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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 |

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 |
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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Experts: Romney’s wrong on Ohio early-voting suit

Experts: Romney’s wrong on Ohio early-voting suit | Coffee Party News |

by Joe Vardon, The Columbus Dispatch

The Romney campaign and veterans groups opposed to a lawsuit in Ohio filed by President Barack Obama’s campaign continue to portray the suit as an objection to certain voting privileges for military voters.

But two constitutional-law professors from different battleground states - Ohio and Florida - strongly disagree with the Romney campaign, and some other veterans groups say that Romney is supporting denial of voting access to hundreds of thousands of Ohio military veterans by opposing Obama’s lawsuit.

In July, the Obama campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party filed suit against Secretary of State Jon Husted in federal court, seeking to restore in-person voting access for nonmilitary voters on the last three days before Election Day. The Romney campaign circulated an exchange Romney had on Friday with a reporter in Las Vegas, in which he answered a question about an Obama lawsuit in Ohio seeking to reduce some in-person voting days for military voters — which was not accurate.

Romney campaign spokesmen and attorneys insist it was never the campaign’s belief that Obama’s lawsuit sought to reduce in-person voting days for military personnel and their families, despite the campaign’s circulation of that original exchange and some aides’ messaging to that effect on Twitter.

But the Romney campaign is holding steadfast to its position that the Obama lawsuit opposes giving military voters three extra days to cast early ballots in person, seizing on the lawsuit’s use of the word arbitrary to describe Ohio lawmakers’ decisions to restore those days for military voters but not for other Ohio voters.

All eligible Ohio voters had in-person, early-voting access through the day before Election Day until Statehouse Republicans’ passage of House Bill 194 last year. The Obama lawsuit, in asking the court to restore those days for nonmilitary voters, says Husted ruled “appropriately” by ordering boards of elections to extend early-voting deadlines for military and overseas voters. [MORE]

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Who Does a Better Job with YOUR Money, Dems or Reps?

Who Does a Better Job with YOUR Money, Dems or Reps? | Coffee Party News |



CLICK HERE to listen live

or call 646-929-2495 to listen & add your voice

Eleven presidents. Eighty years.

So which presidents have done the best job of taking care of YOUR money? And what does that mean for this upcoming election? Author Bob Dietrick will talk about his book, Bulls, Bears and the Ballot Box, an insightful analysis of exactly how the economy performs under different presidents and different policies. You may surprised when you find out that the myths you've heard for so long may not be true.

Presented by Coffee Party USA, "The Middle Ground" covers a variety of topics on both the left and right sides of the political spectrum. Co-hosted by award-winning filmmaker Eric Byler and political author Michael Charney.

And don't forget: CALL IN AND JOIN THE SHOW!



Via Michael Charney
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Coloradoans likely to vote in November on Citizens United ruling

Coloradoans likely to vote in November on Citizens United ruling | Coffee Party News |

By Eric W. Dolan, The Raw Story

Public Citizen, Common Cause and U.S. PIRG announced Monday that more than 100,000 signatures had been collected for a Colorado ballot measure calling for the controversial Citizens United ruling to be overturned.

"Our elected officials are supposed to serve the voters, not the highest bidder," Aquene Freechild, the senior organizer of Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign, said in a statement. "Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections, Super PACs and other independent groups have spent huge amounts, in some cases outspending individual campaigns by a ratio of 2-to-1."


The ballot measure, Initiative 82, would urge Colorado’s congressional delegation to support an amendment to the U.S. constitution that allows Congress to limit outside campaign spending. The ballot measure says the amendment is necessary to "ensure that all citizens, regardless of wealth, can express their views to one another and their government on a level playing field."

[Read more.]

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At least 7 dead, including shooter, at Sikh Temple

At least 7 dead, including shooter, at Sikh Temple | Coffee Party News |

by Mike Johnson, Karen Herzog and Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

At least seven people were killed, including one shooter, just after 10 a.m. Sunday at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, police said.

Four of the dead were inside the temple at 7512 S. Howell Ave. and three of the dead, including a shooter, were outside the temple.

A police SWAT team entered the building before noon and brought uninjured people out of the building at 7512 S. Howell Ave.

They started removing injured people from the temple's prayer room.

