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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, February 28, 2015
Inhofe's Argument Puts Climate Science on Ice
Sen. Inhofe, Chair of the U.S. Senate Environment Committee, offers a persuasive case that global warming is a hoax. Sen. Whitehouse, somehow, musters a response...
Can the FCC's 'Net Neutrality' Ruling Survive Legal, Congressional Challenges?
While the American public won a huge victory with the FCC's decision, will the ruling hold up to inevitable challenges coming its way?...
'Green News Report' 2/26/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Climate change and our extreme winter; Geo-engineering is madness, but... (CUE THE CHEMTRAILS!); Shell nixes Canadian tar sands; PLUS: Sucker born every minute...
Previous GNRs: 2/24/15 - 2/19/15 - Archives...
'U.S. Electoral Integrity Worst Among Long-Established Democracies': New Report
Worse than Mexico, better than Barbados: Harvard, Univ. of Sydney study finds U.S. elections ranked 45th among 107 nations...
'Green News Report' 2/24/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
GNR's 6th Anniversary! VETOED: Obama nixes KXL; EXPOSED: Top denier outed; BUSTED: Feds clip Duke Energy; PLUS: Sorry, deniers, don't blame the sun...
Previous GNRs: 2/19/15 - 2/17/15 - Archives...
Top Climate 'Skeptic' Hid Fossil Fuel Payments
Docs reveal oft-cited Dr. Wei-Hock 'Willie' Soon failed to disclose funding from the Kochs, ExxonMobil, others when publishing 'scientific' papers disputing global warming...
Democrats Call for 'Right-to-Vote' Amendment
DNC adopts resolution calling for explicit individual right to vote to be added to the U.S. Constitution and for 2016 state ballot referendums in support...
Not Very Funny
"You don't have to 'Approve' or 'Disapprove' of Obama in some simplistic overall sense. There is no requirement in life or politics to be as stupid as a pollster's questions" - David Swanson
When Presidential Selfies Were Hilarious [VIDEO]
A sitting U.S. President joking about signing up for health care insurance isn't funny or dignified! But you know what's hilarious?...
'Green News Report' 2/19/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Another day, another oil explosion, this time in CA; 'Anti-petroleum' activists a security threat, says Canada; Jan. 2015 is 2nd hottest on record; PLUS: Obama on 'our best idea'...
Previous GNRs: 2/17/15 - 2/12/15 - Archives...
Photo ID Restriction Bill Killed by Nebraska Legislature
A solid, bipartisan defeat of a polling place Photo ID law the Nebraska's 'non-partisan' legislature is very good news for voters...for a change...
Fox 'News' Exposes 'Biggest Science Scandal Ever Known!'
Except, you'll be shocked to learn, it isn't a scandal at all...and they are absolutely wrong. Again...
'Green News Report' 2/17/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Another day, another TWO oil train explosions; Schizophrenic extreme weather pounds U.S.; Southwest about to get a lot drier; PLUS: Ohio bans local fracking bans....
Previous GNRs: 2/12/15 - 2/5/15 - Archives...
House Judiciary Comm. Preps for Possible Impeachment of Wife-Beating Federal Judge
Goodlatte, Conyers appear to be taking job of accountability for Judge Mark Fuller seriously; Request budget for experts, hearings, etc...
Shell Shocked: Big Oil Boss Seeks 'Balance' on Climate
After decades of fossil fuel industry lies about global warming, Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden is suddenly desparate to stave off the inevitable...
'No Homosexuals Doing Homosexual Things'
Jeremy Todd Addaway of 'Redneck News' offers a remarkable report from Alabama, on the front lines of the gay marriage epidemic...
'Green News Report' 2/12/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
House GOP passes Keystone XL bill - again; Apple invests big in solar; Oil cos dump toxic waste into CA aquifers; PLUS: Uncle Sam wants YOU to save the monarch butterfly...
Previous GNRs: 2/5/15 - 2/3/15 - Archives...
#JeSuisChapelHill
Three Muslim students were shot in the head execution style by a neighbor in NC. Police say it was a 'parking dispute'. The victim's families are calling it a 'hate crime'. Shouldn't Fox 'News' call it 'terrorism'?...
MSNBC's Credibility Problem
When it comes to the greatest existential threat facing the planet, the cable news channel that should cover it best ends up pulling its punches...
What?! MSM Lied About the Iraq War?!
NBC's Brian Williams appears to have made up his own war stories. And if there's anything the MSM can't stand, it's lying about the Iaq War...
Climate Denying PM Hangs On in Australia
Right-wing Tony Abbott survives the heat of an attempted ouster by his own party, but world may not be as lucky...
Did Late Vote-by-Mail Ballots Flip Results of CA's First Election of 2015?
A new state law has some election watchdogs concerned -- and you'll never guess who authored it...
Walker Attempts to Cut $300M, 'Truth', 'Wisconsin Idea' from UW System
And the GOP's latest 2016 front-runner gets caught in a lie while doing it...
'Green News Report' 2/5/15
Aussie's climate denying PM takes a drubbing; Baby sea lions wash ashore in CA; BP's missing oil found; PLUS: LBJ issued warning about global warming 50 years ago...
The Biggest Winners of 'Citizens United'
Money is now blatantly corrupting US politics, but don't forget who ultimately receives the vast majority of those campaign billions...
'Green News Report' 2/3/15
EPA gives Obama room to reject Keystone XL; Feds must account for sea level; Scarborough says liberals deny science; PLUS: GOP's 2016 climate prob...
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...


