Coffee Party News
Follow
Find
640.6K views | +85 today
Suggested by Connie Vogel
onto Coffee Party News
Scoop.it!

Ethical Capitalism - Worth a Try?

Ethical Capitalism - Worth a Try? | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Geneva-based non-profit organization best known for its Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the Annual Meeting of New Champions in China (Summer Davos) and the Summit on the Global Agenda in Dubai. It also releases research reports such as the Competitiveness Reports and Risk Reports and engages with its members in sector-specific initiatives.

Ethical Capitalism - Worth a Try?

Capitalism lifted 1 billion people out of poverty in 20 years but, today, society is discontent. Some believe the neo-liberal capitalist model needs shaking up, and that regulators, supervisors and corporate governance managers have failed those they are meant to protect. Western economic and social crises are pointing to the bankruptcy of the capitalist model. Yet the question remains: What is the alternative?


Speakers: Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Martin Sorrell, Muhammad Yunus, Jasmine Whitbread, Stanley M. Bergman, Ignazio Visco, Zanny Minton Beddoes

Watch: http://www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-2014/player?p=1&pi=1&a=52675

more...
No comment yet.
Coffee Party News
Fact-based, solutions-oriented, people-powered news for the 99%
Your new post is loading...
Rescooped by Coffee Party USA from Coffee Party News
Scoop.it!

Support Coffee Party USA

Support Coffee Party USA | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Greg Russak
Scoop.it!

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/


more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Greg Russak
Scoop.it!

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/

more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Bobby Rodrigo
Scoop.it!

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.”

more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Bobby Rodrigo
Scoop.it!

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.
more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Bobby Rodrigo
Scoop.it!

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.
more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Bobby Rodrigo
Scoop.it!

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/



more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Bobby Rodrigo
Scoop.it!

​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/



more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Greg Russak
Scoop.it!

New Data Illustrate Local Impact of Tax Credits for Working Families

New Data Illustrate Local Impact of Tax Credits for Working Families | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Jane R. Williams and Elizabeth Kneebone | April 15, 2014 11:22am


This Tax Day we want to draw your attention to newly-released resources that demonstrate the widespread impact of federal tax policies targeted to low- and moderate-income working families, particularly the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC).

 

New IRS data for Tax Year 2012, now available through our EITC Interactive, show that in 2012, 26.2 million filers received the EITC, claiming an average credit of $2,359. Almost 60 percent (15.7 million) of EITC filers also went on to receive the refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit, claiming an additional $1,266 on average.

 

These refundable tax credits not only encourage and support work but also offer an effective poverty alleviation tool. As we wrote earlier this year, according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), nationally the poverty rate would have been 3 percentage points higher in 2012 without the EITC and the refundable portion of the CTC. For children, the impact of these credits was even greater, effectively lowering the child poverty rate by 6.7 percentage points.


Read more at

http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/the-avenue/posts/2014/04/15-data-tax-credits-working-families


more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Charles Lang
Scoop.it!

Charles Koch in @WSJOpinion: I'm Fighting to Restore a Free Society

Charles Koch in @WSJOpinion: I'm Fighting to Restore a Free Society | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
In The Wall Street Journal, Charles Koch writes that instead of welcoming free debate, collectivists engage in character assassination



By 
CHARLES G. KOCH
Updated April 2, 2014 7:47 p.m. ET

I have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives. It is those principles—the principles of a free society—that have shaped my life, my family, our company and America itself.

Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation's own government. That's why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts. It was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process.

A truly free society is based on a vision of respect for people and what they value. In a truly free society, any business that disrespects its customers will fail, and deserves to do so. The same should be true of any government that disrespects its citizens. The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism.

More than 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson warned that this could happen. "The natural progress of things," Jefferson wrote, "is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." He knew that no government could possibly run citizens' lives for the better. The more government tries to control, the greater the disaster, as shown by the current health-care debacle. Collectivists (those who stand for government control of the means of production and how people live their lives) promise heaven but deliver hell. For them, the promised end justifies the means.

Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents. They engage in character assassination. (I should know, as the almost daily target of their attacks.) This is the approach that Arthur Schopenhauer described in the 19th century, that Saul Alinsky famously advocated in the 20th, and that so many despots have infamously practiced. Such tactics are the antithesis of what is required for a free society—and a telltale sign that the collectivists do not have good answers.

