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Ohio’s GOP Secretary of State Already Has A Plan To Rig The 2016 Election For Republicans

Ohio’s GOP Secretary of State Already Has A Plan To Rig The 2016 Election For Republicans | Coffee Party News |
Last year, Pennsylvania’s Republican Gov. Tom Corbett proposed rigging the Electoral College vote in his state through a plan that would have given the majority of the state’s electors to Romney even after President Obama carried the state.

We deserve true democracy.-MRP

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The Mission of Citizens for Self Governance

The Mission of Citizens for Self Governance | Coffee Party News |

Citizens for Self Governance’ Mission is to return American governmental power to the people; devolving it from the Federal to the State and Local level as appropriate.

We also focus on reducing the influence large public and private institutions have on government.

Our reach is across the entire political spectrum. We intend to break the Right vs. Left Paradigm in American politics.

This will be done by engaging the Citizens and providing information, resources and access to amplify the voices of the people.

As a result, we intend to disperse power and break the cycle of incumbency when that incumbency doesn’t represent the will of the people.

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The Norquist Anti-Tax Pledge is Cracking — And That’s a Good Thing

The Norquist Anti-Tax Pledge is Cracking — And That’s a Good Thing | Coffee Party News |

by SCOTT GALUPO, The American Conservative

Grover Norquist’s anti-tax dogma is slowly losing its grip on Republicans in both chambers of Congress. The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza has a handy rundown on the growing crop GOP defectors, but for brevity’s sake, they are Sens. Lindsey Graham, Bob Corker, and Saxby Chambliss, as well as Rep. Peter King. This is on top of Speaker John Boehner’s pithy characterization of Norquist as “some random person” (if only!).

Count me as unapologetically happy about this development.

It’s not that I’m thrilled by the promise of higher taxes.

Rather, I think the party, and the conservative movement at large, is long overdue in recognizing that the Norquist pledge has proved a spectacular failure on its own terms. The pledge was more than simply a safeguard against tax increases; it was a means to an end. Norquist memorably described that end thusly: “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

And how’d that work out?

The pledge arrived on the scene in 1986. And we do see, in Barro’s chart, a dip in federal spending as a share of GDP, beginning around the time of the Clinton administration. Barro explains that, during that period, we “caught lightning in a bottle … and can’t plan on doing so again”:

Of this 4.7 percentage points of GDP decline in government spending, nearly all (3.9 points) is attributable to the federal budget. About half of that (1.8 points) is the “peace dividend”: reductions in federal defense spending after the Cold War. A quarter (0.9 points) is reduction in net interest expense, as interest rates fell and so did the size of the public debt relative to GDP. Other key contributors were declines in non-defense discretionary spending (0.4 points) and in Social Security (0.5 points), the latter likely attributable to favorable demographics, as the Baby Boomers were in a peak earning period while a relatively smaller generation was retired.

In other words, the Norquist pledge had little if anything to do with the healthy fiscal position of the 1990s. And when it really mattered — during the Bush era, with its simultaneous wars and spike in spending — it was a limp slice of Swiss cheese. Congress lowered tax rates, while spending went up, up, up. Rather than inducing lawmakers to hold the line on the size of government, it served as an excuse to charge the binge to the federal Mastercard.

In retrospect, the Norquist anti-tax pledge was an emblem of blind-spot budgeting: it focused on revenue inputs and … what — hoped for the best on outputs?

The Republicans who have thus far publicly broken with Norquist have done so in the name of holistic budgeting — getting spending more in line with revenue. They realize that a deal with Democrats on revenue will create room for compromise on entitlements. Yielding on taxes, in other words, will accomplish the goal of actually shrinking government as a share of the economy.

If Norquist loses, logic wins.

Via Michael Charney
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In Leaked Documents, Honeywell Cites Obama Ties as Key to Anti-Union Strategy

In Leaked Documents, Honeywell Cites Obama Ties as Key to Anti-Union Strategy | Coffee Party News |
A leaked internal Honeywell document outlines an anti-union strategy that includes leveraging Obama administration connections.

