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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, April 27, 2017
Why Trump's U.S. War Against Syria (and Now Canada?!) Matters: 'BradCast' 4/26/17
Also: News fire hose back on as Congress returns from recess, and Trump gets desperate with '100 Days' milestone approaching...
Not Even Close, Mr. Spicer
After a federal court blocks another Trump Executive Order on immigration, his Press Secretary offers a ridiculous response to a ridiculous case, as BRAD BLOG legal analyst Ernie Canning explains...
Fooled Again? Why Isn't MSM Questioning Trump's Attack on Syria?: 'BradCast' 4/25/17
Guest: Journalist Robert Parry; Also: Media failure on Science March; AR kills again; Trump blocked again by federal court...
'Green News Report' 4/25/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
March for Science a global success; What's next? Recruiting scientists to run for office; Earth hits rising CO2 milestone; PLUS: Britain's first full day w/o coal since the 1880s...
Previous GNRs: 4/20/17 - 4/18/17 - Archives...
MIT Rocket Scientist: WH Evidence of Alleged Syrian Chemical Attack is 'False': 'BradCast' 4/24/17
Guest: MIT's Prof. Emeritus of Science, Tech and NatSec Policy, Theodore A. Postol...
Sunday Toons of the 'Trump or Chump' Moment
Trump continues to put the planet in danger -- either on purpose, because he doesn't know any better...or both. PDiddie's toon collection, once again this week, tells the story...
GA Blocks Voter Registrations Before U.S. House Run-off: 'BradCast' 4/21/17
Also: Court finds TX intentionally discriminated (AGAIN!); NV SoS invents non-citizen voting scare; Stolen SCOTUS helps AR kill a man...
Science Rising, O'Reilly Fallen and the 'False God of False Balance': 'BradCast' 4/20/17
Guest: Wash Monthly's D.R. Tucker; Also: Trump's Iran flip-floppery, court karma; AR killing spree; More...
'Green News Report' 4/20/17
Saudis invest $50B in renewables; Global warming torch-
ing wildfires; New Arctic garbage patch; EPA to scuttle more pollution regs; PLUS: Scientists ready to march...
100% Unverifiable Diebold System Saves the Day for GOP in GA06!: 'BradCast' 4/19/17
How Dem Jon Ossoff ended up in a run-off for GA's US House special election. Plus: Bill O'Reilly finally fired!...
Death and Democracy: 'BradCast' 4/18/17
Guest: Attorney Robert Dunham on AR's unprecedented planned killing spree; Also: More concerns about GA-06 results; UK snap elections; Turkey's referendum probs...
'Green News Report' 4/18/17
Toxic spill in Lake Michigan; BP's new oil blowout in Alaska; US nuclear co. bankruptcy; March 2017 heat record; PLUS: London's iconic black cabs go electric...
Cyberwarfare v. NK?; And Dems to 'Vote Their Ossoff' in GA-06: 'BradCast' 4/17/17
Guest: Jim Dean of Democracy for America; Also: Trump popularity still falling; BP springs another oil leak...
Sunday Toons of the Holy (Crap) Moment
No Easter bunnies this year (budget cuts), but PDiddie's got Spicer, 10 Plagues, a stolen SCOTUS, a spinning O'Relly and Trump through Virtual Reality glasses...
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...


Also: The news fire hose is back on as Congress returns from recess and Trump gets desperate with '100 Days' milestone approaching...
By Brad Friedman on 4/26/2017 6:17pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Yes, it matters why we go to war and when we go to war and where we go to war --- even if the U.S. media (right, left and center) and U.S. Congress (Republicans and Democrats) would rather not discuss it. [Audio link to show follows below.]

But, first today: As Donald Trump nears his 100th day as President and Congress returns from their two week Easter recess, the news fire hose is back on, with House Republicans announcing a new amendment to their previously failed scheme to try and repeal and replace Obamacare. The new plan will likely cover less and be even worse for the sick and elderly than their previous plan, but it does exempt members of Congress and their staffers from the worst of it. At the same time, Trump's Treasury Department has unveiled a hastily-released, deficit-increasing, "trickle down", tax cut for corporations and individuals. And, in more desperation to distract from his lack of success during his first 100 days, Trump also goes to war with Canada! (a trade war anyway...and via Twitter!).

