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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Sanders, Clinton Surrogates Clash Over Democratic Party Platform: 'BradCast' 6/29/16
Guest: Ben Norton of Salon on the fight for progressive reform; Also: Trump seeks torture, CA seeks weed, some seek 'Texit'...
1000s of CA Primary Votes 'Saved' by Citizen Observer: 'BradCast' 6/28/16
'Ballots for Bernie' vote count observer Julie Tyler explains how she helped change L.A. County's provisional tally rules...
'Green News Report' 6/28/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Deadly WV flooding, CA fires; World emissions pact undermined by Brexit?; VW to pay $15B in emissions scandal; PLUS: TransCanada demands $15B from U.S. for KXL rejection...
Previous GNRs: 6/23/16 - 6/21/16 - Archives...
Sunday Stay or Go Toons
Some sit in, others find the exit in Pdiddie's latest collection of the week's best political toons from all sides of the pond...
Brexit: If it Could Happen There...: 'BradCast' 6/24/16
Also: NC voter suppression back in court; TX spending millions on unlawful Photo ID law; Did NY voter purge hurt Sanders or Clinton more?; Climate change death toll rising in WV, China...
SCOTUS on Immigration, Aff-Action; Dems End Gun 'Sit-in': 'BradCast' 6/23/16
Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser explains new Court rulings; and we cover far more breaking news than we can even fit here...
'Green News Report' 6/23/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Last CA nuke plant will close; Judge nixes Obama's fracking rules; Study: Toxic chemicals found in residents near fracking sites; PLUS: Researchers turn carbon emissions into stone...
Previous GNRs: 6/21/16 - 6/16/16 - Archives...
FL Rep.: Dems to 'Sit-In' Until Vote or GOP 'Hauls People Off Floor': 'BradCast' 6/22/16
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) explains House protest, calls GOP shutdown of C-SPAN 'astonishing', lack of vote on guns 'disgusting'...
Was Orlando the 'Worst Mass Shooting in U.S. History?': 'BradCast' 6/21/16
Guest: USC historian Ariela J. Gross | ALSO: Trump's disastrous fundraising numbers; New polls; 700th 'GNR'!...
'Green News Report' 6/21/16
OUR 700TH EPISODE!!! Record heat in S.W.; Bernie wants YOU to fight climate change; PLUS: Obama climate change warning for national parks...
About That 'Stolen' Democratic Primary: 'BradCast' 6/20/16
Brad has a few thoughts. Plus: Sanders' call for progressive candidates and GOP/NRA/Trump gun lies, and more evidence elections matter...
Sunday Keepin' Bear Toons
The nation's political cartoonists on Orlando. 'PDiddie' rounds up political cartoonists response to Orlando and the end of Primary season...
Broken Party; Bernie's Message; Hillary Rising: 'BradCast' 6/17/16
A year into Trump. Sanders 'revolution' just starting? 'Red' states could turn 'blue'...
Former CDC Injury Chief on Federal Gun Research 'Ban': 'BradCast' 6/16/16
Dr. Mark Rosenberg on his 1996 'Dickey Amendment' showdown w/ Congress, NRA; Also: Dem 'filibuster' forces gun votes, Obama in Orlando...
'Green News Report' 6/16/16
House GOP to roll back pollution standards; May 2016 hottest on record; Clean Power Plan saves $38b/year; PLUS: Trump for climate action before against it...
Bullets and Ballots: 'BradCast' 6/15/16
Fights over both continue, after Orlando Massacre and Presidential primary voting. We cover the latest on both, take listener calls, and more...
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: Historian Ben Railton of Fitchburg State University...
By Brad Friedman on 10/2/2015 5:58pm PT  

In the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Oregon on Thursday, President Obama asked Americans to address the epidemic of mass shootings, in part, by turning to the ballot box. We concur. And we've got a great idea about who to vote out of office first on today's BradCast!

Then: Are Muslims the new Catholics? Ben Railton, Associate Professor of English and American Studies at Fitchburg State University, joins us to discuss the historical parallels he recently documented at Talking Points Memo, between centuries of anti-Catholic sentiment in the U.S. and today's similarly toxic political rhetoric regarding Muslims.

2016 GOP Presidential candidate Ben Carson's recent assertions that a Muslim must "renounce Islam" before he'd consider them qualified to be President of the United States is just one example that echoes a similar sentiment about Catholics earlier in this country's history.

"It can seem like something 19th century, something really distant, but as recently as half a century ago, there was a pretty sustained debate in our mainstream political media, our body politic" Railton tells me, "of the genuine concern on behalf of many that any Catholic --- including John F. Kennedy, the candidate for President --- would owe a first allegiance not to anything within the United States, not to America, not to the American government or the American people, but to that entity, that foreign scary place, the Vatican and the Pope and the Catholic Church."

