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4 Pinocchios for a truncated, 14-year-old Obama clip

4 Pinocchios for a truncated, 14-year-old Obama clip | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by GLENN KESSLER, The Fact Checker | The Washington Post


“As we think about the policy research surrounding the issues that I just named — policy research for the working poor, broadly defined — I think that what we're gonna have to do is somehow resuscitate the notion that government action can be effective at all. There has been a systematic, I don't think it's too strong to call it a propaganda campaign, against the possibility of government action and its efficacy. And I think some of it has been deserved. Chicago Housing Authority has not been a model of good policy making. And neither necessarily have been the Chicago public schools. What that means then is that as we try to resuscitate this notion that we're all in this thing together, leave nobody behind, we do have to be innovative in thinking how, what are the delivery systems that are actually effective and meet people where they live, and my suggestion I guess would be that the trick, and this is one of the few areas where I think there have to be technical issues that have to be dealt with as opposed to just political issues, how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution, because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody's got a shot. How do we pool resources at the same time as we decentralize delivery systems in ways that both foster competition, can work in the marketplace, and can foster innovation at the local level and can be tailored to particular communities.”


State Sen. Barack Obama, at a conference at Loyola University, Oct. 1998 [missing section in bold]


Just as we have not been very impressed about many of the Obama campaign’s claims about Mitt Romney’s business career many years ago, we were not initially that impressed with the Romney campaign’s effort to dredge up a 14-year-old quote to demonstrate that President Obama wants to “redistribute wealth.” The clip was so old — he was just a state senator — and the context was rather unclear. Also, it appeared as if the YouTube version was clipped in mid-thought.


But now NBC News has obtained the rest of Obama’s comments, and it is clear his remarks were taken completely out of context. Obama is not talking about redistributing wealth at all — instead, he speaks about competition, the market place and innovation in an effort to improve government services in Chicago. [MORE]


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'Fiscal Cliff' Scenarios Leave Economists On Edge : NPR

'Fiscal Cliff' Scenarios Leave Economists On Edge : NPR | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
We've heard the warnings of a looming economic disaster if Congress fails to avert a "fiscal cliff" by the end of the year. Economists hope lawmakers will act after November's election, but what if Congress runs out of time?
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It's A Free Country ® - Don't Worry, Congress Won't Face Pay Cuts in Sequestration

It's A Free Country ® - Don't Worry, Congress Won't Face Pay Cuts in Sequestration | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Members of Congress won't see their paychecks shrink after massive scheduled spending cuts go into effect in 2013, but the police on Capitol Hill will.
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2012 Summary of Voting Law Changes | Brennan Center for Justice

2012 Summary of Voting Law Changes | Brennan Center for Justice | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Uses scholarship, public education, and legal action to find solutions to problems in the areas of democracy, justice, liberty and national security.


At least 180 restrictive bills introduced since the beginning of 2011 in 41 states.

27 restrictive bills currently pending in 6 states.

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These Photos Illustrate One Of The Most Profound Divisions In American Politics

These Photos Illustrate One Of The Most Profound Divisions In American Politics | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

One of the most important stories in American politics--a story that many people are uncomfortable talking about--is the extent to which our two main political parties are dividing along racial lines.


Pew Research


The Republican party is overwhelmingly white--87%, according to a recent Pew survey.


The Democratic party, meanwhile, is much more diverse: Only 55% white.


The country as a whole, meanwhile, is now about 66% white (excluding white Hispanics). [MORE

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BREAKING: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Puts Voter ID Law In Jeopardy

BREAKING: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Puts Voter ID Law In Jeopardy | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Last month, a Pennsylvania trial judge upheld that state’s Voter ID law, in an opinion that relied at least in part on Nineteenth Century precedent which claimed that vote suppressing laws may be permissible to protect against ‘rogues,’ ‘strumpets,’...
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A Close Look At Your Bills' 'Fine Print' : NPR

A Close Look At Your Bills' 'Fine Print' : NPR | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
In his new book, The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use "Plain English" to Rob You Blind, author David Cay Johnston examines the fees that companies have added over the years that have made bills incrementally larger.


Interview Highlights


On additional fees in phone bills


"The phone companies, first of all, have begun adding all these additional fees. If you got a single bill and they raised the price, you'll tend to notice. But if there are lots of little fees built into the bill, and they raise this one this month, and another one two months from now, and then they raise another one two months after that — you tend not to notice this.


