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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, November 18, 2017
Of Pipelines, Tax Cuts, and Corrupt Trump Appointments: 'BradCast' 11/17/17
It's astonishing how many GOP policies, practices and nominees must be pushed through by force, scheming, lying and the breaking of norms and traditions...
Recall Effort for GA SoS After Election Disasters, 'Server Wipe': 'BradCast' 11/16/17
Guest: John Ziegler of 'Voice for All GA'; Also: Keystone Pipeline spill; House passes tax bill; Menendez mistrial in NJ; Moore tanking in AL...
'Green News Report' 11/16/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
AK's National Wildlife Refuge now one step closer to oil drilling; African-Americans bear brunt of fossil fuel pollution; PLUS: France to cover U.S. funding for U.N. climate science...
Previous GNRs: 11/14/17 - 11/9/17 - Archives...
Chilling Senate Hearing on Presidential Use of Nukes: 'BradCast' 11/15/17
Guest: Nuclear analyst Stephen Schwartz: Also: Dems win again in OK; Moore madness in AL; Maddening details on N. Cal shooting...
Ready to Step Up? It's 'National Run for Office Day'!: 'BradCast' 11/14/17
Guest: Ross Morales Rocketto of 'Run for Something'; Also: Another mass shooting at an elementary school; MORE...
'Green News Report' 11/14/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
US a bit schizophrenic at U.N. climate talks; Report: Paris Agreement targets not nearly enough; Fossil fuel lobbyist approved for top EPA post; PLUS: PR damages nearly $95B...
Previous GNRs: 11/9/17 - 11/7/17 - Archives...
New Assault Claim Against Moore, More Trouble for GOP: 'BradCast' 11/13/17
Callers ring in on latest developments, allegations plaguing Alabama's 'conservative' 'Christian' U.S. Senate nominee...
Moore Sunday Toons
Moore, Moore, Moore...How do ya like it? How do ya like it? Moore, Moore, Moore! And then still more in PDiddie's latest toon collection...
Real Moore News
and More Real News: 'BradCast' 11/10/17
(And some real news about some fake news!) Also: Trump/Kobach's 'Election Integrity' Comm. is sued by once of its Commissioners!...
Reaping the Whirlwind:
Roy Moore Scandal in AL,
GOP 'Chaos' After Election: 'BradCast' 11/9/17
Guest: The Nation's John Nichols; Also: More GOPers quit; Hearings on Prez use of nukes...
'Green News Report' 11/9/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
US now alone on climate denial, but cities, states picking up slack; Election creates 'Blue Wall' for climate action in West; PLUS: Ozone hole smallest on record, after global treaty...
Previous GNRs: 11/7/17 - 11/2/17 - Archives...
'Tidal Wave' Election For Dems:
'BradCast' 11/8/17
Plus, Mark Joseph Stern of Slate on his idea for how 'blue states' can take action immediately on gun violence...
FCC to Allow One Corp. to Buy Every TV Station in Your Town: 'BradCast' 11/7/17
Guest: Media reformer Sue Wilson; Also: Trump seeks diplomacy w/ NK; Many red flags should have prevented TX church massacre...
'Green News Report' 11/7/17
SPECIAL COVERAGE - The Nat'l Climate Assessment is out, with dire warnings on climate change impacts, hope that governments can act in time to reduce emissions...
'Thoughts and Prayers' After Texas Church Massacre: 'BradCast' 11/6/17
The NRA/GOP and Military Industrial Complex win again, after 26 killed in Sutherland Springs; Also: Trump in Asia, wildly misled on U.S. defensive missile capabilities...
Sunday Fall Back Toons
A few steps in the right direction and much more in PDiddie's latest Sunday collection of the week's best political toons...
Facts v. Frauds: 'BradCast' 11/3/17
Trump, terror, justice, guns, Gitmo, Puerto Rico, Kobach, voter fraud, tax cuts, and climate...
State AG Quits Defense of GA SoS in Election 'Server Wipe' Case: 'BradCast' 11/2/17
Guest: Marilyn Marks, Repub plaintiff in GA-06 suit calls GOP SoS response to deleted evidence 'shameful'...
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...


