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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, August 29, 2015
10 Years Later - Crawford and Katrina: 'BradCast' 8/28/15
Personal remembrances and audio from our on-air, on-the-ground 2005 coverage of Cindy Sheehan's anti-war uprising at the Bush 'ranch' in TX as Hurricane Katrina stormed ashore...
'A Crazy Man Got a Gun': 'BradCast' 8/27/15
Standing up to the NRA after Roanoke, horrifying U.S. gun death toll; PLUS: Denying global warming on Katrina's 10th anniversary; Trump's ugly nativism; Good news for Dems; Marriage dead-enders in KY...
'Green News Report' 8/27/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
10th anniv. of Hurricane Katrina; NASA warns 3 ft. of sea level rise now locked in; Obama heads to the Arctic; PLUS: Switch to clean energy will cost less than fossil fuel, says Citigroup
Previous GNRs: 8/25/15 - 8/20/15 - Archives...
Let's Go to the Phones: 'BradCast' 8/26/15
Covering a lot of ground with listener callers -- from the on-air shootings in Roanoke, VA to why Democrats shouldn't be so gleeful about Donald Trump -- and much more...
Carly's Climate Clap-Trap or The Fiorina Follies:
'BradCast' 8/25/15
Journalist David Roberts on the 'moderate', 'reasonable' GOP candidate's ridiculous climate comments and Citigroup's global warming report. Plus: Beck, Trump and Sanders...
'Green News Report' 8/25/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
July 2015 hottest month ever recorded; Record wildfires get worse; Mysterious whale deaths in WA; Oil hit hard by China crash; PLUS: Obama calls out anti-free market ideology...
Previous GNRs: 8/20/15 - 8/18/15 - Archives...
TX Photo ID Law Found Illegal, Yet Still Suppressing Voters: 'BradCast' 8/24/15
Guests: Attorney Ernest A. Canning on TX' discriminatory law; Financial journalist David Dayen on Dow 'crash'...
Sunday Toons, Untrustworthy Edition
Hillary's email; Ashley Madison's mess; Subway's Jared; Schumer's shame; Amazon agonistes; Trump's tyranny and more...
E-Cigs Are Good For You; GOP is Not: 'BradCast' 8/21/15
Also: Bernie Sanders & ignoring corporate media are good for you too...
5th Circuit Photo ID Ruling Could Leave Thousands Without Right to Vote in TX
'Good news' decision could leave 600k lawfully registered voters disenfranchised in 2016...
'No Good Evidence' Russia Behind MH17 Shootdown in Ukraine, Says Longtime CIA Analyst: 'BradCast' 8/20/15
Exclusive interview with 27-year, top CIA vet turned peace activist Ray McGovern...
'Green News Report' 8/20/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Fox 'News' now 'cares' about environment; Hillary opposes Arctic drilling; EPA rules to cut methane; Islamic leaders call for climate action; PLUS: River toxins create intersex fish...
Previous GNRs: 8/18/15 - 8/13/15 - Archives...
Did KXL Judges Profit Off Ruling?: 'BradCast' 8/19/15
Investigative journalist Steve Horn on two judges who allowed the disturbing precedent that led to the completion and opening of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline...
AT&T/NSA Whistleblower Mark Klein on New AT&T/NSA Docs: 'BradCast' 8/18/15
'They approached the phone companies before 9/11,' he says, citing new Snowden disclosures that 'vindicate' his own 2006 revelations...
'Green News Report' 8/18/15
Shell gets go-ahead to drill Arctic, Obama to visit to Arctic; July 2015 hottest on record; 'Monster' El Nino brewing; PLUS: Oregon kids sue govt over global warming...
Demise of the Death Penalty and Rise of The Donald's GOP; 'BradCast' 8/17/15
With Diann Rust-Tierney of National Coaltion to Abolish Death Penalty; Plus: 'Godzilla El Nino!' & more!...
Sunday Toons: Money Changes Everything
Another great collection this week from 'PDiddie'! On money in politics, poison in the river, Rick Perry in trouble and much more...
Happy 80th Social Security! And What's China Up To?: BradCast 8/14/15
Guest host Nicole Sandler interviews Eric Kingson on Social Security and more and Dave Johnson on China's currency manipulation...
VERDICTS IN: On ME Guv; CO Cakes; CT Death Penalty, ID 'Ag-Gag' & TX Photo ID: 'BradCast' 8/13/2015
Analyzing several recent, important rulings along with BRAD BLOG's Ernest A. Canning...
'Green News Report' 8/13/15
Half of US Forest Service budget now fighting wildfires; Australia's climate targets denounced; New Zealand ditches coal; PLUS: Free solar for African schools...
Walker, Bush Lies and Bernie's Rise: 'BradCast' 8/12/15
The Nation's John Nichols on new Walker revelations and Black Lives Matter makes Sanders a better candidate; Plus: Big news for Bernie & more!
'The Kids Who Die'
The words of Langston Hughes, spoken in a new video, capture the essence of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Please take less than three minutes to watch...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


