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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, August 25, 2016
Clinton, Trump and Cracking the Two-Party Duopoly: 'BradCast' 8/24/16
Guest: Historian, columnist Matthew Rozsa; Plus: Unfolding deadly disasters in Italy, India and Louisiana...
NSA Hacking Tools in the Wild, Hackable Elections in the US: 'BradCast' 8/23/16
Guest: Princeton computer scientist, e-vote 'hacker' Andrew Appel; Also: Obama in LA and Trump's latest vote suppression dog-whistle...
'Green News Report' 8/23/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
. Media failure on LA flooding; Floods accelerate Zika virus; PLUS: A tale of two warming Arctics -- Native American tribe forced to move, luxury cruises just getting started...
Previous GNRs: 8/18/16 - 8/16/16 - Archives...
'What Do You Have to Lose?': 'BradCast' 8/22/16
Trump 'pivots', reaches out to African-American voters, forgets to tell the rest of his party...
Sunday Toons of the Makeover Moment
PDiddie's round up of his favorite toons from last week focuses on campaign shake-ups, shuffles, makeovers and other political reality avoidance techniques...
Three Daves:
'BradCast' 8/19/16
Guest host Angie Coiro with guests Dave Johnson of Campaign for America's Future, David Atkins of Washington Monthly, and Chain of Title author David Dayen...
6th Circuit Panel Upholds 'Straight-Party' Voting In MI
Republican AG vows appeal despite availability of optional voting method in the state for 125 straight years, and its disproportionate use at the polls by African-American voters...
DoJ to 'End' Private For-Profit Federal Prison System: 'BradCast' 8/18/16
Guest: Carl Takei of ACLU's National Prison Project; Plus: GOP 'Civil War' vs. Reality and The Donald comes up short in NYC...
'Green News Report' 8/18/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
. Explosive new CA fire forces evacs for 80,000; New rules for heavy duty trucks; Report: Ending oil subsidies won't raise gas prices; PLUS: First-ever U.S. offshore wind farm...
Previous GNRs: 8/16/16 - 8/11/16 - Archives...
Send in the Clowns:
'BradCast' 8/17/16
Eric Boehlert on Trump's bizarre staff shake-up; Plus: NC GOP's desperate voter suppression Hail Mary, California burning, and 'Bye-Bye' to John McLaughlin...
NC Files with SCOTUS for Emergency Stay of Unlawful Vote Suppression Law
State Republicans display remarkable chutzpah in their last gasp argument to keep a 'racially discriminatory' statute in place for November...
'Rogue' DEA Punts Pot: 'BradCast' 8/16/16
Guest: Michael Collins of Drug Policy Alliance on 'rotten to core' DEA's marijuana announcement; Plus: 'Third-party' Presidential woes, disturbing climate news, more...
'Green News Report' 8/16/16
. Another historic, deadly rain event in LA; Another massive fire in CA; July 2016 Earth's hottest month ever recorded; PLUS: Green Party nom Jill Stein on climate...
Facts Behind Fraud: 'BradCast' 8/15/16
Debunking Trump on terror, 'voter fraud' in PA and climate change; Plus: Even Rightwing propagandists beginning to realize 'We've created this monster'...
Sunday Toons of Performance Art Moment
Trump fails to win the gold in this week's Presidential olympics. Plus, other pratfalls in PDiddie's latest collection of his favorite toons of the past week...
An Excess of Trump: 'BradCast' 8/12/2016
Isn't he gone yet? Angie Coiro guest hosts, with guests RJ Eskow of 'The Zero Hour' and Gotta Laff of 'The Nicole Sandler Show'...
Emergency Filing to Avoid WI Vote Suppression
Action sought in response to partisan 7th Circuit panel rollback of recent remedy that would have restored voting rights to thousands under GOP Photo ID law...
Big Oil and Big Tobacco: Old Docs, New Revelations: 'BradCast' 8/11/16
Guest: Carroll Muffett of CIEL on oil and tobacco in bed on denial since 1940s; Plus: The Trump coverage dilemma...
'Green News Report' 8/11/16
Trump's 'new' energy plan; Clinton coal country plan; Industrial chemicals in drinking water of 6M Americans; PLUS: Court ruling sets major climate precedent...
'2nd Amndmnt People': 'BradCast' 8/10/16
Donald Trump's 'stochastic terrorism'; (temporary?) bad news for voters in WI; good voting news in TX; Listener calls on all of the above...
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...


Also: Climate disaster in Sri Lanka; CT institutes automatic voter registration; Federal judge orders KS to restore voting rights to 18,000...
By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2016 5:59pm PT  

Yes, the Democratic Primary cycle continues to continue, as Bernie Sanders wins in Oregon, obtains a "virtual tie" with Hillary Clinton in Kentucky, and the less-than-transparent electoral process in both states triggers more cries of "election fraud!" from Sanders supporters.

On today's BradCast, we look at the results and the concerns about them (debunking some, though not all), along with several important breaking news items. [Audio link to the complete show is below.]

