I have given a lot of thought of late about what is ailing our dysfunctional political system, and have come to the conclusion that it boils down to one significant thing: Ideology. Read more
I had to shake my head once more this past week when I heard a comment about a court ruling that invalidated a state law. It was the age old comment that an unelected judge had usurped the will of the people by ruling unconstitutional a popularly voted in state law. It begs the question of whether or not the people making these comments (sometimes governors and legislators, not just average citizens) understand the role of a court when reviewing legislation. Sadly, I think many are seriously mistaken. I would like to take a moment and offer my own view on the subject. Read more
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.
It’s something I do about once a week: share a quote from the Dalai Lama with my Facebook friends. Typically, this most revered Buddhist has his people post something about curbing one’s selfish desires and living a decent life. Often, the Dalai Lama implores people to use their minds. Think, for God’s sake, just think before acting, he dictates. If half of our politicians and their advisors actually listened, how much better off would our nation be!
Another religious leader who is quickly becoming important beyond his parishioners is the new pope, Francis. In his eighty-four page document released earlier this season, he ordered his church to become Christ-like once more, and address the issues of greed, abuse and poverty. Additionally, he has chosen to not advance conservative extremists in the church. Pope Francis states reformist intentions as clearly as a noontime cathedral bell. Read more
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
The Federal Reserve said that it arranged the choice of more economic easing following the release of August's poor jobs report. Those efforts have been formulated, and were publicized on Thurs. Article resource: Fed Economic Stimuls
Drive down borrowing expenses
The Federal Reserve has decided it is necessary to drive down borrowing expenses even more after a two-day meeting with the policy committee. The Federal Reserve explained that it will spend $40 each month on mortgage backed securities to do this. This will be a 3rd round of “quantitative reason.”
Short term interest rates will stay at historic lows for six months longer than they used to until the end of 2015. The Federal bank has publicized this change in policy.
In 2013 and 2014, the Federal Reserve lowered its growth outlook for 2012 from 2.4 percent to 2 percent. By 2014, the unemployment rate is anticipated to decrease from 8.1 percent to 6.7 percent too.
Stock market rallies following announcement Read more
This Thanksgiving, I reflect on our nation. There is reason to despair, or course. Some dire work is still undone. For example, nearly a year after the Sandy Hook horror, we still have no coherent national plan of action to restrict gun ownership. Also, our Congress is still embarrassingly dysfunctional, as the Republicans recently shut down the government in protest of millions of Americans getting access to health insurance. There is also a lack of meaningful citizen action on climate change, which could be the nullifying factor for all human endeavor a few generations out. Read more
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.
Following the immeasurably unpopular government shut-down, the Tea Party is losing ground fast. Soon the movement may dissipate causing grass-root supporters to go through something like withdrawals. Formless hatred stoked by the Tea Party and its donors is a mental opiate many Americans became addicted to the last five years. How do we get millions of people to kick the bad habit of Far Right ideas? Here are six steps that could help break one's addiction to negativity:
1. Block Fox News using the Parental Controls on the cable TV- Giving up Fox News is the equivalent of flushing the dope down the toilet.
2. Take up a strict regimen of NPR- This may be boring, but it will cleanse the mind of all poisons like a grapefruit and white rice diet clean the digestive tract. Read more
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.
Lately a memory has been haunting me a little bit. It was a television image that I noticed during the frantic, wall to wall TV coverage of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. While firefighters were scrambling through the dust and smoke of New York City, the anchor tossed to a reporter on the Beltway in Washington D.C.. The freeway was packed with federal employees. Some had provisions strapped to the top of their Range Rovers while other were furiously peddling their mountain bikes, as back packs full of canned goods swayed from their perspiration stained torsos, towards Maryland. All were abandoning the city. Lesson: These folks will cut and run.
None of them were even remotely interested in talking with reporters. Think about that for a second. The Washington elite, the people we entrust to fight for our interests, no matter how we define those interests; leaving their posts and fleeing the capitol...and refusing an opportunity to talk with the press! Read more
Free markets and college football. Deeply embedded into the sociocultural fabric of American life, these two time-honored traditions are incompatible. Why is scandalous headline after scandalous headline born from the act of receiving compensation for working hard, an act that is laudable in every other profession? The answer lies in one dogmatic, pious, hypocritical, bloated bureaucracy of a governing body: the National Collegiate Athletic Association. However, with targeted new policies, the NCAA and member schools can enjoy the best of both worlds.
An Environment of Inequity
The collegiate athletic system desperately demands reform. Young men and women are putting in 50-hour workweeks, on top of classes, and all they have to show for it is NCAA President Mark Emmert’s $1.7 million dollar salary. To put it bluntly, the NCAA’s revenues and operating budget thrive off the exploitation and suppression of “student-athletes” with nowhere else to turn for a playing field. Read more
Nearly every day since my sophomore year of high school, I have carried a U.S. Constitution in my left-hand pocket whenever I go out. People often ask me why. They’re usually fairly incredulous when they ask. It strikes many as odd, and I understand their reasoning. It strikes a few as honorable. Despite my brother’s warnings not to do so (I think the phrase he used was “social strike-out”), I’m going to tell you just one of the many reasons why I do this. Read more
Oftentimes I feel as though the views of the Republican Party are not properly characterized in campus discourse. Today I’d like to briefly summarize four oft-ignored perspectives on the Republican economic agenda, which isn’t as scary as it is usually portrayed in campus debate.
First and foremost, the Republican Party is not a party that only cares about rich people. Republicans want everyone to have a good-paying job that provides for his or her family. Many Republicans come from humble beginnings and humble backgrounds. Many were immigrants who came to this country with nothing but a dream. They know what it is to face hard times, and are not callous to the difficult circumstances in which many impoverished people find themselves.
In short, Republicans do not differ with Democrats at all in terms of empathy. Rather, they differ in their beliefs regarding the means by which to help the poorest among us. I think it’s safe to say Republicans have more faith in the power of free markets than the Democratic Party. Republicans would argue that free markets, unencumbered by unnecessary government regulation, allow for the greatest growth in prosperity for all. Read more
The UN General Assembly meetings this week offer President Obama a chance to capitalize on recent diplomatic developments with Syria and to extend a hand to new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani in the hopes of launching renewed negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program. In an op-ed in the Washington Post last week, Rouhani urged other leaders “to respond genuinely to my government’s efforts to engage in constructive dialogue.” It is critical for Obama to show that his administration is willing to answer Iranian concessions with some relief of sanctions that Rouhani can bring to the Iranian people.
Iran is Ready for Talks
A prominent adviser to the Iranian leadership, Amir Mohebbian, explains that Iran’s leaders see the next six months represent the best opportunity to reach an agreement, before campaigning for parliamentary elections begins in March. This is a window the US cannot afford to miss. It is time for the US to offer a reasonable deal that would signal to the Iranian people that the West is willing to work towards a larger agreement. Read more