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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, June 25, 2016
Brexit: If it Could Happen There...: 'BradCast' 6/24/16
Also: NC voter suppression back in court; TX spending millions on unlawful Photo ID law; Did NY voter purge hurt Sanders or Clinton more?; Climate change death toll rising in WV, China...
SCOTUS on Immigration, Aff-Action; Dems End Gun 'Sit-in': 'BradCast' 6/23/16
Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser explains new Court rulings; and we cover far more breaking news than we can even fit here...
'Green News Report' 6/23/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Last CA nuke plant will close; Judge nixes Obama's fracking rules; Study: Toxic chemicals found in residents near fracking sites; PLUS: Researchers turn carbon emissions into stone...
Previous GNRs: 6/21/16 - 6/16/16 - Archives...
FL Rep.: Dems to 'Sit-In' Until Vote or GOP 'Hauls People Off Floor': 'BradCast' 6/22/16
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) explains House protest, calls GOP shutdown of C-SPAN 'astonishing', lack of vote on guns 'disgusting'...
Was Orlando the 'Worst Mass Shooting in U.S. History?': 'BradCast' 6/21/16
Guest: USC historian Ariela J. Gross | ALSO: Trump's disastrous fundraising numbers; New polls; And our 700th 'Green News Report'!...
'Green News Report' 6/21/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
OUR 700TH EPISODE!!! Record heat in S.W.; CA snowpack gone; Bernie wants YOU to fight climate change; PLUS: Obama warns climate change coming for national parks...
Previous GNRs: 6/16/16 - 6/14/16 - Archives...
About That 'Stolen' Democratic Primary: 'BradCast' 6/20/16
Plus: Sanders' call for progressive candidates, the GOP/NRA/Trump lies and obstruction on guns, and more evidence elections matter...
Sunday Keepin' Bear Toons
As you might imagine, the nation's political cartoonists have a few thoughts following Orlando. 'PDiddie' rounds up the best of them on that topic and more at the end of Primary season...
Broken Party; Bernie's Message; Hillary Rising: 'BradCast' 6/17/16
A year into Trump and GOP wheels are now off. Meanwhile, Sanders 'revolution' could just be starting and 'red' states could turn 'blue'...
Former CDC Injury Chief on Federal Gun Research 'Ban': 'BradCast' 6/16/16
Dr. Mark Rosenberg explains his 1996 'Dickey Amendment' showdown w/ Congress, NRA; Also: Dem 'filibuster' forces Senate gun votes, Obama speaks to Orlando victims' families...
'Green News Report' 6/16/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
House GOP to roll back pollution standards; May 2016 was hottest on record; Clean Power Plan saves U.S. $38b/year; PLUS: Trump was for climate action before he was against it...
Previous GNRs: 6/14/16 - 6/9/16 - Archives...
Bullets and Ballots:
'BradCast' 6/15/16
The fights over both continue, after the Orlando Massacre and the end of Presidential primary voting following the D.C. Primary. We cover the latest on both, take listener calls, and more...
Nearing an End to SCOTUS' Willful Misinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment?
With carnage piling ever higher and the death of Scalia, the Court needs to overturn Heller...
It's the Guns, Stupid: Falling for Trump's 'Islam' Bait: 'BradCast' 6/14/16
Plus: D.C. Statehood and 'political slavery' with Anise Jenkins of FreeDC.org...
'Green News Report' 6/14/16
India PM in U.S. Congress; Bankrupt coal co. secretly funded deniers; U.S. coal use plunges; More oil cos. abandon Arctic; PLUS: Norway first to ban deforestation...
'An Act of Terror and Hate':
'BradCast' 6/13/2016
How the NRA and GOP fought to help assure the Orlando Massacre...
Sunday Toons of the Broken Glass Moment
'PDiddie' rounds up the week's best toons as Hillary rises, Sanders falls and Trump...gets trumped...
Should Sanders Quit?; L.A. Responds to Provisional Ballot Nos.: 'BradCast' 6/9/16
TPM's John Judis on history of convention floor fights; L.A. Election Chief on 240k provisional ballots...
'Green News Report' 6/9/16
S.F. adopts climate tax; Alberta, Canada adopts carbon tax; Congress updates toxic chem regs; Britain's solar crushes coal; PLUS: Artificial leaf breakthrough...
Special Coverage: CA, NJ, ND, SD, NM, MT Primary Results, Fallout & Voting Probs: 'BradCast' 6/8/16
PLUS: Bonus SECOND hour of calls from SoCal voters and poll workers, live from KPFK!
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: VOA correspondent Steven L. Herman from Bangkok...
By Brad Friedman on 3/8/2016 5:49pm PT  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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GUESTS: Connor Coyne of Flint, Marcy Wheeler of Grand Rapids...
By Brad Friedman on 3/7/2016 3:43pm PT  

