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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, May 25, 2017
Big Dem Wins in Special Elections; CBO Finds GOP 'Healthcare' Still Deadly: 'BradCast' 5/24/17
Guest: Journalist, health care reform advocate Jacki Schechner...
Trump's $2 TRILLION 'Bernie Madoff-Level Budget Fraud': 'BradCast' 5/23/17
Guest: Former White House tax adviser Seth Hanlon; Also: Latest on Manchester Bombing, FBI's Team Trump probe, more...
'Green News Report' 5/23/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Global Seed Vault flooded by melting perma-frost; Antarctica going green (not in good way); Swiss vote to accelerate renewables; PLUS: Trump's budget slashes, burns environment...
Previous GNRs: 5/18/17 - 5/16/17 - Archives...
The Surreal and Present Danger of Donald Trump: 'BradCast' 5/22/17
Guest: Salon's Heather Digby Parton; Also: Two big election-related SCOTUS decisions, & this week's US House Special Election in MT...
Mike Pence and the 'Sergeant Schultz Defense'
The VP claims he was kept in the dark by Team Trump on key issues regarding disgraced former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn. But is his alibi even plausible?...
Sunday Toons of the 'Witch Hunt!' Moment
Looks like it's double, double toil and trouble for Trump once again this week in PDiddie's collection of the week's best political toons...
Sessions Rolls Back Justice Reform, Trump Digs Himself Deeper: 'BradCast' 5/19/17
Guest: Former Asst. DA Ames Grawert on DoJ's 'draconian' news guidelines; Also: Trump called Comey a 'nut job' in Oval Office with Russians, now heads overseas for nine days...
'Single Greatest Witch Hunt of a Politician in American History!': 'BradCast' 5/18/17
'Chaotic darkness' at Trump White House; Cold Turkey for Flynn, Pence; Eye on McGahn; More unauthorized US war in Syria; MUCH more from today's news tsunami...
'Green News Report' 5/18/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
VA creates carbon cap-and-trade system; Bears Ears Nat'l Monument targeted for gas, oil; Public to EPA: 'Keep regs!'; PLUS: Glacier National Park's glaciers are going, going...
Previous GNRs: 5/16/17 - 5/11/17 - Archives...
What is 'Obstruction of Justice'?:
'BradCast' 5/17/17
Guest: Former Asst. US Attorney Randall D. Eliason of GWU Law School; Also... BREAKING: Special Counsel named to take over Trump/Russia probe...
'Espionage Act': The Oval Office is Leaking (Bigly): 'BradCast' 5/16/17
Guest: Brennan Center's Elizabeth Goitein says Trump may have violated law in Russia meeting; Then... BREAKING: Trump asked Comey to end Flynn probe...
'Green News Report' 5/16/17
NC hurricane disaster relief denied; April 2017 second hottest on record; Tillerson signs climate change pact; PLUS: DoD warns again of climate's NatSec impacts...
Making Sense of (& Surviving) President 'Goldfish': 'BradCast' 5/15/17
Guest: David Roberts of Vox; Also: Good voting news for NC, thousands turned away from WI polls in 2016...
Sunday Toons of the Moment:
'Comey on Both Sides'...
Everybody hates Comey! Except when they don't, as 'PDiddie' details, among other things, in his latest collections of the week's best political toons...
'Green News Report' 5/11/17
Trump postpones decision on UN climate pact; Emergency at WA nuke site; Superfund sites mostly in low-income areas; PLUS: Repubs fail to repeal methane flaring rule...
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...


ALSO: More 'Democracy Spring' arrests; Death threats from Trump supporters; Listener calls on 'Bernie or Bust' and more...
By Brad Friedman on 4/13/2016 6:42pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, among a lot of other stuff, we have exclusive comment from the Wyoming state Democratic Party Executive Director in response to concerns from Bernie Sanders supporters about the reportedly large number of "surrogate" ballots cast for Hillary Clinton.

First up, after some 400 arrests at the nation's Capitol on Monday in response to peaceful "Democracy Spring" demonstrations to get money out of politics and for other electoral reforms, some 85 senior citizens were arrested on Tuesday during the second day of a scheduled week-long series of protests in Washington D.C.

Then, with Donald Trump declaring the nomination process is being "rigged" by his own Republican Party, reports of death threats and other intimidation tactics from Trump supporters begin to emerge.

Next, speaking of charges of "rigging" the nomination process, Bernie Sanders supporters over the past weekend were incensed after seeing a huge turnout for their candidate at the Wyoming caucuses, only to see their delegate count somewhat undercut by "surrogate" ballots cast by Hillary Clinton supporters. The two candidates ended up splitting the state's 14 pledged delegates 7 to 7, but claims of Clinton campaign "ballot box stuffing" with those surrogate forms were only exacerbated by a campaign aide who reportedly told CNN that their "secret sauce" was Wyoming's "onerous vote-by-mail rules that required anyone voting by mail to have voted as a Democrat in the 2014 midterms."

