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Government & Politics

How Much Does a Politician Cost?

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l-r: Alan Greenspan, Paul Volker, Ronal Reagan, James Baker

  • A groundbreaking study reveals the influence of money in politics. 
  • Related: “The system is rigged against regular people”: Big money has completely warped American democracy

Jon Schwarz <>, the Intercept

May 4 2017 | An ingenious new Roosevelt Institute study on the influence of money on politics begins with an incredible story about how the world actually works:

In the spring of 1987, Paul Volcker’s second term as chair of the Federal Reserve was running out. Volcker had first been appointed by Jimmy Carter in 1979, and was willing to stay for another four years if President Reagan asked. While Volcker had used high interest rates to engineer a crushing recession at the start of Reagan’s first term, he then allowed the economy to expand rapidly just in time to carry Reagan to a landslide reelection in 1984.

Yet Reagan wanted to replace him. Why?

https://prod01-cdn04.cdn.firstlook.org/wp-uploads/sites/1/2015/04/Jon-Schwarz_avatar_1429549467-350x350.jpg Before joining First Look, Jon Schwarz worked for Michael Moore’s Dog Eat Dog Films and was Research Producer for Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story. He’s contributed to many publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones and Slate, as well as NPR and “Saturday Night Live.”

Full story … 

 



Related: 

“The system is rigged against regular people”: Big money has completely warped American democracy, Michael Winship, Moyers & Company

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  • Corporations have a stranglehold on both parties. Here's how it happened -- and how we take our government back.
  • Hillary Clinton Is Exposing the Dark Underbelly of the Democrats’ Money Machine

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Don’t let the Democrats censor the real resistance

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Left side: The censored version of the PSL poster from the Democratic Party's tweet 

  • Building the Anti-Trump Resistence
  • Related: Be Wary Of The Democratic Wing Of The Protest Movement

Gloria La Riva, Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) 

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Party%20for%20Socialism%20%26%20Liberation%20%28PSL%29%20logo.jpgApril 8, 2017 | The Democratic Party’s shameful and fake posturing as “the resistance” to Trump hit a new low last Friday when their official Twitter account posted an image that included a photoshopped picture of a PSL poster. As we explained in our official statement:

“The official Twitter account of the Democratic Party sent out a Tweet celebrating the defeat of the Republican health plan, including an image of the mass protest movement against Trump. In the bottom of the photo, taken at the Jan. 21 Women’s March in D.C., they flagrantly blacked out the text of a PSL poster that read, “Trump is the Symptom. Capitalism is the Disease. Socialism is the Cure.” The lines about capitalism and socialism were erased but “Trump is the symptom” was left — which allowed people to quickly identify their falsification.”

Gloria La Riva: PSL 2016 Presidential Candidate

Full story … 

Related: 

Be Wary Of The Democratic Wing Of The Protest Movement, John Stauber, CounterPunch / Popular Resistance 

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  • The self-labeled "Progressive Movement" that has arisen over the past decade is primarily one big propaganda campaign serving the political interests of the the Democratic Party’s richest one-percent who created it.  The funders and owners of the Progressive Movement get richer and richer off Wall Street and the corporate system.  But they happen to be Democrats, cultural and social liberals who can’t stomach Republican policies, and so after bruising electoral defeats a decade ago they decided to buy a movement, one just like the Republicans, a copy.
  • Related: Progressives Need A New Party, Not A New DNC Chair

 

Tomgram: Aviva Chomsky, The Criminalization of Immigrants From Clinton to Trump

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Making Sense of the Deportation Debate

Aviva Chomsky, TomDispatch 

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Pine%20Tree%20Logo200%20with%2011%20Yr%20Banner.jpg Why Evergreene Digest Chooses to Rely on Reader Support

There is no doubt with our readership we could make more money by accepting advertising or foundation funding than by surviving on donations alone. If it was just about "making money" that would be easy. But it's not just about making money. It's about our future, about the future of the community we serve and about change for the better.

