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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, December 17, 2017
'T'was the Week Before' Toons
'PDiddie' gallops us all towards the holidays -- and some of us towards political sunset -- in his latest festive holiday toon collection...
GOP Tax Scam's Final Mile; Tillerson's NK Flip; Packing the Courts; Trump Family Fail: 'BradCast' 12/15/17
A spoonful or two of sugar along with some of today's bitter medicine...
Trump FCC Kills 'Net Neutrality', Endangering Internet Free Speech: 'BradCast' 12/14/2017
Guest: Media reformer Sue Wilson; Also: More mega-mergers, Trump noms withdrawn, more...
'Green News Report' 12/14/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Toxic smoke warnings from SoCal fires; New bad news for the Arctic; New good news for Tesla; World fights climate change without U.S.; PLUS: French prez makes good on promise...
Previous GNRs: 12/12/17 - 12/7/17 - Archives...
Veteran Recount Attorney Sees Little Chance for Moore in AL: 'BradCast' 12/13/17
Guest: Recount expert Chris Sautter on Jones' win, Moore's odds, AL Supremes' 'ballot images' ruling...
Internet Freedom of Speech Now at Stake
With Trump's Repub-majority FCC set to kill Net Neutrality, a media reformer on why the result will be another political horror show for Dems and the nation...
AL Supremes Allow 'Ballot Images' to Be Destroyed: 'BradCast' 12/12/17
Guest: David Rothschild's new study on whether real or fake news was the bigger prob in the 2016 election...
'Green News Report' 12/12/17
SoCal fire now CA's 5th largest ever; Trump Admin attacks private co. in nat'l monument fight, opens E. Coast to drilling, slows EPA actions against polluters...
Moore, Moore, Moore... and Other Vital News: 'BradCast' 12/11/2017
Terror attacks in NY, KS, NM; Pentagon to allow trans-gender enlistment; SoCal fires; Election integrity court win and deep dive before AL's insane U.S. Senate election...
GOP/NRA's 'Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act' Likely Unconstitutional
New bill rammed through House blocks states' rights on gun safety laws and may violate the U.S. Constitution...
Sunday Toons of the Soulless Moment
A lot of souls have been sold in recent days. For what in return? 'PDiddie' rounds up the consequences in his latest weekly toon collection...
Former CO GOP Chair Found Guilty of Voter Fraud: 'BradCast' 12/8/17
And other ironies and outrages: SoCal fires spread; Trump dumps science; Election Integrity suit in AL; House GOP ignores states' rights on guns; Listener e-mail...
'Green News Report' 12/7/17
Trump rolls back protections for two national monuments; Tribes, conservationists sue; GOP tax bill slashes renewables; PLUS: Credit firm warns cities on climate...
Two SCOTUS Cases This Week 'Take the Cake' for Absurdity: 'BradCast' 12/6/17
Guest: Slate's Mark Joseph Stern; Also: Fires worsen in, near L.A.; Franken pressured by Dem Senators to resign...
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...


Guest: Sue Wilson of Media Action Center; Also: More mega-mergers before GOP tax cuts; Trump noms to EPA, federal bench withdrawn...
By Brad Friedman on 12/14/2017 6:27pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Disturbing news for Americans and free speech before Christmas, but great news for huge corporations enjoying record profits already. [Audio link to show follows below.]

First up, yet another media mega-merger is announced as Disney says they will purchase much of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox in a $52 billion dollar deal, even as Trump and the Congressional GOP push to give them all huge tax breaks --- at the expense of the poor and middle class. Republicans are hoping for final passage of their tax bill before Christmas and before presumptive Sen.-elect Doug Jones (D-AL) can be seated and further reduce the GOP's slim U.S. Senate majority.

On the upside today, one of Trump's wildly inappropriate industry shills nominated to the EPA has reportedly withdrawn, as have two wholly unqualified nominees for lifetime judgeship appointments to the federal bench.

