IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Fox 'News' wants to abolish FEMA, but VT's Emergency Management team --- and even NJ Gov. Chris Christie(!) --- beg to differ; Talking energy innovation in Vegas; PLUS: Now even Snooki gets it! Well...um...sort of... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Letter from a Utah jail: Tim DeChristopher speaks; Solar setback: Solyndra files for bankruptcy; ConocoPhillips says 'virtually all' of China spill cleared; Germany sets renewables record; Oil shale mining would suck the West dry: report; Panel confirms fix was in at Japan's nuclear public meetings; Australia to get its first utility-scale solar plant; Attack of the Monsanto Superinsects; The greenest building on Earth; Rising Biomass Demand Could Drive Land Grabs: Report; Exxon Reaches Arctic Oil Deal With Russians; San Bruno Pipeline Explosion: 'A Failure of the Entire System' ... PLUS: NSFW: Don Cheadle IS Captain Planet! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Hurricane Irene Special Report: Assessing the damage, and the response; Catastrophic flooding in VT; Rightwing's nutty response to disaster (We're talking to you, Howard Kurtz, George Will, Eric Cantor & Ron Paul!); PLUS: Making the link with climate change - the corporate media won't do it, so we will ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Despite protests, Keystone oil sands pipeline moves one step closer to approval; NASA's Hansen: We Will Continue To Fight Tar Sands Pipeline; Climate scientist vindicated again; Koch Industries fighting against tougher national security rules on chemical plants; Calfornia's 'solar highways' faces regulatory speed bumps; Reversible OLED Solar building tiles light the night; Powering your car with old newspapers?; Wind Power Gains As Gear Improves; More oil drilling in Obama era than Bush era; Earthquake may have exceeded VA nuclear plant's safeguards; Source of Gulf oil sheen near BP oil well is unclear; After Recall, Egg Farms Rack Up Violations; UN warns new mutant strain of bird flu on the rise; Monsanto GMO corn losing bug resistance ... PLUS: Republicans Against Science ...
Earlier today, Brad Friedman reported that, despite high unemployment and food stamp usage at an all-time record high, U.S. corporations were experiencing record profits.
Simultaneously, Los Angeles Times reported that Senate leaders have reached an accord to pass three more NAFTA-like "free trade" agreements (Panama, Colombia, and South Korea) when Congress returns from its August recess. The Times stated: "Proponents [e.g.,the U.S. Chamber of Commerce] say the trade agreements...will pump as much as $14 billion into the U.S. economy and add more than 250,000 jobs."
The reality was better captured by Ross Perot during a 1992 Presidential Debate when he warned (video reminder below) that NAFTA would produce "a giant sucking sound of jobs headed South"...
[NOTE: My radio interview today with Karen Bernal, head of the CA Democratic Party's Progressive Caucus, on my KPFK/Pacifica show, about the groups' resolution in support of a Democratic primary challenge to Obama, as detailed below --- and the state party's troubling reaction to it --- is now posted here. - BF]
Nader argued that without a primary challenge and vigorous debate on issues important to the Democratic base, Obama would "be able, for another four years, should he win, which is likely, to turn his back on the liberal progressive base and become Obama/Bush Administration 2. Just look at all the similarities with the Bush Administration."
Host David Shuster challenged Nader by suggesting that "a primary challenge to President Obama would hurt him, cause fissures in the democratic party and possibly impede the party efforts in the the general election."
"Well, it's just the reverse," Nader countered. "It will challenge him, bring the best out of him and there's nothing worse for a candidate in terms of lessening the enthusiastic level for him than to go through an unchallenged routine of repetitious primaries."
The former Green and then independent Presidential candidate discussed a soon-to-emerge, campaign by Democratic progressives to organize an initiative in the coming days "not designed to defeat [Obama], in the Democratic Primary, but designed to generate a robust debate, and put the liberal progressive issues on domestic policies, including job production and foreign and military policy, on the national Presidential agenda in 2012."
He said that without such a challenge, Obama would be allowed to continue serving little more than just "the corporate warlords and corporate barons of Wall Street."
