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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, August 28, 2016
Trump Campaign Chief's Alleged Domestic Abuse, Vote Fraud: 'BradCast' 8/26/16
Credible new reports concerning Trump 'CEO' Steve Bannon appear to add him to a long list of very high-profile GOP voter reg fraudsters...
Standing Rock Sioux's Stand Against 'Dakota Access': 'BradCast' 8/25/16
Guest: David Archambault II, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe; Plus: Clinton calls out Trump's 'Alt-Right' campaign...
'Green News Report' 8/25/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
300+ dead, 6 million displaced by India flooding; Obama pledges long term LA flood aid; Bad news for WA state wolves; PLUS: 100th birthday of the National Park Service...
Previous GNRs: 8/23/16 - 8/18/16 - Archives...
Clinton, Trump and Cracking the Two-Party Duopoly: 'BradCast' 8/24/16
Guest: Historian, columnist Matthew Rozsa; Plus: Unfolding deadly disasters in Italy, India and Louisiana...
NSA Hacking Tools in the Wild, Hackable Elections in the US: 'BradCast' 8/23/16
Guest: Princeton computer scientist, e-vote 'hacker' Andrew Appel; Also: Obama in LA and Trump's latest vote suppression dog-whistle...
'Green News Report' 8/23/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
. Media failure on LA flooding; Floods accelerate Zika virus; PLUS: A tale of two warming Arctics -- Native American tribe forced to move, luxury cruises just getting started...
Previous GNRs: 8/18/16 - 8/16/16 - Archives...
'What Do You Have to Lose?': 'BradCast' 8/22/16
Trump 'pivots', reaches out to African-American voters, forgets to tell the rest of his party...
Sunday Toons of the Makeover Moment
PDiddie's round up of his favorite toons from last week focuses on campaign shake-ups, shuffles, makeovers and other political reality avoidance techniques...
Three Daves: 'BradCast' 8/19/16
Guest host Angie Coiro w/ Dave Johnson of Campaign for America's Future, David Atkins of Washington Monthly, and Chain of Title author David Dayen...
6th Circ. Upholds 'Straight-Party' MI Voting
Republican AG vows appeal to optional voting method used in state for 125 straight years, disproportionately used at polls by African-American voters...
DoJ to 'End' Private For-Profit Federal Prison System: 'BradCast' 8/18/16
Guest: Carl Takei of ACLU's National Prison Project; Plus: GOP 'Civil War' v. Reality; Trump comes up short in NYC...
'Green News Report' 8/18/16
. Explosive CA fire forces evacs for 80,000; New rules for heavy trucks; Report: Ending oil subsidies won't raise gas prices; PLUS: First-ever U.S. offshore wind farm...
Send in the Clowns: 'BradCast' 8/17/16
Eric Boehlert on Trump's bizarre staff shake-up; Plus: NC GOP's desperate voter suppression Hail Mary, California burning, and 'Bye-Bye' to John McLaughlin...
NC Files with SCOTUS for Emergency Stay of Unlawful Vote Suppression Law
State Republicans display remarkable chutzpah in their last gasp argument to keep a 'racially discriminatory' statute in place for November...
'Rogue' DEA Punts Pot: 'BradCast' 8/16/16
Guest: Michael Collins of Drug Policy Alliance on 'rotten to core' DEA's marijuana announcement; Plus: 'Third-party' Presidential woes, disturbing climate news, more...
'Green News Report' 8/16/16
. Another historic, deadly rain event in LA; Another massive fire in CA; July 2016 Earth's hottest month ever recorded; PLUS: Green Party nom Jill Stein on climate...
Facts Behind Fraud: 'BradCast' 8/15/16
Debunking Trump on terror, 'voter fraud' in PA and climate change; Plus: Even Rightwing propagandists beginning to realize 'We've created this monster'...
Sunday Toons of Performance Art Moment
Trump fails to win the gold in this week's Presidential olympics. Plus, other pratfalls in PDiddie's latest collection of his favorite toons of the past week...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Guests: Dave Johnson, Campaign for America's Future; David Atkins, Washington Monthly; David Dayen, 'Chain of Title'
Guest hosted by Angie Coiro...
By Angie Coiro on 8/19/2016 5:46pm PT  

On today's BradCast, guest hosted by Angie Coiro, we discuss how multinational corporations avoid taxes (and what to do about it). Then David Dayen brings us his award-winning book on the mortgage swindle, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street's Great Foreclosure Fraud.