Then: On that whole war thing, where we now, apparently, bomb sovereign nations without discussion, debate, authorization, media skepticism or evidence --- Listeners ring in with calls, comments and emails in response to our interviews earlier this week with MIT Professor Emeritus Theodore Postol and with Consortium News' Robert Parry, both of whom question the evidence hastily released in a White House report on April 11 to justify Trump's April 6 cruise missile attack on Syria. That attack is said to have been in response to a deadly April 4 chemical weapons incident two days earlier in the rebel-held province of Idlib. But why have the U.S. media failed to question the evidence presented by Trump (not by the U.S. Intelligence Community), and why has Congress failed to debate, much less Constitutionally authorize, Trump's military action? And, hey, why does it all matter anyway, since everyone knows Bashar al-Assad is a bad guy and every President needs a military "doctrine" after all?! We discuss all of that and much more today...since, apparently, somebody has to.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest (unusually encouraging) Green News Report and with a heads up in advance of this weekend's People's Climate March...

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

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Guest: Journalist Robert Parry of Consortium News | Also: Media failure on Science March; AR kills again; Trump blocked again by federal court...
By Brad Friedman on 4/25/2017 6:28pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Donald Trump may be failing in the courts, in Congress, failing the planet itself, but when it comes to military adventurism in Syria, the U.S. media --- left, right and center --- all seem to be fully on board. That, despite the lack of independent evidence supporting the White House's justification for its unauthorized, unconstitutional, and likely illegal April 6 cruise missile attack on the sovereign, if war-torn Middle East nation. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Today, we follow-up yesterday's interview with Theodore A. Postol, MIT Prof. Emeritus of Science, Technology and National Security Policy, by speaking with independent investigative journalist Robert Parry of Consortium News, who recently asked: "Did Al Qaeda Fool the White House Again?"

We discuss Postol's analyses, as covered in detail on yesterday's show, charging that the evidence presented by the White House to justify its military attack on Syria --- purportedly in response to a deadly April 4 chemical weapons incident allegedly carried out by Bashar al-Assad's government against civilians in the rebel-held Idlib province --- does not support the claims being made by the Administration and echoed uncritically by the U.S. media.

Parry, formerly an Associated Press reporter who helped break the Iran-Contra scandal in the mid-80s, responds to my questions about the remarkable lack of media coverage of Postol's analyses (if only to debunk them), as well as the seemingly complete lack of skepticism by the entirety of the U.S. corporate mainstream media on Syria and other recent U.S. military adventures. That, even after having been fooled before (Iraq, is just one example), and otherwise claiming a new found interest in fact-checking and skepticism in the Trump Era.

"We've seen now a recurring situation," says Parry. "We had the case of the Iraq War, where you might've thought 'well, after that, the New York Times and the Washington Post and others will be more skeptical and more self-critical about the need to show skepticism'. But that hasn't happened. In fact, it's gone increasingly in the other direction."

"For the first two months or so of his Presidency, everything he said was put under a microscope and often laughed at, often rightly so," he tells me. "So there's been this attitude that this guy is not to be trusted on anything he says. Yet, he immediately jumps to a conclusion, way before there could've been any serious intelligence analysis of it, that Assad was responsible for this incident, and the mainstream media completely flipped around and just rallied to his position and then refused to listen to any alternative points of view on this."

As a former mainstream journalist himself, before founding Consortium News in 1995 as "the first investigative news magazine on the Internet," Parry speaks to the "tremendous downside to your career if you ask too many questions" in the corporate media, whether covering Republican or Democratic administrations.

Parry describes some of "serious questions" raised by Postol analyses concerning "not only the logic" behind the alleged sarin attack that seems wildly counter-intuitive for Assad to have carried out, "but the evidence that's been presented in connection with the April 4 incident."

Also today: CNN and CBS fail miserably during their coverage of last weekend's worldwide March for Science by offering platforms to fossil-fueled climate change denialists; Arkansas kills two more prisoners; Federal court blocks Trump's Executive Order concerning "sanctuary cities" and Trump, the self-declared "Great Negotiator", reportedly folds once again like a paper tiger, this time concerning budget threats for his long-promised Mexican border wall...

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

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Guest: MIT's Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology and National Security Policy, Theodore A. Postol...
By Brad Friedman on 4/24/2017 6:58pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Just days after the April 4 chemical attack in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province, the U.S. launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles against the air base said to have been where Bashar al-Assad's government launched an alleged sarin attack that reportedly killed some 80 civilians, including many children. But how much of the evidence of the chemical attack has actually been independently confirmed? My guest today charges that the evidence offered by the U.S. to justify its military response is entirely false. [Audio link to complete show is posted at end of article below.]