By MIKE ELK, In These Times 

In These Times has exclusively obtained a leaked internal Honeywell document outlining an anti-union strategy that includes leveraging Obama administration connections. The documents suggest that the megacorporation is deeply concerned about recent union activity at its factories and the bad press that has resulted (one example cited is a Working In These Times op-ed).
The PowerPoint presentation, downloadable here, was leaked to In These Times by unionized Honeywell workers who downloaded them from company’s internal database. Titled “DRAFT Honeywell Readiness Plan for Corporate Union Campaigns” and marked "Honeywell - Confidential," the slideshow was authored by four Honeywell interns (see correction at bottom). Though the document is undated, it appears to be relatively recent, relying on 2011 data. Its stated objective is “to develop a framework that can be used by Honeywell with the resources required to prevent or react to a nationwide corporate union campaign and dissipate any problems as quickly as possible.”


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2 Banks Settle With S.E.C. on Mortgage Securities

2 Banks Settle With S.E.C. on Mortgage Securities | Coffee Party News |


JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse will pay a total of $417 million to resolve claims that they deceptively promoted investments that were already troubled.

JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse have agreed to settlements with the Securities and Exchange Commission totaling $417 million over their packaging and sale of troubled mortgage securities to investors, the agency said Friday. The settlements are the latest major penalties extracted by the agency in a broad investigation into the way Wall Street firms bundled mortgages into complex investments before the financial crisis.

JPMorgan agreed to pay $296.9 million to settle the charges with the S.E.C.

The S.E.C. has leveled claims against a handful of major banks, including JPMorgan and Credit Suisse, that they painted a deceptively rosy portrait of the securities while some of the underlying loans were already showing signs of delinquency.

Robert Khuzami, director of the S.E.C.’s Division of Enforcement, called mortgage products like those sold by the banks “ground zero in the financial crisis” in a statement Friday. The S.E.C. cautioned Wall Street to brace itself for more enforcement actions.

While the S.E.C. has brought more than 100 cases related to the financial crisis, the agency has won only piecemeal victories against the banks, and has not yet secured a big victory against any individuals responsible for some of the reckless behavior. In a significant setback for the agency, a federal jury in August acquitted a Citigroup manager whom the S.E.C. had accused of misleading investors in the sale of a complex security made up of residential mortgages.

Mr. Khuzami on a conference call Friday acknowledged the challenge of bringing cases against individuals related to “structured” financial products, but noted that “we are by no means are shying away from charging individuals.”

JPMorgan and Credit Suisse did not admit or deny guilt. JPMorgan agreed to pay $296.9 million to settle the charges and Credit Suisse agreed to pay $120 million.

The S.E.C. brought the cases in conjunction with the federal-state mortgage task force, which President Obama created in January to investigate the subprime mortgage morass. In its first major salvo against banks, the group sued JPMorgan last month. That federal lawsuit is still pending.

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Is the BP Criminal Settlement Enough?

Is the BP Criminal Settlement Enough? | Coffee Party News |
The DOJ announced a $4.5 billion settlement for criminal charges related to the Gulf spill. Should BP pay a bigger price?

by Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones

BP and the Department of Justice announced on Thursday that they had reached an agreement on a record fine stemming from criminal charges related to the 2009 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

BP pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts of misconduct and neglect related to the deaths of 11 workers on the oil rig, as well as one felony count of obstruction of justice for lying to Congress about the size of the spill. They also pled guilty to misdemeanor counts for violating the Clean Water Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

But in exchange for the record fine, they won't face any criminal penalties. The SEC charges deal with complaints that the company lied to investors about the size of the spill in its filings as well. (The US federal court still needs to approve the settlement.) [MORE]

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Republicans to Mitt Romney: Exit stage left

Republicans to Mitt Romney: Exit stage left | Coffee Party News |

by Chris Cillizza, Washington Post

Republicans don’t want Mitt Romney to go away mad but they do, it seems, want him to go away.

