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Patch and Starbucks Ask Washington to "Come Together" to Avoid Fiscal Cliff

Patch and Starbucks, calling for Republicans and Democrats to join forces to avoid the fiscal cliff, announce an initiative where stores in the Washington area will write "Come Together" on their cups

As an organization, Patch is built on the idea of strengthening local communities and bringing democracy to life. Our network of websites delivers not only relevant, hyper-local information, but also amplifies the voices of our users. And with difficult choices facing our elected officials in the coming days and weeks, the need for citizens to speak up and be heard has never been greater.

It is why I am proud to announce that starting this week, Patch is partnering with Starbucks – another staple of the community – on its “Come Together” initiative. Just as Patch serves great content and Starbucks serves delicious coffee, we need Democrats and Republicans to join forces and serve meaningful solutions to the pending financial obstacles our country faces.

Through December 28, Starbucks is asking its store partners (employees) in the Washington D.C. area to write “Come Together” on their customers’ cups as a small gesture to celebrate the spirit that has always bridged the differences dividing us.

Patch will be supporting “Come Together” via a unique content experience on patch.com/fixthedebt, and will also be powering this effort through blog posts, social media, online and offline ads and other editorial content across many of our local sites. You can learn more at fixthedebt.org. The goal: to bring the message of collaboration from local communities to Washington and onto the national stage.

This initiative with Starbucks is just the first step in a marathon for both of our brands in serving the people of this country beyond local news and great coffee. Stay tuned for more in the future.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

