussein no matter what --- were right then and still right today.

"I have a real love-hate relationship with talking about Tony Blair, and what he did to make this war happen," The Intercept's Jon Schwarz, who writes about exactly that today, tells me on today's program. "On the one hand, it's fascinating. It's such a story of self-deceit, of deception of others, of unbearable sanctimonious, all in the service of a gigantic catastrophe and crime. So on the one hand, it's fascinating. On the other hand, it's horrifying. I feel great joy and agony discussing it again 13 years after it happened."

We discuss the details of the Chilcot Report today, how the mainstream corporate media ignored the Downing Street Memo back in 2005 ("It was front-page news in many places on Earth. It was not front-page news in the United States."), and whether or not there has been any real accountability or lessons learned ever since, by either politicians or corporate media alike.

Also on today's program (speaking of lessons unlearned): Obama announces he will leave 8.400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan upon leaving office, and Gretchen Carlson, recently terminated by Fox "News", sues Roger Ailes, the Rightwing propaganda channel's boss, over disturbing claims of sexual harassment and discrimination.

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Guests: Ari Rabin-Havt, Imani Gandy, Sajid Khan
Guest hosted by Angie Coiro...
By Angie Coiro on 7/1/2016 7:31pm PT  

On today's BradCast, guest hosted by Angie Coiro, we discuss the revelations of Lies, Incorporated: The World of Post-Truth Politics, from Ari Rabin-Havt and Media Matters for America. Then an analysis of the court case that's garnered attention throughout and beyond the US: the conviction and sentencing of attempted rapist Brock Turner of Stanford.

Ari Rabin-Havt hosts The Agenda on Sirius XM. He collaborated with Media Matters for America on the book Lies, Incorporated: The World of Post-Truth Politics. He tracks to the source of lies that will not die, like death panels and climate change denial. Surprisingly, the shadowy, well-funded individuals that do this work aren't always motivated by the money. Remember Todd Akin's claim that "If it’s legitimate(!!) rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down?” Turns out he may have really believed that.

Also today: why did the judge in the trial of Stanford athlete Brock Turner ignore both mandatory minimum sentence guidelines and the prosecutor to bestow a sentence much lower than anyone expected? Guests Imani Gandy and Sajid Khan, both attorneys, weigh in on what it means in court to be white, male, upper middle class, and a jock.

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Plus: NC suppression law back in court; TX spending millions on unlawful Photo ID law; NY voter purge data; Climate change death toll rising...
By Brad Friedman on 6/24/2016 6:26pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the bombshell passage of Britain's EU 'Brexit' Referendum is shaking both world markets and politics. Is the rise of nationalism and anti-immigration sentiment in the UK a disturbing omen for the U.S. Presidential election this fall? [Audio link to complete show is below.]

Donald Trump certainly hopes so, as he's changed his position on European unity from just three years ago, when he was for it, to today, when he's apparently against it, now that he's running for President. On today's show we discuss a number of things that Americans can and should learn from both the dishonest politics of the Brexit vote and the way the election itself was carried out (on publicly hand-counted, hand-marked paper ballots.)

Meanwhile, back here across the pond, the fight to count votes from the June 7th primary in California continues, and the fight to keep (certain) voters from voting at all continues as well in a federal courtroom in North Carolina (No, Washington Post, Photo ID is not required to board an airplane and you should let your readers know as much), and in the great state of Texas, where so-called 'conservatives' have spent millions of taxpayer dollars attempting to defend their illegal, discriminatory and unconstitutional Photo ID voting restriction year after year in case after case. (Texit, anyone?)

Finally, we look at details from the unlawful purge of voters in Brooklyn, which came to light after the NY state primary in April. Were Sanders voters purged at a higher rate than Clinton voters, as Sanders supporters have been charging? We look at some of the actual evidence now in, which suggests otherwise (and as we've previously argued.) Plus: Death toll rising along with flood waters in West Virginia and in China; And Bluegrass fans lose a legend...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Guest: Tom Giovanetti of the Institute for Public Innovation | Plus: MSM can't wait to call it for Hillary and Maher says socialism saves capitalism...
By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2016 5:58pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: is reform of our criminal justice system really possible given, the vast divide between Republicans and Democrats in Congress? One conservative joins me today to say "Yes!" and explain why. Also, the corporate media prepares to call the race for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday and Bill Maher argues that socialism is needed to keep capitalism from eating us alive. [Link to audio of show is posted below.]

First up, voters in California, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana are getting ready to vote on Tuesday in the final, multi-state Primary Day of the Democratic nomination cycle, after both Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands gave the bulk of their delegates to Hillary Clinton over the weekend. (Washington D.C. will, officially, hold the final primary of the season on June 14th.)

