On today's BradCast: What's really going on in Baltimore? We discuss the riots and the reason and turn to Fox "News", of all places, for a bit of sanity! (No, really. Thank you, Shep Smith!)
Then, Doug Hughes, the U.S. postal worker who landed his gyrocopter on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol to bring attention to the need for campaign finance reform in the wake of Citizens United, joins me for a conversation that focuses --- for a change --- on why he actually did it. See his website TheDemocracyClub.org for more.
It's an "orgy of spending," Hughes told me, and he's hoping to see a "nonpartisan, ground swell voter rebellion" against it. He also talked about his cool gyrocopter, what his bosses at the USPS have done since his brush with infamy, and the failure on behalf of our national security apparatus to stop him. The letter he was attempting to deliver to 535 members of the U.S. Congress is now posted here.
Plus: Marriage equality is winning the day even on Fox 'News', but can it win once and for all in the U.S. Supreme Court?...
On today's premiere edition of the now-daily BradCast, we cover the violence on the ground in Baltimore during protests of the death of Freddy Gray in police custody, and the ongoing disaster following the weekend's earthquake in Nepal.
Then, I speak to legendary 'Pentagon Papers' whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg from the National Press Club in D.C. about the Obama Administration's unprecedented prosecution of national security whistleblowers and the slap-on-the-wrist sentence given to disgraced CIA director General David Petraeus, versus the severe treatment to actual recent whistleblowers such as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.
"Our democracy has eroded very very heavily since 9/11," Ellsberg tells me in a fascinating conversation. "More than people realize. And maybe not more than they were willing to see, but it hasn't been an informed change on their part. When they think 'I'm willing to give up a little democracy here to have more security,' they don't know how much they're giving up and they don't know how little more security they're getting."
Near the end of our conversation, Ellsberg was also kind enough to say some very nice things about the work we've been doing here at The BRAD BLOG for so many years. Coming from someone like him, that means a great deal.
Plus, Loretta Lynch finally sworn in as the next AG; Dubya criticizes Obama's Mid-east foreign policy (!) and climate deniers head to the Vatican...
Okay, so it's not "The Daily Show", but, as announced during yesterday's BradCast, beginning this Monday (4/27), barring any disasters (which could most certainly occur between now and then), Desi and I will be producing daily episodes of The BradCast for awhile.
My blogging here has been light-ish of late; the main reason has been trying to work out everything in the background, on a bit of a shoestring, as required to get a daily program up and running.
For the first few weeks, I suspect the new project will take a lot of time, energy and focus. So please bear with us as I am giving myself permission to focus on the show every day without worrying about blogging beyond show postings for a while. I suspect that may not last very long (or even at all), but I need to give myself that permission anyway --- so I hope you will do the same.
So...aside from show postings, blogging here (by me anyway) may be light for a while (or it may not be), even as guest bloggers may continue to rake muck and cause trouble as frequently as they wish, and as I have time to perform my editing responsibilities therein.
As mentioned, we are doing much of this on a shoestring, so we welcome your donations towards the effort, if you are so inclined. (See below. And thank you!) Otherwise, I hope you'll tune in and shout out with feedback good, bad or otherwise!...
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Please help support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system and much more --- now in our TWELFTH YEAR! --- as available from no other media outlet in the nation...
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(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)
Big news about The BradCast in this week's BradCast! You can listen to it to find out what it is or wait for me to mention it here at The BRAD BLOG shortly.
Beyond that, while it happens to be Earth Day, it's always Earth Day around here, so we decided to make it Un-Earth Day in "honor" of the rightwing anti-science, anti-climate, anti-reality group The Heartland Institute. You'll enjoy some of their thoughts on this 45th Anniversary of Earth Day.
Also, updates in the Judge Mark Fuller "wife beating" case; a thought or two about Hillary and "the Left"; a bunch of great listener phone calls (including one with a, um, rather remarkable explanation for climate change!); and, of course, Desi Doyen and the latest Green News Report. Enjoy!
Romm, who served as Chief Science Adviser for last year's Emmy-award winning Years of Living Dangerously series on Showtime, also breaks a bit of news on The BradCast by confirming that there will be a season two for the groundbreaking environmental documentary series. He promises that "it will be on a cable network that has a far greater reach" than Showtime, though he can't let us know which one yet.
Was Netanyahu/Likud's win last week in Israel the best possible outcome for Palestinians? While it seems counter-intuitive at first blush, some who follow Israeli/Palestinian politics very closely say it was.
My guest on this week's Pacifica RadioBradCast, Estee Chandler of JewishVoiceForPeace.org and the producer/co-host of KPFK's Middle East in Focus program believes that is the case and tells me why. She offers a different (and very welcome) perspective than the Right/Left (and now, sadly, Republican/Democratic) narrative we've heard so much of from most of the media since last week's election.
