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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, August 30, 2016
FBI Warns of New Election Hacks: 'BradCast' 8/29/16
New FBI Cyber Division memo on voter registration database intrusions. Then, Ernie Canning w/ updates on several federal voting rights battles. Plus: Farewell, Gene Wilder...
7th Circuit: WI Photo ID Law to Remain in Place for 2016
Full Appeals Court relies on new assurances from state promising to make free IDs available without restriction, opponents remain dubious, worred about November disenfranchisement...
Sunday Toons of the Either/Or Moment
PDiddie rounds up the week in binary voting options, as seen via the eyes and hands of the nation's best political cartoonists...
Trump 'CEO' Just Latest Top GOPer Accused Of False-Residency Reg Fraud
Stephen Bannon doubles-down after initial revelations detail his alleged voter registration fraud. But he's joining a long, hypocritical list...
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...


GUEST: Michael Collins of Drug Policy Alliance
PLUS: GOP now coming apart at the seams...
By Brad Friedman on 10/13/2015 4:43pm PT  

I'm back after a few days off for today's BradCast! My huge thanks to Radio Or Not's Nicole Sandler for guest-hosting over the past several days and affording Desi and me a bit of much-needed down time.

Of course, as soon as we stood down, everything blew up in Congress and everywhere else. So, I touch on a few of those points --- particularly the Republican Party coming apart at the seams, as we now see in their inability to find a House Speaker or even a Presidential candidate for that matter --- on today's program.

Then, it's on to the continuing fight for the right to vote across the country. We've got some troubling news out of Kansas, where their Sec. of State Kris Kobach (R) is attempting to justify his voter suppression with new prosecutions. And then we've got some very good news out of California, where voter registration will now be automatic and could lead to as many as 6.6 million new voters in the Golden State.

At the same time, Fox "News" is now offering a huge lie about the state's new law, as advanced on air today by Judge Andrew Napolitano.

After offering his (rather remarkable) opinion that the U.S. Supreme Court "wrongly" found voting to be "a fundamental right," Napolitano asserted the lie that "once it said that, states like California decided to allow people to vote who aren't qualified by law to vote because of the fundamental aspect." The former Judge then added to his lie by claiming that "an illegal alien in California...can vote in local, state, and federal elections in California and those votes count," simply by obtaining a drivers license under the new Motor Voter Law signed over the weekend by Gov. Jerry Brown (D).

In response to Napolitano, we obtained a statement via email from Dean Logan, the Los Angeles County Register-Recorder/County Clerk, describing the outrageous assertion as categorically "false". "The new Motor Voter law only applies to those identified by DMV records as meeting the eligibility requirements to be registered to vote --- including citizenship," Logan says in his statement this afternoon, as read on air. "The law specifically mandates that distinction and the adoption of regulations to ensure against registration of non-eligible persons. The contention that the law automatically places non-citizens on the voter rolls is false."

Since airtime, the office of CA Sec. of State Alex Padilla (D) has also responded to our query and confirms that the new law "expressly prohibits" voter registration for non-citizens. Of course, Fox couldn't be bothered to find out and accurately inform their viewers.

Next, we are joined by Michael Collins of the Drug Policy Alliance to discuss the federal Bureau of Prisons' long overdue reform to sentencing guidelines that will result in some 6,000 inmates being freed within days, and perhaps a total of 46,000 thereafter. Collins explains how the changes came about and notes: "The Sentencing Commission definitely deserves to be applauded for what it's doing. But, at the same time, it's a drop in the bucket compared to the overall prison population."

"Drug offenses and the hysteria around drugs in the 80s and 90s, where laws were introduced, mandatory minimum sentencing was introduced, and we saw the prison population grow through the roof," requires reform that only Congress can provide. But, as dysfunctional as Collins acknowledges Congress to be, he says, on this issue, there is actually very real, bipartisan momentum in favor of reform in both chambers.

"There is a strong, bi-partisan movement for criminal justice reform and for sentencing reform," he tells me. "Republicans, Democrats, liberals, Tea Partiers, hard-core conservatives, old-school law and orders --- you name it --- there's this broad bi-partisan momentum to do something on criminal justice reform."

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, with an opportunity to call out Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for his remarkable display of hypocrisy in the wake of historic flooding in his home state.

