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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, September 29, 2016
Trump's Law, Order, Denial: 'BradCast' 9/29/16
Several new and long overdue reports on the GOP nominee's unlawful business practices and a fact-check on his global warming denialism. Oh, and a song!...
'Green News Report' 9/29/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Clinton promotes clean energy, Trump denies his own denial in the first Presidential debate; PLUS: Big Coal tries to kill Obama's landmark emissions standards in federal court...
Previous GNRs: 9/22/16 - 9/20/16 - Archives...
Fallout from the 'Trumpwreck' Debate: 'BradCast' 9/28/16
The public reaction to the first Trump/Clinton Presidential debate --- from polls, betting markets, newspapers and listener callers (lots of them!)...
Trumpwreck: The First Presidential Debate: 'BradCast' 9/27/16
Smart and, at times, hilarious coverage of the Trump/Clinton Hofstra debate, with journalists Heather Digby Parton and David Dayen...
'The Most Audacious Political Heist of Our Time':
'BradCast' 9/26/16
David Daley on 'RatF**ked' and how the GOP 'stole' the U.S. House for a decade as Dems 'fell asleep at the wheel'...
Sunday Toons of the First Debate Moment
The final stretch for the general election begins and so do the Presidential Debates, as documented in PDiddie's collection of the best political toons of the week...
Eyewitness to Shooting at Protest Questions Official Account: 'BradCast' 9/22/16
Guest: Linda Flynn of Charlotte Spirituality Center was 'feet away', believes police activity sparked violence at peaceful demonstration...
'Green News Report' 9/22/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
U.N. climate pact reaches crucial threshold; White House orders NatSec planning for climate change; Good/bad news in the Arctic; PLUS: Obama to world: Time to step up...
Previous GNRs: 9/20/16 - 9/15/16 - Archives...
Caller Debate Questions
for Trump and Clinton:
'BradCast' 9/21/16
Plus: Police shootings and protests in NC, OK; Earth smashes more heat records; Trump leads Clinton in new national poll...
Trump Charity Scam; Warren v. Wells CEO; TX Defies Court: 'BradCast' 9/20/16
A whole lotta liars, cheats and scam artists on today's show! (So what else is new?)...
'Green News Report' 9/20/16
AL pipeline spill; Court reprieve for Dakota Access; U.N. trying to 'Trump proof' climate pact; PLUS: Leonardo DiCaprio wants you to watch over the oceans...
Terror Attacks in NY, NJ, MN; Massive Pipeline Spill in AL: 'BradCast' 9/19/16
What we know (and don't) in both cases. Guest: Alabama Media Group's natural resources reporter Dennis Pillion...
Sunday Toons of the Slightly Queasy Moment
'Slightly'?! ... 'PDiddie' may need a moment to see if it passes...
Trump's (Latest) Trap; Voting Rights Rulings in KS and OH: 'BradCast' 9/16/16
Also: Nat'l polls tied; Trump leads in OH; Sanders warns against 3rd-party voting; Colbert cheers us up...
'Green News Report' 9/15/16
Dakota Access pipeline fails climate test; House Comm probes state AGs on Exxon; Lead paint maker bought WI immunity; PLUS: LA floods U.S. 3rd costliest disaster...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Guest: Journalist David Roberts of Vox.com...
By Brad Friedman on 8/25/2015 3:58pm PT  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Guest: Investigative journalist Steve Horn of DeSmogBlog...
By Brad Friedman on 8/19/2015 5:08pm PT  

Today on The BradCast I'm joined by investigative journalist Steve Horn of DeSmogBlog to discuss his new article investigating the federal judges who oversaw the case that allowed the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline to move forward.

That KXL southern leg is now operational, despite the unusual way in which the Army Corps of Engineers seems to have helped TransCanada, the pipeline's owners, avoid the normal type of environmental review process that has otherwise been in place for similar projects since the 1970s. Horn's investigation looks into the question of whether two federal judges actually stood to profit from their rulings, whether they should have recused themselves from the cases in question, and how "a game of Orwellian rhetoric" allowed the Administration to approve the project without standard environmental scrutiny.

