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GOP Candidate Tells Press To Stop Writing 'Sob Stories' About Poor People

GOP Candidate Tells Press To Stop Writing 'Sob Stories' About Poor People | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by Amanda Terkel, The Huffington Post


WASHINGTON -- Wisconsin U.S. Senate candidate Eric Hovde (R) says he is sick and tired of reading sad stories about people struggling in the recession. Instead, he wants to see the media focus more on the debt and the larger problems afflicting the country.


Hovde made his remarks during a presentation on Friday to the Greater Brookfield Chamber of Commerce.


Hovde expressed his support for lowering the corporate tax rate, tackling the country's spending problems and lowering the national debt.


Then, pointing to a reporter in the audience, Hovde said he would love to see the press stop covering sad stories about low-income individuals who can't get benefits and start covering issues like the deficit more frequently.


"I see a reporter here," he said. "I just pray that you start writing about these issues. I just pray. Stop always writing about, 'Oh, the person couldn't get, you know, their food stamps or this or that.' You know, I saw something the other day -- it's like, another sob story, and I'm like, 'But what about what's happening to the country and the country as a whole?' That's going to devastate everybody."  [Read More.]

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Occupy the Heritage Foundation: How a Conservative Think Tank Aims to Rebrand the American Dream

Occupy the Heritage Foundation: How a Conservative Think Tank Aims to Rebrand the American Dream | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

By Matt Dineen and Jason Del Gandio, Truthout | Interview


The Occupy Wall Street movement has captured the collective imagination and inspired a groundswell of radical activity. This inspiration is so great that even the corporate media was regularly covering Occupy back in the fall. But that media coverage changed once the encampments were dismantled. The media coverage has either subsided or, in more recent times, has falsely branded occupiers as "agitators" and even "terrorists" (see Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points from May 21 and May 22, for instance). But this is not the approach taken by everyone. On April 17 of this year, the Heritage Foundation organized a public panel discussion entitled "Occupy Wall Street: A Post-Mortem?" Unlike the dismissive and demonizing tactics of Fox News, this influential conservative think tank is seriously grappling with the Occupy phenomenon. Until now, there has been no response to the Heritage Foundation from Occupy or from the left. Philadelphia-based writer Matt Dineen recently interviewed Occupy Philadelphia member and "Rhetoric for Radicals" author Jason Del Gandio. In the following dialogue, the two explore the significance of the Heritage Foundation's study and what Occupy can learn from it to ensure its own vitality and evolving relevance as the summer approaches. 


[Read More.]

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Montana Citizens United and the Eleventh Amendment

Montana Citizens United and the Eleventh Amendment | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by RUSSELL MOKHIBER, counterpunch.org


In 2010, the Montana Supreme Court dealt a blow to the United States Supreme Court decision in Citizens United. The Montana Supreme Court, in Western Tradition Partnership v. Attorney General, challenged the validity of the Citizens United decision as applied to state elections, and upheld Montana’s law banning corporate spending on elections.


Western Tradition Partnership has since changed its name to American Tradition Partnership (ATP) and is now asking the Supreme Court to reverse the Montana Supreme Court decision. Montana’s Attorney General Steve Bullock, in response, is asking the Supreme Court to reject the company’s request for a hearing.


There is an argument that might sway the five conservative Supreme Court justices to Bullock’s cause. But it’s an argument that liberal Democrats tend to shy away from and that is, at the same time, near and dear to the hearts of conservative Republicans on and off the Supreme Court — the Eleventh Amendment.


The Eleventh Amendment prohibits lawsuits by private parties against states in federal court.


[MORE]

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The Fed's $16 Trillion Bailouts Under-reported

The Fed's $16 Trillion Bailouts Under-reported | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

The media’s inscrutable brush-off of the Government Accounting Office’s recently released audit of the Federal Reserve has raised many questions about the Fed’s goings-on since the financial crisis began in 2008.


The audit of the Fed’s emergency lending programs was scarcely reported by mainstream media – albeit the results are undoubtedly newsworthy.  It is the first audit of the Fed in United States history since its beginnings in 1913.  The findings verify that over $16 trillion was allocated to corporations and banks internationally, purportedly for “financial assistance” during and after the 2008 fiscal crisis.


