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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, September 22, 2014
Resignation or Impeachment Would Be a Gift for Wife- Beating Judge Mark Fuller
2012 documents suggest years of repeated domestic abuse, of two wives and children by federal judge with lifetime appointment...
ACLU Files Emergency Petition to Halt 'Electoral Chaos' in WI
Seeks full 7th Circuit hearing after remarkable three-GOP judge ruling reinstating Photo ID restrictions just weeks before election...
'Green News Report' 9/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
DiCaprio takes climate role at UN; Jindal plays dumbest role yet; Fracking confirmed (again) to contaminate; Black lung coal disease on rise; PLUS: Polluter front groups newest attack...
Previous GNRs: 9/16/14 - 9/11/14 - Archives...
Oil & Water: KPFK 'BradCast'
BRAD BLOG's Desi Doyen sits in for Brad with guests Matthew Heberger on water wars, David O. Atkins on CA's latest fracking fight, and Margot Paez on Mars!...
Audio of 911 Call from Judge Mark Fuller's Wife as She's Heard Repeatedly Struck
MSNBC's Chris Hayes plays horrifying audio from the wife-beating incident of Federal Judge Mark Fuller; ALSO: calls for accountability from two Alabama U.S. Congresswoman...
Bobby Jindal: Climate Denier, Boy Genius
Louisiana's governor and pretend 2016 GOP Presidential hopeful pulls the old 'I know you are, but what am I?' maneuver by calling the Obama Administration 'climate deniers'...
'Green News Report' 9/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Hottest year on record in CA, hottest Aug. on record for planet; Record hurricane hits Cabo San Lucas; Warm-water fish found in Alaska; PLUS: Burlington, VT now 100% renewable!...
Previous GNRs: 9/11/14 - 9/9/14 - Archives...
Wife-Beating Federal Judge Finally Mentioned on MSNBC
MSNBC contributor asks about lack of outrage, impeachment for federal judge Mark Fuller who beat his wife bloody in August...
Outrage Slowly Grows After Wife-Beating Federal Judge Avoids Prosecution
Fellow GOP District Court judge calls for accountability, says 'no one should trust Mark Fuller's judgment in a federal trial courtroom'...
GOP PHOTO ID RESTRICTION LAW RESTORED IN WI
Republican voter suppression laws getting huge boosts from GOP-appointed federal judges in NC, where 100s recently disenfranchised, and now in WI, in advance of critical mid-terms...
Not Taking the ISIS Bait
The media and the U.S. Government have decided to give the latest barbaric idiots to rise up in the Middle East all the publicity they crave, despite the 'exaggerated' threat posed to the U.S., or even in the region. We're not interested in playing along...
'Green News Report' 9/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Greenhouse gas emissions jump at record rate; Australia's emissions soar after carbon tax axed; Oceans acidifying at historic rate; PLUS: Some good news: Ozone Hole begone!...
Previous GNRs: 9/9/14 - 9/4/14 - Archives...
Accountability for Judge Fuller?; O, Mighty ISIS!:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Will Alabama's wife-beating U.S. District Court Judge face impeachment? Plus: Callers, lots of 'em, on what to do about ISIS...
Wife-Beaters: Rice Loses Job; Judge Fuller Continues Lifetime Appointment
America was outraged by the NFL superstar. So, what about Alabama's federal judge who beat his wife bloody and is now off scot-free?...
'Green News Report' 9/9/14
Floods: Catastrophic in Pakistan, Historic in Phoenix; Hillary on Global Warming; Rand Paul dismisses; PLUS: Lobster Boat Blockade wins!...
GA GOP State Senator: Too Many Black People Will Vote in DeKalb County!
Vows to close 'election loophole' allowing convenient Early Voting in area 'dominated by African Americans'; UPDATE: Says just wants 'more educated voters'...
GOP Allows 'Citizens United' Amendment to Move Forward, Will Vote Against
Koch Brothers' beneficiary Sen. Rand Paul wouldn't even allow that much...
NYT Public Editor Calls Out Paper for Phony 'Balance' on 'Voter Fraud', Global Warming
Margaret Sullivan's no weasel (unlike a predecessor). She's calling out the 'paper of record' again for misreporting on GOP myths...
Siegelman's Judge Strikes Deal to Avoid Trial After Beating Wife Bloody
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller to have record expunged following drug/alcohol evaluation, domestic abuse counseling...
ObamaCare 'Nightmare': 2015 Premiums Rates to DECLINE in Many Major Cities
This whole 'tyrannical government takeover of health care' thing is really a disaster...for Republicans...
Federal Judge Orders Restoration of Early Voting Hours in OH -- Again
'Ohio GOP keeps trying to cut early voting and federal courts keep striking the cuts down'...
'Green News Report' 9/4/14
Accountability for BP in Gulf Oil Spill Disaster and for PG&E in deadly pipeline explosion; CA bans plastic bags, regulates groundwater for first time in history...
The Corruption of U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman: KPFK 'BradCast'
GUEST: Attorney and BRAD BLOG legal analyst Ernest A. Canning...
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...


