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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Before the Storm: Dirty Tricks, Voting Rights, Election Integrity and the NH Primary: 'BradCast' 2/9/16
Catching up with a LOT of news, and why voters in every state should be concerned...
'Green News Report' 2/9/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Clinton pushes action for Flint Water Crisis; Trump calls out GOP on eminent domain; Sanders fights to block new pipelines; PLUS: Obama proposes new oil tax...
Previous GNRs: 2/4/16 - 2/2/16 - Archives...
Rubio Short-Circuits, Cruz Keeps Lying, Trump Keeps Winning: 'BradCast' 2/8/16
GOP NH Debate coverage and analysis with Salon's Heather Digby Parton and Washington Monthly's Martin Longman...
Super Sunday Toons!
From the NFL's brain injury epidemic to the questionable brains of the 2016 candidates running for President (and more) in the moment before NH voters go to the primary polls...
'Progress' v. 'Revolution': Bernie and Hillary's Lively NH Debate: 'BradCast' 2/5/16
Coverage and analysis with KY civil rights attorney Joe Dunman and Crooks and Liars' Managing Editor Karoli Kuns...
Black Box Voting's Bev Harris on Iowa Caucus Mess, NH Concerns: 'BradCast' 2/4/16
ALSO: 'Hero of Democracy' Tom Courbat, In Memoriam...
'Green News Report' 2/4/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Dems keep pushing climate action, Repubs keep ignoring it; FL mayors slam Rubio on sea level rise; CA AG files suit over massive gas leak; PLUS: FBI launches Flint probe...
Previous GNRs: 2/2/16 - 1/28/16 - Archives...
FL Mayors Slam Rubio on Climate Flip-Flop; Cruz Accused of 'Fraud' in IA: 'BradCast' 2/3/16
Rising ire, rising tides. Mayor Cindy Lerner of Pinecrest, FL joins us...
What the Hell Just Happened in Iowa?!: 'BradCast' 2/2/16
Concerned about missing votes, coin tosses, videos suggesting fraud? Caucus expert Prof. David P. Redlawsk explains it all (and more) for you...and me...
'Green News Report' 2/2/16
Cruz promises to kill all energy subsidies; Rubio was for climate action, before against it; Crashing oil prices blow hole in NC budget; PLUS: Bad and good news in CA...
Sanders on the 'Edge'? Really, NY Times?: 'BradCast' 2/1/16
Jim Naureckas of FAIR on corporate media's false balance; Plus: More Dem debates; Trump's Iowa faux pas; Leaker Petraeus gets another pass...
Sunday Toons of the Hawkeye State Moment
Documenting the moments before the Iowa Caucuses via PDiddie's weekly collection of political toons...
Microsoft's App at the Iowa Caucuses: 'BradCast' 1/28/16
Also, the latest on the Oregon 'Patriot' standoff with independent journalist Arun Gupta...
'Green News Report' 1/28/16
Dems focus on climate, energy in IA; FL mayors smack Rubio on climate; Flint stuck with bad pipes, water; Poor bear brunt of pollution; PLUS: Victory for coal miners...
Ernie on Bernie: 'BradCast' 1/27/16
BRAD BLOG legal analyst turned Vets for Bernie advisor Ernest A. Canning on Sanders' electability and much more; PLUS: New OR standoff news, GOP/Dem debate controversies, listener calls!...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 2/2/2016 10:29am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Sen. Ted Cruz promises to eliminate all energy subsidies --- but there's a catch; Sen. Marco Rubio was for climate action, before he was against it; Crashing oil prices blow a billion-dollar hole in North Dakota's budget; PLUS: Bad news for salmon, good news for solar, in California... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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

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

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Amid denials, state workers in Flint got clean water; FBI joins drinking water investigation; SEC criticized for lax enforcement of climate risk disclosure; WHO declares Zikia virus a public health emergency; Historic deal to protect Canadian rainforest from logging;
G.E. to phase out C.F.L. lightbulbs... PLUS: SoCal Gas knew Aliso Canyon wells were deteriorating a year before leak... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




GUEST: Novelist, father, Flint resident Connor Coyne
PLUS: GOP bigwigs choose Trump over Cruz; Bernie surges in IA; Vets blast Palin; More...
By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2016 5:11pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: The national media is still missing the disturbing anti-democratic problem at the center of the Flint, MI lead-poisoning disaster; New, kind of amazing, poll numbers out of Iowa for both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders; The GOP establishment continues to warm up to Trump...and much more.