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) amended the Wall Street Reform law to audit the Fed, pushing the GAO to step in and take a look around.  Upon hearing the announcement that the first-ever audit would take place in July, the media was bowled over and nearly every broadcast network and newspaper covered the story.  However, the audit’s findings were almost completely overlooked, even with a number as high as $16 trillion staring all of us in the face. [MORE]

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Virginia Deoccupy Homelessness Simson's comment, June 18, 2012 3:12 AM
Under reported? No kidding. You'd think the MSM was getting ALL the money themselves. FOR SHAME!
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Rhode Island passes bill to guarantee rights of homeless people

By Jason McLure, Reuters


Rhode Island's governor is expected to sign into law the first "Homeless Bill of Rights" in the United States as early as next week, formally banning discrimination against homeless people and affirming their equal access to jobs, housing and services.


[Read More.]

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Banks Push For Trading Loophole, Would Allow For More Whale Fails

Banks Push For Trading Loophole, Would Allow For More Whale Fails | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

By MarkmGongloff, The Huffington Post


U.S. banks might act worried about how JPMorgan Chase's trading pratfall will lead to tighter regulations on their own risky bets, but they've already mapped out an escape route.


Banks for months have been vigorously working to get Congress to carve out a regulatory loophole that would let them keep trading derivatives in London and other overseas markets without any oversight. Meaning more episodes like JPMorgan's London Whale Fail forever.

A bill seeking these exemptions, H.R. 3238, known as the "Swap Jurisdiction Certainty Act," is working its way through Congress and is due for a vote in the House Committee on Agriculture on Thursday. It's one of seven bills in total seeking to water down various parts of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, notes the advocacy group Public Citizen. [MORE]

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Hypocrite Tea Party reporter who heckled Obama on immigration isn't an American

Hypocrite Tea Party reporter who heckled Obama on immigration isn't an American | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

By Lou Colagiovanni, examiner.com


President Obama read a prepared statement Thursday, June 15th in The White House rose garden regarding his immigration policy shift that will attempt to craft for young people with citizenship problems a path to becoming an American. As a matter of decorum and respect, questions by reporters who are given the privilege to attend are kept silent until the president is finished speaking.


However Irish born 'journalist' Neil Munro decided to break with tradition and disrespectfully shouted at the president with all of the class and dignity of a toddler during his remarks.

....


In a ridiculous twist while considering the context of this story, it turns out that Munro isn't a United States citizen and actually holds a green card that allows him to work in The United States while maintaining his citizenship in Ireland. How does one critique the immigration policies of a country, while shamelessly benefiting from those very policies? [MORE]

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Activists Organize Weeklong Hit Against Citizens United

Activists Organize Weeklong Hit Against Citizens United | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

By Paul Blumenthal


WASHINGTON -- Activists across the country are working this week to mobilize local communities in support of a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and kick money out of politics.


It's all part of a campaign by Public Citizen (and its Democracy Is For People project), Move to Amend, multiple other reform groups and several elected officials. The campaign labeled the week of June 11 as Resolutions Week, during which local organizers are holding events to increase public awareness and put pressure on local, city and state governments to pass resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment. [MORE]

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Ahmadinejad: I will retire from politics in 2013

Ahmadinejad: I will retire from politics in 2013 | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by JPOST.COM

 

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad plans to retire from politics after his second term ends in 2013, AFP quoted him as saying on Saturday in an interview with Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, scheduled to be published on Sunday.

 

"Eight years is enough," Ahmadinejad reportedly told the German paper. Iran's Constitution prohibits a president to serve for more than two consecutive terms, but Ahmadinejad also ruled out the possibility that he would let someone serve one term after him and then return for a third term four years later, as Russian President Vladimir Putin recently did.


Ahmadinejad said that he would likely return to academia. "Maybe I'll involve myself in politics at the university but I will not form a political party or group," he said.

