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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, December 17, 2017
'T'was the Week Before' Toons
'PDiddie' gallops us all towards the holidays -- and some of us towards political sunset -- in his latest festive holiday toon collection...
GOP Tax Scam's Final Mile; Tillerson's NK Flip; Packing the Courts; Trump Family Fail: 'BradCast' 12/15/17
A spoonful or two of sugar along with some of today's bitter medicine...
Trump FCC Kills 'Net Neutrality', Endangering Internet Free Speech: 'BradCast' 12/14/2017
Guest: Media reformer Sue Wilson; Also: More mega-mergers, Trump noms withdrawn, more...
'Green News Report' 12/14/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Toxic smoke warnings from SoCal fires; New bad news for the Arctic; New good news for Tesla; World fights climate change without U.S.; PLUS: French prez makes good on promise...
Previous GNRs: 12/12/17 - 12/7/17 - Archives...
Veteran Recount Attorney Sees Little Chance for Moore in AL: 'BradCast' 12/13/17
Guest: Recount expert Chris Sautter on Jones' win, Moore's odds, AL Supremes' 'ballot images' ruling...
Internet Freedom of Speech Now at Stake
With Trump's Repub-majority FCC set to kill Net Neutrality, a media reformer on why the result will be another political horror show for Dems and the nation...
AL Supremes Allow 'Ballot Images' to Be Destroyed: 'BradCast' 12/12/17
Guest: David Rothschild's new study on whether real or fake news was the bigger prob in the 2016 election...
'Green News Report' 12/12/17
SoCal fire now CA's 5th largest ever; Trump Admin attacks private co. in nat'l monument fight, opens E. Coast to drilling, slows EPA actions against polluters...
Moore, Moore, Moore... and Other Vital News: 'BradCast' 12/11/2017
Terror attacks in NY, KS, NM; Pentagon to allow trans-gender enlistment; SoCal fires; Election integrity court win and deep dive before AL's insane U.S. Senate election...
GOP/NRA's 'Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act' Likely Unconstitutional
New bill rammed through House blocks states' rights on gun safety laws and may violate the U.S. Constitution...
Sunday Toons of the Soulless Moment
A lot of souls have been sold in recent days. For what in return? 'PDiddie' rounds up the consequences in his latest weekly toon collection...
Former CO GOP Chair Found Guilty of Voter Fraud: 'BradCast' 12/8/17
And other ironies and outrages: SoCal fires spread; Trump dumps science; Election Integrity suit in AL; House GOP ignores states' rights on guns; Listener e-mail...
'Green News Report' 12/7/17
Trump rolls back protections for two national monuments; Tribes, conservationists sue; GOP tax bill slashes renewables; PLUS: Credit firm warns cities on climate...
Two SCOTUS Cases This Week 'Take the Cake' for Absurdity: 'BradCast' 12/6/17
Guest: Slate's Mark Joseph Stern; Also: Fires worsen in, near L.A.; Franken pressured by Dem Senators to resign...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Guest: Shannyn Moore of Alaska Dispatch News...
By Brad Friedman on 10/11/2017 6:22pm PT  

Donald Trump appears to have either never read the U.S. Constitution that he is sworn to protect and defend, or he just doesn't understand it, or he just doesn't care about it, as his new attack on the press being "able to write whatever they want to write" reveals again today. But that may be the least of our problems at the moment --- and on today's BradCast. [Link to full audio posted below.]

After quick updates today on still rising death tolls in the continuing unspeakable disasters following Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the massive, ongoing and deadly wildfires in California, it's back to North Korea, where the U.S. military continues to flex its muscle and threaten the nation in a way that we would neverallow another nation to do off our own shores. With B-1 bombers and F-15 fighters now conducting missile launch drills off both costs of the Korean Peninsula (even North of the Demilitarized zone that divides North and South Korea) and the USS Ronald Reagan steaming its way there, we continue to provide reason and cover for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to increase his own military arsenal. In the bargain, as a new poll reveals, two-thirds of Americans now feel Trump's rhetoric threatening to "completely destroy" the isolated nation is making the situation worse, not better, between the two countries.

Then, we're joined by progressive Alaska Dispatch News columnist SHANNYN MOORE to explain the gob-smacking scheme --- approved just one hour after Trump's EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt met with a lobbyist from a Canadian mining company, as recently revealed by internal emails --- to re-kindle the possibility of federal approval for Pebble Mine on Alaska's pristine Bristol Bay watershed.

The move toward allowing the mammoth copper and gold mine comes after years of protest by Alaskan natives (like Moore), three years of study by the Obama Administration's EPA (which found the mine could "result in complete loss of fish habitat" in the sensitive spawning ground of more than half of the world's sockeye salmon), risks the loss of some 14,000 jobs, and runs directly counter to last November's statewide ballot initiative in which voters sought overwhelmingly to protect the area from mining interests and irreversible destruction. (You may leave public comment for the EPA here on this, before October 17th.)

We also talk with Moore, who, like many Alaskans, is a hunter and gun-owner, about her most recent column on the terrorist-enabling NRA/GOP's indefensible block of any and all legislative gun safety measures, despite wildly overwhelming support from Americans --- of all parties --- for a wide variety of such reforms in the wake of last week's massacre in Las Vegas...

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

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Guest: Dr. Trita Parsi of the National Iranian-American Council on Trump's dangerous, and foolish, scheme to break the Iran nuclear deal...
By Brad Friedman on 10/10/2017 6:11pm PT  

Republican U.S. Senator Bob Corker, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, suggested to the New York Times over the weekend that Donald Trump's reckless comments on North Korea and Iran and other issues, could be setting the nation "on the path to World War III." Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy argues in response that we should take Corker's --- and Trump's --- words much more seriously. Well, we do...pretty much every day here on The BradCast. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Today we discuss how, even as the President continues to threaten war with nuclear-armed North Korea, his own CIA argues leader Kim Jong Un is not a "madman", and poses no direct threat to the U.S. or its allies --- unless Trump forces him into a corner. At the same time, Trump continues to back Kim into a corner while undermining his own Sec. of State Rex Tillerson's diplomatic efforts in the region.

