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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, December 17, 2017
GOP Tax Scam's Final Mile; Tillerson's NK Flip; Packing the Courts; Trump Family Fail: 'BradCast' 12/15/17
A spoonful or two of sugar along with some of today's bitter medicine...
Trump FCC Kills 'Net Neutrality', Endangering Internet Free Speech: 'BradCast' 12/14/2017
Guest: Media reformer Sue Wilson; Also: More mega-mergers, Trump noms withdrawn, more...
'Green News Report' 12/14/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Toxic smoke warnings from SoCal fires; New bad news for the Arctic; New good news for Tesla; World fights climate change without U.S.; PLUS: French prez makes good on promise...
Previous GNRs: 12/12/17 - 12/7/17 - Archives...
Veteran Recount Attorney Sees Little Chance for Moore in AL: 'BradCast' 12/13/17
Guest: Recount expert Chris Sautter on Jones' win, Moore's odds, AL Supremes' 'ballot images' ruling...
Internet Freedom of Speech Now at Stake
With Trump's Repub-majority FCC set to kill Net Neutrality, a media reformer on why the result will be another political horror show for Dems and the nation...
AL Supremes Allow 'Ballot Images' to Be Destroyed: 'BradCast' 12/12/17
Guest: David Rothschild's new study on whether real or fake news was the bigger prob in the 2016 election...
'Green News Report' 12/12/17
SoCal fire now CA's 5th largest ever; Trump Admin attacks private co. in nat'l monument fight, opens E. Coast to drilling, slows EPA actions against polluters...
Moore, Moore, Moore... and Other Vital News: 'BradCast' 12/11/2017
Terror attacks in NY, KS, NM; Pentagon to allow trans-gender enlistment; SoCal fires; Election integrity court win and deep dive before AL's insane U.S. Senate election...
GOP/NRA's 'Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act' Likely Unconstitutional
New bill rammed through House blocks states' rights on gun safety laws and may violate the U.S. Constitution...
Sunday Toons of the Soulless Moment
A lot of souls have been sold in recent days. For what in return? 'PDiddie' rounds up the consequences in his latest weekly toon collection...
Former CO GOP Chair Found Guilty of Voter Fraud: 'BradCast' 12/8/17
And other ironies and outrages: SoCal fires spread; Trump dumps science; Election Integrity suit in AL; House GOP ignores states' rights on guns; Listener e-mail...
'Green News Report' 12/7/17
Trump rolls back protections for two national monuments; Tribes, conservationists sue; GOP tax bill slashes renewables; PLUS: Credit firm warns cities on climate...
Two SCOTUS Cases This Week 'Take the Cake' for Absurdity: 'BradCast' 12/6/17
Guest: Slate's Mark Joseph Stern; Also: Fires worsen in, near L.A.; Franken pressured by Dem Senators to resign...
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: Dave Johnson of People's Action/Campaign for America's Future...
By Brad Friedman on 5/1/2017 6:13pm PT  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Rightwingers indicted and sentenced from CA to TX to NJ; Plus: Federal regulations undone and otherwise...
By Brad Friedman on 3/29/2017 5:55pm PT  

On today's BradCast, some accountability news for a happy change of pace! What are the odds? [Audio link to the show posted below.]

Among the accountability stories covered on today's show:

  • 15 felony counts filed in CA against the rightwing activists who secretly video taped and then lied about Planned Parenthood;
  • 28 federal criminal counts filed in TX against a former Tea Party Republican U.S. Congressman for massive fraud and money laundering;
  • Two of NJ Gov. Chris Christie's top staffers are sentenced to prison in the "BridgeGate" scandal (as he continues to escape justice);

Also today:

  • More on Donald Trump's absurd "Energy Independence" executive order, meant to roll back Obama-era environment and climate regulations (and the legal problems he will face in court while trying to roll them back);
  • Republicans in Congress send a bill to gut the FCC's Internet privacy regulations to Trump for his signature;
  • Trump's approval ratings continue to plummet to another record (today, according to Gallup, he is now a remarkable 24 points under water);
  • "Buy American, hire American"?! Eric Trump's winery is seeking foreign, yes, foreign workers;
  • And, finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, including, among other stories, a bit of good news on a Republican Governor who has just signed a law to permanently ban fracking in his state...

