Also: Trump loses in court again; 10 GOP state Senators barred from OR's 2024 ballot; U.S. House passes bipartisan bill; Biden Admin climate and clean energy triumphs you probably haven't heard about...
By Brad Friedman on 2/1/2024, 6:40pm PT  

Legislation is hard. It involves compromise and stuff. But the bulk of Republican state Senators in Oregon won't have to worry about that anymore. At least for a few years. Also, stealing money from your duped political donors to cover your mountain of legal fees to defend your law breaking appears to be very easy if you are the disgraced former President. And, a whole bunch of landmark climate and energy successes under Joe Biden that you likely haven't about, but should have. Those are just some of the many news stories covered on today's BradCast. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

Among them...

  • As of airtime, we're still waiting for (sorta overdue) key rulings on Donald Trump's ridiculous "Presidential Immunity" claims at the DC Court of Appeals and on how much Trump and company (and sons) will have to pay up in New York's $370 million bank fraud suit against them. In the meantime, Trump has lost again today in court on an entirely different matter. This time in London, where his lawsuit against the Steele Dossier's author was summarily dismissed by a UK judge (just as the similarly absurd suit filed by Trump against Christopher Steele, Hillary Clinton and top FBI officials was rejected by a U.S. judge in 2022.)
  • All of those failed lawsuits, and defending himself against civil cases and four criminal felony indictments is costing Trump's gullible dupes/supporters a lot of money. New FEC filings released today reveal that Trump spent/blew $27 million of his donors' money on personal legal bills in the second half of last year, bringing the total amount of campaign donor money used for legal fees in 2023 to about $50 million. That number is expected to be much higher in 2024, giving the phrase "chump change" a whole new meaning.
  • The Oregon Supreme Court, on Thursday, determined that 10 Republican state Senators may not run for office in 2024, after violating a 2022 state Constitutional Amendment adopted by voters in a 36-point landslide that year. The measure bans state lawmakers from running in the next election after they've accrued more than 10 unexcused absences. The GOP state Senators in question walked out for a record 6-weeks in 2023 in hopes of blocking legislation on abortion rights, LGBTQ rights and gun safety, delaying or killing hundreds of other bills in the bargain. The state Senate currently has only 12 Republicans. Ten of them, including the chamber's minority leader, are now barred from running for reelection this year.
  • The U.S. House passed a bipartisan bill! It is compromise tax legislation. Republicans agreed to offer modest tax relief to low income families with children, so long as Democrats agreed to extend huge tax breaks to wealthy corporations and small businesses. Nobody got everything they wanted, and the legislation, adopted on Wednesday by a lopsided 357-70 House vote, will almost certainly change or be killed altogether in the Senate. But that's how legislation works. Or is supposed to work. Or used to work. And, for one day this week, incredibly enough, it did again. We discuss why it did.
  • "Government, in a large, wealthy, functional modern democracy, is pretty boring. Lots of bureaucracy, lots of agencies, lots of complexity, lots of rules, mostly incremental change. It's not particularly dramatic," noted our friend climate and energy journalist David Roberts on Twitter on the last day of the year. "That makes it a very poor fit for the dynamics & demands of modern media, especially social media. Drama, outrage, sweeping counterintuitive generalizations --- these are the coin of the realm. No one gets clicks by celebrating the workaday operation of the gov't machine," he continued. "Consequently, boring democratic governance --- perhaps the greatest advance in collective human welfare in history --- has no day-to-day defenders. Basically everyone is incentivized to take it for granted."

    Of course, we are defenders of that "boring democratic governance" and we don't take it for granted. Roberts was linking to a lengthy --- and wildly enlightening --- thread from former professor turned White House clean energy policy advisor Costa Samaras, who detailed a stunning year-end list of positive, landmark environmental actions and initiatives undertaken by the Biden-Harris Administration in the wake of passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act (adopted only by Democrats). If you think Biden has done little for climate and clean energy you may want to review Samaras' list.

    Just one of dozens of examples: "The Inflation Reduction Act & @POTUS' agenda have supercharged U.S. grid-scale energy storage. Before the Biden-Harris Administration, grid-connected energy storage was basically zero. This year there will be 9 Hoover Dams worth of batteries on the grid. Next year: 16 Hoover Dams."

  • Finally, Desi Doyen is here with our latest Green News Report, as the Saudis nix expanded production (and lower gas prices) in time for this year's Presidential election in the U.S.; Millions of Americans are found at risk of toxic chemical freight train disasters; EU phases out dirty heavy-duty diesel trucks by 2040; and the Biden Dept. of Energy issues new rules to save gas stove users thousands of dollars in efficiency improvements (while taking no one's gas stove away from them, Fox "News"!)...


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