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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Failed Paper Ballot Scanners in Detroit Put MI 'Recount' at Risk: 'BradCast' 12/6/16
Plus: Team Trump ups efforts to shut down 'recounts'; New VT law undermines democracy; Paper v. Computer counts; Much more...
'Green News Report' 12/6/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Victory (for now) against ND pipeline; Trump eyes Native lands; Exxon CEO for Sec. of State?; Extreme rainfall projected to increase; PLUS: Fukushima clean up costs double...
Previous GNRs: 12/1/16 - 11/29/16 - Archives...
'Corporate Media Lied. We
are Escalating Fight in PA': 'BradCast' 12/5/16
Exclusive intvw w/ Stein campaign chief, Green 2004 nominee David Cobb. Also: MI ordered to begin count, ND pipeline blocked (for now)!...
Sunday Toons, of Trolls and Recounts
A fantastic collection of the week's best toons -- on all matter of stuff -- from 'PDiddie'!...
'Recount' 2016 or 'Recount' 2000? Team Trump Files to Stop WI, MI, PA Counts: 'BradCast' 12/2/16
As PA margin plummets, Stein asks: 'Why is Trump afraid of these recounts?'...
Hand, Machine 'Recounts' Begin in WI, Trump Blocks MI Count: 'BradCast' 12/1/16
Also: Brain-addled Trump voters buy his 'voter fraud' lie, even as he hires an actual voter fraud criminal as a top WH NatSec adviser...
'Green News Report' 12/1/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Deadly drought-fueled fires in TN; Canada approves tar sands pipelines; 100M dead trees in CA drought; Toxic algae blooms in West again; PLUS: WA scientists turn CO2 to stone...
Previous GNRs: 11/29/16 - 11/22/16 - Archives...
Countdown to 'Recounts': Stein Files in MI, More Barriers in WI: 'BradCast' 11/30/16
Computer scientists and voting systems expert plead for hand-counts; Fees increased; Callers ring in with questions...
Impossible 'Recount' Laws in PA; New Barriers in WI: 'BradCast' 11/29/16
VotePA's Marybeth Kuznik on insane 'recount' laws, 100% unverifiable vote systems in PA; Also: What good are paper ballots if nobody can afford to count them?...
'Green News Report' 11/29/16
Eviction for ND pipeline protesters; 3 oil refinery fires in 2 days; Drought emergency in Bolivia; Coral die-off in Great Barrier Reef; PLUS: Judge: Kids can sue over climate...
Overseeing Results in WI, MI, PA Before 'Recounts' Begin: 'BradCast' 11/28/16
Election fraud investigator Richard Hayes Phillips on concerns about reported turnout in WI and much more...
Sunday Leftover Turkey Toons
The nation's political cartoonists talk turkey (and more) in PDiddie's latest collection of the week's best toons...
Stein 'Recount' Effort Raises Millions: 'BradCast' 11/25/16
Guest host Angie Coiro on why the Presidential 'recount' battle in WI, MI, PA matters beyond 2016. She also speaks with guest Leland Faust and much more...
'Why Would Anyone Be Against Counting Votes?': 'BradCast' 11/23/16
Exclusive interview with Green Party's Dr. Jill Stein, announcing her plan to file for WI, MI, PA 'recounts'...
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...


GUESTS: TYT's Jordan Chariton, Sputnik's Cassandra Fairbanks in D.C.
PLUS: Results, concerns from weekend's WY Dem caucuses, CO GOP convention...
By Brad Friedman on 4/11/2016 6:03pm PT  

On today's BradCast, hundreds of demonstrators were arrested today at the nation's Capitol during a peaceful sit-in protest demand reforms to the U.S. electoral system. Also today, we cover a number of other breaking news items and the weekend's Presidential nominating events, including results and concerns about the Democratic caucuses in WY and the Republican delegate convention in CO. [Audio link to show is below.]

First up, we check in with The Young Turks' reporter Jordan Chariton and Sputnik News' Cassandra Fairbanks outside the U.S. Capitol, just moments after some 400 "Democracy Spring" demonstrators, including our old friend Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks, were arrested while calling for a number of small "d" democratic reforms. Amongst the protestors' demands: Overturning the Supreme Court's infamous 2010 Citizens United ruling unleashing massive corporate spending in elections; modernization of America's ridiculous voter registration system; the creation of a public campaign financing system; and the restoration of the Voting Rights Act provision gutted in 2013 by SCOTUS. Protesters vow to continue demonstrations all week in D.C.

