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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, April 29, 2017
100 Daze:
'BradCast' 4/28/17
Guest: Salon's Heather Digby Parton on yet another landmark day of havoc and confusion for a stressed out nation (and world) fighting to survive the Trump Era...
Trump/GOP's 100 Day Dash and 'There Is No Planet B': 'BradCast' 4/27/17
Guest: Center for BioDiversity's Marta Segura; Plus: New immigration face-plant, healthcare debacle, Flynn-related embarrassment...
'Green News Report' 4/27/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump moves to revoke national monuments; FL calls out Nat'l Guard to fight drought-fueled wildfires; Big Oil now sees electric car future; PLUS: Sea level rise estimates doubled...
Previous GNRs: 4/25/17 - 4/20/17 - Archives...
Why Trump's U.S. War Against Syria (and Now Canada?!) Matters: 'BradCast' 4/26/17
Also: News fire hose back on as Congress returns from recess, Trump gets desperate near '100 Days' milestone...
Not Even Close, Mr. Spicer
After a federal court blocks another Trump E.O. on immigration, his Press Secretary offers a ridiculous response to a ridiculous case...
Fooled Again? Why Isn't MSM Questioning Trump's Syria Attack?: 'BradCast' 4/25/17
Guest: Journalist Robert Parry; Also: Media fails Science March; AR kills again; Court blocks Trump again...
'Green News Report' 4/25/17
March for Science a global success; Recruiting scientists to run for office; Earth hits rising CO2 milestone; PLUS: Britain's first full day w/o coal since the 1880s...
Sunday 'Trump or Chump' Toons
Trump continues to put the planet in danger -- on purpose, or he doesn't know any better...or both. PDiddie's toon collection, once again this week, tells the story...
GA Blocks Voter Registrations Before U.S. House Run-off: 'BradCast' 4/21/17
Also: Court finds TX intentionally discriminated (AGAIN!); NV SoS invents non-citizen voting scare; Stolen SCOTUS helps AR kill a man...
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: Journalist Alice Ollstein from Capitol Hill; Plus: The high cost of cutting IRS funding and the benefits of single-payer national health care...
By Brad Friedman on 3/9/2017 5:10pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Congressional GOP leadership continues to ram their "ObamaCare" repeal and replacement bill through House Committees, even as the future of their American Health Care Act remains uncertain with Republican opposition in both the House and Senate, not to mention growing opposition from health care advocacy groups. But that's just one of the potential battles on the near horizon amongst Republicans in the House, Senate and White House. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Donald Trump's budget proposals include a huge increase in military spending and huge cuts across the board to domestic programs --- and just about everything else --- in order to pay for it, including taxes and cuts to the IRS itself, by itself, will cost the government billions in revenue alone. (The IRS brings in $4 for every $1 that funds it --- so why would the GOP and Trump want to cut it? We discuss.)

But the question of whether Republicans in the House and Senate can come to terms with the White House, much less each other, on spending priorities is another matter entirely. Journalist Alice Ollstein of Talking Points Memo joins us from Capitol Hill today to discuss what may be ahead for the upcoming budget battle that could include, yes, another Government Shutdown (today the Treasury Department announced we will hit the debt ceiling against next week) and even an attempt by Trump to circumvent the law entirely, "because you can't legally do what President Trump wants to do," she explains.

By way of just one example of surprises that Trump may encounter even with a friendly Republican Congress, Ollstein explains: "I am hearing a lot of opposition from Republican lawmakers, especially to cuts to the State Department, saying 'We do not support cutting the State Department's budget by a third, because diplomacy keeps us safe and would make us eventually have to spend more on war.'" Those proposed cuts to State, 37% of their current budget, have already been opposed by Trump's own Secretary of Defense James Mattis, among others.

Ollstein also cites "the ghost of Ronald Reagan" as a specter that could end up haunting Trump's plans, since he seems to be following a path for radically growing the military, cutting taxes and blowing out the deficit in the bargain, a model that even Reagan ultimately had to try and roll back. "So, we'll see if this Trump plan, that is sort of Reagan 2.0, goes forward" at all, she explains.

