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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, April 29, 2016
AZ Primary Lawsuit Dismissed; 'Disappearing' Votes in DE?: 'BradCast' 4/28/16
Emily Levy on court ruling against Phoenix election complaint; DE State Election Commissioner on 4,000 'lost' Sanders votes...
'Green News Report' 4/28/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump goes nuclear over climate; CNN fossil fuel ads beat climate stories; VW docs reveal test fraud; Mitsubishi cheated fuel tests; PLUS: US city mandates solar for new buildings...
Previous GNRs: 4/21/16 - 4/26/16 - Archives...
Primary Landslides for Trump and Clinton and What's Next: 'BradCast' 4/27/16
Also: 'Serial child molester' Hastert sentenced; Encouraging green news; And listener calls...
Blowback in NC, Calls for Hand-Counts in NY:
'BradCast' 4/26/16
GOP operative turned gay rights activist Fred Karger on GOP anti-LGBT lawss; Why voters should support hand-count of NY Primary...
'Green News Report' 4/26/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
30 years after Chernobyl, new effort to contain it; Record signing of Paris Agreement; World Bank, IMF call for global price on carbon; PLUS: Solar plane goes halfway round world...
Previous GNRs: 4/21/16 - 4/19/16 - Archives...
Cruz, Kasich Join Forces and Some News That Actually Matters: 'BradCast' 4/25/16
With Salon's Amanda Marcotte on latest GOP 'conspiracy'; Plus: Paris Agreement signed; Mass shooting weekend; Thinking big...
Sunday Toons of the Moment
One unplanned Pulitzer Prize winner and a whole bunch of other worthy toons from the past week, as collected by 'PDiddie'...
'Gyrocopter Guy' Loses Voting Rights for Campaign Finance Protest: 'BradCast' 4/22/16
Guest Doug Hughes will go to jail, has 'no regrets'; Also: Former felons re-enfranchised in VA; NY election official suspended for purge...
Time to Open Our Nomination System to All Voters?: 'BradCast' 4/21/16
With John Opdycke of OpenPrimaries.org; Also: Prince dead at 57; 'Outrage' over Harriet Tubman; Paper ballots finally return to MD...
'Green News Report' 4/21/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Criminal charges in Flint; BP victims protest new drilling leases; Oil facility explosion kills 3 in Mexico; U.S. air pollution; PLUS: World leaders gather to sign Paris Agreement...
Previous GNRs: 4/19/16 - 4/14/16 - Archives...
NY Primary Results, Concerns, Investigations, Callers and More: 'BradCast' 4/20/16
Also: Accountability for Flint and VW, Tubman on the $20, and listener calls on latest state of the Democratic Presidential race...
NY Voting Probs (Real & Fake); MS Prison Industrial Scam: 'BradCast' 4/19/16
Separating fact from hoax in NY mess. Plus: Ryan Grim on 'conservative' budget nightmare down South...
'Green News Report' 4/19/16
Houston deluged w/ record rain; Hillary's plan to get lead out; World Bank warns world must stop new coal plants; PLUS: March 2016 was hottest on record...
Good News on Voting Rights; Concerns About NY Primary: 'BradCast' 4/18/16
Ernie Canning w/ Photo ID news in WI, TX; Plus: Ecuador quake; Hillary undermines 'Citizens United' fight...
U.S. Court Orders Fix to WI Photo ID Law
Overdue ruling by 7th Circuit Appeals Court may ease disenfranchisement for voters unable to vote under WI GOP's onerous restrictions...
Sunday Toons of the WTF Moment
We seem to be having quite a few 'WTF moments' in this country of late. 'PDiddie' rounds up a bunch of recent toons that may lead you to ask the same thing...
Brooklyn Brawl: Gloves Off at Clinton, Sanders' NY Debate: 'BradCast' 4/15/16
Peter B. Collins & Jackie Schechner join us to make sense of a raucous yet substantive debate!...
Unrigging the System: 'BradCast' 4/14/16
From money in politics to criminal injustice to voter suppression and beyond, how can the U.S. fix its broken systems of politics, elections and governance?...
'Green News Report' 4/14/16
Largest coal co. declares bankruptcy; Utility CEO foresees end to coal; GAO dings EPA; Sardine fishing banned again in West; PLUS: Ortho ends use of bee-killing pesticide...
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: Trevor Timm of Freedom of the Press Foundation...
By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2015 5:30pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: Two big election wins for Democrats in the Deep South; More opportunism following the Paris attacks; And mass GOP delusion. (Audio link for the complete show is below.)

