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MnIndy’s Sam Lane talks shutdown with Thom Hartmann

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Minnesota Independent’s Sam Lane discussed the budget impasse and government shutdown with nationally syndicated radio host Thom Hartmann on Friday (July 1).

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Paul Schmelzer, Minnesota Independent | MN

A sign inside the Minnesota Capitol noting the government shutdown. Photo: Kathy Easthagen for Minnesota Independent

The Minnesota Independent’s Sam Lane discussed the budget impasse and government shutdown with nationally syndicated radio host Thom Hartmann on Friday (July 1). Lane discussed recent stories, including last night’s shutdown and the revelation that Republicans sought a bargain with Gov. Mark Dayton that would’ve put controversial social issues like a ban on funding for some forms of stem cell research and abortion limits back on the table.

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Listen here...

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Obama's Original Sin

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The president’s failure to demand a reckoning from the moneyed interests who brought the economy down has cursed his first term, and could prevent a second.

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Frank Rich, New York Magazine/Common Dreams

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Amelia Kroeger

Illustration by Eddie Guy

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After 9/11, Rudy Giuliani went on Saturday Night Live to give New Yorkers permission to laugh again. But Mayor Bloomberg never did tell us when we could resume conspicuous consumption after the crash of 2008. And so, as we stumble through the second year of the official “recovery,” it’s been an improvisational return to high-end carousing in Manhattan.

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A case in point was the late-May celebration of the centennial rededication of the New York Public Library. Surely no civic institution could be a more unimpeachable beard for a blowout. The dress code—no black tie—was egalitarian. The Abyssinian Baptist Church Gospel Choir, the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, and that cute chorus from P.S. 22 in Staten Island—Glee diversity on steroids—were in the house along with some 900 invited guests, marquee names included (Toni Morrison, Jonathan Franzen). Bloomberg delivered a pre-dinner benediction from an altarlike perch on the main reading room’s balcony. “Free and open access to information may be the single most important component of any democratic society,” he said.

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Full Spectrum World Domination, Or How To Save A Collapsing Empire

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In this two part interview economist and author F. William Engdahl talks with Real News Network CEO Paul Jay about US geopolitical attempts at world domination through military and foreign policies, and his new book "Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order."

Edger, Antemedius

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Kevin Zeese for this contribution.

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!
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F. William Engdahl is an economist and author and the writer of the best selling book "A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order." Mr Engdhahl has written on issues of energy, politics and economics for more than 30 years, beginning with the first oil shock in the early 1970s. Mr. Engdahl contributes regularly to a number of publications including Asia Times Online, Asia, Inc, Japan's Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Foresight magazine; Freitag and ZeitFragen newspapers in Germany and Switzerland respectively. He is based in Germany.

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The Birth of Glenn Beck's Nation

Beck’s approach to history is a continuation of previous attempts to narrate a certain kind of America, a certain kind of history, and defense of the nation from its despisers and binds him to a much longer history of intolerant nationalism than current media coverage regularly admits. He, like others, wants to protect the nation from its people and protect its people from the encroaching diversity, language of tolerance, and social fragmentation.

Kelly J. Baker, Religion Dispatches

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.

Yesterday (June 30), Glenn Beck hosted his last show on Fox News, and the media coverage began in earnest to document his meteoric rise and decline since his first show in January 2009.

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Some breathe a sigh of relief that Beck will no longer reach millions of TV sets around the nation, while others will follow him to his paid-subscription internet show, Glenn Beck TV (GBTV, forthcoming in September). Much of the coverage relishes his decline into “extremism,” his shift in tone from conservative optimism to apocalyptic vision. David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun chides Beck and Fox News for their “paranoid and angry words,” and Media Matters charts Beck’s what it sees as his descent into madness and isolation.

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Much of the coverage concludes that Beck is, at best, “bonkers.” Alex Pareene of Salon.com, however, realizes that perhaps this is not “some sort of victory”; that leaving Fox is not the end of Beck, but rather that his legacy might not be as a talking head but as an amateur historian, the creator of Beck University, with a clear, and popular, articulation of nation. The tagline for BU promises, “learn history as it really happened” with David Barton responsible for courses labeled Faith 101, 102, and 103, in which students can (of course) learn about the faith of the Founding Fathers.

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Obama's Trillion-Dollar "Sacrifice" Plan Targets Health Care and Social Security

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  • The Republicans what to dispense with any pretense of “fairness,” and make even bigger slashes in spending to finance additional tax cuts for the rich. So far, as in all previous such “showdowns” under Obama, the Republicans have prevailed, insisting that tax increases are not on the table in the Biden talks.
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  • What's Happening With the Debt Ceiling Explained
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Patrick Martin, World Socialist Website

Bipartisan talks between the Obama administration and congressional leaders of both the Democratic and Republican parties would have a deal “beyond $1 trillion” in budget cuts before the Fourth of July recess, Vice President Joseph Biden said Tuesday (June 28), after the first of three scheduled meetings this week (June 26-July 2).

“I’m convinced that we can come up with an agreement that gets the debt limit passed and makes some real serious down payment on the commitment to 4 trillion bucks over the next 10 to 12 years,” he said, referring to the deficit reduction proposal made by President Obama in April.

