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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Mr. Fish | Bless You / TruthDig.com

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In Money-Changers We Trust

The failure to provide serious regulation of the financial industry to avoid future downturns is documented in devastating detail in (a) Dec. 28 Bloomberg report, written by Christine Harper: “The U.S. government, promising to make the system safer, buckled under many of the financial industry’s protests. Lawmakers spurned changes that would wall off deposit-taking banks from riskier trading. They declined to limit the size of lenders or ban any form of derivatives.”

Robert Scheer, Truthdig

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lorenzo Canizares

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President-elect Barack Obama, accompanied by budget director-designate Peter Orszag, smiles during a news conference on Nov. 25, 2008, in Chicago.

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Two years into the Obama presidency and the economic data is still looking grim. Don’t be fooled by the gyrations of the stock market, where optimism is mostly a reflection of the ability of financial corporations—thanks to massive government largesse—to survive the mess they created.

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The basics are dismal: Unemployment is unacceptably high, the December consumer confidence index is down and housing prices have fallen for four months in a row. The number of Americans living in poverty has never been higher, and a majority in a Washington Post poll said they were worried about making their next mortgage or rent payment. 

In a parallel universe lives Peter Orszag, President Barack Obama’s former budget director and key adviser, who even faster than his mentor, Robert Rubin [formerly of Clinton Administration], has passed through that revolving platinum door linking the White House with Wall Street. The goal is to use your government position to advance the interests of your future employer, and Orszag and Rubin’s actions in the government and then at Citigroup provide stunning examples of the synergy between big government and high finance.

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Alaska, Gabrielle Giffords and Sarah Palin’s Map

“We'll aim for these races,” “This is just the first salvo” and “join me in the fight.”

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Giffords warned in March of ‘consequences’ to Palin’s violent rhetoric

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Billy Wharton, Bronx County Independent Examiner

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Palin Map Targets Democrats Photo: SarahPAC

There wasn’t much that was amusing about the finale of Sarah Palin’s Alaska.  It was hard to find anything to latch onto, hard to find that moment that revealed what her true agenda really was or that quirky exchange that revealed how much her children really do resent her.  My inability to critically connect was the result of the overwhelming feeling that the shootings in Arizona were always there in the backdrop.  And, I simply couldn’t remove the image of Sarah’s map from my mind.

While Todd was being rugged, Piper bratty and Willow resistant, Sarah was working on her map.  The map of the US appeared on Sarahpac.com and identified highly contested electoral races where Democrats were at risk of losing.  Gabrielle Giffords, one of the victims of the Tucson shooting, was on the map.  There were crosshairs, like those of one of the many rifles Palin advertised on Sarah Palin’s Alaska, over the state of Arizona and her name was listed below.  The language in the ad for the map included lines “We'll aim for these races,” “This is just the first salvo” and “join me in the fight.”

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Giffords warned in March of ‘consequences’ to Palin’s violent rhetoric, Stephen C. Webster, Raw Story

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  • "I think it's the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business and what we see on TV and how our youngsters are being raised, that ... This has not become the nice United States that most of us grew up in, and I think it's time that we do the soul searching," Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said at a press conference on Saturday (Jan 8).
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  • Alaska, Gabrielle Giffords and Sarah Palin’s Map
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2010: The Big Con Continues

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  • Today, protest has become routinized and all-but-impotent. Or, like the Tea Party, it has been coopted by the agenda of wealthy conservatives.
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  • The Humbug Express
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Ted Morgan, Common Dreams

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.

Despite the end-of-the-year upturn with Congressional ratification of the START Treaty and repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the United States remains stuck in a quagmire that has paralyzed our politics for 30 years. While the Republican party holds our government hostage, Democrats typically collaborate in public policies that don't have a prayer of resolving the deeply serious problem we face.

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Though Americans younger than about 40 have never experienced it, there was a time when government was seen as a vehicle the American people could use to resolve pressing societal problems. When government failed to address the needs of relatively powerless groups, it was possible for them to mobilize around their grievances and place them on the public's agenda.

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The Humbug Express, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY
Hey, has anyone noticed that “A Christmas Carol” is a dangerous leftist tract?

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Special Report | Legislation that may emerge from a GOP-controlled Congress

If Congress is worried about the proper balance of addressing climate change and protecting American jobs, I would suggest it pass legislation to do so, instead of keeping the EPA from taking critical steps to protect our health and environment.

5 Items including:

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  • 130 Republicans In Congress Want To Consider Ending Birthright Citizenship
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  • 104 Republicans In Congress Want To Privatize Social Security
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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Stuart Carlson

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Report: 130 Republicans In Congress Want To Consider Ending Birthright Citizenship, Scott Keyes, Think Progress
In late July, Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) call to end the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of citizenship for everyone born in the United States set off a firestorm in the press. Last week, a coalition of Republican state lawmakers announced a nationwide effort to “develop model state legislation” that will eliminate what they see as a “misapplication” of the 14th Amendment in granting birth citizenship to children of undocumented immigrants. More and more right-wing conservatives have taken this radical position, despite the fact birthright citizenship has long been settled law.

Report: 104 Republicans In Congress Want To Privatize Social Security, Scott Keyes, Think Progress
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.

Report: 111 Republican Incumbents And Candidates Want To Eliminate The Department Of Education, Scott Keyes, Think Progress
If Republicans win control of Congress on Tuesday (Nov 2), their anti-government zeal may soon focus on an old target: the Department of Education. As recently as 1996, the Republican Party platform declared, “The Federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved in school curricula or to control jobs in the market place. This is why we will abolish the Department of Education.” However, after multiple bills attempting to do so were stymied by sensible members of Congress, the Department appeared to have been spared. Now, a new wave of Republicans (along with many old hardline conservatives) are trying to number its days once again.

New US Congress May Prevent EPA Action on Climate Change, Manuel Oliva, Conservation International

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  • If Congress is worried about the proper balance of addressing climate change and protecting American jobs, I would suggest it pass legislation to do so, instead of keeping the EPA from taking critical steps to protect our health and environment.
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  • Defending EPA Against the Coming Right Wing Attack
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Church-State Separation Advocate calls Grassley Staff Recommendation “Breathtakingly Wrongheaded” Sarah Posner, Religion Dispatches
Grassley Staff Memo on Televangelists Makes Clear Religious Right Opposition to Government Oversight

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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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