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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, July 28, 2016
Dems Nominate Clinton, Trump Predicted to Win: 'BradCast' 7/27/16
History and madness. Callers ring in on all of it. Buckle up...
'That's What Democracy is About': 'BradCast' 7/26/16
The Nation's John Nichols from Philadelphia, on Sanders, his supporters, their movement and future. Plus: Highlights from Sanders, Michelle Obama and others on DNC Day 1...
'Green News Report' 7/19/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump and Pence promise to roll back enviro protection, bring back dirty coal; PLUS: U.S. walloped by deadly heat wave, as June 2016 breaks yet another new temp record...
Previous GNRs: 7/19/16 - 7/14/16 - Archives...
DNC Chair Out Amid Hacks, Protests; Plus: Fox After Ailes: 'BradCast' 7/25/16
Eric Boehlert on the firing of FNC's founder, propaganda mastermind: Also: Deadly heat; Trump 'bump'; Clinton taps Kaine as Veep...
Sunday Toons of the Conscientious Moment
'PDiddie' rounds up the week's best toons following a chaotic week at the RNC in Cleveland and much more...
Trump's RNC Acceptance Speech and the GOP's Dark Future: 'BradCast' 7/22/16
Salon's Heather Digby Parton on the rise of a 'demagogue' and the fall of 'conservatism' after the GOP's 'dystopian hellscape convention'...
Ailes Out, Cruz Booed, and a World on Edge With 'President Trump': 'BradCast' 7/21/16
Guest: Longtime GOP campaign adviser, 2012 Presidential candidate, 2016 Cruz booer, Fred Karger from Cleveland...
5th Circuit Court Finds TX Photo ID Law Violates Federal Law: 'BradCast' 7/20/16
Also: 'Liars, Lucifer & Jail!' - RNC Day 2 coverage w/ Jimmy Dore in Cleveland, and why he believes Trump is no worse than Clinton...
Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth: 'BradCast' 7/19/16
ALSO: New insider election fraud warnings, worry, woes in several states as another national poll finds Trump and Clinton tied...
Happy Birthday to Me?
It's a pretty big birthday over here. Not that we'll much be able to enjoy it all that much this year, unfortunately. But you can help!...
'Green News Report' 7/19/16
Trump's Veep pick is also a science denier; UK's new PM abolishes climate dept.; AK heat wave breaks records; PLUS: India breaks amazing record for tree planting...
CIA Vet on Turkey Coup, Declassified 9/11 Pages: 'BradCast' 7/18/16
Guest: 27-year analyst, briefer of Presidents Ray McGovern; Also: RNC kicks off; Ailes 'out' at Fox?!...
Sunday Toons of the Moment
Trump hearts Pence; Ginsburg and Christie are sorry; and 'bomb delivery robots'?! Yes, all of those toons and more in PDiddie's latest collection of the week's best...
After Nice; Pence Tapped by Trump; Dem Poll 'Freak Out': 'BradCast' 7/15/16
Not hijacked by fear or terror. A science denier will be the GOP Veep nom. Trump leads Clinton in new poll...
'Feeding at the Pig Trough': What to Expect at the Cleveland RNC: 'BradCast' 7/14/16
GOP Presidential historian, adviser Doug Wead; Also: More bad poll news for Clinton...
'Green News Report' 7/14/16
Porn: dirty, Coal: clean!, says GOP; Senate Dems call out 'web' of professional deniers; June 2016 was hottest on record in U.S.; PLUS: Another fracking explosion...
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: VOA correspondent Steven L. Herman from Bangkok...
By Brad Friedman on 3/8/2016 5:49pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, while voters head to the polls again in several states, and as the media continue to misreport the race, at least on the Democratic side, we mark this week's 5-year anniversary since Japan's triple disasters of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown struck in March of 2011. [Link to the complete show's audio is below.]

I'm joined once again on today's show by Voice of America's Steven L. Herman from Bangkok. We spoke to Herman originally on the program five years ago, just after the initial disaster(s), when he was one of the first journalists to visit the Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant and the 50-mile "exclusion zone" around it, following the meltdown or near-meltdown of 4 of its 6 reactors and the mass evacuation of hundreds of thousands of nearby residents --- back when, as Japan's former Prime Minister now admits, the nation was just a "paper-thin margin" away from a total catastrophe.

"We were on the ground just 24 hours after the quake struck in Fukushima," Herman recalls today. "We got the last flight into Fukushima Prefecture and when we were boarding that flight, they were contemplating canceling [it] because of concerns about a possible meltdown of the nuclear power plant."

Herman, who was then VOA News' Northeast Asia bureau chief and is now in charge of its Bangkok bureau, recently visited Fukushima again and reports today on the continuing battle to control unstable nuclear material at the plant, the lack of a long term plan to dispose of toxic water and soil that continues to pile up (at as many as 115,000 makeshift locations around the Fukushima Prefecture!), as well as on the plight of many residents who lived near the plant and are still unable to return to their homes all of these years later, due to radiation levels.

"You have this cleanup effort that is going to last decades and cost hundreds of billions of dollars," Herman tells me. "Forty years is the official estimate, costs around $250 billion. But you talk to a lot of people who are experts in the field and they say that is a very optimistic figure, that it is going to take much longer and cost much more --- and the burden of this is being borne by the Japanese taxpayers."

