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Women are full citizens with full rights; not political diversions.
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Main Street Memo For National Small Business Week (May 20-26, 2012)

Main Street Memo For National Small Business Week (May 20-26, 2012) | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee for Small Business


by GLORIA MCMURTRY, JIM HOUSER, MARK KELLENBECK, JOSE GONZAALEZ, and RHONDA EALY



Our organization, the Main Street Alliance of Oregon, is currently surveying hundreds of small business owners in mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar businesses on “Main Streets” all across the state. And what we’re hearing is that there is a lot of anger on Main Street. But it’s not pointed in the direction you might expect.


When we ask local, independent business owners what they need to succeed, build their businesses, and create jobs, we don’t hear the tired talking points about cutting taxes and gutting regulations that big national business lobbies repeat over and over. Many more local small business owners say “more customers” is what they need to help get the economy back on track than say lower taxes or fewer rules. In fact, many state they’re proud to pay their taxes to support the schools, public safety, roads and other infrastructure necessary for business — and our communities — to succeed and prosper.


Where we hear the anger is when we ask Oregon small business owners about the taxes paid by big corporations. For, while these small businesses patriotically pay their fair share, they believe corporate America does not....


So we hope that, as we celebrate National Small Business Week this year, our elected officials wake up and smell the coffee.


Main Street USA is angry. Not angry about paying taxes. This is our responsibility as citizens and our means to contribute to the common good.  But angry about the Wall Street giants that fly the American flag in front of their corporate headquarters but refuse to pay their fair share to support our nation – and perpetuate their competitive advantages by dominating our electoral system with out-of-control political spending.


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Republican Congresswomen Create A Caucus

Republican Congresswomen Create A Caucus | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by LAURA BASSETT, Huffington Post


After repeatedly being accused of participating in a legislative "war on women," Republican women in the House of Representatives announced Monday that they're forming a new caucus dedicated to raising their profile as female lawmakers and presenting a "unified voice" on issues that affect women.


The Women's Policy Committee includes all 24 GOP women in the House, and will be chaired by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.). Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.) will serve as vice chairmen.


Women's advocacy groups have repeatedly criticized House Republicans for their positions on various policy issues since the 2010 elections, including reproductive rights, contraception coverage, Planned Parenthood funding, and the Violence Against Women Act. Politico reported last week that House GOP leadership quietly tried to coax key women's groups, including the National Organization for Women, into supporting its version of VAWA, which stripped protections for LGBT victims and undocumented immigrant women. That effort failed.


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The Campaign Against Women Continues

The Campaign Against Women Continues | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

The New York Times Sunday Review Editorial


Despite the persistent gender gap in opinion polls and mounting criticism of their hostility to women’s rights, Republicans are not backing off their assault on women’s equality and well-being. New laws in some states could mean a death sentence for a pregnant woman who suffers a life-threatening condition. But the attack goes well beyond abortion, into birth control, access to health care, equal pay and domestic violence.


Republicans seem immune to criticism. In an angry speech last month, John Boehner, the House speaker, said claims that his party was damaging the welfare of women were “entirely created” by Democrats. Earlier, the Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus, sneered that any suggestion of a G.O.P. “war on women” was as big a fiction as a “war on caterpillars.”


But just last Wednesday, Mr. Boehner refuted his own argument by ramming through the House a bill that seriously weakens the Violence Against Women Act. That followed the Republican push in Virginia and elsewhere to require medically unnecessary and physically invasive sonograms before an abortion, and Senate Republicans’ persistent blocking of a measure to better address the entrenched problem of sex-based wage discrimination.


On Capitol Hill and in state legislatures, Republicans are attacking women’s rights in four broad areas.... [MORE]

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First Female US Boxer Qualifies for Olympics

First Female US Boxer Qualifies for Olympics | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

Feminist Majority Blog


A woman boxer has become the first from the United States to qualify to compete in this summer’s London Olympics.


Marlen Esparza will compete in the summer games during the first ever women’s boxing event.


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CHART: Spending, Taxes, And Deficits Are All Lower Today Than When Obama Took Office

CHART: Spending, Taxes, And Deficits Are All Lower Today Than When Obama Took Office | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by Michael Linden for Think Progress.  Linden is the Director of the Tax and Budget Policy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.


