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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, April 23, 2024
'First Domino Falls' in UAW Effort to Unionize the South: 'BradCast' 4/22/24
Guest: Labor journo Steven Greenhouse; Also: House passes Ukraine aid; Prosecutors accuse Trump of 2016 'election fraud' in NY trial...
Sunday 'Popcorn Ready' Toons
THIS WEEK: Stormy outlook ... Abortion wrongs ... American values ... Earth Day ... And much more in our latest collection of the week's best political toons!...
Bad Climate News for Home, Car Owners; Good Labor News for Workers in the South: 'BradCast' 4/18/24
Also: Jury seated in NY; NV okays abortion initiative; OH Repubs block Biden from ballot...
'Green News Report' 4/18/24
  w/ Brad & Desi
Deluge in Dubai; Climate impacts to cost trillions per year; New lightbulb efficiency standards; PLUS: Biden Admin cracks down on toxic silica dust to protect workers' lungs...
Previous GNRs: 4/16/24 - 4/11/24 - Archives...
SCOTUS Suddenly Worried About Overcriminalization ... for J6 Insurrectionists: 'BradCast' 4/17/24
Guest: LawDork's Chris Geidner; Also: GOP impeachment ends; Turnout doubles in AL...
'Trump Media' Plummeting, MAGA Buyers Losing Life Savings: 'BradCast' 4/16/24
Also: Trump's ridiculous 'immunity'; 7 jurors seated in NY criminal trial; Repubs deliver impeachment to Senate; Smartmatic, OAN settle 2020 defamation suit...
'Green News Report' 4/16/24
Record ocean heat bleaching corals worldwide; EV charging roads in Indiana; Biden raising drilling, mining royalties for first time in a century; PLUS: A marine mystery in Florida...
Trump's First Criminal Trial, for Cheating in 2016, Begins in NY: 'BradCast' 4/15/24
Special coverage of an historic day with Heather Digby Parton of Salon, attorney Keith Barber of Daily Kos...
Sunday 'Party Like It's 1864' Toons
THIS WEEK: Bad politics, good toonery and at least one wake-up call, in our latest collection of the week's best toons!...
Biden Closes 'Gun Show Loophole'; Repubs Turn Desperate: 'BradCast' 4/11/24
RNC Chair says Ukraine our enemy; GA Lt. Guv faces probe; Fox hides AZ abortion ruling, Hannity blames Dems; WI Justice to retire...
'Green News Report' 4/11/24
10th hottest month ever in a row; Swiss climate inaction violates human rights; PLUS: EPA crack down on airborne chemical plant pollution, 'forever chemicals' in drinking water...
BARCODED BALLOTS AND BALLOT MARKING DEVICES
BMDs pose a new threat to democracy in all 50 states...
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...


With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 4/11/2024 10:30am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: March 2024 was the hottest March ever recorded, continuing a 10-month record hot streak; European court rules Switzerland's climate inaction violates human rights; Norfolk Southern settles East Palestine lawsuits for $600 million; PLUS: EPA cracks down on airborne pollution from chemical plants and toxic 'forever chemicals' in drinking water... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): World Bank must take 'quantum leap' to tackle climate crisis, UN expert says; Russia and Kazakhstan evacuate tens of thousands amid worst floods in decades; FirstEnergy gave secret $1 to Ohio Lt. Governor campaign in scandal; Protesters slam gas group’s use of customers’ money to thwart climate efforts; US agrees with Native American tribe that Line 5 Pipeline is trespassing; How the essential, dirty steel industry is going green; Here’s how EVs could get 200 miles per gallon... PLUS: Big Oil could face homicide charges... and much, MUCH more! ...

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COP28 in 'overtime'; Democracy rises in Poland; New U.S. House maps for NY; More good economic news; Trump at SCOTUS; Rudy defames amid defamation trial; Johnson lies about WI's fake electors...
By Brad Friedman on 12/12/2023 6:36pm PT  

If, like me, you're old enough to get the joke in today's headline, congratulations on still being alive! (If you don't remember it, here's a reminder.) But, no, we didn't forget Poland on today's chocked-with-a-surprising-amount-of-not-awful-news BradCast!

Among our stories covered today....

