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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, April 21, 2024
Sunday 'Popcorn Ready' Toons
THIS WEEK: Stormy outlook ... Abortion wrongs ... American values ... Earth Day ... And much more in our latest collection of the week's best political toons!...
Bad Climate News for Home, Car Owners; Good Labor News for Workers in the South: 'BradCast' 4/18/24
Also: Jury seated in NY; NV okays abortion initiative; OH Repubs block Biden from ballot...
'Green News Report' 4/18/24
  w/ Brad & Desi
Deluge in Dubai; Climate impacts to cost trillions per year; New lightbulb efficiency standards; PLUS: Biden Admin cracks down on toxic silica dust to protect workers' lungs...
Previous GNRs: 4/16/24 - 4/11/24 - Archives...
SCOTUS Suddenly Worried About Overcriminalization ... for J6 Insurrectionists: 'BradCast' 4/17/24
Guest: LawDork's Chris Geidner; Also: GOP impeachment ends; Turnout doubles in AL...
'Trump Media' Plummeting, MAGA Buyers Losing Life Savings: 'BradCast' 4/16/24
Also: Trump's ridiculous 'immunity'; 7 jurors seated in NY criminal trial; Repubs deliver impeachment to Senate; Smartmatic, OAN settle 2020 defamation suit...
'Green News Report' 4/16/24
Record ocean heat bleaching corals worldwide; EV charging roads in Indiana; Biden raising drilling, mining royalties for first time in a century; PLUS: A marine mystery in Florida...
Trump's First Criminal Trial, for Cheating in 2016, Begins in NY: 'BradCast' 4/15/24
Special coverage of an historic day with Heather Digby Parton of Salon, attorney Keith Barber of Daily Kos...
Sunday 'Party Like It's 1864' Toons
THIS WEEK: Bad politics, good toonery and at least one wake-up call, in our latest collection of the week's best toons!...
Biden Closes 'Gun Show Loophole'; Repubs Turn Desperate: 'BradCast' 4/11/24
RNC Chair says Ukraine our enemy; GA Lt. Guv faces probe; Fox hides AZ abortion ruling, Hannity blames Dems; WI Justice to retire...
'Green News Report' 4/11/24
10th hottest month ever in a row; Swiss climate inaction violates human rights; PLUS: EPA crack down on airborne chemical plant pollution, 'forever chemicals' in drinking water...
BARCODED BALLOTS AND BALLOT MARKING DEVICES
BMDs pose a new threat to democracy in all 50 states...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 6/6/2023 10:14am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Biden's debt ceiling deal averts economic crisis, while Joe Manchin gets his pipeline payoff; Major insurer ditches California over wildfire risk; Arizona slams the brakes on new developments over water concerns; PLUS: Rightwing U.S. Supreme Court's wetlands ruling is a major victory for polluters and developers... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Ukraine accuses Russia of blowing up a major dam; Kremlin blames Kyiv; Atmospheric CO2 levels hit new peak, growing at near-record rate; Debt-ceiling deal wildly profitable for mystery trader; Earth past its safe limits for humans, scientists say; Chemical makers settle PFAS-related claims for $1.19 billion; Chaco Canyon moratorium sparks calls for wider oil ban; New alarms over consequences of Antarctic ice melt; Industry documents show firms knew about forever chemicals for decades... PLUS: How wind energy became 'woke'... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Guest: Former federal prosecutor Randall D. Eliason; Also: How DeSantis robbed freedoms and weaponized Big Government 'cancel culture' in FL...
By Brad Friedman on 5/24/2023 6:47pm PT  

After more than twenty years of rolling back corruption and bribery statutes, is it any wonder, as our guest on today's BradCast observed in his latest op-ed, that the U.S. Supreme Court is now "blind to its own corruption"?

BUT FIRST, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is announcing his 2024 Presidential run today, and corporate media outlets are focusing on his horse race with the disgraced former President. We mark the day, however, by focusing on several of the latest victims of DeSantis' Big Government weaponization against people of color and the LGBTQ+ community. That, by a guy whose 2022 re-election slogan in Florida was, laughably, "Freedom Lives Here".

DeSantis deserves credit for leading the way for other, similarly gerrymandered and GOP-controlled states which have begun to adopt many of the same, hateful, Big Government "cancel culture" statutes that, in Florida, have resulted in banned books, muzzled teachers, lost rights, vile threats against those who support freedom and travel warnings issued for those visiting the Sunshine State.

Today, the effort is playing out in terroristic threats against Target employees; an investigation of a Florida grade school teacher for showing an animated Disney film to her class; and the removal of The Hill We Climb --- a poem by Amanda Gorman which she read at Joe Biden's 2021 inauguration --- from a grade school library. That's just a sampling of some of the latest victims of DeSantis' cruel agenda during his tenure as Governor.

As California's Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted in response to Target's removal of items from its Pride Month collection under threats from the MAGA right, "Wake up America. This doesn’t stop here. You’re black? You’re Asian? You’re Jewish? You’re a woman? You’re next."

THEN, it's back to the seemingly never-ending, decades-long corruption of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and some similar, recently revealed corruption by Justice Neil Gorsuch and even Chief Justice John Roberts who, by and large, refuses to do anything about any of it.

