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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, August 31, 2016
The Ballad of Paul LePage: 'BradCast' 8/30/16
Nation's dumbest Governor receives an intervention in Maine amidst racist outbursts, obscene voice mails, death threats to political opponents...
'Green News Report' 8/30/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
ND Sioux Tribe takes a stand against massive new oil pipeline; CA passes sweeping climate law; Chlorine gas leak in WV; PLUS: Obama creates world's largest marine sanctuary...
Previous GNRs: 8/25/16 - 8/23/16 - Archives...
FBI Warns of New Election Hacks: 'BradCast' 8/29/16
New FBI Cyber Division memo on voter registration database intrusions. Then, Ernie Canning w/ updates on several federal voting rights battles. Plus: Farewell, Gene Wilder...
7th Circuit: WI Photo ID Law to Remain in Place for 2016
Full Appeals Court relies on new assurances from state promising to make free IDs available without restriction, opponents remain dubious, worred about November disenfranchisement...
Sunday Toons of the Either/Or Moment
PDiddie rounds up the week in binary voting options, as seen via the eyes and hands of the nation's best political cartoonists...
Trump 'CEO' Just Latest Top GOPer Accused Of False-Residency Reg Fraud
Stephen Bannon doubles-down after initial revelations detail his alleged voter registration fraud. But he's joining a long, hypocritical list...
Trump Campaign Chief's Alleged Domestic Abuse, Vote Fraud: 'BradCast' 8/26/16
Now we can Trump 'CEO' Steve Bannon to a long list of very high-profile GOP voter reg fraudsters...
Standing Rock Sioux's Stand Against 'Dakota Access': 'BradCast' 8/25/16
Guest: David Archambault II, Chair of Standing Rock Sioux tribe; Plus: Clinton calls out Trump's 'Alt-Right' campaign...
'Green News Report' 8/25/16
300+ dead, 6 million displaced by India flooding; Obama pledges aid for LA flooding; Bad news for WA wolves; PLUS: 100th bday for National Park Service...
Clinton, Trump and Cracking the Two-Party Duopoly: 'BradCast' 8/24/16
Guest: Historian, columnist Matthew Rozsa; Plus: Unfolding deadly disasters in Italy, India and Louisiana...
NSA Hacking Tools in the Wild, Hackable Elections in the US: 'BradCast' 8/23/16
Guest: Princeton computer scientist, e-vote 'hacker' Andrew Appel; Also: Obama in LA and Trump's latest vote suppression dog-whistle...
'Green News Report' 8/23/16
. Media failure on LA floods; Flooding accelerates Zika virus; PLUS: A tale of two Arctics -- Native American tribe forced to move, luxury cruises begin...
'What the Hell Do You Have to Lose?': 'BradCast' 8/22/16
Trump 'pivots', reaches out to African-American voters, forgets to tell the rest of his party...
Three Daves: 'BradCast' 8/19/16
Guest host Angie Coiro w/ Dave Johnson of Campaign for America's Future, David Atkins of Washington Monthly, and Chain of Title author David Dayen...
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...


Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) tells 'BradCast' GOP shutdown of C-SPAN cameras 'astonishing', lack of vote 'disgusting'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/22/2016 5:36pm PT  

U.S. House Democrats roared back to life just before noon today in Washington D.C., as 76-year old civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) called for a 'sit-in' to protest Republican Leadership's refusal to allow a debate and vote on gun safety legislation.

Congressmembers answered the call and one of them, Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida, joins us on today's BradCast to explain what the Democrats are hoping to accomplish with this very rare protest and how long they intend to continue their occupation of the House Floor to do it. [Audio link to complete show is posted below.]

"We don't have a filibuster option in the House," Deutch says, stepping off the floor for a few moments to talk to us. "When the leadership of the House will not allow us to have a vote, and will twist the rules in whatever way they deem necessary to prevent us from voting on the most basic gun safety legislation, then we're forced to find other ways to bring that vote forward. That's what we're doing today."