On today's BradCast [full audio linked below], Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz defied 'conventional wisdom' to win more delegates than front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in their respective parties over "Super Saturday" weekend; Louisiana's Primary reveals another serious and troubling long-term failure of the U.S. Electoral System; and two Michiganders join us for analysis of Sunday's unprecedented Democratic Debate in Flint, MI, amidst that city's ongoing toxic water crisis caused by the state's Republican Governor.

First up: Did you know that both Sanders and Cruz won more delegates than their opponents in the four different nominating contests held over the weekend? If you watch or read little more than the corporate mainstream media, that might now have been apparent. Did you also know that one of those contests, Louisiana's Primary, forced Election Day voters across the state to vote on 100% unverifiable touch-screen systems that The BRAD BLOG revealed a full ten years ago, each have a little yellow button on the back that allow voters to vote as many times as they wish until physically restrained from doing so?

Though we broke that story exclusively here back in 2006, and they were decertified for use out here in California shortly thereafter, the same flawed and hackable voting machines (Oh, hello, Pac-Man!) are still, shamefully, in use elsewhere around the country. They are being used on Election Day across states like Louisiana and swingstate Nevada, and will be used once again next week in the City of Chicago for the big and crucial Illinois primary on March 15 --- and, of course, in the general election this November.

Then, we're joined by Michiganders Connor Coyne, novelist and father from Flint, and Marcy Wheeler, journalist from Grand Rapids, to discuss the extraordinary debate on Sunday between Sanders and Clinton held by CNN from Flint, MI, as that city continues to battle the lead water crisis caused by Gov. Rick Snyder's implementation of the state's tyrannical 'Emergency Manager' law.

As Coyne, who joined us earlier this year to discuss the national media's failure to adequately focus on the scourge of that law, explains in his reaction to Sunday's Flint debate: "The problems that this city is facing, including the water crisis --- and the water crisis is the most urgent example --- but certainly not limited to it, are beyond the capacity of local leadership to address. We need federal aid in order to stabilize the city."

Says Wheeler: "Even within the state there are increasing numbers of Republicans who admit that, ultimately, this is [Snyder's] screwup. He promised competence, and delivered poison."

Did the debate adequately address the concerns of Flint voters specifically and Michiganders, more broadly, in advance of Tuesday's big Presidential Primary there? Who better addressed the Flint crisis from the perspective of our two Michigan guests? Did Bernie Sanders really "oppose the auto-industry bailout" as Hillary Clinton charged during the debate? And, should voters be concerned about the federal investigation into Clinton's private email servers as both Trump and Sanders' supporters have been charging?

All of those questions and many others are addressed on today's enlightening edition of The BradCast! 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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GUESTS: Salon's Heather Digby Parton, CFA's Dave Johnson...
By Brad Friedman on 3/4/2016 4:08pm PT  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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GUEST: Author and UNC political scientist Jonathan Weiler...
By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2016 5:43pm PT  

On today's BradCast, more Super Tuesday election results clean up, the GOP in full panic mode, and a political scientists' explanation for Trump's ascendancy. [Audio link to the complete show is below.]

First up, more information on some of the seemingly inexplicable computer-reported election results from Super Tuesday that we discussed in more detail on yesterday's program. The MA city which originally reported Jim Gilmore as "winning" the GOP primary in a landslide has "corrected" results, with little explanation. Though I was able to receive an an explanation from Roanoke County VA's General Registrar who responded to our query about why Bernie Sanders seemed to lose 600 votes in the county on election night, moving him from the "win" to the "loss" column there.

Next up, Mitt Romney's remarkable speech attacking Donald Trump as a "phony" and a "fraud" today, and how it may be as likely to help Trump as hurt him.

