The BRAD BLOG http://bradblog.com Because it's not about Right or Left, it's about Right and Wrong! Thu, 23 Feb 2017 01:08:31 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.0.2 en Appeals Court Upholds MD Ban on 'Weapons of War' and Other Encouraging News for a Change: 'BradCast' 2/22/2017 http://bradblog.com/?p=12042 http://bradblog.com/?p=12042#comments Thu, 23 Feb 2017 01:08:31 +0000 Brad Friedman Election Reform North Carolina Texas BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Maryland Election Fraud Rights And Freedoms U.S. Constitution New Hampshire Photo ID Laws Accountability Death Penalty Republicans U.S. Supreme Court FEC KPFK Koch Industries Mitch McConnell 'Tea Party' Voting Rights Act NRA/Gun Violence Election 2016 Planned Parenthood BradCast Religion John Roberts Race Pat McCrory Roy Cooper http://bradblog.com/?p=12042 On today's BradCast, as dark as yesterday's show was, today is somewhat the opposite, with a whole bunch of encouraging news from the courts and the people across these United States. [Audio link to show follows below.]

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

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

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

And more encouraging news also covered today...

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

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]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12042 'Our Worst Fears Realized': Trump Issues Radical Deportation Policies, Anti-Semitic Crimes Rising: 'BradCast' 2/21/2017 http://bradblog.com/?p=12041 http://bradblog.com/?p=12041#comments Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:57:39 +0000 Brad Friedman Iraq War NSA BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Maryland Mexico Missouri Rights And Freedoms Accountability Environment Immigration EPA KPFK Donald Trump DHS Oil Wind NRA/Gun Violence BradCast Religion Race Scott Pruitt H.R. McMaster http://bradblog.com/?p=12041 It's a dark day on today's BradCast, as hate crimes continue to rise across the country and Donald Trump's Administration issues new, radical guidelines on the detention and deportation of immigrants. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Wendy Feliz of the American Immigration Council joins us to help unpack the Department of Homeland Security's disturbing new instructions to law enforcement regarding the arrest and deportation of virtually any undocumented immigrant at any time for any reason, including the most minor of crimes or even just a suspicion of such crimes.

The memos issued today are "sort of our worst fears realized," she explains, before detailing the "very stark and very punitive" measures that are "broader than is almost imaginable."

"Essentially, they've done away with all the priority enforcement memos that were written under the Obama Administration, whereby they were trying to narrow down who was deportable. That's just basic Law Enforcement 101 --- the idea that if you go after jaywalkers with the same force that you go after bank robbers, then you're not really doing a good job of stopping people that pose a real threat to society."

Feliz goes into the troubling details of the orders --- which, she charges, are "going to be very disruptive, and potentially disastrous to the economy" --- and the madness of attempting to allocate law enforcement resources for the expulsion of 400,000 people for 11 million instead. Those numbers will now include both children and those who came here as children and had received legal federal work permits under Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. We also discuss what is likely to be an explosion of litigation in response to the orders ("Make American litigate again," Feliz quips) and what it is that those directly affected by these new mandates must now do in order to try and both defend and protect themselves.

Also today, the unprecedented string of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers across the nation continues, with the organizations now reportedly targeted in at least 26 states since the first of the year, and some 200 headstones desecrated in a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri (the one where my grandparents are buried, in fact).

On the upside, Donald Trump has finally spoken out, sort of, against the string of anti-Semitic events and has also appointed someone who is not insane to be the next National Security Advisor following last week's resignation/firing of Michael Flynn.

Desi Doyen joins us once again for the latest Green News Report on the confirmation of EPA enemy Scott Pruitt as the next head of the EPA and with some good news on wind energy. Finally, we close with a bit of breaking good news from the courts concerning guns...

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]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12041 'Green News Report' - February 21, 2017 http://bradblog.com/?p=12039 http://bradblog.com/?p=12039#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2017 19:41:39 +0000 Desi Doyen Texas Alaska Louisiana Environment Democrats Republicans Green News EPA Fracking Donald Trump Natural gas Coal Oil Wind Climate change Oklahoma Water Scott Pruitt Joe Manchin http://bradblog.com/?p=12039

