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The Banana Republicans

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  • While House Republicans may be paying the price with negative news coverage, it is American families who pay the real price of their extreme policies.
  • Part 1: The GOP is ungovernable: What happens when one major party is dysfunctional to the core
  • Part 2: The House May Be Too Divided To Elect A New Speaker. If So, Here’s What Happens Next.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest



Part 1: The GOP is ungovernable: What happens when one major party is dysfunctional to the core.

Republicans have spectacularly failed their "prove we can govern" test, and that's trouble for pretty much everyone.

Simon Maloy, Salon

http://media.salon.com/2014/06/congress-snug-in-their-seats.jpeg-620x412.jpgFile - This June 19, 2014 file photo shows House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., with Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., left, and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, right, on Capitol Hill in Washington just after McCarthy was voted new majority leader, replacing Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., who was defeated in the primary election. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) (Credit: AP)

Friday, Oct 9, 2015 | One of the big themes of the 2014 midterm elections was the insistence from Republicans that they, given the chance, would be able to competently govern. As House majority leader Kevin McCarthy explained it in late October, just before Election Day, it was critical for the party’s political future to demonstrate to voters that they could get stuff done. “I do know this,” McCarthy said in an interview with Politico. “If we don’t capture the House stronger, and the Senate, and prove we could govern, there won’t be a Republican president in 2016.”

Here we are a little less than a year later, and McCarthy has dramatically withdrawn his name from consideration in the race to replace the outgoing Speaker of the House, who announced his resignation as a last-ditch effort to get past the second government shutdown drama of 2015. With the debt ceiling rapidly approaching and yet another government-funding chokepoint soon after that, the House Republicans are too divided and unruly to even pick someone to lead them through these two tests of basic governance.

Simon Maloy, Political Writer at Salon Media Group, is a Research Fellow at Media Matters. 

Full story … 

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Part 2: The House May Be Too Divided To Elect A New Speaker. If So, Here’s What Happens Next.

It is possible that there is no one in America who can win an absolute majority of House members votes, the amount that is necessary to become the next speaker.

Ian Millhiser, Think Progress 

Oct 8, 2015 | The House of Representatives is, quite simply, a mess. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) plans to get the heck out of Dodge by the end of the month. Speaker-in-Waiting Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) abruptly withdrew his name from consideration after he angered many fellow Republicans by suggesting that a committee ostensibly formed to investigate the Benghazi attack was actually formed to undermine Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The House Freedom Caucus, a faction of hardline Republicans who are likely to push for aggressive tactics such as a government shutdown, endorsed an obscure lawmaker named Daniel Webster who has only served in the House since 2011, to be the next speaker.

It is possible that there is no one in America who can win an absolute majority of House members votes, the amount that is necessary to become the next speaker.

Ian Millhiser is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. He received a B.A. in Philosophy from Kenyon College and a J.D., magna cum laude, from Duke University. Ian's first book is Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted.

Full story … 

War Culture, What’s It Good For?

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In Operation KIDS, a 5 year old “leads her squad home.” From www.af.mil. 

  • The ‘US Way of War’ from Columbus to Kunduz
  • How does the US move from a country dominated by war culture to one dominated by a humanitarian culture?
  • Sign the Petition: Release the Cockpit Tapes of the Kunduz Hospital Bombing
  • The Rise Of The Inhumanes

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, PopularResistance.org

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https://www.popularresistance.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Screen-Shot-2015-10-08-at-7.50.41-AM-e1444305244566.pngWhat does Celebrating Columbus say About the Character of the United States?

October 11th, 2015 | The confluence of Columbus Day Weekend and the Kunduz hospital bombing has us thinking about the deep levels of cultural violence in the United States and what can be done to change it. How does the US move from a country dominated by war culture to one dominated by a humanitarian culture? And, can we do it in time to avoid war with Russia and China, both of which are escalating to dangerous levels of conflict. 

Popular Resistance has reported on the legacy of Columbus. Howard Zinn describes the true history of Columbus and the Indigenous people of North America. There is a great need for the Columbus myth to be revised with realities. When the truth is understood, it is evident the US is celebrating a brutal war criminal and that it is time to abolish Columbus Day.

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers are participants in Popular Resistance. They also co-direct It’s Our Economy and are co-hosts of Clearing the FOG, shown on UStream TV and heard on radio.

