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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, September 1, 2015
KY Clerk Defying SCOTUS, Refusing to Issue Marriage Licenses: 'BradCast' 9/1/15
Guest Joe Dunman, attorney for couples challenging County Clerk Kim Davis: 'Imagine a Muslim clerk denying licenses to Christians'...
'Green News Report' 9/1/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Obama makes case for climate action in melting Arctic; 2015 hurricane season breaking records; Huge e-car news; PLUS: RWers go nuts after nation's tallest mountain renamed...
Previous GNRs: 8/27/15 - 8/25/15 - Archives...
'Voting Machines Are Being Manipulated' - KS Statistician: 'BradCast' 8/31/15
Beth Clarkson explains remarkable allegations, evidence, and how KS SoS Kobach is blocking attempt to audit touch-screen patterns favoring GOP | Also: 64 criminal counts for NM SoS...
O'Malley Slams DNC's 'Rigged' Nomination Process
Former MD Governor and 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate excoriates party's announced debate schedule (and more) at DNC Summer Meeting in Minneapolis..
Sunday Toons: 'Concerns Perhaps Overblown' Edition
...Then again, perhaps not. 'PDiddie' rounds up the political cartoonists take on what you need to worry about this week...and what you don't...
10 Years Later - Crawford and Katrina: 'BradCast' 8/28/15
Personal remembrances and audio from our on-air, on-the-ground 2005 coverage of Cindy Sheehan's anti-war uprising at the Bush 'ranch' in TX as Hurricane Katrina stormed ashore...
'A Crazy Man Got a Gun': 'BradCast' 8/27/15
Standing up to the NRA after Roanoke, horrifying U.S. gun death toll; PLUS: Denying global warming on Katrina's 10th anniversary; Trump's ugly nativism; Good news for Dems; Marriage dead-enders in KY...
'Green News Report' 8/27/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
10th anniv. of Hurricane Katrina; NASA warns 3 ft. of sea level rise now locked in; Obama heads to the Arctic; PLUS: Switch to clean energy costs less than fossil fuel, says Citigroup...
Previous GNRs: 8/25/15 - 8/20/15 - Archives...
Let's Go to the Phones: 'BradCast' 8/26/15
Covering a lot of ground with listener callers -- from the on-air shootings in Roanoke, VA to why Democrats shouldn't be so gleeful about Donald Trump -- and much more...
Carly's Climate Clap-Trap or The Fiorina Follies:
'BradCast' 8/25/15
Journalist David Roberts on the 'moderate', 'reasonable' GOP candidate's ridiculous climate comments and Citigroup's global warming report. Plus: Beck, Trump and Sanders...
'Green News Report' 8/25/15
July 2015 hottest month ever recorded; Record wildfires get worse; Whale deaths in WA; Oil hit hard by China; PLUS: Obama calls out anti-free market ideology...
TX Photo ID Law Found Illegal, Yet Still Suppressing Voters: 'BradCast' 8/24/15
Guests: Attorney Ernest A. Canning on TX' discriminatory law; Financial journalist David Dayen on Dow 'crash'...
Sunday Toons, Untrustworthy Edition
Hillary's email; Ashley Madison's mess; Subway's Jared; Schumer's shame; Amazon agonistes; Trump's tyranny and more...
E-Cigs Are Good For You; GOP is Not: 'BradCast' 8/21/15
Also: Bernie Sanders & ignoring corporate media are good for you too...
5th Circuit Photo ID Ruling Could Leave Thousands Without Right to Vote in TX
'Good news' decision could leave 600k lawfully registered voters disenfranchised in 2016...
'No Good Evidence' Russia Behind MH17 Shootdown in Ukraine, Says Longtime CIA Analyst: 'BradCast' 8/20/15
Exclusive interview with 27-year, top CIA vet turned peace activist Ray McGovern...
'Green News Report' 8/20/15
Fox now 'cares' about environment; Hillary opposes Arctic drilling; EPA rules cut methane; Islamic leaders call for climate action; PLUS: River toxins and intersex fish...
Did KXL Judges Profit Off Ruling?:
'BradCast' 8/19/15
Journalist Steve Horn on two judges who allowed disturbing precedent that led to completion and opening of Kestone XL pipeline's southern leg...
AT&T/NSA Whistleblower Mark Klein on New AT&T/NSA Docs: 'BradCast' 8/18/15
'They approached the phone companies before 9/11,' he says, citing new Snowden disclosures that 'vindicate' his own 2006 revelations...
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 Colleen Kimmett...
By Brad Friedman on 8/28/2015 5:59pm PT  