The process "happened behind closed doors," Horn tells me, creating a "horrible precedent" in the bargain. "Basically it happened without public hearings. That was the entire premise of the lawsuit." That suit, however, brought by the Sierra Club, was ultimately rejected with the help of two federal judges --- U.S. District Court Judge David Lynn Russell and 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Bobby Ray Baldock (both Reagan nominees) --- who Horn finds, each stood to gain financially from the pipeline being built.

Horn describes the Southern portion of the KXL pipeline as "extremely important", as "it connects to the rest of the Keystone pipeline system," allowing for "the highest amounts of oil in recorded history now flowing from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast." He charges that a disturbing precedent has now been set that allows Big Oil "to usurp long-standing [environmental] processes."

Horn also raises a very interesting possibility concerning Obama's upcoming trip to The Arctic --- the first such visit by a sitting President --- amid his Administration's recent final approval for Shell Oil to begin drilling off shore there.

Also today --- cuz I could use some laughs --- the "patriotic" gun owner who accidentally shot himself while volunteering to guard a racist gun shop in Oklahoma; The Republicans in Maryland hoping to relax lead paint regulations; More on Donald Trump's 'military advisers' (or laughable lack thereof); And some actual accountability for the executives of "Freedom Industries," the chemical company that poisoned WV's drinking water in 2014...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Guest: Diann Rust-Tierney of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty...
By Brad Friedman on 8/17/2015 4:39pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the slow, painful death of the GOP as a legitimate political party continues, even as the corporate mainstream media continues to fail to notice and Donald Trump keeps rising in the bargain.

Then --- speaking of slow, painful deaths --- following the Connecticut Supreme Court's finding last week that the state's Death Penalty is unconstitutional, we're joined by Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty to assess where the nation has moved on capitol punishment in recent years, and how long it may be before the practice is once again banned across the entire country.

"Most of the country lives in a place that doesn't have the death penalty, Rust-Tierney tells me. "We have death penalty statutes on the books, but the reality is that there are only a handful of jurisdictions in the country that are using the death penalty."

She cites just three states --- Texas, Missouri and Florida --- in which 80% of the nation's executions took place in 2014 to help point out how "the system is broken from beginning to end" and how, "as the death penalty becomes rarer, it becomes more arbitrary and indefensible."

Carrying out executions is far more expensive than life in prison, she notes, adding that it also does not serve as a deterrent. "In the parts of the country where the death penalty is still used, the Southern region has the highest murder rates. The Northeast, which uses the death penalty the least, you see lower murder rates."

Also today: More disturbing signs and warnings of global warming out here in California --- from record fires to fear of floods and the coming predictions of a "Godzilla El Niño" this year. Is it really set to hit? Perhaps, but be careful what you wish for, bone dry California, as our own Desi Doyen reminds us of the horrific historical record from the state's Great Flood of 1862...

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Guest: BRAD BLOG's legal analyst Ernest A. Canning...
By Brad Friedman on 8/13/2015 4:30pm PT  

On today's BradCast we cover a number of important new rulings on a number of important cases around the country --- and most of those rulings are actually very good news!

I'm joined by Desi Doyen and The BRAD BLOG's legal analyst Ernest A. Canning to discuss several of them (after a blessedly short few minutes on Trump and Fox 'News' at the top --- you're welcome!), including:

• The matter of the nation's dumbest Governor, Maine's Paul LePage (R), who tried, but failed, to properly veto some 65 pieces of legislation passed by his state legislature. The verdict is now back from the state Supreme Court, to whom LePage had appealed to help fix his epic failure. Suffice to say, LePage remains the nation's dumbest Governor.

• A Colorado state appellate court has now ruled on the case of a local baker who says he really doesn't mind serving gay people in his shop at all...unless they want to buy a cake to celebrate their wedding. Should he be allowed to refuse service based on a so-called religious belief?

• The Connecticut Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the state's death penalty after the legislature passed a law banning its use...on everybody except the 11 prisoners who were already sentenced to die before the state's moratorium was passed.