lunna holdges December 28, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Well as for me I worked 45 years I put my money in SSi as for the budget ..we can pay alot of the budget by not paying for the house and congresses bills like car fees drivers..nsurance...benitfits..paid vacations , I had to go back to work after Christmas I didnt get to fly home to be with my family lol nice huh How can i replace o0n of these fools no work no pay and no retroe pay wow we just saved 16 billion dollars
dan crabtree December 28, 2012 at 04:07 AM
Here is a message for starbucs...how about cleaning your rest rooms occasionally.....
Deborah December 28, 2012 at 04:09 AM
NO ! Everybody need to regroup until we follow the Basic Instruction which is the word of God .Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness ; and all these things will be added unto you.everything is going to be a mess. Don't worry just start a prayer petition to the higher power who know's and see it all . I believe if we start praying about this situation God will turn it around for our Good .'' Father in the name of Jesus we need your help with the Government offical's to come together for the better of your people in making the right decision with the end of the year Fiscal Year Budget in the name of Jesus. When satan tempted Jesus he said to satan IT IS WRITTEN ! THIS IS MY FINAL ANSWER IT IS FINISHED . IT IS ALREADY DONE. JUST PRAY AND WATCH GOD CHANGE THANGS.
Locally Involved December 28, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Deborah - what in God's name are you ranting about? LOL
Harmony Piper December 28, 2012 at 05:41 AM
If we go over the cliff there might not be any 'next time'.....I understand your feelings tho....
Harmony Piper December 28, 2012 at 05:46 AM
Bob, What two words?
Harmony Piper December 28, 2012 at 07:08 AM
Since everything trickles down from the top, it only makes sense to cut entitlements from the top down. Cut the medical benefits from the top down, cut the private school for the elected officials. Make them pay for their own education and private school fees. They should also cut the provision that insures that even if someone serves just one term they are entitled to their pay for the rest of their lives. When the government talks about cutting entitlements they always point at those least able to afford any cuts at all. The middle class, the poverty class and the below poverty class. Those entitlements are what they want to cut. They don't want to loose any of their entitlements. It is extremely sad and grievious that the government lives at the very least by a double standard. I also think the fiscal cliff is just another attempt to use fear to control the general public...who wants to go over a cliff?? I agree with the lady who suggested that we all write to our President and representatives and tell them what we think and what we want. I also agree that their pay should be performance based - no performance, or unacceptable performance means deductions. We have a case of the the tail wagging the dog and it has to stop. I would stand up in a heart beat and be more vocal, Unfortunately I have several disabilities which sap my energy. I am very frustrated and keep wondering what happened to the America I grew up in from the 50's on? (rhetorical question)
Locally Involved December 28, 2012 at 07:21 AM
I do like that trickle down/entitlements approach as it does seem to me the entitled class are really the top 2% and our elected officials - not the "47%" oft referred to during the campaign. Members of Congress are eligible for a pension at age 62 if they have completed at least five years of service. They are eligible for a pension at age 50 if they have completed 20 years of service, or at any age after completing 25 years of service. The amount of the pension depends on years of service and the average of the highest three years of salary. By law, the starting amount of a member’s retirement annuity may not exceed 80 percent of his or her final salary. Seems to me if Congress can get their pensions at 62, then those of us in the private sector should NOT have to wait until 67 for our SS and medicare payments. And, since pensions are almost non-existent in the private sector, then our tax dollars should NOT have to pay for a Congressman's pension. Let them pay into a retirement fund like the rest - then they may have second thoughts about tying their retirement funds to the stock market. Live and retire like the rest of us and perhaps our legislators will develop greater empathy in making laws that affect the rest of us.
Carol Lewis December 28, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Marcy, that is absolutely not true! Obama submitted his original plan and compromised twice afterwards, and Boehner has done nothing. It is the republicans who are balking. Obama's agenda is rotten only if you think helping the middle class is wrong.
Carol Lewis December 28, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Roger, the republicans do their share of demonizing the democrats too. It's not one-sided.
Lee Hernly December 28, 2012 at 02:54 PM
You can pass a budget with 51 votes. Obama's budget has yet to even get one vote. Harry 'The Body' Reid won't bring up the House budget in the Senate because it would pass with 51 votes.
RJ December 28, 2012 at 04:03 PM
But Taxpayers are responsible for who is in Congress.
Java Master December 28, 2012 at 04:23 PM
...and how about having Starbucks kick out the slackers who sit at a table for hours at a time (hereby denying other paying customers a timely seat) just so they can use the wi-fi? And there are still people holding business meetings and job interviews at the Starbucks closest to my home, taking up valuable customer space...
Locally Involved December 28, 2012 at 04:29 PM
JoeB90 - nobody has disdain for Bain - just the malarky of Romney and his tax strategies. Good Lord, he even CHOSE not to deduct charitable expenses just so he could say he paid 14% in taxes versus the even lower amount. It was Romney's bs that was hypocritical and his obvious disdainful for the "47%" who didn't pay taxes. THAT was the issue. Sad you didn't get that key point.
Locally Involved December 28, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Lee - sure you can pass a budget with 51%. It's just that the House has insisted on a super majority so nothing gets done. Even now, Boehner refuses to put for the budget in the House unless 1/2 of the GOP agrees on it - NOT if 51% of ALL House representatives agree. The GOP just keep changing the rules and obstructing progress unless they get their way. The people spoke - all 53% of us - more than those that re-elected the last president in either of the elections of 2000 and 2004. Seems like there is a real mandate this time and the House just doesn't want to play ball unless they get their way. It's not their way. It's OUR way. A point that seems to elude the House.
