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Help Us Celebrate 500 Episodes of 'Green News Report' and Other News That Matters

Brad Blog - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 21:21

Today we crossed a milestone. As luck --- I mean, really smart planning a little over five years ago --- would have it, our 500th episode of the Green News Report just happened to be today...on Earth Day. Yes, we totally planned it that way.

Those who know The BRAD BLOG know that we have, for more than 10 years now, tried to cover what is important here. Stuff that really matters. Not stuff that may be popular. Not stuff that is meant to please any particular constituency or funder. Not stuff that will necessarily bring clicks and traffic and comments. Not 'listicles' and kitty photos and 'sideboob'. Rather, we try to focus on what you need to know and/or that which is not being adequately covered elsewhere.

To that end, we need your support to continue doing what so few sites are willing or able to do (much less for more than 10 years, as is the case with the blog --- and now more than 5 years bringing you and the public airwaves that will have us, 500 episodes of "independent green news, politics, analysis and snarky comment".)

In case you're wondering, nobody pays us to do the GNR. We do it because we believe it's needed and it's the right thing to do. I should say, nobody pays us to do the GNR other than you!

Please help us keep going. Your support here is, truly, the only chance that we've got. Please consider a donation below. A one-time donation of whatever you can afford is fantastic. A pledge of monthly sustaining support of whatever you can afford is even fantastic-er. Either or both are very much appreciated and very much needed.

Thanks for your consideration in helping us to both celebrate and survive...

- Brad & Desi


Choose monthly amount... $10 : $10.00 USD - monthly
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(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)

Oh, now go listen to GNR's 500th episode!...

Categories: Brad Blog

'Green News Report' - April 22, 2014

Brad Blog - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 18:22


IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: It's our 500th episode of the Green News Report ...coincidentally on Earth Day! So, since every day is Earth Day for us, we thought we'd take a look back at the GNR's beginning and where it, and climate coverage has gone since then. For better or worse. All that and more in today's very special Green News Report!

Help us celebrate 500 episodes of GNR!

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

Link: Embed:

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): Apple will now recycle your old products; Cowboys and Indians descend on Washington to Protest Keystone XL Pipeline; First Nations see no compromise on BC tar sands pipeline; Scientists discover way to generate solar power in the dark; Polluted Superfund site now home to solar panel farm; Environmental activist missing in Ecuador; Lead poisoning nightmare in Nigeria may be easing ... PLUS: BP Oil Spill Anniversary: 4 years later, the legacy of disaster in the Gulf ... and much, MUCH more! ...


  • Climate Change is THE Issue of Our Time, Says EPA's Gina McCarthy:

  • The Daily Show
    Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,The Daily Show on Facebook,Daily Show Video Archive

    Categories: Brad Blog

    Democrats Lead Republicans by 6 Points in Generic 2014 Mid-Term Election Polling

    Brad Blog - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 08:35

    Via The Hill...

    Democrats lead Republicans by 6 percentage points on a generic ballot test going into the midterm elections in November, according to a new poll.

    A Marist-McClatchy poll released Tuesday found 48 percent of registered voters would choose a Democrat if the congressional elections were held today. Another 42 percent said they would support a Republican candidate. Six percent said they're undecided.

    The last time the polling firm tested the question, in February, Democrats held only a 2-point lead. Other recent polling has shown a narrow edge for Democrats. The Real Clear Politics average has Democrats topping Republicans by about 2 percent as well.

    Maybe Democrats will stop acting like losers now too. Hmmm. Doubt it.

    Categories: Brad Blog

    Sacramento Press Club Excludes Green Party's CA Sec. of State Candidate From Upcoming Debate

    Brad Blog - Mon, 04/21/2014 - 17:31

    The candidates polling first, second...fourth and fifth in the 2014 election for CA Secretary of State, according to a recent Field Poll, will appear at a debate being held by the non-profit Sacramento Press Club (SPC) this coming Wednesday.

    The candidate polling in third place in that survey, however, Green Party candidate David Curtis, is not invited to participate and he's none too happy about it.

    Two Democratic candidates, State Sen. Alex Padilla and former Common Cause official Derek Cressman, one Republican candidate, Pete Peterson, as well as former Republican operative Dan Schnur, now running as an independent, have been invited to attend, but Curtis was not, despite out-polling both Cressman and Schnur in the April survey.

    Curtis, says he only just learned of the scheduled debate a week ago. "I only even knew about the event because one of the other candidates Tweeted about it," he explained to The BRAD BLOG via email.

    His legal representative, Gautam Dutta of Business, Energy, and Election Law, PC, fired off a 2-page letter [PDF] over the weekend to the SPC President, Secretary and Treasurer demanding that Curtis be included in the debate, and charging that his exclusion "violates federal law governing tax-exempt groups."

    For their part, the SPC has, so far, failed to explain the criteria used to invite candidates to participate, though they did send us a statement claiming that Curtis, after learning about the debate and his exclusion from it, "began a tirade of insulting and threatening social media posts about our organization," and "became belligerent and rude, making a conversation impossible" during a phone call with the group's program director...

    To date, we've been unable to find any comments from the Green Party candidate that we'd characterize as particularly "insulting" or "threatening", though Curtis admits he "was pretty upset" after finding out that he had not been invited to the debate, after appearing with five other candidates in the first debate for CA Secretary of State held several weeks ago.

    After finding out about the debate, "I tried to call them for 24 hours over that weekend," he told us. "The SPC had no operable website on that Sunday and no voice mail option."

    Once he was finally able to reach a representative for the group, he admits that he was very frustrated. "I asked him if the group has a non-profit status and he said 'yes' I said 'I will remove it' and I hung up on him," Curtis said. "I called him back twice and we had pleasant exchanges."

    "On Twitter," he added, "I did Tweet A LOT of stuff, that is what Twitter is for. They seem to be a little slow on the internet thing."

    In a quick search of the social media service, while there were a number of tweets from Curtis citing his exclusion from the event, the most "threatening" or "insulting" we were able to find from Curtis was a tweet to the Sacramento Press Club asking: "Is a function of a free press to limit speech?" In another, he charged that the group, of which he claims to be a member, "censors speech". That tweet used the hashtag "#LetCurtisDebate". And in still another tweet last week, on the same day that the SPC released a statement on his exclusion from the debate Curtis asked wryly: "Good morning, is it a democracy yet?"

    He also noted on Twitter that he "is already in the ACLU and League of Women Voters and Common Cause Debates."

