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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, May 1, 2016
Sneaky SCOTUS, Sad Establishment, & What The World Says About Trump!: 'BradCast' 4/29/16
Guest hosts Danielle and Shane-o are joined by John Nichols of The Nation!...
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
30 years after Chernobyl, efforts to contain it; Record signing of Paris Agreement; World Bank calls for global carbon price; PLUS: Solar plane halfway round world...
Cruz, Kasich Join Forces and Some News That Actually Matters: 'BradCast' 4/25/16
Amanda Marcotte on new GOP 'conspiracy'; Plus: Paris Agreement; Mass shooting weekend; Thinking big...
Sunday Toons of the Moment
An 'unplanned' Pulitzer winner and a whole bunch of other worthy toons from the past week, as collected by 'PDiddie'...
'Gyrocopter Guy' Loses Voting Rights Protesting Elections: '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
John Opdycke on 'Open Primaries'; Also: Prince dead at 57; 'Outrage' over Tubman; Paper ballots return to MD...
'Green News Report' 4/21/16
Criminal charges in Flint; BP victims protest new leases; Mexican oil facility explosion kills 3; U.S. air pollution; PLUS: World leaders to sign Paris Agreement...
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: GOP operative turned gay rights activist Fred Karger
By Brad Friedman on 4/26/2016 5:20pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, as voters head to the polls in MD, CT, RI, DE and PA (where there are already reports of problems on the state's 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems), some voters are petitioning NY for a partial hand-count of the paper ballots from last week's troubled Presidential Primary in the state. Meanwhile, blowback continues in NC against the state Republicans' pro-discrimination and anti-voting rights laws. [Audio link for the show is at bottom of article.]

The election season grinds on, with more lawsuits, legal investigations and challenges then I ever recall seeing at this point in the cycle. In New York, where last week's Presidential Primary was plagued with problems such as questionable voter purges, closed polling places and failed optical-scan computer tabulation systems, Election Justice USA, which filed a suit against NY the day before the DNC (and Clinton and Sanders campaigns) did so, is now calling for a partial hand-count of paper ballots across the state.

The group's petition cites those problems and others for the lack of confidence that many voters now have in the results as reported by NY's paper-ballot optical-scan computer tabulators which have failed in the past, as the NY Daily News found in 2012, to count an enormous percentage of ballots in some precincts. Their petition also includes a video clip from an award-winning 2008 documentary film, HOLLER BACK - [not] VOTING IN AN AMERICAN TOWN, in which I appeared discussing the reasons for hand-counting paper ballots, rather than merely trusting in oft-failed, easily hacked computer tabulators. (But its an excellent film anyway!)

I explain all of the above today, as well as why Bernie Sanders supporters are both overstating their current argument of "fraud" in the NY election, even as the lack of transparency in the state's electronic counting system leaves voters with every reason to have uncertainty in the computer-tallied results. (In somewhat related news, also discussed today, hand-counts in DuPage County, IL recently resulted in three different write-in candidates, 2 Republicans and 1 Democrat, being found to have won their races after originally being announced "losers" following last month's primary elections there.)

Also today, before moving on to our interview, a federal judge has upheld NC's massive voter restriction law which mandates Photo ID voting restrictions, bans same-day registration, restricts early voting and registration and much more. I've previously described that law, enacted by state Republicans just days after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, as "the most extreme anti-voter bill passed by any state since the Jim Crow Era." Opponents of the law, including the NAACP, ACLU and U.S. Dept. of Justice, have now appealed the District Court's 485-page ruling which argues that "there is little official discrimination" in NC anymore.

That ruling, by a George W. Bush appointed judge, is difficult to square with the state's GOP nominee for Attorney General, who told a crowd at a rally in support of NC's controversial anti-LGBT law yesterday that "we must fight to keep our state straight."

Joining us today to discuss that "deeply unpopular" law and others like it --- as well as massive blowback it has engendered for the state --- is gay rights activist, Fred Karger, a former GOP operative, campaign official for Presidents Reagan and Ford, and the first openly gay Presidential candidate. (His run for the 2012 Republican nomination is the subject of the documentary film FRED.)

On the heels of his successful campaign against CA's Prop 8, the Mormon Church and the National Organization for Marriage, Karger recently described at Huffington Post how boycotts can work against such measures. We discuss that, the continuing disintegration of his formerly Grand Old Party, and his thoughts on the reasons for the sudden spate of discriminatory laws, mostly in the South.

