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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


GUEST: Attorney, author, Vets for Bernie advisor Ernest A. Canning
PLUS: New news on Oregon standoff and both GOP and Dem debates; And listener calls!...
By Brad Friedman on 1/27/2016 5:44pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we are live from KPFK/Pacifica Radio in Los Angeles with attorney, author, longtime BRAD BLOG legal analyst, Vietnam vet and now Senior Advisor to Veterans for Bernie, Ernest A. Canning.

First up, Canning updates us on California's statewide "Overturn Citizens United" initiative known as Prop 49. The 2014 "advisory measure" was removed from the ballot incorrectly by the state Supreme Court, which has now admitted as much. But the question remains how and if it will now be placed before voters during the 2016 general election. He explains the latest legal move by the state legislature on this front, and why Prop 49 matters to both California and the nation.

Then, it's Ernie on Bernie! What the 74-year old "democratic socialist" from Vermont stands for, why Canning, who has been writing about Sanders at LA Progressive of late, believes Sanders' policies are important to veterans, and a few thoughts on the old "electability" argument already being used (by Republicans and Democrats) against Sanders.

Plus: Listener calls on all of the above!

Also on today's busy show: A few updates on the news of last night's arrests of 8 leaders of the armed militia standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon and the killing of one of its spokesmen; New news on this week's GOP debate on Fox "News" (which Trump now says he will boycott); The possibility of an added Democratic debate next week in New Hampshire; And, finally, the latest Green News Report with Desi Doyen...

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

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GUEST: Myrna Peréz of the Brennan Center for Justice
ALSO: Climate crisis v. Islamic extremism; A new Dem debate?; And the Election Integrity community loses a champion and key voice...
By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2016 5:34pm PT  

On today's BradCast, with the first Presidential caucuses and primaries of 2016 now just days away and the first mass voter suppression trial of the year now underway (in North Carolina), we look at a number of recommendations to improve our voting system. But is it too late to make much of a difference for 2016?

First up, some breaking news on the possibility of an added Democratic debate after the Iowa caucuses and before the New Hampshire primary, and some thoughts on the human cost of Climate Change-fueled extreme weather (over just the past month) versus Islamic terror attacks in the U.S. in the 15 years since 9/11.

Then, on to our conversation with Myrna Peréz of the Brennan Center for Justice's Democracy Program to discuss her new report: Election Integrity: A Pro-Voter Agenda. The paper offers six important areas --- from voter registration to polling access to vote casting and counting --- where the U.S. system can and must improve its integrity without sacrificing security or access to the voting booth.

"It is possible to protect election integrity without disenfranchising eligible voters," Peréz writes in her report about the solutions she and the Brennan Center offer. "All target fraud risks as they actually exist. None will unduly disenfranchise those who have the right to vote."

As she explains to me today: "We are having is a very contested moment in time where the right to vote is being challenged in a way that we haven't seen in decades. We are seeing politicians trying to manipulate the rules of the game such that some people can participate and some people can't. And we have that butting up against states that have very restrictive budgets, and may not actually have the money or resources to make reforms that would even save money long-term, because they require an initial investment. That, coupled with infrastructure problems --- like we have been registering voters in a really out-of-date way for too long, and we haven't updated our voting machines --- are all colliding to produce a period of worry, where when voters step into the polls on Election Day in November, they're not going to be getting the best customer service for their tax dollars. And that they're not going to be voting in a way that's consistent with what the greatest democracy in the world should be doing."

"We tried to look at where there were opportunities to improve what we're doing, and actually study and address some of the concerns that folks are having," Peréz says. "And do it in a way that is sensible and thoughtful and common sense, in terms of making sure that the cure isn't worse than the disease. And make sure that we're not disenfranchising more people than we're trying to prevent from perpetuating fraud."

We discuss, among many things in our detailed conversation, the real threats to election integrity --- not "voter fraud" by individuals at the polling place, as vote suppressors on the Right would like you to believe, but far more often, and in a much larger way, by political and election insiders. "We need to make sure that our politicians, who are using our resources and our taxpayer dollars, are fixing a problem that is real and addressing it in the most cost-effective and efficient way."