"Nine million cubic meters of radioactive soil are being stored in these black bags throughout the prefecture. But there is a continuing buildup of more stored water. And one consultant I talked to, an American and former US diplomat, said Tokyo Electric Power [TEPCO] can't decide what to do with all of it, and they refuse to let any foreign experienced program management companies come and help them out with this."

There's far more important information in my detailed interview with Herman than I can possibly give justice to by sharing here in a short description, concerning the "paralysis" that both Japan and TEPCO seem to be facing in dealing with the crisis, the strained if co-dependent relationship between the two entities, the recent indictments of several top officials in charge of the plant at the time, the human toll of the cleanup both now and in the hours after the initial disaster, the restart of several other nuclear plants in the country, and the continuing concerns for the stability of the precariously crippled plant "if there were to be another huge earthquake, or a tsunami were to strike the facility again --- then you're talking about a situation of total chaos."

I think it's a must-listen interview, frankly. And it was a pleasure, if a chilling and disturbing one, to catch up with Herman, who is just a tremendous reporter, all of these years later. Please check it out in full below.

Also on today's program: More on the media misreporting of the race between Sanders and Clinton and the Democratic party's unpledged, so-called "SuperDelegates" (in this case, by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow) and, finally, some very good non-Bernie related news for voters in the great state of Vermont...

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

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GUESTS: Connor Coyne of Flint, Marcy Wheeler of Grand Rapids...
By Brad Friedman on 3/7/2016 3:43pm PT  

On today's BradCast [full audio linked below], Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz defied 'conventional wisdom' to win more delegates than front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in their respective parties over "Super Saturday" weekend; Louisiana's Primary reveals another serious and troubling long-term failure of the U.S. Electoral System; and two Michiganders join us for analysis of Sunday's unprecedented Democratic Debate in Flint, MI, amidst that city's ongoing toxic water crisis caused by the state's Republican Governor.

First up: Did you know that both Sanders and Cruz won more delegates than their opponents in the four different nominating contests held over the weekend? If you watch or read little more than the corporate mainstream media, that might now have been apparent. Did you also know that one of those contests, Louisiana's Primary, forced Election Day voters across the state to vote on 100% unverifiable touch-screen systems that The BRAD BLOG revealed a full ten years ago, each have a little yellow button on the back that allow voters to vote as many times as they wish until physically restrained from doing so?

Though we broke that story exclusively here back in 2006, and they were decertified for use out here in California shortly thereafter, the same flawed and hackable voting machines (Oh, hello, Pac-Man!) are still, shamefully, in use elsewhere around the country. They are being used on Election Day across states like Louisiana and swingstate Nevada, and will be used once again next week in the City of Chicago for the big and crucial Illinois primary on March 15 --- and, of course, in the general election this November.

Then, we're joined by Michiganders Connor Coyne, novelist and father from Flint, and Marcy Wheeler, journalist from Grand Rapids, to discuss the extraordinary debate on Sunday between Sanders and Clinton held by CNN from Flint, MI, as that city continues to battle the lead water crisis caused by Gov. Rick Snyder's implementation of the state's tyrannical 'Emergency Manager' law.

As Coyne, who joined us earlier this year to discuss the national media's failure to adequately focus on the scourge of that law, explains in his reaction to Sunday's Flint debate: "The problems that this city is facing, including the water crisis --- and the water crisis is the most urgent example --- but certainly not limited to it, are beyond the capacity of local leadership to address. We need federal aid in order to stabilize the city."

Says Wheeler: "Even within the state there are increasing numbers of Republicans who admit that, ultimately, this is [Snyder's] screwup. He promised competence, and delivered poison."

Did the debate adequately address the concerns of Flint voters specifically and Michiganders, more broadly, in advance of Tuesday's big Presidential Primary there? Who better addressed the Flint crisis from the perspective of our two Michigan guests? Did Bernie Sanders really "oppose the auto-industry bailout" as Hillary Clinton charged during the debate? And, should voters be concerned about the federal investigation into Clinton's private email servers as both Trump and Sanders' supporters have been charging?

All of those questions and many others are addressed on today's enlightening edition of The BradCast! Enjoy!

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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GUEST: Author and UNC political scientist Jonathan Weiler...
By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2016 5:43pm PT  

On today's BradCast, more Super Tuesday election results clean up, the GOP in full panic mode, and a political scientists' explanation for Trump's ascendancy. [Audio link to the complete show is below.]

First up, more information on some of the seemingly inexplicable computer-reported election results from Super Tuesday that we discussed in more detail on yesterday's program. The MA city which originally reported Jim Gilmore as "winning" the GOP primary in a landslide has "corrected" results, with little explanation. Though I was able to receive an an explanation from Roanoke County VA's General Registrar who responded to our query about why Bernie Sanders seemed to lose 600 votes in the county on election night, moving him from the "win" to the "loss" column there.

Next up, Mitt Romney's remarkable speech attacking Donald Trump as a "phony" and a "fraud" today, and how it may be as likely to help Trump as hurt him.

Then, my fascinating and even chilling conversation with Jonathan Weiler, author, blogger and UNC Chapel Hill political scientist, on the one trait that academics have recently identified to be most predictive of whether you will be a Trump supporter. It isn't racism, education level or economic concerns, as some might have guessed. It's authoritarianism.

