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Summary: Barack Obama, Change We Can Believe In: Week of August 8

5 New Items including:

  • War leaks show Obama following Bush policies
  • Change? Obama's "Crimmigration" Policies Mimic Bush's

David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

Michael Ramirez

War leaks show Obama following Bush policies, Press TV
Everyone is asking me for one terrible event in one point in time--like a massacre of 500 people. But what's more important is the vast sweep of war crimes over the last six years."--Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks
WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange: "Transparent Government Tends to Produce Just Government"

Change? Obama's "Crimmigration" Policies Mimic Bush's, Walter Ewing, Immigration Impact

  • The Obama administration has chosen to follow its predecessor in pursuing the criminal prosecution of unauthorized immigrants for minor, nonviolent offenses.
  • DHS under the Obama administration is needlessly clogging the federal courts with people who have not committed any serious crime.

Jobless? Your leaders are at ease with that, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

  • None of them want to fix it -- so high unemployment might become a habit.
  • Punishing the Jobless

A gathering storm for hope, John Dear SJ, National Catholic Reporter

  • Bishop Zavala's presence felt like a breath of fresh air to those of us in New Mexico who've been speaking out for disarmament for years. Not every day does one hear a Catholic bishop speaking clearly and eloquently about this crucial matter -- especially here, where nuclear weapons were first built and a new generation of them is in the works, thanks to Obama. Bishop Zavala's presence heightened our hope.
  • Living by the Sword, Dying by the Sword

The Origins of the Enthusiasm Gap, Robert Reich, RobertReich.org

  • The undeniable consequence has been to erode the capacity of the president and his party to accomplish much more from here on.
  • The enthusiasm gap


The Origins of the Enthusiasm Gap

The undeniable consequence has been to erode the capacity of the president and his party to accomplish much more from here on.
The enthusiasm gap

Robert Reich, RobertReich.org

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jenni Cherrier

Whatever the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections, the activist phase of the Obama administration has likely come to a close. The President may have a fight on his hands even to hold on to what he’s already achieved because his legislative successes have been large enough to fuel strong opposition but not big enough to strengthen his support. The result could be disastrous for him and congressional Democrats.

Consider the stimulus package. Although it’s difficult to separate the consequences of fiscal and monetary policy, most knowledgeable observers conclude that the stimulus has had a positive effect.

Yet the official rate of unemployment remains above 9%, not including millions either too discouraged to look for work or working part-time when they’d rather have full-time jobs. Almost half of the jobless have been without work for more than six months, a level not seen since the Great Depression.

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The enthusiasm gap, Robert Reich, Salon.com

  • The Democratic base is drained of all passion because congressional Democrats continue to compromise, water-down, weaken, soften, and create loopholes on everything the Dem base cares about.
  • "Why should I care?" are words I hear over and over again from stalwart Democrats who worked their hearts out in the last election.
  • The left has lost its nerve and its direction
  • Why I Did Not Caucus with my party (DFL) on February 2

Five myths about the Bush tax cuts

  • A gloomy economic outlook...has given rise to a number of stubborn myths about what extending the Bush tax cuts would -- or wouldn't -- do.
  • Tax the rich more. (They can take it.)
  • Trickle Down Economics doesn't work
  • Top 5 Social Security Myths

William G. Gale, Star Tribune | MN

Tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, known as the Bush tax cuts, are set to expire Dec. 31, and the fight over what to do is heated.

The cuts lowered tax rates across the board on income, dividends and capital gains; eventually eliminated the estate tax; further lowered burdens on married couples, parents and the working poor, and increased tax credits for education and retirement savings. President Obama's proposal would extend most of these reductions, allowing only those for individuals making more than $200,000 and families making more than $250,000 to expire.
Complicating the debate is a gloomy economic outlook, decidedly different from the rosy scenario that prevailed at the beginning of the last decade. That has given rise to a number of stubborn myths about what extending the Bush tax cuts would -- or wouldn't -- do.

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Tax the rich more. (They can take it.) Richard R. Miller, StarTribune | MN
Dayton's campaign cry is really quite reasonable when you look at how state taxes have changed over the years.

Trickle Down Economics doesn't work says Alan Blinder. Here’s what does, Posted by rmontero, AlterNet

  • Redirecting money from the expiring Bush tax cuts to unemployment benefits would be a net job creator and give the economy a much-needed boost.
  • Long-Term Economic Pain

Top 5 Social Security Myths, Nita Chaudhary, MoveOn.org Political Action
We've put together a list of the top five myths about Social Security, along with the real story.

Mike Malloy - We Are A Nation Of Sheep Being Led By Wild Dogs

And George Carlin's Final Words To The World

hschulein, Democratic Underground

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarsaki

Hi Democratic Underground. My name is Hernan and I´m the owner of The Mike Malloy Gallery at Youtube. On this video, Mike talks about american citizens inaction regarding the wars, the lies and the deception. If you like it and want to see more, please subscribe to the gallery at: www.youtube.com/hschulein or go to www.mikemalloy.com and scroll down the main webpage to see the gallery. Thanks.

