Aug 20 • 12M

Do people really understand the fight we're in?

Saturday coffee klatch

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Robert Reich exposes where power lies in our system — and how it's used and abused.
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Hello friends,

On Saturdays I have a cup of coffee with my colleague Heather Lofthouse and we invite you to join us and chime in with comments. She asks questions that many of you also want to discuss. Heather is the Executive Director of Inequality Media Civic Action, and my former student. We cover both the highlights and lowlights, and aim to provide a larger context for the news.

I’m somewhat on vacation this week but we did our best to record at a distance, cups of joe in hand. (Please forgive the sound quality.)

In today’s coffee klatch we cover:

  • The Inflation Reduction Act victory lap. Will the wind at Biden and the Democrats’ back last?

  • The anti-democracy GOP. It’s no longer right versus left, it’s democracy versus authoritarianism. What’s the difference between authoritarianism and fascism? What’s the difference between a republic and a democracy?

  • Nearly half of teenagers say they use the internet “almost constantly.” How are young people consuming information, and what does it mean for our democracy?

  • How to remain upbeat. It can be easy to despair, but I find hope in the vibrant pro-democracy forces (many led by young people) that are gaining ground in this country.

And more Coffee Klatch theme songs: Over 30 of you talented, generous Substack listeners have composed original tunes for us to play for these weekly recordings. What a treat, including during these trying times. Today we feature two more of the melodious results from this “contest.” Thank you, Dwight and Barry.


Here is today’s theme song #1 by Dwight Stone:

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Here is today’s song #2 by Barry Hillman:

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And here’s an actual shot of us recording:

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Looking at the poll results this morning, I’m delighted how optimistic so many of you are about the fight we’re in — especially the midterms, some 90 days from now. I’m also feeling better about the possibility of Dems retaining control over the Senate (I’ve even let myself dream that Dems will have enough of a margin that they won’t have to be dependent on Manchin and Sinema.) But I don’t feel nearly as optimistic as most of you do about the House. Redistricting, retirements, voter suppression, and difficulties in getting out the vote (especially of young people) worry me.

And then, of course, there are all the worries about state races, and the Trump Republican efforts to take over election machinery. But that’s for another day.

Enjoy your Saturday!

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