    In a response to Curtis' initial complaint, SPC President Juliet Williams of the Associated Press, issued the following statement on April 15th:

    Prior to the release of the Field Poll, the Sacramento Press Club, a non-profit dedicated to providing scholarships for aspiring journalists, invited 4 of the candidates for secretary of state to participate in a debate. Given our severe time constraints within a luncheon format, we sought to hold the most informative event possible. At no time did Mr. Curtis contact us through our phone number or email address. After he posted a message on our Facebook page over the weekend, members of our volunteer board were in deliberations about how best to address the situation given our time constraints. As we were discussing the best approach to take, Mr. Curtis began a tirade of insulting and threatening social media posts about our organization. Upon receiving a phone call from our program director, Mr. Curtis became belligerent and rude, making a conversation impossible. Our decision was clear, given our intent to hold a civil and informative discussion on the issues in the race. Our organization is entitled to invite whichever speakers we choose and is under no mandate to invite everyone.

    After responding quickly to our first query seeking comment, in which they sent the above statement, the SPC has yet to reply to our follow-up asking for them to cite the social media comments from Curtis that they found to be "insulting and threatening".

    "In addition to excluding me from the debate," Curtis responded on the same day, "Ms Williams of the Sac Press Club is now lying publicly in her response."

    In Dutta's foot-noted letter [PDF] on April 20th, the attorney charges the SPC is in violation of federal law in its exclusion of the Green Party candidate.

    "Because your group receives tax exemptions from federal and state taxes, it is
    forbidden from playing favorites among candidates, and must remain 'neutral in political affairs.' In that regard, as the federal court in Washington, DC pointedly noted, a group holding a political debate 'must be able to show that their objective criteria were used to pick the participants.' If a group fails to do so, its tax-exempt status must be revoked," Dutta writes [emphasis in original], calling on the SPC to "immediately reverse its unprincipled, unwise, and unfair decision."

    "In light of the Field Poll, we fail to see any 'objective criteria' that would justify
    excluding Mr. Curtis, when your group has also invited candidates who had polled
    behind Mr. Curtis."

    The April 11th Field Poll finds Republican Peterson leading the current pack of candidates with 30%. The Democratic State Senator Padilla follows him with 17%, trailed by Curtis with 5%, the former GOPer running as an "independent" Schnur with 4% and the Democratic Cressman with 3%.

    There is also a large number of undecideds in the race, about which John Hrabe of CalNewsroom.com observers: "The exclusion of Curtis could affect his ability to reach the 'huge 41% of voters (that) are undecided' in the race".

    As of 2012, California now features an open "Top-Two" primary system, in which the two leading vote-getters in the primary, from any party, go on to compete against each other in the general election.

    Last month, The BRAD BLOG highlighted a conversation we'd recently had with Curtis over social media in response to his advocacy for an optional "online method of voting".

    The BRAD BLOG has long been on record documenting the many dangers of Internet elections. As we noted when posting our conversation with Curtis: "While the ease of hacking such elections is certainly a major concern (among many others), the over-arching problem with Internet Voting is that, after voting is complete, it is 100% impossible for citizens to oversee their own election results in order to determine that any vote has been tallied as per any voter's intent."

    So, while we do not necessarily agree with all of Curtis' positions (or even Dutta's, with whom we've also strongly disagreed in the past), we are more than happy to participate in spirited debate with the candidate, along with the others also in the running this year (even as some have proven less than interested in debating, or even responding to us). Unfortunately, the Sacramento Press Club doesn't appear to share that spirit of free and open debate, at least based on their exclusion of Curtis and their subsequent responses to the call to include him in this week's luncheon debate.

    California is the most populous state in the union and often leads the nation in issues regarding elections and voting systems overseen by the Secretary of State. With the current outgoing Democratic CA Sec. of State Debra Bowen excluded from running again due to term limits, this year's contest for the office is wide open and could prove to have a dramatic effect on voting systems across the country. A request for comment on this matter from Bowen's office was not immediately replied to.

    On their website, the Sacramento Press Club describes themselves as "a non-profit educational organization dedicated to helping the next generation of journalists through scholarships to journalism students in California." They say they have "more than 200 active members," including "political reporters and columnists, new media journalists, public relations experts, press secretaries, political consultants, legislative staff members and other members of the public with an interest in the media and/or politics."

    "The Sacramento Press Club is committed to informing and educating its members and the public through monthly luncheons featuring newsmakers from throughout the nation," their website states.

    * * *

    Here is the SPC's announcement about this week's monthly luncheon, which excludes the Green Party candidate David Curtis, even as it includes Republican, Democratic and independent candidates currently polling lower than him...

    * * *Please help support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system --- now in our ELEVENTH YEAR! --- as available from no other media outlet in the nation...

    Categories: Brad Blog

    'Leftist, Tree-Hugging, Big Government Environmentalist Whacko' Barry Goldwater

    Brad Blog - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 16:04

    "While I am a great believer in the free competitive enterprise system and all that it entails, I am an even stronger believer in the right of our people to live in a clean and pollution-free environment. To this end, it is my belief that when pollution is found, it should be halted at the source, even if this requires stringent government action against important segments of our national economy."

    -- Leftist, tree-hugging, Big Government environmentalist whacko...and 1964 conservative Republican Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater, from 1971's The Conscience of a Majority.

    [Hat-tip to too-occassional BRAD BLOG contributor D.R. Tucker...]

    Categories: Brad Blog

    'Obamacare' is Working Very Well, So, Of Course, Democrats Are Still Scared to Death of It

    Brad Blog - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 17:16

    I discussed some of these points on Wednesday's BradCast, but wanted to quickly highlight each of them a bit here, since these important data points are easy to lose track of in the blizzard of news noise of late.

    There remain some (many?) Democrats who are still running scared as they head into the 2014 mid-terms, cowering with fear about Rightwing attacks on "Obamacare". Evidence continues to demonstrate that those Dems should be running on what is clearly the tremendous success of the law, as written and intended (even as the Affordable Care Act itself has always been a flawed law.)

    If there's any question about the success of the law on its most basic terms, as far as what it was meant to accomplish (help more Americans have access to health care), here is a very quick round-up of the law's most noteworthy milestones from just the past week, along with some rather remarkable polling numbers --- from three different surveys --- that buttress the nation's increasing approval for both the effects of the law and the Democrats who brung it to 'em...

    As TPM's Sahil Kapur summarized yesterday, after the President's press conference announcing that 8 million had, to date, signed up for insurance plans via the state or federal exchanges, there are another 3 million young adults who are now allowed to stay on their parents plans; another 3 million Americans who now have access to health care via the Medicaid expansions of ACA and another 5 million who have signed up for non-exchange plans, according to the White House.

    That's 19 million who have obtained health care via the program to date. About 10 million or "way more" of them, according to several recent studies, did not have health insurance previously.