Then, breaking news on Goldman-Sachs' settlement with the U.S. Dept. of Justice for their part in the mortgage crisis that led to the global financial crisis in 2008 (spoiler: nobody goes to jail, though those sitting down to demonstrate for democracy in D.C. did); Another rock star cancels a concert in another GOP state that just approved discrimination against the LGBT community; and then we cover the results of the controversial Democratic caucuses held over the weekend in Wyoming and the GOP delegate convention in Colorado.

Our coverage of the weekend's nominating contests also includes a look at concerns from Sanders supporters about the WY results and from Trump supporters about the results almost everywhere. And finally, here's that amazing Boston Globe "President Trump" front page [PDF] they published for April 2017 over the weekend and their full description of it...

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

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GUEST: West Virginia radio host and anti-coal activist Bob Kincaid
PLUS: Former WI State Senate GOPer says party was 'giddy' about Photo ID suppression...
By Brad Friedman on 4/7/2016 6:10pm PT  

On today's BradCast, a former Wisconsin State Senate official says GOP Photo ID voter suppression led him to leave the party; And Don Blankenship, West Virginia's "Dark Lord of Coal Country" is sentenced to just one year in prison for acts leading to the deaths of 29 miners. [Audio link for complete show follows below.]

First up today, Todd Allbaugh, a former Chief of Staff in the WI State Senate says he left the Republican Party when, during a closed-door caucus meeting to discuss the state's Photo ID voting restriction law in 2011, GOP lawmakers were "giddy" about the prospect of using the law to disenfranchise Democratic voters in the Badger State.

Then, WV's own Bob Kincaid, Head-On Radio Network host, co-founder of the Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Campaign and President of Coal River Mountain Watch, joins us to discuss Blankenship's federal sentencing yesterday for his part in conspiring to violate mine safety regulations leading to the tragic 2010 Upper Big Branch (UBB) coal mine explosion.

Kincaid details the once-powerful coal baron's rise to power, why the former CEO of Massey Energy got off so lightly in both federal and state court, why coal remains king among both Democrats and Republicans in WV, and how Obama's mythical "War on Coal" shows no signs of ending deadly coal mining and toxic mountaintop removal in the state.

On the emotional reaction by families of UBB victims following Wednesday's sentencing (see this from a miner, Tommy Davis, who lost his brother, son and nephew in the disaster), Kincaid describes it as "heartbreaking" and yet "another chapter in the 125-plus-year-long exploitation and devastation of the people of this state and this region" which has resulted in coal industry-caused deaths numbering "in the tens of thousands".

Despite the disaster that has devastated the community, he warns "of course, it's going to happen again, because Don Blankenship was not the only coal boss who hates safety regulations. Remember, here in West Virginia, and generally in the Republican Party, those are not 'safety regulations' that Don Blankenship conspired to evade. Those were 'job-killing regulations'."

"In 2014," Kincaid notes, even after the horrific UBB disaster, WV voters "ran --- they did not walk --- they ran to the polls to elect a slate of Republicans on the principle that the Republicans said they were going to make the coal come back." He goes on to explain how "Appalachia has lost 500 mountains" through the toxic practice of Mountain Top Removal mining (allowing coal companies to get more coal with many fewer miners) and how the Obama Administration has done nothing to stop it during his nearly 8 years in office.

"The idea that there's a 'War on Coal' is just a sad, cynical, and tragic little joke --- perpetrated on people who, I guess, like their confirmation bias," he tells me. Near the end of the enlightening and colorful conversation (in which he also offers his unvarnished opinions on the plans for Coal Country from Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders), as I beg for evidence of a hopeful sign, somehow, somewhere out of Coal Country, Kincaid offers: "You know what's hopeful? The fact that the people who do understand the reality of it aren't backing down. We're not going away. We're not going to quit. We're not going to quit living in the land of reality while other people live in a fantasy world. We're going to keep making the noise. We just need more people making noise with us."

Please listen to the complete, very lively interview in the show linked below!

