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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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'I'm here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem'...
By Brad Friedman on 7/12/2016 5:57pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Bernie Sanders finally endorses Hillary Clinton and President Obama offers yet another memorial speech following another mass shooting. All three Democrats call for America to rise above those hoping to divide the nation. [Audio link posted below.]

First up, during a joint rally by the two candidates in Portsmouth, NH on Tuesday, Sanders offered his long-anticipated concession and endorsement of Clinton to be the Democratic Party's nominee for President of the United States. The Vermont Senator explained that his full-throated endorsement for the former Sec. of State comes on the heels of progressive policy announcements by Clinton on health care and college education and after the completion of what both of them describe as "the most progressive party platform in history".

In Sanders' remarks he contrasted Clinton's positions with those of Donald Trump's, underscoring where he believes Clinton's positions are largely in line with his own on the expansion of health care, appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court, combating climate change, fighting against income inequality and for a living wage, access to college without the burden of student debt, on immigration and on criminal justice reform and much more.

During her own remarks, Clinton effusively thanked and lauded Sanders for his endorsement and his campaign, spoke to the tragic events in Dallas last week and to the epidemic of both police violence and weapons of war on our streets. She detailed her own plans to combat income inequality, to offer tuition-free college for more than 80% of American families, while vowing to block trade details like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). She described plans to reform the tax code, prevent more tax cuts for the rich, as she argued Trump and the GOP are offering, to expand Social Security, to fight for paid family leave and equal pay for women, reform of our campaign finance system and to fight back against voter suppression with the institution of automatic universal voter registration and other electoral reforms, including the restoration of the federal Voting Rights Act.

Shortly thereafter, President Obama appeared in Dallas to memorialize the five slain Dallas Police officers and two African-American men killed by police in the days just prior in Baton Rouge and St. Paul. His moving remarks called on Americans to rise up against hatred, violence and bigotry in all forms.

On today's show, we offer extended excerpts from all three speeches, as each shared a common theme of unity and a call for Americans to rise above divisions to come together as a nation. Also today, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on the environmental and climate issues hammered out in the Democratic Party platform over the weekend, the results of which are being described by both the Sanders and Clinton camps as the greenest in history...

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

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Wherein I finally find something nice to say about Texas, and Dems unite to complete 'the most progressive platform' in party history...
By Brad Friedman on 7/11/2016 5:49pm PT  

On today's BradCast, important lessons after the Dallas mass shooting and Dems end up coming together on a whole bunch of more progressive stuff for their party's official platform. [Audio link to today's show is posted below.]

First, my thanks to In Deep Radio's Angie Coiro for filling in for us, and producing a stellar and very enlightening show last Friday under impossible circumstances in the hours after the tragedy in Dallas! (If you weren't able to listen, it's here.)

So what can we learn today from that horrific shooting of 12 cops in Dallas last week at a Black Lives Matter protest following two more tragic killings of African-Americans in Louisiana and Minnesota? For one, we learn that the citizens of Dallas are incredibly lucky to have a Police Department led by Chief David Brown, whose community policing model of 'guardian', rather than 'warrior' cops, has succeeded in drastically lowering the city's crime rate, resulted in the number of excessive force complaints plummeting, and otherwise served to reassure a terrified city (and nation) at the height of last week's massacre and ever since.

But don't tell Texas' despicable Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), who chose to blame peaceful protesters for the deranged murderer with a high-capacity, military-style assault weapon. That, of course, is the very type of weapon that folks like Patrick and the National Rifle Association (NRA) have fought to ensure remain on our streets and available to killers (even cop killers) for years, despite law enforcement officials begging them otherwise.

Meanwhile, as the same Rightwing Republican and NRA hypocrites pretend to support cops, they spam the world with myths and pretend facts about guns, protesters and President Obama. Real facts, however, reveal that the killing of police officers is worse wherever legal gun ownership is highest and officer deaths are at a 40-year low, since Obama has been in office.

Finally, today, after a very long process, and in advance of what will reportedly be a Bernie Sanders endorsement of Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Democrats adopt a draft of what both the Sanders and Clinton camps are describing as "the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party"...

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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By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2016 6:22pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Climate change continues to ravage Americans and take lives in the east and west, surprisingly good news from the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.K. remains gripped with panic, confusion and uncertainty in the wake of last week's vote 'Brexit' vote to leave the European Union.