Then, my fascinating and even chilling conversation with Jonathan Weiler, author, blogger and UNC Chapel Hill political scientist, on the one trait that academics have recently identified to be most predictive of whether you will be a Trump supporter. It isn't racism, education level or economic concerns, as some might have guessed. It's authoritarianism.

As described in his recent article, "Understanding Trump: It's the Authoritarianism, Stupid" and in his 2009 book with Marc Hetherington, Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics --- published long before the rise of Trump --- authoritarianism, as defined by political scientists, is distinct from both racism and conservatism, even as the ideas can cross over in a number of ways.

Weiler explains how political scientists are able to determine who has such tendencies and who does not, based on survey questions regarding not political matters, but on family and child rearing. He goes on to note that authoritarianism, which had fallen out of favor somewhat in the 20th century, had been prevalent in the Democratic Party as well as the GOP, as recently as 1992.

"In 1992, there was really no difference in terms of the level of authoritarianism of the average Democrat and the average Republican," he tells me. "What's happened over the past quarter century is what a lot of political scientists call a 'sorting process,' where the non-authoritarians have increasingly gravitated from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party, and a lot of authoritarians have gravitated from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. In a nutshell, this has been a long complicated process that has played out over 40 years."

Authoritarians, he says, are not "particularly interested in the conservative economic agenda. They [are] not necessarily in favor of smaller government or lower taxes. The pieces of what has become modern conservatism that attracted them are more these kind of 'Us vs. Them' issues" and "Trump has really zeroed in, quite precisely, on what authoritarians care about, and what they don't care about."

While Weiler says he doesn't believe the GOP has been specifically targeting such followers, the gravitation to the Republican Party for authoritarians is the results of the party's specific messages about fear and division over recent decades. "Trump feels like he is the Republican id come to life. In that regard, he is in many ways a kind of logical extension of a dynamic that's been underway for a long time," he explains. "There's a kind of dance that goes on between elites and their followers. Elites come up with these 'Us vs. Them' messages --- these messages that attract authoritarians --- and they cultivate a base. And then that base turns around and says, 'all right, you've got our attention, you've promised to deliver on these issues, and now we expect you to'. So the monster, if you will, that the Republican Party created was in a very strongly authoritarian base that Donald Trump --- whether by instinct or consciously, I don't really know --- he's been the guy who's really taken advantage of that."

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report covering, among a bunch of other stuff, the shocking death of a Big Oil CEO on the day after he was indicted on criminal conspiracy charges...

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: Investigative journalist, 'FOIA terrorist', Jason Leopold of VICE...
ALSO: Wingnuts hope to count dead Scalia's votes and Obama's terrible SCOTUS idea...
By Brad Friedman on 2/25/2016 5:33pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, it's back to fighting about Gitmo, fighting about SCOTUS and celebrating a delightful birthday.

Seven years after his initial attempt to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center, President Obama presented yet another plan to Congress in hopes of doing so on Tuesday. Investigative journalist and notorious "FOIA terrorist" (we explain on the show) Jason Leopold of VICE.com joins us to explain the new plan, its shortcomings and the political pushback against it from both Democrats and Republicans.

Leopold, who has covered the U.S. detention center there for years, and is just back from another visit, tells me how the law ties Obama's hands in one regard, even as it requires him to present a plan to close the controversial prison.

"When [Obama] signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law in December, there was language in the NDAA that said that no Defense Department funds can be used by the Administration to transfer any detainees to the United States. It cannot be used to construct any new facilities or upgrade any facilities even at Guantanamo." But, he adds, even though Congress tied his hands, they told him: "'Even though you're not allowed to do any of these things, we'd still like to see what your plan looks like.' That's essentially what Congress was saying. Democracy at work."

Leopold joins both lawmakers and human rights advocates in his critique of the new plan, even while acknowledging the legal morass, political football and, as Obama mentioned when releasing the plan, the "stain" that the entire issue has become for the U.S.

Also today: As I predicted just after Scalia's death almost two weeks ago, some Rightwingers are now pushing for Scalia's votes on cases he'd already heard to be counted, even though he is now dead and, as is sometimes the case, Justices change their opinions before they are finally handed down. The White House floats a terrible idea for a U.S. Supreme Court nomination. And the NYTimes editorial board, years after it should have, describes Republican U.S. Senate leaders as "twisted" for their "deranged" attempt to block any nominee by Obama to the high court.

