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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, September 30, 2016
Trump's Law, Order, Denial: 'BradCast' 9/29/16
Several new and long overdue reports on the GOP nominee's unlawful business practices and a fact-check on his global warming denialism. Oh, and a song!...
'Green News Report' 9/29/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Clinton promotes clean energy, Trump denies his own denial in the first Presidential debate; PLUS: Big Coal tries to kill Obama's landmark emissions standards in federal court...
Previous GNRs: 9/22/16 - 9/20/16 - Archives...
Fallout from the 'Trumpwreck' Debate: 'BradCast' 9/28/16
The public reaction to the first Trump/Clinton Presidential debate --- from polls, betting markets, newspapers and listener callers (lots of them!)...
Trumpwreck: The First Presidential Debate: 'BradCast' 9/27/16
Smart and, at times, hilarious coverage of the Trump/Clinton Hofstra debate, with journalists Heather Digby Parton and David Dayen...
'The Most Audacious Political Heist of Our Time':
'BradCast' 9/26/16
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...


With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/22/2015 11:18am PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Calls grow in Congress for Dept. of Justice to investigate Exxon Mobil for obscuring evidence of climate change; Political change in Canada may mean beginning of the end for the dirty tar sands; 3 out of 4 Americans now accept climate science; Your sunscreen may be damaging coral reefs; PLUS: Surprise! September 2015 was the hottest September ever recorded... 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): Momentum - But Uncertainty - in Final Pre-Paris Climate Talks; Paris Climate Deal Unlikely To Need Senate Approval, Says US Envoy; With Abandoned Gas Wells, States Are Left With The Cleanup Bill; Why Aren't Presidential Candidates Talking about Food and Agriculture?; U.K., China Poised for Accord on $37.9 Billion Nuclear Plant; Three Key Trends in the EV Market; Interactive Map: U.S. cities we could lose to the sea; $20 Million Prize Aims To Get Contestants To Turn Carbon Pollution To Something Useful; Experts: U.S. Must Do More To Protect Energy Grid From Cyberattack... PLUS: Clean energy creates some jobs and destroys others. Here's what that tells us about politics... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




Biden out, Ryan in...Maybe...As original 'funding father' of the modern conservative movement argues 'we are heading towards a cliff'...
By Brad Friedman on 10/21/2015 5:28pm PT  

Joe Biden is out (of the race for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination) and Paul Ryan is in (sort of...for the contest to replace John Boehner as Speaker of the House).

We cover both breaking stories today on The BradCast before settling in for a related, and at times, very lively, conversation with conservative icon Richard Viguerie about what the hell Republicans and 'conservatives' in the so-called Freedom Caucus are thinking at this point, as the GOP Civil War rages over control of the U.S. House and much more.

"I consider myself a conservative, not a Republican," Viguerie clarifies right off the bat. "I do operate in the Republican Party, but do consider myself a conservative, which is the case with many of my national conservative friends. They think of themselves as conservatives, not Republicans."

The 82-year old Viguerie is a legend amongst conservatives. He is regarded by many as the 'funding father' of the movement, thanks to his roll in the creation of direct mail political fund raising. He continues to play a very influential role among Republicans via his books --- such as Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It and Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause --- and the ConservativeHQ.com website, self-described as "the online news source for conservatives and Tea Partiers committed to bringing limited-government constitutional conservatives to power."

Right now, it seems, neither he nor the others at his Conservative HQ site are willing to agree to Ryan's newly issued demands to become the next Speaker. So, what are they and fellow Republicans thinking at this point?

Viguerie says he and those in the so-called Freedom Caucus are "looking for a fighter. The grassroots is white hot with anger at the silence and the ineptness of our supposed leaders out there. And that's what driving this problem with the House Speaker selection right now."

I did my best to press Viguerie on all matter of related issues, including whether he and his conservative compatriots support the U.S. Government defaulting on our loan payments for the first time in history, as may well be the case in the next several weeks if the "debt ceiling" is not raised and a budget is not passed to keep the government open and operating --- which, I tell him, seems very un-conservative to me!