Both Hurricane Katrina and Cindy Sheehan's 'Camp Casey' protest outside of George W. Bush's Crawford, TX pretend-ranch took place 10 years ago this week. On today's BradCast, we commemorate both with some personal remembrances from our live on-air coverage of both events at the time.

First, where we are today: As Dubya came out from years of (justifiable) hiding today to speak at a rebuilt school in New Orleans, journalist Colleen Kimmett joins us to discuss the successes and failures of the privatized charter school system that was allowed to take over in New Orleans following the Katrina disaster.

Then we dig deep into the audio archives to revisit some of our on-the-ground, round-the-clock radio coverage of Sheehan's historic anti-war protest in August of 2005 --- including the remarkable on-air moment on Sunday evening, August 28, 2005 when we first received the jaw-dropping National Weather Service bulletin warning of Katrina coming ashore.

Both landmark national events intertwined on our radio coverage from 10 years ago, and, as we discuss on today's program, marked a key turning point for our nation, our wars, and the entire Bush Presidency.

Finally, our latest Green News Report looks back at Katrina's devastation, looks forward to NASA's new warning that at least 3 feet of sea level rise is now "locked in," and the new report from Citigroup finding that moving to renewable clean energy will actually be less expensive than sticking with our current fossil fuel status quo...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

[Photo above of Jeff Keys, Cindy Sheehan and Joan Baez courtesy of "Alaska Gyrl" Kim Terpening, who happened to be on air with us in Crawford as the NWS bulletin came across the wires. And here are some of those photos I mentioned on the show today of Karl Rove happily glad-handing the pro-Bush, anti-Sheehan demonstrators in Crawford at the very same moment that Katrina was drowning New Orleans.]

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UPDATE 8/29/2015: As 'PDiddie' (who expertly curates BRAD BLOG's Sunday Toons each week) reminds me in comments below, he was also in Crawford at the very same time! See his contemporaneous 2005 description of some of the same moments remembered in the show above (including him sitting down to listen to some of our live broadcasts at the time) over at his Brains & Eggs' site!

Also, too, see @NTXProgressive's fantastic Storify, which includes a bunch of great photos (including one of us) from the time capsule, documenting moments from 'Camp Casey' in Crawford --- and even as Katrina rolled ashore...

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Standing up to the NRA after Roanoke & a horrifying U.S. gun death toll
PLUS: Denying global warming on Katrina's 10th anniversary; Trump's ugly nativism gets uglier; Good news for Dems in new poll; Marriage dead-enders in KY...
By Brad Friedman on 8/27/2015 5:53pm PT  

On the heels of yesterday's horrific on-air murders in Virginia, and as guns claim one life every 16 minutes in the U.S., the father of one of the Roanoke victims vows to stand up to the NRA and "cowards" elected to office who fail to take action to help prevent gun violence. On today's BradCast we look at the numbers, the jaw-dropping death toll in this nation, and what, if anything might ever be done about it.

For the record, as WaPo details, we've now had 247 mass shootings in the 238 days of 2015.

Also on today's busy program...

• Louisiana's Republican Governor and also-ran 2016 GOP candidate Bobby Jindal pretends [PDF] global warming had nothing do with Hurricane Katrina as Obama comes to New Orleans to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the devastating storm.