SWAT team members were still sweeping the building about 1 p.m. and an explosion was heard from the building at that time. It was unclear what the explosion was.

About six gunshots were heard at 2:30 p.m. in the area. The shots appeared to be coming from the temple.

The first officer on the scene Sunday morning encountered an active shooter and exchanged fire with him, according to Greenfield Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt who briefed media on the scene.  The shooter went down and is believed to be dead, said Wentlandt. He said authorities had no evidence of a second shooter.

Wentlandt said the officer was hit multiple times, but is expected to survive. He said the officer was a 20-year veteran and "an extremely accomplished tactical officer." He was taken to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa where he was in surgery just before 2 p.m.

White House officials said President Barack Obama was notified of the shootings shortly before 1 p.m. by John Brennan, his Homeland Security adviser. The president continues to receive updates. [MORE]

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Extremism normalized

Extremism normalized | Coffee Party News |

by Glenn Greenwald, Salon

How Americans are efficiently trained to acquiesce to ideas once deemed so radical as to be unthinkable...

Remember when, in the wake of the 9/11 attack, the Patriot Act was controversial, held up as the symbolic face of Bush/Cheney radicalism and widely lamented as a threat to core American liberties and restraints on federal surveillance and detention powers? Yet now, the Patriot Act is quietly renewed every four years by overwhelming majorities in both parties (despite substantial evidence of serious abuse), and almost nobody is bothered by it any longer. That’s how extremist powers become normalized: they just become such a fixture in our political culture that we are trained to take them for granted, to view the warped as normal. Here are several examples from the last couple of days illustrating that same dynamic; none seems overwhelmingly significant on its own, but that’s the point... [MORE]

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Caterpillar to unions: Drop dead

Caterpillar to unions: Drop dead | Coffee Party News |
Thanks to globalization, declining union density and years of chipping away at labor laws, Caterpillar is set to prove that even unionized companies can operate as if they have no union at all.
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For-Profit College Lures 14-Year-Old, Dumps Him, Sticks Him With The Bill

For-Profit College Lures 14-Year-Old, Dumps Him, Sticks Him With The Bill | Coffee Party News |

by DAVID HALPERIN, Republic Report

All across the country, people are waking up to the abusive practices of for-profit colleges, which take $33 billion a year in taxpayer money, much of it for poor quality programs that leaves students deep in debt and unemployed. The newest bombshell is an in-depth report from Chris Parker in The Village Voice highlighting students and employees who lived first-hand the deceptions of these institutions:

Bobby Ruffin Jr. was only 14 when a recruiter from Ashford University called. The Birmingham, Michigan, boy thought he’d clicked on a link promising help finding money for college. It was actually just a lead generator for the for-profit, online school’s sales staff... He told the recruiter that he wanted to be a doctor. She assured him that Ashford could be a stepping-stone to that dream.

Never mind that he was only in the eighth grade. "She said, 'You'll be working toward a degree as a medical doctor, so when you do graduate high school, you’re almost there,'" Bobby says today. "I'm like: 'This is great. I'm going to talk to my mom.' And she's like: 'No, I wouldn't tell your parents because that would take away from the shock when it happens. If I were you, I'd complete the program, and when graduation comes around, let them know. Mom and Dad will be super excited.'"

Admission to Ashford requires a high school diploma or equivalency. So when it came time to fill out the financial-aid forms, the recruiter told Bobby to claim that he’d already graduated. He objected, but she insisted "the loan-processing company will go back and correct everything."....

Of course, it’s illegal for kids Bobby’s age to receive financial aid....

Bobby took online classes for almost a year. But when he wouldn’t endorse Ashford’s lying on his financial-aid forms, administrators miraculously discovered that he was under 18. Since this left him ineligible for federal aid, Ashford was forced to return his loan money to the feds. The school wouldn’t be eating those costs. Bobby would. Ashford, which declined interview requests for this story, sent him a bill for $13,000.  [Read more]

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Congress won’t rescue postal service as it defaults on health care benefits

Congress won’t rescue postal service as it defaults on health care benefits | Coffee Party News |
Congress is sitting idly by Wednesday as the U.S. Postal Service prepares to default on $5.5 billion in retiree health care payments. The postal service confirmed in a statement Monday that it would default on its payment to the U.S.
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Graph reveals 1082 aristocrats are trying to buy 2012 election