"I think it's because they're sore losers," he tells me. "It's not even been a year since the Supreme Court allowed marriage equality to be the law of the land in all fifty states. So we're seeing tens of thousands of very happy same-sex couples getting married. And there's a backlash because there are a lot of people very unhappy about that." He goes on to explain why GOP politicians, "when they're running for re-election or moving up for another post," see the gay and transgender community as "an easy target".

Finally today, we close today with a fascinating and previously unknown fact about the dearly departed Prince...

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

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GUEST: Author, energy analyst, Quartz correspondent Steve LeVine
ALSO: Paul Ryan 'will not' run; And more news from 'Discrimination Nation'....
By Brad Friedman on 4/12/2016 5:06pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, we take a brief if blessed break from 2016 Presidential politics madness (mostly) to look at what could be a moment, last week, when everything changed, though few may have actually noticed.

But first, Republican U.S. House Paul Ryan absolutely, positively, definitely (maybe) says he will not run for President and we have a number of updates from 'Discrimination Nation' where Republicans just can't seem to get it through their thick skulls that the "free market" really doesn't like that they continue to pass discriminatory, anti-LGBT laws. North Carolina's Governor is now scrambling to make changes (sort of) to his state's new pro-discrimination law, even as Tennessee is enacting their own, which arguably goes even further.

Then, Steve LeVine, energy analyst, Washington correspondent for Quartz and author of The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World, joins us to discuss what may well be the "iPhone Moment" --- or, "Nokiafication", if you prefer --- of the auto industry, in the wake of the introduction of Tesla's Model 3 last week and the thousands around the world who lined up overnight to purchase it before they had even seen it.

While LeVine reports that other automakers are still downplaying what just happened, the unprecedented pre-sales of this new, all-electric car (which will offer more than 200 miles on a single charge and won't even be available until late 2017 at the earliest), suggests this may be a moment akin to when Nokia, once a cellphone goliath, suddenly disintegrated, virtually overnight, after the introduction of Apple's iPhone. By "getting people lined around the block and 115,000 orders sight unseen --- and then, once people saw the car, another 200,000 orders," Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk "demonstrated there is a very sizable group of people in the world who are prepared to pay $35,000 for an electric car. This was notice to the whole industry that the incumbent car companies who, themselves, even now, are sitting on the sidelines waiting to see whether Musk will pull this off --- they could end up like Nokia."

"Hello! 325,000 orders!," LeVine observes, adding "there's going to be blood on the floor" for those companies that don't take quick action to respond to a market inflection point that may now finally be occurring. He also explains, however, that Musk could still blow it, before we then move to the "momentous geo-political shift" that will soon occur with the proliferation of battery-powered vehicles and a world beyond petro-dollars.

"Oil has made the world go around now, literally, for 150 years...But, hang on to your hats!," he warns. Countries whose influence is built on oil could see "their whole economic and power structure pulled out right from under them. It's going to be fascinating to watch."

Finally, in a brief return to 'Discrimination Nation', we close with President Obama's designation today of the nation's newest national monument honoring women's suffrage and 'Equal Pay Day'.

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

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GUESTS: TYT's Jordan Chariton, Sputnik's Cassandra Fairbanks in D.C.
PLUS: Results, concerns from weekend's WY Dem caucuses, CO GOP convention...
By Brad Friedman on 4/11/2016 6:03pm PT  

On today's BradCast, hundreds of demonstrators were arrested today at the nation's Capitol during a peaceful sit-in protest demand reforms to the U.S. electoral system. Also today, we cover a number of other breaking news items and the weekend's Presidential nominating events, including results and concerns about the Democratic caucuses in WY and the Republican delegate convention in CO. [Audio link to show is below.]

First up, we check in with The Young Turks' reporter Jordan Chariton and Sputnik News' Cassandra Fairbanks outside the U.S. Capitol, just moments after some 400 "Democracy Spring" demonstrators, including our old friend Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks, were arrested while calling for a number of small "d" democratic reforms. Amongst the protestors' demands: Overturning the Supreme Court's infamous 2010 Citizens United ruling unleashing massive corporate spending in elections; modernization of America's ridiculous voter registration system; the creation of a public campaign financing system; and the restoration of the Voting Rights Act provision gutted in 2013 by SCOTUS. Protesters vow to continue demonstrations all week in D.C.