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: Frank Schaeffer on what Dems must do to win again; Also: U.S. civilian massacres explode in Middle East; NC paying high price for anti-LGBT law; ND pipeline leak much worse than previously known...
By Brad Friedman on 3/27/2017 6:02pm PT  

On today's BradCast, a former evangelical Christian who, after decades of participating in the political rightwing anti-abortion con has since seen the light, joins us to explain what Democrats need to do in order to encourage his "brainwashed" former followers to realize they've been scammed by Donald Trump. [Audio link to show at end of article.]

But first up today, U.S. officials admit some 200 Iraqi civilians in Mosul may have been killed during a U.S. bombing campaign last week, in what has become a startling and savage escalation in the so-called "War on Terror" since Trump has taken office. While the Obama Administration had carried out similar campaigns, the increase in indiscriminate lethality by the new President's campaigns in Iraq, Syria and Yemen is both alarming and vastly underreported or downplayed by U.S. media --- not to mention, counter-productive in the so-called "War on Terror".

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, the GOP's anti-LGBT "bathroom bill" is costing the state economy thousands of jobs and billions of dollars, according to a new analysis by the Associated Press. That, even as Republicans in other states, like Texas, are quickly moving to enact similarly "conservative" anti-LGBT laws in their own state.

Then, as Trump's approval rating continues to plummet to record lows, even his numbers among his own base of supporters --- white, male Republicans --- are beginning to erode. Still, overall support for the President remains high among Republicans as a whole, for now.

Author Frank Schaeffer, who formerly spent decades along with his father, theologian Dr. Francis Schaeffer, creating (and profiting from) the far right anti-abortion political movement, joins us to discuss how he believes Democrats can win back both the White House and Congress, from the perspective of someone who, for many years, had preyed on the fears and false facts favored by rightwing, so-called "values voters". You can't convince them of facts, a fired-up Schaeffer tells me today, but you can drop a lit metaphorical match into their gas tanks by helping them understand how Trump himself has "betrayed them."

"The over-arching bloc of people without whom [Trump] could not have been elected are white evangelicals, and that's my stomping ground." Schaeffer explains. "This was all before I left the evangelical world and changed sides both, you might say, theologically and politically. When it comes to understanding the brain of the evangelical movement, I know what I'm talking about. From birth, people raised in the fundamentalist subculture are taught to mistrust, distrust, renounce so-called 'world facts'. So, when science says that evolution proves something, or that the Earth is very old, or there wasn't a Noah's ark, you are taught from birth they are lying. We have our own facts. We have our own truth. That truth is in the Bible and our denomination's interpretation of it."

You can't convince these folks with facts alone that they are wrong, he argues, but you can help them see how they have been scammed. "If you come up with a fact-based argument, people's eyes in the evangelical world just glaze over, and instead of talking to you about the issue or the facts, all you get back is this stream-of-consciousness which is really more of a Pavlovian reaction and brain-washing," he says. "So, [Trump] had a built-in audience that liked what he was saying just because he's giving the finger to the established order of science, university teaching, learning --- and all those other things that so-called 'secular' people live by."

"That group of people is going to be looking at what he's doing to them when they lose healthcare," Shaeffer, whose latest book is Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God, observes. "They're going to be looking at the fact that in that new budget of his, Meals on Wheels doesn't show up for their grandma anymore on that farm in Omaha. They're going to see one tweak too many ... That drip-drip-drip-drip of actual evidence in their own lives --- not reason, not argument --- but things going wrong because he is a fool, he is a charlatan, he is a faker, he is a fraud. In other words, when they wake up in the position your average Trump University student woke up in, finding their degree was worthless, they are going to simply start losing faith."

