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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, May 18, 2024
FEC Repubs Vote to Allow Campaign Donor Anonymity: 'BradCast' 5/16/24
Guest: Public Citizen's Craig Holman; Also: Two (generally) encouraging SCOTUS rulings on CFPB funding and a second Black-majority U.S. House district in Louisiana...
'Green News Report' 5/16/24
  w/ Brad & Desi
Canadian wildfires expand; Climate change exacerbated extreme heat in Asia; Broadcast media ignored Trump's billion dollar Big Oil quid pro quo; Plus: Biden v. China on EVs...
Previous GNRs: 5/14/24 - 5/9/24 - Archives...
Trump Trial Ketchup: Cohen, a 'Smoking Gun', and 'The Cult of Trump': 'BradCast' 5/15/24
Guests: Heather Digby Parton of Salon, attorney Keith Barber of Daily Kos; Also: MD, NE, WV primary results; Biden, Trump agree to early debates...
LAPD Right-Wing Bias in Violent Response to UCLA Protest Was No Surprise
U.S. law enforcement has long sided with the right against peaceful anti-war, environmental, racial and economic injustice protesters...
Could Ohio Repubs REALLY Keep Biden Off the Ballot?!: 'BradCast' 5/14/24
Also: GOP dirty tricks in WA; More GOP voter suppression in GA; Brighter news from WI and on the slow painful death of 'stare decisis'...
'Green News Report' 5/14/24
  w/ Brad & Desi
Canada's fire season erupts, as smoke chokes U.S. Upper Midwest; Record-breaking increase in global CO2 levels; PLUS: MI is newest state to sue Big Oil for climate damages...
Previous GNRs: 5/9/24 - 5/7/24 - Archives...
Recount in Tied U.S. House Primary Highlights Probs in CA Law: 'BradCast' 5/13/24
Guest: Dr. John Maa; Also: Bannon denied; Giuliani fired; Menendez trial begins; Cohen takes stand in Trump's NY criminal trial...
Sunday 'Stormy Weather Continues' Toons
THIS WEEK: Cannon Fire ... Catch and Kill ... Parasites ... Protesting Too Much ... and more, in our latest collection of the week's most turbulent toons...
Facing Down the Threat to American Democracy: 'BradCast' 5/9/24
A veteran reporter speaks out; DHS marshals defenses; Lara lies about ballots; Johnson lies about 'illegals' voting; Also: MTG's spectacular fail; Stormy wins the day; Biden cuts off Israel...
'Green News Report' 5/9/24
  w/ Brad & Desi
Tornado outbreaks across U.S.; FL Repubs ban 'climate change'; House Repubs' latest salvo in 'War on Woke Appliances'; PLUS: US culture shift in portrayal of climate reality...
Previous GNRs: 5/7/24 - 5/2/24 - Archives...
Trump Trial Ketchup:
Stormy Takes the Stand: 'BradCast' 5/8/24
Guests: Heather Digby Parton of Salon, attorney Keith Barber of Daily Kos; Also: 'Warning signs' from IN primary results; Blankenship's run in WV...
New Cybersecurity Breach in Coffee County, GA: 'BradCast' 5/7/24
Guest: Election integrity expert Marilyn Marks; Also: Stormy takes the stand in NY; GA's Republican former Lt. Gov. endorses Biden...
'Green News Report' 5/7/24
Relentless rain, flooding in Houston and Brazil; April 2024 was hottest on record; PLUS: Biden unveils billions for rural clean energy, replacing toxic lead water pipes...
2024 Electoral -- and Climate -- Omens: 'BradCast' 5/6/24
From Britain to Panama to Brazil to Houston; Also: Latest in Israel's war on Gaza and in Trump's NY criminal trial...
Sunday 'Self Reflecting' Toons
THIS WEEK: Champions of 'free speech' ... 'Captain Fascism' ... Kristi 'Dog Gone' Noem... and more, in our latest collection of the week's best political toons...
'Green News Report' 5/2/24
Extreme heat, storms grip Asia; Big brands and Big Plastic; Plastic pollution treaty talks end; PLUS: Congress finds Big Oil still trying to deceive the public...
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 10/3/2023 10:15am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: New York City floods again after third 100-year storm in two years; From Minneapolis to Mexico, bizarre extreme heatwaves set new September records; Home insurance bubble could burst as climate disasters strain insurance markets; PLUS: Norway almost 100% EVs... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): In Michigan, not-so-sunny prospects for solar farms; More than 100 dolphins dead in Amazon as water hits 102 degrees Fahrenheit; There’s a lesson to take from China’s abandoned electric cars; Gas Furnaces Face 95% Efficiency Standard With Final DOE Rule; UAE's Jaber says oil, industrial firms to commit to decarbonization at COP28... PLUS: Truck stops upgrade to recharge electric vehicles and their drivers... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/26/2023 10:30am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: New Orleans declares emergency over saltwater intrusion in drinking water; Fracking operations are "devouring America's groundwater" amid persistent drought; PLUS: Republicans' government shutdown will suspend critical operations like FEMA disaster recovery... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Facing 'horrific' sea level rise, Tuvalu crafts climate survival plan; Thousands of federal firefighters face a looming pay cut. How much is up to Congress; Exxon weighs chemicals output boost as EVs threaten gasoline use; Follow the Money: Why is an Arab oil man running international climate conference?; Heat-related deaths in 2022 hit highest level on record in England... PLUS: Time to Evolve: Dad goes viral on replacing gas stove... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/21/2023 10:26am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: World nations grapple with climate change at U.N. General Assembly; DeSantis vows to unleash fossil fuels, while downplaying climate change; Conservative U.K. Prime Minister weakens Britain's climate policies; PLUS: President Biden launches first-ever American Climate Corps... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): At a summit on climate ambition, the U.S. and China end up on the B list; U.N. High Seas Treaty moves closer to reality with first signatures; Revealed: Almost everyone in Europe is breathing toxic air; Climate risks place 39 million U.S. homes at risk pf losing their insurance; Climate change made Libya's deadly rainfall up to 50 times more likely; Road hazard: Evidence mounts on toxic pollution from tires... PLUS: "X" (Twitter) ranks last on climate change misinformation scorecard... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/19/2023 10:21am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: California sues Big Oil over climate damages; Another investigation shows Big Oil execs plotted to deceive the public, discredit climate science, and delay action; PLUS: Mass protesters demand the end of the fossil fuel era as Climate Week and UN General Assembly get underway... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): New study debunks anti-heat pump propaganda; Ohio to become manufacturing hub for electric flying taxis; Pepsi Tesla semi-truck proves long-range battery capability in real-world test; Biden to target industrial pollution in a 2nd Term, if he gets one; States are criminalizing climate/environmental protests; Dire warnings about Libya dams went unheeded; How a national macro-grid could accelerate the movement to electrify everything; Ohio injection wells suspended over 'imminent danger’ to drinking water'... PLUS: A summer light show dims: why are fireflies disappearing?... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/13/2023 9:38pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Monumental humanitarian crisis in Libya after catastrophic extreme flooding; U.S. hits new record for billion-dollar weather disasters in a single year; PLUS: Texas heat and drought is causing damage to local water systems... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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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): Earth 'well outside safe operating space for humanity', scientists find; CA lawmakers pass groundbreaking greenhouse emissions disclosure bill; New York could require flood disclosures in home sales; Study: lead exposure killed more than 5 million people in just one year; World’s biggest carbon capture plant being built in Texas; For a pittance, miners can work public land. There’s a push to make them pay.... PLUS: Development in Washington State is crowding out cougars... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/12/2023 9:57am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: First Greece, now catastrophic Libya floods cause widespread death and devastation; First-ever Africa Climate Summit issues call for global carbon tax on fossil fuels; U.N. report warns world is way off track to curb global warming; PLUS: Climate protesters interrupt U.S. Open Tennis Championship... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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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): U.S. hits new record for number of billion-dollar weather disasters in a single year; Experts warn of 'denialism comeback' ahead of November’s climate talks; Trump border wall caused major cultural and environmental harm; Heat brings Texas grid closest it has been to outages since 2021 Winter; FEMA announces $3 billion for climate resiliency as time runs low for Congress to replenish its disaster fund; Congress enters pivotal week on spending... PLUS: Conspiracy theories falsely link wildfires to 'smart cities'... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/7/2023 10:01am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: 2023 was the hottest summer ever recorded; Extreme storms trigger deadly floods in Brazil and Greece; PLUS: Biden Administration moves to block oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, again... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Beast from the East: Hurricane Watchers Keeping Close Eye on Rapidly Intensifying Lee; Why Extreme Heat Is So Dangerous For Those With Schizophrenia; States Withhold Cooling Aid For The Poor As Heat Gets Deadlier; A Colorado City Has Been Battling for Decades to Use Its Own Water; 61 Indicted In Georgia On RICO Charges Connected To ‘Stop Cop City’ Movement... PLUS: Alaskan Fishers Fear Bleak Season As Crab Numbers Dwindle In Warming Waters... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/5/2023 9:39am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: 2024 GOP Presidential campaign kicks off with more climate denial, more delay; President Biden calls on Congress to act after a summer of climate disasters; PLUS: Nevada's Burning Man festival becomes latest victim of climate extremes... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): The Summer From Hell was just a warning; Home insurers cut natural disasters from policies as climate risks grow; 5 things to know as halftime of the 2023 hurricane season approaches; Shuttered EPA prove could have brought 'meaningful reform' in Cancer Alley; Green groups are divided over plan to increase the nation's hydro-electric power; Rags Not Riches: Ghana drowns in Western castoffs; Global fossil fuel subsidies reached $7 Trillion in 2022, an all-time high... PLUS: The Never-Ending Nightmare of Ukraine’s Dam Disaster... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 8/15/2023 10:40am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Maui Fires now the deadliest U.S. wildfires in 100 years; Europe's drought deepens, impacting agriculture, shipping, and tourism revenue; NOAA revises hurricane forecast upwards; PLUS: Montana judge sides with young activists in landmark, first-of-its-kind climate victory... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): "This is the Climate Crisis": Why disasters are becoming deadlier; Drought in the tropics: Hawaii wildfires highlight worsening trends; Wildfires are exploding in unexpected places due to climate change; Mishmash of how U.S. heat deaths are counted complicates safety efforts; Mosquito season has gotten a month longer in some places; Appeals court rejects latest challenge to Mountain Valley Pipeline; The clean energy future is arriving faster than you think; Survival of Objiwe tribe's wild rice threatened by climate change... PLUS: Why you should wear reef-safe sunscreen, even if you’re not snorkeling... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 8/3/2023 10:29am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Man-made climate change made record hot July three times more likely, new study finds; Extreme heat is extremely costly for small businesses; Record high temps ironically force oil refineries to curtail production; PLUS: America's first new nuclear reactor in years finally starts operations in Georgia...with higher cost for ratepayers... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Former DOJ Environment Chief Described As Co-Conspirator in Indictment; For Florida Keys coral, climate change is the difference between life and death; Underground Climate Change Poses A Risk To A City’s Infrastructure; Experts call for above-average hurricane season with peak weeks ahead; 6 Months After E. Palestine Derailment, Congress Is Deadlocked On Safety; California’s Joshua Trees Are Burning Up, May Be Impossible To Replace... PLUS: Why sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere can’t undo all the effects of climate change... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Six co-conspirators cited, but still unnamed, in charges handed up by federal grand jury in Special Counsel Jack Smith's Jan. 6-related probe; Also: NJ Lt. Gov. Oliver dies suddenly; OH's critical Aug. 8 election...
By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2023 6:23pm PT  

