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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, November 24, 2017
Some News to Be
Thankful For (Sort Of):
'BradCast' 11/22/17
On healthcare, guns, equality and standing up to Nazis...
'No Diff Between Dems
and Repubs'? Seriously?!: 'BradCast' 11/21/17
Guest: Former Obama tax advisor Seth Hanlon on GOP tax cuts; Also: Trump endorses accused child molester for US Senate; Trump FCC to kill 'Net Neutrality' protections...
'Green News Report' 11/21/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
NE greenlights KeystoneXL after spill, but it still may not get built; VA to cut emissions 30%; Team Trump fails at climate talks PLUS: Tesla unveils all-electric, long haul semi-truck...
Previous GNRs: 11/16/17 - 11/14/17 - Archives...
DoJ Blocks One Media Mega-Merger, FCC Paves Way for Other: 'BradCast' 11/20/17
Guest: FreePress' Dana Floberg; Also: NE approves KeystoneXL after spill; Trump ratchets up NK threats...
Sunday 'It's Not Funny' Toons
The sexual harrassment allegations continue to fly, continue to be downplayed by some, and continue to help distract from the GOP's Thanksgiving surprise on tax cuts for the rich. That and more in PDiddie's latest toons!...
Pelosi's Anti-Impeachment Calculus
When needed to prevent catastrophe and preserve the rule of law, as Ernest Canning argues, impeachment is both a necessity and a superior political strategy...
Of Pipelines, Tax Cuts, and Corrupt Trump Appointments: 'BradCast' 11/17/17
It's astonishing how many GOP policies, practices and nominees must be pushed through by force, scheming, lying and the breaking of norms and traditions...
GA SoS Recall Effort Underway After Election 'Server Wipe': 'BradCast' 11/16/17
Guest: John Ziegler of 'Voice for All GA'; Also: Keystone Pipeline spill; House passes tax bill; Menendez mistrial in NJ; Moore tanking in AL...
'Green News Report' 11/16/17
AK's Wildlife Refuge one step closer to oil drilling; African-Americans bear brunt of fossil fuel pollution; PLUS: France to cover U.S. funding for U.N. climate science...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By PDiddie on 10/29/2017 6:08am PT  

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Also: New details in the mystery of Georgia's 'wiped' election server...
By Brad Friedman on 10/27/2017 5:53pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Who ordered the state of Georgia's election server to be completely destroyed amidst a federal lawsuit filed in July? And working to mitigate the "clear and present danger" President Donald J. Trump poses to the nation and the world. [Audio link follows below.]

First up today, a number of follow-up details, for now, on the story we reported yesterday in depth about the state election server computer that was mysteriously "wiped clean" in Georgia, just after a lawsuit was filed questioning whether results were electronically manipulated in some fashion during last year's Presidential election and this year's U.S. House Special Election in the state's 6th Congressional District.

Both contests were run on Georgia's easily-hacked, 100% unverifiable Diebold touch-screen systems and computer tabulators, and programmed by Kennesaw State University's Center for Elections. As AP reported on Thursday, the Center, after 15 years handling all programming for the state's elections, has now completely deleted the server that had been used for programming, including its two back-up servers. Questions remain as to whether the FBI might have an "image" copy of that server, officials are calling for a criminal investigation, and nobody yet knows who ordered the computer hard drives to be completely wiped and "degaussed three times".

We also share a terrific related listener email, and detail some of the terrible reporting on this matter by at least one corporate outlet (which we were able to get them to, at least partially, correct last night.) But, we hope to have much more on this story on our next BradCast.

Then, among the other stories covered on today's program...

  • The American Legion is calling on Trump to protect veterans by vetoing legislation passed this week that will prevent Americans from being able to file class-action lawsuits against big banks and other corporate institutions for fraudulent and deceptive practices;
  • A Military Times poll finds Trump is very unpopular among military officers, though somewhat more popular among enlisted troops;
  • Defense Sec. James Mattis is wildly popular among everybody in the military, though he may be less so, of late, with the Commander-in-Chief. Mattis has been speaking with troops in South Korea and calling for diplomatic solutions in the very dangerous, potentially-nuclear standoff between Trump and North Korea;
  • Democrats in the U.S. Senate introduce legislation to keep Trump from launching a pre-emptive strike, "nuclear or conventional", with North Korea, in hopes of forcing him to follow the Constitution as per the founders, who specifically granted Congress the exclusive right and duty of declaring war against another nation;
  • Trump responds to the $10 million NeedToImpeach.com campaign launched by Tom Steyer, by describing the California activist billionaire as "wacky" and "totally unhinged" in response to the campaign's ad describing the President as "a clear and present danger";
  • And, speaking of "wacky" and "unhinged", Roy Moore --- the twice-disgraced, far-right Republican former Alabama Supreme Court Justice who Trump is supporting in Alabama's U.S. Senate special election coming up in December --- explains why he believes the U.S. Supreme Court's Obergefell ruling that legalized same-sex marriage is "even worse" than the Court's infamous 1857 Dredd Scott opinion which essentially legalized slavery across the U.S. and helped lead the country into the Civil War...