The claims that he's concerned about NK's nuclear program are difficult to accept while Trump seems dead set on undermining the very successful anti-nuclear agreement with Iran (and Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain), despite his own top diplomatic and military officials stating repeatedly that Iran has been honoring the deal to the letter, since it was struck under President Obama in 2015. Breaking that agreement, as Trump is threatening, will only boost the political fortunes of hard-line clergy in Iran, while undermining the moderates there who have risen in the Iranian parliament and presidency in the wake of the deal. It might also result in Iran restarting it's nuclear enrichment program that was ended by the deal, putting them much closer to nuclear weapons. So, why is Trump threatening to break that agreement by decertifying it, and sending the issue to Congress to decide whether to reimpose sanctions?

We're joined today by DR. TRITA PARSI, Founder and President of the National Iranian-American Council, which worked with the Obama White House to help shepherd the nuclear pact through Congress, to discuss why Trump is vowing to try and kill the deal, and what the ramifications are likely to be in the U.S. and Iran --- and even in North Korea --- if he does.

Parsi, is an expert on Middle Eastern foreign affairs and US-Iranian relations. He says there is simply no reasonable explanation for Trump's interest in killing the Iran deal and, as he describes today in an article at the NY Review of Books, hand a "gift" to Iran's conservative hard-liners, who already distrust the U.S.

"More than anything else, to be completely frank," he says, "this seems to be in line with almost everything else Trump has done since he took office --- which is, he just simply opposes anything that has Obama's signature on it. Whether it's the Affordable Care Act, whether it is the Iran deal. And there seems to be an obsession, on his end, to undo it for that simple reason. Because in his own administration, his Secretary of State tells him 'don't decertify'. His Secretary of Defense tells him 'don't decertify'. His Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff tells him 'don't decertify'. So what is it that Trump, with his brilliant real estate mind manages to see as a flaw with this deal that no one else seems to be able to identify?"

Parsi, whose most recent book is Losing An Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy, says while all parties --- including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), eight times since January 2016 --- have certified that Iran is honoring the agreement, some in Iran already see the U.S. as having broken it. He cites Trump's recent efforts at the G20 to discourage other nations from trading with Iran.

"Trump is in clear violation of Article 29 of the agreement, which says that no country shall stand in the way of what is now legitimate trade between Iran and the outside world. You can't lift sanctions as an incentive for the deal and then go and encourage countries not to trade with Iran, and that's exactly what Trump went and did at the G20 meeting," Parsi explains, adding: "Fortunately, thus far, the Iranians have refrained from further escalating this."

The larger concern is that Trump is undermining world interests in dealing with the U.S. on anything. "Why would you negotiate with Trump? What is it that gives you the confidence that he has the capacity of upholding his promises? That's the problem here. In order to get [a better deal, as Trump claims to want], you need to have the credibility of being a good and fair and trustworthy negotiator. Trump does not have that reputation anywhere."

"This is not a strategy that has any chance of success on the international stage. The only question is how much damage will it incur on the United States before Trump stops doing what he's doing right now." Parsi cautions Trump's dangerous game could result in military conflict. "It's only creating more uncertainty, which then leads to more instability, and then potentially a collapse of the deal that can bring the United States back on a path towards war with Iran."

Mission accomplished?

Finally, we're joined today by Desi Doyen for the latest Green News Report with updates on the apocalyptic wildfires in Northern California, the latest in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and the Trump EPA's hypocritical explanation for gutting the Obama 'Clean Power Plan' to reduce man-made greenhouse gas emissions that helped fuel 2017's record hurricane season and the fires still blazing out of control in California...

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

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Guest: Author, journalist John Nichols; Also: Nate dissipates after landfall; Massive wildfires explode across CA; Trump EPA announces reversal of Obama 'Clean Power Plan'...
By Brad Friedman on 10/9/2017 6:18pm PT  

On today's BradCast, one climate change bullet dodged on the Gulf Coast, even as another explodes on the West Coast, and Donald Trump, despite his distracting buffoonery, continues to move his far-right agenda forward as my guest today details in no uncertain terms. [Audio link to show follows below.]

New Orleans and the Gulf Coast appear to have averted another catastrophe with Hurricane Nate, the fourth hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. in the past six weeks, bringing heavy rains, but less damage than feared to the region. (Reminder: there are still two more months left in the official hurricane season!) But, millions are still struggling to rebuild from the recent storms Harvey, Irma and Maria, especially in Puerto Rico, where most of the power remains out over two weeks since Maria made landfall, despite Trump's rosy scenarios and the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offering a disturbing remark over the weekend.

Even as Nate dissipates, however, the U.S. received yet another troubling reminder of the deadly perils of climate change over night Sunday and into Monday. As of air time, at least 1,500 homes and commercial building have been completely destroyed by wildfires that broke out late Sunday night across eight counties in Northern California wine country, sending tens of thousands of residents fleeing for their lives, many of them dodging flames and wildly gusting winds in the middle of the night. 10 have now been pronounced dead, in a toll that is expected to rise.

Another massive blaze erupted and is threatening homes and businesses in Southern California on Monday as well. All signs of a warming planet, not only being ignored but actively exacerbated by the Trump Administration which announced plans on Monday --- even as all of this was going on --- to reverse Barack Obama's 'Clean Power Plan', instituted to meet U.S. commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement between some 200 nations. Trump announced the Administration's intention to drop out of the Paris accord to curb man-made greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, earlier this year.

So, even as the media, Congress, and the public remain continuously obsessed and distracted by Donald Trump's obnoxious Twitter feed, his radical hard-right Republican agenda stays on target on issues both foreign and domestic. We're joined to discuss that issue and more today by journalist JOHN NICHOLS of The Nation, author of the newly published Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America and his new report for the non-profit Rosa Luxemburg foundation titled "Donald Trump's Dangerously Coherent Agenda".