There's an explanation for that, argues RANDALL D. ELIASON, George Washington University Law School professor and former chief of the fraud and public corruption section at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C.

"Over more than two decades, the Supreme Court has gutted laws aimed at fighting corruption and at limiting the ability of the powerful to enrich public officials in a position to advance their interests. As a result, today wealthy individuals and corporations may buy political access and influence with little fear of legal consequences, either for them or for the beneficiaries of their largess," Eliason argued in a New York Times op-ed over the weekend, adding: "No wonder Justice Thomas apparently thought his behavior was no big deal."

Today, Eliason tells me, "the Court itself has contributed to a legal environment over the last twenty years, where, at least as far as the Court is concerned, many of the things that are going on are not, in fact, corrupt, because they've taken this extremely narrow view of what corruption is." Essentially, he explains, cases such as Citizens United v. FEC; United States v. Sun-Diamond Growers; Skilling v. U.S.; and McDonnell v. U.S. have all greatly narrowed the definition of corruption to largely nothing less than a very specific quid pro quo bribe where a politician promises a very specific official act in exchange for payment.

That means, as some on the Court may now see it, long-term relationships where a GOP megadonor like Harlan Crow has sponsored hundreds of thousands of dollars in undisclosed luxury travel for Thomas, or purchased his mother's house, improved it, and allowed her to live there rent-free to this day, or even paying private school tuition for Thomas' grand-nephew, is not seen as "corruption" if it wasn't in return for a specific thing. Even Thomas' wife Ginni can receive tens of thousands of dollars in payoffs by far-right activists, and it's not considered corruption.

"These long term relationships, where wealthy donors can shower a politician or a Supreme Court justice with huge gifts over years --- that's okay. At least it's not criminal, unless prosecutors can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that one particular gift was because of one particular thing they did," Eliason explains, detailing how the Court has cloistered itself into a world where all of this is somehow okay.

"The reality of corruption is usually much more subtle that that, and pervasive than that. It's a long-term 'You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' kind of arrangement. 'I'll give you these fancy trips and gifts and things over time, and then when things happen to come up that I'm interested in, you'll do the right thing for me, and we don't even have to talk about it. We don't have to have an explicit deal, it's just an understanding between us.' That's what real-world corruption is like. But for more than twenty years, the Court has issued a series of opinions that have largely put arrangements like that --- like the arrangement between Harlan Crow and Clarence Thomas --- out of the reach of the law."

We've got a lot to discuss on these matters with Eliason today, including his suggestions for how Congress could fix this clearly broken and corrupt system, even as the Chief Justice suggests (inaccurately) that doing so would somehow be a violation of the Constitution's Separation of Powers doctrine. Ironically enough, if Congress finally does manage to legislate ethics reform for the Court and someone did challenge it as unconstitutional, guess who would get to be the final arbiter? "I wonder how they are going to rule?," quips Eliason...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 5/23/2023 10:25am PT  


Follow @GreenNewsReport...

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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Western states reach landmark agreement to stave off multi-decade drought crisis on Colorado River; World's lakes are shrinking due to human overuse and climate change; PLUS: Minnesota Democrats poised to enact landmark environment and climate legislation... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): A CO2 pipeline rupture in Mississippi has lessons for future projects; Competition, abundant minerals, Biden tax breaks lead EV price drop; More than a third of the area charred by wildfires in Western North America can be traced back to fossil fuels; Supply crunch on electrical transformers needed to avoid blackouts and quit fossil fuels; Could Guyana’s Exxon ruling scare big oil off risky exploration?; US’s largest clean energy transmission project hits major milestone... ... PLUS: New York’s public housing is sinking — literally... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Also: Abortion bans blocked by GOPers in two 'red' states; Trump Camp also paid a second research firm to find zero fraud in the 2020 election...
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2023 6:27pm PT  

Time is running out on today's BradCast. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

Among the many clock-ticking stories covered today...

  • The contract for film and television writers ran out as of midnight last night. Today, 11,500 union members in the Writers Guild of America went on strike. The late-night comedy shows have already been shut down and, sadly, Americans are likely to be less well-informed because of it. We explain.
  • The deadline for how long Republicans can hold the nation and world economy hostage to ill-considered, self-destructive extremist idiocy --- before blowing everything up and creating a first-ever default of the U.S. Government in the process --- got much closer as of Monday. The new earliest date for when the U.S. Government may run out of authority to borrow the funds needed to pay for stuff that Republicans and Democrats alike long ago committed to paying for is now June 1, according to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

    Yet, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his band of reckless Republicans in Congress continue to exploit our dumb debt limit law to try and extort huge cuts to food and health care to millions of Americans (including veterans) along with a rollback of critical climate crisis initiatives in exchange for not destroying the nation's economy.

    President Biden is right not to negotiate with terrorists on this matter. The way the media covers this mess, however, will make a big difference in whether or not Biden's able to continue to do the right thing. In the meantime, we sure do hope he has a plan to handle the worst-case scenario that today's gerrymandered, death-wish GOPers may actually be dumb enough to cause for the first time in U.S. history.