  • Who knew that holding a U.N. conference (COP28) on our climate catastrophe in a petrostate like the United Arab Emirates might end without an agreement --- or with a bad one --- from all 200 participating nations for the first time in the annual summit's 28 year history? Well, it ain't over until it's over, with nations now officially in "overtime" at the Conference, which was otherwise set to end last night. Will they dare mention the phrase "fossil fuels" in whatever final statement they finally unanimously agree to make? Stay tuned!
  • In what is being described as a "political earthquake", after eight years under the heavy hand of a far-right anti-immigrant, anti-media, anti-woman authoritarian party's Prime Minister and President, Poland --- with a front-row seat over the past two years to Russia's autocratic invasion of Ukraine --- elected a centrist, pro-EU Prime Minister on Monday! That is good news on a whole bunch of fronts. It became official today when Donald Tusk received a vote of confidence from parliament after a brief delay when a right-wing lawmaker used a fire-extinguisher to douse candles in a Hanukkah menorah in parliament. "This is a wonderful day," said Tusk to the Polish people on Monday night. "Not for me, but for all those who have deeply believed over these years that things will get even better, that we will chase away the darkness, that we will chase away evil. From tomorrow, we will be able to right the wrongs so that everyone, without exception, can feel at home." The news is a welcome counter-point to the recent rise of right-wing authoritarianism in nations from Argentina to The Netherlands. And, hopefully, its a good omen for 2024 in the U.S.
  • On the other hand, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had to fly all the way to the U.S. on Tuesday to, essentially, beg far-right Congressional Republicans --- who have apparently lost the plot of democracy --- to continue supporting Ukraine's efforts to hold off the imperialist invasion of his country by fascist Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
  • Speaking of Congress and democracy, very good news out of New York's high court today, which ordered a new U.S. House map for next year's 2024 Congressional elections, after the map used in 2022 resulted in a bunch of seats flipping from D to R in newly drawn districts after state Dems kinda screwed up the whole process. We explain.
  • And in more potentially good news for 2024, inflation continues to fall faster than expected, as the U.S. economy continues to show surprising resilience and little sign of the recession that many had feared when Donald Trump's Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, began raising interest rates last year to combat inflation. Inflation is almost back to normal at 3.1% over last year; gasoline is down 11% over the past two months; employers are still hiring and unemployment remains at a near record-low rate of 3.7%. But, some prices are still high at grocery stores, as is rent and the cost of a home mortgage. Economists are watching Powell closely for a read as to when the Fed may deign to finally lower interest rates next year.
  • No sooner had we gotten off air yesterday, than the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would consider an expedited petition filed on Monday by Special Counsel Jack Smith to hear Donald Trump's appeal on Presidential Immunity in his January 6 federal indictment. It doesn't necessarily mean SCOTUS will hear the full case. But it means they will consider doing so. Smith had filed the petition for cert just hours earlier, leapfrogging the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in hopes of keeping next year's scheduled March 4th trial date for Trump on track. All of which, at least for now, is encouraging news to suggest that SCOTUS may both do the right thing and do so with the alacrity that would allow the American people a verdict in the case against Trump in advance of next year's Presidential election.
  • The defamation damages trial against dirtbag former NYC Mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani --- in which he's already been found guilty of defamation --- continued into its second day on Tuesday. But not before his attorney admitted in Court on Monday (as the federal judge has already found), that Rudy's horrendous claims about two Georgia election workers in 2020 committing fraud for Joe Biden were false. And not before Giuliani then stepped out of the courtroom on Monday and repeated the same baseless claims yet again on the courthouse stairs. Today, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell scolded both Rudy and his attorney, noting that Giuliani's remarks on Monday night "could support another defamation claim" by mother and daughter plaintiffs Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss. The pair are currently seeking damages in the amount of $15.5 to $43 million in their civil lawsuit. And they will deserve every penny they receive.
  • Speaking of dirtbags, following the news last week that Wisconsin's 10 fake Trump electors had settled a civil lawsuit against them, the state's U.S. Senator Ron Johnson --- already on record as having encouraged state lawmakers to steal the Badger State's 2020 election for Trump --- described the settlement as a "travesty of justice." He insisted that Democrats had done the very same thing "repeatedly" and "in multiple states" in the past. Nonetheless, he couldn't name any state where Democrats had secretly created false slates of electors in hopes of stealing an election when pressed by CNN's Kaitlan Collins. (If Johnson was referring to what happened in Hawaii in 1960, he is wrong about that as well.)
  • Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, with both the good and bad, so far, out of the COP28 Climate Conference in Dubai, and some very good news indeed from President Biden regarding the nation's largest ever investment in high speed rail and U.S. passenger rail service.

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Huge ES&S touchscreen fail in PA county; Missing VBM ballots at OSU; Also: WI GOP advances impeachment against state Election Director; Meadows sued by own book publisher for lying about 2020 election...
By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2023 5:55pm PT  

Today was Election Day in a bunch of states across the U.S. Important contests and ballot measures were before voters in this off-year election, including in Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Mississippi, parts of California and elsewhere. And, as covered on today's BradCast, things did not go well for voters in parts of at least two of those states on Tuesday. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

  • As we reported at The BRAD BLOG earlier today in some detail, new, unverifiable touchscreen voting machines made by ES&S were reportedly flipping votes in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. This wasn't the type of "flipping" that we've seen many times in the past, where the screens on the voting system are not calibrated correctly and when one tries to select a candidate, a different one gets highlighted instead. This was quite different.

    At a number of precincts across Northampton, a largely suburban enclave outside of Philly, when voters selected either "Yes" or "No" in a statewide retention election for each of two judges (one D and one R), everything presumably worked as expected. But if voters chose "Yes" for one of the judges and "No" for the other, their votes would get reversed to the opposite selections. Making matters worse, the computer printout of those votes would be reversed, while the screen itself would show the voters' actual selections.

    Back in 2019, as we reported at the time, just after the ES&S ExpressVote XL systems --- wildly expensive computerized electronic pencils --- were first purchased for use in Northampton, there were a number of candidates who learned after the election they had received ZERO votes on them. That, of course, was not true, and the paper printouts from the systems were eventually used to discern what were believed to be the correct results of the elections. But, of course, there is no way of knowing if the printed paper records were actually accurate, whether voters bothered to verify them, or if they did so correctly even if they tried to. That's just a few of the problems with every touchscreen Ballot Marking Device (BMD) used across the country. (For example, every voter at every polling place in the entire state of Georgia is still forced to use similarly unverifiable BMD systems made by Dominion Voting Systems.)

    Shamefully, after the 2019 disaster, PA's Northampton County didn't dump the machines then and there and move to verifiable hand-marked paper ballots instead. Today, those same systems melted down for voters again. And, perhaps even more shamefully, the County officials who approved them for use in the first place were blaming everybody but themselves for it, including election officials and ES&S. Perhaps most shameful of all, one of the candidates who, in 2019, was reported to have received "zero" votes in his election at the time for Northampton County Judge, but later found that he had actually won the election, presided over what to do about today's mess. After the problems came to light, he was the Northampton County Judge who, rather than ordering a move to hand-marked provisional paper ballots, instructed election officials to continue using the machines despite the fact that they were reversing votes.