Finally on today's show, a few words and memories in regard to the recent tragic loss of Wisconsin's John Washburn, an integral member of the U.S. Election Integrity community and a reliable and important source over the past decade to me here at BradBlog.com and on the radio, on e-voting in general and, in particular, on some of the nightmarish elections disasters in the Badger State over recent years. John was a great proponent of transparency, open government, proper testing of electronic voting systems and, frankly, one helluva guy. As noted in my more detailed In Memoriam on today's program, John's loss, at the age of 53, is a particularly tragic and costly one for the cause of democracy and free and fair elections in Wisconsin as well as the rest of the nation. We send our thoughts and best wishes to his family, including his wife and three children. His institutional knowledge, good humor and wit will be greatly missed in 2016 and beyond, but his good fight will continue.

(John's guest blog contributions to The BRAD BLOG are here. You can sort through some of his other contributions to our stories and radio programs over the years here. And much more documentation of his work on EI matters and more is still available at his personal website right here. UPDATE: John's family has requested remembrances be posted on this tribute page.)

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: Veteran weatherman Paul Douglas says added warmth, moisture in atmosphere akin to 'pouring rocket fuel on a Bic lighter'...
PLUS: More trouble for MI's Snyder; Cruz is a liar; One state is cancelling e-voting...
By Brad Friedman on 1/25/2016 5:51pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, as the East Coast digs out from the weekend's record super storm that dumped more than 30 inches of snow on five different states, killing at least 30 people in the bargain, we're joined by veteran meteorologist Paul Douglas who says his "jaw dropped" after looking at the storm data.

Among his reasons for amazement, he tells me, were the extraordinary snow fall amounts ("3 to 5 inches an hour" in many places) as well as "water temperatures in the Gulf Stream in the mid- to even upper-70s" in January, which, he says, is "at least 6-7 degrees warmer than average."

"The warmer the water, the higher the water vapor above the Gulf Stream. There's simply more water in the air, more fuel. This was the equivalent of pouring rocket fuel on a Bic lighter," he explains. "It intensified into a 'bomb' that was able to suck all this additional Atlantic moisture inland, and hurl it at New York and Philly and Washington, and all points in between"

Douglas, who is both a self-identified Republican and evangelical Christian, says this storm --- and the many record storms we've witnessed over the past several years --- adds still more evidence of a climate "on steroids," thanks to the continued burning of fossil fuels.

"There's little doubt in my mind that this storm was 'juiced'," he says. "We are conducting an experiment on not only the atmosphere, but the oceans, and hoping that everything turns out okay."

The veteran Minneapolis-based broadcast meteorologist, data expert and entrepreneur goes on to explain why he believes his fellow Republicans fail to grasp the increasing urgency of global warming, how they are continuing to deny not only scientific reality, but even urgent warnings from the U.S. Military. He also offers his advice on what voters can and should do about it.

"The most important thing you can do is vote," Douglas argues. "And vote for local, state and federal officials who still have a respect for science. You can have a faith in God, you can have a faith in something more than what we can observe, and still have a respect for science."

Also on today's show: More evidence that MI Gov. Rick Snyder's office knew posed by using the Flint River for drinking water long before he currently admits; More evidence that Ted Cruz is an extraordinarily accomplished liar; The good news on the one state that is canceling its plans to use electronic voting machines this year; And new, conflicting details on the Washington State man who says he accidentally fired his gun at a showing of the new Benghazi movie last week...

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 1/22/2016 5:13pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we do our best to keep you warm and dry --- and perhaps even provide a smile or two while we're at it --- as the monster snow storm socks the East Coast.

We cover a lot of ground today's show: From the reasons for 'Snowzilla' and the cost of low oil prices; to Obama's victory in court today for his Clean Power Plan; to new signs that the GOP is utterly broken (but why Dems should still be careful what they wish for!); to our latest American Islamophobia Update; to new evidence that Open Carry laws are ridiculous; to some very smart listener mail about Dems and health care; and a number of the absolutely craziest effin' things we've ever heard (with apologies to Stephen Colbert).

