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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, May 28, 2017
Gianforte Wins Despite Assault Charge; Voting Rights Group to Close: 'BradCast' 5/26/17
Guest: Michael Slater of Project Vote | Also: Reason for (some) optimism regarding Trump and UN Paris Agreement...
Gianforte's Monumental Meltdown (And Ryan's Constitutional Dodge): 'BradCast' 5/25/17
Also: Trump travel ban blocked (again); UK furious at Admin; Trump praises murder...
'Green News Report' 5/25/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump budget cuts deeply into environment, toxic cleanup; Landslide buries icon CA highway; Chinese wind co. to retrain US coal miners; PLUS: Pope gift, message to Trump...
Previous GNRs: 5/23/17 - 5/18/17 - Archives...
Trump's $2 TRILLION 'Bernie Madoff-Level Budget Fraud': 'BradCast' 5/23/17
Guest: Former WH tax adviser Seth Hanlon; Also: Manchester Bombing, FBI's Team Trump probe, more...
'Green News Report' 5/23/17
Global Seed Vault flooded by melting permafrost; Antarc- tica goes green (not in good way); Swiss votes for renewables; PLUS: Trump to slash, burn environment...
The Surreal and Present Danger of Donald Trump: 'BradCast' 5/22/17
Guest: Salon's Heather Digby Parton; Also: Two big election-related SCOTUS decisions, & this week's US House Special Election in MT...
Sunday Toons of the 'Witch Hunt!' Moment
Looks like it's double, double toil and trouble for Trump once again this week in PDiddie's collection of the week's best political toons...
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: Author, election fraud investigator Richard Hayes Phillips on concerns about reported voter turnout in WI and much more...
By Brad Friedman on 11/28/2016 6:06pm PT  

On today's BradCast: As we first broke last week, Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein has now filed for 'recounts' (attempts at first time hand-counts and forensic audits, in any event) in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and soon in Michigan. Independent candidate Rocky De La Fuente has also filed in WI. [Audio link to show is at end of article.]

Today we catch up on all that the calls for "recounts" have led to over the weekend and since the holiday break last week, including: News on the more than $6M raised by Stein to pay for the counts so far (the number that both she and the attorneys seeking the counts had told me about last Monday before any of this had become public); the Clinton Team (somewhat) joining the effort; Donald Trump demeaning it as a "scam" and offering wildly false claims of "voter fraud"; Stein's emergency effort to draft needed voter volunteers for filings in PA; the legal question (and now lawsuit) over whether WI will "recount" paper ballots by hand or by the same computers that tallied them in the first place; whether there will be sufficient time for any kind of proper public counting before the federally mandated December 13 deadline; and whether there is anything to count in PA at all, where they still shamefully force voters to use 100 percent unverifiable touch-screens across most of the state.

We are joined by long-time election fraud investigator and author Richard Hayes Phillips, to discuss all of that and his detailed report about the unusually large apparent voter turnout numbers in many rural WI municipalities and the difficulty citizens have in verifying and overseeing those numbers. As Phillips explains, there are horrible public reporting requirements for both results and for same-day voter registration provisions in the state.

"At a minimum, the problem is a lack of transparency," Phillips tells me today. "We have no way of knowing how many registered voters there are [in WI]. If you don't know how many registered voters there are, you don't know if too many ballots were cast." His report finds that, based on the latest state-reported voter registration numbers, there were "193 towns with turnout of 90% or better, 25 towns with turnout of 95% or better, and 7 towns with turnout of 100% or better." Those exceedingly high turnout numbers are likely lower in reality, due to same-day registration in WI, but the lack of reporting requirements for those numbers is "unacceptable".

"This is the period of time during which we must analyze those numbers to decide whether or not to challenge the election, and we don't have reliable numbers to use!" Philips, who personally examined tens of thousands of ballots and poll books and much more in Ohio after the disputed 2004 election there, resulting in his book Witness to a Crime: A Citizens' Audit of an American Election, says WI's turnout numbers remind him of a number of counties where he found fraud in Ohio, where there was some 80% turnout reported.