With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 11/9/2017 10:51am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Syria joins Paris Climate Agreement, leaving U.S. alone in climate denial; U.S. cities, states and businesses are picking up the slack; Tuesday's election results in a big 'Blue Wall' for climate action on the U.S. West Coast; PLUS: The ozone hole is the smallest on record, thanks to a 28-year old global climate treaty... 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): Emissions Gap: Why the post-Paris climate challenge is even harder than we thought; CA Gov. Jerry Brown delivers a blunt climate change message in Germany; Homeland nominee questions human role in climate change; Trump environmental nominee doesn’t believe science should ‘dictate policy’; Shell Enchilada oil platform in Gulf of Mexico shut after fire; Paradise Papers: Coal-fired plant pocketed $117m from Australian taxpayers; End may be nearing for CA's Diablo Canyon nuclear plant; A new group of kids are taking Trump to court over his climate denial; Republican-controlled Congress ordered destruction of vital sea-ice monitoring satellite; WHO to farmers: stop giving your animals so many antibiotics... PLUS: Media can't let Puerto Rico become the next Flint.... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




Guest: Disaster historian Dr. Scott Knowles of Drexel University...
By Brad Friedman on 9/11/2017 6:13pm PT  

On today's BradCast: The latest on our nation's quickly piling up megadisasters, what we need to do about them, what we should have done long ago, and why we haven't. [Audio link to full show follows below.]

First up today: A quick overview of Irma's disastrous weekend course as a massive and deadly hurricane which lashed the entire state of Florida. Now, disaster recovery is under way as power remains out for millions, and the storm continues wreaking havoc in that state, as well as Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and elsewhere as a dangerous tropical storm.

This latest storm has been playing out on the heels of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana along with a number of other contemporaneous and ongoing natural disasters. So, naturally, Donald Trump over the weekend called for "speeding up" massive tax cuts that he and Republicans have long been promising. But, if taxes are slashed, who, and what, is going to pay for the likely-record disaster relief funding that will now be needed, not to mention the infrastructure upgrades that are long overdue in the storm areas, as well as across the U.S. --- particularly as we face a quickly changing climate?

We're joined today for a fascinating interview with DR. SCOTT KNOWLES, disaster historian (who knew there was such a thing?), at Drexel University's Center for Science, Technology and Science, to help put the costs of the one-two punch of Harvey and Irma into historical perspective, to discuss what lessons must be learned from those two record storms, what lessons we should have learned long ago and, frankly, why it is that we haven't learned those lessons by now, given what once was a robust U.S. government effort at disaster research and infrastructure management.

There is a lot of ground covered in my conversation with Knowles, author of The Disaster Experts: Mastering Risk in Modern America, today. Please give it a listen in full below. But, I'll quickly share just one or two of his thoughts to hopefully whet your appetite. Following massive deadly floods and fires in the 18th and 19th century, he explains, there was a largely successful effort to avoid those catastrophic and deadly events by local, state and federal officials in the world's wealthiest nation. That post-WWII effort, however, began to change in recent decades. And, with the worsening of our climate crisis, the "deferred maintenance" of our infrastructure and reduced environmental regulations, the still-prevalent notion that government needs to be scaled back in every way, couldn't have come at a worse time for the nation and the planet.

"We're able now more accurately to trace back the causes of these disasters to historical decisions that have been made since World War 2," Knowles explains. "Where we live, how we live, how we write our building codes, what we choose to spend our money on and not spend money on. Those are traceable historical pathways.

"One would have thought we could've had national standards for safety by now," he tells me. "I think this is the core of what we're really arguing about now. Can we make a national commitment to safety from disaster? If we can't, then I think we've really let down what Americans expect out of science, and government, and infrastructure and engineering, and all other things that we rely on every day."

As to climate change itself, and the need to act on the "settled science" that Republicans continue to ignore at our peril --- Trump's EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt recently said, that now is not the time to discuss such things --- Knowles argues: "These are the moments when people are attuned. This is when you have their attention. I don't think it's disrespectful to people who are suffering to raise the cause of their suffering into political light at these moments. In fact, I think it does them a service. And that's why so many of my colleagues who do this work do that"...

