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Lexington: Are the Republicans mad?

Lexington: Are the Republicans mad? | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it

LEXINGTON, The Economist


WHAT happens to a two-party political system when one party goes mad? That is the question posed in a powerful and angry new book by two scholars at two respected think-tanks, Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution and Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute. The book’s cheery title is “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks” (Basic Books), and its argument is encapsulated in its subtitle: “How the American constitutional system collided with the new politics of extremism.”


The think-tankers’ thesis is that America’s political parties have become as vehemently adversarial as the parties in a parliamentary system. But whereas a parliamentary system allows the majority to rule while the minority bides its time, America’s separation of powers seldom gives one party the power to rule unconstrained. So the emergence of parliamentary-style parties in America is a formula for “wilful obstruction” and gridlock. [MORE]

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Charles Murray: Why America is Coming Apart Along Class Lines - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine

Charles Murray: Why America is Coming Apart Along Class Lines - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it
Charles Murray, one of America's most influential social policy thinkers, has come out with a widely discussed new book called Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, which argues that Americans are splitting into two divergent...

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House Republican divide keeps lid on highway projects

House Republican divide keeps lid on highway projects | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly every day, rush-hour traffic backs up for miles on both ends of the overburdened Brent Spence Bridge, which spans the Ohio River and links Cincinnati with its suburbs in Kentucky.The...

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Why the United States Isn't Europe

Why the United States Isn't Europe | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it
Conservatives like to fret that the United States is turning a giant European-style welfare state.



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Republicans eye health plan should court overturn reform

Republicans eye health plan should court overturn reform | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in Congress are getting ready to answer an election-year question that has dogged the party's campaign for months: How would it replace President Barack Obama's healthcare...


House Republicans are working to create a legislative blueprint they can sell to voters after the Supreme Court rules on Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the nation's most sweeping healthcare legislation since Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s.


Lawmakers and their aides say a Republican plan would focus on controlling healthcare costs and allowing people to retain coverage while changing jobs. They will avoid Obama's comprehensive approach to extend coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans.

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Analysis: State attorneys general: New Republican power

Analysis: State attorneys general: New Republican power | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it
(Reuters) - In the ornate Chinese Ballroom of Washington's Mayflower Hotel, nine Republican state attorneys general gathered last month at a long, white-cloth covered table for an unusual news conference.

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Gingrich hints he may quit race

Gingrich hints he may quit race | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it
Newt Gingrich suggested Monday that the end may be near for his struggling presidential campaign.


In an interview with NBC News, the former House speaker acknowledged that he would have to "reassess" his bid if he fares poorly in Tuesday's Republican primary in Delaware, a state where he has spent considerable time campaigning.

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21st century chain gangs

21st century chain gangs | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it

What began in the 1970s as an end run around the laws prohibiting convict leasing by private interests has now become an industrial sector in its own right, employing more people than any Fortune 500 corporation and operating in 37 states. And here’s the ultimate irony: Our ancestors found convict labor obnoxious in part because it seemed to prefigure a new and more universal form of enslavement. Could its rebirth foreshadow a future ever more unnervingly like those past nightmares?...

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citizen saneonlyjust's comment, April 26, 2012 11:10 AM
The incarceration industry, as we speak; is growing,at an alarming rate. It was highlighted recently; by the conviction of a so-called judge, who had shares in the local prison system; and was convicting innocent people to make sure it stayed full and profitable. He's on my "Love to meet you down a dark alley" list.
AynMan's comment, May 11, 2012 10:10 PM
"Who you kiddin? This is the system you hope will be in place when all of us "gross polluters" and tax dodgers are rounded up."
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A Short History of Modern Taxation in 4 Acts

A Short History of Modern Taxation in 4 Acts | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it
The last 30 years are often taken as one great experiment in tax cuts and bulging income inequality. In fact, the real story is much more spiky.
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Dems Still in Denial on Entitlements Doom

Dems Still in Denial on Entitlements Doom | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it
The political class may lack the will to deal with impending doom of the two largest entitlements in the federal budget, but that doesn’t mean that the clock isn’t ticking until the moment when both Medicare and Social Security will run out of money.


This reads like the Nuns/Vaticans conflict, where some folks are doing the work that is needed and others are protecting the institution.  We must remember that all institutions started as agreements to solve social problems.  If the institution is no longer solving the problem, we obviously need new agreements.  Let's get the rhetoric out of the way and get to work.  Please...  ~DM

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Work in progress: Romney Economics Steering Farther to the Right

Work in progress: Romney Economics Steering Farther to the Right | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it

The Economist, Editorial

 

WHEN Paul Ryan released his proposed federal budget a year ago, Mitt Romney greeted it coolly. He congratulated the House Budget Committee chairman for “setting the right tone”, but pointedly declined to endorse any of its details.

 

The coolness was understandable. Mr Ryan’s budget was political dynamite. It proposed to slash income-tax rates, especially for the rich and businesses, and replace traditional Medicare with vouchers for the elderly to buy health insurance.