"Many of the fears that are directed at Muslim-Americans and Muslim communities are directed at the idea of these communities and their customs and beliefs, themselves representing an internal threat," he explains, while going on to remind us that, even with a well-established Muslim community in the U.S. at its founding ("We have Muslim-American communities going back to the Revolutionary Era...so fears of religious 'others' do date back to the very beginning"), this country's Constitutional framers determined there would be no religious test for the highest office in the land.

Railton's message is ultimately a very an encouraging one --- we have, it seems, finally moved beyond our fear of a Papal takeover in this country, after all, so we are likely to do the same with Muslims --- but is that historic comparison an appropriate analogue given the threat so many feel of an actual hostile takeover by Islamic extremists? We discuss.

Finally today, as ironic as it might be, the best news of all may well come from Desi Doyen and our latest Green News Report. How often does that happen?!...

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

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GUEST: ACLU voting rights attorney Julie Ebenstein
PLUS: All of today's grim breaking news to remind us why voting matters...
By Brad Friedman on 10/1/2015 5:52pm PT  

We start today's BradCast with the grim news of yet another mass shooting, this time in Oregon, and a massive storm bearing down on the U.S. East Coast.

As too-occasional BRAD BLOG contributor D.R. Tucker noted: "We have a superstorm on the East Coast brought to us by a problem right-wingers refuse to acknowledge, followed by another massive school shooting caused by a problem right-wingers refuse to do anything about."

But we can do something about it. We can vote those folks out of office. But, of course, only if we're allowed to vote.

Today we discuss two states, specifically (and a few more, generally) controlled by Republicans where they are making it much more difficult for many of their voters to vote. First, the state of Alabama has announced it will shut down 31 DMV offices, after the state's new Photo ID voting restriction just went into effect last year. You'll be shocked to learn that the closures disproportionately affect voters in the state's "Black Belt", including the closure of offices in "Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters."

Then, in Iowa, we look at the ongoing legal challenge to the more than 100,000 former felons who have fully completed their sentences, but are being kept from voting for life by one man: the state's Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, who, by executive order, has rolled back Iowa's previous policy that had automatically restored voting rights to former, non-violent felons.

ACLU Voting Rights attorney Julie Ebenstein, who spent years fighting similar voter suppression tactics by Republicans in Florida, joins us on today's program to discuss the latest legal battle(s) for the right to vote in the Hawkeye State (and elsewhere).

"It's shameful the way that we treat our fellow citizens because of a prior conviction, sometimes decades ago," Ebenstein tells me. "The confluence of over-criminalization, mass incarceration, and the ongoing collateral consequences of that --- which is disenfranchisement, sometimes for life --- is something that really rips at our democracy."

It is shameful. As Think Progress noted earlier this year, "in the 2008 election, 5.3 million Americans, or one in 40 adults, were unable to vote due to a felony conviction, according to the Sentencing Project." But, as bad as that is, it's even worse for African Americans. "Nationally, 2.2 million --- or one in every 13 --- black adults is disenfranchised."

And as bad as that is, Ebenstein explains, it's even worse in Florida which, she notes, "like Iowa, has a lifetime ban on voting for people who have committed a felony. And, as a result of that, there's over 1.5 million citizens in Florida who are disenfranchised. So that's about 10 per cent of the voting population --- 1 in 5 African-American men in Florida --- who remain disenfranchised."

Also today: Oklahoma halts all scheduled executions indefinitely following the state's latest death penalty disaster. And a quick look at Bernie Sanders' rather extraordinary fund-raising operation, built on small donations from the Internet, as the independent Vermont Senator almost outraised Hillary Clinton in the third quarter of 2015.

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

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Guest: Neela Banerjee, co-author of an explosive report on Exxon's long knowlege of man-made global warming and their efforts to obscure it
Also today: Shell out of the Arctic; NASA's big discovery; Obama and Putin at the U.N....
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2015 5:04pm PT  

On today's BradCast, first, a number of breaking news items, including Shell Oil coming up dry and calling an end (for now) to their misadventurous quest for oil in the otherwise pristine Arctic; NASA announcing the discovery of flowing liquid water on Mars, allowing for the possibility of human travel to the planet; And Presidents Obama and Putin both addressing the U.N. General Assembly, offering conflicting assessments of the worsening crisis in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Then, I'm joined by Neela Banerjee, investigative journalist at Inside Climate News, to discuss the Pulitzer Prize winning organization's explosive new series of reports revealing that Exxon's scientists had confirmed the catastrophic effects of man-made global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels as long ago as 1977. But, rather than continue their work on that finding, they turned tail in an attempt to obscure their own science with the massive funding of climate change denial front groups.