Then, as expected on Thursday, Trump's Republican-led Federal Communications Commission (FCC), voted 3 to 2 along party lines to kill "Net Neutrality" rules for Internet Service Providers like AT&T, Verizon, Charter and Comcast. That, despite a letter from 18 state Attorneys General who asked the Commission to delay the vote until after a legitimate public comment period. The previous one, they charge, was manipulated by as many as 2,000,000 comments that New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has found found to have been faked.

Nonetheless, right-wing FCC Commissioner and former Verizon attorney Ajit Pai did not delay the vote, and the Commission voted to kill the rules that had long prevented ISP's from blocking or slowing down certain websites or apps, or charging more for access to them. Longtime media reform activist SUE WILSON joins us today and describes the latest actions by the FCC as little more than a move toward the end of free speech on the Internet.

She argues that the move to kill Net Neutrality echoes the efforts to pass the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which was also sold by proponents at the time as a boon for competition and innovation that would result in more free speech over our public airwaves. Instead, the public radio waves have become the nearly exclusive domain of corporate right-wing political speech and propaganda in the 20 years since the measure was signed by President Bill Clinton.

"They made a lot of promises, when they consolidated radio, that we would end up with a much more diverse speech for everybody," Wilson explains. "Anybody who listens to radio knows that it's almost impossible to find a show like The BradCast on the air because it is now dominated by pro-Republican, conservative --- no, 'alt-right' --- speech, to the exclusion of all others. They flat-out lied to us, and guess what? That's what they're doing today."

A similar future may soon be in store for the Internet, unless promised lawsuits or Congressional legislation is able to block or reverse today's shamefully under-reported and disturbing turn of events.

"The claim that the Federal Communications Commission Republicans are making is that we need to give more money to broadband services so that they can invest in rural areas," says Wilson. "However, if you look at the Securities and Exchange [Commission] documents, which these corporations have to fill out --- under penalty of prosecution if they lie --- the six CEOs of publicly-traded broadband companies are telling their investors that the FCC's current Net Neutrality rules have not in any way impacted their investment strategies. Again, we're looking at the Federal Communications Commission, as headed by Ajit Pai, just making things up out of whole cloth."

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, with an update on the record and still-growing Southern California wildfires, more bad news about the Arctic, some good news for Tesla, and a worldwide embarrassment for the United States...

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 host Angie Coiro with Scott Dworkin on #TrumpLeaks; Jonathan Martin on breaking away from Dems; Joel Baum on transgender kids...
By Angie Coiro on 2/24/2017 6:08pm PT  

On today's BradCast, guested hosted by me, Angie Coiro, Donald Trump lies at CPAC and Sean Spicer excludes journos from hearing White House news --- just another day with the Trump administration. [Audio link posted below.]

Guest Scott Dworkin of The Democratic Coalition Against Trump tackles the massive tangle that is the Trump family's business relationship with Russia. He saves the best for last: why he thinks the FBI's James Comey will ultimately weigh in on the side of justice.

Then, sociology professor Jonathan Martin makes the case that yes, we should look at a third-party break with Democrats.

Gender Spectrum's Joel Baum joins us to talk about supporting transgender children and teens under an administration that works to take their rights away --- and what parents, teachers, and other loving adults can do.

Then, what went down as journalists from established news organs first had to sign up for a White House press gathering, then one by one got turned away. And, finally, a spotlight on Steve Bannon's appearance at CPAC, and his alleged script for "The Singularity: Resistance Is Futile." (Not. Kidding.)

Download MP3 or listen 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!




Trump's lies distract from his Admin's dangerous actions on free speech, environment, voting rights and more. Guest: ACLU's Julie Ebenstein...
By Brad Friedman on 1/24/2017 6:17pm PT  

Never mind his inauguration crowd size or his claims to be "a very big person when it comes to the environment", or even his false claims about "voter fraud". On today's BradCast, while it may be hard to imagine, and the corporate media may have yet to fully notice, Donald Trump's actions speak much louder than his obnoxious words and virtually non-stop stream of public lies. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Don't be distracted by what Donald Trump says. Pay attention to what he does. To that end, while folks were debating his "alternative facts" on the crowd size at his inauguration, the new Administration was busy shutting down the Twitter accounts and ability for federal employees to communicate with the press and public at the Department of Interior, the National Park Service, the EPA and other federal agencies.