"One of the items on the phone bill, one that's more than doubled in real terms in price, is often referred to as 'FCC line charge.' Now, that sounds like the Federal Communications Commission is imposing a fee on you — presumably to finance the FCC. In fact, that is the charge paid to connect to the long-distance system: It goes entirely to the phone companies; it doesn't go to the government. And the FCC has something called 'a requirement for plain English language,' so people can understand their phone bills. And here is a perfect example of the misuse of language to confuse people and not have them understand what they're really paying for."


On how a city built its own municipal electrical system


"They created a municipal electric system. Well, they also built a municipal Internet, and it is so high-powered and so fast that a lot of the work done for the Pixar animated movies is done not in Hollywood, but in Lafayette, La. Well, the response from AT&T, Verizon, Cox, Time Warner and the other cable and telephone companies has been to go to legislatures and say, 'We want a law passed that either blocks or makes [it] virtually impossible to build municipal systems. That's competing with our business interests.' And that's part of the whole strategy they have: 'We want to be monopolies without competition, we want to run the system in our interests, to maximize our profits,' with no regard for the overall economy of the United States."


[Read more.]

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Tim Pawlenty Exits Romney Campaign To Lead Bank Lobbying Group

Tim Pawlenty Exits Romney Campaign To Lead Bank Lobbying Group | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Tim Pawlenty's resignation as co-chair of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign comes less than seven weeks before Election Day and during a bad stretch for the candidate.» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us...
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Ten Huge Issues Being Ignored in the Presidential Campaign

Ten Huge Issues Being Ignored in the Presidential Campaign | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
There's a number of critical concerns that get no attention, including some of the worst problems in the United States and the world.
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Francis Moore Lappe joins Lunch with Louden

Francis Moore Lappe joins Lunch with Louden | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Frances Moore Lappé is the author or co-author of 18 books including the three-million copy Diet for a Small Planet. Our starting point will be her latest work, EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think to Create the World We Want. 

 

LUNCH WITH LOUDEN, Thursdays,12 Noon Pacific

(3 PM Eastern)

 

646-929-2495 to listen live or talk to Francis Moore Lappe

 

Click here to stream live or listen to the recorded program


Via J'nene Solidarity Kay, Michael Charney
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Conservative Backlash Over Romney's 47 Percent Comments

Conservative Backlash Over Romney's 47 Percent Comments | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Mitt Romney is being a bad conservative, say conservatives. Since the Romney tapes have hit the mainstream, writers on the right are just flabbergasted....


...So Mitt Romney's belief system isn't what conservatives actually believe? That's interesting, since that's what a lot of people believe conservatives believe. And how do you explain the conservatives who have come out to defend Romney's disdain for half of America?

This all falls right in line with the GOP brand in 2012. So to all of you conservatives who are bothered by your representation via the GOP presidential candidate: Maybe if you didn't let your party and its message get hijacked by dangerously misinformed pundits and ignorant politicians.... [MORE]



Via Michael Charney
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Watch now: U.S. Voters Engaged: Pew Suggests Big Turnout in Election

A new Pew poll suggests Americans are paying attention to 2012 campaigns, and that Election Day will see high numbers of voters cast their ballots. Gwen Ifill talks to Pew Research Center's Andy Kohut and the Huffington Post's Mark Blumenthal for what the latest polls say about the mood of U.S. voters.

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SECRET VIDEO: On Israel, Romney Trashes Two-State Solution

SECRET VIDEO: On Israel, Romney Trashes Two-State Solution | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by David Corn, Mother Jones


At the private fundraiser held May 17 where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney candidly spoke about political strategy—noting that he saw half of the American electorate as freeloaders and "victims" who do not believe in personal responsibility—he discussed various foreign policy positions, sharing views that he does not express in public, including his belief that peace in the Middle East is not possible and a Palestinian state is not feasible.


Mother Jones has obtained video of Romney at this intimate dinner and has confirmed its authenticity. The event was held at the home of controversial private equity manager Marc Leder in Boca Raton, Florida, with tickets costing $50,000 a plate. During the freewheeling conversation, a donor asked Romney how the "Palestinian problem" can be solved. Romney immediately launched into a detailed reply, asserting that the Palestinians have "no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish."