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: What to expect from the EPA following the rushed confirmation of EPA-enemy Scott Pruitt; Three fossil fuel explosions in two weeks; Alaska officials say they can't shut off leaking natural gas pipeline; PLUS: The Midwest sets U.S. wind energy record... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Mattis: No plan to seize Iraqi oil; California Senate leader's new bill: 100% clean energy; Norway moves to reach 100% electric cars in just 8 years; Scientists Rally in Boston to Highlight Threats to Science; China steel mills caught on the hop by North Korea coal ban; Appeals court rules in favor of Virginia keeping moratorium on uranium mining; Coal magnate thrilled as Trump trashes Obama rules; Republicans Try a New Tack on Climate Change; As Standing Rock Construction Restarts, Pipeline Fights Flare Across US... PLUS: 'The wild west of wind': Republicans push Texas as unlikely green energy leader... 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:

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    The Insidiousness Behind Trump's Dangerously Laughable Lies: 'BradCast' 2/20/2017 http://bradblog.com/?p=12038 http://bradblog.com/?p=12038#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2017 02:04:24 +0000 Brad Friedman Fox 'News' Florida Election Reform BRAD BLOG Media Appearance War On Terror Election Fraud National Security New Hampshire Photo ID Laws Journalist Intimidation Republicans Jeff Sessions Japan KPFK Donald Trump Sweden Election 2016 BradCast Kelly Ayotte FDR Mike Pence Steve Bannon Stephen Miller http://bradblog.com/?p=12038 On today's BradCast: 75 years ago this past weekend, FDR issued Executive Order 9066, sending 120,000 Japanese-Americans to concentration camps in one of the most shameful moments in American history. Today, we fight to keep history from repeating itself as Trump offers big lies about terrorism, voter fraud and the media, among other things --- for a reason. [Audio link to full show posted below.]

    While Trump's Executive Order attempting to ban Muslims and refugees from seven different countries has been blocked by the federal courts, another one is promised to take its place soon. And in order to do so, the Administration continues to offer lies about terror attacks to justify its actions, this time with the President citing a non-existent terror incident in Sweden --- fake news that he heard about (and misreported) from Fox "News" the night before his campaign rally in Florida on Saturday.

    That dangerous lie comes on the heels of a week of another big lie from Trump and his top advisers concerning false claims of "thousands" of cases of "voter fraud" in New Hampshire and elsewhere --- and as Trump declares the media to be "the enemy of the American People."

    While the lies are now non-stop, ridiculous and, at times, hilarious, the insidious reason behind them is chilling, dangerous, shameful and about as un-American as possible. Why all of it matters, and more, on today's BradCast...

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    ]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12038 Sunday Toons of the Flaming Hot Cheeto Moment http://bradblog.com/?p=12037 http://bradblog.com/?p=12037#comments Sun, 19 Feb 2017 14:24:04 +0000 PDiddie (Uncategorized) http://bradblog.com/?p=12037

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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.


    ]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12037 TRUMP DUMP: Much Too Much: 'BradCast' 2/17/2017 http://bradblog.com/?p=12036 http://bradblog.com/?p=12036#comments Sat, 18 Feb 2017 02:50:11 +0000 Angie Coiro CNN AP Rights And Freedoms Environment U.S. Senate Democrats Marriage Equality EPA Donald Trump Coal ALEC Oil Oklahoma AFL-CIO BradCast Scott Pruitt http://bradblog.com/?p=12036 On today's BradCast, it's a Trumponanza, guest hosted by yours truly, Angie Coiro.

    First a roundup of the latest threats and inanities, including the Trump camp's denial of a darned convincing report from AP about setting the National Guard loose to sweep out undocumented immigrants. Scott Pruitt scores both a win and a loss within twenty-four hours; Arlene's Flowers' claim that it can discriminate against gay couples on the basis of art (!) falls down. And: why a Rasmussen poll and a Pew Research poll can be so far apart, and why that matters at all; and the Case of the Sudden Trademark Protection, a suspicious gift from China to our equally suspicious president. That emoluments case is practically building itself at this point.

    And that's just in the first ten minutes! Then Lisa Graves from the Center for Media and Democracy goes into detail on Pruitt developments. She says the Center's victory over Pruitt in an Oklahoma court --- mandating that he turn over thousands of emails from during his tenure as the EPA suing Oklahoma Attorney General --- has a direct connection to his lightning-fast ascendancy to the EPA chair.

    Sarah Jaffe, host of the Belabored podcast, explains why Trump's relationship with union workers is so complex.

    Finally, a suggestion for organizers of the upcoming Day without Women protest: think ahead about the women who can't afford to take a day off.