With 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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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 7/23/2015 10:13am PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Ohio's Republican Gov. John Kasich jumps into the 2016 race - we'll try to decipher his position on climate change; Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley links global warming to Middle East unrest and ISIS...and Fox News heads explode; PLUS: California Gov. Jerry Brown slams climate science deniers --- and so does The Terminator... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Dire Climate Warning Raises Questions, Not Answers; At U.S. Capitol, Arizona Apaches Protest Planned Copper Mine; Federal court upholds EPA pollutant rule; Way Cleared for Shell to Start Drilling in Arctic Ocean... PLUS: Climate change ‘might make the planet ungovernable’... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Guest: Dr. Yosef Brody of Psychologists for Social Responsibility
Plus: Progressive protesters disrupt Bernie Sanders; Donald Trump disrupts himself...
By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2015 6:05pm PT  

While the "news" networks covered Donald Trump and his comments about John McCain all weekend, we cover a bit of what they did not on today's BradCast.

First, the climate crisis comes home, as two different climate change-related disasters on California and Arizona freeways over the weekend (one drought related, one flood related) were averted --- just barely.

Then, we're joined by Dr. Yosef Brody, president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility to discuss the disturbing new independent 542-page report [PDF] commissioned by the American Psychological Association (APA), confirming that top officials at the APA colluded with the Bush Administration to approve CIA and Dept. of Defense torture techniques after 9/11. The APA then spent the next decade covering it up and smearing the whistleblowers at Brody's organization.

The findings of the new report, and the scandal in its wake, has touched off a shakeup at the top echelons of the organization. The report by a former federal prosecutor reveals "a complete and utter failure of psychological ethics," Brody tells me. "What it's saying is that what we critics have suspected for about a decade now --- that senior [APA] staff have been currying favor with the Pentagon and the CIA, effectively facilitating torture. And to top it off, they've engaged in this very sophisticated, decade-long coverup."

It was all done, he explains, to protect the Bush Administration from legal liability for war crimes, allowing them to describe their "enhanced interrogation techniques," with the blessing of the APA, as "safe, legal, ethical and effective", when they were anything but.

"This is really about a culture of corruption at the top of the largest organization of psychologists in the world," says Brody, about the APA's complicity. "We're talking about war crimes here, ultimately. And we're talking about a health professional association!"

Then, some politics: First, #BlackLivesMatter protesters disrupt Democratic Presidential candidates Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders at the progressive Netroots Nation conference over the weekend. And then, can Al Franken be blamed for Donald Trump's controversial comments about the war record of John McCain? Maybe. I explain all of that on today's BradCast!...

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Guest: Investigative journalist Tim Shorrock...
By Brad Friedman on 6/8/2015 5:14pm PT  

Investigative journalist Tim Shorrock joins me on today's BradCast to discuss his disturbing new article at The Nation on "How Private Contractors Have Created a Shadow NSA: A new cybersecurity elite moves between government and private practice, taking state secrets with them."

It's an issue, as I note during the show, that is particularly troubling giving the history of my family and me being targeted by defense contractors in years past.

Shorrock, author of the book Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing, describes the unprecedented privatization of our national security apparatus and how "the public is badly misled by the media" during debates about intelligence policies when "former" intelligence officials are presented to the public as experts without disclosure of their continuing financial ties to the industry.

Plus: As the Republican Party continues to make itself irrelevant, progressive ideas are quickly becoming mainstream ideas and Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are eager to capitalize on it. And, speaking of irrelevance, GOP 2016 candidate Rick Santorum attacks the Pope(!) for daring to speak up about saving humanity by taking action on global warming...

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Plus: A spate of new voting laws, good and bad, around the country...
By Brad Friedman on 5/19/2015 4:53pm PT  

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA-4) returned to The BradCast today to take a bit of a victory lap after President Obama's Executive Order this week restricting the flow of heavy armaments from the Dept. of Defense to state and local police via the Pentagon's 1033 program.

