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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, February 7, 2016
'Progress' v. 'Revolution': Bernie and Hillary's Lively NH Debate: 'BradCast' 2/5/16
Coverage and analysis with KY civil rights attorney Joe Dunman and Crooks and Liars' Managing Editor Karoli Kuns...
Black Box Voting's Bev Harris on Iowa Caucus Mess, NH Concerns: 'BradCast' 2/4/16
ALSO: 'Hero of Democracy' Tom Courbat, In Memoriam...
'Green News Report' 2/4/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Dems keep pushing climate action, Repubs keep ignoring it; FL mayors slam Rubio on sea level rise; CA AG files suit over massive gas leak; PLUS: FBI launches Flint probe...
Previous GNRs: 2/2/16 - 1/28/16 - Archives...
FL Mayors Slam Rubio on Climate Flip-Flop; Cruz Accused of 'Fraud' in IA: 'BradCast' 2/3/16
Rising ire, rising tides. Mayor Cindy Lerner of Pinecrest, FL joins us...
What the Hell Just Happened in Iowa?!: 'BradCast' 2/2/16
Concerned about missing votes, coin tosses, videos suggesting fraud? Caucus expert Prof. David P. Redlawsk explains it all (and more) for you...and me...
'Green News Report' 2/2/16
Cruz promises to kill all energy subsidies; Rubio was for climate action, before against it; Crashing oil prices blow hole in NC budget; PLUS: Bad and good news in CA...
Sanders on the 'Edge'? Really, NY Times?: 'BradCast' 2/1/16
Jim Naureckas of FAIR on corporate media's false balance; Plus: More Dem debates; Trump's Iowa faux pas; Leaker Petraeus gets another pass...
Sunday Toons of the Hawkeye State Moment
Documenting the moments before the Iowa Caucuses via PDiddie's weekly collection of political toons...
Microsoft's App at the Iowa Caucuses: 'BradCast' 1/28/16
Also, the latest on the Oregon 'Patriot' standoff with independent journalist Arun Gupta...
'Green News Report' 1/28/16
Dems focus on climate, energy in IA; FL mayors smack Rubio on climate; Flint stuck with bad pipes, water; Poor bear brunt of pollution; PLUS: Victory for coal miners...
Ernie on Bernie: 'BradCast' 1/27/16
BRAD BLOG legal analyst turned Vets for Bernie advisor Ernest A. Canning on Sanders' electability and much more; PLUS: New OR standoff news, GOP/Dem debate controversies, listener calls!...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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GUEST: KPFK News Director Ernesto Arce...
By Brad Friedman on 12/15/2015 3:40pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we cover the 'credible threat' of terror said to have been received by Los Angeles school officials out here, leading to today's unprecedented, complete shutdown of the second largest school district in the nation.

I'm joined by Ernesto Arce, News Director at our flagship radio station here in Los Angeles, Pacifica Radio's KPFK, for the latest, including the growing belief that the entire matter was little more than a hoax; that there have been more than 150 reports of hate crimes against Muslims here in Southern California since the San Bernardino shootings two weeks ago; and that today's panic suggests, once again, that you don't have to fire a shot or set off a bomb to terrorize Americans.

Also today, the sentencing of the latest Republican Sec. of State --- New Mexico's Dianna Duran --- to be found guilty of election fraud crimes, even as the GOP still pretends that Democrats are committing massive "voter fraud"; I finally figure out a way that Donald Trump could be knocked off his throne and maybe not win the GOP 2016 nomination after all (maybe); And Desi Doyen joins us for special Green News Report coverage of the historic UN climate agreement that was finalized unanimously by almost 200 nations over the weekend in Paris...

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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Award-winning climate scientist, creator of 'hockey stick graph', discusses landmark COP21 pact, GOP science denial, investigating Exxon, and how climate is now changing weather...
By Brad Friedman on 12/14/2015 5:07pm PT  

"It's difficult to understate the significance of this agreement," Dr. Michael E. Mann tells me on today's BradCast. "I think we are witnessing the end of the age of fossil fuels and the beginning of a new age of a clean global energy economy."

