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Inefficient Wall Street Wastes $280 Billion A Year

Inefficient Wall Street Wastes $280 Billion A Year | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Wall Street seems to have learned a neat trick: how to make more money while producing less.


Between 1980 and 2010, the U.S. financial industry nearly doubled in size, relative to the overall economy. Yet in terms of what the financial industry actually produces -- liquidity, assets, anything of measurable benefit to society -- the sector appears to be doing less these days than it used to.


That, at least, is the contention of Thomas Philippon, an associate professor of finance at the New York University Stern School of Business whose 2011 paper -- "Has the U.S. Finance Industry Become Less Efficient?" -- is circulating the blogs this week.

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Support Coffee Party USA

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Obama Lets N.S.A. Exploit Some Internet Flaws, Officials Say

Obama Lets N.S.A. Exploit Some Internet Flaws, Officials Say | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
The White House said that information about major Internet security flaws should be shared with computer and software manufacturers so they can be fixed. But it left broad exceptions for cases that involve national security.


By DAVID E. SANGER APRIL 12, 2014


WASHINGTON — Stepping into a heated debate within the nation’s intelligence agencies, President Obama has decided that when the National Security Agency discovers major flaws in Internet security, it should — in most circumstances — reveal them to assure that they will be fixed, rather than keep mum so that the flaws can be used in espionage or cyberattacks, senior administration officials said Saturday.


Read more at

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/13/us/politics/obama-lets-nsa-exploit-some-internet-flaws-officials-say.html?_r=1


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Eli Levine's curator insight, April 15, 8:20 AM

I'm amazed by the lack of communication that this administration is having with the general public.

 

Why/how is it that Obama is not giving his reason and justification for these actions and then letting it up to the American people to decide whether it's worth the program or not?  What is so hard about humbling your own self and your own interests to the expressed needs and interests of the people?  What's wrong with making they, the people, liable and aware of the consequences of their own actions, decisions and sentiments, such that they're engaged in the political process, not just some random group of people standing around, becoming angrier and more frustrated and less willing to accept the present government's monopoly on the use of power?

 

If I were to give Mr. Obama the benefit of the doubt, I would say that he's trying to avoid making another September 11th he and his Party's liability by proactively engaging in this morally questionable behavior.  While I do not agree with the program, it would still be nice to have the dialogue between governed and governing, such that a reasoned conclusion can be reached.  Simply imposing your self over others isn't an effective method of governing; the logic "f- you, that's why" is not a sustainable basis for running day to day or extraordinary affairs.  It leads to the delegitimization of the government and its members and hollows out a power vacuum that will be filled by an entity separate from the current sets of private and public elites who govern our world.

 

It's just a dialogue, after all.

 

What's wrong with actually having it?  For your own interests?

Silly person.

 

Think about it.

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Physicians for Human Rights - Senate Report Confirms Ethical Breaches of Health Professionals in CIA Torture Program

Physicians for Human Rights - Senate Report Confirms Ethical Breaches of Health Professionals in CIA Torture Program | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Physicians for Human Rights: The leaked summary of the findings from the Senate Select Intelligence Committee's report confirm previous reporting by PHR: The CIA enlisted health professionals to use their skills to destroy the minds of prisoners, breaking with longstanding ethical and legal obligations of health professionals.
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Alabama Police Chief recognized by Obama for "Apology Heard 'Round The World"

One of the great honors on our 18-month (thus far) Story of America journey was meeting Police Chief Kevin Murphy of Montgomery, AL. Recently at the White House, President Obama recognized and thanked Chief Murphy for an act of reconciliation that we documented in the video above.
 

The exchange too place at the St. Patrick’s Day reception (Murphy is Irish American), when President Obama gave Murphy a personal “thank you” for his continued efforts to improve the relationship between law officers and communities of color. [MORE]


Via Eric Byler
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Citizens Congress 2014

Citizens Congress 2014 | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
For the people by the people

 

Citizens' Congress 2014 will bring together some of the most important voices in politics: those of the citizens. Guests will meet at The Cliffs Resort convention center, on the coast of San Luis Obispo California, for three days to consolidate an agenda for congressional campaign finance reform and create a platform for grassroots legislative ideas.
More details are athttp://www.citizenscongress2014.org/conference-1.html

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Lawrence Lessig to Launch Mayday Campaign to End Corruption in DC - IVN.us

Lawrence Lessig to Launch Mayday Campaign to End Corruption in DC - IVN.us | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
In an effort to end corruption in politics, Lawrence Lessig is launching a new campaign on May 1 to develop the Super PAC to end all Super PACs.


