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America's claims to being a democratic society are false.

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  • "The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” Instead, policy tends “to tilt towards the wishes of corporations and business and professional associations.”
  • When money talks and you have none, how can you believe in democracy?
  • Part 1: ‘Oligarchic tendencies’: Study finds only the wealthy get represented in the Senate
  • Part 2: Ready for a surprise? Money DOES equal access in Washington

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: ‘Oligarchic tendencies’: Study finds only the wealthy get represented in the Senate

Contrary to popular opinion, it was Democrats — not Republicans — who were more responsive to upper-class opinion in the 111th Congress.

Eric W. Dolan, Raw Story

Bribery.jpg  Monday, August 19, 2013 | Members of the U.S. Senate do not respond equally to the views of all their constituents, according to research to be published in Political Research Quarterly next month. Senators overall represent their wealthiest constituents, while those on bottom of the economic rung are neglected.

“The fact that lower income groups seem to be ignored by elected officials, although not a new finding, remains a troubling observation in American politics,” Thomas J. Hayes of Trinity University wrote in his study.

Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. 

Full story … 



Part 2: Ready for a surprise? Money DOES equal access in Washington

More than five times as many legislators or their chiefs of staff offered to set up meetings with active donors than with local constituents. 

Matea Gold, Washington (DC) Post

March 11, 2014 | It’s a widely accepted truism in Washington: Campaign donations buy access.

While that belief governs much about the way politics operate, there’s a surprising lack of scientific evidence to bolster that assumption, which is the subject of substantial academic debate.

Two political science graduate students are now seeking to bring some precision to that discussion through the kind of randomized, controlled study used to test the impact of pharmaceuticals.

Matea Gold: covering money and politics for the Washington (DC) Post

Full story … 

America is Falling Behind, Way Behind

  • The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans.
  • Part 1: We're NOT Number 1: Guess Which Country Now Has a More Affluent Middle Class Than America? 
  • Part 2: 5 Ways American Policies and Attitudes Make Us Lonely, Anxious, and Antisocial

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: We're NOT Number 1: Guess Which Country Now Has a More Affluent Middle Class Than America?

America's rich are surging ahead, but the rest are falling behind. What happened?

Lynn Stuart Parramore, AlterNet

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/Jeanette Dietl

April 23, 2014  |  Fancy living up in Canada? Granted, it’s a bit chilly. But the middle class up there has just blown by the U.S. as the world’s most affluent. America’s wealthy are leaping ahead of the rest of much of the globe, but the middle class is falling behind. So are the poor. That’s the sobering news from the latest research put out by LIS, a group based in Luxembourg and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

After taxes, the Canadian middle class now has a higher income than its American counterpart. And many European countries are closing in on us. Median incomes in Western European countries are still a bit lower than those of the U.S., but the gap in several countries, including the Netherlands, Sweden and Britain, is significantly smaller than it was a decade ago. However, if you take into account the cost of things like education, retirement and healthcare in America, those European countries’ middle classes are in much better shape than ours because the U.S. government does not provide as much for its citizens in these areas. So the income you get has to be saved for these items.

Lynn Stuart Parramore is an AlterNet senior editor. She is cofounder of Recessionwire, founding editor of New Deal 2.0, and author of "Reading the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt in Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture." She received her Ph.D. in English and cultural theory from NYU. She is the director of AlterNet's New Economic Dialogue Project.

Full story … 



Part 2: 5 Ways American Policies and Attitudes Make Us Lonely, Anxious, and Antisocial

At each stage of life, we are being stunted as human beings.

Lynn Stuart Parramore, AlterNet

Photo Credit: ollyy / Shutterstock.com

April 19, 2014  |  You would think that by the 21st century, we would know something about what it takes for humans to live fulfilling lives. After all, we’ve witnessed enormous advances in science, psychology, sociology, and related fields over the past couple of centuries.

The great mystery is that we seem to be doing worse, not better.

Clearly, a lack of information isn’t the problem. Between the academic conferences, whole sections of bookstores and armies of pundits like Harvard psychologist (and Prudential spokesman) Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling Upon Happiness, we are given the secrets of well-being and offered reams of data, advice and lessons on what to seek and what to avoid.

