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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Jeff Parker | BP Spill One Year / media.caglecartoons.com

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BP Marks Gulf Oil Spill Anniversary With Campaign Contributions

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  • "BP's political action committee had gone completely off the radar for the past year," noted Dave Levinthal of the Center for Responsive Politics. "It appears they're back in the political game."
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  • ‘Spillionaires’: Profiteering and Mismanagement in the Wake of the BP Oil Spill
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Michael McAuliff, Huffington Post

A year after BP's catastrophic Gulf oil spill, the petroleum giant is easing its way back into the political money race -- and the stain of shame candidates originally felt about accepting the company's contributions appears to have evaporated.

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The gas and oil giant's North America Political Action Committee filed its latest report with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday, which revealed $29,000 doled out to federal campaigns on its behalf.

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These figures mark the first contributions BP made that were not returned by federal office candidates since its drilling platform exploded on April 20, 2010, killing 11 people.

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‘Spillionaires’: Profiteering and Mismanagement in the Wake of the BP Oil Spill, Kim Barker, ProPublica

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  • Is BP shortchanging contractors? Are contractors trying to scam BP? Because none of the records are public, it's impossible to know for sure.
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  • BP directors take bonuses for year of Gulf of Mexico oil spillTransocean Execs Get Bonuses, Company Has "Best Year in Safety" Despite Spill, Workers Killed in Deepwater Horizon Explosion
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America's ruling class is letting us--and itself--down

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  • Resolving the deficit problem requires America's ruling class to recognize its obligation to contribute more to a government that is neither investing enough in the future nor doing a very good job of improving the lives and opportunities of the less affluent.
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  • How the Rich Soaked the Rest of Us
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  • The Peasants Need Pitchforks
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E.J. Dionne, Syndicated columnist, Seattle Times | WA

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.

The American ruling class is failing us — and itself.

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At other moments in our history, the informal networks of the wealthy and powerful who often wield at least as much influence as our elected politicians accepted that their good fortune imposed an obligation: to reform and thus preserve the system that allowed them to do so well. They advocated social decency out of self-interest (reasonably fair societies are more stable) but also from an old-fashioned sense of civic duty. "Noblesse oblige" sounds bad until it doesn't exist anymore.

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An enlightened ruling class understands that it can get richer and its riches will be more secure if prosperity is broadly shared, if government is investing in productive projects that lift the whole society, and if social mobility allows some circulation of the elites. A ruling class closed to new talent doesn't remain a ruling class for long.

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How the Rich Soaked the Rest of Us, Richard D. Wolff, t r u t h o u t
How the rich soaked the rest of us: The astonishing story of the last few decades is a massive redistribution of wealth, as the rich have shifted the tax burden.

The Peasants Need Pitchforks, Robert Scheer, Truthdig
"The top 1-percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles," Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz concludes, "but there is one thing that money doesn't seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99-percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1-percent eventually do learn. Too late."
Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%
No Other Way Out

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Super rich see federal taxes drop dramatically

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  • There are so many breaks that 45 percent of U.S. households will pay no federal income tax for 2010, according to estimates by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.
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  • This Tax Day, Make THEM Pay
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  • Woe to You, Legislators!
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Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press/Dallas Morning News | TX

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

As millions of procrastinators scramble to meet Monday's (April 18) tax filing deadline, ponder this: The super rich pay a lot less taxes than they did a couple of decades ago, and nearly half of U.S. households pay no income taxes at all.

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The Internal Revenue Service tracks the tax returns with the 400 highest adjusted gross incomes each year. The average income on those returns in 2007, the latest year for IRS data, was nearly $345 million. Their average federal income tax rate was 17 percent, down from 26 percent in 1992.

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Over the same period, the average federal income tax rate for all taxpayers declined to 9.3 percent from 9.9 percent.

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This Tax Day, Make Them Pay, Michael Moore, Common Dreams
Do you wonder (like I do) what the tax accountants and executives are doing over at GE this weekend? Frantically rushing to fill out their IRS returns like the rest of us?

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Woe to You, Legislators! Jim Wallis, Sojourners/God's Politics

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  • The self-professed budget hawks have completely ignored the most consistently egregious, wasteful, and morally compromised area of the whole federal budget<http://blog.sojo.net/tag/budget/> — our endless and unaccountable military spending. Paul Ryan and the Republicans would cut nothing from the Pentagon profligacy. This makes them hypocrites.
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  • Tell Congress we want a moral budget
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  • Why 30,000 People are Fasting
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Special Report | Libyan Uprising IV

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For decades beginning during the Cold War, US policy in the Islamic world has been aimed at suppressing secular reformist and leftist movements. Beginning with the CIA-engineered coup against a secular democratic reform government in Iran in 1953 (it was about oil), Washington has propped up dictators, coaching these regimes in the black arts of torture and mayhem against secular liberals and the left.