"In the '70s and '80s they really wanted to be seen as a leader in climate research because they understood the implications of climate change for their business as a fossil fuel producer," Banerjee explains. She says Exxon "thought that the best way to shape whatever policies would emerge to limit fossil fuel emissions...was do really good science and have a seat at the table. That's obviously different from the approach they started taking in 1989."

Banerjee, formerly a New York Times reporter and now co-author of Inside Climate's multi-part series based on months of digging into four decades of company documents and interviews with former Exxon scientists and other employees, goes on to explain the known circumstances of the company's sudden about-face to become a major funding source for the denialist movement.

"Even before the question of CO2 appeared on the scene and started to shape their thinking about continuing to produce fossil fuels, Exxon was already starting to think of potentially becoming a diversified energy company," she tells me, detailing the company's early work on lithium ion batteries, solar and nuclear energy and even hybrid cars. "Exxon had this mindset that they were not just wedded to oil and gas."

But then, with a drop in oil prices, things changed, including leadership at the company. Exxon began discussing "uncertainty and kept cherry-picking quotes from scientists to say that there was too much that was unclear to warrant enormous action on cutting back fossil fuels and changing our economy." In other words, they knew, they denied, and they didn't seem to care.

I also ask Banerjee about the lack of corporate mainstream media coverage of her remarkable series --- (even MSNBC has failed to cover it) --- and she describes how its even worse than I had realized. We also discuss whether Exxon (and other Big Oil entities) might face legal liability for obscuring the known harm caused by their products in the same way that Big Tobacco eventually did.

Lots of revealing conversation on all of that and more on today's BradCast...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2015 5:49pm PT  

News is breaking like crazy today. We do our best to cover it all on today's BradCast, along with yet another new chapter in the long and shameful history of voter suppression by Republicans in the state of Florida.

Among the stories covered on today's thrilling, action-packed adventure!...

• The sudden resignation of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner; the gleeful reaction to it from Republicans; who might replace him, and who the hell would want to?

• China and the U.S. come to an 'understanding' on cyberhacks...at least some of them...as President Obama meets with President Xi Jinping in Washington D.C.

• Pope-mania continues, as Francis wows 'em at the U.N. General Assembly in New York City today.

• And we take a trip back down to Florida, where new audio recordings, revealing evidence of a blatant vote suppression scheme in the Sunshine State, remind us (yet again) why it is so outrageous that the Rightwingers on the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the federal Voting Rights Act...

All of that, plus China announces a nationwide cap-and-trade program to curb carbon emissions; AP has a new way to describe climate change deniers, and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report...

Download MP3 or listen to the 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: Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network...
By Brad Friedman on 9/24/2015 6:01pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Pope Francis' historic addresses to the U.S. Congress on the heels of his landmark remarks at the White House yesterday.

Rev. Mitch Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network --- an organization working to bridge the partisan gaps on climate stewardship --- joins us to discuss both. He was at the White House on Wednesday for the Pope's address there and joined the throngs on the Mall in D.C. today. He describes the experience yesterday as "probably my most memorable experience".

He explains why that is and how the event has given him hope that we may get out of "our partisan silos" and "actually accomplish something in the United States. Instead of just having these partisan divides. We could agree on the things we agree on, and least dialogue on the things that we don't agree on."

We discuss why it is that, following the call for action on climate change and global warming from previous Popes we did not have the same kind of denialist response from the Right as we are now seeing. "What the Pope does more than anything else," Hescox says, "is he puts the issues of climate change...about being as pro-life, about being hope for rebuilding the economy, about sustainable energy for all. And that's the kind of language that, I think, awakens conservatives --- both theologically and political.

"I think that puts a little fear in people that the momentum is gathering against those who would differ on climate change, for all sorts of reasons... And it also puts fear in those whose way of life and, quite honestly, maybe whose funding sources may change."

Hescox rebuts the GOP/Fox "News" notion that Francis is "being political" in his positions on climate and other (suddenly) controversial issues. "He stands in the tradition of the Bible, which mandates to care for the Earth, to be good stewards of it and certainly, as we all know, to care for 'the least of these', which climate change impacts the most severely, both here in this country and around the world."

"Pastor Mitch" was last on the show in June, following the release of the Pope's encyclical on climate change. He tells me today that, since then, he's seen "a groundswell building" in the religious communinty and even saw, by way of one example, his own "moderate" Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), "support the EPA's Clean Power Plan basically because of his faith, because of the Pope's actions."

