The vision for Evergreene Digest is to be the preferred one-stop on-line source for information and perspectives that major news entities exclude from the present day American conversation. The Internet makes it possible to loosen the grip on big media by taking the news into our own hands. We readers-turned-reporters can restore integrity to the nation's single most vital conduit for democratic participation, our media.

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Fed Moves To Gut Predatory Lending Regulation

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  • The Federal Reserve is pushing a new mortgage regulation that would effectively eliminate the most powerful federal remedy for predatory lending.
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  • Bachmann to introduce bill repealing Wall Street reform
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Zach Carter, Huffington Post

The Federal Reserve is pushing a new mortgage regulation that would effectively eliminate the most powerful federal remedy for predatory lending.

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The regulation would severely limit a practice called "rescission," used to strike down demonstrably-illegal or fraudulent loan contracts and void a bank's ill-gotten gains from such predatory lending practices.

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When a mortgage borrower wins a rescission case in court, the bank loses the right to foreclose, and has to give up all profits from interest and fees on the loan. The borrower still has to repay the principal -- the original amount of money extended by the bank -- but can't be kicked out of the house.

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Bachmann to introduce bill repealing Wall Street reform, Jeremy Herb, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN
Republicans haven’t repealed health care reform yet, but Rep. Michele Bachmann already has her sights on another target.

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Report: 104 Republicans In Congress Want To Privatize Social Security

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  • That means giving more to Wall Street and leaving more for military spending
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  • List includes Minnesota reps Michelle Bachmann and John Kline
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  • Bachmann’s Plan: To Deal With Debt, We Must ‘Wean Everybody’ Off Social Security, Medicare
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  • Rep. Ryan (R-WI) on Social Security Cuts Plan: 'If I Lose My Job Over This, Fine'
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  • Obama to blink first on Social Security
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Mike Perkins, American Medical Systems

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

This is the second installment in a three-part series on legislation that may emerge from a GOP-controlled Congress. Click here for part one on ending birthright citizenship.

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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.

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The second tactic has been to obfuscate their privatization plans by sugarcoating them in flowery, palatable language. President Bush’s privatization plan is a prime example. In his 2005 State of the Union, President Bush said we needed to “save” Social Security and give younger workers a “better deal” by having “voluntary personal retirement accounts,” the poll-tested language for privatization. Bush now says his greatest failure was not privatizing Social Security.

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Bachmann’s Plan: To Deal With Debt, We Must ‘Wean Everybody’ Off Social Security, Medicare, Lee Fang, Think Progress
This past weekend (Feb 6-7), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) addressed the right-wing Constitutional Coalition’s annual conference in St. Louis. She had dropped out of the Tea Party Convention occurring on the same day in Nashville to make the appearance.

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Ryan On Social Security Cuts Plan: 'If I Lose My Job Over This, Fine', Christina Bellantoni, Talking Points Memo
Rep. Paul Ryan is blaming the "Democratic attack machine" even though members of his own party don't publicly support his plan to dramatically cut Medicare and Social Security and effectively privatize those entitlement programs to end the deficit.

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Obama to blink first on Social Security, Robert Kuttner, Politico

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  • Could the President lay the bombshell of cutting Social Security in 2011?
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  • Republicans win three ways. They have a Democratic president doing their work for them, destroying the Democratic capacity to use affirmative.
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Throwing Public Unions Under the Bus

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  • Public workers cannot be spectators in this unfolding drama. They must learn to act collectively. Unions must educate their membership about the gravity of the coming assault. Anti-union attacks must be resisted while alternatives are proposed; state funding must be increased by raising taxes on the rich and the corporations. If public employee unions are busted, the rest of the labor movement will be targeted next – but it will be too weak to defend itself.
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  • Let's bust the myths about public unions
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Shamus Cooke, Truthout

The stage is set and the main  actors in Congress and in the corporate establishment are ready to  perform after rehearsing behind closed doors for the coming assault on  organized labor's most powerful sector: public workers.

The final  preparations were smoothed out in Obama's tax 'compromise' with the  Republicans, which gave details of the drama's first act. The tax plan  purposely did not include a critical element for state funding, called  the Build America Bonds program (BAB), which allows recession-sunk  states to easily borrow money from the federal government. In the face  of enormous deficits, the states would be left to drown."

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Let's bust the myths about public unions, Eliot Seide, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN
These are average Minnesotans who serve the needs the governor neglects.