Johnson spoke with us most recently last summer, after Ferguson blew up, and as he was preparing to file his "Stop Militarization Law Enforcement Act of 2015" [PDF]. Long before that, he had been working to roll back the obscene militarization of our local police. So he was justifiably happy about this week's development, even while explaining that its still important to pass his legislation because Executive Orders are easily undone by Congress and Republicans are, somewhat schizophrenically, in the process of actually trying to expand the 1033 program.

Then we cover a spate of new voting laws working their way through statehouses around the country from TX to OH to NH to FL to VT to MD. While most off the new laws in Republican states are predictably restrictive and in Democratic states more expansive, there is one pleasantly surprising exception to that rule this week.

Also, millions of spiders falling from the skies in Australia! And Desi Doyen joins for the latest Green News Report, which actually includes a some encouraging good for a change!...

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Today's Savannah Guthrie echoes CNN's Erin Burnett and D.C. 'conservative consensus' that war is actually peace...
By Brad Friedman on 4/8/2015 12:33pm PT  

[This article now cross-published by Salon...]

Most of the attention that will be paid today to this interview by NBC's Savannah Guthrie will, no doubt, focus on Sen. Rand Paul's dismissive and somewhat condescending treatment of the female Today anchor. It does echo, after all, a similarly condescending and arrogant tone he struck last February during an interview with CNBC's Kelly Evans when he, literally, "shushed" her and told her to "calm down a bit", as she asked him uncomfortable questions.

But what caught my eyes and ears in this latest video (posted below) was something else entirely. And it's something which reflects far more poorly on Guthrie and the corporate media in general than it does on the junior Senator from Kentucky and now 2016 Republican Presidential candidate.

While it's true Paul appears to have trouble dealing respectfully with female interviewers and is now wildly reversing many of his previously strongly held foreign policy positions in hopes of wooing GOP voters, it's the mindset behind Guthrie's opening question which disturbs me far more. And it's one that we've seen before in the supposedly "mainstream" media...

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Case against GOP Photo ID voting law in Lone Star State is very different than recent cases before the Court, plaintiffs argue
UPDATE: Texas responds, blames 'emergency' on plaintiffs' rush to have case tried before the election...
By Ernest A. Canning on 10/16/2014 1:09pm PT  

Attorneys for U.S. Congressman Mark Veasey (D-TX) and other plaintiffs have filed an Emergency Application[PDF] with the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking to restore a lower court ruling that struck down the law last week as intentionally discriminatory and an unconstitutional poll tax. That initial U.S. District Court ruling was subsequently stayed by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this week.

Veasey's application was followed by the filing of another Emergency Application [PDF] by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ). Both were filed with Justice Antonin Scalia who oversees the 5th Circuit. Scalia has instructed the DoJ to respond by 5p ET on Thursday.

Both applications to SCOTUS were filed in the case of Veasey v. Perry in which a U.S. District Court, after a full trial on the merits, imposed a permanent injunction, preventing the State of Texas from implementing the nation's strictest photo ID law, Senate Bill 14 (SB 14).

The District Court determined that, if implemented, SB 14 could disenfranchise more than 600,000 registered Texas voters who are disproportionately black and Hispanic. The District Court not only ruled that SB 14 violated the U.S. Constitution, the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and amounted to an unconstitutional poll tax, but expressly found that it was passed as the result of deliberate and willful racial discrimination.

The emergency petitions ask that the Supreme Court lift the U.S. 5th Circuit's 11th hour stay of the injunction so as to prevent electoral chaos and confusion in the rapidly approaching November election. In the first petition, the Veasey plaintiffs argue that what the 5th Circuit did in this case --- stay a permanent injunction that was issued on the basis of a District Court finding of intentional discrimination after a full trial on the merits --- was "virtually unheard of" in the annals of American jurisprudence.

Plaintiffs contend that the 5th Circuit misapplied a leading Supreme Court case, Purcell v. Gonzalez [PDF] (2006) pertaining to the issuance of injunctions on the eve of a pending election. That case does not, as the 5th Circuit ruled, mandate a per se rule that always precludes changing a law immediately prior to an election. The DoJ contends that no such per se "rule exists, and the court of appeals clearly and demonstrably erred in failing to apply the established stay factors."