Finally, we close today with some listener e-mail from Costa Rica, on what a national health care system, actually looks like in a civilized country...

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

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Medical advocacy groups come out against the GOP leadership's scheme to 'repeal and replace' ObamaCare...
By Brad Friedman on 3/8/2017 5:55pm PT  

On today's BradCast, can Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump overcome the mountain of push-back --- from Right, Left and Center --- against their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare")? [Audio link to show is posted below.]

First up today, we check in with KPFK/Pacifica Radio's Alan Minsky from the scene of today's International Women's Day demonstrations in downtown Los Angeles, where, he reports, thousands are gathering in protest.

Then, it's on to the quickly growing opposition to Speaker Ryan and the rest of the GOP leadership's scheme to "repeal and replace" ObamaCare, as introduced on Monday, and being "rammed" through House Committees beginning today, even before the bill, the American Health Care Act, has been scored by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

So far, the conservative right is revolting against the replacement bill, dubbed the American Health Care Act, endangering its potential for passing in either the House or Senate. But the scheme is also now being opposed by major medical advocacy groups like the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), who all charge that millions will lose health care coverage under the Republican plan.

Will the GOP and Donald Trump be able to overcome the opposition to keep their long-held promise to kill ObamaCare? Do they really event want to, as discussed on yesterday's show? We take listener calls today on that and more, including the continuing progressive push for a single-payer plan that covers all Americans.

Also today, with yesterday's document dump at WikiLeaks revealing (among other things) that the CIA has been able to hack into encrypted apps and devices, it's yet another reminder that encryption schemes cited by supporters of electronic vote casting and counting, like all non-transparent forms of tabulation, should be dismissed.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, as Trump continues to break his promise to "protect our air and water" with his new EPA and Interior Department chiefs rushing to return favors to the fossil fuel industry...

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: Huffington Post Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim | Also: Trump lied about U.S. steel for new pipelines; France cancels on-line voting...
By Brad Friedman on 3/7/2017 6:15pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the GOP health care plan to "repeal and replace" Obamacare has landed with a thud among Democrats and, only somewhat more suprisingly, among so-called conservatives. And, as our guest argues today, that may have been the plan all along. [Audio link to show posted below.]

House Republicans leadership introduced their long awaited health care plan on Capitol Hill late yesterday and we break down the details of it today. But, other than Donald Trump who described it, via Twitter, as "our wonderful new healthcare bill", the plan does not seem to be going over well in a number of key quarters. Of course, Democrats oppose the new scheme to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act (or, "ObamaCare") and Republicans have yet to have their new plan, dubbed the American Health Care Act, scored by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). So we don't know how much it will cost or how many people will actually be covered under it (or lose their coverage, thanks to it.)

But, the more important push-back against the new plan appears to be coming from Republican members of Congress and the rightwing policy groups like the Heritage Foundation and the Koch Brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity. They are calling it "ObamaCare-lite" and vowing to block it, as our guest Ryan Grim, Washington Bureau Chief for Huffington Post reports today.

Grim tells me why, based on his reporting, the roll-out --- and the plan itself --- appears to be such a disaster, and suggests that Republicans, including Speaker Ryan and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have no actual intention of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act at all. "They're pretending," he says. "Also they didn't think they were going to win the election. They didn't think they were going to catch this car that they've been chasing down the road. The problem for them is that Obamacare itself was basically designed by the Heritage Foundation years ago. So it's almost unfair for them to try to come up with an alternative to the thing that they developed themselves. But they're the ones who disavowed their original plan, so it's not that unfair."

"Paul Ryan is not an idiot. He has the phone numbers for the Koch Brothers, Club for Growth, Freedom Works, Heritage, all these different outfits that piled on it today. So how was this not worked out [in the last 8 years]? It suggests to me that it's not actually a serious attempt," Grim explains before detailing why it is not even a safe bet, at this point, to assume that Ryan and McConnell "actually want to pass something" at all.

Also on today's show: Trump lied about requiring U.S.-made steel in pipelines like KeystoneXL, and France, fearing the possibility of hacking, cancels on-line voting in advance of their upcoming elections...

