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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, July 20, 2017
Constitutional Crisis Nears, Democracy Crisis Now: 'BradCast' 7/20/17
Guest: Legal analyst Ernest A. Canning on lawsuit and media fail in GA-06; Also: Trump's DoJ threat; NYT health care failure; Israel to hand-count ballots due to hack threat...
'Green News Report' 7/20/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
CA extends landmark climate program, but enviros say it's not enough; Trump re-opens offshore drilling in Arctic; PLUS: 2017 already breaking new global heat records as of June...
Previous GNRs: 7/18/17 - 7/13/17 - Archives...
Civilian War Deaths Skyrocket; CA Takes Bipartisan Climate Action: 'BradCast' 7/19/17
Guest: R.L. Miller, climate hawk Dem, on opposition to the CA bills; Also: Big Oil's big trouble; State Dept. war crimes office closing...
GOP's ObamaCare Repeal Collapses (Again. Twice.): 'BradCast' 7/18/2017
What's the next illegitimate plan for Trump and Congress?; Also: 2016 election hacking worse than known; Kobach commission's voter suppression efforts already a success...
'Green News Report' 7/18/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Raging wildfires in British Columbia; Trump reduces royalties on offshore drilling; Energy Dept. study contradicts Energy Sec. claims; PLUS: Nuns block natural gas pipeline...
Previous GNRs: 7/13/17 - 7/11/17 - Archives...
With ObamaCare Repeal on Brink, Admin Ups Their Lies: 'BradCast' 7/17/17
Guest: Ned Resnikoff of ThinkProgress; Plus: You'll never guess what happened after TX cut family planning funding...
Sunday Toons of 'The Borscht Thickens' Moment
Trump White House 'nothing burgers' more rancid by the moment. Plus: Voter suppression, e-voting, and melting Antarctica in PDiddie's latest collection of the weeks' best toons...
Are They Liars? Or Just Incompetent? Or Both?: 'BradCast' 7/14/2017
Team Trump perfidy more breathtaking by the day. And GOPers in Congress aren't much better. Also: Espionage Act turns 100...
Why Do Georgia Election Officials Insist on 100% Unverifiable Elections?
The Peach State faces yet another contested election following more than a decade of failures, vulnerabilities, repeated warnings...
Nun Too Happy:
Catholic Order Builds Chapel to Block Massive PA Pipeline: 'BradCast' 7/13/17
Guest: Pastor Malinda Harnish Clatterbuck; Plus: What is Team Trump hiding? And why?...
'Green News Report' 7/13/17
Huge iceberg breaks off Antarctica; Tesla builds world's biggest battery; EPA reviving controversial Pebble Mine; PLUS: France nixing coal, internal combustion engine...
Kobach's 'Voter Fraud' Panel Facing Lawsuits, Suppressing Votes: 'BradCast' 7/11/17
Guest: ACLU's Theresa Lee; Also: Trump Jr.'s legal probs; Senate GOP health care repeal...
'Green News Report' 7/11/17
At G-20, world moves ahead w/o Trump; Admin to 'red team' climate science; Court nixes EPA methane rule roll back; Volvo goes electric; PLUS: CA trumps Trump...
Multi-Partisan Suit Seeks to Void GA-06 Special Elexn Results: 'BradCast' 7/10/17
Guest: Election integrity advocate, plaintiff Marilyn Marks; Also: World moves ahead w/o U.S. after G-20 summit...
'Terrorist Enabling' NRA May Have Crossed Line Between Free Speech and Incitement
Ernest Canning on the video that appears to encourage riots... while raising money...
Sunday Toons of the 'Pootie Poot' Moment
'PDiddie' misses Dubya's nicknames. Other than that, it's Trump and Putin, Trump and 'voter fraud' and others caught with pants down in this week's toon collection...
'The People's Business'? Not So Much: 'BradCast' 7/7/17
Guest-host Angie Coiro w/ RJ Eskow on 'RussiaGate', Tom Nichols on 'Death of Expertise', Kelly Macias on HUD & other stories overlooked by MSM...
GOP v Health, Voters, & Healthy Voters: 'BradCast' 7/6/17
Guest-host Angie Coiro w/ Ari Berman on Trump's 'Election Integrity' commission; David Atkins on CA Single Payer; Jared Yates Sexton on journalist intimidation...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


By Ernest A. Canning on 7/10/2017 8:35am PT  

[This article was supposed to run last week, just after this video was released. But, alas, I dropped the ball in publishing it for Ernie before leaving town for the week! My apologies. But, of course, it's never too late to call out the "terrorist enabling" NRA. So, here ya go. - Brad]

By way of this deeply troubling recruitment video, Dana Loesch, the unhinged spokeswoman for the "terrorist enabling" National Rifle Association (NRA), may have crossed the line between protected free speech and unlawful incitement aimed at producing imminent violence against the many non-violent demonstrators who've taken to the streets as part of the resistance to the Donald Trump/GOP fascist-like, anti-egalitarian agenda.