Federal spending is lower now than it was when President Obama took office. I’ll pause to let you absorb the news.


In January 2009, before President Obama had even taken the oath of office, annual spending was set to total 24.9 percent of gross domestic product. Total spending this year, fiscal year 2012, is expected to top out at 23.4 percent of GDP.

Here’s another interesting fact. Taxes today are lower than they were on inauguration day 2009. Back in January 2009, the CBO projected that total federal tax revenue that year would amount to 16.5 percent of GDP. This year? 15.8 percent.


One last nugget. The deficit this year is going to be lower than what it was on the day President Obama took office. Back then, the CBO said the 2009 deficit would be 8.3 percent of GDP. This year’s deficit is expected to come in at 7.6 percent. [MORE]


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Student activism, reborn

Student activism, reborn | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by BIOLA JEJE and ISABELLE NASTASIA,

ALTERNET via salon.com


We students have become morbid about our future. On campuses nationwide, it has become commonplace to see activists holding mock funerals for public higher education.


What We Learned from the Maple Spring


Over spring break this year, we [from CUNY] were privileged to travel to Montreal, Quebec, where we witnessed their 200,000-person-strong student strike. In the city of Montreal, francophone students have effectively shut down universities in response to a $1,625 tuition hike, proposed to be implemented incrementally over a five-year period. Since February, they have filled the streets en masse in protest, and as of this writing, they remain on strike (despite some injunctions by fellow students), having refused a set of “concessions” recently proffered by the Quebec government.


Still, there are aspects of the Maple Spring we must refuse to replicate. ...How do we begin to establish the structures of power we need?


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Arrested and Detained Parents Are Denied Opportunity to Contact and Make Arrangements for Their Children

Arrested and Detained Parents Are Denied Opportunity to Contact and Make Arrangements for Their Children | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by MELANIE TOM, Forward Together

and LAURA JIMENEZ, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, 

Strong Families via RH Reality Check


If you can, take a minute and imagine a situation where you are arrested or detained for some reason. Now imagine that you have children at home or in school awaiting your arrival but you never show. You are also not given the opportunity to make a phone call to ensure that your children are placed safely in the care of a trusted friend or family member so they are placed in Child Protective Services. This is happening right now to families all over America and it has to stop.


This is an issue of importance to us because of the disproportionate rates of incarceration of people of color through the criminal (in)justice system and the rising rates of detentions and deportations by the Department of Homeland Security. Not only are people of color being targeted but now our children are being undeservedly taken away from us because of a lack of implementation of policy and an all-around lack of empathy from law enforcement. 


Women and families of color have done our best to provide safety and security of our children. This is our resistance, our determination to raise whole, healthy families in spite of the oppressive circumstances of our lives. Let our collective vision be that all families matter – promote family unity, protect parental rights, prevent children from entering foster care unnecessarily.


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I’m a ferry boat captain

I’m a ferry boat captain | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by DICK GORDON, salon.com


She didn't have any experience, but that didn't keep a laid-off union worker from the job of a lifetime


To celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of oral historian Studs Terkel, the radio show “The Story” is running a series devoted to his work and his influence. (Read an interview with Terkel here.) As part of the series, host Dick Gordon conducts new interviews with people working today, like ferry boat captain Jenny Brown, who was laid off from her job and found an adventure she could not have imagined. A segment of her interview is below. You can listen to the entire interview here.  [MORE]

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NAACP Endorses Gay Marriage

NAACP Endorses Gay Marriage | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by CHRIS GENTILVISO, The Huffington Post


Less than two weeks after President Barack Obama announced his public support for gay marriage, a prominent African-American civil rights organization is following suit. [MORE]

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Lizz Winstead Has an Opinion on That!

Lizz Winstead Has an Opinion on That! | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by MAYA DUSENBERY,

Mother Jones


"The Daily Show" co-creator on her new memoir, our worthless media, and how people keep trying to mess with her "crazy-ass uterus."