    Another 5.7 million remain eligible for Medicaid coverage, but aren't allowed to receive that health care because they live in states where Republicans have, grotesquely, denied those citizens, among the poorest in those states, access to the expanded program.

    Moreover, a new report this week from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), "shows the law costing less than in previous estimates in part because of the broad and persistent slowdown in the growth of health care costs," according to the New York Times. The new estimate finds that the law will lower the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next decade.

    The reduced estimate is attributable mostly to the budget office’s cutting its projections of federal spending for subsidies for insurance premiums, with estimates falling by $3 billion for spending in 2014 and $164 billion over 10 years.

    The budget office also issued projections that 12 million more nonelderly people would have insurance in 2014 than would have otherwise, rising to 26 million in 2017.

    So those are fairly clear successes for the law, at least in regard to its main purpose: to help more people who could not receive it previously --- for all sorts of reasons --- obtain health care.

    But it's the changing attitude about the law, according to a rather remarkable and unrelenting string of polls over the last week or so, that leaves one scratching their head as to how it can be that Democrats seem not yet to have taken notice. Specifically, three different polls highlight three fairly notable changes in demographic understanding and appreciation of the law, as well as for those who, all by themselves, passed it in 2010...

    Republican voters beginning to realize they were hoodwinked by the GOP: A poll last week from Gallup finds a pretty remarkable spike in Republican voters who now understand the law will have little or no affect on them. The number of self-identified GOPers who think the law will have no affect on them has jumped 20 points from just last month. It seems like that number will continue to grow, given the number of years that Republican officials and "advocates" have declared the law was "a complete government take over of health care" that would "end health care as we know it in this country". Turns out that now that the law is actually taking affect and Americans are no worse off for it (and, in many cases, better off thanks to things like free preventative care and birth control, etc.) that Republican voters may be understanding that they were lied to.

    Americans increasingly prefer Democrats on healthcare issues: A Reuters/Ipsos poll from earlier this week finds that nearly one-third of respondents "said they prefer Democrats' plan, policy or approach to healthcare, compared to just 18 percent for Republicans. This marks both an uptick in support for Democrats and a slide for Republicans since a similar poll in February." The numbers preferring Democrats on health care over Republicans has been steadily rising since February when "just around one-quarter of respondents said Democrats had a better plan."

    Uninsured levels dropping faster in states that support 'Obamacare': Another Gallup survey from mid-week finds that states that expanded Medicaid under ACA and actively participated in the insurance marketplace exchanges saw the rate of uninsured drop 2.5% in the first quarter of 2014. Meanwhile, states that refused to expand Medicaid or participate in the exchanges saw their rate of uninsured drop just .8%.

    To be clear, there are still large swaths of Americans who --- largely thanks to horrible media coverage and hundreds of millions spent on anti-'Obamacare' propaganda by Rightwing Republicanists --- do not support the ACA, even if the vast majority of Americans either support it or wish to see it strengthened. But there is little doubt those numbers would be much higher if shell-shocked Democrats, themselves, weren't either running away from the law, or afraid to bring it up, and sing its praises, in polite company.

    There also remain legitimate reasons for some Democrats and/or those on the actual Left, to oppose the general structure of the Republican-created, market-based law and continue the call for improvements to it --- such as a Medicare-for-all type single-payer system or, at least, a public option as an alternative to private insurance in each state. (One such self-identified Lefty called in to The BradCast on Wednesday to complain about my advocacy on all of these points, and he and I have been following up in comments since then.)

    But with numbers like these, taken collectively --- from the wildly successful sign-up numbers that exceed almost all projections, to decreases in expected costs for the program and for health care itself (and the sizable decrease in the nation's deficit that comes with it), to the steady and persistent increase in polling support for the law and the Democrats who passed it --- it's almost mystifying that Democrats aren't showing up with huge "YOU'RE WELCOME FOR 'OBAMACARE', AMERICA!" banners at every townhall or campaign event.

    But they're Democrats. Neither political courage nor forward thinking has been their hallmark for some time.

    Categories: Brad Blog

    'Green News Report' - April 17, 2014

    Brad Blog - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 17:33


    IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: One year since the deadly West, TX fertilizer explosion: has anything changed?; New 'habitable' planet discovered!; Environmental justice: air pollution highest in minority neighborhoods; March 2014 was 4th warmest ever recorded; PLUS: 'Bombshell' study ties record CA drought, cool weather in East directly to human-caused global warming... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

    Please help us connect the climate change dots over your public airwaves!

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

    Link: Embed:

    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): UN climate report summary censored by governments around the world; Monsanto herbicide found in human breast milk; VT poised to label GMO foods; Methane leaks from natural gas wells up to 1000% higher than estimates; Transmission for renewable energy is cheaper than natural gas pipelines; Spread of slavery linked to climate change; Is Gulf cleaned up or not? BP says yes, Coast Guard says no ... PLUS: Power plants lose legal bid to douse you with mercury ... and much, MUCH more! ...


    'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

    • UN's IPCC report summary censored by governments around the world (Sydney Morning Herald):
      A major climate report presented to the world was censored by the very governments who requested it, frustrating and angering some of its lead authors ...[E]ntire paragraphs, plus graphs showing where carbon emissions have been increasing the fastest, were deleted from the summary during a week’s debate prior to its release. Other sections had their meaning and purpose significantly diluted. They were victims of a bruising skirmish between governments in the developed and developing world over who should shoulder the blame for, and the responsibility for fixing, climate change.
    • Power plants lose legal bid to douse you with mercury (Grist):
      The power plant owners felt it was unfair that the government cared about public health but didn’t care about their bottom lines. More mercury in your air means more money in their pockets. So they sued.
    • Victory For Academic Freedom: Va. Supreme Court rules for U-Va. in global warming FOIA case (Washington Post):
      the Virginia Supreme Court ... reject[ed] an attempt by skeptics of global warming to view the work of a prominent climate researcher during his years at the University of Virginia.
    • World's Number One Herbicide Found in Mother's Breast Milk (Organic Consumers Association):
      Pilot study shows build-up of Glyphosate herbicide in Mothers' bodies. Initial testing shows Monsanto and Global regulatory bodies are wrong regarding bio-accumulation of Glyphosate, leading to serious public health concerns.
    • Are Natural Gas Wells Huge Methane Sources? (Climate Crocks) [emphasis added]:
      Drilling operations at several natural gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania released methane into the atmosphere at rates that were 100 to 1,000 times greater than federal regulators had estimated, new research shows.
    • Transmission for Renewables: Cheaper and Greener Than Natural Gas Pipelines (Triple Pundit):
      [I]nvesting in renewable energy transmission infrastructure would not only be better from environmental and social perspectives, but it would also be a lot cheaper and give the U.S. a much bigger bang for its energy buck.
    • Communities Find That Oil Trains Are A Disaster Waiting To Happen (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
      Trains carrying crude travel through an unknown number of American cities on a daily basis, endangering countless residents, and safety efforts move slowly and with industry opposition. And Wednesday, the freight rail industry revealed that mandatory safety technology to prevent derailments and collisions will only be installed on 20 percent of tracks on deadline at the end of 2015.
    • California Regulators Decide Utilities Can’t Charge Solar-Killing Fees (Climate Progress)
    • Is climate change the new slavery? (Grist) [emphasis added]:
      [I]n April 1815, when the eruption of Mt. Tambora in Indonesia cooled the Earth and triggered drastic disruptions of major weather systems worldwide...when relentless bad weather ruined harvests for two and then three years running, extraordinary, world-changing things started to happen. The magnitude and variety of human suffering in the years 1815 to 1818 are in one sense incalculable, but three continental-scale consequences stand out amid the misery: slavery, refugeeism, and the failure of states.
    • Is Gulf cleanup over or not? BP and Coast Guard differ: (Washington Post):
      On Tuesday night, BP said that the 'active cleanup' of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill had been brought 'to a close.' Later Tuesday night, the Coast Guard said the response to the spill isn't over yet, 'not by a long shot.'
    • Sriracha plant's possible move out of Irwindale called 'very extreme' (LA Times):
      Irwindale's public nuisance designation gives city officials the authority to enter the factory and install smell-mitigation technology if the company does not make the appropriate changes within approximately 90 days.
    • Vermont poised to mandate GMO labels on food (Grist):
      Vermont is on the verge of becoming the third American state to require the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.
    • Scientists Discover How to Generate Solar Power in the Dark (The Atlantic):
      Meet 'photoswitches,' a breakthrough set of materials that act as their own batteries, absorbing energy and releasing it on demand.
    • How to Solve Global Warming: It's the Energy Supply (Scientific American):
      Carbon storage has to expand rapidly, or coal burning has to cease, if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change.
      Restraining global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius will require changing how the world produces and uses energy to power its cities and factories, heats and cools buildings, as well as moves people and goods in airplanes, trains, cars, ships and trucks, according to the IPCC. Changes are required not just in technology, but also in people's behavior.
    • Climate Panel Stunner: Avoiding Climate Catastrophe Is Super Cheap — But Only If We Act Now (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
      Now you might think it would be a no-brainer that humanity would be willing to pay a very high cost to avoid such catastrophes and achieve the low emission “2°C” (3.6°F) pathway in the left figure above (RCP2.6 — which is a total greenhouse gas level in 2100 equivalent to roughly 450 parts per million of CO2). But the third report finds that the “cost” of doing so is to reduce the median annual growth of consumption over this century by a mere 0.06%.

      You read that right, the annual growth loss to preserve a livable climate is 0.06% — and that’s “relative to annualized consumption growth in the baseline that is between 1.6% and 3% per year.” So we’re talking annual growth of, say 2.24% rather than 2.30% to save billions and billions of people from needless suffering for decades if not centuries.

    FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page

  • Skeptical Science: Database with FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Myths
  • Warning: Even in the best-case scenario, climate change will kick our asses (Grist)
  • NASA Video: Warming over the last 130 years, and into the next 100 years:

  • Categories: Brad Blog

    KPFK 'BradCast': Airing the Leaked CIA Torture Report Findings; 'Obamacare' Success; and Other Stuff to Piss Off and Amuse You

    Brad Blog - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 08:05

    Given that every Sunday network news show decided to completely ignore it, I thought it my duty to read the entirety of the leaked findings from the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee's report on CIA Torture and Detention on the air during this week's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio.

    You're welcome, war criminals!

    Also on this week's show, the continually growing evidence of the success of "Obamacare" (and a caller who self-identifies as "full on Left. I'm not even liberal, I'm further Left than that", who takes me to task for citing the facts) --- and why it's time for Dems to grow a pair and start running to not just retain the Senate but also take the U.S. House.

    A word or two on home-grown Rightwing extremist terrorism and the fecklessness of the Dept. of Homeland Security which, thanks to bullying from Republicanists and Fox "News", cowered from and retracted their report on same back in 2009 despite the mounting death toll ever since.

    Also, a bunch of good callers and more that you'll just have to tune in to hear about, including a visit by Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report and some other stuff. Enjoy!

    Download MP3 or listen online below...
    [See post to listen to audio]

    Categories: Brad Blog

    The Climate Is Invading the Earth!

    Brad Blog - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 08:35

    If an alien invader with a face were attacking the earth, the difficulties that governments have getting populations to support wars on other humans would be multiplied a thousand fold.

    The most common response to officials calling some petty foreign despot "a new Hitler" would shift from "yeah, right" to "who cares?" The people of the world would unite in common defense against the hostile alien.

    If only it had a face. And what's a face anyway? Doctors can create faces now. You'd still love your loved ones if they lost their faces. And I hear there's a movie in which a guy falls in love with his faceless computer.

    The point is that there is an alien invader attacking the earth. Its name is climate change. And Uncle Sam wants YOU to fight it, as does Uncle Boris and Aunt Hannah and Cousin Juan and Brother Feng. The whole family is in agreement on this one, and we are a family now all of a sudden...

    Climate change breathes fire on our land and roasts it, killing crops, drying up water supplies, breeding dangerous diseases and infestations. Climate change circles over the oceans and blows tidal waves toward our coasts. It melts the icebergs in its evil claws and sinks our beach resorts beneath the sea.

    How do we fight back? We organize quickly, as only humans can. We grab the $2 trillion that we spend on wars among ourselves each year, plus a few trillion more from some multi-billionaires who suddenly realize they don't have another planet to spend it on. We start coating the rooftops with solar panels, aimed right at the face of the monster. We put up windmills that will turn his nasty breath against himself.

    And we hit him where it really hurts, we cut off his supplies with crippling sanctions: we stop buying and making and consuming and discarding such incredible piles of crap every day. Consumerism becomes rapidly understood as planetary treason, support for the Evil One. We put a stop to its worst excesses and begin reining it in systematically --- working together as we never have before.

    Ah, but the dark lord of the heat is subtle. He has cells of loyalists among us. They push fossil fuels on us and tell us comforting lies. No longer! We will drag them before the House UnEarthly Activities Committee. "Are you now or have you ever been a promoter of oil, gas, or coal consumption?" They'll crumble under the pressure.

    Imagine how we could unite for this battle, what wits and courage and self-sacrifice we could put into it, what inspiring acts of bravery, what stunning creations of intellect!