    One local outlet reporting on the mess described today's "solution" to the problem this way: "In cases where the error would pop up for the retention question, the county would flip the results during the post-election canvass." (!!!)

    As noted, this is just a mess. Much more on all of this on today's show. And, I suspect, we'll be covering it more in the days ahead. Let's hope there are no close elections either statewide or in Northampton when PA results are tabulated tonight.

  • Also today, it is being reported that, according to several nonpartisan voting rights groups, "an extraordinarily high number" of voters in the zip code of Ohio State University never received their requested absentee ballots by mail. The state held a critical election for a Constitutional measure today to protect abortion rights, as Republicans in the state, including its Sec. of State Frank LaRose, have pulled out all the stops to block the Amendment from passage (including recently purging 26,000 voters quietly from the rolls after the election had already begun.) There is also a proposal to approve recreational marijuana on Tuesday's ballot. Once again, the results, whatever they may be, better not be close, or there will be some hell to pay in the Buckeye State, I suspect.
  • In Wisconsin, Republicans appear to be working hard to ensure chaos for next year's critical Presidential election in the Badger State. State Assembly speaker Robin Vos, last week, advanced 15 articles of impeachment against the state's top election official, as part of their years long effort to blame someone --- anyone! --- for Donald Trump's 2020 loss in the battleground state.
  • And, speaking of 2020, Mark Meadows, Trump's former Chief of Staff and current co-defendant in the conspiracy case against them and 17 others for attempting to steal the Presidential election in Georgia, is being sued by his own book publisher. The publisher, All Seasons Press, claims that Meadows' reported cooperation in Special Counsel Jack Smith's federal indictment against Trump for his attempt to steal the 2020 election, contradicts Meadows claims in his book that the election was "rigged" and "stolen". ASP is now suing Meadows for millions. And it's hilarious.
  • Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, as Australia braces for another record bushfire season amid an El Nino; October 2023 is officially declared the hottest October ever recorded on the planet; Michigan enacts sweeping climate and environmental legislation; and President Biden unveils the nation's largest investment in rail travel in 50 years...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 11/7/2023 10:12am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Australia braces for El Nino to intensify already-massive bushfires this year; October 2023 was the hottest October on record; Michigan legislature enacts sweeping climate and environmental package; PLUS: President Biden unveils nation's largest investment in rail infrastructure in 50 years... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): In the Florida Everglades, a greenhouse gas emissions hotpot; The rich are buying in to build fortresses in Florida with taxpayer subsidies; As climate talks near, calls mount for a 'phaseout' of fossil fuels; How Midwest landowners helped to derail proposed CO2 pipeline; Toxic pesticides are sprayed next to thousands of schools; Cover crops help the climate and environment, but most farmers say no... PLUS: A climate change success story in Hoboken, NJ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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The Right's hilarious Anti-'Woke' Chronicles continue; Anti-abortion Trump judge making chumps of SCOTUS majority; FL now where freedom goes to die; GA grand juror says Trump revelations 'gonna be massive'...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2023 6:05pm PT  

Weird. It's almost as if Republicans say one thing but do the exact opposite or something. Especially when it comes to freedom, the First Amendment, personal responsibility, parental rights, Big Government regulations, activist judges legislating from the bench, and...well, tune in to today's BradCast for much more. [Audio link to full show follows below.]

Among the stories helping to highlight all of that today...

  • Wingnut children's book author Bethany Mandel made herself famous this week. Not in a good way...but in an hilarious way, as the GOP's silly and desperate Anti-"Woke" Chronicles continue.
  • In their ongoing Anti-Freedom Crusade, Republicans have now figured out how to gerrymander the federal judiciary. Following a four-hour hearing this week in a federal courtroom in Texas, Trump-appointed, far-right, anti-abortion activist U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk appears on the precipice of legislating from the bench to nullify the FDA by banning the abortion drug mifepristone. The medication was approved by the FDA for use more than 20 years ago and has proven to be incredibly safe and effective ever since. It is used in more than half of the abortions in the U.S. But, as Ernie Canning detailed last month, Kacsmaryk shouldn't even be hearing this unprecedented challenge. It should be tossed out entirely for numerous legal reasons that he helps explain, including lack of legal standing and statute of limitations. Nonetheless, the lawsuit filed by foes of reproductive rights comes after Sam Alito, Brett Kavanaugh and the rest of the corrupted rightwing SCOTUS majority told us just last year, when overturning Roe v. Wade, that they were doing so in order to "return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives." Kacsmaryk may be many things, including "arguably the worst judge in the United States." But he is definitely not an elected representative of the people.
  • In news of still more rightwing hypocrisy and lies this week, it turns out that Florida is not "where woke goes to die," as Gov. Ron DeSantis likes to sputter. Actually, it's where freedom, the First Amendment and parental rights, among other things, go to die. This week, the state's Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation filed to revoke the Hyatt Regency Miami's liquor license. Their crime? The venue featured the popular Drag Queen Christmas show last year, allowing entrance by those under 18 if they were accompanied by an adult to see the show featuring stars from RuPaul's Drag Race program on VH-1 and MTV. Parents in Florida now have Big Government to co-parent with them, apparently, thanks to the Presidential ambitions of their hypocritical book banning, First Amendment hating Governor.
  • CNN reports exclusively today that "At least two dozen people --- from Mar-a-Lago resort staff to members of Donald Trump’s inner circle at the Florida estate --- have been subpoenaed to testify to a federal grand jury that’s investigating the former president’s handling of classified documents." That, as part of Special Counsel's Jack Smith's federal probe.
  • The Atlanta Journal Constitution has a much more explosive exclusive today, however, as based on their interview of five members of the Special Grand Jury in Fulton County, Georgia who, after eight months investigating Trump's conspiracy to steal the 2020 election in the state, unanimously recommended criminal charges for more than a dozen people to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. There's a whole bunch of fascinating details in AJC's detailed report. But the biggest bombshell likely comes at the very end, when one of the jurors tells the paper: "A lot’s gonna come out sooner or later...And it’s gonna be massive. It's gonna be massive." 👀
  • Finally, Desi Doyen has our latest Green News Report, with some good news on "forever chemicals", some accountability for the Norfolk Southern rail company and, believe it or not, some very good news regarding renewable energy in Texas. What?! Yes, Texas!...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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MN restores voting rights for former felons; First black female House speaker seated in PA; First guilty verdict for Peters in CO; Also: Biden refunding billions to students ripped off by for-profit schools...
By Brad Friedman on 3/7/2023 6:31pm PT  

