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Why The Proposed Ryan-Murray Budget Deal Renders the Tea Party Powerless | Nomadic Politics

Why The Proposed Ryan-Murray Budget Deal Renders the Tea Party Powerless | Nomadic Politics | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
What's behind the Ryan-Murray bipartisan budget deal which one news site called "a new era in cooperation"? Is it all about preventing the Tea Party from ever using the government shutdown as a weapon?
Coffee Party USA's insight:

Here is an assessment of why and how the Ryan-Murray Budget closes off the tea party efforts to  push another shut down.

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Support Coffee Party USA

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Lap Dancers, the CIA, Payoffs and BP’s Deepwater Horizon: Greg Palast

Lap Dancers, the CIA, Payoffs and BP’s Deepwater Horizon: Greg Palast | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Four years ago this Sunday, the Deepwater Horizon blowout incinerated 11 men and poisoned 600 miles of Gulf coastline. What political fairy dust allows BP to remain virtually immune from the consequences?
- 2014/04/18


Posted on Apr 18, 2014


By Greg Palast


“There was CIA involvement through a company called Mega Oil. They were shipping in arms under the cover of oil tools.”


The BP executive was explaining to me how the CIA, MI6 and British Petroleum engineered a coup d’état, overthrowing a nation’s elected president who was “not favorable to BP.” The corporation’s former vice president, Leslie Abrahams, is pictured above, holding an AK-47 in front of BP’s offices in Baku, Azerbaijan. Like most of the other BP executives I spoke with, he proudly added that although he was working for BP, he was also an operative for MI6, British intelligence.


This conversation, which took place in 2010, was far from the weirdest I had in my four-continent investigation of the real story of the Deepwater Horizon.


The BP oil rig blew out on April 20 of that year, four years ago this Sunday.


Last month, the Obama administration officially OK’d BP’s right to resumedrilling in the Gulf of Mexico. A few days after lifting the ban, just to assure the company that all is forgiven, the U.S. Department of the Interior gave BP a new contract to drill in the Gulf of Mexico—right next to where the Deepwater Horizon went down. At the same time, the forgive-and-forget U.S. Justice Department has put the trial of David Rainey, the only BP big shot charged with a felony crime in the disaster, on indefinite hold.


The Deepwater Horizon blowout incinerated 11 men on the rig and poisoned 600 miles of Gulf coastline. What political fairy dust does BP keep in its pocket to receive virtual immunity from the consequences?


To understand what really happened in the Gulf of Mexico, and how BP became a corporate creature beyond the reach of the law, British television network Channel 4 sent me on an investigation through a labyrinthine fun house of bribery, lap dancing, beatings, WikiLeaks, a coup d’état, arrests and oil-state terror.


I found the cause of the tragedy of the Deepwater Horizon 7,000 miles from the Gulf in the ancient city of Baku, the Central Asian caravan stop on the Silk Road.


Read more at

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/lap_dancers_the_cia_payoffs_and_bps_deepwater_horizon_20140418


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Political Scene: Elizabeth Warren's Influence

Political Scene: Elizabeth Warren's Influence | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Jill Lepore and Evan Osnos discuss how Elizabeth Warren is changing the Senate and the country.
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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, April 19, 5:52 PM

We could use more voices like Warren's voice.

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Koch Brothers Net Worth Soars Past $100 Billion

Koch Brothers Net Worth Soars Past $100 Billion | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Charles and David Koch hit a milestone on Wednesday, as a $1.3 billion boost to their collective fortune sent their net worth above $100 billion, according to Bloomberg News.

The brothers are majority stakeholders in Koch Industries, the second-la...
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Maggie Anzardo's curator insight, April 20, 9:50 AM

Hooray for capitalism!

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Fighting for the Four Freedoms | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com

Fighting for the Four Freedoms | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Historian Harvey J. Kaye talks to Bill about why FDR's "Four Freedoms” -- freedom from fear and want and freedom of speech and religion -- are more important now than ever.

 

Fighting for the Four Freedoms

April 11, 2014

If you believe America desperately needs a great surge of democracy in the face of fierce opposition from reactionary and corporate forces, then remembering and reviving the spirit of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died 69 years ago this week, is in order.

In January 1941, FDR’s State of the Union address made it clear that a fight was inevitable, a fight to preserve, protect and defend four essential freedoms: freedom from fear and want and freedom of speech and religion.

This week, Bill speaks with historian Harvey J. Kaye, author of the new book, The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great, about how FDR’s speech was a rallying cry to build the kind of progressive society that Roosevelt hoped for but did not live to see at war’s end.

