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Will we tap our best thinkers, or will fear and suspicion prevail?

If the intent of the 9/11 perpetrators was to terrorize us to act irrationally, they may have succeeded.

J. Brian Atwood, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

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.

My family and I are leaving Minnesota after eight satisfying years.

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These final thoughts are tinged with some melancholy, so readers beware. I am an optimist, but I have a sense of our democracy unraveling.

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Our challenge is not the individual problems we face -- two wars, recession, political polarization. My worry is that we may have lost the collective will to rally the way we have in the past.

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Fear and anger do not usually lead to enlightened public policy.

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131 Choose Arrest at White House as Veteran-led Civil Resistance Demands: "Stop These Wars"

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  • Civil Resistance to war today (Thursday, Dec 16) at the White House fence leads to 131 arrests.
    Bitter Memories of War on the Way to Jail
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BorderExplorer, All Voices
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Today (Dec 16), in what was billed "the largest U.S. veteran-led civil resistance to war," hundreds of protesters took their demands for "Peace Now" to the fence of the White House. Police reportedly arrested 131 activists during the antiwar demonstration to "Stop These Wars" which culminated the Veterans for Peace gathering.

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Among those arrested was Daniel Ellsberg, renowned military analyst who leaked the Pentigon Papers to the press during the Vietnam War era. Protesters attempted to chain themselves to the White House fence, but were charged with "failure to obey lawful order," a misdemeanor.

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During the action the protesters also "delivered" postcards to President Obama, whom they said did not accommodate their request to meet with him personally to hear their grievances. The activists sailed the postcards over the White House fence, through the wintry Washington afternoon air. See video of the action (above).

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A web album of photos from the event is here.

Bitter Memories of War on the Way to Jail, Chris Hedges, TruthDig

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  • What can I tell you about war?
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  • 131 Choose Arrest at White House as Veteran-led Civil Resistance Demands: "Stop These Wars"
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The Sorry Surrender of “the So-Called Radical Left”

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The essay below is extracted from the May 2010 postscript to my book The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power (Boulder, CO: Paradigm, 2010) – the perfect Christmas gift for that not-so liberal know-it-all fake-progressive partisan Democrat cousin or uncle or sister-in-law who can’t stop making excuses for the center-right Obama administration’s abject service to dominant domestic and imperial hierarchies and doctrines…

Paul Street, ZCommunications.org

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 essay below is extracted from the May 2010 postscript to my book The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power (Boulder, CO: Paradigm, 2010) – the perfect Christmas gift for that not-so liberal know-it-all fake-progressive partisan Democrat cousin or uncle or sister-in-law who can't stop making excuses for the center-right Obama administration's abject service to dominant domestic and imperial hierarchies and doctrines.  Surely the deeply conservative Obama’s predictable (and widely predicted) “cave-in” (two days ago) to Republican demands for the continuation of George W. Bush’s arch-plutocratic tax cuts for the rich (in a “deal” that also includes reduced pay-in to the Social Security fund and a big "concession" to the Republicans on the federal estate tax) ought to be the last nail in the coffin of liberal-left faith that Obama is (in the words of Katrina Vanden Huevel, the multi-millionaire editor of The Nation, last fall), “clearly a reform president committed to improvement of peoples’ lives and the renewal and reconstruction of America” (Katrina vanden Heuvel, “Obama One Year On,” The Nation, November 4, 2010).

