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Stop the Austerity Craze! Massive Budget Slashing Can Lead to Economic Disaster, Violence and Repression

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  • The DC-Wall Street power circuit, with a big assist from the corporate media, is blindly pushing an agenda that could lead to massive social upheaval.
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  • Austerity - a sure path to a bad economy
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  • Citizens must be better educated about U.S. economic option
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  • Anti-Austerity Alliance Wins in Illinois
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Mark Ames,  AlterNet

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

Now that the shock of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting is starting to wear off and the country is returning to its more familiar climate of insanity, we’re back to facing a far worse, far more serious, and far more violent threat than mere rampage shootings: Austerity.

The Washington-Wall Street power circuit has already decided for the rest of us that “austerity” will define the 2011 political agenda. Austerity is what the oligarch-sponsored Tea Party demanded, what the Republicans are promising to deliver now that they’re in control of drafting the budget in the House, and what the Obama administration is going to try to enact as part of its neo-Clinton triangulation strategy. And the DC pols have the total endorsement of the corporate media, which have been hammering home the same message for months now: Austerity is the answer to our problems — problems that were created by the same establishment which wants to make us scream in pain again.

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Related:

Austerity - a sure path to a bad economy, David Blanchflower, Bloomberg News/Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

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  • You want evidence? Take a look at what's happening in Britain now.
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  • Lesson From Europe: Fiscal Austerity Kills Economies
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  • Media Unwittingly Plays Republicans' Deficit Game
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Citizens must be better educated about U.S. economic options, Alex Alben, Seattle Times | WA

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  • U.S. political culture and our education system have roles to play in the dire straits of our economy.
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  • Some ideas for building a better, more informed national consensus.
  • \r\n

  • Austerity - a sure path to a bad economy
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Anti-Austerity Alliance Wins in Illinois, David Moberg, In These Times

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  • A 300-member coalition helps raise taxes to save essential services.
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  • The Responsible Budget Coalition’s victory ‘provides a model for organizing,’ says Jeff Blum, executive director of USAction. ‘We can’t just be defensive.’
  • \r\n

  • Austerity - a sure path to a bad economy
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  • Citizens must be better educated about U.S. economic options
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Section(s): 

How You Can Boycott the Kochs

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  • The backlash against the Kochs' influence in Wisconsin is gaining steam, with labor supporters starting to boycott Koch Industries' many products (listed here).
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  • Scott Walker Runs on Koch Money
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  • Scott Walker to 'Koch Caller': Thanks for All the Support
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Lauren Kelley, AlterNet

Photo Credit: Fibonacci Blue on Flickr

Over the past few weeks, the billionaire Koch brothers and their front groups have steadily increased their involvement in Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's efforts to strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights. The Kochs' outsized wealth and influence are forces to be reckoned with; that's why we should all be grateful that a Koch backlash, including a boycott of Koch Industries' products, has started picking up steam.

AlterNet has been keeping a close eye on the Koch-financed support for Walker's anti-union campaign. As we reported last week (Feb 20-26), Walker is deep in the pocket of the Kochs, having received some $43,000 from Koch Industries while running for governor in 2010. Once Walker was elected, he made sure to take care of his friends/financiers, giving out massive tax breaks to Koch Industries, and more recently, launching the ongoing effort to quash Wisconsin union workers' rights.

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Scott Walker Runs on Koch Money, Lisa Graves, Center for Media and Democracy

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  • The Republican Governors Association and the Kochs' Investment in Scott Walker
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  • Who Is Writing the AP's Headlines on the Protests -- the GOP?
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  • Citizens United v. FEC: The Decision, Its Implications, The Road Ahead
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  • A Supreme Act Of Judical Treason Against The People Of The United States
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Scott Walker to 'Koch Caller': Thanks for All the Support, John Nichols, Nation Magazine

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  • "Koch": [Laughs] Well, I tell you what, Scott: once you crush these bastards I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time.
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  • Walker: All right, that would be outstanding. [Author note: ethical violation much?] Thanks for all the support…it’s all about getting our freedoms back…
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  • "Koch": Absolutely. And, you know, we have a little bit of a vested interest as well. [Laughs]
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$1.2 Trillion: The Real U.S. National Security Budget No One Wants You to Know About

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  • If Americans were ever presented with the real bill for the total U.S. national security budget, it would actually add up to more than $1.2 trillion a year.
    The simplest way to grasp just how Americans could pay such a staggering amount annually for “security” is to go through what we know about the U.S. national security budget, step by step, and add it all up.