That sentiment was in full bloom following Romney’s first post-election comments — made on a phone call with donors earlier this week. On the call, Romney attributed his loss to the “gifts” President Obama’s campaign doled out to young people and minorities. For many, the comments had an eerie echo of the secretly taped “47 percent” remarks Romney made at a May fundraiser.

“There is no Romney wing in the party that he needs to address,” said Ed Rogers, a longtime Republican strategist. “He never developed an emotional foothold within the GOP so he can exit the stage anytime and no one will mourn.”

Added Chris LaCivita, a senior party operative: “The comment just reinforced a perception — fairly or not – that Romney, and by default, the GOP are the party of the ‘exclusives’. It’s time for us to move on and focus on the future leaders within the GOP.”

Speaking of those future leaders, several of the candidates talked about as 2016 presidential possibilities quickly condemned Romney’s comments as well.

“We have got to stop dividing American voters,” said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. “I absolutely reject that notion, that description … We’re fighting for 100 percent of the vote.” Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker added that the Republican party isn’t “just for people who are currently not dependent on the government.” [MORE]

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A Common Sense Conservative Agenda

A Common Sense Conservative Agenda | Coffee Party News |

by Leland Beaumont, Call Me Lee

With the presidential election now over, the future of the conservative agenda is being examined. Even as a liberal, I would be attracted to a conservative agenda like the following.

Fiscal responsibility is essential to the long-term strength and prosperity of our country. Steps to reduce the deficit and move toward a balanced budget are steps in the right direction.

Economic discussions must include frank discussions of economic externalities. These externalities must be honestly identified and some plan for meeting their costs has to be established. For example, if fracking is being advocated, then the full effects on the environment, along with the consumption of the resource must be accounted for. This may require establishing effective environmental regulations, careful choice of fracking fluids, planning for the restoration of polluted water, restoration of lands, and creation of an annuity to offset the rapid consumption of a nonrenewable natural resource. In addition, the simplistic nature of many prevalent economic models must be acknowledged and corrected. For example, GDP is clearly a poor indicator of wellbeing, and myths about the effects of certain macroeconomic actions, such as trickle down theories, need to be abandoned.

Use the tax code only to raise revenue, not to shape a social or cultural agenda. Simplify the tax code dramatically to include only reasonable definitions of income and a progressive tax rate on that income. This simplification will make taxation transparent and much fairer. At the same time we need to migrate to a system where we tax what we want less of, such as pollution and financial speculation, rather than what we want more of, such as work that create lasting value. [MORE]

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Now That's What I Call Gerrymandering!

Now That's What I Call Gerrymandering! | Coffee Party News |

Americans didn't intend to elect a Republican majority to the House of Representatives. Thanks to GOP-engineered redistricting, they did.

by Adam Serwer and Jaeah Lee, Mother Jones

Americans woke up on November 7th having elected a Democratic president, expanded the Democratic majority in the Senate, and preserved the Republican majority in the House.

That's not what they voted for, though. Most Americans voted for Democratic representation in the House. The votes are still being counted, but as of now it looks as if Democrats have a slight edge in the popular vote for House seats, 49%-48.2%, according to an analysis by the Washington Post. Still, as the Post's Aaron Blake notes, the 233-195 seat majority the GOP will likely end up with represents the GOP's "second-biggest House majority in 60 years and their third-biggest since the Great Depression."

So how did Republicans keep their House majority despite more Americans voting for the other party—something that has only happened three times in the last hundred years, according to political analyst Richard Winger? Because they drew the lines.

After Republicans swept into power in state legislatures in 2010, the GOP gerrymandered key states, redrawing House district boundaries to favor Republicans. In Pennsylvania, Democratic candidates received half of the votes in House contests, but Republicans will claim about three quarters of the congressional seats. The same is true in North Carolina. More than half the voters in that state voted for Democratic representation, yet Republicans will fill about 70 percent of the seats. Democrats drew more votes in Michigan than Republicans, but they'll take only 5 out of the state's 14 congressional seats. [MORE]

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The American Anti-Corruption Act gets money out of politics, so the people can get back in.