 

Watch the discussion at

http://billmoyers.com/episode/fighting-for-the-four-freedoms/

 

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Who Are the Koch Brothers and What Do They Want?

Who Are the Koch Brothers and What Do They Want? | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Posted: 04/17/2014 8:40 am EDT Updated: 04/17/2014 11:59 am EDT


Sen. Bernie Sanders 


As a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, billionaires and large corporations can now spend an unlimited amount of money to influence the political process. The results of that decision are clear. In the coming months and years the Koch brothers and other extraordinarily wealthy families will spend billions of dollars to elect right-wing candidates to the Senate, the House, governors' mansions and the presidency of the United States. These billionaires already own much of our economy. That, apparently, is not enough. Now, they want to own the United States government as well.

 

Four years ago, the Supreme Court handed down the 5-4 ruling in Citizens United vs the Federal Election Commission. A few weeks ago, they announced another horrendous campaign finance decision in McCutcheon vs. FEC giving even more political power to the rich. Now, many Republicans want to push this Supreme Court to go even further. In the name of "free speech," they want the Court to eliminate all restrictions on campaign spending -- a position that Justice Thomas supported in McCutcheon -- and a view supported by the Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Importantly, as a means of being able to exercise unprecedented power over the political process, this has been the position of the Koch brothers for at least the last 34 years.

 

The Koch brothers are the second wealthiest family in America, making most of their money in the fossil fuel industry. According to Forbes Magazine, they saw their wealth increase last year from $68 billion to $80 billion. In other words, under the "anti-business", "socialist" and "oppressive" Obama administration, their wealth went up by $12 billion in one year.

 

In their 2012 campaigns, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each spent a little more than $1 billion. For the Koch brothers, spending more than Obama and Romney combined would be a drop in their bucket. They would hardly miss the few billion dollars.

 

Given the reality that the Koch brothers are now the most important and powerful players in American politics, it is important to know what they want and what their agenda is.

 

It is not widely known that David Koch was the Libertarian Party vice-presidential candidate in 1980. He believed that Ronald Reagan was much too liberal. Despite Mr. Koch putting a substantial sum of money into the campaign, his ticket only received 1 percent of the vote. Most Americans thought the Libertarian Party platform of 1980 was extremist and way out of touch with what the American people wanted and needed.

 

Fast-forward 34 years and the most significant reality of modern politics is how successful David Koch and like-minded billionaires have been in moving the Republican Party to the extreme right. Amazingly, much of what was considered "extremist" and "kooky" in 1980 has become part of today's mainstream Republican thinking.

 

Read more at

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/who-are-the-koch-brothers_b_5165995.html

 


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Monsanto and Big Food Losing the GMO and 'Natural' Food Fight

  • By Ronnie Cummins 
    Organic Consumers Association, April 16, 2014 

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Politics and Democracy page, our Millions Against Monsanto page and our Genetic Engineering page.

After 20 years of battling Monsanto and corporate agribusiness, food and farm activists in Vermont, backed by a growing Movement across the country, are on the verge of a monumental victory—mandatory labels on genetically engineered foods and a ban on the routine industry practice of labeling GMO-tainted foods as “natural.” 

On April 16, 2014, the Vermont Senate passed H.112 by a vote of 28-2, following up on the passage of a similar bill in the Vermont House last year. The legislation, which requires all GMO foods sold in Vermont to be labeled by July 1, 2016, will now pass through a House/Senate conference committee before landing on Governor Peter Shumlin’s desk, for final approval.
 
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Meet the Governor Who Crippled His State’s Solar Energy Future

Meet the Governor Who Crippled His State’s Solar Energy Future | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Brandon Baker | April 16, 2014 12:49 pm


The future of solar energy in Maine was left in the hands of Gov. Paul LePage this month, but he decided to drop it.

LePage vetoed L.D. 1252, a bill that would have helped create more than 1,250 new solar panel and hot water projects at homes and businesses across the state. Those additions would have come at a tax that he deemed to expensive to pay—0.011 cents per kilowatt-hour.

"This is a particularly painful time to impose an additional tax on electricity,” LePage wrote in a veto message uploaded by Bangor Daily News. “Energy taxes are regressive and disproportionately hurt our low-income households. This bill would impose the tax on thousands of hardworking families just to provide the few who have the means to purchase a $20,000 solar system with a rebate of an estimated $2,000.”

