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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Trump, 'Spousal Rape',
and His Horrible Attorney:
'BradCast' 7/28/15
Plus: Hacks, election debates, pipelines, spying, GOP approval ratings and much more...
'Green News Report' 7/28/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Hillary goes big on solar; Jeb wants to eliminate ALL energy subsidies; PLUS: New study suggests worst case sea level rise may happen much sooner than previously thought...
Previous GNRs: 7/21/15 - 7/23/15 - Archives...
Hillary's Climate Plan & the Awful Truth About It: 'BradCast' 7/27/15
Journalist David Roberts of Vox.com; Plus: Bernie beats all GOPers; Trump continues to surge; MUCH MORE...
U.S. House Passes Bill to Block 'Right to Know' About GMOs
Despite recent scientific findings on dangers of GMOs, failure of existing governmental testing standards, Repubs lead fight to keep you in the dark about what's in your food...
Sunday Toons: Guns Trump All
Also in this week's collection from 'PDiddie': Sandra Bland, Donald Trump, Iran, Climate Science and Planned Parenthood...
High Times for Pot Biz; Plus: More Shootings, More Trump: 'BradCast' 7/24/15
Dan Riffle of the Marijuana Policy Project joins us to discuss some encouraging news. Also: The Lafayette theater shooting; Perry's felonies; and Trump cracks the code...
Kansas SoS Kobach Defrauding Voters; FBI Whistleblower Coleen Rowley on 'Terrorism': 'BradCast' 7/23/15
A big show. But even bigger when our guest is a TIME Mag Person of the Year!...
'Green News Report' 7/23/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
OH's Kasich jumps into 2016 GOP race - we decipher his climate position; Dem candidate links global warming to ISIS - Fox goes nuts; PLUS: Two CA Guvs slam climate deniers...
Previous GNRs: 7/21/15 - 7/16/15 - Archives...
The Woman Who Led the #BlackLivesMatter Protest Against Sanders & O'Malley in AZ: 'BradCast' 7/22/15
Tia Oso on why she did it and reaction from progressives. Plus: Hillary in trouble? MORE...
Who the Hell is John Kasich and Why is He Running for Prez?: 'BradCast' 7/21/15
Journalist John Michael Spinelli of Ohio's PlunderBund; Plus: Trump soars in polls!...
'Green News Report' 7/21/15
Extreme weather whips CA - bridges collapse and cars burn; June 2015 hottest on record; PLUS: Record warming in Pacific kicks hurricane season off to record start...
America's Top Psychological Org Colluded w/ Bush on Torture: 'BradCast' 7/20/15
Dr. Yosef Brody of Psychologists for Social Responsibility; Plus: Progressive protesters disrupt Sanders; Trump disrupts himself...
Sunday Toons: Plutocracy is Not a Planet
Plus: 'Jade Helm'; Cosby; Iran; Greece and the rest of last week's messes in cartoon form, as curated by 'PDiddie'...
Mother of All GOP Voter Suppression Laws on Trial in NC: 'BradCast' 7/17/15
Nation's Ari Berman, at the trial this week, joins us. Plus: More on Walker/WI corruption & Maine's dumb Guv!...
Walker Wins & Democracy Loses (Again. Big Time.): 'BradCast' 7/16/15
We don't use the phrase 'death of democracy' lightly. But there's good reason to today. Brendan Fischer explains today's outrageous ruling by WI's corrupt Supreme Court...
'Green News Report' 7/16/15
Graham chides fellow GOPers on climate; Cap & trade nets big bucks for states; Dirty coal on the way out in U.S.; PLUS: Boy band joins climate movement...
Iran, Trump Rising & Confederate Monument Worth Keeping?: 'BradCast' 7/15
We cover a lot of ground today, plus listener calls and more (including Brad wrestling w/ tech probs, which is always amusing -- for you!)...
Chart of the Moment: You v. Donor Class
Wondering why you can't have nice things? This is why...
Not a Dime's Worth of Difference? Really?: 'BradCast' 7/14/15
Iran nuke deal; Then Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser on what really separates the two major parties...
'Green News Report' 7/14/15
Scott Walker's in! Here's his climate position; Warmest June ever for the Western U.S.; Exxon knew about global warming in 1981; PLUS: Latest denialist scam debunked...
Debunking New 'Mini Ice Age' Scam; Man Who Punked Scott Walker: 'BradCast' 7/13/15
Guests: Physicist Joe Romm; Ian 'David Koch' Murphy...
#FeelTheBern
Sanders is drawing crowds far larger than any other candidate, Dem or Repub, in the race for the 2016 Presidential nomination...
Stories Behind the Stories: On Confederate Flag, Trump, Marriage: 'BradCast' 7/10/15
Facts behind the headlines you may not have heard! Also: More on nation's dumbest Guv; Listener complaint...
Good Election & Campaign Finance News!: 'BradCast' 7/9/15
Prof. David Schultz on new rulings and how campaign finance can be reformed right now!; Plus: SC, Trump...
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...