Standards applied by the Allies after WWII to those who tortured my father help to explain why a special prosecutor should investigate Bush Administration officials for war crimes today...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/30/2014 6:35am PT  

If there is a downside to the recently released executive summary of the U.S. Senate Torture Report [PDF], it can be found in the extraordinary lengths to which it goes to demonstrate a long-established fact: Torture is ineffective as a means for extracting actionable intelligence.

Emboldened by that focus, U.C. Berkeley Law Prof. John Yoo authored a response to the Senate Torture Report by way of a recent, Los Angeles Times op-ed. In 2002, while serving as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General, Yoo authored a memo that green-lighted CIA torture following the 9/11 attacks. The memo, according to UC-Irvine's renowned constitutional law professor Erwin Chemerinsky, should now serve as the basis for the prosecution of Yoo for war crimes. Shielded by the Obama/Holder Dept. of Justice's refusal to prosecute, Yoo shamelessly argued in his Los Angeles Times editorial that the newly released Senate Torture Report had shifted [emphasis added] "the debate beyond legality to effectiveness."

The issue of torture's "effectiveness" is not and never has been an appropriate subject for "debate." Robert Colville, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights makes that clear in referencing the U.N. Convention against Torture, an international human rights treaty to which the U.S. is a signatory. "Torture is prohibited absolutely, in all circumstances, at any time," he explains in regard to the treaty signed by President Ronald Reagan. "It cannot be practiced in war, in peace, during emergencies, during internal instability, any circumstances whatsoever."

Those legal proscriptions apply not only to those who carry out torture but also, under the principle of "command responsibility," to high level officials who facilitate or fail to prevent torture by their subordinates.

As I revealed in my five-part series on the History of CIA Torture: Unraveling the Web of Deceit back in 2009, for me, torture is exceedingly personal. In late 1942 my father, James R. Canning, was waterboarded at Shanghai's Bridge House, an infamous torture chamber --- something that entailed a frightening, traumatic and "exquisitely painful," six-hour ordeal. He eventually signed a "false confession" stating that he was a British agent, even though he knew it wasn't true and even though he believed at that moment he was signing his own death warrant.

This Partial Trial Transcript [PDF] includes my father's testimony at the 1948 Hong Kong War Crimes Trials. It exposes the hypocrisy in the Obama/Holder DoJ's failure to apply the same ("command responsibility") legal standard to Yoo, former Vice President Dick Cheney --- who now proudly declares "I'd do it again in a minute!" --- and other high-level, Bush administration officials.

In 1948, that "command responsibility" standard was used to convict Lt. General Eiichi Kinoshida, who received a life sentence even though there was no evidence he personally participated in torture.

If we are indeed, as proclaimed by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) in her Forward to the Senate Torture Report, a "nation of laws," President Obama will heed the calls now being made by the ACLU, Human Rights Watch and even by The New York Times to appoint a special prosecutor who would investigate the crimes the CIA allegedly committed at the behest of Cheney et al --- crimes that appear as heinous and more so than those that were inflicted upon my father and his fellow civilian inmates during World War II...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 12/18/2014 4:49pm PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Nothin' but good news for a change! New York issues first permanent ban on fracking; Obama permanently protects Alaska's Bristol Bay; PLUS: More accountability, more indictments in West Virginia toxic chemical spill... All that and more surprisingly good news in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Drone video footage reveals massive toxic lagoons of pig feces; Warming oceans killing off Maine's cod; Big Coal evicts villagers in Columbia; Ohio coal companies ask government for bailout; Why oil prices keep falling; What is the 'atmospheric river' hitting California?... PLUS: The most brazen political lie of 2014: "Climate change is a hoax"... and much, MUCH more! ...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 12/9/2014 7:02pm PT  

It's difficult to know where Rightwingers are now when it comes to the release of today's remarkable, horrifying, redacted 528-page executive summary [PDF] of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee's 6,000-page report on Bush-era CIA torture.