You'll have to tune in to find out what today's graphic (above) is all about. But it is, no doubt, one of the craziest effin' things I've ever heard.

Enjoy...and stay warm, dry and safe out there!

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: Novelist, father, Flint resident Connor Coyne
PLUS: GOP bigwigs choose Trump over Cruz; Bernie surges in IA; Vets blast Palin; More...
By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2016 5:11pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: The national media is still missing the disturbing anti-democratic problem at the center of the Flint, MI lead-poisoning disaster; New, kind of amazing, poll numbers out of Iowa for both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders; The GOP establishment continues to warm up to Trump...and much more.

First up, we're joined by Connor Coyne, Flint resident, father and novelist, to discuss his detailed article at Vox on "what the national media got wrong" in their coverage of the city's disastrous and continuing water crisis.

Coyne, who is a stay-at-home dad, says that while his two young daughters appear to be fine at the moment, "Nothing is definitive. And, in a way, that is part of what makes this such a scary experience for all of us. We don't know now, and really will not know for quite some time, how extensive the damage is."

"Flint now has hundreds, possibly thousands, of kids who are going to be dealing with the consequences of this crisis for the rest of their lives," he tells me. "They could live to be 90 years old, they could move anywhere in the world, they're going to be dealing with lead poisoning their entire lives." He adds: "If there is one organization I'd like to give a boost to it's FlintKids.org," a local organization collecting funds to help with medical support that the children of Flint are going to need for a very long time.

Coyne then goes on to explain how this disaster came about, thanks directly to Michigan's appalling, undemocratic "Emergency Manager" system that allows Governor Rick Snyder (R), to unilaterally appoint anyone of his choosing to completely replace local democratically-elected officials, including the Mayor and the entire City Council, in any city he likes, for whatever reason he determines.

It was, in fact, one of Snyder's hand-selected Emergency Managers who switched the city's water supply from the clean Lake Huron to the corrosive Flint River without bothering to put the appropriate filtering system first. As he notes at Vox, it's "inconceivable" that this problem would have occurred or, at least, gone this horribly wrong, "had Flint residents been able to threaten incumbents at the ballot box." But with the Emergency Manager system, there is no such accountability.

"Flint may be the most dramatic example of that system having gone wrong," he tells me. "But I think about all of the cities that have been under Emergency Managers --- Pontiac, Detroit [also Highland Park, Benton Harbor and elsewhere] --- it hasn't really gone right anywhere. Emergency Management doesn't work ethically, but it also doesn't work practically. It just flat out does not work."

Coyne explains how voter turnout has been getting "worse and worse and worse since" Flint's Emergency Manager was installed and, of course, why shouldn't it? Elected officials are stripped of all power under Snyder's tyrannical system. We also discuss how voters, state-wide, voted to do away with the Emergency Manager law in a statewide referendum back in 2012, only to see it immediately re-implemented by state Republicans in an almost identical form --- though with an added provision that legally bars the law from repeal by voter referendum.

Where are the "Tea Partiers" and "Patriot Movement" and "Militiamen" now? And how can it be that even the Washington Post, who reported on this story in December after well over a year of poisonous drinking and cooking and bathing water in Flint, didn't even bother to use the words "Emergency Manager" in their coverage? Unfortunately, WaPo wasn't alone either, as we discuss in our enlightening, if disturbing, interview today.

Also on today's show: The GOP establishment continues to warm up to Donald Trump (because, in no small part, they despise Ted Cruz even more); New polling numbers out of Iowa show fairly remarkable surges for both Trump and Bernie Sanders (though the poll's specific type of sampling may be key in both cases here); Vets blast Sarah Palin for blaming her son's domestic violence arrest and PTSD on President Obama; And Desi Doyen joins us for the Green News Report on the hottest year ever recorded on Planet Earth and much more...

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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Hottest year ever; Palin and Trump; MI Gov. apologizes (sort of); OK turning 'blue'?!; Good news for KS voters; Listener calls; MORE!...
By Brad Friedman on 1/20/2016 6:00pm PT  

On today's BradCast, live from the KPFK/Pacifica Radio studios in Los Angeles...

