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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, May 26, 2016
A Minimum Income and Maximum Infrastructure?: 'BradCast' 5/26/16
Guest host Angie Coiro with Dave Johnson of Campaign for America's Future; Plus: Historians on the Trump/Hitler comparison...
L.A. County Clerk Explains 'Uncharted Territory' of CA Primary: 'BradCast' 5/25/16
Guest: L.A. Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan; Plus: Orange County, CA pollworker-in-training w/ viral video calls in...
Why Dems Should be BEGGING Sanders to Stay in Through CA: 'BradCast' 5/24/16
Guest: Washington Monthly's David Atkins; Plus: Sanders files for 'recanvass' in KY and very good news for OH voters!...
'Green News Report' 5/19/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Canada insurers call for climate strategy; Pakistan and India heat wave; Renewables record in Portugal; Exxon killed the electric car; PLUS: Trump preps for rising seas (really!)...
Previous GNRs: 5/19/16 - 5/17/16 - Archives...
Think Twice About 'Bernie or Bust': 'BradCast' 5/23/16
Columnist and Sanders supporter Harold Meyerson offers some historic warnings for other Sanders supporters; Also: More bad polls for Clinton; More bad 'track conditions' for Dems; Planet's climate crisis worsens...
Sunday Toons of the Slowly-Realized Moment
A number of toons in PDiddie's collection of this week's best should be prize winners, frankly. Check them all out...
Jill Stein: 'We're Seeing the Dean Scream of 2016': 'BradCast' 5/19/16
The Green Party's 2012 Presidential nominee and 2016 candidate offers thoughts on Dems, Sanders, the 'two-party system', the 'spoiler effect' and more in our exclusive interview...
'Green News Report' 5/19/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump will toss UN climate pact; Coal export terminal halted in WA; Nestle water plant halted in OR; Duke ordered to close coal ash pits in NC; PLUS: Another climate win for kids in MA...
Previous GNRs: 5/17/16 - 5/12/16 - Archives...
OR, KY Results, And 'Fraud' Concerns Examined (Where Possible): 'BradCast' 5/18/16
Also: Climate disaster in Sri Lanka; CT adds automatic voter registration; KS ordered to restore voting rights to 18,000...
Trump Gains on Clinton; Big Win Against Coal in WA State: 'BradCast' 5/17/16
Sierra Club's Mary Anne Hitt on another huge win for grassroots activism; And corporate media fails us again...
'Green News Report' 5/17/16
Global climate protests ignored by MSM; New evacuations for Ft. McMurray fire; New EPA methane rules; Shell spills in Gulf; A win for whales; PLUS: April 2016 hottest ever...
MO Repubs Seek To State Amendment To Impose Photo ID Voting Restrictions
Some state Dems back 'compromise' that will leave 200k legally registered voters at risk of disenfranchisement...
SCOTUS Punts ObamaCare Case; NV Dems Descends Into Chaos: 'BradCast' 5/16/16
Ian Millhiser on Court's latest unprecedented (post-Scalia) move; Chaos at NV state Dem convention...
Sunday Toons of the Moment
Big Government bathroom inspections in NC, Trump and Sanders shaking up the establishment, and more in PDiddie's collection of the week's best political toons...
Strange Days Indeed: 'BradCast' 5/13/16
Oil Spills; Pathological Trump lies; GOP transgender freak outs; EXCLUSIVE details on MD's decertification of Baltimore's 4/26 Primary Election results...
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: Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan
Also: Ashley Beck, Orange County, CA pollworker-in-training, calls in to respond to Orange County's response to us about her viral video describing incorrect training instructions...
By Brad Friedman on 5/25/2016 6:03pm PT  

On today's BradCast, I'm joined by Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan to discuss a blizzard of questions, concerns and confusion faced by voters here in CA in advance of the state's highly-charged June 7 Presidential Primary in the nation's single largest voting jurisdiction. [Audio link for the complete show is posted below.]

Logan describes the new laws and systems in place for this year's election as as "uncharted territory" for voters. He goes on to respond to a pile of questions --- from both me and callers --- about the state's insanely confusing system of both open and closed partisan primaries, as well as Vote-by-Mail issues and misconceptions, and a number of concerns about voter registration purges, poll worker training and much more. Here in Los Angeles we have nearly 5 million registered voters --- more in this county alone than 42 of the 50 states. So, Logan clearly has his work cut out for him. The number of excellent questions from listener callers alone underscores both that point and the amazing number of moving pieces that will need to be held together to avoid disaster on June 7th.