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McCain Criticizes Romney Super PACs, Says Foreign Money Should Not Influence American Elections

McCain Criticizes Romney Super PACs, Says Foreign Money Should Not Influence American Elections | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by PHILIP ELLIOTT, Huffington Post


Sen. John McCain said in an interview posted online Friday that "foreign money" was helping fellow Republican Mitt Romney's presidential hopes and singled out one of his ally's most generous supporters.


McCain, the GOP's 2008 presidential nominee, suggested casino magnate Sheldon Adelson's $10 million contribution to a pro-Romney super PAC was a conduit for Adelson to use profits from properties in Macau to shape American elections. McCain also criticized the Supreme Court ruling that allows individuals and corporations to make such unlimited donations to nominally independent political action committees.


"That is a great deal of money. And, again, we need a level playing field and we need to go back to the realization that Teddy Roosevelt had: that we have to have a limit on the flow of money and that corporations are not people," McCain said in an interview with PBS' "NewsHour."


The comment about corporations was at odds with Romney, who last year told a heckler at the Iowa State Fair that "corporations are people, my friend." Romney's critics seized on the comment as proof the wealthy candidate favored businesses over individuals.


The NewsHour later released a transcript of an unaired portion of the interview where journalist Judy Woodruff reminded McCain of Romney's comments about corporations and his seeming split with Romney.


"I think that in that context he was talking about they are made up of people and that's true in that context," McCain said. "But to be corporations for purposes of involving campaigns, to be treated the same as people, I just don't agree with that."

McCain, a Romney rival in 2008 and now one of his top supporters, said the Supreme Court got it wrong in Citizens United, the court case that paved the way for super PACs. He called the decision "the most misguided, naive, uninformed, egregious decision of the United States Supreme Court, I think, in the 21st century." [MORE]

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The Right's New Tactic to Pit the Middle Class Against Itself

The Right's New Tactic to Pit the Middle Class Against Itself | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by Dean Bakopoulos, AlterNet


The failed recall attempt of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker comes as no surprise to most of us liberals in the Midwest, though it still stings. It hurts not only because we failed to boot a corrupt and ruthless governor from the state capitol, but also because it underscores a more troubling phenomenon: A new kind of class warfare is emerging in the Heartland, and it is one the Republicans have been so good at orchestrating in order to win elections.


In the Bible Belt, Republicans have long been able to divide working people (by that I mean anyone who depends on an earned paycheck to stay afloat) on social issues — gay rights and abortion. In the Rust Belt and Grain Belt, that’s been a bit harder, as there is a strong “live and let live” ethic in the Midwest. We like our neighbors and tend to accept, if not value, our differences. We also like our pulpits free of politics; we prefer preachers to be soft-spoken and potlucks are often more important than politics. The overwhelming support for President Obama in Wisconsin in 2008 (he won some very conservative rural counties) proved all that. [MORE]

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Judy Zitko's comment, June 16, 2012 2:15 PM
Just shows how susceptible some are to the lies that big money buys. I've learned to see through them and identify them for what they are. I take nothing I hear or read for granted, but check it out for myself. Sadly, many are too busy just trying to survive these days, which is where they want us, to investigate and become more informed. Especially in light of all the special interest money controlling our news media to, who were supposed to be the watch dogs of democracy and are failing miserably.
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INFOGRAPHIC: Fattening Kids And Lobbyist Wallets

INFOGRAPHIC: Fattening Kids And Lobbyist Wallets | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

By Suzanne Merkelson, Republic Report


Child health advocates are losing the war over school lunches and that’s because they face exceptionally strong adversaries: the food and beverage industry. While it’s pretty obvious that more vegetables and less sugar at lunch would be a good start to healthier kids, we’ve recently seen Congress declare pizza a vegetable and kill a plan to reduce sugar, salt, and fat in foods marketed to children, while 24 states and five cities have seen efforts to tax sugary drinks fail. As Reuters tells us in a recent special report on childhood obesity and lobbying, 50 different food and beverage groups have spent $175 million lobbying on childhood nutritional standards since Obama took office — more than double the $83 million spent during the Bush Administration’s last three years.


As United Republic’s Jasper McChesney shows in the infographic below, it’s pretty evident that money has everything to do with government’s failure to help protect our kids’ health — when they need money from rich industries to campaign, they can’t effectively regulate those industries.