In the eyes of renewable energy advocates, LePage’s veto also means passing on the private investments that usually follow after government shows confidence in a burgeoning technology. Dylan Voorhees, clean energy director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, estimates that the bill would have fostered nearly $25 million in private investments in the state over time.

“The governor’s rhetoric on this bill does not match reality,” Voorhees said in a statement. “If high electric rates are a concern, then it is essential that we change course from building an increasingly expensive transmission grid only to meet summer peak demand (and boost utility profits). Rooftop solar can help cut that demand and reduce costs borne by all ratepayers.

“The governor and his allies used the tiny, immediate cost of this bill to justify a do-nothing strategy that will cost Maine far more.”

Voorhees added that Maine is behind other states when it comes to solar energy. According to a Vote Solar and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council report on net metering and interconnection, Maine achieved a ‘B’ grade, thought report accounts for other renewable forms, too.

“Solar is booming in states around us, and why Maine is now at real risk of continuing to pay more in rates,” Voorhees said. “If heating oil costs are a concern, then solar is part of the solution, too.

“Main street companies like the Bucksport Motor Inn have used solar to slash their oil consumption for hot water heating.”

The bill was sponsored by State Rep. Terry Morrison, D-South Portland, and passed by wide margins in the state Senate (21-12) and House (109-30).

“We simply can’t afford to ignore solar energy, which is renewable, clean and helps keep down electricity bills that are rising because of the expansion of transmission and distribution lines,” Morrison said. “This veto is even more baffling because a Republican amendment improved the bill by adding heat pump rebates for low-income Mainers.”

Earlier this year, Politico declared LePage “the country’s craziest governor,” citing crude sexual remarks about a state senator, the sabotage of a wind energy project and publicly telling President Barack Obama to “go to hell.”


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Executive Summary - Treatment Advocacy Center Reports

Executive Summary - Treatment Advocacy Center Reports | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
The first national survey of treatment practices for mentally ill inmates in America's jails and prisons
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Young Conservatives Group Pressures GOP on Gay Marriage - Washington Wire - WSJ

Young Conservatives Group Pressures GOP on Gay Marriage - Washington Wire - WSJ | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
A new effort is being launched to try to persuade the Republican Party to drop its opposition to same-sex marriage from the party’s platform, a steep climb that would require overcoming social conservatives who have dominated the GOP’s position on the issue.

 

By  LAURA MECKLER

8:15 am ET
Apr 16, 2014

 

A new effort is being launched to try to persuade the Republican Party to drop its opposition to same-sex marriage from the party’s platform, a steep climb that would require overcoming social conservatives who have dominated the GOP’s position on the issue.

The effort, called Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, is a project ofFreedom to Marry, which is campaigning to win over Republicans to the issue in hopes of building a broader national consensus in favor of gay marriage rights.

Backers include GOP strategist Margaret Hoover as well as Abby Hunstman and Meghan McCain, both daughters of prominent Republicans.

The effort, which hopes to raise and spend $1 million over the next three years, plans to travel to four states that stage early presidential primary contests to make its case to Republicans. They want the party to delete several passages declaring marriage to be a man and a woman and related passages and instead adopt a statement taking no position on gay marriage rights but celebrating the value of marriage as a “fundamental, personal freedom.”

The proposed language further states: “We recognize that there are diverse and sincerely held views on civil marriage within the Party… [we] commit our party to respect for all families and fairness and freedom for all Americans.”

Evan Wolfson, who heads Freedom to Marry, said the effort would include staff to organize supporters, travel for supporters to attend GOP meetings, polling and possibly TV ads. He added that the overall effort is part of a larger strategy to influence the Supreme Court, which is likely to consider one of several cases challenging the constitutionality of gay marriage bans over the next few years.

“We are absolutely working in every way we can to show America is ready for the freedom to marry, and that includes, increasingly, Republicans,” he said.

The move would have some degree of precedent. Last weekend, the Republican Party in Nevada voted to strip opposition to gay marriage, as well as abortion, from the state party platform.

The Republican Party platform is written by a committee of delegates to the quadrennial national convention. Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, declined to guess how the effort would go over inside the GOP.

“It’s up to the delegates to affirm our platform every four years,” he said. “The principles of the platform that was passed in Tampa remains the platform we operate by and will until the next convention.”

Support for same-sex marriage has grown nationally in recent years, particularly among young people. A recent Pew Research Center poll found six in 10 young Republicans support gay and lesbian marriage rights. In the aftermath of the 2012 presidential election, the Republican National Committee commissioned a report on how the party can grow its appeal. It concluded that the party’s position on gay rights may be a barrier for many younger voters.

