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Women are full citizens with full rights; not political diversions.
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ALEC Rock

"ALEC Rock" Produced by Mark Fiore (http://www.markfiore.com), The ALEC Exposed Project (http://www.alecexposed.org) and Alliance for a Better Utah (http://b...
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Permission to Live: How I lost my fear of Universal Health Care

Permission to Live: How I lost my fear of Universal Health Care | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

When I moved to Canada in 2008, I was a die-hard conservative Republican. So when I found out that we were going to be covered by Canada’s Universal Health Care, I was somewhat disgusted. This meant we couldn’t choose our own health coverage, or even opt out if we wanted too. It also meant that abortion was covered by our taxes, something I had always believed was horrible. I believed based on my politics that government mandated health care was a violation of my freedom.


When I got pregnant shortly after moving, I was apprehensive. Would I even be able to have a home birth like I had experienced with my first 2 babies? Universal Health Care meant less choice right? So I would be forced to do whatever the medical system dictated regardless of my feelings, because of the government mandate. I even talked some of having my baby across the border in the US, where I could pay out of pocket for whatever birth I wanted. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that Midwives were not only covered by the Universal health care, they were encouraged! Even for hospital births. In Canada, Midwives and Dr's were both respected, and often worked together.

...


Fast forward a little past the Canadian births of my third and fourth babies. I had better prenatal care than I had ever had in the States. I came in regularly for appointments to check on my health and my babies’ health throughout my pregnancy, and I never had to worry about how much a test cost or how much the blood draw fee was. I didn't have to skip my ultrasound because of the expense. With my pregnancies in the States, I had limited my checkups to only a handful to keep costs down. When I went in to get the shot I needed because of my negative blood type, in Canada it was covered. In fact I got the recommended 2 doses instead of the more risky 1 dose because I didn’t have to worry about the expense. I had a wide array of options and flexibility when it came to my birth, and care providers that were more concerned with my health and the health of my baby than how much money they might make based on my birth, or what might impact their reputation best. When health care is universal, doctors are free to recommend and provide the best care for every patient instead of basing their care on what each patient can afford.

...


Since all of these benefits are available to everyone, I never heard Canadians talking about capping their incomes to remain lower income and not lose their government provided health coverage. Older people in Canada don't have to clean out their assets to qualify for some Medicare or Social Security programs, I knew older people who went in for procedure after procedure, and we never heard about dwindling resources, kids paying for their parents medical expenses, or being forced to use up life insurance or funeral savings in order to get the health care they needed. I heard of inheritances being left even amongst the middle classes. Something I had only heard about in wealthy families in the USA.


And lest you think that the Canada system is draining the government resources, their budget is very close to balanced every year. They’ve had these programs for decades. Last year Canada’s national debt was 586 billion dollars, the USA has 15.5 trillion dollars in national debt. Canada has about one 10th the population of the US, so even accounting for size, the USA is almost 3 times more indebted. And lest you think that taxes are astronomical, our median income taxes each year were only slightly higher than they had been in the States, and we still got a large chunk of it back each year at tax time.


In the end, I don't see Universal health care as an evil thing anymore.
Comparing the two systems, which one better values the life of each person?

Which system is truly more family friendly?

[Read More.]

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Senator Richard J Durbin, Senator Mark Kirk, Rep. Bobby Rush: Pass the Human Traffic Protection Act

Senator Richard J Durbin, Senator Mark Kirk, Rep. Bobby Rush: Pass the Human Traffic Protection Act | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

Change.Org


Human trafficking is a broad term that refers to the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons by means of threat or force or other forms of coercion, deception, or the abuse of power against a person of vulnerability for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation includes prostitution, other forms of sexual exploitation and forced labor comparable to slavery. Human trafficking is an organized criminal industry that affects every nation. The statistics can seem overwhelming, but please don't just see a bunch of statistics and remember that every number represents a human being whose life is being taken away. Human trafficking is the second largest global organized crime today, generating approximately $31.6 billion each year. Specifically, trafficking for sexual exploitation generates $27.8 billion per year. There are 1.39 million victims of commercial sexual servitude worldwide. The U. S. Department of Justice estimates that there are 200,000 U. S. citizens, mainly children and young women, who are at high risk of being trafficked throughout the U. S. for sexual purposes. I encourage everyone reading this to support a new Senate Bill 1301 and House Resolution 2830 titled “Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2011″ by contacting their local government officials. Abraham Lincoln said, “An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere”. Any woman, girl, or boy can be kidnapped and forced into human trafficking. Imagine your daughters, sons, mothers, wives, sisters, friends, coworkers, and neighbors, yes anyone. We need to take action by volunteering our time, money, and pressing our government official to pass laws to punish this crime!