"The greatest strength that Donald Trump has in American politics --- his number one strength --- is that he is not taken seriously. And, for so long as he is not taken seriously, he is able to continue to entertain, to control the discourse, because people are just looking for what more cute, adorable, horrifying, freakish thing that he does," Nichols tells me, explaining why, despite his low approval ratings, "he knows how to survive. And his survival instinct is locking in a very coherent agenda, which is the agenda of the hard, hard social right."

"I'll be blunt with ya," he adds, "I see very little evidence of Democrats figuring out the play, either."

Among topics of our conversation, in addition to his new book and disturbing new report, are the chilling recent comments from Trump regarding "the calm before the storm"; underwhelming responses to his Twitter attacks on members of his own party (and own Administration) in recent days; the temptation (and accompanying dangers) for Democrats in making deals with Trump as his approval ratings falls; and efforts by Bernie Sanders supporters in Texas toward flipping some of the most reportedly "conservative" Congressional districts in the state from "red" to "blue". Nichols checks in today from the Lone Star State, where he is currently reporting for his upcoming cover story at The Nation on what he describes as impressive organizational work in advance of 2018, now being carried out there by members of Sanders' Our Revolution group...

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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Trump's chilling remark; Another hurricane for the Gulf Coast; More deadly coal and chemical shills for the EPA; Abolishing the 2nd Amendment?; and the President's 'reverse Midas touch'...
By Brad Friedman on 10/6/2017 6:17pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we can only hope that Donald Trump's ominous comments to reporters last night at the White House were as ill-informed and misleading as he usually is on just about everything else. [Audio link to show follows below.]

In somewhat chilling and wholly cryptic remarks during a short press avail Thursday night, Donald Trump suggested the moment might be seen as "the calm before the storm." He refused to clarify to the media, beyond gesturing to military leaders and their spouses who were at his side for a White House dinner, and adding "you'll find out." We discuss what it may (or may not) mean.

The storm he almost certainly wasn't referring to was Tropical Storm Nate, which, after killing more than 20 in Central America, is now expected to slam the U.S. Gulf Coast (possibly New Orleans) as a hurricane over the weekend.

That, even as disaster relief continues in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island more than two weeks ago. More than 90% of the island's 3.4 million U.S. citizens are still without power and some 50% without clean running water, despite recent Administration attempts to obscure the ongoing catastrophe. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, in the meantime, has now publicly offered to help rebuild Puerto Rico's entire power grid with solar panels and batteries and the island's Governor seems interesting in taking him up on it. That may be a glimmer of good news --- for Puerto Rico and all the rest of us --- as the island could become a highly visible U.S. proving ground for clean, renewable energy and micro-grids.

And, in not-at-all unrelated news, Trump has nominated a top coal industry lobbyist to be second-in-command at the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as a chemical industry scientist, whose work has, for years, downplayed peer-reviewed scientific studies critical of his clients' products, to head up EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

Then, in the aftermath of last Sunday's Las Vegas Massacre, some progressives and, yes, even conservatives are calling for an idea that is rarely mentioned, much less debated in this country: amend or abolish the Constitution's Second Amendment entirely. As U.S. democracy has been stifled and bastardized so much on issues related to guns and gun safety --- and even the Constitution itself --- after years of distorting propaganda by the NRA (the gun lobby) and its tools in both government and media, we discuss the issue today, not in support of abolishing the 2nd Amendment (necessarily), but in hopes of welcoming actual debate on both that and other related issues.

Finally, several recent polls --- on issues from health care to the NFL to media to immigration to climate change --- all find opposition steadily growing AGAINST pretty much every position that Trump and Republicans hold on them. Trump, it seems, has "the reverse Midas touch", as one writer observes, in what suffices today for a bit of encouraging news at the end of another horrible week in the U.S...

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: Brendan Fischer of Campaign Legal Center; Also: PA Congressman resigns in scandal, NRA gives (some) cover to GOP on gun safety regs...
By Brad Friedman on 10/5/2017 6:09pm PT  

On today's BradCast: More corruption by top Trump Administration (and other) officials than we can barely squeeze into a single show. And most of it largely revealed over just the past week or so! [Audio link to full show follows below.]

As we go to air, staunch anti-choice "conservative" Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) announces he will resign from the U.S. House following the revelation of text messages with his mistress in which he is said to have advised her to have an abortion. Murphy, the only clinical psychiatrist serving in Congress, is the author of the GOP's mental health care reform legislation passed last year, supposedly in response to a number of mass shootings. Mental health reform is still the GOP's only legislative answer to our gun epidemic and public health crisis in the U.S.

However, today the NRA gave permission to Republicans to "politicize" Sunday's massacre in Las Vegas by calling on the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to review its regulations regarding "bump stock" devices that can turn semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic weapons. The shooter in Vegas who shot nearly 600 people, killing 58 of them in a matter of minutes from his 32nd floor hotel room, reportedly used a number of those devices to carry out his bloodbath. It should be noted (as we do), that such a change in regulation would still not necessarily require the NRA-owned Republican members of Congress to vote on any new gun safety legislation.

Then, we're joined by BRENDAN FISCHER of the Campaign Legal Center to discuss a tidal wave of corruption issues recently revealed about top Trump Administration officials. Among those issues: Jared Kushner is fined again for filing late financial disclosure forms, after revising them dozens of times, while giving different numbers on his forms than his own wife, Ivanka Trump, did regarding joint assets. (She was also forced to amend her own forms several times); Kushner and Ivanka and half a dozen other top Admin officials used private email addresses (and lied to Congress about them) for public business in the White House. Lock them up!); The heads of the EPA (Pruitt), Interior (Zinke) and Treasury (Mnuchin) all have issues regarding tens of thousands of dollars of tax-payer funded travel on private and military chartered jets, after Trump's Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was finally forced to resign for spending nearly $1 million on same last week; and the Secret Service now claims they kept no visitor logs at Mar-a-Lago during Trump's many weekends there over the past eight months.