Surrogate (or vote-by-mail/absentee ballot) forms may only be cast by registered Democrats who say they are unable to attend the party's caucuses for one of several specific reasons, as listed on the surrogate form. There is nothing on the affidavit or on the party's website regarding that "onerous" rule about having voted in the 2014 midterms. So, after several days of phone and email tag, seeking an explanation from Aimee Van Cleave, the WY Dems' Executive Director, I was finally able to speak with her just before air today.

Her full explanation is on today's program, but, in short, she says CNN's explanation of that "rule" from the Clinton aide, was "a little bit correct, but mostly incorrect." Van Cleave tells me that the confusion comes from the state's statutory practice of purging voters from the rolls if they did not vote in the 2014 general election and then failed to respond to a "purge notice" sent by the state in 2015. Normally, Van Cleave explains, that's not a problem for voters, since the state has same-day registration on Election Day. That means anyone who has been purged can simply re-register and vote on the same day. But, for the caucuses, which the parties run, not the state --- and, as WY only allows County Clerks or their officials to register voters --- there is no voter registration at party caucuses. That means voters had to be registered as Democratic voters two weeks before the April 9th caucus in order to participate either in person or via a surrogate ballot.

To that end, she says, while the Clinton team was aggressive in their surrogate vote turnout effort, so was the Sanders camp. "If you look at the number of surrogate ballots received, the numbers between Clinton and remarkable close," Van Cleave says. According to her current estimates, Clinton received "just over 1,500" such votes, while Sanders received "just shy of 1,300". So, she says, the disparity between them was not as large as his supporters had claimed them to be over the weekend and in the days since the caucuses.

The party's Executive Director also tells me that, while they've always been a caucus state, "this is our first year testing out the surrogate vote system. It's a new thing for us and we have actually had wonderful positive feedback from people who would not otherwise have had their voices heard." She added: "Wyoming has a rather old population, so we have a lot of people who, for them, getting out for a caucus is not something that is easy to do."

I've got much more specific comment from Van Cleave during today's program in response to a number of related concerns from Sanders supporters.

Finally, we take a bunch of listener calls related to the above, and from those explaining why they think the "Bernie or Bust" idea is a good one, and then Desi Doyen joins for the latest Green News Report at the end of a very busy 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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By Brad Friedman on 4/6/2016 5:57pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we cover the results, the fallout and the voting disasters from Tuesday's Primary Election in Wisconsin --- the most important parts of which continue to be ignored by the bulk of the corporate mainstream media.

First up (after a bit of breaking news out of West Virginia), both Ted Cruz on the Republican side and Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side, reportedly won their respective Presidential Primaries yesterday by huge numbers and record turnout. Yet, with the growing likelihood of contested conventions for both the Republican and Democratic parties, the corporate media continue to downplay the Sanders surge against Hillary Clinton (he's now won 7 of the last 8 nominating contests, most of them by 'yuge' margins), even as they continue to go round-the-clock in their coverage of Donald Trump and the GOP nomination fiasco.

They also continue to ignore the difficulties that so many Americans are having even casting their vote, thanks, in particular in Wisconsin, to the GOP's Photo ID restriction law that we've been warning about for a very long time and which resulted in untold thousands of voters, particularly at universities around the state, waiting in lines for hours --- if they were able to wait at all and if they were able to get the "proper ID" --- to simply cast a vote. (See this very short video of a very long line, by way of just one example, if you don't believe me.)

If it was this bad for a Primary in WI (and in AZ, IL, NC, MO, FL and elsewhere, so far this year), imagine what November will be like when all 50 states vote at the same time. The MSM better start ignoring those concerns immediately!

We then take a few listener calls and emails on all of the above (including my thoughts on the "Bernie or Bust" movement) before our latest Green News Report with Desi Doyen on the Keystone pipeline springing a leak, another heat wave in Alaska, new details on the number of Americans who will be killed by climate change, and much more that, coincidentally, is also being under-reported and/or completely ignored by the mainstream corporate media...

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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GUEST: Author, journalist David Dayen of Salon, Fiscal Times
PLUS: Polls open, lines begin in WI; Polls open, ballots gone in St. Louis, MO; And MSNBC tells us why Sanders was slighted on air on eve of crucial primary...
By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2016 5:44pm PT  

On today's BradCast: All too predictable voting problems in the state of Wisconsin and in St. Louis, MO today; MSNBC responds to our request for comment on why Bernie Sanders received short shrift on Rachel Maddow's show last night, on the eve of the crucial Badger State primary; And we debunk wingnut nonsense concerning the minimum wage as $15/hour victories come to California, New York and elsewhere. [Link to audio for complete show below.]