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Pregnancy Depression Is Real, And Women Like Me and Bei Bei Shuai Need Help, Not Jail

Pregnancy Depression Is Real, And Women Like Me and Bei Bei Shuai Need Help, Not Jail | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by ROBIN MARTY, RH Reality Check


On Thursday, May 17th, RH Reality Check and National Advocates for Pregnant Women held a media conference call on the case of Bei Bei Shuai, now in jail for 14 months because her fetus died when, out of desperation with her life circumstances, she attempted suicide by ingesting rat poison.


"When I read about Bei Bei, when I read about Christine Taylor, I understand their pain to some extent. Like Christine, I understand wanting to confide in someone that I just wasn't capable of being a mother again, and although I wasn't willing to end my pregnancy, I wouldn't feel any sadness if it ended on its own. Like Bei Bei, I understood the weighing of options, wondering how to make it end without endangering anyone around me."


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"Be the Media" for the 99 Percent - join a Coffee Party Social Media Team

More info at: http://www.coffeepartyusa.com/social-media


INTERESTED?  SIGN UP HERE

and/or

Register for Sunday May 20th strategy call
at 2 pm ET (11 am PT)


by JESSICA ENGLISH, Coffee Party USA


Our Facebook page alone reaches more than a million people every day. It's an honor and a dream come true to connect with so many people using 99 Percent Media (media that most Americans can afford). It's a lot of fun too! But most of all, it's a huge responsibility. To compete with One Percent Media, we need more people like you to get involved.


We're not asking you to do anything you don't do already. Only now, when you go online, and find something that you think other people should read, you can share it with a larger community waiting to engage with you directly.

Help us "be the media" by signing up and or registering for an upcoming strategy call that will teach you how to help us operate one or more of our social media platforms.  [MORE]

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When the school is the bully

When the school is the bully | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by MARY ELIZABETH WILLIAMS, salon.com


In a world that still asks women if they're "mom enough" and debates our "obsession" with our children, Pam Broviak this week showed us what an awesome mom looks like.


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SHE AIN'T PLAYIN': The Notable, Quotable Rep. Gwen Moore

SHE AIN'T PLAYIN': The Notable, Quotable Rep. Gwen Moore | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

Throughout the GOP-led assault on women’s reproductive health rights, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) has served as a soldier of love for women of color, poor women and victims of sexual and physical abuse.


Moore consistently commands the House floor and deploys pieces of her personal story to shame the mostly White male lawmakers who are hostile to women’s reproductive health rights, birth control, the Violence Against Women Act, free breast exams, kitty cats and orchids. Here, three of Gwen Moore’s greatest hits:.


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Sophomoric? Members Of Congress Talk Like 10th Graders, Analysis Shows

Sophomoric? Members Of Congress Talk Like 10th Graders, Analysis Shows | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by TAMARA KEITH

 

Every word members of Congress say on the floor of the House or Senate is documented in the Congressional Record. The Sunlight Foundation took the entire Congressional Record dating back to the 1990s and plugged it into a searchable database.

 

Lee Drutman, a political scientist at Sunlight, took all those speeches and ran them through an algorithm to determine the grade level of congressional discourse.

"We just kind of did it for fun, and I was kind of shocked when I plotted that data and I saw that, oh my God, there's been a real drop-off in the last several years," he says.

 

In 2005, Congress spoke at an 11.5 grade level on the Flesch-Kincaid scale. Now, it's 10.6. In other words, Congress dropped from talking like juniors to talking like sophomores.

 

Flesch-Kinkaid equates higher grade levels with longer sentences and words with more syllables.

 

For example, just one sentence from the member of Congress with the highest grade ranking, Rep. Dan Lungren, a Republican from California, goes on for 62 words. (That sentence: "This Justice Department, in my judgment, based on the experience I've had here in this Congress, 18 years, my years as the chief legal officer of the state of California and 35 or 40 years as a practicing attorney tells me that this administration has fundamentally failed in its obligation to attempt to faithfully carry out the laws of the United States.")

 

Lungren's grade level during this session of Congress: 20. Overall since 1996: 16.