The County Clerk also speaks to a lot of the misinformation that has circulated, of late, concerning CA elections in general and about Los Angeles County specifically. For example, he tells me that 85% of Provisional Ballots in the last general election were, in fact, confirmed as having been cast by properly registered voters and were included in the final tally. Yes, he says, voters registered with "No Party Preference" in California can vote in the Democratic Presidential Primary, but must request a "Democratic Cross-Over" ballot at the precinct or by mail (if they receive a Vote-by-Mail ballot request by March 31). Yes, a "No Party Preference" VBM voter may still vote at the precinct in the Democratic, Libertarian or American Independent Party primaries, even if they've already received a VBM ballot for a different party, so long as that ballot is surrendered at the polling place on Election Day. No, those NPP voters cannot vote in the Republican, Green, or Peace & Freedom Party primaries, which are closed to all but registered party members.

Frankly, there's too much to summarize here. So, please give the show a listen. It's incredibly informative.

Also, today, I share the response I recently obtained from Orange County, CA Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley, concerning a viral video posted by a pollworker-in-training (and Bernie Sanders supporter), who alleges that she was misinstructed by her trainer on the proper procedures for "No Party Preference" voters who might wish to vote in the Democratic Primary. Kelley told me he was confused by the woman's video, because, he says, they "surveyed many poll workers in the class in question, as well as our trainer, and they have a very different view of the interaction" she discusses on the video. He tells me that, "in an abundance of caution" the County has reiterated the proper procedures to all pollworker trainers and have posted a video that "clairifes our efforts to ensure proper training of the rights and options for NPP voters".

And then, the woman who posted that viral video, Ashley Beck, happened to call in to the show with her own response to Kelley's response!

It all made for very lively radio today --- with all of that and much more, including today's breaking news about alleged violations of provisions of the Federal Records Act by Hillary Clinton, according to a new audit of her use of a private email server, issued by the U.S. State Department's independent Inspector General.

Listen up! (And, please note, we'll have guest hosts in for The BradCast over the next couple of days! Be nice to them! And enjoy!)

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

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, journalist David Dayen of Salon, Fiscal Times
PLUS: Polls open, lines begin in WI; Polls open, ballots gone in St. Louis, MO; And MSNBC tells us why Sanders was slighted on air on eve of crucial primary...
By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2016 5:44pm PT  

On today's BradCast: All too predictable voting problems in the state of Wisconsin and in St. Louis, MO today; MSNBC responds to our request for comment on why Bernie Sanders received short shrift on Rachel Maddow's show last night, on the eve of the crucial Badger State primary; And we debunk wingnut nonsense concerning the minimum wage as $15/hour victories come to California, New York and elsewhere. [Link to audio for complete show below.]

First, while voters wait on line to try and obtain new Photo IDs so they can vote at all today under the GOP's new voting restrictions in WI, many St. Louis County voters showed up for local elections in MO, only to find no ballots at all to vote on. Then, we explain what happened last night on Maddow's show to suggest that Hillary Clinton was polling ahead of Sanders in WI by 6 points, when the vast majority of pre-election polls in the state suggest the exact opposite. MSNBC responds to our query late today, to tell us that the issue was due to a technical error later corrected for the Midnight re-run and online versions of her show. Full details on that in today's program.

Then, in the wake of bills signed into law this week by the Governors of both NY and CA to raise the minimum wage to $15, we speak to financial journalist David Dayen about the Right's feigned concern about job loss (but only when it comes to raising the Minimum Wage), as well as the real concerns about the increase, and activists have had an extraordinary impact on the entire conversation about the decades long wealth gap between the rich and everyone else in the U.S.

Dayen explains why the new law, in CA alone, as he also reported at Salon last week, is a very big deal: "1 in every 8 workers in America is a Californian. Under this proposal, over 33% of them are going to get a raise at some point along the way between now and 2022. And thereafter, because after 2022, the minimum wage gets tied to inflation, so it keeps going up."

"It's really a testament to the power of activism. Before the 'Fight For 15' inaugurated in 2012, nobody would have believed that you could get a $15 an hour living wage, minimum, in a state as big as California. So, really, hats off to the #FightFor15 workers, who really pushed this," he says, offering kudos at the same time to both the Occupy movement and the Sanders campaign. "All of this is rumbling forward and moving Democrats who control states like California and New York into places that they were uncomfortable to go previously. And that is a testament to how this issue of inequality has become the functional, primary issue in American politics today."

