Mistake 4: Walking away from a fight.

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The mistakes I have urged that we must not repeat are: failing to look back when you must; failing to address the toxic flood of dark money into our politics; failing to use or even give an honest look at obvious legal tools at our disposal; and now, the final one, just walking away from an important fight.

God bless Nancy Pelosi and her team, particularly Henry Waxman and Ed Markey, for getting the “cap and trade” climate bill passed by the House in 2009. It was a serious climate bill, the only serious climate bill ever passed by either…


Mistake 3: Ignoring The Tobacco Model

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Photo by Mathew MacQuarrie on Unsplash

Another missed climate opportunity in the Obama administration came from DOJ. It is well documented that the fossil fuel climate denial apparatus was developed from the tobacco industry’s scheme to deny its own product’s dangers. The tobacco denial operation’s people, organizations and tactics were taken up by the fossil fuel industry and switched over to climate denial. Consider the likelihood that there is a legitimate field of study comprising expertise in how tobacco is not actually bad for your health and how fossil fuel emissions don’t actually damage the planet’s climate.


Mistake 2: Dark Money

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Congress has failed to act on climate change because of dark money, the weapon of choice of the fossil fuel industry used to obstruct climate progress and destroy climate bipartisanship. Another mistake made in the last administration was to let dark money loose in our system.

The dark money issue arose after five Republican Justices used the 2010 Citizens United decision to set unlimited special-interest money loose in our elections. Able to spend unlimited money, big donors now saw an urgent need for anonymous spending, to hide their identities and thus their motives. …


Mistake 1: Not Looking Back.

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Joe Biden and Kamala Harris accomplished what we Democrats yearned for over four long dark years: they defeated the most dangerous and destructive president in modern history. Now they face the task of building back, better. It is an enormous challenge that will require support and honest counsel from fellow Democrats, as well as an honest assessment of past mistakes.

Democrats, including us progressives, possess some unhelpful traits. We can be a herd of cats. We can fixate on process and rules, while our opponents amass power. We can create purity-testing circular firing squads, splintering over differences in ways that…


My thoughts on the Capitol riot.

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I am grateful to be safe after Wednesday’s terrorist attack on the Capitol. Thank you to all those who asked. I know that many of you are interested in what it was like being in the Capitol during the siege, so I want to share my experience and takeaways.

At first, the crowd seemed like a normal group of protestors. Then I watched as the group begin to rush in like water through a broken dam.

Senators were evacuated to a nearby building where we waited until Capitol Police gained control over the Capitol and restored order.


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Dear Friends,

Thank you for joining me virtually at the eleventh annual Rhode Island Energy, Environment & Oceans Leaders Day. Despite the challenges this year has posed, we were able to adapt to the circumstances and come together for an inspiring and successful event. Our audience, speakers, and panelists contributed to a dialogue on emerging policy solutions, and I greatly appreciate the passion and expertise each of you brought to the table.

This year, we welcomed guests with backgrounds in environmental activism, federal policymaking, and international climate strategy. The conversations we had can be the start of greater change, and…


To put it mildly, I am not the sort of person who provokes infatuation. I know, surprise, right? :-) I’m just not the type. Pretty dull, I confess. So the recent infatuation with me at the WSJ Polluter Page is, well . . . weird.

See their last two editorials for context:

To make matters weirder, by the time of the second editorial I had already answered all of their questions.

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If I’m not the infatuating type, something else must be provoking them.

Perhaps the Senate court capture report?

My testimony to the House Judiciary Committee?

Or all my…


Oh. My. God. One of the best-written pleadings I’ve ever had the pleasure to read — limpid, brisk, devastating. Lawyers and aspiring lawyers, and all who love argument well crafted, read on.

For those of you just wanting the highlights reel, you’ll miss the flow of the argument, the best part — but here are some gems. Withdrawing the Flynn case was “a corrupt, politically motivated favor for the President’s friend and ally.“ “[T]he only coherent explanation for the Government’s exceedingly irregular motion — as well as its demonstrable pretexts — is that the Justice Department has yielded to…


Former Republicans are calling out the Party for putting power and money over policy and ideals.

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Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash

It was indeed all a lie, it turns out. For a long time now, Republican politicians and big donors have had a self-serving agenda. They pushed a phony narrative out to working-class Republicans and true conservatives. They fed them what they wanted to hear. The big donors behind the Party masked their pursuit of money and power by selling this phony narrative to the “base.” It was the political version of consumer fraud.

Trump laid the lies bare. If you play along with Trump, there’s no intellectual policy vision, no moral red line of what you won’t play along with…


Thank you Ceres for working on this important report.

  1. Most corporations make no political effort on climate in Congress — none — even if they do “sustainable” stuff themselves;

2. Corporate America does much of its lobbying through trade associations it let be controlled by the fossil fuel industry, and it’s been WAY too comfortable with this deal;

3. The two worst obstructors in America (National Assn of Manufacturers and U.S. Chamber) refuse to disclose their fossil fuel donors, and their other corporate members don’t ask them to (remember “follow the money”?); and

4. The “shift” in tactics has been…

Sheldon Whitehouse

U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, the Ocean State.

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