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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Also: New details on how 'dark money' helped GOP steal SCOTUS, with guests Margaret Sessa-Hawkins & Andrew Perez of MapLight...
By Brad Friedman on 10/26/2017 6:13pm PT  

On today's BradCast: It often feels like we're fighting to save whatever little is left of representative American democracy. Today is certainly one of those days. [Audio link to full show follows below.]

First up today, Associated Press reports that the computer server at Kennesaw State University's Center for Elections in Georgia was "wiped clean" in early July, just days after the state's contentious June 20 Special Election Runoff for the U.S. House Seat in GA's 6th Congressional District, and as a federal lawsuit [PDF] was filed to challenge the results of that election.

Kennesaw's Center has been contracted by the state for some 15 years to program virtually all aspects of Georgia's elections, including their electronic pollbook voter registration databases and the highly hackable and 100% unverifiable Diebold touch-screen voting systems and electronic tabulators used across the entire state.

The complete deletion of information on the server in July --- and, reportedly, two backups of that server in August --- is particularly disturbing given questions about the accuracy of the reported results in the race, said to have been won by Georgia's former Republican Sec. of State Karen Handel over Democrat Jon Ossoff. Some of the concerns were detailed in the ongoing lawsuit filed by a number of plaintiffs, including Republican election integrity advocate Marilyn Marks of the Coalition of Good Governance. (We discussed that suit with Marks on The BradCast in July and concerns revealed about the results of the April Primary with VoterGA's Garland Favorito in May. We hope to speak with both of them on the show again very soon.)

The federal complaint had sought a forensic analysis of the Kennesaw server to determine whether it may have been manipulated in some way. AP reports: "Wiping the server clean 'forestalls any forensic investigation at all,' said Richard DeMillo, a Georgia Tech computer scientist who has closely followed the case. 'People who have nothing to hide don't behave this way.'" Marks is quoted in the same report noting: "I don't think you could find a voting systems expert who would think the deletion of the server data was anything less than insidious and highly suspicious."

The server was discovered by a data security researcher to have been left online and unprotected --- exposing personal voter records, voting system programming files and administrative system passwords --- in August of 2016. Yet, GA's Secretary of State, Republican Brian Kemp (who is running for Governor in 2018), claims to have not been notified, and the server was left unprotected through both the 2016 Presidential election, as well as this year's special U.S. House race. The personal information of some 6.7 million voters, ballot definition files used on voting machines and tabulators, as well as system passwords used by election officials to access those systems were reportedly left vulnerable to manipulation for at least six months, if not longer. (We reported on that aspect of this mess in June of this year.)

Today we discuss the alarming new AP report and what it means, following our own months of coverage of related concerns about the GA-06 special election, failures during tabulation, many questions from Election Integrity advocates about its reported results and, of course, our years (nearly 15 of them) warning about exactly such a situation as this.

Then, speaking of a "rigged" democracy, we're joined by Maplight's Dark Money Watch journalists MARGARET SESSA-HAWKINS and ANDREW PEREZ to discuss their new reporting on federal 'disclosure' documents revealing that millions of dollars were spent to support the Republican U.S. Senate effort to block President Obama's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, and the subsequent effort to confirm the nomination of President Trump's nominee to that same seat, Neil Gorsuch. The two reporters detail their findings including that, of the $17 million in "dark money" raised and spent on both efforts, a single donation for $17.9 million, from an unknown source to the rightwing Judicial Crisis Network, may have accounted for most, if not all of that effort.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on concerns about two dodgy contracts for $500 million to purportedly help rebuild Puerto Rico's power grid; a new report by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the $350 BILLION U.S. tax-payer dollars spent on climate-related disasters over the past decade, and much MUCH more!...