"Torture never happened!," they used to say. Then, "Okay, it happened, but it wasn't torture!" Then, "Okay, torture happened, but it was necessary!" Now, "This report is just meant as a distraction from America's real problem: ObamaCare!"

You get the idea. So did legendary syndicated cartoonist and blogger Tom Tomorrow (aka Dan Perkins), and he's been covering it with brilliant, dead-on satire for years. With the release of the Senate report, almost a decade in the making, we're posting a few very-much-related Tom Tomorrow toons from over the years below, as self-selected by Perkins on Twitter today.

"It's not as if we've learned nothing in ten years," he tweeted. "In a 2004 cartoon, I still had to explain what 'waterboarding' was."

And, as he also made clear, none of what we are learning today is ultimately a surprise. "Presumably if the cartoonists knew about it, the White House did as well."

They did indeed, as a glance at these toons from over the years makes clear yet again...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 12/9/2014 3:25pm PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Super Typhoon Hagupit blows 2014 into the record books; Doesn't look good for Keystone XL pipeline, if Obama on The Colbert Report is to be believed; PLUS: Rich vs. Poor: Deep divisions stall UN climate talks... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Solar panel efficiency breakthrough - record 40 percent efficiency; Louisiana's 'moon shot' to restore disappearing coastline; 'Significant' methane leaking from abandoned wells; Supreme Court rejects BP challenge to Gulf spill settlement; Heat waves will increase in Europe... PLUS: Fossil Fuel companies in secretive alliance with Republican Attorneys General ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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

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Released quietly before Thanksgiving, 7th report on matter concludes no wrong-doing; Republicans convening 8th shortly...
By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2014 3:24pm PT  

Well, I've been remiss over the years since 2012 in covering the BENGHAZI!!! "scandal" on these pages.

So allow me to make up for some of that lost time today, with this article just out from AP tonight:

WASHINGTON (AP) --- A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees.

Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, intelligence about who carried it out and why was contradictory, the report found. That led Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to inaccurately assert that the attack had evolved from a protest, when in fact there had been no protest. But it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call, the committee found. The report did not conclude that Rice or any other government official acted in bad faith or intentionally misled the American people.

The House Intelligence Committee report was released with little fanfare on the Friday before Thanksgiving week. Many of its findings echo those of six previous investigations by various congressional committees and a State Department panel.

The article continues describing the findings of the House Intel Committee report which its Republican chair Rep. Mike Rogers (MI) and Democratic ranking member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD) announced today. Among those findings, in response to the epic reports of a "stand down order" said to have been issued by the CIA or the State Dept. or the White House, AP reports: "None of that is true, according to the House Intelligence Committee report."

You get the idea.

Nonetheless, as AP notes, "the eighth Benghazi investigation is being carried out by a House Select Committee appointed in May." That special select committee, convened by Congressional "conservatives", is set to cost tax payers some $4 million. How very "conservative" of them.

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 11/20/2014 3:11pm PT  


 

Today welcoming aboard GNR's newest affiliate partner:
KNCE 93.5 in Taos, NM!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Record-breaking extreme winter storm breaks Buffalo, NY; It's official: October 2014 hottest October on record; Sorry, Republicans: China will cap coal use by 2020; PLUS: Obama doubles down on climate foreign policy... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): NASA video: a year in C02; Senate climate hawks introduce 'carbon fee & dividend' legislation; Keystone XL PR company plans dirty tricks campaign; Criminal charges for illegal toxic mine dumping in Alaska; World must 'mind the carbon emissions gap' to avoid dangerous climate change; Why are US farmers getting billions in aid amid record crop yields? ... PLUS: San Diego to use recycled wastewater for new drinking water supply ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 11/18/2014 3:32pm PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: US Senate floor fight fails to pass Keystone XL pipeline; Can Congress override the President next year?; Native Americans say KXL is 'an act of war' and vow to fight the pipeline on their land; PLUS: Finally! Accountability for the 'Dark Lord of Coal': Don Blankenship indicted on criminal charges... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Injuries and violations continue at coal mines that owe millions in fines; Scientists think they know why starfish are melting; PR firms' astroturf documents expose oil industry attacks; G20 issues climate change statement after 'trench warfare'; Soap ingredient triclosan triggers liver cancer in mice; Federal pipeline regulator issues first-ever warning; GMO pest resistance rising... PLUS: Peru prepares to host climate talks as indigenous forest defenders die ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/14/2014 6:45pm PT  

I've been looking into a few deeper dive stories of late --- for next week, at this point. So, until then, since the Colbert Report is soon disappearing (which makes me incredibly sad), please enjoy this segment from earlier this week.

