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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

Punishing Putin

April 7, 2014 by Mounir Ghaly

Politics, government, healthcare, news, political news

Since I wrote my blog on Punishing Putin, I received several phone calls from friends offering suggestion. The response I liked best was : "Ignore Him!" Many will say, but you can't ignore him. He just violated several international laws and created a military confrontation in Europe. Well, I agree, no world power can ignore this behavior nor its consequences. But despite this, there is a way to ignore Putin.

Putin must be on an adrenaline rush right now! Those who are in this state of mind will want to keep it going for as long as possible. So, ignoring Putin is a good tactic that should be part of our overall strategy. You can ignore him by not reacting to his agenda! That means the US and Europe must take coordinated steps to roll out own agenda to integrate Ukraine and the Baltic into the Western sphere of politics / defense / economics. This agenda must be divorced from what Putin says or does, i.e. not a tit for tat. It should be a Western centered plan in isolation. This will change the turf of this battle.     Read more

Seven Million - Check. Untold Millions - Unchecked.

April 3, 2014 by Living Liberally

Politics, government, healthcare, news, political news

The healthcare push led to 7 million sign-ups, surpassing the Administration's targets, and giving a boost to this new program, while getting more Americans covered.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court struck down limits on individual overall campaign donations, giving a boost to wealthy contributors, letting millions more dollars flood our elections.

Obamacare gets our government working for the many. McCutcheon gets our government working for the few. This week may see Americans get healthier, but also witnesses our democracy get more diseased.

Seven million Americans - check. Untold millions in contributions - unchecked. A few million steps forward,
an unlimited number of steps back.

Share healthcare tales, swap Court gripes as you trade drinks and thoughts through the night at your local progressive social club.

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

Party Leadership Message War Via Twitter

April 2, 2014 by Andrew17

Politics, government, healthcare, news, political news

This morning I took a look at the different tweets from the party leadership (Democrats and Republicans). You will notice something very interesting about Mitch Mcconnell's tweet. He doesn't mention Healthcare. Why is that?

Blog Poll: 
Do you think there is a chance Healthcare Reform (ACA aka Obamacare) will be repealed?

How to Punish Putin

March 31, 2014 by Mounir Ghaly

Politics, government, healthcare, news, political news

Over the last two weeks, Western nations have announced a layered sanctions plan to deal with Putin's aggression in the Ukraine. The layering, Western leaders advised, will be commensurate with Putin's future moves. The truth of the matter is that are few tools to deal with the Ukraine crisis. So, sanctions it is! But, sanctions take a very long time to work.

At their heart, sanctions, by increasing general misery such as scarcity of imports, falling currency, and limited exports, aim at generating a negative reaction from the people of the country against their government. With the Russians, this is not likely to work. The Russians have demonstrated they can tolerate decades of political and economic isolation. The tactic, i.e. sanctions, may work, if the majority of the population is already against Putin and his government, or if Western standards of life are already pervasive in the country that the majority would find their lives difficult. But this is not the case!    Read more

Has Israel Poisoned The Peace Process?

March 28, 2014 by gawilliams14

Politics, government, healthcare, news, political news

Recently I have been reading about the situation in the Middle East, specifically the Israel/Palestine impasse, and started to wonder what has happened to create such a divisive atmosphere when there was so much hope at different times since the Oslo Accords were signed in the early 1990′s, and also the agreement entered into between Rabin and Arafat in the mid-1990′s. During my reading I asked myself one very important question when it came to the most recent volatility in the peace process: Has Israel poisoned the process? Sadly, while both sides have caused impasses and problems, Israel, under Netanyahu, has severely damaged the process and weakened the prospects for a peaceful settlement of the issues.    Read more

Cold War, Cool War, Old War, New War?

March 27, 2014 by Living Liberally

Politics, government, healthcare, news, political news

In Russia's recent power plays and provocation, some commentators compare to 1930s Europe, others see the specter of the Soviet spread, but it's really a new challenge to the new world order.

As the US redirects its War on Terror and continues to extricate from Afghanistan, with domestic pressure to reduce the NSA, Putin's push has NATO contemplating the inconceivable.

Aggressive annexation and military moves are met with new tools of sanctions and trade threats. The global gang tries to tame the Russian bear and now the G8 is now, gee, seven.

Is this a Cold War being thawed out, or a non-war nobody's sure how to fight? Whether Cold War, Cool War, Old War or New War,
it's a new year, new fear, or new terror in an unknown era.