After a quick welcome to our newest terrestrial affiliate --- KSOW 106.7FM in Cottage Grove, Oregon --- it's on to the huge victory over the weekend for Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards in his runoff against Republican Sen. David Vitter in the race to replace Louisiana's outgoing Governor and Presidential candidate Bobby Jindal (R).

Also, Democrats held off a Republican supermajority in the Mississippi state Assembly over the weekend by the luck of the draw, literally, as a reportedly tied race for a statehouse seat was settled by drawing straws. The losing Republican candidate is filing a challenge to the election in the Republican MS legislature. Both states, LA and MS, force their voters to vote on 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems. So, who really won and who really lost the races? Your guess is as good as mine...at least in the MS case.

Then, while elected officials and Presidential candidates shamefully continue their attempt to block Syrian refugees from coming to the U.S. after the Paris attacks, a number of current and former U.S. intelligence officials are just as disingenuously using the tragedy in an attempt to undermine encryption technology on your phone and computer.

Trevor Timm, attorney, columnist, activist and co-founder of the Freedom of the Press Foundation joins us to discuss his recent column at the UK's Guardian calling out U.S. intelligence officials for their appalling and misleading opportunism in the wake of the November 13th attacks.

Despite the fact that the Paris attackers were known in advance and communicated with each other via unencrypted text messages and Facebook, top intelligence officials are still fighting to be entrusted with the keys to unlock any and all encrypted communications in all software across the world.

"They're saying, you can use encryption as long as you give us the key," Timm tells me today. "That's the law that they would like to pass. Unfortunately, security doesn't work that way. Put aside the fact that if this was a power given to the government they would inevitably abuse it --- because, as we've seen over and over again in history, they constantly abuse their surveillance powers --- but let's just say, they will only use it when they have a warrant for information. The problem is that key is still vulnerable to all of these other actors who will try to steal it. They will try to steal that key from the U.S. government, which, we have seen, is not that hard to do."

He charges that this effort would result in the government helping us to be less secure by undermining technology that is meant to make all of our lives more secure. "That, to me, sounds like a crazy idea."

Timm also helpfully explains how encryption actually works, for those who don't know, and how some of these same officials --- (talking to you, current CIA Director John Brennan, and you, former CIA Director James Woolsey and others) --- are also, outrageously, actually blaming the Paris attacks on privacy advocates and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden!

"This is a scapegoat that former and current intelligence officials are using to hide and cover up their own failures," says Timm. "When they're out there blaming Snowden, no one is asking them questions about what they could have done better or where they failed. To be honest, it was a pretty masterful PR tactic by them and unfortunately the media took it hook, line and sinker."

Finally, as we were reminded again over the past couple of days, GOPers from Trump to Fiorina to Carson and beyond are now, apparently, completely debilitated by mass hallucinations about 9/11, Planned Parenthood, and just about everything else they've been told to believe is real on Fox "News". I explain how these delusions mean big trouble for the country, the world...and even your Thanksgiving dinner...

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

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GUEST: Author and Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser...
By Brad Friedman on 11/20/2015 6:13pm PT  

What a week. On today's BradCast (audio link below), Republican legislators and Presidential candidates continue their demonization of Muslims and refugees from war-torn Syria and we pause from their madness to shed some light on a disturbing new scheme to block Democratic policymaking altogether.

First, with an unabashed rejection of facts (and reality and history), Republicans from the state level to the Presidential candidate level put forward stunning new rejections of the nation's values. From the high-ranking GOP lawmaker in Tennessee who wants to use the National Guard to round-up and deport Syrian refugees in his state, to Donald Trump's disturbingly Nazi-like call to force all Muslims to register as such with the federal government, we reach new, shameful lows following the Paris attacks one week ago today.

Also of note: CNN's remarkable double standard in suspending a reporter for expressing sympathy for refugees. (Here's that Don Lemon/CC item I mentioned from The BRAD BLOG in 2010.); And a precious few rays of light from one GOP Congressman (at least for one courageous moment) and then from Stephen Colbert.

