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Mike Luckovich | Obama and GOP / ajc.com

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The Deafening Silence About the War in the Deficit Debate

It is this type of corporate welfare system, along with periodic bank bailouts and tax cuts for the super-rich, which suits the two political parties just fine. Welfare for the truly needy, however, is generally abhorrent to them, and thus the limited nature of the current debate about the federal deficit.

Dan Kovalik, Huffington Post

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There is a lot of talk right now on Capitol Hill about the need to balance the federal budget. Sadly, both Democrats and Republicans alike are largely debating about how best to balance the budget upon the backs of the poor and working people (who are many times the very same people) and the elderly. First and foremost on the chopping block appears to be Social Security and Medicare -- the lifeline for millions of seniors in this country and the only hope for any sort of retirement for the vast majority of people in this country.

Meanwhile, belying any real interest in balancing the budget, the extension of unemployment benefits for millions of people out of work through no fault of their own is being made contingent upon tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.

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David Morris: How America lost control of its airwaves

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  • Today, stripped of all rules requiring decency and fairness, talk radio has become hate radio.
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  • Together with a similarly unrestrained Fox News, aided and amplified by the Internet, incivility and hatred has infected the general culture. Public threats of violence are becoming the norm.
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  • Fox News: The No. 1 Name in Murder Fantasies
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David Morris, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

In the wake of the murders in Tucson, our leaders once again are calling for civility in public discourse.

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We forget that for almost 40 years, we didn't have to plead for civility. We demanded it.

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The story of how we did so, and why we stopped, illuminates the intersection of politics and culture.

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Related:Fox News: The No. 1 Name in Murder Fantasies, Steve Rendall, FAIR/Truthout
A demented Fox News culture permits on-air personalities to fantasize about assassination and other forms of violence against those deemed enemies of the station, its personalities or their worldview.

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William Rivers Pitt | The Wrath of Fools: An Open Letter to the Far Right

This is not the end of the story, but is just the beginning. The good people of the United States of America, the true patriots, have finally seen you with your media-painted masks ripped off. They have seen what comes to pass when hate, venom, ignorance and violence goes unchecked and unanswered. You have been exposed, and the fact that it took such an unimaginably horrific act for that exposure to take place only increases the fierceness with which you will be answered. You will be repudiated, not with violence, but with the scorn and rejection you so richly deserve. Spin it as you will, scramble all you like. You are found out, and you have nowhere to hide.

William Rivers Pitt, Truthout

To: Palin-lovers, Fox "News," the "mainstream" media, and the Far Right, et al.
From: William Rivers Pitt
Date: Monday 10 January 2011
Re: The blood on your hands

Dear “Patriots,”

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Rep. Gabrielle Giffords isn't much older than I am. She served in the Arizona State House of Representatives, and the Arizona State Senate, before being elected to three successive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. She once described herself as a "former Republican," and is today considered a "Blue Dog" Democrat, meaning she holds a number of conservative political positions. This is not terribly surprising, given the generally conservative political bent of the state she has served for the last ten years. She was married four years ago to a space shuttle commander who had served as a Naval aviator, and who flew 39 combat missions in Desert Storm, before volunteering for astronaut training.

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In Money-Changers We Trust

The failure to provide serious regulation of the financial industry to avoid future downturns is documented in devastating detail in (a) Dec. 28 Bloomberg report, written by Christine Harper: “The U.S. government, promising to make the system safer, buckled under many of the financial industry’s protests. Lawmakers spurned changes that would wall off deposit-taking banks from riskier trading. They declined to limit the size of lenders or ban any form of derivatives.”

Robert Scheer, Truthdig

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lorenzo Canizares

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President-elect Barack Obama, accompanied by budget director-designate Peter Orszag, smiles during a news conference on Nov. 25, 2008, in Chicago.

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Two years into the Obama presidency and the economic data is still looking grim. Don’t be fooled by the gyrations of the stock market, where optimism is mostly a reflection of the ability of financial corporations—thanks to massive government largesse—to survive the mess they created.

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The basics are dismal: Unemployment is unacceptably high, the December consumer confidence index is down and housing prices have fallen for four months in a row. The number of Americans living in poverty has never been higher, and a majority in a Washington Post poll said they were worried about making their next mortgage or rent payment. 

In a parallel universe lives Peter Orszag, President Barack Obama’s former budget director and key adviser, who even faster than his mentor, Robert Rubin [formerly of Clinton Administration], has passed through that revolving platinum door linking the White House with Wall Street. The goal is to use your government position to advance the interests of your future employer, and Orszag and Rubin’s actions in the government and then at Citigroup provide stunning examples of the synergy between big government and high finance.

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Alaska, Gabrielle Giffords and Sarah Palin’s Map

“We'll aim for these races,” “This is just the first salvo” and “join me in the fight.”