First up, David Atkins from The Washington Monthly and Dave Johnson of The Campaign for America’s Future dive into the murky waters of how to finally tax offshore corporate profits.

Finally, David Dayen discusses three unsung heroes of the mortgage meltdown – ordinary people who wouldn’t let their homes be foreclosed without fighting back. They sparked a movement that turned foreclosures back on the banks and led to real legislative change...

Download MP3 or listen 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!




Guest: Michael Collins of Drug Policy Alliance | Plus: 'Third-party' Presidential woes, disturbing climate news and more...
By Brad Friedman on 8/16/2016 6:02pm PT  

It's a very 'green' show on The BradCast today, on a number of levels, from marijuana policy to the Green Party Presidential candidate's position on environmental issues, to another rather disturbing Green News Report.

But first up today, some news about 'third-party' Presidential candidate troubles getting on the ballot and being kept out of Presidential debates, and a Republican governor who has now vetoed a law that would have added millions of voters to the rolls in his state.

Then, Michael Collins, Deputy Director for the Drug Policy Alliance's Office of National Affairs in Washington D.C., joins us to discuss the recent announcement by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) that it will not reclassify marijuana from its current 'Schedule I' narcotic status --- which, like heroin means that it's classified as having "no accepted medical use" --- despite some 25 states which currently allow its sale and use for either medicinal or recreational purposes.

Collins explains what that classification actually means and how rescheduling it as a Schedule II drug wouldn't have been much more than a "symbolic victory" for proponents, particularly "in terms of prosecutions --- people getting arrested, the racial disparities we see because of the war on marijuana --- that would not have disappeared had the DEA rescheduled marijuana."

He goes on to describe the DEA as a "rogue agency", "rotten to the core", and long working against President Obama's "steps to unwind the war on drugs". "They're still fighting the drug war of Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon," he tells me, in opposition to the advocacy of a number of elected Democratic (and even Republican) officials in Congress who were furious at the federal agency's decision.

"I think the DEA gets its science from the same people as climate change denialists," Collins quips. "To say that marijuana has no recognized medicinal value contradicts decades of scientific research and is a huge slap in the face to the thousands of people who use medical marijuana every day to alleviate their illnesses."

It's not all bad news, however. Collins notes that the DEA has announced they will allow an expansion of federal marijuana research facilities, ending what had been a monopoly, with just one facility in Mississippi, and that states are moving forward nonetheless, with expansive pot initiatives on the ballot in at least six states (California, Arizona, Maine, Nevada and Massachusetts) this November. "The question isn't 'Should we legalize marijuana?', but more 'When should we legalize marijuana?' The end is nigh," he tells me.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with breaking (and disturbing) news on more historic, deadly flooding in Louisiana and fires in California, July 2016 as the hottest month ever recorded on Planet Earth, and the official position on climate change action from Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party's freshly minted 2016 Presidential nominee...

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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Edina Lekovic of Muslim Public Affairs Council tackles Trump; 'GottaLaff' parses complicated progressive feminist reaction to Hillary
Guest Hosted by Angie Coiro...
By Angie Coiro on 8/1/2016 7:20pm PT  

On today's BradCast, guest hosted by Angie Coiro: How the Democratic Convention came across to two lifelong progressive feminists, and how Muslim women clapped back against Donald Trump with #CanYouHearUsNow.

My guest, Edina Lekovic from the Muslim Public Affairs Council, tackles Trump's misogynist, racist reaction to Khizr and Ghazala Khan's Democratic Convention appearance. Then, she reacts to common slams against American Muslims - "the hijab proves you're not a feminist", and "Islam is dedicated to violent conversion of infidels".