While claiming to be a champion for the environment this morning, he then signed an Executive Action to move forward with approval of the dirty and dangerous KeystoneXL and Dakota Access Pipelines by the afternoon.

While the new President continued to pretend that millions of illegal votes were cast in the 2016 election (even the New York Times called it a "Lie" in their headline!), he and his supporters fought successfully to stop the post-election "recounts" in all three states where evidence of such illegal votes --- if it actually existed (it doesn't) --- might have been revealed.

While the Administration claimed last week that their work wouldn't begin until Monday, their new Dept. of Justice leadership was taking action on Inauguration Day to undermine a long-standing lawsuit against Texas' unlawful Photo ID voting restrictions. Yes, Republican Trumpers understand the importance of voting laws and procedures --- even when it's not an election year. Do Democrats and progressives?

Julie Ebenstein, staff attorney at the ACLU Voting Rights Project, joins us to explain what exactly the Trump DoJ did on Friday in the Texas case and what it may signify for that case and others like it, what it all may mean for the future of the currently-gutted Voting Rights Act, and how the ACLU and other private plaintiffs plan to continue the fight for voting rights with or without the Trump Administration's DoJ on their side.

"There's certainly concern that DoJ will shift and no longer take the same positions that it's taken in the Texas and North Carolina cases --- and a lot of concern for future cases, for future protection of people's voting rights," Ebenstein tells me. "If the Department of Justice does not provide and enforce the same robust protections of the Voting Rights act, it's diluting the already scarce resources that are out there to challenge these laws." But, she vows, "we'll continue to do the work we've always done. There are certainly cases where private organizations like the ACLU will go forward without any Department of Justice involvement. We're going to keep doing what we do, no matter what we see coming."

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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Shame and scandal before new Admin even takes office; Plus: Guest Fred Karger, activist and former GOP Presidential candidate, charges Comcast blocking new anti-Mormon ad in Utah at behest of LDS Church...
By Brad Friedman on 1/16/2017 6:06pm PT  

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...

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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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Mitch McConnell: 'There are no serious barriers to voting anymore anywhere in America' and, oh, yeah, global warming is still 'a hoax'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/3/2016 5:55pm PT  

On today's BradCast, denial, denial, denial. It's not just a river in Egypt. Though, if it were, that river would likely be either drying up about now or rising at a record pace and threatening the lives of everyone who lives near it. [Audio link for show posted below.]

First on today's program, a word or two about the violence outside (and inside) Donald Trump's rally on Thursday in San Jose, CA, and about the anti-American freedom of the press denied reporters covering his campaign.

Then, speaking of denial, the planet's climate crisis continues to worsen and the body count continues to mount from Houston to Fort Hood to Paris and beyond. But, while GOPers continue to pretend that climate science is a "hoax" or "pseudoscience", at least the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is finally warning about the increasing costs of federal spending that it will cause. Will Republicans bother to listen now?

And, while we're at it, GOPers continue to deny the voter suppression they are working very hard to carry out in 2016, even if it requires them to make a fraudulent case about 'voter fraud', as Tom Mechler, the Chair of the Republican Party of Texas, did this week, when he used cases of absentee fraud to fraudulently make the case for polling place Photo ID restrictions in the Lone Star State. He's hardly alone, however. GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also recently lied about voter suppression, telling USA Today: "There are no serious barriers to voting anymore anywhere in America."

Really, Senator? Hope you'll let the disenfranchised Native Americans in North Dakota and elsewhere know about that before this Tuesday's primary --- not to the mention the millions of Americans who do not have the very specific type of Photo ID now required to vote at the polling place in many states controlled by Republicans. As the Brennan Center for Justice notes, some 17 states have made it more difficult for legal (disproportionately Democratic-leaning) voters to cast their legal vote since the last Presidential election, many of those states passing new restrictions on voting since the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the most important section of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. (But, if all goes well, at least registering to vote may soon become a bit easier in Illinois. Maybe. If their Republican Governor plays along.)