Graph reveals 1082 aristocrats are trying to buy 2012 election | Coffee Party News |

47 people are responsible for more than half of all super-PAC cash.  And check out the chart above!  In this pie chart, Pac-man represents how much money 1082 people have paid to influence the outcome of the 2012 election. Pac-man's mouth represents donations by the other 330 million people living in the United States. And Pac-man isn't even eating a cherry or a ghost. Dude's eating a freakin' dot at best. Who should decide America's future, 1000 Profiteers, or 330 million People? [MORE charts HERE]

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Companies Wary of Political Spending Two Years After Court Rules

Companies Wary of Political Spending Two Years After Court Rules | Coffee Party News |

By Elizabeth Dwoskin, Bloomberg

Two years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that companies could spend unlimited amounts to support candidates, some corporate boards of directors are putting restrictions on their political contributions.

A lot of their angst goes back to the summer of 2010, when Target came under attack for giving $150,000 to a Minnesota super PAC supporting Tom Emmer, a gubernatorial candidate who vehemently opposed gay marriage.

The resulting public outcry overshadowed the retailer’s prior support for such events as Minneapolis’s gay pride parade. Liberal groups called for a nationwide boycott of the chain, and customers posted online videos of themselves returning products to Target stores. Not until Chief Executive Officer Gregg Steinhafel formally apologized to employees did the public relations debacle end.

No company wants to wind up the next Target, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Aug. 6 issue. Super PACs and other groups are expected to spend $1 billion on this year’s election, and some boards, under pressure from shareholders, are adopting policies that force executives to reveal which candidates and issues they’re putting money behind.

Target’s “an example that I think will be around for a long time,” says Dan Bross, senior director of corporate citizenship at Microsoft, which doesn’t give money to super PACs.

Halliburton directors decided this year to tell investors which trade associations it belongs to and to disclose what portion of its dues goes toward campaigns. Hershey is disclosing contributions even to groups that are allowed by law to keep donors secret. Tenet Healthcare, State Street, Chubb, Safeway and Kroger also told stockholders they would adopt or strengthen disclosure policies this year.

[Read more.]

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Rushing Voter ID proves its true intent

Rushing Voter ID proves its true intent | Coffee Party News |

by Brandon Szuminsky, Herald Standard


To really understand the Pennsylvania Voter ID law, consider the effort to switch broadcast television from analog to digital a few years back.

The “digital switchover” changed the way you could tune in over-the-air television signals. Unnecessary technical bits aside, the result was that if you got your TV from an antenna (in other words, if you didn't have cable), you either needed a new TV or a converter box to avoid losing the ability to watch television.

Originally proposed in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (a landmark law for media studies, if you're taking notes), the original deadline for the switch was Dec. 31, 2006. But when it became clear that many would be left behind if the change went into effect then, Congress pushed the deadline back to Dec. 31, 2008.

As that date neared and still the public wasn't ready, lawmakers again moved the deadline back, this time to Feb. 17, 2009. But in January 2009, when slightly more than 2 percent of Americans were estimated to still be unable to make the switch, the deadline was pushed back for the last time, to June of that year.

To simplify further, when the government was going to institute a change that would effect the public's access to television, it spent billions and held off implementation until it was sure the public was ready. Even a measly 2 percent of people not being ready was enough to convince lawmakers to pump the breaks.

But that was something important, like television. For something as frivolous as voting, Pennsylvania lawmakers are content with rushing to implement a change that would keep 9.2 percent of voters in the state from being able to exercise their right to participate in democracy. [MORE]

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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 |

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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Opinion: Stop rigging system against small business - Elizabeth Warren

Opinion: Stop rigging system against small business  - Elizabeth Warren | Coffee Party News |

By Elizabeth Warren


I believe in small businesses. They're the heart and soul of our economy. They create jobs and opportunities for the future.
Washington politicians line up 10-deep to claim they support small businesses, but they avoid talking about a harsh reality: The system is rigged against small business. These owners can’t afford armies of lobbyists in D.C., but the big corporations can. It’s those armies of lobbyists that create the loopholes and special breaks that let big corporations off the hook for paying taxes. While small businesses are left to pay the bills.