The horrific aftermath of the release of the nerve agent was seen in videos played around the world, and said to have been the impetus for Donald Trump reversing his position on Syria, which he had, for years (and even just days earlier), said we should stay out of. Nonetheless, without debate or Constitutional approval by the U.S. Congress, we launched a military assault on yet another sovereign nation and today the Administration announced a series of tough new sanctions against the regime. But there has yet to be any findings from an international investigation of the incident, and evidence supporting the allegations that it was Assad, not the rebels or terrorists he is fighting against, responsible for the attack, was laid out only in a brief, April 11 report issued by the White House --- notably, not issued by the U.S. Intelligence services.

That report, charges my guest today, Theodore A. Postol, Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology and National Security Policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), cannot possibly be accurate. Furthermore, he says, the April 11 White House Report (WHR), as he details in now four separate analyses he has issued since its release, "was not properly vetted by the intelligence community."

"The report contains absolutely no evidence that this attack was the result of a munition being dropped from an aircraft," as the White House has claimed, Postol finds in his initial analysis [PDF], based on phographic evidence of the crater said to have been caused when Syria dropped a chemical munition. "In fact, the report contains absolutely no evidence that would indicate who was the perpetrator of this atrocity."

Postol is a physicist and rocket trajectory expert who formerly served as a science advisor to the chief of Naval operations at the Pentagon, has been vindicated a number of times over the years concerning similarly skeptical analyses of claims concerning the U.S. military's use of Patriot missile technology in the first Gulf War (see Charlie Pierce's 2005 Boston Globe profile of Postol here), as well as the Obama White House claims about Assad's alleged chemical weapons attack in 2013. He joins me today to explain his analyses and to speak to the remarkable lack of skeptical coverage by the U.S. mainstream media regarding the WHR on the April nerve agent incident.

On the day of Trump's retaliatory attack on Syria, Peter Ford, Britain's former Ambassador to Syria expressed skepticism on BBC News about Assad being behind the chemical attack ("Assad may be cruel, brutal, but he's not mad. It defies belief that he would bring this all on his head for no military advantage," he told BBC at the time.) But in the U.S. mainstream media, no such skepticism has been explored, despite well known misleading intelligence used to justify U.S. military action in the recent past, such as during the lead-up to the Iraq War (which, in turn, opened the door to so much of the violence and war in the Middle East ever since, including in Syria.)

"We again have a situation where the White House has issued an obviously false, misleading and amateurish intelligence report," Postol argues in his first report on the April 4 incident, issued after studying photographic evidence presented by the White House or otherwise publicly available. "What I can say for sure herein is that what the country is now being told by the White House cannot be true [emphasis in original] and the fact that this information has been provided in this format raises the most serious questions about the handling of our national security."

Even the New York Times, which, Postol tells me today, used to cover his analyses in detail, have not bothered to contact him this time --- even to debunk his claims --- for reasons that remain unknown, despite his past track record. In fact, I've been able to find little if any coverage that attempts to debunk his assertions in response to the WHR.

"It is very disturbing to see how uncritical the mainstream press has been of this matter," Postol tells me today. "From my point of view, this may be the most serious event --- with regard to American democracy --- from this whole incident. Because the only way American democracy can function is if the press performs the role of providing accurate information, and also raising questions if those questions deserve to be looked at. And there's no question here that the questions deserved to be looked at."

Writing over the weekend, in his 4th report [PDF] on the matter, Postol charged: "Without an independent media providing accurate and unbiased information to the nation's citizens, the government can do what it chooses without being concerned about the reactions of citizens who elected it. The critical function of the mainstream media in the current situation should be to investigate and report the facts that clearly and unambiguously contradict the government's claims on this matter."

Though we are hardly "mainstream media", we do our best today to fill a bit of the vacuum left by the woefully credulous U.S. reportage on this event --- particularly since it's virtually impossible to know what really went on in the absence of independent investigation --- as the U.S. enters yet another war in the Middle East...

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

Postol's reports on the April 4 chemical incident, to date:

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By Brad Friedman on 4/13/2017 5:55pm PT  

It's a serious question. Is Donald Trump insane? You can offer your opinion on my Twitter poll, if it's still open. But, on today's BradCast, we examine just some of the evidence, as our unstable U.S. President threatens war against the unstable leader of North Korea, with potentially unspeakable consequences now hanging dangerously in the balance. [Audio to today's show follows below.]