In the video, Loesch, a former Breitbart "News" editor, who once equated feminism with advocacy for "female genocide," attempts to erect a picture of an ominous, violent leftist threat to "law abiding citizens," by which she means mostly white, often well-armed NRA card-carrying Trump supporters...

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




By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2017 6:05pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we cover the breaking news of several mass shootings that happened today in the US, and the reactions to them, and/or lack thereof. [Audio link to full show follows below.]

In Alexandria, VA during early morning batting practice for a charity baseball game between Republican and Democratic members of Congressman, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), a Congressional aide, a member of the Capitol Police and a lobbyist were taken down in a hail of least at 50 bullets, during a shooting spree that reportedly went on, according to Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who was also on the scene, "for 5 to 10 minutes".

House GOP Whip Scalise and the Tyson Foods lobbyist, Matt Mika, are both said to be in critical condition following surgery as of air time. The alleged shooter, reported to have been a supporter of Bernie Sanders' Presidential campaign and an opponent of the Trump Administration (with a history of domestic violence), was eventually killed by members of the Capitol Police and the Alexandria Police after a lengthy gun battle.

We have reaction from lawmakers and statements of unity issued in the aftermath by the President, the Republican and Democratic House leaders, as well as the condemnation of the violence from Sen. Sanders.

Shortly thereafter, in San Francisco, five were shot, three fatally, before the shooter killed himself at a UPS facility.

Neither incident is believed to be related to international terrorism (the shooter in VA was a white, middle-aged man from Belleville, IL, the shooter in San Francisco has not been identified as of air time), yet a Republican Senator led off a hearing today by appearing to link the attack in D.C. to Islamic extremism.

Despite some 32,000 gun deaths per year and so many mass shootings by domestic extremists, including the 2011 Tucson shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, which killed six and wounded 12 others, Congress has failed to take any action (other than to pass a bill signed by Donald Trump earlier this year making it easier for the mentally ill to purchase firearms.)

We take some great calls from listeners today, with some very smart insight on all of the above and the reasons for it (one sagely notes, after recognizing the violence on which our country was build, "we have lost our national soul"), before a few quick news headlines, details of which we must put off until another day due to the breaking news. And then, finally, we're joined by Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report...

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

*** NOTE: I'm on the road for the next two days, so will be running 'Best Ofs'! But please read this (which I couldn't get to today, but it's VERY important!) in the meantime. We'll be back with a fresh BradCast on Monday!

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Guest: John Nichols of The Nation | Plus: Trump undermines own 'travel ban', blasts London Mayor after attacks, ignores Orlando mass shooting...
By Brad Friedman on 6/5/2017 6:18pm PT  

On today's BradCast: How Donald Trump continues to be his own worst enemy (and, arguably, the world's) and the case for why Democrats should declare themselves "the accountability party" and immediately begin the effort to impeach the President of the United States. [Audio link to show follows below.]

First, the fallout from Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement continues as, CNN reports today that the Acting U.S. Ambassador to China, a 27-year career foreign service officer, has resigned over the decision. But he's not the only American diplomat Trump seems to have upset of late, as the acting U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. was also forced to publicly take sides against Trump following the weekend terror attacks in London.

At the same time, Trump seems determined to make certain he loses his own Department of Justice's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to restore his second Executive Order "travel ban" which has been put on hold, repeatedly, by federal courts from Maryland to Hawaii. In a weekend long Twitter tirade, continuing through Monday, the President offered one incriminating statement after another, blasting both the courts and his own DoJ, in a series of statements that will almostly certainly be held against him and his own Solicitor General's case to lift the current injunction on his ban.

Trump also thought it wise, for reasons few can figure out, to disparage (now, at least twice!) the Mayor of London following the attacks in Britain on Saturday. And while Trump had plenty to say about London, it should be noted he had far less to say last week after two American men were killed defending Muslim women from an anti-Muslim tirade by a self-proclaimed "patriot" on a train in Portland, Oregon.

Moreover, Trump has, so far, had absolutely nothing to say following a mass shooting rampage on Monday morning in Orlando, Florida. That attack, with a semi-automatic pistol, allegedly carried out by a white, non-Muslim American, killed five of the shooter's former co-workers, all said to have been shot in the head multiple times by the assailant who then killed himself. Some suicide attacks, it seems, are worse than others to this President and his party which continue to insist on making firearms easier to obtain, even by the mentally ill.