Members were forced to break House rules by using cell phones to stream video of their 'occupation' on Facebook and Periscope, which C-SPAN has been subsequently rebroadcasting, after Republicans gaveled the chamber into recess and ordered C-SPAN cameras and microphones shut off.

"What's astonishing to me is that the Speaker apparently is so distraught at the idea of members of the House speaking out --- and speaking out on behalf of the people who sent them there --- that he has told C-SPAN to turn off their cameras," the Congressman tells me. "It's disgusting that we've not had a single vote on gun safety legislation. It is embarrassing, however, for House leadership --- that they are so embarrassed by their own records --- that they've told C-SPAN to cease broadcasting because they don't want any more attention brought to their shameful inaction."

"There's been no vote because they don't want to have to go on record and vote against the interests of their constituents, and vote in support of the gun lobby," he says. "It's so hard for people to understand how it is that Congress cannot even engage in a debate on the House floor, that we're forced to have a 'sit-in' just to talk about the most common sense gun safety measures."

Deutch says the House Democrats came up with the idea for their occupation last night, and that they plan to continue the protest until they either get a vote or are, essentially, arrested and physically removed.

"The only way to have order is for the Sergeant-at-Arms to haul people off. That's one option. I can't imagine that is an option they want to pursue. I can't imagine for a minute that the House leadership is prepared to tell the Sergeant-at-Arms to take John Lewis and the rest of us, and drag us off the House floor. And if that doesn't happen, the only way that this stops is to for us have a vote, and I think we're all prepared to stay at this as long as we need to until we have a vote."

"Overnight?," I ask him. "Absolutely," says the Congressman. "I am certainly prepared to do that."

The House Dems, like their counterparts in the Senate (a number of whom have stopped by the sit-in, in support) have been insisting, since the Orlando Massacre just over a week ago, on votes to close the online and gun show background check loopholes and for legislation to help prevent people on the FBI's suspected terrorist and 'No Fly' lists from purchasing weapons. They are supported on those measures by nearly 90% of Americans across all political parties, according to recent polling.

And what if Dems get their vote and the measures fail, as expected, in the Republican-controlled House? "The voters will know which members of Congress stand with them and who stands with the gun lobby. And that's when accountability will start," says Deutch.

At the end of our conversation, the Congressman also offers his thoughts on his Florida colleague, Sen. Marco Rubio, announcing his intention today to run for re-election, despite his abysmal attendance record and previous vows, during his failed run for the GOP Presidential nomination, to leave the U.S. Senate at the end of this term.

Also on today's busy show: Momentum for a bi-partisan 'compromise' bill in the U.S. Senate regarding gun purchases by those on the 'No Fly List'; And vote counting continues in California following the June 7th primary, while citizen observers fight for the inclusions of Provisional Ballots in the final tally and as the statewide vote margin between Sanders and Clinton narrows to single digits...

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

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Plus: Sanders' call for progressive candidates, the GOP/NRA/Trump lies and obstructionism on guns, and other evidence that elections matter...
By Brad Friedman on 6/20/2016 6:21pm PT  

On today's BradCast, have Bernie Sanders supporters been responsible in their attempts to oversee voting and vote tabulation during this year's Democratic Primary? How about long time Election Integrity advocates and journalists? Are cries of "FRAUD!!!" in the race between Sanders and Hillary Clinton misguided and misleading? Or are they on-point? [Audio link to show is posted below.]

From a sweltering Los Angeles, on the first official day of Summer, I speak to some of the many claims and allegations that this year's Democratic primary was "stolen" --- either by Hillary Clinton, the DNC, or anybody else. Just a few thoughts on all of this from someone who has investigated and covered issues of Election Integrity and fraud and voter suppression and non-overseeable computer voting systems and tabulators, often in excruciating detail, for more than a decade at The BRAD BLOG, on The BradCast, and anywhere else that would have me. As part of today's epic rant on all of this, I also offer some advice to those who believe California was "stolen", and how state law allows them to actually try and find out...if they really want to.