Admin cites 'smallest cost growth over 3-yr period in U.S. history'...
By Brad Friedman on 11/24/2013 5:08pm PT  

Let's keep this a secret from the U.S. corporate media, but, as Sy Mukherjee and Andrew Breiner note at ThinkProgress...

On Wednesday, the new head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers released a bombshell report finding that U.S. health care spending since 2010 has increased by just 1.3 percent - the smallest cost growth over a three-year period in American history - while prices in the health care sector rose by 50-year lows, thanks in part to structural changes made by the Affordable Care Act. But most media outlets ignored that story, instead choosing to focus on ongoing glitches with the Healthcare.gov website.

According to a ThinkProgress analysis, English-language online and print media published about ten times as many pieces on the troubles with the Obamacare site than they did on the new health care spending report.

They go on to explain that analyst opinion remains mixed, at the moment, as to the extent of the Affordable Care Act's influence on the "remarkable slowdown in health spending" since the bill's passage in 2010, but that "savings from the ACA's hospital payment reforms" and "more efficient and collaborative care models" as "encouraged by Obamacare" are among the factors...

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

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Change in filibuster rule restores possibility of functioning Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches of government...
By Ernest A. Canning on 11/22/2013 6:05am PT  

[This article now cross-published by The Progressive...]

It took awhile. A few years even. But, on Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) finally decided he'd had enough.

By a majority vote of 52 to 48, the U.S. Senate changed their rules to partially end the filibuster, invoking what some refer to as the so-called "nuclear option". The rule change, which will permit an up-or-down majority vote on all Presidential nominations for executive and judicial office (with the exception of Supreme Court nominations), is better described as the "democracy option".

The rule change, for now, would have no effect on the use of the filibuster by the minority to block legislation. Three Democrats, Carl Levin (D-MI), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Mark Pryor (D-AR), voted with Republicans to sustain the previous filibuster rules, last changed in 1975 when the Senate amended their Standing Rules to reduce the number of Senators required for cloture --- to end debate --- from two-thirds to three-fifths.

Although there had been noise, and urging from many quarters, for a dramatic change of the filibuster rules for some time, especially after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) drew the dubious distinction of becoming the first U.S. Senator in history to filibuster his own bill, the impetus became particularly strong over the past several weeks with the outrageous block put on the nominations of every one of President Obama's nominations to the important D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal, the court which oversees federal regulations.

The result of yesterday's rule change in the U.S. Senate could well be a return, at least in part, to the Constitutionally designed functions of three different branches of government, as envisioned by our founding documents. It may also mark an end to a thirty-year scheme by Republicans to pack the courts with radical, right wing jurists...

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

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Says if minority continues to block qualified nominees, Senators have both right and 'Constitutional duty to change filibuster rules'...
UPDATE: Republicans block 4th nominee to DC Circuit Court of Appeals...
By Ernest A. Canning on 11/18/2013 10:53am PT  

Last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a former Harvard Law Professor, argued that Senators not only have the right, but a constitutional duty to change the Senate filibuster rules. She argued, in no small part to her fellow Democrats, that the rules were being abused by Republicans as part of a "naked attempt to nullify the results of the last Presidential election [in order] to force us to govern as if President Obama hadn't won the 2012 election."

Her remarks (see video and text transcript below) were made in the wake of the third occasion in which Senate Republicans blocked the nomination of an extraordinarily well-qualified female nominee to the important federal D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal.

"Republicans now hold the dubious distinction of having filibustered all three women that President Obama nominated to the DC Circuit," she said. "Between them, they have argued an amazing 45 cases before the Supreme Court and have participated in many more. All three have the support of a majority of Senators. So why have they been filibustered?"

