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Four Surefire Tips for Following the Money in Your State

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  • Andy Kroll explains how you can follow the campaign cash — secret and not — flooding into 2014 races in your state.
  • Money & Politics

Andy Kroll, Moyers & Company

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photo/20131203/338027_us%20dollar.jpgJanuary 3, 2014 | Not since the Gilded Age has money dominated American politics as it does today. Untold millions move through political action committees and their steroidal siblings, super PACs, through opaque nonprofit groups run out of PO boxes, much of it intended to keep average voters in the dark about who is influencing their elections. And as the 2014 election year begins, with control of the House of Representatives, the US Senate and 38 governorships at stake, you can expect ever more of this campaign cash — secret and not — flooding into local, state and federal races.

As the “dark money” reporter for Mother Jones, it’s my job to shine as much light on this cash bonanza as I can. I do this using every tool and trick at my disposal: databases, experts, plugged-in sources and good old-fashioned door knocking. Here are four easy-to-use tips for following the money in your state — and throwing some sunlight on the mega-donors trying to sway your elections.

Andy Kroll is Mother Jones' dark money reporter. He is based in the DC bureau. His work has also appeared at The Wall Street Journal, The Detroit News, Salon and TomDispatch.com, where he's an associate editor.

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files/Bribery.jpg Money & Politics, Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company

Do democracy and plutocracy mix? Bill Moyers has spent years digging into the corrosive effects of money and corporate influence on American politics, a well-traveled intersection that has become all the more significant in the aftermath of the 2010 Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. How far back does the influence go and how much does it corrupt our democracy today? Explore these current issues with help from leading thinkers, investigative journalists and scholars.

 

Who Controls our Government? The Psychopathic Corporate Elites of America

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  • Is it only me or is there something fundamentally flawed with the people who are running our government, including the autocrats, technocrats and bureaucrats who number in the hundreds of thousands? Does it bother you that the Wall Street banks and major corporations, many of our academia and religious institutions and our medical, military and intelligence gathering complexes, Big Pharma and Big Insurance have their needs met at the expense of everyone else? They control our government. We don’t. Instead we fear our government.
  • Welcome to Satan’s Ball
  • Series | Are Polluting Mining Corporations like PolyMet Sociopathic?

Richard Gale and Dr. Gary Null, Global Research 

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

Starbuck's Cafe LatteIf 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.

March 03, 2014 | They tell us, “Trust us. We know what to do and how to fix all of our crises.” Okay we trust you. They say we are for peace, democracy and freedom. But everywhere we look they are colonizing and militarizing foreign countries with over 960 military bases with a budget of 1.6 trillion going to numerous corporations to keep American imperialism afloat. At the same time, there have been massive home foreclosures, repossessions, for-profit prisons stuffed to the brim with inmates for minor crimes, and the now reappearance of debtor prisons in 27 states. We are graduating students who are functionally illiterate.

They say trust us, unemployment has decreased to 6.7 percent. And we say that the real number is 24 percent due to the millions who no longer receive compensation and have stopped looking for work.

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Welcome to Satan’s Ball, Chris Hedges, Truthdig

Our elites have established the most efficient system of mass surveillance in history. They have abolished most of our civil liberties. They have trashed our economy for their own personal gain. They have looted state treasuries and thrown working men and women aside. Satan is again holding a great ball. You are not invited. I am not invited. Only the gangsters will be there. Putin will be an honored guest. So will Obama.

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Series | Are Polluting Mining Corporations like PolyMet Sociopathic?, Part II, Gary G. Kohls, Duty to Warn

  • "Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person." -- Anonymous
  • Series | Are Polluting Mining Corporations like PolyMet Sociopathic?, Part I, 
  • Duluth doctors: PolyMet study skips health impacts

Tell Washington to Respect Democracy in El Salvador and Venezuela

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  • In Defense of Sovereignty and the Right to Self-Determination
  • Take%20Action%20button%20with%20arrows.jpg Send a message urging your Representatives and Senators to ask the State Department and the Obama administration to officially recognize the electoral victory of the FMLN in El Salvador, just as the majority of the countries of Latin America have already done, and to ask President Obama to attend the historic inauguration of the new president of El Salvador on June 1, 2014.
  • The editable message to your Members of Congress also urges them to vote NO on bills proposing sanctions against Venezuela.
  • The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Venezuela

Lisa SullivanSOA Watch

I%20Want%20You.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. 

Support%20El%20Salvador%20Government.jpg March 18, 2014 | On March 16 the Supreme Electoral Tribunal proclaimed Salvador Sánchez Cerén as the winner of the presidential elections in El Salvador.

The candidate of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) received 50.1 percent of the votes, while Norman Quijano, of the right-wing ARENA, received 49.9 percent. Ask President Obama to join other nations in the hemisphere in congratulating Sanchez Ceren on his victory.

El Salvador's right-wing vowed not to accept the victory of the FMLN, and tried to delay the declaration of the winner by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. ARENA candidate Norman Quijano even called on the armed forces to intervene to stop the FMLN electoral victory, calling it a 'fraud' committed by a 'dictatorship'. The Salvadoran armed forces, however, stated publicly that they will respect the election results.

