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Running Mate Paul Ryan and Mitt’s Medicare Mess | Nomadic Politics

Running Mate Paul Ryan and Mitt’s Medicare Mess | Nomadic Politics | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
So it seems as if the final chapter in the sorry Romney campaign is presently being written. After what can only be described as a disastrous summer, Romney settled on Tea Party and Fox News sweetheart Paul Ryan as his running mate.

In Romney’s never-ending (but futile) quest to be liked, the candidate has made one more desperate appeal to the far right. If that was the idea, then it was a colossal blunder.

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Paul Ryan’s Fairy-Tale Budget Plan | NY Times Op-Ed

Paul Ryan’s Fairy-Tale Budget Plan |  NY Times Op-Ed | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

By DAVID A. STOCKMAN


PAUL D. RYAN is the most articulate and intellectually imposing Republican of the moment, but that doesn't alter the fact that this earnest congressman from Wisconsin is preaching the same empty conservative sermon.


Thirty years of Republican apostasy - a once grand party's embrace of the welfare state, the warfare state and the Wall Street-coddling bailout state - have crippled the engines of capitalism and buried us in debt. Mr. Ryan's sonorous campaign rhetoric about shrinking Big Government and giving tax cuts to "job creators" (read: the top 2 percent) will do nothing to reverse the nation’s economic decline and arrest its fiscal collapse.


...


The Ryan Plan boils down to a fetish for cutting the top marginal income-tax rate for "job creators" - i.e. the superwealthy - to 25 percent and paying for it with an as-yet-undisclosed plan to broaden the tax base. Of the $1 trillion in so-called tax expenditures that the plan would attack, the vast majority would come from slashing popular tax breaks for employer-provided health insurance, mortgage interest, 401(k) accounts, state and local taxes, charitable giving and the like, not to mention low rates on capital gains and dividends. The crony capitalists of K Street already own more than enough Republican votes to stop that train before it leaves the station.


In short, Mr. Ryan's plan is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices. And it couldn't pass even if Republicans were to take the presidency and both houses of Congress. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have no plan to take on Wall Street, the Fed, the military-industrial complex, social insurance or the nation’s fiscal calamity and no plan to revive capitalist prosperity -  just empty sermons.


[Read more.]


David A. Stockman, who was the director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1981 to 1985, is the author of the forthcoming book "The Great Deformation: How Crony Capitalism Corrupts Free Markets and Democracy."

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Two Dark Money Groups Outspending All Super PACs Combined

Two Dark Money Groups Outspending All Super PACs Combined | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by Kim Barker, ProPublica


Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity, a group backed by the Koch brothers, have put almost $60 million so far into ads to influence the presidential race, an analysis of new spending estimates shows.


These nonprofits, also known as 501(c)(4)s or c4s for their section of the tax code, don't have to disclose their donors to the public.


The two nonprofits had outspent each of the other types of outside spending groups in this election cycle, including political parties, unions, trade associations and political action committees, a ProPublica analysis of data provided by Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group, or CMAG, found.


Super PACs, which do have to report their donors, spent an estimated $55.7 million on TV ads mentioning a presidential candidate, CMAG data shows. Parties spent $22.5 million.


Crossroads GPS, or Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, is the brainchild of GOP strategist Karl Rove, and spent an estimated $41.7 million. Americans for Prosperity, credited with helping launch the Tea Party movement, is backed in part by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, and spent an estimated $18.2 million.


[Read more.]

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Putting the super in super PAC

Putting the super in super PAC | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by KIM BARKER, ProPublica


Two conservative nonprofits, Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity, have poured almost $60 million into TV ads to influence the presidential race so far, outgunning all super PACs put together, new spending estimates show.


These nonprofits, also known as 501(c)(4)s or c4s for their section of the tax code, don’t have to disclose their donors to the public.


The two nonprofits had outspent all other types of outside spending groups in this election cycle, including political parties, unions, trade associations and political action committees, a ProPublica analysis of data provided by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, or CMAG, found.


Super PACs, which do have to report their donors, spent an estimated $55.7 million on TV ads mentioning a presidential candidate, CMAG data shows. Parties spent $22.5 million.