• New national poll finds Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and, yes, Bernie Sanders would all trounce Trump and the other GOP front-runners if the election was held today...and if we had a national election...and if all voters who wanted to vote were allowed to vote...and if those votes were actually counted and counted accurately.

• Donald Trump's ugly nativism gets even uglier as the Republican establishment gets desperate.

• Kentucky dead-ender County Clerk defies still more federal court orders and denies same-sex marriage licenses --- and all marriage licenses --- in her county, under the ridiculous premise of "religious freedom".

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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U.S. Administration's 'evidence is as sketchy as one could imagine,' charges the intelligence veteran turned peace activist...
By Brad Friedman on 8/20/2015 5:00pm PT  

It's been just over one year since we were told by Sec. of State Kerry and President Obama that pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 killing all 298 on board. The evidence to support the claims, as repeatedly cited by Sec. of State John Kerry at the time, was based largely on "social media". But no hard evidence has been presented by the U.S. since that no time.

On today's BradCast, we are joined by retired, 27-year CIA analyst turned peace activist Ray McGovern, who personal delivered the CIA's Presidential Daily Briefings to several Presidents, including Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. His organization,Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) --- which includes several high-ranking former intelligence professionals and whistleblowers --- have called, once again, on the U.S. to release any evidence to support their claims that Russia was behind the downing of MH17.

"We're investing 90 billion dollars a year in U.S. intelligence and when push comes to shove, we have to rely on social media?," he asks incredulously. "The evidence is as sketchy as one could imagine." In fact, he goes on to tell me on today's program that "there is no good evidence that pro-Russian separatists, so called, or the Russians themselves shot down that plane. I am morally certain were there to be such evidence, it would be [shouted] from the housetops as proof that Kerry was right.""

In support of his disturbing assertions, McGovern cites, for example, the so-called "Government Assessment" that was publicly issued by the Administration just days after the incident, in place of a traditional "Intelligence Assessment". "What [Kerry] offered was a 'Government Assessment', which means it was written in the White House, which means it was a political document written by political hacks, and that the intelligence analysts would not sign on to it," McGovern tells me. "That is significant. This is a new genre of report not supported by the intelligence analysts, and that speaks volumes."

"The reason why there could be no intelligence assessment," he asserts, "is because my former colleagues were honest enough to prevent that. They said, 'look, we don't want to sign on, like our former colleagues did, in a fraudulent estimate saying Iraq has weapons of mass destruction'."

McGovern, who is decidedly non-partisan (see his infamous personal 2006 confrontation with then-SecDef Donald Rumsfeld over lies about WMD, for evidence) offers several cases of similar misinformation offered by the U.S. in the recent past (during his time with the Reagan Administration, for example), and goes on to explain why he believes the U.S. is concealing "available" evidence and/or failing to correct previous assertions during our must-listen conversation on today's show.

Also on today's BradCast: Several other breaking news items and updates, as well as our latest Green News Report...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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'They approached the phone companies before 9/11,' he says, citing new Edward Snowden disclosures that 'vindicate' his 2006 revelations...
By Brad Friedman on 8/18/2015 5:29pm PT  

Today on The BradCast...First, I need to pick up with a few more points from yesterday's show, concerning how the Republican Party is, frankly, no longer a legitimate political party, how they have absolutely no governing philosophy, how they will say whatever they need to say in order to support whatever they feel like "believing in" at any particular time and, basically, how they are simply making this shit up as they go at this point. I offer a few more examples of that today concerning Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Donald Trump and a couple of others.

Then, it's on to our main interview with AT&T/NSA whistleblower Mark Klein, the now-retired 22-year AT&T employee who, in 2006, infamously exposed that the company had a secret room in its San Francisco facility --- Room 641A --- where the NSA had been allowed to install a splitter to trap and record all Internet traffic coming and going over AT&T's backbone lines.