Finally, even as that shameful "debate" bottoms out, rightwing schemes to further cripple the ability for Democrats to govern at all on the federal level continue. Ian Millhiser, journalist, Constitutional law expert and author of the new book, Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, joins us to discuss his disturbing observations from this year's annual gathering of the Federalist Society.

As reported in his recent article, "The Little-Noticed Conservative Plan To Permanently Lock Democrats Out Of Policymaking", Millhiser explains the rightwing group's broad new efforts to attack rule-making by federal agencies. He tells me how the group is now trying to "permanently hobble not just the federal rule-making process but the federal law-making process" itself.

"What groups like the Federalist Society are pushing," he charges, "is ways to change the fact that elections matter. To make it so that they can permanently put into place structures --- whether it's declaring something unconstitutional, whether it's changing the balance of power between the various branches of government --- they're looking to permanently put in place structures to make sure that only conservative policies can go into effect."

"The basic idea is to shut down the agency's power to regulate," Millhiser tells me. "Between gerrymandering and so many other factors, it's so difficult for Democrats to take the House [even when they win a majority of votes]. If they [the Federalist Society] can prevent [federal] agencies from regulating, then that means that, well, Democrats might be able to take the Presidency but they won't be able to do anything with it when they have it. It effectively shuts the Democrats out of the policy-making process even when they win the Presidential election."

That idea, he explains, absolutely dominated the group's recent gathering and it's one they hope to implement "by any means necessary", whether in Congress or, more disturbingly, through judicial activism on the federal bench.

While four Supreme Court Justices (Scalia, Roberts, Thomas and Alito) are already dedicated Federalist Society members, "the big scary," he reminds us, "is that there are four Supreme Court justices who are likely to retire in the next 5 or 6 years. So if the next President gets to replace four Justices, there's going to be a massive shift in the law. If that next President appoints four very conservative Justices in the vein of Justice Samuel Alito, then whatever agenda the Federalist Society wants to be able to enact in this phase, they're just going to enact it in the Court."

Please take note. And please listen to the full, disturbing conversation on today's BradCast.

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

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GUEST: Financial journalist David Dayen...
By Brad Friedman on 11/19/2015 4:22pm PT  

On today's BradCast (audio link below): The U.S. House rolls over for ISIS. And, could NAFTA and TPP lead to a return of the previously rejected Keystone XL pipeline?

First, the U.S. House voted today to do the bidding of ISIS by passing a bill that would essentially block refugees from war-torn Syria and Iraq from coming to the U.S.. Shamefully, while the bill was passed mostly by Republicans, some 47 cowardly Democrats voted in favor of what both Bin Laden and ISIS have made very clear they would love to see.

Meanwhile, wingnut conspiracy theories about Obama's super secret plan to force a "Muslim overthrow of the U.S." and the "Islamization" of our country continue to grow from the bowels of rightwing radio up through state legislatures and even into Congress and the U.S. Presidential race.

All of that, as, surprise surprise, a new report finds that illegal Mexican immigration is actually at a net negative during the Obama Administration, with some 130,000 fewer undocumented Mexicans now in the country, versus prior to 2009.

Then, financial journalist David Dayen of The Fiscal Times, Salon, WaPo, The Intercept and more joins us to explain his disturbing assertion about the troubling mechanism built in to both NAFTA and the newly released TransPacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement that could lead to approval, after all, of the Keystone XL pipeline --- even though the dirty tar sands project has finally been rejected by the White House.

Dayen explains how KXL's owner, TransCanada, could invoke the "extra-judicial tribunal" known in both trade agreements as the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system in order to force compensatory damages that might either lead to approval of the pipeline after all and/or serve to help scuttle the TPP itself.

The ISDS tribunals, as Dayen explains today, are "composed of corporate lawyers who can act on behalf of the corporation in one case and then sit on a panel judging that corporation on another case." He says that "one of the options" TransCanada now has is that "through the ISDS system in NAFTA, they can sue and say 'this is a violation, you are discriminating against a foreign pipeline operator relative to domestic pipeline operators, and we are going to sue for compensatory damages based on our expected future profits'." The resulting decision could become a "political footbal" at the "worst possible timing for the Administration," as they hope to put TPP up for a vote in a Congress where more Republicans and Democrats are coming out against the agreement.