First, while voters wait on line to try and obtain new Photo IDs so they can vote at all today under the GOP's new voting restrictions in WI, many St. Louis County voters showed up for local elections in MO, only to find no ballots at all to vote on. Then, we explain what happened last night on Maddow's show to suggest that Hillary Clinton was polling ahead of Sanders in WI by 6 points, when the vast majority of pre-election polls in the state suggest the exact opposite. MSNBC responds to our query late today, to tell us that the issue was due to a technical error later corrected for the Midnight re-run and online versions of her show. Full details on that in today's program.

Then, in the wake of bills signed into law this week by the Governors of both NY and CA to raise the minimum wage to $15, we speak to financial journalist David Dayen about the Right's feigned concern about job loss (but only when it comes to raising the Minimum Wage), as well as the real concerns about the increase, and activists have had an extraordinary impact on the entire conversation about the decades long wealth gap between the rich and everyone else in the U.S.

Dayen explains why the new law, in CA alone, as he also reported at Salon last week, is a very big deal: "1 in every 8 workers in America is a Californian. Under this proposal, over 33% of them are going to get a raise at some point along the way between now and 2022. And thereafter, because after 2022, the minimum wage gets tied to inflation, so it keeps going up."

"It's really a testament to the power of activism. Before the 'Fight For 15' inaugurated in 2012, nobody would have believed that you could get a $15 an hour living wage, minimum, in a state as big as California. So, really, hats off to the #FightFor15 workers, who really pushed this," he says, offering kudos at the same time to both the Occupy movement and the Sanders campaign. "All of this is rumbling forward and moving Democrats who control states like California and New York into places that they were uncomfortable to go previously. And that is a testament to how this issue of inequality has become the functional, primary issue in American politics today."

Dayen, author of the upcoming book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street's Great Foreclosure Fraud, also responds to the "hand-wringing on the part of economists and business leaders," when it comes to potential job loss in the wake of raised wages.

"We see all kinds of experiments" with the economy, he argues. "We see workers used as guinea pigs all the time by businesses" in all matter of schemes that may benefit those businesses, but not their workers. "These same economists are so worried about the fate of workers with this experiment with the minimum wage have never said a darn thing about all of these experiments that hurt workers --- that we knew were going to hurt workers at the time --- because it was literally about cutting their wages and getting rid of their benefits and putting them in hazardous workplaces. Spare me this rhetoric that you care about workers when you've sat by idly over 40 years as work has become more and more and more devalued."

But will raising the minimum wage, in fact, cost jobs? And, if so, does it even matter? Tune in for his answers to that and much more in a fascinating conversation on today's show --- one which you won't hear, for some reason, on Fox "News" or CNN...

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: Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser on today's SCOTUS news...
By Brad Friedman on 3/29/2016 5:48pm PT  

I'm back today on The BradCast, after Nicole Sandler of RadioOrNot.com filled in for a few days! (Thanks, Nicki!!!) And while little has changed in the GOP race for the White House since I've been gone, it was a very big weekend for Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side, even if the mainstream corporate media continues to disregard his campaign. [Audio link for the complete show is at bottom of article.]

Then, I'm joined by constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser, author of Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, to explain today's stunning ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of public sector unions. The decision in Friedrich v. California Teachers Association is a major turnaround from what had been the expected outcome earlier this year when we spoke to Millhiser in January just after oral argument in what had been regarded as "the biggest legal attack on unions in decades".

Thanks, however, to a 4 to 4 deadlock on the Court, in the wake of the recent death of Rightwing activist Justice Antonin Scalia, today's ruling is the opposite of what had been previously expected and "one of the first consequences" of his death, says Millhiser. "Scalia was probably going to be the fifth vote to do some serious violence to the way that public sector unions are funded," he explains, while detailing why today's ruling is very good news for both Democrats and democracy itself in the wake of what had been "potentially an existential threat to unions."

"What this decision does mean is that if someone wants to undermine unions, they don't get to take a shortcut. They don't get to go to five Justices and get the Justices to put in place the laws they want for them," Millhiser tells me.

He also decodes the Court's somewhat "baffling" order today concerning a challenge by religious activists to the 'ObamaCare' contraception mandate, as well as the latest status of the GOP's seemingly self-defeating obstruction of President Obama's nomination to replace Scalia.

Finally, we've found something that both Republican and Democratic voters agree on! What happened last week to voters in Phoenix --- many of whom had to wait up to 5 hours to cast a vote (and some of them were the lucky ones!) --- was an outrage across the board, and we've got just some of the outraged voter testimony from the AZ state legislature on Monday to prove it!...

