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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, June 14, 2024
The Corrupt Anti-Abortion TX-to-SCOTUS Legal Mill Pipeline: 'BradCast' 6/13/24
Guest: Salon's Amanda Marcotte; Also: Dems outperform in OH Special Election; Brad gets COVID again goddammit...
'Green News Report' 6/13/24
  w/ Brad & Desi
Heat wave coming to much of U.S., cooling systems can't keep up; Record rain from Sarasota to Spain to China; NY passes law to charge Big Oil for climate damage...
Previous GNRs: 6/11/24 - 6/6/24 - Archives...
Life With COVID
What goes around comes around. Again...
Hunter Biden's Conviction and Donald Trump's Weaponized Ignorance: 'BradCast' 6/11/24
Also: Biden rising in polls; The fall of Alex Jones' corrupt empire; Producers pull phony '2000 Mules' doc; More GOP voter fraud...
'Green News Report' 6/11/24
  w/ Brad & Desi
Big win for far-right in EU, climate action in crosshairs; NY Guv halts NYC congestion pricing; PLUS: Biden's new mileage rules save consumers money, combat climate change...
Previous GNRs: 6/6/24 - 6/4/24 - Archives...
After Trump Verdict, GOPers Suddenly Warm to Voting for Felons: 'BradCast' 6/10/24
Listeners call in with explanations; Also: U.N. Security Council approves Biden's Israel/Hamas ceasefire plan; Europe moves toward far-right in EU elections...
Sunday 'Antifa' Toons
THIS WEEK: 80 Years Later ... Fascism Returns ... How Laws Work ... Summer Forecast ... And much more to be proud terrified of in our latest weekly collection...
How SCOTUS Has Been Undermining American Democracy for 50 Years: 'BradCast' 6/6/24
Guest: Prof. Joshua Douglas; Also: Bannon's prison date; U.N. chief: Ban fossil fuel ads...
'Green News Report' 6/6/24
  w/ Brad & Desi
The hottest 12 months ever recorded; ; Heat deaths in U.S. hit a new record in 2023; World's largest solar farm now online -- in China; PLUS: The U.N. Sec.-Gen's message to the world...
Previous GNRs: 6/4/24 - 5/23/24 - Archives...
What Happens in Texas Does NOT Stay in Texas: 'BradCast' 6/5/24
Guest: Andrea Grimes warns of TX GOP's insane new party platform, as underplayed by mainstream media; Also: Election results from MT, NJ, NM, SD, IA, DC...
GOP's Absurd 'Weaponization of Justice' Hoax Continues: 'BradCast' 6/4/24
Also: Indicted Menendez to run as indie in NJ; 2020 Fake Elector plot indictments in WI; Biden will be on OH ballot after all, convicted felon Trump may not be on WA's...
'Green News Report' 6/4/24
Brutal India heat; Power outages double in U.S.; Mexico elects a climate scientist; PLUS: VT's new first-in-nation law requires Big Oil to pay up for climate damages...
GUILTY (x 34)!: NY Trump Trial Conviction Ketchup Show!: 'BradCast' 6/3/24
Guests: Salon's Heather Digby Parton, DKos' Keith Barber; Also: We're back! With more COVID! And Mexico elects first female (Jewish, climate scientist) Prez...
Sunday 'Guilty Pleasure' Toons
THIS WEEK: 34 for 45! A Special Presidential Felons Collector's Edition of the week's very best political toons!...
Sunday 'Red Flag' Toons
THIS WEEK: The Alito Stomp ... Brave, Sir Donald ... Darling Nikki ... Uncle Sam's Toast ... And more warnings in the wind of our latest weekly toons...
'Green News Report' 5/23/24
Extreme weather unleashes disasters from Iowa to Mexico; DeSantis signs 'Don't Say Climate Change' law in FL; PLUS: Study finds microplastics in human testicles...
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)
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'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 4/13/2023 10:28am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Biden EPA kicks off next phase of electric vehicle revolution, with strongest-ever emissions rules for cars and trucks; Crunch time in contentious negotiations over water cuts from the declining Colorado River; Plastics are responsible for a wide range of negative health impacts; PLUS: Massive plastics fire in Indiana forces evacuations, expected to burn for several days... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Wheat disease’s global spread concerns researchers; Judge temporarily blocks clean water rule in 24 states; Massive New Jersey Pine Barrens fire now fully contained; Record clean-power growth in 2023 to spark ‘new era’ of fossil fuel decline; US becomes first major fishing nation to ratify subsidies deal; Interior OKs massive power line key to distributing West’s renewables; Proposed plastic recycling plant could send toxic PFAS Into Susquehanna River; Rich people’s swimming pools are fueling water crises in cities, study finds... PLUS: Buy an electric vehicle now or wait? Here’s how to decide... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Also: Blue Alaska?; And labor unions rising...
By Brad Friedman on 4/11/2023 7:09pm PT  