It's another one of those elections-have-consequences episodes of The BradCast. Happily, most of those consequences are good ones today! [Audio link to full story follows this summary.]

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

  • After flipping a stunning 12 seats in the Pennsylvania statehouse in last year's midterms, Democrats in the chamber now have a majority for the first time in more than a decade and have finally seated Joanna McClinton as the state's first African-American female House Speaker. The months-long roller coaster ride toward between last year's elections and McClinton becoming Speaker includes the unexpected death of a lawmaker and three special elections since last November, the surprise election of a different Speaker earlier this year, and the thinnest possible one-seat margin for Democrats in the House. We 'splain the full crazy story.
  • In Colorado, former Mesa County Clerk and aggressively gullible election fraud conspiracist, Tina Peters, has been found guilty of obstruction, after she refused a lawful warrant to turn over an iPad containing courtroom videos a judge instructed her not to take. While she could face several months in jail on that conviction, there is likely much more trouble ahead for the disgraced Republican and last year's failed GOP Sec. of State candidate. Peters faces a separate trial later this year on seven criminal felonies and three misdemeanors related to sneaking into her county's secured voting system room in the middle of the night while still serving as County Clerk, turning off the security cameras and making illicit copies of sensitive Election Management System software with two accomplices following the 2020 Presidential election. That proprietary software was subsequently leaked to the public while she was on stage at an election denier's conference in 2021. As all of this plays out, Peters --- who has become somewhat of a hero to some equally duped knuckleheads on the Right --- is hoping to become the next Chair of the Colorado Republican Party.
  • As discussed on one of our programs last week, we are now waiting to hear whether the corrupted, stolen and packed U.S. Supreme Court will allow President Biden's lawful program to forgive up to $20,000 to federal student loan borrowers making less than $125,000 in annual income. In the meantime, receiving much less news coverage is the Administration's program to refund billions to students ripped off by for-profit schools which lied about their credentials, hoaxed students into enrolling and/or who have gone out of business in recent years. The program, begun during the Obama Administration, was largely put on ice by Donald Trump's Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Following a court settlement last year against DeVos, the program has now begun refunding students, many of whom owe hundreds of thousands of dollars for their scam diplomas.
  • Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our 1,300th Green News Report! Including long overdue good news for the world's oceans; good news for solar energy in France; another train derailment in Ohio, and a legal threat to Minnesota's new law mandating 100% clean electricity by 2040...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Also: AZ Guv files bar complaint against former A.G. for 2020 fraud lies...
By Brad Friedman on 3/2/2023 6:31pm PT  

There's a reason we don't spend much time discussing the Right's phony "culture war" BS on The BradCast. Today, we talk about why. [Audio link to full show follows below.]

We go into much more detail on the program, but perhaps the biggest reason is likely that most of these so-called "culture wars" aren't any such thing. But talking about it, helps to make them appear to be such a thing. Whether it's outrage over BLM or CRT or, more lately, ESG, the GOP and FNC and all of their various corporate sponsors (mostly from the oil and gas industry), prefer spending time on ginned-up, phony nonsense to keep their readers, listeners and viewers angry, so they don't notice how the Republican Party has absolutely nothing but pain and thievery to offer them.

When the non-wingnut corporate media and Democrats jump in to respond to those ginned-up issues, sadly, the Right has succeeded in creating yet another "partisan" "culture war" out of whole cloth, in which they are able to claim there is a pitched partisan battle between "both sides". They've been mastering this scam for years, and the media and Dems have been falling for it for years as well.

One might think, for example, that the nation is bitterly divided in the "culture war" over abortion rights, one of the GOP's decades-old stand-bys. In fact, it's not much of a partisan or left/right or Republican/Democratic issue at all. The vast majority of Americans, across party lines, support reproductive freedom. And a recently released detailed survey from PRRI (of about 23,000 people in all 50 states!), demonstrates that there is not one single state in the union where a majority of the population supports the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Not one. Not even in the Deep South.

But maybe if you're furious enough about "ESG" you won't notice the Constitutional freedoms the GOP has just stolen from all of us. What's ESG? Well, the folks who watch Fox "News" almost certainly know what it is. It stands for "Environmental Social Governance." And, while the corporate concept has been around for about 20 years, Republicans, with the encouragement (and lots of money) from the fossil fuel industry, have only recently decided to become furious about it. Yup, they're hoping --- and the media are helping --- to turn it into yet another pretend "culture war".

Republican Presidential hopefuls like Florida's Ron DeSantis, Texas' Greg Abbott and former Vice President Mike Pence are all over those "woke" corporations who consider things like the health of the environment when making investments and other business decisions. As discussed today in some detail, Republicans have now decided that sort of thing must stop immediately! Failing to invest as much money as possible, including public funds, in the fossil fuel industry that is helping to wipe out humanity, will almost certainly result in grandma's retirement fund going bankrupt! Or something. And it now appears we're all gonna be dumb enough (again) to help these fake Fox "News" and fossil fuel industry outrages become a real thing.