• NASA and NOAA announce that 2015 is, officially, the hottest year ever recorded on Planet Earth --- beating out the previous global heat record from 2014...by a mile. But, why worry?
• Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder apologizes for poisoning the people of Flint, but not for the tyranny.
• Sarah Palin endorses Donald Trump in Iowa, but is then a no-show, as her son is arrested for domestic violence after punching his girlfriend, holding an AR-15 to his head and threatening to kill himself.
• Several new efforts for disclosure of "dark money" in our political system on the 6th anniversary of the infamous Citizens United decision.
• Oklahoma turning "blue"?
• KS Sec. of State and GOP "voter fraud" fraudster Kris Kobach loses in court again --- so voters win.

Plus: Listener calls on all of the above (and more) and Desi Doyen with the latest (very busy) Green News Report! 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: Jon Schwarz of The Intercept on how Obama could implement campaign finance reform, on his own, immediately...
By Brad Friedman on 1/19/2016 5:03pm PT  

On today's BradCast...

First up: New polling shows Bernie Sanders surging in NH among Democrats and Gov. John Kasich --- yes, John Kasich --- surging to second place among Republicans in the state...if you believe those sorts of things. At the same time, during the GOP establishment's half-hearted search for an alternative to Cruz/Trump, the Republican Party appears to be plummeting in popularity during the course of the 2016 Primary cycle, even as actual Republican voters seem to be warming up to the idea of Trump as their party's nominee.

Then, a remarkable new study from Oxfam finds that the world's richest "62 people own the same wealth as half the world" (the planet's 3.5 billion poorest!) And, some of those 62 richest-people-on-the-planet --- like the Koch Brothers and the Walmart heirs --- are amongst the biggest spenders when it comes to attempts to buy our political system.

So, what can be done about that last part? Jon Schwarz, Senior Editor at The Intercept, joins me to discuss how, despite "eloquent" comments suggesting otherwise during his State of the Union address last week, President Obama could take executive action immediately, on his own, to help radically reduce the "dark money" in our electoral and political system.

"One thing that Obama absolutely can do, by himself, this afternoon, if he wants to, is sign an executive order placing requirements on federal contractors," Schwarz explains, describing other similar actions that the President has taken in the recent past concerning federal contracting. "He can do it and he's done it in the past. What he could do about money in politics now is issue an executive order saying that federal contractors have to disclose any dark money contributions that they're making."

"If he did that, that would cover about 70 percent of the biggest corporations," Schwarz tells me. "So, it would not force the disclosure of any and all dark money, but it would force disclosure of a great deal of that. And, as I say, he could do that this afternoon."

We discuss some of the reasons Obama has failed to do this, to date, despite his calls for campaign finance reform throughout his career and as recently as last week's SOTU --- even with so many calls from so many quarters to take this action. "Obama likes to say really great-sounding stuff about money in politics --- he's said it his whole Senate career, his whole Presidency --- but he's never done anything. It's really extraordinary."

Finally on today's show, a few words on last night's passing of The Eagle's Glenn Frey and the latest on the outrageous lead poisoning crisis in Flint, MI, caused by the tyranny (literally) of Gov. Rick Snyder (R)...

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; 2012 GOP candidate Fred Karger
By Brad Friedman on 1/15/2016 4:03pm PT  

Last night on the Fox Business Channel, nine lucky Republican Presidential candidates gathered to in South Carolina for a debate in hopes of taking down Donald Trump.

So, on today's BradCast, we try to make some sense of it all. Wish us luck!

I'm joined today by our returning champions, Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo blog and Fred Karger, former longtime GOP political consultant and 2012 GOP Presidential candidate (the first openly gay candidate from either major party).

And, of course, we offer you some of the smartest (and, occasionally, snarkiest) post-debate analysis and insight you'll find anywhere, as Trump and Cruz (and a few other folks) face off just two weeks before the first votes of 2016 are finally cast and, maybe, counted in Iowa...