Literally minutes before today's BradCast, news broke that the grand jury in D.C. hearing Special Counsel Jack Smith conspiracy case against Donald J. Trump regarding his many failed attempts to steal 2020 Presidential election had handed up a four-count federal indictment against Donald J. Trump. Seconds before airtime, Smith offered a brief statement on the new indictment. We cover both today...on the fly...

As Smith announced (we share his brief remarks in full), Trump was indicted on four federal felonies...

Count 1: Conspiracy to Defraud the United States [18 USC 371]
Count 2: Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding [18 USC 1512(k)]
Count 3: Obstruction of, and Attempt to Obstruct, an Official Proceeding [18 USC 1512(c)(2)]
Count 4: Conspiracy Against Rights [specifically, the right to vote and to have one's vote counted, 18 USC 241]

Six of Defendant Trump's alleged co-conspirators are briefly described in the 45-page indictment [PDF], though not named within it. The co-conspirators appear to be uncharged at this time. Most of their names were pretty simple to identify based on their description in the indictment (see pages 3 and 4). According to Washington Post, which names 5 of the 6 of them, it appears we got them pretty much correct as we read through the early portion of the charges on today's show. WaPo identifies them as...

Co-Conspirator 1: Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani
Co-Conspirator 2: Trump attorney John Eastman
Co-Conspirator 3: Trump attorney Sidney Powell
Co-Conspirator 4: DoJ Asst. Attorney General Jeffrey Clark
Co-Conspirator 5: Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro
Co-Conspirator 6: A still unidentified "political consultant" whose description matches several potential different Trump henchmen.

Looks like we were correct, at least, on Co-Conspirators 1 through 4. Emptywheel's Marcy Wheeler agrees WaPo's ID of Chesebro as number 5 is "sound". He is described in the indictment as "an attorney who assisted in devising and attempting to implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding". We speculate on the show that Co-Conspirator 6 could be Trump's 2020 campaign Director of Election Day Operations Michael Roman, but that's just an on-the-fly guess.

The most central aspect of the charges, at least to my eyes, is that Donald Trump not only attempted to steal the election by lying about it, using dozens of fraudulent claims for months after the November election, but knew that he was lying about every aspect of it.

"The Defendant lost the 2020 presidential election," the indictment reads in its first paragraph...

Despite having lost, the Defendant was determined to remain in power. So for more than two months following election day on November 3, 2020, the Defendant spread lies that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the election and that he had actually won. These claims were false, and the Defendant knew that they were false. But the Defendant repeated and widely disseminated them anyway --- to make his knowingly false claims appear legitimate, create an intense national atmosphere of mistrust and anger, and erode public faith in the administration of the election.

He lost. He knew it, because he was told by his closest advisors and all the top state and federal officials with whom he conferred. And, yet, he fraudulently claimed otherwise in hopes of defrauding the American people and stealing a Presidential election. He is finally be charged for all of the above.

It's all spelled out, quite readably, in the indictment [PDF] which Smith, in his brief remarks, encouraged "everyone" to "read in full".

We will, no doubt, have more on all of this in the days ahead. In the remaining time on today's show, as salvaged somewhat from our previous planned program...

  • The sudden death of New Jersey's Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, the first statewide black official in the Garden State and a central character in my 2011 blockbuster exclusive on then Gov. Chris Christie's secret address to the Koch Brothers secret political gathering that year in Vale, CO.
  • The critical election next Tuesday, August 8, in Ohio, where corrupt, authoritarian Republicans have suddenly called a special election to try and adopt a constitutional amendment that would require 60% approval by voters for all future constitutional amendments placed on the ballot. This measure, however, would still need only 50% to be adopted. The scheme is meant to undermine a citizen's ballot initiative planned for this November that would write protections for reproductive freedoms into the Buckeye State constitution.
  • Finally, Desi Doyen has our latest Green News Report with news on the hottest month ever recorded in human history (July 2023); President Biden's new federal heat protections for workers; Canada's first steps toward ending subsidies for the fossil fuel industry; and the landmark banning of natural gas hook-ups in new construction by a major state in Australia...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 8/1/2023 10:53am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: July 2023 is the hottest month in all of recorded history; President Biden enacts new heat protections for workers; Canada takes first steps to eliminate taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuels; PLUS: An Australian state bans natural gas in new homes and buildings... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Climate anomalies are emerging around the globe; Turns out paving over everything makes heat waves worse; America’s first new nuclear reactor in years starts operations after massive cost overruns; Scorching summer heat curtailing operations at oil refineries; Republicans threaten to derail Biden NEPA permitting reform talks; Zero oil companies bid in BLM’s Nevada lease sale; Big Business lobbies against heat protections for workers as US boils; Fungal disease spreading fast in U.S - hotter climate could be to blame ... PLUS: Alaska’s newest gold rush: Seaweed... and much, MUCH more! ...