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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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/26/2017 10:49am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Tiny Montana company's mysterious $300 million contract to repair Puerto Rico's electric grid; Non-partisan GAO reports climate disasters have already cost US taxpayers $350 billion; Trump's US Ambassador to Canada invents new form of climate denial; PLUS: On the 5th anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, new study warns no US city is prepared for climate change impacts... 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): GOP Senate advances Trump industry nominees to key regulatory positions; Tesla installs solar + storage battery system at Puerto Rico children's hospital; Interior Dept. scrubs climate change from its strategic plan; Trump to auction off vast swath of Gulf of Mexico to oil companies; Plan to drill in US marine sanctuaries sent to Trump, not to public; Electric buses are coming and they're going to help fix 4 problems; EPA to review impact of efficiency rules, environmental rule on fossil fuel jobs; 17 national parks could see huge fee hike... PLUS: Donald Trump: Bird Killer.... and much, MUCH more! ...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Guest: Reporter Mike Stark of ShareBlue; Also: The coherent, corporatist, anything-but-populist rightwing Republican agenda of Donald Trump...
By Brad Friedman on 10/25/2017 6:33pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we offer a bit of a response to those who are still under the impression, for some reason, that Trump is a "different kind of Republican", or that he's a non-ideological populist "draining the swamp" and taking on Wall Street and the Big Banks, or --- perhaps most dangerously --- that he has no coherent agenda. We also dive into the upcoming November 7 race for Governor in Virginia and questions about the corrupt past (and future?) of the GOP nominee. [Audio link to show follows below.]

As chaotic as everything he is doing seems to be, Trump's agenda is, in fact, very coherent, and little more than radical George W. Bush right-wing Republicanism on steroids --- albeit without the educated and politically correct artifice. Among the exhibits in today's argument: His administration's attempt to physically (and emotionally) prevent a teen immigrant from receiving a Constitutionally lawful abortion by keeping her locked up, despite court orders; and the Republican Senate vote late Tuesday night, with a huge assist from the Trump Administration, to dismantle a key consumer protection reform that had been five years in the making following the 2008 mortgage crisis and subsequent global economic meltdown.

That big win for Trump and Wall Street will prevent American consumers from having the right to sue huge corporations even after being screwed by deceptive, fraudulent practices. Yes, elections have consequences. And there is another big one set for just under a week from now to replace the outgoing Democratic Governor of Virginia.

The polls are reportedly tightening in the race between Democratic Lt. Governor Ralph Northam and former RNC chair, corporate lobbyist and George W. Bush Administration official Ed Gillespie. We're joined from Capitol Hill today by muckraking ShareBlue reporter MIKE STARK, who has been covering the Gillespie campaign and recently plowed through Bush-era White House visitor logs during Gillespie's term as a White House advisor, to find several instances of meetings with executives and lobbyists for big banks and energy companies that Gillespie had previously represented. The very next day after those meetings, Stark reports, the Bush Administration changed policies on issues those companies had been lobbying for.

The revelations and concerns of quid pro quo corruption come on the heels of the last Republican Governor from Virginia, Bob McDonnell, having been convicted of multiple counts of public corruption related to expensive gifts and huge sums of cash received from the CEO of a company hoping to win favors from the Governor.

Stark details his findings from those 2007 White House logs; his attempts to press Gillespie on the stump regarding his corporate lobbying work for big banks, big tobacco, big energy, and big pharma; his ties to the NRA, which, along with the Koch Brothers' Americans for Prosperity, is making huge television ad buys on Gillespie's behalf; the GOP candidate's claims to oppose bigotry and racism in all forms, despite racist ads and disgraced former U.S. Sen. George Allen (R-VA), forced out of the Senate after racist comments, serving as Gillespie's campaign chair. We also discuss Trump's role in the race and whether Democrats may be on the verge of losing what should be an otherwise easy off-year election victory in Virginia.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us to discuss the bizarre news regarding the tiny company from Montana that was, for some reason, granted a $300 million contract to rebuild Puerto Rico's energy grid after the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and the report late today from the Wall Street Journal that a federal oversight board plans to install an Emergency Manager to takeover, and potentially privatize, Puerto Rico's state-owned power company. We get comment from a former Puerto Rico Power Commissioner who describes why the news is "unfortunate" for the island's 3.5 million struggling residents...

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: Longtime nuclear weapons analyst Stephen Schwartz; Also: Flake won't seek re-election, rebukes Trump, party; Corker/Trump's sad war...
By Brad Friedman on 10/24/2017 6:49pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Trump continues to blow up the GOP today. But what, if anything, will stop him from doing the same, literally, to the world? [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Yet another Republican U.S. Senator has decided they've had enough. Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake stunned D.C. today by joining Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker in deciding that he will not run for re-election in 2018 after all. He offered a blistering rebuke of Donald Trump, fellow GOP members of Congress, and the Republican Party itself while making his announcement on the Senate floor on Tuesday. That development came after a remarkably rancorous (and, in truth, very sad) series of media/Twitter back and forths earlier on Tuesday between Corker and Trump.