Also today, the Sanders campaign says supporters are answering his call from last week for fresh candidates to step up and run for office with progressive platforms at the local, state and federal level.

Meanwhile, the NRA-funded Republicans continue to obstruct any meaningful legislative action to try and help prevent gun violence following last week's massacre in Orlando, as the U.S. Senate blocks attempts to bar suspected terrorists from buying weapons of mass destruction at local gun shops, gun shows and online. All of that is playing out, as Donald Trump, the GOP's presumptive nominee for President, offers a particularly egregious lie in hopes of backpedaling from his repeated statements last week that he would have liked to have seen club patrons with many more guns in that dark, crowded LGBT nightclub in Orlando. It's a position that even the terrorist-enabling NRA no longer seems to fully agree with.

Finally, with firearm violence plummeting in California --- while it remains steady nationally --- the state legislature takes some action on scientific gun research in the wake of the federal government's effective twenty-year ban on same. And, before we close, with triple-digit temps shattering records out here today, a few climate scientists remind us that their own research concerning global warming, finds it to be anything but a bleeping "hoax"...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 6/17/2016 5:05pm PT  

It's been a rough week, so today on The BradCast, we try and catch up on a whole bunch of stuff we haven't been able to get to over the past several days in the wake of Orlando. [Audio link to complete show follow below.]

It's now been one full year since Donald Trump entered the race --- and since we accurately predicted the precise effect he would have on the GOP's 2016 Presidential Primary. Sure enough, the wheel's are now falling completely off for Republicans. Among the fresh evidence: John McCain declares (repeatedly) that Obama is "directly responsible" for the Orlando Massacre, while lying about how and why we 'left' Iraq. It's now so bad for Republicans that George W. Bush, of all people, is coming to the party's 'rescue'. Good luck with that. But, no worries, the GOP has declared the Republican National Convention a gun-free (and fruit-free) zone, so all is well.

On the Democratic side of the aisle, Bernie Sanders offers an online message to supporters, calling on them to work together to defeat Trump and to run for office at the state and local level to the continue the "political revolution". Meanwhile, polls begin to look very good for Hillary Clinton nationally and even in a number of traditionally very "red" states (could a Dem actually win in Utah and in Kansas this year?) All of that would seem to be good news for Democrats, but only if they are allowed to vote this November, which may just have gotten slightly easier for some in Kansas, where GOP "voter fraud" fraudster, Sec. of State Kris Kobach, continues to shame the state.

Finally today, we finish up with the latest Green News Report following the hottest May ever recorded on Planet Earth, and the emergence of new proof that Trump was for action on climate change before he decided to pretend it was all "a hoax".

All of that and much more on today's BradCast!...

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

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Guest: Dr. Mark Rosenberg explains the 1996 'Dickey Amendment' and how it still prevents much-needed fact-finding work on guns today
Also: Dem 'filibuster' forces gun votes, Obama speaks to Orlando victims' families...
By Brad Friedman on 6/16/2016 6:04pm PT  

It's another very busy BradCast today, with breaking news on the murder of a British Member of Parliament, the Democratic 'filibuster' on guns in the U.S. Senate, Obama's visit to Orlando, and my interview with the man who led the CDC's fight against the NRA and Republicans in Congress twenty years ago, when federal funding for research into gun violence and prevention was effectively ended. [Audio link to full show is posted below.]

First up, the shooting and stabbing death of British Labour Party MP Jo Cox, has stunned the UK, just days before the controversial "Brexit" referendum vote on whether to leave the European Union. The alleged killer is in custody, and reportedly shouted "Britain First", the name of one of the Rightwing groups opposed to staying in the Union, during the attack.

