The BRAD BLOG Because it's not about Right or Left, it's about Right and Wrong! 2017-01-19T01:56:59Z Copyright 2017 WordPress Brad Friedman <![CDATA[Messages to the Future: Obama's Final Presser; Hottest Year Ever; More Confirmation Hearings: 'BradCast' 1/18/2017]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=12000 2017-01-19T01:56:59Z 2017-01-19T01:56:59Z California BRAD BLOG Media Appearance New York Wisconsin Accountability Environment Education U.S. Senate Barack Obama Republicans Israel EPA Bradley/Chelsea Manning KPFK Donald Trump Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Nuclear power Russia Climate change Extreme weather NASA Ed Markey BradCast Water Arctic Scott Pruitt Betsy DeVos It was another hugely busy news day on today's BradCast. But, as usual, we try, at least, to keep our eyes not on the shiny objects, but on the stuff that actually matters. Wish us luck. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Among the stories we cover on today's show...

  • President Obama's final press conference as President of the United States, on Chelsea Manning; Trump; Russia; Cuba; Israel and the need to preserve a free press and protect democracy;
  • The World Meteorological Organization declares data from NOAA, NASA, the UK, and the European weather and climate center, as well as other datasets, all find that 2016 set the record for the hottest year ever recorded on Planet Earth. It was the third year in a row to shatter the record, posing what scientists categorize as a "profound threat to both the natural world and to human civilization;
  • Billionaire charter school proponent Betsy DeVos, Trump's nominee to become Secretary of Education, gets hammered by Democrats in her U.S. Senate confirmation hearings. She was unphased;
  • Oklahoma Attorney General, climate science denier, and enemy of the EPA Scott Pruitt faces tough questions at his confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate, as Trump's nominee to head...yes...the EPA. He was also unphased.;
  • Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with at least some good news in our increasingly pretend world;
  • And listeners call in with a few time capsule messages for the future...from the final days before Donald Trump will have become President of the United States...

All of that and much more on today's BradCast...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
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]]> Brad Friedman <![CDATA[Trouble for Team Trump?: 'BradCast' 1/17/2017]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11999 2017-01-18T02:09:38Z 2017-01-18T02:09:38Z Iraq War BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Whistleblowers Accountability U.S. Senate Barack Obama Health Care Democrats Republicans Economy Bush Legacy WikiLeaks Bradley/Chelsea Manning KPFK Donald Trump Bernie Sanders Climate change Election 2016 BradCast Dept. of Interior Public lands Betsy DeVos Tom Price Ryan Zinke Kamala Harris Steve Mnuchin Wilbur Ross On today's BradCast, a few of Donald Trump's nominees for top cabinet slots may be facing trouble, as Senate hearings continue this week in the U.S. Senate, preparations are finalized (and changed) for the Inauguration, and President Obama issues last minute pardons and commutations. [Audio link to full show is posted below.]

First today, as we go to air, breaking news on Obama's merciful commutation of the unprecedented 35-year prison sentence for U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning and a number of additional last-minute pardons and commutations.

Then, as Senate confirmation hearings resume today for Donald Trump's nominees, including for Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos and Interior Dept. Secretary nominee Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), we look at concerns about both of them. Billionaire DeVos, for example, has given, quite literally, millions of dollars in donations to Republicans and GOP causes over the years, including tens of thousands to the GOP Senators set to vote on her nomination in the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today. And, in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sen. Bernie Sanders pressed Zinke on whether or not he believes, like Trump, that climate change is "a hoax".

Then, we're joined by financial journalist and award-winning author David Dayen, to discuss several Trump nominees whose confirmations could now be in jeopardy, including the President-elect's picks to head up Health and Human Services (Rep. Tom Price), Labor (billionaire Andrew Puzder), Treasury (billionaire Steve Mnuchin) and Commerce (billionaire Wilbur Ross). We also discuss Dayen's recent big scoop at The Intercept on a memo detailing "widespread misconduct" (including fraud) at Mnuchin's mortgage bank OneWest and CA's then Democratic Attorney General, now U.S. Senator Kamala Harris' failure to further investigate or prosecute, despite recommendations from her own staff to do so.

Whether or not some of those nominations fall apart, Dayen notes a "supreme irony" in the both the election of Trump and the nominations of guys like Mnuchin and Ross, both profiteers of the "Great Foreclosure Machine".