There is much more that you need to know about in our conversation concerning the proposed TPP agreement, now that its 5,000 or so pages have finally been released to the public and now that the frontrunners for President in both the Republican and Democratic Parties have come out against it. "Political football," indeed.

Listen to today's show for much more welcome clarity on all of the above!

Finally, speaking of pipelines and more, Desi Doyen joins us with our latest Green News Report on yet another rejected Canadian pipeline; the GOP's intensifying witch hunt against scientists (as discussed in more detail on a recent BradCast with David Roberts); and the planet's hottest October ever recorded...

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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By Brad Friedman on 11/18/2015 5:22pm PT  

Following last week's horrific terror attacks in Paris, Republican Governors and Presidential candidates have turned against those fleeing terror in Syria by calling for states to keep out the huddled Syrian masses of men, women and children yearning to be free.

Despite the existing, incredibly onerous, nearly two-year process of vetting such refugees before they are allowed to come here --- and despite state Governors having no direct control over immigration/refugee policies at the federal level, more than 30 of them have now declared they will not allow refugees from the war torn nation to be relocated within their state borders.

Presidential candidates like Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and even the supposedly "reasonable" and "moderate" Jeb Bush have declared we need to consider shutting down mosques and/or institute a Christians-only policy for refugees coming to the U.S. from countries under siege by terrorists.

These GOP cowards and liars have little more evidence to back up their assertions about dangerous refugees "pouring into our country from Syria" than they did when they warned President Obama was allowing an Ebola epidemic to land on our shores and kill us all just a few short months ago.

Nonetheless, some gullible and frightened American citizens have responded to the offensive, anti-American rhetoric of GOP leaders by turning against their fellow citizens, sometimes violently, for the "crime" of being Muslim or even just appearing to be of Middle-Eastern origin.

All of the above, of course, is precisely what Osama bin Laden --- and now ISIS --- long ago announced to be exactly what they were hoping for.

All of that and many more disturbing tales from the 'Land of the Free' and the 'Home of the Brave' in today's BradCast...

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

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GUEST: Anti-war author and activist David Swanson...
By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2015 4:51pm PT  

On today's BradCast (audio link below), I'm joined by anti-war author and activist David Swanson of WarIsACrime.org and RootsAction.org.

We discuss, among other things, the extraordinary response to his article, "Non-French War Deaths Matter", posted just hours after the terror attacks in Paris. The piece, which I read in full at the top of yesterday's show, notes how similar civilian massacres in non-European nations --- many just days before Paris --- are equally troubling, if not more so, yet were almost entirely ignored by much of the media and the world.

He tells me his article began with a Tweet. "Usually, my tweets get 3 or 4 retweets. This one is over 12,000 at this point." Swanson says the interest in the issue was "driven largely by the media-fueled sympathy for the horror and suffering in France, which is entirely appropriate and desirable and needs to be built on. But also, there was this disgust with the politically-driven, selective nature of where the mass media tells us to direct our sympathies." He believes that the interest in the topic is evidence of those who "share my desire to have that sympathy broadened to all victims of organized violence, not just those in a politically friendly government and a white Christian European population."

As to how the media, and our politicians, ultimately end up delivering exactly what terrorists want in these situations, Swanson argues: "What they want is fame. What they want is to be targeted as the prime enemy of the foreign imperialists. What they want is the bombing, and this is what the US government is giving them and France is giving them and the media."

He goes on to list a number of threats that are far more likely to kill Americans (including both McDonald's and Climate Change), but which are rarely, if ever, given the same wall-to-wall media and political spotlight now being enjoyed by the Paris attackers. Nations like the U.S. and France, he tells me, "need to stop repeating this mistake of creating blowback and then using that as justification to escalate the violence that created the blowback in the first place."

But if the way to respond to the attacks by ISIS in Paris and elsewhere is not more war, what are the solutions for the mess the world now finds itself in? For Swanson's answers to that question, you'll need to tune in to today's program.