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Why the FCC can’t protect net neutrality

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  • The FCC is incapable of securing the openness of the Internet because such openness is incompatible with a system based on private ownership and the attack on democratic rights necessitated by a massive increase in social inequality. The real defense of net neutrality can only be conducted as part of a struggle for socialism.
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  • Special Report | Fake Net Neutrality
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Mike Ingram, World Socialist Web Site

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenberg

If you liked 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 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted December 22 by a three to two majority to adopt new rules supposedly aimed at guaranteeing the future of the open Internet. The victory of the three Democratic commissioners over the two Republicans on the commission was tempered by the differences expressed by two of those voting for the proposals.

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Michael J Copps, an outspoken critic of aspects of the proposals such as exempting wireless providers from new rules and an advocate of reclassification of broadband companies as “Title II communications companies” to give the Commission more powers, voted for the proposals. Copps said that “On numerous fronts in the Open Internet Order before us today, the Commission is taking strides forward. On others, I pray that our timidity will not undermine the spirit of the Order that we are adopting.”

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Special Report | Fake Net Neutrality, David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest
"The darkest day of the year may end up marking the beginning of a long winter's night for Internet freedom."
Net Neutrality at risk!!!
FCC Commissioner: Net Neutrality A 'Threat To Internet Freedom'

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Obama to blink first on Social Security

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  • Could the President lay the bombshell of cutting Social Security in 2011?
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  • Republicans win three ways. They have a Democratic president doing their work for them, destroying the Democratic capacity to use affirmative.
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Robert Kuttner, Politico

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

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

The tax deal negotiated by President Barack Obama and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is just the first part of a multistage drama that is likely to further divide and weaken Democrats.

The second part, now being teed up by the White House and key Senate Democrats, is a scheme for the president to embrace much of the Bowles-Simpson plan — including cuts in Social Security. This is to be unveiled, according to well-placed sources, in the president’s State of the Union address.

The idea is to pre-empt an even more draconian set of budget cuts likely to be proposed by the incoming House Budget Committee chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), as a condition of extending the debt ceiling. This is expected to hit in April.

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Could the President lay the bombshell of cutting Social Security in 2011? Kenneth Schortgen, Jr, Examiner.com
The rebellion by Democratic Congressmen against President Obama during the tax cut compromise may be just an introduction to the politics of 2011 when the Republican's take over the House.  No matter what is passed, or has been passed, without the House willing to fund projects and programs they become only as good as the paper they are written upon.

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63 Percent of Americans Oppose War In Afghanistan

There are, however, at least two groups where there is still a slim majority of support for the war -- the Republican Party establishment, and Tea Party activists.

Amanda Terkel, Huffington Post

Opposition to the war in Afghanistan is at an all-time high, with 63 percent of the public now opposed to U.S. involvement there, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey. Just 35 percent of survey respondents say they still support U.S. involvement.

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The increase in opposition to U.S. involvement comes as pessimism about how the war is going is rising. According to a poll done Dec. 17-19, 56 percent of the public believes that "things are going badly for the U.S. in Afghanistan."

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There are, however, at least two groups where there is still a slim majority of support for the war -- the Republican Party establishment, and Tea Party activists. Here's a look at the partisan breakdown of supporters and oppositionists.

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Project Censored's Mickey Huff Finds the News That Didn't Make the News

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  • Unfortunately, the myths both of a free press and of the "liberal" media persist in the US, regardless of mountains of evidence to the contrary manifest in various social science studies dealing with media content and bias over at least the past few decades (not to mention scores of articles and books - and Project Censored has been looking at this problem, in terms of what does and does not get reported, for going on 35 years now).
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  • Smell Something Rotten?
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Mickey Z., t r u t h o u t

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Photo: Artiii / flickr

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I first came in contact with Mickey Huff, associate professor of history at Diablo Valley College, when one of my articles was selected by Project Censored, for which he serves as director. For the uninitiated, here's how Huff describes Project Censored: "Project Censored's principal objective is training students in media literacy and First Amendment issues for the future advocacy and protection of free press rights in the United States. Project Censored has trained some 2,000 students in investigative research in the past three decades. Through a partnership of faculty, students, and the community, Project Censored conducts research on important national news stories that are underreported, ignored, misrepresented, or otherwise censored by the US corporate media."

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Mickey Z.: In a land where freedom of the press is considered sacred and the media is usually portrayed as a collection of closet Leninists yearning to sacrifice Tea Party virgins on the altar of Fidel Castro, why in the world do we need Project Censored?

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Smell Something Rotten? Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
2010 P.U.-litzer Prizes recognize the worst of U.S. journalism

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