We start today with more on the historic deadly flooding and "mass destruction" in West Virginia 'coal country' and the out-of-control wildfires across bone-dry Southern California. Yes, it's everything we've been warning you about for so long on both The BRAD BLOG and The BradCast, even if just the latest example of the enormous (and growing) cost of climate change, as still both under-reported by the corporate media and over-shadowed by other new events across both the U.S. and world.

Then, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down several major decisions on its final day of the session. Surprisingly, a number of those decisions were very good news for progressives, even on an otherwise divided Court with its still-vacant 9th seat. The biggest decision concerned abortion rights in Texas, where the Court dealt a devastating blow to Republican laws meant to shut down women's health clinics under the guise of 'safety'. The Court saw through the Rightwing con, and the 5-3 decision could result in the overturning of similar "TRAP laws" enacted by Republicans in other states. In any event, the decision is a huge setback for rightwing anti-abortion activists and a big victory for those who believe in Constitutionally protected reproductive rights and freedoms. Can we take anything from this decision as to how SCOTUS might eventually rule in the Texas Photo ID voting restrictions case --- another GOP law meant to rob (certain) citizens of their rights for entirely specious reasons?

Also, the right of states to restrict the possession of guns by domestic abusers was upheld in a surprising bi-partisan 7 to 2 opinion, as was a new rule by the U.S. Dept. of Labor concerning overtime pay for home healthcare workers.

In an unusual unanimous decision by the Supremes, Virginia's former Republican Governor Bob McDonnell saw his bribery conviction vacated, despite having accepted some $165,000 in personal gifts and cash loans from a wealthy businessman hoping the Governor would help promote his products. Will that decision have any effect on Alabama's former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman, who is now serving his 6th year in federal prison for having done far less than McDonnell was found guilty of? That, even as the Republican federal judge who sentenced Siegelman has resigned from the bench after having been arrested for beating his wife and the Republican heads of all three branches of government in Alabama face removal of office via impeachment (Governor), ethics charges (Chief Justice of the AL Supreme Court) and multiple felony conviction (AL Speaker of the House) for various crimes, alleged and proven, in their home state.

Finally today, last week's 'Brexit' vote continues to wreak havoc as world financial markets continue to plunge (though not nearly as low as I incorrectly reported it on today's show, as based on an inaccurate number reported by my iPhone's stock app!); the British government is in complete disarray about how (or, perhaps, even, if) they will officially begin the formal procedure required to leave the EU; voters express 'bregret' over having voted to exit; questions arise about overseas voters failing to correctly receive ballot papers at all; and some call for a second ("do-over") referendum.

All of that and much more on yet another insanely busy BradCast today!

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

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Guest: Dr. Mark Rosenberg explains the 1996 'Dickey Amendment' and how it still prevents much-needed fact-finding work on guns today
Also: Dem 'filibuster' forces gun votes, Obama speaks to Orlando victims' families...
By Brad Friedman on 6/16/2016 6:04pm PT  

It's another very busy BradCast today, with breaking news on the murder of a British Member of Parliament, the Democratic 'filibuster' on guns in the U.S. Senate, Obama's visit to Orlando, and my interview with the man who led the CDC's fight against the NRA and Republicans in Congress twenty years ago, when federal funding for research into gun violence and prevention was effectively ended. [Audio link to full show is posted below.]

First up, the shooting and stabbing death of British Labour Party MP Jo Cox, has stunned the UK, just days before the controversial "Brexit" referendum vote on whether to leave the European Union. The alleged killer is in custody, and reportedly shouted "Britain First", the name of one of the Rightwing groups opposed to staying in the Union, during the attack.

Next, the Democrats' 15-hour 'filibuster' in the U.S. Senate, lead by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), comes to end with an apparent victory, of sorts. The Senator --- who served as Newtown, CT's member of Congress when the Sandyhook Massacre resulted in the deaths of 20 school children and 6 adults back in 2012 --- sought to force Republicans to allow votes on closing the gun show/online background check loophole, as well as legislation to disallow suspected terrorists from easily and legally purchasing guns. In related news, President Obama's spoke on Thursday after meeting with family members of the victims of last weekend's Orlando Massacre, and called once again for action to help prevent such tragedies.

Then, as the American Medical Association (AMA), one of the nation's most powerful lobbying organizations, has finally come out in favor of federal funding for gun research, I speak with Dr. Mark Rosenberg, who headed the Center for Disease Control (CDC)'s National Center for Injury Prevention twenty years ago when, in 1996, he squared off with Republicans in Congress who ultimately forced the federal agency to end all research into gun violence, the causes behind it, and how to help prevent it from happening in the first place.