Full story … 

Related:

The Rise Of The Inhumanes, Paul Craig Roberts 

  • Welcome to America today. It is a land in which facts have been redefined as enemy propaganda, a land in which legally protected whistleblowers are redefined as “fifth columns” or foreign agents subject to extermination, a land in which America is immune from criticism and all crimes are blamed on those whom Washington intends to rule.
  • Barron, Bybee, Yoo, and Bradford are members of a new species—the Inhumanes—that has risen from the poisonous American environment of arrogance, hubris, and paranoia.

Stop Smoking the Democrack

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  • Why do so many people think of the political party that lied the United States into two world wars, the Korean war, the war on Vietnam, the Kosovo war, the Libya war, and the war on ISIS — the party that dropped the nukes on Japan — as a party for peace?
  • While Obama’s body count doesn’t yet begin to approach Bush’s in terms of people directly and violently killed, that’s not a standard that will get us to survival, much less peace and prosperity.

Cindy Sheehan and David Swanson, CounterPunch

http://www.truthdig.com/images/eartothegrounduploads/5975805613_1ce04aa28d_z.jpg April 1, 2015 | The U.S. government is toying with a war with nuclear Russia while already waging wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, having done severe damage to Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia. Military spending is climbing ever higher. Presidential war powers are ever more extreme. The proliferation of nuclear technology is combining with the ease and secrecy of drone wars to raise the risk of a Dr. Strangelove finish to the human species. And, let’s face it, you had more time to give a damn when the president was a Republican.

The top means by which war kills is the diversion of unfathomable piles of money away from life-saving initiatives. That spending continues without pause. President Obama and most of Congress want it increased even more next year. The Congressional Progressive Caucus just put out a budget that made no mention of military spending but — if you searched through the numbers — was proposing to cut it by 1% ($13 billion of $1.3 trillion in spending across several departments). We’re talking about the single item that takes up over half of discretionary spending. One or two percent of it could make U.S. college education free, or end starvation on earth. A bigger slice could take on climate protection. Everyone across the inch-wide chasm of the political divide in Washington prefers to see the militarism continue. Of 100 senators, 100 favor sanctions on Iran. Bipartisanship is alive and well when it comes to war promotion.

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc Casey Sheehan who was murdered in Iraq on 04/04/04 by the US Empire and has become a non-flinching and uncompromising peace activist and host of her own podcast: Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox and Editor in Chief of the Soapbox People’s Network.

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

Full story … 

Time to Abolish Columbus Day

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We don't have to wait for the federal government to transform Columbus Day into something more decent. Just as the climate justice movement is doing with fossil fuels, we can organize our communities and our schools to divest from Columbus. And that would be something to celebrate.

Bill Bigelow, Huffington Post

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10/5/2015 | Once again this year many schools will pause to commemorate Christopher Columbus. Given everything we know about who Columbus was and what he launched in the Americas, this needs to stop.

Columbus initiated the trans-Atlantic slave trade, in early February 1494, first sending several dozen enslaved Taínos to Spain. Columbus described those he enslaved as "well made and of very good intelligence," and recommended to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella that taxing slave shipments could help pay for supplies needed in the Indies. A year later, Columbus intensified his efforts to enslave Indigenous people in the Caribbean. He ordered 1,600 Taínos rounded up—people whom Columbus had earlier described as "so full of love and without greed"—and had 550 of the "best males and females," according to one witness, Michele de Cuneo, chained and sent as slaves to Spain. "Of the rest who were left," de Cuneo writes, "the announcement went around that whoever wanted them could take as many as he pleased; and this was done."

Bill Bigelow, Co-director, Zinn Education Project; Curriculum editor, Rethinking Schools

Full story …

 

Special Project | Veterans' Affairs: Week Ending October 10, 2015

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Photo Credit: Robert Adrian Hillman/Shutterstock.com

Redeeming the Promise of a Square Deal

8 New Items including:

  • Why Are Veterans Denied Access To Their VocRehab Records?
  • A Band-Aid Approach to Fixing the V.A.
  • Veteran Affairs scandal in context
  • Here's The Simple Reason Congress Hasn't Fixed The VA
  • Vietnam War Veterans Have Found the Enemy
  • Afghanistan Veteran on Food Stamps Writes Letter to ‘Caring’ Conservatives
  • Book review: ‘Thank You for Your Service’ by David Finkel
  • Disabled Veterans Shatter the Myths of American Warfare

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

http://media.cagle.com/16/2015/09/17/168934_600.jpg Milt Priggee

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Why Are Veterans Denied Access To Their VocRehab Records? Benjamin Krause, Disabled Vets

These VocRehab employees were grossly mistaken, but their mistake served to embarrass the entire San Diego Regional Office and Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VocRehab) across the nation because of employee ineptitude.