• A U.S. Appeals Court rules on whether Idaho's "Ag-Gag" law, barring journalists and whistleblowers from video taping abuses at factory farms, feed lots and slaughter houses, etc.,. violates the Constitution's First Amendment and whether those who violate that law can be thrown in jail, as the law mandates!

• A U.S. Appeals Court in Texas has ruled against the state Republicans' disenfranchising Photo ID voting restriction, finding it a violation of the Voting Rights Act. But will the state GOP be successful in appealing and/or forestalling that ruling until after next year's elections?

All of the above and more discussed, debated, analyzed and dissected on today's BradCast! Plus, the the latest Green News Report on the U.S. Forest Service now spending half of their budget on fighting fires, thanks to global warming, and Elon Musk stepping up to help save Africa...with the power of the sun...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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With Cassandra Fairbanks in Ferguson, Margot Paez at the L.A. Sanders rally, and Nicole Sandler's exclusive interview with Bernie Sanders...
By Brad Friedman on 8/11/2015 5:17pm PT  

We've got a big BradCast today, with on-the-ground reports from Ferguson, the huge Bernie Sanders rally in Los Angeles and an extended portion of an exclusive interview with Sanders himself.

First, we check in with Cassandra Fairbanks from our affiliate Sputnik News. She's in Ferguson covering the protests of the police killing of Michael Brown one year after his death and the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Fairbanks was, incredibly, arrested yesterday while covering one of the demonstrations as a journalist. "They started arresting everyone," she tells me in detailing the incident. "I said, 'You know I'm press, and [the police officer] was like, 'I don't care, you're going to jail.' It was arrest first, ask questions later."

She also reports that white, militant rightwing protesters, openly carrying semi-automatic weapons in Ferguson, are being left alone by the St. Louis County police while local black protesters are receiving an entirely different treatment for the mere suspicion of being armed.

Then, 'feeling the Bern' in L.A. after 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders drew some 28,000 supporters to the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena out here last night, following only slightly smaller crowds over the weekend in Portland and Seattle where he also faced a small, but intense protest from self-proclaimed members of the Black Lives Matter movement.

We detail how Sanders' campaign appears to have deftly adjusted course in the wake of that and a similar protest in Phoenix last month, but how big questions about his foreign policy positions still linger for many progressives. (Our recent interview with author and peace activist David Swanson on that latter issue is back here.)

Former BradCast associate producer Margot Paez interviews Sanders supporters at the raucus L.A. event on the foreign policy questions, and then Nicole Sandler, of our affiliate RadioOrNot.com, presses Sanders himself on the matter in an exclusive interview!

"If you have an aggressive foreign policy, if you think the United States should have ground troops in the Middle East, if you think we should be engaged in perpetual warfare, well, then you're going to have a larger military budget," Sanders tells Sandler. "Needless to say, that's not my view. I think organizations like ISIS and al Qaeda, very dangerous organizations, have to be combated and have to be defeated. But it can't be the United States alone," he says.

He discusses, if somewhat vaguely, his position on aiding partners in the Middle East and argues that "we can make judicious cuts in military spending without harming our ability to defend ourselves."

All of that and much more, including the latest Green News Report with Desi Doyen on today's BradCast! Please enjoy responsibly!

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More on the GOP/Fox Debate; Jon Stewart's last 'Daily Show'; Verdict in Aurora, CO; The killing that didn't happen in TN and more…
By Brad Friedman on 8/10/2015 5:21pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we catch up and clean up a number of messes that got buried --- or, in the case of one story, flowed down stream --- amid last week's incredibly busy news week.

Desi Doyen joins me to cover a whole bunch of stories today: from Jon Stewart's final Daily Show; to the jury's verdict in the sentencing phase for the Aurora, CO movie theater shooter; to the shootings that didn't happen at a movie theater in TN last week; to a few comments from the Fox 'News'/GOP debate that the media didn't focus on because the comments didn't have anything to do with Donald Trump (although one really important one did).

Plus: Breaking news out of Ferguson, MO today and the new toxic mess now fouling waterways in the U.S. Southwest. Buckle up and enjoy!...