He also warns --- as I have, very loudly, for many years --- that there are almost no ballots to actually count in PA. "The five biggest cities in Pennsylvania that have no paper record of anybody's vote, except for absentee ballots, which only amount to 1 or 2% of the ballots," he says. "My God, if Wisconsin and Michigan which are very close were to actually flip and fall to Hillary Clinton's column, we will face a constitutional crisis, because this whole election will come down to Pennsylvania and the vote cannot be verified. I want America to know this."

Also hearkening back to Ohio in 2004, Phillips notes that there are tens of thousands of ballots with no vote at all for President in MI --- even near Detroit --- according to the state's unverified optical-scan tabulators. It's impossible to know how people voted, unless paper ballots are actually counted by human beings, he confirms. "Who knows who these ballots are actually marked for?"

"I'm not a shill for Hillary Clinton. I didn't even vote for her. But I want everyone's vote to count," he argues. "I want the winner to win and the loser to lose." Crazy idea, I know. Please take some time to listen to today's program...

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

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Guest: Media Matters' Eric Boehlert | PLUS: Still trying to oversee election results; Police attack protesters in North Dakota; Arctic is burning up...
By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2016 6:39pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Donald Trump is well on his way to becoming the most corrupt U.S. President in history. And he's not even in office yet. For that matter, he's not even the officially winner of the election yet, as ballots are still be tallied and we're keeping an eye on three key battleground states (Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania) where less than 50,000 votes total (out of more than 13 million cast) remain the difference between a President Trump or a President Clinton. We continue to call for full hand-counts in those states and others to determine who actually won them. [Audio link to full show is posted below.]

Then, after Trump agreed to pay $25 million in a massive fraud settlement concerning his 'Trump University' scam late last week, the U.S. corporate media became immediately distracted by a his tweets about Mike Pence being booed at a Broadway play over the weekend.

We discuss today how the media --- and GOP politicians --- would have reacted differently if it was Hillary Clinton who had agreed to pay tens of millions of dollars to settle multiple fraud cases after the election. At the same time, word comes in from the foreign press that Trump has been cashing in since the election, on business deals in India, the Philippines and Argentina, while unconstitutionally receiving payoffs from foreign diplomats via his new Washington D.C. hotel.

So, what explains, if anything, the U.S. media's deferential treatment of Trump? Author Eric Boehlert of Media Matters joins us to discuss the extraordinary disparities between how the media cover Republicans versus Democrats and how they utterly failed the nation in the lead-up to the election.

Also today: Police unleash water cannons and tear gas in North Dakota overnight, against Native American protesters gathered to try and stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and climate scientists are freaking out (for very good reason) as the Arctic is now an "insane 36 degrees" warmer than usual for this time of year and as global sea ice area is now way lower than it has ever been in recorded history. It is, in fact, off the charts from even previous record low years.

This is all very not good...

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

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Guest: Election integrity expert and exit poll analyst Jonathon Simon
Also: Fake news from both fake AND real news outlets continues to undermine democracy...
By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2016 6:28pm PT  

What would Donald Trump do if the Exit Polls showed him winning key states before Election Results announced that he had actually lost them instead? It's an excellent question (that virtually answers itself), raised by my guest on today's BradCast. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Yes, once again, according to several analyses, the disparities between Exit Polling and Election Results, as reported by unverified computer tabulators, suggest that one or the other of those two sets of data may be wrong. The first Exit Polls released by the media consortium on Election Night suggested that Hillary Clinton won in key battleground states, such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan and North Carolina, that she ended up reportedly losing.

Figuring out what did or didn't happen, of course, remains very important. Had just about 50,000 votes across the three states of WI, PA and MI alone been recorded for Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump, she would be the President-Elect today.

Dr. Jonathon Simon, author of CODE RED: Computerized Election Theft and The New American Century, and the man who originally documented almost identical disparities during the 2004 President Election, joins me to discuss his latest analysis of the still-continuing problem in 2016 and what needs to be done about it --- hopefully before the Electoral College meets to make it official by casting their votes next month.