Mann, the Director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, creator of the infamous "hockey stick graph", and author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, was speaking, of course, of the historic U.N. Paris Agreement, where negotiators from some 200 nations unanimously agreed over the weekend to curb the release of greenhouse gases that cause global warming, in hopes of staving off the worst effects of climate change.

The landmark COP21 accord has been some 21 years in the making, if not many more, as explained during today's show. While cautioning that "the devil is in the details" and "reductions that we'll get out of this agreement alone won't be enough to keep us below dangerous levels of warming," Mann says the agreement finally "starts to put us on the path to avoiding dangerous climate change."

But is it too little too late? Is it even possible to keep global temperatures from rising no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, as called for by the agreement (which also asks nations to keep that rise no higher than 1.5C, if possible)? Mann tells me he believes there is still time to avoid the worst consequences of man's behavior and decades of inaction.

"I can give that answer confidently, as a scientist who studies the numbers. Yes, it is absolutely still physically possible," he says. "What is more in question, of course: is it doable? Is it achievable? And that's a matter of political will. That's really the only limitation."

We discuss those political limitations and much more today, including Mann's op-ed in last week's New York Times slamming Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chair of the U.S. House Science Committee, for his "assault on climate science," as well as Smith's published response to that op-ed. "There's not a truthful word in his statement," Mann retorts.

I also ask the professor about former NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen's assertion that the Paris Agreement is a "fraud" because it fails to include a specific global price on the release of carbon into the atmosphere; about the increasing calls for investigation and prosecution of ExxonMobil for obscuring their own scientists' findings about the "potentially catastrophic" effects of global warming as early as 1977; about that satellite data set cited by Republican climate deniers to suggest that global warming has either paused or doesn't exist at all; and a few more of what I characterize as my own "dumb science questions" about the effects of climate change on weather predictions and El Niño.

As usual, Mann pulls no punches in today's exclusive BradCast interview.

Also today: President Obama's update on the continuing military fight against ISIS and new polling news for both Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates (and the Sanders campaigns' decrying of a network news "Bernie Blackout") in advance of the next GOP Presidential debate on Tuesday...

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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And how Dems should have been careful what they wished for...
By Brad Friedman on 12/11/2015 4:52pm PT  

Today on The BradCast we catch up with a lot of incoming from over the past week (or two) as Republicans officially begin to freak out about the likelihood of Donald Trump becoming their nominee and the possibility (perhaps, their hope) for a contested nominating convention, and as the U.N. climate conference heads into its final hours towards an agreement that might save the planet.

We cover quite a bit of ground on today's show, as you'll hear, so I'll just let you listen and make of it what you will, rather than go into great detail here.

Suffice to say, we call out not just Republicans for the mess we're all now in --- from the rise of money in politics to to the rise of Trump to the rise of fear and fascism to the rise of global temperatures --- but also the mainstream corporate media. Had they not consistently failed to do their job over the past decade (or two), they might have kept this entire fine mess from happening in the first place.

But why would want to? They are now the biggest winners of all. And the Democrats don't seem to be laughing about it any of it anymore. Enjoy the show.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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: Brendan Fischer of WI's Center for Media and Democracy...
By Brad Friedman on 12/9/2015 5:33pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the Wisconsin Supreme Court drops the next amazing shoe in the mindblowing case against the "John Doe" criminal probe into campaign improprieties by Gov. Scott Walker and his Koch Brothers-funded rightwing crony organizations during the 2012 recall elections in the state. (Audio link posted below.)

I'm joined once again by Brendan Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy today to discuss the unprecedented move by the state's high court that has, in effect, resulted in the firing of the Republican special investigator in charge of the probe looking at illegal campaign coordination between those powerful "dark money" groups and the controversial Republican Governor.

"The Wisconsin Supreme Court has a four justice majority," Fischer explains in recounting this remarkable, and under-reported turn of events. "And that four justice majority was elected to the bench with $10 million dollars in spending from the same groups under investigation. The same groups that Walker was accused of coordinating with. The same groups that were party to the case. And the same groups that would be affected by an adverse ruling by a decision that what they did was illegal."

"Despite these conflicts of interests, these justices declined to recuse. They shut down the investigation, rewrote the law to benefit their biggest donors, and then the Special Prosecutor asked the Court to reconsider its investigation."