Over the weekend, the New York Times and Pro and ProPublica revealed newly disclosed documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden concerning AT&T's long and happy --- and illegal --- relationship with the NSA. The documents, in many ways, he believes, vindicate precisely what he had blown the whistle on in 2006.

I discuss the newly released documents with Klein on today's show, what they reveal about AT&T and NSA, how he came about discovering the secret NSA room at AT&T, and his experience since then as a whistleblower.

Among other things, he tells me he doesn't buy "the government's cover story that 9/11 changed everything," pointing to the new Snowden docs which cite AT&T's cooperation with the NSA going back as far as 1985. The friendly relationship between AT&T and the NSA goes back decades and underscores his contention that "AT&T gives NSA what it wants."

On the billions (perhaps trillions?) of land lines, cell phone lines and Internet traffic intercepted by the government illegally, he says that "there was no warrant that could cover this. Warrants are supposed to be specific, covering individual people, papers and whatnot - they were sweeping up everything."

On George W. Bush's claims that "we're just listening to a few phone calls from no-good people who are calling the Middle East," he says: "That was a complete lie and a diversion from the fact that they were collecting billions and billions of communications every day on the Internet."

On the recently passed legislation, the USA Freedom Act, which was supposed to have curbed many of the greatest warrantless wiretapping abuses under the USA Patriot Act, Klein says: "That law does not address Internet surveillance at all, it does not touch the secret rooms that are still in place doing what I already described. That law did not address that at all. So the Freedom Act is a fraud, in my opinion."

Klein also harshly criticizes then-Senator Obama for voting in 2008 to grant AT&T and other telecoms retroactive immunity on the heels of his 2006 disclosures. Obama "knew what he was doing," he argues. "He was running against Hillary for the nomination in 2008, so he postured to the left and said explicitly he would oppose any bill with immunity in it. He tried to gather his liberal supporters by making that promise. As soon as he won the nomination and beat Hillary, he quickly switched sides, and came out for immunity. It was a cynical move on his part, not some light-minded stupidity."

We covered much more during our discussion, so please give the full interview a listen!

Finally, speaking of Obama and Hillary, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report as the Obama Administration gives final approval for Shell Oil to drill in the Arctic, even as Obama announces a visit to the Arctic to decry global warming and as Hillary comes out against drilling in the Arctic. Try and square all of those (Arctic) circles if you can!

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Guest: Diann Rust-Tierney of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty...
By Brad Friedman on 8/17/2015 4:39pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the slow, painful death of the GOP as a legitimate political party continues, even as the corporate mainstream media continues to fail to notice and Donald Trump keeps rising in the bargain.

Then --- speaking of slow, painful deaths --- following the Connecticut Supreme Court's finding last week that the state's Death Penalty is unconstitutional, we're joined by Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty to assess where the nation has moved on capitol punishment in recent years, and how long it may be before the practice is once again banned across the entire country.

"Most of the country lives in a place that doesn't have the death penalty, Rust-Tierney tells me. "We have death penalty statutes on the books, but the reality is that there are only a handful of jurisdictions in the country that are using the death penalty."

She cites just three states --- Texas, Missouri and Florida --- in which 80% of the nation's executions took place in 2014 to help point out how "the system is broken from beginning to end" and how, "as the death penalty becomes rarer, it becomes more arbitrary and indefensible."

Carrying out executions is far more expensive than life in prison, she notes, adding that it also does not serve as a deterrent. "In the parts of the country where the death penalty is still used, the Southern region has the highest murder rates. The Northeast, which uses the death penalty the least, you see lower murder rates."

Also today: More disturbing signs and warnings of global warming out here in California --- from record fires to fear of floods and the coming predictions of a "Godzilla El Niño" this year. Is it really set to hit? Perhaps, but be careful what you wish for, bone dry California, as our own Desi Doyen reminds us of the horrific historical record from the state's Great Flood of 1862...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Guest: The Nation's John Nichols...
By Brad Friedman on 8/12/2015 4:55pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we begin with the sad breaking news about Jimmy Carter's illness and a few thoughts on the ailing former President. Then, it's onto a bit of fact-checking on "ObamaCare" and on Jeb's silly, fact-free foreign policy propaganda speech last night at the Reagan Library.