While we prepare to vote tomorrow here in California, and for whatever messes will almost certainly come along with it, folks in Florida (and Georgia and South Carolina) are battening down hatches for Tropical Storm Colin, marking the third-named storm of the season in the Atlantic, a record for this early in the year.

At the same time, the corporate media is preparing to declare Clinton the Democratic nominee on Tuesday, most likely after the close of polls in NJ, despite the fact, as Bernie Sanders continues to note, she is unlikely to have won enough pledged delegates to officially win the nomination until unpledged Super Delegates actually cast their votes at the Democratic convention in late July. As Cenk Uygur argued over the weekend with CNN's Brian Stelter, a lot could happen to change the minds of those party insiders before then, so why does the MSM insist on continuing to tip the scales in her favor with misleading reporting? (As I write this item, and before any state has voted Tuesday, when nearly 700 delegates will be up for grabs, including 475 alone here in CA, Associate Press just sent my iPhone a "breaking news" alert to inform me that, based on their tabulation of unpledged Super Delegates, Clinton "will be first woman to top major party ticket." So, take that, voters!)

Then, Tom Giovanetti, President of the right-leaning Institute for Policy Innovation, explains what he sees as a very real opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to come together to reform the U.S. criminal justice system, now that this nation leads the world in incarceration rates. Giovanetti even goes so far, as he did in a recent op-ed at Dallas Morning News, to commend President Barack Obama for his recent commutations of non-violent drug offenders and to call on fellow conservatives to join with progressives to reform what he describes as a bloated, legacy "tough on crime" system that makes little sense and even violates basic social and economic conservative tenets.

"It's fairly rare that we find ourselves agreeing with progressives and liberals on solutions to problems. This is probably one of the rare exceptions," Giovanetti tells me. "Progressives and Liberals have been at the forefront of talking about some of the abuses in the criminal justice system, the problem with mandatory minimum sentences, and things like that. I think conservatives are really only beginning to realize that there's a problem here. So I think for my colleagues on the center-right of the political spectrum, this is sort of an emerging issue."

He goes on to explain why reform is so overdue, how Democrats and Republicans are working together for reform in a number of state legislatures, and the path that he sees to move forward on the federal level. I remain dubious, particularly on that final score, but Giovanetti offers his reasons for optimism here in an encouraging conversation in which he even calls out some of his own for hypocrisy on this issue.

Finally, as Republicans continue to pretend they hate socialism, Bill Maher explains how capitalism is now out of control and eating our nation alive. "It's eaten our democracy, it's eating our middle class, it's eaten our health care system, our prison system, our news media, and even our food system." All of that and more on today's BradCast. Eat up!...

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Guest host Angie Coiro looks into the ugly past and present of Peter Popoff; how Derek Cressman proposes getting money out of politics
By Angie Coiro on 5/31/2016 8:50pm PT  

On today's BradCast, guest host Angie Coiro of In Deep Radio traces the filthy past and the bogglingly successful present of TV "holy man" Peter Popoff. Then it's excerpts from Angie's chat with Derek Cressman, about his book When Money Talks: The High Price of “Free” Speech and the Selling of Democracy.

Over the holiday weekend, Angie came face to face with her first "Miracle Water" TV commercial. She's only thirty years behind the curve, because charlatan Peter Popoff has been reaching through the TV screen and into the pockets of the most vulnerable since the early 80s. By the end of that decade, his schemes were publicly exposed, he was tarred, feathered, and bankrupt --- so how is he back on TV, making more money than ever? It's a long trail, and on the way Angie found clues on how to chase him back into his hole --- along with the rest of his ilk.

Then it's Derek Cressman, with solid, smart ideas on how to get money out of politics --- and no, you haven't heard this exact song before. Not only does he plumb history and the Constitution for new insights, but he's run for office himself. In excerpts from an In Deep show taping in March, he details his time on the campaign trail and a map for future reform.

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Guest: Columnist Harold Meyerson on history and how 'the reality of a Trump Presidency will concentrate the mind'
Plus: More bad polls for Clinton v. Trump; More bad electoral 'track conditions' for Democrats; And the planet's climate crisis continues to worsen...
By Brad Friedman on 5/23/2016 6:11pm PT  

On today's BradCast, long time Bernie Sanders supporter Harold Meyerson, a former Washington Post columnist and now Executive Editor of The American Prospect magazine, argues Bernie Sanders supporters would betray both their candidate and history by staying home this November (or voting third-party or, worse, for Donald Trump) if their preferred candidate fails to win the Democratic nomination. [Audio link to complete show is below.]

Meyerson, who quips that there was a time decades ago when Sanders and he were the only "out-of-the-closet" Democratic Socialists in D.C., offers two historic parallels to the current divide seen in today's Democratic Party during its contentious nominating contest between Sanders and Clinton. One concerns the Democratic Party's fate after the 1968 convention and the other, perhaps more disturbing and enlightening, concerns Germany in 1932, as described in his recent American Prospect column headlined "How the Bros Are Undermining Bernie".