We cover all of the above today, with a focus on Corker's charge that the President of the United State is, himself, not only failing the country, but a real and present threat to national security in regard to North Korea and other foreign policy concerns.

With that in mind, following the disturbing report over the weekend that the U.S. Air Force is now preparing for the possibility of placing nuclear-armed bombers on 24/7 ready alert for the first time since the end of the Cold War, we are joined by longtime nuclear weapons policy analyst STEPHEN SCHWARTZ of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Schwartz, formerly the longtime Executive Director and Publisher of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (keepers of the infamous "Doomsday Clock"), explains the reasons --- sensible or otherwise --- the White House and US military might make this extraordinary move, which, he charges, is fraught with any number of perils. It's particularly puzzling, he explains, given that the U.S. already has hundreds, if not thousands of nuclear-armed Intercontinental Missiles at the ready on both land and sea. It is, at various times, a chilling, maddening, and (somewhat) comforting conversation and incredibly enlightening from top to bottom.

(For those interested, here's that disturbingly graphic idea from Roger Fischer in the 1981 Bulletin that I mentioned, regarding making a President's decision to launch nukes much less abstract".)

Schwartz speaks to, among many other things: Why the Air Force may be doing this; How China and Russia, much less North Korea, may respond; Whether or not Congress should finally step in to ensure the U.S. never launches a nuclear first strike, no matter who occupies the Oval Office; Whether or not he agrees with Corker's assessment that Trump is a threat to national security and world peace; And what, if anything, might prevent Trump from "pushing the button" in "a fit of Twitter pique."

"I think we are long overdue for the point of having a national discussion over what it means to put one person and one person alone in charge of authorizing the use of nuclear weapons," he tells me. "Regardless of who is President, if anything good comes out of this, it will be that people are much more aware of the power that a President has to incinerate the world, how many nuclear weapons we have, still, and what our plans are for them."

"I don't worry about Donald Trump so much deciding in a fit of Twitter pique or whatever to launch a nuclear attack," he warns. "I worry that his ignorance, and his arrogance, and his complete lack of knowledge about all things nuclear, not to mention all things foreign policy, will end up getting him blundering into some sort of crisis from which there will be no real escape."

On that point, Schwartz also offers his assessment of whether the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists will move their Doomsday Clock forward once again in their annual assessment, after moving it forward to "2 and a half minutes to midnight" back in January. That was well before the recent disturbing threats by Trump to bring "fire and fury" and "totally destroy" North Korea several weeks ago. The last adjustment was also prior to the Trump Administration's wildly aggressive actions to undermine environmental policy meant to mitigate the existential threat of Climate Change, which the Doomsday Clock has also taken into account since 2007.

Finally, speaking of our climate crisis (and making it worse), we're joined by Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report as the hottest World Series in baseball history gets under way out here in Los Angeles, with the mercury hitting a record 104 degrees today...in late October...

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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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/24/2017 10:37am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: New report finds pollution kills more people every year than war, disaster or hunger; US Senate to vote on disaster relief for hurricane victims; EPA censoring climate science and government scientists; PLUS: It's the hottest World Series in professional baseball history --- literally... 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): Puerto Rico considers privatization for island's generation; Whitefish: Small Montana firm lands Puerto Rico’s biggest contract to get the power back on; EPA to repeal emissions standards for large trucks; Video: War on the EPA; EPA shifts on toxic chemicals after installation of chemical industry executive; Ex-FERC commissioners slam DOE Perry's bid to subsidize coal; NH senators question EPA over findings on toxic NH landfill; Congress moves to gut Antiquities Act protecting America's treasures; Oil terminal backers pour money into Washington State race; What you should know about GOP move to drill in ANWR; Flying insects vanish from nature preserves... PLUS: As dams burst, Trump seeks to gut new, key safety rules... and much, MUCH more! ...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Guest: Former Puerto Rican power commissioner Ramon Cruz...
By Brad Friedman on 10/23/2017 6:03pm PT  

The struggle for 3.5 million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico is "getting worse by the day", my guest who recently returned from the island tells me on today's BradCast. So, I'm afraid, is everything else, it seems, as the President of the United States continues to put the nation on a war footing (potentially, a nuclear war footing) in advance of his upcoming trip to Asia. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

A disturbing new report over the weekend cites the U.S. Air Force readying a Louisiana military base to place "nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert" for the first time since the end of the Cold War in 1991. Why? What is the imagined threat that makes such a dangerous (and expensive) posture necessary? Particularly as nuclear armed land- and submarine-based Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles are already in place by the hundreds or thousands and would surely provoke response from adversaries real and perceived?

