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Bill Clinton says Democratic presidents top Republican presidents in job creation

Bill Clinton says Democratic presidents top Republican presidents in job creation | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
Are Democratic presidents better than Republican presidents at job creation? Former President Bill Clinton said so -- forcefully -- in his speech to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.


[To be fair: we need to go where facts take us... -MC]

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The Middle Ground
The Place For Transpartisan Politics, Where We Invite You To Be Wise, Be Strong, and Be Heard!
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The Supreme Court’s baffling tech illiteracy is becoming a big problem

The Supreme Court’s baffling tech illiteracy is becoming a big problem | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
If one thing was clear from decisions handed down this week, it's that SCOTUS is clueless on technology
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Coffee Party USA's curator insight, June 28, 9:11 AM

Granted, the justices are behind the times. Twenty-first century technology has come to the Court, but the Court hasn’t come to the twenty-first century. Justices still communicate by handwritten notes instead of email. The courthouse got its first photocopying machine in 1969, six decades after the machine was invented. Oral arguments were first tape-recorded in 1955, nearly a hundred years after the first sound recording. At those arguments, blog reporters are denied press passes, tweeting is verboten, and justices thumb through hard copies of court documents. At the Supreme Court, every day is Throwback Thursday.


This might explain why the majority of Americans oppose life tenure for Supreme Court justices. Life tenure shields judicial independence and pays homage to the Founding Fathers’ vision. At the time the Constitution was written, however, the average life expectancy was about 40 years. (Or 60 years if controlled for infant mortality.) Today, it’s nearly twice as long. Clearly, life tenure meant something different for the founding generation.


Read more at

http://www.salon.com/2014/06/28/the_supreme_courts_baffling_tech_illiteracy_is_becoming_a_big_problem/


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Calling MayDay on Democracy, Super PAC Powered By Citizens Vows to #GetMoneyOut

Calling MayDay on Democracy, Super PAC Powered By Citizens Vows to #GetMoneyOut | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
Our democracy is held hostage by the funders of campaigns.

 

Fri, 6/20/2014 - by Eleanor Goldfield

 

Super PACs spent $567,498,628 on the 2012 elections. About half of that was used on the presidential election. You may have seen that half-billion-dollar number thrown around or heard the mention of Super PACs – but what does a Super PAC really do?


See more at:

http://www.occupy.com/article/calling-mayday-democracy-super-pac-powered-citizens-vows-getmoneyout#sthash.wH52Bp8l.dpuf


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Campaign-Finance Reform Has to Be Cross-Partisan

Campaign-Finance Reform Has to Be Cross-Partisan | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
Democrats love to talk about cutting the influence of money in politics, but are they actually any more eager to fix it than Republicans?

 

LAWRENCE LESSIG JUN 18 2014, 10:43 AM ET


The vast majority of Americans—more than 90 percent in recent polls—believe it “important” to “reduce the influence of money in politics.” But is the business model of the reformers actually consistent with winning reform?

 

This is the fair but hard question raised by the strategy planned by Senate Democrats this summer to force a vote on New Mexico Senator Tom Udall’s proposed constitutional amendment to give Congress the power “to regulate the raising and spending of money” in elections. Forty-three Senate Democrats have cosponsored the resolution. Zero Republicans have. Zero is the same number of Republicans who have joined any of the proposed constitutional amendments now floating about in Congress to, as they are described, “reverse Citizens United.” Constitutional reform to give Congress the power to further regulate campaign cash is the exclusive domain of the Democrats (excepting, of course, the ACLU Democrats; the ACLU opposes such amendments).

 

Read more at 

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/06/campaign-finance-reform-has-to-be-cross-partisan/372983/

 


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Reform.to: Know Who Is and Who Isn't Against Corruption

Reform.to tracks members of Congress as well as candidates, and highlights their support for specific legislative and constitutional reforms aimed at fighting the corrupting influence of money in politics.
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I'm chatting live with Larry Lessig Thursday at 9pm

I'm chatting live with Larry Lessig Thursday at 9pm | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
Join me - https://mayday.us/calltime/

 

On Thursday, June 19th, you’re invited to join Lessig and MAYDAY.US supporters for an update on our movement. 

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Coffee Party USA's curator insight, June 18, 8:16 PM

In case you haven't heard, MayDay is....


A Crowdfunded, Kickstarted SuperPAC to end all SuperPACs.

WE CAN DO THIS!


