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John Nichols: Democrats Toughen Trade Stance—but Reject Formal Opposition to the TPP

  • By leaving the party’s position in doubt, Democrats have created an opening for Trump.
  • Related: $%@*! this deal! 

John Nichols, the Nation

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader/contributor Steven L. Robinson for this contribution. Protesters gather outside a World Affairs Council meeting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Portland, Oregon, on March 21, 2016. (Photo by Alex Milan Tracy) 

July 10, 2016 | “The majority of Democrats, like the majority of Americans, are against the TPP. Hillary is against the TPP. Bernie is against the TPP. Let’s not be bureaucrats, let’s be leaders,” declared former NAACP president Ben Jealous as he urged the Democratic Party’s platform committee to amend the document to include specific opposition to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

But despite the fact that the party’s presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton, and her chief rival for the nomination, Bernie Sanders, have expressed explicit opposition to the deal, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of congressional Democrats oppose it, despite the fact that Democratic and Republican primary results suggest that is a big issue for 2016 voters, the bureaucratic approach prevailed. The platform’s language was strengthened to express general opposition to trade policies that have stirred fervent opposition in industrialized states such as Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin. But proposals to add anti-TPP language to the document were rejected Saturday at the platform committee session in Orlando, as Clinton backers (and most uncommitted members of the committee) generally opposed the amendments, while Sanders backers supported them.

John Nichols is The Nation’s national affairs correspondent. He is the co-author, with Robert W. McChesney, of People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy, published in March 2016 by Nation Books.

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$%@*! this deal! Paul, Emma, Anne and the team at 

  • interests is Obama looking out for with these deals?
  • There is plenty of information available on TPP -- a genuine disaster in the making.  Please contact your members of Congress, regardless of who owns them, and tell them TPP is intolerable.
  • Special Report | Stop the TPP, Week Ending February 13, 2016


Cable TV Subscribers Still Unhappy, New Consumer Reports Survey Shows

  • Fiber, smaller companies, and municipal broadband did best in our latest telecom Ratings.
  • The new telecom Ratings were based on a recent survey of more than 172,000 subscribers reporting on their experience with home internet, pay TV, and telephone service.
  • Related: Tell the FCC: Lower Our Cable Bills

James K. Willcox, Consumer Reports Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter. Original image by Flickr user Mr.TinDC 

June 15, 2016 | Along with death, taxes, and an ever-growing assortment of Bravo reality shows, disenchantment with your cable TV service seems to be among life's certainties. As in previous years, Consumer Reports' new telecom service Ratings (available to subscribers), showed broad dissatisfaction among customers with cable TV and internet plans. The providers earned, on average, low scores for value and overall satisfaction.

But there were two bright spots, a municipal broadband service run as a public utility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and a fiber service run by Google in a handful of markets across the country. These innovative options both outpaced the conventional telecommunications companies when it came to value and customer satisfaction.

James K. Willcox: I've been a tech journalist for more years than I'm willing to admit. My specialties at CR are TVs, streaming media, audio, and TV and broadband services. 

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Tell the FCC: Lower Our Cable Bills,

  • The FCC is considering a proposal that would lower your monthly cable bill and expand the range of programming you can watch or stream at home or on-the-go. And it does all that by addressing that little box your cable company forces you to rent every month.1
  • Tell the FCC: Lower our cable bills and allow us to see more diversity on TV
  • Related: Guide to Understanding Your Cable Bill


Profiting Off The Poor and Disabled in The Poverty Industry

  • This hour, we'll discuss the rise of the poverty industry and how it plays out across the U.S. 
  • Related: Here are 7 things people who say they’re ‘fiscally conservative but socially liberal’ don’t understand

All Sides Staff, Radio WUSU Matthew Woitunski / Wikimedia Commons 

June 7, 2016 | The poverty industry is made possible when social service funds don't end up where they are suppose to and instead, the government and private industry profits off of the poor and disabled. This hour, we'll discuss the rise of the poverty industry and how it plays out across the U.S. and in Ohio. 


• Daniel Hatcher, Author, The Poverty Industry: the Exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens

Jack Frech, Anti-Poverty Advocate and Retired Director, Athens County Job and Family Services Department

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Here are 7 things people who say they’re ‘fiscally conservative but socially liberal’ don’t understand, Greta Christina, Raw Story <>


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If you care about marginalized people — if you care about the oppression of women, LGBT people, disabled people, African Americans and Hispanics and other people of color — you need to do more than go to same-sex weddings and listen to hip-hop. You need to support economic policies that make marginalized people’s lives better. You need to oppose economic policies that perpetuate human rights abuses and make marginalized people’s lives suck.

And that means not being a fiscal conservative.

Noam Chomsky: America Hates Its Poor’re-‘fiscally-conservative-socially-liberal’-don’t-understand


The Progress of Christ in Commercial America: A Review of Chris Lehmann’s The Money Cult

Lehmann’s excavations may be sobering, but it is absolutely necessary for us to know this backstory if we are to have any hope of understanding the contemporary religious and political landscape, including the spiritual context that lies behind Trumpism’s rapid ascent.