And, of course, all of that, even as Americans are still fighting for their lives in Puerto Rico, thanks in part, to a shortage of relief funding. Yes, power remains out for some 80% of the island, more than a month after Hurricane Maria made her devastating landfall. We're joined today by former Puerto Rico Energy Commissioner, RAMON CRUZ, who is now on the Sierra Club's National Board of Directors and serves as an advisor to the United Nations on climate policy.

Recently back from the island, Cruz, a Puerto Rican native, details the deteriorating situation on the ground, particularly away from the capital of San Juan, and warns, as he did in his recently published op-ed for The Hill, that the "vultures" are already descending "to feast on the opportunities presented by the recovery efforts."

Cruz tells me that things in the interior of the island are "getting worse by the day," despite Trump grading his own federal relief efforts with a "10" out of 10 last week during a press avail at the White House. "Ultimately, who cares about what grade he gives? There's still people that [lack] all these necessities. It's really infuriating. The fact that they lost everything, and they still are drinking contaminated water, in ways that are completely preventable. That's the real disaster. In that case, if I could give negative points, I would give that."

He notes that his own father, for instance, who lives just 40 minutes from San Juan "still has no electricity, cell or water service" and many in mountain towns "have received a visit from the authorities only once, if any, and to bring a couple of water bottles and some canned sausages." The relief effort is failing, he charges, citing, for example, a delivery of "100 pallets of solar panels, but it still will take at least a month to go through the shipping process" before they can actually be deployed.

Cruz details why PR's power grid took such a hit from the storm, why it is so difficult to restore it to the already-deficient state it was in prior to the storm, and how decentralized energy micro-grids, relying on clean, renewable energy and battery storage, are now more important than ever, even as opportunists begin to take advantage of relief funds and the desperate Puerto Rican people.

"A lot of these [power generating stations] are decades old," he notes. "So you have these monstrosities of this very centralized system. They're very inefficient, they operate with some of the dirtiest fuels, and they should have been changed, should have been retired [a] long time ago. But because of several reasons --- everything from mismanagement, corruption, lack of capital, lack of creativity, bad business models, etc., they were not changed. And now you see these kinds of effects."

"In terms of human power, you have a lot of able Puerto Ricans to help," Cruz argues. "As a policy person, I think Americans in the mainland could help a lot by putting pressure on their elected officials to send a decent relief package to Puerto Rico, or to hurricane-affected areas. And to have, for example, a climate adaptation plan. I think everywhere on the coast, everywhere that is vulnerable to climate change, to global warming, there should be a plan for how to deal with essential infrastructure." That, he says, is "extremely important" but lacking in Puerto Rico and, unfortunately, too many other locations which could find themselves, before long, in as bad or worse condition than Puerto Rico...

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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By PDiddie on 10/22/2017 6:27am PT  

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




And a thought or two on the toxic poison injected this week into our body politic by the President of the United States...
By Brad Friedman on 10/20/2017 6:12pm PT  

Among the demonstrably real, not fake, news stories covered on today's BradCast [Audio link to show posted below]...

  • A brief word about the mercilessly toxic and sad "debate" Donald Trump injected into the American body politic this week to divert from his failure to recognize U.S. special forces killed by ISIS during a still-mysterious ambush in Niger, the shameful lie told by his Chief of Staff, General John Kelly, in service of Trump's failure, and the White House doubling down on that lie despite video evidence to the contrary;
  • Speaking of wishing reality away, the EPA removes more facts about climate change from its website, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt charges peer-reviewed climate science is biased due to grants from the EPA (and hints at a purge of scientists), while his highly-paid corporate cronies are appointed to top agency posts and begin their work in defiance of the U.S. Senate (and the Rule of Law);
  • A federal judge rules the guilty verdict against federal criminal and former Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio will not be vacated despite Trump's Presidential pardon and a plea from his Dept. of Justice to ignore the Rule of Law;
  • More apparent violations of the Rule of Law and lies about the income of Alabama's GOP U.S. Senate nominee Roy Moore (twice removed as state Supreme Court Justice for defying federal court orders) are unearthed in advance of the state's Special Election in December;
  • And, so-called "conservatives" in the U.S. Senate pass a budget resolution to increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion dollars, while cutting nearly $500 billion from Medicare and $1 trillion from Medicaid over the next decade, in order to fund massive tax cuts for rich people...