Next, Wisconsin's own John Nichols of The Nation joins us to explain new revelations about an old criminal investigation of Wisconsin Governor and 2016 GOP candidate Scott Walker and his remarkable ability to blatantly lie about that and so much more.

"Scott Walker is, frankly, better than just about anybody in American politics at gaming the media," Nichols, who has covered him for years in the Badger State, tells me. "At counting on the media to take his absolute denial and give it the same treatment as the accusations, the charges, rather than getting to the bottom of it to actually figure out whether something is there."

He explains that Walker is clever enough to realize that lying works with today's Rightwing electorate, who get their news from very selective sources that rarely bother to fact-check. "He is, in fact, the embodiment of where our politics is going," Nichols warns, citing a description of Walker as "more Nixonian than Nixon."

Then, Nichols, a long time supporter of Bernie Sanders, addresses the recent controversy concerning Black Lives Matter protesters confronting the Vermont Senator and quickly rising 2016 Dem candidate to suggest that, as he explains in detail at The Nation today, such protests have, in fact, made Presidents such as FDR and Kennedy much greater than they might have been otherwise. He argues that the BLM protests have already had a similar effect on Sanders' campaign.

"What we should understand is that pressure from activists often makes politicians into what we like about them, what we respect about them," he says. "What it means is that pressure from activists forces politicians --- and Presidents even --- to step up, to do what they should do, do what will make them more universal in their appeal."

Finally, some very good polling news for Sanders in New Hampshire and more embarrassing polling news for Bush, Walker and the rest of the Republican Party...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Guests: Blogger/journalists Heather Digby Parton and Paul Rosenberg...
By Brad Friedman on 8/7/2015 3:32pm PT  

Buckle up! On today's BradCast, we jump on board the crazy train to dissect last night's GOP/Fox 'News' Presidential Debate(s)!

My guests today are award-winning blogger/journalists Heather Digby Parton of Digby's Hullabaloo and Paul Rosenberg of Random Lengths News --- both also contributors for Salon.

Can Trump ever be derailed? Fox 'News' and Roger Ailes sure seems to be trying. And does any of it actually matter a year and a half out from the general election and more than six months before any votes are ever cast? We discuss all of the above (after "Digby" and I take short victory lap concerning Donald Trump!) and much more in today's post-debate roundtable!

"[Trump] has absorbed all of the rightwing tropes of the past 30 years and made them his own. He's ingested them, digested them, regurgitated them, played with them, shaped them into figurines, and just endlessly fascinated himself with them, and invited people to play along with him," Rosenberg tells me. "And people are happy to do so, because he is their ideal --- he is a super-wealthy person who is 'just one of us'."

For her part, Parton says the debate actually does matter, for one reason, "because what we're seeing are the contours and outlines of the Republican argument. I think it's pretty clear they're going to be running as war-mongering, tax-cutting, slash-and-burn politicians who are going to roll back everything that's happened in the last eight years. And they're going to do it all in the first day, so that's good."

A fascinating and fun discussion! Plus: Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report' on another new candidate in the GOP race and the pushback against the President's new rules for emissions cuts...

What a week. An incredibly busy one, but we've got some really good shows to show for it, I think. Enjoy today's!

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Guests: Sam Walker of the National Voting Rights Museum in Selma, AL; Former DoJ attny Katherine Culliton-González of Advancement Project...
By Brad Friedman on 8/6/2015 2:33pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, special coverage in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 --- the crowning jewel legislation of the civil rights movement, written with the blood and tears of thousands, and now under fire today as it has never been since its passage helped lift the nation out from under the shackles of the Jim Crow era.