Just this once --- hopefully, today only --- we're gonna talk about it so you understand exactly what's going on and how you're getting played...so hopefully we'll all stop falling for these scams over and over again.

Also today, a follow-up to a story we covered last week, when Kris Mayes, the new Democratic Attorney General of Arizona, released documents from her office that the previous Attorney General, Republican Mark Brnovich, appears to have forgotten to release before leaving office in January.

Among other things, the documentation reveals that Brnovich's office spent some 10,000 taxpayer-funded hours in 2021 investigating phony claims of election fraud in the state's 2020 Presidential election, assigning everyone in the office to the matter at one point. And though the probe was completed by March 2022, Brnovich never bothered to release the findings, that there was no evidence the election was stolen from Trump in Arizona, to the public. Instead of letting his state and the nation know, during his failed run for the state GOP nomination for U.S. Senate last year, Brnovich lied about the investigation. He told state lawmakers and the public that his office had found "serious vulnerabilities", even while he was ignoring his own staff's recommendations to come clean about the facts.

We covered those disturbing revelations from Mayes last week. And now, the state's new Democratic Governor, former Sec. of State Katie Hobbs, has filed a complaint against Brnovich with the state bar association. Hopefully, that complaint will result in sanctions or even disbarment for the state's corrupt, former top attorney, who was already under sanctions from the state bar association, as it turns out, when he misled the public last year about all of this.

Finally, it's Desi Doyen with our latest woke, ESG, Green News Report! Today, we focus on continuing drought conditions in California, despite the recent series of major storms and continuing, bizarre, climate change-fueled weather across much of the nation; Also, we cover the railroad industry's opposition to new regulations following outrage (phony or otherwise) over the recent toxic train derailment in Ohio...

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By Desi Doyen on 3/2/2023 10:50am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Despite series of major storms, California's historic drought continues; Railroad industry already fighting new safety regulations in wake of Ohio trail derailment disaster; PLUS: Bizarre weather continues, as parts of U.S. see earliest spring conditions on record... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): In fake culture war, House republicans vote to ban retirement plans from considering ESG investments; Here's why Arizona says it can keep growing despite historic mega-drought; DOE rule may block 50 percent of current gas stove models; Biden admin details plans for floating offshore wind; The 15-Minute City: Where urban planning meets conspiracy theories; Unseen War: Brazilian forces driving out mining gangs from indigenous lands; The world is finally cracking down on 'greenwashing' ... PLUS: Why it's time to officially get over your EV range anxiety ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Guest: Univ. of KY election law prof Joshua A. Douglas; Also: Listeners respond after yesterday's call-in show on Russia's war on Ukraine...
By Brad Friedman on 2/28/2023 6:48pm PT  

It's always darling when Republicans pretend to oppose "activist judges" who "legislate from the bench." As discussed on today's BradCast, the new Republican majority on North Carolina's Supreme Court is now showing how it's done! [Audio link to full show is posted below this summary.]

We have been warning for some months about the Moore v. Harper case recently heard at the U.S. Supreme Court. The corrupt, stolen and packed far-right Court majority's opinion could finally establish the legitimacy a once-fringe, still-ridiculous Constitutional concept called the Independent State Legislature theory. According to the theory suddenly being pushed hard by Republicans, State Legislatures --- and only State Legislatures (not Governors, Secretaries of State, State Courts, State Constitutions nor even ballot initiatives adopted by voters) --- may create election rules and laws in each state. If a SCOTUS majority agrees with this radical, previously-obscure reading of the Constitution, decades, even centuries, of American election law could be tossed out the window. The theory even holds, according to critics, that state legislatures would simply be able to choose whichever slate of Presidential electors they like, no matter who the state's voters may have chosen.

Moore v. Harper is actually a partisan gerrymandering case out of North Carolina, where its State Supreme Court last year found the new Congressional and legislative maps drawn by the NC Republican legislature to be in violation of the state's Constitution which, they determined, prohibits partisan gerrymandering. In last November's elections, however, two Republicans won their elections for the state's high court, flipping it from a 4 to 3 Dem-leaning majority to a 5 to 2 Republican court.

After the new, rightwing majority was seated last month, they decided to rehear the Moore v. Harper case despite, as the two dissenting Democratic Justices decried, the fact that doing so would be a "radical break with 205 years of history" and that "Nothing has changed since we rendered our opinion in this case" last year.

"The only thing that has changed is the political composition of the Court," wrote Justice Anita Earls. "Now, approximately one month since this shift, the Court has taken an extraordinary action: It is allowing rehearing without justification." Earls called the decision "an affront to the jurisprudence of this State and to the citizens it has sworn an oath to serve ‘impartially,’ ‘without favoritism to anyone or to the State.’"

In addition, the new rightwing state Justices in NC also decided to rehear the challenge to the GOP legislature's Photo ID voting restrictions which the 4 to 3 Democratic majority, just two months ago, struck down, after finding it to have been adopted with a discriminatory purpose to make it harder for minorities to vote, a violation of the state Constitution.

"This is essentially a brazen power grab by the new majority," our guest today, JOSHUA A. DOUGLAS, author and election law professor at the University of Kentucky explains. "To put this power grab in context," he recently wrote at Washington Monthly, "in the past 30 years, the North Carolina Supreme Court had agreed to rehear only two cases out of the 214 requests it had received. ... The court has now doubled the number of rehearing grants in just one reckless day."

"It's unusual for any court to act this quickly and this brazenly," Douglas tells me. "This really is unprecedented for the North Carolina court, but, as far as I'm aware of, courts in general." He goes on to describe the court's behavior as "dangerous", "blatantly partisan", and "politics all the way down."