First up, we're joined by Connor Coyne, Flint resident, father and novelist, to discuss his detailed article at Vox on "what the national media got wrong" in their coverage of the city's disastrous and continuing water crisis.

Coyne, who is a stay-at-home dad, says that while his two young daughters appear to be fine at the moment, "Nothing is definitive. And, in a way, that is part of what makes this such a scary experience for all of us. We don't know now, and really will not know for quite some time, how extensive the damage is."

"Flint now has hundreds, possibly thousands, of kids who are going to be dealing with the consequences of this crisis for the rest of their lives," he tells me. "They could live to be 90 years old, they could move anywhere in the world, they're going to be dealing with lead poisoning their entire lives." He adds: "If there is one organization I'd like to give a boost to it's FlintKids.org," a local organization collecting funds to help with medical support that the children of Flint are going to need for a very long time.

Coyne then goes on to explain how this disaster came about, thanks directly to Michigan's appalling, undemocratic "Emergency Manager" system that allows Governor Rick Snyder (R), to unilaterally appoint anyone of his choosing to completely replace local democratically-elected officials, including the Mayor and the entire City Council, in any city he likes, for whatever reason he determines.

It was, in fact, one of Snyder's hand-selected Emergency Managers who switched the city's water supply from the clean Lake Huron to the corrosive Flint River without bothering to put the appropriate filtering system first. As he notes at Vox, it's "inconceivable" that this problem would have occurred or, at least, gone this horribly wrong, "had Flint residents been able to threaten incumbents at the ballot box." But with the Emergency Manager system, there is no such accountability.

"Flint may be the most dramatic example of that system having gone wrong," he tells me. "But I think about all of the cities that have been under Emergency Managers --- Pontiac, Detroit [also Highland Park, Benton Harbor and elsewhere] --- it hasn't really gone right anywhere. Emergency Management doesn't work ethically, but it also doesn't work practically. It just flat out does not work."

Coyne explains how voter turnout has been getting "worse and worse and worse since" Flint's Emergency Manager was installed and, of course, why shouldn't it? Elected officials are stripped of all power under Snyder's tyrannical system. We also discuss how voters, state-wide, voted to do away with the Emergency Manager law in a statewide referendum back in 2012, only to see it immediately re-implemented by state Republicans in an almost identical form --- though with an added provision that legally bars the law from repeal by voter referendum.

Where are the "Tea Partiers" and "Patriot Movement" and "Militiamen" now? And how can it be that even the Washington Post, who reported on this story in December after well over a year of poisonous drinking and cooking and bathing water in Flint, didn't even bother to use the words "Emergency Manager" in their coverage? Unfortunately, WaPo wasn't alone either, as we discuss in our enlightening, if disturbing, interview today.

Also on today's show: The GOP establishment continues to warm up to Donald Trump (because, in no small part, they despise Ted Cruz even more); New polling numbers out of Iowa show fairly remarkable surges for both Trump and Bernie Sanders (though the poll's specific type of sampling may be key in both cases here); Vets blast Sarah Palin for blaming her son's domestic violence arrest and PTSD on President Obama; And Desi Doyen joins us for the Green News Report on the hottest year ever recorded on Planet Earth and much more...

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

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GUEST: Lauren Randall of Sunrun and Alliance for Solar Choice
PLUS: Martin O'Malley, Iowa kingmaker?; Koch Bros. empire built on Nazi money; MORE...
By Brad Friedman on 1/14/2016 4:30pm PT  

On today's BradCast: How outrageous new fees imposed on behalf of Nevada's monopoly electricity company and the state's Big Government Republicans have suddenly resulted in thousands of lost jobs, ripped-off consumers, and a mass exodus of solar companies from the state where the industry had previously been booming.

What did GOP Governor Brian Sandoval --- whose top staffers are also lobbyists for the state's NV Energy company --- know and when did he know it? And how much did he personally have to do with his appointees on the state's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) ripping off solar customers by raising rates on them, while lowering the amount of money rooftop solar owners are paid for selling back unused, clean power to the grid?

Lauren Randall, manager of public policy for Sunrun, which describes itself as the largest dedicated residential solar company in the U.S., and a spokesperson for The Alliance for Solar Choice the rooftop solar industry's advocacy group, joins us to explain what just happened in NV and how it has resulted in Sunrun, Solar City and several other rooftop solar companies being forced to shut down entirely in the state. That, after Sandoval had previously offered incentives to encourage private consumers to invest in clean, solar energy.