Dayen, author of the upcoming book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street's Great Foreclosure Fraud, also responds to the "hand-wringing on the part of economists and business leaders," when it comes to potential job loss in the wake of raised wages.

"We see all kinds of experiments" with the economy, he argues. "We see workers used as guinea pigs all the time by businesses" in all matter of schemes that may benefit those businesses, but not their workers. "These same economists are so worried about the fate of workers with this experiment with the minimum wage have never said a darn thing about all of these experiments that hurt workers --- that we knew were going to hurt workers at the time --- because it was literally about cutting their wages and getting rid of their benefits and putting them in hazardous workplaces. Spare me this rhetoric that you care about workers when you've sat by idly over 40 years as work has become more and more and more devalued."

But will raising the minimum wage, in fact, cost jobs? And, if so, does it even matter? Tune in for his answers to that and much more in a fascinating conversation on today's show --- one which you won't hear, for some reason, on Fox "News" or CNN...

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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'We are literally hitting the system harder than Nature, to our knowledge, has ever hit it,' warns Penn State's award-winning climate scientist
ALSO: More concerns about upcoming primaries in WI, NY and D.C....
By Brad Friedman on 3/31/2016 6:14pm PT  

Fighting to keep our eyes on stuff that matters, on today's BradCast we cover several new concerns for voters in upcoming Presidential primary elections in WI, NY and D.C., as well as some surprising new poll numbers, before moving on to the most important story of our time. [Audio link to complete show at bottom of article.]

Climate scientist and author Dr. Michael E. Mann joins us to discuss, among other related matters, the new temperature records that have stunned even folks like him, as new data was released this month on an increase in global heat that scientists are describing as "staggering", "astronomical" and like "something out of a sci-fi movie".

Professor Mann, who heads up the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, tells me that, with this year's El Niño event finally subsiding, scientists had expected global temperatures to decline along with it. "But, instead, the February numbers came in and not only did we not see a cooling off, we saw unprecedented warmth. It was the largest departure from the average for a given month that we've ever seen."

"What was so surprising was just the magnitude of that warmth, basically taking us now into the territory of more than 2 degrees Celsius warming," years earlier than expected, he says, referencing the amount of warming that scientists, worldwide, believe to be a threshold for dangerous and potentially irreversible impacts on humanity and our climate systems. "We're still on track for the globe to exceed that permanently in a matter of decades. What we didn't expect was that we'd actually cross that threshold so soon."

The creator of the infamous "hockey stick graph", and author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines explains the new "warning sign" represented by the latest data which, he says, looks like "maybe we accidentally took a temperature from February 2030 from a climate model simulation."

Mann goes on to explain the details of another stunning new report finding that the amount of carbon now being introduced by man into the atmosphere by no parallel on Earth, even going back 66 million years when the planet was 5 degrees Celsius warmer than it is now. That was due to a still-unexplained yet massive carbon release of about 1 billion tons each year for some 4,000 years, resulting in 100,000 years of warming. Now, however, humans are emitting about 10 billion tons of carbon annually and changing the planet much more quickly than during that Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (or PETM) period some 56 million years ago.

"You can think about it as a medical experiment," says Mann, "where a dose was given to a set of patients, and that dose led to near-death. The biosphere nearly died in the sense that we had mass extinctions during the PETM. That was for a dose of one unit. What we're doing now is we're giving the patient ten times that dose. And to expect that we're not going to see similarly bad things happen as a result would be foolhardy. We are literally hitting the system harder than Nature, to our knowledge, has ever hit it."

The good professor, who has long been personally targeted by the Rightwing climate denialist industry also offers a few thoughts on the "bad faith" arguments on climate change by the Koch Brothers and the various Republican Presidential candidates, as well as the corporate mainstream media's (lack of) coverage of this existential threat. And, I'm happy to add, he also shares "a little bit of good news" along with all of this, including details of some tentative new studies suggesting our ability to overcome the looming disasters may not be "as bleak as we once thought."

So there's that, before we finish up today's show with some rather encouraging news about electric cars that might just help a bit with all of the above...

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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300k otherwise-legal voters imperiled by WI GOP's new Photo ID law...
By Brad Friedman on 3/30/2016 5:36pm PT  

On today's BradCast, in the wake of the disgraceful voter suppression that took place last week in AZ (and, before that, in IL, MO, NC, FL, etc. so far this cycle), we detail, among other things, the disasters that await voters next week during the crucial Dem and GOP primaries in Scott Walker's WI.