"This is why it's dangerous to have elected judges with a party label," he argues. "Everyone knows what's going on here. Everyone knows that the court was 4-3 in favor of Democrats, its 5-2 in favor of Republicans now, because Republicans won two of those seats."

"This idea of precedent, that the law builds upon, is being thrown out when we just think of judges as politicians in robes, explicitly. Even if people had thought this was going on before, I think judges themselves felt a little bit cabined by this idea that they're not just politicians in robes and political activists. But that idea is now thrown out the window."

So, what does this now mean for the version of Moore v. Harper currently at the Supreme Court, where it has already been heard? Will it be mooted out by a new decision in NC or will an opinion be issued on the Independent State Legislature theory anyway? If not, Republicans will almost certainly find another case to place the wacko ISL theory before the court. But a new case, Douglas warns, would likely result in a SCOTUS opinion issued smack dab in the middle of the 2024 election cycle, potentially unleashing complete chaos in the bargain.

NEXT UP TODAY, we heard from a lot of listeners following yesterday's call-in program in which I opened up the phone lines primarily to those who disagreed with my position that the U.S. should continue to support sovereign Ukraine's self-defense against Russia, its imperialist aggressor neighbor whose brutal, unlawful invasion began just over one year ago. Democracy v. autocracy is at stake, as I argued yesterday, despite Vladimir Putin's repeated threats to unleash nuclear weapons. We had a number of callers --- sadly, presumably from the Left --- who have been wildly misinformed and disinformed by a number of media outlets that have, for years, been pushing Kremlin propaganda (sometimes knowingly, sometimes not.)

That said, after yesterday's show, I received a ton of comments --- probably 8, 9, or 10 to 1 --- in favor of my position against the bulk of our callers. To be fair, I had invited and prioritized those who disagreed with my position, in hopes of an enlightening discussion/debate on the issues. But, so as to not give the entirely wrong impression of our overall listeners, I thought it helpful to share some of the comments in response to yesterday's show --- the majority of which were supportive of my position on Ukraine --- on air today.

FINALLY, we're joined by Desi Doyen for our latest Green News Report, as "bizarro" weather continues across much of the nation now that we've broken the climate; and as Republicans amusingly begin to discover --- in light of the toxic chemical train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio which Fox "News" has instructed them to be furious about --- that hey, regulations actually protect the public against this sort of thing! Who knew?...

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...He also lied about it while running for U.S. Senate; Also: Other Trump liars and losers keep lying and losing; Biden support rising; More...
By Brad Friedman on 2/23/2023 6:50pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: It's truly remarkable that the former President's Republican supporters keep lying on his behalf, despite losing elections and more in the bargain. They continue to pay an extraordinary price, even as they continue to lie and lose in the process. They'll figure this out eventually, right? [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

Among the stories covered on today's program (after a thought or two on this weekend's coast-to-coast climate chaos, including an incredibly rare blizzard warning here in Los Angeles!)...

  • New polling finds Joe Biden's approval ratings have been quietly, but steadily rising over the past several months. Donald Trump's are hitting new lows among his own party faithful.
  • Arizona's former Republican Attorney General, Mark Brnovich, knew there was no evidence of fraud in the 2020 Presidential election, but he kept that finding a secret while lying about it during his unsuccessful run for the 2022 GOP U.S. Senate nomination. According to documents released by Kris Mayes, Arizona's new Democratic A.G., even after the failed Cyber Ninjas "audit" of the 2020 Presidential election confirmed Biden's victory over Trump in the state, Brnovich directed "all hands" in the A.G.'s office to investigate claims of election fraud. Some 10,000 taxpayer-funded hours were spent with no evidence of a stolen election to show for it. But, while the state probe was all but completed by March of 2022, Brnovich pulled a "Bill Barr" by releasing a memo falsely claiming the office had found "serious vulnerabilities", even after his own investigators specifically refuted the assertions in the memo. He ignored them.

    The actual findings of the expensive state investigation, though completed, were never released before he was replaced by Mayes in January. Despite his hard work at lying for Trump, he lost the U.S. Senate primary anyway to Blake Masters, who lied even harder for the disgraced former President. Masters then went on to lose the general election to Democrat Mark Kelly.

    As the Washington Post's exclusive notes, Brnovich and Masters were hardly the only ones who lied about 2020 fraud in AZ before then going on to lose their elections last year. GOP Sec. of State candidate Mark Finchem lost to Democrat Adrian Fontes. Finchem, previously a state Rep, repeatedly claimed a "source" had told him that 30,000 votes were stuffed into ballot boxes before admitting privately to Brnovich's investigators "he did not have any evidence of fraud and that he did not wish to take up our time." It's one thing to lie to GOP voters. They have come to expect that by now. But its unlawful to lie to state law enforcement officials, as Finchem and other officials who also clammed up before actual investigators, clearly knew.