Finally: Desi Doyen joins us on her birthday with the latest Green News Report (and requests you stop by here with a gift!) and we tease the "progressive radio legend" currently booked to join guest host Nicole Sandler on tomorrow's BradCast for GOP Debate coverage! :-)

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: Wichita University's Beth Clarkson on her case and continuing concerns about 'manipulation' of 2014 touch-screen election results
ALSO: Trump wins again in NV, are Dems getting worried yet?...
By Brad Friedman on 2/24/2016 6:11pm PT  

It's another very busy show on today's BradCast! [Audio link to the complete show is at bottom of this article.]

First up, Trump crushes his competition in the Nevada Caucuses in every single demographic. Are Dems getting concerned yet? If not, they should be, as I explain today.

Speaking of those caucuses: I detail why they are far more transparent than a primary system would be in the state of NV, which still uses the same 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems that were certified in violation of state and federal law in 2004 by NV's then Sec. of State, now U.S. Senator Dean Heller. (See my exclusive with Michael Richardson in the 2008 book Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008, in which we detail how, based on public records obtained during our six-month investigation, Heller blatantly lied to the media and the public about the failed status of the machine's federal testing results, yet certified them for use in the 2004 election anyway.)

As we saw last night, the Nevada GOP, wisely, used hand-marked paper ballots, publicly counted at each caucus precinct. And now, Wichita University mathematician Beth Clarkson, PhD, head of the school's National Institute for Aviation Research, is calling for the same thing for Kansas elections, in light of a state court ruling last week barring her from accessing so-called "paper trails" from the state's touch-screen voting systems as used in their 2014 elections.

"I am becoming more and more convinced that we need to go with an entirely paper ballot system --- and hand-counted," she tells me, while noting that optical-scan computers may "provide fast results, but you have to verify them --- which we're not doing. I think to have full transparency for all citizens, you need to have a hand-count of paper ballots."

Clarkson notes that while post-election audits or "sampling" of optically-scanned paper ballots could be done, it would not solve the growing problem of the electorate questioning results. "As a statistician, I love sampling. It's faster and it'll get you excellent results, but it can also be manipulated just like any other system. And you can't really manipulate hand-counted paper ballots. It's the transparency issue that's convinced me."

She details the basis for her lawsuit which attempts a recount of a ballot measure from the 2014 election following a statistical analysis of the results which, says she, confirms a theory initially reported by two other statisticians in 2012 [PDF]. According to their study, computer-reported results from larger precincts, with more than 500 voters, reveal a "consistent" statistical increase in votes for the Republican candidates in general elections. That increase in votes runs counter to expectations for more densly populated jurisdictions. (Clarkson explains the theory in more detail during my previous BradCast interview with her from August 2015.)

Last week a state Judge allowed her recount case to move forward, but denied the motion by her new lawyer, former US Attorney Randy Rathbun, to allow her to review the "Real Time Audit Logs" (RTALs, also known as "Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails" or VVPATs in other states) from the voting machines used in the 2014 election, thus defeating the entire point of her challenge.

"[My] analysis only shows that there's something there we don't understand. It does not show cause. I think that manipulation of voting machines is the most probable cause, but I could be wrong on that. But the only way to know is to look. And not being allowed to look is, in many ways, a more serious issue." Clarkson has now been blocked from viewing the RTAL's now in both her public records request and recount lawsuit. "It seems to me that either I should be able to look at them under the Open Records Act or I should be able to examine them as part of a recount. You can't have it both ways, but apparently they can."

She goes on to offer her thoughts on why the state, including GOP "voter fraud" fraudster turned Sec. of State Kris Kobach, would be working so hard to block her attempt at oversight of election results; the unprecedented support she has received from the public for her case; and whether last week's state court ruling will now be appealed.

By the way, the very same, oft-failed, unverifiable touch-screens in question --- the ES&S iVotronics --- will be used once again across the state of South Carolina during this weekend's Democratic Presidential Primary. You can follow Clarkson's progress on her case at her ShowMeTheVotes.org website.

Finally, good news for former TX Gov. Rick Perry who is now, apparently, off the hook for both of the felony indictments filed against him last year...