Crossroads GPS, or Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, is the brainchild of GOP strategist Karl Rove, and it spent an estimated $41.7 million. Americans for Prosperity, credited with helping launch the Tea Party movement, is backed in part by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, and it spent an estimated $18.2 million. [MORE]


Via Michael Charney
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The Romney-Ryan ticket: right – and wrong

The Romney-Ryan ticket: right – and wrong | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Editorial: Mitt Romney is gambling by assuming that the whole of US has lurched further to the right...


The choreography of the Washington tango – skip to the extremes during the primaries, tack to the centre once they're locked up – used to be routine. Expectations that a different Mitt Romney might suddenly emerge in the general election were all the greater, seeing as he had previously skidded around so much. The son of a respected Republican moderate, and a governor in liberal Massachusetts who put Obamaesque healthcare in place, he only veered off to the right when the courting of militant Republican activists demanded it.

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Why You Should Be Sick of Secret Health Insurer Politicking

Why You Should Be Sick of Secret Health Insurer Politicking | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
The majority of Americans believe that secret corporate money in politics is a bad thing for democracy, but what about the real life (and death) impacts on the millions of people who passively own part of the company and/or purchase its services?


By Jack ucciferri, Portfolio Manager, Harrington Investments


Do you have health insurance in the United States?


If so, there's a good chance you're insured by WellPoint. Roughly one in nine Americans are.


Own a mutual fund? Got a pension?


If so, there's a pretty good chance that you are an owner of WellPoint stock.


And if you are insured by and/or invested in WellPoint, that means that you are a major benefactor of some of our country's most influential politicians, folks like President Obama and House Speaker Boehner.


Congratulations, I bet you didn't consider yourself a Washington, D.C. power player.


In the 2012 election cycle so far, WellPoint has reported giving upwards of $2 million to political candidates, political action committees (PACs), and organizations. Unfortunately, we may never know precisely how much more, because the above figures come from information that we have access to because federal law mandates its disclosure. Incidentally, the disclosed donations went to Republicans over Democrats at a ratio of more than 2-1. And WellPoint subsidiaries spent more than $21.5 million on lobbying during 2011. They will likely spend even more this year.


[Read more.]

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Understanding Paul Ryan

Understanding Paul Ryan | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Paul Ryan has been criticized by members of his own party for his attempt, through budgting to reshape the American dream after the visions of Ayn Rand — where aristocrats are the only valuable citizens while working familes and the poor are useless parasites. Those who've looked closely at the Ryan Budget have described it as cruel. But as The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza explains in this evocative interview with NPR's David Greene, Congressman Ryan's radical philosphy developed at a vulnerable time in his life. After the sudden passing of his father, he turned to the writings of Ayn Rand as a method of coping.


Lizza's profile of Ryan in The New Yorker begins below.


How Paul Ryan captured the G.O.P.


To envisage what Republicans would do if they win in November, the person to understand is Paul Ryan.


by RYAN LIZZA, The New Yorker


One day in March, 2009, two months after the Inauguration of President Obama, Representative Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, sat behind a small table in a cramped meeting space in his Capitol Hill office. Hunched forward in his chair, he rattled off well-rehearsed critiques of the new President’s policies and America’s lurch toward a “European” style of government. Ryan’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all died before their sixtieth birthdays, so Ryan, who is now forty-two, could be forgiven if he seemed like a man in a hurry. Tall and wiry, with a puff of wavy dark hair, he is nearly as well known in Washington for his punishing early-morning workouts as he is for his mastery of the federal budget. Asked to explain his opposition to Obama’s newly released budget, he replied, “I don’t have that much time.”


Ryan won his seat in 1998, at the age of twenty-eight. Like many young conservatives, he is embarrassed by the Bush years. At the time, as a junior member with little clout, Ryan was a reliable Republican vote for policies that were key in causing enormous federal budget deficits: sweeping tax cuts, a costly prescription-drug entitlement for Medicare, two wars, the multibillion-dollar bank-bailout legislation known as TARP. In all, five trillion dollars was added to the national debt. In 2006 and 2008, many of Ryan’s older Republican colleagues were thrown out of office as a result of lobbying scandals and overspending. Ryan told me recently that, as a fiscal conservative, he was “miserable during the last majority” and is determined “to do everything I can to make sure I don’t feel that misery again.” [MORE]