Also today: Laffy, the famous 'Gotta Laff' of The Nicole Sandler Show, reacts to the Dem Convention - from its visual appeal, to the style of its speakers, to the very mixed blessing of the first mainstream woman Presidential nominee.

Finally, Angie puts the new movie The Great Wall in the context of the many, many White Savior-flavored films that have preceded it.

Download MP3 or listen 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!




By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2016 11:59am PT  

Today's my birthday. And a pretty big one at that. But I gotta work today anyway, for some reason.

That said, you guys have traditionally been pretty generous on my birthdays over the years. And, as I haven't been able to do much, if any, fund raising over the past year or so since producing a daily radio show each day (we didn't even get to celebrate BRAD BLOG's 12th Anniversary this year, given the ridiculousness of the breaking news cycle and the madness of the primaries!), please forgive me for taking this opportunity to ask you to consider supporting the work that we do here at The BRAD BLOG with a donation. If you're in the mood, that might help to make this birthday (and this year!) slightly more enjoyable than it might otherwise be.

That is all. And thank you in advance, from both Desi and me, for any support/birthday gift you are able and/or inclined to offer. It is, as ever, much needed and greatly appreciated! --- "Old Man" Brad




Some words of hope for change from Connie Rice, founder of Advancement Project and from Debra Cooper on Hillary's email
Guest Hosted by Angie Coiro...
By Angie Coiro on 7/8/2016 11:23pm PT  

On today's BradCast, guest hosted by Angie Coiro, we look at the aftermath of the killings of five police officers in Dallas. Even something this shattering can't break the flow of hatred from some sources. Give an ear to Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, who faulted Black Lives Matter protestors for dodging the bullets that killed the officers, and has his own conspiracy theories of how far in advance the protest had been planned.

And witness former Congressman Joe Walsh, who climbed atop the bodies to rally violence against President Obama. Of course, he says he didn't do that. You be the judge.

Then for some positive inspiration, some stunning results from an effort in Los Angeles to build an effective community policing policy. Connie Rice, cofounder of The Advancement Project tells of one housing project where daily body counts gave way to zero - ZERO - shots fired once the program was in full swing.

Give a listen to Julisa Wilson's heartfelt, striking What's the Recipe For Freedom?.

Also, Debra Cooper, Democratic State Committeewoman for Manhattan’s Upper West Side, gives her take on the Clinton email investigation results, including this week’s hearing. She and Angie are pretty far apart on the merits of Hillary Clinton, but they - and Debra's five-year-old nephew - are on the same page about having a woman in the Oval Office.

Download MP3 or listen 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!




Guest: Prof. Jonathan H. Adler on 'Baptists, Bootleggers and E-Cigs'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2016 5:10pm PT  

I usually try to avoid talk about elections on election days themselves, but the AP, NBC, CNN and all the rest in the corporate media gave me little choice on today's BradCast, even as millions of voters go to the polls today in California, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Last night, just after we got off air, Associated Press decided to declare that Hillary Clinton had "clinched" the Democratic nomination. Their reporting was based on conversations with unpledged Super Delegates who do not actually cast their vote in the nominating process until the end of July (July 25th, to be specific), at the Democratic National Convention. So, with their misleading, inaccurate pronouncements of the Democrats having 'selected a female nominee for the first time in history' (they haven't --- yet), I offer a word or two today --- okay, a rant or two --- on the amazing disservice those news organizations have done to voters (not to mention the Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigns, their supporters, the DNC and American democracy itself) with their inaccurate and misleading misreporting.

Then, I'm joined by Jonathan H. Adler, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law & Regulation at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, to discuss the strange bedfellows who've joined forces in support of onerous new FDA regulations on life-saving vaping (e-cigarette) technology. We've discussed the topic on the show on a number of occasions in the past (most recently here), not only because half a million Americans still die each year, unnecessarily, from cigarette smoking, but because, bizarrely, it has largely been Democrats and other supposedly anti-tobacco crusaders who have been leading the deadly campaign against vaping, making it much harder for smokers to quit smoking in the bargain.