Next, the Democrats' 15-hour 'filibuster' in the U.S. Senate, lead by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), comes to end with an apparent victory, of sorts. The Senator --- who served as Newtown, CT's member of Congress when the Sandyhook Massacre resulted in the deaths of 20 school children and 6 adults back in 2012 --- sought to force Republicans to allow votes on closing the gun show/online background check loophole, as well as legislation to disallow suspected terrorists from easily and legally purchasing guns. In related news, President Obama's spoke on Thursday after meeting with family members of the victims of last weekend's Orlando Massacre, and called once again for action to help prevent such tragedies.

Then, as the American Medical Association (AMA), one of the nation's most powerful lobbying organizations, has finally come out in favor of federal funding for gun research, I speak with Dr. Mark Rosenberg, who headed the Center for Disease Control (CDC)'s National Center for Injury Prevention twenty years ago when, in 1996, he squared off with Republicans in Congress who ultimately forced the federal agency to end all research into gun violence, the causes behind it, and how to help prevent it from happening in the first place.

Rosenberg, who recently retired as head of the Task Force on Global Health, explains the history of what is now known as the 'Dickey Amendment', which effectively served to end all federal research on guns. He describes his initial confrontations with then U.S. Rep. Jay Dickey (R-AR), who has since, ironically enough, become a friend and ally, and why still-absent federal research funding is so important to helping curb the nation's extraordinary gun violence epidemic.

"The NRA had been attacking us [the CDC] for years, because they thought that to allow research to be done might not be good for gun sales. And so they developed a zero tolerance policy," Rosenberg tells me. "They told their members that it's either-or, black and white, take your choice. Either you can do the research or you can keep your guns. But they said you can't do both. And if you allow the research, we will all lose all of our guns."

The showdown with GOPers doing the bidding of the NRA at the time, he says, came not long after CDC-funded research found that "having a gun in the home --- not only did it not protect you, but it increased the risk that someone in your family would be shot and killed with a gun, not by 5 or 6 or 20 percent, not by 80 or 90 percent, but more than 200 percent."

Rosenberg explains his fascinating history with former Congressman Dickey, how federal research is not actually "banned" to this day (despite reporting to the contrary), why it is still not carried out nonetheless, and what he describes as the four "basic scientific questions" that federal research could help answer. Namely: "Who gets shot, how many people?"; "What are the causes" of gun death and injury and "what increases and decreases the risk"?; What could "work to prevent it"?; and, "once you find things that work, how do you put them into legislation and craft a policy that will both keep us safe and protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners"?

It's an eye-opening and important discussion that I hope you'll take some time to listen to and share. And, finally, at the end of the show, as your gift, you'll be rewarded with a much-overdue laugh, courtesy of Al Franken. Enjoy!

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 6/15/2016 5:40pm PT  

On today's BradCast the fights over bullets and ballots both continue following the massacre in Orlando over the weekend and the official end of primary voting following Tuesday's Democratic Primary in Washington D.C. [Audio link for show posted below.]

First up today, the Democratic response to the horrific mass shooting in Orlando seems to be to revise legislative initiatives repeatedly rejected by the NRA and GOP in years past. Both President Obama and Hillary Clinton call for measures to keep suspected terrorists from easily buying semi-automatic weapons of mass destruction, and Dems in the U.S. Senate stage a 'filibuster' in hopes of forcing Republicans to allow votes on some of the most low-hanging-fruit gun safety legislation.

In the meantime, some Republicans, at least on Fox "News" (believe it or not), are finally calling for the enactment of some common sense measures, and even Donald Trump is set to meet with the terrorist-enabling NRA concerning their years long fight to assure that those who the U.S. Government will not allow to board an airplane can still easily purchase all of the assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines they may want.

Then, voting in the 2016 Presidential Primary season mercifully came to end with yesterday's Democratic Primary in Washington D.C. where Clinton reportedly defeated Bernie Sanders by more than 50 points before the pair held a two-hour long private meeting about the future of the party, after the close of polls. But the attempt to oversee the tallying, particularly here in California, where hundreds of thousands of Vote-by-Mail and Provisional ballots remain to be tallied, continues.

