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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, August 31, 2016
The Ballad of Paul LePage: 'BradCast' 8/30/16
Nation's dumbest Governor receives an intervention in Maine amidst racist outbursts, obscene voice mails, death threats to political opponents...
'Green News Report' 8/30/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
ND Sioux Tribe takes a stand against massive new oil pipeline; CA passes sweeping climate law; Chlorine gas leak in WV; PLUS: Obama creates world's largest marine sanctuary...
Previous GNRs: 8/25/16 - 8/23/16 - Archives...
FBI Warns of New Election Hacks: 'BradCast' 8/29/16
New FBI Cyber Division memo on voter registration database intrusions. Then, Ernie Canning w/ updates on several federal voting rights battles. Plus: Farewell, Gene Wilder...
7th Circuit: WI Photo ID Law to Remain in Place for 2016
Full Appeals Court relies on new assurances from state promising to make free IDs available without restriction, opponents remain dubious, worred about November disenfranchisement...
Sunday Toons of the Either/Or Moment
PDiddie rounds up the week in binary voting options, as seen via the eyes and hands of the nation's best political cartoonists...
Trump 'CEO' Just Latest Top GOPer Accused Of False-Residency Reg Fraud
Stephen Bannon doubles-down after initial revelations detail his alleged voter registration fraud. But he's joining a long, hypocritical list...
Trump Campaign Chief's Alleged Domestic Abuse, Vote Fraud: 'BradCast' 8/26/16
Now we can Trump 'CEO' Steve Bannon to a long list of very high-profile GOP voter reg fraudsters...
Standing Rock Sioux's Stand Against 'Dakota Access': 'BradCast' 8/25/16
Guest: David Archambault II, Chair of Standing Rock Sioux tribe; Plus: Clinton calls out Trump's 'Alt-Right' campaign...
'Green News Report' 8/25/16
300+ dead, 6 million displaced by India flooding; Obama pledges aid for LA flooding; Bad news for WA wolves; PLUS: 100th bday for National Park Service...
Clinton, Trump and Cracking the Two-Party Duopoly: 'BradCast' 8/24/16
Guest: Historian, columnist Matthew Rozsa; Plus: Unfolding deadly disasters in Italy, India and Louisiana...
NSA Hacking Tools in the Wild, Hackable Elections in the US: 'BradCast' 8/23/16
Guest: Princeton computer scientist, e-vote 'hacker' Andrew Appel; Also: Obama in LA and Trump's latest vote suppression dog-whistle...
'Green News Report' 8/23/16
. Media failure on LA floods; Flooding accelerates Zika virus; PLUS: A tale of two Arctics -- Native American tribe forced to move, luxury cruises begin...
'What the Hell Do You Have to Lose?': 'BradCast' 8/22/16
Trump 'pivots', reaches out to African-American voters, forgets to tell the rest of his party...
Three Daves: 'BradCast' 8/19/16
Guest host Angie Coiro w/ Dave Johnson of Campaign for America's Future, David Atkins of Washington Monthly, and Chain of Title author David Dayen...
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...


By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2015 5:49pm PT  

News is breaking like crazy today. We do our best to cover it all on today's BradCast, along with yet another new chapter in the long and shameful history of voter suppression by Republicans in the state of Florida.

Among the stories covered on today's thrilling, action-packed adventure!...

• The sudden resignation of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner; the gleeful reaction to it from Republicans; who might replace him, and who the hell would want to?

• China and the U.S. come to an 'understanding' on cyberhacks...at least some of them...as President Obama meets with President Xi Jinping in Washington D.C.

• Pope-mania continues, as Francis wows 'em at the U.N. General Assembly in New York City today.

• And we take a trip back down to Florida, where new audio recordings, revealing evidence of a blatant vote suppression scheme in the Sunshine State, remind us (yet again) why it is so outrageous that the Rightwingers on the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the federal Voting Rights Act...

All of that, plus China announces a nationwide cap-and-trade program to curb carbon emissions; AP has a new way to describe climate change deniers, and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report...