Sam Walker historian at Selma, Alabama's National Voting Rights Museum and Institute, at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, joins us to discuss the Act's history and legacy --- from the circumstances of the courageous Bloody Sunday march from Selma to Montgomery that finally resulted in the passage of the VRA, to the release of the movie Selma last year.

Among other things, he reminds us of the difficulty African-Americans faced in simply trying to register to vote in the deep south prior to the VRA. "Two days a month --- the first Monday and the third Monday --- were the only two days you could go and attempt to register," he told me. "Those were the days when they would see people coming and they would lock the door when they tried to come inside....You still couldn't register because you couldn't get inside the building to sign up."

Walker, who we haven't had on the show since the 40th anniversary of the VRA back in 2005, shares stories that need to be heard, even today. One, for example, about his meeting, years later, with one of the state troopers who took part in the beatings on Bloody Sunday. Another, about the importance of cameras and national media on that infamous day in Selma.

"The people in the media had their cameras set up when the attack happened, so when people were being beaten and tear-gassed, all those scenes were captured by the TV cameras and by the news media on camera. And that started a new momentum to try to get the right to vote for all our citizens." Sound familiar?

Then, former DoJ Civil Rights Voting Section attorney Katherine Culliton-González of the Advancement Project, joins us to discuss the ongoing legal battles in the fight for voting rights across the country in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court gutting the VRA's landmark Section 5 provision in 2013 --- and the battle to restore it.

"All we have to do is look around us and unless they're living in a bubble, they can see that's there's been a renaissance in discrimination in voting since they took away that protection," she explains. From Congress to Texas to North Carolina to Wisconsin and beyond, the fight continues 50 years later.

"There are many, many voting changes across the country, and particularly in the South, at the local level that do all kinds of maneuvers of politicians trying to manipulate the vote. Moving poling places away from people of color - that happens a lot in the Native American community, the African-American community. We've seen laws requiring documentary proof of citizenship that have a strong disparate impact on the Latino community and the African-American community. For example, if you're a naturalized citizen and you don't have those papers, it's going to cost you at least $600 to get what's needed" to vote, she says. "All of this would have been subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act."

Culliton-González reminds us, as the NC NAACP civil rights leader Reverend William Barber says, "this is our Selma".

Finally, civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), beaten by state troopers on Bloody Sunday as he courageously and stoically helped lead the march across the Edmund Pettus bridge as a 25-year old, discusses the importance of LBJ signing the Act in 1965. It's one of many historical sounds and songs that help us mark this historic day.

I hope you enjoy today's very special program!...

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Guests: Peace activist David Swanson; Const. law expert Ian Millhiser
By Brad Friedman on 8/5/2015 5:27pm PT  

It was a much bigger show today than we had expected when we started it!

First up on today's BradCast, author, peace activist David Swanson joins us to discuss Obama's speech today at American University on the Iran Nuclear Agreement. While Swanson is (somewhat uncharacteristically) optimistic and encouraged by the deal, he has concerns about how Obama and other Dems are misleading Americans in order to sell it. "I love that, for once, President Obama wants peace. I love that, for once, he's using diplomacy rather than war. I wish he would use that in eight other places on earth," Swanson tells me. "But at the same time he's pushing the propaganda of his opponents."

Then, Swanson asks, "Why Won't Bernie Talk About War?" A new petition from RootsAction.org asks Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to start speaking up against U.S. militarism which, as Swanson argues, the U.S. Senator from Vermont has, up until now, been very reluctant to do for some reason.

Then, as we went to break, huge news came in from the very conservative 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal striking down the Texas GOP's polling place Photo ID restriction law. The opinion confirms most of a lower court judge's previously ruling finding the restriction to be in strict violation of the Voting Rights Act as well as the U.S. Constitution. Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser joins us to explain the very encouraging opinion from the court --- which comes, incidentally, just one day before the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 --- and what happens next.