"There are huge disparities, way outside the margin of error, pretty much all in the same direction and, yeah, outcome reversing," he tells me. "So the question becomes, what do you believe? I'd be the first to say we're not going to prove anything with exit polls. But what we really have is two sets of really lousy evidence. We have exit polls --- you could ask, 'Why would you believe them?' --- and you have the vote counts. And you could also ask, 'Why would you believe them?' They're concealed, they're computerized, they're outsourced, they're privatized --- whoever is programming them has the basic control over how those votes are counted or how fictitious it could be. They're also subject to outsider hacking, as well as insider rigging."

"Let me put it this way," Simon continues, "the question that I would want to put to anybody keeping score at home would be, 'What would Trump do?' If these same numbers came out, only they were reversed --- in a parallel universe, he won the popular vote, and Hillary Clinton won the Presidency and the electoral college, and there were all these states in which the exit polls favored Trump and somehow the vote counts favored Clinton --- you can bet your bottom dollar, based on what he said going into the election, based on the attitude he had about not conceding, about making sure if he felt there was any suspicion that he would challenge, that they would be challenging these results."

But what of the response from Edison Research, the sole provider of Exit Polling data for the national media, that the methodology used for Exit Polling in U.S. elections, unlike polls designed for use in other countries, should not be used as an indication that the reported vote counts are fraudulent or otherwise in error? And why do these apparent "red shifts" in vote counts, as Simon describes the difference in the two data sets, tend to happen mostly to Democratic candidates (or, in the case of the Democratic Primary, to the more progressive candidate, Bernie Sanders) rather than to Republicans?

Simon, a longtime election integrity advocate, and I discuss all of those questions and much more, including the real problem with this type of analysis between Exits and Results: the data that create both are still kept secret from public scrutiny, leaving everyone guessing --- and serving to further undermine U.S. democracy as a result.

"The system is set up to be concealed, and the government and the media are working pretty hard to make sure it stays concealed," Simon explains. "And you've got a bunch of people with democracy in their hearts who are working just as hard, if not harder, to try to un-conceal it. It's an uphill battle, but that's what we're doing right now."

Also today, speaking of undermining U.S. democracy, more on the problem of fake news versus real news in a 'post-truth' world, and how fake, pro-Trump/anti-Clinton news stories received more exposure on social media in the run-up to the Presidential Election than news from actual news outlets did. But, as we also report, even the real, theoretically legitimate new sites continue to undermine democracy with fake news, even today...

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

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ALSO: NC GOP wants 'recount' after vote tabulators fail in Governor race...
By Brad Friedman on 11/16/2016 6:04pm PT  

On today's BradCast, I'm back after a brief health scare over the weekend, and apparently I've got a lot to talk about concerning the reported results of last week's election! [Audio link to show posted below.]

First up: The difference between fake news and real news in our new "post-truth" world, and what the hell can be done about it when fake news comes from even supposedly legitimate corporate news outlets.

Next: North Carolina's awful Republican Gov. Pat McCrory appears to have lost his re-election bid in a reportedly very close race to Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper. But the GOP is demanding a 'recount' following the failure of a very popular (if oft-failed) paper ballot optical-scan computer tabulation system...and his voters deserve one.

Then: Should Americans have confidence in the reported results of the Presidential election? Some explanations for disparities between the results and the pre-election polls are not holding up. Voter suppression likely played a role. But what about those magical computer voting and tabulation systems? Were they manipulated? Did they fail? How would we know if they did? Why do the same-day Exit Polls results, once again, differ from the reported election results? And will Americans ever demand that hand-marked paper ballots be publicly counted by actual human beings, instead of by vulnerable computers which often fail and/or report results incorrectly?

If a manual hand-count is needed to determine for certain who voters selected to become NC Governor, don't U.S. voters deserve no less in determining who will be the next President of the United States? We review what we (so far) know and don't about legitimate questions some voters (and electronic voting system experts) have about the results of the Trump/Clinton race, as currently reported by computers without virtually any verification by actual human beings.

Finally: With me out sick earlier this week, Desi Doyen joins us for a slightly less snarky Green News Report today!