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PlasmaBorneElectric's comment, August 13, 2012 1:17 PM
Ayn Rand was a atheist. Paul Ryan rejects her most important quality yet celebrates her opinion on the things he himself holds dear. At least Ayn Rand was an honest individual. Paul Ryan is just constantly running for election.
Momorune's comment, August 13, 2012 2:01 PM
Pushing people into poverty is a form of violence akin to torture as they watch their own children struggle more and more by the generation. This sadistic model of reality is what Republicans think of as "saving the country". In "Not in His Image: Gnostic Vision, Sacred Ecology, and the Future of Belief", John Lamb Lash explains how early Christians interpreted Jesus' sadistic death as their redemption, (as opposed to seeing his gentle and loving demeanor in the face of torture as the miracle). This gave rise to what he calls the "redeemer complex" in which both the violent sadistic perpetrator (who is waging God's wrath on the sinful, who have earned it by making moral errors) and the victims (whose resignation to abuse is a form of moral superiority) are praised and necessary to Christianity and its political aims. Ryan plays the game that began two thousand years ago. It depends on post traumatic stress disorder, or as Lash terms it, the victim-perpetrator bond. People inside of that bond find it almost impossible to imagine a world of cooperation, free from abuse, centering around success through mutual support. It is ESSENTIAL that Democrats take the nomination of Paul Ryan seriously. Poor Republicans have a history of voting against their own best interests because it is a 2000 year old religious doctrine that has been beaten, tortured and raped into their collective consciousness. The roots of that belief run deep and that is the secret to Ryan's success!
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Mitt Romney Would Pay 0.82 Percent in Taxes Under Paul Ryan's Plan

Mitt Romney Would Pay 0.82 Percent in Taxes Under Paul Ryan's Plan | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Paul Ryan's plan is a path to prosperity for Mitt Romney.


By MATTHEW O'BRIEN, The Atlantic


Under Paul Ryan's plan, Mitt Romney wouldn't pay any taxes for the next ten years -- or any of the years after that. Now, do I know that that's true. Yes, I'm certain.


Well, maybe not quite nothing. In 2010 -- the only year we have seen a full return from him -- Romney would have paid an effective tax rate of around 0.82 percent under the Ryan plan, rather than the 13.9 percent he actually did. How would someone with more than $21 million in taxable income pay so little? Well, the vast majority of Romney's income came from capital gains, interest, and dividends. And Ryan wants to eliminate all taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends.


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Mitt Romney will name Paul Ryan as his VP. Here’s what that means.

Mitt Romney will name Paul Ryan as his VP. Here’s what that means. | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

Mitt Romney will name Paul Ryan as his VP. Here's what that means.


Read Ezra Klein's 10 Points.


Below are a few of his points.


6. Consider the case for Romney until today: He’s a relatively moderate businessman running because his experience in the private-sector gives him crucial insight into how to manage the economy. Now consider Ryan: He’s worked in politics his entire life, beginning as an aide to Sen. Bob Kasten, then working for Sen. Sam Brownback and as a speechwriter to Rep. Jack Kemp. He’s known as a relatively ideological politician who has put forward a detailed policy plan to remake the federal government. It’s a rather different message about what’s important. And how does Romney say the problem with Barack Obama is that he’s “never spent a day in the private sector” and then put Ryan a heartbeat away from the presidency?


7. Ryan upends Romney's whole strategy. Until now, Romney’s play has been very simple: Don't get specific. In picking Ryan, he has yoked himself to each and every one of Ryan's specifics. And some of those specifics are quite...surprising. For instance: Ryan has told the Congressional Budget Office that his budget will bring all federal spending outside Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to 3.75 percent of GDP by 2050. That means defense, infrastructure, education, food safety, basic research, and food stamps - to name just a few - will be less than four percent of GDP in 2050. To get a sense for how unrealistic that is, Congress has never permitted defense spending to fall below three percent of GDP, and Romney has pledged that he’ll never let defense spending fall beneath four percent of GDP. It will be interesting to hear him explain away the difference.


10. Everyone always says they want an election focused on the issues. For better or worse, we’ve got one.


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Attempts at Voter Suppression in Pennsylvania, Florida prove need for bipartisan voting reform

Attempts at Voter Suppression in Pennsylvania, Florida prove need for bipartisan voting reform | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

A Détente Before the Election


by RICHARD L. HASEN, NY Times | Opinion


Does voter fraud sometimes happen in the United States? You bet. But we are dealing with this relatively small problem in an irrational and partisan way.