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By Desi Doyen on 7/27/2023 11:00am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Extreme heat waves in U.S. and Europe virtually impossible without human-caused climate change, new study finds; Extreme heat plus pollution doubles the risk of fatal heart attacks; Arizona's iconic cacti dying from heat; Florida waters may have set new all-time global heat record; PLUS: Major U.S. automakers unite to build expansive national EV fast-charging network... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): This could be the hottest July in the last 120,000 years; State of the climate: 2023 now likely hottest year on record after extreme summer; Biden announced new steps to provide relief from extreme heat across the US; Where the most US residents bake because of concrete and lack of trees; Ominous sign for COP28: G20 again shunned deal to phase down fossil fuels; Canada releases framework to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies; UPS drivers threaten to strike. Climate change is one reason; 6 days after fuel spill reported, most in Tennessee city still can’t drink the tap water... PLUS: 'Battle plan': How the far right would dismantle climate programs... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Guest: Thomas Frank of E&E News; Also: Globe continues to swelter; GOP's climate change 'solution'; Trump loses again in federal court...
By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2023 6:46pm PT  

Just last week, amid record temperatures, massive flooding and the choking smoke across a dozen states from hundreds of wildfires, U.S. House "Freedom Caucus" Chair Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), partying like it's 1999, declared during a Congressional hearing that climate change is "a problem that doesn't exist." Today's BradCast, demonstrable scientific facts, and the insurance industry running for the exits from Ron DeSantis' Florida, all beg to differ. [Audio link to full show follows below this summary.]

First up, it was another humiliating loss for the disgraced former President in court today, as a federal judge soundly rejected Donald Trump's effort to move Alvin Bragg's 34 felony count indictment in New York from state to federal court. The judge found in his order that, "Hush money paid to an adult film star is not related to a President’s official acts. It does not reflect in any way the color of the President’s official duties." Thus, the criminal case against Trump will remain in state court and Trump will not be allowed to have the Dept. of Justice substituted as defendant instead of him. He will have to answer for his own acts of fraud in paying out nearly half a million dollars --- while serving in the White House --- in hopes of covering up his payoffs to a porn star to help him win the 2016 election.

Beyond that, no more Trump news for today! (You're welcome!) Though we've got a lot of consequences from our worsening climate crisis which may or may not be more welcome.

A few House Republicans, of late, are pretending they are not climate crisis deniers anymore. Their plan: Hugely increase the production of the fossil fuels that are responsible for global heating, but plant a whole bunch of trees --- a trillion of them, in fact (which would require a space as large as the continental U.S.) --- to make balance it all out. Or something. The ridiculous plan, of course, wouldn't even come close to working. We discuss.

Then, after a quick spin around the nation and globe today, through hundreds of shattered heat records and sweltering cities and tourist attractions throughout Europe and the U.S. over the past several weeks (with no end in sight), we land back in Florida, where the insurance industry continues to head for the doors. Last week it was Farmers. This week, AAA. There are no climate denialists, as it turns out, in the insurance actuarial business.

Premiums for homeowners insurance have risen about 7% over the past year nationwide, on average. But they have spiked some 40% in Ron DeSantis' Florida as ocean temps in the south of the state reach bathwater temps of over 90 degrees. All a recipe for hurricane disaster as this year's storm season is barely underway.

We're joined today by Pulitzer Prize finalist THOMAS FRANK, climate impacts reporter for E&E News, where he focuses on disasters, disaster recovery and federal efforts by FEMA and other federal agencies to serve as a backstop to the growing number of billion dollar disasters across the nation.

We spoke with Frank last year, just after Hurricane Ian devastated parts of Florida, including parts inland where few even bother to buy flood insurance. Even if they want to now, it's nearly impossible for many to afford it.

"The recent news involving Farmers, one of the nation's largest insurance companies, and AAA, is the opposite of what the Governor and the State Legislature envisioned happening when they had a special session back in December and enacted a couple of laws aimed at bringing insurers back. Those are very bad signals," Frank explains, detailing why the state's insurance market continues to collapse, along with fears that the housing market itself may not be far behind.

But the DeSantis denial continues. Last week, the Florida Governor and 2024 GOP hopeful invoked what one media wag describes as his "wish upon a star" strategy. DeSantis claimed insurance companies would soon return to the state. "I think they're gonna wait through this hurricane season," he told rightwing radio host Howie Carr, before adding, "Knock on wood we won't have a big storm this summer."

It's not only Florida, of course, though it is a canary in the national coal mine. The climate crisis --- created by the burning of fossil fuels --- is flashing bright red warning signs everywhere at this point, even as the fossil fuel industry and mostly Republican politicians they have bought off, continue to shamefully ignore, obfuscate and lie about it as long as they can.