By the way, in an article last January, Canning called on Nader himself to register as a Democrat and consider exactly such a primary challenge to Obama.
Nader is not the only high profile figure to discuss the possibility of a primary challenge to the President. Vermont's extremely popular Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, said on Thom Hartmann's radio show the Friday before last that he thought "it would be a good idea if President Obama faced some primary opposition."
Then, over this past weekend, as word of the debt ceiling "deal" brokered between Obama and the Republicans, featuring historic spending cuts but no increases in revenue, leaked out, word came in that some 75 Progressive Caucus members of the California Democratic Party (CDP) had passed a controversial resolution in support of, you guessed it, a Democratic primary challenge to Barack Obama.
According to a statement posted with their resolution at WarisaCrime.org: "Gathering in Anaheim during an Executive Board meeting of the CDP, the group overwhelmingly endorsed the resolution following a discussion on the importance of not only challenging the far-right agenda of unmitigated corporate greed but also the current administration's willingness to slash 650-billion dollars from Social Security and Medicare."
They voted for it, before they voted against it. But that was the 7 times they voted to raise the debt ceiling when it was their "President" in the White House.
As ThinkProgress notes in their blog item accompanying the following video compilation of Republicans arguing on the House floor in 2002 and 2004 to raise the debt limit in a clean bill with no spending cuts, "no less than 98 currently serving House GOP members" voted in favor of doing exactly that --- back then --- in order to pay the bills for spending they'd previously approved.
But that was then, with a Republican in the White House, before they decided to create a fake "crisis" in order to terrorize the nation's economy in a shameful attempt to return to power. Hypocrisy on parade...
Anti-war sentiments today are strikingly similar to what they had been in March 1968 when Sen. Eugene McCarthy (D-MN) challenged fellow Democrat and incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson in the New Hampshire primary. In March 1968 only 41% of Americans said "no" when asked whether we made a mistake in sending troops to Vietnam. Today six out of every ten Americans surveyed (70% of Democrats) favor an immediate end to the war in Afghanistan. Another 59% oppose our involvement in Libya.
While opposition to war is similar, the "democracy deficit" --- what Prof. Noam Chomsky refers to in Failed States as the significant gap between the policy positions of the electorate and their elected representatives --- is much wider today than it had been in 1968.
Medicare, the centerpiece of President Johnson's Great Society, like Social Security, the centerpiece of FDR's New Deal, remains immensely popular with the American people. As revealed by a recent Washington Post poll, 78% of Americans oppose cutting Medicare. 72% favor raising taxes on incomes over $250,000 and only 17% oppose raising taxes on those making more than $250,000.
Yet, the political elites of both major parties, operating, as they did during the Wall Street bailout of 2008, under a contrived crisis mode, are advancing alternative deficit reduction proposals that will, in the words of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (see video below) "do just the opposite of what the American people want."
While third parties are an option, today we sorely need an option that was available in 1968: a Eugene McCarthy...
As taken last year during a great 4th of July fireworks display in Culver City, CA, as sponsored by the local Chamber of Commerce.
Upon entering the fairgrounds, they were kind enough to hand everyone a plastic U.S. flag (which included a special note, see above), to help us all celebrate our patriotism and remind us of our independence.
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Obama calls again for eliminating billions in oil subsidies; Coal mine owner Massey Energy kept two sets of books; U.S. Interstate Highway system proves federal infrastructure good for business; PLUS: Jellyfish attack a nuclear power plant --- no, really --- natural disasters and the Achilles heel of the U.S. nuclear industry ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 2010: Second warmest year on record; How rising temperatures change weather; CA delays nation's 1st cap-and-trade emissions auctions; AAAS decries intimidation, threats aimed at climate scientists; Undercover video links major retailers to barbaric handling of pigs; How the meat industry turned abuse into a business model; Dick Cheney's Big Fracking Mess; Google's plan for cleantech world dominance; More radioactive water leaks from Fukushima; "Our economic system must adapt to climate change"; A clean, green economy will arrive 'like a grenade in a glasshouse; How to make solar panels with paint; Environmentalists Speak Out Against Excessive Cheese Logging; Did ExxonMobil break its promise to stop funding climate deniers?; CA to delay its greenhouse gas emissions trading system; Sierra Club Can't Join U.S. Lawsuit Seeking BP Spill Damages ... PLUS: Republican governors AWOL during state emergencies to attend secret Billionaire Koch Brothers event ...