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: The Intercept's Jon Schwarz...
By Brad Friedman on 3/6/2017 5:51pm PT  

On today's BradCast, while the U.S. media and public are obsessed by whatever Trump's relationship is or isn't with Russia and his bizarre tweets over the weekend, real policies and federal agencies --- relied upon for decades by millions of Americans --- are about to be gutted by the President and his Republican friends in the U.S. Congress. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Once again today, however, we must lead with more terrorism. And, once again, it's another alleged attack by a white man against someone --- a man of the Sikh faith, in this case --- told by the shooter, to "Go back to your own country!" While the incident, once again, has been ignored by the White House, Donald Trump found time today to sign a new Executive Order being described by critics as "Muslim Ban 2.0". While it's more narrowly tailored than his last one, which was blocked by the federal courts, the new order still provides no evidence that it will actually increase national security in any way.

Then, while Trump was unleashing his latest evidence-free Twitter tantrum over the weekend, charging that President Obama had "wire tapped" his phones at Trump Tower before leaving office, White House budget busters were sharpening their knives with huge planned increases in defense spending to be paid for by draconian slashes to thousands of jobs and billions of dollars at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

But why stop protecting the environment and health of Americans there? Our guest today, Jon Schwarz of The Intercept, joins us to explain how, while much of what Trump said in last week's address to Congress (at least some of the encouraging parts, like his promise to "promote clean air and clean water") can "safely be ignored", at least one point should not be. His comments about Medicaid, relied upon by millions of Americans, should be taken very seriously, Schwarz warns.

"Medicaid is not just healthcare for the poor," he explains. "It also pays the bills for over 60 percent of nursing home residents, and 40 percent of all national long-term care costs." With GOP control of Congress and Trump no longer promising "no cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," as he repeatedly did on the campaign trail, Schwarz decodes the President's comments from last week's speech promising to "give our state governors the resources and flexibility they need with Medicaid."

"It truly is awful what the Republicans have planned for Medicaid," Schwarz says, detailing how Trump's language now syncs up almost perfectly with House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has long called for schemes that would gut Medicaid. "The reason that they will go after it first is because the people who are the main recipients are either children, or they are over 65, or they are blind or they are disabled --- they truly are the people with the least ability to fight back. So it makes sense that that's who you want to attack first."

Schwarz explains what replacing the current federally-funded system with "block grants" to states actually means, who it will most harm, and how it will harm them. Medicaid, he says, is "not an incredibly generous program" as is. "But, it is crucial for anyone who has not made a lot of money their whole lives. People don't understand that if Medicaid is cut, old people truly will be dying in the streets. If you're a bit luckier, and you have kids with an extra room, maybe you will be dying on your kids' fold out couch."

As noted during the interview, Schwartz, a former writer for Saturday Night Live, is not particularly funny today. But Americans, particularly younger Americans, who will become the victims of these schemes while they are not paying attention --- unless Republicans can block them --- need to pay attention to what is likely about to happen, if Trump and GOP leadership get their way.

Finally, we close today with a moving word or two from MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski on the woeful and embarrassing White House reaction to Trump's bizarre weekend Tweet storm...

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

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Guests: Journalists Jacki Schechner and Gaius Publius...
By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2017 4:30pm PT  

While the corporate media have been somewhat beside themselves with effusive praise of Donald Trump's success at reading a speech from a teleprompter at his address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, our guests on today's BradCast see it somewhat differently.

Suffice to say journalists Jacki Schechner and Gaius Publius were far less impressed. They both join us today to un-spin Trump's speech and some of the alternative facts he presented --- on healthcare, energy, the hate-crime epidemic, his exploitation of the widow of a Navy SEAL killed recently in Yemen and more --- as well as both the media's and Democrats', at times, beguiling response to it all.

Both also offer thoughts on the very happy "merger" of the Trump and Republican Party brands, as well as the DNC's election of a new party chair over the weekend --- and what all of it means going forward.

That's a very short description for today's very jam-packed BradCast!. Enjoy!...