"It's absolutely outrageous," Randall tells me on today's program. "The easiest way to understand this is it's a 'bait and switch'. Nevada passed incentives to attract residents to go solar, and then after baiting homeowners with incentives, the state switched the rules, penalizing solar homeowners to deliver basically additional profit to NV Energy."

She says there is a "tremendous amount of backlash from both sides of the aisle on this," after "the rules were changed in the middle of the game for over 16,000 customers who went solar to save money on their electricity bills and to move the country away from fossil fuels and on toward more clean energy."

During the interview, she details how her company is now suing the state to force Sandoval to release communications between himself and his staffers, the PUC and NV Energy, as the industry hopes to roll back the devastating new rules which were announced just before Christmas and took effect on the first of the year.

Sandoval's commission, Randall explains, "just presented the most anti-business, anti-solar rules that we've seen, really anywhere in the country. It's been just catastrophic for families in Nevada. What we're seeing now is upwards of a thousand job losses from this."

Randall is hopeful that public outrage may force the PUC to overturn their new rules that have otherwise just killed the solar industry in sunny Nevada. She charges that the effort is a "coordinated campaign" among fossil fuel-based utility companies in a number of states (and could be coming to a state near you!) and asks folks to sign up to help in the fight.

Also on today's busy show: The Koch Brothers empire was built on Nazi money as well as communist Russian money; Martin O'Malley could decide whether Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders wins Iowa; and Desi Doyen joins us for Green News Report coverage of Obama's final State of the Union address...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/8/2016 5:24pm PT  

On today's BradCast, it was a trip through the week in wingnuttery, as we catch up with a number of stories we've been following of late, including (but not limited to):

• America's dumbest Governor, Paul LePage (R-ME), is apparently also America's most racist;
• President Obama's exceedingly modest and popular executive actions on gun safety freak out the NRA and the stooges who follow them;
• Native Americans in Oregon speak out against the out-of-state militiamen who've taken over a federal facility on their tribal lands;
• The Chief Justice of Alabama's Supreme Court, Roy S. Moore, reignites confusion over same-sex marriage in the state;
• And, Wheaton College shames itself still further by attempting to terminate a tenured professor because she believes Muslims and Christians "worship the same god".

As I said: A week of wingnuttery. (And some well-deserved righteous rants in response.) Enjoy!

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: Stewart Rhodes, President and Founder of OathKeepers.org
PLUS: Obama's announces executive action to take on America's gun scourge...
By Brad Friedman on 1/5/2016 5:16pm PT  

On today's BradCast, I'm back! And with huge thanks to Nicole Sandler of the awesome RadioOrNot.com for filling in for me and Desi over the holidays to help us get some some much-needed time off!

First up on today's show: President Obama announces his Executive Actions to combat the scourge of gun violence in this country.

Then, I'm joined by Stewart Rhodes, Founder and President of Oath Keepers, a group which describes itself as "a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders, who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to 'defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.'"

While the Oath Keepers were on the front lines of the armed 2014 standoff against the federal government at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada, Rhodes has declined to join the ongoing armed take-over of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon by other members of the so-called "Patriot Movement," including two of rancher Cliven Bundy's sons.

Rhodes explains how he believes the showdown at the Bundy Ranch differs from the current situation at Malheur. He claims the former resulted in stopping the "assassination" of the Bundy clan by federal officials, whereas, in the latter case, "I haven't seen any direct threat to anybody's life."

He describes one of the men holed up in the federal Oregon facility as "either insane or an agent provocateur who...wants to see violence," and another as a "loose cannon idiot who has a martyr complex." He suggests that Bundy's son Ammon, who helped lead the takeover in Oregon, is "naive" and "has people right there with him who are unstable, who may initiate violence."

"They want to go down in a glorious firefight," Rhodes warns about at least two of the individuals. "If they don't get that, it's entirely possible they might initiate it." And while the other Bundy son, Ryan, has reportedly said he was "willing to kill and be killed if necessary," in the stand-off, Rhodes rejects the idea that the men are "terrorists".

I also pressed Rhodes about critiques of his own organization, which has been described as "conspiracy theorists", "vigilantes", "rightwing extremists" and even "racists" at various times. Many have accused them and others in the Patriot and Militia Movements of looking to pick fights with the federal Government. I ask him why his group and others like it didn't come to the aid of the Occupy Movement when those peaceful protests were brutally crushed by local, state and federal officials back in 2011 and why they haven't been louder in opposition to the ongoing epidemic of police violence across the country.