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

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GUEST: Climate scientist Dr. Michael E. Mann on that and much more
PLUS: Updates on AL vote suppression; NM's indicted SoS; OR's school massacre...
By Brad Friedman on 10/5/2015 6:14pm PT  

On today's BradCast, I'm joined by climate scientist Dr. Michael E. Mann of Pennsylvania State University, to discuss the historic flooding event now ongoing in South Carolina, even as Hurricane Joaquin missed the state by hundreds of miles.

The award-winning Mann, author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, offers a sobering explanation of the relationship between climate change and record flooding in SC. He also discusses what is actually meant by the phrase "1000-year flood", as so casually cited by SC Gov. Nikki Hailey (R) over the weekend, even as more than half of her state now faces unprecedented disaster.

"When you hear a statistic like that, 'it's a 1000-year event', that's based on the assumption that what's happening right now is no different from the sorts of things that were happening in the distant past, that the climate isn't changing. And it is," Mann tells me. "Climate change is very detectably increasing the likelihoods of precisely these sorts of events. Things we used to call a '1000-year event' become '100-year events'. And pretty soon, if we continue on the course that we are on, what was a '100-year event' becomes a '3 or 4-year event'."

Mann goes on to explain the climatic patterns that made the SC event possible, and how we are likely to experience much more of it in the very near future. "Part of the story --- and don't let anyone tell you otherwise --- was record heat in the Atlantic, which meant there was record moisture off the coast. And it's that record level of moisture in the atmosphere giving us these record levels of rainfall."

"There's no question --- what we're seeing play out is precisely what we warned would play out decades ago," he tells me, before discussing what we may be able to expect from this year's record El Nino out West, where the ocean is also at record temperatures amidst a "1000-year drought" here in California.

He also offers some thoughts on the new blockbuster report from Inside Climate News (as I discussed with the co-author of that investigative series last week), concerning Exxon's knowledge, as early as 1977, of the catastrophic dangers of man-made global warming, thanks to the use of their product and their subsequent about-face decision to fund climate change denialist organizations beginning in the 1990s. Man describes the opportuninty for Exxon to have led us to a scientific solution long ago as both "sad" and "tragic", among other things.

Also today: Updates on the closure of DMVs in Alabama for, purportedly, "budgetary reasons", even as the shutdowns will disproportionately affect the ability of African-Americans to cast a vote in the state and could cost more in the defense of lawsuits than is saved by the closures; New Mexico's Sec. of State Dianna Duran (R) is now facing a 65th(!!!) criminal count --- this one for identify theft and forgery --- as we are reminded, once again, why simply "trusting" election officials is not a valid option in our Constitutional representative democracy; And, finally, updates on last week's shooting massacre in Oregon and how Fox 'News' and the Republicans are still doing all they can do to do nothing at all to prevent more such massacres in the future...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show 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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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: Matthew Menendez of Brennan Center for Justice
Plus: Rain in L.A.; Rightwing Aussie PM ousted; GOPers for climate action; Liberty U. students respond to Sanders...
By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2015 5:16pm PT  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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: Journalist Colleen Kimmett...
By Brad Friedman on 8/28/2015 5:59pm PT  

Both Hurricane Katrina and Cindy Sheehan's 'Camp Casey' protest outside of George W. Bush's Crawford, TX pretend-ranch took place 10 years ago this week. On today's BradCast, we commemorate both with some personal remembrances from our live on-air coverage of both events at the time.

First, where we are today: As Dubya came out from years of (justifiable) hiding today to speak at a rebuilt school in New Orleans, journalist Colleen Kimmett joins us to discuss the successes and failures of the privatized charter school system that was allowed to take over in New Orleans following the Katrina disaster.

Then we dig deep into the audio archives to revisit some of our on-the-ground, round-the-clock radio coverage of Sheehan's historic anti-war protest in August of 2005 --- including the remarkable on-air moment on Sunday evening, August 28, 2005 when we first received the jaw-dropping National Weather Service bulletin warning of Katrina coming ashore.

Both landmark national events intertwined on our radio coverage from 10 years ago, and, as we discuss on today's program, marked a key turning point for our nation, our wars, and the entire Bush Presidency.

Finally, our latest Green News Report looks back at Katrina's devastation, looks forward to NASA's new warning that at least 3 feet of sea level rise is now "locked in," and the new report from Citigroup finding that moving to renewable clean energy will actually be less expensive than sticking with our current fossil fuel status quo...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

[Photo above of Jeff Keys, Cindy Sheehan and Joan Baez courtesy of "Alaska Gyrl" Kim Terpening, who happened to be on air with us in Crawford as the NWS bulletin came across the wires. And here are some of those photos I mentioned on the show today of Karl Rove happily glad-handing the pro-Bush, anti-Sheehan demonstrators in Crawford at the very same moment that Katrina was drowning New Orleans.]