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

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Guest: APA's Dr. Vaile Wright; Also: DoJ flips on discriminatory voting law; Hate-crime epidemic continues; Americans grow fond of Obamacare...
By Brad Friedman on 2/28/2017 5:22pm PT  

I'm back on today's BradCast! (Thanks to Angie Coiro for filling in recently!) But, don't worry, there's still plenty to stress about anyway. [Audio link to full show follows below.]

First up today, as we await whatever madness will come during tonight's Presidential address to a joint session of Congress, Donald Trump's Dept. of Justice makes it official and flips its position on the case against Texas' racially discriminatory Photo ID voting restriction law.

Also, another wave of bomb threats are issued against dozens of Jewish Community Centers and schools across the country this week. And nearly a full week goes by before the White House offers any comment at all on the triple shooting in Olathe, Kansas, where the suspect is said to have shouted "Get out of my country!" before opening fire on two engineers from India --- both men in the country for years on legal work visas --- because he reportedly believed they were Iranians here illegally. Do you suppose that tragic story would have received more attention from both the U.S. media and the White House had the shooter been a Muslim man shouting "Allahu Akbar!" before opening fire in the same crowded bar?

Then, we're joined by Dr. Vaile Wright, Director of Research and Special Projects at the American Psychological Association (APA), to discuss the group's new two-part survey [PDF] finding, for the first time in their "Stress in America" study's history, a notable up-tick in stress among Americans of all political persuasions in the wake of last year's election.

Wright breaks down which demographic groups are most likely to be suffering from what is now being called "Post-Election Stress Disorder"; how Trump's rhetoric against immigrants has serious consequences ("Words absolutely matter," Wright says); how social media and mobile devices seems to be making us all more stressed, depressed and angry; and what you can do if you are among the now-majority of the nation feeling overwhelmed by the constant and disturbing barrage of troubling news.

"Some of the things that have happened, post-inauguration, have had pretty swift and real consequences," Wright explains, while detailing a long list. In the meantime, she notes, "You've got a news media that is 24/7. You've got social media that is nearly constant for those who use it, where they refresh their feed over and over again. And you get to this information overload, where basically it's hard to separate out truth from non-truth, and it just increases everybody's anxiety level." Tell me 'bout it. But it's somehow comforting, nonetheless, to have some empirical statistics to demonstrate that this nightmare is more than just our collective imagination.

Finally, we close with a bit of encouraging news, as a new poll finds some two-thirds of Americans do not want to see the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare") completely dismantled. Moreover, huge majorities in the survey now, in fact, support the landmark legislation's key provisions, even as Congressional Republicans struggle to find a plan to "repeal and replace" it, and Trump declares: "Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated!" Really, Mr. President?...

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: Maria Castro of People United for Justice | Plus: Senate confirms Price in middle of night, Racists celebrate Sessions as new A.G....
By Brad Friedman on 2/10/2017 6:09pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Trump took a serious thumping from a federal appeals court this week, but his other Executive Orders on immigration move forward nonetheless, resulting, for a start, in the heart-breaking deportation of an undocumented married mother of two young U.S. born children on Thursday. [Link to full audio posted below.]

Today we cover both Trump's embarassing smack-down by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late yesterday, and the real life effect of his extreme immigration policies. For the latter, we are joined by Maria Castro, a 23-year old organizer with People United for Justice. She was was arrested in Phoenix this week along with other supporters of 36-year old Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, who was deported to Mexico on Thursday, after coming to the U.S. when she was 14 years old.

Castro, an American-born citizen, describes how she and her family find themselves in a similar situation with her own undocumented immigrant mother who originally came here 24 years ago on a legal visa, but is now at risk of deportation. She discusses her arrest and efforts to help Garcia de Rayos who had been dutifully meeting with officials from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency every six months since her 2008 arrest during a raid at her workplace in Mesa, Arizona. Garcia de Rayos she was convicted of a 6th-degree felony for using a fraudulent Social Security number so she could work (and pay into benefits that she would likely never receive back.)

During our conversation, Castro, who successfully worked to defeat controversial Maricopa County (Phoenix) Sheriff Joe Arpaio last November, describes the mixed feelings of the community as he lost while Trump won. We also discuss the mood in the community among those now threatened by Trump's policies, how they plan to fight it (along with your support), and her criticism of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, who has been outspoken against the Garcia de Rayos deportation, even while, Castro charges, helping to facilitate it in a number of ways.

