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Sitting Atop Trillions: What Would Business Do with Another Tax Break?

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  • Business already has plenty of cash, and if you look at what corporate America is actually doing with this money, it’s not pretty.
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  • Obama and his advisers, weirdly, believe that his stance as "the only grownup in the room" who forces his own party to abandon its core principles for the sake of an austerity program will somehow win the gratitude of voters struggling with declining incomes and rising joblessness. Robert Kuttner
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  • Not only is corporate America using cash to fill space in bank boxes and stuff speculative mattresses overseas, they have decided to use some of it to pad the salaries of their CEOs. In 2010, the S&P 500 companies paid their CEOs an average of $11.4 million—an increase in CEO total compensation by 23 percent! This collective raise could have hired nearly 32,000 median earning workers instead (or 63 workers per company). Joseph Dwyer
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This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

Joseph T. Dwyer, Policy Shop

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

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Conservatives routinely declare that businesses can’t hire anyone because tax burdens are too high (or "uncertain"—the bête noir of the day) and the way to create jobs is to give business more money. Among other things, corporations have launched a new campaign in Washington for a tax repatriation holiday that would allow businesses to bring home as much as $1 trillion in offshore profits at a very low-tax rate, cash they say could be used to create jobs and boost the economy.

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But business already has plenty of cash, and if you look at what corporate America is actually doing with this money, it’s not pretty.

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In 2010, businesses in the U.S. were sitting on $2 trillion in cash (a record high percentage of assets) and when we look at the global picture we see that the top 1,000 non-financial companies in the world are still sitting on more than $3.4 trillion in cash. In case you were wondering what happens with that cash, it won't create jobs—investments do and investments don't happen without consumer demand. Thus, giving business more money right now only leads to bigger numbers in checking accounts, not jobs.

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Ralph Nader Is Tired of Running for President

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  • If we do not sever ourselves from established systems of power, if we do not become in every action we undertake agents of rebellion, then the ecological, economic and, finally, human distortions that arise in times of confusion, suffering and collapse will overwhelm us.
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  • The left has lost its nerve and its direction.
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Chris Hedges, TruthDig

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The most important moral and intellectual voices within a disintegrating society are slowly discredited when their nonviolent protests and calls for justice cannot alter intransigent and corrupt systems of power. The repeated acts of peaceful civil disobedience, efforts at electoral and political reform and the fight to protect the rule of law are dismissed as useless by an embittered, dispossessed and betrayed public. The demagogues and hatemongers, the purveyors of violence, easily seduce enraged and bewildered masses in the final stages of collapse with false promises of vengeance, new glory and moral renewal. And, in the spiral downward, the good among us are reviled as naive and ineffectual fools.

There is no shortage of courageous dissidents in America. They seek to thwart the imperial disasters, looming financial insolvency and suicidal addiction to fossil fuel. They have stood in small knots on street corners week after week, month after month, year after year, to denounce the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have occupied banks, shut down coal-fired power plants, attempted to halt mountaintop removal, interfered with whaling ships and walked in blustery weather to the White House, where they were arrested. They are struggling to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza on a ship called the Audacity of Hope. But because the corporate state and the two major political parties are indifferent to principled calls for reform, and because the mass of the public still buys into the myths of globalization and the American dream, the plundering and destruction continue unimpeded.

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The left has lost its nerve and its direction, Chris Hedges,
If the left wants to regain influence in the nation's political life, it must be willing to walk away from the Democratic Party, even if Barack Obama is the nominee, and back progressive, third-party candidates until the Democrats feel enough heat to adopt our agenda. We must be willing to say no. If not, we become slaves.
http://evergreenedigest.org/node/377

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The Backfire Effect: Why Showing People the Truth Sometimes Makes Them Believe BS Even More

As information technology progresses, the behaviors you are most likely to engage in when it comes to belief, dogma, politics and ideology seem to remain fixed. In a world blossoming with new knowledge, burgeoning with scientific insights into every element of the human experience, like most people, you still pick and choose what to accept even when it comes out of a lab and is based on 100 years of research.

David McRaney, OpEdNews.com

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

The Misconception: When your beliefs are challenged with facts, you alter your opinions and incorporate the new information into your thinking.

The Truth: When your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your beliefs get stronger.

Wired, New York Times, Backyard Poultry Magazine -- they all do it. Sometimes, they screw up and get the facts wrong. In ink or in electrons, a reputable news source takes the time to say "my bad."
If you are in the news business and want to maintain your reputation for accuracy, you publish corrections. For most topics this works just fine, but what most news organizations don't realize is a correction can further push readers away from the facts if the issue at hand is close to the heart. In fact, those pithy blurbs hidden on a deep page in every newspaper point to one of the most powerful forces shaping the way you think, feel and decide -- a behavior keeping you from accepting the truth.