As described in his recent article, "Understanding Trump: It's the Authoritarianism, Stupid" and in his 2009 book with Marc Hetherington, Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics --- published long before the rise of Trump --- authoritarianism, as defined by political scientists, is distinct from both racism and conservatism, even as the ideas can cross over in a number of ways.

Weiler explains how political scientists are able to determine who has such tendencies and who does not, based on survey questions regarding not political matters, but on family and child rearing. He goes on to note that authoritarianism, which had fallen out of favor somewhat in the 20th century, had been prevalent in the Democratic Party as well as the GOP, as recently as 1992.

"In 1992, there was really no difference in terms of the level of authoritarianism of the average Democrat and the average Republican," he tells me. "What's happened over the past quarter century is what a lot of political scientists call a 'sorting process,' where the non-authoritarians have increasingly gravitated from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party, and a lot of authoritarians have gravitated from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. In a nutshell, this has been a long complicated process that has played out over 40 years."

Authoritarians, he says, are not "particularly interested in the conservative economic agenda. They [are] not necessarily in favor of smaller government or lower taxes. The pieces of what has become modern conservatism that attracted them are more these kind of 'Us vs. Them' issues" and "Trump has really zeroed in, quite precisely, on what authoritarians care about, and what they don't care about."

While Weiler says he doesn't believe the GOP has been specifically targeting such followers, the gravitation to the Republican Party for authoritarians is the results of the party's specific messages about fear and division over recent decades. "Trump feels like he is the Republican id come to life. In that regard, he is in many ways a kind of logical extension of a dynamic that's been underway for a long time," he explains. "There's a kind of dance that goes on between elites and their followers. Elites come up with these 'Us vs. Them' messages --- these messages that attract authoritarians --- and they cultivate a base. And then that base turns around and says, 'all right, you've got our attention, you've promised to deliver on these issues, and now we expect you to'. So the monster, if you will, that the Republican Party created was in a very strongly authoritarian base that Donald Trump --- whether by instinct or consciously, I don't really know --- he's been the guy who's really taken advantage of that."

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report covering, among a bunch of other stuff, the shocking death of a Big Oil CEO on the day after he was indicted on criminal conspiracy charges...

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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GUEST: Journalist and media activist Sue Wilson...
By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2016 4:42pm PT  

As voters head to the polls in a dozen Super Tuesday states, we cover a number of the problems voters are already reportedly facing on today's BradCast, as well as how Donald Trump or Ted Cruz could actually help save democracy --- and our public airwaves --- by filing some lawsuits! [Link to audio for full show is posted below.]

First up today: The 866-OUR-VOTE Election Protection hotline is reporting a number of problems at polling places around the country so far today, particularly in states that were once covered by Section 5 of the (now-gutted) Voting Rights Act. Problem reports as of this afternoon include long lines at some precincts caused by failing electronic poll book systems, state voter registration and polling location databases being offline and confusion over new Photo ID voting restrictions.

Moreover, as expected, there is trouble once again with touch-screen voting systems in a number of states. Democrats in at least one Georgia precinct were given Republican ballots when they went to vote on their 100% unverifiable voting machines and, in Williamson County, TX, north of Austin, voters are reporting unverifiable touch-screen votes flipping from one candidate to another --- from Trump to Rubio (or someone else) in the cases reported so far.

As usual, here is our friendly reminder that many problems with voting systems, and the results they produce, do not come to light until well after Election Day. So, we will continue to keep our eyes on these issues, as ever. (And here are a few tips from 2014 on what to do about such probs should they happen to you today or in the upcoming primaries!)

Then, we're joined by award-winning journalist and media activist Sue Wilson of the Media Action Center to discuss her new article on how Ted Cruz or Donald Trump could actually help save democracy --- and the fight for facts over our public airwaves --- by filing lawsuits against broadcast outlets that air false propaganda ads purchased by third-party SuperPACs.

"In terms of the rules that television and radio stations have to follow, a candidate is, in essence, free to lie to the public as much as they can get away with, as long as it's one of their own ads, as opposed to the ads that are paid for by these murky third parties," Wilson explains. "But, if you're one of these third parties that's running an ad for a candidate, the TV stations are not required to take those ads at all. And if those ads are found to be false, yes, the candidate has standing to sue, and say, 'I'm going to hold you liable for these false ads that you're making a fortune running and you're not fact-checking.'"

She also goes on to explain how the public can take action as well here, since "we, the voters, are the people who really suffer the most from these ads that flatly lie about candidates and their issues," while, ironically, "you, and I, and everyone else, own the publicly-owned airwaves, but somehow don't have standing to sue radio stations and TV stations if they lie to us."

Finally, hooray for Hollywood and boo for coal-loving West Virginia's elected con-artists in our latest Green News Report with Desi Doyen!...

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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GUEST: Wichita University's Beth Clarkson on her case and continuing concerns about 'manipulation' of 2014 touch-screen election results
ALSO: Trump wins again in NV, are Dems getting worried yet?...
By Brad Friedman on 2/24/2016 6:11pm PT  

It's another very busy show on today's BradCast! [Audio link to the complete show is at bottom of this article.]

First up, Trump crushes his competition in the Nevada Caucuses in every single demographic. Are Dems getting concerned yet? If not, they should be, as I explain today.

