President O-Bomb-a

The President whose political star rose
as a principled voice to end a Mideast war
has just started a new bombing campaign there.

The leader who dreamed of international efforts
on climate change and nuclear non-proliferation
has pivoted the UN assembly from building to bombing,
from collaboration to confrontation.

The man who has had enough trouble
moving a progressive domestic agenda in DC
just alienated allies, tied up resources, shifted focus,
leaving his progressive priorities adrift.

During his campaigns, Obama was the bomb.
Now, he’s a President who drops bombs.
Possibly, it’ll cause his agenda to bomb.
Bombs away, President O-Bomb-a.

Hope for peace, work for progress
and raise a glass saying Shana Tova,
as you share ideas and share the night
at your local progressive social club.

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When You're In A Hole, Stop Digging

It’s a mess in the Middle East but not clear
how the US helps by making it messier.
As we arm questionable “allies,” remember:
getting Syrian is easier than getting Syri-out.

The NFL and Roger Goodell are under fire
for their bungled response to players’ atrocities.
They need a half-time change in strategy
before they all get sacked in the end zone.

Our planet’s confronting a climate disaster,
the GOP’s denying it, Dems are slow to act
— at least there’s the People’s Climate March,
reminding us you don't drill your way out of a hole.

Whether you’re Obama’s international advisers,
the NFL’s crisis-managers or world leaders,
it’s worth heeding the lesson:
when you’re already in a hole, stop digging.

We’re in deep enough.
Time to move the other direction.

Come share your thought and share the nights
as we pour pints and pour at our hearts
at your local progressive social club.

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How Quickly "Never Forget" is Forgotten

On the eve of September 11th, the President outlined
an intense military escalation in the Middle East
without clear rationale or achievable goals,
without full public debate or Congressional approval.

The devastating attack 13 years ago led us
onto a mad dash into a war in the wrong country,
compromising entanglements and costly quagmires,
all real threats of Obama's ISIS operation.

The candidate who opposed the "wrong war"
became a Senator, then President,
who may now lead us into the country
we elected him to help get us out of.

In the Senate, the GOP defends money in politics.
On the campaign trail, Tea Party rhetoric heats up.
Today, a date we honored with civility, calm and unity,
is now a day of divisive, distracting business as usual.

Thirteen years ago, we were shocked
and in the aftermath we said, we'd never forget.
Today's politics seem that "never forget" is forgotten
as are the lessons of what followed that day.

Our thoughts with those who lost loved ones that day,
and our prayers for peace here and abroad
as we join new friends and old to share a night
at our local progressive social club.

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Time for Politiicans to Head Back to School

As the Obama administration escalates military actions,
it would do well to reread a history book
on what quagmires did to LBJ's domestic agenda.

As the GOP presses a midterm election agenda
that's anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-diversity,
they might want a math lesson on what this approach
will do to their long-term electoral hopes.

As the Justice Department scrutinizes Ferguson,
police forces everywhere should brush up on civics,
remembering what it means to "serve and protect"
and to treat all citizens equal in the eyes of the law.

As this fall showcases 2016's Presidential hopefuls,
Cruz, Paul, Perry, Rubio, Ryan, Bush, Huckabee
should all review their science books before debating
climate change, evolution and reproductive health.

As for Hillary Rodham Clinton, get ready for gym class:
to be ready to run the race of her life
while playing some dodgeball along the way.

Labor Day has passed, summer is ending
and looks like everyone is heading back to school.

Learn a little, laugh a lot and take a lesson
in liberal libations with like-minded left-leaners
at your local progressive social club.

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From Ice Buckets To ISIS Rockets

The US escalates action against ISIS
with the threat of plunging into another war,
but we are more likely to hear about ice buckets
and who has plunged themselves to fight ALS.

We are already tuning out the violence in Gaza,
weary of ceasefires and wary of solutions,
but tune in to one senseless, sensational video
of an uzi accident that takes one life and ruins others.

The mourning continues in Ferguson and elsewhere,
some Senators discuss de-militarizing police,
but few people really believe anything will change
and we wait to hear of the next case of lethal force.