Also on today's show: CNN's embarrassing coverage and Muslim-blaming; Desi Doyen and the latest Green News Report on climate and energy (or lack thereof) during last weekend's Democratic Presidential Debate in Des Moines, Iowa, and the extraordinary security preparations being made in advance of the upcoming world climate negotiations next month...in Paris...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 11/17/2015 10:37am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Climate and energy get short shrift in 2nd Democratic Presidential Debate; Yes, U.S. Media, climate change remains a national security threat; International climate talks will go forward despite Paris terror attacks; PLUS: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoes major natural gas project... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Canadian PM Trudeau effectively kills Northern Gateway pipeline; Antibiotics in Animal Feed May Endanger Kids, Doctors Warn; New Map of Earth's Groundwater To Help Estimate When It May Run Out; Minigrids Seen as Fix for 620 Million Africans Without Power; Brazil's Slow-Motion Mine Catastrophe Unfolds; Beyond what #Exxonknew, refineries face flooding dangers; Manure From Millions of Hogs Fuels Natural Gas Project... PLUS: So You Want to Be a Polar Bear Wrangler? ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




GUESTS: Salon's Heather Digby Parton & former GOP consultant Fred Karger...
By Brad Friedman on 11/16/2015 5:04pm PT  

Before our coverage today on The BradCast of Saturday's Democratic Presidential Debate in Iowa, a quick word about the Friday night terror attacks in Paris, courtesy of anti-war activist and author David Swanson, whose response we share at the top of the show. His piece, "Non-French War Deaths Matter", is posted here.

Then, yes, though the DNC apparently didn't want you to know about it, the three Democratic candidates for the 2016 Presidential candidate gathered in Des Moines on Saturday night to hold their second debate of the season. The CBS debate was held less than 24 hours after the bloodshed in Paris and, thus, had more of a foreign policy focus than it otherwise would have, before turning to domestic affairs.

We cover all of the above today. I'm joined for analysis by our reigning post-debate coverage champ, Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo blog, as well as Fred Karger, former longtime GOP political consultant and 2012 GOP Presidential candidate (and, in fact, the first openly gay Presidential candidate from either major party).

As usual, we try to make sense of it all with analysis and fact-checking that, hopefully, serves to help create a smarter and better informed electorate...

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: Kit Kennedy of Natural Resources Defense Council...
By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2015 4:47pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the winning streak for environmentalists continues...as does the losing streak for the CIA.

First, new revelations from former CIA Directors about the many months of attempted warnings from the CIA and other national security officials about "significant" and "spectacular" al Qaeda attacks prior to 9/11 and even long prior to the "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S." Presidential Daily Briefing memo in early August of 2001. Also, new admissions about the agency giving the go ahead to killing women and children during drone attacks on suspected terrorist targets.

Then, another big victory for the climate, this time in New York state where Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday rejected [PDF] a proposed pipeline that would have brought imported liquefied natural gas from Africa and elsewhere in to Long Island. One of Cuomo's stated reasons for vetoing the project in federal waters was due to climate change and the fact that the pipeline would have threatened not only commercial traffic and fisheries in the area, but also the construction of several proposed windfarms for the same location that would have brought clean, renewable energy to the Empire State.

National Resources Defense Council attorney, and former Special Deputy AG for Environmental Protection in New York, Kit Kennedy was at Cuomo's veto ceremony on Thursday and joins us to explain his reasons and the larger implications of rejecting the controversial Port Ambrose Terminal project.

"This was a classic David vs. Goliath fight between dirty fossil fuels and renewable energy," Kennedy explains. "And in this case, Goliath went down and renewable energy has prevailed over fossil fuel and it is a huge victory."

She credits a large local coalition for that "huge victory", another in a recent series that came about due to the dedicated commitment of organizers and activists. "Local residents, elected officials, fishermen, environmentalists of all stripes, came together not only to oppose the project but to support an offshore wind project that was proposed for the same site."

"In vetoing the project yesterday, Governor Cuomo said the risks exceeded the reward of the project," she tells me today, arguing that this victory and other recent ones represent "a turning point" for energy production in this country.

"This is an incredibly exciting time to be working on climate and clean energy issues in the United States. We have all sorts of decisions going the way of clean energy. I think it is a tipping point, and we're going to see our country take strong action to fight climate pollution and to build up the clean energy economy," Kennedy says.