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The Fraud of Voter ID Laws

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  • Voting irregularities? There may be ballot box stuffing, electronic voter machine hacking, and list manipulation. Voter ID laws, however, don't address these problems.
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  • Voter suppression in Minnesota
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Amanda Terkel, American Prospect Magazine

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RJ Matson

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Everything was supposed to change after Bush v. Gore. Never again would the outcome of a presidential election be left in the hands of nine Supreme Court justices who issued their opinion amid nation-wide questions of "hanging chads" and "butterfly ballots." In its opinion, the court said it anticipated "legislative bodies nationwide" would "examine ways to improve the mechanisms and machinery for voting" in order to avoid a repeat of the 2000 recount disaster.

Seven years later, however, local, state, and federal governments have failed to fix these flawed voting "mechanisms," leaving the country with low-quality voter registration databases and inadequate safeguards for maintaining voter rolls. It takes a hacker just one minute to break into an electronic voting machine.

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Voter suppression in Minnesota, Kat Barr, MoveOn.org Political Action
This voter ID bill—opposed by the League of Women Voters Minnesota, AARP Minnesota, ACLU Minnesota, The Minnesota Star-Tribune, The St. Cloud Times, and most state Democratic officials—is part of a coordinated Republican effort in more than 20 states to pass similar laws in the run-up to the 2012 elections. Given that studies show a law like this could make it substantially harder for low-income people, students, seniors, and people of color to vote, it's no wonder Republicans are pushing it.

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Agency issues report on Arctic offshore drilling science 'gaps'

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  • Spill, climate data lacking
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  • The Sky Really Is Falling
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  • Creating public policy on fiction, fantasy, and fairy tales instead of facts
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Dan Joling, Associated Press/Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

Decision makers lack key scientific information on what effect oil and gas drilling would have in Arctic offshore waters, according to a report released Thursday that also acknowledges pro- and anti-development sides in the largely undeveloped region are unlikely to agree on what is a science "gap" and what is sufficient.

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The wide-ranging report listed specifics, such as the need for basic weather and oceanographic data that could be fed into models in case of a spill. A better understanding of climate change in the region most affected by warming is also needed. And a fundamental biology about ice-dependent species, such as ice seals and walrus, is also lacking, the report said, as is how they would react to industrial sounds.

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The Sky Really Is Falling, Chris Hedges, Truthdig

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  • “I’d like people to go to climatedirectaction.org and sign up,” author and environmental activist Bill McKibben said. “We are going to be issuing calls for people to be involved in civil disobedience. I’d like people to join in this campaign against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce."
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  • Krugman | Climate-change deniers can't handle the inconvenient truth
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  • Catastrophic Weather Events Are Becoming the New Normal
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  • Chomsky | The Dice Are Stacked Against Humanity
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Paving the Road to a Hungrier, Unhealthier, and Less-Educated Nation

Massive spending cuts will make the future bleaker for millions of Americans.

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Deborah Weinstein, OtherWords

The number of poor children had already grown by 2.1 million in 2009 over pre-recession levels, with continuing high joblessness among parents raising concerns that poverty will continue to worsen for some time. Since kids who spend more than half their childhood in poverty earn on average 39 percent less than median income as adults, we can expect lasting costs that will hurt the nation's future economic growth.
And yet, a majority of House lawmakers want to narrow the deficit by making things worse for today's kids.

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If House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's proposal takes effect, or the even more extreme House Republican Study Committee's budget plan prevails, the nation's economic future will inevitably get bleaker. Those proposals would reduce the food assistance, medical care, and education available to poor children. When children don't get adequate nutrition, research shows that they are more likely to suffer illnesses and hospitalizations. Poor health can trigger developmental problems that take a toll on school performance.

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Gimme that ol’ time religion

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“When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

Paul Richard Harris, Axis of Logic

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That phrase is often attributed to Sinclair Lewis, although it doesn’t appear in any of his writing, or any recorded interview. It might be a paraphrase of similar words from Huey Long, governor of Louisiana (1928-1932), and a US senator thereafter until his assassination in 1935. But anyone who has read Lewis’s books Elmer Gantry and It can’t happen here can easily believe the quote came from him.

Regardless of who wrote or said it, he or she couldn’t have been more prescient.

Most people in the West have bemoaned the rise of religious extremism in Muslim countries, largely because they haven’t been paying attention. Extremism throughout the Muslim world has a long history – we just didn’t hear about it much because no one in those countries flexed their muscles in a way that bothered us. Once they did, we suddenly realized there might be a problem. Some Westerners have started, then, to breathe a sigh of relief with the pro-democracy movement sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East, and stemming almost entirely from secular forces.

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They Thought They Were Free ~ Milton Mayer

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  • But Then It Was Too Late
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  • The Germans, 1933-45
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  • The End of America
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An excerpt, University of Chicago Press

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Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Mike Ferner for this contribution

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

"What no one seemed to notice," said a colleague of mine, a philologist, "was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know, it doesn’t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people’s government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is governing.

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"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

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The End of America, joevlogger78, YouTube

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  • We are all in danger. A police state control grid is being established in the United States. Now is the time for all lovers of liberty to stand together and speak out against the growing tyranny destroying our Republic. We WILL be victorious against the New World Order.
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  • The End of America? Naomi Wolf Thinks It Could Happen
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  • Naomi Wolf...she warned everyone, so few were listening.
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