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  • The Colonial "Axis of Evil" prepares for the invasion of Libya
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  • Towards the Conquest of Africa: The Pentagon's AFRICOM and the War against Libya
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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Gary Markstein

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Libya and the World of Oil, Noam Chomsky, Truthout

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  • The Arab Spring has deep roots. The region has been simmering for years. The first of the current wave of protests began last year in Western Sahara, the last African colony, invaded by Morocco in 1975 and illegally held since, in a manner similar to East Timor and the Israeli-occupied territories. Then a flame ignited in Tunisia that has since spread into a conflagration.
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  • Chomsky: Why the Mideast Turmoil Is a Direct Threat to the American Empire
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This is no "humanitarian" intervention in Libya, Debra Sweet, The World Can't Wait
There is no way an anti-war movement should support this U.S. intervention.

Towards the Conquest of Africa: The Pentagon's AFRICOM and the War against Libya, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Centre for Research on Globalization
The U.S. and its allies are not only formulating a new strategy to maintain and deepen their control over Africa, but are also working to push China and its allies out of Africa. The U.S. and many E.U. powers have watched China nervously throughout the years. China has been making major inroads in Africa and China is a major strategic and economic rival and challenge to the U.S. and Western Europe in Africa.

Libya: All About Oil, or All About Banking? Ellen Brown, Centre for Research on Globalization

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  • Libya not only has oil.  According to the IMF, its central bank has nearly 144 tons of gold in its vaults.  With that sort of asset base, who needs the BIS, the IMF and their rules?
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  • The Link Between War and Big Finance
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The Colonial "Axis of Evil" prepares for the invasion of Libya, Brian Becker, ANSWER Coalition
U.S., Britain and France step up war plans

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Woe to You, Legislators!

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  • The self-professed budget hawks have completely ignored the most consistently egregious, wasteful, and morally compromised area of the whole federal budget — our endless and unaccountable military spending. Paul Ryan and the Republicans would cut nothing from the Pentagon profligacy. This makes them hypocrites.
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  • Tell Congress we want a moral budget
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  • Why 30,000 People are Fasting
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Jim Wallis, Sojourners/God's Politics

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.

It is reported that Congressman Paul Ryan makes every member of his staff read philosopher Ayn Rand, the shameless promoter of the gospel of aggressive self-interest. This makes sense to me as I read Congressman Ryan’s new budget proposal. I wish he had his staff reading the Bible instead.

While widely lauded by conservatives, Congressman Ryan’s budget isn’t really about deficit reduction. It’s about choices — choices that will determine what kind of a country we become. And Paul Ryan has made the choice to hurt people who don’t have the political clout to defend themselves. Two-thirds of the long-term budget cuts that Ryan proposed are directed at modest and low-income people, as well as the poorest of the poor at home and abroad. At the same time, he proposed tax cuts up to 30 percent for some of our country’s wealthiest corporations. Let me say that again: Two-thirds of the cuts come at the expense of already struggling people and families, while corporations posting record profits get tax breaks. In short, the most vulnerable members of society are being attacked by Ryan and his supporters. This makes them bullies.

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Tell Congress: We Want a Moral Budget, Jim Wallis, Sojourners/God's Politics

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  • Congress is considering a budget plan that would be devastating for domestic programs that provide basic nutrition, health, and opportunity to poor children and international aid programs that save lives every day. Meanwhile, the military and spending on wars, as well as corporate subsidies, would be spared.
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  • People of faith, united in prayer and committed to action, need to speak out for vulnerable people every week until this budget fight is won. We believe that the God who can change the hearts of kings can change the hearts of Congress.
Urge Congress to get its budget priorities in order: Cutting programs that help low-income communities will not fix the deficit, and is a sign of moral decay in our legislative branch.
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Why 30,000 People are Fasting, Daniel Mintz, MoveOn.org Political Action

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  • This is about sending the message that balancing the budget on the back of the most vulnerable is simply immoral—and the need for that message has never been greater.
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  • 28 progressive members of Congress have now joined in
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  • The Discipline of Fasting
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  • Pray, Fast, Take Action: For a Moral Budget
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Where do your taxes go? Receipt could show you

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  • Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) is among a band of people from inside and outside of Congress who believe Americans should receive an itemized bill for their federal purchases. As early as this week (April 10-16) , the Seattle Democrat plans to resurrect his bill to require the Internal Revenue Service to issue a detailed annual spending breakdown for each taxpayer.
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  • CNN Poll: Americans flunk budget IQ test
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  • Citizens must be better educated about U.S. economic options
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Kyung M. Song, Seattle Times | WA

The average American family pays more than $7,000 in federal income taxes a year. The average American also mistakenly believes a big chunk of it is spent on foreign aid.