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Michael Stafford's Last Essay Before Leaving GOP: Conservatives Are Hitting Rock Bottom

Michael Stafford's Last Essay Before Leaving GOP: Conservatives Are Hitting Rock Bottom | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Ayn Rand and Jim Crow have driven the American right into moral bankruptcy.


by D. R. Tucker and Michael Stafford


In mythology, the phoenix is a beautiful bird that bursts into flames at the end of its life as it dies. From the ashes of the old, a new phoenix emerges. This cycle of birth, fiery death and rebirth, makes the phoenix a symbol of hope and renewal.


Today, American conservatism has degenerated into an intellectually and morally bankrupt ideology. It offers nothing more than bumper-sticker slogans that pander to the prejudices and ignorance of the lowest common denominator in order to enrich and empower an oligarchic elite. Angry, cruel and sneering, it is exemplified by the carnival barkers on talk radio and Fox News. High in volume, but devoid of substance, it has no long-term future because it lacks credible solutions to the range of very real problems American society is facing.


Indeed, what passes for "conservatism" today is actually nothing of the sort. Modern American conservatism has forgotten its rich legacy and betrayed its best traditions. It has become infected with a virulent strain of extreme libertarianism heavily influenced by the thinking of Ayn Rand.


Rand's disciples claim to champion liberty and freedom, but really care only about license - the notion that actions have no consequences and individuals have no broader responsibilities to anything or anyone but themselves. As George Monbiot has correctly noted, this brand of libertarianism, although often "dressed up as freedom," is in reality:


"a formula for oppression and bondage. It does nothing to address inequality, hardship or social exclusion. A transparently self-serving vision, it seeks to justify the greedy and selfish behaviour of those with wealth and power." [MORE]

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Virginia Deoccupy Homelessness Simson's comment, June 18, 2012 3:15 AM
"The de-evolution of a society is in direct proportion to how much rationalization it does of SELFISHNESS" - homeless bag lady who reads alot
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We’ve been brainwashed

We’ve been brainwashed | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

It's no accident that Americans widely underestimate inequality.

 

by JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ, Salon.com

 

How, in a democracy supposedly based on one person one vote, could the 1 percent  have been so victorious in shaping policies in its interests? It is part of a process of disempowerment, disillusionment, and disenfranchisement that produces low voter turnout, a system in which electoral success requires heavy investments, and in which those with money have made political investments that have reaped large rewards — often greater than the returns they have reaped on their other investments.

 

There is another way for moneyed interests to get what they want out of government: convince the 99 percent that they have shared interests. This strategy requires an impressive sleight of hand; in many respects the interests of the 1 percent and the 99 percent differ markedly.

 

The fact that the 1 percent has so successfully shaped public perception testifies to the malleability of beliefs. When others engage in it, we call it “brainwashing” and “propaganda.” We look askance at these attempts to shape public views, because they are often seen as unbalanced and manipulative, without realizing that there is something akin going on in democracies, too. What is different today is that we have far greater understanding of how to shape perceptions and beliefs — thanks to the advances in research in the social sciences.

 

It is clear that many, if not most, Americans possess a limited understanding of the nature of the inequality in our society: They believe that there is less inequality than there is, they underestimate its adverse economic effects, they underestimate the ability of government to do anything about it, and they overestimate the costs of taking action. They even fail to understand what the government is doing — many who value highly government programs like Medicare don’t realize that they are in the public sector.

 

In a recent study respondents on average thought that the top fifth of the population had just short of 60 percent of the wealth, when in truth that group holds approximately 85 percent of the wealth. (Interestingly, respondents described an ideal wealth distribution as one in which the top 20 percent hold just over 30 percent of the wealth. Americans recognize that some inequality is inevitable, and perhaps even desirable if one is to provide incentives; but the level of inequality in American society is well beyond that level.)