You really need to join this movement and pledge your support.


Watch the video and learn more at

https://mayday.us/


- Greg R., Coffee Party News Curator


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This is corruption.

This is corruption. | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
Political spending can only be limited if it gives rise to corruption or the appearance thereof. Which raises the question, what does corruption look like?

 

Money corrupts our government and that corrupts everything else - the environment, the economy, our health, and our freedoms.

 

You can ignore these realities, or you can educate yourself about them. 

 

Visit http://thisiscorruption.com/

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MAYDAY: Democracy needs an upgrade. Act now.

MAYDAY: Democracy needs an upgrade. Act now. | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
Money has corrupted politics. We’re kickstarting a political experiment big enough to win a Congress committed to fundamental reform -- Join us!

 

Government has failed us.And more than 90% of Americans link that failure to the influence of money in politics.

Yet the politicians do not talk about this influence. While our democracy decays, they spend endless time with their funders.

These funders hold our democracy hostage. We want to pay the ransom and get it back.

We’re kickstarting a SuperPAC big enough to make it possible to win a Congress committed to fundamental reform by 2016.

We will set goals. We only keep the funds you pledge if we hit our goals. Unless there’s enough to make a difference, you don’t pay. And we’re committed to securing a match for every goal.

For 2014, our goal is to raise $12 million and use it to make fundamental reform the key issue in five congressional races. And we’ll apply what we learn then to 2016.

 

Learn more, make a pledge, and even start your own pledge page from

https://mayday.us/

 

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A lifetime ban on lobbying for lawmakers?

A lifetime ban on lobbying for lawmakers? | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
New legislation targeting members of Congress would do just that.

 

By Cristina Marcos


Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) on Tuesday introduced legislation to prevent members of Congress from becoming lobbyists after they retire.

 

Current law allows senators to become lobbyists two years after leaving office, while House members only have to wait for a year. But Bennet and Tester's bill would institute a lifetime ban on lobbying for lawmakers.



Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/208104-bill-would-bar-lawmakers-from-becoming-lobbyists-for-life#ixzz33j3iTFbL 
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

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Obamacare Weighing Less on Hiring Plans

Obamacare Weighing Less on Hiring Plans | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
The effects of the Affordable Care Act may be weighing less heavily on the hiring plans of U.S. privately held companies this year, according to a survey of accountants who work with small businesses.

 

BY: MICHAEL COHN
MAY 28, 2014
 

The financial information company Sageworks found that slightly more than half of accountants working with privately held businesses said that the ACA is making it less likely that their clients will hire in the next 12 months. That is a smaller percentage than Sageworks found in a previous survey it conducted last summer in which two-thirds of the respondents said the ACA was making it less likely that private companies would hire in the year ahead.

In addition, a slightly larger percentage this year predicted the ACA would have no impact on hiring in the next year. Of the more than 500 firms surveyed in April and May of this year, 19 percent foresaw no impact on hiring, 20 percent were unsure and 5 percent noted that the implementation of the ACA will lead to more hiring in the next 12 months.

Unless there are further delays, the employer mandate requiring employers with over 50 full-time employees to provide health insurance to full-time workers is scheduled to begin in 2015 for businesses with more than 100 employees and in 2016 for businesses with 50 to 99 employees.

“Private companies in the United States are continuing to grow at a healthy rate, and while planning for the Affordable Care Act is still impacting many businesses’ plans for hiring, it is causing significantly fewer businesses to slow hiring in the coming year in comparison to last year, which is positive," said Sageworks chairman Brian Hamilton in a statement.

 

Read more at

http://eba.benefitnews.com/health-insurance-exchange/news/obamacare-weighing-less-on-hiring-plans-2741808-1.html

 

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Americans' Confidence in Television News Drops to New Low

Americans' Confidence in Television News Drops to New Low | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
A record-low 21% of Americans express a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in television news. Confidence among liberals and moderates has fallen significantly and is now similar to that of conservatives.
Coffee Party USA's insight:

Gallup poll from July, 2012, but seemingly still the case and still the trend.


Do something about it.


Become a part of the Coffee Party USA "BE THE MEDIA" team by signing up as volunteer at

 

http://www.coffeepartyusa.com/volunteer


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Voters Guide for May 20th Primary | Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania

Voters Guide for May 20th Primary | Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
On May 20th Democrats have a competitive primary.