  • Not all Republicans have a death wish, apparently. On the same day last week, in two different "red" states, South Carolina and Nebraska, a handful of Republican state lawmakers voted to protect abortion rights. For now. It took the only two female Republican state Senators in South Carolina and one 80-year old Republican in Nebraska to block complete bans on reproductive freedoms. We'll see how long that lasts and/or if any other GOPers can figure out why they keep losing elections that they should have won after the corrupt U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year.
  • Back in February we covered the news from Washington Post's Josh Dawsey that the Donald Trump's Campaign paid $600,000 to a research firm to investigate every single potential claim of fraud in the 2020 Presidential election. They found absolutely nothing and told Trump as much in December of that year. Nonetheless, on January 6, 2021, Trump went out and lied yet again to his supporters about fraud in the election, even though he was told all such claims were baseless. And now, Dawsey reports, a second firm was paid $750,000 by the Trump Campaign at the same time to also find no evidence of fraud. That firm told him as well, in advance of January 6. Special Counsel Jack Smith has now reportedly subpoenaed records and testimony from both firms, as he probes the Trump Campaign fraudulently raising more than $250 million from their own supporters based on fraudulent claims we now know Trump absolutely knew to be fraudulent at the time he made the fraudulent claims.
  • Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report with non-fraudulent news on the impact of climate change on East Africa's deadly drought; the corrupted SCOTUS plans to undermine climate regulations next term; SpaceX grounded in Texas; and some better news for the climate out of the great state of California...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 5/2/2023 10:57am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Drought in East Africa was caused by man-made climate change; U.S. Supreme Court to hear case challenging federal agency authority to regulate pollution; PLUS: SpaceX grounded in Texas after catastrophic rocket failure damages wildlife reserves... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Global ocean temperatures spike to record levels as El Niño nears; EU adopts "biggest climate protection law of all time"; Farewell Transmission: Texas’ plan to fix its power grid is a disaster; Lack of snow condemns Italy's Po River to a desperately dry summer; GM announces Chevy Bolt is over, long live the Equinox; Flooding on Upper Mississippi River to halt barge traffic for weeks; New York to ban natural gas, including stoves, in new buildings; Deadly Illinois dust storm raises soil questions - is solar the answer?... PLUS: U.S. coal plants cost more money to maintain than to simply replace ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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McCarthy's DOA plan to gut spending on the poor and make his own constituents sick in exchange for not crashing the U.S. economy; Also: Lindell loses a $5 million election fraud bet; Peters still facing jail time...
By Brad Friedman on 4/20/2023 6:40pm PT  

We've got lots of dupes and lots of dopes on today's BradCast. You'll have to figure out which is which. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

Among our stories today...

  • House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has introduced a 320-page proposal [PDF] of cuts to the federal budget that he suggests Republicans must have in exchange for not blowing up the nation's economy for less than a year. The cuts being demanded in order for a vote to raise the nation's borrowing limit to pay for what we've already committed to spending and avoid a first-ever U.S. government default, include taking away food stamps from more than 4 million hungry Americans, and federal health insurance from more than 2 million poor and disabled people. He's also demanding another $130 billion dollars of cuts in social programs for Americans next year alone, though he doesn't say which programs. The White House believes it would most likely include deep cuts to "education, veterans medical care, cancer research, meals on wheels, food safety and law enforcement.” McCarthy's dead-on-arrival debt limit proposal --- if he's even able to get his own party to pass it in the House --- would also increase the deficit (which Republicans pretend to care about) by nearly $200 billion in cuts to IRS enforcement. But that will keep more money in the pockets of corporations and the wealthy, so there's that.
  • Perhaps most disturbingly of all, McCarthy is calling for cuts to much of the $400 billion in climate initiatives to clean the air and fight global warming over the next decade, as adopted by Democrats in last year's Inflation Reduction Act. If I was one of McCarthy's constituents in Bakersfield, California, I'd be particularly pissed off about that, given this year's "State of the Air" report from the American Lung Association, released on the same day as McCarthy's debt ceiling bill. If I lived in Bakersfield, I might wonder why my own Congressman wants to kill me? The new report finds McCarthy's home town at the very top of two of the Lung Association's lists...but not the good ones. Bakersfield is the #1 most polluted city in the nation, as ranked by both short-term and year-round particle pollution. On the other hand, it's only the third worst in the nation when it comes to ozone pollution. Why does Kevin McCarthy want to slash climate programs and further harm his own constituents?!
  • Some of these folks may be both dupes and dopes. Back in 2021, bedding impresario and 2020 election liar Mike Lindell promised to reveal iron-clad evidence that China helped steal the Presidential election from the former guy. Lindell declared he had data, from a whistleblower or something, proving that they had done so, somehow, via the Internet. He offered a $5 million challenge at a three-day "cyber symposium" in South Dakota that year to anyone who could "Prove Mike Wrong" by showing that the data packets he claimed revealed evidence of Chinese interference of the election didn't actually prove as much. Well, some guy, a Trump voter named Robert Zeidman, did exactly that, according to an arbitration panel who was called in after Lindell refused to pay up. The panel found that Zeidman proved the so-called "packet captures" included little more than jibberish and had nothing to do with the 2020 election. Now Lindell has 30 days to pay up, though he says he's going to court instead. It's all quite hilarious, in truth. But it may just be an appetizer for the $1.3 billion defamation suit [PDF] still pending against him by the Dominion Voting Systems company.
  • Of course, Lindell wasn't the only one to screw himself over at that "cyber symposium" in SD. That's where Colorado's former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters was speaking on stage when sensitive Dominion Voting System software from her own county was leaked to the public over the Internet. Peters was later charged by CO with 7 felonies and 3 misdemeanors related to her alleged scheme to sneak into the secure voting system room in her county with accomplices late at night, as they turned off the security cameras to make unlawful copies of the election tabulation software. Her trial on those state charges comes later this year, but last month Peters was found guilty of obstructing a law enforcement investigation related to one of her accomplices. Last week she was sentenced to 4 months of home detention and 120 hours of community service. The penalties she is likely to face for breaching the County's voting system software is likely to be much much worse if she's found guilty.
  • Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, with more on Speaker McCarthy's attempt to gut landmark climate initiatives at the expense of humanity; record deadly heat in Asia; Trump-appointed judges gutting Berkley, CA's attempt to fight climate change; and a landmark approval for clean electricity transmission across several western states...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 4/20/2023 10:49am PT  