But will they? Haven't these same folks fallen for the same con many times in the past? Schaeffer, who worked with past Republican Presidents, responds to that question, and many others today in a lively (and angry) dressing down of both Trump and his supporters, who, Schaeffer insists, he still knows all too well.

Finally today, a pro-Trump demonstration in California over the weekend ends with a counter-demonstrator being repeatedly beaten with a "Make American Great Again" sign, and the pipeline oil spill reported last December in North Dakota, not far from the site of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, turns out to have been at least three time larger than originally reported...

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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Sen. Whitehouse calls out 'dark money' used to deny global warming, help install Trump's nominee onto a stolen U.S. Supreme Court...
By Brad Friedman on 3/22/2017 6:24pm PT  

On today's BradCast, with the consistent help of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), we connect some of the dots between the Citizens United ruling, the GOP theft of the U.S. Supreme Court and the undermining of climate change legislation. Yes, it's all of a piece, and it begins well before the fateful SCOTUS ruling in 2010. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Today we go back as far as 1991 when a newly formed rightwing non-profit group by the name of Citizens United spent $100,000 to make sure alleged sexual harasser Clarence Thomas would be confirmed as a Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Twenty years later, in 2010's 'Citizens United v. FEC' ruling, Thomas then decided with the majority to help unleash a tsunami of undisclosed "dark money" into our political, electoral and judicial system (including more than half a million dollars to his wife's new non-profit, in the two months following the case's oral argument at the Court.)

In 2014, Sen. Whitehouse cited that fateful decision as the point in time when Republicans, who used to support action on climate change, immediately stopped doing so. And, this week, at the confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch --- Donald Trump's nominee for the GOP's stolen Supreme Court seat --- Whitehouse confronted Gorsuch in a fascinating extended exchange, about dark money corruption in politics, including the $10 million spent by undisclosed rightwingers backing Gorsuch's confirmation, and the $7 million the same shady groups spent to block the confirmation of Barack Obama's nominee, Judge Merrick Garland.

All of that and more on today's program, including Desi Doyen and the latest Green News Report and the Colorado GOP's former chairman-turned-talk show host who, one month before last November's election, told listeners: "virtually every case of voter fraud I can remember in my lifetime was committed by Democrats." He's now been charged absentee voter fraud...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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: Huffington Post Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim | Also: Trump lied about U.S. steel for new pipelines; France cancels on-line voting...
By Brad Friedman on 3/7/2017 6:15pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the GOP health care plan to "repeal and replace" Obamacare has landed with a thud among Democrats and, only somewhat more suprisingly, among so-called conservatives. And, as our guest argues today, that may have been the plan all along. [Audio link to show posted below.]

House Republicans leadership introduced their long awaited health care plan on Capitol Hill late yesterday and we break down the details of it today. But, other than Donald Trump who described it, via Twitter, as "our wonderful new healthcare bill", the plan does not seem to be going over well in a number of key quarters. Of course, Democrats oppose the new scheme to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act (or, "ObamaCare") and Republicans have yet to have their new plan, dubbed the American Health Care Act, scored by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). So we don't know how much it will cost or how many people will actually be covered under it (or lose their coverage, thanks to it.)

But, the more important push-back against the new plan appears to be coming from Republican members of Congress and the rightwing policy groups like the Heritage Foundation and the Koch Brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity. They are calling it "ObamaCare-lite" and vowing to block it, as our guest Ryan Grim, Washington Bureau Chief for Huffington Post reports today.

Grim tells me why, based on his reporting, the roll-out --- and the plan itself --- appears to be such a disaster, and suggests that Republicans, including Speaker Ryan and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have no actual intention of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act at all. "They're pretending," he says. "Also they didn't think they were going to win the election. They didn't think they were going to catch this car that they've been chasing down the road. The problem for them is that Obamacare itself was basically designed by the Heritage Foundation years ago. So it's almost unfair for them to try to come up with an alternative to the thing that they developed themselves. But they're the ones who disavowed their original plan, so it's not that unfair."