Rosenberg, who recently retired as head of the Task Force on Global Health, explains the history of what is now known as the 'Dickey Amendment', which effectively served to end all federal research on guns. He describes his initial confrontations with then U.S. Rep. Jay Dickey (R-AR), who has since, ironically enough, become a friend and ally, and why still-absent federal research funding is so important to helping curb the nation's extraordinary gun violence epidemic.

"The NRA had been attacking us [the CDC] for years, because they thought that to allow research to be done might not be good for gun sales. And so they developed a zero tolerance policy," Rosenberg tells me. "They told their members that it's either-or, black and white, take your choice. Either you can do the research or you can keep your guns. But they said you can't do both. And if you allow the research, we will all lose all of our guns."

The showdown with GOPers doing the bidding of the NRA at the time, he says, came not long after CDC-funded research found that "having a gun in the home --- not only did it not protect you, but it increased the risk that someone in your family would be shot and killed with a gun, not by 5 or 6 or 20 percent, not by 80 or 90 percent, but more than 200 percent."

Rosenberg explains his fascinating history with former Congressman Dickey, how federal research is not actually "banned" to this day (despite reporting to the contrary), why it is still not carried out nonetheless, and what he describes as the four "basic scientific questions" that federal research could help answer. Namely: "Who gets shot, how many people?"; "What are the causes" of gun death and injury and "what increases and decreases the risk"?; What could "work to prevent it"?; and, "once you find things that work, how do you put them into legislation and craft a policy that will both keep us safe and protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners"?

It's an eye-opening and important discussion that I hope you'll take some time to listen to and share. And, finally, at the end of the show, as your gift, you'll be rewarded with a much-overdue laugh, courtesy of Al Franken. 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: Prof. Jonathan H. Adler on 'Baptists, Bootleggers and E-Cigs'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2016 5:10pm PT  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Guest: Constitutional law expert and author, Ian Millhiser...
By Brad Friedman on 5/16/2016 6:24pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the U.S. Supreme Court's remarkable decision to punt on a 'religious freedom' case (for now) following the death of Scalia, and all hell breaks lose in Vegas over the weekend as Sanders supporters clash with party officials at the Nevada State Democratic Convention.

First up, some very encouraging news today about renewable energy use over the weekend in Germany. Everything else today is not quite as encouraging, beginning with SCOTUS' extraordinary decision to not decide Zubik v. Burwell, a case related to the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare)'s mandate requiring contraceptive coverage by employers or health insurers.

Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser, author of Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, joins us to explain the Court's latest "punt", sending the case back to the lower courts in search of a compromise, and in hopes of avoiding another 4 to 4 split decision on the High Court as they wait for Republicans in Congress to fill the vacancy left on the Court in the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia's death in February.

Millhiser details both the case itself and the Court's 3-page non-opinion opinion [PDF] today which will, for the moment anyway, help to save access to birth control for thousands of women. He also describes why the Court made the ruling, the havoc that is expected to come from it, and why it underscores, yet again, the desperate need for a 9th Justice on the Court, despite the Senate GOP's unprecedented decision to block hearings on any nominee from President Obama.

Then, speaking of healthcare, while Sanders' policy for a single-payer universal healthcare program remains more popular than the policies of both Clinton and Trump, his supporters are growing increasingly frustrated with what they regard as unfair treatment by the Democratic Party establishment.

That frustration turned to fury over the weekend in Las Vegas, where the Democrats' state party delegate nominating convention devolved into chaos as a number of Sanders supporters were disqualified, party officials denied parliamentary procedure on rules amendments, and officials from the County Sheriff's office were brought in to clear the room as the convention was gavelled to a premature close. All in a huge fight over what might have resulted in 2 more Sanders delegates at the national convention in July.

We try to make sense of all of that (wish us luck!), before offering a preview of tomorrow's Presidential Primary elections in both Kentucky and Oregon...

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GUEST: Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser on today's SCOTUS news...
By Brad Friedman on 3/29/2016 5:48pm PT  

I'm back today on The BradCast, after Nicole Sandler of RadioOrNot.com filled in for a few days! (Thanks, Nicki!!!) And while little has changed in the GOP race for the White House since I've been gone, it was a very big weekend for Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side, even if the mainstream corporate media continues to disregard his campaign. [Audio link for the complete show is at bottom of article.]