"Well, the reason is simple," she explained, answering her own question. "They are caught in a fight over the future of our courts. A fight over whether the courts will be a neutral forum that decides every dispute fairly, or whether the courts will be stacked in favor of the wealthy and the powerful."

Yes. The minority party in the U.S. Senate is blocking these nominations, not because of the qualifications of these very well-qualified women, but because they are continuing a thirty-year Republican effort to "rig the courts", as Warren explains, by packing the U.S. federal bench, particularly the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals...

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

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Guests: Media Matters' Eric Boehlert; Act Blue's Howie Klein...
By Brad Friedman on 11/6/2013 9:55pm PT  

This week on the KPFK/Pacifica Radio BradCast, I was joined by Eric Boehlert of MediaMatters.org to discuss: a) The serious questions about CBS' 60 Minutes "train wreck" on Benghazi and the media's dreadful double-standard in comparison to the reaction to the Dan Rather/George W. Bush Air National Guard story from 2004 b) Media failure in reporting on "Obamacare" c) The double-standard at Fox "News" in covering the alleged "pissed-off patriot" who shot up LAX Airport last week and d) Rand Paul's plagiarism disaster.

Then, I was joined by the great Howie Klein of DownWithTyranny.com and the Blue America PAC to discuss the various progressive victories from Tuesday's elections (and a few of the failures), as well as concerns about the still incredibly close, 100% unverifiable Attorney General race in Virginia and its likely "recount".

Plus, Desi Doyen joined us as usual for the latest Green News Report. Enjoy the show!

Download MP3 or listen online below [appx. 58 mins]...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 11/5/2013 4:33pm PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Climate scientists go nuclear; Coal spills & kills; Obama announces major new climate action; UN's latest warning; PLUS: Germany breaks its own clean energy record --- again ... 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): Video: Why GMO labeling is a 'Story of Solutions'; Britain’s new flood protection plan is to surrender to the ocean; Antibiotic resistance spreads to birds, wildlife; Even LBJ knew about climate change; The secret, dirty cost of ethanol; Oops: carbon capture and storage causes earthquakes; US natural gas reserves wildly overestimated; Facial scrub plastic micro-beads polluting Great Lakes ... PLUS: The caveman dilemma: Why we take such lousy care of ourselves and our planet ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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

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'Harrowing account' of tragedy offered by British 'witness' on TV news mag appears completely untrue, says Washington Post
UPDATED: Davies responds, says lied to employer originally, but telling the truth now...
By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2013 3:11pm PT  

In what Washington Post's Karen DeYoung describes as an "explosive report" on CBS' 60 Minutes on Sunday, the venerable TV news magazine offered "a harrowing account of the extremist attack that killed four Americans" at the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya last year.

Naturally, Fox "News" and others on the Right --- such as Sen. Lindsey Graham who promised on Wednesday to block all of President Obama's nominees following the report --- have been trumpeting it all week.

In the report, CBS' Lara Logan interviews a man pseudonymously identified as "Morgan Jones", a British supervisor of security guards protecting the mission. He tells Logan that, as the attack that night went on and four U.S. officials were ultimately killed, he scaled the compound's 12-foot wall, took out an al-Qaeda terrorist "with the butt end of a rifle" and eventually was at the hospital to witness the lifeless corpse of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

But, as reported by DeYoung at WaPo today, that story by "Jones", as offered on 60 Minutes, appears to be completely untrue. That "harrowing account" by "Jones," whose real name is reportedly Dylan Davies, is completely at odds, according to the Post, with the written account that he "provided to his employer three days after the attack" when he said he was nowhere near the diplomatic compound on the night of the deadly tragedy...

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

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Minority still stalling Obama's second nominee to key federal agency overseeing home mortgages; Bush's man remains at helm...
By Ernest A. Canning on 11/1/2013 1:18pm PT  

On Thursday, despite a deal said to have been struck with Democrats in August, Senate Republicans successfully used the filibuster to block meaningful economic reform again.

With just 42 Republican votes, the GOP was able to block the majority and continue to prevent the President's nominee --- his second --- from taking taking the helm at a crucial federal agency, ensuring the man appointed by George W. Bush would remain in that key role.

In late summer, in "GOP Filibuster Still 'Single Largest Obstacle to Meaningful Economic Recovery'", we explained how the Senate’s Republican minority had successfully used the filibuster to prevent the Obama Administration from replacing Bush Administration holdover Edward DeMarco as head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency(FHFA) . The FHFA is the federal agency which oversees government-sponsored mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which own 60% of all mortgages in the United States.