Follow @GreenNewsReport...

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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Fort Lauderdale struggles with gas shortage and other ripple effects after extreme rain disaster; Historic, record-shattering heat in Asia turns deadly; Republican appeals court judges overturn Berkeley, CA's natural gas installation ban; PLUS: House Republicans hold U.S. clean energy sector hostage to raise the nation's debt limit... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): GOP House fails to override Biden’s veto of resolution to overturn EPA water rule; As states replace lead pipes, plastic alternatives could bring new risks; Hydro: Oil-rich Norway could become Europe’s 'green battery'; Clogged transmission cost consumers $13B in 1 year; Growing insurance crisis spreads to Texas; Rapid snowmelt causing significant flooding across northern Plains... PLUS: Beyond The Poles: The far-reaching dangers of melting ice

... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Also: Democracy, accountability, corruption and hypocrisy news from Sudan to Russia to SCOTUS and beyond...
By Brad Friedman on 4/17/2023 6:12pm PT  

Just to be clear, while we're debating whether California's senior Democratic Senator should step down on today's BradCast, the longest-serving U.S. Supreme Court Justice should not only have stepped down long ago, he should have been removed by the force of impeachment long ago as well. [Audio link to full show is posted below this summary.]

It was a very busy and lively show today, covering a bunch of interesting and occasionally related news. Among today's story's...

  • Democracy seems to be out of reach yet again in the Middle Eastern/Sub-Saharan nation of Sudan, as deadly fighting broke out between two military factions in the country's capital and elsewhere over the weekend.
  • A well-known Kremlin opposition figure and critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin's horrific invasion of Ukraine was sentenced to 25-years of hard labor today for daring to speak out against the war last year. 41-year old Vladimir Kara-Murza is just the latest facing a long prison sentence for public opposition to Putin's barbaric, criminal assault on his sovereign neighbor.
  • Last week we explained why Fox "News", if they were smart, would do everything in their power to reach a settlement with Dominion Voting Systems before the trial in the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed by the voting machine vendor against the Republican propaganda outlet began in earnest this week. Jury selection in the trial, in which Dominion has Fox dead to rights for repeatedly, falsely and knowingly lying to viewers that Dominion somehow rigged the 2020 election for Joe Biden, was supposed to begin today. But Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis, without explanation, announced the trial would begin tomorrow instead, leading some to believe Fox may be trying to strike a last minute settlement.
  • On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a brief, administrative stay on the rulings by far-right, activist U.S. District Judge Mathew Kacsmaryk and the far-right U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that ban the FDA-approved use of mifepristone, the nation's top abortion medication, in all 50 states. The temporary stay will only remain in place until Wednesday, at which time the full SCOTUS will either keep it in place throughout the appeal to Kacsmaryk's unprecedented, activist ruling --- in which he is attempting to legislate from the bench and overrule the FDA's 23-year old approval of the safe and effective drug --- or they will allow a first-of-its-kind ban to go into effect while the appeal moves forward. Today, we cite a few of the 5th Circuit's huge errors in their recent ruling, as detailed by The BRAD BLOG's Ernie Canning.
  • And, speaking of our corrupted, rightwing federal judiciary, there was yet more jaw-dropping news over the weekend of the unspeakable corruption and seemingly endless lawlessness of Justice Clarence Thomas, the longest-serving current member of the U.S. Supreme Court. We quickly review the full story again today, from Clarence's unlawful failure to disclose his activist wife Ginni's salary from the Heritage Foundation for some 20 years, until called out for it in 2011; to Ginni's apparent "Judicial Insider Trading" on the infamous 2010 Citizens United ruling; to ProPublica's blockbuster exclusive two weeks ago detailing decades of Clarence's unlawfully undisclosed luxury travel courtesy of GOP megadonor Harlan Crow; to last week's second ProPublica jaw-dropper revealing that Crow purchased properties from Thomas, including his mother's house (which she still lives in, rent free!) and which also went unlawfully undisclosed in in his annual disclosure forms; and then this weekend's latest scoop from WaPo finding Clarence hasn't bothered for years to report income from a real estate firm owned by Ginni and her family.
  • Finally, speaking of both the rightwing federal judiciary and people who should arguably resign immediately, California's 89-year old senior Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein has missed about 60 of 80 floor votes in the U.S. Senate this year, as she is sidelined in San Francisco with shingles. There is currently no date for her return to the 51-49 upper chamber. But, even more importantly, her extended absence from the Senate Judiciary Committee has stalled the confirmation process for more than a dozen federal court judges nominated by President Biden. As calls for her resignation began last week, the fading trailblazer has asked to be removed, temporarily, from the powerful Judiciary Committee. Unfortunately, it's not quite as easy as that, as we explain today.