Among the stories on today's program:

  • U.S. drops the largest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed, for the first time, in the 15th year of our war in Afghanistan;
  • Coalition forces "misdirected" air strike in Syria, killing 18 allied fighters;
  • Japan's Prime Minister warns that nuclear armed North Korea could deploy chemical weapons in response to U.S. provocation, as Trump sends U.S. Navy battle group to Korean Peninsula in advance of an anticipated NK nuclear test;
  • Russian Asia expert warns a conventional weapons attack by North Korea against South Korea's nuclear power plants could result in "five-six Chernobyl-type disasters";
  • Over the past 48 hours, Trump completely reverses long-held positions on NATO, U.S. military strength, China currency manipulation, and more, and reveals that he learned, after speaking with China's President "for 10 minutes" recently that China's relationship with North Korea is "not so easy" (before threatening to "go it alone" in a strike against North Korea, which, he says, "means going it with lots of other nations");
  • EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt goes on Fox "News" today to blatantly lie about U.S., China, and India's obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the UN's landmark Paris Climate Agreement;
  • Proposed cuts to specific EPA programs are draconian, dangerous and ridiculous;
  • And, to help us forget about all of the above, Canada's Prime Minister introduces legislation to legalize recreational marijuana across their entire country...

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

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Guest: Frank Schaeffer on what Dems must do to win again; Also: U.S. civilian massacres explode in Middle East; NC paying high price for anti-LGBT law; ND pipeline leak much worse than previously known...
By Brad Friedman on 3/27/2017 6:02pm PT  

On today's BradCast, a former evangelical Christian who, after decades of participating in the political rightwing anti-abortion con has since seen the light, joins us to explain what Democrats need to do in order to encourage his "brainwashed" former followers to realize they've been scammed by Donald Trump. [Audio link to show at end of article.]

But first up today, U.S. officials admit some 200 Iraqi civilians in Mosul may have been killed during a U.S. bombing campaign last week, in what has become a startling and savage escalation in the so-called "War on Terror" since Trump has taken office. While the Obama Administration had carried out similar campaigns, the increase in indiscriminate lethality by the new President's campaigns in Iraq, Syria and Yemen is both alarming and vastly underreported or downplayed by U.S. media --- not to mention, counter-productive in the so-called "War on Terror".

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, the GOP's anti-LGBT "bathroom bill" is costing the state economy thousands of jobs and billions of dollars, according to a new analysis by the Associated Press. That, even as Republicans in other states, like Texas, are quickly moving to enact similarly "conservative" anti-LGBT laws in their own state.

Then, as Trump's approval rating continues to plummet to record lows, even his numbers among his own base of supporters --- white, male Republicans --- are beginning to erode. Still, overall support for the President remains high among Republicans as a whole, for now.

Author Frank Schaeffer, who formerly spent decades along with his father, theologian Dr. Francis Schaeffer, creating (and profiting from) the far right anti-abortion political movement, joins us to discuss how he believes Democrats can win back both the White House and Congress, from the perspective of someone who, for many years, had preyed on the fears and false facts favored by rightwing, so-called "values voters". You can't convince them of facts, a fired-up Schaeffer tells me today, but you can drop a lit metaphorical match into their gas tanks by helping them understand how Trump himself has "betrayed them."

"The over-arching bloc of people without whom [Trump] could not have been elected are white evangelicals, and that's my stomping ground." Schaeffer explains. "This was all before I left the evangelical world and changed sides both, you might say, theologically and politically. When it comes to understanding the brain of the evangelical movement, I know what I'm talking about. From birth, people raised in the fundamentalist subculture are taught to mistrust, distrust, renounce so-called 'world facts'. So, when science says that evolution proves something, or that the Earth is very old, or there wasn't a Noah's ark, you are taught from birth they are lying. We have our own facts. We have our own truth. That truth is in the Bible and our denomination's interpretation of it."

You can't convince these folks with facts alone that they are wrong, he argues, but you can help them see how they have been scammed. "If you come up with a fact-based argument, people's eyes in the evangelical world just glaze over, and instead of talking to you about the issue or the facts, all you get back is this stream-of-consciousness which is really more of a Pavlovian reaction and brain-washing," he says. "So, [Trump] had a built-in audience that liked what he was saying just because he's giving the finger to the established order of science, university teaching, learning --- and all those other things that so-called 'secular' people live by."