Lynn Stuart Parramore is an AlterNet senior editor. She is cofounder of Recessionwire, founding editor of New Deal 2.0, and author of "Reading the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt in Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture." She received her Ph.D. in English and cultural theory from NYU. She is the director of AlterNet's New Economic Dialogue Project.

Full story …

Section(s): 

Special Report | A Free and Open Internet: The Latest from the Frontlines, Week Ending April 27, 2014

  • net-neutrality_0.jpgF.C.C., in ‘Net Neutrality’ Turnaround, Plans to Allow Fast Lane
  • 8 New items including:
  • The FCC Wants to Break the Internet
  • F.C.C., in ‘Net Neutrality’ Turnaround, Plans to Allow Fast Lane
  • What’s the Right Path Forward on Net Neutrality?
  • A Free and Open Internet: The Latest from the Frontlines
  • Comcast takeover of Time Warner Cable 'will throttle choice on the web' 
  • Net neutrality isn’t dead just yet
  • One Frightening Chart Shows What You Might Pay For Internet Once Net Neutrality Is Gone
  • Court Backs Internet Censorship: Open The Internet Now!

David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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.

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The FCC Wants to Break the Internet, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • As reported by various outlets, the  new rules have been circulated by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler to the other members of the commission and will be officially announced on Thursday (April 24).
  • “If it goes forward, this capitulation will represent Washington at its worst.” —Todd O’Boyle, Common Cause
  • "With this proposal, the FCC is aiding and abetting the largest ISPs in their efforts to destroy the open Internet," said Craig Aaron, president of the media advocacy group Free Press.
  • Part 1:Internet For The Wealthy On The Way Unless We Stop It
  • Part 2: Unless Defeated, New FCC Rules Will Put 'Stake in Internet's Heart'

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F.C.C., in ‘Net Neutrality’ Turnaround, Plans to Allow Fast Lane, Edward Wyatt, New York (NY) Times

  • The proposed rules, drafted by Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and his staff, would allow Internet service providers to charge companies different rates for faster connection speeds.
  • A Free and Open Internet: The Latest from the Frontlines

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What’s the Right Path Forward on Net Neutrality?, John Light, Moyers & Company

February 4, 2014 | The recent DC circuit court decision that killed net neutrality put the Federal Communications Commission — and its newly appointed head, Tom Wheeler — in the position of needing to figure out what they can do to maintain their authority to ensure an open Internet. If they don’t, the Web as we know it could dramatically change. Journalists and advocates point to a future in which Internet service providers (ISPs) could give users faster access to some sites and slower access to others. So if, for example, Hulu paid Comcast to allow viewers a faster connection, and competitors such as Netflix did not, Comcast subscribers might decide Netflix, with its slower streaming services, was not worth their money.

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A Free and Open Internet: The Latest from the Frontlines, Michael Winship, Common Dreams

  • An FCC fact sheet (is) well worth reading on how Internet growth and investment have “flourished” under the rules of net neutrality. See it here.
  • Comcast takeover of Time Warner Cable 'will throttle choice on the web' 

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Comcast takeover of Time Warner Cable 'will throttle choice on the web' Dominic Rushe, Guardian (UK) 

  • Angry consumer groups say proposed $45.2bn mega-deal will drive up costs for millions – and call on FCC to block takeover
  • Net neutrality isn’t dead just yet


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Net neutrality isn’t dead just yet, Michael Winship, BillMoyers.com 

  • A new ruling could put Web users at the mercy of the cable companies. Now's the time for us to stand up and fight
  • You can start by contacting the FCC chairman’s office and demanding that he and his colleagues stand resolute and forthright in favor of net neutrality, an Internet open to all.
  • Court Backs Internet Censorship: Open The Internet Now!
  • One Frightening Chart Shows What You Might Pay For Internet Once Net Neutrality Is Gone

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One Frightening Chart Shows What You Might Pay For Internet Once Net Neutrality Is Gone, Betsy Isaacson, Huffington Post

Will the end of net neutrality see ISPs imitating cable companies? It seems likely, given that many ISPs already are cable companies.

