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Coffee Party TV
Information for the reality-based world (and a lot less reading)
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Hacking Society: The Problem of Money in Politics

by FRED WILSON, AVC


This 14min video clip starts with Larry Lessig outlining the issues around money and politics and then goes into some potential solutions. I advocated for a hack of the campaign finance system that starts with the internet industry contributing something like 5% of its combined ad inventory to a pool that is available to politicans who agree to certain conditions.


There was a debate about what those conditions should be. One group thought the candidates need to sign onto the Internet Freedom Pledge. Others thought that the candidates should renounce traditional campaign finance. Others thought candidates should do both.


Of course, this idea requires the Internet industry (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc, etc, etc) to allocate 5% of its inventory to this kind of a pool. I have had a few conversations with the industry leaders about this idea but honestly it hasn't gone anywhere. It would be great if our industry could rally around this idea and make it happen. Hopefully this post and other actions we are taking this week might get this idea rolling. [MORE]

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DISCLOSE Act Filibustered Again - Coffee Party responds

DISCLOSE Act Filibustered Again - Coffee Party responds | Coffee Party TV | Scoop.it

Perhaps the best Coffee Party Radio show to date.  Click on the photo or here for the archived recording from July 17, 2012.

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Voter Polarization and Voter Suppression - is the battle for 4 Million swing votes tossing CIVILITY into the wind?

Voter Polarization and Voter Suppression - is the battle for 4 Million swing votes tossing CIVILITY into the wind? | Coffee Party TV | Scoop.it

Thursdays at noon PT: Lunch with Louden
Thursdays at 12 noon Pacific time
In today's show: Voter Polarization and Voter Suppression
CLICK HERE to listen
or better yet CALL IN: 646-929-2495


In an article released today, the Brennan Center for Justice reported that 500,000 Americans could face significant challenges to their right to vote because of an inability to pay for, make time for, or find travel arrangements for the acquisition of a voting rights ID. Many live in a rural areas, more than 10 miles from an issuing agency AND the offices close to rural areas are cutting back on their days of service. Some are not open on weekends.


Republican State Rep. Brandon Creighton, says tough tootsies. "The fact is is that, in rural areas, people choose to live in rural areas and they're accustomed to commutes." Do you agree that voting rights should be impacted by where you choose to live, your age, economic status, or ethnic background in 21st century America? Or, is voting a sacred right for all American citizens, the free access to which defines us as a nation? [MORE]

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Mitt Romney Responds to Bain Criticism on 5 Networks in One Day - 1-minute summary

Mitt Romney recently spoke to 5 networks in one day to explain his role at Bain Capital.

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The Truth About the Economy

Robert Reich connects the dots on the economy, in less than 2 minutes and 15 seconds. Who knew he could draw!?!
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‘The Daily Show’: Stewart Sticks It to the Speedy CNN and Fox - Truthdig

‘The Daily Show’: Stewart Sticks It to the Speedy CNN and Fox - Truthdig | Coffee Party TV | Scoop.it

by Tracy Bloom, TruthDig


When the Supreme Court’s landmark health care decision came down on Thursday, CNN and Fox News raced to be first in reporting the ruling. They were first, all right: the first major news networks to incorrectly report that the mandate had been struck down.

Needless to say, Jon Stewart, who loves to point out the falsehoods, incongruities and plain ridiculousness that plague cable news channels, had a field day with the “widely different” accounts they broadcast.

“Yes, widely different,” the host of “The Daily Show” said. “There’s what you’ve been saying, and then there’s what happened.”  [MORE, including vide0]

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Infuriating Video of Elderly Bus Monitor Being Bullied

Infuriating Video of Elderly Bus Monitor Being Bullied | Coffee Party TV | Scoop.it

Karen Huff Klein, a bus monitor for the Greece School District in Rochester, N.Y., is receiving an outpour of support after a ten-minute video of her enduring vicious bullying while watching over students on a bus ride home was uploaded to YouTube.

 

After the footage surfaced, Reddit user razorsheldon posted a call to arms in support of the school official who was brought to tears by the group of children.

 

...

 

In the disturbing video, the children can be heard yelling at Klein, calling her an "ugly fat ass" and telling the widow, "you don't have a family because they all killed themselves because they don't want to be near you."