Despite being found illegal and/or unconstitutional by three different courts, the Badger State's new Photo ID voting restriction, instituted by state Republicans, will be in place next week for the first time during a major election. The law, determined by a federal court to imperil the otherwise legal votes of some 300,000 already-registered voters, will be implemented nonetheless, thanks to a factually-inaccurate ruling by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2014.

That, despite the federal judge who found it "absolutely clear," based on evidence and expert testimony during the lengthy trial he oversaw, that Wisconsin's Photo ID voting restriction will "prevent more legitimate votes from being cast than fraudulent votes." And, also, despite the lack of required notice the state has given to voters concerning the disenfranchising new restriction on voting rights.

So, buckle up for that fun and for remaining primary disasters in other states where too many registered voters are waiting until Election Day to be surprised by changed voting rules, long lines and mysteriously changed party registrations. (Yes, talking to you, NY and CA voters, among many others!)

We also get some more information on the mystery concerning all of those delegates Bernie Sanders was supposed to have won last week in WA and hear about the harrowing tale of the 82-year old African-American plaintiff challenging NC's Photo ID voting restriction.

Finally, we take a ton of listener calls today, for a happy change, on all of the above and much more in another very lively BradCast!...

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: Mother Jones' Kevin Drum on the not-much-angrier-than-usual electorate and a bunch of things that are actually 'going great' in the U.S....
By Brad Friedman on 3/21/2016 5:54pm PT  

I realize it's strictly verboten in talk radio and, probably, against an FCC rule somewhere, but, today, we've got nothing but good news on The BradCast! Well, mostly. Well, at least compared to the bulk of what you'll hear from the corporate media and the bulk of the political campaigns they bother to report on where outrage earns listeners, viewers and readers. [Audio link to the full show is below.]

First up, a number of a relatively encouraging stories, including: Obama goes to Cuba as the first American President to visit the Cold War-ravaged island nation in more than 50 years; An update (with some good news and some bad) on the Illinois county where thousands of voters were turned away without voting last week due to ballot shortages (which we covered in detail on last Friday's show); A new poll finds Utah (Utah!) could go Democratic this year if Trump is the GOP nominee. (And guess which Democrat does best against him?); Bernie Sanders holds a huge event in Seattle in advance of several primaries and caucuses this week in western states, about which his campaign is reportedly very optimistic; and Rush Limbaugh freaks out and misinforms listeners because a new film documents how his business model is about freaking people out and misinforming listeners.

Then, I'm joined by the intolerably reasonable blogger Kevin Drum of Mother Jones, who argues that the electorate isn't nearly as "angry" as the corporate media continue to (mis)report them to be (speaking of "business models"), before he goes on to offer his (apparently controversial) list of the "Top Ten Things That Are Going Great in America".

Really? Many things are going great?! That's simply outrageous! Drum explains how such outrage --- even over legitimate concerns --- can sometimes keep very real problems (such as high lead levels in places around the country other than Flint, for example) from being reported, noticed and even fixed at all.

On the "outrage" from this year's voters, Drum explains: "Anybody who has been watching elections in the United States for awhile knows that we hear this every four years. Every four years the voters are 'angrier than they've ever been'. You think that Donald Trump's rallies have gotten a little bit violent? Been a few arrests? It's nothing compared to what was going on with George Wallace back in 1968."

"This year, you've got a guy, Donald Trump, who's feeding on it. It's really the candidates more than it is the people themselves. You've got a candidate who can really gin up the anger that's already out there, and make it seem worse than it's been before." Drum makes the case as to why it's not voter "anger" about politics and the economy that driving them to someone like Trump, as the media suggest, but something else very specific. But, you'll have to listen to find out what that is.

"I sort of blame talk radio --- present company excluded, of course --- but conservative talk radio and Fox News, for leading the way on this outrage politics," he says. "And, I think, as time goes by, a lot of other sources, including those of us on the left, see it happening on our side as well."

On the left?! That's infuriating! Please enjoy the show below. No outrage necessary...

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: Documentarian Jen Senko; PLUS: GOP unraveling continues...
By Brad Friedman on 3/17/2016 5:55pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the GOP continues to unravel, in both its Presidential nomination process and its increasingly untenable stand against even holding a hearing for Obama's U.S. Supreme Court nominee, and we speak to the filmmaker of a new documentary examining both the rise of the vast Rightwing media machine and how it has succeeded in tearing apart countless American families with its brilliant lies, conspiracies and rabid hostility.