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    Nearly One Million Signatures Given to Congress Calling for Impeachment: 'BradCast' 2/16/2017 http://bradblog.com/?p=12035 http://bradblog.com/?p=12035#comments Fri, 17 Feb 2017 02:17:06 +0000 Brad Friedman CNN Mainstream Corporate Media Texas CIA NSA Arizona BRAD BLOG Media Appearance National Security Whistleblowers U.S. Constitution Corporate Media Journalist Intimidation Impeachment Accountability U.S. House Dept. of Justice U.S. Senate John McCain Democrats Republicans WikiLeaks KPFK Donald Trump Natural gas Coal Russia Oil Climate change Election 2016 BradCast Dakota Access Pipeline Michael Flynn Jake Tapper Alex Acosta http://bradblog.com/?p=12035 On today's BradCast: Donald Trump holds his first solo press conference as President...and it's a doozy. But just before that presser was going on at the White House, so was another at the National Press Club in D.C. to announce that nearly 1 million signatures calling for Trump's immediate impeachment were being delivered to Congress. [Audio link to complete show follows below.]

    Journalist, author and activist Norman Solomon of Roots Action --- who, with Free Speech for People, have created the ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org campaign --- joins us to explain the grounds for the remarkable effort to begin Congressional proceedings to remove Trump from office, not even one month into his Presidency.

    "This is a very long process, but not as long as many people think. This could be a lot quicker than we might have imagined just a few weeks ago," Solomon tells me, detailing what he sees as crystal clear violations of the U.S. Constitution's foreign and domestic "Emoluments" clauses, as well as a number of statutes as well.

    Solomon charges that "It's such a dangerous precedent to have a President willfully, flagrantly, violating the Constitution," why he believes this can be done even with Republicans in control of both the House and Senate, and why the question of whether Vice President Mike Pence would be even worse for progressives, if he were to ascend to the Presidency, does not matter.

    "If we shrug and say 'Well, we don't think it's practical', or 'We don't like the result of the Vice President becoming President', then we've bought further into what, frankly, is moving towards dictatorship," he argues. "If we say this is okay, that the President is above the supreme law of the land, then that opens the floodgates to autocracy and the antithesis of democracy."

    The author of War Made Easy: How President and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death also discusses what he sees as the "big danger" of "Democrats attacking Trump with over-the-top extreme rhetoric" concerning Russia.

    Then, Desi Doyen joins us for our 8th Anniversary(!) episode of the Green News Report! And, finally, I respond to some listener mail which disagrees with my take on the Logan Act (as detailed during Tuesday's BradCast), and how some believe it should be used to prosecute former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in regard to his conversation about sanctions with Russia's ambassador prior to the Inauguration...

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
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    ]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12035 'Green News Report' - February 16, 2017 http://bradblog.com/?p=12034 http://bradblog.com/?p=12034#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2017 20:20:22 +0000 Desi Doyen California Texas Arizona Environment Lamar Smith Green News EPA Donald Trump Natural gas Coal Oil Solar Climate change Exxon Mobil Oceans Native Americans Dakota Access Pipeline Rex Tillerson Oroville Dam http://bradblog.com/?p=12034

    IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Trump repeals anti-corruption regulation for the fossil fuel industry; From the folks bringing you the Dakota Access Pipeline, another major pipeline spill; Good news for breathers, bad news for coal miners in Arizona; US emissions still declining; PLUS: Scientists discover man-made toxic chemicals in the deepest part of the ocean... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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    IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Climate Change Plus Aging Infrastructure = Multiplying Disasters; Oroville Is a Warning for California Dams, as Climate Change Adds Stress; Scientists have just detected a major change to the Earth's oceans linked to a warming climate; Indigenous People Should Have Rights Over Their Land, Pope Francis Says; Endangered Species Act heading for the threatened list; 'A large blowtorch': worker missing in Paradis pipeline explosion; Ohio GOP targets clean energy standards, efficiency rules... PLUS: India's polluted air now kills 1.1 million people per year... 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:

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    Trump's Chaotic Weapons of Mass Distraction: 'BradCast' 2/15/2017 http://bradblog.com/?p=12033 http://bradblog.com/?p=12033#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2017 02:03:35 +0000 Brad Friedman Ohio BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Rights And Freedoms U.S. House U.S. Senate Barack Obama Immigration Democrats Republicans KPFK Donald Trump NRA/Gun Violence Election 2016 BradCast Andrew Puzder http://bradblog.com/?p=12033 On today's BradCast: There may appear to be chaos right now at the federal level of lawmaking --- in both the Executive and Legislative branches. But that disarray may be working out just fine for Donald Trump and his supporters, as my guest today explains. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

    First up, however, Senate Democrats win one for a change, as Andrew Puzder, Trump's labor-hating billionaire nominee to head the Department of Labor removes himself from contention after a number of Republicans threaten to vote against his confirmation. At the same time, however, Congress sends a bill to the President that will kill an Obama era regulation, instituted in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, that would have made it slightly more difficult for some with mental disabilities to purchase fire arms.