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Rep. Gerry Connolly: Issa's Contempt Proceedings Akin to Kangaroo Court

by ERIC BYLER


Above, my former Congressman, whom I have met in person and admire for his courage and leadership during Virginia's immigration culture war, offers the most impressive remarks I have ever seen him make.  

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va) calls the Republican contempt hearing in the U.S. House a "sad moment for the Congress, and says one would forgive the American public for seeing it as "akin to a kangaroo court," in which "the verdict is decided in advance" and in which facts are distorted and selectively filtered out to fit a predetermined verdict.  When legitimate lines of inquiry are avoided, there is always a reason, Connolly says, referring to the decision not to inquire about the precursos to "Fast and Furious" which began during the prevoius administration.  Connolly says that one could forgive the American public for concluding that all of this extraordinary behavior, including name-calling and character assassination directed at Atty General Eric Holder, is nothing other than an attempt to attack President Obama in an election year. 

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Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery Talk Dark Money With Bill Moyers

Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery Talk Dark Money With Bill Moyers | Coffee Party TV | Scoop.it

Bill Moyers invited us to come on his show this week to chat about dark money, the undisclosed, often untraceable political spending made possible by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. In a wide-ranging (and incredibly gracious) interview, he asked us about everything from the latest super-PAC machinations to the nexus between political money and income inequality. [WATCH]

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Citizens Intervention — tribute to the survivors!

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What Everyone Should Know About The DISCLOSE Act Of 2012

What Everyone Should Know About The DISCLOSE Act Of 2012 | Coffee Party TV | Scoop.it

Senate Republicans again blocked consideration on the DISCLOSE Act. The 53-45 vote this afternoon fell seven votes short of the required 60 needed to overcome the GOP filibuster.


by JOSH ISRAEL, Think Progress


The measure, which lawmakers drafted in response to the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, “would require independent groups to disclose the names of contributors who give more than $10,000 to independent groups for use in political campaigns.” Here is what you should know about the measure:


  1. It’s all about disclosure. The bill’s sole purpose would be to require outside groups who can currently spend unlimited sums of money on “independent expenditure” ads attacking and supporting presidential and other candidates to identify who is paying for the ads. Under current law, a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt group like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS can spend millions of dollars on attack ads without citizens ever knowing who is paying for them. Under the DISCLOSE Act, if a group spends more than $10,000 on political ads in an election cycle, it would have to identify the donors funding the efforts.
     
  2. The Supreme Court backed disclosure. In his 5-4 majority opinion in the Citzens United v. FEC case, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote “disclosure is a less restrictive alternative to more comprehensive regulations of speech.” By an 8-1 majority, every Justice but Clarence Thomas agreed that Congress had acted properly when it required that donors be identified for political ads that do not expressly advocate for or against a candidate. But, while these indirect ads come with disclosure, Congress did not anticipate that Citizens United would allow outside groups’s ads to directly tell voters to support or oppose candidates, leaving a major loophole.
     
  3. Republicans used to support disclosure. When Congress considered the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law in the early 2000s, opponents consistently argued that complete disclosure, rather than regulation, was the best campaign finance law. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who now dismisses disclosure as government-supported “harassment and intimidation,” once endorsed the concept and asked “why would a little disclosure be better than a lot of disclosure?” Fourteen current Senate Republicans who now oppose the DISCLOSE Act voted in 2000 for similar disclosure for 527 committees, the forerunner to these 501(c)(4) outside spending groups. And even Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who this March warned the lack of disclosure for independent spending would lead to “huge scandals” still joined with the Republicans to stop the bill in 2010 and yesterday.
     
