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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, January 28, 2015
'Green News Report' 1/27/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
The not-so-historic Blizzard 2015!; Interior Dept. to expand offshore drilling; Another pipeline explodes in WV; PLUS: Obama calls on GOP to permanently protect ANWR...
Previous GNRs: 1/22/15 - 1/20/15 - Archives...
Phony GOP 'Voter Fraud' Activist to Testify at Real Senate Nomination Hearing
'True the Vote' founder Catherine Engelbrecht slated by Senate Repubs as 'expert witness' at AG-nominee Lorreta Lynch confirmation...
Sorry, Fox, But No 'News' Is Good News
White House (accurately) fails to include 'News' on the place cards of Fox 'News' anchors at special luncheon, so they have a sad...
'Rights'? What 'Rights'?
Yes, elections have consequences. Republicans take control of U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee and immediately dump 'Civil Rights and Human Rights' from its name...
Hannity Must Be Furious About Keystone XL Pipeline!
Foreign owner TransCanada has now filed an eminent domain action to sieze property of private landowners in Nebraska...
'Green News Report' 1/22/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Obama's SOTU focuses on climate; Repubs give Keystone XL pipeline a new name; MT pipeline spill spews oil, benzene; PLUS: GOP votes climate change not a hoax -- but...
Previous GNRs: 1/20/15 - 1/15/15 - Archives...
The Progressive State of the Union: KPFK 'BradCast'
Deconstructing Obama's SOTU and the GOP response, with our special in-studio roundtable, including: Heather 'Digby' Parton, David Dayen of Salon, John Amato of Crooks & Liars...
St. Louis County Election Director Forced Out Of Office
Official who ignored pre-election warnings, obtained exclusively by BRAD BLOG, about likely paper ballot shortages last November, is unanimously ousted by Election Board...
Only 41% Support Keystone XL, But...
That's the good news. The not-as-good news is more surprising, though perhaps we shouldn't be surprised at all by it by now. (Or by the latest pipeline spill in Montana)...
Did John Roberts 'Stack the Deck' for SCOTUS Marriage Equality Cases?
The Court's agreement to hear challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage includes some 'unusual' questions...
'Green News Report' 1/20/15
Confirmed. Again. NASA and NOAA find 2014 hottest year on record; More studies warn human impacts threaten our life support systems; PLUS: 'A glimmer of hopefulness'...
Cluster of Studies Warn of Planetary Peril
New group of scientific reports find humanity rushing to brink of survivable limits, advise swift action needed to change course...
NASA, NOAA Confirm 2014 Hottest Year on Record for Planet Earth
Yet another climate change denial myth is scuttled, but here's how the fossil-fueled scammers have been getting away with their "no warming over the past decade!" hoax...
Saudi Arabia Beheads 10th 'Criminal' of 2015
Some barbarians better than others, apparently...
'Green News Report' 1/15/15
Obama's moves to cut methane; WV fight for science in science textbooks; Good news and bad news on sea level rise; PLUS: Electric Car Wars - Tesla vs. Chevy...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
-- NOTE: This item set to 'Stay-on-Top'. Scroll down for latest items! --
By Brad Friedman on 1/25/2015 7:35am PT  
The BRAD BLOG is now 11 years old! Seriously. And holy crap.

I can't thank all of our readers enough --- not to mention all of our many content contributors over the years --- for all you've done to help support our work here over so many years.

While 11 years is not as much of a milestone as, say, our 5th or 10th birthdays, it still kinda blows my mind as we head into our 12th year of non-stop, independent trouble-making and muckraking. Even as we do, of course, I still need your help as we continue to fight the sometimes-impossible odds of remaining completely independent of corporate or partisan or foundational control.

So, if you can help us out with a Happy Anniversary present today, it'd be greatly appreciated! If you can afford to make that gift a monthly sustaining pledge, it is all the more appreciated as I continue to fight to figure out ways to afford to keep us going here. (Yes, I hate the fund raising even more than you do! Unfortunately, its a necessity, no matter how bad I am at it!) At any rate, my thanks for whatever you can do to help support us, whether that means donating, commenting, sharing links or simply taking action in some way on something that you've learned here. It all means a great deal. So, thank you. Very much. For all. --- Brad

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Catherine Engelbrecht's work has been described as 'downright goofy' by revered Reagan-appointed conservative judge...
By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2015 6:27pm PT  

While it's amusing enough that former CBS News reporter Sharyl "BENGHAZI!!!" Attkisson has been scheduled by Republicans to appear at this week's Senate confirmation hearings of U.S. Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch, another "expert witness" called by Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans is, arguably, even more absurd.