Before diving into Tuesday's primary, we start with the horrific climate change-related mudslides that have buried hundreds in Sri Lanka. Then, some encouraging news for all voters as Connecticut becomes the fifth state to institute automatic voter registration and as a federal judge orders GOP "voter fraud" fraudster and Kansas Sec. of State Kris Kobach to restore full voting rights to 18,000 state voters "suspended" by Kobach's "proof of citizenship" requirement.

Then, the battle between Clinton and Sanders grinds on through two more primary states, with Sanders earning a reported 12 point victory in OR, while battling to a reported margin of less than one-half-of-one percent in KY and vowing to stay in the race through the July convention. We warned earlier this week about the possibilities of a close race in KY, where the state (shamefully) still uses enough 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems that it will now be impossible to know who the voters actually hoped to be the winner. The same was true, as we reported at the time, after the Missouri Primaries on both the Republican and Democratic sides, and the same is true in KY whether Clinton or Sanders ultimately end up being declared the official winner in the Bluegrass State. As of airtime today, though AP has appropriately refused to call the state, Clinton is reportedly ahead of Sanders by just under 2,000 votes.

But throughout Primary night on Tuesday, and continuing today, concerns of "fraud" are being heard very loudly from Sanders supporters once again. Some of their concerns are justified, as we explain. Others are decidedly not. For example, some news outlets irresponsibly reported "More than 76 reports of election fraud from 31 counties were called into the Kentucky Attorney General's hotline". That is incorrect. (Happily WSAZ NewsChannel 3 has finally modified their initial bad reporting. Others, like Bipartisan Report, have not.)

Other concerns we examine are from Pike County, KY, where results were, in fact, "zeroed out" for a time last night, resulting in thousands of "disappearing" votes for both Sanders and Clinton, as well as 11,000 thousands votes said to have been added to Clinton's totals in Marion County, OR. (Evidence suggests a typo by AP, as I explain on today's show.) Some concerns, however, for example the evidence from little-known Democratic candidate Rocky de la Fuente suggesting some of his votes simply vanished in recent Democratic contests in NH, MI and SC, cannot be so easily explained away.

We cover, explain and/or debunk all of those concerns and more on today's BradCast, before closing out with our latest Green News Report and the hottest April ever recorded (the 12th such month in a row to set such a record)...

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: Mary Anne Hitt of Sierra Club's BeyondCoal.org...
By Brad Friedman on 5/17/2016 4:48pm PT  

On today's BradCast, voting is underway in Oregon and Kentucky and new polling shows Donald Trump continuing to gain momentum against Hillary Clinton, even as Bernie Sanders remains more popular than either of them (and is still outpacing Clinton against Trump --- not that the corporate media reports on much of that.)

Then, as more oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and worldwide protests demanding action on climate change go largely ignored by the U.S. corporate media, we talk with Mary Anne Hitt, director of the the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, about how sustained grassroots activism has succeeded, once again, this time by blocking a major coal export facility on Native American tribal lands in Washington state.

"Yes, grassroots activism is working and accomplishing amazing things," Hitt tells me as she describes last week's huge victory when "the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a landmark decision to deny federal permits for the biggest proposed coal export terminal in North America." The successful 5-year effort to block the proposed coal export facility at Xwe’chi’eXen (also known as Cherry Point), is also a major victory for the Lummi Nation and native Americans in general, because the facility would have violated U.S. treaty obligations to protect the tribe's fisheries and ancestral lands.

"Our reliance on coal here in the U.S. has been dropping dramatically thanks to a lot of grassroots activism. We've got a third of the coal plants in the U.S. already announced to retire and we're not building any new ones. We have the biggest coal reserves in the world. Shipping that to Asia was the grand plan of some of these mining companies, and they needed to get the coal out through the Northwest, and they needed these big new coal export terminals to make that happen. It's a big deal," she explains, before adding: "It's demonstrating the power of advocacy. In addition to the Lummi Nation, we had hundreds of thousands of people across the Northwest speaking out against these export terminals. The voices of the people were heard. It's a victory for our climate, it's a victory for our treaty obligations, and it's a victory for democracy."

Environmentalists have had a number of major victories in the U.S. of late, from Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline last year to NY Governor Andrew Cuomo's rejection of a major natural gas pipeline more recently. "I think the worst thing you can do for the climate is give up on the power of grassroots advocacy, because I have seen it again and again. I have seen these David and Goliath campaigns where David has won. The Cherry Point export terminal is a perfect example," says Hitt.

The West Virginia native goes on to offer her thoughts on the future of Coal Country and its miners, as well as an opinion or two on whether President Obama has done enough to fight for the environment, against fossil fuel, and in favor of renewable energy.

Finally today, Bernie Sanders offers some candid thoughts on how the corporate media continues to fail in their obligations to the electorate, and a wingnut hissy fit over transgender people and bathrooms takes an ugly turn at a Connecticut Walmart...

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: Constitutional law expert and author, Ian Millhiser...
By Brad Friedman on 5/16/2016 6:24pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the U.S. Supreme Court's remarkable decision to punt on a 'religious freedom' case (for now) following the death of Scalia, and all hell breaks lose in Vegas over the weekend as Sanders supporters clash with party officials at the Nevada State Democratic Convention.