The American Anti-Corruption Act gets money out of politics, so the people can get back in. | Coffee Party News |
Pass the American Anti-Corruption Act - a bold new law that puts an end to business as usual in Washington. Join the movement to pass the act at www.Represent.Us.
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The Confederacy of Takers

The Confederacy of Takers | Coffee Party News |

by DANA MILBANK, The Washington Post

President Obama’s opponents have unwittingly come up with a brilliant plan to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” They want to secede from the union.

If Obama were serious about being a good steward of the nation’s finances, he’d let them.

The White House, in one of those astro-turf efforts that make people feel warm about small-d democracy, launched a “We the People” program on its Web site last year, allowing Americans to petition their government for a redress of grievances. Any petition that receives 25,000 or more signatures within 30 days is promised a response (though not necessarily a favorable one) from the Obama administration.

And so a large number of patriotic Americans, mostly from states won by Mitt Romney last week, have petitioned the White House to let them secede. They should be careful about what they wish for. It would be excellent financial news for those of us left behind if Obama were to grant a number of the rebel states their wish “to withdraw from the United States and create [their] own NEW government” (the petitions emphasize “new” by capitalizing it).

Red states receive, on average, far more from the federal government in expenditures than they pay in taxes. The balance is the opposite in blue states. The secession petitions, therefore, give the opportunity to create what would be, in a fiscal sense, a far more perfect union.

Among those states with large numbers of petitioners asking out: Louisiana (more than 28,000 signatures at midday Tuesday), which gets about $1.45 in federal largess for every $1 it pays in taxes; Alabama (more than 20,000 signatures), which takes $1.71 for every $1 it puts in; South Carolina (26,000), which takes $1.38 for its dollar; and Missouri (22,000), which takes $1.29 for its dollar.

Since the effort gained attention this week, copycats in all but a few states have joined the petition drive. To be fair, White House officials could refuse the secession petitions of states Obama won, such as New York (which gets only 79 cents on its tax dollar), Michigan (85 cents) and Colorado (79 cents).

What would be left is a Confederacy of Takers, including relatively poor states such as Alaska, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. One of the few would-be Confederacy members that pays more than it receives is Texas, which because of oil money is roughly break-even at 94 cents of benefits for its tax dollar. (The statistics, from an analysis of tax and revenue data by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, were published in 2006, but the broad pattern doesn’t vary much over time.) [MORE]

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Super PACs Make Move to Lobbying : Roll Call Influence

Super PACs Make Move to Lobbying : Roll Call Influence | Coffee Party News |

by Eliza Newlin Carney, Roll Call

High-dollar super PACs and advocacy groups failed to score big wins in the recent elections, but they may have better luck with their next act: lobbying Capitol Hill. From anti-tax activists to environmental organizers, special interest players are pivoting to the policy arena and bringing their unrestricted super PACs with them. It’s a trend that worries campaign reform advocates, who warn that the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling may do more to distort policymaking than elections.

“It’s part of the permanent campaign,” said Rick Hasen, a law professor at Loyola Law School. “Sometimes it’s about issues, and sometimes it’s about candidates. But you’re always pushing the message.”

Big-spending GOP super PACs such as American Crossroads and its affiliated nonprofit, Crossroads GPS, spent more than $175 million but failed to win the White House or the Senate. Despite their record, the group’s organizers say they’ve just begun to fight. Like many campaign-oriented advocacy groups, the Crossroads operation couples a super PAC with a tax-exempt lobbying arm. [MORE]

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RELEASE: New Poverty Data Provide Crucial Information on Effectiveness of Public Policies and Offer Insights into Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

RELEASE: New Poverty Data Provide Crucial Information on Effectiveness of Public Policies and Offer Insights into Fiscal Cliff Negotiations | Coffee Party News |

by KATIE PETERS, Center for American Progress

Washington, D.C. — In response to the release of U.S. Census Bureau data on poverty and hardship today, the Center for American Progress released an analysis of how this new information should inform Congress’s approach to deciding the fate of many critical programs for low-income Americans during the year-end fiscal showdown.