  • AZ's GOP candidate for Governor, Kari Lake, also lied about 2020 fraud before going on to lose her 2022 race to Democrat Katie Hobbs. And Lake is still lying and losing in her challenge to last year's election. First, she lost in court in December when a state judge dismissed her demand for a new election finding "no basis justified settings aside the election results." She lost again last week at the appeals court which determined "Lake's only purported evidence...was, quite simply, sheer speculation." After her second loss, loser Lake tweeted out, along with a fundraising link: "BREAKING: I told you we would take this case all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court, and that’s exactly what we are going to do. Buckle up, America!" (Please hold your laughter until the end.)
  • Despite all of the lies and losses, the Republican National Committee is now planning to increase their lies based on false 2020 election fraud claims in advance of 2024. Why not? It's worked so well until now! In the meantime, it was reported on Wednesday that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were subpoenaed to testify before the federal grand jury investigating the January 6 insurrection and related matters. And today, a federal court judge said Trump himself can now be deposed in lawsuits filed by former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page who charge he unlawfully targeted them for retribution during the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
  • And then there is long time liar and loser Steve Bannon, one of Trump's several criminal 2016 campaign managers, who later went on to be fired as a White House political advisor. Bannon was recently sentenced to four months in prison for Contempt of Congress after refusing to testify in response to a subpoena from the House January 6 Committee. Still out of prison pending appeal, Bannon's legal problems have only gotten much worse since his conviction. New York state has indicted him for money laundering, scheming to defraud, and conspiracy. And today we learned that last week his own lawyers sued him for failure to pay nearly half a million dollars in legal fees! (Okay, now you can go ahead and laugh.)
  • Then there's longtime GOP political operative Jesse Benton, who has worked for Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell, Trump and many others over the years. He was pardoned by Trump after being found guilty of bribing an official for an endorsement of Ron Paul during the 2012 GOP Iowa Caucus. Last week, Benton was sentenced to 18 months in prison for an entirely separate felony related to accepting $100,000 from a Russian national who wanted a photo with Trump during the 2016 election.
  • Finally today, we move on to our latest Green News Report with Desi Doyen, as Republicans continue to pretend to be concerned about the toxic chemical train derailment in Ohio several weeks ago. It's all quite pathetically amusing to watch, as Trump turned the poisoned rural town of East Palestine into a 2024 campaign stop this week and Fox "News" boneheads like Brian Kilmeade actually begin to demand regulations of the rail industry! Not unlike the regulations that the Obama Administration had put in place years ago, before the Trump Administration subsequently rolled them all back.

Liars and losers gonna keep lying and losing...

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Guest: Attorney, legal columnist Keith Barber; Also: Why do Rightwingers suddenly give a damn about OH's toxic chemical train derailment?...
By Brad Friedman on 2/16/2023 6:21pm PT  

We didn't learn much. But we learned a little. And the evidence, as discussed on today's BradCast, suggests there is much more to come. [Audio link to full report follows this summary.]

On Monday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ordered the partial release of the final report by the Special Purpose Grand Jury convened by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis last year. She is probing whether or not Donald Trump and his allies unlawfully pressured Georgia officials to change the 2020 Presidential election results to declare him the winner, despite his having lost to Joe Biden by about 12,000 votes.

Today, about five pages from that report were released, including its introduction, conclusion, and one section finding that "A majority of the grand jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it."

After hearing "evidence from or involving 75 witnesses during the course" of their investigation, the 26-member panel (including three alternates) went on to recommend "the District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling." They also determined "by a unanimous vote that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election."

The portions of their report released on Thursday did not include any specific names, however, out of concern by both Willis and McBurney, of "fairness" to any potential future defendants. During the hearing on whether to release the report partially, in full, or at all, back on January 24, Willis asked McBurney to temporarily withhold the report "in the interest of justice and the rights of, not the state, but others," as she explained that charging "decisions are imminent."

Based on court documents, witness statements and other information, the Special Grand Jury, which completed its work in December, was believed to be examining phone calls made by Trump and others to Georgia officials, such as the notorious one from January 2, 2021, in which Trump was famously heard threatened the state's Secretary of State and instructed him to "find" enough votes to flip the election from Biden to himself; the state's 16 fake Republican electors who falsely declared themselves "duly elected and qualified"; false allegations of fraud presented to state lawmakers by Rudy Giuliani and others; Attempts to pressure election workers into falsely confessing to fraud; and the unlawful, secret duplication of voting system software by GOP operatives in rural Coffee County, among other things.

We're joined today for insight and analysis by KEITH BARBER, attorney and legal commentator formerly known as "KeithDB" at Daily Kos, who now writes at Medium. He explains that it was actually remarks from Judge McBurney on Monday, when ordering the partial release of the Special Grand Jury report, that leads him to believe the panel's full report recommends indictment of our disgraced former President.

"The biggest hint that it likely includes Trump is in the judge's decision ordering the release. In that decision," Barber explains, "the judge expressed special concern for the due process rights of potential defendants who did nothave an opportunity to testify before the grand jury. And, as we know, a whole lot of people testified, including Rudy Giuliani, Lindsey Graham, and many more. The one who did not have an opportunity to testify, who was never asked to, is Donald Trump."

In fact, as Washington Post observes, "At least 18 people have been notified that they are targets of the election interference investigation, according to court documents and statements from their attorneys." Giuliani has said he is one of them. The 16 fake electors were reportedly told the same. Who might the 18th be? Well, while Trump's legal team in Georgia stated that their client was never invited to testify, they refused to comment when asked if he'd been given notice by Willis that he's a target.

Another curious point we also discuss is that, despite Judge McBurney describing the full report as including "a roster of who should (or should not) be indicted, and for what, in relation to the conduct (and aftermath) of the 2020 general election in Georgia," the report's conclusion is on a page that is numbered as "9". Barber observes that a separate Special Grand Jury Report from 2012 [PDF], out of the state's DeKalb County, recommended charges for just one person. But that report was 83 pages in length. What does that mean? We discuss.

One potential explanation for the apparently short report from Fulton County, as I note, is that those that the Grand Jury recommendations for indictment may be listed in an Appendix to their report, which may come on pages numbered after the report's "conclusion" section.

We read those tea leaves and many others today, including why Willis' "imminent" charging decisions may be taking a while to become indictments. We also discuss the delightfully fascinating data point that Georgia's state Constitution bars the Governor (currently, Republican Brian Kemp) from issuing pardons. Only a state commission appointed by the Governor may do so, but only after the perpetrator in question has completed their sentence. Given that Willis may be working toward invoking the state's expansive racketeering statutes in this case --- which can add many years to state sentences when defendants are found to have participated in a conspiracy --- that could result in very long, unpardonable prison sentences for Trump, Giuliani, the fake electors (which included both GA's current Lt. Governor and the state's Republican Party chair) among others.