Fischer explains why all of those issues of "trickle down corruption" actually matter --- even in the Trump Era beset by otherwise distracting daily crises. He also discusses Republican U.S. Senate nominee and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore's failure to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars of both own income and liabilities on his U.S. Senate ethics filings and why the partisan gerrymandering case, Gill v. Whitford, as heard earlier this week at the U.S. Supreme Court (much more on this from yesterday's show), is so important to overcoming all of the nightmares discussed on today's show.

"It's really like drinking from a fire-hose when it come to trying to track some of these ethics violations," Fischer, Associate Counsel at CLC, tells me. "And this comes from the top. This comes from President Trump entirely disregarding ethics laws, rules and norms that past Presidents have followed voluntarily. This entire disregard for the laws that are on the books --- that are designed to guarantee that public officials are working for the public rather than private interests --- has permeated the entire administration and is now trickling its way down to down-ballot races, like this Senate race in Alabama."

Plus: Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with updates on Puerto Rico's ongoing Hurricane Maria disaster, as well as the billions of tax-payer dollars spent due to global warming and subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

And, finally today, a bit of breaking news on Trump's reported plans to try and "decertify" the 2015 anti-nuclear agreement with Iran, despite his own Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, and Chairman of his Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon all recently agreeing that Iran is in compliance with the hard-won 7-nation treaty...

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: David Daley of FairVote.org on 'Gill v. Whitford'; Plus: Updates on the disaster in Puerto Rico, gun massacre in Las Vegas...
By Brad Friedman on 10/4/2017 6:28pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the future of American democracy itself is once again in the hands of a now-stolen U.S. Supreme Court, in what democracy advocates describe as a case that is likely to help determine the partisan balance of Congress and state legislatures for decades.

But, first up today: Updates on Donald Trump's embarrassing Tuesday jaunt to hurricane-torn Puerto Rico, where the official death toll has now doubled from 16 to 34 and is expected to go much higher as 3.4 million U.S. citizens on the island still face desperate circumstances with food and water shortages and 95% of the island remains without power two weeks after Hurricane Maria (despite Trump's bizarre claims to the contrary.) Also, a few updates on what little more we now know about the massacre in Las Vegas on Sunday, the lack of a known motive for the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, and the shamefully transparent attempts by both the White House and Congressional Republicans to avoid any legislative policy action in its wake.

Then we move on to what democracy advocates describe as one of the most important cases to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in years. Oral arguments in Gill v. Whitford were heard on Tuesday. That is the case where a three-judge federal court determined the state of Wisconsin had used severe (and secret) partisan gerrymandering to redraw district maps after the 2010 census. In so doing, despite receiving a minority of votes (48.6%) after the new maps were drawn, Republicans gained an extraordinary 60-to-39 majority in the State Assembly.

The GOP is now appealing that federal court ruling to SCOTUS, which has held racial gerrymandering to be unconstitutional in the past, but has never ruled on whether purely partisan gerrymandering, as in this case, violates the Constitutional rights of voters.

We're joined by the man who wrote the book on modern-day gerrymandering, DAVID DALEY, author of Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy. Daley, formerly Editor-in-Chief at Salon, now Senior Fellow at at FairVote.org, spent the night on the sidewalk outside the Court on Monday, to get one of 50 seats at Tuesday's hearing.

He explains how high the stakes are in this case (which could result in court challenges to electoral maps in virtually every state in the union), the arguments presented by both sides in the matter, and how everyone --- attorneys and Justices alike, were focused on making their case to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who will most likely determine the course of U.S. democracy for decades to come, thanks to the Republicans' stolen 5 to 4 majority on the Supreme Court itself.

"This case is everything," Daley tells me. "If this case is not decided on the side of democracy, on the side of competitive elections, there will be nothing to stop Republicans, who are likely to be holding the pens in all of these states in 2021 from doing the same thing, only with more sophisticated technology that's developed over the last decade, with better data analytic skills than they had in 2011, with stronger predictive algorithms to try to figure out where people are going to live and how they are going to vote for the next decade. It will be 2031 before Democrats get another shot at the maps if this case is decided the other way."

Daley sees the case now before the Supremes as "potentially bigger" than either 2010's Citizens United, which gutted campaign finance laws, or 2013's Shelby County, which gutted the Voting Rights Act. "This is the future of our democracy right here."

"Republicans reinvented the gerrymander in 2010 and 2011. This is not the same kind of gerrymander that you had 'back in the day.' This is different," he insists, as I press him on whether Democrats are carrying out the same type of partisan maps in states that they control. "This is space-age extreme gerrymandering on steroids. It has given Republicans huge advantages in all of these states that they control. Ohio, a very swing state, is represented by 12 Republicans and 4 Democrats. Michigan is 9-5, even though Democrats in 2012 got a quarter of a million more votes. These are 50-50 states and it has made our politics deeply uncompetitive. There's no swing in these swing districts. You have not had a single seat go from red to blue in any of those swing states. On these maps, no seats have gone from red to blue this entire decade."

Incredibly, the Republican Justices other than Kennedy seem to believe the matter should not be decided by the courts, but should be left to the same rigged legislatures which created this mess in the first place. "In Michigan, this last decade," he notes, "Democrats have gotten more total votes every time. Republicans have kept control. This is the case in state after state. They have enshrined this problem. We need the Court here to come in and fix democracy"...

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Guest: Author, journalist Art Levine on GOP hypocrisy, progressive fear; Plus: Trump goes to Puerto Rico, blames the victims again...
By Brad Friedman on 10/3/2017 5:58pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we move from the "too soon" moment and on to the GOP's "mental health reform" ruse, in hopes of avoiding any actual legislative action to curb gun violence after another record mass murder in the U.S. [Audio link to show follows below.]