Catherine Engelbrecht, the founder of the fraudulent Republican "voter fraud" group calling themselves True the Vote, is also scheduled to be called as a witness. Last September, as Dave Weigel notes at Bloomberg, when AG Eric Holder announced his intention to resign after a replacement was confirmed, Engelbrecht accused Holder of having carried out a "radical, racialist assault on voting rights."

That's her opinion, of course, but for her own sake, given her group's hilarious track record of failure, prevarication and complete fabrication, the GOP may not want to force this woman to be sworn in before she testifies on Wednesday...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2015 10:23am PT  

There's a reason why we always refer to Fox "News" here with quotes around that second word. Simply put, they're not a news outlet, they're a Republican propaganda outlet. That's fine, but it ain't news. Looks like the White House may have finally developed their own quiet version of that, as noted by Shepard Smith following his pre-SOTU luncheon at the White House last week...

In 2009, the White House took a bunch of push-back (and largely folded to it), when their Communications Director at the time told CNN: "What I think is fair to say about Fox --- and certainly it's the way we view it --- is that it really is more a wing of the Republican Party. They take their talking points, put them on the air; take their opposition research, put them on the air. And that's fine. But let's not pretend they're a news network the way CNN is."

They were right (correct, I mean, if not necessarily politically wise), in calling out Fox back then for what they are, even as they publicly backed off the accurate assertion in the face of the usual outrage --- OUTRAGE! --- from the Fox "News" Stooge Brigade. They are no less correct now in dropping the word "News" when referring to Fox...even if it wasn't necessarily meant as a slight in this case. It just happens to be true. Sorry, Shep.

[Hat-tip Blue Nation Review & @JillEBond on the Twitters.]

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By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2015 3:33pm PT  

While the specific names of U.S. Senate and House committees don't always foretell precisely what very specific areas they may oversee or regard as their own purview, the renaming of such a committee by its new chair, as is occasionally done at the start of a new session, particularly when control of the chamber changes hands from one party to another, can be very telling.

I believe this may be one such instance where quite a bit can actually be read into the new name for what had previously been the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee's "Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights"...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2015 6:19pm PT  

I was joined on this week's KPFK/Pacifica Radio BradCast by some of the best bloggers/journalists in the nation (who all happen to live in L.A.) to discuss and deconstruct Obama's 2015 State of the Union Address, the Republican response and more.

Our star-studded in-studio roundtable panel included (from left to right in the photo above) David Dayen of Salon, Heather 'Digby' Parton of Hullabaloo, John Amato from Crooks And Liars, me and Desi Doyen (not pictures, but ever present.)

Nuff said. Listen up...

Download MP3 here or listen online below...

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Removal of Rita Days follows our exclusive report on warnings sent before the election about likelihood of paper ballot shortages...
By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2015 12:03am PT  

St. Louis County Director of Elections Rita Days, a former Democratic state Senator who we reported on last November, was unanimously removed from office by the County Board of Elections Commissioners on Tuesday night, according to a late report from KMOV...

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) --- After coming under scrutiny for problems during last year's elections, the St. Louis County Director of Elections is being forced out of her position.

Rita Days was unanimously voted out of the position by the Board of Elections Commission.

Days came under criticism last November when thousands of voters had to wait longer than expected because polling stations ran out of paper ballots.

There is not yet word on who will replace Days.

In the weeks following the November 2014 election, The BRAD BLOG reported exclusively on emails sent to Days by local Election Integrity advocates in advance of the election, advising that her plan for deploying paper ballots would likely fall short of demand on Election Day. It did. As St. Louis Public Radio reported on the day after the election, "unexpected demand for paper ballots caused a shortage at about 95 polling places throughout the county Tuesday. That's more than 20 percent of the county's 444 balloting sites."

But, as we detailed in our own report, the demand was not "unexpected", as Days had been warned, well in advance, about the likelihood of paper ballots running out...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/20/2015 2:35pm PT  

The good news, which Republicans in Congress won't care about, because it involves Americans, as opposed to (profits for foreign) corporations, is that, according to a new NBC/WSJ poll, just 41% of the American public supports building the Keystone XL pipeline.