We also discussed the claims made in a Rolling Stone feature article this week, charging that former Oath Keeper Sam Andrews was drummed out of the group for attempting to organize with African-Americans in Ferguson, MO. Rhodes calls Andrews a "liar".

As to the Bundys, Rhodes claims the family took advantage of his group back in 2014. "We didn't go there to get cattle back. We went there to keep the Bundy family from being murdered. They then took advantage of that situation and went and got their cattle back," he tells me. "They didn't say 'come help us with armed supporters to go get our cattle back'. That's not what they did. They said 'we're about to be murdered, come protect us'. And so Ammon Bundy has displayed the propensity to deceive people. And he's doing that right now [in Oregon.]"

There was a lot more in our spirited conversation --- we both agree, for example, about the outrage of "minimum sentencing" laws of the type at the center of the current dispute up in Oregon right now, as well as at the heart of the so-called "Drug War" --- but you'll have to give the full show a listen for complete details...

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

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Guests: Move to Amend's David Cobb; EDF's Tim O'Connor
Guest Hosted by Nicole Sandler
By Nicole Sandler on 1/4/2016 2:16pm PT  

On today's BradCast, guest host Nicole Sandler of Radio or Not speaks with David Cobb from Move to Amend about their efforts to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

She also checks in with Tim O’Connor of the Environmental Defense Fund about the ongoing leak and toxic methane gas cloud hanging over Porter Ranch, just north of Los Angeles, and why this could be more dangerous than the Deepwater Horizon spill a few years back.

And the crazy militia people are at it again! (But Brad will finally be back tomorrow to discuss that and more!)

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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




GUEST: Dr. Joe Romm on the historic U.N. Paris Agreement and beyond
PLUS: KY's new GOP Guv disenfranchises 140,000; Trump supporter arrested with bomb...
By Brad Friedman on 12/23/2015 5:41pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we've got both good news and bad at year's end.

First up, Kentucky's new 'Tea Party' Republican Governor Matt Bevin revokes the restoration of voting rights for 140,000 former felons as instituted by the former Democratic Governor. That, after the dubious and completely unverified results of the state's November gubernatorial contest. Yes, as we've noted for well over a decade now, elections matter! Bevin also did away with the previous governor's increase to the minimum wage for state workers, while he was at it.

Also today, quick news on the Trump supporter (a middle-aged white guy) arrested with a bomb after threatening to kill Muslims at a mosque in California more than two weeks ago. Also, a quick word on the record number of sign-ups this year at Healthcare.gov for new and renewed health insurance policies thanks to the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare").

Then, I'm joined by Dr. Joe Romm, editor of Climate Progress and former Asst. Sec. of Energy in the Bill Clinton Administration, after his return from Paris where the UN struck its historic agreement just over one week ago to curb greenhouse gasses that cause global warming.

As usual, Romm offers extremely informed and helpful insight, including his explanation for how the UN talks began earlier this month with the challenging goal of an agreement that would keep global temps from rising any higher than 2 degrees Centigrade, but surprisingly ended with an landmark pact that included the aspirational goal of 1.5C.

"It became clear from just looking at the science that there's nothing safe about 2 degrees Centigrade," he explains. "What we've learned in the last 18 months, with the instability in the West Antarctic ice sheet, and all the extreme weather events that we're already seeing, and the brutal droughts we're seeing in this country and elsewhere, that we're already at dangerous impacts, and we're only at 1 degree Centigrade of warming. So, I think that reality did set in." He adds: "If you want to limit to 2 degrees Centigrade total warming, the planet's net emissions have to go to zero by the end of the century. So, pretty much every country is going to have to go to zero."

Romm details exactly what that means and echoes remarks from my interview with Dr. Michael Mann last week, where Mann declared that the Paris Agreement signals the "end of the age of fossil fuels."

"We are talking about the end of the fossil-fuel driven Industrial Revolution that began 250 or so years ago," Romm tells me. "And that's why, in some senses, this is such a big deal. Because you literally had every single significant country in the world, large and small, rich and poor, all sign on to this agreement, which recognizes, yeah, the age of fossil fuels is coming to an end."

We cover a number of the steps ahead ("I was describing this as Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope. We have a lot more battles before us.") during our wide-ranging conversation that also includes his complaints about Bill Gates' big new clean tech fund, and his response to the charge by NASA's former chief scientist Dr. James Hansen that the Paris Agreement is a "fraud".