On today's BradCast: It's almost as if Republicans want to become a failed, extinct political party. But we're gonna have to overcome a lot of authoritarian desperation first, I'm afraid. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

Among the many stories covered toward that end on today's program...

  • The 25-year old shooter who killed five and injured eight others at the Old National Bank in Louisville, Kentucky on Monday legally purchased his high-powered AR-15 assault-style rifle just one week before the massacre. Among the injured was a local rookie police officer, now said to be in critical but stable condition after being shot in the head. He had finished training just 10 days earlier. Among the dead was a longtime personal friend of the state's Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear. The man was also said to have been a close friend of Florida's Republican U.S. Senator Rick Scott. Had Scott and his party not worked so long and hard to block popular legislation that might have helped prevent the shooting --- such as restoration of the federal assault weapons ban that Republicans allowed to expire in 2004 --- his friend might still be alive. Well done, Rick! Monday's preventable tragedy was the 146th mass shooting of the year, according to the Gun Violence Archives.
  • Democratic Tennessee state Rep. Justin Jones was reinstated to his old seat just one business day after state Republican lawmakers expelled the young black Nashville legislator for taking part in a peaceful protest at the state capital calling for gun safety legislation following the mass shooting that killed three children and three adults at a Christian elementary school two weeks ago in Nashville. As part of what may be one of the greatest GOP political blunders in recent memory, support for Jones, Rep. Justin Pearson (another expelled black legislator likely to be reseated this week as well), and the state Democratic Party have all sky-rocketed both in the state and nationally.
  • The unspeakably ill-considered politicking by TN Republicans wasn't their only embarrassing failure revealed on Monday. A three-judge state court panel also put the temporary kibosh on state GOP lawmakers attempt to cut the size of the Nashville Metropolitan Council from 40 members to 20 before this year's August elections. That would be the same Council that unanimously selected Jones, by a vote of 36 to 0 on Monday, to temporarily fill the seat left vacant when Jones was expelled by Republicans last week.
  • In response to all of this, Jones has begun calling for the resignation of Republican state House Speaker Cameron Sexton who, as reporters have discovered, does not even live in the District he is supposed to represent in the wildly gerrymandered (75 to 24) state House. He represents the city of Crossville, but he and his family live in Nashville. He could (but won't be) expelled for that violation of the state Constitution. But his ability to run for reelection next year may now be challenged in court.
  • The bad politics of the Republican Party --- who oppose reproductive freedoms, gun safety legislation, health care reform, labor unions and other wildly popular issues --- was similarly on display in several elections last week, most notably the takeover of a liberal majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court for the first time in 15 years. The candidate elected by 11 points to restore a progressive majority to the high court, in the normally closely divided Badger State, ran largely on the issue of protecting the right to abortion. But on the other side of the continent, in what was once deep "red" Alaska, 6 of the 7 seats on the 11-member Anchorage Assembly on the ballot last Tuesday were won by Democrats by larger than expected margins. Could Alaska be on its way toward turning "blue" in upcoming years? There are several early signs offering reason to believe the last "red" state on the West Coast could actually flip in the years ahead, especially as the unpopular GOP becomes even more desperate to hold onto power.
  • We've also got a bunch of encouraging labor news today, including several stories we had hoped to cover until being preempted by news of Donald Trump's New York indictment mid-show two weeks ago. Among those stories was the signing by Michigan's Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer of a landmark bill repealing the state's anti-union, anti-labor, so-called "Right to Work" law. It was the first time in 60 years that such a law has been overturned by a state. And it was all thanks to state voters who, in 2018, adopted a Constitutional ballot measure requiring an independent state redistricting commission. With that, the state's fairer maps resulted in a Democratic trifecta last November, with the party winning majorities in both chambers of the state legislature while Whitmer held the Governorship. It's amazing how well democracy works for working people when it isn't corrupted.
  • Also a couple of weeks ago, Chipotle was forced to agree to pay former employees some $240,000 in Maine as part of a settlement agreement after the company was found to have violated federal labor laws by illegally closing a store in Augusta, Maine after workers there filed a National Labor Relations Board petition to vote for unionization.
  • Over the weekend, the union representing some 30,000 Los Angeles school custodians, cafeteria works, bus drivers and other student services staff voted overwhelmingly to approve a new contract with the Los Angeles Unified School District following a year of negotiation and, finally, a three-day strike last month. The new contract for workers at the nation's second largest school district includes, among other things, a 30% pay raise for workers and fully paid health care benefits expanded to teacher's assistants and after-school program employees. The workers, represented by SEIU Local 99, were supported during the brief walkout by the L.A. United Teachers union.
  • A New York region hotel union has reached an agreement with hotel owners outside of New York City to raise wages by $7.50 an hour, said to be the largest increase in the union's 100-year history. 7,000 members of the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council will enjoy the new benefits, but so will workers at non-union hotels elsewhere in the country, where owners are beginning to realize they need to raise their own rates and benefits for workers as well, if they wish to keep them.
  • Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, to call both the balls and strikes of the latest noteworthy environmental news...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Guest: Kassie Siegel of Center for Biological Diversity; Also: Ernie Canning on Friday's medical abortion ruling in TX, and a challenge to ID's outrageous restrictions on doctors' free speech...
By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2023 6:24pm PT  