Romney spoke of "the Palestinians" as a united bloc of one mindset, and he said: "I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there's just no way." [MORE]


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Disdain for Workers

Disdain for Workers | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by PAUL KRUGMAN, New York Times


By now everyone knows how Mitt Romney, speaking to donors in Boca Raton, washed his hands of almost half the country — the 47 percent who don’t pay income taxes — declaring, “My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” By now, also, many people are aware that the great bulk of the 47 percent are hardly moochers; most are working families who pay payroll taxes, and elderly or disabled Americans make up a majority of the rest.


But here’s the question: Should we imagine that Mr. Romney and his party would think better of the 47 percent on learning that the great majority of them actually are or were hard workers, who very much have taken personal responsibility for their lives? And the answer is no.


For the fact is that the modern Republican Party just doesn’t have much respect for people who work for other people, no matter how faithfully and well they do their jobs. All the party’s affection is reserved for “job creators,” a k a employers and investors. Leading figures in the party find it hard even to pretend to have any regard for ordinary working families — who, it goes without saying, make up the vast majority of Americans.


Am I exaggerating? Consider the Twitter message sent out by Eric Cantor, the Republican House majority leader, on Labor Day — a holiday that specifically celebrates America’s workers. Here’s what it said, in its entirety: “Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.” Yes, on a day set aside to honor workers, all Mr. Cantor could bring himself to do was praise their bosses.


Lest you think that this was just a personal slip, consider Mr. Romney’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. What did he have to say about American workers? Actually, nothing: the words “worker” or “workers” never passed his lips. This was in strong contrast to President Obama’s convention speech a week later, which put a lot of emphasis on workers — especially, of course, but not only, workers who benefited from the auto bailout. [MORE]


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Many Texans Bereaved Over 'Dead' Voter Purge : NPR

An attempt to purge tens of thousands of "dead" voters from its election rolls has spawned a backlash across the state, involving the registrar in the state's biggest county, the secretary of state and the Texas Democratic Party.
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WNYC News - Tim Pawlenty Exits Romney Campaign To Lead Bank Lobbying Group

WNYC News - Tim Pawlenty Exits Romney Campaign To Lead Bank Lobbying Group | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Tim Pawlenty's resignation as co-chairman of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign comes less than seven weeks before Election Day and during a bad stretch for the candidate.
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Election 2012: Voter ID Laws, Suppression And Equality

Election 2012: Voter ID Laws, Suppression And Equality | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

By Waymon Hudson for Huff Post.


With the often bloody and hard struggles to win and protect voting, it is amazing, yet perhaps not surprising, given our history, that a new move to roll back these hard-won rights is underway in many states around the country.


The numbers are staggering. At least 180 restrictive bills have been introduced in 41 states since the beginning of 2011. There are 27 restrictive bills currently pending in six states. Twenty-five laws and two executive actions have passed in 19 states since the beginning of 2011. Seventeen states have passed restrictive voting laws that have the potential to affect the 2012 election; these states account for 218 electoral votes, or nearly 80 percent of the total needed to win the presidency. These GOP-led efforts impose a series of new restrictions on voting: strict, new voter-ID laws, limits on voter-registration drives, and closing early-voting windows, which creates fewer voting precincts and longer lines.

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Microsoft Used Offshore Subsidiaries To Avoid $6.5 Billion In American Taxes

Microsoft Used Offshore Subsidiaries To Avoid $6.5 Billion In American Taxes | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

By Travis Waldron for ThinkProgress.org


Microsoft used subsidiaries in offshore tax havens to dodge billions of dollars in American taxes over the last three years, according to a memo from the Senate Permanent Committee on Investigations.
The committee’s top members, Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Tom Coburn (R-OK), released the memo ahead of an afternoon hearing today. The memo outlines Microsoft’s use of subsidiary companies in foreign countries that allowed it to avoid $6.5 billion in American taxes, Bloomberg reports:

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New Mexico Gov. Requires Women Seeking Childcare Assistance To Prove They Were ‘Forcibly Raped’

New Mexico Gov. Requires Women Seeking Childcare Assistance To Prove They Were ‘Forcibly Raped’ | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
After Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) asserted his belief that “legitimate rape” doesn’t often lead to pregnancy, Republican lawmakers were quick to attempt to configure his radical stance on women’s health as an outlier in their party.
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Grassroots Democracy Act and congressional camaraderie

Grassroots Democracy Act and congressional camaraderie | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Most Americans already see the financing of the 2012 elections as a national disgrace and a scandal in the making. The one saving grace is that scandal begets reform.
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Shocking Report Explodes Five Myths About American Education

Shocking Report Explodes Five Myths About American Education | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
As a new report shows the the United States' low ranking in education worldwide, the entire idea of American exceptionalism should be called into question.
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Santorum: "We Will Never Have The Elite, Smart People On Our Side"

Rick Santorum tells the Values Voter Summit that the conservative movement will never have the media or the "elite, smart people" on its side, which is why it must rely on the church and the family.