"My mother is undocumented," Castro tells me, adding that even a jay-walking ticket could now result in her being sent away. "Anything could happen. Any type of interaction with law enforcement could lead to her deportation. She was deported (over a decade ago) and she fought her way back to us. I was 12 years old and my little sister was in kindergarten. We needed our mom, and she made it happen."

As to going public with her name on the record, she tells me: "I have faith in my community and in the resistance, and the work that we do. I feel that the more I lean on my community, the more people I have to support me, the better. For us, for me, what we need to do as a community and community organizers, is we need to start to come together. We can no longer sit in our homes and watch TV and share things on Facebook."

I hope you'll tune in for today's interview. I think it's important to hear.

Finally, in the middle of the night last night (2:30am), Republicans in the U.S. Senate, on a party-line vote, confirmed Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), Trump's nominee to head Health and Human Services, despite a long list of corruption allegations concerning insider stock trading and more, and racists across the country celebrated the confirmation this week of new U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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: Former senior CDC official, Dr. Mark Rosenberg...
By Brad Friedman on 2/2/2017 6:36pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: You're all "on notice"! Public pressure begins to put both Congress and the President on notice. Donald Trump puts Australia(!) and Iran on notice. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) seem to be putting themselves on notice. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Nationwide protests and phone calls to Congress seems to be working. At least a bit. We cover a number of encouraging points in that regard today, from businesses like Harley-Davidson shying away from hosting a visit by the President at their Wisconsin factory for fear of huge protests, to one Congressman killing his own bill that would have sold off millions of acres of public lands, to still-plummeting approval ratings for both Trump and his wildly unpopular Executive Orders.

But, in the meantime, Trump continues to tick off international friend and foe alike with his incompetent, make-it-up-as-you-go "foreign policy". It's distressing, if amusing, when he pisses off friends like Australia and Mexico, but it's chilling and damned dangerous when he begins saber rattling with nations like Iran, which he is now threatening with military action and new sanctions for some reason.

Then, as the Administration takes action to dismantle environmental protection by agencies like the EPA, some federal agencies, like the CDC, seem to be sabotaging themselves, rather than waiting for Trump to do so. At least it seems that with the CDC's recent cancellation of long-planned conferences on climate change and LGBT issues.

Former CDC official Dr. Mark Rosenberg, who helped found the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control before going on to eventually become President Emeritus of The Task Force for Global Health, joins me today to help us understand the culture and some of the thinking that seems to be going on amongst the CDC's leadership since the election of the new, anti-science, anti-fact President.

"They act in response to signals," Rosenberg says about the CDC, citing the Trump Administration's aggressive early steps to undermine science-based federal agencies. "Things like that don't go unnoticed. It may be that people at CDC say we're committed to helping the public but we don't want to lose our jobs."

Rosenberg, who worked at the CDC for 20 years, famously battled the gun lobby-funded Congress in the 90s, as they passed the Dickey Amendment legislation to prevent research into gun violence prevention. (My interview with Rosenberg last year, on that topic specifically, is here.)

While he explains that "most of the people at CDC are very committed to serving public health and the public good" and "work very hard to protect the nation --- whether its from Ebola, heart disease, diabetes, bird flu, or climate change," he adds that he was eventually fired "by a Director of CDC who decided that he would rather keep his job than protect the science. And I think that was a terrible turning point for CDC."

Rosenberg explains the agency's role in helping to determine the many "health effects of climate change" which, he notes, "even the politicians who are pro-business and pro-economic development need to understand. You can't respond in a rational way, or a productive way, if you don't understand the problem."

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report where, as usual, everything is awesome!...

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, journalist John Judis...
By Brad Friedman on 1/27/2017 5:06pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, while it may be pretty slim pickings, we're actually able to carve out a bit of good news, here and there, at the end of the first week of the Trump Presidency (which already feels like a year). [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Among the stories covered on today's show...