We've got two guests on today's BradCast, both attorneys, with a bunch of information that you likely haven't heard elsewhere. [Audio link to full program follows below this summary.]

First up, we're joined by KASSIE SIEGEL, Director and Senior Counsel of the non-profit Center for Biological Diversity's Climate Law Institute, and Climate Director for the Center Action Fund, where she leads campaigns and litigation focused on reducing climate-warming greenhouse gases and other pollution.

Siegel joins us today to discuss the recent passage and signing of a landmark law in California, shepherded through the state legislature last month in a special session called by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. The new measure enacts first-of-its-kind provisions to finally cut the knees out from under Big Oil price gouging in the Golden State. Among other things, the law will create a state oversight board that will offer unprecedented transparency into the pricing processes of major oil companies and refineries in the state and, if necessary, impose penalties for exceeding reasonable profit margins. That, in a state where Big Oil has clocked record profits over the past year or so, even as they falsely claim their exorbitant price hikes for gasoline were due to global supply shortages.

The new law grants subpoena power to the state to, for the first time, open the books of Big Oil, an industry that has, literally, gotten away with murder for decades. Naturally, they fought tooth and nail to stop the law's passage, but state Dems overcame the pushback to adopt a measure that could become a model for other states as well as the federal government. The oversight and regulatory scheme may even pave the way for oversight and regulation of other industries like Health Care and Internet providers.

"One of the things that is so important about this new law is that it directly confronts the Big Oil playbook that we see them carrying out," Siegel explains. "Big Oil knows that its days are numbered and it is a declining industry. It is declining first here in California. But they have a plan to maximize their profits and maximize the damage they do on the way out the door. This new bill, the first of its kind in the country, is a really important part of pushing back on that, and protecting Californians from this destructive industry."

There is much more in my conversation with Siegel, including where the measure falls short and where California residents need to push Newsom to keep going farther still.

Next, we're joined by long-toiling BradBlog.com legal analyst ERNEST A. CANNING on two different abortion-related lawsuits in the news this week. One is last Friday's outrageous ruling by Trump-appointed, far-right Christian activist U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk in North Texas, nullifying the FDA's 20-year old approval of mifepristone, a drug used in the majority of the nation's abortions.

As Canning warned in a really helpful explainer on all of this back in February, Kacsmaryk was threatening to issue a ruling likely to take the drug off the market in all fifty states, even though, as the Dept. of Justice has now argued in their emergency appeal seeking a stay (as filed this afternoon), the statute of limitations has long expired for a challenge to a drug approved as safe and effective during the Clinton Administration. As Canning wrote in February, and as the DoJ argues today, the challengers actually have no standing and no injury to bring the suit in the first place, as the physicians involved neither prescribe nor use the the drug themselves.