In response to that Motion to Reconsider, Fischer tells me, the Court's bought and paid for majority went far beyond what anybody might have imagined they would do. "Not only did they dismiss the Motion to Reconsider, they rewrote their July decision to say, 'you as Special Prosecutor can no longer be involved in this case.' Which means that he would be unable to appeal up to the U.S. Supreme Court and challenge the conflicts of interest on the WI Supreme Court."

The result, as both Fischer and the Court's minority note, is that we are now in wholly unprecedented territory for this case in the Badger State and for illegal campaign finance and coordination in Wisconsin and, potentially, the rest of the nation as the Right has been paying close attention to this case and spending a lot of money for the results they now seem to have achieved.

Please listen to the full amazing interview below!

Also on today's BradCast: Corporate media finally begin to notice the mess they've helped foster in this country over the past decade (and more) and some good news, for a very welcome change, in our latest Green News Report as the UN climate summit in Paris (COP21) reaches crunch time...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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GUEST: Author, columnist, gun safety activist Cliff Schecter...
By Brad Friedman on 12/7/2015 5:28pm PT  

On today's BradCast, President Obama's primetime address to the nation on Sunday discussed the nexus between terror and guns. We discuss that same nexus and much more on today's program.

First up, a quick welcome to our newest affiliate partner, Grateful Dread Public Radio in Nashville!

Then, how Donald Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric --- including his call today to block all Muslims from entering the country --- has real world consequences, perhaps even in last week's San Bernardino massacre, as suggested by the disturbing Islamophobic tweets from one of the shooting victims who had been a co-worker of the male shooter.

With that event, and more shootings and Islamophobic incidents than we can even keep up with at this point, we are joined Cliff Schecter, gun safety activist, Daily Beast columnist and author of the best selling The Real McCain to discuss all of it.

Schecter, formerly a competitive shooter, discusses how U.S. extremists from the NRA to the GOP on down the line are blocking reform of the nation's gun laws at the federal level, and how that failure to respond to the majority interests in the country underscores a serious deficiency in our system of democracy "where we have to balance the rights of people who want to own guns versus the rights the rest of us are guaranteed in numerous parts of our Constitution, to live."

"When people are being shot in multiple instances, every day," he opines, "these are the kinds of things that are happening that aren't supposed to happen in a society like ours, and just proves how out of whack things have gotten. If you are a waitress and you have to be scared to actually ask one of your customers to stop smoking, if you have to be nervous about going to movie theaters, or getting in arguments with people --- which we all do with random people in life --- I mean, what kind of society is that? That's a sick society."

We also discuss the refusal of Republican lawmakers in Congress, as recently as last week, to close the so-called "Terror Gap" that allows those on the Terror Watch List to purchase weapons in the U.S., even without any background check at all (as Al-Qaeda has been very happy to note).

Republicans, he explains, have chosen the NRA's financial support over protecting the American people. "I don't think it gets any weaker on terrorism than that. They are trading in people's safety here for NRA money and NRA support. That's sad and that's pathetic."

When I ask if he agrees with my long-held assertion that the NRA is a terrorist-supporting/enabling organization, he responds: "If you don't want to call them straight-out terrorist, which I would. They are the political wing of various domestic terrorist organizations --- of white supremacist organizations, of militias, and all these other groups --- quite clearly."

We also discuss the New York Times' landmark weekend editorial calling for a ban on assault weapons (and actually taking them away from citizens) and the largely good news out of the U.S. Supreme Court today, upholding a lower (Right-leaning) appellate court decision on an assault weapon ban in an Illinois community.

Also today: Some very good news for former President Jimmy Carter and more...

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

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Veteran FBI Special Agent on the program that remains a far greater threat to the U.S. than Syrian refugees; How we're 'making it harder to find terrorists'; And how 'there is no way to bomb your way to peace'...
By Brad Friedman on 12/4/2015 5:29pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: How the NRA and GOP are working together to make sure guns remain freely available to terrorists and how the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) poses a far greater threat to national security than Syrian refugees hoping to escape war and terror by resettling in the U.S.

