Coffee Party Posts – 2015-03

(KXL Veto and Votes)

Who stands for environmental protection and who supports the fossil fuel industry can be easily understood by examining first who we vote for and then how our elected representatives then vote on issues like Keystone XL.

The good news is that voting records are public, so it’s easy to tell if you just look.




CALL TO ACTION – No to Fast Track Authority

Email Your Members of Congress to Oppose ‘Fast Track’

Your Representative and Senators Need to Commit Publicly Today to Vote ‘No’ on Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

public citizen






Verizon Throws a Tantrum

Of course they don’t want to be regulated. They want us to believe the lies of The Invisible Hand and “small” government.

They also know some Americans can be very easily duped into ignoring the history of the telecommunications industry and why net neutrality ought to be one of those rare unifying issues on the left and the right.



Nick Hanauer: Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming

Hanauer speaks truth to his fellow 0.01%ers….and to Americans who have been duped into believing the lie of trickle-down economics, the lie that increasing the minimum wage is bad for job creation, the lie that tax increases on the wealthy stymies economic growth, and the lie that the rich built this country.


Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Wealth Gap (HBO)

It’s not class warfare to talk about and to try to find ways to reverse the deleterious effects of income inequality.

American optimism is truly one of our greatest strengths, but it’s also our greatest weakness. It all too often leads us to act against our own best interests.

#wealthgap #incomeinequality


The Bootstraps Myth

“There are two lessons we <DecodeDC> learned from talking to experts about this. First, we have to ask ourselves if economic mobility is something we really want to make real in America. If it is, there’s a lot of work to be done implementing policies that help people climb out of poverty.

“Second, when it comes to electing our representatives, we have to keep our emotions in check. A great bootstraps story might sound great, but we can’t let it sweep us off our feet. Instead, we have to look at how a lawmaker actually acts in office.

“No one wants to give up on the American dream, but we have to keep it real.”

Worth a listen.

‪#‎incomeinequality‬ ‪#‎wealthgap‬…/…

2015-03-07 2pm





2015-03-07, 7pm

This country has progressed a great deal, thanks to the courage and tenacity of progressively minded people who believed in true freedom and equality.

Their work isn’t finished. It’s up to us to do our part.

We who share a belief in true equality must stand and fight today for that equality just as those citizens and civil rights leaders did 50 years.

How? By out-voting regressive beliefs. By out-voting backward policies and backward politicians. By out-voting those who oppose equal treatment in every facet of our lives. By showing up to vote.

#Selma #BloodySunday #PettusBridge






Solar Industry Prepares for Battle Against Koch Brothers’ Front Groups


“If the Koch brothers and their minions want to have a discussion about the solar ITC, then let’s have one at the same time about intangible drilling costs and the oil depletion allowance. And while we’re at it, let’s take a few questions on refinery explosions, oil spills and deadly train derailments. Yep. We’ll have that debate with them any day of the week.”
– Ken Johnson, vice president and head of communications for the Solar Energy Industries Association.

(posted by Greg)
#SolarPower #SolarITC






“He makes George W. Bush and Nixon look good”: Why Obama’s attack on privacy is so historic

Pioneering columnist Robert Scheer tells Salon just how bad our privacy nightmare has really gotten

Personally, I’m a fan of Scheer and his online publication, Check it out, and put it on your list of trusted sources.
#StopSpying #NSA #surveillance #datamining





Climate Denier’s Funding from Fossil Fuel Industry Exposed at a Staggering $1.25 Million

“We have known for years that Soon has taken fossil fuel industry money, but the exact amount has always remained a mystery.

“And now documents uncovered by Davies and Greenpeace reveal just how much funding Soon received from Exxon Mobil, Southern Company, American Petroleum Institute (API) and Donors Trust, which is a secretive foundation run by the ultra-conservative Koch brothers.”

#ClimateChange #ClimateDenial #WillieSoon





Why Can’t We Rely On or Trust Corporate News Media?

Chuck Todd, in a rare moment of lucidity and truthfulness, let’s the answer to that question slip out.

The best 4 minutes you’ll spend watching a video today.

‪#‎CorporateMedia‬ ‪#‎MainstreamMedia‬





Deniers can keep denying it.

Science doesn’t care who believes it and who doesn’t.
It’s still science.

#ClimateChange #ClimateDeniers #GlobalWarming





Logical Fallacies

This is the first in a series meant to get us all thinking and responding more logically.

How many strawman fallacies did you hear or read today? What are some examples that have stuck with you?



Race, History, a President, a Bridge

Obama and Selma: The Meaning of ‘Bloody Sunday’

“To truly understand the Bloody Sunday inflection point — and the civil rights movement as a whole — one must appreciate the preceding century.” – Charles M. Blow, New York Times


Race history




2015-03-14 4am:
FastTracking the TPP is good for a handful of multinational corporations.

It is not good for America!

CALL TO ACTION! Sign the White House Petition!

Tell the President: Stop Supporting Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership: They are undemocratic and bad for America.

DEADLINE IS MARCH 21! Sign and spread the word, please!!