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UPDATE 8/29/2015: As 'PDiddie' (who expertly curates BRAD BLOG's Sunday Toons each week) reminds me in comments below, he was also in Crawford at the very same time! See his contemporaneous 2005 description of some of the same moments remembered in the show above (including him sitting down to listen to some of our live broadcasts at the time) over at his Brains & Eggs' site!

Also, too, see @NTXProgressive's fantastic Storify, which includes a bunch of great photos (including one of us) from the time capsule, documenting moments from 'Camp Casey' in Crawford --- and even as Katrina rolled ashore...

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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: Diann Rust-Tierney of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty...
By Brad Friedman on 8/17/2015 4:39pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the slow, painful death of the GOP as a legitimate political party continues, even as the corporate mainstream media continues to fail to notice and Donald Trump keeps rising in the bargain.

Then --- speaking of slow, painful deaths --- following the Connecticut Supreme Court's finding last week that the state's Death Penalty is unconstitutional, we're joined by Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty to assess where the nation has moved on capitol punishment in recent years, and how long it may be before the practice is once again banned across the entire country.

"Most of the country lives in a place that doesn't have the death penalty, Rust-Tierney tells me. "We have death penalty statutes on the books, but the reality is that there are only a handful of jurisdictions in the country that are using the death penalty."

She cites just three states --- Texas, Missouri and Florida --- in which 80% of the nation's executions took place in 2014 to help point out how "the system is broken from beginning to end" and how, "as the death penalty becomes rarer, it becomes more arbitrary and indefensible."

Carrying out executions is far more expensive than life in prison, she notes, adding that it also does not serve as a deterrent. "In the parts of the country where the death penalty is still used, the Southern region has the highest murder rates. The Northeast, which uses the death penalty the least, you see lower murder rates."

Also today: More disturbing signs and warnings of global warming out here in California --- from record fires to fear of floods and the coming predictions of a "Godzilla El Niño" this year. Is it really set to hit? Perhaps, but be careful what you wish for, bone dry California, as our own Desi Doyen reminds us of the horrific historical record from the state's Great Flood of 1862...

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!
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Guest: BRAD BLOG's legal analyst Ernest A. Canning...
By Brad Friedman on 8/13/2015 4:30pm PT  

On today's BradCast we cover a number of important new rulings on a number of important cases around the country --- and most of those rulings are actually very good news!

I'm joined by Desi Doyen and The BRAD BLOG's legal analyst Ernest A. Canning to discuss several of them (after a blessedly short few minutes on Trump and Fox 'News' at the top --- you're welcome!), including:

• The matter of the nation's dumbest Governor, Maine's Paul LePage (R), who tried, but failed, to properly veto some 65 pieces of legislation passed by his state legislature. The verdict is now back from the state Supreme Court, to whom LePage had appealed to help fix his epic failure. Suffice to say, LePage remains the nation's dumbest Governor.

• A Colorado state appellate court has now ruled on the case of a local baker who says he really doesn't mind serving gay people in his shop at all...unless they want to buy a cake to celebrate their wedding. Should he be allowed to refuse service based on a so-called religious belief?

• The Connecticut Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the state's death penalty after the legislature passed a law banning its use...on everybody except the 11 prisoners who were already sentenced to die before the state's moratorium was passed.

• A U.S. Appeals Court rules on whether Idaho's "Ag-Gag" law, barring journalists and whistleblowers from video taping abuses at factory farms, feed lots and slaughter houses, etc.,. violates the Constitution's First Amendment and whether those who violate that law can be thrown in jail, as the law mandates!

• A U.S. Appeals Court in Texas has ruled against the state Republicans' disenfranchising Photo ID voting restriction, finding it a violation of the Voting Rights Act. But will the state GOP be successful in appealing and/or forestalling that ruling until after next year's elections?

All of the above and more discussed, debated, analyzed and dissected on today's BradCast! Plus, the the latest Green News Report on the U.S. Forest Service now spending half of their budget on fighting fires, thanks to global warming, and Elon Musk stepping up to help save Africa...with the power of the sun...