The other case discussed is one that Canning wrote about today, detailing the challenge brought by physicians and Planned Parenthood in Idaho, challenging the state's extreme, near-total abortion ban. The state statute includes no exceptions for the life of the mother or even cases of rape or incest, though it allows someone charged with having carried out an illegal abortion in the state to try and prove those exceptions in court. Otherwise, the law mandates 2 to 5 years in prison for someone convicted of providing an abortion, and the suspension of the medical license of a provider who assists in any way.

But the federal lawsuit Canning reports on today is to none of those point. The complaint is a challenge to the state Attorney General's recent legal analysis declaring that Idaho doctors may have their licenses to practice suspended for merely "assisting" in an abortion by simply informing a patient that they may obtain a legal abortion in a different state. The plaintiffs argue that the restriction violates the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment Free Speech clause, as well as the interstate commerce clause and the 14th Amendment's right to due process.

After decades as a litigator, does Canning still have confidence that the federal judicial system, corrupted by the far-right, will still be able to the right thing in these cases, respecting the precedent of long-established caselaw and the U.S. Constitution itself? Tune in to find out...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Remarkable new reporting reveals yet more decades-long corruption and law-breaking by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; Also: 'Uncharted waters'?; And Randy Rainbow's latest...
By Brad Friedman on 4/6/2023 4:34pm PT  

New revelations of lawlessness by Clarence Thomas (and his wife), literally, never seem to end, as discussed yet again on today's BradCast, on the heels of a stunning new report today detailing years of previously-unknown lawlessness by the U.S. Supreme Court Justice. [Audio link to full show is posted below this summary.]

  • We have, been reporting on the scofflaw Thomases (both the corrupt far-right activist Justice and his corrupt, far-right activist wife "Ginni") for well over a decade now. Way back in January of 2011 The BRAD BLOG documented how he had "knowingly and willfully" violated the rule of law by failing to report his wife's annual salary of $120,000 per year from the far-right Heritage Foundation on his annual disclosure forms. The forms made clear that falsifying that section of the report, where he was supposed to list "Non-Investment Income" of his wife, was a violation of the law. He checked the box reading "NONE". Once he was eventually called out for it, after some 20 years of falsifying his annual disclosure forms, he quietly amended his filings. He was otherwise never held to account. (Documents supporting these allegations are available via the link above.)
  • Later that same year, in June, we reported on what was described at the time as "Judicial Insider Trading", after it was discovered that Ginni had quietly opened up a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization back in 2009, in the months just after her husband had heard oral argument in the infamous Citizens United v. FEC case at the Supreme Court. After hearing the case, but prior to the release of the Court's opinion in favor of Citizens United, Ginni's activist group had received more than half a million dollars that the eventual ruling in the Citizens United case, in 2010, would allow to be used for political, election-related activities without disclosure. Ginni drew a salary from those funds as well. (As we also reported at the time, Clarence had failed to recuse himself from the case, despite having received the benefit of some $100,000 in TV ads from the Citizens United group in support of his own wildly controversial and incredibly contentious Senate confirmation back in 1991.)
  • And today, some remarkable reporting at ProPublica by Joshua Kaplan, Justin Elliott and Alex Mierjeski reveals that Clarence Thomas has been the recipient of huge undisclosed gifts in the form of luxury vacations via private planes and superyachts around the world, courtesy of real estate magnate and major Republican megadonor Harlan Crow. Thomas' failure to report those trips, at least one of which would have cost at least $500,000 for just the cost of the plane and yacht alone, according to the report, is not only unethical for a member of the U.S. Supreme Court but, as experts cited in the article and elsewhere also point out, it is also unlawful.

    As Slate's legal reporter and Supreme Court expert Mark Joseph Stern tweets today about just one of the trips documented by ProPublica's stunning report, "Just to be clear here, it was a flagrant violation of federal law for Thomas to accept this wildly expensive luxury vacation without reporting it as a gift --- his conduct isn't just unseemly, it's illegal." Stern goes on to add in the same thread, "Thomas has long shown contempt for any law that applies to him."

    Yup. As we've been trying to point out, and report on, and document for years both here at The BRAD BLOG and on air. The extravagance of the gifts from Crow --- who was apparently the person who who gave $550,000 to Ginni's organization in late 2009 --- is somewhat gob-smacking, as we detail today.