Also today, a brief plea to stop by BradBlog.com/Donate to help Desi and me continue to bring you independent news from the Land of Reality (and the Rule of Law) over your public airwaves as long as we can! My continuing thanks to those who have already done so! To everyone else: Now is great time to help us out! (Pretty please?)

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The President's woeful, deadly response in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria must be added to the list...
By Ernest A. Canning on 10/20/2017 11:25am PT  

"This storm [Hurricane Maria] is no longer killing Americans," an exasperated Rachel Maddow exclaimed on MSNBC in mid-October. "The federal government's response to this storm is now killing Americans."

Setting aside Donald Trump's own self-assessment that his government's response was a "10" out of 10 --- that it couldn't have been better --- actual facts reveal otherwise.

Congress need not await the outcome of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia in the 2016 election, before determining if President Donald J. Trump should be impeached.

The phrase "high crimes" that appears in the Impeachment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, according to the Constitution Society, "refers to those punishable offenses that only apply to high persons, that is, to public officials, those who, because of their official status, are under special obligations that ordinary persons are not under, and which could not be meaningfully applied or justly punished if committed by ordinary persons."

It is an impeachment threshold that can be found in President Trump's reckless and callous disregard of his special obligation to protect the lives and safety of the 3.6 million American citizens who reside in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico --- a U.S. territory that the President formally recognized, as early as September 21, as the site of a "major disaster"...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Guest: Congressional reporter Alice Ollstein of TPM; Also: Trump meets with Puerto Rico Guv, gives himself a '10' on Hurricane Maria response!...
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2017 6:14pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Donald Trump declares the U.S. government response to the devastating Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico couldn't have been better, and a bi-partisan effort in the U.S. Senate gains support, but struggles to overcome the President's sabotage of ObamaCare and schizophrenic response to the measure. [Audio link to show follows below.]

First, the President met with Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló at the White House on Thursday, and gave himself a "10 out of 10" rating for his federal government's response to the disaster and ongoing humanitarian crisis following Hurricanes Maria and Irma on the island of 3.5 U.S. citizens. During the sometimes uncomfortable 30-minute press avail, Trump sought approval for the response from an on-the-spot Rosselló.

The official death toll after Maria stands at 48, though independent analyses put the number of dead at more than 400. The power grid is still down across the vast majority of the island, and many are still struggling for fresh running water, though CNN offers some good news today regarding the many desperate citizens who had been drinking from wells at toxic Superfund sites.

Then, following Trump's announcement late last week that he was cutting off subsidy payments mandated by the Affordable Care Act (or 'ObamaCare') to help cover out-of-pocket health care expenses for low-income Americans, a bi-partisan agreement was struck in the U.S. Senate to pay those Cost-Sharing Reductions (CSR) subsidies. Trump originally lauded the deal announced between Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) on Tuesday. But he has since flip-flopped on support of the bill by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Health Committee in the 48 hours since. Trump's cut-off to those CSR payments has already resulted in health care premiums sky-rocketing around the country, including in states like Pennsylvania, where, its insurance commissioner announced Monday, rates are now set to soar some 30% for many in 2018.

We're joined by TPM's Congressional reporter ALICE OLLSTEIN from the Capitol today for the latest on what the Alexander-Murray measure, now co-sponsored by some 24 U.S. Senators from both parties, would actually do; how members are reacting to Trump's predictably unpredictable roller-coaster responses to it; how each party is attempting to sell the bill to its members; and whether GOP leadership will even allow the legislation to come to the floor for a vote, much less whether it can be passed by the Senate or the even more rabidly-opposed right-wing members of U.S. House.

Trump "has been all over the map on this," Ollstein explained, when I asked about the response on Capitol Hill to his ever-shifting statements. "Every time he opens his mouth, it's a new and confusing statement. No one has any idea, really, where he stands on this. So I think they're just trying to rally as many votes as they can, and worry about the President later."

"Keep in mind, this bill is coming kind of too late to make anything better for 2018," she says. "If they had gotten it done by mid-September, the insurers could have lowered their rates and prevented some of the big increases we're seeing. Now they blew past that deadline because they wanted to take one more whack at repeal, which failed. So now it's all about stabilizing the market, preventing additional chaos, and we won't really see the benefits of this until [the] end of 2018, beginning of 2019. That's right when the midterms are going to be. And so does the Republican leadership want their members to face re-election amid all of this healthcare chaos that they might get blamed for, as many polls indicate?"