[THE PETITION]

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Women's Health Takes Another Hit

Women's Health Takes Another Hit | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by BRYCE COVERT,

The Nation via NPR


Since the Supreme Court ruled the federal government could not force states to accept a Medicaid expansion, Republican governors have been lining up to reject the initiative for their states.


Last week I calculated that more than 4 million women could be left uninsured if their governors decide to opt out of expanding Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act, as many of them are indicating. But there are subsets within that number that are particularly vulnerable and who were expecting the most help from the ACA. Low-income women who are nearing retirement age could really feel the squeeze, just at a time when they should be focused on storing away money for a comfortable retirement.


[MORE]

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US Senate Hearing on Overturning Citizens United

US Senate Hearing on Overturning Citizens United | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

LIVE WEBCAST


In support of today's first ever Senate Hearing on Citizens United, concerned citizens will deliver at least 1,959,063 signatures calling for overturning Citizens United and related cases by amending the Constitution.


The petitions were gathered in support of hearings held by the Constitution Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee to examine the impact of unlimited, often anonymous spending to influence election results, and the need for constitutional remedies to restore the democratic promise of America. The people whose names appear on these petitions reflect the deep-seated public concern about the state of our democracy and the growing grassroots movement to restore government, of, by, and for the people. [MORE]

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Margaret Reeve Panahi's comment, July 25, 2012 9:32 PM
He is an honorable senator.
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Sally Ride, American Hero: This Is What a Lesbian Looks Like

Sally Ride, American Hero: This Is What a Lesbian Looks Like | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by MICHELANGELO SIGNORILE, Huffington Post


This is what a lesbian looks like: Sally Ride: physicist; author of seven science books for children; member of the space shuttle Challenger crew; member of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology; director of the California Science Institute; inductee into the National Women's Hall of Fame, the California Hall of Fame, the Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Astronaut Hall of Fame; recipient of the Jefferson Award for Public Service, the von Braun Award, the Lindbergh Eagle, the NCAA's Theodore Roosevelt Award, and the NASA Space Flight Medal (twice).


But no, discrimination is not an American success story, nor is there anything "great" about it. Sally Ride -- astronaut, pioneer, teacher, writer and devoted lesbian partner for 27 years -- now there's a great American success story.


[MORE]

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Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by Mimi Swartz, Texas Monthly


In 2011 the Legislature slashed family planning funds, passed a new sonogram law, and waged an all-out war on Planned Parenthood that has dramatically shifted the state’s public health priorities.


THERE ARE things about women that most men would just as soon never discuss. The stirrups in a gynecologist’s office, for one; the tampon aisle at the grocery store, for another; and pretty much any matter involving words like “cervix,” “uterus,” and “vagina.” At least, that’s how it was until March 2, 2011. Back in January of the same year, at the start of that legislative session, Governor Rick Perry had pushed as an emergency item a bill requiring all women seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound 24 hours beforehand. As Sid Miller, the legislator who sponsored the bill in the House, put it, “We want to make sure she knows what she is doing.”

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Lawrence Lessig will testify tomorrow 7/24 in a US Senate hearing about overturning "Citizens United"

Lawrence Lessig will testify tomorrow 7/24 in a US Senate hearing about overturning "Citizens United" | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

Lawrence Lessig, Buddy Roemer, and three Senators are testifying at a US Senate hearing tomorrow to consider overturning Citizens United with a Constitutional amendment. The hearing is at 02:30 PM in Hart 216. Hart is the Senate building at Constitution Avenue, C Street, First Street, and Second Street N.E., in Washington, DC 20002.  [MORE]


Via Daniel Mayeda, Michael Charney, Eric Byler
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Last Chance to sign the petition to End Citizens United before Tuesday's Hearing!