"The phrase you use, 'canary in the coal mine' is completely appropriate," Frank tells me. Florida, he says, is "a canary in the coal mine for hurricane-prone states. California is the canary in the coal mine for wildfire-prone states. People in Colorado, Oregon and Washington should be watching California. It's a similar scenario unfolding there."

"What you're starting to see happen is the insurance industry is becoming aware of climate risks, and they're starting to incorporate that into their prices. If someone has to pay $7,000 for their home on the coast of Florida, maybe that is what they should pay," he argues. "The reality is that the insurance industry --- I know a lot of people hate it --- but one thing it does very well is it prices risk. That's all it does. When the insurance industry starts increasing your premiums, they're not doing it because they just want to scam you, they're doing it because that's what their actuaries and algorithms think the risk is to your home."

"You see that happening in a lot of states," says Frank, recent adjustments to premium pricing in parts of Colorado. "You are building in a wildfire zone. Colorado had a couple of very bad wildfires in the past year. So insurers start raising their rates, they start leaving the state, cancelling policies, non-renewing policies. It's happening in more and more states. It's a trend that is not going to be reversed."

Sounds like a very real problem. Then again, we could just start planting a lot of trees, knock on wood, and hope for the best...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Actors on strike; Contraceptives for sale; GOP megadonors blown off; New U.S. House maps for NY; Free tuition at UNC; Biden's new student loan repayment plan; And much more...
By Brad Friedman on 7/13/2023 6:30pm PT  

We not only cover a whole bunch of news stories on today's BradCast, we also explain what they mean and why they matter. As always, we want you to not only know what happened, but understand why it did and what can be done about it, so you can pass that important information on to others. [Audio link to full program follows this summary.]

Among the many stories both reported and explained on today's program...

  • Film and TV actors of SAG-AFTRA join the Writers Guild of America (WGA) in going on strike against producers in hopes of proper payment and residuals for streaming services and AI usage, among other appropriate demands.
  • We take another quick spin through my new favorite website --- FoxWeather.com --- where they report on all of the catastrophic effects of climate change now devastating much of the planet, but because Fox hates its duped readers and viewers so much, they never even once explain why all of these disasters are now happening. (Hint for Fox "News" dupes, if I'm lucky enough that you stopped by: It's the climate change, stupid, as caused by the burning of fossil fuels.)
  • The Biden FDA approves the first ever over-the-counter birth control pill. Happily, this should be bring the abortion rate way down. So, rightwingers will be delighted with this news, right?
  • Dumb GOP megadonors in Illinois lose their ill-considered fight to prevent the use of clean, electric leaf blowers on their 22-acre estate. But it's a win for their neighbors and for the rest of us. (And even for them, whether they too dumb to know it or not!)
  • A state court orders New York to redraw U.S. House maps before the 2024 elections. That alone could end up flipping the House back to Democratic control next year, after the GOP flipped four NY seats from "blue" to "red" last year, after the state court blocked an attempted Democratic gerrymander. It's complicated.
  • Great news for North Carolina residents! After Republicans on the corrupted U.S. Supreme Court recently blocked Affirmative Action for college admissions at the University of North Carolina (and everywhere else in the bargain), the school has announced it will be offering FREE tuition to many in-state students "as part of their continued effort to boost diversity".
  • Late last month, the corrupt rightwing SCOTUS majority used their recently invented-from-whole-cloth "Major Questions Doctrine" to block the Biden Administration from using the specific text of the federal HEROES Act to forgive up to $20,000 in student loans to borrowers. The President has announced a new plan to use a different law to accomplish even broader forgiveness, though it will take a bit more time than his initial plan. In the meantime, beginning next month, a newly restructured repayment plan for loans will allow millions to pay just $0 a month (you read that right) without seeing any interest added. Their entire loan may then be considered as paid in full after 10 years. We break down the key details of the new plan and how Republicans are already attempting to undermine it, because they hate people who aren't millionaires or billionaires.
  • Finally, it's our latest disturbing Green News Report with Desi Doyen here to drive you crazy as the summer of climate catastrophes continue. Among our coverage: another major insurer flees Florida; California works out a deal with manufacturers to phase out polluting big rigs; and the U.S. becomes the blackout capital of the world, thanks to the many failures of natural gas...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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