Then, as Trump's approval ratings continue to fall, and a plurality of Americans, according to at least one poll, support his impeachment, we're joined by progressive author and journalist John Nichols of The Nation who argues that the time to begin the effort to impeach Donald Trump is now. Nichols details his case for impeachment, from both a Constitutional and historical point of perspective, and offers just some of what he believes should be investigated during impeachment proceedings in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"Congress doesn't have to wait" for the DoJ Special Counsel to complete its own criminal investigation, Nichols tells me. "In fact, it shouldn't wait...to allow the office of the Presidency to be polluted, to be undermined, to be warped in a way that might harm the country."

"Virtually half --- and I suspect after recent events it may get higher --- of Americans now say that the President should be impeached," he argues. "I know that a lot of people would like to begin with the list of particulars of what Trump did. But the fact that there is mass popular support for impeachment, [that's] the place at which we ought to begin. A representative branch of government should respond to that. It should recognize that there are tremendous numbers, tens of millions of Americans, who believe that this guy is governing in a way so atrocious, so damaging, that action should be taken to remove him from his position."

"We ought to stop fetishizing the impeachment power and start recognizing that it is a tool of governance that was established to make government work better. Not to create a Constitutional crisis, but to address the potential of a Constitutional crisis," Nichols says.

"If Democrats are serious about politics, they have to be about accountability," he tells me. "I think when you take [impeachment] off the table, as so many Democratic leaders have suggested we should, you really disarm. You put yourself in a position where holding a President to account is left to chance, left to long term processes that lack the urgency that the American people would like to see."

So, should Dems go so far as to promise impeachment to voters if they are elected to the majority in Congress in 2018? Or does such a promise risk political blow-back making it harder for them to take majorities in the House and Senate in the first place? And, frankly, should that even matter? We discuss all of that and much more along those lines today, and also the national Democratic party's failure to adequately support their own candidates in special U.S. House elections in recent weeks, in both Kansas and Montana, and whether they've learned any lessons on that in advance of still more U.S. House special elections set for both Georgia and South Carolina later this month...

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

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Guest: Dave Johnson of People's Action/Campaign for America's Future...
By Brad Friedman on 5/1/2017 6:13pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Republicans continue to pretend we don't face a gun violence epidemic in the U.S., that human-caused climate change isn't happening and that massive tax cuts help, rather harm, the economy and the middle class. They may need to pretend harder. [Audio link to full show is posted below.]

First up today, a number of multiple victim shootings that played out across America --- from San Diego to Topeka to Dallas --- in the past 24 hours, but received very little media coverage, for some strange reason. At the same time, on Saturday, hundreds of thousands turned out across the country for the People's Climate March --- nearly 200,000 of them in sweltering 90 degree heat (in late April!) in Washington D.C. alone. The latest mass demonstration against the Trump Administration's attempts to deny science and cut funding to climate-related programs came just hours after Trump's EPA began the removal of climate change-related facts and scientific data from its website.

And, all of that happened as Donald Trump's Presidency hit its first 100 days, a period marked by, among other things, a failure to pass any of the legislative goals announced during his campaign. In hopes of distracting from that failure to date, Trump's Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (pictured above) released a hastily compiled one-page outline for what the White House describes as "The Biggest Individual And Business Tax Cut In American History."

But, as critics from the right, left and center, including my guest today, Dave Johnson, a Senior Fellow at the progressive Campaign for America's Future notes in response to Trump's proposal, bigger isn't necessarily better. In this case, the proposed cuts would actually hurt poor and middle-class Americans, Johnson explains, while defunding the very things that help boost the economy, serving as a huge gift to the very wealthy, and blowing a massive hole in the federal deficit to boot.

Johnson explains the "smokescreen of bamboozlement [and] propaganda" by Republicans for decades on these issues which, he argues, citing similar cuts and claims from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush, have never "paid for themselves" as the Trump Administration is claiming once again. "How many times have they done this and the results have not come through?," Johnson rails, describing how even the Congressional Research Service, when asked by Republicans to create a report in 2012 looking back at tax cut data all the way back to 1945, found that "cutting taxes does not boost the economy."

Moreover, he notes, "corporate profits are at the highest ever right now," making it hard to justify Trump's proposed corporate tax cuts (from 39.5% to 15%) as anything more than an economic boost to a small handful of very wealthy investors. Cutting taxes, he argues, is meant for little more than enriching the already very rich and "forc[ing] cuts in government by forcing a crisis in budgeting."

"Democracy doesn't have an advertising agency, but all of these anti-government people do," Johnson tells me, in response to my questions about how GOPers are still able to continue arguing for something that has proven time and again to be little more than a myth, albeit one that many Americans still seem to fall for. We also discuss whether or not Congressional "Tea Party" Republicans will actually approve such a huge increase in the federal deficit, or if, as with attempts at health care reform, they, not Democrats, will be the real obstacle.