In the meantime, however, GOPers continue to try and marginalize the Pope as "meddling in politics" or, worse, as a "false Pope". Those folks are roundly criticized and held up to the ridicule they so richly deserve on today's program...which also includes one of the funniest moments in BradCast history. (At least in my opinion --- if not Desi Doyen's.)

Also today: More than 700 Muslim pilgrims are killed during an horrific stampede near a holy site in Saudi Arabia.

Download MP3 or listen to the complete program online below...

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Guest: John Nichols of The Nation | PLUS: Hillary finally takes a position on the Keystone XL pipeline...
By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2015 5:02pm PT  

On today's BradCast...

First: The Nation's Washington Correspondent and Wisconsin native son John Nichols joins us to explain what went wrong with the Walker campaign and what to expect in the wake of a state Supreme Court Justice dying yesterday in court.

"The fantasy," upon which Walker's campaign was built, Nichols tells me, "was that Americans hate trade unions so much --- they hate living wages, they hate good benefits, they hate weekends off, they hate vacations --- so much, that they were ready to elect a guy whose only argument for himself was that he got in a fight with the unions. And when Walker actually got the spotlight and he started talking about his record, what he wanted to do, everybody got bored in about five minutes."

Even Republicans "said, 'what else do you have for us?'," he says. "In fact a fifth of Republicans say they think unions should be stronger. So the notion that there's some scorching anti-union sentiment out there isn't true."

Nichols contends it wasn't a lack of funding that did Walker in, but he also explains why the Koch Brothers --- who have long been Walker's his biggest supporters --- didn't bother riding to his rescue. "When you play with billionaires, they always set the rules of the game," he explains.

Also, Nichols details how yesterday's sudden death of state Supreme Court Justice N. Patrick Crooks could shake up the balance of the court --- perhaps even more in Scott Walker's favor than it already is --- as another contentious court election battle now looms once again in the Badger State.

Next: The U.S. Judicial Conference sends its report [PDF] to the U.S. Congress on the now-resigned and long-disgraced U.S. District Court Judge Mark F. Fuller, following his arrest on domestic violence charges last year. Turns out, as we've long suspected and reported, Fuller was found, during the year-long investigation, to be a serial wife-beater.

"Judge Fuller physically abused [his second wife] Kelli Fuller at least eight times, both before and after they married, which included and culminated in the assault that took place on August 9, 2012, in the Riz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Atlanta, Georgia," the cover letter on the report to Congress reads. The Special Commission of federal judges investigating the matter also found the Judge lied (committed perjury) to the panel of federal judges carrying out the probe, and should be impeached by Congress for his "reprehensible conduct", even though he has already resigned.

I offer details and background on the full case on today's program, including information on Fuller's lifetime appointment to the federal bench by George W. Bush in 2002, his participation in the Karl Rove-cabal takedown of Alabama's Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman (who is still in federal prison following his sentencing by Fuller), and more.

My full report on this latest Fuller news, including some of the apparently false information his attorney offered me earlier this year (which I declined to report at the time), and Kelli Fuller's chilling 911 call from that hotel room in Atlanta last year, is now posted here.

Finally: Mid-show today, we received word that Hillary Clinton finally decided to take a public position on the Keystone XL pipeline. We've got her announcement and reaction to it from her fellow Democratic 2016 opponents and even a predictable thought or two from the Republican side of the contest...

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

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Impeachment of now-resigned jurist recommended; Report contradicts prior, unreported claims made by Fuller's attorney to The BRAD BLOG
Gov. Don Siegelman (D-AL), sentenced by corrupt, disgraced, abusive judge who failed to recuse, remains in federal prison as Fuller roams free...
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2015 12:37pm PT  

"Impeachment of former United States District Judge Mark E. Fuller [Middle District, Alabama] may be warranted," according to the Special Committee to the Judicial Council of the U.S. 11th Circuit Court.

While Fuller has already resigned from his lifetime appointment in the wake of his wife-beating scandal, the panel of federal judges found "the severity of the misconduct" by the former jurist so "reprehensible", they believe impeachment may be appropriate nonetheless.

"In the event that the House of Representatives determines in its sound discretion that impeachment is not warranted, this certification may also serve as a public censure of Judge Fuller's reprehensible conduct, which has no doubt brought disrepute to the Judiciary and cannot constitute the 'good behavior' required of a federal judge," U.S. Judicial Conference Secretary James C. Duff wrote in his letter [PDF] to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, accompanying the final report of the Special Committee.