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on the newest GOP scheme to allow drilling in the pristine Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to export oil to China; updates on the deadly wildfires in CA and storm disasters in Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands; and some very good news indeed regarding electric vehicles...at least in Europe.

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/19/2017 11:03am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Alaska National Wildlife Refuge on the chopping block --- again; California officials warn of toxic ashes from the state's devastating wildfires; Like Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands struggling without power or clean water; PLUS: Shell Oil opens electric vehicle charging network at gas stations --- in Britain... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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

Link:
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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): Video: 1 million Americans without power in Puerto Rico; Paris talks set in awkward moment for Trump Admin; With fast-charging, electric cars will soon match or beat gasoline cars in every respect; Iowa governor: Trump 'committed' to ethanol; Hurricane Maria recovery requires extensive federal response; Trump abandons plans to help climate refugees; Developing world struggles with obsolete pesticides; EPA says higher radiation levels pose 'no harmful effect'; Company to pipe water out of Mojave desert to cities... PLUS: Trump voters in storm-ravaged county confront climate change.... and much, MUCH more! ...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Guest: Orange County, CA Registrar of Voters, Neal Kelley, member of new DHS Election Infrastructure Coordinating Council...
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2017 6:26pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Accurate reporting matters. So do accurately tabulated elections. So does accurately reporting about elections and their results and allegations made about attempts to "hack" American elections. [Audio link to show follow below.]

While the U.S. corporate media have ever-so-slightly improved since they fell hook, line and sinker for the George W. Bush Administration's government propaganda following 9/11 --- resulting in the Iraq War and all that has come, and is still coming ever since --- they're not doing much better when it comes to Trump's saber rattling over Iran's non-existent "nuclear weapons program", or their coverage of the government's claims concerning Russia's alleged "hacking" of election systems in 2016. (Or, as MSNBC's Rachel Maddow unhelpfully describes it over and over, "Russia's attack on our election!")

We try, today, to help clarify what the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security and the corporate media did not, when it came to DHS' erroneous allegation in late September that the "Russian government" attempted to hack voter registration systems in 21 states and that "no votes were manipulated or changed" in the 2016 election. (For example, as we noted at the time, days later, DHS admitted they were wrong about Wisconsin, and California's Democratic Sec. of State said further investigation revealed that claims "turned out to be bad information from DHS." As to whther any votes were changed in 2016, the DHS admitted over the Summer that they don't know, because they never actually checked!)

But, hey, if it takes concerns, accurate or otherwise, about "Russia hacking" our elections to wake up the nation and its government to the very real threats posed by electronic voting, tabulation and registration systems we'll take it! We've worked for nearly 15 years here at The BRAD BLOG and on The BradCast to warn about that threat --- whether it comes from Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, ISIS, France, Germany, some guy in Little Rock, Arkansas or any election official or insider anywhere in the nation!

So, on related matters, and what we will all look forward to as the 2018 election cycle begins, we're joined by longtime Orange County, CA Registrar of Voters NEAL KELLEY, following the first meeting of the new DHS Election Infrastructure Coordinating Council, created after President Obama's Directive in January declaring the nation's election systems, in all 50 states, to be recognized as "Critical Infrastructure" by the U.S. Government.

Kelley, a member of the new 27-member council which convened in D.C. over the weekend for the first time, joins us to explain what this panel actually is; what the designation as "critical infrastructure" actually means in practical terms for the nation's voting, tabulation and registration systems; how this commission was set up, who appointed its members, and how it differs from Trump's phony "Election Integrity" Commission; whether the "critical infrastructure" designation intrudes on states' Constitutional independence in running their own elections; whether the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (or EAC, on which Kelley is also an Advisory Board member) should be defunded, as Republicans in Congress have long sought; how DHS dropped the ball on 2016 and its aftermath; and, while we have him here, whether or not Orange County will ever replace its 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting systems with a verifiable paper ballot system. (See my own disastrous experience with the OC's voting system back in 2011 here.)

We also get Kelley's reaction to a newly-signed CA law (AB-840), supported by Democrats and virulently opposed by many Election Integrity advocates, that allows County Registrars to completely ignore millions of provisional and Vote-by-Mail ballots when conducting their state-mandated 1% post-election manual "audits".

Finally, speaking of Trump's phony voter fraud commission (which is decidedly distinct from the DHS panel that Kelley now sits on!), we've got several pieces of troubling news today, including the recently reported child pornography arrest of one of its researchers, and the sudden death on Monday of one of the Commission's very few Democratic appointees...