“We do not have to agree on every issue, but we do need to make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view,” it said. “For many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be.”

But soon after that report was issued, in April 2013, the Republican National Committee overwhelmingly approved a resolution reaffirming its opposition to gay marriage.

Also in response to the RNC report, more than a dozen conservative leaders warnedthat social conservatives would abandon the party if the GOP does not maintain its opposition to same-sex marriage.

“We respectfully warn GOP Leadership that an abandonment of its principles will necessarily result in the abandonment of our constituents to their support,” they said in a letter.

Steve Duprey, a Republican committeeman from New Hampshire who said he was one of the few to oppose the 2013 resolution, welcomed the Freedom to Marry effort and said the discussion is good for his party. “Regardless of how it turns out, it shows we’re open to talking about it,” he said.

But he said there is currently “overwhelming support for the platform as it exists” and that changing the language would be “a very heavy lift.”

In an earlier interview about the party’s position on the issue, Rich Galen, a GOP strategist who supports gay marriage, said the platform is among the hardest things to change and predicted the GOP’s official stance on marriage would not change in his lifetime.

“Political party platforms always appeal to the edges,” he said. “Those are often the most ideologically driven.”

 

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Brunei’s plan to stone gays riles UN

Brunei’s plan to stone gays riles UN | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
The Sultan of Brunei has announced that those committing same sex relations could be stoned to death. The draconian law has brought condemnation from the UN, with the tiny Asian oil rich nation having a virtual moratorium on the death penalty since 1957.
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The History of Corporate Personhood | Brennan Center for Justice

The History of Corporate Personhood | Brennan Center for Justice | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
The Brennan Center for Justice is a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on the fundamental issues of democracy and justice.


April 7, 2014

In McCutcheon v. FEC, handed down last Wednesday, the Supreme Court built on the precedent of Citizens United by invalidating the federal aggregate contribution limit for individuals. But McCutcheon is not the only case that gives the Supreme Court chance to expand Citizens United’s reach this term.

In Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, the Supreme Court has to choose whether to extend the logic of 2010’s Citizens United to allow a corporation to make a religious objection to a generally applicable law.


Read more at

http://www.brennancenter.org/blog/hobby-lobby-argument


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US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study

US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by Eric Zuesse


study, to appear in the Fall 2014 issue of the academic journal Perspectives on Politics, finds that the U.S. is no democracy, but instead an oligarchy, meaning profoundly corrupt, so that the answer to the study’s opening question, "Who governs? Who really rules?" in this country, is: 

"Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But, ..." and then they go on to say, it's not true, and that, "America's claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened" by the findings in this, the first-ever comprehensive scientific study of the subject, which shows that there is instead "the nearly total failure of 'median voter' and other Majoritarian Electoral Democracy theories [of America]. When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy."

To put it short: The United States is no democracy, but actually an oligarchy.


Read more at

https://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/04/14


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5 Habits Of Emotionally Intelligent People

5 Habits Of Emotionally Intelligent People | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Emotionally intelligent people are super successful. Here's why.

 

ERIC SCHIFFER, ENTREPRENEUR 

APR. 16, 2014, 4:49 PM


Emotional intelligence is the most powerful tool for success — not only in in romantic relationships, but business, too. In fact, the same rules for achieving your goals in business also apply to love.

 

 

Here are five practices that people with high EQs use to achieve success at both work and in their personal lives:


Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/233040#ixzz2zUNU6oEY

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UNC journalism students explore race class and education in Durham, NC - Southern Coalition for Social Justice

UNC journalism students explore race class and education in Durham, NC - Southern Coalition for Social Justice | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

April 18, 2014

in Criminal JusticeEventRecent News 

by Shoshannah Sayers


There is no direct means by which a student becomes a dropout, unemployed or a criminal; there is no single decision, policy or process directly responsible for the transformation.


But certain characteristics tend to tip the scales toward either future success or future failure. The intersection of poverty and race can be a statistically dangerous place to be.


On Tuesday, April 22nd, members of the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication will be premiering their project, “Fault Lines: Race Class and Education in Durham, North Carolina.”


The screening will unveil the project website, which includes five video documentaries, graphics and a long piece narrative to help explore this complex issue.


Co-sponsored by the Center for Global Initiatives.