Plus, Ted Cruz' astoundingly ingenious if extraordinary cynical remark the day after he declared his intention to seek the 2016 GOP nomination for President; OH tries a new voter suppression tactic; another predictable Internet Voting failure in Australia; Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report and MUCH MORE!...
And, if you've been following The BRAD BLOG lately, you'll know that I think so much of what's going on, in the media, in Congress, and just about everywhere else of late, is just insanely dumb.
So, on those topics today, I was delighted to be joined by our friend Eric Boehlert of Media Matters to discuss the media hypocrisy over Hillary Clinton's email "scandal" (while ignoring other, almost identical matters that actually are or were scandals) and the massive lies of Bill O'Reilly that somehow nobody seems to care about.
If you were looking for a fresh reminder as to why Vote-by-Mail is a terrible idea, why provisional ballots are not the same as actually casting a vote, and why there needs to be more accountability for and oversight of election officials, today's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio should fit the bill.
In short, we cover the election contest now pending in the race for City Council (Seat 1) in the San Diego County city of Chula Vista, CA. The certified results from the November 2014 election show a 2-vote margin between the John McCann (R) and Steve Padilla (D) in a race with some 37,000 ballots cast. McCann has been certified as the "winner".
Trouble is, according to the lawsuit [PDF], at least 15 mail-in and provisional ballots were rejected, even though the signatures on them matched the signatures from the voters' registrations on file. That, argues attorney John S. Moot (my guest this week, and a former Chula Vista City Council Member himself), is in violation of the law.
The other trouble is, those ballots were rejected by San Diego County Registrar Michael Vu, who was the infamous Election Director of Cuyahoga County, Ohio's most populist (and most Democratic) county during the 2004 Presidential election, when two of his immediate subordinates were indicted and found guilty of rigging the Presidential "recount" in Cuyahoga. Yes, if you didn't know or don't remember, there was a partial "recount" of that election, across the entire Buckeye State, as requested by the Green and Libertarian Parties. And, yes, it was found to have been rigged in a court of law.
Vu, who was protected at the time by the Republicans who ran the Cuyahoga Election Board, was never charged and was happily hired not long thereafter by San Diego County, where elections have been little more than a joke for many years, even before Vu got there.
For the full story on this, listen to this week's show and Moot's commentary on the suit he's filed on behalf of his client, a long-time poll worker and voter from Chula Vista.
I was joined on this week's KPFK/Pacifica RadioBradCast by some of the best bloggers/journalists in the nation (who all happen to live in L.A.) to discuss and deconstruct Obama's 2015 State of the Union Address, the Republican response and more.
Our star-studded in-studio roundtable panel included (from left to right in the photo above) David Dayen of Salon, Heather 'Digby' Parton of Hullabaloo, John Amato from Crooks And Liars, me and Desi Doyen (not pictures, but ever present.)
In short, my question is: Just because we can publish material offensive to millions, should we? Callers ring in with their thoughts --- lots of them --- during this interesting hour. Plus, Desi Doyen joins us, as usual, for the latest Green News Report, and to beat up the state of Texas a bit (because they deserve it)...
Finally, as ever, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report to quickly cover all that happened in the green news world while we were off for holiday break at the end of the warmest year for the planet in recorded history...
In case you missed it last year, or wisely realize you can't wait to listen again, there is no better time to call in rest of the family, curl up around the fire and return to yesteryear with our award-wanting Very Special (And Somewhat Subversive) BradCast Holiday Special!, featuring The BradCast Radio Theatre Players...
• Or, if you prefer to listen to just one segment at a time:
PART 1: Intro & "Buzz Edsel versus the Giant Jupiterians!" MP3 Download or listen online below (appx. 24 mins)...
PART 2: "Buzz Edsel versus the Sun-Stealers!" MP3 Download or listen online below (appx. 16 mins)...
PART 3: "Buzz Edsel and the Santa Surprise!" MP3 Download or listen online below (appx. 16 mins)...
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Since we are no longer sponsored by the Ford Motor Company --- as we were in the 1930s & 40s (as you'll hear when you listen to our holiday special) --- it is left to only readers and listeners like you to allow us even have a chance to continue doing all that we do here at The BRAD BLOG...
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(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" also very welcome!)
(Thanks to Thom for the kind words after I hung up.)
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P.S. Without a proper break over the summer this year, and then continuing non-stop since the elections, I must say I'm not nearly an accomplished enough writer to properly describe how fried I am right about now.
As mentioned, I'm on the road and will continue to be until after the New Year. I need to complete some deadlines for articles elsewhere, knock out a few radio shows, and figure out how The BRAD BLOG can survive as we move forward into our 12th(!) year in January. But between now and then, I'm going to try to force myself to take some down time, at least from blogging, if possible, for a few weeks. We'll see if I'm successful. I'm usually not. (I suspect I may, at the very least, be popping up on Twitter. So be sure to follow both @TheBradBlog and @GreenNewsReport there in the meantime if you're not already.)
So, while there may be a few things rolling here, if things are quieter than usual for a while, all of that would be why...