First up today, as the FBI announces the San Bernardino massacre will be investigated "as an act of terror", the Republican Congress continues to do the NRA's terror-loving business by refusing to tighten up gaping holes in our gun safety laws, allowing even those on the Terror Watch List to buy weapons, often even without a background check. We detail how al-Qaeda itself has, for years, been calling on jihadists --- very specifically --- to exploit these loopholes in the U.S. and how the GOP and NRA fight to assure that they can.

Then, FBI veteran, 9/11 whistleblower and 2002 TIME Magazine Person of the Year Coleen Rowley joins us to discuss the gaping security holes in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP), as she detailed this week at Huffington Post.

Before we get into details, Rowley recounts how her FBI field office in Minnesota had attempted to warn intelligence officials in D.C. about Zacarias Moussaoui's pre-9/11 flight lessons and how then CIA Director George Tenet later admitted receiving those warnings but failed to take action (before being given the Congressional Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush.)

Rowley then goes on to explain how the VWP, which allows millions of foreigners into the U.S. with minimal scrutiny, presents a far easier way for potential terrorists to threaten the U.S. without the much more rigorous scrutiny --- including nearly two years of personal interviews and bio-metric cross-checking --- than Syrian refugees must contend with.

She tells me how the over-collection of data actually makes it harder for intelligence officials to track information that matters. "The problem now is there's a glut of info, almost all non-relevant, and they can't make sense of it," says Rowley. "After 9/11 they thought, 'Collect it all! Turn on massive warrantless monitoring. Collect all this meta-data showing everybody's contacts.' But if you collect everything, you know nothing. It's making the job harder. If we add hay to the haystack, we're making it harder to find the terrorists."

Rowley also notes how even those here via the VWP are allowed to purchase assault weapons, thanks to lack of Congressional action. "Not only can they come in, but they are free then to buy guns," she tells me. "Obama cannot stop that without Congressional legislation, and then he runs into the NRA and all the people that are for more free gun sales."

"Why in the heck would it not be common sense to at least limit gun sales to people who are only supposed to be here, by the way, for 90 days? Would it be that important that they have to go pheasant hunting in South Dakota in those 90 days that they have to buy their own gun? They couldn't borrow one?"

Finally, during our in-depth (must-listen, in my opinion) interview, Rowley speaks to what should be done about the threat of ISIS. "We're creating more people who hate and more potential attackers than we can possibly kill," she warns. "And it's not just Islamic extremism. We're also seeing the same thing with the domestic terrorists who watch American Sniper and this culture that emphasizes that getting a gun and shooting people is the answer to your problems."

"There is a connection here, because we are inspiring. It's the same connection of inspiring people by killing them," Rowley argues. "There is no way to bomb your way to peace. Increasing the size and the scope of the war zone, as the United States has done --- from one or two countries now to half a dozen countries to the entire Middle East and now stretching even into Ukraine and elsewhere in revamping up the Cold War --- this is a recipe for complete disaster."

"If we're creating more could-be would-be terrorists, we have got to find a way to reduce that number. And I think the only answer is to say war is not the answer. War is hurting us. It's creating this."

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GUEST: Radio Sputnik's Dimitri Boschmann from Paris climate talks...
By Brad Friedman on 12/3/2015 5:51pm PT  

Catching up with quite a bit today on The BradCast --- or, at least, trying to!

First up, the "Dark Lord of Coal" Don Blankenship is found guilty of just one misdemeanor count related to the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster in West Virginia, where 29 mine workers were killed. At the same time, the last of the BP executives who might have spent time in jail for the 2010 Gulf Oil disaster, where 11 workers were killed, gets off without jail time.

Next, facts, fall out and several open questions following Wednesday's mass shooting in San Bernardino, CA, where 14 were killed and another 21 injured. "Thoughts and prayers" still seem to be failing to solve the epidemic gun violence problem in the U.S., no matter how much the terrorist-supporting NRA's bought and paid for GOP stooges continue to avoid taking any real action.