This was a fascinating comment more than ten months into an administration that had already set new corporate welfare records in the process of bailing out the very financial parasites who crashed the economy, an administration that had approved an auto-restructuring plan that rewarded capital flight, a “new” White House that had already made clear its determination to pass a health bill that only insurance and drug companies could love, that had already revealed its determination to undermine serious global carbon emission reduction efforts at Copenhagen, that had already showed it would not pursue major green jobs public works programs (even as unemployment reached new post-WWII record levels), that had showed its determination to escalate and expand the scope of imperial violence, and that has showed it would not pursue the labor law and global trade reforms Obama had eloquently promised to working class audiences in 2007 and 2008. Other betrayals include a key cave-in on offshore oil drilling, Obama’s recent announcement of a federal worker pay freeze (an exercise in cynical “deficit-reduction theater” [Paul Krugman]), and his recent stealth signing of what Jane Hamsher rightly calls “a new NAFTA-style ‘free trade’ deal” with Korea.  And now we have, as predicted, the continuation of the Republicans’ deficit-driving fat cat tax cuts – this in what is already by far and away the industrialized world’s most unequal and wealth-top-heavy society. “Whatever one thinks of Obama’s policy on any specific issue,” vanden Heuvel argued last year, “Progressives, should focus less on the limits of the Obama agenda and more on the possibilities that his presidency opens up.” No: the election of Obama has not sparked progressive potentialities but has instead discouraged and weakened them, with the administration playing an active role in deterring and suppressing popular resistance – with terrible results (essentially predicted at the end of the postscript pasted in below --- ee the section titled “Resentment Abhors a Vacuum”). The relatively paucity of left and progressive dissent has encouraged reactionary elements within the beyond the administration to take up and carry out an ever more extreme agenda.

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Bah, humbug! Wal-Mart Hikes Toy Prices Just as Congress Gives the Waltons Huge Tax Breaks

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emptywheel, FireDogLake

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Ken Mitchell

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If there was ever any illusion that the super-rich would start acting nicer after Congress gave them both income and estate tax breaks, I present Wal-Mart’s thanks for Congress’ willingness to make the Walton family even richer: (h/t Consumerist)

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Wal-Mart managers in the U.S. received instructions to mark up an average of 1,800 types of toys per store, according to a company e-mail dated Nov. 30 obtained by Bloomberg News. The e- mail didn’t disclose specific increases.

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“In previous years Wal-Mart has come out and hammered everyone with unbelievably low toy prices,” said Eric Johnson, director of the Center for Digital Strategies at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire. “They stepped away from that this year, and after Thanksgiving their prices have crept back up.”

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In a year when kids keep begging Santa for bare necessities for Christmas, the Walton family has been made even richer by Obama and Congress. And the thanks Congress and the American people get is higher prices for toys.

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Sad Santa Letters Tell of Economic Woes, USPS Says, Sarah Netter, ABC News
New York's Operation Santa Chief Says More Letters This Year Asking for Coats, Food

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Top 5 Problems with the Tax Deal

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  • Problem #1: The deal is a stealth attack on Social Security.
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  • Problem #2: For nearly one in three workers, it's a tax increase.
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  • Problem #3: The deal has not one but TWO millionaire bailouts.
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  • Problem #4: Unemployment help is insufficient and inadequate.
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  • Problem #5: Tax giveaways to the rich are a terrible way to create jobs.
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Nita Chaudhary, MoveOn.org Political Action

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Everyone knows that the "deal" that President Obama agreed to with Republicans will extend George W. Bush's reckless millionaire tax bailout--but what a lot of folks don't realize is that there are lots of other terrible parts of it, too.

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Unemployed Americans desperately need their benefits extended to get by in this economy—so Republicans held them hostage to force through a slew of horrible economic policies in this deal.

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Share this list by posting it on facebook and twitter and forwarding to your friends and help make sure as many people as possible know exactly what the Republicans are getting in the tax deal by acting like hostage takers

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Special Report | Obama-GOP Tax Cut Deal

Mary Landrieu (D-LA): 'Obama-McConnell Plan' Is 'Almost Morally Corrupt'

4 Items including:

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  • Top 5 Problems with the Tax Deal
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  • Obama-Republican Deal Could Mean Tax Hike For One In Three  Workers
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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Mike Thompson

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Top 5 Problems with the Tax Deal, Nita Chaudhary, MoveOn.org Political Action
Problem #1: The deal is a stealth attack on Social Security.
Problem #2: For nearly one in three workers, it's a tax increase.
Problem #3: The deal has not one but TWO millionaire bailouts.
Problem #4: Unemployment help is insufficient and inadequate.
Problem #5: Tax giveaways to the rich are a terrible way to create jobs.