 

Not only do Americans misperceive the level of inequality; they underestimate the changes that have been going on.   [MORE]

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In New Jersey Halfway Houses, Escapees Stream Out as a Penal Business Thrives

In New Jersey Halfway Houses, Escapees Stream Out as a Penal Business Thrives | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

A company with deep ties to Gov. Chris Christie dominates New Jersey’s system of large halfway houses. There has been little state oversight, despite widespread problems.


by Sam Dolnick, NY Times


After decades of tough criminal justice policies, states have been grappling with crowded prisons that are straining budgets. In response to those pressures, New Jersey has become a leader in a national movement to save money by diverting inmates to a new kind of privately run halfway house.


At the heart of the system is a company with deep connections to politicians of both parties, most notably Gov. Chris Christie.


Many of these halfway houses are as big as prisons, with several hundred beds, and bear little resemblance to the neighborhood halfway houses of the past, where small groups of low-level offenders were sent to straighten up.


New Jersey officials have called these large facilities an innovative example of privatization and have promoted the approach all the way to the Obama White House.

....


Mr. Christie, a Republican who took office in January 2010, has for years championed the company that plays a principal role in the New Jersey system, Community Education Centers.

Community Education received about $71 million from state and county agencies in New Jersey in the 2011 fiscal year, out of total halfway house spending of roughly $105 million, according to state and company records.


The company first obtained substantial contracts for its “re-entry centers” in New Jersey in the late 1990s, as state financing began increasing sharply. In recent years, it has cited its success in New Jersey in obtaining government contracts in Colorado, Pennsylvania and other states.


William J. Palatucci, who is the governor’s close friend, political adviser and former law partner, is a senior vice president at Community Education.


Mr. Christie himself was registered as a lobbyist for the company in 2000 and 2001 when he was a private lawyer, according to disclosure reports that his law firm filed with the state. In early 2010, he hired the son-in-law of Community Education’s chief executive as an assistant in the governor’s office, according to state personnel records.


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War within the GOP? Jessica English has Michael Stafford's First Interview Since Leaving the Republican Party

War within the GOP? Jessica English has Michael Stafford's First Interview Since Leaving the Republican Party | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by Jessica English

Happy Father's Day!  Today we have another holiday addition of The Bottom Line at 5 pm ET (2 pm PT).  For our first half hour, our special guest will be Michael Stafford.  His book, the conservative treatise An Upward Calling, is a powerful argument for fact-based and compassionate conservatism.


CLICK HERE to listen live 5 pm ET (2 pm PT)
Or better yet, call in:

646-929-2495

But a few days ago, Michael's column entitled Why I Gave Up Being a Republican has taken his principled dissent within the GOP to a bittersweet (perhaps temporary?) goodbye.  His announcement touched off a firestorm on the web, and, thanks to a long-term friendship with the Coffee Party, Michael has chosen The Bottom Line for his first interview since he published this piece! 


Michael has been a Republican since grade school. Not only has he voted Republican, he was also an official in the party.  So what the heck happened? I can empathize because I left the Republican Party eight years ago. What about you? I am putting the call out to conservatives in particular.  Where do you stand?  Today we'll talk about what led to Michael Stafford's decision and where he plans to go from here.  In the meantime, please visit  The Bottom Line newsletter to read some of Michael's thought-provoking work. [MORE]
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State Of The Unions: Labor And The Middle Class

State Of The Unions: Labor And The Middle Class | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by NPR Staff [LISTEN to "All things Considered" story]

For many full-time employees in the United States, the five-day work week, paid overtime and holidays are expected benefits. This wasn't always so, and many workers' benefits today are the achievements of labor unions.

Just five decades ago, unions were on the frontline of the fight for the rights and wages of the middle class. But today, unions are on the decline.


After World War II, organized labor represented a third of America's workforce. Today, only 12 percent of the overall workforce belongs to labor unions both public and private. About 37 percent of the public sector workforce belong to unions as opposed to only 7 percent in the private sector, but they're now in the cross hairs of cash-strapped states and cities.
This month, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker celebrated after winning a recall election that was triggered when he curtailed public union collective bargaining. Similar anti-union efforts took place in Indiana and Ohio.
Voters in Ohio later repealed a law that would limit collective bargaining for some public-sector unions, but unions in many states are still at odds with government. So if unions decline, where does that leave the middle class?

