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The Secret Give-a-ways To Big Money Political Donors Tucked Into 1600-page Federal Budget Bill

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‘Cromnibus’ Tries To Sneak Through Another Blow To Campaign Spending Limits

5 Awful Things Congress Snuck Into the Omnibus Budget Deal

 

Center for American Progress

 

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03/Congress.Money_.pngDecember 10, 2014 | With less than two days to go before another government shutdown, last night House and Senate leadership unveiled compromise budget legislation nicknamed the “cromnibus” — a portmanteau of continuing resolution, or CR, and an omnibus spending bill. While the main flashpoint going into these negotiations was conservatives’ radical reaction to President Obama’s executive action on immigration, in the light of day, a number of other odious provisions threaten to derail the bill’s passage.

 

ThinkProgress has a good run-down of the cromnibus’ troubling last-minute additions: handouts to Wall Street, cuts to IRS enforcement, interference in D.C.’s new voter-approved marijuana legalization, and a cold shoulder to students, the homeless, and those in need of affordable housing.

 

Center for American Progress: A think tank offering policy proposals, talking points, events, news and columns.

 

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5 Awful Things Congress Snuck Into the Omnibus Budget Deal, Mansur Gidfa, Bulletin, Represent Us

 

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So by all means, get furious about the cronyism and special interest carve-outs in the coming budget deal. As long as you also get busy fighting back against the root cause.

 

 

5 Awful Things Congress Snuck Into the Omnibus Budget Deal

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So by all means, get furious about the cronyism and special interest carve-outs in the coming budget deal. As long as you also get busy fighting back against the root cause.

Mansur Gidfa, Bulletin, Represent Us

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OmnibusThumb.jpgDecember 10, 2014 | On Tuesday, Congressional leaders struck a deal to avert another government shutdown and put off our next completely avoidable, 100% self-imposed budget crisis until next September. And while most members of the least productive Congress in the history of these United States are already busy patting themselves on the back for summoning enough courage and can-do American spirit to actually govern for a day, the rest of us shouldn’t start celebrating just yet.

If you’re a Congressperson looking to sneak through something shady, the omnibus budget bill is the perfect opportunity since 1.) It’s 1600 pages long and very easy to hide things in, and 2.) Congress kind of has to pass it or the government shuts down. Again.

Mansur Gidfa: I post about money, politics, and corruption for the fine folks here at Upworthy. I also work for an anti-corruption nonprofit called Represent.Us to directly confront the corrosive influence of money in politics.

Full story …

 

10 appalling findings in the Senate’s torture report

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  • Senate Intel Committee releases report on use of torture against detainees. Here are some of the worst findings.
  • Take%20Action%20Today%20button.jpgRevelations in Senate torture report demand prosecutions

Luke Brinker, Salon

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bush_cheney1-620x412.jpgGeorge W. Bush, Dick Cheney (Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed)

Tuesday, Dec 9, 2014 | The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday unveiled the much-anticipated summary of its report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of torture against terrorism suspects, providing often-harrowing insight into U.S. interrogation practices in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks and offering a damning look at the CIA’s pattern of giving false information in its defense of the practices and stonewalling lawmakers and executive branch officials responsible for overseeing the agency’s actions.

The 524-page summary released today is less than a tenth of the length of the committee’s full, 6,700-page report. This spring, committee members voted to release only the summary and a Republican rebuttal.

Luke Brinker is Salon's deputy politics editor.

Full story … 

 

Related:

Revelations in Senate torture report demand prosecutions, The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) 

  • Take%20Action%20Today%20button.jpgTake Action. Join CCR and demand that the Department of Justice act now
  • Please take action, share these materials widely, and help us build a groundswell of support for prosecuting those who torture and those who protect torturers!
  • 10 appalling findings in the Senate’s torture report

Cops Behaving Badly, December 8, 2014

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  • "I can't keep up with the number of people whose existence is being reduced to a hashtag, at the rate cops are realizing their GI Joe fantasies." --Anon
  • Part 1: Five myths about America’s police
  • Part 2: 10 ways the system is rigged to protect cops who kill
  • Special Project | Cops Behaving Badly: Week Ending December 7, 2014

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Part 1: Five myths about America’s police

Here are five common misconceptions about policing today.