    For the record, the graphic at the top of this article is a detail from a portrait by artist showing Thomas and Crow enjoying cigars at Crow's private, 105-acre lakeside resort in upstate New York where, ProPublica reports, Thomas has been a guest every summer for years, along with fellow guests from major companies and Republican think tanks who frequently file amicus briefings with the Court. The painting hangs inside of Crow's Adirondacks resort named Camp Topridge.

    Be sure to check out Kaplan, Elliott and Mierjeski full report.

  • Also today, a few trenchant thoughts, courtesy of Daily Kos contributor "Dartagnan" on the "uncharted waters" of Donald Trump's first (but unlikely last) criminal indictment this week. This one including 34 felony charges for having paid hush-money to a porn star to improve the odds of his 2016 Presidential election, along with his year's worth of cover-up checks written from the Oval Office thereafter in 2017.
  • Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, with a boatload of important initiatives being taken right now --- with very little coverage from the media --- by the Biden Administration, including boosting clean energy projects in Coal Country; investing in the U.S. manufacturing of battery-powered heavy duty trucks; cracking down on toxic mercury pollution by coal-fired power plants; and tackling the enormous job of replacing dangerous lead water pipes around the country.
  • And, finally, we close today with a much-needed, long-overdue, hilarious new tune from the inimitable musical satirist, Randy Rainbow...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 4/6/2023 9:27am PT  


Follow @GreenNewsReport...

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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Oil prices spike after OPEC+ announces surprise production cuts; Good news and bad news with CA's record snowpack; More deadly tornadoes strike Midwest; PLUS: Biden Admin boosts clean energy in Coal Country, clean manufacturing, and cracks down on toxic mercury and lead water pipes... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 'Scary' new data on the last ice age raises concerns about future sea levels; Walmart will add thousands of EV charging stations to stores by 2030; Biden Interior announces $585 million for water infrastructure projects; Montana repeals state energy policy as climate trial nears; Study: Even a small increase in pollution raises risk for dementia; Melting Antarctic ice may strangle vital ocean currents; Bangladesh needs $1.7 billion a year for green energy transition; China slowly squeezing global carmakers out of its massive markets; N.Y. governor walks back push to 'weaken' climate law after uproar... PLUS: A push to turn farm waste into fuel... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Guests: Salon's Heather Digby Parton, Pro Left Podcast's 'Driftglass'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/4/2023 5:12pm PT  

At long last. Criminal accountability for a U.S. President finally begins on today's BradCast Special Coverage. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

Donald J. Trump surrendered to law enforcement on Tuesday in downtown Manhattan. He was arrested, booked and arraigned in New York State Supreme Court on 34 counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree.

The crimes were carried out, according to a statement released by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office, "in order to conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from American voters before and after the 2016 election."

As detailed in the 16-page indictment [PDF] and 13-page statement of facts [PDF] unsealed this afternoon, the charges relate to a conspiracy by the disgraced, twice-impeached former President and others to employ a "'catch and kill' scheme to identify, purchase, and bury negative information about him and boost his electoral prospects."

In one case detailed by the prosecutors, he allegedly worked with American Media Inc. (AMI), the publishers of the National Inquirer, to pay $30,000 to a former Trump Tower doorman to quash the man's claims that Trump had a child out of wedlock. In another, Trump is said to have worked with the same company to pay $150,000 to Playboy Model Karen McDougal to silence her about a sexual relationship they had. And, in yet another scheme Trump, he had his then attorney, Michael Cohen, pay $130,000 hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels just 12 days before the 2016 election.

Trump then issued nearly a dozen checks over the following year --- 9 of them personally signed --- while serving in the Oval Office, in a scheme to keep it all quiet. He allegedly made false entries in his business records to describe the payments as fees for legal services and "took steps that mischaracterized, for tax purposes, the true nature of the reimbursements," according to the D.A.

During his arraignment before New York's Acting Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, Trump pleaded Not Guilty to all charges.

We're joined today by some of our favorite BradCast Special Coverage panelists, HEATHER DIGBY PARTON, award-winning columnist at Salon and founder of Digby's Hullabaloo blog, and "DRIFTGLASS", otherwise known as @Mr_Electrico on Twitter and as simply Bill at home in Illinois, where he has long produced The Professional Left Podcast.

All of us, long time progressive bloggers who have written and discussed the need for accountability for criminal Presidents for many years. Without it, each one --- specifically Republican Presidents --- have subsequently become more criminal than the last, from Richard Nixon through Ronald Reagan through both George Bushes until the system produced the most criminal of them all, Donald J. Trump.