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...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 7/23/2015 4:50pm PT  

A big BradCast today!...

First up, Kansas Sec. of State Kris Kobach (R) continues his years-long phony "voter fraud" crusade, but now he's been given more authority to cause even more damage to the fundamental right to vote! After years of blatantly lying about "voter fraud" in the state (which we document in detail), he has now been given prosecutorial authority by the state's Republican Governor to personally clean up his pretend scourge in Kansas.

His first act? Setting up a webpage to allow the public to report instances of fraud on the SoS website (since he's been unable to find any on his own during his five years in office since being elected to "Stop Voter Fraud!"). But, conveniently, he's left off the option for the public to report on Kansas' much more pressing problem: voter suppression --- especially by guys like Kobach, who, since taking office, has successfully blocked tens of thousands of legal Kansas voters from being able to vote in state elections.

Then, former FBI Special Agent, 9/11 whistleblower and TIME Magazine's 2002 Person of the Year, Coleen Rowley joins us to explain why Dylann Roof, the alleged Charleston, SC shooter and avowed racist, was charged with hate crimes this week, but not terrorism. What's the difference between terrorism and hate crimes? And does the SC shooting now prove (once again) that the term "terrorism" has become little more than meaningless propaganda?

The term "terrorism", Rowley tells me, is now "uniquely set for Muslims, or for Arab nations that we have had agendas with in the past. The media is primed for that message."

"The definitions have a propaganda value, but they are not clear, and they're not good for purposes of law enforcement at all because they're not even making sense. In fact, I think that's all they are serving now --- as propaganda," she explains, before citing one of her favorite quotes: "A poor man's war is terrorism. A rich man's terrorism is war."

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with the climate position of the latest entrant into the 2016 GOP race and how a Democratic candidate has made Fox "News" heads explode by telling the truth about the relationship between climate change and the rise of ISIS...

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: Tia Oso of BlackAlliance.org...
By Brad Friedman on 7/22/2015 5:02pm PT  

Over the weekend, #BlackLivesMatter protesters disrupted a political forum featuring Democratic Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley at the progressive Netroots Nation conference in Phoenix, AZ.

The leader of that lively and lengthy (and, apparently, controversial) protest, Tia Oso, National Coordinator of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) joins us on today's BradCast to explain why she did it and to discuss the reactions from O'Malley, Sanders and the progressives who support them.

"We talk a lot. There are a lot of town halls. We have NAACP and Urban League at the national level having these conversations all the time. Reports are issued. And the fact that it takes almost a spectacle of black suffering for people to even have their hearts moved is heartbreaking to me," Oso tells me.

Also on today's program: Hate crimes charges filed against the Charleston AME Church shooter (though not terrorism charges); Hillary Clinton may be in trouble against Republicans in three key swing states; the Pope's popularity is faltering in the U.S. (largely among Rightwingers, for some reason); and why it's a problem when candidates, like Hillary, get so much of their campaign money from the wealthy donor class...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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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!...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Guest: Brendan Fischer of Center for Media & Democracy...
By Brad Friedman on 7/16/2015 5:11pm PT  

I had to ask my guest on today's BradCast whether I was being overly dramatic in seeing today's stunning news from the Wisconsin Supreme Court as "the death of democracy". He did not warn me off that thinking.