"I think we're certainly at an inflection point," says Romm. "You know, change happens slowly, until it happens quickly. I tend to think we have now entered the phase of much more rapid changed than people expected."

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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GUESTS: Salon's Heather Digby Parton; TV and radio's Hal Sparks!...
By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2015 4:35pm PT  

Once again, it's the smartest post-debate analysis you'll find anywhere on today's BradCast, following last night's fear- and war-mongering "national security" GOP debate in Las Vegas (in which neither climate change, nor guns, two of the actual greatest threats to national security, were even discussed.)

Yes, it's now Trump and Cruz' GOP world. All of the other candidates --- and the entire Republican Party (and maybe even you and me) --- just live in it.

I'm joined for today's coverage by our returning champion, the great Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo blog. And, for the first time, I'm also joined by actor, comedian and radio broadcaster Hal Sparks, formerly of E's Talk Soup, Showtime's Queer as Folk and currently of Disney XD's Lab Rats and the Hal Sparks Radio Program Mega-Worldwide on WCPT in Chicago!

As our theme song says, we're "tryin' to make some sense of it all," once again on today's program. No easy feat. But we go well beyond the "horse race" in our analysis, as usual, and as the 2016 Republican Presidential candidates (that's the year they're hoping to win the nomination, not the number running...it just seems that way) worked hard on the stage last night at Sheldon Adelson's Venetian Hotel and Casino to be the manliest-man and bombiest-bomber of them all!

Parton and Sparks offer incisive and lively commentary and fact-checking on what has seemingly now become a two-man race for the nomination. And I try to explain why Democrats ought to be very very careful what they wish for. Enjoy!

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 Ari Berman of The Nation
PLUS: More RW terrorism; More racism from Justice Scalia; U.N. climate conference in Paris turning out much better than expected...
By Brad Friedman on 12/10/2015 5:22pm PT  

On today's BradCast, more rightwing domestic terrorism in the U.S., more Scalia race-baiting, another rightwing challenge to minority voting rights heard by SCOTUS, and some potentially good news for the climate out of Paris. [Link to the full program follows below.]

First up today, another 'active shooter' situation plays out as we go to air. And, once again, the terrorist in question appears to be a rightwinger --- at least based on the 'Tea Party' flag on his pickup truck.

Next, we're joined by The Nation's Ari Berman, author of the recently published Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, to discuss Evenwell v. Abbott, the somewhat astonishing rightwing challenge to minority voting rights heard this week at the U.S. Supreme Court (for some reason).

Despite the "One person, one vote" principal having been seen by most as settled law for about 50 years in the U.S., the Court took up a challenge to that idea brought by the same man who successfully challenged the Voting Rights Act --- which SCOTUS subsequently gutted --- back in 2013. Now comes the idea out of Texas that each state's legislative districts should not be drawn with an approximately equal population in each, as they are now, but rather an equal portion of eligible voters in each Congressional and state house district.

Redrawing maps in this way --- and it would likely need to be done in all 50 states --- would lead not only to chaos, but it have the effect of seriously undercutting minority voting rights, as Berman explains on today's program.

If the plaintiffs in Evenwell are successful, he observes, "many people who are now counted would be excluded, because they are not eligible voters, such as those who are under 18, those who are not U.S. citizens, both documented and undocumented [and] prisoners who have lost the right the vote. All of those people will not be counted [when drawing up legislative maps]. So if you look at the math itself...that will mean that 55% of Latinos, 45% of Asian-Americans, and 30% of African-Americans will not be counted towards representation. And that's why this case is such an attack on minority voting representation."

Few, including Berman, saw such a challenge coming, though perhaps we should have. The case, he tells me, is "brought by the same people that challenged the Voting Rights Act, the same people that challenged affirmative action, and seemingly everything they bring --- particularly this one guy, Ed Blum and his Project on Fair Representation --- everything he brings seems to be heard by this Supreme Court. It's literally like he's sitting around thinking 'What's the next way I can try to attack voting rights? What's the next way I can attack racial equality?' And they keep thinking of more and more creative schemes. And it like they're just going through everything that was done in the 1960s and challenging it --- whether it's the Voting Rights Act or the Fair Housing Act or it's 'One person, one vote'. All of these landmark achievements that have been so successful are now under attack, and this is just the next iteration of this."

After spending months researching for his book, Give Us The Ballot, Berman observes the fight against voting rights today is a continuation of the same fight that has been waged since the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act half a century ago. "There has been a 50 year attempt to try to restrict voting rights. And one of the things that I've noticed is that there's always new ways thought up to try to roll voting rights back. And we've seen a dramatic escalation, I think, of a very old strategy...And they don't seem likely to stop anytime soon."