First up, some very encouraging news today about renewable energy use over the weekend in Germany. Everything else today is not quite as encouraging, beginning with SCOTUS' extraordinary decision to not decide Zubik v. Burwell, a case related to the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare)'s mandate requiring contraceptive coverage by employers or health insurers.

Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser, author of Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, joins us to explain the Court's latest "punt", sending the case back to the lower courts in search of a compromise, and in hopes of avoiding another 4 to 4 split decision on the High Court as they wait for Republicans in Congress to fill the vacancy left on the Court in the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia's death in February.

Millhiser details both the case itself and the Court's 3-page non-opinion opinion [PDF] today which will, for the moment anyway, help to save access to birth control for thousands of women. He also describes why the Court made the ruling, the havoc that is expected to come from it, and why it underscores, yet again, the desperate need for a 9th Justice on the Court, despite the Senate GOP's unprecedented decision to block hearings on any nominee from President Obama.

Then, speaking of healthcare, while Sanders' policy for a single-payer universal healthcare program remains more popular than the policies of both Clinton and Trump, his supporters are growing increasingly frustrated with what they regard as unfair treatment by the Democratic Party establishment.

That frustration turned to fury over the weekend in Las Vegas, where the Democrats' state party delegate nominating convention devolved into chaos as a number of Sanders supporters were disqualified, party officials denied parliamentary procedure on rules amendments, and officials from the County Sheriff's office were brought in to clear the room as the convention was gavelled to a premature close. All in a huge fight over what might have resulted in 2 more Sanders delegates at the national convention in July.

We try to make sense of all of that (wish us luck!), before offering a preview of tomorrow's Presidential Primary elections in both Kentucky and Oregon...

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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By Brad Friedman on 5/13/2016 4:51pm PT  

It's getting stranger and stranger around here. On today's BradCast, I find myself a momentary bedfellow with both lobbyists and the pharmaceutical industry. But it won't last for long.

Among the stories covered on today's program [audio link posted below]...

  • Tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (again). But Shell Oil is on the job, so why worry?;
  • Speaking of oily, perhaps the plainest (if most bizarre) evidence yet that Donald Trump is a pathological liar, and why that actually matters;
  • Exclusive details from the head of Maryland's State Elections Board, on the specific "irregularities" that triggered Thursday's remarkable decertification of election results from Baltimore in the state's April 26 Primary Election;
  • The Obama Administration advises school districts across the nation on the rights of transgender students, and wingnut Republicans in Texas predictable freak out, even as GOP lawmakers in North Carolina allegedly threaten businesses and lobbyists;
  • Pfizer blocks the use of its drugs for executions in the U.S.;
  • And, finally, listeners ring in on our recent episode on the FDA's deadly new regulations for the vaping (e-cigarette) industry that run counter to scientists and doctors, but benefit Big Tobacco, Big Pharma and make it harder for smokers to quit smoking...

Strange days, indeed...

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: HuffPo columnist, UNH asst. professor Seth Abramson
Also: MD decertifies Baltimore primary results; Obama Admin issues historic new methane rules; GOP leadership comes together behind Trump...
By Brad Friedman on 5/12/2016 6:03pm PT  

Is there still a realistic path for Bernie Sanders to secure the Democratic Party's Presidential nomination? My guest today on The BradCast says "Yes!" and explains how it would, could and, in his opinion, should happen. [Audio link for show is at end of article.]

But first, some breaking news as the state of Maryland decertifies the results of the April 26th primary election in Baltimore, due to a number of troubling and currently unexplained "irregularities" brought to their attention by Election Integrity advocates; The Obama Administration issues historic new regulations concerning the release of methane which, our own Desi Doyen describes as "a very big deal"; And Donald Trump and Paul Ryan meet to smooth over disagreements as the GOP continues to coalesce behind their presumptive Republican nominee.

Then, I'm joined by Huffington Post columnist, attorney, author and University of New Hampshire Asst. Professor Seth Abramson to discuss his latest column headlined: "Bernie Sanders Could Still Win the Democratic Nomination --- No, Seriously".

Abramson offers a persuasive, if provocative scenario, for how the Democratic Party may end up nominating Bernie Sanders at their convention this July in Philadelphia, particularly if he keeps winning primaries between now and mid-June and more bad polls --- like recent ones from Reuters and from Quinnipiac --- show her tied with or losing to Trump in head-to-head matchups both nationally and in key swing-states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

To understand his argument, you must also understand why the Democrats instituted their system of unpledged "Super Delegates" consisting of party insiders and elected officials in the first place. He offers the history of how that system came about following the party's contested 1980 convention, and explains why the Party may come to decide this year that it's the right time to invoke that system for the purpose for which it was originally created.

"The only time that Super Delegates are activated," Abramson explains, "the only time that they really matter, and they're actually doing something other than just showing up to the convention and validating what's already happened, is when they are in fact contradicting the will of the popular vote and the delegate count, and are voting down a presumptive nominee. The reason they would do that is the same reason they would have wanted to do that in 1980, and that's if they think that the presumed nominee cannot win the fall election."