Then, I'm joined by constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser, author of Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, to explain today's stunning ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of public sector unions. The decision in Friedrich v. California Teachers Association is a major turnaround from what had been the expected outcome earlier this year when we spoke to Millhiser in January just after oral argument in what had been regarded as "the biggest legal attack on unions in decades".

Thanks, however, to a 4 to 4 deadlock on the Court, in the wake of the recent death of Rightwing activist Justice Antonin Scalia, today's ruling is the opposite of what had been previously expected and "one of the first consequences" of his death, says Millhiser. "Scalia was probably going to be the fifth vote to do some serious violence to the way that public sector unions are funded," he explains, while detailing why today's ruling is very good news for both Democrats and democracy itself in the wake of what had been "potentially an existential threat to unions."

"What this decision does mean is that if someone wants to undermine unions, they don't get to take a shortcut. They don't get to go to five Justices and get the Justices to put in place the laws they want for them," Millhiser tells me.

He also decodes the Court's somewhat "baffling" order today concerning a challenge by religious activists to the 'ObamaCare' contraception mandate, as well as the latest status of the GOP's seemingly self-defeating obstruction of President Obama's nomination to replace Scalia.

Finally, we've found something that both Republican and Democratic voters agree on! What happened last week to voters in Phoenix --- many of whom had to wait up to 5 hours to cast a vote (and some of them were the lucky ones!) --- was an outrage across the board, and we've got just some of the outraged voter testimony from the AZ state legislature on Monday to prove it!...

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GUEST: Mother Jones' Kevin Drum on the not-much-angrier-than-usual electorate and a bunch of things that are actually 'going great' in the U.S....
By Brad Friedman on 3/21/2016 5:54pm PT  

I realize it's strictly verboten in talk radio and, probably, against an FCC rule somewhere, but, today, we've got nothing but good news on The BradCast! Well, mostly. Well, at least compared to the bulk of what you'll hear from the corporate media and the bulk of the political campaigns they bother to report on where outrage earns listeners, viewers and readers. [Audio link to the full show is below.]

First up, a number of a relatively encouraging stories, including: Obama goes to Cuba as the first American President to visit the Cold War-ravaged island nation in more than 50 years; An update (with some good news and some bad) on the Illinois county where thousands of voters were turned away without voting last week due to ballot shortages (which we covered in detail on last Friday's show); A new poll finds Utah (Utah!) could go Democratic this year if Trump is the GOP nominee. (And guess which Democrat does best against him?); Bernie Sanders holds a huge event in Seattle in advance of several primaries and caucuses this week in western states, about which his campaign is reportedly very optimistic; and Rush Limbaugh freaks out and misinforms listeners because a new film documents how his business model is about freaking people out and misinforming listeners.

Then, I'm joined by the intolerably reasonable blogger Kevin Drum of Mother Jones, who argues that the electorate isn't nearly as "angry" as the corporate media continue to (mis)report them to be (speaking of "business models"), before he goes on to offer his (apparently controversial) list of the "Top Ten Things That Are Going Great in America".

Really? Many things are going great?! That's simply outrageous! Drum explains how such outrage --- even over legitimate concerns --- can sometimes keep very real problems (such as high lead levels in places around the country other than Flint, for example) from being reported, noticed and even fixed at all.

On the "outrage" from this year's voters, Drum explains: "Anybody who has been watching elections in the United States for awhile knows that we hear this every four years. Every four years the voters are 'angrier than they've ever been'. You think that Donald Trump's rallies have gotten a little bit violent? Been a few arrests? It's nothing compared to what was going on with George Wallace back in 1968."

"This year, you've got a guy, Donald Trump, who's feeding on it. It's really the candidates more than it is the people themselves. You've got a candidate who can really gin up the anger that's already out there, and make it seem worse than it's been before." Drum makes the case as to why it's not voter "anger" about politics and the economy that driving them to someone like Trump, as the media suggest, but something else very specific. But, you'll have to listen to find out what that is.

"I sort of blame talk radio --- present company excluded, of course --- but conservative talk radio and Fox News, for leading the way on this outrage politics," he says. "And, I think, as time goes by, a lot of other sources, including those of us on the left, see it happening on our side as well."

On the left?! That's infuriating! Please enjoy the show below. No outrage necessary...