We've got to close those loopholes and end the special breaks - so small businesses have a level playing field and a fair chance to succeed.

When small businesses grow and flourish, we should applaud their success, and the companies should benefit from their hard work and clever ideas. But here’s my point: If a business makes it big, the reward shouldn’t be the ability to rig the system to stop the next guy.

If a business takes its profits to the Cayman Islands, ships its jobs overseas or finds a loophole to avoid paying its fair share of taxes, then that business now has a leg up over every small business and start up that can’t take advantage of those loopholes. Sometimes the big can get bigger not because they are better but because they can work the system better. That’s bad for every small business in America.

[

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‘The Price of Inequality,’ by Joseph E. Stiglitz | NY Times Book Review

‘The Price of Inequality,’ by Joseph E. Stiglitz | NY Times Book Review | Coffee Party News |


Joseph E. Stiglitz’s new book, "The Price of Inequality," is the single most comprehensive counter­argument to both Democratic neoliberalism and Republican laissez-faire theories. While credible economists running the gamut from center right to center left describe our bleak present as the result of seemingly unstoppable developments - globalization and automation, a self-­replicating establishment built on “meritocratic” competition, the debt-driven collapse of 2008 - Stiglitz stands apart in his defiant rejection of such notions of inevitability. He seeks to shift the terms of the debate.

It is not uncontrollable technological and social change that has produced a two-tier society, Stiglitz argues, but the exercise of political power by moneyed interests over legislative and regulatory processes. "While there may be underlying economic forces at play," he writes, "politics have shaped the market, and shaped it in ways that advantage the top at the expense of the rest." But politics, he insists, is subject to change.


Stiglitz may prove most prescient when he warns of a society governed by "rules of the game that weaken the bargaining strength of workers vis-a-vis capital." At present, he says,"the dearth of jobs and the asymmetries in globalization have created competition for jobs in which workers have lost and the owners of capital have won." We are becoming a country "in which the rich live in gated communities, send their children to expensive schools and have access to first-rate medical care. Meanwhile, the rest live in a world marked by insecurity, at best mediocre education and in effect rationed health care." Except for a brief period in 2008-9, when the stock market decline hit the wealthy the hardest, the trends would seem to be moving toward Stiglitz's pessimistic vision of the future, with little prospect of change no matter who wins office on Nov. 6.

[Read more.]

Thomas B. Edsall, the Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore professor at the Columbia School of Journalism, writes a weekly online column for The Times.

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Become a Coffee Party member

Become a Coffee Party member | Coffee Party News |

Via Coffee Party USA, J'nene Solidarity Kay, Eric Byler
Shelly Bernal's comment, June 3, 2012 8:24 AM
Guys I'm lovin' the class of 2012! What a great concept!
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Dictatorship Update from Michigan, Romney's Taxes & Anti-Gay Dining

Dictatorship Update from Michigan, Romney's Taxes & Anti-Gay Dining | Coffee Party News |

The Bottom Line

with Jessica English
LISTEN LIVE Sunday August 5th
5 pm ET (2 pm PT)

or CALL IN to join the conversation
(646) 929-2495

NOTE: At the start of our Sunday 5 pm ET radio show, Jessica English will talk with her guest John Henry about the horrific shootings. Please call or listen in, or place comments below which may be read on the air.

Planned topics: Jessica English has a co-host today. Wait until you meet Mr. John Henry — a political activist and writer who produces written and video commentary and analysis at LowGenius.Net, and recently launched a crowd-sourced news site at He was in the professional wrestling business for a few years in the 1990's and has written about the similarities between wrestling and politics among many other social and political topics.

John wrote recently, in his essay Is Michigan a Proving Ground for Democracy's Silent Killer: "Wisconsin is not the only state here in the Midwest where power has gone mad. Wisconsin’s struggle against abused power is vital and important, and I don’t want to take anything away from them… but I do want to explain why the situation in Michigan under our own Tea Party governor, Rick Snyder, is as great a threat – and maybe a greater one – to freedom than the overt abuses across the lake. [MORE]

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The Overheated Case Against Romneycare

The Overheated Case Against Romneycare | Coffee Party News |

by DAVID FRUM, The Daily Beast

Philip Klein writes a rebuttal to my praise for Romneycare. At the core of his argument is found this remarkable—even breathtaking—statement:

"Some of us simply don’t believe that the way to fix our health care system is for the government — whether at the federal or state level — to mandate, regulate and subsidize the purchase of health insurance."