It's not particularly political, really (other than beating up on one particular jackass at Fox "News" who really deserves it), but the last part of this thing just struck me as so goddamn funny at a time when I'm guessing you and I both could use some "goddamn funny"...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen
Historic US-China Climate Agreement...
By Desi Doyen on 11/13/2014 4:18pm PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Historic climate deal between U.S. and China: it's the deal Republicans said could never be done; Hope breaks out for international climate treaty negotiations; Republicans freak out at home, while scientists say it's not enough, but it's a good start...(Also, BREAKING: Coal mine owner Don Blankenship indicted...) All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Coal mine boss Don Blankenship indicted for mine explosion that killed 29; Why those 5 cent charges for plastic bags actually work; Keystone XL Pipeline: Lame-Duck Congress Fast-Tracks Legislation; Why The U.S.-China Climate Deal Makes Keystone XL Pipeline An Even Worse Idea; IEA Warns Fossil Fuel Trends Dire; Lightning Will Increase With Warming... PLUS: Pope Francis: “Unbridled consumerism” will have destructive consequences for the planet ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Will the Democratic majority commissioners support the President's clarion call and thwart GOP opposition to an open Internet?...
By Ernest A. Canning on 11/12/2014 3:38pm PT  

On Monday, President Barack Obama, both in a surprisingly clear written statement and video-taped announcement (posted at end of this article), called upon the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt "bright-line" rules that would ensure an "open and free" Internet via the concept of "net neutrality" --- a concept that would, in the President's words, ensure there "are no gatekeepers deciding which sites you get to access. There are no toll roads on the information superhighway." Anything less, the President proclaimed, "would threaten to end the Internet as we know it."

Though oversight similar to that called for by the President resulted in a record number of public comments (99% in favor) to the FCC, predictably, the President's announcement drew harsh reactions not only from the handful of corporations which could profit from those Internet highway tolls, but from their Republican allies. Following Obama's comments, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-FL), for example, quickly denounced "net neutrality", if somewhat cryptically, as "Obamacare for the Internet."

Republican opposition would amount to little more than public grousing, however, if, in accordance with the President's recommendations, the five Obama-appointed FCC Commissioners (only three can be of the same party) carefully craft new regulations that "reclassify Internet service under Title II of...the Telecommunications Act," a reclassification that would undo the damage wrought by the Republican George W. Bush-appointed FCC Commissioners in 2002.

The question for now is: Will they?...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/16/2014 3:36pm PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Rep. Paul Ryan backs away - sort of - from outright climate science denial; Have we reached peak climate change denial?; Turns out natural gas isn't a bridge fuel to a low-emissions future; PLUS: Did a U.S. defense contractor really invent a compact nuclear fusion reactor? Separating fact from fiction... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Appalachian transition: coalfield residents must help themselves to diversify; Green groups sue over EPA GMO pesticide approval; Hanford nuclear workers reveal shoddy practices; Fact and fiction on the Arctic methane bomb; Risks of cheap water; Los Angeles mayor orders water cuts of 20% amid historic drought; Can Africa bypass the pollution phase of development?; Russian natgas shutdown would not hurt Europe; Autism again linked to air pollution ... PLUS: In Wisconsin, Dark Money Got A Mining Company What It Wanted... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/7/2014 3:55pm PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: How many scientists does it take to change a light bulb? Three, according to the Nobel Prize Committee; EPA regulations cut cancer risk from air pollution 65% in CA; L.A. builds an all-electric highway; PLUS: Good news for breathers: Supreme Court upholds (George W. Bush's) EPA ozone regulations ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Miami Beach races to control flooding from King Tide; Oceans warming much faster than previously thought; Fracking: methane releases jump on public lands; US farmers sue Syngenta over GMO corn rejected by China; Canada launches world's first carbon capture plant; Why 12-ft traffic lanes are disastrous ... PLUS: Buzzfeed asks, "What If We Cared About The Environment Like We Care About Sports?" ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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By Brad Friedman on 10/3/2014 3:48pm PT  

Sari Horwitz and Al Kamen at WaPo suggest that Obama's current Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli, is at the top of the "short list" to replace outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

"We're hearing that Solicitor General (the No. 4 slot at the Justice Department) Don Verrilli --- formerly deputy White House counsel --- may be atop the list," they report. "He's smart --- many say 'brilliant' --- well-liked by Obama and was confirmed by the Senate three years ago on a 72-16 vote. And one of those 'aye' votes, as our colleague Ruth Marcus pointed out, was from Majority-Leader-in-waiting Sen. Mitch McConnell. (R-Ky.)"

