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Maybe Obama Should Take Up Painting

April 10, 2014 by Living Liberally

Politics, government, healthcare, news, political news

The left criticizes Obama over NSA surveillance, lack of action on climate change and immigration, and being too conciliatory with the big banks.

The right attacks him over expanding healthcare, pushing for fair wages and pay equity, defending contraception and not invading Russia.

A do-nothing Congress says Obama does too little. The media enjoys declaring him a lame duck already. The American public isn't sure what to make of him.

In a time when more Americans have healthcare, we're choosing diplomacy over unnecessary war and our limping economy isn't toppling completely, we are treated to stories of George W Bush's paintings.

A glowing media celebration of the man who recklessly led us into a disastrous war, crashed our economy and tanked our reputation. Maybe Obama should take up painting?

Some ex-Presidents build houses for the needy, some focus on global poverty and climate change. Some just keep misunderestimating their potential.

Much to talk about, to toast and to torpedo so trade tales as you toss back a tumbler or two at your local progressive social club.    Read more

Is Money Speech?

March 23, 2014 by gawilliams14

Politics, government, healthcare, news, political news

A short while ago I was asked my opinion of Citizen’s United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 US 310 (2010), and some of the new cases coming before the Supreme Court regarding campaign finance laws. While this article is short, it will encapsulate some of my thinking on the issue, and how I answered the question. It doesn’t purport to be a scholarly reply, as I am writing for a more general audience, but I hope that the comments contained herein provides some food for thought.

At its heart is the initial question of whether monetary contributions by individual citizens to political candidates is in fact speech. That question was answered affirmatively in the 1976 case of Buckley v. Valeo, 424 US 1 (1976), which struck down the 1974 amendments to the campaign finance laws pertaining to candidate expenditure, while upholding limits on individual campaign contributions. The central holding that is in fierce debate, namely that campaign contribution limitations are constitutional, has come into some question with the Citizen’s United decision, as well as some slightly older decisions during the first decade of the 21st Century.     Read more

The Weight of the World, The Wait of the World

March 20, 2014 by Living Liberally

Politics, government, healthcare, news, political news

Russia has annexed Crimea. Ukraine is pulling out its troops. The world knows it has the burden to respond yet everyone waits to see who will go first.

Obamacare open enrollment ends soon and public perception rests heavily on these numbers. Congress, Courts, consumers have fought their battles -- now it comes down to a game of wait-and-see.

Meanwhile, our news cycles are consumed by the mysterious fate of the Malaysia flight, where the weight of speculation and suspicion takes a back seat to a world that watches and waits.

Usually the news is about the weight of the world. Right now, it seems to be the Wait of the World.

A little less waiting and a little more working might make all the difference in each of these.

No need to watch your wait or wait for your watch -- now is the time for healthy company & hale conversation at your local progressive social club.

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

Mid-term voting

March 14, 2014 by bannerite

Politics, government, healthcare, news, political news

I am sorry, but, I don't get it. Why would Democrats sit out the special election in FL#13 and not elect Alex Sink? There was only a 39% voter turnout and nearly 9000 voted for the Libertarian candidate. Jolly only won by 2 points. If only 3500 people, Dems or Libertarians, had voted for Sink, she would have beaten Jolly. This is just ridiculous. It is unacceptable! What kind of dummy tries to send a message by voting 3rd party? You might as well fill out your ballot and throw it in the garbage can. The only way we are going to change the direction of the country is to get people to vote the Democratic candidate into office. It really doesn't matter who wins the Presidency in 2016 if we still have a Congress controlled by the GOP and Tea Party. So, please, tell all your friends and relatives to be sure they are registered and have the correct ID's and then vote this year. 

Russians Rush In. Europe, You're Up.

March 6, 2014 by Living Liberally

Russians, Russia, Europe, Germany, Ukrainian

After upheaval upends Ukrainian government, Putin's put in a new position, Russians rush in and if you think we are jumping to conclusions you can Crimea river...

Kerry carries on talks, Merkel's murky about actions, McCain's manic, Graham's self-aggrandized while Obama's having long talks with Putin about as constructive as conversations with Congress.

And as we wonder what Putin wants, what Obama will do, where the EU will stand, let's hope we remember to ask the Ukrainians how they'd like to see their own country governed.