Finally today, more firings and fall-out announced at the Fox 'News' Channel, in response to the myriad and systemic sexual harassment complaints against its now-former creator Roger Ailes and its now-former top star Bill O'Reilly...

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

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Guest: Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Hullabaloo...
By Brad Friedman on 4/28/2017 6:00pm PT  

On today's BradCast, at the 100 days milestone for his Presidency --- which Donald Trump recently dismissed as an "artificial barrier" --- Heather Digby Parton of Salon and the Hullabaloo blog, joins us to try to make sense of (wish us luck) the extraordinary chaos, few successes and many failures, to date, of his historically unpopular Administration. [Audio link to show follows below.]

We do so on a day that Trump watches his hopes for a health care bill fall apart once again in the U.S. House, addresses the NRA in Atlanta, suggests a "major, major confrontation" may be ahead with North Korea, and as he seems to threaten trade wars with everyone from South Korea to Canada to Saudi Arabia.

All of that, as North Korea fires off another ballistic missile test today and Trump tells Reuters he thought being President of the United States "would be easier" than his old job as a real estate hustler and reality TV personality.

Digby --- who also wrote recently about the 100-day mark --- offers her always-enlightening insight on all of the above, explains what has, so far, surprised her most about Trump's Presidency, and speaks to how the corporate media, Congressional Democrats and we, the people, are holding up in The Resistance.

Just another day of havoc and confusion for a stressed out nation (and world) fighting to survive the Trump Era.

Then, speaking of, Desi Doyen joins us with the latest Green News Report as Florida burns and the melting Arctic now appears to be accelerating the rate of sea level rise beyond previous scientific predictions...

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

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Guest: Howie Klein of 'Down With Tyranny' on surprisingly good odds for progressives in KS, GA, MT, CA; Also: Tons of breaking news today...
By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2017 6:11pm PT  

On today's BradCast: A ton of breaking (and largely distressing) news, before largely encouraging review of four upcoming U.S. House special elections that may offer a bit of an antidote to some of that distressing news, at least for Democrats and progressives. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Today's show both opens and closes with a ton of breaking news, including, for a start: Another school shooting, which appears to be a murder-suicide, in San Bernardino, CA (the same town where 14 were killed in a mass shooting in late 2015); The white supremacist Charleston church shooter is sentenced to 9 consecutive life sentences in state court after being sentenced earlier this year to execution in federal court; Stolen U.S. Supreme Court "Justice" Neil Gorsuch is sworn in, as President Trump thanks Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell for the theft; War planes take off from the very same air base said to have been bombed by Trump last Friday, and U.S. war ships head toward the Korean Peninsula for a possible confrontation with nuclear-armed North Korea; and Trump huddles with the Koch Brothers at Mar-a-lago as special elections to fill Republican U.S. House vacancies left by Administration appointees get underway in Kansas, Georgia and Montana (and in Los Angeles, where there is a Democratic vacancy).

We're joined today by the great Howie Klein, progressive champion and founder of DownWithTyranny.com for an overview of all four upcoming U.S. House races and the surprising (if still long-shot) possibilities of Democratic pickups in the three otherwise very Republican districts. Klein breaks down the likelihood for Dem victories in each district, describes the candidates who are running, and why it is that both the Republican and Democratic parties seem to have been underestimating the possibility of several of those seats "going blue" in the first federal elections of the Trump Era.

Among the upcoming U.S. House races, Klein notes that in CA-34, leading candidate Jimmy Gomez is a very progressive Dem running against another Dem who, he charges, is actually a Republican who changed his party affiliation for this race; in KS-4 (which votes on Tuesday, 4/11), Klein tells me that a week ago he'd have said the Dem candidate, James Thompson, had no chance in the deeply "red" district. But now that national GOPers are suddenly pouring panic money and other resources into the race, he thinks it's still long odds, but possible that Republican Ron Estes could face an upset in the home district of Koch Industries. In GA-6, he details, progressives have very high hopes for 30-year old Jon Ossoff who is running way ahead of a split GOP field in a "Jungle Primary" compromised of some 18 candidates in the first round of voting set for 4/18, where any candidate who gets 50%+1 could win the whole thing outright; And, finally, we review Montana's at-large U.S. Congressional race which, he says, could also be vulnerable to the populist Democratic candidate now running in a Republican state that has shown itself able elect Democrats to statewide seats in the very recent past.

Klein spares no criticism, however, for a number of Democratic organizations, like the Kansas Democratic Party which, he says, "should be ashamed of themselves" for failing to spend money on the House race. "They haven't had a candidate this strong running for that seat ever, and they haven't had an opportunity like this as long I can remember. They should be all over this, and they're not."