Finally on today's BradCast, another oil train derails and explodes in Oregon, and the massive wildfire in the tar sands oil region of Alberta, Canada continues to burn nearly a month after record hot and dry conditions initially sparked the blaze that sent tens of thousands of residents of Fort McMurray scrambling for their lives. Now, some relief has finally arrived, at least in Canada, where 300 South African firefighters have made a 24-hour flight to Edmonton to give exhausted firefighters there a bit of a break. But will the residents of Fort McMurray, a town built to support the tar sands oil industry, continue to deny the damage they have helped cause to their own town and planet?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 Ernest A. Canning on 6/11/2013 6:05am PT  

Whistleblower Edward Snowden did more than simply expose a level of NSA surveillance that suggests the entire system has grown dangerously close to that of "Big Brother" in George Orwell's 1984.

In disclosing that he served at the NSA as a third-party contractor employed by Booz Allen Hamilton, Snowden's revelations touch upon the disturbing fact that the U.S. has become not only a national security surveillance state, but a privatized national security surveillance state. Our national security apparatus is now run, in no small part, by massive private corporations whose financial interests may be better served by operating in secret and by exploiting and exaggerating public fears.

As reported by The New York Times on Monday, Booz Allen "has become one of the largest and most profitable corporations in the United States almost exclusively by serving a single client: the government of the United States." The company "reported revenues of $5.76 billion for the fiscal year ended in March."

The majority shareholder in Booz Allen is The Carlyle Group, the massive global asset management firm whose defense industry contracts raised questions of a conflict of interest during the George W. Bush administration in light of the direct financial ties and active rolls in Carlyle maintained by Bush's father, former President George H.W. Bush, his Sec. of State, James Baker, III, Ronald Reagan's Defense Sec. Frank Carlucci and even Shafiq Bin Laden (Osama's brother).

These new revelations serve as a reminder that 9/11 did more than serve as an economic boon for the military-industrial complex. The events of that horrible day gave rise to an endless "war on terror," to the starkly swift passage of the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 and eventually, along with it, --- as Sen. Russ Feingold, the only U.S. Senator to vote against the Act, predicted at the time --- to the massive reach of the NSA surveillance state. Feingold's prediction echoed the ominous warning provided by Sen. Frank Church (D-ID) some thirty years earlier, that if the NSA's surveillance capabilities were ever allowed to go unchecked, there would be "no place to hide."

But what Senators Feingold and Church do not seem to have anticipated was that this Orwellian level of surveillance capabilities would be placed into the hands of private cyber security contractors, and their billionaire benefactors, whose financial interests lie in an exaggerated state of fear and secrecy. The merger between the NSA and private corporate power raises the specter that this never-ending "war on terror" has given rise to a national security apparatus whose real purpose is to protect wealth and privilege against the threat democracy poses to our increasingly stark levels of inequality.

So, is it terrorism or democracy which is the real target of an omnipresent NSA surveillance capability? Or is it something else entirely?...

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




By Ernest A. Canning on 8/24/2012 12:24pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Speaking to a crowd of supporters from the balcony of Ecuador's U.K. Embassy last Sunday, WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, demanded that the United States end its "war on whistleblowers" --- a war that, Assange said, not only threatens WikiLeaks but "the freedom of expression and the health of our societies." The U.S., he said, must choose between returning to the "revolutionary values" upon which it was founded, or "lurch off the precipice, dragging us all into a dangerous and oppressive world under which journalists fall silent under fear of prosecution."

Assange credited citizen activism for the fact that Britain did not carry out its unlawful threat last week to "storm" Ecuador's Embassy, stating:

If the UK did not throw away the Vienna Conventions the other night, it was because the world was watching. And the world was watching because you were watching.

So the next time somebody tells you it is pointless to defend those rights that we hold dear, remind them of your vigil in the dark before the Embassy of Ecuador. Remind them how, in the morning, the sun came up on a different world, and a courageous Latin American nation took a stand for justice.

Assange called upon the U.S. to "pledge, before the world, that it will not pursue journalists for shining a light on the secret crimes of the powerful."