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: Mathematics professor John Allen Paulos of Temple University
PLUS: Sanders takes lead in IA and NH and why elections matters...
By Brad Friedman on 1/12/2016 5:30pm PT  

On today's BradCast, oil prices crash, Sanders surges in both Iowa and New Hampshire, the GOP tries to find an alternative to Trump, we're joined by the mathematician who says that the George W. Bush "Presidency" was his fault...sort of --- and we discuss why it all still matters today.

First up, Desi Doyen joins us to discuss the importance of and reasons for the plunging price of oil, which fell below $30/barrel today for the first time since 2003.

Next, new polling out of both Iowa and New Hampshire suggest the potential for very closes races, on both the D and R side of the aisle, this year. Bernie Sanders, who had been trailing Hillary Clinton in IA for months, has now overtaken her there, according to new numbers, and has increased his lead in NH over the woman still described by corporate media as "the Democratic front-runner". On the GOP side of the aisle, Trump retains his lead in NH, while IA tightens and the search for an "establishment" alternative takes a few surprising turns.

Then, speaking of close elections, we're joined by Dr. John Allen Paulos, professor of mathematics at Temple University to discuss the mother of all close elections, and why he believes his November 22, 2000 NYTimes op-ed helped lead directly to the U.S. Supreme Court stopping the ballot count in the Sunshine State, resulting in their (s)election of George W. Bush.

After I recount (pardon the pun), just some of the chicanery and still-unexplained anomalies that resulted in the exceedingly close tallies reported by Florida in 2000, Paulos, author of the New York Times best-seller, Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences and, his latest, A Numerate Life: A Mathematician Explores the Vagaries of Life, His Own and Probably Yours, explains how he still "regrets" his mathematical analysis of the race at the time, which ended up being cited by the courts during the legal battle that eventually stopped the tally of paper ballots in Florida.

(For the record, yes, had Florida counted all of the ballots in the state at the time, as the Times reported on November 12, 2001 --- so you are forgiven, if you didn't notice --- Gore would likely have won the state, "no matter what standard was chosen to judge voter intent.")

"People talk about the 'Butterfly Effect' in dynamical systems [ed note: as opposed to the Butterflly Ballots in Palm Beach County, FL!], where tiny little initial differences lead to huge disparities down the road. This was, in a sense, a case where I was the little butterfly flapping its wings in South America leading, after many intermediate events, to a hurricane in New Orleans."

"In retrospect, obviously, I wish I hadn't done that," Paulos tells me about his op-ed, published 15 years ago last month, adding: "As a moral tiebreaker, Gore won almost half a million more votes nationwide. At the very least, they should have flipped a coin" and "Oh, yeah, they should have counted the ballots. That's what should have happened."

Finally, speaking of the consequences of elections and actually counting votes to determine the intent of voters, we conclude today's show by discussing how the George W. Bush administration allowed North Korea to obtain the atomic bombs that the rogue nation is once again using to threaten the world. Yes, more fallout from the disastrous Bush Administration, still affecting us today because we failed to count the voters' ballots.

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GUEST: Election integrity watchdog Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org...
By Brad Friedman on 1/7/2016 5:49pm PT  

Last year ended with a number of voter database breaches --- from the Sanders/Clinton/DNC database kerfuffle to the discovery of the still-mysterious posting of some 191 million voter records online shortly thereafter.

But those concerns may pale in comparison to the fact that the nation is about to begin voting in Presidential primaries and caucuses using electronic voting systems and tabulators that have failed time and again, that remain vulnerable to both malfunction and malfeasance, and that are often impossible for the public to oversee in any meaningful way.

On today's BradCast: Welcome to Presidential Election 2016! Good luck! (We're gonna need it.)

Joining us to discuss the voter database breaches as well as concerns about election integrity and oversight in early caucus and primary states such as Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and beyond is Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org.

Harris, the election integrity watchdog featured in HBO's Emmy-nominated 2006 documentary Hacking Democracy, has been investigating and writing about those voter database breaches lately, including a new one that has just been discovered concerning tens of millions of additional voter records.