Before that, however, we quickly covered two other breaking stories today: The verdict in the Aurora, CO shooting case and another new shooting today at two U.S. Marine facilities in Chattanooga, TN --- along with some thoughts on both of them.

Then, it's onto the jaw-dropping WI Supreme Court verdict in the challenge to the prosecutorial investigation into blatant collusion between Gov. Scott Walker and a number of Rightwing groups which spent millions in an alleged "criminal scheme" to help Walker win his 2012 recall election.

Brendan Fischer, general counsel at the Center for Media and Democracy joins us to explain the outrageous ruling. It's disturbing on several levels and bodes ominously for campaign finance laws across the entire nation. It's a must-hear interview, frankly.

In short, Walker and his campaign colluded with those "outside" groups in violation of state campaign finance law and what the U.S. Supreme Court said, in Citizens United, was not supposed to happen. But, it did --- to the tune of millions of dollars to help get Walker elected. Amazingly, it was the Rightwing groups that went to court in this matter to claim that their rights were being abridged by the prosecutors' investigation (a Republican prosecutor, by the way). We explain, in detail, how they made that case and how the Court's Justices went along with them to shut down the so-called "John Doe II" investigation.

But, the most outrageous part is the fact that the very same groups who sued to quash the probe also funded the elections (to the tunes of millions of dollars) of the very same Rightwing WI Supreme Court Justices who found in their favor today. That, despite both the prosecutor's request that those Justice's recuse themselves and a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court ruling (Caperton v. Massey) finding that judges must recuse if the case they are hearing involves a party with a "significant and disproportionate influence" on their elections.

"This is not just about past conduct, this is about future conduct, as well," Fischer tells me. "The court has okayed outside coordination between outside groups and candidates. It applies to their own campaigns, it applies to elections for judges....And the exact same groups that were parties to this case are going to be able to coordinate directly with these justices when they are up for re-election."

And, as if all of that isn't outrageous enough, this case, as I've long warned, is part of a national effort to eviscerate similar campaign finance restrictions across the entire nation --- because Citizens United and McCutcheon etc. apparently isn't yet enough for these Republicans.

"There's really not a whole lot left," Fischer says. "And you can see this being a huge mile-marker in the continued erosion on limits of money in politics. And it's not going to turn out well." Oh, well. I did try to warn everyone at least a year ago that this case was "about much more than just Walker and his corruption."

There's much more. But, as I said, a must-hear conversation today.

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 7/15/2015 5:25pm PT  

On today's BradCast...

• Obama responds to critics of the Iran deal --- legitimate ones and Republicans. (I'm glad the grownup is driving.)

• Trump continues to rise --- and for good reason. (Should we endorse him?)

• NAACP wants to sandblast a huge monument to the Confederacy --- which feels a bit too Taliban-y for my tastes. (But am I wrong?)

• All of that and more today, including: Listener calls on all of the above; I wrestle with technical probs; and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report! Enjoy!

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Guest: Prof. David Schultz of Hamline University...
By Brad Friedman on 7/9/2015 4:43pm PT  

We have a number of encouraging items on today's BradCast, believe it or not, regarding elections and campaign finance for a change.

But first today, after an emotional debate in South Carolina, the Confederate flag will finally come down at the state capitol on Friday - clearing the way for debate on stuff that may actually reduce gun violence, racism and terrorism. But in the U.S. House, it's business as usual as the GOP fails on a Confederate flag-related amendment.

After that, another reminder why Internet Voting would be a disaster, and a bit of Trump news (which I know you crave every single moment --- don't lie!), some very good news today from the Florida Supreme Court on redistricting and even more good news from the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. on campaign finance.

Hamline University professor of political science and law David Schultz --- author of last year's Election Law and Democratic Theory and the upcoming Presidential Swing States: Why Only Ten Matter --- joins us to discuss those cases and four important steps he's laid out which could be taken immediately to reform our nation's campaign finance embarrassment. The best news: none of the steps require either a Constitutional amendment or our broken Congress! (Though it might require the President of the United States to step up.)