Why would Dems be fighting --- alongside Big Tobacco(!) --- to kill the vaping industry, despite scientific studies finding e-cigarettes to be at least 95% safer than smoking and the UK's Royal College of Physicians (the equivalent of the office of the Surgeon General in the U.S.) recent pronouncement: "in the interests of public health it is important to promote the use of e-cigarettes...as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking"?

In her recent article, "Democrats Work With Big Tobacco and Big Pharma to Choke the Vaping Industry," at the American Media Institute (and at the NY Observer), journalist Monica Showalter offers an answer. She details the "strange bedfellows against vaping," citing both Big Tobacco's support of the crippling new FDA regulations, along with massive donations given by Big Pharma to big name Democrats in the U.S. Senate, just as those politicians came out in favor of restrictions on vaping. The Big Pharma companies include those which control the multi-billion dollar smoking-cessation nicotine industry that produces products such as nicotine gums, patches and, yes, inhalers!

Adler, the co-author of a study titled "Baptists, Bootleggers and E-Cigarettes", joins us to explain the strange coalition, and the powerful history of the "Baptist and Bootleggers" political/economic theory, where seemingly opposing groups, such as bootleggers and religious opponents of alcohol, worked together to keep Prohibition going as long as possible in the U.S. in the early part of the 20th century.

A similarly fascinating and powerful (and bizarre) political and financial coalition seems to be at work here, as Adler explains, to blunt the nascent and life-saving e-cigarette industry, despite recent studies showing, for example, "that when restrictions are imposed upon electronic cigarettes that either make them harder to get or make them more expensive, teen smoking rates go up. The idea that we could adopt policies in the name of public health that increase teen smoking rates should really be frightening."

Also, what should be similarly frightening to Democrats and others who claim to be against smoking, according to Adler, is that the Big Tobacco companies have been very supportive of the onerous FDA regulations no being applied to vaping products. Those are costly new rules that Big Tobacco can afford to comply with, but Mom and Pop vaping shops, currently leading the industry in the U.S., simply cannot. "The major tobacco companies asked [for] and supported the FDA's proposals to regulate e-cigarettes," Adler tells me. "Indeed, Phillip Morris is largely credited with helping to write the statute under which these regulations were adopted."

Finally, we end another very busy BradCast today with our latest very busy Green News Report!...

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: Kentucky civil rights attorney Joe Dunman; Crooks and Liars' Managing Editor Karoli Kuns...
By Brad Friedman on 2/5/2016 4:21pm PT  

On today's BradCast, as you might have guessed, it's post-debate analysis of last night's very lively head-to-head debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire.

Joining us to make sense of it all is Joe Dunman, the Kentucky civil rights attorney who represented the same-sex couples suing Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis over her refusal to grant marriage licenses last year, Karoli Kuns, Managing Editor of the great Crooks and Liars blog.

During the debate, the first since the Iowa Caucuses and the last between Democrats before voters head to the primary polls in NH on Tuesday, the two candidates sharpened their dispute over potential directions for the Democratic Party (and the nation, along with it), as they hashed out whether to protect and expand on successful Obama Administration policies, as Clinton hopes, or fight for expansive and "revolutionary" new progressive policies as Sanders is calling for.

That question, a worthy one, also leads to a lively debate among the panelists on today's program, which you can listen to in full below! And, if you'd like to ring in on the issue yourself, I'd love to hear your thoughts in comments below, since I think this fight will be continuing for a while. Enjoy!...

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)




A 'BradCast' holiday tradition featuring The BradCast Radio Theatre Players in some of our favorite performances from the 1930s and 40s!
Wholesome fun for the whole family!!! (Except for the Commies and Canadians!!!)
By Brad Friedman on 12/24/2015 2:00pm PT  

Yes, it's time once again to toss a log on the fire, call in the kids, and curl up to the radio hearth for some good old-fashioned, old-tyme radio fun (with a very BradCast twist!)