In the analysis, CAP Poverty expert Melissa Boteach explains how the 2011 Supplemental Poverty Measure data show that public policy choices make a difference when it comes to lifting families out of poverty.

Refundable tax credits for working families lifted 8.7 million people out of poverty in 2011, and the child poverty rate would have been 6.3 percentage points higher without them.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program lifted 4.7 million people out of poverty in 2011. Without it, the child poverty rate would have been 2.9 percentage points higher.
The low-income home energy assistance program lifted more than 300,000 people above the poverty line in 2011.

At the end of 2012, though, the expansions to the earned income and child tax credits for working families—which kept hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty in 2010 and lessened hardship for millions more—are set to expire. Similarly, if Congress fails to act, the low-income home energy assistance program will be hit at the end of the year by automatic across-the-board cuts that would eliminate 734,000 households from help paying their utility bills. Without action from Congress, the millions of people who were lifted out of poverty by these successful public policies may be forced back below the poverty line. [MORE]

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Judicial Elections, Unhinged

Judicial Elections, Unhinged | Coffee Party News |

Editorial, New York Times

Record spending in state supreme court races continues a damaging trend.

This year’s round of state judicial elections broke previous records for the amounts spent on judicial campaigns around the country. The dominant role played by special-interest money — including money from super PACs financed by undisclosed donors — has severely weakened the principle of fair and impartial courts.

In Florida, for example, three respected State Supreme Court justices won their retention election battles, but only after they were forced to raise more than $1.5 million in total. They had put on expensive campaigns because they were targeted for defeat by moneyed conservatives who wanted to drive them off the bench for their supposed liberal views. The justices were absolutely right to fight back. Still, the bitter campaigns leave impressions of judicial partisanship and indebtedness to campaign donors.

Nationally, spending on television advertisements in state supreme court races reached nearly $28 million by Election Day, exceeding the $24.4 million in 2004, the previous record for a presidential election year, according to the Brennan Center for Justice and Justice at Stake, nonpartisan groups working for fair courts. Groups not connected to candidate campaigns paid for more than half of the TV ads run, compared with about 30 percent in 2010, making it much harder for candidates to control their own message.

In Michigan, where three of seven seats on the State Supreme Court were up for election, records were set for both spending and lack of accountability. The $3.2 million raised by candidates and reported to the Michigan Bureau of Elections was dwarfed by unreported spending by the political parties and outside groups interested in tilting the balance on the court. One ad run by an independent group against Bridget McCormack, a Democratic candidate for a seat on the court, featured the mother of a soldier killed in Afghanistan and suggested that Ms. McCormack’s legal work for a detainee released from Guantánamo Bay in 2007 showed support for terrorism. Ms. McCormack won the race.

Of the $15 million or so spent for TV ads in Michigan, 75 percent cannot be attributed to identifiable donors, notes Rich Robinson, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, which advocates changing Michigan law to bar undisclosed independent spending. That exceeds even the 2010 record, when half the total spending on Michigan Supreme Court races came from secret sources.


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Progressive Paradigm Shift: The Real 'Gift' of the 2012 Election

Progressive Paradigm Shift: The Real 'Gift' of the 2012 Election | Coffee Party News |

Demographic trends suggest that this paradigm shift will only loom larger in the years to come. The implications of this change should not be underestimated; this is an incredible moment for progressive politics, and 2012 simply marks the beginning.

by AMANDA WERNER, Huffington Post

Depending who you ask, the outcome of this year's election was either decided by women, people of color, or the LGBT community. But regardless of which group can truly claim credit, the conclusion is clear: for the first time in all of American history, national elections can no longer be won by pandering to straight white men. And demographic trends suggest that this paradigm shift will only loom larger in the years to come. The implications of this change should not be underestimated; this is an incredible moment for progressive politics, and 2012 simply marks the beginning.