  4. Republicans are moving the goal posts on disclosure. The 2010 version of the bill included an array of provisions aimed at mitigating problems created by Citizens United, including restrictions on foreign-owned corporations’ ads and government contractors. Republicans like McConnell criticized that version as “117 pages of stealth negotiations in which Democrats pick winners and losers, either through outright prohibitions or restrictions so complex that they end up achieving the same result.” This year, sponsor Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is offering just a 20-page bill that contains solely the disclosure provisions, in hopes that Republicans would be more open to supporting it. None have. [MORE]
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Republicans Senators Argue For Upholding The Affordable Care Act

by Jeff Spross and Ian Millhiser, Think Progress


The legal case against the Affordable Care Act is constitutional gobbledygook. It relies on a misreading of the Constitution the Supreme Court foreclosed nearly 200 years ago, and it is completely at odds with what many of the most Court’s most conservative justices wrote in past opinions. Chief Justice RobertsJustice Kennedy and even Justice Scalia all wrote or joined opinions that clearly establish Obamacare’s constitutionality.


There is, however, a partisan argument against the Affordable Care Act. When Congress voted on health reform, every single Republican voted to maintain the status quo. When the justices announce their decision in the health care case this month, these same lawmakers hope that every single Republican justice will join them in voting against reform. Things weren’t always this way, however. In the words of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Republicans used to oppose “those who can’t get their policy views enacted through the legislature” who then “turn to the courts.”


Indeed, quotes from Republican senators arguing against exactly the same kind of judicial activism Republican senators now insist the Supreme Court must engage in is so common, we found dozens of examples. [MORE]

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Wells Fargo to pay $125 million to settle federal charges for targeting black, Hispanic home buyers

Wells Fargo to pay $125 million to settle federal charges for targeting black, Hispanic home buyers | Coffee Party TV | Scoop.it

From 2004 to 2007, the bank put credit-worthy Hispanic and African-American borrowers into more expensive nonprime loans, the U.S.


by Bloomberg News


Wells Fargo & Co., the largest U.S. mortgage lender, agreed to pay $125 million to settle U.S. allegations that it discriminated against minority borrowers in making residential loans.


From 2004 to 2007, the bank put credit-worthy Hispanic and African-American borrowers into more expensive nonprime loans, the U.S. said in documents filed today in federal court in Washington. Through 2009, the bank allowed “discretionary charges” by mortgage brokers that resulted in minority borrowers paying higher fees, costs and interest than similar white borrowers, the U.S. said.


“Wells Fargo’s internal documents reveal that senior officials were aware of the numerous tactics that subprime originators employed to keep loans in the subprime division,” when they could have qualified for prime loans, the Justice Department alleged in a complaint filed with the settlement.


Wells Fargo denies allegations that it engaged in an illegal pattern of lending discrimination, saying it agreed to the settlement “solely” for the purpose of avoiding litigation, according to a proposed consent order.


Bank Scrutiny


The Obama administration has increased scrutiny of banks to discourage loan discrimination as the housing bust fuels loan defaults. The Justice Department extracted a record $335 million from Bank of America Corp. in a deal announced in December. Countrywide, acquired by Bank of America in 2008, assessed higher fees and interest rates on more than 200,000 black and Hispanic borrowers, the Justice Department said at the time. [MORE]

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Lawrence O'Donnell Analysis of Presidential Race Focuses on Taxes, Not Just Romney's But Everyone's

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Why Is the Ruling Class So Desperate? VIDEO Shows "We Live In Exponential Times"

Watch this video to understand why the "Citizens United" decision of 2010 and the Tea Party television productions of 2009 were acts of desperation. 


by ERIC BYLER, Coffee Party USA


I have argued that "Citizens United" decision and Tea Party campaign were both counter measures, and in fact acts of desperation, in response to two global forces that, even in their early stages, have shown themselves to be much more powerful: (1) a revolution in communications technology, and (2) accelerating demographic and cultural shift. 


It's beginning to look like the Tea Party narrative and "Citizens United" may backfire.  Conservative thinkers and mainstream Republicans are lamenting the One Percent Media/Tea Party strategy in op-ed's such as this one by David Brooks. Others, such as former Reagan strategist Ed Rollins, are quoted literally cursing a One Percent Media-dominated approach to electioneering in articles like this one by Jon Heilemann. And, although the connection between "Citizens United" and the first ever Super PAC Presidential Primary is not yet fully apparent to the public at large, it is being written about widely, and, even our most deeply partisan friends in the Republican party are beginning to question whether the handful of wealthy families bankrolling the four remaining presidential candidates really have the People's best interest at heart.  [MORE]

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Mitt Romney - Money has too much influence in politics

During his 1994 Senate campaign, Mitt says that the influence of money on politics is too great. He calls for a campaign spending cap and the elimination of PACs.