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: Scott Dworkin from the Democratic Coalition Against Trump; Alex Steffen from The Heroic Future
GUEST HOSTED BY ANGIE COIRO...
By Angie Coiro on 11/14/2016 4:40pm PT  

On today's BradCast, guest hosted by Angie Coiro, a roundup of Trump-generated violence around the country; a Holocaust scholar suspended from high school teaching for daring to mention the obvious; the Democratic Coalition Against Trump's compendium of Trump/Putin connections; and finally: futurist Alex Steffen says it's not "game over" for the climate.

Angie's first guest is Scott Dworkin from The Democratic Coalition Against Trump. DCAT is giving the FBI a little help, since it's having so much trouble finding connections between Donald Trump, his team, his family, and Vladimir Putin. The kicker: all of this stuff is public record.

Also today: Angie covers the story of a Holocaust scholar who tried to show high schoolers the parallels between the rise of Hitler and the rise of Trump. One parent complained; boom, he's suspended. There's a petition to get him back in the classroom.

Finally, futurist Alex Steffen, founder of The Heroic Future makes a pitch for the tech world to unify against the evil Trump is sure to wreak. And he explains why this is no time to shrug your shoulders and declare the battle for the planet lost.

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!




Guest: Heather Digby Parton of Salon...
By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2016 5:42pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, the transition officially begins and the prospect of years of progressive policies begin to roll back. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Donald Trump met with President Obama at the White House today for a chilly, if cordial transition meeting, as the world continues to try and make sense of it all. Joining us to help in that task today is award-winning opinion journalist and our old friend Heather Digby Parton of Salon and the Hullabaloo blog, back by popular demand. She was with us to warn, on the day Trump entered the race in June of 2015, that he would be a force to be reckoned with, while so many others scoffed.

Today we examine, among many other things, the media's role in helping to normalize Trump while demonizing Hillary Clinton, and we begin to process just some of the dangers that the 'President-elect' now presents to not only Obama's eight years of progress, but to the world and the planet. For example, see Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) minimizing waterboarding again, and suggesting that torture will once again be back on the table --- just as Trump had promised during the campaign.

"What I saw [on Election Night] was the [media's] shift to suddenly seeing Donald Trump as a normal politician," Parton explains. "The campaign has been disappeared. That odious campaign that we just watched him run. The one where he promised to lock up his rival, torture terror suspects, put guns in schools, the most horrifying agenda we've ever seen from a major party candidate, and delivered in the most cretinous fashion that it's ever been delivered --- that is gone. There is no remnant of it in the media. What we're seeing now is a nice, mainstream Republican candidate who appealed to 'Real Americans' and spoke to their needs, and we need to welcome him. A lot of the commentary is that Democrats really need to reach out to him and to his followers and make up for the fact that they were so rude to him."

We try to un-disappear some of Trump's "disappeared" campaign promises a bit today, while noting that there is now little, if anything, to stop the very worst of those them --- from torture to massive tax cuts to gutting any and all financial and environmental regulations --- from being adopted by the new Administration and a compliant Congress and Supreme Court. We also discuss the role that Obama and the Democrats have in Republicans' ability to revive the very worst of the George W. Bush Administration war crimes and more, since they refused to bring accountability previously. And, speaking of accountability, Parton offers her thoughts on progressives who voted for third parties this year.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for a our first Green News Report since the election, for a look at what President Trump will mean for the environment, energy and the UN climate agreement....

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 Brad Friedman on 11/9/2016 5:46pm PT  

Donald Trump has now been declared President-Elect of the United States. The unthinkable has happened. Except that we've been thinking it --- and warning about it --- virtually day in and day out on The BradCast since the moment he descended that escalator to call Mexicans rapists and declare his candidacy in June of 2015.

On today's show [audio link posted below] we look briefly at how voter suppression may have affected the reported results that even the RNC didn't see coming. "For example", as Ari Berman points out, "27,000 votes currently separate Trump and Clinton in Wisconsin, where 300,000 registered voters, according to a federal court, lacked strict forms of voter ID" as now required by state Republicans to vote there at all. "Voter turnout in Wisconsin was at its lowest levels in 20 years and decreased 13 percent in Milwaukee, where 70 percent of the state’s African-American population lives," he adds. Oh, and there is the also the non-transparent voting machines and tabulators that may have effected the stunning reported results --- as we have also been warning for years.