Also today, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report on back-to-back disasters in New Zealand; more bad news for Antarctica's melting glaciers; and the bizarre flip of a switch that seems to have happened on Fox 'News' and (naturally) among Republicans regarding the horrific toxic chemical train derailment and explosion that happened about two weeks ago in East Palestine, Ohio.

Suddenly, they care about the health of nearby residents? The lack of regulations for the rail industry? (Which Trump rolled back after new rail safety rules were enacted by Obama, by the way.) They suddenly give a damn about the EPA not acting aggressively enough? Really? Well, not really, as we discuss before finishing off today with a few wise words on all of this from Trae Crowder, the Tennessee-born political comedian known as "the liberal redneck"...

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Guest: The American Prospect's Harold Meyerson; Also: Rail worker strike looms; Noteworthy primary results from DE, RI, NH...
By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2022 6:32pm PT  

We've got a lot of news, both good and not as good, for labor on today's BradCast. Also, some results of some pretty crazy primary contests on Tuesday from the final three states to hold primary elections this year before November's critical midterms. [Audio link to full show is posted after this summary.]

First up, those primary results in Delaware, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. After a couple of races in DE and RI, we hit the most notable on the night, coming out of the Granite State, where Republican voters have elected another hard-right, conspiracy theorist and election denying loon as their nominee in a U.S. Senate race they might have been able to easily win this fall with a non-insane candidate. Instead, retired Army Brigadier General Don Bolduc --- who wants to abolish the FBI and the 17th Amendment (the direct election of U.S. Senators) and has described the state's popular, relatively moderate Republican Governor Chris Sununu as "a Chinese communist sympathizer” --- will now take on New Hampshire's incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan in November.

Two hard-right Trumpers also won the GOP nominations for the NH's two U.S. House Seats, each currently held by Democrats. We take a bit of time today to focus on Karoline Leavitt, the apparent winner of the Republican nod in the NH's 1st Congressional District, where she will fake Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas after winning her upset victory against establishment-preferred Trumper Matt Mowers. The 25-year old Leavitt (who, mark my words, will be a new GOP star whether she wins or loses), previously worked in the Trump White House and has clearly taken on the hard-right mantle and obnoxious manner of her former boss. That resulted in an extraordinarily ugly primary battle between her and fellow Trump Administration colleague Mowers for the nomination and the title of who was the Trumpiest of them all. In both the Senate and House GOP primaries, the candidates preferred (and heavily invested in) by Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy lost. Democrats are likely just fine with the results.

Then, railroad workers appear to be ready to go on strike as of 12:01am on Friday, over the horrific working conditions they have been required to endure for years. We detail some of those terrible conditions in advance of what could be a wildly disruptive and expensive work stoppage in advance of the midterm elections, with some 57,000 workers now set to strike barring a breakthrough.

Next, we're joined for some significantly more positive labor news today by The American Prospect's longtime Editor-at-Large, HAROLD MEYERSON to discuss what he describes as a "groundbreaking" new labor law in California to improve the wages and working conditions of some 550,000 fast-food workers in the state. The measure was signed last week, on Labor Day, by the state's Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom.

In addition to setting a $22/hour minimum wage for the state's half-million fast-food workers (adjusted annually to keep up with the consumer price index), AB 257 also mandates the creation of a 10-person Council to oversee working conditions in the sector statewide. The Council, as Meyerson reported recently at The Prospect, would include "two representatives of franchise owners, two from the corporate chains, two fast-food workers, two fast-food 'advocates' (likely SEIU), and two who are the governor’s appointees to head labor-related state agencies."

"It's been really groundbreaking," Meyers explains today, "There's been nothing like it, really, in American history. It sets up what's called sectoral bargaining, in which representatives of workers in an entire industry sit down with representatives of management in the industry, and in this case, with a couple of state officials, as well. And they set standards for the industry...to craft wage and benefit and workplace safety and other standards for every worker in a chain fast-food outlet in California that has at least 100 outlets nationwide. So McDonalds, Jack in the Box, Starbucks, you name it."

That is a huge victory for labor groups like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and is likely to bring positive change for workers faster than otherwise unionizing hundreds of Taco Bell shops, one at a time.

Along with a helpful dose of American Labor history, Meyerson details how "sectoral bargaining is actually fairly common in Western Europe [where] it evolved on top of a much higher level of unionization of their workers than we have here in the United States." For now, however, as the SEIU has been fighting for a decade to unionize fast-food shops and establish a $15 minimum wage for their workers, the CA state effort is indeed both progressive and ground-breaking.

Of course, that means that an effort is already under way by the franchise industry and other wealthy business interests to shut the whole thing down. If the anti-worker forces in the state can collect enough signatures in the next several months, they can prevent the measure from going into full effect until voters decide on it via a 2024 ballot initiative. Otherwise, as Meyerson explains, "the law goes into effect. They can always then put an initiative on the ballot [in 2024 anyway], but at that point they would effectively be demanding a wage cut for half a million workers and their families."

All of this comes as a new Gallup survey found that, as of Labor Day, support for unions was at 71% among Americans, a nearly 60-year high. That, paradoxically, as just 6% of workers are currently in private unions. Yet, approval for labor unions hasn't been this high since 1965. Interestingly, when Gallup began their annual survey in 1936, amid the Great Depression, approval for labor unions was only one point higher, at 72%.

Lots to digest, I suspect, on today's BradCast. Buckle up...

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