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Corporate welfare’s quiet enablers: How democrats pander to big business

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  • Support on the left for Export-Import Bank shows GOP isn't the only party tailoring policy to business interests.
  • "The only difference between a Republican and a Democrat is the speed they get to their knees when corporate campaign contributors show up." --Ralph Nader 
  • Peace Is No Longer a Partisan Issue

David Sirota, Salon

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Bribery.jpg Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 | In politics, as the old saying goes, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies – there are only permanent interests. Few policy debates prove that truism as well as the one now brewing over the Export-Import Bank – a government agency providing taxpayer subsidized loans to multinational corporations.

This tale starts 15 years ago when my old boss, U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, was trying to construct a left-right coalition to reform the bank. While a few libertarians were willing to voice free-market criticism of the bank, the impetus for reform was primarily among Democrats and the left. Indeed, Sanders’ failed 2002 amendment proposing to restrict the bank’s subsidies garnered only 22 Republican votes but had 111 Democratic backers – mostly progressive legislators who, in the words of Sanders, saw the Ex-Im Bank program as “one of the most egregious forms of corporate welfare.” 

David Sirota is a staff writer at PandoDaily and the best-selling author of the books "Hostile Takeover," "The Uprising" and "Back to Our Future."

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Related:

Peace Is No Longer a Partisan Issue, John V. Walsh, Counterpunch

  • Doves Darken the Sky as They Take Flight From Democratic Party
  • The Democratic Push To Bomb Iraq Again
  • Obama Sets the US on a Slippery Slope to War in Iraq

 

 

Mapping Militarism

  • World Beyond War has created a set of online interactive maps to help us all see where and how war and preparations for war exist in the world today.
  • Peace Is No Longer a Partisan Issue

David Swanson, OpEd News

Thank%20You%20%28Lg%29%20w%3A10%20yr%20banner.jpg This article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. 

8-2-ChickenHawk-vs.-Egg.jpg?itok=0HbEr5uP Kahlil Bendib

June 26, 2014 | World Beyond War has created a set of online interactive maps to help us all see where and how war and preparations for war exist in the world today. You can find the maps we've created thus far at http://bit.ly/mappingmilitarism and send us your ideas for more maps here. We'll be updating some of these maps with new data every year and displaying animation of the progress away from war or the regress toward more war as the case may be.

The following are still screen-shots of some of the maps available in interactive form at the link above.

David Swanson is an American activist, blogger and author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union."

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Related:

 

Peace Is No Longer a Partisan Issue, John V. Walsh, Counterpunch

  • Doves Darken the Sky as They Take Flight From Democratic Party
  • The Democratic Push To Bomb Iraq Again
  • Obama Sets the US on a Slippery Slope to War in Iraq

 

 

We, the people are violent and filled with rage: A nation spinning apart on its Independence Day

  • School shootings, hatred, capitalism run amok: This 4th of July, we are in the midst of a tragic public derangement.
  • Howard Zinn’s July 4 Wisdom: Put Away Your Flags

Jim Sleeper, Salon

american_murderers.jpg Friday, Jul 4, 2014 | Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Concord Hymn,” 1837

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,

Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,

Here once the embattled farmers stood

And fired the shot heard ’round the world.

For centuries most Americans have believed that “the shot heard ’round the world” in 1775 from Concord, Massachusetts, heralded the Enlightenment’s entry into history. Early observers of America such as G.W.F. Hegel, Edward Gibbon and Edmund Burke believed that, too. A new kind of republican citizen was rising, amid and against adherents of theocracy, divine-right monarchy, aristocracy and mercantilism. Republican citizens were quickening humanity’s stride toward horizons radiant with promises never before held and shared as widely as they were in America.

The creation of the United States really was a Novus ordo seclorum, a New Order of the Ages, a society’s first self-aware, if fumbling and compromised, effort to live by the liberal expectation that autonomous individuals could govern themselves together without having to impose religious doctrines or mystical narratives of tribal blood or soil. With barely a decorous nod to The Creator, the founders of the American republic conferred on one another the right to have rights, a distinguished group of them constituting the others as “We, the people.”

