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Obama returns to the fraud of “equal sacrifice”

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  • The two parties do not represent the American people, but rather the American financial aristocracy, whose wealth and income they defend at the expense of the broad masses. They will see basic social programs on which they rely—Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, food stamps—devastated by spending cuts.
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  • Welcome to the Violent World of Mr. Hopey Changey
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Patrick Martin, World Socialist Web Site

The back-to-back nationally televised speeches delivered Monday night by President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner were a political fraud on every level. The so-called debate in Washington on the federal deficit is rigged in advance. All of the participants take as their first principle the imposition of massive cuts on programs that benefit working people.

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The Democratic administration and the congressional Republicans are using an orchestrated crisis over the raising of the federal debt ceiling to create the conditions for an unprecedented attack on the living standards and social rights of working people.

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The two parties do not represent the American people, but rather the American financial aristocracy, whose wealth and income they defend at the expense of the broad masses. They will see basic social programs on which they rely—Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, food stamps—devastated by spending cuts.
Obama delivered a cynical speech whose purpose was to appeal to the American people to support spending cuts that will drive millions of them into poverty while leaving the gargantuan wealth of the financial aristocracy untouched. Virtually every sentence in his 15-minute address was a lie.

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Welcome to the Violent World of Mr. Hopey Changey, John Pilger, John Pilger.com
For the record, on a scorecard of imposed misery, from secret trials and prisons and the hounding of whistleblowers and the criminalising of dissent to the incarceration and impoverishment of his own people, mostly black people, Obama is as bad as George W. Bush.

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Scandal Stirs U.S. Debate on Big Media

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“For those of us who’ve been warning about the dangers of too much media power concentrated in too few corporate hands, this scandal is a godsend,” said Jeff Cohen, the founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College.

Brian Stelter, New York Times | NY

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

Progressive activists and public interest groups have long blasted Rupert Murdoch and his News Corporation for political biases. But in recent weeks they have seized on a new and more tangible reason to call for the revocation of his TV licenses and the breakup of his company: the British hacking scandal.

The scandal, they say, is an opportunity to raise awareness of — and, they hope, objection to — media consolidation at a time when the American government is reviewing the rules that govern how much companies like News Corporation, Comcast and the Walt Disney Company can own.
“For those of us who’ve been warning about the dangers of too much media power concentrated in too few corporate hands, this scandal is a godsend,” said Jeff Cohen, the founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College.

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The Empty Bully Pulpit

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  • But another part of the answer lies with the president - and his inability or unwillingness to use the bully pulpit to tell Americans the truth, and mobilize them for what must be done.
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  • The president’s compromises might be understandable—if only Obama would explain where he’s leading us.
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Robert B. Reich, American Prospect

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(Flickr/JoshBerglund19)

Barack Obama is one of the most intelligent and eloquent people to grace the White House, which makes his abject failure to tell the story of our era all the more disappointing. Many who were drawn to him in 2008 were dazzled by the power of his words—his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, his autobiography and subsequent policy book, his insights about race and other divisive issues during the campaign—and were excited by the prospect of an “educator in chief” who would use the bully pulpit to explain what has happened to the United States in recent decades and to mobilize Americans to do what must be done.

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But the man who has occupied the Oval Office since January 2009 is someone entirely different—a man seemingly without a compass, a tactician who veers rightward one day and leftward the next, an inside-the-Beltway deal-maker who does not explain his compromises in light of larger goals. Americans have no idea why we’re still in Iraq and Afghanistan, now that Osama bin Laden has been killed and most of the remaining leadership of al-Qaeda is in Pakistan.

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All Work and No Pay: The Great Speedup

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  • You: doing more with less. Corporate profits: up 22 percent.
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  • The dirty secret of the jobless recovery.
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Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery, Mother Jones

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On a bright spring day in a wisteria-bedecked courtyard full of earnest, if half-drunk, conference attendees, we were commiserating with a fellow journalist about all the jobs we knew of that were going unfilled, being absorbed or handled "on the side." It was tough for all concerned, but necessary—you know, doing more with less.

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"Ah," he said, "the speedup."

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His old-school phrase gave form to something we'd been noticing with increasing apprehension—and it extended far beyond journalism. We'd hear from creative professionals in what seemed to be dream jobs who were crumbling under ever-expanding to-do lists; from bus drivers, hospital technicians, construction workers, doctors, and lawyers who shame-facedly whispered that no matter how hard they tried to keep up with the extra hours and extra tasks, they just couldn't hold it together. (And don't even ask about family time.)