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With Cassandra Fairbanks in Ferguson, Margot Paez at the L.A. Sanders rally, and Nicole Sandler's exclusive interview with Bernie Sanders...
By Brad Friedman on 8/11/2015 5:17pm PT  

We've got a big BradCast today, with on-the-ground reports from Ferguson, the huge Bernie Sanders rally in Los Angeles and an extended portion of an exclusive interview with Sanders himself.

First, we check in with Cassandra Fairbanks from our affiliate Sputnik News. She's in Ferguson covering the protests of the police killing of Michael Brown one year after his death and the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Fairbanks was, incredibly, arrested yesterday while covering one of the demonstrations as a journalist. "They started arresting everyone," she tells me in detailing the incident. "I said, 'You know I'm press, and [the police officer] was like, 'I don't care, you're going to jail.' It was arrest first, ask questions later."

She also reports that white, militant rightwing protesters, openly carrying semi-automatic weapons in Ferguson, are being left alone by the St. Louis County police while local black protesters are receiving an entirely different treatment for the mere suspicion of being armed.

Then, 'feeling the Bern' in L.A. after 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders drew some 28,000 supporters to the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena out here last night, following only slightly smaller crowds over the weekend in Portland and Seattle where he also faced a small, but intense protest from self-proclaimed members of the Black Lives Matter movement.

We detail how Sanders' campaign appears to have deftly adjusted course in the wake of that and a similar protest in Phoenix last month, but how big questions about his foreign policy positions still linger for many progressives. (Our recent interview with author and peace activist David Swanson on that latter issue is back here.)

Former BradCast associate producer Margot Paez interviews Sanders supporters at the raucus L.A. event on the foreign policy questions, and then Nicole Sandler, of our affiliate RadioOrNot.com, presses Sanders himself on the matter in an exclusive interview!

"If you have an aggressive foreign policy, if you think the United States should have ground troops in the Middle East, if you think we should be engaged in perpetual warfare, well, then you're going to have a larger military budget," Sanders tells Sandler. "Needless to say, that's not my view. I think organizations like ISIS and al Qaeda, very dangerous organizations, have to be combated and have to be defeated. But it can't be the United States alone," he says.

He discusses, if somewhat vaguely, his position on aiding partners in the Middle East and argues that "we can make judicious cuts in military spending without harming our ability to defend ourselves."

All of that and much more, including the latest Green News Report with Desi Doyen on today's BradCast! Please enjoy responsibly!

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Award-winning journalist charges LAPD 'basically stole something out of evidence room ... to send a message to other reporters'
Also: D.R. Tucker on MSNBC's firing of climate hawk Ed Schultz...
By Brad Friedman on 8/4/2015 5:02pm PT  

While the nation is getting more progressive by the day, it doesn't appear to be getting much easier for progressives in the corporate media. On today's BradCast, we talk about two progressive journalists both fired from two different corporate media outlets within the past week.

Award-winning syndicated editorial cartoonist, author and columnist Ted Rall joins us to discuss his bizarre firing by the Los Angeles Times last week after the LAPD leaked a 14-year old audio tape of Rall being ticketed for jaywalking to the paper. They claim it disproves a recent claim about the incident made by Rall in an LA Times column last May. Audio enhancement of the poor quality tape, however, suggests otherwise.

Why did the paper trust the LAPD without authenticating a 14-year old audio tape that appeared from nowhere? And was the firing about more than just that one column?

"Look, I pissed off cops. I've done many anti-LAPD cartoons and essays over the years. The LAPPL [Los Angeles Police Protective League] made clear in their blog that they have long been angered by me, and they are crowing about my dismissal. So, just at a bare minimum, think about how disturbing this is," Rall tells me. "The LAPD, or the LAPPL, passed illegally --- basically stole something out of the evidence room --- slipped it to the top editors at the LA Times, one of the biggest and most widely-respected metro-dailies in the United States, in order to get me fired. In order to send a message to other reporters, 'don't screw with cops'."

"This would be disturbing, even if I'd been lying," Rall explains. "Even if I'd been fibbing, this would be the nuclear option." He believes, however, that the professionally enhanced audio tapes completely exonerate him and tells me that the LA Times (who has yet to respond to my request for comment on this) has stayed mum since the professionally enhanced audio has been published.

"This is a huge story. This is an epic example of corruption at the highest levels of government and media. I don't want to use the 'c' word, conspiracy, but it might legally be considered a conspiracy," Rall believes. He tells me he is now considering his legal options against both the paper and the police.