"These are dark, deep 'red' districts, and normally there would be no Democrats having any chance. But because of Trump's policies, because of that crackpot healthcare bill --- TrumpCare or whatever it was --- because of that, Republicans are discouraged and thinking, 'I'm not even going to go vote'. Or other Republicans are thinking, 'You know what? I'll vote for the Democrat!,'" Klein tells me. We'll soon see if he's right. But, of course, we'll also have to presume that Georgia's 15-year old, 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems weren't manipulated by (or since) a recent "massive" hack of its voter database.

And finally, as we head off air today, breaking news about the resignation and criminal booking of Alabama's Republican Governor Robert Bentley in the face of impeachment charges and...as if that's all not enough...a U.S. District Judge in Texas once again finds that state Republicans deliberately discriminated against racial minorities with their controversial Photo ID voting law...

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: The Intercept's Jon Schwarz...
By Brad Friedman on 3/6/2017 5:51pm PT  

On today's BradCast, while the U.S. media and public are obsessed by whatever Trump's relationship is or isn't with Russia and his bizarre tweets over the weekend, real policies and federal agencies --- relied upon for decades by millions of Americans --- are about to be gutted by the President and his Republican friends in the U.S. Congress. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Once again today, however, we must lead with more terrorism. And, once again, it's another alleged attack by a white man against someone --- a man of the Sikh faith, in this case --- told by the shooter, to "Go back to your own country!" While the incident, once again, has been ignored by the White House, Donald Trump found time today to sign a new Executive Order being described by critics as "Muslim Ban 2.0". While it's more narrowly tailored than his last one, which was blocked by the federal courts, the new order still provides no evidence that it will actually increase national security in any way.

Then, while Trump was unleashing his latest evidence-free Twitter tantrum over the weekend, charging that President Obama had "wire tapped" his phones at Trump Tower before leaving office, White House budget busters were sharpening their knives with huge planned increases in defense spending to be paid for by draconian slashes to thousands of jobs and billions of dollars at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

But why stop protecting the environment and health of Americans there? Our guest today, Jon Schwarz of The Intercept, joins us to explain how, while much of what Trump said in last week's address to Congress (at least some of the encouraging parts, like his promise to "promote clean air and clean water") can "safely be ignored", at least one point should not be. His comments about Medicaid, relied upon by millions of Americans, should be taken very seriously, Schwarz warns.

"Medicaid is not just healthcare for the poor," he explains. "It also pays the bills for over 60 percent of nursing home residents, and 40 percent of all national long-term care costs." With GOP control of Congress and Trump no longer promising "no cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," as he repeatedly did on the campaign trail, Schwarz decodes the President's comments from last week's speech promising to "give our state governors the resources and flexibility they need with Medicaid."

"It truly is awful what the Republicans have planned for Medicaid," Schwarz says, detailing how Trump's language now syncs up almost perfectly with House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has long called for schemes that would gut Medicaid. "The reason that they will go after it first is because the people who are the main recipients are either children, or they are over 65, or they are blind or they are disabled --- they truly are the people with the least ability to fight back. So it makes sense that that's who you want to attack first."

Schwarz explains what replacing the current federally-funded system with "block grants" to states actually means, who it will most harm, and how it will harm them. Medicaid, he says, is "not an incredibly generous program" as is. "But, it is crucial for anyone who has not made a lot of money their whole lives. People don't understand that if Medicaid is cut, old people truly will be dying in the streets. If you're a bit luckier, and you have kids with an extra room, maybe you will be dying on your kids' fold out couch."

As noted during the interview, Schwartz, a former writer for Saturday Night Live, is not particularly funny today. But Americans, particularly younger Americans, who will become the victims of these schemes while they are not paying attention --- unless Republicans can block them --- need to pay attention to what is likely about to happen, if Trump and GOP leadership get their way.

Finally, we close today with a moving word or two from MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski on the woeful and embarrassing White House reaction to Trump's bizarre weekend Tweet storm...

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Guest: APA's Dr. Vaile Wright; Also: DoJ flips on discriminatory voting law; Hate-crime epidemic continues; Americans grow fond of Obamacare...
By Brad Friedman on 2/28/2017 5:22pm PT  

I'm back on today's BradCast! (Thanks to Angie Coiro for filling in recently!) But, don't worry, there's still plenty to stress about anyway. [Audio link to full show follows below.]

First up today, as we await whatever madness will come during tonight's Presidential address to a joint session of Congress, Donald Trump's Dept. of Justice makes it official and flips its position on the case against Texas' racially discriminatory Photo ID voting restriction law.