Return with us to yesteryear in our Very Special (And Somewhat Subversive) BradCast Holiday Special!! Featuring The BradCast Radio Theatre Players in some of our earliest broadcasts from the 1930s and 40s! Featuring The Mighty Adventures of Buzz Edsel, a few giant Jupiterians, some dastardly Canadians, and even a visit from a jolly old fellow in a red suit with a whole bag of life-saving coal!

It's fun for the whole family and a swell reminder of what it was like back in the days when The BradCast was still a corporate-sponsored radio program relying on the goodwill of Henry Ford and the fine folks at the Ford Motor Company (of Dearborn, Michigan)!

Don't miss our award-wanting holiday tradition in the making!...And Merry Christmas, world!

COMPLETE SPECIAL...

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

Or, if you prefer to listen to just one segment at a time...

PART 1: Intro & "Buzz Edsel versus the Giant Jupiterians!"
MP3 Download or listen online below (appx. 24 mins)...

PART 2: "Buzz Edsel versus the Sun-Stealers!"
MP3 Download or listen online below (appx. 16 mins)...

PART 3: "Buzz Edsel and the Santa Surprise!"
MP3 Download or listen online below (appx. 16 mins)...

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Since we are no longer sponsored by the Ford Motor Company, we must rely on you dear readers and listeners, to help us continue doing all that we do here at The BRAD BLOG and The BradCast! If you can toss in a year-end donation for our stocking, it would be greatly appreciated!...

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(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)




GUESTS: Salon's Heather Digby Parton & former GOP consultant Fred Karger...
By Brad Friedman on 11/16/2015 5:04pm PT  

Before our coverage today on The BradCast of Saturday's Democratic Presidential Debate in Iowa, a quick word about the Friday night terror attacks in Paris, courtesy of anti-war activist and author David Swanson, whose response we share at the top of the show. His piece, "Non-French War Deaths Matter", is posted here.

Then, yes, though the DNC apparently didn't want you to know about it, the three Democratic candidates for the 2016 Presidential candidate gathered in Des Moines on Saturday night to hold their second debate of the season. The CBS debate was held less than 24 hours after the bloodshed in Paris and, thus, had more of a foreign policy focus than it otherwise would have, before turning to domestic affairs.

We cover all of the above today. I'm joined for analysis by our reigning post-debate coverage champ, Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo blog, as well as Fred Karger, former longtime GOP political consultant and 2012 GOP Presidential candidate (and, in fact, the first openly gay Presidential candidate from either major party).

As usual, we try to make sense of it all with analysis and fact-checking that, hopefully, serves to help create a smarter and better informed electorate...

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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(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)




GUEST: Attorney Sharon Eubanks on RICO, conspiracy and the parallels between Big Tobacco's big lie and Big Oil's...
By Brad Friedman on 11/12/2015 4:51pm PT  

On today's BradCast we are joined by Sharon Eubanks, the former federal prosecutor who served as the U.S. Dept. of Justice's lead counsel in the historic U.S. v. Phillip Morris USA case. It's an enlightening, eye-opening, and extraordinarily timely conversation. (Link to the complete audio is below.)

We now know, thanks to the investigative work of journalists at Inside Climate News and at the Los Angeles Times, that Exxon scientists, as early as 1977, knew about the "potentially catastrophic" dangers of global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

Rather than take action to inform the world and save the planet, however, Exxon executives decided to spend millions of dollars, over the ensuing years, funding global warming denialist organizations in an apparent attempt to obscure their own science and mislead the public about the known harms of using their product.

[RELATED: "What Exxon Knew and When They Knew It": BradCast interview with Inside Climate News journalist Neela Banerjee]
[RELATED: "'Beyond Hypocrisy': Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) Calls for Investigation and Prosecution of ExxonMobil": BradCast interview with Congressman on the day he sent his letter to A.G. Loretta Lynch]

On today's program, Eubanks, who is now in private practice after successfully carrying out the largest civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) enforcement case ever filed, explains the currently known parallels between her case against Big Tobacco and the quickly mounting evidence against Big Oil which, she explains on The BradCast today, appear to be "very similar, if not identical".