Then, Dmitri Boschmann, Chief Editor for Radio Sputnik in France, joins us from on the ground in Paris to discuss the U.N. climate talks there (COP21), the security surrounding the largest gathering of world leaders in history, President Vladimir Putin's surprisingly strong warning about global warming (Boschmann calls it "quite a surprise" and "also quite symbolic"), as well as his perspective on both the French and Russian governments interests in a global climate treaty to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us with an American perspective on the same conference in our latest Green News Report on the progress and the undermining of progress that awaits a world hoping to avoid climate disaster...

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

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GUEST: KPFK News Director Ernesto Arce...
By Brad Friedman on 12/2/2015 5:39pm PT  

On today's BradCast, mass shootings come home here in Southern California as 14 are confirmed dead by airtime with many more injured at the Inland Regional Center facility in San Bernardino.

Our live breaking coverage of the shootings and its aftermath --- all taking place just a few miles from our KPFK/Pacifica Radio studios here in Los Angeles --- includes coverage from KPFK News Director Ernesto Arce, live from the scene and much more...

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GUEST: Independent journalist, FOIA activist Brandon Smith...
By Brad Friedman on 12/1/2015 4:34pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Desi Doyen and I are finally back from a week of maddening illness over the holiday! My enormous thanks to Nicole Sander of RadioOrNot.com for her generously quick-footed and quick-witted guest-hosting in our absence!

First up today is a quick review of what we can (or can't) look forward to over the next two weeks in Paris, where the largest gathering of world leaders in history is now underway in hopes of carving out a "final" agreement to curb the global emissions that cause deadly climate change. We will have much more on the COP21 conference as it unfolds over the next two weeks.

Then it's onto the rightwing extremism --- from the Black Lives Matter protesters shot in Minneapolis to the attack at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs --- that took place over the past week. As we note, it wasn't ISIS or Syrian refugees threatening our nation last week. Rather, as made clear once again, "the call is coming from inside the house."

Finally, we are joined for the interview by independent journalist Brandon Smith of the blog Muckrakery. It was Smith's persistent work and FOIA requests and lawsuit (along with the efforts of independent activists and attorneys) that eventually led to the release last week of the Chicago PD dash-cam video showing the outrageous killing of 17-year old Laquan McDonald by Officer Jason Van Dyke who has now been charged with first-degree murder.

"The Freedom of Information Act," Smith explains, "can be used by anyone. So, if you're reading a news story and something sounds fishy to you, you can ask for any document or piece of information. It's your government. It's your responsibility, and mine too, to hold them accountable for what they do with their positions of power."

We discuss why it took more than a year for the Chicago Police to release the tape during its cover up of an apparent murder, whether Mayor Rahm Emanuel has responded sufficiently, and what we still do not know about the killing. (For example: What happened to the audio on that video tape?; What about the surveillance video allegedly deleted by cops at the Burger King?; Why didn't the corporate media file suit to get at the video themselves?; And what of all of those other officers at the scene who failed to take action, or lied about it, after witnessing Van Dyke pump 16 bullets into McDonald --- the first two while he was walking away from them, the other 14 while he was shot, on the ground, and a threat to nobody?)

"I'm just trying to report the story of police brutality in Chicago," Smith tells me while describing how much remains unknown and what he plans to FOIA next. "We want to know who knew what about the case, and how long they kept it hidden, and kept that story out there that Laquan was acting erratically and threatening officers. Not only that, but keeping the video secret and fighting the release of the video which would tell people this was a murder, according to the prosecutors."

All of that and more today on what is clearly just the tip of the very bad and racially-based policing in the Windy City and beyond...

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GUEST: Trevor Timm of Freedom of the Press Foundation...
By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2015 5:30pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: Two big election wins for Democrats in the Deep South; More opportunism following the Paris attacks; And mass GOP delusion. (Audio link for the complete show is below.)

After a quick welcome to our newest terrestrial affiliate --- KSOW 106.7FM in Cottage Grove, Oregon --- it's on to the huge victory over the weekend for Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards in his runoff against Republican Sen. David Vitter in the race to replace Louisiana's outgoing Governor and Presidential candidate Bobby Jindal (R).

Also, Democrats held off a Republican supermajority in the Mississippi state Assembly over the weekend by the luck of the draw, literally, as a reportedly tied race for a statehouse seat was settled by drawing straws. The losing Republican candidate is filing a challenge to the election in the Republican MS legislature. Both states, LA and MS, force their voters to vote on 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems. So, who really won and who really lost the races? Your guess is as good as mine...at least in the MS case.