As for smaller sites (like Evergreene Digest)? In quink's hypothetical world without net neutrality, they're out of luck. Any sites outside the bundles might count towards a data cap, while sites in the bundles wouldn't, or small sites might just load really, really slowly.

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Court Backs Internet Censorship: Open The Internet Now! Roots Action

  • A federal appeals court just sided with Verizon and against you, against us, against the Internet.
  • If this ruling stands, the Internet as we know it will die.

 

Section(s): 

Special Report | Class Warfare: Homelessness and Poverty in America, Week Ending April 27, 2014

  • The people are fighting back and the elites recognize it. There is fear in the investor class as they see people organizing and mobilizing. Corporations are now investing more time and money in preparation to protect themselves from investor actions and legal challenges. The actions of corporations and governments against the people are a sign of their fear, and a sign of our unrealized strength.
  • 9 New Items including:
    • Florida City About to Make it Illegal For Homeless People to Have Possessions in Public,
    • Matt Taibbi | America Has A 'Profound Hatred Of The Weak And The Poor'
    • Special Report | American Class Warfare: Week Ending April 27, 2014
    • Examining DC's Homeless Crisis
    • Homeless Lose a Longtime Last Resort: Living in a Car
    • Truth to Tell | Arts and Ending Youth Homelessness
    • Unspeakable: Washington Ignores Homeless Epidemic
    • America Is the Most Inhumane Developed Country on the Planet
    • Meet the poverty liars: GOP peddles more garbage in war on the poor

David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Florida City About to Make it Illegal For Homeless People to Have Possessions in Public, Scott Keyes, ThinkProgress

  • Ft. Lauderdale is not the only city to embrace new ordinances that criminalize people for being homeless. Scores of cities, including ColumbiaPalo AltoMiamiRaleighTampa, Harrisburg and others have enacted measures that render homeless people simply trying to survive as criminals. 
  • Other cities, like Davis, Calif., are taking a different approach: constructing public lockers where homeless people can safely store their possessions.
  • Matt Taibbi | America Has A 'Profound Hatred Of The Weak And The Poor'
  • It's blame the victim time.

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Matt Taibbi | America Has A 'Profound Hatred Of The Weak And The Poor', Emily Tess Katz, Huffington Post

  • We have a profound hatred of the weak and the poor, and a corresponding groveling terror before the rich and successful, and we're building a bureaucracy to match those feelings."
  • How Govt. Hides the Poor: Formula for Measuring Poverty Dates to When a Loaf of Bread Cost 22 Cents
  • Unspeakable: Washington Ignores Homeless Epidemic

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Special Report | American Class Warfare: Week Ending April 27, 2014, David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • The people are fighting back and the elites recognize it. There is fear in the investor class as they see people organizing and mobilizing. Corporations are now investing more time and money in preparation to protect themselves from investor actions and legal challenges. The actions of corporations and governments against the people are a sign of their fear, and a sign of our unrealized strength.
  • 8 New items including:
    • Matt Taibbi | America Has A 'Profound Hatred Of The Weak And The Poor'
    • Krugman| Worried About Oligarchy? You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
    • Series | Class War for Idiots, Part 2: Libertarianism = Assholism
    • Series | Class War for Idiots, Part 1: The Roots of Stalin in the Koch Brothers and the Tea Party Movement
    • Paul Ryan’s worthless attempt to save face: Why he’s still an overrated fraud
    • Krugman Nails WSJ Pulitzer Winner For Misleading Inequality Claim
    • The Great American Class War
    • We Are In a Class War

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Examining DC's Homeless Crisis, Delia Gonçalves, WUSA | DC

  • "We need to create urgency because frankly people have been seeing homeless in the streets of DC for decades," said Schenkelberg, "and it's not that they don't care it's that it's not so in your face and doesn't seem like it's ever going to change."
  • Part 1: The emotional and financial cost of homelessness
  • Part 2: Life after homelessness: examining DC's homeless
  • Part 3: DC hopes to end homelessness by 2017

 

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Homeless Lose a Longtime Last Resort: Living in a Car, Zusha Elinson, Wall Street Journal