Speaking of those caucuses: I detail why they are far more transparent than a primary system would be in the state of NV, which still uses the same 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems that were certified in violation of state and federal law in 2004 by NV's then Sec. of State, now U.S. Senator Dean Heller. (See my exclusive with Michael Richardson in the 2008 book Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008, in which we detail how, based on public records obtained during our six-month investigation, Heller blatantly lied to the media and the public about the failed status of the machine's federal testing results, yet certified them for use in the 2004 election anyway.)

As we saw last night, the Nevada GOP, wisely, used hand-marked paper ballots, publicly counted at each caucus precinct. And now, Wichita University mathematician Beth Clarkson, PhD, head of the school's National Institute for Aviation Research, is calling for the same thing for Kansas elections, in light of a state court ruling last week barring her from accessing so-called "paper trails" from the state's touch-screen voting systems as used in their 2014 elections.

"I am becoming more and more convinced that we need to go with an entirely paper ballot system --- and hand-counted," she tells me, while noting that optical-scan computers may "provide fast results, but you have to verify them --- which we're not doing. I think to have full transparency for all citizens, you need to have a hand-count of paper ballots."

Clarkson notes that while post-election audits or "sampling" of optically-scanned paper ballots could be done, it would not solve the growing problem of the electorate questioning results. "As a statistician, I love sampling. It's faster and it'll get you excellent results, but it can also be manipulated just like any other system. And you can't really manipulate hand-counted paper ballots. It's the transparency issue that's convinced me."

She details the basis for her lawsuit which attempts a recount of a ballot measure from the 2014 election following a statistical analysis of the results which, says she, confirms a theory initially reported by two other statisticians in 2012 [PDF]. According to their study, computer-reported results from larger precincts, with more than 500 voters, reveal a "consistent" statistical increase in votes for the Republican candidates in general elections. That increase in votes runs counter to expectations for more densly populated jurisdictions. (Clarkson explains the theory in more detail during my previous BradCast interview with her from August 2015.)

Last week a state Judge allowed her recount case to move forward, but denied the motion by her new lawyer, former US Attorney Randy Rathbun, to allow her to review the "Real Time Audit Logs" (RTALs, also known as "Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails" or VVPATs in other states) from the voting machines used in the 2014 election, thus defeating the entire point of her challenge.

"[My] analysis only shows that there's something there we don't understand. It does not show cause. I think that manipulation of voting machines is the most probable cause, but I could be wrong on that. But the only way to know is to look. And not being allowed to look is, in many ways, a more serious issue." Clarkson has now been blocked from viewing the RTAL's now in both her public records request and recount lawsuit. "It seems to me that either I should be able to look at them under the Open Records Act or I should be able to examine them as part of a recount. You can't have it both ways, but apparently they can."

She goes on to offer her thoughts on why the state, including GOP "voter fraud" fraudster turned Sec. of State Kris Kobach, would be working so hard to block her attempt at oversight of election results; the unprecedented support she has received from the public for her case; and whether last week's state court ruling will now be appealed.

By the way, the very same, oft-failed, unverifiable touch-screens in question --- the ES&S iVotronics --- will be used once again across the state of South Carolina during this weekend's Democratic Presidential Primary. You can follow Clarkson's progress on her case at her ShowMeTheVotes.org website.

Finally, good news for former TX Gov. Rick Perry who is now, apparently, off the hook for both of the felony indictments filed against him last year...

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Guests: Dem Consultant Mike Lux; Investigative Journalist Greg Palast
Guest Hosted by Nicole Sandler...
By Nicole Sandler on 2/19/2016 4:13pm PT  

Nicole Sandler of RadioOrNot here, your trusty guest host for this Friday edition of The BradCast!

Although Brad strives to objectivity regarding the Democratic candidates --- necessary to do the great reporting he does regarding voter suppression and other nefarious election-time practices --- I am not a journalist. I do a fact-based opinion show, and in that capacity, I support Bernie Sanders candidacy. But, I have noticed the level of vitriol rising among Democrats lately, and it worries me.

Democratic consultant and strategist Mike Lux wrote about some new polling data his firm commissioned, and it shows a great divide in the Democratic party. He wrote about it at Crooks and Liars, and joined me on today's BradCast to discuss the data and the implications.

Meanwhile, while watching the MSNBC Democratic town hall/forum on Thursday night, I noticed an ad attacking Bernie Sanders, the first one I've seen this election season. It was paid for by a SuperPAC called Future 45. A little sleuthing confirmed that one of the biggest contributors to this group is hedge-fund billionaire Paul "The Vulture" Singer. Investigative journalist Greg Palast has been writing about that guy's sleazy dealings for years now. The minute I saw his name, I knew I had to invite Palast to tell us what he knows about this vulture.

And, as you might imagine, Palast also had a few words about the death of Antonin Scalia...and they weren't "rest in peace."

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!




GUEST: Political science researcher Sean McElwee of Demos
ALSO: Disturbing Photo ID voter suppression in NH and elsewhere; OR militia standoff finally over; Massive Porter Ranch, CA natural gas leak finally stopped...
By Brad Friedman on 2/11/2016 4:56pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Breaking news out of Oregon and California, more disturbing voter suppression news out of New Hampshire and elsewhere and a new study finds hard evidence that "racial resentment" is central to the so-called "Tea Party" movement.