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

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Guest: Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network...
By Brad Friedman on 9/24/2015 6:01pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Pope Francis' historic addresses to the U.S. Congress on the heels of his landmark remarks at the White House yesterday.

Rev. Mitch Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network --- an organization working to bridge the partisan gaps on climate stewardship --- joins us to discuss both. He was at the White House on Wednesday for the Pope's address there and joined the throngs on the Mall in D.C. today. He describes the experience yesterday as "probably my most memorable experience".

He explains why that is and how the event has given him hope that we may get out of "our partisan silos" and "actually accomplish something in the United States. Instead of just having these partisan divides. We could agree on the things we agree on, and least dialogue on the things that we don't agree on."

We discuss why it is that, following the call for action on climate change and global warming from previous Popes we did not have the same kind of denialist response from the Right as we are now seeing. "What the Pope does more than anything else," Hescox says, "is he puts the issues of climate change...about being as pro-life, about being hope for rebuilding the economy, about sustainable energy for all. And that's the kind of language that, I think, awakens conservatives --- both theologically and political.

"I think that puts a little fear in people that the momentum is gathering against those who would differ on climate change, for all sorts of reasons... And it also puts fear in those whose way of life and, quite honestly, maybe whose funding sources may change."

Hescox rebuts the GOP/Fox "News" notion that Francis is "being political" in his positions on climate and other (suddenly) controversial issues. "He stands in the tradition of the Bible, which mandates to care for the Earth, to be good stewards of it and certainly, as we all know, to care for 'the least of these', which climate change impacts the most severely, both here in this country and around the world."

"Pastor Mitch" was last on the show in June, following the release of the Pope's encyclical on climate change. He tells me today that, since then, he's seen "a groundswell building" in the religious communinty and even saw, by way of one example, his own "moderate" Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), "support the EPA's Clean Power Plan basically because of his faith, because of the Pope's actions."

In the meantime, however, GOPers continue to try and marginalize the Pope as "meddling in politics" or, worse, as a "false Pope". Those folks are roundly criticized and held up to the ridicule they so richly deserve on today's program...which also includes one of the funniest moments in BradCast history. (At least in my opinion --- if not Desi Doyen's.)

Also today: More than 700 Muslim pilgrims are killed during an horrific stampede near a holy site in Saudi Arabia.

Download MP3 or listen to the complete program online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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By Brad Friedman on 9/23/2015 4:54pm PT  

On today's BradCast, live from Pacifica Radio's KPFK, as Pope Francis makes his historic visit to the U.S., speaks at the White House on climate change, canonizes a controversial figure and makes Republicans heads explode, we discuss it all and take listener calls --- some of them fairly strange (though entertaining) --- on all of the above.

Also today, more on that new warning about old voting machines and how the Volkswagen computer software emissions scandal underscores worries about computerized voting and counting systems in 2016.

All of that and more today, including Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report. A very short description for a very busy show. Enjoy!

Download MP3 or listen to the 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: John Nichols of The Nation | PLUS: Hillary finally takes a position on the Keystone XL pipeline...
By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2015 5:02pm PT  

On today's BradCast...

First: The Nation's Washington Correspondent and Wisconsin native son John Nichols joins us to explain what went wrong with the Walker campaign and what to expect in the wake of a state Supreme Court Justice dying yesterday in court.

"The fantasy," upon which Walker's campaign was built, Nichols tells me, "was that Americans hate trade unions so much --- they hate living wages, they hate good benefits, they hate weekends off, they hate vacations --- so much, that they were ready to elect a guy whose only argument for himself was that he got in a fight with the unions. And when Walker actually got the spotlight and he started talking about his record, what he wanted to do, everybody got bored in about five minutes."

Even Republicans "said, 'what else do you have for us?'," he says. "In fact a fifth of Republicans say they think unions should be stronger. So the notion that there's some scorching anti-union sentiment out there isn't true."