Instead, plaintiffs forcefully argue, "The Purcell principle", mandates that an appellate court give deference to the factual findings of the District Court. The 5th Circuit, they add, erred by ignoring the requirement of Purcell that Texas prove it would likely succeed on an appeal. The 5th Circuit also erred, they say, because it failed to balance the state's allegations about possible confusion that might ensue from implementing pre-SB 14 law against the "actual" confusion, chaos and mass disenfranchisement that the District Court, based upon uncontested evidence, concluded would occur if SB 14 is enforced in the November 4th election (early voting begins in TX on October 20th).

"Imagine that a state passed a law, six months before an election, stating that 'Negroes cannot vote,'" the plaintiffs write. "It would be ludicrous for an appellate court to turn around and stay that injunction because of some per se rule that election laws can never change immediately prior to elections"...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/14/2014 3:54pm PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Coal wins Kentucky's U.S. Senate debate!; Pentagon warns climate change an immediate threat to national security; East Coast cities could see daily flooding from rising seas within 30 years; Wind power the cheapest source of energy; PLUS: It's official: September 2014 was the hottest September on record globally (Don't tell Fox 'News'!)... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Record Antarctic sea ice a 'warning bell'; Australia PM: "Coal is good for humanity"; Sea level rising fastest in 6k years; BPA manufacturers releasing into the air; Renewables driving power generation in Africa; Emissions cuts will fuel 'boom' in Midwest jobs; Louisiana racing to reclaim vanishing lands; Oil tankers spill into Seattle waters... PLUS: Can Progressives, enviros, and scientists save capitalism from the pro-collapse polluters? ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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By Brad Friedman on 8/23/2014 2:34pm PT  

In response to concerns about the militarization of local police, which America has seen on shameful display in Ferguson, MO following the police killing of Michael Brown, President Obama indicated during a presser last Monday that there could be some change coming.

"There is a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement, and we don't want those line blurred," he said about the horses which long ago left the barn. "That would be contrary to our traditions."

He added: "I think that there will be some bi-partisan interest in re-examining some of those programs."

On Saturday, Obama announced an official review of the Pentagon's "1033 Program" which, since 1990, has transferred, for free, some $4 billion worth of surplus military equipment, such as Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, armored Humvees, high-caliber weapons, aircraft, armed drones and silencers, to local law enforcement agencies around the country. As CNN has just reported:

President Barack Obama has ordered a review of programs allowing for state and local enforcement to buy military equipment, a senior administration official said Saturday.

The decision follows public criticism of the use of such assets recently in Ferguson, Missouri.

The review will touch on several points, including

-- Whether such programs and funding are appropriate;

-- Whether state and local enforcement agencies have the necessary training and guidance after getting such equipment;

-- Whether the federal government is sufficiently auditing the use of equipment obtained through federal programs and funding.

White House staff --- including members of the Domestic Policy Council, the National Security Council, the Office of Management and Budget --- will lead the review in coordination with Congress, according to the official.

Reuters adds that "relevant U.S. agencies including the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice and Treasury," will also participate in the review.

Last week, we reported on the small, but seemingly growing bi-partisan support for re-thinking the federal militarization of local law enforcement agencies. The rightwing New American, citing some of our coverage, has more on the bi-partisan calls for reform, noting that the "SWAT Lobby" (yes, apparently there's a "SWAT Lobby") is now working to defend the program.

On this week's BradCast we interviewed Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), a proponent of blocking the transfer of this kind of militarized equipment and for including accountability measures for the billions of dollars worth of equipment which has already been given to local agencies.

"My main hope is to stop the flow of this military grade equipment to local law enforcement agencies throughout America," Johnson told us during the interview on KPFK/Pacifica Radio. "We've been flooding the streets with this surplus military weaponry, and I think the situation in Ferguson exemplifies what happens when you have too much powerful equipment in the hands of folks who don't have the judgment or the training to utilize it properly." (Full interview here.)

The latest version of Johnson's "Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act" [PDF] is here. The Congressman had begun work on the legislation long before Ferguson erupted, but is finally receiving recognition for that effort. Now, it seems, he and other proponents may have some support from the White House. But, we'll see. These "reviews" have a way of disappearing into the ether. Legislation like Johnson's, on the other hand, is what is needed to really make a difference in this shameful practice, which has, in truth, become little more than a way around the long-standing Posse Comitatus Act (1878) which expressly limited the use of federal military personnel to enforce local and state laws.

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By Brad Friedman on 8/20/2014 11:09pm PT  

I was joined on this week's KPFK/Pacifica Radio BradCast by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), to discuss his "Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act" [PDF] which he plans to introduce when the U.S. House returns from their endless recess in September.