    Ah, but climate change is not a person, so forget the whole thing. Did you ever notice what a funny grin Vladimir Putin has? It's beginning to get on my nerves.

    * * *

    Originally published at WarIsaCrime.org...

    David Swanson's wants you to declare peace at http://WorldBeyondWar.org His new book is War No More: The Case for Abolition. He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for http://rootsaction.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

    Categories: Brad Blog

    Rightwing 'Legal' Blogger Digs Deep to Find Reason to Defend Scofflaw Nevada Rancher

    Brad Blog - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 14:21

    Republicanist attorney John Hinderaker of the silly, hyper-partisan, rightwing PowerLine blog has always been more than happy to offer "legal" arguments to support whatever Rightwing nonsense his tribe would like to hear. When he's unable to come up with an actual legal argument, he's also happy to just type words to let the tribe know he's still on their side...even when the law isn't.

    Commenting Monday night on the weekend's Bundy Ranch idiocy --- in which a scofflaw Nevada rancher who says he doesn't "recognize [the] United States government as even existing", has refused for the last twenty years to pay grazing fees for the use of public lands, as all other ranchers do --- Hinderaker admits that, "legally, Bundy doesn't have a leg to stand on."

    Nonetheless, the Republican lawyer/blogger twists and turns to argue, "you should be sympathetic toward" ranch owner Cliven Bundy anyway. The reason for that sympathy takes some explaining, and some pretty impressive gymnastics to result in Hinderaker's final, rather laughable, argument for it.

    Hinderaker must be desperate to get himself onto the non-RINO right flank of the Rightwing "FakeTriots" who rode in to southern NV last week with big manly guns a-blazin', but who, notably, did not ride in to the rescue when actual Big Government tyranny was actually cracking down on the public's right to occupy public spaces --- when the government actually used extraordinary violence to crush peaceful First Amendment-protected protests all around the country.

    Neither does he, nor they, seem to give a damn when Big Government intrudes on the Constitutionally protected rights of women to privately take care of their own bodies; nor for the rights of millions of legal voters to freely cast their votes; nor for the rights of homeowners who've gone bankrupt and/or lost their homes thanks to Big Government-abetted crimes of gigantic, lawless, Wall Street corporations.

    But what's most amusing about Hinderaker's article, in which he desperately (and transparently) attempts to get on the right side of folks he knows are wrong, but who are on his own political team, is that by the end of his article, he's finally figured out how to blame Big Bad Barack Obama and Harry Reid and, I guess, Liberalism or something for all the woes that Bundy is facing brought on himself. That, instead of calling out the rancher for his lack of personal responsibility in disobeying long-settled law, all while enjoying the Big Government welfare of "free" cattle grazing lands.

    To do this, Hinderaker offers a pretend argument that the federal government isn't necessarily against development on public lands --- only certain types of development...

    "It is obvious that some activities are favored by the Obama administration's BLM [Bureau of Land Management], and others are disfavored. The favored developments include solar and wind projects," Hinderaker charges with pretty much zero evidence to support his claim.

    (The tortured tie to "solar and wind projects" refers to a failed Chinese-backed solar project, supported by Reid, over a 100 miles to the north of Bundy's property and offered up by partisans as a reason for the federal "land grab" that isn't a land grab at all. It's a creation of Alex Jones Productions, of course, and one helped along big time over the weekend with an above-the-fold goose from Matt Drudge.)

    Hinderaker is smart enough to reject the alleged federal "land grab" plot out of hand, though he nonetheless works hard to place it back at the center of a nefarious Big Government scheme --- by hook or by crook if he has to.

    "Wind and solar energy survive only by virtue of federal subsidies," Hinderaker continues with a straight face, while failing to mention the massive mining and drilling operations allowed by the federal government on the very same public lands in exchange for little or no royalties to the American people, from whom such private corporations take those valuable, finite, publicly-owned resources.

    Ranchers, on the other hand, ask nothing of the federal government, he claims, while forgetting to mention the cut-rate government prices that ranchers enjoy for the use of thousands of square miles of grazing land.

    Bundy, of course, doesn't think he should have to pay anything to use federal public lands. Yet he, unlike those welfare queens relying on the federal government to avoid things like death and starvation and stuff, should be the recipient of great sympathy, says the twisting Hinderaker at PowerLine.

    "So let's have some sympathy for Cliven Bundy and his family," he writes in happy conclusion. "Their way of life is one that, frankly, is on the outs. They don't develop apps. They don't ask for food stamps. It probably has never occurred to them to bribe a politician. They don't subsist by virtue of government subsidies..."

    Um, wait. Full stop. What?! They "don't subsist by virtue of government subsidies"?! Other than free access to grazing lands for Bundy's herd that Hinderaker feels we should have sympathy for?! (And which doesn't even take into account the hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage to people and property that his cattle are said to have caused over the years --- all for free?!)

    Look. People should be free to carry out whatever legal business they like --- even if its on land stolen centuries ago from Native Americans, as is the case with "Bundy's" land. But to pretend that the millions of dollars of use of federal land (at either the discounted federal rate or for free, as in this instance) is not a government subsidy, is just as disingenuous as, well, pretty much everything I've ever seen written at PowerLine over the past decade. So, I guess, nothing new. Just newly stupid. And newly reaching as far as possible to the Rightward-lurching Rightwing fringe of his own party, in hopes of courting their good favor.

    This is only gonna get stupider, I'm afraid, and bloodier, thanks to the tacit encouragement by wingnut tools like Hinderaker who don't have the courage to call out his own fellow wingnuts when they are blatantly wrong.

    Categories: Brad Blog

    Every Sunday Network News Show Failed to Mention U.S. Senate's CIA Torture Report Findings

    Brad Blog - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 17:39

    Late last week, the twenty conclusions of the U.S. Senate's report on the Bush-era's secret CIA torture and detention program was leaked and published by McClatchy.

    As we noted on Friday, when we also published the report's disturbing conclusions [PDF], the 6,600-page study, based on first-hand CIA documentation, reveals massive illegalities and war crimes by everyone from CIA contractors to agents to higher level officials at that agency and others.

    The report is said to detail wide-spread crimes that are not only in violation of U.S. law, but also international laws which our nation has an obligation to enforce, thanks to treaties we have long been a party to. And, if we don't enforce those laws and hold the criminals accountable for lawlessness such as torture, all the rest of the nations signed on to such treaties along with us, such as the UN Convention against Torture, have a legal obligation to do so.

    The prohibition against torture under that treaty is absolute for all nations. "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture," according to Article 2 of the treaty.

    All of that comes on the heels of revelations that the CIA itself had used the computers of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee in an attempt to sabotage the committee's report.