Radley Balko, Washington (DC) Post

Police officers at a Brooklyn Bridge exit ramp during protests on Thursday against the decision to not indict an officer for the chokehold death of Eric Garner. (John Minchillo/Associated Press)

December 5, 2014 | America’s police forces are in the spotlight. After the police shooting deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, as well as this past week’s decision by a grand jury not to indict the officer caught on video choking New York resident Eric Garner, who later died, Americans from the White House to the streets are debating or protesting police militarization, body cameras, lethal force — and whether enough is done to hold bad cops accountable.

It’s essential that we base these discussions on good data and sound presumptions. Police officers are human and fallible, just like the rest of us. How they behave and react in the aggregate is a product of the policies, procedures and guidelines set by police leadership, elected officials and ultimately the public. Here are five common misconceptions about policing today.

Radley Balko is the author of “Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces” and blogs for The Washington (DC) Post at The Watch.

Full story … 



Part 2: 10 ways the system is rigged to protect cops who kill

Officers like Daniel Panteleo and Darren Wilson aren't anomalies. Our police force can murder with impunity.

Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet / Salon

eric-garner-4-620x412.jpgAs passions and protests flared on the streets of New York City following a Staten Island grand jury’s decision Wednesday not to indict the white NYC police officer whose chokehold and rough arrest killed Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, a key question emerges: why is the justice system so biased against holding abusive officers accountable?

The answer is both simple and complex. On the simple side, the system is substantially rigged in favor of letting officers off the hook for using excessive force in the line of duty—especially if they say they needed to protect themselves. On the complex side are how the various stages of the process tilt toward covering up what abusive police have done, as well as biases built into the legal system that shield police from prosecution.

Steven Rosenfeld covers national political issues for AlterNet, including America's retirement crisis, democracy and voting rights, and campaigns and elections. He is the author of "Count My Vote: A Citizen's Guide to Voting" (AlterNet Books, 2008).

Full story … 

Related:

Special Project | Cops Behaving Badly: Week Ending December 7, 2014, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Search  on the internet "police brutality" or "police excessive force."  If you search YouTube, there are many videos of cops acting WAY beyond their limits.
  • 10 New Items including:
    • White House Forms Task Force to Address Police Brutality, Appoints Brutal & Abusive Cop to Lead It
    • UN Calls Out US Police For Excessive Use Of Force Against Minorities
    • ‘Dangerous precedent’ – Ray McGovern on excessive police force
    • Pentagon Supplies School Districts with Assault Rifles and Grenade Launchers
    • Shoot first, ask later: Why the concept of “reasonable fear” is anything but reasonable
    • Video reveals police’s stunning double-standard for black Americans
    • Here's What Happens to Police Officers Who Shoot Unarmed Black Men
    • To Terrify and Occupy
    • When law enforcement is law and order’s biggest threat
    • Cops Behaving Badly, June 28,2014

 

 

 

Apocalypse Now: Seriously, It's Time for a Major Rethink About Liberal and Progressive Politics

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  • It is time to take a hard look at why and how we have failed. And we need to rethink pretty much everything, along the way. As Robert Jensen writes in his mini book and on AlterNet, "We are all apocalyptic now."
  • We are losing badly to the corporate state. Here's what we need to do.

Don Hazen, AlterNet

October 25, 2014  |  As the editor of AlterNet for 20 years, I have read and seen the entire range of horrendous and growing problems we face as a society and a planet virtually every day. It is not just climate change, or ISIL, or Ferguson, or poverty and homelessness, or more misogynistic murdering of women, or the Democrats about to lose the Senate as Obama gets more unpopular. It is much, much more. Every day, it passes by before my eyes. At AlterNet, there are no issue silos—there is just the open faucet of depressing political information coming and going every hour of every day (with the occasional story of success and inspiration). 