Then, breaking news on Goldman-Sachs' settlement with the U.S. Dept. of Justice for their part in the mortgage crisis that led to the global financial crisis in 2008 (spoiler: nobody goes to jail, though those sitting down to demonstrate for democracy in D.C. did); Another rock star cancels a concert in another GOP state that just approved discrimination against the LGBT community; and then we cover the results of the controversial Democratic caucuses held over the weekend in Wyoming and the GOP delegate convention in Colorado.

Our coverage of the weekend's nominating contests also includes a look at concerns from Sanders supporters about the WY results and from Trump supporters about the results almost everywhere. And finally, here's that amazing Boston Globe "President Trump" front page [PDF] they published for April 2017 over the weekend and their full description of it...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/8/2016 4:44pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we catch up on a lot of news, polls, twists and turns --- most of which underscore, yet again, why elections and representative democracy matter...no matter what the corporate "news" media tries to tell ya.

Among the stories covered on today's thrilling episode!...

  • New polls find, once again, that Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton in match-ups against all potential Republican opponents (and even among Democrats nationally); Also, that the front-runners in each party are remarkably unpopular within their own parties.
  • Bruce Springsteen cancels a North Carolina concert Sunday due to the state Republicans' new pro-discrimination law;
  • The GOP in Nebraska is attempting to 'swipe' a potential electoral college vote from Democrats;
  • San Francisco (where the economy is booming, as it is elsewhere here in California, now under Democratic control), becomes the first U.S. city to mandate paid parental leave;
  • More clear evidence that thinking big about policies and progressive ideas pays off when the people bother to fight for them and turn out to vote (when they are allowed to vote, anyway), rather than turn cynical and stay home.

All of that and much much more on today's program, including new evidence that the Keystone pipeline leak in South Dakota is far worse than originally reported by TransCanada, the company which owns it, and Desi Doyen joins us with the latest Green News Report which also includes some very encouraging news today...

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

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Guests: Zack Ford of Think Progress; Journalist Gaius Publius; Hashtag originator Leslie Lee
Guest Hosted by Nicole Sandler...
By Nicole Sandler on 3/28/2016 3:03pm PT  

On today's BradCast, guest host Nicole Sandler of Radio or Not takes a short break from the elections to see how North Carolina became the most anti-LGBT state in less than one day, with Zack Ford of Think Progress.

Then, it was back to the campaign madness and a battle of the delegates and hashtags. Gaius Publius checks in with the actual, accurate Democratic delegate counts, and a realistic assessment of the race moving forward.

And it’s Hashtag Wars, as Nicole tracks down Leslie Lee, @tokyovampires, who started the hashtag #BernieMadeMeWhite after the mischaracterization of Saturday’s caucus states. And a hashtag started trending while we were recording today’s show, #HillaryToneDeaf.

Is it November yet?

Download MP3 or listen 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!




PLUS: More on voting probs in IL and NC, and now UT and AZ...
By Brad Friedman on 3/22/2016 6:09pm PT  

On today's BradCast we cover what is known, so far, about the unfolding terror attacks in Brussels this morning, even as they serve as yet another reminder of why elections matter.

With ISIS now claiming responsibility for the horrific attacks which killed dozens and injured hundreds in Belgium, including a number of Americans, Iraq war correspondent Michael Ware's recent account of the creation of ISIS, thanks to the U.S.-launched war there over a decade ago, underscores how the choices we make at the ballot box reverberate for generations.

Vote wisely! If you are able to vote at all...Our coverage of the problems faced by voters merely trying to cast a vote during last week's primaries continues today, with new reports of Photo ID voter suppression in NC, student voters illegally turned away at Wheaton College in IL, and the continuing court battle over thousands of voters turned away from the polls in Adams County (though we have a small slice of encouraging news to report there today!)

Then, we turn to new problems and serious concerns beginning to emerge in primaries and caucuses underway today in AZ and UT, including reports of up to four-hour lines and registration problems in AZ and the Republican Party in UT laughing in the face of computer scientist warnings by using some 60,000 of their voters as guinea pigs during in a live experiment with 100% unverifiable and easily hackable Internet Voting for tonight's GOP caucuses! (What could possibly go wrong?)