While voter registration databases actually contain public information, she explains, there are restrictions on their use, and they are not supposed to simply be posted publicly for download. "This stuff is not secure. It'll probably never be secure," she warns. "One of the things I did was really research how many of the breaches have occurred over time, and it's a shocking number. You can't secure this stuff." As we discuss on today's program, that point is something to keep in mind when you hear advocates of Internet Voting systems (the next nightmare that some hope to force upon American democracy) claim otherwise.

We then step through the differing voting processes used in each of the early voting states, with Harris explaining that completely unverified and/or unverifiable e-voting and tabulation systems --- most of them hacked many times in the past --- will once again be in use in every state in the union. Yes, even where hand-marked paper ballots are used, almost all of those ballots are tabulated by unverified computer systems.

"I'm not at war with a machine," she explains. "I'm at war with no transparency. We have to be able to have some way to see and authenticate that count, before the ballots travel anywhere."

Harris tells me: "The key here is not that there will never be a mistake, or never be fraud. The key is that the public has a right to accountability. If you can catch it, and do something about it --- if you're vigilant enough and doing a patriotic duty of vigilance --- then that's the whole point. When you start saying, 'No, you can never see, you can never account for it,' then you have a problem."

We discuss how it was, in fact, public oversight of hand-counted paper ballots at GOP caucus sites in Iowa in 2012 which resulted in the correct results actually becoming known weeks later, long after the Republican Party misreported them on the night of the caucuses.

Transparency, however, is not quite as easy in other early voting states like New Hampshire (remember the unbelievably unverified mess there in 2008, when Hillary Clinton's victory defied even Exit Polls taken on the day of the Primary?) and, especially, South Carolina (remember the unknown Alvin Greene's 100% unverifiable and inexplicable victory in their 2010 Democratic U.S. Senate primary?)

"There's not just one magic wand you can wave, but there are things to at least force some accountability into it," Harris tells me, describing some of the ways election integrity advocates can try to force the issue a bit. Among her suggestions: "You can go [to the polling place at closing time] and snap a picture of what those [computer tabulated] results are with your cell phone and compare it with, at least, what they report" later on.

We cover a lot of ground in the conversation and I suspect we'll be discussing this issue with her, and others, a lot more as the election year moves forward. But today's show is a good place to begin.

Finally, speaking of warnings we keep trying to give you, Desi Doyen joins us for the very first Green News Report of the new year as El Niño --- turbo-charged by climate change --- ravaged the globe over the holidays and beyond...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 1/7/2016 1:23pm PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Britain's new flood defenses already overwhelmed; Record extreme weather over the holidays turbocharged by El Nino and climate change; State of emergency for Flint, MI water crisis; State of emergency for massive CA natural gas leak; PLUS: TransCanada sues Obama over Keystone XL pipeline rejection... 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): Italian Mob's Toxic Waste Dumping Is Giving People Cancer; EPA Says Pesticide Harms Bees In Some Cases; Oil Prices Decline More Than 5 Percent as Stockpiles Increase; U.S. Wildfires Burned Record Area In 2015: Agriculture Department; U.S. Issues New Dietary Guidelines That Will Change The Way You Eat; FDA Just Banned These Chemicals in Food. Are They the Tip of Iceberg?; The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare... PLUS: British Coal, the End of a Mining Industry... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




GUEST: Stewart Rhodes, President and Founder of OathKeepers.org
PLUS: Obama's announces executive action to take on America's gun scourge...
By Brad Friedman on 1/5/2016 5:16pm PT  

On today's BradCast, I'm back! And with huge thanks to Nicole Sandler of the awesome RadioOrNot.com for filling in for me and Desi over the holidays to help us get some some much-needed time off!

First up on today's show: President Obama announces his Executive Actions to combat the scourge of gun violence in this country.

Then, I'm joined by Stewart Rhodes, Founder and President of Oath Keepers, a group which describes itself as "a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders, who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to 'defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.'"

While the Oath Keepers were on the front lines of the armed 2014 standoff against the federal government at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada, Rhodes has declined to join the ongoing armed take-over of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon by other members of the so-called "Patriot Movement," including two of rancher Cliven Bundy's sons.