 

On May 20th Democrats have a competitive primary. Check here to see where Democratic gubernatorial candidates stand on key environmental issues.


Make a plan to vote tomorrow, May 20. Find your polling place here. Then tell your friends to vote too!

 

Share this page with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter. Here is a sample post:


Tomorrow is election day! Here’s a handy guide to the gov. candidates’ enviro positions. Remember to vote! #May20 http://bit.ly/1p5CSLH


http://www.conservationpa.org/primary2014/

 

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Beating the Koch brothers

Beating the Koch brothers | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
The fight behind Citizen Koch, the documentary that the Koch brothers crushed... almost.
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Forget fast lanes. The real threat for net-neutrality is zero-rated content

Forget fast lanes. The real threat for net-neutrality is zero-rated content | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
When telcos zero-rate data used by their apps and their partners’ apps, they are engaging in price discrimination and threatening net neutrality. The practice should be banned in U.S. and Europe.

 

by Antonios Drossos, Rewheel

 

APR. 26, 2014 - 10:30 AM PDT
 

The net-neutrality provisions adopted by the European Parliament earlier this monthruled that specialized services like “fast lanes” can’t be used by telcos to the detriment of the availability or quality of internet access services. On the other side of the Atlantic, Americans are less fortunate. The FCC said this week that it would propose new rules that allow companies like Disney, Google or Netflix to pay internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon for special, faster lanes to send video and other content to their customers.

 

This is the price the U.S. pays for delegating such crucial policy decisions to an unelected ex-lobbyist rather than delegating to Congress. Meanwhile, the open internet isn’t safe yet in Europe: The Council hasn’t spoken and the devil is in the details.

 

Read more at

http://gigaom.com/2014/04/26/forget-fast-lanes-the-real-threat-for-net-neutrality-is-zero-rated-mobile-traffic/

 

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The Plan To Take Our Democracy Back - YouTube

Professor Lawrence Lessig goes over the problem - and the plan to solve it - on more time in this video provided by Purpose.com.
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Coffee Party USA's curator insight, June 25, 7:25 PM

From the web site:

We are a crowdfunded Super PAC to end all Super PACs.

Ironic? Yes. Embrace the irony.


We’re kickstarting a Super PAC big enough to make it possible to win a Congress committed to fundamental reform by 2016. We set fundraising goals and then crowdfund those goals.


We only keep your pledge if we hit our goal.

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Frustration rises over undocumented minors

Frustration rises over undocumented minors | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
The 2007 influx of undocumented immigrants crossing the border led to the Arizona stop-and-frisk law. What will be the outcome of 2014 surge of unaccompanied minors? Eric Byler, filmmaker and director of “9500 Liberty,” joins Krystal Ball to discuss.
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Greenhouse: Some are Red. Some are Blue. ALL ARE GREEN!

Greenhouse: Some are Red. Some are Blue. ALL ARE GREEN! | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
Install and use Greenhouse, a free browser extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox that exposes the role money plays in Congress. Provides transparency by putting vital data about political contributions where it’s most relevant. Discover the real impact of money on our political system.

 

Some are red. Some are blue. All are green.

 

A free browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari that exposes the role money plays in Congress. Displays on any web page detailed campaign contribution data for every Senator and Representative, including total amount received and breakdown by industry and by size of donation. Puts vital data where it’s most relevant so you can discover the real impact of money on our political system.

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Carnegie Mellon Student Gives a Lift to Lessig's Ideas

Carnegie Mellon Student Gives a Lift to Lessig's Ideas | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
Lawrence Lessig is one of the most astute systems thinkers on the planet. Carnegie Mellon student Jordan Harrison decided to help bring Lessig's ideas alive visually, with this video.
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Eli Levine's curator insight, June 19, 9:12 PM

No duh!

 

And yet the ideologues and conservatives see nothing wrong with it and actively encourage it!

 

Worth spreading.

 

Idiots....

 

Think about it!

Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, June 25, 9:33 PM
I agree with the idea that Lessig is one the most astute systems thinkers on the planet. Take a minute to look over the visualizations created by student, Jordan Harrison of Lessig's ideas.
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Common Cause Hails Senate Subcommittee Vote for Constitutional Amendment Permitting Common Sense Limits on Political Spending

Common Cause Hails Senate Subcommittee Vote for Constitutional Amendment Permitting Common Sense Limits on Political Spending | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it

June 18, 2014

Today’s Senate subcommittee endorsement of a constitutional amendment permitting common-sense limits on campaign spending “is an important step toward putting voters back at the center of our elections,” said Common Cause President Miles Rapoport.