Lee Hernly December 28, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Locally - The House HAS passed a budget each of the last few years as they are legally required to under the law. The Senate, where the blocks occur, is where the 51 votes come from. Where the 'super majority' comes from is the 60 vote threshold to cut off debate in the Senate. Harry Reid, not John Boehner, insists on the cloture vote (60 votes) first. Why not put the last House budget up for a vote in the Senate w/o a motion for cloture? Because, it would probably pass.
Locally Involved December 28, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Lee - we're talking about right now. And, quite frankly, The GOP has consistently required a majority vote on just about everything that has come in to the House. Boehner is saying right now that he will not put forth anything in the House unless he gets 50% of HIS party. Not the 51% of the House representing BOTH parties, but 50% of HIS party. That is obstructionism. And, every proposal put forth in the past in the House has completely ignored raising revenue. Which is amusing that the GOP is sticking to austerity only approach, as is in Europe, which resulted in second recessions in Europe. You cannot grow by cutting alone. The GOP has stated they will close tax loopholes but has not defined which loopholes. The 2 largest tax loopholes that will have any impact upon the budget is the employee/employer tax exempt healthcare and mortgage deductions. Neither of which the GOP or House will vote for ending those sacred cows. So, again. The House has continued to fight the majority of American's desire to raise revenue on the top 2% (remember, Boehner couldn't even put forth the bill before the Christmas because the House GOP wouldn't even raise taxes on incomes of $1M+). That is ideology before country. That is the problem the GOP has. Boehner has no control over his own party. And, I'll add, it's personal. Their hate for a dem President and their no tax ideology is killing this country and their own party. Hate does that. Get over it or become irrelevant.
RJ December 28, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Java, Just go the Starbucks next door. If that is busy, go across the street to the other one.
Lee Hernly December 28, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Locally - Considering the last budget and an overwhelming majority of action items/roll call votes were passed in this Congress with less than a super majority in the House, I'd say you're confused. Some actions, like impeaching presidents, suspending the rules, expelling a member or amending the Constitution, are considered so important that they require a super majority vote. The vast majority of bills & amendments are passed via a 'simple majority.' As for not getting anything done, the U.S. Senate has 4-5 dozen or more bills that passed the House (even ones w/ bi-partisan support) that the Senate has yet to take up. The Senate is where the real obstructionism is taking place.
Locally Involved December 28, 2012 at 08:20 PM
The GOP has invoked cloture an average of 150 times 2009-2010 as part of their plan to render Obama ineffective (apparently the GOP & Lee H underestimated does the intelligence of 53% of America). As an example, during the 111th Congress that ended in December 2010, over 400 bills that had been passed by the House of Representatives - many with broad bipartisan support - died in the Senate without ever having been debated or voted on in the Senate because of the inability to obtain the 60 votes required to overcome objections (or threatened filibusters) by the Senate Republican minority. The number of killed bills could have been much higher than 400 had not Reid invoked the cloture rule 137 times. Cloture is a method by which the Senate Majority Leader may close a debate (e.g. a filibuster) and proceed with an immediate vote to be taken on the issue. The cloture rule has considerably strengthened the power of the majority, and allowed it to pass many bills that would otherwise have been filibustered. A Summary of the Record of the 111th Congress (2009 - 2010) of the United States, (for reference) http://www.congress-summary.com/A-111th-Congress/Laws_Passed_111th_Congress_Seq.html The GOP Senate and House has required super majority for everything from Wall Street reform, unemployment extensions, small business jobs act to S-CHIP. No wonder the GOP lost the 2012 elections. Suggest reading actual data Lee H, rather than GOP sound bites.
Locally Involved December 28, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Just an update with today's news on the 112th congress to further support the obstructionism which is continuing as we deal with this fiscal cliff stand off. As of today, the 112th Congress is officially the least productive since the 1940's because of the unprecedented attempts to filibuster and other moves by the GOP Congress. One example, significant pieces of legislation that have traditionally received bipartisan support -- such as the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act -- have been blocked. House Republicans have also held votes to repeal Obamacare more than 30 times since gaining control of the chamber in 2011, despite the fact that such a measure has no chance of passing the Democratically controlled Senate or being signed by Obama. Just a waste of everyone's time as again the GOP tries to stand on principle v. representing the people. 115 times the Republican minority has held up a bill's passage by threatening to filibuster it. At least there is bi-partisan agreement on who: In April, Thomas Mann of the left-leaning Brookings Institution and Norm Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute published a Washington Post op-ed saying that the GOP deserves the blame for the dysfunction. They wrote. "In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party." Just the facts.
Lee Hernly December 28, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Locally, I have read the I have read the data and seen every roll call vote taken in the House since forever. You said: " It's just that the House has insisted on a super majority so nothing gets done." Once again, the vast majority of bills in the House of Representatives have passed (or failed) via a simple majority. So your statement is simply not true. You wrote: "As an example, during the 111th Congress that ended in December 2010, over 400 bills that had been passed by the House of Representatives - many with broad bipartisan support - died in the Senate without ever having been debated or voted on in the Senate because of the inability to obtain the 60 votes required to overcome objections (or threatened filibusters) by the Senate Republican minority. " Why didn't Harry 'The Body' Reid bring some of the 400 bills up for a simple majority vote if it wasn't being filibustered? Many times, Senator Reid invoked cloture when it wasn't necessary. Many times, cloture was invoked when a member objected to a bill passing by 'unanimous consent.' But, isn't debate good? Why should one party (the Congress you speak of was when the democrats controlled both Houses) be able to ram their agenda down the people's throat without debate?
Lee Hernly December 28, 2012 at 08:58 PM
To show what a hypocrite Locally is, remember when Senator Charles 'Chucky' Schumer said this? “Yes, we are blocking judges by filibuster. That is part of the hallowed process around here.” So, it's okay for Democrats to filibuster bills but, not okay for Republicans to do it??