Last Chance to sign the petition to End Citizens United before Tuesday's Hearing! | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

PETITION: I support, and I ask the United States Senate to support, a Constitutional amendment to overturn "Citizens United," preserve the integrity of our elections, and protect our right to self-governance.


At the risk of repeating ourselves, today is your last chance to sign the petition HERE



Coffee Party leaders Annabel Park and Will Rice will be there. Lawrence Lessig and Buddy Roemer are testifying at the hearing. Your agreement by signature can be there, too.


This petition will be delivered to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday July 24, along with petitions from many other good government organizations.

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The U.S. Economic Policy Debate Is a Sham

The U.S. Economic Policy Debate Is a Sham | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, Bloomberg


Watching Democrats and Republicans hash out their differences in the public arena, it’s easy to get the impression that there’s a deep disagreement among reasonable people about how to manage the U.S. economy.


Nothing could be further from the truth.


In reality, there’s remarkable consensus among mainstream economists, including those from the left and right, on most major macroeconomic issues. The debate in Washington about economic policy is phony. It’s manufactured. And it’s entirely political.


Let’s start with Obama’s stimulus. The standard Republican talking point is that it failed, meaning it didn’t reduce unemployment. Yet in a survey of leading economists conducted by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, 92 percent agreed that the stimulus succeeded in reducing the jobless rate. On the harder question of whether the benefit exceeded the cost, more than half thought it did, one in three was uncertain, and fewer than one in six disagreed.


Or consider the widely despised bank bailouts. Populist politicians on both sides have taken to pounding the table against them (in many cases, only after voting for them). But while the public may not like them, there’s a striking consensus that they helped: The same survey found no economists willing to dispute the idea that the bailouts lowered unemployment.


No Support


Do you remember the Republican concern that Obama had somehow caused gas prices to rise, a development that Newt Gingrich promised to reverse? There’s simply no support among economists for this view. They unanimously agreed that “market factors,” rather than energy policy, have driven changes in gas prices.


How about the oft-cited Republican claim that tax cuts will boost the economy so much that they will pay for themselves? It’s an idea born as a sketch on a restaurant napkin by conservative economist Art Laffer. Perhaps when the top tax rate was 91 percent, the idea was plausible. Today, it’s a fantasy. The Booth poll couldn’t find a single economist who believed that cutting taxes today will lead to higher government revenue -- even if we lower only the top tax rate.
The consensus isn’t the result of a faux poll of left-wing ideologues. Rather, the findings come from the Economic Experts Panel run by Booth’s Initiative on Global Markets. It’s a recurring survey of about 40 economists from around the U.S. It includes Democrats, Republicans and independent academics from the top economics departments in the country. The only things that unite them are their first-rate credentials and their interest in public policy.


Let’s be clear about what the economists’ remarkable consensus means. They aren’t purporting to know all the right answers. Rather, they agree on the best reading of murky evidence. The folks running the survey understand this uncertainty, and have asked the economists to rate their confidence in their answers on a scale of 1 to 10. Strikingly, the consensus looks even stronger when the responses are weighted according to confidence.


The debate in Washington has become completely unmoored from this consensus, and in a particular direction: Angry Republicans have pushed their representatives to adopt positions that are at odds with the best of modern economic thinking. That may be good politics, but it’s terrible policy.


The disjunction between the state of economic knowledge and our current political debate has important consequences. Right now, millions of people are suffering due to high unemployment. Our textbooks are filled with possible solutions. Instead of debating them seriously, congressional Republicans are blocking even those policy proposals that strike most economists as uncontroversial. [MORE]

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An American Nun Responds To Vatican Criticism : NPR

by NPR STAFF, National Public Radio


LISTEN TO THIS STORY


In April, the Vatican announced that three American bishops (one archbishop and two bishops) would be sent to oversee the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a member organization founded in 1956 that represents 80 percent of Catholic sisters in the United States, to get them to conform with the teachings of the Church.