Among those steps, the FCC, for example, could immediately require free airtime for candidates over our public airwaves. "About 60-70% of all the money that will be spent in Presidential elections will be spent on media advertising predominantly on television," Schultz explains. "Forty years ago, the average time that a candidate got on the national news to describe his or her position was about a minute. Now it's down to about ten seconds."

"Requiring that free air time would be perfectly Constitutional" in exchange for licenses granted by the FCC. "If the FCC can move on Net Neutrality, it can move on this." But that's just one of several executive agencies which the President could instruct to take action without the need for Congress or amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Plus: Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on the terrible climate position of the latest Democrat to enter the 2016 Presidential race and much more...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

* * *
CORRECTION 7/10/2015: My guest Dan Schultz writes to say that he mispoke in regard to the U.S. Appeals Court case which upheld the ban on political donations by federal contractors as discussed in the show above. The case was a challenge to a 1940s-era law, not a Presidential Executive Order as asserted at one point during the show. For more details on the correction, listen to the top of the 7/10/2015 BradCast now posted here.... Apologies for the error!

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By Brad Friedman on 7/8/2015 5:07pm PT  

We were live at the KPFK/Pacifica Radio studios in Los Angeles for today's BradCast and had the opportunity to open up the phones for a lot of great listener calls.

But, first, we covered today's disturbing, near-simultaneous collapse of computer systems at the New York Stock Exchange, the Wall Street Journal and United Airlines, and what we might (but won't) learn from it.

Then, it's onto the nation's dumbest Governor (perhaps in U.S. history) and the unbelievably dumb thing he's finally done now...

Come and listen to a story 'bout a Governor named LePage,
A total dumbass (and sometimes filled with rage).
They said the state of Maine is the state he oughta run,
But wait until you hear what their Guv has gone and done...

But while LePage may be indescribably stupid, at least he's not running for President (yet) --- unlike Wisconsin's Gov. Scott Walker who is not only running, but currently has a very good chance of winning the Republican nomination. And he's as insidiously sneaky and dangerous as Governors get.

All of that and more on today's lively BradCast!

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Guest: Financial journalist David Dayen...
By Brad Friedman on 7/1/2015 3:39pm PT  

Greece is the word! On today's BradCast, financial journalist David Dayen joins us to explain the latest news in the Greek fiscal crisis and how austerity measures being forced on them continue to harm the nation even as the Eurozone and IMF move to make things worse, citizens head to the polls to help decide what to do about it and the "vultures" continue to make out like bandits.

"The problem is that these European institutions want Syriza [Greek's currently ruling leftist party] to suffer because they want to snuff this out," Dayen explains. "If an anti-austerity party is successful in one country in the Eurozone, that's going to tell the rest of the Eurozone that they don't have to live under these conditions anymore."

Dayen also tips us off to a similar fiscal mess now unfolding in Puerto Rico and how, even though "FastTrack" authority for the TPP (and other trade agreements for the next six years) has now been passed by Congress and signed by Obama, the controversial secret trade agreement could still be blocked in the U.S. House.

Then, I explain the Supreme Court decision you probably didn't hear about this week, which --- though good in that it tells Republican "voter fraud" fraudster and KS Sec. of State Kris Kobach to go to hell --- still leaves more than 30,000 otherwise perfectly legal voters in Kansas (and many in Arizona as well) unable to cast a vote in their own state.

Finally, Trump-mania continues as The Donald is fired by one group after another yet still manages to vault into 2nd place in Iowa polling. Donald Trump is the modern Republican Party id, whether they'll admit it or not, and they've got a real problem on their hands. On the other hand, I couldn't be enjoying it more!

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Guest: Former AZ state legislator Ted Downing...
By Brad Friedman on 6/29/2015 4:19pm PT  

It was another big day of decisions out the U.S. Supreme Court today, their last one of the session.