Abramson, a long-time Sanders supporter, details the specific, if plausible scenario he says would need to unfold over the next several weeks of remaining Primaries and how, as he argues, "I don't think it at that point it becomes a question of whether the Super Delegates would change their [support for Clinton]...The only question is how many of them would." In his scenario, he says, party insiders will be forced to ask themselves what needs to be done to avoid electing Trump to the White House, who he describes as "one of the most dangerous politicians ever to run for office in American history."

But what about rejecting the collective popular will of Democratic Party primary and caucus voters in such a scenario? What of the early states that initially supported Clinton in such huge numbers? And what of the arguments that the Sanders campaign has made in the past concerning the undemocratic nature of so-called Super Delegates? Tune in for Abramson's responses to all of those questions and more!

Finally today, we close out once again with another explosive edition of the 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: West Virginia native and champion Bob Kincaid...
By Brad Friedman on 5/11/2016 5:41pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, Bernie Sanders beats front-runner Hillary Clinton once again, this time in the West Virginia Primary. But Exit Polls reveal some bizarre demographics, even as a new national poll now finds Donald Trump surging and tied with Clinton nationally. [Audio link to the show is below.]

Sanders racked up another win on Tuesday, even as his odds for winning the Democratic nomination remain long (if not impossible) against Clinton. But with Trump's GOP competition now finally out of the way, Exit Polling coming out of the Mountain State last night suggests that many "Democratic" voters there are prepared to vote for Trump in November...even if he's running against Sanders, oddly enough. So is that new reason for Dems to be worried?

Ninth generation WV native, Head-On Radio Network host, co-founder of the Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Campaign and President of Coal River Mountain Watch Bob Kincaid joins me to try and make sense of the reported results and Exit Polling. We also examine what effect Clinton's out-of-context remarks about "putting miners and coal companies out of business" may have had on the state's electorate, as well as on the upcoming primary next week in Kentucky, and even for the general election in key swing coal states like Ohio and Pennsylvania (where another new poll this week found Clinton tied or losing to Trump.)

"The coal issue is a considerable part of this process because you've got a lot of people in West Virginia who will clutch at any straw, even though the coal industry doesn't wield the power it once wielded," he tells me. "But the openly anti-coal rhetoric that comes from our side, and of which I am a practitioner, puts a lot of people off."

Kincaid, however, is no fan of Clinton's, at least when it comes to what he sees as her chances in a head-to-match with Clinton nationally. "I've gone on record saying that I fully expect her to lose in November if she's the nominee. She's a terrible candidate. She's an awful campaigner, and --- I don't like saying this, Brad --- I want a Democrat in the White House. I'm a grown-up politically. I know that 'I want a pony' is not on the ballot. But, she's a tone-deaf campaigner. She's got 25 years worth of real and imagined baggage, and a 25-year-old Republican-funded filth machine that runs on 200-proof pure hate, that's humming along on 64 valves, okay?"

The colorful longtime radio host also goes on to offer a no-uncertain-terms warning to Democrats about the party's Gubernatorial nominee Jim Justice who, he predicts, will end up endorsing Trump this Fall.

In related news today: New polling shows Trump surging 13 points over the last week and now tied nationally with Clinton. (Not to say 'we told ya so', but...well...); Also: New indications that the GOP electorate in North Carolina may now be turning against state Republican lawmakers in the wake of their Big Government, anti-business, anti-LGBT 'bathroom law'; and, finally, a follow-up on the stupid, recent investigation against black, female cadets at West Point...

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: Vape shop owner Chris Hughes of Smoke Free Alternatives
Also: Trump beating, tied with Clinton in key swing-states; Philippines elects own 'Trump'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2016 4:48pm PT  

On today's BradCast, voters head to the polls in West Virginia and Nebraska; The Philippines elects its own version of Trump (but worse); and the FDA issues deadly new rules that may wipe out an industry and help kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of American. [Link to full audio below.]

First up, it's Primary Election day again, this time in West Virginia and Nebraska (Republicans only). In WV, many voters will be forced to vote once again on 100% unverifiable touch-screen systems, though Donald Trump tells voters not to vote at all, at least until the general election. At the same time, new polling from Quinnipiac [PDF] shows Hillary Clinton virtually tied with or losing to Trump in three key swing-states (OH, FL and PA), while Sanders outpaces Clinton in each, beating Trump in all three crucial states.

Meanwhile, in elections overseas, London elects its first Muslim as Mayor, though he's worried he may not be able to visit other Mayors in the U.S. if Trump becomes President and, in The Philippines, it looks as if they have elected a new President who is even more disturbing than Donald Trump. So, yes, it can happen.

Then: the FDA issues insane new rules for electronic cigarette and e-liquid manufacturers which could end up killing the vaping industry that is currently helping to prevent the tobacco-related deaths of some 500k Americans each year. Chris Hughes, President of the PA Chapter of the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association, and owner of the Fat Cat Vapor Shop, explains the new onerous regulations and how Democrats are supporting them despite scientists and experts, such as those at UK's Royal College of Physicians who recently announced: "in the interests of public health it is important to promote the use of e-cigarettes...as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking."