We have some good news, however, following the Sunday night massacre in Las Vegas, which killed 59 and wounded more than 550 others in a hail of automatic weapon fire rained down from a casino onto concert-goers on the streets below: The House GOP has put off plans to make silencers easier to purchase! For a while anyway. Feel better? Other than that, it's either "premature" to discuss legislative changes to help curb America's 30,000+ gun deaths per year, or time to pull out the old "mental health reform" scam again, as House Speaker Paul Ryan did today when pressed for what action Congress might take after the latest "worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history."

While toy guns are illegal to carry on the streets of Vegas, real ones are not. Not even fully automatic machine guns. And even a statewide ballot measure passed by Nevada voters last year to expand background checks has been declared unenforceable by the Republican, NRA-owned state Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt. So, if the only thing that the terrorist-enabling NRA will allow to be enacted in order to prevent a man who was allowed to lawfully amass 42 military-style assault weapons and thousands of rounds of ammo from committing mass murder is "mental illness reform", are Republicans even serious about that much?

We're joined by veteran journalist ART LEVINE, author of the new book Mental Health Inc: How Corruption, Lax Oversight and Failed Reforms Endanger Our Most Vulnerable Citizens (and next week's Newsweek cover story) to discuss Republican hypocrisy after Vegas, and how the hopes of forcing mandatory medication by the Right and concerns about stigmatizing the mentally ill on the Left, have all helped to prevent real mental health reform.

That, even as the American College of Physicians calls for an assault weapon ban in response to the "public health crisis" of our gun death epidemic in the U.S., existing laws to prevent gun use by the mentally infirmed that go unenforced or are otherwise being repealed altogether, and a mental health reform bill which was already passed by Congress and signed by President Obama last year.

Ryan "apparently doesn't know that the Congress --- he is the head of the House --- actually passed a bill called 'Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act'. In other words, it's such a trope, and such a nostrum that's thrown out --- they throw it out like a tic --- when in fact there was a law [already] actually passed! That is one of the areas of hypocrisy about it," Levine tells me, as he cites the hypocrisy of those who oppose improved gun safety laws and claim to support mental health reform while voting for ObamaCare repeal and cutting back Medicaid. "They are moving forward [with] a war on people with mental illness, opioid addiction and chronic pain."

Levine cites a program by Los Angeles County which he writes about in his book, and describes as "a world-class preventative outreach program that stopped over 50 campus attacks." Yet, he goes on to explain, the successful program is "a political orphan" because the Right won't cite it as a national model ("their big golden goal is mandated drug and outpatient treatment") and neither will liberals and mental health progressives ("it stigmatizes people" as being potentially violent, even though the mentally ill, he says, are far more likely to be the victims of gun violence, rather than perpetrators of it.)

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report as Trump finally goes to Puerto Rico for a few hours (to blame the victims of Hurricane Maria) and as China finally forces GM to get back into the electric car business. Also today: Rock in Peace, Tom Petty...

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By Brad Friedman on 10/2/2017 6:22pm PT  

On today's BradCast, it's one of the darkest days in U.S. history. Again. [Audio link to show follows below.]

At least 58 are dead and more than 500 were wounded in the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday, as a lone gunman rained down thousands of rounds from his fully automatic rifles on to attendees at outdoor country music concert. The shooter, reportedly a retired real estate investor and high-stakes gambler who lived in nearby Mesquite, is said to have killed himself as the Las Vegas SWAT team located him in his room, from where he was firing on the 32nd floor of the Monterey Bay Hotel and Casino, where he had been firing from. He was reportedly in custody of as many as 19 high-powered weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition in his hotel room, which he used to carry out the shooting on concert goers at least 400 yards away.

In the bargain, 64-year old Stephen Craig Paddock was allegedly able to carry out the worst mass shooting murder in modern American history in a matter of 10 to 15 horrifying minutes. After a brief update on some of the important news from over the weekend (other than in Vegas) regarding Puerto Rico and North Korea, we discuss what is known about the massacre as of air time and the White House reaction to it from both the President and his Press Secretary (who says, predictably, that it's "premature" to discuss what to do about such things.)

For the record, while the shooting in Vegas was the worst in modern history, according to GunViolenceArchive.org, the Las Vegas massacre marks the 273rd mass shooting in 2017, in 275 days so far this year. A total of 11,652 people have been killed in all gun violence incidents this year, with 23,512 having been injured. (Those statistics do not include the number of suicides by gun, which would tens of thousands of more victims to those totals for 2017, according to the Archive.)

No motive is currently known for the shooting, though it hardly matters. Whether homegrown terrorist or ISIS recruit, it's very easy to legally obtain obscenely deadly, military-style assault weapons in this country. The results are the same, no matter the motive.

Then, we examine just some of hard data on violent gun deaths in the U.S., much of it compiled by Vox.com's Zack Beauchamp, including why studies find the rates of murder and suicide by gun in the U.S. are so much higher (some 25 times higher) than in other prosperous developed nations with otherwise comparable crime rates. The difference between those countries and ours? The number of guns per capita. We also look at the available empirical data on how (and if) gun safety laws actually reduce the rate of both homicide and suicide in countries around the world (including the U.S.) after gun safety restrictions are strengthened and/or loosened. Australia, for a number of reasons, provides a particularly stark example. But other nations do as well.

Much of what we cover and discuss today, on the surface, seems as if it should be blatantly obvious. The data sets are true no matter how one feels about guns and the Second Amendment and why the Founders enacted it. Unfortunately, many of these facts are not as well understood by the public as one might think and hope, particularly given the partisan political restrictions on tracking and/or debating and/or even discussing these matters. That, thanks in no small part to the decades of propaganda and partisan political campaigning by the terrorist-enabling National Rifle Association (NRA) and the arms lobby that it represents...