Lisa Sullivan has lived in Latin America since 1977. She worked for 21 years as a Maryknoll lay missioner in Venezuela and Bolivia, raising her three children in the barrios of Barquisimeto, Venezuela. She is the founder of the grassroots leadership group, Centro de Formación Rutilio Grande. 

SOA Watch, Founded by Maryknoll priest Fr. Roy Bourgeois in 1990,  is an independent organization that seeks to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas, under whatever name it is called, through vigils and fasts, demonstrations and nonviolent protest, as well as media and legislative work.

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The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Venezuela, Kim Scipes, Counterpunch

  • The NED and its institutes continue to actively fund projects in Venezuela today. In other words, NED and its institutes are not active in Venezuela to help promote democracy, as they claim, but in fact, to act against popular democracy in an effort to restore the rule of the elite, top-down democracy.
  • The Stealth Destabilizer
  • Tom Hayden discussing the crisis in Venezuela
  • Ukraine: Exploding The Myths, Outlining Solutions

Life on the Edge of Death (Graphic)

 

The real damage is done by those millions who want to 'survive.'

 

Gavin Aung Than, GoComics

 

 

Obama’s Ukrainian Power Grab, Sanctions and the Boomerang Effect

  • "Russia's defensive action in Crimea became the focus of media and Western government attacks.
  • "The Putin Admin can prepare a reciprocal set of counter-sanctions, confiscate Western investments, freeze financial assets, renege on debt payments and re-nationalize major industries ... "
  • US-Venezuela Relations: A Case Study of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism (Illustrated)
  • What the US Media Won't Tell You About Ukraine

James Petras, Axis of Logic

I%20Want%20You.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.

US-EU-Putin517x349.JPG Image: Axis of Logic

 

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 | In the biggest power grab since George Bush seized Eastern Europe and converted it into a NATO bastion confronting Russia, the Obama regime, together with the EU, financed and organized a violent putsch in the Ukraine which established a puppet regime in Kiev.[1]  In response the citizens of the autonomous Crimean region, fearing the onslaught of cultural and political repression, organized self-defense militia and pressured the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin to help protect them from armed incursions by the NATO-backed coup regime in Kiev.[2]  Russia responded to the Crimean appeal with promises of military assistance - effectively halting further Western absorption of the entire region.

Immediately following the proxy putsch the entire US-EU propaganda machine spun into high gear.[3]  The nature of the Western power grab of the Ukraine was ignored.  Russia’s defensive action in Crimea became the focus of media and Western government attacks.  Unconditional support for the for the violent seizure of the Ukraine by the US and EU-backed coup was broadcast by the West’s entire stable of journalistic hacks and accompanied by screeds calling for measures to destabilize the Russian Federation itself through a full-scale economic and diplomatic war.  The US and EU convoked meetings and press conferences calling for trade and investment sanctions.  Threats emerged from the White House and Brussels calling for a “freeze of Russian assets” in Western banks, if Moscow did not hand over the Crimea to the coup regime in Kiev.  Russian capitulation became the price of mending East-West ties.

James Petras, a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years.

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US-Venezuela Relations: A Case Study of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism (Illustrated), James Petras, Axis of Logic

/opposition_masked-243x180.jpg Terrorists killed at least 9 Chavistas on the day after Capriles Radonski lost the April 14 election to President Maduro.

 

  • Wednesday, October 23, 2013 | Introduction US relations with Venezuela illustrate the specific mechanisms with which an imperial power seeks to sustain client states and overthrow independent nationalist governments. By examining US strategic goals and its tactical measures, we can set forth several propositions about (1) the nature and instruments of imperial politics, (2) the shifting context and contingencies influencing the successes and failures of specific policies, and (3) the importance of regional and global political alignments and priorities.[1]
  • Method of Analysis A comparative historical approach highlights the different policies, contexts and outcomes of imperial policies during two distinct Presidential periods: the ascendancy of neo-liberal client regimes (Perez and Caldera) of the late 1980’s to 1998; and the rise and consolidation of a nationalist populist government under President Chavez (1999-2012).[2]

 

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What the US Media Won't Tell You About Ukraine, Ted RallCommon Dreams

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CIA caught spying on US Senate

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  • The revelations of CIA spying on Congress underscore the fact that America is run by an unelected, unaccountable military/intelligence apparatus. It is this apparatus, in conjunction with the corporate-financial elite, that dictates official policy in Washington, irrespective of which political party is in power.
  • Senators Okay With Spying On Citizens, But Outraged It Happened To Congress

Tom Carter, World Socialist Website

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenberg

one-nation-under-surveillance.jpg 10 March 2014 | Over the past several days, it has emerged that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been illegally spying on the US Senate Intelligence Committee—the very legislative body that is charged with overseeing and regulating the agency—in flagrant violation of legality and the constitutional separation of powers.