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A Band-Aid Approach to Fixing the V.A., Paul R. Pillar, Consortium News

  • 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

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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

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Here's The Simple Reason Congress Hasn't Fixed The VA, Ryan Grim, Huffington Post

  • The VA is low priority: the Senate vets committee had the second lowest budget to spend on staff and other expenses -- just a few thousand dollars more than the Committee on Indian Affairs. It is also one of the few, if not the only panel, without its own press operation. And it's such an afterthought that the Senate lets a socialist run it. (We kid, but it is chaired by Vermont independent Bernie Sanders.)
  • Who is to blame for the crisis at the VA?

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Vietnam War Veterans Have Found the Enemy, Robert Rosebrock, Veterans Today

Vietnam’s Communism now appears to be a better solution than whatever kind of government America has today, so maybe President Obama’s upcoming meeting with Nguyen Phu Trong will at least inspire human rights at their level, because even the worst-of-worst governments would never treat their military veterans the way America’s government treats our war-injured and homeless Veterans.

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Afghanistan Veteran on Food Stamps Writes Letter to ‘Caring’ Conservatives, Richard Rowe, Americans Against the Tea Party

  • Some people measure a society’s condition by the lifestyles of the rich and famous — and those people are usually the rich and famous. For the rest of humanity, a society’s success is measured by the living conditions of the poorest. And who exactly the “poorest” are.
  • This letter, posted on September 19th by a combat veteran named Jason, speaks volumes of what American poverty looks like on the side streets of our society, and of the people who sleep on them.
  • Disabled Veterans Shatter the Myths of American Warfare

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Book review: ‘Thank You for Your Service’ by David Finkel, Andrew Bacevich, Washington (DC) Post

Finkel, a reporter with The Washington Post, attends to what he calls the “after war.” His concern is with the soldiers who return from the war zone bearing wounds — and with the loved ones on whom those wounds also become imprinted. Above all, he is concerned with wounds that may not be fully visible: the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury and related conditions that affect roughly a half-million younger veterans. Make that a half-million and counting.

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Disabled Veterans Shatter the Myths of American Warfare, Ann Jones, The Intercept

  • The military ambitions of the U.S. will not be restrained by the “true costs of war,” not even those exacted on the bodies of its soldiers.
  • A Trail of Tears

The Rise Of The Inhumanes

  • Welcome to America today. It is a land in which facts have been redefined as enemy propaganda, a land in which legally protected whistleblowers are redefined as “fifth columns” or foreign agents subject to extermination, a land in which America is immune from criticism and all crimes are blamed on those whom Washington intends to rule.
  • Barron, Bybee, Yoo, and Bradford are members of a new species—the Inhumanes—that has risen from the poisonous American environment of arrogance, hubris, and paranoia.

Paul Craig Roberts, paulcraigroberts.org

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenberg

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https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c8/Buchenwald_burned_alive_ww2-179.jpg/474px-Buchenwald_burned_alive_ww2-179.jpg This victim of Nazi inhumanity still rests in the position in which he died, attempting to rise and escape his horrible death.

September 2, 2015 | America’s descent into totalitarian violence is accelerating. Like the Bush regime, the Obama regime has a penchant for rewarding Justice (sic) Department officials who trample all over the US Constitution. Last year America’s First Black President nominated David Barron to be a judge on the First US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

Barron is responsible for the Justice (sic) Department memo that gave the legal OK for Obama to murder a US citizen with a missile fired from a drone. The execution took place without charges presented to a court, trial, and conviction. The target was a religious man whose sermons were believed by the paranoid Obama regime to encourage jihadism. Apparently, it never occurred to Obama or the Justice (sic) Department that Washington’s mass murder and displacement of millions of Muslims in seven countries was all that was needed to encourage jihadism. Sermons would be redundant and would comprise little else but moral outrage after years of mass murder by Washington in pursuit of hegemony in the Middle East.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.

Full story … 

Related:

Watching as the Fabric That Holds This Society Together Unravels, Michael Payne  OpEdNews

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  • That shocking degree of violence described above illustrates what happens when the fabric of a society unravels; when the major foundations of this country begin to crumble, the violence escalates.
  • Special Project | From the Archives: Chris Hedges on "The Death of the Liberal Class"
  • Book Excerpt: ‘Death of the Liberal Class’ ~ Chris Hedges

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