So I am sorry to share my deep-seated opinion, which should jibe with anyone who is paying attention. After decades of engagement in progressive politics and media, it is very clear to me: we progressives, liberals, common-sense people, are losing badly to the conservative business state, the tyranny of massively expanding tech companies, theocratic right-wing forces and pervasive militarism, home and abroad. By virtually every measure, things are getting worse. And things are trending much, much worse in ways we can easily measure, like inequality, climate, militarization of police forces, etc., and in ways that are more psychological and emotional.

Don Hazen: Editor, AlterNet

Full story ... 

Special Project | Cops Behaving Badly: Week Ending December 7, 2014

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  • Search  on the internet "police brutality" or "police excessive force."  If you search YouTube, there are many videos of cops acting WAY beyond their limits.
  • 10 New Items including:
    • White House Forms Task Force to Address Police Brutality, Appoints Brutal & Abusive Cop to Lead It
    • UN Calls Out US Police For Excessive Use Of Force Against Minorities
    • ‘Dangerous precedent’ – Ray McGovern on excessive police force
    • Pentagon Supplies School Districts with Assault Rifles and Grenade Launchers
    • Shoot first, ask later: Why the concept of “reasonable fear” is anything but reasonable
    • Video reveals police’s stunning double-standard for black Americans
    • Here's What Happens to Police Officers Who Shoot Unarmed Black Men
    • To Terrify and Occupy
    • When law enforcement is law and order’s biggest threat
    • Cops Behaving Badly, June 28,2014

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

J.D. Crowe

 

White House Forms Task Force to Address Police Brutality, Appoints Brutal & Abusive Cop to Lead It, John Vibes, The Free Thought Project

  • This chief has already cost the tax payers millions in settlements for hundreds of civil rights violations, and now he supposed to lead a committee to stop civil rights violations?
  • Ferguson Grand Jury's Huge Mistakes

###

UN Calls Out US Police For Excessive Use Of Force Against Minorities, Ahiza Garcia, Talking Points Memo

  • "The excessive use of force by law enforcement officials against racial and ethnic minorities is an ongoing issue of concern and particularly in light of the shooting of Michael Brown. … This is not an isolated event and illustrates a bigger problem in the United States, such as racial bias among law enforcement officials, the lack of proper implementation of rules and regulations governing the use of force, and the inadequacy of training of law enforcement officials." --United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  • UN Anti-torture Panel Grills US Officials

###

‘Dangerous precedent’ – Ray McGovern on excessive police force, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Liberty activist and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern has been released by New York police, after spending hours behind bars. Joins RT to tell everyone what happened.
  • Part 1: Ray McGovern describes brutal arrest at Petraeus event 
  • Part 2: Petraeus Spared Ray McGovern’s Question

###

Pentagon Supplies School Districts with Assault Rifles and Grenade Launchers, Andrew Emett, Nation of Change

  • Federal records confirm that schools throughout the U.S. have received surplus military-grade weapons and vehicles. But is there really a need for military-grade weapons on campus?
  • When law enforcement is law and order’s biggest threat

###

Shoot first, ask later: Why the concept of “reasonable fear” is anything but reasonable, Falgunia A. Sheth, Salon

  • Courts say cops can shoot out of "reasonable fear." In America that entails a myth of race and gender neutrality
  • Video reveals police’s stunning double-standard for black Americans

###
 

 

Bill Schorr

Video reveals police’s stunning double-standard for black Americans, Joanna Rothkopf, Salon

  • In a shocking video posted to YouTube, police tase and arrest a black man picking his kids up from preschool. 
  • “I’m not your brother!”
  • Justice Ginsburg: America Has A ‘Real Racial Problem’ 

###

Here's What Happens to Police Officers Who Shoot Unarmed Black Men, Jaeah Lee and Katie Rose Quandt, Mother Jones

