Living Liberally's blog

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2013: Slow Down, Showdown, Snowden and Snowed In

December 26, 2013 by Living Liberally

A year that began with a bold Inauguration following a clear re-election and talk of mandate was mired in revelations of government spying, a stalled Washington agenda and a faulty website.

A year that started with the GOP vowing to reform and rebrand after defeat saw them kill gun control & immigration laws, shut down the government and lose popularity.

A year unfolding in the wake of Sandy & Newtown brought further disasters and more massacres, Syria distractions, serial distortions & silly diversions where stalemates were success & progress a pipe dream.

Congress moved as slow as Healthcare.gov, instead of fiscal cliffs, we crashed into fiscal walls, the NSA revelations made Big Government a reality and legislators acted like obstructionism was a good thing.

Overall, it was a year of slowdowns and showdowns, of Snowden, and feeling snowed in by a blizzard of hypocrisy and self-interest.

That said, we also avoided an unnecessary war, expanded affordable healthcare and saw the spread of marriage equality. So there's something to toast in the year gone by.    Read more

Congress Brakes for Break, But Is Already Broken

December 19, 2013 by Living Liberally

A year after the Newtown massacre, Congress still hasn't passed sensible gun laws.

A year after the GOP announced a change of heart, Congress has done nothing on immigration reform.

A year after Hurricane Sandy's devastation Congress has avoided any climate change debate.

Every day brings new NSA revelations, but Congress grumbles and lets the spying continue. The stagnant economy stresses American families but Congress never considers the American Jobs Act.

Yet Congress is now proudly patting itself on the back for an unimpressive budget deal that is only noteworthy because it doesn't push us into a manufactured crisis and gets our representatives home for their vacation,.

When Congress's marker of success is measured by not causing a government shut-down and getting to enjoy their winter break, it's time to reconsider our expectations.

After a year of putting the brakes on progress, these folks are looking forward to winter break -- sadly, this Congress is already broken.

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The World Misses Mandela, While Some Miss The Point

December 12, 2013 by Living Liberally

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As the world marks the passing of a historic figure, a man who united through words and action, some critics decided that the real story is who the American President shook hands with.

As the world reflects on how apartheid ended, how a nation sought to heal, the global community's role and the lessons we could learn for today's challenges, a few lash out at Newt Gingrich for words of sympathy.

As the world remembers an aging, beloved leader who emerged from prison with a message of peace, too many of us forget the real struggle that came before: fierce, hard, at times violent and unapologetically radical.

Now - and onward - the world misses Nelson Mandela. Let's not also miss the point of his life and his impact.

Gather together to give your friendship and get in return as you share a night with liberals and libations at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The Party of Nope vs Hope and the Pope

December 5, 2013 by Living Liberally

While Fox News trumps up a War on Christmas, the Corporatocracy wages a war on Thanksgiving, expanding Black Friday into Bleak Thursday as workers leave family tables for retail spectacles.

While conservatives lament the loss of family values, The Tea Party says no to any proposal that would lift hard-working Americans out of poverty, and fights against the expansion of health coverage.

The Christian Right claims to be under attack, while it is the right-wing leading the attacks undermining family planning, assaulting equal rights, and attacking the Pope for his critique of capitalism.

If you're of the belief that poverty wages are enough, the healthcare worked just fine as it was, and this Pope is being too compassionate, you might not be in the holiday spirit just yet.

During this giving season, I'd rather choose hope and the Pope over the dopes in the Party of Nope.

Say yes to a night of conversation and camaraderie as be thankful for liberal libations & seasonal spirits at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Thankful for Nuclear Options and New, Clear Options

November 27, 2013 by Living Liberally

The Senate addresses historic obstruction by dealing with dramatic filibuster dysfunction, enraging the GOP and engaging democracy to move forward on Presidential appointments.

Iran talks turn into tremendous opportunities to pause their path toward nuclear armament and to showcase the power of diligent diplomacy.

We hold our breath for the healthcare site fixes, while half-a-million Americans are already headed toward comprehensive, affordable coverage and millions more finally have more options.

The Senate surprised us with one strong choice, Iran is surprising us by choosing a new path and Americans are finally getting choices too.

From nuclear options to new, clear options, there is much to be thankful for this holiday.

There is also much more work to be done to create a just and equitable society for all so that every family can celebrate a safe, sound, sustainable Thanksgiving.