Rather than try to understand my vision for a free society or accurately report the facts about Koch Industries, our critics would have you believe we're "un-American" and trying to "rig the system," that we're against "environmental protection" or eager to "end workplace safety standards." These falsehoods remind me of the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's observation, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." Here are some facts about my philosophy and our company:

Koch companies employ 60,000 Americans, who make many thousands of products that Americans want and need. According to government figures, our employees and the 143,000 additional American jobs they support generate nearly $11.7 billion in compensation and benefits. About one-third of our U.S.-based employees are union members.

Koch employees have earned well over 700 awards for environmental, health and safety excellence since 2009, many of them from the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. EPA officials have commended us for our "commitment to a cleaner environment" and called us "a model for other companies."

Our refineries have consistently ranked among the best in the nation for low per-barrel emissions. In 2012, our Total Case Incident Rate (an important safety measure) was 67% better than a Bureau of Labor Statistics average for peer industries. Even so, we have never rested on our laurels. We believe there is always room for innovation and improvement.

Far from trying to rig the system, I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates, subsidies and protective tariffs—even when we benefit from them. I believe that cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful, and should be abolished.

Koch Industries was the only major producer in the ethanol industry to argue for the demise of the ethanol tax credit in 2011. That government handout (which cost taxpayers billions) needlessly drove up food and fuel prices as well as other costs for consumers—many of whom were poor or otherwise disadvantaged. Now the mandate needs to go, so that consumers and the marketplace are the ones who decide the future of ethanol.

Instead of fostering a system that enables people to help themselves, America is now saddled with a system that destroys value, raises costs, hinders innovation and relegates millions of citizens to a life of poverty, dependency and hopelessness. This is what happens when elected officials believe that people's lives are better run by politicians and regulators than by the people themselves. Those in power fail to see that more government means less liberty, and liberty is the essence of what it means to be American. Love of liberty is the American ideal.

If more businesses (and elected officials) were to embrace a vision of creating real value for people in a principled way, our nation would be far better off—not just today, but for generations to come. I'm dedicated to fighting for that vision. I'm convinced most Americans believe it's worth fighting for, too.

Mr. Koch is chairman and CEO of Koch Industries.

.

Coffee Party USA's insight:

The Coffee Party is very interested to know what you think.

more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Bobby Rodrigo
Scoop.it!

Congress Should Pass the Democracy Restoration Act | Brennan Center for Justice

Congress Should Pass the Democracy Restoration Act | 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 10, 2014

Based on Brennan Center Proposal, Bill Would Restore Voting Rights to 4.4 Million Americans

Contact: Erik Opsal, erik.opsal@nyu.edu, 646-292-8356

Washington, D.C. – Today, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) introduced the Democracy Restoration Act, which would restore voting rights in federal elections to nearly 4.4 million Americans citizens with criminal convictions in their past.


Based on a Brennan Center proposal, the bill builds on recent support for rights restoration. In February, U.S Attorney General Eric Holder called on states to restore voting rights. But 35 states continue to disenfranchise people after they are released from prison. The Democracy Restoration Act would restore voting rights to these citizens for federal elections.


"Voting is the cornerstone of American democracy,” said Nicole Austin-Hillery, director and counsel of the Center’s Washington, D.C., office. “Restoring voting rights to citizens who have served their time will strengthen our democracy. Congress should move quickly to pass this bill and ensure our voting system is free, fair, and accessible to all eligible Americans.”


“Restoring voting rights to people with past criminal convictions will expand our democracy, increase public safety, and streamline America’s election system,” said Democracy Program Deputy Director Myrna Pérez. “Voting, and the responsibility that goes with it, increases a person’s stake in their community, helping transform a former prisoner from an outsider into a law-abiding citizen. Congress should pass it without delay.”


The Democracy Restoration Act has garnered broad support from a diverse coalition that includes law enforcement associations, the faith community, racial justice advocates, and civil rights organizations. Versions of the bill were introduced in past sessions of Congress.


View the Brennan Center’s proposal to restore voting rights upon release from incarceration, and our state-by-state guide on criminal disenfranchisement laws. Read more on theDemocracy Restoration Act.

more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Bobby Rodrigo
Scoop.it!

Dozens of teenagers are now tweeting bomb jokes to American Airlines

Dozens of teenagers are now tweeting bomb jokes to American Airlines | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
The arrest of a Dutch teenager didn't dissuade copycats. It created a noxious meme.


BY CAITLIN DEWEY
April 14 at 3:09 pm


One dumb teenager is easily excused — but the host of Twitter users currently tweeting bomb threats at major airlines is another story entirely.


Read more at

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2014/04/14/dozens-of-teenagers-are-now-tweeting-bomb-jokes-to-american-airlines/


more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Greg Russak
Scoop.it!