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 4/7/2016 11:47am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Coal boss convicted in deaths of 29 miners is sentenced to just 1 year in prison; Sec. of State John Kerry tells private sector to pick up the pace on clean energy; Saudi Arabia planning ahead for world without oil; BP's $20b Gulf oil spill settlement now tax-deductible; PLUS: Dam good news for salmon and people on the Klamath River in Oregon... 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): Wind and Solar Are Crushing Fossil Fuels; Frack Wastewater May Be Messing With Hormones; Oklahoma Governor Declares State of Emergency Over Wildfires; Soil Could Be The Key To Fighting Climate Change; Banned Chemical From Hospital IVs Linked To Attention Deficit Disorder; PFOA Testing Expanded To Include 11 More Vermont Sites; Almost Half Of Natural World Heritage Sites Are Threatened By Industry; Smithsonian Gives Nod to More 'Dark Money' Funding for Willie Soon... PLUS:Big Seed: How Industry Turned From Small-Town Firms To Global Giants... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 3/31/2016 12:03pm PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: State Attorneys General unite to investigate ExxonMobil for climate change fraud; Debunking another Republican EPA lie that won't die; 7 million Americans at risk of fracking earthquakes; Sea levels could rise six feet by 2100 because...Antarctica; PLUS: Scotland closes its last coal plant... 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): Choking to Death in Detroit: Flint Isn't Michigan's Only Disaster; Flint Official: State Overruled Plan For Corrosion Control; Exxon Must Hold Shareholder Vote on Climate Change Resolutions, SEC Says; Program Will Make Cutting Carbon Emissions Lucrative For Farmers; Climate Policy’s Advocates Take Page From Same-Sex Marriage Playbook; Toxic Chemical Still in Can Linings of Popular Foods; Trump Finds Common Ground With Cruz in Opposition to Carbon Tax... PLUS: “Epidemic” of Premature Births is Increasingly Linked to Air Pollution... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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PLUS: More on voting probs in IL and NC, and now UT and AZ...
By Brad Friedman on 3/22/2016 6:09pm PT  

On today's BradCast we cover what is known, so far, about the unfolding terror attacks in Brussels this morning, even as they serve as yet another reminder of why elections matter.

With ISIS now claiming responsibility for the horrific attacks which killed dozens and injured hundreds in Belgium, including a number of Americans, Iraq war correspondent Michael Ware's recent account of the creation of ISIS, thanks to the U.S.-launched war there over a decade ago, underscores how the choices we make at the ballot box reverberate for generations.

Vote wisely! If you are able to vote at all...Our coverage of the problems faced by voters merely trying to cast a vote during last week's primaries continues today, with new reports of Photo ID voter suppression in NC, student voters illegally turned away at Wheaton College in IL, and the continuing court battle over thousands of voters turned away from the polls in Adams County (though we have a small slice of encouraging news to report there today!)

Then, we turn to new problems and serious concerns beginning to emerge in primaries and caucuses underway today in AZ and UT, including reports of up to four-hour lines and registration problems in AZ and the Republican Party in UT laughing in the face of computer scientist warnings by using some 60,000 of their voters as guinea pigs during in a live experiment with 100% unverifiable and easily hackable Internet Voting for tonight's GOP caucuses! (What could possibly go wrong?)

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: Jon Barnard on why he sued for the unprecedented remedy: 'People couldn't vote, because of a government failure. They have the right to vote, it needs to be restored, it needs to be protected.'
By Brad Friedman on 3/18/2016 5:48pm PT  

I'm joined on today's BradCast by Adams County, IL State's Attorney Jon Barnard to discuss the extraordinary court order [PDF] issued just last night to mandate the county allow voters turned away from the polls last Tuesday, due to ballot shortages, to cast a "late vote" in that election Monday through Friday of next week. [Audio link to the complete show is at the end of this article.]

I've never seen a court-ordered remedy like it and, apparently, neither have any of the experts I spoke to. That's for good reason: this may be a national precedent, certainly one in the state of Illinois. It's also one that, as I learned from Barnard --- who was just out of another court hearing on this matter today --- the Illinois state Attorney General is now moving to block.

As I noted (okay, ranted about) on Wednesday's program, an untold number of voters were unable to cast a vote at all across precincts in Adams (Quincy) and other counties around the state on Tuesday, thanks to local election officials underestimating the number of paper ballots that would be needed, despite huge voter turnout elsewhere around the country during this Presidential Primary season so far.

"People couldn't vote because of, essentially, a government failure," Barnard charges. "They have the right to vote. It needs to be restored. It needs to be protected."

He explained how he came up with the idea for this extraordinary remedy after an estimated 3,400 voters were turned away on Tuesday, and why he believes it's so important. "Yes, it is unprecedented, at least to my knowledge, that someone has sought this remedy," he says. "But you know what, Brad? In a situation like this, we've got to do something. And there's got to be a first time. It might as well be here, it might as well be now. This is an emergency. It's not an exaggeration to say that we ask people to die to protect this right. I don't think it's going too far or doing too much that we have instituted an emergency measure with sufficient safeguards to restore that right to people who have been denied that right. When we ask people, quite literally, to dive on grenades so that we can have this right, I'm going to do everything I think we ought to do to protect that right. And if this is the first time, then so be it."