The event is free and open to the public. Click here to learn more and RSVP

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Moral Lens of Justice — Rev. Barber's most compelling 7 minutes to date - YouTube

http://www.storyofamerica.org/barber-7 Notes by Eric Byler | This is an excerpt from Rev. Dr. William Barber's speech at Binkley Baptist Church in Durham, NC...
Coffee Party USA's insight:

"Compelling" only begins to describe it. Please do not miss this, and please pass it along. Thanks,. Greg R., Coffee Party curator.

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MoneyBomb | Take Back Tour

The National Defense Authorization Act, aka the NDAA, is legislation every American ought to be aware of and ought to add it to the list of things that need to be changed in DC. A good place to start would be paying attention to PANDA, People Against the NDAA, and by supporting them and their Take Back Tour by donating and attending an event near you.

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Is IRS Obama's Watergate?

Is IRS Obama's Watergate? | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

By Katie Sanders
Published on Friday, April 18th, 2014 at 9:05 a.m.


The pundits on Fox News have made a point of arguing that the mainstream media has ignored congressional investigations into President Barack Obama’s IRS.

The next Watergate or Iran-Contra affair is rightunder the media’s disinterested nose, they say.

Fox News political commentator and syndicated columnist George Will has raised this point for almost a year and brought it up again on last week’s Fox News Sunday.


Read more at

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/article/2014/apr/18/is-the-irs-scandal-the-next-watergate/



Coffee Party USA's insight:

Bottom line (per the article)

Will likened the events at the IRS to Watergate. That’s his right as a Washington pundit, but we found little evidence (in fact, no one has) linking the actions of the IRS to the Obama White House in the way the Watergate break-in and cover up was orchestrated by Nixon’s White House.


That’s part of Will’s point -- a more thorough investigation is merited. But several investigations are under way.


Democrats say the Republicans are on an endless witch hunt that conveniently falls during a midterm election cycle, and Republicans say Democrats are protecting Obama and to ice out conservative groups from the elections process.


The evidence available so far indicates IRS employees behaved poorly but did so in a silo; it was not reflective of corruption from the White House or external forces.

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Reject and Protect: A Massive– Possibly Final– Stand Against Keystone XL

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 (All day) to Sunday, April 27, 2014 (All day)
 Ranchers, farmers and tribal communities join thousands in the nation's capital  from April 22-26th to call on the President to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline. 

Beginning on April 22nd, a group of ranchers, farmers and tribal communities from along the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline route, called the Cowboy Indian Alliance, will ride into Washington DC and set up camp near the White House to tell President Obama to reject the pipeline.

 

The proposed 1,179-mile crude oil pipeline would begin in Alberta, Canada extend to Steele City, Nebraska and then move onward to refineries on the Gulf Coast.  Environmental groups point out that the pipeline encourages the use of the "dirtiest" variety of fossil fuels, rather than a move to renewable energies and that any spills from the viscous tar sands oil the pipeline would transport could prove impossible to clean up.  They also point out that the Pipeline, once built, would require as little as 35 long-term jobs to maintain, and would transport crude destined for overseas markets.

 

On April 26th, thousands of people will join them to stand together for a final message "that the Keystone XL pipeline and the tar sands must be rejected — to protect this, and future generations."  The group will present a tipi to President Obama, to represent the both the hope that President will reject the pipeline, and a promise to "protect our land and water if he chooses to let the pipeline move forward."

 

Read more at

http://www.goodspeaks.org/event/reject-and-protect-a-massive%E2%80%93-possibly-final%E2%80%93-stand-against-keystone-xl

 

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Restoring Louisiana’s Coast Will Require Restoring Its Democracy—Governor Jindal Is Trying to Undermine Both

Restoring Louisiana’s Coast Will Require Restoring Its Democracy—Governor Jindal Is Trying to Undermine Both | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. | April 16, 2014 6:11 pm


The Mississippi’s River southernmost delta is home to a rich ecosystem, robust, culture and booming economy. Wetlands provide critical storm protection for the Louisiana’s coast. A recent poll by America’s Wetland Foundation found that 74 percent of Louisiana residents “consider saving the coast to be the most important issue [in the state] of our lifetime.” For Delta citizens, flood protection is a matter of survival. Louisiana wetlands are disappearing at a rate of approximately one football field every hour and coastal communities are already washing into the Gulf of Mexico. To date, roughly 2,000 square miles of land have disappeared under water and the erosion is accelerating. The disappearing land once buffered communities including New Orleans from catastrophic storm surges.