First up, the latest breaking news on the bizarre and bitter end of the Rightwing militia standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon and the concurrent arrest of Nevada's scofflaw rancher Cliven Bundy.

Next, more disturbing Photo ID voter suppression news out of New Hampshire and elsewhere, including a new paper out of UC-San Diego finding that strict Photo ID restrictions result in an alarming rate of suppressed Latino and African-American votes. In general elections, for example, based on examinations of some 50 elections in states both before and after implementation of polling place restrictions by GOP lawmakers, "states with strict photo ID laws show a Latino turnout 10.3 points lower than in states without them."

Then, after a brief throwback to the early days of the so-called "Tea Party" (our complete short documentary from 2009, Rise of the Tea Bags, can be enjoyed here), I'm joined by political science researcher Sean McElwee of Demos to discuss his new study, with Jason McDaniel, offering empirical evidence that it is not opposition to "Big Government" or concerns about the economy or spending or taxes that mainly drives those who identify as being sympathetic to the Tea Party --- it's racial resentment.

McElwee explains how his study controlled "for race, ethnicity, partisanship, ideology, income, education, gender, religiosity" and that "once you compare the various strengths of these variables, the one that ends up becoming really the overwhelming predictor of Tea Party identification is racial resentment."

"From the beginning," of the movement, he tells me, "what you're seeing is this sort of racially-coded rhetoric. So, right from the beginning, you have a very great explanation of conservative politics of the last 30 years --- which is plutocratic policies being wrapped up in racist rhetoric in order to benefit a plutocratic agenda. And you have a lot of white middle class and working class people who have bought into that agenda."

"What Fox [News] has done is taken that model and actually weaponized it, politicized it, and used it to attack policies that benefit the vast majority of Americans," McElwee argues, even as the Rightwing network's viewers have little clue how they are being played. "What we have in a lot of cases are people who are very frustrated about what is going on, but lack the political knowledge to actually understand the causal mechanism for how this bad thing is happening. And if you don't have that --- if you don't connect government policy to your lived experiences --- what you end up doing is saying 'I'm upset, I don't know why my life is bad'. And if someone tells you your life is bad because 'immigrants are taking your jobs', or 'the government is helping black people with your tax dollars', people are susceptible to that message."

McElwee goes on to explain how his research finds that many who previously identified with the Tea Party have now folded into the Trump campaign, even though the Republican 2016 front-runner has called for massive government programs and increased spending --- things that Tea Partiers previously decried. We also discuss much more, including whether hatred for Obama from the Right can be attributed to the fact that he is black or, simply, that he is a Democrat.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us with the latest Green News Report and the breaking news out of Porter Ranch, CA that the month's long, massive methane gas leak there has finally been stopped...for now...

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GUEST: Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser
ALSO: Federal court finds NC racially gerrymandered Congressional districts...
By Brad Friedman on 2/10/2016 5:52pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we look at the huge (yooge?) victories for both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary elections, not to mention a victory for the devil in Arizona and for justice in North Carolina.

First, in New Hampshire, both Sanders and Trump each destroyed their competition by record margins. But also both Sanders and Trump absolutely dominated virtually every demographic in their respective parties. The victories served to reveal how the political party establishment and corporate U.S. media pundits continue to be radically out of touch with the American electorate and how the "electability" arguments that have been put forward concerning both candidates are finally being questioned.

Moreover, on the Republican side, the contest resulted in both Fiorina and Christie heading back to Palookaville, while Rubio sunk like a stone and the GOP establishment may have found their next new "savior" in Kasich.

Then, we're joined by Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser to discuss how a "Satanic Temple" trolled its way into killing the opening religious invocation long used by the City Council in Phoenix, AZ. Also, Millhiser explains a new federal court ruling finding that NC GOPers racially gerrymandered two Congressional districts in the key swing state.

"Finally! Satan gets a break in the United States!," Millhiser tells me in regard to the Phoenix story. He says that while the "satirical church" doesn't "actually worship the devil, they do believe that there shouldn't be these public displays of Christianity at City Council meetings." He describes their victory in Phoenix, as well as in other cities where the group has successfully "trolled" elected officials in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that has begun to collapse the nation's long-standing separation between church and state.

"The Roberts Court has started to tear down those walls that have existed for a really long time," Millhiser, author of the new book Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, tells me, before offering his best guess as to why the five conservative Justices on the Court are so "hostile to the notion of separating church and state."

Finally, Millhiser details the federal district court's redistricting ruling in NC --- what it will mean, how it may or may not affect the state's upcoming elections, how those hostile to minorities figured out long ago that they can use the slow pace of the U.S. Court system to game elections, and how doing so has suddenly become even easier following the Supreme Court's 2013 gutting of the key Voting Rights Act meant to prevent such schemes.

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By Brad Friedman on 2/9/2016 4:45pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we catch up with a number of breaking items, as well as items from the last several days (while we were otherwise covering the GOP and Democratic debates), even as voters in New Hampshire finally head to the polls for the First-in-the-Nation primary today.

Among the stories we hit today, as we await the completely unverified results from NH tonight...