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

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Guest: Radio host Nicole Sandler in South Florida...
By Brad Friedman on 9/8/2017 6:15pm PT  

On today's BradCast: How government subsidized lies and liars are killing the nation, the planet, and U.S. democracy. [Audio link to show follows below.]

With more than a thousand dead from monsoons in South Asia, two monster hurricanes in the Atlantic, one of them about to engulf Florida, a third one in the Gulf striking Mexico and Houston struggling to rebuild from unprecedented flooding after Harvey, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck off the coast of Mexico late Thursday night, killing more than 60 and leading one wise Twitterer to observe: "All that's missing is the locusts."

On today's show (after once again marveling at Ronald Reagan's greatest, and most damaging, cons --- particularly pungent on a day like today), we check in with our friend NICOLE SANDLER, host of The Nicole Sandler Show, just north of Miami, as she and her family, unable to evacuate, are preparing to hunker down before Hurricane Irma rolls ashore and then up the entire length of the state.

Other radio hosts in the South Florida area, like con-man Rush Limbaugh, are apparently lucky and wealthy enough to be able to evacuate at the last moment before the record hurricane strikes, even after spending the week downplaying the threat of the Category 5 monster and the last several decades downplaying the threat of climate change by disinforming tens of millions of Americans about it over our tax-payer owned public airwaves.

Then, speaking of tax-payer funded disinformation, the head of Trump's so-called "Election Integrity" Commission, Kansas Sec. of State Kris Kobach, has built his career on lying to gullible Americans about voter fraud in hopes of disenfranchising as many of them (at least of a certain party) as he can get away with.

A new report finds his state has been discarding ballots at an alarming rate. But, at the same time, just days before the sham Commission he co-chairs is set to hold its second public meeting in New Hampshire, Kobach unleashes a whopper of a scam column at the wingnut "news" site Breitbart, citing new "evidence" proving that "voter fraud" by "illegal" out-of-state voters was responsible for the Republicans' narrowly lost U.S. Senate seat in NH last year, as well as Donald Trump's 2016 loss in the Granite State to Hillary Clinton.

As we detail on today's show, Kobach's deceptive "new" NH claims are easily dispelled nonsense. Getting the actual facts about it, however, to the dupes, pawns, suckers and chumps who actually trust the fake news they suck up from accomplished liars like Limbaugh and Kobach at places like Brietbart and Fox "News", is a different matter all together.

Finally, still on the topic of a thoroughly propagandized nation, we close with some listener response to a caller on a recent show about Trump overturning DACA...

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

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Guest: Dave Johnson of People's Action/Campaign for America's Future...
By Brad Friedman on 5/1/2017 6:13pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Republicans continue to pretend we don't face a gun violence epidemic in the U.S., that human-caused climate change isn't happening and that massive tax cuts help, rather harm, the economy and the middle class. They may need to pretend harder. [Audio link to full show is posted below.]

First up today, a number of multiple victim shootings that played out across America --- from San Diego to Topeka to Dallas --- in the past 24 hours, but received very little media coverage, for some strange reason. At the same time, on Saturday, hundreds of thousands turned out across the country for the People's Climate March --- nearly 200,000 of them in sweltering 90 degree heat (in late April!) in Washington D.C. alone. The latest mass demonstration against the Trump Administration's attempts to deny science and cut funding to climate-related programs came just hours after Trump's EPA began the removal of climate change-related facts and scientific data from its website.

And, all of that happened as Donald Trump's Presidency hit its first 100 days, a period marked by, among other things, a failure to pass any of the legislative goals announced during his campaign. In hopes of distracting from that failure to date, Trump's Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (pictured above) released a hastily compiled one-page outline for what the White House describes as "The Biggest Individual And Business Tax Cut In American History."

But, as critics from the right, left and center, including my guest today, Dave Johnson, a Senior Fellow at the progressive Campaign for America's Future notes in response to Trump's proposal, bigger isn't necessarily better. In this case, the proposed cuts would actually hurt poor and middle-class Americans, Johnson explains, while defunding the very things that help boost the economy, serving as a huge gift to the very wealthy, and blowing a massive hole in the federal deficit to boot.