Also on today's BradCast: Did you know the year's biggest entertainment release is all about the effects of climate change?; Free energy in Texas, thanks to wind power; And, now's your chance to get a really great price on an electric car while sending a message to VW and the rest of the auto 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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PLUS: U.S. Boots on the ground in Syria, but Congress doesn't care; Jeb's campaign death rattle continues; Hillary calls for Exxon investigation; And climate change finds its way into a GOP Presidential debate...
By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2015 5:26pm PT  

On today's BradCast... With Boehner out, Ryan in and "all family business settled" (for now) in the U.S. House, the GOP looks elsewhere for enemies.

They find a lot of them.

This week's CNBC GOP debate opened up a great opportunity for new attacks on a favorite old enemy: the so-called "liberal media"! (Yes, they are actually considering Wall Street's favorite wingnut cable channel for the investment class to be part of the "liberal media" now, rather than blaming themselves for the failures of their own Presidential candidates!) But they also find new enemies amongst fellow Republicans like RNC Chair Reince Preibus, who may quickly become the Rightwing's new "John Boehner".

Plus: The White House announces U.S. boots will now be on the ground in Syria --- but does Congress even care?; Is Jeb's campaign really dead? Or should the voters decide that rather than the media?; Hillary joins the growing calls for investigation of ExxonMobil; And, climate change actually finds its way into a Republican Presidential debate!...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/23/2015 5:08pm PT  

On today's BradCast we catch up with a bunch of news, breaking and otherwise, at week's end.

Among the stories covered --- with much gusto and an occasional bit of snark --- on today's program...

• The stuff that actually mattered from Hillary Clinton's testimony at Thursday's disastrous Benghazi Hearing in the U.S. House;
Record-breaking Hurricane Patricia barreling towards Mexico;
• New Mexico's Sec. of State Dianna Duran --- a longtime Republican "voter fraud" fraudster --- resigns after pleading guilty to multiple counts of election fraud and embezzlement;
• Ben Carson overtakes Donald Trump in two Iowa polls;
• Jeb Bush's campaign death rattle continues;
• Paul Ryan's attempt to become House Speaker could still be thwarted by "conservatives" ready to primary other "conservatives";
• And some listener mail on our Richard Viguerie interview...

There's a few more important news items littered throughout today's very lively and busy program, but you'll have to listen to learn about 'em...

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

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Biden out, Ryan in...Maybe...As original 'funding father' of the modern conservative movement argues 'we are heading towards a cliff'...
By Brad Friedman on 10/21/2015 5:28pm PT  

Joe Biden is out (of the race for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination) and Paul Ryan is in (sort of...for the contest to replace John Boehner as Speaker of the House).

We cover both breaking stories today on The BradCast before settling in for a related, and at times, very lively, conversation with conservative icon Richard Viguerie about what the hell Republicans and 'conservatives' in the so-called Freedom Caucus are thinking at this point, as the GOP Civil War rages over control of the U.S. House and much more.

"I consider myself a conservative, not a Republican," Viguerie clarifies right off the bat. "I do operate in the Republican Party, but do consider myself a conservative, which is the case with many of my national conservative friends. They think of themselves as conservatives, not Republicans."

The 82-year old Viguerie is a legend amongst conservatives. He is regarded by many as the 'funding father' of the movement, thanks to his roll in the creation of direct mail political fund raising. He continues to play a very influential role among Republicans via his books --- such as Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It and Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause --- and the ConservativeHQ.com website, self-described as "the online news source for conservatives and Tea Partiers committed to bringing limited-government constitutional conservatives to power."

Right now, it seems, neither he nor the others at his Conservative HQ site are willing to agree to Ryan's newly issued demands to become the next Speaker. So, what are they and fellow Republicans thinking at this point?

Viguerie says he and those in the so-called Freedom Caucus are "looking for a fighter. The grassroots is white hot with anger at the silence and the ineptness of our supposed leaders out there. And that's what driving this problem with the House Speaker selection right now."

I did my best to press Viguerie on all matter of related issues, including whether he and his conservative compatriots support the U.S. Government defaulting on our loan payments for the first time in history, as may well be the case in the next several weeks if the "debt ceiling" is not raised and a budget is not passed to keep the government open and operating --- which, I tell him, seems very un-conservative to me!