  • Cities in Silicon Valley, Elsewhere Crack Down on Vehicle Dwellers Driven Out of Apartments by Rents
  • Examining DC's Homeless Crisis
  • Unspeakable: Washington Ignores Homeless Epidemic

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Truth to Tell | Arts and Ending Youth Homelessness, Andy Driscoll and Lynnell Mickelsen, Truth to Tell, KFAI-FM | MN

Mon, 02/28/2011 | Young people are among the most harmed by homelessness. Of the 13,000 Minnesotans who experience homelessness every day, 2,000 are young people, 34% of the total in Hennepin County alone. Many of the adults are veterans, some are the parents of these youth for whom the instability of homelessness is something none of us would want for our own – or ourselves.

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Unspeakable: Washington Ignores Homeless Epidemic, Bill Boyarsky, TruthDig

  • The hardship of families and children is an overlooked national disgrace.
  • The National Center on Family Homelessness has chronicled the toll such conditions take on children.
  • Work Until You're Dead?
  • Senator Spends Day Off With Homeless Man For A Lesson You Can't Learn From An Office

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America Is the Most Inhumane Developed Country on the Planet, Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, AlterNet

  • This week marked the 65th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. What would it be like if people in the U.S. knew they had these rights?
  • Are We Going to Let It Stay This Way?
  • Number One? 20 Not So Good Categories That The United States Leads The World In

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Meet the poverty liars: GOP peddles more garbage in war on the poor, Joan Walsh, Salon

  • Struggling to project “compassion,” Republicans revive Reagan’s destructive myths about how to help the poor
  • Budget Deal Keeps Cuts, A Disaster for Majority

 

Section(s): 

Documentary TV Series: Years of Living Dangerously

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  • This series has some serious potential to shift the conversation on climate change in this country. It's got a star-studded cast, some major talent behind it, and shines a light on some important stories around the world. 
  • Part 1: Years of Living Dangerously
  • Part 2: Learn more about how to get involved with "Years of Living Dangerously"
  • George Carlin On Global Warming Scam

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest



Part 1: Years of Living Dangerously

A Showtime documentary series by James Cameron about climate change, delivered by activist-celebrities like Jessica Alba, Michael C Hall, and Harrison Ford.

Showtime

It's the biggest story of our time. Hollywood's brightest stars and today's most respected journalists explore the issues of climate change and bring you intimate accounts of triumph and tragedy. Years of Living Dangerously takes you directly to the heart of the matter in this awe-inspiring and cinematic documentary series event from Executive Producers James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Don't miss the documentary series premiere of Years of Living Dangerously, Sunday, April 13th at 10PM ET/PT.*


Subscribe to the Years of Living Dangerously channel for more clips: http://s.sho.com/YearsYouTube
Official site: http://www.sho.com/yearsoflivingdange...
The Years Project: http://yearsoflivingdangerously.com/
Follow: https://twitter.com/YEARSofLIVING
Like: https://www.facebook.com/YearsOfLiving
*Watch on Showtime Anytime: http://s.sho.com/1hoirn4

Have you seen the trailer yet? It's pretty powerful -- you can check it out here.



Part 2: Learn more about how to get involved with "Years of Living Dangerously"

Get involved.

350.org

  • Trailers and Episodes
  • Watch Parties
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Resources

Full story … 

Related:

George Carlin On Global Warming Scam

The planet doesn't care about global warming.  The planet, as George says, will be here long after we're gone.  Ten million years from now, there will be a whole new set of species, minus the few we exterminated, and minus humans, who were too stupid to refrain from shitting in their own bath water.  Ten million years from now, the archeologists of the new intelligence that arises will scratch their heads in puzzlement over the archeological evidence that it apparently did not occur to us those crazy humans to not destroy our own life support system.

Government = Protection Racket for the 1 Percent

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  • More than five times as many legislators or their chiefs of staff offered to set up meetings with active donors than with local constituents. Why is it not corruption when the selling of access to our public officials upends the very core of representative government? When money talks and you have none, how can you believe in democracy?
  • Who’s Buying our Midterm Elections?

Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Bill Moyers & Company

I%20Want%20You%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpgIf 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.