Among the basic conceptions of the revolutionaries who created the American system of government was the conviction that the natural trajectory of government, left unchecked, was toward executive tyranny. To combat this tendency, the Founders designed a system in which state power was divided among separate branches of government. The separate branches, under a system of “checks and balances,” were meant to limit the powers of the other branches. Legislative oversight of federal agencies, including intelligence agencies, is one historical outgrowth of this conception.Snooping%20Bill.jpg

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Senators Okay With Spying On Citizens, But Outraged It Happened To Congress, Sabrina Siddiqui, Huffington Post

  • 03/11/2014 | Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a staunch defender of government surveillance of ordinary citizens, took to the Senate floor Tuesday with the stunning accusation that the Central Intelligence Agency may have violated federal law to spy on Congress.
  • Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, railed against the CIA for compromising the legislative branch's oversight role -- a theme echoed by many of her Senate colleagues throughout the day. The outrage was palpable among lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and some suggested CIA Director John Brennan should resign if the allegations are true. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has stuck up for intelligence agencies in the past, declared a potential war.
  • Sabrina Siddiqui is a politics reporter at Huffington Post.

Paul Ryan’s worthless attempt to save face: Why he’s still an overrated fraud

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  • From Ayn Rand to Charles Murray, he thinks the rich deserve their wealth and the poor are to blame for their misery
  • “Hi, I’m right here”: An open letter to Paul Ryan about poverty and empathy
  • Paul Ryan’s worst nightmare: Here’s the real way to cut poverty in America

Joan Walsh, Salon

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Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 | Beltway writers have recently tried to outdo themselves with breathless profiles of a “new” Paul Ryan, deeply concerned about the poor. I’ve warned repeatedly that Ryan’s views on poverty are just warmed-over Reaganism, and now we have proof. McKay Coppins’ piece “Paul Ryan Finds God” should have revealed that his God is no longer Ayn Rand but Charles Murray, the man who put a patina of (flawed) social science on Reagan’s lyrical lie, “We fought a war on poverty, and poverty won.”

But let me explain all of what it means to cite Charles Murray in 2014. Murray is so toxic that Ryan’s shout-out must be unpacked. First, Rep. Barbara Lee is absolutely right: Ryan’s comments about “inner city” men who are “not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work” are, in fact, “a thinly veiled racial attack,” in the congresswoman’s words. “Let’s be clear, when Mr. Ryan says ‘inner city,’ when he says, ‘culture,’ these are simply code words for what he really means: ‘black.’”

Joan Walsh is Salon's editor at large and the author of "What's the Matter With White People: Finding Our Way in the Next America."

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Related:

“Hi, I’m right here”: An open letter to Paul Ryan about poverty and empathy, Karen Weese, Salon

Monday, Mar 10, 2014 | We need to change the conversation about poverty and inequality. It starts with compassion and kindness

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The Real Welfare Queens, David Sirota, In These Times

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  • Most of the political rhetoric about dependency is punitively aimed at the poor. That’s because, unlike the huge corporations receiving all those subsidies, the poor don’t have armies of lobbyists and truckloads of campaign contributions.
  • A new report shows corporations like Koch Industries have gotten billions in government subsidies.
  • Series | Are Polluting Mining Corporations like PolyMet Sociopathic?, Part II
  • Series | Are Polluting Mining Corporations like PolyMet Sociopathic?, Part I
  • Duluth doctors: PolyMet study skips health impacts

 

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Paul Ryan’s worst nightmare: Here’s the real way to cut poverty in America, Michael Lind, Salon

 

  • If you want to really reduce our nation's poverty, there's a simple way: Renounce libertarianism and start spending.
  • Paul Ryan’s worthless attempt to save face: Why he’s still an overrated fraud

 

Series | Minimum Wage: Part 2, Minnesota’s troubled past with the minimum wage: from leader to outlier

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  • From the start, the minimum wage debate was about women.  
  • MinnPost Series | Minimum Wage: Part 1, How taxpayers subsidize low-wage workers

Briana Bierschbach, MinnPost

MachineShopWorkers1943_640.jpg Two women working in a Minnesota machine shop in 1943. Courtesy of the Minnesota History Center

This is one in a series of articles funded by a grant from the Northwest Area Foundation.

02/06/14 | Ray Faricy never shied away from a controversy. During the 1973 legislative session, the Democratic state representative from St. Paul pushed for tougher handgun control, an equal rights amendment and a ban on abortion in the state’s constitution. He also resolved to establish the first-ever statewide minimum wage in Minnesota.

Constituents flooded his office with letters of outrage over the wage proposal. Some were handwritten and some typed – many of them are tucked away in his files in the Minnesota Historical Society.

files/MinimumWage300.png   Briana Bierschbach reports on public affairs, higher education, politics and other important topics and issues in the news. 

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Series | Minimum Wage: Part 1, How taxpayers subsidize low-wage workers, Steven Dornfeld, MinnPost

When consumers step up to the counter and order one of McDonald’s “Extra Value” meals, they probably think they’re getting a good deal. Most of them never consider how much they are paying in taxes to subsidize the labor force preparing and serving those meals.

 

 
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