  • Still more of Donald Trump's closest political appointees and family members are found to have voter registrations in two separate states (a sign of "voter fraud", if you believe the Clueless-in-Chief);
  • Trump's approval rating is just 36% in Quinnipiac's first poll of his Presidency (compared to the much much larger 59% that very popular President Barack Obama enjoyed in his first poll from the same group in 2009);
  • Federal courts order redistricting in Alabama and in Wisconsin due to unlawful GOP gerrymandering;
  • Nikki Haley, the new U.S. Ambassador to the UN, threatens allies in her first remarks at the peacekeeping body;
  • Trump says he believes in torture, but will defer to his new DefSec who says he doesn't;
  • Journalist John Judis, author of The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics, joins us to explain how the political story behind Australia's national health care system may offer an encouraging lesson, even if the new administration guts the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") in the U.S.;
  • Trump's top political appointees all had private RNC email addresses in the White House, until exposed by the media (Lock them up!);
  • And, an effort that could put an initiative for California secession from the U.S. ("CalExit") on the statewide ballot in 2018 receives official approval from the CA Sec. of State.

Did I mention it already feels like a year?...

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

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Guest host Angie Coiro with guest Amisha Upadhyaya on effective, manageable activism; Plus: Orwell in High School...
By Angie Coiro on 1/23/2017 6:46pm PT  

On today's BradCast, guest hosted by Angie Coiro, the impossible challenge of wrangling all the lies and all the damage inflicted on the country in the first three days of an impossible President.

Even as the show was in production, Trump and the GOP continued to stomp all over the little hope that remained for a decent American life in a clean, free, educated country. Among the litany: the return of the "global gag rule" (don't dare acknowledge that abortion exists!), Jeff Sessions won't recuse himself from investigating Trump's finances, because what are friends for?; the White House comments line is eliminated, and Spanish disappears from the White House website.

Follow me as I dissect Chuck Todd and Kelly Ann Conway's amazing "alternative facts" face-off --- a search that yields both classic rhetorical fallacies and the language of domestic abuse.

My first guest, Amisha Upadhyaya, wants to harvest the energy of the weekend's worldwide marches into doable activism for individuals. Thus, the birth of Still We Rise, coming soon to a town near you.

Finally, high school teacher Andrew Simmons joins me to explain how turning his class into a full-immersion Oceania --- with himself as Big Brother --- gives his students a real understanding of Orwell's 1984. Because if not now, when?...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 1/20/2017 12:26pm PT  

Today on The BradCast...

"There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part. You can't even passively take part! And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it --- that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!"
- Mario Savio, 1964.

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

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Guest: Public Citizen's Craig Holman on Rep. Tom Price's questionable investments; Plus: Much more nominee oversight as the blizzard of Senate confirmation hearings continue...
By Brad Friedman on 1/19/2017 6:08pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, on the last full day of the Obama Presidency, we continue to try and keep our eye on U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for Donald Trump cabinet nominees and the extraordinary conflicts of interest almost every one of them seem to have. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Contentious hearings continued today in the U.S. Senate with Treasury Secretary nominee and billionaire former Goldman Sachs partner Steven Mnuchin facing tough questions from Democrats (and even some Republicans) over allegations of fraud and "widespread misconduct" against him and his bank, OneWest, during the Great Foreclosure Crisis. Also today, during his own confirmation hearing, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, Trump's pick to head the Department of Energy, conceded that he was wrong for calling for the agency to be shut down when he was a GOP Presidential candidate. And, while it's being reported that he had no idea what the DoE actually did when he accepted the offer to head the federal agency that oversees the nation's nuclear program (Perry is said to have previously understood them to be in charge of oil and gas production), he also appears to be changing his mind about the threat of climate change after speaking with some actual scientists as he studies up on his new job.

Then we're joined by Craig Holman who, as Public Citizen's Government Affairs watchdog, recently sent letters to the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) as well as the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), seeking an official probe into purchases of health care company stocks made by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), Trump's nominee to head Health and Human Services, at the same time the Congressman (and Rep. Chris Collins of NY, who also participated in the questionable investments) were working on legislation that may have been designed to help the very same companies.