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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'Western Tuesday' results; Disastrous poll closures, registration probs in AZ; Record turnout in UT, ID; More on UT GOP online voting scheme...
By Brad Friedman on 3/23/2016 5:29pm PT  

Once again, voters headed to the polls and caucuses on Tuesday. This time in AZ, UT and ID. So, as you may have guessed, on today's BradCast we cover all of the reported results, historic turnouts and, yes, all of the problems faced once again by voters --- particularly in Maricopa County (Phoenix), AZ.

While Bernie Sanders won the night on the D side (not that the corporate media much mentioned that) and Trump, once again, won the R side, the biggest story was how election officials, yet again, failed the voters.

In Phoenix, longtime Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell (R), massively reduced the number of polling places from 211 in 2012 to just 60. She was able to do so after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013. Prior to that, she would have had to get approval from the federal government for such a change before thousands were inconvenienced and/or disenfranchised by it. The result was thousands of voters waiting in line --- for up to five hours in some places --- with the last votes finally cast after midnight on Wednesday.

On today's show, we call out the folks responsible (the ones we know of, at this time), call for an official investigation, and even call out those folks (talking to you, many Bernie supporters!) shouting "VOTER FRAUD!", when your concerns are actually election fraud or voter suppression. (Please leave the voters alone! They are doing fine and performed heroically on Tuesday! But I have much more to say about that, and about falsely charging people with fraud without evidence in support of those charges, on today's show.)

Also today, more disturbing details about the insane, 100% unverifiable and hackable "online caucus" experiment that the UT GOP subjected its voters to. (Here's the details on that spoof website of the UT GOP's Internet Voting scheme that I referenced on today's show.)

Also: Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report and I (barely) fit in a call or two and much more on today's BradCast!

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

P.S. I'll be on the road for a few days with Nicole Sandler of RadioOrNot.com guest-hosting for me while I'm gone! Be nice until I'm back!!!

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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: Mother Jones' Kevin Drum on the not-much-angrier-than-usual electorate and a bunch of things that are actually 'going great' in the U.S....
By Brad Friedman on 3/21/2016 5:54pm PT  

I realize it's strictly verboten in talk radio and, probably, against an FCC rule somewhere, but, today, we've got nothing but good news on The BradCast! Well, mostly. Well, at least compared to the bulk of what you'll hear from the corporate media and the bulk of the political campaigns they bother to report on where outrage earns listeners, viewers and readers. [Audio link to the full show is below.]

First up, a number of a relatively encouraging stories, including: Obama goes to Cuba as the first American President to visit the Cold War-ravaged island nation in more than 50 years; An update (with some good news and some bad) on the Illinois county where thousands of voters were turned away without voting last week due to ballot shortages (which we covered in detail on last Friday's show); A new poll finds Utah (Utah!) could go Democratic this year if Trump is the GOP nominee. (And guess which Democrat does best against him?); Bernie Sanders holds a huge event in Seattle in advance of several primaries and caucuses this week in western states, about which his campaign is reportedly very optimistic; and Rush Limbaugh freaks out and misinforms listeners because a new film documents how his business model is about freaking people out and misinforming listeners.

Then, I'm joined by the intolerably reasonable blogger Kevin Drum of Mother Jones, who argues that the electorate isn't nearly as "angry" as the corporate media continue to (mis)report them to be (speaking of "business models"), before he goes on to offer his (apparently controversial) list of the "Top Ten Things That Are Going Great in America".

Really? Many things are going great?! That's simply outrageous! Drum explains how such outrage --- even over legitimate concerns --- can sometimes keep very real problems (such as high lead levels in places around the country other than Flint, for example) from being reported, noticed and even fixed at all.

On the "outrage" from this year's voters, Drum explains: "Anybody who has been watching elections in the United States for awhile knows that we hear this every four years. Every four years the voters are 'angrier than they've ever been'. You think that Donald Trump's rallies have gotten a little bit violent? Been a few arrests? It's nothing compared to what was going on with George Wallace back in 1968."

"This year, you've got a guy, Donald Trump, who's feeding on it. It's really the candidates more than it is the people themselves. You've got a candidate who can really gin up the anger that's already out there, and make it seem worse than it's been before." Drum makes the case as to why it's not voter "anger" about politics and the economy that driving them to someone like Trump, as the media suggest, but something else very specific. But, you'll have to listen to find out what that is.

"I sort of blame talk radio --- present company excluded, of course --- but conservative talk radio and Fox News, for leading the way on this outrage politics," he says. "And, I think, as time goes by, a lot of other sources, including those of us on the left, see it happening on our side as well."

On the left?! That's infuriating! Please enjoy the show below. No outrage necessary...