With a warning from the "U.N." that Donald Trump may be just months away from acquiring nuclear weapons, we open the phone lines to listeners on all of the above, before finally finishing up with our latest Green News Report. Listen up, spread the word and keep up the good fight!

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 Ernest A. Canning on 6/15/2016 12:22pm PT  

Four years ago, The BRAD BLOG suggested that the "horror that played out during the recent midnight massacre inside a Century theater in Aurora, CO [was] but the latest example of the danger posed to our safety and our very lives by the radical right's expansive interpretation of the Second Amendment."

A few years prior, the narrow 5-4 decision authored by the late Justice Antonin Scalia in 2008 (District of Columbia v. Heller) marked the first occasion in which a majority on the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a state militia.

In an erudite dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens forcefully argued that the Heller majority had ignored text, history and precedent. We noted that the ruling appeared to elevate "the profits of the domestic small arms industry above the ability of the government to protect our safety, our general welfare, our domestic tranquility and our very lives." More recently, with Orlando on his mind, The Nation's William Greider went so far as to suggest that Chief Justice John Roberts (a member of the Heller majority) "has blood on his hands."

Several factors --- Scalia's death, a 9th Circuit en banc decision which upheld the ability of local governments to deny concealed weapons permits absent extraordinary need, and the public's increasing revulsion in the face of escalating carnage --- suggest that we may be nearing the end to the high cost extracted by the Court's willful misinterpretation of the Second Amendment in the landmark Heller decision...

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




Guest: Anise Jenkins of FreeDC.org...
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2016 6:01pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Democrats take Trump's bait after the Orlando Massacre and the fight for D.C. Statehood continues. [Link to complete audio is posted below.]

First up, more fallout following the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, as both President Obama and Hillary Clinton fall for Donald Trump's disingenuous distractions about "radical Islam". And, thus, the GOP's presumptive nominee succeeds, yet again, in hijacking the important conversation on how to curb the nation's mass shooting and gun violence epidemic, just as the NRA and GOP are likely hoping. We try to correct the record in response to a number of fresh Trump lies related to Orlando, even as we notice that, yes, Trump is now banning even more journalists from his events for reporting on actual facts. The growing list of media outlets being rejected for press credentials now even includes the Washington Post.

Then, as Democrats in D.C. head to the polls for the blessedly final Presidential Primary contest of the 2016 cycle today, we speak to Anise Jenkins of FreeDC.org on the continuing fight for Congressional representation and full statehood for residents of our nation's capital which has, ironically enough, suffered under the tyranny of "taxation without representation" for more than 200 years. "We had African-American slaves. We had women who had no rights. There were a lot of inequalities," at the founding of our country, Jenkins tells me. "Those things have ended, thank goodness, after struggling...and a Civil War. However, D.C. is still --- because of Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 17 of the Constitution --- D.C. is still back in political slavery."

She goes on to explain how, despite paying more in taxes to the federal government than they take from it, all of the city's budgets and laws must still be approved by our dysfunctional U.S. Congress, where members --- often Republicans from far away states --- frequently abuse that power as a political bargaining chip or to just simply punish its residents.

So why have Democrats also failed to keep promises to pass legislation that would give autonomy to D.C., even when they've controlled both houses of Congress and the White House? Jenkins says she's been told it's "the four toos": "D.C. was too black, DC was too progressive --- or, they called it liberal at that time --- we were too urban, and we were too Democrat."

"The United States is the only country in the world that has a democratic form of government, where its residents of its capital have no vote or no local autonomy. The only one in the world," Jenkins says. "It's an international disgrace."

While Trump's multiple positions on statehood for D.C., as Jenkins details, should come as no surprise, even Obama, she says, has "been a huge disappointment" on this matter. When you stop to pay attention to it, which I hope you do, it's actually a remarkable discussion and an extraordinary ironic issue. All happening in the town that is the very seat of governance for a nation supposedly based on both individual freedom and representative democracy.