Holman also shares a new, previously unreported observation about an ethics provision enacted by President Obama on his first day of office, requiring all Administration personnel to sign a pledge recusing themselves from taking any actions that might affect their former employers or clients. But that order, which Holman credits for keeping the Obama Administration so scandal free, is now apparently being ignored by the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) in their vetting processes for incoming Administration officials.

"I have run over all the OGE ethics reviews of all the new Trump nominees," Holman tells me, "and it isn't mentioned. It just vanished, as if it doesn't exist. It's still an ethics order with the authority of law. Trump hasn't gone into the White House yet to repeal it, but somehow he's convinced the Office of Government Ethics just to look the other way."

More details from Holman today on that and on Price's questionable --- and perhaps even, criminal --- investments, and which government agency, if any, might actually be able to bring some accountability for them.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with more on the flood of Senate confirmation hearings for Trump's team of climate science deniers --- and one last gift President Obama left for the planet on his way out the door...

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

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Guest: Journalist David Dayen on Trump nominees whose confirmations may be in jeopardy; Also: Obama commutes whistleblower Manning's sentence; Senate hearings continue; and more...
By Brad Friedman on 1/17/2017 6:09pm PT  

On today's BradCast, a few of Donald Trump's nominees for top cabinet slots may be facing trouble, as Senate hearings continue this week in the U.S. Senate, preparations are finalized (and changed) for the Inauguration, and President Obama issues last minute pardons and commutations. [Audio link to full show is posted below.]

First today, as we go to air, breaking news on Obama's merciful commutation of the unprecedented 35-year prison sentence for U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning and a number of additional last-minute pardons and commutations.

Then, as Senate confirmation hearings resume today for Donald Trump's nominees, including for Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos and Interior Dept. Secretary nominee Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), we look at concerns about both of them. Billionaire DeVos, for example, has given, quite literally, millions of dollars in donations to Republicans and GOP causes over the years, including tens of thousands to the GOP Senators set to vote on her nomination in the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today. And, in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sen. Bernie Sanders pressed Zinke on whether or not he believes, like Trump, that climate change is "a hoax".

Then, we're joined by financial journalist and award-winning author David Dayen, to discuss several Trump nominees whose confirmations could now be in jeopardy, including the President-elect's picks to head up Health and Human Services (Rep. Tom Price), Labor (billionaire Andrew Puzder), Treasury (billionaire Steve Mnuchin) and Commerce (billionaire Wilbur Ross). We also discuss Dayen's recent big scoop at The Intercept on a memo detailing "widespread misconduct" (including fraud) at Mnuchin's mortgage bank OneWest and CA's then Democratic Attorney General, now U.S. Senator Kamala Harris' failure to further investigate or prosecute, despite recommendations from her own staff to do so.

Whether or not some of those nominations fall apart, Dayen notes a "supreme irony" in the both the election of Trump and the nominations of guys like Mnuchin and Ross, both profiteers of the "Great Foreclosure Machine".

"There was never any accountability for that. The Obama Administration famously kind of walked off the field in terms of prosecuting bankers and financial institution executives who instigated [the 2007 financial crisis]," argues Dayen. "And then who gets placed into power in the aftermath is the same people whose reputations have been rehabilitated effectively, who weren't given any sanctions for the actions that they took. And, in addition, the fact that there was no accountability created this sort of broken social fabric that helped lead to the rise of populist figures like Donald Trump in the first place."

"There are a lot of ways you can look at this," he tells me. "But there's no question that that failure to get the accountability that the American people wanted in the wake of the financial crisis played a role in the actions that occurred on Election Day 2016, and now those same people who profited off that neglect will be in charge."

Finally, as public pressure builds against some of those nominations, pressure has also led to a number of changes in plans for this week's Inauguration...

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

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Guest: Matt Gertz on Trump's marginalization of media and their failure to push back; Also: House moves to dismantle health care for millions; What's up with Tillerson?; And an Inauguration Day cover-up...
By Brad Friedman on 1/13/2017 6:10pm PT  

On today's BradCast, U.S. media failed to report on the rise and dangers of Mussolini and Hitler with the gravity that was warranted in the 20s and 30s. Are they making similar mistakes today with the rise and elevation of Donald Trump to President of the United States? [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Media Matters' Matt Gertz joins me to today to argue Trump's bizarre press conference on Wednesday, his first since the November election (first since last July, actually), revealed more than a dozen "signs of how bad press treatment will be under Trump". At the presser, the day after the release of an unsubstantiated dossier charging personal and financial compromise with Russia, Trump refused questions from either CNN or BuzzFeed News, declaring them both to be "fake news" for breaking various elements of the story. Gertz suggests the way it played out illustrates that the media are both failing to push back against Trump, and are likely underestimating how bad things are likely to get for them (and all of us) once he becomes President.

