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Media Unwittingly Plays Republicans' Deficit Game ... Again

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  • Why were journalists and commentators so blind? I suspect it had to do with their desire to seem neutral. In order to show how even-handed and open-minded they were, journalists felt that they had to find Republican fiscal heroes. Reporting that the whole deficit debate was a political ploy, lacking any substance, would have sounded shrill.
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  • Molly Ivins on fair and balanced news
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Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co./Truthout

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John A. Boehner, the Republican leader, presented the party's new agenda last year in Virginia. (Photo: Drew Angerer/New York Times)

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Who could have seen this coming?

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The Washington Post editorial board was shocked (shocked!) to discover in early January that incoming congressional Republicans aren’t serious about deficit reduction.

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“You could listen to their rhetoric — or you could read the rules they are poised to adopt at the start of the new Congress,” they wrote in a Jan. 2 editorial. “The former promises a new fiscal sobriety. The latter suggests that the new G.O.P. majority is determined to continue the spree of unaffordable tax-cutting.”

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Molly Ivins on fair and balanced news, Entersection

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Balanced seesaw
Image credit: Pop + Politics

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The very notion that on any given story all you have to do is report what both sides say and you’ve done a fine job of objective journalism debilitates the press. There is no such thing as objectivity, and the truth, that slippery little bugger, has the oddest habit of being way to hell off on one side or the other: it seldom nestles neatly halfway between any two opposing points of view. The smug complacency of much of the press—I have heard many an editor say, “Well, we’re being attacked by both sides so we must be right”—stems from the curious notion that if you get a quote from someone on both sides, preferably in an official position, you’ve done the job. In the first place, most stories aren’t two-sided, they’re 17-sided at least. In the second place, it’s of no help to either the readers or the truth to quote one side saying, “Cat,” and the other side saying “Dog,” while the truth is there’s an elephant crashing around out there in the bushes. Getting up off your duff and going to find out for yourself is still the most useful thing a reporter can do.

Martin Luther King Jr. and the attack on public workers

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  • Sanitation workers pay is not a gift. The pay and benefits that many local governments are threatening to cut are earned with long hours of backbreaking, stinky work. Oh, the howls from the gated communities if the garbage isn't picked up!
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  • Throwing Public Unions Under the Bus
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Scott Marshall, People's World

Low Income Readers:  If you are on a tight budget, don't send cash! Just forward articles to your friends - and non-Progressives too ;) - and we need help building our Evergreene Digest community, you can invite your Facebook friends, that's a big help too. We are proud to have you with us.

How ironic. As we celebrate the life and historic contributions of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, public workers are under fierce attack across the country. As the economic crisis worsens for working people there is a coordinated campaign by big business, the newly energized, tea party Republican right, and some Democrats to resolve the crisis on the backs of public workers.

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Can you imagine the folks who just got hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax breaks getting indignant at the wages of sanitation workers? What the top 1% of the rich will each get just in tax breaks alone would provide decent, livable wages for several sanitation workers for a whole year. Such bald faced hypocrisy is the currency of these attacks.

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Sanitation workers pay is not a gift. The pay and benefits that many local governments are threatening to cut are earned with long hours of backbreaking, stinky work. Oh, the howls from the gated communities if the garbage isn't picked up.

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Throwing Public Unions Under the Bus, Shamus Cooke, Truthout

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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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Summary | Barack Obama, Change We Can Believe In: Week of January 16

3 New Items including:

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  • Obama Eyeing Internet ID for Americans
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  • Too Big to Block? Why Obama Must Stop the Comcast-NBC Merger
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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Dick Locher

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In Money-Changers We Trust, Robert Scheer, Truthdig
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.”

Obama Eyeing Internet ID for Americans, Declan McCullagh, CBS News
"We are not talking about a national ID card," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. "We are not talking about a government-controlled system. What we are talking about is enhancing online security and privacy and reducing and perhaps even eliminating the need to memorize a dozen passwords, through creation and use of more trusted digital identities."

Too Big to Block? Why Obama Must Stop the Comcast-NBC Merger, Josh Silver, Huffington Post

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  • This train wreck of a deal will hurt all over
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  • Currently free online NBC content (will be) locked behind a pay wall
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  • Less opportunity for the distribution of independent media; even fewer choices and less programming diversity
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Poor, Poor Sarah

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  • I will save my tears for the real victims here, for the living and the lost, and the America that people like Sarah Palin have been tearing apart for ambition and profit.
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  • Alaska, Gabrielle Giffords and Sarah Palin’s Map
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William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t

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Sarah Palin. (Photo: Roger H. Goun)

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So let me get this straight.

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Twenty people were gunned down at a supermarket in Arizona on Saturday. Six were killed, including a nine-year-old girl. Fourteen others were wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was the main target of the attack, and who was shot through the head. She is currently lying in a hospital bed with half of her skull removed because brain swelling from her bullet wound could kill her.

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(And) it appears Sarah Palin is the principal victim of the shooting.

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No, really.

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Alaska, Gabrielle Giffords and Sarah Palin’s Map, Billy Wharton, Bronx County Independent Examiner | NY

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  • “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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