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

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GUEST: Author, historian Prof. Harvey J. Kaye of Univ. of WI-Green Bay
PLUS: Crucial primaries in OH, IL, MO, NC and FL; Feb. heat records 'shock' scientists...
By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2016 4:21pm PT  

On today's BradCast, while Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are busy smearing Bernie Sanders as "extreme" and even "communist", the broad and progressive social programs the Vermont Senator is calling for in his campaign are, as my guest explains today, as American as apple pie and Thomas Paine.

First, however, voters head to the polls for crucial Presidential primary elections in OH, IL, MO, NC and FL and run into a few problems; Massive flooding hits climate deniers in the south, shutting down major interstates and requiring the costly rescue of thousands in TX and LA; And, February global heat records "shock" even climate scientists.

Then, we're joined for today's interview by Univ. of Wisconsin-Green Bay Professor of Democracy and Justice Studies Harvey J. Kaye to discuss the rich history of social democracy (or, as Sanders calls it, "democratic socialism") in the U.S. and how, as noted in the headline of his article for Moyer's & Company, "Social Democracy is 100% American".

"Social democracy means that we harness the powers of democratic government to make American life freer, more equal and more democratic," he tells me. "That stands in contrast to a conservative approach, which is either to empower a hyper-individualism in the libertarian sense, or, as we've seen so often in the Republican Party, empowering big capital and corporations to pursue their interests with some idea that it will all trickle down."

Kaye, author of the books Thomas Paine and the Promise of America and The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great, details how "the original visionary of Social Democracy was the American revolutionary Thomas Paine," oft-embraced by the modern Tea Party and other Republicans, even as they fail to notice his loud and frequent calls for "social security and other public initiatives" that would benefit all.

From Paine through Lincoln through FDR, Eisenhower and beyond --- at least until Ronald Reagan --- U.S. leaders helped "pioneer" a vast number of landmark social programs akin to the ones Sanders is now calling for in his Presidential campaign and on which our nation has been built from the beginning. Kaye, a supporter of the Democratic underdog, explains how and why he believes that "democratic socialism" has been turned into a pejorative over the years, thanks to both "red-baiting" Republicans hoping to tie it "communism", but also thanks to Democrats who have been playing into the same "class war from above."

"The Republican onslaught has been predictable," Kaye says, after detailing example after example of wildly popular socialist programs in the U.S. ever since our founding and through recent decades. "The corporate class war from above was predictable. But where are the Democrats to challenge it?"

Fear of such programs of social justice and economic prosperity, particularly by theoretically "progressive" Democrats, is a fairly new phenomenon in the U.S., which, he tells me, young people may not realize. "These last forty years we have seen this Republican-conservative ascendance that has so limited political possibilities. It has also limited our political imagination."

Please tune in for today's fascinating conversation as we wait for, or become exasperated by, the corporate media reporting on "Super Duper Tuesday" results...

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

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GUESTS: Salon's Heather Digby Parton, CFA's Dave Johnson...
By Brad Friedman on 3/4/2016 4:08pm PT  

On today's BradCast, coverage, analysis, insight, snark and fact-checking following last night's amazing GOP Debate on Fox "News" in Detroit between the four remaining candidates Trump, Cruz, Rubio and Kasich. [Audio link to complete show is below.]

I'm joined on the show today by our post-debate analysis champeen, Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo, as well as long-time blog friend, first time BradCaster Dave Johnson, formerly of Seeing the Forest and now Senior Fellow at the progressive Campaign for America's Future.

Says "Digby" today when I ask her if she's having fun yet this election cycle: "Of course, from the perspective of a political junkie, it's never been better. But from the perspective of a citizen and a human being, this is one of the scariest [elections] ever, maybe the scariest ever."

Says Johnson about the raucous --- and arguably profane --- madness on display in Detroit last night: "I'm so old, I remember when Bill Clinton was asked if it was boxers or briefs, and the whole country was shocked. Yes, the debate was raucous, not something you'd want your kids to see. It was empty of policy, and I think we're going to see Trump's poll numbers go way up...It was embarrassing."

In addition to bringing some reality to the Republican Party's now, full-on panic and fantastical notions of somehow, by hook or crook, taking down Trump before he secures the nomination and, yes, discussing the facts in response to what little policy actually was alluded to last night (Just one question on Flint? During a debate in Detroit?!), we also discuss the current status of the race between Sanders and Clinton following Super Tuesday in what is, no doubt, the smartest --- and, occasionally, most amusing --- post-debate analysis in the whole wide world! Enjoy!...