"That group of people is going to be looking at what he's doing to them when they lose healthcare," Shaeffer, whose latest book is Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God, observes. "They're going to be looking at the fact that in that new budget of his, Meals on Wheels doesn't show up for their grandma anymore on that farm in Omaha. They're going to see one tweak too many ... That drip-drip-drip-drip of actual evidence in their own lives --- not reason, not argument --- but things going wrong because he is a fool, he is a charlatan, he is a faker, he is a fraud. In other words, when they wake up in the position your average Trump University student woke up in, finding their degree was worthless, they are going to simply start losing faith."

But will they? Haven't these same folks fallen for the same con many times in the past? Schaeffer, who worked with past Republican Presidents, responds to that question, and many others today in a lively (and angry) dressing down of both Trump and his supporters, who, Schaeffer insists, he still knows all too well.

Finally today, a pro-Trump demonstration in California over the weekend ends with a counter-demonstrator being repeatedly beaten with a "Make American Great Again" sign, and the pipeline oil spill reported last December in North Dakota, not far from the site of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, turns out to have been at least three time larger than originally reported...

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: Will Fischer, Director of Government Relations at VoteVets.org...
By Brad Friedman on 3/17/2017 6:04pm PT  

On today's BradCast, health advocacy organizations say they are shocked by Donald Trump's proposed cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) among other federal agencies being slashed or eliminated in order to pay for a massive increase in military spending. But even some veterans organizations, whose members might otherwise stand to gain from increases to the budget of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, are slamming the cuts being proposed everywhere else. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Groups such as the American Heart Association, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (representing Cancer specialists) and the American Lung Association are charging that Trump's budget would have a "devastating" effect on both the health of the nation and its economy, both now and into the future. Even some Republicans in Congress are pushing back against the cruelest of cuts in Trump's proposal, such as slashing programs that fund Meals on Wheels and school lunch programs which, the White House continues to maintain, have not proven themselves to work.

The draconian cuts to science, arts, diplomacy and services for the poor are supposedly proposed in order to pay for huge increases in spending on military and veterans programs. Today, as Trump held a "Listening Session" with veterans groups at the White House, we're joined by Will Fischer of VoteVets.org, the largest progressive veterans organization, representing some 500,000 veterans and their families and which has come out strongly against Trump's proposed budget.

Fischer, a U.S. Marine, decorated Iraq War combat vet and VoteVets' Director of Congressional Relations joins us from Capitol Hill to argue that, while increased spending on VA issues is fine, the loss of domestic and non-military programs (not to mention repealing the Affordable Care Act, or "ObamaCare") is likely to be exceedingly damaging to vets. "This is un-American, and a blatant attempt to try to divide military and veterans and everyone else," he argues. "Nobody is going to leave unscathed by the Trump budget."

"No one is questioning that we need to have a military that is ready and equipped for the modern century," Fischer tells me. "What we don't want to see happen is this ridiculous notion that somehow we need to be forcing the American people to make a choice between having a strong national defense and having heating assistance for someone on hard times --- who very well may be a veteran. Choosing between having new equipment at a VA or scientists investigating climate change --- we need all these things, and we need to ensure everyone is paying their fair share so we can realize and have all of these things."

He also explains why his group rejects Trump's "national security" claims to justify a travel ban from Muslim countries. "It is absolutely not in line with the oath that I swore," Fischer says. "Donald Trump is deploying troops into Syria. Now, how in the world are our commanders on the ground supposed to go to Syrians and say, 'Hey, work with us, help us out, and we'll be sure to take care of you', when all they have to do is turn on the TV and see us turning away Afghanis who helped us, turning away Iraqis who helped us, and sentencing those people to death? People who kept Marines from walking into ambushes, these are people who served right alongside us, and Donald Trump is saying, 'no, you're not welcome here.'"

I hope you'll click below to tune in for what, I think, is a must-hear conversation.

Finally, we close with Desi Doyen and the latest Green News Report, with more on Trump's proposed slashing of the EPA budget, the global warming caused death of the Great Barrier Reef, Fukushima, six years after nuclear disaster and a hint, at least, of some encouraging news from the new Defense Secretary, who apparently understands the national security threat posed by climate change, even if his new boss clearly doesn't.