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Also read harrowing first-person tales of overwork and 12 charts on just how much is being demanded of American workers.

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40 Percent Less Government Will Be Fun!

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  • So suppose the debt-ceiling deadline passes. Nothing to worry about, right? There's still enough money for Social Security, Medicare, interest payments, military payrolls, and veterans benefits, isn't there? That's more or less true, but unfortunately, that's all there's money for.
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  • A small sample of the things that will have to be zeroed out.
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  • A Reading List for Following the Debt Ceiling Drama
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Kevin Drum, Mother Jones

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

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A small sample of the things that will have to be zeroed out.

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•    No federal emergency assistance, or help fighting things like wildfires or floods. Sorry, tornado people! Sorry, wildfire victims! Try to live in the northeast next time! 
•    Housing projects shut down, and Section 8 vouchers are not paid. Families hit the streets.  
•    The money your local school district was expecting at the October 1 commencement of the 2012 fiscal year does not materialize, making it unclear who's going to be teaching your kids without a special property tax assessment. 
•    The market for guaranteed student loans plunges into chaos. Hope your kid wasn't going to college this year!
•    The mortgage market evaporates. Hope you didn't need to buy or sell a house!

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A Reading List for Following the Debt Ceiling Drama, Braden Goyette, ProPublica

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  • Following the debt ceiling debate in real time
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  • The basics on the debt ceiling (including where it comes from)
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  • What might happen if the debt limit isn't raised
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  • What, and who, is holding up the deal
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  • Possible solutions
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  • Special Report | A Guide to the Catastrophic, Phony Debt Ceiling Debate: Week of July 24
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Leon Panetta in Iraq: More lies, more war

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  • New Secretary of Defense brings back Bush-era rhetoric, pushes to extend occupation
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  • Unlike most people in the United States, Panetta has nothing to lose if the occupation of Iraq is extended.
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  • October 2011 Solidarity actions and solutions
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  • The author is an Iraq war veteran and a co-founder of March Forward!
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Michael Prysner, MichaelMoore.com

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Tarak Kauff 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.

We have finally said goodbye to our Pentagon boss, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who for six years has given the orders that affect the lives of millions of service members and their families.

Robert Gates was yet another millionaire corporate fat cat who came from the boardrooms for defense contractors and oil giants to send poor and working-class people to be killed and maimed for the super-profits of big business.

In the 2008 presidential election, the vast majority of the U.S. public, most notably within the military, turned against the Bush administration’s foreign policy. There was open and widespread rebellion against the military adventures of Bush and Co. that had produced a staggering body count, with absolutely no regard for the lives of U.S. service members or the people whose countries we were sent to occupy.

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On October 6, the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan, March Forward! will join thousands in Washington, D.C. for a historic mass protest against the wars.
The participation of united veterans and service members will send a clear message to the U.S. government that we can take our lives into our own hands, and will fight against the reckless decisions that have destroyed so many lives.
If you are a veteran or active-duty service member, click here if you are interested in joining the GI contingent on October 6.

October 2011 Solidarity actions and solutions, October2011.org

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  • "To end the wars of aggression waged by the US empire for the profit of the few and the suffering of the many. To take our country back, to creat Peace and Social Justice for all citizens on the planet. To save the planet from  environmental destruction. To see the money saved from waging war used to provide health care and education for all and particularly the downtrodden." --Debbie Tolson
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  • October 2011: Stop the Machine, Create a New World
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  • New video!
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Hawk Nation: A Guide to the Catastrophic Debt Ceiling Debate

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  • President Obama’s proposed debt ceiling deal is a disastrous solution to an imaginary fiscal crisis, but the pain it causes will be all too real.
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  • Why Cutting Deficits Now Is (Literally) Psychotic
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  • States That Cut The Most Funding Lost The Most Jobs
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James K. Galbraith, Common Dreams

News reports hold that President Obama scored a political victory by agreeing to put Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block to achieve a “go-big” $4 trillion deficit reduction. Speaker Boehner had to concede that Republicans won’t vote for any package that includes tax increases – and the deal died. So the gambit worked and the President emerged with a solid image as the alpha deficit hawk

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To which one can only say: how nice for him.