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

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Results, unanswerable questions and inexcusable problems in MO, IL, OH, NC and FL; PLUS: Obama's nominee, listener calls and much more...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2016 5:41pm PT  

It very was a very big night for both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, as the two candidates with the lowest overall favorability ratings in their respective parties nonetheless reportedly swept up most of the votes in almost all of the 5 big states up for grabs during yesterday's 'Super Duper Tuesday' primary elections.

On today's BradCast, we review all of the results, still-remaining questions about several of them (some likely never answerable due to the close margins and 100% percent unverifiable e-voting systems that bit both Rs and Ds in Missouri), as well as inexcusable problems (such as outrageous paper ballot shortages in Illinois, photo ID voting restrictions in North Carolina, a gun in an Ohio polling place, and failed electronic pollbooks and purged voting rolls in Florida) that many voters faced while simply trying to cast a vote at all in a number of states.

While your candidate may or may not have been adversely affected yesterday, I'd urge you to pay close attention to today's program before the candidate (or party) you may favor ends up paying the price for the often-shameful system of voting we still have in this country. If not, by the time you decide to give a damn, it may very well be too late to do anything about it. (Did I mention the never-knowable intent of the voters on both the D and R side yesterday in Missouri?)

Also today: Obama's names his SCOTUS nominee, listener calls on all of the above, and much more, including Desi Doyen with our latest Green News Report...

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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GUEST: 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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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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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 2/23/2016 11:40am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Oklahoma finally acts to reduce man-made fracking earthquakes; Bernie Sanders promises to end fossil fuel drilling on public lands; Hillary Clinton promises to end drilling off the Atlantic coast; Slap on the wrist for 'Freedom Industries' CEO responsible for West Virginia chemical spill; PLUS: Tropical Cyclone Winston smashes record for strongest hurricane ever in Southern Hemisphere... 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): Want to fight climate change? Here are the 7 critical life changes you should make; Seas are rising way faster than any time in past 2,800 years; Legionnaires’ Outbreak in Flint Was Met With Silence; Arctic Sea Ice Is in Record Low Territory (Again); EPA Asks Volkswagen To Make Electric Cars In U.S.; China To Close More Than 1,000 Coal Mines In 2016; Two PA Families take toxic fracking water contamination case to trial... PLUS: Kiribati looks to artificial islands to save nation from rising sea levels... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




GUEST: Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser
ALSO: Federal court finds NC racially gerrymandered Congressional districts...
By Brad Friedman on 2/10/2016 5:52pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we look at the huge (yooge?) victories for both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary elections, not to mention a victory for the devil in Arizona and for justice in North Carolina.

First, in New Hampshire, both Sanders and Trump each destroyed their competition by record margins. But also both Sanders and Trump absolutely dominated virtually every demographic in their respective parties. The victories served to reveal how the political party establishment and corporate U.S. media pundits continue to be radically out of touch with the American electorate and how the "electability" arguments that have been put forward concerning both candidates are finally being questioned.

Moreover, on the Republican side, the contest resulted in both Fiorina and Christie heading back to Palookaville, while Rubio sunk like a stone and the GOP establishment may have found their next new "savior" in Kasich.

Then, we're joined by Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser to discuss how a "Satanic Temple" trolled its way into killing the opening religious invocation long used by the City Council in Phoenix, AZ. Also, Millhiser explains a new federal court ruling finding that NC GOPers racially gerrymandered two Congressional districts in the key swing state.

"Finally! Satan gets a break in the United States!," Millhiser tells me in regard to the Phoenix story. He says that while the "satirical church" doesn't "actually worship the devil, they do believe that there shouldn't be these public displays of Christianity at City Council meetings." He describes their victory in Phoenix, as well as in other cities where the group has successfully "trolled" elected officials in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that has begun to collapse the nation's long-standing separation between church and state.

"The Roberts Court has started to tear down those walls that have existed for a really long time," Millhiser, author of the new book Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, tells me, before offering his best guess as to why the five conservative Justices on the Court are so "hostile to the notion of separating church and state."

Finally, Millhiser details the federal district court's redistricting ruling in NC --- what it will mean, how it may or may not affect the state's upcoming elections, how those hostile to minorities figured out long ago that they can use the slow pace of the U.S. Court system to game elections, and how doing so has suddenly become even easier following the Supreme Court's 2013 gutting of the key Voting Rights Act meant to prevent such schemes.