Then, we open the phone lines to a lot of callers on this very grim day, to ask who and what they blame or credit for what happened on Tuesday. Was it racism? Sexism? Xenophobia? Third-Party voters or candidates? The Constitution and its electoral college scheme? Citizens who didn't bother to vote at all? FBI Director James Comey? Wikileaks? The corporate media? The independent media? The pollsters? The voter suppression? The voting machines? The candidate (Hillary Clinton)? The Democratic Party for putting its thumb on the scale against Bernie Sanders? The Republican Party for not doing more to keep its party from becoming the party of Donald Trump? Something else I haven't thought of?

Listeners ring in with many thoughts on all of the above, as we all go through this national nightmare together...

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 11/3/2016 11:28am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: President Obama suggests re-routing the controversial Dakota Access pipeline; Some major --- and some tricky --- environment-related ballot measures; China's top climate official warns Trump about climate science denial; PLUS: Corporate media covered Clinton emails 25 times more than climate change... 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): World On Track For 3C Of Warming Under Current Pledges, Warns UNEP; Oil prices slide 3 percent on record U.S. crude stock build; Global carbon intensity falls, on declining coal use; Oil patch states may have seen the last boom; Is Coal’s Political Heft Plunging? One State May Be Canary in Mine; Hurricane Matthew Took A Big Bite Out Of Southeastern States' Beaches... PLUS: Bad News for Honey as U.S. Seeks Handle on Glyphosate Residues in Food... and much, MUCH more! ...

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




Uneven playing field underscores needed media, campaign finance reform...
By Ernest A. Canning on 10/31/2016 8:05am PT  

California's Proposition 61, "the Drug Price Standards Initiative", is simple and straightforward. It mandates that any California state agency that provides funding for prescription drugs may not pay more than the lowest price paid for the same drug by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

PhRMA, the powerful drug industry lobbying organization, opposes the measure, and is using blatantly dishonest television ads, such as this one featuring Marine Corps Veteran Lamont Duncan, to claim that the measure will increase the price the VA pays for prescription drugs, harming veterans in the bargain...

The ad leads viewers to the same erroneous assumption presented by the state's Legislative Analyst (emphasis added) --- that "drug manufacturers might choose to raise VA drug prices" in response to passage of Prop 61. Worse, the ad erroneously suggests that veterans themselves could be forced into higher co-pays.

As Senator Bernie Sanders, the former chairman of the U.S. Veterans Affairs Committee, noted in an LA Times op-ed in support of Prop 61, "pharmaceutical companies cannot unilaterally raise the price of drugs it sells to the VA." Those prices, he explains, are fixed by federal law.

Conservative economist Greg D'Angelo, from Heritage Foundation's Center for Health Policy Studies confirms Sanders point in this explanation published some years ago: "The VA's discounts are mandated by [federal] law." Drug manufacturers lack the power to so much as "negotiate" a higher VA price, according to D'Angelo, let alone unilaterally raise them. And, as Sanders adds, "veterans' drug co-payments are fixed and do not rise even if drug prices go up." In cases where their treatment is for a service-connected condition, veterans "pay no out of pocket costs whatsoever for prescription drugs," the Senator notes.

While Prop 61 is subject to valid concerns, as explained below, under existing federal law, a betrayal of the right for affordable pharmaceuticals to Veterans is not one of them...

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




Guest: Brennan Center's Alicia Bannon | PLUS: More emails, more racism, more lies, more wingnuttery...
By Brad Friedman on 10/28/2016 5:54pm PT  

On today's BradCast: While the national media is obsessed with Trump, a record amount of dark money from undisclosed corporate sources is being spent on judicial elections at state Supreme Courts. Also: A whole lotta other breaking news today, from a new development in the Hillary Clinton email probe, to some white, armed hooligan wingnuts getting off the hook for an armed federal takeover, to one U.S. Senator likely killing his own re-election chances during a debate last night. [Audio link to complete show posted below.]

On today's interview, Alicia Bannon, Senior Counsel at the Brennan Center's Democracy Program, joins us to explain the flood of outside spending from corporate, dark money sources now pouring in to state Supreme Court elections around the country, as detailed in her new analysis published this week. We also discuss the disturbingly increasing politicization of judicial elections and why it is that judges are selected by elections at all in some 38 states.