Dimon%20%26%20Blankfein%20Visit%20White%20House.jpg JP Morgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, left, and Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein leave the White House in Washington in 2009 following a meeting between chief executives and President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) 

April 21, 2014 | The evidence of income inequality just keeps mounting. According to Working for the Few,” a recent briefing paper from Oxfam, “In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.”

Our now infamous one percent own more than 35 percent of the nation’s wealth. Meanwhile, the bottom 40 percent of the country is in debt. Just this past Tuesday, the 15th of April — Tax Day — the AFL-CIO reported that last year the chief executive officers of 350 top American corporations were paid 331 times more money than the average US worker. Those executives made an average of $11.7 million dollars compared to the average worker who earned $35,239 dollars.

Bill Moyers is an American journalist and liberal public commentator. He served as White House Press Secretary in the Johnson administration from 1965 to 1967. He also worked as a network TV news commentator for ten years.

Michael Winship is senior writing fellow at Demos and a senior writer of the new series, Moyers & Company, airing on public television.

Full story … 

Related:

Who’s Buying our Midterm Elections? Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company

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  • Two investigative journalists talk to Bill about the role of dark money — and the wealthy donors behind it — in this year’s midterm elections.
  • Bill Moyers Essay: The End Game for Democracy

Krugman | Worried About Oligarchy? You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

  • 'Even those of you who talk about the 1%, you don't really get what's going on. You're living in the past.'
  • New Study Finds the U.S. Is Not a Democracy

Jon Queally, Common Dreams

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krugman_moyers.jpg (Credit: Moyers & Company) 

Friday, April 18, 2014 | In an interview with journalist Bill Moyers set to air Friday Apr 18), Nobel laureate and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman celebrates both the insights and warnings of French economist Thomas Piketty whose new ground-breaking book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, argues that modern capitalism has put the world "on the road not just to a highly unequal society, but to a society of an oligarchy—a society of inherited wealth."

The conclusions that Piketty puts forth in the book, Krugman tells Moyers, are revelatory because they show that even people who are now employing the rhetoric of the "1% versus the 99%" do not fully appreciate the disaster that global wealth inequality is causing.

Jon Queally, staff writer, Common Dreams

Full story … 

Related:

New Study Finds the U.S. Is Not a Democracy, Natasha Hakimi Zapata, Truthdig

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  • So What Is It?
  • Bill Moyers Essay: The End Game for Democracy
  • Noam Chomsky | U.S. Politics Are Now 'Pure Savagery'
Section(s): 

New Study Finds the U.S. Is Not a Democracy

Politics%20Banner.jpg

  • So What Is It?
  • Bill Moyers Essay: The End Game for Democracy
  • Noam Chomsky | U.S. Politics Are Now 'Pure Savagery'

Natasha Hakimi Zapata, Truthdig

Phil Roeder (CC BY 2.0)

Apr 17, 2014 | Let me offer a hint: The ruling class is far wealthier than the rest. If you guessed oligarchy, sadly, you’re correct. Princeton University researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page discovered that “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” Scary isn’t it? The rich have basically all the control in what was meant to be the great democracy of the United States and rulings like the Supreme Court’s recent McCutcheon decision will only further perpetuate this disaster.

PolicyMic:

An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military.

Natasha Hakimi Zapat: Editorial Assistant, Truthdig

Full story … 

Related:

Bill Moyers Essay: The End Game for Democracy, Bill Moyers, Us

  • Bill Moyers has done some great essays on money in politics corruption in his time, but this might be his finest work to date.
  • The Great American Class War
  • Bill Moyers: Weapons of Mass Distraction—Why the Media Most Americans Consume Is Harmful to the Public Health

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Noam Chomsky | U.S. Politics Are Now 'Pure Savagery' Noam Chomsky, Huffington Post

  • Chomsky told HuffPost that corporate interests dominate the policy agenda of the Democratic Party, and cited conservative scholar Norm Ornstein's observation that the Republican Party has "drifted off the spectrum" and no longer functions as a serious parliamentary entity.
  • Budget Deal Keeps Cuts, A Disaster for Majority
  • Krugman: Rich are waging “pure class warfare”
  • Meet the poverty liars: GOP peddles more garbage in war on the poor

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