Tonight, if you're thankful for your options to share ideas while sharing a pitcher or two, come by your local, progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Listening to Lincoln, Keeping up Kennedy

November 21, 2013 by Living Liberally

150 years ago, Lincoln extolled the importance of a government of, by and for the people. Today, the Gettysburg Address would be criticized by cable news for being too short to take seriously.

50 years ago, we lost Kennedy, who had exhorted us to ask what we could do for our country. Today, such a call would be met with derision, obstruction, filibuster and called "socialism."

We honor the President who preserved our union while Congress tries a new form of nullification. We remember a man who championed voting rights while we experience new forms of voter suppression.

As a country, we mark these moments of our history, with news stories, ceremonies and TV specials.

Maybe we should mark them by learning from them: remembering that America has been at its most inspirational when leaders call for united action in the face of crisis and when we face grave moments with renewed national purpose.

If we can revitalize the meaning, not just recall the words, then a government of the people, by the people for the people, shall not perish from this Earth.    Read more

A Disaster Worse Than Metaphor

November 14, 2013 by Living Liberally

We talk of the roll-out "disaster" of Obamacare, but now see a real disaster of staggering scale: the typhoon and aftermath in the Philippines.

We survived the "tragedy" of our shut-down, a game of pointless political parlor tricks, when the truly tragic events around the world remind us that governing shouldn't be a game.

We watch the wrangling on Capitol Hill -- who "devastates," "demolishes," "slams" whom. These "life or death" debates pale beside life-or-death struggles of refugees & recovery.

And as we wait for the climate to change in the debate over climate change, the climate has just changed the lives of those in the Philippines forever.

We may use ferocious rhetoric in our politics, but the typhoon should remind us that reality is far fiercer than all our metaphors…and deserves action stronger that rhetoric.

May governments and people of the world pull together for the people of the Philippines, and may we get serious about strengthening a solid, sustainable, safe society for us all.

Join a night of like-spirited souls as you share reactions to this week's actions at your local progressive social club.    Read more

Running For Everything, Standing For Nothing

November 7, 2013 by Living Liberally

Two campaigns for governor come to an end yet we don't ask how these winners stand to govern -- rather how Christie's victory boosts his Presidential run and how McAuliffe's win may bolster Hillary's race.

As we deal with the healthcare website's problems, instead of standing firm for getting Americans covered, the GOP is ready to run midterm races against Obamacare and Dems wimpily wonder whether to run away from it.

And as America climbs back from the shut-down, instead of standing tall to run the country, The Tea Party fixates on running primary right-wingers, and Ted Cruz limbers up for a run for the White House.

With so much running, you'd think they are marathoners, but they are just politicians running wild. We could use a few who run less, stand a little more -- and are upstanding, understanding and outstanding as well.

What good is running for everything if, in the end, you stand for nothing?

Share reflections on elections, share politics and a pint as you gather with good company for a great night at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.

A Halloween of Hollow Weenies

October 31, 2013 by Living Liberally

The shutdown ended, but the showdown continues as the mad hatters of The Tea Party extreme play dress up as grown-ups interested in governing while aiming to gut Social Security and Food Stamps.

As the Obamacare website works through its issues, the empty suits of the right-wing can't get over their own, costumed as a concerned, compassionate Congress while really seeking to undo all healthcare reforms.

And as world leaders react to more NSA revelations, the spooks and kooks of our intelligence complex deny their actions, disavow their intentions and disguise criminal behavior as patriotism.

We'd love to believe all these frightening truths are simply Halloween costumes gone awry. But the truth is much, much scarier.

It's not Halloween. It's Hollow Weenies. And they are playing tricks & stealing treats that should really terrify all Americans.

It takes no special trick to join us for a treat as we outfit ourselves in liberal living & libations at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Government, Heal Thyself

October 24, 2013 by Living Liberally

The website launched by our tech-savvy Prez to help Americans access affordable healthcare has had so many glitches and crashes that it now requires its own emergency care.

The right-wing that sought to undo Obamacare, rein in spending, revive the GOP, reform the US, cost us tens of billions, left health reform in tact and has now put the Tea Party on life support.

The NSA's illegal eavesdropping activities have so angered European leaders that it might derail our international relationships. Our reputation may need surgery -- stat!

We need to look after Americans' health, but after the weeks we've seen, we need to look after America's health as well.

Let's get these government exchanges working to help heal the American people. At the same time: Government, heal thyself.

Because if we can't get our government working, the right-wing will have won after all.

Share your experiences, stories and opinions as you share the night and share a pint at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Full Faith and Credit vs Fool's Faith Discredited

October 17, 2013 by Living Liberally

The nation lost billions of dollars, the GOP lost national respect & the government lost more of the public's faith while Ted Cruz grew his email list.