"The court got that voter ID laws do not really serve the purpose that their supporters say they're supposed to serve," Millhiser explains. "The court got that this was an attempt to dress up something that looks like a legitimate voter regulation in order to really do something else, which was to prevent groups like racial minorities and low-income voters who tend to prefer Democrats over Republicans from casting a ballot."

But, he also warns, "this wasn't a total victory for the good guys." Listen to the show for all the details.

Finally, in the few minutes we have left, we squeeze in some Presidential politics in advance of tomorrow night's first GOP Presidential debate, as sponsored --- and rigged by --- Fox "News". And, yes, that Republican debate will take place, ironically enough, on the 50th Anniversary of the landmark federal Voting Rights Act which Republicans used to support...until they decided they couldn't win elections anymore if all those "people" (read: qualified American voters who tend to vote Democratic) were allowed to vote.

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'Uncertainty, it turns out, was a reason to act even faster,' says the Nobel Prize winning climate scientist...
By Brad Friedman on 7/29/2015 5:06pm PT  

Today, for a change, we're happy to offer you a (virtually) Trump-free BradCast! You're welcome!

First, a quick update on a conversation we had last week with FBI Special Agent turned 9/11 whistleblower turned TIME Magazine's 2002 "Person of the Year", Coleen Rowley. We had her on to speak about the difference between terrorism and hate crimes, as defined by the federal government, and as randomly applied after the (apparently non-terroristic) race-based hate crime shootings in Charleston, SC versus the shootings at U.S. Marine facilities in Chattanooga, TN last week. The latter which is being investigated as "terrorism". (My full conversation with Rowley from last week is here.)

During the discussion, Rowley noted how the difference between "terrorism" and "hate crimes" seems to be "clear as mud" to FBI and federal prosecutors, with "terrorism" charges now "uniquely set for Muslims or for Arab nations". But she also mentioned how terror charges are also applied to animal rights activists, specifically mentioning "mink farms". While we didn't have time to discuss that aspect last week, the very next day, news broke about the arrest of animal righs activists who'd released thousands of mink across the country. The crimes they are charged with, according to AP, "terrorizing the fur industry...under a conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act."

Next, we're joined by Dr. Michael E. Mann, climate scientist, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology and Director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, creator of the infamous "Hockey Stick" graph, and author of more than 160 peer-reviewed publications, as well as the book The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines to discuss last week's "bombshell" new study from NASA's former chief scientist Dr. James Hansen, warning that sea level rise of 10 feet or more is likely to happen much sooner than scientists previously expected. It could happen even as early as 2050.

Mann tells me Hansen's disturbing study suggests that "climate change is proceeding faster, and it's larger in magnitude than what the IPCC [UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] reported. And that's been true at every juncture. We have tended to underestimate the rate and magnitude of the changes...What Hansen has shown is that indeed there is reason to at least suspect the possibility of a worst case scenario that is a lot worse than anything the IPCC talks about."

We also discuss the politics of this entire fine mess and the irony of 2016 GOP Presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, both of Florida, denying the realities of the science --- each in their own way --- as their own state will be among the first to begin to disappear. That, of course, is only if Hansen is right --- as he has been in pretty much every case since he first rang the alarm about global warming in the U.S. Senate back in 1988.

"If we had acted when we already knew that there was a potential problem [back in 1988]," says Mann. "If we had acted then, then the emissions curve would be a bunny slope...a pretty gradual, smooth transition. It wouldn't be very hard to do, it wouldn't be very expensive. Instead, what several decades of delay have bought us is that we now face the black double diamond slope. That's what we're confronting now."

Listen to the entire conversation, please. It's really important and Mann --- who actually is a scientist (hint, hint, GOP candidates!) --- knows what he's talking about.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser...
By Brad Friedman on 7/14/2015 5:07pm PT  

Yes, Donald Trump is still leading in the national polls, but, after that, we turn to slightly more serious topics on today's BradCast, as a nuclear deal is finally struck between Iran, the U.S., China, Russia, France, Great Britain and Germany.