Berman details how the questions from the Justices at Wednesday's oral arguments to suggest that we are likely looking at another 5 to 4 split decision from the Court...one way or another.

Also today: Justice Antonin Scalia, the Donald Trump of the Supreme Court, offers remarkably offensive comments about African-Americans; Rush Limbaugh's guest host testifies on climate change (sort of) in Ted Cruz' U.S. Senate Science Committee hearing; And the U.N. climate conference in Paris (COP21) comes down to the wire and may be set to produce an even better global agreement than almost anyone had predicted...

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GUEST: Grenada's Energy Policy Advisor Dr. Hugh Sealy from Paris...
By Brad Friedman on 12/8/2015 6:22pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: It's not just Donald Trump, stupid, it's the entire Republican Party. Also, another report from the U.N. climate conference in Paris, this time from the perspective of small island nations.

First up, Senate Republicans, once again, do the bidding of the NRA and terrorists by blocking a Democratic bill to keep those on the Terror Watch List from being able to easily buy guns and explosives.

Then, some weapons grade trolling from Donald Trump, as he calls for a ban on all Muslims entering the U.S. That call has delighted the far right fringes of the party, but they're not the only Republicans who love it. Even Republican U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, while claiming to condemn Trump's dangerous, terror-enabling position, vows to support him should he become the GOP nominee for President of the United States.

It's a sad day when we must turn to Dick Cheney and George W. Bush --- yes, seriously --- for reason among Republicans. That day, however, thanks to years of race baiting by Fox "News" and friends --- and the GOP approving of it all --- is today.

Next, something not quite as regrettably stupid: Another dispatch from the U.N. climate conference in Paris (COP21), this time from Dr. Hugh Sealy, Energy Policy Advisor to the Government of Grenada, appointed by the United Nations Development Programme as a consultant to climate change negotiators for the small island developing states. Many of those nations are on the front of the front lines in the battle against climate change, some facing the possibility of disappearing completely underneath the sea.

That group is hoping for an agreement that will limit global temperature rise to just 1.5 degrees Celsius, even as the consensus of the parties to the treaty is to institute greenhouse gas emissions cuts to prevent temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees above pre-industrial times. That goal, set to ensure the Earth stays inhabitable, is already a long shot, according to most experts.

"Two degrees is too much," Sealy tells me during today's interview. "We need 1.5 to stay alive. We're already at 1C of warming and are already starting to see the effects of 1 degree where I live, which is in Grenada in the Caribbean. We are already experiencing sea level rise of around 3mm per year and that sea level rise is accelerating. We are already locked in to 1 meter [approximately 3 feet] of sea level rise by the end of this century. We are already starting to see warming. We are already starting to see extreme weather events. And our scientists are telling us we will not survive at 2 degrees."

Sealy, who is also an environmental scientist and Associate Professor at St. George's University, explains: "This is not something that is an economic issue for us, it's an existential issue for us. Our backs are literally against the wall on this one. And therefore we will fight for our existence. We will fight for 1.5 to be anchored in the agreement. 2 degrees is just too much for us. The richer countries are saying 'Well, it's going to be too difficult, too economically difficult for us to reach 1.5 degrees, so we can keep it below 2'. My response to them is the small islands are the canaries in the coal mine. If we go down, you're going to go down as well."

"If you think the Syrian refugee crisis is bad now," he adds, "imagine if all the low-lying areas in the world have to migrate. And it's not only the small islands. The majority of the world's population lives on a coastline, and all those areas will be displaced."

He goes on to explain exactly what it is that the Small Islands are hoping to walk away with from the Paris conference, how the world now needs "a Global Marshal Plan" to fight climate change, and how there is no "denier community" in Grenada and other small island nations. "The most important thing, in my mind," he says, "grow a global mitigation effort that will guarantee us survival."

Finally on today's program, a bit of good news (because we could really use some!): Renewable energy is now set to overtake coal as the world's largest power source. So, there's that. And maybe, with it, some hope after all...

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GUESTS: Journalists Heather Digby Parton and David Dayen...
By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2015 5:23pm PT  

On today's BradCast, it's the smartest post-debate coverage you'll find anywhere! Guaranteed or your money back!

We're joined today by the great Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo blog, as well as the no-less-great financial reporter David Dayen of The Fiscal Times, Salon, WaPo, The Intercept and more.