  • History appears to be in Officer Darren Wilson's favor.
  • When law enforcement is law and order’s biggest threat

###

To Terrify and Occupy, Matthew Harwood, TomDispatch / Truthdig

  • One Nation Under SWAT
  • When law enforcement is law and order’s biggest threat

###

When law enforcement is law and order’s biggest threat, Simon Maloy, Salon

  • The debacle in Ferguson represents a near-total breakdown of our civic institutions. Here's why that's so scary
  • All hell has broken loose. 
  • Cops Behaving Badly, June 28,2014

###

Cops Behaving Badly, June 28,2014, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Search  on the internet "police brutality" or "police excessive force."  If you search YouTube, there are many videos of cops acting WAY beyond their limits.
  • Part 1: A SWAT Team Blew a Hole in My 2-Year-Old Son
  • Part 2: US police departments are increasingly militarised, finds report
  • Widespread Police Misconduct and an Expanding Prison Population

White House Forms Task Force to Address Police Brutality, Appoints Brutal & Abusive Cop to Lead It

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  • This chief has already cost the tax payers millions in settlements for hundreds of civil rights violations, and now he supposed to lead a committee to stop civil rights violations?
  • Ferguson Grand Jury's Huge Mistakes

John Vibes, The Free Thought Project

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President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. meet with Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Laurie Robinson, professor of criminology, law and society at George Mason University. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

December 3, 2014 | This week, President Obama gave a speech about police militarization, in light of the recent unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, and formed a committee that will supposedly be working to address police corruption and police brutality. However, one of his lead figures in this committee is Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey, a crooked cop who is notorious for using excessive force and making false arrests.

“If the president’s idea of reforming policing practices includes mass false arrests, brutality, and the eviscerating of civil rights, then Ramsey’s his man. That’s Charles Ramsey’s legacy in D.C. Obama should immediately rescind his appointment of Commissioner Ramsey, who is a mass violator of civil rights and civil liberties,” Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF), said in a recent statement.

John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In 2013, he became one of the organizers of the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. 

Full story … 

Related:

Ferguson Grand Jury's Huge Mistakes, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • “This process is broken. The process should be indicted. It should be indicted because of the continuous, systematic result that is yielded by this process,” said Benjamin Crump, Michael Brown Family Attorney.
  • Part 1: Everything the Darren Wilson grand jury got wrong 
  • Part 2: Ferguson grand jury’s huge mistake: What the transcripts reveal about eyewitness testimony

 

Bought-and-Paid Congress Divides the Spoils

 

  • Never has the Golden Rule of Politics glittered so bright: the corporate-person with the most gold rules. And the Republicans are now firmly in control of Congress after having their pockets filled more than the Democrats, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship explain.
  • In Big-Money Move, Corporations Seek to Make Congress a Wholly-Owned Subsidiary

Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Consortium News

Thank%20You%20%28Lg%29%20w%3A10%20yr%20banner.jpgThis article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

zephyr-199x300.jpgNovember 21, 2014 | We’ve been watching Congress since the mid-term elections and reading Zephyr Teachout’s terrific history book, Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United.

That snuff box was a gift from King Louis XVI of France. His Majesty was a good friend of the American Revolution but when he gave Benjamin Franklin the gold box, featuring the monarch’s portrait surrounded with diamonds, some of our Founding Fathers objected. They worried that the gift would corrupt his judgment and unduly bias Franklin in France’s favor.

Bill Moyers is an American journalist and liberal public commentator. He served as White House Press Secretary in the Johnson administration from 1965 to 1967. He also worked as a network TV news commentator for ten years.

Michael Winship is senior writing fellow at Demos and a senior writer of the series, Moyers & Company, airing on public television.

Full story … 

Related:

In Big-Money Move, Corporations Seek to Make Congress a Wholly-Owned Subsidiary, Richard (RJ) Eskow, Huffington Post

For the American people, the moral of this story couldn't be clearer: If we don't get money out of politics, we'll lose our democracy altogether.

 

 

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