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: Documentarian Jen Senko; PLUS: GOP unraveling continues...
By Brad Friedman on 3/17/2016 5:55pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the GOP continues to unravel, in both its Presidential nomination process and its increasingly untenable stand against even holding a hearing for Obama's U.S. Supreme Court nominee, and we speak to the filmmaker of a new documentary examining both the rise of the vast Rightwing media machine and how it has succeeded in tearing apart countless American families with its brilliant lies, conspiracies and rabid hostility.

First up, the quixotic search for a Donald Trump alternative continues for the GOP, as John Kasich's fanciful quest for the nomination after winning only the primary in his home state of Ohio continues. That, while Ted Cruz, the only mathematically viable (and, yet, hated) alternative for gaining enough delegates to actually win the nomination, welcomes a notoriously discredited, Islamaphobic conspiracy theorist into his campaign as a national security adviser. Some "alternative"!

And, as if that's all not embarrassing enough for Republicans, President Obama's nomination yesterday of the very moderate and well-respected D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court is already proving problematic for Senate Republicans who have vowed to not even hold hearings for any nominee made by this President. The Senate Judiciary Committee's Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who has repeatedly supported and promoted Garland in the past, including for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, had trouble facing even the usually friendly questioning of Fox "News" in light of his party's bizarrely ill-conceived campaign.

Then, speaking of Fox "News" and dysfunction, I'm joined by documentary filmmaker Jen Senko to discuss her new film, The Brainwashing of My Dad. The documentary details both the rise of the Rightwing media in the U.S. over the past several decades and her own father's disturbing transition from a peaceful, loving Democrat into a hostile, angry 'conservative' after becoming addicted and, yes, brainwashed by Rush Limbaugh, Fox "News" and the rest of the "vast Rightwing conspiracy" machine that has torn apart so many families like her own.

While the film's tagline is "The truth behind the right-wing media machine that changed a father...and divided the nation," an alternative version for so many who will recognize, within their own families, the story of what happened to Senko's father, might have been: "You are not alone!"

"When I started the Kickstarter campaign" for the film, she tells me, "people just started writing me every day, with these heartbreaking stories about so-and-so in their family wouldn't speak to them anymore, or they couldn't talk about anything without them getting angry. It was really shocking. That's when I realized what a phenomenon it was."

Senko explains how her suspicions about what was happening to her father over the years, thanks to Rush, Fox, the endless forwarded emails containing long-disproven conspiracies about the Clintons, Obama and the so-called "liberal media" constituted actual brainwashing, as described by a number of experts in the film.

We discuss not only the long rise of what Hillary Clinton accurately described, in 1998, as the "vast Rightwing conspiracy" machine, but Democrats' own culpability in the scheme, and how it has all culminated in the ascendancy of someone like Donald Trump as the GOP frontrunner for President of the United States in 2016. The non-RW media, Senko notes, "keep saying people are angry because of the way the system is going. No. They're angry because of Fox News and rightwing media --- that includes emails from think tanks and so forth --- [which] have told them lies."

Without giving away the ending to her film, I'll just note that it is both encouraging and underscores that, just perhaps, there is a way out of the ugly, angry mess that so many families --- not to mention the country itself --- now find themselves in after decades of being repeatedly battered by the Republicans' well-crafted political lie machine.

And speaking of encouraging news, we finish up today with a bit of exactly that on St. Patrick's Day, underscoring that, yes, progressive change may take a long time (a very long time, in this case), but it eventually comes and the struggle is always worth it...

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GUEST: Fiscal Times' David Dayen and Crooks and Liars' John Amato...
By Brad Friedman on 3/11/2016 4:48pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we decode and debunk Thursday's night final GOP debate before next Tuesday's crucial primary elections in OH, IL, MO, NC and FL and, maybe, if we're really really lucky, the last GOP Presidential Debate this election cycle! (But, we'll see.)

While Trump and Cruz and Rubio and Kasich all played nice last night at the 12th(!) Republican Debate of the 2016 primary season, they also got away with some pretty remarkable nonsense on trade, education, Social Security, war, torture and much more.

Joining me today to rebut not only the candidates, but also some of the CNN moderators passing off inaccurate and disproven bullshit as legitimate Presidential debate questions, are journalist David Dayen of The Fiscal Times and Salon (and more!) and John Amato, creator and publisher of the infamous Crooks and Liars blog (who joined us on his birthday, nonetheless! Thanks, John!)

If you couldn't stomach watching one more GOP Debate last night, we make it tolerable for you with today's program. And if you were able to stomach it, we'll cover much of what the rest of the corporate media just seemed unable to in their own post-debate analysis. As ever, don't miss today's yooge edition of The BradCast! And, you're welcome!...

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

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Accurate coverage of results in MS, ID, HI, MI and even KY!
PLUS: Listener calls and more!...
By Brad Friedman on 3/9/2016 5:32pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we are live from Pacifica Radio's KPFK studios in Los Angeles, for coverage of last night's amazing nominating contests in MS, ID, HI and, mostly, MI, where Bernie Sanders reportedly overcame a 20pt deficit, according to the pre-election polls, to defeat Hillary Clinton.