Nichols contends it wasn't a lack of funding that did Walker in, but he also explains why the Koch Brothers --- who have long been Walker's his biggest supporters --- didn't bother riding to his rescue. "When you play with billionaires, they always set the rules of the game," he explains.

Also, Nichols details how yesterday's sudden death of state Supreme Court Justice N. Patrick Crooks could shake up the balance of the court --- perhaps even more in Scott Walker's favor than it already is --- as another contentious court election battle now looms once again in the Badger State.

Next: The U.S. Judicial Conference sends its report [PDF] to the U.S. Congress on the now-resigned and long-disgraced U.S. District Court Judge Mark F. Fuller, following his arrest on domestic violence charges last year. Turns out, as we've long suspected and reported, Fuller was found, during the year-long investigation, to be a serial wife-beater.

"Judge Fuller physically abused [his second wife] Kelli Fuller at least eight times, both before and after they married, which included and culminated in the assault that took place on August 9, 2012, in the Riz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Atlanta, Georgia," the cover letter on the report to Congress reads. The Special Commission of federal judges investigating the matter also found the Judge lied (committed perjury) to the panel of federal judges carrying out the probe, and should be impeached by Congress for his "reprehensible conduct", even though he has already resigned.

I offer details and background on the full case on today's program, including information on Fuller's lifetime appointment to the federal bench by George W. Bush in 2002, his participation in the Karl Rove-cabal takedown of Alabama's Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman (who is still in federal prison following his sentencing by Fuller), and more.

My full report on this latest Fuller news, including some of the apparently false information his attorney offered me earlier this year (which I declined to report at the time), and Kelli Fuller's chilling 911 call from that hotel room in Atlanta last year, is now posted here.

Finally: Mid-show today, we received word that Hillary Clinton finally decided to take a public position on the Keystone XL pipeline. We've got her announcement and reaction to it from her fellow Democratic 2016 opponents and even a predictable thought or two from the Republican side of the contest...

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

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Guest: Lawrence Norden, co-author of Brennan Center's disturbing study
PLUS: Walker drops out, Fiorina moves up...
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2015 5:39pm PT  

We've got a lot to cover on today's BradCast (in addition to welcoming about our newest affiliate partner, WLRI 93FM in Lancaster, PA!)

First, some Presidential politics, including the late breaking news of Republican superstar and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker plummeting to the bottom of the 2016 GOP race for President and then promptly dropping out. At the same time, failed businesswoman and successful fantasist Carly Fiorina has surged in to 2nd place nationallly, even as Fox "News", of all outlets, challenges her on her pretend memories of a deceptively edited Planned Parenthood smear video.

Then, Volkswagen admits that their cars were built to hoax emissions testing by only kicking in pollution controls when the cars' computers sensed that they were undergoing emissions tests!

That, sadly enough, is meant to take us to our main story today, the new report from Brennan Center for Justice warning that "America's Voting Systems are at Risk" [PDF]. My guest is Lawrence Norden, co-author of the new report with Christopher Famighetti, explaining how the electronic voting systems in at least 43 states are more than a decade old and could fail entirely at any moment.

"The biggest finding is that, in the vast majority of the country, machines are at or rapidly approaching the ends of their life spans, and that, right now anyway, in most places, there aren't plans or budgets to replace them," Norden explains. "With older machines also comes just a difficulty in finding replacement parts. They're often running on very old software which creates security vulnerabilities --- so there are a lot of reasons that we need to start taking this more seriously."

Those failing machines, he goes on to tell me, resulted in some 500-700,000 votes being lost in last year's election alone, thanks to long lines that occur when these machines fail to work at all on Election Day. There is also a racial disparity to go along with those numbers, as Norden details, because "wealthier counties are in a position to replace their equipment that is aging, and those that don't have those resources are not."

While the report is expansive, well-researched and, justifiably, received a decent amount of attention from mainstream media sources upon its release last week, I share my concern with Norden that, while the study covers so much of what we've known for years (and have reported, virtually non-stop, for more than a decade both here at The BRAD BLOG and on The BradCast), the study's recommendations to replace old electronic systems with new electronic systems that will have many of the same problems is quite troubling. Nowhere in the report are overseeable, fully transparent hand-marked, hand-counted paper ballot systems discussed, despite such systems being regarded by many as Democracy's Gold Standard.