"Around the country, we've been seeing these elections become higher cost, more politicized, and attracting a lot of special interest attention," she tells me. And that's worrying, because, among other reasons, "a judge needs to be deciding cases based on their understanding of what the law requires and the facts that are in front of them, and not out of fears of what that's going to mean for fundraising in the next election cycle, or what's going to be the subject of their next attack ad."

While judicial elections "were actually a reform measure," when originally introduced in the 19th century because "there was a concern that those judges were too closely aligned with the political branches," Bannon explains, in the wake of Citizens United and other measures that have increased the flow of money into politics, judicial elections, "are putting even more pressure on judges because of the money involved and the conflicts of interest that get created."

We go on to discuss a number of such judicial conflicts of interests, from the remarkable case of the state Supreme Court in Wisconsin to the election that will determine the balance of the Supreme Court in North Carolina next week, to the judicial campaign being funded in no small part by fossil fuel interests in Louisiana, where the same corporate funders are facing legacy environmental cases to be decided by the very same court.

Bannon, who also clerked for Sondra Sotomayor when she was an appellate judge on the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, also shares a bit of personal insight on the U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Also today: The FBI notifies the U.S. Senate that they have found some additional emails in a separate investigation that may relate to their probe of Hillary Clinton's email server and the cable "news" industry predictably freaks out; The Bundy Brothers are acquitted at trial, for some reason, after their six-week armed takeover of a federal wildlife facility in Oregon earlier this year; Donald Trump fails to put up the $100 million he had promised to his own campaign; and Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk (R) offers an outrageously obnoxious racial slur during a debate with his opponent, double-amputee Iraq War veteran Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D)...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/25/2016 10:44am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: More than 120 arrested at pipeline protest in North Dakota; More arrests at tar sands pipeline protest in Ottawa, Canada; Toxic gas pipeline rupture kills 1 in Nebraska; China further restricts new coal-fired power plants; PLUS: EPA waited seven months to warn Flint residents their water was contaminated with lead... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Please help us connect the climate change dots over your public airwaves!
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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): The WikiLeaks emails reveal why Hillary Clinton wouldn’t support a carbon tax; Florida Ballot Measure Could Halt Rooftop Solar, but Do Voters Know That?; NY Attorney General: “Dark Money Machine” Is Using Media To Defend Exxon’s Climate Deceit; Pennsylvania Ruling on Eminent Domain Puts Contentious Pipeline Project on Alert; Air pollution more deadly in Africa than malnutrition or dirty water, study warns; As climate change floods Florida, Marco Rubio refuses to acknowledge science... PLUS: The left vs. a carbon tax: The odd, agonizing political battle playing out in Washington state... and much, MUCH more! ...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 10/25/2016 9:05am PT  

According to a Los Angeles Times "Debate scorecard," the opening segment of last week's third and final Presidential debate, concerning the respective nominees plans for appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court, was a "draw."

Three of the paper's pundits each proffered what at best could be described as a superficial one-paragraph explanation for their verdict: It was a "draw" because 1) an ordinarily unhinged Trump was "calm" and "sedate," and 2) by describing what they would look for in a nominee to SCOTUS, both candidates had appealed to their respective conservative Republican and liberal Democratic bases.

The "Debate scorecard" presents a classic example of what Bill Moyers derides as the "charade of fair and balanced --- by which two opposing people offer competing opinions with a host who assumes the viewer will arrive at the truth by splitting the difference" --- an unacceptable "substitute for independent analysis." Combined with the "draw" assessment, this form of irresponsible punditry lends itself to the false equivalency separately offered by FiveThirtyEight's Oliver Roeder, who suggested that both candidates were "promising an extreme candidate" to fill the vacancy left by the death of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

In truth, the differences between the two Presidential nominees are profound. They represents the difference between oligarchy (Trump) and democracy (Clinton). Trump's preference for a judiciary that would protect the privileged few at the expense of the vast majority of ordinary Americans is both extreme and unpopular. Clinton's egalitarian criteria for judicial nominations is immensely popular and decidedly mainstream. There is nothing "extreme" about a jurist who is committed to the words that appear above the entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court: "Equal Justice Under Law."