  • Democratic party officials "unilaterally" changed Iowa Caucus results;
  • Why nobody should simply 'trust' unverified computer-tallied results that will be reported in NH (or anywhere else);
  • How NH's new Photo ID voting restriction law could affect turnout;
  • Rubio-bot does it again;
  • Another mysterious Republican dirty trick in NH;
  • Jeb now wants to "eliminate" the Citizens United ruling;
  • Voting Rights restored to 40,000 in MD;
  • MD forced to ditch new touch-screen systems for paper ballots;

Plus much more --- including our latest Green News Report with Desi Doyen!...

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ALSO: 'Hero of Democracy' Tom Courbat, In Memoriam...
By Brad Friedman on 2/4/2016 5:38pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the Des Moines Register joins the fray to declare "something smells" in Iowa's Democratic caucus results and procedures. Bev Harris of Black Box Voting joins us to examine the concerns about "caucus integrity" on both the Democratic and Republican sides --- what we know, what we don't, and what we should. [Link to the complete audio of the program is at the bottom of this article.]

With partisans on the Right and Left now charging, appropriately or not, that the caucuses were "stolen", and both the Register and Sanders' camp calling for state Democrats to release raw vote totals, Harris notes: "Really, the bottom line is, if they won't disclose stuff, then it smells. If they disclose it, everybody can see for themselves."

"People say, well, there's problems in every election," she continues. "My mantra is: That may be true, but let's see the problems. All I'm saying is let us see them, and let us address them. Most people I talk to --- even if they're very partisan --- they say, 'If I can see it and we lost fair and square, I will accept that.' It really ticks people off when you say, 'we won, and we aren't going to show you how.'"

I ask her about the (now infamous, for some reason) coin tosses, videos revealing chaos and/or miscounts at certain locations, charges that the election was "stolen" for Hillary Clinton and much more, including Donald Trump's charge that Ted Cruz "stole" the election from him and that it amounted to "voter fraud".

"They call everything voter fraud!," Harris tells me. "It's so odd! Even Trump is claiming that when one of the candidates spreads some gossip that wasn't true about another candidate, that that was voter fraud! How is this voter fraud? Can we just call it was it is, which is a problem with election integrity, or in some cases election tampering. But it's not about the voters. Why are we pointing fingers at the most idealistic level, the voters?"

We go on to discuss worries about the even less transparent New Hampshire Primary, where most of the state still uses the same Diebold paper ballot optical-scan computer systems to tally votes that were seen flipping a mock election in HBO's Emmy-nominated 2006 documentary Hacking Democracy. (Watch how it was done right here, and feel free to be concerned when the 100% unverified results are reported next Tuesday night.)

Among the recommendations Harris offers for those concerned about Election Integrity next week (and for the rest of the year, frankly): "One thing I think is really important --- is for people to get out their mobile phones, take a picture of the results at the polling place [at the end of the night] and they can text it to themselves, to a friend, put 'em on Facebook, Tweet it." She says that puts a timestamp on the graphic image of results as they were produced by computers at the precinct, which can later be compared to the results reported by the state on the web. "I think that's one thing that's pretty important this time. Just photograph the paperwork. It's not hard. Ship it off electronically somewhere, which will automatically timestamp it."

That's particularly important in places like New Hampshire where, she explains, the state "very quietly, and actually wrongfully, passed a law in 2003 so that we cannot go back and look at [paper ballots after the election] ... In New Hampshire, they put an amendment on an unrelated bill, the dark of night, and quietly said 'ballots are not a public record anymore'. So while they may say, 'we have ballots and anyone can look', that's not true. I tried."

Finally, we discuss another heartbreaking loss this week to the Election Integrity community. Last night, we lost Riverside County, California's longtime EI champion, Tom Courbat. A Vietnam-era vet stationed in South Korea, Tom heroically battled multiple myeloma related to Agent Orange exposure for years. As I note on today's show, I spoke with Tom on the phone several times throughout those years about EI issues, even when he was literally in the hospital receiving chemo therapy.

Tom appeared on air with me on a number of occasions over the years, and was often an important source for many blockbuster stories here at The BRAD BLOG. (For example, the 2006 discovery of the infamous "Yellow Button" on the back of Sequoia touch-screen systems that allow voters to cast as many votes as they like until physically restrained from doing so; the 2007 "hack" challenge to the cowardly Riverside County Board of Supervisors who fought in favor of 100% unverifiable voting systems; the blocked recount of CA's anti-GMO initiative, Prop 37, in 2013; And the 2013 law he successfully shepherded through the CA legislature to require that counties release election results in downloadable formats; Those are just some of the reasons why, in 2007, we called Tom a "Hero of Democracy" who is "one of many such quiet, and usually unrecognized, heroes around the country, to whom our nation owes a debt of gratitude which can never be adequately repaid.")

Rest in peace, my friend. You deserve it. I miss you already, but will always remain inspired by you...

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GUEST: Independent investigative journalist Arun Gupta...
By Brad Friedman on 1/28/2016 4:29pm PT  

On today's BradCast: We explain that new Microsoft app set to be used at the Iowa Caucuses and get the latest from Oregon following the arrest of the militant leaders (and the shooting death of one of them) at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. [Audio link to complete show is posted below...]