So, on today's BradCast, we cover the new SCOTUS rulings knocking down the EPA's rule limiting mercury and arsenic emissions by coal-fired power plants (the health of the citizenry be damned); allowing the beastly use of a certain type of drug in executions (while opening the door to a Constitutional challenge to the Death Penalty); and upholding [PDF] the Arizona voter referendum requiring an "independent" commission carry out Congressional and state redistricting, rather than the state Legislature, as perfectly Constitutional.

On that last ruling, a very important one in a number of ways, we speak today with Ted Downing, former AZ state legislator and the first head of its state Electoral Integrity Commission. While he agrees with me the decision was very good for the nation, for several key reasons, Downing, formerly a Democrat, now an independent, has quite a few concerns about the "so-called independent" redistricting commission created by the state's 2000 voter referendum. Downing explains the "huge conflict of interest" in the structure of that commission which, he says, is completely "rigged" in favor of the Republican and Democratic parties.

Plus: More Trump-mentum, and even more Bernie-mentum, as both of those 2016 candidates continue to surge in New Hampshire polling! All of that and more on today's BradCast...

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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!...

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Heather Digby Parton on Donald 'The Candidate' Trump, 'the culmination of 30 years of American Dream propaganda' by the Republican Party...
By Brad Friedman on 6/16/2015 3:41pm PT  

As I suggested earlier today, I believe Donald Trump just blew up the 2016 Republican Presidential primary, and maybe even the 2016 general election.

All bets are off, now that, as our guest on today's BradCast, Heather 'Digby' Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabalo explains, the very embodiment of the misbegotten Reaganist American Dream --- and a TV star, at that --- has entered the contest for the Republican nomination.

Born a millionaire, Trump "became a billionaire, which is really kind of the ultimate American Dream. In fact, it's the only American Dream now," Parton opines. "You're a billionaire or your not and anything less than that is, you're kind of a loser."

Am I right when I argue that media and political pundits who disregard him as a clown (which he is), "misunderestimate" Trump's candidacy at their own peril? Parton, a 2014 Hillman Foundation Prize winner for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, seems to believe I could be. After all, she notes, "this is the culmination of about 30 years of propaganda" that folks like Reagan, Fox "News" and Roger Ailes put in place.

Trump "is channeling the GOP id," she says, adding: "The grand metaphor of this era, is Frankenstein's monster getting out of control. And that's what happened on the Right. And Donald Trump is another manifestation of that particular metaphor coming to life."

Plus: Speaking of misbegotten Reaganists, how Gov. Sam Brownback's Kansas has officially become "a Dickensian nightmare"; And Politifact fails again in rating Hillary Clinton's facts about the voting rights records of her opponents...

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Rove, Republicans & the broken FEC w/ Craig Holman of Public Citizen...
By Brad Friedman on 6/15/2015 5:36pm PT  

On today's BradCast...Jeb Bush makes it official! (But don't notice his brother!) Who could have guessed he'd run, after spending so many months violating federal campaign finance laws? And Hillary launches her campaign with a rally on Roosevelt Island in NY, promising to support a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and "end the flow of secret, unaccountable money distorting our elections".

Public Citizen's Craig Holman joins us to discuss all of the above and how "we are now being besieged --- in the last election it was $300 million --- by dark money. Money that influences our elections, but we have no idea where it came from."

More specifically, Holman discusses how Republicans on the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) continue to block any and all enforcement of existing campaign finance law, as seen in the organization's ongoing lawsuit attempting to hold Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS accountable for campaign finance violations from as long ago as 2010!

"Just as big of a problem, when it comes to enforcing our campaign finance laws, is the Federal Elections Commission," Holman says, while explaining again how the FEC has become purposely paralyzed by its three Republican commissioners who flatly refuse to enforce existing statutes. "When [the FEC] cannot act and when it cannot make a decision, we literally have no cop on the beat when it comes to money in politics."

His use of the word "literally" there, is literally correct, for a change. That's right, even without the Supreme Court's infamous Citizens United decision --- even if it eventually gets overturned somehow --- unless the courts or the DoJ step in to take control of the matter (which, he explains, they actually can!), the GOP and their operatives on the FEC will allow campaigns to get away with campaign finance murder during yet another Presidential election. Listen to today's show for much more on this. But, yes, Citizens United ain't the half of it...