First up, the quixotic search for a Donald Trump alternative continues for the GOP, as John Kasich's fanciful quest for the nomination after winning only the primary in his home state of Ohio continues. That, while Ted Cruz, the only mathematically viable (and, yet, hated) alternative for gaining enough delegates to actually win the nomination, welcomes a notoriously discredited, Islamaphobic conspiracy theorist into his campaign as a national security adviser. Some "alternative"!

And, as if that's all not embarrassing enough for Republicans, President Obama's nomination yesterday of the very moderate and well-respected D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court is already proving problematic for Senate Republicans who have vowed to not even hold hearings for any nominee made by this President. The Senate Judiciary Committee's Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who has repeatedly supported and promoted Garland in the past, including for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, had trouble facing even the usually friendly questioning of Fox "News" in light of his party's bizarrely ill-conceived campaign.

Then, speaking of Fox "News" and dysfunction, I'm joined by documentary filmmaker Jen Senko to discuss her new film, The Brainwashing of My Dad. The documentary details both the rise of the Rightwing media in the U.S. over the past several decades and her own father's disturbing transition from a peaceful, loving Democrat into a hostile, angry 'conservative' after becoming addicted and, yes, brainwashed by Rush Limbaugh, Fox "News" and the rest of the "vast Rightwing conspiracy" machine that has torn apart so many families like her own.

While the film's tagline is "The truth behind the right-wing media machine that changed a father...and divided the nation," an alternative version for so many who will recognize, within their own families, the story of what happened to Senko's father, might have been: "You are not alone!"

"When I started the Kickstarter campaign" for the film, she tells me, "people just started writing me every day, with these heartbreaking stories about so-and-so in their family wouldn't speak to them anymore, or they couldn't talk about anything without them getting angry. It was really shocking. That's when I realized what a phenomenon it was."

Senko explains how her suspicions about what was happening to her father over the years, thanks to Rush, Fox, the endless forwarded emails containing long-disproven conspiracies about the Clintons, Obama and the so-called "liberal media" constituted actual brainwashing, as described by a number of experts in the film.

We discuss not only the long rise of what Hillary Clinton accurately described, in 1998, as the "vast Rightwing conspiracy" machine, but Democrats' own culpability in the scheme, and how it has all culminated in the ascendancy of someone like Donald Trump as the GOP frontrunner for President of the United States in 2016. The non-RW media, Senko notes, "keep saying people are angry because of the way the system is going. No. They're angry because of Fox News and rightwing media --- that includes emails from think tanks and so forth --- [which] have told them lies."

Without giving away the ending to her film, I'll just note that it is both encouraging and underscores that, just perhaps, there is a way out of the ugly, angry mess that so many families --- not to mention the country itself --- now find themselves in after decades of being repeatedly battered by the Republicans' well-crafted political lie machine.

And speaking of encouraging news, we finish up today with a bit of exactly that on St. Patrick's Day, underscoring that, yes, progressive change may take a long time (a very long time, in this case), but it eventually comes and the struggle is always worth it...

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GUESTS: Salon's Heather Digby Parton, CFA's Dave Johnson...
By Brad Friedman on 3/4/2016 4:08pm PT  

On today's BradCast, coverage, analysis, insight, snark and fact-checking following last night's amazing GOP Debate on Fox "News" in Detroit between the four remaining candidates Trump, Cruz, Rubio and Kasich. [Audio link to complete show is below.]

I'm joined on the show today by our post-debate analysis champeen, Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo, as well as long-time blog friend, first time BradCaster Dave Johnson, formerly of Seeing the Forest and now Senior Fellow at the progressive Campaign for America's Future.

Says "Digby" today when I ask her if she's having fun yet this election cycle: "Of course, from the perspective of a political junkie, it's never been better. But from the perspective of a citizen and a human being, this is one of the scariest [elections] ever, maybe the scariest ever."

Says Johnson about the raucous --- and arguably profane --- madness on display in Detroit last night: "I'm so old, I remember when Bill Clinton was asked if it was boxers or briefs, and the whole country was shocked. Yes, the debate was raucous, not something you'd want your kids to see. It was empty of policy, and I think we're going to see Trump's poll numbers go way up...It was embarrassing."