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: Journalist Brad Plumer of Vox.com...
By Brad Friedman on 2/23/2016 5:07pm PT  

First up on today's BradCast, Republicans vow to continue their unprecedented obstructionism of Obama's Constitutional duty to nominate and appoint a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, as well as the President's new plan, sent to Congress today, to close the Guantanamo Bay 'terrorist' detention facility.

We discuss whether the GOP's unpopular hard line on blocking any SCOTUS nominee by Obama can hold, have a laugh at the cowards and hypocrites who are frightened of closing Gitmo, and examine how much Congressional Democrats are also to blame for the entire matter.

Then, we're joined by Vox.com's Brad Plumer (because there can never be enough Brads on The BradCast!) to discuss the enormous consequences of Justice Antonin Scalia's death on the planet and Obama's landmark Clean Power Plan --- the first ever greenhouse gas emissions standards for power plants in the U.S.

As a number of scientists recently noted, the policy decisions made today will have grave implications for 10,000 years and the survival of human civilization. That, however, hasn't stopped a number of fossil fuel companies and a whole bunch of Republican-run states from attempting to block Obama's new environmental standard. Nor did it keep Scalia from voting with a narrow Rightwing 5 to 4 majority on the Supreme Court to take the unprecedented step of staying Obama's EPA rule before the case had even been heard in the lower D.C. Circuit Court.

As Plumer explains, Scalia's death may end up being very good news indeed for the future of the planet. Nonetheless, questions persist about how so-called "red states" may now respond, as well as how the world will react if the U.S. is unable to keep up its part of the UN's landmark Paris Agreement to cut emissions worldwide.

"That is a huge question," Plumer tells me. "It would be very difficult for us to meet our goals without this rule, so the question is how do other countries react? Do China and India decide, 'Okay, the U.S. has had bit of a setback, but we want to keep pushing on ahead toward clean energy because we think it's beneficial"? Or do they decide that they throw up their hands and say, 'Well, if the US isn't going to do what it promised to do, we sure as hell don't need to do what we promised to do'?"

The former Washington Post energy reporter also offers insight as to whether it'll be "fatal" to U.S. attempts to curb emissions if the CPP is struck down; whether Rush Limbaugh was right when he recently declared that the CPP's goal of curbing emissions by some 30% below 2005 levels before 2030 is "not possible without going back to the Stone Age"; and whether, even if the CPP is allowed to move forward, the new emissions stndards will be enough to prevent the quickly growing effects of global warming.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with news on fracking earthquakes in Oklahoma, Sanders' and Clinton's dueling vows to cut fossil fuel drilling, some accountability for the Freedom Industries CEO responsible for poisoning the drinking water of 300,000 in West Virginia in 2014, and the largest cyclone ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere which slammed into Fiji over the weekend...

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GUEST: Salon's Heather Digby Parton...
By Brad Friedman on 2/22/2016 4:58pm PT  

On today's BradCast, big news on both the Republican and Democratic sides of the American divide over the weekend, as Trump took South Carolina, Jeb took the hint, and Hillary took Nevada. [Link to full audio is below.]

Yes, there was a lot more good news for Donald Trump on Saturday, as he routed the competition in South Carolina's Republican Primary, Jeb Bush finally decided to call it quits, and the corporate media finally began to realize what we've been telling you for months about Trump and his likelihood of winning the GOP nomination.

Meanwhile, in Nevada's Democratic caucus on the same day, Hillary Clinton declared victory over Bernie Sanders after a day of very messy caucusing (as usual) around the state.

The great Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo joins once again to explain what it all means, if the Bush era is really, finally, blessedly over --- even among Republican "dead-enders" --- and on whether reality is finally settling in for Republicans (and Democrats) concerning the GOP front-runner.

On Jeb's exit from the race and the bitter end of the long propped-up Bush Era, she observes: "My belief has been from the beginning of this Jeb campaign that the Bush Era was over on Jan. 20, 2009, and basically this was some kind of a zombie campaign to try and reanimate it. It never struck me as realistic to think that the country was ready for George Bush again --- or any Bush family member again --- or, at least, not this soon."

On Trump, Parton agrees with me that, despite the establishment GOP panic about him, he may well be their very best bet for the general election and, even now, remains 'misunderestimated' by the party, the media and, yes, even Democrats. "I think [Trump] is [the GOP's] best chance," she says. "At this point, Trump is riding a tiger and it's a pretty powerful thing. And it scares me to death, to be honest. Because what I'm starting to see is [the GOP establishment] coming around to Trump, beginning to see that Trump is probably going to get the nomination and it is increasingly difficult to stop him."