His responses make clear that he is more than willing to take such gambles and has no intention of rolling over for those "Big Government Republicans" that he considers to have sold out the movement. He believes "we are heading towards a cliff," thanks to overspending and tells me that he is is willing to force spending cuts as "part of a deal" to raise the debt limit, even if that results in default or shutdown. "We need to have a conversation with the American people about our priorities."

On the hunt for a Presidential candidate, Viguerie insists: "Voters do not like establishment Republicans. They really do reject them across the board. When I talk to Republicans and they say 'we've got to beat Hillary', I say that's fine, I understand that, but if you nominate an establishment Republican --- a Chris Christie, a Jeb Bush type, a John Kasich --- you're going to lose. The people don't want an establishment Republican."

That's just a taste, of course, of what I'll call our very spirited conversation on all of the above and much more. Listen to the show below and let me know what you think in comments! Enjoy!...

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

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Congressman charges oil company's 'affirmative campaign against science of climate change' echoes conspiracy case against Big Tobacco...
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2015 6:01pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) joins me to explain the letter [PDF] he sent late last week, with Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), to Attorney General Loretta Lynch seeking an investigation and, if appropriate, prosecution of ExxonMobil.

In light of internal company documents recently unearthed and published by Inside Climate News and by the Los Angeles Times revealing that Exxon knew about the "potentially catastrophic" dangers of global warming as early as 1977 and their subsequent funding of the climate change denial industry in an attempt to obscure their own science, Lieu tells me he believes that a conspiracy case, akin to the one brought against Big Tobacco, would now be appropriate against the world's largest oil producer.

"In the case of [Big] tobacco," Lieu explains on today's program, "it's having knowledge that your product had a tendency to cause harm in people, and then denying that was the case, and affirmatively selling your product in the face of that knowledge."

He believes Exxon's actions are very similar and likely to trigger the broad "conspiracy statute" known as RICO, as successfully brought against the tobacco industry in the largest such prosecution ever.

"It wasn't just that Exxon remained silent and didn't share [what their scientists had confirmed]. They took affirmative steps to campaign against the science of climate change. They funded organizations that obscured the science behind climate change. Their top executives would make statements to say that climate change either isn't happening or 'these are just models that we don't know much about and things are very uncertain'," Lieu tells me. "And keep in mind, they internally took actions to take advantage of global warming," by changing their business strategy in the Arctic where drilling would become easier thanks to the melting caused by the use of their product.

"So this is beyond hypocrisy," he says. "An investigation is warranted into what Exxon knew, when they knew it, and what they said about it."

[My recent interview with Neela Banerjee, co-author of Inside Climate News' blockbuster investigative report, is posted here.]

Also on today's program: New polls are out in the wake of last week's Democratic debate in Las Vegas suggesting that things may be changing for both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, though not necessarily as the corporate media had predicted; Alabama's Republican Governor attempts to roll back the closure of drivers license offices that threaten to further disenfranchise African-American voters in the state; And Jeb Bush throws his own brother under the bus on voting rights, in hopes of winning the 2016 Republican nomination...

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

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GUEST: Artist, author and former felon Anthony Papa on criminal justice reform and his '15 years to life' for a first-time, non-violent drug crime...
ALSO: More climate dots connected; Trump, Jeb & Dubya; Arrest of a Fox 'News' fraud...
By Brad Friedman on 10/16/2015 5:38pm PT  

We cover a lot of ground, yet again, on today's BradCast.

First: More climate change dots connected out here in California, as another freeway is shut down (the third in the last couple of months) thanks to yet another extreme weather disaster.

Next: As Donald Trump correctly notes that George W. Bush did not "keep us safe" either before or after 9/11, Jeb tries again to come to his brother's defense and fails almost as much as his own campaign is now floundering.

Then: With federal sentencing reform for non-violent drug offenders about to result in freedom for 6,000 federal inmates (and another 40,000 likely in the near future), we are joined today by artist and author Anthony Papa of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Papa (self-portrait seen above in today's BradCast logo) shares his amazing story about how he was sentenced to "15 years to life" for a first-time, non-violent, drug-related crime under New York's "tough on crime", "war on drugs" policies of the 80s. He served 12 years of hard time --- for delivering 4 ounces of cocaine in exchange for $500 --- before he was finally granted clemency by the Governor.