In a 1996 primary in Dodge County, Ga., rival camps for county commissioner set up tables at opposite ends of the county courthouse and bid for voters’ absentee votes in what a county magistrate later called a “flea market” atmosphere.


Recently, officials in Cudahy, Calif., admitted intercepting absentee ballots and throwing out ballots not cast for incumbents. Every year we see convictions for absentee ballot fraud. Not a lot, but enough to know it’s a problem.


So you might think that Republicans, newly obsessed with voter fraud, would call for eliminating absentee ballots, or at least requiring that voters who use them show some need, like a medical condition. But Republicans don’t talk much about reining in absentee ballots. Eliminating them would inconvenience some voters and would likely cut back on voting by loyal Republican voters, especially elderly and military voters.


If only Republicans would apply that same logic to voter-identification laws. The only kind of fraud such ID laws prevent is impersonation: a person registered under a false name or claiming to be someone else on the voter rolls. [MORE]

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Scotts Miracle-Gro goes out on a limb with political donation

by T.W. FARNAM, The Washington Post


In an election year filled with secret campaign money, the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company has made the unlikely choice to go public with a big political donation.


The Ohio-based company, familiar as the producer of a ubiquitous plant fertilizer, is now a political player, donating $200,000 in June to the Restore Our Future super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.


That makes Miracle-Gro among the first public companies with well-known consumer brands to publicly enter the new world of campaign funding. That world has been reshaped by the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed direct corporate spending on election campaigns.


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Mike Lofgren: A Devil's Dictionary - funny definitions for terms like "Job Creator" and "Patriot"

Mike Lofgren: A Devil's Dictionary - funny definitions for terms like "Job Creator" and "Patriot" | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it


Excerpt from "The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted" including our favorites from his "Devil's Dictonary."


by Mike Lofgren, via TruthOut


Lee, Bernays, and Gingrich have all had a lasting impact on the political use of language in America. If you seek monuments to their accomplishments, you have to look no further than your daily paper or television news program. It is to them that we owe stories about "collateral damage" rather than "dead civilians." In that spirit, allow me to offer up my own devil's dictionary of contempo­rary American political terms.


Authentic: used to describe a candidate who is unaware of current events and doesn't read a newspaper, and is proud of it.


Class warfare: a technique by which teachers, nurses, firemen, and cashiers are believed to be oppressing derivatives traders and CEOs, which includes unreasonably complaining that their wages aren't keeping up with the cost of their health insurance.


Conservative: a person profoundly respectful of heritage, tradition, and old-fashioned values while preaching the revolution and strip-mining the Grand Canyon for high-sulfur coal.


Elites: insufferable, overeducated snobs who are not real Ameri­cans and may in fact be French. Mitt Romney (Harvard MBA and JD) and George W. Bush (Yale, Harvard) have often criti­cized such scoundrels.


Free-market capitalism: the economic system by which Halli­burton gets sole-source, cost-plus government contracts.
Global warming: a hoax perpetrated by a worldwide conspiracy of biased scientists. Fortunately it is being combated by right-wing foundations, oil companies, televangelists, and other disin­terested believers in objective fact.


Job creators: the truly creative engines of economic growth in our society: real-estate flippers, mortgage-backed securities bundlers, leveraged buyout specialists, dividend drawers, and hedge-fund billionaires.


Liberal (pronounced librull): a satanic ideologue who is at once a socialist leveler, an elitist defender of privilege, an atheist, and a secret Muslim determined to bring sharia law to America.


Patriot: someone who loves America more than he loves the ma­jority of the people living therein.


Real Americans: the minority of Americans who look, think, and act exactly as I do.


Sharia law: a fundamentalist religious doctrine imposed on a given political jurisdiction. Any resemblance to public statutes on abortion in the Commonwealth of Virginia is purely coincidental.


Take our country back: Give us what we want right now, even if we don't know what it is.


Tea Party: people covered by Medicare who hate socialized medicine.