 

http://www.commoncause.org/press/press-releases/senate-subctte-amendment-vote.html

 

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Coffee Party USA's curator insight, June 18, 7:53 PM

Look at who sits on this subcommittee and see if you can guess how the 5-4 vote went.

- Greg R. Coffee Party News Curator

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Did Democratic Voters Defeat Eric Cantor? Probably Not

Did Democratic Voters Defeat Eric Cantor? Probably Not | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
Turnout was heavy in some Democratic areas, but David Brat’s margin of victory came primarily from the more Republican parts of the district.
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Full Show: How Tax Reform Can Save the Middle Class | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com

Full Show: How Tax Reform Can Save the Middle Class | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it

June 6, 2014

 

In part two of his interview, economist Joseph E. Stiglitz says corporate tax abuse has helped make America unequal and undemocratic. But the Nobel Prize-winner has a plan to change that. Watch part one of Bill's interview with Stiglitz »

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Activist Post: Anti-NDAA "Take Back Concert Tour" Comes to Albany, New York June 7th

Activist Post: Anti-NDAA "Take Back Concert Tour" Comes to Albany, New York June 7th | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it

After a successful fund raising campaign by People Against the NDAA, the only Anti-NDAA/NDAA Resistance Concert series in the nation is coming to Albany, NY this weekend, on June 7th!

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Beating the odds: Why one bill made it through a gridlocked Congress — and so many don't

Beating the odds: Why one bill made it through a gridlocked Congress — and so many don't | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
Here's what Schoolhouse Rock left out.

 

by Andrew Prokop on May 22, 2014

 

Thousands of bills are introduced during each Congress. Vanishingly few of them end up becoming law — fewer each year, as Congressional gridlock anddysfunction worsen. Out of 7,207 bills and joint resolutions introduced during this Congress, only 103 have become law — fewer, by this point, than in any other Congress since at least the 1970s.

 

Read more at

http://www.vox.com/2014/5/22/5723878/how-a-bill-becomes-a-law-in-2014

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Colorado governor signs nation's first ‘Right to Try’ bill into law

Colorado governor signs nation's first ‘Right to Try’ bill into law | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it
The state of Colorado has signed a law giving terminally ill patients the right to use experimental drugs. Governor John Hickenlooper signed the 'Right to Try' bill into law in Fort Collins.


Published time: May 18, 2014 22:59

The state of Colorado has signed a law giving terminally ill patients the right to use experimental drugs. Governor John Hickenlooper signed the 'Right to Try' bill into law in Fort Collins.

It’s a proposal being advanced in several states by patient advocates who are frustrated by the amount of time the federal approval process takes for experimental drugs in the pipeline. Missouri and Louisiana also passed similar legislation recently. 

The bill's co-sponsor, Democratic State Rep. Joann Ginall, was absent from the signing ceremony in order to tend to her older brother, Tom, who is suffering from a rare blood cancer. “For people who are facing death and have one last hope, they should have a choice to try every possible drug,” Ginall stated.


Read more at

http://rt.com/usa/159828-colorado-right-try-bill/


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Watch now: Why Poverty? | Park Avenue: Money, Power & the American Dream | PBS Video

A point-of-view film by Alex Gibney

 

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) presents his take on the gap between rich and poor Americans in Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream. Gibney contends that America's richest citizens have "rigged the game in their favor," and created unprecedented inequality in the United States.

 

Watch the documentary at

http://video.pbs.org/video/2296684923/

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Harry Reid backs campaign spending amendment

Harry Reid backs campaign spending amendment | The Middle Ground | Scoop.it

By BURGESS EVERETT | 5/15/14 10:37 AM EDT Updated: 5/15/14 2:32 PM EDT

 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wholeheartedly endorsed a constitutional amendment to limit campaign spending on Thursday, putting the Senate on course to vote on the matter as early as July.

Reid said that the Senate Judiciary Committee will take up the amendment on June 3, which allows Congress and the states to limit fundraising and spending on federal campaigns and gives lawmakers the ability to regulate outside groups. From there, the amendment will go to the Senate floor, where it has little chance of passing due to broad GOP opposition to meddling with campaign finance laws.


Read more at

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/harry-reid-endorse-campaign-spending-limit-106716.html


.

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