"There must be no more foolish talk about prosecuting any media organization, be it WikiLeaks or be it the New York Times," he declared. "The U.S. Administration's war on whistleblowers must end."

The controversial Assange went on to call for the release of "one of the world's foremost political prisoners, Bradley Manning," noting that the former Army Intelligence Analyst had just "spent his 815th day of detention without trial. The legal maximum is 120 days."

Manning is the U.S. Army Private alleged to have released classified material to Assange's WikiLeaks. Legendary Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, during a late 2010 interview with Brad Friedman, described Manning as a "patriot" for his release of the documents.

The full video of Assange's 8/19/12 statement from the balcony of London's Ecuadorian Embassy, where he has been granted asylum by the Latin American country, follows below...

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




Diplomatic row said to threaten fabric of international law...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/16/2012 11:23am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Undaunted by a U.K. threat to "storm" Ecuador's London embassy if the Latin American nation refused to hand over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to British authorities, this morning, Ecuador granted Assange's request for political asylum.

At a press conference in Quito, Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino strongly denounced the threat received from the U.K.: "Today we've received a threat by the United Kingdom, a clear and written threat that they could storm our embassy in London if Ecuador refuses to hand in Julian Assange."

Ecuador's decision to grant asylum in the face of the U.K.'s threat have not only triggered a diplomatic row but have threatened to tear apart the very fabric of international rule of law, according to experts. Where one could anticipate Sweden's denouncement of Ecuador's asylum decision as "unacceptable", as it summoned Ecuador's ambassador to Stockholm, the British threat to storm Ecuador's embassy was described by University of Australia Professor of International Law Don Rothwell as "extraordinary" and a "significant violation" of Article 22 of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Rights that could "find its way before an international court."

As Ecuador's foreign minister issued an angry denouncement of the U.K. threat, noting that his nation was "not a British colony", American filmmaker Michael Moore called on his friends in the U.K. to mount a protest of the U.K. threat outside Ecuador's London embassy. Occupy Wall Street protesters called for "people to take part in a 24/7 occupation of the British consulate in New York." Reuters reported a "clash between protesters and British police outside of Ecuador's embassy."

But, as discussed in a must-read opinion piece by Mark Weisbrot of the UK Guardian, the very concept of an international rule of law is open to question given the impunity by which the United States and its allies have operated both at home and abroad...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
SPECIAL: The U.S. Chamber's Secret Smear Campaign...
By Desi Doyen on 2/15/2011 1:44pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S SPECIAL RADIO REPORT: All-out Info War: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest & most powerful corporate lobbying firm, caught plotting a $12 million disinformation campaign against progressive U.S. organizations, journalists and citizens, including yours truly...

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): EXTENDED (non-Chamber-related) EXTRA!:... Obama budget, GOP's draconian cuts; Judge fines Chevron $8 Billion for Ecuador pollution; Strip-mining to begin on sea floor; Actor Costner sued over Gulf oil invention; World approaching "peak phosphorous"?; Alaska warming at 3x rate of Lower 48; Natural gas surge in BP spill; KY protestors sit-in at gov's office against mountaintop removal mining; GE pays handsomely for stake in oil business; EU Carbon trading system plagued by fraud; Smog continues to plague Joshua Tree NP; Insurers warn premiums set to rise for natural disasters; Solar panels can help your home sell faster; Generation HOT: Calling out "climate cranks"; Pesticide co. hires federal agency to challenge pesticide-Parkinson's link ... PLUS: The worst eco-disasters of all time! ...

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The fine line between advocacy and incitement...
By Ernest A. Canning on 1/15/2011 9:33am PT  

[Update 4:26pm PT: Related to the story below, one of the victims of the Tucson shooting has just been arrested for issuing a threat against Rightwingers at a taping for an ABC News special. It seems incitements by some are taken more seriously than incitements by others. Story here... -BF]

* * *

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"I find it chilling to hear so many U.S. government officials calling for the leader of this organization, Julian Assange, to be labeled an 'enemy combatant' and jailed --- or worse."-Letter from Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) to Tom Hayden

Recently, a number of prominent politicians and pundits have called for the violent targeting of other individuals who have been neither accused nor charged with any crimes whatsoever, calling into the question the legality of such incitements to violence.