I also share my concerns with Norden about the report's timing, coming out right now when it is largely too late to replace voting systems --- at least with new electronic systems --- before voting begins in the 2016 cycle.

Norden, who I've had lively debates with in the past on related issues, says the Center's report is "not favoring any kind of technology," even if it is clear that they are calling for computer technology over more transparent and overseeable hand-counted systems. "I'm not crazy about the idea of having people just vote on paper without some kind of notification of potential errors," he argues, "notification that their vote won't be read."

He also argues, in making his case that computers are "more accurate" than hand-counts, that "a lot of vote-by-mail is not counted", mostly due to voter error.

Beyond that, I'll let you give the conversation a listen and you can decide for yourself what to make of the new report and its recommendations. I'll be delighted to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!...

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

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Guest: Howie Klein of Down With Tyranny and Blue America PAC
Plus: NYT notices the GOP is crazy; Trump's plan to 'save Social Security'; and the hottest August ever recorded on the planet...
By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2015 5:11pm PT  

After a week talking (mostly) about sleazy Republicans, we switch to sleazy Democrats today for a bit on The BradCast.

I'm joined by great progressive blogger Howie Klein of DownWithTyranny.com, who is also co-founder of the Blue America PAC, to discuss the recent smear of Bernie Sanders by a Hillary Clinton-supporting Super PAC, which is not supposed to be coordinating with the Clinton campaign or vice versa. But are they?

"There's no chance that it's not coordinated," Klein tells me, while admitting he has no hard evidence. "They'll deny it. It's illegal. If they admitted it, they would all go to jail. But the Clinton campaign, just like the Republican campaigns of Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz and Scott Walker --- they're all coordinating with their SuperPACs."

Klein details his assertions and his thoughts on the $1.2 million raised by Sanders in response to the smear, in the 48 hours after it!

Also, we discuss the absurd fiction of these so-called "SuperPACs", the failure of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to do anything about blatant violations of campaign finance laws, and the remarkable hypocrisy of the DNC and the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) in the wake of the GOP's latest threat to shut down the government, this time over a pretend Planned Parenthood "controversy".

Also today: New York Times finally notices how the Republican Party has lost touch with reality; Donald Trump's ingenious "plan" to "save Social Security"; and Desi Doyen joins us with Green News Report coverage of this week's CNN/GOP debate and the hottest August ever recorded on Planet Earth...

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

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Guests: 2012 GOP Presidential candidate Fred Karger and blogger/journalists Heather Digby Parton...
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2015 4:39pm PT  

On today's BradCast, what else? We dissect last night's GOP debate on CNN at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA.

My guests are fantastic! Our old friend, Heather Digby Parton --- Salon contributor, Hillman Foundation opinion journalism award winner, and proprietor of Digby's Hullabaloo blog --- joins us for the hour!

And I'm delighted to welcome back to The BradCast, Fred Karger, the former longtime Republican political consultant, 2012 GOP Presidential candidate, the first openly gay Presidential candidate from either major party and now "indefatigable" activist for equal rights.

No need to tease too much more, frankly. Find out what "Digby" and Karger, who is still (incredibly enough) a Republican --- though "hanging on by his fingernails" --- thought about last night's circus and if any of it will finally shake the party loose from its Trump fever dreams.

Debate analysis and insight that you won't hear anywhere else --- on what actually matters and what actually doesn't. Enjoy!

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

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Attorney Jonathan Brater on the newly passed legislation that could become the nation's single largest voter registration initiative in decades...
By Brad Friedman on 9/16/2015 5:16pm PT  

On today's BradCast...

California has just passed a bill that would automatically register all eligible citizens whenever they use the DMV or other state agencies. If Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signs "The California New Motor Voter Act" (which mirrors an initiative adopted by Oregon earlier this year), voter registration in the Golden State will become opt-out, rather than opt-in.