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

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Also, Guest: Pastor Michael McBride on the 'Cost for Peace vs. Death' and cutting gun violence rates in communities which need it most...
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2017 6:32pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Donald Trump's assertion at the White House on Monday that "ObamaCare is finished, it's dead, it's gone...There is no such thing as ObamaCare anymore" is a blatant, cruel and malevolent lie. It is also, along with Trump's other efforts to undermine the federal law, an impeachable offense. Also today, very real and proven effective solutions to gun violence, which do not receive attention or funding they deserve. [Audio link to full show is posted at bottom of article.]

First up, Trump's recent comments and actions to sabotage American health care are, as I argue, in violation of his sworn oath to "protect and defend the Constitution", which includes the Article 2 requirement that the President must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

Instead of faithfully executing the law, Trump is undermining it, and putting millions of Americans at risk of losing access to affordable health care, as provided by the Affordable Care Act. In addition to his unforgivable lies about ObamaCare on Monday, thanks to his announcement late last week that he will stop payments to help cover out-of-pocket expenses such as deductibles and co-pays for low-income citizens (as mandated by the ACA), insurance premiums have now sky-rocketed in a number of states, including in Pennsylvania, which, its insurance Commissioner announced on Monday, will see average increases of more than 30%. (Similar increases are also slated for Florida, Arkansas, Oregon, Alaska and dozens of other states, thanks to Trump and the GOP's attempt to gut the Obama-era law that has helped some 30 million obtain and pay for health care, while improving health care insurance plans for hundreds of millions of Americans.)

Despite Trump's dangerous and impeachable lie, ObamaCare still very much exists. Its Open Enrollment period runs November 1 through December 15 at HealthCare.gov. (Please spread the word, since Trump also cut millions of dollars of funding to do exactly that, so most simply don't know.)

At the same time, Republicans continue to block gun safety legislation, even after 58 were murdered and more than 500 wounded in a matter of minutes by a gunman in Las Vegas just over two weeks ago. But while such mass murders make momentary headlines and gun safety legislation continues to be mired at the state and federal level --- thanks to the arms industry representatives of the terrorist-enabling National Rifle Association (NRA) --- very successful efforts to curb gun violence in the areas that need it most go largely overlooked by both Democrats and Republicans alike across the country.

We're joined today by PASTOR MICHAEL MCBRIDE, National Director for the LiveFreeUSA.org campaign, comprising hundreds of faith congregations throughout the US committed to addressing gun violence and mass incarceration of young people of color. McBride explains how, despite the organization's remarkable success rate in curbing gun violence in minority communities (see his recent NYTimes op-ed), such programs are often shamefully overlooked or ignored by public officials.

"We have been able to, over the years, figure out strategies to target those at the highest risk of shooting and being shot. And help make sure that their lives are saved, their lives are redirected, they're behavior is transformed and changed," McBride explains. "And, most importantly, we have communities that are not over-determined, that are not traumatized, that are not filled with fear because of the prevalence of gun violence."

"We believe that these are the strategies that we can implement and fully resource at the local level, without having to change the policies or get bogged down in a 2nd Amendment argument," he tells me, explaining how it can be done without over policing as well. "Too often in the black community, in poor communities, brown communities, racial profiling is used as the primary tool to try and identify these individuals, and that creates a 'collective punishment' kind of environment, where everyone in the community who looks like a 'criminal' is then treated as one. And we have found that that is not only unconstitutional, but it is certainly not effective."

McBride, who served as an Advisor on President Obama’s Faith Based Advisory Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, explains "we have found, consistently in cities across the country where this is done, decreases in violence in the first 18-24 months that can be as low as 30% and as high as 60%. Those numbers are unprecedented." He adds those numbers are achieved "without more arrests, without more incarceration" and even result in drops in police shootings, misconduct charges and complaints.

As to why such strategies are too often overlooked by politicians of all stripes, McBride argues that "'tough-on-crime' [policies] and growing police departments and building more prisons has been a bipartisan slam-dunk for those who want to seem they are being responsive" to neighborhood gun violence. But, these "very much underfunded" programs work and are far less expensive than too-often tragic alternatives. He describes it as "the cost for peace vs. the cost for death".

Please tune in for this highly informative conversation with more details than I can properly relay here.

Finally today, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with a remarkable amount of news on, among other things, the record hurricane that smashed into Ireland this week, the post-Hurricane crisis in Puerto Rico, the historic deadly wildfires in California (and elsewhere) and coal plants being shut down in both China and Texas...

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

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