#StopTPP #StopFastTrack #NoTPP #NoFastTrack


2015-03-14 10am:
The true scandal of the GOP senators’ letter to Iran

“This was a foreign policy maneuver, in the middle of a high-stakes negotiation, with all the gravity and deliberation of a blog posting. In timing, tone and substance, it raises questions about the Republican majority’s capacity to govern.”

That headline and that passage come straight from the linked op-ed by Michael Gerson.

He’s a conservative op-ed writer for the Washington Post. He’s also a former speech writer for President G.W. Bush, and, “…considered to be a leading figure of the evangelical intelligentsia movement.” (Wikipedia)

How much more criticism is needed and from how many more places before ordinary Americans who call themselves Republicans join the rest of us in condemning these Senators?






Logical Fallacy #2: False Cause

….like holding up a snowball as your “proof” that the climate isn’t changing and the planet isn’t warming.





Wikipedia Sues NSA over Dragnet Internet Surveillance

by Cora Currier, The Intercept…/wikipedia-sues-nsa-dragnet-interne…/





Logical Fallacy #3: Appeal to Emotion

A few came to mind for me right away.
“We have to fight them over there so we won’t have to fight them over here” as reason for invading and occupying sovereign nations who had neither attacked us nor declared war on the U.S.

Another was how certain opponents of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act tried to make their case by warning us about government death panels.

Add yours to the Comments.





Poison Alphabet Soup: ‪#‎TPP‬, ‪#‎TTIP‬, ‪#‎ISDS‬

-by Greg Russak

Posted at Our Coffee Party blog site



2015-03-17 7pm:
Today’s Woman

This New Yorker comment piece by David Remnick is an excellent article for everyone who;
a) is always complaining (wrongly) that “mainstream” media has only a liberal bias and,
b) already has “anointed” Hillary as the presumed Democratic nominee in 2016.

Here’s what I mean….

This was one reason that the press conference last week—given, presumably, as Clinton was preparing to announce a run for the Presidency, in 2016—was so dispiriting. At that moment at the U.N., she should have been returning to those feminist themes, but she used the opportunity to claim that she was only trying to protect the sanctity of her communications about her “yoga routines,” her daughter’s wedding, and her mother’s funeral. This was a notably transparent exploitation of gender. It’s one thing for a politician to be stupid; it is quite another for her to assume that we are. And what to make of a politician who protested the war in Vietnam and investigated the Watergate scandals but now writes a valentine to Henry Kissinger in the Washington Post—a book review in which Clinton calls Kissinger “surprisingly idealistic”? The peoples of Chile, Cambodia, Argentina, Bangladesh, and East Timor surely want to know more.

Don’t miss the chance to read the entire piece at




Conservatives May Control State Governments, But Progressives Are Rising

“In November, conservatives swept not only Congress, but a majority of statehouses. While gridlock in Washington is frustrating, the rightward lurch of statehouses could be devastating. Reveling in their newfound power, state lawmakers and their corporate allies are writing regressive policies that could hurt families by exacerbating inequality, further curtailing an already weakened democracy, and worsening an environmental crisis of global proportions.”

Refreshing and encouraging news as far as I’m concerned.

The real question is will more progressives speak up, get involved, and take real action, or will they stay home and simply complain about what the right and the GOP are doing to their states and to this country?

(via HootSuite)

We Rise



Dave Meslin: The antidote to apathy

“Local politics — schools, zoning, council elections — hit us where we live. So why don’t more of us actually get involved? Is it apathy? Dave Meslin says no. He identifies 7 barriers that keep us from taking part in our communities, even when we truly care. (Filmed at TEDxToronto.)”

I care. I think the fact that you’re here and reading this means you do, too.

Check out this TEDTalk. Meslin talks about, among other things, that people aren’t so much apathetic as it’s the media and those in power working to intentionally exclude us by keeping some of the most basic information about governing and governance either from us or practically inaccessible in any meaningful way. He also criticizes political parties for not fulfilling their roles in actual engaging us regular citizens.

What do you think?




Logical Fallacy #4: The Fallacy Fallacy

The example cited got me thinking right away of how Mrs. Palin tried to dismiss and diminish Mrs. Obama’s desire to get kids to eat more healthy foods.






2015-03-21 (1pm):
This petition is at

Stop Supporting Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership: They are undemocratic and bad for America

For a primer on TPP and Fast Track, visit
#StopFastTrack #NoFastTrack #StopTPP #FlushTPP#TPP #FTA #MarchMadness



Logical Fallacy #5: Slippery Slope

You mean like how raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy would be bad for the middle class and the poor?

Or, how regulating banks and industry would create such undue burdens on Wall Street and the titans of industry that they’d actually go all John Galt on us and disappear to Independence, USA with Glenn?

Or, how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would be fraught with government death panels and massive spikes in the price of health insurance?


Crowdsourcing human rights.