As the panel of federal judges tasked by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court with investigating the 2014 arrest of Alabama's U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller on spousal abuse charges proceeded over the past year, his Birmingham attorney, Barry Ragsdale, was adamant about his client's innocence.

Fuller "never hit, punched, slapped or kicked," his wife Kelli on the night he was hauled away by police from the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta following her chilling call to 911, Ragsdale repeated over and over to any media outlet which would listen.

Judge Fuller made similar "repeated statements under oath before the Special Committee," according to Duff. The Committee found those assertions to be "false."

As we suspected over the past year --- and as both 911 evidence and evidence from the divorce proceedings in Judge Fuller's previous marriage suggested as well --- Ragsdale's assertions on behalf of his client were completely untrue. At least according to the final report issued by that panel of judicial investigators last week.

In an email exchange with The BRAD BLOG earlier this year, Ragsdale even went so far as to describe our detailed coverage of the Fuller affair [see complete index below] as "sensationalized and misleading". He suggested that Fuller's second wife Kelli --- who, during that chilling call to 911, tearily begged for an ambulance, as apparent sounds of battering could be heard through the phone --- had made the entire thing up. Ragsdale claimed she admitted as much under oath during the probe by the judges impaneled to investigate the matter.

"Your blog entries on this case suffer from the very glaring misapprehension that Kelli Fuller was telling the truth when she claimed that Judge Fuller was 'beating on me' to the 911 dispatcher," Ragsdale told The BRAD BLOG via email last March. "The only thing that is clear from the 911 call is that Kelli Fuller was drunk when she made the call."

The Birhimgham attorney asserted that he had "a very decided advantage" over us "when discussing the facts of this matter," due to the fact that he had heard "the sworn testimony of all of the witnesses with knowledge about this case, and I have examined and cross-examined them under oath."

"The truth," Ragsdale continued in one part of his email that we declined to report publicly at the time, "is that even Kelli Fuller has admitted under oath that the 'slap' sounds that you think you hear on the 911 tape were not caused by Judge Fuller hitting her. Instead, Kelli Fuller has admitted under oath that the brief physical altercation between her and Judge Fuller was over before she ever called 911."

He claimed that it was Kelli Fuller who, in fact, "assault[ed]" and "attack[ed]" the judge, who was otherwise lying on the bed, minding his own business while watching TV.

Ragsdale's description of events at the Ritz-Carlton that night appear to be in stark contradiction to the report submitted by the panel of federal judges. They assert that Judge Fuller's behavior towards his wife was far worse than we had reported and included "at least" eight different instances of spousal abuse between Fuller and his second wife Kelli, "both before and after they were married, which included and culminated in the assault that took place on August 9, 2014, in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Atlanta, George," according to Duff's description of the Judicial Conference report.

While we reported some of Ragsdale's comments at the time, we declined to report both his characterization of Kelli Fuller's sworn testimony before the panel of judges, as well as his characterization of the sworn testimony by Fuller's first wife Lisa. In both cases, the testimony had been confidential at the time and it was impossible for us to verify what had or hadn't been said. We had only Ragsdale's word for it. Moreover, as his previous public assertions were often in apparent contradiction from known evidence --- and he was unwilling or unable to offer evidence to back up his assertions about the sworn, confidential testimony and other supposed evidence that he claimed to have access to --- it seemed irresponsible to uncritically publish hearsay and unverifiable claims that he was clearly offering us in hopes of exonerating his own client in the "court of public opinion".

The 11th Circuit Court's Judicial Council report, forwarded to the U.S. Judiciary Council and then to the U.S. House of Representatives last week, as AP notes, paints a very different picture of that probe, declaring that, in fact, Judge Fuller was a serial domestic abuser, whose conduct was nothing short of "reprehensible"...

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




Guest: Howie Klein of Down With Tyranny and Blue America PAC
Plus: NYT notices the GOP is crazy; Trump's plan to 'save Social Security'; and the hottest August ever recorded on the planet...
By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2015 5:11pm PT  

After a week talking (mostly) about sleazy Republicans, we switch to sleazy Democrats today for a bit on The BradCast.

I'm joined by great progressive blogger Howie Klein of DownWithTyranny.com, who is also co-founder of the Blue America PAC, to discuss the recent smear of Bernie Sanders by a Hillary Clinton-supporting Super PAC, which is not supposed to be coordinating with the Clinton campaign or vice versa. But are they?

"There's no chance that it's not coordinated," Klein tells me, while admitting he has no hard evidence. "They'll deny it. It's illegal. If they admitted it, they would all go to jail. But the Clinton campaign, just like the Republican campaigns of Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz and Scott Walker --- they're all coordinating with their SuperPACs."