His responses make clear that he is more than willing to take such gambles and has no intention of rolling over for those "Big Government Republicans" that he considers to have sold out the movement. He believes "we are heading towards a cliff," thanks to overspending and tells me that he is is willing to force spending cuts as "part of a deal" to raise the debt limit, even if that results in default or shutdown. "We need to have a conversation with the American people about our priorities."

On the hunt for a Presidential candidate, Viguerie insists: "Voters do not like establishment Republicans. They really do reject them across the board. When I talk to Republicans and they say 'we've got to beat Hillary', I say that's fine, I understand that, but if you nominate an establishment Republican --- a Chris Christie, a Jeb Bush type, a John Kasich --- you're going to lose. The people don't want an establishment Republican."

That's just a taste, of course, of what I'll call our very spirited conversation on all of the above and much more. Listen to the show below and let me know what you think in comments! Enjoy!...

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

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GUEST: Alex Doukas of Oil Change International...
PLUS: More 'voter fraud' fraud in KS; Webb drops out; Several huge green news stories...
By Brad Friedman on 10/20/2015 5:25pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we examine the huge news out of Canada last night as the Liberal Party and its leader Justin Trudeau swept into power and Stephen Harper's Conservative Party government was sent packing.

We speak about the big development with Canadian Alex Doukas of Oil Change International, who explains the election results first in broad terms, specifically for those of us in the U.S. who may not have even realized Canada was holding a major election this week!

Doukas describes the results as "a referendum on Stephen Harper's leadership" as much or more than a "vote of confidence" for the Liberal Party. "Canada's sliding back into recession now, in contrast to a lot of other G7 economies," he tells me. That's "partly a result of the knock-on effects of a low oil price, [and Harper's] nearly single-minded promotion of Canada's oil and gas industry at the expense of other sectors."

"Harper really bet the farm on oil and gas in his policy approach, and he lost that bet," he says. "And, unfortunately, that bad bet is now hurting Canadians."

We discuss what Trudeau's stunning win may mean for the future of energy and climate related issues in Canada, including the Keystone XL pipeline project, Canada's commitment to an international climate treaty, their reliance on a fossil fuel economy and their relationship with the U.S..

"Hopefully," he tells me, "with a new government in power, we'll start to see recognition of the value of economic diversification and a recognition that oil and gas is not the future for Canada, but that clean energy is really a huge opportunity for Canadians."

Doukas goes on to offer extraordinary clarity on all of the above and also offers a thought or two on the Conservative Party's newly implemented vote suppression techniques they seem to have picked up recently: "The Conservatives in Canada were learning lessons around voter disenfranchisement from GOP politicians south of the border. So, thanks for that." You're welcome, Canada!

Also today: More on KS Sec. of State Kris Kobach's outrageous voter suppression; Jim Webb drops out of the 2016 Democratic Presidential race; And much more sea change in today's Green News Report with Desi Doyen...

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

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Congressman charges oil company's 'affirmative campaign against science of climate change' echoes conspiracy case against Big Tobacco...
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2015 6:01pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) joins me to explain the letter [PDF] he sent late last week, with Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), to Attorney General Loretta Lynch seeking an investigation and, if appropriate, prosecution of ExxonMobil.

In light of internal company documents recently unearthed and published by Inside Climate News and by the Los Angeles Times revealing that Exxon knew about the "potentially catastrophic" dangers of global warming as early as 1977 and their subsequent funding of the climate change denial industry in an attempt to obscure their own science, Lieu tells me he believes that a conspiracy case, akin to the one brought against Big Tobacco, would now be appropriate against the world's largest oil producer.

"In the case of [Big] tobacco," Lieu explains on today's program, "it's having knowledge that your product had a tendency to cause harm in people, and then denying that was the case, and affirmatively selling your product in the face of that knowledge."

He believes Exxon's actions are very similar and likely to trigger the broad "conspiracy statute" known as RICO, as successfully brought against the tobacco industry in the largest such prosecution ever.

"It wasn't just that Exxon remained silent and didn't share [what their scientists had confirmed]. They took affirmative steps to campaign against the science of climate change. They funded organizations that obscured the science behind climate change. Their top executives would make statements to say that climate change either isn't happening or 'these are just models that we don't know much about and things are very uncertain'," Lieu tells me. "And keep in mind, they internally took actions to take advantage of global warming," by changing their business strategy in the Arctic where drilling would become easier thanks to the melting caused by the use of their product.