Also on today's program, D.R. Tucker of The Washington Monthly (and, too occasionally, of The BRAD BLOG) joins us to discuss MSNBC's firing of Ed Schultz last week and the impact it may have on corporate coverage of both the TPP and of climate change, particularly following Schultz' remarkable reporting last year which subsequently led to his reversal on support for the Keystone XL pipeline.

"It's not often that you see somebody have a principled change of heart," Tucker explains. "And of course he was pilloried for that by the shills for the fossil fuel industry for daring to change his mind. But he stood his ground, and he basically maintained, right up until the day he was off the air, that the Keystone XL was a bad idea."

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on Obama's new EPA rules for slashing carbon emissions at power plants in a landmark action to fight global warming...

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Plus: Hacks, debates, pipelines, spying, approval ratings and more...
By Brad Friedman on 7/28/2015 4:47pm PT  

Before things get really dirty today on today's BradCast, breaking news on Planned Parenthood getting hacked and what that should mean for your electoral system; a U.S. Senator reports that Obama plans to reject the Keystone XL pipeline; NSA plans to finally destroy American phone records (thanks to Edward Snowden); and approval ratings fall off a cliff for the Republican Party --- especially by Republicans!

Then, though you may need a shower afterward (I do!), the latest Trump mess on allegations of 'rape' by his former wife Ivana and the amazing response to those claims by Trump's long-time attorney --- who needs to be fired...immediately.

Yes, this is the man who is now the front-runner for the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States in 2016. Moreover, the first official Presidential debate is scheduled on Fox "News" for a week from Thursday. So, I guess it's time to start covering the man as we'd cover any other legitimate candidate, much less the front-runner, right?

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report to make everything better again --- except for that stuff about the imminent destruction of the human race...

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Guest: Author/journalist Ari Berman of The Nation...
By Brad Friedman on 7/17/2015 4:08pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we start where we left off on yesterday's show, regarding Thursday's amazingly corrupt and disturbing ruling in favor of Scott Walker and his cronies --- by the amazingly corrupt Wisconsin Supreme Court --- and how, if Republicans have their way, that ruling may soon enough become the law of the land for the entire nation.

As our producer Desi Doyen noted on today's show: "This is your early warning system." Ignore at your peril. Then it was on to a couple of quick items and updates, including dumb Confederate flag wavers in Oklahoma and Maine's even dumber Governor Paul LePage.

From there, we head to North Carolina, where "the most extreme anti-voter bill passed by any state since the Jim Crow Era", as we initially described it when it was passed by state Republicans back in 2013, is finally now facing trial against the NAACP, the ACLU, the DoJ and other democracy and voting rights advocates.

We are joined by The Nation's author/journalist Ari Berman, who was in the federal courtroom in Winston-Salem, NC this week as the trial finally got under way. The results of this trial are likely to head all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, one way or another, and may well determine the future of voting rights in this country. The new voting restrictions were passed in 2013, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court demolished the provision of the Voting Rights Act that otherwise, says Berman, would have kept this law --- which is "already disenfranchising voters" --- from even taking effect.

"That's such a clear case study to me that the Supreme Court was wrong when it said that the special protections of the Voting Rights act weren't needed." Berman goes on to explain why he believes NC, a state which had made astounding progress in voting rights over the previous decade, has now become the new Selma, Alabama, where the bloody fight for voting rights led directly to passage of the federal Voting Rights Act in 1965.

"In North Carolina, they had seemingly everything," Berman tells me. "They had all these voting reforms --- early voting, same day registration, pre-registration for 16 &17 year olds. And it was all taken away or reduced" when the GOP took over both the state legislature and Governor's mansion for the first time since Reconstruction in 2013.

"What Selma in the 1960s and what North Carolina in the 2013-2015 era shows is how far these conservative white Southerners will go to protect political power. There aren't billy clubs. There aren't literacy tests. But they're saying this is how black turnout increased --- North Carolina went from 48th in voter turnout in the late 80s, to 11th in voter turnout in 2012 --- Republicans there basically said we're gonna tamp this turnout down."

And now it's left to the courts to find out if those rights, once granted, can be taken away by political whim --- and if NC, and other states with a history of racial discrimination in elections, will be forced once again to face preclearance from the federal government before they can enforce any new voting restrictions.