LISTEN TO STORY  |  [MORE]

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Full Show: Dark Money in Politics | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com

Full Show: Dark Money in Politics | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Shining light on the gobs of money corrupting elections and democracy.
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Nobel 'ended Suu Kyi isolation'

Nobel 'ended Suu Kyi isolation' | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi says the Nobel Peace Prize she received in 1991 had given her hope Burma had not been forgotten.
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The DREAM Act: The Thing Is, I'm Undocumented

The DREAM Act: The Thing Is, I'm Undocumented | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

NOTE: We are talking to journalist Grace Talusan about immigration right now on Coffee Party Radio.  Join us by calling 646-929-2495.  Or CLICK HERE to listen live.  


by GRACE TALUSAN, Boston Magazine


This is Oumou Troure. She's an all-American girl who grew up in Boston and loves the Celtics, playing the saxophone, and window-shopping on Newbury Street. She's also one of the 65,000 kids in the U.S. who graduate high school each year but aren’t legal residents. So even though she's been accepted to college, she can't get a loan to pay for it. She can’t get a job to support herself, either. When she tells me this, I step closer, ignoring my parents' constant warnings to never talk about what I'm about to say — you can never tell who’s listening. "I know what you’re going through," I whisper. [MORE]

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Obama's Bold Immigration Executive Order -- What Does This Mean for the Election?

Obama's Bold Immigration Executive Order -- What Does This Mean for the Election? | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

NOTE:  The Coffee Party community is invited to discuss this topic today on Coffee Party Radio:


Politics Done Right with Egberto Willies 
Sat. June 16 1 pm ET (10 am PT) 
Call: (646) 929-2495 LISTEN: http://ht.ly/bCq9M


How will Republicans respond to President Obama's decision to give young illegal immigrants legal status?


by Alex Seitz-Wald, AlterNet


The Obama administration’s blockbuster immigration announcement is a huge victory to progressives and immigration rights activists, and puts Republicans in a very awkward situation. It’s only a few hours old, but we’re already seeing how Republicans will likely respond to this move, which fundamentally changes the parameters of the presidential campaign on the key issue of immigration.


But first the policy: The administration will stop deporting young undocumented immigrants who meet certain criteria: They have to have graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED or served in the military, have no criminal record, be younger than 30 and have been brought to the U.S. under the age of 16, “by no fault of their own,” as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on a conference call with reporters this morning. These approximately 800,000 immigrants will have an opportunity to obtain work permits, which will give them legal status in the country. Essentially, the administration is using its executive authority to implement the DREAM Act, the much discussed policy than many Republicans used to support, but no longe dor.


Now for the politics: The move puts Republicans, who are torn internally over immigration, and especially Mitt Romney, in a very uncomfortable spot. Romney has repeatedly said that hewould veto a DREAM Act, if elected president, and Kris Kobach, his hard-right immigration adviser and the author of Arizona’s notorious immigration law, has said the candidate will not support anything that gives undocumented immigrants a path to legal status.


But DREAM-like policies are overwhelmingly popular. Just one-in-10 of Americans polled in a recent survey said they think that young people brought here illegally as children should not be allowed to remain in the country. Even three-quarters of Arizonans support it. Senator Marco Rubio, the Cuban-American Republican from Florida, has attempted to bridge this gap by proposing a watered down DREAM Act that Romney made noises about possibly supporting.


The new administration policy basically adopts the Rubio approach. The Democratic bill offered a clear path to full citizenship, Rubio’s did not, and neither does the administration’s move. [MORE]

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GOP groups plan record $1 billion blitz - Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei

GOP groups plan record $1 billion blitz - Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

By MIKE ALLEN and JIM VANDEHEI, Politico


Republican super PACs and other outside groups shaped by a loose network of prominent conservatives – including Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – plan to spend roughly $1 billion on November’s elections for the White House and control of Congress, according to officials familiar with the groups’ internal operations.


That total includes previously undisclosed plans for newly aggressive spending by the Koch brothers, who are steering funding to build sophisticated, county-by-county operations in key states. POLITICO has learned that Koch-related organizations plan to spend about $400 million ahead of the 2012 elections - twice what they had been expected to commit.