Last year, in a petition to President Barack Obama, the advocacy group Change.Org described DeMarco as "the single largest obstacle to meaningful economic recovery". That assessment was shared by The New York Times' Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, who called for President Obama to "Fire Ed DeMarco," after DeMarco, in defiance of the Obama Administration, rejected a U.S. Treasury Department request "that he offer debt relief to troubled homeowners --- a request backed by an offer that the U.S. Treasury would pay up to 63 cents to the FHFA for every dollar of debt forgiven."

Although Krugman explained at the time that "a reduction in debt burdens would strengthen the economy," creating "greater revenues" that could "offset any losses from the debt forgiveness itself," DeMarco has consistently sought to protect the Wall Street casino (aka the mortgage backed securities market) against any relief to homeowners who were victimized by those fraudulent schemes.

All of these years later, Republicans in the U.S. Senate, defying the majority will of the American people, continue to help him...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
Scary Halloweeny Edition!
By Desi Doyen on 10/31/2013 4:10pm PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Students disrupt Obama's healthcare rally to protest Keystone XL pipeline; Koch Brothers' pipeline spills in Texas; BP's toxic oil spill still hurting Gulf fishermen; Spain's remarkable solar record; PLUS: Stanford University confirms: Renewable energy can provide 100% of the world's energy needs ... 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): The 1 percent’s flood insurance scam; Big Coal's law firm withheld evidence of black lung; Fukushima's precarious next step; ‘Zombie Pipeline Act’ would speed up pipeline approval process; Can science explain Tea Partiers’ rage?; Netherlands town becomes first to divest from fossil fuels; CA condors poisoned by lead bullets; USDA plans to speed up poultry-processing lines; Al Gore: 'Carbon bubble is about to burst'; California's reservoirs drying up; US won't finance overseas coal plants ... PLUS: Naomi Klein: How science is telling us all to revolt ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/23/2013 12:49pm PT  

Yes. Seriously.

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' conspiracy theory website InfoWars decries "tin-foil hat"-wearing "nut-jobs" for citing a "nefarious conspiracy" and "baseless theories" for which "there is no actual evidence."

I quit.

[Hat-tip @DaveWeigel...]

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/17/2013 4:01pm PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: The long national shutdown is over --- for now --- and environmental services and protections are returning; PLUS: Australia erupts in 'freakishly early' bushfire season; AND: The 40th anniversary of the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo ... 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): Air pollution definitively linked to cancer; Lloyd's of London warns on warming, mocks deniers; Minimata Mercury Convention signed by world governments; Why Supreme Court taking on greenhouse gases isn't as bad as it looks; US shale boom shows signs of permanent decline; Uneven enforcement at US nuclear plants; Wisconsin opens wolf hunting season; ND farmers sue over natural gas flares; BP Oil Spill Trial update; World's first climate refugee seeks asylum in NZ; Kauai moves to restrict GMOs; PLUS much, MUCH more!...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
'Government Shutdown-Palooza!' Edition
By Desi Doyen on 10/1/2013 3:00pm PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Government Shutdown-palooza begins, and it affects a lot of 'green' stuff; It's Yosemite National Park's 123rd birthday - but Yosemite's now closed, too; Florida sues Georgia over water; India to build world's largest solar plant; PLUS: BP back in court over Gulf Oil Disaster ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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

Link:
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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): The real budget crisis: our 'carbon budget'; Exploding Fuel Tankers Driving U.S. Army to Solar Power; NBC cancels show after NRA lobbyist shoots elephant in face, compares critics to Hitler; Fracking chemicals unknown, even to drillers; Billionaires Steyer, Paulson, and Bloomberg begin climate change campaign; NC man who made sea level rise disappear; Chile invests in tidal/wave power; FERC nominee Ron Binz withdraws amid coal pushback ... PLUS: VIDEO: What our idyllic, non-dystopian future would look like if we fixed the world ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2013 9:36pm PT  

Looking for something to do while the government is shut down? Sign up for "ObamaCare"!

At the same moment Republican extremists closed down the U.S. Government tonight at midnight Eastern Time, for the first time in 17 years, HealthCare.gov finally opened for business!...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 9/30/2013 2:11pm PT  

As the latest round(s) of GOP hostage taking play out in Congress, it's worth stepping back a moment to take note of what is at the heart of their ploy-slash-temper tantrum-slash-effort to undermine the very essence of American democracy.