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: Wendy Feliz of the American Immigration Council...
By Brad Friedman on 2/21/2017 5:57pm PT  

It's a dark day on today's BradCast, as hate crimes continue to rise across the country and Donald Trump's Administration issues new, radical guidelines on the detention and deportation of immigrants. [Audio link to show posted below.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Guest: Jess Hanson of National Immigration Law Center; Plus: IG launches probe of Trump order; Impeachment getting popular quickly; U.S. Capitol phones are jammed; And other encouraging signs of hope...
By Brad Friedman on 2/3/2017 6:23pm PT  

On today's BradCast: The 'Muslim Ban', one week after it was ordered, is even worse than it initially appeared. But, despite the chaos and heartbreak, the response from Americans and those around the world, is heartening. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Chaos continues in the wake of Trump's executive order banning most travel from 7 majority-Muslim countries. And there were reportedly audible gasps in a federal courtroom in Virginia on Friday, as a U.S. Government attorney revealed that some 100,000 legal visas had been rescinded in the week since Donald Trump's order was signed. (A State Department official later claimed the number was really 'only' about 60,000.)

Jess Hanson of the National Immigration Law Center joins us to describe the continuing crises as "terrifying", as her organization works to assist green card holders who are still being prevented from entering or returning to the U.S., immigrants and other legal visa holders still being detained without legal representation or blocked from traveling here despite federal court orders, and those who are otherwise unconstitutionally losing their rights under the order.

"There have been a lot of organizing efforts with volunteer attorneys on the ground, in U.S. airports, and a massive effort to try to communicate with people who are traveling to the U.S. who are in this situation, to let an attorney on the ground know what airport they're arriving to so that if the individual is allowed to board their flight, when they land in the United States, there is an attorney waiting for them," she explains. But, she adds, "not everyone has the opportunity or resources to find a U.S. attorney before they leave their country of origin" and "a lot of these cases of detention and not allowing someone to speak with an attorney are simply slipping through the cracks."

"Tens of thousands of people...their family, their friends, whatever reason they were going to come to the United States or return to the United States, that has a ripple effect. It's affecting all of us," Hanson tells me. "It's easy to dehumanize numbers --- 'Oh yeah, 60,000 out of 11 million, that's just a drop in the bucket'. But 60,000 or 100,000, whatever the numbers are, that's a lot of people, and it's having global --- honestly global --- effects."

We discuss all of that, as well as the other immigration-related Executive Orders receiving much less coverage since Trump's ban was enacted. Hanson also details a number of ways that you can help.

Also today: The Dept. of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General announces a probe into the Trump Administration's disastrous implementation of the ban; A large swath of Americans already want to see the wildly unpopular Trump impeached; GOP Senators are apologizing to our allies for Trump; Phones are ringing off the hook at the U.S. Capitol; And we share a few more signs of hope and encouragement (and even some laughs!) from both home and abroad after just two weeks(!) of this insanely inept and calamitous Administration.

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Guest: Lena Masri of the Council on American-Islamic Relations
By Brad Friedman on 1/30/2017 6:26pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Donald Trump's Executive Order on Friday, banning immigrants and even some permanent U.S. residents from seven majority-Muslim countries, has sparked chaos, confusion and a blizzard of lawsuits in its wake. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Along with Trump's order --- which was largely a surprise to most of the federal agencies tasked with enforcing and vetting it, including the Dept. of Homeland Security, the Dept. of Justice and the State Dept. --- protests continue at airports and elsewhere across the country. Federal agents are reportedly ignoring multiple federal court orders, and elected officials and legal scholars (even some on the Right) are condemning the order as unlawful and/or unconstitutional. ISIS-supporters, however, are "celebrating" Trump's order, which they reportedly regard as a "blessed" victory for their cause.

Some observers suggest the order --- which is separating families from loved ones, and undermining the efforts of many who have supported American efforts for years in the countries on the ban list --- may well develop into a full blown Constitutional crisis. All of which Trump described over the weekend as "working out very nicely".

And, as today's show wrapped up, the Acting U.S. Attorney General, a hold-over from the Obama Administration, announced the DoJ would not defend the order in court.

One of the lawsuits she says the department will not defend against was filed this afternoon by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and is being described as "the biggest lawsuit yet filed against Donald Trump’s immigration order".

CAIR's National Litigation Director, Lena F. Masri, Esq., joins us on today's show, just hours after the suit [PDF] was filed with the aim of completely blocking what the group describes as an unlawful and unconstitutional "Muslim Exclusion Order" meant to result in Trump's campaign promise for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States".

"This Executive Order very clearly targets the Muslim community," Masri explains in describing the complaint and its 20 or so plaintiffs, some of which are anonymous because they "will likely face persecution, torture and even execution" if they are sent back to their home countries. "This impacts us all as Americans," she tells me, "and that is the reason why this this order is so dangerous and why, as Americans, we need to stand up and oppose this order."

Also today: California threatens to push back against Trump's order concerning "sanctuary cities", and they've got the pocketbook to do so if they wanted to...