Read more at

http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/16/restoring-louisianas-wetlands-jindal/


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French Parliament Bans GMO Corn

French Parliament Bans GMO Corn | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Brandon Baker | April 16, 2014 10:17 am


France moved beyond Monsanto Tuesday, approving an law with far-reaching applicability forgenetically modified (GM)corn.

France’s lower house of Parliament banned GM corn in a sweeping fashion, Reuters reported. Now, no variety of GM corn can be cultivated because of its toxic threats to the soil, insects and human health.

Just a month ago France prohibited the sale, use and cultivation of Monsanto’s MON 810, the only GM crop that had been authorized in the European Union (EU). 

 

Read more at

http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/16/french-parliament-bans-gmo-corn/

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Oklahoma Will Charge Customers Who Install Their Own Solar Panels

Oklahoma Will Charge Customers Who Install Their Own Solar Panels | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Oklahoma residents who produce their own energy through solar panels or small wind turbines on their property will now be charged an additional fee, the result of a new bill passed by the state legislature.


BY KILEY KROH ON APRIL 16, 2014 AT 3:37 PM


Oklahoma residents who produce their own energy through solar panels or small wind turbines on their property will now be charged an additional fee, the result of a new bill passed by the state legislature and expected to be signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin (R).

On Monday, S.B. 1456 passed the state House 83-5 after no debate. The measure creates a new class of customers: those who install distributed power generation systems like solar panels or small wind turbines on their property and sell the excess energy back to the grid. While those with systems already installed won’t be affected, the new class of customers will now be charged a monthly fee — a shift that happened quickly and caught many in the state off guard.

“We knew nothing about it and all of a sudden it’s attached to some other bill,” Ctaci Gary, owner of Sun City Oklahoma, told ThinkProgress. “It just appeared out of nowhere.”


Read more at

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/16/3427392/oklahoma-fee-solar-wind/



Coffee Party USA's insight:

So much for free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberties.

Greg R., Coffee Party Curator


As the use of solar power skyrockets across the U.S., fights have sprung up in several states over how much customers should be compensated for excess power produced by their solar panels and sold back to the grid — a policy known as net metering. Net metering laws have come under fire from the secretive American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group backed by fossil fuel corporations, utility companies, and the ultra-conservative Koch brothers. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have net metering policies in place and ALEC has set its sights on repealing them, referring to homeowners with their own solar panels as “freeriders on the system.” ALEC presented Gov. Fallin the Thomas Jefferson Freedom award last year for her “record of advancing the fundamental Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism and individual liberty as a nationally recognized leader.”

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Communist urge total boycott of US goods

Communist urge total boycott of US goods | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Russian Communists are planning a mass campaign promoting a voluntary boycott of all American goods as proof that Russians cannot be intimidated by sanctions.
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Maryland Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

Maryland Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Governor Martin O'Malley signed more than 100 laws on Monday, including a bill expanding Maryland's medical marijuana program, as well as legislation decriminalizing the possession of less than 10 grams.
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Philadelphia cuts cooperation with ICE deportation police

Philadelphia cuts cooperation with ICE deportation police | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Published time: April 17, 2014 01:27


Philadelphia law enforcement officials will stop taking immigrants into custody on behalf of the federal government unless provided with a warrant. The news comes after city Mayor Michael Nutter signed an executive order on Wednesday.

Nutter’s order comes after police officers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and in a number of other places throughout the US have spent years working on behalf of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, detaining immigrants not accused of any wrongdoing and providing them to ICE for deportation.


Read more at

http://rt.com/usa/philadelphia-cuts-ice-ties-020/



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​Walmart employees deliver chairman $7.8 bn 'tax bill' for company's tax breaks

​Walmart employees deliver chairman $7.8 bn 'tax bill' for company's tax breaks | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Protesting Walmart’s tax privileges as it pays its workers notoriously low wages, the store’s employees and others have delivered a $7.8 billion “tax bill” to the Arizona home of the retail giant’s chairman, Rob Walton.


Published time: April 17, 2014 02:19


Protesting Walmart’s tax privileges as it pays its workers notoriously low wages, the store’s employees and others have delivered a $7.8 billion “tax bill” to the Arizona home of the retail giant’s chairman, Rob Walton.

report released this week showed Walmart is the beneficiary of $7.8 billion a year in tax breaks and subsidies from the US tax system. Employees of the retail giant and others used the opportunity to remind Walmart heir Walton how many of the company's workers are forced to depend on social programs to get by, while Walmart reaps billions in profits.


Read more at 

http://rt.com/usa/walmart-tax-subsidies-breaks-028/



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