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New Yorker trashes Bush memoir

Over and over again: ‘Was Bush this incurious all his life?’

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John Byrne, Raw Story

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

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.

For Bush, decisions happened without the weighing of evidence and options. He merely had to ask himself, “Who am I?”

If it were a question of the George W. Bush maxim "if you're not with us, you're against us," The New Yorker's George Packer is against us.

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In a sprawling, multi-thousand word review of Bush's new memoir, Decision Points, Packer is generous with aquiline, laser-like criticism. He begins by predicting the book's rapid demise (“Decision Points” will not endure) and concludes equally as sharp.

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"During his years in office, two wars turned into needless disasters, and the freedom agenda created such deep cynicism around the world that the word itself was spoiled," Packer writes. "In America, the gap between the rich few and the vast majority widened dramatically, contributing to a historic financial crisis and an ongoing recession; the poisoning of the atmosphere continued unabated; and the Constitution had less and less say over the exercise of executive power. Whatever the judgments of historians, these will remain foregone conclusions."

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Dead Certain: The Presidential memoirs of George W. Bush, George Packer, New Yorker
President George W. Bush prepared for writing his memoirs by reading “Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant.” “The book captures his distinctive voice,” the ex-President writes, in his less distinctive voice. “He uses anecdotes to re-create his experience during the Civil War. I could see why his work had endured.” Grant’s work has endured because, as Matthew Arnold observed, it has “the high merit of saying clearly in the fewest possible words what had to be said, and saying it, frequently, with shrewd and unexpected turns of expression.” Grant marches across the terrain of his life (stopping short of his corrupt failure of a Presidency) with the same relentless and unflinching realism with which he pursued Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. On several occasions, he even accuses himself of “moral cowardice.” Grant never intended to write his memoirs, but in 1884, swindled by his financial partner, broke, and with a death sentence of throat cancer hanging over him, he set out to earn enough money to provide for his future widow. He completed the work a year later, just days before his death, and Julia Dent Grant lived out her life in comfort.

Corporations Post Record Profits As Republicans Call For Eliminating The ‘Insidious’ Corporate Income Tax

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  • Business buys itself a new government
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  • Last week (Nov 14-20), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) – a man ThinkProgress readers are familiar with – took to the House floor to bemoan the “insidious” tax on corporations. “We can compete with anybody,” Gohmert declared, “if you take off that insidious tax” on business. Watch it.
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Think Progress

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

Gohmert’s defense of corporations are not the words of a single rogue congressman. Rather, sticking up for the big guy is an orthodoxy that pervades the Republican Party and the conservative movement. Newly-elected Gov. Scott Walker (R) of Wisconsin has pledged to repeal the state’s corporate income tax. Sen.-elect Marco Rubio (R-FL) wants to slash the federal corporate income tax. And Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) proposes completely eliminating the tax in his radical Roadmap for America.

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Conservatives’ attempts to portray corporations as victims in this economy is dubious for two reasons. First, despite right-wing misinformation, American corporations actually already pay far less in taxes than those in other industrialized nations:

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Corporate Profits Were the Highest on Record Last Quarter, Catherine Rampell, New York Times | NY
American companies had their best quarter ever, according to a report that also showed the nation’s output growing faster than initial estimates.

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Business buys itself a new government, Nick Coleman, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

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  • Corporate donors, newly emboldened by a court ruling, played dirty and won.
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  • So that's what a $4 billion campaign looks like!
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  • Wall Street's Stranglehold on Our Democracy Must Be Broken
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The liberals’ lament: “Why won’t Obama fight?”

The pundits also assume that there is some fundamental difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties, an assumption that several decades of bipartisan support for war, budget cuts, and social reaction should have put to rest.

David Walsh, World Socialist Web Site

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenberg

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Mike Thompson

It is difficult for anyone who observes the American political scene not to notice the spinelessness of President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in the face of the Republican right and its media fronts. The Democrats’ capitulation all along the line is a glaring fact of daily life and one of the defining features of the current administration.

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In their latest cave-in, White House spokesmen and Democrats in Congress have indicated their willingness to cede to Republican demands for an extension of the Bush administration’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

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This has provoked another round of handwringing from members of the official liberal media who, in one fashion or another, all lament Obama’s latest surrender and ask if or when the president will summon the internal fortitude to begin fighting. The collective wailing has become a virtual genre of political commentary.

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The Top Five Priorities Of The New GOP

Hint: None Of Them Are Jobs

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Bill Scher, Campaign for America's Future

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.

Republicans were triumphant in this year's election in part by arguing they would do a better job at creating jobs.

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But what have they been prioritizing since they won? What are they actually proposing to do now?

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Here are the biggest actions Republican have taken since Election Day. See if you can guess what's missing

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CREW's First Annual Turkey Awards

"In truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on." --Ben Franklin

Melanie Sloan, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

We all know the bald eagle is America's national bird, but many people forget Ben Franklin lobbied for a different choice; Franklin preferred the turkey.

"In truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."

Had Franklin gotten his wish, the modern American Thanksgiving table might look far different than it does today, as would the English language. We certainly wouldn’t be calling people of questionable morals "turkeys."

But Franklin lost the argument, and as a result there are plenty of turkeys in Washington D.C. these days. So, we figured we’d highlight some of the best of the worst with CREW’s first ever Turkey Awards!

First Place: The Federal Elections Commission

The FEC gets our Turkey Award for not taking action this election season, despite watching millions of dollars funneled into political advertisements. Coporations and shadowy fly-by-night organizations spent vast amounts of money this year without disclosing their donors.

Second Place: The House Ethics Committee

Just last week the House Ethics Committee found one of our Most Corrupt - Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) - guilty of 11 ethics violations. But did the committee miss the fact that there are 18 members of the House on the list coming back in January for the 112th Congress?

Tie for Third Place: Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)

Why on earth are two of the most corrupt members of the Senate not only currently sitting in office, but returning to Washington next year? Sen. Vitter will be returning to Congress despite a checkered past that includes soliciting prostitutes and misusing taxpayer funds to assist a staffer convicted of crimes. Meanwhile, Sen. Ensign has a closet full of skeletons, and is under investigation by the Department of Justice.

It’s because of supporters like you that CREW has been able to hunt down corrupt turkeys of all forms in Washington, as well as unmask those trying to influence elections with corporate cash. We need your help to tell the new Congress, loud and clear, that a stronger ethics process is vital. You can continue to help us build a better Washington by supporting CREW.

Thank you for all of your help this year,

Melanie Sloan
Executive Director
CREW

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