In addition to bringing some reality to the Republican Party's now, full-on panic and fantastical notions of somehow, by hook or crook, taking down Trump before he secures the nomination and, yes, discussing the facts in response to what little policy actually was alluded to last night (Just one question on Flint? During a debate in Detroit?!), we also discuss the current status of the race between Sanders and Clinton following Super Tuesday in what is, no doubt, the smartest --- and, occasionally, most amusing --- post-debate analysis in the whole wide world! Enjoy!...

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GUEST: Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser...
By Brad Friedman on 2/16/2016 5:24pm PT  

The fallout from the sudden death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia continues on today's BradCast.

First, the GOP continues to coalesce around the unprecedented idea that President Obama should not be allowed to appoint Scalia's successor, though some key cracks in that radical position may be emerging in the U.S. Senate.

Constitutional law expert and Supreme Court historian and author Ian Millhiser joins us to discuss the extraordinary stance by Senate Republicans, how it could result in a Constitutional crisis on a number of levels, and how Scalia's death means that much of what we thought we knew about cases already heard, but where the Court's opinions have not yet been handed down, is all now upside down.

"What Scalia's death means, in a lot of these cases, is where it looked like there was a possibility of a sweeping conservative change to law, that just doesn't look like it's on the table anymore," Millhiser says, as we examine how Scalia's death has changed everything we thought we knew about a number of very big cases now before the court --- on everything from immigration to women's rights to union rights to Congressional redistricting, affirmative action, the environment and more.

Scalia's votes, Millhiser explains, on opinions that have yet to be handed down by the Court are now null and void. The result could be that several cases that looked very bad for Progressives may now have a much more favorable outcome. In others, however, if Republicans refuse to allow a Presidential nominee to move forward, splits in Circuit Court decisions across the country could occur, with the result of different applications of Constitutional rights depending on which jurisdiction you happen to live in and the "potential for considerable chaos" along with it.

As to the GOP deciding to act responsibly to help avert a number of these potential nightmares for the nation, Millhiser is not optimistic. "What the Republican caucus is doing right now is unprecedented. It's unprofessional," he tells me. "I could come up with a lot of other words for it that I'm not allowed to say on the radio."

"We find ourselves potentially at the beginning of a Constitutional crisis right now, because it's not like Republican Senators are likely to be any keener to approve someone to the Supreme Court if its Hillary Clinton's nominee or a Bernie Sanders' nominee. So we could be waiting a really long time."

"Chances are the country is going to be in the exact same position if Mitch McConnell is still the Majority Leader [next year]," he notes ominously, adding that as many as three other vacancies on the Court could occur during the next Presidency. "It's possible these seats could remain vacant for years."

"For years"?! Oy. All of that and much more on today's show, including Desi Doyen and our latest Green News Report with a bit good news for a change!...

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GUESTS: Salon's Heather Digby Parton, The Nation's Joshua Holland...
By Brad Friedman on 2/15/2016 4:30pm PT  

As you may suspect, it's a very busy program on today's BradCast for some reason.

Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo and Joshua Holland of The Nation and the "Politics and Reality Radio" podcast join me for coverage of both the political (and perhaps Constitutional) earthquake following Saturday's sudden death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and for the insane Republican Presidential Debate that took place in the wake of that huge news just hours later.

We discuss the bombshell Scalia news and the unprecedented response from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who immediately vowed to keep President Obama from his Constitutional duty of nominating and appointing a new Justice --- with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate --- now that the appointment would serve to tip the balance of the Court 5 to 4 toward Democratic Presidential appointees.

Meanwhile, at the GOP debate in South Carolina shortly thereafter on Saturday night, every remaining Republican Presidential candidate called for Senate Republicans to block any nomination made by this President. And, as if that's not insane enough, the entire debate then quickly devolved into a remarkable Pro Wrestling-style shouting and name-calling spectacle which, frankly, left me --- as well as my guests today --- more than a bit gobsmacked and amused.

From the word "LIAR!" used dozens of times by several candidates to the 15-years late Republican debate over who to blame for 9/11 and the Iraq War(!), I think I'm fairly safe in saying we have never seen any Presidential debate like it.

As Ohio Gov. John Kasich said at one point during the madness on display Saturday night, just days before this weekend's GOP Primary in South Carolina (which will be run on 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems): "I gotta tell ya, this is just crazy. This is just nuts. Jeezo, man."

Couldn't have said it better myself...