Rhodes explains how he believes the showdown at the Bundy Ranch differs from the current situation at Malheur. He claims the former resulted in stopping the "assassination" of the Bundy clan by federal officials, whereas, in the latter case, "I haven't seen any direct threat to anybody's life."

He describes one of the men holed up in the federal Oregon facility as "either insane or an agent provocateur who...wants to see violence," and another as a "loose cannon idiot who has a martyr complex." He suggests that Bundy's son Ammon, who helped lead the takeover in Oregon, is "naive" and "has people right there with him who are unstable, who may initiate violence."

"They want to go down in a glorious firefight," Rhodes warns about at least two of the individuals. "If they don't get that, it's entirely possible they might initiate it." And while the other Bundy son, Ryan, has reportedly said he was "willing to kill and be killed if necessary," in the stand-off, Rhodes rejects the idea that the men are "terrorists".

I also pressed Rhodes about critiques of his own organization, which has been described as "conspiracy theorists", "vigilantes", "rightwing extremists" and even "racists" at various times. Many have accused them and others in the Patriot and Militia Movements of looking to pick fights with the federal Government. I ask him why his group and others like it didn't come to the aid of the Occupy Movement when those peaceful protests were brutally crushed by local, state and federal officials back in 2011 and why they haven't been louder in opposition to the ongoing epidemic of police violence across the country.

We also discussed the claims made in a Rolling Stone feature article this week, charging that former Oath Keeper Sam Andrews was drummed out of the group for attempting to organize with African-Americans in Ferguson, MO. Rhodes calls Andrews a "liar".

As to the Bundys, Rhodes claims the family took advantage of his group back in 2014. "We didn't go there to get cattle back. We went there to keep the Bundy family from being murdered. They then took advantage of that situation and went and got their cattle back," he tells me. "They didn't say 'come help us with armed supporters to go get our cattle back'. That's not what they did. They said 'we're about to be murdered, come protect us'. And so Ammon Bundy has displayed the propensity to deceive people. And he's doing that right now [in Oregon.]"

There was a lot more in our spirited conversation --- we both agree, for example, about the outrage of "minimum sentencing" laws of the type at the center of the current dispute up in Oregon right now, as well as at the heart of the so-called "Drug War" --- but you'll have to give the full show a listen for complete details...

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

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GUEST: Dr. Joe Romm on the historic U.N. Paris Agreement and beyond
PLUS: KY's new GOP Guv disenfranchises 140,000; Trump supporter arrested with bomb...
By Brad Friedman on 12/23/2015 5:41pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we've got both good news and bad at year's end.

First up, Kentucky's new 'Tea Party' Republican Governor Matt Bevin revokes the restoration of voting rights for 140,000 former felons as instituted by the former Democratic Governor. That, after the dubious and completely unverified results of the state's November gubernatorial contest. Yes, as we've noted for well over a decade now, elections matter! Bevin also did away with the previous governor's increase to the minimum wage for state workers, while he was at it.

Also today, quick news on the Trump supporter (a middle-aged white guy) arrested with a bomb after threatening to kill Muslims at a mosque in California more than two weeks ago. Also, a quick word on the record number of sign-ups this year at Healthcare.gov for new and renewed health insurance policies thanks to the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare").

Then, I'm joined by Dr. Joe Romm, editor of Climate Progress and former Asst. Sec. of Energy in the Bill Clinton Administration, after his return from Paris where the UN struck its historic agreement just over one week ago to curb greenhouse gasses that cause global warming.

As usual, Romm offers extremely informed and helpful insight, including his explanation for how the UN talks began earlier this month with the challenging goal of an agreement that would keep global temps from rising any higher than 2 degrees Centigrade, but surprisingly ended with an landmark pact that included the aspirational goal of 1.5C.

"It became clear from just looking at the science that there's nothing safe about 2 degrees Centigrade," he explains. "What we've learned in the last 18 months, with the instability in the West Antarctic ice sheet, and all the extreme weather events that we're already seeing, and the brutal droughts we're seeing in this country and elsewhere, that we're already at dangerous impacts, and we're only at 1 degree Centigrade of warming. So, I think that reality did set in." He adds: "If you want to limit to 2 degrees Centigrade total warming, the planet's net emissions have to go to zero by the end of the century. So, pretty much every country is going to have to go to zero."