That's all well and good, and might help make Verrilli more confirmable in the U.S. Senate than other, better choices. Naturally, someone that Republicans can approve of should be one of the highest priorities in selecting Barack Obama's next Attorney General. (Sigh...)

But, that said, this might be a good time to point you back to our piece from early 2013, written by our legal analyst Ernie Canning, headined, "Donald Verrilli: Obama's Incompetent Solicitor General, Muddled Middle or Both?"

In the piece, Canning offers a fairly devastating analysis of Verrilli's dismal performance before the U.S. Supreme Court in two landmark marriage equality cases last year. As he wrote at the time, if the side that Verrilli was on in those cases eventually prevailed (they did, in both cases) it would "be despite the half-baked arguments presented by the Solicitor General, not because of them."

We'll also note that Verrilli's performance in the Voting Rights Act case was similarly nothing short of dismal. The other attorneys who also argued on the same side in the case (most notably, the NAACP's Debo Adegbile, whose later nomination to head the Civil Rights division of DoJ was shamefully torpedoed by Republicans and several Democrats) argued their case smartly and persuasively. Verrilli, by stark contrast, was horrible during oral argument, just as we found him to be in the marriage equality cases. The voting rights case was ultimately lost and SCOTUS infamously gutted the Voting Rights Act in the bargain.

Perhaps Verrilli is a better attorney and/or administrator than his skills as a litigator in oral argument before the Supreme Court revealed. But, if not, based on those cases last year, at least, it seems he'd be a disastrous choice as the next AG. Just thought we should mention that.

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While concerned about intimidation, court permits expansion of voter challengers, reduction of early voting in 2014 election; But also offers important interpretation of Voting Rights Act provision
UPDATE: North Carolina requests stay at U.S. Supreme Court...
By Ernest A. Canning on 10/2/2014 10:22am PT  

A bit of encouraging voting news came out of North Carolina on Wednesday, believe it or not. We'll see how long it lasts.

By way of a 2-1 decision and a lengthy Opinion [PDF] on Wednesday, a three-judge panel on the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeal ordered U.S. District Court Judge Thomas J. Schroeder, a George W. Bush appointee, to issue a preliminary injunction to prevent the State of North Carolina from implementing two provisions of a sweeping election "reform" bill.

The court sharply criticized the lower court's ruling that previously allowed the law to move forward as is, despite the likelihood of a disproportionate effect on minority voters in the Tar Heel State.

The BRAD BLOG described the bill in question, when it was passed by the GOP legislature last year, as "the nation's worst voter suppression law since the Jim Crow era." The law includes virtually every restriction on voting --- shortening early voting hours, ending same-day registration, implementation of disenfranchising polling place Photo ID restrictions and much more --- ever attempted by Republicans across the country over the past decade. The legislation was, quite literally, rammed through the state's Republican-controlled legislature, with no period for public comment or debate, just one day after a sharply-divided U.S. Supreme Court gutted the heart of the Voting Rights Act in the Summer of 2013.

The majority opinion at the 4th Circuit was highly critical of Schroeder's analysis in the case. They described it as "flawed," containing "grave errors" and "plainly wrong" on the law. The court found that the District Court judge abused his discretion in refusing to issue a preliminary injunction that would prevent implementation of two provisions of the state's H.B. 589.

In their decision, the three-judge panel's majority also offered significant interpretations of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), that, if ultimately upheld, could minimize the damage wrought by the gutting of Section 5 by the U.S. Supreme Court last year...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/30/2014 2:49pm PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Good news: President Obama creates the world's largest marine sanctuary; Bad news: humans have wiped out half of the world's wildlife; Scientists find humans to blame for Australia's hottest year in history; PLUS: A major oil company joins Google in breaking up with Rightwing climate change-denying front group ALEC... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): World War Fee: Utilities Holding Action on the Solar Revolution; Auditors Fault EPA for Lax Chemical Safeguards; California becomes first state to ban plastic bags; Tiny Spanish Island Nears 100 Percent Renewable Energy; Alaska Judge Dismisses Pebble Lawsuit Against EPA As Premature; Willie Nelson, Neil Young Lend Their Talents to Keystone XL Fight ... PLUS: China’s Haves and Have Nots: Clean air, water only for those who can afford it ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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