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As President Obama prepares Wednesday (April 13) to unveil his most detailed plan yet for weaning the country off borrowed money — following a House Republican budget-cutting plan released last week — some people say an urgent national debate about the federal deficit and debt is stymied by many Americans' fiscal illiteracy.

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Voters, they fear, have but a dim grasp of the nation's finances, including how the government spends their taxes.

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CNN Poll: Americans flunk budget IQ test, CNN Political Unit
If you think cutting the government's budget is as easy as taking the ax to some unpopular federal programs, a new national poll suggests that you should think again.

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Citizens must be better educated about U.S. economic options, Alex Alben, Seattle Times | WA

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  • U.S. political culture and our education system have roles to play in the dire straits of our economy.
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  • Some ideas for building a better, more informed national consensus.
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  • Austerity - a sure path to a bad economy
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Special Report | Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, & Wikileaks II

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  • Turn for the worse for Bradley Manning
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  • Top US legal scholars voice outrage at 'torture' of Bradley Manning
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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John Cole

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Nearly half million people voice support for Bradley Manning, Courage to Resist

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  • Andre Shepherd appeals for German Asylum
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  • 425,000 people (and counting!) join fight to stop the torture of Bradley Manning
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  • Quantico brig breaks own rules to reject official visits
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  • Organizing Toolkit now available
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Turn for the worse for Bradley Manning, Michael Whitney, Firedoglake
Kucinich and UN rep refused "official permission" to visit
With your help, we will make sure there is nothing secret about the way the US Government is treating Bradley Manning.

Rights Activists Decry Reports of Mistreatment and Humiliation of Alleged WikiLeaks Source Bradley Manning, Scott Harris, Between the Lines

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  • Interview with Coleen Rowley, former FBI special agent and 9/11 whistleblower
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  • Psyche, Science, and Society
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Support Bradley Manning! Avaaz.org

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  • Signatures being added approximately once every 2 seconds.
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  • They have already doubled their goal to 500,000 because they were meeting the 250,000 goal so quickly.
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  • Let's get more Americans signing this.
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Top US legal scholars voice outrage at 'torture' of Bradley Manning, Ed Pilkington, London Guardian | UK

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  • Obama professor among 250 experts who have signed letter condemning humiliation of alleged WikiLeaks source.
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  • Manning appears to being treated in a way that "is not only shameful but unconstitutional" as he awaits court martial in Quantico marine base in Virginia.
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  • Support Bradley Manning!
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Why the United States Is Destroying Its Education System

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  • Passing bubble tests celebrates and rewards the kind of intelligence prized by money managers and corporations. These tests produce men and women who are just literate and numerate enough to perform basic functions and service jobs. The tests elevate those who obey the rules, memorize the formulas, and pay deference to authority. Rebels, artists, independent thinkers, eccentrics and iconoclasts—those who march to the beat of their own drum—are weeded out.
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  • The Questions Education Reformers Aren’t Asking
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Chris Hedges, TruthDig

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

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Photo illustration by PZS based on an image by Lin Pernille Photography

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A nation that destroys its systems of education, degrades its public information, guts its public libraries and turns its airwaves into vehicles for cheap, mindless amusement becomes deaf, dumb and blind. It prizes test scores above critical thinking and literacy. It celebrates rote vocational training and the singular, amoral skill of making money. It churns out stunted human products, lacking the capacity and vocabulary to challenge the assumptions and structures of the corporate state. It funnels them into a caste system of drones and systems managers. It transforms a democratic state into a feudal system of corporate masters and serfs.

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Teachers, their unions under attack, are becoming as replaceable as minimum-wage employees at Burger King. We spurn real teachers—those with the capacity to inspire children to think, those who help the young discover their gifts and potential—and replace them with instructors who teach to narrow, standardized tests. These instructors obey. They teach children to obey. And that is the point. The No Child Left Behind program, modeled on the “Texas Miracle,” is a fraud. It worked no better than our deregulated financial system. But when you shut out debate these dead ideas are self-perpetuating.

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The Questions Education Reformers Aren’t Asking, Mike Rose, TruthDig
Education is moving to domestic policy center stage. The first round of competition for federal “Race to the Top” funds is over, and that competition generated a flurry of school reform activity across the nation. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia were selected and are now preparing for a winnowing round two.

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