"Paul Ryan is not an idiot. He has the phone numbers for the Koch Brothers, Club for Growth, Freedom Works, Heritage, all these different outfits that piled on it today. So how was this not worked out [in the last 8 years]? It suggests to me that it's not actually a serious attempt," Grim explains before detailing why it is not even a safe bet, at this point, to assume that Ryan and McConnell "actually want to pass something" at all.

Also on today's show: Trump lied about requiring U.S.-made steel in pipelines like KeystoneXL, and France, fearing the possibility of hacking, cancels on-line voting in advance of their upcoming elections...

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: Attorney Mark Joseph Stern of Slate...
By Brad Friedman on 2/22/2017 5:08pm PT  

On today's BradCast, as dark as yesterday's show was, today is somewhat the opposite, with a whole bunch of encouraging news from the courts and the people across these United States. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Attorney and legal journalist Mark Joseph Stern of Slate joins us to break down the full 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' potentially landmark decision upholding the state of Maryland's ban on semi-automatic "weapons of war" and the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling today on a race-based death penalty case out of Texas.

On MD's ban on military-style assault weapons, enacted by the legislature following the 2012 Sandyhook Elementary school massacre, the full court's majority ruling, including a number of Republican-appointed judges, soundly rejected the opponents argument that, as Stern says, "once enough people own a certain type of gun, the 2nd Amendment magically begins to protect it." He explains what may happen next with this case as it moves toward the Supreme Court and offers his thoughts on why GOPers and the NRA are suddenly unconcerned with their "states rights" arguments when it comes to guns.

On the SCOTUS death penalty case, granting a repreive, for now, to a Texas man on death row since 1997, Stern explains how the case underscores that "people who are sentenced to death in this country get the worst lawyers sometimes...It's really quite shocking." Incredibly enough, Chief Justice John Roberts eloquently agreed --- at least in this case.

And more encouraging news also covered today...

  • A federal court in Texas blocks the state's attempt to defund Planned Parenthood;
  • North Carolina's Democratic governor moves to withdraw the state's appeal to SCOTUS, filed by his Republican predecessor seeking to overturn a federal appeals court finding that the state's election reform law unconstitutionally discriminated against African-Americans "with surgical precision";
  • An FEC commissioner refuses to back down in the face of legal threats from Koch Brothers'' funded group after her demand to see Trump's alleged evidence of thousands of illegal votes cast in New Hampshire's 2016 Presidential election;
  • Another new poll finds Trump's approval ratings "sinking like a rock";
  • A Muslim group raises $90 thousand (so far) to help repair the desecrated Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, MO;
  • A people continue to exercise democracy, whether Republicans and Donald Trump like it or not, by showing up in huge numbers at Congress member town halls across the country...

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Also: Comey and FBI face 'email' investigation; Govt. ethics chief blasts President-elect; Senate confirmation hearings continue; and Hustler's publisher tells me why he blames U.S. media for giving us all Trump...
By Brad Friedman on 1/12/2017 6:38pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the GOP "dogs" having finally caught up with the "reality" bus on ObamaCare and Iran and more. So, what will they do now? Also, free speech icon Larry Flynt joins us to blame the U.S. media for Donald Trump and much more. [Audio link to show follows below.]

First today, the DoJ Inspector General announces he will investigate the FBI and its Director James Comey concerning their controversial actions regarding Hillary Clinton's private email server in the run-up to last year's election and whether they ran afoul of long-established Justice Department guidelines.

Then, the head of the Office of Government Ethics blasts Donald Trump for failing to divest his business holdings. And, in the U.S. Senate, Trump's unprecedented conflicts of interest came into play during Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)'s questioning of super-genius Dr. Ben Carson, Trump's nominee (for some reason) to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Meanwhile, Trump's Secretary of Defense nominee, Gen. James Mattis, began his confirmation hearings today in the Senate, where he said he intends to honor the anti-nuclear agreement with Iran that the GOP pretends to hate. At the same time, Republicans in both the House and Senate are finally beginning to face reality on that and on the fact that their years of pretending the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare") was a disaster may now be a huge problem for them, as they have no actual plan to "repeal and replace" the program.

