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Political Games in Dead-Serious Times

In this excerpt, the author notes the politics of Diversion. Politicians often try to divert our attention from issues they don't want to debate. The diversion usually appeals to our fears. If we take the bait, we complete the diversion.

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Debra Dean Murphy, GOD's politics

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Submitted by Evergreene Contributing Editor Mike Steigerwald


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Because Americans allow bickering politicians and ratings-driven news executives to tell us what constitutes “politics,” we have a tragically short-sighted view of what it means to be citizens with a shared destiny who seek the common good and the flourishing of all. (In other words, we’re all in the same boat, but we stand around on deck mocking and belittling each other while the vessel slowly sinks. But, boy, does our smugness-while-drowning make us feel good.)

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Actually, we’re not all drowning — yet. Those of us not in dire straits seem to make the most noise about the silliest things. Our public schools are failing, but .. Obama is a Muslim! A socialist! a Kenyan! CEOs of major corporations make 400 times — 400 hundred times — what the people who clean up after them earn, but … gay marriage will destroy America!

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Capping the Oil Spill in American Politics

Oil and the petroleum industry’s profits stand at the center of the American economy, society and polity. We need to push the oil industry aside and put working people and their needs—for jobs, health care, education, and social well being at the center.

Dan La Botz, Socialist Webzine

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenberg

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The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico represents the latest in a series of atrocities committed by petroleum companies against the environment and against humanity. Yet, terrible and tragic as the BP spill is, it is merely a marginal event in the long and sordid history of the oil companies in American and world history. The petroleum companies have been at the center of American politics for a hundred years, deter¬mining our domestic agenda, our environmental policy, and our foreign policy. To be an American politician was to be baptized in oil. To be an admiral or a general was to be a warrior around the globe for the petroleum industry.

Foreign Policy

By the 1920s, with the rise of the internal combustion engine and the automobile and the conversion of the U.S. Navy from coal to oil, petroleum became the most sought after commodity in the world. Oil became a strategic commodity, a necessity of modern life and modern warfare. From that time on, the oil corporations moved to the center of American politics. President Warren G. Harding’s cabinet was known as the “oil gang,” and the cabinet level corruption involved in the attempt of private parties and corporations to get at the Navy oil reserves led to the Teapot Dome Scandal for which Harding’s administration is best remembered.

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Farewell Mon Amour: Prospects on Democracy's Electoral Defeat

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  • “Wild West, casino capitalism, unhampered by either ethical considerations or social costs, has reinvented itself and become the politics of choice in this election year. Enthusiasm runs high as billions of dollars flow from hidden coffers into the hands of anti-public politicians, whose only allegiance is to power and the accumulation of capital.”
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  • Disaster is just days away
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Henry A. Giroux, t r u t h o u t

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

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(Image: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: th.omas, Javier Carcamo)

In the midst of one of the greatest economic disasters the United States has ever faced, the Gilded Age and its updated "'dreamworlds' of consumption, property and power" have returned from the dead with zombie-like vengeance.(1) Poised now to take over either one or two houses of Congress, the exorbitantly rich along with their conservative ideologues wax nostalgically for a chance to once again emulate that period in 19th century American history when corporations ruled political, economic and social life, and an allegedly rugged entrepreneurial spirit prevailed unchecked by the power of government regulations. Wild West, casino capitalism, unhampered by either ethical considerations or social costs, has reinvented itself and become the politics of choice in this election year. Enthusiasm runs high as billions of dollars flow from hidden coffers into the hands of anti-public politicians, whose only allegiance is to power and the accumulation of capital.

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Disaster is just days away, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

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  • Future historians will probably look back at the 2010 election as a catastrophe for America, one that condemned the nation to years of political chaos and economic weakness
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  • Divided we fail
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  • Eight False Things The Public “Knows” Prior To Election Day
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Road to Corporate Serfdom

The giant corporate control of our country is so vast that people who call themselves anything politically—liberal, conservative, progressive, libertarian, independents or anarchist—should be banding together against the reckless Big Business steamroller.

Ralph Nader, Nader.org

It was Bill Clinton’s campaign strategist, James Carville, who in 1992 created the election slogan: “It’s the Economy, Stupid.” For the 2010 Congressional campaigns, the slogan should have been: “It’s Corporate Crime and Control, Stupid.”

But notwithstanding the latest corporate crime wave, the devastating fallout on workers, investors and taxpayers from the greed and corruption of Wall Street, and the abandonment of American workers by U.S. corporations in favor of repressive regimes abroad, the Democrats have failed to focus voter anger on the corporate supremacists.

The giant corporate control of our country is so vast that people who call themselves anything politically—liberal, conservative, progressive, libertarian, independents or anarchist—should be banding together against the reckless Big Business steamroller.

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And 2010's Biggest Winner Is…

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  • Dark money, shadowy groups, and secret millionaires.
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  • Shadowy players in a new class war
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David Corn, Mother Jones

Flickr/Tracy O

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One result of the 2010 campaign is clear before any ballots are counted: Democracy is in danger.
That sounds hyperbolic. But whatever remains of the quaint notion—call it a myth—that in a democracy citizens are more or less equal is in the process of being shredded, due to the rise this year of super PACs and secretive political nonprofits. Thanks to the Supreme Court's notorious Citizens United decision and other rulings, a small number of well-heeled individuals (or corporations or unions) can now amass a tremendous amount of political influence by throwing an unlimited amount of money into efforts to elect their preferred candidates. And certain political nonprofits, such as Crossroads GPS—the outfit set up this year by GOP strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie (which with an affiliated group is spending about $50 million)—can pour tens of millions of dollars into the elections without revealing the source of their campaign cash.

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Shadowy players in a new class war,  E.J. Dionne Jr., Syndicate Columnist, Washington Post | DC
The country doesn't need this class war, and it is irrational in any case. Practically no one, least of all Obama, is questioning the basics of the market system or proposing anything more than somewhat tighter economic regulations -- after the biggest financial collapse since the Great Depression -- and rather modest tax increases on the wealthy.

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