First up, independent investigative journalist Arun Gupta, who has been in Burns, Oregon over the past week covering the "Patriot Movement" standoff for Raw Story, joins us with the latest. He is dubious about the FBI's explanation for the killing of one of the leaders of the occupation; explains how the Rightwing protesters are "essentially wanting to overthrow the U.S. Government"; and how the treatment of the armed demonstrators differed from the treatment of Occupy Wall Street protesters, which he had also covered.

"There's a lot of anger out there around this," Gupta tells me. "There's a lot of anger about land management issues, about a lack of economic development, and there's a lot of extreme Rightwing groups --- many of them pretty racist, white supremacists --- that can take advantage of this. So I don't think we have seen the end of this."

Then, late news on the "debate debates" on both the Republican and Democratic sides of the aisle --- with veterans groups hitting Donald Trump for hiding behind them while pulling out of Thursday's Fox "News" debate and Bernie Sanders playing hardball over the addition of new debates on the Dem side.

Next, while we've been working on this story for a while, it seems that everyone today has noticed that Microsoft has created a free app --- two of them, actually --- for the Democratic and Republican parties to use to help tally votes in the first-in-the-nation caucuses in Iowa next Monday.

Now that the Sanders camp has become "suspicious of Microsoft's influence in the Iowa Caucus," as MSNBC reports it, a lot of folks have begun freaking out about the matter. "You’d have to ask yourself why they’d want to give something like that away for free," a Sanders spokesman is quoted as saying, even as both the Sanders and Clinton campaigns have created their own apps for tracking local results at caucus sites next week.

I explain what the Microsoft apps do and don't do --- for each of the parties --- and if they, or you, should be concerned about it...no matter which candidate that you may or may not support in either of the parties holding caucuses next week in the Hawkeye State.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on Florida mayors calling out Marco Rubio for his climate change denial, an update on Flint and America's poor bearing the brunt of toxic pollution in the U.S., a win for coal miners in the fight against black lung disease, and much more in another busy BradCast today!...

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

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GUEST: Attorney, author, Vets for Bernie advisor Ernest A. Canning
PLUS: New news on Oregon standoff and both GOP and Dem debates; And listener calls!...
By Brad Friedman on 1/27/2016 5:44pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we are live from KPFK/Pacifica Radio in Los Angeles with attorney, author, longtime BRAD BLOG legal analyst, Vietnam vet and now Senior Advisor to Veterans for Bernie, Ernest A. Canning.

First up, Canning updates us on California's statewide "Overturn Citizens United" initiative known as Prop 49. The 2014 "advisory measure" was removed from the ballot incorrectly by the state Supreme Court, which has now admitted as much. But the question remains how and if it will now be placed before voters during the 2016 general election. He explains the latest legal move by the state legislature on this front, and why Prop 49 matters to both California and the nation.

Then, it's Ernie on Bernie! What the 74-year old "democratic socialist" from Vermont stands for, why Canning, who has been writing about Sanders at LA Progressive of late, believes Sanders' policies are important to veterans, and a few thoughts on the old "electability" argument already being used (by Republicans and Democrats) against Sanders.

Plus: Listener calls on all of the above!

Also on today's busy show: A few updates on the news of last night's arrests of 8 leaders of the armed militia standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon and the killing of one of its spokesmen; New news on this week's GOP debate on Fox "News" (which Trump now says he will boycott); The possibility of an added Democratic debate next week in New Hampshire; And, finally, the latest Green News Report with Desi Doyen...

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

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GUEST: Myrna Peréz of the Brennan Center for Justice
ALSO: Climate crisis v. Islamic extremism; A new Dem debate?; And the Election Integrity community loses a champion and key voice...
By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2016 5:34pm PT  

On today's BradCast, with the first Presidential caucuses and primaries of 2016 now just days away and the first mass voter suppression trial of the year now underway (in North Carolina), we look at a number of recommendations to improve our voting system. But is it too late to make much of a difference for 2016?

First up, some breaking news on the possibility of an added Democratic debate after the Iowa caucuses and before the New Hampshire primary, and some thoughts on the human cost of Climate Change-fueled extreme weather (over just the past month) versus Islamic terror attacks in the U.S. in the 15 years since 9/11.

Then, on to our conversation with Myrna Peréz of the Brennan Center for Justice's Democracy Program to discuss her new report: Election Integrity: A Pro-Voter Agenda. The paper offers six important areas --- from voter registration to polling access to vote casting and counting --- where the U.S. system can and must improve its integrity without sacrificing security or access to the voting booth.

"It is possible to protect election integrity without disenfranchising eligible voters," Peréz writes in her report about the solutions she and the Brennan Center offer. "All target fraud risks as they actually exist. None will unduly disenfranchise those who have the right to vote."

As she explains to me today: "We are having is a very contested moment in time where the right to vote is being challenged in a way that we haven't seen in decades. We are seeing politicians trying to manipulate the rules of the game such that some people can participate and some people can't. And we have that butting up against states that have very restrictive budgets, and may not actually have the money or resources to make reforms that would even save money long-term, because they require an initial investment. That, coupled with infrastructure problems --- like we have been registering voters in a really out-of-date way for too long, and we haven't updated our voting machines --- are all colliding to produce a period of worry, where when voters step into the polls on Election Day in November, they're not going to be getting the best customer service for their tax dollars. And that they're not going to be voting in a way that's consistent with what the greatest democracy in the world should be doing."