Then, while elected officials and Presidential candidates shamefully continue their attempt to block Syrian refugees from coming to the U.S. after the Paris attacks, a number of current and former U.S. intelligence officials are just as disingenuously using the tragedy in an attempt to undermine encryption technology on your phone and computer.

Trevor Timm, attorney, columnist, activist and co-founder of the Freedom of the Press Foundation joins us to discuss his recent column at the UK's Guardian calling out U.S. intelligence officials for their appalling and misleading opportunism in the wake of the November 13th attacks.

Despite the fact that the Paris attackers were known in advance and communicated with each other via unencrypted text messages and Facebook, top intelligence officials are still fighting to be entrusted with the keys to unlock any and all encrypted communications in all software across the world.

"They're saying, you can use encryption as long as you give us the key," Timm tells me today. "That's the law that they would like to pass. Unfortunately, security doesn't work that way. Put aside the fact that if this was a power given to the government they would inevitably abuse it --- because, as we've seen over and over again in history, they constantly abuse their surveillance powers --- but let's just say, they will only use it when they have a warrant for information. The problem is that key is still vulnerable to all of these other actors who will try to steal it. They will try to steal that key from the U.S. government, which, we have seen, is not that hard to do."

He charges that this effort would result in the government helping us to be less secure by undermining technology that is meant to make all of our lives more secure. "That, to me, sounds like a crazy idea."

Timm also helpfully explains how encryption actually works, for those who don't know, and how some of these same officials --- (talking to you, current CIA Director John Brennan, and you, former CIA Director James Woolsey and others) --- are also, outrageously, actually blaming the Paris attacks on privacy advocates and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden!

"This is a scapegoat that former and current intelligence officials are using to hide and cover up their own failures," says Timm. "When they're out there blaming Snowden, no one is asking them questions about what they could have done better or where they failed. To be honest, it was a pretty masterful PR tactic by them and unfortunately the media took it hook, line and sinker."

Finally, as we were reminded again over the past couple of days, GOPers from Trump to Fiorina to Carson and beyond are now, apparently, completely debilitated by mass hallucinations about 9/11, Planned Parenthood, and just about everything else they've been told to believe is real on Fox "News". I explain how these delusions mean big trouble for the country, the world...and even your Thanksgiving dinner...

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

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GUEST: Author and Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser...
By Brad Friedman on 11/20/2015 6:13pm PT  

What a week. On today's BradCast (audio link below), Republican legislators and Presidential candidates continue their demonization of Muslims and refugees from war-torn Syria and we pause from their madness to shed some light on a disturbing new scheme to block Democratic policymaking altogether.

First, with an unabashed rejection of facts (and reality and history), Republicans from the state level to the Presidential candidate level put forward stunning new rejections of the nation's values. From the high-ranking GOP lawmaker in Tennessee who wants to use the National Guard to round-up and deport Syrian refugees in his state, to Donald Trump's disturbingly Nazi-like call to force all Muslims to register as such with the federal government, we reach new, shameful lows following the Paris attacks one week ago today.

Also of note: CNN's remarkable double standard in suspending a reporter for expressing sympathy for refugees. (Here's that Don Lemon/CC item I mentioned from The BRAD BLOG in 2010.); And a precious few rays of light from one GOP Congressman (at least for one courageous moment) and then from Stephen Colbert.

Finally, even as that shameful "debate" bottoms out, rightwing schemes to further cripple the ability for Democrats to govern at all on the federal level continue. Ian Millhiser, journalist, Constitutional law expert and author of the new book, Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, joins us to discuss his disturbing observations from this year's annual gathering of the Federalist Society.

As reported in his recent article, "The Little-Noticed Conservative Plan To Permanently Lock Democrats Out Of Policymaking", Millhiser explains the rightwing group's broad new efforts to attack rule-making by federal agencies. He tells me how the group is now trying to "permanently hobble not just the federal rule-making process but the federal law-making process" itself.