The not-as-good news, however: Just 20% oppose it, while a full 37% "say they don't know enough to have an opinion".

It's somewhat astonishing, frankly, that so many still "don't know enough" about it after all this time. But that's certainly what its supporters are counting on.

It'll be interesting to see if the news about the oil pipeline rupture in Montana's Yellowstone River on Saturday --- and today's report that it has contaminated the drinking water supply with cancer-causing Benzene --- will have any effect on those poll numbers.

The Guardian reports: "Truckloads of bottled water were expected to be brought in on Tuesday, and residents were warned not to drink or cook with water from their taps. Up to 50,000 gallons of oil spilled on Saturday from a break in a 12-inch pipeline owned by Wyoming-based Bridger Pipeline Co." This week's spill follows another pipeline rupture on the Yellowstone in 2011 that dumped 63,000 gallons of crude along an 85-mile stretch of the river.

By way of comparison to the KXL, the pipeline that broke on Saturday, spilling "up to 50,000 gallons", was just a 12-inch pipe, while the the KXL, if completed, will be a 36-inch pipeline stretching from Canada down to the Gulf of Mexico, right across the water supply for much of the Midwest. What could possibly go wrong?

And one more quick related point: Republican majorities (along with the help of a few pro-KXL Dems) blocked two Democratic amendments today to the GOP Senate bill to require completion of the pipeline. The amendments, proposed by Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Al Franken (D-MN), would have required that all of the dirty oil transported through the pipeline be sold in the U.S., and that the pipeline be built with American-made steel.

Do the world a favor and feel free to pass on this short article to a few of those folks who "say they don't know enough to have an opinion" on Keystone XL.

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'Rephrased' questions to be heard by Court may not result in as definitive ruling as hoped, expected...
By Brad Friedman on 1/20/2015 6:35am PT  

UC Irvine law professor Rick Hasen was among the first to notice the "strange rephrasing" of the questions the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear [PDF] when it combined four different marriage equality challenges on Friday.

The questions from the different appellate court challenges that the Court agreed to entertain --- after the 6th Circuit broke with every other federal appeals court in the nation and allowed restrictions to remain on marriage rights in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee --- were combined to just two questions on which the Supremes agreed to hear arguments:

1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?

2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

Hasen described the way the first question was written as "quite odd", explaining: "Rather than ask about an equal right of gays and lesbians to marry same sex partners, it asks about the right of the states to deny same sex marriage."

Indeed, amid the jubilation following the narrow 2010 ruling by SCOTUS in the Windsor case, which effectively struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), The BRAD BLOG's legal analyst Ernest Canning pointed out that "by limiting its decision...the court left open to future adjudication of two vitally important questions":

1. Do same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry in states which have not formally recognized the right to do so?

2. Must states, which do not permit same-sex couples to marry, recognize the marital rights of those same-sex couples who have chosen to marry in other states where it is permitted?

Note the difference in the wording of Canning's "unresolved questions" from 2010 and how the Court has subtly adjusted the issue raised in the first question to become one of state's rights, rather than of equal justice under the law for the same-sex couples to be married there.

Hasen observes that the Court's new wording also "leaves open the possibility that states could get out of the marriage business entirely," as unlikely as they may seem. Other legal experts, such as Ilya Shapiro at Forbes, agreed the re-wording of questions by the Court was "unusual". "Typically the justices simply decide whether to take a case based on the petitioners' articulation," he explained.

Hasen says the unusual reframing by the Court and the late hour in the day on Friday that their order was finally released, "raises the question of why were they rewritten" in the way they were, and "with an accompanying direct order --- I've not seen that before --admonishing the parties to stick with discussing these questions presented."

So, is something afoot here?...

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

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How fossil-fueled global warming hoaxsters cherry-pick scientific data to con the incurious...
By Brad Friedman on 1/16/2015 6:52pm PT  

It's been a rough year for the fossil fuel-funded climate change denial industry. First, their long-loved China canard fell apart. The dupes working (either paid or unpaid) for the industry had long insisted that greenhouse gas emissions reduction in the U.S. wouldn't make any difference anyway, since China, which surpassed the U.S. as the world's largest CO2 emitter in 2007, would never cut emissions.