"There was never any accountability for that. The Obama Administration famously kind of walked off the field in terms of prosecuting bankers and financial institution executives who instigated [the 2007 financial crisis]," argues Dayen. "And then who gets placed into power in the aftermath is the same people whose reputations have been rehabilitated effectively, who weren't given any sanctions for the actions that they took. And, in addition, the fact that there was no accountability created this sort of broken social fabric that helped lead to the rise of populist figures like Donald Trump in the first place."

"There are a lot of ways you can look at this," he tells me. "But there's no question that that failure to get the accountability that the American people wanted in the wake of the financial crisis played a role in the actions that occurred on Election Day 2016, and now those same people who profited off that neglect will be in charge."

Finally, as public pressure builds against some of those nominations, pressure has also led to a number of changes in plans for this week's Inauguration...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
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]]> Desi Doyen <![CDATA['Green News Report' - January 17, 2017]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11998 2017-01-17T18:30:02Z 2017-01-17T18:30:02Z California New York Wisconsin Environment Green News EPA Natural gas Coal Canada Nuclear power Climate change Extreme weather Andrew Cuomo Justin Trudeau Scott Pruitt

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau admits Alberta's oil sands' days are numbered; 2016 was the 2nd most expensive year for extreme weather disasters for the U.S.; New York State to close Indian Point nuclear power plant; Wisconsin caught deleting climate change from state websites --- again; PLUS: California catches a break in historic drought (sort of)... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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

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

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Scientists have a new way to calculate what global warming costs. Trump’s team isn’t going to like it; Who's responsible for making plastic packaging more recyclable?; EPA: Fiat Chrysler software enabled emissions cheating; EPA rejects automakers’ bid to weaken fuel efficiency standards; Scott Pruitt, Trump’s EPA Pick, Backed Industry Donors Over Regulators; Poison Fruit: Dow Chemical Wants Farmers to Keep Using a Pesticide Linked to Autism and ADHD... PLUS: US Agrees To Pay Billions To Marines Affected By Toxic Water... and much, MUCH more! ...

STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...


FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page

  • NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years:

  • ]]>
    Brad Friedman <![CDATA[The Trump Twilight Zone: 'BradCast' 1/16/2017]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11997 2017-01-17T02:06:46Z 2017-01-17T02:06:46Z Utah BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Rights And Freedoms U.S. Constitution Freedom of the Press Journalist Intimidation Mainstream Media Failure Accountability U.S. House Barack Obama John McCain Guantanamo Bay Democrats Republicans FEC LGBT KPFK Donald Trump Reince Priebus BradCast Religion Mormon/LDS Church Monica Crowley Comcast Betsy DeVos Tom Price On today's BradCast, resignation and evidence of corruption continue to dog the wildly unpopular incoming Trump Administration just days before his Inauguration; And is Comcast/NBCUniversal doing the bidding of the Mormon Church in Utah? [Audio link to show follows below.]

    As we barrel towards what is certain to be an incredibly bizarre (to say the least) Inauguration Day for the historically unpopular Donald Trump, the Obama Administration has reportedly transferred out another 10 Gitmo detainees to Oman. In the meantime, a senior Trump White House appointee (and former Fox "News" contributor) has already resigned after revelations of massive plagiarism, as new questions about financial improprieties continue to mount for a number of Trump cabinet nominees and for the Trump Campaign itself.

    Then, we are joined by former GOP Presidential candidate and gay rights activist Fred Karger, to discuss his latest campaign against the Mormon Church, which he believes should lose their tax exempt status revoked by the IRS due to participation in a number of anti-gay political campaigns and other corruption. Karger is charging that Comcast/NBCUniversal has blocked the airing of his new TV ad for MormonTips.com, after the media behemoth had previously agreed to run the 30 second spots in the state of Utah.

    "I know how the Mormon Church operates," Karger explains, describing his claim that the Church is behind Comcast nixing the spots. "They are all powerful, particularly in the state of Utah. It's a virtual theocracy. They exercise a tremendous amount of power."

    "They don't like me," he notes. "I'm the guy that discovered their vast involvement in California's Prop 8 in 2008 to take away gay marriage. I got them investigated and prosecuted by [California's] ethics office because they only admitted to spending $2,078 on the campaign. Turns out it was hundreds of thousands of dollars they ended up reporting. Much more likely millions. So I've learned they are very dishonest, and they've have done things very secretively." He argues that they've used their muscle to convince Comcast (which, he says, "controls something like 90% of the [cable television] market in Utah") to kill the ads. "So they're using censorship to quash our free speech and I'm going to be fighting back against them."

    Finally today: Is the Trump Administration planning to shut down the White House Press Room after taking office? Esquire reported over the weekend that the matter is under serious consideration and, in response, Trump's top officials are not denying it...though they do appear to be lying about their reasons for it...