"The [tobacco] industry sent out its talking heads to say how ridiculous it was when we first filed the suit, that we would file it under RICO," she tells me, after detailing exactly what a RICO case is. "It's an effective way to deal with this type of fraudulent conduct."

In the potential case against Big Oil and their advocates in the denial industry, she says, based on what the documents from insiders at Exxon have now revealed, "an investigation is warranted."

So, what are the parallels between the Big Tobacco case and what seems to have been carried out by Big Oil in this case? Eubanks says the evidence, so far, is "very similar, if not identical, to what the court was looking at in the tobacco litigation."

In Judge Gladys Kessler's 1,683-page finding [PDF] in the tobacco case, Eubanks explains, the court "noted that the industry mounted a coordinated, well-financed, sophisticated public relations campaign to attack and distort the scientific evidence demonstrating the relationship between smoking and disease, claiming that the link between the two was still an open question. Now, if you compare that to what we know about the Exxon documents so far, and just substitute, instead of 'adverse health effects', 'adverse climate effects', and substitute for 'smoking', 'carbon pollution', it seems to me that the activities surrounding that --- mounting a well-coordinated, well-financed public relations campaign to distort the scientific evidence and promote that there was an open question --- is the same thing we see that the [fossil fuel] industry is doing here."

"It seems to me, and this is what an investigation would reveal, that they were financing these activities by giving money and instructions --- not just money but instructions, as well --- to various groups who would be the deniers of climate change, when in fact Exxon knew climate change was real, and they knew, as well, that we had a limited amount of time on our hands to figure out how to address this."

And what of the "free speech" argument that the Fossil Fuel industry's advocates seem to be forwarding right now to justify misleading the public? Does the company and/or the industry have a Constitutional right to lie, as some have posited?

"The companies certainly were responsible for contradicting their own evidence that they had about climate change," Eubanks tells me. "Whether that's something they can do as a 'right' is something that is yet to be demonstrated. Certainly the tobacco industry was not allowed to go forward with that type of misconduct."

There was much more light shed on the entire fascinating issue during today's program. I'd encourage you to give the full show a listen!

Also today: A new poll finds that a majority of Americans correctly see guns as a far greater national security threat than terrorism --- even if Republican voters do not; Another new poll finds that Pope Francis' appeal for action on climate change has had a positive effect among the majority of Americans who are now concerned about global warming, but even more of an effect on Catholics; And, finally, we're joined by Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report special coverage of this week's GOP Debate in Wisconsin and last week's Democratic Forum in South Carolina...

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

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PLUS: U.S. Boots on the ground in Syria, but Congress doesn't care; Jeb's campaign death rattle continues; Hillary calls for Exxon investigation; And climate change finds its way into a GOP Presidential debate...
By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2015 5:26pm PT  

On today's BradCast... With Boehner out, Ryan in and "all family business settled" (for now) in the U.S. House, the GOP looks elsewhere for enemies.

They find a lot of them.

This week's CNBC GOP debate opened up a great opportunity for new attacks on a favorite old enemy: the so-called "liberal media"! (Yes, they are actually considering Wall Street's favorite wingnut cable channel for the investment class to be part of the "liberal media" now, rather than blaming themselves for the failures of their own Presidential candidates!) But they also find new enemies amongst fellow Republicans like RNC Chair Reince Preibus, who may quickly become the Rightwing's new "John Boehner".

Plus: The White House announces U.S. boots will now be on the ground in Syria --- but does Congress even care?; Is Jeb's campaign really dead? Or should the voters decide that rather than the media?; Hillary joins the growing calls for investigation of ExxonMobil; And, climate change actually finds its way into a Republican Presidential debate!...

