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Revised: Alan Simpson Condemns Disabled Vets for Breathing Agent Orange

  • Maybe if Simpson and the ruling class weren’t so damned bloodthirsty, we wouldn’t have choices like this to make.
  • Veterans Group Calls for Removal of Alan Simpson
  • Show Alan Simpson, Vet Hater, the Door

David Dayen, FireDogLake

Alan Simpson’s scorn for people who use federal money goes beyond… well, everyone, in the form of Social Security. He also doesn’t like it when Vietnam-era soldiers breathed Agent Orange and put their greedy little hands out to cough into them because they had respiratory trouble the rest of their lives.

The system that automatically awards disability benefits to some veterans because of concerns about Agent Orange seems contrary to efforts to control federal spending, the Republican co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s deficit commission said Tuesday (Aug 31).



Veterans Group Calls for Removal of Alan Simpson,  David Dayen, FireDogLake

  • It’s a fact of American life that veterans are seen as inviolate, and criticisms of veterans approaching treason.
  • It’s one thing for Alan Simpson to call Social Security recipients greedy bastards, even though a chunk of them, a substantial chunk (almost half), includes military veterans. It’s quite another thing for him to go after veterans directly, as he did in denouncing disabled vets for luckily sucking up health care resources after exposure to Agent Orange.

It's Time to Show Alan Simpson, Vet Hater, the Door, David Culver, Evergreene Digest

  • I call on the Congress and President to show Alan Simpson to the door of the deficit commission’s deliberations and to restore honor and decency to our national conversation on veterans!
  • I also call on my fellow citizens to hold their President, Congressional Representatives, and Senators accountable for removing Mr. Simpson by contacting them and reminding them that their oath of office demands meeting this country’s obligations to its veterans.
  • Alan Simpson Condemns Disabled Vets for Breathing Agent Orange
  • Veterans Group Calls for Removal of Alan Simpson


Well, Isn't This a Fine Mess the DFL's Gotten Us Into

DFL Candidates: Get out from behind the lawn signs, the brochures, the ads, the polls and surveys (all that branding crap), and start behaving like candidates for political office: talk to me face-to-face of ideas I can get fired up about in language that I can understand. 

David Culver, Evergreene Digest

Ladies and Gents of the late, great DFL,

Out of the frying pan into the fire. First Governor Numb Nuts  orders Minnesota not to apply for Federal health care reform money. Then, unnamed (read “cowardly”) state officials take another run at screwing up GAMC even further (apparently that was possible!) and manage to succeed at their draconian objective.

“Well, as Oliver Hardy would say to Stan Laurel, “Isn’t this a fine mess you’ve gotten us into.” Thanks a lot DFL. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Go ahead, scream and yell at me as Steve Simon did recently in reply to my letter about job loss and GAMC shenanigans and try to pin it on Governor Numb Nuts. Steve wrote, “Keep in mind that it was his narrow view of the world (and his apparent contempt for some for the most vulnerable of our fellow-citizens) that resulted in the GAMC deal that we got. I am counting the days until we have a new governor -- someone who values compassion and common sense.” But know that that line of reasoning isn’t cutting it with me. The days of making excuses for DFL inaction with male bovine feces explanations for the “good” DFL cowering in a fetal position in the basement of the capital while the big (bad) Puddy Tat governor beats up on them are over!

Because the DFL is more concerned about raising money than hell, tapping into special interest campaign contributions (the same ones the GOP uses to finance the spread its fanaticism), it’s gone all wobbly on why Minnesota needs a DFL party. This is why the Democrats have been so wimpy. Their primary funding source and, consequently their behavior, is the same as the Republicans: corporations and lobbyists! To paraphrase Jim Hightower:

“The sad truth is that none of T-Paw’s agenda would be hanging around our necks without the complicity and often the direct support of state Democratic leaders. They’ve ditched the Red Wing boot bunch and thrown in with the wing-tip crowd, going all wobbly on the whole concept of why Minnesota needs a DFL party.”