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By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2017 3:08pm PT  




Guest: Journalist David Dayen on Trump nominees whose confirmations may be in jeopardy; Also: Obama commutes whistleblower Manning's sentence; Senate hearings continue; and more...
By Brad Friedman on 1/17/2017 6:09pm PT  

On today's BradCast, a few of Donald Trump's nominees for top cabinet slots may be facing trouble, as Senate hearings continue this week in the U.S. Senate, preparations are finalized (and changed) for the Inauguration, and President Obama issues last minute pardons and commutations. [Audio link to full show is posted below.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Guest: David Arkush of Public Citizen; Plus: Hollywood versus Trump...
By Brad Friedman on 1/9/2017 5:43pm PT  

On today's BradCast, Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of State, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, has filed papers to "divest" from the oil giant. But a closer look at his filings suggests he may not actually have cut all ties and interests in the profits of the only company he has ever worked for until now. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

First today, apparently it's still not "terrorism" when a non-ISIS American carries out a mass shooting, as was the case last Friday at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport. The alleged shooter, a veteran of the Iraq War and former National Guardsman, killed five and wounded six others, even as Republican Florida lawmakers press for more guns in airports and elsewhere.

Then, as many as eight of Trump nominee's are all set to come before U.S. Senate committees this week for confirmation hearings, pretty much all at the same time, and even before the U.S. Office of Government Ethics has even completed the background checks for many of them for the first time since the OGE was created. That, despite unprecedented corporate conflicts of interests for virtually all of the cabinet-level and top advisory positions being filled --- not to mention the first press conference in six months scheduled by Trump at the same time, along with the Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan plan to hold a budget "vote-a-rama" concurrently with all of the above.

One of the nominees set for truncated confirmation hearings this week is Exxon's Tillerson, who last week filed papers with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) explaining how he plans to divest from some $180 million in Exxon stock. While Tillerson's attorneys describe the scheme as a way to sever ties with the oil giant, Public Citizen's David Arkush finds a discrepancy in the legal filings that suggest Tillerson may still have reason for allegiance to Exxon, rather than the well-being of U.S foreign policy.

"In the agreement between Exxon and the trustee [set to keep Tillerson's holdings while he serves as Sec. of State]," Arkush finds wording "that would leave him with a clear incentive to still favor Exxon as Secretary of State."

"He has viewed the entire world through the lens of what's good for Exxon," Arkush explains after detailing the concerns with the SEC declarations. "A lot of people look at that record and are critical of the fact that he has no government experience and, technically, I guess, in a certain sense, no foreign policy experience. I don't think that's the issue. I think the issue is he does have experience...He has spent 41 years working at a single company that has a single motive, which is to make money by finding oil around the world, digging it up, and burning it." He goes on to optimistically warn: "We are headed toward utter disaster."

Finally today: Hollywood takes a stand against Trump and in favor of press freedoms...

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Guest: 27-year CIA vet Ray McGovern on why he disputes the secretly sourced allegations, and on Trump skipping Presidential Daily Briefings...
By Brad Friedman on 12/21/2016 6:03pm PT  

On today's BradCast, how corporate media control of our public airwaves helped elect Donald Trump, and a decades-long, top-level CIA intelligence briefer of U.S. Presidents responds to concerns about Trump skipping Presidential Daily Briefings and on, so far, evidence-free, anonymous claims that Russia hacked and manipulated the U.S. election.

First up today, speaking of questioning "conventional wisdom", there is no doubt that the stranglehold of our public airwaves by corporate media helped elect Trump. But a new report suggests their helping hand may have been even worse than we knew, as Sinclair Broadcasting, the infamously rightwing media behemoth and largest single owner of television stations in the nation, apparently struck a deal with the Trump campaign to provide non-critical coverage on its scores of television "news" outlets in the South, Midwest and elsewhere.

Then I'm joined by 27-year CIA analyst, Ray McGovern, who served as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and prepared and personally delivered the CIA's Presidential Daily Briefings (PDBs) each morning to American Presidents from Kennedy to Clinton. Since leaving the agency, he has become an outspoken anti-war advocate and peace activist and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), a group which includes esteemed former intel officials, analysts, experts, and whistleblowers such as Daniel Ellsberg, Coleen Rowley, William Binney, Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou, Karen Kwiatkowski, Col. Ann Wright and others. He is also a contributor at Consortium News and his writings and appearances can also be found at RayMcGovern.com.