That favorite excuse for continuing to prop up the most profitable and dangerous industry on Earth came crashing down two months ago when China and President Obama struck a deal that would radically cut carbon emissions in both nations, including China's commitment to create enough renewable energy over the next 15 years to power an entire United States. (Begging the question: "If they can do it, why can't we?!")

But with the confirmation from both NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Friday that 2014 was the hottest year for planet Earth in recorded history, another favorite denialist ruse has also come crashing down.

"The year 2014 was the warmest year across global land and ocean surfaces since records began in 1880," NOAA's announcement reads. NASA's own statement, citing both their own and NOAA's "separate analyses," echoes: "The year 2014 ranks as Earth’s warmest since 1880."

NOAA goes on to report that "the annually-averaged temperature" in 2014 "was 0.69°C (1.24°F) above the 20th century average, easily breaking the previous records of 2005 and 2010 by 0.04°C (0.07°F)."

"While some Democrats may be convinced global warming is continuing to occur, the scientific record does not agree," Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), arguably the nation's most powerful elected climate denier and now Chair of the U.S. Senate Environment Committee, lied to the nation on the floor of the U.S. Senate in July of 2014 [PDF]. "In fact, for the past 15 years temperatures across the globe have not increased. Let's think about that. Is anyone listening here? Temperatures have not increased over the last 15 years."

That line, about temperatures not increasing over the past 15 or 16 or 17 years (sometimes it's 20, depending on how the deniers like to do their pretend math) was a lie when uttered in previous years, and with the new announcements from the world's preeminent measurers of such things, it'll be even more difficult to continue to tell the same lie --- not that they won't try...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/15/2015 4:29pm PT  

When will those butchers of ISIS and al-Qaeda learn how to treat others with peace, respect and dignity so that they can be welcomed into the world of civilized nations like our long time ally Saudi Arabia?...

Gruesome footage circulating on social media shows Saudi authorities publicly beheading a woman in the holy city of Mecca earlier this week. The execution is the tenth to be carried out in country in the last two weeks; setting 2015 up to be even more bloody than last year, when 87 people were punitively killed by the state.

Rare video of Monday's killing shows the woman, a Burmese resident named as Lalia Bint Abdul Muttablib Basim, screaming while being dragged along the street. Four police officers then hold the woman down before a sword-wielding man slices her head off, using three blows to complete the act.

In the chilling recording, Bashim, who was found guilty in a Saudi Sharia court of sexually abusing and murdering her seven-year-old step-daughter, is heard protesting her innocence until the very end. "I did not kill. I did not kill," she screams repeatedly.

[Ed Note: The original story at Vice links to a YouTube video of the beheading. We chose not to include that link in the above quoted text.]

The United States' long time friend Saudi Arabia, the world's second biggest oil producer (after Russia), and purchaser of the largest U.S. arms sale in American history (in 2010), has also made headlines of late for, as Vice's Harriet Salem describes it in the same article, "the public flogging of Raif Badawi, a blogger and political activist who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and a total of 1,000 lashings for a range of offenses, including insulting religious authorities."

Last year, Saudi Arabia introduced a series of new laws following uprisings in other Arab nations. They claimed the laws were in response to the threat of terrorism. The royal decree is said to have defined terrorism, reportedly, as "calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based". The favored nation, according to the UK's Independent, also identified "a broad list of groups which the government considers to be terrorist organisations --- including the Muslim Brotherhood."

A spokesman for Human Rights Watch at the time explained that "Saudi authorities have never tolerated criticism of their policies, but these recent laws and regulations turn almost any critical expression or independent association into crimes of terrorism."

But, of course, they're our friends. So, beheadings? Oppression in the name of religion? It's all good.

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By Brad Friedman on 1/14/2015 6:46pm PT  

This week we picked up on the KPFK/Pacifica Radio BradCast where my "Why?" post (and excellent subsequent comments here at The BRAD BLOG), following the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, left off last week.

In short, my question is: Just because we can publish material offensive to millions, should we? Callers ring in with their thoughts --- lots of them --- during this interesting hour. Plus, Desi Doyen joins us, as usual, for the latest Green News Report, and to beat up the state of Texas a bit (because they deserve it)...

Download MP3 here or listen online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 1/14/2015 12:06pm PT  

Idiot former "family values" Congressman and deadbeat dad Joe Walsh (R-IL) helps world understand why he was run out of Congress...