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BeforeIt'sNews.com

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

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What if you went to a restaurant and found it rather pricey? Still, you ordered your meal and, when done, picked up the check only to discover that it was almost twice the menu price.

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Welcome to the world of the real U.S. national security budget.  Normally, in media accounts, you hear about the Pentagon budget and the war-fighting supplementary funds passed by Congress for our conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  That already gets you into a startling price range -- close to $700 billion for 2012 -- but that’s barely more than half of it.  If Americans were ever presented with the real bill for the total U.S. national security budget, it would actually add up to more than $1.2 trillion a year.

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Take that in for a moment.  It’s true; you won’t find that figure in your daily newspaper or on your nightly newscast, but it’s no misprint.  It may even be an underestimate.  In any case, it’s the real thing when it comes to your tax dollars.  The simplest way to grasp just how Americans could pay such a staggering amount annually for “security” is to go through what we know about the U.S. national security budget, step by step, and add it all up.

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Section(s): 

Government is not the enemy

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  • "We the People ... in order to form a more perfect union ..." Thus begins one of the crowning documents of human history -- the Constitution of the United States.
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  • Few statements have ever so nobly set forth the commitment of a people to their common life.
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  • Molly Ivins: The Politics of Greed
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Peter Rogness, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

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Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Charlie Bloss for this contribution

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

Is government us or them?

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With no public announcement, we have changed from a people sharing a common life to several hundred million individuals who happen to live near one another, and we risk losing our soul in that change.

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"We the People ... in order to form a more perfect union ..." Thus begins one of the crowning documents of human history -- the Constitution of the United States.

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"We" was the first word. In the preamble alone, the phrases "establish justice," "domestic tranquility," "common defence," "general welfare" and "blessings of liberty" all appear.

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Few statements have ever so nobly set forth the commitment of a people to their common life.

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Molly Ivins: The Politics of Greed, Molly Ivins, TruthDig
Anyone who doesn’t think this is a country where the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer needs to check the numbers—this is Bush country, where a rising tide lifts all yachts.

Section(s): 

Special Report | For Profit Colleges

"When I look at it, it's a large pot of money readily available at the disposal of these institutions, with little accountability," said Donald Overton, executive director of Veterans of Modern Warfare, a veterans support group.

5 Items including:

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  • For-Profit Colleges Cashing In On Veterans
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  • Documents: For-Profit Recruiters Sell Students Using 'Pain,' 'Fear'
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

At a time when corporations are buying up elections – not to mention the 24-hour-news cycle – help ensure that a source for truly independent journalism lives on. Support Evergreene Digest  today by using the donation button in the above right-hand corner.

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Nate Beeler

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For-Profit Colleges Cashing In On Veterans, Chris Kirkham, Huffington Post

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  • "When I look at it, it's a large pot of money readily available at the disposal of these institutions, with little accountability," said Donald Overton, executive director of Veterans of Modern Warfare, a veterans support group.
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  • The for-profit education industry has been under the microscope for months, following a scathing report from the Government Accountability Office in which undercover-camera footage showed recruiters engaging in aggressive, often deceptive techniques to enroll students.
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Documents: For-Profit Recruiters Sell Students Using 'Pain,' 'Fear'Chris Kirkham, Huffington Post

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  • A document from Kaplan University encourages recruiters to "Keep digging until you uncover their pain, fears and dreams" and to "Get to their emotions and you will create the urgency!"
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  • Whistleblower Exposes How Kaplan University Cheats Low-income Minority students and the Washington Post Benefits
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Whistleblower Exposes How Kaplan University Cheats Low-income Minority students, veterans, and single parents, and the Washington Post Benefits, Danny Weil, Daily Censored/Axis of Logic

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  • Private Vocational College—Kaplan University--operates vocational training programs that over-enroll students using Federal loans that leave low-income student indebted and unemployed.
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  • Kaplan University is owned by the Washington Post, which derives 58% of its entire revenue stream from Kaplan and its various subsidiaries and is well aware of the issues.
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Lobbying Group Accuses Government of 'Malpractice' In Undercover Report On For-Profit Colleges, Chris Kirkham, Huffington Post

