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Government & Politics

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.

Long-Term Economic Pain

  • Simply stated, more and more families are facing utter economic devastation: completely out of money, with their jobs, savings and retirement funds gone, and nowhere to turn for the next dollar.
  • Reich and Krugman Agree: The Government Needs to Forget About the Deficit and Fix Unemployment
  • Krugman: US "Depressed Economy" Could Last 5 Years

Bob Herbert, New York Times | NY

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

Bob Herbert

The pain coursing through American families is all too real and no one seems to know what to do about it. A rigorous new analysis for the Rockefeller Foundation shows that Americans are more economically insecure now than they have been in a quarter of a century, and the trend lines suggest that things will only get worse.

Rampant joblessness and skyrocketing medical costs are among the biggest factors tearing at the very fabric of American economic life so painstakingly put together in the early post-World War II decades.

The analysis was done by a team of researchers led by Professor Jacob Hacker of Yale University. They created an economic security index, which measures the percentage of Americans who experience a decrease in their household income of 25 percent or more in one year without having the financial resources to offset that loss. (Major medical expenses were counted as a decrease in available income.)

The team’s findings were grim. Simply stated, more and more families are facing utter economic devastation: completely out of money, with their jobs, savings and retirement funds gone, and nowhere to turn for the next dollar.

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Reich and Krugman Agree: The Government Needs to Forget About the Deficit and Fix Unemployment, Susie Madrak, Crooks and Liars
Krugman says if we don't do something about this, not only will the human costs will be high but our economic growth will be depressed for a long, long time.

Krugman: US "Depressed Economy" Could Last 5 Years, Associated Press, Huffington Post
Krugman said that while economic indicators from around the world are improving, they suggest that the pace of economic decline has only slowed.

The Emmer Campaign: Lies, Pandering


Everyone, including Emmer, is entitled to their opinion, but not their facts.

David Culver, Twin Cities Daily Planet

Republican Tom  Emmer's  gubernatorial campaign is a string of lies and pandering, a regular runaway political freight train. It's only under those terms that his campaign makes sense.

I'm not talking about misstatements of fact, misunderstandings, differences of opinion, not knowing at the time, fibs, or any of the other euphemisms we use for not telling the truth. I'm talking about plain, unvarnished, bald-faced lying and it's companion, pandering, done for personal gain.

Four examples, two of each, will prove my point.

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Robust Public Option Health Care Bill with 121 Co-Sponsors Introduced in Congress

  • Bill offers consumers a choice between pricey private health plans and a "robust" public plan in the health insurance exchanges set up by the law.
  • Obama’s Health Care Bill Is Enough to Make You Sick

Sahil Kapur, Raw Story<m>

What, did you think the fight for health care reform was over?

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), co-chair of the progressive caucus, is making good on her promise to continue pushing for a public health insurance option after the enactment of sweeping reform legislation.

On Thursday (July 22) afternoon, the Northern California congresswoman announced the introduction of a bill offering consumers a choice between private plans and a "robust" public plan in the health insurance exchanges set up by the law.

"The robust public option offers lower-cost competition to private insurance companies," Woolsey told Raw Story. "This will make insurance more affordable for those who do not have it and keep insurance affordable for those who do. We are introducing the public option now so is will be available as a ready-made off set or deficit reducer in this or the next Congress."

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Obama’s Health Care Bill Is Enough to Make You Sick, Chris Hedges, TruthDig

  • The new health care legislation not only mocks the lofty promises made by President Barack Obama, exposing most as lies, but sadly reconfirms that our nation is hostage to unchecked corporate greed and abuse.
  • The dizzying array of technical loopholes in the bill—written in by armies of insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists—means that these companies, which profit off human sickness, suffering and death, can continue their grim game of trading away human life for money.


Where has all the Navy money gone?

U.S. Navy Veterans Association (USNVA)  Minnesota Chapter took $1.56 million out of Minnesota from 2004-2009 and mysteriously dissolved last May under threat of legal liabilities. Its national commander is a top contributor to Michele Bachmann and has since disappeared.

Karl Bremer

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Coleen Rowley

Out of more than $1.14 million the U.S. Navy Veterans Association Minnesota Chapter claims to have spent on charitable programs and services in Minnesota since 2004, only $26,300 can be positively accounted for: two $10,000 donations to a St. Paul Veterans Center in 2007 and one $6,300 donation to Twin Cities Public Television in 2008.

The rest of the money from the organization that went to benefit individuals was allegedly spent to provide such generic things as “direct cash assistance,” food, clothing, publications, “care packages” for service members, and “psychological counseling and comfort” for survivors of veterans. But there is little evidence or documentation of those services in records filed with the state or IRS. Furthermore, the officers for the Minnesota Chapter of the USNVA cannot be found, nor can any address for the group other than UPS drop boxes be located.

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The Strange World of Emmer Math

After doing a little math, it turns out that real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) per capita state general fund spending has grown by 5.1% from FY 2000-01 to FY 2010-11.  This translates to an average annual growth rate of one-half percent.

Jeff Van Wychen, Minnesota 2020

Gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer made a shocking statement on Thursday’s (June 15) Midmorning program on MPR: “Spending has almost doubled in the last decade in this state.”  The statement is false.

In order for something to double, it must grow by 100%.  From FY 2000-01 to FY 2010-11, total state spending is projected to grow by 62.7%.  (A more common measure of state spending—general fund spending—is projected to increase by 28.7% over this period.)  By no stretch of the imagination can 62.7% be called “nearly 100%” and thus it is not “nearly double.”

My sister Donna is 63 years old.  According to Emmer math, she is “nearly 100.”  (Sorry, Donna.)  The statement that Donna is “nearly 100” is more accurate than Emmer’s statement that state spending has “nearly doubled,” since Donna at age 63 is closer to 100 than growth in state spending is to 100%.

Even so, 62.7% growth over the course of a decade might seem like a lot of growth, but let’s dissect this number.  The combined rate of inflation and population growth over the last decade is approximately 54.7%.  After doing a little math, it turns out that real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) per capita state general fund spending has grown by 5.1% from FY 2000-01 to FY 2010-11.  This translates to an average annual growth rate of one-half percent.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders: No to Oligarchy

One Sane Senator
An old-fashioned debate on tax fairness

Nicolle Bell, Crooks & Liars

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

Thank God there's at least one senator who is speaking sense:

The American people are hurting. As a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, millions of Americans have lost their jobs, homes, life savings and their ability to get a higher education. Today, some 22 percent of our children live in poverty, and millions more have become dependent on food stamps for their food.And while the Great Wall Street Recession has devastated the middle class, the truth is that working families have been experiencing a decline for decades. During the Bush years alone, from 2000-2008, median family income dropped by nearly $2,200 and millions lost their health insurance. Today, because of stagnating wages and higher costs for basic necessities, the average two-wage-earner family has less disposable income than a one-wage-earner family did a generation ago. The average American today is underpaid, overworked and stressed out as to what the future will bring for his or her children. For many, the American dream has become a nightmare.

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Go ahead and read the entire article, it's well worth your time.

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