Led by Harry Reid, Senate Democrats have officially squandered their best chance to bring more democracy to the Senate in years.
By a vote of 78-16 , the Senate last night approved a new rules package that keeps in place the procedural loopholes have turned the Senate into a brick wall for sensible legislation. Under the new rules it will still be possible for a single senator to halt progress on a bill, or even on a motion to proceed to a bill, simply by stating that they intend to filibuster. In recent years, this procedure, commonly known as the “silent filibuster,” has prevented the Senate from passing even the most routine, non-controversial legislation. Read more
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.
We live in an age where one country can literally destroy another country, blow it entirely off the map. We also know there are people out there in the world Continue Reading →
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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
One year ago today, thousands of websites and millions of internet users took action to stop major internet censorship bills in Congress, SOPA and PIPA. The protests changed the way many people think about politics by proving that bringing together an educated public to take action, online, can defaet the corrupt agendas of the most powerful interest groups and members of Congress. To celebrate this enormous, ground-shaking victory, we (PPF) are joining a bunch of the other groups that were involved in the SOPA fight in declaring today, January 18th, a new holiday — “Internet Freedom Day.” Read more
Throughout my life, I have listened to others, and at times — at least during my younger years — I obeyed some of those voices and I was led down roads that perhaps I would have been better off if I had not gone. Growing older, I have learned to tell the difference more often between the voices that carry wisdom and those that carry other things, like emotions and passions and even agendas.
I am sure that most of us can remember a time in our lives that someone wanted us to do something. Perhaps a teenage friend who convinced us to sneak out of the house at night; a business associate convinces us to invest in a deal that turns out to be a lousy investment, perhaps even cost us our life savings. There are so many scenarios here but I am sure most of us, if not all, have had our “stupid moments” in our lives. Read more
While the NRA pushes a paranoid dystopia, the President proposes common sense steps to calm violence, cool tempers & control guns.
The President will propose a pathway to citizenship
to give many families a sensible, secure standing, but conservatives want to obstruct that path, hurt families & leave immigrants in the shadows.
The Tea Party Congress wants to play games with the debt limit & our country's finances, but the President's refusing to pay ransom as he seeks to reassure & rejuvenate the public.
One side stands still, while the other moves forward. One side stokes fears, the other sparks progress.
The "everything's a crisis" approach to governing has been done & hasn't served us too well. Let's put a little Zen back into Citizen.
Join the rhythms of conversation & good company as you cool down with a drink & warm up with a toast 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
[The following piece is a guest blog by global educator Laurence Peters. The views expressed here are his own, not those of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.]
In 1994, perhaps one of the most remarkable events of the 20th century occurred. The former leader of the anti-apartheid movement, Nelson Mandela, who was held captive for 27 years, was elected prime minister of South Africa. This peaceful handover of power was achieved not on the battlefield as many had feared, but because the world had divested from South African companies. 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
In a tirade on CNN’s Piers Morgan’s show, Alex Jones an obvious conspiracy theorist, explained to Piers — sometimes very angrily — why it was necessary for him to attack him, call him a “red coat” and asking for his deportation back to England where he’s from.
The conversation was mostly dominated by Alex Jones as he interrupted the CNN host almost every time he tried to speak. He was hotheaded and overbearing and I feel terribly sorry for his family. I would feel sorry for Piers but then he knew what he was doing.
I do know that Alex Jones is a poster boy of why we really do need gun control, to keep guns out of the hands of people like him. Watch the video:
CNN Pier Morgan interviews conspiracy theorist Alex Jones Read more