Where have all the moderates gone? Politics as 'gladiatorial combat'

Where have all the moderates gone? Politics as 'gladiatorial combat' | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

By Ryan Menezes

April 14, 201410:00 a.m.


Barry Glassner first detailed how politicians use fear-mongering in his 1999 book “The Culture of Fear.” He wrote of politicians claiming America was on the decline, like those who coined the term “super-predators” to describe young American men with suppressed rage who would grow up to ruin the country if not reared early.

Fear-mongering has never declined, Glassner said Sunday at the Festival of Books, but it did change. When Glassner’s book was republished for its 10-year anniversary, its cover carried the phrase “Updated for our post-9/11 world.” 

 

At a panel titled “Out of Focus: Politics, the Media and Perspective,” Glassner, now the president of Lewis &  Clark College in Portland, pointed to the tonal shift after the terrorist attacks. No longer was America home to a sick society. Rather the discourse was now about how great the country was and how jealous others must be to attack it. The enemies changed from domestic to foreign.


Read more at
http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-politics-media-panel-20140413,0,4396741.story#ixzz2z4M2pb40

more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Greg Russak
Scoop.it!

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.
 
Read more at
 
more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Greg Russak
Scoop.it!

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.”


more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Bobby Rodrigo
Scoop.it!

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
more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Greg Russak
Scoop.it!

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.”

 

more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Bobby Rodrigo
Scoop.it!

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.
more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Bobby Rodrigo
Scoop.it!

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


more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Bobby Rodrigo
Scoop.it!

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


more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Greg Russak
Scoop.it!

Protest or Celebrate the McCutcheon Ruling and Get Big Money Out of Politics

Protest or Celebrate the McCutcheon Ruling and Get Big Money Out of Politics | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Overturn McCutcheon andCitizens UnitedAttend a Meeting With Your Member of Congress During the April Recess

 

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.

McCutcheon pretty much did for individuals what Citizens United did for corporations. Specifically, those who can afford to do so can directly contribute nearly $6 million per election cycle to a single party and its candidates.

Members of Congress will be heading home for April recess from April 12 to April 27. We want to make sure they hear our outrage at McCutcheon and the further erosion of our democracy. We want their support for a constitutional amendment and the Government By the People Act. We will be working with you to set up meetings with your legislators around the country.


Sign up if you would like attend a meeting near you. We will provide you with information so that you are prepared for the meeting and let you know when the meeting is scheduled.


Sign up at

http://action.citizen.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12458&tag=DIFPInDistrictApr2014PFAW


more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Bobby Rodrigo
Scoop.it!

Obama Administration Rakes In Billions Off Student Debt

Obama Administration Rakes In Billions Off Student Debt | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Published on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by Common Dreams


- Lauren McCauley, staff writer


Critics blasted the U.S. Department of Education for profiting off the backs of struggling students after a new projection by the Congressional Budget Office revealed Monday that the federal agency is set to make $127 billion from loan interest payments over the next ten years.

And despite promises to do the opposite, a student loan bill signed into law last year is driving up those interest rates even faster than projected, an internal government watchdog reports.

“This exploding debt is crushing our young people,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Saturday, speaking at a student loan symposium at Suffolk University's law school in Boston. Warren was one of the few lawmakers who last year voted against the passage of the loan bill.

“These students didn’t go to the mall and run up a bunch of charges on credit cards," Warren continued. "They worked hard to learn new skills that will benefit this country. [...] They deserve our support, not an extra tax for trying to get an education.”


Read more at

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/04/15-6



more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Bobby Rodrigo
Scoop.it!

EPIC - FTC Commissioner Wright Meets with Industry Lobbyists, Not Consumer Representatives

EPIC - FTC Commissioner Wright Meets with Industry Lobbyists, Not Consumer Representatives | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
FTC Commissioner Wright Meets with Industry Lobbyists, Not Consumer Representatives

Posted on April 8, 2014


Through a Freedom of Information Act request, EPIC obtained the appointment calendar of FTC Commissioner Wright. The Commissioner's calendar reveals many meetings with corporate presentatives but no meetings with public interest organizations representing consumers. One of FTC's primary missions is to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive business practices. Commissioner Wright became an FTC Commissioner in January 2013. Since then he has met with representatives from Apple, Microsoft, Verizon, Qualcomm, the Network Advertising Initiative, and the Consumer Data Industry Association. He has attended industry conferences and given talks at trade association meetings. EPIC tried several times to arrange a meeting between Commissioner Wright and the Privacy Coalition—a nonpartisan coalition of consumer, civil liberties, educational, family, library, and technology organizations. The Privacy Coalition has hosted meetings with many FTC commissioners over the past decade. After repeatedly declining a meeting with the consumer privacy organizations, EPIC filed a FOIA request for the FTC Commissioner's appointment calendar. For more information, see EPIC: Federal Trade Commission.


more...
Eli Levine's curator insight, April 16, 7:10 PM

And the rich wonder how it is that everything gets over turned for them.