With nearly 7 million eligible --- but currently unregistered --- voters in the state, the legislation could be the single largest voter registration initiative in this country in decades! Jonathan Brater, counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice's Democracy Program, joins us to discuss the landmark legislation, whether it'll be signed by the Governor, and whether there are legitimate concerns about fraud via automatic universal voter registration.

Also today: As global warming takes a more and more deadly toll each day, Carly Fiorina, the 'moderate, reasonable' 2016 GOP candidate, continues to deny climate change science; listeners call in to ring in on all of the above and much more; and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report!

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

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Guest: Matthew Menendez of Brennan Center for Justice
Plus: Rain in L.A.; Rightwing Aussie PM ousted; GOPers for climate action; Liberty U. students respond to Sanders...
By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2015 5:16pm PT  

On today's BradCast: The most incredible, embarrassing nonsense you may not have even heard about is going on in the otherwise great state of Kansas, thanks to their extremist rightwing Republican legislature and Governor Sam Brownback.

But, first, it rained in Los Angeles today! Yes, amidst a record 500-year drought, rain actually counts as news these days. I explain, along with Desi Doyen who was also there to witness it. (Oh, and here's that harrowing fire footage we described in today's show.)

As if that's not crazy enough, a group of House Republicans are introducing a resolution that calls for climate action in advance of Pope Francis' visit next week and historic address to Congress, in which he is expected to make the case for taking action to curb global warming (and, also, in favor of the Iran peace deal.)

And that's not the only good news today. Australia's crazy rightwing Prime Minister Tony Abbott was ousted last night in a late night coup by his own party, paving the way for a new Prime Minister who actually believes in stuff like climate change and marriage equality!

But then, of course, our main topic today: More on what the hell is the matter with Kansas. Brennan Center for Justice's Democracy Program attorney Matthew Menendez joins us for an update on the cases he (and a number of other groups) have filed against Brownback on the heels of legislation the Governor signed that would defund the entire state Judiciary system if the courts have the temerity to strike down Brownback's legislation concerning education funding and restructuring (rigging) the judiciary.

"What they passed says if the outcome in a particular lawsuit came out a particular way, then the entire judicial appropriations was no longer valid," Menendez explains. Well, guess what? The court has just found against the state! So, now what?

"This is very troubling," Menendez tells me, detailing how the plaintiffs have been forced to seek a stay on the court's ruling (in their favor!) in order to keep the GOP law from kicking in and defunding the entire court! "In America, where we firmly believe --- or profess to --- in separation of powers, it's essential that judicial salaries not be threatened if legislators disagree with one of their rulings."

So much for the "conservative" belief in the Constitution's co-equal branches of government. Menendez tells me what has just happened in KS, where the cases are now, and what is expected to happen next in what he says could turn into "just a complete constitutional crisis."

Finally, on yesterday's program we played some of 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' remarks at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University as he attempted to reach out and find common ground with some of the 12,000 "conservative" students in attendance. Today, we hear from some of those students as they react to Sanders' speech. Suffice to say, reaching out to those who think they don't agree with you may be a very wise thing to do in today's divided and divisive media world.

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

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With military analyst Harlan Ullman & former AIPAC staffer M.J. Rosenberg
PLUS: Climate change hits home (again); Sanders speaks at Fallwell's Liberty University...
By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2015 5:48pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the politicization of the Iran peace deal by Israel and the Right in the U.S. is having serious consequences for both.

Military analyst, adviser, author and former naval commander Harlan Ullman --- credited with creating the 'Shock and Awe' doctrine (no Leftie peacenick, he!) --- joins me to explain why he believes the Iran deal is "potentially a strategic game-changer for the positive," and how Republicans and Israel are both wrong to oppose it.

"This agreement, if it is enforced and if it works, gives all sorts of strategic opportunities that will make the entire world safer," he tells me. "For whatever reason, Republicans and [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu don't want to accept that, in large part because of their hatred and disagreement with the Obama Administration."