Johnson explains the "smokescreen of bamboozlement [and] propaganda" by Republicans for decades on these issues which, he argues, citing similar cuts and claims from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush, have never "paid for themselves" as the Trump Administration is claiming once again. "How many times have they done this and the results have not come through?," Johnson rails, describing how even the Congressional Research Service, when asked by Republicans to create a report in 2012 looking back at tax cut data all the way back to 1945, found that "cutting taxes does not boost the economy."

Moreover, he notes, "corporate profits are at the highest ever right now," making it hard to justify Trump's proposed corporate tax cuts (from 39.5% to 15%) as anything more than an economic boost to a small handful of very wealthy investors. Cutting taxes, he argues, is meant for little more than enriching the already very rich and "forc[ing] cuts in government by forcing a crisis in budgeting."

"Democracy doesn't have an advertising agency, but all of these anti-government people do," Johnson tells me, in response to my questions about how GOPers are still able to continue arguing for something that has proven time and again to be little more than a myth, albeit one that many Americans still seem to fall for. We also discuss whether or not Congressional "Tea Party" Republicans will actually approve such a huge increase in the federal deficit, or if, as with attempts at health care reform, they, not Democrats, will be the real obstacle.

Finally today, more firings and fall-out announced at the Fox 'News' Channel, in response to the myriad and systemic sexual harassment complaints against its now-former creator Roger Ailes and its now-former top star Bill O'Reilly...

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

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Guest: Salon's Heather Digby Parton on that and much more...
By Brad Friedman on 3/30/2017 6:24pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: So, what now? What's the next step for Donald Trump's seemingly perpetually faltering Presidency? He and Congressional Republicans suggest they'll go for Tax Reform next. But will that scheme be any more successful than the big promises that Trump has, so far, tried and failed to accomplish? [Audio link to show follows below.]

His Muslim travel ban was blocked for the foreseeable future, once again last night, by a federal judge in Hawaii. His border wall, if it ever actually gets built, won't be paid for by Mexico, apparently, but by U.S. tax-payers. Reportedly, the Administration's not even sure where to put it. His attempt at repealing and replacing ObamaCare went famously down in flames. His effort at rolling back Obama's climate legacy is already facing its first legal challenges on a number of fronts and in a number of courts.

But he and Congressional Republicans say massive reform of the tax code will be next, even though it hasn't been successfully accomplished since the 1980's. And, in hopes of getting some Democrats on board, the Administration has been floating the idea of a massive infrastructure bill, perhaps, to go with it. But is Trump's version of a "Grand Bargain" to bring enough Republicans and Democrats together to accomplish this next scheme any more viable than his previous ones? (Or more viable than when Obama tried, but failed, at something similar?) And, does it help that Trump attacked both Democrats and the far-right Congressional Freedom Caucus today?

The great Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo returns today to discuss all of the above, and a bit more, including whether Democrats can actually hold together in opposition; some little-noticed hypocrisy related to Team Trump attorneys hoping to block a sexual harassment-related lawsuit against a sitting President; an interesting explanation for Ivanka Trump's "new" role in the Administration; and whether Senate Democrats can or will successfully filibuster to keep Judge Neil Gorsuch from being confirmed to the GOP's stolen U.S. Supreme Court seat, as vacated with the death of Antonin Scalia more than one year ago...

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

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Guest: Journalist Alice Ollstein from Capitol Hill; Plus: The high cost of cutting IRS funding and the benefits of single-payer national health care...
By Brad Friedman on 3/9/2017 5:10pm PT  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2017 5:40pm PT  

On today's BradCast: The full letter and the full story behind the letter from Martin Luther King's widow, Coretta Scott King, that resulted in Senate Republicans voting to force Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to sit down and shut up for the duration of debate over Donald Trump's objectionable nominee for Attorney General, Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (R-AL). [Audio link to show follows below.]

We detail Sessions' failed 1985 "voter fraud" prosecution/harassment of black civil rights workers in Monroe, Alabama which resulted in the Senate's rare, bi-partisan 1986 rejection of Sessions for a federal judgeship under Ronald Reagan and why the fight for the right to vote matters as much now as it did back then...