Also, another wave of bomb threats are issued against dozens of Jewish Community Centers and schools across the country this week. And nearly a full week goes by before the White House offers any comment at all on the triple shooting in Olathe, Kansas, where the suspect is said to have shouted "Get out of my country!" before opening fire on two engineers from India --- both men in the country for years on legal work visas --- because he reportedly believed they were Iranians here illegally. Do you suppose that tragic story would have received more attention from both the U.S. media and the White House had the shooter been a Muslim man shouting "Allahu Akbar!" before opening fire in the same crowded bar?

Then, we're joined by Dr. Vaile Wright, Director of Research and Special Projects at the American Psychological Association (APA), to discuss the group's new two-part survey [PDF] finding, for the first time in their "Stress in America" study's history, a notable up-tick in stress among Americans of all political persuasions in the wake of last year's election.

Wright breaks down which demographic groups are most likely to be suffering from what is now being called "Post-Election Stress Disorder"; how Trump's rhetoric against immigrants has serious consequences ("Words absolutely matter," Wright says); how social media and mobile devices seems to be making us all more stressed, depressed and angry; and what you can do if you are among the now-majority of the nation feeling overwhelmed by the constant and disturbing barrage of troubling news.

"Some of the things that have happened, post-inauguration, have had pretty swift and real consequences," Wright explains, while detailing a long list. In the meantime, she notes, "You've got a news media that is 24/7. You've got social media that is nearly constant for those who use it, where they refresh their feed over and over again. And you get to this information overload, where basically it's hard to separate out truth from non-truth, and it just increases everybody's anxiety level." Tell me 'bout it. But it's somehow comforting, nonetheless, to have some empirical statistics to demonstrate that this nightmare is more than just our collective imagination.

Finally, we close with a bit of encouraging news, as a new poll finds some two-thirds of Americans do not want to see the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare") completely dismantled. Moreover, huge majorities in the survey now, in fact, support the landmark legislation's key provisions, even as Congressional Republicans struggle to find a plan to "repeal and replace" it, and Trump declares: "Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated!" Really, Mr. President?...

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Guest: Attorney Mark Joseph Stern of Slate...
By Brad Friedman on 2/22/2017 5:08pm PT  

On today's BradCast, as dark as yesterday's show was, today is somewhat the opposite, with a whole bunch of encouraging news from the courts and the people across these United States. [Audio link to show follows below.]

Attorney and legal journalist Mark Joseph Stern of Slate joins us to break down the full 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' potentially landmark decision upholding the state of Maryland's ban on semi-automatic "weapons of war" and the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling today on a race-based death penalty case out of Texas.

On MD's ban on military-style assault weapons, enacted by the legislature following the 2012 Sandyhook Elementary school massacre, the full court's majority ruling, including a number of Republican-appointed judges, soundly rejected the opponents argument that, as Stern says, "once enough people own a certain type of gun, the 2nd Amendment magically begins to protect it." He explains what may happen next with this case as it moves toward the Supreme Court and offers his thoughts on why GOPers and the NRA are suddenly unconcerned with their "states rights" arguments when it comes to guns.

On the SCOTUS death penalty case, granting a repreive, for now, to a Texas man on death row since 1997, Stern explains how the case underscores that "people who are sentenced to death in this country get the worst lawyers sometimes...It's really quite shocking." Incredibly enough, Chief Justice John Roberts eloquently agreed --- at least in this case.

And more encouraging news also covered today...

  • A federal court in Texas blocks the state's attempt to defund Planned Parenthood;
  • North Carolina's Democratic governor moves to withdraw the state's appeal to SCOTUS, filed by his Republican predecessor seeking to overturn a federal appeals court finding that the state's election reform law unconstitutionally discriminated against African-Americans "with surgical precision";
  • An FEC commissioner refuses to back down in the face of legal threats from Koch Brothers'' funded group after her demand to see Trump's alleged evidence of thousands of illegal votes cast in New Hampshire's 2016 Presidential election;
  • Another new poll finds Trump's approval ratings "sinking like a rock";
  • A Muslim group raises $90 thousand (so far) to help repair the desecrated Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, MO;
  • A people continue to exercise democracy, whether Republicans and Donald Trump like it or not, by showing up in huge numbers at Congress member town halls across the country...

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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: D.D. Guttenplan of The Nation | Also: Puzder out; Congress makes it easier for mentally disabled to buy guns; ICE detains a 'DREAMer'...
By Brad Friedman on 2/15/2017 6:03pm PT  

On today's BradCast: There may appear to be chaos right now at the federal level of lawmaking --- in both the Executive and Legislative branches. But that disarray may be working out just fine for Donald Trump and his supporters, as my guest today explains. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

First up, however, Senate Democrats win one for a change, as Andrew Puzder, Trump's labor-hating billionaire nominee to head the Department of Labor removes himself from contention after a number of Republicans threaten to vote against his confirmation. At the same time, however, Congress sends a bill to the President that will kill an Obama era regulation, instituted in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, that would have made it slightly more difficult for some with mental disabilities to purchase fire arms.