The Olympics showcased the world coming together in peace, friendship and healthy competition. Now, Russia has taken its ball and gone home…maybe we should have let them win at ice hockey after all.

It's cold out there, but our company is warm, our conversation cozy and our ideas on fire as you share a drink and what you think at your local progressive social club.

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

They Raised the Ceiling, Now Raise the Floor

February 13, 2014 by Living Liberally

Politics, government, healthcare, news, political news

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!

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

The Polar Vortex of US Politics

January 23, 2014 by Living Liberally

Politics, government, healthcare, news, political news

While another deep freeze engulfs the country, a deeper freeze permeates US diplomacy, as critics cast a chill on negotiations with Iran and create slippery conditions for Syria talks.

The weather shut down DC, but even if it hadn't, the GOP has effectively shut down congress closing down work on jobs, immigration, guns through distractions, deceptions and detours.

As icy roads snarl traffic as bad as Christie could, the President is caught in his own series of jams, gummed up over revelations of NSA wrongdoing, and road-raging to ram through a bad trade deal.

Americans know the current Polar Vortex will pass. Yet the Washington Polar Vortex has no end in site.

Warm up your soul, raise up your voice, lift up a pint to toast and talk, share and care, chat and cheers at your local progressive social club.

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

From Endured To Insured, Though Not Yet Assured

January 2, 2014 by Living Liberally

We survived a year of stalemate and shutdowns, shouting matches, sideshows and sh*t-storms, and somehow, despite setbacks and silliness, millions of Americans begin the new year insured.

We made it through bogus budget battles, callous compromises, cave-ins and calls for cuts, to a new year that starts with new rhetoric: a President, Pope & nation talking about inequality.

We stumbled through saber-rattling with Syria, and slogged through Snowden's NSA surprises to a January that finds us in fewer wars than a year before and fresh force for reforms in our intelligence operations.

2013 was a year we endured. Will 2014 see more Americans insured, our privacy ensured and our safety net assured? We can hope and work, but we can never be sure.

Show of up for a sure bet of socializing and sipping as we share New Year's resolutions and revels at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY Tonight - and every Thursday 7:30-9:30pm and beyond Rudy's - 9th Ave btw 44th & 45th Find DL signs and buttons in the heated backyard or back booths. Tonight's Hosts: BC Ashmall-Liversidge & Keith Stewart

Crystal Ball Musings for 2014

December 27, 2013 by Maureen Andrade

Politics, government, healthcare, news, political news

What will happen in 2014? Will the Tea Party finally gasp its last breath in the midterm elections? Will the GOP find its conscious? Will President Obama be vindicated in health care reform and other policies and positions? What will the next wave of big stories be?  Really, I don’t know, but here are my best guesses:

Firstly, I think the midterm elections will be a Saturday night-Sunday morning moment for the GOP. Hung over and still slightly drunk from the intoxication of hatred and fear served up by the Tea Party for five years, the GOP will swear off the hard stuff. The county I live in happens to be an eerily accurate reflection of the national political mood, being deeply purple, and in 2013 our off year elections showed a renewed interest in the middle way. The local Tea Party lost a noticeable amount of ground in city and county races. I think in 2014, we will see this trend out nationally.    Read more

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.

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

Do you think 7 million people will sign up for health insurance through the exchange by March 31st?

December 4, 2013 by THE POLITICUS

Choices

Why the GOP dismisses the U. S. Constitution...

December 2, 2013 by Richrd_45

The GOP needs to ultimatly answer why they dismiss the U. S. Constitution.

The Republican party today is so ideologically driven, they completely dismiss the Constitution of the United States when they try to implement Legislation, or they disagree with the rights of the American people. Today's GOP seems to disagree with every main stream social view that most Americans agreed upon in the 2012 election which the U. S. Constitution upholds.

Much of the obstruction we see from the Republican< party today is a correlation of hatred for a President of color, and the fact that American voters won't support their many out of touch ideas that prove again and again to be wrong for the country by a large margin of American's. Voting or otherwise.

Democrats have always been mostly bipartisan and keeping inline with the U. S. Constitution when they're the minority in Congress so the people's business can go on. The Democratic party is ardent about this.

We don't see this kind of reasoning with the Republican party today. The Media has a responsibility to call out these Republicans who inconceivably ignore the U. S. Constitution for their ideological purposes, but at the same time say they're standing on U. S. Constitution principals.

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