Klein details his assertions and his thoughts on the $1.2 million raised by Sanders in response to the smear, in the 48 hours after it!

Also, we discuss the absurd fiction of these so-called "SuperPACs", the failure of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to do anything about blatant violations of campaign finance laws, and the remarkable hypocrisy of the DNC and the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) in the wake of the GOP's latest threat to shut down the government, this time over a pretend Planned Parenthood "controversy".

Also today: New York Times finally notices how the Republican Party has lost touch with reality; Donald Trump's ingenious "plan" to "save Social Security"; and Desi Doyen joins us with Green News Report coverage of this week's CNN/GOP debate and the hottest August ever recorded on Planet Earth...

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

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Guests: 2012 GOP Presidential candidate Fred Karger and blogger/journalists Heather Digby Parton...
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2015 4:39pm PT  

On today's BradCast, what else? We dissect last night's GOP debate on CNN at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA.

My guests are fantastic! Our old friend, Heather Digby Parton --- Salon contributor, Hillman Foundation opinion journalism award winner, and proprietor of Digby's Hullabaloo blog --- joins us for the hour!

And I'm delighted to welcome back to The BradCast, Fred Karger, the former longtime Republican political consultant, 2012 GOP Presidential candidate, the first openly gay Presidential candidate from either major party and now "indefatigable" activist for equal rights.

No need to tease too much more, frankly. Find out what "Digby" and Karger, who is still (incredibly enough) a Republican --- though "hanging on by his fingernails" --- thought about last night's circus and if any of it will finally shake the party loose from its Trump fever dreams.

Debate analysis and insight that you won't hear anywhere else --- on what actually matters and what actually doesn't. Enjoy!

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

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Guest: Matthew Menendez of Brennan Center for Justice
Plus: Rain in L.A.; Rightwing Aussie PM ousted; GOPers for climate action; Liberty U. students respond to Sanders...
By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2015 5:16pm PT  

On today's BradCast: The most incredible, embarrassing nonsense you may not have even heard about is going on in the otherwise great state of Kansas, thanks to their extremist rightwing Republican legislature and Governor Sam Brownback.

But, first, it rained in Los Angeles today! Yes, amidst a record 500-year drought, rain actually counts as news these days. I explain, along with Desi Doyen who was also there to witness it. (Oh, and here's that harrowing fire footage we described in today's show.)

As if that's not crazy enough, a group of House Republicans are introducing a resolution that calls for climate action in advance of Pope Francis' visit next week and historic address to Congress, in which he is expected to make the case for taking action to curb global warming (and, also, in favor of the Iran peace deal.)

And that's not the only good news today. Australia's crazy rightwing Prime Minister Tony Abbott was ousted last night in a late night coup by his own party, paving the way for a new Prime Minister who actually believes in stuff like climate change and marriage equality!

But then, of course, our main topic today: More on what the hell is the matter with Kansas. Brennan Center for Justice's Democracy Program attorney Matthew Menendez joins us for an update on the cases he (and a number of other groups) have filed against Brownback on the heels of legislation the Governor signed that would defund the entire state Judiciary system if the courts have the temerity to strike down Brownback's legislation concerning education funding and restructuring (rigging) the judiciary.

"What they passed says if the outcome in a particular lawsuit came out a particular way, then the entire judicial appropriations was no longer valid," Menendez explains. Well, guess what? The court has just found against the state! So, now what?

"This is very troubling," Menendez tells me, detailing how the plaintiffs have been forced to seek a stay on the court's ruling (in their favor!) in order to keep the GOP law from kicking in and defunding the entire court! "In America, where we firmly believe --- or profess to --- in separation of powers, it's essential that judicial salaries not be threatened if legislators disagree with one of their rulings."

So much for the "conservative" belief in the Constitution's co-equal branches of government. Menendez tells me what has just happened in KS, where the cases are now, and what is expected to happen next in what he says could turn into "just a complete constitutional crisis."

Finally, on yesterday's program we played some of 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' remarks at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University as he attempted to reach out and find common ground with some of the 12,000 "conservative" students in attendance. Today, we hear from some of those students as they react to Sanders' speech. Suffice to say, reaching out to those who think they don't agree with you may be a very wise thing to do in today's divided and divisive media world.

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/11/2015 5:52pm PT  

Seriously. To hell with false balance.

On today's BradCast: a ton of news on Election 2016 --- from the horse race (as ridiculous as it's become) to the horrible track conditions on which the horses will be running, as Americans try to vote and have their vote counted, counted accurately and in a way that they can know it's been counted accurately.