This article will transcend the issue of "moral responsibility" on the part of those politicians and pundits for the horrific consequences that may, and often do, ensue as the result of their deliberate appeals to fear, prejudice and hate so as to examine when such rhetoric actually amounts to an actual crime under the laws of our land.

There can be little doubt that, as observed by Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, the combination of 24/7 "vitriolic rhetoric" on TV and radio (See video below for poignant examples of such rhetoric), the absence of gun control, with leading U.S. politicians calling for "Second Amendment remedies," and the placement of "crosshairs" over a political opponent's district while calling on citizens to "reload," can produce lethal consequences --- consequences that are not limited to the actions of the deranged.

Such rhetoric is both the product and cause of dehumanization --- a process defined by Professor Phillip Zimbardo in The Lucifer Effect as a means "by which certain other people or collectives of them are depicted as less than human..."

Zimbardo writes:

The process begins with stereotyped conceptions of the other,...conceptions of the other as worthless, the other as all-powerful,…the other as a fundamental threat to our cherished values and beliefs. With public fear notched up and enemy threat imminent, reasonable people act irrationally, independent people act in mindless conformity, and peaceful people act as warriors. Dramatic visual images of the enemy on posters, television, magazine covers, movies, and the internet imprint on the recesses of the limbic system, the primitive brain, with the powerful emotions of fear and hate.

Where we covered the scientific work of Zimbardo and others in "Hate Speech and the Process of Dehumanization," and in a follow-up, demonstrating how the process applies both when directed to foreign "threats" and domestic "foes," here the focus is the thin legal line, unique to the U.S. courtesy of the First Amendment, between advocacy and incitement, and whether some U.S. politicians and pundits may have, at least in the case of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange as they have now charged, crossed that line so as to possibly warrant criminal prosecutions...

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The latest chapter of a 40-year assault on Constitutional Democracy
And the long overdue effort by the People to reclaim their democratic heritage...
By Ernest A. Canning on 2/19/2010 6:05am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"The American people already believe that corporate special interests and their lobbyists run the show around here. I mean, the halls are crawling with them. But that’s not enough. Now the Court says to the big banks, to the drug companies, to the insurance companies, ‘Hey, all bets are off, and it’s open season. Our elections are for sale.’ A law won’t fix this; we have to fix it in the Constitution. So today I’ll introduce a constitutional amendment so that we, the people, can take back our elections and our democracy."
-- Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD), on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1/28/10

In "Activist U.S. Supreme Court Makes It Official, We're Now 'The Corporate States of America'", Brad Friedman, along with so many others, expressed alarm over the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission [PDF], as well he should have.

Notwithstanding the sophistries offered by Jan Witold Baran, who neglected to mention in his Jan. 26, 2010 New York Times editorial that he is a former general counsel for the Republican National Committee, it is clear from the broad language applied by the five-member majority of the Supreme Court that Citizens United calls into question the validity of all laws which seek to prohibit or even limit the ability of corporate bought-and-paid-for candidates to flood the airwaves with the corporate message, either directly or through corporate-purchased propaganda time slots; an ability that can drown out the right of citizens to see and hear those who do not tow the corporate line.

As I will explain in this first of a series of articles, this ruling perverts the very reason why the framers included "freedom of the press" in the First Amendment to the Constitutional amendments.

Unfortunately, as I will also explain in this series, the ruling in Citizens United was not unexpected. To the contrary, it is but the latest salvo in a 40 year, billionaire-funded assault on the very foundations of our constitutional republic and the rule of law.

A belated effort to reclaim our basic heritage has emerged via a move to amend the Constitution to overcome the devastating impact of Citizens United. Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig argues that a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United will not be enough; that we have to overcome what he describes as "the economy of influence" which now controls Congress. Lessig has called for a new Constitutional Convention. Another activist group, The Peace Team, has denounced the decision in Citizens United as an "act of treason." The Peace Team features an on-line petition calling for the impeachment of the five members of the Supreme Court who signed onto the majority opinion.