Republican super PACs and other outside groups shaped by a loose network of prominent conservatives – including Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – plan to spend roughly $1 billion on November’s elections for the White House and control of Congress, according to officials familiar with the groups’ internal operations.

That total includes previously undisclosed plans for newly aggressive spending by the Koch brothers, who are steering funding to build sophisticated, county-by-county operations in key states. POLITICO has learned that Koch-related organizations plan to spend about $400 million ahead of the 2012 elections - twice what they had been expected to commit. [MORE]



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Global push to guarantee health coverage leaves U.S. behind

Global push to guarantee health coverage leaves U.S. behind | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by Noam N. Levey, Tribune Washington Bureau


WASHINGTON —Even as Americans debate whether President Barack Obama’s health care law and its promise of guaranteed health coverage should be scrapped, many far less affluent nations are moving in the opposite direction — to provide medical insurance to all citizens.


China, after years of underfunding health care, is on track to complete a three-year, $124 billion initiative projected to cover more than 90 percent of the nation’s residents. [MORE]

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Why Obama's New Policy For Youth Lacking Legal Status is Good for Our Economy

Why Obama's New Policy For Youth Lacking Legal Status is Good for Our Economy | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by Eric Byler, Coffee Party USA


President Obama's decision to override years of anti-immigrant obstruction — the DREAM Act passed the U.S. House 216-198, and had a 55-41 edge in the Senate in 2010 but was killed by a filibuster — is not only good for immigrant families, it is good for America as a whole.


The Congressional Budget Office estimates this approach will reduce our deficit by $1.4 billion over the next 10 years due to increased tax revenue. A recent study by UCLA’s North American Integration and Development Center estimated that $1.4 TRILLION over 40 years in income would be generated by DREAM Act beneficiaries. And, America’s military leaders advocate for the DREAM Act because it would significantly increase the pool of recruits qualified to defend our nation.


Since I can't be sure what you may have heard from exploiters of anti-immigrant sentiment employed in politics and in the One Percent Media, let's be clear about what we are talking about.  First of all, this policy shift does not grant voting rights to anyone — this is the major sticking point for Republican moderates on this issue, who want immigration reforms such as these in order to grow our economy, but are weary of expanding the immigrant (and, let's be frank, non-white) electorate.  Okay, so no new voters to deal with.  What this new policy does do is allow people to avoid deportation and get work permits who were brought to U.S. by their parents before the age of 16.  To qualify, they must have resided in the country continuously for five years, graduated high school or have a GED, have no criminal convictions, and be younger than 30.


In a global economy, our competitiveness depends on attracting the best and the brightest to this country, and keeping the ones we have.  We need, not only this measure, but Comprehensive Immigration Reform in order to meet the labor demands of a growing economy.  We must have a better ratio of workers to retirees.  Right now, that ratio is getting worse as the Baby Boomers retire and anti-immigrant hysteria (stoked for political gain) prevents us from taking advantage of our country's global reputation as the land of opportunity and the nation of immigrants.  A growing work force, and an innovative, rapidly expanding economy are crucial if we are going to solve the fiscal crisis made worse by the Great Recession.  


90% of Americans support the DREAM Act.  Even in Arizona that number is 73%.  If enacted, it would offer six years of residential status for young people who are in every way “American,” but were brought to the U.S. as children without proper legal status. After ten years, they could apply for a green card if they have completed two years of college or two years of honorable service in the U.S. military. And, after acquiring a green card, they could apply for citizenship.

Despite bipartisan support for the DREAM Act, the irrational ugliness we have seen in opposition is a manifestation of widening division within the Republican party between pragmatists and extremists. [MORE]

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The Local Revolution by Alex Torpey at the Personal Democracy Forum

The Local Revolution by Alex Torpey at the Personal Democracy Forum | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Alex Torpey, a New Jersey based digital media entrepreneur, is the current mayor of the 17,000 person town, and home of Seton Hall University, of South Orange. Elected in May of 2011 at the age of 23 by a 14-vote margin, Alex was sworn-in as the youngest mayor in New Jersey and is one of the youngest mayors in the United States currently. Alex's campaign garnered a broad range of media coverage in 2011 for its innovative use of social media and new technology to connect with voters. [READ MORE]

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