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George Carlin's Final Words To The World, Jay Cole, YouTube

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Michael Sodos George Carlin on "The American Dream".

The greatest 3 minutes of his career. The PTB are aggressively trying to keep this video off YouTube and Google, so I thought I'd upload it so it can't get deleted as easily. Everyone needs to watch this!


Tax the rich more. (They can take it.)

Dayton's campaign cry is really quite reasonable when you look at how state taxes have changed over the years.

Richard R. Miller, StarTribune | MN

Raise taxes on the rich. Is it a slogan from the past, a job-killing blunder, a plan destined for failure? The more former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton has persisted with this theme in his campaign for governor, the more I've wanted to learn why.

Last week (July 25-31)  I read Dayton's tax plan, which led me to the Minnesota Department of Revenue's website and a document called the "Minnesota Tax Incidence Study." That study analyzes how much Minnesotans in various income groups pay in state and local taxes as a percentage of their total incomes. The study includes income, property, sales, gas, excise, liquor, cigarette, insurance and other taxes, and shows which groups are paying the bill for the state and local government services we get.

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Jobless? Your leaders are at ease with that.

  • None of them want to fix it -- so high unemployment might become a habit.
  • Punishing the Jobless

Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

I'm starting to have a sick feeling about prospects for American workers -- but not, or not entirely, for the reasons you might think.

Yes, growth is slowing, and the odds are that unemployment will rise, not fall, in the months ahead. That's bad. But what's worse is the growing evidence that our governing elite just doesn't care -- that a once-unthinkable level of economic distress is in the process of becoming the new normal.

I worry that those in power, rather than taking responsibility for job creation, will soon declare that high unemployment is "structural" -- a permanent part of the economic landscape -- and that by condemning large numbers of Americans to long-term joblessness, they'll turn that excuse into dismal reality.

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Punishing the Jobless, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

  • We’re facing a coalition of the heartless, the clueless and the confused (and corrupt)
  • 17 senators from states with double-digit jobless rates repeatedly vote to filibuster unemployment benefits
  • Angle: I Would Cut Jobless Benefits Because They Make Workers ‘Afraid To Go Out And Get A Job’


From neocons to crazy-cons

  • Once the conservative movement was about finding meaning in private life and public service. But it has undergone a shift toward demagoguery and hucksterism.
  • Homegrown Democrat

David Klinghoffer, Los Angeles Times

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Ken Mitchell

Once, the iconic figures on the political right were urbane visionaries and builders of institutions — like William F. Buckley Jr., Irving Kristol and Father Richard John Neuhaus, all dead now. Today, far more representative is potty-mouthed Internet entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart, whose news and opinion website, Breitbart.com, is read by millions. In his most recent triumph, Breitbart got a U.S. Department of Agriculture official pushed out of her job after he released a deceptively edited video clip of her supposedly endorsing racism against white people.

What has become of conservatism? We have reached a point at which nothing could be more important than to stop and recall what brought us here, to the right, in the first place.

Buckley's National Review, where I was the literary editor through the 1990s, remains as vital and interesting as ever. But more characteristic of conservative leadership are figures on TV, radio and the Internet who make their money by stirring fears and resentments. With its descent to baiting blacks, Mexicans and Muslims, its accommodation of conspiracy theories and an increasing nastiness and vulgarity, the conservative movement has undergone a shift toward demagoguery and hucksterism. Once the talk was of "neocons" versus "paleocons." Now we observe the rule of the crazy-cons.

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Homegrown Democrat ~ Garrison Keillor, reviewed in Progressive Book Club
A funny, smart, charming reminder that the Right doesn't own the concept of "heartland values."

War leaks show Obama following Bush policies

  • Everyone is asking me for one terrible event in one point in time--like a massacre of 500 people. But what's more important is the vast sweep of war crimes over the last six years."--Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks
  • WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange: "Transparent Government Tends to Produce Just Government"


Press TV

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

The US has condemned the leak of documents on the Afghan war.

Leaked US military documents detail how American-led NATO forces in Afghanistan have killed or wounded hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents.

The documents leaked by the whistle-blower website Wikileaks say some of the casualties are caused by airstrikes, but a large number is the result of troops shooting unarmed drivers or motorcyclists allegedly to protect themselves.

The documents also detail many other disputed incidents causing civilian deaths that have been omitted from daily military reports.

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WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange: "Transparent Government Tends to Produce Just Government", Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!
Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell
We spend the hour with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, talking about the biggest leak in US history: the release of more than 91,000 classified military records on the war in Afghanistan.

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