If the misguided FDA rules are finalized, it could cost as much as $1 million to receive approval for every single vaping product, e-liquid flavor (including each level of nicotine). The only companies likely to afford that process are the Big Tobacco companies that the bulk of the vaping industry is hoping to put out of business. In turn, millions of folks who have quit smoking by moving to vaping (which has almost none of the dangers of tobacco cigarettes) are likely to begin smoking again. "People smoke for the nicotine but die from the tar," explains Hughes, adding, "there are over 7,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke. And many of them act in concert with nicotine to make it more addictive." That is not the case for vaping products!

As someone who, thanks to vaping, was able to quit the deadly habit after decades of smoking myself, this is a very disturbing development. It's made even more disturbing by the particular big name Democrats (some of the otherwise best Dems --- Hughes names names!) who support the new regulations that will only help both Big Tobacco and, as Hughes notes, "the same giant pharmaceutical corporations that make nicotine patches, lozenges and gums [and inhalers!] and view my business, and thousands of other small businesses in the country, as competitors."

"This plan, if its fully implemented," he says, "will close every vape shop like mine in the United States. The only other thing we can say certainly will happen is smoking rates will skyrocket again across all demographics. There are currently over 9 million adults using these products regularly in the U.S. and those people will seek an alternative product. The alternative for them may be to go back to smoking in many instance. Half of those people will die prematurely as a result of smoking. And that's the catastrophe."

While I try to contain my rage here, even in writing this item, Hughes suggests those who would like to support the effort to kill smoking by saving vaping should stop by the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA.org). They offer a number of things you can do immediately. He also suggest you "call your representatives and tell them --- politely --- that you feel very strongly that the Senators should re-evaluate their stance on vapor products."

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with disturbing climate change news and, thankfully, even a bit of hope...

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: NC State Rep. Chris Sgro of Equality NC; Also: Fires devastate Canada's oil sands region; MO passes new Photo ID law; MUCH MORE...
By Brad Friedman on 5/9/2016 6:16pm PT  

The fires in the tar sands oil region of Canada and the lawsuits (yes, two of them filed today) result in a busy breaking news edition of The BradCast today. [Audio posted below.]

First up, Desi Doyen joins us for an update on the devastating climate-driven wildfires that have devastated the town of Fort McMurray, Alberta, in the heart of Canada's oil sands region where many workers from the oil sands mines live and work. Cooler weather, and even a bit of rain, helped keep the fires from growing to a full half-a-billion acres, as feared on Saturday. Still, the scenes of neighborhoods completely destroyed from the fire are heartbreaking. Some 88,000 residents remain evacuated, even as the irony of this particular region being devastated by climate-induced fires remains palpable.

Then, on to North Carolina Republicans' latest self-induced disaster. Late last week, the U.S. Dept. of Justice warned the state that their anti-LGBT law (HB2) was in violation of the federal Civil Rights Act. They were given until today (Monday) to let the DoJ know how they planned to respond in order to avoid the potential loss of more than $2 billion dollars in federal education funding. That response came today in the form of a suit filed against the DoJ by NC. The DoJ quickly responded in kind, with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announcing a lawsuit against NC for violation of the Civil Rights Act. She described HB2 as "state-sponsored discrimination," and told the transgendered community: "We see you. We stand with you…And please know that history is on your side."

Democratic NC state Rep. Chris Sgro, who also serves as president of Equality NC, joins us today to talk about the entire fine mess, even as news of the various suits were still breaking. He tells me that the state has already lost about half a billion to their economy, even before the potential loss of federal education funding, as businesses react to the "terrible anti-LGBT, anti-worker, anti-education bill that we know is in violation of the Civil Rights Act".

"This is not pro-business conservatism," Sgro tells me. "This bill wasn't about enabling local government. They went in and they were the big government who stripped local rights. And they are the anti-business party right now. If they really want to be pro-business, pro-growth, they have to act as quickly as possible to overturn House Bill 2. That's the only answer at this point."

Also on today's program: Surprising polling news out of Georgia (and another warning for Democrats along with it); Missouri Republicans pass a new Photo ID restriction law, with a compromise that leads to some Democrats joining; Democratic voter registration numbers skyrocket in California (and in Oregon); and the Dumbest Story of the Day as a photograph of female black cadets at West Point generates an official investigation...

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By Brad Friedman on 5/6/2016 5:06pm PT  

From Trump's taco bowl to the nation's vital and crumbling infrastructure --- are the corporate media up to the task of adequately informing the U.S. electorate in one of the most crucial election years in our history? Signs aren't encouraging.

Today on The BradCast, why gleeful Democrats and Hillary Clinton supporters are nuts to be celebrating and underestimating the presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. Multiple recent polls, today's breaking news, our nation's recent history, pathetic corporate media coverage, a flawed and vulnerable front-runner and an incredibly frail electoral system should give Dems serious pause.

In the meantime, President Obama's comments on Trump, our aging infrastructure crisis and anti-government sentiment at a press briefing in Washington D.C. on Friday and in Flint, MI on Wednesday are cause for reflection on the notion of good government of, by, and for 'we, the people'.