Our analysis attempts to both decode the dog whistles and debunk the nonsense (and there was a lot of both!) from last night's Republican Presidential debate on the Fox Business Channel in Wisconsin. My guests will help you understand everything that the GOP-friendly Fox and Wall Street Journal moderators didn't bother to help viewers understand...and much more! (And, we also spend a bit of time trying to figure out what the hell the Democrats must be thinking by not holding debates and/or hiding them from the public on weekends!)

It's a very lively BradCast today, live from our flagship KPFK/Pacifica Radio studios in Los Angeles! Enjoy!...

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GUEST: Journalist David Roberts of Vox.com
PLUS: More on concerns about KY election results; NY AG subpoenas ExxonMobil...
By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2015 5:58pm PT  

Yes, there is a U.S. House Committee that is even worse than the Benghazi Committee, argues my guest on today's BradCast.

But, first, we follow up yesterday's disturbing show with a few more concerns about the accuracy of the 100% unverified results of Tuesday's Gubernatorial election in Kentucky and state Democrats' ability (or interest) in understanding the dangers of computerized vote tabulation systems. In short, they don't get it. Not by a long shot --- at least if my conversation with folks at the state Democratic Party today are currently any indication.

Next up today, David Roberts of Vox.com joins us to discuss the McCarthyesque behavior of Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chair of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, as the Republican assault on science continues. Smith, Robert's reports, is wielding unprecedented new subpoena powers in an unyielding attack on scientists and public institutions researching climate change and more.

"In the almost two years since he's run the Science Committee, Lamar Smith has issued more subpoenas than all previous chairs of the committee, going back some fifty years," Roberts explains. "He's newly empowered and he's going nuts with it."

Roberts details three different cases in point, as laid out in his recent article at Vox, including extraordinary demands being made on a number of different, largely unknown scientists, who had the temerity to study and speak out about findings on global warming.

"Our politics are so crazy these days that it's hard to register anything as particularly extreme or outrageous because there's such a flood of extreme, outrageous stuff happening all the time," Roberts tells me. "But, honestly, the head of a Science Committee accusing the head of a government scientific research body of deliberately falsifying data in order to support a political effort to pass climate policy is really a serious accusation. It shouldn't just be part of the daily noise of politics. This is a serious deal."

Roberts says this amounts to little more than an effort to keep scientists from being able to do their work, to frighten them away from reporting their findings and, hopefully, find something --- anything --- that can be taken out of context in hopes of embarrassing them somehow. "Everybody knows why they want" all these personal emails, he tells me. They want to "look for bits and pieces that, if you yank them out of context, look suspicious, and selectively leak those emails to reporters --- who, history shows, will credulously eat it up. For all the incompetence and haplessness of the current GOP right now, one thing they're really good at is they've figured out how the media ecosystem works."

Making the case that this is all worse than what the ridiculous Benghazi Committee is doing, Roberts explains: "[Hillary Clinton], at least, has the power and the resources and the wherewithal to defend herself. But these individual scientists, they don't know anything about politics. They don't know how to play this game. They don't have money for lawyers. So the damage that this threatens to do to the open practice of science in the U.S., I think, is worse than the danger posed by these more high-profile political committees. The damage that they're doing to the practice of science in the U.S. is much deeper and more disturbing than whatever the ebb and flow of who's up and down in electoral politics."

Finally today, some late breaking news on a story we've been following closely for several months now, as New York's Attorney General files subpoenas against ExxonMobil concerning what the company knew about climate change, when they knew it, and how much they may have worked to obscure that information from the public (and their own investors)...

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GUEST: Karoli Kuns of CrooksAndLiars.com...
By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2015 5:21pm PT  

It is a primal scream of a BradCast today, following what happened --- once again --- on Election Day yesterday. We see, again, the nightmare scenario I've warned about for so many years: a U.S. election where all of the pre-election polls suggest Candidate X is set to win, but Candidate Y ends up winning by a huge margin instead and nobody even bothers to verify that the computer tabulated results accurately reflect the intent of the voters. (Audio link to today's full show is below.)

That's exactly what happened in Kentucky on Tuesday, where Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway was leading by a fair margin (about 3 to 5 points) in almost every pre-election poll in his race for Governor, but then ended up being announced as the loser to 'Tea Party' Republican candidate Matt Bevin by a landslide (almost 9 points) --- according to the state's 100% unverified computer tabulation systems.