"This was not something that came out of nowhere," Gertz tells me. "This was clearly the strategy going into the press conference: to attack Buzzfeed, to attack CNN, to tie the two of them together, and to suggest that all of their reporting was illegitimate."

"They're going to go on trying to de-legitimize the media, one by one, piece by piece, to make it impossible for anyone to try to get out critical news analysis about what his administration is doing. This was the first step, and it's going to keep getting worse," he warns. "Trump bragged on the campaign trail that he could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and could shoot somebody and he wouldn't lose voters. Rhetorically speaking, that's what he basically did to [CNN's] Jim Acosta. He basically took him out in front of the entire press corps, humiliated him, pretty brutality, and other reporters just sort of moved along. They went on and they asked their questions, and they just kept going."

But were CNN and BuzzFeed wrong to report as they did in the first place? And do the media, in general, have only themselves to blame for the spot they're in at this point? Have they learned anything from last Wednesday, much last the past year? And is that Breitbart clown "reporter" Matt Boyle the new "Jeff Gannon"? We discuss all of that and much more during today's conversation.

Also today: The GOP Congress gets one step closer to dismantling health care for millions of Americans; What's up with the cancellation of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson's second day of confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate?; Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report as Obama bids farewell and seeks reason on climate change; And a particularly smelly Inauguration Day cover-up is revealed...

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

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Also: Comey and FBI face 'email' investigation; Govt. ethics chief blasts President-elect; Senate confirmation hearings continue; and Hustler's publisher tells me why he blames U.S. media for giving us all Trump...
By Brad Friedman on 1/12/2017 6:38pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the GOP "dogs" having finally caught up with the "reality" bus on ObamaCare and Iran and more. So, what will they do now? Also, free speech icon Larry Flynt joins us to blame the U.S. media for Donald Trump and much more. [Audio link to show follows below.]

First today, the DoJ Inspector General announces he will investigate the FBI and its Director James Comey concerning their controversial actions regarding Hillary Clinton's private email server in the run-up to last year's election and whether they ran afoul of long-established Justice Department guidelines.

Then, the head of the Office of Government Ethics blasts Donald Trump for failing to divest his business holdings. And, in the U.S. Senate, Trump's unprecedented conflicts of interest came into play during Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)'s questioning of super-genius Dr. Ben Carson, Trump's nominee (for some reason) to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Meanwhile, Trump's Secretary of Defense nominee, Gen. James Mattis, began his confirmation hearings today in the Senate, where he said he intends to honor the anti-nuclear agreement with Iran that the GOP pretends to hate. At the same time, Republicans in both the House and Senate are finally beginning to face reality on that and on the fact that their years of pretending the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare") was a disaster may now be a huge problem for them, as they have no actual plan to "repeal and replace" the program.

Finally, we're joined by Larry Flynt, longtime First Amendment champion and publisher of Hustler Magazine, to discuss his recent ad [PDF] in Variety which slammed the U.S. media, blamed them for the rise and Presidency of Trump, and called on them to "wake up!"

He tells me that while he's seen a lot during his decades of battles with Republicans like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, but "it's never been as bad as with Trump. Every time this guy opens his mouth, he tells a lie. I mean, that should not be tolerated by any member of the press."

Flynt also discusses what his $1 million bounty for incriminating video tape on Trump has uncovered so far, and why it's so difficult to actually damage him at this point. We also discuss, among other things, Hustler's consistent years of covering news in the magazine, in addition to porn, even when other media outlets have pulled their punches at various times when Republicans were in power. [Full disclosure: I have, for some years, written news articles and columns for the magazine and we discuss that a bit as well during today's program.]

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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