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: 27-year CIA vet Ray McGovern on why he disputes the secretly sourced allegations, and on Trump skipping Presidential Daily Briefings...
By Brad Friedman on 12/21/2016 6:03pm PT  

On today's BradCast, how corporate media control of our public airwaves helped elect Donald Trump, and a decades-long, top-level CIA intelligence briefer of U.S. Presidents responds to concerns about Trump skipping Presidential Daily Briefings and on, so far, evidence-free, anonymous claims that Russia hacked and manipulated the U.S. election.

First up today, speaking of questioning "conventional wisdom", there is no doubt that the stranglehold of our public airwaves by corporate media helped elect Trump. But a new report suggests their helping hand may have been even worse than we knew, as Sinclair Broadcasting, the infamously rightwing media behemoth and largest single owner of television stations in the nation, apparently struck a deal with the Trump campaign to provide non-critical coverage on its scores of television "news" outlets in the South, Midwest and elsewhere.

Then I'm joined by 27-year CIA analyst, Ray McGovern, who served as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and prepared and personally delivered the CIA's Presidential Daily Briefings (PDBs) each morning to American Presidents from Kennedy to Clinton. Since leaving the agency, he has become an outspoken anti-war advocate and peace activist and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), a group which includes esteemed former intel officials, analysts, experts, and whistleblowers such as Daniel Ellsberg, Coleen Rowley, William Binney, Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou, Karen Kwiatkowski, Col. Ann Wright and others. He is also a contributor at Consortium News and his writings and appearances can also be found at RayMcGovern.com.

I invited him back on today to offer insight as to how the preparation and delivery of PDBs to Presidents and Presidents-Elect have changed over the years and how important they are. McGovern offers some fascinating insight and inside Presidential stories on all of the above. But I wanted to talk to McGovern about this specifically in the wake of Trump's somewhat alarming recent admission that, he rarely attends the briefings because he's "smart", and doesn't "have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years." Instead, Trump says, he sends his national security team to attend what McGovern describes as "the acme of the intelligence cycle, just to give you an awareness off how important the process is."

But our conversation soon moved to the various allegations --- still without evidence and said to be from unnamed intelligence sources citing secret National Security Estimates (NIEs) that some respectable critics say don't necessarily make a lot of sense --- charging that Russia hacked DNC and other emails during the campaign in hopes of helping Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.

In short, McGovern and his fellow team of longtime intelligence analysts, experts and whistleblowers believe the allegations are, in McGovern's words, 'a crock'. He explains why he and his colleagues recently released a memo explaining their dispute with the charges, and what they actually believe is at the root of the thousands of leaked emails. While I agree with Ray on the lack of evidence presented at this time in support of the claims against Russia, I am also skeptical of VIPS' assertions about what they believe really happened, as we discuss on today's show as well.

But, of course, I am always skeptical of anything that cannot be independently verified, especially when it comes to anonymous claims and secret evidence used to lead us into wars. McGovern offers some fascinating details and reminders on the show today as to why such skepticism is a very good idea! Unfortunately, similar skepticism seems to be all too rare these days in much of the rest of our media. Either way, I'll look forward to your thoughts on today's program...

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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By Ernest A. Canning on 10/25/2016 9:05am PT  

According to a Los Angeles Times "Debate scorecard," the opening segment of last week's third and final Presidential debate, concerning the respective nominees plans for appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court, was a "draw."

Three of the paper's pundits each proffered what at best could be described as a superficial one-paragraph explanation for their verdict: It was a "draw" because 1) an ordinarily unhinged Trump was "calm" and "sedate," and 2) by describing what they would look for in a nominee to SCOTUS, both candidates had appealed to their respective conservative Republican and liberal Democratic bases.

The "Debate scorecard" presents a classic example of what Bill Moyers derides as the "charade of fair and balanced --- by which two opposing people offer competing opinions with a host who assumes the viewer will arrive at the truth by splitting the difference" --- an unacceptable "substitute for independent analysis." Combined with the "draw" assessment, this form of irresponsible punditry lends itself to the false equivalency separately offered by FiveThirtyEight's Oliver Roeder, who suggested that both candidates were "promising an extreme candidate" to fill the vacancy left by the death of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

In truth, the differences between the two Presidential nominees are profound. They represents the difference between oligarchy (Trump) and democracy (Clinton). Trump's preference for a judiciary that would protect the privileged few at the expense of the vast majority of ordinary Americans is both extreme and unpopular. Clinton's egalitarian criteria for judicial nominations is immensely popular and decidedly mainstream. There is nothing "extreme" about a jurist who is committed to the words that appear above the entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court: "Equal Justice Under Law."