And then Desi Doyen joins us for what may be our grimmest Green News Report ever before we finish up today with a laugh, some good and bad news about "Boaty McBoatface", and a bit of listener mail...

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Guest: CNN columnist John D. Sutter | Also: Tar sands oil country on fire; NC violates U.S. law; Trump finds new way to offend Latinos...
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2016 5:19pm PT  

Are Republican voters 'warming up' to the science of climate change? A new study suggests as much, as CNN columnist and environmental reporter John D. Sutter details on today's BradCast. [See link to audio of today's show at end of article.]

That news comes not a moment too soon, as record high temps in Alberta, Canada's tar sands oil region (ironically enough) sets the town of Fort McMurray on fire and sends some 80,000 residents scrambling for their lives amidst "apocalyptic" devastation. But are the attitudes of GOP voters on the planet's climate crisis changing quickly enough to prevent the worst effects of global warming, even as the Republican Party's apparent standard-bearer this year, Donald Trump, regards the science as little more than a massive "hoax"?

"I think there's a lot less division on this issue than gets made out in the media," Sutter tells me on today's show. "The skeptical voices, especially on the conservative side, are often heard the loudest. They come through the loudest on blogs. They have big media platforms and they get attention. But I don't think that's representative of what the actual American public thinks, and what the voters think. I do think there's a lot more room for agreement on climate change between conservatives and liberals than is often made out in the media."

In fact, as Sutter notes in his column on the new survey from the Yale and George Mason University's programs on on Climate Change Communication, "The percentage of conservative Republicans (not just Republicans but conservative Republicans) who believes climate change is happening has jumped 19 percentage points in the last two years, to 47%." He goes on to explain why that movement seems to be occurring now and to offer his explanation for the apparent contradiction between a huge majority of GOPers who support research into clean, renewable energy, even as so many of them remain climate crisis deniers.

"I think there's a disconnect between what people believe out there in reality and what politicians are willing to say. Because for them to propose regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant, for example, they'd have to go up against some pretty monied special interests," he says. "There's a difference between real people and what politicians are willing to take up."

We also discuss Sutter's very encouraging recent reporting on the upcoming Washington state Initiative-732, which would put a price on carbon emissions --- "this often gets called the 'Holy Grail' of climate change policies," he says --- so that polluters will no longer be allowed to pollute for free. Just over the border in British Columbia, where a carbon tax was implemented in 2008, he explains, "the sky didn't fall" as predicted by fossil fuel industry opponents. In fact, "their economy has actually been out-pacing the rest of Canada" and "the level of support for the carbon tax has grown over time."

While Sutter's reporting on these issues at the CNN website is fantastic, I felt I still needed to ask him about the dearth of climate reporting on CNN's airwaves where, as a study last month found, viewers "see far more fossil fuel advertising than climate change reporting."

Also on today's BradCast: The U.S. Dept. of Justice notifies of North Carolina that their new law to discriminate against the LGBT community is a violation of the federal Civil Rights Act and may cost the state more than $2 billion in federal education funding; and Donald Trump, who will desperately need Hispanic voters if he hopes to win the Presidency this November, offers a remarkably offensive tweet on Cinco De Mayo. Because, of course he does.

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

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Cruz, Kasich drop after Indiana; Sanders wins and vows to keep going; And Salon's Heather Digby Parton joins us to help make sense of it all...
By Brad Friedman on 5/4/2016 5:20pm PT  

On today's BradCast, just as we warned you on the day he entered the race back in June of 2015 (when everyone else told you his candidacy was a joke), Donald Trump will now be the 2016 GOP nominee for President of these United States. No joke. And, yes, Bernie Sanders is still both running and winning against the front-runner on the Democratic side.

We cover the reported results from Indiana yesterday, including the GOP dead-enders Ted Cruz and John Kasich who have seen the writing on the wall and both finally dropped out of the race. We also cover the upset victory of Sanders over the corporate media's presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, how he is likely to have more such victories in the weeks ahead, and how the MSM does an amazing job of not noticing.

Then, we're joined by our old friend Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo. She was with us this year for a ton of our debate coverage, but was also with me on the show last year on Day 1 of the Trump campaign. At the time she joined me in my belief that Trump was going to receive huge support among the thoroughly brainwashed and fact-addled Rightwingers that now make up the Republican Party following years of fact-free propaganda passed on to them by wingnut talk radio and corporate "news" outlets.

Now that we know Trump will, barring "an act of God", as Parton says, be the GOP nominee, it seemed a perfect time to talk about what it all means and how the mainstream corporate media was so wrong for so long about Trump (and even about Sanders). As Parton notes: "He is the sort of zenith...He is the id of that conservative 'essence' over the course of the last thirty years. And without the media having prepared people for believing that this was normal, that this represented America, I'm not sure [he would have done this well]."

"Let's not forget," she adds, "this was supposed to be the deepest bench, the most awesomely prepared group of Presidential candidates in American history...and it came down to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Out of that entire group, that's what we were left with. And that is a legitimate reflection of the Republican Party."