Of course, Donald Trump wiped out his GOP competition again almost everywhere (including in Michigan, where there was no polling disparity on the GOP side), leaving Ted Cruz as his only real challenger as John Kasich and, especially, Marco Rubio, fade into near-certain oblivion.

So, how did Sanders' remarkable "win" in MI come about? What does it bode for next Tuesday's big primaries in neighboring (similarly industrial and neighboring) states? Should his supporters worry about reports of "irregularities" already in Chicago? How is it that Sanders ended up losing the delegate count (the real one, not the fake "SuperDelegate" count) anyway yesterday to Clinton? And will the mainstream corporate media continue to ill-inform voters by blatantly misreporting the race?

Also today: Democrats also won three special elections in KY yesterday to maintain control of that state's legislature, and we open the phone line to listener callers to ring in on all of the above and much more today, before Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on another very busy and very lively BradCast!

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

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GUEST: VOA correspondent Steven L. Herman from Bangkok...
By Brad Friedman on 3/8/2016 5:49pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, while voters head to the polls again in several states, and as the media continue to misreport the race, at least on the Democratic side, we mark this week's 5-year anniversary since Japan's triple disasters of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown struck in March of 2011. [Link to the complete show's audio is below.]

I'm joined once again on today's show by Voice of America's Steven L. Herman from Bangkok. We spoke to Herman originally on the program five years ago, just after the initial disaster(s), when he was one of the first journalists to visit the Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant and the 50-mile "exclusion zone" around it, following the meltdown or near-meltdown of 4 of its 6 reactors and the mass evacuation of hundreds of thousands of nearby residents --- back when, as Japan's former Prime Minister now admits, the nation was just a "paper-thin margin" away from a total catastrophe.

"We were on the ground just 24 hours after the quake struck in Fukushima," Herman recalls today. "We got the last flight into Fukushima Prefecture and when we were boarding that flight, they were contemplating canceling [it] because of concerns about a possible meltdown of the nuclear power plant."

Herman, who was then VOA News' Northeast Asia bureau chief and is now in charge of its Bangkok bureau, recently visited Fukushima again and reports today on the continuing battle to control unstable nuclear material at the plant, the lack of a long term plan to dispose of toxic water and soil that continues to pile up (at as many as 115,000 makeshift locations around the Fukushima Prefecture!), as well as on the plight of many residents who lived near the plant and are still unable to return to their homes all of these years later, due to radiation levels.

"You have this cleanup effort that is going to last decades and cost hundreds of billions of dollars," Herman tells me. "Forty years is the official estimate, costs around $250 billion. But you talk to a lot of people who are experts in the field and they say that is a very optimistic figure, that it is going to take much longer and cost much more --- and the burden of this is being borne by the Japanese taxpayers."

"Nine million cubic meters of radioactive soil are being stored in these black bags throughout the prefecture. But there is a continuing buildup of more stored water. And one consultant I talked to, an American and former US diplomat, said Tokyo Electric Power [TEPCO] can't decide what to do with all of it, and they refuse to let any foreign experienced program management companies come and help them out with this."

There's far more important information in my detailed interview with Herman than I can possibly give justice to by sharing here in a short description, concerning the "paralysis" that both Japan and TEPCO seem to be facing in dealing with the crisis, the strained if co-dependent relationship between the two entities, the recent indictments of several top officials in charge of the plant at the time, the human toll of the cleanup both now and in the hours after the initial disaster, the restart of several other nuclear plants in the country, and the continuing concerns for the stability of the precariously crippled plant "if there were to be another huge earthquake, or a tsunami were to strike the facility again --- then you're talking about a situation of total chaos."

I think it's a must-listen interview, frankly. And it was a pleasure, if a chilling and disturbing one, to catch up with Herman, who is just a tremendous reporter, all of these years later. Please check it out in full below.

Also on today's program: More on the media misreporting of the race between Sanders and Clinton and the Democratic party's unpledged, so-called "SuperDelegates" (in this case, by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow) and, finally, some very good non-Bernie related news for voters in the great state of Vermont...

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

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GUESTS: Salon's Heather Digby Parton, CFA's Dave Johnson...
By Brad Friedman on 3/4/2016 4:08pm PT  

On today's BradCast, coverage, analysis, insight, snark and fact-checking following last night's amazing GOP Debate on Fox "News" in Detroit between the four remaining candidates Trump, Cruz, Rubio and Kasich. [Audio link to complete show is below.]

I'm joined on the show today by our post-debate analysis champeen, Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo, as well as long-time blog friend, first time BradCaster Dave Johnson, formerly of Seeing the Forest and now Senior Fellow at the progressive Campaign for America's Future.