Regardless of where one stands on these efforts, a full appreciation of the big picture may be required before an effective movement can counter the well-funded and well organized assault on liberty...

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Scott Gant, Author Of 'We're All Journalists Now,' Reports Press Freedom May be Subverted...
By Alan Breslauer on 11/1/2007 9:00am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Are bloggers journalists? More importantly, should bloggers receive the same privileges the government bestows upon “professional” journalists including, in most states, protection from the forced disclosure of confidential sources of information by way of journalist shield laws?

These are some of the questions congress has been considering over the last month as part of the “Free Flow of Information Act of 2007.” As The BRAD BLOG often relies on confidential and whistleblower sources we have been tracking the issue closely.

With this backdrop, The BRAD BLOG jumped at the opportunity to interview the guy who literally wrote the book on the subject, D.C. constitutional law attorney Scott Gant. Released in June, We're All Journalists Now: The Transformation of the Press and Reshaping of the Law in the Internet Age, has enjoyed favorable reviews and led to appearances by Gant on C-Span's BookTV and The McLaughlin Group, where the host commented that the book was “A great read, an easy read and it breaks new ground, quite groundbreaking.”

Part 1 (7:32) of our interview above covers all things related to the shield law. Part 2 (8:30) of the interview above concentrates on access privileges and other benefits that journalists receive from the government that may be important to bloggers. Both follow below...




WaPo Joins Ted Olson in Supporting the Bill, Opposes Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald for Criticizing It
As GOP-Introduced Bill Heads to Full Senate...
By Margie Burns on 10/5/2007 6:35am PT  

Guest Blogged by BRAD BLOG's D.C. Correspondent, Margie Burns

It was a big day on Thursday in the national capital, with several flaming surges hitting the news at once – the Washington Post hooking up with the MSM campaign to put “Hillary” over the top before the magic deadline of October 15 (more on that later, elsewhere); Rep. Henry Waxman and the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee holding a powerful hearing on Iraqi corruption; the blocking of Hans von Spakovsky's nomination to the FEC; and discussion of a proposed federal shield law for journalists (full text of bill here), which was reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today to the full Senate.

While I was able to sit in for hearings on two of the items above, space and time regrettably being constraints, I'll cover only the proposed shield law for the moment. Right up top, I have to say that I have qualms about it. A real leak, by a whistleblower exposing a crime or some danger to the public, is one thing. But protecting journalists from exposing a politically motivated ‘source’ trying to plant misinformation is another. This bill, as it was debated in committee and written about in papers yesterday, might equally protect both, if it protects either...

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Who Picked the DOJ Targets This Time? WashPost Does Not Tell the Public.
Internal Infighting Carried On Via Willing Newspaper (When will they run this headline?)
By Margie Burns on 6/25/2007 5:01am PT  

Guest blogged from D.C. by Margie Burns

Beneficiary of yet another political outing, the Washington Post ran an article on Thursday June 21, 2007, titled “Political Hiring in Justice Division Probed,” strongly alleging further personnel atrocities committed in the DOJ by former Civil Rights Division administrator Bradley Schlozman.

Not to throw the baby out with the bathwater --- this is not a defense of Schlozman --- but regrettably all the allegations were made by unnamed sources. So who are the unnamed administration sources, and why are they engaging in this maneuver?

Here, along the lines of the "numbers" speech by Erin Brockovich as played by Julia Roberts, is the rundown:

Number of grafs, total, in the two-page article: 29. Number of named sources: 2. (See below.) Number of items attributed to unnamed sources: at least 17. Number of unnamed sources, total: uncertain, but ranging from at least 6 to perhaps at most 16.
0
Graf 2: “ . . . according to four lawyers who said they heard the account from Dugan.”

Graf 3: “In another politically tinged conversation recounted by former colleagues, . . .”

Graf 4: “That account was challenged by six officials in the division who said in interviews that they either overheard him . . .”

Graf 14: “Appellate lawyers said that before Schlozman arrived, the small staff enjoyed a collegial work environment . . .”

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



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