He follows his first book, 15 to Life: How I Painted My Way to Freedom up with his latest, An Open Letter to Men and Women Returning Home in the Age of Reform, just released on Kindle today.

Papa was lucky enough to earn three degrees while serving 12 years in prison, where he also discovered he knows how to paint. He now serves as Artist in Residence at Drug Policy Alliance and has had his work exhibited at the Whitney Museum. On today's show, in addition to his personal story, he shared his optimistic thoughts on criminal justice reform ("mandatory minimum sentencing became the poison that literally broke the system"), some words of advice to those about to be released ("these men and women coming home into a society that is not ready for them, can be a problem"), and his opinions on the outrage of restrictions on voting placed on both current and former felons.

"The greatest thing for me being in prison, was my discovery for me of my political awareness," he tells me. But, after his release, he learned he would still not be able to vote for another five years, even though he had served his time under laws passed by officials he should have been able to vote against. "Before I went to prison, I didn't even bother to vote. I was a regular Joe. When I came out, discovering I couldn't vote was very painful for me. So it took five years, but when the time came, I cast that vote. I felt like I was whole again. It was a wonderful feeling."

Finally today: Wayne Simmons, the "former CIA operative" regularly featured on Fox "News" for more than a decade, where he has been cited by wingnuts time and again on everything from Benghazi to torture to ISIS and their "19 paramilitary Muslim training facilities in the United States" (which don't exist), turns out to have never worked for the CIA at all and has now been arrested on federal fraud charges.

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/15/2015 5:00pm PT  

We were forced to reschedule our planned guest for today's BradCast at the last minute --- (you'll have to listen to the show to find out who it was to be, but I'm still very much looking forward to that conversation!) --- but that worked out just fine, as we had to much to cover on today's show as is!

Among the stories and issues we were, therefore, able to cover today...

• New insider whistleblower releases documents revealing the inner-workings of the United States' disastrous drone assassination program.
• Democratic debate suggests a new day for progressivism, if not for the still-failing corporate U.S. media.
• Finally, climate change takes the spotlight in a Presidential debate, as Rightwing deniers and fraudsters like Jeb and Rush freak out about it.

All of that a much (much) more on today's BradCast!...

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

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GUEST: Steve LeVine on e-cars and our battery-powered near-future
ALSO: Sen. Lindsey Graham's short memory; GOP bum fight for U.S. House Speaker...
By Brad Friedman on 10/6/2015 5:17pm PT  

On today's BradCast, idiocy in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House and --- much more importantly --- the future of cars and a clean, livable planet!

First up, as the death toll mounts in Guatemala and the waters continue to rise in South Carolina, all thanks to global warming, the state's U.S. Senator and woeful 2016 GOP Presidential candidate Lindsey Graham embarasses himself as he begs for federal relief from the government, while conveniently "forgetting" that he repeatedly voted against similar aid for other states after Hurricane Sandy.

Then, speaking of disasters and climate change, Steve LeVine, author of The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World, joins us to discuss his recent article, "Volkswagen’s best shot at a comeback now has the automaker right where Elon Musk wants it."

LeVine explains how Volkswagen, whose recent emissions test cheating scandal will cost them billions in fines, may be able to help save themselves by helping to power the future of electric cars in a massive way. That future, LeVine tells me, is just about here. "In the coming 3-5 years," he says, we will be hitting "a critical mass."

"All of this has been triggered by [Tesla CEO] Elon Musk. Musk has put the fear into car makers --- they think that he could be a game changer, and they could be left out," LeVine explains. "You've got GM, Audi, Porsche, Jaguar, BMW, Nissan [and] a bunch of others car-makers, all planning to launch their own 200-mile, $35-40K [electric] cars" in the next several years. Even Apple is getting in the game. But, that new generation of clean cars needs to be powered, and VW could help their horrible damaged image by taking a leading role.

Finally, we go back to more idiocy in Congress to finish out today's show, as two incapable jackasses battle it out to win the GOP nomination in hopes of becoming the next Speaker of the U.S. House and, incidentally, third in the line of succession to become the President of the United States. And, speaking of which, is that the "death rattle" of the Jeb Bush campaign that we hear?...

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

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