As to Clinton's victory over Sanders in the Nevada Caucuses, and what that may mean going forward: "It was a good victory for her, because she was able to prove that her coalition --- of older people, women, African-Americans and Latinos, and union members --- that group of demographics that she is supposed to be stronger in, she proved she was able to turn them out."

Parton correctly notes that "turnout is lower for Democrats than it was in 2008 and it's huge for Republicans." Nonetheless, she remains bullish on the chances for a Democratic win in November. Tune in to find out why! (And if I share that outlook!)

Also, while my friend and colleague Jimmy Dore from The Young Turks and KPFK's The Jimmy Dore Show was unable to join us at the last minute today as scheduled, we have his report from inside one of the chaotic caucus sites in Las Vegas over the weekend. "I know they do it every four years, but it looks like they do it every forty years!," he notes. Hey, at least, unlike the South Carolina results, you could see that much! Whoever said democracy wasn't messy, Jimmy?

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

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GUESTS: Salon's Heather Digby Parton, The Nation's Joshua Holland...
By Brad Friedman on 2/15/2016 4:30pm PT  

As you may suspect, it's a very busy program on today's BradCast for some reason.

Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo and Joshua Holland of The Nation and the "Politics and Reality Radio" podcast join me for coverage of both the political (and perhaps Constitutional) earthquake following Saturday's sudden death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and for the insane Republican Presidential Debate that took place in the wake of that huge news just hours later.

We discuss the bombshell Scalia news and the unprecedented response from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who immediately vowed to keep President Obama from his Constitutional duty of nominating and appointing a new Justice --- with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate --- now that the appointment would serve to tip the balance of the Court 5 to 4 toward Democratic Presidential appointees.

Meanwhile, at the GOP debate in South Carolina shortly thereafter on Saturday night, every remaining Republican Presidential candidate called for Senate Republicans to block any nomination made by this President. And, as if that's not insane enough, the entire debate then quickly devolved into a remarkable Pro Wrestling-style shouting and name-calling spectacle which, frankly, left me --- as well as my guests today --- more than a bit gobsmacked and amused.

From the word "LIAR!" used dozens of times by several candidates to the 15-years late Republican debate over who to blame for 9/11 and the Iraq War(!), I think I'm fairly safe in saying we have never seen any Presidential debate like it.

As Ohio Gov. John Kasich said at one point during the madness on display Saturday night, just days before this weekend's GOP Primary in South Carolina (which will be run on 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems): "I gotta tell ya, this is just crazy. This is just nuts. Jeezo, man."

Couldn't have said it better myself...

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By Brad Friedman on 2/13/2016 10:00pm PT  

I suspect many of you have thoughts on the jaw-dropping news of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia today. Feel free to share those thoughts, as you see appropriate, in Comments below. For my part, for now, just a few very quick observations...

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




GUEST: Political science researcher Sean McElwee of Demos
ALSO: Disturbing Photo ID voter suppression in NH and elsewhere; OR militia standoff finally over; Massive Porter Ranch, CA natural gas leak finally stopped...
By Brad Friedman on 2/11/2016 4:56pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Breaking news out of Oregon and California, more disturbing voter suppression news out of New Hampshire and elsewhere and a new study finds hard evidence that "racial resentment" is central to the so-called "Tea Party" movement.

First up, the latest breaking news on the bizarre and bitter end of the Rightwing militia standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon and the concurrent arrest of Nevada's scofflaw rancher Cliven Bundy.

Next, more disturbing Photo ID voter suppression news out of New Hampshire and elsewhere, including a new paper out of UC-San Diego finding that strict Photo ID restrictions result in an alarming rate of suppressed Latino and African-American votes. In general elections, for example, based on examinations of some 50 elections in states both before and after implementation of polling place restrictions by GOP lawmakers, "states with strict photo ID laws show a Latino turnout 10.3 points lower than in states without them."