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Guest: Legal reporter Mark Joseph Stern of Slate...
By Brad Friedman on 9/29/2017 5:58pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Trouble in TrumpLand continues, but we're all paying the price for it --- and likely will for decades to come. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Donald Trump's Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price is out. He’s just the latest top Administration official to be fired or to resign during the first eight chaotic months of this Administration. Price, who claimed to be a fiscal conservative during his years in the U.S. House, had come under fire for spending hundreds of thousands of tax-payer dollars on chartered private and military plane travel since taking office, even while working to take health care away from millions of Americans. Several other top Trump cabinet officials (EPA’s Pruitt, Treasury’s Mnuchin, Interior’s Zinke) are also now under the spotlight for similar travel issues, even though Price's corruption, while in the U.S. House, was an open secret completely ignored by the GOP Senate during his confirmation.

Meanwhile, in Puerto Rico, the situation on the ground following Hurricane Maria continues to deteriorate, despite Trump and his Acting Director of the Dept. of Homeland Security declaring the recovery effort "a good news story", to date. The Mayor of San Juan urgently and desperately disagrees.

Then, speaking of U.S. Senate Republicans rubber-stamping Presidential nominees no matter how extremist, crazy or corrupt they may be, we're joined by Slate's legal reporter MARK JOSEPH STERN to discuss what he describes as the Trump Administration's attempt to lay the groundwork for overturning marriage equality. Yes, really.

While it seems impossible to imagine, Stern makes his case --- a disturbing one --- after we discuss whether a High School principal in Louisiana has the legal right, as threatened, to suspend student football players for taking a knee in peaceful protest during the national anthem.

The letter sent this week to students and parents by Parkway High School's Wayne Bates "made my jaw drop to the floor," Stern says, going on to detail well-established SCOTUS rulings on the First Amendment in schools. “You just can't do that. Students have a fundamental free speech right to take a knee during the anthem. And if this principal goes any farther with this crazy campaign, he's gonna get slapped with a lawsuit that is going to make his hair fall out.”

But, how interested are Trump’s judicial appointees in maintaining “settled” law? Stern warns that with some of Trump’s lifetime appointees still likely to still be serving on the federal bench as late as 2067, a long list of extreme Rightwingers now been confirmed by Senate Republicans, same-sex marriage rights are not nearly as secure as many of us may think.

“Republicans are completely ruthless in their endeavor to stack the court with wackadoodles,” he says. “And Democrats need to get their act together, or the world is going to be incredibly bleak in 2067 --- so bleak that Trump judges may be the least of our problems.”

Finally, Stern has a few choice thoughts on the unapologetic rightwing extremism of illegitimate Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, as the Court returns for its first full new term with a stolen Republican majority...

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Plus: Trump deflects on Puerto Rico disaster; DHS wrong on 'Russia hacking'; Callers ring in on all of that and more...
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2017 5:59pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we open the phone to callers to discuss another very busy news week, though most want to talk about election integrity. That's good. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Among the stories we cover before we get to listener calls: The Trump Administration is blocking members of Congress --- both Democratic and Republican --- from taking military flights down to Puerto Rico, for some reason, where the disaster for 3.5 million U.S. citizens following Hurricane Maria is said to be quickly deteriorating. Meanwhile, Trump continues to sing his own praises for his handling of the disaster, while using his Twitter account to tweet about the NFL instead of offering help or support for the storm victims.

Then, the state of Wisconsin finally decertifies its terrible, two-decade old Optech Eagle paper ballot tabulators which will only read marks in pencil (not pen). That, despite many WI municipalities which used those same machines to both tally and then 'recount' the 2016 Presidential election, rather than ever count ballots by hand. Those machines may well be replaced by 100% unverifiable touch-screen systems. Also, though the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security informed the state late last week that Russia attempted to hack their voting system last year, it turns out DHS now admits has no such evidence.

Here in California, where DHS told the state the same thing last week (and apparently got it wrong there as well), Democrats in the state assembly recently passed a bill, AB-840, that will make stealing elections easier, by removing nearly half of the ballots cast from the state's 1% post-election hand 'audit'. Governor Jerry Brown (D) is now deciding whether to sign the bill, which election integrity advocates and voting system experts are begging him to veto instead, describing AB-840 as a "roadmap to fraud". You can contact the Governor with your opinion on whether he should sign or veto right here.

Callers ring in on all of that today, and challenge me on a point or two regarding voting and election fraud, before Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, on the rapidly devolving humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, and even some good news about coal for the Pacific Northwest (and for all of us, in truth)...

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Guest: Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation; Also: U.S. Military brass confirm Iran nuke deal compliance; And Tuesday's Special Election results cause shock-waves...
By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2017 6:08pm PT  

Buckle up for today's BradCast. It's a humdinger, from first to last. [Audio link to show follows below.]

First up: In written testimony this week to the U.S. Senate, Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the U.S. Military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, agreed with Donald Trump's Sec. of State Rex Tillerson and European diplomats that Iran was in compliance with the 2015 anti-nuclear agreement between Iran, the U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany. He also argued that, in lieu of a breach of the treaty, pulling out of it, as Trump has continually threatened, would provide a disincentive for other nations, like North Korea, to enter any such agreements with the U.S. Also, Iran's Foreign Minister blasted the U.S. President today for tweeting fake news over the weekend charging they had test-launched an intercontinental missile.

Next: It was Special Election Day on Tuesday in several states and, once again, Democrats continued to pick up state legislative seats previously held by Republicans. They've now notched eight such wins (in FL, NY, NH and OK) since last November, while the GOP has failed to take over any Democratic held seats in 2017. At the same time, Alabama's far-right religious extremist Roy Moore --- who was twice removed as a Justice from the state's Supreme Court for violations of law, the Constitution and federal court orders (regarding the Ten Commandments and Marriage Equality) --- defeated Trump's endorsed candidate Sen. Luther Strange in Alabama's Republican Primary Runoff election to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The win by an openly homophobic and Islamophobic candidate has led to shock-waves for establishment Republicans, deleted tweets by Trump, and questions for Dems as to whether their candidate, former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones, might have a shot at picking up the U.S. Senate seat in the deeply "red" state in this December's general election.