In its assessment of the group, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said the leadership conference is undermining Roman Catholic teachings on homosexuality and birth control and promoting "radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith." It also reprimanded the nuns for hosting speakers who "often contradict or ignore" church teachings and for making public statements that "disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church's authentic teachers of faith and morals." [MORE]


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Woo hoo for Yahoo for making pregnant Marissa Mayer its new CEO

Woo hoo for Yahoo for making pregnant Marissa Mayer its new CEO | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by MELINDA HENNENBERGER, Washington Post


Not having it all is so last week; now here comes 37-yearold Marissa Mayer, who in a single day showed up for her new job running Yahooand announced that she’s expecting her first child in October.


Marissa Mayer in 2008. Yahoo! announced July 16, 2012 it had named her chief executive, making her among the most prominent women in technology and corporate America. (OLIVER LANG - AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
 Of course, Yahoo knew Mayer was pregnant when they hired her. “They showed their evolved thinking,’’ she told Fortune magazine. Which makes me want to call for the opposite of a boycott.


The decision to hire Mayer — Google’s first female engineer, who reportedly had been running about a quarter of the company — sends a great message to women (and about Yahoo, which could use some good PR.) It may even have a trickle-down effect, at a minimum inside Mayer’s new shop. [MORE]

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Daily Kos: Volatile first-time unemployment benefit claims drop to 353,000

Daily Kos: Volatile first-time unemployment benefit claims drop to 353,000 | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by METEOR BLADES, Daily KOS


The Department of Labor reported the sharpest drop in seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment benefits in 16 months Thursday. For the week ending July 21, initial claims were 353,000. That's a decrease of 35,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 388,000. That week was originally reported at 386,000.


Changes this summer in yearly auto plant shutdowns are making it difficult for the Labor Department to adjust the data for seasonal variations. Normally, carmakers lay off workers for a few weeks in the summer to retool and those workers apply for jobless benefits during that period. But this year, because of heightened demand for cars, the manufacturers have either not shut down or done so for a shorter than usual period. In the past, the weekly claims report becomes less volatile in August, and that presents a better picture of labor market conditions...[MORE]

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Lunch with Louden • Today at 12:00 PT (3 PM Eastern)

Lunch with Louden • Today at 12:00 PT (3 PM Eastern) | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

Amanda Kathryn Roman and Joan Blades, co creators of Living Room Conversations will be our guests today.


From the web site: "Sadly, at this time, the art of civil conversation and the ability to harness the power of genuine connectedness and alignment is at a historic low. Political parties are failing to collaborate or even compromise, to the detriment of our future. It is time for the citizens to lead the leaders.


"Living Room Conversations are designed to revitalize the art of conversation among people with diverse views and remind our fellow Americans of the power and beauty of civil discourse."


We will open the show with Will Rice, Coffee Party Commonwealth, who helped to deliver our petition with almost 2 million signatures to the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on the Citizens United decision.


Listen live or pod cast HERE. Call in at 646-929-2495 to talk to the hosts or listen in.

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Living Room Conversations Named 1 of 16 Organizations Changing the World in 2012 by Craig Newmark of Craigslist

Living Room Conversations Named 1 of 16 Organizations Changing the World in 2012 by Craig Newmark of Craigslist | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

Living Room Conversations


Intimate and personal conversation is a powerful means for revealing the truth. Joan Blades, co-founder of MoveOn and MomsRising, shared her idea for a citizen’s movement to create real change. “When I watch our leaders and media, the focus seems to be primarily on our political differences… Perhaps we could help lead the leaders out of this destructive political bickering we find ourselves engaged in again and again, despite the earnest desire many have to find common ground. Perhaps here in our local communities with 6 people of good will who hold different view points, we can begin to discover how we can have a meaningful conversation that will help us exit this hall of mirrors.” Check out the rest of Joan’s post to learn more about her Living Room Conversations project.

[MORE]


[Amanda Kathryn Roman of Living Room Conversations will be this week's guest on LUNCH WITH LOUDEN, Thursday at Noon (Pacific)]

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GOP Bill Targeting Women’s Health, Contraception In Limbo

GOP Bill Targeting Women’s Health, Contraception In Limbo | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by SAHIL KAPUR, TPM


House Republicans have sidelined — at least for now — legislation that repeals the Obama administration’s contraception coverage guarantee and makes cuts to funding for women’s health programs. A committee markup initially anticipated for this week won’t happen, nor are GOP leaders certain it will come to the floor at all...[MORE]

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A Human Rights Perspective on Headscarf and Veil Bans

A Human Rights Perspective on Headscarf and Veil Bans | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by MARIANNE MOLLMANN, RH Reality Check


Last week, the international soccer association, FIFA, overturned its 2007 ban on players wearing headscarves. The association announced it will allow headscarves on a trial basis only.