Finally, we're joined by Larry Flynt, longtime First Amendment champion and publisher of Hustler Magazine, to discuss his recent ad [PDF] in Variety which slammed the U.S. media, blamed them for the rise and Presidency of Trump, and called on them to "wake up!"

He tells me that while he's seen a lot during his decades of battles with Republicans like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, but "it's never been as bad as with Trump. Every time this guy opens his mouth, he tells a lie. I mean, that should not be tolerated by any member of the press."

Flynt also discusses what his $1 million bounty for incriminating video tape on Trump has uncovered so far, and why it's so difficult to actually damage him at this point. We also discuss, among other things, Hustler's consistent years of covering news in the magazine, in addition to porn, even when other media outlets have pulled their punches at various times when Republicans were in power. [Full disclosure: I have, for some years, written news articles and columns for the magazine and we discuss that a bit as well during today's program.]

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AND Fake News vs Bad Journalism; Jeff Chang on Diversity
GUEST HOSTED BY ANGIE COIRO
By Angie Coiro on 12/30/2016 5:40pm PT  

On today's BradCast, I'm in for Brad again. We start by pick up where we left off yesterday, with another review of fake news - this time, contrasting it with lazy, bad, or mistaken news reports.

And - about that reported book contract a flamboyant neo-Nazi is crowing about: why it's way too early to say, "We're boycotting Simon & Schuster!"

Then Natalie Blake with the California National Party explains how a state can secede from the US (hint: more than one option here). This is NOT the same California independence group allied with Russia, although you'd never get that from most media.

And an excerpt from a live conversation with author and culture critic Jeff Chang. Kind of fun to hear the Executive Director of Stanford's Institute for Diversity in the Arts explain how diversity is problematic.

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Guest: Brennan Center's Alicia Bannon | PLUS: More emails, more racism, more lies, more wingnuttery...
By Brad Friedman on 10/28/2016 5:54pm PT  

On today's BradCast: While the national media is obsessed with Trump, a record amount of dark money from undisclosed corporate sources is being spent on judicial elections at state Supreme Courts. Also: A whole lotta other breaking news today, from a new development in the Hillary Clinton email probe, to some white, armed hooligan wingnuts getting off the hook for an armed federal takeover, to one U.S. Senator likely killing his own re-election chances during a debate last night. [Audio link to complete show posted below.]

On today's interview, Alicia Bannon, Senior Counsel at the Brennan Center's Democracy Program, joins us to explain the flood of outside spending from corporate, dark money sources now pouring in to state Supreme Court elections around the country, as detailed in her new analysis published this week. We also discuss the disturbingly increasing politicization of judicial elections and why it is that judges are selected by elections at all in some 38 states.

"Around the country, we've been seeing these elections become higher cost, more politicized, and attracting a lot of special interest attention," she tells me. And that's worrying, because, among other reasons, "a judge needs to be deciding cases based on their understanding of what the law requires and the facts that are in front of them, and not out of fears of what that's going to mean for fundraising in the next election cycle, or what's going to be the subject of their next attack ad."

While judicial elections "were actually a reform measure," when originally introduced in the 19th century because "there was a concern that those judges were too closely aligned with the political branches," Bannon explains, in the wake of Citizens United and other measures that have increased the flow of money into politics, judicial elections, "are putting even more pressure on judges because of the money involved and the conflicts of interest that get created."

We go on to discuss a number of such judicial conflicts of interests, from the remarkable case of the state Supreme Court in Wisconsin to the election that will determine the balance of the Supreme Court in North Carolina next week, to the judicial campaign being funded in no small part by fossil fuel interests in Louisiana, where the same corporate funders are facing legacy environmental cases to be decided by the very same court.