 

Silly brains.

 

Think about it.

Suggested by Bobby Rodrigo
Scoop.it!

NYPD Announces End of Muslim Demographics Unit | Brennan Center for Justice

NYPD Announces End of Muslim Demographics Unit | 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 15, 2014

NEW YORK – Today, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) announced it will disband its Demographics Unit, which previously mapped Muslim communities in and around New York City. The department's secret program would send plainclothes officers into mosques, restaurants, and neighborhoods to gather information on people's mundane daily activities.

The Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice previously called for an end to this program as well as for the establishment of an Inspector General for the NYPD. The Center’s program released the following statements:

“The Demographics Unit needlessly spied on American Muslim communities, never producing any intelligence,” said Faiza Patel, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. “We hope its dissolution marks a new approach to policing in New York and look forward to reforms that curb all unwarranted intrusions into Muslims' personal and religious lives."

"It’s one thing to disband a unit. It’s another to change the way you do business,” addedMichael Price, counsel in the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice.  “The NYPD must next change its policies on surveillance to rebuild trust with all New York Muslims.”

For more information, read:

more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Bobby Rodrigo
Scoop.it!

Why is the Gates foundation investing in GM giant Monsanto?

Why is the Gates foundation investing in GM giant Monsanto? | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's investments in Monsanto and Cargill have come under heavy criticism. Is it time for the foundation to come clean on its visions for agriculture in developing countries?


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is sponsoring the Guardian's Global development site is being heavily criticised in Africa and the US for getting into bed not just with notorious GM company Monsanto, but also with agribusiness commodity giant Cargill.


Trouble began when a US financial website published the foundation's annual investment portfolio, which showed it had bought 500,000 Monsanto shares worth around $23m. This was a substantial increase in the last six months and while it is just small change for Bill and Melinda, it has been enough to let loose their fiercest critics.


Seattle-based Agra Watch - a project of the Community Alliance for Global Justice - was outraged. "Monsanto has a history of blatant disregard for the interests and well being of small farmers around the world… [This] casts serious doubt on the foundation's heavy funding of agricultural development in Africa," it thundered.


But it got worse. South Africa-based watchdog the African Centre for Biosafety then found that the foundation was teaming up with Cargill in a $10m project to "develop the soya value chain" in Mozambique and elsewhere. Who knows what this corporate-speak really means, but in all probability it heralds the big time introduction of GM soya in southern Africa.


The two incidents raise a host of questions for the foundation. Few people doubt that GM has a place in Africa, but is Gates being hopelessly naïve by backing two of the world's most aggressive agri-giants? There is, after all, genuine concern at governmental and community level that the United State's model of extensive hi-tech farming is inappropriate for most of Africa and should not be foist on the poorest farmers in the name of "feeding the world".


The fact is that Cargill is a faceless agri-giant that controls most of the world's food commodities and Monsanto has been blundering around poor Asian countries for a decade giving itself and the US a lousy name for corporate bullying. Does Gates know it is in danger of being caught up in their reputations, or does the foundation actually share their corporate vision of farming and intend to work with them more in future?


The foundation has never been upfront about its vision for agriculture in the world's poorest countries, nor the role of controversial technologies like GM. But perhaps it could start the debate here?


In the meantime, it could tell us how many of its senior agricultural staff used to work for Monsanto or Cargill?

more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Bobby Rodrigo
Scoop.it!

North Dakota struggling to deal with radioactive fracking waste

North Dakota struggling to deal with radioactive fracking waste | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Environmental regulators and North Dakota state officials have expressed concern that the state has failed to adequately adjust to the state’s sudden influx of crude oil output, a worry highlighted by the recent discovery of abandoned radioactive waste.


Published time: April 16, 2014 03:49


Environmental regulators and North Dakota state officials have expressed concern that the state has failed to adequately adjust to the state’s sudden influx of crude oil output, a worry highlighted by the recent discovery of abandoned radioactive waste.

Last month, the North Dakota Health Department announced that a large pile of oil filter socks –radioactive nets that are used to strain liquid during the oil production process – had been found at an old gas station in Noonan, a small town in the northwestern region of the state.


Read more at

http://rt.com/usa/north-dakota-radioactive-waste-fracking-784/



more...
No comment yet.