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 6/13/2016 5:39pm PT  

Over the weekend, we saw the worst mass shooting in the history of the United States at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando.

Today on The BradCast, we discuss what happened, the reactions to it from President Obama and many others, including Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump (who lied about the tragedy to say that the alleged killer was a Muslim born overseas. He wasn't. He was born in New York. Like Trump.)

But, while we cover what we know about the tragedy, and the many reactions to it from a number of communities, we also discuss how it might never have happened in the first place had the terrorist-enabling National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Republican Party they support, not fought so hard to ensure that those suspected of involvement with extremist organizations still be allowed to easily and legally purchase all of the semi-automatic, military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines they might need, in order to carry out the type of mass shooting we saw, yet again, over the weekend in Orlando.

More than 100 were shot at the Pulse nightclub alone, in the nation's worst-ever mass shooting. It was able to happen, thanks in no small part, to the millions of dollars spent over many years by the NRA and the GOP officials who have repeatedly voted to allow even those on the so-called "Terror Watch List" to easily buy weapons meant for nothing more than mass murder --- just as al-Qaeda and other extremist groups have long, publicly instructed their followers.

In the meantime, the NRA-owned GOP officials, including Trump, who proudly stand with the terrorist-supporting NRA, offer nothing more than lies and "thoughts and prayers" in response, as the gun violence epidemic and body count continues to grow in the face of inaction by lawmakers in these locked and loaded United States of America.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mitch McConnell: 'There are no serious barriers to voting anymore anywhere in America' and, oh, yeah, global warming is still 'a hoax'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/3/2016 5:55pm PT  

On today's BradCast, denial, denial, denial. It's not just a river in Egypt. Though, if it were, that river would likely be either drying up about now or rising at a record pace and threatening the lives of everyone who lives near it. [Audio link for show posted below.]

First on today's program, a word or two about the violence outside (and inside) Donald Trump's rally on Thursday in San Jose, CA, and about the anti-American freedom of the press denied reporters covering his campaign.

Then, speaking of denial, the planet's climate crisis continues to worsen and the body count continues to mount from Houston to Fort Hood to Paris and beyond. But, while GOPers continue to pretend that climate science is a "hoax" or "pseudoscience", at least the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is finally warning about the increasing costs of federal spending that it will cause. Will Republicans bother to listen now?

And, while we're at it, GOPers continue to deny the voter suppression they are working very hard to carry out in 2016, even if it requires them to make a fraudulent case about 'voter fraud', as Tom Mechler, the Chair of the Republican Party of Texas, did this week, when he used cases of absentee fraud to fraudulently make the case for polling place Photo ID restrictions in the Lone Star State. He's hardly alone, however. GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also recently lied about voter suppression, telling USA Today: "There are no serious barriers to voting anymore anywhere in America."

Really, Senator? Hope you'll let the disenfranchised Native Americans in North Dakota and elsewhere know about that before this Tuesday's primary --- not to the mention the millions of Americans who do not have the very specific type of Photo ID now required to vote at the polling place in many states controlled by Republicans. As the Brennan Center for Justice notes, some 17 states have made it more difficult for legal (disproportionately Democratic-leaning) voters to cast their legal vote since the last Presidential election, many of those states passing new restrictions on voting since the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the most important section of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. (But, if all goes well, at least registering to vote may soon become a bit easier in Illinois. Maybe. If their Republican Governor plays along.)

Finally on today's BradCast, another oil train derails and explodes in Oregon, and the massive wildfire in the tar sands oil region of Alberta, Canada continues to burn nearly a month after record hot and dry conditions initially sparked the blaze that sent tens of thousands of residents of Fort McMurray scrambling for their lives. Now, some relief has finally arrived, at least in Canada, where 300 South African firefighters have made a 24-hour flight to Edmonton to give exhausted firefighters there a bit of a break. But will the residents of Fort McMurray, a town built to support the tar sands oil industry, continue to deny the damage they have helped cause to their own town and planet?