By Bruce Skarin Apr 9, 2014


In a new Ted Talk, Harvard professor turned corruption fighter, Lawrence Lessig, makes the case for calling a mayday for our country. Lessig begins with a sharp reminder that “there is a flaw at the core of the operating system of this democracy,” which he has described in detail in numerous other talks, including his last TED appearance. However, he is no longer talking of abstract measures against corruption. Instead, he is now talking about taking real action.


On May 1, Lessig will launch a campaign for a new “Super PAC to end all Super PACs.” He is not the first to use this line, but what makes it so bold is the scale. Lessig purposes to raise enough money to secure 218 representatives in the U.S. House and 60 U.S. senators who are committed to fundamental reform.


Read more at

http://ivn.us/2014/04/09/lawrence-lessig-launch-mayday-campaign-end-corruption-dc/


Watch Lessig's latest TED Talk at

http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_the_unstoppable_walk_to_political_reform


Coffee Party USA's insight:

Here's the bit.ly site shown briefly at the end of his presentation where you can get you started:

bit.ly/LessigsWish

which links to 

http://lessig.tumblr.com/post/80078114440/lessigs-wish


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On Our Highest Court, a Former Lobbyist Guts Campaign Finance Reform - Rasmussen Reports™

A Commentary by Joe Conason


Monday, April 07, 2014


For a large and bipartisan majority of Americans, the increasing power of money in politics is deeply troubling. But not for the conservative majority of the United States Supreme Court, whose members appear to regard the dollar's domination of democracy as an inevitable consequence of constitutional freedom -- and anyway, not a matter of grave concern. Expressed in their decisions on campaign finance, which continued last week to dismantle decades of reform in the McCutcheon case, the court's right wing sees little risk of corruption and little need to regulate the flamboyant spending of billionaires.


Based on the behavior of certain conservative justices, such as Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito -- who flout the rules that govern partisan behavior among lower-court judges -- it is easy to regard their rulings as partisan cynicism. But there is also an element of willful naivete when the conservatives claim, for instance, that influence-seeking donations will be exposed by the instant transparency of publication on the Internet. Any reporter who has covered elections can attest that there are dozens of ways for wealthy donors to avoid public scrutiny until it is much too late to matter.


Read more at

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_joe_conason/on_our_highest_court_a_former_lobbyist_guts_campaign_finance_reform


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Rep. Pompeo to Introduce Koch-Funded, Monsanto-Backed, Voluntary GMO Food Labeling Bill

Rep. Pompeo to Introduce Koch-Funded, Monsanto-Backed, Voluntary GMO Food Labeling Bill | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) will introduce legislation this month backed by the Grocery Manufactures Association—including biotech giant Monsanto and Koch Industries—that would establish a voluntary labeling system for food made with genetically modified organisms (GMO), according to an industry insider. 

 

The bill includes a “prohibition against mandatory labeling,” according to The Hill, and is designed to head off the many state bills and ballot initiatives that would impose more stringent labeling regulations on GMOs.

 

“Consumers should be outraged that Rep. Pompeo, or any member of Congress, would co-sponsor a bill written by industry, for the sole purpose of protecting corporate and shareholder profits, when 90 percent of Americans oppose the proposed legislation,” said Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association.

 

Read more at 

http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/04/pompeo-koch-monsanto-gmo-label-bill/

 

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SOTT Talk Radio Interview with Greg Palast -- Sott.net

SOTT Talk Radio Interview with Greg Palast -- Sott.net | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Greg Palast is an investigator of corporate fraud and racketeering turned journalist, and a man that members of the 'elite' love to hate. War criminal Tony Blair labeled him a liar, a White House spokesman simply stated "we hate that...
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▶ ReMoved - YouTube

We made ReMoved with the desire that it would be used to serve in bringing awareness, encourage, and be useful in foster parent training, and raising up fost...
Coffee Party USA's insight:

This is not about politics or money and corruption. It is worth the time to watch because many children in our society everyday live this or very close stories to the one portrayed here. There are not any known billionaires plotting to get in on this and maybe that is why it stays in so many shadows. Families do not realize what is happening is so widespread and keep silent.


The vast majority of children in crisis do not end up in foster care, but on auntie's or a friend's couch or staying with their step parents after the natural parent splits, grandparents, friends house, teens moving to sweetheart's parents home or remaining with the natural parents latest boy/girlfriend once the natural parent splits. Who ever they think they can trust that will take them in.