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

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GUEST: Myrna Peréz of the Brennan Center for Justice
ALSO: Climate crisis v. Islamic extremism; A new Dem debate?; And the Election Integrity community loses a champion and key voice...
By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2016 5:34pm PT  

On today's BradCast, with the first Presidential caucuses and primaries of 2016 now just days away and the first mass voter suppression trial of the year now underway (in North Carolina), we look at a number of recommendations to improve our voting system. But is it too late to make much of a difference for 2016?

First up, some breaking news on the possibility of an added Democratic debate after the Iowa caucuses and before the New Hampshire primary, and some thoughts on the human cost of Climate Change-fueled extreme weather (over just the past month) versus Islamic terror attacks in the U.S. in the 15 years since 9/11.

Then, on to our conversation with Myrna Peréz of the Brennan Center for Justice's Democracy Program to discuss her new report: Election Integrity: A Pro-Voter Agenda. The paper offers six important areas --- from voter registration to polling access to vote casting and counting --- where the U.S. system can and must improve its integrity without sacrificing security or access to the voting booth.

"It is possible to protect election integrity without disenfranchising eligible voters," Peréz writes in her report about the solutions she and the Brennan Center offer. "All target fraud risks as they actually exist. None will unduly disenfranchise those who have the right to vote."

As she explains to me today: "We are having is a very contested moment in time where the right to vote is being challenged in a way that we haven't seen in decades. We are seeing politicians trying to manipulate the rules of the game such that some people can participate and some people can't. And we have that butting up against states that have very restrictive budgets, and may not actually have the money or resources to make reforms that would even save money long-term, because they require an initial investment. That, coupled with infrastructure problems --- like we have been registering voters in a really out-of-date way for too long, and we haven't updated our voting machines --- are all colliding to produce a period of worry, where when voters step into the polls on Election Day in November, they're not going to be getting the best customer service for their tax dollars. And that they're not going to be voting in a way that's consistent with what the greatest democracy in the world should be doing."

"We tried to look at where there were opportunities to improve what we're doing, and actually study and address some of the concerns that folks are having," Peréz says. "And do it in a way that is sensible and thoughtful and common sense, in terms of making sure that the cure isn't worse than the disease. And make sure that we're not disenfranchising more people than we're trying to prevent from perpetuating fraud."

We discuss, among many things in our detailed conversation, the real threats to election integrity --- not "voter fraud" by individuals at the polling place, as vote suppressors on the Right would like you to believe, but far more often, and in a much larger way, by political and election insiders. "We need to make sure that our politicians, who are using our resources and our taxpayer dollars, are fixing a problem that is real and addressing it in the most cost-effective and efficient way."

Finally on today's show, a few words and memories in regard to the recent tragic loss of Wisconsin's John Washburn, an integral member of the U.S. Election Integrity community and a reliable and important source over the past decade to me here at BradBlog.com and on the radio, on e-voting in general and, in particular, on some of the nightmarish elections disasters in the Badger State over recent years. John was a great proponent of transparency, open government, proper testing of electronic voting systems and, frankly, one helluva guy. As noted in my more detailed In Memoriam on today's program, John's loss, at the age of 53, is a particularly tragic and costly one for the cause of democracy and free and fair elections in Wisconsin as well as the rest of the nation. We send our thoughts and best wishes to his family, including his wife and three children. His institutional knowledge, good humor and wit will be greatly missed in 2016 and beyond, but his good fight will continue.

(John's guest blog contributions to The BRAD BLOG are here. You can sort through some of his other contributions to our stories and radio programs over the years here. And much more documentation of his work on EI matters and more is still available at his personal website right here. UPDATE: John's family has requested remembrances be posted on this tribute page.)

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 8/20/2015 11:39am PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Fox 'News' finally finds reason to 'care' about the environment; Hillary Clinton draws a bright green line around Arctic drilling; EPA tells oil and gas industry to cut the methane; Islamic leaders call on Muslims worldwide to act on climate change; PLUS: Water contamination in America's rivers and streams is creating intersex fish... 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): Three firefighters killed battling Washington State wildfire; 10 years after Katrina, Obama to visit a safer New Orleans; World's largest air purifier aims to create 'Smog Free Parks'; Oil price slump dampens desire for drilling leases on public lands; Groundwater pumping is sinking CA land; Oklahoma breaks record for earthquakes set just last year... PLUS: For Latinos, environment is as big an issue as immigration... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




Journalists, whistleblowers may not be barred from recording abuses...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/10/2015 9:52am PT  

In a carefully reasoned, 29-page decision, Chief U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill struck down, as unconstitutional, an "Ag-Gag" statute that, according to the court, had been drafted for the express purpose of shielding Idaho's agricultural and dairy industries "from undercover investigators and whistleblowers who expose the agricultural industry to 'the court of public opinion.'"