    In the bargain, a debate has surfaced among Congressional Democrats, some of whom are calling for her resignation after decades of service, others describing the push as misogynistic, others defending her during her convalescence, while still others appear to be supporting her at the moment, though their patience is clearly wearing thin.

    We cover all of that today before opening our phones to listeners --- her constituents in Southern California --- for their opinions on whether DiFi should stay or go. We had a lot of really smart and interesting callers today...even if their opinions were ultimately in sync. They believe its time for her to fly...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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By Desi Doyen on 4/13/2023 10:28am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Biden EPA kicks off next phase of electric vehicle revolution, with strongest-ever emissions rules for cars and trucks; Crunch time in contentious negotiations over water cuts from the declining Colorado River; Plastics are responsible for a wide range of negative health impacts; PLUS: Massive plastics fire in Indiana forces evacuations, expected to burn for several days... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Wheat disease’s global spread concerns researchers; Judge temporarily blocks clean water rule in 24 states; Massive New Jersey Pine Barrens fire now fully contained; Record clean-power growth in 2023 to spark ‘new era’ of fossil fuel decline; US becomes first major fishing nation to ratify subsidies deal; Interior OKs massive power line key to distributing West’s renewables; Proposed plastic recycling plant could send toxic PFAS Into Susquehanna River; Rich people’s swimming pools are fueling water crises in cities, study finds... PLUS: Buy an electric vehicle now or wait? Here’s how to decide... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Also: Blue Alaska?; And labor unions rising...
By Brad Friedman on 4/11/2023 7:09pm PT  

On today's BradCast: It's almost as if Republicans want to become a failed, extinct political party. But we're gonna have to overcome a lot of authoritarian desperation first, I'm afraid. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

Among the many stories covered toward that end on today's program...

  • The 25-year old shooter who killed five and injured eight others at the Old National Bank in Louisville, Kentucky on Monday legally purchased his high-powered AR-15 assault-style rifle just one week before the massacre. Among the injured was a local rookie police officer, now said to be in critical but stable condition after being shot in the head. He had finished training just 10 days earlier. Among the dead was a longtime personal friend of the state's Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear. The man was also said to have been a close friend of Florida's Republican U.S. Senator Rick Scott. Had Scott and his party not worked so long and hard to block popular legislation that might have helped prevent the shooting --- such as restoration of the federal assault weapons ban that Republicans allowed to expire in 2004 --- his friend might still be alive. Well done, Rick! Monday's preventable tragedy was the 146th mass shooting of the year, according to the Gun Violence Archives.
  • Democratic Tennessee state Rep. Justin Jones was reinstated to his old seat just one business day after state Republican lawmakers expelled the young black Nashville legislator for taking part in a peaceful protest at the state capital calling for gun safety legislation following the mass shooting that killed three children and three adults at a Christian elementary school two weeks ago in Nashville. As part of what may be one of the greatest GOP political blunders in recent memory, support for Jones, Rep. Justin Pearson (another expelled black legislator likely to be reseated this week as well), and the state Democratic Party have all sky-rocketed both in the state and nationally.
  • The unspeakably ill-considered politicking by TN Republicans wasn't their only embarrassing failure revealed on Monday. A three-judge state court panel also put the temporary kibosh on state GOP lawmakers attempt to cut the size of the Nashville Metropolitan Council from 40 members to 20 before this year's August elections. That would be the same Council that unanimously selected Jones, by a vote of 36 to 0 on Monday, to temporarily fill the seat left vacant when Jones was expelled by Republicans last week.
  • In response to all of this, Jones has begun calling for the resignation of Republican state House Speaker Cameron Sexton who, as reporters have discovered, does not even live in the District he is supposed to represent in the wildly gerrymandered (75 to 24) state House. He represents the city of Crossville, but he and his family live in Nashville. He could (but won't be) expelled for that violation of the state Constitution. But his ability to run for reelection next year may now be challenged in court.
  • The bad politics of the Republican Party --- who oppose reproductive freedoms, gun safety legislation, health care reform, labor unions and other wildly popular issues --- was similarly on display in several elections last week, most notably the takeover of a liberal majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court for the first time in 15 years. The candidate elected by 11 points to restore a progressive majority to the high court, in the normally closely divided Badger State, ran largely on the issue of protecting the right to abortion. But on the other side of the continent, in what was once deep "red" Alaska, 6 of the 7 seats on the 11-member Anchorage Assembly on the ballot last Tuesday were won by Democrats by larger than expected margins. Could Alaska be on its way toward turning "blue" in upcoming years? There are several early signs offering reason to believe the last "red" state on the West Coast could actually flip in the years ahead, especially as the unpopular GOP becomes even more desperate to hold onto power.
  • We've also got a bunch of encouraging labor news today, including several stories we had hoped to cover until being preempted by news of Donald Trump's New York indictment mid-show two weeks ago. Among those stories was the signing by Michigan's Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer of a landmark bill repealing the state's anti-union, anti-labor, so-called "Right to Work" law. It was the first time in 60 years that such a law has been overturned by a state. And it was all thanks to state voters who, in 2018, adopted a Constitutional ballot measure requiring an independent state redistricting commission. With that, the state's fairer maps resulted in a Democratic trifecta last November, with the party winning majorities in both chambers of the state legislature while Whitmer held the Governorship. It's amazing how well democracy works for working people when it isn't corrupted.
  • Also a couple of weeks ago, Chipotle was forced to agree to pay former employees some $240,000 in Maine as part of a settlement agreement after the company was found to have violated federal labor laws by illegally closing a store in Augusta, Maine after workers there filed a National Labor Relations Board petition to vote for unionization.
  • Over the weekend, the union representing some 30,000 Los Angeles school custodians, cafeteria works, bus drivers and other student services staff voted overwhelmingly to approve a new contract with the Los Angeles Unified School District following a year of negotiation and, finally, a three-day strike last month. The new contract for workers at the nation's second largest school district includes, among other things, a 30% pay raise for workers and fully paid health care benefits expanded to teacher's assistants and after-school program employees. The workers, represented by SEIU Local 99, were supported during the brief walkout by the L.A. United Teachers union.
  • A New York region hotel union has reached an agreement with hotel owners outside of New York City to raise wages by $7.50 an hour, said to be the largest increase in the union's 100-year history. 7,000 members of the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council will enjoy the new benefits, but so will workers at non-union hotels elsewhere in the country, where owners are beginning to realize they need to raise their own rates and benefits for workers as well, if they wish to keep them.
  • Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, to call both the balls and strikes of the latest noteworthy environmental news...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Guest: Kassie Siegel of Center for Biological Diversity; Also: Ernie Canning on Friday's medical abortion ruling in TX, and a challenge to ID's outrageous restrictions on doctors' free speech...
By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2023 6:24pm PT  