Let me point out to you that, to the very best of my knowledge,  T-Paw has never enjoyed majority support for any position he’s taken. If the DFL hadn’t taken the fetal position and wasted time whining about the bully that is governor, they could have, instead, fanned out across the state, framing the issues in the people’s, not the partys’ or special interests’, terms, surrounded him ideologically and rendered him a political lame duck! Well, we’ve got a governmental lame duck alright, only it’s the DFL Party and not Governor Numb Nuts!

But I can’t entirely blame a sadistic, ignorant T-Paw and a lame-duck DFL Party for the present mess we’re in. The citizens of this state in general, and voters in particular, have failed Minnesota as well by buying into the boogeyman philosophy proposed by the DFL that voting for the DFL might not be great, but the GOP is worse. How much worse you can get than being complicit in and directly involved with supporting those GOP policies is beyond me! As Rabbi Lerner has written:

If our elected officials always believe that no matter how far to the right they move we will always be giving them our money and our votes because we fear something worse on the right, they have zero incentive to take our peace, justice, love, generosity and environmental sanity messages seriously. We need to let them know that these positions of ours are not just "preferences," but rather they are our bottom line and that we won't support those who support war, militarism, injustice, and a worldview of domination and power over others, even if they tell us that deep in their hearts they believe something quite different. -- Rabbi Michael Lerner

Or, as Chris Hedges has put it in an article (The left has lost its nerve and its direction):

If the left wants to regain influence in the nation's political life, it must be willing to walk away from the Democratic Party, even if Barack Obama is the (president), and back progressive, third-party (officials) until the Democrats feel enough heat to adopt our agenda. We must be willing to say no. If not, we become slaves.

You won’t find me submitting to slavery. I’m no longer willing to go along with mediocrity, broken promises, and striving for second best. That's not the Minnesota I grew up in. And it's not what I voted for, or was promised. I refuse to be part of a political institution (DFL) that I feel in large measure is not serving me or the common good, and prefer instead to strike out towards something that I can participate in with integrity!

As proof, I’ve already left the DFL (Why I Did Not Caucus with my party (DFL) on February 2.) (or, more correctly, the DFL left me)! And Ron and Steve, do not assume I’m going to rubber stamp your candidacy this time with my vote. It’s too precious to waste. I’ve fought too hard for it, both here (ACLU) and abroad (Vietnam). Until and unless I see on your part a willingness to stop the whining, get out of a fetal position, and fan out across District 44 framing the issues in the people’s way,  you will not get my vote in November.  Get out from behind the lawn signs, the brochures, the ads, the polls and surveys (all that branding crap), and start behaving like candidates for political office: talk to me face-to-face of ideas I can get fired up about in language that I can understand. (Any similarity to this and how DFL heroes of the past--Paul Wellstone, Hubert Humphrey, Floyd Olson--campaigned is purely coincidental.)

In other words, tell me how you’re going to fight for me in ways other than assuming a fetal position and whining while waiting for a better governor!

And that goes for Mark Dayton, Keith Ellison, and any other DFL candidate running this year!

In case you haven’t noticed, people are angry, fed up, disillusioned. They see no one willing to take up their cause and fight for them. So, they retreat into the fantasy world of an America gone by and to which we cannot return; or they retreat into apathy and ignorance, hate, homophobia, sexism, xenophobia, violence and war, anger, etc., following pied pipers pandering to that. Our votes are there for the taking, but you have to earn them the old fashioned way: you have to prove you can identify with, and fight for, us!


Fewer to get care with GAMC alteration, Warren Wolfe, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

  • Now only one hospital remains to offer coordinated care, with 3,500 slots for 18,000 low-income adults.
  • Pawlenty Orders Minnesota Not To Apply For Federal Health Care Reform Money


Five myths about mosques in this country

  • Through their mosques, U.S. Muslims are embracing the community involvement that is a hallmark of the American experience. In this light, mosques should be welcomed as premier sites of American assimilation, not feared as incubators of terrorist indoctrination.
  • Top 10 myths about Islam

Edward E. Curtis, IV, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

In addition to spawning passionate debates in the public, the news media and the political class, the proposal to build a Muslim community center near ground zero in New York has revealed widespread misconceptions about the practice of Islam in this country -- and the role of mosques in particular.