"Under the law," the decision explains, "a journalist or animal rights investigator can be convicted for not disclosing his media or political affiliations when requesting a tour of an industrial feedlot, or applying for employment at a dairy farm. An employee can be convicted for videotaping animal abuse or life-threatening safety violations at an agricultural facility without first obtaining the owner’s permission." The offender not only faces up to one year in prison, but could be ordered to pay twice the economic loss an owner suffered as a result of publication of the video even if its content was true.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ADLF) and several other organizations, including the ACLU, filed the federal lawsuit and moved for summary judgment, alleging that the Idaho "Ag-Gag" statute violated both the First Amendment right to free speech and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The court agreed, expressly noting that "agricultural...operations that affect food and worker safety are not exclusively a private matter" and that the right to free speech includes the ability to rely upon audio and visual recording...

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Guest: Author/journalist Ari Berman of The Nation...
By Brad Friedman on 7/17/2015 4:08pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we start where we left off on yesterday's show, regarding Thursday's amazingly corrupt and disturbing ruling in favor of Scott Walker and his cronies --- by the amazingly corrupt Wisconsin Supreme Court --- and how, if Republicans have their way, that ruling may soon enough become the law of the land for the entire nation.

As our producer Desi Doyen noted on today's show: "This is your early warning system." Ignore at your peril. Then it was on to a couple of quick items and updates, including dumb Confederate flag wavers in Oklahoma and Maine's even dumber Governor Paul LePage.

From there, we head to North Carolina, where "the most extreme anti-voter bill passed by any state since the Jim Crow Era", as we initially described it when it was passed by state Republicans back in 2013, is finally now facing trial against the NAACP, the ACLU, the DoJ and other democracy and voting rights advocates.

We are joined by The Nation's author/journalist Ari Berman, who was in the federal courtroom in Winston-Salem, NC this week as the trial finally got under way. The results of this trial are likely to head all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, one way or another, and may well determine the future of voting rights in this country. The new voting restrictions were passed in 2013, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court demolished the provision of the Voting Rights Act that otherwise, says Berman, would have kept this law --- which is "already disenfranchising voters" --- from even taking effect.

"That's such a clear case study to me that the Supreme Court was wrong when it said that the special protections of the Voting Rights act weren't needed." Berman goes on to explain why he believes NC, a state which had made astounding progress in voting rights over the previous decade, has now become the new Selma, Alabama, where the bloody fight for voting rights led directly to passage of the federal Voting Rights Act in 1965.

"In North Carolina, they had seemingly everything," Berman tells me. "They had all these voting reforms --- early voting, same day registration, pre-registration for 16 &17 year olds. And it was all taken away or reduced" when the GOP took over both the state legislature and Governor's mansion for the first time since Reconstruction in 2013.

"What Selma in the 1960s and what North Carolina in the 2013-2015 era shows is how far these conservative white Southerners will go to protect political power. There aren't billy clubs. There aren't literacy tests. But they're saying this is how black turnout increased --- North Carolina went from 48th in voter turnout in the late 80s, to 11th in voter turnout in 2012 --- Republicans there basically said we're gonna tamp this turnout down."

And now it's left to the courts to find out if those rights, once granted, can be taken away by political whim --- and if NC, and other states with a history of racial discrimination in elections, will be forced once again to face preclearance from the federal government before they can enforce any new voting restrictions.

Berman has a lot of insight on all of this. His new book, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, will be published next month to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of passage of the VRA. As I note during the show, the book is an exhaustively researched and heart-wrenching documentation of the uniquely American and harrowing tale of the fight to vote in this country --- and the outrageously long and continuing effort to block it. That fight continues, sadly, to this day. Go buy his book!

Finally, Desi joins us again for some listener email and then a stunningly upbeat Green News Report for a change!...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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