What is especially troubling is that media pundits have erected a false equivalency on an issue of vital importance to the American electorate. Outside of global climate change, which threatens the very survival of humanity, the issue of what could turn out to be as many as three lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court over the next four years is amongst the most monumental that voters will face on Nov. 8. As we previously reported the fate of democracy itself is at stake.

Roeder and the three L.A. Times pundits would have understood that if they had bothered to either consult constitutional scholars or specific issue polls before erecting their false equivalency in their respective debate analyses...

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Guest: Bethany Khan of UNITE HERE Culinary Workers Union | Also: GOP falling apart, Hurricane Matthew coming ashore...
By Brad Friedman on 10/4/2016 4:56pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the savior of the working class and "Great Negotiator" refuses to even sit down with union workers at his own property in Las Vegas, even as his party comes apart at the seams and the South-Eastern U.S. buckles up for another deadly storm. [Audio link posted at bottom of article.]

In advance of tonight's Vice Presidential debate, we speak with Bethany Khan of the UNITE HERE Culinary Workers Union Local 226 in Nevada, where workers at the Trump Hotel Las Vegas voted to unionize last December. Nonetheless, the Trump Organizations has refused, to date, to even begin negotiations with some 500 now-unionized workers at his 1,200-room, 64-story five-star luxury tower in Sin City. The union is therefore calling for a North American boycott of all Trump properties (hotels, casinos, golf courses, etc.), using the hashtag #BoycottTrump.

Khan explains the action and how the GOP nominee for President has been using every available tool to challenge the lawful union vote, despite claims to represent the working class in the course of his campaign.

"Mr. Trump and his company is legally required to bargain with the Culinary Union and with the workers. The workers are fighting for fair wages, job security, good health benefits," she tells me. "They filed a series of objections --- the way the vote was counted, or who voted --- a host of things to try and tie this up in court. This practice of expansive litigation is one the union workers have beat --- soundly --- and we won. So there are no more objections they can file on the election. The hotel is certified as a union hotel. It's a union property. The only thing that's missing is a union contract."

While the Culinary Workers have endorsed Hillary Clinton, Khan says their organizing campaign started "before Donald Trump announced he was running for President," but adds that "The path to the White House goes through the Las Vegas Strip."

"There are 550 workers in his hotel here in Nevada. They're working people, living paycheck to paycheck. Culinary Union members comprise a majority of the middle class in Nevada. Mr. Trump, who says he wants to make America great again, has a great opportunity to start here in Las Vegas with his workers and give them a contract."

Also today: Tonight's Veep Debate offers an excuse to reminisce about the first BRAD BLOG story to make into the national press and get under the White House's skin back in 2004; The 2016 election is driving the country mad, but particularly the Republican Party (we've got some of the latest insane examples); And, finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report' with two massive and unusual hurricanes making landfall today and the Paris Agreement on climate change meeting key thresholds at the U.N. in record time, in hopes of "Trump Proofing" the landmark pact before the U.S. Presidential election...

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

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Guest: Doug Wead, author, presidential adviser, GOP convention expert...
By Brad Friedman on 7/14/2016 6:24pm PT  

Nobody really knows what the GOP convention in Cleveland next week will look like, or even if the delegates there will vote for Donald Trump as expected. Joining us today on The BradCast to offer perspective on all of it is Doug Wead, Presidential historian, author, advisor to two Republican Presidents and a number of campaigns, and an expert on GOP political conventions and rules. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

But first, briefly, corporate media are reporting today that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will be Trump's Veep nominee and that the list of star-studded speakers Trump had promised for the convention may not be studded with quite so many stars after all. But, BENGHAZI! Also, following on the heels of yesterday's disturbing polls for Hillary Clinton, both nationally and in several key swing-states, another new poll out today, this one showing her tied with Trump nationally, confirms her falling support in the wake of the recent closure of the FBI investigation (and often-misleading reporting on it) into her use of a private email server as Secretary of State.