On Sunday, Los Angeles Timesadded the name Michele Bachmann (R-MN) to a very long list of wealthy hypocrites who scream "socialism" all the way to the bank.
Bachmann, like most members of the Plutocrat (aka Republican) Party, rails against what she describes as "entitlements" (Social Security, Medicare and just about any other program designed to promote the general welfare of the American people – in her case even going so far as to label the 9/11 Responders bill as a "new entitlement program"). Yet, as the Times revealed, Bachmann not only voted against ending such "corporate entitlements" as subsidies for the oil and gas industry, but personally benefited from some $260,000 in federal taxpayer subsidies paid to her family farm and another $30,000 state subsidy to her husband's counseling clinic, part of which included monies from the federal government.
While Bachmann denied directly benefiting from either subsidy --- she went so far as to say "my husband and I have never gotten a penny of money from the farm" --- her financial disclosure form reveals that she received income from the farm during the same period the farm received federal subsidies. Her claim that the clinic's public subsidies went to train its employees rather than her pocketbook provides a typical form of plutocratic denial that fails to acknowledge that the use of public funds to educate private sector employees eliminates the need for private employers to expend their own funds for training.
But the Bachmanns are but bit players in the great American corporate welfare scheme...
"In a time of universal deceit --- telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell
Ah, the 2012 election cycle is fast approaching. The Plutocrat (aka 'Republican') Party is in the process of garnering funds from far-right billionaires like the Koch brothers in order to present their usual "jobs, jobs, jobs" propaganda.
"Jobs, jobs, jobs" will come to us not only by way of paid-for political ads, but by way of corporate MSM "coverage" which will conveniently neglect to mention that the GOP-controlled House has not offered a single bill that would create a single job, or that the 2010 GOP "victories" have merely produced an all out assault on the middle-class including an effort to eliminate Medicare, an assault on the fundamental right to engage in collective bargaining, and drastic cuts in programs designed to protect the health, safety and economic well being of the vast majority of the American people at the same time they tirelessly strive to protect subsidies for the oil cartel and tax breaks for billionaires.
Against this backdrop, Robert Reich has come up with this two minute, fifteen second explanation of "What’s Wrong with the Economy..."
According to explosive new assertions from a credible former CIA agent, President Barack Obama's administration is said to have attempted to use the CIA to target, spyon, and smear an American conservative blogger and university professor on Middle-Eastern affairs, simply because he opposed the President's policies in Libya.
The alleged attempt to use the powerful U.S. intelligence agency for domestic spying and/or discrediting of a private American citizen would be in gross violation of the law disallowing domestic use of the agency. Uncomfortably, it's also precisely what so many on the Right have long warned of in regard to this President's proclivity for turning Big Government apparatchiks against the freedoms and liberties of private, law-abiding citizens simply because they dared to use their constitutionally protected rights of free speech to criticize his policies. It would also be, as folks on the Right have also long charged, a gross violation of the U.S. Constitution, which the President is sworn to defend, rather than abuse.
Republicans in Congress have vowed to investigate the matter, while Democrats, hypocritically and shamefully, have remained completely silent.
Given this startling and exceedingly troubling news --- particularly in light of Democrats ignoring the revelations, after so many years of charging George W. Bush with similar behavior --- we have to admit that perhaps we were too quick to ridicule the many Tea Party patriots for their warnings about the dangers of Obama's Stalinist and Maoist tendencies!
If the details of this story turn out to be true --- and so far, they certainly seem credible, as the blogger/professor says he was no longer invited to CIA conferences following the incident --- as much as we'd hate to admit it, we'd suggest impeachment or even legal proceedings against the President of the United States would be entirely appropriate here.