Meanwhile, the media, particularly the New York Times continue to confuse repeating with reporting on both voter suppression and climate change --- and they actually appear to be getting worse, not better. So, Desi Doyen joins us to debunk the latest global warming denial nonsense from GOPers Trump, Fiorina and, yes, Palin with none of the Times' 'he said, she said' false balance.

And finally, we finish with some thoughts very much worth pondering from Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch and The Nation on this 14th anniversary of 9/11.

That's a very short description for a very busy, news-packed show today. Enjoy!...

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

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Guest: NatSec journo Shane Harris on his startling Daily Beast exclusive
Also: New Presidential politics and polling news and MUCH more today...
By Brad Friedman on 9/10/2015 6:11pm PT  

Today's BradCast is packed with news from top to bottom. Please buckle up before listening.

First, Big Oil's deceptive scam in California (as discussed on yesterday's show) has succeeded, for now, as Dems pull landmark legislation that would have called for a 50% cut in petroleum usage in the state.

Then, new polling finds Bernie Sanders overtaking Hillary Clinton now in Iowa, as well as New Hampshire, while the party's internecine battle over more debates continues. On the GOP side, candidates not named Trump are flailing as they desperately try to get attention. It's not working --- neither is their lost hopes of scuttling the Iran peace plan.

Next, author and national security correspondent Shane Harris joins us to discuss his disturbing new exclusive at The Daily Beast on 50 U.S. intelligence analysts now reportedly charging that the U.S. has been "cooking" its intel on ISIS.

The still-unnamed military intelligence analysts working for CENTCOM, as Harris explains, are reportedly seeing some of their own reports manipulated by higher-ups. "Key pieces of [their analyses] that they feel are very important [are being] taken out, not given the proper context, [and] in some cases making it look like ISIS and al Qaeda are weaker than these analysts actually believe they are."

So are these charges akin to the way intel on Iraq and WMD was manipulated by the Bush Administration in the 2002/2003 lead-up to war, as revealed by the notorious Downing Street Memos ("the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy")? Or are these claims more akin to the hyperventilation over unsubstantiated allegations from the Right concerning Benghazi?

Harris tells me his reporting suggests it is more likely the former than the latter, though it remains unclear who is behind the alleged manipulation of intel and how high up it might go, even if proven true. "What I think is notable is that these 50 --- actually 52 --- professionals who are doing this every day, to go against their bosses, to take this to the IG is a very bold move. They feel very strongly that they have a case," he explains. "I've never seen anything like this. Usually whistle-blowers are in ones and twos, but for a group of people en masse to complain like this is certainly unique in my experience as a reporter."

We discuss who may be behind the alleged "cooking" of the intel and whether President Obama or the White House is somehow directing all of this as the Bush/Cheney Administration was doing in the case of the manipulated intel on Iraq. Tune in for Harris' response to those questions and many others, in what seems, at least as of now, a startling, if still-developing story.

Finally, our latest Green News Report is also a very busy one today, and not only because it includes several fresh examples of Sarah Palin's unparalleled ignorance...

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

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Guest: Timothy O'Connor of the Environmental Defense Fund...
By Brad Friedman on 9/9/2015 5:41pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the facts behind the insanely deceptive political ads blanketing the airwaves in California claiming the state will soon start "rationing gas" and "penalize and fine us if we drive too much or use too much gas".

Attorney Timothy O'Connor, Director of the Environmental Defense Fund's California Climate Initiative joins us to explain the absurd Big Oil-funded DontTakeMyGas.org campaign. You'll be shocked to learn that it's sponsored, to the tune of millions of dollars, by the scam artists of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) in hopes of blocking the state's proposed landmark effort (SB-350) to cut petroleum use by 50% by 2030.

"If other states see California --- the nation's leader in gasoline use --- cutting its consumption and its spending," O'Connor tells me, "I think they're going to want some of that for themselves. And that's where I think WSPA really wants to stop this snowball from growing and taking hold, and really rolling into something pretty big nationally."

Also today: Dick Cheney lies again, this time on the Iran Deal; More follow-up on the anti-gay KY County Clerk; And listener calls on all of the above!...

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

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More than 600,000 lawfully registered voters will be disenfranchised during 2015-2016 elections unless the 5th Circuit Court promptly acts...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/9/2015 1:43pm PT  

Early last month, a three-judge, U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeal panel affirmed the lower District Court's finding that Texas' draconian polling place Photo ID restriction (SB14), which threatens to disenfranchise 608,470 legally registered voters (and many others not already registered), violates federal law.