Then, while the "unbelievable turmoil" surrounding this insane White House right now may be alarming to many Democrats and progressives and other reality-based individuals, for Trump supporters living in their own versions of "reality", they may be hearing and seeing exactly what they had hoped from this President --- even as chaos continues to keep both critics and the non-wingnut media off balance and on edge.

D.D. Guttenplan, editor-at-large at The Nation, joins us to explain how much of the on-going chaos is being purposely deployed, not unlike a military strategy developed to avoid anti-aircraft fire during World War II. "I think it's deliberate, and I think it's working," he tells me. And while the temptation to respond to every outrage from this White House may be "satisfying, in the long run it's going to exhaust us."

He makes the case, based on his reporting in the industrial rust belt, that many Trump's supporters are quite pleased with his Administration so far, and that until Democrats begin to focus on winning back those otherwise Dem-leaning voters, they will continue to be overwhelmed by the "barrage of comments, and picked fights, and scandals, and daily assaults on whoever is most vulnerable among us."

"As long as we're being reactive, we're not prioritizing, and we need to prioritize," Guttenplan contends, before going on to detail what he believes some of those priorities need to be in order for Democrats to both win back their voters and the White House along with it.

Finally, speaking of avoiding distractions, last week, while everything else has been going on, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) arrested and detained a man who came here from Mexico with his parents illegally when he was seven years old. Despite legal work permits from the federal government's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program under Obama, no criminal record, and claims by Trump that immigrants like him would not be rounded up, he has been detained for the past week in Tacoma, Washington, according to his attorneys, in the first such case reported since the new President took office...

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Guest: Michael Slater of Project Vote on 'voter fraud' lies and fighting back; Also: Sessions confirmed as AG; Should Manchin be primaried?; And, helping Dems to NOT fall for Trump's SCOTUS bait...
By Brad Friedman on 2/9/2017 5:58pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, a story out of France today, discussed at top of show, proves that things could be much, much worse. That said, with things as bad as they are, we discuss what needs to be done to restore sanity to Congress and how to save the Supreme Court, the right to vote, the truth, and everything else that is supposed to come with "democracy". [Audio link to show is posted below.]

Among the stories covered on today's show...

• Civil rights opponent Jeff Sessions of Alabama was confirmed last night as the U.S. Attorney General largely on party lines, save for West Virginia's Democratic Senator Joe Manchin who voted for him. Should Manchin be primaried? Or is the fight for a Democratic majority as a check against Trump and the GOP more important? (I welcome your short and sweet comments on that for possible use on air! Email me, if you like: BradCast - at - BradBlog.com)

• Then, are Democrats taking the bait by taking the side of Trump's stolen Supreme Court nominee Neal Gorsuch, who claims to be "disheartened" by Trump's recent attacks against a federal judge? Answer: Yes, they are. But you can help stop that.

• Next, after new Attorney General Sessions takes office and immediately lies about violent crime statistics, what would he be willing to lie about next in order to make it harder for Democratic-leaning Americans to vote? Michael Slater, President and Executive Director of Project Vote joins us to discuss not only the "voter fraud" myths being perpetuated by Trump, but how American voters need to start working NOW on how to prevent (more) voter suppression and assure the right to vote.

While Slater tells me he believes the media are getting much better in their response to GOP "voter fraud" lies, he warns that Democrats still need a lot of help and organizations when it comes to keeping their eye on the ball. "The Democrats have never been as supportive of voting rights, and put as much energy into expanding voting rights, as we have seen the Republicans in their efforts to restrict voting rights," he notes, during our, at times, chilling, but hopefully enlightening conversation.

• Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, as news breaks that the 3-judge panel on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously rejected Trump's bid to restore his stayed Executive Order banning immigrants, travelers and refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries...

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

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

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Guest: Former senior CDC official, Dr. Mark Rosenberg...
By Brad Friedman on 2/2/2017 6:36pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: You're all "on notice"! Public pressure begins to put both Congress and the President on notice. Donald Trump puts Australia(!) and Iran on notice. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) seem to be putting themselves on notice. [Audio link to show posted below.]

Nationwide protests and phone calls to Congress seems to be working. At least a bit. We cover a number of encouraging points in that regard today, from businesses like Harley-Davidson shying away from hosting a visit by the President at their Wisconsin factory for fear of huge protests, to one Congressman killing his own bill that would have sold off millions of acres of public lands, to still-plummeting approval ratings for both Trump and his wildly unpopular Executive Orders.