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Giffords warned in March of ‘consequences’ to Palin’s violent rhetoric

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Billy Wharton, Bronx County Independent Examiner

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Palin Map Targets Democrats Photo: SarahPAC

There wasn’t much that was amusing about the finale of Sarah Palin’s Alaska.  It was hard to find anything to latch onto, hard to find that moment that revealed what her true agenda really was or that quirky exchange that revealed how much her children really do resent her.  My inability to critically connect was the result of the overwhelming feeling that the shootings in Arizona were always there in the backdrop.  And, I simply couldn’t remove the image of Sarah’s map from my mind.

While Todd was being rugged, Piper bratty and Willow resistant, Sarah was working on her map.  The map of the US appeared on Sarahpac.com and identified highly contested electoral races where Democrats were at risk of losing.  Gabrielle Giffords, one of the victims of the Tucson shooting, was on the map.  There were crosshairs, like those of one of the many rifles Palin advertised on Sarah Palin’s Alaska, over the state of Arizona and her name was listed below.  The language in the ad for the map included lines “We'll aim for these races,” “This is just the first salvo” and “join me in the fight.”

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Giffords warned in March of ‘consequences’ to Palin’s violent rhetoric, Stephen C. Webster, Raw Story

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  • "I think it's the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business and what we see on TV and how our youngsters are being raised, that ... This has not become the nice United States that most of us grew up in, and I think it's time that we do the soul searching," Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said at a press conference on Saturday (Jan 8).
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  • Alaska, Gabrielle Giffords and Sarah Palin’s Map
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2010: The Big Con Continues

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  • Today, protest has become routinized and all-but-impotent. Or, like the Tea Party, it has been coopted by the agenda of wealthy conservatives.
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  • The Humbug Express
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Ted Morgan, Common Dreams

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.

Despite the end-of-the-year upturn with Congressional ratification of the START Treaty and repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the United States remains stuck in a quagmire that has paralyzed our politics for 30 years. While the Republican party holds our government hostage, Democrats typically collaborate in public policies that don't have a prayer of resolving the deeply serious problem we face.

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Though Americans younger than about 40 have never experienced it, there was a time when government was seen as a vehicle the American people could use to resolve pressing societal problems. When government failed to address the needs of relatively powerless groups, it was possible for them to mobilize around their grievances and place them on the public's agenda.

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The Humbug Express, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY
Hey, has anyone noticed that “A Christmas Carol” is a dangerous leftist tract?

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Special Report | Legislation that may emerge from a GOP-controlled Congress

If Congress is worried about the proper balance of addressing climate change and protecting American jobs, I would suggest it pass legislation to do so, instead of keeping the EPA from taking critical steps to protect our health and environment.

5 Items including:

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  • 130 Republicans In Congress Want To Consider Ending Birthright Citizenship
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  • 104 Republicans In Congress Want To Privatize Social Security
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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Stuart Carlson

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Report: 130 Republicans In Congress Want To Consider Ending Birthright Citizenship, Scott Keyes, Think Progress
In late July, Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) call to end the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of citizenship for everyone born in the United States set off a firestorm in the press. Last week, a coalition of Republican state lawmakers announced a nationwide effort to “develop model state legislation” that will eliminate what they see as a “misapplication” of the 14th Amendment in granting birth citizenship to children of undocumented immigrants. More and more right-wing conservatives have taken this radical position, despite the fact birthright citizenship has long been settled law.

Report: 104 Republicans In Congress Want To Privatize Social Security, Scott Keyes, Think Progress
After their attempt to privatize Social Security in 2005 was met with widespread public outcry, the GOP’s strategy on Social Security has been two-fold. First, Republicans deny they are interested in privatization. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) recently told the Wall Street Journal that “no one has a proposal up to cut Social Security,” (his own book proposes doing so), while conservatives in the media have tried to argue that Republicans don’t actually want to privatize Social Security.

Report: 111 Republican Incumbents And Candidates Want To Eliminate The Department Of Education, Scott Keyes, Think Progress
If Republicans win control of Congress on Tuesday (Nov 2), their anti-government zeal may soon focus on an old target: the Department of Education. As recently as 1996, the Republican Party platform declared, “The Federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved in school curricula or to control jobs in the market place. This is why we will abolish the Department of Education.” However, after multiple bills attempting to do so were stymied by sensible members of Congress, the Department appeared to have been spared. Now, a new wave of Republicans (along with many old hardline conservatives) are trying to number its days once again.

New US Congress May Prevent EPA Action on Climate Change, Manuel Oliva, Conservation International

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  • If Congress is worried about the proper balance of addressing climate change and protecting American jobs, I would suggest it pass legislation to do so, instead of keeping the EPA from taking critical steps to protect our health and environment.
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  • Defending EPA Against the Coming Right Wing Attack
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Church-State Separation Advocate calls Grassley Staff Recommendation “Breathtakingly Wrongheaded” Sarah Posner, Religion Dispatches
Grassley Staff Memo on Televangelists Makes Clear Religious Right Opposition to Government Oversight

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