As detailed on today's program with my guest Karoli Kuns of Crooks And Liars, there are a number of reasons to question the reported results. Among them, as Kuns points out today at C&L, the Democrats running in the down ballot races --- for Secretary of State, Attorney General (Conway's current job) and even state Auditor --- each reportedly received tens of thousands more votes than Conway did at the top of the ticket!

Bev Harris, of BlackBoxVoting.org, who I spoke with earlier today, described the higher vote totals in the down ballot races as a "significant anomaly". She tells me that, at least until more records are requested and examined, the KY-Gov's race "has to be looked at as a questionable outcome, particularly because of the discrepancies in the down ballot races. More votes in those races and not at the top...that just doesn't happen."

(Here is a link to a helpful Public Records Request toolkit [PDF] from Black Box Voting for those of you who may be interested in helping to try and obtain some transparency in this race, as we also discussed on today's program.)

There are many other reasons for supporters to question the reported results in the KY-Gov's race, as I detail during the show. Of course, the reported results could also be completely accurate. But, without public, human examination of the hand-marked paper ballots (which, thankfully, now actually exist across most of the state!) and other related records, we have yet another unverified, 100% faith-based election to leave supporters wondering if they really won or lost.

We've seen this before, of course. Too many times. We've seen malfunctioning paper ballot op-scan systems report losers as "winners" until a hand-count corrects the record. We've seen how easy it is for hackers to game election equipment. We've seen election insiders, even as recently as last week, breaking in to computerized central tabulators. And we've even seen high-ranking election officials in Kentucky (including County Clerks, Circuit Court Judges and School Superintendents!) convicted for decades of insider election fraud, including the manipulation of electronic voting systems.

We've seen both Democrats and Republicans alike fall victim to similarly anomalous and unverified results. And, while none of it bodes well for 2016 and beyond, neither does it bode well for those immediately and directly impacted by Tuesday's elections --- such as the 400,000 Kentuckyians who stand to lose health care under a new Republican Governor who has vowed to shut down the state's expansion of coverage under ObamaCare by the very popular if term-limited and outgoing Democratic Governor.

Also today: More election results from races around the country, from the attempt to legalize marijuana in Ohio, to campaign finance reform in Maine, to the recall of Koch Brothers-funded school board officials in Colorado...

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PLUS: U.S. Boots on the ground in Syria, but Congress doesn't care; Jeb's campaign death rattle continues; Hillary calls for Exxon investigation; And climate change finds its way into a GOP Presidential debate...
By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2015 5:26pm PT  

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

They find a lot of them.

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

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

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GUEST: Financial journalist David Dayen
ALSO: 2016 shakeups; Dog shoots owner; 'Black Friday' news; Excrement in D.C.; More...
By Brad Friedman on 10/27/2015 4:31pm PT  

On today's BradCast (link to complete audio below), Republican and Democratic leadership strike a deal to avoid defaulting on U.S. loan payments and to keep the government open for two years. But at what cost?

Financial journalist David Dayen of Salon joins us to explain both the grand deal and its cost to both Republicans and Democrats (though, arguably, much more to Democrats.)

"In general what this whole thing does is prevent a bunch of hostage-taking," on the part of Republicans, Dayen explains. "I think that is the real problem that the House Freedom Caucus [formerly the 'Tea Party Caucus'] has with it." Other than that, as he breaks it down for us, Republicans and war hawks seem to get a much better deal out of the bargain.

Democrats, while getting some much needed relief to arbitrary spending caps on several social programs, ultimately pay a price for cuts to Medicare and Social Security in this agreement, says Dayen. While Republicans, on the other hand, receive a huge $32 billion "slush fund" above and beyond anything Democrats get, in order to pay for more militarism under the bogus guise of "Overseas Contingency Operations".

"When we have homeless people that need shelter or poor people that need food for the food stamp program, then the answer is 'We're broke! We cannot pay for that! We're selling out our children's future! There's no way we can scrounge up any more money out of the couch cushions!," Dayen explains on today's show. "But when this little kitty that Pentagon generals want to use to protect their favorite program or build more weapons of any kind --- that we have plenty of money for, and if you don't like it you hate the troops and you're un-American."

All of that and much more detail to help you understand what's really going on in this deal and on one crucial point concerning the nation's debt ceiling that Dayen describes as "a total failure...by the leadership of the Democratic Party."

Also today: Poll shakeups in the Presidential race(s); The dog who shot his owner; The major retailer that plans to close for "Black Friday"; And --- speaking of excrement "in the barn" in Washington D.C. --- Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report with a new plan to literally put it all to good use and much more...

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

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