The news comes in the middle of celebration that several gulf countries for the first time are sending female athletes (wearing headscarves) to the Olympics. However, it also comes as more and more European countries are restricting the wearing of headscarves or face-veils in public.


It is tremendously positive that FIFA has recognized the rights of women and girls to play sports and to express their religious beliefs at the same time. It is also positive that Saudi Arabia,Qatar, and Brunei are opening the doors for women’s self-expression through physical activity and sportive achievement. It is less positive that so many countries in Europe are choosing to perpetuate discriminatory stereotypes against Muslim women while ignoring many of the very real gender issues at their door.


[MORE]

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Sally Ride Obituary

Sally Ride Obituary | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

Legacy.com


Sally Ride, who blazed trails into orbit as the first American woman in space, died Monday of pancreatic cancer.


Leave a message, share with friends. This is the link to the funeral home obituary. 


[Sally Ride was one of my personal heros. Be at peace, my sister. -jkl]


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Gender Subversion: How Sweet It Is!

Gender Subversion: How Sweet It Is! | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it
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Destroying the Commons: How the Magna Carta Became a Minor Carta

Destroying the Commons: How the Magna Carta Became a Minor Carta | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by NOAM CHOMSKY, Truth Out


Down the road only a few generations, the millennium of Magna Carta, one of the great events in the establishment of civil and human rights, will arrive. Whether it will be celebrated, mourned, or ignored is not at all clear.


That should be a matter of serious immediate concern. What we do right now, or fail to do, will determine what kind of world will greet that event. It is not an attractive prospect if present tendencies persist -- not least, because the Great Charter is being shredded before our eyes.


[MORE]


Via Margaret Reeve Panahi
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Sexual Assault Victim Faces Jail Time For Naming Her Assailants

Sexual Assault Victim Faces Jail Time For Naming Her Assailants | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by ANNIE-ROSE STRASSER, Think Progress


“I’m not protecting anyone that made my life a living Hell,” she wrote, according to The Courier-Journal:


“So many of my rights have been taken away by these boys,” said Dietrich, who waived confidentiality in her case to speak to The Courier-Journal. Her parents also gave their written permission for her to speak with the newspaper.


“I’m at the point, that if I have to go to jail for my rights, I will do it,” she said. “If they really feel it’s necessary to throw me in jail for talking about what happened to me … as opposed to throwing these boys in jail for what they did to me, then I don’t understand justice.” [...][MORE]

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Our hearts go out....

Our hearts go out.... | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

Human Rights Campaign

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Marissa Mayer as CEO: Don’t Expect Trickle-Down Feminism | The Nation

by BRYCE COVERT, The Nation


...the problem with Slaughter’s hypothesis is that this form of “trickle-down feminism,” as coined by Tressie McMillan Cottom, may not in fact trickle down. In her exclusive interview with Fortune announcing the pregnancy, Mayer was already talking tough about working through her maternity leave. “I like to stay in the rhythm of things,” she told Fortune. “My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I’ll work throughout it.”


That may be easy for her to say, but her behavior will inevitably become the model for what’s considered the norm for all the women working under her. If the boss is only out a few weeks and doesn’t even take real time off of work, why should a lower-down pregnant employee expect that she could take the full twelve (unpaid) weeks allotted to her by the FMLA and not raise a few eyebrows?


The problem is not that Mayer doesn’t care about women’s equality. It’s that because she’s achieved so much, she seems to assume there are boundless opportunities for all women, which they just have to take advantage of like she did. This is crystal clear in a short interview she did with Makers about not being a feminist: [MORE]


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Olympics Campaign - unPAC

Olympics Campaign - unPAC | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it
unPAC.org

Last week, a super PAC called Restore our Future purchased $7.2 million worth of ads to run during this summer’s London Olympics—and we know more are coming. The Games are about national unity and fair competition; special interest negative ads are about division, half-truths, and unfair play. These ads have no place during the Olympics....

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