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

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GUESTS: Journalists David Dayen and Jacki Schechner...
By Brad Friedman on 2/12/2016 4:09pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we go well beyond the horse-race (though we cover that too) for substantive, smart and, yes, occasionally snarky coverage of last night's Democratic debate on PBS between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in Milwaukee, WI.

I'm happy to be joined once again today by journalist David Dayen of The Fiscal Times, Salon, The Intercept and everywhere else and health care reform advocate and journalist Jacki Schechner, formerly of CNN and CurrentTV.

It was the first debate following Sanders' dominating win against Clinton in New Hampshire on Tuesday, and the last one currently scheduled between the pair before the Nevada Caucuses next week, the South Carolina Primary the week after, and then Super Tuesday on March 1. So, a lot was riding on their face-off last night.

Among the issues we examine on today's show: Do Bernie's plans for single-payer health care and free college tuition actually "add up"? Is Hillary's attack on Bernie for criticizing Obama fair? Has she finally found a message that can work against the insurgent Senator? And what the hell is up with PBS' obsessive embrace of misleading Rightwing memes concerning the "size" of government?

All of that and much more --- including our own Desi Doyen --- to help you become a better educated voter and annoy your friends with facts at cocktail parties, on today's BradCast!...

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

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

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

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

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

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GUEST: Veteran weatherman Paul Douglas says added warmth, moisture in atmosphere akin to 'pouring rocket fuel on a Bic lighter'...
PLUS: More trouble for MI's Snyder; Cruz is a liar; One state is cancelling e-voting...
By Brad Friedman on 1/25/2016 5:51pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, as the East Coast digs out from the weekend's record super storm that dumped more than 30 inches of snow on five different states, killing at least 30 people in the bargain, we're joined by veteran meteorologist Paul Douglas who says his "jaw dropped" after looking at the storm data.

Among his reasons for amazement, he tells me, were the extraordinary snow fall amounts ("3 to 5 inches an hour" in many places) as well as "water temperatures in the Gulf Stream in the mid- to even upper-70s" in January, which, he says, is "at least 6-7 degrees warmer than average."

"The warmer the water, the higher the water vapor above the Gulf Stream. There's simply more water in the air, more fuel. This was the equivalent of pouring rocket fuel on a Bic lighter," he explains. "It intensified into a 'bomb' that was able to suck all this additional Atlantic moisture inland, and hurl it at New York and Philly and Washington, and all points in between"

Douglas, who is both a self-identified Republican and evangelical Christian, says this storm --- and the many record storms we've witnessed over the past several years --- adds still more evidence of a climate "on steroids," thanks to the continued burning of fossil fuels.

"There's little doubt in my mind that this storm was 'juiced'," he says. "We are conducting an experiment on not only the atmosphere, but the oceans, and hoping that everything turns out okay."

The veteran Minneapolis-based broadcast meteorologist, data expert and entrepreneur goes on to explain why he believes his fellow Republicans fail to grasp the increasing urgency of global warming, how they are continuing to deny not only scientific reality, but even urgent warnings from the U.S. Military. He also offers his advice on what voters can and should do about it.

"The most important thing you can do is vote," Douglas argues. "And vote for local, state and federal officials who still have a respect for science. You can have a faith in God, you can have a faith in something more than what we can observe, and still have a respect for science."

Also on today's show: More evidence that MI Gov. Rick Snyder's office knew posed by using the Flint River for drinking water long before he currently admits; More evidence that Ted Cruz is an extraordinarily accomplished liar; The good news on the one state that is canceling its plans to use electronic voting machines this year; And new, conflicting details on the Washington State man who says he accidentally fired his gun at a showing of the new Benghazi movie last week...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/22/2016 5:13pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we do our best to keep you warm and dry --- and perhaps even provide a smile or two while we're at it --- as the monster snow storm socks the East Coast.

We cover a lot of ground today's show: From the reasons for 'Snowzilla' and the cost of low oil prices; to Obama's victory in court today for his Clean Power Plan; to new signs that the GOP is utterly broken (but why Dems should still be careful what they wish for!); to our latest American Islamophobia Update; to new evidence that Open Carry laws are ridiculous; to some very smart listener mail about Dems and health care; and a number of the absolutely craziest effin' things we've ever heard (with apologies to Stephen Colbert).

You'll have to tune in to find out what today's graphic (above) is all about. But it is, no doubt, one of the craziest effin' things I've ever heard.

Enjoy...and stay warm, dry and safe out there!

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

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