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The parameters for the talks were determined by the Obama administration’s capitulation to the demand of House Speaker John Boehner, the top congressional Republican, that legislation to raise the federal debt ceiling should include spending cuts of an equal amount.

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Related:

What's Happening With the Debt Ceiling Explained, Mother Jones
And more of the latest news on the biggest battle in Washington right now: raising the debt ceiling.

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The Spam Factory's Dirty Secret

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First Hormel gutted the union. Then it sped up the line. And when the pig-brain machine made workers sick, they got canned.

Ted Genoways, Mother Jones

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

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Trucks outside the Hormel factory Photographs by Alec Soth/Magnum Photos

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On the cut-and-kill floor of Quality Pork Processors Inc. in Austin, Minnesota, the wind always blows. From the open doors at the docks where drivers unload massive trailers of screeching pigs, through to the "warm room" where the hogs are butchered, to the plastic-draped breezeway where the parts are handed over to Hormel for packaging, the air gusts and swirls, whistling through the plant like the current in a canyon. In the first week of December 2006, Matthew Garcia felt feverish and chilled on the blustery production floor. He fought stabbing back pains and nausea, but he figured it was just the flu—and he was determined to tough it out.

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Garcia had gotten on at QPP only 12 weeks before and had been stuck with one of the worst spots on the line: running a device known simply as the "brain machine"—the last stop on a conveyor line snaking down the middle of a J-shaped bench [DC] called the "head table." Every hour, more than 1,300 severed pork heads go sliding along the belt. Workers slice off the ears, clip the snouts, chisel the cheek meat. They scoop out the eyes, carve out the tongue, and scrape the palate meat from the roofs of mouths. Because, famously, all parts of a pig are edible ("everything but the squeal," wisdom goes), nothing is wasted. A woman next to Garcia would carve meat off the back of each head before letting the denuded skull slide down the conveyor and through an opening in a plexiglass shield.

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Also in Mother Jones:

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John Marty | In Defense of Good Government

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  • I'm speaking out in defense of good government, which includes criticism of bad, ineffective, and inappropriate government. But it also requires defending that which government needs to do, even if it means higher taxes.
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  • Legislators, the key to compromise is human dignity
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  • The price of being poor
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MN Sen. John Marty (D-Roseville), Apple Pie Alliance/USuncutMN

Why does one need to write in defense of good government? Because right wing politicians have vilified government. Under their relentless attacks, government is portrayed as evil - something Grover Norquist wants to reduce "to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub."

Norquist is not an insignificant figure. He founded Americans for Tax Reform, and is a key strategist behind the Republican Party attack on government. This assault on government is not a compassionate attempt to serve the public good. Norquist says, "Our goal is to inflict pain. It is not good enough to win; it has to be a painful and devastating defeat.... It is like when the king would take his opponent's head and spike it on a pole for everyone to see."

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Legislators, the key to compromise is human dignity, Brian Rusche, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

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  • Consider, among the budget proposals, who is truly affected.
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  • Woe to You, Legislators!
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The price of being poor, Charles M. Blow, New York Times | NY

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  • If Washington politicians ever knew the sting of poverty then they have long since vanquished the memory.
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  • Poverty is brutal, consuming and unforgiving. It strikes at the soul.
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  • Prescription for pain in shutdown, budget cuts
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The Democratic Party and the assault on public workers

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  • Both parties are carrying out the policy of the ruling class, which is to impose the full cost of the breakdown of the capitalist system on the working class.
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  • Apologists for the Democratic Party continue suidical plunge.
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  • Kathy Hochul, Another Corporate Democrat Posing As A Friend to Worker
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  • Can Unions Break From the Democrats?
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World Socialist Website

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Scott Schneider for this contribution

Last Thursday (June 23), the Democratic-controlled New Jersey Assembly passed a sweeping package of pension and health care cuts and attacks on government workers’ bargaining rights drawn up by Republican Governor Chris Christie. Leaders of the state Senate, also controlled by the Democrats, said they would quickly adopt the same bill and send it to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
The bill affects 750,000 public sector workers and retirees. The New York Times summed up its contents as follows:

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“The legislation will sharply increase what state and local workers must contribute for their health insurance and pensions, suspend cost-of-living increases to retirees’ pension checks, raise retirement ages and curb the unions’ contract bargaining rights. It will save local and state government $132 billion over the next 30 years, by the administration’s estimate, and give the troubled benefit systems a sounder financial footing, mostly by shifting costs onto workers.”

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Kathy Hochul, Another Corporate Democrat Posing As A Friend to Workers, Tobias Michael, Workers' Compass
Her record on her website reads as one long love poem to corporate America with proud achievements of eliminating taxes and no record of shifting the burden to the rich in order to make up for the shortage of funds coming in. Furthermore, nowhere on Hochul’s website does she speak to union issues or even whether she supports unions despite the fact that unions poured millions of dollars and time and energy into her campaign.

Can Unions Break From the Democrats? Amy Dean, Truthout

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  • The role of this "independent" labor movement, AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka said, "is not to build the power of a political party or a candidate. It is to improve the lives of working families and strengthen our country."
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  • What a Real Declaration of Independence Would Mean
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  • GOP Not the Only Party Targeting Unions
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  • Kathy Hochul, Another Corporate Democrat Posing As A Friend to Workers
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