"So this is beyond hypocrisy," he says. "An investigation is warranted into what Exxon knew, when they knew it, and what they said about it."

[My recent interview with Neela Banerjee, co-author of Inside Climate News' blockbuster investigative report, is posted here.]

Also on today's program: New polls are out in the wake of last week's Democratic debate in Las Vegas suggesting that things may be changing for both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, though not necessarily as the corporate media had predicted; Alabama's Republican Governor attempts to roll back the closure of drivers license offices that threaten to further disenfranchise African-American voters in the state; And Jeb Bush throws his own brother under the bus on voting rights, in hopes of winning the 2016 Republican nomination...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/15/2015 5:00pm PT  

We were forced to reschedule our planned guest for today's BradCast at the last minute --- (you'll have to listen to the show to find out who it was to be, but I'm still very much looking forward to that conversation!) --- but that worked out just fine, as we had to much to cover on today's show as is!

Among the stories and issues we were, therefore, able to cover today...

• New insider whistleblower releases documents revealing the inner-workings of the United States' disastrous drone assassination program.
• Democratic debate suggests a new day for progressivism, if not for the still-failing corporate U.S. media.
• Finally, climate change takes the spotlight in a Presidential debate, as Rightwing deniers and fraudsters like Jeb and Rush freak out about it.

All of that a much (much) more on today's BradCast!...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
Special Coverage: The Democratic Debate
By Desi Doyen on 10/15/2015 10:57am PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Green News Report Special Coverage: Finally --- Climate change takes the spotlight, at least for a few minutes, in a Presidential Debate.... All that special coverage 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): Mississippi River Basin Gets A Grade Of D; From March to a Movement: Climate Events Stretch From Sea to Rising Sea; Chesapeake Waters Warming, Study Says, Posing Challenges To Healing Bay; Alpha Natural Discloses Payments to Climate Change Skeptic Chris Horner; Lawsuit Alleges Illegal Water Use by Nestlé in Drought-Stricken Calif.; Massachusetts: With Expenses Rising, Pilgrim Nuclear Plant Will Close... PLUS: State, Feds Won't Pursue $92M More in '89 Exxon Valdez Spill... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




GUESTS: Salon's Heather Digby Parton and Media Matters' Eric Boehlert...
By Brad Friedman on 10/14/2015 4:42pm PT  

On today's BradCast we dissect Tuesday night's pleasantly substantive (for the most part) Democratic Presidential Debate in Las Vegas.

Joining me on today's show are two of our favorite guests, both long time journalists/bloggers and both of whom have been pretty much right about pretty much everything for the past decade and more.

Heather Digby Parton --- Salon contributor, Hillman Foundation opinion journalism award winner, and proprietor of Digby's Hullabaloo blog --- joins us for the hour along with Eric Boehlert --- Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America and author of Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press.

Last night's debate drew in a record number of viewers and offered a striking contrast from the debates we've seen so far this year from Republicans. But, did it change either the trajectory or the conventional Beltway "wisdom" for any of the candidates? Has the Democratic Party finally broken away from the shackles of corporate wingnuttery?

Was Hillary Clinton able to overcome the absurd attacks over pretend scandals from corporate media and the GOP? Was Bernie Sanders able to demonstrate his viability as a general election candidate? And what of those other guys on stage with them --- and even one who was not on stage with them? Why did this debate draw even more viewers than the Clinton/Obama matchups in 2008? And was the DNC right in their decision to limit the number of debates for the Democratic candidates this cycle?

We discuss all of that and much more on today's BradCast, with really smart observations from two really smart journalists who are decidedly not "inside the Beltway" pundits...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/8/2015 11:39am PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Sen. Lindsey Graham wants federal aid for South Carolina flooding --- but voted against it for Hurricane Sandy; Environmental groups slam TPP agreement; New rules to protect farmworkers from pesticides; Fracking companies wasting taxpayers' money; PLUS: Obama creates two new marine sanctuaries in the U.S.... 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): D.C. Water begins harnessing electricity from every flush; GOP grills Energy secretary on oil exports; Why Europeans are better at forecasting storms than the US; Will VW now turn to EVs?; BP record settlement in Gulf oil spill made official, larger than thought; DuPont to pay $1.6m in Teflon water contamination suit; Monsanto mobilized academics to write articles supporting GMOs; PLUS: What will a global agreement on climate change look like? The U.N. just gave us a clue ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




GUEST: Steve LeVine on e-cars and our battery-powered near-future
ALSO: Sen. Lindsey Graham's short memory; GOP bum fight for U.S. House Speaker...
By Brad Friedman on 10/6/2015 5:17pm PT  

On today's BradCast, idiocy in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House and --- much more importantly --- the future of cars and a clean, livable planet!