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GUEST: Political science researcher Sean McElwee of Demos
ALSO: Disturbing Photo ID voter suppression in NH and elsewhere; OR militia standoff finally over; Massive Porter Ranch, CA natural gas leak finally stopped...
By Brad Friedman on 2/11/2016 4:56pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Breaking news out of Oregon and California, more disturbing voter suppression news out of New Hampshire and elsewhere and a new study finds hard evidence that "racial resentment" is central to the so-called "Tea Party" movement.

First up, the latest breaking news on the bizarre and bitter end of the Rightwing militia standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon and the concurrent arrest of Nevada's scofflaw rancher Cliven Bundy.

Next, more disturbing Photo ID voter suppression news out of New Hampshire and elsewhere, including a new paper out of UC-San Diego finding that strict Photo ID restrictions result in an alarming rate of suppressed Latino and African-American votes. In general elections, for example, based on examinations of some 50 elections in states both before and after implementation of polling place restrictions by GOP lawmakers, "states with strict photo ID laws show a Latino turnout 10.3 points lower than in states without them."

Then, after a brief throwback to the early days of the so-called "Tea Party" (our complete short documentary from 2009, Rise of the Tea Bags, can be enjoyed here), I'm joined by political science researcher Sean McElwee of Demos to discuss his new study, with Jason McDaniel, offering empirical evidence that it is not opposition to "Big Government" or concerns about the economy or spending or taxes that mainly drives those who identify as being sympathetic to the Tea Party --- it's racial resentment.

McElwee explains how his study controlled "for race, ethnicity, partisanship, ideology, income, education, gender, religiosity" and that "once you compare the various strengths of these variables, the one that ends up becoming really the overwhelming predictor of Tea Party identification is racial resentment."

"From the beginning," of the movement, he tells me, "what you're seeing is this sort of racially-coded rhetoric. So, right from the beginning, you have a very great explanation of conservative politics of the last 30 years --- which is plutocratic policies being wrapped up in racist rhetoric in order to benefit a plutocratic agenda. And you have a lot of white middle class and working class people who have bought into that agenda."

"What Fox [News] has done is taken that model and actually weaponized it, politicized it, and used it to attack policies that benefit the vast majority of Americans," McElwee argues, even as the Rightwing network's viewers have little clue how they are being played. "What we have in a lot of cases are people who are very frustrated about what is going on, but lack the political knowledge to actually understand the causal mechanism for how this bad thing is happening. And if you don't have that --- if you don't connect government policy to your lived experiences --- what you end up doing is saying 'I'm upset, I don't know why my life is bad'. And if someone tells you your life is bad because 'immigrants are taking your jobs', or 'the government is helping black people with your tax dollars', people are susceptible to that message."

McElwee goes on to explain how his research finds that many who previously identified with the Tea Party have now folded into the Trump campaign, even though the Republican 2016 front-runner has called for massive government programs and increased spending --- things that Tea Partiers previously decried. We also discuss much more, including whether hatred for Obama from the Right can be attributed to the fact that he is black or, simply, that he is a Democrat.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us with the latest Green News Report and the breaking news out of Porter Ranch, CA that the month's long, massive methane gas leak there has finally been stopped...for now...

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

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GUESTS: Salon's Heather Digby Parton; WashMonthly's Martin Longman...
By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2016 4:35pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we try to make sense of the amazing GOP debate in New Hampshire on Saturday, the final one before tomorrow's First-in-the-Nation primary in the Granite State.

First, I offer a very few quick reminders and action items for those interested in fighting for Election Integrity during tomorrow's primary in NH. This, in a state which uses hand-marked paper ballots, but refuses to actually verify that results are accurately tallied by the state's oft-failed, easily-manipulated Diebold optical-scan computers before announcing results to the public. (For a reminder of the nightmare that occurred on that system back in 2008, you can peruse our Special Coverage here.)

Then, I'm joined for today's post-debate coverage and analysis by two progressive bloggers who have been consistently right for years --- Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo and Martin Longman of Washington Monthly and Booman Tribune --- to discuss where Rubio, Cruz, Trump and the others, including the corporate media, went wrong on Saturday night...and, unfortunately, for so many years prior.

From Rubio's remarkable on-stage meltdown to Cruz' ability to lie with amazing impunity (even when he is actually called out as a "flat-out liar" by CNN!) to the danger that Trump's ability to "win" may hold for both Republicans and Democrats alike.

And, as if that doesn't give us all enough to cover today, we take the time to call out the corporate U.S. media (and the Obama Administration) for allowing this mind-bogglingly precarious moment in U.S. history to even have come about in the first place...