While the demographic breakdown of votes in this election was staggering, it was not at all surprising. The Republican Party has long been the last vestige of many older white men, clinging to the basest aspects of American history while claiming a monopoly on patriotism. But both parties must recognize that none of these groups are monoliths; all of these labels encompass incredible diversity that often goes unacknowledged. The category of "women," particularly, is grossly over-generalized -- extending across all other categories with tremendous intersectionality therein. However, the key to last week's Democratic victory is the one characteristic that does unite all of these groups: a common history -- and persistent reality -- of subordination in American society.

Although experiences of subordination vary greatly, dealing with oppressive treatment tends to foster two important values: community and compassion. Of course, these are the very characteristics a group must develop to resist and survive subordination. Community is necessary because the ideal of each individual pulling herself up by her bootstraps does not work as well when your entire group is denied boots in the first place. Compassion naturally follows from this, as subordinated communities are reminded every day that personal struggles rarely exist in a vacuum. [MORE]

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Most Americans Do Not Understand How Israel Is Oppressing Palestinians

Most Americans Do Not Understand How Israel Is Oppressing Palestinians | Coffee Party News |

BY ICARUS, We Acknowledge Class warfare Exists

Juan Cole is a professor at the University of Michigan; he was targeted by the Bush administration during his criticism of the decision to go to Iraq (source) and he’s absolutely brilliant on foreign affairs. For a moment – we’re going to forget all the military checkpoints and declinations by the Israeli government to allow for building permits etc in Gaza. Israel has done a laundry list of things to wage war against Gaza economically but we’re going to stick strictly to straight up import/export for a minute.

Since 2007 – when Israel decided to outlaw citizens of Gaza from importing almost anything. Over time – it has gone from nothing to just barely more than nothing. Imports are still less than 1/5 of where they were pre-Israel prohibition.

Notice that exports are almost nothing. There is simply no reasonable explanation to ban Palestine from exporting goods except for wanting to destroy their economy. Israel controls them and they ensure Gaza can’t produce goods because that would mean Palestinians have jobs and that would mean economic prosperity. Notice the major falloff in 2007 since the policy by Israel was implemented.

So – why the major change in Israeli policy in 2007? Hamas won elections in Gaza in 2006 (source) and Israel wanted to punish the Palestinian people of Gaza.

In practical terms – this is what that means. If you’re a Palestinian in Gaza – you can’t get access to the following items below. [MORE]

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New finance tax for 10 EU states-being proposed in the US now as the "Robinhood Tax"

New finance tax for 10 EU states-being proposed in the US now as the "Robinhood Tax" | Coffee Party News |

From BBC Business

The European Commission backs plans from 10 countries to launch a financial transactions tax to help raise funds to tackle the debt crisis.

The 10 countries include France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

The nations want to push ahead with the tax after failing to win support from all members of the European Union.

The UK has been especially vocal in its opposition to the tax, which it feels would hit the City of London particularly hard.

The remaining countries that have signed up to the tax are Austria, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia.

"I am delighted to see that 10 member states have indicated their willingness to participate in a common financial transaction tax (FTT)," said Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

"This tax can raise billions of euros of much-needed revenue for member states in these difficult times.

"This is about fairness - we need to ensure the costs of the crisis are shared by the financial sector instead of shouldered by ordinary citizens."

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Bull Moose! Reviving Progressive Conservatism

Bull Moose! Reviving Progressive Conservatism | Coffee Party News |


The great American conservative thinker Russell Kirk once observed that some disasters are so catastrophic they require a re-examination of first principles. On Election Day, the Republican Party suffered such an existential shock.

The corporate wing of the GOP was decisively rejected by the voters because it offered nothing but obsolete ideas driven by a bankrupt libertarian ideology that would actually exacerbate the problems America is facing. It cravenly serves the interests of the rich through an agenda composed of tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation for large corporations, crony capitalism, and climate change denial coupled with attacks on the existing social contract. These outmoded, unappealing, elite-friendly policies are marketed to mainstream Americans mixed with a toxic stew of nativism, misogyny, racism, and fear.