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Guest: Matthew Menendez of Brennan Center; Plus: House Progressives block Obama and Republicans (for now) on TPP 'FastTrack'!...
By Brad Friedman on 6/12/2015 5:15pm PT  

It was a major victory (for now) for progressives in the U.S. House hoping to block the TPP trade agreement favored by Obama and the Republicans. On today's BradCast, we explain what actually happened on Friday. (Since all you'll hear from the MSM is how "Obama suffered a humiliating defeat by Democrats!" He did, but that's not what matters.)

Then: Apparently Republicans don't understand how the whole "Laboratories of Democracy" idea for states is supposed to work. At least not based on how the disastrous ongoing experiments of Reaganist Gov. Sam Brownback (R) in Kansas are going. The state has several incredible messes on their hand, all stemming from the far rightwingers' tax cuts for the wealthy which have now resulted in a massive $400 million budget deficit which must be closed by law before next week.

But, perhaps even more extraordinary, is a law signed this week by Brownback that would, if the court system dares to disagree with him and fellow Republicans on state funding, result in the entire state Judicial system being defunded. No, seriously. Matthew Menendez, Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice's Democracy Program, joins me to explain the insanity. And, apparently, it's as mad as it sounds! "It is incredible," Menendez tells me, as I beg him to explain how I've got it wrong. "I have never seen anything like this," he says.

Also today: Yet another major hack, this time of security clearance info for intel and military personnel. (But, again, Internet Voting and e-voting is totally security, as run by your local election official. Don't worry!); And Desi Doyen joins us with the latest Green News Report on, among other things, the G7 declaring the end of fossil fuels and Santorum v. Pope!...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/12/2015 1:24pm PT  

As you know, last week, Hillary Clinton gave a speech in Texas, calling for expanded early voting in all 50 states and for universal voter registration for all eligible U.S. citizens. During the speech, she also called out some of her potential Republican rivals vying for the GOP's 2016 Presidential nomination, among them, former TX Gov. Rick Perry who, Clinton accurately noted, "signed a law that a federal court said was actually written with the purpose of discriminating against minority voters."

She added, Perry "applauded when the Voting Rights Act was gutted [by the Supreme Court] and said the law’s protections were 'outdated and unnecessary'."

Clinton's remarks there were in reference to the Texas Republicans' draconian polling place Photo ID voting restrictions, which, after being passed in 2011, were barred by the Voting Rights Act (VRA) as discriminatory, before the statute was implemented anyway by state Republicans just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the provision of the VRA under which the TX voting restriction had been found in violation of that law. Late last year, after a full trial on the merits of the law, a federal judge subsequently found the law to be in violation of other, still-standing sections of the VRA as well as the U.S. Constitution --- and, perhaps worse still, found it to be purposely discriminatory.

U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, based on statistics supplied by the state of Texas itself, found the statute could serve to disenfranchise some 800,000 already legally registered voters in the Lone Star state (not to mention hundreds of thousands of others who had yet to register) and slammed both the discriminatory effect and purpose of the law in her written ruling. "The Court holds that SB 14 [the TX GOP's Photo ID restriction] creates an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, has an impermissible discriminatory effect against Hispanics and African-Americans, and was imposed with an unconstitutional discriminatory purpose," she wrote, adding that the law also "constitutes an unconstitutional poll tax."

On CNN, stammering in response to Clinton calling him out in her speech, Perry failed to explain how either Clinton or Judge Ramos was incorrect. "You need a photo I.D. to get a library book, or to get on an airplane," he incorrectly asserted. (More on that below.) "I think we make it pretty easy in the state of Texas for people to vote, so, you know, again, I don't know what her beef is with the people of the state of Texas about voter I.D."

But there's another point about the TX law that neither Clinton nor Perry noted: its discriminatory effect on women, as highlighted in a Letter to the Editor from this week's Concord Monitor in New Hampshire...

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

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