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

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GUEST: Brendan Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy...
By Brad Friedman on 10/26/2015 5:28pm PT  

Last week at the Center for Media and Democracy, their general counsel Brendan Fischer warned "Darkness descends upon Wisconsin." Today, on The BradCast, Fischer joins me to explain the three new pieces of legislation being quickly rammed through the Republican-dominated state legislature in the Badger State, which, taken together, are set to serve an unprecedented blow to transparency, elections, and democracy. (Audio link to complete show follows below.)

Formerly, one of the most transparent states for election oversight and the ability to either prevent corruption or, at least, discover it and hold those accountable for it after it is found, WI is now set to become the very opposite unless something happens to prevent this full package of election reform bills from being enacted. Yes. Darkness descends upon Wisconsin and, frankly, the rest of the nation if these laws are all passed and signed by Gov. Scott Walker (R-Koch) expected.

One of the bills has already been adopted by the legislature and was hastily signed over the weekend by Walker. That one bars state prosecutors from investigating political corruption under the state's "John Doe" provisions. A WI John Doe investigation is akin to a grand jury process, but allows prosecutors to carry out criminal probes under the auspices of a state court. Such investigations in the past, for example, resulted in the conviction of six top aides and allies to Walker. A more recent John Doe probe into illegal campaign coordination between the Governor and his Koch Brothers-funded allies during the 2012 recall elections in WI, was shut down earlier this year by the same state Supreme Court justices elected and funded by those very same Koch Brothers-funded groups who stand to benefit from this entire package of "reform".

The other two bills were passed in the Assembly last week and are now pending in the state Senate. One replaces the state's non-partisan Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.) --- the commission of retired judges convened to oversees state elections following a massive campaign finance scandal by both Dems and Republicans (uncovered by a John Doe probe!) back in 2007 --- with a new commission of partisan appointees modeled after (incredibly enough!) the entirely broken Federal Elections Commission!

Finally, saving the worst for last: The last of these three bills would allow unlimited undisclosed financing of political groups and campaigns in Wisconsin, as well as allow the millionaire and billionaire funders of those campaigns to remain completely secret to everyone but the candidate whose campaigns the funders would be supporting with unlimited cash payments!

"This is not something that voters in Wisconsin are calling for, neither Republicans nor Democrats," Fischer explains. "The only groups lobbying in favor of these three bills are the Koch Brothers' Americans for Prosperity and other organizations with deep ties to Americans for Prosperity and Koch-tied groups. It's almost like a wish list of the Koch Brothers or other wealthy billionaires who want even more influence in elections."

"It's going to allow unlimited money from billionaires and corporations to political parties and legislative leaders. It's going to allow unlimited coordination between candidates and dark money groups," he tells me. "The implication of that is a candidate could form a non-profit group --- even have it operated out of its campaign headquarters --- and politicians can say to donors: 'Give to this dark money group I am working with. You can give as much as you want.' It can come from anywhere. It can come from Koch Industries corporate treasury. The money could even come from foreigners and the politician is going to know where the money is coming but the public will not."

And, of course, the existing non-partisan commission meant to oversee elections won't be able to block it (because they likely will not exist) and if there is anything left that is still illegal in such campaigns, state prosecutors will have much of their ability taken from them to be able to investigate it. It's a breathtaking set of reforms that, arguably, makes Walker's gutting of collective bargaining back in 2010 look like child's play. And all of this legislation and its provisions are being watched very closely by the GOP nationally, as this gutting of democracy is exactly what the party now hopes to see in every state, as well as at the federal level. Citizens United was not even the beginning of their scheming to undermine fairness and transparency in elections and campaigns.

Fischer goes on to note that, "with rightwing Republicans in control of a lot of state legislatures," similar "reform" is likely to be pushed forward elsewhere after it takes effect in WI, "even though it's not voters who are calling for it."

Please listen to today's program and pass it along to others! This matter needs a lot more national attention than it is currently receiving!

Also on today's program: Death and destruction over the weekend from Oklahoma to British Columbia to Pakistan and Afghanistan, even as Mexico and the U.S. may have dodged a bullet, of sorts, after the most powerful hurricane on record barreled ashore as a Category 5 storm.