Washington spending: the bad sort of spending that doesn't go toward earmarks to campaign contributors, subsidies to big oil, or the military's half-trillion-dollar budget. Everyone knows the Pentagon is across the Potomac in Virginia, not in Washington.  [MORE]

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Former Republican Governor: Romney Is Afraid To Stand Up To His Right-Wing Base

Former Republican Governor: Romney Is Afraid To Stand Up To His Right-Wing Base | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Former New Jersey Gov. Christie Todd Whitman (R) said Mitt Romney must do a better job of standing up to the radical elements of the Republican party and criticized her party’s nominee for not speaking out when an audience jeered a gay soldier...
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The Terrifying Texas GOP Platform

by John T. Harvey, Forbes


I named this blog Pragmatic Economics in part because of my desire to avoid politics. That’s why my tag line is, “I want to explain how things work, not what you should believe.” However, I am so distressed by the 2012 platform released by the Texas Republican Party that I find it impossible not to comment. While I am hardly in agreement with everything forwarded by the Democrats (and have taken aim at President Obama on a number of occasions, especially with respect to his desire to balance the federal budget), it is difficult to believe that what the Republicans put together during their convention in Fort Worth was even written in the 21st century. It is anything but pragmatic.


...


...by and large, it reads as if it were written in another age and in ignorance of the social, economic, and scientific evidence of the past half century. Let there be no mistake about it: the Texas Republican Party Platform is terrifying. Were its recommendations implemented, the US would resemble a third-world country with a cheap, uneducated workforce and a massive gap between rich and poor. Unemployment would be rampant, growth stagnant, and answers few and far between thanks to the systematic repression of higher order and critical thinking. I don’t know what happened to the Republicans of fifty years ago, who were willing to discuss, reason, and compromise and who respected logic and reason, but they are sorely missed.


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GOP Senate Candidates Advocate 17th Amendment Repeal

GOP Senate Candidates Advocate 17th Amendment Repeal | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

How would the Senate look without Senators elected by voters? Before the ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913, that s exactly how it worked, with increasingly corrupt state legislatures picking Senators.


Excerpt from article by by Niels Lesniewski, Roll Call


Last November, [Michigan's GOP Senate candidate Pete] Hoekstra told a conservative talk radio program on WAAM in Ann Arbor that allowing people to elect their own Senators weakened the power of the states relative to the federal government.


"The direct election of U.S. Senators made the U.S. Senate act and behave like the House of Representatives," Hoekstra said. "The end result has led to an erosion of states' rights."


Hoekstra is not the only Republican Senate nominee to express such opinions. And their Democratic opponents are attempting to profit.


In Arizona, presumptive Democratic Senate nominee Richard Carmona has circulated a Huffington Post story that cited Rep. Jeff Flake (R), his presumed general election opponent, making similar comments to conservative supporters last week.


Rep Todd Akin, the GOP nominee facing Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) in Missouri this fall, signaled during a primary debate in May that he might favor repeal. [MORE]

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The Great Society, Medicare and the Summer of ‘65 | Nomadic Politics

The Great Society, Medicare and the Summer of ‘65 | Nomadic Politics | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
I am not going to talk much about Romney's choice for vice-president. Other blogs can do a far better job at that than I can. I'll keep my comments about his selection brief.
With Republican presumptive nominee Mitt Romney’s announcement of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate, there’s bound to be a lot of talk about Ryan’s budget proposals, particularly the proposed reforms in Medicare and Medicaid. Democrats are no doubt pleased with Romney’s decision since any changes - no matter how necessary- to these social programs are bound to create some fear with some affected voters.

 

Instead I would like to take you back to forty seven years to a small town in Missouri where important events were happening..

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U.S. government is secretly spying on EVERYONE using civilian security cameras, say Wikileaks

U.S. government is secretly spying on EVERYONE using civilian security cameras, say Wikileaks | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

By Rick Dewsbury

 

Anyone who takes a photograph at high-risk locations is logged as a suspected terrorist on a vast network of secret spy cameras linked to the U.S. Government, according to leaked emails.


People pointing cameras in New York are regarded as suspicious and the facial recognition images of them from the civilian CCTV are fed into a data centre run by U.S. firm Abraxas.


The system then connects with hundreds of other cameras in a bid to pinpoint potential terrorist activity, it is claimed.


Details of the system emerged from emails released by whistle-blowing website Wikileaks. The issue has caused outrage among privacy campaigners amid fears that it could be abused.