“Movements is crowdsourcing human rights. It connects human rights activists in closed societies with those with skills to help them around the world. Join today and help a dissident in need.”…/about-movements/about-movements/

Budgets, Loretta Lynch and Benjamin Netanyahu

Congressional Republicans struggle to lay out their budget for 2016. Loretta Lynch’s confirmation hearings to be Attorney General are delayed. What is taking so long? Benjamin Netanyahu wins Israel’s elections, again, after suggesting there will never be a two-state solution. Katrina vanden Heuvel said Netanyahu traded his nation’s longterm security and close relationship with the US for his own personal gain. “He ran a cynical scorched earth campaign.” Bob Scheer said the election is a disaster for people who care about Israel. And Rich Lowry said, “We’re witnessing this amazing temper tantrum.”

Josh Barro (New York Times) moderates from the Center. On the Left, is Robert Scheer ( Rich Lowry (National Review) is on the Right. Special guest Katrina vanden Heuvel (The Nation) joins from the Left.


Logical Fallacy #6 – Ad Hominem

Attacking Chris Christie for his girth and Hillary Clinton for her wardrobe choices come to mind immediately.


TPP Investment Chapter Leaked

TPP Leak Reveals Extraordinary New Powers for Thousands of Foreign Firms to Challenge U.S. Policies and Demand Taxpayer Compensation

Even before today’s leak, U.S. law professors and those in other TPP nations, the U.S. National Conference of State Legislatures, the Cato Institute and numerous members of Congress and civil society groups have announced opposition to the ISDS system, which would elevate individual foreign firms to the same status as sovereign governments and empower them to privately enforce a public treaty by skirting domestic courts and “suing” governments before extrajudicial tribunals. The tribunals are staffed by private lawyers who are not accountable to any electorate, system of legal precedent or meaningful conflict of interest rules. Their rulings cannot be appealed on the merits. Many ISDS lawyers rotate between roles – serving both as “judges” and suing governments for corporations, creating an inherent conflict of interest.

Did you catch that? The Cato Institute.

The TPP isn’t a left-right, liberal-conservative, Democratic-Republican issue. It’s an issue that affects every single one of us.

Do you want to see the TPP (and TTIP) gut “Buy American” policies? If not, click here to send an email voicing your opposition:

#StopTPP #FlushTPP #NoTPP

For Immediate Release: Contact: Symone Sanders (202) 454-5108 March 25, 2015 Lori Wallach (202) 454-5107, TPP Leak Reveals Extraordinary New Powers for Thousands of Foreign Firms to Challenge U.S. Policies and Demand Taxpayer Compensation Unveiling of Parallel Legal System for Foreign Corporations Will Fuel TPP Controversy, Further Complicate Obama’s Push for Fast Track
For Immediate Release: Contact: Symone Sanders (202) 454-5108
March 25, 2015 Lori Wallach (202) 454-5107,
TPP Leak Reveals Extraordinary New Powers for Thousands of Foreign
Firms to Challenge U.S. Policies and Demand Taxpayer Compensation
Unveiling of Parallel Legal System for Foreign Corporations Will Fuel TPP
Controversy, Further Complicate Obama’s Push for Fast Track


The Truth Behind Ted Cruz’s Lies

The junior senator from Texas is running for president. Here’s why his lies matter.


Logical Fallacy #7 – Tu Quoque

I find this logical fallacy as one of the most frustrating and irritating.


 2015-03-28: (Common Core)

“Ignorance is the parent of fear,” Ishmael cautions readers in one passage, and that is true not only in history and literature, but too often in the petty, day-to-day skirmishing of local, state, and national politics. Sadly, in too many communities across the country, the common core is being held hostage by exactly the kind of fear Ishmael warned against.

I’ve been trying to understand the Common Core State Standards. A lot of attention seems to be getting paid to the opponents. I found this opinion piece by a supporter interesting enough to share.

Where are the Arts in Education?

As the parent of two aspiring professional theatrical artists – and as a one-time clarinet player who was pushed out of music and into engineering – I would advocate for changing the conversation from STEM to STEAM.

I don’t think earning potential ought to be the primary objective of education. I think it should be self-actualization.

After all, where’s the ‘civil’ in civilization or the ‘social’ in society without the arts?



2015-03-30 (6pm):
Repeal the PATRIOT Act

Why isn’t there complete and total transpartisan agreement on this idea? Are some of us really that ok with gov’t spying….on US???

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) have introduced the Surveillance State Repeal Act (H.R.1466). This bill would end the mass surveillance of U.S. citizens under the PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act, restoring instead the use of the Fourth Amendment’s requirement of a warrant for any search.

The bill would also prevent the government from forcing companies to build flaws into their technology to allow government spying. And it would resist new abuses by making retaliation against whistleblowers a firing offense.


Breathtaking Video Gives You In-Depth Look at Iconic Yosemite National Park

45th ‪#‎EarthDay2015‬ is 4/22

Don’t miss the opportunity to watch these videos in full-screen!



“In last week’s Israeli elections, Netanyahu did play the role of Nixon—except that he did not go to China. Nor did he go to Ramallah. He went racist.”
– David Remnick




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