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

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GUESTS: Fracking expert and Mahoning County, OH voter Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer; Columbia County, NY Election Commish Virginia Martin...
PLUS: A few words on the continuing GOP 'Benghazi Investigation' circus...
By Brad Friedman on 10/22/2015 5:12pm PT  

On today's BradCast, first a rant about the nonsense that is the Benghazi "investigation", and then on to a real investigation concerning an anti-fracking initiative on the ballot in Mahoning County, OH, questions about the results reported by the county's electronic tabulators, and an election official or two who are caught on tape going kinda nuts when asked about it.

To talk about our latest example of "Election Officials Behaving Badly", I'm joined on today's show by Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer, the voter who asked a simple question at a recent Mahoning County, Ohio Board of Elections meeting, before the officials accused him of accusing them of a crime in response!

And, since the Mahoning County election officials --- the ones caught on tape responding so outrageously to Beiersdorfer's reasonable request for a hand-count --- failed to reply to our multiple requests to join us on the show, we are joined instead by Virginia Martin of the Columbia County, NY Board of Elections to comment on all of this. (Our invitation remains open to Mahoning County election officials David Betras (D) and Mark Munroe (R) if they'd like to respond to today's program.)

Beiersdorfer is a geology professor, fracking expert and supporter of the ProtectYoungstown.org anti-fracking initiative. As you'll here, at the meeting of the Elections Board, he politely asked for a hand-count of paper ballots regarding the ballot initiative, after a post-election poll appeared to offer contradictory results to those reported by the unverified computer optical-scan tabulation systems used in the county. (An electronic tabulation system, I'll note, which has failed in election after election elsewhere.) In response, Betras freaks out and charges that Beiersdorfer has accused him of "rigging an election".

"You just basically accused this board of elections of election fraud!," Betras, a Democratic, snaps in outraged response, as caught on tape. "I find it highly offensive you’d accuse me of a crime!" His fellow election commissioner, Munroe, a Republican, takes similar offense.

All of that, simply because a voter wished to oversee the results of an election to confirm that computer-reported results were accurate --- in a town with a history of election problems and where some of the same election officials reportedly spent some $30,000 of tax-payer money in a failed effort to keep the initiative off the ballot in the first place (before being overruled by the state Supreme Court.)

"I certainly wasn't accusing anyone of a crime," Beiersdorfer tells me today (and as the tape confirms). "I just pointed out the discrepancy and I asked for a public, open, transparent hand-count of the ballots. I was a little bit surprised at how he reacted to that --- and basically attacked me."

Unfortunately, it's not an isolated case. We've seen similar responses from election officials elsewhere. Martin, the Democratic co-chair of the Columbia County, NY Board of Elections --- one of the few counties in the nation to publicly hand-count every paper ballot before certifying any election (my recent interview with Martin and her Republican co-chair on that specific topic is here) --- explains on today's show: "We election officials often find ourselves in the crosshairs. There's always somebody in the public who's not happy about something that's transpired at the Board of Elections. There's a winner and there's a loser, so we often are in a position of having to defend ourselves. I can understand why they would be very sensitive."

But, she adds, that type of concern simply doesn't come up in her county, given that the public is invited to oversee the hand-count of paper ballots for every election. As an election official, she insists on hand-counts, she says, because: "I wasn't comfortable with trusting what the computer said, because I know computers can make mistakes. I know that computers can be programmed incorrectly --- inadvertently. I also know they can be manipulated, they can be tampered with. I personally can't know how a computer counts anything, because I don't get to see that. So how am I going to know that the result is correct?"

I think it's a fascinating show today --- as this is a problem that occurs more and more, as election officials and electronic voting and tabulation systems make it far more difficult for the citizenry to oversee their own elections --- but you'll be the judge. Give it a listen below!...

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

[You can watch the complete, exclusive Mahoning County, OH video from which we played audio clips today, here. And the full video of Pima County, AZ Election Supervisor Brad Nelson caught on tape similarly freaking out back 2007, which we played a bit of as well today, can be seen here.]

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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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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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