"Some" may disbelieve these things, but even among conservatives, it is unlikely to be a very big "some."

No government subsidy for the purchase of health insurance? Already in 2008, the exclusion of employer-provided healthcare benefits was subsidized to the extent of $131 billion a year, the single biggest tax expenditure in the tax code.

The ill effects of this subsidy are pretty notorious by now. Equally notorious is the difficulty of eliminating it. The concept of exchanges + mandates was developed (and advocated by conservative Republicans for almost two decades) precisely in order to work around the subsidy. Philip may think it would be neater and cleaner to eliminate it outright? Good luck to him in finding even a corporal's guard of Republicans in House or Senate who will publicly agree.

No government regulation of health insurance? Insurance regulation in the United States dates back almost to the very beginning of the republic. States took the lead through the 19th century. [MORE]

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Wealth doesn't trickle down – it just floods offshore, research reveals

Wealth doesn't trickle down – it just floods offshore, research reveals | Coffee Party News |

A far-reaching new study suggests a staggering $21tn in assets has been lost to global tax havens. If taxed, that could have been enough to put parts of Africa back on its feet – and even solve the euro crisis.

by Heather Stewart, The Guardian U.K.

The world's super-rich have taken advantage of lax tax rules to siphon off at least $21 trillion, and possibly as much as $32tn, from their home countries and hide it abroad – a sum larger than the entire American economy.

James Henry, a former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey and an expert on tax havens, has conducted groundbreaking new research for the Tax Justice Network campaign group – sifting through data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and private sector analysts to construct an alarming picture that shows capital flooding out of countries across the world and disappearing into the cracks in the financial system.

Comedian Jimmy Carr became the public face of tax-dodging in the UK earlier this year when it emerged that he had made use of a Cayman Islands-based trust to slash his income tax bill.

But the kind of scheme Carr took part in is the tip of the iceberg, according to Henry's report, entitled The Price of Offshore Revisited. Despite the professed determination of the G20 group of leading economies to tackle tax secrecy, investors in scores of countries – including the US and the UK – are still able to hide some or all of their assets from the taxman.

"This offshore economy is large enough to have a major impact on estimates of inequality of wealth and income; on estimates of national income and debt ratios; and – most importantly – to have very significant negative impacts on the domestic tax bases of 'source' countries," Henry says.

Using the BIS's measure of "offshore deposits" – cash held outside the depositor's home country – and scaling it up according to the proportion of their portfolio large investors usually hold in cash, he estimates that between $21tn (£13tn) and $32tn (£20tn) in financial assets has been hidden from the world's tax authorities.

"These estimates reveal a staggering failure," says John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network. "Inequality is much, much worse than official statistics show, but politicians are still relying on trickle-down to transfer wealth to poorer people.

[MORE] | Larger Version of Above Graphic

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Companies Say 3 Million Unfilled Positions in Skill Crisis

Companies Say 3 Million Unfilled Positions in Skill Crisis | Coffee Party News |

by Lorraine Woellert, Bloomberg

Even with almost 13 million Americans looking for work and 8 million more settling for part-time jobs, almost half the 1,361 U.S. employers surveyed in January by ManpowerGroup say they can’t find workers to fill positions. At the same time, American employers are less likely than their counterparts overseas to invest in training, the Milwaukee-based staffing company reported last month.

Companies have reported more than 3 million job openings every month since February 2011, according to the Department of Labor.

To narrow the skills gap, employers are teaming up with philanthropies, governments and community colleges to develop a ready resource: their existing workforce. The practice, known as upskilling, builds on the “up from the mailroom” idea, the management philosophy that the best person for a job could be one a company already has. [Read more.]

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From the Archive: We Are the Patriots

From the Archive: We Are the Patriots | Coffee Party News |

Written by Gore Vidal in 2003 (who passed away this week)

Despotism is now securely in the saddle. The old Republic is a shadow of itself, and we now stand in the glare of a nuclear world empire with a government that sees as its true enemy "we the people," deprived of our electoral franchise. War is the usual aim of despots, and serial warfare is what we are going to get unless--with help from well-wishers in new old Europe and from ourselves, awake at last--we can persuade this peculiar Administration that they are acting entirely on their vicious own, and against all our history.