Locally Involved December 28, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Lee, you are tiresome with your false arguments. Please review the posts. No one is saying fillibustering is not allowed. In every previous administration you might be 50 or less fillibusters per Congressional session. Under Obama? the GOP minority has run up 114 to 150+ fillibusters. That's called ABUSE of the fillibuster rules. Even things that in the past always had bipartisanship support, the GOP blocked. And, we wonder why we are now clinging to the fiscal cliff. The GOP simply won't deal. The Obama plan has specifically outlined cuts to sacred cows like healthcare. Where's the give in return? Not one give on lifting the temporary bush tax cuts. And, it bears repeating, TEMPORARY. Even Bush 2 knew you could not keep taxes that low forever. Yet, the GOP wouldn't even bring to the floor because they knew they could not get the votes to even so much as raise the taxes on incomes over $1M. You cannot defend the abuse of the fillibuster and the lack of give that Boehner cannot provide because of the GOP is placing principle before country. There is a reason that even the AEP says it's the GOP's fault. Obama won the re-election. The GOP just keeps doubling down on failed tactics which has only resulted in a resounding thumping of far right candidates. In most rational organisms, self-preservation kicks in. You can't defend any of this, which is why you put forth false arguments. Now, go and enjoy the New Year. Really!
Natassia Grover December 29, 2012 at 04:49 AM
We are beyond the point where raising taxes would do any good for our fiscal situation, which is why I do not understand how it is possible to "compromise" with ideologues who insist on raising taxes when the only thing it could possibly do is hurt the private sector and the economy in general. Raising taxes will barely put a dent in our yearly deficit...if it even does that. There is a good chance that raising taxes will reduce government revenues as the UK has recently seen. So HOW do you compromise with people who bitterly cling to tax increases like religious charismatics who insist on waiting for God's intervention after being bitten by copperheads? There is no reasoning with these people. They refuse to face the realities of economics, mathematics, and basic human nature. Tax increases can only HURT our nation, both in the short term and long term. What we should do--no, MUST do--is make "painful" cuts to our federal government. It HAS TO be done. And in the short term, it WILL hurt. But then our children and grandchildren may still have a free and prosperous country to live in.
Locally Involved December 29, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Please cite specific past history of when taxes hurt. Under Ike in the 50's the top rate was 91%. We did pretty good in the 50's. Great expansion of suburbia and middle class. Under Kennedy in the 60's, taxes were in the 70's. Again, suburbia did well, consumerism rose. Reagan raised taxes no less then 6 times in 8 years in the 80's in order to help reduce the deficit (reducing the deficit requires increasing revenues aka taxes and cutting spending - helped he raised the debt limit 17 times) Then we go to Clinton who raised the tax rates by a mere 2 points - and we had a balanced budget, new businesses and industries flourished. Bush 2 reduced the tax rate - and as he expressly stated - to 'stimulate' the economy and placed a 10 year sunset on those taxes. We didn't do well in the 00's. Never really recovered from the '01 recession. Other confluences such as low interest rates resulted in a credit and housing bubble. Financial Crises. Now, we've kept those stimulus, low tax rates for 4 more years. We're slowly recovering. And, we need to get the debt reduced. So, all that's being proposed is what Reagan did, raise taxes, cut spending. What the UK saw was an AUSTERITY PROGRAM. They ONLY cut spending and did NOT raise taxes. I'll be glad to refer you to economic and finance references that seemed to have evaded you if you would like. So again. Hurt? huh? No idelology, just pragmatic experience and history.
Lee Hernly December 29, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Again Locally, your facts are wrong: "Reagan raised taxes no less then 6 times in 8 years in the 80's in order to help reduce the deficit (reducing the deficit requires increasing revenues aka taxes and cutting spending - helped he raised the debt limit 17 times)" It’s a bit misleading to talk about how many times Reagan raised taxes. That’s because tax increases are not created equal. Some are much worse than others. And many of Reagan’s so-called “tax increases” were actually examples of ending deductions (a.k.a. broadening the tax base). Reagan actually cut effective tax rates across the board. "Then we go to Clinton who raised the tax rates by a mere 2 points - and we had a balanced budget, new businesses and industries flourished." When Clinton raised taxes, the economy actually slowed. Which is why Clinton cut taxes in '97. It wasn't until Clinton cut taxes that the economy took off. The balanced budget occurred because Congress, not Clinton, controlled spending. Together with Congress, Clinton and Congress raided what was left of Social Security to balance the books. "Bush 2 reduced the tax rate - and as he expressly stated - to 'stimulate' the economy and placed a 10 year sunset on those taxes." Bush 2 actually wanted to make the '01 & '03 tax cuts permanent but, the Democrats wouldn't let him. The 10 year sunset is due to pay-go. Where Bush failed was together with the Democrats, they increased Govt spending instead of cutting back.
Lee Hernly December 29, 2012 at 08:05 PM
"That's called ABUSE of the fillibuster rules. Even things that in the past always had bipartisanship support, the GOP blocked." So when Democrats abused the filibuster privilege under Bush 2, it was okay? Personally, I was against the 'nuclear option' when the BIG Government RINO Republicans wanted to try it in the mid-2000s and I am against it now. Bush 2 showed a lack of leadership leading the country economically and the leadership vacuum has only gotten worse since. "And, we wonder why we are now clinging to the fiscal cliff. The GOP simply won't deal." Last year, Congress passed the Budget Control Act where Democrats, in exchange for a $2.1 trillion debt ceiling increase, promised to cut Federal spending by $2.1 trillion. Spending has only gone up since. Boehner went to the President with a deal that was balanced - $800B in new revenue along with $800B in cuts/entitlement reform. The President said no. The President wants $1.6 trillion in new revenue and promises spending cuts in the future. Yeah, right. So, remind me again who's the one who won't deal?
Jonathan Erickson December 30, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Nice job Lee.
Name March 01, 2013 at 02:15 AM
"Starbucks – another staple of the community" ? Who writes this crap?

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