Bannon, who also clerked for Sondra Sotomayor when she was an appellate judge on the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, also shares a bit of personal insight on the U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Also today: The FBI notifies the U.S. Senate that they have found some additional emails in a separate investigation that may relate to their probe of Hillary Clinton's email server and the cable "news" industry predictably freaks out; The Bundy Brothers are acquitted at trial, for some reason, after their six-week armed takeover of a federal wildlife facility in Oregon earlier this year; Donald Trump fails to put up the $100 million he had promised to his own campaign; and Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk (R) offers an outrageously obnoxious racial slur during a debate with his opponent, double-amputee Iraq War veteran Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D)...

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Guest: David Pomerantz of Energy and Policy Institute | Plus: Widespread suppression reported in TX; Trump takes lead in FL...
By Brad Friedman on 10/26/2016 5:48pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the scam behind Florida's anti-solar Amendment 1 initiative is revealed and widespread voter suppression tactics are reported during early voting in Texas. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Florida's Amendment 1, a statewide constitutional ballot measure, is purposely deceptive, according to an anti-solar lobbyist revealed to be working closely with the state fossil fuel utility companies that spent millions to place the measure on the Sunshine State ballot this year. According to comments caught on tape during a recent conference of corporate groups funded by, among others, the Koch Brothers, the think-tank shill is heard admitting that "political jujitsu" and the deceptive use of "language promoting solar" --- even as the measure would actually restrict the use of rooftop solar --- is how the utility company sponsored measure was able to qualify for the state ballot in the first place. The effort also helped to keep an actual pro-solar Amendment from qualifying and may end up scamming enough Florida voters into approving the confusing, if decidedly anti-solar constitutional measure.

David Pomerantz, Executive Director of the Energy and Policy Institute, one of the groups which initially obtained and published the audio admissions by Sal Nuzzo of the James Madison Institute, joins us to explain those admissions and the facts behind the fossil fueled scam that the monopoly utility company opponents of rooftop solar hope to use to confuse voters in Florida, as well as other states around the nation.

"It's confusing by design," Pomerantz says about the language of the initiative which sounds as if it's pro-solar. "That's really what these big electric power utilities in Florida were aiming for. They wanted to confuse and deceive voters. They knew if they had to fight this battle over solar power and its future in Florida on the merits, they would probably lose. So they've gone for a strategy of trying to trick people."

Indeed, a competing pro-solar measure, which even Nuzzo admitted was wildly popular and supported by environmentalists and conservatives from the so-called Green Tea coalition, failed to make the ballot this year, in no small part due to the tens of millions of dollars that Florida Power and Light, Gulf Power, Duke Energy and ExxonMobil poured into their shady campaign called "Consumers for Smart Solar".

"They have nothing to do with consumers and they are not for solar. This is a utility-backed group. Out of the 22 million they've received to run this ballot initiative, the total amount that they've received from actual consumers is ten bucks. The other 22 million came from utilities," Pomeranz explains, adding this warning: "These kinds of deceptive tactics, of trying to convince people that the utilities are pro-solar when in fact they are attacking it, that's something that's happening not just in Florida. For your listeners who are not in Florida, this type of battle is coming to them soon if it's not already there."

There's lots to make sense of in today's conversation with Pomerantz, especially for voters right now in Florida!

Also on today's BradCast: Voting rights advocates report widespread violations of the court-ordered agreement to soften Texas' discriminatory Photo ID voting law; New polling shows Trump taking back the lead from Clinton in battleground Florida; and Tom Hanks assures an anxious nation that we'll all be okay...

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Guests: Journalist and communications strategist Jacki Schechner, Progressive public policy advocate Dave Johnson...
By Brad Friedman on 10/10/2016 5:15pm PT  

The insane 2016 Presidential campaign took a decidedly dark turn on Sunday night. We cover all of that darkness and more on today's BradCast. [Link to audio posted below.]

After a weekend of seeming implosion by the GOP nominee and the Republican Party on the heels of the release of a 2005 'hot mic' video tape in which Donald Trump is seen and heard lewdly boasting about sexually assaulting married women and others, he lashed out at Hillary and Bill Clinton on Sunday night, with a press conference (of sorts) featuring women allegedly assaulted by the former President during the 80s and 90s.