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CORRECTION: It's a little embarrassing, but it appears we got at least one key detail in the above story completely wrong...
We're back guest hosting the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show for the next few weeknights --- tonight through next Tuesday! Hope you can join us!
We'll be BradCasting LIVE 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT) each night, coast-to-coast and around the globe from the studios of L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE and lively chat room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG, as usual, while we are on the air. Please stop by and join the fun while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)
PLUS: Media and Democratic Party idiocy over Anthony Weiner; good (and bad) news on Constitutional rights; Bush admin CIA targeted an American middle-east expert/blogger; Fake civil war in the Republican/U.S. Chamber of Commerce Party; and much more, including whatever's on your mind via calls to 877-520-1150 and tweets to @TheBradBlog!...
The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates across the country and also on Sirius Ch. 146 & XM Ch. 167. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or via MikeMalloy.com.
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POST-SHOW UPDATE: Fast-paced show, with a GREAT interview with Fred Karger right in the middle! Be sure to give it a listen! The audio archives (and chat room archives) follow below. See ya again tomorrow night!...
By way of marking today's 10th anniversary of George W. Bush's job-killing, society-crushing tax cuts for the rich --- which we recently illustrated via one very clear chart, as the largest factor, by far, in exacerbating our current public debt --here, courtesy of Think Progress, is just a few of the things this country could have had for the same 10-year price tag as those tax cuts for rich people who didn't need them...
- Give 122.7 Million Children Low-Income Health Care Every Year For Ten Years
- Give 49.2 Million People Access To Low-Income Healthcare Every Year For Ten Years
- Provide 43.1 Million Students With Pell Grants Worth $5,500 Every Year For Ten Years
- Provide 31.5 Million Head Start Slots For Children Every Year For Ten Years
- Provide VA Care For 30.7 Million Military Veterans Every Year For Ten Years
- Provide 30.4 Million Scholarships For University Students Every Year For Ten Years
- Hire 4.19 Million Firefighters Every Year For Ten Years
- Hire 3.67 Million Elementary School Teachers Every Year For Ten Years
- Hire 3.6 Million Police Officers Every Year For Ten Years
- Retrofit 144.6 Million Households For Wind Power Every Year For Ten Years
- Retrofit 54.2 Million Households For Solar Photovoltaic Energy Every Year For Ten Years
Well, that all might have been nice for all Americans.
So how are the current crop of GOP contenders for the 2012 Presidential nomination responding? Here is former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's economic plan, as outlined in a speech today, which promises to triple the size of the existing Bush tax cuts...
BAGHDAD (AFP) – Five American soldiers were killed in central Iraq on Monday, the deadliest day for US troops there in more than two years, with just months to go before all US forces must withdraw from Iraq completely.
The US military did not give details on how the soldiers died, but an Iraqi interior ministry official and an Iraqi police officer said five rockets struck the sprawling American Camp Victory base on Baghdad's outskirts.
"Five US service members were killed Monday in central Iraq," a US army statement said, without giving further details.
Five American families are, today, having the worst days of their lives, thanks to their generosity in allowing their child to participate in a pointless war, built on knowing lies more than eight years ago, by men and women who have faced no consequences for those lies.
The deaths of the five soldiers in Iraq today mean that 4,459 U.S. troops have been killed to date in that particular war, while 1,610 have died in Afghanistan for reasons which remain similarly unknown on this day as well.
That's 6,069 U.S. troops killed in wars begun, but still not ended, by war criminals who have faced no consequences for their dishonest actions in illegally and dishonestly and recklessly waging wars with our blood and treasure in the name of this country. That total, of course, fails to include the number of U.S. contractors, foreign troops, and the untold number of citizens of both nations (and of the several other nations where we are waging wars as well) who have been killed in the bargain.
The carnage continues, with little hope for a real end in sight, and virtually no hope for accountability for those whose actions led directly to these tragic deaths.
On the other hand...of far more interest to both the media and nation alike...