Until now, our decades of calls for accountability have gone unmet. But today, for the first time, as we all seem to agree, accountability may finally be beginning to help right a system that has gone so horribly wrong in recent decades --- at unspeakable cost to both the nation and the world.

"We've seen one scandal after another of real, serious corruption on the part of these Republican leaders," notes Digby today. "If we are not able to get some accountability, some way for the system to right itself, I really worry that we are definitely goners. This is way, way too important. It's not just Stormy Daniels. It's that this guy feels he is unaccountable to the law."

"It's not just that [Trump] feels entitled," adds Driftglass. "It's also that Republican voters believe he's entitled to get away with murder. That's the scary part. There are 70 million plus Americans out there who think, 'Yeah, he's corrupt. Sure, he's done terrible things. But he should get away with it because we're Republicans, and that's our natural right.'"

Today we discuss what all of this means; some of today's charges; the special treatment received by Trump (despite the Manhattan D.A.'s website claim of "One Standard of Justice for All"); the former President's social media tantrums; the limp response to his indictment from his supporters; and what comes next in the accountability storm we are likely to see over the next several weeks and months.

Also today, Desi Doyen has our latest Green News Report, with several items of good news to end today's happier-than-usual BradCast!...

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By Desi Doyen on 4/4/2023 8:50am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Another deadly tornado outbreak ravages several states, with more twisters on the way; Melting ice in Antarctica could slow down deep ocean current by 2050; California enacts first-in-the-nation law to rein in Big Oil price gouging; U.S. clears way for nation's first commercial scale offshore wind farm; PLUS: Tiny island nation of Vanuatu gets UN to address climate justice... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): EPA approves California rules phasing out diesel trucks; On India's shore, rising salinity means daily water struggle; Saudis, other oil giants announce surprise production cuts; New rules will make many electric cars ineligible for tax credits; The data on Hurricane Ian's destructive path are horrific; Sea-level rise is double-edged sword for carbon storage; DOJ sues Norfolk Southern for alleged environmental violations in East Palestine derailment; Fears for UK butterfly numbers after die-off in 2022 heatwave... PLUS: The US leads the world in weather catastrophes. Here's why... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Pence ordered to testify; More white GOP voter fraud in FL; SCOTUS allows KS racial gerrymander; AR Repubs attack direct democracy; Mentally ill TN shooter legally purchased seven guns...
By Brad Friedman on 3/28/2023 5:13pm PT  

Ya know, if their ideas were popular, Republicans wouldn't have to work so hard to undermine democracy, would they? An example or three of that on today's BradCast.

Among today's many stories...

  • Cowardly Mike Pence's attempt to avoid testifying about Donald Trump's January 6th insurrection to Special Counsel Jack Smith's grand jury is denied by a federal judge.
  • Yet another white Republican in Florida is charged with election fraud. Yet again, he was not arrested at gunpoint on camera and hauled to jail like the people of color who Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered rounded up before last year's election, even though they had no idea they had voted unlawfully. The white Republican voter turned himself in to authorities at his own convenience.
  • Our corrupt, stolen and packed rightwing U.S. Supreme Court majority has declined to review a ruling by the state Supreme Court in Kansas which found that intentionally discriminating against minority voters was just fine, after state Republicans gerrymandered Kansas City by cutting it into two different Congressional districts in order to dilute the power of black voters.
  • In Arkansas, voters have repeatedly made clear through recent rejections of GOP ballot initiatives, that they really really oppose making it more difficult for citizens to put stuff on statewide ballot initiatives and see it adopted by voters. So now, Republicans in the state legislature, giving the finger to voters, have simply passed a new law to make it virtually impossible for Democrats to place measures on the statewide ballot. AR's new democracy-hating Republican Governor, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, happily signed the measure which, on its face, seems to blatantly violate the state's own Constitution. The League of Women Voters of Arkansas and other fans of democracy are now suing to block what the League's President accurately describes as "an attack on direct democracy."
  • The 28-year old shooter in Monday's mass shooting --- the 130th of the year so far --- reportedly purchased SEVEN weapons from five local guns shops in Nashville, Tennessee before using at least two of them to kill three 9-year olds and three adults at a private Christian elementary school. All of that while the assailant was said to have been under a doctor's care for an emotional disorder, according to the Nashville police chief. Seven guns, at least two of them semi-automatic assault weapons, and none of it triggered any red flags to authorities. Nonetheless, Republicans in Congress today, according to media reports, still lack the courage to support any new gun safety laws that might make such massacres less likely or more difficult. They are, as Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) correctly noted today, "cowards". AND PLEASE NOTE: This is not a problem with "Congress" or "lawmakers in D.C." The problem is Republicans. Period. They do not want to make it more difficult to murder people, while Democrats do. It's as simple as that. If media outlets are unable to call out Republicans, specifically, for fear of sounding "partisan", they are doing a grave disservice to their readers, viewers, listeners and country.
  • Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, with news on the weekend's massive tornado(s) in Mississippi; more flooding in California's unending storms; ongoing deadly drought in Somalia; U.N. warning of water wars; and a new global record for clean, renewable energy production...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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By Desi Doyen on 3/28/2023 9:14am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Massive tornado system bulldozes path of destruction across rural Mississippi; Floods from historic California storms inundate farmland and impact food prices; Somalia drought may have killed 43,000 last year; U.N. warns of looming water conflicts; PLUS: Renewable energy hit a new global record in 2022... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): California's ugly history of water; What to know about Philly's tap water after chemical spill; UN warns of 'very dangerous' situation at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant; Electricity Generated by Renewables Surpasses Coal for First Time in US; Thousands of pounds of PFAS chemicals have been injected into Texas wells; California lawmakers approve potential fines for gas price-gouging... PLUS: Opinion: I am haunted by what I've seen at Great Salt Lake... and much, MUCH more! ...