This community based news agency that we have all built, Evergreene Digest, does not have the muscle of the larger commercial news organizations, but power does not come from muscle alone. Great power can come from participation, and community involvement. That's what we get from our Reader Supporters.

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Dave Culver

Founder & Publisher, Evergreene Digest



https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.presente.org/images/stopdeportations.jpg April 25, 2017 | From his “big, fat, beautiful wall” to his travel bans, much of Donald Trump's push to isolate America, like so much else in his program, has hit a series of ugly speed bumps. Not only won’t the Mexicans “pay” to build that much-promised wall, but even Congress is unlikely to do so, as its price tag soars by the week. Of course, much of what Trump wants to do when it comes to keeping “them” out, or throwing “them” out, has (as TomDispatch regular Aviva Chomsky writes today) already been done. Our last president wasn’t given the moniker of “deporter-in-chief” by his critics for nothing, and as for that wall, a far more sophisticated, layered version of it is already in place, complete with advanced sensors, cameras, drones, biometrics, spy towers, radar systems -- much of the technology tested on America’s distant battlefields -- as well as actual walls.  Even if there isn’t a single old-fashioned wall along the full length of the U.S.-Mexican border, the construction of the layered “wall” that does exist began in the years of Bill Clinton's presidency and its expansion has continued in a bipartisan fashion ever since.

And yet, even if Donald Trump never builds his wall, his attitude, whether toward Mexicans or Muslims, and the spirit of nativism and authoritarianism he’s released in those who police and bureaucratically control America’s borders, along with a bully-boy language that relies on phrases like “extreme vetting” and on demands to turn over personal passwords for electronic equipment at the border, will go a significant way toward walling this country in.  Take tourism.  Just the other day, Dubai’s government-owned airline, the largest in the Middle East, announced that it was significantly cutting back on its flights to the U.S. because interest among its customers had fallen radically and bookings were way down.  (“The recent actions taken by the U.S. government relating to the issuance of entry visas, heightened security vetting, and restrictions on electronic devices in aircraft cabins, have had a direct impact on consumer interest and demand for air travel into the U.S.”)

Aviva Chomsky is professor of history and coordinator of Latin American studies at Salem State University in Massachusetts and a TomDispatch regular. Her most recent book is Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal.

Full story … 

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A Tough-Love Letter to the Left

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A new book urges activists to avoid insularity and purism--and to focus on winning.

Related: The silence of the pseudo-left on the danger of war

Sam Adler-bell, New Republic / Portside

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https://portside.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/hegemony42917.png?itok=a_b44IqR Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap For Radicals by Jonathan Smucker, AK Press, 290 pp., $16.95

April 28, 2017 | In its final months, Hillary Clinton's campaign depicted the election in Manichaean terms: the forces of light against darkness, love against hate, the guardians of a virtuous public against a world-historical bully. In this story, we lost the election not because we did something wrong, but because we did something right in a world that's wrong. We fought the forces of misogyny, xenophobia, and white supremacy, but they were too strong; they overwhelmed us. And how could they not? This is America after all.

The left--especially the activist left--makes this mistake all the time: imagining there is some meaningful consolation in losing righteously. In 1934, Bertolt Brecht wrote, "It takes courage to say that the good were defeated not because they were good, but because they were weak." A lifelong organizer and educator, Jonathan Matthew Smucker has been hearing versions of this story his entire adult life. In his new book, Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals, he writes "I take no solace in the prospect of history listing me among the righteous few who denounced the captain of a ship that sank." Being right about what is wrong in the world is no excuse for allowing wrong to proliferate. Those of us who aspire to a socially just world, says Smucker, must conspire to take the helm.

Sam Adler-bell is a policy associate at The Century Foundation.

Full story … 

Related: 

The silence of the pseudo-left on the danger of war, Eric London, World Socialist Web Site

Any connections that the radicalized middle class once had to anti-imperialism or socialism are long gone. The categories of analysis they employ have nothing to do with class or historical materialism. War, social inequality and poverty all take a back seat to what really interests them: race, gender and their own sex lives.