All of that and much more on today's BradCast...

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

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Guest: Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan
Also: Ashley Beck, Orange County, CA pollworker-in-training, calls in to respond to Orange County's response to us about her viral video describing incorrect training instructions...
By Brad Friedman on 5/25/2016 6:03pm PT  

On today's BradCast, I'm joined by Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan to discuss a blizzard of questions, concerns and confusion faced by voters here in CA in advance of the state's highly-charged June 7 Presidential Primary in the nation's single largest voting jurisdiction. [Audio link for the complete show is posted below.]

Logan describes the new laws and systems in place for this year's election as as "uncharted territory" for voters. He goes on to respond to a pile of questions --- from both me and callers --- about the state's insanely confusing system of both open and closed partisan primaries, as well as Vote-by-Mail issues and misconceptions, and a number of concerns about voter registration purges, poll worker training and much more. Here in Los Angeles we have nearly 5 million registered voters --- more in this county alone than 42 of the 50 states. So, Logan clearly has his work cut out for him. The number of excellent questions from listener callers alone underscores both that point and the amazing number of moving pieces that will need to be held together to avoid disaster on June 7th.

The County Clerk also speaks to a lot of the misinformation that has circulated, of late, concerning CA elections in general and about Los Angeles County specifically. For example, he tells me that 85% of Provisional Ballots in the last general election were, in fact, confirmed as having been cast by properly registered voters and were included in the final tally. Yes, he says, voters registered with "No Party Preference" in California can vote in the Democratic Presidential Primary, but must request a "Democratic Cross-Over" ballot at the precinct or by mail (if they receive a Vote-by-Mail ballot request by March 31). Yes, a "No Party Preference" VBM voter may still vote at the precinct in the Democratic, Libertarian or American Independent Party primaries, even if they've already received a VBM ballot for a different party, so long as that ballot is surrendered at the polling place on Election Day. No, those NPP voters cannot vote in the Republican, Green, or Peace & Freedom Party primaries, which are closed to all but registered party members.

Frankly, there's too much to summarize here. So, please give the show a listen. It's incredibly informative.

Also, today, I share the response I recently obtained from Orange County, CA Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley, concerning a viral video posted by a pollworker-in-training (and Bernie Sanders supporter), who alleges that she was misinstructed by her trainer on the proper procedures for "No Party Preference" voters who might wish to vote in the Democratic Primary. Kelley told me he was confused by the woman's video, because, he says, they "surveyed many poll workers in the class in question, as well as our trainer, and they have a very different view of the interaction" she discusses on the video. He tells me that, "in an abundance of caution" the County has reiterated the proper procedures to all pollworker trainers and have posted a video that "clairifes our efforts to ensure proper training of the rights and options for NPP voters".

And then, the woman who posted that viral video, Ashley Beck, happened to call in to the show with her own response to Kelley's response!

It all made for very lively radio today --- with all of that and much more, including today's breaking news about alleged violations of provisions of the Federal Records Act by Hillary Clinton, according to a new audit of her use of a private email server, issued by the U.S. State Department's independent Inspector General.

Listen up! (And, please note, we'll have guest hosts in for The BradCast over the next couple of days! Be nice to them! And enjoy!)

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/13/2016 4:51pm PT  

It's getting stranger and stranger around here. On today's BradCast, I find myself a momentary bedfellow with both lobbyists and the pharmaceutical industry. But it won't last for long.

Among the stories covered on today's program [audio link posted below]...

  • Tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (again). But Shell Oil is on the job, so why worry?;
  • Speaking of oily, perhaps the plainest (if most bizarre) evidence yet that Donald Trump is a pathological liar, and why that actually matters;
  • Exclusive details from the head of Maryland's State Elections Board, on the specific "irregularities" that triggered Thursday's remarkable decertification of election results from Baltimore in the state's April 26 Primary Election;
  • The Obama Administration advises school districts across the nation on the rights of transgender students, and wingnut Republicans in Texas predictable freak out, even as GOP lawmakers in North Carolina allegedly threaten businesses and lobbyists;
  • Pfizer blocks the use of its drugs for executions in the U.S.;
  • And, finally, listeners ring in on our recent episode on the FDA's deadly new regulations for the vaping (e-cigarette) industry that run counter to scientists and doctors, but benefit Big Tobacco, Big Pharma and make it harder for smokers to quit smoking...