Share a night with what you know -- cool beers for a cold war, warm friends & hot topics at your local progressive social club.

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

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

Healthcare Reform (ACA) Is Here to Stay

March 20, 2014 by Andrew17

Politics, government, healthcare, news, political news

Listen up Moderate Democrats and Far Right Republicans. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will never ever, ever be repealed. Why? Let me break it down! Right now 5 million people have signed up for healthcare insurance with the ACA. The prediction is 6 million will ultimately sign up by March 31st 2014. Before the next President is sworn in there will be two more enrollment periods in 2015 and 2016.

Assuming each enrollment period garners 40% of the total enrollment in 2014 (2.4 million per enrollment), which is a conservative number. That would put the total enrollment of the Affordable Care Act at roughly 10 million people as of March 31st 2016. Now assuming the Republicans pick up the House, Senate and Presidency in 2016; they wouldn't have the balls to take away 10 million healthcare policies from people. First the Insurance companies would have a super duper fit and image the 30s' ads. It would be way too easy to defeat any incursion into healthcare reform.

So please understand that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay forever! And yes GOP you lost!

Blog Poll: 
Do you think the ACA will be rolled back if the Republicans take the House, Senate and Presidency?

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.

Results or Process: How Should We Evaluate Judges?

March 17, 2014 by gawilliams14

Politics, government, healthcare, news, political news, law

A few days ago I was asked which of the Justices on the US Supreme Court I admire the most.  My answer shocked the friend who asked the question: Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Stephen Breyer. His reaction was almost immediate. "How can you admire two justices who are so different (i.e., conservative and liberal respectively, though the use of the political terms is somewhat inaccurate)???  I would like to take a moment today and explain why I feel we (the general public) have a tendency to look at the wrong aspects when evaluating our judges.

For decades Judges, especially Supreme Court Justices, have been labeled either liberal or conservative, judicial activists or practitioners of judicial restraint, strict constructionists or living constitutionalists….  The list goes on and on.  Oddly enough, none of these terms are accurate in terms of what judges actually do, or rather, the processes by which they do their work.  As a result, there is a very skewed perception of what is being done by the courts (see my blog on judicial review posted in February of this year).    Read more

Teapartium

March 17, 2014 by George Fripley

Politics, government, healthcare, news, political news, teaparty

eMm3LAfter their success in discovering Dim Matter and its relationship with a new particle, the Positively Energized Moron, in their search for a relationship between dark matter and bureaucracy (http://www.thepoliticus.com/content/link-between-dark-matter-and-government), Professor Honor Bender and her student Grant Spender have now made another startling discovery. They have discovered a new element Teapartium. They have summarized it in the following points:    Read more

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. 

Obama Time, Overtime or Out Of Time?

March 13, 2014 by Living Liberally

Politics, government, healthcare, news, political news

The Prez pushes overtime pay for more Americans as he realizes he may be running out of time to address growing inequality in our country.

He and Putin stake out a stand-off in Ukraine, but as Crimea rushes a Russian vote, will there be a solution in time before this stalemate goes into overtime?

As the countdown winds down on enrollment, Obama plugs Obamacare here, there, everywhere, hoping the roll-out can eek out a victory at the buzzer.

The President is working overtime, hoping this month can be Obama Time before he finds himself, and all of us, out of time.

Toast his highs or roast his lows as you share a pint and an opinion or two at your local progressive social club.

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

Conservative Performance Art Convention

March 12, 2014 by Maureen Andrade

Politics, government, healthcare, news, political news

CPAC 2014 is over, and the hard core rightists of our nation have had their fill of entertainment for another year. The convention also provided a week of really solid material for comedians like Jon Stewart, who had his audience snorting into its microbrew with his play-by-play of over-the-top CPAC moments. This back and forth between the unknowingly ridiculous right wing politicians and knowingly ridiculous left-leaning commentators still isn’t old for me, though after years of this it probably should be.

Relentlessly, the right ups the temperature on its rhetoric, creating frenzy around something with a lot of style and little substance. What real leaders do is identify problems, work on solutions in partnership with others, and implement policies that improve people’s lives. CPAC folks don’t do any of these things. They are like actors pretending to be leaders on a stage. The pontificators of conservative ideology are either really poor quality performance artists, or really good ones- I can’t decide which.    Read more

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