First up, as the death toll mounts in Guatemala and the waters continue to rise in South Carolina, all thanks to global warming, the state's U.S. Senator and woeful 2016 GOP Presidential candidate Lindsey Graham embarasses himself as he begs for federal relief from the government, while conveniently "forgetting" that he repeatedly voted against similar aid for other states after Hurricane Sandy.

Then, speaking of disasters and climate change, Steve LeVine, author of The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World, joins us to discuss his recent article, "Volkswagen’s best shot at a comeback now has the automaker right where Elon Musk wants it."

LeVine explains how Volkswagen, whose recent emissions test cheating scandal will cost them billions in fines, may be able to help save themselves by helping to power the future of electric cars in a massive way. That future, LeVine tells me, is just about here. "In the coming 3-5 years," he says, we will be hitting "a critical mass."

"All of this has been triggered by [Tesla CEO] Elon Musk. Musk has put the fear into car makers --- they think that he could be a game changer, and they could be left out," LeVine explains. "You've got GM, Audi, Porsche, Jaguar, BMW, Nissan [and] a bunch of others car-makers, all planning to launch their own 200-mile, $35-40K [electric] cars" in the next several years. Even Apple is getting in the game. But, that new generation of clean cars needs to be powered, and VW could help their horrible damaged image by taking a leading role.

Finally, we go back to more idiocy in Congress to finish out today's show, as two incapable jackasses battle it out to win the GOP nomination in hopes of becoming the next Speaker of the U.S. House and, incidentally, third in the line of succession to become the President of the United States. And, speaking of which, is that the "death rattle" of the Jeb Bush campaign that we hear?...

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: 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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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: Virginia S. Martin (D) and Jason J. Nastke (R), Columbia County Election Commissioners...
By Brad Friedman on 9/29/2015 6:01pm PT  

First on today's BradCast: Why Rush Limbaugh believes NASA has faked their discovery of flowing liquid water on Mars. Then, why MSNBC completely ignored Bernie Sanders on last night's Rachel Maddow Show.

Then, onto our interview with Virginia Martin and Jason Nastke, the Democratic and Republican Election Commissioners (respectively) of Columbia County, NY, where they refuse to certify results until every hand-marked paper ballot is publicly counted by hand after each election.

The two Commissioners joined me to respond to a recent Brennan Center study [PDF] warning that the nation's voting computers and tabulators are aging and failing and should be replaced as soon as possible with new computer systems. I agree with the first part of their findings, not so much with the second part, both of which we discussed in a recent BradCast with Lawrence Norden, co-author of that well-reported study.

Martin and Nastke don't seem to agree either, finding that hand-marked paper ballots, publicly hand-counted by human beings, remain the best way to assure that every voter's intent is accurately and transparently tallied.

"In reality, computing is maybe 50 years old," the Republican Nastke tells me on today's program. "We use paper ballots and paper is hundreds, if not thousands of years old. Historical documents continue to exist to this day. So, what we know is that when a voter votes on a paper ballot that there is an absolute way for the voter's intent to be determined, and properly counted."

"When New York State and the federal government mandated that we use optical scans instead, I started looking at those systems, and my question was, how do I know that that result is the right result?," says the Democrat Martin. "I'm not going to be able to see how the voting machines added up the votes. So I'm not going to know and I'm going to have to certify these results and I feel very uncomfortable doing that. So how can I know that the machine results are correct? Well, we have the paper ballots, let's count them."

"It's not a Republican or a Democrat issue," Nastke insists. "The issue is one of what's right. And what is right is that every vote is counted." Martin adds: "The fact is that I and Jason are both very, very confident in the results that we certify. And I must say that I think the voters in our county are similarly confident. The candidates whose votes --- for or against --- we are counting, are similarly confident. If we've got a candidate that lost by a few votes, and they've been here and they've watched the process, they are very confident that they did truly lose."

