Boehner's buddies bucked the Tea Party to lower the insanity and raise the debt ceiling. Could they show the same courage to lift up our nation by raising the minimum wage for millions of workers?
McConnell's crew crammed down their crazies to avoid a destructive, dubious debate over debt. Now can they repel their radical right-wing to renew relief for unemployed Americans?
The Democrats avoided a manufactured meltdown to preserve the country's full faith and credit. In addition to the debt ceiling, it is time to raise our standards for what counts as progress.
Kudos to Congress for not creating a crisis. They raised the ceiling - now raise the floor: our basic quality of life, our safety net minimum our low expectations and baseline belief in democracy.
That would be a success worth toasting.
Meanwhile, toast small victories & share small talk as you enjoy a big night with big ideas at your local progressive social club.
Not snow, nor sleet, nor icy rain shall keep us from our appointed rounds!
Find - or start - a chapter near you.
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.
Today, we added the CKEditor to the body section of the blog post submission page. This was done to make posting a blog with customization easier and nicer looking. The type of things you can do is add images inside your post, change the font type, realign text and much more.
For example, lets talk about how to add an image to a post. First write your whole post in the body section. Add any text formats you like, i.e font type, color, bold, etc. Then on the top row of the CKEditor look for the icon that looks like an "image". It should be on the top right side of the CKeditor. Click on it and a box will appear. In the "URL" section you will put the image URL.
Two weeks into my sophomore year in university I decided to meet up with an old friend from freshman year. She was a Muslim from Kuwait and a very interesting person to talk to considering her background. We were discussing various topics and came across the theory of evolution since she was now taking the same biology class as the one I had taken during my freshman year. She is very much into science so I decided to ask her opinion on the theory of evolution. Her response wasn’t very positive. I first I was surprised, but then I remembered I had learned the previous year that the Muslim world frowns upon the idea of evolution. I also learned that teaching evolution in the Middle East varies by state and is usually combined with creationist beliefs for the explanation of the origin of the universe. I am fan of evolution, but the conversation reminded me just how the Arab world is similar to the USA since there is a problem here with teaching evolution and God in public schools. Questions arise asking whether God should be taught alongside evolution, should we even teach evolution to our children, or does God even belong inside the classroom? Read more
Dear Gov. McCrory,
Though I’m fortunate enough to hail from Ohio, the greatest state in our union, I still keep abreast of what’s going on in North Carolina—my second, wonderful home state. As a Republican, Duke student and political science major, I was disappointed to listen to the radio interview you gave a couple of weeks ago, during which you expressed an interest in defunding certain areas of study at North Carolina public universities. The sound bite the media grappled on to was your declaration, “If you want to take gender studies that’s fine. Go to a private school, and take it.”
I listened to the interview in its entirety, rather than just picking and choosing the choicest bits. I am guessing (hoping) this comment doesn’t express a malevolent view of the academic field of gender studies. Rather, I think it is a poor phrasing of your larger belief that public tax dollars should only fund areas of study that produce jobs for students. I’d like to respond to this larger sentiment and the potentiality of defunding certain academic disciplines, rather than the specific gender studies statement itself. Read more
The subject of Father Scott's homily on Sunday was "tunnel vision," something our local parish priest knows a lot about since it was not until he was in his twenties and well out of high school that Father Scott finally got his driver's license. "Tunnel vision," said the state trooper who flunked him. "Stop focusing on the straight lines in front of you and see everything around you."
But it wasn't to whine about being the only kid in his senior class who still rode a bike to school that Father Scott brought up the subject of "tunnel vision." Instead, it was as a prod to urge the rest of us to stop fixating on the bright lines defining our own narrow prejudices, or tribes, or self-imposed prisons so that we might see the larger world around us.
That is because, as Father Scott explained, "God colors outside the lines."
Mine is a parish, as I have mentioned before, that lies on the outskirts (and mostly under the radar screen) of the larger Boston Archdiocese. It's a town that is predominantly Jewish but which has a protestant church on three of the town square's four corners and also a mosque all our own. Read more
As a baby boomer, I grew up in an era where the only women who had access to safe abortions were the wealthy. They could fly somewhere and have it done and be back home before anyone knew they were gone. Women who did not have wealth were forced to use less safe methods to abort the fetus.
PBS has aired the show, Call the Midwife, for two seasons now. Watching that show, I have become a strong supporter of abortion rights. Please understand that I am not an advocate for abortions per se. Abortions are only one option that must remain available for all women.
If you want to see what life was like for women and their families before contraception and abortion was available to women, then you should watch this program. It is horrifying to watch. Yes, I know that abortions are horrifying too. But, so is cancer and stroke and kidney failure. Read more
Mickey Edwards steals a page from those early Progressives who believed the cure for democracy was more democracy. Joining a long list of Republican "reformers" who are trying mightily to help the GOP avoid a rendevous with hostile demographics, the one-time Oklahoma Congressman wants to scrap the two-party system altogether in favor of a more participatory "nonpartisan" democracy able to govern itself without party labels.
It's an appealing vision of a restored "civic republicanism" that Edwards offers in his latest book, The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans. Appealing to me, at any rate, because it reflects my own belief that it is far more important how a party or a country thinks than what it thinks - since, as Edwards says, "democracy is not about policy but about process" and "how we select our leaders, how we deliberate, how we decide" are what really determine whether Americans are fit for self-government. Read more
In May 2009, former International Monetary Fund chief economist Simon Johnson wrote an important essay in The Atlantic on the origins and implications of the 2008 financial collapse, called "The Quiet Coup."