We've got two guests on today's BradCast, both attorneys, with a bunch of information that you likely haven't heard elsewhere. [Audio link to full program follows below this summary.]

First up, we're joined by KASSIE SIEGEL, Director and Senior Counsel of the non-profit Center for Biological Diversity's Climate Law Institute, and Climate Director for the Center Action Fund, where she leads campaigns and litigation focused on reducing climate-warming greenhouse gases and other pollution.

Siegel joins us today to discuss the recent passage and signing of a landmark law in California, shepherded through the state legislature last month in a special session called by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. The new measure enacts first-of-its-kind provisions to finally cut the knees out from under Big Oil price gouging in the Golden State. Among other things, the law will create a state oversight board that will offer unprecedented transparency into the pricing processes of major oil companies and refineries in the state and, if necessary, impose penalties for exceeding reasonable profit margins. That, in a state where Big Oil has clocked record profits over the past year or so, even as they falsely claim their exorbitant price hikes for gasoline were due to global supply shortages.

The new law grants subpoena power to the state to, for the first time, open the books of Big Oil, an industry that has, literally, gotten away with murder for decades. Naturally, they fought tooth and nail to stop the law's passage, but state Dems overcame the pushback to adopt a measure that could become a model for other states as well as the federal government. The oversight and regulatory scheme may even pave the way for oversight and regulation of other industries like Health Care and Internet providers.

"One of the things that is so important about this new law is that it directly confronts the Big Oil playbook that we see them carrying out," Siegel explains. "Big Oil knows that its days are numbered and it is a declining industry. It is declining first here in California. But they have a plan to maximize their profits and maximize the damage they do on the way out the door. This new bill, the first of its kind in the country, is a really important part of pushing back on that, and protecting Californians from this destructive industry."

There is much more in my conversation with Siegel, including where the measure falls short and where California residents need to push Newsom to keep going farther still.

Next, we're joined by long-toiling BradBlog.com legal analyst ERNEST A. CANNING on two different abortion-related lawsuits in the news this week. One is last Friday's outrageous ruling by Trump-appointed, far-right Christian activist U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk in North Texas, nullifying the FDA's 20-year old approval of mifepristone, a drug used in the majority of the nation's abortions.

As Canning warned in a really helpful explainer on all of this back in February, Kacsmaryk was threatening to issue a ruling likely to take the drug off the market in all fifty states, even though, as the Dept. of Justice has now argued in their emergency appeal seeking a stay (as filed this afternoon), the statute of limitations has long expired for a challenge to a drug approved as safe and effective during the Clinton Administration. As Canning wrote in February, and as the DoJ argues today, the challengers actually have no standing and no injury to bring the suit in the first place, as the physicians involved neither prescribe nor use the the drug themselves.

The other case discussed is one that Canning wrote about today, detailing the challenge brought by physicians and Planned Parenthood in Idaho, challenging the state's extreme, near-total abortion ban. The state statute includes no exceptions for the life of the mother or even cases of rape or incest, though it allows someone charged with having carried out an illegal abortion in the state to try and prove those exceptions in court. Otherwise, the law mandates 2 to 5 years in prison for someone convicted of providing an abortion, and the suspension of the medical license of a provider who assists in any way.