Then, after a brief throwback to the early days of the so-called "Tea Party" (our complete short documentary from 2009, Rise of the Tea Bags, can be enjoyed here), I'm joined by political science researcher Sean McElwee of Demos to discuss his new study, with Jason McDaniel, offering empirical evidence that it is not opposition to "Big Government" or concerns about the economy or spending or taxes that mainly drives those who identify as being sympathetic to the Tea Party --- it's racial resentment.

McElwee explains how his study controlled "for race, ethnicity, partisanship, ideology, income, education, gender, religiosity" and that "once you compare the various strengths of these variables, the one that ends up becoming really the overwhelming predictor of Tea Party identification is racial resentment."

"From the beginning," of the movement, he tells me, "what you're seeing is this sort of racially-coded rhetoric. So, right from the beginning, you have a very great explanation of conservative politics of the last 30 years --- which is plutocratic policies being wrapped up in racist rhetoric in order to benefit a plutocratic agenda. And you have a lot of white middle class and working class people who have bought into that agenda."

"What Fox [News] has done is taken that model and actually weaponized it, politicized it, and used it to attack policies that benefit the vast majority of Americans," McElwee argues, even as the Rightwing network's viewers have little clue how they are being played. "What we have in a lot of cases are people who are very frustrated about what is going on, but lack the political knowledge to actually understand the causal mechanism for how this bad thing is happening. And if you don't have that --- if you don't connect government policy to your lived experiences --- what you end up doing is saying 'I'm upset, I don't know why my life is bad'. And if someone tells you your life is bad because 'immigrants are taking your jobs', or 'the government is helping black people with your tax dollars', people are susceptible to that message."

McElwee goes on to explain how his research finds that many who previously identified with the Tea Party have now folded into the Trump campaign, even though the Republican 2016 front-runner has called for massive government programs and increased spending --- things that Tea Partiers previously decried. We also discuss much more, including whether hatred for Obama from the Right can be attributed to the fact that he is black or, simply, that he is a Democrat.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us with the latest Green News Report and the breaking news out of Porter Ranch, CA that the month's long, massive methane gas leak there has finally been stopped...for now...

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

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GUESTS: Salon's Heather Digby Parton; WashMonthly's Martin Longman...
By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2016 4:35pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we try to make sense of the amazing GOP debate in New Hampshire on Saturday, the final one before tomorrow's First-in-the-Nation primary in the Granite State.

First, I offer a very few quick reminders and action items for those interested in fighting for Election Integrity during tomorrow's primary in NH. This, in a state which uses hand-marked paper ballots, but refuses to actually verify that results are accurately tallied by the state's oft-failed, easily-manipulated Diebold optical-scan computers before announcing results to the public. (For a reminder of the nightmare that occurred on that system back in 2008, you can peruse our Special Coverage here.)

Then, I'm joined for today's post-debate coverage and analysis by two progressive bloggers who have been consistently right for years --- Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo and Martin Longman of Washington Monthly and Booman Tribune --- to discuss where Rubio, Cruz, Trump and the others, including the corporate media, went wrong on Saturday night...and, unfortunately, for so many years prior.

From Rubio's remarkable on-stage meltdown to Cruz' ability to lie with amazing impunity (even when he is actually called out as a "flat-out liar" by CNN!) to the danger that Trump's ability to "win" may hold for both Republicans and Democrats alike.

And, as if that doesn't give us all enough to cover today, we take the time to call out the corporate U.S. media (and the Obama Administration) for allowing this mind-bogglingly precarious moment in U.S. history to even have come about in the first place...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 2/4/2016 11:34am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Democrats keep pushing climate action, Republicans keep ignoring it; FL mayors beg Marco Rubio to address rising sea levels; CA Attorney General files criminal suit over massive Porter Ranch gas leak; PLUS: Plenty of blame to go around as FBI launches investigation into Flint's Water Crisis... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Klamath River dams moving toward removal despite congressional barriers; Review reveals problems protecting workers from pesticides; Are bee-killing pesticides impacting our health?; Peabody Coal clean-up protections questioned in Illinois; Appeals Court orders EPA to issue rules on mining cleanups and bankruptcy; Industrial chemical finds its way into Great Lakes trout; Climate change poses threat to fish stocks, study finds... PLUS: Conservationists sue federal wolf-killing program in Oregon... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




GUEST: Mayor Cindy Lerner of Pinecrest, FL...
By Brad Friedman on 2/3/2016 5:39pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the latest news in the Presidential contest, including two GOP candidates dropping out today, newly scheduled Democratic debates, new polling since Iowa, and new charges from Donald Trump that Ted Cruz "stole" the GOP's Iowa caucuses!