Finally: Speaking of radical religious extremists who place their personal religious beliefs above protecting and defending the U.S. Constitution, we're joined by the indefatigable founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, MIKEY WEINSTEIN, to discuss a U.S. Air Force Reserve Chaplain who appears to be doing exactly that. Weinstein, a registered Republican and former White House legal counsel for Ronald Reagan, details his group's legal complaints against Capt. Sonny Hernandez (pictured above), whose recent writings declare that Christian service members who support the Constitutional rights of those who follow other religions are, in fact, tools of Satan. Yes, really.

In a recent article, for example, headlined "Christian Service Members: Avoid Supporting or Accommodating Evil!", Hernandez writes that "Christian service members who openly profess and support the rights of Muslims, Buddhists, and all other anti-Christian worldviews to practice their religions --- because the language in the Constitution permits --- are grossly in error, and deceived." He goes on to charge that "Counterfeit Christians in the Armed forces will appeal to the Constitution, and not Christ," which, he writes, "will lead them to hell."

Weinstein, whose group offers legal representation for thousands of clients in the military, predicts that, despite the Air Force Inspector General's current investigation of Hernandez, he will likely be promoted from Captain to Major, rather than being "administratively discharged and, if possible, court-martialed."

"When you write, on a Christian Nationalist blog, a column telling military people 'you better not be showing respect to people that don't follow my particular version of Christianity...because of this silly thing called the Constitution, you are not only erroneous but you are stirring the dark evil of Mephistopheles --- Satan,' and you're writing it to the military community, it's beyond unconscionable. From our perspective it's actionable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice."

As Weinstein details during our conversation today about Hernandez, who he describes as an "anti-Semitic, homophobic, misogynistic, Constitution-hating individual," the military has attempted to come to his defense, which Weinstein characterizes as "a kill-shot to the head with regard to stupidity by the Air Force, or willful ignorance." Nonetheless, he explains that Hernandez is hardly the only one in the U.S. military violating their sworn oath to protect the Constitution in such a way. Weinstein charges that the problem of theocratic "Dominionism" --- "which is an attempt to try to replace our democracy with this weaponized version of Christianity" --- has exploded in the U.S. Armed Forces following Trump's inauguration, and already far outpaces the same concerns that led to the formation of MRFF during the George W. Bush Administration.

I can't possibly do full justice to the impassioned case that the extremely colorful Weinstein offers on today's show here, (he also rings in on Trump's national anthem "controversy" and much more), so please tune in for this one, if you can...

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Also: Trump dismisses Puerto Rico's humanitarian crisis after Maria, pushes U.S. closer to (nuclear?) war with North Korea, and more...
By Brad Friedman on 9/26/2017 5:49pm PT  

On today's very busy, very newsy BradCast, we try, once again, to focus on the issues that actually matter. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Among the many stories covered on today's show:

  • It's National Voter Registration Day! Are you registered to vote? Are you sure about that? Are you really sure?;
  • Republicans in the U.S. Senate finally throw in the towel (again) on their latest scheme for killing the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), which would have taken away health care from "millions" of Americans. But is this really the end? (Might we suggest Bernie Sanders' "Medicare-for-All" instead, Mr. President?);
  • The humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria worsens. Rather than take action, Donald Trump tweets insults appearing to blame the 3.5 million American citizens who live there for their woes after the devastating Category 4 storm;
  • Trump continues to issue threats to North Korea, with one expert now putting the odds of a conventional war with the isolated Asian nation at 50% --- and of nuclear war at better than 1 out of 10!;
  • A new and very careful academic study finds thousands of eligible voters were prevented and/or deterred from voting in just two of Wisconsin's largest counties in the 2016 Presidential election, thanks to discriminatory Republican Photo ID voting restrictions in the state;
  • Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with updates on Puerto Rico after Maria, toxic exposure and cleanup in Texas after Harvey, and how global warming has made all of those dangers much worse;

And, finally, The Daily Show's Trevor Noah perfectly sums up Trump's ginned-up "controversy" over NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem in solemn, respectful protest of racial injustice, in just 22 seconds...and it even rhymes!...

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Guest: Gregory Elich of the Korea Policy Institute...
By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2017 6:12pm PT  

What had been insanely busy news weeks are now being compressed into insanely busy news weekends, apparently. [Audio link to the complete show follows below.]

So, today on The BradCast, we do some serious triage to try and highlight the news of recent days that folks need to focus on, even as much of the corporate media is otherwise fixated on Donald Trump's obnoxious comments about NFL owners and players, who he described on Friday as "sons of bitches" for choosing to exercise their First Amendment rights of free speech, instead of standing for the National Anthem the way Donald Trump wants them to.

In fact, as we discuss today, Trump's profane attacks on those players who peacefully protest against racialized violence by members of law enforcement across the country, by taking a knee during the anthem, is little more than part of his latest effort to feed the "chaos addiction" that seems to rule this President, along with his hope of dividing Americans by forcing them to choose sides in whatever may be Trump's latest counterproductive fixation.

At the same time, of far greater immediate importance than another Trump Twitter fit, is the latest church shooting massacre near Nashville over the weekend and the quickly escalating humanitarian crisis for 3.5 million American citizens still without power (and facing other extreme hardships) across Puerto Rico, a full week after Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory. We also cover U.S. Senate Republicans' last ditch attempt to gut health care for millions by repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCAre") before their ability to do so with only 50 votes in the Senate is over by the end of this week. On that, we've got some encouraging breaking news by show's end today.