He believes "a more objective view needs to prevail," but warns that the Obama needs to take special measures to ensure the deal remains enforced. (While I agree with Ullman on the issue, in general, you'll see that there is much we do not agree about when it comes to just about everything else! So, I'm happy to find common ground with him on these points!)

Then, former American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) staffer, turned senior Congressional staffer, turned columnist M.J. Rosenberg, joins me to discuss his recent column on the fall of the nation's once-most powerful Jewish lobby which, after spending millions to try and defeat the Iran deal, may have succeeded only in destroying itself. He explains why he believes that AIPAC made a fatal miscalculation in turning the fight against the agreement into a partisan issue. In the process, Rosenberg says, they have severely weakened the bi-partisan power they once wielded in both Congress and at the White House.

Until now, he tells me, both Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate would "just roll over and play dead when Israel, the Israeli government or AIPAC wanted anything. If AIPAC says 'vote no', you vote no." But those days, he believes, are now over and that's good news, as he describes it, for both Palestine and Israel. He goes on to note that the group no longer represents "the way most American Jews think" and now serves the interests of only "right wing Jews in Israel and right wingers here. Peace is not something that they believe in."

Two fascinating conversations on today's show!

Also on today's BradCast: Bernie Sanders seeks 'common ground' as he speaks to 12,000 students at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University; Climate change consequences continue to hit home, from massive rainfall in Japan to massive wildfires now devastating huge swathes of Northern California...

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Guest: NatSec journo Shane Harris on his startling Daily Beast exclusive
Also: New Presidential politics and polling news and MUCH more today...
By Brad Friedman on 9/10/2015 6:11pm PT  

Today's BradCast is packed with news from top to bottom. Please buckle up before listening.

First, Big Oil's deceptive scam in California (as discussed on yesterday's show) has succeeded, for now, as Dems pull landmark legislation that would have called for a 50% cut in petroleum usage in the state.

Then, new polling finds Bernie Sanders overtaking Hillary Clinton now in Iowa, as well as New Hampshire, while the party's internecine battle over more debates continues. On the GOP side, candidates not named Trump are flailing as they desperately try to get attention. It's not working --- neither is their lost hopes of scuttling the Iran peace plan.

Next, author and national security correspondent Shane Harris joins us to discuss his disturbing new exclusive at The Daily Beast on 50 U.S. intelligence analysts now reportedly charging that the U.S. has been "cooking" its intel on ISIS.

The still-unnamed military intelligence analysts working for CENTCOM, as Harris explains, are reportedly seeing some of their own reports manipulated by higher-ups. "Key pieces of [their analyses] that they feel are very important [are being] taken out, not given the proper context, [and] in some cases making it look like ISIS and al Qaeda are weaker than these analysts actually believe they are."

So are these charges akin to the way intel on Iraq and WMD was manipulated by the Bush Administration in the 2002/2003 lead-up to war, as revealed by the notorious Downing Street Memos ("the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy")? Or are these claims more akin to the hyperventilation over unsubstantiated allegations from the Right concerning Benghazi?

Harris tells me his reporting suggests it is more likely the former than the latter, though it remains unclear who is behind the alleged manipulation of intel and how high up it might go, even if proven true. "What I think is notable is that these 50 --- actually 52 --- professionals who are doing this every day, to go against their bosses, to take this to the IG is a very bold move. They feel very strongly that they have a case," he explains. "I've never seen anything like this. Usually whistle-blowers are in ones and twos, but for a group of people en masse to complain like this is certainly unique in my experience as a reporter."

We discuss who may be behind the alleged "cooking" of the intel and whether President Obama or the White House is somehow directing all of this as the Bush/Cheney Administration was doing in the case of the manipulated intel on Iraq. Tune in for Harris' response to those questions and many others, in what seems, at least as of now, a startling, if still-developing story.

Finally, our latest Green News Report is also a very busy one today, and not only because it includes several fresh examples of Sarah Palin's unparalleled ignorance...