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Column: The political lies we tell ourselves in an age of extremes

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A London work by the street artist Bambi, titled Lie Lie Land, depicts a dancing British Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump. Too many of us are convinced that our political opponents cannot tell the truth. Associated Press

We blame politicians for our nation's problems, but take no personal responsibility in voting in those inept individuals who put the party and themselves ahead of the national interest.

Darryl Paulson, Tampa Bay (FL) Times

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017 | Almost all of us think of ourselves as honest, as tellers of the truth. But if you are like most Americans you lie — and often — about politics.

Let me give just a few examples of our political lies. Americans like to think of themselves as open-minded, but not when it comes to all things political.

Darryl Paulson is emeritus professor of government at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg specializing in Florida politics and elections. 

Full story … 

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Charles Pierce | Stop Lying to Yourself About Donald Trump

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  • Pierce writes: "Trump is merely a cruder manifestation of the political prion disease that has afflicted conservatism and the Republican Party since it first ate the monkeybrains 35 years ago."
  • For the 2016 ecosystem, he might have been the perfect candidate.
  • Related: I Blame Us

Charles P. Pierce, Esquire 

Apr 20, 2017 | Here inside the Beltway bubble, we don't really know what's happening in real America. (To that end, the satellite radio monopoly has given a radio show to Salena Zito, chronicler of the salt of the earth for those people for whom Hillbilly Elegy is too heavy a lift.) Unlike many of the cynics and elitists hereabouts, I maintain an optimistic view of my fellow Americans out in the boonies. I think they're all going to get together next October and announce that it's all been an elaborate prank.

I hope that's the case because, otherwise…yikes. From The Buffalo News:

Charles P. Pierce has been a working journalist since 1976. He is the author of four books, most recently 'Idiot America.'

Full story … 

Related: 

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I Blame UsEvan Handler, Huffington Post

It is our fault. We allowed it. We are allowing it right now.

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I Blame Us

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It is our fault. We allowed it. We are allowing it right now.

Evan Handler, Huffington Post

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04/12/2017 | Here’s the thing: Yes, Mitch McConnell is a terrible human being, and an awful influence upon the United States. We could make a long list of politicians equally craven and/or evil. That could be matched by the list of those who are “merely” stupid, foolish, or incompetent. And, for each of the very worst of them, there are – quite literally – millions upon millions of citizens who support them in their efforts to roll back civil rights, gender equality, and environmental protection accomplishments won over the past several decades (among other essential, and civilized, aspects of our society). There is no shortage of people at whom to point, and shriek, “Shame!”

But, it’s our fault. We let it happen. I blame us.

Evan Handler, Contributor, Actor, author, screenwriter, journalist. Inspirational pessimist.

Full story … 

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Series | The Obama Legacy, Part 6: Barack Obama Wanted To End ‘Childish Things’ In Washington. Instead, He Got Trump.

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  • “The policies will stand the test of time, the president’s personal standing is high as he leaves office (as it should be), but somewhere along the way, too many people stopped seeing the Democratic Party as relentlessly focused on improving the economy and their lives, which opened the door for Donald Trump.” --Anita Dunn, Obama’s former adviser 
  • This piece is Part 6 of a series on Obama’s legacy that Evergreene Digest  will be publishing over the next weeks.

Sam Stein, the 

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Jan 19, 2017 | 

 

 

Sam Stein is the Senior Politics Editor at the Huffington Post, based in Washington, D.C. Previously he has worked for Newsweek magazine, the New York Daily News and the investigative journalism group Center for Public Integrity. He has a masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Full story … 

Previously in this series:

 

Related:

http://www.truthdig.com/images/eartothegrounduploads/shutterstock_131448575-sequester-300.jpg Shutterstock illustration of American candle burning.

Shocking Truth: This Is How Barack Obama Was Able To Prop Up The U.S. Economy, Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse / the Daily Sheeple

  • A day of reckoning is fast approaching, and I am not sure if Donald Trump even realizes that he will soon be faced with some incredibly heartbreaking choices.
  • Related: Capitalism's war on climate science

 

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