They grow up to be our co-workers, spouses, someone's parent, neighbors and so on and thus are a very giant part of our everyday life and our future. Children today are in so many complicated home lives it is difficult to believe. Many that are not working with young people may not realize just how complicated the "average" family has become in American society today.


Those that work with children only find out if they are trusted enough and someone allows that child to open up and tell their story. The story is often not the one on the books of school records and official contacts.


This is a reminder as we go through our days and actions to remember our young ones around us and in our lives. They are not represented in congress, you do not see them protesting in marches, represented on the job, or much of anywhere else and they have the weakest voice and least control over their own situations. Do not forget them. They are part of us all. {monica}

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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, April 12, 10:18 AM

This is not about politics or money and corruption. It is worth the time to watch because many children in our society everyday live this or very close stories to the one portrayed here. There are not any known billionaires plotting to get in on this and maybe that is why it stays in so many shadows. Families do not realize what is happening is so widespread and keep silent.


The vast majority of children in crisis do not end up in foster care, but on auntie's or a friend's couch or staying with their step parents after the natural parent splits, grandparents, friends house, teens moving to sweetheart's parents home or remaining with the natural parents latest boy/girlfriend once the natural parent splits. Who ever they think they can trust that will take them in.


They grow up to be our co-workers, spouses, someone's parent, neighbors and so on and thus are a very giant part of our everyday life and our future. Children today are in so many complicated home lives it is difficult to believe. Many that are not working with young people may not realize just how complicated the "average" family has become in American society today.


Those that work with children only find out if they are trusted enough and someone allows that child to open up and tell their story. The story is often not the one on the books of school records and official contacts.


This is a reminder as we go through our days and actions to remember our young ones around us and in our lives. They are not represented in congress, you do not see them protesting in marches, represented on the job, or much of anywhere else and they have the weakest voice and least control over their own situations. Do not forget them. They are part of us all. {monica}

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McCarthy sends GOP to school

McCarthy sends GOP to school | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
He asks Republicans to visit charter schools in their districts to boost support for funding.
Coffee Party USA's insight:

Here is one counter argument made ironically by charter school proponents. I will also curate the following article directly.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/04/03/will-charter-schools-survive-the-confusing-charter-movement/

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Taibbi: U.S. Should Be Ashamed It Treats Pot Smokers Worse Than Wall St. Criminals

Taibbi: U.S. Should Be Ashamed It Treats Pot Smokers Worse Than Wall St. Criminals | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
A Wall Street bank accused of laundering money for drug cartels only had to pay a fine. Meanwhile, a man caught with a joint in his pocket had to spend 47 days in jail.

For that, journalist Matt Taibbi thinks prosecutors should be "ashamed.&q...
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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, April 12, 7:10 PM

This is more than a little disgusting.

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Death on the Farm

Death on the Farm | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
American farmers are a dying breed, in part because they’re killing themselves at a shocking rate.
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Leaked Report: CIA Lied, Lied, Lied to Conceal 'Brutal' Torture

Leaked Report: CIA Lied, Lied, Lied to Conceal 'Brutal' Torture | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Published on Friday, April 11, 2014 by Common Dreams

Key findings of classified Senate report, obtained by McClatchy, shed light on CIA concealment of atrocities

- Sarah Lazare, staff writer
 

Key findings of a still-classified Senate Intelligence Committee investigative report reveal that the CIA lied to lawmakers, the media, and the U.S. public about widespread torture as it concealed the brutality of its interrogation methods and the number of people subjected to them.

 

This is according to a Thursday report from McClatchy News Service, which obtained 20 main conclusions (PDF) of the 6,300-page Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA's detention and interrogation program. These conclusions are entirely new to the public record.

 

Read more at

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/04/11-3

 

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The White House Has Been Covering Up the Presidency's Role in Torture for Years - The Intercept

The White House Has Been Covering Up the Presidency's Role in Torture for Years - The Intercept | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
The Obama administration has gone to extraordinary lengths to keep a short phrase describing President Bush's authorization of the torture program secret.
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No Taxation Without Representation

Money in politics means taxation without representation. We already have a tax day — It’s time for a representation day.
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McCutcheon Should Become A Rallying Cry for A Campaign to ‘End the Rule of Money’

McCutcheon Should Become A Rallying Cry for A Campaign to ‘End the Rule of Money’ | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Throughout history, bad court decisions have helped energize movements — people power can make that happen again.