All of that and more came up during the 2nd Presidential Debate held on Sunday night at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. I'm joined on today's show for coverage, analysis and insight on what is almost certainly one of the darkest chapters in modern U.S. Presidential political history by former CNN journalist and communications strategist Jacki Schechner and progressive policy advocate Dave Johnson, Senior Fellow at People's Action (formerly: Campaign for America's Future.)

"I feel like there's this feeling of that old story of the frog that's getting warmer and warmer and warmer. Well, we're boiling. And everybody is suddenly noticing that the water's boiling right now," Johnson says in response to my question about how America and the Republican Party have arrived at this point (which I'm more than happy to blame, in no small part, on the corporate media and its decades long failure to report what has been going on in our politics over the last several Presidential Administrations as anything much more than both-sides-do-it politics-as-usual). "This has been coming for a long time. Donald Trump is the Republican Party right now. He's nothing more than the manifestation of something that's been building up and building up, and now we're at a reckoning point," he says.

Schechner notes: "While we think, in the moment, that, 'this will be the straw that breaks the camel's back', the camel gets up again on Monday morning and keeps on trotting. I don't know if it's because of the nature of where we are societally, or if it's just that we've gotten so disgusted with politics, that we're so deep in the mud we can't even see where the mud begins, but we're totally desensitized to where this has gone and where the Republican Party has taken us."

As we struggle to try and make sense of Sunday's debate, Trump's behavior, and where all of this can possibly go from here, Schechner observes: "Trump has been this person his whole life. The Republican Party broke him, they bought him. Clinton herself is a flawed candidate, [but] she's not a sociopath. The problem is that she has to figure out a way to combat him and not get down in the dirt with him, and at the same time mitigate the damage that exists, based on her own somewhat flawed political past."

Yeesh. Lots to talk about and lots to cover on today's BradCast...

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Guest: David Daley on his new book 'RatF**ked', on how the GOP 'stole' the U.S. House majority for a decade as Dems 'fell asleep at the wheel'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/26/2016 4:35pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: Where the Presidential race stands as we head into the debates and how an ingenious GOP scheme in 2010 may have served to undermine (small-d) democracy in the U.S. for a decade or more. [Audio link posted below.]

As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump prepare to face off in their first Presidential debate, national polls are now, largely --- and amazingly --- a dead heat, with Trump beginning to take the lead in several key states that would give him the Presidency.

Meanwhile, as Dems struggle to hold on to the White House and fight long and longer odds to regain control of the U.S. Senate, a majority in the U.S. House, once again, remains seemingly out of grasp entirely for Democrats despite their candidates and policies being far more popular amongst the national electorate.

David Daley, until recently the Editor in Chief at Salon, now a Fellow at the University of Georgia's Grady School of Journalism, joins me on today's BradCast to discuss his new book, Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy. In it, Daley documents "Operation REDMAP", the insidious (and brilliant) Republican scheme carried out with a few million dollars and a handful of GOP operatives back in 2010 that succeeded in putting the U.S. House out of reach for Democrats for a decade --- while they were still celebrating their 2008 victory and barely paying attention to what Republicans were up to.

"It is nothing short of the most audacious political heist of our time," Daley tells me. "The Republican State Leadership Committee, they realize that 2008 might have been a wipe-out for the Republicans, but that did not matter if they could win in 2010. Because the census requires that you redraw every district line in every state legislature and in the Congress every ten years they came up with a brand new idea."

That successful idea in 2010 resulted in Democrats receiving 1.4 million more votes than Republicans for their U.S. House candidates in 2012, while still losing control of the chamber to Republicans by 33 seats. "The party completely fell asleep at the wheel," he says, allowing "an overwhelming avalanche of dark money and negative ads, into these small little towns" that would determine control of state legislatures, followed by an unprecedented computer-aided gerrymander of every GOP controlled state in the nation. That, in turn, led to the seemingly uncrackable Republican majority in the House that has served to bastardize so much of our national politics through today.