The global economy held its breath, the American people threw up their hands & even Republicans of good faith rolled their eyes while we learned Boehner can't run his House.

Now the government can serve the people again, the President showed he can be resolute & the US avoided national default -- with no guarantee this won't happen again.

In the meantime, Congress is back on the job of not passing bills for jobs, immigration, climate change, food stamps or gun control while wiretapping & drones continue unimpeded.

We may have maintained our full faith and credit & seen the Tea Party's fool's faith discredited. But to win the full faith of the American public, it will take real work before DC gets any credit.

Come for a night of good faith and good company as we debate, discuss & drink to recent events at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The GOP: Contortionists and Extortionists

October 10, 2013 by Living Liberally

Ted Cruz's exhortation against Obamacare and the House GOP's explosion of democratic process turn out to be part of a long-term right-wing plan for the exploitation of a government shut-down.

Bohner's lost control of the House while regular Americans are losing overall, yet conservatives bend and twist and contort to explain what it is that "winning" would like like.

The Tea Party accuses Obama of obstructionism while they refuse to govern responsibly, refuse to end the crisis to start negotiations, and keep changing what it is they demand.

They've gone from exhorting and distorting to contorting and outright extorting. When America needs serious people in charge, we're stuck with a GOP of contortionists and extortionists.

If only we could deport those who extort out of DC entirely.

In the meantime, don't shutdown, but show up for a night of lively conversation & liberal libations at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Shut Down A Little Less, Shut Up A Little More

October 3, 2013 by Living Liberally

The right-wing shuts down the government slamming our social services as superfluous at the same time that millions of Americans are seeking new government healthcare service.

Conservatives complain about public employees but their shut down has shut out these workers preventing them from doing jobs for the public good.

The GOP shut-down has turned into a shut-storm as they struggle to remember why they did it, yet the more they they bluster and fluster, the less sense -- and less progress- they make.

Meanwhile, the ACA is driving costs down, we're talking to Iran & inspecting Syria. Maybe the Tea Party should shut down a little less and simply shut up a little bit more.

And as long as our government is powered down, couldn't the NSA stop spying for a few days?

Whether you want to toast the health of our people or offer a prayer for the health of our nation, raise a glass with like-minded lefties at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Green Eggs and Sham

September 26, 2013 by Living Liberally

Ted Cruz did cram all the words he could ram as he tried to slam and sought to damn a health program to hep your fam, invoking Sam from Green Eggs and Ham.

His ideas have dust and opinions rust, but with gusto, lust and bluster robust he fret and fussed and cringed and cussed
as he may and must to filibust.

He took the floor for many and more with a right-wing roar at his conservative core. But what lore in store was he fighting for? To slam the door on the working poor?

Like a babbling book he shimmied and shook, taking hammer and hook to the plan he forsook. Yet for this scheme he did cook, did he actually look at the Dr Seuss book from which quotations he took?

Because, sir and m'am, our friend Sam-I-Am works out of his jam, burst through the dam and with a bam and a blam LIKES Green Eggs and Ham. Sadly, that won't quiet or clam the Senator's scam.

He filibustered with Green Eggs and Ham. But really it was all Greed, Ego and Sham.

If Cruz Control isn't your speed, shift gears to talk Obamacare, the UN and DC stalemates with some fresh mates, fresh ideas and fresh pints at your local progressive social club.    Read more

When History Is Repeated, We Are Defeated

September 19, 2013 by Living Liberally

Another gunman, another senseless massacre. A reprise of calls not to politicize the tragedy. Will we find the fortitude for sensible solutions or fall to the familiar fate of silent stagnation?

Another budget "crisis" created by Congress, more showdowns and potential shutdowns, ever more efforts to oppose and undercut Obamacare. When will we find the force to fight this foolishness?

Nearly another war with fuzzy goals and foggy strategy, but diplomacy has stalled that misadventure for now. Nearly a recycled revival for Larry Summers, but advocacy has led the Fed away from that folly.

Seems we've heard many of these stories before, but when we learn from history, we can make a better choice. When we let history be repeated that we all are defeated.

From the tragedy at the DC Navy Yards to forging an international response to the crisis in Syria to the drunken drama unfolding on Capitol Hill, let's all hope our leaders studied these history lessons.

Share reactions, ideas for actions & thoughts with traction as you find open arms and open minds in our friendly faction at your local progressive social club.    Read more

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