 

Conservatives loved it, but voters, once they saw the details, recoiled, as did some Republicans. Newt Gingrich, vying with Mr Romney for the party’s presidential nomination, called it “right-wing social engineering.”  [MORE]


Via Eric Byler
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Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero—and Perhaps Less | Pew Hispanic Center

The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill. After four decades that brought 12 million current immigrants—more than half of whom came illegally—the net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped—and may have reversed, according to a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center of multiple government data sets from both countries.
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Barack Obama | Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ)

Barack Obama | Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it

Contrary to the general narrative, Barack Obama's media coverage during recent months has been decidedly negative....


"Several factors drove Obama’s negative coverage in recent weeks. One of them was the continued rise in gas prices, which triggered criticism of the administration’s energy policy. Another was the uncertainty surrounding the health care legislation as the Supreme Court held hearings on the law in late March."

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Political views are reflected in brain structure

Political views are reflected in brain structure | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it

Individuals who call themselves liberal tend to have larger anterior cingulate cortexes, while those who call themselves conservative have larger amygdalas. Based on what is known about the functions of those two brain regions, the structural differences are consistent with reports showing a greater ability of liberals to cope with conflicting information and a greater ability of conservatives to recognize a threat, the researchers say.

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Gingrich Says Romney Will Be Nominee and Urges Unity

Gingrich Says Romney Will Be Nominee and Urges Unity | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it

Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker, will still be on the campaign trail, but says Mitt Romney will be the nominee. “I think you have to at some point be honest with what’s happening in the real world, as opposed to what you’d like to have happened,” Mr. Gingrich said.

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A farewell to U.S. factories Caixin Online

A farewell to U.S. factories Caixin Online | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it
Calls to address decline of manufacturing sector in the U.S. Manufacturing employment as a fraction of total employment has been declining for the past half century in the United States and the great majority of other developed countries. A 1968 book about developments in the American economy by Victor Fuchs was already entitled “The Service Economy.”
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Huntsman blasts the GOP - Video on msnbc.com

Huntsman blasts the GOP - Video on msnbc.com | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it
Video on msnbc.com: Politico’s Lois Romano talks about Jon Huntsman’s comparison of the GOP to Chinese communists.

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EPA clears way for more fracking profits

EPA clears way for more fracking profits | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it

Last week, tucked into the headlines was a story describing how the Environmental Protection Agency decided to give oil and gas companies until 2015 to fully comply with so-called "green completions" for their hydraulic fracturing operations. In the near term, this move removes the risk for companies engaged in "fracking" of having the EPA slow their high growth via the rapid implementation of new rules .

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Political Punchlines

One of the upsides to campaign season is the great material it provides our late night comedians. Check out the graph below to see which candidates they’re joking about the most, and scroll down for the best punchlines.
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Taxed by the boss: 16 states redirect income taxes to corporate profiteers instead of education, public safety | Coffee Party News

Taxed by the boss: 16 states redirect income taxes to corporate profiteers instead of education, public safety | Coffee Party News | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it
by DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, Reuters Across the United States more than 2,700 companies are collecting state income taxes from hundreds of thousands of workers – and are keeping the money with the states’ approval, says an eye-opening report published on...


This just seems like a way to race to the bottom...depriving states of revenue.  ~DM

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Investors Want Disclosure of Corporate Political Contributions and Lobbying Expenditures - Forbes

Investors Want Disclosure of Corporate Political Contributions and Lobbying Expenditures - Forbes | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it
The U.S. Supreme Court has brought front and center the debate on the role of the public corporation in our democracy with its recent decision in Citizens United v.
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Faces Of The Day

Faces Of The Day | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it
Photographer Seth Casteel captures the joy of underwater dogs: The most exciting part of the success for him, however, is how the attention has already helped his non-profit, Second Chance Photos, which aims to increase the quality of animal...
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Want Higher Taxes? Pay Them Yourself.

Want Higher Taxes?  Pay Them Yourself. | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it

"After all, if Buffett really believes that he ought to be paying more taxes, then what’s stopping him?..." MATT ZWOLINSKI

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No Republican Should Welcome Ted Nugent’s Endorsement | Lez Get Real

No Republican Should Welcome Ted Nugent’s Endorsement | Lez Get Real | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it

One would have thought that after the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords the Republican Party would have wanted to distance itself from those who talk violent trash about Democrats. Nope. Didn’t happen.


Ted Nugent is about as far from any rational definition of "Republican" as you can get...

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NAACP Boots Allen West as Keynote

NAACP Boots Allen West as Keynote | Coffee Party Election Coverage | Scoop.it

Allen West’s comments about Communists in Congress were needlessly provocative, but in the scheme of things he doesn’t deserve as much grief for them as he’s been getting. 


So: What's your opinion on this? Should West have been disinvited?

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Michael Charney's comment, April 24, 2012 8:17 AM
Thanks for the comment, Anzastan.

While I also think West is so over the line that he can't even see it anymore, I always caution against exclusionary responses. If an org like the NAACP tries to force out certain members because of their opinions, then they only become the same as those they're trying to force out. While I don't have any answers for how best to deal with West's comments, I do believe the old "defend his right to say them," comes into play somewhere.

Michael
Elaine Kimzey's comment, April 24, 2012 10:00 AM
yep, he should be disinvited to speak. Membership is one thing, keynote speaker is another. Making unsubstantiated incendiary remarks is not helpful to the mission of NAACP.
Michael Charney's comment, April 24, 2012 11:30 AM
Makes sense, Elaine. Keynoting is likely to be construed as an endorsement.