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We’re in a summer that only Salvador Dali could paint, a reality so twisted that one almost yearns for the simple verities of the War on Terror or even the invasion of Iraq. Then as now, to be serious one must be a “hawk.” (The dove is a weakling, a loser, and the owl for practical purposes does not exist.) So let’s review some of the strange and mysterious faces of this ugly, vicious bird.

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Why Cutting Deficits Now Is (Literally) Psychotic, Joshua Holland, AlterNet

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  • Do hefty deficits sustained over an extended period pose a threat to our economic wellbeing? Absolutely, but the claim that we should address the deficit by cutting public spending now, while the economy is in the crapper and private, consumer spending is in the tank is a delusion.
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  • Stop the Austerity Craze! Massive Budget Slashing Can Lead to Economic Disaster, Violence and Repression
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  • Austerity - a sure path to a bad economy
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States That Cut The Most Funding Lost The Most Jobs, Huffington Post

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  • On average, states that increased spending performed significantly better than cost-cutting states, with their unemployment rates actually dropping by 0.2 percent (as opposed to 1 percent increase in cost-cutting states), private-sector employment increasing by 1.4 percent (as opposed to a 2.1 percent loss) and 0.5 percent "real economic growth" since the start of the recession (as compared to a 2.9 percent economic contraction relative to the national economic trend).
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  • Stop the Austerity Craze! Massive Budget Slashing Can Lead to Economic Disaster, Violence and Repression
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Why the Wealthiest Americans Are the Real 'Job-Killers'

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  • The top 1 percent takes in more than twice the share of national income today than they did 30 years ago, and that's a big reason why consumers are tapped out.
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  • Sitting Atop Trillions: What Would Business Do with Another Tax Break?
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  • The Ultimate Goal of the Bankster-led Political-economic Warfare Being Waged Against Us Is . . .
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Joshua Holland, AlterNet

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Photo Credit: Train Chartering & Private Rail Cars

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That the wealthy are “job creators,” and therefore have interests that must be defended by the public at large, is a talking-point that, however facile, is so popular it slips effortlessly from the lips of conservatives every day.

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It can be deployed for any purpose – not only in calling for more tax breaks for the rich, but also when opposing public interest regulation, consumer litigation and worker protections. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, even used it to deflect attention from the "gay rehabilitation" services her clinic allegedly offers. When asked about it by ABC News, Bachmann merely acknowledged, “we do have a business that deals with job creation.” When pressed, she stuck with it: “As I said, again, we’re very proud of our business and we’re proud of all job creators in the United States.”

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It's also complete nonsense; the opposite of the truth. Sure, the wealthy create a few jobs – people who offer exclusive services or sell them high-end goods. But the overwhelming majority of jobs in this country are “created” by ordinary Americans when they spend their paychecks.

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Sitting Atop Trillions: What Would Business Do with Another Tax Break? Joseph T. Dwyer, Policy Shop

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  • Business already has plenty of cash, and if you look at what corporate America is actually doing with this money, it’s not pretty.
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  • Obama and his advisers, weirdly, believe that his stance as "the only grownup in the room" who forces his own party to abandon its core principles for the sake of an austerity program will somehow win the gratitude of voters struggling with declining incomes and rising joblessness. Robert Kuttner
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  • Not only is corporate America using cash to fill space in bank boxes and stuff speculative mattresses overseas, they have decided to use some of it to pad the salaries of their CEOs. In 2010, the S&P 500 companies paid their CEOs an average of $11.4 million—an increase in CEO total compensation by 23 percent! <http://www.aflcio.org/corporatewatch/paywatch/>This collective raise could have hired nearly 32,000 median earning workers instead (or 63 workers per company). Joseph Dwyer
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The Ultimate Goal of the Bankster-led Political-economic Warfare Being Waged Against Us Is . . . ? Richard Clark, OpEdNews

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  • Foreign Policy magazine recently ran an article entitled "The Next Big Thing: Neomedievalism," arguing that the power of nations is declining, and is being replaced by banks and other corporations, wealthy individuals, the sovereign wealth funds of monarchs, and city-regions. Meanwhile, leading progressive economists say that the true purpose of the bank rescue plans was "a massive redistribution of wealth, to the rich."
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  • America Is Being Raped ... Just Like Greece and Other Countries
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