Next, Wead joins us to answer a lot of my questions of what can and can't happen under Republican rules in Cleveland next week, and to offer his thoughts on whether the "Never Trump" movement still has a chance in hell --- legally or otherwise --- at blocking Trump's nomination.

"They say, 'release these delegates to vote their conscience!' It's not like these are people who have a conscience!," he tells me with a hearty laugh. "It's insider-establishment people who want to be free to use the power they have as a vote, to get money and to get things in exchange." Wead also confirms that, yes, it is perfectly legal for the various campaigns to offer gifts, even cash if done carefully, to delegates in exchange for their vote at the convention.

He goes on to lament what he believes has come of his party: "I was astonished when I went into the White House to have some of these conservatives come into my office and say, 'Now you gotta get us federal dollars for this and for that, and all these companies', and I said, 'Hey, wait a minute, I thought we're the conservatives, I thought the liberal Democrats did that?' They said, 'Well, we gotta to do it when we're in power, just like they do it when they're in power. That's the way it works.' So you've got all of these people feeding at the pig trough, that are part of the Republican establishment."

Wead offers an historical perspective on all of this (the 1880 election may have been as insane); reports what both the Bush and Paul families (he has worked for both) currently think of Trump's rise to become the standard bearer of the Republican Party; what effect, if any, Vice Presidential nominees have on Presidential races; and how, he believes, establishment power brokers (in control of both the Republican and Democratic parties, he says) will come out of the election as the winner, one way or another.

As to Trump's chances of becoming the next President of the United States, the historian offers a chilling warning for Democrats: "Yeah, he could win. It could happen, very much so. Don't underestimate this guy. Ronald Reagan was seen as a warmonger and a racist and no way he could get elected. But he defied the prognosticators and won."

Finally today: Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, including coverage of the one ridiculous word added to the Republican Party platform this week to undermine the environment and for what may be the funniest 'snarky comment' ever on a GNR (this one, courtesy of Sen. Al Franken)...

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

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Guest: Historian Jon Wiener of The Nation and KPFK on why believes Democrats have little to worry about this November...
By Brad Friedman on 6/30/2016 6:47pm PT  

As some progressive Democrats freak out about Hillary Clinton's chances against Donald Trump, we're joined on today's BradCast by historian, author and broadcaster Jon Wiener to discuss his recent article detailing why he believes both math and history suggest Trump will be simply unable to win the Presidency this November. [Audio link at end of article.]

Wiener is a longtime friend and colleague at KPFK/Pacifica Radio here in Los Angeles, where he hosts the 4 O'Clock Report (airing right after The BradCast) on Wednesdays. His piece at The Nation, where he is Contributing Editor and host of the Start Making Sense podcast, is headlined "Relax, Donald Trump Can't Win". But is he right about that?

"My goal was to take a step back, to try to get a sense of the realities of things separate from our passions and our fears," he tells me, while explaining his case and the critical electoral math that undergirds it. Essentially, he argues, Trump must find millions of more Republican votes than Mitt Romney was able to scrape up in 2012. "It's very much of an uphill climb for [Trump] to find another 6 or 7 or 8 or 10 million people," particularly with the broad baggage that he has already accrued during the primary.

"There are very few people who switch from one party to another between elections," the UC Irvine history professor and author of How We Forgot the Cold War and Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files (and many others) explains. "Trump does claim that he's brought millions and millions of people into the primaries. But the people who looked at this closely discovered that Trump's voters in the primaries were Republican voters in the last general election. They're already committed Republicans. These are not new, first-time, never-before, non-voters --- these are Republicans. These aren't going to increase the Republican total. They've already been counted as Republicans in past elections."

So, even presuming his math is correct, what of a number of critical points that his analysis seems to simply overlook, such as voter suppression, other forms of election fraud, more "scandal" (phony or otherwise) for the presumptive Democratic nominee, and the possibility of Trump becoming a more disciplined candidate? Not to mention so many of the recent failures of pundits, pollsters and political scientists --- on which his case rests --- on everything from the GOP primary election itself to the recent right-wing populist victory in the UK's Brexit referendum?