He's been at work on the bill long before the local "RoboCops" hit the streets when Ferguson, Missouri blew up recently after the police killing of Michael Brown. As Johnson described the legislation in his March 2014 USA Today op-ed, presciently headlined "Small town American shouldn't resemble a war zone", the bill would "ban MRAPs, other armored personnel carriers, drones, assault weapons and aircraft" from being transferred to local police departments under the Pentagon's "1033 Program" and "ensure that the Department of Defense undertakes an annual accounting of what's been transferred, by whom and to whom to prevent military items from being auctioned on eBay or sold to friends."

"My main hope is to stop the flow of this military grade equipment to local law enforcement agencies throughout America," Johnson told me during our interview today. "We've been flooding the streets with this surplus military weaponry, and I think the situation in Ferguson exemplifies what happens when you have too much powerful equipment in the hands of folks who don't have the judgment or the training to utilize it properly."

But has the horse already left the barn on this issue? And does the Congressman stand a chance of getting his bill through our broken U.S. Congress, even with some apparent bi-partisan support for curbing police militarization from folks like Republican 2016 Presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul, who recently called for the same in a Time magazine op-ed? You'll have to listen below to hear Johnson's thoughts on those questions.

After the Congressman left, I discussed a few other related items, such as the voter registration drive now taking place in Ferguson, and took a bunch of calls on all of the above, including at least one amazing one, in which the caller named "Al" insisted that "minorities are in worse shape than they've ever been" in this country. He says that "since 1965 we have been going down hill as a nation." Hmm... I wonder what might have happened during that year to make him feel that way?

I hope you'll enjoy this week's program...

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By Brad Friedman on 8/15/2014 6:51pm PT  

[An updated version of this article has now been published by Salon. Updates to the version posted here, following the weekend's developments in Ferguson, are posted at the end of the article.]

On Wednesday night, I had snarked on Twitter about the lack of so-called "Tea Party" "patriots" --- like those brave boys and girls who, earlier this year, pointed their big assault-rifles at federal officials to protect the "right" of a scofflaw rancher in Nevada to illegally graze his cattle for free on land that he did not own --- failing to show up to protect the actual rights and freedoms of so many being denied them by actual Big Government Tyranny in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri.

Some Rightwingers, like libertarian Justin Raimondo of Antiwar.com shot back at me (figuratively) on Twitter, arguing that "The Bundy patriots didn't take BS from the cops. They stood and fought," adding that the Ferguson protesters were facing the "same fight" and, had those protesters only brought guns with them, the police would have backed down. Or something.

"Would the cops be murdering blacks in #Ferguson if the people were armed? No," Raimondo told me, as if he just arrived in the U.S. from some other planet. "Armed resistance tends to discourage aggression," he insisted, between some silly ad hominem bluster in which he charged me with "worship[ing]" the government, and "lov[ing] the state that murders blacks" (also of being a "loser" with a "fat ass" or some such, but that's even easier to laugh at).

And then something changed on the streets of Ferguson Thursday night, which made Raimondo's comments seem even more transparently silly.

After the fully-militarized police were pulled away, ordered by the Missouri Governor to be replaced by grown-ups who marched with the protesters, calm and even jubilance returned to the previously tear gas-filled streets of Ferguson, MO. The contrast on Thursday night from the days prior couldn't have been more stark, according to virtually everyone on the ground there. It was the police, not the protesters, who had exacerbated roiling racial tensions, arrested reporters and needlessly filled the streets with panic and tear gas in the days prior, just as assuredly as it was a Ferguson cop who killed Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teen who was supposedly stopped for nothing more than alleged "Jay Walking".

It was peaceful citizens, with their empty hands in the air --- not pretend "patriots" aiming long guns at the buffoonish, intimidating, embarrassing, jungle-camouflaged-in-exurban-streets cops --- who may ultimately be seen as the ones who helped begin a national rollback of the absurd militarization, perhaps better described as "Hollywoodization," of our nation's law enforcement organizations.

It was not armed resistance, but peaceful resistance that may have brought about real, if tenuous, change in Ferguson, and maybe even the rest of the country...

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

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GUEST: Peace activist, author David Swanson...
By Brad Friedman on 8/14/2014 6:02am PT  

On this week's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio, I invited peace activist David Swanson to explain to me why it's wrong for the U.S. to take military action in Iraq amidst what the President describes as "genocide".

David is a friend, occassional guest blogger here, and author of War is a Lie (2007), When the World Outlawed War (2011) and War No More: The Case for Abolition (2013).