"We tried to look at where there were opportunities to improve what we're doing, and actually study and address some of the concerns that folks are having," Peréz says. "And do it in a way that is sensible and thoughtful and common sense, in terms of making sure that the cure isn't worse than the disease. And make sure that we're not disenfranchising more people than we're trying to prevent from perpetuating fraud."

We discuss, among many things in our detailed conversation, the real threats to election integrity --- not "voter fraud" by individuals at the polling place, as vote suppressors on the Right would like you to believe, but far more often, and in a much larger way, by political and election insiders. "We need to make sure that our politicians, who are using our resources and our taxpayer dollars, are fixing a problem that is real and addressing it in the most cost-effective and efficient way."

Finally on today's show, a few words and memories in regard to the recent tragic loss of Wisconsin's John Washburn, an integral member of the U.S. Election Integrity community and a reliable and important source over the past decade to me here at BradBlog.com and on the radio, on e-voting in general and, in particular, on some of the nightmarish elections disasters in the Badger State over recent years. John was a great proponent of transparency, open government, proper testing of electronic voting systems and, frankly, one helluva guy. As noted in my more detailed In Memoriam on today's program, John's loss, at the age of 53, is a particularly tragic and costly one for the cause of democracy and free and fair elections in Wisconsin as well as the rest of the nation. We send our thoughts and best wishes to his family, including his wife and three children. His institutional knowledge, good humor and wit will be greatly missed in 2016 and beyond, but his good fight will continue.

(John's guest blog contributions to The BRAD BLOG are here. You can sort through some of his other contributions to our stories and radio programs over the years here. And much more documentation of his work on EI matters and more is still available at his personal website right here. UPDATE: John's family has requested remembrances be posted on this tribute page.)

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Hottest year ever; Palin and Trump; MI Gov. apologizes (sort of); OK turning 'blue'?!; Good news for KS voters; Listener calls; MORE!...
By Brad Friedman on 1/20/2016 6:00pm PT  

On today's BradCast, live from the KPFK/Pacifica Radio studios in Los Angeles...

• NASA and NOAA announce that 2015 is, officially, the hottest year ever recorded on Planet Earth --- beating out the previous global heat record from 2014...by a mile. But, why worry?
• Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder apologizes for poisoning the people of Flint, but not for the tyranny.
• Sarah Palin endorses Donald Trump in Iowa, but is then a no-show, as her son is arrested for domestic violence after punching his girlfriend, holding an AR-15 to his head and threatening to kill himself.
• Several new efforts for disclosure of "dark money" in our political system on the 6th anniversary of the infamous Citizens United decision.
• Oklahoma turning "blue"?
• KS Sec. of State and GOP "voter fraud" fraudster Kris Kobach loses in court again --- so voters win.

Plus: Listener calls on all of the above (and more) and Desi Doyen with the latest (very busy) Green News Report! Enjoy!...

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GUEST: Jon Schwarz of The Intercept on how Obama could implement campaign finance reform, on his own, immediately...
By Brad Friedman on 1/19/2016 5:03pm PT  

On today's BradCast...

First up: New polling shows Bernie Sanders surging in NH among Democrats and Gov. John Kasich --- yes, John Kasich --- surging to second place among Republicans in the state...if you believe those sorts of things. At the same time, during the GOP establishment's half-hearted search for an alternative to Cruz/Trump, the Republican Party appears to be plummeting in popularity during the course of the 2016 Primary cycle, even as actual Republican voters seem to be warming up to the idea of Trump as their party's nominee.

Then, a remarkable new study from Oxfam finds that the world's richest "62 people own the same wealth as half the world" (the planet's 3.5 billion poorest!) And, some of those 62 richest-people-on-the-planet --- like the Koch Brothers and the Walmart heirs --- are amongst the biggest spenders when it comes to attempts to buy our political system.

So, what can be done about that last part? Jon Schwarz, Senior Editor at The Intercept, joins me to discuss how, despite "eloquent" comments suggesting otherwise during his State of the Union address last week, President Obama could take executive action immediately, on his own, to help radically reduce the "dark money" in our electoral and political system.

"One thing that Obama absolutely can do, by himself, this afternoon, if he wants to, is sign an executive order placing requirements on federal contractors," Schwarz explains, describing other similar actions that the President has taken in the recent past concerning federal contracting. "He can do it and he's done it in the past. What he could do about money in politics now is issue an executive order saying that federal contractors have to disclose any dark money contributions that they're making."

"If he did that, that would cover about 70 percent of the biggest corporations," Schwarz tells me. "So, it would not force the disclosure of any and all dark money, but it would force disclosure of a great deal of that. And, as I say, he could do that this afternoon."

We discuss some of the reasons Obama has failed to do this, to date, despite his calls for campaign finance reform throughout his career and as recently as last week's SOTU --- even with so many calls from so many quarters to take this action. "Obama likes to say really great-sounding stuff about money in politics --- he's said it his whole Senate career, his whole Presidency --- but he's never done anything. It's really extraordinary."

Finally on today's show, a few words on last night's passing of The Eagle's Glenn Frey and the latest on the outrageous lead poisoning crisis in Flint, MI, caused by the tyranny (literally) of Gov. Rick Snyder (R)...

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

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