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By Desi Doyen on 3/23/2023 8:57am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: World's oceans hit highest temperatures ever recorded; Entire West Coast salmon fishery closed due to relentless drought; Global fresh water demand to outstrip supply by 40% as of 2030; PLUS: Biden protects public lands and waters with new national monument declarations... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

GNR's now celebrating 14 YEARS of independent green news, politics, analysis, snarky comment and connecting climate change dots over your public airwaves!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Billions of people lack access to clean drinking water: UN; Older Americans blockade banks to protest fossil fuel financing; Biden introduces new Ocean Action Plan; Armadillos are showing up farther north as the climate warms; Trump appointees interfered to weaken EPA assessment of toxic chemical; As enforcement lags, toxic coal ash keeps polluting US water; California sea otters killed by rare parasite strain; Kentucky flood waters receded months ago, but for many the crisis continues; Wildfires in northern forests broke carbon emissions records in 2021... PLUS: The dark history of using water as a weapon... and much, MUCH more! ...

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By Desi Doyen on 3/21/2023 9:03am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.N. Scientists warn the window to avoid dangerous, irreversible warming is rapidly closing; California hit with 12th major winter storm in a row; PLUS: Argentina broils under record-shattering, 'unprecedented' heat... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

GNR's now celebrating 14 YEARS of independent green news, politics, analysis, snarky comment and connecting climate change dots over your public airwaves!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Levels of carcinogenic dioxin near Ohio derailment site far above safe limit; Judge Halts Biden Administration Waters Rule in Texas, Idaho; Fossil Fuel Execs See ‘Golden Age’ for Gas, If They Can Brand It as 'Clean'; A Black Community In Arizona Battles Power Expansion Plans Again; China's Mekong Dams Turn Thai Fishing Villages Into 'Ghost Towns'; MD, VA Race to Save Dwindling Commercial Fisheries in Chesapeake Bay; Babesiosis, A Tickborne Disease, Is On The Rise In Northeast... PLUS: Big Oil Firms Touted Algae As Climate Fix. Now All Have Pulled Funding... and much, MUCH more! ...

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By Desi Doyen on 3/16/2023 9:38am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Biden EPA moves to lower levels of 'forever chemicals' in drinking water; Ohio sues Norfolk Southern over chemical train derailment disaster; PLUS: One state generates much more renewable energy than any other --- and it's not California... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

GNR's now celebrating 14 YEARS of independent green news, politics, analysis, snarky comment and connecting climate change dots over your public airwaves!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): EPA finalizes 'good neighbor' rule to cut down on harmful smog and pollution from power plants; Is common industrial chemical TCE fueling the spread of Parkinson’s Disease?; Vanuatu hit by two cyclones and twin earthquakes in two days; Floods kill 14 in Turkish earthquake-battered provinces; 'Endless, brutal heat': Argentina's late-season heatwave has 'no similarities in history'; Tribes, federal government not informed of oilsands toxic waste spill for 9 months; Blueberries have joined green beans in this year's Dirty Dozen list; Texas officials target climate science in textbooks... PLUS: Nike to drop use of kangaroo skins for its shoes in 2023... and much, MUCH more! ...