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GUEST: Mayor Cindy Lerner of Pinecrest, FL...
By Brad Friedman on 2/3/2016 5:39pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the latest news in the Presidential contest, including two GOP candidates dropping out today, newly scheduled Democratic debates, new polling since Iowa, and new charges from Donald Trump that Ted Cruz "stole" the GOP's Iowa caucuses!

I also speak with Mayor Cindy Lerner of Pinecrest, FL today, about the open letter [PDF] she recently sent, with 14 other Mayors from across the Sunshine State, to Marco Rubio, seeking a meeting with the Florida U.S. Senator, now a leading candidate for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination, decrying his flip-flops on climate action.

Rubio, as Lerner explains, was once in favor of action to stave off the worst effects of global warming --- such as the sea level rise already encroaching on south Florida towns like Lerner's --- before he decided to run for President and become a climate change denier.

"Marco Rubio and all the Republican candidates who are in denial, it's really part of a campaign strategy, an ideology, that ignores the reality of the consequences we're facing," she tells me.

Lerner notes that where Republicans in Florida had once actual lead on Climate Change, since Republican Gov. Rick Scott took office in 2011, state GOPers have almost completely reversed course. That, even as the "very porous geology that the peninsula of Florida was built on" is already taking on more salt water than can be handled as sea levels rise and "100-year storms" are now "coming several times a year."

"Our infrastructure was never built to contemplate addressing the capacity needs that we now find ourselves in," she explains. "We are literally drowning here in South Florida and have no leadership, clearly, at the state level, and have to rely on our next President understanding the risk that we, and the other coastal communities all over this country, are facing."

She describes Rubio's new position of denial as "beyond disappointing," adding: "It's really disgusting to listen to somebody that we well know he knows better. He's just reading from a script that he thinks is going to help him get into higher office."

"We are ground zero," she says about her Village of Pinecrest and the other towns and cities whose Mayors signed on to the letter seeking a meeting with Rubio. "We are the canary in the coal mine, so to speak, of what's going to be happening throughout the United States, and he needs to stand up and lead on these initiatives."

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GUEST: Jim Naureckas of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting...
By Brad Friedman on 2/1/2016 4:36pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, as voters finally head to the caucuses to cast the very first votes of the 2016 Presidential election year, we examine how the mainstream corporate media have decided for themselves which candidates are and are not acceptable for American voters.

Jim Naureckas of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting joins us to discuss the marginalization of Bernie Sanders and his very popular policies by mainstream corporate media outlets such as the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune.

Somehow, despite more than 30 years as an elected official, Sanders, according to the Times over the weekend, is an "outsider" representing the "fringe" of the Democratic Party base. He does not, as the Tribune recently warned, represent the "broad, sensible center." Ya know, exactly the way Donald Trump is a fringe outsider threatening the "broad, sensible center" of the Republican Party because, as we all know by now, everything is always "fair and balanced" in Mainstream Corporate Media World.

"Much of the corporate media are really trying to maintain the idea that there are acceptable candidates within the circle of acceptable ideas, and candidates who are beyond the pale, who decent voters should turn their back on," Naureckas tells me. "They should listen to the New York Times and vote for one of the approved candidates."

Those "approved candidates," Naureckas wryly explains, are the ones who are "part of the club." Never mind that, unlike Trump's extremist positions, Sanders' policy positions are actually wildly popular --- not just among Democrats, but among the American electorate as a whole. Nonetheless, if follow mainstream print media, the long-serving Vermont Senator is an "outsider" offering "fringe" policies that are far beyond what is acceptable to the "sensible center."

"The way that corporate media use the word 'center' is not the way that ordinary people use it. You'd think that it means the policies that are embraced by a majority of the people are 'centrist' policies. That's not what they mean in the media. They mean policies that are embraced by the establishment. And that can be policies that are quite unpopular --- like cutting Social Security to reduce the deficit is a 'centrist' idea that is wildly unpopular. It's really kind of a shell game on the part of the media to try to present these ideas, that have very little popular support, as the ideas of the 'middle'."

Also on today's program: The DNC appears to be ready to finally add more debates to the schedule, including a new one this week in advance of next Tuesday's New Hampshire primary; Former CIA head and four-star general David Petraeus will face no more penalties (and not a single day in jail) for leaking tons of highly classified information to his mistress/biographer. (Take that, Edward Snowden!); And the very not conservative Donald Trump makes a faux pas while pretending to be an evangelical Christian in Iowa...

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