It has disturbing echoes of the film, The Bourne Identity starring Matt Damon, in which CIA officials use a network of spy cameras to track around the world someone they though they had assassinated.


According to the email released by Wikileaks, pictures of people's faces are encrypted and sent to a fortified data centre at a secret location.

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Is That It for Financial Crisis Cases?

Is That It for Financial Crisis Cases? | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

The disclosures that the Justice Department has closed an investigation of Goldman Sachs and that the Securities and Exchange Commission has decided not to pursue a civil fraud case may signal the end of the government's ability to enforce the law on behalf of the People.


by PETER J. HENNING, Dealb%k, New York Times


Last week turned out to be a good one for Goldman Sachs. The Justice Department closed a criminal investigation of the firm and its chief executive, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and the firm disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission had decided not to pursue a civil fraud case related to a subprime mortgage deal.


When the story of the financial crisis is finally written, this may turn out to be the denouement of the government’s investigations of Wall Street for potential wrongdoing that contributed to the financial crisis in 2008.


The criminal investigation was prompted by a referral from the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, based on its 635-page report on the financial crisis that included details on Goldman’s transactions in mortgage-backed securities. The report highlighted potential conflicts of interest in how Goldman dealt with its clients and questioned whether Mr. Blankfein testified truthfully at an April 2010 subcommittee hearing when he said that the firm did not have a “massive short” position to bet on a decline the housing market.


In announcing the closing of the investigation, the Justice Department said that “based on the law and evidence as they exist at this time, there is not a viable basis to bring a criminal prosecution.”


Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan and chairman of the Senate subcommittee, expressed his displeasure at that outcome, noting that “whether the decision by the Department of Justice is the product of weak laws or weak enforcement, Goldman Sachs’s actions were deceptive and immoral.” [MORE]

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The Ryan Budget: A Primer on What’s Now the Hottest Topic in 2012

The Ryan Budget: A Primer on What’s Now the Hottest Topic in 2012 | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by MASSIMO CALABRESI AND JAY NEWTON-SMALL, TIME


To anyone who ever complained that politics wasn't substantive, buckle up: the 2012 Presidential campaign just became a debate about that most substantive of all issues, the federal budget. The signature issue of Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick, Paul Ryan, is fiscal policy: his 2008 "Road Map for America's Future" improbably propelled him from an unusually earnest and likeable young Congressman to national prominence and now Romney's VP pick. The current GOP budget blueprint that bears Ryan's name will now be picked apart for what it would mean for the country.


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Paul Ryan Reading Guide: The Best Reporting on the VP Candidate

Paul Ryan Reading Guide: The Best Reporting on the VP Candidate | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
We’re going beyond the horse race and gathering the best stories out there on Congressman Ryan and his positions.
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Jon Huntsman Sr., longtime Romney backer, calls on him to release tax returns

Jon Huntsman Sr., longtime Romney backer, calls on him to release tax returns | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

By Greg Sargent, The Washington Post


The internet is alive with speculation that the secret source Harry Reid claims to have on Mitt Romney's tax returns is Utah industrialist Jon Huntsman Sr. He is the founder of Hunstman Corporation and the father of the former GOP presidential candidate - and the speculation is based on the fact that his profile fits with much of what we publicly know about Reid’s presumed confidante.


But I just got off the phone with Huntsman, and he confirmed to me that he is not Reid’s source.


However, in a move that could be significant, Huntsman forcefully called on Romney to release his tax returns. This matters, because Huntsman is a longtime backer of Romney - he has long been close to Romney; he supported his early campaigns; he was the national finance chairman of Romney's 2008 presidential campaign; and he has raised a lot of money for him over the years. (He backed his own son in the latest GOP primary.)


"I feel very badly that Mitt won’t release his taxes and won’t be fair with the American people," Huntsman told me. In a reference to Romney’s father, who pioneered the release of returns as a presidential candidate, Huntsman said: "I loved George. He always said, pay your taxes for at least 10 or 12 years." (See update in full article.)


"Mr. Romney ought to square with the American people and release his taxes like any other candidate," Huntsman said. "I've supported Mitt all along. I wish him well. But I do think he should release his income taxes."