But does Parton share my concern that Trump could do a helluva lot better in the general election than many gleeful Democrats currently believe? And will the Democratic electorate think twice about selecting Clinton as their nominee, now that Trump will almost certainly be the GOP's? For all of that, you'll have to tune in.

We close out the hour with a few more reminders of how the mainstream corporate media completely misinformed the American electorate about both Trump's rise and his likelihood of securing the Republican nomination. (They told you over and over he'd never win. We warned you over and over otherwise.) And then, finally, we end today's show with a fantastic story about some ballots and a boat and some folks in Rhode Island who helped make democracy possible for a few lucky voters last week...

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

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Guest: Missouri state Sen. Bob Onder (R)...
By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2016 4:21pm PT  

On today's BradCast, as voters head to the polls for the big Presidential Primary in Indiana --- where many of them will again cast 100% unverifiable votes on touch-screen voting systems --- a Republican State Senator from Missouri joins us to explain his bill to do away with such systems in the Show-Me State. [Link to audio of the show at bottom of article.]

In April, St. Louis County held a disastrous local primary election in which, for the first time in years, they used only paper ballots at the polling places, since election officials said they did not have enough time, following the state's Presidential Primary in March, to reprogram the County's touch-screen systems. The County has long given voters the option to vote on hand-marked, optically-scanned paper ballots or on unverifiable touch-screen systems, with more and more voters choosing paper, even as local election officials encouraged them to vote on the oft-failed, easily-manipulated touch-screen machines.

The April disaster occurred when the County's co-Election Directors (one Democrat and one Republican, both of whom have gone on record to state they love the touch-screens and regard them as virtually infallible) failed to provide the correct paper ballots to some 60 precincts. There are now multiple ongoing investigations into the disaster from the state level on down. The Democratic Director has now been suspended and the Republican has tendered his resignation.

It's hardly the first time St. Louis County has screwed up their elections, but those human errors can be corrected with competent personnel. What can never be corrected is the fact that, for example, in the state's Presidential Primary in March, the reported margins of victory were so small (just over a thousand votes on each side), and the number of votes cast on unverifiable touch-screens in MO so large, that it is impossible to know if Trump actually beat Cruz on the Republican side and if Clinton actually beat Sanders on the Democratic side. Not a great way to run elections in the once-key swing state of Missouri.

Republican state Senator Bob Onder joins me on today's program to discuss his bill (SB 771) that calls for doing away with the state's touch-screen voting systems all together. Acknowledging the recent paper ballot foul-ups, Onder explains why the touch-screens are still worse: "you can't audit an electron."

"Only with a paper ballot can we have an auditable, verifiable record of a voter's intent as he or she casts a vote and exercises their most sacred privilege in our democratic republic, which is the right to vote," he says, going on to recall another local election in 2014 "in which the margin was very tight" and where "the loser in that election" is "not really sure he lost."

The GOP's Asst. Majority Floor Leader in the State Senate tells me about the various obstacles his legislation is facing, including from the state's Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander who, he says, "is a big fan of electronic voting machines" and "an enemy of paper ballots."

It's a fascinating and encouraging conversation over all...at least until we discuss the MO Republicans' continuing push for disenfranchising Photo ID voting restrictions in the state, which Onder, unfortunately, supports (though apparently based on fraudulent information provided to him by some notorious GOP "voter fraud" hucksters, as I explain during the program.)

But, hey, we'll take what we can get! And if Republicans are willing to work with the long-time Election Integrity champions at Missourians for Honest Elections on the issue of banning touch-screens, I'll take it! We can try to get Dems on board and fight with Republicans about everything else on another day.

Also on today BradCast: Republican officials in WI and in KS continue their effort to suppress the vote and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report' with good news for lions, elephants and children, but not so good for opponents of fracking...

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

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Plus: Obama's mic drop White House Correspondents Dinner remarks...
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2016 5:28pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, we catch up on a number of stories --- amusing, disturbing and otherwise --- from late last week, over the weekend, and today, in advance of tomorrow's big Primary election in Indiana. [Audio link to the show follows below.]

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

  • Satan's minions are offended by the comparison of Lucifer to Ted Cruz;
  • Last week's outbreak of mass shootings around the country surpassed the number killed in similar shootings in all of Europe for the entire year;
  • The GOP promises legal push-back against the VA Democratic Governor's executive order last week allowing some 200,000 former felons the right to register and vote;
  • Dumb Democrats gleeful about a Clinton "landslide" if Trump wins the GOP nomination (Talking to you, Rob Reiner!);
  • Bernie Sanders believes there will be a "contested" Democratic Presidential nominating convention this summer.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court's (somewhat encouraging?) order late last week on the TX Republicans' unlawful Photo ID voting law;
  • Senate Democrats call for their Republican counterparts to hold hearings on the Voting Rights Act (before millions of more legal voters are disenfranchised this November), as well as on Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court;
  • And finally, a few words on the White House Correspondents Dinner over the weekend, which is, on the whole, a dreadful affair, some excerpts from Obama's amusing final speech there, and the fisticuffs that broke out afterward.