Jim Sleeper is the author of Liberal Racism (1997) and The Closest of Strangers: Liberalism and the Politics of Race in New York (1990)

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Related:

Howard Zinn’s July 4 Wisdom: Put Away Your Flags, Howard Zinn, The Progressive

  • In a nation like ours -- huge, possessing thousands of weapons of mass destruction -- what might have been harmless pride becomes an arrogant nationalism dangerous to others and to ourselves. 
  • Trying to Feel Patriotic on the Fourth of July
  • Noam Chomsky | America's Real Foreign Policy

 

A Band-Aid Approach to Fixing the V.A.

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  • Despite promises from the Bush-43 administration that the Iraq War would pay for itself, the price tag keeps soaring with the predictable impact on V.A. hospitals struggling to care for wounded warriors. But the political solution has been to make a change at the top.
  • Veteran Affairs scandal in context

Paul R. Pillar, Consortium News

obama-veteran-300x200.jpg President Obama signs the prosthetic arm of Marine Sgt. Carlos Evans during a tour of the White House for wounded veterans on March 6, 2012. (White House photo by Pete Souza) 

July 2, 2014 | With a change of leadership at the Department of Veterans Affairs, we will have a test of how much difference a top leader makes in how well a large organization functions. Will Robert McDonald get the department to have better reviews than it did under Eric Shinseki?

Maybe, but my guess is that if this happens, it will have more to do with the natural ebb and flow of recriminations in Washington than with anything having to do with the leadership skills or acumen of the person at the top.

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is now a visiting professor at Georgetown University for security studies.

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Related:

Veteran Affairs scandal in context, Liberation Radio

  • Budget cuts to the VA amid war profiteering by corporations and politicians
  • Here's The Simple Reason Congress Hasn't Fixed The VA

 

Howard Zinn’s July 4 Wisdom: Put Away Your Flags

  • In a nation like ours -- huge, possessing thousands of weapons of mass destruction -- what might have been harmless pride becomes an arrogant nationalism dangerous to others and to ourselves. 
  • Trying to Feel Patriotic on the Fourth of July
  • Noam Chomsky | America's Real Foreign Policy

Howard Zinn, The Progressive

Howard%20Zinn%20bandw.png?itok=ImZodnZVJuly 03, 2014 | The Progressive Editor’s Note: Historian and activist Howard Zinn, a World War II bombardier, was the author of the best-selling "A People's History of the United States.” This piece was distributed by the Progressive Media Project in 2006.

On this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed.

Is not nationalism -- that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder -- one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?

Howard Zinn: historian, activist, writer and speaker

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Related:

Trying to Feel Patriotic on the Fourth of July, Gary G. Kohls, Duty to Warn, Evergreene Digest

Anyone who honestly reads Howard Zinn, Martin Luther King, Noam Chomsky, and  Chris Hedges can’t help but become disillusioned with America’s history and the massive propaganda by which the vast majority of us Americans have been duped into sometimes very sincerely believing that the US is the new shining light of the world, working courageously and endlessly for justice and peace.

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Noam Chomsky | America's Real Foreign Policy, Noam Chomsky, TomDispatch

How Washington Protects Itself and the Corporate Sector 

 

 

 

Hobby Lobby ruling: The crux of the problem is employer-provided health insurance

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The court’s latest ruling … gets us no closer to what really matters: ensuring that all Americans have access to health care.  Let’s acknowledge our mistake in not getting rid of the employer-based base for our health insurance and get on with building a new foundation that will serve us in the future.

Louis D. Johnston, MinnPost

Starbuck%27s%20Cafe%20Latte%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpg If you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

imce-images/3772943398_e38d3fbcdd.jpg (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Public Citizen)  

07/01/14 | In Monday's Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that closely held private companies are not required to provide contraceptive coverage in their employees’ health insurance plans. The basis for the decision is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, “which prohibits the “Government [from] substantially burden[ing] a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.”  The court once again applied the idea of a person to a company, in this case “closely held corporations” (to quote the decision).

I’ll leave the person/corporation debate to the lawyers, political scientists, philosophers, and anyone else who wants to debate the point. Here, I want to focus on the crux of the problem: our employer-provided health-insurance system. In particular, the Supreme Court’s decision makes it clear that America’s experiment with employer-provided health care is a failure and that we need to move to either a single-payer system or a voucher system and remove employers from the health-insurance business.

Louis D. Johnston writes Macro, Micro, Minnesota for MinnPost, reporting on economic developments in the news and what those developments mean to Minnesota.

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