    Yet, with a report that important and a story that big, not a single U.S. network "news" show on Sunday found the time to even mention the report. Not NBC's Meet the Press with David Gregory, not ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, not CBS' Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer, not Fox "News" Sunday with Chris Wallace.

    On Friday, we mentioned that the U.S. Senators who recently voted to release 500 redacted pages of the report (we're still waiting on the White House to take action to redact and release it), argue that release is necessary to avoid this country ever going down this same path again.

    We opined in response that "only actual prosecution will deter that eventuality", that "As long as those who committed such vile and abhorrent crimes are not actually held accountable, all of this will almost certainly be repeated in the future," (by both us and other nations) and that "if we fail to prosecute, we will also have little ground to hold other rogue countries accountable for the same crimes in the future."

    The fact that the twenty, very beasy-to-read bullet point conclusions from the U.S. Senate report, which has been years in the making --- as based on first-hand documentation of the crimes --- were released last week, and not even mentioned once on any of the four major Sunday network news shows underscores our point. The release of data is all well and good. But it's only when the perpetators start being frog-marched to jail that the mainstream corporate media --- and, thus, the American public --- will begin to give a damn about one of the darkest moments in this nation's history.

    As of now, at least if Sunday is any indication, evidence suggests that the MSM doesn't give a damn. Therefore, neither will the American people. Thus, we are destined to repeat this abhorrent chapter and, once again, like so many shameful chapters in our recent past, the corporate mainstream media themselves will have played a lead role in helping to make sure that happens.

    Categories: Brad Blog

    Leaked Findings of Senate Report on 'CIA Torture and Detention' Detail Illegalities, Incompetence, Endangerment of National Security, War Crimes

    Brad Blog - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 21:03

    The leaked release [PDF] of the conclusions from the long-researched and much-debated U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee's still-unreleased 6,600-page report on the CIA's Bush-era secret detention and enhanced interrogation torture program reveals illegalities by the agency that include lying to Congress (and potentially the White House), the leaking of classified material and the misleading of federal investigators at both the CIA Inspector General's office as well as the Dept. of Justice.

    The conclusions allege that the conditions for imprisonment and the torture that often accompanied it were "brutal and far worse than the agency communicated to policymakers." But that's not all.

    The report finds the CIA was incompetent in their handling of the program, endangered national security in the process, and appears to have committed international war crimes. There is also the small fact that the interrogation techniques used by the CIA failed to reveal any actual intelligence and, as the report concludes, "damaged the United States' global reputation, and came with heavy costs, both monetary and non­-monetary."

    Other than that, the program worked great!

    It's little wonder then that the CIA has gone to such lengths --- including spying on and attempting to sabotage the work being done by the Senate committee itself since 2008 --- to try and cover it all up. It's also little wonder that one of the program's most ardent supporters, Dick Cheney, has been working so hard to lie about it all for so many years. If you were likely a war criminal, wouldn't you do the same thing?

    What may be considered more of an outstanding question is why the Obama Administration decided that it was okay to not prosecute the perpetrators of the blatant and broad swath of U.S. and international crimes detailed in the report as having been allegedly carried out by the CIA, its agents, its contractors, and any number of other high-ranking federal officials who knew about some or all of it.

    The Senate Intel Committee has voted to release about 500 pages of the report, though those pages must be first redacted and then released by the White House (which may have its own complicity in a number of the crimes detailed.) The Senators have argued that the release is necessary to avoid this country ever going down this path again. But, in truth, only actual prosecution will deter that eventuality. As long as those who committed such vile and abhorrent crimes are not actually held accountable, all of this will almost certainly be repeated in the future.

    Furthermore, if we fail to prosecute, we will also have little ground to hold other rogue countries accountable for the same crimes in the future.

    The report should be released in full, even if it must be leaked to the media, and the perpetrators of the crimes detailed within should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If the U.S. won't do that, other countries are obligated to try and do so themselves under treaties that both they and we are a party to.

    The twenty bullet point findings from the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee's report, as leaked to McClatchy, which released them on Friday, follow in full below...

    The Committee's complete list of findings follows.

    - The CIA's use of enhanced interrogation techniques did not effectively assist the agency in acquiring intelligence or in gaining cooperation from detainees.

    - The CIA repeatedly provided inaccurate information to the Department of Justice, impeding a proper legal analysis of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program.

    - The CIA subjected detainees to interrogation techniques that had not been approved by the Department of Justice or had not been authorized by CIA Headquarters.

    - The CIA did not conduct a comprehensive or accurate accounting of the number of individuals it detained and held individuals who did not meet the legal standard for detention. The CIA's claims about the number of detainees held and subjected to its enhanced interrogation techniques were inaccurate.

    - The CIA inaccurately characterized the effectiveness of the enhanced interrogation techniques to justify their use.

    - The CIA's use of enhanced interrogation techniques was brutal and far worse than the agency communicated to policymakers.

    - The conditions of confinement for CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the agency communicated to policymakers.

    - The CIA impeded effective White House oversight and decision-making.

    - The CIA has actively avoided or impeded congressional oversight of the program.

    - The CIA impeded oversight by the CIA's Office of Inspector General.

    - Numerous internal critiques and objections concerning the CIA's management and use of the Detention and Interrogation were ignored.

    - The CIA manipulated the media by coordinating the release of classified information, which inaccurately portrayed the effectiveness of the agency's enhanced interrogation techniques.

    - The CIA was unprepared as it began operating its Detention and Interrogation Program more than six months after being granted detention authorities.

    - The way in which the CIA operated and managed the program complicated, and in some cases hindered the national security missions of other Executive Branch agencies.

    - Management of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program was deeply flawed throughout its duration, particularly so in 2002 and 2003.

    - Two contract psychologists devised the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques and were central figures in the program's operation. By 2005, the CIA had overwhelmingly outsourced operations related to the program.

    - The effectiveness of the enhanced interrogation techniques was not sufficiently evaluated by the CIA.

    - CIA personnel who were responsible for serious violations, inappropriate behavior, or management failures in the program's operation were seldom reprimanded or held accountable by the agency.

    - The CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program ended by 2006 due to legal and oversight concerns, unauthorized press disclosures and reduced cooperation from other nations.

    - The CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program damaged the United States' global reputation, and came with heavy costs, both monetary and non­-monetary.

    PDF version of the leaked conclusions from the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee report.

    Categories: Brad Blog

    Bloomberg: NSA Knew About, Exploited Open Source Heartbleed Bug for Years

    Brad Blog - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 17:03

    Seriously, dudes?...

    The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence, two people familiar with the matter said.

    The NSA's decision to keep the bug secret in pursuit of national security interests threatens to renew the rancorous debate over the role of the government's top computer experts.