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GOP voter suppression in Ohio

GOP voter suppression in Ohio | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by Libby Spencer, The Detroit News

 

Adding to my post on Romney’s false accusations against Obama and the Republicans ongoing campaign to prevent Democrats, and especially minorities who vote Democratic, from exercising their right to cast a ballot, here’s another tactic Republicans use to suppress Democratic voters:

 

Now, in heavily Democratic cities like Cleveland, Columbus, Akron and Toledo, early voting hours will be limited to 8 am until 5 pm on weekdays beginning on October 1, with no voting at night or during the weekend, when it’s most convenient for working people to vote. Republican election commissioners have blocked Democratic efforts to expand early voting hours in these counties, where the board of elections are split equally between Democratic and Republican members. Ohio Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has broken the tie by intervening on behalf of his fellow Republicans.

 

‘I cannot create unequal access from one county board to another, and I must also keep in mind resources available to each county,” Husted said in explaining his decision to deny expanded early voting hours in heavily Democratic counties. Yet in solidly Republican counties like Warren and Butler, GOP election commissioners have approved expanded early voting hours on nights and weekends. Noted the Cincinnati Enquirer: “The counties where Husted has joined other Republicans to deny expanded early voting strongly backed then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008, while most of those where the extra hours will stand heavily supported GOP nominee John McCain.” Moreover, budget constraints have not stopped Republican legislators from passing costly voter ID laws across the map since 2010.

 

Ohio Republicans have a long history of attempting to rig elections. You may recall when the CEO of Diebold voting machines promised to deliver the state to George Bush in 2004. And then during the actual election there were so many complaints about irregularities in the process, John Conyers launched an Congressional investigation. The complaints ranged from voting machines that incorrectly registered the voters’ choices to inexplicable shortages of voting machines in Democratic districts leading to waits so many hours long in a cold rain that thousands gave up and left before casting a ballot.

 

Reforms were made in Ohio after 2004 which mitigated the problems. However, after the sweep of 2010, the newly empowered Republicans repealed those reforms. Thus Ohio is again ripe for the only real voting fraud that exists in America, which is preventing legally registered voters from voting at all.

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Steinbeck Family Outraged That Texas Judge Cited 'Of Mice and Men' in Execution Ruling

Steinbeck Family Outraged That Texas Judge Cited 'Of Mice and Men' in Execution Ruling | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

"Last night's (Texas) execution of a 54-year-old man “who could not handle money or navigate a phone book, a man who sucked his thumb and could not always tell the difference between left and right, a man who, as a child, could not match his socks, tie his shoes or button his clothes,” seemed to “directly contradict the spirit, if not the letter,” of a Supreme Court ruling in 2002 that appeared to bar the execution of mentally retarded inmates." 


I have to keep reminding myself that we are a great country; I shouldn't have to do that. This practice needs to end, if not for the inmates; for the good of the country. - Rhett

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GOP Architect Of Welfare Reform Blasts Romney's "Pants on Fire" Ad

GOP Architect Of Welfare Reform Blasts Romney's "Pants on Fire" Ad | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

by AMANDA TURKEL, The Huffington Post


Mitt Romney's latest television ad attacks the Obama administration for announcing a "plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements." It's a strong allegation, but according to a former Republican congressional aide who was key to crafting welfare reform in the 1990s, it's also not true.


"There's no plausible scenario under which it really constitutes a serious attack on welfare reform," Ron Haskins, who is now co-director of the Brookings Institution's Center on Children and Families, said in an interview with NPR that aired on Wednesday.


Haskins spent 14 years on the staff of the House Ways and Means Committee's Human Resources Subcommittee, first as welfare counsel to the Republican staff, then as the subcommittee’s staff director. In 2002, he was President George W. Bush's senior adviser on welfare policy.


Welfare, formally known as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, is administered by states within federal rules. Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services invited states to apply for waivers from some rules in order to run "demonstration projects" so that states could "consider new, more effective ways to meet the goals of TANF, particularly helping parents successfully prepare for, find, and retain employment."


Haskins noted that the requirements states have to meet in order to receive the waivers are quite rigorous.


"First of all, the states have to apply individually for waivers," he said. "And they have to explain in detail, sometimes using data, why this approach would lead to either more employment or better jobs for people who are trying to welfare or get off welfare."  [MORE]

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