All these topics deserve our attention --
but it's harder to focus on big issues that YouTube videos.
We need ice water dumped on our collective heads
to shock us into paying attention to the larger world.

In the meantime, how about an icy beer,
chill company and cool conversation
at your local progressive social club.

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We Are The World

We're wary of sending tanks back into Iraq
and alarmed by Russian tanks near Ukraine.
Meanwhile we witness police on military tanks
rolling through the streets of Ferguson.

We're aghast at the beheading of a journalist in Syria
and the deaths of civilians in the Gaza war.
Meanwhile journalists are being arrested in Ferguson
while covering the senseless killing of an unarmed teen.

We watch the chaos of Ebola quarantines
while our own citizens in Ferguson
are quarantined by police action and curfew,
trapped by historical and institutional racism.

We look with horror and fear at so much in the world
but we don't need to look further than Missouri.

We also look to change and help and save the world --
well, we are the world…so let's start the change here.

Change your mood with a warm welcome,
sharing ideas and beers with a few peers
at your local progressive social club.

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Unarmed But Not Unharmed

An unarmed black teen is gunned down in Ferguson
and now protesters face a militarized police force
keeping the peace with instruments of war.

Civilians shudder as the Israel/Hamas conflict smolders,
the plight of innocents inches America back into Iraq
and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee
calls for a foreign policy of even more military force.

Ebola returns to public attention
as it claims lives with sudden fury.
Depression returns to center stage
the quiet killer of beloved and gifted Robin Williams.

Overseas to our own shores, with violence and silence
by guns and bombs, disease and depression,
we are reminded and should be alarmed
that being unarmed doesn't mean being unharmed.

Need company, conversation or comrades,
find them all sharing a toast and an evening
at your local progressive social club.

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The Long Road From Cease To Peace

After weeks of casualties and clashes,
rocket fire and ratcheted-up rhetoric,
Israel and Hamas have an uneasy ceasefire,
but even without fire, the flames still burn.

After months of inaction and obstruction,
a do-nothing Congress takes a recess --
but taking a break from divided DC
only means time for campaign conflict back home.

After incidents of police brutality across the US
increase tension with communities of color,
practices like fatal chokeholds have to cease
before rebuilding trust can even begin.

It's one thing to put out a fire.
It's another to create conditions for change.
We start when we cease
-- but it's a long road to peace.

Bring your fiery feelings into a cool conversation
as you find a safe place to think and to drink
at your local progressive social club.

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Lofty Pursuits or Petty Lawsuits

The House Republicans could be pursuing
solutions to the migrant youth at the border
or sensible answers to our energy problems,
but instead are focused on suing the President.

The GOP could have a vibrant intra-party debate
over conservative values in a diverse America
or reducing medical costs for all our citizens,
but spend time debating impeachment vs lawsuit.

The Conservatives could be constructive partners
across the current set of international crises,
on job creation or college affordability --
but prefer distraction, deflection and destruction.

We live in a time where someone from any party
could go into politics to tackle pressing challenges.
Instead of lofty pursuits, they choose petty lawsuits.

And they call Democrats the litigious ones...

Concerned about conservatives? Liven up with liberals!
Pour out your ideas as your pour out a pitcher
at your local progressive social club.

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The Bombs Bursting in Err

At first, it seemed it must be an accident --
why would rebels shoot down a passenger flight
sending hundreds of families into mourning
and shocking the international community?

We want Israel and Hamas to see it's a mistake
to self-sabotage by ceasing ceasefires,
to puncture the potential for peace
with civilian casualties and the racket of rockets.

Those who call for US military action in Iraq
must live in another era -- or error --
because how will our bombs heal a nation
that our own errant bombs helped fracture?

The sad truth is this violence is intentional
and all parties are in error if they believe
they can shoot their way to stability.

We sing of our "bombs bursting in air."
We cry for these bombs bursting in err.

Escape the heat of international affairs,
with a cool drink and chill conversation
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

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