 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Georgia Republican Rep. Rob Woodall registers the second-lowest grade level: 8.01. [READ MORE]

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Anti-science and anti-contraception

Anti-science and anti-contraception | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by LAURA SESSIONS STEPP, CNN


How can it be that we are firmly into the 21st century and reading claims that birth control pills can cause prostate cancer and abort babies? Or, my personal favorite, that a woman can be considered pregnant before her egg unites with a sperm?
Such falsehoods are being touted not by yahoos but by educated conservatives who, in growing numbers, choose to ignore what science tells them.


Not all political conservatives are Flat Earthers, of course. But there are proportionately more of them than there used to be, according to the Review article.


He found that in 1974, the year Republican Gerald Ford became president, 48% of conservatives trusted science, a higher proportion, interestingly, than found among liberals or moderates.


By 2010, however, that number had fallen to 34%, while the degree of trust among moderates and liberals remained stable. Of particular note: Confidence dropped among conservatives who held bachelor's degrees, not those who only finished high school.


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Billionaire donors drive anti-teacher, pro-testing education reform agenda

Billionaire donors drive anti-teacher, pro-testing education reform agenda | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by LAURA CLAWSON, Daily Kos


The faces that dominate the education reform debate today—where "education reform" means increased reliance on standardized tests, the results of which are then used to determine the fates of teachers whose job security has been weakened—are people like former Washington, D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee and Harlem Children's Zone CEO Geoffrey Canada. They are, or can be packaged as, dynamic and visionary, educators who are passionate about kids. But lots of teachers could fit that bill, so why is someone like Michelle Rhee, who has spent very little time in the classroom, so prominent while the average teacher faces cutbacks and scapegoating? The answer, as in so many things, involves money. Not just any money. Billionaire money. Hedge fund money. Goldman Sachs money. Bill Gates money and Walton money. Michelle Rhee and Geoffrey Canada are prominent because they embody a set of ideas attractive to major philanthropists working to remake public education into their own vision of how the world works. [MORE]


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Son Hit With Aging Parent's $93K Nursing Home Bill

Son Hit With Aging Parent's $93K Nursing Home Bill | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by CAROLYN ROSENBLATT, Forbes


30 states have filial responsibility laws that can throw the burden of support for an indigent family member onto their kids


[After a car crash and subsequent nursing home care] The mom’s Medicaid application did not get approved in enough time to satisfy the nursing home, and it sued her son for the bill.  The state of Pennsylvania, like 29 others in our country, has something called a “filial responsibility law”.  Those laws require that spouses, children and even parents of needy adults support the indigent.  These laws were rarely ever enforced.  The nursing home  decided to enforce it rather than have Medicaid do what it was designed to do.


The trial court found for the nursing home.  Mr. Pittas appealed. He argued  that the court should have considered  Medicaid or going after his mother’s husband and her two other adult children.  Astonishingly, the appeals court not only agreed that the nursing home didn’t have to wait until the Medicaid claim was resolved, it also found that the nursing home could choose any family member it wanted to when seeking payment for the bill.


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Traditional Marriage: One Man, Many Women, Some Girls, Some Slaves

Traditional Marriage: One Man, Many Women, Some Girls, Some Slaves | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by JAY MICHAELSON,

Religion Dispatches Magazine


Well, it’s been quite a whirlwind week for same-sex marriage, from North Carolina to Obama to Colorado—and, of course, to the many outraged conservatives concerned with preserving traditional marriage, i.e., the time-honored sacred bond between one man and one woman. Why, just last week, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said that marriage has meant just that for over five thousand years.


Time to break out your Bible, Mr. Perkins! Abraham had two wives, Sarah and her handmaiden Hagar. King Solomon had 700 wives, plus 300 concubines and slaves. Jacob, the patriarch who gives Israel its name, had two wives and two concubines. In a humanist vein, Exodus 21:10 warns that when men take additional wives, they must still provide for their previous one. (Exodus 21:16 adds that if a man seduces a virgin and has sex with her, he has to marry her, too.)