The County's long-time Republican prosecutor describes the safeguards that will be implemented --- including an affidavit that voters must sign under penalty of perjury, attesting that they had attempted but were unable to vote on Tuesday, due to the shortages --- which he believes are "more than sufficient to minimize the opportunity for mischief in the process." He also explains why he "didn't buy" the argument raised in court that allowing voters to vote, after preliminary results have already been announced, would be unfair. That, even in the wake of close elections in the state, like the one between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

He offers details of the state AG's current motion to deny the "extended voting" now scheduled to take place next week at the County Clerk's office in the County Courthouse, even while the court order is under appeal. (The "late ballots," he says, will be segregated from the others in the event that another court orders they not be included in the final certified results.)

"The lessons that the County Clerk has and may learn in the future, as a result of this, are painful and real," Barnard tells me as I ask him about the "money-saving" decision to lowball the number of ballots that were originally printed. "But, I think we have to keep our eye on the ball. What we're attempting to deal with here is a problem of monumental proportions, going right to heart of our system, right to the heart of our democracy. Look, if I'm wrong about this, if the procedure we have established to restore those rights to these voters is flawed and some appellate court tells me so, so be it. But I'd rather be wrong about the process while attempting to restore the right to vote than do nothing"

Also, midway through today's program, I received comment via email from Adams County Clerk Chuck Venvertloh, with answers to my queries sent earlier about why precinct judges weren't simply instructed to photocopy blank ballots immediately so that people would not have been turned away at all. Venvertloh was responsible for the decision to print ballots for just 27% of eligible voters, despite the state statute requiring 110% at each precinct. He is hardly the only County Clerk in the state to ignore the rarely-enforced requirement due to cost-cutting reasons. Venvertloh also offers an answer to my query about why he is choosing to "remake" the 1,162 ballots that were cast on photocopies, onto actual ballots --- so that they can be run through the county's computer optical-scanner --- rather than simply counting them by hand, which is an issue that Barnard also responds to (and joins me in taking offense) during the interview.

For those who don't bother to listen to the full show (and you really should!), allow me to note here that I don't believe Venvertloh was attempting anything nefarious in his decisions. But they were costly ones for voters, should never have occurred, and he should have had better procedures in place in the event that they failed. It's difficult enough to get voters to the polls. Yes, mistakes happen. But turning voters away or forcing them to wait in line for hours (as also happened elsewhere in the state on Tuesday, as it did in NC, FL and other states this cycle and in the past) needs to stop. It's outrageous and completely predictable by now.

Also on today's program: Some encouraging electoral justice news from last Tuesday's elections in both Chicago and Cleveland; Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report; and some listener mail in response to a number of stories we've been covering on The BradCast over the past week. Please buckle up and listen responsibly!...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 3/14/2016 6:03pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we catch up on a lot that we didn't get to cover from last week (while covering all three Presidential debates and one Election Day) and from this past weekend, as the violence at Trump rallies --- and his willingness to blatantly lie about it --- has quickly devolved from bad to worse.

First up, we focus on three specific events at recent Trump rallies (in IL, OH and NC) and the fact that the GOP front-runner --- accurately described by Bernie Sanders as a "pathological liar" and by Hillary Clinton as a "political arsonist" this weekend --- is not only inciting violence, but also attempted to smear American protesters and Sanders supporters as Nazis and members of ISIS, even while offering to pay the legal fees for his own (actually) violent supporters.

Where all of this seems to be heading is now very dark indeed, as we make clear on today's program.

Then, we catch up on some of the primary and caucus results elections from over the weekend (yes, there were a few --- Were the results affected by the increasing ugliness of the Trump campaign?), in advance of tomorrow's "Super Duper Tuesday" primary elections in OH, IL, MO, NC and FL. And we also detail additional concerns about recent MI results and new details on inaccurate e-voting results reported from MA, where Jim Gilmore(!) was, for a short time, announced as the winner of the Super Tuesday Republican Primary election in the City of Chelsea. (The newest explanation for that error, by the way, may be even more disturbing than the original one issued by the city, as it becomes clear that the very same thing could happen anyplace where votes are tallied by optical-scan computers, but be much more difficult to notice.)

Also today, voting rights news out of both OH (where we have some very good news) and TX (where we have some very troubling news) from the courts.

And finally, as promised last week, Desi Doyen offers some thoughts on the latest round of Republican climate change denial offered at last week's GOP debate by Florida's U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate Marco Rubio, whose own constituents are begging him to take action on rising sea levels already impacting South Florida communities.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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GUESTS: 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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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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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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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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