"The Democrats didn't have the imagination to come up with this idea," Daley argues. "It is entirely legal. However, it is also entirely and deeply undemocratic." The GOP came up with "a partisan hammer to take control and hold it," in what Daley describes as nothing short of a "political moneyball" plan that would "lock in partisan control of a chamber [of Congress] for a decade or more."

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Guest: Jeremy Nichols of WildEarth Guardians | Plus: Breaking news on NC voting rights from SCOTUS and AZ, FL state primary results...
By Brad Friedman on 8/31/2016 5:26pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the Primary season is still going (believe it or not), and we've got several important results from Arizona and Florida's contests on Tuesday. Also, important breaking news for the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Obama Administration gets sued to stop new leases to oil and gas companies on federal lands. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

First today, Donald Trump goes to Mexico for a brief visit with the Mexican President. Our coverage is mercifully even briefer.

Then, the Scalia-free U.S. Supreme Court splits 4 to 4 in response to North Carolina's emergency attempt to stay a blistering ruling from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal in late July, where the state Republicans' massive voter suppression law was struck down after being found to have been enacted with "racially discriminatory intent" that "target[ed] African-American with almost surgical precision". The tie at SCOTUS means the lower court's ruling, nixing the law, will stand, even though four Justices (guess which ones) on the highest court in the land would have preferred to keep a law broadly seen as the nation's worst voter suppression law since the Jim Crow era in place for this November's Presidential election!

Speaking of elections, we review the results of several key races from Tuesday's state primaries in Arizona and Florida, where the reelection battles of Sens. John McCain and Marco Rubio may determine the balance of the U.S. Senate this November. Also, the controversial Democratic FL Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz survives, as does controversial Republican Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, AZ. But the news for Helen Purcell, Maricopa's Republican County Recorder in Phoenix, who many blame for the disastrous Presidential Primary in the state earlier this year, may have reached the end of her 30-year career, with just a few hundred votes (out of more than 25,000 cast) now hanging in the balance.

Then, why is the Obama Administration, which has placed a moratorium on new federal land leases to coal companies, still selling millions of acres of leases to oil and gas companies? Jeremy Nichols, Director of the Climate and Energy Program at WildEarth Guardians, who, with Physicians for Social Responsibility, filed a suit last week seeking a moratorium from the Administration's Bureau of Land Management on such auctions, joins me to discuss the landmark federal lawsuit.

"What we're seeing here is a pattern and practice of the Administration continuing to hand over rights to our public lands to the oil and gas industry," Nichols explains. "By leasing these lands, they basically convert them to the ownership of the industry, and industry can hang on to these lands for as long as they want. It really is what we call an irreversible commitment of public resources here."

He goes on to tell me that while, in many respects, the Obama Administration has been a champion for the climate and the environment, on this issue, it seems, they appear to have "a very serious blind spot."

"We feel that it's high time for this administration to apply the same scrutiny to the oil and gas program that is has applied to coal-fired power plants, its coal mining program, and other aspects of our fossil fuel consumption," says Nichols. "We are in essence condoning the release of a lot more carbon into our atmosphere and, at this moment in time, pumping more carbon into the atmosphere is the last thing that this administration --- and we as the American public --- should be condoning."

At the same time, he says, the fossil fuel industry is actually suing the Obama Administration for not making more land available to them. "It's really a shocking filing on their end," Nichols argues. "They're basically saying that even though they've gotten everything they want on our public lands --- 10 million acres of our public lands since President Obama has taken office --- that it's not enough for them."

Finally today, a few follow-ups on a number of stories we've been covering over the past week, from Maine Gov. Paul LePage's mental and political breakdown to the reports of an official law enforcement investigation into more high-level GOP voter registration fraud in Florida, this time by Trump's top campaign chief. Oh, and Vladimir Putin has been arrested at a supermarket in Florida! No, really!

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