Berman has a lot of insight on all of this. His new book, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, will be published next month to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of passage of the VRA. As I note during the show, the book is an exhaustively researched and heart-wrenching documentation of the uniquely American and harrowing tale of the fight to vote in this country --- and the outrageously long and continuing effort to block it. That fight continues, sadly, to this day. Go buy his book!

Finally, Desi joins us again for some listener email and then a stunningly upbeat Green News Report for a change!...

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Guest: Michael B. Gerrard of the Sabin Center for Climate Change...
By Brad Friedman on 6/30/2015 5:38pm PT  

Today on The BradCast...NJ Gov. Chris Christie is officially in! He's running for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination with the slogan: "Telling Like It Is".

But was he telling it like it was when he secretly snuck out of New Jersey in 2011 to secretly give the keynote address at the Koch Brothers secret billionaire summit in Vail, Colorado, as we reported exclusively here at BRAD BLOG and at Mother Jones that year?

We'll tell you the real truth that Christie didn't and won't. And we'll play a bit of the secret audio tapes of Christie and David Koch (calling him "my kind of guy"), that we'd obtained and published at the time. (Read/listen to all the Koch Tapes stories, with audio and transcript, right here: BradBlog.com/KochTapes)

Also, wingnuts - from Cruz to O'Reilly to Huckabee and beyond --- melt down following last week's Supreme Court rulings on marriage and "Obamacare". After picking such stupid fights in the first place, what would you expect? We enjoy laughing at them.

Then, we're joined by attorney Michael B. Gerrard, director of Columbia University's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, to discuss yesterday's Supreme Court ruling striking down the EPA's rule limiting mercury and other pollutants from coal-fired power plants (he explains a silver lining there), and the arguably even bigger news out of the Netherlands last week, where a court responded to a citizen lawsuit by ordering the Dutch government to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"I would say this is the most important decision on climate change law outside of the United States ever issued," Gerrard explains about the first-of-its-kind, landmark ruling. "Assuming that it stands, it is an extremely important decision."

Finally today, a bit of breaking news out of Cuba and then Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report on all of the above and more...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/26/2015 11:29am PT  

Not to say "we told ya so," but...well...

In February of 2004, in the 15th article we ever posted to The BRAD BLOG, in a short piece headlined "Gay Marriage. Done Deal." we wrote rather presciently (even if we say so ourselves) and seemingly against all odds at the time: "The wall seems to be finally coming down, and the GOP and DNC are as powerless to stop it as East German Chancellor Erich Honecker was to stop the Berlin Wall from toppling in '89."

While the institutional barriers erected against marriage equality didn't fall quite as quickly as the Berlin Wall was finally toppled, today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling [PDF] in Obergefell v. Hodges, determining that marriage is a fundamental Constitutional right in all fifty states in the union, came faster than almost everyone had could have predicted, certainly 11 years ago.

In September of 2010, in the midst of some seemingly dark days for the nation, but even as the first of many federal court cases began to reveal the utter moral bankruptcy of the case against equal rights for all, we reminded readers once again that rights always win and haters always lose...eventually.

Here's what we wrote at the time...

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




Guest: Annie Platoff of the North American Vexillological Association; Plus: Callers, Trump surge & more!...
By Brad Friedman on 6/24/2015 5:22pm PT  

As the Confederate flag falls, once again, across the South, in the wake of the Charleston AME church terrorist attack, flag expert Annie Platoff of the North American Vexillological Association (yes, there is such a thing!) joins us to a question I've had all week on The BradCast: Why so much passion about a piece of colored cloth?!

I understand why people want the Confederate Battle Flag taken down. But I have much less understanding of why people are so passionate and emotional about wanting it, or any other flag, to be raised in the first place --- at least outside of a military context.

Platoff, who, in addition to being a flag expert is also a librarian at UCSB, explains the history of flags, their symbolic importance, and why they inspire such passion --- both for and against. She also tells us about the Apollo mission flags, which are still on the Moon, and about which wrote a paper when she worked as a lunar/Mars librarian at NASA. (She's also an expert on Russian flags and discussed their history and use in more recent context, both after the fall of the Soviet Union and during the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.)

Also on today's BradCast: A whole lot of breaking news on a whole lot of stuff, including Donald Trump's surge into 2nd place in the GOP 2016 race in New Hampshire (told ya so!); Listener/callers weigh in on the controversial Confederate flag and more; Plus: Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report!...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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