Peter Laarman, Religion Dispatches you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter <>. 9, 2016 At 400 pages, Chris Lehmann’s The Money Cult: Capitalism, Christianity, and the Unmaking of the American Dream examines in appropriate depth the “mystery [of] just how America’s once-austere and communal version of dissenting Protestantism developed into such a ripe recruiting ground for the sanctified capitalism of our financialized, upward-skewing, and uniquely destructive market order.”

Author Lehmann is neither a professional historian nor a religion specialist. He’s a brainy journalist, part of the Baffler set. His subtle treatment of complex subject matter reminds us that it’s always deep reading and a capacity to write clearly that matters most. His achievement reminds me of other significant historical works by “uncredentialed” scholars : T.J. Stiles on Cornelius Vanderbilt and George Armstrong Custer, James Bradley on racialized imperialism, and (most creditably) Douglas A. Blackmon on the significance of black convict labor.

Peter Laarman is a United Church of Christ minister and activist who recently retired as executive director of Progressive Christians Uniting in Los Angeles. He remains involved in numerous justice struggles, in particular a campaign known as Justice Not Jails that calls upon faith communities to critique and combat the system of racialized mass incarceration often referred to as The New Jim Crow.

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Special Report | The Panama Papers Scandal: A Man, A Plan, A Shell Account, Panama

Panama Papers Show How Rich United States Clients Hid Millions Abroad


Eric Lipton and Julie Creswell, New York (NY) Times To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up here to receive the latest updates from all reader supported Evergreene Digest. Panama City, Panama, home to the law firm Mossack Fonseca. A trove of the firm’s internal documents, known as the Panama Papers, have shaken the financial world.  Credit  Joe Raedle/Getty Images

June 5, 2016 | Over the years, William R. Ponsoldt had earned tens of millions of dollars building a string of successful companies. He had renovated apartment buildings in the New York City area. Bred Arabian horses. Run a yacht club in the Bahamas, a rock quarry in Michigan, an auto-parts company in Canada, even a multibillion-dollar hedge fund.


Now, as he neared retirement, Mr. Ponsoldt, of Jensen Beach, Fla., had a special request for Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm well placed in the world of offshore finance: How could he confidentially shift his money into overseas bank accounts and use them to buy real estate and move funds to his children?

Eric Lipton is a Washington-based correspondent for The New York Times, where he writes about government relations, corporate agendas and Congress; and 

Julie Creswell is a staff reporter for The New York Times, primarily writing features for the business section that follow the flow of money around private-equity firms, Wall Street banks, healthcare companies and real estate investments.

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The Feigned and Future Demise of Big-Oil

Nations around the world must prepare to develop infrastructure around alternative energy and electric vehicles – leveraging their natural and human resources to innovate and implement these solutions where eventually the collapse of big-oil will leave a void.

Tony Cartalucci, New Eastern Outlook  26.05.2016 | Four of the top five Global Fortune 500 corporations are involved in petroleum refining. Together with big-finance and industrial giants like big-auto and utility monopolies, big-oil dominates the global economy.

The monopoly it enjoys grants it the unwarranted power and influence it has wielded throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. And because big-oil is integrated into big-finance and other corporate-financier monopolies through various mutual interests, its influence reaches even further still.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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Big Oil Told to Adapt or Die, Kieran Cooke, Climate News Network / EcoWatch

“The oil markets are going through fundamental structural changes driven by a technological revolution and geopolitical shifts. The old cycle of lower prices followed by higher prices can no longer be assumed to be applicable.”

-- Paul Stevens, a senior research fellow at the London-based Chatham House think tank, the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

How the World's Biggest Polluters are Two Trade Deals Away from Steamrolling Climate Protections

  • "45 of the 50 private corporations historically responsible for the most climate-disrupting emissions" would be emboldened to challenge climate protections.
  • Related: What Ever Happened to Normal Weather?

Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams"These trade deals would empower some of the world's largest polluters... to use unaccountable tribunals to defend a model of fossil fuel dependency that spells climate crisis," said Ben Beachy of Sierra Club. (Photo:  Stephen Melkisethian/flickr/cc)  

Thursday, March 24, 2016 | When TransCanada announced at the start of the year that it that it was demanding compensation under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) rules for the Obama administration's decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, many observers saw it as a sign of things to come. Indeed, critics of two pending trade deals—the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)—have already warned that other corporations could take similarly take advantage of the same mechanism to exert their power before private tribunals, demanding compensation for lost profits while supplanting democracy and trampling on workers' rights and environmental protections.

Andrea Germanos, staff writer, Common Dreams

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What Ever Happened to Normal Weather? Paul Douglas, Guardian 

Weather is becoming more extreme, and meteorologists are taking notice.


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