Tune in for Jon's responses to my skeptical questions on all of the above in our lively conversation today.

Also on today's program: The U.S. Dept. of Defense announces an end to the ban on transgender service members; Trump's African-American support is amazing; Ohio's GOP Gov. John Kasich vetoes a 'poll tax' bill passed by his own party; Canada's Parliament goes gaga for Obama; And Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report...

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

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TPM's John Judis on recent history of convention floor fights; Los Angeles Registrar Dean Logan on 240k provisional ballots cast Tuesday...
By Brad Friedman on 6/9/2016 6:25pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Bernie Sanders meets with President Obama, who endorses Hillary Clinton; A look at recent convention battles and whether they suggest Sanders should drop out before the DNC's July convention; And we receive comment from Los Angeles County's chief election official on the seemingly alarming number of Provisional Ballots handed out to voters on Tuesday in the nation's largest voting jurisdiction.

First up, some breaking news from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which has now upheld the Constitutionality of restrictions on concealed carry weapons. Then, Bernie Sanders meets with President Obama at the White House, vows to work with Hillary Clinton to defeat Trump, but promises once again to continue his fight through next week's primary in D.C. and all the way through the Democratic National Convention in July. And President Obama finally endorses Hillary Clinton.

Next, we're joined by John Judis, formerly of The New Republic, now a Visiting Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and author of seven books, included his latest, The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics. Judis, who voted for Sanders, nonetheless argues that it's now time for Sanders to bow out and endorse Clinton. He cites two recent historic examples of convention floor fights (Ford/Reagan in 1976 and Carter/Kennedy in 1980, not to mention the mess in 1968) to buttress his case.

Earlier this week at Talking Points Memo, Judis, who acknowledges "Clinton has a lot of weaknesses", nonetheless argued that Sanders should get out after California and endorse Clinton no matter who ended up winning the primary here. "What concerned me was that the Sanders people would take a win in California as a reason to really go fight it out at the convention, and I thought that that would be a terrible mistake for the party and for the country, because of what I've seen happen at those kind of conventions," he tells me today. "It's in the interest of people who are Democrats, liberals who are queasy about Donald Trump becoming our next President, to do what they can to help her. And having a big convention battle will not help her." He offers much more on today's show.

Finally today, the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan offers us response to concerns about the seemingly huge number of Provisional Ballots cast during Tuesday's primary. As we reported in detail on yesterday's BradCast (which included a bonus second hour of callers from across Southern California, both voters and poll workers alike, describing problems at the polling place on Tuesday), voters cast some 240,000 provisionals in L.A. County alone. Between those and the still-untallied Vote-by-Mail ballots, there still more than half a million untallied ballots in the County.

But, following yesterday's program and my query to Logan about the large number of provisionals, he conceded the number does appear "high, but not disproportionately so, compared to other major elections and given the Primary-specific elements everyone was dealing with." Today, as he had promised, he sent more details with provisional ballot numbers from recent comparable elections in 2008 and 2012, which he believes supports the case that the numbers from Tuesday aren't as disturbing as they may seem at first glance.

Logan also responds to concerns about the many reports we've been receiving and reporting on since Tuesday regarding voters being told they had requested a Vote-by-Mail ballot when they attempted to vote at the polling place, even though the voters say they had made no such request. He explains that he's found a number of such voters had registered online and --- either accidentally or due to poor "design of the original online registration application" --- had selected the box that would have made them a Permanent Vote-by-Mail "without intention or understanding". He adds, however, "that is speculative" at the moment, as more investigation and counting of those ballots moves forward. He has told me that L.A. County generally is able to verify and include about 85 to 90 percent of provisional ballots in their final certified results.

His complete response, and a few thoughts of my own in regard to this latest mess --- and so many before it --- now serving to mar confidence in the results of another important election, on today's BradCast...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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By Brad Friedman on 2/13/2016 10:00pm PT  

I suspect many of you have thoughts on the jaw-dropping news of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia today. Feel free to share those thoughts, as you see appropriate, in Comments below. For my part, for now, just a few very quick observations...

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