I pressed him and he offered a smart, persuasive, and well-reasoned case. Yet, I'm still not certain that I'm persuaded. Please give the short conversation a listen and let me know what you think.

We also took calls on the above, and covered a bunch of other stuff, including updates on the CA Supreme Court nixing the "corporate personhood" ballot initiative (Prop 49); the extraordinary North Carolina "voter suppression" law that a federal judge (W. Bush appointee) has allowed to move forward for now; and the remarkable story of federal judge Mark Fuller --- who helped railroad former AL Gov. Don Siegelman (D) into federal prison --- being arrested and charged for allegedly beating up his latest wife in an Atlanta hotel room over the weekend.

All of that, and a visit from Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report, as the News Summer from Hell continues...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 5/25/2014 12:05pm PT  

It's that time of year again. Memorial Day weekend. When politicians of all parties love to pretend they care about the men and women they send away to fight and die for wars of political expediency, only to pretty much completely ignore them for the rest of their lives once they come back home.

The latest "outrage" about the various failings of the Veterans Administration is just more evidence of that. The Obama administration has known about many of the problems for years, but hasn't done nearly enough to fix them. Now that the issues have found their way into the media again, the Republicans, who've spent years denying veterans benefits and refusing to fund the VA at levels adequate to support their much-beloved wars-without-end, are pretending to be upset about it all --- now that they believe they can use it to hurt their real enemy, this particular President of the United States.

And that's where The Daily Show's Jon Stewart jumped back in to the matter last week, pointing out that the latest hypocrisy is, in fact, not particularly new for the U.S., not by a long shot.

Our friend Tom Courbat of Riverside, CA (decidedly not to be confused with Pennsylvania's democracy and freedom hating Gov. Tom Corbett) --- a Vietnam-era Agent Orange and Multiple Myeloma Surviving veteran, as well as great homefront hero of Democracy for many, many years --- requested we post Stewart's latest take over this Memorial Day weekend. We are all too happy to do so. It is, quite literally, the very least we can do to say thanks to Tom and all the others vets who have given far more for their country than it will ever be able to return in kind.

As Courbat writes us about Stewart's take (posted below): "Nothing, nothing I have EVER seen summarized as well how our country has managed to screw over our vets, going all the way back to our war for independence from England! You will be blown away by what you learn --- and this MUST be shown for the Memorial Day."

And so it shall be. Both parts of Stewart's epic takedown from Thursday night's show follow below. If you only have time for one of the two parts, let it be PART 2...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 5/15/2014 4:06pm PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Update on Turkish coal mine tragedy; California wilting and burning; Oil pipeline bursts in L.A.; PLUS: Military leaders warn climate change threatens national security --- so Fox "News" attacks the military... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

Link:
Embed:

Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Germany sets new solar energy record: 74% of electricity; CA drought may cause earthquakes, too; End fossil fuel burning, save $71 trillion - and preserve civilization; Funny: conservatives praise Antarctic Ice Sheet melt as beautiful expression of free market; Analysis: Should we cover our roads with solar panels?; Giant poster material literally absorbs pollution; Tropical cyclones shifting toward poles; Risks questioned at closed nuclear power plants ... PLUS: VIDEO: Colbert Embraces Conservative Solution to Climate Change: 'F*ck It' ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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

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Study on corporate espionage against nonprofits charges 'unethical, illegal tools' used by nation's largest corporations, trade groups...
By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2013 6:35am PT  

Oh, what fun. This, of course, is just one of the reasons why it's important that you help support and fund the work we do here at The BRAD BLOG. We're up against the unaccountable hoodlums and thugs like the far rightwing U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest lobbying organization in the world. So we must be doing something right.

And there is no tactic too dirty for the slimeballs at the Chamber, as we're reminded again in a new report by Gary Ruskin released Wednesday by the Institute of Public Accuracy titled "Spooky Business: Corporate Espionage Against Nonprofit Organizations" [PDF].

As Ruskin notes on page 22 of the new report...

Long time readers will recall the sleazy, likely criminal, $12 million 2011 scheme plotted by the mafia-like thugs at the U.S. Chamber targeting me, my family (who have nothing to do with my work), and other progressive organizations and activists who dared oppose their corporatist, anti-American agenda in even the slightest way. Their plot involved using tools developed by private government contractors (with taxpayer dollars) for the so-called "War on Terror", and turning them against private U.S. citizens for their corporate espionage benefit...

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

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