"What's really crucial," Meyerson tells me on today's program, "is that the forces [Sanders] has put into action continue to operate --- and continue to push the limits of the possible in the United States --- once his campaign is over, whether that is in July or in November."

"I would hope that the Sanders campaign generates a lot of people who want a more democratic, equitable economy and society, and stick around after the Sanders campaign is over this year," he says. "But it takes staying power. You don't change a political party by coming in and then going out."

Meyerson is optimistic, however, that so-called "Bernie or Bust" folks will eventually come to see that they have far more to gain from Hillary in the White House than they do if Trump wins this November. "I think the number of Sanders supporters who ultimately will not vote for Hillary, if she's the nominee and it comes down to her vs. Trump, is a lot smaller than we're seeing now. Confronting the reality of a Trump presidency will concentrate the mind."

"We need to remember the greater goal and the greater narrative, of really changing economic and political power in this country, and that's the main goal here. While there are legitimate distinctions between the Sanders and the Clinton camps, we should also remember there are a lot of lefties in the Clinton camp, too," he adds, citing, for example, progressive Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)'s inclusion on the DNC Platform Committee, along with a number of other progressives just named this afternoon.

Also on today's BradCast: A host of new polls from major news outlets suggest, once again, that Clinton is likely to have a very tough time against Trump this November if she wins the nomination; Anti-Trumpers continue coming around to him on the GOP side; Bad news for the fight against Photo ID voting restrictions in VA, and even more potential bad news for the state's Democratic Governor; Plus: Climate change related extreme weather kills scores in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka over the weekend, as the planet's climate crisis continues to worsen and the U.S. corporate mainstream media continue to ignore it...

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The 2012 Presidential nominee and 2016 candidate offers thoughts on Democrats, Sanders, the 'two-party system', the 'spoiler effect' and more in our exclusive interview in advance of CA's June 7th Primary...
By Brad Friedman on 5/19/2016 5:29pm PT  

[Update 5/31/2016: A text transcript of my interview with Stein from the show posted below has now been published here by Salon...]

In advance of Monday's deadline for registering to vote or changing party affiliation before California's June 7th Presidential Primary, I'm happy to be joined on today's BradCast by Dr. Jill Stein, the 2012 Green Party nominee and 2016 candidate for President. [Audio link to complete interview below.]

In our wide-ranging conversation, Stein offers her case for why voters in both CA and around the country should vote Green this year, explains what she sees as the problem with the Democratic Party (as well as the Republican and Libertarian Parties), offers details on her recent invitation to Bernie Sanders to join forces, given what she describes as a "smear campaign" being run against him by the DNC, and responds to questions about being a "spoiler" in both the CA primary, as well as the November General Election.

"The guys running the show in the Democratic Party are basically the funders --- and that's predatory banks, fossil fuel giants, war profiteers, and insurance companies," Stein tells me. "With the Democratic Party you see basically a 'fake left-go right' situation, where they allow principled, inspired campaigns to stand up and be seen, but they sabotage them when push comes to shove. That, unfortunately, is what we see go on right now with the Sanders campaign, which is making a valiant effort here to do the right thing and change the party."

Alluding to the moment when media used a rallying cry from 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate Howard Dean in order to undermine his campaign, Stein charges a similar "smear campaign" is now being run against Sanders by the Democratic establishment in the wake of last weekend's raucus Nevada state Democratic Convention in Las Vegas. "I think what we're seeing now is the Dean Scream of 2016," she says. "This is the sabotage of the Sanders' campaign, being conducted by the Democrats."

Stein also responds to my questions about why, after arguing for a more inclusive (small "d") democratic process, her own Green Party will be holding a closed primary --- open to affiliated party members only --- in CA on June 7th, as well as on the charge that she might serve as a "spoiler" this November.

"This politics of fear that tells you you have to vote against what you're afraid of, instead of for what you believe in --- the politics of fear has a track record. It has delivered everything we were afraid of. All of the things you were told you had to bite your tongue and let the 'lesser evil' speak for you --- we've gotten all those things, by the droves. The expanding wars, the meltdown of the climate, the offshoring of our jobs, the attack on immigrants. We've gotten all of that." Stein says. "Not that there aren't some differences between the two parties, but they're not enough to save your life, to save your job, or to save your planet. This is a race to the bottom between the two sold-out corporate parties."

Okay. But if a vote for her might actually result in a President Donald Trump, does she really believe it's smarter to vote Green this Fall? Tune in for her answer.

And speaking of that "smear campaign" against Sanders that has, indeed, followed last Saturday's Democratic state convention in Nevada, with repeated charges made by media and top party officials, such as DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, that there was "violence" at the event by Sanders supporters, we join NPR in doing a bit of fact-checking on the evidence said to support those very serious allegations.

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

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