But, of course, those heads you hear exploding are (mostly) Republican Presidential candidates who, it seems, are either talking about another deal entirely or they haven't a clue how foreign policy actually works or maybe they've been living in a cave over the past 15 years. (Particularly the years from 2000 to 2008.)

Scott Walker, a very serious candidate for the Republican nomination, is particularly daft on the issue, opposing the agreement with Iran on absolutely ridiculous grounds. But his domestic policy is quite a different and far more disturbing matter. It includes a legal/political/Constitutional philosophy that, while once rejected by the courts and largely left for dead, is now "ascendant within the Republican coalition," as my guest, constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser explains on today's show.

"One thing that has transformed amongst the American right in the last several years is a desire to implement their agenda through any means necessary --- and if that means bypassing the democratic process and just getting their friends on the Supreme Court to implement it, they're happy to do that," Millhiser tells me while discussing one key dog-whistle offered during the Wisconsin Governor's announcement of his 2016 GOP candidacy on Monday.

"What they're doing here is they're trying to effectuate a wholesale transfer of power from the two branches of government that are elected to the one branch of government that is not elected," he says. "And I don't care what your agenda is, that's not something that should be done."

Not a dime's worth of difference between the two major parties? We discuss that laziest of knee-jerkisms --- you decide...

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Guest: Mike Rogers of Raw Story...
By Brad Friedman on 6/26/2015 4:13pm PT  

Today's landmark SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality was an extraordinary end to an extraordinary week. So, that what I was more than happy to cover on today's BradCast.

Rights win again, as the U.S. Supreme Court finally declares marriage equality to be a fundamental right to Americans in all 50 states in the union. We discuss the 5-4 opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, its Constitutional basis, its fallout, its dead enders, and how we predicted it years ago --- even as the GOP was using "gay marriage" as a politicized weapon back in the 2004 elections.

Our guest is Raw Story's Mike Rogers, who, as a journalist, has been helping to lead the way in this fight for years and served as the inspiration behind Kirby Dick's 2009 documentary film, Outrage, "a searing expose of the secret lives of closeted gay politicians".

Rogers credits the Internet and the first-hand coverage of cases that it allowed, for shifting American opinion so quickly on the issue. It "gave us the opportunity to do the most important thing, which is to tell the stories in our own voices," he explains. "America hearing from those folks, and being able to more creatively use the media and the web --- to be able to move those stories of people with kids, people with spouses, people who were widowed like Jim Obergefell in his case, and what it will mean for him and his family now that his marriage is recognized in Ohio --- that happened because of a shifting change in the media. Change doesn't happen without that."

Mike has also been a long-time friend of the blog and the show, having joined us for our "Big Gay Hour" episodes years before such things were done in polite company over our nation's public airwaves. Plus: Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, to take us into the weekend. Enjoy the show!

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By Brad Friedman on 6/26/2015 11:29am PT  

Not to say "we told ya so," but...well...

In February of 2004, in the 15th article we ever posted to The BRAD BLOG, in a short piece headlined "Gay Marriage. Done Deal." we wrote rather presciently (even if we say so ourselves) and seemingly against all odds at the time: "The wall seems to be finally coming down, and the GOP and DNC are as powerless to stop it as East German Chancellor Erich Honecker was to stop the Berlin Wall from toppling in '89."

While the institutional barriers erected against marriage equality didn't fall quite as quickly as the Berlin Wall was finally toppled, today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling [PDF] in Obergefell v. Hodges, determining that marriage is a fundamental Constitutional right in all fifty states in the union, came faster than almost everyone had could have predicted, certainly 11 years ago.

In September of 2010, in the midst of some seemingly dark days for the nation, but even as the first of many federal court cases began to reveal the utter moral bankruptcy of the case against equal rights for all, we reminded readers once again that rights always win and haters always lose...eventually.

Here's what we wrote at the time...

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

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