 

Excerpt from piece by Kevin Zeese & Dr. Margaret Flowers for AlterNet

 

...The policies put in place by corporate-dominated political parties have created unjust laws over time that ensure we accumulate massive debt. As Strike Debt summarizes the situation:

 

“The reason you have tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills is that we don’t provide medical care to everyone. The reason you have tens of thousands of dollars of student loans is because the government, banks, and university administrators have contrived to cut government subsidies that support education while driving college costs through the roof. Unlike fifty years ago, it’s simply impossible for all but the wealthiest to attend college without them. Bubbles drive housing and food prices up, wages are kept artificially low so that they don’t keep up with inflation, and more and more of us rely on proliferating forms of ‘casual,’ ‘flexible,’ and part-time employment.”

 

The denial of basic services and education puts Americans from the poor through the upper middle class in economic peril. To add insult to injury, our public dollars that could pay for essential services and education are used instead to enable predatory behavior by big corporations. The biggest recipients of welfare are big business interests like Walmart and the big banks.

 

Walmart is the largest private employer in the US, with annual profits of over $15 billion. The six Walmart heirs have more wealth than the bottom 40% of all Americans combined. How did they get there? Massive government subsidies are central to Walmart’s business plan. These include tax breaks from state and local governments for each of their nearly 5,000 stores in the United States. And government subsidies to their employees for healthcare, food and housing because Walmart pays poverty wages. Of all retail outlets, Walmart is the largest recipient of government assistance in the country.

 

However, the biggest recipients of government assistance are the banks themselves. Through the private corporation known as the Federal Reserve, the banks have been given trillions of dollars in virtually no-interest loans. The banks then lend the money to the government at an immediate profit or to consumers and businesses for an even bigger profit. And then the banks borrow on those loans and expand their wealth even further, using the money to gamble on derivatives or other risky activities that put the economy at risk.

 

By giving the banks the governmental power to make money, a handful of Wall Street banks have become the dominant sector of the economy. Retaking the governmental power to create money would be a major step towards transforming the economy.

 

As if these subsidies aren’t enough, the banks and other large corporations also avoid paying taxes. One of many tax avoidance schemes is to keep money off-shore. A new report from ISI Research finds that U.S. S&P 500 companies now have $1.9 trillion parked outside the country. [MORE]

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P.A.N.D.A. Take Back Tour Atlanta - YouTube

Bringing together Artists and Speakers to shine the light on the most important issues of our time,
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How racial resentment fuels libertarianism

How racial resentment fuels libertarianism | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Excerpt from article by Ian Haney López, Bill Moyers.com
 

Paul presents overweening government power — especially at the federal level — as the paramount threat to ordinary Americans. If he is to popularize this message, though, Paul has to face an ugly fact: libertarianism has attracted substantial popular support not despite its occasional association with racists, but because of its ugly racial undertones.
 

Where white supremacists once commandeered government to enforce their appalling vision, the civil rights movement recruited government to promote integration. Government efforts to outlaw discrimination and to promote inclusion in schools, workplaces and neighborhoods became key to the effort to move the country toward racial equality.


But in response, libertarian ideas flourished, for anti-government rhetoric provided a seemingly neutral basis for opposing “race mixing.”


Pioneering this new use of libertarian rhetoric in his 1964 campaign, the Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater endorsed “states’ rights,” ostensibly a position on federal-state relations, though at the time all understood the target was federal efforts to push school integration. Goldwater also championed “freedom of association,” which purported to preserve the rights of property owners to exclude whom they wished, though in practice this meant the right of white establishments to bar minorities.
 

Today’s libertarian politics descends directly from this tradition. Illustrating the continuity, as recently as 2010, Paul himself endorsed the “freedom of association” argument, criticizing the 1964 Civil Rights Act for unjustly limiting the rights of private property owners. Paul put his position most succinctly in anearlier criticism of the Fair Housing Act: “A free society will abide unofficial, private discrimination — even when that means allowing hate-filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin.”


To his credit, Paul has since renounced those positions and frequently proclaims his opposition to racial discrimination. But as his responses to the controversies surrounding his staffers suggest, he still has a long way to go. Paul must grapple with why his small-government message resonates with so many whites — and if, for a sizeable number, the motive is a continued opposition to integration, then Paul must face this squarely if he is to craft a more inclusive party.

Coffee Party USA's insight:

If more Americans learn about our history, will it be possible to take the best intentions from libertarianism and push aside its roots in racial resentment? —Eric Byler

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Greg Russak's comment, April 14, 10:30 PM
Thank you for this post, Eric. I feel it completely matches with the blog I submitted and which was rejected. I'm proud to say that Ian Haney López is a law professor at UC Berkeley, a senior fellow at Demos and the author of Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class and I are precisely on the same page.
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Rep. Paul Ryan Take-Down

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Rep. Paul Ryan Take-Down | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Published on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 by Common Dreams

 

"Paul Ryan says, 'Don't blame Wall Street — the guys who made billions of dollars cheating American families."