But that’s not all. [MORE]

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GOP Congressional Candidate Calls Medicaid Recipients 'Non-Taxpayers'

GOP Congressional Candidate Calls Medicaid Recipients 'Non-Taxpayers' | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by AMANDA TERKEL, The Huffington Post


Tennessee Republican congressional candidate Scottie Mayfield referred to Medicaid and welfare recipients as "non-taxpayers" in a position paper he released on Wednesday, saying it was time that taxpayers stop subsidizing these programs.


Bill Taylor, the Democrat running in the 3rd District, also told the Times Free Press that Mayfield's statement about Medicaid and welfare was inaccurate.


"Just because they may not have jobs doesn't mean they're not paying sales tax and, in their rent, an element of property tax," Taylor said. "I know small business owners who don't make a whole lot of money and they're on TennCare. I'd say they're contributing to the economy."


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‘Metrosexual’, a 'feminizing' and 'homophobic' taunt.

‘Metrosexual’, a 'feminizing' and 'homophobic' taunt. | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by CHARLES M. BLOW, New York Times Op-Ed


‘Metrosexual Black Abe Lincoln’


The New York Times reported on Thursday that a Republican “super PAC” was mulling over a plan to resurrect President Obama’s former pastor and spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., as a weapon against the president.


First, there is the word metrosexual. It is usually defined as a man keenly interested in grooming and preening. Despite the sexual root, the term isn’t rooted in sexuality. In its truest sense, President Obama of mom jeans infamy — as he told the “Today Show” in 2009, “I’m a little frumpy” — is far less metrosexual than Mitt Romney of the perfect hair, copper tan and Gap skinny jeans.


But this term is rarely appropriately applied. On the contrary, it’s often delivered with a snicker to question sexuality and feminize the subject, and femininity in a misogynistic culture is the greatest of sins. Metrosexual has become a roundabout homophobic taunt.


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State of our unions

State of our unions | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

By SOL WACHTLER, Commentary, timesunion.com


Sol Wachtler is the former chief judge of the state of New York and a distinguished juror in residence at Touro Law School.


President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney have now taken sides in the same-sex marriage debate. . . .

 

It is true that marriage in this country was historically between one man and one woman, a fact the Mormons had to accept in order for Utah to gain admittance to the Union. But what was also "traditional" about that "traditional" marriage was that until the middle of the 19th century, a woman in a "traditional" marriage had to give up all of her property rights to her husband. . . .

 

(T)here was a time when race rather than sex was at the heart of the marriage debate in this country. . . .

 

As late as 1967, if Justice Clarence Thomas had lived in Virginia, or almost a third of the states in the union, he would have been prohibited by law from marrying his white wife, as would have Obama's father. The justification for the miscegenation laws ring familiar ... it would be an affront to "traditional" marriages. [MORE]

 
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The Obama Campaign Launches a Huge Voter Protection Effort, Countering Voter Laws

The Obama Campaign Launches a Huge Voter Protection Effort, Countering Voter Laws | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by ARI MELBER, The Nation

“Voting is easy when you have the facts,” the campaign declares. Even viewed through GottaVote’s user-friendly glasses, however, the ease depends most on where you live. Visitors to the page for Washington state will be relieved—there are no ID requirements and no polling places to find. It’s all vote-by-mail. The checklist for Arizona, on the other hand, is daunting: [MORE]

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“I’m a Baby Boomer and a Mom, And We Invented Technology.”

“I’m a Baby Boomer and a Mom, And We Invented Technology.” | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

by SUZIE MITCHELL, AARP Blog

 

Not long ago I was at an app developer meetup, talking about baby boomers and what they want out of their gadgets and apps.


Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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Kathryn Hall-Trujillo | Founder Birthing Project USA

Kathryn Hall-Trujillo | Founder Birthing Project USA | Coffee Party Feminists | Scoop.it

Kathryn Hall-Trujillo worked for the state of California from 1976 to 1991 as a public health administrator, and during that time, noticed that families often struggled to pay for the care of infants born with serious health problems. When she realized that pregnancy care for expectant mothers would cost less than 0.01 percent of the funds used to stabilize a sick infant, she created Birthing Project USA -- a nonprofit organization that improves birth outcomes by recruiting and training community volunteers to provide guidance, education and social support to pregnant and parenting teens and women. 


Via Servane Mouazan, Deanna Dahlsad
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