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
    [See post to listen to audio]

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    ]]> PDiddie <![CDATA[Sunday Toons of the Shift Change Moment]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11996 2017-01-15T14:19:51Z 2017-01-15T14:19:51Z Toons

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    Perry Dorrell blogs as PDiddie at Brains and Eggs, usually on topics concerning the strange brew of Texas politics. He's also on Twitter @PDiddie.


    ]]> Brad Friedman <![CDATA['You Are Fake News!': 'BradCast' 1/13/2017]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11995 2017-01-14T02:10:40Z 2017-01-14T02:10:40Z CNN Mainstream Corporate Media Jeff Gannon / James Guckert BRAD BLOG Media Appearance New York Corporate Media New York Times Mainstream Media Failure Accountability U.S. House U.S. Senate Barack Obama Health Care KPFK Donald Trump Russia Election 2016 Marco Rubio BradCast Exxon Mobil Rex Tillerson Matthew Boyle On today's BradCast, U.S. media failed to report on the rise and dangers of Mussolini and Hitler with the gravity that was warranted in the 20s and 30s. Are they making similar mistakes today with the rise and elevation of Donald Trump to President of the United States? [Audio link to show is posted below.]

    Media Matters' Matt Gertz joins me to today to argue Trump's bizarre press conference on Wednesday, his first since the November election (first since last July, actually), revealed more than a dozen "signs of how bad press treatment will be under Trump". At the presser, the day after the release of an unsubstantiated dossier charging personal and financial compromise with Russia, Trump refused questions from either CNN or BuzzFeed News, declaring them both to be "fake news" for breaking various elements of the story. Gertz suggests the way it played out illustrates that the media are both failing to push back against Trump, and are likely underestimating how bad things are likely to get for them (and all of us) once he becomes President.

    "This was not something that came out of nowhere," Gertz tells me. "This was clearly the strategy going into the press conference: to attack Buzzfeed, to attack CNN, to tie the two of them together, and to suggest that all of their reporting was illegitimate."

    "They're going to go on trying to de-legitimize the media, one by one, piece by piece, to make it impossible for anyone to try to get out critical news analysis about what his administration is doing. This was the first step, and it's going to keep getting worse," he warns. "Trump bragged on the campaign trail that he could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and could shoot somebody and he wouldn't lose voters. Rhetorically speaking, that's what he basically did to [CNN's] Jim Acosta. He basically took him out in front of the entire press corps, humiliated him, pretty brutality, and other reporters just sort of moved along. They went on and they asked their questions, and they just kept going."

    But were CNN and BuzzFeed wrong to report as they did in the first place? And do the media, in general, have only themselves to blame for the spot they're in at this point? Have they learned anything from last Wednesday, much last the past year? And is that Breitbart clown "reporter" Matt Boyle the new "Jeff Gannon"? We discuss all of that and much more during today's conversation.

    Also today: The GOP Congress gets one step closer to dismantling health care for millions of Americans; What's up with the cancellation of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson's second day of confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate?; Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report as Obama bids farewell and seeks reason on climate change; And a particularly smelly Inauguration Day cover-up is revealed...

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
    [See post to listen to audio]

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    ]]> Brad Friedman <![CDATA[Reality Catches Up with Republicans (or Vice Versa); Plus: Larry Flynt vs. Trump and the Media: 'BradCast' 1/12/2017]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11994 2017-01-13T02:38:08Z 2017-01-13T02:38:08Z Mainstream Corporate Media BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Rights And Freedoms U.S. Constitution Iran Corporate Media Mainstream Media Failure Accountability U.S. House FBI U.S. Senate Health Care Republicans KPFK Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Mitch McConnell 'Tea Party' Election 2016 James Comey BradCast Ben Carson Larry Flynt Bob Corker James Mattis On today's BradCast, the GOP "dogs" having finally caught up with the "reality" bus on ObamaCare and Iran and more. So, what will they do now? Also, free speech icon Larry Flynt joins us to blame the U.S. media for Donald Trump and much more. [Audio link to show follows below.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
    [See post to listen to audio]

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    ]]> Desi Doyen <![CDATA['Green News Report' - January 12, 2017]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11993 2017-01-12T19:56:37Z 2017-01-12T19:56:37Z Massachusetts United Nations Environment U.S. Senate Barack Obama State Department Green News Oil Climate change Exxon Mobil Volkswagen Paris Agreement Tim Kaine Rex Tillerson

    IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson gets a grilling on climate change during Senate confirmation hearings; Court orders Exxon to comply with Massachusetts AG's investigation into its climate science denial; Volkswagen executives indicted in emissions cheating scandal; PLUS: President Obama appeals to reason on climate in his Farewell Address... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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

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

    IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Cuomo Confirms Deal to Close Indian Point Nuclear Plant; Is The Great California Drought Finally Quitting?; Alaskan Village, Citing Climate Change, Seeks Disaster Aid To Relocate; Groups Create Roadmap For Replacing Lead Pipes That Poison Water; Carbon Storehouse: Scientists Map Vast Peat Swamps in Central Africa; Interior Dept. Calls For Major Changes To 'Modernize' Fed Coal Program; New DOE Report Warns Of Changing 'Threat Environment' For Electric Grid... PLUS: The emotional toll of climate reporting... and much, MUCH more! ...

    STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

    'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...


    FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page

  • NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years:

  • ]]>
    Brad Friedman <![CDATA[News Shower: Obama Farewell; Tillerson Hearing Day 1; Sessions Hearing Day 2; Trump Presser: 'BradCast' 1/11/2017]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11992 2017-01-12T02:00:07Z 2017-01-12T02:00:07Z Election Reform John Kerry BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Rights And Freedoms Mainstream Media Failure Accountability Dept. of Justice U.S. Senate Barack Obama Voter Registration Republicans State Department Jeff Sessions KPFK Donald Trump Voting Rights Act Russia Oil Election 2016 China John Lewis BradCast Exxon Mobil Tim Kaine Cory Booker Rex Tillerson I've seen a lot in my life, but today may be the most insane news day I've ever seen, or certainly attempted to cover in a single episode of The BradCast. Among the stories we cover today, all from with the past 18 hours or so [audio link to show follows below.]...

    • President Obama's moving farewell address in Chicago last night;
    • ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson's troubling first day of confirmation hearings as Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of State;
    • Testimony from members of the Congressional Black Caucus --- including from Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and from civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) --- against the disturbing civil rights and voting rights record of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Trump's nominee for Attorney General on the second day of his confirmation hearings;
    • Trump's first press conference since last July, among record low approval ratings, a shower of bizarre, if unsubstantiated allegations against him concerning claims that he has been compromised both personally and financially by Russia, and his announcement that he will not divest his business holdings before becoming President, despite unprecedented conflicts of interest;
    • Plus: Listener calls on all of the above and Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report!

    And, yes, you may need to rinse off after today's show. I know I do.

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
    [See post to listen to audio]

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    ]]> Brad Friedman <![CDATA[Senators Press Trump AG Nom on Civil Rights Record on Day 1 of Confirmation Hearings: 'BradCast' 1/10/2017]]> http://bradblog.com/?p=11991 2017-01-11T01:54:11Z 2017-01-11T01:54:11Z BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Alabama Rights And Freedoms Photo ID Laws Accountability Dept. of Justice U.S. Senate Voter Registration Vote Caging Democrats Republicans U.S. Supreme Court Sheldon Whitehouse Chuck Grassley Al Franken KPFK Donald Trump Mitch McConnell Voting Rights Act Climate change Election 2016 BradCast Exxon Mobil Amy Klobuchar On today's BradCast, U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for Donald Trump's top Administration nominees are officially underway. They began today with Day 1 of hearings for controversial U.S. Attorney General nominee Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Alabama. [Audio link to show posted below.]

    In the days leading up to today's Sessions session, Democrats have blasted Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for reversing course on demands he had made for Obama nominees back in 2009, requiring that all background checks and vetting by the Office of Government Ethics be completed before hearings begin. Also, before today's hearing commenced, members of the Congressional Black Caucus requested time to give testimony on Sessions' extremely controversial civil rights record. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA), however, while agreeing to allow the member testimony, broke with Senate tradition by only allowing it only after all of the other witness testimony has completed.

    We cover all of that today and more details on the former Alabama state AG and U.S. Attorney's https://www.thenation.co...e-to-the-jim-crow-era/\">troubling record on civil rights along with his failure to tell the truth about it. We offer extended excerpts of Sessions' testimony today, including exchanges with Senators Franken (D-MN), Klobuchar (D-MN) and Whitehouse (D-RI), who pressed the A.G. nominee on voting rights, civil rights, and climate science, among other issues, in what was, in my opinion --- and, in particular, given the moment --- an all-too friendly hearing among Senate colleagues.

    Nonetheless, hooks were baited and traps were set for what could lead to trouble for Sessions on several of these key issues in the days (and years) ahead, if his nomination is confirmed as expected...

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