Says "Digby" today when I ask her if she's having fun yet this election cycle: "Of course, from the perspective of a political junkie, it's never been better. But from the perspective of a citizen and a human being, this is one of the scariest [elections] ever, maybe the scariest ever."

Says Johnson about the raucous --- and arguably profane --- madness on display in Detroit last night: "I'm so old, I remember when Bill Clinton was asked if it was boxers or briefs, and the whole country was shocked. Yes, the debate was raucous, not something you'd want your kids to see. It was empty of policy, and I think we're going to see Trump's poll numbers go way up...It was embarrassing."

In addition to bringing some reality to the Republican Party's now, full-on panic and fantastical notions of somehow, by hook or crook, taking down Trump before he secures the nomination and, yes, discussing the facts in response to what little policy actually was alluded to last night (Just one question on Flint? During a debate in Detroit?!), we also discuss the current status of the race between Sanders and Clinton following Super Tuesday in what is, no doubt, the smartest --- and, occasionally, most amusing --- post-debate analysis in the whole wide world! Enjoy!...

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

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(And how did Jim Gilmore 'win' an entire Massachusetts town?!)
By Brad Friedman on 3/2/2016 6:08pm PT  

On today's BradCast we examine what the big Super Tuesday wins mean, and don't, for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, as well what the media is both misreporting and failing to report at all. [Audio linked below.]

First, the GOP is now in full panic mode following Trump's seven-state victory yesterday, as the DNC and corporate media use misleading numbers to describe Clinton's own seven-state victory. In addition to the general horse-race numbers, and the Republican drama, we examine how the MSM continues to ill-serve the public in their coverage of the Democratic race to date, specifically when it comes to the unpledged so-called "SuperDelegates".

We also look at a few more of the more than 2,000 reports of voting problems that came into the non-partisan Election Protection coalition yesterday; More touch-screen trouble, this time in TN; And what the hell happened in Chelsea, MA, where former VA Gov. Jim Gilmore(!?!), who dropped out of the race weeks ago, crushed the Republican Primary competition, at least according to the paper-ballot optical-scan computers that tallied the results last night?...

The paper ballots in Chelsea were initially tabulated by the same type of op-scan systems used in states all over the country and shown to be capable of flipping elections without notice in the jaw-dropping finale of HBO's Emmy-nominated 2006 documentary Hacking Democracy. Today, the numbers have now been "corrected" [PDF] by the clerk's office [Update: The link to the document at the Chelsea government site is now broken, so here's a copy of the PDF that had been linked there] and, apparently, chalked up to "the computer system that reported the results". Ya don't say. Was it anything like this similar failure from Stoughton, WI in 2014?

Also today: Listener email in response to my interview earlier this week with Current Affairs magazine editor Nathan J. Robinson, who had offered his persuasive case, based on his recent feature article, for why Trump is likely to win the Presidency if Democrats fail to nominate Bernie Sanders. We look at the arguments from a number of you who disagreed with Robinson.

Finally: A short, but refreshing break from politics as Scott Kelly, the American astronaut who has been in space for the past year, returns safely to Earth with his Russian counterpart in furtherance of NASA's planned manned missions to Mars...

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

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GUEST: Journalist and media activist Sue Wilson...
By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2016 4:42pm PT  

As voters head to the polls in a dozen Super Tuesday states, we cover a number of the problems voters are already reportedly facing on today's BradCast, as well as how Donald Trump or Ted Cruz could actually help save democracy --- and our public airwaves --- by filing some lawsuits! [Link to audio for full show is posted below.]

First up today: The 866-OUR-VOTE Election Protection hotline is reporting a number of problems at polling places around the country so far today, particularly in states that were once covered by Section 5 of the (now-gutted) Voting Rights Act. Problem reports as of this afternoon include long lines at some precincts caused by failing electronic poll book systems, state voter registration and polling location databases being offline and confusion over new Photo ID voting restrictions.

Moreover, as expected, there is trouble once again with touch-screen voting systems in a number of states. Democrats in at least one Georgia precinct were given Republican ballots when they went to vote on their 100% unverifiable voting machines and, in Williamson County, TX, north of Austin, voters are reporting unverifiable touch-screen votes flipping from one candidate to another --- from Trump to Rubio (or someone else) in the cases reported so far.

As usual, here is our friendly reminder that many problems with voting systems, and the results they produce, do not come to light until well after Election Day. So, we will continue to keep our eyes on these issues, as ever. (And here are a few tips from 2014 on what to do about such probs should they happen to you today or in the upcoming primaries!)

Then, we're joined by award-winning journalist and media activist Sue Wilson of the Media Action Center to discuss her new article on how Ted Cruz or Donald Trump could actually help save democracy --- and the fight for facts over our public airwaves --- by filing lawsuits against broadcast outlets that air false propaganda ads purchased by third-party SuperPACs.