The financial gloom that swept over the US economy at the twilight of the George W. Bush administration was "shockingly reminiscent" of other Third World, emerging economy crises Johnson had witnessed during his days at the IMF.
In each case, he said, concerns that the financial sector could not pay off the debts it had accumulated caused capital markets to seize up, forcing firms like Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy as fear of insolvency became a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Weaknesses in the banking system "quickly rippled out into the rest of the economy," said Johnson, "causing a severe economic contraction and hardship for millions of people." Read more
In January 2008 Anonymous, a loose collection of “hackers”, previously known only for cyber bullying and cracking copyrighted software, attacked the Church of Scientology’s web site. The Church had been trying to scrub the internet of pictures of Tom Cruise acting crazy. The sudden shift to political activism, known as “hackerism”, changed the way political issues could play out on line.
Four months later, Wikileaks got it’s first scoup; the theology and “bibles” of the Church of Scientology, which it published on line. The litigious church wanted the information taken down. Fat chance. Wikileaks never took down the postings.
Anonymous has since attacked internet service companies and government websites filling the space vacated by Wiki after it was thrown off of Amazon and Pay Pal concerned over the legality of publishing government secrets.
The rise of both organizations, Wiki and Anonymous, has sparked a geek awakening. These geeks, known previously for their attitude rather than their political awareness, are challenging the traditional notions of governance. Read more
It’s Monday April 8th! Do you know where your podcast is? On this day in history back in 1935, Congress established the Works Progress Administration program, and FDR signed the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act. Not too shabby considering they were in the depths of The Great Depression, eh? It makes you wonder. We were able to find money to help people during the time in America’s history when we were as broke as broke can be. We were able to create jobs, invest in the country, and work together towards what would become America’s golden age. We were able to pass The Social Security Act and form unemployment insurance delivering a New Deal for Americans. This only happened because enough people decided that helping people was the right thing to do. They realized we were stronger together. They were right. Read more
Its January 18th, do you know where your podcast is? On this date in 1778, Captain James Cook “discovered” the Hawaiian Islands when he sailed past the island of Oahu. Thanks captain! I am sure the people living there were happy you found it. Two days later, he landed at Waimea on the island of Kauai and named the island group the Sandwich Islands, in honor of John Montague, who was the earl of Sandwich and one of his financial supporters. Thanks captain! I am sure the people living there appreciated the new name, and the shit sandwich they were eventually served by Sanford Dole, William McKinley and the United States government. Cook and his crew were welcomed by the locals and were able to trade iron products for important provisions like food and sex. Cook and his crew sailed on with bigger fish to fry, but would return with two ships in 1779 to Hawaii’s Kealakekua Bay. This was a very sacred time and place for the Hawaiians, Kealakekua Bay was considered the sacred harbor of Lono, the fertility god of the Hawaiians, and at the time of Cook's arrival the locals were engaged in a festival dedicated to Lono. Read more
Watching the House vote on the Senate’s bill to avoid the fiscal cliff last night, I was struck by how relieving it can be to watch our leaders to their jobs. When the votes were tallied, we saw forward movement, with Reps. Boehner and Paul voting in favor of the necessary legislation. A splinter of hope was realized in the middle of the night on New Year’s Day. Rationality won out over ideology.
What has nearly broken our union time and again is a devotion to identity politics: so often we vote for candidates we think are like ourselves rather than the best people for the jobs. President Obama’s administration has been harassed and harangued by politicians and a media outlet obsessed with how his identity is different than theirs- and consequently, they’ve felt him unworthy of their support. At last, we are seeing that strident belief begin to weaken, and a glimmer of logic shines in. Read more
Its December 18th, do you know where your podcast is? Ok so it’s not December 18th. Due to the wonderfully automated customer service at AT&T our material has been held hostage by Internet issues. Listen to episode 39 for a full drubbing of AT&Taint. Thankfully we are back on line, tired, frustrated, and weary of our culture’s reliance on technology. On this date (you know what we mean) back in 1620 the Mayflower made its final stop at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. After originally reaching Cape Cod on November 11th and exploring the coast for over month for a place to “settle”, the Puritans were finally ready to begin the process of making their new home. Their choice seemed to be an inhospitable one as 50 of the original 102 members of the colony were dead by spring of the next year. The only saving grace was Massasoit - the tribal chief of the Wampanoag tribe that had survived in the region since the glaciers receded at the end of the ice age (roughly 10,000 years) - who helped the Puritans learn to grow what grew there and kept them alive. Certainly, if given the chance, he would take a mulligan on that one! Read more
It’s Wednesday November 28th! Do you know where your podcast is? On this day in history back in 1520, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached The Pacific Ocean. This made him the first European explorer to reach The Pacific Ocean from The Atlantic Ocean. Hooray? We call the stretch of water he sailed The Strait of Magellan. We suppose if you make good on your promise to further enrich the empire of the day, they’ll pay homage to you by naming whatever you accomplish (i.e. whatever atrocities you commit) – in their name – after you (we’re looking at you Columbus Day).
But just because we call The Strait of Magellan The Strait of Magellan, that doesn’t mean that’s what it is. It doesn’t belong to Magellan (or his Spanish masters), and he didn’t discover it. The strait had already been discovered by the indigenous peoples who called it home for thousands of years prior to any contact with future European annihilators. The archipelago off the southernmost tip of what we call South America – through which runs the channel we call The Strait of Magellan – are lands and waters that belonged to people of different tribes such as the Alacaluf, Yaghan, and Ona. Read more