The time is ripe for a new alternative — progressive conservatism. Progressive conservatism would offer a fresh perspective- a synergy of populist economics, social justice, environmental stewardship, communitarianism, and traditional values that addresses the concerns of the common people.

The re-establishment of a progressive conservative voice in American politics within the GOP would create a true opposition capable of keeping the Democrats honest, the rest of the Republicans sane, and the plutocracy firmly in check.

Although many are loath to admit it, a class war has been raging in America for decades. The rich have been the aggressors and, so far, they are winning. America’s working and middle classes have been the victims of an unprovoked assault — a massive wealth and power grab fueled by boundless greed. As a result, our economy has been looted and hollowed out, our environment imperiled, our civil liberties curtailed, and our political process captured, by a rent-seeking elite whose only concern is to increase its own take from, and special privileges in, an increasingly rigged and corrupt system. [MORE]

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Why Washington's "Fiscal Cliff" is a Myth

Why Washington's "Fiscal Cliff" is a Myth | Coffee Party News |



by MATTEA KRAMER and CHRIS HELLMAN, National Priorities Project


They don’t call it the “cliff” for nothing. It’s the fiscal spot where a nation’s representatives can gather and cry doom. It’s the place — if Washington is to be believed — where, with a single leap into the Abyss of Sequestration, those representatives can end it all for the rest of us.


In the wake of President Obama’s electoral victory, that cliff (if you’ll excuse a mixed metaphor or two) is about to step front and center. The only problem: the odds are no one will leap, and remarkably little of note will actually happen. But since the headlines are about to scream “crisis,” what you need to understand American politics in the coming weeks of the lame-duck Congress is a little guide to reality, some Cliff Notes for Washington.

As a start, relax. Don’t let the headlines get to you. There’s little reason for anyone to lose sleep over the much-hyped fiscal cliff. In fact, if you were choosing an image based on the coming fiscal dust-up, it probably wouldn’t be a cliff but an obstacle course — a series of federal spending cuts and tax increases all scheduled to take effect as 2013 begins. And it’s true that, if all those budget cuts and tax increases were to go into effect at the same time, an already weak recovery would probably sink into a double-dip recession. [MORE]

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Georgia State Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers and Obama's "war on the suburbs" - Agenda 21 Full Video

[VIDEO] Georgia State Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers recently hosted a public meeting of GOP Senate leaders in the Gold Dome where he talked about Pres. Obama’s “war on the suburbs.”

Among the co-conspirators in this war: the Georgia Chamber and the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Top Georgia GOP Lawmakers Host Briefing on Secret Obama Mind-Control Plot - by TIM MURPHY, Mother Jones

President Obama is using a Cold War-era mind-control technique known as "Delphi" to coerce Americans into accepting his plan for a United Nations-run communist dictatorship in which suburbanites will be forcibly relocated to cities. That's according to a four-hour briefing delivered to Republican state senators at the Georgia state Capitol last month.

On October 11, at a closed-door meeting of the Republican caucus convened by the body's majority leader, Chip Rogers, a tea party activist told Republican lawmakers that Obama was mounting this most diabolical conspiracy. The event—captured on tape by a member of the Athens-based watchdog Better Georgia (who was removed from the room after 52 minutes)—had been billed as an information session on Agenda 21, a nonbinding UN agreement that commits member nations to promote sustainable development. In the eyes of conservative activists, Agenda 21 is a nefarious plot that includes forcibly relocating non-urban-dwellers and prescribing mandatory contraception as a means of curbing population growth. The invitation to the Georgia state Senate event noted the presentation would explain: "How pleasant sounding names are fostering a Socialist plan to change the way we live, eat, learn, and communicate to 'save the earth.'"

The meeting consisted of a PowerPoint presentation followed by a 90-minute screening of the anti-Agenda 21 documentary, Agenda: Grinding America Down. It was emceed by Field Searcy, a local conservative activist who was forced out of the Georgia Tea Party in April due to his endorsement of conspiracy theories about the president's birth certificate and the collapse of World Trade Center Tower 7. The presentation also featured a special video cameo from conservative talking-head Dick Morris in which the former Clinton aide warns that Obama "wants to force everyone into the cities from whence our ancestors fled."