    Heartbleed appears to be one of the biggest glitches in the Internet's history, a flaw in the basic security of as many as two-thirds of the world's websites. Its discovery and the creation of a fix by researchers five days ago prompted consumers to change their passwords, the Canadian government to suspend electronic tax filing and computer companies including Cisco Systems Inc. to Juniper Networks Inc. to provide patches for their systems.

    So the NSA knew about this massive security flaw, one of the biggest in the history of the Internet, and rather than warning about the security vulnerability to all Americans, exploited it, instead.

    While I can't say I'm particularly surprised by this, I can say, I'm infuriated by it.

    If it wasn't before, the NSA has now become a complete joke. What part of "national security" is unclear to the National Security Agency, for chrissakes?!!

    * * *

    For an additional take on the Heartbleed bug as it pertains to electronic and Internet voting systems (For example, how the fact that this huge flaw in open source software was not discovered for years, underscoring the fact that open source is little more than a panacea when it comes to the foolhardy use of computers in elections, and how this bug should end all talk of Internet Voting forever) please listen to my rant during this week's BradCast, beginning approximately at the :31 minute mark.

    Categories: Brad Blog

    Free Health Clinic in Arkansas to Close Doors Due to Lack of Customers Thanks to 'Obamacare'

    Brad Blog - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 14:43

    Thanks, Obama. Looks like he's killing yet another "business" with his so-called "health care reform".

    We all (well, those who don't watch Fox "News" exclusively, anyway) remember the shamefully long lines of Americans showing up at free health clinics, whenever and wherever they were set up around the country, trying to get much-needed health care in the days before the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or "Obamacare") became the law of the land.

    Now that the ACA is underway and millions of Americans who could not get health care before are able to receive it, the days of the free clinic in the USA may be coming to an end.

    That's what's happening to the 9th Street Mission Clinic in Mena, Arkansas, in any case, where the Director of that charitable outlet has announced that, thanks to "Obamacare", the number of clients at the once bustling clinic have dwindled to almost nothing.

    "Because people are qualifying for insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, our free medical clinic will not be needed anymore," the clinic's Director, Stacey Bowser RN, told The Mena Star. "We've gone from seeing around 300 people a month on a regular basis, but as people were enrolling in Obamacare, the numbers we were seeing have dropped. We were down to 80 people that came through the medical clinic in February, all the way down to three people at the medical clinic in March. Our services won't be needed anymore, and this will conclude our mission."

    The paper reports that "the free medical clinic at 9th Street Ministries was started to reach out to those who could not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, and did not have any other health insurance policy."

    "There was such a need for many years that we would have people coming through the medical clinic from the time the doors opened early in the morning all the way until 4:00 in the afternoon," Bowser said about the clinic where a crew of 25 to 30 volunteers was said to always been on hand to meet the needs of those without health care in rural Polk County.

    "This complete dropoff of numbers of people coming to the clinic is a result of all those who have successfully enrolled in an insurance policy now," she said.

    After being open since 1998, the clinic's final day of operation will be April 24th. "Obamacare" is clearly destroying America as we know it.

    [Hat-tip Daily Kos via TPM.]

    Categories: Brad Blog

    'Green News Report' - April 10, 2014

    Brad Blog - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 17:42


    IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Rightwing Heartland Institute says 'climate change will be good for you!'; Russia threatens to cut off natural gas supplies to Ukraine, Europe; PLUS: Attack of the Tumbleweeds! (No, really!)... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

    Please help us connect the climate change dots over your public airwaves!

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

    Link: Embed:

    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): Could El Nino take the edge off of CA drought?; Austism 'triggered in womb' by environmental factors; CA salmon hitch a ride to the ocean; NC sides with Duke Energy over coal ash dumps; Restoring the CO River Delta, if only for a few weeks; Weather-related blackouts have doubled since 2003 ... PLUS: Uncharted territory: highest CO2 levels in 800,000 years ... and much, MUCH more! ...


    'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

    • Carbon Dioxide Levels Climb Into Uncharted Territory for Humans (Mashable):
      The amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere has exceeded 402 parts per million (ppm) during the past two days of observations, which is higher than at any time in at least the past 800,000 years, according to readings from monitoring equipment on a mountaintop in Hawaii.
      Once emitted, a single molecule of carbon dioxide can remain aloft for hundreds of years, which means that the effects of today's industrial activities will be felt for the next several centuries, if not thousands of years.
    • VIDEO: Could El Nino Take the Edge off California’s Drought? (Climate Crocks)
    • Autism Triggered in the Womb by ‘Environmental Factors’ (Environment News Service)
    • Weather-Related Blackouts Doubled Since 2003: Report (Climate Central)
    • In California, Salmon Hitch a Ride to the Sea (BusinessWeek) [emphasis added]:
      Convoys of four to seven tanker trucks, each bearing 130,000 silvery 3-inch smolts, leave a federal hatchery 180 miles north of San Francisco for a sloshy, three-hour drive to San Pablo Bay, where they’re held in netted pens to acclimate them to the chilly water before release. In all, 12 million juvenile fish will make the trip from the federal hatchery plus 18 million from four hatcheries owned by the state. They’ll return to California’s (hopefully replenished) rivers as adults to spawn.
      “Our 2016 fishing season may be riding on the survival of the fish in these trucks.”
    • North Carolina regulator sides with Duke Energy to appeal court ruling on coal ash dumps (Bloomberg)
    • Will Nuclear Subsidies Derail a Renewable Europe? (Climate Crocks):
      Climate deniers often claim to be against subsidies that “pick winners” among different energy options. They are often conspicuously silent when those subsidies go to the nuclear industry. History has shown that nuclear power cannot exist without massive infusions of public money, and guarantees of profit from taxpayers and ratepayers. The danger is, this energy is so expensive it may crowd out other options.
    • Obama Unveils New Wildfire Strategy Citing New Risks Posed By Climate Change (Climate Progress):
      The strategy addresses factors exacerbating wildfire danger such as climate change, increasing community sprawl, and pests and disease affecting forest health. It calls for adopting preventive measures, such as: fuels thinning and controlled burns; promoting effective municipal, county, and state building and zoning codes and ordinances; ensuring that watersheds, transportation, and utility corridors are part of future management plans; and determining how organizations can best work together to reduce and manage human-caused ignitions.
    • Waters to flood part of Colorado River for just a few weeks: (NPR):
      Millions of gallons of water used to flow every day from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California. Now, the Colorado River ends at Morelos Dam on the U.S.-Mexico border. Below it, one of North America's largest wetlands is dry.
    • Why the fossil fuel industry wants us to ignore risk (Renew Economy):
      [Renewable energy] technology is having a massive impact on incumbent industries, perhaps more than any climate policy might have done in such a short period. The fossil fuel industry understands this - which is why they are so desperate to take such technologies out of the market...

    FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page

  • Skeptical Science: Database with FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Myths
  • Warning: Even in the best-case scenario, climate change will kick our asses (Grist)
  • NASA Video: Warming over the last 130 years, and into the next 100 years:

  • Categories: Brad Blog

    FCC, 'McCutcheon', Guns, Knives, (No) Internet Voting and Racial Discrimination: KPFK 'BradCast'

    Brad Blog - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 23:34

    This week's KPFK/Pacifica Radio BradCast is chocked full of important news and insightful analysis that actually matters and that you simply won't hear anywhere else.

    Among the items covered on the show this week:

    And all of that in less than an hour! That oughta hold ya until next week!

    Download MP3 or listen online below...
    [See post to listen to audio]

    * * *

    P.S. While you're listening, please consider donating to The BRAD BLOG so we can continue to afford to keep bringing you this kind of news, programming, journalism and analysis. We really need your support these days to keep going. Thanks in advance!

    Categories: Brad Blog

    LIVE STREAM: The BRAD BLOG's Desi Doyen Guest Hosts 'The Young Turks' LIVE!

    Brad Blog - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 16:50
    if (window.document.getElementById('post-9385')) window.document.getElementById('post-9385').parentNode.className += ' adhesive_post';

    Desi Doyen of The BRAD BLOG's Green News Report is guest hosting on The Young Turks LIVE right now.

    LIVE FEED HERE (6-8p ET / 3-5p PT)...

    Categories: Brad Blog

    'Green News Report' - April 8, 2014

    Brad Blog - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 16:02


    IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Study finds CNN and Fox 'News' FAIL on climate change; CNN looks for missing plane, finds an ocean full of garbage; PLUS: Energy company to pay record fine for 85 years of toxic waste dumping and they couldn't be happier about it... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

    Please help us connect the climate change dots over your public airwaves!

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

    Link: Embed:

    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): GOP climate skeptic's on-air conversion in Showtime's 'Years of Living Dangerously'; Waters to flood part of CO River for just a few weeks; Final chapter of IPCC report to be published this week; Low-tech 'living fences' drastically reduce lion killings; Another oil spill on public lands ... PLUS: Scientists Focus on Polar Waters As Threat of Acidification Grows ... and much, MUCH more! ...


    'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

    FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page

  • Skeptical Science: Database with FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Myths
  • Warning: Even in the best-case scenario, climate change will kick our asses (Grist)
  • NASA Video: Warming over the last 130 years, and into the next 100 years:

  • Categories: Brad Blog

    NJ's Chris Christie Proposes Tax and Spend 'Sin Tax' on E-Cigs, Gets Blasted by NJ Paper

    Brad Blog - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 15:37

    There are a number of reasons why it's difficult to stomach the claim that New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie is concerned about "public health". His newest proposal for a pricey new excise tax on e-cigs is just one of them.

    In 2010, Christie slashed $7.5 million --- virtually all of the state's investment --- in smoking prevention and cessation support from the state's "Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program". As a result, the American Lung Association (ALA) now ranks NJ as 50th in the nation on this issue, recently noting, they are "the only state in the country to provide no state funding" for such programs.

    Christie's gutting of the state's once-robust program has resulted in an "F" grade from the ALA on both "Tobacco Prevention" and "Cessation Coverage", leading them to write: "This lack of funding to help tobacco users quit is a stark contradiction with New Jersey's high tax rate of $2.70 per pack generating over $700 million each year in revenues."

    Thus, it's all the more absurd to hear the "fiscally conservative" Christie administration now calling for a massive new "sin tax" on e-cigarettes, which are known to be a far safer alternative to smoking, since "vaping" includes none of the deadly toxins, such as tar and carbon monoxide, found in combustible tobacco.

    But "conservative" hypocrisy aside, what makes Christie's new tax and spend plan even more absurd is that his state Treasurer is now claiming their "main concern is public health."

    Really? The NJ Star-Ledger editorial board --- which endorsed Christie's re-election last year (though they came to regret it after Christie's "BridgeGate" scandal emerged) --- ain't buying it...

    In an editorial today, the board blasted Christie and his administration's purported reasons for taxing e-cigs at the same rate as deadly cigarettes...

    "Our main concern is public health," [the state treasurer] said.

    Excuse our skepticism, but Christie cut $7.5 million from the state's anti-smoking programs in 2010, and since then the state has spent little to nothing on smoking cessation and education programs. No doubt another main concern is the governor's budget: Christie anticipates $35 million in revenue from this tax.

    But do we even know that e-cigarettes are a threat to public health?

    The Federal Food and Drug Administration has not yet evaluated them for safety or effectiveness, or issued regulations. All we know is that they can be less addictive than cigarettes, and lack the added tar and toxins. Many researchers say that nicotine alone is not a serious health hazard - that it's the deadly tar in conventional cigarettes that kills you. E-cigarette users avoid that by inhaling a nicotine-laced vapor, which is why it's called "vaping."

    Studies show this is at least as effective as nicotine patches in helping people quit smoking - the single largest cause of preventable death in our country, killing about 480,000 people a year.

    So there's a real, life-saving benefit to e-cigarettes, which may greatly outweigh any risks. If these gadgets are not known to be an enemy to public health, and may in fact be hugely beneficial, why tax them like cigarettes?

    I've spent no small amount of time plowing through all manner of scientific studies in relation to e-cigs over the past year or so (since quitting my own decades-long habit overnight, thanks to the public health miracle of vaping!) and I've noted on the pages of late that the reporting in the mainstream corporate media has been largely terrible on this issue to date. See this absurdity from the New York Times in late March, by way of just one example.

    But the Star-Ledger's editorial has it mostly right here. (The one exception being their claim that e-cigs "can be less addictive than cigarettes." I'm not sure where that data point comes from, and I'd be surprised if that was the case for all but those who choose to vape e-liquid containing 0% nicotine.)

    Making it more difficult --- or, in this case, more expensive --- for smokers to quit smoking with the use of e-cigs is a deadly idea, as I've noted on a number of recent occasions, such as last month when the L.A. City Council shamefully voted unanimously to ban their use in public spaces, as if they were cigarettes, or as the Minnesota state legislature has recently been considering a similar deadly ban.

    The former president of the American Lung Association has called such bans on e-cigs "misguided" and "a public health disservice."

    So the Star-Ledger editorial's conclusion, then, seems right on the money:

    Taxing e-cigs as if they were cigarettes only makes them less attractive to smokers who want to switch. And if the Christie administration's true concern is public health, that should be reason enough not to.
    Categories: Brad Blog
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