"What groups like the Federalist Society are pushing," he charges, "is ways to change the fact that elections matter. To make it so that they can permanently put into place structures --- whether it's declaring something unconstitutional, whether it's changing the balance of power between the various branches of government --- they're looking to permanently put in place structures to make sure that only conservative policies can go into effect."

"The basic idea is to shut down the agency's power to regulate," Millhiser tells me. "Between gerrymandering and so many other factors, it's so difficult for Democrats to take the House [even when they win a majority of votes]. If they [the Federalist Society] can prevent [federal] agencies from regulating, then that means that, well, Democrats might be able to take the Presidency but they won't be able to do anything with it when they have it. It effectively shuts the Democrats out of the policy-making process even when they win the Presidential election."

That idea, he explains, absolutely dominated the group's recent gathering and it's one they hope to implement "by any means necessary", whether in Congress or, more disturbingly, through judicial activism on the federal bench.

While four Supreme Court Justices (Scalia, Roberts, Thomas and Alito) are already dedicated Federalist Society members, "the big scary," he reminds us, "is that there are four Supreme Court justices who are likely to retire in the next 5 or 6 years. So if the next President gets to replace four Justices, there's going to be a massive shift in the law. If that next President appoints four very conservative Justices in the vein of Justice Samuel Alito, then whatever agenda the Federalist Society wants to be able to enact in this phase, they're just going to enact it in the Court."

Please take note. And please listen to the full, disturbing conversation on today's BradCast.

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

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GUEST: Financial journalist David Dayen...
By Brad Friedman on 11/19/2015 4:22pm PT  

On today's BradCast (audio link below): The U.S. House rolls over for ISIS. And, could NAFTA and TPP lead to a return of the previously rejected Keystone XL pipeline?

First, the U.S. House voted today to do the bidding of ISIS by passing a bill that would essentially block refugees from war-torn Syria and Iraq from coming to the U.S.. Shamefully, while the bill was passed mostly by Republicans, some 47 cowardly Democrats voted in favor of what both Bin Laden and ISIS have made very clear they would love to see.

Meanwhile, wingnut conspiracy theories about Obama's super secret plan to force a "Muslim overthrow of the U.S." and the "Islamization" of our country continue to grow from the bowels of rightwing radio up through state legislatures and even into Congress and the U.S. Presidential race.

All of that, as, surprise surprise, a new report finds that illegal Mexican immigration is actually at a net negative during the Obama Administration, with some 130,000 fewer undocumented Mexicans now in the country, versus prior to 2009.

Then, financial journalist David Dayen of The Fiscal Times, Salon, WaPo, The Intercept and more joins us to explain his disturbing assertion about the troubling mechanism built in to both NAFTA and the newly released TransPacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement that could lead to approval, after all, of the Keystone XL pipeline --- even though the dirty tar sands project has finally been rejected by the White House.

Dayen explains how KXL's owner, TransCanada, could invoke the "extra-judicial tribunal" known in both trade agreements as the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system in order to force compensatory damages that might either lead to approval of the pipeline after all and/or serve to help scuttle the TPP itself.

The ISDS tribunals, as Dayen explains today, are "composed of corporate lawyers who can act on behalf of the corporation in one case and then sit on a panel judging that corporation on another case." He says that "one of the options" TransCanada now has is that "through the ISDS system in NAFTA, they can sue and say 'this is a violation, you are discriminating against a foreign pipeline operator relative to domestic pipeline operators, and we are going to sue for compensatory damages based on our expected future profits'." The resulting decision could become a "political footbal" at the "worst possible timing for the Administration," as they hope to put TPP up for a vote in a Congress where more Republicans and Democrats are coming out against the agreement.

There is much more that you need to know about in our conversation concerning the proposed TPP agreement, now that its 5,000 or so pages have finally been released to the public and now that the frontrunners for President in both the Republican and Democratic Parties have come out against it. "Political football," indeed.

Listen to today's show for much more welcome clarity on all of the above!

Finally, speaking of pipelines and more, Desi Doyen joins us with our latest Green News Report on yet another rejected Canadian pipeline; the GOP's intensifying witch hunt against scientists (as discussed in more detail on a recent BradCast with David Roberts); and the planet's hottest October ever recorded...

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

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