But the federal lawsuit Canning reports on today is to none of those point. The complaint is a challenge to the state Attorney General's recent legal analysis declaring that Idaho doctors may have their licenses to practice suspended for merely "assisting" in an abortion by simply informing a patient that they may obtain a legal abortion in a different state. The plaintiffs argue that the restriction violates the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment Free Speech clause, as well as the interstate commerce clause and the 14th Amendment's right to due process.

After decades as a litigator, does Canning still have confidence that the federal judicial system, corrupted by the far-right, will still be able to the right thing in these cases, respecting the precedent of long-established caselaw and the U.S. Constitution itself? Tune in to find out...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Remarkable new reporting reveals yet more decades-long corruption and law-breaking by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; Also: 'Uncharted waters'?; And Randy Rainbow's latest...
By Brad Friedman on 4/6/2023 4:34pm PT  

New revelations of lawlessness by Clarence Thomas (and his wife), literally, never seem to end, as discussed yet again on today's BradCast, on the heels of a stunning new report today detailing years of previously-unknown lawlessness by the U.S. Supreme Court Justice. [Audio link to full show is posted below this summary.]

  • We have, been reporting on the scofflaw Thomases (both the corrupt far-right activist Justice and his corrupt, far-right activist wife "Ginni") for well over a decade now. Way back in January of 2011 The BRAD BLOG documented how he had "knowingly and willfully" violated the rule of law by failing to report his wife's annual salary of $120,000 per year from the far-right Heritage Foundation on his annual disclosure forms. The forms made clear that falsifying that section of the report, where he was supposed to list "Non-Investment Income" of his wife, was a violation of the law. He checked the box reading "NONE". Once he was eventually called out for it, after some 20 years of falsifying his annual disclosure forms, he quietly amended his filings. He was otherwise never held to account. (Documents supporting these allegations are available via the link above.)
  • Later that same year, in June, we reported on what was described at the time as "Judicial Insider Trading", after it was discovered that Ginni had quietly opened up a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization back in 2009, in the months just after her husband had heard oral argument in the infamous Citizens United v. FEC case at the Supreme Court. After hearing the case, but prior to the release of the Court's opinion in favor of Citizens United, Ginni's activist group had received more than half a million dollars that the eventual ruling in the Citizens United case, in 2010, would allow to be used for political, election-related activities without disclosure. Ginni drew a salary from those funds as well. (As we also reported at the time, Clarence had failed to recuse himself from the case, despite having received the benefit of some $100,000 in TV ads from the Citizens United group in support of his own wildly controversial and incredibly contentious Senate confirmation back in 1991.)
  • And today, some remarkable reporting at ProPublica by Joshua Kaplan, Justin Elliott and Alex Mierjeski reveals that Clarence Thomas has been the recipient of huge undisclosed gifts in the form of luxury vacations via private planes and superyachts around the world, courtesy of real estate magnate and major Republican megadonor Harlan Crow. Thomas' failure to report those trips, at least one of which would have cost at least $500,000 for just the cost of the plane and yacht alone, according to the report, is not only unethical for a member of the U.S. Supreme Court but, as experts cited in the article and elsewhere also point out, it is also unlawful.

    As Slate's legal reporter and Supreme Court expert Mark Joseph Stern tweets today about just one of the trips documented by ProPublica's stunning report, "Just to be clear here, it was a flagrant violation of federal law for Thomas to accept this wildly expensive luxury vacation without reporting it as a gift --- his conduct isn't just unseemly, it's illegal." Stern goes on to add in the same thread, "Thomas has long shown contempt for any law that applies to him."

    Yup. As we've been trying to point out, and report on, and document for years both here at The BRAD BLOG and on air. The extravagance of the gifts from Crow --- who was apparently the person who who gave $550,000 to Ginni's organization in late 2009 --- is somewhat gob-smacking, as we detail today.

    For the record, the graphic at the top of this article is a detail from a portrait by artist showing Thomas and Crow enjoying cigars at Crow's private, 105-acre lakeside resort in upstate New York where, ProPublica reports, Thomas has been a guest every summer for years, along with fellow guests from major companies and Republican think tanks who frequently file amicus briefings with the Court. The painting hangs inside of Crow's Adirondacks resort named Camp Topridge.

    Be sure to check out Kaplan, Elliott and Mierjeski full report.

  • Also today, a few trenchant thoughts, courtesy of Daily Kos contributor "Dartagnan" on the "uncharted waters" of Donald Trump's first (but unlikely last) criminal indictment this week. This one including 34 felony charges for having paid hush-money to a porn star to improve the odds of his 2016 Presidential election, along with his year's worth of cover-up checks written from the Oval Office thereafter in 2017.
  • Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report, with a boatload of important initiatives being taken right now --- with very little coverage from the media --- by the Biden Administration, including boosting clean energy projects in Coal Country; investing in the U.S. manufacturing of battery-powered heavy duty trucks; cracking down on toxic mercury pollution by coal-fired power plants; and tackling the enormous job of replacing dangerous lead water pipes around the country.
  • And, finally, we close today with a much-needed, long-overdue, hilarious new tune from the inimitable musical satirist, Randy Rainbow...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 4/6/2023 9:27am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Oil prices spike after OPEC+ announces surprise production cuts; Good news and bad news with CA's record snowpack; More deadly tornadoes strike Midwest; PLUS: Biden Admin boosts clean energy in Coal Country, clean manufacturing, and cracks down on toxic mercury and lead water pipes... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 'Scary' new data on the last ice age raises concerns about future sea levels; Walmart will add thousands of EV charging stations to stores by 2030; Biden Interior announces $585 million for water infrastructure projects; Montana repeals state energy policy as climate trial nears; Study: Even a small increase in pollution raises risk for dementia; Melting Antarctic ice may strangle vital ocean currents; Bangladesh needs $1.7 billion a year for green energy transition; China slowly squeezing global carmakers out of its massive markets; N.Y. governor walks back push to 'weaken' climate law after uproar... PLUS: A push to turn farm waste into fuel... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Guests: Salon's Heather Digby Parton, Pro Left Podcast's 'Driftglass'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/4/2023 5:12pm PT  