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  • The for-profit college industry faces increased scrutiny as evidence mounts of its students leaving with debts they cannot afford to pay, given the low-wage jobs they tend to attain after graduation.
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  • For-profit schools enroll about 12 percent of students nationwide, yet the sector takes in nearly 25 percent of all student aid dollars and is responsible for 43 percent of student loan defaults.
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  • Whistleblower Exposes How Kaplan University Cheats Low-income Minority students and the Washington Post Benefits
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Tell Kaplan & the Washington Post: Stop Cashing In On Low-Income Students, Judith Meskill, Change.org

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Section(s): 

What Conservatives Really Want

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  • The central issue in our political life is not being discussed. At stake is the moral basis of American democracy.
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  • Dedicated to the peaceful protestors in Wisconsin, February 19, 2011.
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George Lakoff, Huffington Post

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Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Charlie Bloss for this contribution.

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

The central issue in our political life is not being discussed. At stake is the moral basis of American democracy.

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The individual issues are all too real: assaults on unions, public employees, women's rights, immigrants, the environment, health care, voting rights, food safety, pensions, prenatal care, science, public broadcasting, and on and on.

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Budget deficits are a ruse, as we've seen in Wisconsin, where the governor turned a surplus into a deficit by providing corporate tax breaks, and then used the deficit as a ploy to break the unions, not just in Wisconsin, but seeking to be the first domino in a nationwide conservative movement.

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Section(s): 

MegaVote: How Congress is Voting

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  • Track your US Senators' and US Representative's votes by e-mail
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  • Follow Your State's News on Facebook!
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Congress.org

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

Track your Senators' and Representative's votes by e-mail

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Each week (that Congress is in session) you will receive:
• Key votes by your two Senators and U.S. Representative.
• Links to send e-mail to your members of Congress using pre-addressed forms.
• Upcoming votes for your review and a chance to offer e-mail input before they vote.

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Use this weekly vote monitor to track the decisions made by your elected officials on key issues.

More...

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Related:

Follow Your State's News on Facebook!, Ryan Teague Beckwith, Congress.org

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  • Want to keep up with your state lawmakers?
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  • MegaVote: How Congress is Voting
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Section(s): 

Anti-Austerity Alliance Wins in Illinois

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  • A 300-member coalition helps raise taxes to save essential services.
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  • The Responsible Budget Coalition’s victory ‘provides a model for organizing,’ says Jeff Blum, executive director of USAction. ‘We can’t just be defensive.’
  • \r\n

  • Austerity - a sure path to a bad economy
  • \r\n

  • Citizens must be better educated about U.S. economic options
  • \r\n

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David Moberg, In These Times

At a time when corporations are buying up elections – not to mention the 24-hour-news cycle – help ensure that a source for truly independent journalism lives on. Support Evergreene Digest today by using the donation button in the above right-hand corner.

Not lying down: Illinois advocates and activists rejected the idea of massive service cuts. (Photo courtesy of Responsible Budget Coalition)

Last April, Sandra Wiekerson took a day off from her work caring for elderly people in their homes on Chicago’s northwest side. She joined 15,000 other Illinoisans in the state capital of Springfield for a historic rally and lobbying day.

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“Raise my taxes,” they chanted. “Show some guts, stop the cuts.” Participants in the ‘Save Our State’ rally, one of the largest demonstrations ever directed at the Illinois legislature, urged the state government to raise taxes so it could pay for essential services, including $6 billion in unpaid bills carried over from the previous year.

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The Responsible Budget Coalition (RBC) called the rally as part of a long, multifaceted campaign to fix fundamental flaws in the state’s tax structure that the recession worsened. The RBC is comprised of more than 300 groups, including social service agencies reimbursed by the state, public employee unions, and community, religious and citizen advocacy groups concerned about the welfare of vulnerable populations.

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More...

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Related:

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Austerity - a sure path to a bad economy, David Blanchflower, Bloomberg News/Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

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    \r\n
  • You want evidence? Take a look at what's happening in Britain now.
  • \r\n

  • Lesson From Europe: Fiscal Austerity Kills Economies
  • \r\n

  • Media Unwittingly Plays Republicans' Deficit Game
  • \r\n

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Citizens must be better educated about U.S. economic options, Alex Alben, Seattle Times | WA

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    \r\n
  • U.S. political culture and our education system have roles to play in the dire straits of our economy.
  • \r\n

  • Some ideas for building a better, more informed national consensus.
  • \r\n

  • Austerity - a sure path to a bad economy
  • \r\n

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Section(s): 

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