"In terms of the rules that television and radio stations have to follow, a candidate is, in essence, free to lie to the public as much as they can get away with, as long as it's one of their own ads, as opposed to the ads that are paid for by these murky third parties," Wilson explains. "But, if you're one of these third parties that's running an ad for a candidate, the TV stations are not required to take those ads at all. And if those ads are found to be false, yes, the candidate has standing to sue, and say, 'I'm going to hold you liable for these false ads that you're making a fortune running and you're not fact-checking.'"

She also goes on to explain how the public can take action as well here, since "we, the voters, are the people who really suffer the most from these ads that flatly lie about candidates and their issues," while, ironically, "you, and I, and everyone else, own the publicly-owned airwaves, but somehow don't have standing to sue radio stations and TV stations if they lie to us."

Finally, hooray for Hollywood and boo for coal-loving West Virginia's elected con-artists in our latest Green News Report with Desi Doyen!...

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

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GUEST: Current Affairs' Nathan J. Robinson...
By Brad Friedman on 2/29/2016 6:23pm PT  

On today's BradCast [audio link below], we examine the reported results of Hillary Clinton's huge victory over Bernie Sanders in South Carolina over the weekend: What do they mean? Can the results be "trusted"? Are corporate media such as NY Times and Washington Post misleading Americans about what the current numbers, including the Democratic Party delegate count, actually suggest?

Then, I'm joined by Current Affairs magazine editor Nathan J. Robinson to discuss his recent feature article which makes the case that "unless the Democrats run Sanders, a Trump nomination means a Trump Presidency".

Robinson, an attorney, Harvard PhD student and children's book author, offers one of the most persuasive arguments I've heard to date regarding the "electability" of Sanders versus Clinton --- at least under the presumption that Trump is to be the Republicans' standard-bearer.

"The problem with polls is that they are unable to foresee events that will occur in the future that will change the way people think," Robinson explains about perceived advantages that some see in Clinton's favor right now. "Things that happen in the campaign change people's opinions, make them more favorable to one candidate, less favorable to another."

The "key point" in Robinson's calculation: Donald Trump as the GOP nominee. "That is something that the Democrats need to start thinking when they ask all these questions about electability. 'What's going to happen? Who is going to be attacked and how?' They need to be thinking in terms that Donald Trump is likely to be the nominee."

While it's true the Right has been attacking Hillary for years --- something that Sanders has yet to face --- she has never come under the full withering force of Trump's particularly aggressive and personal campaign style, argues Robinson, who says he's not personally a fan of either Clinton or Sanders (or Trump, for that matter.) He details why he believes Clinton stands to be pulled under by Trump's onslaught, whereas Sanders stands a far greater chance of surviving the type of campaign that Trump has shown himself willing to wage against his Republican opponents.

We discuss what is likely to happen in both a Trump v. Sanders and Trump v. Clinton race, how Democrats who are focused on the inevitable attacks from the Right against Sanders as a "Socialist!" may be missing a much larger concern, and how all of this calculus completely changes if someone other than Trump somehow manages to win the GOP nomination.

Finally, the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has already had a profound effect on the Court. On Friday, Dow Chemical dropped their planned SCOTUS appeal of a $1 billion judgment against them, citing the "increased...likelihood for unfavorable outcomes for business involved in class action suits." And, today, Justice Clarence Thomas spoke up to ask questions during oral arguments at the Court for the first time in 10 years!...

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

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One of them could do us all a great favor by holding broadcasters accountable in a way that We the People cannot...
By Sue Wilson on 2/26/2016 10:05am PT  

Republican Presidential contenders Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are at war over what they charge to be false political ads against each other. It's one battle in this bizarre and contentious campaign year which could actually benefit us all.

The Cruz campaign has been running a series of attack ads about Trump's position on abortion, which Politifact reviewed and described as "flawed." In response to what he calls Cruz' "lying ads", Trump has threatened to file a suit charging that Cruz, who was born in Canada, may not be eligible for the Presidency.

Meanwhile, a SuperPAC called the American Future Fund ran an attack ad against Cruz calling him "weak" on defense, which the group Fact Check reviewed and found to be "misleading." Cruz' response was to have his attorneys write a sternly worded letter to the TV stations running the ad against him, demanding they pull it, citing FCC public interest obligations and more.

"Because this advertisement makes a flatly false factual claim for which your station is ultimately liable," the Cruz attorneys wrote, "we strongly urge you to exercise your discretion as a licensee to refuse to continue to broadcast this advertisement, and, because it is already airing, immediately pull the advertisement from your rotation."

In this case, the Cruz attorneys are right, at least in regard to the legal issues at stake...

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




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