It’s Saturday February 9th! Do you know where your podcast is? On this day in history back in 2009, a few loose-screw Americans formed what we ended up calling the Tea Party thanks in large part to the funding and support of right-wing think tanks like FreedomWorks and ideologues like Dick Armey who oversaw the Tea Party’s perplexing (and totally manufactured) rise across the political landscape. Four years later, the Tea Party (having fulfilled its purpose as a punchline of choice to comics the world over) has dissolved into the impotent, irrelevant, waste-o’-space guano bucket we always knew it was. Thus, in honor of what is sure to be the last year of even Tea Party members taking the Tea Party serious, we’re delighted to share with you a letter we sent to Tea Party members back in 2009 in response to their solicitation to join the Tea Party. Enjoy.
"Dear Fellow New Tea Party Members, Read more
Public polling shows that a majority of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, but will Congress even consider taking pot off the banned substances list?
Today, two members of the House — Rep. Jared Polis [D, CO] and Rep. Earl Blumenauer [D, OR] — are introducing legislation to change the federal marijuana laws. Polis’ “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act” would regulate marijuana like alcohol, and Blumenauer’s “Marijuana Tax Equity Act” would establish a federal marijuana taxation structure. The introduction of the bills is a first step, but it doesn’t mean that there is broader institutional interest in Congress for taking up the issue of legalizing pot. Read more
With President Barack Obama currently in the process of filling vacancies in his cabinet—already one current United States Senator has gotten the nod—and with the retirement of Senators Rockefeller, Harkin, and Chambliss, there has been a good amount of chatter about the ramifications of opening up a U.S. Senate seat. While every state is a unique case, we started wondering what the actual numerical advantage is when it comes to incumbency.
The answer is 7 or 10, or 9 or 16, depending on the situation. While this is a little less prophetic than the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life (42 for all the non-Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fans out there), there is an interesting pattern that has developed over the past six years or so. Read more
After President Obama referred to “Absolutism” in his Second Inaugural address to the nation, the president of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre attacked the president’s use of the word by defending Continue Reading →
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President Barack Obama has finally crossed the last threshold into his second term as president. His speechwriter deserves great praise for a speech I believe will be historical in its Continue Reading →
The post Obama’s Second Presidential Inauguration: Here is Hoping for Greatness
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President Barack Obama’s Second Inaugural speech to me was one of his most elegant and the most well said speech I have ever heard from him, and I have heard Continue Reading →
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President Obama sparled his second term speaking of pay equity, marriage equality
& ensuring rights for all Americans...a message Conservatives argued was divisive.
He used a day of civic sacredness to preach of promoting pathways to citizenship,
and strengthening voter enfranchisement in a speech Tea Partiers called inappropriate.
As he renewed his role as President, he looked to lead on global challenges
from climate change to world peace...which the Right viewed as un-American.
The Right will argue against Obama's message & the Left may argue the Address was only words but it was an inarguable inaugural of a new era & we hope it augurs change in the years to come.
Inspired or tired, impressed or depressed, share your views while you sip some booze at your local progressive social club.
DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.
President Obama and Vice President Biden created the next wave of social change this week when they announced sweeping reforms to gun laws using both executive orders and legislation for Congress to pass. Though these are clearly sensible reforms meant to curb systemic violence against innocent people, Pres. Obama’s agenda is being ferociously thrashed by the National Rifle Association and politicians paid for by this organization. I have only one request for those folks who are over-reacting to this development: Think about Grace.
Grace, a beautiful, seven year old girl brutally murdered at Sandy Hook School last month, wanted to be a painter. Pres. Obama told the press her parents gave to him a painting she’d made, and he now keeps it in his study. I relate to this story because I was a little girl like that- in me still is an inner child who likes to paint pictures and give them to loved ones. Grace could have been any of us, or anyone’s daughter, sister, niece, or granddaughter. This shouldn’t have happened to her- to anyone. Read more
The tragedy in Sandy Hook has brought the national conversation to gun violence, which inevitably leads to the seemingly insurmountable differences between those who advocate for gun control laws and those who vow that the only way to get their guns from them is to “pry them from their cold, dead hands.” The facts that the only cold dead hands increasingly seem to belong to those of the innocent, unarmed variety only serves to cement their case: the answer, according to Wayne LaPierre, is to arm more good guys with weaponry in order to combat the bad guys with weaponry. That this makes sense to anyone who isn’t a comic book writer illustrates the huge disconnect we feel with society, and each other.
Sensible arguments about passing legislation to restrict high capacity magazines are met with staunch opposition from many on the far right. The argument goes back to the wording and the intent of the second amendment.
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Read more
As required class reading, I am tempted to assign to George F. Will an essay in December's American Conservative written by former Reagan economic adviser and Republican apostate Bruce Bartlett, called "Revenge of the Reality-based Community." In it, Bartlett chronicles his excommunication from the conservative movement for the unpardonable offense of thinking for himself.
Will might benefit from the outside reading considering that in the Washington Post he once again delivers a broadside against one of his favorite bugaboos - rampant "political correctness" in American academia.
Will has two obsessions in life: Campaign finance laws that restrict the ability of corporations and billionaires to buy America's democracy; and "PC" speech codes that promote multi-culturalism on American college campuses and so constrict the freedom of conservative white guys to say offensive things about racial, ethnic, religious and other "protected" minorities. Read more
This may seem farfetched at this time in our history but I assure you, America will someday have an out-of-the-closet and into your hearts, gay president.
As a gay man, I found it exciting when Barack Obama — the first black president — became the first president to endorse gay marriage. Some even say that he is the first gay president, similar to how Bill Clinton was the first black president. Obama’s wife Michelle of course, would disagree with that idea entirely, I am certain, accept in only the honorary title in which it would be intended.
Even though we gay people have found our way into many American hearts, we still have a way to go to win our way into the White House. I am confident that when that day does come, that gay or lesbian president will serve their country with its interests with their whole heart. Read more
The very powerful gun advocacy organization, the NRA (National Rifle Association) may have found their Waterloo in the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre. The death of 20 elementary age children has shaken America to the core. Both Republicans and Democrats are now calling on sensible gun control bans on assault weapons; limits on the size of ammunition clips; along with calls for universal background checks at gun shows and for private sales. Read more