    Then, while the "unbelievable turmoil" surrounding this insane White House right now may be alarming to many Democrats and progressives and other reality-based individuals, for Trump supporters living in their own versions of "reality", they may be hearing and seeing exactly what they had hoped from this President --- even as chaos continues to keep both critics and the non-wingnut media off balance and on edge.

    D.D. Guttenplan, editor-at-large at The Nation, joins us to explain how much of the on-going chaos is being purposely deployed, not unlike a military strategy developed to avoid anti-aircraft fire during World War II. "I think it's deliberate, and I think it's working," he tells me. And while the temptation to respond to every outrage from this White House may be "satisfying, in the long run it's going to exhaust us."

    He makes the case, based on his reporting in the industrial rust belt, that many Trump's supporters are quite pleased with his Administration so far, and that until Democrats begin to focus on winning back those otherwise Dem-leaning voters, they will continue to be overwhelmed by the "barrage of comments, and picked fights, and scandals, and daily assaults on whoever is most vulnerable among us."

    "As long as we're being reactive, we're not prioritizing, and we need to prioritize," Guttenplan contends, before going on to detail what he believes some of those priorities need to be in order for Democrats to both win back their voters and the White House along with it.

    Finally, speaking of avoiding distractions, last week, while everything else has been going on, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) arrested and detained a man who came here from Mexico with his parents illegally when he was seven years old. Despite legal work permits from the federal government's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program under Obama, no criminal record, and claims by Trump that immigrants like him would not be rounded up, he has been detained for the past week in Tacoma, Washington, according to his attorneys, in the first such case reported since the new President took office...

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
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    ]]> http://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=12033 It's Not the Crime, It's the Cover-Up: 'BradCast' 2/14/2017 http://bradblog.com/?p=12032 http://bradblog.com/?p=12032#comments Wed, 15 Feb 2017 02:25:50 +0000 Brad Friedman California BRAD BLOG Media Appearance National Security Accountability Dept. of Justice Immigration John Cornyn Richard Nixon Lindsey Graham Peter King KPFK Donald Trump Mitch McConnell Russia Climate change Australia BradCast Michael Flynn Steve Mnuchin Oroville Dam http://bradblog.com/?p=12032 On today's BradCast: Is it just me, or is it getting Nixon in here? [Audio link to show is posted below.]

    As they asked during Watergate: "What did the President known and when did he know it?" That's just one of the many questions quickly emerging in the hours since last night's resignation of National Security Advisor, Lt. General Michael Flynn, following revelations that he spoke with the Russian Ambassador about U.S. sanctions prior to Trump's inauguration and then lied about it to the media, the public, Vice President Mike Pence --- and perhaps even the FBI.

    As they also said during Watergate: "It's not the crime, it's the cover-up." The Logan Act, as I explain today, was never really the problem. It's a weak statute and has never actually been prosecuted in its history, dating back to the 1790's. It's the lies and the possibility of blackmail in the wake of those lies that are now (among) the many problems for this White House.

    The continuing --- and growing --- disarray of the not-even-one-month-old Trump Administration extends to the amazing contradictions from high-level officials at the White House about all of this over the past 24 hours, and to Trump himself, who, just last Friday, seemed to feign ignorance about Flynn's conversations with Russian officials. That, before the White House confirmed this afternoon that the President was directly informed about all of this by the Department of Justice weeks ago.

    Among questions now being raised, even by some Republicans in the House and Senate: Why didn't Trump act weeks ago on this? Is it plausible in anyway that Flynn went "rogue", or was he, in fact, authorized and/or directed --- by someone on the Trump transition team --- to discuss lifting sanctions against Russia with their Ambassador? If so, by whom? Was he also directed to lie about it? If so, by whom and why are so many seemingly lying about it all now? We discuss those questions and many others on today's show.

    Also today: the Republican-majority Senate confirms former Goldman Sachs exec and billionaire Wall St. "Foreclosure King" Steve Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary along party lines (though with the help of one Democratic senator); A federal court denies the Trump Administration's attempt to forestall hearings on his Muslim travel ban Executive Order; and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with the latest on the Oroville Dam crisis in California and much more...

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