1) Mosques are new to this country.
Mosques have been here since the colonial era. A mosque, or masjid, is literally any place where Muslims make salat, the prayer performed in the direction of Mecca; it needn't be a building. One of the first mosques in North American history was on Kent Island, Md.: Between 1731 and 1733, African-American Muslim slave and Islamic scholar Job Ben Solomon would regularly steal away to the woods there for his prayers -- in spite of a white boy who threw dirt on him as he made his prostrations.



Top 10 Myths About Islam, Huda,

  • Introduction to Islam
  • The Right's Shameful Muslim-Bashing


From Death to Life: Mother forgives son's killer

Johnson and Israel hope to bring other families of violence together for forgiveness. They also plan to write a book together with dreams of eventually building a grief center in north Minneapolis.

Renee Tessman, KARE-TV | MN

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Brigette Menger-Anderson

A Minneapolis community is celebrating a powerful story of forgiveness, how a mother's hatred for her child's murderer dramatically changed over 17 years.

As Oshea Israel described it, "God brought us together."

By looking at him and Mary Johnson, his arm around her, you'd think they were mother and son. But actually, he's the man who murdered her son, Laramiun Lamont Byrd.

It happened in 1993. Israel shot Byrd multiple times, his body left outside North Memorial Hospital.



This Is Not a Recovery

  • This isn’t a recovery, in any sense that matters. And policy makers should be doing everything they can to change that fact.
  • GDP Revised Down: Economy Grew At A Much Slower Pace Than Previously Thought.
  • Tax Jujitsu: Why Democrats Should Propose a “People’s Tax Cut”.
  • Jobless? Your leaders are at ease with that.

Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

What will Ben Bernanke, the Fed chairman, say in his big speech Friday (August 27) in Jackson Hole, WY? Will he hint at new steps to boost the economy? Stay tuned.

But we can safely predict what he and other officials will say about where we are right now: that the economy is continuing to recover, albeit more slowly than they would like. Unfortunately, that’s not true: this isn’t a recovery, in any sense that matters. And policy makers should be doing everything they can to change that fact.

The small sliver of truth in claims of continuing recovery is the fact that G.D.P. is still rising: we’re not in a classic recession, in which everything goes down. But so what?



GDP Revised Down: Economy Grew At A Much Slower Pace Than Previously Thought, Christopher S. Rugaber, Associated Press, in Huffington Post
Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski
The nation's gross domestic product – the broadest measure of the economy's output – grew at a 1.6 percent annual rate in the April-to-June period, the Commerce Department said Friday (August 27). That's down from an initial estimate of 2.4 percent last month and much slower than the first quarter's 3.7 percent pace.

Tax Jujitsu: Why Democrats Should Propose a “People’s Tax Cut”, Robert Reich, Robert
Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski
Republicans are calling the Democrat’s proposal to end the Bush tax cuts on the richest 3 percent a “tax increase,” and demagoging that it will hurt the economy and small business. This is baloney, to put it politely. Let me count the ways.

Jobless? Your leaders are at ease with that, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

  • None of them want to fix it -- so high unemployment might become a habit.
  • Punishing the Jobless


Glenn Beck is NOT Martin Luther King Jr.!

  • Please watch the video and sign their pledge to stand with Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision and against Beck and Palin's hate.
  • Glenn Beck's 'Restoring Honor' Rally Denounced By Civil Rights Leaders
  • It is important for all of us to stand together with one voice against hate and intolerance.

Don Hazen, AlterNet

Dear Reader,

Glenn Beck is NOT Martin Luther King Jr.! August 28th is an important day in American history.  On this date Martin Luther King Jr. promoted a just, equal, diverse and compassionate country in his "I Have a Dream Speech" at the Lincoln Memorial.

This year, on the same date, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin will hold a rally at the Lincoln Memorial.  The racist and hate-filled tenor of Beck, Palin and the Tea Party movement is in direct contrast to the noble vision of Dr. King. We cannot sit idly by and let King's vision and legacy be hijacked for political purposes.