I invited him back on today to offer insight as to how the preparation and delivery of PDBs to Presidents and Presidents-Elect have changed over the years and how important they are. McGovern offers some fascinating insight and inside Presidential stories on all of the above. But I wanted to talk to McGovern about this specifically in the wake of Trump's somewhat alarming recent admission that, he rarely attends the briefings because he's "smart", and doesn't "have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years." Instead, Trump says, he sends his national security team to attend what McGovern describes as "the acme of the intelligence cycle, just to give you an awareness off how important the process is."

But our conversation soon moved to the various allegations --- still without evidence and said to be from unnamed intelligence sources citing secret National Security Estimates (NIEs) that some respectable critics say don't necessarily make a lot of sense --- charging that Russia hacked DNC and other emails during the campaign in hopes of helping Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.

In short, McGovern and his fellow team of longtime intelligence analysts, experts and whistleblowers believe the allegations are, in McGovern's words, 'a crock'. He explains why he and his colleagues recently released a memo explaining their dispute with the charges, and what they actually believe is at the root of the thousands of leaked emails. While I agree with Ray on the lack of evidence presented at this time in support of the claims against Russia, I am also skeptical of VIPS' assertions about what they believe really happened, as we discuss on today's show as well.

But, of course, I am always skeptical of anything that cannot be independently verified, especially when it comes to anonymous claims and secret evidence used to lead us into wars. McGovern offers some fascinating details and reminders on the show today as to why such skepticism is a very good idea! Unfortunately, similar skepticism seems to be all too rare these days in much of the rest of our media. Either way, I'll look forward to your thoughts on today's program...

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Guest: Marcy Wheeler on U.S. intel agencies' 'secret' allegations about foreign interference in the Presidential race, as 'recount' ends in WI, is denied by courts again in MI, PA...
By Brad Friedman on 12/12/2016 6:18pm PT  

On today's BradCast, what we know and don't about newly reported charges that the CIA is said to believe Russian state-actors interfered in the U.S. election on behalf of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, even as attempts to verify the actual Presidential election results, and concerns that they were hacked or otherwise in error, are blocked by Republicans in Michigan and Pennsylvania and come to an official close in Wisconsin. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Over the weekend, Washington Post and New York Times each reported on unnamed sources alleging a "secret" "consensus" of U.S. intelligence agencies charging Russia tried to interfere with the Presidential election in order to help Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton. National security journalist and author Marcy Wheeler of EmptyWheel.net offers a measure of skepticism about the explosive reports on those allegations, which she suggests could echo what proved to be blatantly misrepresented and cherry-picked intel by the George W. Bush Administration in their run-up to the Iraq War.

We discuss what we know and don't know concerning the newly reported charges, which parties have an interested in forwarding them and why they are arising in this form now, and how those concerns can possibly square with seemingly contradictory resistance --- by both Republicans and Democrats alike --- to human verification of the stunning and poll-defying 2016 Presidential election results reported in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

Speaking of which, late on Friday, a 3-2 split vote at the MI state Supreme Court denied a hearing of Green Party candidate Jill Stein's appeal of a 3-Republican judge decision that aborted the state's disastrous paper ballot hand-count last week. And today, a federal court in PA denied [PDF] Stein's lawsuit seeking a statewide hand-count of paper ballots and a forensic analysis of the 100% unverifiable touchscreen voting and computer tabulation systems used across most of the state. Also today, the state of Wisconsin completed its partial statewide hand-count and certified Donald Trump as the winner of that state's electoral vote. (Final tallies are not yet available from the Wisconsin Election Commission, but as of earlier today Reuters reported "Trump with a increase of 628 votes, Clinton with an increase of 653 votes and Stein with an increase of 68 votes". Those are net increases, without reflecting the total number of originally-mistallied votes, nor explaining that most of the state's largest counties simply ran the hand-marked paper ballots back through the optical-scan computers again to derive their "recount" totals.)

All of that amidst a repeated, coordinated, well-funded and familiar efforts by Republicans and Team Trump to block any and all verification of Presidential election results in all three states. "Cronyism, bureaucratic obstruction, and legal maneuvering have run roughshod over the democratic process," Stein said following Friday's Supreme Court decision in MI after tens of thousands of votes were deemed "unrecountable" due to the state's arcane "recount" laws while the attempted count was still underway last week. "A recount should not be this difficult or controversial. If you take out money from a bank, the teller counts it twice --- and the second time, they count it in front of your eyes. It should be well understood that something as important as a presidential election requires a basic level of quality assurance and verification."

We have all of the latest details on today's BradCast...

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

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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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