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Journalists, whistleblowers may not be barred from recording abuses...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/10/2015 9:52am PT  

In a carefully reasoned, 29-page decision, Chief U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill struck down, as unconstitutional, an "Ag-Gag" statute that, according to the court, had been drafted for the express purpose of shielding Idaho's agricultural and dairy industries "from undercover investigators and whistleblowers who expose the agricultural industry to 'the court of public opinion.'"

"Under the law," the decision explains, "a journalist or animal rights investigator can be convicted for not disclosing his media or political affiliations when requesting a tour of an industrial feedlot, or applying for employment at a dairy farm. An employee can be convicted for videotaping animal abuse or life-threatening safety violations at an agricultural facility without first obtaining the owner’s permission." The offender not only faces up to one year in prison, but could be ordered to pay twice the economic loss an owner suffered as a result of publication of the video even if its content was true.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ADLF) and several other organizations, including the ACLU, filed the federal lawsuit and moved for summary judgment, alleging that the Idaho "Ag-Gag" statute violated both the First Amendment right to free speech and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The court agreed, expressly noting that "agricultural...operations that affect food and worker safety are not exclusively a private matter" and that the right to free speech includes the ability to rely upon audio and visual recording...

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Guests: Sam Walker of the National Voting Rights Museum in Selma, AL; Former DoJ attny Katherine Culliton-González of Advancement Project...
By Brad Friedman on 8/6/2015 2:33pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, special coverage in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 --- the crowning jewel legislation of the civil rights movement, written with the blood and tears of thousands, and now under fire today as it has never been since its passage helped lift the nation out from under the shackles of the Jim Crow era.

Sam Walker historian at Selma, Alabama's National Voting Rights Museum and Institute, at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, joins us to discuss the Act's history and legacy --- from the circumstances of the courageous Bloody Sunday march from Selma to Montgomery that finally resulted in the passage of the VRA, to the release of the movie Selma last year.

Among other things, he reminds us of the difficulty African-Americans faced in simply trying to register to vote in the deep south prior to the VRA. "Two days a month --- the first Monday and the third Monday --- were the only two days you could go and attempt to register," he told me. "Those were the days when they would see people coming and they would lock the door when they tried to come inside....You still couldn't register because you couldn't get inside the building to sign up."

Walker, who we haven't had on the show since the 40th anniversary of the VRA back in 2005, shares stories that need to be heard, even today. One, for example, about his meeting, years later, with one of the state troopers who took part in the beatings on Bloody Sunday. Another, about the importance of cameras and national media on that infamous day in Selma.

"The people in the media had their cameras set up when the attack happened, so when people were being beaten and tear-gassed, all those scenes were captured by the TV cameras and by the news media on camera. And that started a new momentum to try to get the right to vote for all our citizens." Sound familiar?

Then, former DoJ Civil Rights Voting Section attorney Katherine Culliton-González of the Advancement Project, joins us to discuss the ongoing legal battles in the fight for voting rights across the country in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court gutting the VRA's landmark Section 5 provision in 2013 --- and the battle to restore it.

"All we have to do is look around us and unless they're living in a bubble, they can see that's there's been a renaissance in discrimination in voting since they took away that protection," she explains. From Congress to Texas to North Carolina to Wisconsin and beyond, the fight continues 50 years later.

"There are many, many voting changes across the country, and particularly in the South, at the local level that do all kinds of maneuvers of politicians trying to manipulate the vote. Moving poling places away from people of color - that happens a lot in the Native American community, the African-American community. We've seen laws requiring documentary proof of citizenship that have a strong disparate impact on the Latino community and the African-American community. For example, if you're a naturalized citizen and you don't have those papers, it's going to cost you at least $600 to get what's needed" to vote, she says. "All of this would have been subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act."

Culliton-González reminds us, as the NC NAACP civil rights leader Reverend William Barber says, "this is our Selma".

Finally, civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), beaten by state troopers on Bloody Sunday as he courageously and stoically helped lead the march across the Edmund Pettus bridge as a 25-year old, discusses the importance of LBJ signing the Act in 1965. It's one of many historical sounds and songs that help us mark this historic day.