About 23 minutes into the briefing, Searcy explained how President Obama, aided by liberal organizations like the Center for American Progress and business groups like local chambers of commerce, are secretly using mind-control techniques to push their plan for forcible relocation on the gullible public: [MORE]

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Victory for whistleblowers!

by Keith Wrightson, Public Citizen

Millions of civil federal employees no longer need live in fear of retaliation for standing up to wrongdoing in the workplace. The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) (S. 743 as amended) was unanimously passed by the Senate on Tuesday after being approved by the House of Representatives in September. The WPEA is now on its way to President Barack Obama’s desk, and he is expected to sign the bill.

Public Citizen applauds its passage. The act provides federal employees with important protections. It:

  • Extends the current law’s protection beyond the first person who discloses fraud and/or abuse;
  • Overrides the U.S. Supreme Court Garcetti v. Ceballos decision, which held that public employees have no First Amendment protection for speech communicated as part of their job duties; and
  • Allows economic damages for whistleblowers after an administrative hearing.

The bill also extends whistleblower rights to approximately 40,000 airport baggage screeners. [MORE]

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Democrats Hopeful About Changing Filibuster Rules

Democrats Hopeful About Changing Filibuster Rules | Coffee Party News |

by Niels Lesniewski, Roll Call

After being beat back by their own leaders two years ago, rank-and-file Democratic senators are newly optimistic about the prospect that Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., will move ahead with a filibuster overhaul at the start of the new Congress.

Just how to do it remains a subject of much debate, but many of the proposals could drastically restrict the minority’s current rights to block almost anything that comes to the Senate floor.

Reid was a latecomer to the effort to change the rules to reduce time-consuming procedural hurdles that the minority often throws up to delay or block agenda items, but he’s been sufficiently vague about his intentions and left himself plenty of wiggle room. Still, New Mexico Democratic Sen. Tom Udall, who has led the filibuster overhaul effort with Oregon

Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley, said in a Monday interview that he was “very encouraged to see that Leader Reid came out the day after the election.” He added that he has had a number of private conversations with Reid about the way forward.

Indeed, Reid commented earlier this year that he was “wrong” to reject filibuster changes in favor of an informal “gentlemen’s agreement” with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. And in his first post-election press conference, Reid planted himself firmly in the filibuster overhaul camp, vowing, “We’re going to make it so that we can get things done.” [MORE]

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Represent.Us: The Campaign to pass the American Anti-Corruption Act-short video explanation of the proposed law

Represent.Us: The Campaign to pass the American Anti-Corruption Act-short video explanation of the proposed law | Coffee Party News |
Get money out of politics at Represent.Us, the campaign to pass the American Anti-Corruption Act - a bold new law that puts an end to business as usual in Washington.
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud: Meet the Man Who Brought Them to Justice

by Eric Byler & Annabel Park

After reading about the Virginia election fraud arrest, a story broken by Ben Tribbett, we traveled to Harrisonburg, VA to find the man who witnessed voter registration forms being discarded in a dumpster. This interview was recorded on Election Day, 2012.

If not for the actions taken by small business owner Rob Johnson, including an inspiring act of civic courage in which he tracked down the perpetrator himself, 8 people would have not been able to vote in the historic 2012 election. Also, Mr. Johnson may have exposed a much wider election fraud conspiracy that goes all the way to the top of the Republican power matrix, including super-PAC guru Karl Rove.

The Rockingham County Sheriff's Department arrested Colin Small, a Republican Party operative, based on Mr. Johnson's eye witness account, and his decision to go above and beyond the call, and find out where Mr. Small worked.

Eric Byler, who filmed the interview with Annabel Park for Story of America, said, "Rob Johnson rescued the voter registration forms of 8 fellow citizens, and possibly protected the rights of thousands more. He deserves a medal."

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