Romm details exactly what that means and echoes remarks from my interview with Dr. Michael Mann last week, where Mann declared that the Paris Agreement signals the "end of the age of fossil fuels."

"We are talking about the end of the fossil-fuel driven Industrial Revolution that began 250 or so years ago," Romm tells me. "And that's why, in some senses, this is such a big deal. Because you literally had every single significant country in the world, large and small, rich and poor, all sign on to this agreement, which recognizes, yeah, the age of fossil fuels is coming to an end."

We cover a number of the steps ahead ("I was describing this as Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope. We have a lot more battles before us.") during our wide-ranging conversation that also includes his complaints about Bill Gates' big new clean tech fund, and his response to the charge by NASA's former chief scientist Dr. James Hansen that the Paris Agreement is a "fraud".

"I think we're certainly at an inflection point," says Romm. "You know, change happens slowly, until it happens quickly. I tend to think we have now entered the phase of much more rapid changed than people expected."

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

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GUESTS: Journalists David Dayen and Jacki Schechner...
By Brad Friedman on 12/21/2015 4:42pm PT  

The DNC seems to have wanted their Democratic Presidential Debate in New Hampshire over the weekend to remain a secret. Otherwise, why would have they have scheduled it on the Saturday before Christmas?!

On today's BradCast, we spoil the secret by talking about that and everything else that actually went on during Saturday's debate on ABC between Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley.

Joining me are financial journalist David Dayen of The Fiscal Times, Salon, The Intercept and everywhere else and health care reform advocate and journalist Jacki Schechner, formerly of CNN and CurrentTV.

Among the issues covered in today's post-debate coverage and analysis:

  • Do voters actually care about last Friday's database breach by the Sanders campaign?
  • Is the DNC 'in the bag' for Hillary Clinton?
  • Do Democrats play into GOP/corporate media narratives by spending so much time discussing ISIS and terrorism?
  • Is there any real daylight between Clinton and Bernie Sanders' positions on gun safety reform?
  • Does Martin O'Malley bring anything to the contest that Clinton and Sanders don't already have covered?
  • Why did ABC News spend so much time on Republicans during Saturday's Democratic debate?
  • Does the math really work for Sanders' plan to provide free college tuition to all public colleges and universities by instituting a tax on Wall Street transactions?
  • Does the math really work for Sanders' call for a single payer health care system?
  • Did ABC's Martha Raddatz completely misinform America in her question to Clinton concerning Obamacare?

All of that and much more on today's BradCast, as expertly answered by Dayen and Schechner! Especially helpful to those of you who might have had something else to do on a Saturday night before Christmas...like, I dunno, go see Star Wars!

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

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Or, if you prefer, 'The Farce Awakens'...
By Brad Friedman on 12/18/2015 5:39pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Congress and the President leave D.C. for the holidays, but not before coming together to pass a huge, bi-partisan(!) spending and tax bill.

Peace on Earth? Not quite, but its a start, as Obama noted in his year end press conference today.

In the meantime, another massive reporting failure from the New York Times (once again) creates confusion for the nation following the recent terror attack in San Bernardino, prompting its Public Editor to call for "systematic change" in the way stories are reported at the nation's so-called "paper of record".

The Bernie Sanders campaign files suit against the DNC after being shut out from their own voter database following charges that his campaign inappropriately accessed Hillary Clinton's voter data after a firewall went down on the DNC's server. Sanders' supporters are crying foul against the Democratic Party, just one day before the next 2016 Democratic Presidential Debate (which is, again, being hidden on a Saturday --- this one, just before Christmas --- and on the same weekend the new Star Wars movie opens.)

And finally, the nation continues to cower in fear --- making GOP Presidential candidates very happy, no doubt --- as another entire school district gets shuts down on Friday over something even more absurd than what led to the shutdown of the L.A. school system earlier this week. Are we becoming South Park Nation? That news (and much more) at week's end may suggest as much.

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

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