Also, my great thanks to the awesome Danielle and Shane-O from the Thom Hartmann Program for expertly filling in for Desi and me on Friday! Thanks, guys!

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Guest: Election integrity advocate Emily Levy on AuditAZ suit in Phoenix
Plus: DE State Election Commissioner's response to 4,000 'lost' Sanders votes...
By Brad Friedman on 4/28/2016 6:53pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the "election nightmares" continue. We get an explanation, of sorts, about the mysterious "disappearing" Sanders votes in Sussex County, DE on Tuesday night, and one of the two lawsuits filed after Maricopa County (Phoenix), AZ's disastrous March 22nd Primary is dismissed by a local judge.

First up, after a bit of happy news for voters in Vermont and some more Luciferian news for the GOP, we continue to mop up from the ongoing 2016 Primary Election messes, as questions about the reported results in Arizona and Delaware (among many other states) remain.

Thousands of Bernie Sanders votes appeared to "disappear" in Sussex County, DE during tabulation of Tuesday's Primary (as described on yesterday's show). We finally receive an answer or two from the Delaware State Elections Commissioner Elaine Manlove about what might have happened. In short, without saying so directly, she chalks up the apparent disappearance of some 4,000 reported votes --- as captured via results screenshots from Washington Post, The Guardian and elsewhere --- to a clerical human error by the Associated Press, from whom many media outlets take their numbers on Election Night.

While her explanation --- which I share in full on the show --- has the ring of truth to it, the fact is that DE uses 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) systems across the entire state. And, as her answers make clear, while certain FOIAs can be filed, there is really no way for voters to ever know that any of the reported results from Tuesday actually reflect the will of the voters. Tune in for the complete details and explanation and, yet again, why DRE voting machines can never satisfy a justifiably skeptical public hoping to be able to oversee their own public elections.

Then, I'm joined by longtime election integrity champion Emily Levy, who worked with the transpartisan EI group AUDIT-AZ on the lawsuit filed just after Arizona's disastrous March 22nd Primary, when voters across Maricopa County (Phoenix) faced hours long lines to vote. The problems occurred after County Recorder Helen Purcell radically decreased the number of polling places from 211 in 2012, to just 60 this year. The suit also sought to obtain answers to reports by some voters that registrations had mysteriously switched from Democratic to independent (thus, preventing those voters from casting a normal ballot in the state's closed Primary).

After two days of disturbing testimony "in a courtroom packed with voters and elections officials," including Purcell, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David Gass dismissed the case on the basis that plaintiffs didn't offer proof that the election results would be overturned if they were allowed to proceed with discovery and a full trial.

Levy tells me the judge failed to rule on the Constitutional issues raised in the suit, and focused only on the state's Election Code "which apparently requires that we be able to --- in the 5 days we have between certification of the election and the deadline to file a case --- prove exactly what the problems were, and that they would have affected the outcome of the election."

"The election code really needs to be changed, because we need to have the ability to contest elections in meaningful ways," she says, adding: "I've seen the same thing in other states." As have I. Both the AZ and DE stories discussed on today's show underscore why it's so important to get election procedures and processes right before an election, rather than waiting until afterword, when it's generally too late to do anything about it. It's also another reminder why the Voting Rights Act --- which used to allow for that in some locations, like Maricopa --- needs to be restored after being gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013.

In the meantime, the legal complaint filed by the DNC, as joined by both the Clinton and Sanders campaign, along with a separate investigation by the DoJ, both continue to move forward. AUDIT-AZ's official response to the dismissal is posted, along with declarations and other documents from the case, on their website, ElectionNightmares.com.

Finally, we close today with Donald Trump going "nuclear" over climate and much more in our latest Green News Report' with Desi Doyen...

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

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Plus: 'Serial child molester' Hastert sentenced; Encouraging green news; And listener calls...
By Brad Friedman on 4/27/2016 5:39pm PT  

On today's BradCast, following the Northeastern Primaries on Tuesday in PA, CT, MD, DE and RI, the 2016 cycle gets even stranger, if that's even possible. But, first, the longest serving Republican U.S. House Speaker in U.S. history is sentenced to 15 months in prison for a crime related to being a "serial child molester," according to the judge.

74-year old former Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) will serve more than a year in jail after pleading guilty in a hush-money case related to payments to one of his 14-17 year old victims during the time he served a high school wrestling coach years earlier. "Nothing is worse than using serial child molester and Speaker of the House in the same sentence," U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin said during today's sentencing in Chicago, marking yet another shameful disgrace from the years of GOP control of Congress during the Presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Then, as if the 2016 Presidential race couldn't get any more bizarre, imaginary GOP nominee Ted Cruz today named his imaginary Vice-Presidential running mate, who promptly broke into song. Really.

Then, results from Donald Trump's reported crushing landslide victories in five states yesterday, Hillary Clinton's huge reported wins in four of those five states, what Bernie Sanders plans to do do now, and some concerns about the accuracy of Tuesday's reported results (some debunked, some not.)

Then, phone calls from listeners on all of the above.

And, as if all of that's not enough, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown and, other than that, some actually encouraging green news, believe it or not!

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

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