At long last. Criminal accountability for a U.S. President finally begins on today's BradCast Special Coverage. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

Donald J. Trump surrendered to law enforcement on Tuesday in downtown Manhattan. He was arrested, booked and arraigned in New York State Supreme Court on 34 counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree.

The crimes were carried out, according to a statement released by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office, "in order to conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from American voters before and after the 2016 election."

As detailed in the 16-page indictment [PDF] and 13-page statement of facts [PDF] unsealed this afternoon, the charges relate to a conspiracy by the disgraced, twice-impeached former President and others to employ a "'catch and kill' scheme to identify, purchase, and bury negative information about him and boost his electoral prospects."

In one case detailed by the prosecutors, he allegedly worked with American Media Inc. (AMI), the publishers of the National Inquirer, to pay $30,000 to a former Trump Tower doorman to quash the man's claims that Trump had a child out of wedlock. In another, Trump is said to have worked with the same company to pay $150,000 to Playboy Model Karen McDougal to silence her about a sexual relationship they had. And, in yet another scheme Trump, he had his then attorney, Michael Cohen, pay $130,000 hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels just 12 days before the 2016 election.

Trump then issued nearly a dozen checks over the following year --- 9 of them personally signed --- while serving in the Oval Office, in a scheme to keep it all quiet. He allegedly made false entries in his business records to describe the payments as fees for legal services and "took steps that mischaracterized, for tax purposes, the true nature of the reimbursements," according to the D.A.

During his arraignment before New York's Acting Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, Trump pleaded Not Guilty to all charges.

We're joined today by some of our favorite BradCast Special Coverage panelists, HEATHER DIGBY PARTON, award-winning columnist at Salon and founder of Digby's Hullabaloo blog, and "DRIFTGLASS", otherwise known as @Mr_Electrico on Twitter and as simply Bill at home in Illinois, where he has long produced The Professional Left Podcast.

All of us, long time progressive bloggers who have written and discussed the need for accountability for criminal Presidents for many years. Without it, each one --- specifically Republican Presidents --- have subsequently become more criminal than the last, from Richard Nixon through Ronald Reagan through both George Bushes until the system produced the most criminal of them all, Donald J. Trump.

Until now, our decades of calls for accountability have gone unmet. But today, for the first time, as we all seem to agree, accountability may finally be beginning to help right a system that has gone so horribly wrong in recent decades --- at unspeakable cost to both the nation and the world.

"We've seen one scandal after another of real, serious corruption on the part of these Republican leaders," notes Digby today. "If we are not able to get some accountability, some way for the system to right itself, I really worry that we are definitely goners. This is way, way too important. It's not just Stormy Daniels. It's that this guy feels he is unaccountable to the law."

"It's not just that [Trump] feels entitled," adds Driftglass. "It's also that Republican voters believe he's entitled to get away with murder. That's the scary part. There are 70 million plus Americans out there who think, 'Yeah, he's corrupt. Sure, he's done terrible things. But he should get away with it because we're Republicans, and that's our natural right.'"

Today we discuss what all of this means; some of today's charges; the special treatment received by Trump (despite the Manhattan D.A.'s website claim of "One Standard of Justice for All"); the former President's social media tantrums; the limp response to his indictment from his supporters; and what comes next in the accountability storm we are likely to see over the next several weeks and months.

Also today, Desi Doyen has our latest Green News Report, with several items of good news to end today's happier-than-usual BradCast!...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 4/4/2023 8:50am PT  


Follow @GreenNewsReport...

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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Another deadly tornado outbreak ravages several states, with more twisters on the way; Melting ice in Antarctica could slow down deep ocean current by 2050; California enacts first-in-the-nation law to rein in Big Oil price gouging; U.S. clears way for nation's first commercial scale offshore wind farm; PLUS: Tiny island nation of Vanuatu gets UN to address climate justice... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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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): EPA approves California rules phasing out diesel trucks; On India's shore, rising salinity means daily water struggle; Saudis, other oil giants announce surprise production cuts; New rules will make many electric cars ineligible for tax credits; The data on Hurricane Ian's destructive path are horrific; Sea-level rise is double-edged sword for carbon storage; DOJ sues Norfolk Southern for alleged environmental violations in East Palestine derailment; Fears for UK butterfly numbers after die-off in 2022 heatwave... PLUS: The US leads the world in weather catastrophes. Here's why... and much, MUCH more! ...

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