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Obama-Republican Deal Could Mean Tax Hike For One In Three  Workers, Ryan Grim, Huffington Post

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  • The tax deal reached between President Obama and congressional Republicans could mean a higher tax bill for roughly one in three workers as a result of the Social Security tax cut Republicans pushed as a replacement for the current Making Work Pay tax credit.
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  • Olbermann Special Comment on the deal on the wealthiest Americans tax-cut extension
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Obama’s Hostage Deal, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY
The point is that by seeming angrier at worried supporters than he is at the hostage-takers, Mr. Obama is already signaling weakness, giving Republicans every reason to believe that they can extract another ransom. And they can be counted on to act accordingly.

Olbermann Special Comment on the deal on the wealthiest Americans tax-cut extension, Hissyspit, Democratic Underground

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  • In exchange for this searing and transcendent capitulation the President got just 13 months of extended benefits for those unemployed for less than a hundred weeks, and they got nothing, absolutely nothing, for those unemployed for longer, the 99ers.
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  • (It is) not disloyal to say Obama (is) 'Goddamned Wrong,' Republicans (are)  'Treasonous'.
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  • Mary Landrieu (D-LA): 'Obama-McConnell Plan' Is 'Almost Morally Corrupt'
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Mary Landrieu: 'Obama-McConnell Plan' Is 'Almost Morally Corrupt' Ryan Grim, Huffington Post
Sen. Mary Landrieu, a conservative Democratic from Louisiana, lashed out Tuesday (Dec 7) at President Obama's deal with congressional Republicans that allows tax cuts for the wealthy to be extended for two years.

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No Act of Rebellion Is Wasted

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  • We may feel, in the face of the ruthless corporate destruction of our nation, our culture, and our ecosystem, powerless and weak. But we are not. We have a power that terrifies the corporate state. Any act of rebellion, no matter how few people show up or how heavily it is censored by a media that caters to the needs and profits of corporations, chips away at corporate power.
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  • Veterans for Peace (VFP) to Take a Stand for Peace at the White House Dec 16
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  • Stop These Wars Or We'll Fill Your Jails
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  • The Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell
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Chris Hedges, TruthDig.com

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Thousands of Czechs gather in Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Nov. 21, 1989, during the so-called Velvet Revolution that bought an end to decades of repressive Communist rule. AP / Peter Dejong

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I stood with hundreds of thousands of rebellious Czechoslovakians in 1989 on a cold winter night in Prague’s Wenceslas Square as the singer Marta Kubišová approached the balcony of the Melantrich building. Kubišová had been banished from the airwaves in 1968 after the Soviet invasion for her anthem of defiance, “Prayer for Marta.” Her entire catalog, including more than 200 singles, had been confiscated and destroyed by the state. She had disappeared from public view. Her voice that night suddenly flooded the square. Pressing around me were throngs of students, most of whom had not been born when she vanished. They began to sing the words of the anthem. There were tears running down their faces. It was then that I understood the power of rebellion. It was then that I knew that no act of rebellion, however futile it appears in the moment, is wasted. It was then that I knew that the Communist regime was finished.

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“The people will once again decide their own fate,” the crowd sang in unison with Kubišová.

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Veterans for Peace (VFP) to Take a Stand for Peace at the White House Dec 16, Tarak Kauff and Leah Bolger, Veterans For Peace<>

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  • On Dec. 16th, 2010, veterans and others will stage what will be the largest veteran-led civil resistance to U.S. wars in recent history. All of us in Veterans For Peace need to pull together to make sure those will not be empty words.
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  • Come to DC on December 16! VFP led action at the White House
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Stop These Wars Or We'll Fill Your Jails, David Swanson, OpEdNews.com

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  • You may not die for the Pentagon, but if you do not it will be your children or grandchildren. Would you rather go to jail for a few hours with a bunch of friends or see your grandchildren killed?
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  • Veterans for Peace (VFP) to Take a Stand for Peace at the White House Dec 16
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The Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell, chelseaGreen
If we want that change, the kind that polls show 60 percent of Americans believe in, we need to do more than vote every two to four years or wait for a new president to learn the tactics of confrontation. The Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell is a road map filled with concrete tips and rules of the road that average people can use to force change between elections.

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