That ruling marked the third occasion in which a federal court has expressly found that the TX Republicans' strict ID law disparately impacted minorities and the poor. "Hispanic registered voters and Black registered voters," the 5th Circuit appellate panel observed in their recent ruling, "were respectively 195% and 305% more likely than their Anglo peers to lack [the requisite Photo] ID" now required to cast a vote at the polls under SB 14.

While the ruling ostensibly struck down SB14, finding it in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), as we have previously explained, those 600k+ lawfully registered voters remain at risk of disenfranchisement during this Fall's 2015 elections and the 2016 Presidential cycle because the appellate panel failed to lift an "emergency" stay of the District Court's original permanent injunction intended to prevent enforcement of an unlawful Photo ID statute.

The failure of the appellate court to lift the stay on the lower court's no-uncertain-terms ruling may not have been problematic if, as contemplated by the 5th Circuit decision's mandate, the case were to be promptly returned to the District Court, which it directed to re-examine a separate issue --- whether the TX Legislature had a "discriminatory purpose" when it enacted SB14. That prompt remand would have permitted the District Court to fashion an interim remedy. Indeed, in its decision, the appellate panel suggested that the District Court issue an order directing TX to accept valid voter registration cards, in lieu of a very narrow handful of state-approved Photo ID, for all voting-related purposes. The 5th Circuit panel also, perhaps somewhat naively, called upon TX to cooperate in the prompt fashioning of that remedy.

Oh, that silly 5th Circuit panel...

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




Guest: Author and Harvard Health Policy Professor Dr. David Hemenway...
By Brad Friedman on 9/8/2015 5:28pm PT  

As noted at the top of today's BradCast, our show changed about five different times right up until air, as we attempted to keep up with busy news events on the ground following the Labor Day weekend.

First up, Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk who was jailed before the weekend after defying court orders to issue marriage licenses was released [PDF] by the Federal Judge who had found her in contempt last week. Waiting for her with a hero's welcome was a crowd of hundreds fomented by former Arkansas Governor turned GOP Presidential candidate turned Fox 'News' host turned GOP Presidential candidate again turned desperately disingenuous opportunist Mike Huckabee.

But what Huckabee failed to note in his defense of Davis --- as do most of the media covering what's going on down there --- is that Davis was sent to jail not for refusing to defy her own conscience as her supporters claim, but for refusing to allow others who disagreed with her in her own office from acting and following their own conscience...not to mention the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution.

Next up today: As the carnage of gun violence continues from coat to coast following the recent, live on-air shootings in Roanoke, Virginia (include another mass shooting at a school here in California and the critical injury of one of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's top legal staffers), we speak to author David Hemenway about solutions, as detailed in his book Private Guns, Public Health.

"People from around the world come and they just cannot understand why the United States allows this to happen --- compared to all the other first world countries and high income countries --- that we are allowing so many Americans to be killed," Hemenway tells me while explaining how our epidemic of gun violence must be regarded as an issue of public health. "First we have to admit we have a problem, and the numbers are just overwhelming."

While he concedes that, no matter what we do, "we are going to have lots and lots of guns in the Unites States," they can and should be made safer. "One of the analogies we make in public health is in the motor vehicle area," Hemenway explains. "Fatalities per mile driven in the United States have fallen over 85% because the cars are so much better, and the roads are so much better. Yes, we ought to look at the individuals [perpetrating the violence] but we can do so much more, so much more cost-effectively, if we also look at the system. Let's make a system where it's hard to make errors, hard to behave inappropriately, and then when still some people do, let's make it that nobody dies."

"For example, we'd like manufacturers to do a better job about making child-proof guns --- which they made 100 years ago --- to make it harder for kids to unintentionally kill themselves. We can say 'You know, it's the kid's fault, it's the parent's fault, it's somebody's fault fault fault,' or we can solve the problem, which is make it so that when you take out the magazine the gun won't fire. It's not rocket science."

Hemenway, Professor of Health Policy and Director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, offers other common sense solutions, including the need for better data collection, currently made scarce by both legislation and intimidation by gun proponents. "Whenever there's a motor vehicle death, we get 150 pieces of information collected consistently and comparably. We want to get good data on the number of guns in households in each state, but the Center for Disease Control is afraid to ask questions about that because they'll get beaten up by Congress."

He also discusses a number of myths from opponents of gun safety laws, including the claim that women need guns to protect themselves from predators and the notion that households are safer with a gun to protect the occupants. "Only about a third of households have guns," Hemenway tells me. "And the two-thirds that don't have guns, turns out they are much, much safer than the one third that does."

Also on today's busy broadcast: Breaking news from the Freddie Gray killing in Baltimore; Breaking news on the Iran Deal from U.S. Senate Democrats; and more...

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

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