Our friends Robert Greenwald and the team at Brave New Foundation have produced a new video and pledge encouraging everyone to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s struggle for a just and equal America.

Please watch the video and sign their pledge to stand with Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision and against Beck's hate.

It is important for all of us to stand together with one voice against hate and intolerance.


Glenn Beck's 'Restoring Honor' Rally Denounced By Civil Rights Leaders, DeNeen Brown, Washington Post | DC

  • Glenn Beck's 'Restoring Honor' Rally To Face Countermarches From Civil Rights Activists, Al Sharpton
  • Guns, Divisive Rhetoric to "Honor" Lincoln and King?


US Forces in Iraq Shift to Long-term Occupation

  • Adil E. Shamoo, a professor of ethics, writes in What You Will Not Hear About Iraq, "Iraq has between 25 and 50 percent unemployment, a dysfunctional parliament, rampant disease, an epidemic of mental illness, and sprawling slums. The killing of innocent people has become part of daily life. What a havoc the United States has wreaked in Iraq...
  • Iraq: Torture. Corruption. Civil war. America has Certainly Left Its Mark
  • The occupation of Iraq isn't over - it's being rebranded

Debra Sweet, The World Can't Wait

Sunday (Aug 22), the Associated Press reported "Baghdad - An American solider was killed in a rocket attack in southern Iraq on Sunday, the U.S. military said, marking the first American fatality since the last combat unit in Iraq pulled out of the country."

As the "last" combat brigade left Iraq, President Obama prepares to give a major speech next week.  He probably won't claim victory; that would be laughable.  He will claim that the U.S. is taking responsible action, now that the Iraqis are ready to "step up" and run "their own" country.  This is the same plan the Bush regime had, but framed and re-branded, Obama-style, to cover a thoroughly illegitimate occupation.

Jeremy Scahill said on Democracy Now earlier this month (August) that the combat role is shifting to the State Department, which "has plans to remake some US bases into what they call 'enduring presence posts,' EPPs. And so, you'll have these outposts around the country that are essentially-what is essentially unfolding here is a downsized and rebranded occupation, Obama-style, that is going to necessitate a surge in private forces.



Iraq: Torture. Corruption. Civil war. America has Certainly Left Its Mark. Robert Fisk, London Independent | UK, in ZCommunications

  • The American soldiers came. They saw. They lost. And now they say they've won. How the Arabs, surviving on six hours of electricity a day in their bleak country, must be hoping for no more victories like this one.
  • The War on Iraq : Five US Presidents, Five British Prime Ministers, Thirty Years of Duplicity, and Counting....

The occupation of Iraq isn't over - it's being rebranded, Debra Sweet, World Can't Wait

  • The occupation of Iraq is only being re-branded, not ended. Despite President Obama's fallacious claims that the war in Iraq is winding down, the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment is deploying!
  • We Are Not Your Soldiers!
  • Collateral Murder: U.S. Soldier Ethan McCord's Eyewitness Story


What is fuelling floods and fires?

  • While most climate experts say that it is too soon to draw any conclusions about a link with climate change, many agree that current events fit in with the warnings issued by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) over the past 20 years.
  • The truth: Still there, still inconvenient
  • Who Cooked the Planet?

Julia Slater and Renat Künzi, Swiss Info

Tourists in Moscow wear face masks against the smog (Keystone)

As flooding in Pakistan disrupts millions of lives, and huge areas of Russian forest burn, many people are wondering whether they are linked.

Flooding of a 1,000km stretch along the Indus river has already claimed about 1,600 lives, and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes. Over 13 million people have been affected.

In Russia temperatures have stood for weeks at almost 40 degrees; fires have destroyed villages and forests, while a pall of smog lies over large stretches of the country, including Moscow. More than 50 people have died as a direct result of the fires, while the mortality rate has doubled in the capital, the authorities admit.



The truth: Still there, still inconvenient, James P. Lenfestey, Star Tribune | MN
As 'Climategate' scientists are cleared, no doubt about warming remains.

Who Cooked the Planet? Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY<>

  • Will any of the deniers say “O.K., I guess I was wrong,” and support climate action? No.
  • The truth: Still there, still inconvenient



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