Now, that's not being very inclusive. 

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Bill to create Veterans Job Corps fails to advance

Bill to create Veterans Job Corps fails to advance | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by STEVE VOGEL, Washington Post


Legislation to create a Veterans Job Corps suffered a major defeat Wednesday afternoon after Republicans successfully blocked the bill’s advance with a budgetary point of order.


The Senate voted 58 to 40 largely on party lines in favor of waiving the procedural objection, short of the three-fifths majority needed. Republicans said the bill was in violation of the Budget Control Act, prohibiting new programs that would add to the deficit....


...Several Republicans, including Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, joined Democrats in supporting the motion to waive the budgetary objections....


...Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee who raised the budget point of order, said the action simply requires the veterans committee to come back with a bill that does not add to the deficit.... [MORE]


Via Michael Charney
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The Imaginary Campaign

The Imaginary Campaign | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by JOE KLEIN, Time Magazine


On Aug. 31, the night after the Clint Eastwood empty-chair colloquy at the Republican Convention, Jon Stewart identified the radioactive ingredient that would provide the fuel for Mitt Romney's September meltdown. The Republicans, he noted on The Daily Show, were suffering from "cognitive dissonance." Like Eastwood, they were campaigning against a Barack Obama who was a figment of their imagination. "There is a President Obama that only Republicans can see," he said. That Obama--the Muslim socialist foreigner--was "bent on our wholesale destruction." The mad fact is, Stewart was only scratching the surface. We now know that Romney has been running not only against an imaginary President but against an imaginary electorate as well. This is an electorate in which 47% are looking for handouts, don't pay income taxes and won't "take responsibility...for their lives."


How utterly insulting to the legions of hospital workers, restaurant (and country club) employees and security guards who work their butts off servicing the plutocrats Romney was addressing at his now infamous fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla. These workers barely get by, but they are helped a bit by benefits--like the earned-income and child tax credits invented by Republicans--that limit their exposure to income taxes (although they continue to kick in payroll taxes and pay a host of state and local levies). The great irony is that the vast majority of Romney's 47% would be shocked to learn that they're among the freeloaders, which is why this incident might not, in the end, have all that much impact on the presidential campaign. Romney was right about the larger picture in Boca: this election will be decided by a sliver of middle-class independents, the 6% who can't decide which of these candidates they disdain more.


The conservative commentariat and fat-cat contributors are mystified by Obama's buoyancy. This election should have been a rout, they believe, even for a candidate as lame as Romney. The President is weak, inept, a job killer leading the economy off a cliff. Ah, but there's that cognitive dissonance again: the Romney campaign is running against a phantom economy as well. [MORE]



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Behind the 'People Who Pay No Income Tax'

Behind the 'People Who Pay No Income Tax' | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by ANNIE LOWREY, New York Times


Mother Jones has published a video of Mitt Romney at a private fund-raiser making incendiary remarks about Obama voters – and, well, about half of the electorate.


“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Mr. Romney said. “There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it, that that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.”


“These are people who pay no income tax,” he added.


I’ll address just that last part in this post.


Mr. Romney is absolutely correct that about half of American households do not pay federal income tax. (He is also tapping into a now long-running vein of conservative anger at those households.) But he is missing some crucial context on why they do not pay federal income tax.


The nonpartisan and highly respected Tax Policy Center derived the 47 percent number – it is actually 46 percent, as of 2011 – and published an excellent analysis of it last summer.


It found that about half of the households that do not pay federal income tax do not pay it because they are simply too poor. The Tax Policy Center gives as an example a couple with two children earning less than $26,400 a year: The household would pay no federal income tax because its standard deduction and other exemptions would simply erase its liability.


The other half, the Tax Policy Center found, consists of households taking advantage of tax credits and other provisions, mostly support for senior citizens and low-income working families.


Put bluntly, these are not households shirking their tax liabilities. The pool consists mostly of the poor, of relatively low-income working families and of old people. The tax code is specifically designed to reduce the burden on them. [MORE]


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