 

 - Andrea Germanos, staff writer 

 

Senator Elizabeth Warren is making headlines for a speech some are saying is not only a take-down of Rep. Paul Ryan's views on poverty and unemployment but a lesson in the kind of visionary approach that Democrats would be wise to emulate.

 

Read more and watch the video at

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/04/09-3


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

 

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Oil Consultant Turned Whistleblower Exposes Fracking Crimes in Alberta

Oil Consultant Turned Whistleblower Exposes Fracking Crimes in Alberta | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

This You Tube is a compilation of segments from a 90 minute talk. Jessica Ernst worked for more than three decades as an environmental biologist doing research and independent consulting for the Alberta, Canada petroleum industry. One of her main clients was the EnCana Company, which began large-scale fracking in the region of her home community of Rosebud Alberta in the early years of the 21st century. 


Watch and listen to the video at

http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/08/whistleblower-exposes-fracking-alberta/


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Russia and China announce decoupling trade from Dollar

Russia and China announce decoupling trade from Dollar | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Russia has just dropped another bombshell, announcing not only the de-coupling of its trade from the dollar, but also that its hydrocarbon trade will in the future be carried out in rubles and local currencies of its trading partners - no longer...
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Will charter schools survive the confusing charter movement?

Will charter schools survive the confusing charter movement? | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
America�s education policies are brimming with contradiction, perhaps nowhere more than the charter movement.
Coffee Party USA's insight:

This is an article everyone needs to look over before we loose our public school system to for-profit interest. Charter schools are being overtly pushed in many State houses and groups like ALEC have a business plan to drain the money from public education into the hands of those that own charter school venture investments.


By Jeff Bryant


Outside Ohio, education historian Diane Ravitch looked at a recent study about the record of charter schools in Milwaukee, which extends over 20 years. She found, “There is no significant difference between the performance of public schools and charter schools. However, public schools in Milwaukee are more successful with the poorest students than are charter schools.”

Also recently, a study by a Stanford-affiliated organization looked at the issue of charter school quality and found similar troubling signs that underperformance among charters was a significant and widespread problem. According to the study, “the performance of charter schools varies widely, even after state policy differences are taken into account,” and “high-performing charter schools are in the minority.” 


http://educationopportunitynetwork.org/will-charter-schools-survive-the-charter-school-movement/

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Forget Obamacare: Vermont wants to bring single payer to America

Forget Obamacare: Vermont wants to bring single payer to America | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
The state is building the US's first single-payer system.
Coffee Party USA's insight:

Well, single payer does sound very good.


Another way to think of running it that is much like government run, would be the same approach only make it a citizen co-op program where the citizen co-op members have more direct voting control over the selection of directors of the co-op insurance and also have direct ownership as stockholders of the co-op. This would surely help to cut back on the corruption opportunities that often flair up in appointments for positions and contract negotiations.


 The citizens and insured would be in a direct loop of control and as owners have a vested interest in how their money is used. The government control single payer simplifies things but the consumers of medical care are still left out of direct input and control. Any overage as profits would also be distributed among the members which are also the insured or placed in a membership held gains fund to be collected at the time of death to help pay final cost of burial and balance after that distributed to survivors..


This would make the national single payer system a direct investment for the insured like social security or an insurance company that allows membership/ownership like USAA for military families, only it would be first collected as a mandated tax like social security. Just thinking, that is my idea …..What is your idea? {Monica}

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Chuck D on Corplantations, Booty & Thug Television and Fighting the Power - YouTube

Abby Martin features an exclusive interview with Hip Hop Legend and Public Enemy front-man, Chuck D, discussing the corporatization of Hip Hop, his views on ...
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High Levels of Monsanto Herbicide Found in Breast Milk of American Women

High Levels of Monsanto Herbicide Found in Breast Milk of American Women | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
It seems Monsanto has been lying about this all along


by Cassius Methyl


Organizations ‘Mom’s Across America’ and ‘Sustainable Pulse’ recently released the results of their first ever test of breast milk contamination by glyphosate herbicides, showing that 3 out of 10 women tested were plagued with breast milk containing ‘worrying levels’ of poison


See more at: http://theantimedia.org/high-levels-of-monsanto-herbicide-found-in-breast-milk-of-310-american-women/#sthash.USyW6Vlp.dpuf



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