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The Solution to Citizens United That No One Is Talking About

The Solution to Citizens United That No One Is Talking About | Coffee Party News |

by Frances Moore Lappe, Common Dreams

Could a narrow focus on Citizens United actually set back our drive for democracy?

That's been a real worry of mine, but my thinking has been fussy. So I was relieved to see Matt Bai, the New York Times Magazine's political correspondent, take on the challenge of deciphering what can and cannot be laid at the feet of this awful ruling.

In "How Did Political Money Get This Loud?" Bai suggests that Citizens United mainly "intensified" unintended consequences of earlier reforms. He argues that the burst of political spending in the last two years, while huge, is actually in line with the trajectory of growth in campaign spending since McCain-Feingold reforms in 2002.

He stresses that the biggest consequence of McCain-Feingold and Citizens United may not be the staggering scale of spending, but that "candidates don't really have control of their own campaigns anymore..." 

With the passage of McCain-Feingold, Bai explains, "parties could no longer tap an endless stream of soft money [unlimited contributions used in a range of party activities not directly asking for votes]." So they turned to another means: "independent groups with their own turnout and advertising campaigns limited in what they could say," emphasizes Bai, "but accountable to no candidate or party boss..."

Then, Citizens United and related Court decisions wiped out most remaining limits, so "[n]ow any outside group can use corporate money to make a direct case for who deserves your vote and why, and they can do so right up to Election Day." The big outside groups today are "social-welfare groups" (including, believe it or not, Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity) and Super PACs, and the difference between them? Super PACs must disclose donors' identities, but social-welfare groups generally don't.

Many will likely debate Bai's analysis, but my concern is what it misses altogether:

"That there are solutions we can realize at least in part in the foreseeable future."

We can move democracy forward even before a new Supreme Court majority reversing Citizens United or victory in a long battle for a constitutional amendment.

Wonderfully, Americans are united across political divisions in our anger at big money's control of politics. Sixty-seven percent of us favor "voluntary public financing" of elections, already enabling regular citizens to run for the legislature in three states. And two-thirds of Americans also support disclosure of large contributors.

So let's get on with building a bipartisan uprising of voters with the guts to insist that candidates we support in November pledge to back DISCLOSE Act and Fair Elections legislation.... [MORE]

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Stunning Chart Considering All the Propaganda: Government Jobs Increased Under Bush II, Decreased Under Obama

Stunning Chart Considering All the Propaganda: Government Jobs Increased Under Bush II, Decreased Under Obama | Coffee Party News |

by KEVIN DRUM, Mother Jones

Adapted from Matt Yglesias, here's a chart showing the growth of private employment (red line) and state/local/federal government employment (blue line) during the past two administrations.  ...Under Bush, government employment increased by 1.7 million and private employment decreased by 0.6 million. Under Obama so far, government employment has decreased by 0.6 million and private employment has increased by 0.3 million.  [MORE]

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Bill Moyers Makes It Clear: Requiring An ID Is Voter Suppression And Unconstitutional

Bill Moyers Makes It Clear: Requiring An ID Is Voter Suppression And Unconstitutional | Coffee Party News |

Everyone's got an ID, right? Wrong. When 1 in 10 eligible voters have no ID, and a trip to a government building is time-consuming and costly, Bill Moyers is there to break down exactly how voter suppression has been allowed to happen and why it's unconstitutional.


s.farmer's comment, August 6, 2012 10:12 PM
this is simply ridiculous that one would argue against having an ID to vote.. we have to have one to drive - take a flight buy a weapon - begin a new job - buy alcohol and cigarettes.. recently with dead people and illegal immigrants voting this is exactly the time to make a new ruling on this situation.. i live in a small town, Wetumpka, AL and as far back as i can remember we have ALWAYS had to present ID's although everyone knew us we had to physically show them before voting.. anY0Ne can look in a phone book and find a name in a specific area and walk straight in, have his/her name checked off the list and vote for them... this has been proven time and time again on - why dont you go check it out uNlESs its as i thought - you alll NEED these bogus v0tes to feel more comfortable about winning... ID's SHOULD be mandatory!