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Guest: Timothy O'Connor of the Environmental Defense Fund...
By Brad Friedman on 9/9/2015 5:41pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the facts behind the insanely deceptive political ads blanketing the airwaves in California claiming the state will soon start "rationing gas" and "penalize and fine us if we drive too much or use too much gas".

Attorney Timothy O'Connor, Director of the Environmental Defense Fund's California Climate Initiative joins us to explain the absurd Big Oil-funded DontTakeMyGas.org campaign. You'll be shocked to learn that it's sponsored, to the tune of millions of dollars, by the scam artists of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) in hopes of blocking the state's proposed landmark effort (SB-350) to cut petroleum use by 50% by 2030.

"If other states see California --- the nation's leader in gasoline use --- cutting its consumption and its spending," O'Connor tells me, "I think they're going to want some of that for themselves. And that's where I think WSPA really wants to stop this snowball from growing and taking hold, and really rolling into something pretty big nationally."

Also today: Dick Cheney lies again, this time on the Iran Deal; More follow-up on the anti-gay KY County Clerk; And listener calls on all of the above!...

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

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Guest: Author and Harvard Health Policy Professor Dr. David Hemenway...
By Brad Friedman on 9/8/2015 5:28pm PT  

As noted at the top of today's BradCast, our show changed about five different times right up until air, as we attempted to keep up with busy news events on the ground following the Labor Day weekend.

First up, Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk who was jailed before the weekend after defying court orders to issue marriage licenses was released [PDF] by the Federal Judge who had found her in contempt last week. Waiting for her with a hero's welcome was a crowd of hundreds fomented by former Arkansas Governor turned GOP Presidential candidate turned Fox 'News' host turned GOP Presidential candidate again turned desperately disingenuous opportunist Mike Huckabee.

But what Huckabee failed to note in his defense of Davis --- as do most of the media covering what's going on down there --- is that Davis was sent to jail not for refusing to defy her own conscience as her supporters claim, but for refusing to allow others who disagreed with her in her own office from acting and following their own conscience...not to mention the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution.

Next up today: As the carnage of gun violence continues from coat to coast following the recent, live on-air shootings in Roanoke, Virginia (include another mass shooting at a school here in California and the critical injury of one of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's top legal staffers), we speak to author David Hemenway about solutions, as detailed in his book Private Guns, Public Health.

"People from around the world come and they just cannot understand why the United States allows this to happen --- compared to all the other first world countries and high income countries --- that we are allowing so many Americans to be killed," Hemenway tells me while explaining how our epidemic of gun violence must be regarded as an issue of public health. "First we have to admit we have a problem, and the numbers are just overwhelming."

While he concedes that, no matter what we do, "we are going to have lots and lots of guns in the Unites States," they can and should be made safer. "One of the analogies we make in public health is in the motor vehicle area," Hemenway explains. "Fatalities per mile driven in the United States have fallen over 85% because the cars are so much better, and the roads are so much better. Yes, we ought to look at the individuals [perpetrating the violence] but we can do so much more, so much more cost-effectively, if we also look at the system. Let's make a system where it's hard to make errors, hard to behave inappropriately, and then when still some people do, let's make it that nobody dies."

"For example, we'd like manufacturers to do a better job about making child-proof guns --- which they made 100 years ago --- to make it harder for kids to unintentionally kill themselves. We can say 'You know, it's the kid's fault, it's the parent's fault, it's somebody's fault fault fault,' or we can solve the problem, which is make it so that when you take out the magazine the gun won't fire. It's not rocket science."

Hemenway, Professor of Health Policy and Director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, offers other common sense solutions, including the need for better data collection, currently made scarce by both legislation and intimidation by gun proponents. "Whenever there's a motor vehicle death, we get 150 pieces of information collected consistently and comparably. We want to get good data on the number of guns in households in each state, but the Center for Disease Control is afraid to ask questions about that because they'll get beaten up by Congress."