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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!

GNR's now celebrating 14 YEARS of independent green news, politics, analysis, snarky comment and connecting climate change dots over your public airwaves!
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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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...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...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Also: Computer tabulators declared losing candidates to be winners in at least two states in the November, 2022 mid-terms...
By Brad Friedman on 2/20/2023 6:22pm PT  

Yes, it's possible that two seemingly conflicting things can be true at once. On today's BradCast we report on two different cases where that is true, regarding Russia's war on Ukraine and Dominion Voting Systems' defamation case against Fox "News". [Audio link to full show is posted below this summary.]

First up today, on Presidents' Day, Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine to meet with its President Volodymyr Zelenskyy just days before the first anniversary of Russia's horrific invasion of its sovereign neighbor. It was also just days after Vice President Kamala Harris declared at the Munich Security Conference over the weekend that the U.S. believes Russia has committed "crimes against humanity" in their unlawful invasion.

In his remarks, President Biden described "a brutal and unjust war," as air raid sirens were heard during his visit to the Ukrainian capital. "One year later, Kyiv stands," said Biden after meeting with Zelenskyy at Mariinsky Palace. "And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands. The Americans stand with you, and the world stands with you." As we discuss, yes, it's possible to understand various diplomatic missteps taken by the U.S. and NATO in Eastern Europe following the fall of the Soviet Union, while still being able to hold the correct party accountable --- in this case, Russia --- for unjustifiable and continuing atrocities.

As yet another war in defense of democracy rages in Europe against a tyrannical autocracy, a decades-long champion of democracy in the U.S. and across the world is now in his final hours. On Saturday, the Carter Center in Atlanta announced that "After a series of short hospital stays," 98-year old former President Jimmy Carter has "decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention."

We share some thoughts today on the legacy of our 39th President, including some of his comments last year on the first anniversary of the Donald Trump-incited Republican attempt to overthrow the U.S. Government on January 6, 2021. "One year on, promoters of the lie that the election was stolen have taken over one political party and stoked distrust in our electoral systems," Carter wrote at New York Times. "These forces exert power and influence through relentless disinformation, which continues to turn Americans against Americans."

The "relentless disinformation" of Fox "News" has been on full display for the past several days, following last week's redacted unsealing of Dominion Voting Systems' 192-page motion [PDF] seeking summary judgment in its $1.6 billion defamation suit against the right-wing fake news outlet. As the striking filing reveals in detail, Fox hosts and executives alike knew they were broadcasting fake, evidence-free claims of election fraud by Trump and his supporters following the 2020 election. They didn't much care. Instead, they feared losing viewers and chose to put company profits above both truth and the health of American democracy.

Dominion may prevail in this case. We hope they do. Even as we have been no friend to the company or any of the other oft-failed, private computer voting and tabulation firms over the past 20 years. In fact, some of the news misreported by Fox and Trump's supporters like Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani was taken directly from some of our accurate, exclusive reporting from years ago. But, again, two seemingly conflicting things can be true at once. Fox lied about election fraud and should be held accountable for that, and Dominion and other voting system vendors have repeatedly failed in American elections.

By way of fresh evidence to support that charge, we close with details on voting system failures in both New Jersey and California in November of 2022. In both cases, the systems ended up naming candidates who actually lost to be the winners and vice versa. In Monmouth County, NJ, the ES&S voting tabulators allowed duplicate votes to be uploaded to it twice. It wasn't discovered until last month. In Alameda County, CA, the tabulators were programmed incorrectly to do the impossible math of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) elections in the Bay area. It was discovered in late December last year by a pro-RCV organization who happened to run the math on their own computers and discovered the error.

In both cases, the errors were discovered after losing candidates were certified as winners. How many places did that happen but wasn't ever discovered, because human beings rarely bother to count ballots to make sure the computers did so accurately. This is what comes of outsourcing public elections to private companies and running elections on computer systems that are virtually impossible to oversee by the American public.

Many more details --- and callers --- on all of the above on today's program!...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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