I also speak with Mayor Cindy Lerner of Pinecrest, FL today, about the open letter [PDF] she recently sent, with 14 other Mayors from across the Sunshine State, to Marco Rubio, seeking a meeting with the Florida U.S. Senator, now a leading candidate for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination, decrying his flip-flops on climate action.

Rubio, as Lerner explains, was once in favor of action to stave off the worst effects of global warming --- such as the sea level rise already encroaching on south Florida towns like Lerner's --- before he decided to run for President and become a climate change denier.

"Marco Rubio and all the Republican candidates who are in denial, it's really part of a campaign strategy, an ideology, that ignores the reality of the consequences we're facing," she tells me.

Lerner notes that where Republicans in Florida had once actual lead on Climate Change, since Republican Gov. Rick Scott took office in 2011, state GOPers have almost completely reversed course. That, even as the "very porous geology that the peninsula of Florida was built on" is already taking on more salt water than can be handled as sea levels rise and "100-year storms" are now "coming several times a year."

"Our infrastructure was never built to contemplate addressing the capacity needs that we now find ourselves in," she explains. "We are literally drowning here in South Florida and have no leadership, clearly, at the state level, and have to rely on our next President understanding the risk that we, and the other coastal communities all over this country, are facing."

She describes Rubio's new position of denial as "beyond disappointing," adding: "It's really disgusting to listen to somebody that we well know he knows better. He's just reading from a script that he thinks is going to help him get into higher office."

"We are ground zero," she says about her Village of Pinecrest and the other towns and cities whose Mayors signed on to the letter seeking a meeting with Rubio. "We are the canary in the coal mine, so to speak, of what's going to be happening throughout the United States, and he needs to stand up and lead on these initiatives."

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GUEST: Jim Naureckas of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting...
By Brad Friedman on 2/1/2016 4:36pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, as voters finally head to the caucuses to cast the very first votes of the 2016 Presidential election year, we examine how the mainstream corporate media have decided for themselves which candidates are and are not acceptable for American voters.

Jim Naureckas of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting joins us to discuss the marginalization of Bernie Sanders and his very popular policies by mainstream corporate media outlets such as the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune.

Somehow, despite more than 30 years as an elected official, Sanders, according to the Times over the weekend, is an "outsider" representing the "fringe" of the Democratic Party base. He does not, as the Tribune recently warned, represent the "broad, sensible center." Ya know, exactly the way Donald Trump is a fringe outsider threatening the "broad, sensible center" of the Republican Party because, as we all know by now, everything is always "fair and balanced" in Mainstream Corporate Media World.

"Much of the corporate media are really trying to maintain the idea that there are acceptable candidates within the circle of acceptable ideas, and candidates who are beyond the pale, who decent voters should turn their back on," Naureckas tells me. "They should listen to the New York Times and vote for one of the approved candidates."

Those "approved candidates," Naureckas wryly explains, are the ones who are "part of the club." Never mind that, unlike Trump's extremist positions, Sanders' policy positions are actually wildly popular --- not just among Democrats, but among the American electorate as a whole. Nonetheless, if follow mainstream print media, the long-serving Vermont Senator is an "outsider" offering "fringe" policies that are far beyond what is acceptable to the "sensible center."

"The way that corporate media use the word 'center' is not the way that ordinary people use it. You'd think that it means the policies that are embraced by a majority of the people are 'centrist' policies. That's not what they mean in the media. They mean policies that are embraced by the establishment. And that can be policies that are quite unpopular --- like cutting Social Security to reduce the deficit is a 'centrist' idea that is wildly unpopular. It's really kind of a shell game on the part of the media to try to present these ideas, that have very little popular support, as the ideas of the 'middle'."

Also on today's program: The DNC appears to be ready to finally add more debates to the schedule, including a new one this week in advance of next Tuesday's New Hampshire primary; Former CIA head and four-star general David Petraeus will face no more penalties (and not a single day in jail) for leaking tons of highly classified information to his mistress/biographer. (Take that, Edward Snowden!); And the very not conservative Donald Trump makes a faux pas while pretending to be an evangelical Christian in Iowa...

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

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