Because nothing says "courage" like calling for people to be beheaded! Am I right, Congressman?

Apparently, Freedom of the Press applies to the publication of offensive cartoons, but not to the decision to not publish them, according to the idiot Walsh. If you choose to not publish such things, you should be beheaded.

It's that sort of question I asked about in my "Why?" piece following the Charlie Hebdo massacre last week, and that Glenn Greenwald speaks to even more specifically in his own must read piece on the issue.

I'll also be talking a bit more about all of this (and taking calls on it) on The BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio later today. (6-7p ET/3-4p PT, streaming live right here. If you'd like to call in, please do: 818-985-5735.)

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By Brad Friedman on 1/12/2015 3:00pm PT  

Certain to not get nearly the amount of attention as those hoping to attack the Islamic religion based on the behavior of its extremists, this story from AP, in the wake of last week's tragedies in Paris...

In the days after the bloody end of twin French hostage crises Friday, stories of life-saving courage are beginning to filter out. One of the most striking is the story of Lassana Bathily, a young [Muslim] immigrant from Mali who literally provided police with the key to ending the hostage crisis at the supermarket.

Bathily was in the store's underground stockroom when gunman Amedy Coulibaly burst in upstairs, according to accounts given to French media and to a friend of Bathily's who spoke to The Associated Press. Bathily turned off the stockroom's freezer and hid a group of frightened shoppers inside before sneaking out through a fire escape to speak to police. Initially confused for the attacker, he was forced to the ground and handcuffed.

Once police realized their mistake, he provided them with the key they needed to open the supermarket's metal blinds and mount their assault.

"The guy was so courageous," said Mohammed Amine, a 33-year-old friend and former coworker of Bathily's who spoke to him about the assault on Saturday.

Washington Post's account of the story explains that, after he slipped out, "Bathily spent the next 90 minutes in cuffs before he managed to convince authorities he was who he said he was. He told the cops he wasn't alone. There were more than a dozen other hostages locked inside the store's freezer."

Apparently Bathily's quick thinking and acts of courage at the kosher supermarket where he worked saved the lives of at least seven Jews at the store, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhayu who cited him over the weekend.

One who didn't make it, who was killed when Coulibaly entered the market, was 22-year old Yohan Cohen, who Bathily's friend Amine described to AP as "someone amazing, friendly, who likes (and) who respects people."

"I'm Muslim and he's Jewish," said Amine, an immigrant from Morocco. "But there's such respect between us. We're like brothers. They took my best friend."

Seems like that's all worth mentioning here.

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By Brad Friedman on 1/12/2015 2:20pm PT  

During our most recent Green News Report, we sang the praises of California for a number of recent, noteworthy environmental accomplishments and initiatives.

You'll pardon us if we do so just a bit more here, but only because it affords us an opportunity to bash Texas at the same time.

An editorial by the San Antonio News-Express late last week criticized how lawsuit-happy the state of Texas has become over the past decade. Specifically, under their former Republican AG, now Gov.-elect Greg Abbott, the state filed 31 lawsuits against the federal government from 2004 to 2013, claiming the state had little choice, as they'd become a victim, as some sort of "target" of the feds due to their "success." Or something. (Didn't those guys used to be pretend to be against frivolous abuse of the judicial system?)

Anyway, the paper's editorial board noted how the state has filed lawsuits against the federal government of late on everything from Obamacare to immigration to voting laws, etc. And then they noted this [emphasis added]...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/8/2015 8:05am PT  

I've been following, as I'm sure you have, Wednesday's horrific terror attack at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which resulted in the heartbreaking, pointless and outrageous deaths of 12 journalists, cartoonists and editors at the paper, including two police officers. As you know, the attack is said to have been carried out in retaliation for cartoons published by the paper over the years lampooning the Islamic Prophet Mohammed.

It was a barbaric, gruesome, and unjustifiable act, allegedly carried out by extremist adherents of the Islamic faith against a group of journalists who poked satirical fun at extremists of virtually all religious faiths over the years.

There is no question about the absolute right of the journalists to do what they did, no matter who it may have offended. Moreover, courageous responses by the journalism and cartoonist communities (some great toons in response here and here), along with that of the people of France (see these photos, akin to none that I am aware of in the U.S. after the September 11 terror attacks here) have been both uplifting and inspiring in the wake of the attack.

That said, I am still having trouble understanding at least one thing about all of this...

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

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