It's also worth taking note of the fact that it's unlikely, ultimately, to work and, if we can take any lessons from what has happened here in California, is very likely to redound, big time, against the Republicans and their "contempt for the democratic process," as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) described it Friday, now on display in the nation's capitol.

"This whole debate over Obamacare is just a small part of what this right wing agenda is all about," Sanders observed during an appearance on MSNBC, as he described the twin threats of a government shutdown and defaulting on our financial obligations in the debt ceiling fight a few weeks from now, as but a part of "a right wing extremist agenda funded by people like the Koch brothers…who put hundreds of millions of dollars into the 'Tea Party.'"

Sanders' observation is vital to a comprehensive understanding as to why the very survival of our representative form of democracy may hinge upon a refusal to cave into a tactic that the Senator describes as "blackmail". Indeed, the New York Times describes the latest GOP tactics as the equivalent of a "ransom note" filled with "extortionist demands". President Obama, who once made the mistake of negotiating with Republicans on such terms, now aptly described the GOP threats, in a speech to The Business Roundtable, as a form of extortion.

Sanders noted that it's as if the Republicans now say: "Elections don't matter! We can shut down the government at any time to get our way!"

And, he's right. That's the plan. But it's not likely to get them what they want. More encouragingly, it's very likely to backfire on them completely...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2013 2:16pm PT  

Following yesterday's high-level talks between Sec. of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif --- the first such direct meeting in 34 years --- President Obama spoke on the phone this afternoon with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Again, the first time anything like that has happened since 1979.

USA Today notes that "Obama said he and Rouhani discussed the standoff over Iran's nuclear program and agreed to direct their teams to negotiate an agreement in which Iran would forswear the ability to develop nuclear weapons."

For his part, according to the same report, the Iranian President took to Twitter to confirm the conversation with Obama:

Rouhani confirmed the phone conversations in a series of Twitter messages, saying in one that "in regards to nuclear issue, with political will, there is a way to rapidly solve the matter."

In another tweet, Rouhani told Obama: "I express my gratitude for your hospitality and your phone call. Have a good day Mr President."

This is all exceptionally good news, particularly coming on the heels of yesterday's separate, but related-ish good news about an agreement for a binding resolution in the UN Security Council for the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons --- something else that many said could never happen without war, but that now seems to be happening instead of war. [Update 5:35pm PT: The UN Security Council just unanimously approved the resolution to begin destroying Syria's chemical weapons beginning next week.]

Peace seems to be breaking out all over. For a change. At least for the moment...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 9/16/2013 12:58pm PT  

Today, President Obama offered an address to mark the fifth anniversary of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy and the beginning of the 2008 collapse of the Wall Street casino or, as the President described it, "the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes." (He also spoke briefly, at the top of his remarks, on our latest mass shooting rampage which took place at the Washington D.C. Navy Yard this morning, reportedly resulting, in the deaths of at least 12 people at the military installation.)

"It was five years ago, this week, that the financial crisis rocked Wall Street, and sent an economy already into recession, into a tail spin," Obama reminded us. "And it's hard sometimes to remember everything that happened during those --- those months, but in a matter of a frightening few days and weeks, some of the largest investment banks in the world failed, stock markets plunged, banks stopped lending to families and small businesses, our auto industry --- the heartbeat of American manufacturing --- was flat-lining."

The President went on to tout the reforms and the recovery that have taken place since that time, arguing that "we’ve cleared away the rubble from the financial crisis and we’ve begun to lay a new foundation for economic growth and prosperity," while conceding "we are not yet where we need to be."

"Most of the gains have gone to the top one-tenth of 1 percent," Obama correctly noted. "So, in many ways, the trends that have taken hold over the past few decades of a winner-take-all economy, where a few do better and better and better, while everybody else just treads water or loses ground, those trends have been made worse by the recession."

Over the weekend, the 40-year old advocacy group, Public Citizen, marked the same occasion of the fifth anniversary of the 2008 crash with an email blast highlighting a few numbers the President did not highlight in his remarks today, including a few jarring stats that remind us how and why, despite the modest recovery and incredibly tepid reforms of the past five years, the "too big to fail" foxes still remain firmly in charge of America's economic hen house...

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

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