I hope you enjoy today's very special program!...

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Guests: Peace activist David Swanson; Const. law expert Ian Millhiser
By Brad Friedman on 8/5/2015 5:27pm PT  

It was a much bigger show today than we had expected when we started it!

First up on today's BradCast, author, peace activist David Swanson joins us to discuss Obama's speech today at American University on the Iran Nuclear Agreement. While Swanson is (somewhat uncharacteristically) optimistic and encouraged by the deal, he has concerns about how Obama and other Dems are misleading Americans in order to sell it. "I love that, for once, President Obama wants peace. I love that, for once, he's using diplomacy rather than war. I wish he would use that in eight other places on earth," Swanson tells me. "But at the same time he's pushing the propaganda of his opponents."

Then, Swanson asks, "Why Won't Bernie Talk About War?" A new petition from RootsAction.org asks Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to start speaking up against U.S. militarism which, as Swanson argues, the U.S. Senator from Vermont has, up until now, been very reluctant to do for some reason.

Then, as we went to break, huge news came in from the very conservative 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal striking down the Texas GOP's polling place Photo ID restriction law. The opinion confirms most of a lower court judge's previously ruling finding the restriction to be in strict violation of the Voting Rights Act as well as the U.S. Constitution. Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser joins us to explain the very encouraging opinion from the court --- which comes, incidentally, just one day before the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 --- and what happens next.

"The court got that voter ID laws do not really serve the purpose that their supporters say they're supposed to serve," Millhiser explains. "The court got that this was an attempt to dress up something that looks like a legitimate voter regulation in order to really do something else, which was to prevent groups like racial minorities and low-income voters who tend to prefer Democrats over Republicans from casting a ballot."

But, he also warns, "this wasn't a total victory for the good guys." Listen to the show for all the details.

Finally, in the few minutes we have left, we squeeze in some Presidential politics in advance of tomorrow night's first GOP Presidential debate, as sponsored --- and rigged by --- Fox "News". And, yes, that Republican debate will take place, ironically enough, on the 50th Anniversary of the landmark federal Voting Rights Act which Republicans used to support...until they decided they couldn't win elections anymore if all those "people" (read: qualified American voters who tend to vote Democratic) were allowed to vote.

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Guests: Politico's Tarini Parti; American-Statesmen's Chuck Lindell...
By Brad Friedman on 8/3/2015 5:10pm PT  

Last week, Federal Election Commission (FEC) disclosures for the 2016 Presidential contest confirmed that wealthy Super PAC donors are now spending more than three times as much as small donors. As Politico describes the "gusher of cash" now pouring into American elections from millionaires and billionaires, the "67 biggest donors, each of whom gave $1 million or more, donated more than three times as much as the 508,000 smallest donors combined."

At the same time as that obscenity plays out, a select few GOP Presidential candidates auditioned for the Koch Brothers and rich friends over the weekend in California, where Charles Koch compared their political fight to the Civil Rights Movement. Seriously. Politico's Tarini Parti, joins us on today's BradCast to discuss all of the above and Politico's own controversial role in the weekend confab.

Then, Chuck Lindell of the Austin American-Statesman joins us to discuss today's indictment and arrest of Texas' brand-new Attorney General Ken Paxton (R-Tea Party) on three felony counts related to securities fraud. Thanks to a law Paxton helped pass when he was a member of the TX House, he could now be facing life in prison if convicted on the charges being brought by Special Prosecutors (one of whom was formerly Republican U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's defense lawyer). The indictment is in response to a complaint filed by one of Paxton's fellow GOP statehouse members. None of that, of course, has kept the state's Republican Party from declaring the entire matter to be a partisan witch hunt.

Lindell also updates us on the status of Texas' even more notorious felony indictment, the one against the state's former Governor and current GOP candidate for the 2016 Presidential nomination, Rick Perry. The trial in that case, Lindells tells me, "could take place as early as December --- or right before primary season opens up" in January.

Finally today, President Obama unveiled the new EPA rules for cutting carbon emissions at power plants in all 50 states by some 30% over 2012 levels. Can you hear the wingnut heads exploding?...

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