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How The Hell Did Wall Street Get An Extra $16 Trillion? Bernie Sanders Explains.

How The Hell Did Wall Street Get An Extra $16 Trillion? Bernie Sanders Explains. | Coffee Party TV | Scoop.it
Wall Street got everything it wanted. What did we get?
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Roberts switched views to uphold health care law - CBS News

Face The Nation on CBS: Roberts switched views to uphold health care law - Sources: Chief Justice originally sided with other conservatives to overturn heart of Affordable Care Act, then withstood "desperate effort to bring him back" by...
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Meet Alejandra and David. Facing Foreclosure

From Occupy Homes MN: Sign this petition from Alejandra to help her family save her home.

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Lt Dan Choi Speech at the Coffee Party Convention

"Love is non-partisan. Love does not belong to any specific group. And the equality of love is also non-partisan. ... Equality is non-partisan because the priority of our rights and our liberties, as if freedom is some kind of finite resource, is most anti-American."  
—Lt. Dan Choi 

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Presto! The DISCLOSE Act Disappears

Presto! The DISCLOSE Act Disappears | Coffee Party TV | Scoop.it

Thanks to their friends in the Senate, deep-pocketed campaign donors get to keep their masks on... for now.


by BILL MOYERS and MICHAEL WINSHIP


Ask any magician and they’ll tell you that the secret to a successful magic trick is misdirection — distracting the crowd so they don’t realize how they’re being fooled. Get them watching your left hand while your right hand palms the silver dollar: “Now you see it, now you don’t.” The purloined coin now belongs to the magician.


Just like democracy. Once upon a time conservatives supported the full disclosure of campaign contributors. Now they oppose it with their might — and magic, especially when it comes to unlimited cash from corporations. My goodness, they say, with a semantic wave of the wand, what’s the big deal?: nary a single Fortune 500 company had given a dime to the super PACs. (Even that’s not entirely true, by the way.)


Meanwhile the other hand is poking around for loopholes, stuffing millions of secret corporate dollars into non-profit, tax-exempt organizations called 501(c)s that funnel the money into advertising on behalf of candidates or causes. Legally, in part because the Federal Election Commission does not consider them political committees, they can keep it all nice and anonymous, never revealing who’s really behind the donations or the political ads they buy. This is especially handy for corporations — why risk offending customers by revealing your politics or letting them know how much you’re willing to shell out for a permanent piece of an obliging politician?


That’s why passing a piece of legislation called the DISCLOSE Act is so important and that’s why on Monday, Republicans in the Senate killed it. Again. [MORE]

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Video: Fixing America: Immigration reform | Need to Know | PBS

Video: Fixing America: Immigration reform | Need to Know | PBS | Coffee Party TV | Scoop.it
Following the Obama administration’s announcement to exempt several thousand young undocumented immigrants from deportation, Need to Know’s panel of experts discuss the nation’s need for immigration reform.


A great conversation on both sides of the issue.   CLICK to watch.

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This Kid Became Mayor Of His Town Without A Political Party, Using Social Media

This Kid Became Mayor Of His Town Without A Political Party, Using Social Media | Coffee Party TV | Scoop.it

He is the person we all imagined back in 2008, when it seemed like the world was going to change.


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Wisconsin, Citizens United, Political Advertising, and Political Advertising Disguised as News

MORE Coffee Party Radio at: BlogTalkRadio.com/CoffeePartyUSA

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Dr. Bronner's Hemp Protest Ended By Police With Chainsaw

Dr. Bronner's Hemp Protest Ended By Police With Chainsaw | Coffee Party TV | Scoop.it

by Sara Kenigsberg & Lucia Graves, Huffington Post


David Bronner had been camped out in a steel cage in front of Lafayette Park for almost three hours before a truck full of firemen came to remove him forcibly with a power saw.


The long-haired president of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, a top-selling natural soap chain based in Escondido, Calif., was holding court in an 64-square-foot cage to draw attention to the federal prohibition on growing industrial hemp, a policy which fails to distinguish between oilseed and fiber varieties of cannabis. [MORE]

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