What is especially troubling is that media pundits have erected a false equivalency on an issue of vital importance to the American electorate. Outside of global climate change, which threatens the very survival of humanity, the issue of what could turn out to be as many as three lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court over the next four years is amongst the most monumental that voters will face on Nov. 8. As we previously reported the fate of democracy itself is at stake.

Roeder and the three L.A. Times pundits would have understood that if they had bothered to either consult constitutional scholars or specific issue polls before erecting their false equivalency in their respective debate analyses...

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




Guests: Heather Digby Parton of Salon, David Dayen of Fiscal Times...
By Brad Friedman on 10/20/2016 5:27pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Bad hombres! Nasty women! And SUSPENSE! Real coverage of the final Presidential Debate of 2016, some of which is almost guaranteed to piss off just about everybody in one way or another. You're welcome! [Audio link to show posted below.]

For our analysis of the final --- and, by our count, 25th! --- debate of the 2016 cycle, I'm joined once again by award-winning journalist Heather Digby Parton of Salon and the Hullabaloo blog, and by David Dayen, of Fiscal Times and author of Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street's Great Foreclosure Fraud.

As you probably expect, we spend some time focusing on Trump's dishonest claims that the election is being "rigged" and his refusal to promise a peaceful transfer of power. But we also discuss the, at times, disingenuous outrage about it all from the media as well as both Republicans and Democrats, each of whom seem to have developed more than a bit of convenient amnesia about recent elections, about the mechanics of our electoral system, and even very recent assertions about all of the above.

Yes, election fraud and election integrity are topics about which we have some familiarity around here. And, while nuance and complexity and facts may not play well in the corporate media or among angry partisans near the end of an insane election cycle, no small amount of each are called for today. We do our best.

"Digby" and Dayen also bring insight on a number of the other surprisingly substantive issues raised at the debate (as well as important issues that, once again, were not), many of which have been largely overlooked in the wake of Trump's latest embarrassing tantrum(s)...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2016 5:01pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we await the (mercifully) final Presidential Debate of 2016 to get under way in Las Vegas, as Donald Trump's poll numbers continue to plummet --- even in some surprising states --- but the GOP nominee continues to say all is well ("peachy dory", in fact)...except that the election is being "rigged". [Audio link posted below.]

Among the many other related (and unrelated) stories covered on today's show...

• Some good news today for voters in Kansas and Florida and maybe in Georgia (where there has been huge turnout for Early Voting);

• Some disturbing and, so far, mysterious news about potential voter registration fraud in Indiana. (This is a good reminder to check your registration to make sure it's accurate!);

• Some listener response to the former New Hampshire GOP official who told me on The BradCast earlier this week that he doesn't believe "the party has been pushing" phony voter fraud myths. "Please don't blame the party for institutionalizing this nonsense," he said. (Elizabeth Warren doesn't agree with him either.);

• The amazing story of how a new "voter fraud" myth became "fact" this week amongst gullible Republicans, with the aid of rightwing;

• Another example of how theoretically non-rightwing corporate news outlets help spread the same mythical "voter fraud" bullshit;

• Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on a major new international global warming agreement and some harsh words for environmentalists from Hillary Clinton, as revealed by a new Wikileaks document;

• And a bit of amusing listener mail. #FreeDesi!

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 10/15/2016 6:13pm PT  

Brad Friedman was no doubt correct when he described the insanity that passed for a Second "Presidential Debate" as "one of the darkest chapters in modern U.S. Presidential history." That unfortunate event, however, led to a moment of extraordinary candor. Former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt told NBC's Chuck Todd that Donald Trump's candidacy had "exposed the intellectual rot in the Republican Party."

Schmidt's point is well taken, but there are also systemic sources for our current political malaise. These center upon (1) a privately-owned media system that elevates its own commercial interests over the public interest,, and (2) the euphemistically self-described "non-partisan" Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) --- the undemocratic guardians of the status quo who, in conjunction with the two major political parties (which its commissioners represent) and the mainstream media, tirelessly strive to prevent Presidential debates from achieving their true function --- the facilitation of an informed electoral decision...

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




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