He also discusses a number of myths from opponents of gun safety laws, including the claim that women need guns to protect themselves from predators and the notion that households are safer with a gun to protect the occupants. "Only about a third of households have guns," Hemenway tells me. "And the two-thirds that don't have guns, turns out they are much, much safer than the one third that does."

Also on today's busy broadcast: Breaking news from the Freddie Gray killing in Baltimore; Breaking news on the Iran Deal from U.S. Senate Democrats; and more...

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Guest: Legal analyst Ernest A. Canning; Plus: Listener calls and more!...
By Brad Friedman on 9/2/2015 5:17pm PT  

Over the weekend at the DNC Summer Meeting in Minneapolis, 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Martin O'Malley excoriated his party for their 'rigged process' of Presidential debates. Bernie Sanders agreed and BRAD BLOG's legal analyst Ernest A. Canning apparently does too.

He wrote about it this week, including his concerns that the process could result in a 1968-like rift within the party. He joins us to discuss it on today's BradCast.

Also today, in a victory for President Obama (and for peace and diplomacy) it looks like the Iran Deal now appears to be sealed in the U.S. Senate --- despite wild disinformation about it (and a Republican base which appears clueless about that and much more).

We also take listener calls on all of the above, including some on our programs earlier this week on the KS statistician being blocked by the state from examining evidence she believes suggest "voting machine manipulation" and the attorney representing the couples suing the KY County Clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses in defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Plus: Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report as we get ready to take a few days off for the holidays. (But, don't worry, your BradCast will be ably guest hosted once again by the excellent Nicole Sandler of RadioOrNot.com for a couple of days until we're back after the holidays!)

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Guest Joe Dunman, attorney for the couples challenging Clerk Kim Davis: 'Imagine a Muslim clerk denying licenses to Christian couples'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/1/2015 6:02pm PT  

Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis continues to defy federal court orders to issue marriage licenses to two gay and two straight couples. Their attorney, Joe Dunman, joins us on today's BradCast for a fascinating discussion of the case, how we got here, and where it all goes from here.

"To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience," the elected County Clerk said in a statement today following the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal yesterday to hear Davis' application for an "asylum of conscience" and her own refusal, once again today, to issue licenses.

"It is a Heaven or Hell decision," she adds. Guess which one she's choosing?

Dunman, who also represented the Kentucky couples in SCOTUS' landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case that declared marriage equality a fundamental right in all 50 states, tells me that Davis is not required to actually perform any marriages. "She's not obligated to solemnize a marriage at all. The only thing she has to do is stamp her name on the documents that are filed with the state."

"In her arguments so far, she claims that [by] putting her name on it, she is 'authorizing and blessing' those marriages." But the U.S. District Court Judge (as well as the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and now the U.S. Supreme Court) "disagreed, and said 'look, you're just certifying that they meet the legal standards, that they're eligible for marriage licenses --- that's all you're doing. You're not blessing anything. For that reason she doesn't have a religious objection. Not to mention that there's no case law to support the idea that public officials have religious rights that trump the civil rights of other people."

"Extending her logic outward, there's really no end to what a public official could do. All they'd have to claim that they sincerely believe something, and they just do it," Dunman explains. "I want people to imagine a Muslim clerk in Kentucky denying licenses to Christian couples as they walk in the door, and whether or not people would be standing up for 'religious freedom.'"

The attorney also notes that Kentucky's Republican Gubernatorial candidate, Matt Bevin, "has come out strongly in her support" for Davis, who is actually a Democrat, "going so far as to say 'Clerks Lives Matter' during a rally in her favor."

Also on today's BradCast: Reverberations following yesterday's interview with Beth Clarkson, the Kansas statistician who believes she's found evidence of "voting machine manipulation", but is being blocked by KS Sec. of State Kris Kobach from examining the e-voting system's paper audit logs from the 2014 election.

Plus: A crazy case of "voter suppression" --- of a very bizarre sort --- in Columbia, Missouri; Alabama's plans to shut down 45 of its 49 driver's license offices (despite the state's strict Photo ID voting restriction law); and Obama makes an impassioned plea for action on climate change up in the Arctic...

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

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