Then, as Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un continue their dangerous and escalting war of words following Trump's unprecedented threat at the U.N. General Assembly last week to "totally destroy" their country, we're joined by GREGORY ELICH, of the Korea Policy Institute's Advisory Board, to discuss the real life consequences, already under way, on the people of North Korea, thanks to Trump's increasing economic sanctions against them.

In response to the North Korean Foreign Minister's threat today to shoot down U.S. war planes like the ones flown in a show of force by the U.S. off the Korean Peninsula over the weekend, Elich explains: "If you look back to the 1950-53 Korean War, US bombers obliterated every single town and city in North Korea. There wasn't a single building left standing. So this is sending a message to North Korea that the U.S. would consider repeating the experience of carpet-bombing every city. So, obviously the North Koreans are going to react emotionally to such a an action."

Elich, whose latest CounterPunch column details "Trump's War on the North Korean People", breaks down the latest in the ill-considered standoff between Trump and the isolated Asian nation, how it must eventually be resolved, and the high price already being exacted on its citizens, if not the military program Trump believes he is targeting.

"If the goal is to denuclearize North Korea, then of course it will have no effect whatsoever except to encourage North Korea to accelerate its efforts," he tells me. "But if the goal is to impose economic hardship on the population of North Korea, then it is quite likely that it will work in the long run."

Elich goes on to detail why he believes the U.S. attempt to force "denuclearlization" on the North through saber rattling and economic sanctions amounts to what he calls "an international protection racket", "gangsterism as foreign policy" and "the weaponization of food." All of that, as millions stand to suffer in both Asia and the U.S., thanks to Trump's continuing addition to chaos in the U.S. and, apparently now, around the globe...

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Callers ring in on Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un; Also: Is the GOP ObamaCare 'repeal' finally dead?...
By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2017 5:51pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we open the phone lines to callers, mainly on the Donald Trump v. Kim Jong Un madness that may get us all killed. [Audio link to full show follows below.]

As you'll recall, in an unprecedented speech by a U.S. President, Trump called Kim "Rocket Man" and threatened to "totally destroy North Korea" at the United Nations General Assembly.

That, as reported today, was apparently a surprise even to Trump's top officials, who are said to have "warned him not to deliver a personal attack on North Korea’s leader at the United Nations." In turn, North Korea said they are considering a test of a hydrogen bomb above and the Pacific, and Kim issued an unprecedented first-person response, describing Trump as a "mentally deranged dotard". Trump answered back via Twitter (naturally), calling Kim a "madman". But the school yard bully act by both is far more complicated, nuanced and, yes, dangerous, as revealed in part by the full statement from Kim, which we share today.

Then, Sen. John McCain now says he's a "no" on the last-gasp desperate efforts by Senate Republicans to gut the Affordable Care Act with the wildly unpopular Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson amendment, that would take hundreds of billions away from federal health care, and result in loss of coverage for at least 21 million Americans. Does McCain's announcement finally signal the end for the GOP's zombie-like attempt to '"repeal and replace" ObamaCare? Don't count your chickens just yet.

Also today: breaking news on the Guajataca Dam in Puerto Rico that is now reportedly failing following Hurricane Maria, and threatening tens of thousands already struggling without power in the wake of the record storm; and a 30-year old reminder from then UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, of all people, that, yes, the nations of the world can come together to save the planet in the fight against deadly emissions.

Callers ring in today on all of that and more (and even on NASA's totally "fake" moon landing!) in a very lively, and occasionally chilling, BradCast...

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Guest: Journalist David Dayen of The Nation...
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2017 6:09pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the "fun" from this week's United Nations General Assembly continues today, with the leaders of both Iran and North Korea pushing back against incendiary comments by the U.S. President. And the "fun" in the U.S. Senate continues as well, as the GOP frantically attempts (again) to repeal 'ObamaCare' at the very last minute. [Audio link to show follows below...]

First up, in response to Donald Trump's threat earlier in the week at the U.N. to "completely destroy" his country, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called Trump "deranged" and said he would "pay dearly" for those threats and, undoubtedly, for new financial sanctions Trump announced today via executive order. (We also discuss questions about Trump's claims regarding China with those new sanctions.)

For his part, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani lashed back at Trump's characterization of Iran as a "murderous regime" and a "corrupt dictatorship", calling the remarks "ignorant, absurd and hateful" and coming from "rogue newcomers to the world of politics." And, at the same time, Trump surprised his own top cabinet officials this week by claiming he'd made a "decision" regarding the anti-nuclear arms agreement struck in 2015 with Iran (and China, Russia, France, UK and Germany), even as the US, the other nations in the deal, and the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) all agreed that Iran had fully upheld its side of the bargain to date.

If Trump is seen as willing to break that multilateral international deal --- on the heels of withdrawing from the landmark global Paris Climate Agreement --- should any nation in the world, much less North Korea, even consider making a deal with the U.S. and Donald Trump? We discuss.

Then, Republicans in the U.S. Senate are frantically hoping to pass a bill to finally repeal the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare") before the end of next week, when Senate rules will make it much harder, if not impossible, to do so. The latest attempt, the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill, would take billions of dollars from so-called "blue states" that expanded Medicaid and radically increased the number of insured citizens under ObamaCare, and give those dollars to "red states" instead --- before tossing Medicaid recipients in all states over a cliff in 2027.

Financial journalist and author DAVID DAYEN of The Nation and The Intercept (and everywhere else) joins us today to detail what he describes as the "shocking dishonesty" of the particularly hypocritical sales pitch Republican sponsors of the legislation are deploying in hopes of boondoggling lawmakers and the public in a desperate bid to justify passage of the unpopular scheme. We also discuss/debate why the Senate GOP is so eager to pass legislation that will result in the loss of health care for millions, including many of their own voters, and whether Republicans in the U.S. House will be willing to go along with it.

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report' following the record Hurricane Maria's devastating landfall on Puerto Rico, the latest catastrophic earthquake in Mexico, and more fallout from world leaders following Trump's address at the U.N...

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

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