But, in the meantime, Trump continues to tick off international friend and foe alike with his incompetent, make-it-up-as-you-go "foreign policy". It's distressing, if amusing, when he pisses off friends like Australia and Mexico, but it's chilling and damned dangerous when he begins saber rattling with nations like Iran, which he is now threatening with military action and new sanctions for some reason.

Then, as the Administration takes action to dismantle environmental protection by agencies like the EPA, some federal agencies, like the CDC, seem to be sabotaging themselves, rather than waiting for Trump to do so. At least it seems that with the CDC's recent cancellation of long-planned conferences on climate change and LGBT issues.

Former CDC official Dr. Mark Rosenberg, who helped found the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control before going on to eventually become President Emeritus of The Task Force for Global Health, joins me today to help us understand the culture and some of the thinking that seems to be going on amongst the CDC's leadership since the election of the new, anti-science, anti-fact President.

"They act in response to signals," Rosenberg says about the CDC, citing the Trump Administration's aggressive early steps to undermine science-based federal agencies. "Things like that don't go unnoticed. It may be that people at CDC say we're committed to helping the public but we don't want to lose our jobs."

Rosenberg, who worked at the CDC for 20 years, famously battled the gun lobby-funded Congress in the 90s, as they passed the Dickey Amendment legislation to prevent research into gun violence prevention. (My interview with Rosenberg last year, on that topic specifically, is here.)

While he explains that "most of the people at CDC are very committed to serving public health and the public good" and "work very hard to protect the nation --- whether its from Ebola, heart disease, diabetes, bird flu, or climate change," he adds that he was eventually fired "by a Director of CDC who decided that he would rather keep his job than protect the science. And I think that was a terrible turning point for CDC."

Rosenberg explains the agency's role in helping to determine the many "health effects of climate change" which, he notes, "even the politicians who are pro-business and pro-economic development need to understand. You can't respond in a rational way, or a productive way, if you don't understand the problem."

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report where, as usual, everything is awesome!...

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Plus: White nationalist Trump supporter alleged to have carried out weekend mass shooting at Quebec City mosque...
By Brad Friedman on 1/31/2017 6:05pm PT  

On today's BradCast, the fallout and chaos continues following Donald Trump's reckless Executive Order banning travel from seven majority-Muslim countries and his firing of the Acting U.S. Attorney General who refused to enforce it, after announcing that she was unconvinced the order was lawful. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

But first today, the shooter alleged to have killed six and wounded 19 others at a mosque in Quebec City over the weekend is reported to be a white nationalist (and Trump supporter). Therefore, as with deadly climate change, Trump, Republicans and the corporate media can largely ignore the entire matter...as they largely have. That's particular disturbing in light of new reporting on the FBI's awareness of white supremacists and sympathizers inside the ranks of the nation's law enforcement agencies.

Then, when Sally Yates, the Acting U.S. AG was fired shortly after announcing her act of conscience on Monday night, Trump's White House described it as an act of "betrayal" to the Department. (She is sworn to defend and protect the U.S. Constitution, not the DoJ or the White House). Shortly thereafter, the White House also removed another top official at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, but without explanation. Yates' act was one that she, herself, might have predicted during her 2015 Senate Confirmation hearings, and largely did, while being questioned by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) who now happens to be Trump's nominee for U.S. Attorney General. We play some of the remarkable exchange between Sessions and Yates on today's show, which suggests that a) Sessions should come out in support of Yates (he won't) and b) Democrats should not vote on Sessions' nomination until he answers the very same questions he put to Yates in 2015, seeking to find out if she would, correctly, defy an unlawful, unconstitutional order from a President.

The entire mess is being referred to as the "Monday Night Massacre" by some, for its obvious echoes of Richard Nixon's infamous "Saturday Night Massacre" in 1973 at the height of the Watergate Scandal. Nixon's White House Counsel John Dean, for example, predicts today that "The way the Trump Presidency is beginning, it is safe to say it will end in calamity."

Calamity is already underway across much of the nation and at a number of other federal agencies reporting turmoil and despair following the wildly unpopular President's Friday order. But Democrats appear to be finding at least a partial spine and are now boycotting a Senate committee in order to hold up votes on Trump's nominees to head up the Treasury Department (Steven Mnuchin) and Health and Human Services (Rep. Tom Price), due to alleged financial improprieties and dishonest answers given to Congress about them by both men.

In the meantime, Speaker Paul Ryan and the House GOP remain 100% all-in with Trump, as are most Senate Republicans. So, unless Democrats can figure out how to hold the line (and the public can figure out how to force Dems to do so), the nation's near and long-term future remains perilous, as Donald Trump plans announces his nomination tonight to replace Antonin Scalia on the GOP's stolen U.S. Supreme Court...

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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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