"It works very well because it's so bipartisan. For every Democrat who is doing something, a Republican is watching like a hawk," she says. "And it's very, very accurate. People are thrilled to see how the process works, to understand how it works, and to actually be a part of it and see what the result is."

Martin recently responded in comments here at The BRAD BLOG following my interview with Norden. She expands on some of those thoughts today, as both Commissioners explain why they --- and their respective political parties in the county --- have been able to buck national trends to agree on hand-counting ballots, rather than using unverifiable computer systems.

I ask them, among many other questions, why other counties in New York state have yet to adopt their system?; Whether they have found errors from the optical-scan computers which initially tally ballots at each precinct (as required by the state) before the hand-count takes place?; Whether they believe humans or computers are able to count ballots more accurately? (Norden had asserted that computers were more accurate during our conversation last week); Why they don't hand-count at the precinct, rather than back at County headquarters?; Could their system work in a much larger county or is hand-counting only for small jurisdictions?; And what happens in those instances when party observers don't agree on voter intent or a voter has left their intent unclear?

We first reported on Columbia County turning to 100% hand-counts back in 2012, but this is the first time either Martin or Nastke has joined me on the show! So it's great to have them! Here's a recent article on Columbia "becoming known for hand-counting votes" from one of their local papers. Look close and you'll see some films and books I've contributed to sitting in front of Martin in the paper's photo! :-)

Please listen to the full interview on today's show...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 9/25/2015 9:22am PT  

The core message that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) delivered last month when he addressed Party leaders at the Summer Meeting of the Democratic National Committee entailed a lesson in electoral math, according to The Nation's John Nichols.

"Democrats will not retain the White House, will not regain the Senate or the U.S. House, will not be successful in dozens of governor races across the country," Sanders observed, "unless we generate excitement and momentum to produce a huge voter turnout."

The "electoral math" to which both Sanders and Nichols refer is the math which, they argue, is achievable during the second stage of a Sanders-led, "political revolution". That would be a phase --- once Sanders was able to secure the Democratic Party nomination and prior to the November 2016 election --- in which it would be all but impossible for the corporate-owned media and Democratic Party establishment to conceal or evade Sanders' issue-based message. Even those members of the Democratic Party whose careers have been linked to monetary contributions from what Noam Chomsky describes as "the substantial people" would, at that point, be hard-pressed to stand in the way of the revolution's momentum.

But, for now, Sanders is in the midst of the far more difficult first stage --- one that requires overcoming the corporate-owned media's marginalization of his campaign. It also entails overcoming the exercise in self-protection by the Democratic Party establishment. Long before the first vote has been cast in either a caucus or primary, the Clinton campaign boasted that its backroom deals had already netted one-fifth of the delegates needed to secure the nomination from amongst the unelected super-delegates --- party leaders who do not have to abide by the will of the electorate in their respective states. Simultaneously Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), the DNC chair and former co-chair of the Hillary Clinton 2008 campaign, has sought to blunt Sanders' attempt to eliminate the "democracy deficit" --- the significant gap between the policy positions of the electorate and their "representatives" occasioned by the manner in which elections are skillfully managed to avoid issues and marginalize the underlying population --- with her imposition of severe limits on the number and timing of the Democratic Party Presidential Debates.

Sanders has countered those maneuvers, somewhat, by relying instead upon alternative and social media, drawing huge crowds, growing an army of grass roots volunteers and, most importantly, offering both authenticity and substance in his campaign.

The results, to date, have been encouraging for the Vermont Senator. Just a few months ago, Clinton's leads in New Hampshire and Iowa appeared insurmountable. But now, as New Hampshire Public Radio noted recently, "The latest polls show Sanders leading Clinton by 22 points in New Hampshire and by 10 points in Iowa." Some who have examined polling trends, such as historian Eric Zuesse, have gone so far as to boldly predict Sanders will become the next President of the United States.

That's the current battle of phase one of the electoral math. More interesting, however, is the dynamics of what could become the second and third phases of a Sanders-led democratic revolution...

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




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: 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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