Strange days, indeed...

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

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Guest: NC State Rep. Chris Sgro of Equality NC; Also: Fires devastate Canada's oil sands region; MO passes new Photo ID law; MUCH MORE...
By Brad Friedman on 5/9/2016 6:16pm PT  

The fires in the tar sands oil region of Canada and the lawsuits (yes, two of them filed today) result in a busy breaking news edition of The BradCast today. [Audio posted below.]

First up, Desi Doyen joins us for an update on the devastating climate-driven wildfires that have devastated the town of Fort McMurray, Alberta, in the heart of Canada's oil sands region where many workers from the oil sands mines live and work. Cooler weather, and even a bit of rain, helped keep the fires from growing to a full half-a-billion acres, as feared on Saturday. Still, the scenes of neighborhoods completely destroyed from the fire are heartbreaking. Some 88,000 residents remain evacuated, even as the irony of this particular region being devastated by climate-induced fires remains palpable.

Then, on to North Carolina Republicans' latest self-induced disaster. Late last week, the U.S. Dept. of Justice warned the state that their anti-LGBT law (HB2) was in violation of the federal Civil Rights Act. They were given until today (Monday) to let the DoJ know how they planned to respond in order to avoid the potential loss of more than $2 billion dollars in federal education funding. That response came today in the form of a suit filed against the DoJ by NC. The DoJ quickly responded in kind, with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announcing a lawsuit against NC for violation of the Civil Rights Act. She described HB2 as "state-sponsored discrimination," and told the transgendered community: "We see you. We stand with you…And please know that history is on your side."

Democratic NC state Rep. Chris Sgro, who also serves as president of Equality NC, joins us today to talk about the entire fine mess, even as news of the various suits were still breaking. He tells me that the state has already lost about half a billion to their economy, even before the potential loss of federal education funding, as businesses react to the "terrible anti-LGBT, anti-worker, anti-education bill that we know is in violation of the Civil Rights Act".

"This is not pro-business conservatism," Sgro tells me. "This bill wasn't about enabling local government. They went in and they were the big government who stripped local rights. And they are the anti-business party right now. If they really want to be pro-business, pro-growth, they have to act as quickly as possible to overturn House Bill 2. That's the only answer at this point."

Also on today's program: Surprising polling news out of Georgia (and another warning for Democrats along with it); Missouri Republicans pass a new Photo ID restriction law, with a compromise that leads to some Democrats joining; Democratic voter registration numbers skyrocket in California (and in Oregon); and the Dumbest Story of the Day as a photograph of female black cadets at West Point generates an official investigation...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/6/2016 5:06pm PT  

From Trump's taco bowl to the nation's vital and crumbling infrastructure --- are the corporate media up to the task of adequately informing the U.S. electorate in one of the most crucial election years in our history? Signs aren't encouraging.

Today on The BradCast, why gleeful Democrats and Hillary Clinton supporters are nuts to be celebrating and underestimating the presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. Multiple recent polls, today's breaking news, our nation's recent history, pathetic corporate media coverage, a flawed and vulnerable front-runner and an incredibly frail electoral system should give Dems serious pause.

In the meantime, President Obama's comments on Trump, our aging infrastructure crisis and anti-government sentiment at a press briefing in Washington D.C. on Friday and in Flint, MI on Wednesday are cause for reflection on the notion of good government of, by, and for 'we, the people'.

And then Desi Doyen joins us for what may be our grimmest Green News Report ever before we finish up today with a laugh, some good and bad news about "Boaty McBoatface", and a bit of listener mail...

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

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